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

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chicago, Part Dos

Ok, so we last left our intrepid heroine fighting back the snowflakes with her super strength in the cold, cold tundra that is Chicagoland.

The next part of the trip involved getting Biology Girl checked into her hotel, which was booked in advance for her by the folks that had invited her to Chicago in the first place for their bridal nuptuality. The wedding was to be in a 'burb in Southwest Chicago, which is far beyond my knowledge of the city. The hotel that was booked for her was in a town called Alsip, which, after we'd seen it, we forever after called Ass-lip. Although the hotel itself was ok- your standard Doubletree in suburbia, the surrounding hinterlands of Ass-lip had much to be desired. For example, there was a motel down the street from us that advertised its claim to fame: a "4 hour nap, only $28!" A 4 hour nap, people. Egregiously smutty, no? How dare they even try to euphemistically call it a NAP? Honey, please. If you're going to dress it up, call it a Three Hour Tour, only $28. At least that's got a little pizzaz. Up the block from that was a store that was called simply: "Nut and Candy." Nut, singular. So there, I'm assuming that one buys a nut and some candy. But more than one nut, and you're outta luck, buster. Down the street from this, there was another motel with a sign that advertised "Coin operated, mirrored waterbeds." You see what kind of stuff is going down (ahem) in Ass-lip? Although I do thank that last motel for providing Biology Girl and I with much conversation about the appeal of the coin operated bed. Do you really want to be vibrated out of your teeth while getting freaky deaky with your lovah? I'm going on record to say that it don't sound so good. But what do I know?

So we drove down to Ass-lip, checked her into the Doubletree, and then readied ourselves for a night out on the town. Now, you know I am in serious Friend-Love with Biology Girl. In my eyes she can do no wrong. But everyone, hear me on this one. This girl can take a long ass time to get ready to go somewheres. She'll be the first to admit this, so I am not outing her here. I'm just saying, it's LOOOONG. The funny thing about this is that she is naturally gorgeous. And when she is done with the gussying up, she still looks naturally gorgeous. And there is irony in this. The reason being, if you look at me, and then you look at her, I would most definitely be judged as looking to be The High-Maintenance One. When I go out, I have make-up on. Lipstick and everything. My hair is done. I am accessorized. And yet. I had one sandwich-bag-sized baggie that held all of the accoutrements for my toilette. And dear, dear Biology Girl has a bag the size of a large toaster, and it's packed to the gills! She even amazes herself with it. "Look at all this stuff!" she says, showing me her bursting toiletries. "What IS all that stuff???" I say. "I don't know! But I use all of it!" she replies. You heard me right. She doesn't KNOW. But she uses all of it. This is the enigma that is Biology Girl, people.

Anyhoo. After the hour or two of getting ready for the evening (yes, I said the hour or two. I wasn't kidding up in that last paragraph), we embarked back to the city for a Bachelorette Party. I admit I had my qualms about going to this party, as I don't know any of the people (they're all Biology Girls' comrades from California), and this shit was long. As in, nine hours long. A nine hour long party! What is this, Caligula?

So I won't go into the details of the party, because it would take me nine hours to recap the nine hours of revelry. There were presents, and sushi, and manicures, and drinkies, a swanky bar, dancing, a drag show, and everyone busted out their fancy shoes. And there was lots of this: "woo-hoo! whoooo!" That was the sound of the evening. Glasses raised, arms around each others' shoulders, and a big hearty dose of "whooooo! whoo-hooooooo!!!" Now, don't get me wrong. I can woo-hoo with the best of them. When I get the spirit in me, I whoop it up like crazy. But, it's funny to be in the position of being the Party Guest that No One Knows. Because it feels funny to whoo-hoo then. The rest of the group, they are close friends, they are celebrating their bridal sister, they are Feeling The Love. So it makes sense for them to whoo-hoo. But me? On the outskirts of the group? Trying my best to do a nice "hi, I'm Librarian Girl, nice to meet all of you." How am I to bust into a random whoo-hoo? I just couldn't. It seemed so...forward. How am I gonna say "so what's your name? Good to meet you. And what do you do? Whoo-hoooo!!!"

