Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's all about making odd connections

I almost feel like this needs an idea tree or something to show when things occurred simultaneously.

While de-selecting outdated consumer guides [weeding],

I was reminded that my dad had said (as part of my instruction for pulling weeds from the yard), “A weed is any plant someone doesn’t want growing there.”

Then I thought how weeding items from the shelves (particularly books) is like pulling unwanted flowers.

That made me think I’d like to write an haiku about “filing away unwanted flowers”

I decide that the syllable count is closer to 7 than to 5 on that phrase, so I plan to write around it.

I’m counting the syllables and changing things around, when I try “file.” “File” looks like one syllable, but as I say the word, it seems to me I say it in two syllables-[fye-ul]. I can’t believe that’s right so I look it up in two different dictionaries (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd ed., and American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed). Both indeed claim that “file” is one syllable. (So why does it come out as two when I say it, albeit a very fragile 2nd syllable?)

While I looked down in the dictionaries, I noticed next the word “file’” which is described as “powdered sassafras leaves used to thicken soup, stew, or gumbo.” Ha! You may be aware in the Hank Williams’ song, “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)” has the line mentioning “fillet gumbo.” I thought it was a gumbo with fish fillets in it. But no! It was file’ gumbo, which doubtless any of you southern, not to say Louisiana types, already knew.

But now I’ve forgotten how I wanted to arrange my haiku, except that it had the line
Filing unwanted flowers
In the middle.

Still. I think it is an apt metaphor for librarian de-selecting items.

Hmmmmmm. I’ll try this:

Books sent, shelf to bin
Filing unwanted flowers
past lost tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Originally uploaded by YorickWell.
I saw a photographer's show the other day. Several of the pictures were of the people's feet--bare or in shoes.

It made me think of my "Mug Shots" series. I told the photographer that perhaps a series called "Foot Prints" would be cool.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hey, just stop and smell the flowers, Y'all

I was at the information desk helping a father and his gradeschool daughter look for some specific titles and putting them on hold when ours were checked out or only available at another branch. Suddenly another patron marched up and without any kind of "excuse me" interrupeted, "Why is your Internet so slow?"

I was a little surprised at the interruption, since I was clearly helping another patron at that moment. Also, in spite of my technical expertise, 1) there are a number of things that could make the Internet perform slowly; 2) all those things are out of my immediate control; 3)although I could (and would) ask ITS help about it, it still wouldn't tell right now why.

So I answered, "Because life is unfair?"

The patron's anger increased, and he said, "Just F- you" and stormed out. I didn't even have time to appologize, to point out I was with another patron if he had somehow missed that fact.

A few moments later, Julie S. (from circulation) came up and said that a man on the phone wanted to talk with the bearded man and that was either Peter or me. I asked if the caller was cranky and when she said yes, I said the call was for me and please ask if he could hold since I was helping another patron at this time.

When I was done assisting the patron at the desk, I answered the phone. "B--- R--- Library, reference, how may I help you?" The caller, who had waited about two or three minutes on hold was the man who had been angry and left. He didn't give any question nor task that I might help him with, but instead told me that I was fat, useless piece of *excrement*, *curse* me, and I'd better watch myself because he had his eye on me, and so did some others. He didn't speak about the Internet issue, or really give me any opportunity to help or explain.

I said, "Okay, thanks. Good bye" and hung up the phone.