Showing posts from August, 2007

More to follow

Just a short post, since I need to do some stuff at the library. Just wanted to say that I am indeed still alive and well, and back from California. Can't believe that August is nearly done and I have yet to finish all the books on my August reading list. Finally finished Middle Sex, Little Men, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; working on Pride and Prejudice now. Will go in to more detail about my trip soon. Classes start for me a week from today...yeesh! More soon. ~Monster

Shirking my civil duties

Just an update...forgot to mention, I did infact get out of jury duty again. I faxed a copy of my plan ticket info, and the wonderful people decided that I can again get selected in October. I have asked them twice to wait until December and I will be glad to do it when I am done with school. If they select me again in October I will again have to try and get out of it, as I am going to be in class...LIKE I ALREADY TOLD THEM!

Argh...the justice system.

The library's prayers to God

Had a wonderful weekend; celebrated my best friend's birthday with friends Friday night, picnicked with friends on Saturday after their softball tournament, then Saturday night my brother A3 and I went and had dinner with Dad (Mom is in California-I will see her there on Wednesday!) Mmm...dinner was so good. I made dinner for Dad and A3; boiled shrimp and crab, red beans and rice, and steamed broccoli. Kind of a hodge podge of food, but so tasty.

Saturday night, my roomie M and I went to her parents' "cottage," (I use this term very loosely since the cottage is a house, probably a little smaller than the house we grew up in) on Lake St. Clair, late. M, her sister JillyBean, K (their niece) all fell asleep watching a boot leg copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the projector. I was wide awake, ecstatic to be watching the movie blown up on the wall in the living room, especially the scenes in the Ministry of Magic! I only felt slightly guilty watching …

A second helping of death

In my earlier post of today, "And another one bites the dust," I mentioned how Dead Celebrities Lady called this morning (I am noticing that she calls on Sundays).

She called again.

Thurgood Marshall died on January 24, 1993. He was 84 years old-just in case anyone else out there wants to cross him off their lists.

cycloptic Louisville sluggers rounded off my reading

After the comments I recieved on this post, I decided to read some books by Chris Van Allsburg (one of TSOldtimer's favorites-yes yes, I remember our conversation at the bookstore in Traverse City), and also look at The Water Babies, which Kt mentioned.

Today at the library, I read Chris Van Allsburg's:
Ben's Dream
Just a Dream
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (has anyone else read this...does it not make sense, or is it me?)
The Polar Express
The Sweetest Fig (which I loved!)
The Wretched Stone
Bad Day at Riverbend (clever)
The Garden of Abdul Gasazi
The Stranger
The Wreck of the Zephyr
Two Bad Ants
The Widow's Broom (I think this is my favorite)

I love Van Allsburg's pictures and simple, moral stories, cleverly woven. I learned that Van Allsburg is from Michigan, WOOT WOOT.

And Kt, seriously, The Water Babies has to be the creepiest kids book I have ever seen, like Stephen King meets weird Irish folklore. And the pics made it even worse. I think my favorite picture was where t…

And another one bites the dust

Dead Celebrities Lady just called. Today she needed to know when Ross Barnett, 53rd Governor of Mississippi (1960-1964) died.

Answer: 1987

Other questions that came up:

Q: Did he have kids?
A. Two daughters and a son

Q. Who was the 54th Governor of Mississippi?
A. Paul Johnson Jr.

Prince Caspian

Now that Harry Potter has come and gone-and I have to wait another year+ to see the 6th book turned into a movie-I was excited to hear that Prince Caspian, of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, is infact filming and will be released May '08. (And The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is soon to follow!)

Though I was not as happy with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie adaption as I thought I would be, what I have seen so far of Prince Caspian looks promising. I think it will, like Harry Potter, get better as the children age, and as the stories evolve and dig deeper into the history of Narnia.

I love C.S. Lewis' writing, both his childrens' books and his adult musings on faith and spirituality. I saw much of C.S. Lewis in the Harry Potter stories; ideas of love, honor, and redemption abound in both series. I love kids books. I'm a dork.

Juvenile Collection Librarian in a college setting?

This afternoon the Human Resources lady at the university (the one who helped me fill out all my paperwork when I was hired in) called our library, looking for the name of an author for a children's book.

She did not provide an explanantion, rather just told me about how someone had told her about this book. As it is a children's book, I assumed that it might be a gift for one of the girls who just went out on pregnancy leave.

(Her) Now, I can't remember the name of the author.
(Me) Well, ok, what is the name of the book?
(Her) The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
(Me) Oh, that is Eric Carle, he is one of my favorites. I actually collect his books. I collect all children's books.
(Her)Hmmm, you know that yada yada yada is retiring soon, and she is in charge of the Children's Collection here.
(Me) Yes, I knew she was retiring. End of August, right?
(Her) When are you graduating again?
(Me) I finish classes in December.
(Her) Well, if you have Children's Books as a specialty, y…

Sexy librarians

I got the idea for this, from Mental Floss. (Some of our choices may overlap, I will provide different reasoning.)

