January 31, 2005

Last day of the early bird special

If you're interested in social networking tools (blogs, wikis, online dating sites, photo sharing, pod casting, etc.) or want to learn more about what these things are, Feb 1st is the last day to register for the Online Social Networks 2005 conference for the special early bird price of $35. The conference (which is entirely online) runs Feb 9-23.

OSN2005 will be a summit for all those interested in working with social networking processes, tools, and media. In addition to attending many workshops, panels, and presentations by leading experts and practitioners, attendees will have the opportunity to be part of a community with a significant role in defining the future direction of online social networking. If you want to help shape this industry, come to OSN2005!

You can view the program here, but really the best part of the conference is the great conversations that happen in the "hallways" and "cafe" spaces when all these interesting people (possibly including you, dear reader) come together to share and wonder and learn and get to know each other.

Oh, and did I mention that Brian's one of the keynote presenters?

Posted by Emily at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

YA19: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

While I'm catching up on my book blogging here, I should record this one, which I listened to driving around last week (I'm becoming addicted to books on tape in the car - especially for these hour long drives - though I admit that the books I read and the ones I am listening to are starting to blur together a bit and I keep expecting the characters from the different stories to run into one another).

trueconfessionsof.jpg
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
by Avi
Performed by Alexandra O'Karma

Thirteen year old Charolotte Doyle is a proper, well-brought up young lady from a respectable family who has been off at boarding school and is making the journey from England to join her family at home in Rhode Island. When her chaperones and anticipated travel companions fail to show up, she finds herself the only passenger (and only female) on a troubled ship on the brink of mutiny.

School Library Journal writes: "On a long, grueling journey from England to Rhode Island in 1802, a 12 year old changes from a prim and proper girl to a swashbuckling mate of a mutinous crew and is accused of murder by the captain. Awash with shipboard activity, intense feelings, and a keen sense of time and place, the story is a throwback to good old-fashioned adventure yarns on the high seas."

Newbery Honor Book -- 1991
Gr 5-8, Ages 12+

Great fun! I do love a good spunky heroine who isn't afraid to challenge the bounds of her life, trade her skirts in for sailor's pants and [insert appropriate nautical terminology here, something about rigging and climbing and such :)]

Posted by Emily at 10:43 PM | Comments (1)

YA18: Big Mouth and Ugly Girl

bigmouth.jpgI'll admit I picked this one because the cover and title intrigued me, but then I read the back at some point and decided not to try it (something about school shootings i thought). Then, the other day after my shift at the library I thought I'd pick up a tape for the drive and saw it again. When I saw that it was being read by Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe, I knew I had to give it a try. A friend wrote a review dismissing the author's style, and I'm not sure I would have liked the book as much if I was reading it. But having it performed was completely captivating, and its made the last six hours of driving just fly by. I reached the end of the last tape on the way home from work today and really missed hearing it (not to mention my NPR station is doing pledge breaks, which get old really fast even if you are a loyal supporter).

Big Mouth & Ugly Girl
Joyce Carol Oates
New York : HarperTempest, 2002

Big mouth & ugly girl [sound recording]
Joyce Carol Oates
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, p2002

Set in a suburban high school in the post-Columbine world where jokes can get you in a world of trouble, Matt Donaghy's big mouth does just that. Ursula Rigg, warrior woman basketball star calling herself "Ugly Girl" and not caring about what other people think, steps in to defend Matt (who was only joking) and the two become friends. The chapters alternate between the two of them, sometimes using emails back and forth, and we learn about their lives, their friends, their families and the growing friendship.

PW says: "Readers will relate to the pressures these two experience, both at school and from their parents, and be gratified by their ability to emerge the wiser." School Library Journal: "Oates has a good ear for the speech, the family relations, the e-mail messaging, the rumor mills, and the easy cruelties waiting just beneath the veneer of civility. Matt's character and especially the heroic Ursula's are depicted with a raw honesty. Readers will be propelled through these pages by an intense curiosity to learn how events will play out. Oates has written a fast-moving, timely, compelling story." The AudioFile review claims: "Screen celebs Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe deliver alternating chapters in perfect counterpoint, superbly capturing the divergent emotional journeys in affect, tone, and pacing." Booklist's Starred Review finds: "Distinguished novelist Oates' first young adult novel is a thought-provoking, character-driven drama about the climate of hysteria created by school violence in America, and how two teenagers find the courage to fight it and to find themselves in the process."

Ages 13-up. Grade 8+

Posted by Emily at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

YA17: The Misfits

I was supposed to be working at The Tech tonight, but so many of us showed up that they really didn't need me and one of the other volunteers convinced me that I had enough on my plate and should go home. So I took advantage of a surprise free evening and polished off another book for class (and had a very nice conversation with Carrie about her recent adventures.)

misfits.jpgThe Misfits
James Howe (author of the Bunnicula books)
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2001.
274 p.

A very nice, seventh grade friendship book -- four best friends: Bobby Goodspeed (who tells the story), Joe Bunch, Addie Carle, and Skeezie Tookis, who are seventh graders at Paintbrush Falls Middle School in upstate New York decide to start a third party and run for student government on a platform to eliminate name calling (the No-Name Party). Each of them has been called their share of names in their life (the lists they make are amazing examples of middle school cruelty). Their campaign slogan: "Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit."

