Ur doin it wrong
May 29, 2008, 10:03 am
Filed under: daily | Tags: , ,

At the library just now:

Librarian: You have over $25 in fines, so you can’t check anything out until you bring them below that.

Patron: You won’t let me check out books?

Librarian: Not unless you pay down your fines.

Patron: Can’t you just override them?

Librarian: No, it’s standard library policy.

Patron: Can’t you just make them go away?

Librarian: No? They aren’t optional?

What a peculiar interaction. Since when are library fines optional? Who assumes that just because they don’t want to pay fines, that they don’t have to? What am I going to do, just wave my magic wand and sprinkle some fairy dust and we’ll all just forget that you didn’t return a lot of books on time?

When I can do that, I’ll also start farting sunshine and rainbows, ok?

You know, just as a point of interest, if you don’t pay your bills on time, they charge you for it. If you don’t return a movie you rented on time, they charge you for it. If you don’t turn in your homework on time, you get docked points. In fact, due dates in every other aspect of life are mandatory. If you choose to ignore them, you are then charged for it. Just because we didn’t charge you for these books in the first place doesn’t mean that we won’t notice or charge you if you choose not to return them on time.

There was much huffing and puffing and angry faces when we made her pay a grand total of $2.01 in order to have fines below $25.

Apparently she thinks she farts rainbows and sunshine, if she thinks she’s special enough to be exempt from the rules. Even if she did fart rainbows and sunshine IN FRONT OF ME, I still wouldn’t be able to just make the fines go away.

If she were a LoLcat, it would say, “Personal Responsibility. Ur doin it wrong.”


The romance of marriage negotiations
May 27, 2008, 6:35 pm
Filed under: daily

Bear: You need to get a job at UPMC next year so I can have better health insurance.

Katrina: You need to marry me before you get my health insurance, mister.

Bear: Oh, right.

May 23, 2008, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Pittsburgh | Tags: , ,
“Police officer fatally shoots man in Oakland
Friday, May 23, 2008

A man was fatally shot this afternoon in Oakland by a Pittsburgh police officer who was apparently responding to a dispute between a landlord and a tenant armed with a large knife.

The shooting occurred around 3:10 p.m. at Bates and Atwood streets, near the Mad Mex restaurant.

Witnesses said they saw a landlord run from a building on Atwood Street and yell “Help me.” He was followed by a man, supposedly a tenant, who was holding a knife or meat cleaver over his head.

The officer arrived and told the man repeatedly to drop the knife, witnesses said, but the man did not and the officer shot him in the chest.

Police have not provided details to reporters. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was at the scene late this afternoon,”

1. I’m glad I don’t live in Oakland anymore.

2. I can’t blame the guy for wanting to attack his landlord in Oakland. Surely you’ve seen this. I would argue that most of the slumlords in the area would be well served with the occasional meat cleaver chase. (My apartment in Oakland was very nice. I got lucky.)

3. I’m still glad I don’t live in Oakland anymore.

4. It’s a shame that a dispute with a landlord ended with a death.

5. I just realized I put on my underwear inside-out today. I hate it when I do that.

Happy Memorial Day, yinz all!

Nothing like getting smacked in the head by Randy Pausch
May 21, 2008, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Books, Library | Tags: , , , ,

Remember Randy Pausch? Of course you do. He’s Pittsburgh’s inspiration: how to raise your children well so they’re happy, how to be happy in your own life, how to live despite dying.

He hit me in the head today.

Ok, maybe that’s not entirely accurate.

I was shelving hold books (requests, etc) this afternoon. I put one on an upper shelf, bent over to get another one, and felt a sharp pain in the back of my head. A small book clattered to the floor. Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. I’ve been meaning to find that! And read it! Because I need another reason to cry (imagining what it would be like if one of my hypothetical children died in a fiery car accident OBVIOUSLY ISN’T ENOUGH). Also, I thought it would be a good read. And a good cry.

This ought to be the moment where I say that THE PERFECT BOOK found me by FALLING FROM THE SKY.

But it’s not. It was on hold for someone who recalled it from someone else. Meaning I can’t check it out to myself because that person HAS IT RESERVED.


May 18, 2008, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Pittsburgh | Tags:

So, remember back in the winter, when I complained about how it SNOWED CONSTANTLY?

I was very unhappy about that.

I think that the online negativity about the weather has backfired.

Pittsburgh, I apologize. I complained and complained and COMPLAINED about how cold and miserable and snowy it was. And then I went to the Bahamas, and came back and complained MORE about how crappy the weather was. In response, the Gods of Weather have smited me. They looked at my whining, and said, “Well, FINE. You don’t want all this pretty snow? HERE. HAVE SOME RAIN.”

It has rained at least once a day (usually more, for extended periods of time) every day except one for the past 2 weeks. It is cold and yucky. It is MAY for Pete’s sake- it’s supposed to be sunny and beautiful!

So, I am deeply sorry, Pittsburgh. I wish it would stop, I really do. I am tired of the inflated hair, and the perpetually wet bottoms of jeans. I don’t want to have to carry around an umbrella and still get soaked. I want some UV rays and vitamin D.

I guess this is what I get for living in the 3rd cloudiest city in the US.

I’l try to stop complaining, so the Gods of Weather don’t smite me with a drought, a la Atlanta last year.

News of the Exceptionally Peculiar
May 15, 2008, 8:56 am
Filed under: Current Events | Tags: , , , ,

1. The Vatican says I can believe in aliens now! I know, I was really worried about it, too. I CAN REST EASY NOW. THANK YOU, POPE IN YOUR POPELINESS.

Actually, in defense of the Vatican, it wasn’t that the Pope came out onto his Pope balcony, and announced in his Popeliness that he decided that Catholics can believe in aliens, out of the blue. If you read the article, it says that the Vatican’s Chief Astronomer (really? how am I a Catholic and not know aware of the Chief Astronomer?) was giving an interview with a magazine, and he said in his Astronomerliness that believing in aliens is not mutually exclusive from being a good Catholic.

YAY CATHOLIC CHURCH! Once again you have reassured me that you learned from The Galileo SNAFU. You know, back when you decided to censor ole Galileo for figuring out that the earth rotates around the sun and not the other way around. He wasn’t burned at the stake or anything- just locked up in a cushy prison so he would stop spreading his apostasy. And then it was shown, without a sliver of a doubt, that not only does the earth revolve around the sun, but so do a bunch of other things, AND the sun is not even the center of the universe. Talk about a big “oh crap.” moment, right? Ever since then, the church doesn’t weigh in on scientific inquiry. They only put in their two cents when talking about protecting human life. That’s not so much a question of “What is true? The Bible or science?” and more a question of “What are we allowed to do in the name of scientific research?”

In fact, the Catholic Church is one of the few religious institutions that recognizes the plausibility of evolution. This is one of my favorite parts about being Catholic.

That, and we have a Chief Astronomer.

2. Now, this one is from my hometown newspaper: HUGE BEETLES ATTACK PENNSYLVANIA! Ok, maybe not quite that. However, an illegal shipment of HOLY CRAP HUGE EFFING BEETLES was discovered near my hometown. Look at the pictures. THE SIZE OF A CHILD’S HAND.

Now that, my friends, is disgusting. I think those beetles could have easily overtaken Hannah, The Warrior of the Universe, and then eaten her for dinner. With bbq sauce. I suspect that these beetles might eventually take over the world, actually.


3. Mike Garrison, what do you not understand about ACADEMIC INTEGRITY and VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE? I understand that maybe you didn’t realize that you shouldn’t base decisions about who does and does not get to say that they received an MBA from your fine institution on who’s daddy’s pocket you’re in. Maybe you were a little unclear that awarding an MBA to someone who didn’t complete half the coursework JUST BECAUSE HER DADDY IS YOUR GUV’NER AND PAYS YOU LOTS O’ MOOLAH is not what’s known as, oh, ACCEPTABLE. Now you’ve been caught, and publicly shamed. Wah.

