Saturday, September 30, 2006

iFob @ the iSchool

Look at me multitask: I'm writing this post while listening to an online lecture on gathering information. The online lecture is actually not for the distance course I'm taking, which is the sort of course you'd expect to have an online lecture in, but for a residential course called The Information Life Cycle. Besides this online lecture, I also have to listen to another online lecture and read 40 pages of text before the next six-hour class on Tuesday. Thankfully, this course only lasts two weeks, and after that it'll be replaced by two courses that only meet for two and a half hours each, two days a week. This all adds up to thirteen credits I'm taking this quarter, alongside about thirty-five hours a week of work. I am insane.

Thursday was the first day of class. That first class, coming right after Monday's new student orientation, has convinced me that much of this program is going to frustrate me. Don't get me wrong--UW's Information School is one of the best in the nation, right on the cutting edge of everything that's happening in the world of information. Which is sort of the problem. I am absolutely fascinated by the things all my professors are studying: the role of information systems in a digital world; the effect of online corporations like, iTunes, and Netflix on the way people interact with various kinds of information; and the information use habits of Zulu sub-tribes wandering in East Antarctica. I find these sorts of things interesting, but they're not what I came to library school to learn.

See, the fact is, I didn't really come to library school. I'm in a library and information science program, with enthusiastic emphasis on the information part, and a sort of techno-savvy, snooty frown on the library part. I certainly see the value in the study of non-library-related information science, and more than anything I think the faculty is trying to get us to broaden our horizons to other information careers beyond libraries, but I already know what I want to be when I grow up: a librarian. (All right, I'll admit that I wasn't so sure of this about eight months ago when I was hoping to get into an English PhD program, but that's in the past now, so let's just not talk about it, okay?) What I think the iSchool needs to do is create two programs--an information science program for people who want to grow up and work for Google, and a library science program for people who want to work in a good old-fashioned library (or even a new-fashioned one).

I take hope in the promises of the various faculty members that once we get past this first year we'll move beyond abstract theory into practical practice, and I confirmed this today when I attended the one and only live meeting of the distance course I'm taking. See, I'm not supposed to be taking any courses besides the three introductory courses intended for first-year students, but I'm impatient so I'm taking a course on youth services for public libraries. The course is taught by Seattle Public Library's youth services coordinator, and we're talking about all sorts of real life, real library issues. And this, my friends, is the reason I'm in library school--to learn how to be a librarian.

So I'll enjoy the information theory classes for the curious oddities they are, knowing that once I get through them I'll be able to take cool courses like collection development and cataloguing and intellectual freedom and advocacy for public libraries and even an ultra-cool course on readers' advisory taught by the librarian action figure herself. (Please note, Christmas shoppers, that I don't yet own a librarian action figure.) And then, one day, I'll be a real librarian in a real library, and I'll do real librarian things. And maybe some day, somebody will make a Master Fob librarian action figure. And then I will die a happy man.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Job Thoughts (Only Two)

1. This past summer, I had a hell of a time answering the phone correctly at each of my two jobs. Every time I'd pick up the phone I'd have to mentally review the options--"Library #1, this is Master Fob, how may I help you?" or "Library #2, this is Master Fob, how may I help you?"--and more than a few times my lips chose the wrong option. Now when I pick up a phone at work I first review those two options, then I remember that I'm supposed to say, "Libraries information, this is Master Fob, how may I help you?" because I'm at the information desk and it doesn't matter that I specify which library I'm at. On Friday, though, when I work at the reference desk, I'll have to add another option to my mental menu, and then in no time I'll be answering the phone at my new new job, and I'll probably just start picking up the receiver and saying, "What do you want?"

2. The nice thing about my new new job being at a very expensive store is that if I just assist with one or two transactions then I've helped the store make enough to pay me for a week. At the old new job, where I have helped exactly eleven people in the last five hours, and for the most part they just wanted to know where the bathroom was, it's much harder to measure my worth.

The New New Job

Not instead of the old new job, but rather in addition.

