Tuesday, August 31, 2004

"Your call is very important to us..."

This is certainly a morning for being put on hold. The folks from Epilepsy NZ still haven't shown up to put their display up and I've been trying unsuccessfully to get hold of them. The local rep isn't taking any calls, though so the display board continues to look bare and scrappy.

I also tried to get hold of Inland Revenue, to ask about getting some of my student loan repayment money back. This tried my patience even more - after being put on hold for approximately half and hour, I was told that I'd be put through to Student Loans, then I was on hold again. I persisted though, and after a couple of interruptions (like.. work and stuff), contact was made. Only it turns out that I've wasted all my time, because I should be talking to Payroll.

So I'm not going to wait in any more phone queues today.

Monday, August 30, 2004

The rampant consumerism continues

Not satisfied with spending my hard-earned dosh on evening wear, underwear and yet another Buffy book (this time it's the updated The girl's got bite by Kathleen Tracy), we went out again yesterday for more domestic wares. An hour and a half later, we emerged from The Warehouse (a chain of huge cheap-import stores housed in big red un-airconditioned buildings) with a large burgundy rug for the lounge, a kitset typist's chair for my study and a microwave oven.

And the rationalisations are...
- we needed the rug because the scrappy carpet in the lounge is not only ugly and coffee-stained, but it's also lacking an underlay.
- I needed the typist's chair because the computer sits too high on the computer desk. It was either buy a height-adjustable chair or take a hacksaw to the computer desk
- I've been looking for a microwave oven priced at less than one hundred dollars for approximately four years now. Originally I wanted one to heat my wheatbag, but now we need one because I keep forgetting to take meat out of the freezer ahead of time. This particular microwave oven was only about seventy bucks, so I really did have to have it.

I should be getting some money from work soon though - I'm fortunate that our newish manager (who is, coincidentally, studying for his MLIS) managed to get the City Council to agree to pay for library-related study. I hope I can put the money straight into the savings account though, instead of spending it.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Shopping for glamour

I did some research on FashioNZ, and found a couple for really great outfits by State of Grace. So, armed with printouts (I won't try to describe them; just follow the link and look for 'Ariel' on page 1 of the Winter Collection and Queen Mary bodice + Poseiden skirt on page 5), we went into town to look for something similar but cheaper.

What I ended up getting was something quite different. I got a silver stretch lace cap-sleeved t-shirt (one size larger than usual so it wouldn't cling, and on sale at less than forty bucks), which I figured I could wear with black pants or long skirt. I then had to look for underwear which wouldn't scream for attention from underneath, but that was fairly easy.

Pulled in the opposite directions of gunning-for-glamour (which goes for Librans) and being practical (which is probably a Cantonese thing), it's never been easy. This time it was so easy that the boy insisted we try a few more clothes shops in case I was on a roll. Well, I found a really fab strapless raspberry dress with a fishtail - but it would've looked better on me if I had a narrower waist, a longer torso and bigger boobs. And perhaps longer legs and a pair of Sex in the City-type shoes. It was at this point that we decided to go home before I started looking for corsets and tummy-flattening pants.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Loan-free

I paid off my student loan last week. It's not quite as impressive as it sounds, because my loan was actually quite small. All the same, it'll be nice to have that extra fifty bucks every fortnight (which was being automatically deducted from my pay).

So I was kicking myself yesterday when I realised that I was supposed to tell the people over at payroll to stop giving the IRD my money. I got my payslip, and instead of a big fat empty space where the words 'Student Loan' had been - those words were still there and sitting next to a dollar figure.

I've heard that it's really hard to get one's money back from the tax folk; soon I'll find out for myself.

And now it's time for a cheap thrill...I was shelving some of the returned non-fiction this afternoon on the bus when I came across a couple of dinosaur books (as you do). It's so childish, I know, but I couldn't help sniggering when I put the 567.91 DIX right next to the 567.91 COX...

