Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket...

It's Christmastime and love is in the air! Ok, well, maybe not so much. But, my Christmas tree is up and fully decorated. In even better news, my niece, Erin Elizabeth, was born a week ago Friday (November 30th). She's just adorable! Here, have a picture for free. The picture does not do her justice. Or so I've heard, as I have yet to see her. But, over Christmas I will!

This week, I have been reading less and crocheting more. Why, you ask? It's because I volunteered to make scarfs for B'way Kids Care's
knitting project. Though I am neither on Broadway or a kid. According to Marie (who is the mom of Zach, one of the Gavroche's in the revival of Les Miserables) who told us this at the stage door last weekend, they were behind production levels and needed more help to make enough scarves by mid-December. I having left over yarn bits volunteered to help out. After all, it was thanks to her that we got our backstage pass to the Broadhurst Theatre.

That's not to say I haven't been reading anything. Why, just the other day I finished reading Sarah Stewart Taylor's first book, O' Artful Death. If I were to write mysteries, it would be something like what I might come up with. The main character (she of red, curly hair, of course), does research on Victorian grave art and mourning rituals. And, hello, wasn't that my senior research thesis for undergrad? Why yes it was. In that aspect, it was a lot more fun than Danielle Steel's The House, however much it pretended to talk about historic preservation (which was my undergrad major). This book dealt with a pre-Raphaelite-esque grave statuary and the mystery surrounding it, plus several deaths. As one of our patron's says regarding mysteries, if somebody isn't dead (or laid) by chapter three, it's not worth reading.

Teen reading? How about Hush by Donna Jo Napoli. Julie and I set up a "Fairy Tales for all Ages" display, and while we don't own this one, I thought it looked interesting enough to track down, as I am a fan of retelling of fairy tales. This one was Nordic, and one I'm unfamiliar with. The main character, Mel, and her sister are kidnapped by slave traders. Mel is the stupid one, compared to her younger sister Bridget. It's only following her sister's example that she remains silent and does not acknowledge their relationship in front of the traders. Soon, though, she learns the power she has gained over those who captured her just by remaining silent (and playing into their own superstitions). My friend Jess teases me about reading Mary Sue-eqsue YA lit (see Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson for all of your Mary Sue needs) , but the nice thing about this, was there was no conventional "happily ever after" fairy tale ending. There were several things left open and unknown by the end of the story. As Byron Rogers said about Princess Gwenllian who was shuttled off to a convent for her entire life by King Edward, "I would like to think she was happy, for anything else would be just too sad".

I was also tagged by Jennie for a meme. So, why not? Maybe it will breathe new life into this old blog!

The rules are:
1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I'm going to skip the last two, because, really, how many people do I know on blogger who haven't been tagged? Zilch. Really. I'm so lame.

So, 7 things about myself...

1. I miss Wales. It was one of those weird things that I felt at home as soon as I was over there, and so off balance and lost when I came back to the states. I used to constantly have these dreams with people from the program saying that I was welcome to come back immediately. Of course, I would wake up before that happened. Hopefully next year! That's what I'm shooting for. In other words, I love to travel! Though I suffer from being no longer "heart-whole" as Lauchlin did in The Hornet's Nest by Sally Watson. (You should totally check her books out if you haven't already, btw.)

2. When I'm cleaning my house, and if I find a headpiece laying around, I generally tend to pick it up and wear it while cleaning. This could be a winter hat I crocheted, a Victorian headpiece I wear with my ballgown, or a tiara. Perhaps this is silly of me, but that is what I do.

3. I'm totally addicted to collecting Victorian to early 20th century kid lit. It's so cracktastic and moralistic and absolutely hilarious at times. Really, I am drawn to it. But, just think, in my copy of The Children of France: A Book of Stories of the Heroism and Self-sacrifice of Youthful Patriots of France During the Great War, I found an early piece of fanfic, with the author giving one girl a happy ending and a metal to boot! You can't make these things up, and it doesn't get better than this.

4. I collect historical information about a family that isn't mine. The Davidge's of the Washington/Baltimore area. Truth is, they are easy to track down (as they used the same ten names in rotation) than my own family, and it's thanks to them that I went into the archivist's career. And look where it's taken me. To the reference desk.

5. I sang the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium. Now I'm afraid I'm losing my voice due to misuse. Can anyone find me a local choir group I can join? Please.

6. I'm bad in social situations. Though, isn't that the case with lots of librarians? I swear, I need to go home and not talk to people after work because it drains me so much, all that being nice and helpful to everyone. Though, my nickname at work is "Vicious", though the circ staff wouldn't use it in front of the patrons. But just imagine the patrons' expressions when they are told to "go see Vicious over at the reference desk". See how they turn and run!

7. And so the war was won. I don't quote movies. No, I quote musicals! Back at college, I had a friend who could keep apace of me. Not so much not that I've graduated. Our conversations on the phone are interesting, however, what with musical lyrics and discussions of wandering wombs and St. Ursula's boat. I miss those schoolgirl days!

I am also no good about talking about myself and finding interesting things about me. Now it's long past time to sleep! This entry took forever to compose what with all the thinking I had to do this late at night!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A long time ago (we used to be friends)

I'm so neglectful! Actually, that isn't totally true. I've been meaning to post for ages (at least a month, right?), but have been so consumed with other things that I haven't. Some days its hard enough to post on my own personal blog that to do anything other than cut and paste is painful. That's not to say that I haven't been doing interesting things, no, rather I've been busy with reading, trips to NYC/DC, and, wait for it, taking up ballet again!

If there is anytime you need to feel old, take a ballet class filled with eleven-year-olds. Because, as I had to explain to one of them after they asked my age, the reason why I am good is because I have been dancing for longer than they have been alive. Sad, isn't it?

But not all is lost. In honor of banned book week, I have read a Gossip Girl book (by Cecily Von Ziegesar. It was Because I'm Worth It. Not exactly my sort of book, but that's probably because there is very little in the characters that I can identify with. It was somewhat the same with The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants in that I couldn't identify with Bridget because our personalities are not at all alike. So, about halfway through my GG book, I did want to put it aside because, to me, it seemed quite pointless. However, I am glad that I read at least one from the series for the experience and now I know what they are like should an unsuspecting parent of a ten-year-old ask me about them. Next on the list is Patiently Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

In the unchallened book arena (or at least it didn't make the top ten list at ALA) is Stephanie Meyer's Twilight. I know, I know. Everyone and there mother has already read this book, and isn't it about time that I discovered vampire love? Perhaps not. I took this book with me over the weekend to my brother's house and I attempted to use it as a shield to stop my cousin from talking to me (because he talks for hours straight). It didn't work and I'm not sure if it was because of him, or the very fact of the very wordiness of the book, but by page 12, I wanted to toss it across the room. Don't worry, I did get into it, and enjoyed it by the end.

Perhaps I shouldn't go on about wordiness considering how wordy I tend to be! Then again, I have no editor and do not write books.

Through work, I attended the WebSearch University in DC a couple weeks ago and learned much about internet searching (and came away wanting to erase all traces of me online, a.k.a.: facebook/myspace-go away scary stalker people!). I also just received my professional librarian certificate finally. It only took about a year.

I was on a smoewhat fantasy kick this past week when I did my ILL shopping, so, in brief, I read: Poison Study and Magic Study by Maria Snyder. The first one I liked quite a lot, the second one was not nearly exciting so was sort of "meh". Decoy Princess and Princess at Sea by Dawn Cook. I would not recommend reading the second one before the first because of something big that happens in the end of the second that changes ones opinion of a certain character. And, lastly, Mystic and Rider, The Thirteen House, and Dark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn. And, ok, there were other books in between those, like Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein, which I really loved, but now I can't remember them all!

This month's trend seems more for YA/historical fiction. It's amazing how these things go in circles!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lemon cookie recipe

We have parties at our library for people's birthdays. Actually, I like to slip in parties for other days, too. You never can have too many goodies at the library! Well, as long as you wash your hands before and after eating.

