Sunday, July 24, 2005

High point from the trip to Bend, OR with my sister and boyfriend:

"I'll go if you go."

"So, are you going to get in or what?"

"I said I'll do it if you do it."

"Yeah, I hear you talking but I don't see you getting any closer to the water."

The four of us were standing in our underwear on the hot black rocks that jutted up from the river like crooked teeth from a deformed jawline.

The guys were in plaid boxer shorts, my sister in some flattering bikini panties and a sleek dark bra. I, on the other hand, was clad in a floppy gray tank top and a blue paisley thong that I wear only under light colored skirts. I hadn't realized that I would have to show anyone my underclothes. Obviously.

Chris had already jumped in and done a few strokes around the clear deep center, and then flopped onto a flat rock five feet from

My sister picked her way over the rocks and through the weeds to stand by me, stretching her arms over her head in an attempt to act casual. As she brought her hands down to her sides, a stray piece of wheat grass that had lodged in her armpit poked out like a struggling locust. I leaned into her and said, "Stand still, I'm just going to pick off this little-"

Too late. She looked down and saw what she thought was an enormous bug wriggling into her armpit and screamed like a banshee. A full-body wriggle followed. Please remember that we are both in our underwear.

The guys were laughing, enjoying a moment of simpatico.

"I'm afraid to get in, because I have to pee, and I'm thinking that my bladder might just let go."

"So? Just as long as you're down stream from us, we don't care, right?"

The group murmured its consent.

I jumped in.

The water was so cold that it knocked the wind out of my lungs with one swat. I never had one of those life-threatening fevers when I was a child, but imagined that getting plunged into a tub of ice cubes would feel about the same.

I started laughing, my teeth chattering, and dog paddled towards Chris, who was still drying of on the flat rock.

I flung myself up and partially onto his perch, and he backed away from me, seeing how slippery the volcanic surface was when it was wet and not wanting to lose his place by sliding into the frosty river.

"Help me up! Argh! Help me up!" I flailed and attempted to find purchase, but, alas, there was none to be had. The rock was much steeper than it had looked from the shore.

My body was in survival mode, and my pasty white buns flexed and jiggled as I humped my way up out of the water, looking like an albino seal in a wet t-shirt and tiny thong panties.

My sister was doubled over with laughter, until she finally jumped in, letting out a scream before her sandaled feet even hit the water.

As we all dried out and put our remaining dry clothes on for the rigorous hike back up the ravine to Carl's house, Kristi wrung out her panties and gave me a wry look.

"That's right. I just thought I'd soak my panties and take them for a walk. You know me."

I decided to strip down to nothing as well, and announced, "Nobody look!" just as I was peeling down to my skin, which of course made everyone swing around to see what I didn't want them to look at.

And so we arrive at the high point: Me, standing almost naked in front of my friends, tiny blue thong dripping into my shoes, nipples stiff enough to cut glass, my goose-bumped rump shaking in the 90 degree high desert sun.

"This is just like some God-awful porno," Kristi said.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Laura, Luci, and I got the the park blocks for lunch and were just getting settled in, unwrapping our sandwiches, when out from behind a tree swung a large, swarthy man in sweaty clothing, brandishing a gun.

"Where's my cheesecake?" he asked gruffly.

We stared at him, not saying anything. I held my breath, thinking that my salami sandwich would make a pretty lame shield.

Then I realized that his gun was, in fact, a water gun.

"Where's my CHEESECAKE?" he asked again, and one of us said, "I don't know."

"No cheesecake?" he said, a bit softer this time, the hint of a deranged smile touching his lips.

"Maybe it's down there," I said, pointing down the block.

He laughed and pointed his gun at the ground and walked away.

"Not funny," I muttered, and turned my attention to my lunch.

We ate quickly and went down the street to a hip clothing store that we had been told was having a 50% off everything-in-the-store sale. We grazed the first racks by the door, skimmed the shoes, and made our way into the main area.

"Is there anything specific you guys needed help finding?" a dredlocked woman called over a counter filled with skull-emblazoned panties.

"No, we're just...killing time before going back to work," I shrugged and started looking at a display of black t-shirts.

She nodded and wandered away.

