Thursday, November 30, 2006

today is the first day of the rest of your...

Just in case you need to know what to do, who to worship, or just that special thing (anecdote, retort, whatever) to say to someone; have i got the books for you. The Pagan Book of Days: a guide to the festivals, traditions, and sacred days of the year by Nigel Pennick and The Wicca Book of Days: legend and lore for every day of the year by Gerina Dunwich.
Pennick is an apparent authority on all kinds of ancient belief systems and traditions and has written numerous books on numerous subjects (beyond occult wisdom and magic~history, crafts, marine species, all sorts of things.) For today (November 30) The Pagan Book of Days has this to say:
St. Andrew/Egyptian Day
The saint worshiped today as St. Andrew is a version of the divinity known as Andros, the Man, personification of manhood and the principle of virility, seen as an aspect of Dionysus. This is the personal day of Scotland, whose matronal goddess is Skadi, the Scathing one.
So today would be a good day for those scathing insults?
This is what The Wicca Book of Days says for November 30:
In many rural villages in Germany, young women still perform traditional love-divinations on this night. Using various methods of fortune-telling, they read omens and dreams to find out about their future husbands and marriages.
On this date in the year 1942, Otter Zell (Pagan priest and founder of the Church of All Worlds) was born in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Not entirely repetitious. I like the Dunwich book because it has an entry for every day (or, as the case may be, night) of the year and, as a bonus the cover art is The Magic Circle by one of my absolute favorite artists John Williams Waterhouse.
Together this pair of books make a great resource.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

