Carrie convinced me to play around with getting a three-column layout for my blog, but it came out too busy when I tried to add a side column to the current layout. So instead, I've been playing with a new entry page to my whole site -- which previously just had a quote from The Phantom Tollbooth and links to my blog, resume and work stuff -- and then leaving the main page as is for now for people who want to read the text of the whole week and see all the pictures at once. I figure more and more of you will be viewing the blog through an RSS aggregator like bloglines (my current favorite) so the layout doesn't matter as much and the front page might as well convey a bit more information.
So if you came in through the main url, you probably already saw it, if not, the new entry page is at www.chocolatespoon.com and pulls in most of the information that's on the main blog plus the links and things from before. Let me know if it breaks your browser of if there are things you think I should add or move.
After visiting the Los Gatos Art Museum to see the book art exhibit one last time, Amytha and I drove all over the place visiting craft stores, antiques stores (including one absolutely insane one that smelled like cats and just had the most overhelming amount of stuff). We were looking for muffin tins (among other things), but I didn't see any I loved.
We also stopped by a cigar store in Willow Glen and bought some (empty) cigar boxes, which are oh-so-trendy of course. Now I just have to decide what to make with them. I was thinking more shadow box/assemblage/shrine than purse, but the purses people make are awfully cool looking.
I really like the designs on them, so I don't think I want to paint over them...
And speaking of assemblage art, Mom just sent me the most amazing Tracy Hambley piece -- with a spoon theme!!! Thank you SO much! I LOVE it!!! And the coolest part was the story to go along with it -- that Mom had asked the artist if she had a web site and she said no, but had googled herself and found this crazy girl who had cited her as her favorite artist... and of course that was me!! I had written about her for the collage class I was taking last September!
Update: Amytha just sent a list of all the places we went today! No wonder we're worn out!
Speaking of Alice in Wonderland (we were last week anyway), check out this cool site of The Lewis Carroll Scrapbook from the Library of Congress (via LII). According to the site, "the scrapbook contains approximately 130 items, including newspaper clippings, photographs, and a limited number of manuscript materials, collected between 1855-72" by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll).
And for those interested in the archive angle of this, "The Lewis Carroll Scrapbook contains approximately two hundred un-numbered pages, sixty-three of which contain clippings and writing. The remaining pages are blank and are not included in the online collection. There are seven loose, inlaid items that Carroll had presumably not yet pasted into the scrapbook. These seven items have been placed on page 64 of the scrapbook for presentation purposes. One of the seven inlaid items is an uncut issue of Punch, which the Library of Congressís Conservation Division unfolded and laid flat for scanning. The entire scrapbook was evaluated and treated by the Conservation Division prior to scanning."
"Staff in the Digital Scan Center of the Library of Congressís Office of Strategic Initiatives created the digital images for this project, using a Digibook high-production scanner. Each image was produced by scanning the item at a resolution of 300 dpi and converting the resulting proprietary file format to TIFF format. These TIFF files, which average approximately 40MB, are available to users for download and viewing from the Libraryís server.
After scanning was completed, project staff copied, resized, and converted TIFF files to JPG and GIF file formats, using Image Alchemy software. GIF files were resized to 600-pixel widths on the short end and are used for initial page displays. JPG files were resized to 3000-pixel heights. Project staff manually created additional JPG files for subitems (scrapbook inserts), using Adobe Photoshop. These subitems are crops from the scrapbook pages, which were resized to a 600-pixel width on the short side."
Congratulations today to Ellen & Chris and to Ilona & Kevin -- both couples are getting married today! (one in Pennsylvania and one out here in CA)
Here's a photo of Chris and Ellen from the baseball game we all went to a few months back.
Congrats to all of you!!!
Check out the awesome panorama photos the NY Times has of different scenes at the convention.
Amytha and I saw Napoleon Dynamite tonight at the cool new downtown Century 12 (with good stadium seating).
The official description is: "Teenage misfit Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) lives in a remote Idaho town with his older brother (whose only happiness is an Internet relationship), ATV-loving grandma, and sleazeball uncle. Napoleon's life gains direction after he decides to find a date to the big dance and help his new classmate become class president."
It was quite strange, but funny. Not sure I would recommend it to most people, but if you like highschool misfit movies, some of you might enjoy this. The music is great and it has one of the best opening credit sequences I've ever seen. Amytha described the film as a cross between Donnie Darco and Welcome to the Dollhouse, neither of which I've seen yet.
Oh, and if you do go, remember not to leave until all the credits are over because there's a whole extra scene afterwards. Apparently we were the only people who didn't know about it, because we stood up after all the credits were over and no one else was moving.
More songs about libraries! (via the always cool Lady Crumpet) I also saw some other lists here and parody lyrics here. I think I may need to add Green Day's At the Library and Toni Amos' Tales from a Librarian (though I may need to go buy the album because the insert has all the songs classified by Dewey and Library Journal reported back in January that she "dons sexy librarianesque gear on the cover."
I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to wear it, but this is my favorite of the voter-related shirts I've seen so far. Ilona is modelling it here in our newly opened Urban Outfitters at Santana Row after we had a last-chance-before-Ilona-gets-married-tomorrow lunch with Emy.
I missed all the coverage of today's convention, but luckily caught up on c-span later. Here are a few shots of Kerry's big speech. What did you all think of it?
Time again for our quarterly all-volunteer communication meeting at The Tech. Today we mostly talked about the upcoming ASTC conference (still trying to recruit volunteers if anyone is interested...). This is Bob Grimm, Tech co-founder and a very active board member, telling us a bit about the history of ASTC and how cool the conference is going to be. Then we broke into small groups and gave volunteers a chance to give feedback to Peter, Meredith and the rest of the senior management. I hope people felt that it was a good meeting! It was hard to get them to stop talking, which seemed like a good sign!
And Dan Gillmor asks, "If I write about coverage of the coverage of the bloggers' reporting at the Democratic National Convention, is that meta-meta-meta journalism?" Meanwhile, I'm blogging the coverage of the coverage of the coverage of the bloggers? Ack.
Just finished How I Fell in Love with a Librarian and Lived to Tell About it by Rhett Ellis, a very quick (101 page) read about "a shy preacher whose life takes an exciting turn when a beautiful but disturbed librarian arrives in his small town." I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the portrayal of the crazy librarian, but the campaign to save the library is fun to read and the main character is endearing. I think I'll pass it along to Amytha next.
Umm... Brian... if you're reading this... I'd really LOVE to have one of these pins (as seen in librarian.net's photos) So if you happen to have any extras lying around there... Pretty please?
If not, can you at least take some clear photos of you wearing them? Thanks!!!
Hmmm... maybe I'll make myself a t-shirt that says "My brother blogged the Democratic convention and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" :) I'd like to add for the record that I'm enormously proud of my brother (and only a tad jealous...)
Watched convention coverage tonight with Alan and Margaret down in Santa Cruz, so not many screen shots tonight. The highlight for me was seeing my friend Donald Dunn, now state chair of Utah, annouce his state's delegate count during roll-call. Roll-call is always my favorite part of the convention -- I love hearing how the states introduce themselves! I totally forgot that Donald would be the likely choice for UT and almost left after New York! I'm so glad I stayed to the end -- plus I had a wonderful time and a delicious dinner with Alan and Margaret. And it is MUCH more fun to watch with other people and cheer along!
More coverage of Brian at the convention. He showed up in Westport Now again in an article about how the blog doesn't quite fit the mould of the other bloggers. Gordon writes:
All the media attention on convention bloggers is no doubt satisfying to Westport's Brian Reich, co-director of Internet Services for the Democrats and one of the people in charge of making sure their needs are met.
But it's also meant a lot of 19 and 20 hours days getting things ready. Monday's opening day was especially trying for Reich, son of Westport Representative Town Meeting member Ann Sheffer.
When bloggers finally made their way to their assigned seats way up in the upper reaches of the Fleet Center, they found not enough tables and power outlets for their laptops and an Internet Wi-Fi connection that came and went Ė mostly went.
Reich was on the case, however, and by Tuesday's session bloggers said the situation was much improved. And Reich was much relieved.
At long last we come to the end of the series of 4th-6th grade Middle Ages historical fiction. And a fitting end, for after all those tales of the open road and pilgrimages and minstrels, this time we find ourselves under seige in a castle.
Goodman, Joan Elizabeth. The Winter Hare. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston: 1996. 255 pages. ISBN: 0395785693.
Twelve-year-old Will Belet, known to most as "Rabbit" wants more than anything to grow up to be a noble knight. Sent to serve in his uncle, the Earl of Oxford, as a page, Will soon realizes that things are much more complicated than he thought. The story unfolds in 1140, with England divided between the supporters of King Stephen of Blois (reigning king/usurper) and those of the Empress Matilda (daughter of King Henry, widow of Prince William), and Will gets caught up in the battles, sieges, intrigues and adventures. The book is filled with much of the same wonderful detail we've seen in the other books about life in the middle ages, castles, healing, monasteries, the role of women and peasants, etc.
As the Booklist review says, "A good book to recommend to those who loved Marguerite De Angeli's A Door in the Wall (1989) or Elizabeth J. Gray's Adam of the Road (1942)."
And now on to developing library programming around all these books!
Carrie was on the BIG screen at the convention as part of the satellite feed from a farm in Iowa! Here are some screen shots :) Go Carrie!
She's sitting at the table on the far back right corner. It's much easier to see on TV than on the webcast, but its definitely her! How cool is that!
(oh, and then the first lady of IA spoke)
Let's see what we have tonight...
Plus, after Dean's speech you can send a thank you to Dean for all he's done for the party. As they're fundraising email explains, "Democrats in Boston and across the country are fired up to get out there and win this election. We know what we want -- and we will fight for it. And Howard Dean helped us get here."
Kids for Kerry
Representatives from Kids for Kerry, Boston chapter
Nubia Smith Whitaker, age 12, will speak on their behalf
Actor, "The O.C."
