Tag Archives: massachusetts

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.

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The Things We Do For Love

Oh snap!

Oh snap!

Imagine one of these billboards placed in, say, Effingham, Illinois right next to the world’s biggest:

I saw multiple giant crosses while driving from Massachusetts to Arizona a couple years ago, and the sight never got less alarming.  It’s like…highway, highway, tractor trailer truck, highway, blinding sun, and BAM! GIANT CROSS!  My friend and I had this game going.  First person to see a cactus was entitled to a free beer.  First person to see a free range buffalo: beer.  His ideas were all things from nature, while mine were things like, first person to see a giant, tacky thing on top of a building:

It’s a great game because no one really loses.  But yeah, had I realized that there was such an abundance of giant crosses in Middle America…that would have definitely been one of my road trip drinking game items. 

It’s funny because…that Darwin billboard was one of the first things I saw when I woke up this morning.  (I roll over, open up my phone, check my e-mail, lament that I’ve received no e-mails, and then I click on random links provided by my mobile browser.)  So I was like, WOW!  Religious people are gonna freak!  Then, my mom calls a little while ago and is like, “I found this poetry contest you WILL enter.”  (She means business.)  Then she adds, “If you want to.”  She goes on to explain that it’s sponsored by the Christian Poets Guild…  This so-called guild doesn’t seem to have a website, it just seems to advertise its poetry contests in small newspapers around the country, such as “The Eagle” out of Byron, TX, the “Hot Springs Village Voice” out of Arkansas, and my very own “Pennysaver” out of Western Massachusetts.   

So this is suspicious.  She’s suggested this contest to me before and I’ve always been like, “Yes, I’ll look into it,” when really I’m thinking, “Praise Darwin.”  …Then Mom tells me that I can enter online at freecontest.com.  Moms don’t tend to know these things, but a web address like that is highly questionable!  It’s usually smart to avoid any URL with “free” or “contest” in it, and this one has both.  If you’re brave enough to click the link, you’ll see that this contest in no way looks legit.  My mom was so excited about it, though, that I might risk having my identity stolen or being sold into sex trafficking just to make her happy…