Monday, June 30, 2014

My First Day on the Job

 So today was my first day of my first job ever as... a library aide. That's right, this bookie got the best first job EVER working in the library.
I literally can't think of a better first job for me. It was total luck that I even heard of the job. I was just going to pick up some books that I put on hold and was going to check out when I saw the job offer. Immediately, I applied and eventually, I got a temporary part-time position.

I didn't know what to expect on my first day, so I just kept my mind open to the different things that I might encounter on the job. I had already done some shelving on a volunteer basis, but I had never done it as a job.

It turns out I have to do a few other things in addition to shelving. Shelving is my main responsibility, but I have other things I have to do as well. I have to sort out the books based on genre to go on the carts we use to later shelve the books; I have to sort out the books that belong to other libraries and sort them out accordingly; I have to go to the book drop and pick up the books there. I'll have some help, as there is a permanent library aide (although we won't always have the same shifts).

Mostly, my first day consisted of a lot of training and a lot of paperwork. I had to sign a lot of agreements. There wasn't much to it.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What's Up With All the Confederate Flags in the South?

Written on June 21, 2014
There were a few things I noticed about North Carolina during my stay there. The one thing I kept seeing over and over again were Confederate flags. I even saw a bunch of Confederate flags as I drove through Virginia. 

When I say all over, I mean all over. Literally even in the gift shop, where it was on the shirt saying "My Redneck Boyfriend."

I don't get it. I mean, I genuinely don't get it. One, it's been like two hundred years after the Civil War has happened. Get over it already and stop being so butthurt.

Now I was told by a Southerner (my cousin's husband, who is from Texas) told me that most people just saw it as a sign of Southern pride, and didn't give much thought to it. But my, what an awful thing to be proud of!

But seriously, can they be that stupid? How do they not think of the Civil War when they see the Confederate flag? More importantly, how can they not think of everything the Civil War represented?
I recognize the fact that the Civil War is far more complicated than it is often presented as. The Union good/Confederacy bad dichotomy doesn't give the Civil War justice. It doesn't take into account the deeper conflict between the North and South, nor does it take into account the fact that the Civil War's purpose was not simply to "free the slaves". Most Southerners never even owned slaves; rather a very small portion of wealthy Southerners owned the vast majority of slaves. Many Northerners were against slavery not because they cared about the welfare of slaves (although many abolitionists did), but because they feared that the expansion of slavery might endanger the chance of them getting jobs.
Yet the issue of slavery was definitely a huge contention in the Civil War. The Confederacy's only real difference from the Union is that it allowed slavery explicitly in its Constitution. The Confederacy was formed on the fear that the Union was going to ban slavery, which was the backbone of the Southern economy, even though it had not done so at that point. So, in essence, the Confederate flag represents slavery, the system that created the unique flavor of American racism that we know today. So yes, having a Confederate flag in your front yard is racist and I find it ridiculous that anyone would argue otherwise.
Man, that's one thing about the South I'm not going to miss. Confederate flags are quite the eyesore.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hand Dryers

Written on June 14, 2014
Public bathroom users, we have a modern day crisis: Hand dryers are invading the modern public restrooom. It's true. When you go to wash your hands, instead of being provided with the customary paper towel, you get this contraption. They are singularly ruining the public bathroom experience as if it wasn't bad enough.
Here's a fun fact: hand dryers don't freaking dry your hands. I mean, theoretically they do. If you stand there for like fifteen minutes, maybe your hands would actually be dry. But who has time for that? I don't. So I usually have to end up putting it under there for a little bit and then wipe it on my pants. And then that leaves me with a wet butt. Like who wants a wet butt?
Now, they say it's for the environment. I'm sure there are some eco freaks who buy into that argument. I mean, you're cutting down waste and all because less trees are being chopped down and all that jazz. After all, on the surface, it makes sense. Really, though, it doesn't, because you have to remember that oh yeah, it doesn't actually work. So it's useless. There might as well be nothing there. 
Anyway, I know these places love to pretend like they care about the environment, but, in reality, it's all about the money. Sure, a paper towel dispenser might be cheaper to install at first, but I guess in the long run, it saves money since they don't have to keep replacing public towels. Excluding rest stops, most of these places make more than enough money to cover the costs, though, so this is a pretty lame reason to me.
Yeah, yeah, I should be happy it saves some trees, but it's a little hard to be grateful when I have to walk outside with a wet butt.
So call me Tree-Killer but I really need good-old paper towels.
Much better

