Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paranoia Strikes Again

This morning, I asked Dan to go into the donation box and remove the 5, 10, 20 dollar bills. I asked him to place them in the register. The donation box is pretty secure; it requires that you unscrew the top to get inside.

After about 20 minutes, Dan came into my office with a note detailing every bill he retrieved from the box (five 5s, one 10, and one 20). He then went on to explain that he has some psychological problems, and that he is prone to paranoia. He said he is being medicated for it, but wanted me to know that the "old Dan" would have been very concerned about the task he was given. "Old Dan" might have been very concerned that one of the "higher ups" would notice that there was less cash in the donation box, and, in order to solve the mystery of where that cash went, would seek out the screwdriver used to open the box, have it fingerprinted and accuse him of theft.

I reminded Dan that I asked him to do this task and assured him that no one would accuse him of stealing $55. Dan then assured me that he doesn't really think that way anymore -- just wanted me to know that was how he USED to think.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Just When You Think You've Seen It All

Fridays are turning out to be very interesting that's for sure. I arrived about 11:15, walked in the side door to find a visitor sitting with Chuck at the computer. That was fine. When I was introduced the guy pointed out that I was 15 minutes late. WTF??

Following me in the side door was the person of interest. A very tall thin person with graying brown hair cut in a bob with bangs, thin hairless legs, toenail and fingernail polish - deep red, silky purple flowered dress with a lovely sweater and cute black pumps. "Am I coming in the right door? I just saw someone else come in this way," the person said with a deep manly voice. Yep! It was a guy dressed as a woman! It took me most of the afternoon to realize it was actually a cross-dresser. I thought he/she might be going through a sex change. I was so worried each time I spoke with him because I couldn't stop myself from saying he or him, and she clearly wanted to be thought of as a she. She called herself Mommy at one point. She is a single parent of a 12 year old boy. Do you think he might be a little screwed up? The entire afternoon was so uncomfortable. I guess it's a good thing that neither Joy, Linda, or Becky were there. I'm afraid I would have had the giggles. Kathleen, Chuck and I did well together. It was very hard to get him/her to leave however and I finally pretty much told him I had work to do. Then he spent time talking to Chuck in the volunteer room...alone. Hehee...I didn't even want to go rescue him! Chuck admitted he learned a lot more than he wanted to about this person. Apparently he is president of some gay/lesbian group and he is definitely a cross-dresser. He also is a truck driver!!!!!!! Can it get any better?

In the guys defense, he is a bright, very nice person. His main intereset is genealogy and he is a webmaster.

Oh did I mention? He has the most obvious tic. His entire head jerks to one side, his eyes squeeze shut and his mouth is crooked when this happens. Oh yeah - he is missing some teeth also.

Enough said. Snort!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Got one

Tuesday turned out to be good for the funny stuff. Hopefully I will remember some of it. I'll begin with the last hour of the day - 3-4. A visitor came in to look for family information. As she sat at the library table, she couldn't help but talk to the other person at the table - our own Julia?? As Julia was sitting there sorting envelopes by zip code, she continually complained about how she hated doing that, and she seemed fairly confused by the numbering system of the Post Office. I joined them to help the patron go through a file and Julia asked me if she and I had met. I replied we had numerous times. She didn't remember me (fine with me) and had even asked Joy about me but said Joy didn't know who I was either. This made the patron feel really good about who was helping her. I tried to give the visitor a look that said don't worry, but I think it wasn't necessary, since I obviously was helping her find stuff.

This same hour produced some conversations about the Dutch and Julia continually asked the patron who was being extraordinarily patient about what words sounded Dutch to her. ???? Remember the visitor only had an hour to research and was trying to read through the files. Our brand new research volunteer Kate said nothing about Julia but I could tell she was thinking about it.

There was also something about the English accent being soothing and Julia said she even tried it out herself.

To end this lengthy entry, while complaining about the postal code sorting and after commenting about who I was, Julia said she really didn't think she would ever come back to Brookside again. It wasn't us, but she thinks she is done. A minute later, as she was leaving at 4, she yelled up to Joy and said see you Thursday!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Knew It!

