Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Oh my. Oh....MY. Subsequent to last week's interview, I have received a job offer from this hospital. To be their patient librarian.

I'm going to accept it. What am I getting myself into?

Sunday, November 19, 2006
The interview last Thursday went pretty well: I asked intelligent questions, they asked reasonable questions (for non-librarians), I liked the library, I liked the supervisor and her attitude towards management of the library, I liked the budget, I certainly like the salary and benefits (state benefits! Union job! Woohoo!). What I don't like is the fact that I was one of 10 to interview--and they planned to identify a frontrunner and make a job offer without any additional interviewing. So: no news yet, though it sounds like I should hear something this week. But I don't have my hopes too far up, and my heart isn't set on it.

The job would start Jan. 8, and it would be nice to have something to look forward to in the New Year. One of my problems with unemployment (besides the obvious problem of money!) is that I'm looking forward to a stream of uncommitted days, with no idea when I might feel useful again. It's especially yucky to see time stretching out into the dead days of post-holiday winter. At least I have Bardic Madness to look forward to...

Speaking of Bardic Madness, my last post must be amended: we had to change the date from March 23-25 to March 30-April 1, due to a mix-up on the part of the site director. This resulted in no significant conflicts that I can tell (I don't have to go to the Seneschals/Exchequers/Chatelaines meeting in Las Vegas, since I won't be Kingdom Chatelaine anymore by that time!), and got the local group a bit of a discount on the site! So it works out fine. I plan to put together an event flyer in the next few days and run it by the site autocrat.

I feel sort of dull these days. Not sure why. Dull and mildly anxious, for no apparent reason. I've been sleeping in a lot (which is nothing new; I stay up correspondingly late), but at this time of year that means that I don't see much sun, which could be having an effect on my general level of sparklingness. Even when I do see some sun, I don't seem to have the energy level to go out walking--and it's cold these days, which also has an effect on whether I decide to go walking! (Though I do have a new coat from Lands End that's pretty darn toasty, and the scarf I started last winter and finished in the summer. It's just that...it's still cold.)

Right now I'm at Wisconsin Public Radio's main studio, taking phone pledges. This season I decided to sign up for a lot of shifts, since I don't have much else scheduled. I signed up for six shifts total, and have ended up staying extra for a couple of days; for example, last Monday was steady enough that even though they don't "pitch" (sell the pledge drive on-air) from 1 to 3, and hence don't sign up pledge-takers during that time, I stayed and took about 25 pledges that would have gone to the overflow service (where it costs WPR a certain amount per-call). My shift technically ended at 7:15 tonight but I decided to stay until 10. I've got nothing big waiting for me at home.

Unfortunately, "nothing big" is also what's happening here. They are at $795,000 for the whole pledge drive with a goal of $1 million, and it's not looking promising on day 10 of an 11-day drive. There are only 3 of us answering phones and we are all finding ways to amuse ourselves during slow moments: I perused this list of Web 2.0 applications, the woman on my left has been getting up repeatedly to get more pretzels, and the woman on my right is reading a book of Marge Piercy poetry and drinking herbal tea, and occasionally emitting delighted chuckles as she reads. I am both irritated and envious of this last woman. I'm sugar and spice on the phone, but don't think I could emit an honest delighted chuckle in a non-pledge situation right now if I were paid to do so.

Oh well...it's still fun to be here; the people are friendly, no one has yet launched into a political diatribe while on the phone with me (except the 88-year-old woman who felt that re-establishing the draft was a terrible idea, but I agreed with her, so it was no big deal), and they feed us! This year has been a bit heavy on the hamburgers, and the order from Olive Garden was just salad and breadsticks, which seemed a bit chintzy to me. But it's free food, anyway, and not every meal can be from Caspian Cafe, I suppose. And it certainly filled up my week!

Yesterday I day-tripped Pie Snit II in Taylor, WI, along with three friends: Chandler, Sarra, and Alienor. It was a good trip, despite the fact that it involved me getting up at 7 am! Pie Snit is meant to be a relaxing and silly day, and I think it's what I needed, esp. after a somewhat stressful trip to Midrealm Bardic Madness the previous weekend. Kudrun does silly better than anyone else I know: she had put the "Pie-yeux Tapestry" up on one wall, with a big piece of butcher paper, with an invitation for people to draw additional scenes! And she does fabulous Mad Libs: she puts the word categories up on the wall, and then fills in the blanks right before reading them to everyone.

