I don't think I've heard so many curse words (mostly beginning with "mother" and ending with....well, you can guess) as I did today at the theatre while sitting, solitary, inside the theatre, reading a book about the Brontes before patrons were due to arrive. The conversation was between a stage hand and the sound guy. They were commiserating about a particular member of their staff -- a musician -- who does not appreciate how loud one of the actors sings as it interferes with the sound of his particular instrument. The stage hand did not appreciate this and I was privy to a 20 minute berating of the guy while pretending to read my book. It is unnecessary for me to relate the exact words that were spoken as so many of them were of a coarse variety that there is not much substance to share. All in all, I was greatly amused by it.
It is odd to think that someone is walking along the Strand in London while I am in [an american city], in the room I've occupied (off and on) for 14 years. It is difficult to acknowledge that London is still alive and active as ever, without me. Less a narcissistic thought than mere wonder that a place I love and no longer occupy still exists if I am not there to witness it take place. It gives me some comfort to think that London is still there, that people are now going to the theatres in the West End, sitting in concerts, enjoying dinner on the South Bank in the cafe where I once had dinner at least once a week, and walking the darkened streets only illuminated by the lights from buildings, cars and street lamps, while I watch the sun decline in my home across the ocean. Everything that is happening now in my foreign home I will witness again one day. When I do I will not be thinking about my native town.
Apparently filling out library card applications is a very strenuous activity.
People are very possessive of their library card so when you renew their card they will attack you if you even suggest getting a new one. However, when they are picking up a hold they are surprised when you ask them for their library card.
People think they can pick up their holds whenever they want and are justified in having a hissy-fit when you tell them that their hold is not here because they "only" have 9 days to pick it up.
People believe that:
You can use the library's computers even if you don't have a library card.
Plastic library bags are free.
They don't have to return items they borrowed and should not have to pay replacement fees on them when they don't.
Library clerks are librarians.
Library clerks can leave the desk where there is a long line of people waiting to be helped in order to teach you how to print something on the computer.
If you don't like something you have printed you don't have to pay the 25 cents per paper.
We have in stock and will willingly give away free to patrons: folders, paper clips, pencils/pens, paper, computer discs, books (doh!), and magnifying glasses.
We are a postal service.
You can come in and drop off items to return two minutes after we close.
Library clerks actually believe you when you tell them that you have never taken out the five DVD'S that you are being billed for on your card.
We actually care whether or not you want to pay a 15 cent fine.
One of the hazards of working in a library is that one finds entirely too many interesting books to read.
There are an assortment of books I am reading at the moment, most which I have picked up on seats, in drop boxes, and on the many shelves that hold these now nefarious books that have begun to clutter my own room -- as my room is already bombarded with a large amount of my own purchased collection of books.
Briefly [edit: not so briefly], this is what I am reading now:
Starting with the traditional bodice ripper HIS AT NIGHT by Sherry Thomas. Sherry, I believe, was not born in America (I know that her parents are of Asian descent) and her writing is as immaculate as a person who learned English second hand, i.e. the correct way. Her stories veer from the traditional -- simple -- romance books written today and set in 19th century England. Her previous book NOT QUITE A HUSBAND moves out of the drawing room to India. Exotic.
Next. THE INIMITABLE JEEVES by the legendary P.G. WODEHOUSE. Light-hearted literature written in the early Twentieth Century with main character Bertie Wooster as a carefree, elitist dandy with nothing better to do than get himself into hilarious scrapes which then his snobby intelligent butler Jeeves must get him out of. And, yes, this Jeeves is the origin of the now deceased search engine.
I just picked up ANIL'S GHOST (from a drop box) on Friday and have only read the first, very short, chapter. But I'm sure it will be good. It is from Michael Ondaatje, the writer of THE ENGLISH PATIENT.
Have only one chapter to go on ON LOVE by the philosopher Alain de Botton. This book is half novel half philosophy. I haven't been able to finish it because, like most philosophical texts, the subject which it treats has a tendency to leave one sad rather than uplifted. However, it is more entertaining than condescending.
I started DEAD END GENE POOL by Wendy Burden a week ago and got fairly far before becoming engrossed in HIS AT NIGHT. When there is a bodice ripper to read it never fails that all other books fall to the wayside, and this literally as they end up scattered at the side of my bed so that when I wake in the middle of night for a tinkle I walk over and, usually, fall over them. There aren't many books written today that I consider good writing. Wendy Burden's memoir is an exception. Burden is a descendent of the Vanderbilt dynasty and uses this memoir as a cathartic (the latter is a personal assumption) release for pent up frustration over her rich but loveless childhood. Despite the doom and gloom -- of which there is much -- the pages are mixed with uniquely funny personal accounts of her crazy relatives, as well as a succinct and wholly interesting history of her family from when they first built up their dynasty in the 1700's.
Lastly, and briefly, Jasper Fforde's SHADES OF GREY. Jasper FForde is a former employee of the film industry who left it at no early age to write what could loosely be called sci-fi novels. His writing has improved and is no where better apparent than in his latest novel. He is best known for the "Thursday Next series" about a detective who can enter and travel through classic literature. His first book was THE EYRE AFFAIR.