Last Saturday, a woman came into the library with the longest fingernails I have ever seen. I know there are people out there in the Guinness Book of World Records with nails over a foot long, and I've seen pictures of them, but this woman had nails that were about 9 inches long. It was really alarming. I saw her walking on the sidewalk from inside, and just as I was trying to alert my co-workers to look at her, she was gingerly sliding the nails through the door handle to get it open. She sat down at a computer, and then realized she needed an employee to sign her on. She waved the nails in the air and said to one of my co-workers, "come here, young man." He logged her onto the internet, and then we couldn't help but watch her type. She had to hold her hands almost up to her face as she typed with her nails. One person who walked by her gasped out loud.
So I tried to do a google image search for long fingernails to give you guys a visual for what we experienced. Instead, I'll let you guys see what comes up on most of the pages when you google image seach for "long fingernails."
Does anyone remember that Weekend Update episode where Tracy Morgan made an appearance to give a public service announcement about people giving kids ridiculous names, like naming them after events? He ended the segment by saying "Good night Promisha, Daddy loves you!"
Well, I don't know what happened here, but it was something cosmic. Starlisha
Something happened to me yesterday that I bet has never happened in that library before, and I bet will never happen again.
The F.B.I. came.
Well, one representative of the F.B.I.
I was at the circulation desk minding my own business, when a man walked in, pulled a leather card-holder-badge-thingie out from inside his long coat, flipped it open with one hand and I saw the all too familiar (from watching the X-files) three letters that mean serious business. He said he needed to interview a witness in a neutral meeting place, and could he please use the library.
Librarian: Um. Um. Um. Sure! ::sounding a little too excited::
They sat down in the children's department, since it was the middle of the day and they (the children) were all at school (except the ones skipping school, and they were all in the computer room gettin' their Chris Hansen bait on in Urbanchat.com). It was HILARIOUS to see the officer in a business suit and his witness in a mechanic's jumpsuit sitting at a tiny little table with their knees up to their chin. I made it official that a project absolutely had to be done in the children's department or else I would get fired. Unfortunatly, I didn't overhear anything. It probably had to do with a case of stolen Christmas cookies or something.
Patron: Hey, you know that guy that works here? I think his name is Joe? Well, I just saw him on the news! They were interviewing him about something! Library Employee: That's impossible. He's here right now.
Hey, guess what you guys? There is a dwarf man married to a toothless, mentally retarded woman. At first I thought maybe they were siblings, or maybe he was her care-taker, but he calls her sweetheart and helps her pick out movies while they hold hands. Weird. Seriously. Freak show material for sure.
Librarian: You're here awfully early today Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith (a patron who comes in every day after work to read the newspaper): Yeah, I got off about an hour ago. They let us out early today. Librarian: Lucky, I don't get off for another 20 minutes. Homeless Patron: I just got off 5 seconds ago in y'alls bathroom.
Patron: I'd like to sign my son up for a library card. Librarian: Sure. Let me check to make sure he doesn't already have one. When is his birthday? :: Patron glances at tattoo on forearm and says:: Patron: July 31st, 2005
It was one of those days. You know, one of those days where I ate sweet potatoes until they came out my pores and I looked all jaundiced? I have those all the time, don't you? Sorry this post is late.
Remember our friend, X'zayveyar, or however the heck you spelled it, from a while back? Well, some innovative mother took it to a whole new level. Instead of a taking a normal name and spelling it a new way, she decided an adjective would be a good word for a name, and would put a cute spin on spelling it. We see adjective names a lot - Precious, Bonita, etc. I'm a little curious as to why a mom would give your child such an adverse description as Phyctee.
Librarian on phone: I'm sorry sir, but since you've already renewed that item 2x, you can't renew it again. Patron on phone: I'ma 'bout to come out there and throw a canna water on you! Librarian: Excuse me? Patron: Oh, I was just yellin' at a stray cat on my porch. I'll come by and drop my book off later.
What I had feared would happen did indeed happen. I ran out of names. Actually, I didn't run out of names, but the names that I had included first and last names, and thus would reveal the identity of patrons. There were some good ones in there, too. One was a palandrome and one was ironic. Alas...
