GNOME!!

Mike Allegra, children’s author, blogger, artist, keeper of houses, teller of hilarious family stories, and all around good guy, recently held one of his ever-popular doodle contests—and I won!

And even though he is suffering a debilitating injury to his drawing hand, he sent me this:

jitteryThis is Jittery–my very own Caffeine Gnome!

Just look at him!  Those eyes, those slippers, that clear sense of involuntary vibration!

He’s a lot more cheerful than I usually imagine them, but my experiences are generally affected by caffeine withdrawal, which tends to elevate even the figments of my imagination to DefCon-2 Cranky and has them looking around for drums, bagpipes, and ice picks with which to express their displeasure, until I offer suitable apologies and double their rightful tribute in the form of Americanos, mochas, diet Pepsis, and or straight up chocolate-covered beans.

But Jittery is clearly one Gnome who has consumed perhaps a little more than his fair share and is planning to ride the coffee train until the inevitable crash.

I like that in a metaphor.  And I adore this drawing.

Thanks, Mike!

The Wild Librarian Says : Wheeeee!

I was offered the job!

That’s right! Starting next month,* I’ll be working on a different floor! With windows.

Sunglasses and vitamin D, here I come!

That’s not the only difference, or I wouldn’t have bothered, but it isn’t an insignificant one.  Neither is stepping away from the enclosed environs of the Archives—breathing history is tough on chronic sinusitis.**

I’ll have to work one night a week,*** travel more between branches, and trade in my personal workstation and cubicle space for a login and a couple of assigned drawers.

But the questions will be quicker and the patrons will have different interests, and most of my new duties will be my very favorite parts of library work.Wild Librarian

I will be moving around instead of waiting in the basement lower level for petitioners like the Mushroom of Wisdom.  And no one will ever ask me how to find genealogical proof that their great-great-great grandmother was born a Cherokee Princess—which is not and never has been a Real Thing™—right here in Pottawattomie territory.^  If they do, I’ll direct them to the person who replaces me.^^

And there’s a rumor I might get to select adult graphic novels.

I am overcome, y’all.

Overcome.

_______________________________
*Assuming that the person who left that department for another department doesn’t want her job back after her probationary period is up.

**I can’t claim it as the cause, though—I grew up in southern Ohio and “Cincinnati Sinus” is no joke.

***I’m working one a month, now, which is why I can never remember when it is.

^Which at the time would have been approximately than 400 miles north of the nearest Cherokee settlement—give or take, as the United States spent a lot of time and resources keeping most native nations unsettled.  But that’s a rant for another time.

^^Again assuming  the person who left the ref department won’t return, bumping us all back to our original places like an Occupational Newton’s Cradle . . .

Be Amazing. Now.

I have an interview today.  Not for a new job, exactly, but for a position in a different department of the library.

There’s no real reason to think I’ll do badly, but I’m still stressing about it, as part of my default setting.

As I told a friend yesterday,  I can’t decide whether it’s good or bad that my old boss will be interviewing me and  whether she’ll think it’s good that I have seventeen years of professional experience under my hat or bad that I’m not young, perky, and  able to create a LibGuide without hitting the help button every three minutes.

Before I could get into the spirit of the thing and spiral into describing every single thing I’ll do to ruin my chances during the interview, she reminded me that I’d given up self-hatred for Lent.*

Damn.

Coincidentally,** Jane had a Self-Esteem assignment due yesterday.

Naturally, she ignored it until Sunday afternoon, because the last thing a twelve-year old wants to do is stand up in front of her peer group and do a five-minute presentation on why she’s an amazing human being, even if the instructions say she’s supposed to introduce a representation of herself to make it marginally less embarrassing.

Because she’s pretty sure someone (everyone) will make sure to explain in great detail why she’s wrong.

Man, we start downplaying our personal value and internalizing worthlessness early, don’t we?

I’ve internalized several decades of the stuff at this point.

Which is why I decided to prepare for my interview by doing Jane’s assignment, too, with a couple of modifications.*** Because if I’m going to sit in front of a fairly intimidating former supervisor—who knows aaaaall of my workpace quirks and foibles—and explain why I’m the best choice for this position, I’m going to need all the awesome I can feel.