City Youth Dance Ensemble
Tribute to Fannie Lou Hamer
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
†The Honorable Bennie Thompson
†U.S. House of Representatives, Mississippi
†Dr. Maya Angelou
†Poet and Activist
†Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Members
†Freedom Singers: "This Little Light of Mine"
The Honorable Mike Honda
U.S. House of Representatives, California
The Reverend Dr. James Forbes
Senior Minister, Riverside Church, New York, New York
Gavel to Order
The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen
Former Governor of New Hampshire
National Anthem via satellite from the Tohono O'odham Nation, Arizona
Michael Enis and Alicia Chiles
The anthem will be sung in the traditional Tohono O'odham language
The Honorable Edward Kennedy
United States Senator, Massachusetts
Honorary Chair, Democratic National Committee
Satellite feed from Chicago, Illinois
The Honorable Richard Gephardt
U.S. House of Representatives, Missouri
The Honorable Tom Daschle
United States Senate, South Dakota
Satellite feed from Des Moines, Iowa
The Honorable Carol Mosley-Braun
Former United States Senator, Illinois†
9:00 pm† The Honorable Howard Dean
Former Governor of Vermont
Satellite from the Tohono O'odham Nation, Arizona
First Lady of Iowa
The Honorable Janet Napolitano
Governor of Arizona
The Honorable Richard Durbin
United States Senator, Illinois
Candidate for the United States Senate, Illinois
Satellite feed from Chicago, Illinois
The Honorable Jim Langevin
U.S. House of Representatives, Rhode Island
Kids for Kerry Founder Ilana Wexler
Performance by Children's Voices of Greater Boston
Teresa Heinz Kerry
The Seattle PI reports that Brian got invited to blog at the GOP convention! It says, "Brian Reich, a former aide to Democrat Al Gore, disclosed in an e-mail to The Associated Press, that he, too, got an invite." hmmm.... His site is non-partisan and all...
Here's one more on Brian that I missed earlier in the week (perhaps because they spell his name wrong?)
How Blogging will work at the convention by Jonathan Dube at Cyberjournalist:
Chris Casey and Brian Reich, the Director and Deputy Director of Internet Services for the Democratic News Service respectively, will be coordinating the interaction between bloggers and others at the Democratic Convention. Riech [sic] shared some insights into how this process will work with CyberJournalist.net.
And we're back to the Middle Ages again... This time for Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (Illustrated by Robert Lawson), The Viking Press, New York: 1942, 317 pages, ISBN: 0670104353, which won the Newbery Award in 1943.
The book tells the adventures of eleven-year-old Adam Quartermayne, son of Roger the famous minstrel, as he travels the open roads of thirteenth-century England searching for his missing father and his stolen red spaniel, Nick. It ties in wonderfully with the other middle ages books I've been reading, touching on many of the same themes and adding more detail and engaging stories to life on the road and in the villages and castles during that time.
One reviewer writes, "In one boy's travels between June and April, this story delivers a rich and varied picture of life in medieval England, from its seedy inns to its gracious courts, from pious church people to the crude and crooked, from bustling fairs to desolate roads, from cloistered academies to the plowman's team. Every season, and many picturesque settings, passes into view at an interesting and, indeed, pivotal period of English history. Yet at the same time, the book warmly and faithfully focuses on the warm heart and fierce devotion of its charming, determined young hero." (Robbie Fischer)
Searching around for the book online, it is clear that it is used in many classrooms and libraries around the country. There are many teacher guides and activities associated with the book, and it is often compared to Crispin.
Just one more Middle Ages book to go for this assignment...
Here's some more on Brian...
On Westport Now, Gordon reports, "Westporter Brian Reich, 26, is playing an important role at the Democratic national convention in Boston this week. Reich, son of Representative Town Meeting member Ann Sheffer, is co-director of Internet Services for convention organizers. This means he has charge of Internet bloggers at the convention. He is shown conferring tonight with blogger Jessamyn West of Bethel, Vt.whose blog is Librarian.net. Reich is also covering the convention for his blog, Campaign Web Review."
Check out the awesome photo of Brian with Jessamyn West, one of my favorite bloggers!!
I'll post some photos once Mom gets home and sends them along, but thought I'd at least capture of few images from the coverage.
Here's what we have tonight:
Chairman, Democratic National Committee
Gavel to Order
The Honorable Bill Richardson
Governor of New Mexico
Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention
National Anthem - Bebe Winans
The Honorable Al Gore
Former Vice President of the United States
Satellite Feed from Canton, Ohio
Salute to Women Senators
The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
United States Senate, Maryland
Satellite Feed from Little Rock, Arkansas
9:00 pm to 11:00 p.m.
9:00 pm†† The Honorable Jimmy Carter
Former President of the United States
Satellite Feed from Los Angeles, California
The Honorable Stephanie Tubbs Jones
U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio
The Honorable Tammy Baldwin
U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin
Satellite Feed from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Honorable Robert Menendez
U.S. House of Representatives, New Jersey
Remembrance of 9/11
The Reverend David Alston
Columbia, South Carolina
Vietnam Swiftboat Crewmate of John Kerry
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate, New York
The Honorable Bill Clinton
Former President of the United States
Continuing to collect Brian's press clips... here he is in MediaDailyNews, "Convention Coverage Could Boost Blog Traffic, Ad Rates, and Awareness" By Kate Kaye
Blogs could pick up the slack, albeit in a manner unlike that of mainstream news outlets. Although he acknowledges that people privately have worried about the lack of blog filters, Brian Reich, editor of Campaign Web Review, and the director of Boston Operations for Mindshare Interactive Campaigns opined, "It's time for some new voices." Reich will be distributing convention Web video content and organizing chats with congress people on behalf of the democratic convention.
Now Brian's in the Wall Street Journal!
Its an article that introduces each of the bloggers covering the covention. B's says:
Brian Reich, 26, strategic consultant and director of Boston operations for Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, Cambridge, Mass. Campaign Web Review. Describe your blog. CWR examines the use of the Internet in politics. How do you plan to cover the convention? What kind of content can readers expect? I'm going to look at how the candidates, the party, organizations, and media use the Internet in relation to the convention -- what they write about, what initiatives they launch, what special coverage they give. Why should people read your coverage? CWR is the only blog focused specifically on how candidates, campaigns and organizations, activists and the media are using the Web. What's the biggest gap in convention coverage by mainstream media in prior election years? Real behind-the-scenes coverage -- the personalities of the volunteers that make the show happen, the speechwriters, the drivers, the pages, etc. Moment/speaker/event you're most looking forward to covering. I'm going to cover those who participate in activities online. I'd like to see Kerry and Edwards participate in an online chat the day of their speech, but I'm not holding my breath. Whom do you plan to vote for in November? CWR is nonpartisan (hopefully). I am a Democrat and I will vote for Senator Kerry in November.
and it even has a picture of him from his wedding :)
And for those of you interested, check out how conventionbloggers.com is aggregating all the feeds from all the official bloggers onto their site. Very cool!
A busy day at the children's reference desk in Milpitas! Here are a few of the questions I got (I couldn't keep track of them all since it was so busy at times). Plus I got to weed picture books during free moments which was fun (since I got to flip through tons of fun ones checking for damage).
Tons of people dropped off their summer reading club forms (almost 1000 kids signed up!)
Sarah Plain and Tall
Boyscount merit badge manuals
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Witch of Blackbird Pong
A Find, find School
Chirsmas in Camelot
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (only 2&3 were in)
Yellowstone national park
Tom & Jerry movies
Secret Life of Bees
Mornings on Horseback
5th grade math
Story of Dr. Doolittle
The New Kid
books with fingerplays
Box Car Children
plus I read The Library Dragon while picking books to display which is a great story about a children's librarian/dragon :)
And the convention blogging is getting underway!
Here, Gordon blogs about Brian, Mom & Bill being at the convention. (yes, the blogosphere is a bit of an echo chamber...)
To all my family members who are at the convention and may be reading this: Feel free to collect cool pins and things for me while you are there. [hint hint] (Oh, and if you could collect some for Carrie too, that'd be nice) And send lots of photos of you all with cool political and famous folks. Thanks!!
To any local folks, if any one wants to come over and watch prime time convention coverage this week, lemme know... [hmm... I think I'm going to have to go make more political friends out here...]
After grabbing a quick dinner with Amytha, I met up with Rika at the SJ Museum of Art for the opening of their new exhibit, Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens. The exhibit is great and I'll definitely want to go back when there aren't so many people, but it was fun to see the energy of a big opening night party. Lots of young, very hip folks, and great food!
My favorite piece was an installation of a work by Walter Robinson that was a wall covered with giant versions of those cool animal crackers that are frosted in pink and white with the sprinkles? You kind of have to see it to believe it...
There's also a cool new room filled with The Art of Zines, and I definitely want to take some time to sit and read some of them next time.
Here's a selection of some of the questions I got today on the reference desk. I went back and forth all day between the adult and children's reference desks (switching every hour).
Starting downstairs on the adult desk...
3 people wanted Morningstar
1 person wanted to use the manual typewriter (it is pretty cool that we have one people can use)
Restarted one crashed computer
Spanish verbs and English-Spanish dictionaries
Bob (who I knew from my Dean days) gave me a Kerry bumper sticker and pin
Resume formatting tips
Satanic Verses (had to send him upstairs to fiction)
A patron actually said to me: "You are really beautiful - are you a librarian?" Which kinda made my day but was quite strange...
Someone asked about their PIN for the self-checkout machine and I realized that people don't know that its one's personal identifier number and I started wondering when we took it for granted that everyone knew what a "pin" was
The self-checkout machine then crashed, which confused that same patron even more (I tried to reassure her that she hadn't done anything wrong)
....Then upstairs on J:
An adult came looking for Roald Dahl's "The Twits" and explained that he had been bad at work and his coworkers were making him read it
Left Behind Series on tape - End of the world/Book of Revelation Christian fiction books
Some kid was singing a few bars of Yankee Doodle over and over and over again in the stacks
I proof-read someone's paper on the McDonaldization of America (which I probably wasn't supposed to do, but she asked so nicely)
Isaac B. Singer
Made more copies of the "At the Zoo" coloring sheets
Phonics video tapes
Request for War & Rememberence
... and downstairs
One hundred Years of Solitude (put on hold at Saratoga for patron)
Asked my opinion on a letter with some very strange wording
Directions to 2 California Casinos and a press release from a pharmaceutical company
Pay fine? (sent them upstairs to circ)
Who's Who in America
... and up...