Yesterday I interviewed for a job at a high-end gift shop in University Village and today I started work. As it turns out, my immediate supervisor at the new new job is a coworker at the old new job. I think this is one of the factors that got me the job, along with the fact that I have missionary experience, which is sort of like sales experience, and that I'm a guy, which makes me a sort of novelty at this kind of store. The main selling points for me were that
  • it is less than a five-minute walk from my back door;
  • it is seasonal, which means come January I can get another job that is more library-related (or Foxy J can get a job);
  • it pays enough to, in addition to my old new job, cover the rent and other necessities;
  • they actually called back.
All in all, not a bad deal.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Seattle vs. Utah

In case there are any of you who haven't been to both Seattle and Utah, or perhaps you've never been to either, I've taken a photo of each place to help you see the difference.

Here's Seattle:

And here's Utah:

Monday, September 25, 2006

Moving Could Have Been Worse--Much Worse

I'm so thankful this didn't happen to us, but that doesn't make me feel any less horrible for the poor family it did happen to.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fobsvithe: What's My Problem?

20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 30: 20-21 (KJV)

My Lord will provide for you meager bread and scant water. Then your Guide will no more be ignored, but your eyes will watch your Guide; and, whenever you deviate to the right or to the left, your ears will heed the command from behind you: "This is the road; follow it!"

Isaiah 30: 20-21 (New JPS Translation,
because sometimes two translations are better than one)

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post. Katria (whose name I still need to update on my sidebar) makes a great point--the actual interview is not as offensive as the article makes it sound (due, I'm sure, not to any malicious intent on the author's part, but rather to the nature of summarizing). I will freely admit that I was already angry before I read the words of the interview, and that anger colored my perception, so don't assume that I've reported anything accurately or objectively; if you care about Dallin H. Oaks's opinion on homosexuality, go read his words yourself.

The experiences and feelings Mark shared helped me get a little closer to figuring out exactly what I'm feeling, and even Anonymous (who is not as anonymous as he might think he is, thanks to Site Meter, and could learn a thing or two from his fellow commenters on how to disagree respectfully without being confrontational or rude) made a valid point or two, despite his characteristic ability to attribute meaning to my words that I explicitly stated was neither my intention nor my belief.

What I concluded this afternoon is that I attach so much importance to what LDS leaders do or don't say about homosexuality because I have been doing something the LDS church did a good job of teaching me not to--trusting in the arm of flesh. I wanted validation from people who I believed to speak for God; I wanted them to tell me that what I was doing was right, that God approved. This is silly. I know very well that God approves of my choices--or at least I know just as well as anyone can. I don't need an ecclesiastical leader to tell me something I already know. I know I'm on the right path, because at each step, at each turn in the road, I've heard a voice behind me saying, "This is the road; follow it!"

Yes, this is the bed I've made, or rather it's the bed God helped me make. I will gladly sleep in it.

Good night.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Excuse Me While I Rant

First, a disclaimer or two:
  • I did not get married under any illusion that marriage would change my sexual orientation.
  • I did not marry Foxy J because the Mormon church told me to. I decided to get married--in a general sense, before I actually had any real live prospects--largely because I felt that marriage was expected of me as a good Mormon boy, both doctrinally and culturally, and because I had been taught that marriage was the option that would lead to the greatest happiness, but I chose to marry Foxy J specifically because I loved her and wanted to be with her and I felt, independently of the church, that marrying her was the choice that would lead to my greatest happiness.
  • I do not regret having made that decision. To the contrary, I am quite in love with Foxy and our two children and am quite happy with my life.
  • I do not hate the LDS church or believe it is evil or wish its leaders any harm. It is a good organization that does many good things, and I recognize that many people I love and admire believe its leaders to be inspired by God. In fact, I don't even fully disagree with that belief. I hope none of you will take offense at the following post. Please believe that none is intended.
Now that I've gotten logic out of the way, allow me to dump on you my emotional response to a newspaper article I read today.

In one of the first drafts of "Staying In," I expressed some anger at Gordon B. Hinckley, current president of the LDS church, over some comments he'd made in an interview with Larry King. I was frustrated by President Hinckley's response to King's question about the cause of homosexuality: "I don't know. I'm not an expert on these things. I don't pretend to be an expert on these things. The fact is, they have a problem."

