This is Circulating Ideas. I’m Steve Thomas. My guest today is Dolly Moehrle. She is the director of the Ventura County Law Library, and a former “Jeopardy!” contestant. You can find her online at dollymegan.com or on Twitter at @loather.
Dolly, welcome to the show.
Thank you. I’m so excited.
Oh, great. So am I [laughs].
[laughs] That really works for both of us.
Yeah, that’s a coincidence. A co-inky-dink. So, you are actually the second person to be on the show who has been on a game show.
I had somebody on previously, Andromeda Yelton, who was on “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”
Oh. Whoa. That’s a lot fancier.
That’s, like, you know, ‘cuz “Jeopardy!” — I’ve been trying to write something about “Jeopardy!” but it’s fascinating to me how it’s one of those — I think Ken Jennings has talked about this a little bit too. It’s like the one game show you can go on and not be embarrassed, really.
You know, it’s not — it a cool, it’s a smart-person game show. And “Wait Wait” is the next level, right? It’s the smartest people.
They had Supreme Court justices.
That’s the public-radio level. Yeah.
Yeah. They’ve had Supreme Court justices on “Wait Wait.”
Yeah, and they always — and the Supreme Court justice people are like, the ones that you can tell actually do listen, too, because they understand what the — because some of the celebrities, you can tell are like, “What are we doing here,” with the game and stuff. They don’t understand what’s going on, but.
I guess maybe when you’re writing those briefs, you just listen [sounds like] like, “Podcasts! Yeah! Radio shows! Yes.” Who knows?
I wanna be on “Serial” next.
Yeah. Oh God. Maybe not. I don’t wanna be on “Serial” if I have to be in prison for 30 years. [laughs]
That’s not good.
Well, they’re saying Season 2 of “Serial” will not be about a crime, actually. They’re gonna make it a completely different kind of story.
That would be good, ‘cuz I think — yeah. I mean, as interesting is the legal system is, you know, as I know, you can only do — I don’t know, you can only pull the wool off of people’s eyes so much on that. I think they’ve done a really good job of the reality of what —
— the criminal trial and conviction is. And to do that more than once would get really tiring.
And I think that’s really what the show’s about more than — it’s not really a true-crime podcast, I don’t think. It’s more about different ways people find truth and —
Yeah. I think —
I think I’m getting a little too deep about —
Not to talk too much about another podcast, but yeah, I think they get — it’s a really interesting subject, ‘cuz people are debating now, he’s got this appeal coming up. Or, well, you know. Whenever this airs.
Uh, he’s got an appeal, and then they’re like, “Oh, well, what if the show doesn’t end with him getting released?” That’s kinda like, it’s not a mystery in that sense. It’s not like that.
It’s not a whodunit [laughs].
You know, it’s an investigation, and I think that’s one of those — it’s simultaneously, also, I think revealing what it must be like to be an investigative reporter, which seems really complicated [laughs]. It does. I mean, there’s so much he has to keep spinning. I can’t keep that many plates spinning.
Oh yeah, yeah, I know.
I would have a lot of broken china.
I think she has a team, too, that helps out with that, but yeah.
So, you are involved in the law.
Let’s bring it back to you.
[laughs] The legal field.
You’re in the legality sphere, the law sphere.
[laughs] The circular —
The cir-cu-lar, circulating, Circulating Ideas. There you go. Circulating Ideas.
I had somebody use the word — I’m gonna say it wrong — “trisk-ELL-on”? “TRISK-e-LON”?
I’ve seen that word. I have never said that word.
Like the flag of Sardinia or, oh God. The Italians are gonna kill me. You know, is it Sardinia? Anyway. Let’s not go too deep in my lack of knowledge of Italy.
That’s also the name of S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters on “The Avengers” — OK, I’m not gonna talk anymore about that.
Oh wow. That was probably the reference. Thank you. I drew a little one on the — it was for the holiday cards I was sending out, so I just drew one. So now — I took the reference the wrong way.
There we go.
Whereas you should have been thinking Samuel L. Jackson with an eyepatch, and you’re off on Italian —
I should always be thinking Samuel L. Jackson [laughs]. That’s my big mistake. Anyway, no. Yes. In the legal field.
