Monthly Archives: March 2012

4 Reasons Why I Voluntarily Stay Late at Work

Or, 4 Reasons Why It’s Abundantly Clear I Chose the Right Career Path

1. Nerd thrills.

I’ve been slightly obsessed with linguistics and languages since birth. In particular, etymologies and word relationships between different languages make me giddy with nerd joy. Being a cataloger means looking at lots of different languages, like last week when I was editing a record for an online version of an Icelandic translation of Chrétien de Troyes’ 12th-century Arthurian romances. Just for funsies I went to view the actual text, and there I saw the word konung and thought “huh, that looks familiar” and then IT HIT ME—it’s the equivalent of the Old English word cyning which, as we all know, appears in Beowulf’s prologue and means king. Omg! Konung = cyning = king! Icelandic –> Old English! I mean, I’m squealing like a dolphin on crack right now! Anyone else?

2. Trivia.

You never know what will come across your desk if you’re a cataloger. This week I started a project involving a stack of French-language booklets about Canadian history, which led to me learning about this fascinating but probably insane mustachioed dude who basically founded Manitoba and thought he was a prophet sent by God and was eventually hanged for treason after a dramatic trial. I mean, whoa. Who knew that Canada was up to such shenanigans in the 1800s?

Hey, Louis Riel: That stache is trash.

3. Music adventures.

I’ve learned that I can’t listen to any of my favorite albums while I’m cataloging because I automatically start singing along, and then I get distracted and even insert words I’m singing into records I’m typing. I gave my classical playlist a whirl, but it’s not quite peppy enough. Turns out that if you’re staring at data on a screen all day, some funky beats are required. So then I listened to Buena Vista Social Club about a thousand times, after which I decided  that while non-English jazzy type stuff was definitely the way to go, I needed something new. That’s how I discovered Edith Piaf. My. Life. Is. Changed. Forever. Is she peppy? Oui! Is she outrageously awesome? Oui! Is she keeping me awake? Mais oui!

4. Delusions of grandeur.

We all have our little pet peeves. Well, y’all do. Meanwhile, I have huge, giant, looming-on-the-horizon-of-my-soul peeves, mostly having to do with things being arranged incorrectly. I grind my teeth over misplaced apostrophes, crooked pictures, cluttered shelves, poorly organized websites, and such like. I’ve spent my whole life gazing powerlessly at glaring errors in this world, clenching my fists and thinking wrothful thoughts, since generally social decorum prevents me from taking action. But now when I see something wrong in a previously created record, you know what I do? I just fix the damn mistake. Oh frabjous day! What soothing balm to my curmudgeonly heart. You know that Icelandic thing I mentioned? Well, originally it was labeled as Danish. A bunch of other libraries still have it marked as Danish. But in my library, by gum, it’s correct, because I thought it didn’t look Danish and then I ran it through Google Translate and then I said to myself  “Great Scott, it’s Icelandic!” and then I fixed it. And that pretty much makes me an information goddess of limitless omnipotence.

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3 Reasons Why I Fear My Book-Nerdness Has Finally Become Straight Up Neurosis

Or, 3 Reasons Why I’m Surprised I Can Function Socially (Well, Sort of Function)

1. Constant allusiveness.

Last week during a bleary-eyed walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I thought “Gah, this sucks, I feel like Gandalf finding a path through the mines of Moria.” It didn’t help that I caught sight of Piglet lurking in the shadows like a balrog.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

Anyway, see what this means? I’m not even having original thoughts any more. My inner monologue is now just an unending stream of book excerpts—and currently it seems to rely heavily on a mixture of Hamlet, P.G. Wodehouse novels, and exclamatory expressions used by Nero Wolfe (pfui!).

2. Obsession not only with books but also with lists of books.

I recently spent an entire afternoon reorganizing my main Goodreads list into a number of more granular lists dedicated to various categories, in order to better analyze my reading habits and preferences. Here are some pie charts demonstrating the results (predilection for pie charts is another daily struggle).

BY ERA: I omitted a large chunk of classic literature before the 1800s, but that category would be almost exclusively things I read for high school and college classes, and I’m just trying to track my preferences in leisure reading.
BY GENRE: There is some overlap between children/young adult and the other genres, but I decided that the CYA designation is primary and the others secondary, especially considering the aforementioned purpose of this analysis. 

Here’s a bar graph illustrating how little you care.

Levels of Interest

According to my calculations, I’m higher on the list than televised golf tournaments. But just barely.

3. Severe withdrawals.

I invariably experience a period of malaise after reading a truly good novel, during which I mope and fret and dismiss all other books as weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable. This condition is even more acute following completion of a series. When I finished Deathly Hallows, for instance, I sank into despondence so deep that it took weeks before I had the heart to pick up another book, and it was a challenge just to keep my hair brushed and eat something besides peanut-butter toast. You know there’s something wrong when your reading habits directly result in the consumption of three jars of Skippy Natural.

Omg DELICIOUS, even when you’re not so depressed that you maunder about in a bathrobe drinking milk from the jug and making pathetic attempts to cast Cheering Charms.


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3 Reasons Why I Coupon (And Yes, I’m Allowing That Word to Function as a Verb)

Or, 3 Reasons Why I Feel Motivated to Get a Tattoo in a Scandalous Place to Counteract the Fact that I’m Dangerously Teetering on the Precipice of Being Known as “That Lady With Four Cats Who Is Obsessed with Coupons”

1. Couponing appeals to my competitive nature.

It feels like an enjoyably elaborate game to me—hunt for deals, gather my coupons, find everything on my list—so when I do well, I win, hahah! And this victory is especially sweet because I win ACTUAL MONEY. So it’s essentially like Monopoly on crack. And the store in question just landed on my Boardwalk with three hotels bwaaaaahahahhahaha—sorry. I frequently lapse into Monopoly fantasies.

Original cost $82. I paid $14.50.

2. Couponing appeals to my finicky, organized nature.

It gave me a reason to arrange this file box and write a bunch of labels. That kind of thing is, like, the chief joy of my life. Yes. I am openly admitting that.

I got so excited about the folders for each month that I actually made folders for each week too. Totally unnecessary, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

Now, you might be one of these folks who is interested in couponing but you always hold back because you’re thinking, “Seriously, who are these freaks who spend hours cutting coupons and standing in line to buy 200 boxes of cereal? Aren’t I doing enough for my family already? I mean, for the LOVE OF GOD, what do they want from me? MY BLOOD?!?!?!” If that’s you, lemme just share a little something (after which you will probably say, with tears in your eyes, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings). Here’s how it works:

  • Set up a file box with a folder for each month, plus a few general folders for coupons you print off the internet (groceries, household, etc.)
  • Buy papers every Sunday (good rule of thumb: get one for every person in the house)
  • Write each week’s date on your inserts and file them away
  • Check out this couponing site and others like it, which will tell you what deals are running at which stores, and which coupons from which dates and inserts you need for each deal.
  • Decide which deals you want, cut the coupons you need, and you’re all done except for the fun shopping part.

I have great success with this non-overwhelming method (not to mention, I just enjoy filing things) and it takes no more than an hour a week. Perhaps even less. Are you misting up yet?

3. Couponing appeals to my shameless-desire-for-lots-of-money nature.

Now, I am told that in the music world it has been posited that mo’ money = mo’ problems, but in my own humble opinion, the author of that sentiment is just STRAIGHT TRIPPIN. I will take all the money I can get and whatever “problems” come with it. Mo’ couponing = mo’ money = mo’ stuff from Etsy, is my personal view. Speaking of which, check out my favorite Etsy purchase to date, “Picky Duck,” which continues to make me giggle like a lunatic even though it’s been hanging on my wall for months.

From WhatParty, an embroidery shop par excellence.

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