Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Coraline Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek Here.

Not sure what I think of this yet. I have read Coraline so many times that I have a clear picture in my head of what the story should look like and I know I should probably stay away from the movie. BUT... I know I won't be able to stay away. I hope that at the very least I feel the way I felt about The Golden Compass movie, which was that it was a fun movie to watch.

Speaking of movies, I saw Sweeny Todd yesterday as part of our "Jewish Christmas" which also included latkas for breakfast and chinese food for dinner. It was great gorey fun and now I've been singing about the worst pies in london all day!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gonna Bake a Pie...

After watching Waitress the other day I got it into my head that I wanted to bake a pie. So I made a cherry pie last night and I have to say, it turned out very pretty. I'm so proud I thought I'd post a picture.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mock Caldecott Award

Since the library is doing a mock Caldecott program in the elementary schools, the youth services team decided to have our own election. The winner was:

Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, illustrations by Kadir Nelson

and Honors going to:

At Night by Jonathan Bean

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice Harrington, illustrations by Shelley Jackson

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

My own first place vote was for Bean's At Night, which is my favorite picture books of the year. And if it were solely my decision I would have also given honors to Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett and Scribble by Deborah Freedman.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Crappy Reading Choices part 2

There's been some great discussion over on the child_lit about the anti-feminist tones in Stephanie Meyer's Vampire series which has gotten me thinking more about the influence books have on teen readers. I read Meyer's first book, Twilight, one day at work and I have to admit, I enjoyed the the story, angst, drama, and all. The later books in the series started to irritate me though. The main character, Bella, becomes the constant the damsel in distress and Edward is too perfect. I mean, he's too content to make an interesting vampire. And yes, he's creepily controlling. And yes. she too submissive. So is this going to corrupt the throngs of teen girls reading the series? It is okay to say, well at least they are reading, or is that akin to giving kids free run to eat as much candy as they like.

My opinion comes out of my own teen reading experience. As I've already admitted, I read all sorts of trash. V.C. Andrews, Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine... but I also read the good stuff too. And by time I was a "teen" I could tell the difference. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the junk food. I think we need to give teens credit. I'm sure they are capable of reading critically, when they want to. But sometimes it's pleasurable to get swept up in a melodramatic story without the critic in your head chiming in to spoil all the fun!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A defense of crappy reading choices

I kinda really liked this article in Slate this week on preteens reading the ever so trashy Flowers in the Attic series. I have to fess up to reading the entire series at the age of 12. Then I moved on to the other V.C. Andrews series. And guess what? No harm done. Now what really had me disturbed was my first viewing of Hamlet. But that's another story!

The article starts off with the author talking about not encouraging her kid to read The Golden Compass. I thought that was an odd jumping off point for talking about the allure of dreck. But I do like her points about allowing kids to read what they want to read.

Viewing The Golden Compass

I saw the movie of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass last night. It's been getting some pretty terrible reviews with most critics complaining that it waters down the complexity of Pullman's books. And yes, the movie falls short of the brilliance of the book but that is almost always the case. Which is why I feel the need to speak up in this movie's defense.

I remember reading the His Dark Materials trilogy, of which The Golden Compass is the first book, in college and marveling at how complicated the plot was. So, when I heard that they were making the Golden Compass into a movie I didn't really expect that they would be able to pack in everything from the book. Even ending the film about three chapters early (which was annoying to me as a reader but understandable as a movie viewer), there's just too much.

But really what I'm getting at is that if I wanted to have the perfect experience of The Golden Compass I would read the book again. Nothing is going to match that. But I think that the filmmakers tried hard to stay faithful to the story. And though it wasn't perfection, I enjoyed sitting through their effort.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Poetry Friday

Oh! An Alice poem! It makes me think of my last year at New College, writing my thesis chapter on Alice in Wonderland and wondering if I was ruining it for myself forever.