Yes. You work at a law library.
I do. I am the director and law librarian and secretary to the board of trustees at the Ventura County Law Library. Although, so you know, standard disclaimer applies that I’m on my lunch hour as far as representing [laughs] —
— not representing my employers in any way, although, you know, I’m very fortunate to work at a library and with a board that are extremely giving and generous and smart, thankfully, and just cooperative. So, you know, there’s not a lot of this feeling of, “Oh no, I’m gonna get myself in trouble.” I don’t think. I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out [laughs]. Well, but that’s one of the things about being in charge of stuff, is — especially in a library where there’s a board situation or something, you know, where you have trustees or governors or whatever you want to call ’em, every state has something, every jurisdiction has something a little different. Knowing your board, and knowing you can rely on them and trust them, is an awesome thing. It’s nice.
I looked back on your blog, and at one point, you had mentioned that you’re fascinated by the weird ways that people become librarians, ‘cuz there’s not really any way that most people become librarians. So, how did Dolly become a librarian?
How did Dolly become a librarian? I have a degree in creative writing. Fiction writing, technically, actually. My program at the time did not award creative writing degrees. I think they do now. But I went to an art school in Chicago called Columbia College Chicago, and that’s really great, ‘cuz if people aren’t paying attention and you just say you went to Columbia, people think you’re super-smart.
So, I got a degree in fiction writing, and I lived in Chicago for about four years, just long enough to get the “eh.” That’s the important thing is the “eh,” in Chicago. You really gotta be able to pronounce that correctly, or they kick you out of Chicago. They kick you out. Met Mike Ditka once, so really, once I achieved everything I’d set out to achieve in Chicago — the “eh,” the pizza, and Mike Ditka, I moved to Los Angeles. I am originally from Northern California, from a tiny town — you know, a moderate-size town, called Vacaville. Renowned for its prisons [laughs].
That brings us back to “Serial,” I think.
Back to “Serial.” Well, they have two prisons. Well, they have a prison and, like, a medical facility for the — I don’t think they call them “criminally insane” anymore, but a hospital for the people who are in the prison system and also not sane.
But found non-competent [sounds like]. And they had Charles Manson there for a long time, or a while, at least. I think — yes, for a while. And now he’s somewhere else. Charles Manson they move everywhere [sounds like]. But it’s a good claim to fame. It’s like, “Oh yeah, Charles Mason lived in my town.”
[laughs] Tourist attraction.
I know, right? And then Vacaville’s about a half hour from Sacramento and about an hour from San Francisco, so a very nice town in lovely Northern California. And so, after Chicago I moved to L.A., and I worked in the film industry for five years.
What did you do there?
Uh, hustled. And I [laughs] I was working on writing, and one of the things that used to be a job there — it’s not as much a job anymore — is script-reading, script analysis and coverage, they call it. Because there’s just too much stuff that comes through the town. There’s books, there’s manuscripts, there’s plays, there’s stories, there’s — and obviously, there’s an endless, endless number of screenplays. So I worked for a variety of different companies. I worked for a management company, an agency, a multinational talent agency, and a few film production companies. And all I did was read, and so I would read something — a script or a book — and then put together what they called coverage, which is usually, like, a four-page document of just laying out what it is, what it’s about, and what in my professional opinion should be done with it. So, that’s awesome, ‘cuz you actually get to tell people you read for a living —
— which is a great, great contrast to this job, where I don’t read anything. I mean, I do read —
Except that if you tell people you’re a librarian, that’s what they think you do all day long.
I know, and they’re like, “So, you put your feet up and read all the time.” I don’t know if you’ve seen a legal book, but they’re very dry.
