3 things I have (grudgingly) become over-specialized at

Yesterday at work I had a misty water colored memory of my entrance into la vie en librarian.  I was so starry-eyed and kind-hearted—a stark contrast to the Snarky McSnarkface I am today.  Long story short its been about 5 years.  I work in a Public Library in the heart of  downtown in a city which I’ll leave un-named (comb the posts I’m sure I’ve slipped up and mentioned it somewhere).  While I do love library work (librarians everywhere are required to say this or the Book Bosses will make you disappear) I can honestly say I had no idea what I was signing up for when I accepted the gig.

image from buypoe.com

Oh the cast of characters that have been paraded before me….(cue wavy flashback screen/music):

  •  the fellow in the bedazzled Burger King© paper crown
  • the fellow who (with all due seriousness) asked me to help him find pictures of “the perfect booty”, AND THEN create a watermark image with said booty pic so that it could be the background for his poem—I Love Booty.
  • the fellow who types 000111110000000111111. All day.

These folk are just the tip of the iceberg.  As you can imagine, I had to acquire a special set of skills in order to hang.  They say it takes 10,000 hours of doing a thing to become an expert at it.  I’ve surpassed that and have devoted roughly 35,000 hours to my craft.  Here are a few things I’m more than proficient in:

  1. Blank staring.  In the face of lunacy, if you show any sign of being daunted they will drag you down a rabbit hole from which there may not be a return.  You, my friend, might find your own self donning a bedazzled paper hat.
  2. Making signs and pointing to them. When I first entered the life full of ideals and energy, I all but chastised my co-workers; “There is too much signage! Take some of these signs down and actually interact with the people!”  Cut to present day where I’ll make a sign and point to it to answer the question “How are you today?”

    from annelsblog.blogspot.com

  3. Clandestinely applying hand sanitizer.  Oh the crusty objects I have been handed, library cards buried under crud that has its own crud, money that is strangely damp;  AND if you use the sanitizer unabashedly this colorful cast-o-characters has the nerve to be offended!

Yes, I’m an expert at these things and so much more that yall aint even ready to hear.  That said, I do love my job.  It butters my bread and there are plenty of fulfilling moments.  Use the contact info on the “About me” page to inquire about workshops for any of the aforementioned skills.  ‘Til Monday!

Besos!

Title/Day 83

from bookpage.com

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Somewhere in this web logging community, was born 3…

And now for this week’s installation of 3-Things-Thursday! Three totally un-related things that I’m 100% certain register a full 10.0+ on your who-gives a-dang-o-meter; All random.  All right here.  Because  I love you.

1. Inwardly I rail against it but today is the day I say no more.  Its a part of who I am and I’ll no longer deny it.  **Fighting the urge to say “I was born this way” because I am that person you may have heard about who is NOT a Lady GaGa fan—she scares me.**

OK.  So here it is: I love pink.  I don’t know why but I feel ashamed of it.  When I’m choosing something and there’s a dazzling array of colors and I instinctively wanna get the pink one I dang near slap my own hand!  No more! From here on in I’m pink and I’m proud!

2. I’m in a quandary.  The good folks at Dunkin Donuts © gave me a coupon for a free coffee for my burfday.  Do I:

a.) Use it now even thought I’m somewhere just shy of middle on my Broke/Hood rich curve.  Read: bank account is in positive digits.

b.) Use it when all I have left  in my wallet are those inexplicably sticky pennies.

3. I was just snarky with the bank’s customer service lady.  But not only was I snarky, I  did it in a New York accent.  Its my accent of choice when being snarky.  I won’t get into it but I assure yall she deserved it.

Title/Day 82

How you know you’re at WordPress sweet WordPress

I swear this environment is unlike any other interweb experience. I’m not even talking about the intimate setting of good quality nerds and their brain spawn.  There are other bells and whistles, nooks and crannies that let you know you’re home, where everybody knows your name (or at least everyone understands your quest to have—everyone know your name).

