Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I love mail!

Today I got my first piece of mail from Drew.
Thanks Drew.
I love you too.
A LOT!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Global Warming?

Do I live/work in New York or New England? Isn't this the Big Apple and not the Artic North?

There were snow squalls in the City this afternoon We haven't had a FROST yet where I live, and there was SNOW this afternoon.

Ms. Mother Nature, ma'am? Can you hold off for a while. I'm not ready for winter yet. I still haven't gotten my winter coat dry cleaned and repaired from last spring. I haven't put away all my summer clothes. I still use my a/c on occasion at night. I don't have winter boots!

I don't care what date the calendar says. It's too early for snow. While I remember trick-or-treating in snow when I was growing up in northern Utah, that was (ye-goodness) almost 30 years ago and a different climate.

Snow, snow go away.
Come again some other day ...

Say, in January, after I've flown back from Christmas break.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food for Thought

Wednesday Update: Since the phantom fry-taunter struck the train I was on AGAIN last night, I had to have fries for lunch. Not the evil McD's fries, but fries still had to be had. YUMMY. Let's see if I can make it through my third commute home of the week, fry-odor free.

Last night I had a scrumptious four-course meal, complete with a pleasant shrimp appetizer, a gazpacho-esque soup, a luscious pepper-encrusted steak, and the BEST chocolate hazelnut Baci-inspired dessert I've ever eaten. I was full, but not unpleasantly so. Dinner was followed by a very brisk 15 minute power walk to Grand Central, with just enough time to make my train with 2 minutes to spare. I was in no way hungry, just warm, contented, and ready to go home and get my jammies..

Just as the train was about to leave, someone got on and rushed past me to get a seat -- trailing behind them the unmistakable and irresistible scent of McDonald's French fries. Suddenly I was completely and totally ... RAVENOUS!

Why is that?!

Dang it. Now I want French fries.

Curse you MickeyDees. Curse you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

NieNie Updates

Early last month, I asked for your thoughts and prayers for a fellow blogger, NieNie, aka Stephanie Nielson, her husband, and her large extended family. Before reading about her on other sites, I had never heard of NieNie. I had never read her blog. Beyond issues of a shared faith, a love of crafting, and blogging, I don't have much in common with her. All of that aside, something about the plea from her beloved sisters and many on-line friends reached out through the Blogosphere and made an impression -- perhaps a bit of her grace made evident by His Grace.

Now I check in with her sister Courtney's blog daily to see how NieNie and her beloved Mr. Nielson are doing. Word of Stephanie's plight and of the courage of the extended Clark/Nielson family continues to spread. Local and national media outlets have done articles and stories, including coverage by my sister-in-law's aunt (it's a small Mormon/cyberworld). In every single blog entry, article, or news clip, something touches my heart and leaves me weepy ... and I am definitely NOT a heart-on-your-sleeve-show-emotions-in-public kind of gal.

So it is with a tissue-box size warning that I let you know that this beautiful article ran in a paper over the weekend -- and you will need tissues. Then this article ran today and is just as hanky-worthy.

Won't you keep Stephanie, Christian, and their families, especially her heroic siblings who are caring for their four children, in your thoughts and prayers? (The prayers are working. Christian says he could feel them.)

If you can, please contribute to the families' recovery fund via one of the various auctions or funds that have been set up. A long road is ahead of them, but all will be well.

Monday Movie Goodness

A new international teaser trailer has gone live for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, with footage not seen in the U.S. teaser trailer. The movie, based on the sixth of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, opens July 17, 2009. (Thanks to TrailerAddict.com.)

As like the book, the trailer is a dark and full of plot points and twists. The last bit, with Hermione and Harry, is the funniest of the lot.

Only 9 months to go ...

FINALLY ...

My Monday can begin. After a half hour delay on the trains, standing cheek to jowl with the masses, and after fruitlessly searching four Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi* vending machines in the building, I resorted to going to the cafeteria. Now that I have my 44 oz. soda foundation Diet Pepsi and my Styrofoam bowl of Fruit Loops, I can start my day ... only an hour late.

(Hey, I'm working an event tonight at Practice, Practice, Practice! The hour this will be made up way after "office hours.")

*Umm .. Please, Mr. Vending Machine Filler Guy? Can we have less of the Gatrrrade junk and more Diet Pepsi so I can have that for a fallback when the smaller Coke machine runs out of my "medicine?"

'Kay? Thanks.

Friday, October 24, 2008

a-ha!

