Lush Adventures

Hello!

This summer I celebrated a milestone birthday. I turned 25 years old on July 13th. It was fabulous. I spent the entire week from the 10-15 doing anything and everything I wanted, because it’s my birthday. I took time off work. I read a book. Ok, that one isn’t anything new, but I actually finished that book. I slept a lot. I also went on adventures. My first adventure was with my best friend, Chelsea. We don’t see each other very often. We live in different states, and have work responsibilities and family stuff that keep us from meeting on a regular basis. We talk every day, but it’s not the same. We made a plan in college that we would try to go on one trip every year. This does not count “Hey, I’m free this weekend, are you? Wanna drive down/Can I drive up?” No. These are planned trips to places neither of us have ever been where it’s just us. We reconnect and have fun.

This year, that trip fell on the weekend before my birthday. I wanted to go to the beach. We didn’t really have time to plan to go somewhere far away, like Miami or Savannah. But neither of us have ever been to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It is a two-hour drive from both of our houses, so we would be meeting in the middle and neither of us would be driving farther than the other. Perfect. The trip was nice. It was totally worth it. I only got to the beach for an hour, and it was cloudy and crowded. Like really crowded. An hour was perfectly fine. The sun did come out that day, and we spent the sunny time lounging by the pool, taking naps and reading books.

Nassau Valley Vineyards. Lewes, DE
Nassau Valley Vineyards. Lewes, DE

Between the beach and the pool, though, we did other things. One other thing that I wanted to do this year was to go to a vineyard. We went to Nassau Valley Vineyards in Lewes, DE, and did a tasting. Now, what’s fun is that even though we were together, it was an individual tasting of six wines. She got six and I got six. If you’re doing the math, we got to have twelve different wines that day. We both fell in love with their Peach Ambrosia, Indian River Red Blend, and Naked Chardonnay. Peach Ambrosia has no grapes in it. It is made only with peaches. Y’all. When I tell you, it was the best. It really was. It pairs amazingly with ginger snaps. The peach really pops. Indian River Red is a fruity red blend that goes down really smooth. We tried two Chardonnays. One was a traditional Chardonnay barreled in oak. The other, naked Chardonnay was barreled in stainless steel. It was much brighter and cleaner than the traditional.

We had a great conversation with the guy who led our wine tasting. If I remember correctly, he was the husband half of the husband-and-wife team who operate the vineyard. Such a good guy. We talked about wine, chocolate, beer, bartending in New York. It was great. When we told him that we also like to drink beer, he mentioned that Dogfish Head Brewery wasn’t too far away, and we should visit. Sounded like a great plan to me, so off we went.

Dogfish Head Milton, DE
Dogfish Head Milton, DE

We originally wanted to do the Brewery tour and the tasting, but the tours were full. Like, completely full. There were so many people hanging out, playing bocce ball, and drinking at Dogfish Head. It was a relaxed and fun atmosphere. I would go back in a heartbeat. We did the tasting. Four beers each, but only two choices. On the tasting card, everybody got to taste the summer brews of Festina Peche and Namaste. Of those two, I preferred Namaste. It had a bit more body than that Festina Peche. Festina Peche was way too light for me in taste. Of the two choices, I went with Midas Touch and Birra Estrusca. She tasted Theobroma and an Indian Brown Ale. We both hated the Indian Brown. Too dark. Too weird tasting. Not good. Birra Etrusca was ok. It was a bit bitter for me, but she thought it was ok. Theobroma and Midas Touch were clear winners. Midas Touch has a such a crisp taste, slightly sweet, but a good heaviness. Theobroma, we expected something different. Theobroma is an ancient sweet alcoholic drink. Think dark chocolate. So, naturally, we expected something dark, bittersweet, hints of coffee and  chocolate. It was a nice amber color, definite hints of chocolate, some nuttyness, but no coffee.

