Friday, December 29, 2006

"You think that's an update?"

Ok, ok - I'll spend the rest of the evening working on a better update. There's a lot goin' on in my life right now!

My new favorite blog (besides all of yours, of course) is Mimi Smartypants. She's fantastic - and she's here in Chicago, so I'm reading her archives right now noting all the local flavor. It makes me happy. I just read the January 3, 2001 entry and feel the need to share something with my husband, but it's far to long to text to him and he's at work, so I guess I'll just have to share it with the Internet. Mimi Smartypants says:
    One of my holiday gifts was this page-a-day calendar called "Forgotten English," which has a queer medieval word for each day. Today's was especially good: curtain-lecture. Meaning "A lecture or homily delivered by a wife to her husband when in bed, upon the shortcomings and errors of his daily life." From T. Ellwood Zell's (what a name!) Popular Encyclopedia, 1871. This really cracks me up. Can you imagine lying in bed while your spouse lists your faults? Sweet dreams!

One of my other new favorite things is audio books. For Christmas my fantastic parents got me a Zune, and yesterday I went to the library and got Barbara Kingsolver's Pigs in Heaven on CD to listen to while I did the dishes and laundry and went grocery shopping and crocheted and in general went about my daily life. Kiddos, I'm already 3/4 done with the book! One of my Reader's Advisory teachers was a big audio book advocate because you could double (or more) the books you read just in your daily life, and I am so much a fan now! I tried it a few times during that class, but we only have a stereo in the living room, so when I was in the bedroom I had to have it waaaaay turned up. That was a fun week - I had to read a romance for class, and I was listening to it, and didn't realize it had some ... very explicit sex scenes. I live in an apartment, and our walls are so paper thin that I can hear every wood on my neighbor's TV ... so I went tearing through the house to turn it down before the neighbors think I'm the sort of person who listens to steamy sex scenes REALLY LOUD!

In completely different news, I just read Issue 2 of Onslaught Reborn (if you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably don't read Marvel comics, so don't worry about it), and I got the I'm bringing Onslaught back song stuck in my head. I was going to be all cool and stick it in my blog only to discover that it was taken off of YouTube because Marvel didn't like the use of their pictures in it. I was all excited too - but I guess you'll just have to read the lyrics instead.

And with that, I am going to go listen to more of my book and crochet.

(Captain America) - yeah he’s in it
(Incredible Hulk) - yeah he’s in it
(Iron Man) - drinks too much Guinness

Sunday, November 12, 2006

flat lpSo I had this whole plan. First I was going to post a celebrity-stalking- style-post about how “I” had figured out what was going on with Librarian Pirate. I was going to post a picture from about a year ago, and then one from now and show that suddenly this mysterious Librarian Pirate HAS BOOBS! The obvious answer is that “she” has had some work done - namely a boob job. I would include an obligatory quote from someone close to Librarian Pirate renouncing this fact, and another from someone else saying that there is a large amount of more boobage - what else could be the culprit?

THEN a few days later I was going to post another celebrity-stalking-style-post denouncing the rumours swirling about a Librarian Pirate boob job and claiming that “we” know the truth. We have discovered photographic evidence that the boobs are not the only thing about “her” that are getting bigger. I would then include a picture of my waist that showed the possibility of a baby bump.

I’m sure you can figure out quite a few reasons why this never happened.

  • It's dumb
  • It's needlessly complicated
  • It is not as funny as I think it is
  • I don't have any good pictures of me with boobs
  • I don't have any good pictures that acurately show off my baby bump
  • I'm not so sure that people would "get it" because of the aforementioned "dumb"ness and needless complication of the scheme
So basically I'm just going to come out and say it. I'm having a baby! I am incredibly excited excited. According to current projections, I get to become a mother and a librarian in the same week! I’m due two days before graduation. Here’s hoping that Turnip Head (working name) isn’t early, because that could really mess up me finishing school the way I want to. We’re rooting for right on time ...

Other questions answered:

No, this probably isn’t going to become a mommy blog. I don’t know that I have spent enough time with my blog for a proper theme to emerge, but I can imagine that me having a baby is just going to add one more topic for me to discuss. An important topic that I will probably spend quite a bit of time talking about, but that will SO very much not be the only thing discussed.

Yes, I’m healthy. Other than throwing up (ALL THE TIME) and general aches and pains (and shortness of breath and random dizziness), I’m just dandy!

Yes, My husband is super happy. Brandon is almost more excited than I am (possibly more, because he isn’t throwing up all the time. I’m super jealous). He does all sorts of adorable things - reading books to my belly, taking good care of his irritable, pregnant wife, etc.

Yes, I am hormonal. I’ve started crying to ranch commercials. FREAKING RANCH COMMERCIALS! It’s a SALAD DRESSING! It isn’t a tear jerker! But have you seen the new Hidden Valley Ranch commercials where the boy or the girl right around my age is in a new apartment/dorm room/whatever that’s drab and full of boxes, and they sit down and eat a salad covered in Hidden Valley Ranch dressing and it transports them to a picnic with their family (presumably in their mind, but if it does have that kind of power, then rock on, Ranch Dressing!) because they miss their family so much? Yeah, makes me cry. The funny thing is, it makes me cry not so much because I miss my family, but because the character in the commercial thinks that salads are the best way to deal with missing their family. Me? I miss my family? I call them. Works SO much better than eating a salad. But then again - that might just be me and my crazy ideas on what to do when you miss your family.

So - any other questions that I missed?

I have to tell you how cute my sister is. Do you remember twelve days ago when she posted about the most adorable bibs ever that she made? And she said that "one of her friends" just announced that she's having a baby? Well ... that friend was me. At first, I thought "friend? FRIEND?" Then I thought, "how sweet! She's not announcing it to the internet before I can!" See - my sister's smarter than I am. I heart her. And those bibs! SO CUTE! I'm not sure if I'm going to let the baby spit up on them ... AND she made us scarves for the crazy cold Chicago winter we've got coming (although it is GORGEOUS today!). Which reminds me - she asked me to take pictures of the scarves so she could preserve them for posterity. Let me go do that ...

Done! Go check out my flickr page if you want to see them (and if you happen to be my sister and would rather I emailed you copies, just say the word, and they're yours!).

Well, it's time for me to go move around the laundry, then clean the kitchen, then eat some chips and salsa while reading a good book. I hope you all enjoy your day!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Brandon uses up the internet

Silly SBC! My husband and I moved last Saturday. SBC/AT&T said we would have internet/phone service by Thursday. When it wasn't on by Friday we called and they said, "we'll send someone right over to check the lines and your box and whatnot, it should be up in 24 hours at the latest, but probably by 7 pm." It soooo wasn't on by 7pm, and it definately wasn't on 24 hours later. Yesterday, Brandon called again and said, "still not working!" They said, "we'll send someone right over to check the lines and your box and whatnot, it should be up in 24 hours at the latest, but probably by 7 pm." Brandon said, "but you said that yesterday and nothing got fixed!" They said, "Thank you for calling AT&T, have a nice day!" And they hung up. TRAGEDY! So Brandon called them back, spent another 10 minutes navigating their automated phone system before getting another real person who said, "we can't get someone out to fix your problem until Wednesday." WEDNESDAY!

So this morning we pulled out the laptop. "Perhaps we can find someone nearby using an unprotected wireless connection!" we thought deviously. We found someone! They're probably far away because we're only getting it at 30% of their speed, and it's really slow. Brandon got on first to change our addresses with important places (like the bank), and then he showed me the trailer for VIVA PINATA (I'd link it, but oy with the slow internet!). He obviously had internet. He gives the computer to me and the thing can't even connect to gmail. "YOU USED UP THE INTERNET!!!" I shouted furiously at him. (Well, not so furiously, but I'm building dramatic tension here!) "Wait a minute and it'll come back. It's just really slow.

I decided to spend that minute writing an update for the blog, but since this laptop's only word-esque function is Notepad. I am writing it there and am amused by the silly font that Notepad automatically uses.

Still no internet - i'll update this when it becomes available! And now blogger isn't letting me spell check, and I typed this while emotionally distraught, so hopefully you guys cana read it. I'll go through and spell check it later. Forgive me?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

didja miss me?

You know you did. It's ok to admit it. I have a story to tell you.

You all know there is a war coming between pirates and ninjas, right? Well, if you didn't, now you know. From the title of my blog, I am sure you can figure out what side I'm on.

