Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Well Dressed Librarian



Purely for your viewing pleasure, the WDL on Thanksgiving.

Consumption

Alas dear devoted readers, I have been stricken with the most intense self diagnosis: consumption. Many of you are probably under the impression that such a disease died out with the Victorians. I am here to correct this misconception. I was stricken the evening of Thanksgiving.

After I shushed the last of my guests out, and nearing an entire 24 hours of wakefulness, I retired to my bedroom. When I awoke early Friday morning, I could no longer take deep breaths and a racking cough shook my delicate frame. Alas, once I am awake, I can not go back to sleep. I ventured downstairs for my morning coffee, and was immediately aware that I also could not breathe out of my prominent, yet semitic nose. Clutching my house coat tighter to my person, I wrapped a soft cashmere scarf around my neck. Morning coffee just didn't taste the same, and my apr├Ęs cafe cigarette(s) caused me to cough even more.

Yet I could not retire to my bedroom. I had shopping to do. In hind sight, this was a perfectly wretched idea. After a brisk afternoon of fighting the crowds, I came home and tried to take an early dinner, but these plans were halted once I realized that I could not stop coughing long enough to eat. How completely unpleasant. Back to the house coat and scarf, and into bed. Which is exactly where I have spent the last 3 days. I am feeling better today-my cough is slowly disappearing, and despite the fact I have to omit milk from my morning milk coffee, I am now able to chain smoke with pleasure again. I've found that Baileys works just as well as heavy cream when measuring the pleasure factor in my breakfast beverage.

I am also aware that many of you are on the proverbial pins and needles waiting for the results of my tremendous Thanksgiving dinner. A complete success, despite the fact that I had one no show (and no notice). I promptly removed that place setting, and chair.

My first guests arrived at 12:30, lap dog in tow. With a few extra hands I was able to began my "wine tasting", and generally enjoy what I was doing. Prep work was all done on Tuesday and Wednesday-leaving all the cooking for Thursday. The rest of the guests showed up around 3 pm. Dinner was at 5, and much to my relief lasted for about 1 hour. There is nothing more disappointing then watching all that food disappear in 20 minutes after having slaved over it with such care for two days.

The vegan and vegetarians were delighted with their options, and I was informed by one that "I raised the bar considerably" in what she now considers standard Vegan Thanksgiving fare.

My favorite part is before we eat. I do not say grace because we all come from different corners of the "religious" world, and getting the thanks to G-d would take several prayers. Instead, I ask each person to talk about what they are thankful for. Despite the fact that I promised myself I wouldn't-tears came to my eyes when I thanked all of the people attending for being so dear, while my mishpuka was in far away New York. I realized as I said it that the room was already filled with my family-and this perhaps inspired the moment of damp eyes.

A dear friend said that she was thankful that "The holiday of Thanksgiving has been brought back to life" for her, and that she now "understood what it was supposed to be."

This was my Thanksgiving. 23 bottles of wine (breaking last year’s record of 18), kletzmer jazz, and lots of candles and tremendous home cooked food.

Now I have tired myself out. Next year I will remember to wear a jacket when I run to the store in 35 degree weather, and I will make an effort to wear a scarf when taking my brief "smoking" breaks.

Moral of this blog: Treat consumption by taking fresh air, and wearing cashmere.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving



Well, here it is at almost 7 am, and I've been up for 2 hours already getting ready for my big dinner this evening. Yesterday, I spent most of my day making pies...5 in all. Cherry, Pumpkin, and 3 Apple pies. I am finding this to be the domestic life that I wish that I could live all the time. There is something so relaxing about keeping house, I don't know exactly what that could be.

I have several phone calls to make today, including my best friend from college's Mother...who I have called to wish a happy day to for the past 7 years.

Todays dinner menu includes:

Soup:
Mushroom Soup (vegetable based stock)

Main Course:
Turkey (for the meat eaters) Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice, Cranberries, walnuts and hickory-baked Tofu (for the veggie/vegans)
Stuffing (2 kinds...Grandma Loretta's and one with soy milk and vegetable stock)
Golden Mashed Potatoes with Leeks and Sour Cream
Cranberry Relish (2 kinds...home made & from the can)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Steamed Greenbeans
Maple Glazed Carrots
Dinner Rolls
Wine/Water/Beer

Dessert:
Apple Pie
Cherry Pie
Lemon Pie
Pumpkin Pie
*whipped cream & vanilla icecream optional
Coffee
More Wine

I am hoping this is enough for my guests, I think it should be. There will be relish trays to start, and dinner is at 5. I've just finished the cranberry sauce.

