Buckeye in Bama

Rambling thoughts of a Yankee transplanted to the south.

Seriously…. Are you going to read that?!!!

People assume that since I work as a librarian that I am a book snob. I guess that they think I might be a stereotypical librarian and only read classical literature (and you have to say “classic literature” with you pinky finger raised as if you are drinking tea whilst pinching your nose and using a snooty voice). However, librarians are anything but stereotypical anymore. They are not the cardigan wearing, look down their noses, hair in a bun, people of the past. In fact, I had something say to me just last week, “But you don’t have your hair in a bun and you don’t look like a librarian”. Well, no…. I should hope not. My hair is really short and I plan to keep it that way.

Librarians come in all varieties, just like potato chips. We are short, tall, thin, not-so-thin, and with short or long hair. Some of us wear glasses and you are more likely to find cool, hip glasses on librarians than old out-of-date glasses. Some of us have tattoos and are not too shy to show them off, if the workplace allows for it. Librarians are themselves ALWAYS. We are not usually phony people. Why should we be phony, we are not trying to impress anyone. You are asking us for information (hehehe!).

Now, back to the books snobbery… I am an advocate for reading what you like. This view might make me a bit of a rogue, but I think if you are going to sit down to read, you should enjoy it unless it is for a class, then good luck! I have read the classics and many of them do not appeal to me. Although, I appreciate the historical context in which these books were written. I am not a fan of Shakespeare. However, I do like the Bronte sisters and Edith Wharton. I have read Upton Sinclair and Shirley Jackson. I am a BIG fan of fiction, particularly murder mysteries, suspense, and thrillers. Yes, I loved Harry Potter and would have been a total geek about it if I were 30 years younger. There is so much out there for everyone. I read for enjoyment and escape. I think everyone should read what they want. I do not think it should be a chore. Getting kids who hate to read is a feat. Give them the right type of book and they are off to the races. My youngest daughter, who can’t sit still, hated to sit and read. Give her a Percy Jackson book, and she will sit and read for hours. It is all in what you like!

No one should be looked down upon for what you read. You will be required to read certain books for school, but in your free time, you can read what you want! It is a free country! Now, where did I put that murder mystery?!!

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Does Your Personality Change As Your Get Older?

We have all taken a personality test or two or three. Some of us may have had to take them for a class or a workshop. You may have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, one of the most famous of the tests. I know I did. My personality was always INTJ, introvert, intuitive, thinking, judgmental. I thought this personality type fit me just fine. It certainly fit my career of choice, librarian. However, in a moment of contemplation, I decided to take it again over the weekend. Would I get the same result?

That would be a big fat NO!! How can that be? Aren’t I the same person that I was twelve years ago? I even took it twice to be sure. Just like the pregnancy tests for my children! But, it came out the same and different from before. This time, my personality was ESTJ 87% and ENTJ 86%. OK, I know you are thinking that it really is not that different, but it is. ESTJ is extrovert, sensing, thinking, judgmental. Well, the last two are the same, but the first two? Really, extrovert and sensing? When did that happen?

After some deep thought. I discovered a few things about myself. I have changed. I am a parent of two daughters which requires some sensitivity, even for me. I am older and maybe a little less harder on people that I used to be. As for the extrovert part, I think I have this figured out too. I became a volleyball referee and a softball umpire five years ago. It took me out of my comfort zone and I had to learn how to deal with difficult and hard situations. I also had to learn how to confront bullies as an adult. Humor can be used in many situations, you also have to learn to let stuff go. You have to be pleasant and agreeable, but not too agreeable. You also have to let the girls know you are there for them and not their parents. I also began teaching swim lessons last year. I have to upbeat and positive. You have to talk to your swim class. I found that I enjoyed teaching the children and adults.

My friends from high school would say that I was always an extrovert. I think I crawled into my shell as an adult for protection. Now, I am crawling back. Watch people, I’m back!!!

So… I finally finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I guess third time really is the charm. Or is it?  I have tried to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson three times over the years. Once when it first came out, then another try a few years ago. I gave up each time about 50 pages or so into the book. Then the movie came out. Everyone I knew had either seen the movie OR read the book. However, I soon forgot about it and moved onto the other books in the pile that I was reading. I am easily distracted by other books.

A few months ago, I decided to purchase the book. I figured that if I carried it around in my bag long enough, I would eventually read it. I found a nice little paperback bookshop in Fairhope, AL called the Book Inn. It is an overcrowded shop teeming with paperbacks. I loved it! A place to browse for hours! I bought quite a few books that day, but I could not find this one, so I asked the nice ladies if they had it. Of course they had it! While waiting for one of them to get it, another lady came in and asked for the same book. Serendipitous, yes, I think so! She heard me talking to the ladies and said, “Where are you from? You are not from here.” I said, “Ohio”. She said, “So am I. I have not heard that accent in a while and it is nice to hear it again.” Accent, I don’t have an accent (I probably do, but I don’t hear it). I discovered that she was from Findlay, Ohio and we had a nice chat. It was great meeting someone from home.

