2014 was a banner year with my dog dying, my marriage busting up, finding new love, getting sued for defamation, getting back on the bipolar drugs, and losing my job. But the big question is, what did you favor on my site in 2014. Below is a breakdown of the top posts written and viewed in 2014.
About That Job Description In which I reveal that my position at GRCC was announced in January and my decision not to reapply. Add in the Internet getting my back for this line in the posting, “Ability to demonstrate the mental health necessary to safely engage in the librarian discipline as determined by professional standards of practice,” and you now know why I decided to move forward with my career.
I am the bitter fat chick who told you “no” In which I reveal an ex-high school boyfriend who kept sending me Facebook messages every couple of years in some fucked up attempt to “win me back” and his responses each time I said “no.” Also explained my decision to change my name across various social networks only to be forced to change it back on Facebook due to “valid name” concerns.
For The Case of Humanity In which I reveal why I will not shut up about my feelings in regards to the $1.25M defamation lawsuit, job hunting, and other unpleasant topics.
About my article in American Libraries on libraries, technology, and gender In which I reveal the background on an article I wrote for American Libraries Magazine, a publication of the American Library Association.
Librarian How To: Graphic Novel Collection Development in Academia In which I reveal my process on collection development, promotion, use, social media (and more) of graphic novels in community colleges.
Today is my last day at MPOW and this morning instead of doing my new usual morning mile, I lolled in bed slapping the snooze button until I had to get up.
It would be irony to be late on the my last day of work.
Truth be told, it was not overt laziness that prevented me from getting up but downright sleepiness and exhaustion. Starting with Sunday night, this week has been torture for sleep. I could not sleep until 6AM Monday morning and then ended up sleeping for four hours which threw Monday off like woah. Monday night we gutted like pigs in a trough over pizza and I took a Benadryl hoping it would knock me out early so I could actually get some sleep.
That failed as four hours later I took a Klonopin to finally knock me out.
Despite the drugs, Monday’s night’s rest was short which coupled with getting up early on Tuesday to walk, and the same pattern repeating itself on Tuesday meant I was averaging about 4-5 hours of sleep each night.
After dinner on Wednesday, I decided to put my feet up and do some web work with Orphan Black on in the background. TheHusband was off playing a video game, so he was relaxing on his own. I was feeling fairly peaceful as I worked until I got hit with rapid heart beat, which is my usual physical manifestation of anxiety.
A panic attack while watching Orphan Black? Really? Fuck this.
So obviously I took a Klonopin.
Hearts and guts are treacherous souls.
An absolute known, for me, on taking Klonopin on consecutive days is that I feel sluggish and even more tired the more I take it, even though the shelf-life is not long. Klonopin is great when I need to put a rampaging panic attack in its place, but it can never be more than that thought on occasion it has been.
So you will forgive me, I hope, that today’s walk was not done. After all, tomorrow is another day.
Tuesday was the first day in 76 days I missed a day writing. Wednesday too. And you know what? I’m okay with that. But today’s entry will explain some of what has been going on. My job posted yesterday.1
I am not reapplying for the position.
While I love working with students and seeing everything click when they get it, my passion remains and has always been in technology. With the college’s direction for the position, and the rewording of the position itself, it would be in my best interest to find a position that would better align with my career goals.
Some of you may not know my circumstances, so I’ll catch you all up.
I was hired as an adjunct in 2011. That fall, after two separate interviews, I was hired in as the systems librarian. The position was open for an academic year before I was hired. During this time, the faculty union, which librarians are a member of, were in negotiations with the college for their contract. All of us that were hired in the 2011-12 academic year were hired in as contingency employees. Our contracts were renewed on a year to year basis as contracts continued to be in negotiation.
In the 2012-13 academic year, the union and college came to an agreement with contract negotiations. Contingency faculty such as myself were not included as part of the agreement. We were told that all 40 positions would be reopened to a nation wide search. We could elect to apply for the position if we’d like, but please note that any time we worked prior to the now tenure track position would not be included when we apply.
