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Showing posts from December, 2014

Aimee Mann & Michael Penn - Two of Us

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Amos, TSO, B1, and I all lived together in a big old Farmhouse for a while, and though we had our moments, I think we all loved it. When Amos left us for American University in D.C. I think we were all a little heartbroken; Amos made and mailed to us a soundtrack for our time as housemates, and 10 years later I still listen to that playlist. One of my favorite songs, and the one that always makes me think of driving home to the Farm is Aimee Mann & Michael Penn's take on The Beatles, "Two of Us."

Enjoy! And Happy New Year! Hope you all are with the ones you love.

my farm-cation

I was introduced to so much stuff when I lived at the Farm; this amazing 5 years of my life where pop culture fell away and I was stuffed with things I'd not yet really experienced: folk music, scores of poets off the beaten track, novels I'd never heard of. I'd like to pretend that I didn't fight it tooth and nail at first, but eventually, it started to stick...

And now I miss those days of sitting around and reading poetry aloud, or listening to a song with a friend and really hearing it. So, in honor of my Farm-cation (Farm education) I will post things I met and fell in love with when I was living in New England, over this next week while I'm at the Farm.

I head out for my 11 hour roadtrip tonight, so will begin today. Thank you, B1 for Sharon Olds:

"I Go Back to May 1937" I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges, I see my father strolling out under the ochre sandstone arch, the    red tiles glinting like bent plates of blood behind his…

tying up loose ends before vacation

Sighing with relief this morning, for many reasons:
My friend Ian, from back in my Farm days, stopped by last night en route to Minnesota. It was wonderful to share a meal and introduce him to the TV show, Arrow, my new love. I love love love seeing Farm friends and am always so glad when anyone is able to pop in.I am ALMOST to vacation! I work 8a.m.-8p.m. tomorrow, then get in the car and head to Massachusetts and the Farm for a week with my dear friends there!I've offered our open position to someone. And I gotta say I loved her response when I called her, "I will take 24 hours to meditate on this and will give you my answer tomorrow." Like how badass is that? I'm more the spazzy, "YES!!" shouter when offered jobs. Glad the decision is made, bummed I didn't have 3 positions, as there are two other folks I think would do great too. Maybe next year!

And since I was working on hiring, etc., found this nice rejection letter from the Society of Human Resour…

a country legend

"Christmas Poem"
Says a country legend told every year:      Go to the barn on Christmas Eve and see what the creatures do as that long night tips over.     Down on their knees they will go, the fire of an old memory whistling through their minds!    I went.  Wrapped to my eyes against the cold     I creaked back the barn door and peered in. From town the church bells spilled their midnight music,                    and the beasts listened -               yet they lay in their stalls like stone.                      Oh the heretics!                Not to remember Bethlehem,                or the star as bright as a sun,            or the child born on a bed of straw!          To know only of the dissolving Now!               Still they drowsed on -       citizens of the pure, the physical world,          they loomed in the dark:  powerful             of body, peaceful of mind,                innocent of history. Brothers!  I whispered.  It is Christmas!            And you are…

never not noticing

Shopping at the grocery store for my Christmas meal; while I went with the asparagus, I couldn't help pausing over the green beans and remembering a sunny day spent meandering through a garden, snapping off beans as I went, furtively eating the beans like candy. Thanks Mary Oliver, you always make things more lovely.

"Beans"
They’re not like peaches or squash.
Plumpness isn’t for them. They like
being lean, as if for the narrow
path. The beans themselves sit qui-
etly inside their green pods. In-
stinctively one picks with care,
never tearing down the fine vine,
never not noticing their crisp bod-
ies, or feeling their willingness for

the pot, for the fire.
I have thought sometimes that
something –I can’t name it —
watches as I walk the rows, accept-
ing the gift of their lives to assist
mine.
I know what you think: this is fool-
iciness. They’re only vegetables.
Even the blossoms with which they
begin are small and pale, hardly sig-
nificant. Our hands, or minds, our
feet hold more intellige…

Ayn Rand's on children's movies

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Mallory Ortberg's article in the New York Times yesterday was BRILLIANT! Ortberg channels Ayn Rand's sense of objectivism and nails it, reviewing popular children's movies. This is the BEST thing I've read all day.

