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and another thing

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Friday, December 28, 2007
I Know It’s A Pedantic Bore, But: GUILTY PLEASURE! This phrase drives me crazy for a couple of reasons:

1) I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If it feels good and you’re not hurting anybody or committing a felony... But people don’t mean guilty when they say it -- they mean ashamed. (e.g. I don’t want my cool/smart friends to know that I watch the Hallmark channel.) Our culture has become an incoherent mixture of No Shame and Too Much Shame.

2) Why the hell do I care? My level of irritation with this phrase makes NO SENSE! It’s not like I don’t know what people mean, I’m often sloppy with language ( if I use nonplussed correctly 50% of the time it would be a miracle), it’s not like anyone made me The Police Of What You Say or that I don't feel guilt or shame about stupid things -- yet it drives me freaking crazy every time I hear or read the words Guilty Pleasure. I have to either accept that I am an insufferable pedant (!!!) only when it pleases me, OR acknowledge what has probably been obvious for a long time -- I was kidnapped by aliens who have RUINED MY BRAIN. (which brings me to the other Problem With Society: shirking personal responsibility. But seriously, space aliens are a menace!)

You Kids Get Off Of My Lawn: I almost had a heart attack today at the library -- I was helping this kid who needed to check out Catcher in the Rye but had an expired library card. He was approximately 6’ tall and born in NINETEEN NINETY ONE! No one born in 1991 should be 6’ tall! Seriously! I won’t even get into the “kids and their loud music” portion of this rant, because... well, I’m scaring myself and I’ve blamed the aliens once already. (he was actually as charming as a 16 y.o. with unremovable earbuds can be -- he kind of reminded me of King Dork, but maybe his choice of reading material colored my opinion.)

may your days be merry and bright

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I am tired from a marathon bout of holiday lazing and eating delicious food, but I wanted to share some of the things that made today a good day for me. So here are some pictures:

christmas lights
it's like a sickness -- I can't stop taking pictures of these lights with the plastic things on them.

christmas epiphyllum
Four epiphyllum blossoms today! Usually it blooms in the summer right around my birthday -- In my experience it's unusual for it to bloom twice in one year. Yet here it is!

I love these colors together
technically, this is from Christmas Eve. I was walking up Fremont to pick up a couple of last minute things and saw these cabbages in front of a new store. I think they're wonderful.

just beginning
I went for a walk in the park and it started to snow! The local news said it might, but I never actually believed them, since it's the kind of thing they're always saying when they actually mean "it will snow on the mountain," or "it will snow in the gorge." but this time they were right!

red leaves
There are still some red leaves left -- so pretty.

stickng a little
The snow began as just hard mean rain, but then it got into the swing of things and started getting nice and flaky. By the time I got home it felt like I'd been to the dentist because my whole face was numb. (I wore a hat and a jacket, but no gloves or scarf because of course it wasn't going to snow! and I don't need gloves for rain.) The snow has since melted away in my part of town, but it was sure fun for a few hours.

new necklace (no flash)
I received such thoughtful and generous gifts, including this necklace from my mom. I love it because it looks a little bit mod and a little white stripes at the same time.

....and now I have to go to bed before I am felled in transit by a turkey/carb coma.

shortest day/longest night

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Friday, December 21, 2007
Happy Solstice! I think it's tonight.. As I ably proved during the full lunar eclipse in August, astronomical time-telling is not exactly INTUITIVE for me. (But I'm pretty sure that the solstice was tonight around 10ish for those of us on the west coast of the united states. Everyone else: I'm sure it's soon, or has happened already. please adjust your celebrations accordingly.) Anyway -- I always love the winter solstice because it means the days start getting longer again -- good news for me here in dark cloudy rainland.

Bird Brain: Today I was thinking about the different birds that I've seen at the park -- mostly crows, although there's one seagull who is constantly crashing the crow party. (hilarious, if you allow that socially awkward seagulls can be hilarious, which I DO.) Occasionally I see small birds of prey (I think they're falcons of some sort -- when they're sitting in the tree they look JUST LIKE the statue of the maltese falcon, except Not A Statue, which I believe is exactly how John James Audubon would have identified birds if only the pop culture of his era had supported it.) This morning I saw about a dozen tiny yellow finches! They were hopping around eating bugs or whatever it is they eat on the ground. They were so small (about the size of my thumb) that at first I thought they were leaves. Very cute, very busy -- a wholly unexpected pleasure to see.

