29 June 2007

Remembering a Collie

Mitt Romney is taking a lot of political heat for driving with the family dog on top of the roof when on a family vacation. When I was very young, we had a collie that liked to get on top of the car's roof while my father drove.

Yes, the dog did this willingly. Of course, the collie decided to no longer get on the car's roof after jumping off the car to chase after a cat.

A Quiz

The past few days, some friends of mine have been passing along quizzes to see how well you know them. I finally decided to follow suit with one of my own.

Here's the link to my quiz.


28 June 2007

Get a bigger instrument

I just deleted a spam email that had that subject title. I suppose the filters at the college aren't as strict as they usually are.

I suppose all I needed was sleep. That, and perhaps someone calling me Hot Stuff.

I fell asleep sometime around 10:45 last night before I set the alarm. I woke up at just before 9:00 this morning.

I made it to the college at 11:30, ate lunch, and started work. I've been getting a lot of interlibrary loan requests from a female colleague of mine at the college. We've successfully taken care of the great majority of her requests.

I sent her an email letting her know that one of her requests arrived, and her response began HEY HOT STUFF! So, yeah, I'm cheered up.

One of my colleagues mentioned in an email this morning that she wanted to set up a table to promote a couple of things going on at the library. I could not remember whether the building where the faculty convocation takes place is set up for wireless,1 so I took my laptop over to the building to do a spot-check.

No wireless, so I go to talk to our IT folks. I run into the friend of mine who I had mentioned was leaving the college. We talk for a little while.

I mention what's up, and he walks me over to the person I need to talk to who happened to be on the phone. In the meantime, he introduces me to the new webmaster at the college, a person with whom I would normally communicate since making sure that the library's links to web resources are one of my responsibilities.

We talk for awhile, and he shows me some things are in the works as far as the college's web site is concerned. So far, I like. I like a lot actually.

After our talk, I speak to the IT guy about getting internet access in the building for convocation, and he says what can be done. The promotion is a doable project, and that's cool.

1When I read her email, I knew that we needed internet access for a proper promotion.

27 June 2007

All Black

I'm not in a good mood today. It resembles what I'm wearing: all black. From being sad to feeling bittersweet, and now I'm tired: physically and mentally.

The past few days here at the college have been interesting. There are upper administration changes happening, which means more changes. My dean has proposed a scheduling plan that several people have opted to use.

I haven't. I don't like it because it doesn't give me any flexibility. Also, it means that I'll likely have less of a life at all outside work than I do at the moment. Why do I want that?

In addition, there would be conflicts with whatever duties I have with student organizations. I am the lone faculty sponsor for a student organization, and this change would negatively affect it.

This morning, we had a birthday party. Since I was the last person to celebrate a birthday, I was in charge of today's party. I didn't get much sleep. When I arrived, I was in an irritable mood due to lack of sleep and a headache. I didn't want my headache compounded by people talking loudly in the lounge, which is something that often happens-- and often gives me awful headaches.

My dean mistakenly thought I had a hangover.1 Sometimes she can be like that-- spouting out things I consider to be complete nonsense and then following things like that with other tidbits such as positions that might be open in the future which makes me think she wants people to leave the library, and sometimes makes me believe that I am not welcome at the college.

It's during times such as these when I actively go through job sites and see open positions that look interesting. For instance, I'm now overqualified for this position, but it's something I would have loved to have gotten some seven years ago. This public library system has been looking for an assistant director for quite some time.

I know the director has stated that she would like to retire. Having grown up in the library's service area, I confess to being intrigued; however, I don't want to go back home. I didn't feel at all comfortable there when I was younger, so why would I want be there again?

A little over three months ago, I applied for a position at another institution. I was a finalist and interviewed. My perception is that I did well. Unfortunately, I wasn't offered the job.

I believe I would have been a great fit. From what I understand, people were impressed with all the finalists, which is good for me. It had been several years since I last interviewed for a position.

Two weeks ago at the conference in Starkville, I met the person who was offered the job. My initial impression is that she should do very well.

When I've had days at the library like I've had today, it makes me wish I was at the other institution, knowing that while I would be making less money,2 at least I would be happy. I'm not looking forward to being at work tomorrow.

1Of course, when it's the unmarried male, she assumes it's a hangover, but when it's a married female employee who is a parent, it tends to be the opposite.

2Not to mention decreased benefits.

25 June 2007

Monday Night Ponderings

I just finished working the evening shift at the library. Now I'm at Cups in Fondren relaxing. I'm listening to Yonder Mountain via iTunes at the moment.

Satsuma wants to have only one book club meeting to read the Chandler book, and he would prefer the meeting to be sometime in the next two weeks. Since I choose after him, I emailed my selection to TC.

I'll actually be at work all this week. I'm not planning on attending any baseball games, conferences, or weddings. I think this week is the first week since April that I've been at the library all week long.

I took my suit and shirt to the cleaners this morning. I know the suit needed to be cleaned after I spilled some red wine on my slacks. I also noticed that my shirt needed cleaning. Apparently the mints were in the shirt pocket for a little bit too long.

After work tomorrow, I've got some errands to run. I'm in charge of a co-worker's birthday party on Wednesday, which means I need to see if Broad Street has cheesecake as well as purchase a CD at one of the local music shops.

It was good to see TD and LA Saturday evening. Other than them, the only people I knew who were there were Coppertop, her prince, and Coppertop's former landlady, who is a retiree from my college. I also ran into a couple people my pla C mentioned would be there. They were nice folks too.

A news event I've been keeping up with in the past couple weeks has been the recent ruling by Judge Pepper. This ruling could mean that I might have to register as a Republican.

I live in Clinton where most if not all of the city's elected officials are Republican. If I want to be involved with local governmental elections, I might have to register as a member of the GOP-- if political independents are not allowed to vote in future party primaries.

Nothing against the Republicans, I've certainly voted for several of their candidates. I'm not comfortable being one anymore.1 I prefer my Independent status and would like to keep it.

1I was a member of MSU's College Republicans when I was an undergraduate. I voted for Bush 41 in 1988 and Bush 43 in 2000 (but voted for Kerry in 2004-- I've never been a fan of Gore. He turned me off in the 1988 election when he ran for the Democratic nomination). I also voted for Mike Parker for Governor in 1999 and Amy Tuck for lieutenant governor in 2003 as well as for Thad Cochran, Chip Pickering, and Trent Lott several times. I would have loved to have voted for the Democratic candidate who ran against Lott in 2006; however, why would I want to be for a Lyndon LaRouche supprter?

24 June 2007

Starkville Sunday Morning

I'm at my pla C's house trying to check my email1 and going through the various blogs I subscribe to via Google Reader. It's quiet.

I noticed in Marshall Ramsey's post this morning about UMC's dire need for trauma surgeons. I know the husband of the trauma surgeon who's leaving UMC at the end of the month.2 He's a colleague of mine at my college, and he, of course, will be also leaving. I'll miss him and wish them both the best of luck.

I checked out the Vampire Librarian's blog and saw this Youtube video. I thought it was cute, so I'm passing it along:

I think now I might get some coffee. I hope I won't have to dress up as a pirate.3

1It looks like my work webmail network might be down. I can't access it at the moment.

2I don't know his wife though.

3My eyepatch from the New Years party and St. Paddy's parade is still hanging on my car's rear view mirror just in case though.

23 June 2007

Sir Cockatrice's Bittersweet Happiness

I'm happy, and I'm sad. I'm in a bittersweet mood.

I came back from a wedding reception an hour and a half ago. A very good friend of mine got married. I've told her that she's one of two women I consider be my ideal woman.1

She and her husband are moving to Texas. I'll miss them. I'll miss her.

I know I may be greedy,2 but there's a part of me who wishes she was still living in Mississippi. I know, however, my greed would not be the best for her, and certainly not the best for her husband as well.

