Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinking out loud

If you haven't noticed, I seem to have "blogger's block," unable to find anything "synchronistic" to write about lately. So today I just have some random thoughts to get the juices flowing again...

* I know I am somewhat math-challenged, but I really messed up this week and had to "repent." I got on the bandwagon and went to Top Foods to buy the tuna on sale for 50 cents a can. I loaded up my cart with 24 cans (3 stacks of 8 cans, right??), breezed through the check out by giving the girl one can and telling her I had 24 total. Got home and unloaded...32 cans. Maaan! How did I get that wrong?? I went back the next day with 8 cans in my shopping bag and went through the checkout to buy the extras.

* I love Elizabeth Bennet! I have to (get to) read Pride and Prejudice again for a library program and am thoroughly enjoying Lizzie's spirit. "There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me." She knows who she is and likes herself. She doesn't try to be something she is not. She speaks her mind, yet is willing to change her mind when she discovers she has been wrong. Thank you, Miss Austen, for such a wonderful character to learn from!

* Irony #1: At my annual employee evaluation meeting my supervisor complimented me on how I "champion" the teens even in the face of criticism by some patrons, and stand by them and serve them with enthusiasm. This, after I had just determined and announced to my staff that we were going to crack down on bad teen behaviour: we "trespassed" two teens for foul language and loud, obnoxious behavior and stepped up the lookout for extreme PDAs (Public Displays of Affection).

*Irony #2: Yesterday afternoon I told several people I was finished with sign-waving for the Levy Lid Lift. I explained my rationale that those who haven't yet voted probably needed more information, not just more "rah! rah! Libraries" signage. I felt like we were preaching to the choir out there, getting all those honks and thumbs up from people who, I'm sure, have already voted. Never say never...I didn't realize Rich had committed us to one more stint--this morning at Yelm Hwy and College we greeted the commuters with our placards once again.

* I'm a Sentimental Fool. I know it. I get emotional at the silliest things. This morning it was the song, "The Night Chicago Died," by Paper Lace, on my Iphone while sign-waving. I put myself into the storyline, and felt that woman's worry and then joy when her husband walked through the door. A trivial example of how music can move us, I know, but powerful just the same.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Make It So

My husband calls me a POA (Person of Action). Actually it is a family trait that all the girls have (my mom, sister and all three of my daughters). The way I look at it, sometimes you have to make your own synchronicities...
I was in ward welfare meeting listening to talk of how one family had a need, another family had the solution, but nothing was being done to get the two together. ("not going to hold their hand..." ??). I picked up the sister with her carpet cleaner, drove to the home of the sister with the carpet needing cleaning and got them together. Then we realized she also needed a vacuum cleaner first...An email to the Relief Society hotline revealed not one but FOUR vacuum cleaners that could be given away. I made it so. There is great satisfaction in being a connector. Almost as cool as if the first sister had thought, "I need a carpet cleaner" and the second sister suddenly just showed up on her door asking, "Could you use this??"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Like Minds

Watching old episodes of Psych last night. Sean was teaching a high-school class on the Paranormal and asked, "Have you ever thought of someone you hadn't spoken to in a while and right then they call you? Or you're thinking of a song and it comes on the radio? That's the paranormal."
At work I put others in charge when I am not around. Usually it is one of the librarians. This day I thought of my Circulation Supervisor and put the "In Charge" sign by her name. When I told her, she said, "We must be on the same wave-length, because I was just thinking I needed more practice being in charge and was going to ask you to assign me!" I call it "synchronicity."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Libraries Change Lives

If I have to be out on the street corner jumping around like a lunatic, I'm glad it's a cause that gets such positive responses. We've been out waving signs in the effort to raise voter awareness that the library system here needs their support. I see blank faces staring out the windows and then as they read and are aware of what we are representing, we get horn honks, thumbs up and waves. It is very heartening and helps to motivate when the weather is cold and I get a blast of exhaust that I'm sure is drastically shortening my lifespan.
"The only true equalisers in the world are books; the only treasure-house open to all comers is a library; the only wealth which will not decay is knowledge; the only jewel which you can carry beyond the grave is wisdom."- J. A. Langford

