Cancelling Monday



Yesterday was the Monday of Mondays.

It was also the second Monday of the month, which meant I had to haul across two towns to to the branch on the far edge of the next town over and get everything set up.

were ten minutes late leaving the house because the same children who had sworn to me the night before—on the life of their mother, which was an ironic touch—that they had everything in their backpacks and their favorite clothes laid out for morning and already knew what they wanted for breakfast woke up unable to find their flute, their homework, or a matching set of shoes.  They also developed a sudden hatred of every single item of school-appropriate clothing they owned, plus allergies to Cheerios and toast.

I dropped them off and, having looked at the traffic reports, decided to avoid construction and take another route to work.  Along the way, I discovered that there are 37 traffic lights between the children’s school and the western branch library, and if you time it just right, you can hit every single one of them—including the one that allows the fire station to manoeuver their big truck in and out (and in and out and in) of the garage.

There are three schools on that route as well. One of them had an electronic sign that compared the speed limit to how fast you’re driving. That’s probably what caused the three car pileup about ten feet past.

When I arrived, the building services guy told me that the program—which has been held on the second Monday of the month (barring a few special scheduling adjustments for holidays) for the past seven years—wasn’t on the schedule and someone else had booked our room. We later figured out that Labor Day had confused the scheduling software, but at the time I was too busy wondering how I could fit twenty-plus people into a meeting room meant for ten.

We decided, since the other group was smaller and didn’t need the kitchen, to switch rooms on them and put up big signs in front of each door that were, apparently, completely invisible to anyone registered for that other meeting. I apologized a lot, to them for the confusion and to my group for the constant interruptions, and took a carafe of coffee over as a peace offering. I’m not sure they accepted the apologies, but they did interrupt us twice more for refills.

I managed to get everything cleaned and drive myself back to my regular branch, just in time for lunch.

Lunch, I have to admit, was pretty good: homemade matzoh ball soup. I only splashed a little on my top.

The afternoon was productive, but left me wondering about people who trust their memories of an article someone briefly showed them fifteen (or six . . . or maybe ten . . . no more than twenty, I’m sure of it) years ago over a comprehensive, full-text index that indicates that this specific newspaper (of our four regional papers) did not publish that article.

It was gently brought to my attention halfway through the afternoon that I’d been humming this all afternoon. And possibly singing it not quite far enough under my breath. Badly.

My husband sent me a text telling me that Sunny had forgotten her math workbook at school and was grounded from screen time.

The commute home was spent behind two enormous trailer trucks that were literally incapable of going over thirty on that road and were, apparently, completely invisible to the man driving his pickup veryclosebehindme, unless he thought my Honda Civic could shove an eighteen-wheeler up a 6% incline. Or would serve as a decent bumper buffer if he tried it.

When I got home, I got something out of the trunk—I half expected the pickup to be in there—when I realized that Rocinante’s tags expire next month. After a search of all the places important papers hide in the house, I decided that if I’d received a renewal notice from the DMV, I didn’t have it now. I’m so looking forward to visiting the DMV . . .

I managed to pour cold water on my foot and half a soup pot of warm water down my front when I was doing the dishes.

Sunny managed to extend her bedtime nearly an hour by refusing to do the math problems her father had reconstructed from the images another parent had sent him, via Facebook.

The other adults in the house were, apparently, completely invisible to the kids in the house and the very grumpy cat.  The very grumpy cat’s litterbox was likewise invisible, officially making random invisibility the conspiracy of the day.

There was no chocolate in the house.  Unless it was invisible.

I absolutely did NOT feel like writing anything at all. Oddly enough, the writing I managed to do didn’t feel like anything at all.

The bureau tried, with some success, to bite off my toe as I walked past.

I squirted a blob of toothpaste into the sink instead of my toothbrush. Five minutes later, I dropped a contact into the sink. Guess where?

I sat down at the computer to check my e-mail one last time before I called it a very long, doomed day. There were two messages waiting.

One was a(nother) rejection letter.

One was a brief note from a good friend telling me, out of the blue, that I was “the best fangirl writer-buddy poetry enabler a girl could ever have.”


Who knew it would turn out to be such a great Monday?

Pigeons in love



Monday State of (so-called) Mind


I’m back!  Sort of!

I’d planned to discuss my week off and my re-prioritization efforts and the cool stuff I was given for my birthday and my dentist appointment, and also the shopping trip I took with both kids yesterday—solo.

