Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lame duck librarian

Quack. Quack-quack-quack.

That’s the sound of a lame-duck librarian. That’s MY sound. Two days ago I gave notice at my “day” job because – happily – I now have too much writing work to be both a writer and a librarian. It’s a sad commentary on society that I can make more money writing resumes than I can as a librarian, but there it is.

My boss actually tried to get me a raise before he accepted my resignation. Not surprisingly, the owner (yes, owner – this is a proprietary school) said no.

So I turned in my almost-one-month notice. My last day is September 15.

If I was looking for a warm and fuzzy response from the owner, it certainly hasn’t arrived yet. Just hours after I turned in my resignation, the computer folks deleted every file from my computer. It’s a standard, though secret, protocol here – although I’m not sure what evil it was designed to prevent. Fine by me. They just erased the stuff I was working on for the Dean, that’s all.

Actually, I was tipped off in advance by someone other than the computer guy, so I knew to make my own back-up before I gave notice. But I complained anyway and they restored all my files. Ha!

Meanwhile, my boss is looking to hire back my predecessor to take my place. I’m pretty happy with that idea because people don’t like her as much as they like me (Ok, so I’m petty. So fire me.).

Of course, I’ll be working just as hard, if not harder, than I am right now. My bread-and-butter is writing resumes, which can be draining and not as much fun as, say, writing for a personal blog. I am also expecting to panic at least once a day, whenever half an hour goes by without a new order – and then flog myself because I’m an irresponsible hack writer quitting a secure job just to be an Artiste.

Still, this quote from Erma Bombeck resonates for me:
“There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, ‘Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.’ Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still there.”

All right, so what if I am just a hack writer pretending to be an artist? Yesterday I was a librarian pretending to be a writer. It’s a start.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Mysterious Plague of the Captive Tongues

On the heels of Mel Gibson’s virulent anti-Semitic remarks – which, of course, he really didn’t mean at all – come two more reports of prominent people saying terrible things that are – they swear! – totally out of character for them.

The first bit of verbal poison comes from the distinguished lips of Andrew Young, former ambassador, Atlanta mayor, and civil rights leader. In a discussion about Wal-Mart and its tendency to steamroll small businesses, Young said this:
"Well, I think they should; they ran the 'mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood…But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us — selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores."
Young, of course, now retracts those statements and says they’re totally out of character.

Hmmm. Could it be . . . Satan?

The second incident involves Tramm Hudson, a Republican candidate for state office in Florida. In February, Hudson was speaking at a Christian Coalition event and reminiscing about his days as an Army commander. In describing his infantry unit, he said:
“A large number were black….I grew up in Alabama. I understand, uh, I know from experience, that blacks are not the greatest swimmers or may not even know how to swim."
The Devil must have gotten hold of another one, because Hudson was equally remorseful: “I want you to know that it was out of character for me and those who know me know that to be a fact.”

Uh huh.

The fact is, these guys are saying what they mean. No more, no less. Anyone willing to believe otherwise, please contact me. I have a car to sell you that was only driven on Sundays by a sweet little old lady.

Honest, I really mean it!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Über-Subversive Librarians!

A couple of mishy-mashy things of note today:

First, a big cheer for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has ordered that records be released in a dispute between some Connecticut librarians and the FBI. The dispute ensued when the FBI issued a National Security Letter (NSL) ordering the librarians to disclose information about computer usage by patrons during a 45-minute period. The librarians protested and the FBI put a gag order on them that wouldn’t even allow them to disclose that the NSL had been issued. It’s a long story but the ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging that the whole nasty matter infringed on the librarians’ right to openly debate the renewal of the US Patriot Act.

Librarians are the coolest!

Second, closing on our house has been postponed AGAIN. I have no idea for how long because our mortgage guy isn’t returning our calls. This is what you have to put up with when your credit sucks, as mine does (mostly, but not completely, for reasons within my control). So, dear readers, if you have the option, protect your credit. And if you don’t, know that you can live through it although it’s damned inconvenient.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Oh, What You Said!

But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot.

Oh, really? OK, I know everybody is on the Mel Gibson bandwagon. But it’s sort of a fun and interesting bandwagon, so I want to get on it, too. Just for a minute.

First of all, I do think it’s admirable that MG wants to meet with Jewish leaders to try to heal the ginormous rift he’s created. But it would be a lot more admirable if he just admitted he was anti-Semitic, instead of denying it. Denying a fact doesn’t make it false. I could go all kinds of directions with that statement but I won’t bother – except to mention that Mel Gibson is partnering with Disney on a miniseries about the Holocaust, which is sort of like Madalyn Murray O’Hair making a movie about the Resurrection.

Still, the most interesting part of the whole Mel debacle isn’t that he made anti-Semitic remarks to the arresting officer (‘cause let’s face it, that’s not such a big surprise). No, the best part of the story is what he said after they took him down to headquarters.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not making excuses for him. But someday – if this poor asshole ever gets sober – he’s going to be telling his story at a 12-step meeting: “Well, let me just put it to you this way. It’s really not a good idea to call a female cop Sugar Tits after you’re arrested.” I don’t know about you, but I’d sure laugh.

What a jerk. But I still hope he gets his ass straightened out. It’s gonna be a long road.