Monthly Archives: July 2012

Scrabble for dreamers

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In last night’s dream, I was at the hospital, where I’d just delivered fraternal twins, one of each sex. In the preceding nine months it had not occurred to me to think of names — must have slipped my mind — so I was scrambling to come up with something. The doctor was standing at the bedside with a clipboard, impatient to write down the names.

First I came up with Lydia and Dylan, since these were near-anagrams, but I dismissed them for three reasons: the anagram thing was too cutesy; the name Dylan was too popular; and one of the Columbine killers was named Dylan.

(I recently read Dave Cullen’s book Columbine, a journalist’s investigation into the school shootings ten years after the fact. It is magnificent.)

I wound up naming the girl first. I called her Dahlia Sue, “Dahlia” because it sounded pretty (and because I apparently like the letters D and L and A) and “Sue” because I wanted a one-syllable name to act as a foil to the first. That’s how my own name works, Jessica Hope, which could explain why I’m fond of that cadence.

I named the boy Garth. I have no idea why. The doctor with the clipboard raised his eyebrow when I told him that, and then I felt kind of bad, since it is a strange sort of name, and since the kid might get picked on for sharing a name with the sidekick from Wayne’s World. So I gave him a middle name of Anthony, not only to balance the monosyllable with four syllables, but to give the kid the option of going by Anthony or Tony if he didn’t like his given name.

Though now that I’m awake, I’m remembering that Cassandra’s drummer in Wayne’s World was called Anthony. Oops.

Generally I find it excruciating when people feel it necessary to share the details of their dreams. I wouldn’t breach my own etiquette like this if it weren’t for the bit about how I did some anagramming in my sleep. I came up with a female name and a male name that shared four out of five characters. I did this while I was not, you know, conscious.

This is not dissimilar to the aponym dream I had about eight years ago. Then as now I achieved the same conclusion. On the one hand, doing intricate wordplay in my sleep makes me feel smart. On the other hand, if I were truly smart, I’d know how to earn a living wage.

Poirot is the one with the mustacheI’m going to scratch out an article or two this afternoon, because income supplement is a mighty useful thing for people who don’t earn living wages. But before I go, a bit of good news: I have at least four living goldfish in the garden barrels. When last I wrote, I was only certain about two of the five fish, Canary and Anonymous. As of last night Mulder and Scully have been positively identified as living and breathing and swimming. And if those two are alive, there’s a chance that Poirot is still with us. Only Hastings is known to be dead for sure.


Sleeping with the goldfishes

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In the nine months since moving back to western North Carolina, the local public library system has posted openings for pages three (3) times. A page is a person who shelves books, and around here, the position pays $7.50 per hour. The first two times I applied I was not even invited to interview, which was a slap in the face. (For readers just joining us, I have a master’s degree in library science, six years’ professional experience in public libraries, and a 400-page library reference text that I wrote, and also I am awesome.)

Per the rules of storytelling, it was on the third attempt that I was called in for an interview. I explained that I would be willing to work at a job that offered no benefits, for only twenty hours per week, for only twenty-five cents more per hour than minimum wage, because even pitiful income is better than no income.

I was not offered the job.

The hiring librarian — the same librarian who checked out books to me when I was a child in 1990 — explained that she was worried that I would leave for a fulltime job. I wish I shared that worry.

She did however encourage me to speak with the library director. I met with him last week. He advised me to move if I wanted to find a professional job.

Home to two living and several deceased goldfish

My boyfriend did all the work on these, but anyway.

This job situation is getting absurd. And if I hear one more person tell me that the MLS is a portable degree, that information professionals are in demand, I will shove them into my fish barrels. Mafia henchmen probably have more sophisticated techniques for sending enemies to sleep with the fishes, but I am sure I can make it happen. (I am an information professional. I can do anything.)  Same goes for anyone who wants to tell me about the meritocracy. These barrels only hold thirty gallons, but it doesn’t take much to drown.

If any prospective employers are reading this, I am joking about the whole homicide thing. Ha, ha!

My fish are named Canary (because she was the first, and she was supposed to indicate whether the environment were healthy — to test the waters, if you will), Anonymous (because it was depressing to assign names to fish who kept dying; Canary isn’t very good at her job), Poirot, who may yet be alive (I haven’t seen a corpse); and Mulder and Scully, who are probably still alive since they were only purchased this afternoon.

Enough of that. Back to jobs.

In a drastic change from the norm, I have some good job news to report. I am temping, from now through probably November, perhaps longer. The wages are not great, but remember: pitiful money is better than no money. I got this job not through my abilities, skills, or experience, because that would suggest some sort of merit-based universe, but through my mother, who works at the same place I’m temping. My job involves running reports and scheduling stuff.

I have the option to pay through the nose for limited health insurance. It is not real health insurance, the kind that pays for preventative care or routine health checkups, but it would cover some of the bills if I were involved in an accident. I am trying to decide if it’s worth my money.

At any rate, I am working, at least for a little while, at least for a little bit of money. This is not at all what I envisioned in terms of job, career, or financial stability for my early thirties, and also I sort of thought I might have health insurance and vacation days, but — all together now, let’s hear it — pitiful money is better than no money.

And now, since it is past ten p.m., and since my job starts early in the day, and since I need to sleep well because, let’s face it, being well-rested is a poor person’s version of affordable health care, I am going to go to sleep. Though not with the fishes.