Sorry, I digress… Back to the book. This purchase and chance meeting all took place in October and you are now reading this post in March. My plan to carry the book around worked. I have finally finished. Once, I got into the book, I liked it. The Swedish surnames and place names take a little getting used to, but once I found the rhythm of the book, I blazed right through. I liked the development of the characters and story line. What I did not like was the ending. Now, I have to get the next one. Isn’t that what always happens with a series! And no, I am not seeing the movie. Why ruin a good book with a movie. I have a policy of not seeing movies once I have read the book even IF Daniel Craig is in it!

Today I Turn 42

Today I turn 42. Not such a bad number. I kind of like it. It is an even number and divisible by 2 resulting in 21. Now, 21 is an interesting age. Most of us could not wait until we arrived at age 21. It was the magic number after you turned 16 and 18. It was the year you could finally drink legally. As if you had not been drinking all the years prior to that one, but you could now officially go to a bar and say, “Barkeep, I would like a margarita”. Or some other nonsense. Most of us probably ordered something with schnapps in the name, fizzy, or for the brave one, a shot.

However, at 42, my taste is more refined. I no longer go to bars and I cannot remember the last time that I ordered a drink, at least one that was mixed by a bartender. I know there are friends of mine out there doing the huge eye roll, but nevertheless, it is true. I have settled into adulthood. My forties have come and I look back on 21 and thank God that I am no longer there. For one, I would be getting married for the first time, and no offense to the first husband, but that was a colossal mistake. Two, I was terribly naive. I had no idea how the world worked and I was in a rebellious state. I have learned a lot in the 21 years that have passed and while it has not all been good, it has been educational.

With age, comes clarity, at least a little I hope. I am definitely more wise and not nearly as naive. I realize that I have great friends who are there for me no matter how far away. My family puts up with me no matter how crazy I get and I have a great family. Putting yourself out there does not always end in catastrophe, sometimes embarrassment, but the world is not going to end. You will make mistakes. Own up to them and go on, have some integrity about it.

And this thought, my big one for today, you have to figure out who you are and where you want to be. I have been stressed out for a while now and not handling it well. I constructed a pro/con list and analyzed a few things. While this method will not always work, sometimes it helps if you put it down on paper. I often use mind mapping software to organize my thoughts. I have come up with a plan. So Happy Birthday to me! May some happiness reign!

Review of Take Down Twenty By Janet Evanovich

Yesterday, I received the an email alert that I had “Takedown Twenty” available from my library for checkout via OverDrive. Since I was about 300 on the waiting list the last time that I checked, I was really excited by this news. This series is one of my favorites.  So, I checked the e-book out and settled in with a tablet to read the next installment in the adventures of Stephanie Plum and Co.

Now, if you have read any of the books in this series, you already know the cast of characters. The central character is Stephanie Plum, the overly enthusiastic, get-in-trouble magnet. She is not a bad sort, but she is really not cut out for the job. Oddly enough, she does manage to make some money out of it. Grandma Mazur, is Stephanie’s gun-toting granny who is itching for adventure. There is Lula, the former ho’ turned office clerk who is a big chicken (a food she is mighty fond of specifically if it is from Cluck-in-a Bucket), but she tries to brazen out every situation with more bravado than brains. She (Lula) also totes a loaded weapon around in her handbag like Grandma Mazur. Connie, is the hot-blooded Italian office manager with more ties to the mob than Tony Soprano. Last, but certainly not least, you have the two big dilemmas in Stephanie’s life, Joe and Ranger. Joe is the blast from the past. He is the hot Italian cop who cannot keep his hands or other body parts away from Stephanie. Joe loves Stephanie but cannot quite commit to marriage and neither can Stephanie. Ranger is liquid fire. He is the Dark Knight, he is Batman. He is always there when she needs him and there when she NEEDS him, but really shouldn’t (if you get want I mean!). Ranger has saved her bacon more than once and he cares for her in his own way. She needs to make a choice or choose both.

On to the plot of the current book…. Stephanie and Lula find themselves in the usual predicament, chasing a FTA (failure to appear). This FTA happens to be a beloved member of the community and godfather to Joe Morelli. Needless to say, the book follows the usual vein of madcap craziness with a runaway giraffe and Stephanie vacillating between Joe and Ranger through the whole thing. Yes, she burns down another building, and yes, she destroys another Rangeman vehicle.