Ages 11 to 13

"Kids who get called the worst names oftentimes find each other. That's how it was with us. Skeezie Tookis and Addie Carle and Joe Bunch and me. We call ourselves the Gang of Five, but there are only four of us. We do it to keep people on their tows. Make 'em wonder. Or maybe we do it because we figure that there's one more kid out there who's going to need a gang to be a part of. A misfit, like us." (p. 13)

I loved that the group met weekly at the ice cream parlor to discuss important issues (and kept minutes), I loved that Bobby says things like he doesn't give a fig newton about something or swears on a stack of pancakes.

Posted by Emily at 10:05 PM | Comments (8)

January 30, 2005

Regrunt, 1/30

2 hours J, 4 hours A
Some questions:

Elf (video)
blue jays
Lemony Snicket on tape
biceps and hamstrings
magazines for kids
historical nonfiction
Jane Silver's Ideas of Heaven
hours
copy machine issues
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Millionaire Next Door
intelligence Wars, Intelligence Matters, Ghost Wars, Against all Enemies, Imperial Hubris
difference between abridged and unabridged
A night in Copacabana
Consumer Reports - refrigerators and washer/dryers
A Light of Other Days
printer issues
pregnancy books
beginner chess
Nathan Oliveira, Neri, scuptors, Bay Area Figurative movement
Emperor of the Air
Chung-Kyu Li Shin Ku shih (book on prehistoric China)
HG Wells, The World Set Free
Palo Alto Daily articles
SF Examiner Classifieds
tax forms
Fiber Optic Test and Measurement
Vogue, Feb issue
poetry about nature
TOEFL test prep
Lora Roberts mysteries
rhyming poems about weather (found a great one about "Its raining pigs and noodles")
videos of Mrs. PiggleWiggle (I didn't even know there was a video! i'll have to check it out)
chinese photographer Yinxian Wu
Semnants series by KA Applegate
History of Alaska
Syn Yat-sen
basketball kid movies
coffee?

Posted by Emily at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

YA16: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

sisterhoodpants.jpgThis is another one of those books that I almost didn't read because it seemed too popular and overdone. I hate when I do that, because I almost always finally break down and read the book and absolutely love it. Had I just given in the first time I saw it, I wouldn't be the last on the planet to figure it out. Oh well.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Ann Brashares
320 pages
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
September 2001

I loved this! Four best friends, spending their first summer apart, discover a pair of jeans that seem to magically look amazing on all four of their very different body types and use the jeans as a way of keeping in touch and being together even when they have to be apart. They make up a crazy list of rules and mail the jeans to each other all summer long, promising to record the adventures they bring to them. They all learn a lot about themselves and relationships to others over the summer of course (this being YA fiction there's death, divorce, sex, etc.) and really they are just great girls and have a really great friendship going.

Needless to say I checked out the sequel today, am looking forward to the newly released third book, and will definitely be lining up with the 13 year olds girls to go see the movie when it opens (with Amber Tamblyn from Joan of Arcadia as Tibby and Alexis Bledel from Gilmore Girls as Lena and America Ferrera from Real Women have Curves as Carmen -- how cool is that!) Off to check out the official web site...

Posted by Emily at 09:38 PM | Comments (4)

Family Photos

Mom sent along these two photos today for me to blog:

Susan and Mom with the twins (Jake is on the left, already much bigger than Tess) and the other is Brooke free-style skiing!

twinssusanmom.jpg

brookejump.jpg

The caption reads: East Sopris Creek resident Brooke Sheffer, 17, stretches out in a spread eagle off the first of two jumps in the open moguls division of the Aspen Valley Freestyle event on thunderbowl at Aspen Highlands Sunday afternoon. This was the first compeition for the high school junior, a graduate of Carbondale's Waldorf School, in her first year of training with the AVSC freestyle team. Freestylers will travel to Vail, Monarch, Telluride and Steamboat on upcoming weekends before returning to Aspen Highlands for the Feb. 19-20 events.

Way to go Brooke!

Posted by Emily at 09:17 PM | Comments (1)

January 29, 2005

Hotel Rwanda

hotelrwanda.jpgShachar and I went to see the movie Hotel Rwanda tonight in Monterey. Its an amazing, powerful, important, tough film. Its hard to watch but I think everyone needs to go and see it. The description explains that, "Don Cheadle stars in the true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsis refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda." Don Cheadle was amazing and deserves his award nominations for this (he's up for best actor), and Sophie Okonedo who played his wife, received a supporting actress nomination.


Posted by Emily at 10:14 PM | Comments (1)

January 28, 2005

Tater

Is it wrong that I really want one of these? Yes, I know, everyone else blogged about them days ago but I'm way behind on my feeds. There's something really irresistable about him.

BTW, it looks like we'll be getting the new SW film on the IMAX at The Tech when it opens...

Posted by Emily at 09:17 PM | Comments (76)

YA15: Hidden Talents

I found this author by reading his really funny VOYA column, "Where's Lubar" (pdf of the one I saw) and just had to give him a try.

hiddentalents.jpg
Hidden Talents
David Lubar
213 pages
Tor Books, 1999

American Library Association “Best Books for Young Adults”
American Library Association “Quick Picks for Young Adults”

Wouldn't it be great to find out that all the trouble you were getting into was really caused by some special paranormal power and that you could learn to control it instead of letting it mess up your life?

This is an easy, quick read. I think even younger (9-12) kids would enjoy it. It features Martin Anderson, a 13 year old boy who gets shipped off to Edgeview Alternative school (after being kicked out of other schools and groups for mouthing off to teachers) and who figures out that his new friends are really quite special (Cheater is telepathic, Trash is telekinetic, Flinch is clairvoyant, etc.)

