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Bubble of weirdness

Had to take the car down to the Firestone center today for yet another tire. Kansas City Missouri streets are murder. Since it was going to be about a two hour wait, I left the car there and walked downtown to the new main library which unequivically kicks ass. The old Board of Education building, where the main branch of the city libaray used to be, is a hideous and depressing piece of early 1960s Bauhaus-derivative, decaying Space-Age monstrosity which exudes an air of dissipated hope. Believe me, the Board of Ed building is pretty much emblematic, symbolic, and representative of the state of the local Board of Ed–decaying, outmoded, ill-maintained, and rather pethetic.

Anyway, the new library, it rocks, and I mostly just meandered around familiarizing myself with its layout and browsing. Today, I loaded up on books on the history of Comic Books. Mostly underground comix, women's comix, women in comics, and Chuck Jones's autobiography “Chuck Amuck,” about which I have heard many good things. I also checked out an anthropological book on gestures, eponymously titled, and an art/design book entitled “Landmarks of Twentieth Century Design–and Illustrated Handbook.”

After the old main branch closed so they could move, I discovered that my local branch sucks, so my library patronage has been sporadic at best these last three or four months. Needless to say, I was jonesing like a junkie for something fresh to read. I'd borrowed a bunch of books from one of my buddies, and re-read some favorites among the stuff I actually own, but really, nothing quite replaces roaming blithely around a huge building full of books, idly deciding what I will be in the mood to read the coming week. I am so ecstatically glad the new downtown branch is open now. I can go after work, or if I ride my bike and already know what I want to get, or have stuff on hold, I can go on my lunch break. Bookworm paradise!

They changed library cards since the last time I was in, so I couldn't use my user ID and PIN to search the card catalogues, and there were a few specific things I was looking for. Ah well, there is always next weekend.

I had gotten so jazzed about the fabulousness of the library, and my inner bookworm was so hungry, that I ended up checking out a pretty wild armload of stuff (most of those comics/comix anthologies and histories are slightly outsized, and the 20th C. Design book is pretty bulky. I walked out of the library with the books stacked under my right arm, balanced up against my hip, which was awkward, and required frequent adjusting to keep books from sliding away. I kept suppressing the impulse to pick the books up and set them on my head like an African woman with a water jug. I have a preference to carry heavy/awkward things on my head, steadied by one hand. Laundry, large postal packages, stacks of books, ect. It is comfortable and easier than switching hands, balancing against a hip, ect. Your body doesn't get all off-kilter.

I sometimes suppress my urges to be gratuitiously weird, but today, I said “fuck it; I need to be able to walk quickly, and no way will I be able to walk quickly with these books balanced against my hip.” So, I transferred my stack of books to the top of my head and strode onward, making it back to the Firestone center in good time, and not garnering a single male hoot, for once.

It sounds like I am bragging or something, but I am not. Kansas City men are just unnaturally hooty. It is like they can't handle the sight of an unescorted woman without blowing off steam like a coal-burning locomotive. As I walk around on my own, quite a lot, I garner plenty of reflexive hoots. I think these guys don't even really see me or much of what I look like (I am in no way a stereotypical “hottie”) and think “Shit, a woman…Mating call imminent…” but what comes out is “yo gal–you lookin' goood” or “ps ps ps ps seeeeexy.”

Normally, I just think, “Yeah, whatever–why don't you embrace that 'sapiens' part of homo-sapiens?” and go on my cranky little way. However, I think from now on, when I absolutely cannot handle anyone fucking with me, I will simply walk around with an enormous stack of books on my head. If you can't beat 'em with a baseball bat, freak them the hell out.

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