Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The One Where HarperCollins Hates Libraries

Sorry for the hiatus, y'all. Lots going on, not feeling like talking about most of it.

There comes a time in everyone's life, I think, where you realize that big companies, with their millions of dollars of income every year, are really just out to screw you. I've already said my piece about insurance companies, but now I have a new company upon which to unleash my (completely justified!) bile: HarperCollins.

Most of you know I work in a library. I refer to myself as a librarian even though I haven't found the money to go back for my degree to make it official. But here's one thing I don't need a degree for: I love books. I love books as much as I love food, and you guys know that's a LOT.

When e-Books started being a thing, I worried. I worried that the printed book was going to go out of style in a few years, and I worried that I'd be forced to get an e-Reader just to read the books I love so much.

My house is full of books. There are books everywhere. I'm always reading. Books and reading and all that are all very important aspects of my life.

(I know I'm jumping around here, but I'm getting to the point.)

HarperCollins has decided that they are going to limit the number of times they are going to let libraries check out e-books. I've linked to the letter they posted, but the basic gist of it is that libraries may purchase e-books for check out, but they can only be checked out 26 times. HarperCollins has decided that after these 26 times are used up, the libraries must purchase the books again.

This is. . .infuriating to me. If libraries made a habit of buying books that would only last until they were checked out 26 times, we'd have nothing. We'd have no books on the shelves, and the point of libraries would be moot. HarperCollins is just going for the money. They don't care about getting the books out. They don't care about people reading. They care about the money.

If you go here, you can read a very eloquent open letter to HarperCollins that says everything I'd love to say here, but for some reason, am missing the words to say.

The writer of HarperCollins' "open letter to librarians" said, "Twenty-six circulations can provide a year of availability for titles with the highest demand, and much longer for other titles and core backlist."

Any book that lasts just a year? Has no room in a library. And if e-readers are the wake of the future and all that, why would you make it so hard for someone to get books on it? Why are you punishing people who maybe don't like holding books, but who like reading? (Like people who, up until this point, maybe used audio books.)

It seems that many libraries are boycotting HarperCollins or HarperCollins' e-books or whatever. I've got a whole list of things I'm boycotting, so maybe we just need to add HarperCollins to that list.

I'm not suggesting they give unlimited views for one price forever, but 26 views? Ridiculous.

What do you think? I think HarperCollins is all about how much money the can eke out of libraries who already are having to cut their budgets way, way down, and who just want to provide an inexpensive service to their patrons. I'm not saying we should get anything for free. But be reasonable, HarperCollins. All you're doing is pissing off the people who use you the most.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The One With the Craigslist Postings

I kind of love craigslist. I've sold things on there, and although I've never actually purchased anything from the site, we did get our IKEA loveseat from there, free. It has a rip in the cushion, but if you flip the cushion over, it looks fine.

A few months back (actually, more than a year ago), D was looking for some freelance stuff on craigslist. Cary is a town not too terribly far from where we were living at the time, so when he came across this ad, he had to respond:

Need pro quality pics of "guys standing still"

I am lead singer of a hard rock band in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, and we are looking to hire a professional photographer to take pics for our upcoming first cd. We are planning on hitting the scene hard, playing all the major rock venues in the area, and eventually getting our album in the hands of the top record producers in LA.

But first, before we can do this, we need to have some hard-edged images taken of us to put in our album, fliers, and posters. We have looked at many photographs of the most successful local bands, and have found that they all have really cool pics of all the band members standing still, looking badass into the camera. Usually the most important member of the band is up front (the lead singer, which is "I") and usually the least important person, being the drummer, in the back. I wouldnt mind having a few hot chicks in it too, but as long as you cant see their faces bc most of them are a little busted in the face.

Since only a few of us are tatted out, either the photographer could photoshop some hardcore tats on our chests and forearms, or they could use body parts from other "less successful" bands that they have already shot. Its ok to have one or two of us sitting on the ground, or in a really cool old chair (this could be a great idea for our band bc our bassist is a lanky tall odd looking ginger dude ). We are all in our mid to late thirties, so being able to do age-reducing photoshop on us, add a little hair to one or two of us, and give us cool emo-style doos (possible a cool Adam Lambert-esque style hairdo would make me look edgy and relevent), is a must.