We rounded out our trip with various foodstuffs and bingewatching Disney Channel, just like our college days.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The day of my birthday,  I spent with my other best friend, Jessica. We got together and drove out to Haymarket, VA for a wine tasting at The Winery at La Grange. This was a six wine tasting, but you only got six choices. They are a smaller operation than Nassau Valley, but they also have a wine club. So, there are wines that are only available to wine club members. If you’re wondering, yes, I am now a wine club member. I couldn’t help myself. They let us taste their 2012 Tannat and a 2013 Tempranillo. Tempranillo has been my favorite grape for about a year now. It comes from Spain, and it is just so good. It’s warm and earthy. Think dark berries. I love it. The Tannat is the same way, but a bit different. There is a heaviness there that I really enjoy. The other wine that really stood out for both of us was the 2013 Cuvee Blanc. There is a spicyness to it that made it perfect. Our tasting was led by a so sweet southern guy. His parents are from Louisiana and Alabama, and you can really hear it in his voice. We went back recently for a wine club party, and got to try their in-house sangria. They make a white and a red. The red tastes like mulled wine, which isn’t bad at all, but more a winter and hot drink taste than a summer/cold drink taste. The white is amazing. We also took ourselves on a little walk beside the vineyard, and got some photos of the 2015 grapes. Those should make for some excellent wines. It has been a very hot summer.

Delicious white sangria from Winery at La Grange
Delicious white sangria from Winery at La Grange
The Vineyard at Winery at La Grange
The Vineyard at Winery at La Grange
Advertisements

LGBTQ Resource Fair & Day of Understanding

I have been sitting on this blog for almost two months now. Not for any particular reason other than I got really busy afterward this program took place. If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been excited about being able to host an LGBT event at my library. I’m pretty sure I bugged the crap out of a lot of people in my eagerness and excitement. You might have been one of them. #sorrynotsorry The event was not without it’s hurdles, but I’m happy with the way it all turned out. I made, I think, some important connections. Hopefully, next year will be bigger and better. We had total turnout of 75 participants! It is way more than I even dared to hope for, and there were older adults, people my age, and even some community college GSA reps. 🙂

Resource Fair

I’m not going to focus on the hurdles in this post. I will say that I learned that even I think I’m bothering someone, I’m probably not. I had a few organizations not show up, potentially because I did not communicate well enough. I’m not sure why they didn’t come, but I am encouraged by the fact that I learned many things from this experience. I received many words of gratitude from participants and words of encouragement from presenters.

Now, on to the good stuff. I had representatives from three organizations come. Keith Thirion, Acting Director of Equality Maryland, was the first to arrive. At the time of the event, he was the Director of Advocacy and Programs for the organization. Not only was Keith so professional in the way he dealt with the hurdles of the day that directly impacted him, I am grateful that he came. He was a calming presence. It was my first time playing hostess to Pride, and he was just awesome. After he set up his stuff, he helped me decorate the library’s tables. He encouraged me to do the event again and to keep doing it for as long as I’m able. Earl Fowlkes, President of the Center for Black Equity, came in. It was a bit interesting, because he’d given away all of his promotional materials away at a recent Black Pride event. However, I was just grateful that he came! He also had words of encouragement for me as the event went on. The final organization to be represented in person was the Charles County chapter of the NAACP, led by Janice Wilson. She was running late after being at a prayer breakfast for the Charleston Nine. She mentioned that she’d being talking about my event with the head of the county commissioners. Me, being me, I thought it was cool that she’d talked to him about it. I was not, however, expecting him to show up! Yes, the President of the Charles County Commissioners came to my program. I was verklempt.

157

 

Day of Understanding

The second part of the day went better than the first part. Once people I loved started showing up, I felt better. I mean, I was nervous wreck from 1030am to about 1245pm, when my best friend showed up. She brought me tea. 🙂 Our first presenter, Dr. Desirée Melton, professor of philosophy at Notre Dame of Maryland University, spoke on intersectionality, particularly the intersection of race and sexual orientation. She also spent a good portion of her time on bisexuality. The gist of this portion being that bisexuality is real. Bisexual people are not deviant. They are not greedy. They are not indecisive. They are not anything but people with the capacity to love someone else, regardless of their gender. She even managed to get some of our event goers to change their minds about the way they view bisexual people personally.

