The One with a Derogatory Paris Hilton Reference

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I’ve spent the majority of my evening attempting to get our internet up and working again. The rest of the evening was spent eating Chinese take-out and drinking Miller Lites.

I consider this evening to be a success.

I do, however, need to fulfill my end of the PTQ obligation and get a post in for today.

I certainly don’t have another lengthy bitch-session in me regarding my work-related burnout and I’m not in the mood to answer a bunch of questions from the early 2000s.

Most of the writing prompts figure to warrant nothing more than short answers, which—although better than nothing—feels like a waste of your time and mine.

And let’s be honest here, non-existent reader, the last thing I want to do is waste your time. I do, however, want to get this entry up to roughly 300 words (my unofficial daily goal for each post here at PTQ) and in doing so, I’d rather not just ramble on with no point.

You know, like I’ve done thus far.

So here goes, some sort of unequivocal “point” of sorts to make all this seem worth your time and mine: “I wish I was doing something different.”

There it is, folks. There is today’s thesis statement, so to speak.

I am not by any means unhappy with my life.

I think my life is actually quite awesome. I’ve got an amazing girlfriend. I’ve got great friends. I’ve got the best family in the world (sorry y’all, but the best you can hope for is second place). The Twins are in the playoffs. I’ve got a paying job in a shitty economy. I’m playing slow-pitch softball two to three times a week.

Yeah, I don’t have a lot to bitch about.

I just wish I was doing something different.

I don’t know if it’s just my job or if it’s just the fact that I’m dang-near twenty-seven and still essentially doing the same job I was doing as an eighteen-year-old college freshman.

Beyond that, I don’t feel like my interests or hobbies have changed. Sure, I write more (or at least, I did) and I play softball more, but other than that things are still pretty much the same.

I guess I just thought that by the time I was meandering into my “late-twenties,” there would be something different about me. Something notable or something that I could really point to and be like “check that shit out, y’all…”

I think that’s why this bout of writer’s block is really kicking my ass, both in terms of the whole “not writing” thing and the mind games it’s playing with me.

I think I’m a pretty good writer. I’m pretty funny and engaging. I generally research what I’m writing about and most of my work is airtight. I think that with enough work and dedication, I could really do something with my writing.

That’s why this writer’s block hurts so much.

I feel like writing is my one real, go-to “thing” and it’s like I’ve lost it.

I feel like a quarterback who can’t throw anymore or an artist who can’t paint or Paris Hilton if she couldn’t…um…drink? hump people? snort blow? or whatever it is that she does.

Everyone has their “thing” and I guess for the past couple of years, I’ve really started to feel like writing is that thing for me. Now I feel like I’ve lost it and that scares me a little bit.

That’s why I wish I was doing something different. I wish I was writing for a living, not working in a library trying to fumble around and find my way as a writer on the side, when there’s time and motivation and inspiration and whatever else.

I wish I could do what it is I want to do without it being a hobby or a recreational thing.

Alas, such is life.

On the bright-side, I totally surpassed my goal of 300 words, so there’s that.


Missing a Few Genes


Before I start my actual entry, I just want to say that I had settled into bed, just getting cozy in my sheets when I realized I hadn’t written yet today and I said, “Ahhh F!”

I feel like I’m missing a few genes that other females have. Mostly when it comes to kids and children and babies. I don’t want them. I think that’s becoming more and more common, so I don’t feel so weird about that. But I feel weird when everyone else is talking about how they have “baby fever” or how gushy people get about their friends being pregnant or having the kid or anything else. I just don’t care. I mean I’m happy for any of my friends who get pregnant and have kids and I want to be there for them in whatever way that is, whether it’s listening to them complain about all the super non-fun things about being pregnant or the super unbelievably weird things about being pregnant or absolutely anything they want to talk about.

For the most part, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react to things that are said. When someone says they are pregnant, that sounds like a bad thing to me, so I might say, “Oh no!” and then I remember that this person is probably someone who wants kids, so it’s a good thing. Or women make comments about the negative ways their bodies are changing, which I understand would be weird…but I mean isn’t that pretty standard with a little thing growing inside you? Yeah, you’re going to get fat and house-like. It’s like there’s some kind of blockage in my brain because it’s as if I just can’t sympathize with them. I sit there and have no idea what to say. I had a co-worker who was recently pregnant — had her baby in July — so that kind of helped me to have tons of exposure to a pregnant person who is my age so that when one of my close friends gets pregnant, I’ll know how I’m supposed to react to certain comments and I’ll know what to expect, I guess.

