Thursday, May 29, 2008

In Which I Again Diet in the Yarn Sense

It was time for another yarn diet, she sadly realized, staring around her living room. For, gentle reader, the yarn had not only taken over a wall of the den where it was supposed to live but it was launching an unorganized invasion of the living room.

There was yarn in sorted boxes, which had been cataloged and organized and posted with full admission of stash to Ravelry. That yarn hadn't even been touched since said posting because, well, it was sorted and who wants to mess up something already neatly tucked away. But in a heap was the yarn that followed her home from when her sister came to visit in the first week of April. The yarn that was supposed to have been knitted up promptly into baby gifts and sent out again. And in the purchase bags and tissue paper was the yarn from her last two trips to Chicago where she summarily hauled a patient friend in as she squeaked over the new colors and then returned only a couple of weeks later for just one more skein--or 10. On the coffee table lounged the gorgeous skeins from the online independent dealer who has such wonderful colorways. The cone of lace weight sat beside the laptop being ignored now that half of it had gone to live with AudioGirl. The newly started lace scarf and the drop stitch shawl that had to be finished for a rapidly approaching birthday flopped inelegantly beside the futon. Three pairs of mitts that just needed thumbs were scattered throughout the current projects basket, the new yarn, and everywhere else.

There were just so many colors and types of yarn and so much potential.

And she realized yet again she was compensating. As other girls bought clothes and magazines to fit in, she was buying yarn, looking to be just a little bit further into a "cool crowd." Some would scoff at the notion of the use of knitting and cool in the same sentence but it was her sanity--that simple repetitive habit that created so many beautiful objects. Did she really need the latest sock yarn update? No...and she'd managed to stop buying a week or so before. But something more formal need to be negotiated with her stash.

Summer Reading was starting soon, could she make it to the end of that without yarn purchases? That would get her through the hottest part of the year without more wool warming up the apartment. It would keep her from binging on silk on days when she just couldn't sing another round of Itsy Bitsy Spider. It might prevent the wholesale buying of pounds of dishcloth cotton (maybe). This sounded reasonable.

And how much would be her goal to knit up? For those babies were going to be born and grow whether the yarn get knitted or not--and she bought it with those babies in mind. But the goal for these summer months would be three pounds of yarn. That would at least get the equivalent of her last purchase out the door so her stash would stay at an "even" level. Sort of. Any more than that would just be deserving of a very large banana split--assuming she could find somewhere in small town USA that made most excellent banana splits. It would not get a yarn reward because, well...wasn't the point to use up some of this yarn?

She would, however, start a spreadsheet of things that look yarntabulous to buy. At the end of the summer that could be revisited to see a) if still available in the color wanted b) do I really have a project in mind or just binge wool buying c) had I had a bit much of the sock yarn Koolaid. Considering she doesn't at present knit or wear hand knit socks.....

In the week preceding up to summer reading kick off stash must be photographed and organized--the rest of it so that she could fully admit how much she owned. And projects needed to be ziplocked and prepared.

Oh...and the rest of life needed to be seen to also.

Book Review: Uprising

Margaret Peterson Haddix

Haddix seems to be on a prolific kick these days--she's got the Missing series out and she's working overtime on other novels. This one gives a glimpse into the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911.

The story actually begins well before the fire, with the arrival of a poor immigrant from Italy to New York. When her fellow travelers are rejected for disease on Ellis Island, a distant cousin brings her to his lodges and gets her a job at the shirtwaist factory. There she listens to and learns the "English" of the Russian Jewish immigrants who work alongside her (actually Yiddish) and works hard to make money to send home. One of those immigrants is Yetta, who along with her sister Rahel, wonders about the possibility of better conditions and being revolutionary. Thirdly and separately we meet Jane, a coddled pampered upper class daughter of one of the rich men of New York.

Brought together by the strike at the factory, their worlds collide and start on a new tangent. Bella finds out her family has passed away, Yetta loses her sister, and Jane runs away from her father. It is with each other that they find family and some happiness. Jane takes a job as a governess while the other two continue at the factory. And then one day Jane brings her charges to the factory--which their father co-owns. And a fire starts....