Yesterday, the other side made the first move*. The good news - my nose is not broken (just twice it's normal size and somewhat ... purpleish black), and the concussion was only very very minor. The bad news? I feel like an absolute idiot. I mean - who lets ninjas get the drop on them?

The even better news? This brush with the enemy has caused me to want to return to my blogging days. You excited? Good! Thank you for at least pretending.

*By "they made the first move," I obviously mean that it must have been ninjas, because really - who is clutzy enough to walk into a metrocart? Those stealthy ninjas must have moved it in an attempt to do evil.

UPDATE: And can I tell you all how amazingly freakingly excited I am about this movie? Yay!

Monday, June 12, 2006

It is not so much an apology as it is an explanation

It is not so much an apology as it is an explanation

I was sending an email to my mother about all the books I have to read for the one class I am taking right now (Library Materials for Young Adults), and I figured that you all might be interested in exactly what is keeping me from you.

Keep in mind that all this is going on while work is crazy. One of my fellow managers quit, so I am working 45 hours a week to make up for the lack of another manager. I know – YAY money, but still! Free time? In the immortal words of Mike La Fontaine, “I don’t think so!”

So – for class next Monday (a week from today) I have to read Feed by M.T. Anderson, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, and then I get to pick two of the following:

Adams, Douglas. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Harmony, 1979.
Bechard, Margaret. Spacer and Rat. Roaring Brook, 2005.
Dickinson, Peter. Eva. Delacorte, 1988.
Philbrick, Rodman. The Last Book in the Universe. Blue Sky, 2000.

And that's just for the first half of the class - Science Fiction. For the second half (Fantasy) I have to read Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (FINALLY! I have been wanting to read that for ages!), and I then get to pick two of the following:

Billingsley, Franny. The Folk Keeper. Atheneum, 1999.
Gruber, Michael. The Witch's Boy. HarperTempest, 2005.
Kibuishi, Kazu. Daisy Kutter: The Last Train. Viper, 2005.
Morris, Gerald. The Squire’s Tale. Houghton, 1998.
Patterson, James. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Little, Brown, 2005
Peet, Mal. Keeper. Candlewick, 2005.
Pratchett, Terry. Wee Free Men. Harper, 2003.
Westall, Robert. Yaxley's Cat. Scholastic, 1992.
Wooding, Chris. Poison. Scholastic/Orchard, 2005.
Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2005.

The fun doesn't end there! For Tuesday (Humour) I have to read Christopher Paul Curtis' Bucking the Sarge and Louise Rennison's. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging.

AND (select three)
Benton, Jim. It’s Happy Bunny: Life. Get One. Scholastic, 2005
Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. Random House,
Limb, Sue. Girl 15, Charming But Insane. Delacorte, 2004.
Paulsen, Gary. How Angel Peterson Got His Name and Other Outrageous Tales of Extreme Sports. Lamb, 2003.
Pinkwater, Daniel. The Education of Robert Nifkin. FSG, 1998.
Strasser, Todd. How I Spent My Last Night on Earth. S&S, 1998.
Williams,Carol Lynch. My Angelica. Delacorte, 1999.

LETS MOVE ON TO WEDNESDAY, shall we? Wednesday is Biographies, Nonfiction, and Semi-realistic Fiction. We start with Jack Gantos. Hold in my Life and move on to Anita Lobel's No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War

AND (select one):
50 Cent. From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside, Queens. Pocket Books, 2005.
Freedman, Russell. The Voice that Challenged a Nation. Clarion, 2004.
Greenberg, Jan & Sandra Jordan. Vincent Van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist. Delacorte, 2001.
Myers, Walter Dean. Bad Boy: a Memoir. HarperCollins, 2001.
Partridge, Elizabeth. John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth. Viking, 2005.

Then I also have to read
Winick, Judd. Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned. Holt, 2000.
AND (select one):
Armstrong, Jennifer. Photo By Brady: A Picture of the Civil War. Atheneum, 2005.
Bartoletti, Susan. Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow. Scholastic, 2005.
Farrell, Jeanette. Invisible Allies: Microbes that Shape Our Lives. Farrar, 2005.
Frank, Mitch. Understanding the Holy Land: Answering Questions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Viking, 2005
Hamanaka, Sheila. In Search of the Spirit. Morrow, 1999.
Nelson, Marilyn. A Wreath for Emmett Till. Houghton, 2005.
Perel, David. Bat Boy Lives! Sterling, 2005.
Philbrick, Nathaniel. Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex. Putnam, 2002.

By then I will be flat out dead. Completely and utterly. This class is over at the end of June, so in July I might be back. We'll see. At the very least, I get to read some fantastic Young Adult books, which nobody should ever complain about!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

I don't understand this kitten. She has a moment to be all calm and serene (the picture woke her up - she was asleep two moments before I took this), so she goes and sits in the dustbin?

Crazy cat.

In other news, Miss Doxie posts more than I do ... this must be rectified! Because I don't post enough! Interesting things are happening. I must to the library now, but when I return - the saga of the cereal (and not the Johnny Depp stuff Marcia keeps telling me to get - although I do need to get that cereal too ... )

Saturday, May 06, 2006

hey hey HEY!!!

WHY oh WHY did NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON tell me that there is, in fact, a whole slew of buttons and t-shirts and magnets all devoted to librarians being pirates?

And apparently one well known librarian once said, "It wasn't so long ago that librarians were seen as pirates. How dare you let people take books for free? And make copies!?!? You are all a bunch of thieves! ... We all run by different rules but we all have the same goals in mind. My only request is that you don your eye-patch, practice your arrrr's and help protect the distribution of information in all its forms."

So ... yeah. I'm going to start (from now on) pretending that librarian pirate is named such not because I am going to be a librarian and I have a silly fascination with pirates ... but because I truly am all about freedom of information. I am - I really am ... I just thought the association between librarian/pirate was subtle ... not ARR! BOOKS! (even though that's my new motto - as my sweeet new banner declares.)

So yeah ...

I so meant that. Because I'm brilliant.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm not really here

I'm working on my final essay. I really am! I just had to pop in and tell you what a lovable dork my husband is. I went to the kitchen to get brain food chocolate, and when I come back, after what I've written on my essay it says, "IÂ'm a bumbely bag of coconuts." This was fifteen minutes ago and he's still giggling about it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Now lets talk about why the world suddenly hates me

I'm not entirely sure why it does, but it definitely does. Something has caused the world to hate me. I have examples! Oh yes, I have examples. Most of them center around my job - which, it occurs to me, I have never blogged about. It might sadden some of you to know that while I will soon (SOON!) be a librarian, I currently make my living being neither a librarian nor a pirate. I don't shush people nor do I buckle swashes. We weep. We weep more because I work retail. It's how I'm getting through grad school, though, and most of the time I enjoy it (because I try to be hopelessly optimistic.

Anyway - the world hates me. I HAVE PROOF!

  1. Yesterday at work I was rearranging things. I was taking things off of shelves and putting things back on shelves and moving shelves. It was insanity, I tell you, INSANITY! We have these impossible sort of shelves that are near impossible to move. They have these hooks that latch in and the more weight you put on them, the more solidly they stick into the proper holes. To get them out you have to hit the bottom of them with a rubber mallet. I am usually not strong enough to get them out, so I usually get help. I had moved something heavy off of the top shelf that had been there for a good two months or so. I moved heavy things off the bottom shelves. I then looked under the middle shelf to see how many pegs up it is when the top shelf just suddenly decides to fall. It hits me on the head, drags it's sharp edge down my arm, and lands with a thump on my thumb. OW!
  2. It has been 60 degrees here every day. Today was the day I had to be at work by 5:45 am (that's right, you. AM!!!!) to do truck outside - I was not excited about the early morning, but I was trying to be happy because today was supposed to be gorgeous and I had to be outside for an hour or so right away! Finally - I'd get to see the sun! What did I get while unloading the truck? HAIL! It hailed this morning.
  3. We're done unloading - JOY OF LIFE! My shoe became untied, so I bent to tie it, lost my balance, and fell into a box of wine glasses. I only broke one, but it was one of the pretty ones! Made me sad.
  4. Later today I was bringing a ladder out from the back so I could bring some chairs down from the top shelves for a customer. When I was halfway there, this little boy runs in front of me and scared the everloving SNOT out of me - I was afraid the ladder was going to hit him. Instead, I dropped the ladder on my hip bone - bruising it darkly, along the way bruising the crap out of my side as the ladder scraped its way down my body.
  5. Then I went to lunch. MMM - I'm slightly obsessed with Chipotle. There is one across the street from where I work and I only allow myself to go there once a week - otherwise I wouldn't leave. So guess who drops her burrito today? Oh, that would be me.
  6. Back from lunch, I declare that I am not going to cause any more trouble today - and promptly trip over a basket of glasses that my coworker had just moved off of a shelf and was about to put on a different shelf. I left two intact, I am pleased to announce.
But things are looking up. My husband made me
a beautiful origami butterfly yesterday that is sitting there just making me happy, and tonight I get to eat the tastiest looking fruit salad in the world.
mmm - fruit

Saturday, April 22, 2006

So my sister mentioned That Catholic Guilt Thing when she doesn't post every day. Just imagine what the Catholic Guilt Thing has been doing me for over two weeks pretty much!

