bloodyrosemccoy: (Science!)
I don't mean to brag, but I think the Space Place's booth at the SLC Library Party was FAR cooler than Grant Imahara's. Sure, Grant Imahara has his face on the cover of a magazine, but did he have a vacuum chamber with a balloon* for demonstrations of air pressure? And yes, Grant Imahara might be on a popular long-running TV show, but I didn't see HIM with a bucket of liquid nitrogen he could use to shatter racquetballs. And what's that? Grant Imahara makes totally awesome robots, you say? Well, I'll bet HE wasn't letting kids make bracelets with UV color-change beads to take home with them! Also, Grant Imahara may have been giving out autographs, but by god we had an actual METEOR, that you could touch and everything!

In conclusion, I am pretty sure Grant Imahara's booth only got patronized because our booth was too crowded. You're welcome, Grant Imahara.

And I may not have gotten to meet him, but that's okay because I was very busy demonstrating SCIENCE! CAN YOU SAY THE SAME, GRANT IMAHARA?

Ah, well. I'm sure one day our paths will cross. SOMEDAY, GRANT IMAHARA. SOMEDAY.


*I'd like you all to note that I did not once panic about the balloon. Progress!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Xenofairies)
What I Learned Since The Winter Solstice

  • The Cooking Hypothesis suggests that the invention of cooking precipitated a rapid evolutionary change in humans, allowing them to more efficiently process nutrients and, of course, growing bigger brains. I always said cooking was an important part of humanity, dangit!

  • Nancy Kerrigan was filmed right after being attacked sobbing and asking "Why? Why?"--and a lot of people thought she was being a wimp or a drama queen because she was only bruised. Dude, it still hurts, but quite apart from that, when you get attacked, it's probably TERRIFYING and it HURTS YOUR FEELINGS.

  • The difference between triple axels, triple spins, triple lutzes, etc., has to do with where you push off from and what direction you're facing and okay fine I've already forgotten.

  • Flavoring sodas is a lot like brewing tea. Really sugary tea.

  • But brown sugar makes them taste rather bitter.

  • Also, soda-brewing is similar to making beer, except you don't let the yeast go far enough to make alcohol.

  • Furthermore, there is a lot of argument over just what the "cream" in "cream soda" refers to. Vanilla? Adding cream to the soda? Or cream of tartar? It's a HISTORY MYSTERY.

  • In tangentially-related soda discoveries, SodaStream is a company fraught with political tensions and controversy.

  • Cloth pads and panty liners are surprisingly expensive, but also surprisingly worth it.

  • There is a constellation in the Southern Hemisphere called "The Poop." Yes, it refers to a ship's stern (poop deck), BUT STILL. HURRRR.

  • There are, naturally, all sorts of recipes for Ent-Draught on the internet.

  • Mainlining Atop The Fourth Wall has taught me something I always rather thought: I have terrible comic-reading comprehension. I do okay with some, mostly in comic strip form, but it takes me a long time to parse each page, way longer than it takes to read straight prose, so if I'm going to read a comic, I have to be committed. And even then I have trouble regarding them critically.*

  • I did learn, however, that lots of people find it extremely difficult to keep comic continuity straight. Comic writers, for instance. Case in point: Donna Troy.

  • The director of Tremors is Ron Underwood, who got his start in the film industry making educational shorts for Barr Films--such as one of my favorite Rifftrax-featured shorts, Library World.

  • My mom, who watched very little TV as a kid, nevertheless has strong opinions about what Mr. Peabody's voice sounds like.

  • Mork & Mindy was a spinoff of Happy Days.  Clearly, I never watched either of them.

  • Getting feedback on your novel can be a mixed bag. You get excited that you can make it better, but frustrated when you can't tell if the feedback makes sense.

  • Publishing a serial story online gets more difficult with each installment because there's a lot to keep track of. BUT DAMMIT IT'S STILL POSSIBLE.

  • You can unclog standard drain clogs with the use of science fair volcano technology.