i want to be that Final Girl

When i’m depressed, or can’t sleep because of migraines, or feel a need for some form of escapism, i tend to gravitate toward horror films, and for whatever reason, they do the trick, and somehow make me feel better (or least let me escape for that little bit). I was trying to explain this to one of my fellow librarians the other day, and not doing it the justice it deserved~as i'm sure you've noticed words often fail me, lover of language tho' i may be~(it might have had something to do with the fact that she is not a huge fan of the horror genre herself~as my mother was telling me, she didn't think she could handle sitting up and watching horror movies all night when she was depressed and i told her that made perfect sense as she didn't like horror movies and she kept shuddering at the thought and i was thinking "well, duh...)
Anyway, to try and return to the subject at hand, i see horror movies as our modern day fairy tales, with their over-the-top (hopefully) too-horrific-and-bloody-to-be-real, often rather simplistic plots, and moralistic endings; they take us away from lives that are depressingly stressful and/or mundane without easy rules or answers.
So i've been watching allot of horror movies lately (i hunger for them~seek them out on the ON DEMAND feature, paw through my own collection, endlessly scroll through the on-screen cable listings~the other day i caught
Halloween H2o on television ~i can't remember if i've ever seen the original or not and that set me off on a new horror movie reading research project in which i discovered some interesting ideas (here's where i discuss what i know you've been eagerly anticipating ever since i mentioned it).
First up, of course, was the original
Halloween, and all its sequels, to find exactly how H2o fit into it all. Halloween made in 1978, is considered by many to be the first slasher film, though there was a Canadian film Black Christmas (1974) which really should carry that distinction, John Carpenter did much to define the genre (first-person camera perspectives, unexceptional settings, and female heroines) in this pic. And then, of course, there was his choice of the, then, virtual unknown Jamie Lee Curtis, future scream queen (and, i would be remiss if i did not mention, one-time paramour of Mr. Adam Ant himself) in fact she began her qualification for the title in this film and also probably began to define for film critics and feminists the final girl concept.
You know the story here: the last person (usually a woman) left alive to confront~or rather run/trip/fall/miss allot the killer and tell the tale to the cops or whoever at the end. As we all know by now (or if we hadn't noticed, it was explained so well in Scream) the final girl must be a virgin and not participate in the other nasty vices that the other brutally murdered victims have. As Carol J. Clover (coiner of the term "final girl") pointed out in her book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film these girls often have gender neutral names and also often have a shared history with the killer (especially and sometimes not until sequels come into play). Clover's premise is that as most horror films are made for a male audience who has been identifying with the slasher/killer the director must at some point switch the audience identification to the final girl as hero/heroine who finally takes up weapon/phallic symbol (thus masculizing herself~allowing identification with her to be acceptable) and doing in her killer. This whole idea of the final girl has been running through my mind and influencing so many of my daily thoughts that is beginning to get just a bit frightening (and it gives me so many writing ideas~so many ideas i have but so little actually gets written). And also, of course, it drives me to more horror movie viewing.
I encountered some other interesting thoughts on the morality of it all. I love the fact that John Carpenter himself dismisses the notion that Halloween is a morality play~he set out simply to make a horror film. According to Carpenter, critics, "completely missed the point there." He explains, "The one girl who is the most sexually uptight just keeps stabbing this guy with a long knife. She's the most sexually frustrated. She's the one that's killed him. Not because she's a virgin but because all that sexually repressed energy starts coming out. She uses all those phallic symbols on the guy." And you always thought she survived because she deserved to (although i have often wondered if the author/director/artist/creator always knows everything about his creation~i know from workshopping some of my own writing that others have found meaning in my work i didn't know i put there put once pointed out it made perfect sense to me~also once our work is released into the world it no longer belongs to us alone and is a collaborative effort with its audience).
Arrin Dembo offers another theory in Demon of the Threshold; or Why the "Final Girl" Can Kiss My Ass, in essence, she posits that, all of our classic slasher figures, for whatever reason, are trapped in their own torturous childhoods. They are angry children who do not want to allow other children to cross the threshold into adulthood~thus the lethal punishment is dealt when the "naughty" teens begin to flirt with adult pleasures. The final girl, still a child (girl) herself is the only one who can defeat this angry child, not because of her morality, but because she has not yet begun that flirtation with adulthood~and we are back to that relation to the killer. Dembo relates the slasher film back to the European fairy tales of old~cautionary tales for children (reminds me of something some other brilliant person said recently...)
I was once in an online discussion with Chuck Palahniuk (not a huge fan but some very interesting work and very interesting discussions) for his book Haunted. One of things that came up in discussion that was the nameless monsters of fairy tales. I am a HUGE fan of fairy tales (goes right along with mythology, folklore, legend, etc.) Monsters represent what we are too afraid to call by name, and we often don't recognize what we are truly afraid of until years after it has past (the Frankenstein monster represented the industrial revolution~among other things) Our darkest stories are often the most interesting but they are the ones we don't tell. (Notice how all those slashers are always masked???)
Okay, so i've gotten more than a bit off-track, and i'm not sure that any of this explains why i find escape and solace in horror films (and i don't seem to be the target audience) but i have learned a great deal~and am thinking even more. In the meantime i saw the latest When a Stranger Calls (which i actually found rather enjoyable, yes i know it was a bad film, but you must have completely different standards for horror films~and this one, much like the original, was much more suggestion than anything) which led me on yet another Internet search to the original film because i couldn't quite remember the plot of that one except that the babysitter had the same name, which again brings us back to urban legends (cautionary tales and subject of my other horror movie posting, oh what a circuitous path we are treading) because When a Stranger Calls was based on a famous one.
Once i was on the urban legend trial i somehow stumbled upon those involving Hitler, including one that more than a few of his mistresses died under mysterious circumstances (the fact of which seems to be only his niece's death which was ruled a suicide but it was with Adolph's gun and after an argument with him)~i do find it rather interesting that all the women involved with him at least attempted suicide (and this was before he was exposed for what he was). Anyway after some time chasing down various Nazi legends i found myself reading the history of All of the concentration camps. At this point i really need the much preferable horror films...
and by the by, i don't really WANT to be the final girl (i have been somewhat disqualified for many reasons for some time now anyway) i just want to be able to face down my demons and survive to tell the tale. Now isn't that a worthy goal for us all?