A guy lost a book and was asking if he could donate other books of his instead to make up for it
Checked hours of all the local libraries for a guy who really wanted some place that would be open until midnight
I asked a kid not to eat his book and felt guilty that I was a bad children's librarian (but he was gnawing on it!)
When We Were Young and Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
Wanted an A.A. Milne poem that started "James James Morrison Morrison" so I found it online and printed it out for her (since the collections that seemed to include it were all checked out)
Made more copies of coloring sheets
Mind you p's and q's
.... Back downstairs
Bunches of movies, none of which were in
Chess Life Magazine (we don't have, but Los Altos does)
Campbell AA Meetings
Jobs at the library?
Martinex CA Area Code
Lost sun glasses, claimed sun glasses
and that was pretty much my whole day! More tomorrow!
Ok, took a quick break from the Middle Ages to read Emily's Reasons Why Not by Carrie Gerlach, a fun, guilty-pleasure chick-lit book that Mom had sent. I admit it feels somewhat narcissistic to read books where the title character shares your name (though on a related note, the head of Technorati mentioned at BlogOn that it makes good business sense to base a business on one of the seven sins -- his was vanity since his site lets you find out who in the blogosphere is talking about you) This Emily is a 30/31-year old PR pro in LA who, after a string of unsuccessful boyfriends (including her boss's boss's boss and a professional baseball player) starts to see a therapist to talk about life and love. He has her create lists of reasons why each of these guys were bad news for her. She has wonderful supportive girl friends (who she calls on to support her through these messes) and a lovable dog to keep her company.
Saw this quiz on Lady Crumpet's blog and couldn't resist, since I absolutely adore Alice in Wonderland and have always identified with Alice (too small, too big). I even got to play Alice #6 in the third grade play (there were different Alice's for each time she changed size -- I got to play her in the garden after the Queen has ordered the roses painted red and in other scenes that I no longer remember) And for the 6th grade math fair (don't ask), I even went as Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and showed off some of the cool math in Alice. So anyway, here were my quiz results (even though the questions aren't all that great)
You are Alice
The heroine of the Wonderland tales, you are filled
with curiosity and random inquiry.
What Alice in Wonderland Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Speaking of blogging, check out this 24 hour blog-a-thon for charity!
project-blog 2004 :: because we care
If I didn't have to go work today, I would totally have signed up to blog every half hour all day long for a charity! So instead, everyone go and read Knitflix -- and help her raise some money for the American Cancer Society (I just went and pledged -- its easy, just goto the project blog site, create an account and they'll show you a list of all the bloggers and the charities they are blogging for) Way to go Janice!
Here I am visiting in Barbara and Richard in Piedmont tonight after the conference. Richard made an incredible Moroccan chicken dinner (and they even sent me home with left overs for tomorrow's dinner!). I'm afraid I did talk their ears off about blogging (all that pent up energy from not networking enough at the conference), and convinced Richard to set up his new digital camera and take a photo of the three of us so I could show them how easy it was to blog it!
Ok, so I've been blogging all day about Dan Gillmor from the SJ Merc who was one of the people I was most excited about seeing. I was sitting outside at break catching up on my bloglines feeds and saw that Mr. Gillmor had posted that they were selling his book in the exhibit hall area and that he had signed a few. Well I went and bought one and was complaining that he had already left and I had missed my chance. I went outside to blog about buying the book (to see if I left a comment on his site I'd get a "virtual signature" of some sort) and a guy who had overheard me complaining, Bill Paseman, came out and let me know that Mr. Gillmor was still inside. So I ran in, and he signed my book: "from one blogger to another." My day has definitely be made. Yay!
Now on to the closing panel.
Well now its lunch time here at the conference and its a LONG lunch to allow lots of the great hallway conferences that everyone loves at these things.
One of the panelists this morning told a story about how he had been at a dinner meeting recently with a bunch of people and realized that he felt oddly uncomfortable. He realized that he would rather have been on a conference call with them so that he could use his social networking tools while he spoke to them -- so he could find out what clients they had in common, what their goals for the quarter were, things like that. Meeting with them in real life was so much slower -- he had to tease out all that information bit by bit. We all acknowledged that that was really scary, but I totally know how he feels.
For someone who is so interested in social networking, I really wish I was better at the actual fact to face netwroking part of all of this.
But I did go and introduce myself just now to Craig of Craig's List (and, yes, I told him I was a fan, which is probably not the best way to start a real conversation). After all, I learned about our Sunday knitting group on Craig's List and through there met quite a few people who now I consider good friends (a couple of whom may even be reading this!)
Anyway, back to trying to meet new people I guess (though its nice to sit off on the side and blog... the sun's come out, lunch was good, and there's 15 minutes more until the next panels...)
Someone brought their dog, so I should have a cute picture to post later. He's even wearing a conference name tag, though I don't think you can tell in the picture since he's sitting at the table...
Here are my notes from the morning session of the BlogOn Conference. They're just meant as little reminders to me for people and things to look up. I'll edit it when I get home to include more links and things
GroupWire Group is putting on the conference
they call themselves a "social media company" and define social media as "media as a contact sport", talked about participatory publishing
Moderator: Ross Mayfield, Social Text
business has always been about relationships, and now we're "building a business about relationships"
enhancing social capital
"what they share is what makes us care"
Reid Hoffman, Linked In (he was formerly of PayPal), evolution of brands and trust, blogs as "democratization of voices", companies need to be scanning for what people are saying about them on blogs
Michael Sikillian, Lykos, camera phones/digital camerals + "need to share"
Dan Gillmore, camphones in Asia are old news (now they have 3 megapix ones!), OhMyNews Korean newspaper written by readers having tremendous impact there
Jim Spohrer, IBM, business value of using htese tools inside of the firm, tapping into firm's collective IQ
James Currier, Tickle, Inc. "making media out of people", taking the unstructured data of the web - figuring out best ways to structure it to be more useful to people
David Hornik, August Capital, blah blah blah quote?
will google combine orkut and blogger?
IBM webfountain - wwfql
emerging problems in business
emerging capabilities and technologies
Mary Hodder, Technorati
Chris Kelly, Spoke, Chief Privacy Officer (prev. at Excit @ Home)
Wendy Seltzer, EFF, Intellectual Property Attorney
check out Chilling Effects Clearning House, keeps track of cease and desist letters re: intellectual property
Danah Boyd, Berkeley SIMS PhD student, studying how people construct self in social media, (how cool is that??) (interesting that she's in all lowercase in directory and on the slides)
what are the consequences
AIBO hacks by Aibo Pet
Radio Free Blogistan (guy in front of me)
how should corporations contend with social media?
LP: "watch and learn", free market research, understand the people impacted by you, lose control of timing of when news is released
look up: Ronald Burt, social holes, bridges, connectors
take info from one world into another, intermixing knowledge and thought
I'm off to the BlogOn 2004 conference today in Berkeley!
I'm really excited. The speakers include a lot of people whose blogs I read regularly like Dan Gillmor, SJ Mercury News, plus cool icons of the field like Craig from Craig's List!
The topics include:
Defining Social Media: What is social media and what is the market opportunity?
The Dark Side of Social Media:
While social media offers great opportunities, barriers present real business risks.
Business Models & Business Impact:
How will social media generate new businesses and how will they impact old line businesses?
The Business of Blogging and Social Media:
Join an open conversation on the issues, opportunities and challenges bloggers and other social media makers face.
Hopefully I'll pick up some ideas for our own Online Social Networks 2004 (online) Conference coming in October.
UPDATE, 8:10am: Ok, here I am at the conference! There's great wifi access through the biz school so we're sitting outside with a nice breakfast and almost everyone has a laptop (we are all bloggers, after all). The general session starts at 8:30 inside. I'm at a table with a guy with a Think Pad with an apple logo taped onto the front of it (which for some reason just really amused me). I should probably go in and find a seat or something but its nice and cool out here in the Berkeley fog.
In an effort to catch up on my librarian movies, I'm having Tivo autorecord anything with the keyword librarian. Today, it found The Pagemaster (1994), a mostly animated film with Macaulay Culkin, Christopher Lloyd (as the librarian!), Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart and others. In the movie, Macaulay Culkin plays a boy who is absolutely afraid of everything. According to the description, "While in an old library, he is mystically transported into the unknown world of books, and he has to try and get home again. Along the way he meets some interesting characters, like Fantasy, Adventure, and Horror." And of course, through reading, he finds he can actually face his fears and start living his life.
"Welcome to the library young man. Don't tell me... you're here for a special book.... Allow me to guess. I have a talent for guessing what people need. You're in need of.... a fantasy! Brave knights, mythical fairies, ferocious dragons..."
"Look, all I want..."
"Adventure! Of course! You're a boy who loves adventure! Brimming with wicked demons, cut-throat pirates..."
"No, no,that's not it..."
"Horror! Ah, horror! Evil demons, wretched monsters... haunted houses... graveyards... yes, it's horror for you boy, I'm sure of it. Your library card please."
"I don't have one"
"You do now... sign here... Richard Tyler, consider this your passport to the wonderful quite unpredictable world of books!"
I definitely remember seeing it before, but its a fun escape (rather like The Neverending Story or Alice and Wonderland. And a bit of The Wizard of Oz -- "Are you fiction or nonfiction?" (why I'm not a book at all)
"And remember this! When in doubt, look to the books!" :)
Today's entry in the middle ages series is Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi. People are always mentioning Avi but I had never actually read any of his books so I thought it was about time.