I met a little boy named Macgyver. That was his first name. I couldn't ask if his real name was Angus because he didn't speak English.
Librarian to fellow Librarian, upon writing an anual report: When you have an outlier that is so far outside of the rest of the results, does it "skew" the results, or "skewer" them? Fellow Librarian: Metaphorically, it does in fact, "skewer" them.
I read a lot of other blogs. I recently commented in one about curried honey mustard wings and a couple people requested the recipe. Make it and send it to the library.
Adapted from Cook's Country Curried Honey Mustard Wings 1/4 cup honey 1/4 yellow mustard 1/4 pineapple preserves* 1 T grated fresh ginger** 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 t curry powder 1/2 t cayenne pepper salt 3 lbs of chicken wings, or battered, deep fried slices of extra firm tofu 2 T toasted sesame seeds***
1. Adjust the oven rack and heat to 475 degrees. Process honey, mustard, preserves, ginger, garlic, curry powder, cayenne and 1/2 t salt in food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. 2. Arrange chicken wings on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 35-45 minutes, rotating pan and flipping wings half-way throught. If using tofu, skip this step and fry your tofu slices. 3. Remove from oven and coat with honey mixture. Return to pan and oven and cook 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Devour.
* The original recipe called for mango chutney, which the ghetto-mart that I most frequent does not carry. Smuckers makes pineapple preserves, though, so that is what I used, but I bet it would also be good with apricot, which I am sure is more common.
** Awesome tip that I learned AT THE LIBRARY. Buy a fresh ginger root. Peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler. Don't worry if this leaves you with a 1 inch chunk of ginger root. You only paid .23 cents for it anyway. Freeze the chunk. Grate it, frozen, on a microplane zester. It won't come out all stringy. This is the best way to grate ginger. Don't use the powdered shit.
*** Although I am sure they are delicious in this recipe, I didn't use them because I am cheap and did not want to buy them. I didn't miss them, either
Patron: I'm looking for a book called The Swamp Goose Librarian: I'm sorry, but it doesn't look like we have anything by that title. Nothing is coming up here in the catalog. Patron: Huh. I could have sworn I saw something like that here a while ago. Five minutes later: Patron: Here it is! Told ya! ::Hands Librarian a booked titled Lu and the Swamp Ghost:: Librarian: Oh, I'm sorry. I looked up The Swamp Goose because I thought that was what you said. Patron: Yeah, I did, but I thought you would have figured it out.
Patron: ::mumbles and grumbles as they try to retrieve their library card from a tight wallett in order to check out some items:: Librarian: I'm sorry, I didn't catch that... Patron: I said, I fucking hate getting my god-damned library card out! Librarian: Oh, well, um, I can look your card account up for you? Patron: No, I'll get my card out, that's why I carry this god-damned thing around!
What is about Iced Tea and myself? I'll be the first to say that iced tea is a mighty fine beverage. I'll also be the first to say that I am engaged to Mr. Icantpaymyfines and that is the not the first but the SECOND time that a COMPLETELY random person has asked me out for ICED TEA. I drink 2 cups of coffee every morning. I drink 3 beers, one bottle of wine, or 2 ounces of whiskey every evening and maybe 5 cups of tea per year. It is rarely ever sweet, iced tea because there isn't a Mr. Bojangles within walking distance of the library. Shame, I know, but I am really curious to know what provokes middle-aged men to walk in and say, "I'd like to take her out for an iced tea. She looks like she could use one."
Patron: Who is that on your shirt, there? Barack Obama? Other Patron: Yeah! And Martin Luther King! Patron: Oh. I see. And what does it say there? Other Patron: It says, "A legacy of progress." Patron: Huh. And you paid money for that?
This patron was the same one that had previously been asking for books about the Trail of Tears to see if she recognized herself in any of them. I told this to the other patron with the Obama shirt after I pulled her away so she would not feel bad about what was said to her about her shirt.
Criticizing clothing does not belong at the library, folks. It belongs on the internet.
