June 30, 2004

A Swiftly Tilting Planet

swiftlytilting.jpgFor the third in my sci-fi for girls series, today I finished Madeleine L'Engle's Swiftly Tilting Planet. (1978) I had bought the Time Quartet Box Set after watching the TV movie of A Wrinkle in Time a few weeks back. I must say that I didn't remember any of this book in the series, though I'm sure I read it a million years ago. I may have to go and reread the other two now as well (A Wind in the Door and Many Waters).

In this book, Meg Murry O'Keefe is grown up, married to Calvin O'Keefe (who we met in the first book), and pregnant with their child. Its Thanksgiving and the president calls to inform Meg's father than there's a threat of nuclear war. Meg's mother in law passes along a powerful rune to Charles Wallace, now 15, who travels through time with the unicorn Gaudior to change some Might-Have-Beens and hopefully stop "the horrible possibility of our lives being snuffed out before another sun rises." (13) Meg helps out by travelling along with Charles Wallace psychically, but I wish she had a more active role for the purposes of my theme. I may use A Wrinkle in Time instead if I have time to reread it this week as well, since Meg more directly saves her brother in that one.

Meg explains it best, that its all about "Interdepenence. Not just one thing leading to another in a straight line, but everything and everyone everywhere interreacting." (17)

In this fateful hour,
I place all Heaven with its power
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath,
And the lightening with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness,
All these I place
By God's almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness!

Posted by Emily at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Anniversary Hanna and John

Happy Anniversary to Hanna and John! I can't believe its been three years already! Love you!

Posted by Emily at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

fahrenheit911.jpgYes, Fahrenheit 9/11 is as good as everyone says it is and yes, you should all go right out and see it. I've never seen so many people at our local movie theater -- there was a long line to get in, almost every seat was filled (on a week night!) and there was a long line for the late show when we got out.

What's amazing (and incredibly depressing) is the utter enormity of it all. How did we let this all happen?

The link on Michael Moore's site to "Okay, I've seen the movie, what do I do now?" has some good stuff on it -- I just wish the rest of his site was updated (like his blog...)

Swing state anyone? We could take a road trip to Oregon (Ilona was talking about moving there anyway...) And Nevada is always fun... though Arizona has a lot more electoral votes...



Posted by Emily at 09:37 PM | Comments (3)

Earthborn

earthborn.jpgFor the second book in my sci-fi series, today I read Earthborn by Sylvia Waugh (Delacorte Press, 2002. 273 pages, $15.95. ISBN: 0385900600).

Imagine finding out all of a sudden that your parents were from another planet and were planning to leave -- with you -- in just a couple of days to return "home." It might explain why you always felt they were a little different and why you've always tried to very hard to fit in... And when it turns out that if they don't leave then, they'll never have another chance... would they stay or leave without you when you refuse to go?

As the jacket says, "Sylvia Waugh explores the most complicated alien creatures of all -- parents -- and the most powerful force in the universe -- love."

Like Tria, Nesta Gwynn discovers inner strength and resourcefulness she never knew she had, and seeks out help from the only other people she think will believe her...


Posted by Emily at 05:48 PM | Comments (2)

Clinton's Life

I was going to go to Barnes & Noble and line up for Clinton's book signing, but its a good thing Emy warned me not to, because apparently they're turning people away (according to the SJ merc, the line formed at 5:30am YESTERDAY for tonight's 8:30 PM signing)

I really didn't expect that here in San Jose!!!

So I think I'll go to the 7pm show of Farenheit 9/11 instead...

Posted by Emily at 03:04 PM | Comments (642)

Picture Pages

I was reading Ilona's last posting and then went back to work mindlessly copying the Chautauqua archives to our new site when I realized had the picture pages song stuck in my head (you know, "Picture Pages, Picture Pages, Time to get your Picture Pages, Time to get your crayons and your pencils..." [listen]) and I had to retrace my steps to figure out why (and of course that's the section on Ilona's blog with her photos)

And of course now that I went and looked it that up, I have the Pinwheel song stuck in my head instead ("Pinwheel, pinwheel, spinning around. Look at my Pinwheel and see what I've found..." [listen])

Posted by Emily at 11:47 AM | Comments (2)

The Firebird

For folk tales this week, I've been looking at some Russian folktales.

Spirin, Gennady. The Tale of the Firebird. Translated by Tatiana Popova. Illustrated by Gennady Spirin. Philomel Books, 2002. 32 pages. $16.99. ISBN 0399235841

firebird.jpgGennady Spirin’s retelling of The Tale of the Firebird combines elements from the classic Russian folktales “Ivan-Tsarevitch and Gray Wolf,” “Baba Yaga,” and “Koshchei the Immortal.” Beautiful full-page illustrations and tapestry-like borders filled with elaborate details of swords and wolves and firebird feathers bring the story to life. The illustrations capture the ornate architecture and royal trappings of the palaces of the Tsars and Kings, with dazzling attention to the details down to the golden buttons on the robes, the brocade dresses and onion-topped domes. The tale begins with a Tsar and his three sons and focuses on the youngest, Ivan-Tsarevitch. Someone is stealing golden apples from the Tsar’s treasured tree, and Ivan-Tsarevitch catches a tail feather from the culprit and is sent off on an adventure to bring back the firebird. Ivan-Tsarevitch meets a gray wolf who offers to help to repay an earlier kindness, and advises him on how to capture the firebird. But Ivan-Tsarevitch does not heed the advice and is caught by King Muhmud, who spares him in exchange for bringing back a horse with a golden mane. The adventure continues as the wolf takes him to King Karam’s palace where he can take the horse – as long as he does not touch the harness. Ivan-Tsarevitch, unable to resist again, is caught but spared in exchange for rescuing the King’s sister, Yelena the Beautiful. The wolf takes Ivan-Tsarevitch to Baba Yaga the Wicked at her cottage with the chicken feet. Baba Yaga is in countless Russian folktales – usually as a mean witch, but sometimes kind and helpful. Katya Arnold explains in Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale, that “She is so familiar to Russian children that she’s almost a member of the family – like an elderly aunt who is either mean or nice, depending on her mood.” (Author’s Note) In Spirin’s retelling, she is much kinder than in most and offers help without demanding work as in many other tales. Here, she tests Ivan-Tsarevitch and rewards him with a magic sword (in a lake reminiscent of the Arthur legends) with which, along with more help from the magical wolf, Ivan-Tsarevitch is able to battle Koshchei the Immortal and rescue Yelena the Beautiful. Victorious, they return the promised items and are richly rewarded. The language of the story lends itself to being read aloud, and listeners will delight in the patterns they hear of the three sons, three quests, three great leaps to travel from place to place, and other repeated elements.

Related Tales:

Sanderson, Ruth. The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring. Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson. Little, Brown and Company, 2001. 32 pages. $15.95. ISBN: 0316769061
Ruth Sanderson’s The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring, which is based on elements from “The Firebird, the Horse of Power and Vasilissa,” “The Firebird and Princess Vasilissa”, “The Humpbacked Pony,” and “Tzarevich Ivan and Grey Wolf” is very similar to The Tale of the Firebird. In this retelling as well, wise animals offer counsel and magical aide in repayment of past kindness by our hero. After a continuing series of quests, one leading to the next, the hero ends up marrying the beautiful woman he rescues.

Kimmel, Eric A. Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale. Illustrated by Megan Lloyd. Holiday House, 2003. 32 pages. $14.95. ISBN: 082340854X
This story starts off as a Cinderella tale, and the wicked step-mother sends the lovely Marina (who has “a great ugly horn growing out of the middle of her forehead”) on an errand to “Auntie-in-the-Forest,” Baba Yaga the witch. By listening to the advice of a wise frog and by treating the animals and even the trees and fences with care, she is able to outsmart and escape Baba Yaga. The magic items that create deep rivers and dense forests to slow down the chase are common in many Russian folktales (sometimes with Baba Yaga, sometimes with a giant or other enemy of our hero).

Mayer, Marianna. Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave. Illustrated by K.Y. Craft. Morrow Junior Books, 1994. 40 pages. $15.89 ISBN: 0688085008
This is also a Cinderella tale involving Baba Yaga, and goes into great detail about the witch and her household. Vasilisa outsmarts Baba Yaga with the help of her magical doll, instilled with her mother’s love.

Reesink, Marijke. The Magic Horse. Illustrated by Adrie Hospes. McGraw-Hill Books, 1974. $5.95.
In this older version of the classic tale, a miller with three sons finds his wheat being trampled in the night and only the youngest son figures out the mystery. When he frees the culprit, a magical grey-tailed white horse, he is promised the horse’s service whenever he wishes, and uses him to win the hand of the tsar’s daughter.

Kimmel, Eric A. I-Know-Not-What, I-Know-Not-Where: A Russian Tale. Illustrated by Robert Sauber. Holiday House, 1994. 64 pages, $16.95. ISBN: 082341020X
This longer, chapter-book format retelling of the Russian folk-tales is similar in structure to The Tale of the Firebird, but features Frol, the middle son of a peasant and his adventures. Beautifully told and illustrated, this version combines elements of a cursed princess Frolya in the form of a white dove who turns out to be the granddaughter of Baba Yaga in this story. A greedy czar and his advisor send Frol on a series of quests, eventually to bring back I-Know-Not-What from I-Know-Not-Where, which turns out to be just the thing to break Frolya’s spell and free her from Koshchey the Deathless’s power (the same villain as had captured Yelena in The Tale of the Firebird).

Riordan, James. Russian Folk-Tales. Illustrated by Andrew Breakspeare. Oxford University Press, 2000. $19.95. 96 pages. ISBN: 0192745360
This wonderful collection contains “Vasilissa the Wise and Baba Yaga,” and “The Firebird.” In this version of The Firebird, it is a stable lad named Ivan who is sent to capture the firebird (with the grey wolf’s help). He is then sent to rescue Yelena the Fair for the king, but falls in love with her on the trip back.