I am extremely happy to have so much to give thanks for, including my friends, family, and stunning good looks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you adoring fans, and may your day be as wonderful as I anticipate mine being. And to my adoring Canadian fans, consider this my wish to you...only REALLY late.

Moral of this blog: I am very fortunate.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I'm thankful for what already?



I am thankful that I'm a Jew. And being that it is that time of year to be thankful, I'd like to help all of you have a little more Yid in your souls.

This handy reference work will do the trick, and may be one of the funniest things I've come across in a long time.

It answers all those burning questions you have, and introduces you to a vocabulary used by other fine people-like me.

Moral of this blog: Whats Nu*? Dick and Jane.

*For those who don't get the pun: "nu" is a Yiddish word equivalent to English words like "so?" or "well?," and can be used all by itself to mean "What's new?"

Monday, November 22, 2004

I couldn't resist this quiz


You Are a Flashy Red Bra!


Outgoing, friendly, and fascinating.
You're a charmer, with your pick of the men.
But you want a man who's as magnetic as you are.
You need someone who can keep up with your all night gab fests!




What Kind of Bra Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

New York



While I was unable to knash on a goodie from the Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery this time, I still had a wonderful visit to NYC.

I kept hearing "This is why I need to be a corporate librarian." I loved every fast paced second. I love people watching, walking quickly, smoking on the fire escape, getting fresh bagels in the morning...10 steps from my place. And the languages, and the skins, and the cultures all spinning around me. I'm ready to trade in this loaf of Wonderbread life that I have right now for something much spicier. NY is the place for me, and I've got to go back. I just don't want to be too old when I do it. A 4th floor walk up on Park Ave is going to play havoc on my knees.

I was able to go to the grand reopening of the MOMA. How tremendous. Lots of news coverage...I kept tipping my black wool newsboy cap down over my eyes and lifting my Burberry scarf over my mouth to avoid being recognized. Imagine a double mob scene...but it was the MOMA's day, and not mine..so I played along. I was able to see my very favorite piece of art by Max Ernst. Roughtly translated "Two Children being terrorized by a Nightengale". Awww, isn't that precious?

I was also treated to one of my other favorite works "The Lovers" by Magritte, and the delightfully lesbotronic work "Object in Fur".

My boyfriend was charmed by the work of Giacometti. It was refreshing to see that he is still keenly titualated by tall, thin, sharply featured men.

SoHo, NoHo, Chelsea and Spanish Harlem. Even ventured to Brooklyn to see some modern dance. Pina Bausch is amazing.

Moral of this blog:Knish or no knish, NY is delish.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Defrost



28 pounds of this once feathered friend are now defrosting in anticipation of being consumed by 20+ lovely guests.

I realized with my trip to NY coming (at 3pm today)I would not have time to buy and properly defrost my bird. Now some of you may be gasping in horror that I didn't call my Kosher Butcher and order this well in advance. I'm on a beer budget with champagne tastes. *how delightfully white trash to use that phrase!* Frozen is lovely when done properly. 4 lbs a day in a refridgerator will defrost. So, I'm fine. Anything still looking a bit frozen will be cured in the brine bath it gets before I stuff it.

Stuff the turkey that is.

I still have to put my product and other toiletries in my small carry-on valise. Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving updates. If anything, I will have you all hosting lavish dinner parties-even if you aren't a well dressed librarian. Which I hope you all are.

Moral of this blog: This is the only time of year I find myself sticking my hand wrist deep inside of anything.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Corporate Librarianism in the News

Detroit Carreer News September 10, 2004

Demand for corporate librarians rises

Information managers reinvent profession to meet modern needs.

By Kathy Carlson / Gannett News Service


When Kenlee Ray retired after 24 years with the World Bank, she first volunteered with a high school in Zimbabwe and then became an information-management consultant.

Her job at the World Bank?

Librarian.

Gone are the days of shushing and the Dewey decimal system, of linoleum floors and musty volumes. Now, being a librarian takes Internet savvy, organization, keen business sense and a touch of a detective's skills.

Librarians often manage a company's information resources, including "best practices" that successful company veterans want to pass on to a firm's new hires, Ray said. Another new avenue is corporate intelligence, or staying one step ahead of the competition.

It's all part of a push by librarians to reinvent their profession.

"We don't just live in the traditional four walls of the library anymore," said Mandy Baldridge, an account executive with InfoCurrent, an information-management staffing company. "We've made ourselves necessary to the organization so we can be in many different areas of the organization."