Here's to Princess Coppertop. She's married her Prince and is happy. Now, why do I feel like I'm one of the dwarfs who are not only happy for her, but also left behind?3

1Yes, co-ideal women. No, I wasn't drunk when I mentioned it to her. And yes, I've told both women what they mean to me.

2But that's okay. I'm the youngest child in my family. Even if I'm 40 years old now, I'm expected to be greedy every once in a while, aren't I?

3Yes. Dwarfs instead of dwarves is correct usage at least as far as Walt Disney is concerned.

22 June 2007

Onwards to Starkvegas

I'm heading off to Starkville to be at Coppertop's wedding and visit old friends in a few minutes.

Last night, I went to Don's obstensibly to see this band. I'm somewhat acquainted with this author via the Interweb, and he said that the band was good.

However, the band wasn't there. Apparently, plans, as they are often wont to do, changed. I did get to see several of my friends, which was very good.

Not of all my friends were at Don's, but they're excused since most of them are in Aspen having a lot of fun and reading my blog. Here's a shoutout to FP, LA, TD, Otherjay, and who else?

I personally think though that there are better things to do in Aspen than read my blog. You'd think that they'd be reading Raymond Chandler for instance.

TD and LA should be at the wedding tomorrow. It'll be good to see them. Heck, it'll be good to see my pla C tonight.

And it'll be great seeing Coppertop. I'm very happy for her and her upcoming marriage. However, I'm also going to be sad since her wedding celebration doubles as a farewell party. She and her soon-to-be husband are moving to Texas.

21 June 2007

Work Stuff

This week hasn't been too bad for me as far as work is concerned. There aren't as many students at the college during the summer, so it's a time for doing the little housekeeping duties that we never quite can make the time to do.

I've been going over renewal lists for periodicals. I've also gotten requests for new subscriptions, and many of the requests will be acted on positively, but not all.

I found out earlier this week that I lost an election for an organizational office. I'm not at all surprised. My co-worker Pezgirl was a candidate for another position, and I didn't think that both of us would win.1

It's no big deal for me. It just means I don't have to worry when conference time arrives-- as if I would be worrying in the first place.

I don't think I'll allow myself to be nominated for an office next year if it happens. I've no desire to be the Harold Stassen, or even worse, the Shawn O'Hara of the Mississippi library profession.

I got word this afternoon that my college's accreditation was reaffirmed by SACS. I was on a committee that wrote some responses and edited other responses as well as being one of three people checking out the website to ensure consistency. After being involved with this project for about a year and a half, it's so good that it's finally over.

1Pezgirl, on the other hand, did win, which means she gets to come up with a program for the group sometime in the future.

20 June 2007

Roy Blount Jr. Should Be in My Book Club

This afternoon I went to Lemuria to attend a very entertaining book signing and reading by Roy Blount. When he finished reading, he took some questions.

He was asked what humorous writers he liked. The first person he mentioned was Charles Portis, and he specifically made reference to Dog of the South. So big props to Satsuma's first selection, and as far as the second selection is concerned, Blount also approves of Raymond Chandler.

The second writer mentioned was Flann O'Brien, so props to me too. He mentioned O'Brien's Myles na gCopaleen columns, which are also on my reading list.

In the spirit of The Book Inscriptions Project, I'll share what Blount wrote to me:

To James,

I wish I were Flann O'Brien, then you'd really have something.

But then again, why would Flann O'Brien want to sign my book?

Roy Blount

19 June 2007

Ouzo's on First?

Rain. Thunder. Lightning.

We needed all of the above, and we got what we needed.

Thanks to the storm system that passed through earlier this afternoon, the temperature this evening isn't hot and is pretty moderate.

I thought about picking up my book club book today, but decided against it. I believe instead that I'll go tomorrow after work and attend this author event.

I've got the next pick for book club, and I have several books and authors in mind.1 I've got time though. Another thing to consider is that I don't even know when our next meeting will be. I know it won't be this week.

Not much is happening in my life. My co-worker Pezgirl made it back from her vacation in Greece and Turkey and I got an I Love Ouzo t-shirt. I'll be at work for a couple more days this week and then I'm off to Starkvegas again-- this time to attend Coppertop's wedding. I'll be crashing at my pla C's house.