Monday, November 27, 2006

anything not nailed down is a cat toy*

I would love to play the part of the completely jaded, cynical, and always ready to rampage librarian, but as i am sure you have noticed, i do have a certain weakness for cute little fuzzy things. Such is the case with Rachael Hale's photography (and yes you've seen a few of those pics here.)
*and in my house many of those things that ARE nailed down are as well!
Well, i must also confess to possessing photo albums, cat journals, and two books: 101 Cataclysms: for the love of cats and Smitten: a kitten's guide to happiness (and for those of you whose adorable taste runs more to the canine than feline--or just less feline and to cute animals in general--she does have too much cuteness for you as well).
Now, in addition to pictures there are wonderful quotations~and i do love quotations~i have quotations scribbled everywhere~anytime i see or hear something that strikes as especially witty, interesting, nonsensical, or whatever~i feel i must jot it down~don't know what i will do with them all, but they just seem so profound somehow...
101 Cataclysms includes quotes like "Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are gods," "The more people I meet the more I like my cat," (both anonymous) and, of course, "If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat." (Mark Twain) Smitten offers "Consciousness: that annoying time between naps." (anonymous) and "Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy." (Guillaume Apollinaire) as well as so much more.
So, if you ever feel the need for a Cute coffee table book, or know someone who does (or have need for a Cute book you might need to hide under the bed~tho, here again, in my house things hidden under the bed are the cats' domain {i like to pretend that things elsewhere are my domain but as i'm sure you know it's ALL the cats' domain~i just live here~or, more accurately~i'm just cat furniture}~or some other appropriate hiding place to keep that jaded mask in place) Rachael Hale is a perfect source!
(and for a quick fix there is always cuteoverload)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Paranoia will destroy ya

Last Friday morning i had a horrid time getting out of bed--i woke up with a sore throat and a headache (and, perhaps needless to say, a Bad Attitude), etc, etc, etc. Somehow i finally got myself out of bed and dragged myself to work, but once i got there i had a HUGE Paranoia attack~i was convinced that no-one liked me~everyone hated me~i sense a song coming on here but i'm too depressed to sing it~i was completely Out of The Loop~and from there it was a matter of cycling~in very rapid bipolar (by the hour) cycles~now, as i think i've mentioned before, i'm a double depressive, and if i were to suddenly start showing paranoid schizophrenic tendencies i think they might have manifested before now~though the whole delusional thing Can be a part of depression~i AM currently on all my meds.
Anyway, i'm sure i was tons of fun to work with~i'm not sure where any of it was coming from...
Our library system is contemplating librarian reassignments (any librarians that have been at their current library for more than five to seven years are up for consideration~now i've been at MY current library for about eight and a half years~so what do you think~am i a possible candidate?)
Now there are many reasons why i might want to move to another library: the teen "problem"* and its inherent noise; that fact that my current library is not conveniently located to my house. Perhaps the fact that within the last six months we have gotten a new manager and that within the last year we've gotten a new youth services librarian means that our library has gone through significant enough changes in and of itself?
*The other day when the latest gang fight broke out (off of the library grounds, i must hasten to add, though these particular kids had been in the library earlier) and our officer had to break it up then search some car associated with one of said gang members (we're talking 13-15 year-olds here) he discovered a gun and told all of the associated kids that they were not allowed back in the library until they brought their parents in with them. The COPs (Community Officers on Patrol) then came in and told us that we (as librarians, i suppose) were not being strict enough with the kids, that we should block off ALL access to MySpace, not allow any of the gang-associated kids in (or preferably any kids), blah, blah, blah... ~and i'm thinking, "any of OUR kids could have guns at any time, and all of them are SOMEHOW associated with a gang, that is just a fact of life 'round here, we can't NOT let them ALL in (though i'm sure there are many besides just the COPs who would love that)"~and then i'm thinking, "GANGS and GUNS~is this everyday libraryfare for EVERY Librarian? maybe it IS time for reassignment...
One of my considerations is our team here: i like my manager, i like most of my coworkers. My very favorite co-librarian is my biggest conundrum. She is so wonderful in some ways it is difficult to be on her team (how do you make contributions to a team when one of your members absolutely luminesces? it is almost like being a fifteen watt bulb trying to be seen in the light of the sun) Now, in no way am i trying to compete with her, nor is she trying to outshine anyone~it just so happens that she does by her very nature~and everyone gravitates toward her: patrons, kids, library workers, etc (such being the nature of stars). Jealousy is not really an issue either because she is incredibly gracious, humble, and modest just plain likable. Given such a situation what's a creative, competent, yet incredibly flawed and mortal rampaging librarian to do (also given the fact that she herself doesn't want to leave behind this particular librarian because she could learn a few things from her~and did i mention how very likable she was?)
and, of course change is Always difficult...
perhaps a smaller, quieter, more conveniently located library would help my migraine situation (and if so perhaps i could add that financially needed but currently physically impossible ten extra hours to my schedule)
oh what to do, what to do~if indeed i have any choice in the matter~perhaps 'tis better just to leave it in the hands of the powers that be...

Monday, November 20, 2006

This hurts.

being broken

Knowing i will lose

or have lost.