Everyone should use their "indoor" voices in the library. Even the librarians. It's hard, though, not to laugh so hard you almost pee in your pants, when you pick up the Wall Street Journal on the table to put it back where it belongs with the other newspapers, and read, right on page one, "Colleagues Finger Billionaire," as the headline.
Patron: Can you help me use the computer to file for federal aid? You have to file online now. You can't mail your application in anymore. Librarian: Absolutely. ::proceeds to show patron how to fill out online applications to receive food stamps and energy bill assistance:: Patron: Wow! That was great! And so fast! Thank you so much for helping me. ::Librarian swells with pride over having a job that helps those in need:: Patron: Can you show me how to book airline tickets and hotels on here, too? Librarian: OMG, what? Patron: Yeah, I'm taking my boyfriend to the Bahamas. He's never been.
Patron: Can you help me find books about the Trail of Tears? I needs ones with pictures in them. Librarian: Sure, do you need them for a project? Patron: No, I want to see if I recognize myself in any of them.
Patron Couple: Can you please show us how to use the copier? Librarian: Sure. Let me just finish checking these people out.
5 minutes later, the librarian looks up and the couple is gone. They must have gotten tired of waiting.
5 minutes later, and they roll back in the door with a copy machine. They didn't want to use our copier, they wanted us to show them how to use theirs, so they brought it into the library, because, hey, why not?
Patron on the phone: I bees wantin' to know if y'alls gots this book there at you place because I bees needin' it and wantin' to come in and see if y'alls had it there so I could bees checkin' it out and takin's it home. Librarian on the phone: Um...what?
Welcome to Amazing Names Thursday everyone! Here is today's entry:
What's so amazing about that, you ask? It's a pretty common last name, and was the first name of the whiny daughter on The Sopranos. In this instance at the library, it was a last name. A patron forgot their library card and so I offered to look it up. Asking them to spell their last name out, M-E-A-D-O-W-S, I repeated, Librarian: "Meadows." Patron: No, it's pronounced "Mee-ah-dos."
What the hell. Seriously? Who are you kidding and did your Grandfather really say it that way? Has anyone, EVER gotten it correct?
Patron: What was the middle name of Hubert Humphrey? Librarian: ::Looks it up on wikipedia.org :: Horatio Patron: Wow! Thanks so much! Hey, to thank you, I want to whittle you a key chain. What's your name? Librarian: Um, you don't have to do that. Patron: No, I really want to. Librarian: Um. Well, it's Joe. Patron: Okay, what is the first letter of your middle name. Librarian: Um...L Patron: Okay, what's is the first letter of your last name? Librarian: Um...A Patron: Okay, what kind of car do you drive? Librarian: Okay, this is getting really weird, and you know what? I ride the bus and we're closed. Good night.
This post comes not from the library, but courtesy of my 14 year old niece, who is a tutor to little kids.
How in the hell do you pronounce that? Is it in a Sub-continental Asian Indian language like Hindi or Tamil, whose accent marks do not translate well on an English keyboard, but they've invented some sort of new system that they all understand to recognize while adjusting to our inadequate keys? Is it the combination of two, very short last names?
This is hilarious to me, because Nairobi is in Kenya, and Zaire does not exist anymore, nor was Nairobi anywhere near it when it was around. Some parents like to name their kids after geographic locations (Savannah, Trenton, Paris, etc.) so maybe this person had a parent from each location, and Zaire existed then. Who knows. It struck me as funny because it reminded me of people who name their kids after famous people who then become infamous.
Today's experience is brought to you by a friend at a neighboring branch of mine.
Librarian: Okay, Lucy, here are the books you ordered. Patron's Grandmother: Lucy? Her name is LaQueena. Librarian: Oh, sorry. I must have heard wrong. Patron's Grandmother: It's all those drugs you and your sister do. I saw you in my neighbor's backyard. Librarian: I don't have a sister and I don't know where you live.
This woman found out the hard way that it is dangerous to accuse someone of being a drug user, because when the cop on duty at the branch* overheard her, he forced her to tell the police what she knew about possible drug use in the neighborhood, and then she had to admit she was lying.