1I'm thinking my selection will be either a satire, a war novel, a somewhat older (well, older than me) science fiction classic, or possibly a newer science fiction work. I had considered (but not all that seriously) going back to an author I had previously chosen, but I don't know if the work in question is available.

18 June 2007

When Father's Day is a Memorial Day

Ever since my father died in May 2003, Father's Day for me has been a day of remembrance rather than a celebration of fatherhood. Of the different newspaper, magazine, and web articles concerning Father's Day this year, none has moved me as much as this article by Wright Thompson.

17 June 2007


These performances have been the hit of Youtube for the past week. If I only had a tenth of the talent that Paul Potts possesses in his left index fingernail...

His audition:

His semifinal performance:

The finals:

14 June 2007

Starkville Thursday Night

I'm in Starkvegas to attend the second of four events here in Oktibbeha County this summer.1 As previously mentioned, I'll be attending a conference at MSU tomorrow. I'm not a morning person, so I came over from the college right after work.

MSU freshman orientation is still happening, and the room I reserved over a month ago at the Comfort Suites fell through: overbooked. The good news is that I was comped a room at the Hampton Inn, which also has free wireless.

I went to the Veranda tonight. I had salmon, lobster bisque, blackberry cobbler, and a freebie gin & tonic thanks to a coupon given to me by the friendly front desk person at the Hampton.

1In chronological order, the events are the super regional I attended last week, tomorrow's library conference, Coppertop's wedding next week, and another library conference next month.

Andy's Daylily Baseball Library Jam 2.0

My friend Andy now has a blog. He's thought about attending Jubilee Jam.

I'd like to, but I can't. I'm heading off after work this afternoon to attend this conference tomorrow. Afterwards, I'm off to Hattiesburg to watch my mother's shop while she's busy with this event.

When I'm not watching the shop, I'll be listening to and watching the College World Series. I don't know if I'll be listening to the game on the radio while driving to Hattiesburg tomorrow evening or if I'll stop in Meridian and watch the game at a restaurant.

13 June 2007

Jim Ellis & Blue Mountain

I love sports, and I love music. I've been known to frequent messageboards for MSU and Ole Miss, but oddly enough, not USM even though I did earn a degree from there.

My preferred MSU messageboard is Six Pack Speak. There's a link that MSU baseball fans might just like, Jim Ellis' call of the final at bat of Game 2 of the Clemson-MSU super regional.

Today, while checking out NAFOOM, I noticed that the Oxford Music Snob provided a link to streaming audio of Blue Mountain's June 9 show at Proud Larry's. I'm looking forward to seeing them at Hal & Mal's on the 30th.

12 June 2007

McSweeney's in some difficulty...

According to Kottke, McSweeney's is in some difficulty-- losing some $130,000 thanks to the bankruptcy of their distributor. McSweeney's is responding with a big sale and some auctions. If you want to help out, buy something.

If only the Andes followed I-20...

...I would so welcome the cooler weather and could deal with Mississippi being Chile. I don't know who Mississippi's equivalents to Pinochet and Allende would be.

Click the above map to see an enlarged version.

The above map of the US has "each state renamed for a country with a similar gross domestic product."1

1Courtesy of Freaknomics and Strange Maps.

11 June 2007

A Hoarse with No Name

I'm not drained anymore, but I'm still sounding pretty hoarse from the baseball games Friday and Saturday in Starkville. I don't sound as bad as I did a couple days ago.

I didn't realize how hoarse I was until yesterday. Saturday, I was so drained that I didn't particularly care how I sounded. I'm not nearly as hoarse as I was yesterday, which is better.

I won't be going to Omaha for the College World Series. Although I have the hours to take the time off, taking more time off would be a bit too much. Besides, I've already made other plans for Friday.

As you might have noticed, Satsuma's book club selection has changed. Apparently, the Portis book is out of print, so we'll be reading Raymond Chandler.

Tomorrow, there's going to be a birthday party for me at work. It would have been last week, but I wanted to attend the super regional games.

