Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | December 16, 2008

Dear Diary (v.6)

Hey ya’ll…I’m going to take a bit of a different format on this here bloggity-blog. Not because I don’t want to continue the old format, but because as I’m beginning to type this it’s 10:51 in the PM on Friday and I’ve garnered a grand total of about 2 ½ hours of sleep since Wednesday morning. I’ve got roughly 16 more hours of work ahead of me before I get another chance to get some shut-eye, so I think I’m going to abandon the classic “Dear Diary” format for a quick update on my day to get us up to the present and from then on it will be more or less a stream of (quasi)consciousness with the occasional headcount just to keep all ya’ll in the know.


Friday Day Review


8:00am – to – 4:00pm


001So Roshni and I got back to Barker and within about 20 minutes found ourselves up on the eighth floor in the midst of an emergency shifting project. The leaks in the Dome—which by the way is bound and determined to collapse at any point from all the leaks and water damage—had gotten so bad because of all the rain that fell from Thursday to Friday that the buckets we use to catch the drips had overflowed and there was water everywhere. So Roshni and I spent the first two hours or so of our day shifting a big chunk of the journal collection to get it out of harm’s way.


After that Roshni and I went to get some Dunkin’ Donuts and a Subway sub. Ryan, Cassandra and yours truly enjoyed the donuts whilst lil Roshni devoured a big ole veggie sub at 10 in the AM. Not the traditional breakfast fare, but when you’ve been up all night no one is going to judge your eating habits…no matter how questionable they may seem.


The rest of the day carried on in pretty typical fashion for a Friday. Things were pretty quiet thanks to finals so most of the morning was spent at the desk hanging out and helping patrons. Dan “The Beard” Pribble came over to make sure I was alive and well and to bring me a banana. That kid can be a real sweetheart when he wants to be. After being a sweetheart I got to watch him hide various writing instruments in his beard. You can’t beat that type of entertainment.


Somewhere in there I ate lunch and somewhere I worked on some binding for Barker. It’s weird, despite being freakishly lucid this afternoon, it’s all sort of a blur. I remember doing some work and I vaguely remember eating a really shitty egg salad sammitch for lunch. Stephanie—she of the Jennifer Aniston GQ-hookup—supplied me with some butternut squash soup that saved my lunch-experience for the day.


Ryan and I wandered over to the Student Center to snag snacks for a meeting later in the afternoon. It was nice to get some of the cold, crisp air all-up-in my lungs. Quite refreshing, actually! After that I was back on the desk from 2:00 to 3:30 with Darcy. I spent most of the time working on a bunch of claims related stuff for next week. Eventually four in the PM rolled around and I was a free-man.


4:00pm – to – 10:00pm


002Unfortunately, as had been the case all day, I was still wide awake. So I went with Ryan to the Muddy for what I deemed a “put me to sleep” beer. The ever-exquisite Elissa Derby joined us and soon Drew and “The Beard” showed up as well. I enjoyed my frosty beverage and then began my sojourn home. Unfortunately it was super cold out and/or I was just a big, sleepless baby so I ducked into a building and for whatever reason ended up randomly wandering the tunnels underneath campus. As it turns out I think that one beer made me sorta drunky-poo because my time traversing the tunnels remains a bit hazy…I do, however, remember wishing that they went all the way to Pine Street, but alas…they do not. I scampered home quasi-singing and talking to myself. I can only assume that anyone who was within earshot was under the impression that I was just another Central Square loon who’d wandered off the beaten path. I got home and climbed into bed around 5:30 or 6:00 and then sorta rolled around trying to get comfortable for awhile. After probably half an hour or more I finally passed out.


At about 7:30 or so I woke up to what sounded like 14 people in my living room throwing a rave. Turns out it was just Jackie and Grace giggling like crazy at my blog. Gotta love it. I do enjoy the readership! We took care of the prerequisite former roomie-huggage and chit-chatted it up for a bit before I decided it was time for a revitalizing shower. After that I bid the ladies adieu as they headed off for a night of fun and revelry at Charlie’s and I headed off toward campus—again. I snagged a footlong steak and cheese sub to help satisfy my body’s now ravenous need for protein.