My original position, while similar in wording to the current position, was sold to me as being 75% Systems / 25% everything else. The college’s push for student success has changed significantly in the last three years — every part of our core job services has been significantly amped towards student success and instruction. Out of my 35 scheduled hour week, I spend 10 hours on reference, 10-15 hours prepping/teaching/wrap up for info lit classes, 5-10 hours a week during liaison work, whatever time is left over doing systems. This also does not include my involvement time spent on meetings for internal department groups and college wide meetings. Or lunch.
When the job posting went live yesterday, those who knew me started emailing and tweeting asking what was the deal. Many asked if they had missed something on my blog? I made it a point to not publicly discuss my work here but to point people to my writing over at my professional blog, of course I did not discuss the terms of my employment because I had no idea what was going to happen to me.
Despite repeated assurances I would be notified when the job posted, I was not told. I found out the job was being posted several hours before it went live by finding a copy of the posting on our internal network of job positions.
As I read through the document, the last line under Minimum Qualifications set off all kinds of bells:
Ability to demonstrate the mental health necessary to safely engage in the librarian discipline as determined by professional standards of practice.
I called HR immediately.
I had a meeting with HR about this line and stated it was not only illegal but inflammatory and discriminatory. I was informed it was a directive from the director of accessibility to add that line to the 19-20 job postings that were going out. I was then asked by HR to provide language from ADA about the discrimination and illegality of the content, but HR did agree the language did not sound correct.
This morning I emailed HR several direct sources of ADA information from the government. I did not hear back.
Completely independent of my actions, various people picked up on the mental health line in the job description as it was being distributed via national job hiring networks. I was tipped off by various people the extent of the uproar over Twitter and over at Tumblr. Lots of people took the college to task for its faux pas. Near end of business day, the college responded:
Now, before the Internet got wind of everything, I DID post my job was available on Twitter and that while I was not reapplying, I would sincerely answer any questions had about the position.
And while I will not comment publicly on the events other than what I’ve laid here, I have responded to people’s comments about “the past employee in that position” and I repeated my offer from earlier in the day that if anyone had questions about the position, I would be more than happy to discuss it with them privately.
It should also be remarked on that now several people of note from the college are now following me on Twitter.
My goal is to leave the position with my dignity intact. I have a lot of projects to wrap up before my contract ends on June 30 and I would like to have the opportunity to complete out those jobs. I’ve been assured while Michigan is an at-will state, the college has to have document course of action of any misdeeds done on my part, which has never happened. I’ve never even gotten a bad review.
But I am kind of excited about the unknown future. I’ll be revamping my professional site within the next few weeks and applying for positions.
And again, I want to make clear that I am writing this up to present facts as they happened and to let people know who were bombarding me with tweets, emails, texts today that I’m okay. I’ll be getting back to some of you in the next few days but I really do appreciate all of the support you’ve given me.
I came home from the work ‘do today to find my blog has been quietly exploding across the library-sphere due to a mention and a link back from a professional online publication to my ALA code of conduct round up post. Again. Coupled with popularity of the ripped open belly of my psyche posts, this instant love feels a bit strange.
It’s hard because when people praise, compliment, or are effusive towards me for I get WEIRD. I want you to recognize my brilliance, but please, let us not speak about it publicly. Think of the children.
Don’t you worry though, I do plan on owning the title of Queen of the Pussy Posse but right now I’m just kind of warming up to the title.
The work ‘do was rather good! I tweeted from my professional Twitter account to be engaging with my colleagues. Our poster session went over pretty well and lots of snaps were taken while I was demoing some of our goods and services. It was after the poster session was over my color combination was not particularly a good choice for photography — I was wearing a purple skirt with dark purple polka dots, dark green tights, and a similar color to the tights shirt and a light grey cardigan. Plus I’m currently a redhead, which always throws off my make-up and color choices when I quickly switch back and forth between dark, dark hair and red, red hair.
It has been nearly two weeks without caffeine and the weirdest thing is how balanced I am beginning to feel. I keep telling TheHusband I went off of caffeine, and soon I’ll be limiting refined sugar, to help with the bipolar. The strange effect is going off of caffeine has helped my ADHD. A lot. Like noticeably a lot. Which is downright strange since all almost all ADHD drugs are stimulants.