You can read the first chapter here if you'd like.

Posted by Emily at 07:02 AM | Comments (1)

January 27, 2005

And another semester begins

Another semester officially starts today -- luckily my class that meets Thursdays decided not to actually meet until next week (which allowed me to go to the JPA meeting instead). Both classes look very interesting (and like they'll be a lot of work).

Other than that, I'm still just trying to get back on top of everything here. I seem to have lost the minutes from a December meeting that I really should have typed up immediately but need to find and finish before Tuesday's meeting. I finally sent in a revised draft of a fundraising letter and built some volunteer tracking spreadsheets for the campaign committee. It looks like the library blog I've been championing will be launching next week which is very exciting (to me anyway). We're hosting a reunion of people involved in the Electronic Networking Association (ENA) [check the Netweaver archives for info] at OSN 2005 which I think will be very very cool (no, I wasn't involved in the group 20 years ago, but the people who were, early adopters of electronic networking, are all really interesting folks and I bet they're up to interesting things still). I have two days of refgrunts to type up and post (if I haven't lost my notes), so hopefully they'll get up here tomorrow (and backdated).

Its pouring rain here and I keep hearing a periodic plunking noise which makes me worry that there's a leak somewhere I haven't tracked down yet (hopefully its just something on the balcony?)

And congratulations to Betty for making Dean's List at school (nice job!!!)

Eek, its late and there's reading to be done!

Posted by Emily at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2005

Refgrunt, 1/26

Some questions from my shift (3 hours A-side, 1 hour J-side)

Mary Kate & Ashley, So LIttle Time #17
Pride and Prejudice, BBC video
Almanac (things that happened in 1969 and 1995)
origami
books that have been made into movies (found this great resource for that: Based on the Book)
3rd book in the Series of Unfortunate Events (long waiting list)
Artic Tundra
Guide Dogs
Polar Bears
Magic School Bus books on tape
Alabama (state report)
lost cell phone
Alan Parsons Project cd's
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Chinese periodical from November
F. Scott Fitzgerald biography videos
video of recent council meeting
information on poetry reading

Posted by Emily at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

Library news coverage

Here's an article about the campaign from The Morgan Hill Times

Voters should be to be prepared for a two-question mail-in ballot in April that will determine the future of county library operations. Ballots will be mailed April 4 and are due back by May 3.

...

A local parcel tax committee, called the “Save Our Library” committee, will stage a “Volunteer Kick Off” event on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the Old Morgan Hill House at Villa Mira Monte, 17860 Monterey Road, just south of Wright Avenue. Everyone, not just property owners, is invited to pick up information. They may also want to offer to help in the campaign.

Between Feb. 28 and May 2 many volunteers will be needed to staff phone banks explaining the ballot. The major volunteer effort will be phone banking, not precinct walking. Guglielmo Winery on East Main Avenue will be the site of a campaign fundraiser on March 6. Volunteers are needed to help with this event and with other fundraising activities.

And check out this mention of the writing contest which mentions the library's blog!!! (coming very soon!) (thanks Paul for telling me about this one)

Posted by Emily at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2005

Refgrunt 1/25

Here's some of the questions from my 5-9pm shift on the J-desk

Charlie and th Great Glass Elevator
Curious George
Vietnam (current/travel, not history or war)
The Outsiders
Into the Labyrinth
books from the 6th grade recommendation list
Leonardo Da Vinci
Animal Farm
7th and 8th grade reading lists
What's tonight's storying topic? (it was a guest performer, Randel mcGee & Groak)
Oprah Winfrey biographies
American Sign Language
books about grandfathers telling stories to their grandchildren

Posted by Emily at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

Crash

Hear that? That's the sound of some of the 8,000 balls I have up in the air crashing to the ground.

Yeah, not so good.

Posted by Emily at 09:41 PM | Comments (2)

New phone!

So I managed to lose my phone (possibly in my car -- don't ask), and it wasn't really working anyway (it had stopped vibrating when not ringing, so I can't even call it and track it down) So the very nice people at the phone store here next to the library managed to get me a new one and activate it. So if I haven't returned your calls for the past few days it may very well be that I haven't gotten them -- but now it should be working again (same number) I resisted upgrading to a camera phone, since I enjoy my digital camera so much anyway, but it is a cute small flippy one.

Posted by Emily at 05:40 PM | Comments (1)

January 24, 2005

Staff Kickoff

A great bunch of librarians and library staff got together tonight for pizza to talk about ways we can get involved in the upcoming campaign! It was great to see everyone together and to get excited about the next 99 days (more details will be available after Thursday's JPA meeting.) We even raised some money (since our fearless leader pledged an extra $5 for every $25 we raised there tonight). If you are interested in donating to the campaign (or helping with the phone banking), let me know or check out the web site (you can give via paypal there). Three cheers to Paul for planning tonight's event and getting such a good turnout!
IMGP1046.jpgIMGP1047.jpgIMGP1050.jpgIMGP1051.jpgIMGP1054.jpgIMGP1055.jpg

Posted by Emily at 07:49 PM | Comments (0)

YA14: The Amulet of Samarkand

Spinnity recommended this one a while back, and so I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't love it, but it is a very intriguing world (modern London with magicians running the county and djinnis at their summons, etc.) and I'd be willing to try the others in The Bartimaeus Trilogy (this was book #1)

The Amulet of Samarkand
by Jonathan Stroud
Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 464 pages
Miramax (September, 2003)

Off to a campaign meeting, more about this later...