I don’t read a lot. I don’t read a lot of my work books [laughs]. But yes, I did that for five years, and we had a strike in ’08, I guess, ’08-’09, the Writer’s Guild strike. And that kind of — that, coupled with the financial crisis, dynamited a lot of the paid positions that I was taking up. There are some studios that employ union script analysts, but those jobs are hard to get. So, I was looking at it and thinking, you know, OK. Well, I like the film industry and I’d been writing for a while and doing some stuff, and at the time, what I was writing was not hitting. Although it’s really funny now — as I was talking to somebody who is still working on writing in the film industry, he was like, “Oh, those scripts you were writing that nobody wanted then, those are actually what people are really after now” [laughs]. I don’t know. I didn’t go into it — I didn’t go to Hollywood starry-eyed or anything like that, or into the film industry starry-eyed. But I think my disillusionment got disillusioned a little bit, just on some of the stuff. So, I thought, “Oh, cool. Well, there’s gotta be something else I can do with my oh-so-versatile fiction writing degree” [laughs]. It’s underwater basket weaving, but with words.
And I knew a law librarian, actually. It was really funny that I wound up in this job, because I knew a law librarian who was at the public law library in Northern California. And she said, “You should go to library school,” and I was like, “Cool. I’m gonna go to library school, and I’m gonna be a law librarian.” And then I went to library school and I got a job at a public library, and then I got another job at a public library. And I was like, “Well, I guess — ” and I was never seeing any jobs at law libraries. And so I was like, “Well, I guess I am a public librarian.”
So, did you take classes when you were in library school about law librarianship? Were you trying to get into that? Did they have any classes about that in there?
They had one in San Jose. And I was gonna take it, and then the books were super-expensive [laughs].
This is a really embarrassing interview [laughs]. And the books were really expensive, but I also had kinda given up. I had not really ever seen a law librarian job open. The ones that I did see open required a J.D., which I do not have. And I was like, “Well, you know, I’m already working in public libraries. The chances of me winding up in a law library are slim.” I think I decided to take a readers’ advisory class or something instead. “I need to focus on stuff that’ll be relevant to my nascent career in public libraries.” And then, yeah, the job here opened up a couple months after I got my master’s in 2012, and I knew the library I was working at didn’t really have any librarian positions, and probably wasn’t going to. So, I was looking around, looking around, looking around, and when this came up, I think I probably frightened them into hiring me, just with the sheer amount of enthusiasm. Because they had this great — in the cover letter that they requested you write about what you saw the role of public law libraries — what role you saw them playing in access to justice — and I was just like, “I know this one! I know this one!” ‘Cuz it still surprises me, and it shouldn’t, because it is a very strange, small subset of law libraries. How many librarians have never heard of a public law library? And they’re just like, “What? No.”
Give me the short answer to that.
My elevator speech on that?
Yeah. And you should always have an elevator speech. Well, I mean a public law library —
You never know when you’re gonna be in an elevator, so.
Oh my God, so many elevators. The public law library in California was founded by state statute in 1891. And I think it was a very forward-thinking measure from the legislature to say that every county in California should have a law library open to the public that makes available materials necessary for them to understand the legal process. Obviously, in 1891, that included primary law, and then as we’ve gone along and more and more primary law is online, all the California codes are online — I can’t think of a state code that’s not online — I think there are a couple that might charge you, which seems unfair. But most of the state codes are online. So you can find your primary law, and that’s excellent. But now, as that’s becoming more common to have available on the online format, we’ve run into the stuff — the actual interpretation of law and the materials that allow you to use the law are highly expensive, under copyright, and published by a handful of legal publishers. So what we really make available, in addition to all the stuff that public libraries make available, in the sense of internet access and computers and assistance with technology and all that — we are also literally making available the tools you need to assist yourself with a legal case. Or even just to understand it, ‘cuz we do have people who represent themselves, self-represented litigants. But we also have people who are just trying to get a handle on, “What is my lawyer doing? What are they asking me for? What are they telling me?”
And do you ever have attorneys coming in, or do they have their own libraries?
No, especially — our only borrowers are attorneys. I like to emphasize the public aspect because they come in and say, “Oh, you’re only open to attorneys.” And it’s like, the attorneys know we’re here and we’re privileged to make available materials to them as well. Especially here in my county, most of my attorneys are solo practitioners or small firms without a single focus, so in a law firm in Los Angeles that deals with entertainment law, their library budget is going toward some really specific stuff. And they don’t really have to say, “Oh, I need to keep, also, criminal law materials, necessarily.” Here, for a lawyer who primarily specializes in bankruptcy, they’re gonna keep bankruptcy titles, but if they — for one reason or another take on another case — civil, or an appeal, or this or that, they won’t have that stuff, and it’s expensive. And so that’s what we’ve been able to make available to some of the attorneys here, is the things that they might not otherwise be able to get. And then they’re the majority of our lenders, so we do lend titles as well. So that’s also fun [sounds like] — to members of the bar in good standing who live in or practice in Ventura County.
