Monday, February 6, 2012

A Meditation on Cautionary Sayings

"Liquor before beer, never fear. Beer before liquor, never sicker."

"Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor's warning."

"Leaves of three, let them be."

Helpful warnings, couched in rhyme. Judging by the search results on Google, that first one is confusing to many people, and an urban legend to boot.

But what about sayings that are relevant to life today? We are not sailors, except on the tides of social media. We do not encounter poison ivy, because we never go outside except to get in our cars to drive somewhere and go inside again. Where are the rhymes for our times?

I've taken it upon myself to come up with some that I hope will catch on like (virtual) wildfire.

First and foremost: "Meet them online, everything's fine. Meet them in person, things may worsen." This, coupled with "Make it funny, you're in the money; if it's lame, you're to blame" should just about cover any social situation you might find yourself in.

More general advice for modern living:

"Aiming for nonagenarian? Go vegetarian!"

"Red as a beet? Don't eat that meat!"

"If it has lime, it's worth your time." (Electric Company, anyone? Anyone?)

"If the zombies are walkin', don't go a-knockin'"

"If he's flashing fang, don't tap that thang."

"Leaves of seventy-one, isn't counting fun?"

"Cat on the lap, prepare to nap. Cat on the floor, OK to adore. Cat on the 'nip, prepare for a trip."

Given five or ten years, I'm pretty sure that these too will be myths that NBC Today Health will be happy to debunk for us. 

Additional cautionary sayings encouraged in the comments.

ETA: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be, unless you work at a library."

Meditation Index

Library Day in the Life: Closed to the Public Edition

Last week, I participated in the latest round of Library Day in the Life. I posted tidbits here and there on Twitter using the hashtag (#libday8), but it took me a while to settle on what day I wanted to give an in-depth treatment. My library is closed to the public every Friday due to budget cuts, but we still report to work. What goes on at the library when there are no patrons waiting at the desk and mobbing the computers? More than the non-stop partying that you're probably imagining.

My day started a bit later than the usual 9:00 due to a dentist's appointment (loose filling, yay), but I made it into the locked building and was immersed in social media by 10:00. It's not uncommon to see people on the way in to the library--patrons who don't know we're closed, those who just want to return some items and don't know that the drop box is on the other side of the street, tourists looking for the museums, which are on the other side of the building.

When there are no desk hours to provide structure, it can be easy to fritter away a Friday. I prefer to have several projects over the course of the day, so I don't get stuck or bored with what I'm doing. Fridays are an excellent day to weed, for example, because I can work uninterrupted with my lists and my cart. I might also go through paperback donations, change a display, work on reports, and so on. However, this week I had a definite goal: purchase used video games for the young adult collection.

Over at the other blog, I recently posted a look at my library's video game collection. I mentioned that the Friends of the Library had sent me $100 so that I could fill some of the holes created by missing and billed items. I began by generating a list of all games with a missing/billed/repair status, then sorted by platform and by circulation. Several games had multiple missing copies. I highlighted a few high-circulating games for my wish list, but decided I couldn't really do much more without going to the store, since I didn't know what they would have in stock--especially in terms of Playstation 2 games. My goal was to buy as many of the games from my list as feasible given my limited budget.

I went to the nearest store, which was a GameStop. I was greeted by an outside display of relatively cheap used Playstation 2 games, several of which were on my list. I had a little more trouble finding other titles: either they were absent altogether, in a case without the original packaging, or they were priced over $15. However, eventually I was able to pull together a stack of games that rang up for about $99.

It felt a little bit like being on Trading Spaces, but I felt that nine games for $100 was a good deal, considering the cost of a new game. While I was there, I also scoped out their DS collection, since I'm planning on expanding our holdings that direction with my next order. The clerks did not win any points with me by telling another buyer that the 4GB version of a console was "for girls" (". . . or amateurs," they hastened to clarify). However, I won points with them because of my Kon wallet, and suggested that they might try the library for some of the manga and anime they were missing after the demise of Megaupload. Girls--not so stupid, after all.

After I got back to work, I was all fired up to work on my video game order, but the site was down (naturally), so I contented myself with making an Excel spreadsheet with all the titles I wanted, cross-checking holdings in the Western Mass system and the number of holds on certain items. Some games, such as Call of Duty, didn't make my list because of their M rating, but at least there are some libraries out there willing to venture into that murky territory. I passed off the used games to tech services and spent the rest of the day fiddling with numbers, checking the library's email, and checking The AV Cafe to see if it was up again (it wasn't).

And danced in my cubicle.

Links to my other Library Day in the Life posts:
A Day in the Life of a Reference Librarian
Weekend Edition
Late Shift Edition
Collection Development Edition