29 December 2006

Transmissions from the Satellite Heart

It's good to have a few days away from work. The college closed for business on December 21.

I've had some fun. I attended a Christmas party last week. It was good to see friends-- not only at the party, but out and about. One thing about classes not being in session is that I don't have to work until 9 p.m. one day a week. I could relax, socialize, and finally unwind from this hectic year.

It was also good to see family. This past Saturday, I attended the 50th anniversary party of relatives by marriage who I've known for many years down in Hattiesburg.

I saw a former library science professor. She never actually taught a class I had, but having been a grad assistant in the school, she knows who I am. We talked. I also spoke to one of the librarians at USM as well as one of my former history professors.

Sunday, my mother and I headed off to Evansville, Indiana to visit relatives. Having driven there many times to visit her sister, she doesn't feel like driving there much anymore, so we flew--- taking a flight from Pine Belt to Evansville via Memphis.

Evansville was nice. It was good to see my aunt and uncle, my cousin and her husband and their boys. I'd not spent a Christmas in Indiana in some 20-something years. I relaxed, and I needed it.

I finished reading Inheritance of Loss for Book Club and continued reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It's not part of the reading list, but I read Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett.

One of my co-workers gave me a B&N gift card which I used to purchase Wintersmith and Good Omens. I've not read the latter book yet, which is kind of strange since Pratchett and Gaiman are two of my favorite authors.

My aunt and uncle also gave a B&N gift card which I used to order this book recommended to me by Jaysus and this Flann O'Brien book via BN.com. My cousin and her husband gave me a Borders gift card, which I'll probably use next month.

My mother and I flew back to Hattiesburg Wednesday. I had thought about heading up to Jackson and seeing the Allstars perform, but I was just too tired. I didn't get much sleep and we had the early 6;30 flight out of Evansville, which meant I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning.

I spent the night at my mother's house and came back here yesterday afternoon. I was still a bit tired from the travel and general lack of sleep, so I didn't make it to any shows that were going on last night. I plan to go out tonight though.

21 December 2006

Thoughts on the Last Work Day of 2006

Nearing the end of such a hectic year as 2006 has proved to be, I've been tired the past few days. I've not had much sleep this week.

Normally my job requires that I come in late to work on Monday afternoons. However, with school not being in session, I've had to come in to work early Monday morning. I am so not a morning person.

I've also been out some a lot of the past few evenings. Whether it's attending Christmas parties, going out to places and visiting with friends old and new, or just going out and trying not to get bored this holiday season.

I had thought about going to the Mississippi Coliseum and see Mississippi State play the University of New Orleans tonight, but decided against it. I don't know what I'll do. I need to relax and perhaps sleep for a bit this evening before going out some tonight and tomorrow.

On the other hand, I might just have one last cup of coffee before I head back to the house.

15 December 2006

Suggestions and Unsuggestions

Now, this is interesting. This site has developed software that makes it possible to find the opposite of a "moderately popular book."

For example, the anti-book of Chicken Soup for the Soul's is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. UnSuggester runs on LibraryThing.

Here are the anti-books to At Swim-Two-Birds, which are the opposites of these suggested books to read if you liked that O'Brien work. Thanks again go to Bookslut.

Great American Writers and their Cocktails

Today's NPR Morning Edition has a great segment on Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers.

There's a link on the NPR site where Amy Sedaris answers questions from the book. I was surprised to hear that she was playing for an acquaintance of mine.

The NPR site also has some great quotations by Hemingway, Faulkner, McCullers, Chandler, and Fitzgerald concerning drinking. There are also recipes.

Thanks go to Bookslut for the heads-up.

11 December 2006

Divinity, Pralines, Fudge...

An instructor who I've been helping out with some interlibrary loan stuff dropped off a bag of divinity, pralines, fudge, and lemon squares as well as some hot cocoa mix, cider mix, and popcorn. It was an unexpected surprise when I arrived at the library earlier this afternoon.

