Maybe I should have gone to law school or something…

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Another post from the past, from March 26, 2005…

Thoughts on approaching 27…

I can’t have a midlife crisis now, can I?

I’m buried under books and papers right now, trying to get back in the swing of things. I haven’t studied anything other than toy assembly instructions for nearly 5 years now, and now I’m trying to memorize what SCSI stands for (and no, it’s not airing on CBS.) As of right now, I meet the minimum qualifications to become a Computer Technician for the county, but I rarely do anything minimally. Except paying bills.

I’m aiming to become A+ certified before August, along with heading back to school to probably get a vocational certificate. As of now, library school is not even in the picture. The thoughts of another 10 years working the desks and dealing with unappreciative patrons doesn’t appeal to me at all, while the thought of working entirely with computers, something I’ve grown to love, does. I’d love to do field work, not having to be confined to one location all the time. I will miss finding the answer to all those tough reference questions, and seeing the look on someone’s face when I do.

Of course, the thought of just sitting under an umbrella at the beach sipping pina coladas all day long appeals to me the best, but I’m still working out that business plan.

Fast forward a little more than 9 years later, and I’m still working in a library, albeit in an academic setting with a little more appreciative clientele. I’ve pretty much grown out of the love of repairing computers. The thought of field work is terrifying, as well as the thought of sitting under an umbrella at the beach. Still enjoy answering reference questions.

Here’s hoping that I figure out something better to do in another 10 years.

I was going to be the next Weird Al…

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Back when I blogged about working in a public library, I wrote a parody of Billy Joel’s Piano Man called “Librarian.” I distinctly remember writing this down on a day our computers were down, and on a day someone in administration came by for a surprise inspection. This entry was quite popular, being linked on various other library blogs, and I remember hearing from a few librarians who posted the lyrics on their office bulletin boards.

with apologies to billy joel

So, our computers came back up, the inspection results were good, and I ended up having a song stuck in my head.

Librarian
(sung to the tune of Piano Man, by Billy Joel)
It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
Regular patrons shuffles in
There’s an old man standing ‘front of me
Preparin’ to ask a question

He says, “Son, can you find me some poetry
I’m not really sure if it’s Poe,
But it’s sad and it’s sweet and I read it complete
But I checked it out a long time ago.”

La la la, de de da
La la, de de da da dum

Chorus:
Find us that book, you’re the librarian
Find us that book tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a mystery
And I heard that new Grafton’s alright.

Now John at the front owes some major fines,
though he thought everything was free.
And he’s quick with a joke, or some dumb anecdote,
And hasn’t showered since 1983.

He says, “Bill, I believe ’tis a conspiracy.”
As he wiped some drool off his face.
But the computer says he owes about twenty,
and Bill’s not my name in the first place.

Oh, la la la, de de da
La la, de de da da dumb

Now Paul’s some stock market wizard,
who causes us only strife,
and he’s talkin’ with Davy, who some say is crazy
And oughta be locked up for life

And the place is just bursting with lunatics
as some idiot yells on his phone
Yes, they’re surfing this thing they call Internet
While asking ’bout interlibrary loans

Chorus:
Find us that book, you’re the librarian
find us that book tonight
Well I’m all in the mood for a comedy,
and I heard Dave Barry’s alright.

It’s a pretty large crowd for a Saturday
As a patron’s jaw opens wide
‘Cause she owes us a fee, for scratching a CD,
And that fine we won’t override

And the library smells like a urinal,
and that guy in the front smells like a beer
But they all stand in line, and argue their fine,
and ask, “Can I have the manager here?”

Oh, la la la, de de da
La la, de de da da dum

Chorus:
Find us a book, you’re the librarian
find us a book, tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a fantasy,
and we heard Tolkien’s alright.

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Found an entry from my old blog

Last night I applied to be a contestant on Jeopardy! I’ve actually applied once a year for the past few years, but was never called. Hopefully I’ll be picked this time around.

I’m just scared that if I do pass the auditions, fly to California, and get on the game, the categories will be things I know little about.