And let me tell you, this exercise was extremely difficult.

I knew that I didn’t have to share any of my statements—I had a filler post all ready—and I still had problems writing things like “why I’m a good friend”.   I had a hell of a time even typing that previous sentence without cringing or adding modifiers like “sometimes”, “almost”, or “occasionally”. Or taking our the word “good” altogether.

Because, you know . . . maybe . . .  I’m not a good friend all the time. Or even most of the time. I remember one time I didn’t even—I mean, it’s not really for me to say, right?  Why are my shoulders hunched?

Holy flippin’ cow, why is it so hard to let ourselves be awesome?

Why can’t we just be awesome for a single moment without making a joke out of it, or ducking imaginary rotten tomatoes, or tossing them at ourselves to save the trolls the trouble?

We don’t even have to be awesome all the time—just for a moment.  And then maybe we could be awesome again for one more moment. And then another one.

Until we’ve built up the ability to be awesome for a whole series of moments—like self-worth Kegels or something.

You know what I mean.

Let’s all just be awesome in the moment and fill in the damn answers.

Who’s with me?

________________________

INTRODUCING THE AMAZING _______________________ . . . AN INSIDE LOOK!

You must include a physical representation of yourself: a large picture, life-sized cutout, 3D head, recreation of you, mannequin dressed and you, or anything that can be YOU!

Card with glasses

Note the Purple Glasses of Awesome.

Topics you should cover:

• My best physical feature:

My eyes.  They’re green, like my mothers’.

• My greatest athletic ability:

I can belly dance.  My Camel Walk and Shimmy are especially awesome.

• My most amazing social quality:

I can strike up conversations with almost anyone.

• “I am a genius at . . . “

Making up lyrics to other people’s songs.

• “I am a good friend because . . .”

I listen and I can keep a secret.

• one awesome thing about my family:

We sing made-up operas together in the car.

• after high school retirement, I’m going to . . .

Spend the whole summer at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario

• My proudest moment

When someone told me she’d stayed up until 4am to finish a story I’d written.

But only because I’m always proud of my kids—that’s a constant, not a moment.

• My greatest academic quality

I have no written test anxiety whatsoever.

• My favorite activity

Laughing with my kids.

• My most amazing accomplishment

I’d say “childbirth”, but I also once beat a Marine in a fencing match.

• almost nobody knows that I. . .

Used to make stuffed animals for extra cash in grad school.  Made a llama once, with eyelashes and everything.

• non-school work related activities that I love to do are . . .

Reading, cooking, eating, singing to the radio, writing, watching British game shows, blogging, napping, hanging with my kids . . .

• I’m awesome, because . . .

I’m the only one of me there will ever be.

• When I’m an adult, I’m going to have the amazing job of . . .

Writing for a living.

 ____________

There.  Whew.

Feel free to put yours in the comments, if you want.

Or not.  You don’t have to.

I already know you’re awesome.

___________

*Also dieting and abstinence.  St. Augustine would approve.

**Or not, depending on your views toward the mysterious ways the deity of your choice moves or the inevitable way the random generator of the universe sometimes throws a double.

***I changed some of the questions because I’m already doing what I’m doing after high school, and so on.  You’re supposed to supply four objects that say something about you, but I’m substituting four years worth of blog entries. And, as mentioned above, you’re supposed to use the physical representation of yourself as the awesome “person” you’re introducing.  It is easier that way . . . but maybe it shouldn’t be. So I ignored that bit, too.

A Very Wesson Christmas

Christmas Haul

We had a lot of Christmas this year.

It officially started with the Christmas Eve Children’s Service, in which Sunny played a Cabbage Patch Doll, and I played the Voice of a Cabbage Patch doll.  Sunny didn’t like the doll’s outfit, so we dressed her in a strapless gown filched from Sunny’s American Girl doll, on the theory that she has such an extensive wardrobe, she wouldn’t miss it.  The gown matched the color of Sunny’s own Christmas dress.

Unfortunately, Cabbage Patch dolls aren’t built to wear strapless gowns and Sunny wasn’t overly careful about sitting like she was wearing a skirt instead of jeans, so I spent a good deal of time pulling the doll’s dress up and Sunny’s dress down.