I pointed out some baby clothes with bright orange flames to Laura, and stared hard at the many different colors of tights on the wall, trying to will a plain black pair of fishnets to jump out at me. I picked up a shirt with a weird looking bunny on it and shook it out to see if their idea of small matched mine, and suddenly the dredlocked woman was back.

"Look, if you guys really are just 'killing time' and not actually shopping, I have a lot of work to do, so..." She let her statement hang in the air.

I thought she might be trying to make some sort of weird joke so I refolded the shirt, smiled and said, "Excuse me?"

"It's just that I'm getting kicked out of here in two days, I'm losing my business, so if you aren't actually shopping, then I'd appreciate it if you didn't mess anything up. I just see that you're unfolding those clothes and I really have a lot of stuff to do."

Okay, now I was really confused.

"We're actually shopping."

"Well, that's not what you told me before."

"No, but I meant that we had been told about this sale, and so we came down here to look, but not with anything in mind..." I frowned and limply held out the shirt to her. "But I've been refolding everything I've looked at."

"It's just that I'm getting kicked out in two days and I have a lot of work to do, and I'm not trying to be super bitchy or anything but I guess I kind of am..."

"That's completely understandable," I said and just sort of nodded.

I had been prepared to buy a shirt or two. I think we all had been. It probably wouldn't have solved any of this lady's problems, but hey, every little bit counts, right? But now I was being talked to like I was an obnoxious teenager ripping apart a store and leaving torn clothes and spilled food in my wake, and that feeling wasn't conducive to putting me in a purchasing mood.

"We really are shopping," I lamely said, and sort of wandered away.

After a few awkward moments trying to gather everyone together without making too big of a scene, we went outside to regroup and talk about getting shakes.

As she exited, Laura lobbed "I hope you have a better afternoon," to the woman.

"I'm sorry, it's just that, I'm losing my business and I just really appreciate it and, you know..."

"I'm no good at being rude," Laura said as we angled for the coffee shop. "She just totally misinterpreted my comment. She was all nice." She rolled her eyes.

The guy at the coffee shop, well known for his niceness and cheery attitude, snapped at Laura to make a decision about the type of ice cream she wanted in her peanut butter shake.

"Is chocolate or vanilla better?" she asked.

"Well, you HAVE to decide," he snapped with his back turned.

We just barely made it back to the library in time to take over the call desks.

The assaults on our little group were starting to make our stomachs turn.

I sat down, thinking I was glad to be on the other side of the counter, and that I would make it my personal goal to be extra nice for the rest of the day to make up for all the wackos out there today. Within two minutes, and ancient man approached the counter and asked for help with copying a poem. I did so, happily, and returned his materials to him. He asked for a pair of scissors.

Thinking that he wanted to cut the page in half and reassemble the contents (a popular activity) I handed them over.

He said thank you, and then proceeded to CUT HIS EAR HAIR ON MY DESK!

Before I could put my astonished thoughts together to say anything, he laughed a toothless laugh and handed them sheepishly back.

"Gotta keep your eye on that stuff; it'll take over if you let it."

"Nicely said," was all I could think of to say, and he kept laughing and waved heartily as he limped away.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

List of Activities From Saturday:

1) Tried to eat my first BLT since getting my lip pierced. Not recommended again for at least a week. Or two.

2) Saw angry pug dogs in partially demolished house. Wanted to bundle them up and take them with me, but figured that ultimately, the gruff looking man in the yard of said house would probably not go for that at all.

3) Thought my sister's real hair was a wig.

4) Had an Orange Julius at the mall. Boy, are they good. Got freeze brain. Didn't care.

5) Got sprayed by car washing hose while Kristi scraped something off her car with her fingernail and lost control of the gun. Also there was a leak in the gun that kept soaking her shirt with freezing cold water, just like in all those pornos.

6) Got charged twice for bag of organic apples. Didn't say anything because, I figure, that little fruit stand needs all the cash inflow it can get.

7) Was bit by a duck in a misguided attempt to pat it on it's puffy head. Surprised expression followed, and Kristi said, "Well, what did you THINK was going to happen?"

8) Called mom jointly while drinking wine and eating egg salad at my house. Kristi heats up my cell phone like it's been in the microwave just by clutching it in her hot little hand. Mom reports that grandpa said something incredibly inappropriate(don't ask; not worth it) about her new kitchen wall color and she had to hang up on him. I suggested a swift kick next time. Suggestion noted, but declined.