It's an engaging story, honest about the living and working situations of young women in NY at the turn of the century. One has a strong sense of what might have motivated these young workers with no family, no stable home, and a huge loss in their feeling of community and where they belong. It's easy to be shocked at the working conditions and yet jubilant at the independence these young women show. Haddix does an excellent job of giving faces to this tragedy.

The only thing I found a little strange was Jane's ready acceptance of her change in station. She went from being a pampered pet to working full time. Not that it isn't admirable, but she seems too focused and cheerful and pleased with her change in station. It rings a little bit overdone.

Overall I would recommend this book for your late elementary to mid-school girls. Especially if there's a history project day that they might need to do some research on--this gives them an interesting jump off point.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Book Review: Case of the Bizarre Bouquets

Case of the Bizarre Bouquets
An Enola Holmes Mystery
Nancy Springer

This third installment in the Enola Holmes mysteries delightfully picks up where the previous books have left off. While not quite strong enough to stand on its own as a separate novel, it is still a pleasant addition to this popular series.

Enola, Sherlock's little sister, is still hiding from her brother in London. But now she has an especially tough case--Dr. Watson has disappeared. Inventing new personae, chatting up Mrs. Watson, and determining just how people of that the late 19th century found ways to alter their appearances, Enola is off on the trail, with cryptic floral references trailing her at every step.

Enola is a delightfully independent young woman and one admires her preference for making her own way. While the idea of a fourteen year old passing for an adult in London is a bit of a stretch, it's not unrealistic in a time period where children more commonly worked. It's also an incredibly refreshing series in that Enola does not have and is not interested in finding a boyfriend. She's happy living her own life and outwitting her brother.

Consider this series for younger children looking for an independent role model, a girl who is a little bored with all of the "mean girl" or "goal in life is to get the boy" books, or a younger teen who might need a little boost in reading.

Hedgehogs in the News: Specifically, in the Headlight

Hedgehogs are finding the warm tarmac a nice place to hang out on a cool night--but they're not doing so well when faced with traffic.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Little Light Weeding

There comes a time when even the home library needs some weeding. Sad though it may be, it's good to look back through and realize that yes, I probably don't need all of the books that are on my shelves. There are some I'll never read again, some I'll never read to begin with, and some that I can't remember what kind of caffeine induced buying binge I must have been on to consider them an appropriate purchase in the first place.

Now, weeding doesn't come often. Getting rid of books is a bit of an anathema to me. The major exception here being Regency romances. Those 150 page happily-ever-after stories are just lovely--once. After that I'm more than pleased to stuff them into little bags from various boutiques or padded envelopes and send them off to other readers. Recently I absolutely made a friend's day. At her graduate recital in lieu of flowers I brought her a bag of romances. She was so excited--after months of hard work prepping for her recital and graduating with her masters, here was the perfect fluffy antidote.

But other books are...well...mine. They line the walls, they spill over my bedside table, they pile up under, on, around, and through the coffee table. Weeding is a challenge. I'm still convinced I'll make it through the "Probably Not Very Good History" and the "Esoteric Materials No One Else Will Ever Read." And really--those should not have equal shelf space and devotion as my well worn copies of all of Austen's books, my signed copy of Number the Stars and all the Yarn Harlot Books.

So, at M's direction and encouragement, I signed up for PaperbackSwap. After signing up you post books you're willing to mail to other people. You get emails when they choose one of your books and you wrap it up/stuff it in a mailer, add postage and out the door--mostly at media mail prices. Paypal is used for postage/delivery confirmation as chosen by you. For each book you mail you get a credit and can request books from other people. Those books come to you "free" --as you've already spent money on the books you were sending. You can then choose to keep or repost the books you get and the cycle continues.

So far I've mailed and received about 8 books. All in all it's not a bad system and it's meant I've been able to round out my Lilian Jackson Braun collection a little but there's one problem--at least for the sporadically aggressive weeder like me. I've had a box of books sitting in my living room for a couple of months now that I want to get rid of. I've weeded them mentally but because no one has requested them, they are still physically at my place--taking up space. So I'm thinking I may purge that group of books if I can figure out another half dozen or so that can move into the "temporary weeding" position. Because those books have had their day and apparently no one else wants them.