Today was Lynn's birthday, and since she likes lemony things so much, I decided to drag out an old recipe that was hidden away in my own journal. I made them a couple years back with a friend. After making the cookies, I went home and wrote down the recipe by memory and never had a chance to try it out (I went to grad school instead!). Luckily, it seems that I remembered it correctly, because the cookies turned out just fine. In fact, Lynn asked me for the recipe. Fancy that!

In case you want to try them, it is as follows:

1 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
mix until fluffy

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract
mix into above

2 1/2 c. flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
mix into above

cool for at least 1/2 hour

pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
roll into balls, cover with sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet, press down with a fork. It takes about 8 minutes, take them out before they are fully cooked through, and eat warm.

Recipe should make 5 dozen.

Now I need to figure out what to do with my excess, because certainly I shouldn't eat them all!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

When she danced she was just this happy ballerina.

I was, for many years, a ballerina. My co-workers would attest to this by the simple fact that I can not just walk across the library from the reference desk to the circ desk to answer a patron's question (or a co-worker's question), but instead I must, well, you fill in the blank, to get there. Glide, leap, prance, hop, skip. They probably all fit. If only I can be so peppy in 50 years time when I'm wacking around the pages with my cane and muttering about the "good old days".

Therefore, I was shocked to read BiblioFile's blog to find out that there was a series of ballerina books that I had never read. I admit, I wasn't a girly girl. Give me something pink, and I scorned it. Frankly, the only reason I ever got a doll was because I turned up for pictures as a "Party Girl" in The Nutcracker and discovered to my horror that everyone else there had brought a doll and I had none. I had to borrow another girl's doll for my picture. Needless to say, that although I was given many ballet-themed items (and scorned most of them), ballet books pretty much weren't among them. At a library book sale, I found an old copy of Noel Streatfeild's book Dancing Shoes, and it was a tradition for me to read it over summer break. Perhaps it was my own way of getting my mind into the game for Nutcracker auditions.

Back to the new series. The Drina books by Jean Estoril. Unfortunately, this books rate the same as Sally Watson books. Which are near impossible to get. No, I have to take that back. Sally Watson books have been republished in softcover by Image Cascade Publishers. They specialize in republishing vintage books. So, maybe there is hope for Jean Estoril books! But finding original Sally Watson books is like the Holy Grail in book sales. I will fight you for it!

Happily, I was able to ILL two of Jean Estoril's books. Drina Dances in Italy and We Danced in Bloomsbury. I just love the title of the last one. Some titles I just find so attractive and I'm drawn to them. Yeah, maybe I'm weird. In the Drina book, she's just come back from a year dancing in the country to return to her former dance school. They like to point out throughout the entire book that she dance the name role in The Changeling (I guess it's an important fact that we shouldn't forget). But, her Italian grandmother finally gets her way, and Drina is off to Italy for a visit for the second part of the book (the first half is her getting back into the rhythm of London/worried about Italy). Of course, dreams are realized in Italy and new friendships are formed. I only wish I could get ahold of the other books in the series!

After reading this book on Saturday, I sniffed back a tear and went to find my ballet bag which I was finally reunited with after several years earlier this month. I preceded to walk around my apartment with my pointe shoes on, thinking that I should really get back to ballet. I can't be too old and funless for it yet. I just need to find a place to attend! Though doubtful anyone would want me seeing how out of practice I've been since college.

We Danced in Bloomsbury Square follows the fortunes of the Darke twins, Dorrie and Debbie. It's told from the point of view of Dorrie, who feels the lesser of the twins, being "Darke in name and dark in nature" as her teacher called her. They both audition for a scholarship spot at a dance school in London. While both are accepted, only Debbie is given the scholarship, and they can't afford to pay to send Dorrie. Of course, doors are open, but before then, Debbie says some very hurtful things about Dorrie to her face, and causes a major rift between the twins. The book follows Dorrie as she begins to believe in herself, as an individual and as a dancer.

They were both very satisfying little reads that reminded me of how much I loved being a dancer. Though, perhaps, my feet are thinking of something different!

Picture time! Here's me as a snowflake from the "Snow Scene" in The Nutcracker.

I would say, "pretty hot, eh?". But, it should rather be ice cold, I should think. I was, I think, in 10th grade when that one was taken.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Last Summer (of You & Me)

"As children, they had dozens of names for the beach... A placid, white-sand and sparkly turquoise affair was a Tortula beach... The Rily beach, also known as Fight beach, was when the little grains of sand whipped like glass against your skin and the surf was ragged and punishing. An Alice beach was truly rare, and it involved tide pools." ~pg 10, The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares.

I walked out my door this morning into a "Wales day". You see, I sometimes like to name my days according to the places I've been and of what they remind me, rather like how the characters in Ann Brashares' book named beaches. To me, a "Wales day" is one that has a slight chill in the air, is overcast, and if it is slightly misty, all the better. Despite the unpleasant sound of that, I really do love these days. Bring on the hiraeth! Of course, then there are "France days", which can also be slightly chilly, but are blindingly bright in the early morning hours. These bring to mind the days I spent studying abroad in France during high school and my early morning walks to the bus stop. Each of these days are rare, so I'm always overjoyed to find one when I step out of my apartment.

This was actually the first book by Ann Brashares I have ever read. I know! I know! Horrible me for not reading her Travelling Pants series. And I did find some bits of it to be overwhelmingly "Danielle Steele-esque repetative" (especially Paul's emotional musings over Alice), I did, overall, enjoy the book. It only took a couple chapters to realize that it really would be the last summer for one of the characters (ooo, gone all totally A Summer to Die on you, haven't I?).

Out of the three characters, I think I related most to Riley, and, of course, she was the least well representative of the "voices" Brashares used in this book. But there are times, as I'm sure comes to most everyone, that I don't feel that I quite fit into this world as well as most people, and perhaps it would be better if I were to die young (and not just because of how good I am, thank you Billy Joel). Which, I know, makes no sense. That and the fact that my heart and I have a love-hate relationship starting from the time that I had to get an EKG (because I have a heart mummer), which still gives me an "ick" feeling whenever I think about it, to the time that I woke up and was completely convinced that my heart was not beating. I could not feel a think, and not for lack of trying. (I then decided that God had given me a few moments to find my parents to say goodbye to them, and I couldn't find them. Which meant I stumbled back to my bed and collapsed in a cold sweat, and then passed out-not pretty, I assure you). But, if it all comes down to it and I had the choice Riley had, I think I would chose to end it how she did

So as far as being "emotional" when reading this book, I didn't really go there like Julie did. But, then again, I only show emotions when I watch cheesy Hilary Duff films like Raise Your Voice (I admit, when her brother died at the beginning, I was completely balling my eyes out because I was thinking what would I do if my brother died and I was all to blame). But don't tell anyone I said that! There were some times, however, when I didn't think I was going to be able to finish this book, because I hate the talk of medical things, it makes me go faint. Perhaps that was why I never got into those Lurlene McDaniel books that were so popular when I was growing up.

Gosh, I am really bad at trying to review books. I should give up!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What was that book?

I have to say that I adore this LJ community: What Was That Book?.

It's like a big mystery story just trying to figure out from the little clues people remember about a certain book what exactly it is. And, it makes me realize how few books I've really read when there are so many out there I can't ID!

And, I sometimes find some very interesting sounding books there that I just have to read! Like A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley.

As Tim Gunn would say...

How to post this onto a blog 101. Make it work!

The above posted by Zoho Writer. Trying to see why Terri's wasn't posting correctly.

"Flirting is Manditory"

According to the Dove chocolate I just ate, "flirting is mandatory" today. I rather absently read it and threw it away. Now I'm wondering if that really is what it said. Seems somewhat suspect.

We have the Dove chocolates here because I bought them as an incentive to Terri to finish her 23 Things blog. She's going to do so today. Well, she had better. We work late together tonight (finally!) so I will be poking and prodding her all night long. And stealing her chocolate incentives!