IMG_20150701_100938

 

 

 

The fun part of the event was brought to us by Be Steadwell and her band the Bourgiecats. I’ve talked before about the fabulousness of these musicians and the joy I get from listening to them. They’re amazing, and I feel so privileged to have been able to showcase their greatness to the people of Waldorf. A few interesting new things that happened during this show that didn’t at any other show. Be brought a thunder tube, a little instrument that sounds like rolling thunder. It was really funny and cute. She also did a reading from her favorite book as a kid, Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold. That was special. It was completely appropriate for the song she was about to sing, For Sethe, and we were in a library! I enjoyed that part.

284 IMG_20150630_232426

There you have it. My baby, my pet project, my Pride celebration at work. I feel I should mention that I could not have had better timing. The event took place on 6/27/2015. On 6/26/2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states in a landmark decision. Wow. Here is the SCOTUS blog coverage of the entire case file and the full ruling.

Now, please enjoy and live vacariously through these photos that Sarah, of CCPL, took for us. In no particular order, I present Charles County Public Library’s First Annual LGBTQ Resource Fair and Day of Understanding

238

And now a reading from Tar Beach
And now a reading from Tar Beach

268

The infamous loop pedal
The infamous loop pedal

214 208 204 202 200

Be Steadwell and the Bourgiecats take the stage.
Be Steadwell and the Bourgiecats take the stage.
Almost a full house!
Almost a full house!
Dr. Melton focused the main portion of her talk on bisexuality and why biphobia is real and hurtful.
Dr. Melton focused the main portion of her talk on bisexuality and why biphobia is real and hurtful.

159 155

For one day, at least, I got t be one of the cool kids. :-)
For one day, at least, I got to be one of the cool kids. 🙂
I don't know why, but this is my favorite picture of the day.
I don’t know why, but this is my favorite picture of the day.

Dalai Lama’s Instructions for Life 4

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Instruction four from the Dalai Lama is about appreciating the L. We would all rather have a win in everything that we do in life, but that’s not possible. I could say that life’s not fair, deal with it. But we know that. We know that bad things can happen to good people, good things can happen to bad people, and that even if -insert ultimate being here- has master plan, we can never understand it. What we don’t often focus on is all the good things that can come from a missed or lost opportunity. The most obvious is the lesson. What have you learned about yourself from not getting that thing you wanted? Often when I wouldn’t get chosen for a position after a job interview, I would wonder what I did wrong. Sometimes it was my outfit. I hate suits, like with the fire of a thousand suns. I can’t pull them off. So I would wear outfits that were separates. It took forever for me to find a black dress that looked good on me. It had the benefits of only being one piece, and all I would need were tights and shoes. Perfect. I wore it to the interview that got me my promotion. 🙂

Another good thing that can come from not getting what you want is the opportunity to do other things. I’ve told you about my YA class and that my absolute disgust for my professor lead me to pass on applying for a position in the YA department at my job. Sure, I would have gotten to do a lot of cool things as a YA associate. I would have been able to design programs that reached out to the troublemakers in our library. I would have been able to do displays in the YA section. I would have been able to try new  things and expand my skills. I can do a lot of that now, but not to the same degree as I would have been able to as a YA associate. Not going for that job has given me rest. In the summer, librarians are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. We try not to show it, but summer reading, summer programs, and general summer bodies in the library take a lot out of us. After my one summer program, I have been privileged to just help or observe on the sidelines. I’ve gotten to participate in the craziness that summer brings to library, but also be a bit removed. There are also parts of my job that I love and would hate to give up. I’m on the collection development team. I get to select the books that come into the library. I wouldn’t be able to do that in YA. I oversee the Twitter platform team of our social media committee. I would only be able to half the stuff I do now. I help out with meeting rooms, making sure people are adhering to our regulations. I wouldn’t be able to do that either. I love my job. I love the people I work with. Even though I’m adult services, I help out with YA things whenever I can. I’m going to be taking on new responsibilities soon, as well. I applied for the ALA Emerging Leaders program. I would not be able to do any of that if I didn’t have my current job.

These are only examples of recent times when I didn’t get what I want. But I want to show you that not getting what you want can lead to wonderful things. What are some times that you didn’t get what you wanted, but great things or new doors opened for you as a result?

Unplanned Hiatus

Hello again!

