31 May 2006

This is your President! I'm here to help you!

Yesterday evening, I attended a book signing & reading (more of a talk, really) by Douglas Brinkley at Lemuria. He talked about his book, and also incidentally related a tale concerning Lyndon Johnson when he was in New Orleans after Hurricane Betsy struck New Orleans. The details of which I've taken from a David Remnick New Yorker article.

In the Ninth Ward, Johnson visited the George Washington Elementary School, on St. Claude Avenue, which was being used as a shelter. “Most of the people inside and outside of the building were Negro,” the diary reads. “At first, they did not believe that it was actually the President.” Johnson entered the crowded shelter in near-total darkness; there were only a couple of flashlights to lead the way.

“This is your President!” Johnson announced. “I’m here to help you!”

I've taken the day off work today. I'll be back at work Thursday.

The library's doing a birthday party for me on Friday. I turn 39 Monday, which is also the first day of summer school. Since I work Monday evenings when school's in session, I'll be coming in late Monday and working on my birthday.

I'm heading down to Hattiesburg after work Friday. I'll be helping out at my mother's shop again this weekend.

The National Spelling Bee started today. It'll finish up tomorrow evening live on ABC. Here's a list of words that appeared on the written portion of the bee.

30 May 2006

Dylan's Seattle Post-Intelligencer World Cup 2006 Blog

My friend Dylan is doing a World Cup blog for the aforementioned newspaper. Enjoy. I know I will.

Begin the Beguine

More people are here at the library today. It's been pretty quiet though. I've been checking in periodicals again as well as signing out people.

Employees of the college who are leaving have to be signed out at various places to make sure that they don't have anything outstanding such as checked out books on their accounts.

A couple of weeks ago, some applicants for a vacant position came in for interviews. I didn't have anything to do with the hiring process. I did meet two of the candidates, but not the third. The new person will be starting in a couple days.

After work, I'll be heading over to Lemuria for the Douglas Brinkley signing and reading. I'm sure I'll see some of my compadres there.

One good thing about it being between the semesters here at the college, I can listen to Pandora while working. I'm currently listening to this song. It's pretty good.

29 May 2006


I went to a book signing and reading today at Lemuria. The person reading & signing books was the last person to interview Hunter S. Thompson before his death. She also wrote this book.

I had to be at work today, which was no big deal for me. I'd rather be off on July 3 and work today than the reverse. There weren't many people at the library today. I only saw one other person. I understand that a third person was going to show up, but since I was the only upstairs worker, I had most of the day to myself. I spent the day checking in periodicals, which is what I'll also be doing tomorrow.

This past weekend, I was in Hattiesburg. I carried out pots, watched my mother's shop, and typed up customer addresses so that my mother can mail newsletters to customers.

27 May 2006

Army of Shadows

I read Army of Shadows this afternoon. It's a very thin book of about 160 pages, but this small package has a pretty hefty punch. Its author is Joseph Kessel who is perhaps better for writing Belle de jour, which was made into the film starring Catherine Deneuve.

Army of Shadows was written during World War II & takes place in occupied France. The main characters are Résistance members. The book isn't so much about what they do to the Germans. The focus is on how the Résistance members survive.

I can imagine the pressures the people felt to maintain their covers, the stresses that occured when they had to change identities, escapes, and escape attempts. Life and death. It's a very stark book.

I had mentioned previously that Army of Shadows was made into a movie. I can easily imagine the book as having elements of film noir, which is no surprise since the director of the movie version of the book has an outstanding reputation of directing such films.

25 May 2006

Enter Sandman

I'm in Hattiesburg. What with the Memorial Day weekend upon us, my mother asked me if I could help out a little at her shop carrying out heavy pots again. While we've got a skeleton staff at the library between semesters, I was able to get away and not work tomorrow. I will have to work Monday though.

Yeah, we're open Monday. Considering we're getting two days for July 4 (Monday July 3 as well as the fourth), I consider that a decent trade-off.

I went to Lemuria yesterday. I put in an order for the latest edition of The Complete Peanuts. While at Lemuria, I was reminded of Douglas Brinkley's appearance this coming Tuesday. I was also told about another book signing & reading on Monday. I may just attend Monday's reading-- based purely on sheer potential entertainment value.

This week at the library, I spent a lot of my time checking in magazines and newspapers, ensuring that students paid their library fines so they could enroll for the summer semester, and clearing the stops on their records. I had the opportunity to work a little on state association matters. I worked on getting a meeting form ready.

I went to Pub Quiz again Tuesday evening. I ran into Gorjus and Polly (meeting him I think for the first time). We chatted for awhile. It was good to talk.

One thing I miss since I've been helping out my mother with her shop is that I don't socialize in Jackson as much as I had been. I think that's why I've been to the last two Pub Quizzes. A lot of people I know either go to PQ or I'll see them after PQ either at Martin's or Don's.

