Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Time to Appreciate Bubble Wrap

That's right - today is actually Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. What a great holiday!

I. love. bubble. wrap. It's just so satisfying to pop those little bubbles. I just can't keep my hands off those sheets. Whether a box comes in the mail or I'm passing by a roll at the store, it's just impossible to resist! I'll just pop a couple...

Then it's like Cookie Monster when he eat cookies. Aaaaanumnumnumnum!

(On second thought, I'm also like Cookie Monster when eat cookies. Hm.)

I googled this special day, and found a website for  you to check out: On it, you can play bubble wrap games, learn how bubble wrap is made, and see pictures of things made out of bubble wrap. Cool, right?

Yes cool! You're so welcome!

Every package should definitely also contain bubble wrap. Forget the actual thing being shipped, give me the bubble wrap. It's definitely better than packing peanuts, which the last time I handled I managed to get all over myself. Little bits broke off and clung to my clothes, and I was brushing them off all day.

Give me my bubble wrap!

Seriously, are we going to exchange bubble wrap gifts, or what?

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Know What You're Going to Say

No, stop. You don't even need to open your mouth.

Let me guess, you have a question about the library.

Yeah yeah, I know I'm a genius. How could I possibly guess that you would ask me a library-related question while we're here at the gym/church/grocery store/party? Um, because you know I work at the library and when you see me you are reminded of a fine you have. Or a question about eBooks. Or an experience you had the last time you were at the library.

Go on, just get it out. I'm used to it.

It's funny how often this happens to me. I guess it's just life, how when you're a grown-up people define you by the job you have. During small talk time (when really I would just rather sit in comfortable silence), a lot of times people will look at me and realize they still have a pile of books to return.

I guess I should be glad I'm not a nurse. "So, seeing you reminds me of this rash I have...will you take a look?"

So ask away! I love answering questions, you know that. Better yet, let's transition into seventy-five reasons why I love the library, and why I think every person should be going at least every week.

Wait, where are you going? You started it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Orphans in the Woods

So yesterday in the library I was talking with a co-worker about the book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (by E.L. Konigsburg). And that got me thinking about how much I liked that movie when I was younger.

The kids lived in a museum! They ran away from home and lived in a museum! They slept in a huge old bed, wandered around the halls, swam around in the fountain... ah, the independent, adventurous life!

When I was little, I played a recurring game with my sister (and other friends, if they happened to be around): orphans. My parents tried to not be offended by the fact that we continuously imagined life without them.

For whatever reason, I was drawn to imaginary games that involved fending for myself. Living off the land. Traveling like a gypsy and picking wild berries for breakfast. I blame the Boxcar Children. Ever read those books? The first book tells the story of four orphaned children who live in an old abandoned boxcar and take care of themselves. In other books in the series, they have various adventures and make their own food and forage for tools and dishes and things. For fun, since by this time they have been adopted by their kind, rich, grandfather.

Now that's the life! I wanted to have adventures! I loved those books where kids were on their own, on a mission somewhere or doing their own thing. Kid power! My childhood wasn't exciting enough, apparently.

I even decided to write a book about orphans living on their own, making pancake syrup from tree sap and such. I was about ten years old, and the whole thing was a complete rip-off of the Boxcar Children.

Books and imagination were huge parts of my childhood. But you probably could've guessed that already.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Library Rocks

Well, we're gearing up for the Winter Reading Clubs at our library.

The kids love to participate. They put stickers on charts, fill out book reviews for the chance to win prizes, and do puzzles and stuff. Adults, on the other hand, need a little more persuasion to take part.

They think reading clubs are silly, or they say they don't have time, or they say they already read and don't need to cheapen their library experience by entering to win prizes.

WhatEVER. Support your library! I'm going to be right there entering my reviews. It's good to have lots of people participate; it shows your library is doing something right!

In addition, the big prize this year is, wait for it, a Kindle Touch! *GASP* That's right, ladies and gentlemen, the library is cool and awesome and relevant.

Really, though, we try to be! People still come into the library thinking it's just a big quiet room with old ladies hobbling around paging through dusty encyclopedias. Guess what? We've got the Internet and eBooks and children's programs and live music and art displays and book discussions and Facebook and Twitter and a blog...come check us out at the library!

It's good to shake things up once in a while at the library. Hence the reading club during these lousy winter months. The library is awesome. And I consider it my personal mission to let people know that.

We do not have this reading nook. But wouldn't that be so amazing??

