the end of this meme and of my job

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you when you were happy.

Today I am happy. Tomorrow is my last day at my job.

Me on a Monday.

I still believe in the public library’s importance to society, perhaps now more than ever. Some of my colleagues do so much with so little; their perseverance inspired me to pursue an advanced degree in the field. Each day brought a new challenge, and I tried to meet each one with tenacity and grace. I learned more at this job than in all of my prior jobs combined, not only about libraries but about the world and about myself.

But my job has changed me in some ways I can no longer abide. I do not like who I have become and I do not like what I have sacrificed in order to deal with the reality of my day-to-day.

This decision was not made lightly, and could not have been made at all if not for my husband’s dedication to my well-being. I have not always been good at discerning when or how to sever ties with parts of my life, but this time I do so on my own terms with my touchstones of honesty and compassion intact.

I do not yet know what my next venture will be, but I am moving forward with confidence and hope.

a photo a day, day 29

For the photo a day meme: a photo of someone you find attractive.

breakfast at kennedy school


a photo a day, day 28

For the photo a day meme: a photo of something you cooked or baked.

Really? I never take pictures of food. This prompt is so awkward.

Nothing to say about the #worldcup, so you get a food pic instead: eggs in ham baskets with breakfast risotto.

… not really. But it made me notice that for all the food photos I take, I hardly ever take photos of what I cook. I would like to change that.

Pictured above: eggs in ham baskets and breakfast risotto.

a photo a day, day 27

For the photo a day meme: a photo of last summer.

I don’t know how to take a picture of a season, but here is a gigantic lava lamp I saw last summer. I am in the window’s reflection, so I think this counts.

Dost thou dare to disappoint Lava Colossus?!

Only three more days in this meme, and the timing is perfect. That’s a cryptic allusion to something that coincides with my final post next Monday, by the way. I am very subtle.

a photo a day, day 26

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you at Christmastime.

This was taken five years ago by my friend and former coworker AJ while we trimmed the Christmas tree. One of the best parts of working at that library was trimming the tree in our lobby each year.

what if i plug this in-- *ZZZZOT!*

I have always loved holiday decorations, especially Christmas trees, and I look forward to having a tree to trim someday soon.

a photo a day, day 25

For the photo a day meme: a photo of a night you loved.

I am avoiding the obvious choice of my wedding, because you already know how much I loved that night. What you don’t already know is how much I loved the night that Hawk treated me to my first omakase at Zushi Puzzle. We ate so much sushi and drank so much sake and talked and laughed and Roger served me my first uni (sea urchin) and it blew my mind. I dream about that uni. Behold:

my first uni

Click through if you want the specifics of how Roger prepared it. That night at Zushi Puzzle was one of the best nights of my life. And now I am hungry.

a photo a day, day 24

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you that your hair looks nice in.

again with the hair

I am starting to dislike this meme. It isn’t the meme’s fault; it is a perfectly good meme. I am just tired of only being creative when prompted. Also, my hair doesn’t look very nice today and this reminded me of that fact. Blah.

a photo a day, day 23

For the photo a day meme: a photo of one of your pets.

I always post photos of Zen, so this one will be of Torgi. He is the cuddliest cat I’ve ever met, and especially loves head-butting for kisses.

'sted and torgi, kisses

a photo a day, day 22

For the photo a day meme: a photo of your town.

My town. My town. This subject is fraught for me because I have struggled with the concept of “my” in regards to San Francisco. Although I have lived in the Bay Area for 11 years, I still feel fairly detached from it. As a result, I haven’t taken any astounding photographs of this place.

That said, this photo captures a little part of my SF experience.

a heartfelt wish

a photo a day, day 21

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you wearing something you wore when you were younger but wouldn’t wear now.

Surgical scrubs and black lipstick. I have no idea either.

a photo a day, day 20

For the photo a day meme: a photo of something you enjoy doing.

This is a two-fer because I love doing treasure hunts and I love wearing awesome hats. Thanks to Dawn for capturing this moment!

Cygnoir and the Abominable Snowhat

a photo a day, day 19

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you at a restaurant.

Anyone who has ever gone to a restaurant with me knows I am usually taking pictures of what I am eating, not of myself. Good thing I usually dine with someone who likes to take pictures of me.

Back At Nell

This was taken during our honeymoon by FunkyPlaid at Café Nell, a Portland restaurant so fine I almost don’t want to tell you about it because if it gets too popular for me to ever eat there again then I will only have myself to blame.

a photo a day, day 18

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you at work.

I don’t have any photos of me doing work at work. In fact, I have no idea what I look like while I am doing work at work. That is probably for the best. But here is a self-portrait that I snapped in my office the day I kept getting compliments on my pirate costume … that wasn’t a costume.

avast ye blinky

a photo a day, day 17

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you drunk.

Ah, a chance for me to use the webcam archives! Here’s a saucy birthday wink from several years ago. Hello, younger, drunker me.

This meme is more fun with company! I love Jen’s, and can’t wait to see Adam’s.

a photo a day, day 16

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you at a party.

This is one of Ken’s, taken at a SFlickr gathering that fortuitously coincided with Emily Ann’s Bay Area visit. Also pictured: Ergazork, Elea, and Shannon K.

Pocky advertisement

I miss SFlickr so much.

a photo a day, day 15

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you and someone you love.

The wedding, as it happens, provided excellent fodder for this meme. Seth snapped this while FunkyPlaid and I danced to our song. I had imagined this moment so many times that it was hard to believe it was happening.

first dance

a photo a day, day 14

For the photo a day meme: a photo of one of your relatives.

This one counts double, because it is a photo of my dad taken by my uncle! O, yes, and I am in there too because it is another wedding photo. Are you getting tired of these yet?

Father & Bride

a photo a day, day 13

For the photo a day meme: a photo of your best friend(s).

I wanted to wait until I had a photo of FunkyPlaid with my Attendants of Awesome from the wedding, but this will have to do. Courtney took this of my five Attendants of Awesome – Lara, Hawk, Ryan, Courtney, and Jason – plus me and my mom! We had just gotten our nails done for the wedding.

Toesies done!

We all had brunch at Samovar first, and then went to B Restaurant for cocktails before heading to Zaza Nail Spa. It was a perfect day.

Not pictured: my stepmom and my mother-in-law, but they always deserve a mention.

a photo a day, day 12

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you.

There are many photos of me smiling, but I like this non-smiling self-portrait taken three and a half years ago. I unwittingly captured something essential about that period of my life, something I remain unable to describe in words.

about five o'clock

This is best viewed larger on a black background.

a photo a day, day 11

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you in your twenties.

I am not exactly sure when this was taken – likely in 1994 or 1995 – but I would recognize that decor anywhere. It’s Perkins Family Restaurant in Meadville, Pennsylvania! I spent so much time there that sometimes I even revisit it in my dreams.

[caption id=“attachment_4845” align=“aligncenter” width=“300” caption=“halsted at perkins”]halsted at perkins[/caption]

a photo a day, day 10

For the photo a day meme: a photo of you as a child.

wee me

I think I was 4 years old in this photo. I have a vague memory of this moment, of propping my little elbows up on the carpeted object per the photographer’s instructions.

a photo a day, day 9

We’re home! Back to the photo a day meme: a photo of your family.

the fam

I had to cobble this one together with the help of Diptic. The top photo was taken by our dear friend Courtney for the jigsaw puzzle we had custom-made for our wedding. Zen is pictured at bottom left, and Torgi is pictured at bottom right.

a photo a day, day 8

For the photo a day meme: a photo of your favorite band/musician.

[caption id=“” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“we rule”]we rule[/caption]

In November of 2003, my friend David and I had our picture taken with John Flansburgh and John Linnell of They Might Be Giants at their “Bed Bed Bed” book signing at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books.

a photo a day, day 7

For the photo a day meme: a photo of someone you love.

Another easy one: FunkyPlaid at Kennedy School in Portland.

[caption id=“” align=“aligncenter” width=“375” caption=“breakfast at kennedy school”]breakfast at kennedy school[/caption]

a photo a day, day 6

For the photo a day meme: a photo that makes you laugh.

Taken in Edinburgh by our friend Seth, this one speaks for itself.

[caption id=“” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“nutso, by thalamus”]nutso[/caption]

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I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.