Thursday, February 28, 2008

massagers and croutons

So, I babysat KT's children tonight...three lovely girls who were on their very best behavior :) We watched some outstanding Spongebob (YAY for KP!) but it soon went off and I was left with a couple of truly dismal Cart00n Netw0rk and Di5ney shows....truly dismal. No wonder I can barely stand most preteens if that is what they watch and who they emulate.

But, moving on...due to KT and I reaffirming the goal of health, she had her husband move their recumbant bike into the den so she could workout while watching tv. As countless others have no doubt observed in their own homes, if we loved our exercise equipment as much as children do no one would have weight problems. KT had shared with me the girls' love of the recumbant bike but this was my first time to witness two people fight over exercise equipment :)

I asked E, "Do you like the bike being in here?" She looked at me like I'd recently licked a dog's a$$ and said, "It's not a bike. It's a...a ex......a's an exmassager." What could I say? I stand corrected.

Later on in the evening, after I'd put P-toes in her crib, I was quizzing the girls about their upcoming trip to see KT's husband's family. They were telling me all about their cousins and their nona and their Aunt M. I mentioned how much I like Aunt M the couple of times I've been around them and E said, "We sleep at Aunt M's house when we go to Kentucky. Mommy and Daddy sleep with us. I mean, they have their own bed but we sleep in the same room. I (important emphasis placed on this pronoun by E) sleep on a beautiful Care Bears bed. Essie sleeps on a big wooden crouton."

Now, I'll laugh at my mother because she's mostly a grown up and can handle it but I refuse to laugh at a near 6 year old. It was hard, though. All I said was, "A crouton, huh?" E replied, "Yeah, a wooden one." I had to wait until KT and her dh got home to share the fun. I have slept on a futon before and believe I too would prefer the crouton.....

night ya'll!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

oh happy day....

I can't tell you how many articles I've read in professional journals (for librarianship) in the past several years that have said reference work is dead and that patrons are now helping themselves so librarians need to find something else to do. Well, let me tell you that I'd like to sit a couple of those librarians and their dusty reference/customer service skills down at our service desk and see how they do. This week (and last week for the most part) has been InSaNeLy BuSy! Question after question, fired at the speed of light, demanding instant answers....and these are not just your run of the mill, where-are-you-dog-books kind of questions. There are several big social issues and literary criticism assignments going on at the high school as well as several find-the-most-obscure-african-american-and-write-two-pages-using-nonexistent-sources assignments YOU CAN POSSIBLY FIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These teachers need to look this shit up and make sure there is something to find before assigning the work. I do not want to belittle ANYONE'S accomplishments or contributions to civil rights or the world, but some of these people the teachers have assigned did not do ANYTHING that got put in a book, which teachers are requiring as a source....a WHOLE BOOK! They might be mentioned here or there, or have a Wikipedia entry (which, OF COURSE, the teacher will not accept) but no one wrote a whole book on them alone.

Anyway, on to more happy topics! As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, KT and I joined Sparkpeople. Prior to that I'd lost 5 lbs on my own, then I gained a pound my first week on SP, but then last week I lost 6.8 lbs! I'm really enjoying this online community (and the fact that it is free!) and I have found it to be v.v. motivating. I've been exercising nearly every day and making what I think are abfab food choices. I've lost major weight two times in the past and I plan on this being the LAST time!

Now, back to work!

Monday, February 25, 2008

! ! ! this just in ! ! !

I just took a sales call from a lady who wanted my to buy a $300 set of book on laws (with forms) for Florida, we here in central Alabama don't get asked sh!t about alot of call for Florida law. I can't think of anything smartassed enough to say about this... Hey Florida, would you be interested in a $300 2 volume set of books on Alabama law? Dentistry in AL? How about a AL driver license manual? AL income taxes? Anything else that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your state?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

dinner and dusting

We had dinner at this little b&g place called the Buck Creek Grille. The back story to choosing this restaurant starts maybe 10 years ago or longer. Here in Birmingham we used to have a minor league hockey team, the Birmingham Bulls. I started going to the games when I was maybe 14 or 15, before I could drive there myself anyway. That's where I met T and her mom and the other friends I had dinner with tonight. Eventually my friendships with them went beyond "hockey friends" to the real deal where we all got together outside of the games. Well, they were members of the Booster Club long before I was and were friends with several of the players. Bama girls being what they are, several of the players got married and never returned to Canada :) That's just how we roll. The Buck Creek Grille is owned/operated by one of the former Birmingham Bulls hockey players that T and her mom sponsored during that time and we visited more than we ate. He came out of the kitchen every time he had a spare moment and talked with us. It was a really good time.

Since it is a bar & grill type place, most everything came directly out of the vat but I had a delicioso cobb salad. I watched the cheese fries, fried mushrooms, chicken strips, french fries and onion rings make their way around the table (we are sharers when it comes to food) and I partook not! God, it was so hard not to dive in. My mouth watered and my stomach cramped with avarice but I didn't eat any of it. I also finished my giant, very tasty salad feeling like I hadn't eaten a thing at all but that's just my petulant appetite at work. I've since had an apple and a bunch of water and it's getting better. Why does eating healthy have to be so damn hard? And expensive? And inconvenient?

On the cleaning front, I just couldn't leave all that on my to-do list for tomorrow so I did everything but the kitchen and I'll leave that for the morrow before I head off to see my momma....and Chiquita!

evenin' ya'll!

evil housework update

well, it's now about 4.5 hours since I began cleaning and here is what I have accomplished:

  • changed sheets

  • finished ALL laundry (including sheets from remaking the bed!)

