Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Amazing Adventures of .... the Shushing Librarian

Once upon a time, there was a very nice lady who agreed to be a model for the FIRST action figure based on an unsung hero, the librarian. In late 2006, my librarian action figure, took a little trip, aka the AMAZING ADVENTURES of ... the Shushing Librarian.

(Now, lest you think I'm the only strange one, let it be known that there are blogs, flickr groups, youtube vids, and wikis devoted just to the various versions of this action figure, not to mention other action figures like G.I. Joe, the X-Men, etc. Sometimes, the figures even get together and have running narratives! Fear not, I'm not that advanced.)

For now, let us turn back time and enjoy "Nancy's Amazing Adventures" from 2006.

To get there, first she had to take a plane ...


In another astounding instance of Internet pilfering, I bring you this purely adorable new clip of Amber (aka littlegirltestmonkey), courtesy of testmonkey.

and yes, that's a banana in her pocket and no, she's not glad to see you!)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chocolate? YES PLEASE

Don't you ever have those days when you feel like you could literally eat everything? Now you can ....

"An all-chocolate room was unveiled in Manhattan on Tuesday -- a pre-Valentine's Day creation complete with furniture and artwork made of the sweet stuff."

Click here for the whole article.

Look, I don't care if it's a shameless promotion for Godiva -- it's FREAKING BRILLIANT!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How’s This for a Bad Day?

Another one from the NYTimes.

January 24, 2008
World Briefing Australia

How’s This for a Bad Day?


Two workers at a crocodile farm near Darwin were collecting crocodile eggs when a saltwater crocodile emerged, attacked one and locked his left arm in its jaws. The other man came to his rescue, the police said, shooting at the crocodile and causing it to let go of the victim’s arm, but another shot hit the victim’s right arm. The victim was described as in good spirits after surgery for the wounds from both the reptile and his rescuer.

Those Aussies ... aren't they always in good spirits? Or maybe it's the thought of all the spirits that he will surely get after this story gets around down at the pub?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Item of the Week: Crib Cover

The next Item of the Week available from Auntie Nettie's Attic is this crib cover. Perfect as a baby shower present for those parents who still like to be surprised, or whose nursery is decorated in light pastels. Prices and dimensions upon request. (Editor's note: no longer available)

Answer: What's wrong here?

Congratulations to readers testmonkey and Mary C. who figured out that there is NO PHONE anywhere near the "Rail-Call Collect" sign.

Sometimes, it's the most obvious things that we overlook.

Plus, aside from guests of local corrections facilities, who calls collect much anymore?

Monday, January 21, 2008

What's wrong here?

One of the benefits of being 25 minutes too early for your train is that you have time to really scope out a primo seat ... and to notice some weird things.

Can you tell me what's wrong in these series of pictures?

If you think about what's missing from the vicinity of the sign, you might figure it out ....

That's all I'm saying.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mormon Humor

Okay, you may have to be full of LDS to find this as amusing as I did:

''I don't drink coffee, sir. I don't drink hot liquids of any kind. That's the devil's temperature.''

Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer), shunning the expresso machine on his desk, on 30 Rock

I don't watch the show, but thanks to Entertainment Weekly online for finding this for me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Grammar Oddity of the Week

The next in our almost weekly e-mail series, brought to you courtesy of The New York Public Library Desk Reference, Fourth Edition.

Page 437:
The word facetiously has all the vowels, including Y, in order.

Page 447:
Charlotte Bronte and William Wordsworth asked their publishers to correct the punctuation in their manuscripts.

Page 444:
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.”

Makes you wonder what F. Scott would say about emoticons and texting!! LOL

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Best Teaser

"Take away my access to e-mail and online databases, and I’m nothing but a lonely woman sitting in a cold basement."

Thanks to the Gray Lady herself. For the whole article, The Day the Internet Died, see today's Fashion and Style Section of the NYTimes.

Poor J, this could totally be him, minus the whole woman thing (I hope). I can picture him now ... going through withdrawal pains, curled into a fetal position, whimpering, whining, and crying: "No 'Net.... my precccccioussssss."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mystery Maelstrom Redux aka Item of the Week

The first Item of the Week available from Auntie Nettie's Attic is the item featured in our Mystery Maelstrom photo. This gray/black ribbon and black yarn scarf is approximately 9-10 feet long. It can be worn long, short, doubled and tripled up. Dressy, yet warm. A one-of-a-kind.

Prices upon request. (As of 12/10, not longer available.)

Things that make Wednesday bearable

This e-mail:

Dear All,
Stop those lunch plans! We’ve had a snafu and will have to cancel (at the last minute) a scheduled Lunch. Consequently, we will have lots of food delivered at around 12:30. .... Help yourself!


HOT DAMN. This and free breakfast biscottis! Now, if I could just make 5:00 p.m. come faster, and figure out how to get a free dinner, my day would be MADE.

(Please don't think I'm cheap. I'm merely my parents' child and being economically responsible. Plus, if I don't eat it, the food will just go to waste. Can't have that, now can we?)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

RIP: Art Display

UPDATE Tuesday, 1/15/08

In a tragic turn of events, the art display has been disassembled by the artist due to health concerns and unfavorable public opinion.

It's a sad day for the "art" lovers in the office.

However, if say, the makers of Diet Coke wanted to fund a new installation, I think we could open discussions.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Is it Art ... or Laziness? You decide

One of my office mates has a worse drinking habit than me. This is how she chooses to discard the evidence of this habit.

Unfortunately, not long after these photos were taken, the President of the Big J had to ask her what was up with the bottles. She was so embarrassed! She had to explain to him that this was her way of reminding herself that she needed to recycle the bottles. (Yeah, right!) Because of my photography of her "exhibit," and his, oh so dubious reaction, she is threatening to dismantle the whole thing. We'll see how long it takes her. She's been threatening to do this since I started!

In the meantime, "talk amongst yourselves," Is it Art? Is it Laziness? You decide.

Disclaimer: In a fit of OCDness, I did have to rearrange the order of the bottles and the twist the labels to display ... just so.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mystery Maelstrom

I'll leave you with this picture. Can you unravel the mystery?

Grammar Oddity of the Week

The next in our weekly e-mail series, brought to you courtesy of The New York Public Library Desk Reference, Fourth Edition.

Page 435:
There are nine different ways to pronounce the letters OUGH. All are contained in the sentence “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”

Page 392:
Although the @ has no name in the United States (it’s just called the “at symbol”), other countries call it “monkey’s tail,” “little snail,” “cat’s tail,” or “spider monkey.”

Makes you wonder, where'd we be @ without that at symbol?

And yes, I know that's grammatically wrong. I did it apurpose.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Auntie Nettie's Attic merchandise

From time to time on this site, Auntie Nettie will start hawking her wares. She's not quite ready to post pics, prices, and links yet ... but stand by for items of the week.

For now, I will leave you with this thought, courtesy of and M.L.S.: Melanie's Library Shop.
Librarian by day. Hooker by night.
Crochet of course. What were you thinking?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Meanest Mom on the Planet

I found the following article on The New York Times site today, via the AP wires. It totally sounds like something my parents could have done, especially given my tendancy to wreck cars -- often, very often.

(Emphasis in the ad my own)

Mom Sells Rule - Breaking Son's Car

Published: January 9, 2008
Filed at 12:56 p.m. ET

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the ''meanest mom on the planet.''

After finding alcohol in her son's car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old's misdeed with everyone -- by placing an ad in the local newspaper.

The ad reads:
''OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.''

Hambleton has heard from people besides interested buyers since recently placing the ad in The Des Moines Register.

The 48-year-old from Fort Dodge says she has fielded more than 70 telephone calls from emergency room technicians, nurses, school counselors and even a Georgia man who wanted to congratulate her.

''The ad cost a fortune, but you know what? I'm telling people what happened here,'' Hambleton says. ''I'm not just gonna put the car for resale when there's nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision.

''It's overwhelming the number of calls I've gotten from people saying 'Thank you, it's nice to see a responsible parent.' So far there are no calls from anyone saying, 'You're really strict. You're real overboard, lady.'''

The only critic is her son, who Hambleton says is ''very, very unhappy'' with the ad and claims the alcohol was left by a passenger.

Hambleton believes her son but has decided mercy isn't the best policy in this case. She says she set two rules when she bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep it locked.

The car has been sold, but Hambleton says she will continue the ad for another week -- just for the feedback.

Living Wills - Semihumorous, Semiserious

A humorous e-mail from a friend (see below, with my edits), got me thinking today about living wills. While we may joke about them, think that they are just for our "mature" friends, and believe that they will never be needed, have we really sat down and discussed them with our friends and family? While death may be one of the other taboo topics of polite conversation, like money, politics, sex, religion, and natural hair color and age, I feel strongly that the topic of living wills, medical wishes, who-gets-what are things that should be discussed PRIOR to emergencies and chronic illnesses. The more people that know this NOW, while I'm healthy, of sound mind, coherent, and able to inform everyone in my life of these choices, the less confusion and angst later.

I feel especially strongly about this, because I live alone, far from my ICE and next of kin. For example, who would know that I wish to be an organ donor? How would you know that I'm registered on the NYS Organ Donors list, especially since my drivers license isn't currently signed to that effect? I may have had the conversation with my brothers, but would my parents know? Probably not. Why would they? We haven't had these kinds of conversations, even after many vigils with ailing elderly relatives. Do I know what their thoughts are, if something happens to incapacitate both of them? Kinda, sorta, vaguely, ... not really.

While I don't have to worry about who would take care of my non-existent children if something happened to me, does everyone in all of the in-law and out-law families know who will take care of my niece(s) and nephew(s) if, heaven forbid, something happens to their parents? Are all of the aunt, uncles, and grandparents on the same page? We all love the kids, but do we know who their parents have designated as the emergency care providers? See -- another scary but important conversational topic.