But what with the chapter attack and shopping and laundry and three levels of The Beardless Warrior (ironically, a time management game), I only managed to get about half the post done by the time I had to wake up the kids this morning.

I figured I’d finish up the blogcation/prioritization/birthday present/dental/shopping/parental post at work before I clocked in, but I might save the dental/shopping/parental part for Tuesday.

But Jane couldn’t find her day camp field trip shirt and Sunny decided to  take twenty minute to eat a peanut butter tortilla and fell back asleep while putting on her shoes,  and when we finally all made it to the car and hit the road, we was halfway to the kids’ school (twenty miles away) before I suddenly recalled that it was summer and I was supposed to be taking them  to the YMCA Camp (two mileaway).  So I ended up making myself late for work—although I partially blame all the delivery trucks, construction equipment, and cautious drivers that I was forced to follow all the way to work.

I figured I’d finish the  blogcation/prioritization/birthday present/dental/shopping/parental post over lunch, though I thought I’d save the dental/shopping/parental parts for later . . . and also the birthday present part, because I hadn’t downloaded the photos, &#!% it.

And then I realized that while I’d remembered to pack a bag lunch for Jane and give her field trip money, I’d forgotten to pack my own lunch or save enough cash to go out.

I figured I’d grab a bag of chips to eat at my desk and at least take a stab at writing up the decisions I’d made during my blogcation concerning my priorities and the changes I needed to make to stay productive, sane, and healthy. Or best two out of three, ’cause I gotta be me.

And then I thought about those priorities, showing vs. telling, and the definition of insanity.  And about not slapping myself on the hairpinned side of my forehead.



So at the time this post goes live, I’ll be sitting in my favorite nearby restaurant and having a nice salad and about a gallon of iced tea, because Rome was not decaffeinated in a day—unless that’s why it fell—and planning out a series of posts featuring a single topic each in the efforts to boost coherency.

Hey, it could happen.

Stay tuned.  Please.

So . . . How’s your Monday treating YOU?

Boxing Glove

Monday made me do it.


Wore my uncomfortable shoes this morning, because it was raining and I don’t care if they get soaked, plus I wasn’t planning on doing much walking today.

Dropped off the kids and arrived at work, crossed the street from the parking lot toting my purse, my lunch, and a six pack of 24-oz water bottles through the light rain. Bumped my purse into the staff door’s sensor pad so my badge would register.

Nothing happened. I bumped again. Still nothing.

Dug through my purse, wondering if the chip was finally going in my badge and if I had to get a new one, maybe I should get a new photo, too—one that wasn’t taken the day I came back from my last maternity leave and might not look quite so much like me—and realized that the sensor couldn’t register a badge that wasn’t there.

Trudged back to the car to look for it, figuring that if it wasn’t there, I’d wait for a coworker to arrive and follow them in.

Did I mention it was raining? And that I was schlepping my lunch bag, purse, and nine pounds of water instead of an umbrella? And that my shoes hate me even more after stepping in that puddle, which was an accident?

Found my badge and lanyard, which had wrapped around the parking brake. Freed it, slung it around my neck, and trudged back.

Rain. Heavy. Hurting. Ow.

Bypassed the stairs and headed for the elevator, which took its own, sweet time, and then took me UP, when all the buttons I’d pushed had told it I wanted DOWN. Pushed them again and was punished by stopping on every, single floor on the way to the one I wanted.

Slogged to my desk, wondering why I’d bothered to brush my hair at all, shed my coat and pulled my sweater straight, only to find that my badge had embedded its metal clip in the weave and I’d just yanked a bunch of threads into long, festive loops, directly over my right nipple.*

Did I mention that this is a brand new sweater and the first time I’d worn it?

Took off the sweater, which I don’t really need in our department, since we share space with the boiler room . . . And learned that due to everyone in reference calling in sick today, I’ll be spending the day at the desk not ten feet from the front entrance.

Did I mention that it’s raining even harder now? And the wind likes to come in and browse the new DVDs whenever a patron opens the door? Which is probably why reference keeps calling in sick?

Logged into my workstation to check e-mail for the ten minutes left before I had to clock in, and remembered that I hadn’t written a blog post yet.


Monday made me do it.


