June 12th, 2003

you think you know...

stressed by osmosis, yo

That’s what i decided best described how i felt yesterday (and not just because of my grandfather). Tired, also.

I wore my Celebration of Sisterhood t-shirt, partly because i needed to forcibly cheer myself up. I got to work early and chatted with Jane for a while.

I had forgotten i often need to explain my shirt. Hope asked me about the symbols on it. She recognized the heart and the woman symbol, but not the upside down triangle. I said it was a gay rights symbol. She wasn’t familiar with that symbol. I explained that during the Holocaust male homosexuals were identified with pink triangles, that there was a whole system of colored triangles for identifying undesirables. She didn’t know that. This woman has been the children’s librarian for like ever. This frightens me. I mean, i know the Holocaust doesn’t come up much in projects that children do (i got The Devil’s Arithmetic on the junior high summer reading list, though, and pulling up that book on Amazon i was suggested lists like Holocaust Books: A list by usct, 8th Grader and Always Remember: Holocaust Titles for Upper Elementary Ages: A list by Volkert Volkersz, Elementary School Librarian) but she’s a woman who’s been alive a long time and works in a library and doesn’t know this stuff. But now she does.

We talked about P-town and the Boston Pride Parade. Hope was saying she wasn’t going to go into Boston for some meeting this Saturday because she didn’t want to get stuck in the Pride Parade like she did last year (the parade totally surrounded the building she was in, so when she left she had to actually drive in the parade for a while until a policeman told her about a place where there was a break and she could get out; she was afraid the whole time that she would end up on the news and her mother would see her -- “All these years and you never told me?” Jane joked). Jane said her husband loves P-town (i like her husband better and better ;) ) and wanted to take one of their daughters there. To the Pride Parade actually, i think. Jane was saying they were in P-town for a Pride Parade one year and she loved it. The daughter was all, “What parents bring their kid to P-town for a Pride Parade?” “All the cool parents,” i replied. (I laugh that i like Jane and possibly her husband better than i like their daughters, who are around my age.)

Lata asked me about the symbols on my shirt. Love, women, gay rights, i said. I had to repeat the last one because she didn’t hear me or something. “Ah. I don’t support them,” she said. I smiled, strainedly, pleasantly, nodded, said, “Ah.” She’s old-fashioned and i was not about to engage her in a discussion on the topic, especially because she was still paging and i was on-desk. Thinking about it later i was reminded that this is why i care so much about gay rights, because when you say “I don’t support gay rights” you are saying “I don’t support your rights.”

Some woman brought in leftover lilies and cake from her birthday, and when i got home Paul and Barbara had brought chocolate sorbet. Whee.

Michele’s been training everyone on the new system for the past few weeks. Session 1 for an hour, and then another day Session 2, which is supposedly easier than Session 2. I did Sessions 1 and 2 in under an hour. It’s all fairly easy, largely very similar to the current system; a few things are worse in the new system, but more things are better than are worse.

Was slow for much of the day, and Michele said i was gonna kill her at the project she was gonna give me, but i said i had yet to inflict violence on her and didn’t plan to start. The project i got was better than the previous day’s project, so i was happy.

Someone saw my shirt from the back and asked if i’d made it. I said no, and explained that Celebration is an annual event and there’s a committee that does the t-shirts and stuff.

Summer Reading Program sign up, so the evening was quite busy. Around 7:30 a 3 year old pulled the fire alarm. Loudest. Thing. Ever. The quiet was so nice afterward.

A patron asked me about my shirt. I explained about Celebration of Sisterhood and talked about people have been talking about how there were still issues to be dealt with and that the event should become more serious, and the patron and i chatted a bit and she seemed to really get it and that made me happy.

A group of teenage girls came up to the desk and one of them said, “There are supposed to be a lot of librarian ladies here.” You can’t make this shit up. She was referring to the summer reading program; her mom was one of the librarians doing the sign up. But still. I was just, speechless.
anime night

trust and honesty

There’s the kind of trust where you trust someone to keep your private things private. I admit to being bad at that. I’m honest to a fault, overshare, and have little concept of boundaries. I am trying to be better about understanding and respecting when people don’t want me to tell other people (like my parents) stuff about their lives. I think this is partly because when i was in high school my best friend would tell me things beginning with “Don’t tell anyone,” and she was the sixth person who had learned this thing and every time it got told it began with “Don’t tell anyone.” I knew lots of gossipy things that were none of my business, and i often told my parents these things. It was understood among our friends that “Don’t tell anyone” really meant “Don’t tell anyone who would be hurt by this information or who would use it to hurt people.”

There’s the kind of trust where you trust people to tell you the truth. I think this is a more important kind of trust. I have been raised to be “brutally honest.” I actually have real trouble criticizing people i care about, even just their writing, but i’m working on that. I’m generally good at honesty when it’s important, though. And it’s so important to be honest about the important things. As my mom said, if you know that someone has deceived you (lied, kept information from you, whatever) about something important, it makes everything else they’ve said to you suspect. You wonder what The Truth is. You wonder if you can trust them.
The structure was not safe at all. The wood (the part going in the ground) was rotten and it was beginning to lean on one side. One good thing about it is that the hut was supposed to be in place only for one year (we had it for 2). I think that it was great to have the hut but I would never want the college to spend nearly $30,000+ to have something of that sort build again.... that is to much for something that cannot be permanent.
-“frenchgirl,” on the twig castle
Let me reiterate that my grandfather lived in Alaska, and neither my brother nor i knew him much at all. I absolutely appreciate everyone’s expressions of support, and prayers for my mother are much with the good, but i don’t want anyone to have the misimpression that i am personally upset.
i do it for the joy it brings

Here's my plan for NYC so far.

