Sunday, July 29, 2007

Leslie lops her hair

I know my current hairstyle is very important to all my readers, so here's an update.

For the past year or so, I've been casually growing out my hair by default, meaning I've been too lazy or cheap to get it cut. Or maybe I was reluctant to get my hair cut while living in Michigan because of the bad hair cutting experience I had when I very first moved there. So, as usually happens when one doesn't cut one's hair, my hair had gotten pretty long (by my usual standards, anyway) and I decided last week that it was time for it to go.

Great Clips has always been my salon (can I use that word for Great Clips?) of choice, mostly because of the low price and the absence of older ladies with poofy hair, heavy perfume and long fingernails. I took along a picture of myself from a few years ago to give the girl an idea of what I wanted, but apparently she either had bad eyesight or a great imagination. With her scissors glinting in the fluorescent lights, she proceeded to cut my hair 20x shorter than I ever expected (or wanted) and in a style that has been puzzling me for a solid week. I can't look in the mirror without a sense of confusion and a useless attempt at trying to understand what she was thinking.

The good news is that I probably won't need another hair cut for a number of months, and I definitely use a lot less shampoo. Also, I don't have a lot of human contact so I guess I don't REALLY need to worry about looking like an idiot.

Thankfully, no pictures have been taking of me since I was divested of my hair and my pride, but this will give you an idea of what I look like:

Monday, July 16, 2007

First day of work

Yes, today was my first day as an employee of Backstage Library Works. It was pretty much as I expected it would be--tedious in a way but with a lot of information to learn. When I used to do some cataloging at the HBLL I never really got into it because it was pretty overwhelming--cataloging work is full of rules and millions of things to remember. In fact, I hated doing it because I never really felt like I was in control or really understood everything I was doing. It's hard to feel good about something when you feel incompetent, you know. But it's a lot better this time around, thank goodness. It helps to have even the smallest bit of background and I feel like I'm actually getting the rhyme and reason behind it all. Or maybe I'm just having a steep learning curve to start with and will hit a brick wall in a couple of days.

I'm also discovering a trait that has been fairly dormant in me up until now: competition. It's pretty different working for a company as opposed to a library--at least the kind of library I'm used to working in. There are incentives and bonuses and (yikes!) penalties. When our little training group (6 new employees) were let loose to work on our exercises, some strange little flame was lit in me and I was determined to be the first one done. I was, and then the supervisor asked me go help other people. It feels like I'm back in grade school. Is it possible for me to regress in maturity? That's a scary thought.

Some good news:
1. I can dress as casually as I want. 2. I rarely have to actually interact with humans. 3. When my training is done and I start on actual company projects, my work time is really flexible. I'll get a key card that will let me into the building any time I want, except Sundays. Eventually, I want to work four 10-hour days and have three-day weekends. We'll see how that goes. 4. When my training is done, I can also listen to music all day while I work. 5. The building is only about 7 miles away, so I'm hoping to ride my bike.

Some bad news:
1. My eyes are all wiggy from looking at a computer screen all day. 2. I'm not going to make a whole lot of money ($9.50/hour). 3. I may go insane.

That about wraps it up. Thanks to you all for your support and interest. Whatever sarcastic or cynical remarks I may throw around, I am VERY grateful to have a job, especially one that could be helpful to me in the long run.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Caution: Cringe-worthy news story ahead

Girl seriously injured by pool drain's suction

A 6-year-old girl who sat on an open drain in a wading pool lost part of her intestinal tract to the drain's powerful suction, her family said.

Abigail Taylor was injured in the wading pool on June 29, according to her family.

Her father, Scott Taylor, said the suction caused a 2-inch tear in Abigail's rectum and pulled out much of her small intestine. Doctors had to remove the part of her intestines that remained, according to the family's lawyer, Bob Bennett.

Abigail remained in intensive care at Children's Hospital on Thursday and appeared to be improving, Bennett said.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy 4th!

Well, the 4th has come and gone and as far as I know there weren't even any wildfires caused by fireworks. I celebrated my independence in the traditional way by watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Elf. I also went to a large family picnic in Little Cottonwood Canyon and went to the Stadium of Fire fireworks with Andy. We decided to get as close as possible, so we found a good spot right outside the stadium by the baseball field, pretty much directly underneath the fireworks.

We waited for quite a while, during which time my patience may or may not have expressed itself thusly:

But eventually we were rewarded with a rather spectacular fireworks display. It was really pretty amazing being so incredibly close--my eardrums were pleasantly rumbled and it almost seemed like the really big ones were going to hit me in the face. I nearly didn't go, as every day I'm becoming more and more a geezer, but I'm glad I did in the end.

Whenever I go to a fireworks show, though, I can't help but wonder what it would be like if they were bombs instead of fireworks, or if I was afraid for my life instead of afraid of getting caught in a traffic jam on the way home. War is so far removed from my way of life, historically and geographically, and I don't think I can even imagine how it would be to have no home, or to be concerned for my life and the lives of my family members, or even just to not feel safe going about my life from day to day. I am so blessed to live in a safe, free land, no matter how little I deserve it or how long it will last.

Plasmapheresis and other bad ideas

Earlier this week I decided it was time to make a little money. So off to the plasma donation center I went, armed with multiple forms of ID, great veins, low blood pressure and the cleanest of clean sex and drug histories. A number of hours later, after a finger prick, a urine test, a complete physical and being asked at least four times a series of questions about AIDS, HIV, drugs, and having sex in Africa, I finally made it to the donor floor. I successfully pumped out my near-liter of blood, they spun off my plasma, then they began the process of returning my red blood cells. Apparently my veins aren't as great as I thought they were because instead of the blood going back into the vein from whence it came, it started to pool up under my skin in a big bubble, a rare (so they say) occurance called "infiltration". I finally got the nurse to realize that something was wrong and they decided to stick me in the other arm to see if they could get it to go in that vein. My right arm rebelled as well, infiltration occuring again although this time under closer supervision, so they had to keep my red blood cells. This meant two things: 1. I can't donate again for eight more weeks, and 2. I lost almost a liter of blood. The technicians were all really embarrassed and told me to stock up on juice boxes and cookies out in the lobby. I felt pretty awful after the whole thing. I guess blood is important after all. Personally, though, I think the whole process would have been much more successful if "Big Momma's House 2" hadn't been playing on the TV monitors.

So here are some pictures of the sweet bruises on my arms from my plasma donation debacle. They don't quite do justice to the beauty of the bruises, but it's the best I could do.

Other bad ideas: unemployment, taking the Indiana Jones series too seriously, unemployment, eating a large box of Apple Jacks in a small amount of time, unemployment, being at home alone all day, unemployment, etc.