Showing posts from May, 2007

Birthday wishes Mummy Dearest!

Happy Birthday Mummy Dearest-Life in Avalon !

You inspire me daily with the beautiful, graceful way that you tackle being a good wife and parent and working, and still find time to admire the beauty in every day all around you. I can’t wait until we are neighbors again!

I dedicate this poem to you on your b-day Mummy Dearest! I love you!

At Great Pond
At Great Pond the sun, rising, scrapes his orange breast on the thick pines, and down tumble a few orange feathers into the dark water. On the far shore a white bird is standing like a white candle ---or a man, in the distance, in the clasp of some meditation ---while all around me the lilies are breaking open again from the black cave of the night. Later, I will consider what I have seen ---what it could signify ---what words of adoration I might make of it, and to do thisI will go indoors to my desk ---I will sit in my chair ---I will look back into the lost morning in which I am moving, now, like a swimmer, so smoothly, so peacefully, I a…

Monster Nephew's 1st Birthday and the Full Moon Phenomenon

Today has been such a bizarre day at the library and I attribute that to the fact that there will be a full moon tomorrow night.

In the midst of all this madness, I had to pause and reflect on a year ago today when my nephew, Monster A, was born. On my lunch break I called my sister, who put me on speaker phone so that I could sing “Happy Birthday,” to Monster A, who promptly hung up on me when I was finished-I kid you not. I think the full moon has gotten a hold of him too.

Back at the desk I began to notice signs of edginess (all full moon related as far as I am concerned): People complaining to me about cell phones, irritable patrons, and snappish students. Now don’t get me wrong, these are normal signs from day to day, but today it seemed that there were more cases than normal. Did you know that crime rates for certain violent offensives rise around the time of the full moon? And it has been noted that dog bites sometimes increase as well around this lunar cycle.

I really believe tha…

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was a lovely day. The library was closed so I found myself with a whole day to be dedicated to homework, which in reality means a day that was wasted on having coffee with a friend; doing just enough homework to not feel too guilty; and then going home, at which point my brother A3 and friend Chris stopped by. The three of us along with my roomie M played two games of Euchre while we sat outside on the deck and enjoyed the perfect weather. It felt nice to sip cold beers and play cards and laugh. For a little while I forgot the homework and all the reading that was waiting in my backpack for me. Sometimes I feel like school is so engrossing that I forget to just relax sometimes. Yes, it was a lovely day, and I am always thankful for the days that end lazily and in the company of friends.

Climbing Over the Wall (or the end of Nathan's visit)

Sunday morning flew by because I didn’t want it to. Nathan was leaving for the farm and I wanted desperately to cram myself into his luggage, and I was dreading going back to work and the start of summer classes which were to begin the next day.

It is always hard to part with good friends, no? Whenever I get sad I try and find a poem that makes me feel better, so without further ado, some lines from one of my favorite poets:

“And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go. To each the boulders that have fallen to each. And some are loaves and some so nearly balls We have to use a spell to make them balance: 'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!' We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Oh, just another kind of out-door game, One on a side. It comes to little more: There where it is we do not need the wall…”
~Mending Wall, Robert FrostThanks for coming to visit Nathan-see you in June!

A Whirlwind Day of Activity (or Day 5 of Nathan's visit)

Saturday I was scheduled to work, so we woke up early and headed over to Rochester Hills to check out their farmers market. I will spare the details of that visit, as I already wrote about it in another blog called “A Visit to the Rochester Hills Farmers Market.”

From there we were headed to D-town. After a brief “go this way, go that way,” Nathan was off, headed for an afternoon skirting through the museum section of Detroit, while I got settled at the library. While I was answering reference questions, Nathan was visiting the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the "Our Body" exhibit at the Detroit Science Center. I would like to say that I was glad to be back at work-I do love my job, really-but, I would have rather been at the museums with Nathan. I am bummed, the Ansel Adams exhibit closed yesterday and I didn’t get over to see it…I guess I will just have to go to the museum in Boston that is letting it out.

Nathan and I rendezvoused as the library wa…

Return to the city (or Day 4 of Nathan's visit)

I was sad to have to go Friday morning. Time away never seems long enough does it? After the car was packed, and everything lost was found, we headed down to the dock to say goodbye to the Manistee River. I went to the cabin a few times as a kid and my ritual was to always run down and offer something to the water. It never seemed silly to me, but when there is someone else there it’s a lot harder to beieve as much in the philosophies we held as kids. I threw my pinecomb in the water and watched as it tried to make its way around the bend in the river that would take it out of sight. There is something sacred about that place Up North, so many good memories tie us to a place, don’t they?

The car ride back was good, Nathan, cat-napped as I drove and enjoyed familiar music. I always loved driving, so many thoughts and ideas and stories come into my head. It felt funny to be driving South on a Friday when many people with cabins or cottages are would be heading North to spend the weekend …

The Sleeping Bear Dunes (or Day 3 of Nathan's visit)

Thursday began as every Thursday begins, with a sunrise, in this case one that had already begun creeping in through the bedroom curtains. I love the spring and summer when the sun is out so much earlier in the morning. It was lovely to wake up and be able to look out of the window at woods and know that if I opened the window and let in the cool morning air I would hear the sound of a peacefully moving river not far away.

