Friday, December 29, 2006

My Biggest Brother

Ok, you guys, I'm totally warning you. I am about to get all serious. I know this blog is mainly all hee hee and haw haw because that is what my peoples love. And really, that is how I live most of my life. In fact, "hee hee and haw haw" should be my middle name. Except Librarian Hee Hee and Haw Haw Girl is just ridiculous, so it's not going to be my middle name. Anyhoo. I'm just saying. If you don't want to see me get all serious, avert your peepers right now.

See, today is my big brother's birthday, and so of course, I am thinking about my customary shout-out to him on this here blog. Writing brithday shout-outs is hard, because it means I have to take these incredibly important, complex people and try to come up with some anecdote that says something about them in just a few paragraphs. So I have to think to myself, what do I want the Innernets to know about the Birthday Loved One? What can I possibly say that will mean something to all of you out there who have never met me, never met them, and that says something about the core of who the Birthday Person is? It's a tall order, and I don't know if I'm successful at doing it half the time, but here I go again.

My brother is over a decade older than I am. All of my siblings are a lot older than me, and they are all close in age to each other. I came along way after the three of them (can anyone say "accident"?) and have often felt envious of their closeness, their shared experiences, their 70s hairdos in old photos. This may sound strange, but some of the memories I cherish the most about my brother are ones that I can't even remember. My parents tell me about how he helped care for me when I was a baby. My parents had just immigrated to this country with three rugrats and then had me and it was a high-stress time for everyone. I'm sure everyone was homesick for the homeland and that there was a large helping of worry on everyone's plate, with enough left over for second helpings. So, my brother helped out with the newest kiddie on the block. He fed me,and hung out with me, and nurtured me. Nice, right? Damn my baby brains for not being able to remember that.

The second thing I have to say about my brother is probably the most profound thing a younger sibling can say about an older sibling. Ready? You may want to sit down for this. My entire life, my brother has never been mean to me. Never! And believe me, I was the youngest in my family, and in my neighborhood, so I know the tyranny of the older over the younger. I know what it feels like to get my ass beat for being born last. I know what it's like to be left out of the big kid games. In fact, being left out of big kid games could be my middle name. Ok, fine, I'll stop with the middle name thing already. The point is, he never pulled that shit with me. My older brother was nice to me. He would have been totally within his rights as the big brother if he would have chosen to shove me a little. I mean, making little sisters cry is, like, in the Big Brother Handbook somewhere, right? But he never did that. I'd say that is a pretty big deal.

So, when I was twenty, my life turned crap right before my eyes. What until then had been a pretty great life all of a sudden turned into some sort of horrible messed up sickening thing. I had been the victim of a violent crime, I had to stop going to school, I had no money, no job, no plan, no nothing. Everyone has those shitty times in life and that just happened to be mine. I was fresh out of the hee hee and the haw haw that had carried me through all of my life and I felt like I had no place to go.

You know what my brother did? He took me in. I packed my one little bag and I came to the west coast, and he slapped a futon on his floor and let me stay. This act, in itself, was a profoundly loving thing to do when you're busy living your own life and you've got, I'm sure, your own shit to deal with. But that's not the most profound thing that happened. Because, see, I am lucky enough to have lots of people in my life that would have taken me in because I needed a place . It didn't have to be him. I could've gone to my beloved parents, or to my many friends. But the thing is, he was the one that knew that I didn't want to talk. I just needed space. To think about what had happened, to figure out what to do next. To just take a few deep breaths and feel like myself again. To get back that hee hee and haw haw that seemed really far away. So he took me in, and he didn't ask me any questions. He didn't ask me what my plan was, or if I had one. He didn't ask me for details about what had happened, and how the heck it was that I was so, so sad and how the heck did I think I was going to pull out of it. So, for the second time in my life, he fed me, and hung out with me, and nurtured me. And this time my brain was grown up enough to remember it.

Happy birthday, big brother. You are big, indeed.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hokey for the Holidays

Highlights of the last couple of days, during which Libraryland was closed and I got to max and relax.

1. A midnight drive around my city with Nordic Boy, during which we looked at the holiday decorations that people festooned on their houses. We even drove back to our old neighborhood, to see if our ex-Neighbor still puts out his Blue Nativity. There it was, same as ever, on his porch. A set of plastic wise men, lit from within with bright blue lights, which cast a blue sheen all the way down the street. The baby Jesus lit as well, with a dirty white light inside of him. He is propped up, completely vertical, on top of the porch railing. This gives the distinct impression that the baby Jesus is, at any moment, set to slalom down the porch railing and down the hilly yard below. The wise men are circled around him like they're about to shove him off. Now I'm not a religious person, but that don't seem quite right, do it?

2. Spending an evening with my four-year-old nephew, who is currently obsessed with Stop Making Sense. Nordic Boy, my brother, and I all played the Talking Heads with his play toys (Nordic Boy on guitar and backing vocals, me on accordion, and my brother on percussion)while the little kiddie did the meanest David Byrne impression you've ever seen in your life. So, on Christmas Eve, it was "fa fa fa-fa fa fa fa-fa fah fa" instead of "fa la la." Qu'est que c'est.

3. Keeping up with our tradition of non-traditional holiday dinners, Neighbors B and J, Nordic Boy and I did a "July in Christmas" theme dinner, where we barbecued burgers, had corn on the cob, and potato salad. This was followed by an exchanging of gifts, and in honor of the pop culture-ness that you all expect from reading this blog, behold: the best holiday present EVAH. (Thanks, Neighbors!)


4. For our final day of no-worky-time, Nordic Boy and I turned off the phone and holed up in our house while it rained cats and dogs all day long. We made a big holiday-esque dinner for two, watched "Little Miss Sunshine" (which made "Superfreak" the official holiday song of the year for us), and "X-Men 3" (or Gandalf vs. Picard, as we like to call it).

5. You know how, on the pilot episode of Little House on the Prairie (of course you do), Mr. Edwards shows up on Christmas and brings everyone a present? And the presents are so completely laughable by today's standards? I mean, Mr. Edwards gives Laura and Mary each an old raggedy looking tin cup that looks like he found during some serious dumpster diving. Their response? "We each get our OWN CUP now! THANK YOU!" Their own cup. Like their whole lives, the Ingalls have been passing around one nasty cup between all of them. And I think, if I am remembering correctly (correct me here, Neighbor J), Mr. Edwards brings Ma to tears by giving her a potato. A POTATO. I gotta tell you, hokey holiday things like that usually make me laugh. But, when Nordic Boy and I danced in front of our new mantle to "I've Got Your Love To Keep Me Warm," (the Dean Martin version, not the Irving Berlin), I gotta tell you. I was feeling the holiday hoke. Come on, you guys, you've been reveling in some hokey-ness too, right? Just a little? Comment/email me about it. Don't leave me all alone in the company of Laura and Mary.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Saturday, December 23, 2006

My Friend Jen

This week my friend Jenny is entering what we like to call the Drrty Thirties. Happy Birfday to my dear Jenny!

Some years ago, I took a job at a place called the W.A.K. It doesn't matter what those letters stand for. The word "Wack" is descriptive enough. Because it was. Wack, that is. We rented canoes, schlepped them, and, if anyone was unlucky enough to tip themselves over into the water, we rode out in a little speedboat to save their sorry asses. This is the point in the story where people often say to me: "wait, rode around on a boat and saved people in trouble? LIKE BAYWATCH?" And no, dear Hoff lovers, not at all like Baywatch. In fact, this was probably the farthest away from Baywatch that you could ever picture in your life. Instead of sand and surf, we had murky water and goose poop. Instead of red bathing suits, we wore old t-shirts and shorts that could take a beating each day. And instead of running in slow motion, we ran our patooties off, all so we could half-heartedly rescue some drunken frat boy who had tipped his canoe over on purpose.

Aside from the canoes, the building also held a banquet room that looked out over the water that people rented out for parties. If these parties were held after hours, two employees would have to be stay in the building while the party was going on just in case something went wrong and then to lock up after they were done. The first party shift I worked was with Jen.

You know how, with most of your friends, you meet them, then hang out for a bit, and the love that you feel for them grows over time until you can't imagine life without them? Then there are the rare few who you meet, and you just adore them from the minute you set eyes on them? Jenny was most definitely in the latter group. The night she and I worked together, it was INSTA-BOND. She won me over completely and I was IN LOVE. I remember we sat there and did M.A.S.H. fortunes for each other and told each other our life stories. There she was at the beginning of the night, a stranger, and by the end of that shift, she was one of my closest friends. Just like that. This is the type of thing that Jenny does to people.

Even Wolfgang. Wolfgang was a dude who frequented our work place often, as there was also a sailing and yacht club associated with the WACK. Wolfgang looked like a J. Crew ad. He had sun-kissed blond hair and classical features. He even wore those Tommy Hilfiger type clothes. He also was a first class dickweed of the highest order. And he had an accent that made him sound like Colonel Klink. He yelled at us often, for things that really didn't merit all the yelling. I remember him foaming at the mouth at me one time. "Dee vending machine ees broken!" Spit even flew out of his mouth. To which I smiled and thought to myself: Aww, Wolfy can't get his Twinkie? Poor Wolfy, his life is so hard. This is the way communcation with him went. He would yell or be derisive, and we would sigh and think silent curses. Then, one day, as Jenny was standing there minding her own business, Wolfgang came over and said "Hey. Do you vant a piece of candy?" A piece of candy! For one of us? It was a god damn miracle. This is also what Jenny does to people.

