Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pretentious Gits; Or, I Myself Am a Petty Git

Last night while I was working at the reference desk, a patron who vaguely resembled Margaret Dumont from the old Marx Brothers movies came in and asked, first, if we had a dvd of some PBS version of the musical Les Misérables. I searched the catalog and told her that, although we had a couple copies of the 1935 movie starring Fredric March and numerous editions of the Victor Hugo novel and we even had a 1934 French film version starring Teh Fredric March of France, Harry Baur1, we did not have the particular item she was looking for.

 HUBBA!1! Call me a whoo-wer, but I would TOTALLY hit that. WAY before I would resort to screwing my shoes2.

She kinda rolled her eyes at this, as if to say Typical Public Library Philistinism. Then she asked if we had an obscure art cd-rom from some art museum in Philadelphia – “Because I think the library should have a copy”, she sniffed –  which right away I suspected we wouldn’t have because it was pretty clear that it was the type of thing the museum sold in like its gift shop and it wouldn’t be available from the media vendors we use and, even if it were, the patron didn’t have a title for it, only the name of the museum whose holdings it was about; but I went through the motions anyway and searched the catalog by general keyword using the name of the museum in question and came up with bupkes, cd-rom-wise (though we did have some books about the museum and some of its holdings). I explained that if she had a title for the cd-rom, we could search our media vendor’s database to see if it were available; but she said she didn't know its title and she thought it was available only from the museum, anyway.

Then she’s like, “My daughter is writing her thesis and she needs a break, she says, so she asked me to see if you have this dreadful dvd called Legally Blonde.” She had to make it clear to me that she would never be asking for such an atrocity as Legally Blonde for herself – Heaven Forefend! – it was for her daughter, and even that only because the daughter needed a break from the sanctioned, non-eye-roll-inducing activity of thesis-writing. (Of course, we did have the dvd of Legally Blonde. Score one for low-brow art!)

Later, she came back and rolled her eyes while asking for the dvd of A Clockwork Orange for her son. She mentioned, unnecessarily, something about its starring “Roddy McDowall” and – I swear this was out of my mouth before I could help myself – I muttered “O, yes … A Clockwork Orange ... with Malcolm McDowell”; and she goes, “O, right. You got me.”

It was not my intent to get her. In fact, I kinda think my inadvertent correction of her actually rivals her general dickishness.

The proper and professional way to have handled this would have been to have waited till she left, turned to a colleague and whispered, "Can you believe she thought A Clockwork Orange starred Roddy McDowall! Yeah, and Planet of the Apes starred Holly Hunter!"

Then? An eye-roll.

I did not feel like running this morning but I knew I would have to because it's supposed to start snowing this afternoon and continue through tomorrow so who knows when it'll be safe to run again if I don't run today? And you might be thinking, Yo, G, you sure it's a good idea to run two days in a row on a hoited ankle? I appreciate your totally hypothetical concern, Reader, but the truth of the matter is this:

The ankle was never really all that bad; and after I fell, I took like five whole days off from running when it really should have been more like three, tops. But the weekend rolled around and I didn't feel like running in the cold so I told myself I was refraining from running for the ankle's sake, which was only partly true, maybe 25%; the other 75% being the fact that I'm a pussy. And so instead of running, I would exercise, do yoga and ride Morrissey.

Whenever I make that decision, I'm all YEAH!1! I get to stay indoors today becuase nothing is worse than running in the cold!1! Until you're doing exercise in a cold garage (you'll remember that's where my birthday exercise area is3) and you're riding Morrissey for like 20 minutes and you're all sweaty and bored and you're like, It would be sooo much better to be outside.

Of course, on the days you run outside, you're like, This TOTALLY blows!1! Why didn't I stay in and ride Morrissey? You especially think this during the first mile-and-a-half or so of your run, because you're quickly and frantically making and unmaking fists to get the blood to flow to your fingers, which, though gloved, are frozen, and even though you know they'll be warm by mile two, and sweaty by the end of the run, you're like What if they never warm up and I keep stupidly running and I lose all my fingers to frostbite? How will I break the awful, awful news to my n*ts@ck? Who will keep him warm? My fingerstubs? I AM FILLED WITH DUBIETY!1! I should turn back NOW ...

And so no matter what you choose to do — run or stay in and exercise — the grass is always greener ...

Anyroad, thanks to my fucking dog — who at like 1:30 a.m. sidled up to the bed and planted himself on the area rug on my side and, before deciding to lie down there, had to like scratch the fucking rug for TWO FULL FUCKING MINUTES, thereby waking me up, and I'm reaching down from the bed trying to HIT him to get him to stop but he's out of my reach and that just serves to make me even more fully awake and I never get back to sleep so it was easy, this morning, to be out on a run bu 4:50 a.m. But it was cold. Cold as in the laces to my hoodie sweater were frozen stiff with my sweat by the end of the run.

Which run was exactly 6.3 miles in 58 minutes for a spectacularly unspectacular 9:30 pace. But I didn't slip on any ice and get another boo-boo, so call it a win, overall.

1 (1880-1943) Who “[j]ourneyed to Germany to make a movie, but after completing it he was arrested by the Nazi authorities - apparently because his wife was Jewish and suspected of engaging in anti-Nazi activities in France - and tortured for information. He was eventually released, but was found dead shortly afterwards”; facts I know thanks to imdb where this information – his being tortured by the Nazis and then fucking killed, possibly also by the fucking Nazis – is listed under, I swear to Sweet Baby Jebus, “Trivia”.