Friday, November 17, 2006

What are YOU going to DO about it?

So yesterday evening...two of us librarians (okay i have been struggling and struggling with this clause and have yet to find the correct-sounding {as i'm sure you've noticed i rarely pay attention to Actual rules} so you just have to put up with the preceding) were listening to a third of our tribe members describe the very serious medical condition of her five-year-old granddaughter and this librarian's upcoming visit to said granddaughter in hospital, when we were very Rudely and Loudly interrupted by Mrs. Very Outraged Patron waving the City Weekly (our community's independent free weekly newspaper) at us and complaining stridently about the fact that there was a large pile of them displayed prominently in our lobby.
Yes, as a matter of fact, there were, as often there are, they seem to appear there weekly, oddly enough. (isn't that interesting how coincidentally it coincides with the title?)
So, she throws the newspaper on the desk in front of us, telling us how VERY OBJECTIONABLE the cover picture (Eve, i believe) is.
We remain silent.
She does not.
Luckily, she asks if the manager is here.
We all turn to the computer area where our manager is looking at us (i'm sure, trying to pretend that he is invisible, deaf, blind, or in any other way, not responsible for, what he knows is coming).
One of us quickly offers to go relieve him of his current patron so that he may deal with her objection (while we are each silently cataloging the Countless Number of MUCH MORE OBJECTIONABLE material we could show her on the spot, but, oh well...)
So Mr. Highly Capable Boss Man comes over and she throws her little temper tantrum and then demands to know
Mr H.C. Boss Man takes a thoughtful pause, then says "Well, probably not remove it."
Well, Mrs V. Outraged Patron does not take too kindly to this particular answer and, after a bit more of a temper tantrum (informing him that WE have standards and that we would not allow this type of thing to be viewed on the Internet [apparently she is operating under the grave delusion that our filters would disallow this image~though we don't allow even adults to view porn on our public Internet computers this doesn't qualify as porn~what exactly does offend her? well, the belly-button {oh my} is showing as my mother pointed out~i fear for HER children~we found much worse to cause offense with a high filter on]) and some additional huffing and puffing and stomping about, she demands to know his name.
He points to his name tag, and tells her what it says, just in case.
Then she asks/realizes "Free paper? Right?"
Right. (you can see where this is going)
Mrs. V.O. Patron storms at our circ clerks, storms "Ms. Previous Manager would have done something!" grabs the entire stack of papers, and storms out.
by the by~i phoned Ms Previous Manager at her new library to tell her the tale (which she found quite entertaining), and to ask her what She WOULD do.
She said, "tell her there would be another issue out next week."
so there you go...

divinity however you may find it

In an effort to further my ritual/devotional/celebration knowledge (yeah whatever), i purchased, sight unseen, Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers and Blessings by the very trusted and authoritative CaitlĂ­n Matthews. This is a beautifully illustrated, rather portable little gem of a book that i believe offers a spiritual path to seekers of all faiths (if they are of open hearts and minds).
This lovely book offers invocations for the beginning and closing of each season as well as greetings for the equinox or solstice, which falls midway through the season; morning and evening devotionals for each day of the week within each season; as well as areas to focus your thoughts and suggested activities for each season. There are also prayers of various blessing, healing, etc as well as ceremonies and meditations. Highly recommended.
now if only i hadn't mentioned finding divinity--i've been looking for that wonderful fluffy kind like grandma used to make...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