Now here I am in the library with Mat “The Bat” Willmott getting ready to start my third consecutive overnight and this one is what the natives refer to as “The Widowmaker!” That’s right folks, we’re talking about a 12-hour overnight shift. 10pm to 10am. BAM!! No lightweights need apply. Oh and I’m still caffeine free…let’s do it!


The Overnight Begins…


10:00pm – to – 10:30pm


So the place is jumpin’ like some sort of Caribbean night club tonight. We’ve got groups packing the tables and people all huddled up in what is obviously “Combat Study Mode.” For anyone who is unsure what CSM is, let me explain. Basically these students wander in under the mindset that they’re going to be here all night. They have a mission and nothing is going to stand in their way. These folks generally search for one of three places to study: 1) somewhere where they can be seen…this is generally people who are more concerned with people noticing that they’re in the library and studying all-night. These people tend to suck. Often times they’re the type that passes out at one in the morning and leaves their phone and laptop prone to theft. 2) somewhere with a  view…these are folks who need to study but are easily distracted and they know it. They set themselves up in a position where they can stare at everyone who comes in the door or out a window or down on the minions from the mezzanine. These people aren’t too bad and they generally flake around three in the morning. 3) somewhere they can spread out…these are the folks who mean business. They come into the library and they essentially stake their claim to an acre or so of table space that is going to be occupied by a large spread of all their crap…laptop, phone, energy drinks, book bag, various books, notebooks, papers and calculators. These folks aren’t so much annoying as they are impressive. They generally try to stay all the way through the night and occasionally one or two of them will make it. Brave warriors they are!


10:30 headcount – 89 students


10:30pm – to – 11:30pm


003Apparently Mat believes I look “crazed.” That’s got to be a good sign considering we’re still in the early-goings of this shift.


I’m still super jittery and my legs are going crazy with the bouncing and whatnot…still no caffeine though. I assume I’m running on borrowed time after only snagging an hour or so of sleep between shifts today. I have a 5-Hour Energy Shot sitting about six inches from the keyboard right now…just in case I crash.


You know what amuses me…when people try to dress up all nice in the winter. On the walk to campus I passed like a dozen different chicks that were clearly headed out to the bars and they were in skirts and low cut tops and most of them weren’t wearing coats. They were freezing, but were determined to look foxy…pneumonia be damned! I don’t know about the rest of the dudes out there, but nothing screams “HOTTIE” quite like hypothermia.


I drank a big ole jug of Gatorade in like 10 minutes. One of those 64 ounce jugs. My body has to be confused with all of the non-Rockstar fluids it has been receiving. I am expecting a full-on mutiny in the very near future.


I ran into Officer Turco while doing the headcount and told him about my overnight schedule. He was impressed to find me not dead, but was still unwilling to let me use his firearm. Some day I’ll get him to breakdown. It seems only right that all library-personnel be trained in the proper use of a handgun.


11:30 headcount – 75 students


11:30pm – to – 12:30am


So Mat and I have already started playing Strat-O-Matic baseball…which is basically one of the most bad-ass games ever created. It’s essentially a baseball simulation, board game. It is loved world-wide by both baseball fans and stat-lovers…luckily between me and Mat we have both ends of the spectrum covered completely.




004It is quite amusing to watch Mat as we play b/c he is very intense about the strategy and I generally just roll the dice and yell at the player’s cards blaming them for my inability to roll the proper numbers. Essentially I’m the Strat-O-Matic equivalent of the drunken uncle you never invite to your little league games. Mat, on the other hand, is totally into having completely accurate statistics and well-planned out game-play.




Given our completely opposite strategies, I’d say we each still only manage to win about 50% of the time. Games based on your ability to roll dice tend to have those types of odds.


Mat went on a mini-rant about how he was going take classes to learn various software programs and coding operations simply so he could create a computerized way to keep, calculate and display all of the statistics from our SOM-games. Mat’s one crazy mofo…but I like it.


Also he has the greatest hair in the world.


Grace and Jackie just stopped by—and lo and behold—they’ve had a few adult beverages this evening. Apparently they wanted to stop in and see how we were doing. They all took turns telling me how horrendous I looked and there was some guesstimation as to how close to death I may actually be.


In addition, Miss Jackie wanted to get herself acknowledged in my blog. If only she knew that it was going to turn into this long-winded, rambling, not-even remotely funny or entertaining train-wreck. If she’d known that were to be the case she’d have requested that her name be stricken from all records here at “Blank Stares and Blank Pages.”