"How can you say you don't know?" I demanded of him. "How can you shrug it off so easily? Don't you realize how many thousands of people are relying on you to 'be an expert on these things'? Maybe you're not an expert, but you supposedly represent someone who is. If you don't know, then ask God. That's your job. Don't go on national television telling me you can't help me because you aren't an expert on my 'problem.'"

Th. and Queen Zippergut (I don't remember whether Melyngoch agreed or disagreed with them) wisely advised me to remove the attack on the leader of the Mormon church from the article I intended to publish in a journal read almost exclusively by Mormons. I did. But I still thought it. And now I'm throwing their prudent advice out the window.

I have gotten basically this same vibe from any statement on homosexuality made by any leader of the LDS church. "Don't look at me," they say. "I don't know. All I know is, you better not let two men get married. That's bad." A couple years ago Foxy and I attended an Evergreen conference. Some General Authority (a term used to describe the central leadership of the LDS church), I don't remember who, spoke at the conference. He prefaced his talk with the following (and I paraphrase liberally):

"I'm sure you're expecting me to give a talk pertaining to your particular situation [meaning homosexuality, as this was a conference specifically for homosexual Mormons, and we all had paid a good chunk of money to come and learn more about homosexuality]. Well, guess what? I'm going to recycle a talk I gave last week at a singles' fireside, because there's nothing special or unique about your situation. [And, by the way, I wouldn't have the faintest clue of what to say about homosexuality because, frankly, the very word makes me uncomfortable.]"

As I read Dallin H. Oaks's comments about homosexuality (in the interview mentioned in the Salt Lake Trib article linked above), I grew furious. Basically, this is the LDS church's position on homosexuality:
  • Homosexual relationships will lead only to misery and despair.
  • Gay marriage is very very bad. No, make that very very very bad. [Emphasis mine.]
  • You're welcome to try change-oriented therapy, but chances are it won't work, so we don't officially condone it.
  • Marriage is probably a bad idea, and basically I wouldn't risk my daughter on one of you, but if you find someone who's willing to take you, then go ahead. Good luck. Just don't blame us when it doesn't work.
When it comes to homosexuality, the church has a lot to say about what not to do, but very little about what to do. It seems like the current recommendation is to live a life of celibacy, but then you take the apocryphal Brigham Young quote about unmarried men over 27 being menaces to society, and you're left with no options. Apparently the whole marriage-is-required-for-exaltation thing doesn't apply to gay Mormons. Or maybe we were just less valiant in the preexistence, so we'll have to settle for the Terrestrial Kingdom. Maybe we should just build a fence. I don't understand how people can be so damn sure about gay marriage being such an awful, horrible thing that the Church has to make official pronouncements urging members to vote to make it unconstitutional, yet no one is willing to offer a viable alternative.

What it comes down to is this: The LDS church taught me that heterosexual marriage is the only way to achieve ultimate happiness in this life and the world to come. They taught me that God wants all his children to marry and have families. So I said, despite sexual inclinations leading me in another direction, "What the hay, I'll give it a go." Then once I made that decision, they cut the ropes, washed their hands, and offered me no real support specific to my needs.

"But Master Fob," you might say, "you just said that you're happily married. It sounds like you're making it work, with or without support from LDS church leadership." And that, my friends, is exactly the point. When I realized that Gordon B. Hinckley was not going to offer me any real direction pertinent to the one thing I've struggled most with--my attempt to reconcile my sexual drive with my relationship to God and my desire to live morally--and that any direction I was going to get in that area would have to come straight from God, I began to question what purpose the prophet really did serve. I wouldn't say that he serves no purpose at all. Like many other good men and women who do their best to serve God, he serves as a reminder of to whom we should look for direction. Until he offers something more than a list of Thou Shalt Nots to the thousands and thousands of gay Mormons who look to him as a shepherd, though, I refuse to believe that he is anything more than just that--a good man doing his best to serve God.

Thankfully, I don't have to rely on his best. He's not an expert on these things, you see. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to talk to someone who is. I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Friday, September 22, 2006


If I'd known they had named an entire building after me, I might have stuck around longer.

Bike Commuting

I have been a bike commuter now for two weeks. Every morning as I tuck my right pant leg into my sock, strap on my helmet, and head off for work, I feel so metropolitan and environmentally conscious. I quietly give myself a pat on the back, even though the truth is I could not drive if I wanted to--if you live in student family housing, you aren't allowed to buy a ridiculously expensive campus parking permit.