So, you only lend to them —
We do have a deposit borrower program, which is very strange to me, coming from a public library. And I think, “Library cards should be free. Na na na.” But just the materials here are really expensive, and so we have a deposit borrower, which is just anybody who lives in the area or a very small slice of Northern Los Angeles County and a very small slice of Southern Santa Barbara County. They can come in and borrow with a deposit, and then the deposit’s refundable with all of that, so it’s felt strange, but it’s started to make sense just in the sense of making sure you’re getting things back.
Ben Franklin started public libraries and stuff, but he charged for his, so.
I know, yeah. I mean, I know there are some sort of membership-fee libraries, and I was in a California Library Association conference a couple years ago where they had a panel talking about charging for nonresident fees, which is obviously a hot-button topic. Especially in Northern California — the counties are a little smaller, so you have more commuter users and things like that. And I don’t know. I’ve always been of the opinion that I would never tell a library or a county or a city what to do in order to keep their doors open, so if they felt like charging a nonresident fee was something they had to do to offset the costs, then that’s all somebody else’s issue. Here, it’s worked out really well for us and I think it’s worked out pretty well for the borrowers as well. And it’s not revenue. It’s only meant to offset any lost or missing or stolen items. But we’ve gotten along pretty well with our deposit borrowers as well. And that can be everybody. That’s anybody. That’s paralegals and again, people representing themselves who are — I think what nobody ever tells you about, especially about civil cases, is just how long they take, and how endless a lot of it can be. ‘Cuz you’ll have an action that happens in one court and maybe you’ll lose, and so then you appeal, and then you appeal to another court, and you go here and then you go there, and it can take years and years and years.
Well, people get used to watching “Perry Mason” and “Law & Order” and start thinking cases just go like that [snaps fingers]. No, they’re really, really slow and boring.
Oh my God. They confess on the stand. I always loved that.
“I’m breaking down.”
“You got me, Matlock. You got me” [laughs].
And every time you go somewhere else, you hear that choong-choong sound from “Law & Order.”
Choong-choong. Oddly enough, the writer of “Perry Mason,” Erle Stanley Gardner, practiced law in Ventura. So, that’s cool.
That is some great trivia.
Is it? There’s a bookstore here where they had, like, an Erle Stanley Gardner museum, kind of, and then they had a bunch of his books. And the really cool little pulpy ones, and they have one, I think it’s called “The Devilish Doll” or something like that, and it’s one of those pulp covers with the gorgeous woman looking dangerous, so I had to buy that for myself.
Yeah, all those pulp titles are awesome. I love those and I love cozy mystery titles. All those things are so great.
We’re just shootin’ the breeze.
So, you recently transitioned to leadership of your law library.
Oh, to director. Yes. Yes.
How did that come about, and how’s it going?
Purely by accident. No, you know, it’s funny, ‘cuz I wrote a little bit about — my goal was always library leadership, which is — the funniest thing about library leadership is, the people who I sort of wish would make that their goal want nothing to do with it [laughs], a lot of it feels like. They’re like, “No, I don’t wanna be in charge of anything. I wanna be in my department forever.” But I sort of liked the idea of administration and dealing with some of the stuff that maybe they didn’t teach you in library school — they probably didn’t teach you in library school. And then for two years before I was in this job — almost two years before I was in this job — I was assistant to the city librarian at another library in Ventura County, and I worked very closely — we were the administrative staff, with the city librarian and myself, and we eventually hired a publicity person as well. So, we were, like, the administrative staff. And I just dealt with almost everything you could possibly see, you know, from HR stuff, and I sat in on all the interviews, and I dealt with accounts payable, I dealt with vendors. We redid our processing specifications, so I was sitting there and talking to Baker & Taylor about placement of stickers near gutters, and just thinking, “Nobody told me anything about this stuff in library school” [laughs].
