A Cup of Chaos // life updates + library stories + a cursed banana

Hello, my friends! My presence hasn’t cursed your Thursday in several weeks! The reason for this absence is fairly simple: I’ve been slowly crushed beneath the inexorable weight of the universe and the relentless pressure of deadlines busy. Apart from taking on some new projects and plowing through the old ones, my library job invaded the rest of my free time, since I’m now working extra hours and being trained in new departments. (Marty, if you’re reading this, I want a raise.)

(I’m kidding. Please don’t fire me.)

Apart from the soul crushing aspects of life (like having a full-blown identity crisis and almost abandoning my entire writing career to become a forest-dwelling recluse whose life revolves around baking bread) and the hectic aspects of life (going on a two-week trip with my aunts while trying to finish three impending deadlines and getting deliriously ill as a result – proud to say I still finished the deadlines, despite being on death’s door), my life has been the usual random, chaotic experience. Which means weird encounters with weirder people.


I was minding the library front desk one day when I was accosted by an incensed patron.

“I’m offended,” he said.

That’s never a good way to start a conversation.

“I’m offended,” he repeated. “This library doesn’t have any practical books about witchcraft.” (At this critical juncture, I finally noticed his pentagram tattoos.) “I found the witchcraft section, but the only books were about witch hunting!”


An understandable sentiment, though I didn’t know how to tell him I was the last person to go to for sympathy on the trials and travails of occult racism. He then wrote down approximately 30 recommendations for quality witchcraft books, armed me with this list, and took himself off.

I never had the heart to tell him our director intentionally purged the occult books from the system and threw them out.

My local newspaper had one job. ONE. Yet they still failed.

One day a patron came into the library to pay an overdue fine. It was only a few dollars, but all he had was $20 bill.

“That’s okay,” he said as I started to get him cash back. “Keep the change.” Then, as he was halfway out the door again, he paused, grinning fondly in remembrance. “I actually used to steal money from this library when I was a teenager, so I guess I’m just paying my debt! Anyway, see ya!”

And with a casual wave, left.

As if he hadn’t just confessed to being a criminal.

Some of my friends set up a booth in a local craft fair, so Mom and I decided to show support and go hang out with them.

“Show support” being a very loose term and more of an excuse to stuff ourselves at the Mexican food truck.

Best quesadilla I’ve had in years.

Another good way to show support was loitering at the booth two rows down, for obvious reasons:

Furry saliva catapults make good friends.

A friend taught me how to make cursed bananas, not knowing she was opening Pandora’s box.

I’ve been terrorizing my family with them.

The YA and children’s section at my library is pretty shabby, consisting mostly of vampire romances and gay love-triangles, so I decided to step up my infiltration and blackmail the director recommend a few of my favorite books for purchase.

A few weeks later, these beauties arrived in the mail.

I experienced a sense of quiet triumph when the very next day, a little boy snatched the first Wingfeather book off the shelf and carried it around with him like a prize of conquest. Since that moment, I’ve kept these books on display at all times and they’re in constant circulation.

I feel like a twaddle-fighting librarian vigilante.

Mom and I recently went on an extended thrift-shopping trip with a few of my aunts through Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. We were at a thrift-store in the depths of Virginia when I bumped into a random woman in the clothing aisle. We both apologized and moved on, only for her to circle back a moment later.

“Are you Mennonite?” she asked.

(Because I totally look Mennonite. With my loose and flowing hair.)

She then asked where I went to church, and I told her that I was only passing through Virginia and my church was actually in Michigan. (And isn’t Mennonite, for the record.)

She nodded sagely. “Ohhh, Michigan. Do you know the Martins?”

…I did, in fact, know a family with the last name of Martin.

I stared at her. She stared back. I asked a few clarifying questions. She answered them correctly.

There, in the sticks of Virginia, 16 hours from home, I bumped into a random stranger and discovered that we happened to have a mutual friend.

One of my duties at the library is going through patron records once a month and shredding the old ones. They forgot to mention this in training, so I discovered it on my own after the filing cabinet became so full I couldn’t open the drawers anymore. Which led to the next discovery: My predecessor hadn’t done this necessary task in over two years.

I was shredding files for a week.

I’ve also realized that librarians are the most petty class in existence. We have our own small, incredibly annoying ways of taking revenge on books or authors we don’t like.

This is mine:

The only time in history when desecrating a book with a plastic library dust-jacket actually pays off.

My friends dress their tiny dog up in Hawaiian shirts, and I am in love.

He’s so tiny. I desire him.

As with everything in my library, the desk chairs are three decades old, majorly creaky, and on the brink of demise. Mine sounded like it was dying every time I sat down. This doesn’t leave someone with general confidence about their safety, and in a moment of benevolence, the director finally placated our nerves and bought new swivel chairs for the office.

