Monday, May 31, 2004

Hollywood Librarians



With some rather fervent urging from my boyfriend, I was talked into seeing the latest world disaster picture The Day After Tomorrow . Of course I am always up for a date night, but I was astonished while watching the movie.

Librarians play a major part in the movie! And so does my one of my favorite library's.

If I were ever to become a public librarian, I would want to work for NYPL's Humanities branch at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street...where both Patience and Fortitude gaurd the doors of knowledge. This of course is where most of this movie actually takes place.

The librarians were not portrayed as bun headed shushers. Yes, they did wear glasses, but so do I on particularly "I feel extra-librarianish" days. They were portrayed as book lovers. OK, I admit. I am too.

Outside of some gratuitous book burning, which was obviously written in to test the strenth of the libriarans, the movie was a nice representation of good librarians. Keepers of culture, and doyennes of knowledge.

I jokingly told my boyfriend as we left the theatre "See, you have nothing to worry about. A NYer libriaran for a boyfriend. You're safe forever." While I seriously doubt I would have survived what this film played out for the characters is another story.

Moral of this blog: Libraries can survive flooding, flashfreezes, blizzards, and wild roving wolves. Just like a normal day.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Asian Delight



Part of being a wannabe corporate librarian requires me to attend cultural events, and put in public appearances. Half the fun of this is receiving free tickets to attend these faux-gala events. Last night I was treated to two complimentary tickets to see Margaret Cho perform live. I am reminded of how glad that I am to be both "a gay" and a democrat.

Her schtick included several important points that I will share with you.

William Hung does not represent all Asian male perfomers, as they all do not have down syndrome.

Her mother knew she was going to have a heart attack when her lately acquired powers of astral-projection failed.

The funniest part of the evening was occured during her discussion about the "morning after pill". In regard to making the drug prescription only, she wondered if people though women couldn't control thier bodies. "So, whats up with this? Do they think I can't control my body? OH MY G-D! MY Vagina has gone wild!! I can't stop it! IT WANTS MORE!! HELP MY VAGINA IS OUT OF CONTROL!! It's like a Fox TV special, "P*SSY GONE WILD!"

I don't recall laughing so hard at any corporate function. She got in plenty of Rush Limbaugh drug jabs, and lots of GW jokes. She even managed to make a few well placed Pope jokes, and to ice it recounted the Bjork attack of reporter Julie Kaufman in 1996. Very hilarous.

All of this reminded me of what I miss about corporate America. PERKS. And lots of them. Free movie tickets, swanky caviar & champagne mixers, proximity to large shopping facilities, massive paycheques, and a reason to rock some cutting edge fashion. I also forgot until last night how long its been since I last had a really good laugh. Has all this grad school practicality turned me into the shushing bun-head I wish not to be? Not yet. I still have one more year to keep the professors wondering what their field is becoming.

And one other point of note: it seems that there is no longer a www infront of my blog address. Please update this on your "favorites" list.

MORAL OF THIS BLOG: A good sense of humor will take us far in our profession. Never forget to laugh, just try not to do it infront of the patrons.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Death of Culture



Of course my latest obsession is getting aboard the Queen Mary 2, and enjoying a week long trans-Atlantic voyage. I was pleased to note that all dinners require gentlemen to wear dinner jackets, or tuxedos.

It then occured to me that I've never been to a dinner party that required a white dinner jacket. In my wardrobe right now, there is a sear-sucker jacket in khaki, a tuxedo, 2 formal suits, and a tweed sports coat hanging. I regret to inform all of you that I have not had occasion to use the tuxedo since the New Year's Eve party I threw in 1999 into 2000. I figured if it was the end of the world, I was going down with a champagne flute in my hand.

MLC recently wrote of the demise of the neck tie in his library. No librarian wears a neck tie in my system, spare the director. The occasion for formal wear has been lost. The occasion for semi-formal wear seems to be gone as well. G-d bless my mother, who still sports wide brimmed hats and gloves on occasion. This is the very woman who managed to pull off a Jackie Kennedy look for my college graduation, upon my request. I remember we'd go to Carr's, a big deparment store back home and shop. We always dressed to shop. The elderly sales woman told us that we took her back to the '40s. I was flattered. But has 60 years stripped Americans of any desire to dress up? What does it take these days?