After a couple of years, Jenny decided to move to Oaxaca for a year. Her plans after that year were uncertain. She could have stayed there, she could have returned to Seattle, or she could have moved back to Illinois, where her family lived. None of us knew what was going to happen. The morning she left town, Neighbor J and B, Biology Girl, Nordic Boy and I got up at the crack of ass to see her off. She loaded all her stuff up in a van and we stood on the sidewalk in our pajamas and cried our eyes out and hugged her and loved her. After waving to her tearfully as she drove away, Nordic Boy and I got in our car and started to drive home. Somehow, within a minute or two, we had caught up to her van. We drove alongside her, waving and making faces and cracking each other up. So when we finally turned off and drove in another direction, all three of us were laughing again. Our big good-bye that we had dreaded for so long was turned into this funny, silly, absurdly joyful moment instead. And once again, I have to say, this is what Jenny does to people.

Happy birthday, Jenny! Love, love, love!

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Ball Cracker

On a bookshelf in my guest room, I have an inconspicuous-looking unlabeled VHS tape. This tape contains evidence of my days as a starry-toed ballerina. Back in the day when I was better at this crazy thing than I ever will be at another thing in my whole life. It's a tape of a staging of the Nutcracker, the year that I played Clara, the lead. As was my m.o. back then, I was the youngest Clara that that dance company had ever had. So there I am, all baby-ish looking and dancing up a pointy-feeted storm like it was the easiest thing I had ever done. Come to think of it, it was.

Every year, my friends say to me: wouldn't it be fun to bust out that tape and have a party where we all watch it? What better thing to do for the holidays? And I go, yeah, sure, that could be fun. But somehow, it never happens. I'm not sure why. I'm not a person who embarrasses easily, people. When I found my journal from high school, which, really, could win AWARDS for embarrassing material, you know what I did? I read it out loud to anyone who would listen to it. I SHOWED people the parts where I described such things as how I wanted Greg Louganis to de-virginize me and how slow dancing with Sean C. made my ears burn hot and what the first penis I ever saw looked like (I actually described it as "nice." Like I met it at bingo and it let me have the last triscuit or something). HONESTLY. I mean, I would read it aloud on this here blog if I thought you guys wouldn't immediately click away. So me and embarrassment, not so much. But there is just something about publicly viewing The Tape that makes me nervous. Maybe I feel like that would just be too narcissistic, to have my friends over to watch ME ME ME. Look at my GENIUS ARTISTRY, LOOOOOOK. But that's dumb, right, because it's not like I can do ANY of that shit now, believe me, so bragging rights are way too far in the past to really matter any more. So I don't know. Should I do it? Just get it over with? Maybe it'll be fun. Right?

But on the other hand, does anyone out there enjoy hearkening back to when they were twelve? It's kind of an excruciating time of life, like, by definition. And there were some excruciating moments that come rushing back when I think of that time. Like, the fact that I had to partner with a man of 25, who played the Prince, and the choreographer kept telling me to "look at him like you looove him. You adoooore him. Look at him with looooooove." Dude, I'm twelve. Stop saying looooove in front of this man, who I already have to be flipped all around by which is bad enough. Or the fact that I had two quick changes during the show, meaning I had to run off stage, literally into the arms of four old seamstress ladies, who stripped me down and slapped my new costume on and pushed me back out on stage. With many other dancers in the wings, RIGHT THERE, where they could see me. Hi, male dancers, this is me in my training bra in a flurry of old ladies and velcro. Or the time that one of my friends, who was two years younger than me and played the role of a gingerbread candy, peed in her costume and stashed the smelly remnants of this in my dressing room after one of the shows. Or the fact that I kind of knew that two of the dancers in the show were having an affair, one of them being married. The reason I knew this was my baby-girl eyes saw them copping a feel on each other one time after a rehearsal. Or the time a talent scout came to a cast party and told me I should audition as one of the little kid parts for the Broadway touring company of "The King and I" but that my headshot should definitely be "in profile" instead of "full faced." I didn't quite get what that meant, but I knew there was a put-down in there somewhere. Or the time when the guy who played my brother "Fritz" (who was older than me too) had a situation where his costume had been altered right before the show, and there was still a PIN inside his pants, that was, um, POKING him. During a two-minute break in our presence on stage, we danced off into the wings and the poor sucker had water in his eyes. "There's a pin in my pants!" he had whispered to me while we were on stage together. As soon as we got to the wings, he plunged his hand down the front of his pants, frantically trying to find the culprit. "Ow! Ow!" he said in a painful panic, as I tried not to look. The seconds were ticking until we had to go back on, and finally he just dropped trou in the muted light and bent over, trying to find the pin. "Help me!" he said. And so I did. I got down there and felt around in this dude's pants. It was like a needle in a haystack (har har). But I found it. And me and that guy? Never really could speak to each other again. Because he was older and I had seen him sans PANTS. And I had put my hands down where his crotchal area had been, and like, felt the warmth of it all. ICK.

So maybe that is it. Just put aside for the moment that it is a tape of a performance. Would any of you out there, if you had a tape of yourself at the age of twelve, feel excited to watch it? To be reminded, in crystal clear color, of the awkwardness of all that puberty had to offer you? And would you invite all your friends over to watch it with you? Doesn't that seem strange?

Am I making too much of it? Probably. I can be nuts that way. Or cracked. Whichever you prefer.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Much of my city's power was out this week, and although literally everyone I knew had no heat, no lights, and a fridge full of spoiled food, our house was not affected. So what did I do with this appreciation for electricity? First, I offered up my house for my friends to crash, take hot showers, and cook a hot meal. Second, since we were out of Netflix, and no electricity meant no video store, we watched The Lord of the Rings on tv. A three hour movie on tv with commercials. That shit it looooong. But, in our watching of said movie, we decided that it would have been infinitely more entertaining if all of the characters talked like us. As in slang-heavy cursers. So, we dubbed. By this I mean we just yelled over the dialogue. Here's some of the gems we came up with. I may have a future in screenwriting.

Gandalf: You shall not pass, you muther-effin' fireballz!

That Elf leader guy who is Mr. Smith in the Matrix: Nine companions. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring.
Gimli: And our album drops this Christmas! Peace!

I'll stop there. Ok, wait. A few more things. Why does Saruman remind me of an arena-performing diva, like Cher or Celine Dion? And why does Frodo's elvish armor that he wears under his clothes have to look like an ice-dancing outfit? And how come every time I saw Arwen I wanted to sing "j-j-jaded"? And what kind of hair straightening tool must those elves have? And doesn't Pippin look like Willie Aames, from Charles in Charge and Eight is Enough? And wouldn't it have been cool if they carried the Ring around in a Tiffany box? And don't the Uruk-hai belong in the WWE? And every time Gimli referred to his axe, wouldn't it have been funny if he made the air quotes sign? And doesn't the Dark Lord in the sky look like a big fiery va-jay-jay?

Ok, really. That's quite enough. These are the types of thoughts that run rampant in my mind. Just so you know.

In other news, tis the season for some of our sweet library patrons to bring us loads of baked goodies. There's still graciousness in the world, people. And sometimes it comes in the form of pumpkin bundt cake.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, December 14, 2006


First of all I have to tell you that today I realized that Amber Tamblyn, the chickee who was in The Ring and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, is the daughter of Russ Tamblyn, the dude who played Gideon Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It's discoveries like this that can make my whole friggin' day, friends. This has nothing whatsoever to do with anything blogworthy, but I just had to share the joy. Gideon Pontipee begat Joan of Arcadia. Oh the deliciousness of it all.

On to other topics. Today, I am going to share an anecdote that highlights the importance of user-friendly taxonomy. Because I'm a librarian, and this is the kind of shit we talk. What things are called is important, people. Because based on what they are called, they are then grouped with other things. Because then, hopefully, people can find these things. And, because I like to, apparently, start sentences with "because."

This one time, I went to pick up my friend Delium at the airport. Delium is a fashionable type dude. His duds are stylin'. He's not a sweatpants and flipflops guy. So imagine my surprise when he appeared at the gate in the middle of the day wearing pajama bottoms. Regular, every day plaid flannel pajama bottoms. Now I know that's not that unusual in the grand scheme of things, but in this case, it was shocking. It was like seeing Carrie Bradshaw in socks and sandals, or a child star who isn't Dakota Fanning. Stylish Delium? With pajamas on the plane? Either this was the much sleepier sequel to Snakes on a Plane, or something had gone wrong in Delium's world.

So I asked him about it. "So, you're wearing pajamas in public now?" I drop this in very casually.

He looked absolutely shocked that I had suggested such a thing. "What?"

"You. You're wearing pajamas."

If his jaw was dropped any further it would have been touching the damn pajamas. He was actually sputtering. "I am not! What do you mean?"

"Um. Those? They're pajamas." What was wrong with him?

"No they are NOT. They're just pants. To hang around in. Like running pants."

Holy smokes people. What the heck was going on here? They were flannel plaid pajamas. Period. No question. "They're pajamas, dude. You are walking down the street in pajamas."

"No, I'm not. In fact, I think they are specifically called Leisure Pants."

This is an actual conversation I am having. Leisure pants? Leisure pants. LEISURE PANTS.

"...Leisure pants??? What the hell is that?"

"I'm TELLING you. I bought them at Nordstrom. In the Leisure Pants section."

Do you see what's happened here? Nordstrom has to fancy it up and call pajamas "Leisure Pants" and confuse the bejeezus out of unsuspecting metrosexuals like Delium. Now, I'm not blaming Nordstroms for 100% of this problem, you understand. Delium has to take on the burden of responsibility here too. He's not going to eat shit if I call it a canape, so I concede that he should have realized this. But the point is, the way the pants were classified and grouped with the other pants contributed to the confusion. People, for the most part, believe what they are told.

Poor Delium. I don't know if the thought that he had been traipsing about in his pajamas was too much for him to admit, but he persisted in arguing this point with me for weeks. "They're LEISURE PANTS" he would say to me, in desperation. "Pajamas," I would say back. Such debate skills, we have. For all his persistence in the arguing, he didn't wear them outside again. And finally, FINALLY, he admitted to the obvious fact.

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but honestly. What the hell are leisure pants?

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

He's Oliver, I'm Stan

Sometimes love hurts. And I'm not talking about it in the sense of that Nazareth song.