But it’s all that little stuff that has to get done, and then I think what’s great about it is when you can get some of that stuff done, then everybody else can do their job more easily. Our children’s librarian was extraordinary and did not need to be sitting around with Baker & Taylor, telling them exactly the placement of stickers near the gutter. You know, so what I really liked about administration was sort of that facilitator feeling of, “What do I do to make this work easier, to make it better, to make it smoother?” And we had transitioned from being part of a county system to a city library, and all of that was — it meant constantly flying by the seat of your pants in crisis mode, of — there was not a lot of precedent. So, you could sit there and say, “Well, we’re having this problem. How do I fix it?” And just immediately put something into action where I think bigger systems or systems where there’s more prescribed activity — you have to go through a committee and double-check with the binder that has all the information in it, and float that way. But I really just thrived on, “How do I fix this problem? All right. Great. Next problem.” You know?
Crisis management indeed. Even though, you know, it was never an issue of, like, “We’re not gonna open the doors tomorrow unless we get this sticker placement.” I’m gonna harp on the sticker. I like it. It’s a good example [laughs]. Plus we get this together [sounds like]. But it also was — we had books coming in and no exact idea of what we were even doing with them, processing-wise. So, once you got all that together, it was pretty — it was interesting to watch it start to work and start to work smoothly. And it was interesting to put stuff into place and be like, “This is not working at all. This is terrible. What do we do to fix this?” I love that kind of trial and error. Yeah, it’s all trial and error.
Yeah, of course [laughs]. How did you transition into your current job?
Into my current job — well, I interviewed for it, and they gave it to me.
Did the previous person retire, and —
Well, actually, it’s sort of a long story. But at this library, they had a director, and the previous director was a librarian, the director before her was not. She had been a judge’s secretary, and she took over the library, and ran it for a very long time, and when she retired, they hired my former boss from the public library, the system here. So, she had a similar background to me, where she was a trained professional librarian coming into the law librarian setting, trying to sort it all out and see what we most needed. So, they also had an administrative assistant who had been here for 25 years, and was basically doing a librarian job. I mean, she copy catalogued, and she did a lot of purchasing and things like that, and when she was gearing up to retire, they said, “The only person we could replace her with is a trained librarian. The duties she’s doing are just too much to expect that you could just hire somebody as, like, a library Tech 1 and have them take over everything.” So, they decided to hire a librarian. They hired me. And then I shadowed her for a while, and once she retired, it gradually became clearer that we were maybe also in a position where the director could start to think about retiring too after 20-plus years. And that was just an excellent opportunity [laughs]. It was at that point I had just immediately started swimming, and really, really enjoyed the work, really enjoyed the research. I think if I hadn’t said to myself, “Library administration is the pits. I want to do something else,” it would have been research librarian stuff, reference librarian stuff. Just the sitting there and puzzling out, like, where is this resource? Where is this answer? ‘Cuz it’s out there. I know it’s out there. I just have to figure it out and find it. Before we got on this call, I had a question. ‘Cuz there’s a service from LexisNexis that we don’t have, but you can kind of approximate it if you’re searching the right way, so we just sit down and show somebody how to jury-rig it to make it make sense. So, that’s the kind of thing I was picking up a lot of, and by that point I think my boss was sort of like, “OK. You’re ready. You’re ready, young Padawan. You’re ready.” That’s a “Star Wars” reference.
Don’t make prequel references.
I’m gonna edit that out. No, we’re not.
What is my midi-chlorian count?
Meesa don’t know.
Oh God. Those movies are so terrible. Those movies are not good. And it’s very upsetting [laughs].
It makes it hard to get more excited about the new ones. But anyway.
As a “Star Wars” — I’m not really always the biggest “Star Wars” fan — I was a much bigger “Star Trek” fan, but I watched the trailer and was excited, so —
This podcast is over.
Oh. I feel like it wouldn’t necessarily — I mean, do you have issues with the lightsaber?
I don’t really have issues with the lightsaber.
It’s just a lightsaber.
I think if I was a kid and I’d seen that, I would have been out of my chair and thought that was super-exciting, and I think that’s all that —
That’s all that matters. You know, that’s the funny thing.
Sometimes, it’s just better to be cool than have to make any sense. I think the double Darth Maul lightsaber would have been super-cool when I was a little kid too, so.
It definitely doesn’t make any sense. How do you not cut yourself in half with that one? Oh wait. Wait a minute [laughs].
Wahh. Compared to the public library — people are usually happy to go to the public library, unless they owe you money. Even then, sometimes they’re fine about it. But nobody really comes here because they’re having such a great time with the law. You know, and nobody really comes here in a state of excitement, like, “Oh, yay. I get to figure out how to do this.” I mean, the closest we’ve had is, California just passed Prop 47, which dropped down a lot of felonies down to misdemeanors, so we’ve had some pretty happy-ish people who are thrilled to be able to get their felony record dropped down to a misdemeanor and then expunged, and be able to move on from previous convictions and stuff. That’s the closest they get to super-happy is that kind of thing. But every now and again, we have small children, and it’s always, like, “Oh my God. Kids! They need things. We have nothing.”
They exist. Children.
Exactly. I have a couple of little board books that we have, but I just keep thinking, “Maybe we could do story time, but for lawyers.”
I’m trying to think of what that would be. My First Code of Ethics? I don’t know.
[laughs] Tax Havens of the World.
That’s the book; look it up.
But then you have to do the board book version of it, so. Some of those — you can do some of those “Schoolhouse Rock” — those are laws.
“I’m just a bill.”
We are terrible at this. Yeah, “Schoolhouse Rock.”
Yeah, anyway. So, libraries.
This is the problem with me. This goes back to my Twitter and stuff, ‘cuz people will say, like, “Oh, you run such a fun Twitter.” Blah blah blah. I rarely-to-never think to myself, “Oh, I should be telling everybody my thoughts on library stuff.” There are many, many other librarians on social media who do that so much better. And every now and again I go into a rant on something, but most of the time I just think, “I’d much rather be making jokes.” I think my bio needs to be, like, “Librarian Twitter in the streets, Weird Twitter in the sheets.”
The sheets of paper.
Of course. This is a family podcast.
This is definitely a family podcast. I haven’t cursed once. So, it’s a funny thing about librarians. I keep intending to blog about this, and maybe by the time this is posted, I will have. There’s a lot of conversation about impostor syndrome — feeling not good enough, feeling as though it’s a fluke that you’ve gotten where you’ve gotten and are doing what you’re doing, and somebody’s gonna figure out that you’re not who you say you are and kick you out at some point. ‘Cuz we do that so often in libraries. And I definitely have my moments of impostor syndrome. I tend more, though, towards what I was telling Nick Schiller — is, Icarus syndrome, where I just — heck with it, I’m gonna fly to the sun. I’m gonna do this crazy thing. I’m gonna fly to the sun. There’s a lot of stuff where I just started realizing, “I need to take credit for doing this cool thing, cuz I did this cool thing and I did it and it went better than I imagined, or it did spectacularly.” And I’ve always been really into high-fives as a gesture of awesomeness, and so I was thinking, you know, there’s so much of people not being willing to “own your stuff,” as they might say. Own what you’ve actually been able to do, and say, like, “I did cool.” Blah blah blah. So, I kind of thought about maybe having a ribbon made, and then I was thinking, you know, they had Project Tiara, where Val Forrestal was like, “Oh, tell me something cool you did and I’ll send you a tiara.” And I got in on that train early. I’m very happy with my tiara. And Nick was doing a bow tie, and I was like, “Well, why don’t we have team high-fives?” It’s the same sort of idea. I didn’t even make people justify it or anything, like, “Tell me something cool you did.” Just be like, “Ask me for a high-five. I will give you a high-five. You are doing awesome. Just being here right now, you are doing awesome.” So, I had those made and the demand was so high, I had to have a second order [laughs]. And yeah, brought ’em to Vegas and gave ’em out, and I was putting them in random places in the conference hall.
My biggest regret of not going to that conference is not getting one of those.
You know, I gotta get — I was mailing them. I’m just a terrible person. But send me your mailing address. I will mail it to you.
OK, thank you.
I also have a postcard with Henry on it, so.
