30 June 2006

What Otherjay wants, Otherjay gets...

In this case, he wants to see a polaroid of me with Penworthy Bear taken Sunday at the ALA Conference in New Orleans.

29 June 2006

The Master and Margarita

I'm a little behind on posting about the books that I've been reading. M&M was the previous book read by the book club.

It's a classic that I especially enjoyed reading. I think if I ever have another pet cat I'll name him Behemoth.

I should read it every so often. I've got an informal rotation of books & authors I like to reread. In the case of authors I'm not familiar with or haven't read, when I'm impressed with a particular book, I like to read other works by that writer (e.g., Jujitsu for Christ and Nightshade by Jack Butler).

The book club's current book also impresses in a similar manner. It's better served as the topic of a future post.

Lastly, here's a photo of me being dubbed Sir Cockatrice at the ALA Conference. As you might have guessed, Princess Coppertop brought her camera with her.

26 June 2006

The Adventures of Sir Cockatrice & Princess Coppertop

I'm in Hattiesburg. I'll be here for a couple days this week. I've got the next couple weeks off work. I'll be back in Jackson in time for the book club meeting though.

I don't have huge travel plans. I'll mostly be either in the Hattiesburg or Jackson areas either relaxing, working at my mother's shop, or, well, whatever...

Coppertop and I went to New Orleans yesterday to attend the ALA Conference. We met up at Byram at 7 a.m. and arrived at the Convention Center three hours later.

When we arrived in New Orleans, we saw more and more damage because of Katrina. FEMA trailers. Police cars-- both New Orleans and Louisiana State Police. We also saw damaged cars underneath overpasses. Heavily damaged buildings as well.

We got our badges (no, not stinking badges), renewed my association membership, and toured the exhibits area for the next hour and forty-five minutes. We ran into the King of Thomson Scientific. Coppertop was named a princess. I was dubbed Sir Cockatrice.

At 11:45, we headed over to the Marriott across the street to attend an Ebsco luncheon, which also doubled as a database presentation. A similar presentation at the ALA Midwinter Conference that I had attended in San Antonio earlier this year had some information that was also in this meeting.

The presentation was geared more for public librarians, but since Sunday was the only day Coppertop and I could make it to New Orleans, I emailed an Ebsco rep I knew and asked if we could attend this luncheon and if she could give me a CD of the academic presentation. She said she could, and she did.

The lunch and presentation were great. I got a chance to talk to the rep for a little while as well as talk to another Ebsco person who I've exchanged emails about regarding some of the new Magnolia databases.

After lunch, we put our bags in my car and went back to the convention center where we went back to the exhibits. We talked to vendors and librarians we knew-- former supervisors on the part of both Coppertop and I as well as a former classmate of mine who works at another college and another academic librarian. I ran into some vendors I knew and talked to them.

In the course of our wanderings through the exhibits area, we also filled more bags with advance reading copies, catalogs, cards, and other library-related materials. I purchased some books and a shirt from the Unshelved guys. Here's the front and back of the shirt.

We finished going through the exhibits area shortly before 4 p.m. and made our way back to the car with our cargo. The bags were so heavy that my hands are-- a day later-- still slightly red. We made it back to Byram at 7 p.m. Princess Coppertop loaded her four bags in her vehicle and headed home. I headed back to Clinton.

I woke up this morning and prepared to head down to Hattiesburg. I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Clinton and then went over to the college.

While I may be on vacation for two weeks, I don't want to lug around four bags for all that time. I wanted to lighten my load as soon as possible.

One of my colleagues was the recipient of all the catalogs I gathered as well as I believe a couple of buttons, a mousepad, a notepad, and a paperclip holder. She had the decided advantage of being the first one to see me.

Another got a coffee cup and wildflower seeds. A third co-worker has-- I believe-- a lanyard, a bag, and an advance reading copy of a book. A fourth co-worker has a bag, some advance reading copies, a couple of magazines, and a button.

My dean claimed some items-- among them were a markerboard eraser and a ruler. I don't know what my supervisor selected. I left some advance reading copies and a mug in the lounge. I'm sure they'll get claimed by someone (or several someones) sooner or later.

