Saturday, December 11, 2010

My phantom phone flasher

The other day I was working at the library, when I noticed way over at the entrance a tiny light.  I looked closer and an older woman was standing there with her phone held up excitedly to another person, and the other person (who looked like her daughter) walked away like, "Yes, I already saw."

A few minutes later a woman walked up to me at the desk and said, "Do you want to see something absolutely heart-warming?"

"Of course!" I said.  (I like to play along when people are crazy).

"Well... can you get YouTube on that computer?"

Me: "Um... no."  (Small lie.  We can watch the videos, but there is no sound).

"Okay, tell me your email address!"

Now, I don't give out my email address to patrons.  There's a personal-information bubble that we librarians live in to protect ourselves sometimes.  But this lady was super sweet and I could tell that she was legit.  So I gave her my email address and she whipped out her phone and started doing all sorts of fancy stuff, and I realized that she was the phantom phone flasher I had seen earlier.  She beeped and booped my email into her phone and with a sly grin said, "It's so amazing, you'll just cry!" before walking away.

So later that night when I got home I had this in my inbox:



Alright. Pretty sweet. And maybe I got misty-eyed when that little boy took his mom's hand. Maybe. Whatever.

I didn't mind the video.  I didn't mind the personal email breach.  I didn't even mind the super-sweet practically-the-fairy-of-Christmas-cheer attitude coming from the lady.

The only part that bugged me is that lady had a way cooler phone than me and totally knew how to use it. She was sending emails and watching videos and doing all sorts of cool stuff with it! Dang, lady! Plus five street cred!

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Halloween Costume

This year I worked on the Friday before Halloween at the library. Can you guess what I went as?


I am wearing: My hair in a bun with a pencil stuck in it, thick glasses with chain, a collared long-sleeved white shirt with an ugly vest, my library nametag, a big necklace, a "Readers Rule" bookmark, plaid skirt, but the best things were my stockings and sensible shoes, but they are hard to see in this photo.

 One patron who came up to ask me a question was like, "Wow, you REALLY look like a librarian." And I was like "Yeah, that's the point." And he just looked at me. So I said, "It's my Halloween costume?"
And after a few more seconds,  that guy really LAUGHED.
This is just another example of my Halloween costume blowing up in my face. Last year when I was six months pregnant I wore a "BUMP" road sign on my belly, and I think people were too afraid or polite to ask me if I was actually pregnant or just fat. And this year, I guess they all thought that this was how I really dressed.

How embarrassing.  =)

Please forgive this very late post, I will re-date it to Oct 31st in a few days but for now it will hang out at the top of my blog.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Last call for the Blogging class

Be sure to let me know today or tomorrow if you're interested in coming to the all-in-one-day blogging class next Saturday (Nov. 13th) from 10am-2pm.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sadly, you are not a monster

Nothing like an awesome Sesame Street spoof of that Old Spice commercial to cheer you up when you're feeling down!  Props to CZ - I had to re-post it after seeing it on your blog!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Blogging Class - all in one day!

I'm teaching the Blogging class again, but this time instead of four separate weeks I'm doing it all in one day!  It's on Saturday, November 13 from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

I'd love to have friends or family at this session, so please let me know if you'd like to attend, and I can make sure you get registered.  I need to know by November 6th (one week before) if you want to come.

The class starts with the basics (creating your blog and doing your first post), images, comments, settings, design, blog safety, RSS, Blog Promotion, and Stat Tracking.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Of Christmas and Santa

"That time of year" is coming up, and Michael and I are very excited about the prospect of having a cute baby girl in the house during this holiday season. It's also been giving us an opportunity to discuss how we want to "do" Christmas at our house: what traditions we want to start, what goals we want to set, etc.

One tradition that I want to start is for my children to give, as in physically hand gifts that they're giving to their siblings. I just feel like it would place more emphasis on Christmas being more about bringing good things to other people than just a random pile of packages under the tree. While reading popular mommy-blog DesignMom the other day, I came across an excellent suggestion for gifts from Santa: one thing to wear, one thing to read, one thing to play with. This has helped her avoid Christmas buying overload.

