Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Dear Martha,

I am so sorry you will not be able to spend your sentence back East. I know it meant a lot that your Mother would be close to you. Being confined to a part of the south could be worse. They do call it "Camp Cupcake" not that its any consolation. I'd be devestated if I had to stay in the south for that length of time. My best wishes to you.

Your dearest fan,



I am a chronic worrier. Since I was a kid. I remember my fourth grade teacher telling my parents I worried more than all the mothers of my classmates combined. My fifth grade teacher (who was also a Mortician) told my parents that if I didn't stop worrying, I would be consumed. You can only think of what my vivid 5th grade imagination made that phrase mean.

As life went on, life got good. I ended up with lots of nice what-nots and pieces of momento-mori. A home filled with lovely things.

Right now, I am taking preservation management, and have become obsessed with emergeny planning. A dear friend lost his family home in Kingston, Jamaica thanks to Ivan. Another friend lost her home to fire last week. In a nutshell, I had to ask myself, "Am I prepared for disaster?" I surprised myself with a resounding "no".

So, I joined the ranks of the insured. I now have a substantial amount of renters insurance. A neighbor told me she paid "about 100 dollars a year". I went to the same place. After the assessment of my property..lets just say my insurance costs a lot more than 100 dollars a year. Damn deco leather furniture. Damn Johnson Brothers china for 8. Damn original art work. Damn expensive taste. But at least my disaster plan is part way there. As of now, I figure come fire or flood...the cats will get shoved in pillow cases along with a family album, my cufflink/watch box, and my prayer shawl. Oh yeah. I'll grab my boyfriend too.

So, my next step in disaster planning is creating a catalogue of my belongings. Thank G-d for Excel. Ooooh, maybe I'll venture into the world of Cindex. It even sounds sexy.

Moral of this blog: I need a cigarette right now. I can't even think of disaster planning!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

They Can Hear You

I have promised no more public library stories, and to that I am sticking to my guns. However, I can extrapolate fine points of etiquette and convey them to you my fellow librarians, and other devotees. (please pronounce that deh-voh-tays).

Believe it or not, non-English speakers are not deaf. I know, I know. I'm always breaking stories here at WDL. But this one is true. Foriegners, or as the French say l'√Č not need you to raise your voice to them.

It is also impertinent to lean in to the conversation and also to wildly gesticulate. They are not lip readers, so a good Donatella Versace after collagen impersonation is equally unhelpful.

I bring this to your attention because at some point in my recent past, I actually witnessed this. I was terribly embarrassed that I saw it happening.

Perhaps the speaker thought that added volume and body language would some how transform our native tounge to a version of Cantonese that no one has yet to hear of.

Moral of this blog: Invest some time with Berlitz. Its much easier.

Friday, September 24, 2004

I'm not eating that

While discussing a dinner party with a friend, we decided that a lasagna dinner party was best for the large number attending this sit down venture.

If you know me well enough, you know that I often speak slower than my mind thinks...resulting in my mouth trying to say several things at once. This was the case last night when I combined the terms "veggie" and "lasagna" to form one of the most jaw dropping foul words I've every jumbled.



Say it a few times. I almost died after I said it. My dear dinner party compatriot dropped her jaw in near horror and amusement..knowing in real life that a word like that would never cross my lips.

Moral of this blog: No, Eve Ensler is not on my invite list.

Blog Lessons

Seems that Penny made a bad choice. This is a valuable lesson learned. These little on line journals are gaining more and more popularity. We must remember that they are publications...not just boring old web pages.

Speaking as a media darling, I would like to ask that bloggers obey the rules that we should all follow. There is not much to it...but in my world everything has a social etiquette attached. We don't want to be a Penny.

A few things to note:

*Don't use real names. Be creative, this is part of the blog adventure.
*Don't give geographic locations that can be tied to yourself. Great, be a librarian in Idaho. Thats all we need to know.
*Don't give out phone numbers, unless you are a blogger-cum-Madame
*Update frequently. You'd hate it if your favorite magazine randomly sent out issues.
*Do find a voice. Mine is biting, somewhat sarcastic & a tad homo. OK, a lot homo.
*Inside jokes are boring on a weblog. If we are all reading it, no one wants to feel left out.
*Be aware that more than just your friends read your blog. I'd love to think I have 26,000 friends..but I know I don't.
and last, don't wear a brown belt with black shoes.

I realize that last one had nothing to do with this, but I felt it was just as important to share that with you.