I retained some books, my Google cap, a nice-looking stapler, and a few pens. My colleagues said that I needed to put my name on the stapler. No, it's not like Office Space's famous red stapler:

I do think it looks nice though. I'm keeping it.

While I was at the library, I also uploaded the Ebsco academic presentation to our intranet folder and sent an email to colleagues about it and answered some emails-- one of them from Otherjay-- before I headed off to Hattiesburg with my ALA swag load significantly lighter.

One of the advance reading copies is for my mother. She really likes Lee Smith's work who has this book coming out in October. I'll keep some and distribute other advance copies to friends.

23 June 2006

Tuesday Night Book Club

I might have watched the show if it wasn't for the fact that I was at my book club that night.

Job Opening of the Month

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is looking for a Vice President of Education and Public Programs. I found the last sentence of the advertisement to be interesting:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is an equal opportunity employer and a drug free workplace.

So, it's just Sex & Rock and Roll now?

21 June 2006

Wednesday Weariness

It's Wednesday evening and I'm at work? Yes, work. One of my co-workers wasn't feeling well today, and she works on Wednesday nights. Since I didn't have anything planned, I volunteered to work for her this evening. Tonight is yet another indication that I don't have much of a life.

I'm here for another 45 minutes. It's been quiet. There are students who are working on projects for their speech class. This class, incidentally, is the night class I spoke to last week.

I've worked on projects today. However, the closer it gets to the end of an 11-hour workday, the more I just want to relax and sleep-- perchance to dream-- or something like that.

Where is that from anyway?


Ah. Hamlet.

As I mentioned the other day, I'll be off for a couple weeks. I need some time away from work to recharge my mental batteries.

In the meantime, I don't have to be at work until mid-morning tomorrow. Sleep will be most welcome tonight and, of course, dreams.

20 June 2006

The Legend of Sergeant Alvin York

I was reading an article in The Chronicle today. The article concerns Sgt. Alvin York. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for killing 32 German soldiers and capturing 132 on October 8, 1918.

He's become famous thanks to the Academy Award-winning movie starring Gary Cooper. The New York Times recently ran a story on researchers trying to discover the site of this World War I fight. The story also details the controversy surrounding the events that took place during the fight.

I've seen the movie a couple of times and enjoyed it. Knowing that the legend isn't necessarily the truth doesn't mean that the courage of York and his fellow soldiers should be reduced.

19 June 2006


It's raining. There's thunder. There's lightning.

I'm working this evening at the library. I'll be off duty in a little less than two hours. I hope the bad weather will have settled down some.

I'll gladly take the rain. I'm no fan of thunder and lightning though.

Summer school is ongoing. Last week, I talked to a night class about library resources. I've also been at work on some projects.

I also purchased this CD. I heard some of the cuts via Pandora, and I thought so much of the music that I purchased the CD.

I was in Hattiesburg again this past weekend. I helped out my mother some with her shop.

I also looked after my uncle some. He's been ill, and has taken a bit of a turn for the worse in the past month. He'll turn 83 in August.

I've been busy with family-related stuff that I've not had much of a chance to do too much else. Since I'm not in Jackson as nearly as often on the weekends, I've gone out more often on weekday nights.

Although family matters have consumed more of my life, I've had some time to do other things. For example, I read all of Kafka on the Shore this past weekend.

We were only supposed to read the first third of the book for book club, but I was so engrossed in it that I kept on reading. And I finished.

I'm working this week. The next two weeks, I'll be on vacation. I need some time away. Coppertop and I are going to New Orleans for a roadtrip Sunday. The ALA Conference is in New Orleans this year, and apparently, it's the first major convention in New Orleans since Katrina. We're going. It should be fun. It should be interesting.

15 June 2006

The Dead White Male of the Month

Elbert Hubbard

12 June 2006

The Life Pursuit

Okay, so I turned 39 years old a week ago. It was also the first day of the summer semester at the college. I suppose I had a decent birthday week. It could have been better. It could have been worse.

