Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Daily Grind

This morning a plastic shopping bag floated across the city and by my window on the ninth floor. I thought at first it was a white balloon that had gotten away. While I was looking out the window I noticed bugs were also floating around the city. Thousands of them. Above and below me. They looked like dust motes in the sun. I’ve never thought about insects flying so high. It doesn’t seem right. It seems they should always be at the human level, maybe flying as high as a house.

My work is tedious--nothing but digitizing and cataloging. It takes a special someone to be a cataloger. Although, I’ve been told I’ll be shifting books at the Fogelman library tomorrow. The New School Libraries are in the process relocating. It occurred to me this morning that every library at which I’ve worked --all three of them--was in the midst of a relocation process when I came on board. I told my boss, I’ve had plenty of experience shifting books.

To keep myself entertained while staring at a computer screen all day, I eavesdrop on the lecture from the classroom next door. The professor always keeps the door open. This morning she was talking about lingerie and marketing to a specific audience. The class has boards and swatches due next week. For the past few days, there’s been construction on our floor, mostly in the room that shares a wall with our lab. I like to eavesdrop on the construction workers too. Although they usually just talk about different cables and which cables go where. They have thick Jersey accents. I can’t explain to you what it’s like being surrounded by this accent. It’s everywhere. I feel like I’m in a movie whenever I step out of the apartment. I’m starting to appreciate its nuances. People really do say you’s guys here. Occasionally one the construction workers gets a call from his wife, and I hear the whole dinner plan conversation. They always listen to a local classic rock station, which plays the same 300 songs every classic rock station plays. The Guns N’ Roses and Van Halen keep me awake.

Occasionally, I dip into an interesting folder of course reserves. Today I came across Raymond Carver’s essay On Writing, which I own and have read over and over. I think this is one of the finest essays ever written on writing, and I’m glad to see it’s still being taught. In that same folder were other readings from a creative writing course. It was difficult not to stop my work and spend the rest of the day reading. This is the nice thing about working at a university library, being part of the modern classroom discourse in some small way, even if it’s just scanning an article into a database.

We’re slowly getting used to the new schedule in our house. Although, Mr. S is not a morning person and requires time to cuddle and lounge around in his pajamas before heading out the door. We do many more things at night now--showers, laying out the next day's clothes, packing lunches. I wake up at 5:30, get dressed and ready for the day by 6:00, at which point Mr. S usually wakes up. We eat, read a book, I get Seamus dressed, get his things together for school, get my things together for work and we’re out the door by 6:55 and at day care by 7:15 or earlier. I’m usually on the train by 7:30, on the second train by 8:00 and at work by 8:30. My lunch break is now spent on fifth avenue at the Fogelman library. It’s getting too cold to walk around the city looking at buildings. To answer Crystal's email question--heels are a thing of the past. I now wear ballet flats to work. They are oh, so comfy. Around Bayonne I wear my Converse.

There is much more to say, but it's getting late and I've signed up for a writing marathon this week which means I need to get to work. More later.


Amanda said...

Lydia, I love the style of your writing. You make the city come to life - I can easily picture myself there!

Rebecca said...

can't wait to hear more about marketing lingerie! i bet you're earning another education while listening in on lectures. yeah, i could never be a cataloger. i did a short stint, but i don't have the interest/drive in that level of perfection. i don't blame Mr. S for not being a morning person, i'm not either!

Rickety Rosie said...

So good to get a picture of your day. As far as your Seamus schedule goes, you sound very organized. Miss you!

Lydia Gwyn said...

Yeah, I don't think I could be a cataloger. I got to pull books at the real library today, and it was a welcomed break from course reserves. I never thought I'd look forward to shifting and shelf-reading!

We're definitely organized, but it's Friday, and I've had a week of this crazy schedule, and I feel like a zombie.

I miss everyone so much!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lydia,
I've been trying to reach you through your old email. I have sent pics and I haven't heard from you. Please get ahold of me soon. Miss you and its so great to hear about your new life in NY and NJ. Love, April

Rickety Rosie said...

Tell about your writing marathon - exactly what and where!

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