Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Lizard Brain Wants Babies

The relentless vitality of human reproductive biology is quite staggering. I suppose if our species must survive, then biology must push ever onward.

Many years ago, I read a fantastic fiction book called "Raptor Red", which was prehistoric life told from the point of view of the dinosaur. Many anthropomorphic moments - so, a little iffy - but marvellous reading. Jim and I read parts of it to each other all the way to Calgary. Very entertaining, with shouts of "Rrrraaaarrgghhhh!" and punctuated hollerings of "Snort! Grrrr!!"

It was while reading "Raptor Red" that I started calling the biological part of myself my "lizard brain".

Anyway, the lizard brain definitely wants to have another baby. Logically, I (all at the same time):
-do want Sprout to have a sibling
-don't want any more babies so that someday I can resume my passion for doing stained glass and other toxic hobbies
-think I'm too old to have babies, or too old to have healthy babies
-whine that I'm too old to be up at all hours of the night again
-know that my 'dinosaur dad' husband thinks he's too old to do it all again
-know that even though I feel more experienced and prepared for a second child, colic or a bad birth experience could sideswipe me good

That's the logical side of me. The lizard brain, on the other hand, wants to snatch up and snuggle every short, chubby person that it sees. I saw the cutest baby on the bus yesterday, for example. He had the fuzzy, chubby, happy appearance that breastfed babies have, and sharp little brown eyes looking at everything. I wanted to smooch him.

I'm on the lizard brain bus, and I don't know where I'll get off.

Lame Squirrel

I feel very lame complaining, when other blogging folks are buried in work for years at a time, but I'm working too hard right now. I've had the same headache for three days now, and a tremendous urge to go shopping and eat pastries afterward. If the shopping/pastry urge wasn't there, I'd be convinced that I have West Nile Virus from the mosquito bite I got Saturday.

In actuality, I am simply the victim of my own perkiness. If I could only stop asserting - three months ahead of the reality - that 'yes, we certainly need to do a class on this', and 'I'd love to lead a staff training course on that', and 'how can we put off community outreach any longer', then there would be a lot less needless consumerism in the world. And more pastries for the other squirrels.

It's my oak tree and I'll whine if I want to, whine if I want to, WHINE if I want to. You would whine too if it happened to squooo.

Monday, September 26, 2005


And yesterday, Sprout crushed my eyeglasses by accident.

The short version of the story: I heard a clink, but didn't know what dropped. I was hurrying to turn off the security alarm (just arrived home), and to go to the bathroom. While in the washroom, I heard "Crunch~"... and then I heard "Dat is bwoken..."



The whole weekend was a wild ride, but Friday night took the cake. I was so sleepy after a busy week, that I went to sleep at 9:30 p.m. with the Sprout. I never get tummy aches, but a bad one woke me up at 2:00 a.m. and had me whining and pacing for about an hour.

I was finally back to sleep by 3:00 a.m., but woke from a deep sleep at 4:00 to the sound of a man's deep voice yelling out on the street: "Put your hands up!! Get down on the ground!! Do it now!!!" I was sure that someone was being mugged right in front of our house. I jumped out of bed, grabbed the phone to call the police, and snuck up to the window to peer out -- and, of course, it WAS THE POLICE doing all the shouting. Whew. But, boy, my heart was pounding.

I then proceeded to go right back to bed and have dreams about being in the witness protection program, and having to move to some faraway place.

Thoughtful parenting, Saturday, was at the bare minimum after that night.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mall Tour 2005

I am chairing an outreach project here at the Library, where on three Thursdays in October and November, we are going to have a table and display at a shopping mall in the City to promote E-Library Services.

We are going to have a wireless laptop to demonstrate E-Services, and to make library cards for people who want them. I am not sure who will want to stop and talk to us, but I am hoping that this is the start of some interesting outreach projects.

The next project that I would like to do is to make presentations to community associations and to parent councils for schools. I like the idea of a captive audience for 20 minutes. Hopefully, we're moving in that direction.

For the moment, though, I'm working on mental plans to entice shoppers to our display table. "Pssst, hey you - wanna get some consumer product information, before you buy that fridge?"

Blog Pressure

Oh, the pressure to write and be clever.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Zap It!

