27 December 2005

Coast Area Libraries Battle to Stay Afloat

Here's an article in today's Sun Herald on rebuilding Mississippi libraries on the coast. It is estimated that costs to rebuild may be over $20 million.

Another article in today's Sun Herald details damage done to library systems and individual libraries. It also gives the hours of operation for those libraries that are open.

Thanks to the Clarion-Ledger for the heads-up.

26 December 2005

Boxing Day

I am at work. I'm on 52-week contract with the college, which means when the college is open for business, I am there unless I decide to take some annual leave.

I could have come in later this morning, but realized I needed to get some business done, so I left my mother's house a little after midnight. I arrived in Clinton a little after 1:30 this morning.

I woke up at 7:30, accomplished the errands I needed to run, and am now at work. I've done some interlibrary loan work. We had some requests that could be filled. Also, one of our instructors had requested some books. One arrived today. There's still one other book request remaining.

In early news, it looks like the Bush Administration is on the side of Anna Nicole Smith in her Supreme Court case. Anna Nicole Smith and the Supreme Court. Who would have thought?

24 December 2005

The Hipster Test

You're the Tortured Intellectual!
You're the Tortured Intellectual!
Take What sort of Hipster are you? today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You're sensitive, you're emotional, and you wonder why everyone else in the world exists on a different plane. You cannot eat, breathe, or sleep without analyzing each action to death. You're usually sombre, depressed, lethargic, but you can be nearly glad from time to time. You wear whatever you can find on your cluttered bedroom floor. You carry books, notepads, reading glasses with you wherever you go. You have friends, but only a few who truly get where you're coming from. You frequent coffee shops, libraries, and the less crowded bars. You're obsessed with past people, past ideas, past lives. You wish you could die and be reborn as Jack Kerouac.

The Christmas Possum

It sounds like it could be a Christmas cartoon special, but it's not.

19 December 2005

Match.com Hate E-Mail

Woot! I got my first-ever hate e-mail via Match.com this morning. I received an e-mail from a woman yesterday evening regarding my profile. I've only changed names and her hometown, which I mention in an e-mail.

Here's her e-mail:

From: Hate Mail Gal
To: The Library Guy
Date received: December 18, 2005
Subject: Wow !!!

I loved your headline. I wish I had put as much information on my profile as you did. I was afraid to come off like a major wind bag. How has it worked for you? OK, I'll be nice. We have an incredible amount of common interests. It would be fun to get into each other's head. May I respond to your "about me"by the numbers? 1: I'm laid back also (or lazy) 2: I'm absolutely eclectic in every way ( could be just multiple personalities) 3: love travel, bookstores, music of all kinds and some sports 4 Also a jack of many trades 5: insanely wacky sense of humor (gotta be on your toes) 6: world-class smart-alek 7:can be very deep and serious 8: I don't know about anal anything! 9:often quiet, can be reclusive , loves the quiet and peaceful 10: not into drama 11: rational only when useful 12:not a fan either 13: what's a frickin Hoopy Frood? 14: was that placid of flacid? 15:I'm not competitive, I just naturally win alot cuz I'm better 16: You lost me on that one 17: society as we know it will fall first. Low-tech rebels will rule 18: eventually find a bright-side to every pitiful or calamitous situation (my life) 19: I have a Monty Python soul 20: the first 12 of these were amusing.

She was responding to these points I made in my profile.

About me and who I'd like to meet i am: 1. pretty laid back and easygoing. 2. eclectic. 3. someone who likes travel, bookstores, music, & sporting events. 4. a jack of all trades & a master of two. i have the diplomas to prove it. :-) 5. in possession of a wacky sense of humor. 6. a smartaleck. :-) 7. serious at times. 8. anal-retentive at times, but what do you expect from someone who numbers these descriptions! :-) 9. slightly introverted, but that doesn't mean i'm reclusive. :-) 10. not fond of overly emotional appeals. they turn me off. 11. rational & perhaps too much for my own good! :-) 12. not a fan of e. e. cummings even though i've typed this profile in lowercase. 13. a hoopy frood. 14. normally placid except when i go to music concerts. 15. competitive when i play games. i play to win. if someone else wins, that's good because i've done my best & i congratulate the winner. 16. an istj personality type according to myers-briggs. 17. expecting the spanish inquisition to happen anytime. 18. always looking on the bright side of life. 19. not going to include another monty python joke in my self-description. 20. aware that the ultimate answer is 42.

Anyway, I had noticed a few days previously that she had looked at my profile. I looked at hers and noticed there were some things we didn't have in common-- since I like going to some bars, there was a comment she made about "beer-a-holics" in her profile I found to be troubling.