So after the longest party ever, Biology Girl and I hauled ass back to Ass-Lip and got some shut-eye by 3:30am. THAT is the point of the day when I was most likely to whoo-hoo.

Up next, Chicago, the Final Chapter...

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl


So here's how it went, ya'll.

First off, I sat next to the Grumpiest Couple Ever on the plane ride there. It was funny grumpy. They were in the AARP age bracket, and the woman had her hair in a severe bun with golden glitter chopsticks through it and the man had a red polka dot tie on. However, these cheery, faintly circus-like get-ups could not squelch the grumpyness. When Polka Dots was irritated by something (which was very very often), he would gruffly exclaim "Jesus Christmas!" Over and over with the Jesus Christmas! I wanted to lean over and give him a big fat smooch, just to irritate them further and keep hearing that. I was afraid that Sparkles would stab me with her chopsticks though, so I kept my distance for safety's sake.

After arriving and meeting up with Biology Girl, we drove over to see my college roommate, Ms. Palindrome in lovely Andersonville. The leaves on everything were deliciously crunchy all over her street. (That made it sound like I was eating the leaves, didn't it? I was walking on them, people, just walking). We made a plan for the next day, which included a suggestion from Pal that we go check out the Giant Bean. Ha-wha? I feel like I know Chicago very well, but I ain't never heard of no Giant Bean, Willis. How did I miss that? She insisted that it was more exciting than it sounds. And boy was it ever. How could a Giant Bean be so enticing, so interesting, so lovely? I don't know, but it was. Check it:

There was so little time on this whirlwind trip, I had to choose very wisely the things that I most wanted to see. First on my list was the Art Institute. I've been there a million times, but still, I had to go. You just gotta love those big stone lions that look like they are lifting their tails up to deposit rocky poo poo in front of the doors there. We ate lunch there and then breezed through the modern art galleries after which we had the obligatory Ferris Bueller moment in front of the big Seurat. An aside: museum security guard has got to be up there in terms of the most Boring Job Ever Created. Museums are so quiet, and people just mill around and stare at stuff, and these poor muthas have to watch. Looking at people who are looking at stuff. Yowza.

After that, more sights were seen, shops were shopped, and the wind whipped our asses all over town. We crashed at Pal's house again that night, and when we awoke the next morning, snow was coming down in blowy circles. Pretty, puffy flakes. This caused me to look out the window and say..."oh hell nawwwwww!"

I grew up in the midwest. I adore the midwest. I am a midwestern girl through and through, believe me. Being in Chicago was full of nostalgia and hordes of people who talk just like I do. My people! My town! So you'd think with all the nostalgia, I would feel warm and fuzzy about the snow. I didn't. The one thing I don't like about the midwest is the god damn friggin' stupid assmunch snow. So hells no. Hell to the N-O. You better stop that mess right now. I had a stupid shitty Birthday Week and I came out here for some crispy orangy homestyle autumn to cheer myself up and I mean to have it.

The gods did not forsake me. After about a half hour, as Biology Girl and I ate at delicious M. Henry's, the snow dried up. Chicago still loves me, I knew it.

Coming up next, The Trip, Part Two.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Monday, October 09, 2006

Birthday Vacation Proclamation

Ok, forget last week. Just forget it! That wasn't Birthday Week! I just can't let that be Birthday Week. Nothing that involves me being too sick to be able to eat the delicious peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes that Nordic Boy made for me can in any way be placed in the category of Acceptable Birthdayness. So just forget that.

THIS, my friends, is Birthday Week. My Birthday was on Saturday, and thus it was the Kick-Off for the goddamn metaphorical ticker tape parade that I need to have to celebrate Me. Yes, I am going to be all princessy. Me me me. Now gimme that cupcake.

