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Showing posts from December, 2007

phew--thoughts on another year

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So, here we sit on the cusp of another year.

I am still planning on taking a road trip out to Massachusetts to the farm, though that nearly didn't happen. I asked my wonderful mechanic bro A3 to change my oil and flush my transmission for me and upon doing these things he found a few EXPENSIVE other things that needed tending. And being the Boy Wonder that he is, he is fixing everything and footing the bill for my Christmas/Graduation present. He is awesome. However due to the holidays and part stores being closed, my on order parts won't be in until after the 3rd, so no driving to Buffalo to meet up with B1&B2...

So, I checked Amtrak and found that the train I needed to get there is sold out already...and so what did this young traveler decide on. *Cringe* That is right, I am taking a good old Greyhound to Buffalo to meet up with B1&B2 and then continue on to the farm in their car.
Now don't get me wrong. I love traveling and I will do it any way possible and sometim…

S-M-R-T "Smart"

In case you were wondering--most literate cities--I have just mastered Dick and Jane here in Michigan...

an animal caught in a swirl of white

I woke up this morning to find big downy flakes falling to the ground as silently as they were made, I am sure.
These are the days that it is hardest to get out of bed.
These are the days that I pray the snow will come down and gather around our house, piling higher and higher, until all is tucked in neatly and there is no coming or going.
However, the majesty of the snow fall only lasted as long as it took me to get to work and then the snow disappeared.

Even in its brevity this was the type of snowfall I wanted on Christmas, however, true to the current trend in Michigan the last few years, we recieved none.

I am glad Christmas is over. I am glad that soon people will stop asking me how it was for my family without Dad. I wish I could bury my head in the sand to their questions; shout over the echoes of voice that might make its way into the particles of grit; and scream until my mouth is full of the dry, sandy matter.
I hate the mopey expressions that people make, trying to pry into my s…

eggnog with lighter fluid and other cherished Christmas memories

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I started digging to find my favorite Christmas-esque scenes/lines from movies and I was pleased with what I found. In spirit of my 14's lists, here goes:

1. Charles De Mar: "Ah, come on! It's Christmas Eve! I could be home right now, drinking this *monster* eggnog my brother makes with lighter fluid." ~Better Off Dead I also love the present opening scene on Christmas day, where his mother is dressed like a reindeer, his father gets an ardvark jacket and the kids get freezer dinners. Pan out to the neighbors Christmas when the French foreign exchange student gets a framed picture of Ricky. I LOVE THIS MOVIE! 2. When Zuzu says to George Bailey, "Look, daddy! Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an Angel gets his wings." George quietly agrees, "Attaboy, Clarence," as "Auld Lang Syne" rings out. That scene makes me cry everytime. (I also love that if George had never been around, Mary became a spinster librarian--see pic) ~It's a Wonder…

the Grinch finds fun at Christmas

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I never liked holidays growing up--there was always something--I will leave it at that.

When I lived out East at the farm I stayed there for every single holiday for nearly three years, absorbing some of the farms traditions; and then continued to go back for some of the holidays even after moving back to Michigan. Now with Dad gone I know that I am especially dreading this Christmas.

I went to a Christmas party a couple of weeks ago at a friends house and someone overheard me say that I hated Christmas music; this after talking about how marginalized the real idea of Christmas has become, and how our culture has taken Christmas and made it into this horrible "shop-fest." My friend Chris called me Grinch. Maybe he is right.

So, I have decided in the spirit of my 14 things that make me happy mode, I will list 14 alternative things to do this holiday season. And maybe even share some of the memories too.

1. Make pinecone bird feeders. This link will take you to directions if you h…

now it's really official

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Well, I guess it's official.
If you will notice I changed my blog header.
I have graduated from the Monster Library Student to the Monster Librarian.
Holy cats!

if death comes in threes, music comes in fourteens

I went to a funeral home last night. A church acquaintance from my former life--what seems like five hundred years ago--committed suicide Friday morning. She was 28 years old.

And then my best friend College K's Grandfather passed away Saturday night. College K said that she thinks that death comes in three, with these two current deaths and my Dad's--two months ago this week. I don't know if College K is right or not, but either way I wanted something to cheer us up, so I decided to make a list, and then it turned into a playlist. I like making lists--no I love making lists. AndI love that movie High Fidelity with John Cusak. And I love that he makes "Top __ Lists.