Carry on. Blog on.

Moral of this blog: Idle blogs are the devils workshop.

PS To all the Jews, don't forget to repent tonight. We only get one chance a year. Happy Holidays.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Moonlight Serenade

I need to stop already. Yesterday after doing my annual Thanksgiving Amberglass shop (I scored 8 amber wine glasses with the most gorgeously thin stems)I came home. Only to find that the little old lady across the street was having a huge estate tag sale. By 6 pm, the buyers were gone, and there was a lot of stuff left. A helpful sign read "It didn't go. You take it".

And then I saw her: the 1947 RCA-Victor Golden Throat of my dreams. And she was in a slightly worn mohagany shell. I could harldy move it by myself. Then a huge cocktail party distracted me, and I was off until this morning.

Wandering over in my housecoat and slippers, she was still sitting there. So, setting my coffee down, and holding my cigarette in my mouth like a pro-seemstress can hold stick pins...I carried it across the street to my driveway. After retrieving my coffee, I had to figure out how I was going to break it to my partner that we had a large new piece of furniture. So, without missing a beat, I polished it, and shined up her bakelite knobs.

When he rolled out of bed, I excitedly lead him to the drive, and he said while scratching his head in his monkey boy way, all while I was doing my best Carol Merrill I was delighted when he responded with an "OK. Where exactly do you want this?" SOLD!! I wasn't going to have to pout and point out all its fine features as I had planned in my well groomed head. Its now in the sitting room, and I've even taken the delicious Maize striped fabric off the big speaker panel. I'm soaking in baby shampoo right now (thats how you clean old me). Its going to look simply tremendous.

My fantasy of living in the 1940's is blossoming right infront of my very eyes. I can't wait to put on some Glenn Miller and drink some wine in the comfort of my Post War sitting room.

Moral of this blog: "we meet, and the angels sing!"

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Dear Well Dressed Librarian

Due to an overwhelmingly popular response, Dear WDL is back again. I didn't have to dig too deep into my mailbag to share the following with my adoring public:

Dear WDL,

I was reading your blog, and thought to myself "oh my G-d, I've slept with him". Is it possible that you and I had the romantic rendez-vous that I am recalling?

Remembering the Ride

Dear RTR,

While it is all too possible that at one point during my undergraduate career I did help you wrinkle the sheets, I regret to inform you that I do not recognize you, despite the helpful pictures you attached. As a librarian wanna be, I have kept documentation of all my fast times at Ridgemont High in a little handy source I like to call my journal. A quick cross reference has revealed that indeed I am not the lover you recall. I might suggest that you keep a similar record, to help avoid regression therapy induced memories of lost love.

Dear WDL,

I am not gay. People think I am gay all the time, because I carry a "murse" as you call it, and have clean finger nails. I had a girlfriend last year, but she moved to Topeka after college to work for her Grandfathers business. I don't think its bad that people think I'm gay, but its hard for me to meet girls because I am so shy.

Makin' my own Vagina Collage


Not exactly a soliciation for advice, is it? People probably don't think you are gay because you carry a murse, and have no girlfriend. People know you are gay. You probably do too. Its actually a lot of fun. Lots of people sending invites to "fix you up with the other gay person" they know, people always thinking you know more about fashion and interior design, and you get the most thoughtful gifts around the holidays...most of which are household appliances and coffee table books about pets. If you think having dirty finger nails will "set you free", then I suggest a good scrape in the sod and buy a briefcase. Perhaps this will convince your cronies that you are not really WDL wanna be. At any rate, I'd start by throwing away all the International Male Catalogues you have hiding under your bed. Bonne Chance. If you understood that, all bets are on :you are gay.

Dear WDL,

First, your blog is great, always makes us laugh...we read it in the office outloud. Second, I was wondering what your take is on casual Fridays?

Desk Jockey

Dear DJ,

How flattered I am to know that I am as enjoyable as I think I am. I'm happy to imagine you all huddled around like a family listening to an FDR fireside chat. So, my take on casual Friday....I'd say that it seems to have sprung a leak. Seems like every day of the week has become casual. Anything that includes denim jeans is casual. Any Men's top that doesn't have buttons is casual. This brings me to my chief concern: casual Friday is really more like "I got out of bed and came to work" Friday. Sweatpants, sneakers, non-work related logo-t's. In an idea world, casual Friday's would mean men wore jeans instead of dress trousers. All the other parts stay the same: Loafers, button down shirts, blazers, and a belt that matches. Women, this means khaki's, and a cardigan over a blouse or well fitted pullover. In the winter, this can include ribbed "skinny" sweaters with jeans (which should be ironed people). Ladies can spice this up with a broach, or my favorite..draped pearls.

