Posted by: Kaitlin | December 1, 2010

earthquake prevention

A recent theme in my life and in the lives of some people I know is bottling emotions. I know I do this, but I recently realized that many people I know do this also. I wonder if this stems from some kind of fake-ness that we often encounter.

Consider this:
Esmeralda: Hey Jim Bob, how’s it going?
Jim Bob: Oh hey Ezzy, I’m great, how are you?
Esmeralda: I’m great!

Do you ever have this exact conversation? I know I have many times. Do you ever catch yourself telling someone you are great when in actuality you are stressed, or not sleeping well, or fighting with a close friend/significant other, or otherwise just not “great?” Do you do it with people other than co-workers or the cashier at the grocery store? Why do we do this? What if Esmeralda and Jim Bob are actually really good friends, and they both feel crappy but if they shared their real feelings they might actually be able to help each other?

Last week I decided to do an experiment. I was feeling very stressed over the 23 pressing tasks for the last few weeks of school, plus some people in my life were going crazy, so I waited for a person in one of my classes to ask how I was (because I knew someone would because that is just what people say) and I gave an honest answer. I said, “uhhh, well I am ok.” At my classmate’s look of concern which, for the purposes of experiment, I took as a prompt, I said, “well, I am hoping to make it to the weekend.” He replied, and this is truly amazing and I will tell you why, “well, at least none of us are going to die because of school work.” Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of that? This was so encouraging, and if I had never opened up, my classmate would never had said that!

So I want to encourage you to open up! Tell people how you are really feeling. You do not need to lay all your cards on the counter at the grocery check-out, but find a friend to talk with and tell them what is going on in your life. Or if someone in your life is bothering you, tell them! She probably has no idea that whenever she picks at her cuticles you want to gouge your eyes out.

So if you have feelings you are bottling, whether you are stressed from work or school, or Christmas shopping, or lack of sleep, or whether one or more of your friends is driving you into the middle of an intersection with frustration, I encourage you to open up to someone because you will feel so much better if you do not feel like a volcano, or an approaching earthquake. Good Luck!

Here’s a video that will make you happy:

Posted by: Kaitlin | November 19, 2010

-logue

Do you talk to yourself? Do you think to yourself about the things you do in a day? How does it go? Is it as if you are speaking to another person, or is it to “self?”
Recently I realized that I talk to myself out loud, just walking around with a constant verbal monologue, or dialogue depending on my mood.
When I was younger I used to dance around, and sometimes hum, even when there was no music playing. My mum would ask me what I was dancing to, and I told her, “there’s a stereo in my brain and it’s always playing music.” Now of course I think this is exceedingly weird, and perhaps my mother should have had me “checked,” but I think I’m ok, despite the fact that I’m two weeks away from my twenty second birthday and I’ve never had a boyfriend.
Oh how easily my thoughts get derailed.
This is only one example of what my conversations with myself sound like- just winding along based on whatever comes into my mind, but they are interesting because of where they go.

Posted by: Kaitlin | November 9, 2010

notes

Recently I have been thinking quite a bit about how I do not ponder often enough. I think about stuff all day, thoughts run marathons through my mind constantly and sometimes I feel like I can never turn my brain off, but rarely do I just meditate on something. I think that can be a valuable quality, being able to sit and ponder.

On my computer (which I have back since my last post) I use the sticky notes application very frequently. I have arranged them in a pretty design in different colours and with different fonts. I use them for things I need to do or buy, and books and music that I want, but I also use them for notes on thoughts that I have.

I have aspirations to write poetry and fiction and I have been told that I am not too bad at writing, but I also know that if I never practice writing, I will never be able to write a book. Every writer’s advice is to just write, no matter what it is, just get it down. With this in mind, I often have brilliant ideas for stories at the most inconvenient times. For example, I cannot count how many stories have been lost to, “the thin edge of sleep,” never to be remembered. (Beside my desk I have a physical sticky note of poetry with these words, but their author’s name has escaped me)

Even though I have these great notes that I have written down before the ideas escaped me, I have never written more about them than what I can fit on a digital sticky note. So this post is, I think, an effort to help me to remember to write. Write it down. Not just on a sticky, but the whole thought. With details, colours, designs, sounds, smells, tastes. This is the reason I bought my moleskine notebook. Remember when I was so excited for my notebook, and then when I finally bought it, I did not even write in it for at least a week? Writing about pondering is the kind of writing that is definitely suitable.

What prompted me to think about this now? It is the middle of the semester, I should not be getting down on myself for for not writing about my thoughts when I have so much reading and writing for school. Well, I recently started following my new friend’s blog, and he is so incredibly thoughtful, and writes on his blog much more frequently than I do, about real ideas that matter. So I was inspired, and I said to myself, “Self! What are you doing?! Keep writing you silly!” (Here I have used ‘silly’ as a noun).