  • folded, put away/hung up all clothes, towels, etc.

  • dusted all dustable surfaces in my room and bathroom

  • cleaned my bathroom (double sinks and counter, garden tub, separate shower, 3, oh yeah, and the toilet)

  • vacuumed floors in my room

  • washed ALL dishes (including the yucky crockpot that had been soaking overnight and Binky's giant tropical waterfall waterbowl)

I did stop for lunch and did the recommended strength training exercises from Sparkpeople while my oh so healthy Lean Cuisine did it's thing in the microwave. I do not plan any exercises tomorrow however :) Tomorrow's agenda includes cleaning:

  • the kitchen (including mopping the floor!)

  • my two extra rooms (easy peasy as they are virtually empty)

  • the guest bathroom (Binky's was drinking out of the toilet before I got her the giant tropical waterfall waterbowl but other than that, it has been unused since I cleaned up after the Christmas party mid-December so that will be easy peasy as well)

  • the living room (another easy peasy, mostly just dusting and picking up Bink's cat toys)

Well, wasn't that an exciting blog post! Now I'm off to get ready to go meet T, her mom and some of our other friends for dinner, which I feel like I have really earned at this point. I gave up fried foods for Lent so eating out in the South at small restaurants sometimes becomes a problem. I'm confident I can find something yummy though. I'll let ya'll know...


afternoon ya'll!


a cleaning to rival....most other cleaning

I have come to realize that I am letting all the hard work I did at Mrs. Roomie's wedding fall by the wayside...once again. So I have had a healthy breakfast, started drinking my water for the day, started the dishwasher, have hosed down the bathroom and kitchen with Comet and Pinesol and am about to don my rubber gloves and wage war on the grime. I will update my progress here, not because I wish to cause world-wide death through boredom, but simply because I won't accomplish any of my cleaning goals today if I don't pretend I'm accountable to someone :)

There are bound to be some funny episodes because I'm often so clumsy, but if not, I promise to keep it brief. I've been up for hours and have found innumerable things to do that put off the inevitable. Namely, sitting here at the laptop blogging instead of getting the sh!t started....

so, I'M OFF!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

rain brings sunlight

Isn't it strange how opposites have this whole relationship thing going. Today is Thursday, obviously, but ALL WEEK I have had this unfounded, hell-sprung rage simmering just beneath the surface. No reason, no provocation, it's just been there, quietly keeping my blood pressure in the stratosphere and my mood in the toilet. Today however, when I woke up to the sound of rain and then the power went out so I had to get ready in the dark and then traffic caused me to be late to work AND I had another 6 week round of computer classes start this morning and the internet was down...I have had the best morning!
I'm happy, cheerful, feeling good about life.

My three computer students are going to be GR8! I have one lady who SWEARS she's never sat down at a computer in her life (who just bought a laptop off of midnight HSN ~2wks ago), is 76 years old, has multiple sclerosis, and is kicking @$$ in this class! I told her how to use the mouse and people, she laid her hand down on it and worked it perfectly....smooth, controlled and precise. I don't remember that EVER happening in this class unless the person was overqualified for my class and quite bored.

I usually devote the second half of the first class to leading them through a mouse tutorial but we couldn't today because of the internet situation. We talked alot, I went over my handout page by page, we had a lot more time to discuss the important keyboard keys...I didn't really miss the internet. I may move the mouse tutorial back to the second class from now on...I'll see how much they remember next week before I make a big change like that though.

It's lunch time, gotta run so I can be back for my desk shift at 1!

afternoon ya'll!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

meet Chiquita!

This is my Aunt C's new puppy, Chiquita! She is a teacup Chihuahua and is 6 weeks old!

Note: this photo is very nearly taken to scale. She is bit more hefty than the parkay but not by much :)
Here and in the photo below, Chiquita expresses her inner coyote to the pig rattle.

Chiquita thinks "I want that toy, but it's SO far down...."
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

two good books

I recently finished Sundays With Vlad: From Pennsylvannia to Transylvannia, One Man's Quest To Live In the World of the Undead by Paul Bibeau. Now, the subtitle is a bit much because what he is actually trying to do is find out how a medieval prince became the most famous symbol of horror in the world, EVER. Some of what he finds we've all seen before, like Vlad's family life and the coincidence of the Dracul last name but some of the gems Bibeau teases from the Dracula legacy are real treasures. I have never read such a good, concise survey of the current trends among vampire communities today. I have no idea if is an exhaustive study, but it seems quite thorough to me. I'd never heard of most of these people and groups and it makes me wonder which might be active here. Some drink blood, others only psychic energy, if the stories are to be believed, but all are v.v. secretive. Also, I found Bibeau to be HiLaRiOuS! He has a description of Ke@nu Reeve$' fame for unemotional acting that had me ROLLING! He also describes his attempts to get into a pair of plastic pants for a vampire party and other equally amusing tales that keep you reading well into the night. This blend of history and humor was a real treat and I recommend it highly. I think it would make a great, interesting book group choice at Halloween so I'm keeping it on my radar to suggest to my own book group when the time comes. It also reminded me that I have never, ever read Bram Stoker's Dracula and that I should ASAP.

