Monthly Archives: February 2009

Blasphemy!

Don’t you love eating in diners?  For me, it ranks right up there with watching Barbara Walters receive a lap dance.  My roommate took me out to one in our neighborhood tonight.  Along with our food, though, we unwillingly consumed an hour’s worth of Pastor Arnold Murray’s Family Bible Study.  Of all the things to blare on a flatscreen television in a New York City diner…The Shepherd’s Chapel from Gravette, Arkansas?  I kind of felt like God was trying to send me a message, especially after I posted my blasphemous Ash Wednesday poem…a casual “shape up or ship out (to the depths of hell)” kind of thing. 

But honestly I’ve become more of a Buddhist lately, so I think I’ll be all right.  I haven’t begun meditating or practicing yoga or pilgriming anywhere, yet, but it’s on the to-do list (right after #11: Be Serenaded, Preferably to the Stylings of This, This, or if nothing else, This).  

At one point Pastor Arnold Murray started going off on, not surprisingly, liberals (though he prefers the term “nutcases”).  I enjoyed the way the word rolled off his Arkansas tongue.  He said the problem with liberals (among other things) is they spend too much time listening to college professors…which I tend to think is the antithesis of a problem. 

There was a speaker directly above our booth, so it really felt like he was right there with us.  In case you’ve never seen Pastor Arnold (despite his Bible study being televised on 225 stations in the US and Canada):

“Life without discipline is not much fun,” indeed.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

JESUS (motioning to the cross he lugs as he bleeds and sweats): "Carry?" KERRY (lost in thought about ketchup): "Yeah, that's me."

I completely forgot about the occasion.  Then something reminded me, then being reminded reminded me of a poem I wrote.  You may have read it in the 2008 edition of a college lit magazine.  If not:

If It Exists, Me and My Dirty Feet Are Going to Hell

My feet are so dirty from walking around the city all day in flip-flops.
A chunk of tar got jammed in the back of them and the heel of my
foot looks like Christians’ foreheads on Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday was always my least favorite obligatory
church-going day.  “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”
I haven’t been to church in ages.  Mom used to ask me to
go with her again, but on Easter Sunday she didn’t.
“And back to dust you shall return.”

Probably because I told her how I don’t like
the Book of Genesis.  It’s so sexist.  I told her it
sucks that Eve’s supposed transgression tainted
all women for eternity.  I’m glad she ate that apple!
Girl power! Stupid serpent.  Stupid Adam.
I don’t see anyone blaming them.  Or how about God?
He created the tree.

The Bible is weird.  Religion is weird.
But people believe and I guess that’s good.
I don’t know when I stopped.  Maybe I never did
in the first place.

I should wash my feet.  That one time in the Bible
people washed Jesus’ feet.  Good for him.
I can do it myself.

Things that are making me infinitely happy–

The Academy Awards have left me inspired, motivated, optimistic, and feeling light and fizzy. Even Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron are starting to grow on me. Anyway, here! look! exciting:

Barbara Walters really should have interviewed Taylor Swift instead of The Jonas Brothers during her Oscars special tonight, but that’s okay because:

klasdjfklajeflkjf!!!!!!

And speaking of the Barbara Walters special, this is literally THE most awkward thing (no, really…it is…), but Hugh Jackman is a dream, regardless:

And, I’m feeling really grateful for the people associated with Milk. I suck for not seeing that film or the majority of the other nominated films from tonight, but fuck yeah to them for bringing attention to Prop 8!

As a sort of intellectual nightcap of sorts I will now retire to bed with the genius of the latest installment of the This American Life podcast.

Final note: Barbara Walters asked Anne Hathaway to finish the statement, “Anne Hathaway is…” and she replied, “Anne Hathaway is happy.” My sentiments exactly.

Craigslist opportunity I’m crazy/bored/curious enough to pursue?

Hmmmmm…  I’m attending my father’s retirement party celebrating his nearly 40 years in the Air National Guard next week–it might be fun to spring a marriage to a random Army man on him.  No?

Looking for the Perfect Travel Companion (Anywhere)

Looking for a woman who wants to see the world. Must marry me temporarily. We’ll travel the world for a year plus, then get the marriage annulled. I’m a published author, looking to take advantage of my free travel with the army to inspire me for my next big work with a girl that’s up for a random and interesting trip.

Cheese Balls

utz

"What could possibly have possessed you to place Tom Hanks' head next to a barrel of Cheese Balls?"

( I wanted to convey the relative size of the barrel, and Tom Hanks’ head seemed as good as any to do that.)  I’ve decided that Utz Potato Chips and Snacks are my favorite.  They remind me of fishing trips in the spring.  Half the time I’d just sit in the minivan rummaging through the cooler that did not contain the recently killed things wrapped in tin foil.  But I digress.  My barrel of Cheese Balls is 3/4 empty only 1/4 full.  It’s a sad day.  I fear my sodium intake might stay below 300% the recommended daily allowance.