Posted by Emily at 04:45 PM | Comments (1)

Please Vote For Us!!

C'mon guys! Amytha and I need your help!

Voting in the city of Okayama Video Contest began on Friday, January 21 and
will conclude on February 13. Winners in the video contest will be
determined by Internet voting.

Three entries were received from San Jose, two from Hsinchu, Taiwan, and one
from Bucheon, Korea. There were 16 local entries from Okayama.

The San Jose Office of Economic Development has posted the website for the
video contest on their website, www.sjeconomy.com -- or go directly here "click to enter" and then vote for us! We're way down near the bottom:

1024: San Jose Welcome to San Jose, Amytha Willard & Emily Reich, 02:51
"Wacky,Tacky,Crafty San Jose. San Jose is more than strip malls and suburbia."

Each video on the Video Page has a ruler associated with it. Click on the ruler to place your vote (rating) -- so give us some "good" marks!! Thanks!!

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

January 23, 2005

Refgrunt, 1/23

Some of the joy of getting a nice long Sunday shift was lost when I realized that I have to get up tomorrow and be at work bright and early, but it was a good day with lots of interesting people are questions. A sampling:

best sellers
America: The Book
Epitaph for A Peach (that's the Silicon Valley Reads book this year and its been sitting on my pile for weeks now)
Edith Piaf biographies
South Beach Diet
comparison of wireless routers
read alouds for 9 year old girls (ended up with Wrinkle in Time, Narnia, Ramona and some others)
Snippets, a gathring of poems, pictures and possibilities
Shel Silverstein book about a lion hunting (Uncle Shelby's Story of Lascadio, the lion who shot back)
Bailey's Kids Super Specials
Jennifer Weiner books
lost pin numbers
The Mask
Topsy Turvy
printer jam, new toner cartridges
Steinbeck's To a God Unknown
Asterix and TinTin comics
The Book That Saved the World (its a play, and I ordered a copy of the book that its in for myself since it sounded so intriguing)
"Is this in?" handing me a piece of paper that said 794.809
comparison of SAT prep courses
articles on the practice of hiring a tutor to help with your college essays
books to study Japanese
Leo Lioni books
Albert Einstein biography

Posted by Emily at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

Another nice library editorial

This one from Texas:

Editorial: Public libraries invaluable and Unger is a great one

Some good quotes:

Libraries are free to all citizens, and serve every age group from toddler to senior citizen. They unlock the world for young and old through books, computers, audio-visual resources, and important databases ...

and

Public libraries form a remarkable cooperative system. When you consider that the average price of a hardback book is approximately $30, and that Texas public libraries circulate more than 90 million items per year, that adds up to more than $2.7 billion in annual transactions.

The value of the knowledge - and just the pure enjoyment of reading (as well as viewing and hearing since libraries increasingly offer vidoes, DVDs, books on tape, music, etc.) - is incalculable.

Oh, and some articles on the ALA condemnation of the Salinas closings.

Posted by Emily at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2005

OSN Reminder

osnbutton3.gifDear friends and random readers -

You are invited to attend the second Online Social Networks online conference hosted by Group Jazz and Rheingold Associates February 9-23, 2005.

OSN2005 will be an online summit for all those interested in working with social networking processes, tools, and media. In addition to attending many workshops, panels, and presentations by leading experts and practitioners, attendees will have the opportunity to be part of a community with a significant role in defining the future direction of online social networking. If you want to help shape this industry, come to OSN2005!

During the OSN2005 summit we will co-create and publish a manifesto describing what we want and need from online social networking tools. What are the key criteria for choosing and assessing OSN products and services? What gaps exist in currently available software and related tools? What needs to happen before it's common knowledge that OSN products and services can deliver significant value? What are the most promising developments in the OSN industry?

Find out more and register at http://www.socialnets.org. Early Bird registration is just $35.00 US until February 1, 2005.

We hope to 'see' you there!

Group Jazz Team

Posted by Emily at 02:10 PM | Comments (1)

Anniversary of Roe v Wade

January 22, 2005 marks the 32nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that protects the constitutional right of women to choose to have a safe and legal abortion.

Anti-choice extremists plan to march in San Francisco against reproductive freedom today. The San Francisco Pro-Choice Coalition will hold the March to Defend Women's Rights on January 22, 2005 which will start at the Powell Street Bart Station to stand up for reproductive freedom and demonstrate that the Bay Area is pro-choice.

More info at SaveRoe.com, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, NARAL, etc.

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Posted by Emily at 07:01 AM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2005

Foul Play

foulplay.jpgToday Tivo found an old goofy movie on TNT with Goldie Hawn as a San Francisco librarian, Foul Play (1978). Its on this list of movie librarians, but I hadn't ever seen it (or even heard of it). She even knits -- and defends herself against one would-be assasin with a pair of knitting needles! Chevy Chase and Brian Dennehy are cops, Dudley Moore is a hysterical swinger with a majorly tripped out bachelor pad. Apparently it has a bunch of Hitchcock references, but they were lost on me. Its fun in a creepy 70s mystery movie way and was a good way to decompress after a day of work and committee meetings.