12:30 headcount – 56 students


12:30am – to – 1:30am


I don’t think things are connecting correctly between my brain and my mouth. I keep saying things that are not at all what I intended to say and/or I keep thinking things and then not saying them without realizing it. Clearly my brain is far more tired than my body is giving it credit for.


So the charming women of Document Services: Katie Harris, Georgina Lewis and Shayna Nestor were nice enough to create us a treasure hunt to keep us occupied. They sent us an email with clues and a coded message…as anyone who knows Mat might expect, he was absolutely giddy when he found out about it. We’re currently holding off on trying to solve it until a little later on. Here’s to hoping the surprise isn’t anything that may spoil and/or die in the next couple of hours.


I’ve determined that overnights would be a lot easier on everyone if the library supplied you with a keg. I mean seriously, how many times haven’t you been out drinking with friends and you think to yourself…”Holy crap, what happened? It’s 3am…where did all the time go?!” If we could do that here, damn, it’d be 10am already and I’d be stumbling home to shower up and get something to eat before my one to six shift at Barker!


I’ve determined that I’m automatically suspicious of anyone taller than me. Some dude was in here earlier asking about the GRE or something and maybe it’s because I’m sitting so low in this chair or maybe it’s because he was a tall mofo, but either way I didn’t like looking so far up at the dude. It made me really nervous. I’m pretty certain he was a Russian spy…or maybe a Columbian ninja…or just some dude from Montana; all equally discerning.


1:30 headcount – 29 students


0051:30am – to – 2:30am


I think if I were a fish, I’d want to be a catfish…b/c I like cats.


I’m sort of curious as to when the human brain just gives up functioning altogether. Like should I expect that at some point in the next six hours I’m going to start losing control of my bowels and screaming hysterically at no one?!


I realize that Britney Spears is supposedly “all good” again, but honestly, I’m still scared of her. That chick went all-kinds of crazy and there’s no coming all the way back when you go that far off the deep end. Lindsay Lohan on the other hand…I’d still probably make an inappropriate pass at if given the opportunity.


Mat is DESTROYING me at Strat-O-Matic. It makes my soul sad.


Why does water taste so good when you’re in dire need of sleep it doesn’t even make sense. I have soooooo many energy drinks just waiting for me to devour them and yet there they sit, neglected in the fridge.


You know, it was okay, but I sorta think “Erin Brockovich” was overrated.



2:30 headcount – 17 students


2:30am – to – 3:30am


Mat’s girlfriend, Jamie, just arrived and brought him a meatball sub. If ever there was a sign that your girlfriend rocks it’s when she brings you a meatball sub at like 2:30 in the morning. You can’t beat that.


So it’s a little after 3 in the AM now and I have a hard time fathoming why more people aren’t either online or up and in the library. Apparently being conscious at 3am is just a way of life now and not an oddity.


“Does the custodian count as a person?!” –Mat Willmott


Out of context, Mat’s comment—which was said directly in front of the custodian—may seem a bit rash, but he merely was inquiring as to whether or not we should add him to the hourly headcount. The custodian doesn’t know that, however, and will probably be waiting with a whole slew of his buddies to gang-beat Mat’s ass at 10am.


“HTML is cool!!” – Mat Willmott


There is no taking this one in or out of context. Mat Willmott is simply a man who appreciates a little hypertext markup language…but then again, who doesn’t?!


3:30 headcount – 3 students


3:30am – to – 4:30am


I did some shelving…it went slowly because I got the mid-morning shivers and because I had to climb up and down the stairs to shelve books about six hundred times. Let’s go ahead and refer to this is as the longest, most-boring hour of my entire life; or at least that which I can remember at this sleep-deprived juncture.


Side-note: I returned to the front desk wearing glasses. They don’t seem like real glasses. They are the 99 cent drug store style…but I’m not sure where exactly I found them…my brain is not okay.


4:30 headcount – 0 students


4:30am – to – 5:30am


Being that the library is empty and Mat’s girlfriend just took off, we’ve determined it’s time high-time to start the aforementioned treasure hunt. At this point we’re essentially just here to ensure the library doesn’t burn to the ground and I think we can do that whilst trying to find the bounty left for us by the Document Services crew!