9) Kristi wrote down her name next to the words she was able to guess on my crossword puzzle. "GEM" and "SLEEVE" in case you were dying to know.

10) Made quiche. Took two hours to bake it because I insist on packing twice as much stuff in my quiche as the recipe calls for.

11) Used dictionary to help cheat on last couple crossword clues I just couldn't get. Didn't help.

12) Fell asleep listening to an episode of the X-Files which featured some pants-crappingly scary zombies mixed with the sound of Chris disassembling our Lego creations and tossing the individual pieces into the Lego Bucket.
The Day of the Bodily Functions of Others (and one of my own, actually):

I was shelving some mysteries, over in the alcove, perpendicular to the non-fiction videos. I was content, even sort of whistling, because that area is generally pretty quiet and the old ladies who cruise the serial mysteries always ooh and ahh over my purple hair. I bent over just as a rather pasty gentleman came around the corner. I recognized him from 10 minutes before, when he leaned rather ominously over me and said:

"Action. I want ACTION."

"Excuse me?" I replied, attempting to keep my panic in check.

"Videos. Action videos."

"Oh, certainly, let me show you where they are." Thank god. But still, even in a public place with security officers trolling the waters, women never like to be hovered over by random men, especially while they are in a submissive position.

So here he was, index finger out, pointing at each scarred video case and muttering before moving on to the next one.

I've found it best to just work around people who talk to themselves. I never intervene unsolicited. So I kept shelving the 'Mc' stack of books on the bottom shelf and acted like he wasn't freaking me out.

He bent over to read the navel level shelf, and as he did so, his butt waggled into position not 15 inches from my face. Before I could straighten up and move, liking my personal space unmarred by even my closest friends, the guy let out a long chain-saw fart, that, through my germ-phobic tinted glasses, blasted me on the left side of my face, tainting the air in my mouth, nostrils, ear, and hair.

Gathering up my pile of unshelved books and holding my breath, I rushed to the relative safety of my book truck. I decided to hit the staff area for a quick decontamination. I stopped briefly to flip a chair up that had been leaning at an angle against the reading table. Then I realized WHY the chair had been placed that way.

As I pulled back, I noticed that the seat was covered in a clearish liquid that had puddled in the center of the seat. Now my hand was not only farted upon, but possibly soaked in urine as well.

Not wanting to do a definitive sniff test to be sure, I locked myself in the nearest bathroom and scrubbed my skin with liquid soap until I was chapped.

An hour later, while I was flitting around the basement pulling books from the closed stacks, the tack that holds my lip ring together came loose and floated around in my mouth.

I panicked and hit the bathroom again, trying desperately to get the tiny grooves to fit together. Anyone who has tried to do this themselves will tell you that it's like trying to thread a needle in a haystack. I had to call upon another coworker to come over and basically perform oral surgery. She had her hands in my mouth for several minutes. Which was fine with me, but I'm sure the other people in the room were wondering what the hell we were doing.

When I started working at the library, I thought there would be a 'certain quiet dignity' to it. Yeah right.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Memorable patron interactions:

1) I was walking by the genealogy microfilm table, where I frequently see people in various states of coming unglued, unable to find their great-great-great grandfather's mother's maiden name on some passenger ship manifest or perhaps they are looking to prove that they did indeed divorce that bastard in 1988 but for some reason there seems to be no record of it and now that they think about it, their lawyer did seem a little confused and sketchy and now that they are looking at the divorce index and their name isn't on it they're getting ready to raise some holy hell, by God, all stuff of that nature, when I noticed that the tiny white-haired woman patiently scrolling through some list or another shot both her crinkly fists in the air and shouted, "Yes! There's his name!" This never happens, and if it did, I certainly never get to see the research equivalent of a 'money shot.' It was great.

2) A woman in the art section came up to me and admired my leg tattoos(full Joan of Arc style pyre around each ankle about half way up to my knee, FYI) and said she was thinking about getting her legs covered in some sort of pattern as well because her legs were so white and hairy. Then she showed me her leg, which wasn't quite as pasty as mine, but I saw her point. Then I said if she got tattoos on her legs she'd never have to wear nylons again. To which she replied, "Honey, even the promise of George Clooney sex couldn't get me into nylons anymore."