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