This blog post isn’t about the movie Office Space.  Sorry to disappoint you.
I’m not even sure if I’ve seen Office Space in its entirety, and if I did, I don’t remember enough about it to write it in a post, so sorry to disappoint you twice.

But something did happen in the offices of the Langson Library at the University of California, Irvine a couple of weeks ago.

We upgraded. We upgraded from the second floor, right on up to the fifth floor.
We upgraded right on up to a room in the corner where we have to put a post it note on the door that says “do not lock”, because the room is usually always locked.

Our space on the second floor was big. and our space on the second floor allowed the two sections of interlibrary loans to be separated.  Our new space on the fifth floor prefers that we are all uncomfortably squished together, one, big, co-existing book lending family.  Approximately 14 students in and out of the room throughout the day who have to share 2 computers,  and 6 permanent staff who are permanently there all day.  We should be making our trek back down to the second floor shortly, like in a couple of days shortly, but maneuvering around book carts and people and living out of boxes is not the most efficient way to run a library.  I’ve been okay though… I’ve been taking the early shifts so there are fewer obstacles in the form of people to negotiate desk space with.

But this is the first time our two departments have been together, working in the same area.  The staggered schedules are supposed to help with that, but from what I hear, it only results in increased foot traffic during the afternoon hours.  The students have to find bizarre ways of double teaming on tasks because there is no space for each person to be doing something different.  The boxes remained unpacked because everyone knows that the arrangement is temporary.  We couldn’t bring everything up, however, so whenever we need something from the circulation desk, we have to use the elevator to go down down down to the second floor and then use it again to come back up up up to finish the task at hand.  It’s not so bad though, it’s like we are getting paid to ride the elevator up and down. I think most people would say that I should take advantage of the situation and take the stairs up and down to get some exercise.  My counter argument to that is that the stairs, for some reason, don’t go all the way up to the fifth floor.  The stairs can take you as far as the fourth floor at which point I would have to cross to the other side of the building and ride up to the fifth floor. So for the purposes of time efficiency and consistency, I take the elevator. I did get to sneak a peek at the new downstairs layout on one of my many trips downstairs.  the color scheme is kind of bland, kind of boring.. but it does look very neat and very organized.  the furniture is all new so the tables are a smooth, pretty brown color and the cubicle walls are a frosted gray, almost transparent color to help brighten up the area.  The two departments will still be together but the table lengths are almost twice the length as the longest table in the fifth floor.  The carpet is new and all clean,  but it still smells like fumes down there, probably from the glue used to stick on the brand new carpet. So I think it will be nice to move back down to the normal working area.

But like I said, the nice thing about the morning is the lack of having to fight for table space and the shorter wait time for the elevator because there just aren’t as many people going up and down at 8 in the morning.  Oh, and sometimes I’ll get free food when the permanent staff bring breakfast.

One time I went out with my favorite toy, a plastic Tinkerbell figurine.  She was two inches tall, with yellow hair pulled up in a high ponytail and her hands on her hips in a confident, cocky way that I admired.  I lit a match and held it close to Tinkerbell’s face to show her how it felt.  She looked even more beautiful in the flame’s glow.  When that match went out, I lit another one, and this time i held it really close to Tinkerbell’s face.  Suddenly, her eyes grew wide, as if with fear; I realized to my horror, that her face was starting to melt.  I put out the match, but it was too late. Tinkerbell’s once perfect little nose had completely disappeared, and her red saucy lips had been replaced with an ugly, lopsided smear.  I tried to smooth her features back to the way they had been, but I  made them even worse.  Almost immediately, her face cooled and hardened again.  I put bandages on it. I wished I could perform a skin graft on Tinkerbell, but that would have meant cutting her to pieces.  Even though her face was melted, she was still my favorite toy. – Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

I read this paragraph and recalled my Ariel doll.  The size of a regular Barbie, she had her signature red hair, and a green removable tail  so that I could turn her human or fish as I pleased.  I can’t remember if she was my Tinkerbell, but Ariel was (still is) my favorite Disney Princess so it would make sense that she was my favorite doll.  At least, she was my favorite enough so that I was simultaneously amused, shocked and sad that day her legs came off.  It was the first and last surgical procedure I ever performed.

My two friends were with me that day.  Izumi and Christie.  The three of us were playing with my extensive Barbie doll collection, trying to mix and match clothes to make sure all of my Barbies were clothed. I sometimes had a habit of leaving my dolls in their naked state–I’m not sure if it was because I got bored half-way through, if it was a sign that I was lazy even as a small child, or if it was my way of informing my parents that I needed new clothes for my dolls because they didn’t have enough to wear.  In any case, we were trying to dress all of my dolls that day, Ariel included.

