Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nature's wonders

This evening I was able to view the most lovely lunar eclipse, truly one of nature's wonders. Enjoy the photos.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Perils of Shoe Lust

All around me, I see women wearing gorgeous shoes. High heels, spiky boots, bright colors, bold styles. They amaze me, these women. How do they do it? How can they wear those amazing shoes?

Myself, I find shoe shopping a real trial. When I shop for shoes, above all, I look for practicality. If you're on your feet all day, high heels and spiky boots don't seem like the height of comfort. As for the bright colors and the bold styles, well, there are only so many fire engine red outfits I can wear with fire engine red strappy platform heels.

My shoe wardrobe is simple. I have a pair of brown loafers and a pair of black loafers. I have a pair of brown heels and a pair of black heels. I have one pair of sneakers, and one errant pair of gold, strappy heels I bought for a wedding I was in. My shoe wardrobe is very practical and very bland, and for the most part I am happy with that.

Occasionally, though, against my better judgment, I succumb to what can only be called shoe lust. You know what I mean: you see an absolutely stunning pair of shoes that you must own. You don't know what you'll where them with or where you'll wear them to, but you have to have them. For me, buying these shoes is always a bad decision. The last pair of impractical, shoe lust inducing shoes I succumbed to- a pair of fantastic strappy platform sandals- developed an irritating squeak after the second day of wearing them, and after two weeks those awesome straps broke.

I should know never to succumb to shoe lust.

Yet just last week I went out shopping with Andrew for new work shoes for him. There are just so many pairs of brown men's loafers this woman can stare out, so I began to idly browse the aisles. In the woman's section, I passed row after row of impractical shoes and I walked by them without a second glance, but then, right in front of me, there it was, the one thing I cannot resist when out shopping- a clearance sign.

It wasn't just any clearance sign, oh no, this was a 75% off clearance sign. What could it hurt to see what was on sale? I looked at the shelves. Flip flops, sneakers, spiky boots. Nope, nothing for me.... but wait, what was that? There, on the middle shelf was a gorgeous pair of brown leather high, high heels. The most adorable strap wrapped around the top of the foot, attached with a sweet little button. The shoes managed to be both sexy and sweet at the same time. They were my size, too. I wanted them. I had to have them. I thought over my wardrobe- why, yes, I did have several outfits those shoes would look stunning with. I looked at the price: $7.38. That settled it: those shoes were mine.

Now, a girl with a new pair of shoes needs just the right place to premiere them. I had just such an event in mind. Andrew and I had splurged and bought tickets to the touring production of Rent. We had also decided that we would eat at this darling Italian restaurant near the theater to make a full date night of the event. With those new shoes, I could wear my favorite full brown skirt, the one that had a sweet little swing to it and whose hem hit my knees just so. With that skirt, I had a smart-looking cream and gold pinstriped blouse, with quarter length sleeves, a v shaped neckline, and that cinched in at the waist just so. Pair that outfit with my favorite brown stone chandelier earrings and I was all set for a night on the town.

Come date night, the outfit went together just as I thought it would. The skirt swung charmingly, the shirt cinched just so, the earrings dangled gracefully, and the shoes, oh the shoes, they pulled the whole thing together and made the outfit a 15 on a scale of 10. I was set for a night on the town. Andrew and I drove downtown, and parked in a parking garage near the restaurant and, so Andrew told me, near the theater, too. We set off on a walk to the restaurant.

For the first city block, me and my shoes strutted along; on the second city block, we slowed down just a little; on the third city block, the shoes began to pop off my heels with every other step. By the fourth city block, I realized I had a problem, as the shoes were just a smidgen too big, and my foot was rubbing painfully across the insides of them. Thankfully, before we reached a fifth city block, we had reached the restaurant.

After an truly enjoyable meal, Andrew and I set off for the theater. Once again, during the first city block, I was strutting with the best of them; by the second, I was slowing down; by the fifth, I was cursing what must have been temporary insanity that had persuaded me to by the wretched, horrid, hideous shoes. By the seventh block, I was near tears and asking Andrew "Just how much further is the theater again?"

Well, in a fit of unusual male stubbornness, Andrew hadn't admitted to me that when we arrived downtown, he didn't quite know where the theater was, so he parked at the only parking garage he knew which was over a mile away from our destination. It was a very, very, very long walk. At the restaurant, he had quietly asked the waiter exactly where the theater was, and had hoped I wouldn't notice the extra long walk. Well, to his credit, perhaps I wouldn't have noticed the long walk, but my shoes certainly did!