Jane was Mary, and wore a beautiful blue scarf that she hadn’t because it covered the peacock streaks in her hair, which she was secretly hoping would impress the boy playing Joseph. She doesn’t like him in that way, Mom, Jeez!  but it was still disappointing.

I was wearing my usual green polyester choir robe, which covered all sins from the neck down.
Can I get an Amen?

The next morning was sheer chaos, but it started after my first cup of coffee—
there are benefits to having children who are too wound up from late dinners and the prospects of Santa to go to sleep before eleven—
so I didn’t care.

Luckily, this year’s holiday madness included my brother-in-law’s girlfriend, who is a terrific photographer, so most of it was documented a lot better than in previous years, which, as some of you might recall, tended to feature my photobombing thumb.*

Christmas Stress

___

We upheld many venerable traditions,
including awesomesocks:

Awesomesocks 2014

 . . . which this year also meant things made out of awesomesocks, from the kits Mom gave both kids.

Sockraties

This is Sunny’s “Sockraties”.
(We are not arguing with the spelling. He is not ours.)

 

 There were favorite presents.

book bracelet

I received a lot of jewelry this year, which isn’t a complaint. I love the malachite set that the kids gave me and the chain my husband gave me for my favorite pendant–or gave himself, really, since he won’t have to battle with the clasp on my old chain–and the beautiful bracelet my folks sent me that is still firmly attached to its theft-proof box, but this one, given to me by my BIL and his girlfriend, photographed best.
It makes my wrist happy.

1 little girl from school

One Little Girl From School.

Santa gave Sunny and Jane fans in their stockings. They learned to unfurl, snap, flirt, and smack their uncle on the head.
Good times.

Skates!

Sunny received these at 8am Christmas morning. By the time she went to bed, they had only been OFF her feet a cumulative two hours.
She likes being tall.

pokemon!

Santa gave Jane Pokemon cards.
This is, apparently, a super-extra-rare-Somethingagon, which is just as confusing when it isn’t all fuzzy.

And yes, I took this photo. Hush.

Beaver Bites

Watson mailed us a big ol’ box of Texas, most of which came from Buc-ee’s and most of which is, theoretically, edible.

The Beaver Nuggets are very tasty.

And Reindeer Games.

Reindeer Games

The photographer might have arranged this one a bit while one of the subjects was having an after-brunch snooze.

jump

This captures not only a forty-year Wesson family tradition of ringing the bells as you pass underneath the felt Santa, but also the moment just before Sunny grabbed instead of swatted.

Santa is expected to make a full recovery, once the glue dries.

We even introduced a new tradition, we hope:

The Wesson Christmas piñata.

Contemplating the Enemy

Regarding the enemy.

Ninja Attack

Smacking the leg off the enemy with the soon-to-be-traditional Inexplicable Kendo Stick of Righteousness.

(“Inexplicable” because I didn’t know we owned one, and no one can explain why we do.)

Victory!

Victory!

Victory Dance

The traditional Wesson Victory Dance!
(It’s true. I’ve seen it before.)

Clown noses

To the Victors go the spoils. And clown noses.

The *funniest* part of this is when she leaned over the basket of goodies and tried, loudly and unsuccessfully—all three times—to blow it off her nose.
Two out of five adults and one older sister were appalled and disgusted. The rest of us were too busy laughing to speak.

 How was your Thursday?

__________________

*Those of you with discerning eyes—or just, you know, eyes—will be able to tell which ones are hers and which are mine.  Even if I had a quarter of her talent (nope) my phone app is no match for her professional-grade camera, with special lens attachment.  And she also gets up and moves around for shots, which I also do not.

Duck!

My friend Mike Allegra has made my entire week, if not longer.

I have been nagging begging pleading asking subtly suggesting that he draw me a duck in a fedora for almost as long as I’ve known him, give or take a couple of minutes.

Look what he drew for me:

duckie-pi-e1407069135400

That tie! That hat! That mug!  That other mug!

This hard-boiled private duck is just what I needed to counteract self-doubt and the beginning of a stress-packed week.  And if he can’t inspire me to crazy new word counts, I don’t know what would.

Thanks, Mike.