But if you do go through a lot of paperbacks, it is a nifty little site and I do recommend popping over to have a look at it. At least until I get a Half-Priced Books in my neighborhood, this and the Friends of the Library Book Sales may have to do.

Book Review: The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys
Lois Lowry

I've been thrusting this book into the hands of most of the adults who have come into my radius recently. While most of us, me included, think of Lowry in such terms as the author of The Giver and Number the Stars --this gives one an entirely different view of her--writing humorous children's satire.

The Willoughbys
is a good old fashioned story about children who belong in such a story. Only, they're not orphans. And really, they should be. For you see, in keeping with tradition, their parents wish to be rid of them. So while the children send their parents off on hopefully death-inducing adventures (crocodiles and volcanoes anyone?), the parents try to sell the house out from underneath their children. There is an abandoned baby, an odious nanny who is an excellent cook, a kindly old wealthy gentleman who has lost his family, and a number of other twists and turns. All of these are brought together with references to many children's classics (Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, James and the Giant Peach) which, if understood, will send the reader giggling to the finish.

It's a quick read and I highly recommend it but I will make one caveat. Lowry expects her readers to be pretty well read on those children's classics or at least have a pretty strong understanding of the stories. For anything one isn't familiar with, there is a glossary with summaries of the stories in the back as well as a glossary of vocabulary. While I didn't really feel particularly as though I missed much in the couple of stories that I hadn't read (Ragged Dick for example), I still knew and got the jokes that attended most of the stories and I wonder if someone who didn't know the majority of the references would find it as amusing. I could see this potentially being a confusing barrier for young readers.

But as the majority of you are adults--hie thee to a library and giggle over The Willoughbys. It's an hour well spent.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

No Quotes This Week--instead a Photo!!

Look at the cute hedgehogs I bought! They're made of glass and are tiny.

Sorry I don't have anything unusually random for you this week, suffice to say I was not functioning at 100%. When the politest man on staff ever so delicately mentions that you might not look quite your usual chipper self---you know you're very ill.

Whatever I had, it appears to have passed in a very brisk fashion, for which I am incredibly grateful. Last Sunday I was the picture of health except for the occasional sniffle, by Tuesday night I was pretty miserable and my memories of Wednesday are almost non-existent. I know I was in bed on Tuesday by 7 p.m. and just before 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Between excessive (for me) amounts of sleep and gallons of liquid (32 oz of hot tea at a time--yay for Nalgene jars), I have been restored to feeling much better. I'm getting a new jar, I think the old one has lived to it's peak and while I could boil it, I am just wary enough of revisiting said illness to break down and head for somewhere I might grab a new jar tomorrow.

Today was delightful uneventful--I got to watch the Indianapolis 500. It's the one sporting event each year that I actually pay attention to with any kind of regularity. I grew up listening to it (they didn't broadcast it in the Indianapolis area except on radio) and a couple of hours of listening to high pitched whine and zoom is familiar and rather comforting. A lot of familiar big family names in the race too, which is a pleasant continuity from a quarter century ago.

So now I'm keeping an eye on Phoenix, which did manage to land on Mars and trying to wrestle a lace pattern into submission with my knitting needles. I'll let you know who wins.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brain Break

This could give a whole new meaning to going "walkies."

All Quiet on the Hedgehog Front

Except for the sneezing.

I've come down with some wonderfully miserable bug that means my body temperature is apparently not mine to control, I'm living on sore throat lozenges, and at least four people have commented I look rather pale and wan.

And that's with me actually feeling somewhat better today.

I don't get sick often, which is a blessing but heavens do I feel like garbage.

Hopefully I'll be back to normal after the weekend. Hooray for a 3 day weekend.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Not Just a Name on a Screen

I had the chance to meet David Rothman in person yesterday. We frolicked amongst the MLA Poster sessions (that's me right there in the beginning, the short one with the beads) and joined in the enthusiasm and occasional snarkiness of that many cool people stuffed into one place. I was carrying a knitting project with me, which sparked at least three conversations. Yarn--it's a unifier!

It was quite the reinforcement of the changing face of communication that, other than the fact we'd never actually HAD a cup of coffee together before, David and I have been friends for at least three years. Instead of any first meeting strangeness, it was catching up with an old friend, sharing crazy stories and scheming.

