Ridiculousness… Just Because

Thinking about starting up this fall has really made me nostalgic about last semester. My roommates and I were careful about money so we didn’t have cable but that didn’t stop up from entertaining ourselves with a TV. We love the Discovery Channel (btw, SHARK WEEK STARTS TOMORROW!!!!!!)

this is what a college degree leads to

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Hola to Ernesto, and Remembering Irene

It is currently raining out. A Lot. Apparently Tropical Storm Ernesto decided to visit and is flooding the crap out of anything and everything. I saw a Dodge Challenger try to clear the sunken part of the road under a bridge and manage to submerge its entire nose. People didn’t seem to think of anything following suit but I decided to take a detour because, you know, I really don’t feel like turning my car into a not-so-air-tight water vessel.

This rain and massive flooding really brings back memories to my last fall semester in college. Hurricane Irene decided to kick the shit out of New Paltz….

New Paltz the day before Irene

New Paltz the day after Irene. This is a road and a sunflower/corn field by the way.

… and drowned my apartment while doing so. We are currently wearing rubber shoes in this shot because we realized that walking through water while the power line was down behind the building probably wasn’t the safest thing.

So we ended up moving into the laundry room for our first day of classes, having to take shifts on baby-sitting all of our worldly possessions and fending off angry apartment-dwellers who NEEDED to use that EXACT laundry room instead of the other three in the complex.

Kinda homey, isn’t it?

In the end it made for some great memories. Watching pumpkins flow down the river along with tubes and kayakers, collecting flood corn, “I Survived Irene t-shirts” and living with our hospitable friends for several weeks while we waited for another apartment. It was definitely an interesting start to my senior year of college though I hope things are a little smoother this fall semester.

But anyway, the rain is slowing down here so it looks like Ernesto is hardly anything to worry about (though why my mom found it absolutely necessary to travel the flooded streets during the thick of it to get her nails done, I’ll never know).

E-mail and the French

I’ve decided that I don’t like technology.

This statement is in fact extremely detrimental to my future career considering I want to be a DIGITAL archivist, meaning that technology is at the very core and soul (could you even say it has a soul?) of the occupation. But the reason I make this blasphemous statement as a blogger is all because of Gmail, well e-mail in general.

After a million e-mails sent to directors, coordinators, human resource administrators and faceless employers I’ve realized that no matter how hard you try it is damn near impossible to stand out on the interwebs. At least professionally. I know I’ll stand out if I eat two bananas and drink a liter of Sprite in 5 minutes because people finding puking videos on the internet entertaining, especially if it is a fad (thank you to Daniel Tosh of Tosh.O for your nauseating episode). But I cannot perform such a feat and expect to get a job in a library: Vomit is tough to get off of books (talk about not being acid-free paper, eh?).

I tried being polite, confident, humble, witty, peppy, etc etc etc and no luck. I do have one unpaid internship but like the rest of the free word, I need cold hard cash to keep my bedroom nice and full of lovely lovely books… and my kitchen full of food.

So today instead of banging my head against the wall hoping to get a job without any connections (connections that will supposedly come once I start school) I’m going to read.

Today’s book is brought to you by Elizabeth Robards. Her book With Violets is about the real life relationship between Edouard Manet and his muse Berthe Morisot.

After taking an art history course I fell in love with Manet’s impressionist paintings. Olympia, which is always the favorite, was a nice change up from the leggy seductresses of other paintings. And I like to think each of the subjects in Manet’s paintings have a secret.

So anyway, I was in Borders (RIP) one day with my friend and I said “I wish I could find a novel about Manet” and I looked down at a pile of books on a table, saw the impressionist style cover of With Violets, read the back and said “like this one”. It has been a favorite story of my friend’s for some time now. It was definitely meant to be.

But of course it has taken me some time to catch up on my Bible-length reading list so I have finally rediscovered this book. It is an easy read and very interesting to see into the world of French painting, though when I went to Paris I didn’t quite see the romance of it all. People always tell me about how they LOVED Paris and it was everything they could ever hope it to be but it’s pretty easy to love a place when you’re staying in a 5 star hotel, eating at all the best restaurants and have enough money where it doesn’t matter if you can’t speak French. I could speak a little French, but it doesn’t matter since Parisians wont speak it back. And for your entertainment, just picture me trying to speak French with a severe sinus infection trying to explain to a druggist that I need sinus medicine without psuedophedrine. It was an adventure to say the least. But after hiding in Napoleon’s tomb to cool off things seemed a bit better. Versailles made the trip all worth while.

Napoleon’s Tomb

The front of the palace at Versailles

Anyway, back from my tangent. It’s a decent book. It wont change your life but it’s entertaining and romantic and something good to read after a long day of writing, research and cover letters. And it’s a nice change to read paper after reading so much stuff online. It’s nice to be able to go from blogging to good ol’ fashioned paper sometimes.

