Monday, 23 May 2011

Lady Gaga, Librarian?

Thank you, Lady Gaga for explaining why I am peculiarly suited to library work: I, too, live between fantasy and reality.

You can read the full quote from her in the Sun newspaper if you really want to.

Librarians have not all reacted positively to the comment. 'Annoyed Librarian' on lists 5 reasons why lady Gaga could never be a librarian. Ironically her list actually manages to be insulting to librarians on many levels. Amongst the reasons (along with stuff about not filing things properly!): she's young and thin, she's fashionable and she's rich and famous at an age when 'most librarians are still failing in their first career.') And of course, according to some her image was created by copying a librarian!

As I am not especially young, thin or (whisper it) fashionable, and have... not necessarily failed at, I'd call it 'moved on from' ...various other careers, I can hardly quibble. But I'm not a librarian anyway - I'm a library assistant - so I cannot speak on their behalf.

I'm sure you can think of other reasons Lady Gaga is nothing like a librarian, but I've got one for the list: Those heels! She wouldn't last five minutes.

Oh, and I found this on YouTube... enjoy!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Jam today!

The other day I left you with one of life's essential dilemmas (especially with the world ending on Saturday): Jam today or jam tomorrow?

Jam tomorrow - planting seeds and stocking up on jam jars (i.e developing skills, toiling and saving for a comfortable retirement)

Jam today - eating jam (enjoying the moment, not worrying about ending up with sticky fingers)

And I asked the question: would the possibility of the world ending this Saturday make you more of a 'jam today' sort of person?

I was frankly a bit disappointed with your answers, which varied from falling back on the old comforts of chocolate:

"I'd be stuffing myself brainless with chocolate, buns and custard" said Fran over at Being Me... and I'm not sure she can be trusted to read the packaging correctly - see her very funny latest post.

or just worrying about how it will all end:

"Will there be giant locusts, brimstone, cyborgs, earthquakes,etc?" asked MsCaroline at Asia Vu.

Clare (and Gary) claim they will be industrious: making jam or finishing home projects. My home projects leave things in much the same state as the apolcalypse!

Only Dave has the sense to go on a spree: "I'm busy spending my life savings now. I've just bought Wirral Library Service. I'm going to turn them into jam shops." I suspect that's his newly diagnosed diabetes kicking in.

So here's the Top 10 things I'm going to stop doing if the world is about to end:

  1. weeding
  2. worrying about unfinished projects
  3. going to the gym
  4. filing things into alphabetical order
  5. working at the library
  6. housework
  7. writing, also blogging
  8. spending time with people I don't like
  9. 'to do' lists
  10. Top 10 lists... doh!

And here's my Top 10 things I'd do if I knew the world was about to end:

  1. draw out my life savings and splash it around a bit
  2. eat 'tasting menus' at really fancy restaurants
  3. listen to my favourite music very loud
  4. tell people how I feel about them
  5. talking of splashing - go skinny dipping
  6. do a parachute jump or sky dive
  7. have a splendid party
  8. act upon impulses, without fear of repercussions, like...
  9. random hugging and snogging, or...
  10. ...put on a green hat and go on a bus ride!

In fact... I'm starting to notice my Top 10 list is rather hedonistic and self-indulgent - a sort of 'to do' list of some of my favourite deadly sins, so I'll probably be one of the first to be smited (smote? smitten?) down.

See you in Hell!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Tweets from the ex

I was very disappointed to learn that my ex-husband has stood down from being an independent councillor in his current home town (not Wirral).

I was looking forward to the possibilities, as he rose in politics, to cause him some future embarrassment after he (perhaps foolishly) started following me on Twitter a while ago - as discussed in my 'Look Who's Stalking' post. I followed him back - without ever directly communicating - and watched... and waited.

I can't explain how I came to marry someone who couldn't spell and had really dodgy syntax, but I've been enjoying his tweets. Here are some of my favourites:

@___MP Hope this is the petition at M__, my wife works in W___ Rd in a sandwich shop and it puts people off their food and worse.

(Has she tried a paper bag?)

Pleased to see the move to have dead animal carcasses moved in sealed containers. Would certainly help people of M___.

Can't believe what I am seeing two old chaps standing on the A50 smoking just prior to Stanley Mathews Way. Unbelievable

(What will these people do next?)

We had another meeting meeting this afternoon at the (cont)

(Those 'meeting' meetings are the worst... wonder if they had a pre-meeting meeting meeting?_

More ASB issues in O____ last night fruit thrown at residents windows some names have been given.

(apple... orange... kumquat)

Not yet set in stone but a proposal to save 30 million may include loosing 700 jobs within the council from across directorates.

(release the jobs!!)

Had tea now going to spend some time with little man and have a game of SWAT on PS2. Prior to reading full Council papers again for tomorrow

(this probably isn't funny to anyone else, but when I was growing up 'little man' was what my mum called by brother's willy)

Anyway, following his tweets, I did learn something - maybe. Either he is still the consummate self-publicist, instinctively using new social media to appear to be a pillar of the community, a champion of the rights of young people and local residents, indeed a low-level superhero to the people... or he actually is all of those things. I'd like to believe the latter. It's possible.

See also: Another Anniversary

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

One Year as a Library Assistant

Shhh... I've been working in the library for a year yesterday!! (My boss said: 'It feels like longer!' ... That's good, right?)

