Sunday, April 21, 2013

Teachable Moment

I can get annoyed like anyone else. And like most people, there are things that annoy me more so than others. Like: college students and people who think music is the end all be all are two things that annoy me easily. So the other day when a college student felt the need to enlighten me about his music preference superiority, my annoyance tolerance was shot to hell from the second the kid opens his mouth.

student: I would like to donate a book to you guys that I have because you don't have it.
me: Well we have a policy actually of not accepting book donations. But someone at the center desk over there can tell you who to talk to about collection development.
student: It's a biography. You guys have several other books on this subject, several copies of a few of them, but you don't have this particular one. This one is really important and you guys should have it.

I was only slightly annoyed that he didn't listen to me, but that's pretty much what happens all the time with the college students I see at work, so I wasn't going to get all bent out of shape over this. He was more offend that I didn't want his book than I was by him not listening. But then he kept talking and tried to explain to me why we needed to have this book

student: It's a biography on Duke Ellington. Like the most important jazz musician of all time. You guys really need this book, and I want to to give it to you because it's so important. Music is life, you know? It's my passion, the most important thing.

So here's where I went from slightly annoyed to completely annoyed. Because as we all know, I have heard, dealt with, and left the music is my passion and most important thing ever dude. I probably heard those words verbatim or close enough before. And music? Not the most important thing ever. I was in choir and marching band, I used to know how to read music and I definitely think music classes should remain in schools, but "having a passion" for music is a far cry from "making a living" off this nonsense. While I know there are professional musicians who do make a living from music, and I respect the time and talent it takes to get to that tier, it's still not the most important thing ever. And besides, just because you think something is the most important thing, doesn't make the rest of the world agree with you. And you certainly shouldn't be foisting your opinions on me or anyone for that matter. (Impartiality is part of being a librarian, and the ability to providing equal access to all sides of something. (OK, well a public library, I guess if I worked in a special library I could be a lot more judicious in what kind of access people get to particular subjects))

I know this student had no idea what he stepped into with that comment or that my particular background with another "music is my passion" would annoy the crap out of me. But I still wanted him to just go away and to take his opinions with him. But I realized I could make this a teachable moment and said:

me: Well, I think unicorns are important. And we don't have a lot of books on those here either.
student: Uh....but this is Duke Ellington. You know who he is right? That this is important!?
me: I've heard of him. Now, the center desk over there can tell you who to discuss collection development with. Have a good day.

OK, not the best teachable moment and the kid probably thinks I'm a kook. But at least it was a little snarky. I count that as a win.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dogs Know

After seeing Bailey on the couch on one side of me, Jules came over (and after being invited) curled up on the other side of me. Having a dog on both sides use to make me melt and be so utterly happy with life. This time I just burst into tears.

Because dogs know. Dogs know who to respect, who they can boss around, who will let them get away with shit, who likes them, who doesn't, and who to suck up to. Dogs know.

Bailey knows that I love her and that will never change. But Bailey also respects me. Jules knows I don't care for her like I use to, but it doesn't really matter because she can get away with anything with everybody except the dog trainer. (Who Jules bit by the way, because the trainer dared to correct her.) I don't hate Jules, but I really don't want to like her either. I could care less about her misbehaving and even if she does I don't dare say anything out of fear of loosing my head.

And she knows that. Dogs know.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Home Improvements

So as a way of trying to distract myself from the factory of sadness stress and woe that is my life, I want to do something. (Or take a trip to escape for a while. But that involves time and extra money, two things that are lacking so not going to happen.) So by "something," I mean I want to make improvements and add character to my suburbia hoa-nazi regulated house. And I actually have the mindset and skills to do this due to my half degree in interior design. I can visualize and imagine and figure out how things will look and make it work.

Part of the not doing anything (but paint) is that I can't decide what I actually want to do. Yellow walls? Red walls? Subway tile? Pressed tin back splash? Bead board? With dark brown walls? Subway tile? Glass tile? Glass subway tile? With yellow walls? So. Many. Options. But one thing I've been wanting to do is since moving to Charlotte is have a kitchen back splash. So the other day we went to Home Depot and Lowes to see if they had any tile that we liked, and their selection is pretty limited. Once again, see: half degree in interior design. So I know that what they have on the shelves is not even remotely close to a wide tile selection. So to get the look that I'm thinking (for the moment), we'll probably have to special order. At the very least I need a sample just so I can get a better idea of what I'm dealing with. Which is fine.

My husband however, did not go to design school and lacks the skill to visualize a space and the skill of seeing a small sample (or picture. Or drawing. Seriously, I sketched an area of our house to get a basic idea of where I wanted a color and he couldn't visualize it. And this has nothing to do with my drawing skills either.) and figuring out how it will look in a larger scale. But that's ok because not everyone has that particular skill and if they did then there would be no need for designers in the first place. And I know that if he sees all the options he'll get really overwhelmed  just quit. (Which is why with wedding planning I did a lot of research on my own he had no idea about and then would present him with 3-4 choices.) In theory he's fine with going along with my ideas, he even likes most of them. But not before he asks a lot of questions in trying to do something outside his skill set. (Research, his skill set. Diy, my skill set) And he's very hesitant to do anything to the house without knowing what the finished product will look like and that he's sure he'll like it. Because you really don't want to redo something, I get it. But he can't really visualize something so he won't know if he'll like it until he sees the finished project...

At this rate and with the amount of extra money we have it looks like I'm not distracting myself with too much home improvement either. Sigh. Maybe I'll just read a book.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Lack of Silver Linings

I'm looking forward to some very bright spots in the next few months, mainly weddings and lots of babies (though none of them mine). I'm super excited about these. But they don't relate to any of the dark clouds in my life and won't do much to pull me out of the factory of sadness and woe I'm going through.

I'm stressed with school. I had to drop a class this semester because I couldn't keep up with the work. And on top of that I'm easily distracted from the work that I can keep up with. This semester ends soon, but a week after that I start summer classes that are even more fast paced and intense. And the week after summer classes I start fall with another very full, very stressful schedule that I have to get done in order to graduate by May 2014. I want to have a baby in 2014 but I don't want to have one when I'm trying to finish grad school. I mean, if happens it happens, people have babies/children while they are in school all the time and they make it work. And I'm not opposed to being pregnant that last few months of school, imagine how cute and happy I'd be waddling as I receive my masters. But I can barely keep up now and I've already deferred a semester before, and I know myself well enough that if a newborn is added into the mix I'll crumble due to me already being stretched too thin. And I cannot crumble when I'm a mom.

But having a baby means I'm going to need maternity care somewhat soon. And insurance companies don't start coverage right away and don't always pay for anything when you actually need it. So when I actually need maternity coverage in a few months, I need to add maternity care to the private plan that I have now. Except my private plan doesn't have that option, and there's only one semi-affordable private plan with a different company out there that does offer it. And the problem there is that the company that does offer maternity I already applied to right after I was married. They kept my info and approved me for coverage, but then they lost the application and froze my account, so I never actually received any coverage in general. And because of my frozen application, I can't apply with them again. Seriously, I tried. That was the reason I went with the company I'm with now. I could get a job that offers benefits, but those are really hard to get in general. And right now I work full time between two part time library jobs that I really really like and had a very very hard time even landing in the first place, and I don't want to leave either one. There was a small hiring frenzy for full time staff a month ago for one of the systems that I work for, and I was impressive enough to interview for 2 of the positions, but not impressive enough to actually get them. And now the rest of the full time positions that I applied for have been frozen, so there's no longer any opportunities to grow. I know how lucky I am to be where I am now, and I know it is incredibly ungrateful for me to feel stuck in a holding pattern.

But the darkest cloud I'm in is over loosing Bailey. Dreading isn't a strong enough word and I can't find the words to describe the amount of pain and hell I'm going through. I wish she was gone already so I didn't have to live like this. But what I really wish is that I could change the past and not saved her 5 years ago. I wish I had understood unconditional love and that I had the strength to let her go then. Even when Bailey is living happily ever after somewhere else, her memory is everywhere. And I don't know how well I'll be able to move on from this loss when it does happen when I still have to live with that other dog rubbing salt in my wounds.  

And I know this is life, it moves on, time heals and all those other cliche adages people are so found of saying when you are grieving are true. But I don't want to be told to cheer up. I don't want to be comforted as I cry. I don't want to be fixed at the moment. I don't want to talk to anyone either because the last time I went to a counselor they said everything my husband wanted to hear. And while I will be genuinely happy when I need to be, I don't have much of a silver lining to look forward to. I. Am. SAD. And I get to be that way for a while.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


My husband and I planning on having a family in the not too too far off future. But we're not trying to have a baby at this moment, despite the fact that my baby fever is to the moon and there's no way it's coming back down. Which, you know what? We're both super educated good looking nice people, the world should be begging us to populate it with more of our awesomeness. (God I hope my kids aren't assholes.)

Anyway. The key word there is planning. And to plan, we need to figure out a pattern. So after talking to my doctor, the place we start is just making sure stuff is working. And because I'm super exited at the thought of planning, that means I haven't been this excited to get my period since I was 14. But that excitement quickly wore off when I remembered: god I hate hate my period. Oh well.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Biggest Looser Is Me

I am finding Bailey a new home.
For real this time, I've put up ads for her on both my work/staff blogs and my trainer has put her on their facebook page. I've got coworkers asking their spouse's coworkers and friends asking friends. It won't happen overnight, but Bailey won't be my dog for much longer.

The back story: the dogs got into a fight while they were being boarded at the trainers a few weeks ago. Bailey got anxious and started a fight with Jules, but they were separated and no one got hurt. Then Jules attacked Bailey 5 more times, and on that 5th time Bailey bit and stubborn little dog that wouldn't stop attacking went to the vet again. (She's healed fine now)  Mike has reached his breaking point. To make a long story short: Bailey and Jules don't get along 100% of the time. (Just Bailey and Jules, Bailey has played well with others) But when you combine the potential of a fight somewhere in the future with his always been a little scared of Bailey...she has to leave me. And I just can't fight for her anymore, I'm so tired. I'm tired of my husband being scared of my dog. I'm tired of him bringing up every single one of Bailey's past incidents as if I didn't know how he feels. I'm tired of the horrified looks if I say anything less than favorable about Jules when my feelings have been so deeply hurt over Bailey and on a constant basis. I'm tired of living in fear that I am going to lose her. I have fought tooth and nail for my dog, and I just can't do it anymore. I'm so sorry Bailey that I've failed you and it is absolutely breaking my heart.

My dog is not worth my marriage, but me giving her up is an enormous sacrifice. It's not fair but no matter what I lose. I still give up Bailey who I fiercely vowed to never let go again. If I make my husband give Jules away he resents and hate me. (I'm already resented for even thinking about it in the first place.) I didn't have to try to think of Jules as my own, and I wanted to love her as much as I love Bailey. She's likable and my heart grew to fit her next to Bailey. But now... because those 2 can't get along all the time, that dog has broken my heart and left an emptiness she'll never be able to fill. I don't hate Jules, though part of me wants to out of loyalty to Bailey. But I don't have to love her anymore either. She's just a dog that I have to live with now. I know when Bailey finds her new family she's going to be just fine. She may even forget me in time, though I'll never be able to forget her. Bailey's life will carry on and be great and that's what matters. Giving up a pet is a hard choice no matter who you are. But I wish I didn't have to be the biggest looser of everyone.