Posted by Emily at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2005

Refgrunt, 1/19

After talking to a number of librarians, I've decided to go back to writing my refgrunts again. Of course I appreciate the comments left on one of my earlier postings reminding me to watch out for the privacy of the patrons, but these questions and searches are completely anonymous and really are just a chance for me to keep track of some of the interesting (and mundane) kinds of things that happen at the desk. One of the things I like best about being on the desk is how each question can really be about anything and each shift can cover all sorts of topics. I often want to read the books I find for people (as if I had the time!) or research the topics further, so this way I can at least look back one day when I have some more time and have some little notes.

That said, here are some of the things from today (1 hour A, 1 hour J, 2 more hours A):

educational requirements for different careers
Wright brothers
Nintendo magazines
Junie B Jones
Aztecs
the pirate Bartholomew Roberts
cheat codes for Zelda
California wolverines (in Yosemite, specifically)
the US capitol building
books of jokes
Mercedes Lackey's Burning Brightly
how much does an electrician make (on average, roughly, in CA)
cliff notes for Moby Dick
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
dictionary
Circle Opens series
video tapes of basketball instruction

plus I got a bunch of suggestions for other teen books from the other librarians and from reading through VOYA on my break. Some to look for: The Misfits by James Howe, Parrot in the Oven, Alphabet of Thorn, Dancing on the Edge, Godless by Pete Hautman, When Zachary Beaver Came to [something], Out of the Dust

Posted by Emily at 09:28 PM | Comments (1)

Wired Raves

I unfortunately let my subscription to Wired lapse years ago, but I've always been a big fan (that's probably the magazine I should have chosen when the phone survey lady asked what magazine I'd want to be on the cover of...) Anyway, I saw their Rave Awards press release in my RSS feeds this morning (due to who one of the sponsors is) and thought it was just so cool. They're "celebrating the people changing your mind" -- including architects (the Seattle library architect is nominated), artists, authors (Susanna Clarke is one), bloggers (cool!), business leaders, film directors, game designers, industrial designers, scientists, musicians, and innovators.

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

January 17, 2005

Sideways

sideways.jpgSo after that book, I decided I needed to get out of the house for a bit and since I've been meaning to go see Sideways for ages, I finally went out and saw it. Of course just as I was leaving the house I got email from Mom who just saw it and thought it was pretty awful, so I didn't go in with very high expectations -- besides, the posters all promote it as being from the director of Election and About Schmidt, neither of which I particularly liked. The place was packed (apparently I'm the only person who didn't watch it win 2 Golden Globes last night) and it was a good crowd that laughed all the way through it. I actually really enjoyed it -- especially since I was just visiting vineyards this weekend too.

Hmm, looks like Carrie saw it this past weekend as well!


Posted by Emily at 09:57 PM | Comments (1)

Congratulations Ingrid!

Just got word that "Ingrid and Chris Dick are proud to introduce Veronica Elise Dick (a.k.a. Ronnie) born January 12, 2005" Yay! She's beautiful! Welcome to the newest Tech member!

Posted by Emily at 09:15 PM | Comments (1)

YA13: Chinese Handcuffs

chinesehandcuffs.jpgChinese Handcuffs
by Chris Crutcher
New York : Greenwillow Books, c1989.
ISBN: 0688083455
202 p.

My library system only had one copy down in Morgan Hill (where I'm working this Wednesday) but I found a used copy at the bookstore in Pentaluma and snatched it up while I had the chance since its one of the required readings for class. It has a lot of similarities to Crutcher's Whale Talk (also starring a super athlete who won't do the "patriotic" thing and play school sports, mostly to annoy the crazy coaches/principal) and is another really gripping, intense read. But boy, its heavy. First, most of the book is in the form of letters that Dillon Hemingway, age 16, is writing to his brother -- who committed suicide in front of him. And then there's "Jennifer Lawless, a star high school basketball player with a secret too monstrous to tell and too enormous to keep" -- which we're seeing all too much of in these teen books. Dillon's a great character -- too good to be true in many ways (and a load of trouble to those in authority) but you want to like him and want him to fix all the tremendously awful stuff going on. Ugh - I certainly understand why I didn't read these books as a teenager though.

There's an excerpt here if you want a taste.

PW called it "a weighty, introspective novel." In a less than flattering review, School Library Journal wrote, "There are enough plots here to fuel a soap opera for a year" and "There's a place in fiction for teenage problems, but surely not all in one novel."

ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults
Ages 12+, Gr 9-12

Posted by Emily at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2005

YA12: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

curiousincident.jpgI finally got around to reading Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time -- yes, yes, many of you have been recommending it for months now. For any of you who have missed it completely, its a really interesting book told from the point of view of a 15-year-old with Asperger's syndrome in Swindon, England.

There's a nice review here, an interesting interview with the author here (where he compares the book to Pride and Prejudice) and its certainly been talked about a lot this past year. I really enjoyed it -- the character is really wonderful and it is really amazing to view the world through his eyes.