If you love Rand, or just need a laugh, check out "Ayn Rand Reviews Children's Movies."


tooting our own horn

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*toot toot*


Christmas throwback post

I've been so busy busy busy! Furniture finally delivered to the new house this weekend; new bed ordered--a queen! I've been sleeping in a twin for the last couple years since my apartment stairways were too small!--and Hemmy is adjusting well.

Library's been busy too: Santa, Gingerbread houses, seasonal crafts, and Christmas storytimes galore! Job posted for a new Circ person. Ugh ugh ughing the interviews to come.

Since I don't have much time to write today, thought I would copy and paste an old post from 2007:

I never liked holidays growing up--there was always something--I will leave it at that.

When I lived out East at the farm I stayed there for every single holiday for nearly three years, absorbing some of the farms traditions; and then continued to go back for some of the holidays even after moving back to Michigan [and now to Ohio]. To avoid being too much of a Grinch I will share 14 things to do to make Christmastime fun...


1. Make pinecone bird feeders. Thi…

possible reference questions

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I've been given the go-ahead and will be posting again for a circulation clerk. Ugh. I hate interviewing. And checking references. And training. Does anyone enjoy doing this stuff?

Something that I thought I could use for a quick reference check:

I am currently reviewing an application from _______ and was wondering if you might be willing to answer a few questions? When did _______work for your company? Could you confirm starting and ending employment dates?What was her/his position? Can you describe the job responsibilities?Did _______ miss a lot of work? Was s/he frequently late? Were there any issues you are aware of that impacted her/his job performance?Can you describe this person's experience working as a member of a team?Would you rehire _______ if the opportunity arose?Is there anything I haven't asked that you would like to share with me?  Since this is at least a week off, I will focus instead on how excited I am for Gingerbread Houses, which are this week at …

being prepared to interview

I am awaiting Board approval as to whether or not I can hire another Circ person in January--originally the plan was hire them in October, so there's overlap between them and the next retirement, to happen in Dec. '15. My hope is to go back up to having 4 part-time staff, never having replaced the one who retired a year ago, as I've given the college try for a year, and realize that it would be easier with a 4th on board again. That would also alleviate the need for our Page position.

So, again I've begun the dreaded reading of lots of articles that are supposed to help me understand what to look for in interviewees, and make me feel less stressed. Stumbled across this Quartz article, which lead me to this other Quartz article,"Five errors that immediately get your resume rejected at Google." Also, found these things of note:

WSJ, "Now Hiring? Tips for Conducting Interviews"

Forbes, "9 Tips on Conducting Great Interviews"

NPR, "Don'…

Open archway of a cold night

Santa's visit was a blast with 84 people stopping by last night. There's something about the sweet, trust that children have for the magic of Santa and Christmas that is always one of my favorite things to witness. It's not about the presents, or being good to attain them, it's that the magic is so tangible to children.

As I seek out my own holiday magic, I keep re-reading this beautiful prayer that I began my day with:

"Advent"

Amidst ten thousand losses and swirling joys
At this very instant
On this sacred Earth
I wait.
Come to us,
Beauty, Wisdom, Goodness, Peace,
Solace, Grace, Counsel, Love.

Through the open archway this cold night
Air, rich as gold, flows.

Fine snow glistens on our faces.
Each flake,
Every exquisite crystal blossom
Is a covenant of your love
Told a thousand thousand times. Amen

-- Patricia Van Ness

not being helpful

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The move is plodding along. I finished painting the living room and hallway yesterday; 2 coats primer, 2 coats paint to cover up the monstrosity that was a room consisting of: rust red, vomitrocious green, and dish water dirty brown. Still trying to understand that motif. I've slowly been taking batches of boxes over as layers of paint were drying. My hope is to finish getting all boxes moved by this weekend. We'll begin sleeping there Friday night, and furniture will be delivered next Saturday. So close! I'll be happily settled before Christmas!

As most moves go, I find, this is happening while we're super busy at work: book groups, Santa's visit, holiday movies, and Gingerbread houses are all on the calendar this week and next; our Holiday Silent Auction winds down soon; and we're again doing Feet for Fines (folks bring in new socks, shoes, etc. and we clear their fines).

Counting down the days until Christmas break.