Speaking of the squirrels, I KNEW IT!

In other park news, the Stick of Damocles remains. There is this stick (it is between stick size and limb size) that has been caught in the branches of another tree and hanging over the path for almost a year. It dangles menacingly, although "dangle" doesn't really sound too threatening. The deceptive dangle! We've had huge wind and still it hangs. I've seen other park regulars try to talk the tree-maitenance guys into removing it, but it remains. I'm certain that it is going to fall on my head and kill me instantly. (This has replaced my previous Death Certainty, which was that I would be run over by a car going the wrong way on a one way street the ONE TIME I didn't look both ways before crossing.) The Stick of Damocles was much easier to ignore in the summer when it was hidden by leaves.

As for television (and why not), I loved VH1's top 100 of the 90's. It's cheesy, it's nostalgia for things that are barely over, but it's also what this channel does best: make lists. I love lists! These shows are great to listen to while I work on projects. Some of the talking heads are incredibly lame, some of the comedians are of dubious quality -- I don't think comedy means what they think it means -- but Sir Mix-A-Lot should be on every show they produce. I, of course, have quibbles (how is it possible that Deee-Lite was in the 100-80 section??? They should have been in the top 50 at least! Bootsy Collins, people! astronomical!), but it was almost as fun to be outraged as it was to think "I love that song!" Last night I was having a top 100 related IM with a friend that largely involved me going " OMG! How could I forget about XYZ!!! they're so wonderful/ terrible." A sample exchange:

Her: That one guy always makes me think of gnomes
Me: hee hee hee!
Her: I think you know the one I mean!
Me: the one with the gnome beard?
Her: yes!

(actual answer: Spin Doctors)

here are a couple of videos to celebrate the solstice! or something! First, No Diggity by Blackstreet. I am not a huge fan of modern R&B, but I forgot how crazy I was about this song.

And, of course, Deee-Lite -- so lovely and delicious!

drunk train to cookieville

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Thursday, December 20, 2007
choo choo
(doesn't this train look totally inebriated?)

I am neither drunk nor on a train, but I have eaten my weight in cookies today.

The TREE is DECORATED! With 6 days to spare! It turned out really fun -- maybe one day I'll get a good picture. I tried to take some today, but they were uniformly terrible. You don't have to take my word for the awesomeness of the tree, though. The UPS driver yelled up the driveway on her way back to the truck "your tree is SO COOL!" and that was through the window before ornaments (but after lights). (I realize you have to take my word for UPS driver compliments, but I would never lie about a thing like that.)

Further Holiday Related:

1. I still have a lot of things to do to finish my gift-assembly before the 25th, but I'm not TOO worried. According to the TV, I can just buy Cadillacs and hideous diamond jewelry if I run out of ideas and decide to rob a bank and/or sell my organs.

2. Most overused word in Christmas advertising: Magical. Is it any wonder that people get anxious and depressed over the holidays? It's not enough to have some days off, spend some time with friends and family, eat your weight in cookies, it has to be freaking MAGICAL on top of that. According to the television, the best way to achieve the "magic" is to spend a lot of money on stupid shit that nobody wants! I know it makes me practice cursing the tv, but I don't think that's the kind of magic they had in mind.

3. here is my illustrated recipe for Christmas tree lights -- you need at least three kinds. (these pictures are from years past, but you get the idea.):

C7 multi-colored twinkle lights. These are getting harder and harder to find -- it's the bulbs that twinkle rather than the strand. (I can't stand plain old blinking lights -- things like the chasing lights or other fancy patterns give me headaches. Twinkle is perfect. Perfect, I tell you!) I think I'm going to have to order fuses and replacement bulbs online, because all of my usual spots to get these things have let me down. This is the lighting anchor for the tree.

orange light
mini lights -- this year I used all red (not orange like the picture), but I put these cool vintage plastic thingies on them that reflect and magnify the lights. they look like tiny explosions and are perfect.

bubble light
bubble lights: Target had these a few years ago. So fun! They are kind of a pain in the ass because they won't bubble unless they are straight up and down, and since they're top heavy it's hard to get them straight up and down. But worth the effort!