So we're going to skip over the apologies and get straight to important things that have happened to me recently, starting with the absolute most important.
  • MY HUSBAND GOT A NEW JOB!!! I have purposefully not blogged about how craptastic his job is currently, because once I start complaining about it I have trouble stopping. He is still a waiter, but at a much better restaurant. His old job was in a bad part of town where he got an average of 7% in tips, which is just pathetic. His new job is right downtown and at a super fun restaurant. I'm very happy for him.
  • Brandon got me an Easter Basket that had in it peanut butter M&Ms, French Vanilla Pudding mix, Chef Boyardee raviolli, and pear juice. I loved it.
  • I think I'm going to contact PETA about my husband. When I ate my chocolate Easter bunny, I decapitated it right away before taking one bite. Quick, painless, over. The lovely man I married purposefully saves that for last, eating the head after everything else to prolong the anguish. What do you think? Should I send PETA a letter? (I wonder if they hate Easter for just this reason)
Anyway - here's hoping everyone out there is wonderful! Stay tuned for more book reviews!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fantastic Firsts #3 - Gregor the Overlander

Collins, Suzanne. Gregor the Overlander. New York: Scholastic Press, 2003.

I don't know about you, but every time I read the title, I get Depeche Mode's "John the Revelator" stuck in my head:
Well who's that shouting?
Gregor the Overlander!
All he ever gives us is pain
Well who's that shouting?
Gregor the Overlander!
He should bow his head in shame

I probably have issues ... but on to the book! Gregor the Overlander is part Alice in Wonderland, part Neverwhere, and pretty much all fantastic.

Two years, seven months, and thirteen days after his father disapears, 11 year old Gregor is doing laundry with his baby sister Boots. Being of that exploratory age, Boots finds that one of the grates opens, and when Gregor rushes to stop her from falling, they are both sucked down into the Underland - a land miles and miles below the surface of the earth. There they meet giant cockroaches (crawlers), rats (gnawers), bats (flyers), spiders (spinners), as well as an entire city full of humans. After being taken in by the humans, Gregor discovers that he just might be the fufillment of a prophesy, and that his father is being held captive by the rats. Thus he sets out on a perlious journey to save his father, and if the prophesy happens to follow him, so be it.

Gregor the Overlander was great. The character of Boots is just full of that childish wisdom that I'm a sucker for, and the characters are brilliantly done. I was finishing up this book just before class one night and I ended up sobbing right there in the hallway, because I really just loved all the characters.

I've had a rough week, so this review is going to be a bit short, but definately check this one out! I very much enjoyed it!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Artemis Fowl

Someone who LOVES me (aka my husband) bought me the new Matisyahu CD, Youth. By "the new Matisyahu" I mean the first big Matisyahu CD. I love it. He's great!

So anyway, the reason you are all here - a continuing of my "Fantastic Firsts" book discussions. Today we talk about Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. The quote on the back is really quite fantastic, "Stay back, human. You don't know what you're dealing with."

The Fowl family is one of the biggest crime families in the world. When Artemis Fowl the First tried to move in on the Russian Mafia's territory, they launched a stolen missile at the ship he was on. This leaves his son, Artemis Fowl the Second, in charge of an enormous fortune and a huge crime syndicate. Unfortunately with the loss of his father and the ship he was on, the Fowl family stopped being billionaires and slipped down to merely multi-millionaires. Artemis, being a 12 year old boy genius, vows to fix this and hits upon a brilliant plan. He is going to steal gold from the faeries. This doesn't seem like such a good idea to me, but then again - Artemis is the genius!

Artemis Fowl is funny, witty, and smart. The faeries are surprisingly sophisticated, technologically savvy and great fun. Definitely not your typical faerie story, and I love that. I can't wait to find and devour the rest of the books!

You can read the Prologue and the first two chapters at the Artemis Fowl website, and then skeeble off to your local library and read the rest!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Good News + Grocery store Fun

Jill Carroll is free!!!!!!! I'm not sure if I put enough exclamation points there. She was treated well, she's in good health and John Podhoretz is a bit of an ass (but that really didn't surprise me).

You know, I know that I had class all morning so I was a bit out of the loop, but I really should start getting my news from, oh, I don't know, news sits as opposed to the blogsphere sometime soon. Thank you, Body and Soul, for letting me know about Jill Carroll!

Switching gears, I have to tell you the story of the grocery store from today. You know how sometimes the grocery store seems made just for you? Well - today I stopped by the grocery store to get tomatoes. I went to the tomato section, and the really good kind - the tomatoes on the vine - were on SALE! I was ecstatic and decided to get some cereal to celebrate. Being an adult who can pick out her own cereal I decided to get something chocolatey and something fruity. I get there and all Kelloggs cereals (normally 4.30) are on sale for 1.99. What kind of a world is this? YAY! So then I remember that I drank the last of the milk last night. SADNESS! Until I remember that I am in a grocery store! And in grocery stores they SELL MILK! WOOO!!! So with that I walked to the end of the cereal aisle, grabbed a gallon of milk, and started for the door. Just then I had a flashback of my husband saying that we are almost out of lunch meats. I skeedadle in that direction, well aware that my basket (by this point) should probably be a cart. Ah well. I get to the lunch meat section and I find that the good kind is BUY ONE GET ONE FREE! Now Buy One Get One Free always gets me - even more than 50% off (which I don't understand at all). I mean - I buy one thing that I was already going to buy, and they just GIVE me one? Out of the kindness of their hearts? WOW! Super cool!

So I'm checking out, finally, and the lady says, "do you have the coupon for the milk and the cereal?" and I said, "there's a coupon? I thought they were just on sale." She shook her head. "You have to have a coupon." "Well then no. I don't have the coupon." "Here!" Said the sainted check out girl. "I will put the coupon on your order anyway!" YAY!

So I'm leaving the store, looking at my receipt, and the sainted check out girl lied to me! The cereal WAS on sale without the coupon! What the coupon did was take the $2.99 that the milk cost and subtracted $2. It then took two of the cereals I grabbed and subtracted $.50 each. Basically this means that the milk cost me negative one cent. How cool is that?

Yeah, I know - it's a little thing to get excited about, but it has totally made my day!

I was going to post my Artemis Fowl review here, but this entry is getting long and my cereal is demanding someone EAT! So I shall be back soon.

P.S. - I'm trying to think of a good blog name for the husband. I've been reading far too much Miss Doxie and am inspired by her use of El Dukay. Also I have a hysterical story to tell that requires he have another name. So now, loyal readers, what should I call him? (besides "'Dough-ni the magnificent" which is what my mother and my sister call him. Actually, that might be a great name for him! Dough-ni! Hmmm ... I must think on this ... )

Monday, March 27, 2006

My poor husband + YAY For the first review!

I went to bed last night with a little headache. I took one Exedrin before bead because it was just a mini, and hoped that would zap it while I slept. I woke up with a HUGE migraine at 4:30. Took drugs, went back to bed, took a shower then a bath at 4:50ish, back in bed at 5:30. Toss and turn 'till 6:45, get out of bed (headache gone but awake) and get on the computer to do some homework.

Poor husband fact #1) To get in and out of bed, I pretty much have to climb over the husband. I did that three or four times between waking up and getting up for good.

So I have to read an article for class. I wanted to mark it up pretty good, so I set the computer to print out all the odd pages (then I'd turn 'em over and print the even on the other side), and then realized I had just set it to print 10 pages.

