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I saw the coolest old lady yesterday. At first glance, she had the stereotypical library-lady look: pastel sweater, ankle-length dress, sensible shoes. Her hair was white, cut just above the neck. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that she had shocks of pink, purple, and faint green in her bangs, and she was wearing Batman earrings.

She was one of the librarians at the Hennepin County Library downtown. I went out to pick up some soda and salsa at the upscale grocery store (you know, the essentials), and decided on a whim to stop by the library. I'd only been there once, very briefly, and I hadn't yet gotten a library card. So, I decided to take care of that. There are a number of reasons why I'm glad that I decided to make this detour.

First, they have about three shelves' worth of graphic novels, of all genres. They even have a collection of 'zines, little underground magaziney things. Their science fiction and fantasy section is huge. When I go into a library, I'm used to seeing a tired old collection of second-rate sci-fi novels from the 60s and 70s, but it was not so at this library. They have a lot of very recent stuff, most of it in hardback (though they have a lot of paperbacks, as well).

After I got my card, I asked how many books I could check out at a time. The woman said, "Well, the computer can handle 100 items per account."

Cool.

I went home with an armload of graphic novels: Goldfish by Brian Michael Bendis, Appleseed Book 2 by Masamune Shirow, The Ballad of Doctor Henderson by Paul Pope, Blankets by Craig Thompson, The Nikopol Trilogy by Enki Bilal, A Jew in Communist Prague: Rebellion (Part 3 - they didn't have the first two, but I love his artwork) and No Pasaran! Vol. 2 (same problem) by Vittorio Giardino, and a Sgt. Rock graphic novel which had some interesting artwork (I want to say it's Between Hell and a Hard Place , but I don't remember; have to check once I get home). I read Doctor Henderson last night; I've come to really appreciate Paul Pope's art style - he has a way with brushes, and he never appears to use rulers in any way; everything looks freehand; he also uses very abstract ways of representing sound and music that seem to work. He did Doctor Henderson when he was 24, so I feel a bit sheepish, of course. It's about a young-to-middle age professor who, while in a bit of a depression, runs into an old student of his; the review which calls it an "anti-Prufrock" story is pretty on the mark; I was pleased that the character mentions that poem in the story - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot - because it reminded me of the true meaning of that poem, outlined for our A.P. English class in high school by my friend Adam Auer: it's about World War Three.

Anyway. It was a wonderful day yesterday, beautiful early-autumn weather, and now a nice stack of comics to read after the homework is done. Which some of it is. Marilyn and I also purchased and set up some new bookshelves, so I was able to get rid of some of the piles of books in the apartment, throw out some of the cardboard boxes cluttering up the front hallway, and generally do some cleaning. Marilyn decorated with some of our old wedding props - mainly wreaths of little foil and plastic autumn leaves, which she used to wreathe our new bookshelves and a curtain rod over the windows. As a result, it looks like a celebration of autumn in our apartment, which makes it even more homey than before. The only thing we need now is a fireplace.

I'm at work right now; after we close in about an hour and twenty minutes, I'll go home and pick up the lovely wife; then we'll be off to a dinner function thingy for Northwestern Books. I think it's supposed to be an awards ceremony for employees and management. Marilyn says its being held in a renovated movie theater. Odd. I know that there will be some snippets of video shown, including a goofy little skit some of us put together about being rude to customers (I got to be the outraged customer, and at one point, I plaintively protest to the surly customer service clerk that some people happen to think that I'm cool, okay?). I've also been told that Todd Friel will be hosting, which pleases me, and will probably annoy my wife when she finds out (she's disagreed with some of Todd's statements about the Word of Faith movement).

Then it's back to class tomorrow. I'll be building a table this week, and beginning to take pictures using real live film instead of digital. Unfortunately, I was unable to join Slusser for some chatroom-gaming on Friday night, but hopefully I'll be able to the next time he's available. Dan's off from school now, so I'm looking forward to doing a little of the same with him.

Gaming, that is. Not ditching.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 26, 2004 at Sunday, September 26, 2004 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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