Flying out to St. Louis a couple weekends ago, I finally got a chance to read some of the ARCs I got at ALA. The first was Jinx by Meg Cabot and I, suprise suprise, actually enjoyed it. I act suprised (really) because I haven't much enjoyed the last couple books she has written for teens. And although I thought that the plot was going to turn out all Witches of Eastwick "we want the perfect man" and in walks the devil. But, it wasn't. And despite the transparent love affair, rather enjoyed the book.

Sadly, I was not as impressed with Shannon Hale's newest book Book of A Thousand Days. I'm not sure if it was because I wasn't so familiar with the fairy tale it was based off of, or the fact that she pulled a HP7 ending where everything managed to be wrapped up in a perfect conclusion and I wanted a bit more conflict. No. Perhaps I'm being a bit too harsh. It was a good story, there were just little bits of it that annoyed me. The biggest issue I had was at the end with the "interview with the author" bit about this really being some real story that was found and translated, etc. Fake things like that annoy me.

I did, however, love Scaredy Squirrel Makes A Friend. Those stories are too cute.

Oh, and Jonathan Crombie, you know, Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables, well, he's going to be on Broadway in The Drowsy Chaperone as "The Man in the Chair". It seems hard to believe that he won't be playing a romantic lead. I really wish I had been able to see him in Romeo and Juliet back in the day up in Stratford, Canada.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23

Bling bling ka-ching!

It looks like I'm at the end of the road for this learning process. I have to say that I think my favorite aspect was this blog. It helped me to meet and connect with other librarians in my area as well as abroad. And, really, how cool is that? This means that I will truly do my best to keep up with this blog, and learn how to write proper book reviews. Proper ones, mind you! Because, it should be useful, shouldn't it? Instead of just full of random book/theatre/baseball bits and pieces that go floating around like normal. Though, I suppose that's just me, and it's a hard time changing a personality, isn't it?

Out of my 7 1/2 lifelong learning goals, I have to say that this one prompted me to focus on my spelling on learning how to be a mentor to my co-workers which is something I freely admitted to being weak on since I felt too young. But, helping Terri work on her blog gave me a sense of accomplishment and feeling of goodness that I would have lacked otherwise. Plus, we helped each other stay inspired, and you can't want anything more than that, can't you?

I am quite sure that I would be interested in doing other sorts of things like this, should Maryland/ESRL libraries do offer something like. Though maybe not so much over the summer. It seemed extra busy, especially with everyone away on vacations!

Week 9, Thing 22

Lacking a mp3 player (yes, I am so last century), I never really had the sudden urge to go download an audiobook from NetLibrary, which is the service that our library provides. Though, I did note that when I was scanning through the titles that some of them were unavailable for download through our library. I was disappointed with the lack of selection of some of my favorite authors. But, I freely admit that my tastes in authors run to very obscure minor authors or ones that are dead, so it really is no great suprise that I was coming up empty with the authors I searched for.

However, it would be a good resource to use while at home, as I can download the audiobooks onto my computer and listen to them while I, say, crochet a blanket. I hate just to do one thing at a time, especially crocheting, because as relaxing as that gets, it can get mindnumbingly boring, especially when I have a deadline and "can't stop now" fever! Thus, an audiobook would work just as well as the tv, and perhaps slightly more intellectual.

Week 9, Thing 21

I was slightly amused when I searched under the term "library" at to find coming in at #56 Erotic Expressions, or "An audible sampling of steamy erotic fiction from the Lusty Library at ". Needless to say, that one did not make my cut. Over at Yahoo Podcasts, I was happy to find several that had Jasper Fforde in them as a guest. I really wish that they could podcast his book talks because he's all sorts of brilliant. The ones they had there were a couple years old with him talking about some of his past books.

In the end, however, I ended up at the BBC podcasts because I was curious to see if there was anything familiar from BBC Radio 2, which just happens to be the radio station I listened to while studying abroad in Wales. Not only did I find several podcasts of familiar radio personalities (at least to me) and added them to my bloglines accounty, I also found one from BBC Radio Wales which I happily added to my bloglines even though it is in Welsh and I probably won't understand it. The way I think about it, it can't hurt, and perhaps it will help jog my memory with the Welsh language. However, there are currently no episodes up for listening, but, it seems like they want to do it, so it can't hurt and I'll hope for the best that they will soon start doing Welsh podcasts.

Now if I can just find a French one, I'll be all set language wise!

I can see how these could be useful, especially for book discussions and talks. Within the library or outside. Some, I noticed, are even just readings of books which is good to know when you can't access downloadable books or audio books. The important thing is just being able to find them!

And, however tempting it would be to make a podcast, I'm holding back the urge. Not that anyone wants to listen to my voice here!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Tireless pursuit of the lamest joke.

Can I just say that Jasper Fforde is brilliant? Well, there you are.

Stretch your mind back two weeks ago, I, along with Peggy, attended the Jasper Fforde reading at Politics & Prose in DC. I drove the two of us there, and might I say I was just too pleased with my parking.

That's me next to my CR-V. I hadn't parallel parked since my road test years ago (swore I never would), but look what I managed to do in the "big" city?! And, it was pure perfection, just about an inch from the curb.

Just added to the bliss of the event. Jasper is a hilarious man, just like you would expect if you were to read his books. I had trouble at times seeing him, seeing as I'm so short, but I adored his voice. I have about six pages written up about the event in my personal journal, so I won't bore you to tears, although I love the fact he asked a museum gift shop worker if they sold "Dodo Home Cloning Kits" and she told him to come back in 25 years. Though, I'm mighty glad that Pickwick is Pickwick and not Elmo the Cat. That and when I was flying home, the presentation by the flight attendents was just like the one presented by Jasper and Mari.

I went crazy at the signing part because I had brought a couple books from home (U.K. editions) to see if he would sign them, and he did. He even did a little "Plock!" on one of my Thursday Next books when I asked if he would, just because I love Pickwick and saying "Plock". Actually, I adore the Pickwick graphic on his site (Pickwick's Cavalcade of Fun) where he runs across the screen saying "Plock". Maybe I have issues.

And, I didn't act like a complete idiot when I talked to him, though I did ramble on a bit why I have the UK editions. But, that was ok because I ended up having a nice little chat with Mari because she actually grew up in the next town over from Carmarthen (Llanstefan). And, her mom teaches art at the school there. And, it was all very exciting. Plus, I got a picture with the two of them! (People didn't seem to be taking many pictures, but there I was with mine, bwhahahaha!!!!)

Never fear, though, for I did have an opportunity to make a stupid comment to a remotely famous person (well, famous in my books). Robert Hunt! After seeing him in Les Miserables that weekend (and loving his performance as Javert as ever), I asked to get a picture with him, telling him that "I've loved you for three years!". When something like "I've been a fan of yours for three years" or "I've loved your Javert for three years" would have been a bit more apropos. Still, front row seats is not a thing to be scoffed at, especially when it is your friend's 100th performance.

I also enjoyed "A Most Notorious Woman", a one-woman show about Grace O'Malley (and the foxy English queen and all the men who loved her) as well as the new musical "Glory Days". Both viewed at the DC Fringe Festival.

Today I received two new books. The Fox by Sherwood Smith which I've very excited about because the first book in the series was very fun and Little Lady, Big Apple by Hester Browne, which I have read, but was a suprise gift from my friend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Week 9, Thing 20

Since I've already posted the one lone video on Youtube that features myself, I decided to turn to musical theatre and bring some "Frou Frou" into this blog's life. Otherwise known as the musical version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, a book that I have cherished for many a many years. Of course, the musical version did play heavy with the Marguerite/Chauvelin romance aspect, but, it did have some wonderful baritone songs for ChauChau. And Douglas Sills as Percy was hilarious!

So, here is the Tony Awards performance:

The site seems easy enough to use. I think it could be used for library things such as the video from Mitali Perkin's book launch party that I had posted previously. It could show the community just what's happening at the library. Oh, I am full of brilliant ideas this morning.

And, speaking of The Scarlet Pimpernel, my friend over at Bronteana highlighted two vampire Scarlet Pimpernel romance novels. Which sound absolutely, um, interesting, to me. They are Possession and Confession by Lori Herter.