Posted by Emily at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2004

Tria and the Great Star Rescue

tria.jpgFor the third assignment in my kid-lit class, I'm planning to read a bunch of sci fi for 4th-6th grade girls. [And no, I haven't finished my second assignment yet, but should have that to post soon] After class tonight I ran over to the Campbell library and checked out a stack of them -- but if any of you have suggestions, I'm definitely open to hearing them!

Tonight, I started with Rebecca Kraft Rector's Tria and the Great Star Rescue (Delacorte Press, 2002, 184 pages, $14.95, ISBN: 0385729413) Its the story of a girl named Tria who lives in a high-tech world and is afraid of "outside" and the germs and real people that fill it. Her best friend is a hologram named Star, and she spends her free time taking apart pretty much anything she can set her WonderTool to. An emergency message from her Mom, who soon turns out to be kidnapped, sends Tria on an adventure Outside and to a school that bans most of the high-tech gadgets she relies on (including a projector for Star!) With the help of two new friends and her virtual tutor (who she accidentally wires into her robot horse) she sets off to rescue her Mom and save the day.

I loved the cover art as well!

And the author, Rebecca Kraft Rector, is a children's librarian! Hmm... maybe we can invite her to participate in the August Chautauqua.

Posted by Emily at 10:32 PM | Comments (0)

Great T-Shirt

Emy just IMed me the link to this awesome t-shirt.

Too perfect!

Posted by Emily at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2004

Rule of Four

ruleoffour.jpgYou know how you hear about a big best-seller book and resist reading it on principle because its been so overhyped and talked about? And then you break down and read it anyway and love it and immediately fall into the craze? It was like this with the DaVinci Code, which I resisted for a while until Katy said she had read it (and she's a pretty discerning reader) and of course I loved it and have been telling everyone to read it. Well its happening to me again.

Mom passed along The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason while I was home this weekend and I finished it on the plane back today. It was great!! Its similar to the Davinci Code in that it centers around decoding secret hidden messages, but it is even better! Friendship, intellectual passion, relationships, college life (Princeton eating clubs), suspense, excitement... a little of everything. I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. Highly recommended -- if you like that type of thing (which I definitely do!) Thanks Mom for passing it along! I don't know why I was resisting (except, of course, that I was supposed to be reading about grants...)



what is the rule of four?

Posted by Emily at 08:04 PM | Comments (19)

What is...

A fun site to play with from Library Stuff

You can put in any word and it will find interesting definitions from other sites.

The examples they use include

What is a librarian

I also liked:
What is blogging
What is Los Gatos
What is Whimsical

and if you put
What is BobbiLynn, I can only hope that those are coming from my site

Could be a fun online icebreaker to use somewhere...

Posted by Emily at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

Back

I'm back home from my trip (but forgot my cellphone there, so call me at home if you need me... unless you want to talk to my Mom...)

I'm working on uploading some photos and then will try to catch up on all the emails and things I missed...

Posted by Emily at 06:18 PM | Comments (1)

June 26, 2004

The New Aldrich

aldrich.jpgAfter the wedding, Mom and I went to the The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum for the Playhouse's party. Its a great space and has some very strange modern art in it. Our favorite was the black lights in one of the rooms that made us glow in the dark :) And outside, there is an installation of farm animals called "Self-Sufficient Barnyard (The annual amount of livestock needed to feed a family of four)"

emilyblacklight.jpgmomblacklight.jpg

aldrich1.jpgcolorblocks.jpg

Mom with the Vacarros at the event:
aldrichvacarros.jpg

Update: Chance from the Playhouse just sent Mom this photo of us, Joanne Woodward, and Andrea Silver from the Aldrich.
aldrich5.jpg

Posted by Emily at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

Photos from Katy's Wedding

A few photos from Katy and Krzys' wedding

katywedding4.jpg

katywedding6.jpg

Its official! Mom signs the wedding license (with Katy's Mom as witness)
katywedding1.jpg

The wedding cake
katywedding2.jpg

Katy's Mom with Morgan (aka Mo-Mo)
katywedding3.jpg

Meagan on the right
katywedding5.jpg

Katy and her father
katywedding7.jpg

A perfect spot for a summer wedding
katywedding9.jpg
The view from the porch
katywedding8.jpg

Posted by Emily at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

Saturday

Great day! Hung out with Carrie, got manicures and pedicures with Carrie and Annie, caught up with Mr. Green, stopped by Grandpa's... even got to see Brian for about 30 seconds.

The weather cleared up just in time for Katy's wedding and turned into a gorgeous evening. The wedding was really wonderful -- Mom did a great job as the Justice of the Peace, Katy and Krzys did their vows in Polish and everyone cried. The food was amazing and their house looked great. I should have photos to post in the morning.

Then Mom and I went to the new Aldrich museum in Ridgefield for the opening night party of the Playhouse's show (without seeing the show).

Flying back to CA tomorrow...

Update -- some photos now that I'm home:

Breakfast with Eduard (who just hates to get his picture taken)
eduardhat1.jpgeduardhat2.jpgeduardhat3.jpgeduardhat4.jpg

Carrie and I attempt to play pool (but mostly chase the same ball around and around the table)
carrieemilypool.jpg

Posted by Emily at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

Carrie's Here!

Yay! Carrie came up from NY to hang out with me today!

Posted by Emily at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2004

Boston Billiards

Some snapshots from the gathering at Boston Billiards the night before the wedding:

Meag, Steve and Katy
billiards1.jpg

The Groom, Krzysztof
billiards2.jpg

The Bride, Katy
billiards3.jpg

Maria and Steve
billiards4.jpg

Posted by Emily at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

Stormy Weather

We just don't have thunderstorms like this in California. It was grey and muggy here all day and then at about 6pm -- right when we were supposed to go to the Rotary clam bake on the beach -- the skies opened and it is absolutely pouring rain like there's no tomorrow. I'm sitting at my Mom's desk and her office ceiling is all skylights and the noise from the rain is deafening!

The rain got me and Grandpa out of having going to the clam bake, but poor Mom and Bill are there now. Then we're off to a fundraiser for Diane Farrell in Darien and then I'll be heading to Katy's night-before-the-wedding get-together at the pool hall in Fairfield we used to go to on occasion...

I'll have photos to post later -- after a morning visit to Dr. Bruce, Mom and I stopped by the exhibit at the Arts Center that Aunt Susan's pieces are in, we visited Farrell campaign headquarters, we stopped by Aunt Susan's to help with her computer, stopped by to see the new constuction on the playhouse and chatted with Joanne and Annie, did a bit of shopping, and went downtown and ran into Katy at her family luncheon at Tavern on Main. Never a dull moment around here!

Update - here are some photos from the day (now that I'm back)

Aunt Susan's pieces at the Art Center
susanartcentershow.jpg

Mom and I stopped by to visit Aunt Susan
emilyannsusan.jpg

The Playhouse under construction
playhouseconstruct.jpg

Katy and I at Tavern on Main
katyandmetavern.jpg

Visiting Grandpa
visitinggrandpa.jpg

Mom and Diane Farrell (first selectwoman, running for congress)
momanddiane.jpg

Mom with Rep. John Larsen
momandlarsen.jpg

Posted by Emily at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)

Another photo

Borrowed this photo from Aunt Susan's house today, but Mom will have to tell me again who everyone is. In the middle is my great grandfather Aaron. The Kodak paper stamp on the back says Dec 1964.
rabinowitzgroup.jpg

Posted by Emily at 03:27 PM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2004

In Westport

Reporting in from Westport where I'm lucky enough to get to stay in Betty's room (of course, it was once my room, so she can't object too much, and she's off at camp anyway...)

Uneventful day of flying - read a bit, did some knitting, slept more than I meant to. Mom picked me up at the airport and we sat in some of the worst traffic I've ever seen all the way back on the Merritt. Looked through some old diaries of my grandmother's and great grandmother's while waiting for Bill, Eduard and Annie to get back from Liz's graduation and then Eduard played some of the songs he's been writing on his computer.

Of course it still feels really early to me but everyone else has gone to bed. Mom passed on three books: A Princess of Mars, The Rule of Four, and 'Til Death do us Part... all of which look better than the Grant Seeker's Budget Toolkit which I'm supposed to be reading for homework... so I may curl up with one of those instead...

For comparison, here's the weather here:
The WeatherPixie

Posted by Emily at 09:25 PM | Comments (1)

Congrats to Liz!

Congrats to Liz who will graduate tonight from Greenwich High School!

Hopefully I'll see her tonight when I get to Westport or sometime this weekend!

I'm off to the airport soon... so I'll be checking in from CT next (hopefully).

Update: a great photo Mom sent:
lizgrad.jpg

Posted by Emily at 07:54 AM | Comments (1)

Kerry at The Tech

Have you tried Googe's "as-it-happens News Alerts" brought to you by Google News (BETA)? You can create news alerts on whatever you want, and then they email you news articles. So I have one about The Tech, and so here are some articles they sent about Kerry's fundraiser at The Tech last night (wasn't really at The Tech but at Parkside Hall, part of the Convention Center that is attached to the museum, but its still cool)

KERRY touts tech's future at fundraiser in San Jose
San Jose Mercury News (subscription) - San Jose,CA,USA
... Kerry, who has spoken only in vague outlines about his plan, said at
a fundraiser at the Tech Museum of Innovation that he would restore ``a
framework in which ...
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/8999801.htm

KERRY: 'Greatest divider' is the current president
Contra Costa Times - Contra Costa County,CA,USA
... Francis in San Francisco. Later in the day, Kerry traveled to San Jose
where he was scheduled to attend a fund-raiser at the Tech Museum of Innovation.
...
http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/state/9000168.htm

KERRY rakes in support
San Mateo County Times - San Mateo,CA,USA
... Another fund-raiser Wednesday evening at San Jose's Tech Museum of
Innovation drew at least $1.1 million for his campaign and $850,000 for
the DNC. ...
http://www.sanmateocountytimes.com/Stories/0,1413,87~11268~2232155,00.html

Posted by Emily at 07:09 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2004

Maid of the North

maidofthenorth.jpgI've been reading folk tales for class this week and finished a collection of them, Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World this evening after getting home from a full day at The Tech. They were all interesting and gave me a good feel for some of the typical folk tale formulas (and it was fun to have some intelligent, brave, strong heroines instead of just damsels in distress).