10 June 2007


I'm drained.

After being out in the sun for two consecutive days seeing two baseball games, I am drained. Temperatures in the nineties. The heat index approaching 100.

Sunscreen getting in one of my eyes, irritating it from just before the game for several hours. Suffering through some unexpected sinus travails, and for what? To be part in the crowd of 13,715 ready to unleash their emotions like a freed Paris Hilton.

Being a fan of Mississippi State athletics is often trying, so success, when it occurs, feels great, which reminds me...

After Friday's game, I was walking to my car. There were three coeds nearby going in the same direction.

One of them was very ecstatic. She referred to Omaha as The Big O! Her friends were grinning, doing their best not to laugh for obvious reasons.

And I understand. I've been at previous regionals at Dudy Noble Field, and when MSU has advanced to Omaha in my presence-- 1979, 1990, 1997, and now 2007-- it's been, as Kyle Veazey has put it, sweet, wonderful chaos.

I'm drained, yes, but it's a sweet, wonderful, and yes, chaotic draining.

09 June 2007

Saturday Morning

I'm in Starkville finishing up breakfast at a coffee shop & bakery that has free wireless access. When I finish, I'm heading for Dudy Noble Field for what I hope is the last game of a best-of-three series.

My thoughts first go back to Thursday night. FP & I saw Lost Highway, and we had fun. We were both impressed with the show. Considering that I've heard such good things about the show, I'm glad that the show lived up to its billing.

I got only a little sleep. I woke up at 5 a.m. Friday in order to get ready for the first game against Clemson.

I left Clinton at 6:30 in the morning and arrived at MSU a little over two hours later. I picked up my ticket at will call and entered Dudy Noble.

The atmosphere was great. I didn't expect over 12,000 fans to attend a Friday game that started at 11 a.m. I'm glad that the Bulldogs battled back to win.

I got a little sun on my face even with my liberal use of sunscreen. I've got to use even more sunscreen for today's game. I've also got some bottled water. I drank four bottles during the game.

I'll be bringing in about six bottles today. It's going to be a scorcher.

06 June 2007

A Revolutionary Birthday

I took it easy yesterday. Heck, I'm taking it easy today as well.

I didn't want to work on my birthday, so I took the day off. After a relaxing day away from work, I went to the book club meeting where we talked about Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.

It's a very well-written and, at the same time, depressing book. While it's a definitely a book one should read, I wouldn't recommend reading another depressing book right after that, which is partly why I couldn't read What is the What immediately after finishing the Yates book.

Satsuma has the next selection, and he's chosen The Dog of the South by Charles Portis. I look forward to reading the book.

After the book club meeting, we celebrated my 40th birthday. It's so good to be with friends for a birthday. My birthdays when I was younger weren't terribly big since, well, June 5 is after the end of school. Nowadays, other than birthday parties at the library, I rarely celebrate my birthday.

I mentioned that it was great to have a big birthday last night. There may have been only five people at book club/the birthday party last night, but I enjoy being with Coppertop, FP, TD, and Satsuma last night. They're fantastic people, and I love them.

I bought tickets to the super regional at Dudy Noble this afternoon.

I couldn't believe the Bulldogs defeated Florida State twice, and now MSU hosts Clemson. I thought I would miss the Friday game because my birthday party at the library was tentatively scheduled to be held that day.

However, I talked to my supervisor this afternoon, and I've got the day off, which means I'll be getting up early Friday morning to head up to Starkville. I'll be crashing at my pla C's.

Tomorrow evening, FP and I are going to get a bite to eat and see Lost Highway. I'm looking forward to it.

05 June 2007

Welcome to my midlife crisis

04 June 2007

Revisiting the Past: Black Gold

My hometown has a web site, and here's downtown Heidelberg. I see the building that housed my parents' grocery store for some fifteen years.

Since World War II, my hometown's economy has been largely dependent upon the oil and gas industry. According to this Department of Energy publication, the East Heidelberg Field was one the top 100 producing oil fields in the United States in 2000.