By the time we reached the theater, I was leaning on Andrew like he was life preserver and I was on a sinking ship. I hoped that we looked like a pair of lovebirds, strolling along the avenue, leaning into one another but I'm pretty sure I looked like a woman who was more than a little tipsy as I wobbled and weaved and leaned against Andrew. I was never so relieved to reach the theater and sink into my seat. My shoes- those horrible torture devices- immediately came off.

My feet enjoyed a lovely two and a half hours of freedom.

There was still, however, a very, very long walk back to our car. I was brave, though, and slipped my shoes back on. I gamely walked out of the theater. I boldly walked one city block, then two, then three! Granted, those three city blocks took me 15 whole minutes to walk, but three city blocks! Yet at the end of the third city block, as I waited at a red light for a cross sign, as my feet screamed and I contemplated the many more blocks awaiting me, I made a decision- the shoes were coming off.

I didn't care that I was in the middle of a downtown area. I didn't care that it was winter time and the streets and sidewalks were icy cold. The only thing I cared about was the relief my feet felt as those shoes came off! That fourth city block was sheer bliss to walk! At the end of that fourth city block, Andrew felt the spirit of chivalry, and quickly whipped off his shoes and then his socks. He handed his socks to me, so I would have extra protection as I walked the city streets in my nyloned feet. So, Andrew and I continued on our way, him sock-less in his shoes, me in his socks. At least his socks were in a complementary color to my outfit, a lovely tan color the matched the stripes in my shirt that cinched in just so.

That is what comes of my shoe lust- nothing but pain, blisters, and walking in stocking feet downtown. I think I have finally learned my lesson, to stick with practicality and avoid shoe lust like the plague.

But, I do have an evening out downtown coming up this weekend, and I have a charming chocolate brown dress that I've been dying to wear, that would look smashing with my brown stone chandelier earrings, and as for shoes, why, those new shoes of mine would like fabulous and really make the outfit. Surely, the shoes won't be so bad the second time around? After all, my blisters will be all healed by then! Right? Right?

Sigh. I'll never learn.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

HTML Dreams

Lately, I've been having the strangest dreams. In my dreams, I'm always facing a computer screen, typing in streams and streams of html.
Have you ever seen html? It’s not pretty. I dream of :
< /div >
< href = " ">
< /p >
< src=" somethingisstrange.jpg">

and lots of other gobbley-gook that gets stranger and stranger the longer I dream.

Why are my dreams obsessed with html? Well, for the past month, my working days have been filled with nothing but html. I was recently asked to help set up and design the online portion of my library's new catalog.

Our new system uses a mixture of custom code and standard html, and it’s been a frustrating but rewarding task to figure out how to piece together the various parts to obtain the effect that I want. It’s like one very large jigsaw puzzle, and I have to find the right size pieces. In order to get this up and running, I've been working 12 hour days, and coming in on the weekends. And the crazy thing is, although I am tired and exhausted, although I get frustrated and grumble, I'm having a blast! I love a challenge, and this is a huge one.

Yet, apparently, I've been dealing with html for so long now that it has infiltrated my dreams!

Now, I suppose my dreams of html wouldn't be so bad if it was just random streams of strange html, but often, after one of my strange, haunting html dreams, I go into work and actually try out the html code I dreamed of! The scary thing- a few times, the code has worked!

Now, if only I could dream of winning lottery numbers, then life would be really fun!

Happy dreaming!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Silly Questions

Have you ever gotten one of those "Getting to Know You" questionnaires in your email? They're filled with strange and obscure questions about you and your life. Well, I am a bit of a sucker for them. For some reason, I just love to fill them out. Nine times out of ten, I've answered the questions before, but I just can't help it, I have to answer it! I just got another one in my inbox, and I decided it would be fun to post it on my blog. If you like it, copy the questions in a blog or email of your own, and have some fun!

1. What time time did you get up this morning?
8:35 a.m., very reluctantly, because I went to sleep at 3 a.m.

2. Diamond or pearls?
Diamonds make me nervous and pearls, while lovely, aren't something I wear often. Give me costume jewelry anytime.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Golden Compass

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Whatever is quick and fast, right now Pop Tarts

6. What is your middle name?
Shhh.. it's a secret, but as a little hint, according to the Beatles, its all you need!

7. What food do you dislike?
Spinach, yucky, yucky!

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
Oh sure, ask a tough one! I'm currently listening to A Fine Frenzy

9. What kind of car do you drive?
A very old beater car- I have duct tape holding up my windows!

10. Favorite Sandwich?
BLT, minus the L.

11. What characteristic do you despise?
The inability to accept those who are different than you are.

12. Favorite item of clothing?
I have a totally rockin' red dress I am just dying to wear somewhere! Otherwise, I love a good pair of jeans and a comfortable shirt.