Some nights I work until 6, and other nights I work until 8. Either way, Nordic Boy is home way before I am. He usually picks up whatever we are having for dinner and has that going by the time I walk in the door. So my coming-home-ritual goes something like this. I park my car on the street, walk up my sidewalk and up my stairs, open my front door to the fragrance of something cooking in my house. I drop my bag on the floor, take my coat off and yell out "I'm back, baby!" in my best George Costanza voice. Nordic Boy will then drop whatever he is doing and run out of the kitchen at full speed, wrap me in a
gut-busting hug, and cover my noggin in smooches. I'm sorry about this lovey-dovey description, ya'll. Feel free to gag all you want. I'm just keeping it real. That's just how we roll at my house.

So, if you put the gag-worthy-ness of this scene aside, you have to admit that sounds pretty good, right? Not a bad way to return home after a long day of librarianing. Except here's what happened last night. Same parking, same walking up to the door, same delicious dinner smells wafting up, same "I'm back, baby!" Then, let's slow down to slow motion. As I step over to the dining table, where the day's mail sits, Nordic Boy comes TEARING out of the kitchen. I look up, all smiles. He runs towards me, at full speed as usual, arms outstretched. As he puts the breaks on about a yard away from me, he realizes his socked feet have no traction on our wood floors. There are no brakes! You know how that Dave Matthews song talks about crashing into you, all romantic-like? Crashing into someone is not romantic, people. And...there it comes...very fast...CRASH. He manages to complete the hug, which turns into a tackle with the force of a six-foot-Nordic-storm, and we are both KNOCKED FLAT onto our dining table. You remember how Mary Catherine Gallagher used to crash into tables? It was like that. Except it was both of us. Our dining table, god bless Ikea, held up. But just barely.

After assessing if I was ok, and laughing our heads off for a few minutes, we got ourselves together and went in to the kitchen. Homemade burritos. Delicious. As I loaded up my plate, Nordic Boy got the sour cream out of the fridge. He popped open the container and put a spoon in it. Just as I turned around to go get the sour cream myself, he started to hand it to me. Physics conspired against us once AGAIN, and we crash arms. Sour cream flies out of the container and sprays itself all over the front of my shirt, in big globs. We had one of those slap-stick-movie moments, where we just froze. Me, with my mouth open, looking in shock at the sour cream slowly dripping down my shirt. Him, mouth open, now-empty sour cream container still held out toward me in his hand. Pause. "Oh. My. God!" is all I manage to say. Then, of course, we start to laugh and rub our arms where the crash impact took place.

After I put on a different shirt and we eat dinner, Nordic Boy sits on the couch with a magazine while I clean up the dishes. When I'm done, I come over to him with a blanket and my laptop. "Here," he says,scooching over to make room, "sit next to me." "I don't know," I joke, as I settle in next to him, "you've been kind of dangerous tonight." "Oh really?" he starts, letting go of his magazine and swinging his arm up to put it around me. Except. It doesn't go around me. I swear to GOD, where is this boy's depth perception? Because the back of his arm? Hits me ACROSS THE FACE. "YOWW!" I put my hands up to my face like Marcia Brady did after getting clocked with the football. "Oh my god, did I seriously just do that?" is Nordic Boy's response. As soon as our eyes meet, the laughing starts up again. I elect to stay next to him on the couch. At my own risk,
I know.

Love hurts.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

I Hearth Him

When we moved in to the new house, there were a few things that needed changing up right off the bat. The first thing to go was the stinky carpet that gave me a headache within 20 minutes of sniffing it's doo-doo fibers. I'm not sure what color this carpet was originally, but it was a sort of spotty grey when we got the house, and its bouquet smelled like a combination of kitty pee, cigarrette smoke, and mega-strong incense. So, before we moved, Nordic Boy tore that mutha out and put in our pretty new odor-free wood floors. The second thing that was a must-do was the yard, about which you have heard more than enough, god bless you. The third is my fireplace. Something had to be done about this fireplace, ya'll. I don't have a good photo of it to share, so I will try and explain the hideousness to you. Picture a plain wall. Then, right in the middle of this plain wall, picture a brick fireplace that looks like something that Ma and Pa Ingalls would have used. Something that might have a big rifle hanging over the top of it and an iron kettle on the grate inside. Now please, all you gun-toting, colonial-coffee-drinking readers out there. I have nothing against rifles and iron kettles. Well, maybe I do, come to think of it. My point is, don't email me with any haterade because I am dissing Ma and Pa decor. You go ahead and put your rifle anywhere you want to in your house. But this is my house and that shit is just not me.

So, as part of this buying-a-house deal that I got myself into, I made a lemon-fresh pledge to myself that when it comes to home renovations that I would like to see happen, there would be NO WHINING TO NORDIC BOY to do them. Because, honestly, I am perfectly capable of changing up whatever needs changing up in this house. True, I will not do it with the poise, speed and aplomb that Nordic Boy is able to do them. I do not have the skills that he has. But, I could, if I wished, change something if I really, really wanted to. So no nagging from this here girly. Nordic Boy has style and a keen design sensibility (because really, would I be with someone who doesn't?), so I know that he knows the fireplace needs a-fixin'. In fact, he has drawn up a design for the thing that makes me salivate with yearning. And I can't wait for it to be done so that I can show it to you. Over the weekend, Nordic Boy laid in the new hearth. There was masonry happening in my living room! As I sit and watch the mortar dry, I am confident that by next month, I will have a fireplace that doesn't call out for a gun rack.

In the meantime, as the winds blow outside and the rain pounds my city into a wet pulpy puddle, I will take a cue from Biology Girl by warming myself by the light of as many screens as I can gather together, with my many friends, the power cords. Cozy.

Biology Girl with screens
Biology Girl: warming up, entertaining herself, or taking over the WORLD?

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Let's Pretend

Oh my gosh, I am so boring this week. I start to post and then realize that I GOT NOTHING, people. I'm spent. How's this? Yesterday, during a meeting, a colleague did a book review of Maybe, by Brent Runyon (the guy who wrote The Burn Journals). She said this new book was about a teen boy, and there was lots of sex in it. "Well," I whisper to Jen sitting next to me, "if the book has sex in it, I'm glad it's not called The Burn Journals." Then we giggled for like, five minutes. It was funny, trust me.

Like I said, I got nothing.

So, to keep up with all ya'll reading this, I will go back into the annals of my life and come up with something. Hey, want to hear something embarrassing? Of COURSE you do. So check this one out.

I got in a fistfight once because of Erik Estrada.

What is the most shocking part of that sentence? That I, your peacenik, oh-so-lady-like and laidback Librarian Girl actually got into a brawl? I know. I'm a lover, not a fighter. Or is the Erik Estrada thing the jaw dropper? Hard to choose, right?

So when I was a little kiddie, my all-time favorite thing to do was "play pretend." It was simple. Pretend you are someone else. Go ahead, right now. As you're reading, pretend you are...a monchichi. Just imagine it. There. You're playing the game. When I played pretend, I would make up characters and run around by myself and act them out. Many times they were people from tv or movies. Charlie's Angels was a favorite. I was always Kelly Garrett, my favorite Angel. After a while, I wanted to act out scenes with dialogue, and so I had to play multiple parts. For example, at my house, my parents had those light switches that are flat, so you can turn the light on and off with a flat hand. This was perfect for playing Happy Days. As The Fonz, I would turn the lights on with a tap of my fist on the light switch. Then I would pretend to chew gum and stick my hip out like Pinky Tuscadero. Both. Two people was easy enough. Throw Ralph Malph or Jenny Piccolo in, and things got a little too complicated for my 8-year-old mind.

This is when I started to involve my friends. I would wait for the right moment, and then shout out "let's play pretend!" and the fun would begin. The neighborhood kids totally went for it. We would play out elaborate scenes and I could be Penny in Good Times without having to worry about trying to play J.J. at the same time.

So here's where it went south. I had a neighborhood nemesis. She was my Nellie Oleson. She was BOSSY. And just for poetic irony, her name was Angel. Not even kidding you. So this one day, the neighborhood kids and I were going to put on a little play for ourselves. The genius of this play was that we were going to MIX ALL THE SHOWS. So Julie from the Love Boat could interact with Mr. Kotter! Greg Brady could date Velma from Scooby-Doo! It was all good. All we had to do was pick what parts we wanted to play. Enter Angel. She started to ASSIGN parts. And when she got to me, the mastermind of this whole shindig, she pointed at me and said "YOU are Erik Estrada from Chips!"

Me: Oh no I'm not!
Her: You totally are! You're Erik Estrada!
Me: But I don't wanna be Erik Estrada!

This is where I got violent. Me, look like Erik Estrada? Oh hells no, you better step off!

I think I took a menacing step towards her, although I don't really remember. What I DO remember, is her putting her fists up and rolling around tauntingly on her rollerskates, saying "What? You want to hit me, ERIK? Go ahead, ERIK!"

And I swear to god, I went apeshit on her. My inner Bill Bixby turned into my outer Lou Ferrigno. I stepped right up to her and punched her right in the gut. That's right. I DID. I'm from the STREETS, SUCKAS!

Ok, so it wasn't really a brawl. After that one punch, she went down. And then she ran home. And I got to be Wonder Woman, just like I wanted. The show must go on.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gotta Represent

I'm just now re-looking at my avatar over there in the sidebar. Me, in suitably warm-weather clothing. Nice. In front of the library, to signify, you know, the whole librarian thing. But why the boom box? To indicate that I carry a boom box around like I think I am Ozone in Electric Boogaloo? (Which I don't, just to be clear). To indicate that I, um, like music? Everyone likes music, genius. And then there's that crow in the corner. I am an animal-lover, it's true. And I always thought that that author photo that's on the book jacket of Louise Erdrich's Birchbark House is the best author photo I've ever seen: she's sitting there all beautiful and she's got a big ass crow sitting on her head. Really, she does! It rocks. So maybe that's what I was thinking of when I picked that crow. But now that I'm looking at it...what is that stuff under the crow? Worms? Dirt? Some sort of poo-poo material? Oh, nuh-uh. I can NOT be having bird shit representing me!