The ride to work (which will be exactly the same as the ride to school) is between ten and fifteen minutes, depending on which way I'm going. The way there, for some reason, is quite a bit more difficult and thus slower. The majority of the ride is on a paved bike trail and if there's an incline it's visually imperceptible, but each morning as I ride to work my legs burn and I feel like the wheels are dragging. Perhaps it's the direction of the wind, or the condition of my legs in the morning as opposed to the afternoon, or simply the fact that in the afternoon I'm done with the day, on my way home, and thus feeling lighter.

Regardless of the reason for the difference between one way and the other, I don't manage to keep up with the other bikers going either way. This is due to a combination of the fact that I hadn't owned a bicycle in about fifteen years before moving to Seattle and the fact that I don't wear tight little biker shorts. Everyone knows that tights make you faster. Maybe after I've been riding a while I'll get in better shape so I can go faster and feel confident enough in my physique to wear tights in public.

The problem now is that all this might have become moot this afternoon. I was running late to get to work so I asked Foxy J to drop me off--a mistake, as we realized as soon as we saw the unmoving cars lined up along 45th Street. She ended up dropping me quite a distance from the library, but I still made it to work much faster than if she had tried to drive me any closer. I was only about a minute late, in fact. If I've lost you by now you should know that the last three sentences are a tangent. The point is that I didn't have my bike, so I walked home from work. It took me less than fifteen minutes.*

So now do I continue making a ten-minute bike ride to campus every day, only to spend five minutes on each side strapping up and down, tucking in and out, and locking and unlocking, or do I just take the fifteen-minute walk? Riding a bike is good exercise, but walking is nothing to shake a stick at. The advantage to biking is that I will likely get faster as I get used to it, while walking is walking is walking. I'm as fast a walker now as I'll ever be. The advantage to walking is that I wouldn't have to worry about finding an open space on a bike rack, or repairing flat tires, or running over squirrels.

Any thoughts from the blogosphere?

*If you're wondering why it takes me just as long to bike as to walk, just picture the very big hill that I ride around the long way on my bike but have no problem going up or down on foot.


by M.T. Anderson

I had been meaning to read this book for a couple years, and finally got to it a few weeks ago. It's a young adult novel set in the not-so-distant future, in a world where everyone has a "feed" implanted in their brain that connects them directly to an internet-like web of information, entertainment, and advertising. It's like having Google Ads fed directly to your head--you look at a car flying by and suddenly you're hit with twelve pop-ups advertising twelve different cars, and if you want you can buy one from a credit account without moving a muscle.

What fascinated me most about this book was the language. Anderson has postulated a world where the current deformalization of English has continued to the point where not only the teenaged narrator talks, like, really dumbed-down, but even his dad talks, like, totally, like a teenager from the '90s. And everyone has a major f^&#in' potty mouth. The language is not a major point of the book, but it just makes so much sense and makes the sci-fi setting believable.

Some have said the book is heavy-handed in its anti-consumerism, but I really didn't think so. The message is obvious, but fits naturally into the story. My only complaint is that there's a point where the main character turns into a complete jerk and I'm still not sure exactly what motivated him to act that way, but the world around hm was interesting enough to me to allow that little bit to slip. Overall, a great book.

(out of five)

Thursday, September 21, 2006


We had another poop in the bathtub incident tonight. I'm happy to say that I didn't react negatively at all; I was quick to assure S-Boogie that it was okay, that it was an accident and no big deal to clean up. It really wasn't a big deal.

It's nice to see, every once in a while, that I can learn from mistakes and not just repeat the same errors over and over again. So it turns out I'm not a lost cause after all.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Behold the Library

aka the living room

The Fob Library, left to right:

1. The general nonfiction stack, with creative nonfiction on the top shelf.
2. The general fiction stack, with juvenile and young adult fiction on the top two shelves.
3. The media collection, housing the dvd and vhs collections, as well as viewing and listening devices. The cd collection is kept in storage elsewhere, but is duplicated digitally in the MP3 collection, housed on top of the media collection (right next to the speaker).
4. The non-prose stack, with poetry and drama on the top shelf and comics and graphic novels on the lower four.
5. The special collections stack, with Spanish fiction and nonfiction on the top two shelves and Mormon literature on the bottom three.