I'm thinking of making "Amazing Names" into a regular post. I've heard enough of them to last several months at this point, and there seems to be no end in sight. Onto "Amazing Names Thursday," shall we?
I have no back story for this one. It stands alone. Like cheese. I just scanned her card and there it was, shining at me like the horrible first name that it is.
Every Saturday, a bunch of lady-friends come to the library to knit together. They don't have any affiliation with any library program, they just come together and use the library as a meeting space. They range in age from 20 - 50. The group consists of lots of friends of friends, and over the years has become quite a mix of people, who probably don't see each other outside of this knitting group. This past Saturday, I was putting away some book near where they were sitting and overheard: Knitter 1: Here comes a homeschooling mom. Knitter 2: So? Knitter 1: A homeschooling mom of the denim jumper variety.
Edit: I've been informed that the nomenclature of the denim jumper variety homeschooling mom should be credited to www.thepioneerwoman.com , who is, herself a homeschooling mom, but of a different species.
I've met a few kids named Xavier. It's not an unusual name by any means and growing up Catholic, St. Francis Xavier's name was out and about. While there were no Xavier's in my kindergarten class, I've never blinked when a little kid at the library told me his name was Xavier. In one case, it was even a little girl, whose name was Francis Xavier of all things, and liked to be called Franny. Sometimes people ask about the aformentioned Saint and pronounce the "X" and the begining of Xavier instead of turning into a "Z" sound, but I know what they are talking about.
Another thing I see at my job is "unique" and "creative" spellings of names, if you will. Extra Es on the end, an apostrophe where it normally wouldn't be, because the more syllables, the better - you get the drift. Well, remember, back in kindergarten, where there may or may not have been any Xaviers, and your teacher told you to sound out a tough word you didn't recogize, because breaking it down would make it easier to pronounce? Or when you didn't know how to spell one, you could try writing it, based on the way it sounded? This advice shouldn't follow into naming your kids, because when you come up to me with seasons 1-4 of CSI: Miami and want me to look up your son's card to check them out on his account, because yours has been sent to the collection agency, and you tell me his name is spelled X'Zayveyar, I will look at you like...like...the way you're all probably looking at your moniters right now.
Patron: You know what's a real big shame? Librarian: What's that? :: thinking he is going to say something about how you had to be quiet in libraries in ye olden times, or that a bunch of libraries are closing all over the country, etc:: Patron: The fact that you stick all that shit up your nose.
Librarian:Excuse me?!?!?!?! Patron: Ten years ago, the library wouldn't have hired someone with a nose ring is all I'm saying. They must be desperate.
This patron walked out the door before I could thaw from the shock that at first he accused me of snorting stuff, so I thought, but then realizing what he meant was that I was different sort of dreg of society. Otherwise, I mighta punched him. I see a lot of offensive things everyday, but this was personal.
Patron: I'm looking for a recipe for chocolate covered bacon. Librarian: I'll look one up on the internet. ::however is tempted to just tell this patron to dip bacon in chocolate:: Patron: I tasted it at the state fair and want to try it myself. Librarian: Ok, I can print this recipe for you, but it basically just says to dip bacon in melted chocolate. Patron: Well, does it say how to cook bacon and melt the chocolate? Librarian: Well, if you want those instructions, it is going to cost 2 lbs of chocolate covered bacon.
This here story, like a couple others at icantpaymyfines, is compliments of a guest librarian. These crazy experiences don't just happen to me, they also happen to my co-workers.
A woman comes in and tells the librarian that her son's class has to do a project on one the 50 states and he has chosen Ohio. She needs to photocopy or print a picture of Ohio's flag. The librarian finds a picture in a book and shows the woman. "No, that can't be right. I know what the Ohio flag looks like, and that's not it."
"Huh, weird," thinks this librarian. If the state flag had changed in the past couple of years, don't you think that would have been in the news or something? Well, maybe it had and she just missed it. This book was a few years old anyway. She finds a newer book, but this one has the same Ohio flag in it. Maybe the woman is confused and her son actually wanted a different state. Oklahoma? Oregon? She finds a whole list of state flags and thinks that if the woman knew what the flag was supposed to look like, she would find it in this line up. She points to the giant American Flag in the middle of the page and says, "That's it. That's the Ohio flag. I need a picture of that."
We have a new installment here at icantpaymyfines and it's called "Amazing Names." As you can imagine, I come across lots of people through out the day. Most of them have boring names. John Smith, Amy Johnson, etc. Most of them are names that you would not think twice about. Sometimes, however, there are names that I see of patrons who make me question their childhoods, because they were obviously named by parents who were under the influence of unnaturalness when they told that nurse what to write down. Maybe, as in Oprah's case, it was the nurse who heard wrong, and the parents just decided to go with it. Either way, no one should ever name their baby Destiny's ChildSmith*.
I found a library card on the floor of the children's department. There was no name written on the back, so I took it to the computer, scanned it, and hollered out for "Destiny's Smith." A little blond girl** came running to the desk and said, "that's me!" I told her that she had left her card lying around, and she should take better care of it because someone could steal it and check out 20 movies on it, and before you know it, where will be a repo man at your door demanding the very TV on which you could have been watching your own movies. "While I've got you here, though, Destiny, I need to change your name in the computer, because it looks like we have a typo. It says 'Destiny's' possessive, with an apostrophe and an 'S.'
"Yes, that's my first name. Destiny's with an apostrophe and an 'S.' My middle name is Child, like the band." I resisted telling her that this early 21st century noise was actually a group of performing artists, and not a band, but I was still in shock over the fact that I just met someone named, "Destiny's Child."
For her sake, though, she seemed to like her name, and was a very happy little girl.
Patron: Can you help me look up my obituary? Librarian: Sure thing. Wait...what? Your obituary? Like, as in, you died and you want to find your own obituary in the paper? Patron: Yes. Librarian: Uh, ok. We have some databases here we can search through nationwide to check for names or dates. ::procedes to look up patron's name in several places, as well as date of death. Comes up with nothing. Relief:: Librarian: Looks like no one wrote one for you. You only get a death notice if someone notices your death. Patron: Huh. Weird. Librarian: Yeah. Totally weird.
Patron: Whatcha lookin' at? Employee: What everyone else looks at on library computers. Porn. Duh.
But of course, I didn't tell him that it was the kind of porn he was hoping for. Just Esty.com porn for me. I can't think of anything I'd rather browse. I found The Dainty Squid the other day. www.thedaintysquid.com check out the cuteness to the max:
The craziest part is that I asked her if she would ever make one of these to sell, and she totally already had one in the works!
Just when I thought I'd seen the worst of children's book covers, another - wait - make that two! come along to take the cake. A whole series. I didn't even check to see if there were more in the series.
Something Queer in Outer Space and Something Queer at the Scary Movie. Help us all.
Gentleman - white gold teeth, oversized hooded sweatshirt with lame guns, oversized crispy baseball cap on sideways : I wanna print some shit
Book girl- pants too baggy from too much dieting, but unable to afford to buy new pants because of buying too many boxes of 100 calorie packs: ok, what would you like to print?
Gentleman: my confirmation email from wal-mart.com so I can go pick my shit up. they don't give you the shit at the store you buy online unless you got the email.
Book girl: ok, it'll be fifteen cents to print that out.
Gentleman: yeah, I put twenty cents in the machine and it just laughed at me
Book girl: machine?
Gentleman: that machine ::points to copy machine::
Book girl: right, I'll just print it for you at the circulation desk. ::prints purchase confirmation email from wal-mart.com for TEN COUCHES::
Remember the towers in the show The Wire? and how everyone used to sit on a ratty, old couch in the yard to watch what was going on? This is immediately what I thought of, only, you wouldn't want to waste a brand new couch for that, now would you?
I don't watch TV because I get all the entertainment I need at work. You'll never know my name, where this library where I work is located, or anything else connecting this blog to the real world in order to protect a patron's right to privacy. Some things are just too funny to not share, so I use this blog as an outlet. If you somehow figure out who or where I am, please keep it to yourself.