At my OCJ, we'd dress up in suits and ties to go to the Silver Bowl awards, some men even sported tuxes. It didn't stop the man accepting the award from showing up in a button down shirt and jeans. Even corporate America has lost it's panache. This is why I think my destiny awaits me on the Queen Mary 2. They actually have a dress code. One that just stands to make people look presentable.

Is comfort such an overriding factor in our day to day that we can not look slightly glam? There is something very rewarding in presenting yourself gracefully. Perhaps I should resign myself and just start organizing debutante balls in Greenwich.

Recently, it has been intimated that my dapper look may disquiet the patrons, and I can assure you that my stomach sank. I'd never heard of such a thing. Pride in appearance is unacceptable? Perhaps looking slovenly is the wave of the future. I for one will not embrace it. I stand by the adage "look good, feel good". It stands to reason then that if you look like crap, you feel like it too.

Moral of this blog: Let them eat cake And I don't mean the patrons.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Too Perfect
You are the picture of mental health.
Everything has its place in your world, and it had
better stay there.
Stick in the mud might be a bit harsh, but DO
lighten up.


What's going on inside your head?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Trans-Atlantic Librarian!



It has been one of my endevors to bring to you the most fabulous librarian positions in the world. I seem to have accidentally stumbled across another one. The fabulous luxery liner Queen Mary 2 has a library on board. A fully functioning, multi-language collection. And indeed, she carries the only full time, at sea librarian in the world. This means there I could be the next librarian onboard!!

Imagine ME, deluxe, posh librarian. 3 piece suit, with a mauve rose in my lapel every day. I could slip away and take cocktails in the Champagne Bar by Veuve Clicquot. Imagine wandering around the deck after closing, and hob nobbing with the trans-Atlantic passengers.

Here, finally dealing with patrons who are confined in luxery, reading and relaxing on leather sofas in a room filled with mahogany book cases, and lots of brass trim. Ahhh, such is the life of a 5 star Cunard Liner employee.

Moral of this blog: Finally, a Queen fit for a Queen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Higher Education



First, apologies. It appears that my wireless technology will no longer allow me to access my blog. I have to actually connect the cable to my computer. Took me two days to figure this out.

Second, I have learned so much since last I wrote. My library mandates continual training for all employees. I finally was able to attend CLASS, something to do with customer satisfaction. Here I learned many things, things I've been writing about all along. For example:

1. You may encounter odorous customers. Do not point this out to them. If another customer tells you, please direct this to library management.
2. You may feel stressed. Take a one minute vacation.
3. If you are in a bad mood, fake it until you are in a good mood! (I did not add the exclamation point).
4. Screaming children should be dealt with.
and
5. Do not attempt to apprehend a library thief.

I feel with this knowledge, I am now a more valuable library employee. Who knew I might encounter "odorous" patrons??

Where shall I take my one minute vacation? And is it all expenses paid? Do I have to use vacation time?

I fake being in a good mood all the time. It does not put me in one later.

I deal with screaming children. The fun part was that it didn't say how. Perhaps this is left to our individual discretion. I vote for giving them Benedryl.

Last, I would never try to apprehend anyone. Not even if they stole my wallet. Do you know how hard it is to run let alone with an arm full of books? Besides, why run unless you yourself are being chased?

I'm sure there were more rules that stuck out in my bear-trap like mind, but those were the ones that amused me, and I tend to focus on what amuses me.

Speaking of which, we have a new page. I am actually training her even though I am a page myself. She is dillegent, and sweet. She's only 16 (isn't that a song?) and she is sooooo reserved. I have been trying for 3 straight days to get a belly laugh out of her. This is my new mission. Make New Page laugh.

P.S. I finished my first year of grad school. Im superelated.com. I even managed a B in catalogues. Who knew?

Moral of this blog: CLASS is in a class of its own.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Shanelle #5

This morning while taking my coffee in my beautiful new Johnson Brothers "Old British Castles" cup and saucer, I noticed a piece of paper blowing around in my back yard. Of course, I picked it up and read it. This is what it said:

Chris,
Let me get you're number. YOU IS SO DAMN FINE.

I go to XXX Middle School and Im in 7th grade I'm 13 yrs. Holla Back

-Shanelle


It was written on the back of a flyer for "Uninsured Week", a festival to help the uninsured get insured. I don't know why it amused me so much. I guess it took me back to a time when I too passed notes in class. Never did they say anything so forward. My notes looked more like:

Kristie,

Do you like the outfit I have on? Circle Yes or No
or
Did you notice I am using new product in my hair? Circle Yes or No

So, I guess I have been supergay.com my whole life. Is the fact that 13 year olds are trying to get some action a new thing or has this been going on for years? The other day at work, we were recounting how many "Freddy v Jason" movies DVD's had been stolen in the last month. This reminded the Other Handsome Guy that he got to first base back in the day when he went to see a Freddy movie.