I’m able to put together tasks and complete them in a reasonable amount of time that I had not seen since the early days of when I was taking the drugs. A week after being caffeine free, I would wake up on my own accord, create a list of things I must do for the day and do them in order. The tasks were completed. I did not leave things unfinished or undone. Physical tasks are one thing, but digital tasks I’m still kind of all over the place on. This post was started five hours before it was finished because I kept skipping around reading my RSS feeds, stalking social media, checking email, talking to friends on gChat, and so forth. Even though I’m still digitally all over the place, in comparison to where I was before, I’m loads better.
Additionally, I’m not only sleeping really well, but when I get up, I get up on the first ring of the alarm. No more 45 minute snoozes or feeling fuzzy brained or dragging my ass around in the morning. I realize my medicating doctor refers to me as a peculiar case, but I had not thought the reverse prescription for my ailments would possibly end up to be true: take me off all stimulants, the number one antidote for ADHD, and my ADHD becomes asymptomatic.
First day back to work is a perfect example. I set the alarm at 6 for I knew I had to wash my hair and shave my legs, which can take me longer than usual for I often like to dawdle in the shower. I gave myself a soft time to get in the car at 7:15 to start warming it up to leave at 7:30 to make the 5 mile drive to the event space to be there by 8. The event actually started at 830, but we had 30 minutes for socializing and breakfast before hand. I wanted to give myself a wide berth of time due to weather and roads and Lisa.
The alarm went off at 6. I was out of bed at 6:04. By the time I ate a banana, drank some coffee, checked work email (wanted to make sure the event was still happening due to recent weather trials), showered (I always set an egg timer for 10 minutes on work days when I shower or else I will never get the fuck out), shaved, dressed, blew dry and did my hair, make-up and etc, I actually did not get into my car until 7:34. I gave it 10 minutes to warm it up and even by running late, I made it to the event space at 8:05. Roads were much cleaner than anticipated and traffic was still fairly light. Having a soft and hard leave time helped me control my time management and I pulled it off fairly well.
My impulses are getting better. After the work ‘do was over, I was out running errands with the last errand dropping off a script at the pharmacy. While there, I trolled the make-up aisle, as you do, for I wanted to get some lipsticks or nail polishes in Pantone’s color of the year. Before I would have bought up everything that I could find remotely related to the color on the spot, but this time after a few crawls up and down the aisle I realized that since I was coming back the following day, I didn’t need to buy anything this second, which would give me time to go home and search for reviews online. I paid for what I did have in hand and left.
P.S. Let it be said that by me now that public confessions of the soul tend to warrant others to confess privately to me. I am totally okay with that. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that any confidences given to me remain confidential. Additionally, please understand that sometimes pulling at the scabs can take a few days to reorder myself to be human again. If I don’t respond right away, I will get to you. I promise.
I’m so terribly glad the week has ended.
It began the previous week when a fire at work started out as a slow ember. By Monday, it blew up gorgeous blaze that only I could fix and spent all of my waking time working on the problem through the course of the week.
Monday eve I saw my medicating doctor, whom I’ve partially fired. He agreed to start downgrading me from the lithium, which is going to take about a month or so to happen. He’ll still be my klonopin dealer, thank fuck, but my involvement in the world of chemical imbibement is going to be gone.
Tuesday saw the advent of my period, who’s new thing is to play a game of “Heavy, heavy, normal, light, YOU ARE GOING TO BLEED TO DEATH!!!!!” pattern by the end of its cycle. Tuesday also was the day of my EEG, which after the procedure I had the energy of slug and slept for most of the day.
I taught all day Wednesday and Friday.
Thursday was the day all faculty had to have their projected performance evals done and turned in. Mine was not so. When I was at work, not teaching, not on the reference desk, I was trouble shooting the aforementioned gorgeous blaze that the final data collection submitted to IT was closing in on half a dozen pages of notes and results, which was submitted on Thursday.