The snippet posted by The Scarlet Pimpernel Merchandise site from Possession tantalizes us with:

A really bad vampire/romance novel. The interesting thing about it is that the hero is a playwright who became a vampire in the year 1616, but lives latter-day Chicago and his newest work is a musical version of The Scarlet Pimpernel in which Percy is a vampire. The author has a nympho vampire friend, who becomes obsessed with the actor portraying Percy. Most of the book is set during rehersals, which, oddly enough, all of which the actor does with full prosthetic makeup and costumes. He has to wear a blond wig and the rubber mask because he has a round cherubic face (not an aquiline nose) and brown curly hair, and because he was very famous on a sitcom, and doesn't want the audience to see his TV image.

It's unfortunate that I can't get this one on ILL. ::sniff::

Week 8, Thing 19

This one is inspired by my mom, who has decided that I need to buy a house. I think it's so they can move in with me during the summer now that they've sold their "summer home" and don't want to live in Florida full time. Ah, the life of the retired!

So, I checked out both Zillow and HousingMaps. I found HousingMaps to be nice and simplistic, as it is just based on Google Maps. Unfortunately, the focus is on houses around the DC area, as that is the nearest Craigslist site. Though, I did happen to click on one in Richmond, VA. Close enough, I suppose. What's a few hours?

HousingMaps actually had stuff in my area. Granted it was very expensive and I could never afford it. How depressing. Well, when I become a millionaire, I'll think about it. The "Make Me Move" thing was interesting. As my mom always said, "It's all for sale". I guess some people just need the right price.

Then, of course, thanks to poking around on Mingle2 (a site my mom would never approve of), I found a link to this priceless gem (a.k.a. the Millie "I'm going to marry my boss" Dillmount approved site of the day) Wealthy Romance, where you can find all of your rich men dating needs. Now you know how I'll be spending my down time on the reference desk.

Ah, I probably shouldn't even admit to finding that one, should I? It's just too amusing.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Week 8, Thing 18

Having an online word processor is a very useful tool for libraries such as ours that do not have access to Word documents on computers designated for online use only. These types of programs will be especially beneficial to those who need to create and send business letters and resumes online for job applications.

The above paragraph was brought to you in part by Zoho Writer and my mad typing skillz. With special thanks to Mrs. Walker who did not fall out the window in our typing class.

The word processing program is pretty neat and it has all of the things that Microsoft Word has, and lets you work on saved documents anytime and anywhere. And costs a lot less. Though, you have to make sure you actually log into your account to keep the documents from being deleted! But, for when you are in a pinch or at a place where there is no access to Microsoft Word (or similar word processing programs) it's quite good.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Something to sing about.

I'm beginning to wonder... could this be the best week ever?

It started last Saturday night when I went to the National Symphony Orchestra concert at Wolf Trap. There, not only did I finally get to hear Aaron Lazar sing in person (he was Fabrizio in the PBS broadcast of Light in the Piazza) but, I got to meet him in person backstage!

It was another example of why being crazy sometimes just doesn't work out. Now, I had my own flight of crazy earlier in the day when I chased down the local post woman so I could get my personal copy of Harry Potter. Being nice and patient has its rewards. Take, for instance, fifteen years ago when I went to see a baseball game in Montreal. It was the Expos vs the Mets. The Mets were doing warm ups on the field. I was standing next to my brother (wearing an Expos cap) and a man who decided the best way to capture a baseball and the attention of all of the security guards was to jump the field and run around a bit. And there I was, standing, hoping. And, wouldn't you know, Sid Fernendez came up to me and gave me a baseball. My almost 11 year-old self was paralyzed with astonishment and so I forgot to ask to get it autographed. SID FERNEDEZ IF YOU READ THIS I HAVE A BASEBALL FOR YOU TO AUTOGRAPH!!!!! Ahem.

Saturday night, there were all sorts of middle-aged people yelling out to Marvin Hamlisch that they were his long lost cousins and that he should really come over and take pictures with them. We stood and looked at them with shock and dismay over the general pushiness of people. We were asked who we were waiting to see, and said Aaron, but were told that he had about fifteen family members backstage with him, including his grandparents. So, we were doubtful that we would even get a chance to see him (we did see him going into the theatre pre-show, though). But, shortly after, the guard lady came back and told us that if we didn't mind waiting a bit more and promised to behave ourselves, we could meet him backstage. And, so we waited, and met him, and even though he called me Kristie (I have the problem of going quiet on the last part of my name, I admit) he was so sweet and lovely and so nice to actually meet him. Not to mention that his "Music of the Night" was to die for.

And, today, is Jasper Fforde Day!!!! And it's been declared that day on the calendar for several months now. Finally, after five years of reading his books, I get to meet the man. I'm so very excited, even though it means I have to drive through crazy DC traffic to get there. I first read The Eyre Affair whilst travelling through France and I nearly wanted to not go out and see Paris so I could finish reading the book. That's a problem, isn't it? So The Eyre Affair is probably my most well travelled book in the history of ever as it went on my spring break "tour of Europe" back when I was in Wales. In fact, I collect the UK editions, so my friend was studying at Cambridge bought me a signed copy of the UK edition (which I have discovered is actually missing some text) and I'm going to get her a signed copy of the US edition, which she collects. Win all around.

Hopefully this coming Saturday, I shall finally get to meet Robert Hunt, who is probably my favorite Javert and get to see Michael Minarik (of frolicing through four lanes of traffic in Boston fame). So, now you can see why it is the best book/musical week!

Week 7, Thing 17

Mass hysteria was created when I posted my blog to the Maryland Libraries Sandbox. Ok, I'm sure it isn't that bad, but I was confused where I should post the link. Should it go under the heading "Eastern Shore Regional Library" or did I dare create a new heading for "Queen Anne's County Free Library" as people from libraries on the western half of Maryland did. I dared.

Of course, some of this daring was caused by pure ignorance. As a non-native to Maryland, I still haven't quite sorted out all of the county names and where they are located (a problem when entering out of county patrons into the system). For the moment, however, the Queen Anne's County Free Library is free ranging it!

Week 7, Thing 16

Wiki! Wikis! My first experience using (and by using, I mean actually contributing) a wiki was during grad school. It was my records management class, and one of our wiki assignments was to be a "definition taker" for a certain class period and we had to find definitions to the various words we discussed during class. I always lived in fear that I would get some tragically hard word and end up looking stupid. Though, goodness knows, I don't need help for that! Now that wiki was password controlled, so only members of the class were able to access it. What was especially nice with it, was that at the end of the class, we were left with a permanent spot on the web of everything that we learned over the course of the semester that we could go to for reference.

My second use was an on the job experience at Wheelock college where the reference librarians had their own wiki (as did the circ staff). This kept all of the reference librarians up-do-date with various questions asked, questions that were still being worked on, and things that we could do when there was nothing else to do. Once tasks were complete, we could cross them off the list so others would know that they could move onto the next task. The wiki also included useful guides for things such as filling ILL requests.

Wikis can pretty much include whatever the users want, on a variety of topics. They could be used within libraries for librarians to share useful links for reference sites/article discussion/reviews/etc.

Does this sound like a good textbook answer?

Week 6, Thing 15

As I read the articles provided about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, I can't help but think about small public libraries like where I work. Especially during the article by Rick Anderson, "Away From The 'Iceburgs'". He questions the role of "collections" in this article as he promotes the Library of the Future that will be able to provide the local community with electronic access to pretty much anything, all without needing to come into the library. Now, you can call me an old-fashioned stick in the mud (and I'm only 26!), but, I have a hard time believing that there will ever come a day that we could do that, simply based on the cost. And, of course, some of the technology really needs to improve (such as book readers) before I'm willing to give up on my paper books. Patrons may expect to find everything digitally, but until we can afford such a thing, they probably won't get it.

Granted, I am also an archivist, and this archivists needs her paper!

I will be the first to admit, however, that a more interactive cataloguing experience would be love. Especially if they would always provide plot synopsis and reviews.