So, here is AN ...

IMPORTANT, NON-TRIVIAL Fact About Harry Baur: He liked to play tiddlywinks.

2 If you get that joke, congratulations! Because you're either Diana or you have nothing better to do in life than read the comments on my old blog posts. If the latter, I would TOTALLY DO you On a BET till it HURTS as long as you put a Margaret Dumont wig and some pearls on. Because remember: You can't spell dowager without "ow", "wager" and "do".

3 I blogged about this back in May, but I am continuing my policy of not linking to my old posts because, as I noted in yesterday's post, none of you fuckers ever clicks through to the old posts, without why bother?


  1. First!
    And..........I'm a "footnote"! Awesome!

    Love those old Marx Bros movies! We're suppose to get a nice amount of snow all day today and tonight as well, I'll be screwing my shoes for sure before tomorrow morning because, while I'm probably in the minority when I say this; but I love to run in the winter OUTSIDE!!!

  2. There sure is a whole lotta eyerolling going on here. I wish I had a nickel for every stupid question I get at work. I'd be retired and living on a farm in Larchwood Iowa.

  3. @Beth - I am rolling my eyes at your desire to live in Iowa.

  4. I confess I've had my moments of "The library really should have a copy of that." My access to several large metropolitan libraries, college resources and a few rather random private libraries still leaves me looking for some titles. Curently seeking the following books: "The Anatomy of Wit" by John Lyly, "Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus" by Alexander Pope, Jonathon Swit, et. al., "Reveries of a Solitary Walker" by Jean Jacques Rousseau, "La Reine Margot" by Andre Castelot, and any and all novels by Giovanni Verga.

    There are, however, 200 copies of "His Dark Materials."

  5. @SteveQ - I won't even look to see if we own any of these because we probably don't; but if you had a library card from our system, I can nearly guarantee we could obtain most if not all of them for you through inter-library loan. Any quasi-decently funded library should be able to, because they are books.

    Generally, though, libraries don't ILL their media. Which is what my patron wanted.

  6. According to WorldCat:

    Euphues: the anatomy of wit; Euphues & his England. by John Lyly is available at 6 nearby libraries.

    Memoirs of the extraordinary life, works and discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus by Alexander Pope ... also available at 6 nearby libraries.

    Ditto with Reveries ..., etc.

    I'll stop.

    But we could probably get these for you. Ask your local library if the can ILL them for you. No reason I can see that they should be unable to get them. Unless MN also has a Fat, Double-Named, Double-Chinned de-funder-of-libraries as governor.

  7. If I could get them easily, I would've. These books simply don't exist in the region, for some reason. Most ILL books I want (that are available, not being rebound, not lost, etc.) are in underground storage that is only opened once every 6 weeks. They can be imported from just about anywhere, but again, it takes 6 weeks; in 6 weeks, my interest flags. That holds for women as well - 6 weeks is about my limit.

    Sometimes I can find a wanted book in a college library, which I can't check out. And I'm a member of the Friends of the Library. And an alumnus.

    I'm impressed by local library funding, especially regarding building and computers. And having 200 copies of His Dark Materials and probably over 1000 copies of each Harry Potter book (and DVD) ain't cheap.

  8. An annoying tech question, oh mighty IT wizard:

    I just recieved photos by email that I want to publish on my blog. There's a shortcut Blogger has, where you just forward the email to an address and it's instantly in draft form; I've used it before. Unfortunately, all I'm getting is text plus the dreaded box with a red "x"... any idea what might be wrong this time (if you really are an IT guy, you'll start by saying, "Do you have cookies enabled?") or am I just going to have to copy to desktop and lose it as I try to move it as usual?

  9. Evidently, I am not the right person to ask because I just spent 5 minutes writing a reply and then, somehow, erased it before posting. Glaven Q, Heisenberg ... sooooooooper genius.

    In any case, if you mean the "paste from URL" feature, make sure it's a real URL (as opposed to a directory path that leads back to, say, your desktop or to a secure site that YOU have access to, but the general public (which would include your own Blogger account) does not. The red X just means blogger can't find or can't see the graphic at the end of the rainbow you're sending it down. Also, make sure it's a file format that Blogger can read. jpg and gif and png, I think; others may be problematic.

  10. I figured out an easy way to do it. Thanx

  11. So...when are you going to HTFU and go for a precisely measured run?

  12. One library I visited -- All I wanted was a copy of Don Juan, but they couldn't find Lord Byron under B, nor under G for George Gordan. Finally tracked him down under L. Presumably for Lord?

    [The real question is why do I still remember that one library's filing system rather than recalling all the extremely kind and helpful librarians that I've encountered.]

  13. @ Teh Merry

    The sole thing I recall about Don Juan
    When, sadly, it got lost one fateful day,
    And we were then obliged to buy a new one -
    I learned that Juan's said that weird-@$$ way

    ... i.e., to rhyme with "new one", which adds an extra half foot to every line that ends with "Juan" and therefore also to a line that has to rhyme with that line and gives a feminine (i.e., unstressed) endings to a goodly proportion of lines in this poem about this supposed lady-killer but, what with this being a Byron satire, I suppose that's kinda the point.

  14. I think Ian has grown a foot...and would I be correct in guessing those faces he's making while trying to pull the corn stalk closely resemble the eye-rolling face you would like to make when pesty library patrons walk away?

    (this is lil sis...still can't get signed in to post on your blog for some reason!?!)

  15. I loved this post!!