January 31, 2006

Refgrunt, 1/31

My last Tuesday night at this library -- I've been doing regular Tuesday night shifts there for over a year and I'll definitely miss it -- but its just too hard to get there after work and then a long drive home. But I'll be there on Sunday so I'm not giving up this library entirely. Here are some of the questions/requests from tonight:

paper (x 11)
use the computer?
FAFSA form (I think you can only fill it out online now, but we do have hard copies of the prep worksheet)
The Day My Butt Went Psycho
Chicken Soup for the Child's Soul
Anne Frank's diary
articles on Sadaam Hussein and Scott Peterson's trials
Goosebumps videos
Grim Grotto
tetragonal crystals (that was hard!)
paper jam
Digimon books
Freaky Friday (new version)
Planet of the Apes
other Mark Wahlberg movies
Legally Blonde 2
Babysitter's Club
Giver on CD (had to send them to Fremont since he had to have it tonight)
Tech Pass (yay! i love giving those out!)
potty training videos
a lot of info on asthma
medieval Japanese medicine (another hard one)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Arthur books (JE Brown)
toddler books
Chinese and Vietnamese New Years books
Red Train
Trouble is my Beeswax
Blues Clues and Leap Frog DVDs
Pokemon chapter books
Can I access the catalog from home (why yes!)
info on building a wind powered race card (turned out to be a hard one too)

Found when weeding:
2 notes: "Susanna's death", "married/new home" in Abbigail Adams bio

Posted by Emily at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2006

Wendy Wasserstein

Wendy Wasserstein, Chronicler of Women's Identity Crises, Dies
(NY Times, 1/30)

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein Dies

I only learned about Wendy Wasserstein's illness a few weeks ago from a mailing from Theatre Works informing ticket holders that they were postponing the world premiere of her musical Pamela’s First Musical, scheduled in April (they will be performing The Sisters Rosensweig April 5-30 instead)

Last November, Mom shared the stage with Wendy Wasserstein to announce the Americans for the Arts Action Fund

Our library owns 9 of her works

Posted by Emily at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2006

ALA Award

In a cross of family, movie and library news, apparently my step-sister-in-law Laurel’s film “Busting Out” received an award from the ALA! Congrats!

Video Round Table Announces 2006 Notable Videos for Adults
The ALA Video Round Table Notable Videos Committee has compiled its 2006 list of Notable Videos for Adults. The selections were made during the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio.

Hopefully that will mean my library will buy a copy!

(thanks Jane for sending the word along)

Posted by Emily at 09:44 PM | Comments (1)

Lion King

Saw the matinee of Disney's The Lion King at AMTSJ this afternoon. Amazing costumes and sets -- definitely a theater experience. lionking.jpg

On the way we got to see a bit of the Vietnamese Spring Festival and Parade downtown and went out for pretty decent falafel.

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

January 28, 2006

Dealing with Dragons

dealingwithdragons.jpgI stumbled across Dealing with Dragons: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book One by Patricia C. Wrede (also a co-author of Sorcery and Cecelia) when weeding W paperbacks a couple of weeks ago and just had to give it a try. And then of course I had to ignore the huge pile of books waiting in my pile and go right into Searching for Dragons: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book Two (yes, there's a third and fourth as well).

Its a great series with a spunky princess Cimorene who is tired of etiquette and embroidery and being told that everything she likes to do is improper for a princess. She runs away from home and ends up keeping house for a dragon and getting plenty of the adventures she was hoping for. Throughout the books other fairy tale stories are woven in (like the giants frustrated that every adventuring boy who visits them is named Jack).

Ages 10+, Grades 5-9

I'm going to have to find a 10 year old who needs a birthday present and buy them the box set.

Posted by Emily at 08:42 AM | Comments (3)

January 27, 2006


The fence saga goes on... sadly we lost this really lovely tree! The guy claims that it just fell down by itself, that the roots of something must have been weak. But I was so sad to see it lying there (we clipped a bunch of branches to put in vases)


(oh, and did I mention that it was actually our neighbor's tree?)

Posted by Emily at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

Something is missing

I got home from work and walked by the kitchen and something didn't seem quite right. It took me a moment to realize that someone had come and removed our entire fence (only somewhat unexpectedly, the landlady sent someone around last week to check and he did mention that it was in terrible shape). Since we back into an open lot, it makes for a really large backyard but leaves the house feeling pretty exposed back there.