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Rome, to walk among the ruins and speak the ancient language I learned so long ago (back in High School)- yes, I did study Latin.

14. Favorite brand of clothing?
Whatever is on sale! Why pay full price?

15. Where would you retire to?
Where ever I feel home is.

16. What was you most recent memorable birthday?
This past birthday. My Grandmother got me tickets to my favorite musical, Phantom of the Opera, my Mom got a signed copy of one of my favorite books, Until I Find You by John Irving, Andrew took me away for a lovely trip, and Fate gave me my precious Rag Doll cat that I have been dreaming of for years.

17. Favorite sport to watch?
What is a sport?

18. Furthest place you are sending this?
To the vast wide plains of the Internet!

19. Person you expect to send this back first?
No clue! Surprise me!

20. When is your birthday?
Shhh.. it's another secret, but I am a Virgo to the core.

21. Are you a morning person or a night person?
I am a totally ridiculous night owl.

22. What is your shoe size?
Depends on the shoe. Believe it or not, I have shoes in sizes 6 to 8, and they all fit. As a result, I hate shoe shopping.

23. Pets?
I have three adorable, lovable cats: Octavian, Pompey and Caesar.

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
I just found not one, but two copies of Harry Potter written in Welsh at my favorite used bookstore, on the clearance rack. Andrew and I collect foreign editions of the Harry Potter books, so we were so totally jazzed! So, how awesome is that?

25. What did you want to be when you were little?
An author, and I still want to be one!

26. How are you today?
Very, very tired. I've been working a lot of overtime, enjoying it, too, because the work is fun, but I am going on my seventh straight day of work, and I still have four more days to go! A nap sounds really nice right now!

27. What is your favorite candy?
Depends on the day, but generally turtles/pixies or twixs.

28. What is your favorite flower?
I love all flowers but daffodils. Daffodils are evil, evil flowers (I'm allergic to them!). Yucky daffodils!

29. What is a day of the calendar you are looking forward to?
February 15th, half price chocolate day (chocolate only tastes good when its half off!). Yummy!

30. What is your full name?
The Witty Librarian

31. What are you listening to right now?
Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good- man, what a fantastic voice she has!

32. What was the last thing you ate?
A bagel and cream cheese

33. Do you wish on stars?
Yes- never stop wishing and hoping.

34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Depending on the day, the color changes. Today I am Sapphire Blue.

35. How is the weather right now?
Who knows? I haven't looked out a window recently.

36. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
My Mom

37. Favorite soft drink?
Caffeine Free Pepsi

38. Hair color?

39. Favorite Restaurant?
A little Italian restaurant in our town.

40. What was your favorite toy as a child?
A stuffed Care Bear I called Baby Tugs, but was really named Baby Hugs

41. Summer or winter?
Winter, all snowy and fluffy and magical!

42. Hugs or Kisses?

43. Chocolate or Vanilla?

44. Coffee or tea?
Tea, Jasmine tea specifically.

45. Do you want your friends to email you back?

46. When was the last time you cried?
Tears of frustration Saturday afternoon as, once again, the computer program I was working on decided it hated me. Computers can be so mean.

47. What is under your bed?
Extra blankets, a tub of cat toys and supplies, and a lot of books!

48. What did you do last night?
Played in the snow with Andrew

49. What are you afraid of?
Spiders! Creepy Crawly Things send me into shivers and fits!

50. Salty or Sweet?

51. How many keys on your key ring?
Too many to count!

52. How many years at your current job?
Going on 3 years and loving it!

53. Favorite day of the week?
Any day of the week I can spend with my loved ones!

54. How many towns have you lived in?
Who knows? I lost track years ago!

55. Do you make friends easily?
I don't know. Would you be my friend?

56. How many people will you send this to?
No clue!

57. How many will respond?
No clue!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Snowy Night...

It was a lovely, snow-filled night, the air crisp and cool, the flakes soft and gentle...

It was a perfect night...

A perfect night for fun!

Andrew and I made snow angels.

This was Andrew's:

This was mine:

And of course, no snow filled night is complete without a snowman!

I hope you all enjoy your own snowy nights!