Thursday, 28 November 2013

Social butterfly

That's one term I would never use to describe myself, but my presence seems to be in demand.  Drinks with a few librarians tonight, a big holiday craft show tomorrow after work, and an invite to a department Christmas party on Saturday night.  That's just this weekend...there were invites for events last weekend too.  I'm flattered and quietly excited about the attention, but as an introvert and empath (yeah, I'm one of those weirdos who feels other people's stuff: your joy, sorrow, and bodily ailments are mine as well if I'm not careful...stepping out of the freak closet here) I tend to panic at the mere mention of a social gathering.  I'm so used to spending tons of time alone and enjoying it, getting comfortable with the togetherness of the prairires is tricky.  I like being alone, it's not the same as being lonely, but maybe it's time to take a big grown up step and try spending some time with human beings too.  I just have to keep reminding myself no one is going to swallow me whole and that I will live to see the end of the evening.  If only I had that kind of wisdom in kindergarten.  ;)

Saturday, 23 November 2013


I'm going to hazard a guess that winter arrived in Saskatoon this week.  It was cold.  In Ontario, cold meant -5 for a day or two.  Here it means -18 or more for several days straight.  I think the coldest night was Thursday, when the wind chill was -40.  Oddly, that was the night I woke up sweating because I had shut all my windows (finally) and the apartment heated up like an oven.  I muddled through the week, but even my short walk to work resulted in frozen nostrils and numb thighs.  On Friday night I went to the mall and bought a few new things to add to my winter ensemble.  This is what I've got so far...

I already had the coat, toque, and mittens (super fantastic boots too, though they're camera shy and didn't want to be in this photo).  The neck warmer is a nice alternative to a scarf that I can hitch up around my face when the cold air makes it a bit painful to breathe.  The thermal leggings on the left go under the sport pants on the right.  I haven't tried that combination out yet, but I think I might have to go back to get a pair of fleece leggings to put in between as my 'insulating layer.'  Like everything in life, the magic number of winter clothing layers appears to be three: base, insulating, and shell.  I'll get the combo right soon, as I refuse to be held hostage by the weather this winter.  It might be cold, but is it ever sunny!  It's actually really beautiful outside once I get past the I-can't-feel-my-face thing.
I'm left wondering if men in the prairies find women dressing for the elements a turn on.  We'll see.

It's Grey Cup weekend and the Saskatchewan Roughriders face off with the Hamilton Tiger Cats tomorrow.  Did I mention the game is in Regina?  Yeah...the whole province seems to be on the brink of spontaneous combustion.  Someone on the CBC website called it "the most important football game in the history of Saskatchewan" or something similar.  I went to the symphony last weekend and people were wearing Riders sweatshirts in the audience.  They love the CFL out here!  I don't understand it, but it's kind of fun to be in the middle of a large group of very excited people.  I can't imagine what will happen if the Riders win.  I'm doing my part by making chili cheeze fries and white trash football casserole (vegetarian style, of course).  Go Riders!

Monday, 18 November 2013

The third degree

Well, Artist Diploma is not technically a degree, but the triplets look darn nice together, don't you think?

My MLIS from Western arrived via Fed Ex last week and I missed the delivery (who knew they were going to ship it overnight priority?), so I picked it up this morning.  It's funny how a piece of paper can solidify an experience for a person.  I was so busy doing other things that I kind of forgot about that accomplishment.  I think a little celebration is in order.  :)

My training at SPL is  over and I'm starting to come up with a plan of attack in terms of work flow.  I'm surprised I don't feel more overwhelmed; it all feels natural and familiar.  This is odd considering I haven't had a job like this before, but maybe it's because I'm combining all of the things I love and have experience with into one position.  I've really been enjoying listening to all sorts of music as part of my work.  We have a stereo in the fine arts department, so we take turns picking CDs to play.  It's a lot of fun as everyone has different musical tastes and we get to explore what's lurking in the collection.  Yesterday we started the afternoon off with Bruce Cockburn and ended with Western swing.  I also listen to recordings in order to decide what to select.  Yesterday afternoon I enjoyed 'Bach Re-Invented,' which consists of a two-part invention played as composed on piano, then it is transformed into a funky set of variations, touching on jazz, world, and electronic music.  Very cool, it reminds me of those mash-up books like "Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies."  I'm ordering that one for sure. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

Jennifer: CD Selector!

I just finished my first week at work and I really, really enjoyed it.  Yes, I was nervous (still am) and there is so much more to learn, but I'm loving this job!  My main area of responsibility is to maintain the CD collection for the library system.  That means I get to select music recordings for the Saskatoon PL system, including the main library and seven branches.  SPL is also part of a province-wide consortium, which means all the public libraries work together and share materials.  For example, if Regina PL has a book that a patron in Saskatoon wants to borrow, it can be brought in without having to fill out interlibrary loan forms, etc.  We just put in a request, and it gets shipped over.  So when I purchase CDs for SPL, I have to look at what's floating around the entire province.  It's going to take some time to get used to thinking so broadly, but it's cool that all of those library systems are able to work together and share resources.  Anyway, I really like being introduced around the library as "Jennifer, the new music selector."  Very cool part of the job.  If I'm a good little selector, maybe they'll let me choose some print music too.  ;)

This is my wee cubicle...I rather like it in there.  Quiet and away from the service desk so I can focus on what I'm doing. 

I think the biggest challenge for me right now is the amount of structure my life has taken on.  Being mostly self-employed for years, then working part-time while going to school, meant that I had a whole bunch of things going on at once and was juggling commitments.  I often started early in the morning and ended later in the evening, with a chance to grab a nap in the afternoon.  This 9-5 thing is a huge change.  It's a relief in a way because I was really starting to struggle with the crossover I had with work (teaching) and home.  Now work stays at work, and home is reserved for relaxing (or using my steam mop...anyone have one of those?  I freakin' love it!).  A challenge with this job is that I'll be sitting a good deal of the time.  I'm pretty active, I like to move around, so by mid-afternoon I start to get uncomfortable.  Despite the shitty weather (more on that shortly), I'm trying to go for a walk at lunch or right after work, just to make sure my hips don't seize up.  Seems to be working, plus that blast of fresh air does wonders for clearing out my head.  I'm also going to look into getting some cross country skis; the park next to my apartment has trails.

So, yeah...the weather.  Last weekend I was walking around in a long-sleeved t-shirt and a polar fleece jacket.  This weekend I'm bundled up in a coat, toque, mittens, and winter boots.  It went from about plus 7 to minus 17 in about a day and a half...and it snowed.  It feels like mid-January here but it's only the beginning of November.  *sigh*  I've decided the best way to deal with the weather is to layer up, slap on some heavy moisturizer and lip balm, and get my ass outside to embrace the cold.  The river is still pretty darn beautiful, especially on Wednesday when there was freezing fog and the trees were covered in white.  Plus, I have these fantastic slippers to pull on when I get in from my chilly walk...

I know.  They're pretty awesome.  Tee hee.

So, everything is going well so far.  I met about 75 new people this week, can't remember anyone's name, but I've been invited to something called Interlibrary Lush on Thursday nights where I may have an opportunity to figure out who is who.  Apparently, this is some sort of alcohol infused gathering of librarians in the city, representing both public and academic organizations.  Librarians drinking???  No!!!

Onward.  :)