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.