Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Oh, it's winter.

I just got into the shower to find my conditioner frozen solid.

I admit defeat. It is officially too damn cold.

It's winter?

Eve spent today stomping around yelling, "THIS IS ILLEGAL." Now, whispering Eve can be heard through walls; bellowing Eve is a force of nature. I was secretely pleased with the amount of chaos she caused, though, as it gave me something to think about other than the cold. The heating system at work picks today of all days to die out.

We have a lot of windows, which normally is pretty great. There's nothing I like better on break than to just sit and look out over the water. However, windows are leaky, and with the heat on the fritz, the library pretty quickly equilibrated to the outside temperature. (Or something that felt like it.) No wind, though, so: sucky day but manageable with coats and coffee. (Although: 5 cups without thinking about it in as many hours + everyone else going at about the same rate = so much accomplished, and also a huge line-up at the bathroom.)

Tragically, though, I lost my mittens and hat on the subway and was forced to pick up new ones. The stores were, predictably, pretty picked over, so I ended up with a hat that makes me look more or less like a goofball. ("One size fits all": untrue.) It's got snowflakes and is fleecy and warm and actually I sort of love it and will probably wear it more than necessary.

Monday, February 5, 2007


Michael Chabon is doing a Sunday serial in the Times Magazine called "Gentlemen of the Road". The first chapter is online as an .mp3 with Chabon narrating. I'm of two minds about authors reading their works aloud. (On tape, at least, rather than in a live reading.) Clearly, they're the authorities on what exactly it's supposted to sound like, but at the same time, sometimes voice actors and the like just read better. I adore Chabon's writing, but honestly, I'm sort of disappointed in his voice. Next time they put up an audio, I'm going to try listening before I read the passage to myself; maybe that way I won't have such a strong idea of what I think it sounds like.

At least I now know how officially to pronounce his name, though...

Cubby, sweet cubby

New job = awesome. Spy-style time clock aside, the actual job is pretty darn great. The work is actually what I strongly suspect I want to do with my life (which is a pleasant change), and I am enjoying it fully. The people are also pretty great so far, even Eve. Eve is old and says inappropriate things very loudly. My supervisor actually pulled me aside early on my first day to warn me about her. (“Mostly we all just wear headphones. It doesn’t stop her talking, but you can pretend like you don’t hear her and don’t have to respond.”)

Plus, I have a librarian date-stamper all of my own. And a cubby! My cubby has a shelf. This is exciting because I have not been working long enough to be depressed by cubicles and their trappings.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Walking out of the apartment this morning:

Scruffy man, cabbie hat, cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth, very calmly addressing his two teeny, plaid-jacketed, frenziedly barking Chihuahuas: “I don’t know what to say to you to make you stop doing this.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Because they have quality.

Someone posed the question to me the other day of if I were in Fahrenheit 451, what book would I want to be?

Aside from now wanting to read Fahrenheit 451 over again, I’m torn. My flat-out favorite, Grapes of Wrath (which has the bonus of also being a flat-out classic)? Something newer, like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay? Something controversial like The Satanic Verses? What about a kid’s book like The Phantom Tollbooth or Tom Sawyer, since you couldn’t pass something like Ulysses on to the next generation of book-people-in-the-forest until they’re older and, in theory, you’d want them to develop a love of books, too? Should someone remember all the Golden Books so that there’s something to read (say?) aloud to the kiddies before bed?

And speaking of Ulysses, what if no one in the forest liked it? Does someone have to be responsible for remembering a classic for classic’s sake? Because I don’t know what I would do with myself if I had that book knocking around in my head the rest of my life.

Could I remember a few shorter books (The War of the Worlds, Of Mice and Men, Candide) instead of one long one? Is that allowed? Perhaps I'm overthinking this.

They've given you a number and taken away your name

At my new job, the clock-in procedure involves a fingerprint scan. You type in your numbers into a console and stick your index finger into the scanner, which reads the print, analyzes it and if you're not a spy, tells the gnomes in the payroll office to start sending cash toward your bank account. Sadly, it's sort of anticlimactic, since it just beeps and then you're on your way up the escalator to the office rather than a vault opening up somewhere and bad guys skulking behind you.

Granted, I've only done it a few times, so it might get old after a while, but every time I clock in or out, I feel a little bit awesome. I'm totally cut out to be a secret agent.