Monday, April 30, 2007

She's Mighty Convincing

It's a birthday post for Biology Girl! What kind of embarrassing story do I choose to share on this, my sister-friend's birthday? There are a lot of things I can say about Biology Girl, that's for sure. She's loving (for my 29th birthday she bought me twenty nine presents), she's stylish (although one time she almost answered the door to a dinner party that she was throwing with the back hem of her skirt tucked firmly into her undies), and when she and I go shopping together, people tend to give us free items. Who wouldn't love a girl like that? She is endlessly lovable. Ask anyone.

However, if any of you out there ever meet up with Biology Girl, I feel it is my duty to tell you something about her, and it is this. If she, at any time, becomes ardently hardheaded about a debatable position, you can bet that what she is telling you is the exact opposite of factual. Really, I know it will be difficult, when the moment comes. This girl, who is normally so sociable and easygoing, will at some point become obstinate, uncompromising, and downright single-minded on some point of contention, and it will seem almost impossible to refute what she is saying. You'll think to yourself "she sounds so SURE. She must know what she's talking about." Nope. Just remember what I'm telling you. There is an inverse relationship between the stridency of her arguments and the chances that what she is saying is true. The more she believes that she is right, the more wrong she most likely is. Got it?

Exhibit A:
The first documented case of this quality came some years ago, when Biology Girl was in college and rooming with Jenny. A song was playing on the radio. Jenny entered the room. Upon hearing the song, Jenny made a statement to Biology Girl: "Oh! The Cowboy Junkies!" To which Biology Girl, her voice dripping with disdain, responded: "DOUBT IT." The tone that accompanied these two words was so strong, so confident, that Jenny immediately thought "oops, guess it's not the Cowboy Junkies. How could I have been so wrong?" Of course, we all came to find out later that it was indeed the Cowboy Junkies. Given some distance from the situation, Biology Girl had to concede the point. But in the moment, there was no question. Anyone would have believed her. That's how strong it comes across. In just two words-- "DOUBT IT"--Jenny yielded knowledge of one of her favorite bands. See what I mean?

Exhibit B:
One day, Nordic Boy, Neighbor J, Biology Girl and I were driving somewhere. Neighbor J was telling us a story about a trip she had taken to Mount Saint Helens and the Visitor Center, where she had learned about the people who had died there during the eruption in 1980.

Biology Girl: So sad that President Harry Truman died there.
The Rest of Us: What?
Biology Girl: President Harry Truman. He died on Mount Saint Helens.
Neighbor J: I don't think so.
Nordic Boy: I'd never heard that.
Me: I don't think Harry Truman was still alive in 1980.
Biology Girl: Yes, he was. He died on Mount Saint Helens. I remember reading that, and I saw his name listed among the dead at the Visitor Center that Neighbor J is talking about.
Neighbor J: I didn't see that. His name was listed there?
Biology Girl: Yes. I saw it.
Me: Maybe it was someone named Harry Truman, but not the President Harry Truman.
Biology Girl: No, really, it was the President.
Neighbor J: But, if he really did die there, don't you think there would be a whole exhibit about him at the Visitor Center? It doesn't seem right to just list his name. He was a former President, after all. You'd think they'd make a big deal out of that.
Biology Girl: Maybe there's an exhibit somewhere else. I just know that he died there.
Me: But why was he even at Mount Saint Helens and why didn't he evacuate?
Biology Girl: I think he might have lived there. You know, like retired there.
Nordic Boy: He lived on Mount Saint Helens? Really?

You see what's happening? What started out as an obviously absurd statement, where three out of the four people in the car were SURE that President Truman did not die on Mount Saint Helens, becomes completely plausible because of the surety with which this girl can speak. There was no hesitation. Any sort of "are you sure?" questions were met with a clear, unblinking "of course." Within minutes, we were all questioning ourselves. How could we have not known about President Harry Truman retiring in a little cabin in the woods on Mount Saint Helens? I mean, duh. Obviously everyone knew this but us. Look at Biology Girl, teaching us something new. Thanks, Biology Girl! And once again, she was shown to be wrong about this. And when we all found out she was wrong, I think we were more surprised than she was. She's that convincing.

