Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | December 11, 2008

Dear Diary (v.4)


Disclaimer: For anyone who is stumbling into my “Dear Diary” series for the first time, let me warn you…what follows may not necessarily be any of the following: interesting, coherent, grammatically correct, in English, funny or even remotely entertaining. Proceed at your own risk…


Wednesday – 10:06am


Well, I’m awake. Today starts my slow death-march toward Saturday. I’m currently signed up for three-consecutive overnight shifts, in addition to my regular daily shifts. As anticipated people have concerns for multiple reasons. Grace is worried I’m going to die a slow, painful exhaustion-related death. My boss, Maria, is worried that I’m going to be a worthless puddle of goo during the day and thus not accomplish anything. My Mama is worried that her baby boy is working too hard. Jackie is worried—or at least she should be worried—that she isn’t going to get to hang out with me during her weekend visit because I’ll be some sort of sleepless zombie.


Whatevs, time to get out of bed and start this thing. I’ve had a solid ten hours of snore-filled sleep thanks to two sleep aids and four delicious pints of Natty Ice. So let’s see where that takes me…


Wednesday – 11:28am


Awkward moment that I only want to share with close friends and whatever strangers stumble upon my blog…I was in the shower right…and I’m gettin’ my suds-on and washing my hair and all of the sudden, I get this weird shooting pain in my left shoulder blade. Now for those of you who are uninitiated into the world of Graves and body pains…let me clear a few things up for you. You will hear me bitch about my knees a lot. My knees are in bad shape and have been ever since I sprouted up about a foot during one warm Iowan summer. I’ll occasionally bitch about my back and neck because they often hurt, generally as a result of my poor posture (also—in my opinion—related to my freakish growth spurt).


What you won’t really hear me bitch about is something like shoulder blades, because if you do…it generally means one thing—lungs. Again for the uninitiated, I have bad lungs—or rather—I have a bad left lung. In 2005 my left lung randomly collapsed, entirely. Apparently it’s pretty bad-ass or so the doctors told me—repeatedly—and I went ahead and took my street credit (or is it hallway credit in a hospital?!). Well I had lung surgery and—in theory—my lung was fixed for ever. That winter I’d suffer another slight relapse and then again another time here in Boston last summer. So needless to say I’m sorta getting this whole collapsed lung thing down pat.


Anywho, this pain is bad—but isn’t collapsed lung pain—or at least not like any of my previous collapsed lungs. I’m still far more mobile and less short of breath than in any of the past instances. According to the folks at WebMD I’m suffering from one of the following: pleurisy, a collapsed lung, a heart-attack, a muscle strain, a broken shoulder, a pulmonary embolism or…of all things…a tick bite?! Well, I’m going to pop a few Ibuprofens and see if I can shake this.


Wednesday – 12:30pm


Well I’m at work now, finishing up a poem/email thingity-thing for the Rewards and Recognition Committee. I got voted to be the group’s official writer…if only they’d known that I tend to procrastinate on things like this. Well whatevs, the meeting isn’t for another half-hour I’ve got time to pound this thing out. I really like this committee. Believe it or not, my more natural shyness generally comes out when I’m on committees because I just don’t feel comfortable speaking up about stuff…but this committee is different. The whole point of the committee is to reward people who do great work. I think I can handle that. It’s a lot of fun. Thus far I’ve been one of the most vocal people in the group and helped determine the theme, food and a bunch of other details…in addition to becoming the official writer, good times!


PS: Pain…still here, still hurts. Bad.


Wednesday – 2:30pm


This place is like a ghost town today. I haven’t really seen anyone. The meeting went really well. They loved my poem/email thingity-thing. Which is weird, b/c I didn’t think it was that good. Although I tend to be pretty critical about the crap I write. That or the bar for writing has been set very, very low here and people will eat up whatever I turn out. Either way, it made my day.


Shoulder/back area is still killing me. This blows. I think I’m going to see if there is any pizza leftover from the “Food for Thought” event that took place while I was in my meeting. I am soooo hungry. I missed breakfast because of all my WebMDing…is that a verb?! Can I really verbitize WebMD. Wait…verbitize?! That’s not a word either. Damn…imagine how unreadable this thing will be by this time tomorrow if I’m using things like “WebMDing” and “verbitize” now…I mean seriously…I’ve been up for less than five hours. This is just sad.


Wednesday – 4:47pm


Awesome, I snagged some pizza and Ryan and I had a lunch date on the floor behind the circ desk. Good times. Today is the Barker Library Rock Band event. It’s got a pretty good turnout, so I’m super happy for Remlee and Amy and Maria and the rest of the crew who are hosting it. Everyone seems to be having a really good time. I ducked out early to get some work done. I figure the best way to prove to Maria—who is probably reading this right now—that I can still be productive despite working a ridiculous number of hours, is to go ahead and get my productivity on. So I’m setting myself up right now to have some good mindless binding to do for tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I can actually do that stuff in my sleep now, so it’ll be perfect!! 🙂


Note: Shoulder pain still here, still bad. It definitely doesn’t feel like a lung thing and I can’t help but think that if it were a heart-attack I’d probably have either died by now or at least stopped walking around so jauntily. I’m going to assume it’s just some weird muscle strain or something?!