So, here as I sit at the end of my Masters I would like to look back on the music I enjoyed this past year. If it is true that death comes in threes, well, then music should come in fourteens. So, College K, I dedicate these to you, links to fourteen of my favorite songs of '07. ENJOY!

(Sorry I couldn'…

Radical Militant Librarian in training...apparently

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SWP had some issues with this blog, so I thought I would do some digging for information that might define what I stand for and some information that might be helpful for anyone who thinks that public libraries are going down the hole.

Better than anything I can say about myself is this button, that is my new motto. I am going to strive to be a Radical Militant Librarian.


According to this hilarious and slightly scary site: SafeLibraries.org SMUT by Tom Lehrer should be the ALA's Anthem.
(I thought it rather amusing.)

SMUT!
by Tom LehrerThat Was The Year That Was, 1965

I do have a cause though. It is obscenity. I'm for it. Unfortunately the civil liberties types who are fighting this issue have to fight it owing to the nature of the laws as a matter of freedom of speech and stifling of free expression and so on but we know what's really involved: dirty books are fun. That's all there is to it. But you can't get up in a court and say that I suppose. It's simply a matt…

I need a cat and glasses-IT'S OVER!

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Graduate School is over.

Wow. It feels strange. When I started this program just over a year ago I felt like I would never be able to say that. And looking back now I can't believe how fast the time has gone, especially, mercifully this last semester.

My best friend L asked me if I was excited--when I called her Saturday afternoon to say that I had submitted my last paper--excitement isn't the word I would use. Glad that it's over--certainly, but there are so many things to think about. I feel tired more than anything. It is amazing that I could do all nighters with no sleep a few times a week to get all my papers and projects done, but now that everything is turned in I can't believe I ever was able to do that. All I want to do is have a serious Rip Van Winkle and catch up and then, maybe after all the sleep the excitement will settle in.

Maybe there has been no time for excitement. I feel like too much life has happened this semester. Death, Graduation, Finding a new jo…

Killing God? or free thought?

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Sorry that I had to post the below article, it came to me this way, and I am too lazy to search for a link.

Group to protest 'Golden Compass'HOLLY TOWNSHIP
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
By Christofer achniakmailto:achniakcmachniak@flintjournal.com

A retired grandmother is leading a group that plans to protest the nation's No. 1 movie - "The Golden Compass" - in Fenton this weekend. Bev Suski, 56, of Holly Township, calls the film anti-Christian and wants the theater complex, Fenton Cinemas, to pull the movie. She's asking anyone who agrees with her to join the group outside the theater on the sidewalk during the matinee showing Saturday. They're hoping for 100 people.

"Even though we're late, we need to do something," said Suski, who is retired from the antique business and attends St. Rita Catholic Church in Holly. "As Christians, we need to stand up to be heard." A spokesperson for New Line Cinema, which …

sending babies out into the world alone

I turned in my Monster-ly scary thesis Monday morning much to my relief and trepidation.

And just minutes ago I sent my second final project: 16 pages of "notecard" reviews, etc. on Gary Paulsen and his three novels: The Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Beet Fields, accompanied by a 24 slide Powerpoint presentation of the paper. I let out a sigh of relief and yet feel as though I have sent my baby out to play in traffic.

Handing in papers is always such a mix of emotions; the joy at the end of a class and yet the fear that you forgot to capitalize a "t" or cite a reference. I don't have kids, yet I feel that I know what parenting is like because each time I turn in a major assignment it is like letting my baby go out into the world alone: to be picked on by bullies; yelled at by teachers; nearly broad-sided by a bus. And yet I feel a sense of accomplishment handing those papers over, much like a mother as she watches her toddler master potty training.

That said, I am hea…

Ansel Adams uncovererd

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I just stumbled over this collection today. I love Ansel Adam's landscapes, but I wasn't even aware that he also chronologed the Japanese Interment situation that arose during WWII. Check out the link for some beautiful and poignant pictures!

Monster for hire

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*based loosely on Shel Silverstein's "For sale."