Exhibit C:
Ok, this one is great because I don't think this one was ever resolved. Ask her and she may still argue this one until she's blue in the face. There's no way to prove this one because all we have to go on is what we saw with our own eyes but what we witnessed for ourselves is not enough. Biology Girl is still confident that she is right. It has had to be put up on a shelf called "agreeing to disagree." It went like this. We were on a vacation in Whistler, Canada, where we had rented a cabin on a lake. Jenny and I were reading our books on one of the couches in the living room. Biology Girl was lying down on the couch opposite us. As we read our books silently, Biology Girl became very relaxed. She sank down into the couch in such a way as to look dead. She stayed in this position for over a half hour, unmoving. Jenny and I giggled at her quietly and kept reading our books. As Biology Girl sprawled, she made cute sleeping noises. She breathed slowly and evenly, and mmmm'd and did all of the sleepy sounding things that people do when they are, um, sleeping. Her sleepy sounds were so funny, in fact, that Jenny and I giggled at her a little bit louder, which roused her from sleepyland.

Her: What's so funny?
Jenny: You were making noises in your sleep.
Her: I was not!
Jenny: You were, while you were napping.
Her: I do not NAP.
Me: What?
Her: I don't nap! Never have. I'm not a napper.
Me: I'm sorry, Biology Girl, but you were napping. Even if you haven't napped ever in your life before, you were, just now, napping. Asleep.
Her: I was not! I do not nap!

I know what you're thinking. Why, of all things, is this the time to take a stand? It's not like we accused her of pooping on the patio or something. We weren't accusing her of anything. But that's just the thing. It's always something inconsequential. Cowboy Junkies, Harry Truman, naps. Not things that you expect someone to have a strong opinion about. But she is adamant. She does not nap! How dare we insinuate that she was napping? We had to let this one drop. How do you prove to someone that they were, indeed, napping? And really, what would you gain even if you could prove it?

So, if any of you run in to Biology Girl this week, do three things:
1. Wish her a Happy Birthday.
2. Become incredibly skeptical if she becomes obstinate about a random point.
3. Tell her that I love her.

Never mind, I'll do #3 myself. Love you, Biology Girl! And you do totally take naps.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Jen, over at Sunday Undies, was writing recently about the fact that expiry date (the way Brits say "expiration date") is so much better, because there are entirely too many words that end in "-ation" in the english language, and that cutting down on just one is something we should all get behind. This made me think of a game that I used to play when I was a kid, called "Concentration." The object of the game was to pick a random category (like "colors") and then one person would say a color ("red!") and the next person would have to say that color plus one more ("red!" "amber!") and the next person would say both of those in order plus one more ("red!" "amber!" "turquoise!") and on and on. Your basic memory game. The way that this game would commence, however, was for all the players to hold hands, and swing them back and forth, and say (in that sing-songy voice that is reserved for jump rope games and patty-cake-style hand-clappy-rhymey games) "Concentration! Iddy-Oddy-Ation! Pick a color! Any combination!"

Iddy-Oddy-Ation? What the Jordan Knight is Iddy-Oddy-Ation? The phrase sounds uncomfortabley related to the word "idiotic," does it not? Perhaps a state of idiocy that is grander than idiotic would be iddy-oddy-ation? Or maybe it's like, where you live if you are idiotic. "That dude was so dumb, his address is located in iddy-oddy-ation!" Just think, I could do a re-make of Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation with this. "People of the world unite, strength in numbers we can get it wrong, each time! We are a part of the iddy-oddy-ation!" What do you think? No?

I am feeling like I am the mayor of iddy-oddy-ation these days. My dad's sick in maybe a scary way, and I love my pops like all get out--I mean he is the greatest pops, ya'll, no contest--so the worry is making me lose my brain cells a little bit. I feel distracted, like I start to do something and then can't quite remember what it is that I'm doing. That kind of stuff.

