Monday, December 22, 2008

99 Things

I saw this on Stephen's Lighthouse library blog (Stephen Abram is a bigwig in the library community and keeps up a rather entertaining blog). Anyway, I thought I'd play along. 


Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band. *This is just a fantasy... no musical talent here, sadly.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. *As long as karaoke counts...

11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.

15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.

24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a marathon. 
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.*I honestly have no clue where this would even be... but let me know, and I'm there!

35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke. *Ha.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.

71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.

74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.

77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.*Not to my recollection, and I feel weird saying I WANT to do that. I guess it's more like that if I were in the situation, I would want to. But I don't really wish for such a situation to arise. 
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.

I'm a bit saddened by how little I've done! This actually caused a bit more self-reflection than I had assumed. I realized I want to both have a baby AND adopt. (I seriously couldn't choose between the two, so just went with both.) I also thought it was interesting to note the things I had no interest in doing.... Ususally my stance is that I want to experience anything and everything, but I found myself having no interest in holding a baby lamb (and who doesn't love baby animals?), hitch-hiking, riding on a motorcycle, or visiting a concentration camp (I'm pretty sure I would lose it and be haunted forever)... among other things. Anyway, why don't some of you try it out? 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stay Away from Mistletoe

So we have a reference line here at the library. And while most of the calls we get are simple enough ("what is the definition of blah blah blah?"), we have one patron who calls fairly often with hilariously absurd questions and requests. Well, to be fair, it's not that the questions are so ridiculous, but her incessant need that you answer her questions in exactly the fashion she wants them. Hard to explain, but I think you'll see my point after reading below.

For example, last week it was "Hey Lauren, I need a refresher on Joan of Arc. Was she a Christian?" To answer something like this, I ignore all of my reference training and head straight to Wikipedia, from which I read her the first paragraph. ("Oh ok great, Lauren. That's exactly what I wanted to know.")

So this morning, she calls and wants me basically to help diagnose her insomnia symptoms. She wanted to know about the second kind of insomnia, where you wake up and can't get back to sleep, and what the specific causes are. Wikipedia wasn't going to cut it this time, so I found a reference book in our medical reference section about Sleep Disorders, and read parts of it to her. Needless to say, it did not suffice that "worry, anxiety, and pain" were the top causes of this phenomenon. She kept saying "you aren't exactly hitting it on the head. I need to know Top Causes, not just suggested causes." So basically, I reworded the "suggested causes" several different ways until she was more than happy. 

So tonight, she calls back and remembers me. And here's how the conversation went. And let me preface this by saying that K just informed me that she calls her often, giving a fictional name, and was most recently asking for help diagnosing a family member with "egomania." 

Lady: Well Lauren! What are you still doing there? I'll just call back later and let someone else help me.
Me: No no no, ma'am, I'm happy to hel....
L: Ok then, I need to know synonyms for "objects of love."
M: So... like names for objects of affection, like sweetheart?
L: Yes.
M: (Looking at well we've got honey, love, valentine....
L: No not the actual words. I need to knwo what it means to have an object of love.
M: So what exact information are you looking for, ma'am?
L: I want to know what happens when you have an object of love. Or when you don't. What does it do?
M: Well I can give you information about how it affects your brain?
L: No no no I need specific facts about what needs it provides for. What does it do to you? What does it mean?
M: (Completely lost and scanning Wikipedia, looking at H and pretending to blow my brains out.) So I read her this: 
Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst.[7] Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment.
L: Mammalian? What is mammalian?
M: As in, pertaining to mammals. 
L: Oh ok, so upright walking with spinal chords?
M: Yes, exactly. 
L: Ok, so what else?
M: Ok, well this is interesting:

Studies have shown that brain scans of those infatuated by love display a resemblance to those with a mental illness. Love creates activity in the same area of the brain that hunger, thirst, and drug cravings create activity in. New love, therefore, could possibly be more physical than emotional. Over time, this reaction to love mellows, and different areas of the brain are activated, primarily ones involving long-term commitments.
L: Ohhhh now that makes sense! Like egomaniacal? 
M: Well I'm not sure (Sadly, I thought up until a few minutes ago she was making that word up... therefore proving that librarians are not walking dictionaries afterall)...
L: Well Lauren, I just think people who want to be in love are crazy. Just crazy. Why would you want such a thing? It makes you mentally ill in the first stages, then you're miserable. What's the point?
M: ...... (at a loss for words)
L: What do you think Lauren? I would like to know the  opinion of an education person like yourself.
M: Well I'm no scientist, ma'am. And I can't say I know all that much about love these days, but I can assure you there's a point to it.
L: Well I just don't think so. I think we ought to warn everyone. They need to just stay away from the mistletoe this Christmas! Nothing good can come of it!
M: (Laughing nervously...) 
L: We'll write pamphlets and distribute them! Stay away from mistletoe!
M: Ma'am can I help you with anything else?
L: No, you've been wonderful. Thank you so much. I'll talk to you soon. 

K, H, and I have concluded she must have a family member who she fears is egomaniacal, maybe because he/she has fallen in love? Perhaps her worry over this is what is keeping her up at night.

Lesson learned: do not answer the phone with PRI 12 pops up. And stay away from mistletoe. 

So stay away from mistletoe folks, it could ruin your life.