Friday, February 26, 2016

Life Happens

Not sure what happened to the last six months.

Oh right. Full-time library job. Relationship. Holidays.

Truth is, I got distracted. By life. Who can blame me really. The past ten years has been full of so many ups and downs that it was nice to finally have a steady income with a regular job to go to. And then thanks to that job, I met someone that I wanted to spend my free time with. When I had any. 

I was happy (and exhausted), but I don’t regret a single choice that I made.

Still, in working that job as a cataloging librarian for this guy that had built his own dream library, (where I finally fulfilled my goal of becoming a professional librarian yet had to drive two hours a day to do it), I quickly realized that everything I had built over the past five years was going to have to take a backseat. There just weren’t enough hours in the day (or energy in my body) to continue to perform shows, work on my book, write for Creative Loafing Tampa, and sew purses. Did I mention I was still working one day a week at Barnes & Noble? And volunteering at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium? I never had a day off. I was running myself into the ground. This time, mostly for other people.

At first I tried to continue to do it all, not wanting to let anyone down (mostly me), but soon discovered that writing articles for CL at 3 a.m. after a long 10-hour work day, followed by making a purse or bow tie for a customer, wasn’t resulting in my best work. Most importantly, it just wasn’t fun anymore. So I took a leave of absence from B&N, CMA & CL. Then took most of my products down from my Etsy shop. My book shoved in a box in the closet. 

Meanwhile, the new guy in my life loved taking care of me. And for the first time in my life, I allowed someone to. I stopped trying to be everywhere to everybody and instead fell into the comfort of being in a relationship that mostly consisted of us staying home, cooking, and watching movies. Of course, the holidays were that much better having someone by my side at family dinners and to go do fun things with like tree lightings and trips to Key West and Miami. He was also the first person to discuss wanting a future with me so I started to consider it. It was all so wonderful, like a fairy tale I had cataloged in that beautiful library.
But when my cataloging job was over at the end of the year and I had put away all of the holiday decorations, (not to mention, my boyfriend going back at his job without me being there), I finally got the time to myself that I had been lacking. And, sadly, I didn’t know who I was anymore. I had spent so much time getting caught up in the role everyone else wanted me to play, I forgot about me, and what I wanted for myself. And then the things I thought I wanted – a job at a library, a companion – both took me away from the things that actually made me, ME!

The one thing I was absolutely grateful for was that I had finally paid off the credit card I had been living on the past ten years after deciding to become a librarian in January of 2006. My steady work on the cruise ship and at the library had both taken care of that. I was free. It was a great feeling. I could now start 2016 making choices that weren’t just tied to the debts of my past.

I’m now in the second month of that new journey and so far so good. I’m working a regular job again with great money that also allows me the time to work on my book that I really hope to publish this year. I got back to performing on Tuesday and it felt scary at first, but I soon remembered how happy I am up there on stage telling my silly book jokes and rapping about James Joyce in my parody songs. I also sat at the sewing machine and made a hat to wear at the show. And of course, I’m here writing to you after many many months. Sharing my story. Not necessarily funny, but always honest and real.

That’s what I figured out. 

Life happens to all of us. That is, if we are smart enough to let it.

Sometimes it opens our eyes to things we never imagined for ourselves, other times it acts as a reminder to the things that actually matter the most.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Get-Pop Cultured month at Barnes & Noble!

READ.

I had a blast working all of the Get-Pop Cultured events at my local Barnes & Noble in St. Petersburg this past July!  Like my creation of Stand-Up Librarian in 2010, it was a terrific opportunity to combine my love of creating literary outfits inspired by my favorite books while spreading the importance & fun of reading.  And to think the only reason I became involved was because the community relations manager had called me back in June asking me to participate in some discussions about To Kill a Mockingbird and to be a celebrity reader for their Read-A-Thon!  I just knew within moments of walking in that door and meeting the exceptionally kindhearted and cool staff, I wanted to spend more than one or two days at the store, I had to work with them every weekend and event!  And that's how it all began...the librarian soon became a bookseller too.