So I sent her this message:

From: The Library Guy
To: Hate Mail Gal
Date received: December 18, 2005
Subject: RE: Wow !!!


Thanks for your response. I'm glad you liked my profile. To answer some of your questions, several women have said that they liked it a lot. I figured that as long as I tried to include some humor, the profile would work & I believe it has.

There's also some references to books in my profile-- hoopy frood, for instance, comes from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It means someone who's really amazingly together.

I saw that you had looked at my profile a few days previously. I looked at your profile too. I think it's interesting, but I believe our differences are too great. I don't believe we'd get along. I like to go out to local bars and nightclubs. I also like to drink a beer or three. Despite the fact you mention that you're a social drinker, your profile had given me a different impression mostly because of your comment concerning "beer-a-holics." So I removed your profile from consideration.

When I moved here to the Jackson area, I went (and still go) to coffee shops and bookstores, but people there didn't seem to be too interested in socializing or in some cases were pretentious. So I went to bars where I've met most of my friends. Bars have always seemed to have a more welcoming environment for me.

I suggest you look for someone else who shares many of your interests. While we certainly have some things in common, I think we're too different.

All the best,


She didn't take the note too kindly. She sent me this brief message:

--- Hate Mail Gal wrote:
OK never disregard a first impression. (mine was a pretentious windbag!) Ta TA!

I'm in a good mood and since this the first hate mail I've received via match.com. I was playful and so I responded accordingly:

Hey cool! My first hate mail sent via match.com! Don't worry I'm not going to say nasty things. I'm in an amazingly good mood considering it's a Monday. *grin*

You must not have paid close attention to my profile. I mentioned that I'm introverted. It's pretty hard for an introvert to be a windbag. I will admit at times to being a verbose typist.

As far as my profile is concerned, check out the first definition of pretentious at this website:


"ostentatious: intended to attract notice and impress others"

I knew I had to be more creative since I decided not to put my photo on match.com. So yeah, I made my profile that way on purpose. It certainly got your attention.

In all seriousness, I can empathize with you. I grew up and used to live in a small town-- a town much, much smaller than XXXXXXX. (Yes, I'm familiar with XXXXXXX. I went to college with people who were from there.) It's difficult being different from a lot of other people in a small town. That's another reason why I like Jackson so much-- it's a larger city and it's easier to find people who share similar interests.

Wishing you the best in your hunt,


After I got off work this evening, I received a response from her:

I don't think I've ever encountered anyone who assumes so much from so little information before. I have lived all around the country including large cities such as Seattle (that's in Washington) Portland (Oregon) San Diego (California) Phoenix (Arizona) and some not so large such as Fayetteville, Arkansas before I moved here. I love the friendly people and have been made to feel at home. Sorry, pretentious was your word, and I just wanted to throw it back at you. I'm not sure what the word is for people who need to flaunt thier education and knowledge of a few big words in an attempt to elevate themselves above the huddled masses and feel better about themselves. Other people I've met like that were usually rejects in school and suffered cruelty at the hands of the usual bullies and snobs, who now need to act better than others to make up for it. Oh, just to set the record straight, I have nothing against going out to a bar and having a good time for whatever reasons. I do sometimes and have fun with friends and enjoy making new ones and meeting guys. To me a beer-aholic is someone who has to drink a six-pack every night to be civil. I'm suspicious of anyone who needs to depend on a chemical to have a good time. One other thing, I believe I was still a teen- ager when I read Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, and have had other things to think about besides "Hoopy Froods" or whatever. Haven't seen the movie but on my list. I am a H/S drop out. I've been on my own since the age of 15. Never been jailed, managed not to get caught doing anything terribly stupid, no illegitimate children, no diseases or defects. I've done everything from training World Champion Horses to selling airplanes. I enjoy people from all walks of life in every socio-economic category there is. I have friends who are also intellectual snobs but I enjoy them anyway. This was not hate mail, nothing as strong as that! Just having a little fun F@%@n' with ya! and it worked....Hate Mail Gal

Here's how I responded:

All you had to was to say: "You caught me, so I'm going to deny everything."

Wishing you a Merry Christmas,


18 December 2005

The Weekend

The weekend was fun. Personally, it was the usual mix of introversion and extroversion.

At one of the Christmas parties last week, I was given a Borders gift certificate. It contributed to purchasing Stag: A Story of Coming of Age in a Bar.

After dinner, I read this book while drinking coffee Friday evening at Cups. I thought it was pretty good. I'm nearly ten years older than the main character in this book and certainly no alcoholic, but there's some things that came to my mind when reading this book. I might go into some more detail in a later post.