Not pictured:

-The culinary collection, housed in the Entryway Branch of the Fob Library.
-The photo archive (including the yearbook collection), also housed in the Entryway Branch.
-The picture book and easy reader collections, housed in the Children's Library.
-The closed stacks, housed in the Parents' Room Branch.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blogging Anxiety

Not too long ago, it was not uncommon for me to go a week without blogging. Ever since the Trib article briefly sextupled my daily readership, then settled back down to about double the hits I used to get, I feel a need to blog more consistently. Not for your sake, mind you, but for mine. You can just as easily find some other way to waste your time. I, on the other hand, stand here watching the sands of fleeting flash-in-the-pan-ness slipping through my fingers, fully aware of the drop in hits every day I don't post.

Meanwhile, about twelve people are wondering if I got the emails they sent me in the past week. If you're one of those people, rest assured that I love you and I am composing an amazing, breathtaking reply in my head which I will actually write and send in the next couple of days. If the email you eventually get from me isn't quite as amazing and breathtaking as promised, well, then go read David Sedaris.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I have now been to two branches of the Seattle Public Library system and a half-dozen or so branches of the University of Washington Libraries system.

I am quite impressed by the overall SPL system, particularly their automated systems--I love their online library card application, their computer sign-up, their RFID self-checkout (you just place a stack of books on the counter and it scans them all in, no barcode necessary), their request/retrieval setup (I requested a book from another branch and had it delivered within a day or two), and their other automated forms (I suggested a book for purchase the other day without having to talk to a single human being) --but I'm not overly impressed by the branches themselves. Both branches were small and cramped, and didn't seem to have a whole lot of anything. That said, I happened upon a couple of great books as I browsed at each branch, and the University Branch had two or three Veggietales DVDs in that S-Boogie had not seen before. I'm anxious to see the Central Library, as I've heard so much about it. I've definitely decided, though, that if I end up working in a branch system then I need to work in the main branch. What's the point of working at a library if you only have a few thousand books to browse through?

Which brings me to the library I am working at, the main UW library. Wow. No, wait, that "wow" deserves its own paragraph.


The library is beautiful, enormous, and, most importantly, filled with books. I don't know exactly how many my library has, but the UW Libraries system altogether has more than 6 million volumes. The thought of helping patrons wade through all that, in addition to all the non-print sources, is rather overwhelming, but also thrilling. I'm excited to see how academic librarianship compares to the public sphere. We'll see if I like it enough to allow the monetary benefits of working in an academic library overcome the socialistic tendencies (stealing a friend's words) that led me to fall in love with public libraries.

But really, who wouldn't want to work in this building?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Groovy People

On our way home from a hearty walk to the library, park, and farmers' market, I with a baby in a sling across my chest and she carrying a loaf of organic bread, Foxy J commented that we are becoming very groovy people. I must say, I concur. I dig Seattle.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Desk

When we figured out how we wanted to arrange our bedroom the other day, Foxy J and I both said, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a corner desk in that corner?" We had, of course, gotten rid of the little desk we had before moving because until last Wednesday we thought that we'd be moving into a furnished apartment for a month and didn't want to deal with storing all our furniture somewhere. As luck would have it, Foxy discovered a free corner desk on Craigslist this afternoon.

I called the number from the ad when I got home from work, and then I headed to Lower Queen Anne to pick up the desk. I made sure to ask when I called whether the legs were detachable because I knew I wouldn't fit the desk in my car otherwise, but I didn't think to ask what tools I should bring to detach said detachable legs. The nice lady at the office giving away the desk provided me with the tools she had available, but even I know that you can't loosen a nut with a screwdriver. I made do with what I had, though, and twenty minutes later the legs were off the desk.

So I carried the massive thing down the stairs and to my car, only to find that, even without the legs, the thing did not fit in my car. I was in the middle of trying to shove this five-by-three slab of wood into my backseat when a little Asian lady walked by and offered to help. I thanked her, but it was obvious to me by then that this was not going to happen, with or without her help. I gave up on the backseat plan and went back to Plan A, which was the trunk, leaving a good foot and a half of desk sticking out the back.

