Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Grief and Relief

which i suppose is a sort of obtuse way of saying theres good news and bad news. i think i am like most people when i say i prefer to receive the bad news first and then the good news, so that is how i will give it to you.
the bad news is: I BUSTED MY BLENDER/TABLE TOP MIXER! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! i realise that for many this would not be a crisis, but for me it is HUGE. smoothies are a HUGE part of my diet, and i use my blender almost every day. as for the table top mixer part, i dont use it as often, but its still a tragedy. my dad gave me the machine when i was in second year, and i was so excited. at the time i was doing a lot of baking and so i was using both parts quite frequently. i was SO excited, in fact, that i gave my super awesome black and decker blender to my brother who lives in calgary. i dont know what he did with it, but knowing him, it disappeared a long time ago. anyway, i learned very quickly that my mixer/blender wasnt quite as strong (as in the power of the engine) as i would have liked. i couldnt do large batches of cookies, for example, and i wouldnt have even attempted to make bread with it. that being said, i did get QUITE a lot of use out of the blender portion of the machine, but i admit i often pushed it beyond its capacity, knowing full well that it wasnt the machine it pretended to be. i guess what im saying is i am paying the price for my own negligence. but now i have a blender full of unsmooth smoothie sitting in the fridge that i dont know what to do with. maybe one of my neighbours will let me borrow their blender.
anyway, as for the good news: last week i was super excited (this is really lame, just to warn you) to receive my first ever book via inter-library loan. this was something that i had been fascinated by since i was a child, but had never had occasion to take advantage of. i suppose that actually speaks to the quality of the hamilton and mcmaster collections, because between the two of them, i have never had a problem getting my hands on anything i want. anyway, finally, my day of reckoning had arrived. i was looking for barrel fever, one of david sedaris' first publications (see posts from august to october 2009 for reviews of david sedaris) and the hamilton library didnt have it. i admit i didnt check at mcmaster, but that has no bearing on this story. SO i ordered it through inter-library exchange, and it arrived a couple of weeks later from thorold public library (of all places, i dont even know where that is. dave said its east of hamilton but west of toronto). i must admit, i was more excited about the success of the inter-library exchange than i was about the book itself, but that just reinforces all of my prior claims of nerdiness.
now, as i have pointed out, i have never gotten a book through inter-library exchange, but i guess the way it works here at the hamilton library is the hamilton library creates a temporary bar code that they put on the outside book by attaching a sleeve to the cover. it says all over the sleeve that you must not remove it. which makes sense, because the hamilton library cant scan bar codes from the thorold (or anywhere else) library because the different computer systems are independent. so the temporary hamilton bar code gets scanned and the material just gets checked in or out as "interlibrary exchange materials." the point is, the hamilton computer doesnt know WHAT the title of the book is, only that it isnt from our library, which is why its important to hold on to the sleeve (i expect youre beginning to see where this is going). as i imagine is becoming obvious, i lost the sleeve. i dont know how, but i was super pissed. all i know is i had the book in my bag on the go bus and i pulled it out in the dark. when i got to the subway and saw the cover of the book, the sleeve was missing, and i ripped my bag apart and it was nowhere to be found. the only explanation i can come up with is that it fell off the book on the bus and fell onto the bus floor and by the time i noticed, it was too late.
i have always prided myself on my excellent treatment of library materials and the rarity of my having overdue fines. i think if someone were to pull up my borrowing history for the last two years, they would be floored at the sheer volume of material i have taken out. so i saw it as a personal failing that i lost the stupid sleeve with the temporary bar code. it was worse than even losing a regular hamilton book, because i felt like i was misrepresenting hamilton to thorold, like i was a poor ambassador (which is extra stupid because thorold isnt going to even KNOW that i lost it).
i think it goes without saying that once i got over my shock and anger at myself, i quickly fell into a mind numbing panic. i dont know about the cities where you live comrades, but in hamilton, the librarians that work at the check out desk (as opposed to the ones that work at the information desks on each floor) are down right frightening. i started strategising over what i was going to do to avoid the librarian wrath. i started picking out the nicest ones in my head and trying to figure out the algorithms of their shifts. i started planning elaborate lies to explain my crime ("well i had a seizure in the rain while i was reading it, and when i came to the sleeve was wet and completely dissolved"). i even thought about calling the thorold library and making dave drive me there to return the book and then have THEM call my library to explain i had returned it (what put me off of this idea is that at least in hamilton i know how scary the librarians are. for all i know the ones in thorold are even worse.)
which brings me to the good news. by the end of this week, my time would have been up and i would have started amassing one dollar a day fines, so i bit the bullet and brought the book back. luckily, i got one of the less scary librarians (although i think the only reason she isnt so scary is because she is a little afraid of anne, who once threw a video cassette at her head). i just explained that i lost the sleeve and i was very sorry and so on and so forth and she sorted it out without any hostility or violence of revoking of my library card or inter library exchange privileges. so there it is. the ongoing saga of my library adventures.


Callie said...

are you familiar with the term "life"?
i don't think you are, because if you were, you would have one.

S.I.F. said...

I used to have the best library by my house, and I always loved going there and getting lost in the books.... Having a library card is an excellent thing!