And, at his repeated pestering over three hours, I finally agreed to consider giving Twitter a try. I hopped in this morning and within seconds had friends and colleagues signing up to follow yet another form of my random stream of consciousness. I'm using the same screen name as I have on Meebo (hedgielib). So, apparently, at least for a few weeks, I twit.

Ahh this wonderful world of the interwebs. It means I respond in public to "Hedgie," that I have managed to send a meme overseas (thanks Jennie), and that I have the chance to be regularly inspired by people I may never "actually meet."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Random Quote Sunday: Yup, Strange Hedgehog

"The coat hangers gave them ideas."

---on why my yarn stash seems to be multiplying exponentially.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

If You Read This Via Email

Apparently Feedburner, the service through which I send said emails, had a little glitch. So if you see this, know that I'm still running amok, but there might be a little delay getting it to you
14-MAY 2008: Our email delivery system did not poll some FeedBurner feeds for updates on 13-May; as a result emails were not delivered and email subscribers were not reported to FB subscriber totals for that date. We're investigating this issue.

UPDATE 12:00 CST: We restarted the polling process; starting now, any feed changes not yet delivered via email should be detected and delivered, albeit up to three days late, and from this point forward on your regularly scheduled window. We regret this error!

You may still see 0 email subscribers reported on your Analyze tab's Feed Stats view for Wednesday 5/14; this should be the last day with no reported email subscribers in this stretch. (Don't forget your subscribers didn't just up and disappear; they're still listed under Publicize > Email Subscriptions > Subscription Management.)

FYI :)

Take Time to Remember When It Goes Right

It's easy to focus on the moments that spoil a day. The part where a child got upset, or wasn't attended to, when you couldn't find a book that "should" be there, or the occasional moment when you're ready to send everyone home for a nap---adult patrons included.

And then...there are the good moments:

When the 'too cool' high school freshman ask if I'll come play Taboo with them--and I can for a few minutes.

When a search with a reluctant reader identifies that maybe a book about talking owls might be acceptable.

When two "regular" kids are so excited to tell me where they're taking the boat today (we have a giant boat that gets heavily played upon) and insist that I come join them for a ride through monster and shark infested carpet.

When I walk past the boat and see siblings curled over books, so engaged in their reading that they don't hear all of the ambient noise.

When a patron comes hesitantly to ask what the limits are on checking out materials and I tell them "none" and her children celebrate--and pile up two huge stacks of books to read.

When a teenager comes back to you and says "Yeah, that was a good suggestion" on a book you 'casually' passed their way.

The good moments should be recorded, that they may stick out in our minds and be reminders as we allow some of the frustrating times to fade.

Congratulations Are in Order

To Sibling-the-Younger who, last night, was named Valedictorian of his high school graduating class. This is an amazing accomplishment and I am incredibly proud. There will be a hedgehog venture to commencement ceremonies soon.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Somewhat Distracted

This week has apparently been about being distracted. In the past 48 hours I have managed, twice, to heat water to boiling on a gas stove, turn the tea kettle off and wander away from said tea kettle without ever having made a cup of tea.

Yesterday I had some excuse--I was on the phone having a meeting with NY while I was ostensibly making tea. Said meeting was kind of fractured, which may have led to my fractured awareness of the kettle. Post meeting, as I lounging on the bed pretending I was a lady of leisure and didn't have to get up and go to work, I recalled that I had turned the kettle on. Had I turned it off? I couldn't hear it--and the gas is noisy enough I should have been able to, so it was off the bed and out to the kitchen to check. After all, we had a fire safety thing at work last week and I had just learned how to use a fire extinguisher.

Stove was off but the kettle was very hot to touch. Okay...

This evening? No reason, no phone distractions. Just me, apparently not quite focused enough to pour hot water into a mug with a tea bag proclaiming itself to contain Darjeeling. The kettle was warm enough to touch that I probably turned it on an hour or so ago, allowed it to heat, and then turned it off on my way to do something else. And I can't even plead something interesting, like deep spring cleaning or a particularly difficult knit stitch.