First, apologies for the unplanned July hiatus. I didn’t realize that my schedule would be quite so hectic this month. The hiatus will continue though, until the end of summer classes. I’m so close to the finish line for my MLIS. I’ve already registered for fall classes and submitted my official candidacy form. Next step: apply for graduation! I’ll be back to tell you all about my summer, and to get us back on track, on August 10th.

The other thing I wanted to talk you all about is the Fabulous Fare Sisters. I had the immense pleasure of meeting Linda and Heidi, and eating their delicious food at an event last weekend. These sisters have been cooking up a storm all their lives, and are now ready to share their recipes with the world. They got me to eat asparagus. I hate asparagus. I won’t even eat them when my own mother makes them. But their asparagus, to die for. All of the ladies at the event were super bummed when they were all gone.

Please take a minute to check them out. Linda and Heidi are true sweethearts, great to work with, and make great food. What’s not to love?!

Author Highlight: Jacqueline Carey

The second author in this series is Jacqueline Carey. I’ve been reading Ms. Carey’s work for at least the last ten years, which is almost as long as she’s been writing. You can find her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @JCareyAuthor, or check out her official website, www.jacquelinecarey.com.

Now that’s all out-of-the-way. I first started reading Jacqueline Carey when I was deep into my high fantasy, read everything I can get my hands on, phase. I found her in my local library, not the one I work at now, but in the same system.  I picked up Kushiel’s Dart. It felt like a tome, easily topping four hundred pages, but I wanted to read it. It had something that called to me, political intrigue, warped relationships.  I don’t know, but I took it home and read it in a week. Then, I went back for the rest of the series: Kushiel’s Chosen and Kushiel’s Avatar. They aren’t hard books…until you fall in love with the characters and see their struggle and turmoil. You laugh with them and cry with and for them. Reading about the terminus, the Cassiline death dance, Isidore D’Aiglemort and the Unforgiven, ugh my heart. Those two scenes, especially, will never leave me. They’re from Kushiel’s Dart.

The series features not only an alternate universe, but an alternate version of Christianity. It’s as if Christ had a brother, Elua, who left Heaven voluntarily and was followed by nine angels: Azza, Anael, Camael, Cassiel, Eisheth, Kushiel, Naamah, and Shemhazai. The three most prominent in these first three books are Cassiel, who never left Blessed Elua’s side, Naamah, who lay with strangers to help feed the company (yes, she was a sex worker), and Kushiel, the angel of punishment. The main character. Phedre, is god-touched. She has brown eyes, but in her left iris is a red speck, marking her as an agent of the angel Kushiel, destined for greatness and to find pleasure in pain. An anguisette, a lypiphera, pain bearer.

She took a break from the series to write The Sundering duology: Banewreaker and Godslayer. I read somewhere that she wrote them as a sort of re-telling/homage to Tolkien from the POV of the villain. Of course, having never read The Lord of the Rings or any Middle Earth novels, I never picked up on that, though I did realize, as I was reading, that I was seriously in book love with the villain. It’s been a while since I’ve read this series, though it is one of my favorites.

Carey went back to Terre D’Ange with the Imriel trilogy, the second set in Kushiel’s Legacy. The first Kushiel’s Scion, still follows Phedre as she raises Imri as her own. But as a royal and the son of a traitor, Imriel must prove himself loyal to his cousin Ysandre, the Queen, which doesn’t go so well when he and Ysandre’s daughter and crown princess, Sidonie, fall in love. The second and third books, Kushiel’s Justice and Kushiel’s Mercy , follow Imri as he is married off, betrayed, widowed (widowered?), goes on soul-searching journey, and eventually returns to Terre D’Ange and Sidonie.

I realize that these are seriously skimpy descriptions, but the books are long and dense and delicious. You should give them a try. Because I said so. I’ll give a better reason later. Just trust me on this.

Between finishing the original six of Kushiel’s Legacy and starting a new trilogy set at least three generations later, Carey wrote the Santa Olivia duology: Santa Olivia and Saints Astray.

The Naamah trilogy: Naamah’s Kiss, Naamah’s Curse, Naamah’s Blessing,  follows Moirin, a descendant of the tribe whose chief betrayed Imriel by breaking an oath sworn on the lives and magic of his people. In much the same way as Phedre is god  touched, so it Moirin. How so? She is also a descendant of Alais, Sidonie’s little sister. As if not clear yet, the goddess who chose her is Naamah.