Poor husband fact #2) Compared to the printer that went with my family's Apple II back in 1985, my printer is super speedy and super silent. Compared with most other modern printers my printer is decently slow and 10 pages is more than enough to wake up and annoy my husband for a good 10 minutes. Needless to say I now have only the odd pages printed and am not going to print the evens until 8:15 or so.

I am now going to blog

Poor husband fact #3) My keyboard, like my printer, is noisy. I'm typing slowly so as not to be super loud, but still!

He's lucky I don't climb across him yet again to get the book I'm about to blog about.

Stroud, Jonathan. The Amulet of Samarkand (Book one in The Bartimaeus Trilogy). New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2004.

First off, how much of a dorky librarian am I that I can do that citation without looking up how to do it? And yes I cheated by adding in trilogy info, but I don't care.

Warning: Only read this book or recommend this book if you and your patron are both good with magic. This isn't Harry Potter style magic, this is pentacles and summoning "demons" (really imps, djinni, etc.) to do your will. The book definitely isn't evil, and I will continue to have complete faith in children's abilities to separate fantasy from fact, but I don't want to get anyone in trouble by recommending this book!

So anyway, The Amulet of Samarkand is set in a fantastic London that is ruled by somewhat decadent magicians (you can tell that a class struggle is brewing between magicians and the lower class or "commoners") and that is at war with Prague. Nathaniel is selected at age 5 to leave his home and his birth name behind and become a magician as well. He is apprenticed to Mr. Underwood (Underhill? hmmm - doesn't matter) who is a middle level magician, fairly cold, and probably not the best teacher out there. Nathaniel is gifted and quickly becomes

Simon Lovelace, an even crueler, super ambitious magician humiliates and then physically beats Nathaniel in a fairly public way and Nathaniel vows revenge. Enter Bartimaeus, a brilliant, irreverent, hysterical Djinni who Nathaniel summons. The book is told half from Bartimaeus first person and Nathaniel third person.

This book was funny, smart, and not overly preachy. I'm excited to read the next two, although as another warning: I was reviewing this book last night before bed and it gave me the strangest dreams. The trilogy is completed now, and you can visit their website here. Happy reading!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Numbered List #3

I like numbered lists, but as far as I can tell my readers are not so fond of them. That being said - HA! It is Saturday and I leave for work soon, so you're getting a numbered list! YAY!

1) I have added a whole bunch of new people to my blogroll. Most of them are people I have been reading for ages and am just now getting around to blogrolling. You should all check out Apropos of Nothing, Tales from the liberry, Tired Tunia, and Vampire Librarian. I'll add more soon, I'm sure - there's a whole bookmark folder full of blogs I haven't blogrolled ...

2) We did booktalks in Library Materials for Children on Thursday. My topic was "Fantastic Firsts" - or the first book in fantasy serieses (Seriesi? Seri?). I'm going to post reviews of one or two of those books a day until you all have read about all 12 of them. They're pretty fantastic. Eight from my childhood, four new ones (to me at least).

3) Near my apartment is 290 or the Eisenhower Expressway and 294 or the Kennedy Expressway. It just occured to me that 290 leads to 90 and 294 leads to 94. Get it? In Netspeak ... 290 leads 2 90 and 294 leads 2 94. I never realized how probably deliberate that was. Yes, I am just that special.

4) I am craving milk. There is a fresh, new, shiny gallon in the fridge, but to get it I'd have to walk across my apartment. Oh the slothfulness of Saturday mornings!

5) Nenene is having an "I'm crazy" day. I have already rescued her twice from when she has gotten herself lost in a paper bag (I kid you not), and I think I hear her piteous "Help me!" mewling again. So with that, I leave you!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

Is blogger being a pain in the keister to anyone else? GRRR to blogger!
Nenene has decided that I can't take pictures of her without her attacking the string on the camera - or the camera herself. Since I couldn't get a picture of her eating the corner of the camera, I got a picture of her eating the string.

She hates that string ...

Tom Cruise in a silver jumpsuit

In my dream last night Tom Cruise was having a public vasectomy that was being filmed for TV so he could disprove once and for all that all the rumours of him having a baby are false*. He wore a shiny silver jumpsuit and did front handsprings down the stage to where he was getting the surgery performed. (His friend Ashton Kutcher tried to stop him, but ended up just getting one of those slow motion "noooooooo"s) The cameras were so far back you couldn't really see what was happening. I thought it was probably a hoax, and he still kept himself intact.

Then Tom Cruise was starring in a movie about a serial killer who was driving around killing tax-guys** in their purple and white cars. Tom Cruise was the young hot shot tax guy who saved the day and caught the guy.

My husband's thoughts on my dream? "You have problems!"

*yes, I know. They aren't rumours. Yes I know he's proud of his baby.

**again, yes I know that they are called IRS agents. In my dream they were tax guys, and they were more gun-toating Rex Libris style tax guys - only without the mythology.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I've been a bad blogger. I start half my posts like that, don't I? Once I'm done with school and out in the real world I will start none of my posts with that! Hopefully, at least. The past few days have been a blur of work, school, family, homework, a wake, more homework, a funeral, more family, more homework, tons of food ...

I'm trying not to be sad - I have a great family, and I cherish any time I get to spend with them - no matter how sad the occasion.

But on to the point of my post. The Villanelle. My husband did not know Theodore Roethke's "The Waking." I had to look up the right words and then read it to him. One of my favorite stanzas in all of poetrydom is:

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

In looking it up I discovered something fantastic. I've always loved the Villanelle (the form of poetry that "The Waking" is), but I've always thought that no one does it correctly. "The Waking" is fantastic, "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" (Dylan Thomas) is brilliant, but for the most part it just seems forced.

Quick Poetry 101:
A Villanelle requires a strict form of two lines repeating over and over again:

A1 (refrain)
A2 (refrain)

A1 (refrain)

A2 (refrain)

A1 (refrain)

A2 (refrain)

A2 (refrain)
/Poetry 101

As you can imagine, A1 and A2 often seem forced into place, just stuck in where they need to go because they need to go there, not because they work there. In finding "The Waking" I found also some other fantastic vilanelles that I never even knew existed which is odd because one of them is by Sylvia Plath - one of my favorite poets!

So - for further reading I want you all to read then comment on: "Mad Girl's Love Song" by Sylvia Plath, "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop, "Villanelle for D.G.B." by Marilyn Hacker, and (just to be moment appropriate) "Villanelle After A Burial" by Steven Cramer. If you haven't read them - feel free to also read "The Waking" and "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night."

And that's your homework for the night - if you choose to accept it!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Numbered List #2

1. I have been told that there is not enough info about who I am on this blog. My thought was that my whole blog is about who I am! Since I'm not a huge fan of posting long meme questionnaires, I thought I'd open the floor up to you all. What do you want to know about me?

2. I'm renting another blog! Clerical Work: A survivor's Guide by Mad Secretary is a fun and fascinating blog about life, work, and English. I'm a fan of what I've read so far! I'm still delving, and enjoying myself a lot.

3. I got the new tea for teachef in the mail yesterday. This month I'm making up some sort of a dish for Irish Breakfast. The picture on the right was stolen shamelessly from the page I linked to, because I'm being lazy today and don't feel like taking my own picture. I'm completely devoid of ideas so far as to what to make. Since I got the tea yesterday and yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, I had to try it. It just fit the day. That's probably why the brilliant people at Adagio chose Irish Breakfast for March. So yesterday was my first time even trying the tea and I'm still mulling over how the flavor would taste good. I'm thinking something with potatoes - we'll see.

4. Speaking of yesterday being St. Patrick's Day, I did not make a very important proclamation yesterday that very much belongs in my blog. Happy Birthday Grandma! Hope you rocked the St. Patrick's Day with old St. Patrick himself!

5. I never watch TV anymore. I just don't have the time. The husband and I tape Lost and Invasion each week, and watch that, but very rarely do I watch actual TV. Last night I turned on some sitcoms while I was cleaning the bedroom and I discovered that I have lost my ability to cope with a laugh track. How annoying is that?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Speaking of V

I have long thought that Alan Moore, author of V for Vendetta, was one of the creepier looking comic book people out there nowadays. I just wanted to call all your attentions to the fantastic Pajiba V for Vendetta review that describes Moore brilliantly thus:

In photographs, Moore looks equal parts Charles Manson and Rasputin, and he has the apparent live-free-or-die mentality of a crazy New Hampshirite who has taken up residence on his front porch with a shotgun and an eager hankering to have his "“No Trespassing"” sign ignored.