(umm... those are Dewey Decimal codes in case you haven't set foot in a public library for a while)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

today's brain dump

Films
These are the film industry names which would make me want to see a movie (without knowing anything about it):

- Peter Jackson
- Ben Stiller
- The Coen Brothers
- Charlie Kaufman
- Johnny Depp (-ish. He's let me down a couple of times, though generally it's still true)
- Lars von Trier
- Zhang Yimou


Sleep
Oh, for some! Every evening I go to bed with one of my trusty Buffy books, reading a while before falling asleep. Every morning I wake up to the rude noise of the alarm clock, and I'm bleary-eyed, unrefreshed and possibly not quite fit to drive for at least another hour.

Playing dress-ups
A friend of mine is getting married early in October; between now and then I have the task of trawling the shops, looking for something suitable to wear. I don't like girly gear, I don't like exposing my legs, I can't walk in high heels and I don't have the bod for clingy clothes. I thought I might look for a strappy dress with a little jacket, plus some pointy-toed knee high boots. Or I might give up after the first couple of shops and settle for some of the ten-year-old stuff in my wardrobe (hoping it hasn't been mildewed to death). Oh, for the donated services of a fashion stylist and a couple of grand in spending money!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

nostalgia

I got an e-mail from an Irish friend yesterday, someone I used to work with years ago when she was doing her travels around the world. Back then, I was a spirit-drinking early-thirty-something who participated in a major annual pub crawl with a gang of hard-drinking IT guys who really liked to wear ladies underwear occassionally. It was on one of those pub crawls - the theme was Village People and I was dressed up as a biker chick - that I picked up a toy boy fan. I was quite flattered to be stalked by the 24-year-old, who didn't pluck up the courage to come and talk to me until six whole months after that big night.

Boy, have things changed since then. Serious-minded, teetolling and hitched in all but name only.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Confession

It was me. I was the one who let the book-stealer leave the library.

Actually, I don't know for a fact that the woman was stealing anything. I do know that she set the alarm off when she left the building, that she kept on walking and that I let her go.

I tried to stop her - when I heard the alarm go off (and it goes off several times a day; usually it's a false alarm), I looked up from behind the information desk and she was already two automatic doors ahead of me. I had to walk right around the desk to get to the entrance/exit, stand in front of the inner automatic door for a second waiting for it to let me out...by then she was already heading around the corner. That's when I thought "I'm not going to go running down the street after her". I was probably also thinking that that would look undignified, that I was leaving the information desk un-manned, that by the time I got someone to help the woman would have gotten even futher away, that it was probably another false alarm.

True, she probably wasn't doing anything wrong except not stopping for the alarm. But she was moving pretty quickly for a short, round person - almost as if she was in a hurry. And the more I think about it, the more likely it seems to me that she was hurrying out of there with an un-issued book.

It made me feel horrible all afternoon. And guilty too.

Q and A

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail wondering why middle-aged men's nose- and ear-hair grows so thick'n'fast, at a time when head hair diminishes disturbingly quickly. I didn't know the answer, but being a library worker, I vowed to find out.

And I did.

In the process, I found a fascinating site called The Straight Dope. This guy, Cecil Adams, is syndicated in various newspapers, so you people in North America may know of him already.

It's a lot of fun. Go on, ask him something.

Monday, August 23, 2004

urgency

All this time I've been very lazy about exercising my pelvic floor muscles.T he boy thinks I should be doing it on a regular basis; he claims to do the exercises himself. Well I had to exercise 'em today.

I should always go straight to the loo after a workout, since I'll have drunk a litre of water and we all know that the body can't absorb that much water in one hour. I shoulda, but I didn't, and to cut a long story short I was out on Main Street with my boss looking for tulips to put in our Spring Festival display. My hipsters were pressing on my bladder but I was too shy to say I needed to pee (and this is something which has been with me since I was a child). Centuries later, she went took off to get her lunch before heading back to the Library. I made it back in time, but along the way I found out the hard way that the public toilets are locked and they should really take down the enormous sign pointing to them.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Home comforts

The boy has been testing out his new toy (the X-Box) on some new games. BTVS isn't one of them, which is a pity; although I have a natural aversion to computer games, I would have been interested to see how the TV show translates into an interactive activity - especially when it's being played by someone who knows his console from his ...other game equipment.

