Saturday, May 7, 2011

Give us your tired, your poor...

...your moldy books? Ok, maybe not. But that is one of the things we have to deal with at the library on, if not a daily basis, at least once in a while. Myself, I have been accused of being a a right terror because I am generally spot water or otherwise damaged books from a mile away.

Today, we had a patron come in with five bags of books asking if we were taking donations. As our library director had recently run an ad in the local paper that we were accepting donations, I said "yes". Perhaps most unwisely. The patron then went on to say that the vast majority of the books were ones pulled from the trash that Hospice had deemed unacceptable. He didn't understand why, as obviously we would want them. Reader, some of them were moldy clear through. Others were soggy. Um, ew. Generally there is a reason why books end up in the dump. Needless to say that as soon as they weren't looking, I marched out to our dumpster to dispose of the evidence (and the smell).

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing Liberty Smith at Ford's Theatre from the front row. It has been a while since attending a performance there as a patron (since seeing Meet John Doe for my birthday four years ago). I actually usher there, so I do see their productions all of the time. As an usher, you do get one free ticket per show that you usher (except for A Christmas Carol). This was just the first time my friend and I had taken them up on the offer.

Liberty Smith is about an orphan named Liberty Smith (Geoff Packard) who grows up in pre-Revolutionary War era Virginia. He is childhood friends with George Washington and is also in love with Martha Dandruff (I mean Dandridge). She, of course, looks down on him and tells him that the only way she would marry him would be if he managed to free the thirteen colonies of British tyranny. He goes galloping off to Philadelphia where he becomes Benjamin Franklin's apprentice, meets a more worthy object of affection played by Kelly Karbacz (though he doesn't realize that until act two) and her aunt Betsy Ross, the villainous Benedict Arnold, and eventually finds himself in the midst of Boston during the tea party and Paul Revere's (or should I say Liberty Smith's) midnight ride. Yes, he was there for all of it, but we just never knew about him because he never ended up in the history books.

Here's a preview:

The musical was actually originally written to be an animated movie musical and you can really see that whilst watching it. They don't hesitate to make modern references so it is filled with one liners. All said and done, it was quite the fun night of musical theatre (especially when one considers I typically see more dramatic pieces of art where people die all over the place). The only time it got a bit morose was for the end of Act One/beginning of the second act when all I could do was picture Liberty Smith listlessly counting bullets like Marius in the fabulous 1930s French Les Miserables movie. That said, I am a big fan of his "fort". My one quibble? Why in the world was Martha Dandridge dressed in a regency dress and spencer for part of the show? The other costumes were great and period correct. But that? Why?

And for the record, I took pictures. Of the set. Because we now can. Hehe. I can't tell you how many times I have had to ask people to delete pictures of the set because of copyright issues and now they finally gave up and we don't have to scold patrons anymore. How freeing! Well, except for when there are actors about. Then you still cannot. Don't worry, I didn't try to do that!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Moving on up!

Ok, for a while there, I didn't think I could change my template. Apparently, I can. I just can't do it from home. It just sits there and loads and loads and does nothing. Very uninspiring. So, I played with it a little this morning at work and switched templates. Then I came home and created a new header. I'm not sure if I like it or not. Obviously, it does not work well with the present colours, but they can be changed. Let's just say that pink was so four years ago, and I really needed a change to actually match the title of the blog. Though, in reality, simply "Castell Glas" (or "Blue Castle") is the title. I love me some Welsh and some L.M. Montgomery.

I received today a commendation for using the least amount of sick leave last year. I have a certificate as proof. I find it all quite hilarious. Especially when you consider it all just collects and one day I am bound to go on a spree and use up all 50+ days of sick leave I have accumulated. Why don't I use it? Because my parents instructed me from a young age that one was never to call out sick unless one was sick enough to go to the doctor's. And who wants that? No thank you.

I finished Blackveil by Kristen Britain this afternoon. Hello, cliffhanger ending! The only characters you feel any relief knowing what has happened to them are the dead ones (::sniffsniff::). Everyone else? Well, it is going to take another how many years (and forgotten memories) to figure out what has happened to them. I actually felt for the length of the book, some of the subplots that were left hanging did not seem to be well developed at all (Amberhill much?). So, I will say that I enjoyed it, with reservations. The first book in the series, Green Rider, is still my favorite. Now, with all the "love triangles" blossoming, bits of it are turning into quite the little soap opera. What happened to the simple lives these characters once lead? Totally gone, I suppose!

And now back to the cleaning I ought to have been doing hours ago. These piles of books are not going to get sorted by themselves!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge!

Am I the only one who eagerly anticipates this time of year? Perhaps so. My poor co-workers have to put up with me perusing the list of books I have on Goodreads of my potential "books to read" for this challenge and trying to match them with ILL orders (because our library is small, there is no chance all the books I want will be purchased). This demands perfect timing for them to arrive not too early, but then again, not too late. Some are still too new so I will have to wait until next year. Though I ask myself, why do I go and order so many books when I have absolutely piles of them sitting under the table in my living room (not to mention actually on my recently rearranged bookshelves?). But, I never can think that having a greater variety can be bad.

More exciting news? Our library purchased a few eBook readers for staff to use in order to educate ourselves about them in order to better assist our patrons when it comes to downloading books from Overdrive and the like (or even just how to turn them on). I've become particularly attached to the Sony Reader we have. As in, I have yet to return it! (Don't worry, I dutifully check it in when it is due, but nobody else has laid claim on it yet so I check it right back out). I intend to put it to good use during the challenge. It is so nice and light for those late nights and will stay open perfectly well when I'm reading and eating at the table. Plus, I've fallen in love with Netgalley because I can get my ARCs in eBook format through them, they have a return date, and then don't take up any space in my apartment. How sweet is that?

Now my own mini-challenge of the month will be to blog more often here. Must get into practice again!

What am I currently reading: Blackveil by Kristen Britain. There, that makes this post even more bookish.