I appear to have thwarted a book-thief all by myself last night.
Graduating seniors who work at the library are supposed to pick out a book to be put on display at the end of the year, with our photo and an explanation of why we think the book’s important. When they take it down, they put a little plate in it with our name and year of graduation. It’s kind of stupid, because they don’t let us pick out a book for the library to buy – we just choose one they already own – and nobody can check out the book we recommend while it’s on display.
But, yes. I decided to donate my copy of A, A’, by Hagio Moto for my book. I gave it to the woman in charge, let her take my picture, wrote my little tagline, and left.
That was a couple months ago, and it’s only in the past few days the books actually went up. So I have no recollection as to why “my” explanation of the manga’s import might read thusly:
A,A’ Prime: a Graphic Novel. It’s the only book by Moto Hagia, without whom, modern Manga, wouldn’t exist in English.
…I WILL KILL YOU SO HARD WOMAN ohhh this is character assassination.
Even if she can’t form a coherent sentence, she could at least have made the effort to spell the author’s name correctly.
My assumption is that she had a comma spasm and lost the meaning of the original sentence, which I guess was something like, “It’s the only book by Moto Hagio, without whom modern manga wouldn’t exist, available in English.”
I got my supervisor’s permission to make myself a new sign. I’ve got a fairly well-behaved version finished – it’s slightly snazzier than the original, with a less clashing color scheme and a better photo of me (that’s important, too!), which I think I deserve after having such words put in my mouth. But I’m still teetering on the edge of adding something horrible. I wonder if they’ll take it down if I use one of my Nekozawa Halloween photos. Or just a screenshot of Haruhi’s mom’s iei. Or a picture of Hunter S. Thompson.
Today Mercury came in to work extremely hung-over. (Her makeup was nonetheless perfect.) She told me this in between moaning and carefully sipping tea in a way that didn’t require her to move her head much, and asked me not to tell Supervisor 009 – but Guy Whose Last Name Is Sexual Slang For Something* had already told her somehow.
I guess he just came onto his shift, saw who was working later on, and then the conversation went something like this:
GWLNISSFS: Oh, man, Mercury consumed considerable quantities of alcohol last night! She is probably going to be extremely hung-over when she comes in to work. Ha ha!
009: (all quiet-like) Oh, really? Ha ha.
* I don’t have blog-nicknames worked out for everyone I know, you know.
So when she saw Mercury, 009 just smiled and said, all quiet-like, “So, are you a little bit hung-over today?” And in between moaning and drinking, Mercury desultorily cursed GWLNISSFS as a base traitor.
009 sent me on the walking-around jobs so Mercury could sit at the desk, and then, apparently when the moaning did not abate, sent Mercury home. I can’t complain since she did the same thing for me the time I’d stayed up most of the night trying to game the market value of a certain item in a certain MMO, which I imagine is a slightly darker shade of moral gray. 009 is probably way too nice.
As we all know, I am a sort of AI that constructs its methodology for communicating with others by manipulating apparently-significant phrases found in blocks of text. (I forget the term for this because it is not, apparently, significant.) If anyone ever asks me to define “anachronism,” Dinosaur Comics has given me the data necessary to proceed.
And this is what I’m going to say when someone patiently asks me to explain my brilliant literary projects.
“What’s she doing in a volcano behind enemy lines?”
It’s even true! For values of “character development” equal to “losing an eye”!
if ( whatsshedoing == “losing an eye” && A == “CLAMP” )
return TRUE; // we assume
(I accidentally posted this before completely typing out the incomplete test routine the first time. Then I rewrote it again a minute later. I apologize to those of you who were shocked and dismayed by all that.)
It is exactly zero degrees Fahrenheit outside.
When I got to the library for my midnight-to-two shift, I noticed that the inside of the bathroom window had a white coating around the edges. I poked it and left a fingerprint; it was frost. I’d never seen that before, and guessed the window must have been left open, and only been closed a few minutes before.
Later I went into the stacks to shelve. All the windows were frosted over – the condensation was freezing as it formed on the glass. The spot I’d melted in the bathroom window had frozen over again when I went to turn off the lights at closing.
I thought I was wearing my scarf today, but during lit I realized I’d actually picked up the piece of polartec fabric I’d bought to sew a bag out of. I can’t find my real scarf. I grant that the polartec’s warmer, but my throat’s still too sore for me to breathe out there without something shielding my mouth, and polartec isn’t exactly permeable. So I have been walking around all day in a partly-chopped-up polartec pseudo-scarf, with my hands over my mouth as though I am shocked and scandalized.
To round up the list of grievances, I’ve applied moisturizer four times in the past three hours, and have put some water boiling in my rice-cooker to act as a humidifier, because I can’t breathe very well in here, either. I hope it doesn’t break.