  • After you turn into the left-turn-lane, it's legal to drive 500 freaking feet in that lane. Which is almost a whole block even here in Salt Lake City.

  • The Beautiful Creatures movie might be adapted from a novel of the same name, but don't let that fool you. It is clearly a remake of The Touch of Satan.

  • The first female-directed movie ever to gross more than $1 billion is Frozen. Which is awesome, but dang, it took a while to get there. Let's hope this is a good precedent!



*Interestingly, though, I read a lot of Archie comics as a kid. It fascinated me the same way 1950s Educational Shorts fascinate me--it shows some weird whitebread cultural ideal that somehow I can't look away from.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Librarians)
So after all that grumbling I did about getting to the Liberry through the snow, while staying home this weekend I realied that I really enjoy not having to drive across the universe all the time. That, combined with a few other factors, made me decide to turn in my two weeks' notice today.

At the moment I'm going to start working more at Dad's office and looking for a job closer to home. I'll miss a lot about the Liberry--I love the people and a lot of aspects of the job--but I will not miss the commute.

Now I just have to see about returning that giant stack of books at the end of my bed. At least I'll quit picking up new ones with quite the same frequency.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Angry Spock)
I've had to call into work the last couple of days because two solid feet of snow here at mountain level, plus the annual OMG SNOW Traffic Panic, it would take a combination of the Batmobile and Jedi reflexes to get there without destroying myself and my car.

On the one hand I feel a little bad about abandoning my coworkers to drown in a sea of unshelved book trucks. On the other hand, though, I am really not willing to risk life, limb, and car for a 12-hour-a-week minimum wage job that hasn't given me a promotion in 3 1/2 years. If being a good employee doesn't get me anywhere, I am far less inclined to boher.

In other news, though, it snowed like 2 feet this weekend! It's winter! Hooray!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Librarians)
Why is it whenever I manage to actually return six things to the library, I find eight more things that need checking out?

I have no idea what I'll do if I ever quit working there. I LIKE regularly visiting the vast expanse of human knowledge. You just KNOW it wouldn't be the same if it stopped being my job.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Librarians)
School's back in session, and you know what that means for the library!

That's right: we've been completely overrun by kids who look like they've never seen the inside of a library before. Some of 'em hit that fine line between not academic enough to have been in a library, but motivated enough to follow their teacher's recommendations. Others have been dragged there by well-meaning parents, who incidentally also look as if they've never been in a library before.

It's fascinating to me. I picked up Librarying at a very young age,* so it's a little weird when you get a 15-year-old coming up and saying "My teacher wants me to read a novel. Are these novels?" I keep coming across parents trying to help their kids find good books staring at the middle grade in dawning terror as they realize they are in way over their heads. And I forget they're easily confused by library jargon--you know, obscure terms like "fiction" and "picture book."**

It can either be awesome or terrible to be the one helping them. Yes, my soul dies a little every time I see a Required Reading List, but if the kid doesn't even try to find a book on the list they like--if they shove the list at me and say "I need one of these books" and when I say "Well, what kind of book do you like, so I can find one you might enjoy?" answer with a surly "Iun't care," they get Les Miserables, because WORK WITH ME HERE.

On the other hand, it's really fun when they ask what I'd recommend, and actually are interested in an answer. "Well, what kinds of books do you like? Dragons? History? Aliens? Egypt? True stories? Vampires? Mysteries?*** I've got something for that!" And when a kid comes back and loved a book you got 'em, one that you loved, then by god YOU ARE THE KING OF EVERYTHING! Makes me glad they--or their parents--were motivated enough to check out the strange new building their teacher mentioned.


*I still remember the first book I deliberately found on the shelf. I wanted to read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and I knew it was by Roald Dahl, so I went and looked under "D." I was maybe seven.

**Although some of the little kids come up with some clever ways to describe things when they don't know the term for it. I had one little girl (the Boss Princess, no less) quite deliberately declare "I'm looking for a book that opens things." Took me a while to suss out that she was looking for lift-the-flap books.