You know what this avatar stuff reminds me of? Senior pictures. Those photos your senior year in high school, where you wear outfits that scream out your identity and get wallet-sized copies that you hand out by the hundreds? I love those things. I still have most of the senior pics that were given to me. I treasure them. They are so...awful. (If I have your senior picture in my possession, be aware that I may be about to talk shit about you. Rest assured that I will talk shit about myself immediately following, so at least that's fair, right?) I have this photo of Kristi. Lovely girl, Kristi was, despite the frosted pink lipstick and the turquoise mascara. Her photo, however, shows her with her back facing the camera. She is looking over her left shoulder, and her right hand is clutching this same left shoulder. I implore you, when in life does anyone ever assume this position? Then there is Jason. Jason, who came to school most days in a flannel shirt over a t-shirt, and was a cutie. Yet, in my photo of him that I carry this many years later, his hair is all plastered down and he is sporting a Dr. Huxtable sweater and is leaning his chin on his closed fist. He looks like a dude in an 80s Sears catalogue. I have a photo of Christine lying on her belly in a field of grass, resting her chin on a soccer ball, her permed hair cascading down on either side of it like a set of curtains. Then you have the few people who actually look good in their photos. I have the cutest picture of Map. She's wearing jeans, and a red sweater, and she's sitting there on a chair with her legs crossed. She looks like...herself. Pretty. And then there's my photos of Jeff. Jeff was the senior boy that I was obsessed with in 10th grade. Biggest stalker crush I've ever had in my whole life to this day. And his photo is such a comfort to me, because I can look at it and say "yes. I was not imagining it. He was hott."

So my photos. Let's start out with what is positive about them. I did not have a perm, nor did I have a plume of bangs that were Aussie spritzed to kingdom come. Actually, I had no bangs at all. I went through the entire decade of the 80s in the bangs-heavy midwest, and I never had bangs! I don't know how I accomplished this. So, yay for me and my au natural hair. Second. I did not have weird settings for my photos. No sitting on a giant wagon wheel for me. No posing in front of a Trans-Am. I am however, in one of my photos, inexplicably leaning up against a white wicker box. Why, I couldn't tell you. (And yes, I know that these photos don't have heads. It's symbolic, ok?)

Ok, let's break it down, shall we? Note the shoulder pads, as I'm sure you already have. And the dress-shorts! I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but those puppies are white corduroy shorts. With a pleated front. Oh yessss. And those shoes. Those effin' silver metallic flats that I wore with pride. But you haven't seen the best one. The piece de resistance.

Oh BABY. Yes you are seeing this correctly. I have props! I am senior-pictures-with-props girl! Oy vey. I distinctly remember the photographer asking me what my interests were. I must have answered with something vaguely arty, dancey, drama-ish. She went ahead and busted out the paint-spattered drop cloth and the (oh dear drunk Danny Devito) comedy and tragedy masks. And believe me, I ATE THAT CRAP UP. I loved it. You know, there's a reason why photographers have you say "CHEEZ."

Ok, my avatar in the sidebar doesn't look so bad now. Apparently, by my standards set forth so long ago, bird shit is right up my alley.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day

You know how I'm always talking about librarians who have secret pasts? Here's one of mine. I was a little dance prodigy when I was a kid. Not even some of my closest friends know this about me, even ones that I've known all my life. They knew I was a dancer, but I never let them know the extent of my involvement. But today, I'm telling it, because I want to tell you all about Tom.

This is the overview. By the time I was 7, I was in a class with teenagers. By the time I was ten, I was in master classes with adults. By the time I was 12, I had partnered with the principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada. I went to schools in Canada and New York, the first of which I went to when I was 11. Alone. No parents, no one to look out for me, just living in a dorm and trying to figure out what was going on.

Except I wasn't alone. Because when you're surrounded by ballet dancers, there are lots of gay men around. And where there have been gay men in my life, there has been love, care, and community. In my young world, they took care of me. In many ways, they raised me. Among these, was Tom.

When I arrived at the Winnipeg airport at the age of 12 with my gigantic suitcase and my Bananarama-inspired outfit, Tom was the dancer who had been assigned to pick me up. I remember he was wearing red Reeboks. He met me at baggage claim, and hoisted my suitcase onto a cart. His first words to me were "Jeezus, honey, did you pack your furniture in here?" followed with "great earrings." On the car ride back to the dorm, I remember sleeping in the passenger seat. After that scary plane ride by myself, I felt safe.

From that first day, Tom adopted me. He took me everywhere, and he introduced me to everyone as his little sister. I would show up at the cafeteria for dinner after an 8-hour day of classes and rehearsals, and Tom would make sure I ate a balanced meal. I was 12- I didn't know what a balanced meal was. I would have been fine drinking a Coke and having a cookie for dinner. And, on a weekend where all the older dancers drove off together to go out drinking on the town, Tom stayed in the dorm with me and we watched Madonna at Live Aid on tv. And by the end of that summer we had perfected our version of "Here Comes the Rain Again" together, which we performed for my dorm-mates at the end of the year party, karaoke-style.

When I left Winnipeg, it was Tom who took me to the airport, and unsentimentally put me on the plane with a hug and a kiss, as if we'd be seeing each other the very next day. I went on my merry way, with no thoughts of writing or calling. At 12, what did I know about keeping in touch, or the possibility that you could lose track of the ones you love?

Years later, I discovered that I couldn't ever have Tom back. The world lost him.

So dear readers, on this day, raise a glass for Tom, who cared for Librarian Girl, made sure she ate her dinner, and always noticed her earrings.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Please, No Wintry Re-Mix

It's snowing in the Pacific Northwest. Snowing and sleeting and icing up, actually. On Yahoo Weather, it actually listed the weather here as being "Mostly cloudy with a wintry mix." Whoever you are, working over there at Yahoo Weather, I thank you for that. Wintry Mix! It sounds like something with mini-pretzels and roasted cashews will be falling from the sky, instead of small shards of ice that try to pierce your skull as you walk to work, like I was thinking.

So yesterday, lots of people couldn't make it to work in Libraryland because of the shambles that my city was in due to the Wintry Mix. (I know what all you east coast/midwesterners are thinking. A shambles? Just because of a couple of inches of Wintry Mix? Look, snow and sleet here is not the same as it is over there. I, as a midwest girl, could certainly choose to make fun of the chaos that happens when snow starts to fall here. And ok, so maybe I do make fun of it. But the truth is, this only happens for one or two days a year here. And so we don't have snow plows, or salt trucks, or people who know how to do brodies only when they want to. So cut us some Wintry Slack, will you?)

As I was saying. Lots of people couldn't make it in to work yesterday. And my library is the busiest neighborhood branch in the city, so when you're working with a skeleton crew, it's even more hectic than usual. For my part, I spent much of my day back in the workroom, helping to check in mounds and mounds of items from the book drops and trying to get them all re-shelved. Let me tell you this. Shelvers and clerks have GOT to be buff, people. Because after my day shelving and emptying book drops? I am sore! Next time you see one of your friendly neighborhood shelvers or clerks, just know that under their unassuming ways, they are hiding asses of steel. I am now convinced that this could be the new trendy workout for Paris, Britney, and Lindsay to do before a night on the town. Have them come in to a very busy branch and shelve a couple thousand books. I'm pretty sure that going without underwear and flashing their hoo-hahs all around might violate our Rules of Conduct in the library, though, so maybe not.

In other news, even though you all know me as the graceful and sure-of-foot librarian, I fell on my ass last night, making the times I have fallen down this month add up to TWO. Am I turning into Chevy Chase? Me, falling down! Even though I never fall down, ever. I am the one who is known to wear impossible heels that don't at all feel impossible to me. I watch movies where female heroines run fast in high heels and I'm the only one who doesn't find that ridiculous and unrealistic. But yet, there I was, innocently walking up to my house, and ka-slam. All of a sudden I am flat on my back. Snow angels position. I wonder if any of my neighbors saw me.

This was still not as bad as Fall Number One, which took place at my local supermarket. I was running in to get some cheese and cookie dough (these are the things that run low in my house), and I didn't wipe my feet properly in my hurry. Before I knew it, I had slipped and fallen, layout-style. Arms out in front of me, belly to the floor, treating Aisle Two like it was my own personal Slip N Slide. Not only did I do this fall in Superman position, the force of the slide combined with the trajectory induced by the slipperyness of the floor caused me to roll over twice. Let's just say that again. Roll over twice. Like a fashionably dressed log. And, in the moments afterward when I was lying on the floor in stunned silence, my supermarket comrades (of whom there were MANY) kept right on shopping. It was like it didn't even happen. Is this a kindness? Were they all trying to be nice to me in pretending that they hadn't seen that? I mean, I remember when Patty Bogard rolled all the way down a flight of stairs in 9th grade, spewing papers out of her backpack the entire way. She picked herself up off the landing, gathered up her papers, and then proceeded to trip AGAIN and roll all the way down the next flight of stairs. (And I swear to Lauren Bacall that is a true story. Poor Patty). In 9th grade, everyone pointed and laughed and called her Patty Roll for the rest of the year. So I'm choosing to think that those effers in the supermarket just wanted to spare me further humiliation, rather than them just being Wintry Dicks. An "are you ok?" would have been nice. I'm just saying.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's Not a Good Thing

I know that when you all come to this blog, you expect hijinks. I freely admit that when things happen to me, they most often involve hijinks, and I choose the venue of this site to share the hijinks bounty with all. I'm like Oprah on her "Favorite Things" show, except instead of Burberry coats and Teslar watches, I dole out the zany kooky happenings. And I imagine all of you out there, reading the ridiculousness that is my life, jumping up and down and crying your mascara off like those crazy Oprah followers. "AHHHH! She's telling us about her Celine Dion nightmares! WOO-HOOO!" Oh yes. I'm a giver, people.