Oil production and exploration meant good times for the people of my hometown. Increased gasoline prices meant further exploration in the United States, and of course, Mississippi. Oil exploration in Mississippi crashed in the mid-1980s, but has improved some in the past year what with prices heading upward again.

There was an article in the New York Times last year concerning this renewed exploration and emphasizing another town where I formerly lived, Laurel. Here's an excerpt:

In what was once the capital of the Mississippi petroleum business, the new oil boom is hidden in plain sight.

There is a drilling platform behind the Shoney's 24-hour restaurant. Just blocks from City Hall, a rig natters loudly, tended by four roughnecks. Across the road from the country club, nearly a dozen tall blue pumps nod like a council of sleepy elders.

The high price of oil, hovering around $70 a barrel, has brought a nearly dormant Mississippi petroleum industry roaring to life. Wells abandoned long ago by the major oil companies are being reopened by independent operators. Requests for new drilling permits have spiked. Trainees for oil-field work can make nearly $14 an hour. Companies wait 12 months to rent the kind of field equipment that was once sold for scrap.

Five years ago there were some 20 functioning oil wells inside the city limits of Laurel; now there are 83.

But many people here have barely noticed, perhaps because they have lived for decades amid the industrial furniture of the oil patch. Or perhaps because, unlike the boom of the 1970's and 80's, this one has not brought private jets, $1,200 bar tabs, high-stakes craps games or trips out to the Capri Club, an establishment of ill repute where oilmen had corporate accounts. Oil is back, but without the old trappings.1

There's more to this article, including an interview with a person who was a high school classmate of my father.

When I was in graduate school at Mississippi State University, I wondered what was going to be the topic of my master's thesis. Then I ran across this article, and I knew.

If you're interested in a good book concerning oil exploration in Mississippi in the 1980s, I recommend Oil Notes by Rick Bass. It's an outstanding book, and I like to reread every two years or so now.

1Shaila Dewan. "As Oil Rises in Markets, Rigs Rise in Mississippi." New York Times, June 17, 2006.

03 June 2007

What is the What

About a month and a half ago, I mentioned on Pretty Fakes that I wanted to try out reading Dave Eggers' latest book. I finally read it.

I found it a little difficult to get into initially, but finished it yesterday. It's a novel, yet it's also a biography, and it's very moving with no pretentiousness.

Amazon has a compilation of editorial reviews of the book. Here's what Gary Krist of the Washington Post thinks of the book:

"God has a problem with me," complains Valentino Achak Deng, the subject of Dave Eggers's extraordinary new novel, What Is the What. Coming from almost any other person on the planet, this lament would appear hopelessly self-pitying. But coming from Valentino, a Sudanese refugee, it sounds almost like an understatement. At a time when the field of autobiography seems dominated by hyperbolic accounts of what might be called dramas of privilege (substance abuse, eating disorders, unloving parents, etc.), What Is the What is a story of real global catastrophe -- a work of such simple power, straightforward emotion and genuine gravitas that it reminds us how memoirs can transcend the personal to illuminate large, public tragedies as well.

In this world of selfishness and excess, Deng and Eggers provide a reality check. There is tragedy; there is hope.

If you're interested in learning more about Valentino Achak Deng and his foundation, check out the web site.

02 June 2007

June 5 throughout the years...

1967 - The Six-Day War started

1968 - Bobby Kennedy shot

1969 - International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties

1970 - Chile signs the Berne Convention

1971 - Mark Wahlberg Born

1972 - Birth of A Pro Wrestler

1973 - Swedish Metal Musician Born

1974 - According to Wikipedia, nothing notable happened.

1975 - Suez Canal reopens for first time since Six-Day War

1976 - English Comedian Born

1977 - Apple II Computer goes on sale

1978 - According to Wikipedia, nothing notable happened.

1979 - Fall Out Boy Bassist Born

1980 - Again, nothing notable happened according to Wikipedia.