whatever blows your dress up

So I was driving home tonight--distressed, disgusted, mostly just discouraged about the whole O.J. thing and what it means to society as a whole (and if this book comes up in my collection area, which it almost inevitably will, I am then faced with the ultimate Librarian Conundrum of buying or NOT WANTING TO BUY something I am so completely disgusted by--and if I just pass the buck on to the best seller committee is that dereliction of duty?) etc, etc, etc,--migraine--induced by the usual juvenile delinquent crowd--pounding in my head--when good old Adam and the Ants Beat My Guest starts playing on my faithful iPod (which is what is almost always playing in the car). Now Adam Ant in general and certain songs in particular (Beat My Guest being among them) have an almost magical power to produce an Absolute Instant Happy in me (does it Really need mention here that Adam Ant was my One and Only teenage obsession?--speaking of juvenile delinquents--I made it to a Very Respectable Seventeen years old with none of that annoying celebrity crushing and I thought myself almost immune then suddenly...along comes...well you know...)
Anywaaaaay... back to my story: i'm in my car; distressed, depressed, migraining (shouldn't there be some way of saying that that can end in an ess? migrainstressed?) Adam comes on; all the esses just flow away; i'm happy, i'm cardancing, i'm belting out those oh so lovely lyrics, when I find myself thinking to myself:
"Self, isn't it interesting that you are so VERY cheered by the sadomasochistic lyrics of a bipolar has-been (some-not me of course-would say never-was)?"
Very interesting indeed--and don't even get me started on the implications of those afore-mentioned lyrics you must reference the html link I will not repeat them here I will merely belt them out in the privacy of my car flying, down the freeway, and the ironic~that's literary irony not the Alannis sense connection~to the afore mentioned "alleged" (or should that be hypothetical?) wife/girlfriend/woman abuser/killer. Oh well i really don't want to put TOO much thought into THAT, it (the music that is) makes me happy and we must find our joy where we can, while we can--or as we (we being me and a few of my friends) said in high school...
whatever blows your dress up

finding my religion

According to many, Samhain (October 31) marked the beginning of the Pagan year; and, using that as my commencement, i have decided to go on a little spiritual quest (yet again).
My migraines have gotten really bad and i want to try something new to get them to abate. So i am starting with some of my basic Wicca books, at least for the moment, to get me started on the path to becoming more in tune with nature, more in tune with my body. I am trying to incorporate some ritual into my life that i can get behind in my own way.
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is a great basic introduction to Wicca and paganism in general. It was written in the late seventies/early eighties, just as the world was "awakening" to "alternative lifestyles" (to use an overly cliched term) so it is a little too general and perhaps a bit outdated (and i personally prefer a more goddess-centered approach which Cunningham says is as out-of-balance as our current paternalistic societal religions--but i BELIEVE to each HER own :) Anyway--for those seeking an introduction and/or a basic guidebook this is a great place to start!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

deadly brutal wiscracking genius noir (and how many adjectives SHOULD you pack into a title?)

I must admit i have always had a certain fondness for Robert Downey, Jr. (drug troubles and all--didn't seem to dampen his genius much) ~and for a look at vintage Robert, whose quirkiness brightens up an otherwise dismal pic check out the name escapes me at the moment . So when Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang showed up on cable last night i ended up staying up most of the night watching it and, wickedly black comedy that it was, i absolutely loved it.
Downey plays a part-time crook flown to Hollywood for a screen-test, taking "detective" lessons with "Gay Perry" (a fabulously funny Val Kilmer playing against type). Downey does Much more than wink at the camera as he narrates his way through the action, backtracking (rewinding) or fast-forwarding as necessary, bumbling his way through. I found Shane Black's writing to be brilliant--absolute perfection (much superior to his Lethal Weapon) and this seems to be the perfect vehicle for his directorial debut (at least in my considered opinion--now that seems an entirely unnecessary statement in My Personal Blog does it Not?).
While i did think Michelle Monaghan's performance was spot on (and i did love her friend Flicka) i'm not sure i bought her as Robert Downey's high school dream girl--they don't look quite the same age do they?
Anyway, see Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, let the blood and laughs flow, give me your opinion (i'm asking for it:).

Monday, November 13, 2006

don't you just love sarcasm?

Urban legends (as a natural extension of fairy tales) are one of my particular interests and they always seem to be popping up everywhere (and, yes, i am one of those irritating people that is often pointing out to friends and acquaintances that they have fallen prey to one)--which brings us to that other phenomenon of once your attention is drawn to something instances of it are seen everywhere--what IS that about?. ANYWAY if you like urban legends and ever feel the urgent need to check one out (or check if something is one) Snopes is my site of choice--not only for it accuracy but also for its lovely sense of sarcasm which is right up my alley, for instance (this from a reference i had to find when i came across a reference to a real scream that didn't sound familiar in my recent Horror film obsessive reading--more on that later)
According to the legend, the model was horribly burned by the honey (because it was heated to make it flow more freely) or suffered excruciating pain when it was removed (because it was actually a form of liquid plastic that took huge chunks of her skin with it when it was removed), and her screams of agony are what is heard on the finished product. (Apparently the Ohio Players were experimenting with rush record production techniques that had the recording of the album's music occurring in the studio simultaneous with the creation of the album's cover art.)
A related version had the badly scarred model show up at the studio to demand compensation for her injuries just as the band was recording "Love Rollercoaster," and their manager deftly handled the situation by killing her on the spot.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

