my thoughts, in haiku form:
omg you guys
yikes! piranha flu
’tis no picnic
seriously, i have not loved a book like this since… well. it’s been a long @$$ time. i mean, i know, what was i expecting? everyone tole me to read this and i resisted and resisted because KING BABY you know. but then i sat down on my recent solo trip to north carolina (take your shirt off, spin it round your head like a helicopter) and could not stop! perspective shifts, time jumping, and scary eerie religious cults! dogs named luli (my OWN childhood nickname, IMAGINE!) and SO.MUCH.MORE! if you haven’t read it yet– GO TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY AND PICK UP YOUR FREAKING COPY. i just returned mine in newark, for example. SO COME TO NEWARK AND TAKE MY COPY!
so, i’ll admit. i haven’t been reading much since the king baby’s reign began last july. i have done a lot of other things, including birthing her, weaning myself off the chocolate pudding that had become my pregnancy diet mainstay, learning how to dress her in outfits with snaps all the way up the back (what i learned: don’t dress her in these outfits), watching every single episode of damages on netflix, moving from my beloved arlington to my home willage of rochester, and finding a new job. with a commute! which FORCED ME TO FINALLY, FINALLY DRIVE A CAR. ew, yish!
the one benefit that i can see for driving a car is audiobooks. i know i know… welcome to the party about 20 years late, lintzy! but OMG. maybe i will be able to consume fiction again! i’m hopeful. my first real foray into the world of audiobooks happened this week with laurie halse anderson’s the impossible knife of memory. what a title! definitely on par with ness’s amazing the knife of never letting go. NO! i am actually not at all obsessed with knives! i am much more obsessed with ice cream. more ice cream, fewer knives, if you ask me.
the impossible knife of memory tells the story of 17-year-old hayley kincain and her father andy, a veteran of the iraq war. winner of the purple heart and sufferer of PTSD, andy spends his days and nights running from demons and bouncing between moments of violent outbursts and selfless caring for his daughter and country. hayley and andy have spent the past several years on the road, and the book begins when they decide to settle down in andy’s hometown in upstate new york. as usual, laurie halse anderson tells a brutally realistic story from an unconventional perspective. in this case, we see the story through hayley’s eyes. thank you, laurie halse anderson, for telling us a war story through female eyes.
hayley cares for her father with heartbreaking fierceness. but she’s scared of him, too. and for good reason– he is not beyond violently lashing out at the people who love him most, including hayley. once again, anderson has shown how adept she is at creating characters who aren’t defined by one characteristic, but are instead unraveled over the course of a story in scary, sad, true, and human ways.
and i haven’t even MENTIONED the teen drama that occurs… and you KNOW that’s what i can’t get enough of! i swear, i think it’s because i was incredibly socially awkward, but i will never EVER get too old to read a teen like story! and hayley’s beau finn is totes adorbs, handsome nerd with a love for newspapering, gaming, and our prickly hayley girl. and just when you think you’ve got him figured out, anderson reminds us that he’s a person who has stuff going on, too.
the audiobook version is well done. read by julia whelan and luke daniels, the portrayals are compelling and believable. whelan’s gravelly imitation of male voices isn’t distracting, and she does a nice job capturing hayley’s disillusioned sarcasm.
so, boom. ladies and gentleman, i have read a book! i’d like to thank all of the things that made this possible: king baby not screaming on the way to daycare! laurie halse anderson being a great writer! and the fact that i recently hit a deer and my car is in the shop for many days and the BP’s prius will not stream my phone and therefore i cannot listen to podcasts! hip hip hurray!
- king baby is totally into all the concepts of print! looking at her turning those pages! and reading out loud!
- she also chose this book out of a MOUNTAIN OF TOYS! um, kb, have you EVER ignored your letter Z block before? not ever, not even once. UNTIL TODAY!
- baby socks.
- baby THIGHS.
hold up hey yay
lintzy’s back in new york stay-ate
with her panda and her baby yay-ay
gettin back to her blog cause she has some stuff to say-ay
it’s been a long time, she’s been missin writing this stuff like whoa
so buckle up, take your seats and get ready for the next episode
hey hey yay yay
eatin avocados every day*
*did i really just somehow take the lyrics of the next episode and apply them to my librarian blog in the most non-offensive way possible? i am sure that this is what dr. dre intended upon penning this masterwork.