Friday morning an email from my dean on why my eval was not completed and he wants to see me ASAP. My response was a copy of the six page ticket I opened with IT and an explanation of what I had been doing for the past week and half. I promised to finish the eval this weekend, but of course! The online system we use for such things, running on Oracle, is dead in the water. Oh, how bittersweet! Monday’s early appointment with my dean should be loads of fun.
TheHusband and I spent a good portion fo the weekend cleaning – it’s that time of year you know. People get overly excited for decorative gourd season and the onsalught of pumpkin spice latte whatever. Me? I dream about cleaning. We divided up the work over two floors and two days, and if we’re honest, we probably didn’t work as hard or get as much done as we had planned. But we’re okay with that, as we plan on pecking at it during the week
I burned through a lot of appointments this week and some commitments that I have set up for this upcoming week are going to be curtailed. I’ve decided to start reigning in on some things for the moment, only temporarily, as I wean off the drugs. If anything has been learned of the lesson of my drug life, the lack of any kind of emotional planning for what is going to happen is naught. Yes, I get it – you can’t control when the crazy comes but it would be nice to at least have an inkling. Thus, I’m clearing everything off the decks while I detox.
During the downtime this weekend, I worked a lot on the archives the site, hanging out mostly in 2010 – 11, which was not as interesting as 2003 or 2008, but there is a lot there for me to process. I also updated a few projects that were found such as Book List and To:Be Project, both which will remain current.
I get a hankering to look at the archives as work continues because seeing some of those years fill in makes me happy. I don’t only feel like I’m doing something here, completing a task, but I feel like I’m making art.
It’s just shy of 8PM and I’m already for bed. Tomorrow I have to open the library and man the reference desk at the unreasonable hour of 730AM. To be sure, however, I’ll need to be partially awake for that to take place and I’m already plotting my caffeine consumption. I am going to need it.
I was in a dark place this morning when I got to work, made darker still by some work dealings that I blew off because if I had taken them seriously, I would have slit someone’s throat. Sometimes people are just obnoxious, but fighting me on a one time change is just ridiculous. Did the world end? No. Now go the fuck away.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon, after my tepid lunch of stale pasta salad and food I ravaged from the vending machines, working on stats.
While I got incredibly engrossed in my stat doing, I noticed the heaviness on my chest and the sense of foreboding that was plaguing me in the morning had almost dissipated. The existential crisis of this morning seemed to just leave a taste of what it was – but I find at times I can’t shake it completely. It usually begins with a Talking Headsesque series of questions (How did I get here? This is not my beautiful wife!) and then leaps into me making tally sticks of what I did have (husband who loves me, a good job, good income, a beautiful home, a cabin in a desired area, anything I could possibly desire) and even then, making notes of what I have — all very good things mind you — didn’t seem enough.
I am hungry for more.
But more what – – ahh, that is the question I can never answer. At least, not sounding like an insane person.
Over the years I’ve come across people who were similar to me and whose lives for a brief moment, joined mine in parallel. Then they move on, and I move on, and later I find that the lives they lead are the lives I want to lead. I have never known abject jealousy before until this happened. And I didn’t know, don’t know, how to handle it.
I know it’s healthy to look up to someone(s) and be inspired by them, and I feel that I’m inspired all the time by many people. But these 2-3 others, whose lives I don’t want to be inspired by, I want to have their lives. I can’t shake this demon off my back because I would truly like to enjoy them for their products, not be a creeper plotting to SWF them.
[Though, to be fair, one of them has liberally lifted some ideas/concepts of mine that were published publicly on this site years and years ago for their (now published) fiction. So thanks. I guess.]
But that isn’t really it either, this wanting the life of someone else because in my mind’s eye, I’m more than the sum of my parts. I’m more then these adjectives or these people’s lives that I covet so far from the body. But I can’t shake the feeling that I should be doing more, doing a lot more, and that the doing more isn’t here. It’s somewhere else. And it’s with or without my husband (depending on the time of day when the crisis hits).
Fight or flight.
Pattern for my entire life. I had thought, assumed even, that once I got the degrees, and the boy, and the job, and the house, and everything I worked for, my life would settle into some kind of happy state of domesticity.
I feel like I was wrong.
