Monday, April 12, 2010


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

"We've Used Half A Moon, Uselessly Happily" -KJS

Karl is dead and our lives will be better for it. Not because he was a terrible person, he was profoundly good. He was an incredible person who knew how to live his life like every day mattered and it did.

He was 41 when his heart inexplicably stopped. Julie, his wife, wondered aloud, "How can he be dead when he was so full of life?" There is no good answer, there never is, and all the platitudes in the world won't make it feel better.

A few days before his death Karl underlined, "Yogis know death is the zest in the sauce of life." Death is a hard lesson. It seems profane in the face of death to talk about living but the man was a master teacher to the end and the lesson that keeps vibrating through my soul is to live. Goodbye Karl we love you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Band Books

"This book is inappropriate for my daughter. She's just a child! This is becoming a problem."

The offensive book was thrust under my nose with righteous indignation. On the cover was a cat with a magic wand. I think it was titled, "Miss Kitty Learns to Spell." Alright, I made up the title but it's not too far off. I was gearing myself up for something climactic like Sex by Madonna in all it's coffee table size grandeur.
"Ah, I see. Unfortunately, we don't have limitations on our library cards. But you, as her parent, can check her account online with the pin you set up. You, as her parent, can screen materials when they come into your home. You, as her parent, can have a frank and honest discussion about why you feel the material is inappropriate and if she refuses to see reason, ground her ass. Or you, as her parent, can take away her library card.
None of those options is agreeable? You'd like to speak with the manager? I'll see if Mr. B is in. You've already spoken with him about limiting everyone else's access to materials? He didn't agree? Strange."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Crashing Through by Robert Kurson

The writing wasn't great but the subject was inspiring. Mike May played soccer, tether ball, rode a bike, (indulge me) built a ham radio tower in his backyard, drove a car, downhill speed skier, worked for the FBI, father, entrepreneur. Oh, and blind from 3 to 43. I walked away with his 4 simple rules.

1. Have an adventure
2. Speak to your curiosity
3. Be willing to fall down or get lost
4. There's always a way

My daughter asked me what my scariest experience was and it got me thinking. Surprisingly, there aren't many. The one that came to mind I won't share with her.

I don't consider myself a particularly brave person. I don't have a black belt in martial arts or a freakish ability to heal but with a little distance, there's not a lot to fear. True fear? usually only when it involves someone I love. This whole concept was new to me. Careful, pragmatic that's me. I'm left to wonder when did the fear creep into my life disguised as care and why? go out and live a little, what's the worst that can happen? or better yet what's the best that can happen? In the inimitable words of Oingo Boingo, "there's nothing to fear but fear itself."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Speaking Whale

Mumbles called. She wanted to know if her hold for Wicked was on the shelf.
"No hold for Wicked, but I do have The Man Who Loved China."
"That's it. I'll be in to pick it up later."

Pause here. At this point, I'm a bit puzzled. There are no similarities between the two books. None. Okay, I exaggerate- both authors are male.
But The Man Who Loved China was indeed what she called about.

My initial thought was perhaps she needs to be evaluated for Alzheimers. Then a flash of insight. I speak this language- fluently. I have a touch of the absent minded professor about me. Maybe that's too grand. Okay, I'm Dory from Finding Nemo.

I embrace speaking whale and the golden rule because someday? that will be me, calling about The Man Who Found Nemo and I'd appreciate a little respect.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Phone Tag

"Um, its 11:15 and um, I know the library is open. So, I don't know why no one is answering the phone. Um, so, my name is Mnnayan (unintelligible muttering) Reynolds and um, I need you to renew my book The Witches Something, Something, Something. and um, if someone could take care of this and let me know that it's been taken care of um, my number is 555-555-5555."

Yep, oh goody. Mumbling, vague, dissatisfied patron. Library card number? I don't think so. Hmm, nice. Let's see here, Witches Something, Something, Something. Zipp-o. A name search? Reynolds not unique by any stretch. My last, best bet panned out. Phone number. Now for that item... nope not Witches Something, Something at all. Wicked.

I returned her call fifteen minutes later. "You've reached the offices of Unintelligible Reynolds. I'm not able to take your call right now but..." There is a lovely symmetry to it. I left a message of my own.
"Um, so my name is Jenny from the library? and um, I just got your message fifteen minutes ago? I thought someone would be there to take my call but um, anyway...I guess I'll just leave a message and hope someone gets it? and um, tell you Wicked is now renewed."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Miss Nelson is Missing

A co-worker went missing. She was gone for about a month. A card was sent around. I hate those stupid cards. We don't know where she is or what is going on in her life but someone has to trot out THE card.
The type of card you buy in bulk with bad floral watercolor and cheesy, cliche sentiments. This one said "Thinking of you". The card was placed in my box and had already made the rounds. Most people wrote, "miss you" and "come back soon". For all I know, she won the lotto and is cruising in the Mediterranean. I had two choices, don't sign the card and be the lone jerk who didn't even have the decency to sign a card or be a lemming and sign the card with suitably vague tag line.
I signed the card but I sure wish I'd known she had cancer and a hysterectomy.