Monday, September 27, 2004

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

"Send me digital photos of you guys," she says.
"Uh oh," I reply, "What for?"
"I think you'd make great lino cuts! I'm making a textile project on the theme of distance, and you are all so far away..."

I am the victim of yet another art project.

I think I know too many art people, and hence am in a few too many projects for my comfort. First there was the photo portrait show on women and body image, where along with 20 other women, I got to write all over a photo of my face - coincidentally, it hung in this library's art gallery years before I worked here and Jimbo saw it before he met me. Then there was the video about pantyhose where I got to prance around in my electric orange stockings (boy, I hope someone burned that tape). Not to mention the unmentionable photo shoots.

Now, my sister has had the brillant idea to turn my face, and the faces of my family, into lino cuts so she can block print onto fabric with them for her textiles class. It's too funny. If you're wondering what I look like, this is not it:

Jimbo and Sprout are worth a laugh too - see Celine's blog for more.

Friday, September 24, 2004

A Single Shard

Despite the glacial pace, I am continuing with my self-improvement project of reading all the Newbery and Caldecott winners and honour books back through time. I just read a breathtaking young adult novel by Linda Sue Park called A Single Shard.

Sprout had a three-hour nap last weekend, and I was able to read the book from start to finish within that time-frame (felt like a mini-holiday). If you've got a bit of time, I'd recommend it. Very beautiful.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Monkey Mook

Sprout is 19 months old today, and I'm still breastfeeding. I am happy to report that I have not gotten/noticed any of the evil looks you're supposed to get when you breastfeed a child that's older. Maybe Saskatoon is just a very supportive place.

I'm letting The Sprout wean himself (that's the plan so far), and so the theme is 'don't offer, don't refuse'. Aside from the all-night buffet, he doesn't nurse very often.

When he does want to nurse, he either says, "Mummy Mook" (Mummy Milk) or "Monkey Mook". "Monkey Mook" is usually when he really needs comfort. It means he wants me and my milk, but it also means he wants to clutch his blue stuffed monkey in a fervent embrace at the same time.

Name your bliss, Sprout.

My Favourite Recurring Reference Question

"Do you still have the print copy of that newspaper, or is it on microwave?"

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Memories of Aunt Frieda

Crazy-making psychological invalidations that should not be said to children:

Me: Auntie, I have a headache.
Aunt Frieda: (stock answer) I ALWAYS have a headache, but I do what has to be done ANYWAY.

Me: Auntie, I'm bored.
Aunt Frieda: (stock answer) Intelligent people are never bored.

Me: I hate you! (regular childhood tantrum)
Aunt Frieda: (stock answer) It's normal for children to hate their parents at your age.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Street Librarian

I either look very, very wise, or very, very sunshine approachable, because at least once a week someone stops me on the street for directions. I call this 'street librarianship'.

Simon Fraser University Library has some sort of roving librarian thing going on, where they roll a laptop on a trolley into a student coffee lounge, and put up a big sign that says "Ask a Librarian!" Wouldn't that be a great job. I don't know if I could answer too many questions, though, with my mouth full of muffins and cafe-au-lait...

Library Gags

Have just stumbled across a collection of silly library jokes, and simply had to share. If you can believe the serendipity, there is even a 'squirrels in the library' joke. Ahhh.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Arrrrr - Pirates

Okay, after some dull blogging yesterday, have just remembered something maybe more amusant. Sunday is 'Talk Like a Pirate' Day! Arrrr. Have just found out that my pirate name is Commodore Drunk Eye. Thank God there's something to keep me amused on a Friday afternoon (if not actually drunk...)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Busy Squirrel

Okay, now that the 'blog mute' stuff is out in the open, I must take a moment to explain my absence from the 'blogosphere'.

This squirrel is busy! I am the Interlibrary Loan supervisor at my library, and we signed on to beta test some new spiffy interlibrary loan software as part of our provincial consortium. This means a lot of telephone conference calls and web conference calls (I have never been in on a conference call before this started - I got so dazzled that I even dressed up for the first one - Cosmopolitan Squirrel), and a lot of scurrying around in between.

We have also started our fall season of computer classes for the public, which is keeping me hopping. Staff from my department volunteer to teach the classes, but I oversee the whole thing. So, if the headphones don't work or if someone doesn't know how to set everything up in the lab, off I go to troubleshoot (Ha. Me as a troubleshooter. That always makes me split a gut. I'm about as techie as homemade yoghurt.)

Not to mention the 3 brand new computer classes we are developing for October. One is the blogging for teens class, and two are my little library research brainchild. I designed a computer program series for teens called "Improve Your Grades @ the Library", with subject streams. In October, we are going to run two separate programs in this series: "Improve Your HISTORY Grades..." and "Improve Your LITERATURE Grades..." I'm hoping someone signs up. You never know with young adults.

In other news, we have new staff in ILL, and one of my other employees just took a term position in a different department. Training, communicating, and creating posting jobs is keeping things exciting.

What else am I doing? Writing a proposal to create an 'Elder in Residence' position in our library system (we serve a high aboriginal population), running and reporting on three separate database trials, getting all my yoghurt in a row learning how to do HTML web design, signing up for management seminars on 'performance management'! And I have to drop all these exciting things on the dot of 5:00, so I can get home to the Sprout for our little domestic adventures.

It's all too exciting. But means I'm often a 'blog mute'. Sigh.

This is Not a Blogger

I have just discovered that I am a 'blog mute'.

A colleague and I are preparing to teach a computer class to teenagers on how to blog. We decided that instead of doing a lot of handouts and overheads of some sort, we'd create a blog about the blogging class!

One of my small tasks for the class is to find or make a glossary of blogging terms. I have just found Samizdata, which is a very fine little glossary for my purposes.

The only problem with Samizdata is that it has defined what is wrong with me as a blogger. I am a blog mute. I am slightly uncomfortable with knowing myself that well. If you say it out loud, don't you know, it just might be true...

Thursday, September 09, 2004


My sister and her husband have left our backyard (see August postings for white trash summer), and have U-Hauled themselves all the way across Canada (avec parrot) to Ontario. Celine (a.k.a. Sprout's Auntie Bean) started furniture-making school at Sheridan College this week, and I miss her terrible.

Luckily, she has traded in her Southeast Asian blog for a new, zestful, life-in-Onterrible-at-furniture-school blog, so I can keep a quotidian eye on her.

This is Not an Acorn

I don't know if all libraries are like this, but staff in my library love to put up signs. Sometimes it seems like there are so many signs, that you can't read the signs for the signs. My favourite sign is this one:

This is not a footrest.

This is a sign that has been put on a low-lying ledge of one of our microfilm readers. If you put your feet on it, you could break it, so the sign has a valid reason for existing. It's just such a silly sign!

I am easily bored (like every 10 minutes), and one of the many ways I cope is to create fake signs in my head, inspired by the non-footrest. My telephone: this is not a banana. The prow of the public information desk: this is not a bulkhead. Myself: this is not a librarian.

This sign story always reminds me of a short story that I read once in German. I can't remember who wrote it (maybe Argonaut remembers?), but it's so great. It's a story about a man who lives alone in a hermit-state, and for his own amusement one day, he decides to call the chair 'table'. That's so funny that he then starts to call the bed 'window'. And so on and so on, until one day everything has a different name than it once had. After a number of years of using the new names for these objects, he forgets the old names, and then one day he can't communicate with anyone. He becomes truly alone.

This is not a gratuitous philosophical musing.