My shift Monday, a guy told my supervisor all about his gun collection – and the time, when he was on the police force, that he saw an old man sitting on a porch covered in blood – and then the old man’s wife (who had done it) stabbed him – and in the course of all this I think he might have admitted to falsifying evidence.
Today, the same guy came in in a rabbit costume and hopped around, and then talked for about forty-five minutes about his fondness for such suits, and which ones he was planning to wear at his first con this year. He said he really empathized with Bugs Bunny.
However. This is still almost the creepiest thing that happened tonight:
When your co-worker waits until the older authority figure is safely gone, and then drops the conversation he’s been having with you to ask, “Are you happy?”, and then makes a horrible, patronizing suggestion about your behavior to justify the question, he is about to do one of two things:
1) Make a pass at you.
2) Try to convert you.
As follow-ups to that question, both are equally creepy. When deciding whether it’s an appropriate time to witness to someone, I advise evangelists to consider whether they would come off as kind of a serial killer if they were, instead, to choose that moment to start hitting on the target. If the answer is “yes,” then don’t do it. These are both very personal things. Where you feel like it’d be creepy to intrude yourself, it’s equally creepy to intrude your goddamn religion.
The guy didn’t leave right away, so while he was there looking at my screen, I went on OhioLINK and requested some Tezuka manga. You know, Buddha and Faust, and this thing with “Satan” in the title. Did you guys know Tezuka did a version of Faust? He totally did. I told the guy it was definitely going to be awesome. I mean, look how awesome the Hitler manga was!
Edited a few times for delicacy or lack thereof
Cardcaptor Sakura probably fosters really unhealthy attitudes about honesty. There are all these scenes, particularly in the last couple volumes, of which the moral is basically, It’s okay to deceive your loved ones if you feel like it’s for their own good. Particularly if the loved one is Sakura. She will totally thank you for it – tears in her eyes, screentone with bubbles and flowers, the works.
Facetiousness continues, but with slight spoilers:
At work today, I needed to print out a little sign I’d made explaining to people how to use the new battery chargers. (I put Astro Boy’s happy face next to the “yes” diagram, and Astro Boy’s blank dead-batteries face next to the “no” diagram. I always encourage the anthropomorphication of technology, and thus also the violence that necessarily accompanies it.) They’ve been moving all the computers with the graphic design software around and turning their cables into Dadaism, so I couldn’t get at anything that could print right.
I ended up needing to go into a couple different locked offices, so for about twenty minutes I was running around with both of the supervisors’ key rings. I’m convinced that there’s going to be a corpse found in a locked room tomorrow morning.
Villainous types were using the kitchen at 6:30, so I decided to put my fish out to thaw and lie down while I waited for them to finish.
After a while, I noticed that it was kind of dark, and rolled over to look at the clock. It said 1:19 AM. I said, out loud, so as my inanimate objects would know, “I am some kind of genius.”
Whenever I do something stupid at work, I preface my explanation with, “Because I’m a genius.” (as in, “Because I’m a genius, I accidentally hit the print button just now,” or, “Because I’m a genius, I gave that girl bad directions.”) Today ILL Lord heard me saying this for the first time and laughed at me. I told her patiently, “I never do anything for non-genius reasons.” About forty-five seconds later, I ran into a piller.
Hahaha, my library-fu is strong! I will make a movie about the culmination of epic quest to get Hagio Moto stuff off ILL. The most memorable scene will be the one where I accept the frailty of my countrymen in not having translations readily available, and just order the stuff in Japanese. I will be in a rock garden in the rain, and have a very pretty sword.
(Apparently our ILL person spent more time with my requests for the Viz versions of A, A’ and They Were Eleven than on anyone else’s requests the couple weeks. She wants me to think that, anyway.)
I laughed at this book when I checked it in today. I am a bad person.
(I also stole this image from Amazon – hence the little copyright notices – so I’m a really bad person.)
Big and orange means severe, man! We’re not talking about fidgeting here, or talking too loud at parties or taking your pizza apart before you eat it – none of those minor behavior problems! We’re talking about throwing buildings at happy dogs and then exploding! SEVERE behavior problems!
Today’s (yesterday’s) methods by which I have amused/discomfited the masses while sleep-deprived and panicking for various good reasons:
Prof. Portentous: The question is, do I have the tests graded. The answer is, yes.
Me, “These-aren’t-the-droids-you’re-looking-for” voice: I don’t think you *really* have the tests graded.
Prof. Portentous: Oh, you don’t, do you. Do you think I should wait to give them out?
Me, continuing: In fact, I think the tests were lost in a… freak anteater accident…
Prof. Portentous: Yeah, pass those around, please.