So I sent the suggestion to Michael, and he really liked everything except for the Santa part. Which makes me wonder: how will we handle Santa in our house? I don't want to write him out completely, because I think the whole will he/won't he come was part of Christmas fun for me when I was little. How Dad made us all sit on the stairs while he went down to "check" and make sure Santa wasn't still there. By the way, you REALLY took your time with that, DAD. Sitting on those stairs was agony. But then seeing that there were new presents under the tree was pretty magical, and I don't want Jane to miss out on that sense of wonder. However, I also don't want to overemphasize Santa. I think Michael doesn't really appreciate that a fictional being is taking credit for things that he certainly didn't do. We also don't want family gifts to get lost in the mix.

One other problem is "breaking it" to the kids (you know... about Santa). When? How? Do they just figure it out? Does it break their hearts? Should I try to make sure that they understand the truth from the start? I think I have more anxiety when I imagine telling a kid about Santa than I do about explaining the birds and the bees.

I think the "one thing to wear, one thing to read, one thing to play with" rule will do perfectly this year for Jane on the whole. Cute little babies don't really need much more than that, and I'm sure the wrapping will be much more exciting than anything inside. I'm even thinking about wrapping a couple of empty boxes for her to go to town with, but some part of my brain tells me that's cruel. Like she'll be sitting in therapy one day going, "And do you want to know how sick my mom was? She wrapped EMPTY boxes for me at Christmas."

What about you? Do you have any "rules" when it comes to buying gifts for your kids? Any good suggestions for the Santa situation?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ma wheat done sprouted!



Unfortunately I also noticed a whole bunch of these guys:


Apparently, they like to eat nice, tender sprouts.  A LOT.  I do have to say that they are kind of the big, dumb, slow specimens of the insect world.  I made a trip to my local Intermountain Farmer's store and found a pesticide that's safe to use on edible plants.  I felt sort of defeated, though, having to resort to a pesticide.  Maybe I could have stood out there all day and hacked them to death every time they came near my wheat sprouts.  But who would watch the baby?  Plus, that got old after killing the first one.  The dumbest part was that I literally felt guilty.  And then I asked myself how I possibly think I could kill a chicken when hacking a grasshopper had my gut clenched with guilt!  Yeah, good luck with that one, crazy.

Anyway, my wheat sprouted!  It's ALIVE!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cottonelle's "Get Fresh With A Friend" campaign



I'm not sure this campaign was well thought out. I can't think of any friends that I'd want to "get fresh" with. And aside from the terminology, what would a friend think of me if I sent them wet wipes? I think I might lose that friend right there.

It would be one thing if the commercial sort of acknowledged that the phrasing is a little... suggestive. But it's just taking itself so seriously, I feel embarrassed for it. I want to pull it aside and explain why everyone in the room is snickering.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Phone Conversation

Patron: Yes I'm looking for a book.  It's called itbiguky.

Me: Sorry - what was the title?

Patron: It's itbigooky.

Me: I'm not quite catching that title.  Can you say it again?

Patron: Eet.  Bigookie.

Me: Can you spell it for me?

Patron: Yes.  E-a-t.  That's the first word.  Then t-h-e.  The last word is c-o-o-k-i-e.




Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Great Wheat Experiment, Part 2

(Read Part 1 here)

I would just like to point out before we get started that my mom is mad at me for growing something that she and all of my sisters can't eat.  Sorry, guys.  But it's the staff of life, baby!  Well, not your life.  But mine.  And lots of other people's.

As I started looking into growing your own wheat, I found that there are two types of wheat, spring wheat and winter wheat.  Winter wheat you plant in the fall and it sprouts, then it lays under the snow during winter and grows back in the spring.  You harvest it in June or July.  You're supposed to plant a few weeks before the ground actually freezes, so by the time I got this crazy notion into my head, it meant it was time to plant already.  Yikes!

So it looks like for every pound of seed that you plant, you get about 8 times that amount when you harvest.  I read one site that suggested starting with a small amount, like 6 pounds of seed.  I called my local IFA store and asked for winter wheat seed.  The guy on the phone said, "Oh, I only have a little bit left.  Just two 50 pound bags."  I laughed and told him it was more than enough.  Apparently, people planting wheat around here do a much larger-scale operation.

I went and bought one of the bags, which cost about $13.  Except that they gave me a discount, because he said the seed was a little older and not every seed would sprout.  So the 50 lb bag cost me about $7.50.  I had the seed.  Check.

The harder part was getting the ground ready.  I had an unused part of my backyard that had been overgrown by weeds, so we had those weed-whacked and then I had to rake the remains out.


I discovered some things about this area of the yard.

1. It used to be a lawn with grass.
2. Grass is hard to pull up.
3. There used to be a massive tree in this area, as evidenced by the large trunk and even larger root system running through where I wanted to plant.
4. Tree roots suck.

A lot of my time was spent pulling out the green bush that you see on the left in the photo.  That's where I found the tree trunk.  Also digging up the clumps of grass was challenging.  I finally got it to this point:


I like to call that thing in the middle there the Giant Root of Death.  It had to go.  I tried making a furrow with it in there, and it was totally uneven.  So I got out the hatchet and chopped, chopped, chopped at it (what I would have given for an axe.  Or a CHAINSAW).  Michael helped me pull it up, and after a sunburn and a few blisters, the ground finally looked like this:


The whole process of clearing this space out was done over a couple of weeks, during Jane's naps, by me, me, and ME.  I felt like the little red hen ("Will no one help me plant my corn?") and kept getting the Disney song stuck in my head while I hacked away at the soil.  Not that I had asked anyone for help.  And Michael did help me with the large roots.  I was also stressed out trying to get the seed in the soil fast enough to give it a chance to grow a little before the ground freezes, and I did the best I could and we'll just have to see what happens next year.

So what about the actual planting?  It sounds like you can just throw the seed out in the area, and then rake it into the soil.  It should be covered by 2 to 2 1/2 inches of soil, and it didn't seem like raking could do that very reliably.  You can also plant it in rows.  One site suggested that you make holes every six inches and put seeds in.  But the IFA Store Guy told me to plant my seed twice as thick as I normally would (hah, normally would?  If I had ever done it before) because the seed was older and not all of them would sprout.  So I decided to go with rows, and instead of spacing things out every six inches, I just laid down a line of seed in each furrow.

Check out ma rows:


And ma wheat:


Like I said, it looks like for every pound you plant, you can harvest up to 8 times that amount in the spring.  But then again the IFA Store Guy told me that not all of my seed would sprout.  Tricky.  Here's how I laid it down:


Looking at it now, it looks pretty dense.  But what do I know?  I'm no farmer.  I'm just some schluck who decided to try planting wheat.  Maybe next spring it'll all crowd and smother each other.  Maybe the grasshoppers will eat half of the stems that come up.  Oh well.  It's my first try and I'm not really stressed about it coming out perfect.  If I had to guess how much went in, I'd say maybe 10-15 lbs.  Will I have 80 lbs of wheat next summer?  We'll just have to see what happens.

What about watering?  Apparently, wheat likes dry weather.  I've read that you water it when you plant it, and then only water again if it's looking parched, even in the spring.  I guess whatever rain it might get is enough?  At any rate, I'm glad that it's in and can start growing.  I'm actually just happy with what I've done so far.  Sometimes life feels like I'm accomplishing nothing.  But it's been really satisfying to look at those photos, before and after, and see that I really did this, and almost completely by myself.  Big pat on the back for me!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Food Revolution: The Great Wheat Experiment, Part 1

Last year I read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, which largely discusses processed food and how we get fewer nutrients and less overall goodness the more our food is processed.  He encourages his readers to eat food (real food, not unrecognizable processed inventions), not too much, and mostly plants.  I had never really thought about the processing our food goes through before I read his book, and I had never really cared.  But in the months afterward, I thought more about it and looked with more scrutiny on the things that I was getting from the grocery store.

Another book that has had an interesting influence on me is Life As We Knew It, a young adult novel about a teenager living a normal high school life when the moon is struck by an asteroid and knocked closer to earth, causing the tides to turn into tidal waves, volcanic magma to be pulled up through the earth's crust into volcanoes, crazy storms, and all sorts of mayhem.  The book follows this girl as she and her family try to survive inside their own house while the rest of society basically breaks down and their electricity, gas, and food sources slowly dwindle off.

So what does that have to do with food?  That book really freaked me out, and for several days afterward I kept trying to figure out how Michael and I would fare in a similar situation.  My conclusion: we'd be screwed.  I realized how much I depend on the grocery store and large companies to produce, create, process, and package things I use everyday.  Necessities.

