Monday, September 29, 2008

Good First Sentences

You have to admire a book that starts off with a good first sentence. Because lots of books just take the easy way out and start off with a normal sentence that they translate into maybe a good opening paragraph or even a good opening chapter.

But to come off with a killer first sentence? That takes some work and some talent.

This post is dedicated to good examples of the awesome first sentence. Please feel free to add a comment with one that's impressed you. Also visit this site for a list of 100:

Here's one that caught my attention lately:
"Prince Raoden of Arelon awoke early that morning, completely unaware that he had been damned for all eternity."
From Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.

I read that and squirmed with pleasure and said, "OOOooooooo."

Does anyone want to submit any other good contenders?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The eye of the beholder

My friend Jessie recently had a baby shower. And pictured below is one of the gifts she got at her baby shower:
Unique, eh? The giver didn't make it, but she did find it at a yard sale. I believe the colors match the baby's room. It's made from yarn. We all thought it was pretty unusual. I had never seen anything like it before.

So you can imaine my surprise when I went to the Utah State Fair, and walked around the arts and crafts pavillion, and saw this:

Yarn art! And it won first prize! At something.

Now call me crazy, but I majored in Art History... And I've never seen framed yarn art before, and to be hit with it twice in one week! Sometimes you just can't prepare enough for something.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall celebration

I couldn't possibly agree more. This photo couldn't be more perfect even if the dog had a little bandana tied around his neck.

This photo perfectly captures fall for me as a kid. Crisp air. Sunshine. Leaves falling from the trees. The lawn trying to hold on. Playing outside. Found an awesome stick. What more could a kid ask for?

All you have to do is imagine that house in the background full of apple pie and turkey with dressing and you may have my personal version of heaven.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sept 22nd

Happy First Day of Fall!

(If you have an RSS feed, you'll be missing my new fall colors.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Library Quirks

I had this conversation the other day:

Patron: "Where is your section on babies?"

Me: "Is there anything specific that you want on babies?"

Patron: "No, just like the general section about babies."

Me: "Well, there are books about babies spread all through nonfiction. Like how to care for your baby, how to teach your baby sign language, nutrition for your baby, clothes for your baby, etc."

(I thought I had her at how to care for your baby. But she said:)

Patron: "You don't just have a section on babies?"

My thought: Baby what? Just baby? No, there is no baby section.

But I said: "Let me see if we have something general."

I found a book called "Your baby & child," (child care) which she thought sounded good. I also encouraged her to come back if she wanted any help narrowing it down. She didn't come back and walked out with 8 or so infant care books.

A lot of people assume that we have sections on things. Where is your vampire section? Where is your cowboy section? Where are your wizard books? I can understand, you really don't know where things are when you first walk into a library. But sometimes the assumptions can get a little silly. The "section" concept can actually work in nonfiction if your topic is narrow enough.

On the other hand, things can get too specific. Once someone asked me for the "business" section. I asked him if he wanted anything specific and he said that he wanted a list of small companies in Utah that provide web services. That was a hum-dinger. I guess I should be careful what I wish for.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

For the Birds

I thought this was cute.

Credits: I think this comes from this site.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lost in Translation

The second floor of our library is the quiet floor.
There was a family at one of the microfilm machines today that were speaking a bit loud. I waited for awhile, but they didn't stop, so I finally went over and spoke to the mother.
"Hi, I was just wondering if you could whisper? This is the quiet floor and we try to keep things as quiet as possible for those who are studying."
She sort of looked at me blankly so I kept going,
"Sorry, you were being very quiet already, but if you could just whisper that would be great." [smile]

She kept looking at me, but took her pre-teen son by the shoulder and shook him a little, and he finally said, "Shhhhhhhhhhhh."

She smiled and laughed and said, "Ah, okay, okay!"

Well that explains the blank look. But something tells me that some of what I said might have gotten lost in the translation...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One Eyed One Horned...

I saw this photo today next to a headline titled "Czech National Librarian fired over library design."

And I thought, "Well yeah."

But if you read the article it's all about how the competition for building designs was done "at variance with the law."

"Cieslar said the ministry's analyses rule out the possibility of continuing the preparation of the construction of Kaplicky's project dubbed a blob or an octopus." I guess the validity of the competition has been challenged and "implies serious financial risks for the state."

Honestly, they're a little sketchy on the details, aren't they? It's almost too easy to suspect that the design that "won" the competition was so hideous that they decided to do whatever it took to pull the plug.

Wait, did you not get a good enough look? I know I didn't. Let's see some more.

Notice how it fits right in with the city?

See how the people are just squiggly lines? The building looks perfect for them! (Not so much for real, actual, human-type people.)

A lot of people really like it, actually. Unfortunately, a lot of the people in power aren't as excited. One article reads, "The Mayor doesn't like it. The current President of the Republic doesn't like it. Even the director of Prague's National Gallery ... says the striking conceit is too 'strong' for the delicate grain and texture of the historic quarter."

Well, I've been staring at it for awhile now, and it's starting to grow on me. Get it? Grow? Just kidding. Really, it is. I don't know why I'm so obsessed by this. I guess I just think it's so outlandish (out·land·ish: freakishly or grotesquely strange or odd, as appearance, dress, objects, ideas, or practices; bizarre), that it's amazing that it won at all.

