Wednesday, October 26, 2016

So What's New?

My assistant left at the end of August, and I was part disturbed, part relieved. The Man thinks that she or her spouse must work for the government and that's why she was so closed mouthed about her life, I tend to think she's very introverted, but that there was SOMETHING going on--why else would a teacher with a degree be doing this sort of work?  It made things uncomfortable for me.  She also was NOT a multitasker, and while her calm presence was great, I need to get things done. Currently doing interviews for her successor. Sigh....

We moved at the end of August, a hellish move that took 12 hours because of the Man's crap. Nearly 100 boxes of books now reside in a basement area that was SUPPOSED to be JR's music spot. Instead she plays the guitar next door to my room, and the sound carries all over the house.

More boxes are still marring the living room, and a bit of the family room, but the Man is finally working on shoring up some bookcases, so we should have the living room cleared at least. This has been delayed because he has wasted innumerable hours over curtains--needed, but he's complicated this as he complicated everything. I am grateful that he agreed we needed a contractor to handle lighting and other things in the house before we moved in--or I'd have been waiting years for that.

JR had a very hard time adjusting to the new house, but she has done it, and now has mastered taking the city bus home after school.  SC of course, has managed things beautifully, aside from the fact that she is trying to pass the PRAXIS exam for teaching, has failed the math twice, and is costing us too much money in tutoring. Her boyfriend was a huge help in moving things from our $500 a month storage unit to the new house in a sweltering August heat wave, and is always happy to come over and help put together new furniture and such. I like him, I just worry about him and SC for the long term.

Bruce the Bold discovered he could break out of most of our rooms closed doors, including the linen closet, and we have had to manage that. He took to the new house easily. Molly was terrified of course, hid behind the dryer in the laundry area for most of the first day or two, and even slept with me at night a bit--something she never does. But she got used to the house, especially since I set up our bedroom window areas to be similar to her sleeping places at the old house.

We have spent a fortune fixing up the old place. It has now been on the market for 3 weeks and nary a nibble. Apparently we needed not only to put in new stainless steel appliances, but new kitchen cabinets and GRANITE countertops to get a good price. I am getting scared, because we will soon run out of reserve funds, and if we don't sell soon it will be a very hard winter.

And the Man SHOULD be happy, and perhaps he is, but he is generally not talking to me, and I can't write any more about this today. I just can't.

Hamilton Hypocrisy

I have watched clips of "Hamilton," and I may be the only person in the universe to proclaim this, but:

I don't want to see it. Ever!

Okay, the dancing looks good, and the music as music may be nice. I hate rap, but that's not it.

It's the "color blind casting."

Look, I know it's politically correct, and perhaps I shall be forced to register as a neo-con Republican for saying this, but Hamilton is HISTORY, and there is a family connection for me.

The Man grew up in the neighborhood that was recently described in a NY Times real estate piece as "Hamilton Heights."  He went to the library near Hamilton's house. Hamilton's home itself, the Grange, was a museum then too, only it wasn't being flooded by tourists.

Because when the Man lived there, Hamilton Heights looked a lot like the cast of the play did. Predominantly black and Hispanic. It wasn't a "safe" place, and white people didn't go there.

Now gentrification has moved in, and in the last years that my in-laws lived there, we saw more and more white people. Starbucks was replacing the bodegas. 

So as the cast of Hamilton pretends that the Schuylers and everyone else except for Hamilton himself and the slaves weren't lily white, the neighborhood where Alexander Hamilton and his family lives is becoming more and more lily white again. How's that for irony?

In most situations color blind casting wouldn't bug me. And I could get it if this were a school play. But this is fucking history turned into a Broadway musical!

It's like Disney doing "Pocahontas" and making her a full grown young woman with all her clothes on instead of the naked tween she was when John Smith showed up, and for that matter, making him a tall handsome heart throb instead of the squatty little twerp we know he was from the records.

Why are we sugar coating history in a society where we are damned ignorant about our own history to begin with--and in the case of a good percentage of the population, pretty PROUD of that?

So I don't care how good it is. I don't care how cute Lin Manuel Miranda is.

Thank you, no thank you.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dear African American Gentlemen #1 and #2

Dear African American Gentleman #1,

I am sorry that when by giving you the simple paper calendar and saying that the full library system brochure was too complicated that you thought I meant it personally at you, that you were too stupid to get it.