Self-sustainability isn't something I ever really cared about before, until I realized that I can't really do it.  I thought about starting a vegetable garden, but on a practical level it seems a little silly when I am inundated every week with a large basket of produce that I try my best to use every piece of.  Plus, my now paranoid brain told me, if I was truly forced to be self-sustaining, I'd probably go nuts on only vegetables.  Meat production is something that I've honestly thought about, wondering if I could really kill a chicken.  I think I'm content to leave that as a speculation for now.

So I started thinking about flour.  Wondering what I am really getting from the store.  The flour is processed (who knows how?), bleached, and then nutrients are added back into the bread.  One point in In Defense of Food is that for some reason, people who had a whole food (rather than a food that had been processed and had nutrients added back in) fared nutritionally better.  Even if, as far as science can tell, they are getting the same nutrients.  For some unaccounted for reason, the whole foods nourish better than foods that are broken down and then put back together in terms of separate nutrients.

For my birthday, I received a grain mill from Michael's wonderful parents.  I'd been intrigued by the prospect of grinding my own wheat, even though I can't remember where to get wheat for grinding.  So then I thought - what if I made bread from scratch?  Like, really from scratch.  As in: grow the wheat myself?  Because really, what do I even know about seed that I'm getting from the store?  What fertilizers, pesticides, gathering methods, kind of storage has it gone through before it got to me?  As you can tell with my investigation into meat, I'm really starting to wonder how foods are produced and brought to us, and the less I understand about that process, the more helpless I feel.

So, in the interest of experimentation, I started researching how to grow wheat.

Now I will tell you all the edible plants that I've grown before: basil.  That I bought pre-grown from the store.  I bought some seeds, too, and planted those, and they are sort of thinking about growing up.  I manage to water the large basil and the seedlings most days.  I use them in cooking a lot and it has actually saved me a bundle because buying fresh herbs from the store is highway robbery.  That's pretty much it.

So am I crazy for thinking I can grow a crop?  Yup.

Bring it on.

Also, is it unpractical?  Pretty much.  I'm certainly not doing it for the money.  Flour is just about as cheap as the dirt you can buy in the store.  Maybe cheaper than dirt.  I'm not really doing this to try to save money.  I think it's more about the challenge.  I want to see if I can really do it, if it's possible (and maybe sleep better knowing if an asteroid hits the moon, I might have a backup plan).  Also, I'm starting to really value knowing exactly what has gone into my food and how it got on my plate. 

So that's the why.  Part 2 (and the following parts) will be about the how.
Part 2 will be coming very soon.  Because guess what?  Planting season is NOW.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Food Revolution: Meet your meat

One day while I was standing in line, waiting for my produce basket, I started chatting with the woman next to me.  We talked about how we enjoyed Bountiful Baskets, and she said that was just the beginning of the changes she had started making.  She told me that she was now buying her meat from a local farmer who lived just down the street from where we were.  In fact, you could see his silos.

I was pretty stunned when I heard this, because - wait, you can get meat from a farmer?  Like with actual cows?  I thought you just had to get it wrapped in cellophane from the grocery store and that was your only option.  She told me that she had watched Food, Inc. which had really motivated her to find some alternative sources for her food.  So I went home and watched it, and - oh boy.  Not for the faint of heart.  One interesting thing that I learned is that since corn is so easy to grow, most cows raised on CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) are fed corn.  But sadly, corn isn't natural at all to a cow's stomach, and E. Coli gets into the meat.  So the food industry adds ammonia to the meat (rather than just pasture-feeding them which would take away the E. Coli, but isn't cost-effective).

Now, I'm dancing dangerously close to the line of making this post all about the evils and politics of the food industry, but I honestly don't want to go there.  I just wanted to point out a few of the things that motivate me to make changes.  And if I'm not quite accurate on the whole E. Coli issue, please feel free to comment.

Anyway, I contacted this farmer who my friend said she buys from, and we had a really interesting discussion.  Their cows are pastured down in the next county south of here for most of the year, and in the winter they're brought back to their farm until the spring.  I'd read about this online - a lot of cows are brought back to the farm for the winter and are fed hay while they wait out the season.  It sounds like that's how organic beef are raised.  But my nice farmer lady told me that their beef isn't certified organic because they grain feed them in the winter.  I asked if there was corn in their winter-feed, and she said there was along with several other grains.  I had done some research online before she told me about this, and I knew that while purely grass-fed beef is sure LEAN, cows that are grain-fed part of the time have more marbling.  And I'm definitely not above marbling.  NOPE.  Plus, if I'm going to have marbled beef that's been fed grain, I'd rather have it at least pastured some of the time, rather than raised on a CAFO.  Aside from what makes up their feed, they don't use any pesticides on any of their property (despite great personal inconvenience, she told me - the weeding! good golly), and the cows aren't given antibiotics or any growth hormones.  All things I was hoping for!

So, am I cooking up steaks every night with my new-found beef gold mine?  Sadly, no.  Because you want to know what the catch is to buying from farmer John rather than SuperMart?  You have to buy A LOT of beef.  As in, a whole or a half a cow.  The Nice Lady at my produce co-op told me she found a deep freezer online, and stores all her beef in that.  She buys half a cow and it lasts her a year.  Farmer Lady told me that they have all of their beef butchered by a local guy, and when it's all done and wrapped up, it comes to about $2.50 a pound.  Across the board.  For the roasts, steaks, and hamburger.  So what does that add up to for a half a cow?  About $700.  We're talking about A LOT of meat.  Unfortunately, we don't have the means to invest in a freezer and a half a cow, though we wish we did.  Also, we probably only eat one or two pounds of beef a week as a family, so I'm not sure we could go through that much meat in a healthy amount of time.

On the bright side, Farmer Lady told me that I could come buy a few pounds out of her freezer if I wanted to try out the meat, so I zipped over there and picked up some hamburger and a few steaks for the $2.50 price (bonus!).  What was it like?  It tasted like beef.  It wasn't like I experienced any kind of life-altering cosmic meat experience, although I really did like the texture of the hamburger - not all mushy like I get from the store.  It tasted like beef normally does, but for me personally, there are definitely some peace-of-mind elements to this kind of food that make it worthwhile.  Knowing WHERE my meat is coming from, for one.  Seeing the faces of the people who produce it and shaking their hands, learning about what's actually going into the meat from the horse's -- or cow's? mouth.  Not to mention supporting local farmers, and getting a deal on the per-poundage price.

For now, we are eyeing the cellophane-wrapped offerings from the store with suspicion, and waiting for the day when we can make a deposit in the tasty beef bank.  I know that what I've learned here is really just one perspective on beef, or meat in general, and that there are lots of other things to learn.  Does anyone else out there have some beef insight?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Food Revolution


I've been meaning to do this post for awhile now.  For the past year or so I've been trying to heighten my basic understanding of food as well as altering some of my eating habits.  Back in early 2009 I started watching the Food Network a lot, because I was in bed so much for sickness, and I got tired of watching stressful, vain, immoral TV.  So I started watching people cook a lot and I realized, "Hey, I know next to nothing about food."

So I started reading some books, and trying to cook a little more often.  I think that has been my number one goal for the past year or so, to make dinners and cut down on the amount of restaurant food I was eating.  I've been trying especially hard since Jane was born, because it's important to me that she has a mom who knows how to cook and does it fairly frequently.

About six months ago, I was introduced to Bountiful Baskets by my sister.  It's a food co-op where you go once a week and pick up a produce basket of vegetables and fruit.  The food is purchased as locally as possible, or at least regionally (south western US/ a lot from California, and sometimes Mexico), and they support smaller farms.  Each basket is $15.00, and their website says the amount of food you get is worth about $50, but when I compare it to Walmart I'd say what I get in each basket is worth about $25 or $30 from the store.  So it really does save me some money.

The only drawback is that you don't get to choose what's in your basket.  You get what's in season, and there's no warning ahead of time what you will be getting.  Some people see this as a real negative, but I absolutely LOVE it.  First of all, I love knowing that what I'm eating is in season and not grown on the other side of the world, picked prematurely, and ripened the rest of the way en route with polyurethane gas or whatever they use.  Second, it forces me to explore food, try new things, and most importantly, learn how to cook it!  A few examples of foods that I would have NEVER bought at the store, but received in my baskets and learned how to cook are: brussels sprouts, green beans, figs, blackberries, coconuts, baby bok choy, fennel, and many more.

The third reason that I love doing this is that it gives me SO MANY fruits and vegetables each week, I am forced to eat them.  Rough, I know.  But seriously, vegetables were not a huge part of my diet before this.  But I get so many each week, and I really hate wasting things, that I try very hard to consume everything before I pick up the next week's basket.

I've been doing this almost every week since April, and it quickly became the highlight of my week.  I took a few photos of what I brought home on a few occasions.  Each photo is represents a different week:











Check out that sweet corn in the last couple of photos.  Man, just looking at that stuff makes my mouth water.  The things I get almost weekly are romaine lettuce and bananas, but they usually have six or seven fruits and six or seven vegetables.  

So, for instance, today I picked up my basket, and I got a head of romaine lettuce, two heads of what are either iceberg lettuce or cabbage, and I have no idea which, celery, tomatoes, yams, prunes, nectarines, bananas, strawberries, grapes, green bell peppers,  and this:


It's my MYSTERY MELON!
They said it was a watermelon, but check out what it looks like inside:


That's no watermelon, my friends.  It tastes like honeydew.  Any experts out there?

I plan on doing more posts in the future about other things I'm trying to do to change my food habits and learn more about food in general.  If you're interested in some recipes that I've discovered with my new food loves, you can see what I've done with green beans here, or blackberries here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Referral

Anyone who has ever given or asked for help on the computer MUST read today's post from Miss Nemesis:

A Little Tiny Request

Do it for me.  Do it for all of the librarians out there.  We need you.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Music Crush: Paramore - The Only Exception

I heard this song on the radio a few days ago and it brought tears to my eyes.  It's my new music crush.

I can't put the video directly on my blog as it's protected, but you can view it (and a short advertisement) if you click on this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J7J_IWUhls&ob=av2e

Do you think I could pull off her hair color?

Furry Happy Monsters

Jane and I were watching Sesame street this morning, when this came on:


I want to party with furry happy monsters!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Last call

I start the blogging class next Tuesday night (and the subsequent Tuesday nights through August). I've only had one person ask me to sign them up, but I thought I'd send out one more reminder in case anyone wants to go. Let me know =)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Flashmobs

I've just spent an hour watching videos of flashmobs online. I've decided this is my favorite one so far:



Is it wrong that I wished this would happen every day of my life?


This one is good, too, but it loses street cred because I think they're all paid:



But that's it! I'm not even going to show you the one with the dancing inmates doing Thriller.

Okay, just one more (first half is best):

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bliss

You guys! There are neighborhood boys mowing my lawn right now!

Yaaaa!! This is so awesome! Ok, I paid them, but still! Cheap, local labor! And they're going to EDGE.
I've only owned a house for a year, why haven't I thought of this yet? Have you ALL been doing this and not telling me how great it is?!

I haven't asked Michael if it was okay if I paid these kids to do it. He's asleep but he asked me to wake him up after only 6 hours of sleep so that he could mow the lawn. So now he gets to sleep! And did I mention they're going to EDGE?? (We don't have a weed wacker, so the edges of the lawn have just been GROWING and GROWING).

When I paid this kid he said, "Sweet, now I can get that extra part for the lawnmower." I don't know why, but I find that adorable. I think it's because he's being responsible with it, whereas I would have run out and spent it all on pop rocks. Plus, he talks like droopy dog (remember him?). He also has a little brother following behind him around the lawn like woodstock trailing snoopy. I know, why all the cartoon dog references? Because it's all so awesome!

Has anyone else experienced the bliss of paying neighborhood kids to do chores that you don't want to do?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blogging Class Date Change

I was told today that the blogging class will actually be on Tuesday nights in August, and will start on the second Tuesday... so sorry I was way off. So it will start on August 10th and run through the 31st. Still at 7:00pm.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blogging Class

I will be teaching a new blogging class series at my library this August. Registration is now open to anyone, not just library card holders, so if you live in the area and would like to attend, let me know and I'll register you (it's also fun to bring friends or older children).

Classes are on Wednesday nights at 7:00pm, and there are four classes total (August 4, 11, 18, and 25). They usually go until about 8:00 or 8:15.

Classes start with the basics - creating a blog, posting, images, comments and safety, as well as more advanced topics - settings, formatting, design, blog promotion and stat trackers.

Plus I'm teaching, so you know it will be fun! (jk)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mockingjay Release Party

My library is holding an awesome release party in August for the last book of The Hunger Games series. You don't need a library card with us to participate! I will totally be going to this, so come hang with me. If you haven't read the first two books yet I can loan them to you, just let me know soon!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We need a librarian in the OR, stat!

I'm assuming that most of you know about the unfortunate news of Gary Coleman's death. I've read that he fell and hit his head, and was taken to the hospital, where his condition worsened until he passed.

I'm not trying to make light of the situation here, but it brought about a perfect example of how odd my job can be at times. Because on the morning that this happened, one of my co-workers got a call at the library and was asked, "So what's the update on Gary Coleman?"

Excuse me? Let me just run down to the ICU and check. We're not working in a newsroom, people. Do you need a book? Or would you like to know how late we're open? I can help you with that.

Not that she didn't look it up for him. She did. I've actually had patrons tell me that people tell them if they ever have a question about anything, just call the librarians at the _____ library and they'll look it up for you. And it's true, we will. But if it's especially ridiculous we WILL make jokes about you for awhile.

*Just a note: things I do NOT consider ridiculous: trashy romance novels, books about how to make love, how to identify a strange skin fungus, or anything that you might be scared to ask a librarian. I'm a professional and when I get questions like these I don't think any more of it than I would for a copy of Harry Potter. The things I do think are funny are the people who call and ask for the price of apples at a local market or the example above. So breathe easy and go ahead and ask your librarian where to find the Star Wars section.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Information Age

Sometimes I use an online recipe planner called TastyPlanner.com. I like this site because you can choose what recipes you want to make for the week, and it will build a grocery list for you. Many users have submitted their recipes and you can search for something, or you can add your own recipes and keep them public or private. The whole grocery-list-aspect makes it tempting to put everything on the list that you will need to buy for the week. I came across a good example of this the other day:

Bowl of Cheerios

Ingredients
2 cups Milk, 1 cup Cheerios

Instructions
Put the Cheerios into a bowl, then cover them with the milk.



I found it pretty funny, but then I saw this in the comments:

Rappo
wrote on March 05, 2008

I tried to make this, but I just couldn’t get it to turn out right at first. Some things I’ve learned:

- A bowl is essential. I tried with a dinner plate first and that did not work.

- The Chef failed to mention this, so I thought I’d help you guys out: you need a SPOON — forks do NOT work.

- This dish does NOT keep well. I wanted to get a head start and prepare my meals for the week and save them. Needless to say, this didn’t keep as well as I thought (and yes, I tried freezing too!).

So helpful! Isn't it great what you can learn on the internet?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Movie glue

While looking at my new favorite site today (1000 awesome things), I came across an intriguing post - what are your "Glue" movies? The movies that you get stuck on while you're flipping channels, even though you've seen them 10 times already. It got me thinking about what mine are:

Pride and Prejudice (2005)
- hands down. I will watch it. I don't care that it was just on last week on another channel. I don't care that I am sitting through commercials when I own the movie and I could just put it in because it's RIGHT THERE. I don't care that I know all of the lines and scenes so well that I can tell when the network is editing out parts. Give me the idyllic settings, the regency clothing, the way-too-gorgeous cast.

The Incredibles (and by extension, most Pixar films) - this movie is just so visually stunning to me that I get sucked in each and every time, and I will wait through four minutes of commercials just to get back to that eye-popping goodness. Not to mention the aces storyline and action.

Zoolander - this movie gets funnier each time I watch it. The punchlines get better, and if you can watch it often and memorize them so you can repeat them later, even better. Plus if I'm catching it on TV, they will always blissfully edit out that stupid scene where ben stiller is getting a massage - the one marr on a great movie, in my opinion.

The Parent Trap with Linsey Lohan
- I don't care what Lohan's done since, this movie is charming, and that scene where she sees her mom for the first time always makes me cry. (But I do change the channel for the stupid scene where the lizard crawls into that chick's mouth. No one needs to see that.)

Then there are some movies that I really don't like, and I can't understand why I keep watching them when they come on TV. A few examples: Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, and Miss Congeniality. I'm really really annoyed by these movies but I get sucked in! Maybe it's because nothing else is on?

There are a lot of others that could go on this list, but I have to stop somewhere. What are your glue movies?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Meadow Gardens

The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn

I wish I had the energy to do something like this to my lawn. Maybe it would turn into a meadow if I just rip up all of my grass and let nature take its course?

Friday, April 16, 2010

My new favorite site

I spent an irresponsible amount of time today scrolling through 1000awesomethings.com.

It's sort of like that book, 14,000 things to be happy about, but with commentary. It lists things like life's simple pleasures, nostalgic memories that everyone shares, the good stuff in life. I found myself smiling as I looked through the entries. They're counting down from 1000, each day lists something new. Here's one of the shorter, sweeter ones:

#592 Your mom’s scrambled eggs

Everyone’s mom’s are a little bit different.

But your mom’s are the best.

AWESOME!



I wish I could be so positive everyday!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dear person next door:

Why have you been sitting on a dirt bike in your driveway revving your engine for the past 20 minutes? Don't you want to drive around a little, maybe? Take that puppy for a spin?

yours sincerely,
your neighbor

p.s. my inquiry is only slightly motivated by the infant I have sleeping in the next room.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I dislike it when a patron wipes their sniffly nose with one hand, and hands me money with the other hand. Just not a fan.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ok Go does it again

Remember the treadmill video guys? Here's the latest from them:

Notice how a lot of the things that happen occur right on beat!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Olympic propaganda



Omg, this commercial made me cry. Is it my hormones or is this just really good advertising?

Monday, January 11, 2010

36 weeks pregnant, aka a few circles away from the center of hell

People ask me all the time how I'm doing, and I think I'd feel pretty guilty if I told them the truth. I imagine that their faces might melt off and their eyeballs would roll down their faces, like those poor people at the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. So I try to come up with something halfway between the truth and a complete lie, for their sake.

But I was thinking today that these last few months have been like being on a plane that never lands. On a really long flight, and you're getting pretty tired and uncomfortable, and your back and legs ache because you've been sitting one way for so long, and the person in front of you has their seat back all the way, but you can't put yours back because the person behind you told you they're claustrophobic, and you have two large, hot people sitting on either side of you, and they keep accidentally hit you in the abdomen over and over, and you have to pee a lot but it's such a hassel to get up and the lavatory is never big enough.

And there's a flight attendant who's trying to be really nice and help you out, but since the flight has been going on for months now they're really just pretty sick of you, but you can't help it if you're cranky because you're the one stuck in the dadgum seat all the time, and there's all this turbulence that makes you really nauseated, and most people told you that the turbulence would only last for the first third of the flight, but if you're like me, it's been going the WHOLE TIME and it's only getting worse during the last leg of the journey now.

And SURE, the plane is going to Hawaii, but you're starting to forget why you booked the tickets in the first place and you're not sure you're even prepared at all, you can't remember if you packed your swim suit, and you're pretty sure you've heard other people on the flight talking about the landing being pretty rough, to the point where you're wondering if they're going to try to land the plane on the side of a volcano or if they just eject you out into open air and you have to hope and pray that you hit the island. And even when you get there you're not sure if you're ever even going to get OFF of the island. I mean, sure, living in paradise sounds pretty good, but I bet I'd want a break from all that sand or what if the natives get hostile?

So you're not sure what to expect, you can't remember why you got yourself in that seat, but there you are stuck on that plane with your body aching and unable to get up, hurtling 500mph towards a rough landing and hostile natives. And some palm trees. Keep trying to focus on the palm trees.

Did I mention there are effing snakes on this effing plane? Just kidding. There aren't. But I wouldn't be surprised. Honestly, this whole metaphor doesn't quite capture it.

Are your faces still intact?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Resolutions

I enjoy reading the Voice of Reason blog, and today she talked about resolutions for the new year. I have to quote what she says because it mirrors my own feelings (except coming from me it would probably sound more grouchy and slightly breathless):

I'm not going to make any resolutions. I have decided that January is not so much a resolutions kind of month. If anything the cold temperatures, gray skies, and snowy roads are more conducive to a "let's be more like bears" month. (Staying inside as much as possible, check. Grouchiness, check. Thick winter pelt, also check.)

Resolutions take energy. And it's hard to try to drum up energy when it's been dark for 6 weeks and the only place that energy is going to get you is outside, where it's cold. To me, March or April would be better for resolutions because that's when you start caring about life again. January, I have now decided and decreed, is the time to stay warm and eat soup.


Ditto!