I could go on for days. This is a passionate subject for me. Thank you for listening, and continue to "gather round" to read me.

Dear WDL,

How do you feel about food in the library? You seem to have a lot of pet peeves...wondering if this was one of them?


Dear Marvin,

Snacks + books = Barnes and Noble. Call me old fashioned, but I don't like to see food in the library. I recall several instances of it, and none of them were what I'd call "neat and tidy". If the library has an annex with a cafe or snack machine where they could eat it, then a tentative OK. If they can sit and have a ham sandwhich while reading Time magazine, I draw the line. It soils the books. I guess in a public library where materials have a high turn over anyway, it might be more acceptable. A resounding 'no' to academic libraries and research libraries. Corporate libraries? Usually the people are too busy drinking cocktails to eat. Well, I was usually to busy having cocktails to notice if they had food. That seems to answer your question, and yes dear Martin, I do have a lot of pet peeves. By sharing them, I in a way provide fodder for my adoring public.

Moral of this blog: Keep writing, I'll keep answering.

Happy New Year

La Shanna Tovah!! It means happy holidays. What to do for the Jewish New Year? It is a time spent getting in touch with loved ones. Only, I call my Mother and Grandmother every day...and talk to my whole family at least once a month. (Thank
G-d for my phone plan!) So, mission accomplished. Resolutions? Its not quite like the other New Year where you get all dressed up, and then get hammered, and resolve to quit smoking and swearing...and then wake up the next morning saying "where the fuck is my lighter?" Those don't work. Plus the "other" New Year isn't religious...G-d watches this one. Its like having a supervisor that won't stop. That is why I have to be such a chronically good boy.

At any rate, I worked. I know I wasn't supposed to, but I did. Which brings me to my next point. My blog has been discovered. It was brought to upper administrations attention by a person who belived they were "doing the right thing". Its a bit more involved than that, but this is what it boiled down to. G-d knows I have enough to write sorry kids. No more public library stories.

It was fun when I was anonymous. If any of the upper admin (namely security and a regional director) would have stumbled across this before they would have had no idea that I was mentioning (without naming names) our library. I am no longer anonymous. They were given the inside scoop, this blog has a face now. So upper admin..a few things you should know:

*I enjoy cheesecake
*I wear a size 11 1/2 shoe
*When I was a kid I was obsessed with Gumby
*I'm a Jewish homosexual with a penchant for expensive things
*I am paid 9.47/hr as a paraprofessional.
*The health insurance offered would consume an entire pay check and a half a month if I opted it for it
*Nepotism rules don't exclude homosexual lovers from working together

Well, thats enough information. Happy New Year anyway. Even to upper administration.

Moral of this blog: See what a little creative writing can do? Start a blog!!

Friday, September 10, 2004

I am trying to add a new face to this lifeless blog, only my HTML skills are about as polished as an old pair of wingtips.

Please email with suggestions, and I have lots of questions too. I'm really interested in buying my own domain name. Any advice? Any of you blog-whores ready to impart with a little tech advice?

email me. I'd adore you for years.

moral of this blog: Begging doesn't become a lady.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Oh, the Humanities

This is pretty much how I am feeling right now, and I will confess that much of it is my fault.

I thought it would be brilliant to get as much out of the way as I could. So I enrolled in 3 classes, and embarked on my practicum. How quickly I came to my senses after "sampling" each of the classes. After the first week, I decided that I was going to drop a class. I chose to drop "humanities reference".

It is amazing the internal process which I went through. I really gave myself a good beating up. I felt like I was letting myself down by not living up to this challenge. I would counter with sage advice given to me by my own Mother..."if a rose bush is sick, you'd cut away the bad to avoid letting the rest suffer." OK, perhaps a bit out of context, but very much the same thing.

Should I take a class that would make the rest of my work suffer? Of course not. Additionally, I'd already taken one reference class that filled that particular educational requirement. Relief, yes? No of course not, because I continued to bully myself.

My schedule was boiling out to 13 hours of practicum a week, 9 hours of classes, 20 hours of my part time job at the library, and then homework. This doesn't include doing laundry, tidying the house, going grocery shopping or anything else that would constitute normal life. Too much for this one here. I can rest comfortably now, and that is the story I will stick with. I have to. I can't afford a bleeding ulcer now. I'm prone to those you know...starting with my first one in the Fourth grade. I haven't had an episode since my sophomore year of college.