And as in Alice
by Mary Jo Bang

Alice cannot be in the poem, she says, because
She's only a metaphor for childhood
And a poem is a metaphor already
So we'd only have a metaphor

Read the rest here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I think I had too much stuffing...

Well our Thanksgiving holiday got off to a rocky start. We left for Philly Tuesday night so that we could spend Thanksgiving with Jason and Valeska. About halfway there the car started over heating and we had to turn around praising and coaxing my little Toyota all the way back to DC. But we prevailed in the end! We ended up renting a car and getting to Philly Wednesday afternoon. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving complete with stuffing, pumpkin pie cheesecake, and the best twice baked sweet potatoes ever. Josh played lots of video games and I was seduced by HGTV's House Hunters. Sadly, we had to leave too soon since I had to work on Saturday.

My car is fixed now. (After several hundred dollars and no clear diagnosis!) But I think those Thanksgiving pounds are still with me. Today at story-time a nanny asked me if I was pregnant! This is like the third time this has happened to me! People, it's rude to ask a woman that question unless you are totally sure that she really is pregnant! Who does that? UGH.

I'm off to nures my shattered ego mean prepare for the next story-time of the day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Picture Book(s) of the Week

I have three for this week. First one is Ginger Bear by Mini Grey. It's a book about a cookie, how could I not love it? I mean I've never met a cookie I didn't like. And this cookie literally makes new friends, then joins a cookie circus, before finally finding out that "the life of a cookie is usually short and sweet." But not to worry Ginger Bear finds out that even for a sweet little cookie there is a safe haven!

Next there's Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things that Make Me Happy by Scott Menchin. This is really a simple book that takes on the big issue of happiness. Little Sweet Pea surveys her community as to what makes them happy and then comes up with a list of her own. I think what made me like the book so much is how well the illustration seemed to match the simplicity of the text. Plus, it's a good way to get kids (and grown-ups too) to think about own lists.

Finally there's Behind the Museum Door, a collection of poetry celebrating museums. I normally wouldn't have spent that much time looking at this book but I have a friend in museum education and the book made me think of her. So I picked it up and I'm glad I did. Each poem in the collection is accompanied by a bright, kinetic, exhibit illustration. Its a great book to share with a child before (or after) a museum trip.
My favorite poem in the series is Museum Farewell by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. It reminds me of a Girl Scout camp-out we had where we got to spend the night in a museum. It starts...
Lights out.
Doors close
on the cool quiet
of museum spaces;
echoing hallways,
locked cases--

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Favorite Quote

From Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf

"Children who never have a story read to them, who never hear words that rhyme, who never imagine fighting with dragons or marrying a prince, have the odds overwhelmingly against them."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Poetry Friday

Yesterday I was explaining to someone at work why I love the 3-5 year old so much. The infants are cute and cuddly sure but I have the most fun with the kids who have a little sadistic streak in them. Okay, maybe sadistic is too strong, is impish better?

Anyway, Hansel and Gretel Duet by Nan Fry is a delicious spin on the tale, with a twist perfect for Halloween. And I think some of impish little story-time kids would like this ending better!

Read the poem HERE.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Books for the Beast

Yesterday I attended Books for the Beast in Baltimore with the Youth Services team. The first speaker was author Gail Giles who gave a fabulous talk. Knowing that she would be there, I read What happened to Cass McBride? last week. I haven't read that sort of suspense/horror in a while (though once upon a time I was a devout follower of Christopher Pike) but I actually really liked it. I liked that the ending was realistic, that there were psychological consequences for both the victim and the bad guy. So I was happy when Gail talked about the open endedness of her books. She compared an open ending to an untied shoe; it's going to bother you all day and change your behavior. A tied shoe, however, doesn't get a second thought. I thought it was a good analogy, one that both the adults and the teens in the audience could understand.