So, although it is a time for the giving of the thank yous, and I have been trolling the blogscape just reveling in all of the warm and gushy gratefulness out there, and believe me, I have been feeling the thanky feelings myself, let me just tell you about a hijink that happened this weekend. It is of a rather grumpy nature and so please excuse the non-holiday feelings that I am expressing here and be rest assured that I was sufficiently thankful for the hours of this weekend that did not involve this particular story. And after writing this out, I promise to reconvene with being merry.

I had spent the morning trying to think of something crafty to make as gifts for my co-workers for the holidays. And, to this end, I decided I was in need of some help from Martha Stewart. Now, I am arty. I am crafty. But sometimes Martha is just too friggin' over the top for me. Have you ever tried to make a recipe from Martha? That lady is on a mission to fuck with our MINDS, people. I made this raspberry loaf from one of her recipes, and it was like some kind of brain experiment where Martha just wanted to see how fast she could make this here monkey dance. And Nordic Boy and I went right ahead and put
our tap shoes on like the chimps we are. Martha had us mixing up two dry mixtures and four wet mixtures. Then she had us combining said mixtures in the following fashion: "take one third of dry mixture #1 and sift it into a large bowl. Then take wet mixture #1 and drizzle it gradually into large bowl, mixing just until peaks form. Then take one-half of wet mixture #2 and fold it into two-thirds of wet mixture #1. Peaks should now melt into rolling waves. Then take three grains of sugar and place them gently in your right nostril, after which you will farmer blow them back into wet mixture #3. The resulting chemical reaction will have the potential to blow up the world, but only if you have a two-inch ramekin under your pillow tonight." I'm not even kidding you. Martha is trying to fuck us UP, people!

Regardless of this, I was having such a dearth of crafting ideas that I needed Martha's help. Martha Stewart Living is too complicated for me, but Martha Stewart Kids, now THAT I can do. Yes, in Martha's world I am the equivalent of a four-year-old. What of it?

Now, on Thanksgiving, Neighbor J had told me that Martha had discontinued Martha Stewart Kids. Not enough simple-minded fools out there like me who want recipes where you just mix some shit up in the same goddamn bowl. But then I talked to someone at work who insisted to me that Martha had not forgotten the children who, after all, are our future. Martha Stewart Kids was still alive!

This is the inevitable part of the story where I am shown to be a World Class Dumb Ass. I went to the mall to get to the bookstore to find Martha Stewart Kids. The MALL. During Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, that is what I did. And holy TomKat, I almost gave my life for Martha! Because that mall? It was nuts. This may not be news to you all out there who frequent malls on Thanksgiving weekend, but to me, it was harsh. The carnage! The brutality! Finding parking alone was enough to make me wish I had brought along some nunchucks or a throwing star or two. There are some angry, angry people out there, did you know this?

I fought my way into the Barnes and Noble and started the quest for Martha. Martha, please. Tell me how to roast some peanuts and wrap them with a pretty bow and be the talk of the library. Tell me how to make peppermint bark and personalize the canisters they come in. I need you Martha. Please baby baby please.

I went over to the magazine area and had a looksee. In the process, a little boy to the right of me was hopping up and down doing a sort of dance and making a suspicious gesture where he was kind of pinching his pee pee through his pants. Oh god, it's way too crowded in here for pee spray to start flying. And I couldn't find Martha. I waited in line for an employee to show me where to go and I overheard a dude on his cell phone say the words "double condom it." What is going on in here? This is not the holiday spirit that is touted on the Cool Whip commercials. Where is the fa-la-la-la-LA, French VanilLA atmosphere? And where is Martha?

I got to the front of the line, and the disheveled Barnes and Noble employee confirmed for me that Martha Stewart Kids is indeed defunct. Gone. Never to return. Speaking of never returning, um, me and the mall? We officially broke up.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Giving thanks for Marty...

To tide me over the holiday weekend, I copied a meme from Marty. Of course, I am doing this with tons o' pop culture deliciousness. Consider yourself tagged. Oh- and if you're running out of things to be thankful for, watch "Home for the Holidays" this weekend if you get a chance. You'll thank me for it.

Here goes.

when I think about that scene in "Center Stage" where Cooper drives his motorcycle on stage in the middle of the ballet. Motorcycle! Ballet! Two great tastes that go great together.

seriously that Izzy would still have a job at Seattle Grace after she freaked out and killed Denny. I mean, really.

"Snoopy Come Home" without crying. I mean more than misting up. Full out crying.

Kramer. I mean, holy stromboli!

to "Adam's Rib." Hepburn and Tracy. Sigh. Could watch it for days. "Lawyers should never marry other lawyers. This is called in-breeding; from this comes idiot children... and other lawyers." Ah, Kip!

for the Hotlips Houlihan character in the movie version of "MASH." They were so awful to her.

"Star Trek: the Next Generation" re-runs. Shut up.

to Mr. Rogers on tv when I get ready in the morning, sometimes.

I would go visit the manor where "Remains of the Day" was filmed. Sheezus I love that movie.

"My So-Called Life" to have more episodes. Man, they cut that off right in the middle of everything! Angst interruptus!

"Manteca," by Dizzy Gillespie. Or "Lucky Star," by Madonna.

with the cheezy goodness of Doris Day. I mean, when she keeps imagining beds every time she is around Cary Grant in "That Touch of Mink?" Oh, I am engorged with Velveeta and I love it.

should never be exposed to the Oompa Loompas in the original "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." They scared the shit out of me.

for the Landmark Theatres in my town to get new seats. The ones they have now are older than I am, I'm sure of it. Every time I go there I remember how Alli's mom used to warn us that we'd get ringworm from movie theater seats.

that I've seen Nellie Oleson in person.

with Jon Stewart in it. Rawr.

my pajamas when I watch "Lost." Have to be in pajamas before I snuggle up to watch it. Just have to.

Ted Levine, even when I see him on "Monk." To me, he'll always be Gumb the Moth Guy from "Silence of the Lambs." *shudder*

there was a tv comedy set in a library. I certainly feel like I work in a sitcom.

went to a New Kids on the Block concert. It was an accident. I swear.

saw "Top Gun." I'm kind of proud of that.

watching "The Ten Commandments" on tv with my mom every year. We would try and estimate how much baby oil Heston had on and I would do my best to imitate Anne Baxter's sultry pre-Kathleen-Turner voice. "Moses, Moooo-ses."

that I still to this day miss "Northern Exposure." What a cheezball I am.

any of those movies where intelligent, beautiful women choose to
romance Jack Nicholson. Helen Hunt and Diane Keaton, I'm looking at

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Monday, November 20, 2006

To Correct or Not To Correct

There's this stereotype of librarians being kind of schoolmarm-ish. And for once I am not talking about fashion. (Although I could start talking about fashion right now, so so easily. Go ahead, get me started. Have you seen the spring 2007 Sass and Bide collection? Liking the dresses from the waist up, but what is up with the bubbly skirts?) Whoa. Back to my point.

So, yes. Librarians. Schoolmarms. I know, there is a reason for the stereotype. I'm not going to argue that. With the type of work that we do, plus the fact that we are often smartypants, it stands to reason that we add up to a big pink bottle of Correct-All. As in, we correct all. On many levels. This can be good, and this can be incredibly annoying. So what happens when the Librarian gene that programs us to correct ceases to function?

Yesterday, I was on the receiving end of a random conversation. This lady starts asking me what I do, and is all interested in the fascinating life on board the good ship librarian. She was talking a mile a minute, and all I really had to do was inject a "yes" or an "I see" in here and there to keep her going. At the beginning of this conversation, she asked me what my name was. I told her. She kept on with her jibber jabber, and I began to notice that she was referring to someone named "Lisa." Oops. That would be ME. She somehow heard my name as "Lisa." Lisa is not my name. Not even close. So now, she is saying my Not Name over and over again as she talks. "Oh Lisa! That restaurant was to DIE for...Lisa, I love that coat you're wearing." She was really bonding with me, and here she was calling me by the wrong name.

Now, you've heard me say before that people often fuck up my name. This, in the grand scheme of my life, is so old hat that it barely even registers any more. You want to call me Lisa? Okey dokey. Want to call me Prunella? Fine, who the hell cares, random lady. Anything short of Dirty Whore and I'm all good. So, I just let this lady call me Lisa for ten minutes. My librarian powers of Correct-All just didn't kick in.

You think that's bad? Listen to this. This may be the longest case of non-Correct-All action I've ever had the privilege to witness. So, in my last post, I mentioned the incident where Neighbor B mistakenly called Celine Dion "Cilantro Diaz." Not only did I mention it in my last post, there was a longer post earlier on where I talked about it in more detail. And not only THAT, the reason that I've mentioned it twice in the short history of this blog is that it is a Droll Story That Is Famous In My Circles. All my friends know this story. It is one of the stories that showcases the Hilarity and Awesome Nature of Neighbor B.

So when I posted that yesterday, Neighbor J read it aloud to Neighbor B. "Ha ha," he said. (Well, maybe he didn't actually SAY the words "ha ha." He laughed, is what I'm getting at). "You guys are so funny passing that story around. Especially since that is not even what I said."

To which Neighbor J channelled Lil' John and said "Haaa-what?"

To which he replied..."I never said Cilantro Diaz. What I said was Cilantro Dijon."

Ok, let me just say that this is years after the fact. Neighbor J and I have been gleefully hopping all over town telling this story to bazillions of people for YEARS. Neighbor B is present almost every time the story is told. And he has NEVER CORRECTED US. This is disturbing to me on many levels. First of all, the librarian in me thinks "how could he STAND to hear this story told incorrectly all this time? How?" Second, this makes me ever more suspicious that Neighbor B has not registered a word we've been saying for the past ten years. Maybe he sat through us telling the story wrong because he just couldn't bear to listen to another minute of us flapping our jaws about who knows what. But more than both of those concerns, the jokey storyteller in me thinks "Cilantro Dijon? DIJON?" That is WAY FUNNIER than Cilantro Diaz. How could he have sat on such a geniusly more-funny quote? That material is gold! And the storytelling potential, all these years...squandered. I was robbed, I tell you. Robbed.