(to compare, usually the fence is right behind the hammock)

Posted by Emily at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2006


Congratulations to Ellen and Chris and a very special welcome to Francesca, born January 21st!

Posted by Emily at 09:23 PM | Comments (1)

BlogHer '06

Registration is open for this year's BlogHer conference. Last year's was a lot of fun and this year sounds much bigger and more comprehensive. It's great fun to see all these amazing blogging women together. So if you're interested, sign up too! There will be stuff for newbies if you're not already a blogger and hopefully plenty of fun things for those of us already addicted... And its right here in San Jose, so there's no excuse for us locals not to sign up!

Posted by Emily at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

Lazy Monday

I saw this on Rocketboom this morning and had to share. It's Narnia Rap Battle with a West Coast Response to SNL's Narnia Rap

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

January 24, 2006

Refgrunt, 1/24

Pretty quiet night on the J side, lots of time to weed the biography 800s. Here are some of the questions/requests:

Alien in a Bottle
Ghost of Cutler Creek
The 7th Knot
Battle of Gettysburg
kangaroo rat
Chinese New Year video by Schlessinger
harp seals
video of I Have A Dream Speech
Historic Speeches of African Americans
Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom
lyrics to songs in "High School Musical"
crayons? (no)
graphic novels
2 adults who wanted to get online
transatlantic ocean liners
I Spy books
Spanish language learning for kids
swift foxes
turned in a cell phone

found when weeding:
one 'Read' bookmark
4 receipts
2 notes: "continuing on w/ life" and "after the incident w/ rape" (in a Maya Angelou bio)

Posted by Emily at 10:09 PM | Comments (23)

January 23, 2006

Hoot - Coming Soon

Ooh! They've made a movie of Hoot! There's no date on the preview, but I'll definitely be adding it to my list. I really enjoyed the audio book version.

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

Book Awards

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books and video for children and young adults -- including the Caldecott, King, Newbery and Printz awards today at Midwinter (one day I'll get to go to one of these ALA conferences, they sound like such cool events.) IN the mean time, here's more books to add to my pile of ones to check out...

ALA Press Release

"Criss Cross," written by Lynne Rae Perkins, is the 2006 Newbery Medal winner.
"The Hello, Goodbye Window," illustrated by Chris Raschka, is the 2006 Caldecott Medal winner
"Looking for Alaska," written by John Green, is the 2006 Printz Award winner. (read it)
"Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue," written by Julius Lester, is the King Author Book winner.
"Rosa," illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the King Illustrator Book winner.
"Jimi & Me," written by Jaime Adoff, is the Steptoe winner.
"Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart," illustrated by Raul Colon, is the Belpre Illustrator Award winner.
"The Tequila Worm," written by Viola Canales, is the Belpre Author Award winner.
"Dad, Jackie, and Me" written by Myron Uhlberg, illustrated by Colin Bootman and published by Peachtree Press, wins the Schneider Family Book Award award for children ages 0 to 10. Kimberly Newton Fusco is the winner of the middle-school (ages 11-13) award for "Tending to Grace," published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books. The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is "Under the Wolf, Under the Dog," written by Adam Rapp.
"Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas," written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Sucie Stevenson is the Seuss Award winner.
Jacqueline Woodson is the 2006 Edwards Award winner. Her books include: "I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This," and its sequel, "Lena;" "From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun," "If You Come Softly" (read it) and "Miracle's Boys."
"Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley," written by Sally M. Walker, is the Sibert Award winner.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences

"Midnight at the Dragon Cafe," written by Judy Fong Bates and published by Counterpoint.
"Upstate," written by Kalisha Buckhanon and published by St Martins
"Anansi Boys," written by Neil Gaiman and published by William Morrow & Company
"As Simple as Snow," written by Gregory Gallaway
"Never Let Me Go," written by Kazuo Ishiguro
"Gil's All Fright Diner," written by A. Lee Martinez (read it)
"The Necessary Beggar," written by Susan Palwick
"My Jim," written by Nancy Rawles
"Jesus Land: A Memoir," written by Julia Scheeres
"The Glass Castle: A Memoir," written by Jeannette Walls

plus a few others

Posted by Emily at 07:58 AM | Comments (0)

No more West Wing

Apparently, "NBC will end two of its most successful series of recent years, "The West Wing" and "Will & Grace," at the conclusion of the current season" (NY Times) According to the Seattle PI, "Sunday morning, NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly officially announced the show would end Sunday, May 14, with a hourlong retrospective from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by the last episode at 8."