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Road Trips

So I've written on here about college road trips, but I've never written in here about road trips in general. Short answer: They suck. The longer they are, the worse that they are. Seriously, I'd rather take an airplane trip to a road trip any day and that's saying something. 
It's great once you hit the actual destination. I'm sure an actual full-on road trip is fun, because there are multiple destinations along the way. But the actual time in the car is absolutely awful, especially when you have a lot of stuff and a lot of people (i.e. your family) in the car. My family just spent a week in North Carolina, which was great until we had to go home.
It takes about ten hours to go one way, although, considering all the stops we take along the way (and how lost my dad got), it took us about thirteen hours each way. 
Being stuck in a car for that amount of time is enough time to drive anyone a little mad. You're stuck in an enclosed space and you can't move. I can't even read in the car for that long without being sick. I suppose I could suck it up and deal with the car sickness reading in the car gives me (I did towards the end, when I was especially desperate).
Road trips make you desperate for entertainment as well. My activities were not that varied. I slept, wrote in my journal and took pictures out the window. From time to time, I looked out the window, which was either highway or Southern landscape depending on where I was.
By the time I'm done with every road trip, I practically run out the car. My legs feel very stiff and very tingly and it takes a long time for that to change.
Overall, road trips suck. I would prefer any other mode of transportation any day.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Random Thoughts #1: Mostly on Inspiration

 Author's Note: I feel like this blog needs some freshening up. I feel like things have been really dry lately with the same old, same old. It occurred to me during an excruciatingly boring car ride that perhaps I could write some things off-the-cuff, a more informal type of deal. I'll summarize them on the main topic of conversation if there is one. More to come, as I wrote a few in the car. 

I don't really know what to say. It's hard to write off-the-cuff, harder than it was in the car. I guess boredom has a way of doing that, freeing up your mind of anything else. It's weird when inspiration strikes. It rarely does, but when it does, it's pretty awesome. It's like, "YES, I'M INSPIRED". So when I was on the road trip, I was pretty inspired for some reason, even though it was seriously cramping up my hand since I had to write with pen and paper. 

It's weird the sorts of things that inspire me. Just a person or a photograph or whatever can get me thinking about this thought and then I start building on that thought. Sometimes to the point of a novel, sometimes not.  The Fault in Our Stars sort of inspired me because I was like, "Shouldn't we write about a disease other than cancer?" So I got inspired to write a novel about a girl with cystic fibrosis, but it won't be a depressing love story where she dies at the end. 

Anyway, I actually ran into a lot of inspiration on the road. I mean, the route we took home was mostly not highway because my dad was trying to avoid this highway so we went past a lot of houses (and a lot of churches too. I mean, it's the South). 

A lot of the time things that bother me inspire me. Like all the damn Confederate flags in the South (I could write a whole post about that. Actually I will. Inspiration right there!). I write rants about them or I write short stories or even novels illustrating its problem. 

It's funny how that works.

The "random thoughts" thing was so much easier when I had inspiration. I wrote one on the road that I'll have to type up later and write here; I personally think that was better. I know this first random thoughts thing probably is going to be a bit rusty at first, but hopefully I'll get better. I hope my writing gets better when I write more of these too. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Clutter Touch

I seem to have this massive problem with clutter. It seems to sprout from everything that I touch practically. I don't have the Golden Touch, but I certainly have the Clutter Touch. I seem to produce clutter in every place that I inhabit. 

This has been the case ever since I was young. Organization has never been natural to me. In fact, I can never remember a time when I was neat. It has been a constant note on my report cards and certain teachers have tried to help me, but to no avail. The ability to successfully organize things seemed far too large for me, and it was safer to stick with what I already knew. Every once in a while, I would throw papers away, but most of the time, it was too hard for me. What if I needed it later? I always came up with an excuse not to throw things away and so they took over my binder, my desk, my locker, etc. Sure, it was harder to find things, but I was able to work around my Clutter Touch to organize things in my own way. It may have been inefficient, but I learned how to work it. 

Even during the summer, clutter is a problem for me. My clutter has taken over my bedroom and now the office of my house. It's getting to the point where it's getting hard to manage and I'm actually having trouble finding things now. I'm also feeling a bit claustrophobic from all of the clutter. 

At this point, I have to admit that it has become a problem. I'm not really sure how to change it, though. It seems far too exhausting to. So I'll live with the clutter.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hackers and Malicious People on the Internet

Hackers suck. I mean, every once in a while there are the good hackers who are hackers with the intent to improve a company's cyber-security or find out really important things the government or corporations have been hiding from us, but mostly, they suck. My email was hacked recently and it has been the worst. Luckily, the damage has been minimal for me, mostly just annoying, but others have not been so lucky. 

I know there's a lot to be gained from hacking, I suppose. Dumb people are easy to take advantage of, and especially easy to milk for cash. If you work hard enough, you might even get otherwise smarter people. But it's hackers who bring down the Internet and make it the dangerous place that it is. 

Seriously, if you get rid of hacking and mean people who send out viruses, the Internet would be totally awesome. You could go wherever you wanted without that fear of viruses looming over your head. You wouldn't have to worry about having anti-virus software. Yet, of course, life is not so simple. There's always evil Internet people, though. 

Oh hackers!