List #93: Goodbye August

I actually can't believe that August is over. I can't believe that at the beginning of this month I was still wrestling with summer reading and now children are back at school.  It feels a bit bittersweet to me because in all honesty, August was one of my best months of 2011.  And considering I sick for a large chunk of it and had an operation for a broken boob, that's saying something. Or it generally illustrates how much of a sh*tshow 2011 has been. Either way, August wasn't so bad.

But oh, September feels like home to me. So tonight's list is things that are great about the 9th month of the year:

  • A new picture on the Allegheny College calendar. I haven't talked to one alum who didn't think August's picture was lame. And yes, I've talked to multiple people about this.
  • It's my birthday.  On the 28th, so take note. Sure, it's my 30th and sure I kind of get freaked out by this. But like a good friend told me tonight, it's another year to celebrate and drink wine and go on trips and buy myself dresses. Lots of people can't do that at 30 for a variety of reasons.
  • I was giving myself until the fall to let myself get over a relationship. And I have to say it actually worked. Is every piece of me healed? No. But I can honestly say that I'm open to what may come my way now. And I may have even gone on some dates. Hoping for more as the leaves turn.
  • It's perfectly acceptable to burn candles and take baths on crisp September nights. You can feel autumn in the air and as soon as I heal from this surgery, I'll be enjoying a glass of wine in the tub with a book and a fall scent candle.
  • So many new exciting programs and opportunities at work. Loving my job has made this year so much easier and I look forward to making my year anniversary not so long from now.
  • I have taken the plunge and am going to rejoin a gym this month. If I don't use the membership or feel like I don't have the time, then fine. But I need to give myself a physical and healthy boost. Will make it fit in my budget.
  • Football. On Sundays with the family, with friends. Saturday cheering on my college-playing brother whether near or far. And hoping Dewey's Decimator's kicks ass in fantasy leagues.
  • But mostly, I just look forward to growing improvement: health, happiness, living space, friendship, family and librarianship. I am just crossing my fingers that autumn brings rebirth and joy. 
What are you most looking forward to in September? And y'all better say my birthday. 


List #92: Write a Song About Me

I go back and forth a lot between listening to music and listening to podcats on my commute to and from work. And mostly when I listen to music I just stream from Pandora via my phone because I get tired of my music collection. But over the past week I did some traveling to the West Coast and back and I can't really stream Pandora from my phone flying somewhere above the Rockies.

So I recently got to reconnect with my iPod thanks to Southwest and vacation days. And as usual I am a ball of emotion when I remember old songs. Do you know the feeling of listening to a song you almost completely forgot about and then having it feel like a warm winter sweater? Or surge tears from deep inside that you thought you had cried out a long time ago? Or when a memory pops up so forgotten yet so clear that it seems as if you can reach out and touch time? Yeah, that. A few hundred times over riding in Coach. Pretty sure I managed to suck back the tears and stifle the laughter though. I didn't want everyone thinking I was a nutjob.

But I will share with you three songs I listened to a few times over because I want to be the women they sing about.

Cecelia, Simon & Garfunkel
I want to be the woman who brings a man to his knees. I love that Cecelia has this man wrapped around her fingers and she knows it. She controls the relationship. Maybe it's about music, maybe it's about a muse. Who cares. To me, this song is about a powerful woman who is a knock-out in bed and has slept with Paul Simon. And quite frankly, that's lovely.

Down Home Girl, Old Crow Medicine Show
Okay, so is completely unsophisticated. She's a bit of a mess, really. But he is attracted to her nonetheless. It's the line about the dress and going to Sunday Mass that really gets me. Afterall I'm a former Catholic school girl and it's kind of sexy to know you're moving a man so hard that he feels the need to pray.

I Wanna Hold Your Hand, The Beatles
It's sweet and simple. Tender and old-fashioned. And it reminds me that a guy should want to do more than just make out and watch movies in the dark. He should want to hold my hand. This is a song that made me giddy at 12, made women twice my age giddy as a teen and still kind of makes me giddy today.

Free Fallin', Tom Petty
When I was little and this song came out, I immediately thought it was written about me. I WAS a good girl who loved my momma, I loved Jesus (see Catholic school) and America, I was crazy about Elvis and I even loved horses. I was just 10 and couldn't figure out what vampires had to do with anything. So yes, he's happy that they broke up. But he's sad enough that he had to break a good girl's heart, and he admits he's a bad boy. That's more than I can say for most of the men I have dated.

