"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Current Project - Part 2 (Clothing)

So, things happen that keep me from working on my project on a daily or even weekly basis. But as that thing this time happens to have a name and a cute smile and just makes my heart happy, I don't mind that my project has been put off a bit more and thus will take longer than originally planned, I don't mind.

Then again, maybe it won't take so long. In the time since I began the project, I was reminded of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (wherein she teaches her own KonMari method). I had to take a pause on the book because my audio was scratched and had to wait for another one to come in. And now I'm pausing on it so I can work on the things she has said before I forget anything.

So a week or two ago I started with clothes like she says. And I was able to get rid of 2 kitchen sized garbage bags (one to trash and one to Goodwill) and a coat and 2 formal dresses. I always do feel good when I get rid of stuff--you should see all the stuff I'm getting rid of at work! It just isn't something I always do, make time for, or want to set aside the time for. But I've known I've needed to, and I really love this book and how she addresses this very topic. Came into my life at just the right time!

Well, I finally got the book "back" and was able to get back to listening. And now I have to re-address the clothes because of the storing of them. She teaches how to fold and store some clothes, and how to do the closet. I actually have the closet pretty close to what she says, but I think there are more things I could fold instead of hang. So today I went through all the clothes to organize how they are stored.

And oh my word, it works!!! I got two drawers of T-shirts into one drawer.

Friday, October 7, 2016

My Current Project

I finally got started on my 2-3 month long Organize/Downsize in The Hobbit Hole. And I'm exhausted! Well, OK, I was exhausted before I started because of my health issues. But I knew this would be tedious, exhausting work. Which is why is is 2-3 months and not a week or two. When I get tired for the day, I'm done. It's going to leave quite a few piles of mess all over the place as I go along, but oh well.

So what did I accomplish in Day 1?

First, I put on the new duvet set that Mom gave me. It is nice. And pretty. Doesn't match my curtains at all. The set actually came with 4 very wide valances. I only have 2 not very wide windows. And the reason I got the curtains I have is because I can close them and keep my room warmer in winter. So, there is the not matching factor. And all those decorative pillows? I'm just going to throw them off every night--do I really have to put them all back on in the morning? I'm the girl who sleeps on top of the comforter with a blanket over me. I often don't make the bed, which is simply folding up a blanket! Add on all the pillows? Eep. I'll give it a try, but those pillows may be moved to another couch. We'll see.

But that isn't the big thing about putting on this new set. The big thing is I feel like I have left my last vestiges of childhood behind. Not really--I'm a children's librarian. A part of me will always be full of childhood things. Still, I took off my blue comforter which has been on every bed I have slept in since I was 10 or 11. It has so many tear stains from my many emotional years, and is ripped and has certainly been well loved and used. It's weird to not see it on my bed now--even if it has been too small all these years. But of course, with the blue comforter gone, and the new burgundy-ish with gold one one--and its decorative pillows--my 2 decorative pillows don't really belong. The blue bear one that Mom gave me when I was 8 or so. And the pink ballerina one that Mom made and gave me for my 10th birthday. So they moved to a new place in the house, and along with them, a couple of the adorable stuffed animals that make me smile and cheer me up every time I see them. All that is left is Nutbrown Hare, reminding me that I am loved very much. It is so foreign. But maybe now that I have fully crossed in to adulthood, I have a better chance in the dating world. ;-)

Second, I brought up all my filing and scrapbook stuff that I have been piling up for the last couple of years. I don't know why I haven't filed--it isn't that hard to put them in! But, I didn't. I was lazy. At least I had everything in order by date. So I just went though them all and sorted into their own piles, and easily slipped them in to their respective file folders. I thought that might take me a couple days. But it was not even a couple of hours! AND I got all the shredding done, too!

It is all still just toe in the water at this point, but I've started! Yay me. :-)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Have Been Changed for Good: 10 Years

I like this reminiscing stuff. January 28th marks 10 years or two HUGE milestones. I thought I would re-post a blog entry I wrote on a different, private blog. It explains...a lot. It wasn't written the day of the milestones, but it shares what I experienced with one of them.

FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009

Day 7: Wicked Worries

There comes a problem when you have loved something so much for a time, and then excitedly and anxiously come to encounter it again: you are afraid it will not measure up--up to your memories of and up to your love for it.