In case you are just as stunned as I am by this, let me save you some time by providing a few links:

Lots of bloggers approve of the building for its eco-friendly features.
Here are some photos of the other entries in the competition.
Some architectural images of the building.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On a roll

I took photos of my sister's family this weekend. And I have to say, I'm pretty proud of some of these photos. Here are my favorites from the film rolls:

This is probably my favorite one. I love the cut-off parents. I love the candid face on Eden. I love the window behind. I love them holding hands.

The kids posed themselves this way. Apparently "just hanging out" for them includes draping themselves across the benches and leaning towards each other in sibling affection.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A funny thing happened...

Ambush Makeover update: I half expected all the trucks to be there when I came home last night, but they were gone and haven't been seen since.

In other news, today I was at a restaurant picking up some take-out for lunch. While I was waiting I watched people who had been dining-in come up and pay for their meals. This restaurant has all of their pens dressed up as flowers and stuck into a tiny flower pot with beans in the bottom (you've seen this before, right? I bet all the guys love using those). So as I watched one guy go to pick out a pen to sign the receipt, he grabbed ahold of a real flower and yanked it out of the little planter that it was in. It was hilarious, but no one said anything, and he tried to put it back, but it kind of drooped over, and that was all he could do.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What's going on??

This morning I had to pick up Michael from the bus stop, as I've had to do a few other times when he's worked his graveyard shift. Usually, I roll out of bed wearing my pink pajama pants, and I throw on this huge brown oversized robe and walk to the car, because it's usually before 7 or so and I know no one will see me.

Today, for some reason, I put in a somewhat respectable pair of grey sweats, and Michael's sweatshirt. I didn't bother doing my hair, just put it in a hair tie and held it back with a headband. Oh, and no contacts, I put on my big thick-framed glasses. I wasn't expecting to see anyone, but I have to walk around the house to get to the car, and there's more of a chance for people to see me.
(By the way, my sister is probably mortified for me already. Before any of us is awake in the morning, she is showered, dressed, and has make-up on and her hair done, ready for the day. I admire it but it makes me tired to think of it).

Anyway, if you have never been on my street, I live on a corner. The driveway faces the main street with all of the other driveways, and then we have one side of the house on a side-street that has no driveways. As I came out this morning and started to walk up through our side-yard to get to the driveway, I saw a big truck with a huge satellite on top of it parked right next to our side-yard. I thought, "Good thing I put on the sweats, though I am regretting my hair at this point."

From the time it took me to walk through the yard to get in my car and pull out of the driveway, the ENTIRE side-street was full of vans and trucks!! AHH! They all arrived at precisely the same moment. And even the church parking lot kiddy-corner from my house had vans and trucks in it.

I called my mom on my cell (we rent out her basement). She was getting ready for work, and I forced her to go look out the window. She said, "Oh. They're on my property." So I told her to go ask them what's going on. She called me back a few minutes later.

"I asked them what they were doing, and they said they couldn't tell me. I asked if it was something for the cable, and one guy said 'yes' but I think he was just placating me. Then I asked if they could make my internet go faster and no one responded."

I laughed, because, come on, that was hilarious, but we both don't think it's a cable company because there are trucks from several different companies out there, some of them are electric companies. When I came home from getting Michael, they had cameras and computer equipment out. They're still here. They are out there right now! In fact, more of them are arriving. A semi just pulled up. I'm just hunkered in here, waiting, and as soon as I finish this post you can bet I'll take a shower and do my hair.

I brazenly took some photos, daring them to tell me to stop, but no one did. In fact they just ignored me. Like, "Don't mind us and our truck Brigade. We'll be as quiet as 15 bulldozers, I swear."

UPDATE: I just took a shower and walked out, and my next-door-neighbor was walking by. She told me that our neighbors are getting an ambush makeover by Oprah!

Well, if anyone could summon that many diesel trucks and vans in one place, it's Oprah.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Snips and snails and cute little whales

I went to a baby shower this weekend, where we were asked (ahead of time) to decorate onesies and bring them to the shower. The baby's name is Jonah, so this is the shirt I did for him:

I am pretty proud of that. Of course, it was one of three whale themed onesies, but a kid named Jonah can probably never have too many whale shirts, right?

We hung up all the onesies on a clothesline in the room:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Our circulation department is backed up at the library, so yesterday I was helping out by putting some videos away on the shelves for them. I was in the VHS section, and behind me was the DVD section. I heard the conversation of a couple right behind me.

The guy said in a quiet, complaining voice:
"But I've never seen it before. And it looks stupid."

Then the girl said in a low voice:
"'It's not a toomah.'"

And then the guy sighed and said:

I think it's hilarious that she didn't even answer him. She just started quoting the movie (we must assume it was Kindergarden Cop), and probably held it between her two index fingers and danced it back and forth in front of him as she said it. Classic.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I have said it before, and I will say it again, I think my niece looks like Natalie Portman.

Okay, so it's not dead-on, and my niece is way cuter, but she definitely reminds me of her.

Last year my niece got her hair cut, and that's when I realized they were practically twinners (by the way, her parents disagree):

Of course, this year I didn't think there would be a new contender for the look-alike contest, until I saw this!

If this continues, my kids will probably look like a cross between Bill Nye the Science Guy (for my husband)

and Godzilla:

Ok, Ok, just kidding. My sister says I look like the bionic woman:

Very flattering!