This post is not to boo-hoo about my dear dad, but to tell you that, as I walk around in my own private iddy-oddy-ation lately, dropping things and saying "pardon me?" a lot, I know I am lucky because I gots peeps, and my peeps are the type who go the extra mile and who love me to bits, and take care of me when I'm all jacked up. The morning my dad went to the hospital, Biology Girl called me up and managed, somehow, to get me laughing so hard that we just had to hang up, she was just being too damn funny. Nordic Boy has been cooking me dinners and inventing new dances (my favorite was the "taco rumba" last night) to make me laugh, and wiping away at my leaky face when things get a little too much around here. My mom, even in the midst of this stupid week, has funny anecdotes about hanging out in the hospital, and as I listen to her on the phone, I see right where I get my penchant for telling funny anecdotes, and it's comforting to me somehow, if a bit absurd.

So, living in my little bubble of love, as I do every day, I realize that I depend on these people to get me through whatever bumpy bullshiz is coming down, and I don't really look outside of this little circle for much comfort. Most people are nice when they hear what's new in my world right now, and say supportive things, and are kind. But that extra mile, the act of reaching out beyond just a kind word (I'm not at all knocking getting a kind word, don't get me wrong)- I'm just saying I don't really expect that from people I work with, or friends I hang out with every once in a while, or friends that I may even consider close but that I don't really talk to about the Big Things in life.

Imagine my surprise when one of these friends--one that I know through work and consider close but haven't shared any of my rocky times with--showed up at my library today, with gifts of hugs and homemade chocolate cupcakes, and talked to me for fifteen minutes about the whole mess. She just showed up. Did something extra. Just 'cause. And it pulled me out of iddy-oddy-ation, just for a few minutes, just when I wasn't expecting it. That rocked my socks.

Next time you're thinking of doing something like that, you should totally do it. Make someone's bubble of love a little bigger. I don't care if that last sentence sounds cheesy. Just do it. Ok?

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dazed and Confused

Let's get right to it. Ladies and gentlemen (can I just say that I can't think of the word "gentlemen" without internally saying it like Major Charles Emerson Winchester?) I give you:

Things That Confuse Me

1. People who ask me for "bibliographies" at the reference desk when they mean to say "biographies."

2. Why it's funny when dudes in the movies get hit in the nuts.

3. How the Search for the Next Pussycat Doll show could eliminate a contestant because she "dances like a stripper."

4. The lead singer from Sugar Ray now being a Ryan Seacrest type tv host.

5. When people who aren't friends with celebrities call them, not in jest, by their familiar names, ie "Bobby Deniro" or "Marty Scorcese."

6. People who can't pronounce my name after being told multiple times.

7. People who don't laugh, but just say "that's funny" instead.

8. Why the entry for "Libra" (my sign) in wikipedia says "Libra is said to rule the excretory functions via the kidneys, skin, lumbar region, buttocks, adrenals and vasomotor system."

9. Jodhpurs.

10. The episode of Star Trek where Data's head explodes off in 19th century earth and he then finds it in the future. I have gone so far as to ask someone who is quite well-versed in quantum physics to explain this to me, and I still can't get it.

11. Larry the Cable Guy. Totally confusing.

12. When people put the word "actually" at the end of a sentence unnecessarily, as if you have argued with what they've said, when you haven't said a word. "This food is quite good, actually."

Can anyone explain any of these to me? Virtual kisses to anyone who will try.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Monday, April 23, 2007

In the Brown Stripe

I went and got conferenc'd this week, friends. Getting conferenc'd is kind of like getting punk'd, except without Ashton Kutcher annoying the bejeezus out of anyone, and with a lesser amount of tantrums, and a ton more ankle-length-minus-two-inches skirts. Yes, I conferred with my librarian peeps, diligently. Conferred in large and small groups, with old comrades and new, conferred like a maniac. Here's how it went, in list form. And hey, just be thankful this is in list form and not in the form of Powerpoint slides, because after the week I had, I am dreaming in god damn Powerpoint slides.