We were in the car again for another adventure that morning, headed for the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Some history of the area: “The Sleeping Bear Dune is estimated to be about two thousand years old and has a fascinating history. It is classified as a perched dune because it is perched on top of a plateau, high above the lake. When the dune was forming, it was not at the edge of the bluff, but somewhat inland. Wind carried sand from the upper portion of the Lake Michigan bluff inland and deposited it to form the Sleeping Bear Dune.” ~Sleeping Bear Dune Official Website


Road trip to Up North (or Day 2 of Nathan's visit)

Wednesday morning we woke up early and headed in to Fenton where we had breakfast with my Mom at my favorite restaurant, The French Laundry (no relation to the restaurant of the same name in NY City). The French Laundry is the second best thing that ever happened to Fenton in my opinion. I love to sit in the dining room, facing Shiawassee, (aka Owen Rd.) and look out at Mansion Row, the old stretch of huge houses all built around the 1920’s. Each one of these houses seems to display a grandiose style, as though trying to best the house next to it. The restaurant itself is a splendid mix of “kitch,” with mismatched tables and chairs, stain glass panels in the ceiling above, and some sort of plant growing gracefully, snaking up the wall on vertically strung wires. The specials, both coffees and beers are written on chalkboards on the back and side walls so that a person sitting at the unimposing bar might be encouraged to try something new. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so s…

The Waiting Place (or Day 1 of Nathan's visit)

Nathan’s visit began, like most visits do…with a journey, “a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time,” ( And did it ever take a long time. I arrived at the old skeezy part of Detroit Metro, the Fallingapartsavich Terminal, late due to good old Metro Detroit traffic. Nathan was supposed (supposed to) land at a little after 5pm. So, much to my surprise when I entered the terminal at 5:30pm to confront the little monitor, aka TV with no Friends reruns, which showed that his plane had been delayed until 6:30. “Ok, I thought. I have a book in my car. I’ll read.” And so I did, until 6:15pm when I checked the monitor again. That was only the first of many frustrations.

Going near the plane arrival/departure monitor thingy made me feel like Buster Keaton in that routine where his hat falls off his head; every time he takes a step towards it, the hat mysteriously slides away. Every cotton-picking time I went over to the monitor I swear that the thi…

Nathan's First Visit to Michigan (or why I have closure issues)

So, I never wrote about Nathan’s visit to the Great Lakes State. I was reflecting about that very fact in my journal, as it has been nearly a month, and I haven’t finished writing about it in there either. I have noticed a pattern. Whenever I go on vacation or do something that I really like, it takes me longer to write about the experience. I have narrowed down the possibilities of why I might do this to a couple things: 1. When I have an awesome experience (say traveling to a foreign country, etc.) I reflect on the experience or time spent for a while as I write about it, and with time I think of certain things I want to pay more attention to. 2. (And what I think is the real reason) I have closure issues. If I finish writing about something it is really done and over with. And I hated to see that week end. It was such a breath of fresh air to have a week off from school and work and have one of my favorite people in the whole world here with me (don’t be too awed by that fact Natha…

Super Librarian tells all

Today has been one of those astounding days. I have successfully answered all questions 27 questions made over the phone and in person, and even answered or correctly refered the handful of virtual reference and chat questions that have come in today. And those that I have helped have been wonderfully graceful in their praises.
I traveled to the other side of the library this morning and helped a Grad student find a journal that she and two others could not find, and received a "Thanks so much. You have no idea how much this means to me." I walked an Undergrad up to the fourth floor and found a textbook that was thought to be AWOL, and for this I received an "Awesome, now I know where to find it. Thanks." Then I rescued a baby that was crawling across the road in the middle of a crowded street...alright, I made that last one up. But I really did the other things. Yes, today is one of those "Superstar," (said like Mary Katherine Gallagher, sans the armpit fi…

Culinary Triumphs

I get in moods sometimes where I feel like I just have to cook. Yesterday was one of those days. It was my day off, and it was a truly gorgeous 66 degrees and sunny kinda day; and yet I holed myself up in my house in anticipation for my Monster Niece and Nephew's visit and instead cooked.
I am a firm believer in experimentation when it comes to cooking, and this adventurous, often stubborn headed attitude has gotten me into trouble in the past (i.e. the memorable family joke-Brownies of '89), and yet has also yielded some of my best recipes (i.e. GF Thanksgiving maple dijon brusselsprouts of '05). So with this spiritous attitude I decided to clean out my fridge and make something hot; this desire coming from the urge to eat something hearty and warm as it has been cool lately.
Without further ado... Recipe #1 Vegan Veggie Chowder (Tasty soup in 8 easy steps). The ingredients: Vodka 2 small yellow onions 1/8 cup of chili pepper vinegar (or other-chili pepper vinegar gives a sweet…

Diapers+4am Wake-up calls=Birth Control

Graduate School is a very selfish time in one's life. I'm always either at work, in class, working on a paper or project, doing research, or um...did I mention doing HOMEWORK! And when I am not doing any of those things I am mentally working on ways to keep my sanity, for example, counting stairs that lead into the library, sharpening my pencils until they are stubs, or just rocking back on forth on the floor in my room and softly humming the theme to the A Team.

