ASSOCIATES (2008, March, v. 14, no. 3)


Library Life:
A Column of Eclectic Rantings

Katie Buller Kintner

Did you ever feel as if the world is just turning too fast and you want to put on the brakes? Lately, that’s been my feeling. Just too much weirdness is going on both in my life and the world in general. It wouldn’t be so bad but even after you deal with some of it and set it aside, it just comes back to start all over again.

bailey1.jpgHere’s an example. Our chocolate lab is a pathetic case. The poor thing has no clue that she’s incontinent and therefore must wear a diaper. Licking/chewing on her legs is what is causing recurring inflammations and that is why she must wear an e-collar. She also doesn’t know that stretching her rear leg in front of the e-collar is cheating and therefore that’s why she also must wear an inflatable collar a round her neck too. On top of all this, she gets recurring nosebleeds. You haven’t lived until you have held a dog’s head upward with icepacks on it for an hour or two.

The ironic thing is that part of the solution to all of this is probably a good walk two or three times a day. But this is not possible as we are up to our you-know-whats in record snow and ice, and she only has three good legs anyway. For those of you who are wondering, yes she has been to the vet many times for all these things. Some of it is her age (12) and some of it may also be the beginning stage of the end for her. But in spite of it all, her spirits and energy are good. So we just keep stumbling along with her until she becomes too ill or uncomfortable to enjoy her life. Hubby and I are only ones who are miserable.

308boat1.jpgThat brings us to the next thing—the snow and ice. Wisconsin has had a record-setting year for snowfall and we didn’t even get the worst of it. The snow wouldn’t be so bad but the warmer days cause it to melt just enough to turn it into slick skating rinks at night. Add some bumps and waves and you have a recipe for broken legs, sprained knees, etc. The stores ran out of sidewalk salt so it became even worse as the ice kept building up. The ploughs have been piling it up wherever they can but traffic intersections have become cruel games of chance as you pull out, hoping that a big semi-truck going sixty miles an hour isn’t behind that big pile of snow blocking your view.

The last of the stuff might melt by July but it wouldn’t surprise me if we still had this winter’s snow piled in parking lots when next winter rolls around again. Cabin fever is rampant and I wouldn’t be surprised if police calls to domestic disturbances are on the rise. We are going crazy here.

Then there are the road conditions. In drier winters, the roads might be hazardous maybe three or four times a winter. I can handle that but this winter it has been every other day for almost three months. When you are a big chicken like me, your the car is nearly at a standstill as you go to work. Vehicles passing by at impossible speeds of forty or fifty miles an hour become objects to curse and in your feverish imagination, small ice patches may toss your car half a mile into the lake. I can remember riding with a friend during a heavy snowstorm once. She never slowed down and passed every other car while screaming “If you can’t drive in snow, you shouldn’t live in Wisconsin!”

That is the last time I rode with her under any conditions. The next winter she wound up in the ditch a few times but I don’t think she ever associated that with her driving. “Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!” (Hamlet, Act. I, Scene IV).

Finally, we are down to the latest news item being endlessly discussed and regurgitated. The papers are full of it, it’s the leadoff for every newscast and the topic of water cooler chat everywhere and no, it’s not Hillary’s mudslinging, Obama’s turban or McCain’s marital slipups. For those of you whose lives don’t revolve around NFL football, I apologize for what follows but it’s Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre’s retirement.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Green Bay Packers and have watched their games since I was a wee cheesehead, but enough is enough! When local radio stations sounded funeral bells every so often and people were seen weeping on TV broadcasts, I threw up my hands and turned them both off. The following day Brett himself held a press conference and presided at his own funeral, blubbering away.

Um…Brett? You ain’t dead, just retired. Go drink a beer, eat some of your mom’s great jambalaya and relax, dude. The world did not stop spinning.

But I wish it had.

Katie has been writing for Associates since the inaugural issue in July 1994. She occasionally gives highlights of her career as a library assistant but often focuses on life in general. Katie lives in Wisconsin.