The main problem with this arrangement was that I didn't have any rope or bungee cords to keep my trunk relatively closed and to keep the desk from flying out the back while I drove. Conscious of the approaching 30-minute limit of the spot I was parked in, I ran around the block to a convenience store that turned out to be not so convenient: no rope, no bungees, and on top of that no semblance of customer service. The cashier wouldn't even look at me when I asked if she knew of any nearby stores that sold rope or bungees.

The mechanic in the auto shop next door, though, was much nicer. This was out of character for me, but I decided to go into a place that I suspected did not sell what I was looking for and ask anyway, just in case. I explained what I needed the bungee for, and the man went to the back of his shop, found a bungee cord, then handed it to me and told me to bring it back later.

Now armed with a single bungee cord to keep my trunk closed and my desk in, I set upon my new task: figuring out a way home that did not involve going over thirty miles per hour (I didn't trust the bungee or the legality of my little setup beyond that). Seattle, by the way, is a tricky place to get around, especially when you're looking for a bridge across Lake Union that is not a freeway. Long story not so long, I got home forty minutes later.

And now we have a very cool free corner desk. Free stuff rocks, Craigslist rocks, and nice auto mechanics rock.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lessons Learned

  • I learned that it is worth the effort to complain. The hotel manager gave me a free night, and was very nice about it.
  • I learned that I never ever want to drive a big Uhaul truck in Seattle (or any other city) ever again. Thank goodness for sideview mirrors that are made to fold back instead of break off.
  • I learned that saying "ever" twice in a sentence after "never" makes it especially true.
  • I learned that I like the elders quorum president in our new ward. He and I did the bulk of the unloading, and I think he ended up with more ridiculously heavy book boxes than I did.
  • I learned that it is nice to sleep in one's own bed.

Monday, September 11, 2006


If you are using Internet Explorer and my blog looks funny to you, it's because you're using an inferior browser and you should update to Mozilla Firefox asap. If you're using Firefox and it still looks funny, it's because I'm not a web designer. Sorry. Helpful tips from those of you who are will be gladly welcomed.

Gay Mormon Fobs

I am hesitant to segregate my friends by sexual orientation, but I have decided to do so, more or less, in my sidebar. The names you will find linked under the title "Gay Fobs," though, are not the names of every gay blogger I know. Rather, these are blogs that tend to be, for the most part, focused on issues related to homosexuality and particularly--in most cases--the intersection of sexuality and religion. Think of it in terms of the Dewey decimal system: if a blog would be catalogued as, for example, 921 Bunny, you will not find it linked under "Gay Fobs" because it is a biographical blog, not one focusing on sexuality. However, a blog that focuses on sexuality and therefore would be catalogued under something like 306.766 Sw24 will be found under that catchy heading.

The main reason I've decided to do this is that it occurs to me that people may be coming to my blog hoping to find a blog about being gay and Mormon, and while that is one of the things I blog about, it is not the focus of my blog. Those people, then, can find what they're looking for at the designated links.

I've not made any distinction as to marital status or current affiliation with the Church, by the way--anyone who self-identifies as gay and has some tie to the Mormon church or Mormon culture qualifies. If you don't like being classified as a gay Mormon Fob, let me know and I'll make the change. (It occurs to me, of course, that of the three terms--gay Mormon Fob--the one you object to might be "Fob." You are welcome to notify me of this objection. Just do so nicely.)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Welcome to Seattle

After loading up Friday morning, Svoid and I embarked on our 15-hour drive to Seattle. The plan was to take turns driving, but each time we stopped, Svoid offered to keep driving, so he ended up driving the whole way.

Svoid closing his eyes while driving.

Me looking like a sexy librarian man.

We saw a lot of these WSE trucks as we passed through Idaho. We were worried for a bit that we'd gone the wrong way and ended up in Arkansas.

Passing through Mountain Home, where Foxy J lived for a year.

My first view of Seattle. Perty, aint' she?