I have found that I love all kinds of variations in lights -- some people do only white, some hate the bigger lights, some have blinking, etc. -- these are all lovely on someone else's tree, but on any tree for which I'm responsible, I need to have the three types listed above. As for the multi-color/ white divide... I think a lot of it depends on what you grew up with. I know some people find the multi-color to be garish, but not me!

Note of Reflection and Gratitude That Has Nothing To Do With Cookies: A year ago I was in the hospital with the evil surprise attack face infection that put me there. I just want to take a minute to say that I'm really, really happy not to be there this year!

No one belongs here more than you.

| On
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
by Miranda July

I read this back in August and wasn't ready to write about it then, so I put it on hold again with the thought that by the time I got it back (there were a lot of holds), I would be ready. Now it is one day overdue.

Five things:

1. I read this collection of stories in one sitting. Well, almost one sitting. There was a two hour break somewhere in the middle.

2. I wish I knew why I didn't like it more. She writes really well, but with the exception of a couple of stories I didn't feel like I was connecting with anything. Maybe a phrase or a fleeting emotion here or there, but a lot of it felt weird for the sake of weird, which is normally not a problem -- I like weird and I do think she's on to something about the innate strangeness of being alive -- but it just misses for me. I wish I felt like reading it again so I could try to identify WHY. Reading it was often like petting a cat the wrong way.

3. Her name is beautiful.

4. She used to live in Portland and the city makes cameos throughout this collection. (also in her movie, which I was similarly conflicted about.) Fact of Dubious Interest: two locations featured (Fabric Depot and Mr. Peeps/ The Peep Hole) are right across the street (SE 122nd Ave) from each other.

5. The Swim Team is wonderful, generous and strange -- definitely one of my favorite stories. How To Tell Stories To Children is difficult, raw and complicated but stuck in my head a long time after I'd read it.

you get it, you got it, you know it's good

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Sunday, December 16, 2007
christmas lights

I had the phrase you get it, you got it, you know it's good from The Beastie Boys stuck in my head all day yesterday. I think it's from Hello Nasty, but I'm not sure. Fun, but I haven't listened to them in ages -- why do they keep floating up to the surface of my mind? It's a December MYSTERY, is what it is. The sentiment is appropriate, however -- I'm finally rested up from my Long Week and everything looks better.

I have done zero decorating for Christmas! Today is the day, or else. (... or else something dire -- maybe no cookies.) Part of the problem is that I have been up to my eyeballs in Christmas junk at my far away sad crazy lady job since HALLOWEEN. Before Halloween! (She hates halloween! I told you she was crazy.) Between the weird It's Been Christmas For Three Months time-warp and the new library job-having, I am entirely time-discombobulated. I'm not stressed about it, though. It will all work out and I'm sure I'll be looking at colored lights in no time. (colored lights are my favorite. colored lights and cookies.)

And now, a list! Here's some of the stuff I've been watching --

This Film Is Not Yet Rated: oh, this is a good one to watch if your blood pressure is too low or if you need a little extra shot of outrage to get you through the day. I found it to be resonant with some of the issues of mega-conglomerate studio control that have been coming up during the writer's strike. (once again I am amazed at what a freaking MIRACLE it is that good movies ever get made at all -- when you think of all the places it can go wrong, of all the people that are involved in such hugely collaborative enterprise -- and that's just in the making-it process, not even mentioning all the places it can go wrong after it has already been created!)

This film is a documentary looking into the inner workings of the MPAA -- the movie ratings board. The members are SECRET their screenings are SECRET and their rules are BIZARRE and smothered in SECRET SAUCE. The filmmaker launches an investigation to uncover some of the whys and wherefores. The official line is that rating films is voluntary and a service for parents to help decide which films are appropriate for their children. This sounds so reasonable, but the truth is that the MPAA is the only game in town, they undergo virtually no review themselves (since it's a voluntary rating rather than a government rating), and if your film is given the dreaded NC-17 you are in the position of either trying to re-cut to get an R (which may not work), or just face that many theaters won't show your movie because they don't show NC-17 or unrated films. You can appeal, but the appeal process sounds like going up against the Spanish Inquisition or the Illuminati.