Just wanted to share.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

I started my St. Paddy's Day with a bang this year. With quite a few bangs, to be exact. Or to be not at all exact, but more truthful. The husband and I went to the midnight showing of V for Vendetta at the Imax theatre on the Navy Pier. It was fan-freaking-tastic. I'm not a fan of bloody gory movies. I'm also not a fan of movies that say that violence IS the answer. Despite that, I really loved this movie. It had some fantastic quotes which my sleep-deprived mind is going to try and recreate for you..
"If there is a revolution without dancing, I want no part of it." (I know I have this one worded improperly, but I LOVE IT anyway.)
"People should not be afraid of their government. Government should be afraid of their people."
"Remember, remember the fifth of November,
gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot."
"I'm just pointing out the inherent irony in asking a man in a mask who he is."
When we first meet V, he has this speech in which every other word or so is a V word. It's brilliantly crafted. It's also far to long for me to have memorized on the spot. I need to see this movie again.

I have more in depth commentary, but it needs to wait until a) more people on my list have seen the movie and b) I have slept a decent amount.

I got home last night around 3:30, got to sleep around 4, had to be up again by 5 so I could be to work at 6. I have since slept about 4 more hours, but still. I'm sleepy.

Edited to say: Hugo Weaving is fantastic. I half expected, "Welcome to Rivendale, Mr. Anderson."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

No cute picture today, because I'm running around like a crazy person. I wanted to get my house so clean for mom ... but I've had no time and gotten nothing done. Ah well.

I'm trying to think of a good Nenene story to tell for Friday Cat Blogging, but since she spent all night last night alternately trying to insert herself into my nostril and hunting the great white foot, I'm tired and not thinking of good funny Nenene stories. I'm sorry. Hopefully all craziness in the librarian pirate household is almost over and I can get back to good, interesting blogging.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bad blogger!

So it has been a week since I blogged. I'm sorry! I really am. In the intervening time I have:

1) gone to an Oscar Party which was great amounts of fun!
2) Gotten my first bookcase since college up and going!
3) Worked
4) Gotten an awesome entertainment center
5) Done Homework
6) Nursed my husband through a possible broken toe
7) Worked
8) Made the best hamburgers in the world
9) Watched an insane amount of West Wing
10) Done Homework
11) Tortured the kitten with string and bits of ribbon
12) Talked to my mother about her COMING TO SEE ME TOMORROW! WOO!
13) Worked

Things I have not done:
1) Blogged
2) Cleaned house for my mother tomorrow. (Oh, she knows I'm messy ... hopefully she won't look too much)
3) read anything

So anyway - hopefully I will stop working and doing homework sometime soon and actually spend time on my blog! I have tons of things to say! In the meanwhile, yay for libraries!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Spring Break WOOOOOOO

Imagine the above quote being said in a Kitty style voice from Arrested Development ("Eyes up here, Michael. Eyes up here."). Well - don't, please. But it would be funny if you did!

So I was in class this morning and my teacher was talking about how we don't meet next week. "We don't meet next week?" I thought. "Why on earth not?" She answered that in her next breath without even waiting for me to ask. "Have a great Spring Break!" Now if I had checked my syllabus I would have known that Spring break is next week (Spring Break - being as important a "holiday" as it is - is it capitalized? I don't know, so I'm going to alternate ... ). As it was, I just assumed that graduate students didn't get fun things like Spring break. So I do homework between classes today and am getting ready for my class tonight. I double check the syllabus and there is no class for tonight. Nor for next week. What? Early Spring Break? Apparently I never realized that this week class has been cancelled all semester. You can all tell how well I pay attention to things.

And I'm a huge geek. I find out class is cancelled and instead of going home and living it up, I stick around the library and study for hours ...

but that's what being a Library Science student is all about - being a huuuge geek.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Drunk blogging

I have never drunk blogged before. Truth is, I rarely drink. That is why I figured I should use my first drunk blogging time to tell you that I have absolutely no tolerance.

I am working retail while I go to Library School. One of my closest Chicago friends just left my retail job to work as a bartender at the TGI Fridays in the same complex as my retail job. Today was also my first day as manager (I was just promoted! YAY!) and I was being trained first by my awesome store manager and then I closed with the hated evil assistant manager that I am now on the same level as. The hated evil assistant manager was, as expected, hated and evil. I was stressed and upset when I left work so I walked over to Fridays, sat in front of Jill, and started complaining. She asked if I wanted anything, so I said sure - bring me something fun. I stipulated that she knows that I have no tolerance and so something fun and barely alcoholic. She brought me an electric lemonade which was fantastic! It's lemonade, but blue and alcoholic.

When I was halfway down I was already feeling the alcohol kick in so I demanded of Jill how much alcohol she gave me. "Only five counts of vodka" was the response. "Is that equal to five shots?" I challenged her. "No," she said, "a count is about 1/4 of a shot." "Oh - so only a shot and a quarter?" "Yup"

So I finished it, came home, and am completely schnokered. Is that the proper way to spell schnokered? I don't care.

Anyway - the point of this post is that I am a librarian pirate who gets completely silly off of a shot and a quarter. Over the course of an hour and a quarter.

I'm pathetic, but you all should be grateful that I've caught most of my typos! I hope ...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Green Tea Cheesecake with Peach Raspberry Macedoine

So I am involved in a project called TeaChef in which each month we are given a different tea to create a fantastic recipe creation from. That sentence was poorly constructed. Ah well! I'm talking about cheesecake, not about grammar! So anyway, this month we had to use Green Pekoe - a fantastic green tea (in case you couldn't tell by the name).

So the first thing I thought was "peaches." I really like peaches. I really like peach flavored green tea. I figured - why not try them together? I considered doing a peach/green tea stir fry (because fruit in stir fry is fantastic, and so is green tea in stir fry), then suddenly I realized I was being silly. Cheesecake. I needed to do cheesecake. Cheesecake is my husband's favorite desert and he's been stressed lately and how cool would it be if I created a peach cheesecake recipe? I mean ... c'mon! COOL!

So I set to work making it. Being the cheesecake fan that I am and being married to the cheesecake addict that I am I have perfected my cheesecake recipe. I think I first got it off of a Philadelphia Cream Cheese package, but I've read so many cheesecake recipes in my time that it's been changed and modified in that way that recipes do. So that's me giving credit where I think credit is due (but I'm really not positive).

So anyway, you're all wanting my recipe, right? It's fantastic. Here goes:

Green Tea Cheesecake with Peach Raspberry Macedoine

1/4 cup butter (melted)
5 oz ginger snaps (ground finely)

3 tbs green pekoe tea (ground finely)
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup creme fraiche
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs

3 tbs green pekoe tea
1 cup water
3 peaches
1 pint raspberries
2 tbs sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Grease 8 1/2 inch springform pan
3. Mix melted butter and ground cookies together
4. Press into bottom of pan (use the bottom of a drinking glass if you want to make it smooth)
5. Bake for 8 minutes, or until browning
6. Let cool (leave oven on)

1. Mix cream cheese, creme fraiche, and sugar together.
2. Add eggs one at a time
3. Mix finely ground tea into mix
4. Pour mix into springform pan over crust
5. Set pan inside a roasting pan filled with water to halfway up the side of the springform pan
6. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until you can jiggle the pan and just the center moves slightly.
7. Let cool for an hour then place in refrigerator overnight

1. Heat water to 180 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Place tea leaves in a cup
3. Pour water over tea leaves
4. Let steep 5 minutes then strain out tea leaves
5. Place strong tea in refrigerator
6. Cup up peaches and raspberries into "salsa sized" chunks and mix
7. Sprinkle liberally with sugar
8. Once green tea has cooled to room temperature, pour it over the fruit
9. Refrigerate Overnight

All together now!
1. Cut cheesecake using a thin knife that has been wiped between each cut
2. Place slices on plates
3. Spoon Macedoine over slices
4. Eat while drinking a glass of Green Pekoe tea

Any questions? Don't hesitate to ask! And I know I over simplified everything - this is not my first time creating my own recipe, but definitely my first time writing my own recipe.

oh! I almost forgot!