We left at about 11:15 Mountain Time and arrived at 1:30 Pacific Time. Then we went to bed, woke up six hours later, and set out for our Saturday adventure. First we had breakfast at a nice little restaurant whose name now escapes me, then got some groceries for the next few days, then set up my computer in the hotel room only to find out that, contrary to the chain's website, the rooms in this hotel do not have data ports. Wireless, yes, but that doesn't help if you don't have a wireless card. Blaugh.

A little before noon, we set off to find a bike for Svoid to rent and one for me to buy. We had both come across a bike store online that looked good, so we went there first. Svoid rented a bike, but I found that the prices were a little out of my range (I was looking for something cheap that would get me to school and work, not something to win a bike race or climb a mountain with). Svoid's bike wouldn't fit in my car, so he rode while I drove around town looking for a place to buy a cheap bike. He did an incredible job of keeping up with me. Even the used bike shop didn't have anything in my range, but luckily Fred Meyer did. And, as it turns out, Fred Meyer is right at the beginning of the Burke-Gilman Trail that goes right across Seattle, through UW, and past the apartment we'll be moving into on Tuesday. I peeked in the window, and it looks about how I expected student family housing to look.

After a few hours of biking that left me feeling, if you'll forgive the graphic image, like I'd been gang-raped, we headed downtown for dinner. We decided to eat at a seafood place even though neither of us is particularly into seafood, just because we're in Seattle. We were surprised to find that the thing that makes seafood here fresher than in Utah is not that it's caught here, but that it's shipped here twice a day from all over the world. Go figure.

After dinner we crashed back at the hotel, then woke up at 4 so I could take Svoid to the airport. Now I'm all alone in Seattle until Foxy and the kids arrive tomorrow evening. I've got my Seattle Public Library card, though, which gets me an hour on the computer, and tomorrow morning I'll be starting work, so I doubt I'll have much time to feel lonely.

So that's my first Seattle weekend, so far. I'll check in again later, when I can.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Closing Time

(You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.)

Tonight I listened to the closing CD I made for Job #1 for the last time. I heard my voice announce fifteen minutes, ten minutes, and five minutes before closing, then the "we are now closed" message (all in English and Spanish), and then four songs: "Closing Time" by Semisonic, "I Get Out" by Lauryn Hill (surprise, surprise), "Goodbye" by the Spice Girls (not sure what I was thinking when I put that on), and "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy.

Job #1 has been such a big part of my life for the last three years, it's hard to imagine my life without it. It's the job that made me decide I want to be a librarian when I grow up, and surely no matter where I go I will always think of librarianship in terms of what I learned at Library #1. It will be strange not only to not work there anymore, but also to not look out my bedroom window and see Library #1 across the street. If you ever visit Library #1, watch where you tread; you just might step on a piece of me.

Today was also my last day at Job #2. I also feel sad about leaving #2, but in this case it's more a sense of missed opportunities that I would have had, had I stayed longer. And then, of course, there's the guilt of being like the fifth person in a row to stay three months and then leave. Library #2 has been better to me than I deserved.

Tomorrow we'll finish packing up, then Friday I'll leave for Seattle. I'm not sure I'll recognize my life when I get there.

And Now...

Plan R

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Blog Party

A success, I think. (Take that, Superman and Jaws!) Last time I benefited from Th. being in town and everyone coming to meet him, and this time I benefited from Tolkien Boy leaving town and everyone coming to say goodbye to him. It's nice to have friends who are so well-liked (and for good reason, I might add). As far as I could tell, none of the people who came to see Th. or TB were opposed to seeing me too, so I can't complain.

People who need to be added to my "Fobs Who Have Attended a Blog Party" list (when I have time to make changes):


People who I would add if they had blogs (and I knew of them):

James (who has a blog but doesn't write on it)
Lika and Baby K
Ron and Marybeth
The nice girl who was with the group that stayed after everyone else left
The girl who arrived with Optimistic
Melyngoch's and my friends from the Morris Center
The guy who came to buy our dresser

(Have I forgotten anybody? Tell me quickly so I can fix it before anyone notices.)

I would have done a live blogging thing so everyone could report on the party as it happened, but we sold our desk this morning, so our computer is precariously perched on a pile of boxes, and our apartment is generally a big mess.

