Monday, June 29, 2009

Did you know I have this crazy fascination?

I've been noticing a trend in my preferences for movies and books over the last year or so. And I'd have to say the thing that excites me most is best described by the word "apocalyptic." Anything that has to do with the end of the world, or an apocalyptic scenario, or a post-apocalyptic society or future, and I'm on board! I love it. One of my favorite books from last year was "Life As We Knew It" - where an asteroid hits the moon, knocking it closer to earth and basically everything goes wrong. Earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, storms, and it's all told through the journal of one teenager trying to make it through the winter in her home in suburbia. I was mesmerized and started freaking Michael out with long conversations about what we'll do if there's an earthquake or a natural disaster and there's no phones or food and what if we're separated? whose house will we meet at? what if cars don't work? does he think we could walk to his parents house 20 miles north? how many days would that take?
He seemed a bit unsettled - what a weirdo.

Anytime there's a new movie coming out about any kind of world-ending situation, I'm allll over it. Pretty much every one I know hated War of the Worlds - and I bought it. Ok? Are you seeing the obsession here? Every once in awhile the history channel does a special on Nostradamus and all of his predictions that seem to be right and his many predictions of destruction (and all the ways they think it could happen) - and darn it, I keep watching those. They also have a fabulous series now called, "Life After People" that shows the breakdown of man-made cities and structures should humans suddenly disappear.

I'm trying to paint a picture for you. It's not that I think the world is going to end or that I'm expecting this stuff to happen. It's just a personal fascination. What I really love about these books and movies is seeing how it changes normal society, how it breaks down human reactions and behaviors and suddenly it's such a different world.

So can you imagine my reaction when Michael showed me this?:

Yes! Michael was even like, "I don't know if it looks very good..." and I was like, "it looks aaaawesoooooome! did you see that ground just dropping away beneath that plane? it could totally happennnnn!"
No, it couldn't. But I loved it anyway. Usually I don't bother with movies that look pretty crappy, but if it involves the end of the world, you can talk me into seeing it pretty easily.
Plus, I kind of have a thing for John Cusack.

If anyone has some good movie or book suggestions, lay it on me!

p.s. Speaking of apocalyptic, did you see that Norway is building a giant shelter for the end of the world? So if the end of the world happens and you're still alive, try to make your way to Norway.

p.p.s Here are some books and movies that are right up the apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic world/society alley for me:

Life As We Knew It
The Dead and the Gone
The Hunger Games
Ender's Game
The Host

War of the Worlds
I Am Legend
The Matrix
Children of Men
Independence Day
V for Vendetta (ok, borderline, but I really like that movie)

I know Armageddon and Deep Impact should probably be on that list, but they're not. They just don't make the cut. Waterworld is also banned from the list. I almost put Cloverfield on there but I don't want you to completely lose respect for me. Jury's out on The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Any recommendations?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In which I pat myself on the back.

We often have people call and ask us for the phone numbers or addresses of businesses. I usually google it even though we have phone books right at the desk with us. But I had a lady call in today and ask me for this:

She: "I need the name and number of a realty office in American Fork that's near to Wasatch Nutrition. It's really close by, like a couple doors down, I think."

Me: "And you don't know the name of the realty office?"

She: "No. Like I said, it's really close to Wasatch Nutrition."

Aaaaaand I found it for her. That's right: I'm amazing.

Ok, I can't take all the credit. I'd like to thank Google and Google Maps.

Here's how I did it:
I googled "Wasatch Nutrition in American Fork"

Then I took the address from one of the listings and put it into google maps.

Google maps brought up the business along with a list of options including "Search Nearby"

I clicked on that and typed in "Realty" (Note: you can type any general business type into this field and google maps will find them for you. In the past I've search for "Laundromat" and "Dentist" and "Dry Cleaning")

Several nearby Realty offices popped up on my map.

I asked my caller if it was west of Wasatch Nutrition and on the north side of the street - she said yes and - voila. Awesomeness.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I waited a long time to get 4 lousy nuggets

Today there was an older lady in line ahead of me at the Wendy's drive thru. You know how there are two menu boards at drive thrus now? One with some menu items listed, and then a second one that actually has the speaker? This lady was giving her order to the non-speaker menu board. And then she got no reply and looked really confused. And I think her husband was in the car with her, and they were both totally baffled.

