Tired this morning—hanging out with friends last night, didn’t get enough sleep. Get up at 7, get to work at the Selby public library by 8. With the help of a certain substance, it seems I was able to kick my coffee addiction earlier this week! So today, I’m not too groggy. I’ll see how far I can get without caffeine.
At work, I proceeded to start moving old magazines from the downstairs area to the upstairs archive room. Came across a special issue of The Lancet, full of short stories based on medical info. Read a story about a sleep-disorder doctor who is visited by a very sleepy-looking man, who proceeds to interrogate the doctor about what he thinks might happen if humans stopped sleeping. Then he starts to talk about all the crazy stuff his brain can do now that he doesn’t sleep—he can use more brainpower, and has even gained abilities that let him move things with his mind, read others’ minds, and set fire to things. The doctor starts getting freaked out and eventually insults the man. The man leaves, and then the doctor finds he can’t open his office door, and it starts to get really hot in the room, etc etc… Before you know it, the doctor has a heart attack or something. Eh. Sounds nice—it’s a tasty idea that we would somehow work better without sleep, but the reality is pretty alarming. Sleep-deprivation studies show that people just kind of shut down and get stupid after a while.
Spent some time doing menial tasks at work. Later, in the Reference workroom, I talked about my boss with co-workers. There’s a growing divide going on, and a pretty low morale among the people I work with. It increasingly makes work very unpleasant. Worked an hour on the Reference Desk, and when my shift was over I slyly escaped an elderly couple who wanted me to research an array of consumer reports on CD players.
What to do about lunch? Already bought a salad, but Michelle’s lunch hour is at the same time, so we decide to go to the new Word of Mouth that opened where Metro used to be. Real crowded, good to see. I always said it would be awesome if there were a Word of Mouth downtown, as First Watch’s breakfast doesn’t really cut it for me. I eat a roast beef panini, with red pepper and havarti cheese. Mmm! It is served with pasta salad, the pasta in question being orecchiette, which means “little ears.”
Back to work, and an email exchange with some semi-retarded FSU financial aid people. Come on, people, learn to communicate! Another hour on the Reference Desk, fielding some regular questions, nothing too exciting today. Afterwards, I weed some old Business Ref books. We have to throw away a lot of stuff all the time, because we always have more coming in.
Somebody’s been stealing our library’s copy of the magazine Paris Match. They’re crafty about it, too. I notice it’s not in its place, so I wander around, hoping I can spot someone about to steal it, so I can call the security guard, or at least embarrass the person into not doing this anymore. No luck. The magazine returns to its spot later in the day.
Afternoon mail has arrived! I sort it for everyone, then take the magazines and newspapers upstairs to stamp and check in, before working one more hour on the Ref Desk, which is uneventful.
5:30 pm—home! Michelle and I lay in bed, being lazy. I call some friends, to see if anyone wants to go out for dinner or just hang out. No dice. We decide to go to the Thailand restaurant in Gulf Gate.
First, we stop by the Wine Warehouse, because we’ve been wanting to buy a good bottle of port. We talk to one of the store owners, who we met a year ago. He’s real friendly, and is able to give us a very fascinating explanation of the different types of port: what the different designations mean, how vintners can use certain words to sneakily make their wine seem more impressive, intricacies of vintage dates and blending of different years, etc. This is why I try to only buy wine here—the employees are not snobby, and will talk to you very straightforwardly, and make you want to know more. We end up selecting a 20-year Colheita tawny port. Colheita means it’s a single-year vintage (not blended with younger wines), and tawny means it is aged in wooden barrels, which oxidizes the wine a bit. Tawny port is drier than ruby port, and generally takes on a browner color.
We move along to Thailand, and the inside is very impressive. I’ve always thought Bangkok Thai gets its reputation in town more because of the lavish decor than the food. Well, now they’ve got some competition. And the food is very good here. I go with the pad thai, which is very balanced and tasty, not too eggy. Michelle has the rad-nar noodles with scallops. Very tender scallops.
After dinner, we head back home and open the port, pour a couple of glasses. Smoke a little pot as well, and watch the episode of The Office that aired the night before. Then we watch a Planet Earth episode on the deep sea, then some Mr. Show. By then I’m tired, and I go to sleep in order to get enough rest before work the next day.
Not a terribly exciting day, but a good one nonetheless.
We made such progress this week—Monday Gail cried and swore at me a few times, but the rest of the week really picked up. We even danced to J-tim in my car a bit while I drove her home. But today they told her she was going to respite, that she wasn’t going home, and she was crying before I even showed up. We regressed completely. “Gail McDonald!” I had to keep saying, “Your screaming and yelling does not scare me. You cannot push me around. I am sorry you don’t want to go to respite, but this is my job. You cannot take it out on me.” And five seconds later I would have to remind her again, “Gail McDonald. Do not hit me. I do not hit you. Do not yell at me. I do not yell at you. We will respect each other and work together.” We inched our way to my car. Literally. And I was kicked and elbowed and sworn at (“BUCKOFF!” she says) and cried on. A half an hour later we were driving. She was still crying, but at least we were on our way. After a few more swears and hair grabs, she started to calm down. Instead of screaming, she whimpered. This afternoon I didn’t like Gail. I was trying so hard to be compassionate, but she was being such a bitch, and she was treating me like shit. So even when she quieted down, I didn’t even try to have a conversation with her. “There is a crack in everything,” Leonard Cohen says, and Gail’s crack kept getting bigger and bigger today. It was just spreading—to the point of brokenness. But just as she was starting to cry again, she picked up my hand from the stick shift, wrapped it in her tiny snot-covered Christmas mitt, and kissed it. “But that is how the light gets in.”