My blog is being advertised over at Amandaland. Just because Amanda is advertising me doesn't mean I can't plug her for a moment! She's awesome. She works in a library, she reads a ton, and she works with a super hero. How can you get any better than that?

So go check her out. Now. Because I said so, and you all do exactly what I say, right? Right!

Friday Cat Blogging - packaging material and your cat

I came home today after a long day of work (truck day. I was there from 6:30 - 3:30. Only eight hours, but eight hours of lifting and moving and early and tired!) and started cleaning up some stuff around the house. One thing I did was unpack some pictures my mother sent me that I had been waiting until I was ready to hang them to take out of the box. I'm not ready to hang them! Exciting, eh? Anyway, I was putting all the Styrofoam popcorn/peanuts whatever you call thems in an old shopping bag for ease of disposal when Nenene decided to come see what I was doing. It sure looked like I was filling a bag with Styrofoam cat toys! She insisted on jumping in the bag and playing. Every time I fished her out (and brushed all the cling-ons off of her) she jumped right back in, so I let her play, dumping handfuls on top of her. I figured as long as she wasn't eating it I was ok. Anyway, these pictures were, after being covered in these Styrofoam things were also wrapped in bubble wrap.
I put the bubble wrap on the bed while I went to deal with the picture and suddenly I heard a loud POP and a startled MEW! I ran over to see what the ruckus was, and I found that Nenene had decided that bubble wrap would be a super fun thing to chew on. It's popping at random didn't seem to deter her for more than half a second. There would be a pop, a mew, a jump, then a renewed pounce. Absolutely adorable to watch. Anyway, once I was done I decided I needed some time of relaxation after work and what little cleaning I had accomplished. I folded up the bubble wrap while Nenene wasn't looking and I went for a run. I come home and Nenene has thoughtfully unfolded my bubble wrap.
Not only that, but she's made herself a home underneath it. I was slightly worried about her suffocating herself, but then I realized that she had also smartly created for herself an air bubble. Smart kitten!

Anyway - I'm going to go pretend to clean some more and then eat cheesecake. Why? Because I made a kick-ass cheesecake yesterday! And I rock! More on that hopefully tonight.

Thank you, Neil Gaiman

Are you guys sick of me mentioning Neil Gaiman here? I only do it now because he has called my attention to something that I want ... nay, something I need!

Anyone have 10k and a house they want to give me?

it has long been my desire to have a special book in my library one that when pulled will open to reveal a secret passageway

apparently it is possible

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Potato(e) Madness!

As many of you already know, The Pink Shoe is my sister. As such, I often follow her lead when it turns out she is doing something fantastically cool. Today is no exception. Yesterday she casually mentioned in her post the existence of purple potatoes. Now, you might not be able to tell it from the inherent greenness of my blog's layout, but I happen to be quite attached to purple. At one point in my life I had purple hair. It rocked.

Anyway, I thought to myself, "I must get myself some!" I work just across the street from a whole foods - the place that the almighty shoe "claimed" to have seen them. On my lunch break I walked over there to grab a hunk of cheese and a couple of rolls (my absolute favorite lunch ever) and decided to check to see if they had purple potatoes.

They did not. That is sad. They did, however, have something utterly adorable.

Do you see that? Can you read it through the flash? I bought myself "A Delightful Rainbow of Tiny Potatoes." What could possibly be better than that? It has golden potatoes, red-skinned potatoes (I'm sure these are just regular red-skinned potatoes with white innards), and purple potatoes. I'm trying to think of something fantastically pretty to do with them.

After work I had to do my regular grocery shopping that I do every once in awhile where I stock up on everything to be consumed in the near future. Today I did my shopping at Jewel instead of Whole Foods, because I felt like it. (Good reason, eh?) Wandering through the produce section I found ...

PURPLE POTATOES! "Petite Purples" to be exact. They're purple-y and adorable. I'm super excited about them - partially because the rainbow of potatoes is so very short on the purples! I'm thinking I'll add some purples to the rainbow and have some purples just on their own all purpley and fantastic.

Right now I'm planning on cooking these very plainly ... Cutting them up, putting them on a baking sheet, drizzleing with olive oil, some salt, some pepper, and probably some garlic (because I'm Italian and that's what we do). Nothing super fancy ... but hopefully yummy!

If anyone has any other suggestions, though - I'd be all up for it!

Monday, February 20, 2006

In which I am UBER!

First things first - My post last night was sooo not supposed to be the first post on the top of the page today! I had things to post about just this morning so that you wouldn't come here and see "Must Comment Monday!" That so wasn't the point! I was supposed to have that be posted on Sunday so y'all wouldn't feel obligated ...

le sigh

ah well. Let me tell you a story.

I have had one of those weeks. You know the kind? The kind where you don't have all that much to do and therefore not all that much gets done? Yeah. I had one of those. So I knew I had a paper to write for my class tonight, so I started it last night and finished it this morning. While working on my paper I double checked the syllabus so I was sure I got everything in my paper that I needed to get in my paper and OH MY GOODNESS HOLY CRAP I HAVE TO TELL TONIGHT IN STORYTELLING! That's pretty much how it went. I freaked out a bit, but I had to go to work so I did. After work I had a half an hour then an hour and a half drive, then about forty five minutes of waiting for class to start in which I picked out my stories, learned them, and perfected them. That's right, I'm talking plural. By the time it was class time I had prepared four stories. They were short Goha the Wise Fool stories, but still! Four stories! And not only that, but I gave a kick-ass telling! I could just feel it. I knew what I was going to say, I got the class super engaged. It rocked!

I am loving this class! I'm one of those doubters - one of those people who never feels quite good at anything. Storytelling, I just clicked with and I feel ... good. I feel talented! It is quite a fantastic feeling.

And to conclude, I shared the following joke with friends yesterday:

Why do the French only eat one egg for breakfast? (answer in the comments)

And one of my friends replied with this ... possibly one of the best language jokes I've seen in awhile.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

a moment of procrastination

So I have been reading and reading and reading (mostly Creative Storytelling. After a couple of hours I decided to take a break and stroll around some blogs. I thought I'd share some fun things I found ...

Homeland Security officers tell Library patrons not to look at porn (found here)

Must Comment Monday ... I thought it was a fun thing, and I plan on doing it. I don't know about all y'all, but I have a tendency to read blogs super fast and only stop to comment rarely. No, this isn't a plea for more comments on my blog (because Lord knows I don't get enough! (; ), but rather just something fun I wanted to share.

The Bad Art Award! While the husband and I have very little art in our house right now (does a top heavy pile of boxes of books just waiting for me to buy a bookshelf count as really bad art?), so I won't be entering this contest, I thought you all out there might be interested.

My husband better thank his lucky stars he never wrote up a Contract of Wifely Expectations.

And by popular demand (well, because my sister wants to see it):

My new hair length

Anyway, back to work!

My plan for the night

I love being a library science student. I love having a library that lets patrons check out 100 books at a time.

I went to the library tonight for my Library Materials for Children class, and for my Storytelling class, and I came home with two huge bags full of books. I got just a bit carried away. I have to read The Book of Three for Library Materials for Children, and I ended up grabbing The Black Cauldron and The Castle of Llyr as well. I'm sure that next time I'm at the library I'll be picking up The High King and Taran, Wanderer.

My plan for this evening is to sit and read as much as one can possibly read in one evening all while drinking as much tea as one can possibly drink in one evening. I'm quite happy with life right now. You wanna see half my stash? This is all the books from one of my bags of books ...
(and one last thing - I cut my hair today. I'm sure you're all interested, but I'm slightly traumatized by the shortness. I mean, I know it's only five inches, but that's almost half a foot - and half a foot, as we all know, is right up there next to being a foot! And a foot, as we all know, is dangerously close to being 5 feet - and when you get all the way up to five feet you're just 7 and a quarter inches away from how tall I am! So if you put it that way, it really was quite a bit of hair I got chopped off today. Lets see if the husband notices!)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Numbered List #1

1. I've been sitting here for quite some time with four or five posts in my head, starting to write one, deleting it, starting to write another, deleting it. I want to write about them all at the same time which could get a bit confusing. I have a lot to say about each of the subjects, but I'm not finding myself getting very far.

2. I love numbered lists. I make them far too often.

3. I just read Coraline by Neil Gaiman. As many of you already know, I am having a torrid love affair with Neil Gaiman, so it isn't hard to expect that I loved this book. It us suggested for readers aged 9-12, but as a 23 year old I was absolutely terrified. Then again, I'm a pansy.