Wednesday – 8:06pm


Okay, crap. I guess I’m more productive than I give myself credit for. I went ahead and did next week’s binding lot for Barker while I was on the desk tonight. Whoopsie. I guess I’ll have to start on the week after that?! When I’m gone?! Perhaps it’ll be a lot for my first week back from vacation?! Who knows…I’ll discuss my binding lot plans with Maria tomorrow…


Ryan was all sweet and messaged me to see if I was dying. Apparently it’s pretty obvious that I’ve got some serious discomfort with the shoulder thing going on. That kid is such a good egg. Without a doubt he’s my favorite (albeit only) work-boyfriend ever!


Time to head home, get something to eat, kick the shoes off and hang out with Grace for a bit before I have to wander back in.


Wednesday – 11:49pm


Okay, feeling good. Feeling refreshed. I had a lot of fun hanging out with Mlady at the homestead. She’s a pretty cool chick. I made myself a family pack of Salisbury steaks…the protein is very important for overnights…and gobbled that down. Grace couldn’t even look at ‘em, quite amusing.


I wandered to Shaw’s to get some overnight rations for the next couple nights and procured the following: one case Rockstar, one case Full Throttle, one bag sunflower seeds, two bags beef jerky, one just Gatorade, one case SlimFast and one pack Tylenol Cold. The logic is as follows…the energy drinks are a given, the sunflower seeds and beef jerky are to hook me up with some more of that sweet, sweet protein for a late-night boost, the Gatorade is because hydration is very, very key in overnight situations and the SlimFast is to keep me quasi-full whilst hooking me up with vitamins and nutrients. The Tylenol is because my body is going to be sooooooooooooooooooo f’n susceptible to illness by the end of this that I want to stave it off ahead of time. I figure that—in theory—last night’s sleep might be the last time I get to sleep until Saturday night. Throw in a library full of germs and sick folks and I’m a walking hotbed for germs. Thus the prevention! There was an interesting run-in at Shaw’s, however, I’m going to feature that little nugget in a blog of its own.


Unfortunately, I forgot orange juice in my haste. OJ at 4am is the ultimate energy drink. I don’t know why. I don’t know how, but nothing pumps a brother up more than a ton of that sweet, sweet nectar in the wee-hours of the morning.


Okay, loading up my stuff and off to Hayden. I’ll check back in after bit.


HEADCOUNT – 12:30am – 43 students


Thursday – 12:38am


Not much going on thus far. Pretty quiet actually for the first overnight; although I suppose the first weekend is generally when things really pick-up. Tonight my overnight partner is once again Greg “The Enforcer” Padilla. He is sporting a fancy shirt and tie combo that has me playing the part of the Pauper to his very stately Prince.


The shoulder still hurts, but I’ve found that if I slouch—more than normal—it hurts less. I can only assume that it has to be a muscle strain kinda thing. Anything more important than that and I’d be dead by now, right?!


Thursday – 1:09am


Okay, we’ve got our first weirdo!! Some dude in a leather jacket just keeps pacing back and forth. He walks all the way up by the desk…and then turns…and walks all the way to the back of the library. He’s done this about three times now.


…you know it’s going to be a quiet night when the weirdest person in the first hour is someone walking. *sigh*


HEADCOUNT – 1:30am – 35 students


Thursday – 1:34am


Still not much cool stuff to report on. The high point is this lovely young chicky-babe who appears to be giving me some flirtatious eyeballs from one of the study carrels. Doesn’t she know I’m a one nerdy-chick man?!


Thursday – 2:08am


It is still super quiet in here, very boring night for nerd-watching. Greg has done a ton of shelving thus far and I’ve just been chatting with people on messenger; which is good because it passes the time very quickly.


HEADCOUNT – 2:30am – 26 students


Thursday – 2:41am


So the Mets traded for JJ Putz earlier tonight. Yeah, I’m sorry folks…that’s how slow things are tonight. I’m forced to share baseball news that is already like three hours old. Many apologies.


Thursday – 3:16am


How can you tell when nerds are near their breaking point?! When it’s a little after three in the morning and someone sneezes and three of them shoot a death glare at the offending nerd. Poor sneezy-nerd.


Thursday – 3:24am


Unfortunately, the aforementioned Cutie McNerd is packing up and leaving the premises. On an unrelated note, Greg has been in the stacks for quite awhile now. I’m worried that his dapper attire has drawn the ire of some shiv-wielding, sleep-deprived Nuclear Engineering major.


HEADCOUNT – 3:30am – 17 students


Thursday – 3:31am


Greg is not dead. He was not stabbed. All is well; although it would seem that his shirt and tie combo is not the most comfortable outfit to be wearing at this time of night. I think everyone in the library after midnight should be in pajamas: students, staff, security, janitorial staff…everyone!