The next new one isn't until March 12th (post Olympics) and currently the election is too close to call...

Posted by Emily at 06:27 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2006

Refgrunt, 1/22

Another crazy Sunday - I haven't worked at this library on Sundays for months and haven't been on the adult side in ages (I switched back and forth each hour) and they'd moved a lot of things around when I wasn't looking (like the language learning tapes and cds...) Here are some of the questions/requests from today:

a book she had been reading about a princess with Orchid in it somewhere? Empress Orchid
What is FOML (on book sale bookmark) -- it's the friends of this library
Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby
science project, no idea on what
last week's Merc Guide Section
Japanese Internment books (I gave a plug for our Silicon Valley Reads choices while showing her the nonfiction area)
Always Running
medicine in colonial America
science quiz books
Dragon Heart (book?)
Korean DVD All About Eve (Ibu Ui Mod Un Kot JA-5)
Erin Hunter, Warriors The New Prophecy series
got interviewed about my job by a 1st grader
Blair Witch
The Promise (Black Stallion book)
is Godspell in yet (from last Tuesday's hold -- it was)
trouble reading disk
diagram of an eye
4th grade historical fiction
2nd and 3rd Sisterhood books
The World (chinese newspaper)
which computer is #2?
paper x5
Norton Anthology of Poetry
Adventures in Babysitting
persian videos
language tapes
video game
SAT and CAT prep for 3rd and 7th grade
brain teasers
math word problems, 2nd grade
Street Magic (Tamora Pierce)
8th grade sci fi (I gave them Ender's Game and the Golden Compass along with our sci fi list)
Drowned Wednesday (Nix)
can this be checked out?
Morning Star x2
AutoCad 2006
geometry textbooks
DMV handbook (showed him it online)
World Music documentaries
did this java programming book come with a CD?
business statistics text
The Fountainhead
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (still 10 on waiting list)
Ready to Write (no)
Even More True Stories (no)
Tokyo travel guides
Bhajan CDs
parenting videos
Rita newspaper coverage (had to be print source not from database)
1040 schedule C instructions
CA State Employment form
what is a pdf? why can't I read them at home (yes, I enjoyed explaining that one)
more science fair projects
killer paper jam
someone crossed their name of the computer sign-up list
The Santa Clause
Supreme Court
Yao Ming
Shakespeare biography
paper clip
Eyewitness Video: Amphibian (got to call Lisa at L.A. and say hi while asking her to look for it)
can you check out this encyclopedia (yes, has orange dot)
water, wood science materials books
PhD Phantasy Degree (manga) (no)
Blade of Heaven (manga) (no)
Qua ngon dat que Nam Tap 1

and I restocked the science fair project books display

Posted by Emily at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)

Prairie Home Companion Skit

There was a skit about librarians on today's Prairie Home Companion. I only heard half of it on my way to the library this morning, but hopefully someone will post a transcript somewhere...

Update: ah, here's the script.

"How did you know?
I'm a librarian. I know."

Posted by Emily at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

Read Between the Lines

I may need one of these new Emily Strange library posters...
(via LiB

Posted by Emily at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)


As we had hoped and expected, Cirque's new show Corteo was awesome last night. Its pretty hard to describe if you've never seen them live, but the combination of amazing feats of acrobatics and contortion and with the art of the thing -- images like an upside down trapeze walker, a flying bed, angels everywhere, the spinning stage, etc -- is just breathtaking.

Its in San Jose until Mar. 5, so there's still time to go! Its going to New York, Boston and DC too...

Posted by Emily at 09:13 AM | Comments (18)

January 21, 2006

Miss America

They're showing Miss America at 5pm pacific (8 eastern) on Country Music Television. I thought I was going to have to miss it since we're see Circque Tonight (yay!!!!) but at least I'll get to watch some. Poor Mom is apparently going to miss it, but I'll be calling Lisa at the first commercial to check her picks (a long time tradition).

