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Libraries

Of course I’d write a post about libraries.  I’m an English major.

Right now I’m sitting in the Reading Room at the top floor of the Seattle Central Library.  You can read more about this library if you’d like, but here’s the quick and dirty: it was re-opened in 2004 after Seattle voters opted for a brand new building.  Apparently this same location has housed two other Central libraries.  It could hold 1.45 million books; right now, it holds 1 million.

The most interesting part of this library, to me at least, is that it looks nothing at all like my brain thinks a library should look.

Here’s my vision of a library:

Trinity College Library

Trinity College Library

And here’s Seattle Central Library:

12

Inside:

seattle_central_library_interior_11

789px-escalators_seattle_library

Yes, that is a lime green escalator.

Not quite what I had in mind, but I’m getting used to it.  It’s definitely huge, has a very large collection, and is kind of fun to hang out in.  Plus, they have a coffee bar complete with snacks, and a gift shop for that “unique Seattle gift.”  Hello, tourism.  I could get used to this….

I hate this quote.  I hate it, and I hate admitting that it might just be true.

I teach.  Not all the time, although I’d like to get back to the point where it is all the time, but enough to call myself a teacher without feeling like a complete fraud.  A good friend, supposedly in jest, once used this quote against me when I was lamenting the fact that I have two degrees in English and a very narrow skill set.  My guess is he only brought this up to get a rise out of me, which he did, but rise or not it got me thinking.  And we know the consequences of that.

My first instinct, on reading this, is to vehemently deny that this could even remotely be true.  No, no, no! yells the little voice in my brain.  I get so defensive about it, in fact, that I want to rewrite the quote to say something like, “Those who can, do.  Those who can’t, don’t,” or something nasty like “Those who can’t, do math.”  Cause, you know, that’s a good comeback.

But the sad thing is that this actually does apply sometimes.  I’ve had plenty of teachers in my as-a-student life that, well, sucked. I’ve also had teachers who rocked.  I’ve had teachers who do whatever it is they teach, from Technical Writing to Creative Writing to Chemistry.  My Chem professor in college was an actual chemist for a large company.  Apparently he blew stuff up on a regular basis.  On purpose.

What frustrates me the most is that I know so many people who completely defy this quote.  The BGF, for instance, is the perfect example of someone who is an amazing teacher and an amazing writer.  She knows her shit, and she uses what she knows in the classroom and in her day-to-day life.

My aunt calls teaching a noble profession.  I think it is, as long as you’re good at it.  There are people who become teachers simply because they can’t do anything else.  But my people don’t do that.  We become teachers because we love it, and we love what we teach, and we believe there’s nothing more satisfying than helping someone succeed.  Actually, there might be things more satisfying than that, but that’s a completely different post.  And, possibly, a different blog.  Violet Blue, anyone?

Go on, have a seat

Whenever I watch movies where characters sink into those great big, overstuffed, sumptuous looking armchairs, I get jealous.  I was raised in a home that had more Puritanical pieces when I was young; wing chairs with rough, child-proof upholstery, or ladder-back dining chairs which forced you to sit at a 90 degree angle.  As I got older my mother changed styles, and furniture pieces, constantly.  Unfortunately, none of the new stuff was overstuffed.  Or big.

As an adult, I’ve made it my mission to have furniture you can get lost in.  When I sink into a chair or couch I really want to sink.  This weekend, when I found a chair-and-a-half by cisco brothers at a local home store in West Seattle, I found myself on the first step to realizing my dream.  I’d post a picture of the chair, but, alas, their catalog is updating and there aren’t any pictures online.  No matter.  When I find one I’ll throw it on here.  Here’s a taste of what I was drooling over: imagine an icy blue velvet in a not-quite loveseat, but definitely bigger than an armchair.  Enough room for me+1.  No, not the Tank.  Oh, and it’s sustainable, too!

Since I got on the chair kick, I found a few others online that I love:

bokjachair

This is the Bojka chair from abc home.  I don’t care whether it’s low or high, comfortable or uncomfortable.  Look at it!  It’s so cool!  It has amazing fabric, fantastic colors, and really cute little turned wood legs. I love it.  The fabric itself is actually a collection of vintage embroidered tapestries, one-of-a-kind.  Translation: I can’t afford it, but thanks for looking.  Here are the others in different styles, all with the same type of fabric:

bokja2

bokja3

bokja4

Fabulous!

A text conversation with Edgar

Edgar: College football alllllll day.  I need more tvs

Me: You’re a dork

Edgar: No way.  Its awesome.  I love college football.

Me: Good for you. Dork

Edgar: Seven games are currently on tv.  I’m trying to watch all seven and get a few over the internet.  College football season is so epic

Me: Wow.  You’ve moved past dork into nerd

Edgar: Noo.  Pretty sure you’re the ritard for not watching football

Me: Eh.  I’ve got more interesting things to do. Like go play in the ocean, for instance

Edgar: If the ocean has college football playing, I would go in it as well

A text conversation with Norman

Me: Is ur phone the 3g or 3gs?

Norman: 3gs

Me: K

Norman: L

Me: Huh?

Norman: M

Norman: Oh. Are we not doing the alphabet?

Fancy meeting you here!