After the Naamah triology, Carey wrote the Agent of Hel trilogy: Dark Currents, Autumn Bones, and Poison Fruit. This series is much lighter and less epic. Daisy Johanssen is a hellspawn with the power to start the End of Days if she gives in to her Hell-given powers. This is where Carey says YA readers who want to explore her writings should start, especially if it’s the parents choosing the books. There is very little sex and not much cursing, two things in the above series’ have in abundance.

All the series’ have more than their fair share of violence and creepy things happening, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading. Read in order. Especially Kushiel’s Legacy.

For more info on Kushiel’s Legacy: http://kushiel.wikia.com/wiki/Terre_d’Ange

Another interesting thing you may want to Google: Court of Night Blooming Flowers.

Readers’ Advisory: Brand New Ancients. Kate Tempest

Quick Facts

Author: Kate Tempest

9781632862075. $15US

Available in print and eBook

Poetry

Why I Read It

Honestly, I don’t remember. I think Library Journal was doing a poetry round-up for National Poetry Month in April, and all the reviews of both Kate Tempest’s books were so good, so filled with awesome, that I had to buy them for the library. Then, of course, I had to read them. Even books with terrible reviews by authors I really like, I have to read. It’s like a compulsion.

TLL’s Tag

The gods walk among us, because they are us.

The Rundown

Brand New Ancients is a long poem about gods. Not Greek gods, although their names show up, but the gods and goddesses that live in regular people like you and me. The 47 page poem centers around nine people with interconnected lives. Kevin is married to Jane, but Jane is having an affair with Brian, who is married to Mary. Brian and Mary do not have a happy marriage, and their son, Clive, suffers for it. The affair results in Tommy, but Jane never tells Kevin. It is unclear whether Kevin ever figures it out, but Brian does. He drinks and drinks. Mary takes Clive and moves out. Clive grows up to be a bad bad man. He’s never really known love, so he doesn’t know how to show it. He makes a friend, though, Terry. Then, he sets Terry’s curtains on fire, and Terry ends up with a burn scar on his face and the nickname, Spider.

Tommy grows up wanting to be a comic book author/artist. He loves drawing, and the stories in his head are his escape.

Spider and Clive meet Jemma and Gloria. Spider likes Jemma, but she laughs in his face, and she and Gloria walk away. Years later, Jemma is an activist and Gloria is a bartender/manager, and they are no longer friends. She’s had a hard life, Gloria, but that changes when she meets Tommy, and he worships the ground she walks on. Tommy gets a job in graphics at a PR firm, and his whole world changes. The guys are smart and they know it. Kinda assholes, and it changes Tommy. When he realizes this change is not who he is, it’s almost too late.

Spider and Clive don’t really remember Gloria, but they know of her and her past. It’s closing time at the bar, and they three are the only ones left. Gloria knows what’s coming, and she is not about to be willing by any stretch of the imagination. She’s swinging bottles and shards when Tommy comes in through the back door. He can only stare and wonder that this goddess calls him her love, and he prays that isn’t too late to make it up to her.

Here’s what I think

If the poem ended where I did, it would be fabulous, but it doesn’t. It goes back to Brian, a sad white guy living in Thailand, with his Thai girlfriend. Honestly, he was the worst part of the poem, because he just doesn’t care.

The story of the poem is quite engaging. I hope you think so too, just from what I wrote up there. It is meant to be read aloud, and indeed was performed before it was published at Battersea Arts Centre. The rhymes and beats of the poem were what really kept me engrossed in the story. They always felt like a surprise. “Hey, I found a rhyme.” or “That sounded really awesome in my head, I wonder what it sounds like aloud.” It can be difficult to make full characters in a poem, which are usually very short, but Tempest does it well. I mean, she has 47 pages  worth of space, but each character really felt developed. Their arcs were well done, and though the true ending was less than stellar, the part that I think of as the ending, the last chorus before we flip back to Brian on page 43, is nothing short of epic.

I also enjoyed the Greek chorus parts. In between each section, Tempest places a chorus about what the gods are doing and how we are them and they are us. It’s quite masterful really. I can see why she’s won awards for her poetry. A must read. Honestly.

Final decision

The beats and the descriptions really make this poem come alive.

5Q–Hard to imagine it being better written.

4P–Broad general or genre appeal.

Readalikes

 

How to be drawn, Terrance Hayes

The Lunatic: Poems, Charles Simic

The Beauty: Poems, Jane Hirshfield

Appeal Factors

poetry, descriptive, mentions of Greek mythology

Book discussion questions

1) What does it mean to have gods among us?

2) What do you think kept Brian from running away with Jane?

3) What happened to Mary?

4) Do you think Kevin ever realized that Tommy is not his biological son?

Clues to the Future

modern gods, poetry, Kate Tempest, Brand New Ancients, long form poetry, rhyme schemes, rhymes with a beat, UK poets

Awards and Lists

Ted Hughes Award for Poetry

Links to the Author, Interviews, and Reviews

Author website: http://katetempest.co.uk/

NY Times review: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/theater/brand-new-ancients-stars-kate-tempest-in-a-tragic-tale.html?_r=0

Dalai Lama’s Instructions for Life 3

In the Dalai Lama’s Instructions for Life, Rule 3 is as follows:

Follow the three R’s:

Respect for self

Respect for others and

Responsibility for all your actions

 I have struggled with this entry, hence the long stretch in the series. On the one hand, it is monumentally simple and self-explanatory. Even non-religious people should be able to see the benefits of making this rule a part of their lives. On the other hand, it feels too simple. I feel as though I should much more to say about this. His Holiness is not saying you have agree with everything everyone says or does. He’s not saying you have to love your neighbor. –I could get into all the different definitions of love, and even pinpoint for you the exact type of love to which I think Jesus is referring, but that’s for another post.– He is simply saying to respect the people around you. Respect that their outlook on life is different, or similar, to yours. Respect that they know what is right for them in that moment. Respect that they are autonomous human beings. It’s not hard.

The hard part comes in taking responsibility. It’s scary being an autonomous human being. It’s scary being an adult. But own up to your mistakes. Own up to your triumphs. Take care of yourself and your bills and your pets and your space. Understand that your actions may be hurtful to others. That is inevitable. Be sincere in your explanations and apologies. Move on when necessary.

Author Highlight: Chrmdpoet

First up in the Author Highlight series is a respected, published author and poet, who happens to write heart shattering fanfiction for her adoring reader public. Chrmdpoet is amazing. I don’t remember when I found her, but I’ve been reading her fics religiously for a little over a year. I want to say it started with Popcorn Love, but it could just as easily have been her SQ Drabbles. Like I said, I don’t remember my first Chrmd fic, but I’ve read pretty much every fic she’s ever published. I read somewhere a long time ago when I first got into Fandom (the institution, not to be confused __ fandom, which is specific to whatever is in the blank space), that we only read fics where the author’s characterizations match with our own. That is to say, they percieve the characters and their (potential)motivations in ways that are similar to the way we, the reader, percieve the characters and their (potential) motivations. I have found that to be true on so many levels, and especially with Chrmdpoet’s stories. Her SwanQueen stories, the ship of Emma Swan and Regina Mills/The Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time (OUAT), are classics. Popcorn Love, Cheerleaders and Nerds, A Thin Veil. Every SQ fic roundup has at least one of these stories featured prominently. I can’t wait for September to fall in love with Popcorn Love all over again.

She is also the reason, one of the reasons, I finally decided to take the time and watch The 100. It had been on my tumblr dash for a few months at the beginning of 2015, after coming in almost completely under the radar in the 2013/2014 TV season, mainly because of the introduction of the character Lexa, Heda/Commander of the 12 Clans, and her relationship/interactions with Clarke, one of the main characters. Together, these two young ladies, portrayed by Eliza Taylor and Alycia Debnam Carey, set the screen ablaze and the tumblr lesbians to talking. Finally, they had a canon female YA TV protagonist who is bisexual. And they love every minute of it. Truth be told, so do I. I’m a little obsessed with the show and can’t wait for the second season to come on Netflix, so I can watch it again. But anyway. Chrmdpoet began to watch the show, live-blogged it on tumblr, and decided/announced she was going to write for the Clexa or Commander Princess ship. Well. I can’t go into a fic with no knowledge of how canon portrays them, can I? So I watched the show from the beginning. I fell in love. I made my observations about characterization, motivations, potential motivations. I had my heart broken many times over by those precious babies. I picked my favs. And I was ready. The fic is called this heart, fossilized & silent (once was tender & once was violent), and since it is post-canon, meaning everything in the show happened exactly as it happened, it is now and will definitely be AU by the time season three premiers. But it is one of three stories that I check for updates every day and are canon-compliant. I don’t trust too many fanfiction authors, but when I find one or some, I tend to stick close.

When I’m reading her stories, I am filled with so many emotions that I can barely act my age when I finish a chapter. (Really, I can’t even leave reviews, because all I want to do is fangirl and that’s not ok in public.) I wiggle and roll around in bed (because inevitably her chapters post while I’m asleep, making getting out of bed for work that much harder) exulting in the feeling of a well-written story, where the characters feel true and real. I will think about the chapter all day everyday until the next one posts, and how it fits, or doesn’t, the way I see interactions between the two characters, how it fits ino her overall narrative, and generally fangirling about in my soul (which is ok because no one can see it), because that’s how I am with stories I love.

Anywho, her fics are posted on FF.net and AO3. GO READ THEM NOW! If you find yourself in need of some general positivity in your life, or want to look at awesome gifs, her tumblr is a pretty sweet place too.

So, yeah. If you read this, Chrmdpoet: Bless you for continuing to write and share with us. Bless your beautiful family. Bless.

Librarian in Training Pt. 8

post finals fey

This is what I felt like for two weeks as I finished up my classes.

Reviews

This past semester was not my best. Sure, I passed with an A and an A-, but I don’t feel good about it. Admittedly, I worked for those grades, but I didn’t do it well, nor did I do it with my customary grace under pressure. I was a whiny bitch.

In the one class, my readers’ advisory class which I loved, I completely missed two assignments, and I couldn’t post on the listserv like I was supposed to. The two missed assignments were 1pg papers evaluating book discussions that I participated in. Why didn’t I just write those stupid papers immediately after the discussions? My excuse is because it was midnight and I had to be up at 7am the next day, both times. But truthfully, though I was tired, I could have done them. Then, I just kept forgetting. New responsibilities at work, a group project in the class from hell, the RA books that had to be read for the posts that had to be done. Truthfully, I just could not keep track of those little one page m-fers. The listserv is a well-respected RA tool in library land, and I followed the directions to post, but I just could not do it. I even had questions that I wanted to ask the list, but no matter what I did, from my personal or my work email, it just would not work. I even emailed the administrators, but they never answered me. I got an A, a solid A in that class. I loved that class; it made me better, but I don’t feel good about my grade. LOVE the professor, though. Dr. Bodart is the bees knees.

In the other class, ugh. My YA services class, aka the class from hell, started out on the wrong foot. I opened the course outline and it was highlighter blue writing on sunshine yellow background. Asked the professor for a plain, black and white version, and he made it seem like I asked him to reformat the entire 60 page document. Yeah. Eleven 150 word abstracts, which did not have to be in complete sentences, were graded as one assignment. If you missed the deadline on any one of them, the grade was automatically a zero. A big honking zero. Bless you, Desirée, for teaching me how to write abstracts in undergrad, because I would not have made it without that skill with complete sentences. Though these were 100 words shorter, I am still grateful for having had experience in writing them before this class. The one thing I did like about this assignment was the lightning round. For one abstract, instead of a word submission, we had to post a 1 minute audio abstract. I did mine somewhere in the middle, but that one was fun. I did not appreciate the professors condescending attitude and his insistence that everything would make sense if we just read the instructions. I READ INSTRUCTIONS 15 TIMES, no lie, AND NOT ONE BIT OF IT EVER MADE SENSE. He would use one page essays, 500 words, to introduce the abstract topic. The group project instructions came in a 4 page essays. His comments on assignments, 85% unhelpful. He was vague and condescending and we were never really sure what he wanted. Speaking of group projects, I had the best group experience to date. My group ladies were awesome. Mary and Tricia were really fun to work with, had wonderful attitudes, and didn’t take it too badly when I spaced out in our final meeting because I was so done with the class. We ended up with a perfect score on the assignment, but I’m not sure why. He made it seem like the purpose of the project was not what the actual project but the process of being in group on a project on a five-week deadline. And if that was the case, I don’t understand why he kept trying to make it seem like our working rules and roles and how we processed the project together weren’t good enough. They made sense to us; we agreed on them. What more did he want from us? I still don’t know.