It’s also a sad day because, along the same lines as the 2am ringing pay phone, I’m tired of finding exciting opportunities on  Craigslist, only to have these directors, producers, musicians write back saying, “Here are directions to my apartment.”  If you’re a sane, fully functioning human being, what are you doing inviting strangers to your apartment?  I only do that when I’ve been drinking.  Assuming these directors, producers, musicians do not intend to rape and kill the people they invite over for auditions, aren’t they worried that instead of the obviously awesome author of Madame Librarian’s blog, they will open the door and instead find…

Either Travis the Chimp or Sandra Herold?

Either Travis the Chimp or Sandra Herold?

Either Gary Busey or this chimp?

Either Gary Busey or this chimp?

 

I ran out of chimps, so heres a wolf.

I ran out of chimps, so here's a wolf.

Easter-themed blog entry comes early.

Last night, my wireless connection wasn’t working.  Which is fine.  I don’t pay for it.  It can come and go as it pleases. 

So that left me to read in bed, then toss and turn in bed, and then type notes into my phone that would make little sense in the morning.  For example:

Easter die.  Greenpuddles.  Chicken bones.  Wafts of bacon.  Not great with children.  Fried dumplings.

From these disjointed notes, I can only deduce that in my half asleep state I was thinking about the year I worked in a kindergarten classroom.  I used to walk about a mile and a half each way through Chinatown to this school.  There were always green puddles and chicken bones in the street, and there was one intersection that always smelled of bacon.  I used to look forward to getting there (it meant my walk was nearly over). 

I didn’t have too many responsibilities at school–hand out worksheets, collect homework, design creative bulletin boards.  But the most important part of my job, by far, was typing up letters to go home with the kids.  It was typing up a letter about an upcoming Easter activity that I made a dire mistake.  I had to tell the parents to hard boil an egg at home for their kids that we would then be dyeing.  Only, silly English major me, I wrote “dying.” 

Which really isn’t a big deal.  No one’s going to read “egg dying” and send their children to school with machetes or semi-automatics instead of tiny containers of dye.  But I did not hear the end of it.  The teacher and the teacher’s assistant (who spoke very little English and had typed “dying” into her English-Chinese electronic translator) basically told me that I had brought terrible luck to the classroom, that it would be an Easter miracle if everyone came out of the egg dyeing alive and well. 

As for the fried dumplings, the teacher’s father made the most amazing ones.  They were greasy and like nothing I’ve ever tasted. 

Lastly, when you’re an English major, people always ask, “Oh, are you going to teach?”  Which is a really frustrating question when you have absolutely no desire to teach and most of your childhood memories from the classroom are painful, traumatic ones.  From now on I think I’ll just tell people the truth: “I’m incredibly awkward with large groups of children and tend to drink more alcohol than usual when I’m around them.”  I used to tell people that I was considering teaching on the college level after I got my Master’s and my Ph.D, but now that I’m about two skips and a jump from becoming a vagrant living off of the chicken bones and questionable puddles of Chinatown…we’ll see.

If a tree falls in the forest, do you hear it? Do you care?

Tonight I walked up Park Avenue a little after 2 a.m.   I do this fairly often.  I don’t find it scary, but I’d never tell my mom I do it.   It’s pretty uneventful.  Occasionally a cab will slow down in hopes you’ll flag it.  Sometimes a hotel doorman will make eye contact with you.  Very rarely will you ever pass another human being.   

But tonight was different.  An opportunity presented itself.  The stars aligned and suddenly I was face to face with my destiny: a ringing pay phone.

So I stopped.  Looked at it.  Wished I had actually seen Phone Booth.  Thought about all the communicable diseases they say lurk on pay phones.  Remembered how Conan mentioned that “in a phone booth” is the number one place people fantasize about having sex.  Became really tempted to answer.  But in the end, all I did was laugh, say, “No, don’t do that,” and kept walking.

Even as I turned and took that first step, though, I was surprised and disappointed.  Had you asked me only hours ago if I was the kind of person who would answer a random ringing pay phone, I feel like I would have adamantly declared, “Yes.  Yes I am that kind of person.”  Only tonight proved differently.  Destiny called and I kept walking.  It’s kind of like that Hillary Clinton ad–the “who do you want answering the White House phone at 3am?” ad.  That’s how she must have felt when she wasn’t chosen as the Democratic nominee…oh.  I guess I’m not the kind of person they want answering the phone.  Except she at least TRIED to answer it.

Still, it’s probably for the best.  Because who calls a pay phone on Park Avenue at two in the morning? 

This guy?

This guy?

One of these girls?

These girls?

Heres Johnny?

Here's Johnny?

Ode to the Library

This is probably an unnecessary statement due to the name of this blog, but…I love the library.  It’s such a wonderful concept.  Books, magazines, CDs, DVDs all in one place.  I especially love the library now that I’ve moved to Queens.  Back in Massachusetts, in my hometown, the library was ruined by the menopausal women who worked there and by the possibility of running into someone terrifying.  Someone like…the home economics teacher who my older brother assaulted, or the guy who told me about my brother looking at porn in first period, or the other guy who told me he was taking the school bus to my house to buy drugs from my brother, or just running into my brother himself.  Just kidding.  He doesn’t go to the library.