Anyway, I'm one of the older people (if not the oldest) who goes out with a group of folks here in the Jackson area. A lot of us have similar interests-- this one is an example. Invariably, when I go to Hal & Mal's or Don's, I'll see a few of my friends there. They're fabulous people. Intelligent. Smart. Open. They make me feel welcome.

And involved. While I'm comfortable in the background, I also like being involved.

When I finished reading the book Friday night, I went to Don's. I got there a little after 11 p.m. The place was packed. I saw many friends and acquaintances. I sat down at a table with Bucky, TD, D Trane, and FP. Music from the '80s was playing. FP felt like dancing and so everyone at the table danced.

It was good to dance. I felt involved and welcome. As I've mentioned previously, I've always had a bit of a shell around me. I don't know if it will ever go away, but I feel good when I'm involved.

I had a great time.

I went to my mother's house in Canebrake the following afternoon. I've watched some football games. I spent the night.

I'm still over in Canebrake, but will be heading up to Clinton soon. I need to be at work tomorrow morning. I'll be working Monday and Tuesday and then I'll head back down to Hattiesburg for Christmas on Wednesday or perhaps Thursday.

17 December 2005

The Dead White Male of the Month

Thomas Dionysius Clark,
Historian Laureate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

For what it's worth, I read quite a few of his books when I was in graduate school. One of them was used as a textbook in a class taught by his co-author when I was a student at USM.

15 December 2005

Le pornstache est mort

My pornstache is no more. It suffered an accidental death this evening.

I had intended just to trim it before heading off to the Mississippi State-Jacksonville State basketball game tonight. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that I had failed to secure the comb to the trimmer properly until I had shaved off part of the 'stache.

Damage done, I removed the comb and shaved off the 'stache. I now have no facial hair.

Arrangements for the pornstache's wake have not yet been made.

13 December 2005

Football Playoff Predictions, Week 5: The Aftermath

I went 2-3 last week in my predictions and was 98 for 131 for the playoffs-- a .748 percentage.

MHSAA Championship Games
Friday December 9
Class 2A Finals
Lumberton 28, Simmons 0

The Panthers repeat as Class 2A champions.

Class 5A Finals
South Panola 52, Meridian 14.

I was not crazy enough to pick against South Panola. The Tigers have now won 45 games in a row.

Saturday December 10

Class 3A Finals
Hazlehurst 14, Charleston 0

My prognostication powers go downhill. I forgot the first rule: Always go with the fastest team.

Class 4A Finals
West Point 17, Wayne County 15

The War Eagles lose in a heartbreaker.

Class 1A Finals
Ray Brooks 52, Mount Olive 33

The Tigers force a certain prognosticator to walk the plank...

12 December 2005


Since yesterday's post dealt more with introversion, I thought I'd focus more on what I've been doing the past few days along with some things coming up in the next few days.

Things have been pretty busy at the college what with finals happening. They end tomorrow. I went to book club this past Tuesday night. D Trane, TD, Buck Satan, FP, and Coppertop were all there. Buck has already mentioned some of the things discussed. An interesting idea. I've never considered myself as being a creative writer though. I'm more of an observational writer-- I see and hear what's going on & I comment.

I was exhausted after work Wednesday. I felt like sleeping at 6 p.m. I stayed awake though-- even went to Shoney's for the Wednesday night Breakfast Bar before making it back to the house. I fell asleep at about 10:30 that night and woke up at 3:30 Thursday morning.

I tried to go to sleep, but couldn't so I crawled out of bed at 4. I did laundry, put the trash out, and surfed the net before going to Shoney's (yes again) for breakfast and then to work. After work, I went to a Christmas function at the college's conference center. I got to see a lot of college folks-- mostly active employees and retirees. That was cool. I was tired that night as well. I went to bed at 10 that night and got a good amount of sleep waking up at 6.

I worked at the library. I had thought about asking for some time off to attend a high school championship game that afternoon, but knew that there were co-workers who needed to have time off for much better reasons than mine so I kept quiet. I heard from K that afternoon. She left a text message on my cellphone. I called her back and we finally got in touch with each other shortly after work.

As mentioned in yesterday's post, she and her husband T were up here to cover some high school championship games. After they checked into their hotel, they called me again and I drove over to their hotel. We chatted for awhile and then I drove them over to Macaroni Grill where we had some excellent food and were sung to by a former student who I knew from when I first started work here at the library.

After we ate, we decided to head out to someplace. I called up TD and he reminded me about American Analog Set performing at the Red Room-- so we went. They've been to the Red Room before. K is a SPQ wanna-be. I think that's the right term-- I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. She marched in this year's parade with the Laurel queens group. She told me several times over the weekend that I needed to get a pass for next year.

