Friday, August 24, 2012

The Public Is Just Weird

I work at a public library.
Probably one of my new favorite funny blogs.  The stories are just too spot on.  You think I'm kidding when I tell the story of the man watching pregnant lady porn at the library? Or when a woman threatens to assault another patron because she's convinced that her computer is being hacked into from across the room?

Nope, I'm not kidding.  These stories go on for days.  I wish I had thought of writing this blog first...

I Work At A Public Library

My stories of today?

How about the woman who approached my desk about an hour ago to ask a question and her dry looking hair inexplicably dripped something on my desk? I've decided that she must have been wearing a wig and the hot weather was causing her to sweat through it...which because the hair isn't human hair, the sweat just beads up and drips off.  Or at least that's what I've come up with.  It's disgusting either way. I almost puked in my mouth.

Another woman just had a meeting with our director to complain that the library has a pop machine available.  She believes it encourages children to drink pop. Nevermind that it has just as many juice options and thirsty adults also use the library.  I get what you're saying lady, but hold your horses and focus your extra time elsewhere.  May I suggest a book?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Leg And Leather Envy

I will continue to work my butt off until I call wear this outfit and pull it off.

For the love of Nike, I want to wear this.  And look awesome.

Oh Lauren Conrad, why must you randomly wear clothes that I covet?  Feel free to hook a girl up.

side note- I have a strangely bad feeling about how the title of this post will come up in searches...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day Of Friend School

Or at least that's what I felt like after I finished MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche.  Like I hadn't been putting in the work and have some serious friendship schoolin' to do!

As the rest of the title says, Rachel Bertsche spent a full year going out on "girl dates" in order to find herself a new bff.  Like many women in their mid to late 20's, she had just gotten married and moved to a new city, specifically Chicago.  As she tries to explain, it isn't that she doesn't have any friends, it's just that her best friends live in other cities and she's looking for the sort of girl with whom she can grab lunch or simply watch tv.  In order to accomplish her goal of going on one girl date a week for an entire year, Rachel reaches out to friends of friends, asks out women she's met while shopping, joins clubs, employs a friend "matchmaker" and even rents a friend.  Basically, she actively searches out opportunities to meet new people and never turns down an invitation.  When Rachel says "We should get together sometime!", she means it.

Many of her dates are duds but plenty of them are a great experience.  Eventually she even begins to introduce the women she meets to each other in order to help them expand their friendship networks.  Over the course of this year, she develops stronger relationships with some women but also adds a wide variety of women to the list of phone call worthy friends.

I found this book fascinating on a number of levels.  First, as a girl who feels the need to build stronger friendships. Second, in the way that having girlfriends is so important to keeping a healthy relationship (you don't want to talk about girl stuff with your guy and chances are, your guy doesn't want to hear all your girl stuff!).  Finally, I'm not the only girl who has these issues and I need a kick in the ass!

As you might know, in the past 2+ years, I've moved out to the burbs and found myself looking for a new circle of friends.  I have had friendships that fell apart and to be honest, it was really hard.  Probably harder than breaking up with a boyfriend.  In fact, I don't give much thought to previous relationships, but I still find myself feeling bad about lost friendships.  That being said, I'm not one to trust new friends all that easily.  I make friends easily but I tend to keep them at arm's length.  I'm a lousy phone talker.  I get overwhelmed by girls easily and it makes me want to go sit by myself in the basement in front of the tv.

Is this pathetic?  Probably.  Conducive to making new friends?  Definitely not.  Do I wish I could just snap my fingers and skip all the work?  YES.  In fact, if I could force Kelly, Pharon, Becca, Courtney, and Laurel to move onto my street, I would.  Like tomorrow.

That loser speech being said-- I HAVE met women since I've moved here that I genuinely adore and want to be better friends with.  The problem is, I'm not making the effort!  Take my friend Lisa for example.  She's super fun and a great person to spend time with.  She's probably the whole friendship package!  But I suck! I don't call or text enough and then I wonder why it's hard to get a girl date with her.  Duh, Madeline, everyone else is being a better friend than you! That's why.

So what have I learned from MWF Seeking BFF??  I'm gonna try harder!  I'm going to reach out to people and make girl dates! I'm going to stop being such a crazy and start letting people be my friend.  Maybe they won't all work out, but it's worth a shot.  So if you hear from me soon, it's because I think you're great.