I was sitting in line behind watching all of this, and the librarian in me was chomping at the bit to help her. I kept thinking, "Should I go up there? I could just hop out and run up and tell her where it is. But that's such a stupid librarian thing to do - do I have to help everybody all the time?? Besides she'll think I'm crazy, coming up to her window and telling her what to do."

I guess I debated too long, because then she put on her blinker to curve around the drive-thru lane, passed the speaker menu completely, and went to the window to pick up her order. She talked to those people at the window for a loooong time.

p.s. To Wendy's: 4 nuggets for 99 cents? Are you really so lame that you took it from 5 to 4 pieces? Is that really bailing you out of this economic crisis - 1 less nugget in an already almost worthless menu item?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Three encounters

These all took place on a busy day at the library.

There's a guy who has computer trouble and yells at me, but I like him because when he's done yelling he is really nice and laughs and is easy-going, and it gives me personality whiplash. You'd think this would be unpleasant, but it amuses me - he is quirky. It's easy to be patient because I know he'll be nice in just a minute. But he yelled at me today when another patron could overhear us. He asked me how long it took for a paper to come out of the printer once you printed, and I told him that it happens almost immediately, and he yelled and said, "NO! I mean WHEN does it come OUT??" So I repeated: when you hit the print button the papers come out within a few seconds. He said, "Oh really?" and walked away. The witness patron who had stood there through it all said confidentially to me, "You said it just fine. It was perfectly clear what you were saying the first time." And I smiled and said, "Oh, it's no problem." Now I look like an awesome librarian, incredibly patient and understanding of crazy people who yell at me, when really my good attitude is just because this guy cracks me up. I love my job.

An older gentleman came in asking for consumer reports, which I told him were on the second floor, and he nodded and said, "I thought so."

Then he stood there for a few moments considering me, then he leaned in and said intently, "You'll have to watch out for me, I just had the swine flu!"
"Oh yeah?" I said. He says, "Oh yeah, but I saw a fine medical representative - A veterinarian!" At this, I laughed politely.

He considers me for another moment. Then he says, "I used to have a dental practice right over there on that corner [pointing out the window]. I had a lady come in once to me, and she said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry, [he puts his hands on his cheeks here] I've been so busy, I haven't had time to brush my teeth!' And so I said, 'Oh don't worry, I've been so busy, I haven't had time to wash my hands!'"

I laughed again, and feeling that he had sufficiently entertained and charmed me, he left looking for consumer reports. Some patrons are entertaining on purpose.

As librarians, we generally try to exercise common sense and human decency. So when I had an elderly couple come up to me asking for a movie and looking so fragile that they might keel over at any moment, I invited them to sit on a soft bench while I found the movie for them. They were really impressed (but really, it seems like an obvious thing to do). When I brought them their movie, they had this little exchange:
Man "I should give you a card! Where are my cards?"
Woman "oh yes, give her a card, he does these cards, you see."
Man "I have some cards, have you seen them before?"
Woman "Here they are, get one out for her"
Man "Here you go, these are my special cards"

And then he handed me this:
(I've blurred out his name and contact info for his protection)

And of course - he stood and waiting for me to give him a smile back, which was easy, and accompanied by a "thank you."

I hope I am that cheerful when I am their age.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Moon

Did you hear that the trailer for New Moon is out? If you'd like to see it, I found the perspective on the Miss Nemesis blog to be my favorite, complete with fan reactions:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Falcons in SLC

There are some falcons nesting on top of a building in downtown SLC. They have a webcam set up right at the nest and I've been watching as the mom falcon sits on red speckled eggs. I just re-visited today, and there are baby falcons up there now! They are pretty still, so I was worried that something was wrong, but they move around every once in awhile. Unfortunately, it looks like one of the eggs didn't hatch.

You can read about them here:

There's a link to the webcam at the bottom of the page. But it takes about a minute to load, so be patient.

Old News

Sometimes I save news articles to talk about on my blog, but never get around to posting about them.

Here's one about how the Obama administration is looking to put some contemporary art in the White House.

Mostly, it seems like posturing to me, to appear that you're breaking with the past, like you're trying to appear more in touch with contemporary society, and things that reflect contemporary society.

But I love contemporary art, so I can hardly complain. What do you think?