How librarians fare professionally and economically depends on how they define themselves, said Bonnie Hohhof, editor of Competitive Intelligence Magazine, published by the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals.

The future is in electronic information tailored to an individual's or business' needs, she said. Librarians need to work on a "higher level, providing information that supports the decisions of the company."

That's where special librarians come in. Most often they work for corporations, private businesses, government agencies, museums, colleges, hospitals, associations or information management consulting firms.

American Library Association data indicate that, as of December 2003, there were 8,350 special libraries in the United States, a figure that included corporate, medical, law and religious libraries but not public, academic, armed forces and government libraries.

Demand for corporate librarians is expected to grow. The out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. named corporate librarian as one of its top three hot jobs for 2004, with an average annual salary of $60,000-$65,000. That figure jibes with the Special Libraries Association's survey of members' salaries, in which the average annual pay was about $61,500 a year - higher than the salaries of librarians overall. Challenger Gray predicted more than 100,000 new jobs for corporate librarians between 2000 and 2010.



Monday, November 15, 2004

Back East



Despite the fact that my domestic bells are ringing as Thanksgiving nears, I have decided to take a small detour and go back East for a few days. I'll be catching some modern dance at BAM, sipping macchiato at one of my favorite cafes across from the now defunct Canal Street Jeans Company, and staring at men in Little Italy despite the fact that a)I have a boyfriend and b)They are probably Mafioso and straight.

I hope to take a picture in front of Patience and Fortitude despite the fact that they are both getting "make overs". Its tradition. I have way to many pictures like this. At any rate, don't miss me too much. I promise to come back and fill all of your hearts with stories of cheer and etc.

Plus MOMA just reopened? What are my chances of getting tickets? Hmmm. Better make a few well placed phone calls.

And do not fear. My Thanksgiving update will be posted soon. I'm looking at a sit down for 20, and more to show up after for dessert and vino!

Moral of this blog: Always travel light. Or just be light in the loafers.

Friday, November 12, 2004

What Not to Wear



Today I attended a professional conference in the big square state. It was a biggie too. I have never been so acutely aware of where the stereotypical librarian look emerged from as I was today. A phrase a friend used often came to mind "Mother of
G-d!" I wondered if some of these people knew that they were going to a professional conference today! I'm letting go of the people I saw wearing jeans, and festive seasonally embroidered vests and sweaters. I can not let go of the mock turtle necks though.

Mock turtle necks. Are these the ultimate tie repelling garmets? I know I've talked about ties before, and the floor is divided on my opinion. But by wearing a mock turtle neck, you are saying "not only will I not wear a tie, but I've taken prevetative measures." Please go to your closets and throw away your mock turtle necks. In fact in one presentation, I expected the two speakers to break out into folk music a la A Mighty Wind.

As for stereotypes, I saw my fill of corderoy jackets, wash and wear trousers, pleated front khaki's, and Comfort Zone-esque loafers on the men. And I seemed to be the only one WITHOUT facial hair of some sort. It can look good, I've often thought of the pencil moustaches as being especially glam. But Beardy McBeardenstiens were everywhere.

Outside of all of that, the presentations were well worth my time, and I actually learned a lot about buidling a resume or CV, the USA PATRIOT act (which I didn't realize that USA PATRIOT was a huge acronym) and the potential for getting published as an undergrad. The woman from Bowling Green was amazing, and I really want to read more of her work.

Its nice to feel inspired every now and again. But enough of the mock turtle necks, OK?

Moral of this blog: 'I never heard of "Uglification,"' Alice ventured to say. 'What is it?'

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Not Proper



This is what the WDL is reading right now. When I was just sitting here thinking of myself, I thought..."what? you've never wrote and told your dear dear fans what you read? and you call yourself a librarian?"

I quickly reminded myself that I actually call myself a Well Dressed Librarian...the emphasis being strictly on the haute librarian panache that I exude. But Yes! I do enjoy a good sit down with a book.

Right now I am reading, cover to cover Ms. Post's 17th edition of what is proper decorum and what isn't. I'm glad to know that spitting on sidewalks is still a no-no. But I am also reading A Passion To Preserve: Gay Men as keepers of Culture. It is a delightful look inside the world of preservation...antiques houses, etc and how gay men played a strong role. And lots of what not and etc about sexual roles of gay men...perhaps a bit stereotypical for the fag who will not admit to enjoying a whif of Grandma's Chanel perfume and can rebuild the chassy under his hood..but for someone like me, its triumphant. I am a keeper of culture.