Crispin is a thirteen year old orphan in fourteenth century medieval England who is falsely accused of robbery and murder by the abusive steward John Aycliffe who ruled over the peasants in the village. He manages to escape and leaves his village for the first time in his life. "On the run, with nothing to sustain him but his faith in God, Crispin meets 'Bear,' a roving entertainer who has ties to an underground movement to improve living conditions for the common people. They make their way to Great Wexley, where Bear has clandestine meetings and Crispin hopes to escape from Aycliffe and his soldiers, who stalk him at every turn." (School Library Journal)
As one Amazon review explained, "Providing plenty of period detail (appropriately gratuitous for the age group) and plenty of chase-scene suspense, Avi tells a good story, develops a couple of fairly compelling characters, and even manages to teach a little history lesson. (Fortunately, kids won't realize that they're learning about England's peasant revolt of 1381 until it's far too late.)" (Paul Hughes)
The book was a 2003 Newbery Award Winner and New York Times Best-seller.
And yes, I'm tired of the Middle Ages already, but this was a good read.
Hmmm... maybe I should go for a long sleeve t-shirt since they're reporting a case of West Nile here in San Jose...
I'm on a quest for a decent political t-shirt to wear doing voter reg and stuff in the coming weeks. There are a bunch of options at cafe press, but I haven't seen any I can't live without. I'm tempted by democratic underground's Pro Choice/Pro Kerry one or maybe the Put the smart guy in charge one? I wish I could have been a Dean delegate for Kerry.
I was hoping for a blogger-related tshirt maybe? If you guys see any at the convention, lemme know...
(Though the computer ate my vote ones are also kinda fun, but maybe not the right message for encouraging people to vote...)
As many of you know, I have this long-running fantasy of finding a way to sell some of the amazing crafts the people I know are making (and I've always had a dream of running a book store, so this is just slighly off of that). BobbiLynn and I set up an online storefront to sell some of her amazing creations (visit us at http://www.justbewhimsical.com/catalog, though we haven't officially launched yet) and periodically I entertain dreams of having an actual storefront where, in addition to selling everyone's crafts, we could have work space where people could come and craft together and use our tools (sewing machines like this cool place in SF, glue guns, paints, powertools, whatever) and we could have workshops and classes and birthday parties... a place to make all sorts of different crafts (altered books, cards, book arts, anything anyone wanted to make)
So anyway, this morning I went to the California Board of Equalization's free seminar on sales and use tax downtown at the San Jose District Office of the BOE. It turned out to be much more interesting than I expected and I learned quite a bit about: Preparing a sales and use tax return, Supporting and reporting exempt sales, Using a resale certificates, Determining what is taxable and non-taxable labor and Maintaining adequate records. There were over forty people there (much more than they expected apparently because they kept running out of handouts).
I learned that pamphlet #71 lists all the rates for the different cities and counties in California (and that a bunch of the rates just changed on 7/1) and interesting factoids like alcohol and carbinated beverages are always taxable (pamphlet #22) and that one should purchase your packaging materials for resale (and not pay sales tax on them). There are a million really crazy rules governing every aspect of sales, and extensive records to be kept on every step.
Next step is to get a California Seller's Permit... and we'll see where it goes from there!
Oh, and feministing.com has some more poll data on young women and the elections from a Lifetime Television/Rock the Vote poll.
among the results:
-- Vast Majority of Women Said Neither President Bush Nor Senator Kerry Understands Women Like Them Very Well; Yet Women Believe Senator Kerry Knows Better than President Bush
-- Additional Results Show Importance of Empowering Young Women, Including Findings that More than Twice as Many Men than Women Were Told to Run for Office By Parents or Teachers and that Nearly Twenty Percent of Young Women Believe There Will Never Be a Woman President --
- Approximately three quarters of women 18-34 (78%) and undecided women (82%) do not believe the country is heading in the right direction on the issue of health care and insurance coverage. In addition, approximately two-thirds (65%) of women 18-34 do not have positive feelings about the direction of the country in the areas of jobs and the economy, quality of education, the environment and the policies on the war in Iraq.
I'm not sure why they asked questions like whether Bush or Kerry would be more likely to go to a concert with their daughters.
"Young women have the potential to change the course of American politics this year," said Young Women's Leadership Conference '04 Executive Committee Member and former Appointee to President Clinton's White House Women's Office, Robin Leeds. "There is too much at stake for women and standing on the sidelines of democracy is not an option."
Happy birthday today to Maria Coplit who I've been friends with since 6th grade and who was one of the "spoons" with Katy, Stephanie and me in high school. This photo is from the night before Katy's wedding.
... and while poking around for mentions of Maria (she's not terribly google-able... though may be once this page gets indexed [grin]), I found this discussion on Evan's SHS alumni site that's discussing places now defunct in Westport. I remember years ago an article in the paper (possibly by Dan Woog?) talked about how everyone still gives directions based on landmarks long gone -- this is especially a problem if one's parents grew up in town and still talk about the burger place they used to head to back when school had an open campus policy (of course now I'm completely blanking on the name, despite hearing a million stories of it -- Mom?) I know I still think of the corner on Main Street as where the Remarkable used to be, and the old library will always be remembered as that, despite what stores are there now.
Anyway, happy birthday to Maria!
#3 in my middle ages series was much shorter, and was a Newbury Award Winner from 1950. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli (Doubleday, New York: 1949, $16.95, 121 pages, ISBN 038507283X) follows the story of ten year old Robin, son of Sir John de Bureford. His father is off at war serving the king, his mother is off attending the Queen, and right before he is due to go off to serve as a page in another castle, Robin falls ill and can no longer use his legs. He is rescued from his home (since all the other staff of the castle seem to have died of the plague) by Brother Luke and taken to the monk's hospice. There he is cared for and educated -- he learns to read and write, to carve wood, and regains his strength. A letter from his father arrives and Robin, Brother Luke and John-go-in-the-Wynd (a minstrel) head off to the castle Lindsay where he will fulfill his duties as a page and await his father's return from war.
The title comes from a bit of wisdom Brother Luke teaches Robin, that one only has to follow a "wall far enough and there will be a door in it." (16) As the School Library Journal review sums it up, "This Newbery Medal winning story, set in medieval times, is about a boy who learns his own strength when he saves the castle and discovers there is more than one way to serve his king." The story is told from Robin's perspective and uses language that feels much more old-fashioned and appropriate to the times than The Ramsay Scallop (though that may make it harder for kids to read through).
One reviewer on Amazon noted that, "The setting is romanticized. There is nothing about the disgusting sounds, smells, habits, and parasites of the Middle Ages. If I had not read Cushman's "Catherine Called Birdy" (another good book) first, I would have thought that Medieval England was clean, pretty, quaint--and only a little muddy when it rained." (†"kaia_espina") Instead of bogging us down in Robin's hardships, it feels like a book that would be inspiring -- one can overcome limitations, can meet wonderful people who help you, and can find the door even when your life feels walled-in. While the book may not be for everyone, it seems a nice alternative to some of the summer reading we were discussing the other day.
An update on my brother Brian (since I've taken it upon myself to blog his news :)). I found out that his official title for the upcoming convention is Co-director of the Internet division of the Democratic News Service. Is that cool or what? He sent the following blurb:
The DNS is a full-featured media facility created to help connect elected officials and candidates with voters across the country via television, radio and the Internet. Located in the Fleet Center, the DNS Internet team is available to assist bloggers who are interested in arranging interviews and guest blogging opportunities.
I've been reading librarian.net's convention blog and can't wait to see what everyone posts during the convention. (yes, some pangs that I'm not going this time -- 1992 and 1996 were amazing to work at, but, alas, I'll be watching this year's from here)
Middle Ages Historical Fiction for 4th-6th graders, #2: The Ramsay Scallop by Frances Temple (Orchard Books, New York: 1994, 310 pages, $15.30, ISBN: 0531086860)
It is 1299, and fourteen year old Elenor of Ramsay is supposed to be marrying Thomas of Thornham, who has recently returned from 8 years of crusading. Neither are thrilled at the idea -- they barely know and don't exactly like each other! Father Gregory, the village priest, sends the two of them off on a long pilgrimage from England, through France to the shrine of St. James in Spain to atone for the sins of the entire village. Along the way, they learn about themselves, each other and the world around them. They meet new friends, overcome hardships, and hear great stories and songs.
Its a long slow tale at the pace of pilgrims walking and walking, with an abrupt jolt at the end that's a bit unsettling. But its a very interesting slice of medieval Europe told in an approachable, modern-sounding way. The characters are interesting (the perpective switching among them) and the stories are lively, the religion a bit overwhelming at times, but perfectly appropriate to the time and place. I can't imagine having the interest or patience to have read it as a 4th grader, but I can see how it could appeal to others.
when I was just a baby, before I could speak
I would line up all my letter blocks alphabetically
and now itís my vocation and my passion to assign
every decimal-numbered shelf to every decimal-numbered spine
Iím a librarian, Iím a librarian
and I like it quiet so the pages can be heard
Iím a librarian, Iím a librarian
and I do it for the love of the word
I bring order out of chaos, I shine light into the dark
because power comes from knowledge just like fire from a spark
and like Gutenberg and Luther with press and pen in hand
I take the message to the masses in a form they understand
Iím a librarian, Iím a librarian
and I like it quiet so the pages can be heard
Iím a librarian, Iím a librarian
and I do it for the love of the word
and when the day is over I go home at 5:03
and I give thanks to God and then to Andrew Carnegie
and the U.S. Constitution and Orwell, Poe, and Twain
and Iíll return at 8AM to open up again
Iím a librarian, Iím a librarian
and I like it quiet so the pages can be heard
Iím a librarian, Iím a librarian
and I do it for the love of the word
Everyone seems to be off and about right now ... Mom and Bill and Lisa are all up in the Vineyard, Betty's still at camp, Eduard's at Brown for a summer program on digital music that sounds super cool, Carrie is somewhere between Pennsylvania (where she was when I called her this morning) and Iowa (where I think she's due on Wednesday), Emy was off at her convention in Orlando (but is back!). Even the people in the book I'm reading now, The Ramsay Scallop, are off on a pilgrimage. And I'm just here feeling behind on everything and unable to even think of anything much to blog. Sigh. Have to get myself back on track...
