Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Another day at the library

A girl gave me a hug at the library because I showed her where 741.5 is. The sweetness of it took my breath away.

The closed door

Pope does not understand a closed door. There's a subtle principle behind it, no pun intended. Once you are on one side of a closed door, that generally means you're there to stay for a while, that you have some purpose in being on that side of the closed door.

Not so with the cat. He will mew and yowl so that you see his little pink tongue and black gums and look at the closed door and look at you and look back again. So you open it and let him pass, and shut it again, because there was a reason why it was closed. Then 20 seconds later comes the mews and yowls and scratching at the door because, you see, a cat simply cannot tolerate a barrier in his domain. No sooner do you let him out than he wants back in, as soon as he sees that door being shut.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Timid mouse

I was not impressed with Mansfield Park, though it was amusing to see Bionic Woman playing Maria Crawford. The engagement scene at the end was rather cute, but that's about it. I think they tried to modernize Fanny Price for the audience, but the result was a confusing character who did nothing but act timid, in spite of her low-cut dresses (which were oddly lower-cut than those of the Bertrams). You couldn't understand how she would stand up to Sir Thomas when he tried to force her to accept Henry's proposal. Oh well.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Autumn update

Autumn is walking now. I told Jenni: "Now the struggle for independence begins."


One day I said "Good morning!" to Fanny as she came in the door. She scowled at me and kept walking, then looked over her shoulder and scowled at me some more.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The associations we come up with

Cumin smells like hiker b.o. after several days.

Jon made lamb korma the other day, and every time I got a whiff, I was immediately transported into the woods. The memory was so strong, I could remember my dirty fingernails, the pack sitting on my hips, the knot of an ache in each of my calves, and the scent of hiker b.o. whenever a breeze came our way. Of course, none of this overrides the joy of being outside, summiting a mountain, seeing bear scat on the trail, seeing trees so tall you lose any sense of exactly how high they reach.
By the way, milk is cheaper at Krogers, according to Fanny.

How people are

For the sake of storytelling, I'm going to name the cantankerous older lady 'Fanny.'

For once, I successfully helped Fanny on Saturday. Instead of leaving in supreme annoyance at me, muttering about who knows what, she accepted the article without complaint and walked away. I had asked the other librarians at the library what exactly it is that she wants from us, just so I could have a framework within which to place her incoherent jumblings (i.e. I can safely assume that she will not be talking about the exotic flora of Hawaii or the dingos of Australia). It turns out that she wants us to read out-loud the headlines from newspapers of the various places she has lived, like Chicago, Louisville, etc. So when she came in muttering, then randomly interjected "Hit Maysville" (Maysville is another place she has lived) in the midst of these ramblings, I was prepared.

Apparently, she must think that the internet is accessible by a button that can somehow read your brain telepathically, so that when you "hit" it, what you desire magically shows up on the screen. Hence her impatience over the fact that you must TYPE everything in.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When all hope is gone

For those of you woefully unaware of the delights that Austen's writing offers, I want to point out that, for the premiere of 'Masterpiece', PBS is putting on an Austen-palooza that runs from now until sometime in April. They've remade several of Austen's books, yet again...but a janeite never tires of these remakes.

Persuasion aired last Sunday. We enjoyed it, even if it was a little rushed. The story was compacted into 1 1/2 hours. One barely had time to appreciate the severity of Fanny's situation before things immediately started looking up again. That was my only complaint. It didn't quite overtake the 1995 version--Ciaran Hinds is a wonderful actor, but, like the 2 most recent Pride & Prejudice movies, I would highly recommend both versions of Persuasion.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Characters at the library

This past weekend at the library was crazy. I think the entire town of Winchester decided to show up--maybe it was their New Year's resolutions to use the library more or something--I've never seen anything like it.
A broad cross-section of the population uses the library, which means you see people from all walks of life, including some eccentrics. I've already met one, a cantankerous older lady who starts talking at you from twenty feet away and doesn't let up until 10, 20 minutes later when she gets fed up with you and leaves. When you first meet her, you think she's mad at everything, but then realize that's (mostly) just her way of talking.
She's very opinionated and insistent. She spent 10 minutes one day preaching at me about how I needed to get a digital TV before 2009--she was quite adamant I needed to get one NOW. She calls the library frequently, sometimes just to let us know that bread and orange juice are cheaper at Kroger. The other day, she told me "it's all going down," due to the new governor, whom she hates with a passion.
On Saturday I met another eccentric, a man who appears to be suffering from numerous mental disorders, including schizophrenia. I didn't realize this at first, just thought he was extremely nervous and frustrated over his email account. That guy got me so confused over exactly what he wanted me to do. Every time I would repeat what he told me, he would change it ever so slightly. The situation was like a gordian knot--you couldn't see how it began, nor how it was going to end. He also got way off tangent by telling me part of his life story, and how there were people out to get him, etc. etc.
The library director rescued me and spent another hour with him, calming him down. She told me later that I did just fine, but since I was a new face at the library, he was nervous.
Another day at the library!