Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hang on a sec

Found a new blog today, by Diana (Douglas?), who I don't know very well, and should probably google, but I know that her husband wrote Quiet, Please: Dispatches of a Public Librarian (he and I also exchanged a few emails last year when I added his book to my to-read list on Goodreads. Very nice. We talked about the Anaheim Library and my faint childhood memories of pinocchio).

Anyway, An interesting post of hers highlighted a few sexist ads from earlier decades. I clicked on this one for a close-up view:

And I almost didn't notice the woman at the bottom of the photo - faceless, nameless woman, hanging onto a rope, and who looks like she isn't getting up that rock face any time soon. And get a load of the men above her - chatting with each other, ignoring her! The one on the left looks like he's reeling in a salmon, in my opinion. Personally, I don't blame her for being a drag. First thing I would do after getting home from this trip is find some hand balm and a divorce lawyer. Thank goodness I was born in the 80s.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Told a room of co-workers about a rude thing a patron said to me the other day, and they all gasped indignantly for me at the same time. Made it all better.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Because my heart rate wasn't high enough

Our fire alarm went off at the library today. It was an odd moment when I thought, "who's in charge?" and then I realized,
"oh, that's me. crap."

As we were moving people out of the building, a woman came up to me looking agonized, and holding a little girl - maybe 1 and a half.
She said, "I think my baby set this off."
I asked where they had been, and she pointed to a wall where there weren't any fire alarms.
So I asked, "How did it happen?"
She said she wasn't watching her little girl (for just a second, of course), and she stuck a pencil into an outlet. My first thought: good grief, your kid is sticking things into outlets? My second thought: Wait, that wouldn't set off the alarm.

I told her so and she looked skeptical, and I had to say, "There's no way that would set off the alarm. She'd have to have pulled the red alarm... thingy." (Yes I am a master of communication) The young mom looked immensely relieved, and told me how she had turned around just as her daughter was sticking the pencil in, and at that exact moment the fire alarm went off. I would wonder, too, with timing like that.

As she walked away I heard her say softly to her daughter,
"It wasn't your fault, honey" in this reassuring and loving way.
It was so sweet!

+5 points for being a sweet mom.
-10 for the outlet thing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Music Crush

Michael and I are both crazy about this video:

To the point where we've watched it several times by now...
I think it captures my total love for dorks. Not that Michael is a dork. He's cool. He just happens to be a cool person who knows who the Jem'Hadar are.

More about that later.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Renaissance

Recently I had a big discussion with my Oldest Sister about The Pioneer Woman, a blogger who was a city-girl, then met and fell in love with a cattle rancher and now lives on this gigantic ranch with him and their four children. She blogs all about her life and experiences on the ranch, and it's so interesting because it's from an outsider's perspective... she seems almost bewildered that she fell into such a life. Her blog is wildly popular, and she has won several blog awards on a national level.

This made me think a lot about the blogs that I read. Right now I'm subscribed to 61 blogs on my reader, and I realized that almost all of them are written by women. I know this probably just reflects my interests, but it is sort of remarkable when you stand back and think about how many women are blogging and what they are saying.

The more I think about this the more it amazes me. My favorite blogs are written by women who I would never know or have any contact with in any prior era. But because of this technology, I can read about their experiences and how they see the world, and I find myself amused, enlightened, and inspired by them everyday.

Blogs have given women an outlet for their creative talents like we've never had before. In the Art History field, there's a big discussion about how history has so few great women artists because they were in the home, taking care of family and children and the house and it was just easier for men to find the time to invest in art. Blogs, however, open up those creative avenues from our very homes.

I mentioned all of this to Oldest Sister in an email, and she responded: "Oh, I so agree with you about giving women an outlet, I think of Pioneer Woman's isolation on that ranch--and how it's totally overcome. Not only hundreds of friends, but national recognition for her talents! I think a creative, talented woman like that would have gone bonkers in the past--not having an outlet."

I'm not trying to burn my maidenform or anything, but personally, I think what is happening is special. I know to some degree or another, women have been able to express themselves before now, obviously. But I don't think it has been done with this much ease by so many people, and anyone can do it.

Maybe blogs will become passe and go out of style. Maybe they will overrun the world. But I think right now they are giving something to women that we haven't ever really seen before: the easy, free, from-home ability to express themselves, and be recognized.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shared trials

Here's a clip of a terribly important instant-message conversation I had with my brother today:

Adam: it seems to take me about 8 McNuggets to empty out a package of BBQ sauce

Adam: that means for a 10 piece Chicken McNugget, I only use about 1/4 of the second package of BBQ sauce

Adam: what do I do with the other 3/4?

I face this problem myself every time I get these. The only solution I can think of is the same one Adam came up with: carefully wrap it up in 3 different containers so it doesn't ooze out all over the trash bin. It was freaky how similar things were getting, until I realized that there is one big difference in our two experiences:

I get the sweet and sour sauce.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I encounter a freaky spider: a thought process.

Oh holy crap. That is the freakiest looking spider ever. And it's in my house. Look at him go. There's no way I'm touching that thing. I have a strict no-touching-spiders-with-fur policy. But I can't just let him free to run through my house and attack me when I'm sleeping.

I should get Michael. But he's asleep, and I really don't want to wake him up (he's sick and needs his sleep). But I can't let this thing remain free. Maybe I can just watch him for a couple of hours until Michael wakes up? No, that won't work, I'm already starting to feel nauseous. I should just squish it.

Uh... That spider looks like the kind that could jump 20 feet right onto my jugular. Or the kind that's secretly built with internal fangs so if you squish him, he gets his last revenge by injecting you with poison from his secret fang. Definitely a secret fang spider. This is a job for Michael.

I need some sort of containment system.

But what if Michael wakes up and comes in here to do the dishes, and unwittingly lifts up the cup and is immediately set upon by the jugular-jump of death?


Friday, May 1, 2009

Bel Canto

At work we have genre reading assignments. Basically they ask us to read a book from an assigned genre every couple of months. This is a great idea because it exposes us all to a variety of genres and makes us better able to give recommendations to patrons who may not have the same reading preferences as us.

Right now for this assignment I'm reading Bel Canto. I've only just started, but here's what's happened so far. In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. Alas, in the opening sequence, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists storm the party. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home.

I'm really enjoying the author's voice in this book. Sometimes, that's all it takes for me to really love a book. Here's an example regarding some of the younger terrorists who heard the soprano sing while they waited to storm the party:

"When a girl in their village had a pretty voice, one of the old women would say she had swallowed a bird, and this was what they tried to say to themselves as they looked at [her]: she has swallowed a bird. But they knew it wasn't true. In all their ignorance, in all their unworldliness, they knew there had never been such a bird."

*Update for Adam: The genre we have right now is "General Fiction." To me, this is really more an exclusionary category... no historical fiction, nothing that falls under fantasy, sci-fi, romance, or mystery. These books usually deal with people in realistic places and circumstances. Sometimes people come in wanting a no-nonsense book, and since I read mostly fantasy anyway, genre assignments like this are good for me.