Friday, March 25, 2011

A Slight Misunderstanding pt 1

It amazes me how many common phrases are misunderstood and misused. I guess what really amazes me is how many phrases I don't know correctly and misuse as often as I possibly can. In the following comic we see Dale and Earl; Dale seems to misunderstand a common phrase, or does he?

Monday, March 21, 2011

How Far I've Come

So it's March 21st, and I've typed up just over 6,000 words on my NaNoWriMo story. My goal being 30k by the end of the month seems like it's not going to be achieved. I've handwritten quite a bit but I don't count that unless it's down on the computer screen because writing in notebooks, while helpful during lunch breaks or when sitting in doctor's offices, does not give me something to show to a publisher. My writing needs a hard, shareable copy, so I don't count these words until they're in a word processor.

Obvious barriers to my goal, school including the article due last week, the essay due this week and the 20 page research paper due in April. I've also spent a considerable amount of time preparing for a celebratory cruise we're taking in April (which also cuts almost a week out of research paper writing time), so by being busy I've doomed myself.

It's okay though, there's always next year to finish this novel...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How I Roll

So I've jumped on the bandwagon. This new craze of creating musical weekend tributes has made me feel compelled to drop my own weekend tribute comic. When the Bee Gees first came out with Saturday Night Fever (about a weekend they had the flu), they had no idea of the craze they would establish so many years later and with the Black Eyed Peas song I've Got a Feelin' (About them going to a bar mitzvah on the weekend - Mazel tov!) this craze doesn't seem to want to die any time soon, so here is my comic contribution to the weekend par-tays!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Really? Really.

I recently read this piece of advice:

"Never say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, & Albert Einstein."

- Author Unknown.

I think why the author is unknown is because he/she/it didn't want to be accosted by other people who saw the inherent errors in this statement. I'll break this down person by person, to show how my situation (like many others) is not comparable to these folks.
Helen Keller - Did she have a job? Was she out workin' for the man 40 hours a week and then returning home to do everything around her household? No. Then perhaps, while the hours per day hasn't changed, Keller had a whole lot more free time than I have.
Louis Pasteur - Paid to do his job, that's what he spent his time doing, so finding great things like a cure for rabies or what not was going to happen. Will I write the next great American novel while sitting on my duff helping angry people all day then slaving away at home taking care of the house and two angry cats? No.
Michelangelo - Born into money. Apprenticed at 13. Commissioned to do work, people actually asked this guy to do art for them, who does that anymore? No one is going to walk up to me and be like, I'll pay you for a blog post/short story/novel. Apparently, even though given lots of dough, he lived like he was "blue collar" not really working more but sleeping in his clothes and only eating food when absolutely necessary. He didn't show off his wealth but he did have it, unlike many of us today. So even though we share the same number of hours, he had a lot more freedom with his time than people in this century.
Mother Theresa - Also had a lot of free time, and didn't really have bills to pay so she was free to do as she pleased. Luckily she was pleased with helping others, but some of us are in debt and need actual money to get out of debt so we work for a living instead of preforming miracles for a living.
Leonardo Di Vinci - Independently wealthy, or at least had enough benefactors that he could do his thing and no one cared. At the age of 14 he got a big break and was apprenticed to an artist who helped other amazing painters of the time. Then he became a freeloader (no thank you) and eventually was paid considerable sums of money for his work and was given a place to live by Frances I. Even though he completed a lot of work in his lifetime, he wasn't bogged down by the 8 hour plus working days like people of this century.
Thomas Jefferson - Jefferson may be the closest example to how things are nowadays, but I think we're forgetting the multitude of people who helped him achieve what he did. Jefferson was an ideas man, other people implemented those ideas, Jefferson's work can also be attributed to the various politicians he worked with because they all had to work together to achieve anything in government. Sure he came up with a couple of inventions in his time, but he had lots of free time after being president, and rolling in his money from politics only took up so much time in the day. Let us not forget the slaves he owned which did everything he didn't want to do (clean, cook, raise his children, or w/e) instead of those of us that have to waste daylight doing that kind of stuff ourselves.
Albert Einstein - Paid to do his job. Genius. People threw money at him so he could work on his experiments. If people threw money at me to work on my creative pursuits I'd probably get a lot of crap completed as well and maybe I'd be called a genius.
I think another factor that few people consider when trying to compare people of this century to people who lived potentially thousands of years ago is the fact that in our world we must compete with technology. While it can promote production technology also hinders it because it can be so distracting. Even though Helen Keller or anyone else in this bunch had 24 hours in a day, they didn't have the hour or more drive commuting to and from work, the 8 hours or more in an office, and then the time at home spent watching TV (which is voluntary), being online (may be work related?) or any of the other things people spend their time doing because of the technology available to them that these other blowhards didn't have. While the hours might be the same, how we are able to utilize those hours has changed. I don't have people working for me, I don't have people to free load off of, I don't have people tossing money at me so I can follow my creative pursuits.