After the first speaker we had breakout groups to discuss the books we read with the teens. My first group was Fantasy/Science Fiction. It was a pretty good discussion but there weren't any actual teens in the group. In my afternoon group we discussed "Real Life" fiction and there was only one teen in that group. I wish there had been more kids so that the conversation wasn't so dominated by adult opinion. I'm pretty sure I came off as the class curmudgeon in both of my groups since I was the only one who seemed to strongly dislike some of the selections. Most people seemed enamoured with the writing in Black Juice by Margo Lanagan. While there I am going grumble grumble grumble. Then everyone is nodding along about liking Jason & Kyra and I am the obnoxious kid in the back going "If one of those characters called something 'tight' one more time I was going to scream."

After the groups we had Mark Siegel, the Editorial Director of Roaring Brook Press’s graphic novel imprint, First Second. He came off as incredibly intelligent, the kind of person you'd love to have a one on one conversation with. But his speech was rather dry for a crowd that had already been sitting around all day. After that it was time to grab dessert and head back to Arlington.

Did I mention I had to get up at 6 in the morning and slog through the pouring rain to my car so I could be at Central by 7:30. And that my socks were wet all day! I had a great time but, oh man, was I exhausted!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Picture Book of the Week

If Harold and the Purple Crayon and David Weisner's The Three Pigs had a baby the product would be Scribble by Deborah Freedman. The book begins with two sisters getting into a tiff over their drawings. But the drawings quickly take on a life of their own. It's a fun story with wonderful illustrations. Plus, there's a great bit about how kitties can't marry princesses (but they do anyway). So there! Hehe.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Outing Dumbledore

So apparently Rowling told an a group of fans at Carnegie Hall that Dumbledore is gay. First I thought, cool. Then I wondered, is it a cop out that Dumbledore is not out in the books, that only now after making her millions is Rowling saying Dumbledore is gay? Finally I decided the whole thing annoys me. I know there's tons of kids out there with all these questions about the tiniest details of the wizarding world, but I kind of hate hearing about what Harry's doing twenty years later and such. I'm the type of reader who likes to draw connections on my own. (I always did love English class a bit too much.) I want to be able to figure things out from my own reading. But I realize that the completeness of the world Rowling has created is part of the appeal of Harry Potter. So maybe I have no right to be annoyed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


After all the bad movie versions of children's books this gives me hope. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What I'm reading now

I just finished reading Magic's Child by Justine Larbalestier. It's the last book in her Magic or Madness trilogy. In the first book 15 year old Reason is sent to live with the Grandmother she has been taught all her life to detests after her mother goes insane and attempts suicide. Once at her ancestral home Reason learns that she posses a magic that is real and powerful. So powerful, that to refuse to use it drives a magical person insane. In this last book Reason finds herself pregnant and irreversibly altered by the magic of a powerful ancestor. Larbalestier tries to explain magic in a way that makes it plausible. It's an interesting concept, one that has kept me reading the trilogy (well, that plus the adorable Aussie speak). However, I think my problem with the series is that so much writing is spend rooting magic in the real world and too little is spent on developing the plot. By this last book the plot felt remarkably thin. I would have to say the series gets a solid three stars from me. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either.

Next up I'm trying to finish Jason & Kyra by Dana Davidson. I'm having trouble getting into it but that may just be the changing gears between fantasy and high school drama.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Poetry Friday: Morning Song

It seems all of a sudden I know a bunch of people who are having babies. I admit that every once in while I think, oh a baby, I want one. And then I remember that that's the same kind of thoughts I had about Emerson and then we adopted him and now I'm stuck with a needy dog that sheds everywhere. Plus, all I need is a particularly crazy story-time with a bunch of cranky two year olds to remind me that I'd rather wait a bit for kids. So, this Poetry Friday I want to dedicate Sylvia Plath's Morning Song to the new mommies and new mommies-to-be I know.

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

For the rest go here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Picture Book of the Week: Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle by Pija Lindenbaum

Mini Mia (So called because of her love of soccer. Her real name is Ella) loves hanging out with her darling uncle Tommy. But when her uncle's new friend Fergus shows up Mia is not happy. Not wanting to share her uncle, Mia does her best to send Fergus packing back to Scotland. Without teaching a "very important lesson" the book explores Mia's feelings of anger and jealousy. I loved that Mini Mia's emotions rather than Tommy and Fergus' relationship is point of the story. This one is by far my favorite picture book of the week!

Friday, October 05, 2007

I'm almost glad they won't share the same title!

Interesting interview with Susan Cooper on NPR. I am pretty sure that I am not going to see The Seeker (the new title of The Dark is Rising movie). When I saw the movie commercial I didn't even recognize it as The Dark is Rising. I understand movies and books are two different mediums and things that work in books might not work on film. But still, sometimes I think movie studios set out to destroy beloved books!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

He's such a rockstar...

Neil Gaiman has an interview in the Guardian. Check it out.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I guess this is my welcome to children's librarianship

So a woman comes in today insisting that she be allowed to sign her 14 month old up for my storytime for two year olds. She kept telling me it wasn't fair to restrict ages when it was a public library. That's what she said over and over, "but this is a public library." So apparently public means that everyone can do whatever they want. Ugh. I tried explaining to this woman, I really did. I explained the program wasn't developmentally appropriate. I explained that I was waiting for more two's to sign-up. Then I did something I probally shouldn't have done and said we could see how sign-up went and re-visit the issue in a few weeks. Very bad, I know but I don't want the moms hating me already!

Oh then I saw this mom back in the children's section of the library a few hours later. You have a baby, Lady. He can't read! Take him outside. He does not need to spend that much time in the freaking library.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kid Lit in the News

There's a great article on the pleasures of Madeline L'Engle's books on Slate today. Read it here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

They sure are making it easy!

If people keep checking books out and then refusing to return them (aka: stealing them) at this rate, I'll have a really great display for banned book week all set up for me. The latest it this girl in Alabama refusing to return Ellen Wittinger’s Sandpiper to her school library.


Just in time for Banned Book week there's this.

What's wrong with people? A woman in Miami tried the same stunt with Vamos a Cuba. So I guess the lesson they want to send to those kids they are trying so desperately to protect is: stealing is okay, in fact, it's a good thing and if you have a problem solve it by breaking the law rather than trying to go about making changes in a legal manner.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I don't like change!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Here's whats new:

I went to Miami last week. I visited friends and family, went to Rosh Hashanah services, made two Rosh Hashanah dinners, shopped with Mom, biked with Dad, and swam in the pool. It was lovely.

Then, I started my new job as a youth services librarian. Today was only day two but its pretty good so far. Arlington does thing differently from Alexandria so there's a lot to get used to. I miss my friends at my old job and I think I might be a bit more lonely here. But loneliness might be good. I'll get more work done for sure.

Whew! I guess it's not really that much, but boy have I been stressed. I think it's good to write it down because then I can see how good I actually have it. Hopefully I'll get into the swing of things in the next week or so.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Poetry Friday: Nelson, My Dog

Gary Soto's poems about his dog almost made me want to go home and play with Emerson. Almost.

Like the cat he scratches the flea camping in fur.
Unlike the cat he delights in water up to his ears.
He frolics. He catches a crooked stick –
On his back he naps with legs straight up in the air.
Nelson shudders awake. He responds to love
From head to tail...

Read the poem here.

Sad News

Author Madeline L'Engle died at 88 on Thurday. In honor of her, and my grandfather who passed away earlier this week, is this quote from The Small Rain:
"But there is something about Time. The sun rises and sets. The stars swing slowly across the sky and fade. Clouds fill with rain and snow, empty themselves, and fill again. The moon is born, and dies, and is reborn. Around millions of clocks swing hour hands, and minute hands, and second hands. Around goes the continual circle of the notes of the scale. Around goes the circle of night and day, the circle of weeks forever revolving, and of months, and of years."

Friday, August 31, 2007

Poetry Friday: Naming the Stars

Read this week's poems here.

It's rather interesting to think about the way we commemorate tragedies in our news driven society. And since we just passed the anniversary of Katrina, this poem made me pause.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From Harriet to Tango

I just re-read this article from the Horn Book's K. T. Horning about the gay subtext of Harriet the Spy. I'd read it a while ago but this time it got me thinking about other books, particularly And Tango Makes Three. I am so glad that books like Tango exist today. I think that it's important to have both types of books, those that like Harriet have a gay subtext and those like Tango, where gay characters are simply part of the text. But the one thing I am reminded of, after reading Horning's article, is how life changing it can be for children to see themselves in a book.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Montreal Pics

My favorite is Jason and Josh "falling" off the mountain. And that fish. Who knew fish were so hard to photograph?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Montréal était très amusement

Back from Montreal. Aside from the hellish 12 hours it took for us to get back to Philly, plus the two it took us to get home the next morning, the trip was much fun. The hotel was very nice and in a great location. And true to my word, I did my best to eat my way through the city. We had pho and bagels and poutine (fries smothered in gravy and cheese) and croissants galore. And of course, getting to hang out with our dear friends was the best part. However, if you are ever going to Montreal I recommend the botanical gardens. They were beautiful. Pictures to follow, I promise. I just have to get them uploaded.

In other news, I have accepted a new job as a children's librarian at a new library. I am both terribly stressed out and excited by this turn of events. I'm sad because I will miss my co-workers but this is what I've been working towards. If only I didn't work with such a fun group!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh Canada!

We head off to Montreal tonight. Yay for all the yummy food I can't wait to eat. Yay for no work for five whole days. Yay for vacations!

Monday, August 13, 2007

YA Book Recommendation of the Moment

I just finished Un Lun Dun by China Mieville and since I've had a few people ask me for book recommendations recently, I thought I'd put this one out there. It's a pretty familiar plot; young girl finds herself in a fantastic "other world" and must rely on wits and friends to save the day. But the book has a cleverness that is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth and a heroine that's a sort of cross between Lyra from the Golden Compass and Harry Potter's Hermione Granger. It's really a creative, fun fantasy.

Next book on my list is Eclipse, the next of Stephanie Meyer's vampire series. I know, I know, a vampire series. Maybe it's a hold over from my Christopher Pike reading middle school days but I am really into her books and they really are incredibly well written. I'm first on the hold list for this new one.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Poetry Friday: The Poets' Grimm

This week's poem is from an anthology called The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from the Grimm Fairy Tales. Looks like a good read for anyone who's into fractured fairy tales. It almost makes me want to be a teacher again so I could use it in the classroom. Almost.

Snow White Turns 39 by Anne Sheldon

I'm planning how to break a talking mirror:
hammer and earplugs. Seven years of bad luck?
Better than that Bette Davis cackle
every morning when I hit the sink

Read the whole poem here.

Monday, August 06, 2007

"The Compound"

So, I'm home now and I survived Josh's family reunion. I think that I'm okay up there as long as we make a whole lot of side trips and I don't have to spend a significant amount of time with crazy relatives. We took a trip to Woodstock, which is very cute and full of leftover hippies and we hiked around a bit. Unfortunately, the crazy relative part was hard to avoid this time as it was a family reunion. But I got to hang out with my awesome niece and paint pictures and avoid the crazies, so that helped.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Poetry Friday

Since I'm on a kick with poems I loved in highschool, this Friday's poem is Skunk Hour by Robert Lowell. All the angst in the world seemed to be summed up in those two lines:

I myself am hell,
nobody's here--
Read the whole poem here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Spoiling Harry Potter and beyond

There's been some interesting discussion over at the Horn book blog about the uproar over the NY Times reviewing Harry Potter before its release. I kind of love that Roger Sutton warned against creating "a willfully infantilized culture of suspense junkies." Now I am a HP fan. I have been since I read the first three books in college. But I think if people are honest they'd agree that they are the type of reading that does not require deep analysis. Rowling likes to fully explain everything, repeatedly. I still like the books, but I can admit that's the type of reading they are.

This article, however, put me over the edge. Don't click on it if you don't want to read spoilers. And while you're at it. Stop reading here.

Now, are we really so unimaginative, so incapable of creative thought, that we need an encyclopedia to tell us every little detail that Rowling couldn't fit into the epilogue! I think this exactly the "willfully infantilized culture of suspense junkies" Roger was talking about. Can nothing be left up to the reader. Are we really such babies that we can't be trusted to imagine what the world of HP might be like 19 years after the book! I mean it's not as if Rowling needs more money. No, this takes not trusting the intelligence of the reader to a whole new level. And somehow, this links to my mind to the standardized testing in our schools. It's the same sort of killing of creativity. The same idea that there can only be one right answer, one way of interpreting things, and anything else is wrong.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Poetry Friday

This weeks poem is by Sharon Olds, because I love her.

Rite of Passage
by Sharon Olds

As the guests arrive at our son’s party
they gather in the living room—
short men, men in first grade
with smooth jaws and chins.
Hands in pockets, they stand around
jostling, jockeying for place, small fights
breaking out and calming. One says to another
How old are you? —Six. —I’m seven. —So?
They eye each other, seeing themselves
tiny in the other’s pupils. They clear their
throats a lot, a room of small bankers,
they fold their arms and frown. I could beat you
up, a seven says to a six,

Link to the whole poem here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Teenage Sex Could Kill You!

A while back I posted a rant about the portrayal of sex in YA books. I was annoyed because the book I was reading at the time pulled the whole 'fade to black' thing where just when things heat up the girl becomes so overwhelmed everything gets blurry and...fade to black. Oh right, I forgot girls aren't supposed to ever express sexual desire. My bad. Well, I bring it up again because I just read this great article: Let's (Not) Get It On by Amanda MacGregor. MacGragor says everything I wanted to but it's all much better researched and written. I warn, it is a PDF file but it's worth the annoyance. Really anyone interested in feminism, should read it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Poetry Friday

I saw the new Harry Potter movie last night. I am so impressed with how the movies have really created this universe. Oh and Snape! I have such a literary crush on Snape. Mr. Darcy, Mr. Rochester, and Snape...I love those brooding, slightly mean characters. My new Harry Potter theory is that Snape is Harry's real father. Before anyone gets up in arms, I KNOW it's not true, but wouldn't it make the story a bit more interesting?

As for poetry this Friday, I am posting a poem by another children's fantasy writer. I love the last two lines in this poem. Not as much as I love Snape...but almost.

Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen

I am thinking of a fairy tale,
Cinder Elephant,
Sleeping Tubby,
Snow Weight,
where the princess is not
anorexic, wasp-waisted,
flinging herself down the stairs.

Read the rest of the poem here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A bit late for Poetry Friday but let's give it a go

This weeks poem is Travel Advisory by Michael Dumanis. You can read the poem here. No particular reason for picking it other than the fact that I like poems that boss me around. Seriously. Ever since my high school English teacher Mr. Haness had us read David Wagoner's Staying Alive, I've had an affinity for bossy poems.

Anyway, in other news, I went with Josh and his buddies to see the new Transformers movie. Now, as low as my expectations were, and let me assure you they were pretty low, that movie was disappointing. It wasn't funny enough to laugh at, there wasn't enough action to keep my mind sufficiently numbed, and it was full of offensive stereotypes. I should have known better when the 18 year old page at the library warned me it was bad. I mean, if a teenage boy hated the movie then really there's not much hope. I thought I had nothing better to do but really ANYTHING would have been better.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Poetry Friday

I like this poem because it reminds me of my days in the classroom. Ah, those mornings when you are still groggy and the caffine is just kicking in and the kids start to trickle in the door and there's always the one who asks...

Did I Miss Anything?
Tom Wayman

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent

Finish reading the poem here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What my Blog is Rated

Online Dating

Alternatively, this post could have been called "you're not nearly as hard core as you think you are"

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poetry Friday (a bit early)

I'm posting on Thursday afternoon because I know that with everyone coming in tomorrow I'll forget to post. Anyway, I've been reading Derrick Jensen this week and feeling pretty rotten about civilization. So instead of blowing up dams and freeing the salmon, I give you a Robert Frost poem. I am pretty sure that Frost and Jensen are kindred spirits here...

The Times Table

More than halfway up the pass
Was a spring with a broken drinking glass,
And whether the farmer drank or not
His mare was sure to observe the spot

Read the whole poem here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hello Dolly!

There's an interesting discussion of the American Girl dolls over at Read Roger. I remember coveting an American Girl doll after we visited a cousin that had one. I wanted the pretty Victorian one. My parents had a good laugh at the price tag and I soon moved on to wanting some other overpriced, slickly marketed toy. The thing that drives me really crazy about these dolls are the parents who shell out the money for them and then appease their conscience by saying that they are educational. If you are that concerned with education, do some freaking research and find something better and historically accurate. Now, I played with Barbies and I had a Cabbage Patch Kid. My parents were more concerned with the price of a toy than it's social/political message. I don't think it made much of a difference in my creative play. It's just that if, as a parent, you are going to be concerned with that stuff, than do it well at least. Buying American Girl dolls because you think they are educational is just lazy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Poetry Fridays

Despite my massive failure with project 365, I attempting a new project: Poetry Fridays. To sum it up, every Friday I am going to post a poem, or a few lines of a poem (I'm trying to follow copyright regulations here) or write about a poetry book I've read. Anyway, the point is Fridays from now on are devoted to poetry. Anyone who wants to join me in this is welcome. (Erin , this means you, 'cause I know you'll like this). So in honor of father's day I give you...
By Neil Gaiman

We owe it to each other to tell stories,
as people simply,
not as father and daughter.
I tell it to you for the hundredth time:

"There was a little girl, called Goldilocks,
for her
hair was long and golden,
and she was walking in the Wood and she saw —

"— cows." You say it with certainty,
remembering the
strayed heifers we saw in the woods
behind the house, last month...

Read the entire poem here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's not all I think about but...

The other week I posted that I wanted the job of the Food Network's librarian. While I still covet that position I've added a new one to my list: The Library of Congress' s newly created post of National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

In other library news, a Miami appeals court heard arguments in the Vamos a Cuba case. If you haven't heard about this, an injunction was requested by the ACLU against the Miami-Dade school board for ordering the removal of the children’s book Vamos a Cuba and its English-language counterpart A Visit to Cuba from elementary school libraries. The injunction has been upheld so far and the books remains on the shelf. We'll see for how long.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I touched Harry Potter

So last night I went with Michelle to Blackcat to see The Pipettes. Now I am pretty used to going to shows where I don't really know the band. My music philosophy is pretty much "if Michelle and Erin like 'em, I'm probably going to too." And I always have a good time. But last night's show was extra super fun. I really likes the band and for the first time ever, I managed to be in the front and actually see the stage. And the kid from Harry and the Potters was standing next to us. I came home and told Josh I bumped into Harry Potter and he thought I had finally lost it. Oh well, it totally made my weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lloyd Alexander, January 30, 1924 - May 17, 2007

Lloyd Alexander passed away on May 17, 2007. He was the author of the Chronicles of Prydain series, a fantasy series about an assistant pig-keeper names Taran who becomes a hero. Disney made the movie "The Black Cauldron" from one of the books.

When I was writing my undergrad thesis I wrote a bit about Lloyd Alexander. My thesis was on representations of girls and girlhood in children's fantasy fiction and though I think he tried to insert a strong female character into the Prydain stories, I didn't think it worked out so well. But he tried. I always pictured him as this benevolent grandfatherly type. Kindly, if a bit patriarchal.

So, rest in peace Mr. Alexander. I really enjoyed the tales you told.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I could be so happy...

I want this job. Someone get rid of the current guy so I can take it! Please.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

yummy and oh so pretty

I picked up a four pack of Sophia sparkling wine at Trader Joes today. It comes in these pretty pink cans and has a little pink straw to sip from. This is totally the most girly drink I've ever had. I think I'm in love.

Monday, April 30, 2007

She leaves fire and destruction in her wake...

So the Georgetown library where I would have worked had I taken the DC Library job burned down today. Also on fire early this morning was the historic Eastern Market building, where Michelle and I happened to be all of yesterday. Coincidence or arsonist stalker?

Didn't do much this past weekend aside from the trip to Eastern Market and helping Michelle pick out an awesome bike. I did get to see Hot Fuzz with Josh and Erin on Friday which was hilarious. I rarely laugh out loud in movies and I did in this one. Oh, and I managed to redo the wristband I was trying to knit for Josh's niece so you can actually tell what it's supposed to be! Much better huh?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Librarians are trouble...

Police Find Pot At School Librarian's Home

I saw this on the news last night and it made me giggle because the news made this huge deal about how the guy was a librarian. Like they couldn't fathom a librarian breaking the law.

Kinda goes along with this quote posted on a library listserve:

"Librarians like to be given trouble; they exist for it, they are geared to it.... Give her a scent and she jumps the leash, her eye bright with battle."
-Catherine Drinker Bowen

Monday, April 23, 2007

Weekend Update

The weather was finally beautiful this weekend. Unfortunately for me nobody wanted to go play outside with me. (Finals are coming up and Josh is having an affair with the library.) But Saturday night Erin came out and we had hookah and drinks at Soussi. I had a martini there that seems tailor made for me. It was basically olive juice with some vodka in it and these big juicy olives. Finally a martini for the girl who likes the olives more than the martini. Then I had to work on Sunday which was excruciating because Old Town was sunny and blooming.

I also managed to knit up a wrist band for one of Josh's nieces. I haven't knitted a thing in forever so be nice about this one. I think you can kinda tell what it was supposed to be.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yes Valeska, I know I suck

So, I am taking a break from the weekly uploading of pictures required by project 365. It's a fun project and I have enjoyed doing it but lately every time I try to upload more than 1 picture to blogger, my computer crashes. This makes me very grumpy. So my compromise is this. I will continue to take pictures. If I end up with a good one, I'll upload it. But no more trying a million times to upload seven picture of my office or my apartment. At least not until I get a new computer.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Passover 2.0

We had Erin and Michelle over last night for an abbreviated Seder with a PowerPoint hagadah. I made the PowerPoint by pulling my favorite parts from our old Maxwell House hagadah, this great liberal/feminist/vegetarian hagadah I found online, and one written by our old Rabbi. Then I cut out everything except the required parts. This allowed us to finish the Seder with time to spare before Michelle and Erin had to go to Black Cat for a show. Michelle called it passover 2.0 in reference to library 2.0 and I have decided that this will be the new official name for my Seder.

As for the food, I think we did a pretty good job. Erin made the best vegetarian matzoh ball soup that I've ever had and some very yummy charoset. I made spinach squares with matzoh meal. They were good (I brought the left overs for lunch today) but I think I over baked them a bit. I also tried my hand at a noodle kugel which was tasty but fell apart. I think I should have used a smaller pan and more egg.

Oh and Emerson had to find the afikoman. He wasn't very good at it, Apparently matzoh doesn't really smell like much. But it was awfully cute!

I wish I had pictures to post but, alas, I must rely on Michelle for that. So send me some pictures already Michelle!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

March 25-31

This week pretty much all I took pictures of were cherry trees. So instead of doing a picture a day for this week I'm just posting the best of the batch.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Week of March 12









Sunday, March 11, 2007

Week 6