I've seen this worry happen with books. Movies. Places. People. This time, it's Wicked. (What else?) Nothing can beat the first time you experience anything. Whether good, happy, funny, sad, scary, terrible, or whatever the experience, nothing beats it. And my first experience with Wicked? It's one of the most unbeatable of the unbeatables. All I knew when I entered that theater was

  1. It was a story about the witches in Oz
  2. I'd heard 1 or 2 songs which I vaguely remembered
  3. It was ranked #3 of all the musicals playing on Broadway
And all I thought I knew when I entered the theater was
  1. The whole musical takes place before Dorothy comes to Oz
  2. The witches were friends but shows how they became enemies
  3. The musical shows how the Wicked Witch becomes wicked
I was wrong. In so many, many ways.
There I sat for over 2 hours thinking That's why she's going to become evil. And That's going to be a big reason she turns bad. I--like the rest of Oz and, yes, the world--was so ready to believe her to be bad. Willing to let anyone tell me that this meant she was evil, that meant she was bad, and told to shun and hate her because that's what we do with people we don't know or understand. (Beauty and the Beast: "We don't like what we don't understand, in fact it scares us...")
Do any of you have any idea how much I hate prejudice? Being pre-judged about something and then summarily treated a certain way because of that pre-judgement, with others not bothering to get to know who you really are. And there I was at the end, sobbing not only because of everything that had happened on stage, but everything that had happened in me. How could I have thought what I did? And been ready to believe what I did? And how often do I do that every day in my own life? "Till [that] moment, I never knew myself." -Elizabeth Bennet
Well, not just the life-changing part of the the musical stood out. The characters. Who was who. The costuming (some bizarre yet very Oz-fitting things there). The effects. The music. That last one alone would have made for a most magnificent experience.
All of it was new to me when I was in the Gershwin theater in NYC. Every bit was absolutely increcible and I had to record every possible thing I could in my memory. Then, of course, I went through typical post-watching musical symptoms--most of my cast was better than the recording. (I couldn't listen to any Les Mis recording for months after my first time seeing the play, because the jaw-dropping Randal Keith beats out the wonderful Colm Wilkinson any day.) No picture or pirated copy of a scene here or there could compare with actually being there. Nothing compares to actually being there.
So the worry that comes is when you're going to encounter it again. My first experience was incredible. I'm not saying it was perfect. (Ben Vereen was sick and wasn't there as the wizard. Terrible disappointment!) But as my first everything with Wicked, it was perfect. And a second encounter is a worrisome thing because what compares with perfect? What if Galinda's Galinda-ness is way too much? (Because I do think that's possible, even for a self-centered airhead.) Or Fiyero's voice just doesn't make him the Winkie Prince? Or Nessa's character gets sadly underdone and overlooked. Or the effects/costuming just don't have the pizzazz? Or the choice of staging is not quite how I would have imagined or wished for? So many things that just might not...measure up. And yet, that is the joy of
The Theater
And like so many other things in this life (particularly theatrical stuff), we find that it doesn't have to measure up. It never will. Because each instance, each movie, each book, each place, each musical, each garden, each building, each person is its own thing. There is no need to measure up to anything except itself. And since 1/2 of what we get out of a thing is what we bring to it ourselves, then how in heavens could we expect to measure it against something else. Compare, yes. I will certainly do that. But measure it up? No. This performance will be its own performance. Separate of any and all I have ever seen or experienced in life.
And I wouldn't want it to be any other way.
Some pictures of times I've been to see it since, and 2 of the 3 times I've dressed as Elphaba for Halloween.
My 1st Halloween as Elphaba (the year I first saw Wicked - 2006)

2nd time seeing Wicked - Norfolk, VA in 2009

Virginia YSA 2010 Halloween Dance

3rd time to see Wicked - SLC tour in August 2012

And the journal entry recording the milestones? It was written on Feb. 1st, partly. Because that was the same day that I got my first ever Ouidad haircut, and learned how to style my hair the Ouidad way. And that was a huge part of my NYC day-trip. I managed to write that part. It was late when I finished, and I never got back to writing about the play part. Completely shocking, but then SO much happened that year since I unexpectedly moved back to UT only 6 weeks later. But I figured I'd still include the journal entry because both Ouidad and Wicked were HUGE life-changing events for me.