Update 5:10pm: Here are my top ten picks: AL, HI, LA, MD, MS, NV, OK, TX, VA, WY
There seems to be an awful lot of business majors this year. And I just found out that Lisa won't be home until 9 so we can't compare notes :(

Update 5:27: Here are the actual top 10: DC [Lisa!?!?!?!!? You get a home team, choice to vote for! What fun!], SC, OK, VA, GA, TX, AR, PA, AL, FL.
(last year only one of my picks made the top 15, but she won!)
Already the host is SOOOO much better than last year's (not that that would be hard at all)

Update, the next morning: Yay! One of my top picks won!

Posted by Emily at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2006

The Tent

I just noticed that I can see the Cirque du Soleil tent from the window by the office printer! I am SO excited to see the new show (I think I bought my tickets last June!)


Posted by Emily at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2006

Case Histories

casehistories.jpgI finished listening to Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, read by Susan Jameson, in the car yesterday. I had seen the book on a number of year-end best books lists, and was surpried I hadn't seen it earlier given that I had read two of her other books, Behind the Scenes at the Museum and Emotionally Weird (and while I can't actually remember a thing about either of them, I think I remembered liking them.) This one is a detective story -- private detective Jackson Brodie looks into three old cases, one involving two sisters who discover a shocking clue to the disappearance of their third sister thirty years earlier, one where a lawyer is searching for his daughter's murderer, and one where a woman whose past mistakes and demanding family life culminate in a violent escape. Meanwhile someone is trying to kill Brodie and his ex-wife is threatening to move away with their daughter. The lives and stories of the characters weave into one another and the characters are all richly decribed and the narration is perfect. I would definitely recommend it -- I didn't know anything about it going into it and was a bit shocked at the end of the first chapters, but the investigation is great.

Posted by Emily at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2006


hebrew10minutes.jpgI'm taking a Conversational Hebrew class -- tonight was the first meeting. A ton of people signed up, but it looks like it will be fun. There are eight sessions so hopefully I'll learn to say a few things before the wedding... The text is Hebrew in 10 Minutes a Day (which I own but didn't get very far into). I also listened to lessons 7 & 8 of my Pinsleur CDs in the car (we're still on whether you want to have a drink at his place or the hotel...)

ay-foh at rotza le-shote mashahoo? ba-ma-lon o its-li? [or something like that]

Posted by Emily at 09:59 PM | Comments (2)

January 17, 2006

Refgrunt, 1/17

Crazy night on the j-desk. It took me an hour or two to realize that it was because the library was closed yesterday. Tuesdays have been relatively quiet since the library started having Monday hours, but this was like old times. For the first three hours I didn't have a second to weed (biographies of pilots and astronauts tonight) but luckily it quieted down a bit for the last hour and I got through one stretch of books. Here are some of the questions/requests:

WWII x5 (class projects)
historical fiction for a 5th grader
Battle of Midway
chemistry problem (luckily he found a friend who could solve it since I was too crazed to focus on it and it's been a long time since 10th grade chemistry class)
Lemony Snicket #4
Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe x2 (still a waiting list)
Bluff Master
why flowers change colors
Sign of the Beaver x2
experiments with water and evaporation
Wind in the Willows video
Aladdin Jr.
The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
info to study for GATE test? not really
paper x2
Holocaust x2
storytime questions x2
Disaster Blasters: A Kids Guide to Being Home Alone
Atlas of the US
Mission San Miguel Arcangel
Stand Up For Your Rights
The New Way Things Work
ecotourism impact questions
"297 What" (What is Islam video)
eraser x2
Briar's Book (Tamora Pierce)
sign up for computer questions x2
food prep books
Pokemon videos
more Mission help
help printing
paper jam
Dictionary x2

Found while weeding:
Curious George fruit snacks wrapper
library receipt
cool school photo luggage tag
sticky notes

Posted by Emily at 10:05 PM | Comments (103)

January 16, 2006

Weird spam

I don't understand why I'm getting all this blog spam that doesn't have a URL with it -- isn't the whole point of these people to get their URL picked up all over my site? At least I thought that's what they were aiming for. In the past few days I've been getting hundreds of comment spam messages without a URL at all though... so what's the point for them to be doing it? I'm not really complaining -- its better than hundreds of spams with sicko urls, but it's still a pain to clean them up (even with mt-blacklist) and seems extra idiotic somehow.

One day I'll make myself carve out the time to upgrade MT to the version where you have to approve comments. My stupid comments barely work, yet I still get zillions of spam ones...