1. Until last week, I have probably only seen about 1/5 of the state, all on the western coast. Now that I have ventured to the center of the state, the sheer striped-ness of the region was overwhelming. Here, on the coast, we live in the green stripe. As you drive east, all of a sudden you are in the white stripe (didn't see Jack nor Meg any where though), with snow coming down in the mountains. Just when you're getting used to that, whammo- it's green again. And then, another imaginary line is crossed and you are up to your eyeballs in brown. Kennewick, where the conference was, can be described as a monolithic shade of brown. I mean, if I were naked in Kennewick, I would be invisible due to the camoflaging effects. Bee-rown in the hizzy.

2. So, my friend S and I found the conference center (which was brown), went inside (the brown walls), and registered for the conference (on brown carpet). Then, we released ourselves into the throng of librarians and swam amongst them like salmon in muddy brown water. After a long afternoon of learning us some new librarian schtick, we decided to bust out and find ourselves a nice dinner somewhere in town. Catch a little local flavor, say howdy to the townies, perhaps get caught on tape in a Librarians Gone Wild video. We looked in our handy Kennewick city guide, and found an ad for a restaurant that went something like this: "Mountain River Pub, a quaint, cozy pub in a renovated storefront. Join us for an elegant meal in historic downtown Kennewick." Ah, that sounds heavenly. We drove out to historic downtown Kennewick. And, my apologies to anyone who has a soft spot for historic downtown Kennewick, but I have to tell you. It was a scary railyard. And the quaint pub? It looked like an abandoned storage facility where librarians who enter are never heard from again. We had to pass it up for thai food in a strip mall. Sorry historic pub. Local flava is all good, but if it looks like Chuckie lives in the restaurant, I'm not down with that.

3. That night, we went to see the keynote speaker, Diane Rehm from NPR. You know, the gracious interviewer who sounds like she is two billion years old? I gotta tell you something, and I mean this in the most respectful way possible. Diane Rehm was hhhot. She looked nothing like she sounds on the radio. She was downright smokin'. She didn't even look like photos that I've seen of her. If I can someday reach a level of geriatric hotness of even half that level, I will count myself lucky. So, in addition to being gracious, intelligent, and inspiring, which we already knew she was, she was bug-out sexy. Who knew? Hey Diane! Woot!

4. The following morning, I got dudded up and arrived for my session, where I was to give my presentation. The turn-out was good, and I managed to stay right within my time constraints despite the fact that there was no clock any where to be found in the room. I didn't drool or fall down or accidentally insult anyone's mother, which are all plusses in my book. Hey Librarian Girl! Woot!

The rest of the day was full of other interesting sessions, oily fettucini, and wondering what the heck I'm going to do with another conference tote bag. By late afternoon, I was back on the road to Seattle, and by evening I was back in the green. I love being home. Love, love, love it. Hey Seattle! Woot!

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Friday, April 20, 2007


Hey bloggie friends,

I'm currently in the middle of my state, amongst the sagebrush and the tumbleweeds, getting my conference on at a librarian conference (I have really never seen so many pairs of glasses in my life). I'll be posting about my week soon enough, but to tide you over until then, it's time to update those bookmarks. Neighbor J, artist extraordinaire, pop culture librarian superstar friend, and all around chic mama has her very own blog. Like her, it rocks. Check it while she wrecks it!

The Flying Pencil

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lost My Shoe in the Dinosaur Room

Holy smokes, I love my life. Today, a patron at my library told me a joke to "pay me" for all the help I had given him. And it was a corny, but very funny joke. It's all in the way you tell it, is what I say, and he was Telling It. Jokes for information. This is a bartering system I can get behind.