Ah well, such it is. And now, if you'll excuse me, the tea kettle is boiling.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Sign that I'm Getting Old

Sibling-the-Elder pointed out that I have gray and white hairs upon our last visit. Ahh, what are siblings for if not to point out one's personal flaws? Personally, I don't go looking for them, I know they're there but will continue to ignore them for a few more years.

But I've noticed something of late that I think does date me. I don't like how the current round of teen male heartthrobs are styling their hair.

Flash back to the late 90s when I was in high school. Though a few of them, the Tech Sergeant included, had longish cuts, it was of the three inches long, center-part look. That lasted until about the end of freshman year, when such "long" hair, was no longer cool. Then came what I could probably best describe as the "Jared"/"Dr. Ross" look. If you watched Pretender or ER, this should be a pretty obvious cut--short on the sides, a little bit longer on the top (no more than an inch and a half), combed forward or just slightly to the side with gel. This was pretty standard issue until after I graduated.

Back to the present and we have the HSM Zac /Jonas Brothers/NBB look. It's longer, describing it involves the word bangs, and I imagine it requires a lot more styling time. I imagine these boy's bathrooms to have blow dryers, straightening irons and possible even something like a curling iron. Seriously--have you looked at some of these magazine covers? J14 is a prime source of where to look. Now, granted, many of the young men I see in the library haven't fully embraced this look (though I have seen one Rat Tail) but still. I want to march these teens to the nearest barber and demand that their hair no longer be brushing their shirt collars. It looks messy.

And that, no doubt, makes me old.

Book Review: Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted
Gail Carson Levine

I feel like I'm starting to turn into A Real Librarian who keeps posting about famous movies she's never seen. Only for me it's Famous Children's Books the Hedgehog is Just Finally Reading.

I had brought home Ella Enchanted during one of my fits of "I should just catch up on everything" and it had been lounging around the living room while I worked up the energy to read it. I have a lot more ideas about what I'll get done during the day in the evening and vice versa.

Ella is "blessed" at birth with the gift of being obedient--to everyone. She cannot disobey a direct order. Thus the story begins. Her mother orders her never to speak of it--so it's not a widely known curse. After her mother dies, Ella spends this coming of age story trying to find a way to break the truly miserable "gift."

Levine writes a rollicking tale that's full of laughter. Ella is slightly cynical about her curse but full of humor and the ingenuity of a young girl trying to overcome it. No boring heroine, Ella is constantly trying to find a way to break the curse. Her adventures see her kidnapped by ogres and attending a giants wedding.

Over the course of the book Levine sneaks in the usual requirements for a Cinderella adaptation--wicked stepsisters, an evil stepmother, and a handsome prince. There's a fairy godmother who is able to help but can't lift the curse. And in the end, it's Ella's own ingenuity that wins the day.

It's a relatively quick read and very enjoyable even for adults. Recommended especially if you enjoyed Ever After.

On the Radar....

Blake is starting a new site that appears to be library press released focused: LisWire. It's a little less news story and a little more media. Definitely something to keep a feed on while it's developing--so far I've picked up a couple of press releases that looked interesting/useful

Top 106 Unread Books in Library Thing: Meme

I don't Meme often...but this one struck the English major nerves in me. Below are reading habits that will probably surprise very few of you. Especially considering my acknowledged love of Austen.

Below are the top 106 books tagged “unread” in LibraryThing.

The rules:

Bold what you have read, italicize books you’ve started but couldn’t finish, and strike through books you hated. Add an asterisk to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your tbr list.

Jonathan Strange & M. Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment

One hundred years of solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods (Only because My-Friend-the-Lawyer keeps saying I must read)
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Atlas shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A portrait of the artist as a young man
Love in the time of cholera
Brave new world
The Fountainhead

Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo*

A clockwork orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and sensibility*
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park*
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
A confederacy of dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The unbearable lightness of being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey*

The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

The Three Musketeers*

Sunday, May 11, 2008


The children's area of the library has a boat on which small children are fond of running, stomping, and gleefully playing make believe. Recently, we put in carpeting where the wooden floor was--to help prevent small feet from sliding quite so much and to perhaps make it a little bit softer when they do fling themselves "on the deck."

But at a first glance, would you call this carpeting?

