i’m the queen of quiet

you guys.  guess WHAT.  i am approaching my one year liberrian anniversary!  it is customary to mark such an occasion with book-shaped balloons, a new tweed suit, cookies, (quiet) cheering, and gratuitous photos of tim riggins:

god bless texas.

but, this is also a time for reflection.  in many ways, i think that i have met my new job duties with happiness and some level of competence.  for example:

  • the toy dinosaur collection at my little liberry has tripled in my brief tenure.
  • i know a LOT about bulldozers, trains, buses, cranes, and diggers.
  • my house is overflowing with the toilet paper rolls and egg cartons that i horde for craft projects.
  • my origami is improving.
however, there are areas of this job where i am afraid that i am destined for lackluster results.  here is a brief excerpt of an email that i received recently:

—–Original Message—–
From: “lovable librarian”
To: “lintzy on the loose”
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 09:23:41 -0400
Subject: two things

I hope to have the Clifford costume for Friday, June 29- but I need someone to either wear it OR do a little singalong- BINGO (CLIFFORD) head shoulders- dancing with Clifford- any ideas?

hold on.  was this an email request asking me to dress up as a GIANT.RED.DOG?

i froze.  beads of cold sweat emerged on my brow.  i don’t think that this wonderful librarian understood to whom she was speaking.  when i am put in a position to sing or dance in front of a crowd or even in a crowd, my entire being shuts down.  like i legitimately cannot function.  i think it’s a personality gliche, akin to my inability to sit down and watch such television shows as “seinfeld” and “the office.”  as much as i love the idea of clifford visiting the library, i simply could not be the one dancing in the dog suit.  i couldn’t!

another, equally concerning, turn of events occurred earlier this week as i was doing my one of my storytimes for tiny tots.  now, despite my problem with putting on a costume and dancing for the youth of my community, i actually love doing storytimes.  i take a ton of delight in asking a horde of two-year-olds questions like, “what noise does a piggy make?!” and, “OH MY GOODNESS, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BIRTHDAY CAKE THIS BIG?”  in incredibly dramatic tones.  i have even become comfortable with leading at least one singalong during the proceedings, which is a big step for me.  however, this week, i learned the lesson that i have learned time and again in my role of storyteller– ALWAYS PRE-READ YOUR STORYTIME BOOKS.

picture it: the theme was bugs.  we read classics like eric carle’s the very busy spider and the ever-popular big rig bugs (it compares BUGS to TRUCKS.  TODDLER HEAVEN!).  i was confident that this was going to be a pretty darned good storytime, or at least not one of my disastrous ones that ends in tears from multiple babies.  so i took out the book that i thought would be the icing on the cake.  entitled can you make a scary face?, it was basically like the hokey pokey in book form.  it asked the kids to stand up, sit down, blah blah blah.  as i have mentioned, i hadn’t really read the whole book before introducing it to the tots.  so i started the story.  it was going well!  we were standing up!  (well, those of us who knew how to stand.)  we were sitting down!  we were wiggling our noses!  we were doing the chicken dance!

WAIT.  WHAT.  doing the chicken dance?

and that, readers, is how i ended up doing the chicken dance in front of a group of about 1,000 babies and their caregivers.  it was a challenging moment both professionally and personally, mainly because my face turned a shade of scarlet for a really really long time.

so i guess you can conclude that i am a pretty reserved person.  it’s true: about 75-80% of the time, i probably rank at about an 8.2 on the shyness scale.  but what about that other 20% of the time, you’re wondering, most likely with rapt attention.

well, my friends, i’ll clue you in on a secret: i am actually the incredible hulk.  OMG JUST KIDDING!  but for serious,  i, like so many other people, have an alter-ego.  mine only emerges when i am engaged in some kind of exercise, such as running, jumping rope, doing push ups, or struggling through an (aided) pull-up.  suddenly, mild-mannered lintzy librarian morphs into the biggest bad@$$ in town.  or maybe actually a little bad@$$, because well, let’s face it, i design storyboards out of felt in my spare time.

my personality metamorphosis occurs on a few different levels when i am workin’ on my fitness.  for example:

lintzy alter-ego trait number one: i do not care how i look to others

WHAT UP.

YOU.  i growl in my head.  WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?  NEVER SEEN A YOUNG LADY RUNNING IN KNEE SOCKS BEFORE?

yes, it’s true.  sometimes i wear knee socks when i run.  not merely for aesthetics… although aesthetics are part of it, i guess.  i have always had a theory that you can tell who the best (recreational) athletes are because they’re the ones with the confidence to wear knee socks.  i mean, think about your average adult softball league.  there’s always that one guy, probably playing center field, who runs faster than a mountain cat, can track down any fly ball, and always always always hits a triple to the opposite field.  and what’s he always wearing?  freaking knee socks!  ALWAYS!  but this is taking me a bit off topic EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW I’M RIGHT.

so anyways.  i wear knee socks when i run.  they are actually compression socks.  and the reason i wear them is because about a year ago, i developed a debilitating case of shin splints.  i do not use the term “debilitating” lightly.  i legitimately could not walk for about a month.  it was very dramatic.  often, i would convince BP or my dear friend nandi to take me out in my wicker wheelchair to breathe the fresh sea air.  OKAY OKAY I’M KIDDING.  I DIDN’T HAVE A WICKER WHEELCHAIR.  my legs just hurt real bad!  and i had to take about two months off from running, which was really hard for me, not only because it was a mainstay in my exercise plan, but also because this layoff had the potential to throw my blood sugars completely out of whack.  (but that is a story for another day.  today, we are talking about knee socks.)