With thanks to J* for providing some much needed Friday humor and nostalgia, I present my favorite band from the '80s with a modern, albeit, snarky twist.


a-ha's first hit "Take on Me"
as interpreted by Dustin McLean

Original

Contrary to popular belief in the U.S., a-ha is NOT a one-hit wonder, in case you were, well ... wondering. The band has continued to be popular around the world, with Morten, Mags, and Paul going off to create their own solo projects and working different bands. If Santa really wants to get me a present this year, I'm still trying to get the last CD, Analoque, imported ... (cough, Kelli, see wishlist, cough).

In the cyclical nature of popular trends, what was cool is cool again. Not only are the guys popping up on stages with groups like Coldplay, the newest boyband phenom/Disneytween fangirl sensation, The Jonas Brothers, has covered the track. (You can hear it here.) Call me an old fogey, but I love the original with its synthesizer mixes much better. Plus, Morten is ever so dreamy. Those cheekbones, that voice, the butt, er... talent. Sigh.

*Dude, I can't believe that you remembered ...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Patience is a virtue

ONLY

86 days, 10 hours
or
7,466,400 seconds
or
124,440 minutes
or
2074 hours

until Battlestar Galactica comes back.

Not that I'm counting or anything.

Battlestar Galactica returns January 16
The final 10 episodes will run through March 20

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Petal" Power

I was leaving the Big J late last night after a function, when what did my eyes spy locked up smack in front of the building? This beaut of a bike!

Notice the fine zebra stripes detailing ...
"Rubber Duckie, you're the one."
No wait! You, third from the left,
YOU'RE the one!

You need a basket this large to carry your purchases.

Thanks for the inspiration, White Trash Goddess.

Who ever you are!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Biblioburro -- A Kick-Ass Mobile Library

Acclaimed Colombian Institution Has 4,800 Books and 10 Legs

" A whimsical riff on the bookmobile, ... Biblioburro is a small institution: one man and two donkeys. ... Alfa and Beto."

Click here for the whole story from The New York Times.

Quote of the Day

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded. But once mastered, no one can help you as much, not even your father or your mother.

The Buddha, Dhammapada, c. 500 BC
From Enlightenment for Idiots: A Novel by Anne Cushman

Friday, October 17, 2008

I WANNA QUIT THE GYM!

Does anyone remember the Friends* episode where Chandler wants to quit the gym but can’t?

Well, substitute “gym” for one of Auntie Nettie’s jobs. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the “gym.” If Auntie Nettie wasn’t in hawk to the “bank,” she probably would have quit the “gym” a while ago.

Going to the “gym” is like going to the dentist sometimes. Not particularly enjoyable, but necessary. At the end of a session (whether long or short), she sometimes has a pounding headache along with a scolding from the trainer.

Then there’s “Maria.” If she wasn’t loyal to “Maria,” she probably would have quit already.

Plus there’s the financial toll. Unlike Chandler, who was supposed to get money back from his gym fees, how will Auntie Nettie replace the steady loss of income from the “gym?” Rent is going up, as is everything else, plus there are these pesky other outstanding debts.

Darn it.

“I want to quit the gym. I WANNA QUIT THE GYM!”


Does anyone know the going rate for a pristine kidney these days?
Could I BE anymore whiney?
UPDATE: Stay tuned ... Announcements to follow

*Season Four, Episode 77, “The One with the Ballroom Dancing.”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

"In these troubled times, the book is something which is a kind of landmark, which is solid reference and value, which is never, ever, ever going to be obsolete. The book is a cheap gift. The book is always affordable. … "


--Fran Dubruille, director of the European Booksellers' Federation, speaking at a Frankfurt Book Fair news conference (from Reuters via the Washington Post) and from the 10/16/08 Shelf Awareness e-newsletter


(Christmas hint!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Food for Thought

"Everyone knows you don't gain weight on Sunday. Sunday's a free day."

- Lula from Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich


AMEN SISTER!

Shazam!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Haunted Library

You always thought that libraries were haunted. Finally, there's proof! If you are very still, have high-tech camera equipment, and pretend you are from TAPS, you can get documentation of the Peepergeists. Don't be scared.... These Peeps are like Casper.

Haunting the stacks

I hear dead Peeple.

Ghosts in the machine

(Are they the reason that you hear secret messages when you play records in reverse?)

Some very scarey musicWitch Peeps will show up next?

Perhaps it will be an appearance by the Great Pumpkin!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Recipe for a Perfect Sunday

Recipe can be customized per individual. Family sizes may take some adjustments.

To "pre-heat," make a list of things To-Do.