Alex: And the categories tonight are…The British Royal Family… Potent Potables… “Q” Words… Polka… French History… and the last category is… Stuff Nat Couldn’t Possibly Know.
Me: Shit.
Alex: And Nat, you get to pick first.
Me: Thank you, Alex. I’ll take “Why The Hell Am I Here” for $200.

I was actually called several months later and went to the audition. Needless to say I didn’t make the cut. But I did get a neat pen – which I promptly lost the next day at work.

 

A brief rundown on Leonard’s relationships in Big Bang Theory (or, why Penny and Leonard make a terrible couple)

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There’s no one here in the library right now, so I’m pretending to look busy. Here’s a rundown of all the girls Leonard have started relationships (brief or otherwise) and my opinions on them.

 

1. Penny - That semi-attractive neighbor he immediately falls in love with. I don’t understand the attraction at all. They share no common interests other than poking fun at Sheldon and getting drunk. Her constant jibes at Leonard’s geeky passions annoys me to no end.

2. Joyce Kim - A former girlfriend who turned out to be a North Korean spy. Don’t you hate it when something like that happens? Yeah, that wouldn’t have worked out.

3. Leslie Winkle – A fellow CalTech scientist who only slept with Leonard to satisfy her libido. As much as I enjoyed seeing a David/Darlene reunion, I didn’t see that relationship working out either.

4. Stephanie Barnett – A doctor and surgical resident who Howard picked up in a bar, but went home with Leonard and dated for several weeks. Now this is the first relationship in the show which I could see working out. She was slightly overbearing and perhaps a bit clingy, and the show never really portrayed any geeky interests, but I felt that the relationship was way more stable than the Leonard+Penny one.

5. Elizabeth Plimpton - A popular physicist who Sheldon invited to stay over, and who ended up hitting on, or sleeping with, all the guys including Leonard. Nope – that relationship would’ve never worked.

6. Priya Koothrappali - Raj’s sister. Another non-geek Leonard has been with who to me was just a smarter, foreign version of Penny – complete with jibes at his geeky passions. And like Leslie, probably only slept with Leonard to satisfy her own libido and to annoy her brother and parents. 

7. Alice – A comic book artist he met at The Comic Book Store. She was absolutely perfect for him.  I hate that she’s only in one episode, and that their relationship ended so quickly because Leonard felt guilty for betraying Priya, who ended up cheating on him. The dialogue below from where they first meet was spectacular and cemented my opinion on why a Leonard+Alice relationship would’ve been one of the best relationships on television.

 

Alice (to Leonard): Are you getting this Next Men?

Leonard: Uh, yeah. It’s issue number 21. First appearance of Hellboy.

Alice: I know. I’ve been looking for it for years.

Leonard: Sorry.

Alice: Hey, if I pretended to hit on you, could I distract you enough to sneak it away?

Leonard: Yes, but you’d be using your superpowers for evil.

Alice: Damn, I’m forbidden by my Kryptonian father to do so. I am Alice.

Leonard: Leonard.

Alice: You are very cute, Leonard.

Leonard: Thanks. You, too. You know, go ahead and take it.

Alice: No, no. No, no, I, I, I did evil. Would you be open to a trade?

Leonard: Uh, yeah, yeah, sure, I guess.

Alice: Okay. Here. This is my number, call me.

Leonard: Sorry, palm’s a little sweaty. What’s that word?

Alice: Alice.

Leonard: Oh, right, your name. That makes more sense than penis.

 

8 . Alex Jensen - a CalTech graduate student hired by Sheldon to be his assistant. Alex was fairly attracted to Leonard and flirted with him constantly. Leonard, of course, was oblivious to all of it because of his loyalty to Penny. She’s no longer on the show, probably because of her bigger role in NCIS. Nonetheless, this would’ve been a way better relationship than Leonard+Penny.

9. Joy – An overly obnoxious lady that Leonard was set up with on a double date with Howard and Bernadette. Didn’t think it was possible, but they developed a character less suited to be in a relationship with Leonard than Penny.