***I have to specify like that because sometimes when I just ask "What kinds of books do you like?" they literally have no idea. My other strategy when that's the case is to ask what kind of movies they like.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Librarians)
COWORKER: Hey, do we give out rubber bands when patrons ask for them?

ME: Not unless you want them weaponized.


Also, today's Librarian Achievement was sending a family home with Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher AND Into the Land of the Unicorns for read-aloud time. I am the right person to ask when your kids like dragons and magic.
bloodyrosemccoy: (EEEEE)
Sent a kid home from the Liberry today with a copy of Bunnicula. ACHIEVEMENT.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Wharrgarbl)
Some well-meaning soul has been leaving Chick Tracts in the nooks and crannies of the Liberry. I keep finding them tucked next to the catalogs or on the edges of tables. So far I have not yet been convinced to be saved, but I have been haunted by that weird feeling you get when something from the Land Of Internet Crazies manifests in the physical world. Sorry, mystery evangelist. Probably not what you were going for.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Shit I Already Know)
Please remember that library books and toilet paper are TWO SEPARATE THINGS.

That will be all.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Reading)
Today while my coworker and I were in the picture book section, a lady approached us.

"Excuse me," she said. "Maybe you can help me. Can you recommend a picture book that will get children to go to sleep?"

My coworker and I paused for a few seconds too long in order to share a guilty, awkward glance.

The lady eyed us hopefully.

"... not offhand," I finally managed.

"Come on," my coworker said when she had recovered. "I can help you find some."

Later, when the lady had left satisfied, I glanced over.

"You were thinking of Go The Fuck To Sleep too, weren’t you," I said.

"I have a two-year-old," she said. "I am never not thinking about that book."

"We are to be congratulated on our restraint," I said.

"Truly we are bastions of professionalism."

Someday I’m gonna look that book up in the system when someone asks for a bed time book, and straightfacedly steer them toward it. Hopefully, it’ll be the audiobook, because Samuel L Jackson makes everything that much more relaxing at bedtime. Right?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Clever Dan)
Discussed Executive Team Leadership Goals in our Liberry Staff Meeting today. Actual goal as listed on one of the Powerpoint slides: "Implement consensus decision-making techniques in order to integrate collaborative design."

Hot damn. Toss in "synergy" and "team-building" and you've got yourself a corporate singularity!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Calvin And Uncle Joker)
Had a bunch of terrifying nightmares last night. Most of ’em were your standard Watchin’ Too Many Horror Movies types, like the big scary spaceship full of mutant monsters and spacesuits doing like they did in that Doctor Who episode with the man-eating shadows, and also for some reason a bear. Not, like, a mutant bear, either—just your basic run-of-the-mill bear. At least he was on our side.

Anyway, that was rough, but at least we had both Hikaru Sulu and Han Solo there to work out the mess. The really scary dream was the one that was basically Dawn of the Dead, only instead of a shopping mall, it was the Liberry, and instead of zombies, it was crabby patrons who REALLY HAD TO USE THE COMPUTER. The whole dream was spent running to an estimated eight thousand ports of entry to try to lock them, screaming “We’re CLOSED, motherfuckers!”, and threatening to call the police while they kept wedging their feet in the doors and chanting “GAMES. GAAAAAMES.” I found myself wondering if I’d ever see my family again.

The best horror stories are those that could actually happen, after all.


(Incidentally, I made a discovery about that a few weeks ago: as soon as a patron comes up and bitches that the First-Come, First-Served policy for computer use should change to Grownups Get First Bid Because They Are Important, I bristle. Yeah, I make endless fun of the kids who come in to use their two daily computer turns for a round of Lego Dudes Wandering Around, or Pin The Dresses On The Sparkleponies, or other such items of business, but hey, it’s important to them. Plus, kids have homework sometimes—and grownups are just as guilty of so-called “timewasting.” Don’t knock the noisy little Flash-playing hard-swearing twerps.)
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
On a typical Saturday, I leave the library with:

Twelve funny kids’ books
Eleven spec fic authors
Ten music CDs
Nine books for research
Eight intriguing how-tos
Seven random nonfics
Six Eyewitness readers
FIIIIIVE D!V!Ds!
Four paperbacks
Three rereads
Two picture books
AND THE LATEST YOUNG ADULT FANTASY!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Movie Sign)
All right, who's up for Crazy Library Stories? Because yesterday was Crazy Library Story Day!