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:
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.
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.
lintzy alter-ego trait number one: i do not care how i look to others
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.
srsly. what is it about thomas the train that makes all children go crazy? i.don’t.get.it. he is actually kind of creepy, if you stop for one second to consider that he is a TRAIN with a FACE and TRIANGLES FOR EYEBROWS. i mean, eeeeek:
and yet, he is the king of books and toys in the children’s section of the local liberry where i spend my days toiling. here’s how it usually happens:
laura sits at miniature desk in the children’s room of the arlington public library. she is dressed in tweed suit, bun, glasses, other stereotypical liberrian regalia. she is doing very important liberrian things. meanwhile, a small child careens off the elevator. it is possible that he learned to run only five minutes ago because his legs are wobbly and he bounces off every wall and surface that comes close to being in his path. he runs (head-first) into the librarian’s desk. adult follows in hot pursuit.
laura: oh, hello! how are you today?
small child: unintelligible babbling noises
laura: oh, yes, i understand. mondays can be hard!
small child: more urgent babbling noises
laura: oh, i see. do you want to play with a toy?
small child: babble babble babble
laura: hmmmm, do you want to play with the dinosaurs? the village people? the trains?
small child [eyes lighting up]: THOMAS! TRAINS! THOMAS!
this is seriously how it happens. just about EVERY SINGLE TIME. and there is this one little boy, who, for the purposes of this blog, i will call hermès. he is my favorite! not only is hermès the most chubby cheeked two-year-old, but he has the most adorable mom, dad, and baby brother in the WORLD. so hermès and i have the thomas song and dance at least two times per week. and it goes basically how i just described. but the best part of the story occurs when i hand him the coveted bag of thomas the train figurines.
laura [brandishing trains]: here you go, hermès!
hermès’ dad: hermès, what do you say?
hermès: trains trains TRAINS!
hermès’ dad: no, hermès, what do you say to the librarian?
hermès [eyes shiny with thomas-induced joy]: HAPPY.
if you ask me, hearing my tiny friend express his true feelings was WAY BETTER than hearing a cursory thank you. i appreciate when people can just say what they mean. good for you, hermès! continue on this direct and wonderful path, young man! i could take a lesson from you. because, using this story as my crutch, what i am trying to say in the most long-winded way possible is that i need to just be honest here and tell you how i feel.
i know that i’ve been a bit lax with my bloggin in the past. for example, i may have neglected to finish the story of my 2010 boston marathon experience. and this was after i spent about five months writing many posts on this blog leading up to that large event. i know that this was lazy, shoddy behavior. and i wish i could go back and recreate that blog post that i should have written in 2010. it was going to be epic! but sadly, now i can’t remember just about anything that happened that day.
which brings me to my most current thought about the marathon experience: it’s one of those things (akin to childbirth and middle school) that is painful to the point that you actually disassociate from the entire thing in order to get through it. that sounds so melodramatic! but it’s true. all that i have left from my two marathon experiences at this point are little hazy snapshots of mostly joy and little bits of sorrow.
this theory was thrown into sharp relief recently when i was searching for a marathon to run this fall. i was weighing the pros and cons of the likely contenders, of which there were many. did i want a big race? a small race? a flat race? (actually, there was no question on this one at all. i absolutely DUTELY want and need a flat race. no hill escapades for this lady!) a race in canada? a race in an exotic locale? a race in rochester? there were so many choices! so i turned to a trusted running tool: marathonguide.com. this website touts itself as “everything marathoning: information, results, & more!” part of the “& more” is runners’ reviews of basically every marathon ever. like the yelp of marathons, one might say.
“certainly this useful resource will tell me all i need to know!” i happily thought to myself, “oh how i love information!”
as i perused different marathons, i thought that it might be fun to look up the marathons that i have run, just to see what the peeps were saying. so i typed “wineglass marathon” into the easy peasy marathon finder. and came up with THIS REVIEW from dj from ny:
[The 2011 Wineglass Marathon] was an utter and complete disaster that left me wondering if there was any leadership behind this race at all.