Monday, July 23, 2007

There are times when I should really think.

Thanks to Hailey Abbott's book Summer Boys, I now have a new pick-up line for the rest of summer.

"It's summer. It's hot. It's time to hook up."

Of course, now Lauren wants me to say that to the next person who walks in the door, and that just is not going to happen. Ever. At all.

This one is for the memories.

Note: I have not read this book, just the back cover.

Week 6, Thing 14

Tagging is my friend. Except, I've apparently been using the "wrong" tag for this blog. I use "23 Things" to mark entries relating to the 23 Things course I'm taking, but it seems that the prefered term was actually "mdlearn2"? Well, I'm not going to change now! My problem with tagging is that sometimes I forget the ones I've used before and end up using something slightly different, thus creating an onslaught of tags. Mountains, believe me. That said, I enjoy searching for "23 Things" in Technorati and finding my blog. Of course, on days like today (July 23), you have to type it in with the quotes otherwise, good luck. And, yes, the searches are different depending on where you search.

It comes as no suprise that "harry potter" and "deathly hollows" are some of the most popular tags at the moment. What makes it more fun is the fact that I am now free to read them without worrying about spoilers. Not that I actually have time to read them or even really want to read all of them. That would be frightening. It does concern me, however, that one of the top 100 blogs has something to do with "hot asian teenage girls" or some such thing. I obviously did not look at that one, either. Does that count as interesting?

Week 6, Thing 13

Now that the Harry Potter madness is over for me (as far as reading the book unspoiled), I can now go back to reading blogs/watching the news without fear that I will stumble across something that I didn't need to know about too soon.

Which is why I can now talk about, the social bookmarking manager. Something that will prove instantly useful this week as my home laptop is beomg sent out to California to be repaired. Taking with it all of the bookmarks I saved on that computer. And, pretty much everything else in my life the past two years. I know, that isn't that dramatic.

But, it explains how perfect a tool can be when used "for the greater good" (HP!). I can, therefore, access my bookmarks elsewhere, or be reunited with them when I am reunited with my computer and no harm done. Then there is the additional bonus of the tagging and being able to see other people's bookmarks and how they are labled so you can find other sites that might be of interest to you that, otherwise, might have been unfoundable. Unfoundable? Maybe hard to find, then. So, I can see it's uses for things other than personal. That is, of course, if the bookmarked links are reliable sources and that depends on the user. Like so much of everything on the internet, it is helpful to be a little bit wary.

As far as Harry Potter goes, Snape = Neville. That's all I'm saying (and not Neville Longbottom).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Ok, I don't know how much help I was, but, I did find the "expert" on Eastern Shore baseball history. Or so I think. I mean, he did present a paper on the early history of baseball on the Eastern Shore at Cooperstown. That has to count for something, right? I also found another person who is writing a book about semi-pro baseball in the mid-Atlantic region. A book that, when it is published, should go on our "to be purchased for the library" list. And, this person is a former Expos player. Double points.

So, I gave the patron all of the info I found when he came in, and I know that he has contacted the first person, as I received an email back from them saying they had been contacted by the patron. All I can say is score points for reference! Ok, so it took several hours to discover this, but, it happened.

Speaking of baseball, let's see how the Mets are doing...

... and, they're losing. What a suprise.

To make it a perfect day, the same cute little girl who waved at me in the Food Lion parking lot came up to me and gave me a hug whilst I was talking to Julie. And a little boy came up to me while I was working on my reference question and gave me a very colourful drawing to hang from my desk. I am adored by the little people! At least today I was.

Week 5, Thing 12

Rollyo! Just saying that is fun. The unfun part of it was staring at the screen, trying to think up what I wanted to roll (or is it rollyo?). I finally decided, that since this blog features musicals as much as books, that I would do one of theatre news sites. This is supposed to be about play, isn't it? So, I'll cop out of the "work" mode of "I really should have used useful ready reference sites" and have some fun. Who knows if it would even be useful.

Find the sites to add was not a problem. Finding the link to my Rollyo project was. Thankfully, Julie pointed me in the right direction, so you can find my Theatre Rollyo search engine here. It features sites relating to Broadway, West End, and French theatre. I've done a few searches, and it seems to be useful. For my own personal interests, though. This one won't cut the mustard at work.

Well, let the 10 o'clock onslaught begin! I need to find information about the Eastern Shore Negro League. It's being rather difficult and mysterious. Woe is me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Week 5, Thing 11

I've known about LibraryThing for a while now. Known about it, but haven't used it. Part of the reason, I suppose, is that my books were scattered across three states at the time. Actually, they still are. But, instead of FL/NY/MA, now it's FL/NY/MD. Florida books have mostly come home to roost, but my New York ones are causing me a spot of bother, as, apparently, I have too many of them. Already, my mom has packed away nine boxes, and that just from the two bookcases in my bedroom (and not counting my entire L.M. Montgomery collection which was brought down to me a month ago). I still have boxes of my childrens books that were packed away during a previous move. I am being told that I must go through these boxes when I'm up there visiting in a few weeks and weed my collection. It will be the saddest day of my life. Ok, probably not that bad.

Did I have a point?

Maybe. Or, maybe not. Most likely not.

But, here I am, with a LibraryThing account! A very limited catalog, yes, but, I'm trying to remember books I like. Some of them I haven't seen in years. It is all quite tragic. What I like best is trying to find the exact edition that matches, which, unfortunately, I wasn't able to do for all of them. I need to go home and find the ISBNs for some of them to get it all straightened out. Of course, that will take extra effort on my part. Perhaps, too much. I did, however, break into one other LibraryThing user's dream world of being the only one to own a copy of The Story of Naughty Kildeen, so take that! I own it too. And I got it for a song ($5). Ok, so there are some page rips, but, the illustrations are hand painted and you don't get that quality anymore for $5. I'm such a snob.

Is it sad, though, that the majority of the ten books I have listed at the moment have the tag "young women"? I guess you can figure out pretty quick that I like to read books about smart young women. There, to make myself feel better, I put up a book with a tag of "young men". That should balance it out!

Week 5, thing 10

You know, with a week entitled "play", one would think that I would be blogging like crazy because, after all, it should be fun.

But, then there's me. Luckily, tonight at work is finally slow, so I have time to do fun things like create avatars:

And then, use other image generators to create things like this from previously created avatar:

As you can see, I did have fun. The first was created at Yahoo! Avatars, while the second image was created at FD Toys. They should probably both be dedicated to my friend Rachel. As I met her over in England/Wales (why I went for the UK theme, I was tempted to add the Welsh flag, but that might be overkill) and the second Warhol-esque image because she adores Warhol. I even endured the Tate Modern to see a Warhol exhibit they had. The exhibit was fine, but afterwards? Going around all of that modern art makes me twitchy (I'm such a Renaissance/Raphael fangirl). That's why I love visiting the National Gallery of Art in DC because I heart Raphael's St. George and the Dragon they have. So much better than his version in the Louvre.

And now that I've wandered off into the art world...

Here's a link to a story about my friend Carol and her exhibit she designed for the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Conneticut. It sounds tempting, doesn't it?

::hunts in drawer for chocolate::

Monday, July 9, 2007

Week 4, Thing 9

I have fallen shockingly behind in my "Things" post. So, prepared to be stunned with the massive amounts of updates today! That doesn't mean that I haven't looked at what I was supposed to be doing, I just got a little delayed with other things that happened last week.

I hadn't heard of MERLIN before, so it was nice to have that highlighted as a thing to do/place to see this week (or, two weeks ago). It has been added to my bloglines. Out of all of the blog finding tools, I am most familiar with Technorati. I did like, however, how lets you view news articles that are related to your community/city. That's very useful for finding all of the juicy stories that Terri and Lynn like to read.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ca alors!

Julie was suprised when she saw that Cathy had a picture of the two of us bhangra dancing at Mitali Perkin's book launch last week. Even more shocking? A youtube/google video has surfaced, featuring... us! Well, thankfully not us specifically, but, we are there, and we are dancing badly. To you, gentle reader, I present... bhangra dancing!!!!