I feel like I'm really getting the hang of this. I have survived the biscuit embargo, and am 'professional-looking' enough to convince an innocent borrower that there is a sequel to Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath called The Pomegranates of Despair.

I haven't quite mastered the art of spotting who will appreciate my 'humour'. A man brought in a bunch of books about archery and wasn't amused when I asked him if they'd 'left him all a-quiver'. Some fall on stony ground.

But another time, a lady asked if we had any books on mind-reading. When I said: 'I knew you were going to say!' that she laughed like a loon.

So, here are 10 important lessons I have learned:

  1. First of all, we learned (alright... made up) lots of songs about librarians

  2. That you... yes YOU... are called 'borrowers'

  3. That technological wizardry is not as wide-spread as we supposed * and most library assistants are strangers to the spreadsheet

  4. That there tends to be a 1980's attitude to tea breaks (good!) and health and safety* ... nobody comes running at you with an accident form if you try and remove staples from a wooden board with a tin opener.

  5. That I'm not the only person who borrows guide books and takes them on holiday with me

  6. That you don't want to go to 'the scary branch' during a visit from the local primary school

  7. Useful general life lessons like: What to do if kidnapped by a comic beat poet or What to do if a dog eats your library book

  8. Oh and lots of stuff about books and authors and the basics of the Dewey decimal system... which I am starting to incorporate at home

  9. That libraries really, really do have an invaluable place in the community - lots of really useful services used and much-appreciated by lots of different kinds of people... and the last bastion of no-catches FREE stuff!

  10. That there are still people who never go to their library, who come in grudgingly to use the photocopier or one of the computers in an emergency or join 'to support libraries in principle' and are astonished at the range and quality of our books, DVDs and facilities... and, indeed, jokes... or is that just me?

Go on - visit your local library this week to help me celebrate!

* Sweeping generalisations based on limited research

Saturday, 7 May 2011

I've been framed!

In my early teens, having wondered for years why teachers didn't write more clearly and buses didn't have bigger numbers on the front, I discovered I was shortsighted. It was a revelation to discover that the world wasn't as fuzzy as I'd first thought!

So I've worn glasses for about 100 years and think nothing of it. (Or I didn't until I made this collage of pics from my life for my 40th and the ONLY thing people commented on* was the SIZE of my specs in the 80's!!)

Here's me looking very trendy as the decade commences...

But here are the ones that everyone finds hysterical,

but which were BIG in the eighties...

It was the fashion - honest!

I wasn't trying to make a spectacle of myself.

Then a more chic, neutral tone for these whoppers...

But then along came the nineties, and I opted

for a more retro John Lennon look...


(see what I did there?... my jokes just get cornea!)

I wore them for much of the nineties when I couldn't afford new ones.

But then I went for smaller - still trendy - frames - like these...

... and also the ones you see in my profile pic

and various permutations of the same.

No-one could take offence at them surely?


Then when I started working in PR I went a bit 'whacky'

-it was in the contract... and there was a 'two for one offer'

so I got these stripy reactalight little beasties:

and the mad lattice red ones which I loved at the time

but then regretted... for the last 3 years!

which makes it odd

that I have chosen new ones

that actually aren't a million miles away...

... apart from being...


... a bit leopard skinny as well

...with a sort of buckle.

I'm not 'selling' them very well am I?

Here goes:

Whaddya think?

* Apart from the really dodgy hairstyles which I have cunningly edited out here!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Bad Gigs

I was going to post this last week, but I didn't want to put anyone (you know who you are!) off their first big performance...

Just when things are going well and you've had a short run of well-received performances and are starting to feel jolly pleased with yourself... comes the Bad Gig. And, confidence being more of a stalactite than a permanent structure - growing slowly from the drip of many layers - it all comes crashing down around you again.

I was invited to a Poetry Night I hadn't been to before. The other guests turned out to be especially 'poetic' - lyrical, composed, and in possession of slim volumes of their work published by reputable presses.

Now I do do that sort of poem, as you know. But last time I was at this venue (different night run by the same people) the comedy stuff went down great and the organisers seemed to want that.

But as I listened to the 'proper' poets I began to feel uncomfortable about my own work. I mentally rearranged my set to include some more 'clever' poems. But during the break, an acquaintance claimed to be desperate for humour, so I started rearranging it back to funny, thus ending up with an awkward mix of the two - which can work well, but just... didn't.

I don't like spotlights - I like venues where you can see your audience, make eye contact with them. When I can't see them, I'm like a bunny in the headlights.

So here are a few tips for gigs... to stop them being BAD:

  • Suss out your fellow guests. Do you really want to be the one who lowers the tone?
  • Beware of being 'the grand finale' when the audience is numbed already into a strokey-beard seriousness
  • Sometimes a small audience that has been required to be serious may be embarrassed to laugh
  • Avoid 'funny' at poetry events where no-one claps 'til the end of your set - the absence of applause will create a black hole which will sap your 'special' energy
  • Don't attempt your bestiality poem* in a royal wedding context unless you are sure the audience is with you (I thought it'd be perfect, combining as it does a disrespect for royalty and skepticism about romantic relationships generally)
  • Go home, go to bed, stay there. What are you even thinking of?

* Which I did post a while ago but removed because I submitted it for publication... and it's been accepted so it can't be that bad. Remember? The frog-kissing that got out of hand?

We should have told her then (perhaps in verse )
that beasts don’t change to men – quite the reverse.