An op-ed in today's Times, Summer Reading List Blues by Barbara Feinberg looks at the harsh realistic fiction being required of kids on summer reading lists.
They tend not to be about children having adventures or fighting foes in slightly enchanted realms, as the young characters do in, say, "A Wrinkle in Time," the 1962 classic by Madeleine L'Engle. Instead, they depict children who must "come to terms," "cope with" and "work through" harsh realties. Where characters in my books lollygagged in meadows, as it were, the children in these books are trying to hack their way out of cellars.
I completely agree with her comments -- I'd take Harry Potter over the "problem novels" that they're being forced to read. Which, of course, is why I picked sci-fi intead of realistic fiction for my genre fiction selections for class...
Amytha and I saw A Cinderella Story (the new Hilary Duff movie) tonight - a very enjoyable high school bubble-gum flick. I felt really old when I realized I had lived through at least three generations of high school flicks (letsee... I was in high school during movies like Say Anything (1989)) and that in the previews, I thought the teachers were cute (John Corbett's in Hilary Duff's next flick, Raise Your Voice). But you can't help rooting for Duff (especially when her dream is to go to Princeton -- because that's where her dad told her that princesses and princes go... right before he dies in the Northridge earthquake)
We were discussing movies on the way home and realized I had never seen Party Girl with Parker Posey (who I love) and so it seems that I need to catch up on lots of movies with librarians in them!
Saw this new design show listed in the tv listings and thought I'd give it a try, but the pace seems pretty slow so far. Its called Find & Design and it bills itself as "part treasure hunt, part decorating show." The concept is that "experts help real people re-decorate a room using only items from yard sales and flea markets" so its kind of a combination of a bunch of the different shows already out there. I love tag sales -- I just never seem to be able to get myself out early enough on Saturday mornings (or already have something else planned then) and really I already have way to much "stuff" and no where really to put it... The best part of this episode was the pillows made out of vintage hawaiian shirts (another argument for getting a sewing machine one day...)
Just finished Joe Trippi's amazing new book, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Regan Books, 2004) I highly recommend it to any of you interested in how the internet is reshaping politics (and everything else in our lives). As you know, this has been my pet topic for years and years -- including being the topic of my college thesis back in 1997 (feminist activism and community on the net) and most of my professional experience (working on web sites like the ACLU's, Common Cause, NARAL, Feminist Majority Foundation, campaign and PAC sites with Brian, etc.) These days Brian's the big expert on the topic, but it still gets my pulse racing.
I loved the book -- it tells the story of how the Dean campaign tapped the power of blogs and meetups, etc. to give the supporters an unprecedented role in the campaign. It made me wish more than anything that I had packed up all my stuff and gone to sleep on the floor of the campaign office in Vermont and reminded me why the campaign was so appealing and how revolutionary the people I was meeting at those meetups really were. He draws heavily on work by Howard Rheingold (Virtual Community and Smart Mobs) and Robert Putnam (Bowling Alone) -- two of my all-time favorite theorists, and quotes Joi Ito a bunch (who I've known as "Joi Ito, world's coolest guy" since I met him with Lisa in Japan in 1989.)
Oh! And I almost forgot to point out that he went to San Jose State, so he's a local story here as well. And here's a photo of him that I took when Dean was here in San Jose at Zoe Lofgren's house for a fundraiser.
Tonight was our second annual Volunteer Potluck on the Roof! It was also a goodbye party for Rika, who is leaving us next Friday for new adventures (and grad school). It was a really nice event -- I still think that roof is one of the best venues I've seen for a party, and the weather was of course perfect. There was just a lot of positive energy and its the best I've felt about things at The Tech for a while. Everyone is definitely going to miss Rika -- she's done an amazing job!
Here's me and Rika and the card all the volunteers signed for her
I made turkey & brie, and ham & swiss sandwiches (since this year my part of the alphabet was assigned main dishes, and I had to go so early to help set up that I didn't want to make anything hot...) People brought all sorts of amazing things (including some very dangerous desserts!)
Tech President Peter Giles addressed the group and reminded us all that the volunteers are the heart-beat of the museum :)
I forgot to count how many people came, but I think it was a pretty good turnout.
I ended up taking 130 pictures! But I won't bore you with the rest (but will of course post them on our Tech Volunteers Online Community!)
Saw one of the new Imax movies playing at The Tech this morning (one of our volunteer perks are free preview showings of the new films) It was a double feature but I only stayed for the first, India: Kingtom of the Tiger. According to the description, the film "follow in the footsteps of Jim Corbett, the famed English hunter-naturalist, as he races to save an Indian village from the terror of a man-eating tiger." I wasn't blown away and wished I had held out for Forces of Nature which sounds more promising. I'll have to go to that another day.
Its crazy that for someone who never goes to concerts or listens to much music, I got to see two of my absolute favorite groups back to back! Tonight, BobbiLynn, Laura, Julia and I saw the Indigo Girls at Villa Montalvo, which is just right up the street from me (though I've never been up there before). It was an incredible venue (including crepes and good seats and the noise of crickets behind us) and the concert was of course utterly fantastic.
I just wish it wasn't SO close so we could have spent more time singing in the car!
We picked "box seats" up in the back against the hill under a little tent that The Indigo Girls said made them feel like they were at a polo match
It was a great spot for a concert, and the sun set over the trees making the sky all sorts of great colors during the concert
So yes, I did sneak one photo during the concert. Here they are with the opening guy, Shawn Mullins (he sings Lullaby), who joined in for a few of the songs
Thanks for coming everyone!
So Slate has a new Red or BlueóWhich Are You? quiz you can take online.
(seen on Alas, a Blog)
But the background noise where you live plays a big roleóthe local news, what your neighbors talk about, how you get from one place to another, the kinds of culinary and artistic options available, what I like to think of as the "cultural soundtrack" that you can hum automatically because it's always on. If you're a blue-stater, you might happen to have learned how often Rush Limbaugh is on the air, but if you're a red-stater, chances are you know it off the top of your head. That instinctual knowledge is what this quiz intends to judge, not how smart you are about the other side. And there are many people who are purpleóneither red nor blue, or both red and blue.
I ended up "Is it cold in here? You're a little blue." -- my own fault for living in the burbs I guess.
Speaking of blue vs. red, they've posted the 2004 Democratic Party Platform...
I'm honored to have been asked to fish-sit for my neighbors who are going away for the weekend. This is "whitey" and "orangey" :)
I was poking around for information on holograms for my sci-fi project and couldn't resist trying this out. Its from Beakman and Jax, and it makes your name into a cartouche* (seal with your name in hieroglyphics) using the Glyph-O-Matic Hiero-Tron (or something) Though if you go to other sites that offer make-your-own cartouche apps, it comes out a bit differently there. I suppose this is another reminder that I really should go visit San Jose's Egyptian Museum at some point (plus they have a planetarium!)
*I'm testing if linking to dictionary.com makes it word of the day again or if that was just a crazy coincidence last time....
In July and August, Group Jazz marks 10 years of Chautauqua and moves to it's new home, virtualchautauqua.com. The Summer Chautauqua Festival celebrates the experience of reading, writing, and discussing books. That means that YOU are the featured guests at the summer festival. The new Chautauqua Cafe is now open and serving hot and cold virtual beverages along with conversation. What are YOU reading this summer? †
July 15 - 31, 2004 - On Writing
Join the conversation on writing with Nancy Aronie. Nancy founded the Chilmark Writing Workshop on Martha's Vineyard in 1986 and is the author of Writing from the Heart. Try your hand at writing exercises throughout the month. †
August 15 - 31, 2004 - Children's literature
What memories do you have of reading in childhood? particular books? or, special memories of the experience of reading? †
Come join us for some interesting discussions! It's free -- just click on "Create a new account" under the login box on the left sidebar.
Before Carrie moves to Iowa, I thought I'd try to pull together a list of movies one could see to prepare themselves for the experience. Other suggestions are welcome. I found a bunch of these here.
FIELD OF DREAMS (1989)
Filmed in Dyersville, Iowa, based on the book by W.P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa.
DVD 791.43 Fie
The obvious one, especially for Carrie the baseball fan.
THE BIG ONE (1998)
Documentary by Michael Moore. In Iowa he visits workers upset by lack of doctors covered in their HMO but unionization wins the day by the end of the film.
VC 658.313 Moo
I haven't seen this one, but Michael Moore movies should be pretty easy to find these days.
BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (1995)
Film portrays short love affair between photographer and Iowa farm wife. Filming was done in Winterset, Iowa
VC 791.43 Bri
Madison County is also the birthplace of John Wayne. And there's a Covered Bridge Festival in October!!!
JOE'S APARTMENT (1996)
The plot is of a naive, uncool Iowan's adventures in New York City.
VC 791.43 Joe DVD 791.43 Joe
Just for the reverse irony of it. I didn't see it, but remember something about cockroaches on the ad...
THE MUSIC MAN (1962)
Based on the book by Meredith Wilson, it is a musical tribute to Wilson's hometown, Mason City, Iowa. There's a museum and stuff... but I wonder if you can go visit Marian's library?
VC 791.43 Mus DVD 791.43 Mus
This film is about an alien visiting Earth and includes opening scenes at a truck stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
DVD 791.43 Sta
Appropriate given that I've been reading about visitors from other planets
STATE FAIR (1946)
Based on a book by Iowa author, Phil Strong, this is a Rogers and Hammerstein musical version of the adventures of the fair-going Frake family.
VC 791.43 Sta
The Iowa State Fair, which is celebrating 150 years, is August 12-22 (I LOVE fairs! Amytha and I were just talking about going to the Santa Clara County Fair, August 6-8, if anyone is interested)
This blockbuster film was made in Iowa and looks like it, though the movie is set in Oklahoma.
