Monday, December 27, 2004

Disgruntled workers of the world, unite! If you haven't been to this site yet, go there now. I get all of my work computer wallpaper there.

I have always loved "A Christmas Carol." I don't know why the story appeals to me so much but it really does. My favorite versions are the Albert Finney musical "Scrooge" and Bill Murray's "Scrooged." I love the idea of having this overnight transformation and starting a new life. I used to want to be a really bad person just so I could undergo the magical transformation into someone good and beloved. I really enjoy the scene where Scrooge encounters everyone as his new self and shocks them all. There is such potential for a wonderful new life in those scenes. You just know that Scrooge will live happily ever after. And in the Albert Finney version, he gets to dance around with everyone singing "Thank you very much." And there's nothing better than a good musical number.

Speaking if which...I saw "A Very Long Engagement" which was quite good. I love the director Jean Pierre Jeunet. Very creative. Don't go expecting "Amelie." It's more of a war movie/mystery/love story. I also saw "Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera." I liked it. If you liked the musical, you'll probably like the movie because it is just the same. Except without Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. I have to say the Phantom is much sexier than Raoul. Christine is a fool.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Well, things are a bit calmer at the library. I'm looking forward to having a three day weekend for Christmas. I have decided not to pursue things about my difficult co-worker until after the holidays. It's just too crazy right now. In the meantime, I will just try and avoid her.

I went to Texas last weekend. Flew into Dallas, then flew to Austin, then drove to San Antonio for a day. Visited all my old haunts. I was surprised by how much I miss Dallas. Everything there just felt so familiar and comfortable. All the pretty houses, the great restaurants and stores. We went to the new Nasher Sculpture Garden which was really cool. Dallas seems to be improving. And I'm enjoying getting to know Austin. It's a little more provincial than Dallas but it has a lot to offer. Makes me realize how much I miss Texas. It's one of those things where you don't realize how much you've missed it until you get there.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

So, another realization.

I am very short-tempered. This is nothing new. I have been better about controlling it lately, though. I tend to get easily irritated and I'm very short on patience. But, although I anger quickly, I am also quick to get over it. Lately, I've been trying just to keep it in and let myself simmer down before reacting. Because the fact of the matter is, I don't like conflict. I'm not afraid of it but I just prefer everyone to get along.

My problems with my co-worker G. have reached a new level. Actually, a new low. Her constant picking on me, criticizing me and finding fault have finally pushed me over the edge. She really irritates me but I keep it to myself. I don't confront her. I just silently stew until I get over it or I vent to a friend. G. feels the need to confront me constantly. What makes this difficult is that she only has a problem with me. Everyone else thinks she is all sweetness and light. Her actions have brought me to the point that I want to call in sick on days when I know I will be working with her. I'm always on edge because I worry about what I will do today that will make her mad. And it's never intentional. I don't like fighting and I don't want to cause problems. But I always seem to do something to piss her off. I will think that things are moving along merrily and all of a sudden she will confront me with something out of left field. It actually makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

Yesterday, I submitted a formal complaint in writing to my boss. I didn't know what else to do. I don't want to be a trouble-maker and I don't want to be one of those people who runs to tattle on her co-worker. I have never dealt with this before in a work situation and it's really hard. I prefer to deal with things on my own. But I'm tired of being constantly attacked. It's creating a hostile working environment for me. So, I'm meeting with my boss today to discuss it. And I'm really nervous about it. But I have to do something. I'm tired of dreading going to work.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

So, I've just had a realization about myself. I am someone who strictly adheres to rules. I think I take comfort in the order that rules provide. And I also have this finely-tuned sense of fairness and justice. Sometimes, I am such a stickler about rules that I can't see beyond them. I remember when I was younger, I would tell friends, "Don't climb on that. You're not supposed to go in there. Don't do that because it's dangerous. Wear a condom." I'm all about rules.

Which makes me a real hardass at the library. Where my co-workers are likely to let certain things slide, I won't. I hardly ever cancel fines because I don't think it's fair to other people. You do the crime, you do the time. Some part of me feels that rules are there for a reason. That they create order in society. And I don't like bending or breaking them. This is both a good and bad thing. But definitely something I need to recognize about myself.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Okay, I didn't mean to start a firestorm of controversy with the "church" conversation that I posted. I just found what the people were saying quite interesting.

I'm not out to change anyone's mind or force religion on anyone. I would feel just as frustrated if someone had been talking about temples or mosques. Maybe pretty windows and music ARE a starting point for some people. But I don't think that's the case with these people.

Going to church serves specific purposes. Worship and fellowship. I find that if I don't go to church for long periods of time that I start to get moody and upset without knowing why. Spirituality is not just a solitary thing. We all need our private time for prayer, reflection and meditation. But part of Christianity is also fellowship with your other Christians. I love going to church (even though I go alone and I don't know anyone) and just being with other people who share my beliefs. I love the congregational confessions of sins and raising our voices in song for worship.