Me, checking out a book with scary red eyes on the cover to Real-Tall-san: I’m laughing at your book… there’s too many books with scary eyes on the cover sitting back there, especially glowy red eyes…
Real-Tall-san, nervously: Heh heh…
Me: It’s what you put on books about terrorists or cryptography, there’s like laws about it –
Real-Tall-san, faintly offended: Okay, so next time I’ll –
Me: You should be more careful!
Me, answering the phone: Library Circulation, may I help you?
Person on line: [stuff my co-worker couldn’t hear]
Co-worker: *looks up at me very slowly*
The girl on the line had been asking about a video titled “Jesus,” of which we had three. Since she’d called on the phone rather than checking the online catalog, naturally she could not identify which of them she wanted, and naturally each was in a slightly different state of availability.
Doing the headcount is annoying. There’s something about a student worker walking around with a clipboard that makes college students think they’re being written by Arthur Miller – there are always suspicious looks, and on weekday evenings, at least one person giving me a hostile, openly defiant look until I get off her turf. (It’s mostly girls who do this, for some reason. There is one guy who’s always in the stacks, always closes his book when he sees me, and having learned to recognize me as a library employee, now glares whenever he runs into me anywhere on campus. I have this self-destructive impulse to order him to Respect My Authori-tay.)
I don’t know what these people think I’m doing – I can’t decide if it would calm them down or make it worse if I started, say, pointing with my pencil while I’m counting, to make it obvious what’s going on. Maybe they think we go around looking for people who are eating – which actually *isn’t* against the rules – or who have cell phones out – which is, but mostly isn’t enforced, since it’s a general campus-wide thing that no one ever turns their phone off, and we’d never have time for actual work – breathe and think tea thoughts. Or maybe they think we’re looking to see who’s making a mess, since the ones who have laid out a perimeter of paper wads and Red Bull cans usually get the weirdest. If they’re so worried about being called on that, perhaps they ought give ease to their tortured consciences, and clean up after themselves.
(By the way – people who leave food in out-of-the-way corners of the stacks? I know God (she’s in my KoL guild, likes to play as a Disco Bandit) and she told me last week, you’re going straight to hell. You don’t even get to hang with Charon, they send a guy around with a *truck*. Take you right down to the cold place with that big head.)
I’ve seen one of the supervisors doing the count, and people actually didn’t react as badly to her as they do to the student workers. (I think I’m extra-sensitive to this, but it’s not just me that sets them off. No one pays attention when I’ve got a truckful of books, it’s the clipboard that makes them antsy.) I guess it’s because the supervisors are older and seem more like legitimate authority figures, the kind of people who have the *right* to carry a clipboard around and look at you. What would give me that right? A name tag? A lanyard with some keys? – no, half of everyone has a lanyard at this school, they’re like sleep disorders. What if I wore a lab coat, and held, um, held some *medication*? What would a psych student doing a behavior study carry around, flash cards or something?
I don’t think it really bothers me, but every time I see someone trying to hide from the clipboard, I just want to confirm all their darkest fears – ask the guy holding the Little Red Book if I can “please see some ID,” or tell someone to lift their feet like I want to pick up some garbage under their chair, then examine the soles of their shoes and explain in a grim cop-show voice that we’re still looking for the soda-spill perp. Walk past someone, stop abruptly and turn around to look at them again, look down at the clipboard, look up one more time to be *totally sure*, then hurry out. And one of the turf warrior girls would chase after me shouting out her inchoate suspicions about the Patriot Act and smoking bans, and there’d be a tense confrontation, and I’d get fired when six or seven people showed up the next day with signs protesting the new library policy against bangs.
One day, I will doubtless become so amused by airport security that I end up at the bottom of a dogpile. I apologize in advance to those in line behind me.
Maybe I’ll make a nametag that says “Attacked Mystification P.D.”
I just spent three and a half hours pulling books. I think I’m gonna die. At one point this baby was crying at me because a buzzard was trying to haul it away and I was all like, “Unnnh baby just wait like five seconds I’ve ALMOST found the right government document here,” but they were both gone when I looked up.
I am eating a bag of rolls and half a candy bar rather than going to dinner.
I was up in the stacks shelving earlier, and one of the books was called Great First Lines. I opened it to a random page to stick my culprit-slip in, and it said, “Call me Ishmael.”
I said, “Well, fuck you, too.”
My head hurts and the fan is too noisy, and I’m feeling kind of resentful at the world in general. I am pretty sure that my Comm book’s unattractive orange color is deliberate and aggressive. The dorm’s dryer burnt the shirts I just bought this morning. On purpose.
I’ll show you, objects. I’ll show you all.