I introduced K & T to friends here in Jackson-- many of whom are linked to your right. K & T couldn't stay too long so I drove them to their hotel after the first American Analog Set song and then came back to listen to their last few songs.

Afterwards, I was at Don's for a very short while before heading back to the house. I got up at 10:30 Saturday morning. I did some more laundry and ate leftover lobster lasagna from the Macaroni Grill as I watched most of the 3A championship game on TV. I left a little after 2 pmto go to the stadium. I arrived at 2:30, picked up my press pass, and met up with K & T on the home sidelines.

We saw an exciting 4A championship game. Sadly, one of the paper's local schools (Wayne County) lost to West Point. After the game, we made a quick trip to Cups. I ran into some friends and acquaintances-- including No. 5-- there. We ordered some Cafe Mochas and drank them. I ordered a large Mocha and finished drinking it at the Class 1A championship game.

Another local school (Mount Olive) played. Sadly, they lost to Ray Brooks of Benoit. I mentioned in yesterday's post what I did immediately afterwards.

I was tired Sunday. I needed to rest and got it.

Today's my late day at work. I worked until 9 p.m. I've been paying attention to the Monday Night Football game between the Saints and Falcons. Vick's my starting fantasy QB and I need nine points from him to win the game and qualify for my Yahoo league playoffs.

I've got a couple of Christmas parties to attend Tuesday and Wednesday. I ran by the Starbucks here in Clinton after work and bought coffee and tea as gifts for co-workers. I'll be passing them out tomorrow.

Mississippi State is playing a basketball game at the Coliseum Thursday night. I'm going to the game with a co-worker friend who's also a State alum.

I'll be at work through Tuesday the 20th. I've got book club that evening and then I'll head over to Hattiesburg for most of Christmas and then return Christmas evening. The college is open for business on December 26 and 27.

Since I'm on a 52-week contract, I've got to be there unless I plan to take some time off and I'm not. I don't feel like traveling anywhere at the moment. I've already got a trip planned to San Antonio next month for ALA Midwinter. Besides appearing at Hal & Mal's on the night of the 27th... the North Mississippi Allstars.

And I don't have to be at work until January 3. Woot!

11 December 2005

Introspection and Introversion

I saw a couple of state high school championship football games yesterday. Two schools from my friends' newspaper's coverage area played Saturday afternoon and night. They both lost.

It was good to see K & T though. They came up to cover three area schools that were playing for the championship. I think we had fun. I like being with friends-- I like the interaction.

After the last football game, I went to C's farewell party. She's leaving the Bold New City and going out-of-state for grad school. I thought about sticking around a little longer, but I didn't know many of the people at the party at that time. I then thought about going across the street to Don's and even made it to the door. I decided against entering though. I didn't feel like being social.

I'm naturally introverted. While I like being with people, I prefer the background. I'm the quiet guy in the group. Sometimes talking and mostly listening-- or at least attempting to listen. I'm not known-- or at least I don't think I am-- for being an exuberant or particularly extroverted guy unless I've had too much to drink, am at an Allstars concert, or when that theme to Zorba the Greek is playing at Don's.

I'll try not to get too introspective (and repetitive), but I've always been the quiet one, the shy one, the one with the shell around him, the one unlucky in love.

I don't know why it started. Is it because I talked differently and needed speech therapy when I was younger? Is it because I'm partially deaf in one ear? Is it because I tend to not talk a lot when I'm with friends and acquaintances at bars?

I don't know.

Since I moved here a little over five years ago, I've tried my best to be active socially. It was difficult since I didn't know many people around here and that the great majority of my friends and colleagues at my workplace are either older or don't share a lot of my interests.

When I moved here, people invited me to attend their churches. The thing is though I've had past experiences with institutional religion that were too negative. Partly it's because I consider myself to be pretty rational. One consequence of my rationalism is that overly emotional appeals (e.g., political, sports, and religious) to me don't work. Also I've had interactions with some Christians who verbally tried very intensively to convince me to attend church and wound up being insulting towards me.

When responding to such tactics, I usually ignore people who practice them, which has often infuriated said people. At any rate, I've not considered myself welcome in church in years.

I don't know if I would have the same experiences had I grown up in a larger town or city, but there have been times when I wished I didn't grow up in a small town. Yes, I have feelings of ambivalence. I know I am who I am because I grew up in a small town. I made good friends; however, there were times I was unhappy.

Am I happy now? Sometimes I am. Sometimes I'm not. I try not to be self-pitying though because it's counterproductive and irrational. It makes me feel bad & I don't like that.

