Friday, June 26, 2015

As I walked back inside I swear I heard the guinea pig laugh at me.

The past week at work has been just a touch stranger than usual.

The other day an elderly patron asked me if I could help him find The Gift of the Magi to read to his ESL students.  Because we had a few copies on shelf I took him to the kid's section and found everything available and handed him the stack.  He started flipping through the books and one by one he handed them back, each time making noises of disgust.  I asked him what was wrong and he sighed and said that Della's hair just wasn't pretty enough in any of the books.  So, after 20 minutes of searching the internet we found the Della with the prettiest hair.  

Yesterday a coworker asked me if I knew anything about the guinea pig in the corner.  Thinking this was code for a poop-related incident (we've had two in the past week) or something equally scary, but sincerely hoping she was just being funny I shook my head no rather uncertainly.  Turns out that we really did have a guinea pig hanging out rather discreetly just inside the doors.  After a little investigating we discovered that the guinea pig belonged to a tutor.  Yes, that person that coaches your kids in whatever subject they're struggling with, the person that your kids look up to - that's the guy who brought a guinea pig to the library, not as a prop or a learning opportunity (probably not allowed I'm guessing), but simply as a buddy.  

During the guinea pig fiasco a very distraught patron came up and asked me rather loudly, "Do you know what pisses me off?" Oh boy oh boy, does it have something to do with a guinea pig hanging out in the library? I thought.  But nope, it wasn't that.  Before I had a chance to ask why, she continued on with her rant.  "You know those two guys that live here?" Oh, we have much more than that, I thought.  "And do you remember how I told you that they were begging cigarettes off patrons last week out in the parking lot?  Well you aren't going to believe what they're doing today!" This time she had me stumped.  I had guesses, but all of which were just going to feed her anger, so I kept my blank face steady.  "They're out there offering mechanical services to people!  Seriously!  They're changing someone's oil as we speak!" It took a lot not to smile, but I maintained composure and told her that the parking lot wasn't within my control and that if she had a problem she could call the police.  Naturally, she huffed and stormed off.  

I did duck my head outside, prepared for a spectacle and fully ready to ask a manager if what I said was the right thing to say, but I only saw the two gentlemen leisurely smoking together as they rested in the shade.

As I walked back inside I swear I heard the guinea pig laugh at me.  

I'll leave you with a beautiful moment shared by two books that may or may not have been a random pairing depending on whether you believe in soul mates or fate or love at first sight.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ultimate facercise

Do you ever feel like your face is being a total slacker?

Have you ever been at the gym and wondered why you never work out your face?

Does your nose have cellulite? Are your lips jiggly?  When you laugh does your whole face look like it's running away from you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then I have a book for you!

Ultimate facercise!

Ultimate facercise (nevermind that the lowercase f in facercise is too lazy to capitalize itself) is filled with all kinds of exercises, such as The Nose Transformer, so you can motivate that couch-potato face of yours.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Book Lust!

I just hit another sale and scored, mostly several intriguing memoirs. I'm probably most excited about Landour Days and Dead Beat.  I also found copies of Zen Shorts, Population: 485 and Katy and the Big Snow for my Little Free Library. If no one nabs them I'm going to be doing a little book-pushing or float them to another Little Free Library.  

Somebody must read them.  

Have you read these?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Arlin Buyert's "Oh Say Can You See"

Arlin Buyert’s latest collection, Oh Say Can You See, opens with "Big Brother", a poem that exposes the aftermath of a spirit ravaged by war.  It is a candid poem that ensnares the reader in raw emotion, a poem of spare words, grounding details and a haunting and unforgettable metaphor: “someone else came home:/quiet and brittle as a dead tree.”  By the end of the poem, I felt as if Bobbie was my big brother.

Perhaps Buyert’s greatest poetical gift is his ability to always leave the door open to his memories.  Somehow, as the poem is read, the reader becomes more than someone reading the poem – they start to live the poem as well, and by the end of the poem, feel as if they have become a thread in the fabric of Buyert’s memories.  Each poem is a snippet of memory with a metaphor-cloaked secret that is surrounded by concrete details and language that is both blunt and inviting.  Humor sneaks in here and there in poems like ‘Right Rudder,’ a memory detailing a student and instructor’s obscenity-laced interaction.

While war-inspired poetry may sound daunting, Buyert’s poetry immediately erases any apprehension with its simple, open-door approach of sharing emotionally-charged moments of his life and making you feel as if you are welcome to these memories any time Oh Say Can You See, or his other books, Family Photos or Where Shadows Take Their Places are opened and shared. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Don't worry - that didn't stop them!

I've been pretty blog lazy lately and I really don't have any great excuse for it.  I've been writing and reading and sewing a lot.  There has definitely been a surge of creativity and also lots of art-absorption. Everywhere I look there is a poem or painting waiting to be expressed.  

It totally helps that I just saw my family after an exuberant and beautiful visit to San Diego.

After much reflection and deliberation I have chosen my top five favorite pictures from the trip. 

I will start with me, because this is my blog and I have a picture that perfectly shows how I feel about the ocean, which is that I FREAKING love it, even when it's cold.  

So naturally, Scott and Robert took a Segway tour of San Diego, and afterwards Scott was jubilant. In fact, he gushed about it for the rest of the trip.  

I didn't think I was going to enjoy touring the USS Midway.  But we were treated to our own private tour by Rusty, who lived and served on the USS Lincoln for four years as member of the catapult crew.  I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to see him so excited and to share that excitement with him.  

Taking the speedboat tour was so freeing and exhilarating.  I only managed to see a couple sea lions because we were going so fast, but I will gladly take boat donuts over scenery any day.  

My favorite picture of the trip has to be the one where Scott and grandma are racing Rusty and Harper.  It is definitely going on the wall somewhere.  At one point we heard a USS Midway employee warning another employee via walkie talkie about a young man in blue racing a white-haired lady across the deck.  I knew, without a doubt, that they were talking about Scott and grandma.  Sure enough, Scott told us later that he was scolded for racing grandma around.  Don't worry - that didn't stop them!