VC 791.43 Twi DVD 791.43 Twi
Though that might scare her offf....
And, according to the Blonde Librarian's Iowa Page, Ashton Kutcher is from Iowa!
Ok, last sci fi one, really, since I have to turn in the assignment shortly.
Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl (Athenium, 1970, 275 pages, ISBN: 0613616197) feels like the perfect choice to end my series because it also ties in amazingly well with the folk tales I was reading (and even to the medieval books waiting in my pile). It is aimed at readers 12 and up, so technically doesn't fit in the scope of the project, but I loved reading it and thought it was amazing. In the book, three civilizations from different planets in widely varying stages of development clash in what could be either a mutually disastrous or beneficial encounter.
The folk tale part involves four sons of a woodcutter who set off on a quest to defeat the dragon that has been terrifying their village, hoping that they will be richly rewarded by the king. On their way, they meet an Enchantress from the stars who promises to help, requiring a series of trials and tests before granting magic tokens with which to combat the dragon. Sound familiar?
But we know that it is not an Enchantress at all, but Elana - a student from a much more advanced world, who had stowed-away on her father's mission to the planet Andrecia. The dragon is not a dragon at all, but a huge machine belonging to an Imperial Empire who plans to colonize the planet. These colonizers are more advanced than the Andrecia natives, but are a technological people who haven't yet advanced to the higher level like Elana's people who have control of telepathy and other powers. The mission is to pursuade the Imperial Empire to leave the planet and its people without revealing to them the existance of the more advanced civilization.
Sound complicated? It is, but it is wonderfully told through the eyes of Elana, Georyn (the woodcutter's youngest son), and Jarel a doctor in the service of the Imperial Empire who has doubts about what his people are doing. It raises lots of good issues about colonization and advancement of civilization (and what it means to be civilized) as well as ideas about magic and believing and love. As the inside flap says, "This unusual book fo science fiction asks questions that we ourselves much answer for our own times."
The book was also a Newbury Honor book in 1971.
Amytha has power tools!
So we made shadow boxes which we'll decorate later. It was tons of fun -- but I definitely need more practice. I couldn't even nail the sides without having to pull about half of my nails back out.
(and, yes, we still have all our fingers)
Warm, cozy, and thoughtful, you take your time and
enjoy how things feel, smell, and taste. You
love the craft and beauty of traditional
things, and you value the comfort and
experience of knitting as much as the results.
But while you are reveling in your warm cozies,
don't get stuck. Warm is wonderful, but so is
the whole wide world!
What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
The Tech posted the job opening for volunteer services manager -- it sounds to me like enough work for at least 2 positions (and there are other issues that those of you who work with me on Tech projects know about....)
My role is even mentioned in it:
In conjunction with the VAB chairperson [right now that's me!] and through the direction of the Director of Human Resources, oversees the progress of VAB Committees including training, high school mentoring, annual scholarships, volunteer events, field trips and specialized recruitment.
I just met this really nice woman named Cheryl on the stairs up to our apartments - she lives on the third floor. We kept trying to figure out if we had crossed paths before or if we really had gone almost a whole year of living one floor apart and never met, which is pretty pathetic. We stood and talked for quite a while. She's off to France in a bit so we compared notes - I recommended Peter Mayle of course (I wish I had a copy of A Year in Provence to leave on her doorstep with a note... I do have the sequel, Toujours Provence... but would that be considered stalking or just agressive librarian-ing?). We decided we should encourage the resident manager to throw a party for everyone to meet --- they tried it a few years back and it didn't pan out, but there are so many new people moving in lately that it would be nice to have a chance to meet them, and since there are multiple staircase/elevator landings, you only run into about a quarter of the people anyway. I hope I see her again!
Congrats to Carrie who is off to Iowa to be the state's Press Secretary for the Kerry campaign! I'm going to have to go do some research into what there is to do in Des Moines... and of course this will require a trip to the field of dreams... (after all, Dyersville is only 189 miles from Des Moines)
Ok, finally on to historical fiction this week for class (though I'm not happy with my final sci fi list so I may add in one more before switching over completely)
Tonight I finished Catherine, Called Birdy (Harper Collins, 1994, 212 pages, ISBN: 0060739428) by Karen Cushman (author of the Midwife's Apprentice, which I may also try to read this week). I was attracted to the line on the cover that reads, "She's not your average damsel in distress," and indeed she isn't.
The book is the diary of Lady Catherine (known as Little Bird or Birdy) during 1290, when she is fourteen years old. Her father is trying to marry her off to someone rich, and she spends a great deal of time and energy trying to scare off would-be suitors. She's spunky and not afraid to speak her mind (even if she ends up continuously punished for doing so) and reveals a fascinating world of class divisions, herbal remedies, demanding religion, fleabites and faires. Most diary entries start with a brief description of the life of that day's saint, which tie into how Birdy feels about standing up for herself and resisting being sold into an awful marriage. The back of the book asks, "Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actually lose the battle against an ill-mannered, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father?" Personally I was hoping she'd run off into the forest with the goat herder (who wanted to be a scholar).
I think I'll stay with the middle ages theme for this assignment, and got a bunch of other books from the library to try out. Mary sent along some great sounding titles as well which I'm going to try to sqeeze in (or read for fun after the class ends). Thanks Mary! The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood sounds particularly intriguing!
I'm not a big music buff -- most of you know that I never know who sang what -- but there are groups I do love (Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, B52s, etc.) and mostly in the car I'm an NPR addict. But I go through stretches where I love listening to my iTunes, and you can usually see what I've been listening to most recently at the bottom of the left sidebar (when its working).
Anyway, I think I may have to track down some of these songs and check them out (I love that you can preview them in itunes) because the concept is just too cool.
I couldn't resist getting the Bangles singing The Bell Jar... And The House at Pooh Corner song always reminds me of a guy I went to college with...
Saw this cool site listed on Confessional of a Mad Librarian's blog (she just graduated from our library school program)
The Living Room Candidate, which has video archives of political ads from 1952-2004.
I love the 1952 Eisenhower vs. Stephenson ads:
WOMAN (singing): I'd rather have a man with a hole in his shoe Than a hole in everything he says. I'd rather have a man who knows what to do When he gets to be the Prez. I love the Gov', the Governor of Illinois. He is the guy that brings the dove of peace and joy. When Illinois the GOP double-crossed, He is the one who told all the crooks, "Get lost." Adlai, love you madly, And what you did for your own great state, You're gonna do for the rest of the 48. Didn't know much about him before he came. But now my heart's a ballot that bears his name. 'Cause to listen to what he has to say, I know that on election day, We're gonna choose the Gov' that we love. He is the Gov' nobody can shove. We'll make the Gov' president of the you, the me and the U.S.A.
and the Kennedy song is pretty catchy:
SONG: Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy can, etc. Do you want a man for president who's seasoned through and through, But not so doggoned seasoned that he won't try something new? A man who's old enough to know, and young enough to do? Well, it's up to you, it's up to you, it's strictly up to you. Do you like a man who answers straight, a man who's always there? Well, measure him against the others and when you compare, You'll cast your vote for Kennedy and the change that's overdue. So it's up to you, it's up to you, it's strictly up to you. Yes, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy can.
and watching Jackie deliver an ad in Spanish is pretty amazing.
Martha hasn't even been sentenced yet and already there's a new reality show where people are competing to be the next domestic goddess!
ABC's The Great Domestic Showdown pitted six wanna-be Marthas against each other to see who cook out-build, out-cook, out-decorate, out-whatever each other.
First, they had 2 hours to create something useful out of a dumster full of trash. Then they had to go head-to-head in a cook-off where they had to make a gourmet meal in 1/2 an hour with 7 of 10 ingredients they were each given (not as much fun as Ready Set Cook, but similar). Third, they were broken into two teams and had to throw parties in different rooms of the house on a $1000 budget. Then three got kicked off the show and the remaining three had 24 hours to completely redo a wreck of a trailer.
The host guy was awfully annoying, insulting and not at all amusing... the contestants seem whiney -- and I bet Martha would have cleaned the floor with any of them.
Mom sent along these photos of the Dean fundraiser for Diane Farrell that they had tonight at Katy's parent's house (where we were for Katy's wedding two weeks ago) That's Katy's Mom in black introducing Howard (and my Mom in red if you hadn't figured that out).
Happy birthday this week to two amazing women that I was an intern with back in 1993 -- Patti Shea (7/9) and Jenn Hathaway (today). Patti's currently at The Washington Times (I think) and I have no idea where Jenn is (last I heard she was the Director of Public Relations for the Metropolitan Council, a regional governing agency in Minnesota).
But anyway, I wanted to wish them both a happy birthday!
My superstar brother Brian is in the SJ Mercury News today:
Consider Weblogs, the online journals that exemplify the ease with which anyone can use the Net to be his own publisher. Commentary by those writers, notes interactive media consultant Brian Reich, generally is unhesitant about declaring biases, such as political memberships or business interests.
By contrast, says Reich, the assertions by the established media that it's impartial or balanced in its coverage of news are received by cynical consumers with ``a wink and a nod.'' The concerns of those consumers are not only about the quality of news coverage, but the hidden and undeclared biases that determine what's selected for any coverage at all.
He added: ``The news is what the news tells us the news is, but that doesn't mean that's all the news that's out there.''
Reich works for Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, a firm that offers guidance in using new media such as e-mail and the Web for a wide range of communication strategies. He points to the way online discussion stirs a running conversation, which in turn gains a sense of authoritativeness just by repetition, regardless of its veracity. Later postings cite earlier postings as source material.
``Part of what makes news credible is documentation, whether or not it's a valid source,'' observed Reich.
- OUR FRACTURED DISCOURSE
By Mike Antonucci
The coolest thing was I got an automatic notice of it from Google in my email (though Brian did give me a head's up this time that he was interviewed)
OUR FRACTURED DISCOURSE
San Jose Mercury News (subscription) - San Jose,CA,USA
... Commentary by those writers, notes interactive media consultant Brian
Reich, generally is unhesitant about declaring biases, such as political
memberships or ...
