June 15, 1979

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On the Bright Side, I Think I Can Add “Wildlife Removal” to My Resume

Around 2:00 this morning, something woke me up. Middle-of-the-night logic decided my sleep had been disturbed by an animal on the fire escape, and so I got up and closed the window. None of this made sense, of course. What I’d heard was a whisper of sound–I’m a comically light sleeper–and even a chipmunk on the fire escape makes a holy racket you can hear two streets over. Also, why did I think I needed to shut the window? To protect myself from a squirrel? It’s true that every once in a while I see a raccoon out there, and … Read the rest

Quotable Wednesday

“Most grown-up behavior, when you come right down to it, is decidedly second-class. People don’t drive their cars as well, or wash their ears as well, or eat as well, or even play the harmonica as well as they would if they had sense. This is not to say people are terrible and should be replaced by machines; people are excellent and admirable creatures; efficiency isn’t everything.”
-John Gardner, The Art of Fiction

I believe what John’s really trying to say there is that my notebook and desk situations are fine.… Read the rest

In Which I Try Digital To Do Lists and Bullet Journaling, but Eventually Go Back to My Trusted and Familiar Multiple Random Notebook System

I was looking at old posts trying to figure out what I was up to here before I abandoned my blog, and check out this post where I was all cute thinking I was going to change my life using digital to do lists and reminders. Oh, the naïveté. I can’t remember exactly what made me abandon Wunderlist, but probably what happened is that I kept writing in my notebooks and eventually forgot the app existed. This basically also describes my relationship with Twitter, although, to be fair, I remember Twitter every few months or so when I feel like … Read the rest

Quotable Friday

“Consulting a dozen or so recently published punctuation guides, I can report that they contain minor disagreements on virtually all aspects of the above and that their only genuine consistency is in using Keats’s poems as the prime example. Strange, but true. They just can’t leave Keats alone. ‘It is Keats’ poems (NOT Keats’s),’ they thunder. Or alternatively: ‘It is Keats’s poems (NOT Keats’).’ Well, poor old Keats, you can’t help thinking. No wonder he developed that cough.”
-Lynne Truss in Eats, Shoots and Leaves 

Personally, I always use Jesus as an example when I try to teach … Read the rest

Renewal: Part 2 in a Potentially Ongoing Series

Now I’ve updated my bio, schedule, and speaking topics, since those were all crazy out-of-date. I also finally figured out how to update my social media sidebar, which I’ve been trying to do for two days, except it still won’t let me add Instagram. Instagram is the American Express of social media platforms–it doesn’t feel like it has to play nicely with third party software, but people keep using it anyway because there are things you can do with it that you just can’t do with the other platforms.

Maybe tomorrow or the next day, I’ll write about something interesting, … Read the rest

Renewal

I just updated my domain and the software here and deleted spam comments for the first time in I don’t know how long. I can’t remember passwords for accounts I made two days ago, but somehow I manage to remember this one. WATAT will be celebrating 13 years of existence at the end of the year–maybe it’s time to rethink what I’m doing (or not doing) in this space.

It strikes me that my first-ever post (“Hi world! I don’t know what I’m doing!”) remains valid.… Read the rest

The Cost of a Book

We had a regular patron at the library who was for a long time living with her cats in her car. She was friendly and open about it, so we all knew. When staff members started bringing the situation up to me, asking if there was something we should do, I kept saying we should stay out of it. She hadn’t asked for our help, so we should leave her alone. She did want a library card, though–a stickier issue, since she didn’t have an address, and we aren’t supposed to issue cards to people who don’t have addresses. The … Read the rest

Countdown to Caldecott: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

I first encountered 1943 Caldecott Medal winner The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton via the Disney cartoon short adaptation that I loved when I was a child. This was in the days before VCRs, even, so I had to be grateful whenever I managed to catch the short on TV, and it was never often enough. The story’s essential distrust of human nature spoke to 5-year-old me, and I think this interest is what grew and flourished into a lifelong love of dystopias, post-apocalyptic scenarios, science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

But I digress.

I had no idea that my … Read the rest

May Your Days Be Messy and Bright

As I think is true of many people, my Christmas lights philosophy comes straight from my father. It doesn’t matter if the lights are one color or multicolored or even if they match. What matters is that there should be a lot of them. My dad’s theory is that if it isn’t potentially visible from space, it’s not Christmas. I can’t say whether the transmission of this philosophy is nature or nurture, but it feels closely related to other things my dad passed on to me, like a love of heat and fires and some goddamn decent water pressure.

Something … Read the rest