Comfortable, John Mayer
This song is so unfancy and bittersweet, it still breaks my heart nearly ten years after hearing it for the first time (side note, I'm old). He is admiting he's wrong and sorry without actually saying it. I like to think he knows she's the girl who got away but there is nothing he can do about it anymore. He f*cked up and she moved on and that's how life happens. And well, we all know that's how a huge chunk of my life plays out and though I've never had a man come back to me or get on his knees for me, I like to think some of them know I was better than they gave me credit for. And that some of them are still kicking themselves for getting rid of the sweet, smart and yes, comfortable, even today.

So dear readers, what songs do you want to be? Is there a song or a lyric that just makes you say "Yes, I wish this song was written about me" and still has you feeling that way no matter how many listens? Share them in the comments!


note #5: west coast time

Wondering where I have been? This librarian is on vacation.
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List #91: Baby's Got a Broken Boob

Specifically this baby. You may have noticed that last week I was unusually quiet. And though I've been blogging less because the summer was busy, work has been hectic and my evenings have been booked. I was sick. The kind of sick that has you in so much pain the only thing you can think about doing after work is change into pajamas, crawl into bed and spend some time with Coach Taylor and Tim Riggins.

And right now I am going to start talking about my lady parts (as if a title with the word "boob" in it wasn't precaution enough). I've said it here before, but my breasts are probably, ultimately my favorite body part. They give me curves, they fill me out and heck, even I know they're fun. But I had an infection in my left breast and was in a world of hurt last week. It all started with a cyst in July and has turned into more than that, but minor in comparison to what many women go through each and every day. I'm not quite sure how I was pushing through the pain last week, it literally hurt to breathe a lot of the time. I'm just tough I suppose. But it all came to a head on Saturday and ended with a trip to the emergency room and very *minor* surgery.

I'll spare you all of the dirty and gross details and just leave you with this list. The top things my Boobs & I have learned together, through sickness and health:

A good, attractive, trustworthy bra can be hard to find. Victoria's Secret is not a girl's best friend when she's wearing something more than a 38C (no reason to share my actual size here, but it's bigger than the average)
  • Always show the girls off. There is a time and place for super sexy and very low cut. But there is never a day where they should be wrapped away and put away. Never be ashamed.
  • There is no need to feel demeaned every time another person sneaks a peak at them. Sometimes, a peak is a compliment.
  • But then again, perfect a glare of utter disgust for those dirty old pervs who can't get enough/voice inappropriate thoughts/generally skeeve you out. In my experience, a man who stares can't handle a strong woman who illustrates her feelings. He'll cower and run away.
  • Give a guy a break if he can't figure out your bra clasps. No matter the age, they're nervous and let's face it, they can be a bit complicated.
  • Feel so proud of them, no matter the size, that you'd enter a wet t-shirt contest. Now, don't actually enter the contest. It's the thought the counts.
  • Be comfortable. Stare at yourself in the mirror, check for lumps every month, understand your normal. Because when a health crisis comes, there is little time for embarassment.
  • Ask questions. I come from a family of loud, crazy and funny women. The kind that would make you show off your training bra. But I grew up knowing I could ask questions and share with them any concerns. It makes dealing with grown-up boob issues easier.
  • Don't let anyone see them who isn't worthy. A lesson that would have been nice to learn in my teens, a lesson that should have been remembered more in college and that some could argue I'm still learning at today. But really, the Internet exists for a reason and he doesn't need to see yours just because.
  • So anyway, I go back for my follow-up appointment tomorrow and there is no reason to think I won't heal fully and quickly. It was just an infection gone to the dark side and left me with a wound and a bit of sadness. It's quite easy to slip into self-pity when you're nursing a broken boob all weekend and there is no one who just wants to kiss it and make it better. So keeping that in mind, it's even easier to understand why a person may call a bunch of her friends when hopped up on pain meds and leave incoherant messages. Not saying I did any of that. But you know, you can understand if it did happen.

    Now dear readers, what lessons have you and your body learned through time? We're connected for life so we might as well share the wisdom we learn from each other.

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    List # 90: Designing Women

    I had dinner with two college friends tonight on a rooftop bar. One friend is one of my best friends; a woman who is always there for me no matter what and always has time for someone in need. She has been known to verbally kick the sh*t out of ex-boyfriends through AIM (remember that technology?), decline Facebook invitations and kidnap you for margaritas and shots on Tuesday nights. The other is a sorority sister whom I haven't seen in years. She's one of the only people in my graduating class who was younger than me. She was the girl you could always count on getting a drink with you in college. She's now about to have her third child and just took on a promotion at work. They are lovely ladies.

    And everything about tonight was a reminder of success. Varying degrees: the working mom, the powerful committed woman, and the single gal who champions for the public. It made me happy.

    Sometimes I find it very hard NOT to measure myself up against women like these friends, people on Facebook, casual acquaintances and wonder what it takes to reach their level of success. And it just shouldn't be that way.