The other book I recently finished was Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader. I have to preface this by saying that last weekend I watched the Helen Mirren film, The Queen (2006). I enjoyed it very much and it was absolutely fated that my reserve for The Uncommon Reader came in on Tuesday. There were several desparately British things in the book I would never have understood had I not seen the movie....what an equerry was, for example. The Uncommon Reader begins with the Queen taking a stroll with her herd of corgis. They start raising hell about something and she cannot get them to mind (do they ever, really?) and come to heel so she follows the racket and finds a bookmobile parked next to the palace/castle/big monarch home arrangement. Feeling dreadfully embarrassed about her dogs' behavior, she figures it is only polite to just step in the bookmobile very quickly and apologize for the dogs. Once inside the bookmobile, she is intrigued by all the books and thinks that maybe she should take one out, just for appearances sake and, again, politeness. Never intending to read the book, the Queen imagines that she will just have someone return it the following week when the bookmobile comes back. However, the Queen does read that book...and many more besides, this having some interesting consequences for the staff and even the country.

Watching the movie and then reading this book combined for one of the most delightful reading experiences I've had in long time. Unprovoked smiles, unexpected giggles and a generally sunny disposition resulted. I was excited enough about it to be extra bubbly while I was telling KT and now she's thinking about doing some sort of film program in the fall with her book group by having them come to the library for an afternoon to watch the movie, then reading the book as the next month's book group selection. I think that will be excellent and maybe, just maybe I'll be a copy cat and my book group can do the same if they are interested...and if my book group even gets off the ground. You never know about these things. Adult library programming is notoriously difficult to get started. You sort of have to resign yourself to some poorly attended programs in the beginning before the habit catches on. Exhibit A - my first horror movie marathon. In the hours between noon and 6:30 I had only 19 people and NO ONE showed up for the horror book discussion :( I'm doing it again this year though, it's not going to throw me, not yet anyway!

all right, it's bed time because I WILL get up early and exercise! KT invited me to meet her at the gym but it would require me to get up ~5:30am and that is so not happening. Sorry KT :( maybe after I build up some stamina I can become an early riser again but I just don't have the energy yet, very sad that I've let myself deteriorate to this condition but it will get better just be patient with me!

night ya'll!

of chocolates, diets, and E-lectricity

So, so, so....let me tell you about the nerve conduction study. I had little pads stuck to my hands and there were wires attached leading to a machine that measured....something, though I don't know what that would be. Then she made little marks on my skin, measured with a tape measure between the marks and touched this handheld thingie with two metal prongs to my skin on the marked spot. I felt an f-ing lightning bolt a tiny zap of electricity, my hand flopped around like a landed fish and the technician made notes. After both hands were done, she pronounced that I did indeed have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, which didn't surprise either one of us, but she also said that she was getting equal readings from both hands. This did surprise me because I haven't had feeling in the fingers (except my pinkie) of my left hand since December and I only have numbness in my right hand when I drive and sleep which I can usually just either shake out or hang my hand off the edge of the bed and it goes away. The left hand has remained at a consistent and unvarying level of numbness for going on three months. The strangeness of the human body will never cease to amaze me... It's off to surgery now so they can cut that little "tunnel" open and release the pressure on my nerves. I'm hoping it won't be long because I am tired of this mess, let me tell ya!

On other health related news, I've lost 5 lbs this month! 5 down, 195 to go! KT and I have decided that this is the year we are going to be different. I've been having a change of heart where my lifestyle is concerned and so has she so we are banding together to be better people. I lost 180lbs about 4 years ago and I mentioned to KT that I had thought and pondered and managed to trace back my loss of motivation to the 4 or 5 months leading up to graduate school when I honest-to-God admitted to myself that I was going back to school. A whole host of crappy events followed that compounded the problem but, as pansy-@$$ed as that makes me, the very thought of having to do something I absolutely abhored was such a downer.

Now I'm out, not going back for any reason and I believe I'm beginning to get some of that fire back. I'm eating 5-7 fruits and veggies a day, cooking good meals at home, not eating out, and slowly, glacially getting back some semblance of a habit of exercising. KT mentioned that she'd joined this free, online weightloss community and I decided to have a look too. Now, we are both members of SparkPeople and I've been having the best time with it! There is all sorts of stuff to do, pages to personalize, groups and message boards to join, recipes, shopping lists, meal plans, customizable fitness routines, and MUCH, much more. It is like We1gth W@tchers, only free!

After all this talk of the good things I've been doing, I must admit that one of my patrons brought me a small box of Godiva chocolate and I ate the whole box, minus one, since I did have to offer KT WAS Godiva after all :) Back on the wagon on the morrow for sure since this oversight has made me have a yucky suger-overload headache all afternoon.

evenin' ya'll!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

a few crapE days

Thursday when I locked up and trudged out to the car to head for work, I had a flat tire. It had just enough air for me to drive 4 miles at 30 mph with my hazards on to air it up at the gas station, then I immediately visited the place where I've been buying tires/getting repairs for the past 12 years. I had a giant nail in my tire, had to buy a new one (finally maxing out my credit card in the process), then high-tailed it in to work only 30 minutes late.

My weekend was very Peter Gibbons-ish, in that I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I knew it could be :) Sunday night I did have dinner with my friend Elizabeth then we went to see Cloverfield; a third viewing for me, the first for her. She, sadly, is not a Cloverhead so I just have the one convert on my record...thanks KT!

Yesterday on the way in, while on the last CD of Scott Smith's The Ruins, the CD skips a time or two then the whole damn player died. It won't eject the CD, won't play the CD and when I press the button to play it, it displays "No CD" right next to the words "CD in". The same thing happened about a year and a half (and the end of the audio warranty) ago so I'll have to shell out to have it replaced. Meanwhile, the gd CD is stuck in the player and I had to pray all the way to work that the book wouldn't be checked out so I could find out in what horrible ways the rest of the tortured would die. It was there and I shirked my duties and snuck off in the corner for about 20 minutes to finish the book. I won't be seeing that movie on the big screen, I assure you, but I might watch it when it comes out on DVD. I just don't enjoy torture porn. I've never watched Saw, Captivity, or Hostel (or any of the sequels) and don't plan to. I don't even have that much curiosity to see what they change from the book...I just can deal with the cutting, ya know? Ick.

Here's what Stephen King (via Amazon) had to say about it:
"...what's waiting in the jungle isn't just bad, it's horrible. Most of The Ruins's 300-plus pages is one long, screaming close-up of that horror. There's no let-up, not so much as a chapter-break where you can catch your breath. I felt that The Ruins did draw on a trifle, but I found Scott Smith's refusal to look away heroic, just as I did in A Simple Plan. It's the trappings of horror and suspense that will make the book a best seller, but its claim to literature lies in its unflinching naturalism. It's no Heart of Darkness, but at its suffocating, terrifying, claustrophobic best, it made me think of Frank Norris. Not a bad comparison, at that."

What a red letter day yesterday was! The GrOsSeSt thing happened to me, the grossest thing since the incidences when I worked at a vet clinic for 8 months.

We are in the middle of a big weeding push at the library, getting rid of some moldy old tomes, and I had a stack of pockets deleting barcodes (we just cut the back page with the pocket and barcode out so the books can be put in the Friend's of the Library booksale, SOP for most public libraries I think) when I felt dampness on my palm. I said under my breath, "why are these wet?" and looked down. To my absolute HORROR, there was something there that could be identified as one of only 2 things, a)a wad of phlem or b)the world's biggest, hugest, most ginormous bugger!

Our volunteer is an elderly gentleman with a chronic cough and I WAS THE UNLUCKLY RECIPIENT OF HIS SPUTUM OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!

Well, I began to sob teared up and began to whimper as I ran for the industrial sized container of hand sanitizer present at all times at the reference desk. I was scrubbing with Lady Macbeth-like fervor at the invisible bugger cooties on my hand when co-worker Daxx the Magnificent naturally wanted to know what was wrong. I managed to tell him in a muffled scream, "Look at the top pocket, bottom left hand corner." Daxx strolled over, took a peek, and said, "Yep, that's what that is...." He's so droll sometimes I swear.

I wrapped a tissue all over the scene of the crime and just about that time, Mrs. D came out for her shift on the desk and asked if I'd like her to finish the deletes. I said yes but further warned her that there was a pocket in the stack with a tissue on the bottom and that for her own good she should not remove OR move the tissue in any way. I fled for my office and a thorough hand washing followed by more hand sanitizer.

It was COLD when it touched my hand people! EWWWWW!

Reader's Advisory Roundtable went pretty well this morning but most of the other books presented didn't capture my imagination like the two that I picked for myself. One lady did read one that sounded awesome, Terri Blackstock's Last Light, so I may add that to my gargantuan, never-to-be-caught-up-on-much-less-finished reading list.

All right, I'm headed off to sleep right after I finish off this giant butterschnapps hot chocolate. It's 20 something freakin' degrees outside right now so I had to have a hot cocoa while the electric blanket gets toasty :)

night ya'll!

random things heard at CVS

--from the next aisle...

"Honey, you wanna hold the buttpaste?"
you know I HAD to take a peek at the utterer!

It was a mother with a not-quit- infant-not-quite-toddler-either child in the buggy, chewing on a box of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. She went on to say, "That's right sweetie, chew that butt paste. Eat it up."

I'm not ashamed to say I was freaking mildly creeped out.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Book Awards Reading Challenge

So, here are #'s 9 and 10 of the challenge, courtesy of my work for Reader's Advisory Roundtable! For instant gratification (and because I think they were really good books):

Downs, Tim. Plaguemaker. Westbow Press, 2006.
The Black Plague, riding the backs of rats, swept over Europe in the 1300’s and became infamous as one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. Worldwide deaths were estimated at 75 million people….it is believed that 30-60% of the population of Europe perished during that time and the massive death toll changed the course of the development of Western civilization. Outbreaks of the plague have occurred over the years since the 14th century, but never with such deadly results. Fast forward to the present day. FBI agent Nathan Donovan is investigating what seems to be a fairly average murder case until the techs discover the fleas. Now the clues are mounting up and Nathan is in a race against time to stop the destruction of the U.S. and the world as they are threatened with the pestilence once again, only this time it is a genetically engineered, more lethal killing machine.

This was the first faith-based thriller I’ve attempted to read since Tim LaHaye began his Left Behind series nearly thirteen years ago and I must say that the difference is refreshing. Downs knows how to write a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and the Christianity is no where near as aggressively proselytized as it is in the Left Behind books. Donovan’s interactions with his ex-wife and his attempts to get information from the elderly Mr. Li are by turns funny and poignant without approaching cloying. This novel made me consider themes of forgiveness, selfless love and personal sacrifice while at the same time I wondered if I had enough duct tape at home to seal off the windows and doors in case of a pandemic. I think that’s a pretty tall order for one book. I’ve obviously been reading the wrong Christian/Inspirational fiction if I’ve been missing this!

Groot, Tracy. Madman: A Novel. Moody Publishers, 2006.
Tallis arrived in this little Palestinian town on the shores of Galilee looking for the Decaphiloi, League of Ten Friends, an Academy of Socrates begun by his master Callimachus several years ago. The progress reports from the school stopped arriving several weeks ago and Cal sent Tallis to find out what went wrong. Upon arriving in Hippos, Tallis discovered the school had been disbanded three years before. No one in town would talk to him; no one would profess to know anything about the once thriving Academy. Who sent the progress reports? Who collected the money Cal sent for supplies? Why did the school disband with no word to Callimachus? Of the ten teachers, he found news of only four: a murder, a suicide, a priestess in the cult of Dionysus, and one madman. The hills of Kursi and the tombs found there are home to the madman and the town is becoming increasingly frightened of the whole area. As Tallis investigates the disappearance of the school and the background of the madman, other forces are just as purposefully determined that he will not find out the truth about either one.

I found this novel hard to put down from the very beginning. The historical detail Groot includes about biblical Palestine truly evoked a real sense of time and place without seeming hokey. There were many elements of this story that I found comparable to Robert Harris’ gripping novel, Pompeii, with Madman giving you the same barren landscape, menacing hills and breathless tension. The people in the story know that something bad is going to happen and Groot made me just as nervous about it as they were. The Christianity in this book was subtle and powerful without being overwhelming. There were many scenes in the book which dealt with personal sacrifice, love of all kinds but most especially the topic dealt with in Madman seemed to be “choice”, choosing between good and evil, selfish and selfless, the high road and the low. I don’t know how these authors can walk such a thin line between powerful and paltry, but Tracy Groot has done it. She has taken the biblical story of the Gerasene demoniac and rendered it into a story that makes you think instead of one that preaches at you.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cinematical goodies

This will be released Feb 27th in France but has no U.S. release date set yet, but I will so be there when it does!

via Cinematical, as usual :)

In other Cinematical news, my boy del Torro is still in negotiations about directing the film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. In an interview, del Torro told Total Film:

'"You know the beauty of The Hobbit, if it were to happen ... is that The Hobbit, out of all the books, is the one that resembles more a fairytale. I loved this very Hitchcockian idea of a very proper, prissy character with a very limited universe being taken on a journey where danger and pain and loss ultimately enhances his view of the world.' Sounds good to me! We'll keep our ears open for more Hobbit news."

I saw this preview at the Hannah Montana fest that was last weekend:

Friday, February 8, 2008

look @ this!

This shark's head is 1 meter wide (that's over three feet people!) and it is 17 feet long. I'm glad it's living on the bottom....


I won't say anything about this, just lay down the facts and let them percolate....

Isaac Asimov / I, Robot / c1950
Inside Flap Description

The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on perhaps its greatest adventure: the invention of the first positronic man. It was a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities--and unforeseen risks. For the scientists who invented the earliest robots weren't content that their creations should remain programmed helpers, companions, and semisentient worker-machines. And soon the robots themselves, aware of their own intelligence, power, and humanity, aren't either.

Simon Clark / Death's Dominion / c2006
Inside Flap Description

The Law:
Do no harm to Humanity.
Allow no harm to befall Humanity due to your action or inaction.

Modern scientists have proven Dr. Frankenstein right. They have discovered a way to raise the dead. Unlike Dr. Frankenstein's monster, these gentle creatures docilely serve their masters, but the living have begun to despise the dead among them. They are disgusted by their creations, and the government has set out to systematically destroy every last one of the "monsters." The monsters cannot fight back--it's not in their nature to defend themselves. That is, until one of the creatures retaliates against humanity with shocking brutality. In the war between the living and the dead, a new leader has arisen.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

the comedy train

This rollicking ride pulled out of the station yesterday afternoon beginning with a welcome call from The Two T's. I thought T was crying at first. Coworker Mrs. D handed me the phone and let me know that it was T but all I heard at first was a little whimper. The she squeaked out, "You wanna hear something funny?" and began to giggle a little hysterically....this I HAD to hear! I said sure and she told me she had the other T (yes, my two friends have the same name, but we manage all right) on hold and conferenced her in. The other T is divorced from a philandering, lying, cheating, stinky, poopoo-head and has recently moved out on her own and begun dating again. One of her avenues has been via the Internet and, more specifically, eHarmony. I'll give you three guesses as to who eHarmony matched her up with out of the probable millions in their databases, and the first two don't count. Yes my friends, eHarmony matched the other T up with her cheating ex-husband. So much for those 29 components of compatibility. The first T pointed out that they obviously fail to (or have no way of) taking into account the fact that people LIE when they sign up. I have a difficult time believing this is not just another, more elaborate racket for taking people's money...some of whom are actually trying to find someone special, many of whom are just looking for their next booty call :(

The next stop on the comedy train track was my front yard that night. You can lie if you want to but EVERYONE has now (or has had in the past) a pair of underwear that have just plain worn out. The elastic is gone, they have been washed so many times they no longer have any real distinguishable color, maybe a hole or two around the waist/leg know what I'm talking about. Well, I wore my pair yesterday and fought with those bastards all day long. They just would not stay up! Finally, 6pm rolled around and me and my wornout underwear could go home. On arrival at mi casa, I went to the mail box and grabbed the trash can on the way back to the house since thursday is trashday and the truck had gone to all that trouble not to throw the can down the street as it usually does while making its weekly rounds. So I'm pulling a 95 gallon trashcan with one hand and holding a stack of mail in the other when I begin to feel the old, busted underwear head south. No big deal, I thought, I can make it to the house, surely. Suddenly, I feel them around my ankles. I take another step, still not too worried, because hey, I've got a skirt on., no I don't. Somehow the band of the underwear had rolled up in the band of the skirt so I'm now standing in my front yard, my 32 degree F front yard, in a blouse, a hooded jacket and a pair of tennis shoes. My stunned brain takes a few seconds to comprehend the fact that I'M NAKED IN MY FRONT YARD! At that moment, a car swooshes by, very fast thank god. No horns were honked, no anti-lockk brakes engaged, the neighbors house remained dark and I heard no laughing. I dropped the trashcan and the mail, yanked my skirt up, grabbed the mail again and fled for the house on the verge of tears. In the past 24 hours I've thought back over the course of my life and I cannot think of anything more embarrassing happening to me, truly.

Today, Daxx and I were late getting our lunch breaks so we were off from 1:30-2:30 instead of 1-2. Usually I go at 12 or 1, meaning I get to watch either 2 episodes of Family Feud or 2 episodes of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Today I got to watch one episode of WWTBAM and one episode of Merv Griffin's Crosswords, a new game show that premiered after his death. It is an interactive crossword puzzle game obviously. I was listening with only half an ear when the host mentioned the next clue had this many letters and was worth this much money, but I guaran-damn-ty you that I heard him say, mickey mouse's willie. My head jerked up and I saw that it was indeed, Mickey Mouse's "Willie". The answer was "steamboat" of course, but I'd already begun to giggle. Daxx surfaced from his Mp3 player and began to laugh with me. I could not believe no one on the show laughed. I remained firm in my belief that I was not the only one with a sophmoric sense of humor since the clue writers obviously did too. Two clues later, 5 letters and $200 brought this clue: "small and sprightly, like Santa's staff" I'm sorry folks, but that is comedy GOLD and again, no one even cracked a smile! They had to have cut away or did a retake or something! No one could be that hard-hearted!

The train's final stop of the day occured right before I left at 6pm. One of our regular computer users was paying for his printing, walked a few paces off, then doubled back to the desk as I was saying goodnight to KT and ask me if I knew the politically correct term for "someone of weight". He said he's heard them talking about it today on the Tyra Banks Show and he couldn't remember what it was. "I want to apply it to myself" he said, with a big laugh. I wanted to say, "No, I'm sorry sir. I didn't make it to my tankass lodge meeting this week so I don't even know the secret handshake at this point much less what we're calling ourselves these days."

I'm fat, I know I am. I'm trying to change my life and get rid of it as well. But you know what? I don't know politically correct terms for "fat" because I've never been addressed with them. That's terminology thin people use to talk about fat people so they don't even have to verbally associate with us. They are generally just mean to your face. Busty women have their boobs talked to, most conversations patrons start with me are directed at my stomach. The young children I can deal with but the adults who do this just disgust me. I don't do that to people.

I ended up telling the patron that if I saw anything about it, I'd make a note and tell him the next time I saw him. I can't think of any reason (and I lug my personal baggage all around on this one) why in the world he would think I'd be an expert on that. He just said, "I thought you might have heard of it." Whatever. Thanks for putting the breaks on the comedy train, chump.

random bits of info

I'm getting so O-L-D! I feel like one of those elderly men who keep telling the same stories over and over, never once remembering that this is like the 89th re-telling. So, forgive me if I'm repeating myself.

Comfortably Numb
My carpal tunnel is still raging, with all the fingers of my left hand with the exception of my pinky having little or no sensation. It's very uncomfortable. So I have a nerve conduction study on Valentine's Day. KT said, "That's a bummer." I replied, "It's not like I'm gonna have anything better to do." There you have my life in a two sentence conversation.

Ah! The Sun! Shield Me!
My doctor has also recommended that I do a sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea, which he seems to think is a certainty given my nearly constant fatigue and afternoon sleepiness. (of course, it would have nothing to do with the extra tonnage I've managed to put on in the past 3 years) Additionally, my blood test results show that I have a Vitamin D deficiency. I'm supposed to take vitamins (trying), eat bone-in sardines and canned salmon (um, have to get paid tomorrow before any new victuals can make their way into the house), and get out in the sun (guess I need to start taking my breaks at work). What? You mean the ab fab flourescent lighting at the library won't do? *gasp* I get to the library at ~8:30 or 9 (a.m.) while the sun is still behind the trees for the most part and I leave when it's dark. I'm turning into an albino apparently.

Tiptoe-ing Through The Clovers
I finally got KT and her sister Z to go see Cloverfield! Now I am personally responsible for one more Cloverhead in the world. Unfortunately, my accolades fell short with Z, who liked the movie but didn't find it to the same pants-crapping terror-fest that KT and I enjoyed. She claimed to have watched too many horror movies at which point she and KT had a (very tiny but noticeable) verbal spat where KT pointed out that she was older and had probably watched just as many if not more horror movies than Z and it scared her! KT asked me in the beginning, when I called her from the parking lot of the movie theater after my first viewing, breathless and still terrified, if it was supernatural creepy and I said, unequivocably, NO! It was just so loud and violent and terrifying! I wanted (both times) to go home and stock up on flashlights and nonperishables in case something started destroying Bibb County! (KT did some holing up at home of her own, the film made quality time with the kids imperative...) So, Hi. I'm Holley. I'm a Cloverhead. I have been since January 18th, how about you?

A Tale of Two Eyes
So I came across a review of the upcoming (yet again, a remake of a Asian film) release, The Eye. I won't say the review janked the movie exactly, but much more praise was lavished on the orgininal Cantonese version which apparently is supposed to be v.v. scary where this one is just tedious. I quickly queued it on Netflix and bumped it to the top. The disc has sat on my kitchen counter for 3 days now because I'm too pansy-assed to watch it :) So tomorrow, I'm taking it to work, KT and I are ordering in pizza and watching it on our lunch hour. If it's good enough (and conversely, not too bad) I'll be considering it for my 2nd Annual Horror Movie Marathon program at the library in October. The kicker will be if it's dubbed. If you have to turn on subtitles it won't work with the digital projection system we have at la biblioteca. Here's hoping!

Holier Than Nonfiction
Here's a new one, and I really should have remembered this as I voted on it. I am a member of the Reader's Advisory Roundtable in the library consortia I work in. We meet bimonthly and bring (generally) two examples of the agreed upon topic WHICH WE ARE TO HAVE READ, and share them with the group. When it comes right down to it, we are kinda like a librarian's book group...and we get paid for it :) This month's theme? Christian Fiction. I voted for it specifically because it is a genre I don't read. Unfortunately for me, I forgot about the meeting until reminded recently so now I have until next Wednesday to read to books and prepare a book talk for each. I had absolutely no idea how to just jump into choosing one so I decided to go with prize winners. The major awards for Christian Fiction are The Christie Awards and I chose the winner for Historical Fiction, Tracy Groot's Madman, and the winner for Suspense (a.k.a faith-based thriller), Tim Downs' Plague Maker. I should actually be starting the reading frenzy now instead of sitting in front of my laptops but all needs must be fed :) Rest assured I'll let you know what I think since these two will also be entries #9 and #10 of my Book Awards Reading Challenge if I finish them.

Now, on to the comedy train!

Monday, February 4, 2008

I know, I know....

....I'm really dweeby for liking M. Night Shyamalan but there you go. I like the guy. I enjoyed The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, AND Lady in the Water. Now we have an upcoming flick (6/13/08) called The Happening. Cinematical posted about it earlier today and you can click through to view the trailer if you're interested. After Lady in the Water tanked so hard right behind The Village, the audience M. Night is work with is somewhere around 98% skeptical and 2% supportive.....maybe 99% skeptical and 1% supportive now that I think about all that I've heard. I don't care....I like what I like! After all, tons of people watch those crappy Nicholas Sparks movies and I've remained quiet to this point. How can it possibly be fun to sit in a theater or on you sofa and sob? I have enough angst in my life, I'd rather not pay 8.50 to watch someone else's in my free time. The old saw about "if you don't have anything nice to say....." still holds true for the most part.

I like the fantasy aspects of M. Night's movies and have always enjoyed the twists people are so scornful of. As a librarian, I've gotten used to people being playfully scornful about my reading tastes since I so rarely like literary fiction but I'm not reading all that much off the best-seller lists either, hardly at all! I like occult fiction, some historical fiction, sci-fi/fantasy (as long as the sci-fi is not hard core), romantic suspense (as long as it's spicy!), romantic comedy (as long as it's funny AND spicy), action/adventure (true to life or larger than life, it doesn't matter as long as there are automatic weapons and some sort of explosives involved), and horror (the creepier/gorier/scarier the better). As are my reading tastes, so follow my taste in movies. Literary fiction (print) and drama (film) are just not my favorite genres. That's not to say I won't read/watch them but there has to be some serious motivation involved. Hey, I watched The Painted Veil the other day and enjoyed it even though some moderate sniffling was involved. I'm not a totally coarse creature :)

I've said it before.....

.....and I'll say it again, Juice could be describing my library. If you'd like to be amused (or disheartened in another respect), go visit Tales from the "Liberry" and read his chronicle of conversation for today. Other than the fact that he is a he and I am a she, we could comfortably swap places with only minor difficulty. How is it that the public library experience can be so similar across the board? (well, mine anyway)

Rock on, Juice! Keep fighting the good fight!

Book meme ! ! !

(via @ the Library by way of someone Woeful knows)

  • grab the nearest book at hand of more than 123 pages
  • turn to page 123
  • find the 5th sentence
  • post the next 3 sentences
  • tag other people (woeful recommends 5 but I don't think I have 5 blogging friends, we'll see)
KT and her Jane Austen-loving self put up an Austen display on the reference desk so the nearest book at hand for me is Jane Austen: A Life by David Nokes.

Without further ado:
Away in the East Indies, Frank was transferring from HMS Perseverance to HMS Minerva; James was regularly hunting with the Prince of Wales at Kempshott Park; Edward was setting himself up as a great landowner in Kent; Henry was at Oxford, and even little Charles was placing his first foot on the ladder of naval command. Her brothers lived in the public world of history, politics and global affairs, but Jane was confined to the domestic world of female preoccupations, a world quite invisible to the eye of history, where a confidence in pronouncing the superiority of an Indian muslin over an English one must be reckoned a very great accomplishment. It dismayed her how these busy men would all affect to despise mere novels as ephemeral female diversions; their only reading must be in more weighty subjects: history, political economy and the more sententious kind of moral essays.

Well, wasn't that spectacularly interesting? I wish now that I'd cheated and found a book with an interesting 123rd page....

Anyway, it's your turn KT, Book Diva,, KP?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

spontaneity ! ! !

so when I got off work yesterday I had a voicemail from my brother (I just canNOT get him to call me at my actual work number!) saying that they were planning on going to a movie and inviting me along. My nephew's 7th birthday was a few days ago and this would be another celebration of that as well. When I called, they were messing around the house doing around-the-house kinda stuff because I hadn't returned his 10am phone call. It was at this point that we had a brief not unfriendly spat about calling on a landline when it's important. At la biblioteca, we are not allowed to carry our cell phones on the floor so I'm not in the habit of checking for messages until the end of the day. Anyway, that's not important.

I ended up pointing my car towards Jasper instead of home and we went to dinner at Shogun's Japanese Steak House where there were flying knives, spatulas, and food as well as gouts of flame to the ceiling and a volcano made of stacked onion rings. If you've never been to a Japanese steak house I recommend it!

Our movie....Hannah Montana. In the interests of not offending girls around the world, I'll say that she seems to be a truly decent young lady and leave it at that. I have to mention that at one point one of the roadies talks about all the little girls screaming and he says "it's like standing behind a jet engine," they do a quick cut to a concert scene and it is a very similar sound to the flight deck of an aircraft carrier :)

I had an absolutely FaBuLoUs time with my brother, niece and nephew (bunko night for sis-in-law!) and hope that our next visit doesn't take so long to arrange.

evenin' ya'll!

Book Awards Reading Challenge

I have just posted review #8 of the 12 required to complete the challenge and be entered into the drawing for prizes and I still have until June 30, 2008 to finish. You can go there if you'd like, but here's the review in its entirety for those who prefer instant gratification. I'm serious folks, go read it!

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
2006 Alex Award

Wow! What a story! I started this book at 10am on a Saturday morning and by 5pm that evening I had turned the last page. I flew through this woman’s life like a speeding jet. This is narrative nonfiction at its very best, though I will admit to a bit of skepticism on how exactly she remembers so much. The book begins with a 3-year-old Walls setting herself on fire while cooking hotdogs. Meticulous details take us from the ballerina tutu she was wearing catching on fire through skin grafts and the gentle investigations of the nurses and administrators as to why exactly a 3-year-old little would be cooking her own food.

You would think the story would expand from there to include foster homes and accusations of negligence but you’d be wrong. Instead, her father decides it is time to “check out Rex-Walls style” so he grabs her up and flees the hospital for the car, which is still running and packed with a few belongings and Walls’ mother and siblings. They drive away into the night and so begins Jeannette Walls’ incomparable life with parents more nomadic than loving.

The extreme poverty this family goes through is unimaginable, especially in light of the fact that this story took place not too long ago. Jeannette Walls’ photo shows a beautiful woman’s face to the world but her life’s story reveals that she felt gangly, awkward and unlovely. She had buckteeth and her home’s lack of indoor plumbing made hygiene a problem as well. I could go on and on about the struggles these poor kids had to go through for the most basic of conveniences but it would begin to sound repetitious coming from me so go out and read Walls’ version instead. She chronicles better than anyone the heartbreaking lows and manic highs of her dysfunctional family.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

saints (or anybody else like-minded) preserve us!

(via The Vampire Librarian)
My Life Dreams:
1. Quit school
2. Get on Girls Gone Wild.
3. Have my baby.
--As seen on a dry erase board in one of our study rooms.
*Sucks was definitely written by someone else later.

At my library, all we get are cusswords and the occasional attempt at naughty drawings. If we're lucky, it's the dry erase board and not the walls or windows.

the celebrity gossip craze

Click here to read a great fan rant on the $200,000 Heath Ledger video that Entertainment Tonight pulled.

The author makes some very salient points about our disgust for celebrity behavior contrasted with our insatiable hunger for gossip about said behavior. There is lots of Hilton/Lohan/Spears bashing and he is not choosy about casting blame at us as consumers of that information. I don't know about ya'll, but I've come to the point where I change the channel/radio station/webpage when something comes up about those three because I am so weary of hearing about their latest hangover or near-OD experience. Too much money or fame seems to do no one any good.

Would you be able to keep yourself under control if you're bank account suddenly swelled with several million dollars and the world started to adore you?

Cloverfield 2? :(

The imminent planning of Cloverfield 2 came through on Cinematical a few days ago and boy am I sad :( Discussions continue as to whether this will be filler on where/when the monster originated or just the same night from a different camera's perspective. I am excited about NEITHER. Why can Hollywood never just let a good movie be?

I loved, loved, loved 28 Days Later and have yet to see the reputedly tacky Americanized sequel. I just don't want my opinion of that great Brit-flick to change. I'll have to watch it eventually because my curiosity will get the better of me, but I'll put it off as long as possible.

Hey, I liked First Blood (the first Rambo movie) too! But guess what, the book is better and at the end of that book the colonel who gets Rambo out of town in the movie puts a bullet in John Rambo's skull to stop him from rampaging through town any further. Would it have been a better movie if they'd kept to the original storyline? I don't know but I'll wager they were banking on the success of the Rocky franchise to catapult this into a franchise as well (and they were pretty successful apparently).

Maybe I should make a YouTube video, "Leave Cloverfield Alone!"......