Giacoma Casanova - known as the one of the greatest lovers and womanizers of all time, Casanova also worked for 13 years as a librarian for the Count von Waldstein in the chateau of Dux in Bohemia. (Say that 3 times fast). Not only can he find your books...he can read them to you...all sexy like.

J. Edgar Hoover- before becoming the sneaky FBI Head, Hoover was a Library of Congress messenger and cataloger in his first job. It was alleged that Hoover was a closeted gay, and cross dresser. Why he made the list…? I am envious of any man who looks better in pumps than me!

Melville Dewey – Aside from helping spawn the ALA, creating Dewey Decimal System (still used in 100s of libraries today), founding the American Library Journal, Dewey can also be described in one word, “Player.” We learned about him in our Intro to Ethics class (because of his influence over the library world),…

Potter Puppet Pals

The Mysterious Ticking Noise - Potter Puppet Pals

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Mysterious Noise

Bothering Snape

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Bothering Snape

Wizard Angst

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Wizard Angst-my favorite!

Just had to share these Harry Potter videos, they made me laugh. These can be found on videos, under Potter puppet pals.

East of Eden-Buffalo Part 4

Sunday was a very lazy day, and I was glad for it. We all slept in late, then had a wonderful breakfast of toasted cinnamon raisin bread, which B1 had made, and coffee. Eating breakfast with B1 & B2 made me miss the community breakfasts we would have at GF, and even just the breakfasts that would happen at Topside when a few of us were off in the morning together. Funny how food can have so many memories wrapped into it.

We set off in the early afternoon towards Eden, NY, where B1's parents live, stopping in Lackawanna along the way so that B1 & B2 could show me Our Lady of Victory Basilica and National Shrine (this site has a really cool moving panoramic picture which allows you to look around the church).

I have to say that it is the most beautiful Catholic church I have ever seen in the United States, both inside and out. The stone carvings depicting the 14 stations of the cross are amazing, each one chiseled out of stone, the effort taking nearly 2 decades to finish.The …

Library, Church, bat-Buffalo Part 3

Heading off from Café 59, I walked about a mile down the street, walking through the trendy Theater District, full of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and (obviously) theaters of every kinds: Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Lancaster Opera House, Marcella’s Drag Show, and The Classic Irish Theater Company, to name a few. It was hard to imagine this hip-a-trendy side of town as such, as I walked through in the bright of day on virtually empty streets. I imagine this side of town as some sort of Moulin Rouge-empty, desolate streets during the day; packed, noisy avenues at dusk, full of people wishing to forget their troubles and embark on a bit of voyeurism for a few drink filled, sodden hours.

I headed to the Main Branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, which I had learned much about in a paper that I wrote for one of my winter semester classes. I was taken aback at how well laid out the library was, covered in signage, materials labeled down to the very simplest understand…

Good Morning Buffalo-Part 2

Today I woke up as B2 was getting ready to walk out the door for work. I felt so rested; the sun was shining in on the lovely scene-B1 & B2 going about their morning rituals, me, a voyeur just soaking in every detail.

After a few suggestions of where to go (last night), but a reminder that I am on holiday for the weekend and can just sit at the apartment and read all day if I want, I was left thinking of what I wanted to do today. B1 and I enjoyed breakfast together; munching toasted homemade cinnamon raisin bread that B1 baked, looking at pictures of their time living in Napa Valley, and vacations.

B1 headed off to work, I stayed and showered and then headed off on my own. I stopped in at the bakery where B1 works to say hello and see her new work digs, buying a cookie that B1 decorated, on my way out the door.

Headed to a used book store called Rust Belt Books, very cool. After choosing 3 books on Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Domby and Son by Dickens, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, …

I've arrived...Buffalo-Part 1

Yesterday at work I wanted nothing more than to be in Buffalo, hanging out with B1 & B2. After an uneventful day at work, part of it spent working on the church's library (more on that later), I headed out excited and ready, for my mini road trip, at 5pm. Stopped at the gas station to put a little air in my tire and oil in my engine. This is when the trouble happened.

Somehow I managed, while taking the oil cap off, to drop the cap down under the engine, and onto this shelf-thingy. I took off my rings (safety first) and forced my arm down as far as I could, waving my fingers wildly to get the oil cap. The coiling around the engine, which I had to slide my arm past were still warm from the drive to the gas station, so with each swipe of my arm (looking like a monkey in a mad comedy to get the banana-I am sure!) I would rub my arm against hot coils, eventually burning the top layer of skin off.

So, now I am burned, and frustrated to the point of tears. Nothing is working: not my a…

Buffalo Gals won't you come out tonight, and dance by the light of the moon

In my pursuit to gain more library experience before I graduate, and also start working strictly in my field, I sent out three resumes on Wednesday morning, with a fourth to be sent off tomorrow morning. Good news! I already recieved a call this afternoon from one of the libraries, and have an interview on Wednesday. Hooray. This is probably the farthest drive of the four, but at this point, I am jumping at the bit for something. The ideal would be getting a job at the library in the city I live, which is now hiring, but anything is better than nothing. Think happy thoughts...and send pixey dust my way.