Another gene I’m missing is the one where girls like to get together and go out to the bars. That sounds like one of the least fun things to me. Probably because I have a boyfriend whom I love and I have no desire to meet other guys or flirt with other guys or have other guys hit on me. I would much rather stay home with said boyfriend and watch TV. But every other girl I know seems to like group outings. I hate groups. I just want to go out with one or two friends at a time and sit in an Applebee’s eating half-off appetizers in a booth where I can hear what my friends are saying and they can hear me. I don’t want to pay $5 to get into a place where I can’t actually interact with my friends because the music is so loud and it’s super crowded.

I feel like I’m becoming some kind of Scrooge or something who hates babies and social events. I’m not though…I’m just an introvert who doesn’t want kids.

Ninja Mole-Person from Planet Nerd


The last post on my blog, A Fool Notion, was about how I just switched gears in the job world, and also featured a brief photo tour of the wonder that is MIT’s tunnels. It was while walking through those tunnels this morning that a great idea came to me about a silly blog post idea, and I was actually excited to sit down and write all about it.

But of course, I have the writer’s block. I got home from work, opened up WordPress, and the page has been open for almost 2.5 hours while I’ve tried to work up the motivation and inspiration to write what I wanted to write about. In the meantime, I’ve been spending those past few hours wasting my time in the best way I know how.


So, in lieu of the wicked awesome post this was supposed to be, I’m going to piece together the skeleton of my idea. Maybe something will grow out of it eventually.

-One of the best things about working on “main campus” is that I actually get to use the tunnels and explore them. Tunnel access is one thing Dewey peeps really miss out on.

-I like using the tunnels because I get to be all stealthy and ninja-like sometimes. Like when I sneak into Hayden through the basement, grab some books, then pop up by the self check-out… usually confusing the circ desk peeps because I appeared out of nowhere. It’s pretty cool. (I also got yelled at for doing this during the summer when the library didn’t open until 10 and I had a meeting with my boss at like 9.30 in her office in Hayden. What else was I supposed to do?!)

-Being underground for library business reminds me of the fabled “mole people” who basically run the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Most of the books are stored underground there, and the “mole people” fetch them and send them upstairs to the reading rooms on old-school conveyor thingies. I’ve been so desperate to work there for the past 5 years that I am totally willing to become a mole person. I figure the tunnels are giving me good practice at the life of an underground dweller.

-Traversing the tunnels also makes me feel like I’m a star (or even an extra) in a crazy sci-fi movie. Doors open automatically as I approach them, cryogenic gas spews out of random rooms, people wearing crazy goggles operate lasers… there’s even a gas-powered vehicle that carries heavy things for people, and it looks like it floats along the floor.

So there you go. Walking through the tunnels makes me feel like a ninja mole person who lives on some crazy nerd-powered spaceship or something. And that’s kinda cool. Makes my day a little more interesting, anyway.

Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This…


Disclaimer: This entry might be largely unreadable, but as you get through it, you’ll understand why. I’m beat and have no time for complete sentences and/or logical paragraph construction. Just type. Get this in to meet today’s deadline. Go home.

I mentioned yesterday that a big reason I’m struggling to write lately is my job.

My job—once a haven for free-time, creativity and writing—has become, well, a real job. I realize that sentiment probably won’t garner me much sympathy from our non-existent readership, but I’m down with that, I really am.

I’d want to punch me in the throat too if I heard a dude whining about how his cushy job sucks now that he has to do real work; especially given the hordes of layoffs and cutbacks that others have endeavored in the past couple of years.

I get all that, I really do, but hear me out.

My job isn’t all that hard. I’ve worked construction before. I’ve done farm work. I’ve had plenty of other jobs that are, in fact, real hard work. Library work is not—by any stretch of the imagination—hard work.

It is, however, plenty taxing. It wears on you as it eats up your time and it wears on you as the people—not necessarily co-workers, but not necessarily not co-workers—eat your soul every single day.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my job. I find my job to be fun and entertaining and I work with some truly awesome peeps. I do, however, have about ten times the workload I had roughly a year and a half ago.

