Thursday, April 30, 2009

Peeps in the Library

What happens when Peeps meet "Pimp my Bookcart" contests and librarians who like to have fun?

The guys over at the Unshelved comic provided this link.

Dewey love that or what?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quote of the day

"An eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind." M.K. Ghandi

Late last week, this quote appeared on a small piece of paper taped to the back of bathroom stall doors. While the sentiments are lovely, I'm not sure that I want to be having these kinds of deep thoughts or thinking about Ghandi when I'm doing my business at work.

Just saying ...

This quote appeared on Monday:

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your amibitons. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." Mark Twain

I guess notes taped to the back of the door are better than quote-of-the-day t.p.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cultural Escapades

There are some really great things about living and working in one of the cultural capitals of the world. Within a span of a month (or even a day for some people) you can see a serious play, attend free concerts, learn about little known international instruments, and then see a sneak peak of a new film.

A few weeks ago I got to catch up with my dear friend Poopeh and see the Theatre for a New Audience production of Hamlet at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street that everyone was raving about. Our schedules are always so busy that sometimes it takes six months to synch up, so it was great that this get-together got organized relatively quickly. Four of the leads were Big J alumni from various decades, so it was wonderful to see how the School's Drama Department has contacts everywhere. I also had a wonderfully unexpected reunion with some friends from my Caramoor days during the first intermission ... one of those only in New York moments when someone in the crowd passes you by and you go, I KNOW that lady. I turned around and looked up into the seating risers and decided for once not to be my normally shy and retiring self, but go and say hello. Even after more than two years the couple was so lovely and gracious and gave me a big warm hug and kiss. It's good to know that you are missed and that you made an impression at a job -- though after 12 years one would hope so.

The next week I had a double dose of culture, with a lunch-time recital of harps and guitars (much like last year's, but with no fun lyrics) followed by an after-work musical presentation by my lovely colleague T***. As previously mentioned, T*** is a very accomplished domestic goddess, who has an interest in shakuhachi flute. She was recently awarded the jin-shi-han license (to teach shakuhachi) as well as her own Japanese name, and was asked by the Big J's international relations department to do a presentation for the students and interested faculty and staff members about this little-known instrument. Between the q&a, her fun anecdotes, and the very zen music, I felt very educated by the end of the day. These kinds of presentations are a great way to learn about the other side of your colleagues. I knew T*** rocked ... I'm glad that other people got to find out too.

T*** Yuuraka M*******d
Finally, last week I volunteered to help at a membership event for some of the Big J donors, where they were cordially invited to attend an exclusive pre-opening screening of The Soloist, a new film starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., based on the book by Steve Lopez.

The event was at the Paramount Screening Room in mid-town, near the MTV studios and Shubert Alley/Theater District. I usually avoid mid-town at all costs because it is crazy with tourists to the point where you cannot walk down the street. This time I had no choice.

[A word of advice to out-of-towners! People, please do not do the following or one of these days I PROMISE I will knock you over and swear at you like the commuter I am! Do not text and walk -- you have no idea how slow you are walking. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot do two things at one time. The same holds true for cellphones. Do not talk on your cellphone and wander aimlessly down the street, or stop abruptly, OR stop in the middle of the subway stairs to finish up your call and/or text. If you are on the stairs or the escalator, STAY TO THE RIGHT! Also, if you MUST take a picture with a camera or a phone, GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK! COME ON ALREADY! Sorry. Mini-rant finished, for now.]

Before the guests arrived, I totally acted like the blogger that I am and took pictures to prove I was there.


The room was on the third floor of this building and the elevator banks opened into this little lobby. The walls were covered with floor to ceiling pictures from some Paramount films, along with this bench at the end of the hall. It took me all night to finally go over and realize that it wasn't a just a place to sit to wait for the elevator, but there for a reason.

That plaque .... read it closely.
It's the bench from
Forrest freaking Gump!

Matt's a good sport. I got him to pose for me,

and take another picture.
(Yes, I'm a geek!)
I am also such a theater dork that I was taking pictures out the window of the screening room to the area next door, which happened to actually be Shubert Alley. How strange is it that I first noticed the architecture, then I noticed the marquee.
I have to get
tickets to this play. I loved the film as a teenager, so I can't wait to see what this production is like. I can't understand why Broadway has to be so expensive though!

All in all, it's been a great month for the cultural outings. It does make for some late night though.
Let's just put it this way, when Grand Central look like this ...
and you can almost see the tumbleweeds rolling by ...

and the clock looks like this ...

meaning you've missed the "early" train and you have to wait for another 30-60 minutes ... it's no wonder that even The Shushing Librarian passes out on the train!
The End.

Roll Credits

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Monkeying Around with Elle

Readers of the comments on this here blog will remember that there was a special gift request for my niece Elle's first birthday. You've got to love all this newfangled technology that lets an Auntie see her nieces and nephews celebrate birthdays and other special events and open presents from strange relatives. Like this:



You've got to love little kids. They are so honest in their reactions. The verbal and non-verbal interactions between the sisters really cracks me up, but please pay no attention to the wisenheimer Pace Picante reference from the cinematographer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Retroblog April 23, 1983

Today is April, 23, 1983 Time 7:32 pm

Yesterday I went to a special Merrie Miss Mom Nite. I had fun. And I was in a talet show. The people in charge told us about a Secert Sister program in which they give you a name of another girl in a different ward and you write to one another But you sign, Your Secert Sister. It is fun. From all of it I got, a pin, two programs, aflower to remind to write my Secert Sister, a card about my Secert Sister, an award, an invatian, an a picture of my mom and me (with frame), and lots of good feelings.

I seriously want to go back in time and tell my 11-yr-old self to write down what I did at the "talet show," the name of the "secert" sister, put the picture of my mom and me and the programs in this journal. Oh -- and also not to write in a journal in pencil because it's impossible to read or photograph or scan almost 20 years later. I had to Xerox this with super contrast, and then take a photo of the paper, and then use Photoshop on it to get it semi-legible.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In for a Penny, but really a Pound

I was inspired by the food porn shots over on the Food Librarian last week and decided to attempt the Paula Deen Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake over the weekend. For once, I knew I actually had all the ingredients in the house and no special shopping would be needed. As that never happens, I took it as a sign. (Do you really need a sign when it comes to chocolate?) Do yourself a favor though, and DON'T look at the nutritional guides that come with the recipe. TRUST ME!

Before:
I seriously need a much bigger mixing bowl.
Looks like chocolate pudding, doesn't it?
Thanks to the Food Librarian's warning about the size of the bundt cake pan, I was prepared with my muffin tins as back up. The mini muffins took about 10-15 minutes to bake while the regular sized muffins took about 20-30 minutes. I keep checking the tops. Once they look "firm" take them out and let them cool down a bit in the tins.

After:

1 pound cake in a 10 inch bundt pan;
6 muffins;
12 mini muffins;
Well okay, 8 mini muffins ... I had to made sure they were good didn't I?
And they are... Sweet. A little spicy, chewy, and so yummy.
You can taste the Paula Deen love.
Dad, you want me to freeze some for you?

That's my Grandmother's bundt pan. This is the first time I've successfully used it; well, semi-successfully. I still have to get the pound cake OUT of the pan in one piece. I let it cool down in the pan and now it's still stuck in there. (The better not to tempt me to cut into it until it's time to take it to the office.) I've been advised to flip it over, and place hot towels on the pan to loosen up the cake. We'll have to see how that works out. I doubt my colleaques will care as long as they get some. UPDATE: Gave up on getting it out in one piece. I cut it out in slices -- sacrificing the first one, of course, to the baking gods. The office is now the beneficiary of the mess.

I had three baking projects over the weekend. Two were successful -- this one and the Congo Bars. The third though ... that's another post! Let's just say that if the local wildlife won't even eat the remains, that's not a good sign.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Auntie Nettie's Merchandise 2009, 1st 40!

Auntie Nettie was looking in her project book the other day and realized that she had somehow already completed 40 projects this year. That's not counting the three projects that have been started and aren't done yet, and the handbag that she did on Sunday night and has to piece together! No wonder her fingers and hands hurt. Some of these pictures have been posted before, as A.N. has managed to document most of the projects this year. There are now trunks and trunks (and TRUNKS) full of scarves, afghans, and other projects, so she really must plan a spring boutique or get the on-line store going. [Auntie needs a business manager to run the business -- or fewer jobs.]

Until then, if you see anything you like just drop a line or a comment. Auntie's happy to give dimensions, prices, and care suggestions off-line.

#1:
Harvest Ribbon Spiral Scarf (no longer available)

#2: Purple Passion Ribbon Spiral Scarf (not available)

#3: Tickled Pink Soft Scarf (not available)
#4: Rose Pink Fuzzy Spiral Scarf (not available)
#5: Pink Ribbon Tutu Scarf (not available, donation)
#6: Blueberry Muffin (not available)
#7: Chocolate Pink Frosted Cupcake (not available)
#8: Vanilla Pink Frosted Cupcake (not available)
#9: Overstuffed Vanilla Sprinkle Cupcake (not available)
#10: Chocolate White Frosted Cupcake (not available)
#11: Corn Muffin (not available)
#14, 15, 16, 21: Cup of Tea/Cocoa/Coffee (not available)

#12: Mocha Brown Fuzzy Spiral Scarf
(no photo, not available)

#13: Light Blue Fuzzy Spiral Scarf (not available)
#17, 18, 19, 22, 28, 29, 30, 31:
Various Stuffed Baby Blocks (not available)
#20: Tutti Fruity Boucle Scarf with fringe (not available)

#23: Olive Swede Shawl (no longer available, no photo)