Posted by Emily at 09:49 AM | Comments (1)

January 15, 2006

Refgrunt, 1/15

A long Sunday afternoon at the library. I miss the days when it was still light when we get done -- it feels like the middle of the night even though the shift ended at 6. Pretty quiet overall... helped to pick books for a Chinese New Year display on the J side and chatted with my favorite Sunday buddies. Here are some of the questions/requests from today:

Pixie Tricks series
"bibliographies for 8th graders" said the dad, but turned out to be biographies of anyone from Hitler to Pocahontas
XTC album Fossil Fuel (we didn't have it)
Robertson's statements about Sharon
Design in Nature NY Times editorial
Assisted living options in the county -- we found a good a good list of them at seniormag.com which details how many Independent Living Units, Assisted Living Units, Nursing Care Units, and Alzheimer Care Units are at each location.
paper x3
login help x3
guitar playing
toner (from a very demanding patron)
consumer table
Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazzette archives (we only keep the last 5 years, and apparently only 3 libraries in the state own them at all)
spell 'Sistine'
want computer 21 not 20
lost metal cane
Point and Figure Charting
mismatch type error on timeout software x2
out of paper, printing dozens of pages from patron before
biographies of presidents and entertainers
Joan of Arc
problems logging in
Taj Mahal
pay phone
Dr. Seuss, books and cds
celebrity fan club addresses
Gossip Girl Series
Second Summer of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Grapes of Wrath
learn cursive
what USB drive models actually do work with our system (one day we need to provide a list for patrons, this is getting silly)
romance reader's advisory -- good staff picks here (I don't really read romance, but recommended Jennifer Crusie off the list) and a list of good ra sources from Bartlesville, OK so I printed out the The Romance Writers of America's RITA award winners
Lance Armstrong bios
Nancy Drew Notebooks series
children's books in French
Inu Yasha videos
computer shut down while printing

and Lisa set up her very first blog (yay!) and Rick reported working with someone at another library last week who was reading my blog!! So hello to you if you're back reading it again.

Posted by Emily at 07:38 PM | Comments (48)

January 13, 2006


We may have one of the best jobs, but it is apparently stressful as well.

Librarians 'suffer most stress'
BBC News


maybe they found the job "repetitive and unchallenging" because the profession is filled with people who like intellectual challenges and we're hard to please... of course when the criteria for stress includes "how much control workers thought they had over their working day, their workload and how much they earned" then maybe its not that surprising.

The article ends, "In addition, stress impacts different personalities in different ways, and different personalities may be drawn to different roles." Maybe we like stress...

Posted by Emily at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2006

Travel Meme

stolen from kottke, there's a meme going around where you list all the cities you stayed one or more nights in during 2005... I really don't travel that much these days -- I'd love to see Brian's lists!

Morgan Hill, CA
Honolulu, HI
State College, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Joshua Tree, CA (Joshua Tree Park)
Boston, MA
Westport, CT*
Seattle, WA
Los Gatos, CA
San Diego, CA
Three Rivers, CA (Sequoia National Park)
Santa Rosa, CA
Orlando, FL

* multiple trips

I think that's it. It's so nice to be able to scroll back through my blog entries to remember where I've been!

Blog your list of cities and get your friends to do the same.

Posted by Emily at 12:55 PM | Comments (2)

Best Job!

Someone sent this link around to the lib school mailing list:

The Best Jobs to Have in 2006
By Marty Nemko
U.S. News & World Report

Librarian. This is an underrated career. Most librarians enjoy helping patrons dig up information. They learn in the process and keep up to date on the latest books and online resources. The need for librarians, unfortunately, may decline because search engines make it easy for patrons to find information without a librarian's help. The job growth for librarians will be in nontraditional settings: corporations, nonprofit organizations, and consulting firms.

And actually it's the only one on the list that I'd want to have (well, maybe professor) so I'm very excited to have it!

Posted by Emily at 12:02 PM | Comments (2)

January 10, 2006


Finished inkspell.jpgInkspell by Cornelia Funke, audio version narrated by Brendan Fraser, on the ride home from work tonight. I have to say I didn't like the reading, and it took me a couple of CDs before I really fell into the story (and even then, some of the voices he did just bothered me). But the story itself was good and I think overall I liked it much better than the first (which Lisa T reminded me was disappointing since we had such high hopes for a book where people get to pop into other books... but looking back to my blog entry from 12/04 I guess I liked it at the time.)