From Chapter 71 (the chapters are numbered in prime, rather than cardinal, numbers):

All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I'm not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are. I'm meant to say that they have learning difficulties or that they have special needs. But this is stupid because everyone has learning difficulties because learning to speak French or understanding relativity is difficult and also everyone has special needs, like Father, who has to carry a little packet of artificial sweetening tablets with him to put in his coffee to keep him from getting fat, or Mrs. Peters, who wears a beige-colored hearning aid, or Siobhan, who has glasses so thick that they give you a headache if you borrow them, and none of these people are Special Needs, even if they have special needs. (p. 43-44)

Posted by Emily at 08:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Weekend

pentaluma1.jpgHad lunch Saturday in Davis with Shachar's former colleague Kabir and his wife and then drove over to Santa Rosa where we were staying over, stopping at a particularly good produce stand to stock up on apples, kiwis, and sour gummy worms on the way. We checked out downtown Pentaluma, including a fruitful stop at Copperfield's Books Petaluma and dinner in a cool Armenian restaurant, Aram's Cafe. Here's Shachar and his mother Shula outside the restaurant. Turns out she's a knitter, so I got to introduce her to the wonderful world of Michael's on the way back from dinner so she could knit something when jetlag hit in the middle of the night.

mountainlion.jpgThis morning (after a stop at Starbucks to finally sample the new divine chocolate drink) we went to Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen (near Sonoma) and checked out the grave sites, the ruins of their house and the very nice museum. I guess you can't read this sign that was posted at the start of the trail in the picture, but it really does say: "Keep children close, as mountatin lions seem to be especially drawn to them." Luckily we didn't see any lions, or the rattle snakes that the next sign warned about. Other than that it was a really beautiful place and Jack London was certainly an interesting character. The Wolf House burnt down a month before Jack and Charmian were supposed to move into it and he died before they could rebuild it. In the museum, there were a series of photographs of people who had been strong influences in London's life, and I was pleased to read that one of them was the librarian Ina Coolbrith (someone who looks like an interesting person to learn much more about!)


jacklondon1.jpgjacklondon2.jpgcoolbrith.jpg
Then we stopped by the Benziger Family Winery for a tour and tasting. It was a great tour (on a tractor-pulled tram) and they're one of only 9 vineyards in the US certified as using biodynamics, "a wholistic farming approach developed in the 1920s by scientist Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher who created Waldorf education." (which I thought Doug and Barbi would be interested in hearing!)
winery1.jpgwinery2.jpgwinery3.jpg
We also stopped at the nearby Olive Press where we got to sample different types of olive oils and I bought some really tasty Blood Orange flavored olive oil.

On the way home, we stopped for a late lunch at Saul's Deli in Berkeley and I got to have my diet black cherry doctor brown's, a bowl of matza ball soup, and a black & white cookie, so life is pretty darn good. Shula even tried her very first root beer float.


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January 14, 2005

I should be in Boston...

... but I'm not. I was all signed up to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston this weekend (partly as an excuse to finally see Brian & Karen's apartment) but my new internship was enough to get me back here to CA right after the holiday break instead of bumming around the East Coast for a couple of extra weeks.

So instead I'll be following along on the new PLA Blog.

Hmm, maybe I'll make it to the 2007 Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, WA, Jan. 19–24, 2007.

Posted by Emily at 06:42 PM | Comments (2)

We'll Always Have Parrots

parrots.jpgSo yes, I gave into the temptation and read We'll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews, a quick fun mystery starring Meg Langslow, blacksmith and amateur sleuth. This time, the adventures take place at a fan convention for the crazy sci-fi show that Meg's fiance Michael appears in, so the book is filled with all sorts of goofy fandom (plus flocks of parrots and monkeys running amuck in the hotel). Great fun!

I think I'd feel more motivated to get going on my reading for class if either of my professors for this semester would post the syllabi.

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January 13, 2005

Musical Interlude

Apparently Eduard wrote a song about MLK for music theory class so they had him play it to the school at their assembly today. The school's PR person took the photo and emailed it to Mom.

eduardmlk.jpg

Posted by Emily at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

Access Denied

accessdenied.jpgEndulged in some much-needed escapism this evening and polished off Donna Andrew's latest Turing Hopper adventure, Access Denied. I'm surprised I haven't blogged about this series before - either You've Got Murder (Apr 2003) or Click Here for Murder (Apr 2004). But its a great mystery series with a wonderful main character who is a sentient artificial intelligence so it has very cool computer stuff and a great set of characters and situations.

Now I really do have to go back to reading for class... though I did note that Owls Well That Ends Well, the next Meg Langslow mystery from Donna Andrews, comes out in April and We'll Always Have Parrots is still sitting here patiently on my pile... one more couldn't hurt... :)


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Heat!

Yay! The repair man came and I finally have heat again! Luckily I live in a place where it at least isn't below freezing, but its still too cold not to have heat! On the plus side, it did make me appreciate having a nice warm office (with hot chocolate) to go to each morning this week!

Posted by Emily at 05:43 PM | Comments (1)

January 12, 2005

Chicago

BobbiLynn and I saw the AMTSJ touring production of Chicago tonight (thank you BLA!!!) It was a great production and we left singing and tapping our toes... poster_chicago.jpg

Posted by Emily at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

Boston Globe Library Article

Mom sent along this nice piece from Boston.com about supporting libraries (via the Americans for the Arts website)

Don't close the book on libraries
January 5, 2005
"NEXT WEEK a storied team with more than 64,000 members and millions
of loyal fans will gather in Boston to try to lift 'curse' that has been haunting them for decades..."

Patrons may not realize how important the library is until they arrive to find the doors shuttered, the computers dark, or the periodicals missing. At that point it will be too late. We must act now to ensure the future of the library, and what better place to declare our commitment than in a city that so recently triumphed against all odds -- and curses? People profess to love libraries. But alas, libraries cannot live on love alone.
Posted by Emily at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Annie

Happy 15th birthday today to Annie!

Posted by Emily at 06:44 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2005

Ok, I want one

Ipod Shuffle. Sweet.