After Gorjus and Polly left, a guy I know from the college asked me if I wanted to play on his team. He and his friends (all Belhaven grads) played the Tuesday previously and witnessed the third place plundering by the Dread Pirate Roberts. I said sure, so we played. The questions were more difficult, but we finished in third place again.

After PQ, I went to Don's and socialized. When I started singing the chorus to Madonna's Lucky Star, I knew I had too much to drink, and so I drank nothing but diet cokes the rest of the night. I also went to Martin's where I spoke to the Twins and SAJ & a friend of his from Austin.

I took the day off yesterday. I relaxed. I ran some errands. I had gotten a new cellphone and needed to buy some accessories. I ran into the New Girl at Cups. We talked for awhile. She's reading a Murakami book.

I should finish reading M&M and Army of Shadows this weekend. I've got a couple other books I may read as well if I get the chance. I also need to visit friends in Laurel if I have time.

19 May 2006

Congratulations to Rick Cleveland

Rick Cleveland was awarded first place in the sports column category by the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors.

What's cool from my perspective is that among the cited columns is a column that I gave him the idea to write. I previously made mention of it in this blog entry.

The Dead White Male of the Month

Charles Schulz

18 May 2006


I recently read Nightshade by Jack Butler. One read isn't enough for this book. I'd like to read it again and again. Unfortunately, the copy I'm reading has to be returned fairly soon, so these comments would be best described as being initial thoughts.

I guess the best way to describe Nightshade is that it's a science fiction novel and the lead protagonist is a Vampire/rancher, but somehow the vampirism doesn't matter. Professor Fury had stated that there more similarities than one would expect between Nightshade and Jujitsu for Christ.

There's at least one reference to Shade being acquainted with the author of Jujitsu for Christ. There are some pop culture references-- something you wouldn't normally expect from a science fiction novel taking place in a future Mars. However, when your lead character is a vampire who grew up in the United States, you have your references.

There's his computerized sidekick (I'm not going to call him a robot), janglers (think Cyberpunk here), and ranchers. There's revolution.

The use of language is interesting. I'm glad Butler included a glossary. I didn't expect to see sphincter used as a verb in the book. I thought it was amusing.

Impressions-- as previously mentioned, one read really is not enough for the book. I like the way Butler writes. There's a certain style. Unlike Jujitsu for Christ, it most definitely is not a quick read. I believe I'll be purchasing a used copy of the book online pretty soon. It's intriguing and meant to be read more than once.

Next up: Army of Shadows by Joseph Kessel. I believe I had first heard of the book a couple of weeks ago when I was reading a David Ansen article about the movie, which was based on the book. It seemed interesting, so I looked to see if the book was available via interlibrary loan. And it is.


Links of interest:
Film Forum
David Ansen article on the film

Also, there's an article about the movie in the May-June 2006 issue of Film Comment. Mississippians may have access via Magnolia.

Sometimes Arsenal can be like a library...

Arsenal lost to Barcelona 2-1 yesterday in the Champions League finals. The Gunners played well considering that they were playing with ten men. I had thought for a moment that they could pull off the upset. They didn't.

My blog's epigraph is Every library is an arsenal. Watching the game, I had the thought that sometimes Arsenal can be like a library.

Libraries, unfortunately, have been familiar with budget cuts. The Gunners lost their #1 goalkeeper and a midfielder when Jens Lehmann got the red card early in the first half. Robert Pires had to leave so that Manuel Almunia, the backup goalkeeper, could replace Lehmann.

Libraries and librarians work to be creative, to do the best that they can based on the support that they have. Arsenal was also creative, scoring off a set-piece late in the first half thanks to a Sol Campbell header.

However, when you're outmanned, when your opponents press the issue by replacing more defensive minded players with attackers, there's only so much that can be done. I had hoped though that the defense could hold for another twenty minutes.

17 May 2006

Dread Pirate Roberts

I've made it in from being out and about this evening and night. I worked at the library for the day and then drove to Ridgeland and Jackson to run some errands.

Normally, I'd be at book club, but that was rescheduled to be later this week. I decided to head over to Hal & Mal's for Pub Quiz. I'd been meaning to go, but haven't been since the day after Katrina struck.

I arrived a little before 8 p.m. & sat at the bar. I ordered the red beans and rice with andouille sausage and a coke. After eating a little of the meal, I order a beer.

There are a lot of people playing. Many teams are present.

I see some people I know-- mostly people I've known from past experiences at Pub Quiz. I do see one person I know from the college. He works in a different area, but has come to the library on several occasions over the past year.

While teams can have up to six players, I decide early on to play solo. I've been known to do that. When I play solo, my game plan is not to finish in last place, and I didn't. I dub my team Dread Pirate Roberts and play.

I start slowly, but so do other teams. I find myself in a tie for third place. I work my way to a tie for second, but fall back to third, then fourth.

The quiz is a very Library Guy-friendly. General knowledge. In depth questions. Nothing terribly loopy.

Every time I do well, I shout Arrrr! When I'm puzzled or confused, I utter a bewildered Arr? The Pub Quizmistress gets tired of my Arrrs, but somehow the Dread Pirate Roberts is allowed to plunder.

When Pub Quiz is over, I find myself in sole possession of third place-- winning $20, all of which went towards a meal and drinks plus a tip.

After Pub Quiz, I walk across the street to Don's. I see FP, DT, Puggy, MM, Buck, and Jaysus. I stick around.

I have a few beers. I talk. I socialize. I tell stories badly. I have fun.

People begin to leave. I wander next door to Martin's. I relax for a moment. I watch a little of the Suns-Clippers basketball game. I still don't know who won.

I go back to Don's. I decide to head back home.

I normally wouldn't stay up this late on a Tuesday night, but school is out for the semester and I've already requested to have Wednesday off. I want to see Arsenal play Barcelona in the Champions League Final.

I'll be back at work Thursday morning. After work, there's book club.

14 May 2006

Famous Blue Raincoat

I went down to Hattiesburg Friday afternoon after work at the library. What with this weekend being Mother's Day Weekend, I knew my mother's shop would be busy.

I made great time driving here-- arriving a little after 6 p.m. Saturday was busy at the shop. I was lifting a lot of potted plants and putting them in cars, trucks, and SUVs-- well, most of them. I did drop one. No damage to the plants though. My mother repotted them pretty easily.

I still don't know how I dropped it. I managed to get the really heavy pot in the back of the truck. I thought the smaller pot would be a piece of cake, but obviously not. My arms and shoulders ache. My back's also letting me know that it's there.

I gave my mother her Mother's Day gifts Friday evening. I had gone by Lemuria to find a book or two for my mother. I wound up buying three-- one of them for me. I forgot to see if the latest version of The Complete Peanuts was at Lemuria. I'll check there again sometime this week, possibly the next week.

For my mother, I bought Penumbra and Water for Elephants. She likes Carolyn Haines books. I don't know if she'll like the other. The person I spoke to at Lemuria recommended it, so we'll see.

I also purchased Louisiana Power and Light. I've not had a chance to read it yet. I've been reading Nightshade, which I finished earlier today, and Master & Margarita.

I promised Professor Fury that I'd post my impressions of Nightshade, & I'll do it later this week. It's quite different from Jujitsu for Christ, but there are more similarities than one would imagine considering the settings for both books.

I'll be at work tomorrow. I mentioned previously that the library has a couple of job openings. Interviews for one position begin tomorrow. I'll find out who's interviewing when the applicants arrive.

12 May 2006

Sonny Montgomery -- 1920-2006

Sonny Montgomery died today.
When I was born, he was my congressman. The first time I ever voted, I voted for Sonny Montgomery.

My father had known Sonny for over sixty years. They were at Mississippi State at the same time. My father was a freshman when Sonny was a senior.

After that year, they both went off to war. My father was in the Navy serving in the Pacific Theatre. Sonny was in the Army serving in Europe.

My father was a county campaign chairman for Sonny Montgomery. Serving was more of an honor since Sonny had no serious re-election opposition in his thirty years in Congress.

Sonny had told my sister that if she ever wanted to be a congressional page all she had to do was to ask. When he heard that I scored a 99 on the academic ability portion of the ASVAB when I was a junior at Heidelberg Academy, he told me that if I was interested in attending one of the service academies all I had to do was ask.

Neither my sister or I took Sonny up on his offers. I think it would have been cool for my sister to be a congressional page. As for me, I realized when I was a student at Mississippi State that my mathematics skills were lacking. I'm an awesome analytical thinker, but am not great in calculus.

For the first twenty-nine years of my life, Sonny Montgomery was my congressman. He decided to retire after serving in Congress for thirty years. He retired about a year after my father completed serving one term as a county supervisor.

From what I understand after reading various news sites and forums, visitation will be Monday May 15. The funeral will be Tuesday May 16.

May 15 is already a day of remembrance for me. My father died on that date three years ago. Not only am I going to remember my father, but I'll also be thinking of Sonny Montgomery. I'll be thinking of Sonny's visits to Heidelberg. While he was better known for his work with veterans and the military, Sonny also believed in constituent services. When he was in Heidelberg, Sonny liked to visit my father at our family grocery store.

Sonny Montgomery is gone now, but we have our memories of what he did not only just for Mississippians, but for Americans. Rest in peace Sonny.


Links of interest:
Another Clarion-Ledger article.
Quotes about Sonny.
A chronology.
A photo gallery.
A Marshall Ramsey cartoon.
Sid Salter's blog entries on Sonny.
An AP article.
An Air Force Times article.
A Department of Defense article.
The Meridian Star.

10 May 2006

World War II & Other Things

I'm at the college. Final exams ended yesterday. Now that it's between semesters, we're working on getting some housekeeping work done.

Storage closets were cleaned. One colleague is changing offices. I've been providing some desk coverage while checking in periodicals.

Students have come to the library. They're returning overdue books and paying fines so they can take classes in the summer and fall semesters.

Yesterday evening, a co-worker and I went to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame to attend a reception featuring the new president of Mississippi State University.

There weren't many people in the our age range at the reception when we were there. There were recognizable faces there (college officials, a former basketball player, a former SA president, & at least one elected official). It was different & lacked the atmosphere of the alumni chapter's Extravaganzas, which I generally find to be more welcoming.

We left early to go to Little Tokyo. I had sashimi and sushi. She had chirashi. We talked for awhile.

I saw this article today at the Clarion-Ledger website. Here's the first paragraph of the article:

Mississippi veterans of World War II have the opportunity to attend a reunion at the National World War II Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC., May 20 and 21.

My father served in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theatre. He died nearly three years ago. In fact, it will be three years this coming Monday.

09 May 2006

The Birthday Prom

Jaysus's 30th Birthday Prom was this past Saturday night. It was a lot of fun. I felt good. It was good to see people-- some of whom I'd not seen in a little while. Jaxxie put on a most excellent party.

The prom party has been blogged by others in the past 2-3 days:

Sally's perspective
TD's viewpoint

I thought about playing it straight and wearing a suit, but when the weather started to get worse, I decided to go for laughs. TD is right though. I look better without the jacket.

Here's some more photos:
Joosey (with Prom 2006 as keywords)

07 May 2006

Weekend Links

Arsenal won its last game at Highbury over Wigan 4-2.
Coupled with Tottenham's loss to West Ham, the Gunners take fourth place in the English Premier League & qualify for the Champions League.

From the world of Video Google: Super Mario Drama. Thanks for the heads-up go to Dylan.

Marvel Comics's Civil War: "Described as a gutsy comic-book series focusing on the whole debate over homeland security and tighter government controls in the name of public safety." Thanks for the heads-up go to the Librarian in Black.

05 May 2006

Three links of note...

First, here's the Seven Deadly Sins as personified by Gilligan's Island characters.

Second, here's the FARKing of Frank Melton. I believe I know at least one of the people who's participated in this thread.

Third, an oldie but a goodie. Here's a re-enactment of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

The End of the Semester

I arrived at the college a little bit later than usual today. What with the storms coming through during the night and into the morning, it usually takes me a little bit longer to get to work.

The college's bookstore is located in a building adjacent to the library. I saw a lot of people in line. The end of the semester is commemorated not only by the taking of final exams, but also the buying back of books by the college's bookstore.

A couple of students who work in the library sold their books back to the bookstore yesterday. One waited for a couple hours to sell her books. The other's wait wasn't nearly as long-- only fifteen minutes.

When I was a college student, long lines were the norm-- whether it was for registration or for dealings with the bookstore. There were times when I knew that I had to suffer through long lines at registration and decided to postpone registration until early the following morning. College students, many of whom being nocturnal creatures, aren't fond of taking classes at 8 a.m. much less registering for class when sleep is a better, more cherished necessity.

A library staff worker is having her retirement reception this afternoon. I can't make it. I've got to provide coverage at the reference desk for people who will be at the reception. I'm sure I'll see her at tonight's employee appreciation dinner since the program also honors people retiring.

04 May 2006

P-R-I-M-E T-I-M-E... Prime Time

The final rounds of the National Spelling Bee will be shown live by ABC on June 1 in prime time.

03 May 2006

Speaking of Keith Richards...

Earlier this week, I had an interlibrary loan request for Tree Care Equipment Safety.

02 May 2006

Jujitsu for Christ

This past weekend in between carrying out huge heavy pots at my mother's shop, I was reading The Master and Margarita and Jujitsu for Christ. I've not finished M&M, but I think it's an easier read than I had anticipated.

Another easy read is Jujitsu for Christ, which is written by Jack Butler. The folks over at Pretty Fakes talked about the book, and it looked interesting, so I read it.

Impressions... I liked it. It's very much a typical southern novel what with religion playing a major role, but there's also other cultural aspects explored. I won't do as good of a job of discussing it as was done at Pretty Fakes.

I did like the book enough to order Nightshade via interlibrary loan. That's going to be my next pleasure read. I'll be reading that and M&M.

When I returned Jujitsu to the library, one of my colleagues saw the book and was intrigued. When she noticed that Butler was also a Mississippian, she mentioned to me that we needed to request some more of his books for the library.