take the leave.

I’m with her😉.

scatterplot

This coming week I will be two-thirds of the way through a medical leave – a paid medical leave that I almost didn’t take because I somehow felt it wasn’t warranted. My reluctance to take advantage of a benefit – offered by my university, supported by my colleagues, and recommended by a doctor who knows more about physiology and recovery than I do – is a problem.

Without a doubt, part of this hesitation is just me and my personality.* However, it was also the product of more widespread issues that I wanted to highlight here.  I also wanted to share the wisdom of others that finally gave me the courage to take the leave in hopes that someone else will do the same.

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A few great American books (a 100-ish books for 100-ish days post)

So, an old friend of mine has been posting some really interesting stuff on Facebook recently — every day for the 100 days leading up to the election, he’s posting a brief paragraph about a particular friend and all the things he appreciates about that friend. It’s essentially 100 friends for 100 days. I missed day 1 and the big explanation for why he’s decided to do these posts, but I think it’s to combat the grumpiness and cynicism that seem to be dragging us down lately. And so, I have been inspired to do something similar (thanks, Tyler!).

But because I’m a super-nerdy librarian, instead of posting about the people I love, I’m going to post about some of the many American books that I love. From here until the election, I’ll try to post about one great American book per day. I’m going to go ahead and count this as my first post, because I’ve got a bunch of errands to run today😉. It’s 100-ish books for 100-ish days!

I’m a Democrat, and my parents are Democrats, but my grandparents were all Republicans, so I’m used to hearing both sides of the political debate discussed over the dinner table. While I was growing up in the 90s, it seemed like both sides were willing to put in more of an effort to get along. I hope the days when conservatives and liberals were willing to work together can come again, because I think the 90s were a pretty great time to grow up in America. And I think we can make the decades to come even better if we start listening to each other, and to all voices in this country. The 90s were pretty great, but not everyone’s voice was heard equally. Some groups had a better chance of getting ahold of the microphone than others.

Because in order to have a truly representative democracy, all voices need to be heard, and we all need to vote. Voting is our privilege, our right, and our duty as American citizens — I hope you’ll join me in casting our ballots on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016.

If you’re not registered yet, find out how to register here: https://vote.usa.gov. Please remember that many states have a cut-off date for registering to vote — in my home state of AZ, you “must register to vote at least 29 days before the next election to be able to vote in it.

So, I’m a Democrat, I love my country, I am proud of my country, and these 100-ish books are just a few of the reasons why I love the U.S.A. so much. I read these books while growing up, and these books helped make me the person I am today.

Because history is not so much of a blueprint as it is a set of guidelines that can help us make sense of what’s happening today.

As the fantastic Connie Willis said in “Passage” — which will be one of the books in the list, as soon as I dig my copy out of a box: “Literature is a message.” What’s the message? It depends both on the author and on the reader — but I hope we’re all listening with our hearts and with open minds.

Happy reading,

Meg

 

Back off man, I’m a library scientist.

So, ThinkGeek — when are you going to get figurines and/or other merchandise from the new Ghostbusters movie? (the 2016 version, just to be perfectly clear — http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1289401/).
As much as I love the original GB, I also love the new GB movie. I have a lot of #GeekPride, but I’m also a girl. So the question is, do you think my #GeekPride is as important as the #GeekPride of your other customers? 

In other words, should I purchase all those non-Ghostbusters items in my cart right now? Or go find them at other stores and just forget about the ThinkGeek exclusives?

Because I’ve already bought some new GB stuff from Target and Amazon, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen new GB stuff at Barnes & Noble. So I know the stuff is out there, and I know you’ve chosen not to carry it. No amount of #GeekPoints or #GeekPride buttons will make up for that.

I’ve bought a fair amount of stuff from ThinkGeek over the years, but let me make myself perfectly clear — I love you, but I’m not in love with you. I’m totally still seeing other retailers.

And if you’re a fellow geek who gets mad about my comments and you decide that you want to hack me, please don’t bother — I’m already locked out of most of my accounts after various other people were offended by this blog. So, message already recieved, thanks. 