Crazy Library Story #1: The Textbook "Disruptive Patron"

LADY: That man on the computer next to me is swearing a lot! I told him to stop and he started swearing at ME!

ME: Right, I am sure I can handle this. Sir, we have received a complaint that you are causing a disturbance. Please try to--

ANGRY YOUNG ASPIRING GANGSTA: I'm causing it? What about her? I'm really stressed out and she can't just mind her own business!

ME: I'm sorry you're stressed, sir, but you will still have to modulate--

LADY: Oh, yeah? I wasn'the one who said "Shut the ... fffuck up"!

GANGSTA BOY: You should just leave me alone!

LADY: Why don't YOU just--

ME: Uh, ma'am, I can handle this. Please go about your business.

GANGSTA BOY'S GIRLFRIEND: Don't make him mad; it'll just get worse!

ME: Oh, good grief. Sir--

GANGSTA BOY: I HAVE ANGER MANAGEMENT ISSUES!

*GANGSTA BOY starts to dramatically breathe in what he imagines to be an anger management fashion to show me JUST HOW CLOSE I am to making him punch me, and how much he's trying to save me from my own folly. I start to wonder if that technique does get touted for anger management, inasmuch as if he keeps it up he's gonna pass out and presumably not be angry anymore. His girlfriend continues to beg us not to exacerbate his anger. I can see her future from here, and it sucks*

ME: *calmly, while attempting not to eyeroll* I'm sorry, sir, but this is your warning. If you don't calm down you'll have to leave the building.

*GANGSTA BOY subsides into rebellious muttering. I return to my coworker, who has been sitting in her own little bubble at the counter directly behind this exchange*

ME: (quietly) So, yeah, keep an eye on him.

COWORKER: Huh? What? Did something happen?

ME: It feels good to know you have my back when things get tough.

---

Crazy Library Story #2: Fangirling

THIRD-GRADE GIRL: I finished this book!

ME: Great! gonna read another now?

HER TUTOR: I'm looking at reading lists.

ME: Well, what do you like? Fantasy? Science fiction?

THIRD-GRADER: History stories.

ME: Well, we've got plenty of those--Catherine, Called Birdy, the Royal Diaries, Dear America, American Girl. I like American Girl.

THIRD-GRADER: Do you know American Girl Dolls?

ME: DO I KNOW THEM?

*rapid fangirling between librarian and third-grader follows: "OMG I HAVE MOLLY!" "I HAVE ELIZABETH!" "DID YOU SEE THE NEW ONES?" "I LIKED SAMANTHA, TOO!" "ISN'T KANANI AWESOME?" The tutor looks on in disbelief*

ME: Well, if you need any American Girl books, let me know!

Later

COWORKER: *processing holds* Amelia, why do you have this American Girl book on hold?

ME: You are not having a very aware day, are you?

---

Crazy Library Story #3: The Mystery Injury

COWORKER: Hey, my friend! What happened to your leg?

CANE-TOTING DUDE: ... You know, I don't even know. It just started hurting one day. I'm having it looked at tomorrow.

ME: That's too bad! I hope it's nothing serious. In the meantime, though you should just start making up stories about your injury. "Oh, I was in a swordfight." "I was rescuing a box of kittens from the second floor of a burning building." "Ninjas cornered me in an alley." "A big old meteor caught my foot as I was diving out of its way."

CANE-TOTING DUDE: That's a great idea!

ME: Do like my brother did when he broke his foot--never tell the same story twice.

CANE-TOTING DUDE: Don't worry! I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon making up more!

ME: Good man. If you've got to be injured, you might as well have some fun with it.


