Sunday, March 27, 2011

Newman's Finest

The game is MASH. Ever played it? Mansion, apartment, shack, or house. For some, it’s just a game. For others, it is the promise of a better tomorrow. Maybe it’s a bit farfetched, but wouldn’t it be cool.

Brandon Deckman plays. In fact, he lives his life by it. It was that fateful MASH that led Deckman to frame the back of the napkin and hang it high over his bed to read every morning and night, a reminder of his future to come.

MASH: Apartment

Setting: New York City

Job: New York Public Library

Wife: Miranda Kerr

Salary: $19,000 (she makes the big bucks)

Car: Porsche Carrera

Color: Black

Pet: Dog

That’s the goal.

But for now, Deckman is still working his way up to the top. And he has chosen to start in a
very reasonable place. He works at the circulation desk at the Virginia Tech Library. And while the highlight of his day may as well be checking the entrance gates each hour for how many people come in and out, and how many times the alarm has gone off since the last check…thrilling… to him, all this is a means to an end.

Deckman is smart; on and off the books. It’s this combination of street smarts and book smarts, not to mention good looks, that put him a pull above the rest when it comes to library employees.

For him, it’s not unusual to see A’s on research papers. Papers which were based on books that he has yet to read, papers that he usually began at midnight the night before they were due. But with a knowledge base the size of the third floor stacks, creepily persuasive writing skills, and a smile, what else can you do but give the kid an A.

These papers might also be a contributing factor to the reason why he can usually be seen coming in to work a few minutes after his noon start time. But not even the late hours can stop his awesomeness. Guaranteed, he can make it to the library in less than seven minutes, from his bed to the circulation desk, and he doesn’t live all that close.

How many people do you know who can write coherently and without mistakes during the hours after midnight and still make it to work under 10 minutes? Not many.

The library and all that is in it should bow to Deckman’s superior knowledge. After all, last week, his supervisor mentioned that she would discuss a raise with the powers that be.

If given the chance, I am without a doubt that he could reform the library catalogue system from the inside out. And it would probably be better than it is now. Just like how we’ve moved from cards to computers to find books, that Dewey system should be outdated by now, right? They
should just call it the Deckman Decimal System.

But until that time, he is content at the front desk, sitting at the highest chair, with Angela and David at his mighty left and right hands. If you’re looking for a friendly face, ask him, or the guy at the reference desk, he’s really nice too. But Deckman can give you more than just the location of book that you need to check out for class, but won’t really ever read. He’s got secrets, and here he spills….

Step 1: How to get an A on a paper, without really reading the book.
Most teachers assign that you buy a book for the class. In Deckman’s case, he was told to buy three on Karl Marx. Instead of spending the cash, he hit the books, at his home base, the library. There, he can check out the book, that in reality his professor probably used several years before; how often do the books on Karl Marx actually get checked out? From there, he cracks the cover and is fortunate to find pencil marks everywhere, underlined quotes, the good stuff. Because, “the only people who check out these books and write in them are the smart people,” and more than likely was his professor.

Step 2: How to hear semi new music.
Got a hankering for some tunes? On vinyl? Ask Deckman. He will tell you “the library has over 6,000 records in a ‘secret’ warehouse by the Tech airport.” Cd’s your thing? Make that 5,000. Go have a listen.

Step 3: How to find you how much your teacher makes.
Available for check out, “the Virginia Tech Salary Listings can tell you exactly how much your teacher made last year.” Now you can have proof behind your judgment that that professor who wastes your time and is more making you pay for your degree than earn it, is making too much, and the other guy who actually know what he is talking about, is not making enough.

Step 4: How to avoid library fines.
Fines have their consequences, but there are secrets here too. Now this is a big secret. No one is supposed to know, but…. Secrets can always find their way out. Ever checked in a book and not get charged your fine right away? “That’s because there is a three day grace period.” But be careful, if you don’t pay after three days, you will get fined, and if you don’t pay those fines, they won’t let you graduate.

Step 5: How to use the library to your advantage.
The library is way cooler than you would ever expect, at least, that is what the guys say. “To the surprise of many, you can check out magazines from the library.” To the shock of many, you can check out Playboy. Why? How? No idea, but that is enough detail.
To those that work there, the library, and working in a library in general, is to be part of a club. Those on staff, at any library, seem to have connections that go deeper than just checking in and out books.

His belief; connections are very important in the library. It’s not about what you know, but who you know around here.

Hopefully, that attitude will take him to his next goal, Miranda Kerr. But until then, it looks like the chair at the front desk will have to suffice.

Those gates you walk through when you enter the 2nd floor. They tell you they are there for security. In fact, they have also been equipped with special Miranda Kerr sensors that Deckman himself secretly installed….. when she walks through those doors, his future will have begun.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where have I been?

Wow, it's been forever since I have written anything! I have been so busy, stick spring break in the middle of that, one with no internet or tv, and then come back to school, and BAM! This is the perfect formula for Brittany is really, really busy.

But so much for my complaining.

I had an amazing awesome spring break, so many great highlights, but one big theme was.... shocker..... eating. I ate so much, and not because I have some weird glutinous obsession, but because the food was amazing this week, and as we all know, it's all about the food. So, let's talk about it.

I started my trip hitting some local hotspots.... not really, actually, this was a place that Brandon randomly chose on his phone.

Motor Supply Co Bistro
Columbia, SC

This place was amazing. I had a take on shrimp and grits. Basically, it was shrimp in a salsa verde with butter risotto...... YUM! Menus are handwritten here, and are changed everyday. The waitress was even nice enough to let us keep one.

Great, great, great..... go here! The staff was really friendly, told us what "not" to order, and even gave us a suggestions for later that day as we continued south.

Speaking of south, next stop on our train was Savannah, GA. Okay, if you have never been to Savannah, go. Go right now! This place is so fantastic! I had heard that it was pretty but i was so impressed. People are friendly, the town is so beautiful you feel like you are in a movie set, there are restaurants everywhere, and every street is covered with tress and spanish moss. It took everything I had to leave that next morning. Thank God it was raining, otherwise I would probably still be there.

In Savannah, and as poor college students, we couldn't maintain our lunch budget, so we hit up a Scottish pub that had been recommended by the bistro.

Molly MacPhersons Pub was great, (really great).

Savannah, GA

I shared the meatload with Claire, and although the waitress was exceptionally rude, she would be one of two on our trip, honestly the food was probably the best pup food I have ever had the priviledge of eating. The potato scones with raspberry sauce were to die for.

After the night in Savannah, we left..... so sad.

Finally, hours later, we hit Florida. After a sketchy stop in Lake City, which was followed by Chik-fil-A in Gainesville, we made it to Sarasota.

Sarasota adventure to come..... gotta go to class. Get excited, this part is good too!