Thursday, May 08, 2014

All of the Quiet People

I started off the morning with breakfast and more black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons. Mickey and Minnie appear in a play about "Ye Olden Days." Mickey is a wandering minstrel who has to fight Prince Goofy for Minnie's hand in marriage. He doesn't have an easier time as "The Mail Pilot," carrying the mail through wind and snow and dodging mail-snatching Air Pirate Pete.

It was past 11:30 when I finally headed out to the Haddon Township Library for this week's volunteering session there. It was fairly busy with people using computers and taking out materials during their lunch hour. There actually wasn't that much to shelve. I put away and organized the kids' DVDs as best I could (they have got to clear out the Scooby Doo DVDs - I saw two more on the media librarian's desk!), then shelved the adult titles and pulled a few foreign movies that belonged in their own section.

For the first time in a while, I took out a pile of movies this week. Ended up with new discs for Veggietales, a Star Trek spoof called Veggies In Space: The Fennel Frontier and the 2009 Angelina Ballerina, the rather appropriate Spring Fling. For longer movies, I went with two recent ones, last year's Dreamworks Oscar nominee The Croods and Thor: The Dark World, and the second Daniel Craig James Bond film, Quantum of Silence.

Made a quick stop at Thriftway on my way home. A recipe in the American Girl-based cooking blog A Peek Into the Pantry featured grits...and I've craved them ever since I read it. Since I was there, I figured I might as well get a Mother's Day card and a whole wheat turkey wrap from their small but elegant cafe area, eliminating the need for extra trips to WaWa and Dollar Tree.

Went straight home after I finished at Thriftway. In addition to the movies, I also took out a couple of books. They had the two newest Garfield comic books, Garfield: Caution Wide Load and Garfield Souped Up - I grabbed both. Saw a book of updated vintage cake recipes that sounded interesting. But the most interesting of all was Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking. Given I am an introvert, and a very shy, sensitive one, I had to take a look at that.

I ran both cartoon sets as I ate and cleaned up lunch. As mentioned, the newest Veggietales episode has fun with Star Trek in particular and sci-fi tropes in general. The crew of the S.S Applepies are good at their jobs, but not very good at sharing what they have, especially Captain Cuke (Larry the Cucumber) and his assistant Mr. Spork (Bob the Tomato). They're assigned to stop a pirate from stripping the energy from ships. The Captain and his crew are all ready to stop the pirate and keep the energy in their ship safe...until the pirate's sweet-natured nephew (Junior Asparagus) helps them understand what he's after, and why sharing is important.

I sort of have an on-and-off relationship with Veggietales. Some of their specials, like The Penniless Princess from a while back (which I have), are actually quite well-done and accurate. The trouble is, their bible messages can get preachy at times, and they don't always work well with the story being told (a problem in their Robin Hood adaptation). Thankfully, a creative story chock-full of sci-fi references (look for shout-outs to everything from Doctor Who to Star Wars to 2001:A Space Odyssey) and some fun songs keep the preachiness from getting out of hand. Well worth a look if you love science fiction and/or those Bible quote-spouting vegetables.

Angelina Ballerina twirled into the spotlight next as I made a simple dinner of grits and scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms. The title Spring Fling was a bit of a misnomer. One story was set at Halloween. Angelina, Polly, Vicki, and Alice are disappointed when their costumes don't arrive in time for trick or treating. They decide to use props and dance out their costumes instead - especially Polly, who learns grand leaps from the other girls so she can "fly" as a superheroine!

Another story sounded very much like what we went through this year. Angelina, Marco, Alice, and Gracie are stuck inside during a day in early spring that's still cold and snowy. To combat their cabin fever, the quartet do the most spring-y things they can think of - listening to Vivald's "Spring" from The Four Seasons, pretending to play baseball, eating lucky nuts from Iran, and coloring Easter eggs. The last activity makes such a mess that Mrs. Mouseling suggests one of the most "spring-y" activities of all - spring cleaning.

I spent the rest of the evening in the bath, listening to jazz and reading Quiet. I know I'm an introvert. I think I've known since I was a child. I work easier by myself, prefer to go out and explore alone, and don't handle social interaction well. It wasn't something the rest of the world accepted. I don't think a lot of people understood just how shy and sensitive I was...or that it was ok to be these things. I remember the school nurse questioning me in first or second grade because I was so freaked out watching the 1940s Disney short "Chicken Little," I got upset and wouldn't finish it. Nowadays, that wartime propaganda short is considered so disturbing, Disney put it in the "From the Vault" section on their Walt Disney Treasures DVD set On the Front Lines. In the mid-80s, the nurse simply couldn't understand why I was having the reactions I did, especially when the other kids didn't.

I have problems to this day. Part of the reason I gave up on traditional job searches were all of the jobs I kept coming up with wanted bright, chatty multi-taskers who could do everything and work well in a group. I'm quiet, reserved, and prefer to do one thing at a time and mostly on my own. I'm even beginning to wonder if I'd work well in an office setting. I don't do small talk, and I don't flatter. I'm hoping that the further I go into this, the more I'll be able to come up with what I would do well with.

Oh, and I finished that communications course tonight. I got an 86 on my final test...which means yes, I did pass. I mainly learned that I can communicate when I'm not communicating with hostile people, that my learning style is mostly visual (I see things around me), and I need to learn better stress management and try to relax while communicating.

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