4. I was hanging out watching movies with a friend last night when another friend invited us to go to a bar with her. Since I had been planning on a night of vegging I was wearing my favorite comfy pants that have ripped open multiple times and that I have patched multiple times. Both of my friends looked gorgeous with traditional bar hopping skimpy tops and their general gorgeousness. We were teasing that me, being the only non single one of the group, was going to attract all the men with my t-shirt and my pants with the badly patched holes. At the bar I had three different men come up to me and start conversations based on the holes in my pants. Who called it?

5. The hole that caused the most ruckus was just over my back. When I patched it I had thought I was being cute and I patched it from the inside so that the pretty fabric peeks out through the hole.

6. One particularly drunk 40-something was absolutely belligerent about this hole. "You say it's patched! It's not patched!" "No, sir, it definitely is patched." "You patched it with flesh colour!" "It's tweed" "It's pink tweed!" "Pink tweed with whole big stripes of green!"

7. A friend lent me a copy of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

8. Isn't it shocking that within this post there is reference to two Neil Gaiman books that I previously had not read? This shocks me ... but I've fixed it now.

9. One of the main characters of Good Omens is Crowley "(An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards)." (page xiii of Good Omens).

10. The review I linked two above says, "I will say that if you are looking for a lighthearted read that won't make you think, you will enjoy this book." I'm afraid that I must be a bit silly because this book really did make me think.

11. While writing this post I discovered that at one point, at least, there were plans in place to make this book into a movie. I'm not so sure it would translate well, but then again I always have trouble envisioning much fantasy and sci-fi translating well onto the big screen, and I am often supremely pleasantly surprised by the results I get.
12. I was given the first season of The West Wing on DVD for Christmas. I have always liked The West Wing when I see it, but I rarely catch it on TV. There is little I catch on TV.

13. I sat down and watched the entire season in far too short a time, and now I'm itching to run out and rent the second season. I'm being good and channeling my energy into more productive things like cleaning the house and blogging.

14. Have a great night.

15. The blogger spell check does not recognize "blogging" as a word.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

The Kitten came to curl up with me about an hour ago smelling quite a bit like something horrid had happened in her litter box. I got up from my studying and went to the bathroom where we keep it and found a loooong brown smear. That has since been cleaned up. That was easy - it was on tile. Then came the more difficult part.

The kitten as well smelt. And even though she's really good about sitting and grooming herself for hours on end, this was a bit more than either the husband or I could deal with waiting for. For the first time in my life I bathed a cat.

Surprisingly enough, I don't think she's decided that she hates me. This first picture was taken right after she got out of the bath, right before I rubbed her down with the towel she's wrapped up in. She was already starting to lick herself dry. That's something about cats that I've never quite been able to understand - the whole licking ones self dry thing. I look over and she's been licking herself for the past twenty minutes and while it is definitely still obvious that she is wet, it's more of an overarching spikiness then the matted drowned kitten look favored in that first picture.

It is also funny to note that this foray into the bathtub does not in any way seem to have dampened her addiction to said tub. Even as I type this, she stopped her drying and ran into the bathroom to roam around in the tub for a bit and then to run back here to clean herself.

Poor kitten - I'm glad she's forgiven me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Random complainings

My husband is a server at a restaurant and today is Valentine's Day. Well - it's after midnight, so it isn't V-Day anymore, but still - the sentiment is the same. He had to be at work today at noon so he had to leave the house by 10:45. Being Valentine's Day, I'm sure he was super busy at work today, but he's still not home! He's been gone 13 and a half hours, and darn it I want my husband home!

So I'm sitting at home drinking Green Pekoe tea (making plans for the next TeaChef), watching the first season of West Wing, and moping. I thought I'd share with all y'all.

But I'm making a fantastic dinner, so that's good, yes?

Monday, February 13, 2006

I'm sorry for the lack of updates lately. I've had that stomach flu that's going around which means a lot of throwing up which means extra dehydration which means extra migraines SO between throwing up and having migraines, I just haven't had time to blog. I'm sorry!

I just heard that Michelle Kwan withdrew from the Olympics because of injury. That makes me super sad - I've always been a Michelle Kwan fan, hoping that someday she'll have that Olympic gold medal. Anyway, I just hope she gets better quickly.

I woke up yesterday to a news report that six convicts had escaped from Cook County prison and were on the loose. Two had been caught just a few blocks away from my house so they were searching right where I am for them. The husband and I were a bit nervous so we decided that yesterday would be a good day to not make the long walk to where we park the car. I feel bad skipping church, but then my stomach flu reared its ugly head again and I decided it was best we decided to be a bit lazy. By this morning all six had been caught, so nobody needs to worry anymore!

And with that it's back to bed for me.

Friday, February 10, 2006

RIP Arrested Development

I'm on my way out the door to an RIP Arrested Development party. Fox is playing the final four episodes of the season (and possibly of the show) against the opening of the Olympics. Good for you, Fox. That's a way to boost the ratings! Anyway, there is hope that either ABC or Showtime will pick up the show which would be fantastic. Here's hoping!

And to entertain you all, I just read the most well written and thought provoking article here about Freeganism. I've recently met my first Freegans and thought this article summed up what I was feeling about it quite nicely.

But then again, Tigers and Strawberries always seems to have great things to say.

Hope you all are having a great night!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

I know, it isn't for another week, but my husband and I declared yesterday Valentine's Day. We don't ever really do something big for V-Day. Our first one he baked me cookies. Last year we had an all day extended edition Lord Of the Rings marathon. Okay, so that last one was big, but not really a traditional Valentine's Day thing. When the husband told me to reserve February 7th on my calendar, I was expecting we'd go out for dinner and a movie or something. He knows I don't expect much.

So I was allowed to make lunch. About a week ago, my sister posted about a brilliant looking recipe that I just needed to try. So I stole her idea and it turned out beautifully.

Anyway - after lunch we set out to downtown Chicago and my husband took me out to see Wicked. WOOT! Not just any woot, but full on geeky \/\/007! It was fantastic. I read the book back when it first came out (I thought confessions of an ugly stepsister was better, but still loved it!), had listened to the music, but hadn't seen it. It's definitely not the book, but I loved it! The choreography was especially brilliant. It gives clues - the choreography gives clues! How much fun is that?
(Picture borrowed from here.) Overall it was fantastic. It was no "Assassins" - no "Into the Woods", but then again - what is?

It was kinda sad though. I had Kristy Cates as Elphaba, who was fantastic. We had a super long intermission, then a voice came on, apologized for the delay, and told us that Courtney Corey would be Elphaba for the rest of the production. She was fantastic as well, but it is worrisome. I understand Kristy Cates' voice bugging out and just needing someone else to finish the production, but the extra long intermission worries me. I'm hoping that she was ok! Act 1 ends with the picture over there on the the left, and Brandon was speculating that she mighta gotten hurt coming down from that height.

Well, google isn't telling me she's hurt, so I'm not gonna worry too much. Just know that I had a great night last night and I hope you all are good as well!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Happy Super Bowl Sunday

I'm kinda disappointed in this years superbowl. I grew up in Colorado and have recently moved to Chicago. For a bit I thought I was going to have a Broncos/Bears super bowl.


How cool would that have been? I would have had a big party and worn blue and orange and NOBODY would have known where my loyalties lay.

Truth be told, the Broncos and the Bears have always been my two favorite teams, so I'm not entirely sure which I would have been rooting for. As it is, I'm watching the game for the commercials because I don't care much about either team.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I don't like Mushrooms

It's true. I don't like mushrooms. They're icky and gross and blech. That is the inner five year old in me speaking, I admit that, but still. Ick. Gross. Blech.

Ignoring that, I know that pretty much my entire family loves mushrooms. Hence, I am wishing all of them a Happy Stuffed Mushroom Day.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

Nenene is completely insane. I don't understand cats and their comfort level. Don't get me wrong - I sit in what most people would consider uncomfortable positions all the time, but this takes the cake.

Crazy Nenene

My friend Mia sent the husband and I a package which Nenene promptly declared her bed. The part where her belly and back legs are is full of video tapes. The part where her front legs are has just got a dress. The picture doesn't show it as much, but her front legs are much further down than her back legs, then her head is back up. She fell asleep like this.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Little bits of caffeine don't affect my sleeping all that much, and I don't usually drink any late at night just out of taste preferences anyway so I never really think about it. Tonight I drank an entire pot (37 oz) of my current favorite Valentine Tea, and now I can't sleep.

