Friday, June 10, 2005
Unlike les francais to whom 'anniversary' is synonymous to 'nameday,' which is synonymous to 'birthday,' which is usually the day on which one was born, we anglos like to celebrate the commencement of various events -- like a marriage or a relationship -- with various often-silly ceremonial tributes.
This is the most low-pressure anniversary I have ever spent. Today makes one month that I have been working at the bookstore. I don't have to buy flowers, or get flowers, or (as was almost ALWAYS the case!) feel really sad because I'm not getting flowers. I just get to pat myself on the back and say "Way to go Nome. You didn't let those fuckers nail you to the wall. It's been a month, and you're still kicking. You didn't even have a mental breakdown. Hell, you're even smiling these days. I'm really proud of you, girl. And you know what, I think you're pretty fabulous when you put your mind to it." And then I reply: "Thank you, Nome. How very sweet of you to say so. Oh look at me, I'm blushing!"
And then I really hope that none of the customers witnessed or were aware of my embarrassing little conversation-with-self.
The following things are now going well at work:
1) Jack is a sweetheart. Not only does he like animals and read comic books, but he is a fellow blogger. He gave me his address, but I hesitated to give him this one. It would be the first time ever that someone who really didn't know me all that well in real life were to suddenly know all my most personal details all at once. It might scare the living daylights out of him. He might think I'm utterly nutso. He will certainly see me naked, both figuratively and now (way to go me!) literally as well. That said, I admire the hell out of him, and in a few months we will probably be good enough friends so that this page won't come as a huge shock. Maybe I'll tell him about it then.
2) Cris is a sweetheart. She's teaching a children's lit class at a community college in August and if my parents agree to pay for it, I'll sign myself up! It will be the first time ever that I'll know a prof before even taking a class with them. And it will be super-fun and I won't even care that much about the grade. I will just want to learn and hopefully soak up a tiny fraction of Cris' total brilliance and encyclopedic knowledge.
3) Tara -- okay, well Tara's not a sweetheart. But she is human, and I am discovering more and more that she really does have her moments. I'm not letting my guard down, but I will run upstairs to get her some chocolate now, which I never in a million years would have done two weeks ago. That, and when she called me 'baby' today, I smiled a bit, but only on the inside.
4) Sierra is a sweetheart. Her and Jack and I are going to see Batman Begins when it comes out, and she remains super-cool and laid-back, plus I think she's opening up to me somewhat.
5) Boss #2 is pretty nice to me now. She seems to trust me more, and talks down to me less. This is a good thing.
6) Boss #1 seems less freaked out about the whole attempted-firing episode. She commented on my shirt this morning, and was one of only a couple of people who did so. I believe it was an attempt to get me to see her as a nice person again and not as a super-scary monolith. I never really thought that about her anyways, but I was understandably scared shitless that she'd fire me out of the blue for no apparent reason. My shirt, by the way, has Dr. Seuss' The Lorax on it, which is probably my favourite children's book of all time. Read it if you haven't already. Along with my Cat in the Hat lunch box, it's an item that is only cool for an adult to possess if you happen to work where I do.
7) Cris and Jack invited me out to open mike night at a bar tonight and I decided to go. I love the idea of open mike night, although I've never been to one. I'd love to get up the guts to sing at one of those things, but I am beyond terrified of the idea. I really need someone to listen to me and tell me honestly just how much I suck. Figuratively, for crying out loud! Actually, lots of people have told me I suck. Lots being my brother and a few people who simply didn't comment. Boy I have a knack for blowing things out of proportion.
8) I'm getting to know a few of the customers and I like them a lot. Their kids are also cute. That, and upselling feels good at this store. I hated it when I worked in marketing, but telling someone who's carrying a giant stuffed panda bear that they ought to check out Zen Shorts feels really fucking good.
9) The G-rating is growing on me. I no longer feel so desperate to let loose after work. That said, I could really stand to let loose. And I mean that in the 1950s sense of the word.
Y'all wanted my reading list. Here it is:
1) Annie on My Mind, by Nancy Garden. Really sweet, really important story about two girls in love. Stories about people facing intolerance (especially gay people!) usually make me really angry (because I want to yell at the people in the book), but this one was truly inspiring. It's YA, so don't expect a lot of sex. The descriptions are figurative at best, non-existent at worst. That said, it was a good read.
2) Dragon Tales, by Dav Pilkey - I've discussed these in here before. I have now read all three and I highly recommend them. They're written for really young kids, but they're super-smart and adults will get them.
3) The Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese Schoolgirl -- absolutely brilliant real-life diary of a 13-year-old who lives in one of the poorest parts of China. Her family literally has to starve themselves to send her to school - she goes without food for 15 days just to buy a pen to write with! It is compelling, sweet, sometimes repetitive, but really extraordinary on many levels. Part of the proceeds go to support the children from her village. Great cause, great book.
4) Olivia Kidney, and Olivia Kidney and the Exit Academy, by Ellen Potter - I cannot rave enough about these books. They're really sensitive, compassionate, and funny stories about a little girl with some extraordinary abilities who's been handed some traumatic experiences and finds the most unique ways to cope with them. Unbelievably good. Hard to put down. Especially the first one. If you don't fall in love with Olivia, she will leap from the page and fall in love with you.
5) The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold - okay, I read this ages ago, but have been recommending the hell out of it lately because it is just so brilliant. It will make you laugh, cry, think, and really value what you have in life. It's narrated by a girl who has died a violent death, and she looks down at her family and the people she knew in an attempt to live vicariously through them, to make sure that they're continuing their lives without her, and also to ensure that her killer meets the justice he deserves. If you don't believe me, ask JaG about it. I just sent her a copy. This is adult subject matter - so don't give it to the kids.
6) The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel - if you tried to read this book but put it down after 25-50 pages, pick it up again! If you didn't like it, read it again! If you did like it, ask me about why my friend D. thinks this book marks the beginning of a post-post-modern interpretation of the world. It is religion, it is sci-fi, it is adventure, it is survival, it is a hell of a story. Just read it. Don't ask questions. Let it move you. Please don't try to move it. And don't be a twit and look at it with technical eyes. It's best read as a fantasy of sorts.
7) A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket - to be perfectly honest, I found it forgettable. In fact, recalling the plot requires effort, and I read it a mere three weeks ago. I think it's overrated, but please go ahead and prove me wrong if you disagree. I may very well have missed something.
8) Sheep in a Jeep, Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball, Good Night Gorilla, Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent, and Diary of a Wombat (assorted authors) - my current picture book favourites. They'll take you five minutes to read, but they're totally worth it. The subject matter, writing, rhyming, narrative voice (i.e. NOT condescending!), and entertainment value are all superb.
Oh, and I've decided that I'm going to use the word "y'all" whenever I feel like it. It sounds terribly hick-ish in real life, but in print I rather like it.
I'll post that list of things that bug me when I'm in a shittier mood.
Have to get going to that open-mike night ASAP.
Oh, and play my game, and comment on my photos. Go, kitties, go!