I just knew this would happen - as soon as Becky found out about her new job, she stopped blogging about the funny stuff at Brookside. Joy sure is too busy to do it now that she has been deserted by all and somewhat by those who actually come in daily. I will have to either make some stuff up, which wouldn't be hard, or go in more often just for observation purposes. Hm-m-m

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sometimes $1.50 breaks the bank

Just now, as I was sitting here preoccupied with work, the front door opened and I heard a couple of people walk in. I waited for Julie to greet them, and wasn't very surprised when she didn't.

I walked to the front exhibit room and found an elderly couple in there looking around. I greeted them and welcomed them, and the woman said, "I've been here before, awhile ago." I told her that there was a $1.50 admission charge. She said it had been free before. I apologized and she said, "Frank, let's go. Frank!" Frank was absorbed in reading an exhibit label. "Frank, you have to pay, so let's go. It was free before!" I apologized again, thanked them for coming, and they left.

$1.50. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Waterboy

Gary is sitting in the backyard, at the picnic table, leaning on his elbow with one hand propped under his chin, eyes glazed. His go-to look.
The other hand is holding the garden hose, which is spraying water on nothing in particular, just a grassy part of the lawn that looks just as green as the rest of the property. There are no plants there, no brown grass, no nothing. I watched him for a minute, and he didn't move. He's just sitting there, watering nothing, and looking bored as hell.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

aaaand number 6.

Julia: "Oh my gosh, after today, I could write a book about this place! All the funny things that happen here! Hahaha!!"


Julia Gems

Julia had a number of fabulous insights today...and the day's not over yet!

1. She said something random and I looked at her blankly. I often look at her blankly but she must have picked up on it this time. She said, "Yeah, I guess I'm weird, or eccentric you'd call it. Well, I've been called worse things. We Christians have been called all sorts of things."

2. Her: Did you choose to have a purple office?
Me: Yes
Her: It's a truthful color.

3. "I think I need to move. I want a social life. I mean, doesn't everybody want that? There just aren't any good men around here. I know, I've looked. And why don't we ever hear about Canadian men....they're what, only 4 or 5 hours away? They must be very quiet. But I'll bet they're cerebral, I'll bet they're 3 dimensional, you know?"

4. Julia wants to adopt a kitten. 8 months old, female. White with patches. I told her about "Robin's Nest," a great organization that I adopted my kittens from. She asked me more about it so I pulled up the website. She immediately locked eyes on a cute kitty and told me to click on it for more info. Lady is 8 months old, calico, patched, and female (obviously). Then I saw that she has FIV. I said, "Oh, no, Julia...this would be such a heartbreaking thing if you adopted her, she has feline aids." Julia goes, "Oh my gosh. Someone must have given that to her. Her owner probably had it and she was around them all the time so she got it. Aids is airborn, you know. Oh, it's not...right? If it was, we'd all have it. Anyway, that's sad."

5. Her: Did you know your grandparents?
Me: Yes, three of them. My Dad's dad died before I was born.
Her: That's too bad. Did she hold you when you were little?
Me: (Assuming she means one of my grandmothers, although I have no idea which one) Um, yes.
Her: That's nice.

Friday, July 23, 2010


One day last week, Julia waltzed into my office and righteously declared, "You sure do have some characters working for you!"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Subject: Just a brief note

The following is an e-mail Julia sent to Joy today, after speaking to me on the phone.

Dear Joy,


I heard you were out for a few days. That is a good thing; you need a break :)

My schedule has had some bumps in it - I am aware that you know.
Could we sit down and discuss a progress report in how I am doing?
I am concerned about my inconsistency in serving Brookside Museum.

My concern is that I am not there on a consistent basis ~ when I say I am working from 2 - 4 pm - I often still take off time or I am late.

I am having an disorganization disrupt -
1. I can't find the sign up sheet when I can attend
2. The computer that I was using in the reception office is not available to type on because I think I messed with the copy on Ballston Spa Hotels.
3. I just need to catch up with you. Since the downstairs building has been changed I've lost communication with you.
4. I know I am only in there for 5 hours - 2-4:30 p.m. is that okay?
or do you think I need to change my hours? I don't know, what do you think?