She was supposed to be shopping for clothes so I turned her into human form and had her walk across my carpet which had been turned into a shoddy Rodeo Drive for Barbie.  Trying to get her movements as close to normal as humanely possible, I guess I pulled to hard because her right leg popped off. Laughter.
The three of us had no idea that the legs of my dolls could come off and none of us ever expected one of them to snap off. Laughter.  Laughter followed by the curious idea that perhaps if the right one snapped off, so could the left one. We tried it, and it did. More Laughter.
More laughter followed by the sudden realization that Ariel was now leg-less and we didn’t know how to give her her legs back.  We tried to snap them back into place kind of like a dislocated joint but no matter how hard we pushed, they never stuck.  So we sat and stared at my disassembled Ariel doll trying to think of a solution.  Then I had it.
GUM.

I took the piece of gum I was chewing out of my mouth and used it as a glue to stick Ariel’s leg back onto her hip.  I pushed for about 5 seconds but since the gum was still soft from just recently having come out of my mouth, it didn’t stick quite right.  Izumi followed my lead and while I held Ariel’s right leg in place, she smashed her gum into Ariel’s left hip socket to attach the left parts together.  Christie then got a rubber band for us to tie around her waist to hold everything together so we didn’t have to.

After a few minutes, the gum hardened and we could take the waist band off of Ariel and her legs would still be in place.  We stood her up to marvel at our innovative handiwork when we noticed that something was off.  Ariel’s head and body was facing in our direction but her feet…. were pointed behind her. We didn’t just put the wrong shoe on the wrong foot, we had put the wrong leg on the wrong side of her body so that her legs were backward.  We laughed at our mistake only to find that the gum had become too hard and those legs weren’t going to come off again.  Ariel was doomed to be an awkward human being forever.

That was probably the first lesson in “damage done to dolls is permanent” that I had learned.  The second was when I cut off the hair of my American Girl Doll waiting for it to grow back while it never would.

I was sad at first, but I didn’t mind.  I still love Ariel, even if her feet did face the wrong direction.

 

Spring break is almost over and as anticipated, I didn’t get through the list of books that I originally intended.
I’m sorry if that makes me a liar.
but in all fairness we both probably knew that I was being ambitious anyways.

Instead I got through 1 book. 1 book and 3 movies.

I finally made it through Italy, India and Indonesia via Eat Pray Love
and I finally watched Black Swan (can’t decide how I feel about it), The Social Network (loved it) , and the Kids are All Right (well, I laughed a lot).

but back to all of the reading that I didn’t do this spring break….I discussed Eat Pray Love with a friend of mine today.
She loved it. “It’s one of my favorite books!” she said
and I…

well, she loved it!

my blurb about this book can be read here
or by clicking on the title of the book on the I [will] Read page!

I still have 2 days of spring break so that should be enough time to at least start another book!  Maybe I can get 1.5 or 2 of my originally intended 5.

 

my roommate’s aunt is living in my apartment while my roommate is in DC.

wait…… what?

yeah…. I had it right the first time.  My roommate’s aunt has been sleeping at the apartment, tonight being the second night in a row.  but my roommate is not here. she left for Washington DC over the weekend.
does this situation seem bizarre to anybody else or is it just me?

Not to mention that I wasn’t even aware that the aunt would be here so I assumed that this week would be the start of  two months of just me and my apartment. So I was a little more than confused when I heard the door open yesterday afternoon wondering what my roommate was doing here when she was not supposed to be.

As it turns out, it was not my roommate, but her aunt.

She was going to be showing the apartment to a potential sublet for the last two months of the lease (1 month of which my roommate has already paid for).  I was unaware of the fact that she would looking for a sublet until yesterday afternoon.  I was even more unaware that her aunt was the one looking for potential sublets. so that is two things that my roommate probably should have told me but didn’t before running away to the other side of the country.
Apparently “all of the kids on EAP [the UC study abroad program] in Japan need housing from having to come home after the earthquake and tsunami”so there have been responses to their online listing.

and that’s fine that she wants to find a sublet. I wish her the best of luck in trying to find somebody to take over the lease for only two months; especially because our lease doesn’t finish out the academic year. It cuts off awkwardly in the middle.
but I do think that as active roommate I do have some jurisdiction in knowing whether or not there will be other people staying over in the apartment. Family included.

Well the potential sublet came and left and I heard the door shut so I assumed that was the aunt’s only order of business. As it turns out, I was wrong.

So you can only imagine that I was even more confused around midnight last night when the door opens again and the aunt is back in the apartment. I knew that she worked in the area during the day but aside from thinking what job could possibly keep her out this late?, I was thinking she’s back? is she staying here?
After this, I hear the shower start to run. Aunt is taking a shower in my apartment at around 1 am. Again, bizarre!

It didn’t wake me up because I was still awake doing some work but talk about awkward! If nobody else sees this situation as bizarre I may need to rethink my definition of the word but I thought this was very very strange.  Roommate’s aunt has a home. Closer to campus than our apartment because she’s on faculty. So I find it strange that she would stay here.

When I called roommate in DC this morning, her response was “oh.. yeah, she’s trying to find me a sublet. and staying in the interim. sorry i didn’t tell you. i didn’t think you would be here for spring break”. Not quite the point, roommate, but thanks.

Aunt is more than welcome to stay here now that I am in the know of what’s going on, but she assures me that tonight is her last night in the apartment.  Aside from strange and awkward, it isn’t a problem that I can’t cope with.  and what is life without [more than a few] awkward moments here and there?

but my roommate failed to tell me that she was searching for a sublet, and she failed to tell me that her aunt would be the sublet throughout the break, which is absurd. and her aunt actually stayed here for two nights in the next room over, which is bizarre.

Aside from reading Author Q&As, I also enjoy coming across new music that I can play on a loop without getting bored.

This weekend its Christina Perri who has been helping me drown out the sound of the intense rain storm outside of my window and I think she is pretty great.

An American singer/songwriter from Pennsylvania, her website introduces her as somebody who:

“at just age 23 has already lived a handful of lives. She’s toured the world as an assistant to a rock band, spent a year at a prestigious university, became a wife and then an ex-wife, produced popular music videos, made olive oil in Italy and even served as a fashionista barrista in Beverly Hills” (you can read the rest of her bio at http://www.christinaperri.com)

I don’t know what the implications of making olive oil are but Italy sounds pretty authentic and I am not quite sure what a fashionista barrista is but if I ever meet another one, I’ll have a reference in Christina Perri.

 

Here is her single Arms that continues to be played on a loop:
Arms by Christina Perri

It even comes with a video that has the lyrics displayed in an impressive video edited manner. Enjoy!

I am finally on spring break!

I’ve spent the last 2.5 days catching up on all of the sleep that I didn’t get thanks to final exams and I intend to spend the remainder of my vacation being just as lazy. There are plenty of shows to be caught up on, plenty of songs to listen to on repeat on end, and plenty of books that I can finally get around to reading.

This week’s lineup?

Eat Pray Love- Elizabeth Gilbert
The Glass Castle- Jeannette Walls
Kafka on the Shore- Murakami Haruki
Brave Story- Miyuki Miyabi
Freakonomics- Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

I agree this looks overly ambitious to finish up within one week’s time.

but it doesn’t look so ambitious when you consider the many other books I have in my bookshelf also waiting to be read.

I will be starting with Eat Pray Love because I finally made it through Italy and I’m ready to take it home to Bali already.

I was [supposed to be] studying for my classical Japanese final when my friend showed me this post. and I have to say…

 

  • the earthquake and tsunamis were not man-inflicted (US-inflicted) disasters
  • the fact that the tsunami came to Hawaii and that Hawaii was the location of Pearl Harbor are NOT related
  • WW2 was not a war of only America and Japan.
  • and any “karma” as these nice people bluntly put it already came in the form of 2 atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

plus what reason does the earth have to wait 66 years to wreak “intentional” havoc on Japan? it doesn’t. because that logic is wrong.

people’s stupidity absolutely ASTOUNDS me.
there is no logic here and everybody who has something ignorant to say like these select few in this post need to open a textbook and get informed. or rather, just use Google. they spend all of their time on the internet writing Facebook status updates as it is.

thank you for posting this UCSC!

Racist Facebook Posts About Japan This is prime example of the need for an Ethnic Studies nationally and globally. These are examples of homegrown incompetence and racism. The current institutions that exist are informed by Nationalist & Western principles that only reproduce incompetence and racism. If we wish to see the creation of a just society we must realize that education is essential. Lets eliminate hateful rhetoric by nourishing a healthy conscious within our youth. … Read More

via UCSC Ethnic & Critical Race Studies

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.