To start, take:

¼ part Sleeping in Late
¼ part Leisurely Reading of many Sunday papers
¼ part talking to Friends and Family


Add equal measures of the following Sensory Delights to make up the rest:

~The sights of Indian summer light streaming in through window and dancing through falling leaves;
~The sounds of classic Pink Floyd (Echos) and/or The Who (Quadrophenia) blaring through the CD player;
~The comforting scent of fabric softener wafting from the clean laundry;
~The yummy aromas of baking spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, plus the tang of lemon zest and apples rising from the two loaves of apple bread, the apple crisp, and the batches of snickerdoodles cooling on the rack;
~The delectable tastes of the homemade soups and the wild rice and turkey casserole made for my meals throughout the week;
and finally,

~The feeling of accomplishment for finishing almost everything on the To-Do list.

Mix with a hearty sprinkling (or a dash or two) of the utter and complete Joy of:


-not having to go to work;
-the lack of appointments;
- and absolutely NO deadlines.


Bake for about 12 hours at 98.6 degrees.

Let rest six more days before repeating.

Variations could include: movie marathons, window shopping, walks on the beach, more sleeping in, reading in front of the fireplace, and lots and lots of chocolate.

Food for Thought

Why do they call the small candy bars the "fun sizes?" Wouldn't it be more fun to eat a big one?

~ Anonymous

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How to make Battlestar Galatica fans’ heads explode

One of Jim's classic pranks on Dwight from the 10/9/08 episode of The Office.


The dialogue is so priceless, I had to give the transcription:

Jim: Did you see Battlestar Galactica last night?

Andy: No. Is it any good?

Jim: No, it's really so-so. Like, it's all crazy monsters and stuff, like Klingons and Wookiees and all that. But -- sorry, you wanted to add something, Dwight?

[A pained Dwight turns away.]

Andy: Is it anything like the original Battlestar Galactica?

Jim: It's weird -- it's practically a shot-for-shot remake.

Andy: Interesting.

Jim: Yeah. The story's kind of bland. It's about a guy named Dumbledore Calrissian, and he needs to return the ring back to Mordor.

Andy: That doesn't sound right ...


You think?!!!!
(The sound you hear is a KABOOM!!!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Novel Reading

I just finished reading Jincy Willett’s The Writing Class, where the protagonist has a blog subtitled A Solipsist’s Commonplace Book of Lists. One of the lists that she decides to start on this blog is that of hybrid novels. If you are an avid reader, like me, these titles might amuse you.

Pages 45-46
Call of the Wild Duck
A plucky dog survives life in the frozen Klondike with the help of a symbolic duck.


Old Man Riverdance
Paul Robeson is kicked to death by stampeding robots.


The Runaway Bunny Jury
Desperate jurors avoid being profiled by ingeniously disguising themselves as birds, flowers, boats, rocks, and fish.


Page 72:
The Bell Jarhead
We are at war with terrorism, racism, and clinically depressed adolescents.


Gone With the Windows for Dummies
Starting the Civil War; Customizing Your Decimated Plantation; That Scary General Sherman.

Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot the Piano Player
A dimwitted cop meets a timid musician with a mysterious past, and together they push Estelle Getty out a window.

Page 139:
Little Women Who Run With the Wolves
…try valiantly but can’t keep up, which is probably just as well.


The Scarsdale Diet of Worms
Drastic weight loss through unrecanted heresy.


Suddenly Last Summa Theologica
The prolonged agony and hideous death of an effete young man at the hands of ravenous street urchins brilliantly sums up all that can be understood of Christian theology.


Beast in the Jungle Book
On his deathbed, Mowgli is horrified to realize that he has wasted his entire life in the damn jungle.


National Blue Velvet
Dennis Hopper does something unspeakable with Elizabeth Taylor’s ear.


Jurassic Mansfield Park
Fanny and Edmund avert their eyes while Mary and Henry Crawford are slaughtered by velociraptors.


20,000 Bottles of Beer Under the Sea
Al Gore attempts to befriend a giant squid. A struggle ensues.


Page 220:
The Martian Chronicles of Narnia
The Lion, the Witch, and Ylla K.


Gentle Ben Hur
Thrill to the heartwarming saga of a 600 lb. brown bear who befriends a lonely young boy, wins a chariot race, and witnesses the crucifixion of Christ.


I was curious, so I did some research. Apparently the author did something similar in “real life” (the link is here). Her contributors had some equally as humorous suggestions. My favorites?

Of Mighty Mice and X-Men
A retarded super-hero saves a petting zoo from alien attack.–Tom Hartley


Lord of the Rings of the Nibelung
Hobbits sing themselves to death.–Tom Hartley


Hey Jude the Obscure
Take a sad song and make it into a tale of deception, despair, and dead babies. –Stephen Meyer


Hey, what can I say? It's Friday and I'm very easily amused.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Christmas List

Dear Santa,

I know that I've already asked you for a Toaster, but I've changed my mind. I don't need a toaster. That is just too grown-up and practical for a holiday gift, what with all the doom and gloom in the world. I need something frivolous and fun. I was a relatively good girl this year, so I would like to ask for the Jane Austen and Deluxe Librarian dolls/action figures for Christmas. Pretty, pretty please.

Why these particular dolls? Well you see, Santa, my original Shushing Librarian has gone on an extended walk-about and the other one I keep in the original packaging is not the fancy schmanzy kind, with the special library cart, more books than before, her own high-speed computer, and the bright red suit that helps clear up her androgyny. I'd like Jane so that she can go down the hall and play with Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven, and maybe to get me an "in" with Captain Wentworth and Col. Fitzwilliam. (Me likely men in uniforms!)

So please, Santa. That is what my severely neglected (HA!) inner child would like for Christmas, today anyway.

Hugs and Kisses,
Auntie Nettie

P.S. My inner child just realized that perhaps the Librarian Lady might be lonely. Could you get her the Casanova Action Figure so she has another librarian to "play" with? 'K? Thanks!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to Bro!

Once upon a time, about one score and ten years ago, a small family of four was living in the land of the Utes anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Stork. The Mommy and Daddy had told their darling daughter and active little son that Mommy’s tummy was growing because there was going to be a new brother or sister left under the Cabbage Patch. The little girl was very excited because she already had one little brother to play Make-Believe with and was really, really hoping that the Stork would bring her a baby sister to share in new adventures.

And lo, it came to pass, that the days turned from summer into fall and the Mommy’s tummy got bigger and bigger. The children began to wonder if the Stork would ever come. One night, the little girl woke up and saw one of her Fairy Great-Aunts coming into her bedroom to check on her. She got excited because that had to mean that Mommy and Daddy were out in the Cabbage Patch waiting for the Stork to make the Important Delivery. She was almost too excited to sleep, just like at Christmas, but the Sandman sprinkled her eyes with his magic dust and off to Dreamland she went.

At last morning came, and the Daddy came in from the Cabbage Patch. He got his grumpy little boy out bed and in they went to the girl’s bedroom to wake her up. Once the Daddy sat down on the bed and everyone was settled, he told his children that the Stork had come to visit. For some reason, the little girl began to get a very, very, very Bad Feeling. Somehow, she just knew that what was left under the Cabbage Patch was not the little sister she had been thinking about for the longest time, but yet another pesky (at-times) little brother. It would be hard to describe the little girl’s initial feelings of disappointment at this juncture, but she was very brave and did not cry. She listened to the Daddy tell her and her brother that they were the Big Kids now and had to help the Mommy out with their new tiny Baby Brother. Eventually, the Daddy went back out to the Cabbage Patch to bring back the Mommy and the Baby. Both the little boy and little girl got to hold the little creature and decided to not throw him to the trolls under the bridge after all.

Years passed, as they do in the land of fairy tales. The little girl grew to love her baby brother just as much as she had her other comrade in imaginary tales of Make-Believe. For lo, it turned out that infant grew up into an tall, odd creature, at time spouting hair that make him look like a great-horned owl, at other times having long luscious locks that the Indian Maidens of Yore would envy. His humor was bizarre, and he shared a strange affinity for pirates.
He would take journeys to far away lands, eat his share of beans and rice, raft down great rivers, tangle with Geographically-Confused Constables of the Law, emulate Wizards named Jobs, and do much sharing of the snark. He would eventually grow into a Man, and start a little family of four of his own in the Land of the Utes. As the Circle of Life wheeled around, he too would share in the age-old Daddy Dilemma of explaining to an older sister that the Stork was coming to upset the Apple Cart.

Happy 30th Birthday Baby Brother. I would not have traded you in, or missed our adventures, squabbles, tears, trials, laughter, and love, for all the little sisters in the world ... well most of the time anyway.

Love ya,
Sis

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Fair(y) Use Tale

In this age of computers, copiers, scanners, video and sound clips, and photo and file sharing, the rights of the author and/or copyright holder are challenged as never before. This was most recently brought to light with the distribution of unauthorized materials written by Stephenie Meyer. She basically stopped writing a novel because someone else posted materials they weren't authorized to share and wrecked it for the rest of us. (THANKS A LOT!)

Most libraries have notices near their copy machines warning patrons NOT to abuse the copyright law. Patrons are allowed to copy portions of materials for study use only, but not allowed to make copies if materials are going to be used for financial purposes. Students in library school are taught about the copyright law, as it is a tricky area and hard to police. As users, we may not even think about it when we paste pictures into blogs and e-mails or create multimedia videos to share on the 'Net. There have been lawsuits galore over the scope of copyright and the fair use concept. Companies, like Disney for example, are known to sue small businesses, like daycares, when they use Disney's trademarked images without authorization.