Thursday – 3:57am


I think the population of this bibliotecha is gonna be pretty sparse in another couple of hours or so. People are flocking outta here like crazy. I think I’m going to go shelve some books, I’ll check back in with all ya’ll at the next headcount.


HEADCOUNT – 4:30am – 10 students


Thursday – 4:32am


So when I was shelving, I had a cart that was chockfull of books about sex and I kept giggling like a school girl at all of the titles. I don’t know if that’s a sign of my lasting immaturity, my youthful exuberance or the early signs of sleep deprivation. I only throw out the latter as a possibility because I kept giggling at the titles of the books about Julius Caesar as well. So who knows?!


Thursday – 4:47am


Now I don’t mean this to sound rude or judgmental, but I really can’t think of anyone who is creepier than the night time janitorial staff. I mean seriously, these folks come in—by choice—in the wee hours of the night to clean up the library?! On any normal night this place would be in lockdown mode and to be perfectly frank there are very few things on this planet that are scarier than empty library late at night. I don’t know what exactly it is that floats these folks proverbial boats…but I know it scares me!


Thursday – 5:09 am


So check this. It’s after five in the AM and I still have yet to have a caffeinated beverage. That’s right folks. I’ve been chugging water and gobbling on sunflower seeds this entire time. No energy drinks and no soda yet. Go me! My legs are still bouncing like a crack-addict in rehab, so I guess that’s a pretty good sign that my energy is still up there!!


I should note that in an attempt to ensure energy drinks would be at their maximum potency during this three-overnight extravaganza, I haven’t actually had an energy drink since Saturday morning. In fact since that energy drink I’ve only had a total of six sodas as well. So my caffeine intake has been super low, thus enhancing its effects when I need it most.


Thursday – 5:22am


My computer is starting to freak out and act all slow and wonky. That’s not a good sign. I guess I’ll take this opportunity to go do some more work in the stacks.


HEADCOUNT – 5:30am – 5 students


Thursday – 5:41am


So every student on this floor is passed out. My favorite is when they do that crazy head bob thing. You know what I’m talking about; the one where they’re trying to fight the sleep…but only with their neck and only when their jaw hits their chest. Then they sorta lift their head back up a little and open their eyes for a second….and then close ‘em and the whole head bob process starts over again.


Always entertaining stuff!!


Thursday – 6:02am


Well, given the complete lack of crazy nerd adventures I’m left with the option of actually doing work. As such, I’m starting to plow through next, next weeks binding lot for Science. At this pace I’m going to have nothing to do with the rest of my week. Luckily Maria has a big project waiting for me after Christmas break, so that’ll be good. I’m quickly running out of stuff I can bind in either library.


HEADCOUNT – 6:30am – 5 students


Thursday – 6:34am


So of the five students we’ve got left in this place three are totally out cold and the other two are on computers. One is watching YouTube videos and giggling wildly on the second floor. The other one is sitting here on first floor and appears to be searching Google Images for a picture of a horse or donkey. There are two laptops just begging me to steal them and give them away to a family member for Christmas. There are at least four different book bags strewn about that appear to belong to no one in particular.


Thursday – 6:49am


Yeah, I’m getting pretty hungry. I guess if I ate my family pack of Salisbury steaks back at 9pm, it’s getting to be a long time. Perhaps the Slim Fast? Or maybe it’s time for the beef jerky? Tough decisions!!


Thursday – 6:52am


Just wanted to make a note…still no caffeine. Just water!! Who knew this was even possible?!


Thursday – 7:03am


Ah, there it be!! The sky is turning a lighter shade of blue. Morning cometh and damn, I’m down to the final hour already. That actually flew by. Gotta love it. I should go finish up shelving a second cart in this next hour, as to not anger the ghosts that haunt Hayden…


Thursday – 7:28am


I went and did a little more shelving and got a wicked case of the yawns. You know the kind; the ones where you just keep yawning and yawning and yawning. I hate those. Especially when I’m this close to the finish line…or is it the new starting line?! Just wandered back to find Greg missing, I’m going to assume that means he’s doing the final headcount and has not been abducted by bleary-eyed nerds.


HEADCOUNT – 7:30am – 4 students


Thursday – 7:46am


The minutes are slowly ticking away and then it’ll be time to load up my stuff, roll back over to Barker and start my next eight hour workday! Awesome…although on a side-note, it’s crazy how much a dude can crave Taco John’s in the wee hours of the morning. On the plus side the pain in my shoulder has largely subsided, it’s still there but only as a dull roar now. Gotta love it!!



  1. Glad to hear you finally broke into the Natty Ice!!


  2. I aim to please…


  3. I was unaware Natty Ice came in pints. That is just ridiculous. On the upside, I too love the boost of pure Florida orange juice in the wee hours of the morning.


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