To that extent, I’m also making the same amount—or less when you factor in our two unpaid furloughs this year—as I was back when my workload was much smaller.

It was easier to deal with the less-than-stellar salary when I could find an hour or so every day for writing time. Now that I’m struggling to find time or energy to write for an hour once I get home, it’s a little rough to find a silver lining.

My job isn’t the most rewarding in the world as it is; I’m not saving lives or creating anything tangible. Most of the time I’m doing lots of behind the scenes work to facilitate the ease of use for patrons to use our libraries. Not exactly the type of stuff you brag to your buddies about over beers.

That’s why it’s easy to get burnt out in a job like this. You come in to work every day. You do your job. You do your job well. You take on more work. You do more work and you do it well. At the end of the day—if you’ve done your job well—no one outside your immediate co-workers can tell.

If we’re doing our jobs well, the people we serve can’t really tell. The whole point is to make their life easier. If we do it well, their life is easy. They can come in and find the book or article or whatever that they want and they can walk out with it or with a PDF of it or whatever.

If we do our jobs poorly, they get pissed and hate us. That they notice. When we do it well, they don’t notice. They see it as the way it should be and, admittedly, it IS the way it should be. There just isn’t a whole lot of “rah-rah, let’s get back out there and do it again tomorrow” that you get from something like that.

The dress code ain't doing me any favors either...

As such, when you have an interaction like I did tonight, it just drains you.

Let me set the scene: I’m at the circulation desk working the evening shift. Some old lady walks in and doesn’t say hello or introduce herself or anything of that sort, she just starts telling me a story about Harvard.

She spends roughly fifteen minutes winding her way through this sordid tale of university greed (Harvard) and espionage (her) that essentially boiled down to the fact that she went to the Harvard library to look up a bunch of journal and newspaper articles online.

When they found ‘em, she asked to have ‘em sent to an email address; sounds simple enough right? Wrong!

The email address she wanted ‘em sent to was her MIT address.

Harvard wasn’t havin’ it, as they’re wont to do, and told her she’d have to come look ‘em up at MIT. Why she didn’t look ‘em up at MIT in the first place is beyond me. There’s a good chance she mentioned it somewhere in her rambling soliloquy, but I was likely nodding off.

Anyway, we get through all of the stuff about how they had it and she’d worked so hard to find it (which I’d soon learn was complete and utter bullshit) and how Harvard was totally pulling a douche-bag move and keeping it from her and she asks how she’d look it up here.

I show her, briefly and send her to the public computers assuming that’ll be that. If she just looked ‘em all up at Harvard, surely she can figure this out, right?!


Two hours. Two hours of my life were wasted helping this old bat search for articles. She had a list a mile long of articles she wanted and searching is just “oh so hard” that she couldn’t do it alone.

I’d help her find an article or two and email ‘em to her account and then—assuming she had this incredibly idiot-proof process figured out—I’d meander back to the circulation desk to try and finish all of the other crap I had to do.

Then she’d yell from across the room that something wasn’t working and I’d wander back over—mumbling under my breath the entire way—to find that she’d entered things in the wrong box, or entered the wrong information, or was trying to search in Excel, or she was now using a toaster and not a computer.

Dramatization (albeit not by much)

No matter what it was, it got more and more ridiculous every time she called me over.

In the end, I wasted two hours of my life doing the database equivalent of a Google search for this old lady so she could have all of these super important articles she’d coveted.

Right before she was about to leave—an act that would have left me with a sense that I’d helped someone with something important(ish)—she decided she wanted to see what the article looked like.

She opened up her email—after I showed her how to get to Gmail (I know, right?!)—and opened a few of ‘em and promptly told me she didn’t like the way they looked.

They were too “blocky” and she didn’t like that they’d taken the photos and charts out of some of the online versions.

So she deleted all of ‘em. Just like that. Highlight all. Delete all. BAM. Done.

Two hours completely wasted.

She told me that she’d just go back to clipping ‘em out of the original journals and newspapers, because her office apparently gets all of these journals and newspapers and we went through all of this because one of the professors she works for likes to read interesting articles on his commute.

That’s why she cuts ‘em out, so some professor who lives out in the ‘burbs can have an interesting article from the New Yorker to peruse whilst riding the commuter rail.

You see, nonexistent readers, it’s not that I hate my job. It’s not that my job is hard. It’s that crap like this occupies large portions of my day. Every day.

You try going home excited to write after that, because I sure as hell ain’t got anything left in the tank.

I just wanna go home. Sit on my couch. Hang out with my girlfriend and have a beer.

Writing Prompt: The Most Wasteful Thing I Do Each Day


Two words: Inter. Webs.

It’s like this giant time-suck that just pulls me in, entertains me in a lame fashion for a few hours, then spits me out when I get bored and it’s only then that I realize, “Hey! I just wasted 3 hours of my life doing nothing!” It’s kinda like how some casinos have no clocks or windows so you can’t tell how long you’ve been gambling. The interwebs is like a giant, slightly less-expensive casino.

Sure, I do some productive stuff online. I communicate with others via email. I catch up on local and world news. I “go to class.” I google ways to make teaching kids how to do throw-ins fun. I research paper topics through databases and library catalogs. I build wikis for work. I hit refresh every 15 seconds on BBC Sport, ESPN GameCast, and my Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur facebook group during Spurs matches to see what’s happening on the pitch. Etc. etc. etc.

Then there’s everything else. The news/entertainment sites I surf around on aimlessly, looking for interesting stories. The random blogs I read. The Neopet I’ve had since high school that I still feed because whenever I visit the site to play MahJong or Pyramids or Solitaire or whatever, the sad look on his little face guilts me way too easily. The random crap I drool over on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy (recently: roller skates, rugby jerseys, and jewelry, respectively.) And facebook. Oh God, facebook. The biggest time-suck of them all.

It wouldn’t be bad, and I wouldn’t feel so guilty, if I did everything in the last paragraph in moderation. But no. I’m on facebook, like, all day. It sickens me. Sometimes, when I’m supposed to be doing homework and I just don’t want to, I’ll literally hit refresh on facebook a few times and curse at people for not entertaining me with updates when I want it the most. I’m so pathetic.

If I went on a superfluous interwebs ban (the interwebs being superfluous here, not the ban), I would have so much time on my hands. I’d probably get my homework done early each week, actually allowing me the chance to veg out on the couch with Drew on the weekends and watch the tv shows we’re behind on. I could read a bunch of the millions of books I want to read but bemoan the fact that I’ll never read enough of them. I could go to the park with a soccer ball and work on all the skills I constantly complain that I don’t have.

And I know this. I do. And yet here I sit, surfing away. Right now, I’ve got a textbook open in front of me, but I’m using it as an armrest of sorts while I type. Really not the most productive use of this book, or my time.

So yeah. I could keep whinging on forever about how much time I piss away on the internet, but then I’d be doing just that. So I’m going to end this post now and make a concerted attempt to do some homework tonight, and I’m going to try to ignore the interwebs as it beckons me. Yeah… we’ll see how well this goes.

Then It Just Stops


So I had this idea today about a blog about trash. I actually had the idea a couple days ago, but tried to write it today. The idea was sparked by a price tag from a sweater I recently purchased from Old Navy. I started wondering what kind of judgments someone would make if they looked through my trash and found the price tag. The price tag was for a sweater originally priced at $39.50. I, however, bought the item for $20, but you wouldn’t know that from the tag. I wanted to talk about how someone might judge me and say, “What? Who buys something full-priced at Old Navy?” and maybe other inaccurate judgments based on the contents of my trash.

Somehow it seemed like such a good idea five hours ago and 48 hours ago, but five minutes ago, nothing was coming. And when I’m re-reading that paragraph describing my vision for the blog…eh, I just don’t see where it’s going. I think if I was feeling inspired, I would be able to maybe reshape that blog a little and turn it into something, but there’s nothing. What is my deal? Argh!



So I have basically every Britney Spears song ever released in my head tonight because I’ve heard so many promos for the Britney episode of Glee that was airing tonight. I considered watching it…just never followed through.

Tonight is a struggle. I am so drained from the events of the day that I just don’t have an ounce of creativity to squeeze out of my body. Well, maybe I just don’t have the strength to squeeze the last few ounces out of me. Either way, no creativity will be coming out of me and onto this blog tonight.

But I did clean my condo and enjoy a dinner with my boyfriend.

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