1981 - First recognized cases of AIDS reported

1982 - First Rubik's Cube World Championship held in Budapest

1983 - Marques Colston Born

1984 - Indira Gandhi orders an attack on the Golden Temple

1985 - U.S. Figure Skater Born

1986 - First Execedrin Tampering Death

1987 & 1988 - According to Wikipedia, nothing notable happened.

1989 - One man stops the advance of a tank column

1990, 1991, & 1992 - According to Wikipedia, nothing notable happened.

1993 - Conway Twitty Died

1994 - According to Wikipedia, nothing notable happened.

1995 - Bose-Einstein Condensate produced

1996 & 1997 - According to Wikipedia, nothing notable happened.

1998 - Former Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty Died

1999 - Mel Tormé Died

2000 - Former Major League Pitcher Don Liddle Died

2001 - Jim Jeffords leaves the Republican Party

2002 - Dee Dee Ramone Died

2003 - Former German Vice Chancellor Died

2004 - Ronald Reagan Died

2005 - Switzerland Ratifies Schengen Agreement

2006 - Serbia and Montenegro Disestablished

2007 - I turn 40 years old.

01 June 2007

Mississippi Encyclopedia

Not quite four years ago, I found out that the Mississippi Encyclopedia wanted contributors. I sent an email inquiry and was asked to submit an entry. I did.

Today, I received an email stating that it will be published late next year by the University Press of Mississippi. If you purchase a copy and want me to autograph it, I might just do that. Sadly, I doubt that The Book Inscriptions Project would be interested.

More Introspection

I've not posted lately. I suppose it might be because the closer I get to my 40th birthday, the more introspective I've become. Summer school also begins Monday, and I've been trying to get ready.1

I was in Hattiesburg for a few days, but also had the time to go out with friends. Coppertop and I had some Japanese food over at Haru last week. We talked about several things: her wedding later this month; my upcoming birthday; work; book club.

I'm going to miss seeing Coppertop. She and her soon-to-be-hubby are moving to Texas. She's already invited me to come visit when I get a chance, and I may just take her up on it. She's a great friend.

I've been back here in the Jackson area for the past few days. FP and I went to Jerusalem Cafe Tuesday evening. I enjoyed being out with her. We talked about our plans for the next few days. For her, she'll be attending a wedding. For me, I'm off to Hattiesburg after work this afternoon. We also made plans for next week.2

My mother wants me to help watch the shop while she's attending some sort of conference or workshop. I don't know what, but she said that it'd be nice if I were there Saturday morning as opposed to Saturday afternoon. My mother likes being busy, and with me being the nearest child3 to her, I'm the one asked to do the honey-dos, which I don't mind as long it doesn't interfere too much with my life.

I like going out. I like being with friends. I sometimes think that it's been a bit more difficult for me.

It's not that I'm a wallflower. I'm not. When I was younger and living in a small town and attending a very small school, I found it difficult to relate to people and often felt like I was alone.4

In a way, I'm somewhat jealous of my friends who lived here in the Jackson area when they were children. I know I wish I lived here some thirtysomething years ago.5

I'll be back at work Monday. I'm working Monday night until 8. I'm taking Tuesday off since that's my birthday. Sadly, I have to use annual leave. My birthday's not considered a holiday here like it was (and still is) at one of my former employers.
1Getting ready as far as I'm concerned this summer means getting away from the library for a few days. I desperately needed a break. I may take more breaks away from the library during the summer, but perhaps not for as many days and hours as I did last month.

2Dinner and a show.

3My older sister and her family live in Georgia, and what with her being a doctor and having three sons, she's not wanting to come over for honey-dos, she wants to relax, and I don't blame her one bit.

4More than once when I was in college, people who knew me from high school commented that I had changed. It wasn't that I had changed. I had no sustained comfort level in high school.

5Because I would have exposed to more and different types of people. One tough thing about growing up in a rural community is that there were very few people with whom I felt comfortable being open with while socializing, and many activities of interest to a lot of people when I was younger weren't really of interest to me, and still aren't. I kept my own counsel and maintained a shell around me. However, the more I've gotten to know people here, the more comfortable I've become.