With the resume writing and rewriting, cover letter writing and rewriting, and references writing and rewriting, I am ready for a break. That comes by way of an escape to Buffalo.

It is with much anticipation that I set out on the open road tomorrow afternoon for a weekend in Buffalo. I will be staying with GF friends, B1 & B2. B1 was a former housemate in Topside, our house at the f…

Collection project at work

Started going through 7 years worth of donations at the library. It is amazing what people accrue after a life of collecting books (I noted this and thought of my 400+ book collection that my family will have to dispose of one day).

There is nothing super note worthy or exciting about the process. We go through and get rid of anything that we already own, recycling anything that doesn't seem of interest for the book sale room. My job has been weeding through boxes upon boxes of books on Education and Psychology (apparently a collection donated upon the death of an Education professor), finding the occasional random book of interest (i.e. writings by Epicurus).

The coolest thing that has come of this new special project is that I get to go down in the University's storage area, in the basement of the Undergraduate Library. It is amazing! It is a huge room with row after row of books. Even cooler-they have space saving shelving (which looks exactly as it does in this picture) ins…

Aren't I supposed to be less busy?

I thought the ending of classes and my 5 week siesta, until the Fall semester, would mean some down time. Wrong-o! (I was briefly quasi-seeing this guy who would say "right-o," so this is the opposite-wasn't Charlotte on Sex in the City married to a guy that said "Right-o?").

Back from my tangent. The end of classes has meant that my family and all of my friends know that I am at home and therefore should be (for my family):
A. Babysitting Monster Niece and Nephew.
B. Spending more time with my family (parents, sibs, etc.)
(for my friends):
A. Hanging out with them somewhere.
B. At the bar with them.
C. Relaxing at my house with them.

I should not complain, I love all the company, but my August reading list is not moving as planned...note to self, "hole up in room one night for hours of pleasure reading."

Saturday last, my brother A3 and I took Monster Niece and Nephew to the zoo. It was a lovely day, not quite as hot and muggy as it has been lately. The kids …

Scaredy Kat Whodunnit?

Friday after working at the church all day (another job I have...I have seldom met a library student who has 1 job, most my friends have two or three), I headed over to the public library where I work as a substitute librarian in Children's/Youth Services. I was to be aiding two of the librarians in a Whodunnit Mystery program, an evening where students, 2nd-4th grade, come in to the closed library for a mystery.

The kids came in and listened to the scenario, in this case, a girl named Kat is getting threats from someone who is going to hurt her cat. Cheesy, but it is for kids, and they were eating it up. Then each of the suspects (6 middle/high school kids) were introduced, and the kids were told what possible motives each suspect might have for committing the crime.

Once the kids heard the motives they were split into four groups, each with a guide, and sent through 4 settings to collect clues.

Our first stop was a question and answer section with the suspects. The kids in my group…

Thoughts wrapped in peels

In my attempt to look at everyone's page that has commented on my page (I love this game!), I was checking Nabeel's page out today. He had this really great, short and sweet, reflection called: "A Sunflower of mangoes" (posted on July 3), where he reminsced about eating and sharing fruit as a kid; the idea of how some things can remind us of a particular time.

I thought about that a lot too today. My friend Lisa and I talk about how certain activities, like eating, can be so communal. And reading Nabeel's blog confirmed that maybe other people feel that way too. I thought back to my farm days; cold winter afternoons spent indoors playing cards or talking. I remember one particular afternoon where I sat around a table with my friends Christy and Gary enjoying oranges. We ripped back orange peels to expose white underbellies, skins to protect the meaty flesh inside. We would pause in our conversations, just long enough to bite and tear into the sweetest oranges that…

Holy cats and voodoo dolls

Holy cats! Good news! My last blog worked...I now have readers in Asia too! Wow. Welcome friends!

Good news! I recieved my Spring/Summer marks this morning. All A's! Holy cats again! Thanks for all the support and prayers, or just keeping the needles out of the Monster Librarian voodoo doll, whichever you did this last semester, it was much appreciated!

Samples of lead paint chips handed out by ladies wearing plastic gloves

It was with an odd mingled feeling of mostly excitement and a little sadness that I said, "IT'S OVER!" (in Strongbad voice) about the Spring/Summer '07 term. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I went home and wept in the corner, rocking back and forth, hugging a bottle of Jack, while I lamented the end of classes. I did that yes, but those were tears of joys, and there was no "class being over" sadness. No, that was a very welcomed end.

I was a little sad about the fact that friends that I have had along with me on this crazy adventure called Grad School, in classes with me every semester since I started, or even just the last two semesters, will no longer be in my classes come September. It is kinda weird how you can get so close to people so quickly, or at least maybe that has just been my experience. Maybe it's just true that "misery loves company." Maybe I just let my guard down too know what McGruff the Crime Dog would …