(Suggestions, additions, etc. welcome. oatmilk or any other friendly people who will be in the NYC area are welcome to join me for touristyness during the day.)

Monday, June 23:
Arrive in Port Authority at 3:30 and head to the penguin abode, where i will be living during my NYC stay.

Tuesday, June 24:
- spend day at Met and Frick
- have dinner at some as yet undetermined vegetarian place with offbalance and anyone else who wants to join us

Wednesday, June 25:
spend day in Greenwich Village because it occurs to me that i’ve never been there
any suggestions as to must see/do in the Village are welcome

Thursday, June 26:
Leave Port Authority at 10am.
you think you know...

5x5

There’s this meme going around, called the interview meme. People ask you 5 questions, you post your answers, and then people can reply requesting to be “interviewed” (i.e., you give them 5 questions to answer), and on it goes. I never did the “ask me anything” memes ‘cause i figure if you wanna ask me something you really don’t need a special occasion for it, and i held off on this one for a while for the same reason as well as because it means having to come up with 5 questions for anyone who asks and Hi, i’m lazy. But, i got sucked into doing this meme anyway. And of course everyone had to ask questions that take lots of thought ;) and we all know i’m prone to overthinking and long-windedness. (You’ve been warned.)

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And ‘cause i’m overshare girl, i give this opportunity for anyone to ask me anything they’d like (and yes you can ask more than one question).
you think you know...

"Movies. They're like sleeping."

My mother was saying that she just wants to sleep, because she doesn’t like the reality of her waking life. We went to the library to get escapist literature. And the video section is right next to the circulation desk, prompting the above quote from my mother.

I knew i’d forgotten anecdotes from yesterday.

We’ve gotten a lot of calls this past week or so where you answer the phone and there’s just nothing. Not a dial tone, but absolute silence and no response to repeated “Hellos?” Yesterday morning, my father tired and stressed, answered the phone to yet another one of those calls. Exasperated, he said something like, “If you’re the asshole who keeps calling and not saying anything, stop it.” Then there was some noise and my father said “Hello” a few more times. Then a voice: “I had the mute on and I don’t appreciate your language. I’m calling from GSI Financial for George Sweeny.” “He’s not here right now, can I take a message?” “I know you. You’re George Sweeny. I talked to you yesterday.” *click* Weirdness abounds.

Paul and Barbara told us about how Sean (my 5-year-old cousin) opened the talent show at his elementary school: “Hello, Binghamton,” in that tone, you know the one. And he was possibly the only kindergartener in the whole thing. He had the kids all trained to respond to his jokes, but there was one where no one answered, so he did both parts and said, “I’m responding to myself.” God, i can so hear his voice saying that. He told about 15 jokes and every once in a while would look at his sheet of paper. He was reading from his paper. He’s 5.
you think you know...

I have little of substance to say at this moment.

First of all, I shall marvel at the appropriateness of us meeting up on a Tuesday. :)
-offbalance

OMG, i totally hadn’t realized that until you mentioned it. *joins in marveling*
For the non-commercial significance of Buffy DVDs, see Emily Nussbaum piece from Sunday's NYT: "Using such tools, viewers can delve into 'Buffy' the way we dig into a novel like 'Great Expectations' (which was also originally distributed in installments)--without the cliffhangers, the larger themes rise to the surface." I did my first serious Buffy DVD watching while researching my forthcoming Reason piece on the show, and Nussbaum is absolutely right (though I far prefer Buffy to Dickens, especially Great Expectations).
-Virginia Postrel

[take the test] - [by krystaljungle.com]

[That should say, "Fear the wrath of the ultimate grammar whore, for I am truly a god of language!" no?]



One learns something new every day.

My mom is on the <http://www.americandecency.org>American Decency Association</a> mailing list (and wow are they creepy) and forwarded me a mailing from them about the male couple CBS’s Amazing Race 4 called “married.” Using the information they handily provided i left a comment on the CBS feedback form and CCed a letter to 14 companies.
I hear that some conservative groups are upset that you have advertised on CBS’s Amazing Race 4 which touts a male couple as “married.” A suggested letter to advertisers includes the following:
Your sponsorship of “AMAZING RACE 4?” goes against time-honored standards of decency. Do you endorse SAME SEX MARRIAGES? If this is the type of programming you sponsor, the answer would appear to be “yes”.
If your answer truly is YES then I applaud you. I am saddened that CBS’s portrayal of the homosexual couple as “married” is false because same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in this country, but I am very pleased that CBS has recognized that many same-sex couples are just as committed as male-female couples. I hope that the outcry from conservative groups will not cause you to back down from recognizing basic human rights.
I received a letter from Dr. Peper/Seven Up, Inc. today.
Thank you for contacting us about our Corporate television advertising placement. Consumer comments and inquiries are appreciated because they give us valuable input regarding our brands and advertising campaigns.

While we buy airtime to promote our soft drinks, we do not share all the views portrayed in the programming where our commercials appear. Because we do not control the content of broadcast programming, we suggest you contact either the network or the Federal Communications Commission (www.fcc.gov) to voice your concern. We are sensitive to the views of all consumers and will forward your concerns to our marketing department and advertising agencies.