A blog meant to represent, as most blogs do, extracts or excepts from day-to-day life.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mysteries of love

It's Tuesday night. Distracted from my work, I was looking through my cell phone for someone to call for coffee, when I discovered that I had a listing in the phone for "Love." I have no idea whose number that is. Indeed, "love" is a mystery to me.

Maybe I should call her. Or, maybe I should wait for her to call me!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Born to be mild

I think I just found my home in cyberspace: www.dullmen.com. People who know me know that, despite all my good qualities, I'm pretty dull. I enjoy being dull, though. My favorite things in the world are grammar, metadata, analyzing funny things to figure out just why they're so "funny," and just about any solitary task that takes a loooonnng time and lots of patience to complete. Saturday morning radio is the highlight of my week. I'm never able to get through a movie in one sitting. I think the last time I and the people around me laughed really hard, I was making a joke about my university library's remote storage facility.

The Dull Men's Club is perfect for me. The club takes care not to get people too aroused. They focus on low-key entertainment, such as a study of airport baggage-claim carousels' direction of rotation. In an odd sort of way, that study reminds me of my own casual study of adjectives that end in -ly. I think I've found my niche.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I had an interview today at Ericsson. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I could have answered some questions better. I could have done my homework and brushed up on company stats and whatnot. I could have striven for more specific, concrete examples in my answers. Hell, I really should have worn longer socks. When I crossed my legs, I was totally showing skin.

But all that aside, it was probably the most fun interview I've ever had. I sat through more than two hours of questions without ever really realizing that it was an interivew. We actually talked like real people (although my interviewer, of course, kept looking over her shoulder to make sure the HR police weren't around). I had her practically ROFL-ing at my name authority control jokes. She understood my monk thing (nevermind... that's another post altogether). And it turns out that we own the exact same antique Japanese tea set. How did that come up? I don't remember...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things

This afternoon, I was at my desk, working at my computer (the desk and computer that my blog readers have come to know as "Extractions Plaza"), and I heard my mail man pull up. "Good," I thought. "I'm expecting a package." Then I heard him talking on my porch, saying something like "Hey, how're you doing?" Hmm, who's he talking to, I wondered. "You've got a package." He was talking to me, through my open window.

That's what I love about my mail man, and the fact that my mailbox is on my front porch, rather than on the street. Growing up, I always thought of mail men as the people who got pissed off if you parked your car too close to the mailbox. Now I have a friendly mail man with whom I've developed a pretty congenial relationship. Because he knows I'm often home working in the afternoons, he took the time today to look into my window to see if I was, in fact, at my desk.

What sort of package did he deliver? A book called Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things by George Lakoff (well known, I think, as the "metaphor guy"). This book's about the language of catagorization and what that tells us about cognition. Fascinating.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New work

As of this afternoon, I'm the new cataloguer (intern) at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Library, which is used by the museum staff and occasional visitors by appointment. I'll work with the registrar department and Ft. Worth's Cultural District Library Consortium to catalogue stacks of untouched acquisitions and reorganize the collection into new shelf units that match the rest of the hip office furniture.

So how did I get this position? Good timing, first of all: they'd been talking about finding someone the very day before I cold-emailed the HR person. But I can't undermine my deft ability to talk tech-cataloguing among old bosses who're still wondering whether they'll need to print new cataloguing cards or not. Oh, and I can't undermine the power of the touch of artsy tie-pin flair I worked into my vintage dark-grey wool suit and woven plaid tie. I wore a giant safety pin as a tie clip--a priceless touch of class cost me a dollar or so, and I know the interviewers loved it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pimp my Bookcart

Part of what I do with this blog is inform my readers of the goings-on in the library world, so today I'm happy to report that Overdue Media's Pimp My Bookcart competition is just around the corner. Are you ready?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Good thing I'm a pipe smoker

American ingenuity and trailer park wisdom have long told us that household items such as duct tape, super glue, JB Weld, and bubble gum hold unfathomable potential to fix anything. Well, now you can add one more such household item to that list: pipe cleaners.

I was driving home from Dallas today, about thirty miles from home, when my accelerator cable snapped, meaning the gas pedal fell to the floor, but the car wasn't going anywhere. I pushed the car into an empty lot at Mockingbird and I35, where I sat basically hopeless. I called my mechanic to consult, and he didn't have any ideas. "I don't even think duct tape can fix that one," he said. I've long referred to him as kind of a philosopher-mechanic.

Then I started thinking about my neighbor and fellow Beetle owner, who often talks about VW engineering and its foundation in WWII German military vehicles. The cars were basically engineered to be fixable on the battlefield. The engine, for example, can be removed and reinstalled in a matter of minutes. It's held onto the frame by four bolts (or in my case, three...). So I decided that it was time to stop thinking like a civilian and adopt a certain battlefield mentality. That's right, for the first time in my life--and, God, I hope the last--I started thinking like a Nazi. Pretending that bullets were flying past, I got busy.

I found a couple old, used pipe cleaners under the seat, bent back the broken end of the existing cable, and tied it back to the gas pedal with the pipe cleaners. That worked, and a lot better than any amount of duct tape could have.

I drove to my mechanic's house, where we installed a new cable. In one of his lucidly philosophic moments, he assured me that I was "gooder than shit" and sent me on my way.