Dear internets: please help me plan our honeymoon [Poll]

When Justin and I decided to get married, we were in agreement that we only wanted to have a city hall wedding so we could use our cash for a killer honeymoon. Despite the commentary from our families (more mine than his) and friends (again, more mine than his) requesting that we at least have a small reception, we are still sticking to our guns in regards that we are going to get the JOP treatment, not have a reception and just flutter off to the great unknown for a few weeks.
So, then, what’s the problem?
Well there are a few:

  1. Timing: Justin’s upper echelons management have decreed that no one can take vacation or personal time after June 18th due to some shenanigans that may be occurring. Since we also do not know where we will be living or if I’ll have a job after that time date, planning a later honeymoon is not feasible for us. Since I’ll be done with school AND my job as of May 7, we figured we might as well use that time to do this. So, we can only go after May 7 and be back no later than June 17th. Which leads into…
  2. Cost: We have a pretty healthy honeymoon budget, but, as we can only go in May/early June, this is also the beginning of the tourist season in most locations we’re interested in. Flight costs are also jacked up as evidence of my search this past weekend (using Kayak, Travelocity, Expedia and Priceline as well as airline website). Justin is 6’6″ and I’m nearly 6′ – we thought, “Hey! We’ll fly first class! It’s our honeymoon!” Yeah — that thought process was totally rejected after searching at aforementioned sites and discovering that we can get coach seats for about $1K USD each but to go first class? Cost skyrockets to (on average) $5K USD per person. In some cases, some airlines were charging taxes that were nearly half the cost of the coach ticket (Air Canada quoted me a price of $1K USD for coach ticket AND THEN another $500 USD for “taxes/fuel surcharge” on top of the price). Calling around to airlines to get better deals using our miles and cash combo also produced similar results (and in some cases, more expensive than web offerings on said airlines website). Even buying coach seats that are upgradeable to better class is also impossible as you still need to use miles AND pay another $2-3K on top of the initial seat cost. Buying miles an option but most airlines cap the number of miles and we’re short enough on the mileage that is not feasible. Thus our goal to get 2 first class tickets for under $4K USD combined? Not happening, apparently.
  3. Location: Justin and I have wanderlust — we want to go everywhere and see everything. So one would think that we would have a list of places, ranked in importance. In a way we do, but we decided when it came to our honeymoon, we’d go somewhere were neither of us have been before. Great in theory, but in practice one of us (okay, me) is rattling off what places I REALLY HAVE TO SEE AGAIN. Scotland for the beer, food and beauty. Rome for the culture, food and Caravaggio obsession. England to get my Anglophile on. Brussels? I have friends there. Amsterdam? They know how to treat tall people! But what about Moscow or Prague or Paris or Venice? New Zealand? Australia? We can’t freaking decide!

So internets, I implore you: Where can we go for our honeymoon that we can wander around overdosing ourselves in art, museums, food and drink. and seeing wondrous things. Where our coach tickets combined cost is not the same as the GDP of a small country and that we can find a decent hotel near the heart it all or near a metro/public transport option? Stipulation: Cannot be in North/South America.

A poem and a billet-doux

Justin and I have a tradition in which for every holiday, we will exchange something handmade, typically something that is handwritten. For Valentine’s Day, we decided to write poems/prose to each other and to also celebrate, he’s making homemade enchiladas and I’m making homemade desert crepes.
Below you’ll find our poetic offerings, enjoy.
Him to me:
She is clumsy and sweet, this you can tweet!
Of Lisa I will speak, pay attention.
Her merits are beyond comprehension.
I shall point out a few glimmering traits.
But first, you may ask, what is my motive?
To make her chortle, I say, even swoon!
Surely, to me, this would be a great boon!
For now, that reply, will have to suffice.
What? Dear reader, you wish to give advice?
I listen to reason, what shall I do?
Silence? Now you’ve thrown this whole poem askew!
Stanzas run thin, balls destined for a vice.
Through this couplet, I’ll find a way to say,
Darlin’ Lisa, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Me to him:
Ode to Snookie Wookums:
A billet-doux for Justin