Watching this confirmed my suspicion that in the United States violence is rated on a far more lenient scale than sex. Some sex is okay (especially if you are on your way to blow some shit up or crash some cars or shoot some people or are a heterosexual man obsessed with apple pie), but once it gets to the realm of pubic hair or female orgasm, forget about it. The filmmaker talked with John Waters (who was delightfully frank as always), Wayne Kramer and Maria Bello, Atom Egoyan (surprisingly hilarious), Kevin Smith, Kimberly Peirce and many others. Director Kramer and actress Bello had some interesting insight since in their film it was to her naked body the MPAA objected, but I think they undercut their argument by saying "our movie sex was okay because these characters were in love," which, hey -- great for them, but it obscures the larger point -- the standards for ratings are purely subjective and based on criteria that appear to have been pulled directly from Jack Valenti's ass. Anyway. It was thought provoking.

Dirty Sexy Money: I finally saw the first episode (I came on board during the second or third episode) and I love this show! It fills the season 1-2 of The OC shaped hole in my heart. (I know some people love Gossip Girl for this particular void, but I couldn't get into it.) The cast of Dirty Sexy Money is excellent and they've got enough stuff going on that it's not just samestorysamestorysamestory like Grey's Anatomy was getting to be for me (although I heard that it's been getting better... is it true?). It's not like The Wire or anything, but I find it very entertaining and prefer not to miss it.

Pushing Daisies: I still love this so much! Olive is so great -- they all are, but she is filled with great lately. She's angry, heartsick and scheming, yet also generous (it's an effort), helpful (ditto) and scheming (because she just can't help herself). This is the show I will miss the most when they run out of episodes, which I think they just did. Sigh. Paul Reubens as Oscar Vibenius, olfactory expert who happens to live in the sewer and wear goggles for some reason? fantastic! Chuck's wardrobe still makes me green with envy, none of them are perfect and they all act like jerks from time to time... it's just so fun. They've got a lot of plates spinning at once, but I think that's how they keep any one element from overwhelming. Yeah, it's a big old candy-colored fairy tale or romance or quirky drama, but it's also an honest to god procedural! They solve crimes! bake pies! have Hitchcock homages! And somehow there is still time for synchronized swimming, knitting and beekeeping. It's funny and weird yet truly dark around the edges. I heart you, Bryan Fuller. This is by far my favorite show this season.

Bones: Aw, Bones! I like this show a lot. In fact, this list is inspiring me to try this crazy thing where I only watch shows I enjoy. Anyway -- they are always reasonably clever with the mystery every episode, but what keeps me watching is the interpersonal chemistry. They've got a great team and I like to see them working together. I like new-guy Sweets (the psychiatrist) because he was that little tiny kid from Freaks and Geeks, now hugely tall. I love that Ryan O'Neal is recurring as Brennan's jailbird dad. I'm enjoying how they are spooling out the Brennan and Booth relationship. They're friends and colleagues who respect each other, but there's that physical chemistry bubbling up all around. I appreciate that they're trying to vent some of that energy with the recent mistletoe adventure, but I found it kind of ... contrived. (because a character who suddenly had the power to grant the one thing that Brennan wanted (a family jail-christmas for her jailbird brother) was feeling "puckish" and insisted that they kiss?? Really??) They wanted to have their five steamboat cake and eat it too -- which isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it, because I did. I just felt cheap.

and now I'm off to unearth the christmas lights. Happy Sunday!

announcements and notes

| On
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
general announcement: sleep is awesome! I remain a committed fan.

park note: the squirrels are getting so fat! I know a lot of it is just winter fur, but some of it has got to be because they are eating so damn much of the corn someone is leaving at the base of the trees. These hefty rodents can still climb a tree faster than a dog, so I guess they're doing okay. (and they are so cute! They're mostly red squirrels, but I've been noticing some grey/red combo ones as well. all very adorable, even as they give me the beady stink-eye for daring to walk past the squirrel buffet. I don't want your corn, okay?)

earth tilted on its axis note: I hate that it is dark at 4:15 pm. It's just not right.