One of my uncles is in ill health. He's in his eighties. He's been frail for a few years.

If you've been reading my blog regularly, then you know that my mother's business is ongoing. I've been heading down to Hattiesburg to help her out whenever possible-- usually on the weekends.

This past week was pretty hectic at the college. While there are fewer students attending classes, campers-- happy and otherwise-- predominate. Last week, it was Baptist Camp & Soccer Camp. This week, it's Baptist Camp Part Deux & Basketball Camp.

The book club had its last Master and Margarita meeting Thursday night. I had some vodka-- fortunately, just enough since I had to get up really early the following morning to pick up a cheesecake for a co-worker's birthday party that I was in charge of organizing.

I had earlier purchased for my co-worker a Sheryl Crow cd. I purchased for myself a Belle and Sebastian cd and placed a special order for a Nathan Larson cd.

My birthday party at the library was held on the second. Chocolate Cheesecake. Yum. The Lemuria gift card and coffee were excellent selections. I purchased The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure with the certificate. I thumbed through part of it this past weekend.

I won't be purchasing the book club selection though since it's available for checkout at the library. One of the benefits of faculty checkout powers is that I have the book until the end of the summer semester.

This past weekend, I went down to Hattiesburg. My mother treated me to dinner at the Canebrake Country Club clubhouse. More yum. The Alligator Etoufee was perhaps a little spicier than I had expected, but the salmon with horseradish sauce and fried oysters was outstanding. I had the strawberry cheesecake as a dessert.

The people sitting at the table next to my mother and I are interesting people. I'm very much a stranger to the Canebrake community. I know one family in the neighborhood very well. Others, well, I don't know nearly as well.

The people at the next table used to own the house where my mother lives. They had moved to another house in the subdivision. When their daughter (who's a few years younger than me) heard I was celebrating my birthday, she said "Happy 29th!" I promptly proposed marriage. She showed mer her hand, which was sans ring, and went to her knee. I laughed, and she did too.

After socializing for a little while, my mother headed back to the house in her car. I had driven over to the clubhouse in my car as well, so she told me to stick around and have a little fun-- perhaps listen to the band performing at the pool. I chatted with the family at the next table-- drinking three glasses of wine-- for what seemed to be a couple of hours and then we went to the pool to listen to the band.

We went to the pool. I had a couple more glasses of wine. I had fun. I met some more people-- a few familiar faces who I didn't know personally, but nice people. After the band ended their show, the daughter and I went to the Purple Parrot-- in separate vehicles-- and met with some of her friends. All nice people-- one of them, I recognized from earlier that evening at Canebrake. I had another couple glasses of wine.

The daughter's cool. Apparently, I had met her a year ago at a Canebrake thing-- maybe a July 4 fireworks thing. It got to be late-- a little after 1 a.m., and I was operating on very little sleep, and I needed more. She also needed to head back to her house, so she left in her vehicle while I went back to my mother's house in my car.

Saturday was pretty quiet. I helped out some at my mother's business. After work, I headed over to Leatha's and got a couple of rib plates to go.

Sunday was quite similar for me except that Leatha's was closed, so no ribs. I headed back to Jackson yesterday evening. I normally work Monday evenings, but I arranged to switch nights with a co-worker.

An instructor asked me if I would talk to her night class about library resources this coming Thursday night. I'm a pretty agreeable sort, so I said sure. I've got to send her an email tomorrow to see what specifically she wants covered for her class.

So, tonight, since I didn't have to be at work, I went over to New Stage to see tonight's Crossroads Film-- Night Watch, a Russian scifi-horror-fantasy flick that I would describe as one part LOTR, one part Matrix, and another part Star Wars Chapters 1,2,3-- if they were good. Great film. It's the first film in a trilogy. I look forward to seeing the next two films.

Beer ingredient may fight prostate cancer...

As you might have guessed, it's an ingredient that's found in hops.

07 June 2006

More Popular Than Beer

The iPod.

04 June 2006

Mississippians: Smart Drivers

Mississippi has the smartest drivers in the South. The state ranks 21st overall. I'm actually a little shocked that the state was this high.