Now that my couches and cushions are all furry, I find myself touching them all the time - when I'm sitting on them and when I'm just passing by. Back in the days when you had to wear a dead animal on your back if you wanted the feel of fur, I might have had a tough time avoiding real fur coats (okay, maybe not so tough - fur clothing on a short and sturdy figure is a less-than-sexy combination).

To a more domestic topic: I got three loads of laundry dry in record time today. The winds weren't quite as gusty as they were last Wednesday (or I would have lost it), nor so strong that the washing wrapped 'round and 'round the four clotheslines until there was just one giant noodle of wet clothes and stuff. But there was certainly enough air-flow to whip most of the moisture out of the towels, undies, jeans etc in the space of about three hours. Spring weather ain't all bad.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Furriness

I do have a bit of a 'thing' for fake fur, though I tend not to wear it. I already had a fake-fur cushion which I bought on sale at half-price, and today I persuaded my boy to take me back to the same shop for a couple of fake-fur throws too.

They aren't actually throws - they're single bed covers - but they're perfect for my two couches. There's a purple one for the mango three-seater (we ran into one of the boy's workmates outside the shop and I think he got a bit of a ribbing for having a purple furry thing in his grasp) and a coffee-coloured one for the blue-green two-seater. Hopefully this will be the end of the fur-fetish.

Apparently there is such a thing as a 'furry' - someone who likes to dress up in furs (and I think there's a sexual thing impulse there too). I wouldn't go that far - fur is so fattening to wear - but the touch of the stuff is so...sensual. Not to mention warm.

Anyhow, the boy was warmly rewarded for his good work; I walked around town with him for ages looking for an X-Box (they're in short supply nationally!) and some games for him to play on it.

Friday, August 20, 2004

new book

oooh...My The Simpsons and Philosophy book arrived today. It's all shiny and thick and full of potentially life-changing (or at least interesting and amusing) content.

To be or not to be a hero

I've just started reading 'What would Buffy do?', which is a spiritual guide based on the characters of BTVS. There's a lot of material in there about redemption, sacrifice, forgiveness etc. I'm reading it because I'm a Buffy fan and because I'm a pop philosopher, not so much because I feel the need for spiritual guidance.

But then again, perhaps it's people who don't feel the need for it who are most in need of it...

I don't want to be a hero. I don't want to have to think of other people all the time. I don't want to care about everyone; there is enough on my plate just caring about myself, my partner, my immediate family and my friends. If anything, I'd like to care less about people outside this sphere - maybe because I feel powerless to prevent countries from invading each other, or corporations from polluting the environment. It's also because I want to live a simpler life, and it doesn't seem possible to live a simple life and care about everybody at the same time.

On the other hand, I do want to be a hero, because its such a noble thing to be. But if I was so heroic and noble, wouldn't I get all bigheaded about it and think I'm better than everyone else? And wouldn't that be ignoble?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

a pain in the neck, a secret passion

Probably like most office workers and people who work with computers a lot, I have a problem with stiff shoulders and neck. I've added to this recently, by unintentionally discovering a new sleeping position which ensures that I have an extra-sore neck in the mornings. If I run my fingers over the left side of my neck, I'll find a tight little knot which defies all reasonable force (it is near the base of my brain, after all). It may be time for a pillow reassessment.