This daily-once News Alert is brought to you by Google News (BETA)...
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Carrie would be SO proud of me! Amytha and I drove into SF and spent the whole day driving around and visiting super cool stores. I had to parallel park at least 4 times and drive up and down crazy hills and navigate one-way streets! Luckily Amytha had gone to school in SF and was an awesome navigator.
First stop was General Bead (637 minna st) (which turns out to be right down the street from CIIS, one of my Group Jazz clients). Just an amazing assortment of beads and fixin's -- and even an entire room dedicated to sequins. Crazy!
Then we went to a very cool Japanese stationary store, filled with all those great stickers and papers and characters. Then we stopped into The Paper Source, which many of you will remember as being the super-cool paper store across the street from the hotel we all stayed in when Brian and Karen got married. (That's where I am in the picture here)
We stopped for a late lunch at a place which served breakfast all day and had the most divine french toast (see photo) covered with yogurt and fruit and granola and syrup.
We cruised around the Haight Ashbury area for a LONG time looking for parking and finally found some and visited fun stores like Cheap Thrills (1324 Haight Street) and Amoeba Records (where I bought some records to melt into bowls - I'll let you know if it works). It was funny because I heard about Amoeba for the first time in an NPR piece yesterday.
I think we stopped at some other places as well, but it all kinda blurred together by the end. It was a great adventure though and we were totally inspired by all sorts of things we saw and now want to make all sorts of new things!
Some good quotes:
"We have one of the most literate societies in history. What is the point of having a population that can read, but doesn't? We need to teach people not only how, but also why to read. The struggle is not to make people read more, but to make them want to read more."
"We must weave reading back into the very fabric of the culture, and make it a mainstay of community."
Makes me want to run out and become a librarian... :)
Oh wow! Just got home from an absolutely totally amazing Sarah McLachlan concert at the HP Pavillion. She is just amazing -- definitely my favorite solo artist and the whole experience was amazing (the sets, lights, songs, food, folks, etc.)
Thank you thank you thank you Emy & Ray!!!
(I'm going to have the icecream song in my head all week I think... your love is better than ice cream...)
Lisa pointed out today that the Today show is starting up their annual wedding segment. For the past few years we've both watched it religiously and checked in with each other every week to compare notes on which options we each voted for. For those of you who don't follow it, each year the Today Show lets viewers pick a couple and then plan every detail of their wedding (dresses, reception location, cake, honeymoon destination, etc.) and then the couple is married on live tv and flown off to an amazing honeymoon somewhere. We were a bit worried that it wasn't going to happen this year (since its usually would have started by this point in the summer), but Lisa noticed today that entries are being accepted this year from July 7th-24th.
Julia brought me a clipping from Saturday's SJ Merc about an exhibit called Touch My Books... Please by the Bay Area Book Artists at the Los Gatos Art Museum (which is right around the corner from my apartment). So today, after we did some work on recruiting volunteers for the ASTC Conference, we popped over to see the exhibit.
It was great! Most of you know by now that I adore book-arts, and this was a great collection of altered books, hand made books, and all sorts of book-creations. Very inspiring -- my favorite was a wall hanging of a book made with found paper and machine sewed (another argument for getting a sewing machine) and one made of computer chips and beads. There was even a great one made out of a cereal box and the pages were glued-together coco-pops! With almost all of them, you got to open them up and read through them.
Apparently they're also doing "Walk & Talks" at the gallery at 2:00 p.m. every Saturday for members of the public interested in learning more about artists' books: July 3, 10, 17, and 24. Though somehow my next few Saturdays seem awfully full already :(
Thanks Julia for finding out about the exhibit and giving me an excuse to finally go to the museum! And I'm happy to go back if any one else wants to come see the exhibit!
Tonight was the last of our glass beadmaking classes. Here's tonight's guest artist Judy showing us how to make really cool large hollow glass beads. Our teacher Tom says he'll be teaching glass beads, fused glass and stained glass in the fall, and I'm tempted to take another class with him there (and will post it when the catalog comes out in case any of you want to come along too!)
#7: The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts (Scholastic Inc, 1980, 198 pages)
This one was intriguing. The main character, Katie Welker, not only has silver eyes, but has discovered that she can move small items by thinking about them -- a sure way to freak out babysitters and cause all sorts of trouble. When a strange man comes asking questions, Katie runs away and tries to find other kids with silver eyes who can understand what she's going through.
It hits similar themes of feeling different from the people around you as many of these other children's sci-fi books have been. Don't we all wish we had special powers and all want to find out that we're not alone in feeling different? I can definitely see the appeal of these books for kids figuring out who they are and what makes them unique.
Well I had to hear about it from Lisa, whose father Penn saw it and asked her about it, but yes, Brian was interviewed on WGBH's Greater Boston television show the other day. When asked, Brian responded that:
I was on TV -- a local showed called Greater Boston. Karen has a picture of the TV screen with me on it (we also have it on TiVo), we just haven't had a chance to post it on the blog yet. Not a big deal, but still pretty fun. Penn saw me? Neato.
Umm... I think that being on TV is a big deal (even if he doesn't) So hopefully we'll see the screenshot on their blog soon! [hint, hint]
There are two kinds of people in the world.... people who divide the world up into two types of people... and people who don't. (Steve Denning)
Check out this interesting cultural index from Arts Journal. You pick one from each column and count up the number of ones you chose from column A and that's your score (or the number of A's over the total number you answered if you skipped some). I ended up skipping a bunch and feel horribly culturally illiterate on a few of them (mostly on music and movies), but scored a 62 (not that the score means anything). Anyway, I thought it was interesting. It is explained here.
BobbiLynn's back from a whirlwind weekend in Hawaii and brought me this lovely shell (which I could resist scanning in). Thanks!
She also gave me some fantastic book-lover magnetic poetry when she was over for craft night, and I keep meaning to write a fun poem and then post a picture, but I haven't been inspired yet...
Happy Birthday today to Howard Rheingold one of my favorite writers and one of the coolest people I've ever met (and a friend of Lisa's, so you know he must be cool).
Bloglines, my current favorite web site (which feeds my RSS addiction) is celebrating its first birthday and unveiled all sorts of new features today. There's a whole new look to the site and several new features. The biggest new feature is the ability to create your own blogs of your favorite clippings. You can easily move private, clipped items to your public blog and back again, so its an incredibly easy way to publish your own blog and let your friends and family see the items you've clipped and your thoughts on them. And to publish your own RSS feed of it which others can subscribe to and clip from.... not that I need another blog.
During our weekly Group Jazz call today, Lisa suggested that I look for books by her friend Kathryn Lasky. So I rushed out to the library afterwards and found Star Split which fits nicely into my sci fi theme for the week. (For those of you, like Dad and Jane, who missed the beginning of the sci fi series and weren't sure why I was reading and numbering sci fi kids books all this week, its for my current class assignment. We had to pick a genre and read a series of books in it and then will have to review them and develop some programming for a book group of 4th-6th graders to discuss them and do some related games or crafts or things. After a few more of these for good measure, I'll be moving on to historical fiction I think.)
But anyway, Star Split was amazing! I think its the best one I've read for this exercise and puts most of the other ones to shame. I'd say it is for slightly older kids than the others I've been reading, but I think I'll include it on the list anyway.
It takes place in 3038 in a world where almost everyone is genetically enhanced. The main character, Darci Murlowe feels different in some unknown way, but until she comes face-to-face with the shock of her life while she is away at rock climbing camp, she has no idea just how different she is or what it means to the future of human beings. It is a very sophisticated look at issues of cloning and genetic engineering told in a very personal way through the thoughts of this thirteen-year-old girl who is becoming aware of her own special individuality and uniqueness. The author's note at the end is particularly interesting as she traces how the all of the issues and technologies at play in the future world she has created are already coming to fruition (e.g. Dolly).
There's a really interesting Booklist review as well (though it gives a lot a way).
My friend Frank, a fellow Wednesday-Tech volunteer, has been trying to get me to try out the local Israeli folk dancing group for over a year now. I keep meaning to go, and then keep not going.
Well tonight's online class was optional because of the holiday, and since I had already done the alternative assignment you could do instead of participating (and since I hate online chats anyway), I finally got up and went dancing!
It was SOOO much fun! I've always loved Israeli folk dancing at weddings and things, but never really knew what you're supposed to do. I clearly have A LOT to learn, but the teacher was great, the music is fantastic, and Frank was there to lead in the couple dances (and there's nothing like a guy who can actually lead!)
It quickly got way too hard (beginner stuff is 7:30-8 and then it quickly gets complicated) but I danced and danced and then watched and they're still at it there until late into the night.
I think I may try the Thursday group instead (since I do have to go to the rest of my Monday classes) -- anyone want to try it with me?
(Frank, by the way, is at least in his 70s I think, and I have no idea how he goes out dancing so many nights a week - I'm definitely worn out!)
To get ideas for this week's class assignment, I read The Mother-Daughter Book Club: How Ten Busy Mothers and Daughters Came Together to Talk, Laugh and Learn Through Their Love of Reading by Shireen Dodson. (HarperPerennial, 1997, ISBN: 0060952423)
I thought I would just skim it as a reference book to get ideas of activities and discussion questions, but I immediately was entranced by the book and read it cover to cover. I think it should be required reading for every mother of a 9-12 year old girl -- and that it works to read long after you have or are one.
It made me wish I had been in a group like that at that age, and makes me want to try harder to get my own book group going again (even without the mother-daughter aspect). And certainly it makes me appreciate all the sharing of books and great book talks I've had with my Mom and Lisa and friends and family over the years. And quite jealous of Dad and Jane's 20+ year bookclub....