Maybe one of the goals for 2008 is for all of us to at least draft up/update/finalize with the lawyers these thoughts and get them sent to the appropriate people. It's not morbid, it's practical. Really.

So, now that we are all depressed and stressed out about yet ANOTHER thing to do -- here's the funny e-mail that got me going down this train of thought.


I, (state your name) , being of reasonably sound mind and of-so-soft body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means.

Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of pinhead politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it, or lawyers , or doctors interested in simply running up the bills.

If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to ask for at least one of the following, it should be presumed that I won't ever get better:

Dt. Coke
filet mignon - steak - red meat
Dt. Coke
ice cream and hot fudge
mashed potatoes and gravy
Mexican food
French fries
Hot Tamales (candy)
bacon double cheese burger

When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my appointed person and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes, let the "fat lady sing". . and call it a day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Austenfest -- Veritable raptures of delight

Thanks, in large part, to the dumbing-down of American television in recent years, made even worse by the ongoing writers strike, I've found it increasingly difficult to find quality television programming ... even with the numerous basic cable channels I get with my subscription. If it wasn't for Animal Planet, FoodNetwork, HGTV, SciFi, the various Discovery Channels, and a very few minor exceptions on what used to be my default channel, TLC, I would be at a loss. My personal library of books and VHS (yes, I'm a bit behind in the ol' digital formats!) are getting more of a work out in recent weeks. So, imagine my delight when PBS announced that it was presenting what they are calling, The Complete Jane Austen during Masterpiece Theatre. To kick it off, there were even two weeks of Bronte, with a new production of Jane Eyre (my favorite book in life), with Toby Stephens, the very handsome son of Dame Maggie Smith, recently of Harry Potter movie fame.

I am in sheer delight.

Veritable raptures of delight.

Thank you PBS. THANK YOU!

So, my dear friends and family, if you endeavor to contact me Sunday evenings, please note that I am unavailable during these viewing hours:

9-11, Sunday, Masterpiece Theatre
Persuasion, January 13, 2008
Northanger Abbey, January 20, 2008
Mansfield Park, January 27, 2008
Miss Austen Regrets, February 3, 2008
Pride and Prejudice, February 10, 17, + 24, 2008
Emma, March 23, 2008
Sense and Sensibility, March 30 + April 6, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

Random overhead quote of the day

"Lunch is the porn of the office."

-- as said by my boss, referring to the overall curiosity about what people do and eat during their break.

Now I'm NEVER asking my boss what he did at lunch. NEVER!

Grammar Oddity of the Week

The next in our series, brought to you courtesy of The New York Public Library Desk Reference, Fourth Edition.

Page 447:

“Watch out for spell checkers! If you ran the following sentence through your computer’s spell checker, it would tell you that nothing was wrong:

I have bin trying too improve my spelling for sum time now cents my secretary always says that it isn’t two grate.”

Page 445:

Ancient Greek texts had no punctuation and no spaces between words.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pounding Headache

Things that do not go well with pounding headaches ...

drilling -- constant louding construction drilling -- underfoot;
pounding from dancers above;
bright lights - sun and florescents;
computer monitors;
loud ringing phones;
subway noises;
keeping eyes open.

Methods of medication tried:
caffeine - Dt. Coke -- lots
chocolate, again -- lots
eating -- breakfast, and lunch, and a whole orange to boot
lots of Advil
turning off phone
typing with eyes closed

Nothings working ... I'd almost say it was a migrane -- but I've actually had one with the halo effect and I have no halo at present.


Suggestions from others?

If I just hadn't come back from vacation, I'd want to leave NOW!

Subtitle this post: Another reason why being a grown-up sucks!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Reentry is a ....

Happy 2008. I wish I had some wonderfully witty and wondrously wise words of wisdom for the New Year. Alas, all I could come up with is ... reentry is a real big #)(*@)%(!.

If the Holiday/December break falls mid-week and you are required to work the next business day after the holiday I propose the adoption of a gradual reentry program. While one can cease working cold turkey, the reentry stage should be gradual, as to not shock the nervous, psychic, electronic, and commuting infrastructures. We all may have maybe checked the e-mail and voicemail whilst away, but who really read and dealt with them?

I propose the following:
  • the first day should be a half day, leaving after "lunch." This day would be used to reacquaint oneself with the commute, slog through the various forms of mail, change the message setting on machine, and catch up on the interpersonal news;
  • the second day should be a three-quarter day, with early dismissal. One would begin to address the issues from all the mail, look realistically at new projects, and gear up for the year ahead;
  • the third day, unfortunately, would be a regular day. You should have caught up enough by now to remember why you enjoyed vacation so much, even with all the family fights, travel issues, etc., and look forward to the next weekend, and begin the countdown for the next three day weekend.

Who's with me? This also holds true for the July 4th time ....