I whined and ranted and raved my way through 17 weeks of hell. He made me hate YA services, and that was hard to do. He made me hate wanting to do professional development stuff related to YA services because of the chance I might run into him. I still love teens. I still love working with teens. But he has made me question what I thought I wanted to do with a portion of my career in Library and Information Sciences. Because of him, and other factors, I passed on a YA job that opened up in my library. I still don’t know how I feel about that, not completely, but I did it, and a large part of me blames him. I got an A-, and honestly, that is the best I could do. I hated him. I hated the class. The fact that I got an A at all is a testament to my fortitude and willpower, because I was so willing to take an L and either withdraw from the class or completely skip the final assignment and fail. The one thing stopping me was that it would drag my GPA down. I am three semesters away from graduation, and I will not let some asshole, condescending, blowhard ruin my straight A/A-, 3.9 grad school GPA.

When I turned it that final assignment, I was so done.

so done lafayette

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Because the class from hell went two weeks past the end of the semester, I only got one week between spring and summer classes. My summer classes start today.

Previews

So, what is happening in the summer semester, you ask? First up, an LGBTQ services class that I have really been looking forward to for a long time. It was up in the air whether or not it would be coming around in time for me to take it, but it is and I could not be more excited for it. Second, is a web 2.0 class, which will look at all the ways librarians can harness the power of social media and such. I’m actually really looking forward to this class too, especially since social media is now part of my job description. I now run the YA and main Twitter accounts for my library. Technically, there are two other people on the team…but yeah. Those accounts are my babies, and I’m excited to have them and grow them and engage with our community on the interwebs.

Also, I have become heavily involved with programming at my library. I have three programs this month. The first is a musical performance by the Southern Maryland Flute Choir on 6/3. The second is a rhyming workshop for teens on 6/23. The third is a two parter, my baby that I have been gestating for months since November. Seriously, I am about to give birth to the first LGBTQ Resource Fair and Day of Understanding on 6/27. I am proud of my work, and nervous as hell. I have groups coming in from all over the state as well as DC. I have a speaker and a performer. I have a month-long display up that I will change every week featuring LGBT books, fiction and nonfiction. I created #CCPLPrideWeek for the week of the program, because we have an LGBT Book Discussion that week as well, on 6/24. We will be reading Ash by Malinda Lo, a retelling of Cinderella. Maybe next year, we can make it a whole week. Do one program per day on a different topic. But I’m getting off track. The hashtag is for the Twitter pages, where I will tweet articles, artwork, books, and other queer awesome things for that entire week. It also happens to be the week that ALA will be in San Francisco for ALA Annual, and it coincides with SF Pride festivities. It’ll be great. (This is what I keep telling myself).

Welp, that’s all for now.  If you want more information on any of the programs I mentioned, go to www.ccplonline.org and click the rotating events in the center of the page.

And now

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. For the most part. I actually quite enjoyed doing those RA posts this past semester, so you may keep seeing those. But, the semester is finished and I have exactly one week before summer session starts. Some moron, me, decided to take two classes every semester from now until May 2016, when I intend to graduate. Hopefully, it goes better than this one did. I mean, you know it’s been a bad semester when you’re afraid to look at your grades. I’ll be back to posting regularly, though, so that should be fun. No more of these, six posts in a day nonsense. I would say I have stuff up my sleeve, but I don’t. I have ideas for posts brought on throughout the semester, but nothing up my sleeve. It should, on the other hand, be enough to get us through the summer. Until then, Happy Summer.

If you’re wondering: I am currently reading YA: Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld. GN: Locke and Key 1, Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez. Sci-Fi: The Martian, Andy Weir.