There aren't many shops to browse in near my work, and there is a severe lack of interesting clothing shops. Thank goodness for Stationery Warehouse, which has opened a megastore in the last couple of months. I thought I was alone in my lust for stationery (the gleam in my eye when I spot a particularly attractive journal or photo album, the allure of the sticky plastic decorative book covers, the pull of the trendily-coloured magazine files...), but it turns out that this isn't the case at all. Fellow bloggers and library students have gushed about fabulous unfilled, unlined books; even one of my more colourful co-workers (a tattooed, pierced, belly-dancing children's librarian) is equally turned on by great stationery. But I'm still not convinced it's something to tell people at parties.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Wild Wednesday weather

Last night I kept waking up to the sound of my house's foundations being tested. It was gale-force windy, and wanting everyone to hear about it. I kept an ear open for radio reports of the highway being closed, but it hadn't happened by 8pm so reluctantly I set off for work. All the way to work in the car, I listened to more radio reports; mentally I chanted the mantra "State Highway 2 will be closed". But despite all the wind, the torrential rain and the surface flooding, I heard no excuse to turn around and come back home.

Luck was on my side, however. At 2pm, while I was sitting in the Mobile Library reading Janet Frame's To the Is-Land, one of the team leaders suddenly appeared through the doorway and announced she would take over my bus-driving duties so that I could leave early for home. It was something about problems on the motorway about half-way along - I wasn't really listening after the bit about my going home early.

And funnily enough, it was a breeze getting home. I could see that the river was high and brown; later, the sea was all churned up and a similar colour of weak coffee. But no Hawaii Five-Oh-type waves dumped on my car, as I'd seen happening to the South-bound traffic this morning. There was a bit of wind, but it seemed a mere shadow of its early morning self.

Not that I'm complaining - I'm home with a couple hours of leisure time to spare before my library class, and because I'll be doing this one from home I'm spared the post-class exercise of putting the laptop and various cables away afterwards.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

a tempest, a home network and a fairly interesting article

It's pretty rough weather out there - I drove to the gym via the coast road, and a fair bit of seawater was dumped on my car along the way. Sort of like being in a car wash but without the big brushes.

Surprisingly, the gym was quite busy; it must have been all the frustrated joggers. Apparently it was less than five degrees Celsius at 4.30 this afternoon; it's certainly not very a comforting temperature now. In fact, the first time my feet felt warm all day was after I'd been working out for half an hour.

I am so glad I bought that queen-sized electric blanket.

Well, we're on high-speed Internet now. The boy went to Dick Smith's for a geek-shopping-spree, and the cable guy finally turned up. After half an hour's work by the cable guy, and several hours of hard work by my boy, both of our computers are now on a high-speed connection and on a wireless network too. Now we can both surf, and have a phone conversation, all at the same time. Along the way he found loads of software updates which my computer needed, so he dealt to all that; but I feel like a bit of a techno-cretin for not knowing to do this already.

This'll be boring if you aren't working in the library world (and possibly disappointing after yesterday's racier offering), but should be pretty interesting if you are - especially the bit about some US library school programes costing forty-five grand per year. It's a Library Journal article presenting some of the issues facing new library grads in the States. It constantly surprises me that people go straight from their first degree to Library School, without attempting to get any library work experience, and expect to get librarian jobs when they graduate.

Waiting for TelstraClear

reference-y stuff
The homework rush for Olympics information is dying down, thank goodness. I'm a bit sick of it already, and the actual games have only been going a couple of days. I did get a very obscure request for book on the "Orion mystery". At first, I didn't understand he meant the constellation, because he pronouncied it like "oree - in". So we started looking for astronomy books, and he waited until I'd led him over there before telling me he thought we should be looking for books on Egypt. I found the name of the book he was probably after - it's called "The Orion mystery" and we don't have it.

the waiting
Meanwhile, my boy has taken the day off work to wait for the cable guy to come by and set us up for Broadband. He was supposed to turn up "between 9.30 and 12.30", and this (rather generous) time span was confirmed twice over the phone and again in a message left on my voicemail. Confident that he'd be in the midst of it all when I phoned home at 12.15, I was a little annoyed (though not entirely surprised) to discover that the cable guy had still not turned up. I'm probably more annoyed that the boyfriend is though, since he gets a paid day off work.