Tuesdays are good because Becky is there.

I just don't know who to ask on Thursday for help. Is it Linda?

I love to work with all the staff there, but I don't know if I am bothering anyone when I interrupt them.

Thank you very much.
Julia S.
I just need some input.

I laughed out loud.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Ovulation Celebration!

Julia was in rare form this week.

Though she was originally terrified of Normal Ed, this week he stirred up something else inside of her. I didn't witness her behavior toward him, but was told that she was kind of flirting with him on Tuesday (Bex? Wanna elaborate?). Soon after he left Brookside, she came to my office, seemingly high as a kite. After a few minutes of some very disjointed and confusing conversation, she informed me that she was ovulating.

During the next few minutes she also informed me that she'd seen her OBGYN that morning. When I reminded her that the electricians were still in the building and might hear her, she mentioned that being pregnant at 45 would be quite a challenge.

I'm leaving so much out; the conversation was really all over the place and wasn't just focused on her reproductive cycle. Several days after this conversation, I'm still getting a headache just trying to piece it back together!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Yesterday "Foggy" asked me where her mouse though I should know. She was sitting at her usual seat in front of the computer. The mouse had moved about eight inches to the left. After I said, "Let's look around," she found it all by herself. It was the beginning of a very non-productive day for "Helpless," and as a result for me too.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Jules

For the record: JulIE is the meek creature who types. JulIA is the unmarried, childless, jobless female who feels overwhelmed with her responsibilities. I think we should rename them for the blog... any suggestions?

Moving on... Julia was completely whacked today. She really struggled with her task of putting letters in the appropriate envelopes. That aside, she gave me a lecture on how one should use one's brain (don't let it get idle), told me she felt abandoned when I went outside with a patron, and on her way out, stated that she was glad we "cleared things up." Truly, I don't even know what the heck she is talking about most of the time.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Strangely enough -- and I could be proven wrong at some point -- Ed is normal.

What....? You don't think this is blogworthy?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Afraid of men?

Today Julia came in and informed me that she couldn't do her work because she had been using the computer in the volunteer room to type a paper from a binder and now Ed was in the volunteer room and she didn't want to get in Ed's way.

I said, "No problem, you can sit out here at the front desk and you can use the computer'll access the one in the volunteer room and we can get what you've been typing off of it."

She says OK and then asks me to get the binder from the volunteer room because she doesn't want to disturb Ed. She describes the binder by saying, "It looks like this one," and points into space. I say, "What?" She points directly at a green book and I say, "It looks like this green book?" "No," she says, "It's a binder."

I laugh and then say, "Ok, where did you leave it?" She says "In the volunteer room," like I'm stupid. I pause and then say, "It's a big room, Julia."

She sighs and reluctantly follows me to the doorway of the room Ed is in, but won't step inside. Luckily it only took me a second to find the damn binder.

She has never met Ed before, and had never spoken to him. Thoughts?

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Country??

Today Dan was telling us about a relative who they thought was German, but it turns out she is Jewish instead.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today Julia informed me that she needs to "slow down" before she gets "whirley in the head."

Julia is a single 40-something, no kids, and NO JOB. She spends her time volunteering, folks. How'd you like that for a life?

Renal Information

Gary just told me he has to have a renal exam.

Really? Do I need to know this?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dan's Epiphany

What do they call it when you get up in front of everyone at church and share the story of when you first accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Isn't it called sharing your epiphany? Well, Dan just shared his with me and boy, is it a doozy.

When he was 10 years old he was angry at his father because he didn't get what he wanted for his birthday, and he was outside throwing a baseball in the air thinking of how angry he was, until he realized that his father worked two jobs and he had 6 siblings and he became grateful for everything his father provided. At that moment he heard God's voice say, "Because of your love for your father I am going to use you in the final battle of armageddon." (This led Dan to create a mosaic recently of the battle of Armageddon, using fish tank pebbles.)

15 years later he was living a party lifestyle, getting drunk all the time, and was tired of feeling that life was pointless. One night when he was drunk and laying on a rug beating his fists into the floor because he was angry about his uselessness, two hooded angels came, picked him up, and threw him into a chair, making him immediately sober. They spoke to him through a LONG poem, which he wrote down that night and recited to me perfectly today, word for word.