I had about 5 hours of sleep. Then I was up & ready. Jen got me around 7:20a.m. And we were on our way! We got to NYC & parked @ the GMC Parking Garage by 9:30. They parked the car for us. We walked to the Ouidad Salon. I was nervous about meeting Ouidad. She seemed to like me hair. SHe held it out on both sides & asked, "What is this?" I replied, "My hair?" - "How long?" "2 1/2 years." - "No way. It would have been to here" (my shoulders). - "Yes, that's about right." 

I seemed to diagnose my hair type & problems right since she didn't correct me. She looked at the album I put together of my hair history on Friday. She thought it was great I was donating my hair. She had me stand up by the side of the chair, turned to the women behind her & said, "I'm committing murder." I was to hold the hair. She asked if I was ready, then she cut. She didn't pull it straight like the directions said you could. She cut 11 inches--curly--off because it asks for 10 & they can't use the ends. My hair was to my shoulders when she finished & she had me look in the mirror at it. By that point, she had no option of keeping it longer or making it short. It was going to be short. It was kind of weird holding my hair as she cut. Looked like I was holding a horse's tail. 

As I was heading back to get my hair washed, she stopped me & said. "We could go shorter!" meaning I could have shorter hair & still get the curl--what I wanted every time I had a hair chop. Her assistant washed my hair. It was almost like a scalp massage. Then Ouidad cut it. What a thing that was to see. Her signature "carving & slicing" was very impressive & I couldn't get enough of watching. It was pretty much cutting on a diagonal & starting further up than I'd have expected. Then her assistant took me from then on. I agreed to a Deep Treatment ($50 more) because it's what 1st made Ouidad famous & I wanted to see how to do it. I was under a dryer thing for 20 min. Then she put in Ouidad's products & explained what she was doing. Air dry is preferable after that, but you don't leave a salon w/ wet hair. So I was under the dryer for a bit & then she used a diffuser on me. 

When I was able to sit up in the chair & see in the mirror, I had a head of curls! It was neat to see. Even Ouidad turned & looked & was surprised to see how well it turned out. I suppose even w/ all her knowledge, every curly head is different & will display itself w/ its differences. Many in the salon (& since) keep thinking that I must be shocked by the change. But it's not the length that gets me. I've had at least 2 "drastic" cuts & I can well remember having hair that length or growing out of the length. I think most of college was that way. What gets to me is how much curl there is. I've washed & styled it once since then. Let it air dry. Not as much lift & all like at the salon. But there is definitely curl. 

I decided to buy the products she used since I was there & she'd marked everything she used in my instruction booklet. The whole bit ended up costing ~$350--twice what I'd originally thought. But, my last 2 cuts were chops, and they were guy related. Something drastic to remind not to be an idiot (in the same way) again. This time, it was for me. So it was a cut. And by someone who knew what she was doing and could help me start fresh. I am happy w/ it. And it's fun to have more prominent bounce & swing. The back is apparently really curly & looks great. But I don't really see the back. I only see from the front. I'm not as pleased w/ that because I still feel like it's winging out from my face & making my face look rounder & bigger. I think it will continue to take practice styling before I'm fully satisfied w/ the front.

However, I still prefer long hair over short. Maybe not as long as it was. I want it to look healthy. But I love to play w/ it. And long hair just feels like Princess Hair. I feel regal & beautiful when my hair goes past my shoulders. When it's short, I feel cutesy. I like both feelings, but I'm not going to keep my hair forever this length & style. And Ann keeps telling me that I have to & that she will change my mind about long hair. She thinks I cut my hair because she has boy-short hair. (Which haircut, by the way, she got long before I ever met her.) I really feel if she keeps talking as she has, I'm going to end up hating my hair. 