Now, I am going to my preservation management class. It is raining, and my dear has our car today. I will be forced to walk through the rain, because I have a fear of buses. Sort of a public bathroom, water fountain fear. I do look rather dapper with a black stick umbrella however.

Moral of this blog: Delicate is as delicate does.

Friday, September 03, 2004

German fire Destroys Rare Books


Read all about it here. It's awful.

Moral of this blog: Do not light fires in libraries.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Back at home

Now that I'm home again, and school is once again in session it is time for me to figure out how to keep sane dispite my schedule. This semester includes Indexing & Abstracting, Preservation Management, Humanities Reference, and last but not least, my tremendous 10 hour a week practicum at the post card-esque University. This is in addition to working 20 hours a week at a public library, and having to rival Mrs. Beeton in housekeeping.

In my spare time, to help contain my OCD, I enjoy picking flowers from my garden and arranging them on my mantle. I also enjoy moving the antique tea cups around, as well as switching around my Gorey pen and inks.

I plan to put a few more mums in, and have also started planning my Thanksgiving dinner. One can not go unprepared. This requires re-counting all the depression era amber glass that comes out especially for this holiday. Make sure I haven't missed a piece or used a saucer under a plant somewhere.

Most of all, I am terribly excited about the coming semester. Its going to consume me, so I might as well enjoy it. I am headed down a very well trodden path. I am excited to be a full fledged librarian. Do we get a little pin when we graduate? Like a pilot gets his wings? Something cute and enamel? Anyway, I digress.

Two more classes, and I'm done. May will be here before long.

In the mean while I will continue to enjoy reading Lancasters Indexing and Abstracting, cutting roses, and moving small Parisian antiques around on my mantel.

Moral of this blog: Dear G-d. I just re read this. How gay and uppity can I possibly be?

Home Sweet Nursing Home

I know you have all been eagerly awaiting my next essay on the life of the fashionably dressed librarian. For the past week, I've been dealing with lots of things. Death, Nursing Homes and illness. Ironically, each within its own confines..none related to the next.

First, the management class that I enrolled in was cancelled. Due to the untimely illness and unexpected death of a dear professor.

Then, I went to visit my partners Grandmother deep in the hills of Pennsylvania. After our first day there, I became very very sick. This ultimately ruined a perfectly good visit to see Grandma H.

The nursing home, as pictured above, is deep in the country side. A winding, tree lined, single lane street leads to this rest home. The first thing that struck me was its hospital like quality. Perhaps I've watched too many brit-flicks, but I was expecting a rolling mansion filled with old camel back sofas, lamps with beaded trim, and nurses who wore shawls and white caps. This is not the case at all, gentle readers. The nurses were apple cheeked and wore colorful pullover cotton shirts and white pants. The floors are all tiled, and the rooms were almost institutional.

To cheer Grandma H up, we brought boxes of her costume jewelry. Strings of beads, paste rings, and clip on ear rings. Such a simple gesture brought her so much happiness, and a happiness that was contageous. She is much more mobile and aware than many of the other residents in the home...and she talked about them freely..which served to amuse me.

All of this served to make me wonder, where will I be when I'm old, and what will be the creature comforts that make me happy? Some of the rooms were filled with pictures of family. Others had lots of curio-kitties, or ceramic birds. A few rooms had fresh flowers and a well chosen Oil on the walls. Everyone was dressed for comfort and convenience.

I contemplated my future life in a nursing home. I do not know a day that I do not wear a button down shirt, that requires a good pressing before wearing. I wear cologne. No time for that in a home. No cologne...someone may be allergic. No coffee. People who don't talk, just sit in the halls in wheelchairs. I couldn't do it. Would I even be allowed to have a bookcase filled with a few of my favorite volumes? Probably not, they attract dust, which is a huge no-no.

I've decided I will be old at home. I will die behind a reference desk at a ripe old age; much to the astonishment of the patron who will be asking me a question when my ticker deicides to quit. Drama ensues. I love it.

I will not have my life taken away. Grandma is happy. She had 7 kids, and she said she is done fussing and being a care taker, she says its time for someone to take care of her. While she is in a great place, I know its not the one for me.

Moral of this blog: Why am I worried? I plan on celebrating my 29th birthday the rest of my life....