Second Weirdest Coincidence of the Week: some establishing information -- when a patron puts something on hold in our library system, the default is that the "copy returned soonest" will fill that hold. So if you put the new Murakami on hold and you've finally waited your turn and are #1 out of however many, whichever copy comes back into the system first will start wending its way to you. If the copy gets turned in at a library across town, your information comes up on the screen, your hold is triggered and the item gets sent to your home library for you to pick up. Stuff is constantly moving all across the city. SO, imagine my surprise when last Friday I was working at the Belmont library for only the second time ever, and a patron came up to the counter and handed me a movie that would turn out to be for me. He was returning some stuff and paying some fines. He handed me Fritz Lang's Metropolis and I thought "hey! I have this movie on hold," only to scan it and see MY NAME come up on the screen! It's so bizarre! It may not seem weird, but it so is. As an on-call substitute, the odds of me being at that branch at that counter at that time were slim (I only worked on the desk 3 of 8 hours that day, Belmont is one of 17 library locations), the odds of him coming to my station instead of the other were 50/50, the odds of me BEING THERE on that exact day at that exact time... well, it just seems so unlikely! He could have taken it to the book drop! he could have come an hour sooner or an hour later and I would have never been the wiser. It would be one thing if Belmont was my home library and I was checking in materials that were sent to fulfill holds -- I've had that happen before -- but to snag one in the wild like that was SUPER FREAKY. What's even freakier is that this was only the second weirdest coincidence of the week! (the first one was so strange I can't even write it out.)

Christmas note: I am woefully unprepared for Christmas. I don't think I'm making cards this year unless desperately simple inspiration strikes in the next three days. I've done no shopping, I've done no decorating. I'm not feeling particularly grinchy, but I'm not feeling particularly jolly either. I think the remedy to this might be cookies, but I'm not sure. Tests may be required.

Monday's post-it note bounty: Here's what caught my eye while I was processing materials on Monday. I usually write this stuff down on a post-it or scrap paper so that I can place the hold from home (where I am more used to managing my Hold List Empire):
Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series -- I don't know why, but I always have this picture in my head that bootlegs, particularly Bob Dylan bootlegs, should come either on reel to reel tapes or possibly as a microchip that is implanted directly in the brain. This is a CD set and I guess I am okay with that as it will be easier for me to listen to than reel to reel or brain chip.

Joseph Cornell: Master of dreams by Diane Waldman -- I could actually list Cornell in my series of weird coincidences, but in a week that featured the other stuff, he hardly rates. (I'll just say that he's been EVERYWHERE and that I finally got my hands back on a book (out of print, library only has one copy) that someone with an educator's card (check out period: 6 weeks instead of 3) had cruelly stolen from me (by placing a hold) 6 weeks ago.)

Field Guide to Dreams by Kelly Regan -- this looks to be slightly different than the typical dream dictionary and I've been having weird dreams lately so we'll see.

The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta -- I glanced at the back and flipped through the book -- it seemed like it could be fun and interesting, so why the hell not? This is the beauty of the library!

Of course all of this took some juggling in order to have this many spaces to place this many holds. The system only allows you 15 holds at a time. These are troubles I can live with, however.

Well, it is time for me to get back to my new BFF, sleep! Last time I said I would try to be more timely with updates was followed by taking even LONGER to update, so I'll just say that I hope to find some balance here pretty soon. I think I'm getting closer.

so tired

| On
Monday, December 10, 2007
Looking Up

I am so tired! Tomorrow will be my 9th day in a row working -- then, so help me, I'm not doing anything at all on Wednesday. Hooray for nothing! I'm not complaining about the work -- I'm still learning a lot and enjoying myself. The part that is less fun about being an on-call substitute is that when there's stuff available, I feel like I need to take it even if it's inconvenient because next week there might not be anything. [except for my other, far-away freelance job which, if this were 1900, would be along the lines of a poor unmarried niece keeping her rich soon to be divorced sad/crazy but sweet aunt company on a cross-country train ride, on which the niece has to field questions like what is the nature of god or why is my husband leaving me or what do you think I should do with all this stuff or why doesn't my computer work or why are men such assholes or why wasn't I born in the horse and buggy era. For reasons which seem obvious to me, I prefer to keep this job at no more than two days per week.]