Do I belong here? I think so. I certainly hope so. I'm still slightly introverted. I still have the shell around me even though people have said it's not as noticeable. I'm still unlucky in love. However, I have friends who make me feel welcome & that's good.

08 December 2005

Football Playoff Predictions, Week 5

I went 10-4 last week in my predictions and am now 96 for 126 for the playoffs thus far-- a .762 percentage. There are only five high school games remaining on the schedule.

MHSAA Championship Games

Friday December 9

Class 2A Finals: 2:30 p.m.
Simmons vs. Lumberton

The Panthers are the defending Class 2A champions and should pull off the repeat.

Class 5A Finals: 7 p.m.
South Panola vs. Meridian

I am not crazy enough to pick against South Panola.

Saturday December 10

Class 3A Finals: 11 a.m.
Charleston vs. Hazlehurst

I don't know. I expected Charleston to make it. I didn't expect Hazlehurst, but they've been impressive. I suppose I'll go with Charleston.

Class 4A Finals: 3 p.m.
West Point vs. Wayne County

Both schools were expected to meet each other in the state championship game. The only question is which team is better. I'll give the edge to the War Eagles.

Class 1A Finals: 7 p.m.
Ray Brooks vs. Mount Olive

Arrr... Me thinks that the Pirates will keelhaul Ray Brooks.

What??? No More Christopher Robin???

I was reading in Neil Gaiman's Journal that the Disney Channel is using a 6-year old tomboy instead of Christopher Robin in a new series.


07 December 2005

Go get 'em Haley...

I didn't vote for the gentleman, but I like what he's doing here.

It also made CNN as well.

"Losing isn't everything. Losing is the only thing."

Chuck Klosterman writes about how failure defines greatness on espn.com.

06 December 2005

Harold Bloom Loves Chili

Chili, that grand spicy, meaty stew, cannot be warped and scatted by the School of Displaced Guilt. Undoubtedly, attempts to dissolve the potency of chili are abundant and will persist, a regrettable result of continuing investments in political rectitude for the return of praise by impressionable, likeminded peers. Everywhere, it has become fashionable, a matter of course, to suppress the idea of a chili aesthetic.

Thanks go to Bookslut.

That's Professor RoboCop to you...

Who knew that RoboCop knew Roman and Renaissance art?

Thanks go to the Intern.

05 December 2005

Football Playoff Predictions, Week 4: The Aftermath

I went 10-4 last week in my predictions and am now 96 for 126 for the playoffs thus far-- a .762 percentage.

MPSA Finals at Mississippi College

Class A
D7 #1 River Oaks 32, D1 #1 Lee, Ark. 29 OT

The Mustangs come back to win in overtime.

Class AA
D2 #1 Simpson 14, D3 #1 Copiah 7

The Cougars win their third consecutive title.

Class AAA, Division II
D1 #1 Starkville Aca. 31, D1 #2 Heritage 7

The Volunteers win their first title since 1985.

Class AAA, Division I
D1 #1 JA 29, D2 #1 Jackson Prep 8

The Raiders win as expected.

MHSAA Semifinals

Class 1A
R2 #1 Ray Brooks 38, R2 #2 Coffeeville 20
R4 #1 Mount Olive 28, R4 #2 St. John 7

Unbeatens Ray Brooks and Mount Olive meet for the Class 1A title.

Class 2A
R4 #1 Simmons 34, R3 #1 West Bolivar 14
R8 #1 Lumberton 28, R8 #3 Perry Central 0

Defending 2A champion Lumberton and Simmons meet for the 2A title. Both schools are also undefeated this season.

Class 3A
R4 #1 Charleston 27,R3 #1 Senatobia 6
R6 #1 Hazlehurst 22, R7 #1 South Pike 19

Charleston and Hazlehurst meet for the 3A title. Both teams are making their first appearance in a title game. Hazlehurst has an unbeaten record while Charleston has only one loss to Class 5A Grenada.

Class 4A
R1 #1 West Point 24, R2 #1 Oxford 14
R5 #1 Wayne County 34, R5 #2 West Jones 6

I should have gone with the conventional wisdom here. Wayne County is unbeaten. West Point lost earlier in the year to Class 5A Starkville.

Class 5A
R1 #1 South Panola 26, R1 #2 Olive Branch 0
R3 #2 Meridian 46, R3 #1 Oak Grove 40

I knew I should have picked Meridian... South Panola is, of course, unbeaten. Their last loss came in the 2002 Class 5A championship game against Wayne County. Meridian lost their first two games of the year against Madison Central and Starkville and then lost to Oak Grove in the regular season.

01 December 2005


Try it out-- if you're not already aware of it.

Thanks go to the Rev.