Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Are You Married to Santa Claus?

Now that is a good question, my friend.
And one I considered before answering.
Not because I am under any illusions of being married to Santa Claus, but I was trying to figure out what prompted this little patron to ask me such a thing.  I don't look like a Mrs. Santa Claus.

So I thought a moment.  I got nothing.

Random just swooped in again and dealt his best.  Caught off guard, all I could do was laugh and admit that I don't have any ties to the man in the red suit.

You know I like to collect these little exchanges that bring a smile to my day (and hopefully yours when you imagine them)

 I liked the one where the boy came in and asked if we had any books about an obscure Explorer.  You know, a LaSalle, or Cortez, or Cabot.  As we were walking to the section, completely deadpan he says, "It's for a report."  I am not a sarcastic person with kids (and certainly not with one that I don't know) but a little mischievous voice inside laughed a little and said, no kidding. I never would have guessed.  Instead, we just got the book and I was rewarded with his sincere gratitude.

Last one, and then I'll stop.

One little girl asked me if we had any books from the 19's.  At first I thought we were having a Dewey Decimal moment, (if a little off in the numbering).  But she clarified, "You know, really, really OLD books from 1990 or something."
Ahh, yes.  The ancient tomes written in the distant 19's.  I think I can round something up.

If only because Charlotte's Web deserves a few more readers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Brilliant Baby

I don't really think Landon is brilliant.  At least, not in the sense that he is remarkably smart.

I have no idea how smart he is.

Just watching him develop from a little bundle of noisy need to a little person capable of occasionally reciprocating has been such a fascinating journey, every milestone seems genius.

Landon IS brilliant in the sense that he is often the brightest spot of my day.  The person who leaves me smiling...on the inside, long after my face has changed expression.

Needless to say, I'm pretty smitten.

Tonight, I thought I heard him singing after he was put to bed.  Singing?  Of course I had to check this out.  Jungle Book's "Bear Necessities" was playing on his goodnight cd.  Wheedle as I may, apparently the solo was a private affair and he wouldn't continue with me looking on....

even when I leaned into his crib and used his little foot as a microphone and sang my favorite parts with all the wonderful horns and "yeah mans!"

My reward: that belly laugh I wish was my ringtone.

My punishment for bugging him: "Foot!  Foot!" said so beseechingly every time I tried to let go of his foot "microphone" and leave his room.

Nobody else thinks I'm this funny, or wants to be with me to the last possible moment before sleep.

So shine on little brilliant baby; even in the dark you light up my life.

How a Gas Station Bathroom Inspired me to Blog

Oh, so many scattered thoughts--none of them make a coherent "POST".

Bathroom breaks on a long road trip: aren't these a dreaded bane?  You know it will be a mix of grunge, irritated gas station attendant, and the scramble to figure out if one is required to go IN and ask for a key or go around back and use a poorly labeled door, or go in and use a poorly labeled door....or what.

But we were on the road, and our destination was too far off to wait, so we stopped at a franchise gas station.

The bathroom was just NOT what I expected.  It took me a moment to realize it, so different was it from any gas station bathroom I'd ever been in.

Someone had painted all the walls with a floral mural.  Nothing professional, just a lot of swirls and and flourishes and a penchant for purple.  A sweeping signature.  Flowers everywhere, and even more color--an unexpected smile to an ordinary moment.

I am grateful for that maverick bathroom artist, though.  In a strange way,  she inspired me to keep trying with this blog.  I had gotten discouraged, wondering if my life was consistently worth blogging about...

But blogging isn't professional publishing.  I don't have a contract to write something that sells or I ought not try.

Maybe some other day that is a mix of grunge, irritation and scrambling, this post will be a reminder to bloom where we're planted, and make our own beauty.  Even if, like bathroom girl, we are more eclectic and exuberant than talented.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Avoiding Volcanoes and Making Me Smile

On the children's desk at the library I get all kinds of questions.  It's like a box of chocolates...and sometimes it is the earnest, deadpan seriousness of our youngest guests that make for the most interesting conversations.

Very small patron: I'm looking for a movie like Dinosaur King.  Do you have anything else in that series?

I look it up on my computer to discover that "Dinosaur King Volcanic Panic" was the only one in our collection from that series.

Me: We have other dinosaur movies you might be interested in, though.  Land Before Time, Ice Age, that kind of thing.  Should I check to see if any of those are available?

Very small patron: Land Before Time.....hmmmm.  I'm just not sure if I'm ready for that yet.  Does it have an active volcano in it?

Have you ever tried not to laugh and know that eye contact with anyone will crumble your resolve?  That's what happened when this tiny little girl said this completely seriously to me. I glanced at her mom and we both had to look away because we were going to lose it.  The randomness of it just struck us as pretty funny.

Me: I'm not sure how active the volcanoes are.  Your other dinosaur movie had a volcano.  Is that what makes you know that you don't want any more movies with volcanoes?

Very small patron: Well...just not SUPER active.  I don't think I want to see a VERY active volcano.

Me: Okay.  Got it.  I bet we can find just the thing.

And so we did.

7 Across

I was working the online reference service for the first time today.  Ready to tackle the really tough questions.  I had gone to training on the software.  I had been reading my training manual on how to provide good reference service online.  I was sequestered in our quiet room and I was ready.

The second question seemed totally cryptic and I thought, Ahh...this is what I have been reading about.  I need to get more information to find out if this is for a school project, or personal research, or what.  I was ready to follow all protocol and make sure I understood, what exactly, the person wanted to know.

"Can you tell me a little more about what kind of information about x you are looking for?" I typed.

Not really. I'm working on a crossword puzzle and that's all the clue says.

Reference librarian?  Not so much.  More like crossword puzzle consultant.

Okay...it's a start.  Maybe I can work my way up.