As for location, it is up to the photographer. Just really want to emphasize we need it to look badass! So run down environment (Cant be at any of our houses bc we live in apartments in Cary), rugged/vintage look, but most importantly, they REALLY REALLY need to have us standing up, looking straight into the camera. Hot band chicks in it, a nice plus - NO FATTIES.

We will discuss compensation when you contact us with your ideas, rates, and availability. We are under a limited budget, but when we get our album in the hands of the big LA execs, this will be a great way for a local talented artist to get their foot in the door, not to mention, become our official photographer.

BTW, our band is called ..... DEAD HORSE, the album is called ..... BEAT A DEAD HORSE

Um. . .this might be the most awesome thing I've read in the history of life. All of the spelling and punctuation is from the original posting, which I have saved in my e-mail for an occasion such as this. There's nothing not awesome about this, from the fact that they want tattoos photoshopped on them to the fact that the drummer is a tall, weird-looking ginger dude to the fact that they want hot chicks, but none that are busted in the face.

Interesting fact: To this day, I use the expression "busted in the face" solely due to this posting.

So there's that.

Then there's another one I found a couple days ago that just made me laugh.

Looking for an experienced Mexican lady

Looking for an experienced Mexican lady who can cook Mexican food and also hot dogs, french fries, hamburgers etc in a grocery grill near Oxford.
Need someone who is hardworking, honest, clean and dependable.
Part time hours available leading to Full-time.

I don't even really know what to say about this one. I'm not sure what kind of experience they want in their Mexican lady, but I hope they find it.

So what about you guys? Any craigslist weirdness you've come across?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The One With the Crying

I have a really embarrassing problem.

I cry. Like, a lot.

I've done it since I was a kid, and it made my parents nuts.

"Sarah. . .STOP crying," was pretty much something I heard all the time. It wasn't like I was doing it on purpose, though, and I know this because the trait has stalked followed me into adulthood.

I cried when I was having a bad day. I cried when I was frustrated. I cried when I thought someone might possibly be looking at me wrong. I cried for no real good reason at all.

This has also frustrated people I've dated, who I've fought with. I'll get into some kind of impassioned discussion, or a fight, and I'd cry. Not because I was sad, and not because I was upset. . .it's just because, for whatever reason, when I'm put into stressful situations, I'll cry, even if there's no cause for tears.

This took D a while to get used to, I think. Because if there's even the first hint of unpleasant conversation, I'll cry. And then I get frustrated that I'm crying, and that makes me cry more. And it's all downhill from there. Even once I calm down, if a conversation along the same lines is begun too soon after I manage to finish crying, I'll start again.

The reason this is so frustrating is actually kind of three-fold. One, once I start, it's really hard to stop, and that makes conversation pretty much impossible.

Two, it accomplishes nothing, and I just look like one of those people who cries to get their way. I've been pulled over by cops a few times, and let me tell you this: I've cried every time, and I've gotten a ticket every time. So it's not like it helps me. If I were doing it on purpose, I would have stopped by now, because it does not work.

Third, it just makes me look pathetic. This is kind of an offshoot of number two, but really, I just look pathetic, like I'm crying to try to get my way. I'm NOT. It just happens.

I called my insulin pump supply company this morning, because I'm almost out of supplies. The back story here is that I called their financial assistance people almost a month ago, and it's been one giant game of phone tag since then. When I finally got someone on the phone, he told me that because I'm employed part-time, they couldn't help me. Predictably, I cried.

I called today to order some and see if they'd let me pay for half a box today and half of it on my next payday. (The back story HERE is that I can only afford one box of 24 tube things at a time, at about $140 per box. However, those people with no insurance, like myself, have to pay for them upfront. They won't bill you later for it.)

Unfortunately, I don't HAVE $140 to spend on pump supplies right now. I have rent money and half a box of supplies money, but that's about it.

So I called and asked, and the lady was like, "No. We can't do that."

So, of course, I cried. But I at least asked to speak to her supervisor. Not because of her, but I figured someone higher than her might be able to help me.

I was on hold for a little while, and managed to regain my composure while I was waiting for her to pick up.

When she did pick up, I immediately started to cry again. It's SO. EMBARRASSING. It's embarrassing, and I wish I knew how to stop it.

(If you're wondering the ending to this story, she did allow me to do the pay half now, pay half later thing. But now I have this fear that, on my account, they've made a note that says, "Cries. A LOT.")

So that's the story. I've done it my whole life, and I want to know how to stop. Because it's annoying. And embarrassing.