 

Books 22 through 52…and beyond!

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This may be the very first time I fulfilled a New Year’s Resolution, and I have an additional four months to read more.

Honestly, I felt like I cheated a little bit by including the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who short stories, but I feel like I’ve made up for it by reading more than the allotted 52 and not including the dozen or so graphic novels I’ve picked up. So here’s a quick and dirty cut and paste from Excel showing the titles and authors and the completion date. As you can tell towards the bottom, I’ve been on a bit of Lemony Snicket kick. I started out the series years ago, but never finished, so I restarted the whole series through and began reading the “prequels.”

Hallucinations Oliver Sacks 3/9/14
Nothing O’Clock (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #11) Neil Gaiman 5/15/14
A Big Hand For The Doctor (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #1) Eoin Colfer 5/16/14
The Fault in Our Stars John Green 5/16/14
The Door to December Richard Paige 5/22/14
The Key to Midnight Leigh Nichols 5/25/14
The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #10) Derek Landy 5/29/14
Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1) Dean Koontz 5/31/14
Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, #2) Dean Koontz 6/5/14
Brother Odd (Odd Thomas, #3) Dean Koontz 6/7/14
Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4) Dean Koontz 6/24/14
Odd Apocalypse (Odd Thomas, #5) Dean Koontz 6/29/14
Odd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas Adventure Dean Koontz 7/1/14
Something Borrowed (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #6) Richelle Mead 7/2/14
The Roots of Evil (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #4) Philip Reeve 7/2/14
The Neighbor (Short Story) Dean Koontz 7/2/14
Tip of the Tongue (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #5) Patrick Ness 7/3/14
Spore (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #8) Alex Scarrow 7/9/14
The Spear of Destiny (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #3) Marcus Sedgwick 7/9/14
The Ripple Effect (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #7) Malorie Blackman 7/10/14
Haunted Key West / Strange Key West David L. Sloan 7/14/14
The City Dean Koontz 7/16/14
All You Need Is Kill Hiroshi Sakurazaka 7/17/14
For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond Ben Macintyre 7/19/14
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1) Douglas Adams 7/22/14
Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas, #6) Dean Koontz 7/23/14
Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings Marcus J. Borg 7/24/14
The Art of Racing in the Rain Garth Stein 7/25/14
The Beast of Babylon (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #9) Charlie Higson 7/26/14
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently, #2) Douglas Adams 7/29/14
Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight Jay Barbree 7/31/14
Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation Adam Resnick 8/1/14
Doctor Who: Engines of War George Mann 8/2/14
You Are Not Special and Other Encouragements David McCullough Jr. 8/8/14
Earth Afire (The First Formic War, #2) Orson Scott Card 8/14/14
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) Lemony Snicket 8/15/14
The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2) Lemony Snicket 8/16/14
The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3) Lemony Snicket 8/17/14
The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5) Lemony Snicket 8/19/14
The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4) Lemony Snicket 8/19/14
The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6) Lemony Snicket 8/20/14
The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8) Lemony Snicket 8/21/14
The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7) Lemony Snicket 8/21/14
The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9) Lemony Snicket 8/22/14
The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10) Lemony Snicket 8/23/14
The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11) Lemony Snicket 8/24/14
The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12) Lemony Snicket 8/25/14
The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13) Lemony Snicket 8/26/14
A Practical Man (Star Wars: Boba Fett) Karen Traviss 8/28/14
Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All The Wrong Questions, #1) Lemony Snicket 8/28/14

 

Books 3 through 21…

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So my plans on writing briefly about every book I’m reading this year as part of my 52 book challenge hasn’t panned out – but I am reading way ahead of schedule. According to Goodreads, I am 40% done with the challenge and we’re only 10 weeks into the year. And that’s not including the random TPB here and there.

It’s been a mix of geek-related fiction and memoirs and various non-fiction science stuff.