And I still like the new GB, even if you don’t like me. I’ve seen GB (2016) twice, and all of the original Ghostbusters actors still living made cameos — so I think they liked the new movie too.

In other words — back off, man. I’m a library scientist… (By which I mean I have an undergrad degree in bio and a master’s degree in information studies). 

I buy a lot of geeky stuff. And I’m gonna buy it from companies that consider young unmarried women to be an important demographic.

P.S. To Target, tell your analytics folks that their algorithm can’t tell the difference between a young Mom and a nerdy bachelorette Auntie, even though I have a RedCard, so I know you have full access to all my data. I’m an Auntie, so Power of Habit or not — I don’t need your darn Similac samples. Thanks!

P.P.S. This is my first blog post written on a smartphone — because yes, I’m so annoyed at you that I will hunt and peck on the world’s tiniest screen keyboard. The inspiration? The smarmy email I got from ThinkGeek just now telling me I should buy the items sitting in my cart because “I deserve it.” You used the word “deserve” AND made an LOTR joke in the same marketing email. It’s like you’ve never even read LOTR (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/471515-many-that-live-deserve-death-and-some-that-die-deserve).

Librarian-style take downs

Yesterday, my rental agent was mean to me for what I hope was the last time. Getting out of the apartment ASAP, and then I’m gonna take that #$&^# down, librarian-style.

We’re talking Chamber of Commerce. We’re talking Better Business Bureau. We’re talking National Association of Realtors. We’re talking formal written complaints.

And I’m going to tell my very nice Asian-American landlord, with whom I had a nice discussion with the other day in my driveway, that the agent has repeatedly told me that he “don’t speak English so good.”Read More »

Why am I being so difficult? I’m glad you asked.

This is the story of the first time I gave up stress, and why I finally decided to stop being stressed. I recently had to make the same decision again, because I had let stress come creeping back in. That’s the really annoying thing about big decisions — we make them, and then we have to keep making them every day afterwards. Life has an annoying habit of not being easy. If you figure out a solution for that, do let me know. But I think all we can do is make the best choice we can with the given information, and then not be afraid to revisit that decision later if it doesn’t seem to be working out.

This isn’t a particularly nice story — it talks about sexual abuse and suicide and depression and grief. So, please don’t read this if you don’t like sad stories. Some of [you] are such good friends that I feel odd not telling you myself, but I don’t want to force anyone to listen to this story. Read it or don’t read it – as you wish.Read More »

The nice girl’s guide to being a singleton

Hey, single friends! I think we rather desperately need to #BringNicenessBack. So, forget that stupid phrase about how “NiceGuysFinishLast.” And if a GUY repeats that phrase to you, throw rotten fruit at #ThatGuy. Really. And for guys, please don’t be #ThatGuy. Do it as a personal favor to women everywhere. No one likes a bully, even if that bully has the full force of the White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant Patriarchy* backing them up.

*a note on the article I linked to — I think that the Trump campaign might be accurately described as #TheWASPsStrikeBack — so we gotta blow up that Death Star one more time, y’all. Or, in the words of my generation — #HitMeBabyOneMoreTime! And if you hit me, I will first #RunAWAY to a safe distance, and then from that safe distance, I will say #WhatEVER — hitting people is like, totally rude. Because I can never remember if my thumb is supposed to go on the outside of my fist or the inside of my fist, so I’m not going to try to hit back. Plus, #ILoveTheRunning.Read More »

Why Guns Make Me Nervous, Part 2

So, I’m from Arizona, where former Governor Brewer would pass gun control laws based on the rationale that we were a frontier state where people used to keep guns under their wagon seat, so you should totally be able to keep them under your car seat too. And I get tired of that kind of rationale, as well as the rationale that the world would be a safer place if everyone carried a gun.

I think the world would be an angrier and scarier and more dangerous place if everyone carried a gun. I think that we, as a species, are too prone to losing our tempers and doing things we regret — adding guns into the mix just makes the process more explosive.

When I was in grad school, the police in our active shooter training at the library asked us NOT to bring our guns to campus and NOT to engage any shooters in gunfire (this was Texas, so a lot of people did own guns). Instead, the police wanted us to focus on these three actions, in this order (step zero was to call 911, of course):Read More »