Trivium Pursuit is one of Kudrun's traditions that I always enjoy. This year she expanded the rules to include lifeline-like tickets that the teams could trade in if stymied: "Poll the Audience", "Phone a Laurel" (Eithni got an interesting panicky voicemail message from me, on a trick question about plowhorses--can't wait to see how she reacts to that, as I'm sure she's smarter than any of us were, in realizing that they hadn't invented plow harnesses for horses at the time!), and "Search in the Library". Since we were playing in the Taylor Public Library, I got two questions quickly and confidently by using "Search in the Library", just using the dictionary and a biographical dictionary; the only other team to take advantage of it made me giggle with their ineffectual attempts to find their answer. It's nice to know my library experience can gain me a little in life. My team ended up winning with just a minute to spare before Court. It's nice to have a little taste of success!

The pie feast was a huge hit, as it had been at the first Pie Snit a few years ago. Basically, since it was a free site, the site fee was a pie. (Sarra brought a little Hostess turnover as the non-member surcharge!) Someone had done a great job of spreading the word that savory pies were a good idea, since last time, we had far too many dessert pies. I would say the ratio was maybe 2 to 1, savory-to-sweet, which was just perfect for feast. And everything was tasty. My beef pie turned out well, but I brought 75% of it home--pretty much only because it was on the second table of savory pies, so people didn't get to it until they had filled their plates. And when you fill your plate at Pie Snit, you don't ever need to go back!

The trip to Midrealm Bardic Madness last weekend was long. I drove the whole way (to be fair, I didn't ask Rose Marian or Cerian to help out, but then there wasn't any traffic or weather, so it was easy driving) with two people I don't know that well, and we stayed at crash space, which I always find a bit stressful. This was a ten-hour one way drive, too. The young couple whose house we stayed at were lovely, but they had two little weiner dogs who barked in the middle of the night and woke us up, and the woman was obviously enamored with scented candles and air fresheners, which activated my allergies. She even had one of those battery-operated continuous sprayers in the room of their soon-to-be baby, where Rose Marian and I slept (on scratchy brand-new sheets in a bunk bed)--I couldn't figure out how to turn it off, so I put it in one of the bureau drawers, then forgot to take it out before we left! I suppose she'll find it in a few weeks when it's saturated the wood in the drawer.

The event itself went very well, even though attendance was light. The local group is friendly and hard-working, and I thought this year's challenges were excellent (note to self: tell Cerian that!). No royalty attended, but Countess Noelle, who was so inspiring as Queen of the Midrealm a couple of Pennsics ago, was there and participated quite a bit, and agreed to help out by sitting at Head Table and helping determine the order of the toasts.

I taught my "Building a Bardic Book" class, which was attended by five people (including Noelle, and Zsof, the site autocrat) who were very attentive and asked great questions. Not much needed to be updated on the handout, just a few sites that have disappeared and a few new Midrealm-related bardic sites added.

What was really nice was seeing friends that I had seen most recently at Pennsic and KWBC: Michael, Lucia, Lorelei, Arinbjorn (who continually surprises me with his talent), and others. Seeing what others perform, and getting good feedback from them on my own performances, really feeds my bardic urge. (Noelle gave me a bracelet, saying it was one of the ones she saved for things that really impressed her!) The whole event drove home to me that I have written far too little, bardically, in the last few years. I would like to write something new for 12th Night in January, and maybe memorize it. This would give me a goal to work towards. Now I just have to find something to say...

I have gotten a wonderful-if-slightly-presumptuous invitation to spend Christmas in New York City (with a Jewish person, so the Christmas part would be incidental). The catch: it's with someone I barely know (having only talked via e-mail), and we'd be driving, so that's a LOT of time spent in the car together; not to mention, I have no idea how lodging would work. I'm interested but wary. So I pondered for part of today, then sent him a reply that made clear: a) I love NYC, b) It's wonderful that he invited me, but c) I don't feel I can give him a concrete answer until we've met and talked more.

Ain't Yahoo Personals fabulous? In all honesty, I would rather have conundrums like this, than no possibilities whatsoever. For those worried about me: I promise I'll be careful, and there's no way I'm going anywhere with anyone until I feel comfortable doing so.

Five minutes until my last pledge shift is over. Tomorrow is the final two shifts and then the pledge party, but I decided I don't really want to come downtown for that. Why do I need to stand in the studio with a bunch of strangers and eat cake? If we had made our goal I might feel different (everyone likes to be cheered for reaching a goal), but with now three minutes to go, we're at $797,500--there's no way they can rake in over $200,000 tomorrow morning. I might go to Fired Up and paint a piece for the Boar's Head silent auction. Or I might sleep in and answer e-mail. It's anyone's guess.

Now: going home, following up on some e-mail, then sleep.

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