I kept telling Dr. P. that something big was going to need to happen and then I realised that in order for that something to happen, I’d have to make it happen myself. Then I start to feel strangled, as if I can’t function in some capacity whether emotional or physical. The heavy weight sits on my chest and demands to be petted.
Then I hide in my bedroom until the next day comes and I start all over again. I look at time frames and see self-promises made weeks, months, years ago remain broken and unfulfilled. I am nothing, in the cosmic sense, and it doesn’t seem to all matter. The only freedom is the flight in my brain when the drugs hit me with a left hook to soothe me down.
Then I wake and start all over again.
Lisa (Day #39)
I don’t have much time this evening to write as I’m due to leave in about 15 minutes to pick up Beth from their airport. Tomorrow morning, she and I will head up to Throbbing Cabin where five other of our friends will meet us for a long girls weekend.
In A Cabin.
In the Woods.
What could possibly go wrong?
Don’t be terribly surprised if communication from me is slow this weekend, namely here on the blog. And I’m not quite sure what the protocol is to tweet from jail.
(If you’re into that kind of thing, you can always follow me on the twitters or instagram to keep up with the antics.)
I was feeling pretty focused on work today, but some of the problems with MPOW’s website upgrade is trickling down to me and that is causing me some frustration. The frustration stems as student report vague web issue to library staff, library staff reports that to me long after the student has left so I can’t trouble shoot or fix the issue. I’ve been dragging my own laptop in to test the complaints but I can’t apparently duplicate them and as the student has long gone, I can’t work with them directly.
The problems all stem from students who have their own devices, and I have been walking library staff through asking a series of questions to narrow down at least the general problems but something in the communication either from me to them or from them to the student or somewhere else is getting broken. I just feel like I’ve been repeating myself A LOT.
Today is day #3 of no sleepiness and to test out my theory, I refrained from caffeine long after my morning Red Bull was gone. I drank water for the rest of the day and felt fine. Later in the afternoon I had a ritual Coke slurpee while I ran errands as I needed the extra push to make sure I was up when to I went to pick Beth up.
It’s long after midnight and I’m still up. Beth’s plane was late by an hour, which turned out to be a boon to me as I was able to complete some packing and writing before I needed to leave. I smushed her face off when she came out of the gate, whisked her back to Throbbing Manor, gave her the abridged tour of the house and finally got her tucked into bed.
Mood ring says: Feeling pretty good. Pretty even. I’m gloriously enjoying the lack of sleepiness during the day. I’m also absolutely luxuriating in my morning routine, which is now including reading a short story while I eat my breakfast.
And if there is anything I’ve been discovering these last few weeks, the little things are everything.
Lisa (Day #14)
If you have been paying close attention, and I know you have been, you would have noticed I missed a day this week — Monday. As the bugs get worked out of this system of daily writing, I’m sure to miss a day or two and I am allowing myself to be okay with that. But don’t be terribly surprised to find back dated entries showing up in your RSS feeds to feed my OCD monster.
Last night we apparently got a storm that myself and the dog slept through but woke TheHusband. He closed most of the windows in the house to prevent the rain from coming in and my clue was the half-closed bedroom windows that something was amiss. It’s been a cool summer, almost too cool in fact, but the spurts of extreme warmth continue to tease us and the storm didn’t dissipate the burgeoning heat. I ran around most of today wearing a cardigan, which was making me feel like I was sweating my proverbial balls off. Why I didn’t take off the damn sweater when I was in the elements is beyond me.
Work today was slow and not much was done. There was a meeting for the new faculty evaluation program that is coming into place and to be honest, it feels like a lo tof busy work for not a lot of real pay off. Okay, that may be a stretch since the pay off is having a job, but a lot of the documenting, professional development, and the like seems to be rather useless. It’s hard to talk about this here for changes come swift through the halls of academia and I don’t want to take any chances. The process, I’ll document over at Tales of a Cunning Systems Librarian.