For the record:  I'm available for movies, eating, drinking, manis, pedis, sitting around in sweatpants, spas, shopping, concerts, puppy cuddling, baby cuddling, book clubs, sporting events, skype dates, dancing, running, crafting, tattoos and anything else that could potentially be awesome.  Unless it involves snakes.  Then I'm not interested in being your friend.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stripes Are A Girl's Best Friend

My new fun fall dress! I'm wearing it at work today and I'm kind of in love with myself...I've got it paired with some brown strappy heels and I've gotten a number of compliments already! Target for $19.99

Follow up to the Buffalo Stuffed Chicken and Mango Chia Pudding recipes I posted the other day:

THEY WERE AMAZING!  The chicken was quicker to put together than the zucchini boats from Monday and it was delicious.  Both Andy and I want to add this dish to the rotating menu.  I also brought it for lunch today and it was just as good reheated a couple days later.  The Mango Chia Pudding was also super super super good.  Once I diced up my mango, it took all of 30 seconds to put together in a bowl and throw in the fridge over night.  The recipe ends up yielding about 1 cup per serving and it was one of the more filling breakfasts I've had in a long time.  I fully expect to pick up a couple more mangoes and make this in a big honkin' batch!

We've picked out our recipes to try next week and I'm going to restart my 15K training (my attempted start this week sucked) next week is looking good...

In the meantime, I've got plans to head out to Sycamore for lil Spaghetti's 1st birthday!  And to see Courtney and Jason's new house! Fun!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Wish I Was A Little Food Blogger


ok, so a little bit of a stretch with the title of today's post but it makes me smile...that's really what counts here, people...

I'm lucky enough that I live with a fab-o guy who can pull together a well rounded delicious meal on a regular basis...but I try to have a plan for the week so we aren't scrambling at the end of the day...

This week, I've found some pretty good recipes on and I thought I'd pass them on for those of you trying to stay low cal!

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These took a while to make as I decided not to use the store bought enchilada sauce that I had on hand and used the recipe to make my own...I mean, it was the fab-o guy's birthday after all!  I also had to cook and shred the chicken so that took some time...But it was definitely worth the effort and the leftovers were good the next day too!

Only things I would do differently-- they don't specify if you're supposed to puree the ancho chiles so I took them out..I would puree them into the sauce to thicken it up next time...also reminds me to make a batch of shredded chicken and freeze them in packets so I don't have to shred...shredding chicken sucks...also, I'd probably add beans on the side as well as some avocado...bout it!

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts

I am making this one tonight so I don't have an actual review yet but I'm excited and it sounds really yummy..I'll let you know how it is!

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

Also on the agenda to prep tonight for breakfast tomorrow! I've heard a lot of great stuff about using Chia seeds in pudding form so we'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I'm Sorry, I Didn't See You There

We're renovating the library so there are lots of meetings going on about what sort of things we would like in the new library.

Today, the question of service desks came up...One of my personal pet peeves is when patrons decide to come behind the desk so they can breathe on my neck and watch every's an invasion of personal professional space people!!!  Do you go behind the counter at Subway while they make your sandwich?? I thought not....

I realized I've seen the perfect desk before...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Start Out Smart, End On Brain-numbing

I went on yet another vacation last week.  I know, I know...I'm super lucky blah blah blah...

Anyway, I was heading to a gorgeous lake in Northern Minnesota where I planned to do nothing but eat, drink, sunbathe, and read.  In the week before I left, I felt the urge to read something a bit more respected.  Something the complete opposite of what I intended to read on my offense to beach reads but lets be real, "respected" and "beach read" don't tend to be used in the same sentence.

Enter: The Odds by Stewart O'Nan.
Short and very well reviewed, I figured it was the perfect time to squeeze it in.  It was a lovely book.  Art and Marion Fowler are a long married couple on the verge of collapse.  They are facing bankruptcy and the demise of their marriage.  They've returned to the sight of their honeymoon, Niagra Falls, in order to win enough on roulette to save their home and, in Art's mind, give their marriage one last try.  The short chapters are filled with missed opportunities and unspoken grievances on both parts.  I felt a dull pain reading about Art's longing to win Marion back and her seeming lack of interest.  Being a lousy gambler, I also felt anxiety at the prospect of them losing all of their money and their future along with it. Many reviewers before me have pointed out the symbology of the falls and gambling in relation to the Fowler's life...I get it.  It's fairly obvious when you think about it...but it doesn't glare at you while reading.  It's the pit in your stomach instead of the screaming migraine.

I won't spoil the ending but I will say that I was disappointed.  I thought sitting on it for a day or two would help but I don't think my disappointment has lessened.  This is one of those books where I'd like an update on their future.  I did love the simplicity, sadness, and hope in this book though.  It was still worth it.