I'm so tired time has started going wonky on me -- what seems like a hundred years ago turns out to be only a week, and vice versa.

Tomorrow should be a short work day for me. I hope to write up my #2 weirdest coincidence of the week and maybe I'll share the fruits of my postit labor. (I write down names of cool or seemingly interesting books/movies/cds on a postit I keep in my pocket as I process materials so I can put them on hold when I have room on my hold list. Sharing them assumes I can decipher not just my on-the-fly/sly handwriting, but also my not-really-so-clever abbreviations.) But for now -- SLEEP. I can hardly wait!

p.s. I think Journeyman (Journey Man? I'm not sure if it's one word or two) has turned into a really interesting show. I wasn't too impressed with the first episode, but it has grown on me. I love how they've been tackling repercussions of things changed in the past and the mysterious overall WHY of it all has me intrigued.

Billy Hazelnuts

| On
Friday, December 07, 2007
by Tony Millionaire

Last night on my way home I stopped off at JoAnn's to get some necessary crafty doodad that somehow, despite having more crafty doodads than is reasonable, I did not have. While there I was subjected to the most godawful noodly "lite jazz" version of a vaguely familiar but ruined Christmas song. Oh, it made me mad! I was ready to commit violence by the time I finally got to the cash register. I'm generally pretty easy-going, but I worry sometimes about how easy it is to manipulate my mood with music. Some things make me instantly and inexplicably happy, other things drive me to robot rage so fast it takes me completely by surprise. What if this information fell into the wrong hands? I could be turned into a violent criminal by excessive (aka: any) Kenny G!

This has actually come up before. Not so much with the violent crime, but being driven to speak when I would have preferred to be silent. (I will save my tale of boarding school, religion class, getting hopping mad and speaking out to defend Billy Joel (!) and by extension all popular music in an atmosphere of religious fucknuttery and Let's Burn Records insanity for another time, although that's pretty much it. It was much less Footloose than it sounds.) (I must be having some sort of age crisis -- I keep thinking of things that happened a long time ago.)

Believe it or not, this does have a tenuous relationship to Tony Millionaire's delightful and insane graphic adventure novel Billy Hazelnuts. Billy has a bit of a short fuse; he's a hot tempered homunculus prone to shaking his fists and shouting things like "Come and get us, boys! I'm a barrelful of hate! Come open me up!" I may not share the feelings, but I can relate to the impulse.

Here's a paragraph from the back of the book which I think gives enough information to trigger either the "HELL YES!" or "oh, god no!" response. I'm (obviously) in the hell yes category. Here's the quote: "In the all new graphic novel BILLY HAZELNUTS Millionaire dishes out a story about Becky, girl scientist, her pal Billy Hazelnuts (who was created from suet, yeast and discarded mince-meat pie by mice in the basement), and their journey to find the missing moon while battling an evil steam-driven alligator with a seeing-eye skunk." I was intrigued by the time I got to the parentheses (made by mice in the basement, you say?) but then came the STEAM DRIVEN ALLIGATOR, at which point I was completely helpless. That blurb doesn't even mention Adventure on the high seas! Finally, a book for those who have been longing to read about an ill-humored hero made from suet.

I picked this up browsing at the library and it turned out to be one of those wonderful surprises. The story careens along from one crazy thing to the next, but adheres to a rigorous internal logic. Billy Hazelnuts is a dark and creepy story, yet maintains an innocence you might not expect from a story with an evil steam-driven alligator and a foul-tempered protagonist. I found it to be charming, surprising, disturbing and in possession of an oddball kind of grace. Also funny. Recommended!

if you can't be groovy...

| On
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I met my movie-viewing goal and went to see I'm Not There sunday night. Hooray! It was very fun for me -- confusing, exhilarating, sometimes emotionally turbulent but FUN nonetheless. I'm still processing it (which, I feel I should note, is one of my favorite things! I love it when something has enough surface area that I NEED to process it), but I will say for now that one of my favorite lines was spoken in a swanky London hotel suite by Cate Blanchett's skinny strung out drawn-on mustache wearing Jude Quinn: "If you can't be groovy, just leave." hee hee hee. I think I'm going to recommend they start using this at the library when people answer their cell phones obnoxiously. That phrase and maybe a sharpened stick.