If you can, then pick us out. Otherwise, that's too bad. I'm not going to tell which one of the dancers is me!

I took yesterday off, which meant I read lots of books. Well, three and a half to be more specific. They were: The Lady's Not for Burning by Christopher Fry (this is actually a play), Dairy Queen and The Off Season both by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, and Looking for Alaska by John Green.

I had picked up The Lady's Not For Burning thanks to my read through of Pamela Dean's Tam Lin. The plot does resemble Tam Lin a bit, at least as far as the girl ends up saving the boy from death. Thomas, in this case, went looking for death while she was attempting to avoid it (she was to be burned as a witch, he wanted the magistrate to hang him just to die). But, there at the mayor's office they met and he lost his heart and was willing to give her fifty years.

Dairy Queen and The Off Season go together as they deal with the same character. I had to go back to my FLA conference notes because I went to Murdock's discussion about Dairy Queen without having read the book (oops). Now the two things her children said after she finished reading it to them make complete sense.

Daughter: "The movie will have two kissing scenes."
Son: "You mean it was all a stupid English paper?"

I was glad for the ending of The Off Season. It wasn't the typical "happily ever after" type ending because, really, how real is that? Life isn't perfect, but there is a big world out there with many other options. D.J. saw a glimpse of that when she visited college with her brother Bill. I do wish that we could see her in the future, though I know that Murdock's next book is a fantasy novel. Perhaps more someday soon, though!

I should have more to say regarding Looking for Alaska after dinner. That's where I'm off to now.

Week 4, Thing 8

RSS feeds! And bloglines!

Firstly, here is the link to my current bloglines: I know, very exciting. It pretty much consists of the links I have listed here plus a few others that I threw on there for fun. But, everyone wants subscribers, and now I can at least further my stalking of co-workers when I'm not glaring at them from my reference desk (it's a talent we reference librarians must cultivate to mainatain our street-cred/certification).

Bloglines is a useful feature, because I'm forever checking out different blogs/news feeds to see if there has been an update, and, voila! now I can do it all in one place. If that isn't exciting then you haven't been inside a library in a while I don't know what is.

Onwards and upwards, because I have lots of things to blog about (and lots of goodies to eat).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What is Habit 7 1/2: Play.

Sunday at ALA. Julie and I didn't start quite as bright and early as Saturday, and yet, we ended up at the conference center at the exact same time. Which meant we were about 45 minutes early for the first session, because it started at 8:30. We got great seats, however! About four rows back and on the aisle so a clear shot to see Nancy Pearl. She discussed her newest book, Book Crush which is bound to be a favorite as I do love my children's lit.

Nancy Pearl also discussed some of the top signs that you know you are an avid reader. One of them being that you could never properly pronouce words. I have that problem. I always have had that problem. It used to vex my mom dreadfully, particularly because she was a speech therapist. It must have looked (sounded) awful for a woman in her career to have a daughter who couldn't talk properly. One of Nancy Pearl's favorite words to misprounce? "Misled".

Another sign was when you attempted to gain the definition of an unknown word through the context of what was around it. She used the example of Ruby Gillis in Anne of the Island dying of consumption. She was eaten? Worse would be galloping consumption. That's like take out.

The last sign was when you began to believe that what took place in book-verse happened in real life. She apparently discribed in great detail her date with "Mike" to the junior prom complete with dress and what happened to her daughter, and her daughter pointed out that that was exactly like the prom adentures of another girl in Double Date. Oh. Of course, my worse mixing of fact and fiction was actually in a dream format whereas I dreamt that a high school friend of mine had died, and it was so vivid that I went around the entire next day convinced that he had, in fact, died. And I was depressed. But, voila! He was on IM that night. Joy!

Julie and I then went to the exhibits and, firstly, we found Shannon Hale's newest ARC Book of A Thousand Days. I have yet to read it, because I'm dreadful about saving things like that. At that time, we also went to the Graphic Novel section of the exhibit center and picked up a few samplers and some ideas. We then headed to the Random House fall 2007 book preview, but on the way, as I was reading to Julie from the back of Emma (vol 4), a friend from Simmons stopped me. It was Elizabeth! It appeared we had no free time to really chat, but it was so nice to see her again, even for that brief moment. Despite there being a whole slew of Simmons people, I didn't spot nary a one after that encounter.

It made Julie and I slightly late to the book preview, but, we only missed one book being discussed, so that wasn't half bad. I had never been to one before, and it was so nice getting to see some of the insides of the book. Plus, we got a really fun Love, Stargirl bag with shiny blue plastic handles. Of course, mine started to break when we were later walking in the exhibit hall, but that's ok. We found a nice little sandwich shop next to the convention center thanks to two women on the escalator who overheard us talking about lunch. We got there just in time because soon a line was developing for the sandwiches!

More later, I'm tired of typing now (plus, I look like a slacker and who wants to work with a slacker these days?).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Not your mother's librarian.

Or, An Abundance of Katherines Bugs.

I just spent the last twenty or so minutes cleaning up the bug problem in three rows of our fiction and non-fiction section. The two pages working today (Jess and Nicole) cornered me in the back room, telling me they had a "little problem" that needed fixing. So, I was snagged into doing bug duty. Previously, I was helping a lady find old tax forms online, so you can see how my duties vary.

Bug duty involved scooping up little black bugs and larger brown bugs (no, I did not stop to identify the exact type of bug they were) onto pieces of paper and smushing them if necessary. The girls apparently hate all types of bugs and wouldn't risk being near ten feet of them, let alone bring the trash bin closer to me for easier disposal. Just the sight of dead bugs in the trash was enough to turn them green.

The one thing I was not about to touch was the very much alive Daddy-Long-Legs that was waving its very long legs at me in anger?hurt?frustration?. I let Terri take care of it. She's good at picking them up by a leg and throwing them outside. And these ones are huge.

My reward at the end of this: chocolate.


"You turned my brother into a bug, and now he's dead!" I forget which movie that is from, but, hilarious.

It's as clear as black and white.

I have this picture of the author being unapproachable, and I think I can blame Julie Andrews for that. Did you ever think that I would have a negative thing to say about that woman? Because when I went to her book signing in Boston a couple years ago, the fear of God was put into me that I couldn't really a)talk to her or b)take any pictures. It really is quite a silly thing that I should base all interactions with authors on her standards. Silly because I have met authors before her and after her, and they were all very nice and highly approachable.

The scene: high school, 11th grade

In my English class, we were broken into small groups and assigned different books to read. My group was assigned The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks. As part of this project, we had to come up with type of project presenting the book to the class. We ended up inviting Russell Banks to come to our class and give a book talk. He came, he was very nice to all of us crazy high schoolers and our project was a success.

The scene: ALA Conference, 2007

Mitali Perkins' book launch party for her newest book, First Daughter. I had so much fun there! I ate things (samosas) that had vegetables in it (peas) and learned how to do some bhangra dancing (and, there are pictures that have me in it doing some dancing, but you won't be seeing them here!). Julie, Genevieve, and I teamed up for Mitali's presidental quiz and we all actually won a free copy of First Daughter. This was later signed by Mitali. Just so you know (this was the bonus/tie breaker in the quiz) that 23 presidential children have gone on to write books. 23

After Mitali read a "bit and a bite" from her book about bhangra dancing, and then we all danced a couple dances (after being taught), as well as watched a professional dancer do a dance for us. The songs were all about the beauty of the girl's eyes. Here is a picture of Julie, Mitali, and I from after the dancing:

After the book launch party, we all headed down to the KidLit Drink Night at Capital City Brewing Company for dinner. Well, I at least had dinner there! It was a rotating cast of librarians/bloggers/authors that completely confused our poor waiter. But, it was so nice getting to meet all of these new people and a whole new world of blogging has been opened up to me. I'm so new at this blogging that it was quite embarrassing to introduce myself. I also realized that perhaps a Welsh phrase was not the best name for a blog because it's awfully impractical when attempting to tell a stranger the name of your blog. Especially when one word includes the double "ll" at the end of it (you really do need to make a strange sound if you want to pronouce it correctly. You live and learn!

