Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes: 10:15

6-year-old boy: Do you have kids?
Me: Nope, I don't.
6-year-old boy: Well, if you get some, you should buy them legos.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Not Being Homeless is SOOOO Much Less Interesting Than a Fireman.

Warning: This blog post is very long. It's also very obsessive and neurotic.

First, let's get the important but slightly less interesting news out of the way: I am no longer a rolling stone! I have found a place to live. I signed a lease on Friday and I will be moving May 31st. The place is north of my current state of residence, far enough away that I can go to the grocery store (and go to bars?) in peace but still close enough that the commute won't be a huge issue. It's a complex that was built in 1991 and it was the first place where I would only be losing a bedroom (not a dishwasher, garbage disposal, full sized stove and refrigerator and extra storage). I'm really pleased and I'm totally ready to move (and give you more details :))

Now onto the main reason for the post: On Tuesday evening, right in the middle of my family storytime, our fire alarm went off, and in short, I met a firefighter. A tall, remarkably attractive, great with kids, seemingly responsible and kind firefighter. This is going to sound lame but our 10 minute interaction (thank god for little kids who want to meet firefighters!) was pretty much the romantic highlight of the time I've spent living in this ridiculous little town. And how much can two people flirt when there are little kids running around?

Then Tuesday night and then all day Wednesday and Thursday, I witnessed what happens when ten middled aged library workers come together to matchmake. Through the obsessive nature of my coworkers and their information finding skills, I now know his name, where he lives, what everyone who knows him thinks of him (great! nice! a catch!), what his senior picture looks like (thank god we keep all those high school yearbooks at the library!*rolls eyes*) and his age. The adorable firefighter is 21. 21! Barely! (His birthday was two weeks ago). I'm 25. More specifically, I'm 25 1/2. Everyone that I've talked to (and yes, I've talked to quite a few because well I'm lame) reassures me that this isn't a big deal. My coworkers tell me that I've got to take advantage of this opportunity. They've suggested that I call up the fire chief (who just happens to be Kelly, the circ assistant's mother-in-law's neighbor! small town!) and tell him how great he was with the kids and ask if he can come back. Or I could show up at the bimonthly flea market where all the firefighters have to work and stalk him that way. Supposedly he also plays softball and they have a game every Friday night! Jill, another circulation assistant, knows his mother and would be happy to introduce me. Our reference librarian suggested we call him up and tell him his card is expired so he'll come in and rectify the situation. Etc. Etc. Etc. It's out of control.

Here's the thing: I understand that underneath my coworkers' insanity, they're basically right. It's rare to meet someone with such good qualities and I certainly haven't done that since moving here. And yes, four years isn't a big deal. And I appreciate the fact that they want me to be happy here (not that having a cute firefighter equals happiness but well, it might.) So, let's say I forget about the fact that he's only 21 (he's been drinking legally for two weeks. I've been drinking legally for 4.5 years!). What now? How do you pursue or set up opportunities in this type of situation? This is going to make me sound like an alcoholic but I've only met/interacted/pursued men when alcohol was present. It may have been a party hosted by a mutual friend, a grad student social held at a bar, or tailgating at a sporting even but there was alcohol. And if I met the person when there wasn't alcohol involved, our future interactions had alcohol. With the fireman, I've only known him in a professional context and vice versa. And I don't go out in bars where I live right now (nor would I want to) so it's not like I'm going to run into him on a Friday night at one of the four bars in this town. I'd like to just do nothing and wait. Perhaps he'll come into the library? Perhaps I'll see him in the grocery store? Or should I try to make a move in a different way? I know he's on facebook (my coworkers aren't the only information professionals :)) and I'm sure I could email the fire department and say thanks for giving the kids junior firefighter badges. I'm not sure I want to look like a stalker or a 25 year old predator going after the younger man, especially one who grew up in this town and seems to be well liked by everyone.

If you made it to the end of this insanity, thanks for sticking it out! Also? Help!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sad But Sorta True: Out of the Mouths of Babes, 12:05

Fergus, age 2, while coloring a picture: I'm going to do my best work!
McNessa, his sister, age 6: You don't have to do your best work. It's just the library.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wherever He Laid His Head Was His Home: Part II

The great apartment hunt continues. For the last week or two, I have been wracked with indecision--my thought process sounded a lot like this: "That one place! No the other! Just wait! But that one place! The downtown! The drive! The other place! Go see it again! Take pictures! It's still so small! That bathtub is disgusting! But it's cheap! It has big windows! I don't want to live there! But maybe I should!"

I retoured the second apartment and took pictures. And then looked at them and looked at them and looked at them some more. I finally sent pictures out to some friends and my mom. Pretty much everyone said "Yeah, it's fine. Typical. Standard. Livable." And that's exactly what I thought. My mom also added "You would have to throw away a lot of your stuff because there's no room for it in that apartment and you're not bringing it to our house." This morning I asked my dear friend Laura what she thought. She wisely said, "I think you just seriously need to ask yourself if you're going to dread coming home to that apartment every night or if you'd be happy to come home." She also said "Living in a crappy place just makes life crappy." Indeed the girl is a wise one. And honestly, that's something I hadn't really thought about (yes, I'm not smart). And when I really thought about it, it was clear that this wee little apartment wasn't the place for me. And it was definitely not a place where I would want to live for a few years (the ultimate goal in all of this apartment hunting is to find a place that is reasonable but also a place where I would be willing to live for more than a year.)

So the apartment hunt is back up and running. I've been looking at classifieds and Laura sent me listing from craigslist and here are the highlights thus far:

Last night, called a place in my current town of residence and had a lovely conversation that went something like this:
Me: Hi, I'm calling about the apartment for rent.
Lady: Where did you get this number? The local newspaper? Which newspaper? The Journal Sentinel?
Me: Ummmm. The number was on a "for rent" sign in the front yard...
Lady: Where was the house? Is it in *current town of residence*?
Me: *Soooo confused* Ummm, yes? Has it been rented?
Lady: I don't know. Because we don't have a place for rent. You have the wrong number and we've been receiving about 10 calls a day about that place. So where is it in *current town of residence*?
Me: it's about a block from downtown.
Lady: Okay, good, I'm going to drive down there and figure out what's going on. Thanks. *hangs up*

Verdict: It's probably not a good sign if you're future landlords can't even get the phone number on the sign correct... And besides, even if I'd like to call them, I can't!

This afternoon, I called about a one bedroom for $470.
Me: Hi, I'm calling in regard to the one bedroom apartment.
Dude: Where did you see the listing?
Me: In the Journal Sentinel.
Dude: Do you know where the apartment is?
Me: Yes, I do.
Dude: Okay, well, our apartment complex is right off the highway (proceeds to give directions) When would you want to move in?
Me: Probably May 1st or June 1st.
Dude: And where do you live now?
Me: *Current place of residence*
Dude: What do you do there?
Me: Ummm, I'm a children's librarian? (question mark as in why are you asking this?)
Dude: And why are you leaving?
Me: *thinks why are you asking me this?*I'm looking for a smaller place. I have a two bedroom right now.
Dude: Ahh, so, you kicked him out?
Me: Him?? What? No, that's certainly not the case.
Dude: Hahahhahahahaha. Well, why don't you give the building manager a call. His name is Leonard and he works the 3rd shift. So, give him a call and you can go tour the building at 3pm.

Verdict: I think you would be right in assuming that I did not give Leonard a call. And all of those questions? To quote Salt-n-Pepa, "It's none of your business."

So, the start of the second part of the great apartment hunt (woah confusing) is not going well. I will report back with more news. In the meantime, please send all of your good apartment hunting karma this way.