It isn't like I don't have some decaf teas that I love. I'm not a huge fan of most herbal teas (and yes, there are definitely some exceptions to this rule), but thanks to my good friend Jo I love Rooibos teas. My brother gave me a fantastic Tropical Rooibos that I absolutely love! I can also always drink something other than tea. The possibilities are endless!

Basically the point of this post is that I can't sleep, it's all my fault, and I'm silly.

The end.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


This semester, as I've mentioned before, I'm taking Storytelling. This is perhaps one of the most fun classes ever. Last night I told for the first time. We have to each tell a story three or four times during the semester - each time for an increasingly more aged audience (in our heads, at least. We only really tell to our professor and the eight other people in the class).

So last night I told to a preschool (3 1/2 - 5) audience, and I told Lon Po Po Lon Po Po A Red Riding Hood story from China by Ed Young. Well, what I told was based on that version, but it was quite a bit different by my own design and also quite a bit different because we told from memory, not with the book in our hands. I got into it. I'm one of those people who will go ahead and make a fool of myself (which is fantastic for being a future children's librarian), but will secretly obsess about acting like an idiot in private. It's a bit of a crazy way of doing things.

ANYWAY! If you can't ramble in your own blog, where can you ramble, eh? Telling was fantastic. I know I messed up once, but everywhere else I just felt like the story was flowing from me. My audience laughed genuine laughter multiple times - and right when I wanted them too! Nonetheless, after I was done, I was terrified that I'd messed everything up, gotten the story a bit wrong, moved waaaay too much, etc. The Professor, though, was abso-freaking-lutely fantastically glowing in telling me how wonderful I'd done, etc. She said (and this amused me) that I had done a great job in differentiating the three sisters in my telling. In my head I had a definite idea of Shin, Tao, and Paotze. I knew them, but in my practicing, and I thought in my telling, I hadn't done anything in voice or body language to show this differentiation. Maybe I just internalized it so much (I over practiced for this) that it came through anyway. One of my classmates commented, "Are you a dancer?" to which I responded, "I used to be." "It shows," she said. "You just have a way of moving that's graceful and beautiful. It was fantastic just watching you tell."

Anyway - I'm happy. I fell all good about a future as a children's librarian. I feel like this is something that I can spend the rest of my life with. That's a great feeling.

Crochet posts to come

When I started this blog I debated discussing my crochet projects, but I did not own a digital camera so I figured "how boring would it be for you to just describe what you've done as opposed to actually doing it?"

Anyway, I got a digital camera from my in-laws for late Christmas, so I've decided to start posting about all the fantastic stuff that I hope to someday create. Being a full time student, a part time retail worker, and a full time newlywed, though, I have found it difficult to actually get some crocheting done.

For Christmas (this time from my husband AND my mother in law) I also got a drop spindle ... so I have even more crafty-related things that I really aught to be doing with my free time and sharing with the world.

I have just discovered project spectrum. This seems as good a reason as ever to kick my butt into gear! Especially since the project I most need to complete (the one that would hopefully get done in March according to the project) is all reds and pinks. It was supposed to be a Christmas present. Don't ask.

Anyway, just wanted you all to know to look forward to actual picture-full posts to come. I'm going to go update some links, then come back and post some more about Storytelling.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Norton Internet Security Silliness

I just upgraded reordered Norton because the stuff on my computer was almost expired and out of date. I ordered it and got it all ready for download, and the old Norton warned me that new Norton was about to begin downloading and warned me that I really should think about it before I did something like that. Apparently it didn't recognize it's own signatures and authorization.

So I get it downloaded and it just told me, "Mozilla Firefox is attempting to access the internet. Block Always? (recommended)"

I just giggled. I'm appreciative of Norton keeping my computer safe, but sometimes it just makes me giggle.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just a quick one

I went to see Narnia tonight with my husband. It was so amazing-tastic-licious! I loved it, even though 15 or so minutes into the film (after the kids were already at the professor's house) a dozen or so high school or college aged people came galumphing in. Normally I don't mind a little bit of noise, but this was loud talking. They all got seated and then the one on the inside wanted to get out, and she tripped twice - falling flat on her face (not exagerating this one!) and scream-laughing as she did it. Really I don't mind noise during a movie. It's my husband's biggest pet peve (now he's claiming it isn't his BIGGEST pet peve and that I should take it away .. and DON'T PUT THAT!!! ARG!) and I always secretly laugh because it isn't that big of a deal! This time, though, I wanted to thwack them all one by one (during a movie about forgiveness and sacrifice nonetheless) ... especially the one who was giving the running commentary to the drunk girl ("the lion is supposed to be JESUS!" - "Oh! Look! It's not the White Witch after all! It's SANTA CLAUSE!" - "You're a dumbass who can't figure out a children's movie so let me explain it to you!").

It is late and I have to sleep watch Superman with my husband, so good night!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The California Pizza Kitchen makes something they like to call the Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza ("Roasted garlic, grilled chicken, Mozzarella cheese, mild onions and Italian parsley with a white wine and garlic-shallot butter sauce."). I like to call it crack. I love it. I keep it in my freezer for whenever I'm not in the mood to cook. It just came out of the oven - I'd covered it with pine nuts, because I wanted to, and now I am eating the entire pizza by myself.

This is a very good thing.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Crab Apple part deux

I have had my email beaten down with requests (well ... one, that is) as to the awesomeness of the Crab Apple book I mentioned in my last post. My answer to the question, "Is the book awesome?" is an undeniable yes.

Crab Apple only uses 10 words, but it uses them to their fullest. It is a heartwrenching tale of a crabby crab apple who sits all alone under a tree. A worm comes bump bump bump bumping by and the crab apple, in a fit of nihilistic withdrawal from the world, the crab apple crabs at the worm. The worm, frightened and unsure of this pessimistic world view (being a generally optimistic worm) says "eek!" and squiggles away. Alone again, but not for long, because a beautiful blue bird also comes along to say hi to our hero the crab apple. The crab apple would much rather be left alone, and in a fit of existential disgust the crab apple again crabs at the blue bird. The blue bird, in harmony with the worm who came before also says, "eek!" and flies away.

The crab apple is finally alone, until the worm comes back ...

I don't want to ruin the ending for you, I just want you to know that the ending only uses two of those ten words, but it really is a truly special moment.

And that concludes my first book review on this blog. Do keep an eye out for many more. Probably many more children's books, since that is where my life is this semester!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I'm a Crab Apple

When my sister Mar-see-ah was learning to read right before and during kindergarten, I was 3 - 3 1/2. I watched over mom's shoulder as she was teaching her and I learned too. One day I picked up a book called Crab Apple from the library that my sister had been learning from, and I read it to my mother. Mom, at first, didn't believe that I had learned to read - she thought I had just memorized it from having heard it over and over again.

I showed her!

But this is not a story about me being a genius (although that is a happy side effect of the story - you all think I'm a genius). This is a story about that book - Crab Apple.

After the week or two was over, Crab Apple had to go back to the library, and I went on my merry way - sometimes reading, sometimes not, for a full year until it was my turn to really learn to read. I went to the library's easy reader section and searched and searched for this book. I never thought to ask a librarian or even my mother for help, I just looked and looked and looked. I never found it, and this has always been a source of much despair and anguish in my life, although again I have never searched a card catalog for this book.

A savvy reader will notice that I have linked multiple times to this book. I have found it! Well, I didn't find it myself, per se. This semester I am taking a class called "Library Materials for Children." The first day of class we were all asked to talk about the first book we can remember loving. I told them the story of Crab Apple, lamented never having found it, and admitted to not really looking the way a library science student should have.

And that was the end of that.

Or was it?

One of my fellow students works in a library. She looked this book up and then posted to blackboard that she thinks she has discovered this book in the card catalog. Her library, in fact, has it - as well as three other libraries in the Chicagoland area, and she has placed it on reserve so that when it comes in to the library she will be able to bring it to class.

A second one of my classmates saw this post, checked the library that she worked at, found it on the shelf, and brought it to class on Thursday night. Everyone clapped and cheered, and they asked me to read Crab Apple aloud. I did, and I felt like a prom queen. It was fantastic.