Posted by Emily at 11:31 AM | Comments (1)

January 10, 2005

Oriented

As of today's orientation, I guess I am officially oriented to my new internship. And, for the first time I had a moment to actually look out the window from my floor (my office doesn't have a window, but there are other windows of course). It occurred to me that I've never actually worked up that high in a real office building before! The highest I've ever worked was on the fourth floor of a building I think. I have to say that the view from the 17th is pretty darn cool (of course a lot of orientation was what to do in case of a fire or earthquake...) Tomorrow I get to attend an all-day training on the site management software I'll be using which should be cool. I'm definitely learning a lot!

Posted by Emily at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

whitejacket_188.jpgAnother absolutely amazing, magical book that sucked me in completely and utterly. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. However, since it was 782 pages with complicated footnotes citing more fantastical magical stories and sources, it did take far longer than I expected to read it and I have been sadly neglecting my teen reading list (luckily classes don't start for another week or two.) I had seen the book in the stores months ago and had been tempted (by Neil Gaiman's review on the back claiming it as "unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years") but resisted given how heavy it would be to cart around.

In September Hanna wrote to say that it was wonderful -- and she is never wrong with her book suggestions (she even had had Pop send her a US copy because it came out in the states a couple of weeks before the UK version). I knew then that I was going to have to read it, yet it still took me until Mom carted it down to Florida (and then refused to cart it back so I was allowed to have dibs on it) that I finally got around to it, and it is definitely worth the wait!

Its the tale of two magicians -- the title characters of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell -- who are attempting to restore magic to England. It reads like historical fiction (the kind I love with real and magical characters intermingling) and has that wonderful stuffy English drawing room feeling that's irresistable in a good read.

There's a web site with some excerpts and extras and things if you're interested.


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January 09, 2005

Pop Quiz

So I admit that I usually feel like I don't keep up enough, don't read the paper carefully enough, don't pay enough attention to what's going on in the world... (I mean, I didn't even know about Brad and Jen or the explosion nearby here) but then usually life just goes on and new things happen and there's another pile of papers to read, more news to watch, etc., so I don't have time to worry too much about it. But then, once in a while, I get one of those market survey telephone calls where they basically give you a pop quiz about your opinions about everything under the sun and I realize how little I really have been paying attention. Which pharmaceutical companies have had which products in the news lately (I can't keep them straight, but certainly have heard about them), what new shows have started in the last two months on cable (had only heard of two of them, but they all sounded terrible so I don't feel too bad), what do I think about Dupont? IBM? 3M? Have I written to any elected officials (no, well I have emailed on various issues but forgot when they asked) or newspaper editors (no) or called into any talk radio shows (ha!) with my opinions or made any speechs (ok, who goes around making speeches? ok, I made a quick unsuccessful one last February, but I don't think that counts)

The best question, which I completely drew a blank on, was "if you could be on the cover of any magazine, what magazine would you choose?" Looking around the pile of stuff next to the phone, the first thing I saw was Newsweek, but I really don't know what I would choose. If I was famous, what would I want to be famous for?

So of course I had to find one of those quizzes that tells you what kind of magazine you are:

Take the quiz: "What magazine are you?"

Time Magazine
You're a person who is comfortable with who you are. Your life is where you like it even though it may be boring

Hmmm...

Posted by Emily at 05:28 PM | Comments (2)

Future Librarians?

Had a fun lunch today at Alan & Margaret's with two potential new library school recruits (hello to Jenny and Kari!)

libraryrecruits.jpg

Of course we had to talk about my blog and about hay of course :) but it was fun having a discussion about the library profession and library school. I found that I'm feeling quite positive right now about the whole thing -- I couldn't even find anything particularly negative to say about the program and find myself looking forward to the semester starting back up! It was fun to meet them and I look forward to learning if they end up becoming librarians or not.

Posted by Emily at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2005

Award Deadline Today

Today is the deadline for this year's applications for the The Group Jazz Meta Networking Award in honor of Frank Burns. We've gotten some wonderful submissions so far and I'm really looking forward to seeing who we get to work with!

So its not too late if you know of a deserving organization or project that would be interested in applying. All they need to do is send an email to award@groupjazz.com that describes the purpose of the organization or project and why and how you think a network will make a difference.

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January 06, 2005

Way Behind

Dad and Jane, who have the excuse of having been out of the country for the last few months, called to ask me to fill them in on some of the things that have been happening on West Wing and I realized that I completely forgot to watch the last 2 episodes (which is not at all like me to do!) But it makes another great opportunity to thank my Tivo for having automatically saved and stored the episodes. So much for getting to bed early tonight!

In case anyone else is behind, there are summaries from 12/15, 1/5, etc.

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Forever Frangos

frangos.jpgJane sent along this article from today's Seattle Times about those divine chocolate treats formerly known as Frangos

Don't call it Frango in Seattle
The new name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue -- or melt in the mouth -- but Frango chocolate truffles, a part of Seattle for almost as long as the Smith Tower, are being rebranded later this month as Frederick & Nelson The Original.

Full story

frangobox.jpgFrangos (which I will continue to think of them as) are these wonderful chocolates that come in 10 flavors and were always packaged in these cool hexagon-shaped packages. My favorite are still the mint ones, and they remind me of teacher-conference days in elementary school when Mom would take Brian and I to lunch at the basement cafe at Frederick & Nelson and we would have Frango Mint ice cream milkshakes -- one of the best things ever. I know that Carrie H (being a good Chicago-native), shares my appreciation of a good Frango :)

From the Marshall Field's site: "There are other mints and other chocolates, but only one Frango mint chocolate."

Posted by Emily at 02:24 PM | Comments (4)

January 05, 2005

Witch's Yarn

witchyarn.gifCheck out this cool adventure game: The Witch’s Yarn -- a witch-run yarn store, how cool is that?

The Witch’s Yarn tells an upbeat tale of modern living served with a lighthearted dish of fantasy. Although suitable for everyone, adults will fully appreciate its humor and situations. It is a story about relationships, community, self-empowerment, and simple living. Challenges in the game arise from the very same issues by enhancing, not interrupting, the story.

According to their site:
'The Witch's Yarn' is a game that writes a story. It's for people who enjoy reading and theater. The game is played by cueing actors and props. Each cue affects the story's direction by placing that actor or prop in the center of what happens next. A cue can change the story by a little bit or a lot. If the story takes a bad turn, the direction can be changed.

(there's a pc version as well)

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Ice Princess

I love a good skating movie (The Cutting Edge, anyone?) and so I was really excited to see the preview for Disney's upcoming "Ice Princess" which comes out on March 18th. One description is that, "An ugly duckling tries to follow her dream to become a champion figure skater with the help of a disgraced coach and the cute boy who drives the Zamboni." It stars Michelle Trachtenberg from Buffy, Joan Cusack as her Mom, and Kim Cattrall as her coach! And the story is by Meg Cabot who wrote the Princess Diaries. The main character is also super-smart, and uses her knowledge of physics to figure out the amazing turns and things.

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

January 04, 2005

Hugs to Liz

Hugs today to Liz who had her widom teeth out today! Ouch! Hang in there!

Posted by Emily at 05:19 PM | Comments (0)

FO: Winter Hat 1

winterhat1.jpgFinished up a very simple winter hat on the trip (I figured a hat would be a good excuse to get to knit with circular needles on the plane). Its Patons Canadiana Worsted Weight Stonewash on 16" US #8 circulars. Emy pointed out that ribbed knitting doesn't roll, but I finally figured out that you're supposed to do a double roll to make the brim.

Now I get to start the cool new any-guage hat pattern that Emy gave me for my birthday!

Posted by Emily at 04:39 PM | Comments (2)

Dad Parodied

Dad wrote today to let Brian and I know that he has "now been parodied in a blog"! No, not my blog, but http://www.soundpolitics.com/ in an article about the Sonics financing. Apparently, an article appeared in this morning's Seattle Times ("Stadium taxes might never expire") and the parody was online shortly thereafter. Go Dad :)

Posted by Emily at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

OSN 2005: New Dates, New Price

Interested in blogs, wikis, and other social networking tools? Check out the upcoming Online Social Networks 2005 online conference, February 9-23, 2005.

OSN2005 will be a summit for all those interested in working with social networking processes, tools, and media. In addition to attending many workshops, panels, and presentations by leading experts and practitioners, attendees will have the opportunity to be part of a community with a significant role in defining the future direction of online social networking. If you want to help shape this industry, come to OSN2005!

Keynote presenters include Lisa Kimball, Howard Rheingold, Joi Ito and Brian Reich!

Scan
February 9 - 11, 2005
Introductory keynote
Focus Areas open
Meet & Greet
Focus
February 14 - 18, 2005
Focus Area sessions
Author sessions
Special events
Act
February 21 - 23, 2005
The Future of OSNs
Focus Area Wrap Up
Closing event

Register today!!
Early Bird Registration - $35.00US through February 1, 2005
Standard Registration - $50.00US after February 1, 2005
Registration includes unrestricted access to all keynote, focus area, and other special sessions. The fee also includes a post-conference CD archive of the entire event (mailing address required).

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Happy Birthday Ken

Happy birthday today to Ken, who I know from way back at NMP. He now seems to be doing great stuff as President of Network for Good.

According to their site, "Network for Good is the Internet's leading charitable resource — an e-philanthropy site where individuals can donate, volunteer and get involved with the issues they care about. The organization's goal is to connect people to charities via the Internet — using the virtual world to deliver real resources to nonprofits and communities."

Its a great place to find information on how you can donate to the tsunami relief efforts (the group is in the news quite a bit right now for their efforts especially because AOL is pointing people there.)

Posted by Emily at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2005

Home

Safely home after a long flight... and already feeling that eek-there-is-a-lot-of-stuff-piled-up-and-waiting-to-be-done feeling. But it was a good trip and it was great to see everyone!

Posted by Emily at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2005

Magic Kingdom

whiterabbit.jpgOne last day in Disney World so we finally got around to the main attraction, the Magic Kingdom. We started out early to avoid the crowds and managed to hit pretty much everything we wanted to see before running out of energy. The only real wait we had was about 1/2 an hour for Splash Mountain, otherwise there really weren't any waits and we got fast-passes for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (the Fast Pass system is a great innovation where to get a ticket to return to one of the popular rides in an hour or so ... and then you can go on other attractions instead of just sitting in line). Mickey's PhilharMagic was a great new attraction (one of those 3D experiences with smells and things like the Bugs Life one in Animal Kingdom)

We've returned the rental car and are settling in at an airport hotel so we can get an early start tomorrow back to California and regular life.

Hope you all had a nice holiday break!

Posted by Emily at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2005

Happy Birthday John

johnwaffle.jpgHappy birthday today to John -- and yes that's a candle in his waffle! John's birthday marks the end of our marathon birthday celebration week here in Florida!


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