If Divinci came up to me and was like: "Why can't you do more?" I would slap him and then ask for his money. Seriously, a person can only do so much with what they have and in this century many people have demands that keep them from becoming geniuses in their fields or miracle makers. Give me a break.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Inspirational Messages

In times when things look bleak, inspirational messages like the timeless: "Hang in there Kitty!" can really help. Perhaps these gems will see you through your darkest hour.

Just to show that everyone has rough days:

This must put things in perspective:

And Gabby's favorite saying:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bathroom Patrol and Library Confessionals

Lately patrons have been asking me a lot of questions about the bathroom. Instead of the usual: "Where's the bathroom?" which allows me to point and show them that it is about six paces from where I'm standing, people are walking up to the closed door and becoming befuddled. They ask me things like: "Is someone in there?" - To which I respond: "I don't know why don't you knock?" Really, I'm not here just to watch who goes in and out of the bathroom so that when you walk up I can give you an update on if it's occupied. Contrary to popular belief, I have better things to do.

The bathroom has always been a point of contention for the staff at the library because it is very close to the front desk and we are serenaded by a plethora of sounds on the daily with the occasional wafting scent that may or may not linger for hours. With one such instance today, when someone had some loose stool that I was lucky enough to hear, another patron tried the door, found it to be locked and then asked me: "Do you usually keep it locked?" Now if I tried a door and found it to be locked, I'd probably assume someone was in there and wait, if I was really curious I'd knock and if no one replied I might ask staff to unlock it, but I don't ever jump from locked but someone might be in there to let's just open it anyways because I'd love to see a guy taking a crap with his pants around his ankles and the library's copy of the Wall Street Journal in his hands. Now, while I didn't see someone enter the facility, I could hear them and I wasn't sure why this other patron was being saved from that audio evidence. Instead of freaking out at this guy I merely replied, "I think someone is in there."

Bathrooms aside, this is also a week for Library Confessionals. This is when a patron comes up to a staff member and feels the need to share something with them that the staff member did not care to know, nor should this person be saying out loud. Last night a patron came up to me, after a rambunctious story time and said "I'm a patient man, and I have four kids of my own, but I almost just beat a child." Why would I want to know this? Is he now absolved of library sins because he confessed it to me? Really, keep that to yourself sir.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Too Much

So I really thought I could handle it all. Even after the super-cold, I still though "I can do this!" But I think it's time to finally accept that I'm not superwoman. What?!?! I know, I know. I'm more disappointed than you are, trust me.

So school is overwhelming as always, it really shouldn't be but I'm feeling like someone, on foot, chasing a bus, and each moment that passes, the bus gets further and further away. I just can't keep up, and I have to take a couple of measures to make sure that I don't fall flat on my face.

I've been really excited about achieving and maintaining a 4.0 in my masters program. Why? Because I wasn't so good at school growing up, and I didn't do that great in my undergrad, so to me this is quite the achievement. While people continue to give me the "so what?" look when I mention the 4.0 and people tell me that it's pointless to keep ahold of it (just slack - everyone else does, as long as you pass, that's all that matters), I've decided that it's important to me and that's what matters. So, to be able to keep it, I have to pull back on my course load. I really wanted to push forward and take all the classes I need to graduate this year, so I could have degree in hand by January 2012. I don't like things taking longer than they need to, but I guess if I want to do it right (an not pull out all of my hair in the process) then I have to take it slower than I'm going right now. So this summer I'll probably take 1 class instead of 3, and in the fall I'll take 2 instead of 4 and I'll finish sometime next year.

I just never really thought it would be this hard to balance school, work and family, but I guess it is. It also looks like things might be up in the air for me staring this summer, (my lease is up in July and the library is moving in June) so if I do go through some transitions it'll be less stressful than if I had to worry about completing assignments on top of whatever else is happening in my life.

I think it's been easier for me to accept a delay in my degree because the more I even look at jobs, the less I find anything promising, so I'm kind of running a race that has nothing good at the end of it anyways. So, if I take a lead from the tortoise, perhaps I'll find a slower path leads me to a better reward.