I struggle to tell you how much I love you,
Not because I do not know how to say it –
But because it has been said many times before (and in many different ways).
Not just from me to you, or from you to me, but
Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, Keats — dead white guys
(Your favorite kind.)
Who wrote overly flowery language to describe,
The merest changes in touch, scent and vision of their beloveds,
When they were naked upon the often stained mattresses.
(And why were those mattresses always so stained?)
(Did they not believe in cleaning in those days?)
Or having their woman kill themselves for whatever reason –
(Death, despair, misery – your favorite subjects).
Love, then, is a word we throw about carelessly these post-modern times,
To describe anything we have strong affection for from –
Our pets, food, clothing, movies, to music and cars.
(And do we love, in that we have strong emotion or do we love because we cannot use any other word to describe how we feel for the item we are attached to?)
So then, on this Valentine’s Day –
(A saint who is honored for love instead of being remembered as a Christian martyr in antiquity)
Let me not talk of death, misery, despair, or Nazi’s –
(Thrown in to see if you’re still reading),
But rather let me just tell you that for all of the reasons that I love you,
And for all of the reasons that could possible exist and
Have been turned into a Lifetime Movie Extravaganza –
It is because of your quirks and your stubbornness,
Your strong sense of wavering morality,
Your love of pretentious literature and even more pretentious music,
Your arrogance, your silliness,
Your daring and your bravery,
Your sense of adventure and your resoluteness,
And all of the physical reasons that I adore you so –
(Not stated in case your mother reads this).
Thank you for stalking me all those years,
For proving to be worthy, for believing in me,
For being all of the things that I could hope for and more –
I love you, my snookie wookums, and am every so glad
That I will be dragging you, unwillingly, to the alter in May!
Happy Valentine’s Day, my love!

Pug Will Tear Us Apart (Again) – A Valentine’s Day Ode

As many of you know, I once had three adorable pugs. The pugs, siblings from the same parents but different litters, were obtained from Ex-Fiance #2′s aunt and uncle in 2000 and 2001, who were starting to breed the parents, Lucy and Linus. After Ex-Fiance #2 and I split, the pugs came with me when I moved to Grand Rapids from Virginia in December 2002. One thing I was adamant about was that I was to never split up the pugs as they had been together since they were weeks old and were my family. However, when I was planning to moving to Royal Oak, every single apartment complex, apartments and houses I looked at would not allow more than one pet. A tough decision was made that two of the pugs would be fostered to good friends of mine until another solution was found. In the spring of 2009, those two pugs were then given up to a Pug Rescue in Ohio because their health and well-being were my utmost priority and I could not afford financially or physically to get them back.
Since then, it has just been WednesdayThePug and I, who has also grown to have her own fan base, complete with her own Twitter account. Wednesday has always been an extenstion of my own personality — she’s haughty and clingy, she likes beer and boys, she’s picky about who cuddles against and she always loved me best of all.
Then Justin moved in and I was kicked to the curb in her affections.
Her schedule is our schedule, she is adamant about ALWAYS being between us whether it is on the couch or in bed. When both of us are home, she clings to Justin like his shadow, preferring to lay at his feet if he’s working, near his side when they are on the couch or sprawling on my side of the bed if I get up first. Her bedtime rituals is that she runs around and sniffs the comforter, then burrowing between us under the covers to lay between us, then she comes snuffling out to climbs up to the top of the pillows on our bed (pillow mountain) and will lay there, dead weight, until the morning. Other times she will burrow back out and sleep between us, on top of the covers, refusing to move the entire night making it difficult to adjust our own sleeping during the course of the night.
Wednesday turns 10 this summer and for this Valentine’s day, Justin wrote me a poem honoring her, to the tune of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
Pug Will Tear Us Apart
Wednesday nibbles hard,
And the temperature runs low.
And the snoring rides high,
With pillow mountain below.
And we struggle for sheets,
Under heavy pug load.

Puuuuug, pug will tear us apart…again.
Puuuuug, pug will tear us apart…again.
Why are my feet so cold?
I look to my right side.
Is this pug that flawed?
Thieving covers with pride.
A tranquil lump of steel.
That we’ve spoiled for life.
Puuuuug, pug will tear us apart…again.
Puuuuug, pug will tear us apart…again.
Do you cackle in your sleep?
My extremities exposed.
This affair’s going south.
My movement becomes bold.
I toss you from your perch,
You slither and claim more.
Puuuuug, pug will tear us apart…again.
Puuuuug, pug will tear us apart…again
Puuuuug, pug will tear us apart…again.
Puuuuug, pug will tear us apart…again

A room of one's own.