I think Neighbor B is getting a big fat jug of Correct-All for the holidays this year.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Friday, November 17, 2006

"Every night in my dreams, I see you..."

That's the first line to that Titanic song, in case you didn't catch that. See me being clever?

Ok you guys, this is the deal and it's not good. I had a dream with Celine Dion in it the other night. I am not going to regale you with the details of the dream, as people always try and explain their dreams and they are never as riveting to other people as they are to the dreamer. Unless you're IN the dream, then you want to hear all about it. Am I right? And since I am doubting that any of you reading this is Celine Dion, I'm not getting into it.

So, a couple of days went by after this dream, and although I was mildly disturbed that Celine had showed up in my subconscious, I didn't really think about it too much. I am, after all, the Pop Culture Librarian. Pop culture figures run through my brain all the time. Yes, I would have preferred to have Cary Grant show up in my head while I'm asleep, but whatever. Celine can traipse through if she wants. But then, two nights ago, it happened AGAIN. Celine! Get out of here! She wasn't doing anything menacing (unless her very Celine-ness can be counted as menacing, which, actually, it was). So then, it bothered me a bit more. I don't even remember the last time Celine Dion has entered my waking consciousness. I haven't heard her big voice lately. I haven't seen her stick body either. Neighbor J and I haven't had a laugh over the fact that Neighbor B once called her "Cilantro Diaz." Will this continue? Will I awake each morning, freaked out like that kid in the Sixth Sense, whispering "I see anorexic people"?

So yesterday, I showed up to work, and as I was sitting at the reference desk, my eye strayed to the display shelf across the way from where I sit. It's a display shelf of oversize coffee table books. Here's what I see.

This is right across the desk from me, people. As I type on the reference desk computer each day, Celine is staring at me over the top of my screen. Even when I am not looking at her, she is in my peripheral vision. All day. And right next to her is this.

So, I've got the two of them. Two pairs of glassy stares, burning a hole in my forehead. Eight hours a day, every day. Celine with that baby that she's clutching like a football, and Julia with that gigantic hair. Staring. Stop it! Stop staring at me! Freaky cyborg ladies!

So this morning, when I go in, I am going to switch up the coffee table books. If I want to see Celine, I'll get my ass to Vegas.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Monday, November 13, 2006


Oh my goodness, I am so fired from NaBloPoMo! I have done gone and skipped a whole weekend. And I have been taken to task via email from some of you readers out there. Take it easy, will ya? Buncha blog-reading taskmasters out there. As the New Edition would say before Bobby knew Whitney and BellBivDevoe wanted you to Do Them, "cool it now!" I've been reprimanded, and now, I will try, in the sage words of Mr. Gunn, to carry on.

This weekend, while Biology Girl was here visiting, we had a chance to visit with someone I knew almost fifteen years ago. This someone was a friend I had during some lean times back in the day, when the chipper and delightful Librarian Girl that you all know and love was rather sad and Eeyore-like. Everyone has a truly sucky year in their life that out-sucks every other year, and for me, that year was 1993.
During that time, I met Jess. Jess taught me to drink passion fruit italian sodas in the winter time, took me hiking up the side of a mountain to play in the snow in summer, and made me laugh harder that I thought I could at that time. Jess cheered me up, slowly and surely, like an iceberg melting over months and months.

So last week, when Biology Girl and I saw him, after so much time had gone by, it was stunning. Because, after all this time, Jess still talks the exact same way that I remembered, and laughs the same way, and cracks jokes the same way, and has that great listening face that is burned in my memory so well. And more astonishing than that was the fact that I could look at the old friend and not just see what I remembered about that person, but I could look and see myself. There are parts of that sense of humor that are mine-- Jess got them from me. Or I got them from him. Whichever. I still crack jokes like that, to this day, and I have him to thank. I can see that the seeds that we planted as friends so long ago have grown and matured and ideas that I had with him are now a part of the landscape that we both take for granted.

We all have these people in our lives. The ones who happen to be there when we are low, who help us to feel better, and in the process leave parts of themselves embedded in us. These parts stay and become so much a part of us that we begin to think of them as our own, as if they've always been in us. And even though they are ours now, they were seeds sewn by someone else, and we have them to thank for that

Although this is true for every person that we've ever been close to, it rang especially true for me this week because of the time in my life I knew Jess. The people who are there when we are at our crossroads, and who influence the way that we choose to go from that day forward, are a profound and select group. In a deep sense, we owe our lives to those people, because had they not been there, or had they been someone else, they may have influenced us down a different road, and our lives would be a completely different thing.

So, when I saw Jess, and saw how we are still connected, after all this time, by the very personal things like our expressions, our humor, even the words that we use, I felt overwhelming gratitude. My life, literally, would not be what it is now; I would not be who I am now, if not for knowing this friend.

Thanks, Jess. Thanks for my life.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, November 09, 2006

He Loves You, Yeah Yeah Yeah

So from the chronicles of my life so far, you guys have gathered that I tend to laugh at things. I am a giggly girl and things often strike me as funny. Even things that may not, at face value, seem funny. Like Tucker Carlson. Or "Wild Boys" by Duran Duran. Or "The Good The Bad and The Ugly." (Come on! Lee Van Cleef? Totally hilarious.)

I am often amazed at the things people DON'T find funny. Some of you people out there are SO SERIOUS. Funny things just keep happening on a daily basis and I find myself the only one laughing. Ok, now I am just coming off as a crazy person, laughing in the corner with my collection of pushpins. So let me give you a quintessential example of this, from the archives of my life.

When I was at University (look at me talking all fake British like Madonna), I had a class with one of those professors that is revered. You know the type- they tend to have groupies, and they go on speaking tours to exotic places like Pullman, Washington, and they are known as Verified Experts on Important Subjects. This professor would name drop in his class lectures. "Funny you should mention Buddhism, because when I was having dinner with Thich Nhat Hanh..." or "yes, you are right about the current political administration, as Noam was just telling me the other day." He had a scholarly beard that he would pull on when Thinking Deeply. For all my snarkyness while relaying this story to you, he was a good professor and I was lucky to be in his class. I'm just trying to convey that he was a card-carrying member of the Intelligentsia Brigade.

It so happened that I wrote a paper for his class that he wanted to discuss with me further. I was summoned to his office during office hours. I had done well on the paper, so I wasn't worried that he had called me in to tell me how much I sucked, but still, I was nervous. I was young enough to be intimidated by him having cocktail wieners with Thich and Cosmopolitans with Noam.

When I got to his office and we sat down to discuss the paper, it was a revelation. He was deflated somehow, a real person who hesitated when he talked and had to blow his nose and all kinds of human stuff like that. His pomp was gone, and he was perfectly pleasant, and even shy and socially awkward, like a nerdy boy grown up.

As we wrapped up our short meeting, I could tell that he didn't quite know how to end things. It was a little uncomfortable, as he wasn't giving me a cue to leave, but it was clear that the meeting was coming to a close. I didn't want him to give me a stern "that'll be all" like Captain Picard or anything like that, but there are ways for the authority figure in a meeting to close off the discussion. Like a "well, thanks for coming in," or a "well it was good to talk to you, see you in class" or something like that. Just when I was going to jump in to help him out by saying something like this myself, THIS happened:

Him: Well...I you...
Me: (snapping to attention in shock)
Him: (looking horrified) I mean, I really loved what you WROTE.
Me and Him: (pause pause)

Ok, now TELL ME THAT ISN'T FUNNY. Wouldn't you have laughed? From either perspective. If you were me...funny. If you were him...funny! Embarrassing, yes. I get that. But the funny-licious-ness. It outweighs the embarrassing.

So, I really wanted to laugh. But more than that, I really wanted HIM to laugh first. So we could laugh together. Ha ha, that was funny, look at us sharing a laugh, no big deal. But he didn't. He didn't laugh! What kind of freaky no-emotion glassy eye robot people ARE these that don't think this shit is funny?

I stifled my laughing and kept a straight face. "Thanks. I appreciate that." And I got the hell out of there. And I laughed my ass off all the way home.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Our Town Part Deux

Ok, so this NaBloPoMo do-hickey is harder than I thought. And I thought it was going to be somewhat hard. Yes, I am already whining about this and it's only eight days in. I could so never be on Survivor. Endurance is apparently not in the cards for Librarian Girl. Plus I wouldn't want to eat bugs and rats and all like that. Unless they had peanut sauce on them, because I'll do just about anything for peanut sauce. So maybe if I rewarded myself with peanut sauce each day, I would post each day? Is a peanut sauce reward system the answer to goal achievment in my life? I am such a genius, I can't stand it.

So, because I have no news...hey remember Gary Gnu? "No news is good news with Gary Gnu"? Oops, I was talking. As I was saying, because I have no news, I'm going to update you all on Our Town. If you don't remember this, or weren't in the loop then, look here.

That Our Town post was one of the most popular posts I've ever written. You guys poured in the emails with all kinds of suggestions. That's the good news. The bad news is that...well, I hate to break it to you, but some of you STILL DID NOT GET IT. So for all of you who ridiculed Nordic Boy for not understanding the town (poor Nordic Boy), I don't know what to tell you. Mind you, no one came up with a suggestion as weird and nonsensical as he did, but still. The Our Town I.N.S. had to turn away some of the new people.

On the bright side, here are a few names from Our Town, as so many of you wanted to hear more. Some day I will write out the whole list, but for now...

