Showing posts from December, 2011

2011 in review

It seems like we love to review things: books, movies, restaurants, dates. I like to think it's something inherent in man; the first cavemen probably sat around and reviewed the first wheel, the wooly mammoths. Maybe it's because we want to look back and be appreciative of our time, cherish our memories; maybe it's just so we can rehash the good times, hope to hold onto those memories, or maybe we want to relive the bad stuff and be grateful that family, friends, a love pulled us up and out of ourselves; or maybe it's because we just hope to look back and be thankful that we made it out alive.

Whatever the reason, I guess I can't break tradition. 2011 looked a lot like this:
Got settled into my new digs, a cabin at the Farm (moved in last Christmas)A tree fell on my cabin. Moved in with B1& B2Lots of firsts: I ate morel mushrooms; I made horseradish, I dug up potatoes I gardened like a maniac!  I went to Jamaica and the U.S. Virgin IslandsMy brother A3 married …

beat that thar hangover!

Anybody who's every gotten drunk more than a couple of times has a cure-all for hangovers. If you are planning on getting your party on this New Years' Eve, read this article first, or save the time, the point can be summed up as:

"The best thing to do, besides avoiding getting drunk in the first place, is to eat a large, fatty meal beforehand, drink plenty of water during your escapades (a large glass after every alcoholic drink should do it), and eat right the next morning. Eggs are truly helpful because they have something called "cysteine," a substance that can break down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver."
--Kurt Michael Friese, Huff Post  Food 12/29/11

The greasy burger meal has always been a favorite amongst our crowd; water between drinks; and we always drink OJ as soon as we get up--I heard that booze deplets your body of Vit C--true or not, this trick has always worked for us!

Also, hysterically funny was this blog.

and I'm going

Gregory Alan Isakov - If I Go I'm Goin'

I'm going (just for the weekend) to Michigan. By the time you're reading this I will be well on my way: off for another glorious 3 day weekend to rest, read, and, oh yes, celebrate New Year's Eve 2011 with my best friends and our gang.

guess what's on order

In our daily searches for the right materials to use during storytimes, we Librarians sometimes run across real gems in our collections, items which are found by the grace of God or a keyword search. One of the other Librarians found this gem today: Shut Up, You're FINE!

Her just reading the poem titles was enough to make me laugh like a lunatic, included are such touching poems as:

Had it coming
Kiss grandma goodnight
The starving kids in Africa
One, two
The moon
The tooth fairy
Hide-and-seek with mommy and daddy
Daddy, are we meat?
The Schlitz malt liquor bull
Apostrophes to lunch
The old dog
The glass hammer
Playing dead
The cow
My bed is not a boat
I rode my bike over hill and dale
My last dream
The night wind
The thumping of the bed
The dying boy's lament
Prayer before bed
The circus in the trees
Why I love Ruby
Dead things I have seen
Spit shine
I think of being in the grave
Margaret and her puppy, Ralph
When I grow up
The ic…

thoughts turning north

The Big Snuggle Up, by Brian Patten, illustrated by Nicola Bayley
A rhyming story of a little boy who invites a scarecrow in from the snow, ensuing action is other animals requesting to come in too. I like the idea of the book; however, I felt that the choice of animals was a little strange: owl, fox, heron, donkey, lamb, fawn, dog, cat, rabbit, squirrel, robin, butterfly and mouse. I wanted Patten to stick with a theme: barn animals, animals that normally hibernate, whatever. I also was a little creeped out by the scarecrow--he looks a little too clownish for me; however, these are moot points; kids will enjoy the flow of the story, the rote repetition of the animals (as more are introduced), and the lovely illustrations.
Age: Preschool-K/1

North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration, by Nick Dowson, Illustrated by Patrick Benson
As its name suggests, a book which chronicles arctic migration, both its animals and what seems to be happening to the earth itself,
"Across its froz…

already dreaming of spring

I am still getting used to living by Lake Erie; its cutting winds which blow me into work, so glad to get inside the warm cave of the library. I don't mind winter, but today I am dreaming of spring:

"Soon shall the winter’s foil be here"

Soon shall the winter’s foil be here;
Soon shall these icy ligatures unbind and melt—A little while,
And air, soil, wave, suffused shall be in softness, bloom and growth—a
thousand forms shall rise
From these dead clods and chills as from low burial graves.
Thine eyes, ears, all thy best attributes—all that takes cognizance of natural
Shall wake and fill. Thou shalt perceive the simple shows, the delicate
miracles of earth,
Dandelions, clover, the emerald grass, the early scents and flowers,
The arbutus under foot, the willow’s yellow-green, the blossoming plum and
With these the robin, lark and thrush, singing their songs—the flitting
For such the scenes the annual play brings on.