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm Baaaack...

Oh hey! Thought I'd write a blog post today. Usually I'm a bit more scheduled, but this week was kind of weird. Weirdly AWESOME!

Over the weekend and into Tuesday, I got to go on a trip and hang out for days with my three best friends. It was pretty much perfect. A road trip, the Golden Globes, delicious food, IKEA, Dutch Blitz...and my girls! In these cold, dreary, winter months, this weekend was much needed.

Anyway, when I got back a blog post just didn't happen. Until now. So here goes.

What is your response when someone tells you that they like something that you're wearing? If you're a guy, this probably doesn't happen, unless it's your girlfriend telling you. If you're a girl, and you're like me, you'll let this person know immediately the kind of deal that you got on your shirt/sweater/earrings/skirt/shoes/purse, etc.

"Oooh, I love your cardigan!"

"Thanks - five dollars!"

"Oh, um that's ni-"

"FIVE DOLLARS. I couldn't believe it either! I couldn't afford NOT to buy it!"

I just can't help it. I just get so proud of myself when I find good deals. I try really hard to save money and buy things on sale. It's very gratifying to be able to dress decently while not blowing a lot of cash. So why not brag about it?

Well, I kind of annoy myself when I do it. I am trying to stop. It just so happens that I identify my belongings by how much I paid for them. So that's the first thing that pops into my head!

When I was in school and living with a bunch of girls, there was a lot of borrowing that went on. So if I was wearing, say, a skirt that wasn't mine and I got a compliment, I felt obligated to share that it didn't belong to me.

"Thanks, but this isn't mine."

I guess it doesn't really matter. I just wanted to be accurate.

Maybe I should just say thank you and move on. Skipping the explanation...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blame Someone Else Day

Happy Blame Someone Else Day!

Yes, it's true. This is actually a thing.

This glorious day is celebrated the first Friday the 13th of the year.

Wait - this is Friday the 13th?! Shouldn't this blog post instead be about staying hidden under your bed for the entirety of the day, keeping your fingers crossed that bad luck does not find you? No. That's silly. Get a grip.

Today is a convenient day to make up excuses. To take every little thing in your life that you don't like, that you wish you could change, that you want to be over...and blame it on someone else!

Already blew your New Year's resolutions? Blame someone else.

Don't like your job/school? Blame someone else.

Made a mistake? Blame someone else.

Don't like to admit you're wrong? Blame someone else.

Today can be an easy, breezy, beautiful day for you! You're free! Blame someone else!

Be careful, though, because once it hits midnight tonight? It's your fault again. So use your blame wisely today.

You're welcome.

On an unrelated note, it's snowing RIGHT NOW. That's right, I woke up to a winter wonderland! Beautiful, glorious snow! Thank you for finally making an appearance!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do You Smell That?

If books and movies are returned to the library with a foul odor, it's because of one of two things.

-lots of cats

-lots of smoking

Those stinks stick around, is all I'm saying.

I'll be casually walking towards the book drop, innocent and carefree. I get closer, reach out my hands, and WHAM.

Are you kidding me right now?!

At this point, my choices are:

-stop breathing, dig the material out, and figure out some way to clean it

-drop my arms, back away slowly, and pretend I never saw it. perhaps whistling softly will help...

Gross. Gross, gross, gross, gross.

If you have fifteen cats? Come on. We can tell. Everyone around you can tell. One should not. have. that. many. cats. And if you do have a bunch of cats (a gaggle? a herd?), don't borrow things that don't belong to you and make them smell bad. Thanks for that.

If you're a smoker? Ugh. I'm sure you don't notice anymore, but everything you touch now smells. It makes me want to cough obnoxiously in your face. I'm sorry you can't stop, but I wish you hadn't started. Why are people still doing this to themselves? Haven't you seen the pictures? This is a healthy lung. This is a smoker's lung...

It's just a shame that people can't return material in the condition they took it out. Because of their SMELL.

We at the library know who you are, fyi. We try to clean up your mess, and sometimes we charge you. And that's an awkward conversation, believe me.

Okay, okay. Rant over. There will be a more fun blog post on Friday. Pinky promise.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Quietly Singing To Myself

So, I go to cycling class a couple times a week at the gym. It's great.

I'm one of those people who likes to sit in the same area every time. It's my spot. Don't mess with my spot.

Maybe you're all spontaneous and, like, "hey I want to sit waaaay over here today!" or "maybe I'll try a bike in this corner," but I'm not like that.