My first base was my sophomore year of college. But it was worth the wait. He was pre-Med.

When I was 13, I wanted to be a librarian. Go figure. I gardened with my Mom, spent weeks on end at my Grandma's house, played with my Bassett Hound Shadow, and made fake radio programs on cassette with my favorite cousin (who happens to still be my favorite cousin). Sex never crossed my mind. Does single mindedness put us ahead in life? Is that why I'm where I am now? Or was it the overwhelming fear that not having a masters degree would keep me working in a subbordinate position my entire life...hmmm.

In reading my journal from 14 years ago, I have to laugh. I used it for my "research". There is a 21 page ongoing entry about Chinese Lanterns (Physalis alkekengi). It was my summer project to keep me busy. There is a similar one for Digitalis purpurea, or Foxglove . No mention of sex. Well, except for the one where I note that I "really think that my friend XX is cute, but I am probably just jealous of how he dresses."

Perhaps I am also inspired by Jennifer Garners latest flick. We just saw it the other night on a "date night" adventure. Ahh well. The innocence is gone now....

Moral of this blog: Shanelle isn't just a fragrance anymore.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Try ,Try Again



This one is for my dear friend who makes standardized tests happen.

Today a woman, probably 21ish...trampy, color in her hair that made her look even trampier...came over to the G.E.D. books. She was talking with Plaid Button Down Shirt, the Library Assistant. Let me recount the conversation for you.

Trampy GED lady: Yeah, this is what I'm looking for.
PBDS: Well, here you are..Petersons is good.
TGL: Nah, see, I had that one before.
PBDS: Well, this one here...
TGL: Yeah, I'll try that one. The other one..I'd do the questions and look up the answer in the back...and it always said I was wrong. I know I wasn't. I think they were typo's or something.
PBDS: Oh.
TGL: Maybe this one'll work out better. Thanks.

Moral of this blog: I'm sure it was the book that was wrong.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Ice Prince



Inspired by MLC, I have decided to compile a list of things that I should not do while I am at the library:

1. Raising my eyebrows when women wearing belly shirts come in.

2. Smiling coyly at female co-eds from the nearby major university. They just don't know.

3. Speaking with facial expressions when maloderous patrons come in.

4. Wearing french cuffs to work. The library turns them black.

5. Pretending I don't notice unattended children.

6. Tucking my shirt in while I am on the floor. It looks like I'm trying to, well, "go for it" in public.

7. Jotting ideas down for my blog, and shoving them in my very visable mail box.

8. Using Yiddish slang that no one understands, except me.

9. Mentioning multiple times during one shift that I only earn $7.40 an hour.

10. Trying to apply OCJ corporate ideologies to my public library job.

Nothing is life threatening, nothing that will give birth to my dismissal. I laugh a lot at work, and at inside jokes. Problem being: they are so "inside" that only I get them. I have applied for a customer service postion that will pay more, and I am hoping to secure that by the end of this month. That would be more fun, and I'll have deeper exposure to patrons who actually check books and videos out, rather than the ones who just sleep in the library, or pee all over the bathroom.

I think that people think I am an Ice Prince. I don't try to be snobby, it just happens sometimes. Never to the patrons. If I mention in passing that when I was little that I had a Nanny, its not to be mean-its just remembering better times. If I happen to mention that I didn't get my drivers license until I was 20, its not to rub in the fact I was driven everywhere, and not to point out my naivity to manual labor. If I happen to mention I purchased a leather sofa or new service of china for 8...its not to illustrate the fact I've never had to budget before...its to make people want to visit my little house. See? Erase that bitchy image of me right now. I'm as sweet as toffee pudding.

OK, its true. I led a life of leisure before I moved to Columbus. I am learning how to make it, budgeting and really rolling up my sleeves to bring home a paycheque. But I love it. I'm really good at what I do, and I'm glad I chose this field to express myself with. Besides, who would read the "Well dressed garbage man?" or the "Well dressed Asst. Dry Cleaner Manager?" People love well dressed librarians, and we do come with some baggage.

Moral of this blog: She works hard for the money, so hard for it honey, and you better treat her right. I do, I am so for real.