--Walt Whitman

the new beauty in my life

I miss the Farm: the smells of it; the way the mountains around look in every season; my secret places I could wander to; having cows, chickens, and pigs for neighbors; living and working with friends...too many things. But, I am trying to find beauty in this new, gritty city too. I love Lake Erie; love that some mornings I can hear Erie's gulls screaming on the wind; love those moments before I open my eyes, when I can almost imagine that I will again wake up in my tiny cabin in the woods.
Lake Erie in December

griz and bear it

My Bear Griz, Suzanne McGinness
McGinness’ book about a boy and his pet grizzly bear—we find out at the end that it’s his teddy bear, of course!—showcases her ability to illustrate using a variety of mediums: watercolor, pen and ink, collage. The artwork and colors are beautiful; I particularly loved how Griz was drawn in pen and ink, almost as though the little boy himself drew the bear into reality. However, I felt as though the pictures would have been appreciated more with the older picture book audience, and this book is definitely for the five and under crowd. The story line is simple and for me, uninteresting.
Age: Preschool The Not –So Scary Snorklum, Paul Bright, Jane Chapman
I love Jane Chapman’s artwork! I love that it is familiar in its’ sweet faced animals, her use of warm colors, the fluidity of her artwork in telling the story.(Chapman may be better known for her adorable pictures in The Bear series by Karma Wilson.)

Honestly, I didn’t want to like this book when I start…

you're welcome

Wham! - Last Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!
'Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his courses they came,
and he whistled an…


There is something particularly exciting about traveling somewhere for the holidays, no? Maybe it's just the excitement of getting away from this still strange-to-me-city. I can't wait to leave work at 5pm, get in my car, head north to Michigan; I am thankful for the 3 day weekend and seeing friends.

Will be staying with brother A3 and preggo sis-in-law Dayna tonight and tomorrow, then moving on to best friend L and K's for the annual Christmas night gathering of our circle of friends. Don't really have any plans this year other than Christmas Eve brunch at my favorite Auntie's house tomorrow morning and Christmas Eve Mass with College Kim. Dayna and A3 asked if I wanted to head to Canada with them to celebrate with Dayna's family and friends, but I passed. I am just not in the holiday spirit this year. I think I am just homesick for the Farm. I liked spending quiet Christmases there. Never fear, I have prepared--I am taking 5 library books with me and hope to …


When Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret won the illustrious Caldecott medal back in 2008 I was more than surprised. Judging by size alone, I couldn’t understand how a book nearly 550 pages long--many picture books are under 32 pages—even made it into the category with the other traditional picture books. The judges had somehow been hoodwinked!” (I must stop here and state that I have been known to be A. over reactive and irrational at times and B. a bit of a book snob—the latter was the reason I didn’t read any of the Harry Potter series until after the 6th book came out. Big REGRET!)

Fast forward the clock to now, the book has been turned into a movie (done by Martin Scorsese no less!) and the kids are asking for it again…and, well, I thought it was high time that I read it. And you know what. I liked it. I stayed up until 12:30a.m. this morning to finish reading it because I just had to see how things came together and I kept getting urged on by page after page of beautif…

utterly eh

1. Utterly Otterly Night, M. Casanova, A. Hoyt

Hmm...out of all the picture books I've read to review this week, Utterly, etc. was utterly...just ok.

In the simplest of terms, there were good things about this book: the illustrations were good at communicating the action (I especially like the one below where he is warning his family about wolves!). The story was ok, introducing the audience to some animals which an otter might run into during its' night jaunts.

I think kids would enjoy the book, I just didn't walk away thinking, "aww, that was cute!" or "HOW CLEVER!" or "Those pictures were gorgeous!" That's why I gave it the "ok" rating. Would I read it at my winter themed storytime? You bet--simple text, good pictures, easy to follow story. Just not my cup of tea.
Best ages: Preschool-1st grade.

P.S. I'm not going to lie, I didn't find the whole sliding down hills/otter thing believeable--I don't know why that bot…

"what'sa matter with poeia?"

"Oh no matta'!"