So yeah, my day yesterday was lively. I also wound up translating for both Spanish-speaking patrons and one Deaf patron--I'll be damned if I thought I remembered that much ASL--and wound up hunting down more weird book requests than ever. Good thing today was a day off, because otherwise I'd be as wrapped up in a bubble by now as my coworker. Crazy should come in smaller doses.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Procrastinate!)
Today was Reading List Sunday!

So, this was the first week of school around here, and all the eager young students have received their extremely dismal reading lists for the year! I’m sure they’ve had them all week, but as today was the last possible moment to go to the library and get them before they had to present them to their teachers, it was naturally the time for them all to show up! Which meant I had to have this exact conversation with understandably surly students all day:

STUDENT: I need a book from this list.

ME: Which one?

STUDENT: One from Column A.

ME: But which book, specifically?

STUDENT: I don’t care.

ME: Well, what kind of book do you like? History, science fiction—

STUDENT: I don’t care.

ME: FINE, KID, YOU GET LES MISÉRABLES, NOW DO YOU CARE? Well, let’s see what we have … this one is available at another branch. Do you want me to have it sent here?

STUDENT: I need it tomorrow!

ME: Let’s see what we’ve got left.


Sometimes, just to shake things up, I’ll have that conversation with the parent, almost word-for-word except in third-person instead of first-person, with the surly student standing behind. (“She just needs one from Column A! By tomorrow!”)

I gotta say, on the one hand, their apathy is obnoxious, but on the other hand, every time I look at a reading list my soul dies a little. Why do teachers insist on picking Edifying books that are such dang chores for even an addictive reader to wade through? No wonder kids are so damn reluctant to crack open a book—all they know is the depressing stuff teachers keep coming up with. If I ever want to convince kids to read, I’ll mix it up—a few of those books that are edifying and good, along with books that are actually awesome to read. But then, this is probably why I’m not an English teacher. Assigning Tamora Pierce or Terry Pratchett probably breaks some law of education or something.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Midna)
Today another aide told me, “I can always tell when you’ve been here because everything’s already cleaned up. It makes things so much easier.”

She doesn’t know how close she got to a tearful hug. At least somebody thinks I’m doing my job right.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Ha)
You know it’s been a bad day at the Liberry when the librarians are muttering darkly about the benefits of speutering patrons.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Movie Sign)
NEW LIBRARY BOSS: I've been thinking. This library needs a bunny! You can take care of it, and the kids can read to it--

LIBRARIANS: ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY?


This new manager may take longer to get a clue than I thought.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Librarians)
Thanks, all, for Your Thoughts On Library Science. It’s helped me narrow down some ideas for what I want to do next—I have some other ideas, too, which rather appeal to me as well.

In more immediate Liberry news, our branch’s Wheel O’ Staffing has spat out a new manager from one of the other branches, and now we get to wait while she establishes that she is an Effective Manager by fucking shit up. She has big new ideas for how the carts will be shelved, which … well, I get to see if it makes any earthly sense tonight. Should make work interesting, anyway.

Every time we get a new manager* this happens—they come in all ready to Fix Things Up because clearly we are all degenerate slackers who just need to be managed better. This lasts for about a month, during which time people explode chili sauce on the W picture books, poop in the urinals, tag the stacks, leave ice cream bars amongst the paperbacks, dump low-blood-sugared kids off to run around from the end of school until closing, and decide that the music collection labels look better on the floor.** Meanwhile the majority of the patrons, who are pretty cool, are just trying to wade through all this to use the computers for job applications, meet their ESL tutors, have community meetings, or actually god forbid FIND SOME BOOKS TO READ. At that point, the manager starts to figure out why we always look a bit swamped.

The current new manager hasn’t gotten quite there yet. I wish her the best of luck in getting this branch in decent shape, though. If she can do that, by god there should be some kind of prize.


* I’ve been there for a year and a half, and we’ve been through … let’s see … four or six, depending on how you count the assistant managers. Our branch is a revolving door.

**These have all happened.

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