take a poetic tour of the solar system

I just can't seem to stay away from those solar system books and this week's pick is The Planets by Dava Sobel (she of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter fame). Sobel writes in a lyrical style somewhat similar to Diane Ackerman (one of my favorite authors--who Sobel in her infinite wisdom quotes in her preface, further endearing herself to me), she makes her scientific subject sound like poetry. She has NOT resigned herself to mere boring descriptions of each planet but has given each its own individual flavour beginning with the designation by chapter title: the overview is called Model Worlds; the sun, Genesis; Mercury, Mythology; Venus, Beauty; Earth, Geography; the moon, Lunacy; Mars Sci-Fi; Jupiter, Astrology; Saturn, Music of the Spheres; Uranus and Neptune, Night Air; Pluto, UFO; and the Coda is Planeteers, each chapter is a complete little tale in and of itself, told in its own voice (the one about Mars even told in the voice of the sixteen million year old Martian meteorite found in the Antarctic ice fields--if i make it sound silly it is only my own ineptitude not the book itself.) My favorite little discovery from this book? The life-span of William Herschel (the astronomer who discovered Uranus) was exactly equal to Uranus' orbital period of 83.7 years (which of course he didn't live quite long enough to figure out!). Anyway--i loved this book informative in a lovely way!
...And if i may bring up the subject, yet again, there is still a bit of debate on just how many planets (and just how to define a planet anyway) there are.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

kiss the ground

So there has always been the librarian avengers (which if you have never seen/found/checked out you really, REALLY should-from an excellent school too!) In case you don't know--here's a little background on The Librarian Avenger. In 1997 (coincidently the year i graduated from library school) a not-yet library-grad student named Erica Olsen from Flint, Michigan penned this wonderful essay:
Why you should fall to your knees and worship a librarian
Ok, sure. We've all got our little preconceived notions about who librarians are and what they do. Many people think of librarians as diminutive civil servants, scuttling about "Ssh-ing" people and stamping things. Well, think again buster.
Librarians have degrees. They go to graduate school for Information Science and become masters of data systems and human/computer interaction. Librarians can catalog anything from an onion to a dog's ear. They could catalog you.
Librarians wield unfathomable power. With a flip of the wrist they can hide your dissertation behind piles of old Field and Stream magazines. They can find data for your term paper you never knew existed. They may even point you toward new and appropriate subject headings.
People become librarians because they know too much. Their knowledge extends beyond mere categories. Their knowledge extends beyond mere categories. They cannot be confined to disciplines. Librarians are all-knowing and all-seeing. They bring order to chaos. They bring wisdom and culture to the masses. They preserve every aspect of human knowledge. Librarians rule. And they will kick they crap out of anyone who says otherwise.
©Erica Olsen
doesn't that just make you beam inside? and it's a great answer when people want to know just WHAT it is that librarians DO.
now there are the Library Goddesses - (Garrulous Goddesses Generate Genuine Gems) a divine group of librarians sharing books and library ideas with you (a group which yours truly has just recently joined).
My goddess is Damara (a strange kind of permutation of my given name--which i am oddly attached to--as we are wont to be), a Celtic fertility/sea goddess worshiped in Britain and associated with the month of May (my birth month) and the Gaelic holiday of Beltaine (for you non-pagans.--Beltaine is usually celebrated at the midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice) Some also consider her a goddess of insight and knowledge--i'd like to consider myself that too.
Librarians, if you want to join check this out.

Friday, November 03, 2006

definitely NOT MY rampage

here's a (NOT) lovely little rant that has been making the rounds on many of the library listservs that i am on (it was apparently originally posted on craigslist):