This one definitely leads right into a sequel, so hopefully the story will continue!

And it looks like they'll be making a movie version of Inkheart, due out Spring '07.

"This time Dustfinger (the fire-eater/book character who came to life) returns to the pages of the Inkheart book from whence he came, and Meggie gets magically-and literally-caught inside the story, too."
16 sound discs (ca. 18 hr., 50 min.)

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

Refgrunt, 1/10

A relatively quiet Tuesday night on the J desk, lots of weeding of paperbacks. Here are some of the questions/requests:

Rave Master #1,2,3,5
Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
pick up a hold
The Cat in the Hat movie
Croching Tiger, Hidden Dragon books
kids DVDs x2
Michelle (Full House) series
any Narnia book
Memoirs of a Geisha
Chicken Little movie
The Witches of Worm
The Pigman
Mules & Men
Anne of the Island
Ane Frank: Beyond the Diary
Soourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman
The Amusement Park Mystery
add back in a book returned 2 years late?
Thomas & Friends
Baby Einstein DVDs
Leapfrog DVDs
A to Z Mysteries (Roy)
personal hygiene in Shakespeare's time
4th grade math
science fair projects on plants
Spot books
The Forests of Silence (Emily Rodda)
The Wizard of Oz
peanut butter and jelly song
alphabet song
Can I print?
Can I type something?
Horrible Harry
Internet help
finding images
how to spell Power Rangers
inserting an image into Word
how to sell postopia

found when weeding (fewer things than when weeding adult books, because kids generally just turn down the pages I guess)
1 pokemon card
stickers that say "test" and "assignment due"
2 library receipts

Posted by Emily at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2006

Meetup Push

We're making another push to get some people to come to the librarian meetup this year. So if you're in the San Jose area and are interested in library issues, please come! Thursday, January 19th, 7:00 PM.

Posted by Emily at 05:54 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2006

Refgrunt, 1/08

A lovely Sunday at the library. Here are some of the questions/requests:

out of town visitor for 3 weeks, can he get a card? (yes)
how to log out of time management session
Russian music history
Lady Hamilton
children's new books
Series of Unfortunate Events #12
Amazing Days of Abby Hayes
Guy Wire
poems for 3rd grade
turned in wallet
New Jersey
pictures of Paul Revere
program room
3rd grade books
Thomas Edison
Lemony Snicket #1
Puffin Classics
Oliver Twist
self-check machine issue
a book to write a report on today
Albert Schweitzer
adventure stories
Sex and the City, Season 3 video
duplicate log in issue
AP Computer Science
To Kill a Mockingbird
How long can you take out a DVD?
Look up an ISBN#
Rich Dad's Advisory
The Eighth Continent
traveling in Alaska with kids
post office exam prep
Artemis Fowl
mysteries over 100 pages
Chinese mythology
Island of the Blue Dolphins
book they were making a movie about featuring a boy and a leopard (turned out to be Duma, about a cheetah, and the book was How it Was with Dooms: A Truel Story From Africa)
Kristi Yamaguchi
chemistry for 2nd graders
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (still a long wait for it)

Posted by Emily at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2006

Coolest Towel Ever


I received this fantastic late birthday present today in the mail -- it says "To Emily, from Shachar's Mother". I love it! Thank you!

(In high school, Stephanie gave me a monogrammed purple towel that said Guildenstern - from Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, one of my favorite Tom Stoppard plays/movies - who knew that monogrammed towels would make me so happy?)

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with. - Douglas Adams

BTW, did you know that May 25, 2006 is Towel Day? How cool is that!

Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

Posted by Emily at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

All packed up

Tomer's all packed up and ready to head home tomorrow. It's been fun getting to know him!

Posted by Emily at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

Dreams and Fractals

2 books from this week:

dreamlittledream.jpgDream A Little Dream : A Tale of Myth And Moonshine by Piers Anthony & Julie Brady.
S has been listening to Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series (I read a bunch of Xanth ones from Meag's bookshelf in high school) and stumbled across this one. I wasn't blown away, but its an enjoyable quick fantasy read with interesting ideas about what happens to our dreams when we stop believing in them.

fractalmurders04.jpgThe Fractal Murders by Mark Cohen
I think Mom sent this one ages and ages ago but it sank lower in the pile and I just finally picked it up yesterday. Its a quick read with an interesting main character (who is a bit too ex-marine and workout/dog-crazy for my tastes) and some fun math thrown in (check out this great list of math fiction). I was totally into fractals for a bit in high school (thanks to Darin, who probably understood them a whole lot more than I did but I loved the way they looked) which is probably why she had sent it. There's a new one with the same PI out now, but its not math related (the summary says "The second mystery featuring private eye Pepper Keane, a former JAG with a Diet Coke addiction, who becomes the target of an outlaw biker gang.")