But for now, I do like it. I'm just annoyed by all the comments of looking "better" & "more mature." Was I immature before? Ann makes me feel like I was ugly before it went short. I understand looking older because long hair at my age makes one look rather young. And all of the old hair is gone so it looks healthier. And darker because the lower part was light from such long sun exposure. But I have to constantly remind myself that DE people are used to me w/ long hair & college friends are used to me w/ short. When they hear about the cut, they won't be too surprised. And in the last 5 years, I have learned that those who meet me w/ long hair prefer me w/ short & those who meet me w/ short prefer me w/ long. Well, I'm the one that it matters most. I love long. And no, Ann, no matter what you say I will always prefer long! If anything, that is one thing Mom has learned about me over the year. (That, & I love green.) And I'm pretty sure the more others press for me to stay short, the more I'm going to grow it out....

Happy 10 Wicked & Ouidad Years, Me!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The 2015 Book Challenges Wrap-Up

Amazingly, among all the busyness of last year, I got some reading done. Granted, it came in spurts and hardly anything would have been read if it hadn't been for children's books and audiobooks on the 10,000+ miles I drove. Still, I read. And I was WAY under goals. But if it hadn't been for my splurge of December reading, I would have only been at 50% of my main reading goal. As a reminder, here was our points system for the S-n-H Challenge:

1. Each book must be at least 100 pages to count. (Under 100 equals .5 points.)
2. The first book in a category is worth 10 points. The rest are worth 5.
3. Any book you own is worth 25 points.
4. Any books on your goodreads "to-read" list previous to 2015 is worth 25 points.

This past year we piggy-backed on another's challenge, and worked on 51 categories. 51!!! Again, I am amazed that I finished all but 2. There wasn't really a strategy. Periodically I'd look at what I read and fit them in a category somewhere. It wasn't until December that I actually started to pick books to fill a category. And there may have been a couple of categories that I tweaked a bit to fit more of something that would actually interest me.

So, here are the spreadsheets of the 51 categories, as well as my 2 "other" books, my Pic bks, and my Total Points. There is also my random A to Z Scrabble Challenge--because I just can't stop myself. This year I was interested to see how many letters I could cover, not so much the points. Scoring goes as follows:

 1 point: A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T, U
 2 points: D, G
 3 points: B, C, M, P
 4 points: F, H, V, W, Y
 5 points: K
 8 points: J, X
 10 points: Q, Z

 Can only count an author once. (Which is always to my disservice in my liking series.) For my name's letters (H and T), I get to add 1 point on for each time that letter was read.

And the comparisons!

2013 Total Books: 287
2014 Total Books: 299.5
2015 Total Books: 182

2013 Total Pages: 29,584
2014 Total Pages: 24,656
2015 Total Pages: 15,766

2013 Points: 1152.6
2014 Points: 1429.9
2015 Points: 1043.2 (not bad, considering!!!)

For A to Z:
2012 Titles: 246
2013 Titles: 223
2014 Titles: 79
2015 Titles: 51

2012 Title Letters not read: Q, X, Y, Z
2013 Title Letters not read: G, J, K, N, Q, X, Y, Z
2014 Title Letters not read: K,Q, U, V, X, Z
2015 Title Letters not read: J, K, N, U, V, X, Y, Z

2012 Highest Scoring Title letter: H (30 points)
2013 Highest Scoring Title letter: H (35 points)
2014 Highest Scoring Title letter: B (27 points)
2015 Highest Scoring Title letter: W (24 points)

2012 Authors: 210
2013 Authors: 254 (whoa! Go me!!)
2014 Authors: 64
2015 Authors: 39

2012 Author Letters not read: N, Q, U, X, Z
2013 Author Letters not read: E, I, Q, U, X, Y
2014 Author Letters not read: I, N, Q, R, U, X, Y, Z
2015 Author Letters not read: G, I, K, L, O, Q, R, X, Y

2012 Highest Scoring Author letter: W (28 points)
2013 Highest Scoring Author letter: Tie! B & H (30 points)
2014 Highest Scoring Author letter: H (35 points)
2015 Highest Scoring Author letter: J (16 points)

2012 Grand Total: 456
2013 Grand Total: 477 (wow. higher even with reading less.)
2014 Grand Total: 346
2015 Grand Total: 233

Oh. My. Wow. Seeing the final numbers--I really didn't read much at all!!!!

For 2016: I'm not going to set a goal with the intention to read less like I've done the last ~5 years. I'm setting a goal, and I'm going to aim for that goal. Aim high, but not too out of reach. Hey, a single girl has to do what she needs to do to get married! And work well at her job and Church calling...