Sometime in the not-so-distant past someone made a snide and off-handed remark about how easy and boring my job must be and then went on to ask how I could keep from becoming brain-dead after so long working in a library, going so far as to suggest that librarian’s salaries are a waste of tax dollars.

I have a fun job and a great boss. Some parts of it can be very tedious, but it’s never the same two days in a row. It also requires critical thinking, diplomacy, and social skills – it’s not mindlessly sitting at a desk staring into space or reading a book all day. I’ve had the job for ten years now and there’s always something new to learn. Could I do with fewer meetings? Sure, who couldn’t?

I kept trying to say as much, but the person said, “Yeah, right,” in a really snide way each time. I don’t like the person so I blew it off, but it pissed me off all over again this morning when a coworker was talking about her intense dread over going home for the holidays because her family is incredibly shallow and only values money, brand names, consumer goods. A group of us tried to cheer her up, pointing out how their constant sneering at her job and inability to form opinions on other people based on anything other than the brands they wear is a pretty pathetic form of arrested development and she should view her time with them as an important cautionary tale, or maybe a reminder of why she lives far away.

But I’m about to digress into a generalized tirade about rude, materialistic and judgmental people, when the original post was supposed to be about, oh, wait, rude, materialistic and judgmental people.

So yeah, I get it that there are people who don’t respect the choices of anyone other than themselves. They don’t understand I have actual responsibilities and a staff to supervise. I have a lot of flexibility – but I also have to work early, late and on weekends. I got 2 free college degrees courtesy of this job and I have no student loan debt. I get loads of vacation and I can have lunch or coffee with Husband every single day if I want to. I work with some annoying people, but I also work with some of the greatest people in the world.

Plus, my office is cold and dark, except when it’s really hot. Wait, why is that a good thing? I don’t think it is so I better quit while I’m ahead.

What I’m saying is, happy holidays and don’t let your family drive you insane. Instead of taking the bait, try this: paste a Mona Lisa smile on your face and just stare intently at them no matter what they say to you.

Reply, “How very interesting,” or “How so?” whenever a response seems to be required. Repeated often enough, these phrases will eventually fill them with self-doubt and discomfort and hopefully they’ll go annoy someone else.

You could also get a jump-start on the New Year’s Resolutionaries at the gym and go burn off that aggression in a way that won’t land you in jail.

Alternately, you could end every sentence with, “…as it is written” while carrying around a copy of Dianetics or some other such tome that spooks your family.

Any one of these approaches should buy you peace and quiet in no time.

Merry Christmas!

One of my coworkers said, with his usual impish grin, “These are for your Husband, so don’t eat them.”

Then he handed me a package of Mexican Spice Flavored Worms.

I assured him I could resist the temptation to snack on them and would make sure that they reached Husband un-opened.

Having said that, curiosity is getting the best of us. He’s given them to a number of people here and we may have to break open a package of the Chedder Cheese flavored worms and try them out.

I love the ingredients list. “Insect Larva, Seasoning.” And only 9 calories per serving (1.4 grams).

Here’s a link to the Food Insects website, a cooperative project with the University of Wisonconsin-Madison. I’m disappointed that they still haven’t published the piece on the nutrient content of the House Cricket, Acheta domesticus, but they do have A Concise Summary of the General Nutritional Value of Insects.

I’m more convinced than ever that this Microsoft Bob thing is an elaborate hoax. Microsoft wants us to think they are powerful enough to have wiped our memories, so we will fear them. It’s an elaborate conspiracy, a vast sleight of hand designed to make us believe that they possess vast and unimaginable technology to induce selective amnesia a la Men in Black.

Or maybe I’m just paranoid and we should move right along to this story in today’s Washington Post. (Don’t let Boris read this one, Faith).

“Pinched Pug Retrieved by Alexandria Police: Molly Is Safely Home After Being Snatched From Her Dog Sitter’s SUV; Suspect Charged”. And they all lived happily ever after. Except for the poor cop who solved the case, because other cops are going to be calling him “Ace Ventura” until the day he dies, and I bet it’s going to get very old very fast.

editor’s note: So many of the links in this post were dead and taking forever to relink that I just stripped them all out for now

World-famous blogger Mike/Cooties has started a repository of Nigerian bank-scam spam (say that 5 times fast). It’s an interesting catalog of the variations he’s received. Thanks to Mike, I was reminded that Sandee has had her reconstructive breast surgery. It appears she’s recovering nicely. Go send some good thoughts her way, won’t you?

Eve has posted the saga of the demon wallpaper that I mentioned last week.