Monday, August 16, 2004

selective memory

My mother rang up just before I went on the 'Net. There was a fruitless attempt at drawing me into conversation about the family, the batteries for her blood suger meter and whether I was dressing warmly enough for the weather, I told her I had to go and study.

She asked me what study I had to do. She seemed to have forgotten that I've been a part-time Library student since March. 'That's why I'm always so busy, Mum" I said ( but in Cantonese). She wondered out loud how I could fit in study when I'm always so busy. "Thats... why... I'm...always busy, Mum".

She's an old lady. She can forget whatever she likes.

Diversions

Nothing really interesting to report here: I'm more than halfway through Seven Seasons of Buffy and trying come to terms with reading negative criticism about Season 7. My headache went away but my tummy was dodgy. My assignment now looks like a strategic plan, but not a good one. It's been a freezing cold day with rain and wind, but at least I still have a roof.

Deadly Smurf. That's my Smurf name - what's yours?

The boy sent me this interesting (in more ways than one) report which he titled 'What happens when a librarian finds "naughty librarian" novels? They catalogue them ', found on memepool. But I warn you now... there is actual porn content. The funniest thing is that after each plot summary is a list of library stereotypes found and whether or not the library scenes were realistic...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

feeling peaky

Perhaps it's due to the start of hayfever season, and the galeforce winds. Yesterday I was feeling pretty blah, and by the time I left work to go home I was feeling actively sick (in that about-to-throw-up kind of way). Plus my head was hurting really badly (in a it's-hayfever-and-I've-forgotten-to-use-my-nasal-spray-several-days-in-a-row kind of way).

Perhaps hayfever season, lack of sleep and lack of perkiness medication have all coincided with that certain mix of hormone levels generally known as PMT, have combined to make me less than an angel of cheer.

Whatever...I was feeling bad last night, teary, hurt-y and spew-y. The boy convinced me to ring a Library person and tell them that I wasn't going to be able to make Saturday morning.

So I've spent most of today working on the assignment, and listening to the bands on the Buffy CD. I so love The Sundays' rendition of Wild Horses...

Friday, August 13, 2004

Deadlines and distractions

Only last night, I realised that I have only three more weeks to complete and hand in my assignment. This is bad, because by this time last trimester I would have already re-written my essay several times whereas this time around I've only typed up notes and put them under headings. I haven't yet decided what my strategic plan (which what the assignment is) is actually going to be.

To test my self-discipline further, three of the four items I ordered from Amazon have arrived. So while I slave over my studies, the shiny new covers of What would Buffy Do?, The Seven Season of Buffy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the album will beckon. And when The Simpsons and Philosophy turns up on my doorstep I'll be even more tempted to engage in procrastinating activities.

I don't know whether it's the weather or what, but I have slept pretty badly over the last few weeks. Even though the boy tells me that I slept through, I'm still tired and groggy in the mornings. Either it's affecting my attitude to work, or vice versa.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

philosophy right this second

Due to lack of motivation, I can't think of a single thing to write about tonight. I'm having one of those "why am I doing what I'm doing" days, and I can't answer this question convincingly.

So, as you do when you start questioning your life, I've been browsing through the questions and answers on Ask a Philosopher . Here's one of the more light-hearted entries:

10) Emran asked:
Why can we only use 10% of our brain?
============
Because the other 90% is for phrenology.
David Robjant

ho-hum

I just can't get motivated today. The most excited I've gotten so far is when, at 9.30, I realised that I'd forgotten to update the New Books page on the library website. It takes about half and hour (it's a labour-intensive process of cutting and pasting) and it had to be live in exactly half and hour.

I'm getting high-speed Internet access soon. It's a bit ironic that it takes so long to get through to the telecommunication company on the phone - but after four tries, I made it. System updates, firewall installations and anti-virus downloads, oh my!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

the smell of roast pork buns

Every Sunday for the last couple of months, my mum has been supplying me with a bag of her own roast pork buns, made from her own recipe. They're really nice and they're filling, which makes them perfect for lunches at work.

The smell of them is distinctly noticeable when they're reheating in the microwave oven. My workmates are getting so used to the smell that I've been pressured to shout them some on my birthday. My birthday isn't for another two months, so if I keep some in the freezer every week I should have enough by then. This means I won't have to ask my mother to make some especially. This is important, because my mother doesn't make her roast pork buns for just anyone; for months after she first knew about my boyfriend, she gave me only a few at a time and instructed me to eat them at work so that he'd be denied access to them.

I suppose this makes sense if the act of feeding someone is an expression of love, eh?

Tama sent me this Guardian review of Flight of the Concords. They are a really fab and funny duo, and Jermaine has been recognised in one of the LOTR movies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

first chaos, then music

I thought it was pretty good going getting the Mayor to agree to be our celebrity reader for this morning's nation-wide Library Week reading of Oh Hogwash, Sweetpea!'. He'd only had about three days notice, after all.

When a lanky, middle-aged woman came by to check out the children's library, I thought that was all she was doing - just ensuring that our guest-reader had a nice, soft chair to sit in. By the time the entire class of a local primary school had filed in to join the assortment of toddlers already there, I wondered where the hell he was.

Apparently he couldn't make it after all, so he'd sent his deputy.

Well, at least we had a copy of the book for her to read, which certainly wasn't true a mere half hour earlier. Why hadn't I thought to check whether our copy of Hogwash was still checked in at the library? It might have saved an emergency trip to Books'n'More with a scribbled purchase order.

These are the CD's I'm listening to now that I've remembered that I can play them through the CD drive:

Acid Jazz Classics - various
London Warsaw New York - Basia
Tuatara - A Flying Nun Compilation - various
Heart Shaped World - Chris Isaak
In Love With These Times (another Flying Nun compilation) - various
Mix - Stellar*
Lounge-a-palooza - various
Blue Lines - Massive Attack
Tourist - St Germaine

It's been quite a while since I last bought any CDs.

Monday, August 09, 2004

She's boredom incarnate...

No doubt in every class there is at least one person who will go on and on about something which isn't really relevant to the subject under discussion; when this person talks, intelligent people roll their eyes and gird their loins in preparation for lengthy and boring noise pollution.

The great thing about doing my class via distance is that nobody seems to like talking via the Internet conferencing facility. The lecturer talks; she has to. But most people will ask questions, or respond to hers, by typing in text instead. This means I have been spared utterly boring and wordy monologues of a particular distance student who shall remain nameless ('cos I'm nice, and I don't know how violent she is).

She prowls the MLIS discussion board, however. Every post she has written has been really verbose, to the point where my eyes glaze over after the first three or four words. I did try to understand what she was on about - the first time anyway. It's very impressive; the people I spoke to about it thought she must really know what it's all about. I reckon it's a fine example of communication at it's most perverse.

Dentist's time is tooth-hurty

It's been about two years since I last had a dental check-up; I'd been putting it off mostly because my usual dentist is not in the same city where I work. I've started getting those nagging "sensitive teeth" sensations lately though, so I can't put it off any longer. I suppose one more filling isn't going to make much difference to a mouth which is already full of 'em anyway (due to a flouride-less water supply in childhood, perhaps).

Cake
I wonder why, when I'm at the branch library all by myself on a quiet day, someone always walks in just when I've surreptitiously taken a bite out of my piece of cake? Maybe it's the secret dental police.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

an Ah Hah! moment (not the Eighties band)

There I was, with two mostly-empty CD cubby holes in my tw0-week-old computer desk and very few CD-ROMs to put in them. Why on earth did I not think of playing my music CD's from my computer? Not only can I have music whenever I study or surf, but I have built-in storage space for it.

