Tuesday, May 10, 2005

“I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender.”

The Movie: On the Waterfront, 1954 (Budd Schulberg, screenwriter, from articles by Malcolm Johnson; Elia Kazan, dir.)
Who says it: Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy, an ex-boxer
The context: Terry reproaches his brother, Charley (Rod Steiger), for talking him into throwing a fight.
How to use it: To regret a missed opportunity, or lament your insurmountable loserdom.

The sign on the front door of the Maine State Library says, "No food, drink, smoking or cell phone use in the library. No spitting. No bare feet." Just to make sure you know they're serious about it, another sign at the circulation desk repeats it: "No food, drink, cell phones or spitting."

The fact that they have to specify "no spitting" suggests that they've had enough of a problem with it to need the sign. That worries me. Every time I go, I can't help looking around at other patrons, wondering who might be finding it a challenge to comply with the No Spitting rule.

Other than that, the Maine State Library is great. It's downstairs in the building that houses the State Museum and Archives; it feels small and cozy, but has everything I need, and the librarians are nice. (Except for one, who snapped at me when I tried to plug my laptop into a power strip under a set of carrels. If the table cards in the library say "laptop friendly," wouldn't you think the nearest available outlet is fair game? No. If you bring your laptop, ask at the desk which electrical outlets are available to library patrons, and which ones aren't. Just so they don't yell at you.)

The one problem with the library is that, like a casino, it has no visible clocks -- at least, none that are visible from the desks where I work. Yesterday I went thinking I'd get two hours of work in, and then do all the other things I needed to do. I sat down with a stack of books, started chasing footnotes, and when I looked up, almost four hours had passed. And it wasn't time I could bill for, either.

I need to get my watch fixed.


Anonymous said...

wouldn't it be "contenda"?

AnswerGirl said...

I defer to IMDb on these things, and this is how they transcribed that line...

Anonymous said...

yeah, but still...