KD reminds us all that there are things far, far scarier than wallpaper in the world…namely a Jerry Springer opera. We have to get Faith to London to give us a full critique.

Katherine moved her journal to Not a Damsel and Sarah closed and re-emerged at creative-juices. It appears that the Ratbastard wasn’t actually abducted by aliens. According to MommaBastard and his beloved Michelle he’s just busy. No excuse, I shall continue to sulk until he returns.

Empty-handed has a hilarious description of a Spanish-language gameshow called “War of the Sexes” that has me scrambling through the Telemundo program guide to find out if it’s on here.

I’m deeply worried about xkot, who not only wore black socks and Birkenstocks out of his house but copped to it in his blog. Xkot led me back to Stacey, which was cool because I’d missed his story about barking at kids, which amused me greatly.

It was back to sad, however, when I saw the ain’t it cool news headline announcing the death of Rocky and Bullwinkle animation supervisor William “Tex” Henson. Henson also oversaw Underdog, which was one of my favorite cartoons. There’s not a lot of Underdog information on the web. ToonTracker has some and I found a rather disturbing quantity of Underdog fan fiction that someone wrote while heavily medicated.

Samer is off on his annual world tour. He just dropped me a note from Amsterdam to let me know that he couldn’t access my site.

I’m blocked for sex. At a cybercafe in Amsterdam.

I’ll post an update when Samer updates his page, there’ll be lots of cool pictures (although he’ll be hard-pressed to top his in/famous whale penis photo). He said he’s post an update when he gets to London next week.

I have to take back every mean thought I’ve had about the Carolina Inn in the last year. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic place to stay (as well it should be, it’s a bit expensive) and I highly recommend it, but there’s been something odd going on.

The problem has been that since I wrote about our rather strange stay at the Inn last year for our anniversary, I’ve been getting random emails every couple of months from people explaining it’s haunted.

Sure. Fine. Whatever.

I think alcohol consumption by the idle rich (explaining the sounds of breaking glass at all hours and the bottles of very expensive champagne on the room service trays in the mornings) and an extremely attentive staff (explaining the constant appearance of clean sheets and towels 4 or 5 times a day) could also explain the oddities of the place. But what do I know?

What’s odd is that these messages almost always mention the exact room number of the room we stayed in, or, in the case of two of the messages, the room next door. The messages come months apart so I always vow to send the Inn a nastygram about this and then forget again. I just keep assuming it’s a practical joke being played by student employees doing things they shouldn’t with guest records.

It seems I was wrong. I had no idea how well-known the Inn was as a haunted structure until I saw a mention in the Washington Post two weeks ago followed by a message the next day clearing everything up. [dead link]

Coincidence? You decide!

This may just explain everything. [dead link, replaced by this one in 2011]

Or not. But in the spirit of Halloween I thought I’d post it anyway.

I have a long rambling post about compulsory licensing of music in the digital environment, but I figured if it was boring to me it was boring to everyone. So instead I began spinning elaborate conspiracy theories revolving around the appearance of the giant eagles in Alaska and the earthquake, but I’m too tired to explain them. Just trust me, I have an elaborate conspiracy theory. It involves eagles with 20 foot wingspans creating catastrophic geologic events. And Canadians. Because there are always Canadians in my conspiracy theories.

I have more links about Steller’s Sea Eagles but they’ll have to wait as they’re on the other computer and I really need to finish my work and eat dinner sometime before midnight. I’m a delicate flower you know and I do need my beauty sleep.

Before I go, I should remind you to watch out for odd occurances like raining frogs and shooting stars. The Bat and I are back in the same geographic area for a few days.

And yes, we do plan to gossip about him, and no, I won’t be repeating any of it so don’t bother asking.

I’m confused. Is CSI: Miami supposed to be a parody of CSI? Not that CSI isn’t already a bit of a parody of itself. Maybe I’m the only one not in on this little joke.

There are definately times when I don’t regret having much time to watch TV.

On an unrelated note, why is anyone surprised that someone is selling t-shirts that say “Virginia is for snipers” – did we not see this coming? T-shirt’s message: one strong opinion (from the Richmond Times-Dispatch)

A sign on the rack reads:

“Our sniper T-shirt will show the world what you think. Don’t be a hostage to fear; pump gas, shop, and do what you want – the odds are on your side. (And, if you do happen to be the unlucky person in his scope, our shirt will encourage a less dangerous body hit – instead of his preferred head shot.)”

It’s not a very long article, but worth reading in it’s entirety if only to reassure you that the human race is every bit as stupid as you’ve always suspected.

