Sunday, February 28, 2010


I have been thinking about nerds lately. Not the small delicious candy nerds, but the people kind. A few weeks ago at the workplace one of my coworkers said she likes microfilm. She used to look at it a lot with her mom to do genealogy work and she still likes it. Then she said how she doesn't think of herself as a nerd until she says things like that. And I thought to myself, why is microfilm nerdy? Why should liking it make you a nerd? What is so inherently nerdy about microfilm? And why is nerdiness a bad thing anyway?

Why should anyone be ashamed of their interests (I mean, so long as they aren't obsessive or destructive)? If someone is really into Project Runway, no one bats an eye. Instead they say "Oh, I love Project Runway! That dress that Ping made didn't even cover the model's bum!" If someone is a really into Star Wars, it's like an automatic nerd label. Why is being a fan of Tim Gunn more acceptable than being a fan of Yoda? They're both wise and well dressed, with unique ways of talking.

I guess I just don't get why some things are socially acceptable and cool and other things are uncomfortable to admit to.
Should I only wear my knee socks at home and hide my sweater vests under jackets? Should I hide the fact that I love Battlestar and just say that I like The Office? I didn't even realize that my BSG love is shameful until two girls in NPR were hassling their fellow interviewer guy for being a big fan.

I'm not ashamed of the things I like or do. I'm not a running nerd because I run. I'm not a computer nerd because I like computers. I'm not a food nerd because I watch the Food Network. I like lots of things. I like some things a lot. I guess if that makes me a nerd then I am a happy and proud nerd. But I think it's stupid to label myself anything except awesome. I'm awesome. That's all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Things: I Recommend Them. Or Not.

This past weekend Mister Graham and I went up to Salt Lake for belated Valentine's Day/6 month anniversary/4 years of knowing each other/employment/new apartment celebrations. We did a number of fun things, like checking out the hotel pool and eating ever so much food at Red Lobster. We also did some fun things that popped up in our path unexpectedly and now I'm going to tell you about them.

While making our way to the mall on foot we ran into a banner for a Jamie Wyeth exhibit at
the Salt Lake art center. I crowed with delight and we went straight in. The exhibit is mostly comprised of a series of paintings based on the seven deadly sins--with seagulls. I am quite sure I have never seen such sinister sea gulls. It was unexpected but it made sense (rather than seagulls for the sake of being unexpected) and it totally worked. As time goes on, I realize more and more that I like representational art. Even though there are abstract artists that I respect, I still just can't really love their work. But I suppose that's a topic for another post. Anyway, if you're up in the area, I highly recommend you check it out. It's free and it's small so it doesn't take very long. I liked it so much I got the exhibit guide, and you can read a little more about the exhibit here. I may have spent the rest of the weekend working on my seagull face (mostly inspired by the Proud seagull with the lobster).

Secondly, on our way into the museum we notice a big yellow food truck out front selling
Chinese food. Since we had Red Lobster plans we didn't stop, but thought we might get lunch there the next day. Lo and behold, when we were buying the exhibit guide, we found that the museum was giving out vouchers for a free meal from the Chow Truck. We had to wait a while and it was so cold, but the food was great! It came with "root vegetable chips" that were surprisingly delicious. I only could identify one of the roots (sweet potato) but I have been since pondering how to get some more.

And finally, two short recommendations. One, if you are traveling, bring the case for your contact lenses. Otherwise you might have to do this:
And if you know you're going to go out to eat and possibly have leftovers, it would be ideal if your hotel room has a mini fridge. Otherwise your husband will be running to the ice machine in the wee hours of the morning to restock your "fridge."*
Okay, so you can't really see the ice in this picture, mostly because this was just before we filled the bag up again before heading back to Provo. But it's THERE. And during the night it was all situated in the bathroom sink. Also, it worked and our leftover seafooderies were preserved.

*He didn't get up to do this, but being up for the bathroom, he saw what needed to be done. What a man. An ice-fetching man.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Money: It Must Be Funny

In case you have not heard the news, I recently ended my long streak of unemployment with a return to the workforce. The workforce I joined is a company called Backstage Library Works, and because I'm so bored with trying to explain the company to non-library people, I'm going to write it all out here and then none of you can ask me any questions about it ever again.

Okay, only semi-kidding because I'm happy that I have a job to explain to people and a few years ago I would have made that same puzzled face at hearing "It's a company called Backstage Library Works." But I'm not really one who enjoys retelling the same story over and over, even when it's a fun one. Similarly, this past Sunday Drew and I realized that I am more like a man when it comes to listening because I don't like to rehash the same story and I try to solve other people's stories instead of just sympathizing. Meanwhile Drew is more like a woman because he is a rehasher and good at listening without forcing unwanted solutions on people. Somehow we balance out.* That was a long sidenote.

Anyway. So, a few weeks ago I applied at BSLW where I blew through a typing test and took a bunch of quizzes designed to test my brain. I was asked many perplexing things like the years of the Civil War (1861-1865) and whether Nova Scotia is a country, city, state or none of those (province). I did it all in my trusty Jack Sparrow t-shirt, which I kept under my coat to avoid looking unprofessional while interacting with sheets of paper**.

That was a Friday and on Monday they called to set up an interview, which I had on Wednesday or something. I put on my charm and, finally, felt somewhat successful afterwards instead of going home to cry (okay, that rarely happened). When my interviewer called on Friday I was sure she was using her "I'm about to disappoint you voice" but no, she offered me a spot on the team. Huzzah! I took it, and was a little relieved to hear I'd have a week before starting (sweet, impoverished freedom).

Now I will tell you what I do. BSLW does a lot of cataloging stuff for all kinds of libraries. For instance, some old school libraries still have card catalogs and they hire BSLW to make all their catalog digital. In my case, I am part of the group that is switching a library's collection from their own system to the Library of Congress classification system. This means I look at their records, I search for the item in a database to find a call number, I verify it and I put it in the record. Sometimes there are none and I have to find them myself on the Library of Congress's website. I would show this to you if it didn't require a login. It would make all this much more impressive if you could see all the rules and exceptions and exception exceptions. Just know that it hurts my brain by the end of the day.

Now I'm starting my second week but have yet to work on the actual project because I'm still training. I make lots of stupid errors, just like I did in my cataloging class in the beforetimes. Sometimes I come home and wail about my sure-to-come firing, but then Drew pats me on the head and gives me chocolates.*** But it is good to be working in a library-related business, and I like the work. I seem to do pretty well with monotonous tasks involving just me and a computer, though I do miss handling actual items (it's half the fun!).

So, there you have it. I only recently realized that it's been just about 9 months since I last worked, and it is rather a shift getting back into that mode. It was really convenient to have such an open schedule, but I think it will be even more convenient to have twice our current moneys. That means we can go to Disneyland and Disney World sooner, and isn't that what it's all about?
*I actually can't remember what this asterisk was going to say. I remembered! That whole man/woman thing is according to what people were saying in our marriage class on Sunday. No, we aren't in counseling. We just go because they asked people with A-K last names to go and boost the numbers. Anyway, we are traditional in our gender ways otherwise.
**Nope, can't remember this one either.
***We didn't really have any chocolate but he did get me ice cream.