This book is a little different from the others because Stephanie is hired to investigate a crime, tries to quit being a bond enforcement agent by getting a job as a butcher, and Grandma Mazur is almost murdered. However, I wish Stephanie would pick a man. For God sake’s woman, you have two hot guys after you, pick one or both, but don’t play with them. I read this book in two hours in one sitting. I have always loved these books, but I fear they are not as funny and fresh as they used to be. I am ever hopeful for the next one though.

When Do You Unfriend an Friend

I have been struggling with unfriending a friend on Facebook. I unfriended a few people during the presidential elections because I got so tired of hearing their political opinions. I am struggling with this issue because I have known this person for a very long time. It would bother me quite a lot to unfriend them, but their posts are becoming increasingly right-wing crazy. I guess reformed h***-raisers like to get all high and mighty when they stop raising h***. They start pointing the finger of judgment at everyone else and not where it should be pointed back at them.

However, before everyone gets riled up about their right to an opinion, I want to say that I totally agree. We all have the right to our own opinion. The right to free speech is a constitutional right. What we do not have a right to do is step on other people’s opinions. Plus, I am not good with intolerance and stupidity. Don’t spout off facts before you have checked them out thoroughly. Do not believe everything you read because it is on the internet or appeared on Fox News or because your pastor told you so. Investigate everything! A lot of people are conned into believing things they are told because they are too busy to check things out for themselves. Follow up people! Do not be force-fed information.

AND before you criticize me for being a left-wing atheist, I am a Christian who likes to think for myself. I also appreciate other people’s opinions even if I do not agree with them except when given reasonable arguments upon which no follow-up will ever happen. I would follow-up when given reasonable doubt, why won’t you?

Spread the Love People!

I know that it is Valentine’s Day. I am not big on this day. No, I am not a bitter, loveless person. I have been happily married for fifteen years. Yes, it is my second marriage, but I have been lucky enough to be married to two people who treated me quite well on Valentine’s Day. My dad always gave my sister and I nice gifts on Valentine’s Day, it was kind of his thing. I give my daughter’s special little gifts on Valentine’s Day. I just think the sentiment is carried a bit too far. The jewelry commercials give me a headache and enough with the sappiness. Not every woman wants a diamond necklace or bracelet or flowers for Valentine’s Day. Give me a good book, some gourmet coffee, or something else meaningful any day.

But, that is not really my point. There are many people out there who do not have anyone special today. They may have lost their someone special this year or are not in any type of relationship. Instead of buying for your “love”, try doing something nice for someone else who may need to know that you care about them. Shouldn’t we spread the “love” around? How about a nice card for someone who watches your children? Or the mail person? Or the bus driver who takes your kids home from school? You could always buy some chocolate, bake cookies, or just do something random for them. It might make their day.

Valentine’s Day should be about “love for everyone”. Not just romantic love. There are a lot of people who are single, hurting, or otherwise. Do something nice for everyone. It will make them and you feel good. That is what Valentine’s Day should be about.

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What Really Matters

What Really Matters.

What Really Matters

What Really Matters

This morning, my youngest daughter came in and said to me, “You need a hug”. I asked her why she thought I needed a hug and she said, “You just do”.

I have been a bit down lately… Questioning some of my decision-making skills and other things. She obviously picked up on these feelings and felt I needed comfort. It made me feel much better and what is better than a hug from your child first thing in the morning.

This was more than a hug to me. It put things into perspective. I need to focus myself and quit worrying about the future. Things will work themselves out. They always do. What really matters is my family. They need me more than anything else does. Money and jobs could never replace them.

Thanks, kid. You straightened out your mom this morning!

Finding Your Path

How do you know when have found your path? How do you know if you have picked the right job, degree, etc.? I have been pondering this question for sometime. I was rejected this past summer and fall by two universities to which I had applied. I knew about the first and forgot I had applied to the second. Fall was a busy time for me. I relocated for a job and my mind was elsewhere. Now, I am getting ready to apply again to two other schools. I wonder if I should switch careers entirely? Do something new?

How do you know if it is the right path? I am still trying to figure it out at almost forty-two. Do you settle for the path that seems to be the easiest? Do you give up and stay status quo? I have never been one for the easy path. I have always done things the hard way. I think I am just wired wrong. Some people have a passion in life that leads them where they need to go. I have never felt that passion. I have not had the opportunity to develop any because I have always done what was necessary and not frivolous, not that following your passion is frivolous. I would love to feel that way about something. I have always been nose-to-the-grindstone working all the time.

I do know that I want a doctorate degree. This much I have figured out. I would like to help people. In what way, I have not figured out yet. I need to get into a program that meets my intellectual standards, but will accept my credentials. But, I still wonder if it is the right thing to do… Knowing me, I will continue the path.

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