May. 26th, 2011 11:49 pm
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You know what can make me cry tears of temperish vexation faster than anything and generally reduce me from a (mostly) rational adult to a tantrum-throwing 3-year-old?

Having to assemble furniture.

On this occasion, having to assemble a fan that one has carted home in a taxicab from one's local Target, in a large box that nonetheless did not indicate (or at least not in a sufficiently obvious fashion) that assembly would be required.

Add to that the reason one is purchasing this fan--i.e., it is extremely hot and muggy. At the time one is attempting to assemble this fan (well after dark), it is 80 degrees outdoors and hotter indoors.

Which is why one is purchasing a fan, as one's air-conditioning is broken and one's landlord is refusing to fix it in a timely manner (i.e. he has known about the problem for at least 2 weeks, maybe 3).

All of which pretty much causes one to want to howl and pound one's fists on the floor, or alternatively to wish that one had attended a high school offering something even vaguely reminiscent of shop class.

*This post has been brought to you by the author's recent immersion in a Regency-era fantasy ;) Author of said fantasy is not liable for any annoyance incurred by the readers of this post.
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When I was a kid, I totally wanted to grow to be either Vesper Holly or Alanna of Tortall.

Now that I'm at least theoretically an adult. I sometimes still fantasize about being Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan when I grow up.

She's about my age in Shards of Honor, the first Vorkosigan book, so I think maybe I still have a chance.

As a librarian, I also find Barbara Gordon/Oracle rather inspiring. She saves the world with information, y'all!
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a.) They suck!

They are vile, time-wasting distractions from real learning; they serve to judge and label kids in ways that may follow them for the rest of their schooling, based on very narrow definitions of what 'intelligence' and 'learning' are.

They can't measure creativity, motivation, emotional intelligence, or any number of other important things, and the all-consuming focus on getting students to do better on these tests sucks all the oxygen in any given room away from things that might actually have meaning to individual students.

Finally, they have fuck-all to do with succeeding in the 'real world.'

b.) In case you hadn't already guessed my thoughts on this: Hell no!

Not that I have strong feelings on this topic or anything ;)
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This is a placeholder for my Dear Yuletide Writer letter. I will try my very best to have it up soon!
queenbookwench: (Default)
So I'm playing Springsteen loud in the living/dining room and doing nerdy dances on the hardwood floors, like I do (at least when my roommate isn't here) and also cooking potato pancakes (which I am probably not paying enough attention to)...

and I started pondering vids to the songs on _Born in the USA_. Now, I realize this is not exactly an original thought, as Springsteen is pretty popular in fandom, or at least in my little corner. I'm one of the more casual Springsteen fans in my fandom friends-group.

I decided that if I weren't too lazy and basically technophobic, I would totally make a Sinclair/Garibaldi vid to "Bobby Jean." It's so perfect. Shots of Babylon 4, shots of Garibaldi waking up from being shot and Sinclair's gone, shots of them being cute in season 1. ANGST LIEK WHOA.

What about "I'm On Fire?" Whatever one chose would have to be CREEPY AND DISTURBING. Although, it occurs to me that a Kara/Lee vid where Lee is clearly the girl and Kara is the narrator would be funny, as well as creepy and disturbing.

Dancing in the Dark? I was thinking of rebootverse!Kirk, but with the line about "little worlds falling apart" I think it could portray him a little unfairly--i.e. as more of an insensitive jerk than he can be at times in canon. On the other hand, maybe it would be perfect for the "Kirk provokes Spock" scene. It's funny; I wasn't immediately fannish about that movie when it came out, and I didn't really grow up with Trek (although I was a casual TNG watcher in high school) but I've been reading some really good fic for it recently.

And "My Hometown"? Perfect for a Homicide vid. Something meta about how the city's dysfunction affects all the characters.

This is a fun game! Feel free to play (with Springsteen songs or otherwise) in comments!
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Dear Yuletide Writer,

First of all, I'd like to apologize for writing the world's latest Dear Yuletide Writer letter. I have computer access issues this season, I'm afraid.

