Sunday, June 28, 2009

Requiescat In Pace, Ya Freak

I was surprised, but not saddened by the King of Pop's demise. I never liked the guy, to be frank. My older sister liked to spin the Jackson 5's 45s* ALL THE TIME when we were kids. She particularly liked the song "Ben" which was about a boy's love for a pet rat, if I remember correctly. My dislike was compounded many years later when a girlfriend with whom I shared a love for bands like Pere Ubu, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Ramones, the Clash and such like suddenly became a fan of Thriller, which was only marginally more understandable to me than becoming a Scientologist. I wish I had seen that the relationship was doomed when she got one of those 80s hairgel-intensive hairdos to better enjoy her newfound infatuation with the Gloved One, but I didn't and you don't need to know the sordid details of the relationship's demise. Just know that it wasn't nice and Mr. Jackson shares some of the responsibility. Still, I guess he was talented and in spite of the sad trainwreck of personal life, he didn't deserve to go at the age of 50, which seems younger and younger all the time to me.

HOWEVER, being the nasty, bitter, sneering deskslave I am, I couldn't help but think of other performers who have plagued my life who deserved to die instead. It's not a long list. Feel free to comment in additions to it:

Elton John
Billy Joel
Elton John
Barry Manilow
Elton John
Rod Stewart
Sir Paul McCartney
Elton John
Phil Collins, even though he disappeared a long time ago
and of course, Elton John.

And, just out of spite, here are a few who were just irritations and not fully deserving of the Deep Six:
Lionel Ritchie
Hall and Oates.

*To those of you who grew up during the Holocene and not before like me, there used to be these vinyl platters called records which behaved in much the same way as your fancy CDs of today. Only they were huge, damage-prone and revolved at the stately and dignified rate of 33 times per minute, unlike your aforesaid fancy CDs which twirl at a frenetic 500 or so. They also only set you back about 1 hour of minimum wage work, unlike CDs which is more like two hours. There was also a 2-song record that was smaller and clocked 45 laps per minute. These could be had for 99 cents, making them inexpensive enough to allow my sister to buy plenty of future-deskslave-punishing music like The Jackson 5, the Osmonds, Three Dog Night and Sonny and Cher.

A Life Unchanged But Saved Nonetheless

Thanks to Beth's snarkitude, I am giving up trying to follow the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Instead of changing my life, I am now focussing on saving it. To that end, I have Neil Strauss' book Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life. Considering that Mr. Strauss ghosted Jenna Jameson's autobiography and wrote a book about becoming a Playa, I'm a little dubious, but I'll letcha know. It has chapters with titles like "The Problem with Gas Masks" and "Bathroom Tips for Combat Soldiers," so I get the feeling that the applications to my own currently unsaved and rather ordinary life may be limited.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Book that Changes Lives

I was just removing a reprint of Dan Millman's Way of the Peaceful Warrior from New Books to Plain Old Books. I saw the subtitle, which is "A book that changes lives." I could sure use that, so I started reading. Right now I'm on Page 9. No change. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today's deep thought

Publishers need to leave off the adjective "major" on books when they do a movie tie-in edition. Their all going to say "major," it's not like some low self esteem publisher is going to put "Now a minor motion picture" on their book.

While we're at it, all openings are grand ones, so we can get rid of "grand," too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It gave me such a frisson of amour propre

From the
Open Culture Blog (which you should go to weekly, if you ask me), a list of the most looked up words in the New York Times online edition.

sui generis

Is it a bad thing that I didn't have to look them up? Probably. Is it a bad thing that I want to share the fact that I know them with you? Most certainly. Do we hate bloggers asking themselves rhetorical questions that they immediately answer? Ummmm...

That cool new game

A colleague working in the teen room just told me about two teens who came in and looked at our collection of board games.
"Here it is!" one said, "Here's that game I was telling you about."
He took down chess.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My poor broken heart

We have this brand new, whizz-bang color printer here at Deskslave Central. For public use and everything. As you might expect, it never seems to work right. Lately it is working even less right than usual, which is to say not at all. So when people want to print in color, they have to somehow get their document to us and we print it out on another color printer in the work area. Such a hassle, but most people are good sports about it.

"You got a color printer," demanded the scruffy guy. He had glasses with lenses the size of windshields.