Here are a few things specific to the WordPress experience that I’m sure we have all come to love (or hate depending on the day).

  1. The oops-wrong-password/username screen.  It shakes, rattles and rolls when you get either of those credentials wrong.  Its like “wake up you idiot!!!”
  2. The ‘notification’ area.  I promise you won’t find that shade of orange anywhere else.  The glow is at once eery and awe-inspiring.  It can reduce grown men to tears with a single digit—0 or send his hopes soaring and restore his faith in humanity with any double-digit number.  I won’t even get into triple digits because they say ‘write what you know’. Yeah.
  3. If I’ve learned anything from my late night choice, Mr. David Letterman, it’s that the last item in a list should be the zinger, the humdinger…and I got bupkis. But I do love it here and I’m so glad I found my way over from that other place.

And now, the book:

Title/Day 81

TV and Reality. Un-blurring the lines. Breaking the verticle hold.

Reality TV has been steadily on  the rise and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.  Get over it ‘serious’ actors/actresses and get in where you fit in.  I’m sure NeNe and nem will let you come on their show and show off you thespianic skills.  But reality TV will survive, it will not be fired, it will remain on top.  That message was bought to you by the good people over at Stating-the-Obvious!

Here’s my observation.  The pervasiveness of ‘reality TV ‘ may just have gone to our heads in ways that could prove harmful.  Sure there’s the innocuous condition I like to call Gimme-a-show-too-osis.   This is an affliction where the subject thinks that some facet of their life is sooo  interesting that the world is missing out if they don’t tune into it.  I must admit I once suffered from it and firmly held that they should make a reality show about la vie d’un librarian.  It really isn’t all shelving and shushing!  But a reality show is a bit of a stretch ’cause we don’t have hot tubs or drinks in fluted glasses.  Anyway this condition clears up pretty quickly on its own or with a topical application of ‘Nah-son-Next!’.

To my point of this phenomenon proving harmful:  Countless hours of RTV have me feeling like the camera’s are on and a director will yell ‘cut’ before I (the talent) can come to any harm.  Not so, and trying to hero walk across a busy street just ’cause you’re feeling Ellen-Ripley-bad will get yo arse  ran over.

And now the books.

Titles/Days 77-80

The more things change…

OK. Confession time.  As much as I still love books and wanna have  like 10,000 of book’s babies (booklets?), I might be abandoning the current format for something less restrictive.   I dunno.  More and more this project feels like HW.  And who appreciates HW? I’m not that kind of nerd.

I started this project to force myself to blog everyday for a year.  70+ posts in I think I’m committed to posting daily.  So what I’m thinking is that I might abandon the formalities involving the book facts/summaries etc. (unless I’m totally into it) and just post the book image and write about whatever I feel like writing for the day (book related or not).  This poses the challenge of actually coming up with a topic everyday.  Ah there’s the rub!

All this rambling amounts to is this:  from here on in don’t look for any rhyme or reason in this blog.  Wait.  That’s pretty much the format we’ve been following all along innit?   Happy Friday smurfs and smurfettes!

Here’s the book:

Day/Title 76

This one does beg to be ravished...

 

We have to believe them! They got more people!

Day/title 75

I knew it would happen.  Eventually the lottery would turn up a book from that polarizing genre:

That’s right, “Street Lit”

Blingy book cover font? Check!!! The word 'hustler' somewhere in the title? Check!!!

Bibliographic Information:

Heartbreak of a Hustler’s Wife: A Novel

Nikki Turner

One World/Ballantine, 2011

Summary (Amazon):

Yarni Taylor is a successful corporate attorney who wants nothing more than for her husband, Des, to renounce his hustlin’ ways and commit to his life as a pastor—especially after someone tries to kill him. But Des isn’t ready to abandon his old habits just yet. He has to find out who is behind the murder attempt, and he wonders if the brazen robbery that took place during one of his church services is related in any way. But before he or Yarni can regain their footing, a young woman shows up on their doorstep—Desember Day, the eighteen-year-old daughter Des never knew he had. And, unfortunately, she takes after her father, so trouble isn’t far behind.  With their lives on the line, Yarni must sacrifice everything and take it out of the office and back to the streets to save her husband and her family from their checkered but intricately connected pasts.