Ooh. Well, see, now, that brings me to what —
Yes. Because we’re gonna wrap up here but I can’t wrap up without asking the final question of, what is — number one, for people who may not know, tell us who Henry is and what is his appeal? Why is Henry so awesome? Why does Henry get high-five?
That’s interesting. You know, ‘cuz I was thinking about Henry today, too. I know people — prior to this, obviously — not just generally — I don’t think about Henry at all. No, I know people who have Facebook pages for their cats and stuff, and Twitter accounts, and run those really well. And I never thought of doing that for Henry. His whole movement has sort of been grassroots. Legit. Indie, you might say. A little it indie.
He’s a hipster, isn’t he?
But he is a cat. He’s a super — he has a bow tie, dude. Come on. He’s my cat. I had never had a cat, and had always wanted one, but when I lived in L.A., I lived a vagabond — I guess not vagabond, but sort of an odd lifestyle, where I was moving every year, and had roommates, and then maybe not roommates, and then some more roommates, and then whatever. And when I moved up here, I was settled, working in a library, and living alone. It seemed like cat time, but I still couldn’t make a decision, and I had found, actually, a stray cat. I had rescued a cat who was very sweet, and she was a CH kitty, if anybody knows what that is. It’s cerebellar hypoplasia. It makes them wobble. And she was amazing and adorable, and I was like, “Oh my god, this is my cat.” And then I found her owner. I found her owner. She had been gone for a month, and had somehow survived on the streets, on the mean streets of Ventura. She was a mile and a half from her house and she had somehow survived. So, I returned her to her rightful owner, and when I brought her back, he gave me money, which I kept saying no to, but he made me take money, and it was enough money for an adoption fee, so I was like, “I’m gonna go get my own cat now. Now that I’ve returned my cat, I will be turning this money into cat” [laughs].
Cat money, baby.
Cat money. I went to the — all our PetSmarts here adopt out of a shelter, so I was going from PetSmart to PetSmart to see, you know, what kind of cats they had. And what I really wanted was an older cat that was black, because I know both of those things can be a barrier to getting adopted. And then I was at a PetSmart and they had this little, tiny, squealing, grey, pink-nosed kitty that was the last of his litter, and nobody’d really wanted him. And so I took him home. And now he’s Henry. He is 10 pounds and a pain in the butt. But very dynamic, very beautiful. Chats a lot, very talkative. And I think he’s just really photogenic. This is what we discuss a lot, me and the Notorious B.O.Y.F. Yes, I got to put that in. We discuss how we wound up with the world’s most photogenic cat. “How did this happen?”
He is pretty awesome.
He’s so beautiful. Yeah, he’s funny and clever. I definitely get the appeal of cats. I had always had dogs, and love dogs, and would probably have a dog again if they didn’t require so much maintenance. But I really love this idea of the cat — man’s casual acquaintance, the cat. Not man’s best friend.
All right. Well, Dolly, tell the listeners how they can find out more about you online.
How do they find out more about me online [laughs]. Just edit out the laughter. Oh God. So, how do they find more out about me online? I tweet at @loather, which is like a “hater” but different. So, it’s L-O-A-T-H-E-R.
Loathers gonna loathe.
Loathers gonna loathe, or as my friend puts it, Lothar. So, it’s a sort of, like, Superman villain name. It’s me from Krypton. Lothar. @loather, and then I think I have an Instagram under that, probably. And then, I also blog at dollymegan.com. D-O-L-L-Y M-E-G-A-N dot C-O-M. And no one would ever guess how my blog got that name.
[laughs] It’s so original.
It is. Oh my gosh. Well, the best part about it is, there’s no need to spell my last name [laughs]. That was really big to me. When I got here, I set up, like, an email system, and I set it up to be first name, last initial, specifically for myself.
For that reason.
Everybody else has fairly common last names and could probably go with the more traditional first initial, last name, but I set it up as that so that I wouldn’t have to spell it on the phone.
There’s an E and then an H and then an R.
Rhymes with “surly.”
Yeah, it does. And that wraps it all up, I think, so.
It’s good. It’s good.
Thanks a lot for coming on, Dolly.
Cool. So, yeah, I can’t think of anything cool to talk about.
All right, well, we’ll just send that out as the podcast then.
I’ll talk to you later, bye bye!