Also this weekend we saw the movie Munich, which led to much yelling (in Hebrew unfortunately) among the boys here. Its a disturbing and powerful (and very scary) film that seemed important to have seen.

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

January 05, 2006

Libraries Losing Teens

An interesting blurb from School Library Journal:

Libraries Losing Teens
By Brian Kenney and Lauren Barack, SLJ.com -- 1/1/2006

Nearly 16 percent of teens don’t visit their public or school libraries, according to a recent joint study by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and SmartGirl.org, a Web site that surveys teens. And many young adults don’t expect to visit public libraries in the next five years because they’ll likely be using search engines at home or elsewhere, says “Perception of Libraries and Information Resources,” the latest report by OCLC that examines the public’s attitude toward libraries and resources.

It certainly is an interesting challenge to both promote the online databases and services of the library to teens who are happy to do their research online instead of coming into the library (we are definitely not getting that message out enough -- people are always so shocked when I show them the great stuff in the databases for homework assignments) ... and also to find ways to make the library interesting and relevant so that they do want to come in (I don't remember going to the library as a teen except once in a while to grab a stack of books for a research paper ... I wonder what would have drawn me there? I can't imagine my teenage siblings hanging out in the library any time soon.)

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

January 02, 2006

My Sister's Keeper

sisters-125.jpgNumber four from the teen top ten is My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. The summary says, "Conceived to provide a bone marrow match for her leukemia-stricken sister, teenage Kate begins to question her moral obligations in light of countless medical procedures and decides to fight for the right to make decisions about her own body." So I shouldn't have been surprised that this would be an emotional read, but OMG. I really don't know how I would have been able to get through my teenage years if I read books like this then. But it is wonderfully written, the characters are great (and the perspective switches between them for each chapter) and it raises a million issues (no wonder they picked it to be one of the bookclub kits - though I'm not sure my friends would forgive me if I made them all read it and discuss it). So read it... but be ready.

Posted by Emily at 06:59 PM | Comments (1583)

Museum Blogging

How cool is it that the Smithsonian American Art Museum has a blog! Eye Level "refers to the physical experience of viewing art, but it also plays on the many roles and perspectives that make a museum a reality" (via Jack Nack)

I found a few other museum blogs in this post and in this one on a museum blogger on museum blogging. Museumpro has a post about Museum Wikis...

Just thought it was a cool idea (and since Betty was talking about her dream Smithsonain internship, I was thinking how being a blogger could be a possible way in to a place like that...)

Posted by Emily at 12:28 PM | Comments (8)

January 01, 2006

One last night

Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Posted by Emily at 06:58 PM | Comments (0)

2 more vacation books

2 more books finished to add to the pile (I do love long plane rides):

historyglasses.jpgA History Of The World In Six Glasses by Tom Standage, which I had given to Bill for his birthday but borrowed back yesterday. It was interesting, but not as indepth as some of the really good history through particular lenses like that are. I didn't realize how involved the British gov had been in keeping the opium trade alive to keep the tea supply going, and there were fun overlaps in the coffee house descriptions to Neil Stephenson's great book, but otherwise it was just an ok, quick read. It does make me want to add some more good non-fiction to my to-read pile though.

timetorun.jpgAnd Mom passed along A Time to Run by Barbara Boxer and Mary-Rose Hayes, which was a really fun political tale that I didn't want to put down. Here's the official summary: "The novel follows Ellen Fines from her days as a college student through romantic entanglements and a difficult marriage to a rising political star. When her husband is killed in a car accident during his campaign for the Senate, Ellen assumes his candidacy and achieves an upset victory over a political machine. On the eve of a crucial vote, past and public worlds collide when Ellen's former lover, now a journalist with strong right-wing connections, gives her sensitive documents that could either make or break her career."

Posted by Emily at 11:33 AM | Comments (1)