First of all, write the stories that inspire you. I think I gave about the right amount of information in my details, though I apologize if they were a trifle incoherent. I was pretty ill at the time, and it was also going to be my only chance to sign up. So, if anything beyond the details would cramp your style, feel free to stop here. Otherwise, there will be a lot of babbling about these fandoms and why I love them behind the cut!

Read more... )


Jul. 4th, 2009 01:26 pm
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I'm at [livejournal.com profile] spuffyduds and [livejournal.com profile] washa_way's house! Much squee has been had, and [livejournal.com profile] spuffyduds has actually succeeded in talking me past my mental crafting block and teaching me how to knit!

We're probably doing the classic small-town fireworks display tonight (I think those are the best ones--forget the Mall), and hopefully meeting [livejournal.com profile] likeadeuce and her family.

In other news, I was inspired by the "Twitter in Plain English" video on our work intranet, and decided to finally give in and see what it's all about. An early adapter, I ain't.

I Miss LJ!

May. 31st, 2009 10:44 pm
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So, a few months ago I was feeling kind of over LJ, a little bit. I'd just started a new job, didn't really have time to keep up, and just trying to read my friends-list was feeling like a little bit of a burden.

So when I moved into my new place (and lost access to my old housemates' extra computer), I told myself I could get by with quick email checks at work and I really wouldn't miss it that much while I was trying to save up the money to buy a decent used laptop (which, because of other things, I don't estimate I'll be able to afford until about August).

But Friday night I went over to [livejournal.com profile] inlovewithnight's apartment to celebrate her birthday with cake and fangirling. And as LJ names were exchanged and Springsteen videos from the 80s were lovingly mocked, I started to realize that I kind of missed LJ.

And this afternoon, when I had a chance for uninterrupted Internet use at a friend's place, I went to check my personal LJ, which I haven't done in weeks (I've posted to my role-playing ones a couple of times briefly), I realized that I miss it A LOT. I miss the fanfic and the meta and the random thoughts. I miss connecting with geographically distant RL friends. I just miss it period.

And then there was the part where, because I fell upon my friends' internet like a starving wolf on a deer carcass, I missed the last bus to the metro to DC, and had to invite myself to crash at their place. But they're the kind of friends I can do that with, for which I am profoundly grateful.
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Obama's speech was good, but I was over in a corner quietly bawling while Aretha Franklin sang "My Country Tis of Thee."

Hearing her linger over the words "sweet land of liberty" was so beautiful, and I could tell that they meant something deeper and more profound to her than they've ever really meant to me. I could hear a depth of years and struggle in her voice.

Plus, she's the Queen of Soul, and it was so neat to hear her take a song that can sound antiquated and make it swing, while still being true to what it is.
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Reading your LJ entries when you're up late at night is a bad idea. It will make you miss people.
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New job starts tomorrow! I'm excited!

I did a trial run of the bus-to-Metro commute last week and it doesn't seem too onerous--it took a little over an hour each way, and wasn't hideously crowded. The only thing I'm not sure about is how it will work if I have to work late, or on the weekend. The northern Virginia extension buses are a different system than MetroBus, and have wonky hours.

I'm going to have to get used to getting up early again though--I've gotten out of the habit.

I do wish I were a little healthier--I'm on my 2nd round of antibiotics for bronchitis and I've been sick for a month. I'm functional, but I feel like an easily-fatigued shadow of my normal self.

I'm also hoping that I'll be able to get down to visit my family, which is by no means guaranteed. Normally it wouldn't be a thing, since I was just there for a whole week around Thanksgiving, but my 90-year-old grandfather is coming up from FL with my aunt and uncle and I don't get to see them nearly as often as I'd like.


Dec. 20th, 2008 09:15 pm
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Story is finally done and posted! And I think it doesn't suck! Off to take shower now, since I have been awake for most of the past 24 hours.

I'm considering pinch-hitting. Am I insane?


Dec. 5th, 2008 10:16 pm
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It's for a library associate position at a branch library in the city, working primarily with children and teens, but at a branch you do a little bit of everything.

I start two weeks from Monday.