There is a time and a place for everything. Many places of worship DO have beautiful architecture that everyone should enjoy. AND beautiful music. But if you just want to sing Christmas carols, there are plenty of other places to do that. And if you just want to check out the windows, you can do that at other times. It is a mockery of people who actually go to spiritual venues to worship to make fun of their beliefs, their sermons etc and just go there as a tourist. If I believed that the woman in the conversation was actually serious about trying out different churches and/or faiths, I wouldn't be offended. But I don't care for looky-loos who just want to hang out and look at decorations.

I will always welcome people to my church who come in a spirit of learning and/or fellowship. Who come with a sense of respect. The same respect that I would carry with me into a place of worship of another faith. My friends who have commented thus far are all correct. People start down the road of faith from different places. For some, music and art can be starting points. And I agree with that. I just don't want people coming to my church to hang out and then disrespect those of us who come there to worship.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I was going to write about my overheard conversation from yesterday's blog but Greg just pointed out an editorial in today's Rocky Mountain News that just killed me.

Look it up in its entirety at:,1299,DRMN_86_3379477,00.html

It is called "The Breaking Point" by Paul Campos. He writes about staring at a parked Ford Excursion in a shopping mall parking lot and how the sight of this vehicle slowly makes him mad. Here are a few excerpts:

"The most awe-inspiring feature of this particular Excursion is a plastic decal shaped like a yellow ribbon, which its owner has affixed to the back door. The ribbon is embossed with the message, "Support Our Troops." ...

To the owner of the Ford Excursion who implores us to Support Our Troops I say this: You, sir, (or madam) are a monumental jackass. At this moment, American troops are risking their lives to protect your inalienable right to live your life in an impenetrable fog of selfishness and stupidity.

If not for the need to service this grotesque monstrosity on which you squander your money and that of the taxpayers who subsidize your comfortably numb life, those troops you support would not be getting killed and maimed in a country I doubt you could find on a map.
I sometimes wonder if anything short of dynamite can shatter your complacent fantasy that the Iraq war is about bringing democracy to the Middle East.

The truth is that every Arab from Casablanca to Khartoum could be cutting his brother's throat, and yet this would remain a matter of indifference to our government, if not for the need to ensure that you will be able to fill your Excursion with cheap gasoline.

To expect others to sacrifice everything for you, while advertising by your own behavior that you will sacrifice exactly nothing for them, is the height of political and social immorality. And to do so while claiming your political views are an expression of "moral values" is an obscene joke.

Drive off, Ford Excursion. Head back to your gated community, to patiently await the Rapture, or the next Nordstrom's sale. You've driven me past the limits of pundit endurance, and I long to return to the world of thoughtful observation. "

Hear, hear Professor Campos! Maybe he read my blog a few weeks ago when I complained about those ubiquitous yellow ribbons and how they seem quite shallow and superficial. This article gave me a much-needed laugh. Har har.

Monday, December 06, 2004

So, here is the gist of a conversation I overhead in a restaurant yesterday. A man and two women were sitting in the booth next to me and I couldn't help but listen in...

Older Woman: I'd like to go to church for Christmas but I don't want to go alone. And I don't know where to go.

Younger Woman: What kind of church are you looking for?

Older woman: Well, I really like churches with beautiful windows and pretty music. There is one over on the DU campus. It's Catholic, I think.

Man: It's not Catholic. It's unaffiliated.

Younger Woman: Just as well. Catholics are so weird about stuff.

Older woman: Well, I just want pretty windows and pretty music. I don't care about sermons. I never listen anyway.

Younger Woman: Yeah, me neither. I just like to look around. Sermons are boring. Don't go to a Lutheran church. They are just like Catholics. Someone once told me, if you are Catholic, you'll feel really comfortable in a Lutheran church because they are exactly the same.

Older woman: Well, I'll just try and find a pretty church. I don't care what kind it is.

Now, you know I was just dying to butt into this conversation. I'll talk about my thoughts on it tomorrow. For now, just enjoy the crazy things that people say. I get so tired of my fellow human beings sometimes.

How did Jesus do it?

Strange Things I Have Seen Driving Around My Neighborhood

1. A man standing on the sidewalk a week ago ripping up a "Pete Coors for Senate" poster and then stomping on the pieces. Hey buddy! Calm down! We won! We don't need to be angry.

2. an old lady driving a bright yellow Volkswagon bug (cute!)

3. a pickup truck with a beauty school mannequin head dangling from under the back bumper...the guy had painted it to look bloody

4. a truck speeding by with a giant bronze bear in the bed facing forward like it was a parade float

I'm going to keep adding to this list because it's crazy out there!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

So, I have come up with a new term: "brain sorbet."

A book or movie is "brain sorbet" when you use it cleanse your palate. So to speak. For instance, I am reading the new Agatha Raisin mystery right now. It's fluffy and uncomplicated and you can read it in a night. I sometimes read books like that in between more complicated works of literature just to give my brain a rest. You know, it's "brain sorbet."

My friend Greg says that works with movies too. Sometimes you need a fluffy silly little film in the middle of watching a bunch of complex ones just to give your brain a rest.

We all need a bit of fluff now and then.