Speaking of things that are all in the way you tell it, the buzz around the library these days is all about poetry. In case you didn't know, it's National Poetry Month. So if you've got some poetry in your soul, you better get that shit out into the world before April 30. Because poetry in May, is like, so ten minutes ago, like Armed and Famous and that talk show with Karen Walker who kept wanting to sing everything. Did anyone else notice that? That girl would sing the phone book if she could. Kind of reminds me of that episode of Northern Exposure where Shelly woke up one day and couldn't stop singing. That was kind of painful too. Maybe I have something against singing? I don't know.

Gosh, I don't know how I get myself into these pop culture tangents. I was talking about POETRY. And, I don't mean to brag (ok, maybe I do a little), but I am known, in my little circle of comrades, as being quite the poet. I have often written poems for people in birthday cards, in emails, just whenever the mood strikes me. So, I had this grand idea to write a poem, in honor of Poetry Month, on this here blog. Except, I'm just not feeling it. That's right, I'm going to go ahead and proclaim that I have impressive poetic talents, and then I am NOT GOING TO PROVE IT. The phrase "put up or shut up" means nothing to me, people. I will neither put up and god knows I will not shut up. Sorry.

However, I will provide you with a poem for your Poetry Month expectations. It comes in the form of a note that I received from a young poet when we were both in the 8th grade. There are two lessons I want you to take away from this. One is that poetry comes out in the most unexpected places. This particular one deals with love, with sex, with death, with the very nature of life itself. From the days of the dinosaurs to the modern day, it is a plea from the poet to make her mark. To be remembered. And two: if you ever write me something on a piece of paper, I will horde it for the rest of my life and possibly share it with others for a good laugh. Be warned.

With that, I give you, Brooke, and her poem, which I like to call "Ha Ha, Remember That."

Hey chickeeeee!

What's going on over there? Not much here. This field trip was totally bogus is what I'm thinkin. Who gives a rip about dinosaur bones? Not me- I only give a rip about RB's bones! Ha ha just kiddin ya hon. I almost lost my shoe in the big dinosaur room! I about died! But I played it off. Oh my god, I totally love that song Be Near Me! Ha ha! Remember that? Do you like LD? I heard he likes Monica now. Don't tell anyone, kay? I would die. Mr. Straw is so funny! He always has to wear those plaid shirts and sneakers. He's "sexy"! Ha ha! Remember that? This bus is shaking my hand so my writing looks scary. Do you think it looks bubbly? April said it did. This is the longest note ever! I'm bored. Write me back, ok? Unless you fall backwards! Ha ha! Remember that? Bye bye tut alu. Or however you spell it.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


His name was Marlon. In sixth grade, he had that most glamorous of descriptors: he was new. At that age, if you were new and didn't look like a troll, it was instant popularity. To add to this newness, he had an additional trifecta of Cute. One, he was shy. Sixth grade girls go wild for shy. This was the same shy that made me like George the best out of all the Beatles, before puberty set in and I was all about John's rebelliousness. Two, he had moved from Chicago. The big city of all our midwestern dreams. And three, he had (brace yourself) a red leather jacket like Michael Jackson wore in the "Beat It" video. Oh yessss. The zippers. He had all the zippers! Really, need I say more?

He was in the class across the hall from me. Honestly, he was way out of my league. Who was I to go after Marlon? But I did. I used the tried and true method of telling all of my friends, especially the big-mouth ones, that I liked him. This method is like putting a message in a bottle and sending it out to sea. You don't have to really do anything more than say what you want and hope that it comes back to you. Kind of like "The Secret" but less freakishly weird. It helps if you give this bottle to a bossy messenger who will transport it directly to its destination and knock your beloved over the noggin with it.

Soon, via messenger, Marlon was my boyfriend. My friends had told him that I liked him, and he had told them that he liked me, and, through a somewhat lengthy arbitration, we ended up agreeing to Go Together. Marlon and me. Going Together. And I hadn't ever needed to even talk to him. How easy was that?