P.S: If you’re ever in London and love French Impressionist paintings check out the Somerset House. I think the exhibit is probably still there, if not you can probably ask where it went because it was just fabulous!

Taking a Stab at Fiction Writing

So, I’ve always been a fan of writing. You get to live out your fantasies, vent, be ridiculous or just pretend you’re some tormented genius desperate for an outlet (if you are interested in desperate writers, Quills is an interesting/intense movie).

When I originally pictured someone as a “writer” I imagined someone with a finesse for the English language and strong literary skills. But apparently you can write fan fiction and make it a best selling novel (I keep hating on Fifty Shades, haha).

More power to the people I guess. Anyone can be a writer if enough people on the interwebs like your stuff. So maybe to supplement my professional career I’ll be a writer. But I’m not going to kill myself by trying to write the next great American novel. No. I’m going to go the easy route (and definitely the more entertaining route) and write romance fiction. And it will be library themed.

The library role-play idea is so easy to work with. It’s begging for a crazy series that will be read by thousands of lonely librarians and cat ladies.

So if you’re interested in a laugh, read my first short story (or perhaps a chapter in a longer book?) that I wrote (collaborating with a few friends) some years ago…

Happy Reading!

Lust in the Library

 In the back of a West Virginian library, destiny was about to transpire.

Middle-aged, yet untouched by time, Sandra sat behind her ramshackle oak desk, a sultry librarian that had always waited for something exciting to happen; but Sandra was from the bustling metropolis of Hackettstown, West Virginia, and no one dared to inspire any sort of rapture within the lives of the faint-hearted women of such a desperate, eastern outcropping. From day to day she would sip longingly at the same slender travel mug containing apple-cinnamon tea, slowly scanning her eyes across each section, mentally commenting on the array of  characters that visited her literary realm.

She sighed and twirled a curly lock of her tawny hair; No one had crossed the threshold of the library today except an unfortunately familiar and horrendously obese man with a greasy-looking combover who frequently lavished in staring down her conveniently low-cut, v-neck sweater as he checked out his favorite erotica novels. And yet she lingered on, hoping, praying, that something more would eventually come to sweep her away from her barren, pathetic existence. To pass her exhaustingly boring time, Sandra daydreamed about serendipitous meetings with George Clooney; just as “Dream-George” was undoing the last button on her blouse, she spilt her now-luke warm tea on her beige pencil skirt.

But something had made her spill her tea, a something that strolled through the door on a chorus of cherubic voices. Only in pictures and in her imagination had Sandra experienced the presence of a glorious and miraculous creature the likes of Maurice. His ebony hair messily fell over his emerald eyes. His cheekbones were chiseled and his brow was riddled with secret torments that someone so young seldom experienced.  Her heart fluttered violently as he took a step towards her, his sexy swagger revealing the rippling muscles of his shoulders and chest beneath his sweaty white tank-top.  A sort of transient smokiness filled the air, suggesting in it’s wake that this man was no stranger to the fruits of manual labor. The forty-something librarian gazed upon this statuesque creature, absorbing every detail from his prominent chin to his powerful calves. Immediately, Sandra was thrust back into her daydream, only this time it was this god-like boy slipping her clothes from her curves and pressing her delicate hips against his loins.  Before a drop of saliva could hit the desk below her voluptuous, open lips, Maurice was there in front of her, his heady aroma making her head reel with impossible and forbidden images.

“Hey, sorry to disturb you, my truck just broke down outside, could I use your phone to call somebody”? She hung on every word he spoke.

“Uh..err, um. Ahem. S-sure!” Sandra rummaged through the piles of returned books on her desk and clumsily shoved the phone at her materialized desire. Sensing a slight awkwardness in the air, Maurice took advantage of his sudden burst of confidence and introduced himself.

“I’m Maurice.” He stuck out his rugged hand.

“Sandra.” She slid her gentle fingers across his callused palm. The tow truck would be a while, so Sandra suggested some books for him to read while he was waiting, a few favorites often checked-out by the usual visitors. What else could she do? She had no skill in happenstance meetings and whirlwind romances.

“Show me,” was all he said with a mischievous grin.

My pleasure, she thought to herself, and she came from behind the prison of her desk.

“What . . . do you do for a living?” She asked timidly, trying to play coy and hold Maurice’s interest which she soon found unnecessary as he suddenly and unexpectedly wrapped a burly and rock-hard arm around her slender waist.

“I don’t have a steady job, just travel the country in my pickup, looking for work… and somethin’ new.”  Her skin was on fire beneath the subtle touch of his fingertips.