But now your Faculty Senate AND the full faculty have overwhelmingly given you a vote of no confidence. They want you gone. You are a blemish on the university. Sure, sure, WVU is already known as a party school. Sure, sure, Pitt soundly kicked your butt (PITT! beat the #2 team! PITT! HOW SHAMEFUL!) last fall in football. (PITT! EVEN WE WERE STARTLED! ASTONISHED, EVEN! In fact, I’m STILL surprised!) Sure, sure, you’re in mother-effin’ West Virginia. I can only imagine how painful that is for you. I take great pleasure in making fun of the trolls in WV, almost as much as I do in mocking the festering armpit that is New Jersey.

BUT MY GOD. WVU is an academic institution, one that educates students and then hands them degrees that they put on their walls and resumes, degrees that qualify them for jobs. If degrees are being handed out willy-nilly just because someone’s daddy is guv’ner, then that seriously diminishes the quality and integrity of EVERY OTHER DEGREE that has ever been handed out and ever will be handed out. It puts doubt next to that piece of paper. Is that really real? Did this person really earn it? And then! It also diminishes the value of the degrees given out by other institutions of higher learning. If WVU did it, maybe other schools are. Just how many people are wandering around saying that they have such and such a degree, but they never even attended the school? How many other schools are giving out degrees to students not because of their coursework, but because of who they are and how many pockets they pad?

The system depends on the trust that these degrees mean what they say they mean. He has done terrible harm to his university, and to the academy at large.

Furthermore, the vast majority of the faculty and the students want him to leave.

Good-bye, Mike Garrison. Does somebody have a fork? Stick it in him. He’s done.

Because I went to Catholic School
May 13, 2008, 9:48 am
Filed under: daily | Tags: , ,

Recently, Dan recommended that I respond to a Craigslist posting for freelance writers to write weekly articles for a new personal finance blog.

I mulled it over. And then I got a mullet.

No, that’s a lie. I mulled, and I decided against it. This is why:

1. I don’t have a real personal finance philosophy. It’s more called being CHEAPCHEAPCHEAP, and that stems from the miserly Germans who birthed and raised me. Also, these miserly Germans then sent me to Catholic school, where I got a happy dose of CATHOLIC GUILT. So I can encourage my CHEAPCHEAPCHEAPness to flourish with regular self-flagellaton and guilt over even the smallest unneeded purchase. This doesn’t translate well into writing about personal finance for people in need of help. Trent over at The Simple Dollar translates much better, because he wasn’t raised by miserly Catholic Germans, and he hit financial rock bottom and then bounced back. His strategies involve things you can DO. Mine involve memories of nuns and the disapproval of a German Jesus.


So I will continue to discuss my German Catholic miserliness here in the confines of my own blog, where I am not, in fact, attempting to help anyone else.

2. I am starting graduate school (TODAY!!!). Frankly, I don’t know what the work load is going to be like, so I don’t want to overburden myself. I mean, I’m already working 20 hours a week at the library where I have to deal with 4 asians and the occasional person looking for the public library a day. Ah, summer session… no freshmen, only Asians. Still. If I am going to devote myself to doing something, I ought to know how much time I will have available. And as of now, I don’t know. I’ve never been to graduate school, or library school. Sure, I just graduated with molecular biology degree- BUT THIS COULD TOTALLY BE HARDER. You never know.

3. It’s only a 3 semester program. Which means I only have 3 semesters, and 36 credits, to determine my GPA. And since my eternally needy ego requires an EXTREMELY UNNECESSARILY HIGH GPA, I will have to work hard in those 3 semesters.

So that’s why.

Oh, did I mention that I’m starting grad school today? I am. I am so excited that I could squeal. SQUEAL SQUEAL SQUEAL!!! I am also nervous. Apparently not nervous enough to affect my sleep, however. I took a nap last night while the boys were killing each other on videogames, and then I slept for 11 hours. Yum.

I am so excited. I wish my class was now, instead of at 2, because I am SO EXCITED.