Virginia Woolf once proselytized that a woman needs a place of her own, “a room of one’s own” in which they could think, create and have their own space without outside interferences. The slim book by the same name sits on my To Be Read pile, with the hopes that one day I will have the space of my own (and to finish the damned book!).
I think about having my own space a lot these days, not necessarily my own apartment, but a place where I can go shut off the world, lounge on a chaise reading or writing and basically just having time for me. How Justin and I have existed nearly half-a-year in a 600 sq ft apartment where everything we do is broadcasted to the other is still kind of a minor miracle. How Justin survives with his “desk” actually being the dining room table, no room for his things except for one large closet and a corner by his “desk,” again, a minor miracle. Granted when he moved in, he came with just a carload of things, mainly a box of books, clothes, and some personal effects — but everything else in the apartment is me.
We can’t wait to shed our skins from this dump and get our own place to make “ours,” because everything in our apartment reeks of a mish-mash of collegiate chic and IKEA furniture. While the bed, dresser and couch are less than a year old, they were not first selections or picked out with care but chosen because they were best of the lot of what was presented to me at the time.1
Soft household goods, such as sheets, towels and the like, are carry-over from stuff I purchased over the years. Nothing really matches (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – shabby chic?), but there is no cohesiveness to the mess. Towels I bought a few years ago are starting to go yucky, sheets are starting to get threadbare and there is only so many duvet covers one can purchase before you just have to realise that the duvet itself probably needs to be replaced.
What’s interesting about Justin and I is that our approach to home furnishings is directly related to how we grew up. His family saves everything so he loves minimalism while my family saved nothing so I border on being a pack rat. Things purchased, regardless if they are for personal or communal use, are based on negotiation. Purchasing new shoes for me requires that I get rid of two pairs. Buying new sheets would require ditching two existing sets. Buy one, get rid of two. The paring down of my closets and soft goods has been amazing. However, I refuse to budge on paring down books and media because I am determined to have a library in our (eventual) new home.
When we move next year, we’re getting rid of mostly everything. What we will be keeping will be incredibly minimal. The bed will be relegated to the guest room and we’re purchasing a king sized (He’s 6’6, I’m 5’11.5″ and the pug — we do not fit comfortably on a queen bed). We need a couch that is at least 12′ long to allow us to both sprawl or some kind of sectional were choosing to intertwine our legs is not about necessity but about wanting to touch, so the current couch will be secondary.
We want new furniture, so the IKEA stuff will be sold or donated via FreeCycle or Craig’s List. I’ve been carting around electronics that may or may not work for years, those will be donated or recycled. My TV, which was awesome when it was purchased in 2006, is slowly dying and will need to be replaced.2 But we’ll end up giving/selling for cheap when the time comes because when we move, we’ll not keep most of these things with us and purchase new when we arrive at our new destination, regardless of where that may be. But what is important to both of us is space — lots and lots of lovely space.
There is no room for us to ramble without tripping on the other. Justin gets the advantage that with my schedule, he gets alone time when he gets off of work since I will not be home until many hours later. Typically 2-3 days a week, I’m gone 10-14 hours a day which gives him time to himself, which he finds to be incredibly important. I don’t get that kind of alone time because when I get home from doing whatever, both he and the pug are there – as whatever gym events/errands that he has to run will be done well before I get home. 600 sq ft in some areas (Paris, Amsterdam, New York City, San Francisco) can be considered to be “spacious” if the design of the space is done right but even with the open plan our our apartment, we’re still crowded since we lose so much wall space to floor to ceiling windows and radiators. (This is one of the many occasions where my skills as a Tetris master come into play. Whoever said gaming was destructive clearly did not look at Tetris, Breakout, or Pong.)
This paring down, we’ve often discussed, is a direct result of consumerism — we buy cheap because it is cheap and what we can afford at the time but because of this, we end up spending more because we often have to replace the item. I recently created a Wedding Registry on Amazon so we could, privately, start keeping track of items we’d like to get when we move and I balked when he added salt and pepper grinders that were roughly $120 for the pair. His reasoning is that the mechanism on most grinders were such that after some time, the ground seasoning goes up into the shaft and not on the food. Our current grinder is currently behaving in this manner and we seem to spend more time trying to “fix” the damn thing than get pepper out. He found a set that used a different type of mechanism and shouldn’t have this problem, but really? $120 for the pair? His argument is that he would rather spend the cash on quality rather than deal with cheap and keep replacing, as we have been doing so much of lately.
I get his mentality, but after being graduate student poor for so long and the idea of having a disposable income in which spending $120 on grinders is not really a big deal still appalls me. Recently, I started researching combination espresso/auto coffee machines and it seemed most people were happy with the $100 Mr. Coffee combo than the Krupp’s or other higher end brands. While this was surprising to me, as I was expecting the prices to be much higher, crowd mentality rules, right? A few days later, Justin gave me a link to a coffee “system” that seemingly did everything under the sun, including being programmable via the Internet. The cost for such a treasure? $2k USD. That is not a typo — and I think I visibly blanched. Do I love coffee? Sure, but to spend $2k USD on such a machine, I’d expect it to give me sexual favors and start smoking a cigarette when it was through. I’d rather spend say up to $500 USD for such a machine and bank the $1500 towards something else, such as putting money down for a new car or putting it towards my retirement. You know, something sensible.
But a room of my own and a room for Justin, where we can each not worry about the others habit since it will not be communal space. We’re so freakin’ excited about the prospect of nesting, of getting rid of the old and coming on with the new, that it seems to be all that we talk about these days.
And we’re okay with that.3

1. My family knows someone who owns a local G-Rap furinutre store so we were given preference for stuff from the showroom for a great deal. But since the store is quite small, I had the choice of say four couches and maybe a half a dozen dressers to choose from.
2. The volume randomly doesn’t work when you turn the TV on, but works when you turn it off and then on again. The tube needs to be degaused but we’ve searchd high and low on the web for instructions and can’t find them. The TV has also started emiting a loud whistle that randomly pops in and out. We’ve troubleshot possible causes of the whistling but nothing seems to be working.
3. While we may be okay with it, not sure how Wednesday will feel about all the space. She tends to favor whomever is where she wants to be over one person or another. She seems to get antsy if she has to choose between me in the bedroom or Justin in the dining room.

New Crack: Condo Porn via House Hunters International

Due to our often conflicting schedules, when Justin and I spend time together it has become more often than not in front of the teevee. Lately, this has more to do with the fact that I often don’t get home until late or he is often working late, so planning for things outside the home tends to get a bit chaotic. Despite the copious amount of time we spend on the couch, what we watch tends to be an agreed upon listing of “together” teevee as opposed to whatever is available on the DVR. Our tastes in television and movies is more often than not, polar opposites: He likes depressing, post-apocalyptic, foreign, pretentious materials. In movies, if it has Nazis, an unhappy ending or some kind of mutilation/violence aspect to it, he loves it. I, on the other hand, tend to go for a bit lighter fare such as period dramas, indie films, or something with a twist.
Television is much the same way in that he loves sports (primarily football and basketball), the Hitler channel, Jeopardy! (You’d think I was marrying a 70 year old.) or something along the lines of the aforementioned topics. Personally, I am a sucker for series (In Justin’s opinion, read: crappy) television, stocking up on guilty pleasures such as Gossip Girls 1, Grey’s Anatomy or The Big Bang Theory to name a few.
But with the weather getting colder and our ability to go outside becoming less of a reality these days, we’ve started watching series shows on premium channels (Nurse Jackie, Dexter, The Tudors, and Bored To Death), but the problem with these shows is that the series’ are much shorter than network television and we have gotten into the habit of watching the entire series within a week or two, catching up on back episodes and having marathons. Thus, we are back at square one with nothing to watch.
A few weeks ago, friends of ours tipped us off to a HGTV show called House Hunters International. The point of the show is that a person/couple/families/whatever are looking to buy in X locale for Y reason, and they need help to find their home/condo/apartment/flat/beach front mansion with Z budget. A local to the area real estate agent takes the wish list and presents the person/couple/family/whatever with a listing of properties that match their requests. The person/couple/family/whatever then select from the top three choices as their next crib.
The show format never varies, thus it is always consistent from episode to episode: Intro to the house hunters, their background, their budget, where they are moving to and why. The viewer is then shown clips of the house hunter going through three properties, their likes/dislikes of the properties and the “finale” of their selection of one of those three properties and why the chose said property. In short, it is the same formula on every show regardless of who/what or where the show is being taped. There is also very little surprise as to what the house hunter chooses in that based upon their wishlist, location and budget, 90% of the time we correctly guesstimate which property they end up choosing and it is almost always property #2.
At first glance, this show doesn’t sound like something that would interest me in the slightest. I don’t consider myself a domestic goddess, my panties don’t get wet at the thought of a new vacuum (I was pelted by a vacuum ad on HGTV’s website that bothered the piss out of me and wouldn’t let me read the site until the ad did its thing. Usability fail.), nor do I get passionate when discussing herringbone versus parquet floors. These things, however, excite Justin. He spends hours every week not only cruising real estate sites for the search for our perfect home but he also has a surprisingly aesthetic appeal to what he likes and doesn’t like.
We’ve spent dozens of hours pouring over real estate ads for condos in a variety of markets around the US and we’ve picked apart every nuance from the floors, to the window treatments and bathrooms. What does interested me about HHI is that it appeals to my wanderlust in the hopes that someday in the future (hopefully nearer than farther), we might be able to move and live abroad. I see HHI as research then, to get an idea of what the markets are like around the globe and what our budget (roughly about $400K USD) would get us in other countries.
In Paris, that would barely buy us a pied-à-terre while in Fuji, that’s beach front mansion and even better, in Buenos Aires, that would give us a nice sized condo in a great location. What also interests me about the show is that I’m nosy and I want to know what people do for a living to make the kind of money they make — especially the ones who talk about buying a home on the Amalfi Coast and their budget is $750K USD but hey, the villa they really want is $1M USD, so they buy that one even though it’s over their “budget.” Then there are the people who are buying second or third homes — and I wonder, what the hell do they do to juggle all those mortgages and they seemingly always have some generic job such as “marketing manager” or “mid-level manager.”
What kills us though is the over expectations these people have. “I want a 2 bed, 2 bath, 1000 sqft condo in Paris for $400k USD, with a ‘view,’ American kitchen, and a bathtub. And oh! I have to have the outdoor living space!” When shown that for $400k gets them a 5 story walk-up in one of the outer districts, at 600 sqft and the bathtub is a little bigger than the sink, they get all indigent. Specifically when for that range, the properties are fixer uppers.
Maybe then this is why we are so addicted to the show and we push through 4-6 episodes a night, which sounds like a lot but considering that each show is only 30 minutes long, take out the commercials its down to about 15-20 minutes and we do watch a few of them in our bedroom as we are getting ready for bed. Also, the show is on ALL THE TIME. While we were gone for two days over Thanksgiving, we had 20 new episodes to view on our DVR. Currently, our DVR is telling us that there are 43 new episodes to be recorded in the next two weeks.
Plus we like the snark value, picking on people’s poor taste and decisions, wondering why they were idiots in choosing a cookie cutter home in X neighborhood instead of going with the one with character outside of their favorite neighborhood. Why they would paint X color in Y room over leaving the current combination alone or even better, when they misuse terminology to make it sound like they know what they are talking about. The crack is getting a little out of hand in that we’ve decided to start DVRing regular House Hunters, to give us an idea of what markets look like around the US and makes it much easier than hunkering around a laptop looking at grainy photos of properties in various areas. Even if we have a spare hour before bed, we watch HHI.
This is getting bad.
But I’m not sure if I am capable of asking for help.

1. I will maintain and stand by that Gossip Girls is perhaps one of the better written “adult” dramas on television. I’ve started stop watching most network television this season as many of the shows I used to love have become convoluted messes with wooden characters, plots that beyond ridiculous and of course, the trusty jumping of the shark.

There are stories left to be written. (And hopefully they will be a lot longer than 140 characters.)

My birthday is in 12.5 days in which I will be turning 29 for the ninth time (37), which is in spitting distance of 40 which is close to death.
What an auspicious way to being an entry, eh? But, I figured it was the right time to sit down and do half-year update. Because interestingly enough I find myself at a cross-roads, one of my own choosing, A decision doesn’t have to be made this second, but, I need to write it out at the very least to sort it out.
Academically, the school year has been amazing. Going to library school has to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I ended the first full year with a overall GPA of 3.88 (B+ in cataloging, of which I proudly wear), I won the Graduate Student Assistant job at the library, which means that my tuition is now paid for AND I have a job manning the reference desk at the graduate library. For one of my classes, I ended up helping design and implement WordPress for a local Detroit museum and will more than likely end up doing my archival practicum there as the archivist loves me. (She’s also pretty awesome as well!) One of my professors has tapped me to work for her company part-time, making really good money, as a web2.0 consultant of sorts which could possibly land me as a full-time gig when I graduate if it works out. I won a scholarship and am also being pushed to fine tune some of my student papers to publishing worth materials and submitting them to appropriate journals.
Several of my classmates and I are founding a new student organization (a student chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild) and I’ve been tapped to take over presidential responsibilities of the local student chapter of ASIS&T. I’ve also been blogging over at Tech-Ink: A Librarian Collective about digital issues. I’m also the communications chair for the Graduate Student Union in my spare time.
Academically and professionally, everything is starting to fall into place.
Personally, things have been going on a more even keel. Lily and Pugsley (of ThePugKids) were surrendered to Ohio Pug Rescue when their temporary foster home fell through and I couldn’t take them with me nor could I find them a place temporarily until I could move into a place that would take more than one pet. This was heartbreaking for me, but, it was the right decision as their happiness and stability was my utmost concern over my own selfish need to make sure I kept alll three of the pug kids together.
I still have Wednesday (who has her own Twitter account) and not once has she shown any signs of abandonment by her siblings and seems pretty happy being the only pug in the household. I’ve ditched caging her at night (like I used to do when I had all three) and she sleeps with me on pillow mountain and has also taken it upon herself to wake me up every morning between 7-8am. Justin has taken a deep liking to her because “she’s lazy and I can respect that” but other than that, she turns 9 in July and she is still as cantankerous as ever. I love her even more so.
Life in Royal Oak has turned out to be pretty good to me and I’ve met a lot of awesome people. One of my girlfriends and I have started meeting every Tuesday for knitting night (and yet I’m still no closer to finishing any of my projects) and I hang out with a few other people as well. Most of the time though I spend at home solo as this past semester was really academically stimulating and I now love nothing more than doing nothing.
Justin and I are still going at it pretty strong as he’s been out to see me several times since I’ve moved for extended periods. It helps that he telecommutes for his job so he’s been able to work from the apartment while I go about my merry little way. The apartment is a little over 600sqft which is fine for one person and a pug but when he moves in in July, it will be a bit cramped. Graduation is set forth for end of August or December of 2010 depending on how I get those final classes laid out. And after that? Who knows? Justin and I have a zillion different life styles planned out for us that take us from living in a small English village to a condo in Chicago. Trips are being planned for far off exotic locales such as Florida (well, Key West) and beyond during our vacation times. A proposal and a wedding are sure to follow at some point. I just don’t know when. So over all, life is good.
I’m finding my way around Detroit and I’m fairly comfortable with the city. There are some parts, architecturally, that are so beautiful that it is heartbreaking and simultaneously so desolated and run down, it is also equally heartbreaking. I haven’t done as much exploring as I would have liked, considering that we’ve had such a rough and long winter (snows until end of April) that the idea of exploring just wasn’t palpable. But now that the glorious spring days are here, I’m totally up for it. I do miss watching my daffodils sprout and strut at Wilcox Park the beginning of every spring.
The cross-roads is that last summer I started a writing project of which I only completed one piece of flash fiction, submitted it to several websites for consideration only to find that the databases took a dump shortly after I did the submission and thus lost my work. By the time I found out, I was gutted and also too busy to re-submit and start over. So that project was shelved for the time being. Justin has always been my biggest supporter when it came to my writing and while he’s not the first person to suggest I could make a living at it, he’s been the most vocal and the most pushy about it.
For Single Awarness Day this year the only thing he wanted from me was a short story of which I never wrote. I had ideas™ but nothing ever really came to fruition. Lately, more so then ever, I’ve become envious of people I know who are living the writerly life. It seems that I keep running into people or meeting them digitally who create these fantastic worlds around their writing and the tentacles of their work stretch far and wide. Writing was always the one thing I thought I was quite good at, something I really, really wanted to do and it seems however that the more involved I become with this new profession of mine, the more intense and time-suckage it becomes, the least likely I’ll make a living as a writer – and not just a writer, but an author.
So even though I’m heading on this really great career path that I’m passionate about, there is still this niggling feeling that I need to stop absorbing other people’s work and create my own. This is not to say that I want to give up doing what I’m doing – not by a long shot, but I really need to figure out how how to make the two worlds converge. Lessening up my activity on Twitter might be a good start as well as starting to plot out what it is I want to write. Justin has always said that I could be a really great writer if I start actually writing again, doing something more than dropping non-sequitors in Twitter or writing provocative posts on my blog or other places. The talent is there but it’s waning and it needs to be fed.
I met a friend of mine for breakfast meeting the other day and as it usually is with me, we ended up spending 3.5 hours talking about everything. We both remarked that the tables around us have all turned over at least thrice since we sat down and the lunch crowd was starting to thin out. Much of what I told her about my life seemed incredulous such as the ex-highschool boyfriend who stalked me from Facebook last winter or the reigniting of the relationship with Justin again. Even I admitted wholeheartedly that if I didn’t know it was true myself (and had blog posts, friends and other methods of documentation at hand to prove it), I would have thought I was a total bullshitter. Katishna has always said that I don’t create the drama but that drama followed me where I went.
My life, in a lot of ways, is pretty extraordinary in a Lifetime movie kind of way. Cathrynne wrote of much of what I was feeling recently, about the confessional side of writing. Since 1996, I’ve been pouring out my heart and soul, laying bare everything that I was for the world to see and not giving a damn who saw it. Age, perhaps, has dampened that need for dissipation of the soul. There are some horrors in my life that I’m not sure I want to revisit quite so soon.
The relationship fall-out with TheEx, for example, still reverberates in ways I never expected. Steph, my expert on all things with crazy men, said that it’s almost impossible to think I would be completely healed in such a short amount of time considering the intensity and brevity of the relationship itself. I know she’s right, but me being me wants the fall-out to be over.
Before the winter semester ended, I spoke to one of my professors about going on for my PhD (which she does fully support) but I was worried that I would not bring anything new to the table of research. The best advice she gave was that one can always bring something new to the table, even in academia when it looks like everything has been researched to death, one can always bring a new or fresh perspective on an issue. I think writing is a lot like that – the basics of writing have been done to death, we know this. It’s the original voices and their perspectives that make all the difference. I admire a lot of writers in a variety of genres, so I know it’s possible to do this. I just now have to figure out how and that will start with the short story for Justin, because he asked.

A recap, an update, and the like.

Right now there is a battle of noises happening between Wednesday and the radiators. Wednesday wins, hands down. For an 18lb Pug, she snores like no ones bidness. A lot has happened in the last month, way too much to document in one post, so I’ll give the run down (in no particular order):

  • Moved from Grand Rapids to Royal Oak on 1/11/09 and am currently enraptured with my new surroundings.
  • Started my new job as a reference librarian at Wayne on 1/5/09. Yes, notice the disparity in dates. For the first week, I commuted from E. Lansing to Detroit. (As I’m still in school, I am not technically a librarian, but a GSA. Technically, I’m not a GSA but a library intern. Manager refers to interns AND GSAs as “GSAs” to keep it simpler for her, and well, I’m doing reference librarian work. It’s all semantics.)
  • Am attempting to transfer from $corporate_bookstore in G-Rap to one that is (obvs) local to me. Downside to this development is that one of the stores in my new area closed and currently they are placing the displaced employees in local stores first before transfers. I’m not getting a paycheck BUT my bennies will hold out until the beginning of March as a last case scenario. Broke but if anything happens, I’m covered.
  • I got a 4.0 last semester, which is awesome (obvs). This semester the classes are more challenging and I need to get my groove on to keep up with the work. I’m taking a digital imaging archiving class, library management and cataloging. Currently, my plan of work is still to obtain the IS and Archival certification along with my MLIS but who knows how that will end up.
  • I’ve got a new man in my life – Justin. It’s almost like out of one of those torrid RomComs: We met, fell in love and immediately shacked up together over a decade ago and were together for a year or so while we were both living in California. We split, I moved out of state to D.C. and haven’t spoken to him in nearly a decade. He got in touch with me shortly after TheEx and I broke up last March and we became friends again. He stood by me and worked with me while going through all the residual shit from the break-up. Ideas were tossed about seeing each other again, as friends, and the idea of getting involved with anyone romantically seemed highly stupid (of me) and made me queasy. But we talked, and talked some more, and continued to talk almost every night for over eight months. Decided somewhere along the way we should reconnect physically as friends and talked about the probability of romance — but there were no guarantees that anything physical was going to happen, rather, just the excitement of seeing each other was enough. But the romance DID happen, organically, and it’s better than before. MUCH better. It’s downright awesome. Everything I liked about him is still there and everything that irritated me changed for the better and he feels the same way about me. The biggest difference is the passion is much higher and hotter and we talk – about everything, even if it means that what we are saying is not going to bode well for the other person. While a decade younger than TheEx, he handles things much more maturely and Justin gets me — he’s always gotten me. The awesome part is that this has all the sparks of something “new” while we have memories of the old. He’s a wonderful man, I’m so glad he came back into my life. He means the world to me, I’d be completely lost without him.
  • has garnered enough hits on the library school front to encourage me to continue to write more about my experiences, trials and tribulations of going to school and working in an academic library (and possibly holding down another part-time job). This upcoming weekend, I’m doing the final push to get everything unpacked and sorted before the semester gets into full swing so that I can concentrate more on doing updates here. Sometimes I feel like I have so much to write about here and I don’t because I didn’t make the time for it but I want to change that (for the better obvs). There is a lot going on in librarianship that is not being addressed or overlooked and that just makes the profession even farther behind in viability and interest to potential students. I feel I have a lot I can contribute to this discussion so of course I will be opening up my mouth and talking about it.

It’s late and I have a zillion things to do tomorrow before my cataloging class. Yay Dewey and LOC! Go team!

Internet rockstar for all of 5.2 seconds

Everytime I post on lib schooled., my blog automagically updates my Twitter and my LJ with the entry. This always makes me giddy for some reason, I have no idea why.
When my twitter updated with this entry@pandora_radio on Twitter caught it and broadcast it to the masses. I was talking with Lucia, the CM and she told me that a lot of people seemingly liked the station I created. I also found out that she, too, is a librarian!

a brief and quick update

Had to take a deep breath there for a moment as I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO AND VERY LITTLE TIME TO DO IT! type of mood. I shouldn’t even be writing at this hour but hey, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
First up, the image is from the wonderful site indexed, which I’ve fallen in love with recently. That card is one of my favorites and also available on a t-shirt. Size men’s M if you want to get me something for the holidays.
Secondly, I’ve created another blog that will be a group collaborative thing for one of my classes. We are working on a group presentation on intellectual freedom, with my sub-topic being book censorship. This should prove to be awesome if we can get it off the ground.
Thirdly, I’ve got a wonderful set of things I want to discuss about lib school, including writing a “so you want to be a librarian” series discussing topics that I wish that I had found when I was researching lib schools. If by judging from some of the communities I read on wanna be’s and current grad school participants, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of running around with the head cut off scenerio — of which I’m gleefully one.
I’m also planning out more observations on some of the work I’ve been doing along with commentary on current attitudes towards the practice. I also have some minor research I have to do to solidify some of my opinions or to figure out some of the theory behind, for example, why librarians seem to hate people who work in bookstores. I’m not the only one who has felt this, which is interesting because we should work together in a parallel manner but we seemingly are not.
My eyes are currently glazing over, so it’s time to hit the hay.

Those librarians, they sure do know how to party

[Maintenance note: I’ve just updated WordPress and my blog theme to the latest and greatest and am still debugging the hell out of it. Things should be back to normal in a day or two.]
Things for the last month or so have been fairly dramarific and full of chaos. I emotionally and verbally discharged all of that pent up rage and aggression over on my livejournal for a bit, realized I had to but a squelch on that behaviour right quick and locked up seven years of LiveJournal entries to friends-only. This decision was long in coming, something I’ve been debating about for years really, because I’ve been writing online for so long and so prolifically that I would constantly argue with myself (and others) that this is who I am — I’m the one who has no problems airing her business in public. So to me, shutting the world out from my thoughts, no matter how repugnant, vile or vindictive they may have been at the time, seemed just totally dishonest. It felt like I was hiding bits and pieces of myself when dammit, you should take all or nothing. I am Lisa, hear me roar.
But it wasn’t the current drama with the ex-bastard, my online temper tantrums in regards to that or the fact that every, single thing about the last seven years on livejournal nor the five years before that on that I’ve spent meticously documenting every facet of my life that was bothering me. My past is my past and I can never change that — but it was my future that suddenly seemed so bright and full of promise that I had to damage control everything possible to make the best me there is out to be.
I’ve spent the last several days in Detroit attending lib school orientation at Wayne State and knew, before I went, that I had to present myself as the best self possible. For years I’ve always underplayed my awsomeness in that I never really set out to achieve all the things I could achieve, rather, I just skulked along and did what I thought was best for the situation and just kept plodding along. I never really set out to want something really badly because if I didn’t get it, failure would disarm me even more. I kept myself locked up in this totally ridiculous situation that I set out to do the bare minimum as humanly possible and skate along until something found me. And while it did, it was never really enough.
It never really is.
Armed with this information, I was determined to stop repeating bad habits and was determined to own Wayne State by the time I graduate. In order to do that, the first thing I had to do was knock off the silly shell of “shyness” that I constantly covet and steeled myself to grab every possibility and opportunity as humanly possible. I was going to fuck with the eagles, dammit and learn how to fly.
My excitement was palpable when I drove into the parking lot at Wayne. I announced, giddy, that I was here for the lib school orientation and I was SOO excited to be here. The steely security guard cracked a smile and announced, “We are excited to have you here. Welcome to the University.” (You could hear the captial “U” in university.)
For the next two days, I put myself out there. I became the gregarious person that everyone who knows me knows me to be and I started making friends, contacts, networked and introduced myself all over the place. The profs enthusiasm for the program was contagious and the more they talked up the hard work and the program, the more rearing I was ready to go. It was the first institution, ever, that made me feel like I really belonged there. That I was a part of something really awesome and terrific and new. I’ve got a stack of business cards, emails and phone numbers and the like of new people who are as excited about me as I am excited about them. I can’t WAIT for school to begin in the next two weeks.
Things are changing and I’m so totally excited about the change. I’ve got a gazillion plans, natch, and I can’t wait for all of this to begin.
I’m so going to totally own Wayne when I’m done, they have no idea. 😉

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