unsociable & taciturn no more…

3 Mar

[i’ve finally gotten around to some good old fashioned organizing and, with that, i’m deleting my old blog, unsociable & taciturn. i thought i’d republish some of my favorite entries, which actually ended up including only two. sad.]

originally published june 5, 2007

if you can’t treat a cheerful tramp, what kind of tramp can you treat?

said the great karl pilkington. i was thinking about the phrase “my treat” and “i’m treating.” where did this come from? as a former linguist (short-lived, but interesting nonetheless), the origin of sayings is so fascinating to me. the english sometimes use the phrase for acts of charity, as in “i didn’t feel i should treat him, as he’d probably had a better day than me” (again, karl pilkington on not giving money to a homeless bloke). i’ll look it up tomorrow in the oford english dictionary at work and let you know – i know you can’t wait. don’t worry– it’ll be my treat. (gah, that was bad).

i still can hardly believe that i’m a librarian and say things like “i’ll look it up in the oxford english dictionary at work tomorrow.” what a nerd. i honestly never wanted to be a librarian, but it just kind of happened. but really, being a librarian is extremely powerful. if you think of information as a commodity, then i am a trained commodity broker. my commodity just happens to be information, which everybody needs, no? i know how to find what people need.

for example, i had a patron a few months ago who needed to know if her friend’s son was a boy or a girl (i kid you not). apparently, this poor kid, at the ripe old age of 15, had no hair anywhere, as this lady was quick to tell me. she said (in broken english): “he have no hair on head, on chest, down there. like you give directions to drive to house, give me directions to boy and to girl. i try to choose what is he.” so, how would you go about helping this poor lady? i asked her about the possibility of the kid being transgendered, or about being a hermaphrodite. i found some literature and showed her some pictures, etc. i think i scared her with these possibilities. she came back a few days later and spoke with another librarian and said something along the lines of: “when he look in the mirror, all he see is two balls.” librarians know how to find out about being transgendered and about being a hermaphrodite, but we sure as hell don’t know how to answer that. the ball, or balls in this case, were out of our court and the other librarian promptly suggested that the boy (girl? thing?) see a doctor immediately. this seriously happened. i’m telling you – the next great reality phenomenon should center around public libraries. there is some crazy stuff happening in suburbia.

:: ::

originally published june 7, 2007

one flew out of the cuckoo’s nest… and into my library

so, i know you’re dying for a response from the ‘treat’ question i posed on my previous post. too damn bad. i did look it up, but it wasn’t as interesting as i thought it would be. the origin is english and it was used hundreds of years ago (think 1500s) and it basically meant the same thing it means now – to entertain somebody, usually with food or drink. okay, so you did get it out of me – tricky, tricky.

i thought you might be interested in some other anecdotes from libraryland, seeing as how i plan to push it as the next great reality show. how about this? the library is basically a quiet place. quiet enough that you can hear people cough. and you can hear crazy old ladies mimicking the coughs of other people. we have this one lady who comes in and sits at the computer. she doesn’t surf the internet or work on documents. she sits at the computer and bangs her mouse from one side of the keyboard to the other. she types, but there is no word processing document open. she just pounds away at the keyboard, apparently enraptured by the clicking sound of the keys. and she mimics coughs. if somebody across the room coughs, she will cough in the same manner almost immediately, except she does it louder and longer. she’s like a little mock-coughingbird that somehow lost her way from the cuckoo’s nest. poor old bird.

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