Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 18, 2009

Dear Diary (v.9:pt.1)

Hey y’all…we’re back for the final installment of this semester’s overnight shifts.

Clearly things aren’t nearly as climactic as they were last semester when I did my marathon of three consecutive overnights (and a fourth two days later for good measure). Friday/Saturday was very dead in terms of both nerdian population in the libraries and action of any sort.

Here’s to hoping that tonight will be far more interesting…

Monday – 12:11am

Well, the lovely Ms. Margaret “Walla-Walla” Willison has just informed me that the library has many-a-nerd perched up on the second floor. Apparently Sunday nights are a hoppin’ time here in Hayden. Here’s to hoping that proves to be the case.

Monday – 12:18am

It doesn’t appear as if there is any shelving to do tonight. That could be problematic. I’m so used to shelving being a nice (albeit boring) time suck during these shifts. Lord knows I can’t turn to Sporcle again…can I?!

downtownowlMonday – 12:26am

I just returned a whole slew of books.

It was quite liberating to rid myself of darn near twenty Dr. Seuss books.

Although, I’d be lying if I said I wanted to let the library have Chuck Klosterman’s “Downtown Owl” back…that was a good read. The type I’d like to pawn off on those of you who are also part of Klostermania…

Headcount – 12:30am – 60 Nerds

Monday – 12:32am


Margaret totally lied to me!! Unacceptable.

She shall pay for this deception.

Monday – 12:41am

Damn, according to my lackadaisical perusal of the ole interwebs…the Boston Celtics lost to the Orlando Magic tonight in game seven, thus ending the C’s reign as NBA Champions. What a rough week for Boston sports…the Bruins are eliminated from the playoffs in a heartbreaker, the Celtics get eliminated, the Red Sox have to bench David Ortiz because of poor production, more and more signs are pointing toward Manny having used steroids as a member of the Sox…ouch.

Monday – 12:52am

So the public computers have all gone into the lockdown mode and are unavailable until 8am. That simple fact, however, isn’t enough to keep this one dude from walking around and checking every single computer multiple times to see if he can log on. I’ve even told him that they won’t be available until 8am, but he doesn’t care, he’s on his third loop around the five computer pods.

Apparently he’s hoping to lull them into submission?!

Monday – 12:57am

iowaIt’s weird knowing that in roughly 24 hours, I will (hopefully) be enjoying a few finals hours of sleep before waking up and making the arduous trek to the airport to catch my early-bird flight to Minneapolis to head home for Jay’s wedding. Weird. I never seem to get over the concept of how quickly you can go from being on one side of the country working overnight shifts in a library with nerds and then suddenly you’re back in Iowa and listening to the crop reports on the radio.

Monday – 1:11am

I’m not sure I like times like 1:11 or 11:11 or 3:33…they make me nervous. The worst is military time when they can rock 22:22…something about it really bothers me. More on this after I attend some serious counseling sessions!

Monday – 1:17am

Note: Computer dude just made another two-lap run around the five pods…once again checking every single computer and once again asking me why they weren’t working. I think I like him…or despise him…I guess I’m not quite sure yet. We’ll figure this one out before night’s end, I’m sure.

Monday – 1:25am

I could really go for an iced-coffee right now.

Tons of sugar. Tons of milk.

Yeah, that sounds pleasant.

Perhaps a trip over to Dunkin’ Donuts will be necessary in the morning.

Headcount – 1:30am – 30 Nerds

Monday – 1:38am

It is absolutely astounding how many students here can’t understand the concept of “reading signs.”

During overnights here in Hayden, the normal doorway is blocked off by a book-cart and a gigantic cardboard cutout of Albert Einstein. There are roughly half-a-dozen signs with gigantic errors and the word EXIT printed in bold writing pointing them to use the door connected to the 24-hour study room.

This, however, isn’t enough to keep student after student from stopping in front of the barricades, staring at the signs, struggling to get past the barricades and then ultimately wandering out the normal doorway.

It makes me sad that these people are going to build building bombs and planes in the near future.

Monday – 1:44am

I have “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads playing on repeat in my head.

I don’t know how this happened and I am not even remotely pleased with this situation.

rodizioMonday – 1:52am

I realize that I went to Midwest Grill today and destroyed their all-you-can-eat meat Rodízio…but I’m still kinda hungry and could really go for a big ole cheeseburger right now. Mmmmmmm…nothing like a cheeseburger at dang-near two in the A.M.

Monday – 2:04am

It looks like Greg “The Enforcer” Padilla found himself some stuff to shelve. Nicely done, Greg.

Sadly this still leaves little reason for me to get up and move at any point as we’re working our way beyond closing time at most bars…my eyes suddenly grow a little bit heavy.

…dun Dun DUN!!

Monday – 2:11am

So I realized that I haven’t actually emailed anyone at work or written the “official” write-up for Saturday morning’s hacker-related events at Barker. Perhaps I’ll take the next twenty minutes or so to do that and then I can go do a headcount or something.

UPDATE: Although many of my co-workers do, in fact, read my blog…it does not count as an “official write-up.” Thank you anyway to those of you who have suggested that I just point library higher-ups in the direction of “Blank Stares and Blank Pages.”