While the age of "thank you" notes on personal stationery is gone, I continue to plug along..handwriting them in my favorite black Waterman ink and Green fountain pen. I find myself obsessed with etiquette because sometimes there isn't much to hang on to, yet decorum is always there like a faithful lap dog. If you look.

When I lived abroad it amazed me that people even had escaltor etiquette, something that seems to have never even emerged in the States. Then again, we are talking about me - the person who notices if your belt buckle isn't the same color metal as your watch. It's in the details.

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple has a "Village Theory", that every person is basically a personality type based on an archetypal figure from her village of St. Mary Meade. Its true. 95% of the people I've met..I've met before in some way shape or form. Its truely in the details. Before me, there was my hero Beverley Nichols. I am sure someday there will be another well dressed, OCD, snobbish prude that I narcissistically identify with. Who were you? Or better yet, who would I say reminded me of you?

All of this wraps up to one thing: People have forgotten where they came from. The people before them. Its good to remember your manners. If you don't-your just going to have someone like me remind you of them. WHICH is OK, according to Emily Post. Perserve your past.

Moral of this blog: When carrying an open umbrella, it is common courtesy for the taller person to lift their umbrella slightly higher so as not to hit the other person's umbrella.

Friday, November 05, 2004

See, I wasn't kidding



This article on Canadian residency just popped up on Yahoo. Apparently, thousands of people checked to find out about it. Interesting read.

Recovery



So what does any self respecting faggy librarian do to pick himself up?

The Ballet of course.

Today I took in a matinee performance of a modern ballet. Being surrounded by elderly women, nanny's with thier wards, and a few school children are just what the doctor ordered. Perhaps you thought I'd still be sulking and wearing black? Au contraire.

I've heard a few concerns voiced about the sentiments contained in my last post. First, let me assure you,dear republican fans, that I do not hate you. I will only go on thinking that while you love me, you just detest my moral fiber, my orientation, and my liberal mindset. I had no idea how many republican readers I had until I got lots of lovely letters from you-thank you all for your assurances.

Other things I shall do to help me recover, as I do with any situation that I feel emotionally at a loss:

1. Shopping. It supports the economy. I'm going to try to buy from the little guys. Try. It would be easier if they sold Chanel fragrances at the Farmers Market though.

2. Smoke more.

3. Go to bed earlier. Then I'll have to be more productive during the day. Thats actually a double bonus.

4. Take in more culture. I do love the arts.

OK, so really, I do these things all the time anyway. If nothing is going to change, then NOTHING is going to change here either. Ahhh. Good. So, adoring fans, do not worry, WDL will remain the same too-only I won't get to appoint 3 supreme court justices in the next 4 years.

Moral of this blog: Treat malaise with ballets, and you'll be fine.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Aftermath



I went to bed at 1am with hope. I woke at 3:30 to check CNN, and watch a bit of CNN on the tellie. I woke again at 5:00 to check CNN again...and just stayed up. All 161 lbs of me was numb. These were not the results I anticipated. I had visions of John Kerry shaking his fist in victory on the font steps of the Boston Public Library.

Mr. Kerry, you did not let me down. Its the rest of the red states. I don't know how I'm going to fare in this environment. My state voted to ban gay marriage. Do I live in a country that will so willingly take my tax dollars, and deny me rights that everyone else has? I guess so. 4 more years. Hopefully, like my Undergraduate years-it will all pass quickly, minus the haze of booze and too many cigarettes. Perhaps that was the key to making it pass so quickly-but I don't think a drunk librarian who smells like smoke will be an assett. But at this point, I'm not feeling like much of an assett to anyone-especially my country.

I kept my Kerry/Edwards sign up on my front door in hopes that a miraculous number of votes would be found somewhere in the state of Ohio-making Kerry's concesion speach unnecessary. I suppose I'll take it down now, and sit quietly in my sitting room, drinking tea with a splash of bourbon. Despite being chastised for my "ivory tower-esque" behavior-it will be the creature comforts of my home that I can rely on.

Do the republicans I know really hate me? Or do they just love George Bush more? Do these people want for me to be stripped of rights while my tax dollars pad their social security? Perhaps I'll never know. While I've realized that the world doesn't revolve around me, I can't but help be paranoid that the people who I associate with, sit next to, send holiday cards to- may actually despise every thing about me. Thats a tough pill to swallow.

Moral of this blog:
O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.