Now over a month and a half later, I have a new set of literary friends in the bookseller community and my already full closet is now filled with an additional 13 costumes I created just to tie-in to all of the events at B&N.  And if my time wasn't limited enough (yes, I am still working at the library & volunteering at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium), I just had to write a few articles for Creative Loafing Tampa to help spread the word on how much fun we were having.  A huge thank you to the great staff at Barnes & Noble for welcoming me aboard despite my very busy schedule and of course, to all of the customers that came to our events and had fun with us!!!  
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #GetPopCultured events
1950/Marilyn Monroe; 1960/Audrey Hepburn;
1970/My Mom's Leather Jumper
1980/Madonna; 1990/Hedwig Harry Potter
Doctor Who; Magic Treehouse Dinosaurs After Dark;
Outlander; To Kill a Mockingbird; DC Comic Days/Batgirl;
Minions
Dr. Seuss! I made the dress, bow tie, bow headband, purse
and a hat honoring all of Seuss' characters but especially
the one and only The Cat in the Hat!
Here's the links to my articles for Creative Loafing Tampa:
***For all of my photos from Get-Pop Cultured at Barnes & Noble, please like my FB page here.

With the awesome staff at Barnes & Noble St. Petersburg
on the very 1st night of Get-Pop Cultured #tbt #1950
Our Seuss Spectacular on the very last night of Get-Pop Cultured
celebrating What Pet Should I Get & Dr. Seuss!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Happy 5th Anniversary StandUpLibrarian.com!


I look at all of the things I have accomplished over the past four years as the Stand-Up Librarian from performances and events to literary purses and parody songs, but the two things I wanted more than anything else was to be hired as a librarian at a library and to finish writing my book!”

Me today:
Professional Librarian!
Finished writing book!

I should have also said “...and win the lottery” because here I am one year later with both dreams accomplished and all it took was a little patience. 

Okay, a lot of patience! 

Five years after graduating with my Masters degree and I was finally hired and started working last week as a professional librarian.  And the best part of all was that I didn’t have to fill out a lengthy online application or submit a resume.  I just answered an email, took a tour of the library, and said yes.  It was that easy.  Oh, and spend the last five years busting my ass so I could be ready when the opportunity eventually presented itself.  You see, I got the job not because I was a librarian, but because I was also the Stand-Up Librarian!  Or just had cute bookmarks, I'm not exactly sure.  Anyway,  I was approached at an event over a year ago about this job & it turned out the guy was serious!  Which makes me realize that wearing an outfit made entirely out of books doesn’t make me look crazy at all, but in fact, qualified!!!  But seriously, every single experience from the start of this idea I had five years ago to working as an intern, volunteer, assistant and library page, has led me to develop the skills that would prepare me for this very moment.  My job is to catalog the most beautiful library I have ever seen.  Thousands of books, DVDs, and other materials, sit in boxes waiting to be cataloged, covered in plastic covers, and shelved by call numbers, all without a staff!  Huh?  Wait a minute...  Still, to help build such a library (and be employed), is a dream come true.

Well, one of them, anyway.  The other dream is to be a published author.  And I am getting very close! 

Last September, I finally finished writing a book filled with all of my crazy stories since deciding to become a librarian ten years ago.  Only now, thanks to my new job, I finally have my ending!  As I edit the manuscript and target agents for representation and publishers for publication, I really hope that perhaps next year, I can again be writing on here that yet another dream has been realized.  Having dreams is what truly keeps me going.

But dreams are not enough. 

It is because of so many people over the past five years that my dreams for Stand-Up Librarian are coming true.  Thank you so much to the librarians and book lovers who have hired me to perform my literary comedy shows at your libraries and bookstores, and to host your events and fundraisers.  Thanks to the fabulous folks who have purchased my literary fashion accessories at my shows and my Etsy shop.  Thank you to the press people who have shared my story and promoted my shows and appearances, making me grateful that not every media outlet wants to cover the Kardashians.  Thanks of course, to my awesome editors at Creative Loafing Tampa for enabling me to become a better writer as a result of my reporting on such awesome events as the opening of Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – DiagonAlley.  Seriously, that was one incredible week of free butter beer!  To my family and friends who have stuck by me during the struggles and heartbreak of the early years by offering me places to stay when on the road or needing a shoulder to cry on when it seemed so many people just didn’t understand what I was trying to do – THANK YOU.  Lastly, to the unemployed librarians who feel lost, hopeless and want to quit…don’t.  I’ve got just the book for you if you can wait a little longer for me to get it to you.  If you can’t, start reading this blog from the beginning.  My advice is this: don’t doubt yourself.  The adventures ahead of you are endless if you just stand-up and try.

Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers 2015
Professional Librarian. Comedian. Designer. Writer. Publicist.
Advocate.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Just in time for April Fools' Day...the James Joyce Eye Patch!


Available for a limited time only...like probably just for today...
Introducing...
THE JAMES JOYCE EYE PATCH! 
The James Joyce eye patch.
Because if you are going to read 786 pages of Ulysses, 
why not really challenge yourself and use just one eye! 