I like a bike in the back and over to the side a bit. That way, I get the full force of the fan blowing from the back of the room, and I also get to see out the door. For people-watching purposes, obviously. I can see everybody in the room, and I can see everybody walking around outside the room. Perfect.

During class, the instructor plays all kinds of music to get us pumped up. Good songs with good beats. Fast for "sprints," slow for climbs.

Guess what? If I hear songs that I know, I'm going to sing along. It's just a given. So I'll be in the back on my bike quietly singing to myself. I would like to be loudly singing to myself, but then it wouldn't really be just to myself, would it?

It's a little embarassing, but sometimes I just can't help it. I'll have been singing half the song before I even realize I'm doing it. Sorry, people around me. It's Adele, for crying out loud.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

In My Own Little Corner

This might sound a little silly, but I need a place to read.

A place sort of like, um, a library.

Well, I already WORK at the library! I can't go there and read for fun! People would probably start asking me for help at the computers!

It's the romantic side of me, I guess, that wishes for a cozy nook somewhere special to just read and read. Usually I read during my lunch break at work and in the evening right before I go to sleep. Unless it's a really good book I can't put down, in which case I carry it around with me and devour every chance I get. But I'd like a different place.

I've thought about Starbucks, but then I'd have to buy something. And I want to go somewhere without feeling an obligation to buy anything. It's things like this that remind me of how great libraries are! Where else can I loiter around and read in a comfy chair, in a special place other than my apartment?

I don't know what I'm going to do. I especially need a good reading spot because the next book I have to read for book club is The Count of Monte Cristo. I'm excited about reading it, but it's going to take more concentration than usual. So I want to be somewhere where I can be focused.

Wanted: Reading spot. Must be quiet(ish). Cozy. Free. Must be populated enough so I can people-watch. People-watching is an absolutely must.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Mouse Hand

Way, way back in the beginning of my blog, I posted about having cold hands. Here, to be precise.

(Speaking of old blog posts, I was rereading some and congratulating myself on how witty they were. You should probably check them out if you haven't already; it's for your own good.)

Well, I've been thinking about them again. My cold hands. The rest of me will be okay, but my hands will always be cold. It's my lot in life.

When I'm just relaxing at home, my hands will usually get almost warm. I'll bundle up and keep my hands nestled in the sleeves of my Gryffindor snuggie. Yeah, you read that right.

But when I'm on my computer, I can get toasty all over, except for one place.

My mouse hand.

It just pokes out from my snuggle sleeve and turns into a popsicle. What can I do? I have to have my hand free to scroll down pages of nerdy fandom sites, or click on videos of kittens sneezing.

I know I could probably tuck my hand back if my fingers weren't needed at that particular moment. But I forget! Possibly because I can't feel my hand! It lingers out there on the mouse, dutifully scrolling and clicking and gliding along as needed.

Thanks, mouse hand. You're a real good sport. I'll wrap you around a warm mug of tea later to reward you for your dedication in the face of frigidity.

Hi readers! Stay warm, wherever you are! It's getting pretty chilly around here, and I get the desperate urge to run awkwardly everywhere.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Keepin' It Regular

A lot of times, when a patron comes into my library, we workers know who he or she is.

We'll greet people by name, bring their holds (books/movies/cds they've reserved) out, ask them about their kids...

If we know your name at the library, it is because of one of three reasons.

1. You come all the time. And you're nice.

2. You come all the time. And you're notorious.

3. You have only come in a couple times. But you caused such a hullaballoo that we are still talking about you.

Most fall into the first category. They're the friendly regulars! We know which patrons will want to request the latest James Patterson book. When holds come in, we can almost guess who they're for before we scan them in. They get the most sincere smiles, the most help, the most conversation. They keep the library going!

Some fall into the second category. They're here enough that we know who they are, but we also know to look out for them. We'll see someone step up to the desk and we'll give each other "the look." We understand that we might have to back each other up if one of us helps these difficult patrons. We might have to add notes into their account so that we can keep track of lies they tell us. We might know their names, but we also know their games!

Very very few fall into the last category. We only know these people because they've been the main topic of conversation for a week! They've had major problems with their cards. They've told crazy stories. They did something weird. Yes, we know their names!

I would recommend that, if you become a regular at the library, you become the good kind. The kind that brings a relieved smile to a frazzled librarian, because she knows that for a few minutes she won't have to take any grief.