In honor of Birthday Week, let me hearken back to former ages of yore and tell you some things I would have never believed about my Librarian Girl 2006 self.

1. When I was 7, I made a list proclaiming my future careers. According to this list, my adult-self should be a cashier at Meijer's Thrifty Acres, a waitress, a dancer, a movie star, and a superhero. Notice I said "and." Not "or." So the fact that I am none of these things, let alone all of them simultaneously, is a goal that has yet to be reached. Librarian figured nowhere in my childhood mind. Ah well.

2. When I was a teenager, I made a list proclaiming the must-have characteristics of the future dude who would be worthy of my lovitude. It was a long list, which I won't get into now because we just don't have all day. Let me just say that Nordic Boy measures up to my thirteen-year-old expectations pretty well. Except for the fact that he doesn't look like Michael Jackson. And I think we can all heave a sigh of relief that he doesn't.

3. When I was a senior in high school, I vowed to myself that I was going to live in a big city some day, preferably Chicago. (Are you getting the picture that my childhood was full of me sitting around making proclamations about my adulthood?) And although I do live in a big city, it didn't turn out to be Chicago.

However, in honor of my senior-in-high-school self, I will be spending Birthday Week in Chicago, running around town with my friends and acting like that 7 year old, that 13 year old, and that 18 year old. I will run around there like a crazed birthday princess. I will make much silliness, I will giggle profusely, and Chicago will embrace me in Birthday Love. This I proclaim to all of you.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Birthday Curse

You all know how I feel about birthdays. Mine and other peoples. I love them all equally. Birthdays cause me to turn into a gushy mess of Yay-For-You. That's just how I roll.

When I was in high school, my friends and I would call a birthday by your name, followed by the word "fest." As in LutherFest. Or NatashaFest. Or PrudenceFest. It was a Friggin' FEST. And all day long, we would fest it up. Usually, this would start with a 5am trip to McDonald's or Big Boy for breakfast (or Bob Evans if we were feeling extra kitschy) before school. Who cares if we were teenagers and had only slept three hours the night before? We were going to get up at the crack of ass and go start the Fest! (Please don't point out the sad fact that we were woo-hooing ourselves all the way to
motherhumping Big Boy. I know it sounds sad and pathetic now, but trust me. It was good times). Then we would pile back in the car and go to school, and all day it was birthday birthday birthday. In choir, which was almost 100 kids large, you would get a rousing version of Happy Birthday sung to you, followed by whistles, hoots, and a long hearty stomping of feet on risers. This was usually followed by a weekend celebration of some sort at the local pizza joint, and capped off with running amok around town and then sleeping over at my house where we would eat ice cream cake and tell each other shocking stories of all of our secret lives ("you kissed WHO???") until we crashed in a heap on the floor.

So maybe this is why I have big expectations for the Birthday. But here's what's happened lately. I have the Birthday Curse. For the past four years, stoopid ass shit always happens around my birthday. Sometimes right on my birthday. Sometimes the week of my birthday. Why? What is the universe trying to tell me? Is the cosmos telling me to shut the eff up about the gol-darn birthdays? I am not going to whine about what exactly has happened this year during my Birthday Week. Not anything too specific anyway. Let's just say that I started out the week by getting some godawful cold where I couldn't talk (and Librarian Girl likee the talkee, people) and then there was stressy times at work when I finally got back. Oh, and my washer and dryer went kaput. This is only pre-birthday bad luck. I'm still waiting for the big whammie as the Day gets closer. Remember that game show in the 80s, "Press Your Luck"? No whammies! No whammies! That's what I'm hoping.

Well, be it foolhardy or no, I am going to go right on celebrating my birthday. It's Birthday Week, and I don't care if it sucks, I'm going to have it suck with sparklers and a parade. I will not give up!

As I'm typing this, I'm eating dried apricots. I just bit into one that was full of mold. What kind of luck is that? Stupid Birthday Week.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl