Friday, July 08, 2005

Grad Students These Days Are Soooo Intelligent

I'm out at the desk, and a student called and asked if a book was still on hold for her. I went and checked, and it was. Then the student asked if she could send a friend to pick it up for her. I said I wasn't sure, she'd have to ask the circulation department. She said, "No, I mean, can I send a friend of mine up to your desk to pick up the book for me?"
I said, "I'm at the reference desk, and these things are on hold at the circulation desk."
"Where's the circulation desk? Is it in the library?"

The U.K.
I always thought - it seemed to me - that over the past 100 years or so Great Britain did a pretty good job of slipping out of the role of being headquarters of a global empire and into the role of being the elderly parent of a family of sometimes unruly (Zimbabwe, for instance) adult "children" (i.e., the Commonwealth).
Well, the independance of India and the creation of Pakistan was kind of messy. We all have our bad days. But nobody deserves what happened in London.
Last night, the ABC network (the American Broadcasting Company) was scheduled to show a film named "Reign of Fire," about bad asses battling dragons in a post-apocalyptic London. I remember the commercials from when it was in the cinemas, and I thought it looked pretty interesting. So at eight o'clock I tuned in. But instead of the movie, there was a written message on the screen saying the movie had been changed. Instead of "Reign of Fire," they showed an adolescent comedy named "Big Fat Liar," starring that kid from the sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle."
I assume they did it out of sympathy for the U.K., thinking it would be insensitive to show a film set in a ruined London. But the only subjects (they are subjects, right?) of the U.K. who would be aware of the gesture are the ones who happen to be in this country and who happened to be watching that channel.
And they'd probably just be annoyed, like I was.
Ultimately, I think the network insulted the intelligence of the audience. Hello, it's a MOVIE.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Damp Fourth
In fact, the entire weekend was damp. Saturday evening a woman came over to Rob's for a cookout. Her arrival coincided with a tremendous storm and a power outage. I went out with a section of newspaper to try and help her stay dry and we both ended up getting soaked in the downpour. She called me an idiot.
But she calmed down quickly and decided I had really been chivalrous. Just a little stupid as well.
We sat around in the growing dark and talked and drank various soothing things. Rob was able to fire up a little charcoal grill on his porch. But even before the burgers were ready the power came back on.
We had been planning to go see fireworks shot over a lake last night but motivation waned. In years past we saw the display in the golf-course neighborhood Rob's mother lived in. They had a lake too, and because it was "private" property we could take beer and/or wine. But Rob's moved out of there, and we were going to see fireworks over a lake in a city park. We decided to skip it and not deal with the crowds and the alcohol ban.
Right when it would have been time to head out if had actually gone, it started pouring down rain again. So that really made the decision to stay home justified.