Library Meatloaf

Yesterday marked the start of the first full week of school and also the first morning confiscations of the school year.

With minimal frisking—this ain’t my first rodeo—I bagged an iPod, an MP3 player, and a set of earbuds I thought I’d left in Chicago from an eleven-year old who honestly may not have noticed they were still attached to her, and also a bulldog puppy named Meatloaf, whose seven-year old thought I was kidding when I said she wasn’t allowed to bring toys to school without asking her teacher first.

I promised Sunny I’d take good care of him all day. Remarkably, this worked and she handed him over with minimal fuss and a heartening touch of guilt.

To be honest, I meant to leave him in the car, but tossed him in my bag instead, where he quietly tangled himself in my badge lanyard.

When I pulled out my badge to clock in, there he was.

And since he was, I decided to put him to work.

Meatloaf Clocking in

Did it beep? I didn’t hear a beep . . .

Meatloaf turned out to be the perfect library page: eager, willing, and remarkably quiet, considering his owner.

He helped answer the phone:

Meatloaf Taking Calls

Yes, we’re open. Yes, I’m sure.

Look up information for patrons:

Meatloaf at the Catalog

You don’t know the title, the author, or the plot, but the cover could be blue? Or maybe red?  No problem.

And sort magazines (from his expression, clearly not his favorite):

Meatloaf and Magazines

Um . . . I’m going to need the step stool. And some thumbs.

He also shared my dinner and helped me hone my Flappy Bird skillz* on Jane’s iPod before napping in my lunchbag for the rest of my shift.

Meatloaf for Lunch

Got any Scooby Snacks?

At the end of the day, I returned one very sleepy puppy to his equally sleepy little girl just in time for him to tell her all about his day before I tucked them both into bed.

This morning, I didn’t have to remove him from Sunny’s backpack.

I found him hiding in my purse. Wearing my lanyard.

Good boy!


*Which are nonexistent.  Someone needs to invent a game where you’re supposed to bash a digital bird into the same building over and over.  I would be the reigning champion of the world.


A Brief List of Happy Tuesday Stuff

Things that made me happy today:


Feeding my kids pizza for breakfast without guilt—
or pitching the uneaten half of their cereal, toast, eggs, or other traditional breakfast foods.


This also took care of my MIL’s complaints about the leftover pizza taking up too much space in the fridge
and the way my children don’t eat enough in the morning—
though it did not stop her from expression her silent, pointed, painful-looking opinions about pizza not being Real Food.

I can’t say that didn’t have an elevating effect on the “without guilt” part of the experience.

(and also maybe, secretly, the happy)



Singing along to the radio on my way to work, stopping at a light, and realizing that the guy in the car next to me is belting out the exact same song.

He was doing Kimbra’s part, while I was covering Gotye.

He noticed,too, gave me a thumbs up, and we both sang louder, with feeling.
(long light +  a cement truck trying to back up over railroad tracks= looong light)

But the best part?

When the light changed, he grinned at me and hollered, “Let’s take this show on the road!” and took off.

He made my entire day.



I gave a very young patron a pencil and some scrap paper this afternoon,
while her grandmother was having something notarized,
and later received a hug and a picture that Jackson Pollack would have been proud to call his own.

She said I was a “very nice Library Lady.”Librarian Stereotype




Mike Allegra’s Doodle Contest! For which I get an extra entry because I mentioned it on my blog!


It ain’t ego, if it’s true.

If I win, I want a duck in a fedora!

Because that would make me even happier.


Three (and a half) Things that Made Me Smile This Morning*


Sunny’s Practicality

“What do you want for Christmas, honey?” I asked my six-year old, perhaps a month or so later than I should’ve.

“A real horse,” she said.White horse in field

“Where would we put him?” I asked, opting for the space argument instead of the financial one that usually works better on her older sister.  “We don’t have much yard, and the garage is pretty full.”

“He can stay in my room.”

“Horses can’t be house-trained, honey,” I said, envisioning wall-to-wall newspaper and a pooper scooper the size of a snow shovel.

“I’ll walk him every day  Two times.”

“Doesn’t matter—they don’t hold it, they just go whenever and wherever they are.

“Oh,” she said, her little brow wrinkling.  And then she smiled. “He can stay in your room, then.”



Murphy the Snail Finger Puppet

Because he’s a snail.

And a finger puppet.

And just look at that little face.

Murphy The Snail

He was found in a museum gift shop this weekend, and I carried him around on my forefinger from the time I discovered him on the rack amongst  the bunnies and puppies, seals and robins, hedgehogs and otters, sharks and etcetera—they have an remarkable selection—to the moment the clerk said, “Do you want a bag, or are you going to wear him home?”

I didn’t wear him home, thank you.  I was driving.

Jane named him.  I was thinking Morton, but he totally looks like a Murphy.

Murphy The Snail 2

What he’s sitting on is the half thing that made me smile, because it’s the half-completed next scene from my WIP,
and I get to use straightjacket metaphorically for once.

(genre thing — best not to ask, really)



The Grapes that Stole Christmas

This is the season that our research patrons and volunteers and vendors like to give us cookies and fudge and chocolates and so forth.

And heaven knows, we appreciate it.

But this year, one of our favorite volunteers brought us these:

Grape that Stole Christmas

Grinches onna Stick for second breakfast!



*Not including Lyra’s latest post, which she published yesterday, but I caught first this thing morning. Gingerbread House metaphors and Elf Beer. Awesome.

Totally SHIELDed


There will be no post today because the blogger is too busy fangirling—fanwomaning?—and counting the seconds until seven p.m. CST.