In late June, our basement flooded after the big Saskatoon rain, to the tune of two inches of water everywhere. We pumped it all out, dried everything, threw out the rugs, and it seemed to be all okay. It smells a bit musty, but nothing seems to be growing anywhere. Since then, we put a small area rug down there, so the cats have a cushy place to sleep at night.

Yesterday, I peeked under that area rug, and discovered a spot of what I'm sure is black mould. Yipe! I couldn't drag it out then, because Sprout was home and we had people visiting. I have this morning off before I work the evening shift, though, and so I'm going down directly to toss the rug and bleach the floors down there.

When things are going well, I love our little house. As soon as something like this occurs, though, I want to move to a third floor condo. Obviously working full time plus parenting has left me less resourceful in a pinch. I simply want to flee any extra problems that arise.

But today I'm just going to grab the opportunity to zap that mould back into oblivion. Take that, and that, you scoundrel.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Egg is Dead. Long Live the Egg.

The human female is born already in possession of all her eggs, up to 300,000 of them (Gale Encyc. of Childhood and Adolescence, 1998).

Many years ago, I read a whole whack of books on cycles and fertility. Since then, I always know where I'm at in my cycle, based on a number of physiological factors and cumulative evidence. Evidence like the fact that I have been known to coast through red lights - accidentally - when I have PMS (this is NOT a good thing).

In recent years, I have discovered the dead egg phenomenon. At a certain point a number of days after ovulation, I will suddenly become aware that I have a sense of profound sadness. I am overcome. I am bereft. And there will be no real good reason for it. I will review my life at the moment, looking for the cause of this immense physiological grief, and a small voice in the back of my head will say, "The egg is dead."

Long live the egg.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Other Library News

The project that I've been working on all Summer with some of my colleagues has finally been unleashed: Subject Guides.

For a number of years, we have had recommended Internet Resources on a number of topics on our Library's website. Last year, we decided to rethink them (a la Kansas City Public Library and Las Vegas County Library System), and focus on hot topics, local information, and value-added library service. We also decided to focus on the questions that people ask us often, instead of having links on every topic out there.

Now, you can pop into our Subject Guides and find out the best sources of information on a number of topics, such as 'where to eat in Saskatoon' and 'buying and selling a house'. Following on the topic of computer classes from my last post, there are also some good possibilities regarding Subject Guides about computer literacy. 'How to use a mouse' is begging to be written up.

No rest for the perky squirrel.

September's Fury

September has leapt upon me fast and furious. I am involved in three computer classes for the public this month, two of which are brand new.

This time around, we are going to build on our 'Learn How to Blog' class, and do a class called 'Finding News with Aggregators and News Alerts'. We are simply going to talk about alternative news sources, show them how news alerts through e-mail work, and show them how to use Bloglines.

There are so many news aggregators out there that I feel like I can't possibly know what I'm talking about, having only tried a few of them. It's the blind leading the blind, but hey, at least they'll come away with an awareness that aggregators exist. And getting news on a topic from many different viewpoints is what libraries are all about.

The other new class is 'Keyboarding Practice'. When we look at our demographics of who takes computer classes at the Library, they are primarily seniors. Many of them didn't need to use typewriters in their work days, and suddenly keyboarding is just one more barrier to information literacy. We are going to talk about all the resources that the Library has for learning keyboarding, and let them practice using free keyboarding practice sites on the Internet. Such as Typer Shark (click on Typer Shark down at the bottom of the page), which my dear schwester directed me to many moons ago.

If you want to waste a lot of time having fun, Typer Shark is for you, boy, howdy, take it from this squirrel.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tales from Small-Town Saskatchewan: Depression Folks

The Dirty Thirties hit Saskatchewan pretty hard. I wasn't there, of course, but I grew up alongside people who experienced it. People who went through the Depression know the value of a dollar, and get all the use that they can out of an object. They remove the worn collars from their shirts, reverse them, and sew them back on again, for example.

I remember when I was a kid, that there was an old man in Lead.r with one of those 50s cars with the fins. It was very cool.

One day I must have been up close staring at those fins, because I suddenly realized that his rear indicator light cover had broken at some point in the past. And he had replaced it with a small red plastic margarine tub. The homemade light plate blended in perfectly, unless you were two feet away, and did the same job that a purchased replacement light plate would do.

I thought it was odd and I thought it was genius. It was like discovering that grown-ups can play pretend too.

Manic Episode

I am obviously having a manic blogging episode. Who knew that I had so much to say all at once.