#24: Blue Hoodie Blankie (no longer available)
#25: Lilac Hoodie Blankie (as of 01/10, not available)
#26: Pink Hoodie Blankie (as of 06/09, not available)
#32: Yellow Hoodie Blankie (not available)

#27: Stuffed Black Beta Fish (no longer available, no photo)

#33: White Lacey Blankie (not available)

#34: Yellow Waves of a Crib Cover (as of 10/10, not available)

#35: Black Ladder Fashion Scarf/Belt (not available)

#36: Champagne Ladder Fashion Scarf/Belt (not available)

#37: Sea Waves of a Crib Cover (as of 08/09, not available)



#38: Mint Green Diamond Puff Crib Cover (as of 08/10, not available)

#39: Sea Foam Granny Square Baby Blankie


#40: Funky Patchwork Granny Square Scarf (not available, donation)

Stay tuned for updates on future projects.

Monday, April 20, 2009

City Gardeners

You know how a tree grows in Brooklyn?
Well, we're hoping to have basil growing in Manhattan at the Big J.
Potted on Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. at my desk,
to the amusement (or befuddlement) of my boss

One BuzzySeeds Basil Grow Kit courtesy of Jane over at Flax Hill Garden.
I don't have enough light at home,
so I left it in the window sill of the office to get growing.

Stay tuned for updates.
I have more seeds to plant if I fry this batch of soil.
UPDATE: Monday morning discovery -- too much light in office window heated up the pot and cracked it into lots of piece. Thankfully, there are lots of vases and pots in the office, so the basil pot (cracks and all) are away from the window and in new containers. Lesson learned.

I'm hoping to get pesto out of this, as well as some basil, mozzarella, tomato sammies.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Eternal Struggle

You know how sometimes the censor button on your mouth doesn't work so well? I had one of those moments yesterday. I was in the midst of a conversation with some colleaques and we were discussing the use of low-fat products and artificial sweeteners in cooking vs. just enjoying life and savoring full-flavored foods. Suddenly I heard myself say:

Life is too damn short;
My a** is too damn big.
Therein lies the eternal struggle.

To much hysterical laughter (mine and at my expense), I realize that sometimes the censor button is overridden for a reason. The truth must out.

So, I'm NOT going to feel guilty about the Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake (courtesy of Paula Deen) that I'm going to make this weekend. I'm not going to eat the whole thing after all; I'm making it to share. Plus, if I've remembered anything from the various blog posts and my reading materials* this week, life is too short to skimp -- whether it be on having fun or on enjoying butter and chocolate.

Me thinks there's an embroidered pillow or some dishtowels in there somewhere ...


*The Laws of Harmony by Judith R. Hendricks and Where the River Ends by Charles Martin

Friday, April 17, 2009

Congo Bars

Not a drinking establishment in Africa, but yummy edible goodness.

This is an Auntie Nettie family favorite that needs to be shared. It's posted here so I have it for my recipe box as well. Apparently Grandmary was out West visiting the grandkids and wanted to make some of these for little Drew. She called Grumpa back home on the East Coast and he dictated it to her over the phone.

Enjoy!

Congo Bars

2 & 3/4 cups of sifted flour
2 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cups shortening or oil
3 eggs
2 & 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup nuts
1 small package chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Mix and sift baking powder, flour, and salt.
Melt shortening and add brown sugar.
Stir well and add eggs, vanilla, and dry ingredients, then add nuts and chocolate chips.
Use a 9x13 pan

Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees.



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quote of the Day

Sometimes the things that seem lost
are only hidden,
and they may yet be seen again.

~ William deBuys

Page 317 The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks

(In light of a previous entry this week, this still seems very apropos.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shushing Librarian's Soul Sister

Did you really think that The Shushing Librarian was the only one adventuring out there in the Blogosphere? Oh no, indeed not!

Thanks to an e-mail this morning from Jane, The Shushing Librarian has been virtually reunited with her soul-food sister who is cameoing over on The Food Librarian. Check her and her culinary explorations out here!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

National Library Week, April 12-19, 2009

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries, librarians and library workers to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate


Many school libraries also celebrate the month of April as School Library Media Month sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians, a division of ALA, with the same theme as National Library Week. National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 14, 2009), is a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.


Communities nationwide will celebrate the contributions of libraries, librarians and library workers during National Library Week, April 12 –18, 2009. This year’s theme is “Worlds connect @ your library.” Whether you're looking to make a small change in your life or a big change in the world, you only have to go as far as your library to get started. From books and magazines to databases and free Internet access, you can find the resources you need at your library.



a message brought to you courtesy of the ALA and The Shushing Librarian!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Retroblog Easter 1982

Easter 1982

These are some ways our family makes Easter a special day.

~ has a special family night and talks about why we celebrate Easter

~ made cards and letters to our grandparents and other family members.

Other things our family did to make Easter special this year.

I won this at a Easter Party. Most spring looking Egg - 9-10 yr olds.

Happy Easter,
from this still-10-at-heart!