“wha-whaaaaaaaat?” i said aloud. “i loved that race!” here’s one of the main images that i remember from the day:
and then this, i remember this, too!
and finally, this!
so as you can see, my 2011 wineglass marathon recollection is basically akin to this:
so there was basically no way in the world that this marathon possibly could have been the cluster-eff that the reviewer dj from ny spoke about. but then, as i kept reading his review, i realized that his thoughts might have some merit:
Granted, the weather that day was about as bad as you can get. Nothing like standing in 40 degree pouring rain an hour before a marathon.
oh right! i remember now… WE RAN THAT MARATHON IN A MONSOON! A FORTY-DEGREE MONSOON THAT WAS SO DRENCHING THAT WE RAN IN GARBAGE BAGS WITH ARM AND HEAD HOLES FOR THE FIRST SEVERAL MILES. shizz, i completely forgot about that!
the kind reviewer went on to state that:
Somehow, they managed to change the starting line from the traditional parking lot at Phillips Lighting to a new site about a half-mile up the road, without telling anybody! So here are all these buses dropping off hordes of runners at the wrong place, with no one to tell them where to go. And here come these runners, minutes before the start, realizing that ‘oh my god’ they’re in the wrong place. For them, it was a frantic ‘warm up’ (to be generous), racing over to make the start. Unforgivable!
oh right! i forgot about that, too! me and my merry band of family and friends were some of the runners who were dropped off at the wrong place and had to run a half mile in order to make it to the start in time! and that was after our busdriver got lost for almost a half hour! and that was also around the time that we realized that there were only about four porta potties for about 1,000 runners, which caused me to run into the woods to try and go to the bathroom, only to be plagued with the most crippling case of stage fright ever. wow, i had buried all of those memories!
and, now that i think about it, all of these situations were direct causes of my most legitimately insane moments ever (about which i had also conveniently forgotten). my friend erin calls it the psychotic break. as the BP and erin and lovely thea and i were hoofing it over to the starting line, i decided to turn on my GPS watch. i was intent on running a 3 hour and 55 minute marathon and i was counting on my GPS watch to help me reach this goal. but when i turned it on, it gave a sickly beep and the following error message:
um. WHAT. THE. EFF. i had just charged my watch’s battery. there was no WAY in the WORLD that it could possibly be LOW! no way! except, of course, that it was.
and then i lost my mind. i think i started yelling. i definitely started crying. i lashed out at everyone who tried to help me, including my wonderful husband and sister-in-law and erin, all of whom offered me their own GPS watches off their own wrists!
“NO!” i screamed, “NO NO NO! that won’t WORK! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”
i even freaked out thea’s friend andy who had come to wish us well at the start. it was, well, a psychotic break. i was still sobbing when i parted ways with my peeps to join my pace group at the start.
okay, so maybe this curmudgeonly marathon reviewer knew what he was talking about. he finished up his review by saying:
But at the end… they left everyone’s checked bags out in the rain, even though there was lots of room inside! And not only the rain, they basically dumped everyone’s bags into the mud. It was foul, and like a delivery guy tossing something fragile over your fence, thoroughly disrespectful. The race directors should make a public apology.
oh yes. i did dig my bag out of a mud pit! yet another repressed wineglass memory! it was, as our reviewer points out, totally disgusting. and all of my things were, in fact, covered in mud as a result.
BUT. GUESS WHAT. i still effing LOVED that race! LOVED IT! beat my goal by three minutes, ran most of the way with a wonderful pace group and equally wonderful lady named susan from my runnin club here in boston, and had an okay blood sugar experience. i saw family and friends who braved the rainy and windy elements at countless spots along the course. and at mile 20, my mom, dad, sister, and aunt P drove up beside me as i was running along a lonely stretch of highway, honking the horn and screaming accolades out the window. and since then, i have only run one race with my GPS watch. turns out that i do much better without one. who knew!
so, there you have it. a half-@$$ed, incredibly lengthy recap of the marathon that most of you never knew i ran. lintzy on the loose continues to deliver!