Speaking of the library, things are picking up for me work-wise. Huzzah! I'm getting more shifts which is wonderful since I do so enjoy getting paid. I'm finding that one of my favorite tasks is one of the things I dreaded the most when I started: issuing new library cards. I dreaded it because it involves giving the Library Spiel about the hows wheres and whys of having a card... but I realized that I am not just the Hair Club President, I am also a member! I am turning into an awesome library spiel giver because I am one of those obnoxious true believers. (it's such an incredible resource that your tax dollars have already paid for! Use it! Use it a lot!) I find genuine satisfaction helping people get their grubby hands on the collection.

Tuesday I worked two short shifts in two different libraries. Normally this wouldn't happen, but I lucked into the second shift at MY library, which is very near my house. It's still amazing to me how much the staff culture varies from branch to branch. The first branch of the day was a smaller, very nice neighborhood branch -- but the speed was set to S L O W. Some people love the slow branches, but I'm not used to it. I've spent my time trying to figure out the most efficient way to do a lot of work in a short amount of time, and this worked against me here. Someone told me (ever so kindly, but it stung) that I was 'not the only person working' that day and that I had better slow down. It was torture! I was literally hovering over the bookdrop and catching things as people were dropping them off so I could check them in. What a contrast when I went to my old volunteer branch for my second shift! There was no shortage of holds to process and many huge overflowing carts of books to check in. So much better for me! (plus I got to look at that many more things AND check in a hold for myself which always feels like I've won the lotto.) Anyway, as I've said before, the people have been great every place I've been, but I'm finding that I prefer the busy branches.

In other news, I feel like I have been totally erratic with blog updates lately and I'm trying to get on top of that.

december 1st

| On
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Hooray December! I have a feeling this is going to be a good month. I don't know why -- it's often stressful and people get crabby and paranoid. (example from my private collection: Diamond Cartels are part of a larger plot to ruin us all, the first step being their hypnotic yet rage inducing holiday commercials. I used to be able to spot them a mile away, but now there's one that tricks me with a good song. Damn those crafty mall jewelry diamond shilling bastards! their stuff is still hideous, but for a minute I'm fooled into thinking I'm watching a Volkswagen commercial.)

I know this month is going to be crazy busy, but my sense is that it will be busy in a productive way which will be a delightful change of pace from being busy with nothing to show for it. And now, on to the links. But first, a "how's the weather" interlude.

this is what it looked like this morning here in Portland. It snowed (briefly) and is now raining. I missed the snow by a few minutes when I went out walking -- I thought it would resume, but it DID NOT. This bummed me out since I like walking in the snow when it's a voluntary activity. The sky was that weird gonna snow, oops, no, gonna rain color, though. I thought it was pretty.

And now, THE LINKS:

Here is a link to a fun little flash game where you have to try to keep a cat from hopping off a field of green dots. It's perfectly good zone-out fun when you are trying to regain your equilibrium after inadvertently viewing a Kay Jewelers ad. (via boing boing)

Martin Scorcese does Hitchcock in a very charming booze commercial!

my paprika tights December shopping tip: I love Sock Dreams because they are where I found my newly beloved paprika colored tights. They're cotton and supplex and very well constructed. The bonus surprise that I didn't realize until after I'd placed my order -- they're from Portland, so my tights ordered on Friday were in my mailbox on Monday! and shipping is free!! They have a ton of other tights and fun socks, and I'm sure I'll be ordering more. (photo note: those boots are actually very dark purple.)

beaded ornaments
these ornaments are fun and pretty easy to make. I made a little photo tutorial set over on Flickr. If something isn't explained clearly enough (entirely possible!) you can leave me a comment here, on the photo itself or send me a flickr mail and I'll see if I can explain it better. They really are fun to do.

This embedded Meg Cabot youtube video doesn't really have anything to do specifically with December, (but dig the Masterpiece theater style fireplace! and the portrait over the mantle), but it does make me laugh a lot. Especially since it is from a blog post titled "Die Amy Die" and is a Little Women Literary Correction acted out with Madame Alexander dolls. I am particularly fond of the fight music.

ANYWAY, here's hoping that I'm not wrong about December! Busy, productive and fun sounds like a reasonable state of affairs.