To help us understand the copyright law and the fair use concept, Eric Faden, a Bucknell professor, has produced an amazing video -- A Fair(y) Use Tale -- which cuts together thousands of extremely short clips from dozens of Disney cartoons, lifting individual words and short phrases to spell out an articulate, funny, and thoroughly educational lesson on how copyright works.

It's an entertaining AND informative 10-minute video. Check it out and keep this in mind the next time you make a copy or post that picture on your blog.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Random Comments aka Literary Nerd Humor

I was reading through more than 40 backlogged e-mail digests from the PUBLIB (a discussion list concerned with all aspects of public libraries) this weekend, and this line just amused me to no end. I wish I could remember which witty librarian wrote it.

For my initiation, I had to capitalize and punctuate
the works of e e cummings.

Shouldn't it really be this?

for my initiation i had to capitalize and punctuate
the works of e e cummings

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Random Interaction of the Day

Setting: Work Environment, early Saturday Morning

Characters: Very-Sleepy-College-Student Worker and her More-Alert Supervisor

Upon observing the Worker dragging herself through her shift, the Supervisor somewhat jokingly asked:

“Honey, do I need to smack you with the wake-up stick?”


Question: Where does one purchase a wake-up stick and how much does it cost?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT - 3rd Quarter

This is the third installment of the Reading List for 2008. The first and second quarter lists are here.

Remember, in general I'm not going to say what it is that I've enjoyed, to make recommendations, or to provide links to major on-line catalogs or retailers*. This is just a list. I am posting this mainly for me so I remember what I've already picked up. There may be trends and themes, but they do not represent all of my interests or wholly represent me. Don't judge a reader by her books.

Go forth and read ... specifically read a Banned Book, as it is Banned Book week (September 27 through October 4th).

Reading List for July 2008
Light of the Moon by Luanne Rice
The Country Brides by Debbie Macomber
Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford by Julia Fox
Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs
The Third Circle by Amanda Quick
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Friends for Life by Ellen Emerson White
Life without Friends by Ellen Emerson White
Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Tigerheart by Peter David
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy
Like a Charm by Candace Havens
Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run by Alton Brown and Jean-Claude Dhien
Home by Julie Andrews

Reading List for August 2008
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
Twilight (1) by Stephenie Meyer
New Moon (Twilight 2) by Stephenie Meyer
Carpool Diem by Nancy Star
Eclipse (Twilight 3) by Stephenie Meyer
Breaking Dawn by (Twilight 4) Stephenie Meyer
Résistance: A Woman's Journal of Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France by Agnès Humbert, translated by Barbara Mellor
The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment that Transformed Their Lives by Cheryl Jarvis
Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
You Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden 1) by Charlaine Harris
A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden 2) by Charlaine Harris
Three Bedrooms One Corpse (Aurora Teagarden 3) by Charlaine Harris
The Julius House (Aurora Teagarden 4) by Charlaine Harris
Dead Over Heels (Aurora Teagarden 5) by Charlaine Harris
Big Girls Don't Cry by Cathie Linz


Reading List for September 2008
Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard 1) by Charlaine Harris
Gil's Fright Night Diner by A. Lee Martinez
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
Shakespeare's Champion (Lily Bard 2) by Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Christmas (Lily Bard 3) by Charlaine Harris
Elemental Magic by Shinn, York, Berg and Johnson
A Hollywood Ending by Robyn Sisman
Hot Mama by Jennifer Estep
The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters
Shakespeare's Trollop (Lily Bard 4) by Charlaine Harris
The Moneypenny Diaries edited by Kate Westbrook
The Mercy Rule by Perri Klass (didn't finish)
Tribute by Nora Roberts
Shakespeare's Counselor (Lily Bard 5) by Charlaine Harris
Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry
Glamour by Louise Bagshawe
The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
Last Scene Alive (Aurora Teagarden 7) by Charlaine Harris
Poppy Done to Death (Aurora Teagarden 8) by Charlaine Harris
Wife for Hire by Janet Evanovich
The Daughters Grimm by Minda Webber
Roommates Wanted by Lisa Jewell (didn't finish)
Notes from a Minor Key: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Healing by Dawn Bailiff (Warning on this one: Many aspects of this "autobiographical" account have been called into question. Plus, it's not very well edited or written AT ALL!)


Currently deciding what to read next.

* Though I really should. I could use the ad revenue.