Check out my friend’s blog here and if you want to write, do it.

Posted by: Kaitlin | August 24, 2010

You know you have a book problem when…

I am currently blogging from a public computer in the downtown Victoria library. I’m in the kid’s section because, well… I’m not having a good day and here, I can pretend I’m eight again.

My precious little computer is getting looked at. I opened it up to start work at the Legislative Library and the screen was all off. It was all gray, with lines on it, and about a square inch in the top left corner where I could see the normal screen. My fellow research assistant looked up the closest apple store and off I went, ten minutes after arriving at work, to take my computer to, hopefully, the mac hospital.

By the time I got there, I was hyperventilating. I had to wait for the employee to finish with the senior citizen considering an ipad purchase. While I waited, I stopped hyperventilating (it is sort of embarrassing), but I was holding onto a desk for support. When she was finished, the employee said to me, “are you okay?” Apparently I was still visibly distressed.

Anyway, I paid the $80/hour service fee, $92.39 with HST, plus the $50 rush fee so that they will look at my computer today instead of on Thursday. Now I am anxiously awaiting their call to tell me the verdict. Alyssa, the employee who helped me, said it could be a loose wire inside, or it could need a new screen (God forbid). Also, it better not have anything to do with the hard drive, or my lanta, I will be in trouble.

After I left the store, I was still feeling very unhappy about the computer situation, and as I walked past the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store and saw the books for sale, I thought, “I need to buy some books.” I bought three new books. The Lost World: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, Stones by William Bell, and The Time in Between by David Bergen, which won the Giller Prize the year it was published in 2005. When I left the thrift store, I was thinking about how many books I have bought recently.

Here’s the kicker: you know you have a book problem when you can’t name or count all of the books you have bought in the last month. You also know you have a book problem when you buy them as a solace for other issues in your life. When I arrived at the library, I started browsing the Friends of the Library book sale without even thinking. I was on autopilot. I felt stressed, I saw books, I had to look at them. I bought Lucky by Alice Sebold which I am really excited for because I just finished The Lovely Bones yesterday. I also bought My So-Called Life, by Joanna Nadin, which I am really hoping is the book inspiration for the tv show by the same name. Check it out.

When I was paying for these books, the friendly library volunteer and I were chatting about Alice Sebold and she recognized me! She said, “you must be a pretty serious reader, I see you periodically.” Oh yes, yes I am, I do read a lot! Highlight of the day by far. Wow, I was so pumped.

Ok, I’m going to try to list all of the books I have bought recently:
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
Our lady of the Lost and Found, Diane Schoemperlen
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien (but this is for school!)
Word Nerd, Susin Nielson (I won this from CBC!)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
Black Swan Green, David Mitchell
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
Generation X, Douglas Coupland
The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger
In harm’s way: the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, Doug Stanton
Another book that I don’t even remember which I bought at the library book sale a few weeks ago.
The five aforementioned books that I bought today, which is a total of 15 books in the last month and a half or so.
And I am pretty sure there are more. Ay caramba and yikes.

Well, this has been useful for helping me to not think about my computer. Now I’m going to go read one of my new books.

Posted by: Kaitlin | July 12, 2010

On Air…

I have been thinking about this here blog quite a bit lately. Actually, I don’t like calling it a blog. I don’t write here because I want to have a blog. I still think of it as an experiment. I would rather call it… an anthology, or a selection, a collection, of my own thoughts. It doesn’t span my whole mind. You may be surprised to hear that I actually think about things other than books, but since this is a book themed collection, I confine it to that arena of my thoughts.

Sometimes I consider telling the facebook world about the blog. I have the link on my profile, but who really looks at that? I could tell people when I write a new post (or selection), but I don’t know how much I want that many people to find this. I think I like it better when people stumble across it. Although, I do tell my friends with other blogs about my baby, BookBound.

I was rereading my Canada Day post and I realized that it was thoroughly un-patriotic. Canada Day is more than just fireworks and drunk people. I have been listening to the CBC at work lately, and this is something that really does make me feel the Canadian patriotism. There is just something about radio that is so uniting, binding. Last summer I read a book called Late Nights on Air, by Elizabeth Hay, and it is about the eclectic collection of people working at a radio station in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Last summer I wrote about another of Hay’s books, A Student of Weather. I said that it was not a book I would have chosen, (it was a gift) and it is certainly a “Canadian prairie depression dust bowl” novel, if you know what I mean and I think you do. I try to avoid books with that general theme and topic, but I actually loved it, and was prompted to read her other book.