For my next written assignment, I'll be working on The Tale of the Firebird, and I checked out a whole stack of other Russian folk tales today from the Campbell library to compare it to. The stack's too big to take on the plane though, so that project will have to wait until I'm back from CT.

But Julia lent me the most wonderful looking dragon book today, so after packing I think I'll treat myself to reading that one next... (Plus it turns out that the SJ Library's summer reading theme is "Catch a Dragon by the Tale" and they have a whole list of fun looking dragon books to check out...)

Posted by Emily at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

Congrats to Heather!

Special congrats today to Heather who wrote to report that she has a new job as the Health Educator at the New School University in Greenwich Village in Manhattan! And, she and her husband Jared signed a contract on an old colonial (c.1906) house in Huntington Station, NY - in northwestern Suffolk County, on Long Island (about an hour train ride to/from NYC). Very cool!! Can't wait to go visit! Plus they're hopefully going to be out to visit me sometime this summer!

Posted by Emily at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

Craft Night!

That was so much fun! I love having people over (and I cleaned up A LOT and was quite pleased with myself -- you can even see my desk currently because I tried out the new organizing tips from this morning's workshop) and it was so much fun to watch Emy stamp and to see everyone get to try it (I was having so much fun talking to everyone I forgot to stamp anything).

Thank you to everyone who came (and to Amytha who brought scrumptious tiramisu). I love that I have such crafty friends! And one of my favorite things is getting to bring together different groups of my friends -- so I tonight I had 3 Tech friends, 2 fellow-library students (and one of their highschool friends), and 2 knitting group friends over! And the Tech friends didn't even know each other (though I've been talking about them to each other for months), and my two classmates didn't know each other (not that anyone knows anyone else in the program, but we're working on that)

Yay!

Here are some photos!

Amytha and Tina watch Emy demonstrate
stamping1.jpg

The whole gang: Tina, Amytha, Ilona, Emy, me, BobbiLynn, Julia, Melissa and Kim (not pictured)
stamping2.jpg

Melissa (who I've been meaning to get together with for almost a year!), her friend Kim, and Tina
stamping6.jpg
Tina shows off her card and coordinating envelope (I think we've hooked her on stamping!!)
stamping3.jpg

Julia, Amytha and Ilona hard at work!
stamping4.jpg

and BobbiLynn (who loves to win!) won one of the door prizes! Melissa's friend Kim won the other
stamping5.jpg

Next goal: Elvis crafting dress-up party!!! Stay tuned!

Plus, if anyone is interested but couldn't attend, I have a catalog and extra order forms if anyone wants to buy any stamps or supplies...

[And yes, we stayed and talked until after 11!]

Posted by Emily at 11:21 PM | Comments (1)

Lisa's Crafty Too!

lisacrafty.jpgLisa sent me this photo of her doing art projects (with Ted and Nancy Peach, who were visiting her). See, she's crafty too!

The famous story about us, of course, is that Lisa took me to a craft workshop at the Smithsonian when I was five and we apparently tried to make holiday ornaments out of double-sided sticky shiny paper stuff (which was a disaster) and also were supposed to marble paper in big vats where all the kids plopped the marbled paper right onto themselves.

But now I'd better go get ready for "craft night" here!


Posted by Emily at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

Things to Know about the library

This seemed like a good one for me to note. Its from LISNews.com linking to a PUBLIB list of things that library staff should know and do so that they don't make the library look stupid. Sometimes it feels especially hard as an extra-help librarian jumping between a couple of different libraries to keep some of the really basic information straight . I do know the answers (I think) to most of these...

Posted by Emily at 04:51 PM | Comments (2)

Get Organized!

Yes, for any of you who have seen my apartment, this is clearly something I need to do. Believe me, I tell myself to get organized all the time, but its not that easy!

So, I attended a workshop this morning at Compass Point (which is a fantastic resource) on Getting Organized with Karla Jones from Get Organized. She is a professional organizer (and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers).

I'm putting some of the ideas here in my blog (mostly so I can then recycle the handouts from the workshop instead of adding them to the already overwhelming and unmanagable piles of things on my desk...) This is also why I've been posting more articles from the newspaper... so that a) I can potentially have a conversation around the topic with one of you and b) so I can recycle the paper without feeling guilty for not clipping and saving the article, since I know it will now be searchable here on my site :)

Here are some random notes from the workshop (yes, some are pretty simple and obvious, but clearly I'm not doign them now)

- Being organized is a problem solving skill
- Why we don't? Fear, it is overwhelming, no time, think we can be a super-person and do it all, no system, its boring, perfectionism, procrastination
- Consequences? stress, lost $, lost time, lack of space, visual noise, chaos, missed deadlines, reputation (people think you can't handle things when they look at your mess), clients suffer
- Simple systems are easier to keep up!
- You are allowed to throw away old bills and bank statements (unless there are tax implications)
- Throw all the tax stuff in one file and sort it in January
- Ask to be taken off mailing lists for catalogs, junk mail, nonprofits you aren't going to give to, etc. (She even gave us bright red stickers that say "Please remove my name from your mailing list. Thank you!")
- Have a "bills to pay" section

- Grab a big box, take all the paper and put it in the box vertically (not in a big pile where you would only see the top thing, but turn the box on its end and file that way) Put all the sticky notes you find onto a normal size piece of paper.
1) Go through one piece of paper at a time and keep or toss (usually 2/3 is tossable) 2) Go through again and figure out what the next step is for each piece of paper:
-- telephone call? Add it to your telephone message book that you keep by the phone. This should be a notebook with a running list that you take all your phone messages on and cross things off as you call them back. If you need to keep the paper to use when making the call, put it in the "telephone call" folder
-- to do? Add it to your to-do list (and ideally to your calendar) so you're sure to do it, and put the paper (if needed) in the master-todo file. Since so many times we keep the paper on our desks to remind ourselves that it needs to be done, having it on the todo list will do that and the paper can go away. Carry your todo list and calendar with you
-- project you're working on now? Have A MAXIMUM OF SIX "temporary project folders" of things that you're working on within the next 6 weeks. Keep vertically on desk
-- file? There should be a box on top of your filing cabinet to put things that need to be filed. One should only have a two drawer filing cabinet at most -- any more and you have ARCHIVES, not just files. Go through and throw out things that don't make sense to have any more -- without going through the papers inside the folders.
-- reading material? -- try to read things within a day or two of getting them. Try getting a big basket with handles that you dump to-read things into -- take it with you when you have time to read -- and read off the bottom of the pile. When the thing gets too full, grab the bottom of the pile and throw it away, sometimes you just can't read everything


Ok, I'm off to fill up a big vertical box with all the papers on my desk and on the floor and we'll see what happens! Wish me luck!

Posted by Emily at 01:32 PM | Comments (124)

Silicon Valley, v 2.0?

On the front page of today's NY Times there's an article about Silicon Valley (Version 2.0) Has Hopes Up by Gary Rivlin which tries to figure out if our region is on the way back up. Some interesting quotes:

Indeed, conditions do look relatively good because things have been so bleak for so long. The area lost nearly a fifth of its jobs after the end of the bubble in 2000, said Mark Zandi, the chief economist at the consulting firm Economy.com. Looking strictly at job losses, he said, the San Jose metropolitan area, which includes much of Silicon Valley, suffered the worst collapse of any metropolitan area in the United States since the Great Depression, surpassing Detroit, which lost 13 percent of its jobs in the early 1980's.

Since 2000, the region has added one new job for every 15 jobs lost, according to data provided by Mr. Levy, and added roughly 13,000 jobs over the last four months. "At that rate a jobs recovery is going to take a long, long time," he said, maybe through the end of the decade. Silicon Valley's unemployment rate of 5.9 percent does not sound extremely high, but as Mr. Levy points out, tens of thousands of workers left the area after the collapse.

Office vacancy rates in the region were below 4 percent during the boom, but reached 18 percent in the second half of 2003, according to BT Commercial Real Estate/NAI. That figure now stands at 17.6 percent, even though office rental rates are at their lowest level in more than seven years, according to that firm's Silicon Valley Office Report. (Home prices in the area, however, are at record highs, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate data firm based in San Diego.)

In 2000, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, 55 percent of the region's major freeway miles were snarled in traffic during commuting hours, compared to less than 40 percent in 2002, the latest year with data available. The traffic was far worse for those commuting to and from the area, whether over bridges or via a route like State Highway 17, which runs southwest from Los Gatos, Calif., through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Traffic on more than 8 in 10 miles on that highway slowed to a crawl at rush hour in 2000, compared with 3 in 10 miles in 2002.
[I live off of Highway 17]

Someone at knitting group on Sunday, who was working on her umpteenth baby blanket for friends and colleagues, made an interesting observation that everyone was having babies because their careers weren't going anywhere. She found that since they're careers were stuck anyway, they might as well have a good excuse for it and step off the track and have a baby.

I continue to hear about people who have lost their jobs but no one has come in reporting landing a cool new job... so I wouldn't say things are looking all that optimistic for most people yet.

Posted by Emily at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

Language Map

Heard them talking about this very cool MLA Language Map today on NPR. They mentioned that it would be a good resource for librarians so that they can find out all the languages spoken in their community, as well as all sorts of other interesting applications.

I thought it was interesting that in Milpitas (where I've been working lately), the breakdown of languages are:
All languages other than English combined: 34,934
English, 23,281

(and the breakdown of top languages are:
Vietnamese, 7,287
Chinese, 7,063
Spanish or Spanish Creole, 6,479
Tagalog, 6,141
Other Indic languages, 1,594
Other Asian languages, 1,011
Hindi, 935
Other Pacific Island languages, 900
Korean, 750
Urdu, 494
Japanese, 349
Gujarathi, 289 ... and on down to lots of others)

San Jose is
All languages other than English combined: 423,150
English: 402,804

in comparison,

Seattle is
English: 429,105
All languages other than English combined: 108,433

I'm going to check out some other places...

Woohoo! Entry #500.

