Saturday, June 27, 2009


The summer is gearing up now that work is (as much as it ever does) settling down. The 4 of us that are going to the American Library Association national conference in Chicago are getting ExCiTeD! We have so much planned! We fly out July 9th and return July 14th, then KT and I are headed to the beach July 18th for a solid week! We'll have my honorary nieces and KT's mom and sister and it will be fabulous. We are planning meals and deciding on what movies to take with us.

As for Chicago, ALA has the event planner up and I have been adding things like mad with some time slots having 8 or 9 programs. As I obviously cannot be 8 or 9 places at once, a slice-n-dice cull will have to take place. The problem is that they always add programs at the last minute and then I'll be conflicted by something I've planned on attending vs. something I desparately need to see/hear. Never fails. We are attending the Newbery Breakfast to hear Neil Gaiman speak and there are several other authors whose programs I plan to attend.

You never can tell who will be the best speaker. KT and I signed up for an author luncheon in Minneapolis last year and I kind of groaned to hear that Arthur and Pauline Frommer (just try to find a travel guide that isn't Frommer's) were the keynote speakers and it ended up being the best session I heard all conference. We have signed up for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner nearly everyday. One day we have all three provided so I consider our efforts golden as stewards of taxpayer money. Let the vendors pick up the tab.

Are all business conferences similar? Can you get the vendors to pay for nearly everything? I'm looking around for more meals I can sign up for so that I don't have to be reimbursed by the library. I get the student rate membership in ALA since I signed up while in grad school and I get that rate for 10 years! Well, six more now. :-) Travel expenses are going to be pared down to the absolute minimum next year so I want to show that I can be a conservative travel so that I can continue to attend my profession's conferences.

As for the beach, oh I can hardly wait. I'm going to take a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, some flipflops, a bathing suit, some sunscreen, a toothbrush, and a giant bag of books. Little else. My first vacation of the year and I am so looking forward to it!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

on another note

According to our scorekeeper, the weekly weighins have been figured cumulatively instead of by the week like we first thought so even though I gained a bit at this week's weighin I'm still ahead of the pack in terms of percentage of body weight lost. However, I don't feel like I earned the spot this week since I gained so I'm not parking there.

I bequeath dumpster parking to Erica (if I can only get her on the phone!!!!) for the week

my fav recommendation for summer

I blogged about it previously when I read it as part of my 100+ Reading Challenge, but I am SO excited about Margot Berwin and Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire BECAUSE................................

I just found out that she is going to be at a debut author conference session that I had already planned to attend at the American Library Association in a couple of weeks! She will be on a panel of other first time authors with a book signing to follow. This is one of my favorite sessions during the national and public library conferences because I love debut novels!

For you edification and entertainment:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

I don't have official word yet, but I don't see how I could avoid losing my 5 week title of Biggest Library Loser...I gained this week! I'm not surprised as I fell off the wagon so to speak several times last week and this past weekend and that is what happens when I don't mind my p's and q's.

So, I'm a bit sad but not too much since I'm still at a 9% loss for the past 10 weeks!

Monday, June 22, 2009

spellcheck fail

So, several weeks back (yes, I procrastinate) I went to the zoo with KT and the girlies where we were drowned in several downpours. You have absolutely never enjoyed a zoo in its full supremacy until you've been when it is hot and wet. The scents practically walk around with you. Very fascinating. Anyway, here we get to an exhibit of a rodent about the size of a beagle and I notice the sign. Then I notice the sign again. Come on Birmingham Zoo, I know you have spell check.

And in case you are curious, here's the poor animal whose exhibit features the abysmal spelling...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Taking by Dean Koontz

The Taking is another re-read for me but the book group I lead at work is reading dystopian fiction and that was my choice because I lurve it mightily. I’m also reading another book for that meeting which I’ll (obviously) tell you about later.

So, The Taking.

Molly Sloan wakes up from a fitful sleep when a torrential downpour starts. She’s restless and anxious and not totally sure why. Something doesn’t feel right. The rain is falling aggressively and it seems to glow because it is brighter outside than it should be for this late at night and this much rainfall. That’s when she notices the shadowy figures on the deep front porch. A large pack of coyotes is cowering on there, quivering slightly with ears pricked towards the forest. One husband screaming awake from a nightmare and a ghastly recording of a transmission from the International Space Station later and Molly and Neal Sloan know the world is not what it once was.

I own not one, but two copies of this book because I just couldn't let it languish there in the yard sale unloved and underappreciated. I am not a Dean Koontz fan per se, but this book and his Intensity rank among some of my all time favorites and ones that I continually put into the hands of patrons here at the 'brary. Horrors galore await you, I dare you to read it.

I'm on a ROLLLLLL!

No, this post has nothing to do with University of Alabama football, which I don't watch. I don't watch any sports as a matter of fact.

I won Biggest Loser again this week! That's 4 weeks in a row now that I've had dumpster parking!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

another bout of super secret secretness

so, I got another book from Harlequin for review but as last time, I agreed to share no information about the title. However, I took the time to read it so I'm counting it for the 100+ Reading Challenge even though I cannot share the story with you. Ironically enough, this time I really enjoyed it and wish I could tell. They sent me one in the mail and one ebook. I don't like reading off the computer, but I am persevering!

Monday, June 15, 2009


A/C is fixed and the building is cooling down quite nicely! I can't believe they got out here to fix it that quickly as I had envisioned a day of abject misery since it is supposed to be in the low 90's today. The day's looking up!

no air at work

it has been off since the storm passed through friday night. Alabama in June with no air is not the most pleasant of sensations, I assure you. We were allowed to wear shorts and flipflops today AND I brought a little squirt bottle of water for a refreshing mist every now and again. we have box fans out. In the same breath, one patron complained about the heat and asked for coffee. I have been at work for 40 minutes, it's going to be great!

Friday, June 12, 2009

contemplating the worst

I would very nearly consider offing someone to possess this cabinet:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

cover (and content) snark..coming soon!

found THE BEST book to make fun of today and as soon as we are through using it to play a joke on a coworker, oh yeah, there will be quotes! As a teaser, I'll tell you that there are helpful phrases offered for "approaching strangers" and "gauging intent", also here's the socially impacting cover!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

This is a re-read for me as I read it early last year but it was the pick in one of my book groups and I was SO not sorry to read it again! This is a very short, VeRy delightful tale of what happens when Queen Elizabeth (the current one) becomes a voracious reader. A great little book to while away a summer afternoon! I reviewed it previously back in Feb 2008 so click through if you'd like the whole review!

The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips

I’ve heard about Gin Phillips’ The Well and the Mine here and there over the past year, but was really exposed to it when she won the Alabama Library Association Award for Fiction this year at the conference in Auburn. She is a great speaker and this in addition to the stories she shared with us about the book made me stand in line to get a copy of my very own autographed.

In Phillip’s tale, Carbon Hill, Alabama during the Depression was a somewhat dingy place. Worse off than some, better off than others. Tess’s family is doing fairly well. They don’t have meat to eat except a couple of times a year, but there is always food. The patriarch of the family, Albert, has a good, solid job in the mines and works his way up to a supervisory capacity. Her sister Virgie is smart, pretty, and being courted by a son of one of the richest families in town. Her brother Jack is healthy, strong, and smart as a whip. Tess loves her life, and the part she loves the most is the quiet of the back porch overlooking the woods. There is a well on the back porch and she believes it is her well. Life giving water and dim coolness make it one of her favorite things on earth. This changes one summer night when, in the darkness of night, an vaguely seen figure approaches their well, opens the lid, and drops a baby in. Tess remains unseen in the deep shadows of the porch and it’s over before she can say anything. She does tell her sister and her mother but they believe it is just Tess’s imagination until her mother brings up a baby blanket with morning’s water. So begins a momentous summer for Tess and her siblings full of mystery, heartbreak, and the beginning of the end of childhood.

This book does have its somber moments but overall I found it be charming and quite reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird. Another great summer read!

Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Since I obviously don’t read enough, I joined a third bookgroup, Inner Worlds! This is a sci-fi/fantasy bookgroup and I’m terribly excited and a little nervous. Will I be smart enough to keep up? These are math/science/computer people, plus one librarian I happen to know! So, I joined the group because one of my friends is a member and I saw on Facebook that they would be talking about the latest book in one of my favorite series, A Feast for Crows from the A Song of Ice and Fire saga. I had a good time and decided to stick around and see what else I could read. This month’s book was Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain, a book I’ve heard about plenty during my library career but always assumed was over my head. SO WRONG! I’ve read similar storylines, most memorably Tess Gerritsen’s Gravity, and have loved them all. This was no exception.

So, there are little low orbit satellites around the earth that are sent up to take samples of the atmosphere then brought back down for study. A team heads out to pick up the most recently returned satellite, which fell a bit off target. The town is silent, dark, and otherworldly still. As the van gets farther in to town, the bodies start appearing. Just as they start to believe the whole town is dead, a lone figure staggers into view. Not long after this, both members of the team are dead and a series of medical and scientific experts are assembled to find answers.

I read this book in one day and am now heartily suggesting it to everyone who comes to the desk looking for a good book. There was only a scant handful of times when the fact that this book was published in 1969 became apparent, mainly when they talked about the new and superefficient new thingamabob, the computer, that now made all these scientific tests so fast and efficient. That, and no references whatsoever to cell phones, emails, PDAs, etc. Good fiction stands the test of time, and this is great fiction!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

¡soy un perdidor!

I won Biggest Loser again at work this week!  woohoo!  

Another $4 in my pocket and another week at the dumpster :-)  I wonder how long my streak will last?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

forgot to mention!

I did not have to pass on my dumpster crown last week because I won Biggest Loser for the week again!  Two weeks of dumpster parking, woohoo!  I anxiously await results for this week today.  I'm feeling pretty confident because I lost another 5 pounds according to this morning's weighin!  Also, for general information, I exercised 28 days in May!  I printed out calendars for each month and have them taped on the door of my exercise room so I can jot down what I do each day.