With smug satisfaction, I shoved the old chair into the back closet where it would sit until it was eventually dismantled and thrown out. I closed the door on my vanquished enemy. I would never see the demonic chair again.

The next morning, I woke up to find my dad hauling a desk chair into his office.

The desk chair.

The demonic one.

“I was in the library after you left yesterday,” he said, oblivious, “and they were throwing this away because it’s broken. So I offered to fix it for them! You’ll have it back in the office soon!”

I’m pleased to announce I kept a tight reign on my Christianity. No necks were wrung or windows broken.

I did, however, ban him from fixing the chair.

So there it sits. In my dad’s office. For the rest of eternity. Where I have to look at it.

(He’s quite happy with it. Says it’s comfortable.)

(I, meanwhile, am waiting for the perfect opportunity to incinerate the blasted thing.)

I’m taking this moment to cram an unsponsored advertisement down your throats because it’s my blog and I can.

Image Credit: Megan Beery @ Cut + Paste

If Pinterest boards came in physical copies you could cut up and hang on your wall, comprised of art and photography by small creators trying to make their mark on the world, that would be Cut + Paste. It’s a magazine. It’s also a way to support unknown artists/photographers. It’s also heaven for tactile hobgoblins like me who hate looking at pictures on computer screens.

It’s also just really stupidly pretty and I refuse to shut up about it.

Megan Beery (of Peach & Poppy Co.) is in the process of getting this thing up and running, so if you would consider supporting her Kickstarter (or at the very least, looking at it because the video is gorgeous), please be a good human and follow this link.

(And for the record, I wasn’t asked to give this impassioned rant. Every few decades I stumble across a neat project and somehow end up making it my entire personality. This is one of those occasions.)

I have one last announcement before we wrap up this chaotic disaster of a post. For the remainder of the summer, I’ll be posting every other Thursday instead of every week. So you won’t hear from me next Thursday, but the Thursday after.

I would apologize for this sudden change, but the truth is, I value my sanity more than the weekly posting schedule does. You don’t want a crazy Sarah running loose in the world. Crazy Sarah doesn’t write good blog posts. Thus, the weekly posting schedule is getting the axe, at least for now. If we manage to survive the summer, posting will return to normal.

That’s all for today, folks! How’s your summer going? Have your shoes melted to the sidewalk yet? Does anyone still participate in library reading programs these days? Do you color coordinate your smoothies with your outfits, or are you normal boring?

See you soon!


44 thoughts on “A Cup of Chaos // life updates + library stories + a cursed banana

  1. I love your library stories! The YA section at my library is okay—it’s the adult fiction that needs some major purging. Once in a blue moon I find a book that looks decent and isn’t by someone with the last name of Patterson or Steele.
    And somewhat similar to your pentagram guy, I heard one lady come in asking for books on “esoteric energies.” She was in much higher spirits though. I think she was even singing to herself.


    1. Oooh that’s sadly relatable. Patterson, Steele, and Roberts have taken over. 🙄

      HA, that lady sounds like she had all the esoteric energy she needed WITHOUT more books about it. 😂 Reminds me of this lady who wanted book recommendations, and when I asked her preferred genre, she said “crystals and ghost stories.”

      You meet all kinds.


  2. AHHH YOU RECOMMENDED THE WINGFEATHER SAGA I AM BURSTING WITH JOY!!!! *clears throat* As you can tell, I’m majorly obsessed with it. But anyway, good for you for doing that, especially when the YA section has such a pathetic selection. Aww, I totally understand that sense of triumph when the next day, the little boy was carrying the first book around. *sighs happily* And that mutual friend story… wow. That’s so random and hilarious!

    Such a fun post to read, Sarah!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That… newspaper!!!!! *eyelid twitches* How on earth did they let THAT get by them???
    I need to learn how to do that to bananas. My siblings are ALWAYS eating them, so that would be fun.
    Dogs are always cuter when they’re wearing Hawaiian shirts.
    I always enjoy reading your posts! Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasted a front page headline too. I don’t know how that editor didn’t get fired. 😬

      For the banana trick all you have to do is take a knife and lightly trace words on the banana peel – deep enough to cut into the peel, but not all the way through to the banana – and then you just wait for the banana to brown a bit and voila. Magic.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You got the Wingfeather books in your library??? That’s amazing!! Now I want to become a librarian so I can completely revamp our selection… been requesting it for years, but we still only have ebooks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. *looks at newspaper* *screams in Luke Skywalker™* No…NO…That’s not true…THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! *inner self editor promptly dies*

    OOH. CURSED BANANAS. ME SHALL TRY. *evil cackles*

    *Gaspeth* Yep, I officially need Cut + Paste in my life. I ordered from Peach & Poppy Co. once and ABSOLUTELY LOVED the goodies I got, so I’m way too tempted to back that kickstarter… 0.0 Thanks for telling us about it!!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah… unfortunately they are not the kind of library to “intentionally purge the occult books from the system and throw them out,” so I bet it’ll take more than a few paper slips. But wow, those perks of a library job sound AWESOME.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. *gasp* You do that with bananas too? *highfive*
    I applaud your most excellent book selections for the library. I just finished crying my way through the last chapters of Empire of Bones last night, as a matter of fact!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good to have you back, Sarah! I like the sound of you new schedule; and I prefer a sane Sarah to a crazy one (well, as sane as is your norm 😉 ) Plus, fortunately for me, my shoes have not melted into the sidewalk. That will probably happen later this month lol.