Although I'm not sure that I'll be able to study when music's playing...

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Saturday is Retail Therapy Day

Not that I was feeling in need of any therapy; I was feeling perfectly okay this morning when I decided to walk into town and go shopping while my boy stayed home, sleeping off his hangover.

It's not often that I go all out and buy stuff without thinking really hard about it; I've always been that way. However, the boy is more of an impulse buyer and it's probably starting to rub off on me.

The sun was out, and I wanted to go for a walk. I also wanted to avoid my assignment for a little longer.

The first purchase was a queen-size electric blanket. How we survived for so long with a piddly little single-size one, plonked in the middle of the bed (with the resulting jostlings for prime position during the night), I really don't know. But now we'll have one which not only heats up the whole bed, it's got dual controls too - so I can sabotage his side of the bed when he pisses me off.

I also bought a fake-fur cushion. I've always wanted fake-fur cushions and a fake-fur throw - well, ever since I became aware of their existence anyway.

And clothes...I bought a nifty knitted, zipped cardigan in gothic black, a grey stretch pencil skirt which will look fab with my knee-high black boots, and a burgundy mohair-like sweater which comes with it's own nipple-hider i.e. a thin white singlet.

Back home, thirsty, foot-sore and a couple of hundred dollars lighter, I was able to do some study. But you know what makes a good study-break activity? Checking out the Amazon recommendations. I'll soon be expecting the arrival of The Simpsons and Philosophy, What would Buffy do?, The Seven Seasons of Buffy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer- the album.

I feel really good now.

Friday, August 06, 2004

It's not easy sitting by the public toilets

The library's public toilets are located just on the other side of our office, and exactly on the other side of a now-locked door from my workstation. Fortunately, I haven't yet had to listen to sleazy patrons having sex in there - perhaps they only do that when I'm on desk duty and too far away to hear.

Usually I just hear mums telling their toddlers to hurry up and wash their hands already, which is only very slightly amusing (though, thankfully, not at all disturbing).

Still on the subject of poo, it's been raining pretty steadily for the last couple of days and I'm actually quite pleased about it. Two days ago, I was driving around when I realised that I must've previously parked under a bird with diarhoea; there were splotches of bird shit all over the front and back windscreens, and the roof. The rain isn't going to wash it all off (and it certainly isn't going to offer a polish), but at least there'll be less of it by the time I get around to washing the acrid stuff off.

Still on droppings... every week I get one of my co-workers, who has little kids, to pick me out a picture book to read to a class of three-year olds on the library bus. I find that when the book has a toiletry theme the storytime goes down pretty well. Mind you, I probably laughed louder than any of them.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

the library bus must get through!

There's a Mobile Bus stop at the New World car park, and although a sign specifically asks that shoppers leave that spot vacant during a very specific period of time, most times I find that I can't park the bus in the designated spot due to someone ignoring it. All it takes is for one shopper to occupy one of the four spaces I need, and I'm stuffed.

The last time this happened, I couldn't get my co-worker to get off the bus and ask, very nicely, the offending driver/s to move as she'd decided to drive herself to the supermarket and meet me there.

So I parked the bus in the middle of the thoroughfare, opened the hydraulic door, and asked the drivers to move. They were really really nice about it, and moved immediately. By the time I was back in the driver's seat though, their spots had already been taken by newcomers.

It was going to be a nightmare; on that unseasonally warm day I was working up a sweat running around trying to keep a stream of ignorant shoppers from invading my rightful bus park.

(My co-worker turned up eventually so it ended well.)

Let's try that again...the importance of dress-ups

I so hate it when I lose all my hard blogging work just because Blogger’s having a fit, and I can’t save my stuff quickly as soon as I see the error message because of some dorky flaw in the software which doesn’t let me select and copy my words….

Anyway, where was I?
I have realised why my efforts to inspire enthusiasm for Library Week have come to nothing. It’s because there has been no suggestion of dressing up.