100% cotton shamrock-print, fully-lined with coordinating green fabric. Dimensions approximately the size of a normal human eye. Perfect for any James Joyce fan, librarian or Irish pirate. *Print also available as bowtie and wristlet purse. Can do other custom eye patches pieces as well.  To purchase, click here.

For more information on James Joyce-inspired fashions & other literary accessories, visit Stand-Up Librarian Designs on Etsy by clicking here

Reading is never foolish but
Happy April Fools Day everyone!



Saturday, January 3, 2015

NCL in Hawaii




Happy New Year!!! I know, it has been over two months since I have written on here. I guess you can say my life has been in transition. I am working on a cruise ship. In Hawaii. Every single day!!!!. As a result, I have had little time to write an email, let alone sleep or post something on here. In committing to do this for five months, I've had to make some sacrifices & learn to live in just the moment I'm in (most of the time in a tiny cabin the size of one of my closets at home.). It has been challenging in ways I won't express right now but I am sure to have a ton of funny stories to share when this experience is over. Did I mention I am also in Hawaii? So yes, even when I am exhausted & lonely, wondering why I ever thought I could do this again after 10 years, something makes me realize I can. That I am strong enough. On Monday it was this sea turtle.

Mahalo, universe.







Thursday, October 23, 2014

Get Cursed at the Haunted Mansions of Central FL

My first cover story for Creative Loafing Tampa!
I love haunted houses. 

Maybe it’s because I basically grew up at Walt Disney World’s The Haunted Mansion attraction, where this year Disney is releasing Haunted Mansion Authentic, a large assortment of merchandise sold in a new store at the Magic Kingdom, featuring everything from dinner plates, bookends, and towels (sadly, no doom buggies), which means I can finally live in my own version of it (ghosts not included.)  I’ve also enjoyed visiting real haunted houses across the country with my favorites being the famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, The Whaley House in Old Town San Diego, The Jerome Grand Hotel in Arizona, and The Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada.

But what is it about haunted houses that make some of us excited to be scared?  How is fear actually defined? 

According to Dr. Machiel Kennedy, a licensed medical doctor and longtime leader in wellness and healthy living, “The acronym for FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.  When you are scared, you are turning on a part of the midbrain (the location for emotions and memory) that is fight or flight.  It shoots adrenaline through your body and you feel nervous, your heart begins to race, your pupils dilate so you can focus, you have acute hearing, your stomach and GI track turn off because you don’t need to be digesting, and finally your blood is sent to your muscles so you can either run or fight.” 

He also says that people like haunted houses because of the adrenaline rush they get, while knowing they are in a safe environment.  And no, you can’t die from being scared unless of course you already have a previous medical condition.  Which was good to know because I was about to visit seventeen different haunted houses in one week.

***Click here for more of my story about HHN24 & Howl-O-Scream in Creative Loafing Tampa.

Halloween Horror Nights 24 at Universal Orlando


Video interview with HHN24 Creative Director Mike Aiello.

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa:


Video of Dead Fall haunted house at Howl-O-Scream.

The Radley House in St. Petersburg:

Not to be overshadowed by the theme parks, St. Petersburg native Cody Meacham is the brilliance behind Radley House, a haunted house he started over eight years ago when he was still a student at Northeast High School.  Cut to 2014, and Meacham’s haunt this year is Dr. Radley’s Nightmare Machine, featuring a captivating story about a sleep therapist desperately searching for the answers to why nightmares happen, where visitors are invited to be patients.  Throughout the ten intricately themed scenes, patients can expect to encounter a creature and machine Dr. Radley developed for therapy treatments, amid an original score, captivating special effects, and handcrafted environments.  The Radley Haunted House is like no other Halloween experience in Central Florida.  It is also the cheapest.  A five-dollar donation is encouraged.

***Click here for my story on Cody Meacham in Creative Loafing Tampa.

With Cody Meacham.
With the Creative Team at The Radley House.
If You Dare To Go:
Halloween Horror Nights 24 at Universal Orlando runs on select nights thru Nov 1st, starting at 6:30 p.m. ($95.99, discounts available for Florida residents and annual pass holders, add-ons include front-of-the-line access or Frequent Fear Pass). For more information, visit: www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa runs Thurs – Sat nights thru Nov 1st, 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. ($89, discounts available for annual pass holders and at Publix & AAA locations, add-ons include front-of-the-line fear passes, VIP tours, Fright Feast.) For more information, visit: www.HowlOScream.com

Radley House runs Thurs – Sun nights thru Nov 2nd, 7:30 – 11 p.m. ($5 donation), 3900 19th Street North, St. Petersburg. For more information, visit: www.RadleyHaunt.com

Thursday, September 4, 2014