Friday, September 23, 2005

Useful advice


More useful advice from a very old man. The Reverend H.J. Bidder, aged 86, sat silently, with a crumpled face, all through dinner and then promulgated the following:

1) never drink claret in an east wind

2) take your pleasures singly, one by one.

3) never sit on a hard chair after drinking port.

Recalled in Geoffrey Madan's notebooks from The Cassell Dictionary of Anecdotes

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

How Dare We



"
Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours"
Swedish Proverb
...in a rare serious vein I got my compass recalibrated last night as I schlumped home in my piece of Detroit steel. Antsy, disappointed by the delay in departure for my liberal wearing of the hairshirt I was ungabluzm as all getout. When I am feeling a little eggheaded I turn to "All Things Considered" which sometimes is light-hearted and uplifting. This story was not. It was recited by the sister of Darcy Wakefield, the author of "I Remember Running" which details this robust, athletic woman's sad decline due to the terrible disease ALS. A person who once was a rock climber and long distance runner now is reduced to helplessly lying in bed waiting for her boyfriend to turn her. She talks of worrying that the comforter might smother her since she cannot move her arms or speak at this point. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4854875 is the story and it will put things into perspective. As I drove, I suddenly rejoiced in my freedom to press down on the accelorator, the flip in a turn signal, to sing or speak out my feelings. No matter how much we feel sorry for ourselves we need to take stock in the face of the Darcy Wakefields out in the world.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Pointy eared masters


My current cat pop is comprised of the highly eccentric but loveable old Jaspurr who at 13 only wants to sit by me and rub his jowls across my goatee, we call that smearing. Frankenstein is the two year old who is fierce and bad to an incredible degree. He is cute faced and mischevious but aggressive and sometimes abusive to his elders including humans. White Pwaws is our corpulent outdoor cat with a great disposition but a territorial ferocity that did not leave with his bolitos. Wherever you go in the garden he is there to gaze at you with admiration. Dyanamite comes in small packages and the little keg called Chiona rounds out the specials who dominate us in every aspect of our lives. Silky furz is a sashaying dominatrix who raises her tiny paw, demanding feline fealty from all she encounters. These are our main ruling beasts who we serve with gratitude. However, there are other hobos who fill their cat bellies at our crunchiecopia. There is Kishka, a delicate gray tiger who hisses at me if I try to pet her even though she meows at me to hurry up my service at breakfast. There is also Daphne, the pretty black and white medium fur who runs from humans but affectionately stalks Frankie and butt-sniffs obsessively. Tuffy comes from next door and is a rescued Norwegian Forest Cat with a permanent worried look on his face and a bum paw which he uses as a grappling hook in climbing the trellice in front of my house. Lastly there is Gino, a lean, mean marmalade eating machine who has trouble cracking the feline hierarchy out at "the cope" but who does allow me to pet him and feed him on the perimeter. Occasionally Metronome (aka Skinnay) who was with the remains of Purrkins when I found him on the fire road. He is totally feral but looks at me with some interest. Sometimes he sits on the other side of our garden fence and watches Pwaws and Jaspurr and Frankie get pets like he would love to join the family but just can't figure out an icebreaker. Who needs television or fiction when you have such entertainment.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

hey, that's me up on the Jumbotron


To review yesterday's fussing, the fast becoming admirable Mayor Villagairosa nobly offered to send a group of LA City employees off to aid the Katrina evacuees and made a call to our troops. On a bleeding heart liberal whim I raised my hand when the call arose and like Paul Baumer in "All Quiet on the Western Front" I was filled with fervor about helping the less fortunate. I pictured myself standing on the bow of a zodiak boat, pulling desperate cats and humans onto my rescue craft and driving buses filled with grateful victims out of soaked Le Vieux Carre de la Ville. After all, wouldn't it make great conversation at one of Greg's dinner parties? Plus, they were only going to take like a dozen out of over 50 applicants.
A funny thing happened when the library actually designated me as an official representative and handed my vitals over to city personnel for assignment. Being a former draft dodger and non-joiner of any cause I am slightly numbed by the prospect of being sent just anywhere at any time but the die is cast. Shortly I will be given orders to report to a Red Cross shelter somewhere between Los Angeles and New Orleans. I could get sent to Mississippi or Glendale but I will not know until the Red Cross gives me a call. The stint is proposed as a nine day, non-stop gig doing whatever is necessary to get the victims back on their feet. As a soft-bellied middle-class pinko peacenik wuss I will be given the opportunity to show myself and everybody else that I AM morally superior to Republicans. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Walkin' to New Orleans


Today I got my letter from the City Librarian that I have been selected as a representative of LAPL and my name will be forwarded to city personnel in order for assignment to a Red Cross shelter. I am one of the dirty dozen from LAPL. No doubt I was chosen for my ability to remove wine corks with my teeth in a crisis. I have no idea where I will be going, when I will leave or what I will be doing but I am anxious to find out.
As an inveterate procrastinator I threw my name into the hat on a whim/get off your ass and do something reflex. It may be a miserable week but it IS only a week that they will use my services. I would prefer to face the victims face to face than to cluck my tongue at dinner parties and send a check somewhere. Because of my cynicism toward humans I have leaned toward helping animals up to this point but from here on in I will have no choice. I have had a pretty cushy time of it for the most part so this will be a character test. My life is mostly made up of kitty cats, flowering shrubs, softball on Tuesday nights with my buds and moderate gulps of cheap red wine in front of the TV. We will see if I have the guts.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

literature


From English As She is Spoke by Jose Da Fonseca


Vamos tomar ar ou espairecer: " Let us go to respire the air."