Headcount – 2:30am – 15 Nerds

Monday – 2:31am

So at this point we’ve gone from 60-to-30-to-15 nerds in the library. If we continue to reduce by half things could get very awkward in the next few hours. I mean seriously right now 3:30 figures to have 7 ½ people. I don’t know if that half person is going to be a baby, a midget or a victim of an industrial accident…but either way, it’ll be weird.

Monday – 2:38am

Computer guy is back again, double-checking all the computers and asking me—YET AGAIN—whether or not I really meant 8am. Upon my confirming that it was, in fact, 8am…he went and checked ‘em all again.

I think I’ve made my decision with this dude, I probably hate him…but just a little bit. He is moderately entertaining.

Monday – 2:47am

You know, I’m sitting here and I figured that I should go take a walk and count some things other than nerds…why?! I don’t really know…but at dang-near three in the morning lots of things start to seem like good ideas.

Anyway, here were my findings:

Number of Laptops Left Perilously Unattended – 4
Number of Empty Coffee Cups Strewn Haphazardly – 13
Number of Students Currently Asleep – 8
Number of Students on Facebook – 4
Number of Students on Skype – 2
Number of Students ACTUALLY Studying – 1
Number of DVDs Tossed Asunder – 7
Number of People Wearing Ball Caps – 2 (Greg “The Enforcer” and Cap’n Charisma)
Number of Random Laptop Chargers (sans laptops) Laying About – 2
Number of Word Documents I Currently Have Open – 6
Number of Dudes Who Just Walked in with Pizza!!! – 1 (and I think I could take him in a fight!)
Number of Times the Guy on the Mezzanine has Sneezed Since I Started Typing This List – 11 (SWINE FLU!!)
Number of Janitors – 2
Number of Janitors Who Appear to Have Spent Time in a Federal Penitentiary – 1
Number of Janitors Disgusted (and/or Pissed-Off) by the Overflowing Garbage Cans and Aforementioned Coffee Cups – 1
Number of Janitors with a Crazed Look in the Eyes Regarding the Mess – 1
Number of Janitors I Fully Anticipate Will Kill a Nerd – 2

Monday – 2:59am

So my alarm is currently set for 3:00am tomorrow. That’s when I plan to pull my tired, zombie-like ass outta bed so that I can shower and go over any and all final travel-details before making my way to the airport tomorrow morning.

I’m hoping that when my shift ends in the morning I can go over to Barker, print my travel crap, pack up my stuff, hit the gym and then go home and pass out for a few hours. Then I want to get up, pack my bag and just sorta chill out until the season finale of “How I Met Your Mother” comes on. I’ll watch that and then hopefully return to the sweet, blissful embrace of unconsciousness until right about this time when my damned cellphone will start-a-buzzin’ and I’ll start whimpering.

Monday – 3:06am

The humming noise from the air ducts in the ceiling is making me very, very sleepy. Perhaps it is about time to enjoy a beverage with no-sleepy side-effects!!

Monday – 3:17am

Computer guy came back. He didn’t come to the desk this time, he just wiggled the mouse on three or four computers and then shot a look in my direction to which I replied by giving him a solemn shake of my head to imply “no, no, my friend…not quite yet, but great work on your comprehension and patience skills…you’ll go far!”

Headcount – 3:30am – 12 Nerds

Monday – 3:31am

Clearly our streak of cutting the nerd population in half every hour has come to an end. This is unfortunate; I kinda wanted to see what was left at 7:30am.

Monday – 3:42am

celsius canOkay, we’re just about to the half-way point on this shift. I think I’m actually going to cave and bust into my Celsius energy drink now. I gotta be honest, I still don’t know if I entirely trust Celsius energy drink because there’s just too many things that it doesn’t have.

For instance the can ardently proclaims that this beverage contains: No Sugars, No Carbs, No Benzoates, No Aspartame, No Preservatives, Very Low Sodium, No High Fructose Corn Syrup and No Artificial Colors or Flavors.


In addition to not containing any of the bad-stuff that every other energy drink contains, it also claims to help burn up to 100 calories or more per can.

So what you…the folks at Celsius…are telling me is that I can chug down a can of this stuff…and it’s the equivalent of some time on the ole treadmill?! Hmmmmm…forget ever doing an actual workout again, I’ve got this lil miracle can of nothing to get me all jacked up and in shape!!


Monday – 3:56am

Okay, we’re coming up on the halfway point of this shift. Without shelving to automatically take up an hour or better of my time, I’m left with a lot of free-time that I’ve basically wasted meandering about the interwebs.

Monday – 4:00am

Halfway to the finish line…as soon as 8am hits, I’m on vacation. Color me excited!!

(to be continued)



  1. -Do you remember Larry Walker of Colorado Rockies fame? Dude was obsessed with the number 3. He wore number 33, had to do 3 of everything in his pre-game ritual, and – I think – even got married on March 3 at 3.33 in the afternoon. Your hatred of such numbers reminded me of him.

    -I love that you have a Talking Heads song stuck in your head. I ❤ David Byrne.


  2. Is listening to crop reports like listening to grass grow?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: