Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years!

I have been very much enjoying my vacation to Arizona and am sorry that it is nearly at an end. I got to see Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which I enjoyed though I'm sure the book is better, and True Grit, the remade Western that was better than I thought it would be thanks to the awesomeness of the Coen brothers directing and some good acting. I got to go to the enormous Asian market and the delicious Vietnamese restaurant, Pholicious, for their excellent Bun (Rice Noodle Salad with Caramelized Pork and Shrimp). Mostly it has been nice to just relax and not think about being home and broke. We're here to the 5th and we'll probably have a low key celebration tonight, especially for me since I can't actually drink any Asti Spumante to celebrate the New Year.

Since it is the last day of the year, I figure I would reflect a bit on this year, which to me has just flown by with the exception of the last semester of school (which dragged on impossibly long). I started my job at the Archives last December and it lasted until mid-August, and though it wasn't the most exciting job ever, I did enjoy working there and getting to meet and hang out with Rebecca. She has since moved back to Missouri to help out her family, but it was nice talking to someone who has similar experiences and educational background, especially as I was doing distance ed with the university and rarely saw other library students. I loved being able to talk school, books and life in general with her. I also completed my Youth Services Library internship, which was an awesome experience and allowed me to get some hands-on experience with dealing with parents, students, and programming. My good friend Kira was pregnant for the first time and gave birth to her daughter Lucy at the end of October. I found out I was pregnant in the middle of November. And I finally graduated with my Masters in Library & Information Science. So all in all a good year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yay on vacation!

So I am finally on vacation in Arizona! My hubby and I arrived late last night and slept really good, until an idiot friend of his decided to text us at 6am to ask what time it was. I told my hubby that we should call him at 2-3am his time (3 hours behind Arizona time) and ask him that question. We are here for two weeks and the weather is slowly getting better. It's supposed to be 72 and sunny on Christmas Day, so should be lovely. Definitely better than the frigid, though non-snowy weather we've been having in South Carolina. Am excited as I just registered for a workshop put on by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in MA, on using the Whole Book Approach to enchance a child's reading experience. Very much looking forward to that in February. I would love to visit the museum myself, as I am a huge picture book fan, though not a lot of opportunities to go to Massachusettes.

Anyways, I had found this article through one of the library groups I am apart of on Facebook and thought I would share, as it is promoting libraries. The article is entitled "12 Ways Libraries are Good for the Country", and can be found here. Another bonus about libraries is that in times like these, where the country's economy is going down the drain, is that a lot of the programs are are free or at a reduced cost.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

C.S. Lewis and reminiscing with the 90's

So today has been rather random. I woke up at 7:15am and went back to sleep at 10 with my hubby. Then later that afternoon we went to Moes for what I thought of, at least, as some pretty awesome burritos. Afterwards, I had wandered onto Facebook again and found this cool Flash Mob Impromptu Opera performance that the Tel Aviv Opera company did in a Food Market, which led to Random Act of Culture performances with a violin quartet and two tango artists (which was pretty cool), which led to other Flash Mob videos. Eventually I found a couple of cool dad-daughter wedding videos, where they mixed sappy songs with 1990s Hip Hop, like MC Hammer's Can't Touch This or Boyz II Men's Motown Philly, the second of which is possibly my favorite song ever from middle school. Yes I know this totally dates me, but whatever. So I've been listening to groups from the 90s/2000, such as TLC's Red Light District, Zhane's Hey Mr. DJ and D'Angelo's How Does It Feel. D'Angelo was a good looking man in that video, very flirty, and was a shame that he got thrown in jail for doing something so stupid. But that sort of thing seems to happen all the time in the music world.

I started reading C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series, as I have all 7 books in one volume. I am enjoying it so far. I've gotten through The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, both of which I thought were excellent. I also read The Horse and His Boy, which wasn't very good. I am ready to start Prince Caspian and am hoping that it is better than the last one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

8 Days till Christmas

I honestly had no idea we are that close to Christmas, but my sister-in-law informed everyone this morning on Facebook. I know that Christmas is next Saturday, but with school and worrying about money, my concept of time is a bit skewed. I am actually looking forward to the holiday, despite not having enough money to spend on anyone. I am also very much looking forward to a 2-week vacation to Arizona, as that is pretty much what got me through the last couple weeks of school and being perpetually behind with everything. 

Today I watched the Twilight: Breaking Dawn trailer and learned that they are trying to break it into two parts. All I could think was "For goodness sake, don't drag this stupid movie series out any longer!" At least with Harry Potter, the final book actually has a lot going on and even though it is very frustrating, I can see the need to divide it into two movies. I have a very love/hate relationship with the Twilight books and movies, as I thought the books were okay, though no great literary achievement. The movies, on the other hand, are mildly entertaining and I must say that I'm Team Jacob even though I know what happens at the end (and am a little creeped out by it). Plus Taylor Lautner is way cuter than Robert Pattinson, (despite being in one of the worst movies ever made The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl which I watched under duress while babysitting) and despite the fact that Pattinson has a decent singing voice and has the plus side of actually being British.

One thing that I have highly enjoyed about being done with graduate school is having more free time to read what I want. So far I've read the first two books in Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy and tried to read the third but got bored, and Gail Carriger's brilliant debut novel Soulless as well as Changeless and soon to be reading Blameless. I've also tackled about 5 children's picture books and hope to finish my massive copy of C. S. Lewis's entire Chronicles of Narnia. I had previously read the first 1 1/2 books, The Magician's Nephew and part of The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Graduation quote

Since I am graduated as of tomorrow, I figure I would include a good quote. Here is one I found today from Tom Brokaw, which I think about sums how life after graduation should be: 

  • You are educated.  Your certification is in your degree.  You may think of it as the ticket to the good life.  Let me ask you to think of an alternative.  Think of it as your ticket to change the world.  ~Tom Brokaw

Graduation!!



After 2 1/2 long years, I have finished graduate school for the second time. I submitted my final three papers tonight and officially graduation is tomorrow. I'm not attending due to financial issues, but now I just have to wait for my diploma to come in the mail and wait for my grades to post. I have an idea what I might have for one class but no idea for the other, as I only just submitted papers. I'm having a mini celebration right now and will celebrate in a grander style in Arizona once my hubby and I get there to visit my parents for two weeks for Christmas/New Years. I'm so ready for a vacation as this has been a very long and stressful semester. It's great being done with school, but it also feels weird, I guess because I've been doing it for over 2 yrs. 

The other good news is that I finally got a part time job, in my local public library, working as a Children's Room Shelver. My first day is tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. I applied for Medicaid in November to cover my medical bills and I am now approved. I just have to drop off one letter this week and maybe another in the next few days. I'm hoping to speak to my actual worker so I can ask some questions about WIC and some other things. So at least we don't have to worry about those bills. The baby is coming along fine, and I'm nearly 9 weeks. I am a little anxious about the flights but they should be fine as long as I can keep food down when we take off/land. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Son of Citation Machine and Grey's Anatomy

This website, Son of Citation Machine, has been really helpful to me this week as I've been writing my research proposal and trying to figure out how I want to do citations. I actually discovered it a couple weeks ago when I was working on the Reference group project and we included it then as a tool to help high schoolers. It pretty much does the work of citations for you to simply things, which is great for me because pretty much all teachers want you to do it a different way and I can never keep track of which way to do it. I decided to do MLA because APA was kinda confusing and it works like a dream. I recommend it to those in college or those with kids in high school. 

This paper has been a giant pain as I am having problems trying to put what I want into paper form. It makes sense to me, but I've been wallowing in the info for the whole semester. So I need to send it to my mom so she can see if it makes sense too and isn't just a giant pile of crap. I'm sure it has good points, but right now it's just frustrating. 
So since this week and past couple have been pretty stressful at my house, while we are trying to figure out our finances in conjunction with the baby, and I think this quote fits in with our situation quite nicely. Now I'm a huge Grey's Anatomy fan even though I know it's a fluffy girl show, but sometimes they do say some brilliant things on there, like this quote from everyone's favorite bad boy Karev in Season 5. 
  • Grey’s Anatomy, Season 5, Episode 18, Karev: "Trauma messes everybody up, but maybe that's the point. All the pain, the fear and the crap...maybe going through all that is what keeps us going forward...it's what pushes us. Maybe we have to get a little messed up, before we step up."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Big Announcement!

So I've been holding this off for three weeks until my first ultrasound, but here it is: I'm 7 weeks pregnant and due July 2011! I'm just glad to be able to tell people and talk about it. This is my first pregnancy so everything is new for me. I'm glad to be able to apply the things I've learned in Early Childhood Materials class to my own personal experience, and will start reading to the baby soon, probably after I graduate. I know how important it is to start early, even when the baby is in the womb. 

The other big news is that I finally got the results of my graduation portfolio back and I aced it. So I don't have to worry about that, just need to write the Research proposal and papers that go with it and I will be done for the semester. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Last couple weeks of class

I am currently down to my last 2 weeks of class, and this has been one long semester. My group poster presentation was yesterday and it went really well, and people seemed to like our idea for establishing K-12 information literacy training in public schools with collaboration with public and academic libraries. I've turned in the paper, poster and abstract for the group so as far as I'm concerned we are done with that class. I turned in my final paper for my internship describing what I did and what I learned on Tuesday as well. I've not heard back from my adviser about my portfolio now for about 15 days, so I am assuming it looks good. Might email student services just to check. Now I have to concentrate on my Research class as I need to write my research proposal and associated papers before Dec 13. My concentration has just been totally shot lately so I am planning on doing it tomorrow after my doctor's appointment, and just go to the library.

Today is the first day of December and we've not put up the tree yet, probably will do soon. It's finally feeling like winter as today was a high of 55 degrees F with a lot of wind, which I had to go out and experience as the pest control people were spraying my apartment and I didn't want the pooch to ingest the gel they were using. Only about 3 weeks till we are going to Arizona again to visit my parents for Christmas, and I am very excited!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Joey Pigza Quote and Food Blog

I haven't blogged for about a week due to being out of town visiting my grandparents in Alabama for Thanksgiving and being generally distracted as it is the end of school, amongst other things. So I figured I would catch up on blogging by combining Sunday and Monday's post again. The Blog of the week is one that I have been obsessed with for two days called Momofuku for 2.  For those who have no idea what Momofuku is, it is the cookbook for the restaurant of the same name in NYC, created by genius chef David Chang (who Anthony Bourdain also thinks is brilliant, which gives him even better credit in my book). I had read the cookbook myself after waiting for it for over a month at the library, and thought his recipes were really ingenious twist on classics, plus the photos were gorgeous and it really makes me want to go to NYC to try it out. Chang now owns five Momofuku restaurants, which you can see through this link for more info. The author of the food blog Momofuku for 2 not only creates classics from the cookbook, like the Potatoes & Clams in Bacon Dashi  but also many other delicious creations such as French Onion Melt Sandwich, Thai Noodle Salad (which is very similar to a dish I have eaten in a Thai restaurant), and the best sounding title for a recipe Blueberry Boy Bait.

The quote of the week is a random one from Jack Gantos's third Joey Pigza book in the series called What Would Joey Do?, which is about a young boy who has ADHD and is just starting to get his life under control again. In this book, his mom who moved back in with him in the first book is dating again but Joey is not sure about the new boyfriend. I just thought it was funny. 

  • “She won't call me anything like strange or abnormal or peculiar. She just says things like 'Oh, don't mind that Joey is trying to get pet termites to live in the woodwork. He's not like other boys. He is out of the ordinary.' And Booth whose head is so rectangular it looks like a shoebox with a nose stuck on one long side, gives me that I-didn't-raise-you-to-be-this-way-but-I'll-put-up-with-you-as-long-as-your-mom-is-my-girlfriend-otherwise-I-would-put-you-in-a-rubber-room look. In return I give him my Don't-fall-asleep-on-the-couch-because-when-you-wake-up-you-might-find-that-I-slowly-cut-all-your-clothes-off-and-when-you-stand-you-will-be-totally-naked-and-Grandma-and-I-will-have-your-camera-ha-ha-ha look.” Joey Pigza in What Would Joey Do

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cute Library Video

This short clip is from the Finnish Library Association and is about teaching your kids good habits, like reading. Once again, it was from Facebook, from the Help-A-Librarian page I'm part of.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Last 20 episodes and a new series

I am on the last 20 episodes of the Inuyasha (not counting the Final Act series episodes) and can I just say how frustrating it is!!?!  They've brought back Kikyo again, after "killing" her off like 30 episodes ago by the main villain Naraku, but now her spirit is back. As annoying as Inuyasha can be at times, I do believe that he is meant to be with Kagome, which is freaking hard when his ex semi-dead girlfriend keeps popping up. This time, Kagome had the choice about whether or not to save Kikyo and she did it without hesitation, though afterwards, Kikyo bolted and didn't wait for Inuyasha to show up. Then the fact that Inuyasha didn't go after her says something as every other time she's been injured, he follows her. 


That all being said, the ending of the series was crap. Nothing was resolved, including the main villain and all his associates still being alive and Inuyasha/Kagome relationship being same old same old. Now they have made a 26 episode series called Inuyasha: The Final Act, which has already been released in 2010 in Japanese with English subtitles. However, I find my comprehension and distraction level is way higher when watching the Japanese version, so I'm waiting till they release the dubbed version, which should be soonish (hopefully by 2011) as they've already gotten most of the old cast together (minus the voices for Sesshomaru and Kagome). I would like to watch the movies too, though those might have to wait awhile. 


In the meantime, I think I might start watching a new series called Kekkaishi, a series I actually know about as I've read the first 4 or so mangas, and I must say that so far they've done a good job. I really like the manga and the author, Yellow Tanabe. Here is a summary of the storyline.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

*Muppet Wiki*

I'm a day late with this, but I've been swamped with school work,  so I apologize. Well that and I couldn't come up with a good website to share until now, lol. I finished my portfolio Sunday night and submitted it so just waiting for the feedback on it. I spent about half of the day today working on a paper for my reference class which was due tonight, and now my brain is fried and my lower back is killing me from lugging a heavy bookbag and laptop all over the library. So I'm watching Inuyasha episodes and relaxing. I think I might have some ice cream after I finish this post. 
 
So the website of the week is the Muppet Wiki, which I discovered last week while browsing the web.  As they say on the website, it is a "collaborative encyclopedia for everything related to Jim Henson, The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and The Muppets Studio. The wiki format allows anyone to create or edit any article, so we can all work together to create a comprehensive database for fans of the Muppets." I think it is a great idea! I have loved the Muppets ever since I was little, probably 8 or 9, and I grew up watching Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, The Muppet Show, and Labyrinth. I was a little miffed when the Jim Henson Company (JHC) officially sold the rights to the Muppets to Disney (both companies I love watching movies and TV shows from, but they were owned by Disney before unwillingly and it just looks like they sold out). I know they probably did it because Disney is able to market them in ways the JHC couldn't dream of, because they have so much more money, but it kinda seems like they sold out. But anyways, I ended up browsing the wiki for news of the new Muppet movie that should be coming out next year's Christmas Day. So yay, excited to hear that! So take a look around the wiki and enjoy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quotes about reading to children

Since I have just finished my portfolio and submitted it, it makes sense to do a book-related quote. It's funny that I was better at writing about Youth Services than I was the reflective essay that actually counted towards graduation. Either I found this quote somewhere along the line while researching something online or it was one from one of my Children's Literature classes. In any case, it is a great quote and one that should be followed. 
  • "Read and tell stories to children when they are babies, and they will love the colors and shapes of illustrations and the relaxed mood of your voice. 
    Read and tell stories to children when they are toddlers, and they will shiver at the recognition of animals and listen with delight to rhymes.
    Read and tell stories to children when they are true walkers and talkers, and they will laugh at funny incidents and fall in love with special characters.
    Read and tell stories to children when they are in their first years of school, and they will appreciate the opportunity to retreat from learning and embrace the world of relaxed imagination.
    Read and tell stories to older children and adults and they too, will find themselves transported into the world of image and wonder."--Ken Roberts

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Portfolio Drama

I am finally working on my portfolio that is due on Monday. Part of the holdup was that I didn't know how to add content to the digital part of the portfolio, which is the part that the committee grading it will be seeing. Well that and I'm stumped as to which papers to add to it, which was why I hadn't really worked on it earlier. It has five areas of competencies that I have to include: information and its organization, provision of information services, organizational/leadership/management issues in information agencies/services, application of technology and research to evidence-based practice, and lifelong learning/professional development. So far I have two papers up, and need to find three more, plus write a reflective essay on why I have chosen those particular papers, looking at the classes I took and what worked/did not work, and reflecting on the program as a whole (i guess, only part I'm REALLY not sure about). I am hoping to get a look at a friend's portfolio to see how it should look. 

I was finally told by my adviser that I didn't have to find papers for the other nine Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) competencies but only write a reflection paper on them based on what I learned during my degree. So I have conquered this part of the portfolio first, and have created a pretty decent first draft of that, minus two competencies I just can not think of what papers/class to use.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inuyasha Part 2

Well, I am currently 100 episodes into Inuyasha and I am loving it! My favorite character outside the main group (Kagome, Inuyasha, Sango, Miroku, Shippo and Kilala/Kirara) is Kouga, the wolf demon who is in love with Kagome, which of course, infuriates Inuyasha to no end and he is always challenging Kouga to duels to the death as a result. Yes, he is possessive of Kagome, but at least he declares his love and tries to express it, unlike Inuyasha who is too scared to really tell Kagome. I never really noticed it when I was watching the show before, probably b/c they were out of order, but Inuyasha's brother Sesshomaru is pretty hot. 

I found out today that there are 26 new episodes that came out between 2009-2010 in Japanese with English subtitles called Inuyasha Final Act. They say that the English language version is in the works, so I might have to wait for that. They are supposed to follow the manga and pick up where the first 6 seasons left off. I am also interested in watching  Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which is supposed to more closely follow the manga (compared to the original series, which starts out the same, but the characters/decisions/storyline changed as it went on). Truth be told, I've only really watched two anime series, and Fullmetal Alchemist was my second series and I absolutely love it (and would love to own it)!

Monday, November 8, 2010

*KarmaTube*

We all know YouTube right? Well I was browsing my email and once again the geniuses at Skirt! magazine had sent me another brilliant link, this time from a website called KarmaTube. The description on the website says that it is "a collection of short, 'do something' videos coupled with simple actions that every viewer can take. Our mission is to spread the good." 

Now the reason I went to this website was for this virtual choir video, where this guy Eric Whitacre sent out free copies of his musical work Lux Arumque via the internet and 185 random people sent in videos of themselves singing individual parts, which he then put together to create this wonderful music video. The music itself is so sublime (I am a former church and recreational choir member so I know what I'm talking about), but the fact that he got 185 strangers to cooperate is just amazing. I would be be very interested to hear more of his work. The other one that I really liked was this video about a non-verbal autistic girl who was able to talk through a computer. She is very inspirational, and I passed it along to my social worker friends as an example of the what kids can do.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quotes about love

Seeing as I'm 63 episodes into the anime series Inuyasha, which is about love, I figured this week's quotes should reflect that. So I decided to use my absolute favorite love quote, from the book Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It is a fantastic book that was recommended to me about five or so years ago by my dad, and is the true story of the author and his adventures in India. 

  • ‘I love you, Karla,’ I said when we were alone again. ‘I loved you the first second I saw you. I think I’ve loved you for as long as there’s been love in the world. I love your voice. I love your face. I love your hands. I love everything you do, and I love the way you do everything. It feels like magic when you touch me. I love the way your mind works, and the things you say. And even though it’s all true, all that, I don’t really understand it, and I can’t explain it—to you or to myself. I just love you. I just love you with all of my heart. You do what God should do: you give me a reason to live. You give me a reason to love the world.’--Shantaram 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Inuyasha!


So whilst taking a break this afternoon, I discovered that I could watch whole episodes of one of my favorite anime shows, Inuyasha (whose name literally means "friendly dog demon," which I never knew until today). I am very excited about this, because I've only ever been able to watch it sporadically over the years, and never really in sequential order. I started watching it in college, whenever I was on breaks home to visit my parents and couldn't sleep, as it was usually on at about 11pm on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim TV show. I loved the silly and sometimes romantic storyline and the costumes. The weird thing is I don't like the original Japanese version as I think the subtitles take away from the show (though I usually like subtitles), I prefer to watch the English dubbed version. 

Anyways, I have decided to watch all 167 episodes in the next year. I also possibly want to read the manga versions as well, as I've heard that they help explain some of the story loops by the sudden end of the anime series. They've also made 5 movies that I will try to figure out how they fit in. 

The show is basically about a Kagome, a 20th century 15 year old girl whose family guards an ancient shrine, tree and well. One day she falls down the well and end up in an alternate dimension of feudal medieval Japan, where demons run amok. She discovers that she is the ancient reincarnation of Kikyo, a priestess whose main job was to protect the Shikon, a powerful jewel that can make demons invincible. Inuyasha is a half-demon ,who is trying to steal the jewel, but Kikyo imprisons him on a tree with a spell (coincidently the same tree that grows near the ancient shrine in present-day Tokyo next to Kagome's house). A series of demons try to steal the jewel, which Kagome now possesses, until she accidently explodes the jewel into many many pieces. In the beginning, Inuyasha and Kagome must work together to get the jewel shards and they dislike each other, but they grow to like each other as time grows on. For more detailed info, see this Inuyasha Character Wiki. Also, if you would like to read the manga version of it, please go to this link

11/5/10
Watching this show over again is awesome because it makes me remember why I started watching in the first place. The show is so steeped in Japanese folklore/mythology, alongside with the fantasy of the show (alternate dimensions, time travel etc). Plus it is so interesting to see the character development as it progresses. I am currently on episode 50 and  you learn so much about Inuyasha and Kagome in particular, but also about secondary but frequent characters like Kikyo, Naraku, Miroku, Shippo and Sango. I had totally forgotten about my favorite name in the show too, Sango the demon slayer's pet demon cat, Kirara/Kilala depending on who is pronouncing it. Oh and I finally found out when the Warring States period was, so it is technically Renaissance Japan (vs. Medieval) as was between 1400-1600.

It's finally autumn...

It is officially autumn here in South Carolina, as the temperature has dropped into the the 60s and the leaves are changing and falling off the trees. I love it, though it also makes me feel old. I wake up all creaky and feeling like death warmed over, and this morning I definitely need my cup of tea as I'm completely congested. Good old PG Tips, English tea which originally my husband insisted on getting and now doesn't drink because it upsets his tummy. This is fine, leaves more for me to drink. Now that it is cold outside, I can drink tea on a regular basis. I mean yes, I love me some iced sweet tea, and I will drink that on occasion when we go out to eat. It's funny that my husband will drink hot tea but refuses to drink sweet tea, but then again the same thing goes for anything other than hot coffee. He will only drink it hot, but not iced or any other coffee-flavored thing. Autumn makes me want to bake bread and other baked goods. That and sleep a lot, buried deep in our super fluffy winter blanket.

I have so much work to get done before the end of the semester, basically 5 1/2 weeks away. I have a Reference paper due next Tuesday and I need to further summarize articles I gathered for Assignment 5 for that class. The biggest thing is that I have my portfolio due on November 15, which is basically my thesis for the Master's degree, which I need to get started on and start picking papers. I think I will tackle that this weekend. Oh yeah, and there's my research proposal for my Research class, which I finally got my articles for so I can start on that, as well as keeping up with the reading/lessons for the class. So needless to say I need to get started now, so I'm done with this post. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Code

I found this a few weeks ago on The Merry Librarian and wanted to share it because I think it about sums out the unwritten job description of a public librarian. 

“I declare myself a Librarian, and swear myself to this Sacred Code. I acknowledge that I am but a humble servant of society, and forfeit my identity and rights as an individual. I willingly lay down my right to personal space. I accept that I shall henceforth be a surrogate mother to all patrons: I shall clean up their messes, their puke, their children’s puke, and re-shelve all of their carelessly tossed books. I shall silently tolerate their screaming fits when they fail to read signs about Internet usage limits, fines, and behavioral expectations. I will cater to their every need: from, “Will you set up my email account for me?” to “I need help with my taxes,” to “I just can’t understand why my husband left me!” I will follow their children around, cleaning up trails of toys, chewed books, urine and bubblegum. I will assist the man who speaks only to my chest; I will converse with the woman whose breath is foul enough to kill kittens. I will smile when they scream, smile when curse, smile when they are demanding and irrational. I am a Librarian: I am all things to all people. By this Code I do swear.”

Monday, November 1, 2010

This past weekend

This past weekend nothing much happened, except for two things. One of our friends decided to move out to where we live so we'll actually get to see him more, always a plus. The other thing was that Liverpool won their second game in a row, even though it is only the 3rd win of the season and the first away game. But we're still hopeful, though I do wish Torres would get his act together. He's been out of it since end of last year, and has only scored 2 goals in 23 games this season. I've also now been waiting three weeks to hear back from the library folks in Arizona, so I don't know what to think about that, except feeling really frustrated. Anyways, on to quotes and website highlights. 


This week the quotes for the week will be from two of my favorite comics. The first will be from the extremely talented Alan Moore and his Absolute Watchmen, which includes all the cool behind the scenes and extra stuff from the comic book. The second comes from my newly discovered favorite comic, Rex Libris Volume 1: I, Librarian. For those who have not heard about it, it is about an awesome, witty and just plain hilarious comic strip about a 2000+ yr old librarian named Rex Libris whose job is to shush people and reclaim overdue library books from creatures all over the galaxy, with force if needed. 


  • Why do we argue? Life's so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing.”--Alan Moore, end of Chapter 6, Absolute Watchmen 

  • “That fiend knows my every weakness! Damn you Yeti! Why do you torment me so? These buttertarts brim with the very calories of evil! Inexorably drawing me in to a carbohydrate-fueled hell of high caloric sin!”—Rex Libris, Rex Libris: I, Librarian

The website of the week is Book Club Buddy, which I found a couple of weeks ago through the women's newspaper, Skirt. I've not been able to use it yet, but it seems like an awesome site! It's got Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry books that you can check out to read, Author Interviews, Videos which include book trailers and author Q&A, and Reading Guides for Book Clubs. Also, if you are an author, you can promote your book and if you register for the site, you can win free books.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cookbook Lovers Unite: First Post

I was browsing Culinary Concoctions by Peabody this morning, as I was trying to catch up on blog posts again, and found a website linked to it called Cookbook Lovers Unite. As I have been collecting cookbooks for years, I thought this site was pretty cool, so I am following them. I decided to post for them, as long as I can remember to do so. So for the first post, they wanted to hear about your first cookbook love, though it didn't have to be the first one you ever loved.

My first cookbook was a 1950s black and white cookbook for kids that I picked up in a book sale at my school library when I was in 5th grade. It was horribly outdated then, but I found it amusing, so I kept it. My favorite cookbook for years, which I used through out high school and college, was the Fannie Farmer Junior Cookbook. I especially loved their veggie soup and banana bread recipes. Unfortunately somewhere in the last five moves, I've misplaced it. I know it's floating around here somewhere. 

So I will talk about my other favorite. I started watching Julia Child when she was doing those PBS Master Chef shows in the 1990s, when I was in high school, and that was something I loved doing on Saturday afternoons. So when she came out with her Baking with Julia, which was actually written by now famous dessert/baker Dorie Greenspan, I had to get it. In fact, I specifically asked for it for Christmas in 1996. This book got me interested in baking and I've done my fair share over the years. There's just nothing like the smell and taste of fresh bread out of the oven, or for that matter homemade pie. Julia Child made me want to bake and share it with the world, because of her idea that anyone can cook. I have been a Julia fan ever since watching that show, and still am fascinated by her, especially after Julie & Julia came out and I had to read her biography  My Life in France. Her time in France molded her into the chef that was to become and helped her earn her fame (though it came much later), after publishing Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol 1 & 2. Now I have only managed to cook one recipe out of this cookbook because even though has gorgeous pictures and fantastic recipes, created by Julia and other famous chefs,  the recipes themselves are rather long and complicated. In fact, the only recipe I ever made in it was the one for French Bread, which took 6 hours and yes was the best bread I ever made. However, that recipe is ridiculously long, so I will be reproducing a different one for the purposes of this blog. I will use the recipe for Alsatian Onion Tart because it looked delicious and relatively easy to make, and something that I would be likely to try in the future. 

Alsatian Onion Tart
Makes 4 servings. 
The classic Alsatian onion tart - a flat, pizzalike galette covered to its very edge with meltingly tender soubise, a mix of onions and bacon - was once typical Sunday fare in Alsace. On their way to church, the locals would drop off their tarts at the village oven to have them baked while they prayed (for redemption, not dinner, one assumes). Those crusts were always rolled very thin so that they would bake quickly, but this can be made in any size, and the recipe multiplied without care. 

About 1/2 pound puff pastry scraps, chilled
4 very large onions, peeled and diced
1 cup chicken broth (homemade or canned low-sodium)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 pound slab bacon

Preparing the Pastry: Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface until it is very thin, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using the lid of a pot as a guide, cut the pastry with a very sharp knife into a circle 10 to 12 inches across. Transfer the rolled out pastry to an ungreased baking sheet and prick the dough all over, using either a docker or the tines of a fork. Go overboard with this--try arming yourself with a fork in each hand and playing out a lively tattoo on the dough--the docking, or pricking, will keep the pastry from puffing, just what you want for this tart. Cover the pastry with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. You can prepare the pastry up to 1 day ahead. 

Making the Topping: Put the diced onions and the chicken broth in a medium saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, discarding any liquid, and let the onions cool. When the onions have cooled, stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. (Keep tasting--you may want to go easy on the salt because of the bacon.) Remove the rind from the bacon and cut the bacon into 1/4 inch cubes. Drop the cubes into a large pot of boiling water and boil for 1 minute, just to blanch them. Drain and rinse under cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Heat a medium skillet over moderately high heat, toss in the bacon pieces, and cook, stirring, for just a minute or two--you don't want to overcook these or they will turn tough; season with pepper. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain well on paper towels. At this point, the topping can be covered and refrigerated for 1 day. 
Assembling and Baking: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pastry round from the refrigerator and top with the cooled onions, spreading the onions all the way to the edge of the pastry. Scatter the bacon pieces over the onions, pushing them down into the onions just a little (this will not only protect the bacon from burning, it will flavor the onions). Bake the tart for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately. 

Storing: Both the pastry and the topping can be made ahead, but the tart is at its best just baked. 

Contributing Baker: Michel Richard

Football news and *Love the Liberry*

So apparently Wayne Rooney is not leaving Man U and just signed a brand new more money contract. Guess we can't get rid of him that easy. The rumor this week is that coach of Man U Sir Alec Ferguson (aka Fergie) wants to snatch up my favorite Liverpool player, phenomenal goalie Pepe Reina, after he's supposedly upset with the way coach Roy Hodgeson is running things. I hope that is totally incorrect as I would be rather ticked if he left! Luckily, I'm pretty sure it is not true as one of the new owners, John Henry, has personally come out to say that people should stop spreading malicious rumors. Go NESV!

Since I did not feature a blog this week, I figured I would now. I was browsing the librarians' blog Love the Liberry and cracking up at the patron's antics. It is done by three librarians, ast least one being a reference librarian. I  love the subheading of the blog: "Stranger than Fiction...We Couldn't Possibly Make These Things Up." Some of my favs so far include the Spelling post on Oct 20, Prescription for Disaster on Oct 13, and Can't Fool Us on Oct 10.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I am so out of it

This week has been a bit of a blur, and I've not been focusing at all. Case in point, my schoolwork, which I was caught up on a week ago and now I am behind again. Bugger. The library in Arizona has not gotten back to me as of yet. So I'm waiting for that as well, but will call back on Friday if I haven't heard anything. I just watched Glee's version of Rocky Horror Picture Show, which rocked, despite the lyric and character changes! I got up at the end and danced to "The Time Warp" again. I'm gonna have to watch the original version now. I discovered it in high school, much to my mother's chagrin. It's as Mr. Shu says in Glee, it's all about outcasts and I was definitely one in high school. Tim Curry was awesome as a transvestite and looks like he is having fun with it. I must say that Emma's rendition of "Toucha Toucha Toucha Touch Me" was pretty good, especially as Mr. Shu apparently has a rocking body (it's always the ones you least suspect, lol).

Friday, October 22, 2010

LOTR online update and football news

I am addicted to LOTR online. There I've said it, and admitting it is the first step. I played it for like 8 hours yesterday. It's cool now because I deleted my minstrel character and created an even harder character, a Lore Master (female elf). She's basically a wizard that can summon an animal companion to help her fight, which is great because she has low health and dies easily. But I've got her up to level 15 or 16 in two days, which is pretty awesome, and she finally joined the kinship that my other two characters are part of. I like her bear companion as he is less annoying than the earlier raven, even though the raven had some cool protection. I had wanted to create a female hobbit character, but they're mostly fighters, so maybe next time if I buy another slot. My other characters, the human female guardian and the elf female champion are finally getting some more play. I was able to start the Lone Lands quests (a separate set that you either have to buy with cash or Turbine Points from the LOTR online store) finally after getting enough TP, so that gives me 100 extra quests to do. I think I will buy North Downs and then Rivendell when I finish Lone Lands. I am loving the Lone Lands quests so far because it helps level up my guardian character, who is my favorite because she is easy to use, so she can do the upper level  Book 2 epic storyline quests.
 
I know most people will have no idea what I am talking about as they don't play the game, but it is basically like this: When you start playing the game, there is a limited amount of areas you can play in. You can basically play for free in Erid Luin (home of dwarves and elves), The Shire, or the Breelands. You can do epic storyline or craft quests in other areas, such as Lone Lands or North Downs, but you can't participate in solo quests there unless you buy quests in that particular area or you are a subscriber for $15 a month. So as I am broke and can't afford any extra monthly expenses, at least until I get a job, I am paying for things through Turbine Points (TP) or through occasional $7 purchases through the store, which is how I got my third character slot (as everyone starts out with two in the free-to-play game).

Moving on to football news, which is more realistic than all this role-playing fantasy gaming. So the two big news items of the last couple of weeks are Liverpool and Wayne Rooney. Liverpool was bought by New England Sports Ventures (NESV), the company that owns the Boston Red Sox. My hubby and I are hoping that they will do an equally good job revitalizing Liverpool as they did with the Red Sox. The other big news is that Wayne Rooney (aka Shrek - not my nickname btw) of Manchester United fame has decided he wants to leave the club and go elsewhere. Now personally I think he is overrated (I think there are better strikers out there and ones with much less attitude) and I find it interesting that this happens right after he has been caught with a prostitute while his wife was pregnant (which I think makes him the lowest of the low). He of course says it is because Man U can no longer "attract top quality players", and I'm sure it is a shock to everyone that he's leaving since he's been there since Sept 2004 and has always praised the club.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quotes & The Merry Librarian

I've been a bit behind in posting this past week due to my last-minute trip to Arizona, but I'm glad I went as I had fun and it was relaxing to get away for a few days and somewhat catch up on work. I got all my reading done for my classes, the only downside is that I spent nearly 9 hours of yesterday writing my paper and I'm still not happy with it. But that's a story for another day. So I'm catching up today by making up Sunday and Monday's post, and might write one for today later on when I have more free time.

The quotes of the week will be some of my favorite Christopher Moore quotes, taken from his books Coyote Blue and Fluke: Or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings.  The second one is particularly funny as the kid in question, Kona, is a bit of a spacey stoner who Nate regrets hiring until he makes a brilliant suggestion about whales that proceeds this quote.
 
  • “He soon found, that his thoughts, like monkeys in church, were bad company.” –Christopher Moore, Coyote Blue
  • Nate was stunned. Not because he thought Kona was right, but because the kid had actually had the cognitive powers to come up with the question. Nate wouldn’t have been more surprised if he walked in on a team of squirrels building a toaster oven. Maybe the kid had run out of pot, and the spike in intelligence was just a withdraw symptom.” –Christopher Moore, Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings
The blog of the week is The Merry Librarian. It is a blog created by a librarian and  other people/librarians send in stories about the unbelievable but true things that go on in the libraries. She also has a links to many other librarian blogs (which I will definitely be checking out in the future), and to her book review site (book club) and bookstore. I discovered this site after a classmate posted this link to one of her posts from June 14, which like the Merry Librarian, made me laugh out loud, as did this one. The Father's Day story, which is unfortunately the most recent post, made me smile. My only gripe is that I wish she would continue to update the site. But if you go back through the older posts, there are some gems.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    The Red Pyramid

    So I finally finished reading Rick Riordan's newest book The Red Pyramid and wanted to post my review on here.

    Great first book of another fantastic mythology-based YA series by Rick Riordan! It's obvious from the ending that there will be another or several books, and I am excited to read them. It didn't take me over a month to read it but rather a couple days, I just started school in the middle so it kind of got put on the back burner. I must say for the first book in a series it was rather long, and a bit slow in the beginning, but definitely picked up from about page 200 on to the end. I started with the audio and great selection for the main characters, especially Sadie (voiced by the wonderful Katherine Kellgreen, who does all the L.A. Meyer "Bloody Jack" books as well and won awards for it).


    This book was about two mixed ethnicitiy (African-American and Caucausian) children named Carter and Sadie Kane. Carter travels the world with his father, a famous Egyptologist and Sadie lives in London with her maternal grandparents. It is time for Sadie's once a year visit from her father and it is on this day that he decides to summon ancient Egyptian gods from the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. Oh yeah and he disappears, and the Kane children are nearly killed. They are rescued by their newly-rediscovered Uncle Amos, who wisks them to NYC and away from danger, or so he thinks. Thus starts their great adventure to figure out who they are and who or what is hunting them. Highly recommended!

    Interview and other stuff

    Well I'm here in Arizona just hanging out after my job interview on Thursday in Flagstaff. I think it went pretty well and there wasn't that sense of dread like after my last interview. The questions weren't too hard and I got to actually go on the bookmobile and check it out. I think it will take a bit of time of get used to driving such a big bus, but I pretty confident that I will get the hang of it. My hubby was all mad that he didn't get to come with me and said it wasn't fair that I was getting "a four day vacation" when he didn't get one. I know he's been working really hard and know he needs a break too. Unfortunately we just couldn't afford it, especially as we had just recently bought tickets to come here for two weeks at Christmas. But it is nice to just be someplace else for a couple days. I really like it here and sincerely hope that I get the job, even if that means we would be moving across country in a very short period of time.

    Yesterday we stopped at this place I've seen a couple times from Hwy 17 and though "Oh, they have pie, I should stop some time." Apparently Rock Springs Cafe is famous for its pie and they have a right to be because it was damn good pie. We got blackberry. I would love to try their other flavors but they are a bit pricey. Today my dad and I went to see the movie Red starring Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and Mary Louise Parker. I must admit, I've never really watched the Die Hard movies, although I did like Mr. Willis in The Fifth Element, but he was really hot in this movie (him and Keith Urban, aka Eomer from LOTR). I would've liked to have been a dark alley with those two, lol. Anyways, the movie was about these retired ex-CIA agents that are being hunted but they don't know why, so they spend the whole movie figuring it out. But it had humor and witty dialogue for the ladies and massive explosions/heavy firepower for the guys. Plus it had Helen Mirren shooting a machine gun on a tripod and my favorite part where she knocks out a guy with her clutch handbag in a dress and heels. Highly recommended movie! Then I got to go to Wienerschnitzel for mini corn dogs and a root beer float, so all in all a good day so far.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Cute Liverpool video

    So as I have explained in past blog posts, I am a Liverpool football fan. That's soccer for Americans, football to the rest of the world. This season has been painful to watch given our repeated losses, but still a fan, despite what my hubby says to the contrary. The club is in the middle of a bidding war for ownership of the club and an epic court battle, which will decide whether the club will be bankrupt and the players sold off for cash or can be sold to better owners who actually care about it (Current owners Hicks and Gillette are making me ashamed to be American), and will get rid of the debt and pump fresh new money into the club. So I'm waiting on news of that later on today. Anyways, I'm a part of Liverpool FB fans and they posted this cute video of primary/elementary school kids asking the captain of Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, random questions. Their facial expressions are so adorable, even when they look spacey and forget the questions (which is frequently)! The video is pretty long, about 21 minutes, but also features goals by Stevie G (as he is affectionately called by the fans), Fernando Torres, and John Barnes, as well as a nice goal save by my favorite Pepe Reina (who is apparently also the strongest guy on the team).

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    *Squeetus*

    Today I've been catching up on my missed blog posts as I've been busy and haven't had to read in weeks. Culinary Concoctions by Peabody's posts were especially amusing, especially the Turtle Caramel Corn post from Oct. 6, where she making the dessert "to get revenge on her dentist". I'm also drooling over her evilly delicious-looking Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes. I also just found out that I have a job interview on Thursday, which I'm flying across the country to go to. So wish me luck!

    But anyways, on to my website/blog of the week.This week it is YA author Shannon Hale's blog/website named Squeetus, because she recently gave birth to twin girls and posted the most adorable picture of them here. I loved her Forest Born series, as well as the graphic novels she did with her husband entitled Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack. I found the website when I was looking up more information about the author. I like that she is against vehemently against censorship of books, as exemplified by this post here, plus she makes funny posts about pregnancy and other random mostly YA book-related topics. Her website features not only all of her books written, but also, FAQ, events she will be attending, games and quizzes, a create-your-own-fantasy story, book recommendations, author biography and contact info, and ramblings on books and reading. Highly recommended!

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Quotes of the day

    I collect funny, weird, romantic or insightful quotes. I've done this ever since I was an undergraduate. Most of them are book or movie-related, some are historic quotes from famous people. Since I have established Mondays as awesome website/blog day, I will make Sundays "share two cool quotes" day. So here's the first, in hopefully a long line of great quotes. The theme is on love. The first comes from the YA book series everyone loves to hate, Twilight, specifically from the second book, New Moon. This one is something Edward says to Bella:
    • “Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars—points of light and reason…And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything.”
    The second will be from a totally different book genre and is the adult historical fiction classic Shogun by James Clavell. John Blackthorne, the main character, is getting a description of how Japanese women show their "love" to their men.
    • “We admire simplicity, so men and women can take pillowing for what it is: an important part of life, but between a man and a woman there are more vital things. Humility, for one. Respect. Duty. Even this ‘love’ of yours. Fujiko ‘loves’ you.”…”No she doesn’t!”…”She will give you her life. What more is there to give?