Posted by Emily at 08:17 PM | Comments (1)

Easy Readers

For homework this week we have to write reviews for some Easy Readers. Easy Readers are those books written for kids learning to read -- they have simple vocabulary, use big fonts, have short sentences, and lots of pictures. One of our text books explains, “The easy-to-read book differs in appearance from the picture storybook in several obvious ways. Because they are intended for independent reading, they do not have to be seen from a distance and may be smaller; the text takes up a great proportion of each page; and the text is often divided into short chapters.” (Tomlinson, Essentials of Children’s Literature, p 80).

Here's the ones I wrote about:

piratepete.jpgOn the Go with Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe. By A. E. Cannon. Illustrated by Elwood H. Smith. Viking Books, 2002. 32 pages. $13.99.
Yo Ho! Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe, along with their dog Dudley and cat Studley, are hungry for pirate adventures (and for seafood)! Colorful cartoon drawings illustrate each point made in the text -- from how Pirate Pete is tall and thin while Pirate Joe is short and round, to a parrot who speaks pig-latin – giving visual clues to the text and making it a delight to look at. The book is broken into three short chapters chronicling their adventures and pirate-preparations, and each chapter title has its own illustrated page. The simple vocabulary and repeating phrases make it a fun and easy story to tackle, and their zany adventures and general silliness are darling. Readers who want more can jump right into their continuing adventures in Let the Good Times Roll With Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe. Aye! No doubt about it, these are certainly some silly pirates!

wizardandwart.jpgWizard and Wart. By Janice Lee Smith. Pictures by Paul Meisel. Harper Collins Publishers, 1994. 64 pages. $13.89
Double Yikes! When Wizard and his dog Wart set up a magic shop to do a little hocus-pocus, the duo learns that solving people’s problems can be hard work! Their new house is big enough for them to hocus in the front and pocus in the back (and take naps in the middle), but is it big enough for all the trouble they cause? The story is illustrated with full-page pen and ink watercolors with wonderful details that jump off the page (from the fanciful wizard robes to the box of Wizard Pops cereal and carton of bug juice on the breakfast table), making every page a delight. Silly rhymes (tragic magic? hare pair?) and silly spells are sprinkled throughout the adventure. The book is easy to read with short sentences and four short chapters and it leaves you wanting to know what kind of magic they’ll cook up next (or if they have learned their lesson!)

mollygetsmad.jpgMolly Gets Mad. By Suzy Kline. Illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal. G.P. Putname’s Sons, 2001. 70 pages. $14.99.
Molly Zander likes being the top athlete in the third grade, but a surprise field trip to the ice rink shows her some stiff competition. The story is told from the point of view of her best friend Morty, who sees his friend’s jealously and bad behavior. Molly’s efforts to prove she’s number one wind up putting Morty in a cast with a broken ankle – leading to more jealousy as Morty gets a special classroom lunch with the teacher and Molly’s new rival. Eventually a lesson in hockey teamwork gets everyone back on the same side. This transitional chapter book is sprinkled with engaging black and white drawings that capture the characters and their attitudes perfectly. While the lessons are a bit heavy-handed, the characters are endearing and readers will recognize many of the feelings the kids deal with in their elementary school lives. There’s even a math problem thrown in for fun!

megmackintosh.jpgMeg Mackintosh and The Mystery in the Locked Library. By Luncinda Landon. Secret Passage Press, 1996. 43 pages. $13.95
A mysterious secret message in some otherwise healthy cereal sets Meg Mackintosh and her brother Peter on an adventure through the library for their cousin Alice. Each set of pages poses a question such as “Where do you think the key could be?” and “What do you think happened?” – allowing the readers to play sleuth and discover library skills along with the book’s heroes through a series of clues in the text and images of the book. The black and white line drawings and sketches need to be closely examined to get all the clues, and invite backing up and rechecking earlier ones to find out more. Meg’s sleuthing will remind readers of Encyclopedia Brown, but she has her own style and strengths. The lack of chapter separations and relatively complex topics suggest that slightly older kids or groups of kids working on the mystery together may benefit more than young readers. Best of all, if readers enjoy solving the mystery, this is just one of a whole series of Meg Mackintosh cases. Case closed!

emilyalice.jpgEmily and Alice Babysit Burton. By Joyce Champion. Illustrated by Joan Parazette. Gulliver Books, 2001. 32 pages. $14.0
Baby-sit a bulldog? When best friends Emily and Alice decided to start a babysitting company, that’s not exactly what they had in mind. But they took the job of cheering up their friend’s dog Burton, who had been unhappy since the family had a new baby. When even peanut-butter cookies won’t make Burton come out from under the bed, the two friends realize what’s troubling him and give him the attention he needs. Bright colorful illustrations which fill each page will have you falling in love with the adorable Burton dressed up in baby clothes and out for a stroll with the girls. The attention to detail in these watercolor and marker drawings complements the telling of the story and adds volumes to the experience. This is the third in the Emily and Alice series chronicling their friendship and adventures together, and its short chapters and straight-forward text should make it appealing to many young readers.
[And yes, I chose it because it was an Emily book!]

Babar Loses His Crown. By Laurent de Brunhoff. Illustrated by Laurent de Brunhoff. Random House (Beginner Books), 1967. 63 pages.
Babar can wear a crown, but he can’t wear a flute! So after his bag is switched accidentally at the train station and he realizes he crown is missing, Babar and his family race all around Paris trying to find the man in the mustache who took the wrong bag. This pleasing story features many of the highlights of Paris, and Babar bravely goes about his day despite being terribly sad about losing his crown. Laurent de Brunhoff carried on the legacy of his father, Jean de Brunhoff, who created Babar in 1931, and the simple watercolor and ink illustrations are as appealing today as they are when the book was published in 1967. The classic yellow end-papers with the parade of elephants holding onto one another’s tails and Babar in his famous green suit will delight parents who knew the books from their own childhoods. This edition, adapted to be an easy reader, contains a limited vocabulary and short, straightforward sentences. It is no wonder that Babar and his family have been favorites for almost 75 years!

I also read:

Pinky and Rex
By James Howe. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

Poppleton has Fun
By Cynthia Ryland. Illustrated by Mark Teague.
Which I loved, even though it sent a message that its no fun to go to the movies by yourself... a fear which I only recently overcame

The Golly Sisters Go West
By Betsy Byars. Pictures by Sue Truesdell.

All of Our Noses Are Here and Other Noodle Tales
Retold by Alvin Schwartz. Pictures by Karen Ann Weinhaus.

Pooh Goes Visiting
By A.A. Milne. Adopted (into an Easy Reader) by Stephen Krensky. With decorations by Ernest H. Shepard.

Lost at the White House: A 1909 Easter Story
By Lisa Griest. Illustrations by Andrea Shine.
Featuring President Taft (but she didn't get scared by the Easter Bunny like Brian did when we went when he was 2 -- years later I think he even volunteered to _be_ the bunny)

Little Bear
By Else Holmelund Minarik. Pictures by Maurice Sendak.

Make New Friends
By Rosemary Wells. Illustrations by Jody Wheeler.

Morris the Moose
By B. Wiseman.

The High-Rise Private Eyes: The Case of the Missing Monkey
By Cynthia Ryland. Pictures by G. Brian Karas.

Frog and Toad Together
By Arnold Lobel.
(interesting, both this book at Morris the Moose are dedicated to Barbara Dicks)

Amelia Bedelia
By Peggy Parish. Pictures by Fritz Siebel.

Emily's Shoes
Written and illustrated by Joan Cottle.
(this was the very first one I picked off the shelf -- and the author turns out to be from Connecticut and live her in Los Gatos!)

The Lucky Duck
By Sarah Durkee. Illustrated by Dave Prebenna.
(part of the Between the Lions series, which you can see on PBS)

EEK! Stories to make you shriek: A Very Strange Dollhouse
By Jennifer Dussling. Illustrated by Sonja Lamut.

Amanda Pig and Her Big Brother Oliver
By Jean Van Leeuwen. Pictures by Ann Schweninger.

The Tea Squall
By Ariane Dewey.

Henry and Mudge: The First Book
and
Henry and Mudge in the Family Trees
By Cynthia Rylant. Pictures by Sucie Stevenson.

Singing Diggety.
By Maggie Stern. Illustrations by Blanche Sims.

Zena and the Witch Circus
By Alice Low. Pictures by Laura Cornell.

Pish and Posh
By Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik. Pictures by Barbara Bottner.

Posted by Emily at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)

More on Libraries and Google

Librarians are on the front page of the NY Times again today in an article called, Old Search Engine, the Library, Tries to Fit Into a Google World by Katie Hafner. Some libraries are working with Google and other commercial search engines to make some of their amazing digial archives more accessible. While its so tempting to want to do all your research online and not go wading through the stacks anymore, the article reminds us how much stuff is still not available online (particularly through Google which only skims the surface of the web and does get into the "deep web" which is usually only available through databases and catalogs). Some quotes:

At the same time, many research librarians say that the new reliance on electronic resources is making their role as guides to undiscovered material more important than ever.

and

"Although it seems like an apocalyptic change now, over time we'll see that young people will grow up using many ways of finding information," said Abby Smith, director of programs at the Council on Library and Information Resources, a nonprofit group in Washington. "We'll see the current generation we accuse of doing research in their pajamas develop highly sophisticated searching strategies to find high quality information on the Web," Dr. Smith said. "It's this transition period we're in, when not all high-quality information is available on the Web — that's what we lament.""

and

"You can think of electronic research as a more impoverished experience," Dr. Janes said. "But in some ways it's a richer one, because you have so much more access to so much more information. The potential is there for this to be a real bonus to humanity, because we can see more and read more and do more with it. But it is going to be very different in lots of ways."


Posted by Emily at 07:53 AM | Comments (1)

New CT Gov?

If the rumors are true, it sounds like CT is losing their governor! The AP is reporting that "Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland will announce his resignation Monday night, amid a federal corruption investigation and a growing move to impeach him," (in the NY Times) making Lt. Governor M. Jodi Rell the new governor. She may be a Republican, but she sounds pretty cool and a whole lot better than Rowland. It should be interesting to see what happens.

Mom -- any local scoop?

Posted by Emily at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2004

Quest for King Arthur

There was a four page ad spread in today's paper for The History Channel's new documentary, Quest for King Arthur and I wanted to be sure to catch it tonight (it doesn't hurt that its narrated by Patrick Stewart!). It reminded me that my very first reference question that I remember asking was about King Arthur. I think it was third or fourth grade, and I called the library to find out when King Arthur had lived for a paper or something I was working on. I'll never forget how the librarian told me when King Arthur lived -- if he lived. I remember being rather shocked and appalled at that. I don't think it had occurred to me before then that it could all just be a myth...

Plus there was a preview for the new King Arthur movie (Keira Knightly as Guinevere! Cool!) before The Terminal tonight (I also got to see a preview for Fahrenheit 9/11, which I definitely want to see as well!)

Posted by Emily at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

The Terminal

terminal.jpgI know, I know, I should have been home working (or cleaning up the apartment for Tuesday's stamp workshop) but I got home from knitting group and couldn't concentrate (and didn't have the right needles to start my knit-along sweater) so I went to the movies again. I really wanted to see Tom Hanks' new movie, The Terminal. I loved it! Its funny and sweet and very airport-y. I know its getting pretty terrible reviews, but its a feel good, happy, nice film to go see. And Tom Hanks was just great.


Posted by Emily at 09:22 PM | Comments (3)

Happy Father's Day!

fathersday.jpgHappy father's day to my Dad, to Bill, and to any of the rest of you who are Dads celebrating today!

I just learned that the first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 19th, 1910. And while President Calvin Coolidge (an Amherst alum) proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father's Day in 1924, it only became a permanent national observance in 1972 under President Richard Nixon.

The US Census Bureau has a list of facts and figures for father's day, including that they estimate there are 66.3 million fathers in the US today. They also estimate that there are 105,000 “stay-at-home” dads -- including a couple of my friends (hi Mike! hi Paul! hi Peter!) who are staying home to take care of their kids.

Ties are of course associated with Father's Day (but I don't think we ever gave Dad ties since his family had a men's clothing store in Pittsburgh while we were growing up so he had an ample supply of ties). But here's a history of ties that was interesting and a piece about dads on TV.

Posted by Emily at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2004

Stepford Wives

stepford.jpgI saw the new Stepford Wives tonight -- after all, I lived in the town next door to Stepford for eight years and had to see what they would do with it. I totally expected to hate it, but I didn't. I enjoyed it quite a bit (and can't tell if I should feel guilty for liking it or not). I never actually saw the original, which may have helped.

Don't get me wrong, there's a ton of things not to like about the movie, but if you look past the overall messages and issues, there are some great lines as well. I'd love to find the one about Connecticut being the obvious choice for a place you could replace everyone with robots without having anyone notice... Another favorite was when Walter (Mathew Broderick) is trying to get Joanna (Nicole Kidman) to wear colored clothing: “Only castrating Manhattan career bitches wear black. Is that really what you want to be?” she responds, “Ever since I was a little girl."

For a review of it as a light, fluffy movie, try this review here. For a much more serious, biting criticism of the messages in it, try this one instead. Joel Siegel points out that it was supposed to be a dark comedy but that test audiences didn't like it so it made it light and fluffy instead. There are apparently three different versions of the ending even. So maybe originally it would be clearer if one should hate it or laugh at it.

I do have to weigh in and say that I did NOT like the ads where they morph Hilary and Condoleezza Rice into Stepford Wives. If you haven't seen them, the screen shots are linked in the story.

Any one else see the film?

Posted by Emily at 07:38 PM | Comments (1)

Mystery Bags of Books

Amytha and I stopped by the Friends of the Campbell Library's Book Sale this morning (since we both intern there and love buying books...) and they were selling sealed mystery bags of books for $3. Amytha bought 2 bags of romance novels, and I bought a mystery bag of mysteries!

When I opened it, here's what I had bought:

To The Hilt
by Dick Francis

Poirot Investigates
by Agatha Christie

Murder Most Cozy: Mysteries in the Classic Tradition
an anthology with authors like Dorothy L. Sayers, amanda Cross, and others

Payment in Kind
by J.A. Jance

Death Takes Up a Collection
by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie

Murder in the Smithsonian
by Margaret Truman
(which I think I have read)

Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse)
by Colin Dexter

Ulterior Motives: A shocking true story of money and murder
by Sizanne Finstad

McNally's Folly
by Lawrence Sanders

The White House Pantry Murder
by Elliott Roosevelt
(which I think I have read)

Iced
by Carol Higgins Clark

While My Pretty One Sleeps
by Mary Higgins Clark

English Country House Murders: Classic Crime Fiction of Britian's Upper Crust
Edited by Thomas Godfrey

The Cat Who Saw Rd
by Lilian Jackson Braun

Field of Thirteen
by Dick Francis

Paper Money
by Ken Follett

Come to Grief
by Dick Francis

All Around the Town
by Mary Higgins Clark

McNally's Luck
by Lawrence Sanders

Longshot
by Dick Francis


What fun! Now I just have to find some shelf space for them all...

Posted by Emily at 01:35 PM | Comments (2)

Liberal Arts

Interesting piece in today's NY Times called New Course for Liberal Arts: Intro to Job Market by Karen Arenson about offering more career-oriented courses to students.

Amherst of course, isn't following that trend:

Anthony Marx, the president of Amherst College, said that if students had more time they should "go deeper into the liberal arts, because that is the seed corn of an intellectual life and informed citizenship."

"To dilute the power of the liberal arts with premature professionalism will deprive our society of the thoughtful leadership it needs," Mr. Marx added.

When I was at Amherst one of the big issues was whether students could work toward their teaching credential while at school, so that they could graduate ready to get teaching jobs.

I just thought it was interesting, particularly since my sister seems to want to be a philosphy major (we'll see if that sticks, I thought I wanted to be an American Studies major until I got there) and since I look back and feel like I took all the wrong courses when I was there... I'd definitely take less computer science and math and more English and History if I was doing it again... But I'm not sure a different set of classes will help people in this job market...

Posted by Emily at 07:39 AM | Comments (1)

June 18, 2004

Registered for Fall

Today was my "enrollment appointment" to register online for the courses I'll be taking in the fall (pre-determined by what they would give me permission numbers for a few weeks ago). No complaints though - I got the two courses I wanted (though the course number they gave me was wrong, so it wasn't a completely smooth registration process). I'll be taking:

LIBR 248-02. Beginning Cataloging and Classification
Theory and practice of bibliographic control including the study of representative cataloging using AACR2, machine-based representation using MARC formats and other standards, subject analysis and classification using LCSH, Dewey and LCC with application to books, non-book materials and serials.
With Karpuk, online.
Definitely one of those courses every librarian needs to have taken...

and

LIBR 266-01. Collection Management
Study of collection management in all types of libraries and information centers. Includes analysis of information needs, criteria for selection, collection use evaluation, and resources for collection development.
Supposedly with Disher, but Jean told me he just took a new job and wasn't going to be teaching... which is too bad, because lots of people recommended him!
3 Saturdays plus Web (9/11; 10/9; 11/20)

Posted by Emily at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

More on single women voters

In today's NY Times:

Sex and the Single Voter
By BELLA M. DePAULO
Published: June 18, 2004

I thought she raised some great points. Here are some highlights:

In response to tips to treat going to the polls like "a hair appointment we would not miss" or offering "Kiss Bush Goodbye" underwear, she writes that: "I get the message. The political players are not out to engage me in a serious discussion of the issues. As a single woman, I'm too preoccupied with lipstick, hair and underwear. They need to find a way to get me to the polls only this one time. Then, by the next presidential election, perhaps I'll be married and have a mortgage."

"No matter how many thousands of lives you may have saved with your lifelong, relentless advocacy for safer cars and workplaces, and purer food and water; no matter how doggedly you have pursued the causes of government and corporate accountability, and inspired countless others to do the same, you can still be dismissed as immature and irresponsible if you are not married."

Posted by Emily at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2004

Arcadia

Arcadia.jpgTina and I went to a superb production of Arcadia, one of my favorite plays of all time, tonight at Theater Works in Mountain View. Wow. Its just so amazing its hard to explain... Its about chaos theory and math and love and time and gardens and hermits and an amazing amount of stuff squished into funny and very smart dialog. You get Fermat's Last Theorem, Lord Byron, the Picturesque and the Sublime, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and learn to waltz. Even though I had seen it before and had even read the play, there was so much I didn't remember and the staging still gave me goose bumps when the characters in early nineteenth century and the modern day occupy the stage together and look over the same documents. And of course when I put the ending clues back together as they unfolded I almost cried!

Some quotes:


If you could stop every atom in its position and direction, and if your mind could comprehend all the actions thus suspended, then if you were really, really good at algebra you could write a formula for all the future: and although nobody can be so cleaver to do it, the formula must exist just if one could ( Thomasina to Septimus )

"We shed as we pick up, like travelers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it."
(Septimus to Thomasina)

Posted by Emily at 11:40 PM | Comments (1)

Refgrunt, 6/17

Here are some of the questions I had today at the adult reference desk...

helped a guy create a new Yahoo email account

filed the new pages that came in to update the California OCC Guide It was really interesting to see how the titles of so many of the jobs had changed since the last time those pages were updated. I didn't have time to read any of them while filing since it was so busy all day, but its all online as well. Here's the entry for a librarian. This is how they describe the work environment: "Work schedules for Librarians directly serving the public may be busy, demanding, and even stressful. Answering the information needs of people and teaching them to use library resources can be taxing." Hmmm....

found I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Nemesis : The True Story of Aristotle Onassis, Jackie O, and the Love Triangle That Brought Down the Kennedys, which the library doesn't own yet (it just came out this month) so I learned how to request new books for consideration

telephone books, x2

Flamenco dancing videos

Havana Dreams

Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States : 1492-Present

A Midsummers Night Dream -- the 1999 version with Michelle Pfeiffer (I found two other productions but could not find that one anywhere, even though it was supposed to be in)

biographies of Leonardo Da Vinci

legal information on child custody and emancipation

Night in for Hunting (audio book)

Math text books

Today's Milpitas Post

Chinese language newspaper

Consumer Reports, June 2001

information about being a legal translator

12 Monkeys (video)
2 Fast 2 Furious (video)

Poisonwood Bible (in paperback)

Japanese Cookbooks -- in English or in Chinese -- and all of them were checked out!

quince.gifSpent a lot of time finding information on quinceanera for a patron who called and was doing research. Best bets seemed to be Quinceanera! : the essential guide to planning the perfect sweet fifteen celebration by Michele Salcedo and pamplet from the Mexican American Cultural Center and I also printed a variety of articles from the subscription databases and the Net. She came in at the end of the day and seemed to like what I had found (which of course made my day)

I also read the 4th, 5th, 14th, and 15th amendments to a patron over the phone

printer jams
people complaining about people not watching their time limits on the Internet

etc.

plus, during my lunch break (at 3pm) there was a magician performing so I got to watch for a bit!!

A very satisfying day at the library!

Posted by Emily at 06:09 PM | Comments (1)

Granny D

doristoday.gifYears ago at NMP, Janine and I worked on a Common Cause web site about a woman named Granny D who was walking 3,200 miles across the United States to promote campaign finance reform. feministing.com today links to an article in the Nation titled "Granny D Wants to be Senator D." Apparently Granny D, now 94, is about to annouce that she's running for Senate in New Hampshire! Go Granny D!

Here's her campaign site. She's having a press conference today at noon, and the announcement says, "Signs and banners are not allowed in the building. Straw hats are allowed and appropriate." Its going to be a fun race to watch!

She also has two books, Granny D: You're Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell (2003) and Granny D: Walking Across America in My Ninetieth Year (2001)

Posted by Emily at 08:18 AM | Comments (29)

June 16, 2004

More on SPL

Ok, yes, I'm a bit obsessed with the new Seattle Public Library and this is the umpteenth post on it, but it is super cool and I'm looking forward to going and seeing it soon!

But I saw this link tonight for an article called "Killer Library" on librarian.net and had to post it for you as well. It reads: "The New [Seattle] Central Library Offers Civic Validation, a Huge Collection of Material, and a Staggering Number of Startling New Ways to Die" and lists out the myriad ways that "innocent book lovers will suffer and perish" in the new building.

I would like to point out that my step-brother and his wife met in the personals of that crazy magazine... :)

Posted by Emily at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

Glass Frogs

shelleyglass.jpgWe had a fantastic guest instructor Shelley tonight in my glass bead class who made unbelievably cool glass frogs (unfortunately the photo is blurry) and -- appropriately enough after today's Tech lecture -- the other photo is her making a Saturn bead, complete with rings.
blurryfrog.jpgsaturnbead.jpg

Posted by Emily at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

Mission to Saturn and Titan

royhayter.jpgCongrats to Tina for organizing another very successful lecture in the Volunteer Lecture & Workshop Series. Today's was "Mission to Saturn and its Earth-like Moon, Titan" by Roy Hayter, and it drew the largest crowd yet (24 people). Here's Roy -- check out his planet vest under his Tech mango vest...

It was a great lecture and certainly very timely and topical (as we used to say at Prism).

Posted by Emily at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

Apologies

My apologies to anyone (Mom, Margaret, Janice, etc.) who is having trouble viewing my blog... I'm trying to figure out why its not working for you...

Posted by Emily at 05:37 PM | Comments (2)

Political Stuff

For another look-how-cool-my-brother-is-post, his weekly column is out again in today's hotline (though I'm probably breaking his copyright by posting it for you here). Karen writes that she may start posting it on their blog next week.

and more from Feministing.com on Voting and the Single Girl, linking to an article in today's Village Voice.... "There's no question the candidates want single women. But do single women want the candidates?"

Posted by Emily at 10:29 AM | Comments (56)

June 15, 2004

Anime Portrait

Anime is seriously popular around here, and I saw this cool site linked on Lady Crumpet's blog. Its a Portrait Illustration Maker where you get to design an anime portrait of yourself. Here's some tries at mine (and a photo for reference):
anime.gifanime2.gif
anime3.gifme.jpg
(It turns out to be really hard to figure out what pieces would make it look like yourself! Give it a try and see how you do! Or maybe its easier to make one of someone else...)

This should help get us ready for the upcoming Nara exhibit at the SJ Art Museum.

Posted by Emily at 10:09 PM | Comments (2)

Campers

bobbilynnatcamp.jpgIt's camp time! No, not for me (I never really was much of a camper), but Betty's off at life guard training for her summer as a counselor at Brant Lake, and I stopped by to check out BobbiLynn's new digs as assistant-head of The Tech's summer camp (campers don't come until next week). Yay BobbiLynn!

I was down at The Tech for today's Volunteer Advisory Board (VAB) meeting (which included cake since it was Matt's last meeting before he heads off to be a college student at Berkeley) and will be back tomorrow for our weekly ASTC volunteer coordination meeting and the next in the Volunteer Lecture/Workshop series -- so I'm hoping to get to have a quick lunch with BobbiLynn beforehand!



Posted by Emily at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Phil!

Happy birthday today to Phil, who suffered through comp sci classes with me at Amherst -- including an all-nighter where we attempted to make an address book in binary or something equally nonsensical (for the record, I think our program did work, but we would never have passed the class without Susan's amazing help with the circuits and things like that!) My email addresses for Phil are bouncing so I'm not quite sure where he is these days, but wanted to say Happy Birthday!

Posted by Emily at 09:05 AM | Comments (36)

Making a better portfolio

Library Stuff today linked to an interesting article by Kim Moody on online portfolios posted on LIS Career ("The Library & Information Science Professional's Career Development Center"), Online Portfolios, or “WOW! Look at Everything I’ve Done!”

Its a good reminder that I should keep better track of the classes I've been taking, workshops & conferences I go to, papers I've been writing, etc. and posting them on my site in case they're useful later (especially as I watch many of my friends go through difficult job search processes).

It also makes me want to write more serious things here on the blog... without completely boring my few friends and family members that come by to visit of course :) Library Stuff had a link back in May as well to an article about blogging and job searching, Resumes Are for Dummies, which is a good argument for blogging on professional topics as a way to increase your visibility and impress potential employers... hmmm.... For now I guess I'll stick to blogging mostly about daily life and what my friends and family are up to...

Posted by Emily at 08:52 AM | Comments (1)

June 14, 2004

Ambigrams

BobbiLynn had shown me this cool ambigrams site months ago (it makes words that can be read in more than one way or from more than a single vantage point, such as both right side up and upside down) but I didn't realize before that you could have one word turn into a different word when viewed upside down (instead of just being the same word both ways). So of course I had to play some more with it. Here's my name:

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(I started looking at this because I found this library tshirt at a link from Angie's site when she posted it in the baseball comments. Cool site Angie -- lots of good complaining on the message boards... and some great photos of yesterday's game)

Posted by Emily at 08:51 AM | Comments (2)

June 13, 2004

Knitting Group, 6/13

613knitting.jpgAttendance at knitting group today may have been low (only 5 of us), but there were three newbies (well, new to the group but very accomplished knitters), and everyone was working on some gorgeous things!

Janice (who brought in her utterly fabulous finished cardigan today) and I have decided to knit-along on the Arrowhead knit top, and Laura (who you may recognize from the baseball pictures because it turns out we were in a class together) is going to help me figure out the lace part of it next week (so I won't be too intimidated when I get to that part of the pattern)


Posted by Emily at 07:13 PM | Comments (2)

A great game!

It was a great day at the ball park (the SJ Giants even won -- not that I ended up seeing any of the game). The food was good, the weather was perfect and it was great to get to meet so many new people (including most of the incoming board of our ALA Student Chapter!)

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baseballlogo.gifAttending: Angie Miraflor, Brenda Lamb, Carol "Chase" Pearce, Dr. Fisher, Dr. Schmidt, Ellen Flaxman, Emily Reich, Gina Bell, Jean Amaral, Judy Strebel, Julia Haverstock, Kathleen Keeshen, Laura Wright, Laurie Briggs, Linda Schilling, Mana Tominaga, Nancy Sheldon-Deegan, Pat Hernas, Sharon S Chen, Terri Pilate, Warren W Wright and assorted friends and family members!



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Posted by Emily at 06:25 PM | Comments (1498)

Baseball today!

baseballtoday.jpgToday's finally the day of our ALASC/Alumni trip to the baseball game! I think we have about 40 people coming! We'll be in the BBQ area (follow the painted footprints, its on the 3rd baseline side of the field. The game starts at one, and I'll be handing out our tickets starting at 12, so come find me at the gate if you prepaid!



Posted by Emily at 08:14 AM | Comments (68)

June 12, 2004

Official End of the Campaign

thankyoubnparty.jpgStopped by a thank you party tonight given by Barbara Nesbet (in the blue dress), who I had done some princinct walking for before the March 2nd election. She was a great candidate and hopes to go back to work (but not back to law) and then run again for Assembly or something else again in the future. It was great watching her work the room and thank each person there for what they had done on the campaign. I met a Superior Court Judge who is thinking of running for county DA in a couple of years (a seat that's been Republican for the last 30-some years) and Barbara's web guy who is now very involved in Silicon Valley for Kerry.


Posted by Emily at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

Too funny

Emy and I were just saying the other day that people should check google before asking really stupid questions to large mailing lists of people. I have to say that I ask google lots of stupid questions every day (much less embarrassing than asking friends)...

So if you appreciate that sentiment, check out this site [warning, not for kids]

:)

(seen on John Battelle's Searchblog and all over the net by now)

Posted by Emily at 04:18 PM | Comments (1)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

harrypotter.jpgI was going to wait until Mike and Susan could find a babysitter, but decided this morning that I just HAD to go see it today (and besides, I figured it was more than likely that I'd want to see it a second time). So I took myself to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at 12:30 and it was as wonderful as I had hoped. I was a bit annoyed by the woman behind me who not only hadn't read any of the books, but hadn't seen the first two movies (her friend's eight year old was trying to explain all the books to her before it started), but I promptly forgot everyone else and was drawn back into the wonderful world of Hogwarts.

The movies are still not nearly as good as the books of course (how could they be!) but it reminds me of how wonderful the books are and how much I love being lost in them along with Harry, Ron and Hermione!

(I love Emma Watson's list of hobbies: Her other hobbies include: Brad Pitt; socializing with her friends; Brad Pitt; music with favorites including Alanis Morrisette and Justin Timberlake; Brad Pitt; modern dance, ballet and tap..and Brad Pitt! )

So if anyone does want to go again... I'm certainly game! (though first I'd better do my homework so I can reread the book...)

Mischief managed.

Posted by Emily at 04:09 PM | Comments (3)

June 11, 2004

Fremont Friends

Had a lovely time visiting friends up in Fremont tonight. Here are photos of Susan reading to Katie, James reading Richard Scary, Brian (who is listening to a CD of Harry Potter while getting ready for bed) and Mike (who's workspace makes mine look neat... well, almost)

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Susan (and Mike to a certain extent) were my next door neighbors my junior year (her senior year) at Amherst. We had a great time on the 3rd floor of Moore (the only upper classman dorm at that time to have ethernet, which is why the floor was filled with computer geeks like me, Jamie, Parker, etc.)

I also got Mike signed up for bloglines tonight so he may come and read my blog now :) Hi Mike!

Posted by Emily at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

Aunt Susan at the Arts Center

susanandmom.jpgHere's a nice photo of Aunt Susan and Mom at the opening of the Westport Arts Center's Winners Circle 2004 exhibit (in front of one of Susan's pieces). Ten winners from the 2003 Members "Big Show" were chosen to exhibit their work from June 11-July 2nd. I'll definitely try to stop by when I'm home in Westport for Katy's wedding!

And here's Mom with Grandpa and Cindy, president of the Arts Center
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Posted by Emily at 07:23 PM | Comments (0)

Craft Night Invitation

To any of you who are local... Emy and I are planning a craft night and Stampin' Up! workshop (featuring Emy and all her cool Stampin Up stuff) on Tuesday, June 22nd at 7pm.

Come hang out, learn to make some fun stamped greeting cards, learn about stamping, share ideas, etc. If you have other friends that you like to craft with (stamp, scrapbook, doodle, shop at Michael's, dream up creative ideas with, etc.), feel free to bring them along!

Email me for details, directions, etc.

It'll be fun!!! You can see photos from the last two times I went to workshops at Emy's.

Posted by Emily at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2004

Dr. Dale

youremyparents.jpgMom just sent a note that family friend Dr. Dale Atkins will be on the Today Show talking about her new book, I'm OK, You're My Parents, on Wednesday morning, June 16th. (Plus she has a blog of course)

The email says:

You NEED to read "I'm OK, You're My Parents" immediately if:
•Your Father refers to your husband as "It."
•You call your Mother to tell her you've just won a Pulitzer, and she tells you your brother should be nominated for a Nobel Prize
•Your four year old son watched your mother baptize your 8 month old in the kitchen sink and said, to him, "SHSHSH, don’t tell mommy”
•Your father buys you flannel pajamas with feet for your honeymoon
•Your father wants to discuss the details of the police check he ran on your boyfriend
•You tell your Mother you've started seeing a therapist, and the first thing she says is, "What does he say about me?"
•When you see a show on Animal Planet about creatures that eat their young, you think, "Those kids got off easy... "
•Your Mother crashed your bachelor party
•Your Mother still tries to set you up on blind dates... and you're married
•Your Mother who knows you are gay asks you to go out with this wonderful woman she met who she is sure can straighten you out
•Every time you argue with your Father about Bush, he grumbles about changing his will
•Your Mother still has your bronzed baby shoes... in her purse



Posted by Emily at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

Milpitas RefGrunt

I love the concept of a "ref-grunt", where you dump all your reference questions into your blog. Here's some of the things I looked for today at the children's desk in Milpitas.

"yellow books" -- yes, kids do ask for books of a particular color. I found quite a few nice looking easy readers (she LOVES Dr. Suess) with nice yellow spines...

"adventures of Cassie Hartt"
turned out to be the Mystery of the Island Jewels by Joyce Stengel

Treasure Island

Palo Alto Reading Program -- she had #5 and wanted #1 & #2 which are "unavailable" so I found her some books on teaching your kid to read and put some phonetic reading lesson books on hold for her which I hope will do

J Greenburg's Andrew Lost series (though none were in)

stories about soccer

Herbie Jones and Song Lee books by Suzy Kline

Cam Jansen series

Briar's Book by Tamora Pierce (Missing, so put on hold to get from another library)

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There was this cute girl with a purple balloon wandering around, so I thought I'd find her books about balloons so I got her "Where do Balloons Go" and "You can't take a balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts" I thought that the museum one was great, but her Dad flipped out when she tried to take that one out since it is only pictures and doesn't have any words. He was quite mean about it -- kept asking her where she had gotten it, etc, so I took it back. I supposed I should have been looking for higher-level books (I'm still trying to guage kids ages and reading levels on sight) but she was just wandering around in the picture book area pulling things out, so I thought that's what she was looking for. Sigh. But I quite enjoyed the book after she had left.

Thomas the Tank Engine videos

Intro to drawing videos

videos with factory tours or about making things (How it's done. Vol. 2, from baseball bats to potato chips looked like fun)

books for 3rd graders (there are great reading lists at the desk for all ages)

Wallace and Grommit (once I figured out that she didn't want videos about walruses...)

Dumbo (once I stopped looking for "Jumbo")

and things like that! It was a lot of fun -- a bit crazy when toddler storytime got out and there were about 50 little 2-3 year olds and their parents rushing the desk...

Posted by Emily at 05:36 PM | Comments (1)

Nancy Pearl

I have a conversation with someone almost every day about Nancy Pearl, from the Seattle Public Library and model for the "Librarian Action Figure" (which I have and have given as presents to other librarians and friends.) I just read on librarian.net that she's retiring in August! I was just talking to Julia yesterday about how we wanted to invite Nancy Pearl down to speak to our library school program about reader's advisory and other topics. Well, perhaps she'll have more time to come down now.

Dad and Jane know her and passed along the fantastic recommendation from her to read The Eyre Affair -- now one of my favorite series! (ooh, and speaking of that series, Amazon reports that Something Rotten: A Thursday Next Mystery is due out August 5!!!) Nancy Pearl also wrote Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason which Mom had sent me. (ooh, and isn't this a cool idea?)

Posted by Emily at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

Brian's Hotline Column

hotline1.gifKaren sent a note today announcing that, "WOWSERS!! Brian's weekly column in the Hotline, THE online source (published by the National Journal) for political news in Washington, not only debuted today but is featured on the LEAD Column on the front page! This is a HUGE deal and a fabulous write-up if I do say so myself." Congrats to Brian!!!

At the start of his column, the editors wrote: "Beginning this Wednesday and following up each week, we've asked web campaign consultant Brian Reich to track the internet campaign and observe the more interesting trends, be it on a candidate's web site, a 527 site or a blog. This week's inaugural edition is, not surprisingly, heavy on Reagan."

and at the end: "About Brian Reich
      Reich is the editor of Campaign Web Review -- a blog examining the use of the Internet by candidates, campaigns and organizations, activists and the media during the 2004 cycle. Brian has spent much of his life working with campaigns and political organizations, helping to direct dozens of campaigns across the country. He also served as VP Gore's Briefing Director in the White House and during the 2000 campaign. Brian is now a strategic consultant and Director of Boston Operations for Mindshare Interactive Campaigns. Did your web campaign tactic catch our eye? If not, email Reich at editor@campaignwebreview.com and let him know. Remember, this is a column, so email compliments and complaints his way."

Shows you what I know! Not only did I not know he was writing a column for the Hotline, I didn't even know that he was the editor of Campaign Web Review until I read about it in his bio paragraph!

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Posted by Emily at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2004

So trendy

On Queer Eye tonight, Jai brought straight-guy David to a glassmaking session where he made a bracelet made of handmade glass beads. They showed beadmaking exactly how we're doing it in class! (I'm up to 48 in total -- though not all of them count as "round" -- still short of the 50 I was supposed to have for tomorrow's class, but more than I expected to get done!)

They made a mean looking noodle kugel and pomagranite spritzers on the show as well....

Posted by Emily at 10:27 PM | Comments (3)

Hidden Villa

Almost a whole year after meeting Trish in class last summer and hearing about this fantastic place called Hidden Villa where she lives and works as the caretaker of the house, I FINALLY made it up to Los Altos Hills to visit (and return an overdue stack of museum interpreter resources that I had borrowed from her to use in my Reference paper).

It truly is an amazing place -- 1600 acres of farm & wilderness preserve, over 70 animals, a beautiful house and amazing programs for kids. We had coffee with milk right from a cow (well, cow -> bucket -> coffee cup), admired the gorgeous chickens, talked to a pig at length, hiked a gorgeous trail and found some very wise looking rocks. The place is inspiring in so many ways, and Trish and I brainstormed all sorts of fun ideas (yes, my favorite thing to do is brainstorm exciting new ideas of things to do... and yes, I have too many things going on right now, sigh).

I'm hoping to go back up when the new piglets are born! (the pig we were talking to is the dad) And next time I'll have to bring my camera along on our walk! (and I have to remember that there is no cellphone service there at all so I can't be there when I'm supposed to be on conference calls... oops, sorry Lisa!)

Hi Trish! Thanks for having me up there!

Posted by Emily at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2004

Prom night at GFA

prom.jpgMom just sent along this photo of Betty and Eduard getting ready to go to the prom at Greens Farms Academy. One of Eduard's friends asked Betty to go with him (which is nice, because she probably still has friends there from before she went to boarding school). Don't they look great! (well, what you can see of Eduard under all that hair!)


Posted by Emily at 07:46 PM | Comments (1)

June 06, 2004

Dad & Jane at SPL

Dad and Jane sent these amazing photos of the new Seattle Public Library. I can't wait to go!!!

They write:

Here are photos from our trip to the new library today. Photo #5 is an installation on the side of the escalator. The mouth moves and makes sounds and the eye blinks. #6 is the floor in the foreign language section with words from numerous languages. The building is extraordinary and wonderful.

(click for larger images)

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Posted by Emily at 10:03 PM | Comments (4)

Tony Awards

wicked.jpgAh, so much fun to watch the Tony Awards. Of course I haven't seen any of the shows this year (well, except for other revivals of Fiddler)... or for years now. When Mom wore her Wicked t-shirt at The Tech's Gizmo fundraiser no one even seemed to know it was a musical (they may after tonight...) I just wish the web site didn't already have the winners so I could go and look at nominees without having it given away...

The Tony's always remind me of my friend Alison from college who always seemed to know so much about all the Broadway shows.

I would like to see Wicked and Avenue Q though... (I mean, really, how cool to have 20 and 30-something puppets and friends singing "It sucks to be me")


Posted by Emily at 08:16 PM | Comments (0)

Presents at Knitting Group

A lovely woman from Binky Patrol came to knitting group today to talk about the organization and left us a HUGE box of old knitting needles and yarns they can't use in their projects (in case the people are allergic to wool). I took a few very cool old needles and a bag of yellow fluffy yarn to make another blanket or something with. I'll definitely try to make something for Binky Patrol one day -- after I make some squares for Project Linus of course. So much to knit!

Posted by Emily at 06:11 PM | Comments (3)

First solo beads

Here are my first beads that I made at home yesterday. For those of you keeping score, there are only 11 because one is still stuck on the mandrel and is soaking in water. I read online that having one of those grip things you use to open jars helps to get them off the mandrel as well, so I may try to pick one of those up later today so I can reuse all the mandrels for my next batch! The second picture is my favorite of the bunch, where I tried to use both of the blues together.
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Posted by Emily at 11:04 AM | Comments (2)

June 05, 2004

June Pledge Drive

peterpaulandmary.jpgJust got home from working on the KTEH pledge drive (I was camera #3 again -- my favorite). Got to watch Entertaining the Troops and Peter, Paul & Mary: Carry It On: A Musical Legacy and got to knit with Suzanne (camera #2) again. She's working on the most amazing sweater!

Earlier this afternoon I went book shopping with Amytha, who also showed me some of the amazing crafts she's working on. We've decided to try to explore one off-the-beaten track odd San Jose site a week -- including some rather odd-looking restaurants with particularly weird signs and cows and things.

I also set up my bead making stuff and made my first 12 beads (I only have 12 mandrels). They're cooling overnight and we'll see in the morning if they come off of the mandrels or not... The hardest part of making them was getting the torch to light...

Posted by Emily at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

Recommended by Julia

Keeping track of these here so I don't forget, here are some books recommended to me by my friend Julia (another Tech volunteer). Thanks Julia!

(amazon links and full titles to come)

Catherine Coulter
Beyond Eden

Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Can You Keep a Secret?

Iris Johanson
The Ugly Duckly
The Search

Anne Bishop
The Black Jewels Trilogy

Shelia Queen of the Forest?

Patricia McKilip?

Peter H. Reynolds
The Dot

Cornelia Funke
The Princess Knight

Robin McKinley
Blue Sword
The Hero and the Crown
Deerskin

Mo Willems
Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Posted by Emily at 01:38 PM | Comments (1)

Happy Birthday Lisa!

A very happy birthday today to Lisa!!!
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Posted by Emily at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2004

Too tired to blog

I'm literally too tired to blog about my day, but wanted to thank Margaret for a lovely dinner down in Santa Cruz. I'll post photos from the walk-through of the new Silicon Workbenches exhibit at The Tech when I get up. I'll also post the rest of the great photos Mom sent of Betty's graduation.

But here's a fantastic photo of my Mom and Margaret and my Great Grandfather Aaron.
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Posted by Emily at 10:06 PM | Comments (3)

New Workbenches

The Tech just opened its new Silicon Workshop section in the Innovation Gallery (upstairs). It features four new extremely cool workbenches. There was a walk-through training for volunteers on Friday and Saturday. Here are some photos. You should definitely stop by and try them out!

Here's Peggy, head of exhibits and one of the most amazing, cool people I've ever met, showing us how to build a smart device to feed our fish.
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Brittany and Missy are using logic blocks to program Mr. Potato Head to respond to his environment.
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On this workbench, you hardwire a chip to control a car.
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Tech COO Meredith Taylor helps Boss Dog and his cats design a simple chip to build a robot dino which will light the barbeque, feed the cats, and help with homework.
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Posted by Emily at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

Betty Graduates Today!

Congratulations to Betty, who graduates today from high school! Mom sent along some photos ...

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More photos:

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Bill, Brian and Karen
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Karen, Brian, Mom and Eduard
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Mom and Betty
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Posted by Emily at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2004

Word of the day

My word of the day is vade mecum:

1. handbook, enchiridion, vade mecum -- (a concise reference book providing specific information about a subject or location)
from WordNet
or
1. A useful thing that one constantly carries about.
2. A book, such as a guidebook, for ready reference.
From Dictionary.com
or
\Va`de me"cum\ [L., go with me.] A book or other thing that a person carries with him as a constant companion; a manual; a handbook.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary

Usage:
This book is intended as a kind of vade mecum for librarians engaged in, or embarking on, fundraising.
Becoming a Fundraiser: The Principles and Practice of Library Development, by Victoria Steele and Stephen D. Elder, p. ix

(Can I just add how much I love online dictionary sites?... and yes, I should be READING that book for homework right now instead of blogging about words in it...)

Update: Ok, this is weird. I posted this Thursday night while doing my homework, and now its Friday morning and vade mecum IS the word of the day on Dictionary.com.

Posted by Emily at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)

Heart on my feet

sneakers.jpgReebok was having this wonderful promotion where they were giving away $1 million in shoes to people who made a donation of $25 or more to the American Heart Association (they raised $357,000!). I got my new shoes in the mail yesterday, and they have these cute little hearts on them!

"In support of our commitment to women, walking and wellness, 'Wear Your Heart on Your Feet' will reinforce the message that physical activity is an important way for women to reduce their risk of heart disease," said Jan Sharkansky, Reebok's vice president for women's marketing. Cardiovascular disease - heart attacks and strokes - is the No. 1 killer of women, claiming 500,000 lives each year.

Hopefully my new shoes will inspire me to get out and take some more walks!


Posted by Emily at 09:24 AM | Comments (126)

Knit Lit

knitlit.jpgFinished KnitLit : Sweaters and Their Stories...and Other Writing About Knitting by Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf. Thank you so much to Lisa who saw it in Politics and Prose (one of my favorite places in the world) and sent it to me. I'm going to pass it on to other people in my knitting group, since it is a really lovely collection of short pieces perfect for knitters!


Posted by Emily at 07:55 AM | Comments (2)

June 02, 2004

Glass Beads

beadclass.jpgTonight was my first glass beadmaking class with Tom Stanton at the Holy City Art Studio in Los Gatos (through the Los Gatos-Saratoga Community Education and Recreation Department).

Here are the first beads we made:
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Mine is the smallest green one, all the way on the right

Here's Amanda working on her bead (she looks SO familiar for some reason... maybe that she looks like Becca Fishaut?)
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Here are the materials I need to go find before next week's class. Apparently there's a great store in Santa Cruz ("Kiss My Glass") that sells a started kit with everything but the Mapp Gas, which I can get at Home Depot.
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Posted by Emily at 10:01 PM | Comments (2)

Spam

Like most of you, I get a tremendous amount of spam. Mostly I just ignore it and keep deleting (worrying once and a while that I'm filtering or deleting something important by accident of course).

But I find it really sad that people come and post spam comments here on my blog. I'm going to have to install some of the recommended protections and things when I get a free second.

In the meantime, I apologize to any of the rest of you who see the spam posted here before I have a chance to delete it. Sigh.

Posted by Emily at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

More on Laurel

Dad and Jane sent along this link to an interview with Laurel in today's Seattle PI!

A moment with ... Laurel Spellman Smith and Francine Strickwerda,
documentary filmmakers
The local filmmakers behind "Busting Out" talk about what it
means to have breasts and why their size, shape and function
seem be the source of such fascination and shame.
* Read the full article at:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/175484_moment01.html

Congrats!

Posted by Emily at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

Dinner Out

Had dinner out with Emy and Ray at Sweet Tomatoes (which is almost identical to Fresh Choice but apparently fundamentally different in some way). A small bit of confusion when I thought her forensics background would come in handy for us writing murder mysteries (turns out she did the other kind, oops) but a fun dinner -- and I got to have some tapioca. Thanks for inviting me!

And home in time to watch a really scary episode of Queer Eye.

Posted by Emily at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)

Reading Rainbow

readingrainbow.gifI didn't realize that Reading Rainbow was still on the air. (Carrie says she knew it was, but her siblings are younger -- and read more)

It was mentioned in one of my homework articles on the history of children's literature (Multiculturalism takes root (Part 2) by Barbara Bader in The Horn Book Magazine, March-April 2003 v79 i2 p 143-63) I don't remember actually watching the show (it didn't start until 1983, so I suppose I was too old already) but to my amusement I found that I did know all the words to the theme song. I had Tivo grab a few episodes today (it seems to be on at least twice a day) and enjoyed LeVar Burton and all the little kids. In today's, they read Three by the Sea, watched people build sand sculptures, did some improv, and sang quite a nice song about making your own books out of cardboard, construction paper and a whole lot of glue. And if you liked that book, you might like these: Regards to the Man in the Moon, Frog and Toad Together, and Come away from the water, Shirley -- but you don't have to take my word for it (you can watch quicktime movies of the cute little kids giving reviews).

... butterfly in the sky... I can go twice as high... take a look, it's in a book... a reading rainbow...

Posted by Emily at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

Big Hat

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I finished my second hat this morning but overcompensated a bit on the size (the last one was too small) so its a bit floppy and big. It was very satisfying to finish though :)

Hmm... what should I make next??


Posted by Emily at 10:47 AM | Comments (3)