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Plastics are Forever

I was frantically trying to speed-read the book I had to discuss within the hour (my co-moderator couldn't get in to work and it was her turn to lead the discussion. I had been complacently unprepared), when I was interrupted by a patron wanting my ear. He was upset by the Dasani/Coca-Cola vending maching in our foyer. His objections were many, but mainly he was opposed to the promoting of plastic containers that were contributing to the pollution of the oceans as well as the earth. Talk about coincidence! That was exactly what I had been reading about when he interrupted me! The book is called "The World Without Us " by Alan Weisman. He writes of the more than 10 million square mile North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (otherwise known as "Great Pacific Garbage Patch") which is 90% plastics flotsam. Plastic debris is now the most common surface feature of the world's oceans. Virtually every marine species is in danger of being snared by plastics or killed by ingesting it. And this stuff doesn't degrade. Every bit of plastic manufactured in the world for the last 50 years (has it only taken that long for us to do this amount of damage?!) still remains. That translates to over 1 billion tons!
So, what are YOU going to do about it? One woman's attempt to go plastic-free for one week is documented in today's (yes, TODAY'S--another synchronicity) Olympian: "Life Without Plastic." As for me, I'd love to follow my daughter's example and buy for my other daughter, FuzziBunz cloth diapers for my newest grandson. (I've got to get her buy-in though, as she will be the one laundering them...) In the end, it's not whether our small efforts make a difference, but how we feel about ourselves and what we have done with our individual stewardship.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oscar's intuition

Article in the NY Times today: "The Instincts to Trust Are Usually the Patient’s", which was about how many patients have an uncanny ability to know when they are about to die, even when they appear to be doing well. The article also cited a story in the New England Journal of Medicine about Oscar the cat who lived in a hospice wing of a hospital. He also knew when someone was about to die, and a few hours beforehand, would curl up and purr on the bed of the one about to move on. The staff recognized his abilities and would use his vigil as a signal to call the family of the patient to gather for their good-byes. He actually has a placque on the wall "For his compassionate hospice care.."

Just another one of those Unexplained Phenomenon I find so fascinating. (I think we should get a cat...)

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Good, the bad and the dishonest

So, I went to get my cholesterol tested once more, even though I had been a week off the statins already. The day I did the blood work, I had an appointment with my doctor, so I asked him about statins and cholesterol. As predicted, he called me a paranoid conspiracy nut (in almost those words) and said statins save lives, period, and if I wanted to shorten my life, it was a free country (exact words). I asked about the benefits of cholesterol in the body (after all, it is a naturally occurring substance, it is there for a reason...) and he couldn't really say. He did say if we brought a person's cholesterol down to single digits it wouldn't hurt. (What?!!) And BTW, he confirmed that statins have been known to cause facial paralysis, among other things... So I left, resolved to look for a new physician.

Yesterday I got a phone call from said doctor with my test results. He must not have looked at my chart, or else he didn't make any notes on my last visit, because he said my "bad" cholesterol levels were way too high and he recommended doubling my dosage of Zocor or changing it to Vytorin. Yes, Vytorin. Not only is he a closed-minded fool, he doesn't even watch the news... (Vytorin Doesn't Work )


This morning as I was cleaning my glasses, one of the nose pieces broke off. I was thinking about it during my lunch walk (it was starting to hurt my nose at that point) and wondered if there was an eye place on my route. I started looking around as I walked and found one in the next block. The kind lady at the counter took my glasses and I strolled over to the frames display to wait. I found a cool pair of sunglasses and decided to make an appointment to get a pair with my prescription. Her good deed turned into a new customer!

Happy New Year!

New Year, new me? I like to set goals, but when it comes to diet goals, it's all or nothing. Back in September, when I gave up the Big Four (sugar, chocolate, cheese, red meat) it was actually pretty easy. I was motivated to reduce my cholesterol without the use of statin drugs. Now my view is that reducing cholesterol isn't important, and in fact, higher cholesterol in women (my age...) is beneficial. But I did lose weight as a side benefit, and felt wonderful. Then I proceeded to gain 1/2 of it back during the sugar-infused holidays. So...I'm tempted to do a "No Sugar in 2009" goal. I know sugar is the culprit and has no redeeming value (except maybe as a social ritual that facilitates bonding--who hasn't made some fine memories over a mint-chocolate chip ice cream cone or a hot-fudge sundae??) I have some wonderful examples to draw from: my friend Ka in Ithaca gave up sugar (or was it just chocolate?) for the 2 years her son was on a mission (her sacrifice to gain blessings for him) and today I just read of a woman in Battle Ground, WA who just completed a sugar-free 2008. It's not just a physical health thing, I feel spiritually stronger when I am successful in conquering my cravings. So, maybe I'll start tomorrow, as soon as the Eggnog is all gone...