As I was telling Absent-minded Secretary tonight, seeing all these friends together made me sad to think that I'm leaving. I hope we can all still read each other's blogs, even if it takes a few more milliseconds for the electrons to get to Utah from Seattle. And there will, of course, be blog parties in Seattle. All are invited.

13 More Reasons to Come to Tonight's Blog Party

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I & II on VHS
  • Batman Forever on VHS
  • A marble
  • A jumprope
  • A broken camera
  • A full set of DC superhero trading cards
  • 3 condoms (unused, expiration date 12/06)
  • The Critical Experience (textbook)
  • Strength Training (textbook)
  • Dallas Cowboys mug
  • 2 frog keychains
  • 2 Easter baskets
  • A very tacky music box

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Blogging Into the Void

Every weekend my Site Meter stats drop, I get next to no comments on any posts I write, and hardly any new posts from other people's blogs show up in my reader. Where do you people go between Friday and Monday? What could you possibly be doing that's more important than blogging?


Can anybody hear me?


India.Arie makes me happy. She's sort of like Lauryn Hill without the rap thing and without the nine-years-since-her-last-studio-album thing. The former is unfortunate, but the latter is good. I like her voice and the Stevie Wonder-influenced, acoustic guitar-accompanied soul flavor of her music, but most of all I like her lyrics. Which is why now, for your skimming pleasure, I'm going to throw copyright laws out the window and share a few of my favorite pieces of her latest album with you:

from "Private Party"

All my life (all my life)
I've been looking for (I've been looking for)
Somebody else (else)
To make me whole (ooo)
But I had to learn the hard way (ooo)
True love began with me (ooo)
This is not ego or vanity (ooo)
I'm just celebrating me

I'm having a private party
Ain't no body here but me, my angels, and my guitar singin' baby look how far we've come here
I'm havin' a private party
Learning how to love me
Celebrating the woman I've become, yeah

from "There's Hope"

There's hope
It doesn't cost a thing to smile
You don't have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that

from "I Am Not My Hair"

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within

from "I Choose"

I done been through some painful things
I thought that I would never make it through
Filled up with shame from the top of my head to the soles of my shoes
I put myself in so many chaotic circumstances,
but by the grace of God I've been given so many second chances
But today I decided to let it all go
I'm dropping these bags, I'm making room for my joy.

(And I choose) to be the best that I can be
(I choose) to be authentic in everything I do
My past don't dictate who I am
I choose.

Seeing these words without the music to accompany them makes me realize just how cheesy and rose-tinted they are. That's probably why I like them. If you haven't noticed yet that I have a tendency to be rose-tinted and cheesy myself, then you haven't been paying attention.

And that, my friends, is why I don't suck and you don't suck and nobody sucks. Let's all hug.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Plan Q (pending credit approval)

As it turns out, Plan Q is not unlike Plans M or K, and not entirely removed from Plan A.

We are sticking with university housing, even though they don't have a place for us until October 5th. The nice lady at university housing, after my shameless plea for help, referred me to another apartment complex--and even called ahead to inform them of my situation--who would be willing to give me a one-month contract. This other complex is ridiculously expensive, but they are nice, close, willing to let us stay there for a month, and most importantly, willing to do this without meeting us in person. As soon as our credit check clears (and I can't imagine why it wouldn't, knock on electronic wood), we'll be able to sign a lease sometime next week and move in next Saturday.

I've got a reservation with UHaul, we've got some boxes to pack and more have been offered, I have a job and both Foxy and I have applied for several other promising jobs, Foxy and S-Boogie have plane tickets (LD doesn't need one), and my brother Svoid has kindly offered to drive up with me (my father-in-law regretfully unable to make it). We're really moving to Seattle. This is insane. Perhaps it will feel more real in a month or two.

I feel a little like we're regressing, as I thought we'd left student housing behind the first time I graduated and I thought I'd left school behind the second time I graduated. It's regression for a good purpose, though, and it can't really be regression when we're going to be in a different place and doing different things. I feel a bit of sadness at the thought of leaving the people and things I love here (I'll feel it more when I'm actually gone) and a bit of anxiety over the whole moving thing (I'll feel it more when I'm actually going), but the overwhelming feeling right now is excitement at the thought of new surroundings, new people, new adventures, and a new life. There's nothing wrong with the old one; I just like shiny new things.