That was a really bad joke. But, also an introduction to the first book I want to review:

Directly from
on·o·mat·o·poe·ia <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="onomatopoeia pronunciation" /></a&am/ˌɒnəˌmætəˈpiə,‐ˌmɑtə‐/Show Spelled[on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh,‐mah-tuh‐]
Noun1. theformationofaword, ascuckoo,meow,honk,orboom,byimitationofasoundmadebyorassociatedwithitsreferent.2.awordsoformed. 3.theuseofimitativeandnaturallysuggestivewordsforrhetorical,dramatic,orpoeticeffect. 1. Red Sled, by L. Judge is an onomatopeia book; a book written only with words which imitate the sounds of the action in the story. As you guessed it by the title, the story revolves around …

I wish Christmas was really like that movie Love Actually

...because then maybe I would end up with Colin Firth. Shoot, I don't even speak Portugeses. And don't even think I am going to settle for Hugh Grant! Hmmm, Snape though...but I'm not the homewrecking type. Anyway, Christmas is a strange holiday. Don't get me wrong, as a pretty devout Catholic I love the whole Jesus' birth aspect of it, but as a single person Christmas and New Years have to be the most sucktastic holidays. They are the time when you want to know who you're going to be taking to Christmas parties, who's thinking of buying something really special for you (if you go in for that consumeristic thing), who'll you'll be snogging on New Year's Eve when the ball drops.

Christmas can be lonely when you don't have someone to share it with and you live alone in a new city and your family is all over the damn country and your brother was supposed to be with you but has to go see his wife's family in Canda INSTEAD!! This year has be…

in Library Land

This is a special time of year; a time when the stillness in the air, the pre-snow crispness is tangible; when children get excited for Santa; when people wish each other "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Holidays!"

It is also the time of year when children lose their damn minds. Children seem to only be able to focus on what they are asking for/wanting Santa to bring and the looming winter holiday from school.

I get it.

I was a kid once too.

And I am excited about my time off, my 3 day weekends for Christmas and New Years. And I am excited to be almost done with reading Christmas books and winter books. Funny. When I was a Children's Librarian a million years ago we couldn't read any books which said "Christmas," we could only read books about winter or snow or sledding, whatever. NO. CHRISTMAS. OHCity is mostly Christianity-based families, so they don't care if Christmas comes up as long as it deals with Santa, books about Jesus are not allow…

now that I'm settled

I am getting more stuff.
B1 & B2 are in Buffalo for the weekend, celebrating Christmas with B1's family; guess who is headed there after work this afternoon? Me! Yay! I am off tonight, tomorrow and Monday a.m., so I will be able to spend some time with my dear, dear Farm friends--the first Farmers I've seen since I moved 3 weeks ago!

What does this have to do with getting more stuff? Well, B1 & B2  kindly agreed to bring the rest of my stuff to Buffalo--not much, just 6 more boxes and change--so I didn't have to ship it. Ah, friends!

So, if you are in Buffalo this weekend and see a girl with an idiot grin on her face, hugging two friends tightly as they navigate the city, just wave--it's ME!

Also, on the subject of getting stuff: I ordered a new bed. Doing that made me feel like an adult. I do not like feeling like an adult, but I also do not like sleeping in my tiny twin bed anymore now that I have a huge, empty apartment. I am having it delivered post-holida…

this is the only voice outside

"The Voice of the Rain"
And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form'd, altogether changed, and
yet the same,
I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
and make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck'd or unreck'd, duly with love returns.)

-- Walt Whitman

Ohio transplants

No, this blog has nothing to do with organ donations...of any kind. I just wanted to mention that I met two other Ohio transplants last Friday night for a burger and beer at a really fun place in Cleveland. But first, let me just say, last Friday is hands down the best day I've had since I moved to Ohio; I was off from work so I spent the day walking around the glorious (and FREE!) Cleveland Museum of Art. It was wonderful. It felt nice to feel lost in a building, surrounded by art, instead of in my new city. Lovely.

So who I went out with: hmmm, how do I explain this one? Ok, my best friend L's little sister Julie is engaged to Andrew, Andrew's little sister is Merissa. I met Merissa (also from MI) and her friend Kelly (from NJ) at Becky's Bar in downtown Cleveland (right next to CSU) for dinner and beers. Some thoughts I had while driving home (not in this order):
I love that I can have a burger, fries and two beers for under $20. It was so expensive to go out for …

I'm trying not to brag

Today marks the beginning of my 3rd week back in Library Land. I started at an odd time of year, as things are coming to an end for before the holiday season, but my duties are becoming more clear and things are rolling like a snowball  down a hill.