Nicknames We Regularly Use for the Sprout

The Baby
The Bobo
The Bob
Mister Bobo
Monkey Bobo

And the first time I made this list, I completely forgot the bunny string! Here's more:

Little Bunny
Mr. Bunners
Bunner d'Occasion (for those Gabrielle Roy fans among you)


Sunday night, Saskatchewan celebrated its 100th birthday with simultaneous fireworks in five cities. And I wanted to go, and take Sprout to see this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The City had arranged shuttle buses from different areas of the city, to lessen traffic congenstion around Diefenbaker Park. I announced that Sprout and I were going to take the bus from Lawson Heights Mall, and see the fireworks. Jim didn't really want to go, but because he'd been through the Vancouver Riot and crowds make him nervous, he decided that he had to go with us or he'd worry too much. So off we went.

The bus was supposed to leave from our stop at 8:30 p.m. for the 9:30 fireworks, but by 8:50 p.m. there was still no bus and there were enough people at the stop to fill three buses. We agreed that we were losing faith in the process: if we fought our way onto the bus, would we be able to get home again at 11:30 p.m., from the centre of it all? Wouldn't there be even more people competing for buses down at the Park?

We decided instead to drive to the opposite side of the river from the fireworks, because you should be able to see them clearly from there, and the crowds should be sparser. This was partly true, but at some point we got too close to the action. We got onto the street that runs right along the river, and suddenly we couldn't get off. There were cars parked on both sides of the narrow street, people sitting on the side of the road in lawn chairs, children and dogs running everywhere, the occasional weaving drunk, kids hanging out of car windows. It was chaos.

And there was Jim, white-knuckled, as he gripped the steering wheel and tried to get us out of there. We did this for six miles, at 10 miles an hour. Jim was tense, I was trying to be optimistic, and Sprout was in the back, soaking up the stress, saying "Dat road is scaring me. We should get off dat road."

We finally got free of the glut out by the power station, and started heading back to town. At some point the fireworks started, and I convinced Jim to stop the car by the side of the road to 'have a smoke and calm down'. We all got out, and I could just see the highest bursts of colour. "Look Sprout," I said, "Look at all the pretty colours."

He wasn't impressed, though, by this time. "I want to go home," he said. I put him on the front seat of the car so he could look out the window. He promptly crawled to the back seat and GOT INTO HIS CARSEAT. (Sprout never gets into his carseat without much cajoling.)

"I want to go home," he said.

We belly-laughed. So much for meaningful once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Early Bird

Sprout is a notoriously fitful sleeper. Aside from the three two-day weekends I've had away since my 2 1/2 year old was born, I've probably had at most 5 straight hours of sleep once. Usually, he wakes me up at 1:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 7:00 every night.

For the last two nights - they said that this would happen but I didn't really believe it - he went to sleep at 8:00 or 9:00 p.m., and slept right through to 6:00 a.m. Wow.

Last night I was having trouble sleeping myself, and didn't drop off until midnight. And yet, when he woke me at 6:00 a.m., I felt perky and totally rested. I suppose that six hours undisturbed is equal to the mental torture of being roused from deep sleep repeatedly. I'm good for go.

And that crossword was cake this morning, with all the extra time to spare.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


My sister got Jim completely wired to doing the crossword every morning with his coffee. When she was here, it warmed my heart to see them out there on the deck at 7:00 a.m., with cigarettes and coffee, belly-laughing about words. He has continued this ritual since her departure, sans belly-laugh.

The problem for me, now, is that he hands the unfinished crossword off to me when he comes in the house, and then I don't get into the bathtub on time. This morning, for example, I was running around at 8:40 a.m. with my hair on fire trying to get dressed and out the door to get to work.

It's hard to put down the crossword, especially when someone passes you the baton so ceremoniously.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


I should say, after all of that whining, that Jim's daughter and son-in-law are coming to visit us next week with their baby. Jim is the grandparent, though, not me. Let me stress that.


Slightly disturbing conversation this morning (I'm on the Reference Desk, on this bright sunny Saturday) with a woman who was standing nearby when Jim and Sprout came through to say hi:

She: "Oh, he's cute! Is that your grandson?"

Me (all visions of myself as one of Charlie's Angels suddenly dashed): "Um, nooooo...That's my son."

Now, I AM prematurely salt and pepper grey-haired, but a GRANDMOTHER. Sigh.