    By the way:
    “Furry saliva catapults make good friends.” Especially if they have a cool haircut like that XD

    I’m also eager to check out Cut+Paste, so thank you for sponsoring the unsponsored ad XD (I also want your friend’s puppy. ‘Nuff said.)


  8. The witch guy should come to my bookstores and libraires- they’re filled with all kinds of weird occultic books 🙄. The cut and paste thing looks so cool. I’d actually love to supporting them. Thanks for the post.


  9. I actually finished the Wingfeather series last week! (And I haven’t really recovered … in a good way.)
    As a full-time college student, summer is the only time of the year where I’m not busy out of my mind, so I guess our schedules are the opposite of each other, lol. You’ve got this!


    1. It’s such a fantastic series! When I first started it, I enjoyed the first book but couldn’t quite understand the hype. And then I finished the series. And man. It’s devastatingly good.

      HA, looks like we’re living in inverted versions of each other’s reality….


  10. Oh dear *facepalms* that newspaper…
    Yes! Improving library content! Keep it up, twaddle-fighting librarian vigilante! Twaddle books are annoying and deserve precisely located tape.
    With a good sense of humor, it’s not so bad to have cups of chaos occasionally, as long as one takes steps to remain sane, of course 😂.
    Nice banana trick, btw. *stows April Fools idea*


      1. 😂 That would be awesome 😂 My sister isn’t waiting. She’s already started carving up bananas.


  11. “You don’t want a crazy Sarah running loose in the world.”

    *looks around in confusion* We don’t already have that? 🙃😉

    I do participate in summer reading programs still, even though our library has made it increasingly boring over the years. Because free stuff and I get praised for how much I shove off important responsibilities and read.


    1. Shhhhh I’m trying to gaslight them into thinking I’m not crazy. ;D

      “I get praised for how much I shove off important responsibilities and read.”

      Well that’s relatable.


  12. Puppies in Hawaiian shirts, talking bananas, and squeaky chairs? This blog is a gold mine! 😂
    Your library director certainly has good taste when it come to the books they buy (and throw away). And it’s such a glorious feeling when books you love make it onto library shelves…
    Ooo… Cut+Paste looks really cool… Thanks for sharing!


    1. My library director is the coolest. 😊 HAHA, YES! Putting that tape squarely across their faces brings me the greatest sense of satisfaction.

      Thanks for reading!


  13. ONWARD, BEARERS OF THE SAGAAA! Good job getting the Igibys in your library!
    Cursed bananas…I must do this…and no one will suspect the only banana-allergic person in the house…
    Might I ask what movie that very funny GIF is from?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YESSSSSSSSS! The Igibys deserve a place in EVERY library.

      The gif is from one of my favorite shows of all time, a period drama called Horatio Hornblower. The character development and relationships are stunning. 👌

      Liked by 1 person

    1. *absolutely howls*

      D’you know why? It’s cuz I don’t want to preempt you and steal the delight of YOU getting to tell them. I have to restrain myself, otherwise I’d be bursting out of the woodwork every time. As it is, I restrict myself to liking their comment, to show my support.

      *howls some more*

      This has made me happy. Profound apologies for disappointing you. Now I know I’m free to yell about it even if they asked you, not me. 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Neat! I wish we kept more bananas around the house. What a wonderful way to release your inner creep.

    I also know quite a few Martins, some of whom I believe live in Michigan. Don’t suppose you know the Ibbotsons, too? I like to think whenever those coincidences happen, it’s the Lord having fun with plot twists again.

    And I would totally invest in Cut + Paste. Briliant! I did basically that in a giant scrapbook for my cousin when she got married and moved.


  15. Wait! Wait! Martins in Michigan — you don’t happen to know /my/ Martins, do you? For internet purposes, our semi-anonymous Pastor Martin and his family moved there to take up a new (to them) church just last year. You guys didn’t happen to get a new pastor recently. . . ? (Be very cool if so.)

    A head librarian taking up your book recommendations is one of the best feelings. And seeing people actually reading ‘your’ books is one of the few even better things.

    People do still do summer reading programs — our kids’ one this year has more entries than ever before. Which is a nuisance when That Kind of Parent starts telling their kids what prizes they ought to take. Otherwise the kids are good fun.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s