It is simply that the brochure is so badly designed that it takes endless flipping to look through it! That's why I spent time making the paper calendar.I have had other patrons complain about it, and I am planning on taking it up with our nice but dim public information officer, the Elf from our central branch and the other librarians.

That's all. Nothing in terms of your intelligence or ability, though you immediately assumed that I meant it that way.

Dear African American Gentleman #2

I am sorry that you got huffy about making enlarged prints. You needed my help with getting the right sized paper, and you discussed how you wanted to try to enlarge the print. Since I've been doing stuff like that with copy machines since we've had copy machines that could do that, I know you often have to try, try and try again to get it the right size, and that huge blowups don 't usually work.  I gave you your money back and you were hostile.

Both of you assumed that since I am a white lady who works in a government building that I am prejudiced against you automatically, that I think you are ignorant. But the sad truth, which I first experienced with a college roommate back in 1979 is that YOU are prejudiced against me.

Yes, the world is stacked against you as an African American man. My dear friend who works with me, who is the antithesis of the stereotypical African American male, deals with that on the other side of the desk here every day. I do get it.

But if you ASSUME that every word from my mouth has hidden meaning, if you ASSUME that anyone who has my skin color is against you, than you are part of the problem too.

How about assuming that I might be nice, and helpful and will treat you with the same dignity I would treat anyone who walks into my library?  You might find that people will surprise you when you do that.

Respectfully and sadly,

The Library Lady

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dear Dad

Did you believe in "watch out for what you wish for, you just might get it?"

I have wanted space to get the Man's things out of the way of the rest of us, more privacy, a place where I could have family over.

We're getting that. We've bought a house. Closing is in a month, we will move in near the end of August.
We have a beach vacation, and it's going to take lots of time to get the Man's things--and the rest of the family's stuff moved over there.

It's not in our neighborhood. It's right near where I used to work. It's not far from here, and it's a nice enough area.

No one wanted our new house, probably because it is next door to what is called "transitional housing," but there's no crime in the area. The transitional house has been next door for 20 years, no problems.

Otherwise it's a really nice house. And your money and Mom's is making it possible. Because it means we can pay off the mortgage, and sell this house after we move out. You remember what an awful mess our house is, Daddy? Still is now, and it's mostly because of the Man's stuff. Thousands of books he'll never use. Lots of other crap. More in storage, but at least we'll have space to store it--and we won't be paying $500 a month in storage fees any more.

It's a really nice house, Daddy, and I'm sure we'll love it. But you know what?  I DON'T WANT IT.

All I want is for Vulgaria next door to move out and for the Man to get ride of all these useless things that have spoiled our life here.

I am so, so angry at him for making me leave this house. My nest. My safe place. The last place where I have memories of you and Mommy.

But then, Dad, I'm still mad at you and Mom for leaving me. For leaving me to clear out YOUR house, and say goodbye to it the way we did.

And I won't do that to my girls. At least we can all say goodbye to this place together.

I love you, Daddy. Four years ago, right about now, you left us forever. And I miss you. Always.
And I love you, always.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Waiting Game

We are waiting on an offer on a house.
JR just took her state Algebra II test today.  We will have to wait till next week till the results on that.

Waiting sucks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mom

Hi Mom,

These are the same sort of flowers I used to send you for your birthday and other occasions because I knew you loved them. I remember being in the Botanical Gardens with you, admiring the irises.

I miss you, Mommy. I miss you every day of the year. I hear your voice in my head, still nagging me about my food choices and my grammar and a host of other things, but it was all with your love and I knew it.

I'd like to be the daughter again, and you the parent.

You're hear with me, every day, Mom. And you always will be.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Staff Day Rant

A mostly wasted morning--I know how to write an email, thank you--was followed by a nice lunch.
Then came the afternoon festivities.

We had a truly disturbing training on armed shooters by a local cop. He was matter of fact about it, which was the most terrifying aspect of all.

And we had a CPR related training which brought back not so happy memories of Dad, including the not funny but funny Thanksgiving when the firemen/EMT filled his bedroom, appearing one after the other like a Monty Python sketch.  The whole thing sent me to the rest room in tears.

The Elf won an award, sure enough.
One of her staff was given an award by the director for something I think she got one of the legitimate awards for 2 years ago. I really hate the director's awards, which smack of the old days at the library, when they were teacher's pet things and nothing more.

And then we were released. It had been raining all day, but when we emerged the sun was shining and the sky was blue, and I could hear this in my head: