Friday, September 30, 2011

10 Reasons Why You Should Not Mess with a Librarian

1. The calm, quiet librarian voice has the authority to silence all other voices.

2. People need answers. Librarians have answers.

3. The library is the librarian's territory. The librarians know the lay of the land, the resources, the secrets. Messing with a librarian on her turf is messing with a dragon in her lair.

4. Librarians are guarding books. Dragons guard gold, librarians guard books. Should anyone attempt to harm the books...

5. Librarians have each other. A person may come in and cause problems, but as they stand at the desk, more and more librarians will appear. One by one, another cardigan, another pair of glasses, another shrewd mind will form a united front at the circulation desk.

6. Books are heavy. And their sharp corners can be dangerous. Librarians respect the book, so they may wield the book.

7. Librarians know how to make a lot happen from few resources. This power can be used innocently in children's storytime as well as...for other things.

8. Librarians use computers. Computers holding information. About patrons. Everyone wants to have a clean record...right?

9. Cats and potted plants are very loyal to librarians. They will show up as allies if needed.

10. Librarians = Knowledge. Knowledge = Power.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Try Shaking It!

In our library, there lives a certain copier.

Attached to this copier is a change machine.

This change machine is the whiniest, noisiest, most selfish most annoying most spiteful change machine I have ever worked with.

This may sound harsh, but I'm telling you that if you met this change machine, you would have to agree.

I spend a good part of each day babying that thing. Putting a dime in (because it only takes dimes...) at just the right angle and shifting the whole box off to one side to get the dime to slide in. Instead of flipping out onto the floor. And making feeble older people have to attempt to crawl around and find it.

Once you make eye contact with some desperate patron, confused and discouraged, standing over by the machine, it's all over. You are now responsible to feed endless dimes into it, shaking it, stroking it, striking it. Until you get every. single. desired. copy.

Double sided? Bring it on. Reduce or enlarge? Child's play. Sweaty and hunched over, eyes blazing and dimes clutched in my fist, I WILL conquer this machine.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Life

I am very pleased to announce a new arrival.

She is tiny.

She is delicate.

She is green.

She is growing next to Neville in his pot on my desk at the library.

Congratulations to Neville! He has a baby...or another arm...or something...

I know I haven't written about Neville for a while, but he's doing pretty well. A few brown leaves once in a while, but I pick those right off. I am actually pretty pleased with my mad plant skillz.

Anyway, I must be doing something right, because there is the tiniest little bright green shoot springing up from the dirt. It's all very thrilling.

I must say, though, I'm a little nervous. Will she last? Will Neville drink all her water? Will she be able to grow? Or worse, will she have Neville's temperament?

*Sigh* So many things to consider. Now the question is, what should I name her?

Friday, September 23, 2011

What's the Secret Password?

I am really sick of passwords.

Seriously. How many am I expected to come up with? I have created dozens of accounts over the years, more every day! Everything from Facebook to banking, Twitter to insurance, Blogger to iTunes. Not to mention my three email addresses.

Want to leave a comment at this site? Create an account. Want more information? Create an account. Want your own profile? Create an account.

I try to overlap user names and passwords so I can remember. I try to stick with the same key words for work-related things, for instance. But I can't have the same user name and password for EVERYTHING! It seems to risky. Not to mention, I'd have to go back and change everything so it matched. And different sites have different requirements.

I am at the point now where I just get mad if I have to create a new password for something. I try to use something I've already used, but I need to have two numbers. And a capital letter. And a symbol. And two dashes, a smiley face, and my astrological sign. Ugh! I've come to the point where if I create this quick account I don't think I'll use anymore, like one I used for online computer support, I do something like "helpme". Or "passwordsarestupid".

The other day, I was logging in to one of my email accounts and forgot my password. I remembered part of it, but got stuck. I tried to keep typing it in without thinking about it. Like, la di da, just typing in my password automatically of course I remember it...but kept I failing. I noticed my finger kept drifting upwards, so I went with that, just trying to feel the password, and eventually I got it.

But seriously? Should all these passwords be causing me this much grief?

I say no. What say you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Does Fall Smell Like?

Leaves. Wet leaves, piled up and decomposing. Dry leaves, crunchy and sun-kissed. You're just walking along on the sidewalk, breathing in the woodsy smell when suddenly you get the urge to go out of your way to scuff through a pile of them.

Pumpkin pie. Warm and thick. Can you smell the color orange? The answer is yes and it smells like pumpkins. Flaky pie crust baking, heating up your kitchen. A sprinkling of cinnamon - spicy - yet comforting, like a hug.

Hay. Itchy. Prickly. Smells like bumping in a wagon up a steep dirt road. Wandering through a maze at dusk. Laying on the ground on a quilt, staring up at the sky. Straw on your jeans and clinging to your sweater.

Bonfires. Smoke burning your eyes. The smell clinging to your clothes, wafting in your hair. Leaning up close to the heat, seeing how long you can stay until you get so hot you can't take it anymore. A bright spot on a dark fall night. A warm circle in brisk wind.

Apples. Baking in a crisp. Floating up as steam from hot air. Muffins, pies, cakes. Biting into one, hard and green, cold and sour almost hurting your teeth.

That's what fall smells like.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Spooky Story

So the other day, I worked at the library until 9. It was kind of a late night, it was dark... I pulled into my long driveway and hiked up it to grab the overturned trash can, which had been emptied that day. I started taking it down to its spot, and I heard what sounded like water sloshing around inside of it.

I experimented a little bit, shaking it around, wondering what it was. Turned it around, tried to look down it but couldn't see.

Then suddenly I was struck with a thought: there's something alive in here.

I stopped moving the garbage can and something rustled way down in the bottom of it.

I carefully set it down and backed slowly away, intending to turn on the light on my keychain (normally meant to scare off bad people) and shine it down into the trash can to see if there was something in there.

All of a sudden, the can lurched over and hit the driveway, causing me to high-step backwards, shrieking, like an unbalanced giraffe. The kind of giraffe that shrieks.

It was so dark, I couldn't tell if anything scampered out. I turned on my light and flashed it deep down in the garbage can, but didn't see anything.

I guess now we'll never know.

Friday, September 16, 2011


autumn leaves wallpaper fall leaves and pumpkins

Whoa. Wait a second.

Pumpkins and scarecrows in the window at Michael's? Fog machines on sale at Target? Sweater vests? Crunchy leaves?

Helloooooo, fall.

Not gonna lie, I don't feel super prepared for it. I mean, it's September 16. I am not prepared to put away the flip flops and pull out the boots.

Or am I?

I feel conflicted, because I love fall but I'm also scared of it. Because after fall comes that season that starts with a "w". The season I wish was only a week long. But is usually about seven months. Am I ready to say goodbye to flowers and bunny rabbits and say hello to pale skin and icicles? Hm...

I'll tell you what I am excited about: scarves. After all, I have *ahem* twenty *ahem* of them hanging in my closet, begging to be used. I tried the whole "summer scarf" thing, but it wasn't the same. So I am looking forward to casually flinging scarves around my neck.

Oh, fall. Take your time. Some of us are dragging our heels just a smidge.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wake Up and Smell the Oatmeal!

I've always liked oatmeal. In a variety of ways - baked, in cookies, crumbled over top of a delicious appley dessert.

But it's always nice to just have it hot in the morning. It feels simple and good. Wholesome and right.

Here's what I do most days:

1. Mix half cup oatmeal and one cup water together in a microwave-safe container. I'm sure it's better on the stovetop but honestly, who really wants to spend all that time in the morning?

2. Microwave for a few minutes, keeping an eye on it so it doesn't overflow and create a sticky mess to clean up. I do this all the time, by the way.

3. Once your oatmeal is cooked, adorn it. If I have fresh or frozen blueberries, I like to sprinkle those on. Currently, my favorite ingredients are milk, cinnamon, and brown sugar. But honey will do as well. Pop in a few chocolate chips if you want to crave chocolate for the whole rest of the day.

4. Stir it all up and enjoy!

Yum, oatmeal! Cook it yourself - I promise it's better than those instant packets.

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Potter? Yes, Please!

If you are a Harry Potter fan, I'm sure I don't need to inform you about Pottermore.

If you are not a Harry Potter fan, but still have decided to carry on reading this post, here's Pottermore in a nutshell: it's an interactive Harry Potter website from Jo Rowling that takes you through moments in each book. It includes new background material from Rowling, as well as the chance to experience magical things like getting a wand, being sorted into a house, creating potions, and competing for the House Cup. If none of this makes sense to the books, why don't you??

Anyway, Pottermore opens to everyone in October, but because of extreme dedication and sacrifice of sleep on my part, I was able to get in early! Well I got my name in, then I had to wait and get a welcome email. And on Saturday, it came!

Here are some of my thoughts on Pottermore:

1. I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M ON POTTERMORE! This is almost as good as going to Hogwarts! almost...
2. The graphics are really well done. It's so great to see places like the Dursleys' kitchen and Harry's cupboard under the stairs come to life.
3. There's no music or sound on the site, so I brought up iTunes to play epic soundtracks like Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings.
4. Learning extra information straight from Jo is so. stinkin. cool. I read about how Vernon and Petunia met, what a wand's core and wood say about a wizard, and why McGonagall never married.
5. Pottermore keeps going down! It's either because they're making changes and updates, or because so many people keep trying to get on at once. Frustrating.
6. Brewing potions is tricky, but very cool. Also, horned slugs are disgusting.
7. I got to shop in Diagon Alley! I bought first-year books, school equipment, and an owl.
8. I took two very interesting to get my wand (hazel with phoenix feather core, fourteen and a half inches, reasonably supple) and one to get sorted!
9. I was sorted into Gryffindor! What? I always sort of thought of myself as Ravenclaw, but apparently I'm braver than I thought...
10. All in all, great site. Once I finish going through the first book, there's not too much to do until the next one comes out. That's good; if there was too much on there I would probably never leave.

Experiencing Pottermore makes me want to read the books again! Really good site; definitely worth the wait.


Friday, September 9, 2011

American Girl: The Doll Superstar

There is one name that is currently striking fear into parents' hearts every day at the library:


The library is raffling off the latest American Girl doll, whose description I will now share from the AG website:

"Meet Kanani, our 2011 Girl of the Year! She loves to share the aloha spirit of Hawai'i with others. Kanani arrives wearing a bright tropical dress, a faux hibiscus flower, a pretend kukui nut necklace, ruffled sandals, and cotton underwear. She’s soft and huggable with long hair for styling. Includes the Aloha, Kanani paperback book."

Could girls approximately 8-12 (possibly older...) ask for anything more? No. Because this doll holds all the answers. Sitting on the counter in its box, neck secured with a plastic tie, beady eyes watching over the library, this doll is IT. The most most desperate desire of a girl's heart.

Obviously, I had years when I was obsessed with American Girl. I got the magazines, the catalogues, everything except actually having a doll. The one I wanted was Felicity. Felicity had a horse, and my American Girl phase coincided with my horse phase.

(My horse phase ended when I actually had horseback-riding lessons from a teacher who basically let me ride around by myself, scared out of my mind, until the horse got spooked by some loud machinery and dumped the dead weight on her back. The whole experience wasn't quite as romantic as I'd pictured it.)

So I'm off to work pretty soon, really looking forward to the death glares aimed at me by moms who thought that at least at the LIBRARY they would be safe from their daughters' consumerism....

If you are a female reading this, I'm going to assume that if American Girl dolls were around when you were young, you wanted one. Which one was your favorite?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm a Big Kid Now

Sometimes I think the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want." -Ryan Gosling

Being an adult can be strange. For me, the transformation has been quick in some ways, and gradual in others. It can be hard to get used to the freedom.

Remember when you were little and you were always denied candy in the grocery check-out line? Or you didn't understand why it was such a big deal to want to only buy "fun" food?

Well, when you're an adult, you realize that you can't just throw money at those big round colorful lollipops (that actually don't taste that good) or doughnuts in the baked goods section. It just isn't practical.

Sometimes I'll be doing grown-up sorts of things like grocery shopping or scheduling doctor visits or using the ATM, and I'll get the feeling like I'm playing pretend. Like, wait a second, what am I doing here clutching a stack of coupons, comparing prices on mouthwash? When did I start buying boring things like trash cans and antibacterial wipes?

When you're an adult, you've got to be responsible. But it's fun when you realize that you can actually buy whatever you want.

So buy the toilet paper and the eggs. Pay the rent and clip coupons. But once in a while? Buy some candy. Just because you can.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Too School for Cool

So, this is my second year out of school. It's still weird.

Not gonna lie, I kind of miss school. I miss the first day, especially.

And the school supplies? Um...awesome!

I remember when I was younger (I was homeschooled) I would love organizing my desk and setting out all my new stuff. Pencils, paper, notebooks, calculator, folders...

And then at college figuring out which binders would be for which classes, printing out my schedule, making sure I had my cute purple mini stapler...

Now, no more of that. I just get to shop in stores with "back-to-school" sales and be envious of the pictures of girls in knee socks and boys in vests. Never had school uniforms; always kind of thought they'd be neat.

But the biggest disappointment of all?" Yesterday, September 1st, students headed off to Hogwarts. Once again, I am not on the Hogwarts Express. No sorting, no House Cup, no Quidditch. You know what? I'm starting to think that I'm NEVER going to get that letter...

On a more serious note... I have been waiting for my Pottermore email ever since I made it in the early sign-ups in the beginning of August. Still nothing! Thousands of devoted Harry Potter fans now know what House they're in and if their wands' cores are unicorn hair or dragon heartstrings. Come ON!

In other news, Labor Day marks my one-year annniversary as a full-timer at the public library. Congratulations to me! Hard to believe it's been that long, but I have been thankful for every minute.

Happy First Day of School, to those of you who still have them!