Friday, June 22, 2007

Last Week of Work

I have been super busy this last week creating a Powerpoint presentation about the history of graphic novels for work, so I have hardly had a chance to post anything, but it’s been an interesting week. Yesterday, Thursday June 21st, was my last day of work at the Cooper Branch of the RCPL.

My coworkers were so tremendously generous, with cards, gifts, fruit baskets (for real) and plenty of hugs and well wishes. I jokingly said that if this is what I got after just one year, I should’ve stayed for two and they’d likely give me a car. They’re a good group of folks to work with and my decision to leave had nothing to do with the job itself. I will really miss working there, not only my coworkers, but also (most of) the patrons, especially the little ones in storytime.

The staff also gave me a book of photos to remember my year here, and the last page was a poem written by Judy Eaddy. It was as follows:

Ode to Chris*

When computers break down, stop and stall
Who ya gonna call?
The man who’s bald
Chris Reid

When a big ol’ delivery stops us all
Who ya gonna call?
The man who’s tall
Chris Reid

When one of our patrons starts to fall
Who ya gonna call?
The man who has it all
Chris Reid

When somebody poops all over the library hall**
Who ya gonna call?
The man who cleans it all
Chris Reid

Now when he’s gone and off our list
Who we gonna miss?
Our dear friend Chris
Chris Reid!

* I believe this poem is loosely is based on the Ghostbusters tune

** Yes, this happened yet again, the first time being when a kid crapped all over the floor in the children’s section and then proceeded to stand in it and track it around the area. Well, THIS Tuesday afternoon, at 5:26pm (4 minutes until I was off), I discovered a lot of foul smelling crap smeared into the carpet. In the ADULT section. And I won’t elaborate on my theories, but I am pretty sure it actually came from an adult. With Irene’s help, I scrubbed it up. I must say, it made leaving my job a LITTLE bit easier to handle.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New and Exciting Things

Three things I did Saturday that I had never done before:

1) Ate honey straight off the comb, right out of a hive, while the bees were still on it.

2) Held a snake egg. (at least we think it was a snake egg; if not, it was certainly a reptile egg).

3) Saw Lyle Lovett in concert at the Township Auditorium.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nationof Kazakhstan (2006)

Originally uploaded by baldman76
I was really looking forward to seeing this in the theater when I first saw the previews, as Katie and I were already familiar with the character from Da Ali G Show, which we found hilarious. Alas, we never got around to seeing it. But in the meantime, we heard all sorts of things about the film, most critical raves about how this movie was brilliant, but more than a few that were criticizing the manner in which this comedy was created (ie, false pretense).

Well, having now seen it, I see both sides. I do wonder what events transpired to lead up to the scenes shown in the film. But did I laugh? Oh yes, at times until tears were running from my eyes. But after all was said and done, I wasn’t as impressed with it as I thought I would be. I give Sacha Baron Cohen credit for having the guts to do some of the things he did. Katie wondered aloud how he managed to not get arrested for some of the things he did (the nude wrestling scene, perhaps?). But I found the character funnier on the show in longer scenes in which the humor really built upon the awkwardness of the situation. The movie was certainly awkward, but it was generally shorter clips strung together and I felt the real strength of the Borat facade was tamped down a bit.

And as for making fun of the USA, yeah, he certainly found some real assholes, like the guy that told him (for his own good) to shave his moustache so he didn’t look so much like a Muslim, and of course, the South Carolina guys, who might’ve been drunk but were still acting like total jackasses. But overall, I think I feel the film is a testament to how much crap Americans will put up with and still be polite. Sure, there’s a lot far from perfect in some of what he finds, but there’s a lot of general friendliness there, too. The folks at the Adolf Rose antique store in my own hometown of Vicksburg, MS, were understandably annoyed but nice enough. The driving instructor was always nice no matter what was thrown at him. And the dinner guests in Alabama was nice and patient enough until the situation went far beyond what any reasonable person should be expected to tolerate in their own home.

I had read other critic’s commentary stating this basic idea (that folks were generally pretty dang tolerant) before I watched the movie. And this guy does a good job of expounding on the premise that the America shown in Borat comes out pretty good in the long run. (But for this reviewer’s opinion of the feminists, they might have been rude, but in their defense he was particularly “aggressive” towards them. Telling them a woman’s brain is smaller than a squirrel’s? C’mon- it’s understandable. I did read somewhere that one of those ladies thought it was really funny when she was let in on the ruse.)

So if you’re in the mood to cringe in disbelief, go ahead and see this film. For all of its faults, it is worth a view.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

...Worth A Thousand Words

Originally uploaded by Fuzzy Gerdes
Fuzzy took this photo when he and Erica were in MS a few weeks ago. Not trying to be morose or anything, but there it is. That's pretty much Dad's reality these days.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sgt. Gillis, Marine

Joey Gillis, my cousin, circa '95 or '96. Photo taken in Mississippi.

Young Joey

Sgt. Joseph T. Gillis, Marine, 2007. Photo taken and sent via email from Iraq.

Marine Joey

Between Iraq and Afghanistan, I believe Joey is on his 4th deployment overseas. Needless to say, I am proud him. I want to also publically thank him for his generosity towards my family. Joey has been through some real ups-and-downs in his life, but I can assure you he has grown into a damn fine young man.

Joey is not the only relative I have serving in the military, but he is certainly the closest. And I realize I often "forget" what he's really doing for his country. Sure I read the news and know what's going on, but I personally find it easy to get so wrapped up in my own daily life that weeks can pass without me giving it much thought. I've sent letters, but not as many as I could have, and I've not sent enough emails, and I haven't ever gotten around to sending him a care package. I don't even know if I've ever mentioned him on this blog before, and I feel ashamed of that. So in honor of his serving our country, I will keep a picture of him on the sidebar of my blog to serve as a reminder of his continuing sacrifice for all of us.