Nick R. Bocker- older gent (who wears knickers, of course)
Nick O'Teen- carni worker
Max E. Pad- drug store owner
Lucy Goosey- town vamp
Rosie Cheek- ski instructor (on Mt. Ying Yang)
Pete Sake- exasperated elementary school teacher
Peter Out- narcoleptic house painter
Pat E. Cake- baker
Gene Pool- marine biologist (that's for you, Biology Girl)
Frank N. Beans and Mack N. Cheese- husbands who own the local greasy spoon diner, called "Beans and Cheese."
Douglas Fir- arborist
Molly Coddle, the proprietor of the Day Care Center

Ok, that's it. I need to go get that peanut sauce.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Monday, November 06, 2006

Allison's Birthday!

Birthday Shout Out! Allison, you're up!

Oh my goodness, it's Alli's birthday. I could write a novel about this one, including juicy details, people! This one calls for a list.

1. My first memory of Allison (which is very different than the actual first time I met Allison, as I was too young to remember that), was on the kindergarten bus. She would get on the bus and sit by herself, look out the window, swing her legs, and sing softly. Something in the la la la variety of songs. I thought she was pretty. I remember this as clear as day.

2. In high school, Allison, Map, and various other pals were playing some video game or some such, where you had to type your name onto the screen if you got a high score. When Allison did this, she typed too fast and it came out as "Alisloho." From then on, this was her nickname, because, with the boys, she was kind of slow to make a move. So Alli Slo Ho was just right for her.

3. In 3rd grade, Alli and I began our long history of not being able to shut up around each other. Our teacher had to separate us every day.

4. Around this same time, when I wanted to rile her up, I would taunt her by calling her "Englebert Humperdink." This would make steam come out of her ears. I never knew what triggered that.

5. In middle school, Allison went through a Dawn Weiner phase, where she had glasses and braces, and a serious afro. The awesome part of this fact is that she went through a movie-style transformation over the summer between 8th and 9th grade. You know how, when you're in middle school, you have fantasies of going home over the summer and totally transforming into the school hottie, and coming back to school in the fall to dropped jaws and bugged out eyeballs all around? This actually happened to Allison. It was AWESOME. However, the Dawn Weiner phase is now referred to as the Alli-Slo-Fro era. Seriously, it was an afro.

6. In high school, Allison had a gigantic poster of Milli Vanilli in her bedroom for about a month. Sorry, Allison. You're outed.

7. If you ask Allison who is on Her List, she ALWAYS knows. No hesitation. This girl has thought through her list! Over the years, it has been updated, but number one on her list is always and forever John Cusack. John, you should be so lucky.

7. In 11th grade, we had a student teacher that Allison thought was hawt. Mr. Hawt was one of the coaches for team? Softball team? I can't remember. Some team. What I DO remember was this. Map, Allison and I sitting in the bleachers, watching some game, and Allison drooling over Mr. Hawt. This is some of what she said, and believe me, I'm cleaning it up for your delicate eyes out there: "Look at Mr. Hawt. Oh my god, I would so let him do me in a minute. I want him to do me from the front. I want him to do me from the back. He could just do me up one side and down the other." And on and on and on. Now, let me just tell you. Allison was not doing anyone in high school, nor was anyone doing her. This was quintessential teen Big Talk at its finest. Map and I didn't even bat an eye at this tirade. And it's a good thing we didn't, because then it wouldn't have been quite as funny when we all turned around to see Mrs. Hawt sitting one row behind us, trying her best to act like she hadn't heard this and probably thinking Alli was a Fast Ho instead of a Slo one.

Happy Birthday, Alli! You are so much a part of my life, it's like I can't tell where my thoughts and memories end and yours start. When I look at you, it's like looking at myself. In my mind, you're frozen at age 16, and you'll never look any different to me. You still sing to yourself, you still swing your feet when you're sitting, and I still think you're so so pretty. Inside and out.

Allison! My aim is true.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Colonel Sanders, Is That You?

Why is it fun when you're in a restaurant and you overhear someone's loud conversation at the table next to you? It just IS. Is this a universal feeling? Is this the bond that unites humanity? Why I believe it just might be.

You'd think, what with me working with the public every day, that hearing random conversations would lose it's appeal. And actually, when I am at the library, I don't really have much glee in overhearing Matilda tell Ronaldo that her ass boil will be lanced at home by her cousin. I guess it's the fact that I am in Professional Mode. I don't know why, but I honestly don't really take note of what I overhear. It's all part of the dull roar that passes by the reference desk each day.

But get me in a restaurant, and all of a sudden it's showtime. Today, Nordic Boy and I went to eat lunch at a local eatery (isn't that such a funny word? EATERY). In the car on the way over, we got into this philosophical discussion about the Nature of Things. As we got to the restaurant we kept talking. As we were seated, still talking. We ordered, and our food arrived, and still, yakkity yak. We were well on our way to understanding all there is to understand about the Nature of Things. As we paused to take bites out of our meal, we simultaneously heard this:

"...I was eating chicken and green beans last night, and they just tasted so good. The green beans were just a filler though. The main event was the chicken." To which his table mate replied: "HA HA HA HA!"

We both almost stopped chewing, and all thoughts on the Nature of Things went right out the window. We made eye contact across the table. The main event was the chicken? The main event? Ha ha ha, indeed.

We valiantly tried to re-start the conversation, but every time we paused to take a breath, we would hear something like this: "...and then this one time I had chicken with jalapeno sauce. Whoo-wee was that spicy. But it's still chicken, right? So how could I say no?" To which there was more of this: "HA HA HA HA!"

This went on for a good ten minutes. It was as if this person was listing every chicken meal he had ever had, and for some reason, this was infinitely funny to his table mate. And, believe me, the more it went on, the funnier it got to us too.

"...oh, but this other time, I had chicken with habenero peppers! I was wiping the back of my neck, I was so sweaty! But the chicken! Still good!" And then: "HA HA HA HA!"

I tell you, we were riveted by this speech. We ate in silence and giggled and listened to the Crazy Chicken Comedian and his audience of one.

There just must be something about eavesdropping in a restaurant that makes everything more entertaining. I think we should start offering higher education courses in this fashion. Put the professor at one table, and her students all around the restaurant. People would be geniuses by the end of the semester, I'm sure of it.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"Hi There" Means "Yo' Mama" In My Dialect

You know how there are those people on the periphery of your life that annoy the Les Nessman out of you? Maybe it's the woman in your Library Skool class who incessantly asks you what grade you got on every assignment. Maybe it's the library patron who comes in every day to tell you that they "pay your salary." Maybe it's the neighbor who thinks it's ok to tell you that your partner looks too skinny and you better feed him better or he may never marry you. These aren't your friends. They aren't your loved ones. You never chose them. But they are in your life on a semi-consistent basis, and you just have to deal with them the best that you can. You know the ones. We all have them.

So, today, my library system had Staff Day. It was a mini-conference of sorts, where the entire large staff gets together for workshops, guest speakers, and training. As our system has hundreds and hundreds of employees, it's fun to get together in one place and learn us some skeels. As I walked the halls in the large Convention Center, going from workshop to workshop, I saw lots of friendly faces. I caught up with colleagues I hadn't seen in a while, and had a chance to introduce myself to some new people. And, in the midst of all of that positive interaction, I ran into Hortensia.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that Hortensia is one of these annoying acquaintances of which I speak, and I am going to tell you some hideous story about how her nose always whistles or her breath always smells like Cheez-its. I'm not. First, these things are not true. Second, I don't really know Hortensia but at all, and what I do know of her doesn't annoy me in the slightest.

Hortensia and I went to Library Skool together. Our program was big enough that the cohort wasn't tight-knit, but small enough where you pretty much knew everyone by name and chatted with them every once in a while. Hortensia was, when she spoke in class, intelligent, funny, and interesting. I wasn't particularly drawn to her, but neither was I repulsed. One day, I happened to sit next to her in class. "Hi there," I said, with my Librarian Girl charm, "I like your sweater."

Now, as soon as I sat next to her, I noticed an almost imperceptible shift in her body. A stiffening. And when I said "hi there," the look on her face was not quite decipherable, but she did not look...happy to see me. "Thanks." She said this shortly, not meanly, but with an air of "please don't talk to me please don't talk to me" mixed in there somewhere. Soon, class started and there was no more between us.

During the rest of my stay in Library Skool, this behavior from Hort continued, and if anything, became more pronounced. She would yuk it up with other students, and didn't seem at all shy or stand-offish with them. But yet, every time I approached her for any social niceties, she looked pained. She was always gracious, never rude. But I could almost FEEL her shrink away from me. I was dumbfounded by this. She was acting very much like I had offended her, or like I smelled of pinto beans, or like I had poo stain on my cullottes. What could it be?

As I am not one to dwell on such matters, I didn't give it much more thought or effort, but let it go and just let her be. After we graduated, I didn't see her ever again. Until today.

I didn't know that she had joined the staff of our system, and when I saw her across the room, it really crystallized for me. When it comes to those annoying people in everyone's life...what can I say? The only explanation I can come up with is that for Hortensia, I'm THAT PERSON. The fact that the very me-ness of me can come across like teeth on a chalkboard to someone that barely knows me at all is what I have to swallow out of that situation. I can't control it. There's nothing to be done. I'll never really know just exactly what it is about me that repels her so, and it's a strange thing to think about.

So, if everyone has people that annoy the shit out of them, the math dictates that sometimes WE are on the bad side of that equation. I am quite used to thinking of myself as pretty damn likable, but in this case, Hortensia wants no part of this delicious Librarian Girl pie. Eh. Go figure.

Sorry Hortensia, if I accidentally spit when I talked to you or took the last doughnut on the student lounge table or fell asleep in class and talked in my sleep where I insulted your mama. Whoops.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Because I'm Crazy, That's Why

So, I have been talked into attempting NaBloPoMo. Sounds kind of dirty, don't it? But it's not. At least not the way I'm going to do it.

So you've maybe heard that November is National Novel Writing Month, where crazy mofos attempt to write a novel in 30 days. Well, now bloggers have an equal opportunity to be crazy mofos. The purpose of National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo)is to post something, anything, for 30 days in a row. In doing this, "the hope is that the act of putting something of yourself out for the world to see every single day will make writing become a more fluid, natural, and integral part of your day." And hey, that sounds good, right? I know, you're thinking peanut butter and jelly in the same jar sounded good at first too. But I am willing to give this a try.

So, dear readers, I am going to try and post something every damn day for the month of November. Who knows what juicy tidbits may have to be pulled out of the recesses of my brain to fill the screen every day? I will write something, and if I absolutely can't bring myself to send out nonsensical gibberish into the world, then I will post photos. So you see, this will be fun! My writing will become ever more effervescent! And you will be here to witness it all! Or, I will crash and burn like Janice Dickinson on a bad day, but hey, that could be fun to watch too, right?People, including me, spend tons of time intaking all manner of crappisms for entertainment. So if I add to the crap heap, so be it.

So, to kick off my month of Posting Mania, a few comments about Halloween. First, sadly, our house had to be party-pooper-lights-off house last night because Nordic Boy dug up our front yard to re-pipe stuff so our water drainage would work better. That plus the fact that we have essentially no lighting anywhere past the front stoop, means that our yard is a recipe for tripped and maimed children. And although lining our front pathway with the crying, bleeding masses of kids in our neighborhood may be sufficient for a Halloween horror film, we decided maybe not so much with that. So lights off for us, and no trick-or-treaters.

And second, different work units around my library system took Halloween photos of their respective staff members in costume and shared them via email yesterday. The number of librarians who dressed as witches was astonishingly high. What can we, as a profession, read into this? Are witches something that many librarian-folk are drawn to, like funky glasses and office supplies? Any theories on the high proportion of witchy women in Halloween Libraryland?

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Yes, yes, I am a superstar superhero super-terrific librarian. I actually got one of my city's disaffected youth to proclaim "librarians must be the smartest people in the world!" the other day. And I am 60% sure they weren't being sarcastic. I like taking in information, and sharing it, and thinking on it. You other superstar librarians out there know what I'm talking about. I've got some smarts. I know this. Excuse me while I pick up these brains that keep spilling out onto the floor.

Not only do I have some smarts, I am also a reflective person. I ponder. I muse. I do lots of mulling over. About anything. About everything. What is the nature of life? Why is the universe designed so? What really matters? And why did Rory Gilmore never work it out with Jess? I liked Jess.

Except, you know what? Sometimes, when I think too much, something in my 'licious brainage can rebel. It's like, it just can't take any more and has to shut completely down. And I mean completely. And that's what's happening with me this week. I was in the middle of reading a Turgenev novel, and it was all of a sudden "blah blah blahsky." So I put that down earlier this week and started in on Raisin Rodriguez and the Big-Time Smooch. Couldn't concentrate on that either. A few days ago Nordic Boy walked in to the living room to find me standing in front of the fireplace, facing outward into the room. "What are you doing?" he said. "Huh? I don't know." He finds this funny. "You were staring off like Puddy on Seinfeld." Unfortunately, that wasn't the only time this happened. It's happened a few times, enough for him to coin the phrase "Puddy-ing out." As in, "hey Librarian Girl, you're Puddy-ing out again." As a superstar super-pondering librarian, this chaps my ass.

I think what's happening is that I have been working too much. My schedule just got out of control and I find myself without a day off for more than my brain can handle. This causes me to want to do nothing but puddy out, or watch tv, or sleep. Not that any of these are things I wouldn't do anyway, it's the doing them in excess that I mind.

So, bear with me this week, people. If anything I post in the next week seems kind of vacant, just cut me some slack. My two week stint is almost over. And on that note, I leave you with this:

I got home from work last night at 8:30 pm as Nordic Boy was preparing dinner. I peak into a grocery bag that is full of assorted fruit...yum. Apples, pears, bananas. "Hey," I say, "what are those orange things?" Nordic Boy looks at me with his Russell Crowe brow, all wrinkled up. "Librarian Girl, they're oranges."

Me: "Oh. Right." Giggle giggle from the both of us. Giggles turn into gales of laughing. "Young lady, you need to go sit the hell down and relax!" And I am summarily marched over to the couch.

Those orange things. Yes, I remember now. They're called oranges. Thanks, Nordic Boy.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Neighbor J Rocks the House

This time around, it's Neighbor J's Birthday Shout-Out! Raise the roof, ya'll!

Neighbor J and I first met almost ten years ago, and soon after we were living next door to each other in our duplex that we lovingly called The Commune, since our friends were always over and Neighbor J and I shared everything. During one of the first times we ever hung out, I knew we were destined to be lifelong friends because of her deep and meaningful relationship with art and pop culture. It was a meeting of the minds, kiddies. We were having tea, and as she poured milk into her Earl Grey, she sang this eerie song. "Meelk, mee-ilk, meelk." Does anyone out there remember a short piece on Sesame Street in the 1970s that showed how milk got from the cow to the crying baby? It was all set to this freaky song, where this woman's infantilized voice sang "Meelk, mee-ilk, meelk." You probably don't know what the hay-ell I'm talking about, but the point is, Neighbor J just freaking SANG that song. And I TOTALLY knew what it was. And we had a twenty minute conversation about it right then and there. Thus, a friendship was born.

And so we lived, side by side in the Commune duplex, where I would watch "A Wedding Story" on TLC and yell through the wall "can you believe this crap?" and she would yell right back without missing a beat "oh my god, no!" We would shop together, eat dinner together outside on summery evenings, exercise together, have papermaking afternoons in our backyard. She always has the perfect pop culturey metaphor to make me laugh. Five years ago, when I was having some drama with a psycho with a terrible bowl haircut and a continually sour expression, she shook her head and said "what a Romulan." It was hilarious. Because he DID look like a Romulan. This other time she was the only one who stayed up with me until 2am one night, after a bunch of us had gathered to watch the "Seven Year Itch," because after that movie was over, "Love with a Proper Stranger" was on. And who can resist Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood talking about love and comparing it to Banjos and Bells? Well, apparently everyone could resist it but us.

Neighbor J and I have taken to calling ourselves Statler and Waldorf, because as soon as we start a-chatting, we are basically the peanut gallery of the world, with a comment for everything. We also call ourselves Alyssa and Blanche, which only will make sense to you if your knowledge of Little House on the Prairie extends into background characters and lost episodes. She's the only one I know who loves Doris Day as much as I do and she can channel Howard Keel singing "Bless Your Beautiful Hide" from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers like NOBODY'S business. And we have literally emailed each other pictures of cute outfits and shoes back and forth thirty times a day. She's one of those friends where you've talked so much, shared so much, that when you talk to each other you are basically speaking a secret language, all chock full of references that only the two of you can understand. And isn't it grand to have a friend like that? It's the definition of banjos and bells, being around this girl, truly.

Happy Meow Meow Birthday, Kitty Neighbor Meow.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Friday, October 20, 2006

Chicago Part Three

I spent the rest of the Week 'O Chicagoness with my friends Alli and Map. I've known these two literally my entire life. If some of you out there don't have any friends from this long ago, let me tell you that it is simultaneously awesome and weird. It's like knowing two people that live in your head, because they have all of the same memories that you do. I can say the most random shit from my childhood (something like "remember when those girls in elementary school would chase Chad P. around the playground while singing 'Maneater' by Hall and Oates?" and Alli will reply "remember it? of COURSE I remember it. I was one of the girls who did it!") It's like your entire childhood has been brought to life again, and every crazy memory that you have is totally validated by two other people who saw every messed up childhood thing that you saw. It's the greatest thing ever.

So a couple of highlights about this weekend. First off, I need to say a few words about Oprah. Oprah is famous, yes. Oprah has influence on a vast number of Americans, true. But in Chicago, the level of Oprah-ness is just a wee more intense. The number of times Oprah is mentioned in Chicago is higher than in other places. I was in stores where footage of Oprah was playing. Oprah's penthouse building was pointed out to me. Oprah sightings were discussed. Chicago and Oprah. Like peas and carrots.

Ok, so apparently Oprah had a show where she talked about bras and the importance of getting a bra fitting, especially if you are Large and In Charge in the boobal department. In this show, she endorsed a Chicago store called "Intimacy" where one can go to have such a fitting. Alli had done so and assured Map and me that it was a LIFE CHANGING EVENT. So we made an appointment for Map and went bra-shopping. Let me tell you guys, Oprah was right. Oprah was ridiculously right. Although I didn't need to have a fitting (as I am neither Large nor In Charge, in fact next to Alli and Map I am basically a boy), I witnessed a crazy body-transformation on Map right before my eyes. After that fitting, Map looked taller, her clothes looked newer, and her girls were SMOKIN'. So Oprah, kudos to you. Thank you, O Educator of Boobology.

On the El ride back to Alli's house, I introduced them both to a game that Neighbor J, Biology Girl and I made up. It's called "Who would you do?" It goes like this. You name two famous people, and everyone has to say which one you would sleep with if you had to choose. It can be played Fantasy Style, where the choices are so good it's hard to choose. Like, who would you rather do: Johnny Depp or Jake Gyllenhaal? That's ok, but not as fun as the other way to play, which would be Anything Goes Style. Like, who would you rather do: Yoda or Chewbacca? Gary Coleman or Emmanuel Lewis? Barney Miller or Mr. Kotter? Basically there is no real point system to this game, but the person who can come up with the most combinations that can cause the rest of the group to yell "awwww SICK!" is the de facto winner. And this time, I would have to say that hands down, Map was the champion. Not only because she came up with the weirdest combos, but because she brought in the SO SO WRONG element of throwing our former teachers and classmates into the mix. She brought up a name so random, so forgotten except in the recesses of all of our elementary school minds, that Alli actually gasped like someone had smacked her across the face. So Map, you win. You totally win.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl