Sunday, July 30, 2006

good side, bad side you know i've had my share...

I just finished reading the young adult novel Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It reminded me of Logan's Run (a great movie if you've never seen it--although it always makes me shudder a little to remember that when my dad took me to see it at age eleven or twelve i thought "oh, thirty wouldn't be such a bad age to die, you would have lived a full life by then...) and also of a couple of old Twilight Zone episodes Eye of the Beholder (this episode was remade with Molly Sims); and Number Twelve Looks Just Like You . Anyway, Uglies is the first in a dystopian trilogy--and believe me--though the story was complete enough in itself it does end in one of those most annoying (not-really-a-cliff-hanger-but-i-really-need-to-read-the-next-book-and-i'm-so-frustrated-waiting-for-my-library-hold-to-come-in-that-i-might-just-have-to-go-buy-the-damn-book) endings. (grrr)

Tally lives in a future world where everyone has an operation at sixteen in order to make them "pretty"--or look more like everyone else--more biologically desirable--so that people no longer have to deal with the misfortune of being ugly, asymmetrical, or less than. She then discovers that there are some who wish not to turn pretty. Can you imagine?

Fast paced, interesting, intriguing, and thought-provoking.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

did they actually want people to see this film?

I was looking for something diversionary to try and keep my mind off my migraine last night, and settled on The Exorcism of Emily Rose which i found quite interesting although i would not consider it a horror film in direct contradiction to all the promotional material i had seen for it.
What it turned out to be was a courtroom drama in which they were trying the priest who had performed the exorcism for negligent manslaughter because he had failed to provide proper medical care for medical Emily (even though he was not a medical professional) .
The movie is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, a twenty-four-year-old German woman. In the Michel case the young women was on psychiatric medication the entire time she was under the priests care, and the catholic church finally did approve an exorcism (there were weekly exorcism sessions over almost a year's time). In the end there were two priests and both parents charged with negligent homicide and they were found guilty and given harsher sentences than recommended by the prosecution, a symptom/symbol of the German secularism of the times.
Anyway--see the movie--it's very interesting--though not marketed well.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

roads less traveled (perhaps a little too lightly tread?)

Believe it or not i do like to travel. The problem is getting me out of the house (i have the same problem with going to the gym--i like it once i'm there--getting there is the problem ) and the older i get the more housebound it seems i become, but get me out of the house and i am up for just about anything--Really. I've been known to go out with a friend for a case of beer and not come back for two days (okay so we got a LITTLE sidetracked, and that was quite a few years ago and i do have a few more responsibilities now, but you get the picture) What i like most is the spontaneous trip, meeting new people, doing new unusual things and i'm not TOO big on the standard touristy things--especially shopping--which i hate under normal circumstances--though i often pick up a souvenir or two for the memoir factor. In the meantime i like to read the odd travel memoir and do my bit as the armchair traveler.
Roads Less Traveled: Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth by Catherine Watson seemed to fit my usual woman traveler bill. Overall its a fairly good collection although i couldn't make much sense of its organization (if there was sense to be made of it). Watson seemed to travel many places but i didn't get a real sense of who she was or how the places she visited shaped her--although in some of the pieces i got just the tiniest taste of it. Maybe this was because she is a travel writer for a newspaper, maybe it is just her style, i don't know, but it felt like just so much surface (maybe it was just supposed to be dispatches?) the other problem i had was that i felt like whenever she was describing "native" peoples they were always "happy smiling faces" who were just ever so overjoyed to see an American, now maybe that really was her experience, but it felt just a little politicized to me. Now this was an enjoyable read--but it did not make me feel like i was there, nor did i feel enlightened afterwards like i prefer my armchair traveling to be. (The pieces i did like were: Mexico City: Taking the Cure; Malta: Hunting the Falcon; Machu Picchu: Reunion in the Andes; Alaska: No Place Like Nome (just because i grew up in Anchorage); Germany: Glass as Good as Gold; Antarctica: the White Continent; Egypt: Kingdom of the Dead; England: Great Expectations; Russia: After the Fall (always wanted to go to Russian--even more so the USSR); and Kilimanjaro: to the Top of Africa (i am really obsessed with mountain climbing books--don't ask me why).
Other books i would recommend: Unsuitable for Ladies: an anthology of women travelers edited by Jane Robinson; More Women Travel edited by Natania Jansz; and Gutsy Women: Travel Tips and Wisdom for the Road by Marybeth Bond.

hearing laughter in the library?

Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum have come out with their fourth collection of the Unshelved webcomic Book Club (which covers February 16, 2005 through February 19, 2006 for those of you keeping track). If you are not familiar with this series, it is absolutely required reading for any public libraries, recommended reading for anyone in public service, but i believe everyone should be able to appreciate the humor of the situation--a surprisingly accurate depiction of life in a public library.
This issue has the added fun of "Book Club" (of course--given the title) which offers--short illustrated recommendations/summaries/whatever of a number of different titles. And this Whedon fan would be remiss if she did not mention the scattered references to Serenity and even an obscure one to Vampire Willow as well as Drucilla which makes me love the authors all the more and convinces me i AM in the RIGHT profession (tee hee.)
Also check out the other titles in the series: Unshelved; What Would Dewey Do?; and Library Mascot Cage Match.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

chronic babes unite

Just found a new site for we women LIVING with (stress that's living with not suffering with) chronic illness: called
"If you’re living with a chronic illness and trying to balance healthy living and—whoa—fun, then you're DEFINITELY in the right place. If you're sick of reading depressing, clinical dissertations on disease, then you're going to feel right at home. If you're hunting for creative approaches to life, come on in. This online community is for babes (who just happen to be chronic)"
I'm not sure i still fit into the babe category at my advanced age but i like to think so--anyway--check it out...

Monday, July 24, 2006

welcome to the world of mind expanding books...

I admit, i'm excessively late to this party but i just read Philip Pullman's His Dark Material's Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; and The Amber Spyglass) and i absolutely loved it! (the non-conformist in me does like that it never quite reached Harrymania status--continuing the party metaphor i think if Dark Materials had been at one of the house parties i went to back in college it would have been in the kitchen "and all the best people/parties were/happened/wound up in the kitchen (maybe that was just me or that crazy Theatre crowd) but i usually wound up in the kitchen, or in other rooms... whole other subject...)
I really liked the first book because it was self-contained. It's just the slightest bit annoying, sometimes, when serial books leave you hanging on those cliffs; and also when books full of action and multiple characters keep switching scenes--when you are just dying to know what is happening in one particular place to one particular character. Still i am not sure i can rave enough about this trilogy, and even though it seems to have picked up numerous accolades in its homeland it doesn't seemed to have garnered quite as much attention here as the ubiquitous Harry, perhaps that's a good thing because i'm sure there are a few people who could find quite a bit to object to in these books.
You won't find these objections here, however, i think Pullman is quite genius in his work and obviously well-versed in biblical as well as Victorian verse. He tells a marvelous yarn of epic proportions and keeps it going oh so well--gives the reader so much to think about. I highly recommend this trilogy.

Friday, July 21, 2006

immersed in superheroes

The other day i was reading this article about how X-Men's Mystique's bisexuality makes no appearance in the current X-Men movie which somehow reminded me of the ever-changing Superman mythos and something our graphic novel central buyer had said about the relationship between Batman and Robin (which apparently is sometimes homosexual according to her) and sometimes Robin is a girl, etc, etc, etc. Now, never having been a big D.C. comics reader or graphic novel reader in the past i suddenly felt this urgent need to research everyone's history, TODAY. And let me tell you there is quite a bit of history to research, and quite a few universes to reconcile.
I have not waded through all of it yet, and as with everything else of any interest, the more you find out, the more you want to find out--so i will leave it all up to your own research if you will--and as to Batman and Robin's sexuality--i guess that's all subjective isn't it?--but i will say this--yes, there have been female Robins; but no, there have never been any OVERT representations of male homosexuality--but after all they are men in tights if you want to fall for stereotypes...but that is a little shallow of you isn't it???
and say what you will about that horrible Catwoman movie but man or woman you've gotta admit, Halle Berry is HOT! (and Benjamin Bratt's not so bad...)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Feelin' Fine

So i was driving to work this afternoon-looking forward to another one of those alone-at the-reference-desk nights, listening to some of my favorite tunes, singing along, doing that car dancing thing that looks so very crazy when you spy the person in the next car over doing it, but feels so very great when you are doing it yourself; and it suddenly struck me:
"Hey, I feel Good,
deep down to my tiptoes good...
no headache,
no hip-hoppedy stomach thing
just good.
This is kinda
And then, observation made, i went back to my car-dancing, driving, singing thing.
And, when i got to work, things at the library were even looking up.
so just thought i'd share...
now back to your regularly scheduled life.

gentle foods/comfort foods

I'm not sure why i bought Laurel's Kitchen Caring: Recipes for Everyday Home Caregiving by Laurel Robertson with Carol Lee Flinders & Ruppenthal, RD in the first place (it might have been the reputation of Robertson's vegetarian cookbook Laurel's Kitchen or perhaps i was just confusing her with someone else...) but i picked it up and read it recently because of my little gastronomic challenges.
It is a very handy, helpful book full of tips and recipes for people who are caregivers for those who are sick and/or hospitalized either with short-term or long-term illnesses. It is also useful if you need to start a special diet or cut back on something.
There are a number of very useful recipes that are gentle on your stomach, are nutritious, can provide nutrients in a liquid diet, comfort etc. Very useful book to have on hand.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Food Phobias vs. Cravings in the Ultimate Cage Match

In an effort to avoid the constant vomiting which is caused by, i don't know what, allergies or migraines or both, i have decided to severely restrict my diet--researched a little bit on the web on what you can eat with an upset stomach (added to the fact that i seem to have developed phobias to many foods due to said vomiting--so many things now scare me--though i seem to also crave them--at least my brain does...)
So this is what i'm down to now:
hot tea because my throat is sore
bread, crackers, etc.
instant breakfast (with skim milk), low fat cheeses--thank god i am not lactose intolerant--i have done my bouts with
vegetarianism and could give up meat if i had to but never my dairy
canned fruit, applesauce, etc
fruit juices
and lots of multivitamin supplements
fun, fun, fun
now if i can only figure out that
breatharianism thing i'll be totally set!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Reality TV: Guilty Pleasure; Symptom of Society Ills; or a Sign of the Coming Apocalypse?

I am not sure if anyone can pinpoint where it all started, but personally i'm not voting for The Real World although that definitely was groundbreaking and served as a model for many to follow it (as well as create a superpower production team). If you want to track genre roots you can look at An American Family which was first broadcast on PBS on January 11, 1973 (and of course arguments can be made for Candid Camera which premiered in 1949) but i think the current "Realitymanianeurosis" began/morphed with shows like Donahue, Oprah, Jenny Jones, Jerry Springer (his early days as well as his latter days), Sally Jesse Raphael, etc.

An American Family, in case you've never heard of it, and many haven't, was televisions very first reality show and it was shot documentary style (yes a reality tv show all the way back in 1973--i was only seven years old--were you even alive?--much of the MTV generation wasn't) The show was twelve episodes long and chronicled seven months in the life of the Loud family: Bill and Pat; and their five children: Lance; Kevin; Grant; Delilah; and Michele. The program was widely criticized as it challenged conventions of the day; the oldest son, Lance, was openly gay; and marital tension (and perhaps the stress of being filmed?) eventually led to marital dissolution. This was true reality.

Anyway, I remember, back in the day, over a decade ago, before this whole thing exploded i was expounded (and i do expound/ramble so well--as i'm sure you've noticed) on a walk (back in my fore-mentioned careless days) home from work with a friend about the (then) current seeming trend of people WANTING to air ALL of their dirty laundry on the talk shows, or in the case of Jerry Springer duke it out. I philosophied in my oh so elegant (in my own mind) some kind of secular form of confession and think i might of even formed some kind of linkage back to Madonna in her early days and catholic background.

(and isn't it just a bit ironic that i'm here now rambling on about this theory on a public blog...)

soon there will be so many people on reality t.v. there won't be anyone left to watch...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

what is eternal torment?

...because i think i'm already there.
Neverending Migraines
in addition to chronic headaches
... hopefully i do not need to explain to you that migraine is not a really bad headache but a genetic neurological disease that produces flare-ups referred to as "Migraine attacks" or "Migraine episodes", which can include such symptoms as moderate to severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and/or sensitivity to sound, sometimes migraines are preceded and accompanied by nifty little things called auras which can be visual, aural, smelling things that aren't there, etc. Sometimes you feel like one side of your body has gone numb, or lost vision in one eye, or prickly feelings--all sorts of neurological problems accompany this disease we call migraine--and i've experienced most of them at one time or another.
At the moment i seem to experiencing it all at once, along with the extremes of my allergies, the post-nasal drip which aggravates the sore throat and the nausea, and the vomiting. I am becoming frightened of food, my stomach muscles ache. My neck is sore, my back is sore. In fact all my joints ache--as if they are annoyed at the attention other parts of my body are getting. Blah, Blah, Blah.
(And you would think that, with the amount of food that i eat--very little--and the amount of food that stays in my stomach--even less--that i would be loosing some weight BUT NO--oh well)
In a conversation with my mother the other day, in which i was discussing the possibility of slicing off my head and she was contemplating the consequences of such an action (i.e. Hell/Eternal Torment in her World View) perhaps that wouldn't be my best option. She then was opining that she didn't know what happened to migraines in the afterlife--they probably hung around--huh? I think i'll stick to my agnosticism, thank you very much, there seems to be a little more hope in that.
oh well enough self pity for the moment--there are people out there worse off than me (for whatever that's worth)

Friday, July 14, 2006


when i was 21 i drove my car into a concrete wall.
(in one of those "whoops, where did that come from?" moments)

i had been driving home from an exceedingly good night at the dance club and
i had Kim Wilde's "Keep Me Hangin' On" blasting on the tape player--over and
over and over again--singing with all my dance club kid daze might--when all of
the sudden a concrete tunnel popped up where ,i swear, a concrete tunnel had
never been before...

In my (admittedly) inebriated state, i got out of the car and looked at what was left of my vehicle; rationalized that i could (somehow replace the completely smashed/missing part of the hood/car) "just pound that out at home" climbed back into the car and somehow drove the smoking wreck home, where i woke up my mother, trying to convince her that maybe someone had hit me in the parking lot; she did not think that made much sense, given my state and the state of the auto so she tried to report an accident which the police couldn't be bothered with until morning.
An officer did indeed come the next morning, and after looking at (the remains of) my car, and (after reading me my rights) hearing my recount of the event, he somehow found it unbelievable, and thought it more likely that i had been involved in a hit and run.
So i was left an open case.
After a couple of months, and a couple of detectives, and further interviews, and a couple of trips to said concrete wall, nothing else ever came of it. Except that i remained carless for the next thirteen years. Sometimes i miss those years. Yes it was a pain having to walk everywhere, or to plot out bus schedules, or to have people pick me up, or to borrow cars; but it was so much less stressful not to drive--and i seemed to rush less--because i had to make the bus (or the pickup point, or whatever)--i couldn't leave it for the last minute--and i could do my homework on buses, or listen to music, or observe people (especially at downtown bus stops--so very interesting) Almost any time i spent in vehicles was someone Else's stress--all i had to do was occasionally point out the big semi-truck that was about to kill us all--avoiding death was all someone Else's responsibility.
And i got in my exercise with the walking, and i used to rationalize that my life expectancy was longer because i spent less time in cars (that of course was blown my first four years back in the commuter life when i was working two jobs spending about eight hours a week at the least in rush hour traffic, but oh well). I also really enjoy walking. I even enjoyed the time i walked home from the hospital really high on Demerol because i had convinced the ER nurse that my roommate was going to pick me up and i didn't want to spend the money on a taxi and even though the Demerol hadn't entirely gotten rid of my migraine and i got a wee bit lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood at 3:00a.m. it was yet another interesting experience--and i would have NEVER done that in a car!
Did i mention that i was never all that excited to get my Driver's License to begin with? That all important rite of passage never seemed to mean too much to me, in fact i had to have my learner's permit renewed when it expired after six months because i had never bothered to have anyone teach me to drive a manual transmission (the only vehicles owned by my family) and my Driver's Ed training had been automatic. Then, as a newly minted (seventeen-year-old--decided to get the damn license before the Learner's permit expired AGAIN) driver, i had my first accident, when my best friend, who had come over to get a homework assignment, CAJOLED me into taking her "for a spin around the block" because "she'd never ridden with me before. So... We are stopped at an intersection, waiting for two bicyclists to cross the street i am about to make a left turn onto (and yes my signal was on) when, BOOM, we are hit from behind, sent careening into both bicyclists, who come up over my hood (like that scene in Airplane--which was flashing through my mind at the time along with the thought that i was killing someone(s)), and into an irrigation ditch. As if this wasn't adventure enough for my first driving excursion, when both the city AND the county police officers arrive to take their reports it seems there is a question of jurisdiction BECAUSE i was hit in the county (and usually it is the point of impact that matters) BUT my car was then sent over the county/city line and the bicyclists were hit in the City so were their two accidents here? I don't really know, don't really remember. All i know is that my friend got whiplash (and wasn't she glad she asked me for a ride) I have many more tales of driving mishaps but i'll spare you, for the moment.
Why am i rambling about this topic on this particular day. Because i just went out, on my day off, for a doctor's appointment and to run some errands. I made it to the doctor. And that is about it. This is how it goes so very often. Now that i have the transportation available i make very little use of it because it is so entirely frustrating--i can only accomplish about one, possibly two things before the migraine sends me back into hiding. (oh whine, whine, whine--i sound entirely too pathetic time to stop)
so i will just say:

I am a much better driver than i once was (and i don't drive drunk), but i hate being on the road. It is one of the most frustrating experiences there is. It is an instant migraine inducer. You never truly learn how to swear until you learn how to drive. And driving in traffic produces so few entertaining stories.

just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you...

is it possible to work anywhere and not have to play little games of workplace politics?
To not get involved in revolving soap operas?
To have a job where you just go to work, do whatever tasks you're supposed to do, go home, leaving all work tasks and thoughts at work, live a separate life at home, return the next day and repeat?
Does anyone hop out of bed in the morning eager to go to work, enjoy their entire day there and go to sleep at night excited to do it all over again the next day?
okay now that is beginning to sound a bit would be nice to not have to drag yourself to work--to have to talk yourself into to going day after day.
Do i sound like i'm new to the world of work (i'm not--i'm gagging on the decades of experience i've had--the number of Different jobs and experience--just had to redo my resume for that promotion interview--which i didn't get by the by--that's an oh well i always say maybe next time...) not even new to this library--eight years here--sometimes i just choke on the routine--on the sameness--on the fact that sometimes i just cannot stand my job and yet there's not another one i want--I Want to Be a Librarian--and there are So Very Many Jobs that could be so much worse than this one (i know i've had at least a few of them)
Can you trust the people around you to do and say what they say they are going to do and say?
In case you haven't guessed things are not all hippy happy in library land--they have been a little more than tense--tripping over rumours here--waiting for things to change that you know won't there--a few seeming backroom machinations, hushed water cooler conversations--you know the drill...
And the time of year we all await with eager anticipation. Everything goes fine except for a little added advice from my go off on a few little Rampages and somehow it just doesn't seem Marionly librianly or something, geesh...
But still my evaluation is just the same as always (basically fine) then i get back from vacation and somehow little caveats have been attached to my signed evaluation form without my knowledge--raising my red-headed rampaging taurean ire--feeling the already high library tension level begin to rise--that's another oh well
i just join my co-workers in their efforts to cope. Paste that big smile on over my clenched teeth.
And to top it all i've just been rejected by my space: "We’re sorry. Based on the information you have submitted to us, you are ineligible to register on" okay i read through their terms of service (yup, ALL of them, and i couldn't find anything in them that would make me ineligible) now you may be wondering why i would be joining to begin with, i am beginning to wonder that myself at this point, after having spent so much time entering different email addresses, password permutations, rebooting my computer, clearing my cache, etc., etc., etc., just to retry resigning up for the damn MySpace, that i no longer remember whatever trivial reason i felt a need to have an account for the (mainly) teenbooper site--even so i feel rejected by a club i never wanted to join in the first place (sort of a reverse Groucho Marx syndrome)
How do you just keep on keeping on?
and so it goes...
what is it that Scarlet O'hara said
"Tomorrow is another day?"

Saturday, July 08, 2006

librarian trading cards

Giles trading card
Originally uploaded by travelinlibrarian.

Okay, so we already have librarian action figures, (or at least one) and of course there is the Sunnydale High Library Action Figure Playset (and speaking of Sunnydale there ARE a couple of Giles action figures already available and more in the works so we DO have more than one!) And now, to my ever increasing delight, some-wonderful-unnamed-brarian has given us Librarian trading cards! And, here, for your viewing pleasure, is my own personal favorite--the afore mentioned Giles--The Buffyverse's answer to the revitalization/re-imaging of librarian role models everywhere. School librarian (and that is not Media Specialist mind you!) /Watcher/Father Figure extraordinaire (and on a personal note i must add--not only do i love the British accent and tiniest touch of the bad boy but i find him a slightly more intellectual version of Adam Ant--and for me that IS a compliment) If only there really were such cards to collect....

I am so very happy--now i just have to come up with the just the right "Rampaging Librarian"

I don't know, what do you think would make up a Rampaging Trading card???

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


so I sit here, playing solitare and watching er...
I lost the ring I've lost so many times and haven't found it yet.
There is nothing that I'm doing that I want to be doing.
just watched Mrs. Parker and the Viscious Circle--have been reading her work as of late...connecting or searching for some connection--I don't know.
what was I going to write?
Nothing--the story of my life.
this is going nowhere.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

how many hours of reading do you think we have in lifetime?

Sometimes reading can really piss me off because the more you read the longer your reading list becomes. I just finished Kindred by Octavia Butler and it was incredible. I had previously read her Wild Seed, which i loved (the Reader's Guide at the end of Kindred says that Wild Seed and Kindred both depart from Butler's other works in that they are set in the historical past while her other works are set in the future); a friend has recommended Fledgling to me; and after reading a few critical reviews of her work i now feel compelled to read everything else she's written as well as reread Beloved by Toni Morrison (which i didn't like the first time i read it--but feel i may have missed something) and i want to read Ice by Anna Kavan.

Anyway i've been trying to figure out what to say about Kindred other than the fact that it's brilliant--which it is. A novel about the inhumanity of slavery set in modern times (or at least 1976--hey i was alive then--i remember the bicentennial...back in the day..)

This book is referred to as grim fantasy rather than science fiction and i think i can get with that description. There is definitely no attempt made to explain the mechanism (or even any kind of inference made that it is a mechanism) that tosses a black woman back and forth between centuries. And that of course is not really important to the story. What is important is what human beings are capable of doing to each other and the type of relationships that can develop within different social dynamics. I think it even illustrates how different relationships can develop between the same two people if they move within different social dynamics and time periods (as do Dana--the main character, and her white husband Kevin).

Dana is sent into the past to save her own present, perhaps to learn who she is because she is, in a sense an orphan, as is her husband--maybe they both need to go back to learn a sense of their history--or to make their own history. But in doing so they leave many pieces of who they were behind, never to be retrieved.

Beyond being a searing first-person narrative that illustrates how easy it is to grow into complacency, this novel also emphasizes that we are the sum of all the experiences that we have had--not only as individuals but as a collective society with a shared history.

This is a difficult book to put down and a difficult one to get out of your head once you are finished reading it--in a word, incredible.