My reaction:

So ironic.  Today’s my birthday.  It’s like the book lottery fairy was like “Hey! You non-committal fence rider you! Take a stand on this issue! Happy birthday biyotch!!!!!!”  Ok.  So here’s how I feel.  Books are supposed to:

a) be more than 2 pages

b) have words and/or pictures in them

c) have an audience

d) some other stuff, but those are the main points

Street lit meets all those requirements yes?  Nevermind that some of those author’s bang out 12 of those books before Tayari Jones or Zadie Smith have finished pressing the flesh at one of their book signings.

Words? Those authors manage  to produce more than I ever could (Poor novel that lies in wait inside of me. Alas you may never be born.  NaNoWriMo! You’re fired!)

Audience? That genre has it in spades!

Conclusion, as much as I wanna play the book snob  I really can’t knock their hustle.  Hustlin’ makes the world go round…

I.O.Two

Days/Titles 73 & 74

Hi There!

I owe you two books since I didn’t post yesterday.  And I’m gonna tack on a little something extra because it needs saying maybe the Freshly Pressed fairies will find the extra stuff more interesting than my book lust. Yes I’m playing to that crowd.  Don’t act like you don’t.

So.  Here’s an old favorite to precede Tuesday’s book: Two-kinds-of-people-Tuesday!!!

1.  Those who realize that they’d be ahead of the music curve if they are astute when their Parental Unit’s are playing their ‘old school’ music.

2. Those who have to play catch up and act like they were into old school all along.  I love Eric G. and Hakim! Love ’em!  #FrontinFail

And Tuesday’s book:

White folks (P.C. buffer: some of my closest friends are White folks) love to fall in love in Africa.

The clouds beneath the sun : A novel

Ford, Mackenzie

New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2010

Summary (Amazon):

Now Ford takes us to Kenya in 1961. As a small plane carrying Natalie Nelson lands at a remote airstrip in the Serengeti, Natalie knows she’s run just about as far as she can from home. Trained as an archeologist, she accepted an invitation to be included in a famous excavating team, her first opportunity to escape England and the painful memories of her past.  But before she can get her bearings, the dig is surrounded by controversy involving the local Masai people—and murder. Compounding the tension, Eleanor Deacon, friend of the Masai, who is leading the excavating mission, watches a rift grow between her two handsome sons. Natalie’s growing attrac­tion to Jack Deacon soon becomes a passionate affair that turns dangerous when she must give evidence in a trial that could spark even more violence and turmoil.

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And introducing…….(this is a drum roll, not points of ellipses because I know nerds are prickly about using more than 3 dots)…………Wisdom Wednesday’s!!!

And here it is:

No matter how pretty the packaging, or how much you like Piña Colada’s, don’t buy coconut scented bath/body products, they all smell like crayons.  Go to Stalgreen’s or SmalMart and sniff one.  Thank me later.  Preferably via Paypal.

And Wednesday’s book:

He's a Barker. He know's beauty.

Nigel Barker’s beauty equation : Revealing a better and more beautiful you 

Barker, Nigel

Abrams Image, 2010

Summary (Amazon):

Drawing on 20 years of experience in the beauty business and 14 seasons of judging on America’s Next Top Model, photographer Nigel Barker has discov­ered the formula for revealing inner beauty that will have readers looking great and feeling even better.

Bonjour amoureux de livre (Viva la Babel Fish!)