OMG so excited!
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My family is dissecting an episode of The Biggest Loser over Thanksgiving dinner. That show sounds like my worst nightmare.
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Dear Santa,

I'm so excited that you are going to write a story for me in one of four tiny fandoms that I love! Now I am going to ramble about them for a bit!

First of all, I'd like to say that I want you to write the story that you want to write, the one that makes the little idea-centers in your brain spin around with mad glee! If that story doesn't exactly fit my prompts, go ahead and write it anyway. I'd rather have a story that you loved writing than a story that didn't inspire you because you felt like you had to tie yourself in knots writing exactly what I wanted.

If you feel like more information than what's in my prompts would cramp your style, feel free not to read the rest of this. Otherwise, behind the cut there are ramblings about Elfquest, Hopeless Savages, Elizabeth Enright's Melendy series, and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan universe, as well as things I like and don't like generally.

Read more... )


Oct. 2nd, 2008 02:48 pm
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Well, I think the interview went pretty well, although I blanked for a second on the first question, which was, of all things, "why do you want to work at (Redacted)?" For some reason, that wasn't one of the questions I had specifically prepped for. I came up with something about working with books and working with people, and being in an academic environment since I'm considering going back to grad. school. It might not have been the best answer but it was an honest one. The rest of the interview went pretty smoothly, I thought. There were a couple of other questions that weren't among the ones I had specifically prepped for--one was "describe a time when you failed to provide excellent customer service" and the other one was "describe a time when you made a bad decision." I hate trick questions like that, but I understand why employers use them.

The manager who inteviewed me continued to seem like a really nice person, and she seemed a little nervous as well. I got the impression that she hasn't been a store manager all that long. It's definitely a job where it would be important for people to get along, because the manager and the assistant manager are basically the only full-time people, and they only hire temporary part-timers during textbook season, at the beginning and end of the semester.

The pay isn't great (it would be a comedown from what I was making at my previous job, which wasn't exactly generous), but my expenses are pretty low right now and it wouldn't have to be forever.
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I have a job interview tomorrow--it's for an assistant manager position at a Barnes&Noble. The manager sounded really nice on the phone, and it sounds like they need somebody pretty quickly. It seems like the kind of thing where my library management experience would cross over well. And I like that fact that it's a college bookstore rather than a straight retail store.

Wish me luck, o flist!
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I started avoiding LJ for awhile, because I get these weird moods when I find interacting with people online to be anxiety-producing and stressful. And I was having a fair amount of RL stress--I got turned down for the only job I've had a serious interview for, and it was a job that I really wanted, too. Combine that with increasing money worries, and you get avoidant!BookWench.

But things are much better now, or at least they could be a lot worse. I have basically rent-free housing (with a little room of my own) for the next few months, courtesy of my friend [livejournal.com profile] chrystalguy and I have lots of other friends who've been incredibly supportive as well and aren't sick of me yet :). My parents have been really encouraging too--and they haven't been pressuring me to move home like I was afraid they might. My unemployment compensation finally came through, so my money situation is much less dire. I'm kind of in a period of rethinking what my job-hunting approach should be, because focusing primarily on libraries hasn't worked out so well for me. I haven't entirely given up on that front though, because I still have several applications out, and the wheels of city/county government do turn slowly. And it looks like I might be able to use some of this open time productively to pursue another one of my interests--I'm in the process of trying to work something out with a local alternative school for me to come and volunteer. The contact person there is kind of hard to get ahold of, but I have faith that I will prevail. ;)

I'm trying not to spend too much time reading the news and wallowing in the badness of things.

I saw [livejournal.com profile] likeadeuce today--she's a special person to me, and I'm thankful that we've been able to maintain our friendship in spite of a certain amount of physical distance and also fandom/friendsgroup drift. Today we had fun talking about comics, especially Iron Fist. She lent me the recent graphic novel _The Last Iron Fist Story_ (which it isn't), and I just read it. It was immensely fun, and now I really want to find out if there are any good Heroes for Hire graphic novels (I'm not a single-issue girl for the most part). Maybe I should be posting this on a comics blog, but I never underestimate the potential knowledge of my flist. I'm sure there are some comics fans here (in addition to [livejournal.com profile] likeadeuce of course.