A quem pertence ou de quem e esse chapeo: "At which is this hat?"

Toucai vos ou touque se: "dress your hairs"

Isso respita me ou engana se n'isso: "that looks me"

Ter memoria de gallo: "to have a hare memory"

O habito nao faz o monge:"the dress don't make the monk"

Comprar gao em saco: "to buy a cat in pocket"

Elle tem boa ponta de lingua: "He has a good top tongue"

Lobo faminto nao ha mao pao: "belly famished has no ears."

Esperar boras e boras: "to craunch the marmoset"

Unstar as maos a carro: "to fatten the foot"

Beber como um funtil: "drink as a hole."

Friday, September 09, 2005

Manifesto


I am a bad librarian


I believe the money I get paid aint worth the abuse and that patrons are scum. I don’t think we should be the targets of frustrated losers who spew out poison onto any figure of the establishment sitting in front of them.

I feel the budget should go to books not porn machines placed in front of gummy-handed perverts.

I’m not in touch with my feelings except when I shout, “god damnit this fucking computer has crashed again!”.

I believe that European civilization was mostly a good thing and I don’t need to apologize for Plato, DaVinci, Thomas Edison or William Shakespeare.

I do not believe that Cleopatra, a Phoenician was an early African American nor that John F. Kennedy was out to help the common man.

I don’t think having a MSLS necessarily means you are a weirdo/nerd/lunatic but the odds are overwhelming that this is true.

I do think Children’s Librarians are “special” but not in a good way.

If you come to the desk and speak Spanish don’t expect me to answer your question, I’ll get Timmermann to do that.

The American Library Association represents Library Administrators and has nothing at all to do with librarians.

I believe the longest two hours in any human beings life is an Executive Board Meeting of the Librarian’s Guild

My heroes are David Watkins, Bernard Goetz and David Lynch. (David Watkins killed himself by drinking insecticide after his wife told him he could not drink alcohol ever again.)

I believe the government should pay a man to sit at the corner of 5th and Grand with an elephant gun to shoot to death SUV drivers, talking on cell phones, running the red light.

I believe that if a patron attacks you verbally or physically you should have carte blanch to kick their ass with any means possible. If that means carving them up on the broken glass of an escalator then so be it.

I firmly believe in the library Peter principle where the most incompetent rise to the top. Take a look above you and draw your own conclusions.

I believe that there are some things in life worse than death and disease. For example, having to read another Mel Rosenberg piece in the Communicator.

I know it is forbidden to offend people with talk involving the slightest reference to sex in the workroom but it is alright to bore the absolute hell out of everyone in earshot talking about the ALA convention.

If you have ambition to rise up in this world, library should not be a word in your vocabulary unless it refers to a strip club in Nevada.
I don’t apologize for being bitter and resentful. I became this way by using my mind for good and getting my guts stomped out for trying.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hey, was there a bus here today from Bedlam?


...from the battlements of authority, the gleaming teal tower of the reference desk I am being re-immersed in the everyday meanderings of the not-so-cool and very crazy. The Vatican genealogist has sashayed back into the room, conversing with prelates imagined and startled librarians who accept his gratitude for service not given. "THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!" he booms as he passes, even though neither of us has spoken to him since he announced he would travel to the Vatican to have them flesh out his family tree.
Patient er patron number two, a resolute genealogist deeply involved in DAR lineage thickets shows up in women's clothing! I have seen his face and dreaded his droning recountings of Uncle Hiram's meanderings around Clay county many a time. Yet, today that same dreaded countenance is surrounded by a rather professional, albeit shocking lady's wig of a shade called honey blonde on the Clairol packages. He also has scented himself with lady-perfume, applied lip gloss and is attired in a beige ensemble of skirt and blouse certainly not acquired at Frederick's. It looks more like the work of the Dress Barn's closeout sale.
Still, I've been obsessed with the whereabout of Snowball all day. It seems that if the little white pup is reunited with his boy-human all will be well in the hell that is Louisiana. Snowball, come back...

Monday, September 05, 2005

Begin at the Beginning


"If you should write a little fable for little fishes, you would make them speak like great whales."
Goldsmith to Johnson

I am certainly not at the beginning but only starting here at the three-quarter post to accumulate unbelievable events from the hum-drum. Labor day seems appropriate since I neither labor nor spend a typical day. The thoughts herein will be on just a few topics:
1. being a public librarian and the sights and smells that accompany such.
2. blood sport gardening
3. popular music in know-it-allese.
4. cat misbehavior
5. food
6. the war between men and women
7. despair/exhuberance
8. Living with my hipstress daughter
9. slavery to routine
10. the bizarre in everyday life including cell phone shitheads, tail-gating SUVs and clueless kids.