Are you joking?

Agents of SHIELD

For those of you who haven’t paid much attention to any of my casual references to the show for the past several months, here’s a trailer:

And another example of the advertising power ABC and Marvel Studios are putting behind this show:

Agent of the Year

And at least one member of  Joss Whedon’s Star Power Stable™ who’s making a cameo:

Ron Glass- AoS!


From  Firefly! And Serenity!  And Barney Miller!

And now I’m dating myself.

But I don’t care!  Because it’s RON GLASS!!

Not convinced?  Really?

Try a different trailer:

And an interview that would have made me want to try the first episode, even if I’d never heard of Marvel, simply because of the comfort levels and chemistry of the actors:

Am I being just a tad . . . intense about a television program?

Could be.

But the only programs that have played on our television in the ten months since Leverage ended
have been for kids or sports fans.

And while I haven’t really missed it, this show seems like an excellent reason to tune into something  a little closer to my demographic.

And just a bit closer to my heart.

Coulson Lives!

Join me?

Training Wheels on my Empty Nest

Funny Captions - I'm having fun and you can't stop me

My parents arrived last night, an overnight stop on their way to St. Louis.   When they left, they took both kids with them.

For a week.

Despite the packing, the Great Toothbrush Debate, and the careful counting of ‘sleeps’ in the hopes that Sunny wouldn’t explode from excitement until she was well away, it didn’t really sink in until this morning, after I’d already located two lunchbags and pulled four slices of bread out of the bag, all the while talking to Janie about how much fun she was going to have at Six Flags, what to do if she was lost, and how she needed to look after Sunny, maybe we should go over our phone numbers one more—

“What are you doing, Mom?”

I looked at the  knife.  “Making your lunches for—oh, wait.  You’re not going to camp today, are you.”

“No.  No, we’re not.”

“Right . . . want a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast?”

“No thanks.”


So that’s how eating a pb&j for breakfast was my last sacrificial act of parenting for four days.

I have to work today—it’s my one night a month—but after tonight I’m off until Saturday.

Four days of  Mommy Time.  Four bright and shining days.

Those of you without kids—and I know there are a few of you out there, somewhere—may not understand the feeling of freedom, verging on vertigo, that this has given me.

A few of you might even wonder if  celebrating this might not be just a bit close to Bad Mommy territory.

I’m wondering that myself.

See, I once mentioned on a forum, in response to a thread about how we fit writing into our lives, that since I had two kids under ten and a full-time job, most of my ‘solid writing time’ was before they woke up and after they went to bed, and that sometimes my husband took the kids away for a couple hours on the weekends so I could fit in a little more.  Otherwise, I did the scribbled notes thing throughout the day.  I wished I had a whole day to write, sometimes, but the kids wouldn’t always need me like they do, so I’d keep on trucking until I did—or words to that effect.

Or maybe not quite to that effect, since the moderator of the thread immediately replied that children were a choice and since I chose to have them, it was ironic that I was complaining about the time they took out of my day.  And that some people have a whole day to write because they’re disabled, or unemployed,so where did I get off envying them with my able-bodied, employed privilege?  And she herself was working two jobs and taking care of her elderly mother, so I should probably get over myself.

I got over myself so much that I apologized to the thread for not understanding the question and for implying that I was Busier Than Thou and quit the forum.

That was four years ago, and I’m still trying to parse it out.

The thing is . . . my children were both choices.  Janie was a gift and Sunny was a bona fide miracle.  I love them and am amused and amazed by each of them every day.  My world—the entire world— is better because they are in it and if there ever comes a time when I’m called upon to trade my life for theirs, tell me where to sign and get the hell out of my way.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t get impatient and annoyed with some of their behavior—and vice versa,  no question.  That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally want to  pursue a plot thread or enjoy someone else’s words or play Plants vs. Zombies—or clean the grout with my fingernails—rather than read Barbie and the Three Musketeers for the fifteenth time in three days.*

And it doesn’t mean my offspring and I don’t need a break from each other—from the mutual whining and nagging and revolting choice of favorite foods and the bedtime battles.  And, for the love of all that has ever been holy, Pokemon.

I’m looking forward to watching my favorite shows when they actually air and to not watching anything animated or geared to the Disney demographic.** I’m gonna have zucchini tarts for dinner with companions who won’t make horrible faces at the thought and eat ice cream in the living room without worrying about setting a bad example.  I’m going to sleep-in, see a PG or R movie or two without using the mute button and subtitles, stay up as late as I want to finish that Alexandra Sokoloff novel . . . and I’m gonna write.

It’s going to be great.

Of course, the reason this time is going to be so enjoyable is that it’s short.*** I’m going to get them back.

I’m expecting to get a little anxious around Thursday and I insisted on phone calls every bedtime. I’m a little anxious now, thinking about nights without giggles and tickles and Super Sunny stories, or questions about how the universe works and why it isn’t a little more sensible and maybe just one more page of Calvin & Hobbes.

But I filled up on hugs before I left this morning and I’m glad they’re getting this time with their grandparents.

And that I’m staying home.

Yeah, pretty soon, I’ll realize that filling up on hugs isn’t possible and maybe I won’t be so glad that the majority of their time won’t include me.

And that I’m staying behind.

But I’m thinking that this trial run should be pretty cool.

Pass the Talenti and the remote.

*Sunny is really good at finding that book, no matter where I’ve hidden it.

** I’d look forward to having the television off, but it’s baseball season and I’m outnumbered.

***Okay, I did beg Mom for another week . . . But sheesh, who wouldn’t?