“The key to happiness is to focus on what you can control and make proactive choices for joy every day.”
~ Tiny Buddha
Just in case you missed the fact that we had a lot of laughs at the annual Derby Day BBQ yesterday, here are two reminders. Three radio personalities and one Annie Bassoni guarantees you’ll laugh until you cry. I’m so lucky.
“Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated.” ~ Karen Maezen Miller
It was Derby Day and this year’s Springridge Derby Day Garage BBQ almost didn’t happen. First, time got away from me, so by the time I sent invitations, almost everyone had other plans. Then, the weather was absolutely horrid. It rained up until about 2 pm, which wasn’t so bad, but an Alberta Clipper dipped into Kentucky overnight and made it a very cold, dreary rain. A few people bailed last minute, and who could blame them with conditions like that, making this year’s crew small. A small but mighty crew we were. We had a blast. We moved the party indoors where John Lumagui managed to make us laugh until we had tears. I don’t get to see him nearly enough, and I’m reminded of that every time he comes around. Not only is he sweet as can be, he really might be the funniest man alive.
Wally and Lilly (the black blob behind the couch) joined in the fun as John spun joke after joke. I snorted and laughed so much my throat hurt by the time everyone left. We still grilled out. The clouds broke long enough for us to soak up a few rays before moving into the house for the race. I even managed to figure out how to set the self-timer on the camera so I could catch us all together doing jazz hands. I love these people so very much, and their presence in my world today was just what the doctor ordered.
“The only limits you have are the limits you believe.” ~ Wayne Dyer
More library fun was had today with the annual student celebration. I ran into many sweet friends like Jen Bartlett and Shawn Livingston. Shawn and I had an engaging conversation before the festivities began, and Jen, of course, is the perfect hostess. I’ve always been proud of the library for treating student workers so well. I was very pleased that one of our students, Patricia Smith (below with Danielle Gabbard), was awarded the Outstanding Student Award for the excellent work she’s done with us. I must say this week has been kind and refreshing.
“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.” ~ George Eliot
I’m shifting focus from Market in the Park for a bit because of this man: David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. BFF Jen Bartlett did an interview with him today as part of an oral history project. I played camera woman for the interview. I hadn’t met David before. I introduced myself as “Julie, you’re Cruise Director,” which made him giggle, so I knew he was good people right away. That, and his killer American flag socks, would be enough to make me love this dude, but it was really what he said in the interview that won me over completely. He was very well spoken, succinct and kind in his answers as one would expect from a man in his position. Yet, what moved me most was that he gets libraries and archives, and he gets who our patrons are. Even at the highest post in this nation he still walks around the reading room and talks to patrons. He talked a great deal about building relationships between colleagues, mentoring, and helping library schools understand that they need to teach real world library education, not theory. I have been saying that since before I graduated. I was so moved by his comments that I shook his hand and thanked him for speaking up for all of us who’ve suffered through horrid library graduate school experiences. David Ferriero is my hero and I was really pleased to meet him, although I might have to introduce myself to him as “Julie, your Cruise Director” from now on.
“Think good thoughts. Say nice things. Do good for others. Everything comes back.” ~ Unknown
I popped off a few selfies at Tuesday’s Library Spring Gala. The colors were garish, the exposures wrong, and paired with the completely wrong lens, I didn’t care for any of them. But I love the people with me, so I took a page from one of them; excellent photographer and Special Collections Associate Dean Deirdre Scaggs (above). Her work is warm, rich in texture, always with a hint of mystery. It’s very compelling. While these selfies are much more abstract, and not nearly as intriguing or even as fun as her work, they were nevertheless inspired by Deirdre. If you’re going to be inspired by someone, make it someone good. Deirdre fills that bill.
I would not have gotten the Dean’s Award without Danielle Gabbard, plain and simple. I depend on her every day. She has never shied away from a task, and even asks for more work. She’s shy, soft spoken, extremely kind, and a hard, conscientious worker. I got lucky the day she walked into the Nunn Center which was about six months before I did!
It’s a Jen sandwich: Jen Martin (top) and Jen Bartlett were both dressed to the nines in their sexy black dresses on Tuesday. It’s tough to be a dumpy middle aged chick between two beauties like them. What’s not tough is being in the company of such incredibly gifted women who share their knowledge and kindness at every turn. That’s the Jens, and I’m one lucky gal to know them.
“Sometimes you face difficulties not because you’re doing something wrong,
but because you’re doing something right.” ~ Unknown
Okay, I’ll admit it. I had a darned near perfect day. Let me back up. On Monday, awesome boss Doug Boyd gave me a gift he’d found while going through some things at home. This morning, while he and I were having a nice chat, in walks Crystal Heis: show and tell time! Doug gave me a tiny light meter (above). It sits on a camera’s hot shoe and runs on a watch battery. Crys and I tried to find some history on it. The best we could come up with was a $75 bid for one on eBay, and a video voiced in Dutch (zero help). Exit Crystal and Doug, enter Jen Bartlett and Shawn Livingston (below). They mostly dropped in to say hi with a sweet thank you card. Jen had just come from the dentist still numb. I’m happy to report she didn’t drool. Soon, Crys and I found ourselves at Le Madeleine people watching and having a great talk over breakfast food. The afternoon eventually gave way to a presentation by our Diversity Students wherein Jo Staggs-Neel told me I had movie star hair and Beth Kramer said she couldn’t tell I’d gained any weight. I told them I was buying a lottery ticket on the way home after such reviews. I topped that off with a great talk with Shawn on my way out (I saw he and Jen twice today – I really should have bought that lottery ticket). Did I mention my day started by getting the parking space closest to the garage exit? (this is a big deal, trust me) I had a feeling it was gonna be a good day, and it sure was. Many of my co-workers aren’t just colleagues, they’re friends. Really great, irreplaceable life-long friends. I’m blessed beyond measure.
“Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.” ~ Unknown
The Fun Girls from Mount Pilot (Stacy and I) and The Bartletts (Jen, Bryan, and Abigail) braved the evening cold and slippery roads for a round of ‘chime-eye-change-uhs’ (chimichangas) and margaritas. I can’t hear the word ‘chimichanga’ without thinking about Craig and Kelly Barnes and the ‘chime-eye-change-uh’. They were at a Mexican restaurant in the Carolinas when the couple seated behind them actually ordered a ‘chime-eye-change-uh’. The word is so buried in my head now that I have to order a ‘chimi’ for fear that I’ll actually say ‘chime-eye-change-uh’. Having shared this bit of hilarity amongst other favorites, the Fun Girls from Mount Pilot quite enjoyed the Bartlett dinner. We’ve all vowed to make it less than a year before we share a meal again.
“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
~ James Allen
I had a guest register available at the reception. I didn’t realize I’d forgotten it until I went to bed Friday night. I attended All Saints Day service this morning and picked it up afterward. Sixty people attended Friday’s reception. Sixty people took time out of their lives to come see my work. Some I’d never met before Friday. Some sneaked in and out without my seeing them though they were kind enough to leave their signature. Some drove nearly two hours to be there. Some took off work. Some were recovering from major surgery. Some couldn’t stay long, and others stayed the whole time. Someone pointed out how many segments of my life were assembled in that room: family, close friends, old friends, new friends, co-workers, writers, actors, artists, musicians, librarians, bankers, software developers, railroad men, professors, social workers, therapists, pathologists, nutritionists, the list goes on. They’re not all represented in this collage, but I couldn’t think of a better way to have a group hug in the outhouse. Sixty people. I may be speechless for a week I’m so overcome with gratitude.
“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is a special occasion.”
Wendel’s schedule was packed full of fun (if you can call being judged all day ‘fun’), but we managed to steal away for breakfast at the Lexington Diner. We had quite the giggle when the Arizonan ordered the Kentucky burrito. You know, it’s finding the little funny things like that that make life a joy.
Our conversation was cleansing, poignant, and by turns light and funny. It was the kind of conversation that makes me feel like I’m sane on many levels. There are few people with whom I can enjoy such a conversation. I seriously doubt I’m the only one who feels like this about Wendel, though. He is unique in this way.
I thought I’d only have breakfast to photograph and talk with Wendel, but after his address to the division, we had a few precious moments to share. At one point I realized I was standing with three of my all-time favorite people, and Doug Boyd was sweet enough to snap a rare non-selfie of me with Stacy, Jen, and Wendel. It’s an image I’ll treasure forever. It reminds me that, to my surprise, I have made lifelong friends with a few of my library colleagues. I came to libraries kicking and screaming. In fact, I came to a ‘real job’ kicking and screaming, it didn’t have to be libraries, and it took me 35 years to do it. And though I continued to resist for years, I finally reached a point where I had to choose to be happy about it; to be happy about everything in my life. Wendel and I talked a great deal about how choosing to be happy is at once the easiest and hardest of choices, but that it is truly a choice one must consciously make. Once you choose to be happy, taking whatever seemingly drastic, scary steps you need to take to make that happen, it’s a remarkable transformation. Wendel will agree with me on that. Being happy is the only way I can live now. It’s never too late to be happy. Plus, it makes it really easy to make silly faces. That’s my friend, big eyed Wendel!
“Anyone can find fault. It is the wise person who finds that which encourages another in the turmoils and strifes of the day.” ~ Edgar Cayce
What a beautiful action packed day. The sun was out, and the temp was up. It was time to get out of the house. First thing, I had the great pleasure of seeing the most awesome massage therapist and friend Jennifer Ernst. I can never have a bad day after seeing her. She’s so sweet and good that I’ve felt high ever since. Then, I swung by Stacy Yelton’s lily pad, and off we went to – gasp – Fayette Mall. You can see how we feel about the place. We laughed until tears were rolling down our cheeks standing in the middle of the mall looking at this photo. I was snorting. People were staring. It was totally worth the crowds and traffic just for that moment. We were there for a late lunch with Bryan and Jen Bartlett at the new Cheesecake Factory. I’d never eaten there. I still haven’t, what with an insane two-hour wait list. I could get the leaves in my yard mulched in that time, which was precisely what I did after we saved ourselves from the madness and dined instead at Abby Bartlett’s favorite restaurant, Ramsey’s. This family – I love them so – They are so darned delightful, and creative, and funny that I wish we could hang out more. This gets chalked up to one fantastic day!