I believe that this is my favorite part:

“That little play on ‘Virginia is for Lovers,’ that’s what catches people’s eye,” Lindberg said. “It sounds a little more positive toward the sniper than I had intended, but it was so catchy I just went with it.”

I’m not sure what this guy was thinking, but even more so I’m not sure what the people who bought the shirts were thinking.

Jesusmaryandjoseph how I miss the snakefish. Remember way back when, when all we had to worry about was being flayed and devoured alive by mutant snakehead fish?

Those were happier times, weren’t they?

Incidentally, I heard on the news the other day that thanks to the sniper we’ve all lost our innocence.

(this is a restored post so the comments appear as text at the end of the post)

Last night we headed over to Politics and Prose for the Found Magazine event.

On the way to the store we passed by work. Watching people in tuxes and sparkly dresses making their way to campus I joked to Husband that we were missing the Alumni weekend hooha. That’s when it hit me.

Tonight is my 10 year college reunion.

So we continued over to to Politics and Prose, but now I was sort of twitchy and freaked out. As soon as we got there, Davy, the king of Found, handed me a found photo album and I got sucked into the surreal experience of looking at a photo album full of pictures from a year in the life of total strangers. Lots and lots of 80s hair.

Davy is as much fun as his magazine, and gave wonderful dramatic readings of found notes both funny and sad.

Truly, you haven’t lived until you’ve been in a room full of people chanting wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle on the flo’.* If you haven’t heard the Ypsilante All-stars on the Found site (or at our house) you must scurry on over, listen to the samples, and buy the CD.

Check the schedule while you’re at the Found site and if they’re going to be in your town you simply must go. It’s truly a good time. I promise you. And while you’re at the site, subscribe to Found. You won’t regret it.

As an added bonus (as if laughing so hard I was crying wasn’t enough), I won a pack of People Cards and got myself a groovy Found sweatshirt, too. I’m just too cool for words, yes?

*note to NPR snobs: as heard on this American Life, so it’s okay, you can go listen.

ok. so let me ramble a bit about that whole reunion thing now…

Honestly, for a few minutes I regretted not going to the reunion. I think I’m in touch with most if not everyone I wish to be in touch with (and truth be told I didn’t actually graduate until ’94 so it’s slightly confusing). I think I wanted to go stare at it, kind of like a car wreck.
Husband and I were laughing about the usual reunion chatter, “Wow, look how much the place has changed since we left.” What would we say? We’re there every day. “Wow, look how much the place has changed since we left….yesterday.”

While I was twitching about this whole reunion thing we continued on our merry way. We happened to drive past the Albemarle house, the site of many many parties way back when.

Except it was gone.

Somebody stole the Albemarle house. According to the sign it’s being replaced with swanky condos. The house was probably about to collapse anyway, but it was odd that I was oblivious to the destruction of that whole block.

I think I could have handled the realization about the reunion or the destruction of that house, but both at once? Eek. (I realize that this house thing probably makes zero sense to anyone reading except Greg, but just trust me – it was a disconcerting sight).

Tearing that house down may have had nothing to do with greed or development. It might simply have been the last resort, the only way to stop the steady influx of deadheads and phish-followers and other assorted free spirits who’d been passing along the address on the road for years as a place to crash. Hope one of those million dollar condos doesn’t get assigned the same house number…

Posted by skarlet at October 20, 2002 08:00 AM | TrackBack
Whoa Nellie. I graduated from GW in 93. I remember the Albemarle house. It has to be the same since I remember the other households in that area as being a bit stodgy. I was totally crushed on a guy named Jeff who lived there. Does that ring any bells? I hadn’t thought about those parties in years. They tore it down? That sucks. I’d like to be there when the first Heads knock on the door looking for a place to crash. The people who move in there are going to need some form of anti-hippie deterent system. Now I have to click that link and see if I know Greg I guess.

Posted by: Liz at October 20, 2002 12:09 PM
Got your email Liz. Made me laugh. I wrote you back so I won’t blather here.

I’m laughing at what a hippie deterent system might look like.

Posted by: skarlet at October 20, 2002 01:28 PM

Posted by: Linkmeister at October 20, 2002 07:47 PM
Old jokes…
Q: How do you know when deadheads have been staying with you?
A: They’re still there.

Q: Where do you hide things from deadheads?
A: Under the soap

Posted by: scully at October 22, 2002 11:03 AM

Posted by: skarlet at October 22, 2002 12:18 PM
Hey, what’s wrong with tuning into WAMU?

Posted by: Hagan at October 24, 2002 05:34 PM

Posted by: princess at February 15, 2003 02:26 PM