Day/Title 72

Bibliographic Information:

Black diamond
Walker, Martin

Alfred A. Knopf, 2011

Summary:

The third installment in Martin Walker’s delightful, internationally acclaimed series featuring Chief of Police Bruno.  Something dangerous is afoot in St. Denis. In the space of a few weeks, the normally sleepy village sees attacks on Vietnamese vendors, arson at a local Asian restaurant, subpar truffles from China smuggled into outgoing shipments at a nearby market—all of it threatening the Dordogne’s truffle trade, worth millions of dollars each year, and all of it spelling trouble for Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges, master chef, devoted oenophile, and, most important, beloved chief of police. When one of his hunting partners, a noted truffle expert, is murdered, Bruno’s investigation into the murky events unfolding around St. Denis becomes infinitely more complicated. His friend wasn’t just a connoisseur of French delicacies, he was a former high-profile intelligence agent—and someone wanted him dead.

My reaction:

Very atmospheric.  This author is good at painting a picture—and its a French picture! Ooh la la!  I think I’ll use my Dunkin Donuts© coupon to get a croissant.  But **interrupting Kanye style** Angie Stone was the original Black Diamond.  You need to know this.

My daughter’s Thoughtful 13. How sweet it was…

So my “tween” just crossed the threshold into teen-dumb I meant ‘dom’. Bad mommy! 😀  I made sure the birthday staples were covered: cake, pizza and goody bags, but I also wanted to make sure that she got a wealth of guidance (not just loot and gifts) at this milestone in her journey.  My family and friends are amazing, with insights that I may not be able to effectively impart.  At the birthday gathering I asked each of them to jot down some words of wisdom between mingling and noshing on fish tacos.  Some complied, some were too busy noshing—those were some damn good tacos.  Anyway I said they were amazing not obedient.

My plan is to do something with the advice notes. Something posterity worthy that will inspire her to keep them around.  No, I haven’t already decoupaged them, crafted them into an origami sculpture or blew them up poster sized and wall papered her room with them.  I’m not that kind of WordPresser—not yet anyway (Crafty McCraftensteins I AM joining your ranks one day! Look out!).  But I do hope that the gesture was not lost on her and my daughter knows that we expect her to be thoughtful, introspective and engage the world around her.  She really is a special gal…

I'm a softy of a parent but I'm not above crafting these notes into a medieval torture device---you know, for when the resident teen needs further elucidation.

Day/Title 71

Paris, Pee Wee, and Big Dog

Guy, Rosa

New York : Delacorte, 1984

My reaction:

How fitting that today’s book be one of my fav’s from when I was a teen!

Critics were hard on this book: "The potential for a story is here, but this one never quite happens as it plods laboriously along." School Library Journal

The Saturday Post

Days/Title 68-70

Bibliographic Information:

Scientific American : How things work today

Wright, Michael

Crown publishers, 2000

Summary:

Nah.

My reaction:

Maybe next time.

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Bibliographic Information:

Among the wonderful : A novel

Carlson, Stacy

Steerforth Press, 2011

Summary (Amazon):

In 1842 Phineas T. Barnum is a young man, freshly arrived in New York and still unknown to the world. With uncanny confidence and impeccable timing, he transforms a dusty natural history museum into a great ark for public imagination. Barnum’s museum, with its human wonders and extraordinary live animal menagerie, rises to become not only the nation’s most popular attraction, but also a catalyst that ushers America out of a culture of glassed-in exhibits and into the modern age of entertainment.

My Reaction:

Can’t muster one.

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By now you know the drill:

The box : tales from the darkroom

Grass, Günter

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010

And then there’s this (Kirkus review):

A family documentary in the form of a novel, leaving the reader to decide where the line blurs between fact and fiction.This book by the Nobel Prizewinning German author(Peeling the Onion,2007, etc.) ostensibly allows his eight offspring to come to terms with their father, their different mothers (four in all) and their divergent memories. Yet the novelist reinforces the spirit of fiction, if not fairy tale, from the opening “Once upon a time…” He explains that not only do all the characters in this fictional memoir have pseudonyms, but that they are “all products of their father’s whimsy, using words he has put in their mouths.” 

Still couldn’t muster a reaction. So I’ll include a picture of glitter AKA The-Happy-Maker as a  place holder (Not the movie Glitter AKA The-barf-maker):

Get your own supply. This here glitter's mine!