This weekend I went to the National Book Festival and, despite standing in line for over an hour, did not manage to get anything signed by Neil Gaiman. However, I did manage to pick up a copy of his new book _The Graveyard Book_ for my friends before they sold out of them, and I also got to see the Jim Henson exhibit at the Smithsonian, which closes next week. It was exceedingly nifty--in addition to Mupppets, they had a lot of storyboards and video of his earlier projects--shows, commercials, and experimental films, which I'd never seen before. It was a real shame that he died so relatively young.
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Trader Joe's is a fount of goodness. I recently discovered their organic beef jerky, and it is delicious particularly when combined with their chili-spiced dried mangoes. It's great for a quick protein hit in the middle of the day. If only beef jerky were a little less expensive.

Whenever I eat some, M. & T.'s dog Machig follows me around with this pleading look. I always tell her, "Sorry babe, this is expensive meat and you're not getting any."

I was in Borders last week, and for some reason they had all this chocolate on sale. Why they had a ton of chocolate in the first place I cannot begin to imagine. I mean, I know they carry all kinds of tchotckes that aren't books these days, but chocolate seems a bit far afield from their original mission. Not that I'm complaining, because I got a decent quantity of really good chocolate for cheap. The Lindt tiramisu bar makes me swoon. I haven't tried the Ghiradelli dark chocolate with caramel yet, but I'm sure it will be fabulous.

Right now I'm visiting family, and my mom just brought home something called Orginal Aussie Bites--they've got rolled oats and honey and a whole bunch of other stuff in them and they are tasty, tasty, tasty.

I was in North Carolina for a few days and had the opportunity to stop at Gardner's for some tasty NC-style vinegar-based barbecue. I've found this dive-y place in DC where I can get it, but there's something about being in the actual state...I still haven't found anywhere that sells SC-style mustard based barbecue, though. It's too bad that the dominant local purveyor of the stuff is a racist ass whose restaurants I won't eat at. But my mom sometimes makes it in the slow cooker, and I can hope that she'll decide to before I leave town. :)
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As some of you who know me in real life already know, the last two months have been months of sudden, jolting transition for me. I don't want to spend too much time talking about them, because I don't want to be carried back to the storm of emotions I was feeling in June, but here's the short version:

My landlady sold the condo I was renting in the city to someone who wanted to occupy it, so I had to move a month before the end of my lease; I lost my job (for extremely bullshit reasons that had nothing to do with the quality of my work); and right now I'm job hunting and living in the living room of my lovely and generous friends Tina and [livejournal.com profile] kchoseng, who live in the outer northern Virginia suburbs.

In some ways, I've been very fortunate--fortunate to have wonderful friends who support me--not only the ones I'm living with, but the additional group that came out to help me move all my stuff into a storage unit, and my larger community/support system as a whole. I've been fortunate to still be able to attend two conferences that I had been planning to attend before all of this happened--one on education and one on Interplay, which is sort of like a combination of creative movement, dance, group therapy, comedy improv, and storytelling, and also a set of practices to help you experience life more fully in general. The education one was at the end of June, and the Interplay one is coming up next week. I'm so excited!

I'm getting paid until the end of this month, which helps a lot as well, but I'm nervous about the point when that money goes away. At least I'm not tied down by a lease.

I've tried to be relatively upbeat and focused, but it's hard to stay that way when I keep sending out resumes to HR people whose primary purpose seems to be keeping my resume away from the people who actually do the job and could evaluate me on that basis. My friends have invited me to stay through the end of August, but if I don't have something figured out by then, I may have to face the dire prospect of moving back home.

Don't get me wrong--I love my family dearly and they've been incredibly supportive. I just don't want to spend my 30th birthday, that symbol of adulthood, living in the back bedroom of my parents' house. Also, I don't really want to go back to a town where I have no real community anymore--most of my college friends (with the exception of the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] islandisee) have moved away, and all that's left are people who think they know me because we went to high school together. And the job market is just so much smaller than where I am now.

So that's the state of the BookWench, pretty much. I feel like I'm shaking the Magic 8 ball of life and getting back a giant "reply hazy; try again later."
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