I told him that we kinda did and then detailed the fiasco situation. I was informed that this was ridiculous. And unacceptable. And several other things beside. But, since black and white was printing reasonably well, he decided to print it that way. We have one of those systems that makes would-be printers log in on a separate machine in order to get the job they sent to the printer. Again, no big deal for most. But Mr. Huffy decided to get exercised about this one, too.
"I just printed somethings. Where does it come out," he demanded.
I motioned him over to the release station. "Here let me show you," I encouraged. I started to take him through the paces, but when I asked him to scan the barcode on his card, he looked at me as though I had just asked him to strangle and eat a kitten. I was informed, again, that it was ridiculous, unacceptable, etc. Then I was informed, in high dudgeon, that he was leaving and never returning.
My poor broken heart. How will it ever recover?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Metaphorically speaking, my fingers are in my ears and I'm saying La-La-La

I just heard a kid a few shelves over say, sotto voce, "Don't do that. You're in a library. You could get in trouble."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I thought it was second Thursday of the month!

Nope. It was second Tuesday of the month this month. I'm speaking, of course, about Get Hammered and Go to the Library Night.

Honestly, if I was intoxicated, the library is about the last place I'd want to be. I am, it would appear, in the minority here. I had to boot somebody. I said it was for foul language and abusing a computer, but really it was for the visible intoxication.

Since I hate you I won't be saying thanks

I was summoned over to the InterWeb after being told that it wasn't working. ("What's wrong with the Internet?" was what she actually said. It was hard not to begin telling her. I have hours worth of material on what's wrong with the IntarWeb.) At moments like that, it's usually a matter of logging in. You have to type in the entire 14-digit barcode and get your password right. But she was in, and everything looked fine; there was the Windows desktop in all its mediocrity. I asked her to show me what was wrong. She pointed at Explorer 's pretty E logo. It looked fine.
"Ummm...what's wrong with it?" I inquired tentatively.
"It doesn't work," she replied in her best talking-to-the-slow-child voice.
"Why don't you show me what you are trying to do."
She moused over to the Explorer logo and gave the mouse two of what can only be described as savage jabs. In between jabs, the mouse moved. Probably trying to escape maltreatment. She looked back at me with a "SEE??" sort of look. I explained the problem and she, in a huffy, exasperated way gave the mouse button another couple jabs to similar effect. I wanted to ask her if she did that to everything and how short the lives of her appliances were, but instead asked her if she wanted me to do it.
She didn't exactly answer, but by moving away from the mouse a little, I took it as a "Yes, please." So I double clicked Explorer for her and it launched right up.
"This is ridiculous," she said to no one in particular and began her important computing session.

Monday, June 8, 2009

As the nobility meter goes from 100 to -27

I just got an inquiry into how to become a foster parent. I perked right up. We need good foster families and I admire people who make the sacrifice, especially those who take in special needs children. I was feeling all happy about helping her find out until she asked if I could find out how much you get paid. Somebody she knows evidently gets $30,000 a year in some other state, which seemed like good money to her. Ick. (But I'm a good deskslave, I found out that the compensation varies depending on the child's age and special needs. Plus the number to call. But sheesh.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Grammar Nazi Fail

So in this book

They got all strict with the title's construction. In deciding not to split infinitives, which I think is silly. (I probably should have written "to not split," but I think you get my meaning.) As a result, the title could suggest that the book is about the superior ways one might die. So I think it should have been "How to not die" instead. What do you think, dear reader? (I put that in the singular because I think I only have one reader.)

I must also point out the author is referred to as "America's Favorite Medical Examiner," which seems a little farfetched. Like I'm going to turn to my dearly beloved and say, "honey, if I die under suspicious circumstances, would you make sure that Jan Garavaglia is the one who slices me open, removes and weighs my organs and does all that other icky stuff to my viscera? She's my favorite!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A little matter of twenty cents

Just got off the phone with a patron who was trying to renew a book. Sadly, she had already renewed it several times, so she was out of luck. She had caught her limit. But it was due today, I was told, and she would not be able to get it in before we closed. She was fairly upset about getting charged anything.

I want to be sympathetic, but I have important librarian duties to perform, like add paper to the copier. I felt like telling her that she should come to the desk and I'd pay her fine, just to get her off the phone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

If that's a service dog

then I'm...let's see. Not Melville Dewey. That guy gets too much attention. OK: if that's a service dog, then I'm Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan. I told the woman with the ratty little Chihuahua that animals are not allowed in the library. She informed me that it was a service animal. Evidently, we are not allowed to challenge this, so Ratso stayed. At least he didn't pee in the Fiction area. Or any area, come to think of it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hope our love lasts...

...and doesnt get used as a bookmark.