But in Queens it’s different.  It’s also an adventure, but not one that will stir up nostalgia for my childhood.  Last time I went, for example, I was writing poetry on the second floor when a guy approached me holding a Bengali/English dictionary.  “Are you American?” he asked.  “Yes,” I said.  He asked me to pronounce “enthusiasm” with my American accent.  Then he explained that in Bangladesh he learned English, but it was British English.  And he said something about eggplant and okra, but I didn’t understand.  Then the library was closing, so we had to part ways, but he invited me to the Indian restaurant owned by his uncle where he works. 

At the library in my hometown you’d never get invited to an Indian restaurant.  You’d get slammed with a $30 fine for returning a copy of Angela’s Ashes that was (probably) damaged before you took it out.  Then you’d drive to the ATM, drive back to the library, and hand the heat flash of a woman two twenty dollar bills with tears streaming down your face because now you can’t afford to bail your brother out of jail.

Eh, it’s Monday. You know how it goes.

Last week, Marilyn Monroe provided this quote on the Witty Women calendar: “If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.”

I agree wholeheartedly with this quote.  I really do.  Laughter is more likely to turn me into a man raper than all the AXE body spray on top of all the dresser drawers of all the high school boys in America. 

Anyway.  Can someone tell me how to prevent receiving this message on YouTube?

Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player. Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
 
I must have JavaScript turned off because I’ve installed the latest Flash player, like, twenty times.  All I want to do is watch Taylor Swift be the most adorable thing ever and it’s very frustrating to not be able to waste my evening doing so.  I could not care less about The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, etc, but I am completely in love with Taylor Swift.  You know why?  She’s not one of those Disney Channel creations.  Ashley Tisdale’s got NOTHING on this girl.  Taylor Swift wrote every song on her debut album and it went triple platinum.  That’s nuts.  That’s like telling Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and the rest of those country boys to suck it.
 
Anyway, I could say more, but I plan to bake a broccoli quiche this evening and I’m lacking a pie crust.   
 
This kind of ruins my appetite, though.

This kind of ruins my appetite, though.

 
 

Valentine’s Day 2009: Confessions of a chocolate-eating, hulu-watching recluse

Suddenly I find myself overwhelmed, filled with things to discuss about tomorrow’s “holiday.”  When I was in elementary school I decided to make my own valentines for my classmates, only it ended up being really time-consuming and hard, so I didn’t make enough and then I got in trouble.  Alas, I’ve always been mediocre.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about.  Actually, I wanted to talk about Marlene Dietrich, the Golden Age screen vixen.  Remember the beyond mediocre Witty Women daily calendar?  Well, today’s quote comes from her.  The first film I saw her in was 1932’s Blonde Venus.  I wasn’t planning on tracking down the clip, but it’s just so offensive and ridiculous that you kind of have to see it for yourself (especially the 2:30 mark).

But you can’t blame Marlene.  (Don’t you love that name?  The woman who trained me at McDonald’s had that name and she was mean and sexy with a Polish accent and she made me cry.)  Over the summer when I was interning at the Library of Congress I worked with a collection related to the Golden Age and part of the collection was a silver cigarette case that Marlene gave as a gift–it was inscribed with her signature.  It was pretty cool and that’s what Marlene means to me.  So here’s the quote:

It’s the friends that you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.

This quote doesn’t really apply to me…I’m usually still puttering around, wide awake at 4 a.m., but that’s good because it means that anyone can call me at that hour.  Therefore, I matter.  (It’s important for everyone to realize this with tomorrow being Valentine’s and everything.)  

While puttering around last night, I found myself on hulu.  Does anyone else do this?  You rent stuff from the library or the video store, but then you just queue up last night’s Conan or Moonstruck even though a Cher/Nicholas Cage romance doesn’t really do it for you.  So that was me.  I started watching Go.  I had just about come to terms with reuniting with Dawson’s Creek era Katie Holmes when an AXE commercial ruined everything.  I don’t know why I let myself get so distracted by bizarre advertisements.  AXE has been putting out sexist ads for years.  Shouldn’t be a surprise anymore.

It’s been on YouTube since September, but last night was the first time I saw it:

Mainly, I guess I’m just confused.  Yeah, women like chocolate.  But…I feel like I’d just get nauseated if my date reeked of it.  I’d rather receive some actual chocolate.  And enjoy the natural odor of my date.   But then again, I’m listening to my Celine Dion/Bryan Adams/Chicago station on Pandora and reclining on a camping cot in my living room, so what kind of authority am I?

Lastly, while I was watching Ellen yesterday (you’d think I have stay-at-home mom ambitions or something), Steve Harvey presented a theory from his new book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.  He said that employees at Ford Motors don’t receive benefits until they’ve put in 90 days, so women should likewise refrain from sleeping with men for at least 90 days into the relationship.  Wait before giving away “the greatest benefit of all.”  Don’t you find it funny?  You’ve got Steve Harvey putting that out there, and then you’ve got AXE commercials with girls raping a man made of chocolate.  These mixed messages!  No wonder I just hide out in my apartment watching romantic dramedies from the 80s.