Hey! Look! More Snow!
I’ve been back at work for a while, but have been too exhausted from my vacation to write about everything. Here’s a little recap. But first, this:
Cell phone use was apparently a problem at some point here in the library. I can’t imagine why, since the giant slabs of asbestos prevent anything resembling decent reception. Anyway, the main stairway has been designated a “Cell Phone Zone” where, supposedly, students and staff are to stand enjoying echo-y conversations amplified and overheard by six floors of potential eavesdroppers. Today on the way upstairs I noticed a bit of graffiti above the cell phone zone sign. In grand geeky college tradition, someone has designated the stairway the “Self-Hone Zone.”
Which would be great, of course. There should be more of this. The library could establish a whole suite of self-improvement locations. Meditation rooms built off of the lunchroom, consciousness-raising areas outside of circulation, friendly councilors scattered throughout the stacks. The self-hone zone is only a beginning.
Right. Anyway. So over the break, I drove the eight hours to Flint, spent a restless night in my drafty old high school bedroom surrounded by the ham radio equipment and computer magazines that have taken my place, then flew down to Austin, TX for xmas with my boyfriend’s parents, who are majorly sweet. I met him on his layover in the Detroit airport and we flew down together. Apparently the flu had struck him in the airport shuttle, and by the time we met up, he was a tired, feverish pile of carry-on bags. Christmas was spent in the Austin Emergency clinic, waiting for an antibiotic prescription.
I was felled a few hours later, and most of my stay in lovely lovely warm not-snowy-at-all-Austin was spent in a darkened room drinking tea and comparing thermometer readings. We did make it to San Antonio on our last day, and ate at a famous Mexican restaurant where the entrees consisted almost entirely of lard. At the San Antonio zoo, I met the Giant Anteater and spent almost an hour hanging around outside his habitat, which was probably the most ant-free spot in Texas, watching him sniff around with his giant ant-sniffing nose. He came up and sniffed me a couple of times, which pretty much made my week.
After Austin, I flew back to Michigan and hung out with my parents for a while. My friend Erin was in town from San Francisco, and not wanting to get hit in the crossfire of a Flinttown New Years Eve, we hopped in my car and drove to downtown Chicago, where we were much safer. I spent two solid days at the Lincoln Park Zoo, which you may think is a bit excessive, but I do not. On both days, I was pecked by an ostrich. Or rather, the glass that I was standing in front of was pecked by an ostrich. The ostrich would walk by, see us standing there watching him, come over and peck the glass in an irritated way, then walk off. This happened several times. After awhile I realized that the ostrich, having a rather short bird-memory, probably thought that each time it pecked at us was the first. He was trapped in an endless loop of “La de da, here I am, walking, HEY! Get out of here! HA! Take That! La de da…”
Hey, for any of you designers out there, the American Ostrich Association (AOA) really needs a new website.
Anyway, after Chicago, Erin and I drove back to the Crater that is Flint, spent some more family time, and I drove home.
New Year’s resolutions include:
Getting to work earlier. Which, of course, means leaving work earlier. It was getting pretty depressing leaving at six and six thirty. I’ve started coming in at 7:30 with the secretaries, and I think I’m getting more work done in the quiet.
Gym getting-to. This too has been quite successful. My friend Kim and I have a pact. We go every day at lunch rain or shine. We’ve had to miss two days due to dangerously cold windchill (-25F! Come to Ithaca!), but other than that we’ve been faithful. I’ve felt really great doing this. It’s like having recess in the middle of the day. And it is much more memorable than curling up with a book in the lunchroom.
More cooking, less of the conveniently located Indian restaurant. Say no more. Mmm, saag paneer…