*It was suggested by a co-worker, who shall remain nameless, but not forgotten, that I should pull matching loops over the left one for “symmetry” and also to boost the library’s popularity.   As librarians can’t accept tips—and I wouldn’t find the place some of our patrons might want to put tips at all acceptable— I didn’t really see the point.

You Belong to Me

I’m suffering from a touch of eyestrain this morning, and also from the stress of hauling a reluctant kid to an 8 o’clock doctor’s appointment in an unfamiliar part of town, dragging her back to school via a vaguely remembered short-ish-cut, and racing myself over the river (literally) and through the woods (metaphorically) to the library, where I discovered my boss . . . and a camera crew.

So, in lieu of further discussion of events that might very well snap the overworked springs of my ocular ganglia and rupture that throbbing vein I can feel in my forehead, I’m offering a video of a father who tried to use a little bedtime song to distract his daughter from the imaginary fireworks keeping her from sleeping—hey, beats monsters under the bed—and ended up Winning The Internet:

 Don’t know about you, but I feel better . . .

Thank you, Darby Conley!

Sunny is learning to read, and, like her sister before her, she likes to practice with comic strip collections.

This seems to bother those people who confuse literacy with literary and librarian with pretentious outdated stereotype.

Without getting too much into it, comic strips* are a great literacy tool.  They’re dialogue heavy, with interesting images to reinforce meaning.  They generally contain either a punch-line or a dramatic statement as a reward for reading.  And they’re short.

None of the collections we have in the house—or at least on the lower shelves—are particularly adult-oriented, so the hardest part is trying to explain the jokes, especially when they rely on sarcasm, irony, or  a solid knowledge of best (or worst) business practices and/or global socio-economics and political grabassery.**

Which isn’t to say that I don’t occasionally wish for a longer storyline and maybe more in the way of text.

So when Sunny presented her current favorite Get Fuzzy collection at bedtime, I sighed and asked her if there wasn’t anything else she could find in any of our bookcases before giving in to the awesome persuasive power of a small, stubborn child wrapped in a furry bathrobe with purple penguins on it.

I was skipping around, going for the quick funny so I wouldn’t have to put much effort into it,*** when Sunny put out a hand to stop me from turning the page.  “What’s this one, Mommy?”getfuzzyDMV

“Well,” I said, “They’re waiting in line at the DMV—”

“The what?”

“The Department of Motor Vehicles—it’s the place where you get your driver’s license renewed, and your new license plate stickers and  things like that.  And it’s usually a long wait in line and sometimes people get impatient, and Rob has Bucky in a baby carrier so . . .  Um, it’s not really a joke, more of a reminder about how it feels to—”

“Do you do that?”

“Put the cat in a baby carrier? No, Toby wouldn’t like that.”


“Actually, I don’t have to go to the DMV much, because driver’s licenses don’t need to be renewed for years and I can order a new sticker or my license plate online—OH, MY GOD, IS IT OCTOBER?!”

And I abandoned my startled child to tear apart any area in which I might have stashed the renewal notice that came last month and which has evidently evaporated off the face of this earth.

So, this morning before I clocked in, I called the Office of the Secretary of State, and threw myself on the mercy of a very nice lady,^ who gave me my registration and PIN number, without making me walk three blocks to look at my license plate number.  Thus armed, I went to the cyberdriveIllinois site and started to fill out the online form . . .


Turns out, the coverage date on my insurance card had lapsed a wee bit.

So I picked up the phone called my Insurance Agent and the very nice lady over there^^ faxed me a new temporary card and promised to get me the real ones in the mail ASAP.

Somewhat shaken and profoundly grateful that I hadn’t needed to produce a valid insurance card in the last two weeks, I managed to fill out the rest of the form and enter my credit card information without incident.

I’m now completely street legal—or will be by the time my current sticker expires.

I also owe Mr. Conley big time for drawing that particular strip, and for creating Bucky Katt, whom Sunny inexplicably adores.

Don’t knock comic strips, y’all.  They’re lifesavers.


*And comic books, too, of course

**Which is why we’ve asked her—and her sister—to hold off on Doonesbury for a while.

***Alert the Mommy of the Year Committee.  I’m sure they have a file on me by now.

^Seriously, Jess White, you have some great people working in your Public Inquiry Division.

^^State Farm, you have awesome people, too!

(Get Fuzzy is the work of the brilliant and hopefully non litigious Darby Conley, who owns the image above)