27 April 2010


Do you want to hear the worst birth story I think I can imagine? No, it could definitely be worse, but how about most inconvenient? Our Lord and Lady of the Land, the takers of rent, are moving from Durham to New Orleans, as his job requires him to be there for the forseeable future. They have a 2.5 year old and she was 7.5 months pregnant when they hit the road. Pulling out of a gas station in tiny town, Georgia - her water broke. And the baby started coming really quickly. So with all their things in the car and a cranky toddler, they tried to find the nearest hospital. It was a little country hospital who freaked when they showed up, for this baby was 6 weeks early, and they did not have the facilities for a preemie. But it was too late, for the preemie was born. All are fairly healthy (thus is cannot be the worst birth story ever) and stuck in Small Town, GA without family and friends until the preemie can move. Which is a few weeks. And he has to go to work in NO, so she is there with toddler and preemie and a car full of stuff. Which she will drive down alone when said preemie is cleared for take-off. She mentioned all this casually when calling to tell us to hang on to our rent cheque for a few days as she doesn't know where she will be to receive it. if it was me, I'd be calling the media and feeling dang sorry for myself, or possibly blogging about it.

Babies are in the air! Or out of the womb. In the past 2 weeks, lovely people have had an Arlo, 2 have had girls named Lola (get ready for the Kinks song (not even one of their best) to be your personal life theme song, girls, the way "Brown Eyed Girl" is mine simply because I possess the most common eye color in the world) and even a Soren made an appearance. Thank god school is winding down or packages would be later still, as they waited for my knitting needles to get busy. I am genuinely joyful for these new parents. But tonight, as I dragged - literally dragged - my kicking, screaming toddler down the street as her father grimly toted her baby doll stroller beside her, after which she had a 30 minute melt-down where she screamed so much she almost threw up, all because we had the audacity to ask that toddler to turn around and head towards home - I was slightly gleeful that some more people are joining us on this side of the island. Welcome! The first 18 months are pretty fun!

In other birthing news, today my new MacBook made it's way into my world, all little and wee and silver and doing exactly what I ask of it, unlike my flesh and blood child, and as a result we are very happy together. I would like to add some festive pictures here but due to my now soul-deep hatred for the picture adding function of Blogger and resulting ALWAYS wonky layout - I just can't bring myself to do it. I see a brand-new WordPress baby on the horizon...

20 April 2010

Reference Librarian

So I started typing the question "Is it true that when you're over 35 you start to like "world music more" in Google this morning. I was seeking qualitative evidence that my sudden interest in Panamanian and Latin American music in general is a function of my age and that soon I would be a Folk Fest regular in tunics and clogs and that it was Okay, it didn't have to mean I was on the slow slide to Gypsy Kings-ville.

When I typed in "is it..." an interesting list of possibilities popped up (see Fig. 1) and it struck me I was seeing a little snapshot of the collective mind of America. Note the recurrence of incest questions (x2) and some basic worries about reproductive functioning in general. America, don't let Google answer these questions. Let's pay for some high quality sex ed in this country! (Actually that would be a pretty great ad campaign for Planned Parenthood - some poor kid typing in sex advice on Google),

As a Canadian, I'm slightly concerned about "why can't I own a Canadian" (see Fig. 2) being such a prominent entry. Are you coveting my mosaic-like, Socialist outlook? Move on, American, move on. We never legalized slavery and we're not starting now.

Interestingly, pregnancy tops the list in the How category as well (see Fig. 5, sigh) but technical concerns are also well addressed here, garnering 6 out of the 10 results. I'm personally most intrigued by "how do you make snow cream" and plan to Google it myself one day. Mmm, snow cream.

What (see Fig. 3) covers some deeper territory, with Googlers pondering relationships in "What it love", and identity in"What does my name mean" but I'm still pondering "Is it"'s question about whether it is bad to sleep with your bra on. Every time I've had to do it, I have felt slightly naughty - hmm, some preliminary Googling of my own reveals there is a large contingent of women out there who actually sleep in their bra. Wow, um, I seriously cannot think of something I would rather do less. But perhaps they own more than one saggy old number from Victorias Secret, where the bra strap keeps detaching and humiliatingly snaking out of my shirt sleeve.
As a soon-to-be-Real-live Librarian, I hope to never have to answer why your poop is green, so thank you Google, you have made the world safe for the secret inquiry. Except when people like me post pictures on their blog. Whoops.

Just in case you think I only use the screen snapshot function (Apple_Shift_4, you Mac users, I STILL have to Google that every time) for mockery purposes, allow me to share the original screen snapshot I was taking that started this whole train of thought. If you can't see this image without adjusting your glasses, it is the playlist from this mornings WXYC's show which was chock full of awesome Latin music and made me want to buy all this crazy stuff and then I realized how much I like "World Music" (see: Western definition of all non-Western music as one big pot o' music called World Music) and wondered if it meant I was getting old or I just like calypso beats and thus began the Googling and here we are. Any questions?