Thursday, April 25, 2002

  From an interlibrary loan listserv discussion about UPS delivery problems:

This week, they refused to deliver a package I was expecting, so I had it
delivered to a friend's house nearby. When I went to pick it up, I found
an envelope containing baggies of dried herbs of some kind, (rather than
the shoes I was expecting). It had a label with my name and address (50A)
on next to a label with a neighbor's name and address (46A, crossed out
with a pen). I delivered it to the original addressee myself, still not
sure why UPS decided to send the stuff to me.

Now, personally, if I had opened up that package with "baggies of dried herbs of some kind" in it, I would not have delivered it to the addressee, but would have returned it to UPS and let them handle it. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I would worry about the DEA taking me in for questioning about making a drug delivery, or something. What would you do?

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

  We are having severe thunderstorms here, complete with hail! The entire area is under a tornado watch, and some counties are under tornado warnings, which means that tornadoes have actually been sighted there. Now, on to more important matters...

So last night, Matt, Todd and I were at the megabookstore and, of course, Fake British Guy was there. Todd was determined to talk to him. Fake British Guy was in the cafe reading a book. The first attempt, Todd went in there to talk to him, he was talking to some guy. The second attempt, he was listening to music. He went back for a third attempt, and Fake British Guy was gone! Todd spotted him leaving the building, and went out the door after him. Here is how he told me that it went down:

Ran out the front door, looked both ways, saw him about to go around the corner of the building, called out his first name. Fake British Guy turned around with a puzzled look, doing that "Me?" gesture. (Note: Imagine all the words in italics being said in a fake British accent.)

FBG: Are you talking to me?
Todd: Yes.
FBG: How did you know my name?
Todd: You're famous around here. You're like six degrees of separation from everybody I know.
FBG: (suspicious) Who's talking about me?
Todd: Just friends.
FBG: (suspicious) Is it the workers here?
Todd: No, just people who know you from (the university) and (the megabookstore). Everyone asks do you know the Blond British Guy.
FBG: I'm not British -- though I've been to Europe numerous times.
Todd: Oh, so you just picked it up? Yeah, like when I came back from Brazil and had a nasty Portuguese accent.
FBG: (nods in agreement) Yeah...
Todd: Well, I just had to be the one that talked to you, the one to say hi, and find out where you're from...
FBG: Well, I'm not British.
Todd: Okay, thanks, well...goodnight.

Fake British Guy went to his car, Todd came back in and told us all about it. A couple was sitting in the chairs next to me. Todd asked them if they knew who we were talking about -- they did. She is a lifeguard at the pool at the university and sees him there, he is in a class with him. He said, "I don't see what the big deal is." She said, "I don't see what's so funny." They were looking at books about plays and stage makeup, which leads me to believe that they are theater majors (as he is rumored to be) and thus don't see his behavior as odd.

  My friend Todd is back from Florida. The guy went there to work for was "shady," so he packed up and came back home. He will be leaving again, but hasn't decided where he is going yet.

Last night, at the megabookstore, Todd talked to Fake British Guy! I left my notes in the car, so I will have to get them and post the transcript later.

Monday, April 22, 2002

  A patron called last week with an "impossible" request. He needed copies of sections from two pulp fiction magazines from the early 1920s. I started by searching the OCLC database. After coming up dry with every possible lender, I turned to Google. That led me to several possiblities, one of which was the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. After contacting their Reference Dept. via AIM, I was referred to Drew Alfgren, Reference Librarian, who dug in the archives and found one of the magazines that I was looking for. My hero!

Now to find the other elusive issue... To be continued...

  This is long, but hysterically funny: Redneck Neighbor

(Yay! I figured out how to make a hotlink!)

Friday, April 19, 2002

  I just registered my domain name! I should be able to start building the website on Sunday, and I will move this blog there once the page is presentable.

  Michael Baisden is the author of a book called The Maintenance Man which is about a gigolo. I wrote to him, and he wrote back.

Kate wrote:

> Mr. Baisden,
> I just wanted to relate a funny story that involves one of your books.
> A female patron came in one of our local public library branches, and
> said to the clerk, "I'm looking for The Maintenance Man." The clerk,
> being new and not familiar with the title, thought that she was
> wanting the library's maintenance man. "He's not here right now." she
> said, "He's working at another location, but we can page him if
> you need him urgently." The patron blushed, and the other employees
> cracked up.
> Kate

From: baisden
To: Kate
Time: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 14:24:23 -0800
Subject: Re: The Maintenance Man

That was hilarious, Kate. I wish I could have been there for that one.
Thanks for the pick me up this morning.

Michael Baisden

Thursday, April 18, 2002

  I went to a friend's house to hang out last night, and when I brought up Fake British Guy, everyone knew who I was talking about! They have all encountered him either at the university or the mega-bookstore. One friend even knows his name because they have a class together! Rumor has it that he is from a small town less than a half-hour from here. This makes his behavior all the more bizarre, because I'm sure that he runs into kids from his hometown frequently in town and on campus. Of the five of us there last night, three said that they are going to talk to him next time they see him.

Monday, April 15, 2002

  I got a letter in the mail today saying that my new credit card will arrive in 5-10 days. Hooray! I paid off and cancelled all my credit cards two years ago, which is generally a good idea, but you really need to keep at least one so you can do things like: order things online or over the phone, make reservations, rent a car, etc. Not having one has been a pain. Once it arrives, I can register my domain name, and arrange some web hosting. Which is better, www.spinsterlibrarian.com or www.spinsterlibrarian.net?

  Woo hoo! Thanks to some info from Aaron at TheBiz, I just added a comments feature. I hope it works! Try it out so we can see.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

  We never saw Fake British Guy Friday night. It stormed something fierce, so we just hung out at the bookstore, reading, until closing time. I wonder if our recent rainy weather makes him homesick for England... (evil grin)

Thursday, April 11, 2002

  There is a college student that I see at both the libraries where I work, and at the mega-bookstore here in town. He uses a fake British accent 24/7. People who see him pretty much daily at the university library say that they have caught him not using the accent, then realizing he has slipped, and laying it on thicker than ever. (Interestingly, my friend Matt, who works at the public library, said that the first time he ever encountered him, the accent sounded more German or Austrian.) We have taken to calling him "Fake British Guy."

Fake British Guy claims to have a girlfriend back in England, and no interest in dating American women. However, I'm told that he is constantly seen with various female "friends." Feigning disinterest in American girls is part of the pose, and apparently works with the girls who are also too dim to realize that his accent is fake.

A few nights ago, my friends and I were at the mega-bookstore where he is often sighted. We found an unoccupied group of armchairs and sat down. I started checking out the books that had been left on the table. There was a British magazine, many books on England, and, I shit you not, London for Dummies. "Do you know who must have been sitting here?!" I exclaimed, showing them the evidence, "Fake British Guy!" Just moments later, he walked by. (I think that I had taken his seat when he went to the "loo.") He stopped and talked to an international student who was sitting about ten feet from us (this was behind me, I couldn't see) and he was, of course, using the accent. My friend Todd and I discussed him in French. I had talked about Fake British Guy, but Todd didn't know who he was. It turns out that Todd had encountered him several times in the past, but had never heard him speak before. I'm so glad that we saw him that evening, because Todd is about to move to Miami.

Tonight, I am working at the university library, and expect to see him hanging out here, as usual.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

  (Couldn't post yesterday because our internet connection went down for about six hours. Arrgghh!)

Well, the jig is up. (I'm relieved.) Yesterday afternoon, our boss couldn't take the guilt and told our part-timer it was all a prank. He messed with her a bit, acting like he was really pissed. He tried that on me too, but I wasn't buying it. This morning we have all been confessing our various parts in the prank.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

  The pranksters read his response this morning and wrote back. He asked how she got his email address, and they said that she had gotten it from a friend who had made her promise not to tell. I'm surprised that this has gone on this long! They say that they will tell him the truth Friday.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

  Our part-timer went to school for awhile this afternoon and talked to his friend, the latest suspect. His friend told him that he did not send the email, and that the room in the picture is not the ceramics classroom at their school. He responded to the latest email, writing as if he believes her, but he is sure that this is a prank. The ladies in the office are going to respond tomorrow morning.

  Well, I told the other ladies in the office about the picture that I found, and one of them wrote our part-timer another email and attached the picture! The picture shows a girl in a ceramics class...he "recognized" the classroom as the one at his school! (I actually got it from the University of Washington website -- I guess all ceramics classrooms look the same.) He said, "I've never seen her before -- I don't think." One of his best friends is in ceramics at his school, so that also made him wonder. He now thinks his friend is behind it, if it is a joke at all...

Monday, April 01, 2002

  Well, it's April Fools Day, and there have been some pranks pulled here in our office. First, the head of our office told my boss, who returns from vacation tomorrow, that I had been out sick for days, and that there was a ton of work to be done. My boss wigged out, then asked what was wrong with me, that was when she told her it was just a joke.
Then the ladies in our office made up a fake Hotmail address and sent an email from "Brittiney" to the college student who works with us part-time. He is usually the one pulling pranks on them, so they didn't feel so bad doing it to him. He knew it was a joke, but thought his dad had done it! He wrote back saying that he knew it was a prank, and I was really tempted to log into the account and write back to him. I even went on Google and found a picture of a cute girl to use...but I just couldn't do it.