Unfortunately, when it’s been almost a year since updating your blog, things kind of change.  For instance, I no longer have Dozer.  It was actually a very long time ago that she went to live with her brother, Wilson, at the BGF’s house.  I’m sure she’s much happier there, but now she’s about 3,000 miles away on the East Coast, while Tank and I are on the West Coast.

Luckily, Tank has two new playmates: my Aunt’s cats, Buster and Wallace.  Both are crazy little spastic nuts, but I have the feeling that’s really helpful for Tank because it gives him even more reason to chase after them.

The other major difference is that I now live in Seattle, WA, instead of KS.  Today marks three weeks and five days since I got here.  It’s an enormous change, and one that I don’t think I realized would be quite so difficult.  I like Seattle; this is definitely a step up from a week or so ago when I was pretty sure the people sucked, the roads sucked, the drivers sucked, the weather sucked…look, I wasn’t exactly little miss sunshine, okay?  Now, I can confidently say that I like Seattle.  I don’t love it here, but it’s getting better.  The weather is still beautiful (60’s and 70’s, minimal rain, and the hottest it’s gotten is about 84), the people are better, and I’m getting used to the bumpy roads.  I’m learning my way around, without a GPS thank-you-very-much, and am slowly starting to decide what parts of the city I want to spend more time in and what parts I want to avoid, for now.

As for the hard parts, I miss my family and friends more than I ever imagined I would.  I’ve traveled a lot in my life, and to fairly distant parts of the world, but always with the knowledge that I was leaving home behind and would eventually return.  Now I’m a rather long plane ride away from my favorite people in the world, and, to be blunt, it sucks.  Yes, I can still email and chat and text and talk on the phone (ideally without a $237 phone bill next month), but what do I do when I need a hug from my best friend?  Or my mom?  You can’t hug over text.  That makes me sad, sometimes.

I’m also living in a really big city for the first time in my life.  I will finally admit that no, I never actually lived in Kansas City.  I’m a suburban girl, born and raised.  Busses intimidate me.  Downtown traffic at rush hour infuriates me.  The throngs of people, natives and tourists, in the Pike Place Market on the weekends makes me want to kick someone.  The huge buildings that block out the sunlight confuse me: I’m used to being able to stand up just a little bit straighter to see four blocks away to where I want to go. And after living in a little midwest college town for five years, you get used to rush minute, not rush hour.

Some days are good.  In fact, some days are great.  On the flip side, some days are spent doing far too much thinking, worrying about whether or not I’m going to get a job teaching or tutoring, worrying about being able to afford my own place to live ever, wondering if I’m ever going to make any friends–in short, I freak out.  I’m getting tired of my own drama.

The BGF made an excellent point.  Originally, I decided I would shove ahead until the end of December, at which time I would figure out if I wanted to stay.  She suggested, instead, to give it two months.  At the end of October, take stock in how I feel.  If I’m still in this ridiculous pattern of crying three to ten times a day, maybe I need to re-think the move.  On the other side of that, if by the end of October I’m looking back at myself right now and thinking, “Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?” then maybe I should extend my stay.

Before I moved out to Seattle I felt stuck.  My life wasn’t doing much and I honestly felt like there was a me five to ten years in the future looking at the me right now, trying to get me out of my rut.  The future me knows something the right-now me is still trying to figure out, and while I’d like to think that part of it is that I can do this, there’s a hell of a lot more to it.  So for now I’m staying.

Someone incredibly important to me told me, after I got out here, that they were very proud of me.  Through all my crying and homesickness, I’m proud of me, too.  Not once have I thought I made the wrong decision.  I have thought a couple times that I might go hike up Mount Rainier and disappear, and I’ve thought about going back to Kansas, but I’m not going to do either one.  Not yet.

I was kindly reminded by the BGF that I haven’t written in forever, so here I am, 10 at night on Sunday, finishing up some grading, listening to the new Snow Patrol, thinking about why I haven’t been writing lately.  Part of it is because I haven’t really had much to say.  Okay, that’s not completely true.  I always have a lot to say.

You know when you haven’t done something for a really long time and get really agitated about doing it again?  I was seeing a guy for the past two weeks, after not having been dating in a really long time, and was a complete and total mess beforehand.  We’re talking mess of epic proportions.  I don’t think I ate a full meal in four days.  Turns out I was worked up for nothing, especially considering that the guy was kind of crazy and nowhere worth that kind of freak-out.  Honestly, who in their right mind says “Wanna bet who’s going to say the l-word first?” the second time you’ve been with that person?  So weird….

This is sort of the same problem I’m having with the paper.  I don’t want to even look at it because I’ve built it up into this huge ridiculous crazy awful thing that it isn’t.  It’s a stupid paper.  It’s twenty pages.  It’s about some topic that about ten people in the country will consider reading, and of those ten people five of them will find an excuse not to, and of the remaining five people only three will, and one of those three will be my best friend because she’s nice to me and she won’t even really be interested in the subject matter.  I’m not even interested in the subject matter.  So there.

I didn’t meet my self-imposed deadline of the 13th.  I will blame the boy and work and grading papers.  Now there is no boy, work is a poor excuse, and grading will end in about a month.  That means that I will have this paper done by Christmas.  That’s what I told my dad today, and I’m sticking to it.  I even looked at the calendar and did some figuring in my head, so my brain feels like this is more official than the last deadline.  Hopefully my brain won’t get tripped up by my agitation.