3 – Mental Floss Presents: Instant Knowledge
4 – The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
5 – Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger
6 – The First Phone Call from Heaven, by Mitch Albom. Quick review: It sucked.
7 – A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley, by Neal Thompson
8 – Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach - who has so far been my favorite go-to author to read this year (see 10 and 18)
9 – If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor, by Bruce Campbell.
10 – Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, by Mary Roach
11 – Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. This may be one of my favorite books ever. It felt like it was written just for the teenage version of me. And the 35 year old version too.
12 – Just a Geek, by Wil Wheaton
13 – The Nerdist Way, by Chris Hardwick
14 – Nerd Do Well, by Simon Pegg
15 – The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, by Jennifer 8 Lee
16 – Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America, by Jeff Ryan
17 – Redshirts, by John Scalzi. Another one in my all time favorites.
18 – Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, by Mary Roach
19 – Doctor Who – The Clockwise Man (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #1), by Justin Richards.
20 – Doctor Who: The Resurrection Casket (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #9), by Justin Richards. Good thing I don’t have necessarily have to read these in order.
21 – Service Games: The Rise and Fall of SEGA: Enhanced Edition, by Sam Pettus.

I had that!

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On 2 June, as Sean Jeffries was travelling to London to see Return of the Jedi before me, I was getting into my pyjamas and climbing into my bed on ward 34 of the BCH, being looked after by a number of delightful nurses, all of whom I fell in love with. I watched the original Star Wars on the ward’s video cassette player as a consolation for missing the fun in London, and Mum and Richard went into Bristol and bought me a Biker Scout action figure, one of the new Return of the Jedi range, released in conjunction with the opening of the film. Even now, I can still feel the thrill of studying the packaging before ripping it open to get inside (would have been worth a fortune today if I’d left it in the box, stupid child). The smell of the fresh plastic and the sophistication and newness of the mould compared to the older, now well-used figures in my collection filled me with a wonder and excitement that completely dispelled my nerves about the operation.

Simon Pegg – Nerd Do Well

I had that same Biker Scout action figure! I remember having exactly 3 Star Wars action figures as a kid – Darth Vader, the Hoth version of Luke Skywalker along with the Tauntaun, and that Biker Scout. I also remember sitting outside near the bushes around our apartment pretending that Luke was a villain and that Vader and the Scout were the real heroes.

I guess I still do.

A boy and his bird…

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James O’Barr, the creator of one of my favorite comic book characters of all time, The Crow, will be appearing at Megacon 2014. I don’t believe he shows up at many conventions, least not one down here in Florida.

See that tattered copy of The Crow towards the bottom, right on top of a pristine copy of the Special Edition version? I’m hoping to get that one signed. The one that’s been read a dozen times. I wasn’t familiar with The Crow when it first came out, but I can remember sitting at the bookstore after the movie was released and being in awe of how much darker it was than the movie itself. After reading it several times on subsequent visits, I figured I may as well buy a copy myself.

Several years later, one of my favorite authors, Poppy Z. Brite,  wrote a novel set in the world of The Crow called The Lazarus Heart. Subsequent novels, and collection of short stories and poems came out, and I was quick to grab them off the shelves. O’Barr wrote some more graphic novels in The Crow universe too, which sad to say I haven’t followed religiously – but hope to this year.

52 weeks…52 books…

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Kindle

Inspired by the 52books subreddit, my New Year’s resolution is to read 52 books this year. I’m aiming for a book a week, but hopefully I can manage to fit in two or three.

Towards the end of 2013, I was on a bit of a World War II kick, reading The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, by Robert Edsel, Band of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose, and Beyond Band of Brothers, by Major Dick Winters. I started reading The Pacific, by Hugh Ambrose, but can’t seem to read more than a chapter or two at a time.

I decided to start 2014 on a bit of a happier note, so I downloaded a copy of Jim Henson: The Biography, by Brian Jay Jones. I’m about halfway done so far, so I’m off to a good start.

Next on my To Read List (in no particular order):

A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
Tinkers, by Paul Harding
The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp through Civilization’s Best Bits, by Erik Sass