Hay is just great at writing scenery and landscape, not so much so that I can picture it and imagine myself there, but in a way that makes me know how this place is different from any other place. The Yukon is dark for half the year and cold often, but Hay made it feel alive despite this often oppressively somber, gloomy climate. She made it seem mysterious and interesting. She made me want to go there. I thought, “I’m Canadian, why haven’t I been to Yellowknife?” I think her use of a radio station in this novel is key to creating this longing for being there. What else is so binding in such a large, multi-cultural country as radio? Many people will disagree with me on this, and maybe I am just being an old fashioned romantic, but that’s ok.

Sorry Canada for not being excited about you. I appreciate you.

Posted by: Kaitlin | July 1, 2010

But the best part of today?

Today is July 1, and if that means nothing to you, then I will tell you. It’s Canada Day up here in the Great White North. (Ha! I jest.)  Anyway, we’ll come back to that.

At my job with the museum, I work independently at various libraries in Victoria, and I have found that it can be very difficult for me to stay on task because I don’t have to think very much, so I end up thinking about random other stuff, like what I need to do later, people I need to call, things I need to buy, and then feel the immediate need to take care of these important activities. This usually ends up with me on facebook.

So I decided I need to do something about this. I started drinking more water, and now I require a bathroom break approximately every hour that I work (yesterday I peed eight times) and this (blood flow, extra physical activity, change of scenery? I don’t know) increased my efficiency. To help combat my urgency to do things immediately, I started writing them down (in my moleskine!) immediately, and that helped me to forget about them because I know I can look later and accomplish them then. At the end of the day, I read the list and found it quite amusing. Here it is, with nothing changed, but with notes in italics where necessary.

Tuesday, June 29

  • Look at fiction magazine From my seat I could see a magazine with some sort of summer fiction headline.
  • What band has GT on their album cover? I came back from the bathroom and my screensaver was on and I watched it for a while and I wondered. It was Girl Talk.
  • Do wpm test I was pretty sure my typing speed had increased
  • What are other co-op students names? I don’t know, but I should
  • write a new blog post And here we are!
  • Bus schedule and free ride policy thurs Last year our transit system had free bus rides on Canada Day so people didn’t drive drunk and to cut down on the mob that is all of downtown
  • “Sum: Forty tales from the Afterlives,” Jason Eagleman I’ve been listening to the podcast WireTap and they read from this book lots and I want to read it.
  • Platsburg? In the podcast, the host Jonathan Goldstein talked about a family vacation to this city.
  • update tumblr to direct people to my wordpress blog haha
  • Invite Maure to cake party
  • look up Hannah Georgas on daytrotter If you’ve never heard her, you should check her out. And if you don’t know what daytrotter is, check that out too.

Canada Day is generally a combination fun festive family time in the day slash large drunkfest in the evening, which is just unfortunate. People dress up in all red and white, girls very scantily, and party.

Last week I was wondering about what I should do work wise on Canada Day. I wondered, will I get paid overtime? etc etc. BUT then on Tuesday, I was meeting with my supervisor and he told me that I get paid on Canada Day to not work. WHAT! NO WAY! And so then I decided that I can do all of these things from my new list, and I’ll be paid for it! And that is my best part of Canada Day.

Posted by: Kaitlin | July 1, 2010

It’s almost like robots are ruling our lives

I found this draft today, which I wrote on November 25, 2009. I think I didn’t publish it because I sometimes feel as though my writing is just stupid. But this isn’t, the distance showed me that it’s ok.

Today I was composing a comprehensive Birthday and Christmas wish list (they are combined because my birthday is three weeks before Christmas) for my mother and other members of my family. One of my wishes was a new Bible, in the TNIV (Today’s New International Version) because I do not have this version, and I would also like to acquire a Bible with the red letters, which, in the New Testament, denote words that Jesus spoke. So I made a google search and ended up on the Zondervan website, which is a longtime publisher of Bibles and “God” books. On the home page, I learned of an unfortunate new product.

This is the promotion video for the new Glo Bible, which is the Bible as a media platform. My understanding is that users are able to look at tons of maps from the eras spanning the times when the Bible was written, see photos of ancient sites and buildings, watch documentaries, search the whole Bible topically, listen to the Bible in audio format, go on virtual tours of biblical sites, and read Encyclopedia articles.

Watching the video and reading about Glo was an interesting contrast with some other book related research I was doing tonight. I have been thinking about the Kindle and the Sony Reader Digital Book. I compared them, looked at all of their specs and chose the Sony model. Then I picked out a pretty little cover. But then I looked at the Sony ebook store. The books run for $10 each, and I already own at least 300 books. I would never want to buy these books again in digital format, but they are also all of my favourites, so I would not want to have a portable library with books I do not even like. Eventually, I decided I like the “Dead Tree” format of the book better, and I don’t feel bad about this. I equivalate it to buying a real cd from a store, rather than on itunes, or maybe even to reading my real Bible, rather than having it on the computer. I do not like the culture that is created by everything being digital and “techy.” It’s just wrong. (Yet here I am, with a blog.)

After watching the promotion video  for Glo, I was mildly appalled. I think it undermines much of what makes the Christian faith so real to me- relationships, thinking, struggling and figuring ideas out for myself, rather than having it spoon fed to me. Rarely have I been reading the Bible and found a place name mentioned that I had never heard of and could not find in one of the maps at the back of my Bible, or in a five minute internet search. I cannot think of any way that this would save people time, money, or help their relationship with God. I just hope that people can be able to have faith not based on their technology.

Posted by: Kaitlin | July 1, 2010

Here we are

Culture, imagination, memory, travel, personal identity.

These are the words that form the basis of the culture of the Moleskine notebook. I love Moleskines. Just look how pretty they are.

Unfortunately they are also very expensive and I have been pining for one for months. I finally bought one last week at Russell Books, my favourite Victoria book store. The moment I bought it I was so excited to read the History of Moleskine and to just look at its beautiful pages.

But a strange phenomenon has occurred. I have not written in it yet. Why? I don’t know. I think that I love it so much, I cannot decide what, from my head, could possibly be appropriate to grace its beautiful pages. Also, the website has such beautiful art from other moleskine devotees that I feel I cannot compare, not that anyone else will see it anyway. But this is one of my usual faults- I compare myself to people too much, and I’m working on it. But maybe this is my art- writing? After all, what are those words of moleskine? Personal identity, and I can own mine. I am not a visual artist. I really am not a talented draw-er, painter etc. But I suppose I can write, and so here we are.

Note: I wrote this June 16 and apparently forgot to post it!

Posted by: Kaitlin | June 15, 2010

I love alphabetization…

I love alphabetization but there is a limit.

My future career goal is to be a youth librarian, and I am so excited about it. I think about library school all the time. I love books, I love organizing them and I love making lists to organize anything else. I always alphabetize my lists. But last week I reached a limit of alphbetization in my life.

This summer I have a job at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria as a research assistant. I am helping the history curator with a book project about the BC Forest Service. I read relevant keywords in the BC newspaper index and then enter the headlines, date, paper and page into a spreadsheet. I love it. It’s my first experience using Microsoft Excel for myself, rather than just reading what someone else wrote in it. So far I am doing very well with it because I love the “sort and filter” button, obviously.

But last week I discovered a fatal error. I was experimenting with sorting my spreadsheet, at this point at about1500 rows, by the different columns- year, newspaper, keyword etc, when I realized that when I sorted it by year, all of the years would be in the right order, but within the years, Excel had alphabetized my months. Yeah, thanks! That is extremely unhelpful!

First I was incredulous (April, August, December, February…?), and then I spent an agonizing hour on Friday afternoon trying to find help on the internet and with Microsoft help. All I got was computer code (aka not English)  instructions on how to convert my “text” dates to “date” dates. Finally I just had to take a break so I went home. I was mentioning my ridiculous situation to my roommate who is an engineering student (aka a genius) and while he had no insight, my other roommate, a chef, said, “why don’t you turn the months into their numbers, like 1 to 12?”

Aha, I thought, because that doesn’t look as pretty. I don’t like numbers, I like words. But my sorting mania was stronger than my desire for a pretty spreadsheet, and I caved. Changing the months into numbers took approximately ten minutes, and while I still like words better, I will always love the way I can now sort effortlessly any way I want to.

Posted by: Kaitlin | May 17, 2010

Betrayal?

In the last few days, three of my friends have joined the internet and started writing blogs on tumblr. I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about, so I made an account. I also wanted to be able to follow their blogs and read about what they are up to because two of my friends are using their new blogs to document their travels in other countries.

I haven’t written anything on tumblr yet. In fact, I came back here to write about it instead. I don’t think I like it. There were no themes with books on them. I like wordpress.

Other technological news in my life: On Saturday, I went garage sale-ing with my friend Andria and I bought a webcam for a dollar. Came home, plugged it in. The logitech website is very useful, and firefox is the freakin’ bomb! (They always save my tabs!) Together, they made a great team. Detected what kind of webcam I have, downloaded the software, and we’re in business. Now I have skype! I had my first skype conversation with my friend Bg, and it was really fun except she couldn’t see me, and I didn’t know how to fix that. And then the internet connection started being sort of crappy, and we’re in the same city, so I just called her on the normal phone. Skype is super fun though.

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