Date:2005-09-14, 10:47AM CDT

When I became a librarian I was woefully under prepared for the mess that awaited me beyond the library door I've been a library patron, but the libraries that I frequent are quiet, studious places filled with lovely library patrons who read books and do research on the computers. The library that I work at on the other hand is a mish mash of the ignorant, the indigent, the clueless, the rude, and my personal favorite, the aromatic.
Please find somewhere else to find your miserable time. I'm sick to death of dealing with you. Why is it that no one understands that the library is not a homeless shelter, free baby sitting service, social service agency, video arcade, peep show, or an other of the 999 other inappropriate uses that you have for it?
To the smelly homeless guy that is always asleep by the magazines: For the last time, no you cannot sleep in the library. It's a rule that we had to make to keep people like you from sleeping all day in the library. I feel bad for your situation, really I do, but I also know that you can get free meals, a place to sleep and a shower if you just stop at the shelter that is 3 blocks away from our front door.
To the guy who asked me if we could keep his extra malt liquor in the staff fridge: No, in fact if you bring it in her I'm going to call the cops. Not because I'm a tight assed bitch, because that's the rules dude. It's called public intoxication and it's illegal.
To the girls who smoke pot in the bathrooms: Yes it was me who called the cops. No that doesn't make me racist and no you can't come back. I don't care that it's going to rain. When you get arrested in my bathroom you can't come back, even if it means you get wet.
To the parents of the children who are running around screaming: You make me want to run around and scream my head off too, but I don't, I control myself, why can't you control your offspring? When I was a Children's Librarian we called it using your inside voice. Try it.
To the parents who tell your miserable offspring to come to the library after school because you choose not to find a babysitter/daycare: We are not a free babysitting service. Yes, we have nice books and computers for the kiddies to use but you need to come along with them. Otherwise I will get their information from their library card and call social services. It's not my job to watch your brats.
To the 99.9% of computer users who don't have the faintest idea how to use the Internet: I'm happy to help you get started, but I won't help you beyond that. We have a lovely (and free) series of classes to teach you, but I have others to help and I can't hold you hand all day long so that you sell your shit on EBay. I also can't help you file your divorce even though the courthouse told you that I would. I'm not a lawyer, I'm a librarian, so I can't help you out.
To the man who just told me that Wisconsin sure isn't like Illinois: no shit Sherlock. We like it that way. If you and your trophy wife hadn't allowed your spoiled brat of a daughter to be drinking at Country Thunder you wouldn't have to pay that $400 ticket that she got. Yep, underage drinking is illegal in Wisconsin, and nope, I'm not going to agree that it sucks. I've worked both here and in Illinois, and even though patrons here get under my skin I'll take them any day over the soccer moms in Lincolnshire. Suck it up, pay the ticket, don't let your daughter drink until she is 21 and get out of my state.
To the people who want me to hold their hand and show them exactly where the book they want is: Don't look at the piece of paper I've written the call number down for you like it's Sanskrit. Can you count? Then you can use the Dewey Decimal System. At least try to find the book because there are 15 other waiting for me to solve their problems for them too. I know that they teach this stuff in elementary school, so try to figure it out on your own. But since I like you because you are actually looking for a book, if you really can't find it come and ask me nice and I'll help you.
To the people who want me to fix the computer so that you can spend 15 hours a day chatting, playing solitaire, looking for your one true love, etc. online: Don't get me wrong, I like the Internet. I just don't like it when you are sitting around doing nothing library related every single hour we are open. That means people who have an actual research need can't get to the computers, so no, I'm not going to help you solve why it's hung up. Don't you have something else to do with your time--like work maybe? I know for a fact that the McDonald's up the street is hiring, maybe you should apply. By the way, I know how to fix the problem, I'm just not going to help you because I hate you, so I will always turn it off and make sure you have lost everything that you have done so far. Consider yourself warned. Lots of people hate Bill Gates; I hate him for his philanthropy. I wish I could throw the patron computer out the door and drive over them with a dump truck.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian
"I'm a librarian, so I can't help you."
¿¿¿that is just the teensiest bit frightening is it not???
now i can't help but wonder if this is for real--is it meant to be sarcastic (if so the sarcasm's lost--even on ME)? Funny (needs an injection of humour? Is this even a real librarian? I must admit to having a few of these feelings but never to quite this extent--was this a REALLY BAD day? Had this person never met anyone from the human race before he/she/it decided to take a job in the PUBLIC SERVICE sector? I have certainly had my days, and i make my jokes, but i did know what i was getting into before i got into it--there is a point when people begin to ask a little too much but helping them up until that point is all a part of our job and if you are not enjoying it you really should leave. Seriously, I believe we librarians need to stop pontificating on what is NOT our job and get back to NON-JUDGMENTALLY helping the public (and of course venting on our personal blogs because it does begin to get to you after a one must rampage but ever so pleasantly...)