It's a very dense "carpet" with a rubber backing, and isn't supposed to absorb spills. We have not yet tested this but no doubt will have opportunity to do so. Not sure I'd put it through the home but certainly a consideration for a basement.
(Thanks to Tim for the picture)

Random Quote Sunday: Any Given Hedgehog...

Trying to give a resident of Hawaii a feel for Wisconsin weather:

"The dandelions have been making a valiant effort for about a week--poking their heads up and crossing their leaves that we don't get another freak blast of arctic air."

I'm told they leave dents:

"And now...I will be picturing bears bouncing up and down on trash cans/dumpsters like trampolines"

And this was my wish (via text) to a friend this week:

[I want to]"Be silly with friends and forget for a while that advertising demographics consider us grownups."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

How to Buy a Hedgehog....

No, I'm not putting myself up for auction, not even for charity.

Jennie pointed out a resource for those of us who are erinaceously inclined. There is indeed a wiki on How to Buy a Hedgehog.

I unfortunately will only being enjoying the instructions. Renewed the lease and they have rather stringent pet policies. And between travels and allergic friends, as much as I'd love a cat, now might not be the best time.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Midweek Curiousity....

We're in the midst of a major web redesign at my library and I'm on the working team. Part of this work entails me scouring other websites to find out what they are using to reach out to those who fall under the umbrella of Youth Services. There are some things I like and some things I'm reeling over. Seriously--there must be a better term than "Fun Sites" ...though the adjective "Tight" when applied to websites was wince worthy. It's been a while since I heard a kid refer to something as "tight." Personally, I think it would be fun to go with the "Most Excellent Sites, Dude!" (in true Bill and Ted style) but I might be overruled.

As I'm making various lists of things we need to have on our site and features I find ridiculous, I'm reminded that we need to have an Internet Safety thing on the Parent portion of all of this. And reading other people's sites I stumbled across this gem.

"First, have your child show you how to access the Internet."

Now, I'm fully aware there is still a lot of disconnect between people who are technologically savvy, computer savvy, web-information-literate, etc etc, fill in phrase-of-the-week/day/Twit here.

But this is on a website. Doesn't that mean that said parent has already figured out how to access the internet, the library website, and this portion of the site? And while many of our four year olds are amazingly web competent, shouldn't we be addressing this before they have their own MySpace page? Most of the other tips are pretty standard and are very good and useful tips. That one though? Hmm.....

Off to pick apart other sites. Once we get ours up I'll let you know so you can point out my "duh" factors.

Monday, May 05, 2008

ALA Election Results Are Up

They've been slowly trickling in on the various listservs I skim but the official page is up on LJ. Congrats to Camila Alire and the Councilors!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Random Quote Sunday: Unusual Shopping Experiences

"Because everyone wants to bvy blve p:lls by IM!"

(Sorry for the odd characters/misspelling--I'm trying not to get marked as actually marketing said items)

Can you believe we're now getting that stuff as Meebo IMs? Do they really think we're that enamored of sugar pills?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

City Feet--and the Lack Thereof...

I'm developing suburb feet--and it's something I'm not especially pleased about.

As I recently described to a friend, I used to walk, in heels, on concrete, upwards of two miles a day.(1) When he winced visibly I reminded him that it's different in a city where one relies upon public transportation. I lived a full mile from the subway and walked back and forth at least five days a week. Add in any other walking to lunch or to meet the Blonde and I was probably seeing an average of 15-20 miles a week out on the streets of Manhattan and Queens. Now, I've never been one for stiletto heels on the daily basis. I like a pretty solid and tall heel under me. One of my favorite tests that I have for my shoes is to go out in them with the Brunette. Along with being somewhat taller than I am, he walks very quickly along city streets. If I can keep up with him, it was money well spent.

My first inkling that I might not be up to my usual walks came in March, on a flying trip out to NY. It was pouring down rain (though blissfully not snow) and I hadn't worn the shoes in question for some time. Also, they've never been the best fit. I'm kind of between sizes--so I go with whatever shoe seems to fit better the day I'm buying and this might not have been the best of shopping experiences. But I kept up with the Blonde as she and I hauled up 8th Ave to catch a show and then afterwards matched stride with the Actor---who is 6'2". I was 5'7"ish that day but still fit very comfortably under his arm.

When we arrived back to Forest Hills to change for the evening I realized that not only did I have blisters, but they were way beyond manageable if I expected to wear those same shoes in the near future. Fortunately, I was changing to a different pair of heels--these just as tall but with a slightly different fit. Rather heavily bandaged and freshly shod, we were right back out and I was in those shoes until 2 a.m.--when we collapsed into a diner booth for a snack. (I won't count the taxi ride home.)

I came home and returned to my normal schedule, until a recent run to Chicago. I should have considered when I woke up at 6:30 a.m. on that Saturday morning (2) that I wouldn't really be stopping until wee hours of Sunday morning. I'm not sure it would have helped--as I knew that part of the reason I was getting dressed for the evening at 6:30 a.m. was that I knew I wouldn't really be anywhere that allowed for much in the way of fully changing attire all day. But there I was, running about Wicker Park and Lakeview, dragging a former coworker up and down Michigan and State Streets on a yarn run(3), and then out with some friends who, while lovely and sweet, are male--and tall. As in 6'+.....all but one of them.

I'm not complaining about the company but by the time we got "home" for the night, I'd been in said heels for over 19 hours. So even with preemptive bandaging, I was in pretty rough shape. And of course, I went out walking a bunch on Sunday too. I did wear flats that day, but only because when I tried to put on my heels I nearly fell down. I do make some small concessions when faced with passing out every time I take a step.

But anyway, suburb feet. I drive everywhere here. Most of us do, unless we're out walking for our health or to exercise our pets. While I wouldn't think of a half mile or even a mile as a long walk when I'm in a city, here it's a long distance. I'm sure some of this will change in the summer--I have every intention of spending lunch hours walking to and from the farmers market they put up. It's not daily walking though, mandated by our transportation and it means my feet, while not getting the same abuse and indeed because of it, are less up to city travails.

This does not mean, however, that next time I'm out to NY or Chicago I'm wearing sneakers. It just means I'm packing extra band aids, moleskin and Neosporin.

(1) Uphill and in the snow both ways too darn it!!!
(2) drove in Friday night
(3) They MIGHT have let me change clothes at the yarn store but it's not what one wants to ask

Friday, May 02, 2008

It's Not Quite Raffi....

Yes, I'm really and truly a children's librarian. All I could think of when hearing this song for the first time on the radio was "I'm gonna shake shake shake, shake my sillies out..."

Totally corrupted by toddlers.

180 Days...

Today marks my 6 months at La Crosse Public Library. *blows a small noisemaker*

This may not sound like a lot but to give you perspective--I gave my three week's notice the same week of my six month anniversary at CPL.**

I'm honestly baffled that it's already been six months. It feels like it's only been a few weeks since I got started and here I am, almost fully endowed with vacation and able to take my sick time. That actually all does have to wait until June 1 but I'm working on it. There are a lot of plans in the works and I'm looking forward to the summer farmers market and lunches spent strolling down to grab some fresh produce. And a season without snow.

To Becky and Tim, who joined the same time I did--congratulations. We made it this far.

**No, Madame Director, you shouldn't expect my notice on your desk before COB today.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Visitor For Bear: Book Review

A Visitor for Bear
by Bonny Becker
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

An adorable British accented mouse charms his way through this soon-to-be-favorite picture book. Bear is a grumpy loner with a "No Visitors Allowed" sign on the door. When a determined mouse keeps trying, Bear eventually finds it's nice to have a friend in for tea.

Becker has done a lovely job with the dialog. Bear is curmudgeonly and given a wide variety of explosive types of speech (commanded, cried, rumbled). Mouse, though not using any Briticisms, has an obviously cadence that lends itself to a British accent. Denton provided phenomenal pictures. Both animals have excellent expressions throughout and a lot of action is provided for the animals--often of the flying through the air variety.

I think my favorite part of the whole book though was when the two finally sit down to tea. Becker describes the mouse as "most attentive." It's not a phrase you hear often, particularly in children's literature but here it tickles delightfully. I hope it will help the kids be most attentive.

So appearing at a storytime near you....