“Well, I’ve always worked here”, she said as she gently escorted his gorgeousness toward a bookshelf of her favorite short stories. “My grandfather built this place as a wedding present for my grandmother, and once she died he just kept building and building until he ended up at this. My father helped him to mind the library when the cancer started to spread, and eventually my father passed it along to me. He died in a car accident shortly after. I never knew my mother, so this is all I’ve ever had. My father would bring me along with him when he came to work and I would sit and just lose myself in the pages. I think I’ve read almost every page in this library. Granted, it’s modest in size, but it’s the only thing I’ve ever been able to call my own. Here I can get away from the conventions of every day life, but recently I’ve been feeling like I need something more, something different and unexpected, something that could really just sweep me away from all this and take me somewhere truly exciting. But that’s silly of me, isn’t it”?

“Not at all. That’s what I thought about high school, so I dropped out, borrowed some money from my dad and headed west. This is my sixth time completing a cross-country trip.”

“What do you do on these trips?”

“Hah, anything and everything. I’ve stayed in bars for three nights straight, gone rock climbing, drove across a desert, slept with a different woman every night for two weeks.” He winked. She blushed. Despite her moral’s instinctual repulsion at his irresponsible behavior, her animalistic instincts caused a heat in the supple skin of her breasts and inner-thighs.  She glanced surreptitiously at the closed library door.  It was an hour from closing time–– could she simply flip that little sign in the window, that little square that would give her freedom, and lock all the doors?  Could a romantic interlude finally shatter the insipid mediocrity that was her life?

“These are your favorites?”  He ran his finger oh so slowly across the row of books, caressing the spines.

A shudder ran through Sandra’s entire body, rendering her speechless for a moment.  She stared as the tip of his finger undulated over the varying-sized books. Sandra coughed and blushed.

“Ahem, yes, these are collections of some of my favorite short stories.  Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka . . .”

“Are any of them in the . . . Romance genre?”  He leaned in close, his breath tickling her ear.  A rough hand reached out and the backs of his fingers touched the nape of her neck. They calloused yet full of purpose and alacrity.  Sandra’s breath caught in her throat and the warmth spread rapidly.

“Do you like the way I touch your spine?”  He whispered into her neck, and ran his index finger down the middle of her back, all the way down as far as her skirt would allow, eliciting a chill wherever it had made contact.

“Maurice . . . I couldn’t possibly . . .” She felt like a book that wanted to open. She wanted her inner most desires to be revealed to her reader.

Sandra broke softly from his steady embrace and headed for the door. Maurice felt his spirits starting to drift swiftly downward at the prospect of her timidness. In her silence she said more than her words ever could as she turned the sign deftly to display the words ‘Come in, We’re Open’ to the company who found themselves on the interior side of the window.

As if taken over by some lusty vixen from a B-rated horror film, Sandra tore off her sweater and unbuttoned the first two buttons on her already low cut blouse. She pushed Maurice onto a pile of Milton left on the floor by some careless college student and gave him a look that could send a good southern girl straight to hell. As she crawled on top of him, ripping an alluring tear up the side of her previously restrictive and modest skirt, Sandra realized what she was doing. In her shock she stopped, and as she went to recoil in an apologetic embarrassment, Maurice pulled her to him and kissed her with a passion that sent an electric pulse to every inch of her body.

“This is just what I was looking for,” Maurice said in almost a growl.  He grabbed her suddenly around the waist and flipped her over, pinning her up against the bookshelf.  The volumes which had served as a lusty bed was kicked across the floor.  He wrenched the sweat-stained tank-top off off his sticky chest and over his head, ruffling his obsidian hair across his forehead.  Sandra sighed as she breathed in the fresh wave of masculine scent that emanated from his body and almost swooned against the books.  He lowered his face to her chest, closer and closer to the lace of her bra;  She eagerly sat up straight to meet him and fumbled with the hooks behind her back.

“Allow me”, said Maurice, and with a deft and singular snap of his fingers the latch was undone and his prize won. He ran his warm, wet tongue across the soft flesh of her breasts and up to her ear, where he lingered, his heavy and heated breath rustling the small curls once neatly tucked behind her ear. He nibbled her lobe and when he sighed with pleasure he smiled knowing he had her in his control.

With one fluid motion, Maurice pulled her to the floor and took her in every sense of the word. He penetrated her, pushing himself onto her with a moan. She gasped but opened her legs wider to allow him to go deeper, invading every bit of her, a thought which both petrified and enraptured her.

Sandra awoke in the morning expecting to be back in her own bed, but instead she was alone, and completely naked besides her Pay-less flats that she bought for no other reason except they were comfortable and on sale. So last night was true, but Maurice had left, leaving nothing behind except for a note left upon a anthology of Alexander Pope poems with a broken spine: “Thank You”. Pinned to the note was a receipt for a book loan and a new library card for Maurice Anderson. Sandra smiled.

She had been left alone after a night she had been fantasizing about ever since her first husband left her for a veterinarian with an underbite. Her only company was the greasy bald man with the comb-over knocking at the door, an edition of the Karma Sutra   (with colored photographs) in hand. Despite the fact Sandra had to return to her mundane life, she smiled knowing that Maurice would be back to return his book and, perhaps, return back to the stacks.