Marlon and I had quite the relationship. We never spoke. Ever. We never wrote each other notes. We wouldn't even make eye contact. No matter. We were Going Together, a matched set, and the fact that he knew it, I knew it, and everyone else knew it was enough for all of us. Every once in a while, Marlon would come over to my lunch table and sit next to me and eat his sandwich. Silently. I would continue to talk to my friends, as if he wasn't there. It was a beautiful arrangement. We even attended the sixth grade dance at the same time, and there was never any expectation that we would dance together, because, yikes, that would mean we would have to touch each other. (As a side note, I have to say that Marlon was also a wicked breakdancer, and when he did The Worm in the middle of that dance, I fell even more deeply in sixth grade love with him).

In the spring, all the sixth-graders in our school got to go to this nature camp for a weekend. In our factory, cement-encrusted town, this was the school's way of making sure that we all understood that there were actual trees in the world. One weekend for trees, and a lake, and even a horse or two! To us, it was like friggin' Grizzly Adams. I was so excited. Until I found out, through the sixth-grade messenger service, that Marlon couldn't go. His parents didn't give their permission. My dreams of not-talking to Marlon for an entire weekend were shot. Damn.

I went to the nature camp weekend anyway, and had a great time. I sang camp songs, saw camp fires for the first time, and I played basketball on the little blacktop court, just to remind me of home. And when I got back, I looked for Marlon in the hall before school.

When Marlon saw me walking down the hall, he actually looked at me. Full in the face. Stared, in fact. His face was cold. My friends came running up to me. "Marlon wants to break up with you," they said, sad but excited by this new drama. They regaled me with a story about how Marlon had heard from Mike (another boy in my class) that Mike had managed to hold hands with me at nature camp. I was shocked. I hadn't held hands with anyone! Lies, all lies!

This was the point at which I actually marched up to Marlon, ready to defend my hand-holding virginity. But he wouldn't listen. He just walked away from me, every time I tried to explain. And just like that, it was over. Betrayed by Mike. Spurned by Marlon. Unjustly accused.

The next month, Marlon moved back to Chicago, taking all of his zippers with him. I never saw him again. I probably live on in his memory as a brazen hussy who spread her hand-holding promiscuity all over nature camp. That still kind of bugs me.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Friday, April 06, 2007


Sometimes, my friend Delium will stop by the library to pick up some goodies and say howdy. One day, he happened to be standing there as I was helping another patron. As the patron walked away, Delium commented "wow. Your work-voice is very pleasant. And you somehow have a work-voice that doesn't sound like a work-voice. It sounds like you just talk that way normally."

What? I have a work-voice? When I started to pay attention to it, I had to admit I do. It's different from my regular voice. Warmer, with more clarity. I'm not saying that I walk around in my personal life talking with a cold, hard slur. The difference is more subtle than that. But if you know me really well, you can tell the difference. And I guess I'm ok with that. But there is a line that must not be crossed.

The other day, someone from work called me at home. After I hung up with them, I turned around to see Nordic Boy looking at me.

Me: What?
Him: You just did the double goodbye.
Me: What is the double goodbye?
Him: You know, like flight attendants do. "Buh-bye."
Me: I did not.
Him: Oh yes. You did.

Listen, I'm not saying that there's anything inherently wrong with the double goodbye. All of you double goodbyers out there, don't be mad. Some of my best friends are buh-bye people. It fits on them. I, however, am not a double goodbyer. Or so I thought. But apparently, the Work Character that I have inhabited since I have started this librarian gig has evolved into someone who says buh-bye. How did this happen?

My brother would laugh if he heard about this. When we were growing up, we would take these epic trips back to the homeland that required up to thirty six hours on airplanes, all in a row. We would get on and off these planes ad nauseam, and one of the things we would do, as we got punchier and punchier, was, as we would de-plane, say "BUH-bye!" to the flight attendants. This, as a child, was hysterical to us. Now, look at me. I'm saying if for reals.

Also, there is the concept of Keeping It Fresh. This, despite what it sounds like, has nothing to do with Ziploc bags or Summer's Eve. It is an acting term. When you have to memorize lines and say them over and over, night after night, performance after performance, you have to work at Keeping It Fresh. You have to make sure that you sound like you are saying those words for the very first time, every time. It's hard. And it applies to librarians too.