I cut out of work early and headed over to the GrandCon volunteer meet-up, which was scheduled for tonight at a local bookstore. The organizer was late (he thought it was 5:30, not 5:00 as he told everyone else) but in the interim, I met a few of the other volunteers and they invited me to play Love Letter which turned out to be quick fun. Once the volunteer organizer showed up, the meeting was quick and there seems to be a lot to do in the next few months. I’m kind of excited about volunteering for this and if you’ve been following me around the social sphere for the last few years, my interest in comics and gaming has picked up considerably. I’m beginning to wonder if I should start putting together a comics resume of sorts because my activity is starting to increase significantly.
Wednesday night is Pub Trivia Night and myself, TheHusband and a few other friends play at a local bar every week. TheHusband and I have been absent the last few weeks as we’ve been up north, but the team has solidly rocked on without us. Tonight, however, we found out after we got to the spot our captains were unable to make it, so four us went for the glory and almost but not quite made it. I like our team and I like our event, but I’m not crazy about the location, the service of the staff, or even the food. TheHusband says he doesn’t care one way or another what we do, but I feel like we’re in a pickle.We’ll see how it is in a few weeks.
I’m thrilled to report that this is day 2 of not feeling like I’m going to keel over and sleep my way to Olympic Gold. It’s also day 2 of my period and day 2 that I went off the Metformin. What does this all mean? How are these related? I’m thrilled that I can get some semblance of focus and life back, but now I’m curious if I should start taking the Wellbutrin as directed by Dr. H. or not. I’d discuss this with Dr. P., but he had to reschedule our appointment tomorrow for Monday so I’ll wait until I see him before making any big moves.
And the coolest part about today? Thorarinn Leifsson, the graphic novelist/illustrator I mentioned earlier this week, found my blog and the entry about him and offered to send me his work in English, in PDF. I was so beyond thrilled, I was high fiving a million angels.
Lisa (Day #13)
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill
My primary work husband let some words slip today, in regards to me, that is currently traveling around our place of work. I wasn’t terribly surprised to hear what was said, though to his credit he gave generalities over specifics, knowing that if I knew more about the situation(s), it would or could make it uncomfortable for me in future interactions. He did, however, throw me a bone in that a female in a similar level and power as myself was, instead of clutching me to her bosom, also responsible for some of what was said. I wasn’t terribly surprised to hear that she was making noises about me, but, I was genuinely distressed to hear that she felt it necessary to gingerly throw me under the bus rather than embrace our uniqueness.
This is also not the first time, nor will it be the last, where my character has or will be called into question. Not in this current postion, nor in the past positions I’ve held. In the past, I’ve typically placed the blame on myself: I was too opinionated, too honest, too many whateverits and thus, it almost always got me in trouble. My work ethic and job performances were never criticized, no, but my personality often was. I’ve always taken responsibility and the blame for these things when it has happened, even if I was in right, because work politics is work politics, no matter how inane and how misguided they may be. As Omar from The Wire keeps saying, “You’ve got to play the game before the game plays you.” Continue reading “angry girl is angry”
Recently, I saw a bit of Tumblr posts on Twitter scroll on by from Cat Valente, which the titles lead me curious and curiouser down the dark rabbit hole that is Tumblr. I was fine with this since the occasional tapping of the Tumblr vein never really hurt anyone and Cat’s posts all pointed to the nirvana – a blog called Unfuck Your Habitat.
After perusing the site for a bit, it took me a minute to figure out that Unfuck Your Habitat builds/uses the same methods as The Fly Lady, only in a more OMGBBQ and animated gifs heavy way, with a teensy dose of profanity. Which if I’m honest amongst my close friends here on the intarwebs, I’m moar likely to use something where “fuck” is sprinkled liberally about and the cherry on top are vaguely obnoxious animated gifs say over a site that seems to be geared towards, well, women I’d like to strangle on a daily basis.
The premise is simple: You find something you want to unfuck and you unfuck it. It can be as small as simply taking the steps to making your bed everyday and laying out that day’s clothes the night before or even just unfucking an area that is always in a cluster and working on keeping that unfucked on a more regular basis. In an related but not kind of way, I’ve been working on unfucking my emotional/creative life for the last month by meditating every morning for five minutes and then writing for 7 minutes before I begin my day. And by “begin my day,” I mean pour coffee down my throat in order to become human. Continue reading “Unfucking Throbbing Manor”