A complete list of everyone that we met is over at Julie's blog. Though, I must say that it was particularly nice to have met Jennie at Biblio File. She had to put up with my tired ramblings, poor girl!

After dinner, Julie and I decided that we were far too tired to attend the storytelling program that evening, so we headed back home on the metro and, eventually, home home.

So, overall, it was a great experience and this was only day one! And, I've added so many books I need to read to my "book book".

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day 443: Goat has attempted to eat my book.

Actually, it should be ALA Day 1, but how boring would that be? Probably not so much because my first day ever of ALA conferencing was exciting. It invovled getting up at 5 a.m. so I could be at the metro station a bit before 7. I met Julie there, and we rode our way in style towards the DC convention center. At registration, I managed to snag the nice registration lady. Julie was not so lucky. Mine was so nice that she even attached my "New bee" ribbon onto my badge.

The eight o'clock session I attended was completely filled up. I had to sit on the floor (so hopefully it was clean). It ended up being a lot shorter session that it was supposed to be as the presentor was sick and had given us a substitute. We got through the material in 30 minutes (it was about new technologies and uses in the library). This was followed by 30 minutes of discussion, and then freedom.

Freedom to go to the exhibits! At the Florida Library Conference, they weren't really giving away things (at least, I didn't see anything like this there). So, my first ARC pick-up, I acted a bit like this:

(that being loving ripped from the utterly fabulous Stick Library comic, "Control Freaks".) I, of course, being the one on the right running away with a free book (and I am actually a trained archivist). And then I realized that there were more!!! About the time that I realized that if I bent down I couldn't stand up because my bag was weighing me down that much, I decided that I had enough of free books, and, goodness me, what was I to do with them all the rest of the day (you must realized that this was about 10 am). Of course, I was justified in taking what I did because Julie was still in session, so missed out on that first initial rush of ARCs. So, I was collecting stuff for the both of us. I also got Lois Lowry to sign a copy of Number the Stars for only $3. Not too shabby. I could have gotten The Giver, but I read and loved NtS first. So, why not?

My 10:30 session was on Libraries and Landscapes. My undergraduate degree was in historic preservation, and, we might be expanding our library, so I thought that it would be interesting to see what other libraries did on the outside of their buildings, as a session I attended in Florida dealt with their innards. I think I might have been the youngest person there. It was an interesting session, though, with the exception of the last speaker (the token librarian) they didn't delve much into the problems that a landscaped environment can create for the library. I did learn a fun new phrase, "blessed bling bling" regarding a very shiny gold plated church altar thing.

After this session, I met up with Julie for lunch. But, I had decided that it would be better to run back to my car and drop off my bag of books so I wouldn't be so weighed down for the rest of the day. It was probably a good idea with what else we did. Besides, I had a bagel and some water, I would be all set for a cheap lunch. It was a race against time and the metro... and I won! Despite trying to go down an up elevator, I managed to get back to the conference center with nine minutes to spare before the next session. These shoes are made for walking!

My 1:30 session was on Shakespeare in the Library, and it was not all that I had hoped it would be. One of the speakers was all about how academic librarians and professors should work together. Another was like "wee! Elizabeth I!!! I've been in love with her since I was ten." So, you get the picture. Plus, Julie came in from her session and managed to distract me by her exhibit guide. (I confess, I am easily distracted when I get tired.) We actually left the session early so we would be able to arrive at Mitali Perkin's book launch on time.

And, I'll have more on that later... now it is time for dinner.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Week 3, Thing 7

Our last task of the week is to talk about anything technology-related. At first, I was going to talk about the Internet Archive, because, I admit, I am a fan. And how fun is it to read old books online? Well, it can be when they include the neat book flip feature.

However, a friend pointed out the Online Musical Theatre Video Archive to me last night, and I've had too much fun looking at it last night to not give it a mention here. I had never heard of it before, and it appears to be still in the process of creation (if the fact that they stopped in the "s" titled musicals gives any indication). The videos on the site come from either the Tony Awards or from programs like the Ed Sullivan show or morning talk shows.

Here's a favorite show, Deaf West's Big River:

The show is based on Mark Twain's Adventures of Huck Finn. It might never have been a show that caught my interest, as the music runs more towards country/bluegrass/gospel, except the addition of signing added a powerful element to the show. There was a mix of deaf and hearing actors in this version of the show. The hearing actors spoke/sung the words for the deaf actors. For the first five or so minutes, you are aware that the character Huck Finn is not really speaking/singing his lines and it is Mark Twain doing the talking for both himself and Huck Finn, but, slowly you accept MT's voice as Huck's and it is all quite magical. Oh, I think I'm describing it rather badly. And, I know that I said previously that I didn't think I would be a fan of the music, but there are actually quite a few songs I love from that show. A couple sitting next to me walked out before the end of the first act, because it does have those elements in it that make Huck Finn a banned book in some places, but, if you look beyond that, it is a beautiful piece of work that is made more poignant with the addition of signing. Especially when Jim tells the tale of his daughter who became "deaf and dumb" due to scarlet fever but he didn't realize this until after he had hit her for not shutting the door when he told her.

The second featured show? 1776! Because, really, how can you resist singing, dancing, and snarking founding fathers? You just can't.

This is the Original Broadway Cast peforming "Sit Down, John" and "Molassas To Rum" on the Ed Sullivan show. I always said that despite the content, that "Molassas to Rum" has to be one of the sexier baritone songs.

Edited: Oh look! It appears that they now have shows all the way to "Z". How exciting!

Week 3, Thing 6

I played around (ah, rule #7 1/2!) with several of the flickr toys. I was most amused by Mappr declaring on their photo map that they have "high" or "low" confidence that the photo was actually taken where it was tagged taken. It does seem like something that would be interesting once it takes off, but it was rather slow and clunky on my computer (probably due to a slow internet connection on my part) but also the lack of photographs attached to the map that meant everything I looked up, I could not find a related image.

I guess I had the most fun with FD Toys' Trading Card Maker. I made two! Though, neither of them are of me. The first uses a picture that I used during an archives presentation to the local historical society last week. It's of a daguerreotype:

The other is of cats. A co-worker of mine from the BAC Library in Boston used to joke about another co-worker as being the type who years from now would be the kind of librarian that would have cats hanging from her sweaters. So, I couldn't resist this one.

Thus ends my Flickr explorations for the moment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm no longer that girl.

"When I grow up, I want to be...

...'a teacher,' said Kristin."

Or so I said at age five. With both my parents teachers, it's probably no suprise that I would pick that career path. Although a total of eight kids in my kindergarten class picked that answer. Perhaps the most unique was said by another teacher's kid. It was, "the person who does the elephant job in a circus". You can't beat that! However, I don't believe Eric grew up to do that. Tragic. I'm sure circuses world wide mourn the loss.

My response for what I wanted to eat for Thanksgiving? "Soda, a donut, and turkey." Not quite traditional.

I would do just about anything for a donut back then. Especially a sour cream with nougats from the P&C bakery. In fact, my parents took away my donut privilages when I refused to ride my bike with the training wheels (I was always resistant to change). Needless to say, one scary go down my driveway and into the bushes across the road earned me half a donut and I never looked back aft
er that. Except, I can honestly say that I haven't had a donut recently. I must remedy this when I go home. Hopefully the P&C donuts I love (though they now do not feature the sugary nougat) will be on sale then!

"I liked kindergarten because...

...'I got to do things well,' said Kristin."

Oh, teacher's pet. I went across the star chart way too many times and never had a time out (my brother had one). I was also the class valedictorian and managed to make my hat fall off in the middle of my speech, just like my brother! (You can tell I always wanted to be just like him, hero worship.)

And, I should probably be embarrassed that I love my mommy because "she sometimes wakes me up in the morning and sets my clock" and my daddy because "he makes me my lunches" when other kids are saying what wonderful parents they have in better terms. But, come on, I was only five and I did have to think up these things right as I got into class in the morning. Though, perhaps the best one was when I said it was my dad's birthday and I thought he
was turning 55. I'm sure they laughed that one up in the staff room.