It reminds me of By the Iowa Sea by Joe Blair...although, not nearly as heart-wrenching, The Odds will definitely be the dull ache you feel for days after.

Immediately after finishing this book, I took on the task of reading The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay for a LJ review.  I haven't actually written my review yet but I think it can be summed up by saying it reminded me quite a bit of State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.  I say this in the best way possible.  I loved State of Wonder.  I think The Map of Lost Memories will be a good recommendation for those looking for something similar.

This is where things start to go downhill.  Where I start to feel like a dirty, trampy librarian. This is the point where I started reading brainless beach crap.

Enter: Guilty Wives by James Patterson and David Ellis (otherwise known as written by David Ellis but James Patterson slapped his name on it for money purposes (?)) and Home Front by Kristin Hannah.

Let's be clear, I feel much less guilt for reading the Kristin Hannah book than I do the Patterson et al book.

Jolene Zarkades is a stay at home mom with a side job as a helicopter pilot in the National Guard.  Her husband, Michael, is a very-busy-never-home lawyer.  Their marriage is also falling apart and shortly after a blowup fight, Jolene is told that she is being deployed to Iraq.  Long story short, she ends up being wounded overseas and returns home not only with devastating injuries but to a marriage she isn't sure will continue.  Kristin Hannah consistently writes books featuring families in turmoil, a little bit of romance, and just a itsy bitsy bit of smut.  Meaning- there are a couple low level swear words and maybe one almost steamy sex scene that lasts about half a page.  I've always compared her to Jodi Picoult in the family drama way but now I'm starting to think she's more like Nicholas Sparks.  Really, either comparison is fairly accurate.  I don't have a major problem with Home was pretty much what I was expecting but I did find it fairly preachy on the military front.  I guess that was to be expected as it's largely a military themed book but I started feeling like I was reading about the author's political views...which I find intrusive.  Not Kristin Hannah's best, not her worst.  I'll probably pick up the next one when I need another simple read.

Yup. I read it.  At first, I didn't even feel bad about it.  It was moving along at the fast Patterson clip and it was set in Monte Carlo.  Add in some women blowing through some cash and low morals, I'm indulging like it's wavy Lays and french onion dip...greasy, guilt inducing, and definitely not healthy for any part of you.  But whatever. About 2/3 of the way in was when I started to realize I'd made a craptastic decision.  The "wives" have been framed for the murder of the president of France seemingly by their husbands.  The majority of the book focuses on Abbie Elliot, the one wife who didn't give up and is determined to prove her innocence.  Being as she spends the majority of the book in jail, this means that most pages are filled with stories of how the warden is trying to take her down or the guards are attacking her.  This is interesting for approximately 20 pages but brutally repetitive after the 200th page.  Shocker- she breaks out of jail, runs around figuring out who the killers are, and narrowly escapes being caught until a detective in charge manages to put the pieces together himself.  Blah blah blah.  Thank god for the short chapters because I was ready to be done with this book about 100 pages before it actually ended.  I don't have a problem with James Patterson books in general. The ones that he is the sole author of tend to be fairly entertaining.  It's not Pulitzer worthy material but usually a good quick thriller. I've just come to feel like his co-authored books are simply a way for the other author to get recognition/published. I'll stick with my opinion-- if you aren't good enough to get published on your own, you probably just aren't that good! That same opinion goes with self published books.

Anyway, I'm now back at work and trying to get back in the swing of serious reading.  I think the fact that I checked out Melissa Rycroft's memoir (remember her? of Bachelor/Bachelorette fame?) signals that I'm not quite there yet.  But next on the list is MWF seeking BFF: My yearlong search for a new best friend by Rachel Bertsche.  I'll let you know if I learned anything!  Or maybe I won't because I'll be busy hanging out with my new bestie....

p.s. Read By the Iowa Sea by Joe Blair. It's amazing.  It will break your heart completely but it's worth every minute.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Before Vacation Laughs makes me double over giggling...If you have a dog, you for SURE need to visit this site...I can picture Midge saying virtually all of these things...Andy claims she's not smart enough but I think she just has the wool pulled over his eyes...She's like a diabolical genius who loves me

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Specs

Will these turn me into the most kick ass librarian ever? Maybe not..but they're pretty awesome anyway...

Maybe Warby Parker wants to start an librarian testing program?  They can send me glasses and I'll do official library work with them...then I can write the official librarian review!

These are the Winston in Lunar Fade btw...