October 19, 2004

Kerrized France

Watching people is one of my private entertainments. It is portable, convenient, and never the same twice. I perfected the art of reading people as a child when I had to quickly assess and accurately interpret the intentions of the people around me.

One of the places that provides me with a little game time is the public library. Even the homeless find their way into the library to read the paper, check their e-mail, warm-up, and wash-up. I am always amazed when standing in line to check out, I see some little tike sidle up to the check-out desk with two books. Two books? Only two? Then the mother makes a comment along the lines of "You can get more books when we come back next week." Two books? When I learned the limit was ten per card, I immediately applied for a card for each of my four daughters, thus raising our weekly intake to fifty. And I still go over my limit. The librarians are on a first name basis with our family members now, so they smile, secretly thrilled and over-ride the computer warning of that eleventh book slipping past the scanner.

My latest computer woes have forced me into the halls of the Bill Gates pantheons established across the country. I don't particularly enjoy it, and when the big boxes began arriving at libraries, I questioned it as I preferred that kids and adults use the tomes on the shelves, not peruse chat rooms and on-line gaming. But, look who has benefited from such generosity? Nothing like experience to keep one humble.

When we arrive, I typically grab one of those scooting stools and begin to find books that I deem appropriate for my younger girls. The older ones are off searching the stacks for sequels, fantasy, biography, and history. Sometimes the librarians and I casually talk while I search and other times they make suggestions. Last week, K came home with one that the librarian suggested for her. Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy That Dropped from the Sky. This child's picture book is a warm story of one Air Force pilot's determination to bring some "sweetness" into the lives of the children of East Berlin during Stalin's attempt at a European takover three years after World War II ended. It was a lovely picture book, but it also piqued my curiousity about the Berlin Airlift. It also was telling of a few weak areas of my own historical knowledge. There are several areas of weakness in my historical knowledge: post WWII Europe; Cuban history; and that of the establishment of the state of Israel. I intend to do some reading to strengthen my education.

The back of the book provides an interesting biography of Lt. Col. Gail Halvorsen and about the Airlift itself. Guess which neighboring European country opted out of the mission of benevolence? The same one that benefitted from our country saving it from a communist take over. The same one that always seems to find a reason to disagree with international humanitarian efforts or proactive elimination of terrorism. The same one that John Kerry thinks we should be able to engage at the global table.

Yes, well, some people rather like beating a dead horse, I guess.

Posted by Rae at October 19, 2004 10:15 AM | TrackBack

sup! sista!

today's entry was very appropriate. We have recently returned from our four day stay in Boston which is an incredible city despite it being Kerryland (HeinzVille). We have been analyzing the Big Dig area of Boston which is where I93 an elevated highway which severed the North End district from the City Center is being dismantled and moved underground. Our new project is a proposal for a new North End Branch Library to fill one of the voids left by covering the highway. You crack me up, "When I learned the limit was ten per card, I immediately applied for a card for each of my four daughters, thus raising our weekly intake to fifty." I have formed the same relationship with the students working at our architecture library which is conveniently located in our building. short side note: at somepoint in the fifty's the main librarian wanted the architecture library in the main library and they took all the books over there. this architecture student that loved the library began checking out books and taking them back to the library in the architecture building. then the cops would come and take them back and he would do it all over again until the school got so tired of the whole ordeal they realized they really belonged in the architecture building. The librarian always lets me take an extra 26th or 27th book, okay i don't read them all, but i look at all the pictures. talk to you soon

Posted by: nicholas at October 19, 2004 11:31 PM

what be goin on in yo house?

i had to let you now about some politically satirical videos for you to watch. my friends and i have been watching them for a week or so and i have been meaning to tell you. i saw one tonight and almost decided to call you since its only midnight there. but the morning will be soon enough for laughs. here's the url's:

http:/whitehousewest.com = will farrell george bush

www.jibjab.com = as seen on Jay Leno tonight show

let me know what you think, the frank sinatra thing was great

Posted by: nicholas at October 20, 2004 12:01 AM

Our library has a wonderful online catalog and you can recheck your books using it. I always recheck once (the limit) so I have the books for 6 weeks. Then I usually keep them an extra week and pay fines. (At this point I check out additional books for the next 7 weeks.)

I told the guy behind the desk that this was how I supported the library and he encouraged me to check out more books.

Posted by: King of Fools at October 20, 2004 07:59 AM

i just don't feel right if i don't find my weekly overdue notice from the library in the mail box, and the library is just down one flight of stairs.

Posted by: nick at October 20, 2004 08:35 AM

Check it out- http://www.politicalcompass.org/

Posted by: nick at October 20, 2004 09:13 AM

But I always get CAUGHT people watching. If you're really good, you're perfected the instant breakaway, where you pretend you're glancing airily around the room, but after 3 or 4x it becomes obvious. I mean, I ALWAYS get caught

Posted by: jeff at October 20, 2004 10:11 AM

Ladies and Knights, me brother...Hey :D Thanks for reading and commenting. Shhhhh! Don't tell mother, I don't think she could handle it.

Sounds like your trip was truly educational. Will be looking for those house plans as soon as you muster them up.

Jibjab is one of my favorite producing teams on the web.

When are you and "Ann" getting yourselves out here to the desert to see us?

Posted by: Rae at October 20, 2004 12:03 PM

Jeff- I HATE getting caught! It does happen occasionally, but I think for some reason, people are less likely to give a woman glancing or looking their direction the evil eye. Men are so much more threatening.

Posted by: Rae at October 20, 2004 12:05 PM

KoF- we donate to our library in the way of fines, too. The director loves our family and when we moved from Missouri, the director of the county system was a personal friend. She teased about how she was going to pay the electric bill now that we had moved away ;)

Posted by: Rae at October 20, 2004 12:07 PM

Nick, hi there!

Thanks for helping Rae stay with me longer when my husband was in Africa. I was very grateful to have her with me! Thanks again,I really appreciate it!


Posted by: Kris at October 20, 2004 08:23 PM
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