All of these things I wouldn't have had a hope remembering had I not saved
everything, well, not everything, growing up. I have a whole binder dedicated to kindergarten and our teacher, Mrs. Dowie, typed up "our morning stories" where we told her one interesting fact each morning before entering her classroom and this would get sent home each night. We would have to circle words/letters that we were working on and have our parents sign it. Looking back, it's actually quite shocking some of the things we said and that she actually put in it.

I think, just looking at this, it is also quite shocking that I never though of being an archivist until I was 22. I mean, I have trees worth of paper products that I saved, even from things I didn't actively participate in but just saw or attended. Or people I knew.

If only I could style my life after that girl who shredded everything that she ever wrote or was written about her. But, erasing oneself isn't always the answer, either. Perhaps I shall have to take up electronic blogging permanently!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The ties that bind.

I was reading reviews of children's books over on Julie's blog. She participated in the 48 hour readers' challenge last weekend. I missed out doing this because I was fully occupied by work on Saturday, and on Sunday, I did practically no reading. Shocking how lazy I can be on a sunny Sunday. The Lady's Not for Burning held no interest to me.

It was fun reading about her second go at Dairy Queen, as I was the one who met Catherine Murdock down in Florida. That was my "break" during the FLA conference. In between learning about giving (or rather not giving) medical advice, gaming in the library, etc., I decided to fit in an author discussion. So, that was fun. And, very much more down to earth than when I met Julie Andrews in Boston. In my being stunned by the greatest that is Julie Andrews, I managed to tell her that I liked the illustrations in her book. Seconds later, I realized that she had nothing to do with the illustrations. I am a complete idiot.

In fact, this entry was based on demonstrating how to use a link. I hope it wasn't utterly pointless, however.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Week 3, Thing 5

"Tamsin: Does Cameron need a Christine in London?
David: Hmm, I wonder what Cam will give me in London."

Let's talk about musicals. Specifically Les Miserables. It was the first (two) musicals I saw on Broadway, and, I admit, the last. Don't worry, I have seen other shows between the original production and the revival. About a month ago, I was lucky enough to see Ben Davis as Javert in the revival production. I say lucky, because he was fabulous. Really, one of my favorite Javerts ever. Yesterday, I learned that Cameron Mackintosh fired him. Which was really tragic. And heartbreaking, considering they gave him a bad excuse and it was a role he really wanted to play.

So, for my first exciting Flickr assignment, I thought I would upload to Flickr the picture of Ben and I, just for fun. Clearly, because it has nothing to do with library life.

This is us!

In all reality, I need to post a photo with the label of "mdlearning2". Lacking the resources of a digital camera (so, I'm old fashioned), I bring you an exciting/frightening photo from my past to fulfil this requirement. But first, let's talk about my Flickr experience. I admit, I've used Photobucket since 2003 for my photo uploading needs, but, I was willing to give Flickr a go. And, it isn't all that bad, and features many shiny things that PB doesn't, so, it has quite a few possibilities. Though, goodness knows, I'm a preservationist, thus, resistant to change.

It is quite easy to upload images, though I have only done two so far, and as I had a yahoo account from way back in the dark ages of the late 1990s, I was pretty much all set with that.

So, here's my next photo.

It is from well over a year ago when I was still in library school in Boston. My friend Vita and I were training to be archivists at the Park Street Church archives and discovered this "crazy clown" doll tucked away among some other things that looked like were gifts to missionaries. Perhaps this one was possessed, as it certainly had a very evil expression. Second semester, I worked in the vault alone. Should I ever write a memoir, and should it ever be published, at the time, I was hoping for it to be call: "Locked in a vault: The Tales of an Idiot Archivist". Because, well, we worked in a vault (lucky, an old bank vault and not where they used to keep the dead bodies under the church) and sometimes, the custodians tried to lock us in it.

There! Flickr and stories. Sounds like bedtime to me!

What fools these mortals be.

I guess I'm quite the narcassist since I have this blog and I ::gasp:: actually write about myself in it. And here I was thinking that was the point of blogs. Silly me. What else will I learn during my trip through 23 Things?

Continuing in this vein (vain-hah), I created a new header that features Castell Harlech, which, as Princess Branwen, I claim as my own. And, also created a user picture of a Diversion sign from London. I guess you would have had to be in the UK/Wales with me at the time to understand all of the fun of Diversion signs and Owain Glyndor.

I also added some links to blogs run by my friends. Of course, now it looks like I'm also limited in the friends department. But, such is life.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Week 2, Thing 4

You know, as a librarian, you would really hope I knew how to read. No dice. Well, I did read, just not far enough down the page to see the link to register my blog until it was too late. I suppose not too late since I did eventually find it. So, the blog is registered completely (I hope), and now I'm all set for week 3. Hoorah!

Now I just need to work on the beautification of this blog. Really, I picked the pink colours because my friends like to tease me about my "love" of pink. Except, all of this teasing means that I've actually begun to wear more pink/use it in my day-to-day life. Horrors!

Do you know what are really beautiful? Architectural drawings. They really are their own unique form of art and beauty.

Week 2, Thing 3

Create a blog! Well, I guess you wouldn’t be reading this if I neglected this “Thing”.

I admit to being an awful person when creating a "user profile". I was slightly overtaxed with final projects when I updated my Facebook profile which includes as an activity, "frolicking through traffic with baritones" or some such nonsense. That's not to say that I haven't done that. Because I have. I just don't make it a daily activity. Truly, it's all about the lack of baritones and not lack of traffic. Especially if I wanted to try to frolick across Route 50 on foot to get to work. Frankly, there would not be much left of me.

So, for the moment, you will have to accept the user profile as is until I have a bit more free time. Free time! Hah!

Week 1, Thing 2

Thing 2 identified the 7 ½ Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners. These are:

Habit 1: Begin with the end in mind
Habit 2: Accept responsibility for your own learning
Habit 3: View problems as challenges
Habit 4: Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner
Habit 5: Create your own learning toolbox
Habit 6: Use technology to your advantage
Habit 7: Teach/mentor others
Habit 7 ½: Play

As I pointed out to Peggy one day, the joy of being a librarian, especially a reference librarian, is that you are always learning (and it is my way of fighting Alzheimer’s as it does run in the family). Being a reference librarian, I’m always asked different questions, so it keeps me constantly in a state of learning. And I get paid to do that! That makes Habit 2 the easiest to follow.

Perhaps the most difficult habit for me would be Habit 7: to teach or mentor others. I’m the youngest (other than the pages) employee at our library, and I sometimes find it difficult to be in the teaching position, as there is so much for me to learn from everyone else! Maybe one day I’ll be knocking around the pages with my cane, cackling madly. But, not today.

Week 1, Thing 1

Well, here I am getting ready to start a new adventure. A technological adventure! As one of the few people who admitted to being less than thrilled to having to sit through the intro to technology course at my library school (believe me, it was boring) this one looks quite fun. And, hopefully, I will learn some good (and useful) new technological skills by the end of my nine weeks here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

How I live now

You know, when starting a new blog, or a new journal, or new anything, you feel like you need to say something crushingly intelligent. Or at least spell things properly. Two things at which I'm bound to fail (notice, mom, no hanging "at"!). Oh, yes, you can tell I've earned my master's degree.

This blog was created due to the 23 Things library program from which I will hopefully learn exciting new things about technology; all of which will be recorded faithfully in this blog. That is if I want to receive my CEUs. Of course, it seems almost silly right now seeing as I've yet to receive my certification. Though it was submitted last February (or was it January?). I don't intend to lose my job now that I have it!

The name of my blog, "Castell Glas", is translated from the Welsh into "Blue Castle" which happens to be my favorite book (it's by L.M. Montgomery and you should check it out if you haven't already). I have a thing for Wales, as it was the country I did my study abroad in. And Welsh, the natives would have you understand, is the "language of heaven".

Well, back to the real world of checking patrons out (at least their books, not them personally).