So it was to my surprise that I found myself with two days off in a row this weekend, and decided spur of the moment to offer to watch my niece-two and a half year old Syd, and nephew-nearly one year old Aidan. I love spending time with the kids and they are at a fun age; Aidan so close to walking, and Syd talking about how Daddy makes breakfast or how the Lion in the Wizard of Oz says, "ROAR!" (except this is usually screamed, and Syd is usually standing pretty close to your ear when she does it). Yes, conv…

I'll trade you Rosary beads for a mechanical pencil and some markers

Today has to take the cake for the most interesting thing that I have been given at work, besides countless germs and TMI from people talking on cell phones.

A little girl came up to me today and asked if she could borrow a pencil and paper, which of course I gave her.

Then she came back, and spotting some ridiculously oversized sharpies, asked for those too, which I gave her.

The last time she returned to give everything back: the mechanical pencil sans lead, and the two huge markers. I thanked her for returning them and she gave me a Rosary that she was wearing as a necklace and told me it was for me to wear. Being raised Catholic, I knew better than to wear a Rosary as a necklace, so I thanked her and told her I would take the Rosary home with me, which I will. It is odd. I was just looking at the Rosary in my car (don't judge me...did I mention that I was raised Catholic!) and thinking that they look like some tired beads.

Well, everything happens for a reason, or so I like to bel…

Ben Gibbard's candy

After a whirlwind week last week, driving around the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan; around the Traverse City and Bay area, and a visit to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, I was glad to get back home. I loved the time away; the way that I felt that we were very alone and desolate in the woodsy area where the cabin is located; the memories from childhood that flooded back just by looking at the fire pit, walking the stairs down to the dock that overlooks the Manistee River, even the smell of the pine needles-all this was able to return me to my 11 year old self and the summer that I thought I saw a glimpse of the world for the first time.

Saturday after our arrival back I had to work at the library, so I sent Nathan off to explore the cultural area of Detroit, which is the area around Wayne State University that includes the Detroit Public Library’s Main Branch, C.C.S. (Center for Creative Studies), the African American Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts (D.I.A.), the Detroit Science …

Librarians, who like super heroes have the common good in mind

While reading the American Library Associations (ALA) Direct 5/2/2007 today I stumbled upon an article that made me "pleased pleased pleased," I totally stole that line from the Brit comedy "Coupling." If you have never seen it DO! Anyway, back from my tangent...ALA Direct mentioned how the ALA is taking an anti-Real ID Act stance. And as I read the article I realized that I am a little ashamed that I don't know more about the topic so I decided to do some research today.

From an ALA (see below) article I learned that the United States government is currently trying to pass the Real ID Act, which would in essence create a database of information that would contain images of birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, and social security numbers for more than 240 million people in the United States; a database that has no controls set as to how this information will be accessed.

According to information compiled on Wikipedia from government sources, the…

A visit to the Rochester Hills Farmers Market!

This past weekend Nathan (who was visiting from MA.) and I headed over to the Rochester Hills Farmers Market, the first weekend of the 2007 season. Having lived in Rochester Hills for a year some time back, and around this area for a while now, I chastised myself for never having come before. The Farmers Market is just off of the Main Street in Rochester Hills-the area that has some nice little shops, restaurants and bars and who's Rochester Mills, Main Street Billiards, and Gus O'Connors' are popular hotspots for the local college kids (OU and OCC) at night-located just off of 3rd street.
My appetite for Farmers Markets was wetted when I lived out East. The farm I worked on toyed with the idea of a stand for a couple of summers before deciding against it-much to my chagrin. I also have a fond memory of strolling through D.C.'s Eastern Market (hey, we have one of those in Detroit!) on my first visit to the city; though my friend who lives there recently mentioned that …

First assignment of the Summer Classes!

To those of you who noted my blog absensece; apologies. Nathan arrived safely-though very late due to delays-on Tuesday and we kicked around in the Northern part of the Lower Pennisula, or "Up North," (if you are from Michigan), near the Traverse City area for a few days. I decided to separate myself from the computer for a bit and get some sun and fresh air, and it is these things I think that have lead me to decide against the computer and I getting a divorce. I will write more about our adventures soon when I can also put up the photos to go with the stories.

Today I will instead write about my first assignment of the Summer semester. After having this lovely week off from classes and work it will be hard to go back to both on Monday. I am excited however for the Summer semester to start, I always like the idea of going to is the homework that dulls that love. :) I will be taking 3 classes: Public Libraries, Library Management, and Children's Literature (Pr…