First let me say that I am really impressed with OHCity Library. I am not just saying this because I work there and I want it to sound glamorous. No, what we do is pretty amazing.On top of the Children's Department norm which consists of staffing the Children's Dept. Reference/Info desk and doing library storytimes and programs on a variety of themes, we:
Do tons of school visits to all of the elementary schools in the area, and also visit some of the bigger apartment complexes in OHCity.Our webpage (which is open to anyone, not just OHCity resident), not only has a page of links to homework help sites, but also has a monthly themed information page on varying subjects. We've gotten up to 2,000 hits on that page in a month. Ap…

I've never seen as many hipsters

Image I did when I went to the Detroit Urban Craft Fair 2011 a couple of weekends back (you may remember me mentioning it briefly here). Unfortunately my cell phone won't register on my computer so I can't post the cool pics I took--ergh! Any way, it was fun. Not huge. Not tiny, but small enough to feel cozy. It was held in the historic Masonic Temple in downtown Detroit; a lovely building that is unfortunately (as it seems has happened to too many historic buildings in Detroit these days) located in the midst of a rough neighborhood, with things like old boarded up beauties-of-old-buildings right next door.

I was pleased that my sis-in-law Preggers Dayna and bro A3 came along. Even more pleased that they oohed and aahed cutsie things like onsies (I kept looking at my bro and thinking, "Who is this guy? This is my football playing, mechanic, engineer, tough guy, big brother--babies change us all, no?) I was pleased when they purchased a super adorable onsie and bib from (…

Dear Santa,

So so so much to blog about: my trip to MI this past weekend, my new job week 2, Cleveland, and making my first friends in Ohio!

Until I have the proper time to do that, just wanted to share this. I LOVE it!

P.S. Welcome to my two newest followers:
Juice S. Aaron over at Tales from the Liberry
and Sity Myra over at This" is Eyra =:)
I appreciate you're following along--comment often!

my Charlie Brown Christmas tree

Someone at work sent this video to everyone; and since I have no friends, no social life, and not much else to do right now, I made my own. For the record, it took me about an hour to make this. Also for the record, my still slightly empty apartment does feel a little more Christmas spirity now.

And for you bibliophiles, featured are: Oh the places you'll go; Toot & Puddle; Curious George; Mother Goose; The Stinky Cheese Man; The Tin Forest; The Tree in the Wood; Streganona; Brown Bear Brown Bear, What do you see?; Miss Nelson is Back; Miss Nelson has a field day; Polar Bear Polar Bear, What Do you hear?; Mummies made in Egypt; The Lion's Bed; Fall; The Boy Who was Raised by Librarians; Fossils; The Laughing Dragon; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; Skippy Jon Jones; Millions of Cats; The True Story of the Big Bad Wolf; Stellaluna; When will it be Spring?; Raccoon Tune; Peter Pan; To think I saw it on Mulberry St.; Dr. Seuss' ABCs; Happy & Sa…

just whelmed

Day 4 at OhCity Library under my belt. I feel whelmed. I am so glad tomorrow is Friday.

OhCity Library is amazing, and I'm not just saying that--it is ranked really high on Hennen's Top Ten list of American Libraries. To say the least, coming to work here has been very humbling. This library is a librarian's wet dream--not only does our library offer a bajillion programs and services, but people in the community use the shit out of our library! So, not only am I learning all the systems and meticulous cataloging, filing and organization of everything in the Children's department, but I am also learning the names of of a million staff (tons of people work here!) and the kids who frequent. I am also trying to get used to many things:
I can't take a shower before I go to bed, roll out of bed in the morning and put on a ball cap, jeans and a tshirt anymore. I have worn heels 3 out of 4 days this week. I do not enjoy this. I am a jeans kind of girl.I eat most of my meals…

the word is on the street

Oasis - Wonderwall

Dear Oasis,

Remember the 90s? You probably don't know that I used to put your CD on in my sisters room and lay back on her bed and think about when life was going to begin. I did this while she was at work or out with her cute boyfriend and I was stuck at home being an awkward teenager. You probably don't remember this, but I remember that those were back in the days before I kissed a boy, before I could drive, before my family even had a computer. Do you remember those days too?--what it felt like to be young and have your whole life in front of you, when the most important decision was what you and your friends were doing that weekend or what you were going to wear to that dance.

Gee, thanks Oasis, I am glad we stumbled upon each other on Youtube today--it was nice to remember the old days together. :)

Love, Monster