Not long after that he was with a bunch of friends all smoking pot and getting high on a mountain, and Dan left them to climb higher up the mountain. He got stuck and fell off the mountain but God saved him because he slowly fell and landed on his butt in the middle of his circle of friends, much to their stoned amazement. (Folks, I can't make this up.)

After sharing these mind-blowing statements he preached to me a little, saying that Jesus Christ really is the answer to everything, and then thanked me for allowing him to share with me.

The best part of this? An electrician was here this morning and overheard the whole thing, and his face was PRICELESS.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Shannon = Trouble

Shannon, who brought some sexiness to Brookside earlier (see below), has finally completed her community service commitment. Although she provided some much-needed entertainment, I am really glad she is finished. That girl is trouble! Here are some highlights of her time with us:

1. She was fond of complaining about having to fulfill her community service commitment and offered to pay me off to sign off on her file (instead of having her do the work)
2. She seemed proud of working for a strip joint, and felt compelled to share this information with anyone who would listen (even the most conservative volunteers)
3. Her BF beat her up the night before her last day, so she couldn't work her last day because her eye was "swollen shut" (all this was communicated to me via text as I was on vacation in NYC)
4. Because she didn't show up on her last day, her time with us was extended, so we got to hear all the gory details of her BF's arrest, including that her BF's mother filed for custody of her 3 year old because Shannon wouldn't falsify her police statement (again) so that the BF could have a reduced sentence

While I felt really bad for her, it got to the point where I just couldn't stand having her around anymore because the drama was too much! She lives a very sad life.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just waiting

I am in Becky's office observing certain behaviors. Dan is working the front desk and will be there until 12:30. Julie just arrived ( 12:15) and clearly does not know what to do since Dan is using her chair. I was quiet for about 30 sec. - all I could take - and began to tell Julie to relax, but she said she would stand and wait. I suggested she go sit at the table, but Dad beat me to it by opening up a folding chair for her.
She is now sitting on said chair with nothing to do - just waiting.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Solemn Wedding Turns into Kissing Game

Dan, the man who is married to his sister (see previous post), was tasked with sorting through some newspaper articles and filing them today. At one point, he found an article interesting and called to me from the desk... "Hey, have you heard about this flamin' ball?"
Flamen Ball was the son of Eliphalet Ball, the man whom this village is named for, and the article, titled the same as this post, was about Flamen kissing his bride too much during their wedding.
I tried to keep a straight face as Dan said flamin' ball this, flamin' ball that. Wasn't easy.
And of course, he saw no humor in it, which made it even better.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spousal Siblings

Today, Dan L. came in regarding a job at the Front Desk. During the course of our discussion, he told me the long story about his family. I thought it was really sweet that he was taking the time to share that kind of personal information with me. At one point, he referred to his wife as his "sibling." I had a hard time not laughing, and was certain that it was a simple mistake.

However, later, he and I were chatting with Becky about scheduling and he mentioned that his multiple medical conditions require time off for doctor's visits. He went on to tell us that he has some severe psychological issues that relate to problems he and his wife have had in the past that have resulted in multiple separations.

Neither Becky nor I blinked an eye at this, but soon after he left, we talked about it and Becky thinks those psychological issues COULD be related to his unique relationship with his wife (sister). Of course, this is all speculation, but based on the information we received.... seems like a possibility, no?

I do find it interesting that people are willing to share this kind of information with us, especially given the seemingly common perception that museum people are boring (and probably not exposed to drama regularly)!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bringing a bit of sexiness to Brookside

Today Shannon started working here, to fulfill her community service obligation. She's a young girl, pretty, wore pajama pants on her first day, but whatever.

She mentioned that she worked until 3am last night, and I said, "Oh, where do you work?", then immediately mentally slapped myself, thinking, "God, Becky, she's probably a stripper or something."
Shannon goes, "Double Vision, the strip club. I'm a bartender."
She said this right in front of Julie. Julie, God bless her, didn't even bat an eye.