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    School and General Life Craziness

    October seems to be the beginning of the school and general life craziness for me. My school/personal calendar is jam-packed full of stuff and it's only the 9th of the month. I keep scheduling myself for volunteering and then finding cool things that are going on, or some other reason why I can't participate, and then having to cancel. Like for example next weekend, where I signed myself to volunteer helping with computer classes at the library but then I found out they were doing a state literacy summit for five hours that day (which frankly sounded much better) and so I signed up for that, only realizing afterwards that I had a previous engagement. I keep trying to do too much and then regretting it. Like Wednesday, I volunteered in the morning for Let's Speak English, my weekly gig where I converse with internationals learning to speak English and help them improve their English, then I followed it up with 1 1/2 hours of individual help with one of the internationals from LSE as he is taking the TOEFL at the end of the month and needs speaking help, then I went straight into volunteering for cataloging. Normally, I could probably do it, but with very little breakfast and sleep the night before, plus no lunch, I was dragging by 3:15pm and had to go home early. Once I relaxed and got some food I was fine. So I told the international that we were going to have to reschedule his extra help before LSE, as I was feeling overwhelmed, and planned on making the cataloging volunteering a regular thing. I got news yesterday that I may have a job interview in AZ next week, the problem is getting there, but I'm working on that. So that too is on my mind, along with the fact that I'm forever behind in my classes, something I'm hoping I can remedy over Fall Break, which is Thurs-Wed. Oh and we have a group paper topic due on Tuesday that we've not nailed down (to be done Sunday), I have a Doctor's appointment on Monday, and a different project for the same class due the following Tues. Oh and I'm trying to go to my grandparent's house Oct 21-24. Feeling the pressure yet? I am, lol.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    *Poor Girl Eats Well*

    Kimberly Morales is the creator of Poor Girl Eats Well, and it is her personal blog for food blogging and recipes. She specializes in creating delicious home-made nutritious meals for very low prices, as she herself is constantly doing temporary work, and has a very limited budget. She's even been on food stamps. Kimberly  is also up for the Project Food Blog award from the Foodbuzz website, where the winner can win $10,000 and a feature on Foodbuzz for a year. So I have been voting for her in the contest. She also had a cool feature on Anthony Bourdain (who I love watching and think he is great writer and TV presenter), who she got to see live at the Food Bloggers conference in August.

    I have been following this blog for a couple of months and love it! As her recipes are all cheap and easy to prepare, I have been coming every day or every other day to see what brilliant new recipes she has posted. For example, recently she made Kiwi-Basil Granita and Bobotie for the Project Food Blog contest, but there is also Tropical Fruit Crepes with Zabaglione, Warm Breakfast Quinoa with Cinnamon and Apples, and the Spanglish sandwich. Plus there are many more on the website. Please go to her website and check it out!

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Randomness

    I found this random video the other day when I was browsing videos on YouTube and playing stuff from my favorites to listen to while I worked. My music on YouTube are mostly Glee songs and a couple of random Hip-Hop songs thrown in, and I usually listen to Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble because I love the way he sings and he's dreamy. Anyways, I thought the video was funny because I am a Geek and Gamer Girl, especially now that I like LOTR online obsessively and comics/graphic novels/manga.

    Ooh the other random thing I found on YouTube on Friday was the new Eminem video Love the Way You Lie featuring Rihanna (weird combo right?). It was random not because of his co-singer but because his music video, which was surprise surprise again about Eminem and his ex-wife, but starred Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox. Most people know who Megan Fox is (aka busty chick from Transformers 1 & 2). Dominic played Merry in the LOTR trilogy and was also the druggie in ABC's Lost. And I love him, mostly for LOTR and a bit from Lost. But the thing that distracted me in the video was how hot he was, not the song that Eminem and Rihanna were trying so hard to sing.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    The New Doctor Who

    As a continuation of my post a few days ago on Doctor Who, I thought I would include this article that I found today that better explains about the new 11th Doctor, Matt Smith. I personally like him, though I will say that after David Tennant brilliant's performance and whom I really loved, I didn't think anyone could follow that. Matt Smith really came into his own about halfway through the season, despite the on-and-off writing of the entire season (not as good as the past three seasons, because I think, head writer Russell Davies left).

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Feeling exhausted but happy

    Two days ago I couldn't sleep, ended up staying up all night and catching four hours of sleep the next morning. I had a paper due at midnight for my Reference class yesterday and as usual, I waited till the last minute to start it. I wasn't even sure exactly how I was supposed to get the info for the paper until I actually sat down and thoroughly looked at the assignment sheet and part of last week's lecture. Thankfully, it only took me about 3 1/2 hours to complete and I turned it in by 8:30pm. Needless to say I was exhausted after only getting 4-5 hours sleep and then stressing out about the paper. I slept for over 11 hours and feel groggy, but much better than yesterday. I got another Indian cookbook from the library, as well as an audiobook of The Hobbit, which I've started that today in the car. It's kind of random because it is a BBC Dramatization so it's full cast doing the book like an everyday conversation and some of the things they said in there, I don't know if it's the book or stuff they've made up on the spot. I haven't read the book since high school so my memory is a bit foggy. But I like it so far. The parts I keep remembering from the book are the 70s cartoon version (and again, not sure how close it is since I haven't watched it since high school).

    I finally caught up on reading for my Research class, and managed to make one blog post for it. Oh, I forgot to talk about it on this one. It's a research journal for the class, whose main project is putting together a research proposal at the end of the semester, which will be on foster children and their reading/library use. It will go into what may affect the foster kids, like constant movement, Foster Parent/Biological parents' education, if the FP/Bio parent read to them and/or encouraged reading, and if they go to the library and if not how to encourage them to go. Luckily we just have to write the proposal and not carry it out, though I would like to in the future after I have a job in a public library. So the blog is basically where we record about things we read, things we need to ask, and where others comment about our thoughts. Here's the address: http://705lrp.blogspot.com/.

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    *David Lebovitz*

    Today's blog highlight is for pastry chef David Lebovitz's website. I had not heard of him before finding his newest cookbook Ready for Desserts: My Best Recipes that one of my Goodreads friends had read (fantastic recipes by the way). I then got his biography with recipes The Sweet Life in Paris which was about him moving from the US to Paris to live, and his food adventures in France. I've also read his cookbook Ripe for Dessert and his contribution to The Bakers's Dozen Cookbook, which were both excellent. So I subscribe to his blog as he always has interesting things to say, like when he was talking about "10 Thing to Bring Back from Paris," Economy Candy a candy store for adults in NYC,  or his experience with sushi in his life and in Paris. His website has a "My Paris" section, where he recommends good restaurants and guides to the city. There are sections for his schedule for book signings, frequently asked questions, a store to buy his books, a tour that you can book with the author for a fee (which I would absolutely love to do if I had the money), and the recipe page (which is currently being revised so is offline).

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    Doctor Who

    As I was browsing the internet this morning, checking email and Facebook to see what is going on with the rest of the world, a friend of mine posted this random video of a baby monkey riding a pig. I thought it was cute so I watched some more videos by the same person, also cute but found this great one about Doctor Who. I have only become a Doctor Who fan with the start of the new series back in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor himself. I knew nothing about the series until my hubby got me watching it and after a few episodes, I was hooked. I loved the sci-fi adventure and slight romance attitude of the show, discovering new worlds and alien cultures, battling the bad ones and befriending the good ones. The best villains ever are the Daleks, the Doctor's most evil enemies from way back. I mean it has to be so lonely being the only person left out of your entire species (which isn't entirely true, but for most of the time he is), that's why every new season he has a new companion. Christopher Eccleston was a great Doctor Who (even though he only stayed around for one season), but David Tennant as the 10th Doctor was even better and he stayed for two seasons. The new 11th Doctor is Matt Smith, who at first (just like at the beginning of the other series) I didn't like but grew to love his random quirkiness and goofy looks. What can I say? I love nerdy guys.

    Ah the companions. In 2005, there was Rose Tyler and she stayed on for a bit of 2006 as well. At first I was quite miffed that they had stranded her in an alternative dimension as she seemed to be the love of the Doctor's life, but then again that is pretty much the companion's job isn't it? Keep the Doctor doing his job, saving the universe and all, and then flirting on the side seems to be the companion's job. After Rose, there was Martha Jones (the doctor) who I also liked, as she was more fiesty than Rose. In between, there was my favorite semi-companion Captain Jack Harkness. The fans liked him so much, they gave him his own spin-off show, Torchwood, which I also fell in love with. Jack is so crazy, plus you can never tell if he is really into guys, girls or whatever alien crosses his path. But he also has a really vulnerable side, which I think makes him a good companion. Plus he loves the Doctor. The second half of the 10th Doctor's tenure we had comedienne Catherine Tate as Donna Noble who was my favorite real companion as she was so funny and lost the much on the show. The 11th Doctor's companions are interesting because it started out with Amy Pond and then later it grew to include Amy's fiancee Rory. Also instead of falling in love with the Doctor (ok she did as a little girl and a bit when they were alone, long story), she ends up marrying Rory at the end of the first season.

    I can't wait for the Christmas episode and the new season in January!

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Banned Books Week starts today



    Today was the first day of Banned Books Week! I am all about freedom to read what you want, as an American citizen and as a librarian, and this week is all about that freedom. I love this poster by the way! Here is the yearly list of books banned from 2009-10. I also liked this resource from The Kid's Right to Read Project. The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom Office has a blog that features great displays from libraries around the country. I really liked this display from Licia Slimon's Whitehall Library.

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    TGIF!

    I had to write a paper this morning, which I just finished, on the inner/outer environment of the library I'm interning at, which at first I was dreading, but turned out to be a pretty good paper once I got it all written out. We had to discuss the social/demographic information, tell a little about the branch and the system it is in, strengths and weaknesses/challenges of the library, and projections for the future. So now all I have to write is the final paper for that class and finish my booklist for the homeschool program in November! I also need to catch up on my other two classes homework and readings,  and start my Reference paper due Tuesday I will be set.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    J.R.R. Tolkein and the Lord of the Rings

    Since my hubby and I have been playing LOTR online obsessively for the past week, we thought it would be appropriate to start re-watching the extended Trilogy on DVD. We finished The Fellowship of the Ring and it was funny because we kept comparing it to the game and wondering what levels the characters would be. I told my hubby he should read the trilogy because it was a great set of books, once you got past all the Gimli son of Gloin son blah parts. John said that was the reason he didn't think he could get through it. I told him all he needed to do was read The Laxdaela Saga, an Icelandic saga which was similar to Tolkien's Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings trilogy, and he could read it no problem. They are really good books, some of my favorite in fact. I read the trilogy in college, and yes it was around the time that the first movie came out, but all three right in a row because I got so pulled in to the storyline and Tolkein's world. I have tried twice to read (and once on audiobook) The Silmarillion but the book is just too dense. I've heard it's brilliant though once you get through the beginning parts. I would also love to read The Children of Hurin though I've heard it's not as good as his other works.

    I was telling my husband that I would've loved to be at Oxford when he and C.S. Lewis were teaching there. They were friends, you know, and I bet their classes would've been fascinating (though I'm not sure how good I would've been at Anglo-Saxon). Re-watching the movies has made me think about The Hobbit, in both book and movie form. I was so excited to hear they were doing a movie version of it and that Peter Jackson would be involved, though not as director. I was especially excited to hear that Guillermo del Toro, director of the Hellboy movies would be directing it, but I am sad now that he has chosen to leave. I grew up watching the 70s cartoon version of The Hobbit, so I'm very curious to see what they do with two live action versions. It also makes me want to re-read the print version, so I'm borrowing the audiobook version once I finish my two current books.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Goodreads and Fab Frugal Food

    I know it has been a couple of weeks since my last favorite blog of the week post but things have been super busy around here and I forgot. To make up for it, I will include two blogs/websites this week:

    The first is Goodreads. I've been a member here Sept 2008 when I started graduate school, but I didn't become really active till the following spring when I started taking all my childrens and teen literature classes. I love it because it is a good way to keep track of all the books you've read, though it's not got all the books I've ever read (but I add them as I think of them). I usually had to read 50 books per class, and I have really bad short term memory, so this is excellent for keeping track of the books I've read and what I thought of them. You can write reviews or just give them stars (out of 5), as well as checking out reviews before you read a book, adding books to your reading list, and listing what books you are currently reading. You can also add your favorite writers, rank them in order of your favorite and follow their blogs if you want. Ooh and they do book giveaways every months, I've won a few free ones that way. They have a ridiculously long trivia game that you can play, there are book discussion groups you can join, and sometimes authors come on there and you can ask them questions. Oh and you can add friends. I've "met" a lot of interesting people that way, mostly librarians which I enjoy, but also writers and other people with interesting reads. Once a week you get a newsletter which tells you which books they want to read and you can add them too if you like. Goodreads also links through Facebook if you are interested in that.

    A blog that I really enjoy and check regularly is Fab Frugal Food, which does "budget friendly recipes for foodies." I have very expensive taste on a very limited budget, so I can't always have the kind of food I want but rather what I can afford. This website is great for that, as is the one I will feature next week. I like FFF because they feature vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan recipes, which I like to throw into my diet now and again for variety. Plus they endorse Meatless Mondays, another great food blog. They feature yummy recipes such as Peaches and Cream Quesadillas, Summer Rolls, Granitas Five Ways, and Artisan Cheese Bread.

    Banned Books Week: Sept 25 to Oct 2

    This Saturday through next Saturday is Banned Book Week, an American Library Association (ALA) event that celebrates America's freedom to read. This video off the Banned Books Week website is a cute introduction to the event with puppets. I'll be posting more on the event closer to the weekend.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Another Library Video

    Given all the recent discussion in libraries and on the web about budget cuts, due to the poor economy in the States and all over the world, I thought it appropriate to share this video that I found the other day. Ok yes it's a very bad song but it's a cute video nonetheless from the Central Rappahannock Regional Libraries in the Northern part of Virginia.