Every night, we have to read a series of closing announcements over the loudspeaker thingamajig. At regular intervals for the last half hour before we close the doors, we have to let people know we're closing, so that they can prepare themselves for the shock of leaving the library. We have a little script that we read for this. It goes something like: "May I have your attention please. We're closing. Get out." Only, you know, nicer than that. That's why we need the script, or we may accidentally say something goofy like what I just said. Anyhoo. About two months into my job, I was doing the closing announcement. A patron walked by and saw me speaking in to the loudspeaker. When I was done, he said, all smiles, "Hey! That's crazy! I totally thought that was a recorded machine talking!" Yeah. So apparently my work-voice when I started this gig was akin to Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons. May. I. help. you. with. that. reference. question.

So I guess evolving to a place where at least my work-voice is pleasant is a step up. And that's all I have to say about that. Buh-bye.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Lunch Feats

There are things that are hard to understand that I pretty much grasp, like Standpoint Epistemology, or Gertrude Stein, or Buckwheat. Then there are things that are easy, straightforward, and seemingly impossible to not grasp that stump me. One of these, ladies and gentlemen, is lunch.

You heard me. I don't understand lunch. My whole adult life, I have never quite gotten behind the concept of lunch. I'm telling you, it's the most enigmatic of meals, and it continually looms just outside of my reach. It's maddening.

Breakfast is easy for me. I get into phases where I can just eat the same goldarn thing for brekkers every damn day. Right now, I am in a longstanding grapefruit and oatmeal phase. Day in and day out, I eat grapefruit and oatmeal in the morn, and it makes me happy. I had a Cheerios phase before that. And a hard-boiled egg and toast era before that. Easy peasy. No soul searching required.

Dinner. Also easy. Dinner is the time to mix it up, anything goes, whoo-hoo, crazy time! Hankering for a burrito, or stir fry, or chick pea curry and rice, or ravioli? No problem! Go nuts! Ok, ok, and the truth is, Nordic Boy is the chef of the house, and I seldom have to make my own food choices for dinner. Easy. I eat what I'm broughten, and I like it that way.

But lunch! Why can't I figure this out? Every single day, around midday, I start to feel hungry, and I have NO IDEAS. I'm telling you, this happens to me every day! A sense of confusion comes over me. I don't know what to do. The other day, Biology Girl called me to see what I was doing, and I was walking around, trying to figure out what to do for lunch. Walking around, in my very own neighborhood, where I already know what all the options are, but for some reason, I feel like I have never seen lunch options before in my life. When I finally decide on the grocery store, I wander the aisles. Nothing looks good. Nothing. WHY? I could walk in there five hours later and rustle up a dinner, no problem. I have some sort of lunch block in my synaptic pathways. Maybe I have been hypnotized to go into glassy-eyed confusion whenever the concept of lunch comes up. Because I end up eating a Cliff Bar and an orange on more days than I can count. And I don't really WANT a Cliff Bar and an orange. But at some point I just give up.

What do you guys eat for lunch? Teach me, oh blog-reading, lunch-eating yodas out there. The part of my brain that decides on lunch is missing. Along with the part that understands the metric system.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Non-Victory Garden

There are things that are fabled to have calming powers. The sound of sea waves. Counting to ten. The scent of lavender. Intelligence for Your Life, with John Tesh. These are things that are supposed to make you feel less stress in your life and make you a more relaxed goomba. But what if these things don't work for you? What if you're allergic to lavender? Or John Tesh? What then?

When I was a kid, my dad had a heart attack. I came home from school one day, and my brother told me that dad was in the hospital. This news, coming from my brother, had just about as much believability with me as many other stories he tried to pass off as fact. (Like the time he told me that the reason I was shorter than him was not because I was younger, but because I had been adopted from a pygmy tribe, like the Oompa Loopahs, and my parents were just waiting for the right moment to tell me that I would never grow another inch). Because of this track record, I proceeded to debate this news about my dad with the technique called "Nuh-UH!" To which he replied back with the tried and true "Yeah-huh!" After a few rounds of this, I went to Mom, who informed me that, yes, this time my brother was actually telling me the truth. Scary shit.