I think Shannon had me pegged as a nerdy museum girl so I knocked her socks off when I said, "Oh, yeah, I know the owner, Matt. What a sweetheart!"
(For those of you worried that I may have a sordid past, Matt is a regular at The Wishing Well.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Now you're just nitpicking

At the aforementioned conference to which Mark wore leather panties, there was another disturbing occurrence.
There is an interesting woman who works at a local historical society. She is 30ish?, with very short black hair, thick, dark rimmed glasses, strong features, and an odd way of speaking in which she moves her head in short, quick motions from left to right and up and down without making eye contact with anyone. She is odd. I've seen her at conferences before, and needless to say, she is memorable. I digress.
On Monday Joy and I attended a session in which this woman sat in front of me, in my direct line of sight to the presenters. Things got a little boring, and (I'm going to call her Sari) Sari was feeling the lack of excitement. She began to scratch her head. And not normal scratching, but the top of the head, bent wrist, chimp-like scratching. She would then look at her fingernails with interest, and then she would PUT THEM IN HER MOUTH. She did this a few times before I looked over at Joy with horror, who started laughing and said, "I thought I was the only one who noticed!"
Oh no, Joy, you weren't.

Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

When you do, He'll be waiting.

A very sweet 81 year old member came into the museum today, and started telling me all sorts of miscellaneous information.
First of all, she needed to call her husband because he was unaware that she'd left the house and she really wasn't supposed to be driving, although he'd tested her on her driving last week and she did fine.
Then she let me know that she was a songwriter and a CD of her music was in our gift shop. She had me open one of the CDs and play it on a radio so that she could sing along to each track and tell me about why and how she wrote it. "I wrote this one lying in bed. I wrote THIS one in one day."
Because a lot of the songs were religious, she then started to talk about how she used to be on welfare and didn't believe in God but then she became a Mormon. She asked me what I thought it meant when the Bible said from "dust to dust." I paused, hoping it was a rhetorical question. It wasn't. I answered, incorrectly, in her opinion, and she asked again, "No, think about it. Dust to dust....what does that MEAN?" Luckily I must have looked very blank and she answered the question for me, then urged me to attend her church next Sunday.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Leather Panties

Today, at the museum's conference I participated in a panel discussion about cultural entrepreneurship. Whatever that is. Anyway, my fellow panelist, Mark, kept me entertained throughout the presentation. At one point, I whispered to him that he was being dominating. He then wrote me a note that he was wearing leather underwear. Seriously. Try controlling yourself in front of a group of peers after that one.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

He's Not Paying

My first call of the day today was from a woman who immediately launched into a long story about how her husband was failing to make alimony payments. She called to see if we could provide her with the number for Saratoga County Settlement Service (or something like that).

Seriously. This is when a phone system with an automatic answerer would REALLY come in handy. Is it worth my time to spend 15 minutes on the phone with a distraught ex-wife?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In the same sentence...

Julia and I were having a conversation on our social lives and the challenges of having one as a single woman. In the same sentence, the conversation became about gangrene.

This kind of confusion haunts me and is surely to blame for my lack of productivity. I spend WAY too much time trying to figure out what the hell just happened.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Well, shut my mouth and paint me.....gray?

Gary was tasked with painting the small bathroom gray today. About 20 minutes after he got started, Teri went to check out what he was up to and then I heard this from my office...

Gary: GOD damn it! Jesus Christ! I can't BELIEVE I did that!

Now, if this had happened on my first day working at Brookside, my 57th, or even my 217th, I would have quickly gone to see what the problem was. But since we're on day 4 or 500 and something, I stayed where I was and waited for the problem to come to me. Because I knew it would.

Within a minute, Teri walked into my office completely drenched in gray paint from the knees down. All over her jeans, and completely covering her shoes.

I waited another 5 minutes before going to see what had actually happened. I figured Gary would need some time to calm down. I found him in the midst of gray destruction, barefoot, with one pant leg rolled up and paint in between his toes. Poor Gary.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shooting blanks....

at the gym. Weird place for it, huh? When I hear that phrase I usually picture a guy engaged in a clandestine act or someone trying to scare off a coyote.
According to Julia, it's a description of what women do at the gym, because they're uncomfortable. She says they walk in shooting blanks.
She meant blank stares.