Brief Update

OK, so there’s no secret that I have been a complete slacker about updating this thing. It’s been, what, about a year since my first, and only, blog post? I’m doing so well at writing every day and all those grand things I said I’d do in June of 2009. 😛 Anyway, before I get started trying to post regular,  serious updates at the urging of some friends of mine, I decided to catch everyone up on what I’ve been doing.

Shortly after I posted the initial post here my wife got laid off from what was, at that time, her job. We realized that without any guarantee of her income, and with me making peanuts as a high school special education aide, we couldn’t continue to live in our nice, but pricey, apartment in St. Paul. So we wound up moving in with Andrea’s Grandma Determan while she looked for work. Unfortunately, Grandma lives in Long Lake, which is about forty miles from St. Paul, so it wouldn’t have been economical for me to remain at my job, which meant I was unemployed starting in late September of 2009.

Andrea got hired on at a different charter school for the 2009-2010 school year, so we were making enough income to survive on, given that we were paying next to no rent and living with family. I looked for work while we lived there, trying a few (failed) online work options and other “getting by” sorts of jobs. Our internet at Grandma’s was poor satellite internet, though, through a company called WildBlue (shudder – trust me, we DON’T recommend them) and so the incentive to get on the Internet and document my job search was low. My LOTRO characters also took about a 6-month vacation.

Anyhow, in January of 2010, after a couple of failed interviews and a whole lot of rejection letters from submitted resumés,  I got an interview with the public library in Park Falls, WI. I had gone to college and grad school at UW Schools, so I was intrigued to get an interview for a position in Wisconsin, even though Park Falls is located in the approximate middle of nowhere. The interview was for a Children’s Librarian position, and I was hired in late January to start in March.

This was, and still is six months later, the most exciting thing that has or will happened to me in 2010. However, it created a time of big transition in my life.

First thing, for those who don’t know, is that I didn’t have my driver’s license when I got hired for this position. There are many, complicated reasons for this, which I won’t go into here. This would make relocating to Wisconsin more complicated, as I would have had to re-apply for a Wisconsin permit by taking the WI written test and all of that over again. Thankfully, though, I was able to pass my driver’s test in MN before the move, so I had a driver’s license that I could just transfer over when I became a Wisconsin resident (phew!). So, even though I had a ten-year learning curve, I was able to drive to Wisconsin… and back to Minnesota, too.

This was a really good thing, because Andrea decided to remain at her job in Minneapolis for the rest of the 2009-2010 school year. That might have been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with: three and a half months living as a bachelor after having been married almost three years. We made do by alternating our weekends: on the weekends I had to work, Andrea came to Park Falls, and on the weekends I didn’t, I drove to Minnesota and spent time with her. It was tough, but both of us (and our marriage) survived it, and I think we value one another a lot more now because of that time.

So it wasn’t until the middle of June that we were really “settled” here in Park Falls. We have a nice one-and-a-half story house that we’re renting from a woman in the area, and Andrea is looking for work (funny how we keep trading places on that score). She hasn’t found a teaching position up here yet, but she does have two part-time gigs that she’s usually able to parlay into about a forty-hour work week, so she’s finding ways to help me pay the bills (and hopefully, take our student loans out of forbearance soon).

My job, to be blunt, is a dream job. I am the Children’s and Youth Services Librarian, and I have almost complete departmental control over our children’s collection and children’s programming. I have created a YA fiction section called The Lair here (Young Adult fiction, the current terminology for “teen literature”) and started a teen advisory group called BookForce. I immediately got drawn into Summer Reading, which I have been doing weekly programming for since the middle of June. That wraps up on September 3rd, and then I’m off to find myself some big projects I can do during the winter (my sights are set on non-fiction, for starters). I plan to try to keep this blog up-to-date with my adventures in librarianship from now on, as well as with some political and religious blogging I’ve been meaning to do.

So that’s the news from me, at least for now. Goodnight, and good luck.


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