    So tonight's list? A few things I am going to take to heart when I'm feeling like I am not measuring up.

    A successful woman:
    • Should always have more than one best friend. She knows that friendships are intricate and understands that different people fulfill different parts of us. She tries to always make time for them, hugs them when they leave and misses them when they are far away.
    • Isn't afraid to push for a career she loves. She wants to take on new challenges even if those challenges are school loans in preparation for a brighter future.
    • Has a love that leaves a hole in her heart. But she knows life patches it up. And understands that love doesn't fix everything anyway.
    • Reads. The news, books, magazines. Whatever interests her and whatever she can get her hands on.
    • Is happy for friends in their times of joy; sad for them in times of sorrow. Even if this means going to weekends filled with showers or open houses. Or heading out for happy hour even if she just wants to home. She meets her friends needs because they help meet hers.
    • Has a friend she can always count on to flirt. They make each other feel better, they are there when the world crumbles around, but they also make her feel just sexy enough.
    • Be able to reward herself with a good trip. She can travel the world, go camping, fly across the country or just tour a different city. But she should be able to pay for this trip alone and love every minute.
    • Always wants more.
    So, friends, how do you define a successful woman? I'd love to add to this list. Any successful role models out there? Please share!


    List #89: Jaded

    My 30th birthday is a little over a month away. And one thing I've come to realize this August? I am a jaded woman. Am I the person who is walking around with the biggest chip on her shoulder? No. Because in the end, I usually try to focus on on the positive and push through. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

    Seriously, does anyone else think about:
    • Why politicians lack trust and honesty.
    • Why people can't think beyond their own egos.
    • When, not if, the man is going to walk out.
    • If everyone is walking around with a damaging secret.
    • Feeling as if the world is never going to get better.
    • Expecting people to flake out on you.
    • And well, more?
    Is jaded just something that happens to women when we push 30? Is it a single thing? Or am I crazy for even thinking I'm jaded. Just climbing out of a black hole that I fell into this year? Oh, these are the things I wonder.


    List # 88: Dixie Chick

    I consider myself a feminist. I'm a woman who fiercely believes in her career, is proud of how hard she has worked and was raised to take education seriously. I believe that the Glass Ceiling still exists and that the world still doesn't accept the capability that rests in women. I plan on one day, if I ever have children, to keep working. I believe in equal partnerships in relationships and hope that I can find someone who loves to cook while I do the dishes.

    But, and here's a dirty little secret, sometimes I wish I was a Southern Belle.
    • I imagine myself in Georgia, sipping sweet tea and fanning myself. I'd still wear pearls and be a Kappa Kappa Gamma. Yes, this Librarian is a Sorority Girl and and old school Southern one at that (well, my chapter was a small, northern liberal arts college but KKG is has strong Southern roots).
    • I'll trade in my Masters Degree with a membership to the Junior League. Still spend my afternoons working for non-profits but they'll be afternoons filled with ladies' teas and mini-sandwiches.
    • Instead of being the proud, single, career gal I'll be the wife of a Southern lawyer. Someone I met at my big Southern State school, or *gasp* my high school sweet heart. My priorities will be charity benefits and barrister balls.
    • We'll take vacations to his family's house, sitting on the Gulf for generations, and think about taking a European cruise but it never happens. In the fall we have season tickets to our alma mater's football games. And I'm known for my chili recipe at the tailgate.
    • And yes, I'll have babies, young. Because the husband will have joined his family's law firm right after graduation. Partner earlier than most, because well...it's family. And I'll be open an Etsy shop selling pink and green and yellow hair bows for toddlers. I'll probably knit some of those cute little hats too.
    • And maybe, just maybe, if my daughter wants it. I'll enter her in some high-glitz beauty contests. And we'll turn down Toddlers & Tiaras.
    Sound crazy? I blame Saturday nights at small town Cracker Barrels and books like Commencement and watching Toddlers & Tiaras with my Dad. And generally wishing I could trade places for a day. So, what parallel universe would you swap with? A life so unlike you're own it would be a completely different cultural experience. But I want the juicy ones, the ones that are hard to admit.


    misc #????

    I know I have been MIA this week. I wish it were for good reasons. But really it was just early bedtimes, evening walks and dinner with a few friends. So yes, I guess they are good reasons. But not juicy ones. My life may be lacking in juicy, but that's okay. I will take some bland moments. And await new adventures. I am writing a longer post. Hopefully for early next week. But for now, enjoy this August weekend. And tell us, what juicy things you have going on.
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    Moments # 8: Friendship

    This weekend a friend suggested a fall getaway. In part, in honor of my birthday. And today, a destination weekend was booked here.

    More to come eventually. Too early to write about fall trips. But all I want to say is, I have wonderful, dear, loving, amazing friends.