The women at my library (there are only two men and neither of them suffer from this affliction) really love to dress up. Events which are organised by the library are most popular and positively acted upon, are those which act as an excuse to wear glamourous, frivolous or weird clothing. It might be Halloween Storytime, a Harry Potter-themed float for the Christmas Parade, a pretend Night at the Oscars or a quiz night with prizes for best-dressed. I did suggest donning tweeds, spectacles and hair up in buns for Library Week, but no-one went for it. It may have been due to the lack of tart-potential.

Tonight, while I was studiously sitting in my MLIS audio-conference, straining to hear the lecturer’s advice about our first assignment, I caught glimpses of the quiz participants. They were be-jeweled, be-sequined, fish-netted, pan caked, and stiletto-ed as they shrieked, yelled and guffawed in and out of the workroom where I was stationed. Although I was might irritated by the noise pollution, I couldn’t really begrudge them their dress-up opportunity.
But I will know better next time I want to get them interested in something…

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The importance of dress-ups

Happiness is a well-drawn nude

I was quite sure yesterday that, since I hadn't done any drawing whatsoever for about five months, my first life-drawings would yield only crap drawings. To make it even harder, the model last night was a male (I find female bodies much easier to render).

Predictably, most of my drawings were crap. But maybe two were okay, not too embarrassing. It was also good to catch up with some of the people I knew from before - the ex-art student who's now working part-time so he can spend the rest of the time painting; the ex-hospitality professional who's now studying art part-time and enjoying non-hospitality hours; and Tama of course, who will be exhibiting some of his drawings next week at Olive Cafe.

It was two hours in which I was focussed on something other than how extremely busy I felt work-wise. It was very cool.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

naked people and Pacific-style karate

The prodigal life-drawer returns...
Tonight I'm going to life-drawing; it'll be the first time in about five months, so I'm expecting to produce rubbish drawings. I'm going because I don't have to work on Tuesday evenings any more and, though I won't be doing this on a regular basis due to my studies, it'll be nice to see the old crowd. I'm also doing it because I promised Tama I'd lend him our copy of Phillip Pullman's Northern Lights.

Tongan Ninja
We saw a really fun movie in the weekend, Tongan Ninja. It's the work of the two guys who make up the comedy duo Flight of the Concords, and is a really silly satire of seventies-style martial arts movies. It's a whole lot funnier than Kung Pow, which bored me silly - the only funny thing about Kung Pow was the title - but I suspect it'd be a whole lot less successful outside of NZ than Peter Jackson's home movie, Bad Taste (because it's very home-movie). It's fun because the acting is so bad it must be on purpose; because the cast includes people like Raybon Kan (the funniest Asian I know) and stars of local soap Shortland Street; because it's cool to see places you know really well on the big screen; and because Jermaine Clements could've been good in Zoolander.

Monday, August 02, 2004

When does one kick little boys out of the ladies changing room?

It was a struggle getting to the gym and back this morning, and still get to work on time by 11.30am. Thankfully my new work-out programme is more intense, but shorter.

Afterwards in the changing room, I was a little uncomfortable with the presence of a couple of boys there; they looked about eight or ten years old. The sight of them made me stop in my tracks, then turn around and undress in one of the cubicles instead of in the main communal area where I usually go.

I'm used to seeing mums bringing their little boys and girls with them - they are normally toddlers and I figure that if it's okay with the mother then it's okay with me. But I don't really want to share a changing room with boys who are much older. Especially these days, kids seem to become worldly at a much younger age than when I was a kid. If I'd seen them with their mother, it would've been almost okay - almost. Perhaps I'm being prudish - after all, when I was in Germany it seemed that everyone just changed in front of each other. But if it's a case of 'when in Rome', then surely in NZ that isn't what people do.

Needless to say I didn't go as far as confronting the boys, assuming that their mother was somewhere around (and also being a conflict-avoider).