I liked this passage particularly:
You can sit by yourself and enjoy a good book. But something very different and special happens when you get together and talk about a book with other people. You experience the book differently. Discussion becomes a prism, breaking the book's events, characters and themes into a rainbow of ideas that lead the way to still more discussion. Things we thought were obvious can become intriguing; the ordinary can become interesting. The assumptions that so often define our attitudes toward each other as mothers and daughters, and which limit our experience of each other, can fall away. (141)
Fused Space is an international competition for projects that involve new technolgies in/as public spaces.
I'm not sure what all the nominated projects are trying to do, but I just love the whole idea. I also really like their image wall where anyone can add images and comments and it creates sort of a collage of really random things.
ABC is showing The Music Man tonight with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth. It was posted on some library blogs (because of Marian, the Librarian, of course). So far its not living up to the original movie version, but its one of my favorite musicals so it is still fun to see (and sing along to, since I think I know it all by heart). And Molly Shannon as Mrs. Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn is a kick (though still not as good as the original, Hermione Gingold)
A good 4th of July movie pick, though my all time favorite is probably Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney (which was on earlier today but I forgot to Tivo it)
Mom called last night to say that she had finished The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler and that I had to move it up higher in my pile of books to read. I had started it a couple of weeks back but had put it aside to read books for homework. But, at her urging, I picked it back up last night and finished it just now because, of course, once I started again I couldn't put it down.
Jane Austen always makes me think of my friend Carrie H., now at the McCarter theater in Princeton. I'll have to write and see what she thought of the book (since I can bet she went out and bought it as soon as she saw it...)
The book is about a book club in the Central Valley of CA who meet to talk about different Jane Austin novels -- Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion. We learn about the lives and loves of the five women and one man in the book group, and about their own takes on the lives and loves of Austen's characters.
One of the women in the book club is even a librarian:
In general, librarians enjoyed special requests. A reference librarian is someone who likes the chase. When librarians read for pleasure, they often pick a good mystery. They tend to be cat people as well, for reasons more obscure. (213)
Personally, I've had a crush on Captain Brandon myself, though its clear that Fowler doesn't approve of that match, describing him as "the dull man Elinor and her mother have picked out for" Marianne (254) . Of course, I may have been influenced more by Alan Rickman's portrayal... though its hard now not to think of him as Prof. Snape.
But it was definitely a good read and such a wonderful concept for a book!
Happy 4th of July!
I can't remember who posted this fireworks site, but its a lot of fun to play with.
Tina and I stopped by some of the Los Gatos festivities...
The palm trees give it away that its definitely not your New England 4th of July...
Book 6 (maybe): Rewind to Yesterday by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Delacorte Press, 1988)
I really didn't think I was going to like this one. I hated the beginning, which was:
Kelly Diane Forrest pounded her fist on her math textbook. "I hate school!" she cried. "I hate everything about it, and I especially hate math." (1)
As somewhat of a math-chick growing up, I was always very defensive of the girls-aren't-good-at-math stereotypes. The "Math is Hard" Barbie fiasco was one of my family's favorite running jokes. Surprisingly, this book is listed in a Girls Excelling in Math and Science Booklist
In addition, the story seemed pretty hopelessly dated when you see how excited the family is to get their VCR (to be fair, it was published in 1988)
"You really got one!" Kelly shouted when she saw the shiny new machine. "Oh, Daddy!" (3)
But somehow the story grew on me. This new VCR that eleven-year-old Kelly is so excited about turns out to allow her, her twin brother Scott and their best friend Miri to travel back in time! They can only preset their VCR for 24 hours, so they can only go back within the same day, but they manage to each relive and change a bit of their day -- and Miri even finds an important reason to change what happened.
Not great -- and not nearly as interesting as the other ones I've been reading for this assignment, so I may not bother including it if I can find some others (of course the library is closed tomorrow for the holiday...)
Interestingly, it looks like there is a sequel, Future Forward but the SCC library doesn't seem to have it and the Publisher's Weekly review posted in Amazon and on the SJ Library's site seems to be for an entirely different book.
Here are his picks (republished without permission, but I didn't want to lose them)
Rumor has it that Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede are at work on a
sequel to 'Sorcery and Cecelia', a book I also enjoyed. I liked
Stevermer's 'When the King Comes Home', but my wife wasn't as keen on some
of her other books.
Speaking of other books, I think you might really enjoy Patricia McKilip's
work - I liked 'The Book of Atrix Wolf' quite a bit. Robin McKinley's
'Hero and the Crown'/'The Blue Sword' is one of my wife's favorites (I
think we're up to 4 or 5 editions of each, which isn't that strange given
my 4 editions of 'The Lord of the Rings'). Oh, and don't forget 'A Book
Dragon' by Donn Kushner, no relation to Ellen Kushner of 'Swordspoint',
although that's another excellent tale.
Oh, and there's also P.L. Travers' 'What the Bee Knows', a collection of
her essays about literature.
Going a little further afield from children's literature, you may also
really like Guy Gavriel Kay's work. I would start with either 'Tigana' or
'Lions of Al-Rassan' - both heartbreaking - and if you like them, run,
don't walk, to 'The Fionavar Tapestry'. It's possibly one of the best
fantasy trilogies of all time, praise I don't bestow lightly.
I've recently been trying out some mysteries - Dorothy L. Sayers is
amazing. I started with 'Strong Poison' and am working my way through the
rest of the Lord Peter books. Though it's not exactly a mystery, if you
liked 'The DaVinci Code' you may really enjoy 'Foucalt's Pendulum' by
Umberto Eco. It's a bit denser than Dan Brown's work, but I think you'd
I just finished Stephenson's 'The Confusion' and am eagerly awaiting 'The
System of the World'. I originally was going to wait to start this series
until it was out in paperback, but then I found a copy of 'Quicksilver' in
a Half-Price Books up north of Seattle on a vacation, and got quickly
sucked in. I'm sure you know the feeling!
The best history book I read recently was Jacques Barzun's 'From Dawn To
Decadance: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life.' (His 'House of
Intellect' was also good, but very, very, *very* dry.) I've been taking a
tear around Central Asian history recently; it started with Peter
Hopkirk's 'The Great Game' and branched out from there.
Thanks Brett! These look great! And it was fabulous to hear from you!
Emy, Ray and I went to see Harry Potter this morning -- this time BIGGER! The Tech was supposed to get the IMAX version but a last minute change made them cancel, so we drove up to Dublin to see it. Very satisfying.
Then we had lunch at Fuddruckers, which I didn't even realize was still around. We had one in Westport when I was in high school, but I only remember going a handful of times.
Then, since we couldn't figure out what to do next, we went BACK to the movies and saw Spider Man II!
Now I definitely need a nap! All that action-movie action wore me out...
I wasn't feeling very well this morning so stayed in bed for a while and finished Into the Labyrinth, the sequel to Roderick Townley's The Great Good Thing (which I read yesterday)
The popularity of the book is already wearing the characters out (so much so that the author writes in a yoga instructor to help them cope with the stress) but the real challenge begins when the story is uploaded onto the web and the characters have online readers to deal with as well. Stranger and more dangerous things start occuring including disastrous changes to the text and sudden deletions, and Princess Sylivia and her friends are forced to battle a computer virus in the strange labyrinth of cyberspace!
I think I may need to work my way through the rest of the Books and Reading -- Fiction subject heading!
Ok, one more book and then back to other work. I couldn't resist this one when I saw it, its like Lost in a Good Book for kids! Its called The Great Good Thing and is by Roderick Townley (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2001, ISBN: 0689853289). It features Princess Sylvie and all the characters in her story -- and the story is actually remarkably like the folk tales I've been reading for class (same pattern of rescuing animals and then having them save you later, someone turning into a handsome prince, etc.) Plus, you get to see the characters as they rush back to their proper spaces each time the book is opened by a reader (and as they wait for the emergency lighting to flicker back on when the book is shut). But a fire forces all the characters to flee the storybook kingdom and they escape into their reader's subconscious as she sleeps! Can Princess Sylvie keep the story alive in the reader's mind and keep the characters from rusting away with disuse?
There's a sequel where I think they publish the book on the web... (coming after some more work-work...)
Book 5: Star Hatchling by Margaret Bechard (Viking, 1995, 152 pages, ISBN: 0670861499)
When Shem and his sister Cheko see what they think is a star crash-land in their forest, their lives are turned upside down by the "hatchling" that comes out. We know that its Hanna, a teenager who arrived in an escape pod from the space ship her family was traveling on, and the perspective switches back and forth between Shem's take on the situation and Hanna's as they try to make sense of one another. An interesting take on first-contact situations and figuring out aliens and outsiders.
(I'm also intrigued by My Sister, My Science Report by the same author.)
One more to go and then I'd better start figuring out what to do with them... (though I'm still open to other suggestions if anyone has any other sci fi recommendations with strong girl characters, approx grades 4-6 level)
Book 4, The Winds of Mars by H. M. Hoover (Dutton Children's Books, New York, 1995, 181 pages, $14.99, ISBN: 0525453598)
Annalyn Reynolds Court, daughter of the president of Mars, is sent off to an elite military academy for training and finds herself caught up in the political struggles shaking the planet as she learns the truth about her father and his oppressive rule. The story is told by Annalyn after the events have unfolded. As the review explains, "Annalyn's step-by-step awakening to both the treachery of her immediate family and the inequities of Martian society is convincingly portrayed. Woven neatly throughout, quirky, well-thought-out details provide a distinctive setting for this fast-paced SF adventure." (Publishers Weekly)
It reminded me of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy - there's something about Mars that makes it such a good setting for corruption of power.
If I have time, I also checked out Away Is A Strange Place To Be by the same author.
Saw on LIS News this morning that our San Jose library was named Gale/Library Journal 2004 Library of the Year Award. (SJ Merc article)
Its kind of cool to know that we're the largest library school in the country and our home library is the library of the year... My reference professors were King librarians, and the article does mention that "SJSU uses many student interns from its SLIS" - I do have a number of friends from school who are working there (hi Jean, hi Ellen, hi Amytha). I suppose I should go spend some more time there (though I have been enjoying the Santa Clara County system as well)