Duck mating dance

anseriformes.gifHee. One of the nifty things about having my library’s Animal Sound and Video collection available online, is I get to stumble across hilarious things in the course of my duties. Like this video of Mallard ducks doing a mating dance.

Watching the ducks, I’m really reminded of this: Mah nah mah nah.

You’re welcome. Hope the speakers were on.

Staff picnic

The staff picnic is today. There are a few firsts this year, including the availability of beer (gasp!) and wine (eek!) provided by our generous overlords. This is a controversial move. Alcohol and Campus Events are a lawsuit-attracting combination, and it takes a brave administrator to go down the Dark Road of Official Permission Forms. avengerhero.pngUnless, of course, the intent is to butter up potential funders, in which case let the vino flow!

Mary, my mentor, boss, and friend has foolishly volunteered to orchestrate an hour of children’s games. In the interest of preserving her sanity (that I might make use of it in the future), I have volunteered to help.

Mary’s plan: lots of candy.
My plan: Superhero games.

Who can jump the highest?
Who can turn invisible?
Who can talk to animals? Quick! Rescue that heiress!
Over there!
Waaaaaaay over there!

For your amusement, the HeroMachine. My superhero has bat wings and an electrical aura. Neyah.

Wish me luck.

Take my Comics…please

feazellcat.gifI’ve started a library at work. My cataloging system is the whiteboard over my desk. My patrons are co-workers and student employees whom I bully into taking books. My material? Comics. I’m on a mission from Groo.

When I was a young Librarian Avenger, I spent many happy years working in the world’s largest cataloged collection of comic art, located at Michigan State University. There I met some majorly kickass librarians who were kind enough to allow me to shelve books, type tags, sort through boxes, occasionally catalog (ah, young dorkiness) and induge in a whole lot of secret in-the-stacks comic-reading.

As a result of this intensive training, I can now walk into any fluorescent-lit basement-level industrial-carpeted D&D-riddled comic shop and pick a fight. Ghost Rider vs. Punisher? No problem. Spawn eats them both. First edition copy of Watchmen? Own it. Portrait of myself inked by David Mack? Got it. Personalized CynicalMan convention souvenir by Matt Feazell? On my wall. Every issue of Scott McCloud’s Zot, stolen from an ex-boyfriend? Yuppers.

If I had several lives to live simultaneously, I would take out a loan and start a comic shop. I believe that some of the best art and writing of my generation can be found in the pages of comics. Transmetropolitan. Sandman. Optic Nerve. La Perdida. Dykes to Watch Out For. Fun Home. Understanding Comics. Kabuki. Y The Last Man. Zot.

So, lately I’ve been biking my trade paperbacks up the hill and distributing them. I need someone to talk to about this stuff. It’s lonely here at the top.

I’m SO going to Cornell!

doones1.gifOne of my role models when I was a baby geek was Kim from the comic strip Doonesbury. She coded nude, geeked out, talked in binary, and awed all in her path. Now her daughter Alex is coming to Cornell. Girl can crash at my place anytime. We’ve got wireless. If she wants, I can introduce her to other local fictional characters in town, like Stephen Titus George from Fool on the Hill.

Humbert Humbert, however, can just stay the hell away.

Blarg

It’s 4 am and I’ve got some sort of low-grade headcold. I can’t sleep. The only advantage to being awake in my house at 4am is the cat is so! happy! to see me! He’s overcome his usual aloofness and has wrapped himself around my neck.

We’re back from Austin, where much fun was had. SXSWi was twice the size as last year, which means it lost some of its outsider geek charm, but it made up for it with better programming, better planning, and a greater number of women both presenting and attending. There were actually lines in the women’s bathrooms this year, which I choose to see as an indication of a brand new influx of women in the I.T. professions.
Achoo. Ok, the cat is now upside down and dragging himself along the underside of the couch like a furry rock climber. It’s zero degrees outside and I have to go to work tomorrow whether I want to or not. People wear parkas here. Here’s some links.

Sheldon is a great webcomic about a 10-year-old dot com billionaire. I met Dave the author at one of the many social functions which have now blurred together in my sleep-deprived brain. I recall him being very funny. So’s his comic, so check it out. Start a few weeks back so you’ll catch up with the whole Zod thing.

There was a good dragon this year. Every year Cornell students build, parade, and burn a huge dragon. Dragon Day is a tradition, dammit. A century-old tradition that only makes the campus police slightly nervous. They skipped the riot gear this year, to the relief of all. Also, a giant rabbit was involved. I can’t believe I spent the last week complaining that nothing happens in Ithaca.

This is broken is a bad interface blog. It’s just like hanging out with an interface designer, except without the annoying tendency to critique interfaces while others are trying to enjoy themselves. Sorry friends and family. (yoinked from sivacracy)
Finally, you’ve been reading 50 Books haven’t you? Well why not? What, you don’t like books?

Cat and Girl on Vertical Files

I like Dorothy’s Donation Derby almost as much as I like her comic Cat and Girl. If you send her money, she does a small drawing to show how she spent it. The result is an autobiographical comic blog with snippets of funny dialogue and moments from her life. Today there was a library mention that will be funny to anyone who still maintains vertical files. Don’t we have computers for that? I spent a good chunk of my life cutting out newspapers for the wonderfully eclectic American Radicalism & Popular Culture vertical files when I was an undergrad at Michigan State University. If you ever happen to be in East Lansing researching representations of Grant Wood’s American Gothic in advertising, MSU’s got yer back. We never got into any screaming matches either.

Transmetropolitan

book cover My local comic book guy recommended this. I trust him because he has a huge fluffy dog and digs David Mack. I bought the first trade paperback and became so addicted that I am now spending $10/week there getting caught up on all of the issues. Curse your impeccable taste, comic book guy!!!

Transmetropolitan is, first, not work-safe. Librarians: keep this out of the children’s section or be prepared to mop up the exploded heads of your more conservative patrons. Transmetropolitan follows the adventures of gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem as he stomps through a futuristic distopia filled with two-faced smoking cats, Ebola Cola, and incredibly creative profanity. You’ll love it.

Morning Ralph

You know that old Warner Brothers cartoon with the coyote and the sheepdog? The sheep dog and the coyote both come into work and punch the time clock, and one goes “Morning Ralph” and the other goes “Morning Sam.”

Remember? That one?

Ok, so I’m leaving work last night, and I see somebody from the reference department coming in for her shift just as I’m leaving. And of course I say “Morning Ralph,” because of course everyone in the universe has the same cultural touchstones as me right?

And of course she has no idea what I am talking about, and of course I’m a big freak.