007We just completed the treasure hunt and it was awesome!! It required some quick thinking because this time of night ALEPH is down and with it goes the card catalog which was paramount to finding many of the answers. Luckily with a combination of librarian savvy and barely-coherent thought we were able to team up and hunt down a big ole bag of goodies!! The ladies supplied us with beef jerky, candy and various treats of the Hostess variety!! Thanks ladies, you rock!!


Okay, so we’ve got one gal who just sauntered into the library. Who comes into the library to START studying at this hour is beyond me. Clearly she’s an escaped mental patient who just managed to weasel someone out of their MIT ID!



5:30 headcount – 1 student (napping)


5:30am – to – 6:30am


Okay, scratch any worries about the mental patient. Roughly 17 minutes after she entered I went wandering to do the next headcount and found her already passed out in the basement. I guess her bed is so uncomfortable that she’d rather come into the library and sleep with her body awkwardly contorted on our furniture instead. To each his/her own I guess.


Hours are starting to drag a bit. Mat and I just started our second series. His Washington Senators trumped my Los Angeles Dodgers…apparently I can only win when Sandy Koufax is on the mound. Now it’s time for the Mantle-Maris-Berra Yankees to go head-to-head with the Tinkers-Evers-Chance Cubbies. This should be fun…


6:50 am…finally had caffeine…5 Hour Energy Drink in my stomach…and then slugged a Rockstar.




Okay that needed to happen. Mat said I looked like I was having some sort of weird seizure. Turns out my eyes were sorta bulging out of my head and stuff and I was getting all weird and kinda shaky. Definitely feel a thousand times better. The effect was IMMEDIATE!! Loving it!!


6:30 headcount – 1 student (napping)



008Still feeling the good vibrations from the caffeine. Mat joined me and had some Rockstar and we both devoured a bag of beef jerky like ravenous wildebeests pouncing on a gimpy elk. ‘twas glorious!!


Time to go do some shelving…I am all too caffeinated to sit here.


7:30 headcount – 2 students


7:30am – to – 8:30am


Wow, okay…things of note. I have never, in my life shelved books nearly as quickly as I just did. On that same topic…the entire time I was shelving I was dancing and moving around like a complete psychopath. Never in my life have I ever been effected nearly this much by caffeine. I LOVE it; it is very possible that I just got high for the first time and it was on caffeine.


Note: So the Houston Astros non-tendered Ty Wigginton tonight at midnight. That is great news for the Twins. The dude essentially has the exact same offensive numbers as Casey Blake, but is younger and will cost less. The Twins need to pounce immediately. In fact, I’m going to blog about that right now!!


8:30 headcount – 5 students


8:30am – to – 9:30am


Okay, so the library is slowly starting to fill back up. We’ve added a few students here and there. It is rare—in my experience—for the library to be so empty during one of the weekend nights. Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday are generally quite packed indeed.


So I’ve also inhaled a Red Bull and now I’ve switched back to water, I know how quickly my body adjusts to caffeine and I still have to make it through my afternoon shift. I don’t want to be face-down on the keyboard over in Barker all afternoon…that’s just bad customer service!


So some dude just came to the desk and asked me where to find the bathroom and you know what…I just sorta stared at him. I’ve peed in this building like 200 times in the past four days or so and I am completely unable to register this guy’s question. Luckily, Mat stepped in and gave him the relatively simple directions and then just sorta gave me one of those “really…did that just happen” looks.


9:30 headcount – 12 students


9:30am – to – 10:00am


Jennifer just showed up…Mat and I are packing away our things and preparing for the sweet, sweet freedom that awaits us. Aww shucks…Matty-Mat just offered me a ride home so I don’t have to walk in the cold all deliriously. What a sweetie…


Okay, time to head home…get something to eat, shower and then head back to Barker to finish out my psychotic quest to work a gajillion hours in one week.



  1. Thanks for texting me at 7 on a Saturday morning to let me know you had consumed caffeine again, by the way.


  2. No problemo!!

    I figured everyone should be alerted that I’d broken down.

    Plus by 7am on Saturday my mind was at like 3pm on some idle Monday afternoon…it was a totally legit time to text in my rapidly diminishing brain!!


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