so after a lot of physical therapy and calf stretching and ice, i was given clearance to run again.  but if you’ve ever come back from a sports injury, you know that it’s a road full of tentative steps.  and even now, i always run with a little bit of shin pain.  it’s just part of it.  but wearing compression socks can help! (don’t ask me why.  i think it has to do with reasons like SCIENCE.  i wish i could elaborate more, but whenever anyone tries to explain it to me i zone out.)

the only problem with compression socks is that most of the people who wear them look pretty ridiculous.  some companies have tried to fashion them in neon colors, but the bottom line is that they just look weird.  but guess what!  I DON’T CARE!  i wear my white and orange and blue knee socks with pride!  and sometimes, i might get even crazier and JUST WEAR ONE.  (if just one shin hurts.  and also to make a statement.)  and i DARE YOU to say ANYTHING about it.

lintzy alter-ego trait two: bizarre musical choices

recently, my dear friend nandi’s sister kelly offered to make a running mix for a group of ladies and gentlemen with whom we run.  “send me your recommendations,” she urged, “each person will provide input for the mix!”  and so we did, and the final copy of the mix was 110% amazing.  and the best part was, nandi and i agreed, was that you could totally tell who recommended what, because the songs uncannily matched each runner’s personality.  you had the creative and offbeat nandi herself, with lesser-known and uncannily perfect suggestions like marathon, by the ettes.  the charming and ebullient elise chose robbie williams’ rock DJ.  resolute and focused gary chose the classic kenny loggins hit from top gun, danger zone.  and nandi’s two hip and amazing younger sisters chose well, basically the best workout songs ever, like martin solveig’s hello and flo rida’s club can’t handle me.

and what did i choose?  well, contrary to popular belief, it was not the wheels on the bus or the itsy-bitsy spider.  obvi, i chose none other than metallica’s enter sandman, complete with growling vocals and DRUMS OF WAR.  it is one seriously intense song that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE WHEN I AM TRYING TO PERFORM A FEAT OF STRENGTH.  it makes me feel so… angry?  focused?  determined to pick up a tractor tire and heave it across the gymnasium?

“you remain a mystery,” concluded nandi at the end of our conversation on the personality/song link, “but oh how i love those drums of war when i’m out on a run!”

lintzy alter-ego trait three: the ironing paradox

one of the greatest gifts that my mother ever gave me was the ability to iron.  starting when i was in seventh grade, she would send me to the basement, armed with a can of spray starch and some cloth napkins.  i would practice and practice and before long, i was moving up to tee shirts!  then pants!  and then, the holy grail for all ironers: DAD’S DRESS SHIRTS.  whoa.  it was a lot of responsibility to bestow upon a 13-year-old, but i took to it with aplomb.  to this day, i carry a deep and abiding love for a nice rowenta iron and ironing board with a plush cover.

so, i iron everything.  jeans, scarves, tee shirts, whatevs.  i am a bit compulsive about neatness.  that is, unless i am working out.  then all ironing and neatness flies out the window.  instead,  i follow my father’s mantra: if you’re not getting dirty, you’re not playing hard enough.  so not only am i a sight in my ridiculous knee socks, but nine out of ten times, i will also be the sweatiest (i still dare anyone to outsweat me), dirtiest (how my calves and face both manage to get COVERED in MUD on a three-mile run, i have no idea) lady with the craziest hair (i’ve noticed that at the end of a workout, my hair looks like i stuck my finger in an electric socket) who looks like she just got into a fight with a bear cub.

i could go on an on, mentioning my fierce competitive drive, my sneers at anyone who stands in my way, my attempts to perfect the spitting-whilst-running technique, but i won’t drag this blog post on much longer, since it’s already like 1,000,000 words long.  suffice to say, i am still not planning on dressing up like clifford in a few weeks.  but if clifford was to be wearing knee socks, that might be a different story altogether.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “i’m the queen of quiet

  1. theredmenaceeats

    Truly this might be a perfect post. Some great songs there for anyone who wants to click your links, combined with the existential horror of wearing a Clifford costume in front of all of your neighbors. And my personal favorite, the beloved wicker wheelchair, the perfect cure for ailments ranging from consumption to ennui to shin splints. Combined with a hand-crocheted afghan, is there nothing it can’t cure?

    Reply
  2. Gary

    My day was made with a mention in this delightful post! Alas, I wish I could take that Friday off, because I would have happily dressed up as Clifford to entertain the kids, as I have some experience with costumes (see Halloween party pics and Batman for Comicazi).

    Reply
  3. FoodmasterSuperfan

    We are twinsies! I heart Enter Sandman ever since HS when I was rehabbing my broken foot on the stationary bike in my HS weight room (I use that term loosely it was more like a small cage with weights) surrounded by large wrestling/football guys who played ONLY Metallica – But I would dress as Clifford, if need be 🙂 God Bless Texas

    Reply
  4. Stephanie

    I could be your Clifford, if need be! It would be my second go round as the big red dog. First time was at Barnes & Noble storytime circa 1998. I was a fine Clifford, if i may say so myself. Yes, those were the days! 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s