The day my dad came home from the hospital, my sister and I gave him a present. We had read somewhere that stress was bad for people with heart trouble. And we knew that dad, due to working the way he did, had stress. We also read that having an aquarium full of pretty fish was something that relieved stress. So we enlisted the help of my mom, bought a smallish aquarium, and went to Meijer's to pick out a couple of fish. My dad loved the present, and we waited to see if their fish personalities would come out and inspire us to name them. That first night, I sat on my dad's lap and we watched the fish together. Calm, tranquil. Until:

Him: Oh!
Me: What?
Him: Nothing. The big one bumped into the small one.
Me: Oh!
Him: Did you see that?
Me: The big one. He bit the small one.
Him: They're just playing. The small one sure dodged that quick, didn't he?
Me: I want to name him Smarty.
Him: Good name. I'll name the big one...Bully Boy.

We both laughted at the names, and thought it cute how they played together.

Only, the thing is, they weren't playing. The big fish? Was pissed off and psycho. And the small fish? Was being nipped, slowly, to death. We woke the next morning, and Smarty had chunks bitten out of him and was cowering behind a rock. Eeek. This was many things, but stress-relieving was not one of them. I was freaked out that my dad had to watch his fish cannibalize each other, which was the exact opposite of calming. I felt horrible. Welcome back from the hospital, Dad! What your blood pressure and your tired ticker need is the soothing sight of your pets killing each other. Feel better?

So, this weekend, we finally had some sunny, dry weather. (You all should be used to these weird segues of mine by now, so you can stop looking so confused). Nordic Boy and I commenced with Monster Yard Clean-up, Act 2. In case you forgot, the house that we bought last summer had a yard that resembled this, on a pretty city street alongside yards that look like this. We are doing our best to clean it up and make it look presentable, which is a Herculean task, and I so wish I was exaggerating. So, this weekend, we got our gardening gloves on and jumped in.

Gardening. One of the things that's purported to be relaxing. Do you see where I'm going with this? I think you do. Let me just preface what's coming next by saying that I am, by nature, a stress free person. If you looked up "que sera sera" in the dictionary, my mugshot would be right there looking back at you. I don't yell at people when I'm driving, I don't sweat work when I'm kicking it at home, and ballistic library patrons have never made me cry or even ruffled my feathers, really. Those everyday things that get people's knickers in a twist are things I don't even tend to notice. But put me in the middle of a messy garden? Here's what happens.

Me: (pulling on a deep-growing weed) Goddamn, muther-humping, crap eating nutsucker!!!!
Nordic Boy: WHOA. Everything ok over there?
Me: Yes (grumble grumble) I'm fine (grumble) I just (grumble grumble) feel all...(tug on weed)...kinds (tug tug)...of...(tug)...HATRED.
Nordic Boy: Take it easy, slugger. Take a breath.

Then we look at each other, and I have to laugh. We have a good chuckle and I move on to the next task. Minutes later:

Me: You god damn asswipe weed! You are coming out of there if I have to rip you out with my teeth, you big...FUCKWAD!
Nordic Boy: Sheezus! What the heck is going on with you?
Me: I don't know. But I'm feeling the pissy feelings, I gotta tell you.
Nordic Boy: Here, why don't you just put these clippings into the yard waste bags and stop pulling up that stuff?

So I do. Although, I have to stop every once in a while, and look at the mess, and SIGH. You know, one of those annoying, irritated, impatient SIGHS that crusty, moldy, deeply unhappy people emit. SIGH....SIGH...

Nordic Boy: I swear to god, you're the only person I know that needs anger management help for GARDENING. You never get mad about anything, yet THIS is what sends you over the edge? What is up with that?

What is up with that, indeed. I have no idea. I need help. Maybe I need John Tesh?

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl