Sights, sounds, smells.

There's a rhythm to the morning turning on of the computers: power button, monitor, power button, monitor, power button, monitor, all the way down the row in alphabetical order, making the L-shaped bend between computers E and F. Then the logging on. User name, tab, password. I move down the row at a brisk clip, not unappreciative of the aural differences in the clatter of keyboards under my fingers. Computer H belongs in a movie, as it has that perfect late-night-blogger, genius coder, Nora Ephron penpal sound that's somewhere between a click and a clack.

After that, I conducted a canon of Windows welcome sounds with the trio of circ-desk computers. #tinydeskconcert.

***
In the big, picture windows that flank the fireplace, I can watch the storms clouds roll in, unload their glorious bounty on our roof (more wonderful clatter) and roll on out. The great, grey mounds of cloud build and disperse three or four times over the course of my shift, accenting the bright summer foliage of the trees down our hill. I always marvel at how the colors of the world always look more brilliant with the gloom of a storm behind them.

I'm not the only one who dances with glee at the sight. Abby and May both love the summer storms too, maybe as much as I do.

***
Laminating is a joy beyond all other joys. The hot film fusing to the sparkling new dust-jackets of our recent book order smells like hot glue guns and happiness. The finished product is a yards-long sheet of plastic that has spilled over the counter and onto the floor, folding over on itself multiple times like a sheet of ribbon candy. For the next hour, the work room is filled with the sound of three sets of steel scissor blades slicing the plastic, cutting covers down to size. Three sets of vocal chords sound behind the industrious clamor, as chatty tongues often accompany busy fingers. Before I know it, every cover is ready for its book, and the last minute of my workday has been eaten away. Home now, back again tomorrow.


Hodgepodge

*Can* I write a post than that is shorter than my usual length of "very long"? Also, will I ever remember that I have the wonders of formatting here on blogger and therefore don't have to use asterisks to denote italics? (Probably not for a long time. "Oooldd habits die hard, when you got, When you got a sentimental heart" Thanks Zooey. Thank you for that.) Also, what demon bug keeps biting my ankle?

These are the questions that I will not try to answer tonight.

Tonight, I  write a hodgepodge.

(OOH! 11:11! QUICK! MAKE A WISH! *squints really tight and wishes* >.< Ok, 11:12, back to your previously scheduled broadcasting.)

I've had many half formed thoughts that I've considered fleshing out and writing on, but none of it has been happening, so here I am, sewing a scrap of calico to a strip of flannel to make a crazy-quilt of words.

Things I've considered doing lately:
Stopping my car on the side of the road to fill my arms with black-eye susans on my way home from work.
also
Going to a movie all by myself.  (Didn't because of reasons.)

Conclusions I've come to:
95% of Irish lads are heartbroken 75% of the time. This is 100% based on the music of the High Kings.
also
Scotch tape may smell pretty darn good, but book-laminating-film is the queen of all library supply smells.
also
People should stop writing vampire books.

Completely random news bulletin:
Slowly but surely I'm learning html and css. I feel pretty cool when I'm typing up line of code, even if its still pretty awkward. This is to fuel my never ceasing quest for the perfect blog look.

This is almost too long to be short now. I will never stop attempting to use asterisks to denote italics. I still don't know what demon bug is biting my ankle.

Hodgepodge. over and out.

P.S.
Have you ever wanted to read a book that feels like sitting in a tree on a brisk Sunday afternoon in autumn? Read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Its just as delicious as the title promises. Full review to come soon.









What *Would* I Do Without Her? : An Ode to an Unlikely Friend

I was sitting there in the corner of the loveseat with a hurt in my heart and my phone in my hand. Having just sent up my plaintive distress call, I clicked the center button every time the screen went dark -- as if the lit up screen would bring me a reply sooner. My "I'm having the sads because of reasons" text was quickly answered with an encouraging, "better things are to come."  As the short serious conversation with my (former) roommate gently eased into some general, playful cheering-up, which took the form of surprisingly appropriate references to Frozen, I asked myself again the question I've been pondering for some time now (and will likely continue to ask for some time to come): What *would* I do without her?

I don't really think anyone in our circle of college friends expected Jori and me to mesh as well as we have; the two of us are really very different. She usually looks like she stepped off a fashion shoot, I often look like I fell out of a children's story. I'm a Yankee, she's a Southern Belle. She's only got one sibling, I've got eight. You get the picture... but it was recognized that beneath the outward differences, we each needed other. I'll admit, it took a little while to get going -- when I first met her, she went home every weekend (the-ex-we-don't-speak-of being the main reason) -- but there were the weekends when she was roommateless, and I'd tote my pillow down the hall to sleep in the empty bed, just cause she didn't like to sleep alone. That began the wistful talks of planning to one day be roommates, but only after circumstances were right,  so as to not offend or hurt feelings in the delicate balance of a suiting dorm life.

I'd accompany her on late night trips to Walmart, as her Atlantean instincts told her that all Walmarts are inherently dangerous (a sentiment that I can understand, but don't hold to myself), and she'd listen to me pour out my days woes, offering advice and encouragement where needed as we drove -- once even sitting with me in the parked car as I bawled, head against the steering wheel, because I just *didn't* know what to do. She'd console and promise to make me tea as soon as we got back to the dorm.

Something you should know about Jori: Her tea-making abilities are actually a magical power.

I'd let myself into her room on the mornings we had French together and sit on the bed approving outfits and reminding her of the time, till we finally made it out the door. She'd keep me sane in that utterly *insane* class, writing surreptitious notes and helping me keep track in my record of the professors quirks.

I've watched all her 80's movies with her, while she has genially tolerated my Doctor Who obsession. Even better than tolerating, she even makes an effort to cater to it, (short of actually watching it, which we didn't have time to... academics first you know.) sending me Tardis pins, and learning to recite the Hello Stonehenge monologue with me everytime I felt like belting it out around the townhouse.

She will always be my number one wing-woman, heart-guard, and Russian mafia of one. Seriously, dear readers of the male persuasion, please consider yourself warned: If you even come close to breaking my heart, she *will* stay up nights trying to plot the best way for you to meet an untimely demise. I'm very sorry. I'm trying to break her of it, but its the going is hard.

I will always be the one that can coax her hair in to the perfect braid, and she will always know best how to do an emergency blemish cover up when I've got a date.

I know I've said it probably a thousand times before, but she's the Elsa to my Anna, the Marianne to my Elinor, my unbiological sister and best unlikely friend, and I really *don't* know what I'd do without her.


Life is a playground, but it takes a lot work / You better learn to love, or it'll tear you apart, / cuz in the end, we are measured by the size of our heart, / and we can't do this alone.

The Library Girl Rambles Again!

...if I continue in this pattern, next Tuesday I'll write a post titled "Return of the Rambling Library Girl!" then next, "Brain-Child of the Library Girl" and so-on, spiraling downward into that awful chasm of wretched sequels. I promise not to do that though.

First things first, (do you ever find yourself using a phrase that in your mind you associate with someone else and feel like you should cite it as a quote? I do. But I shan't.) ...Happiness is a cup of Tardis-blend, all warm and berry-sweet and velvety-vanilla and much, much bigger on the inside. But that's not what I'm meaning to ramble about tonight... It was just foremost in my mind, its taste is lingering on my tongue, having just set my empty stoneware aside on the nightstand as I begin to write.

As I was shelving tonight, my fingers skittered across the spine of a book, read long ago and almost forgotten; however, as soon as I saw the title, I could immediately remember where I was when I read it. There are a few books that hold this strong bond with place and time in my memory so that re-reading them--or sometimes merely seeing their covers again--will call forth the friendly ghosts of past reading selves.

Afternoon of the Elves by Janet Taylor Lisle was the book on the shelf this evening that sent me back to a dentist waiting room. All those times as a kid when we all went to the dentist and knocked out 5-6 cleanings in one day certainly lent themselves to getting much reading done. After all the Highlights Magazines had been read cover to cover, I usually settled into my library book, and could wipe out a good chunk of it in the time remaining. Why I specifically remember AoE  and not some other book, I'll never know. One does not simply figure out the why of ones thoughts, reader.

Other book memories? why, yes, of course I'll share!

I'll never read Many Waters by Madeline L'Engle without remembering the One Day Plague that hit our household while we were living in Florida. It was one of those stomach viruses that you just had to resign yourself to, eating absolutely nothing to order minimize discomfort when the inevitable struck. The living room looked liked a battlefront infirmary tent, with pallets laden with the wounded and dying strewn across the ground. I read MW cover to cover that day, in between doses of sickly-pick Pepto, and warm showers to soothe the ache and chills. Despite what you might think, the pairing of sickness with book didn't turn me off to that story forever; rather, its a testament to Ms. L'Engle's powerful storytelling that it was able to draw me away from the misery of illness and carry me through, leave a happy memory in its wake.

Celendine, a faery-story by Steve Augarde, finds me in bed on a rainy afternoon, having cried hard and slept harder after dropping my best friend off at the airport. The weight of the heaviest comforter, the cloak of the low grey sky and my complete immersion in the story distracted me from my depths of despair that day. Again, the unpleasantness of that moment has become one of my best memories; in every grey and dreary day I remember the security of the covers wrapped tightly, and the story holding me tight and wish I could recreate it and escape all over again. It hasn't happened yet, but I always hold out on that hope.

The Great Gatsby, the most recent addition to my reading memories, was consumed over spring break in the enveloping depths of our great, green loveseat. I was keeping house on my own for my older brothers and dad that week, while my mom and the youngers were away. When dinner was taken care of, and house tidied, I would fish the slim paperback out of the cushion, where it had retreated in my absence, and hunt down my purple-clipped mechanical pencil--the one that was lovingly tracing out choice sentences to remember later--and join dear Nick Carraway in his observing and befriending of the great Jay Gatsby. Unlike some of the other books I've recounted here, there was no element of misery to this reading. Everything was well at that time--almost even better than usual. The situation and the reading both were perfect. I suppose there is a twinge of sadness, of longing to have that exact moment back over and over again, to discover my kinship to Nick, to fall in love with Daisy's voice, Gatsby's smile, all just like it was the very first time. But, time is sadly linear, best beloved, and we must move forward to experience new things, read new books, only pausing to back at the past with a smile, and a gladness of heart that it did in fact happen.

My mom has come and gone from my room just now, finding a seat in nearby Lucy Maud to hear my work stories from the night, then heading off to bed. The whole house is silent, still. Here in the aloneness that is oh-so-not-lonely am I most alive. I could conceivably scribble on for hours more, had I more intimate knowledge of the reader on the other side of my screen; I have, on occasion, found myself in that place of deliciously wild inspiration that lead me on into the wee sma's (as Anne called those early morning hours). But not tonight, reader; not tonight.