Archive for April, 2006

Kids these days.

April 12, 2006

I admit that I am, occasionally, jealous of kids these days. (By “kids,” I mean “youth in their late teens and early twenties,” not “small children.”) They have so many things that would have made my life a heck of a lot easier back in the early 1990s when I was in college. Things like cell phones with cheap unlimited minutes (the better to call one’s long-distance boyfriend in St. Louis or Country Club Hills or Champaign or Ottawa or Bloomington, Indiana without racking up $300 in dorm room telephone bills), instant messaging (see “cell phones”), and MySpace (the better to meet more long-distance boyfriends with which to communicate). The internet could have opened up a whole new world of trouble for 19-year-old me. I could have had six boyfriends in six different cities instead of just three boyfriends in three different cities!

Then I catalog the new CD by Hawthorne Heights, and I remember one thing that we old farts in our 30s have on kids these days: our music was better. Record labels might have pulled some gimmicky shit on us back then, but they never released the same album with “boy” and “girl” cover art. At least, I don’t think they did, unless it was some kind of riot grrrl trickery, like how Huggy Bear would play girls-only shows.

So do I catalog them separately? The content is the same, other than the stupid promotional “bonus CD” that Victory Records threw in for the sole purpose of vexing me greatly. The bonus CD in the “girl” version features Silverstein and June, two bands which I suspect are very earnest but not very talented. The artwork on the bonus CD is, ostensibly, kinda girly, and the bands pictured are cute in that Seth Cohen/sensitive girlyboy kind of way. The “J” in June is dotted with a plus sign, a clever typographical conceit that, okay, I kind of like in a sick way. The bonus CD in the “boy” version features some band called Atreyu, which may be a bastardized version of the word “atrium,” or it could just be something they thought sounded cool while they were really, really high. The cover art is distinctively more masculine, with the band employing a stereotypical “death metal” typeface for its logo and photos of a young man squinting and holding his temples, as if someone is forcing him to listen to, say, Hawthorne Heights. The band members pictured look like that ugly guy who hangs out in the corner of the goth club who everyone, even the goths who are fangs-and-all into the whole scene, thinks is really, really creepy. Or like a low-budget Gerard Way–same pudgy face, same raccoonish eye makeup, but something’s just…off. I suspect that I could technically throw out the bonus CD and just catalog the album, but someone might be interested in the bonus CD, and I generally prefer to keep them. The problem is that keeping the bonus CD means that the content between the two albums is different, and my CatalogerSense tells me that I’ll need two records to account for the difference in content.

Hold up! I just discovered another difference in the two versions, albeit not one that would justify separate records for the two versions. On the CD art of the “girl” version, there’s a photo of a young girl (made up and dressed to look really, really underage, I’m talking eleven-year-old underage) holding a bouquet of flowers. She’s gazing straight at the camera, with a defiant-ish look on her face, probably thinking something like “Chad gave me this bouquet of daisies and carnations, and that’s cool and all, but I’m still…sad. Empty. You know how it is, girls. I think I am going to smash his heart into teeny-tiny bits now. He’ll never recover. Muahahahahahaha!” On the “boy” version, it’s the same girl and the same flowers, but her head is tilted downward, she has a half-smile on her face, and she’s smelling the flowers. She’s content. She’s pleased with her emoboy’s offering.

If this album had been released prior to fall of 2002, it would have made for a great microanalysis project for my Feminist Media Studies class. It certainly would have made for better conversation than the chick-lit book cover that I analyzed.

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All in today’s work.

April 7, 2006

I never used to use IM at work. I thought it would be way too distracting and that I'd never get anything done. Then I went to Aaron's presentation on IM reference and realized that a lot of librarians are on IM all day and they still manage to get a lot done. So I decided to give it a try. And the truth is, I probably get more done because I am not wasting time sending Tim stupid one-sentence e-mails like "what's for dinner" and "do you want to meet for lunch." I actually talk about work-related stuff too–I'm working on a tech-related project at work, and it's really simple for me to just IM Tim when I have a question than it is to e-mail and wait for a response. I can also IM people from the library system office when I have questions, which often leads to immediate answers. I am a very impatient person, so I like that. Yay for IM!

The following are excerpts from actual IM conversations I've had today while cataloging CDs. See, this is why working in a public library is awesome–you get to catalog stuff like R. Kelly's masterpiece 12 Play, featuring the seductively-titled "I Like the Crotch On You." And sometimes you have to, uh, listen to stuff to make sure the cataloging is correct. Or to amuse yourself during a long day of cataloging CDs. Or something like that.

nanetteamplified: i was just listening to "i like the crotch on you" by r. kelly
nanetteamplified: the refrain is:
nanetteamplified: "i like the crotch on you
nanetteamplified: i want the crotch on you
nanetteamplified: i need the crotch on you"
Jenny: please tell me it is to the melody of "you dropped the bomb on me"
Jenny: cuz that's totally how i envision it
nanetteamplified: no, it's to an early '90s new jack swing beat

—-

I am committed to providing the best possible access to our library's materials, which is why I enhanced the 505 contents note for 12 Play. People need to find what they are looking for!
amplifiedtorock: you can now do a title search on "i like the crotch on you" and get results on our opac
Tim: haha!

Please note that this is one hundred percent true. You can try it yourself if you know where I work.

—-

Another enhanced contents note, this time for Chamillionaire's Man on Fire, a far more subtle work than 12 Play:
amplifiedtorock: i am cataloging a rap cd and one of the tracks is called "undisputed king koopa"
amplifiedtorock: yeah, i'd feel really threated by that if my name was mario or luigi
Tim: haha
Tim: that's funny

—-

I'd post this to the YALT Blog, but Tim said we have to keep that professional. Maybe he's hoping to get invited to join one of those fancy group tech weblogs or something. Anyhow, I doubt that he would consider any post containing the word "crotch" professional, so I'll put it here.

Night of the tornado!

April 7, 2006

Last Sunday, Tim and I went to Decatur to visit some friends and to enjoy the lush, delightful smell of soybean processing in action. We knew that the weather was supposed to get nasty that afternoon, but we didn't give a crap–the last time we canceled our plans to go to D-town because the Weather Channel had a "tornadoes likely" forecast, the weather didn't do anything and we felt like jackasses.

One of our stops in Decatur was Menards, because Colin needed to return some stuff. We decided that it would be a good idea to purchase a new weather radio, because the old one is no longer functional, and because I am a weather geek who really likes to know when the Big One is coming so I can scare the living crap out of myself over it.

After a long afternoon of gyros at the Lincoln Lounge (which is surprisingly fresh-smelling on a Sunday afternoon), shopping at the Hickory Point Mall (which just isn't the same since the demise of Corn Dog 7), loafing in Colin's basement, and watching the cable TV get interrupted by tornado warnings, we decided that it would behoove us to get the heck out of Decatur while it was still semi-decent outside. We listened to the radio on the way home, and heard the warnings for the approaching storm, which hit Decatur right as we arrived back at our apartment.

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