One Monster for hire! One Monster for hire! One jobless and helpful young Monster for hire! I'm really not budging, so stop judging! Do I hear Monopoly money? Aztec Gold or a few grand? Oh, isn't there , isn't there any one boss who will hire this recently trained and certifiably Masters-gained sobbing and slobbing young Monster for hire?

Ok, so maybe I am wallowing in self pity today...just a little. I sit on the threshold of the final two major projects, the worst and most dreaded of the semester turned in this very morning--to the professor who I have had ALL semester long, who looked at me as though he doesn't even know me, who I hope will also allow his alzheimer's to fog out the memory of my paper and give me an A. And yet, in this almost-merriment of being so close to being finished I feel a little nervous about work and that feeling is heavier than the happiness.

My position at the school library …

an immigrants love of the library

This is such an interesting and nostalgic article, I had to post it in full, though it can also be found here.

Books of the New World and the Old An immigrant comes to America--through the library.
BY LUCETTE LAGNADO Friday, December 7, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

As a little girl newly arrived in America, I couldn't wait for the Saturday afternoons when my mother and I would board the subway near our home in Brooklyn for our weekly outing to the Donnell branch of the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan. It was our favorite corner of New York.

So I was sad when it was announced last month that the building housing the Donnell was being sold to a developer. Paul LeClerc, who heads the New York Public Library system, said that the property didn't measure up to its neighbors on tony West 53rd Street, a stone's throw from Fifth Avenue, on a block that houses one of the city's greatest attractions--the sleek, renovated Museum of Modern Art.

Donnell--or some semblance of it--wil…

a poem for the ages on graduation

and in the end...
I am almost there. I can see the end in sight. Not like a bright light, but rather my bed....because after this, that is where I will go. I am almost there. I have 3 big papers to go. So what if I watched three movies last night just to avoid working on my thesis... who are you to judge? And so what if they were all really hokey movies, say for example: Elizabethtown, Robin Hood: Prince of Thevies, and The Hobbit. I am not ashamed. I am nearly done. The end is in sight. Fluffy bed here I come.

refusal of rejection

From this site, Effing passed this along in response to the blog "resume whore" that I wrote. It made me laugh this morning, so I had to share.

Maybe I will start sending letters like this in response to the rejection letters I get from the libraries that I have applied to!

Refusal of Rejection

Dear Hiring Manager:
Thank you for your letter dated 27, Nov. 2002. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me a position in your department.

This year, I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it's impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite your company's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time.

I look forward to seeing you Monday, at 9 a.m., as I begin my future with your company. I wish you the best of luck in…

Save Darfur - Fast and easy

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I love that my church is proactive about social justice issues! They are doing a Darfur Fast on Wednesday 12/5. Just wanted to share this blurb and raise awareness for this devastating genocide that is happening in the world, and invite others to join in this Fast.

The United Nations has called it the greatest humanitarian crisis of our times. Over 200,000 people have been killed and nearly another 3 million displaced from their homes, a large majority living in overcrowded camps, or on the run into neighboring countries. What is it? It is the lives of the Sudanese.

Darfur Fast means fasting for a day from a luxury item; a cup of coffee from Starbucks, a manicure, dinner out, going to a movie, and you are encouraged to use the money that you would spend on any of these items and donate it towards the efforts to fight genocide in Darfur. The money that we are so fortunate to spend every day can go a long way, for example:

$1 will fund the use of a propane kitchen for one internally displa…

World AIDS Day 2007

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"We are well into the third decade of a scourge that has expanded exponentially beyond a small specific group to almost every corner of the globe. Whilst in some areas, incidence may have turned, prevalence continues to rise and will do so for a long time- more young people will be infected, more orphans will occur.

Yet, today still 70% of infected people don’t have access to life saving therapies. Many still face stigma, economic deprivation and rejection because of their infection. Many still don’t have access to basic information or simple interventions that will reduce risk. This is not the time for complacency nor apathy. It is the time for compassionate leadership that recognises that the voiceless are often those who suffer most- who can they turn to if their leaders do not listen and heed their cries."
~Archbishop Emeritus Desmond M Tutu

"According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 s…