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Even when I worked in libraries, I never returned books late. The salaries may have been meager and the patrons could at times be horrible, but staff were exempt from late fees. It’s the perks that make a job, you know. Only I never took advantage of that perk because I always returned my books on time. I made a science out of renewing my books, but I never turned them in past their due date. It was a point of honor.

In the past two weeks I’ve been late returning two separate books. My honor was nice while it lasted.

The pace at which I consume books has slowed dramatically, now that I’m living in North Carolina again. This is because my free time is being siphoned off. I am not clear on how this siphoning has been happening, and God knows I didn’t authorize it, but the fact remains that there is a striking disparity between the number of things I need to be doing and the time I have available for doing them.

Probably I shouldn’t even be writing this blog post, because at least I’m not getting charged twenty-five cents for every day I’m late. Though come to think of it I don’t have deadlines here. I haven’t imposed any, ergo there are none. Still though. My honor, what little of it remains now that I’m a serial late-book-returner, cries for justice.

I shall have to compromise with an abbreviated post. My honor will not be fully satisfied– my honor does not shut up for anything less than about 1500 words– but surely something is better than nothing.

I have been tetchy lately. This is akin to saying that the Middle East has been troubled lately, or at the economy has been in a downtown lately. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I have been tetchy lately. The only surprise is that I have been tetchier than normal– but, now that I’m thinking about it, that really doesn’t qualify as a surprise.

The reasons for my tetchiness are twofold. There is the matter of the tragically abridged free time, as mentioned a few paragraphs ago. I am late in making this year’s Christmas Kahlua; I am about to be late with a third library book; if I am not careful I will be late in writing a recommendation letter for a friend; I was very nearly late in turning in my debut article for my new library column, and in another few weeks I’ll have the opportunity to be late with its sophomore sister. I have not even solved a logic puzzle lately. That should tell you something right there.

The other reason for my tetchiness is work-related. After a rather lengthy training period I have now started taking phone calls at my new job. I hate to say even that much, because I am trying to institute a new policy around here, in which I do not speak about, write about, think about, or in any way acknowledge the existence of my job, not on my days and evenings off. Though I suppose you could infer that the wine I’ve started drinking each night is an acknowledgment of my job, in a roundabout way.

There is a third reason for my tetchijess, but I’m not inclined to reveal that card just yet. All in good time.

Hee! How do you like the typo I just made? Tetchijess rather than tetchiness. Oh, that pleases me. TetchiJess. Sums it up nicely.

I do want to disclaim that, despite being frazzled, I am still a gazillion times happier in North Carolina than I was in Virginia. Also a gazillion times poorer, but anyway. This is such a better environment. I’m grumpy. I’m not drowning in despair. There’s a difference.

I am afraid that this does not count among my more inspired blog posts, and probably it will not make the cut when editors in decades hence gather my selected writings. But at least it offers convincing evidence that I am 1.) alive and 2.) gamely trying to keep things current here, and with nearly 750 words, I am happy to see that my honor is almost halfway satisfied. I’ll try to write something else before the year is out, okay? Happy Christmas, if I don’t post before then, and remember that I am gracious enough to accept seasonal presents in person or by post.


3 responses »

  1. Thank God it's just GRUMPY and not dispair ….. which brings me to the punchline of a VERY OLD joke….. Man shows up at a halloween party in which he was to dress as an emotion ….. he's naked with a pear stuck on the end of his dickWhat emotion is he, you wonder ……Fuckin' Dispair!!!

  2. eleemosynary archivist

    Eleemosynary..describes a philosophical concept oft encountered in the career of those who"care" about the honor we all seek to uphold.Thou art not alone in your dilemma Madam Z:) But catching the rising Lunar Crescent on the valley road is part& parcel of the deal.Fiscally challenged, busy establishing a new identity on old turf, Laawdy..almost Biblically lyrical. Keep the corners of the mouth turned UP,eh?The great dismal swamp of despair ain't where you need to be. Cultivate a bit of Christo-Pagan joy as we approach the Solstice,Hannaka, Christmas dateline. very best regards.. yr buddy EA:)

  3. eleemosynary archivist

    Of Wine in moderation & Honor in all things Tetchijess can be a proud Carolinian. Even in 1500 words or less your adventures are an interesting update for those who know you.Cowgirl hat and all.Do however remember that you could just for the hell of it,take the next Foreign Service Officer test!!If yr old gmail address works you'll get an attachment in short order that may give you food for thought.Meanwhile continue your customer advocacy without getting too bogged down in the detail. Help whom you can & look to the future. Hey, we cased the Colors in Iraq this week! EA out-4-now…


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