A co-worker and I have nibbled on the divinity, pralines, and fudge this evening. I'm saving the lemon squares for a Wednesday party, and I have a dental appointment tomorrow.

Jackie Earle Haley Newsflash

Jackie Earle Haley, best known for his roles as Kelly Leak in The Bad News Bears and Moocher in Breaking Away was awarded Best Supporting Actor by the New York Film Critics Circle today for his role in Little Children.

08 December 2006

Silent Frigidity

Before I go into the purpose (mayhaps purposes?) of this blog entry, I'll start off with a brief comment concerning my football prognosticating skills (or lack thereof). I correctly predicted six out of seven state champions last week. I missed Franklin County. The Bulldogs won MHSAA Class 3A by defeating Nettleton, which put my prediction record at 123-36.

Anyway, It's cold. I didn't check the temperature before I left for work today and was a bit surprised to see that a fountain located in front of a business had been running during the night and was frozen over. It actually looked kind of beautiful.

One of my junior high and high school teachers died earlier this week. His funeral's today. I've got responsibilities here at the library and can't make it. I couldn't make it to his wake yesterday evening either.

I attended a Christmas party yesterday evening at the college. It was held at the college's conference center. Faculty and staff members, their families, retirees, trustees, and members of the community show up. It's a good chance to visit, a good chance to socialize. I got to chat with some people I know not only from the library, but also different departments-- not to mention retirees.

I missed a chance to go to a Richard Ford booksigning at Lemuria. I may run by there later today and pick up a book. I had also been thinking about heading down to Hattiesburg this evening to help out my mother with her shop. However, the temperatures are supposed to be colder again tonight, so I think I'll stick around here today and head down tomorrow morning. It should be warmer this weekend.

This past week has been hectic. I've been working on Christmas cards. I've distributed most of them. I still have some more to send.

I don't mind my life being hectic. I like being busy. It keeps me occupied. I really need to start reading the book club book. I'll begin this weekend-- most likely Saturday in my mother's shop.

I also had some stuff to do around the house. Maintenance. Cleaning. All sorts of lovely things.

Monday, I saw a squirrel get out of the attic. I nailed down that screen again and sprayed some repellent. I might need to break out the humane trap again. I caught a squirrel with the humane trap once before and released it at a rest stop on the Trace.

While I like being busy, I don't mind relaxing either. I saw Factotum Monday evening. I thought it was a really good movie.

I worked Tuesday night at the library. Wednesday, I was pretty tired. I decided to just stay at the house.

I thought about heading out tonight and have a little fun-- getting to see people. It was just too cold. I want to stay in and be warm.

On an unrelated note, click and enjoy this blast from the past.

06 December 2006

Flatulence Forces Airplane to Land

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It is considered polite to light a match after passing gas. Not while on a plane.

An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing Monday morning after a passenger lit a match to disguise the scent of flatulence, authorities said.

The Dallas-bound flight was diverted to Nashville after several passengers reported smelling burning sulfur from the matches, said Lynne Lowrance, spokeswoman for the Nashville International Airport Authority. All 99 passengers and five crew members were taken off and screened while the plane was searched and luggage was screened.

Click this link to read the rest of the article.

Thanks go to Marshall Ramsey for bringing this to my attention.

Final Exams

Final exams begin today. The library is packed with students. There's quite a bit of noise. Nearly everyone at every table is talking-- discussing exams-- group studying-- even a final moment of relaxation.

03 December 2006

Coffee, etc.

I was reading The Butterknife today, and noticed what she wrote about coffee. Like her, I also have a great fondness for coffee. I've often referred to it as the nectar of the gods.

I am so not a morning person at the library, and I have to open up the library one day a week. My dean frowns upon drinking coffee at open work areas (e.g., the circulation and reference desks).

However, I'm well known at the library for not being a morning person. Whenever one of my colleagues mentions that coffee isn't allowed at the reference desk, I simply mention that if I don't have coffee then I would be a mean grouchy librarian who isn't all nice to the students. Since librarians are supposed to be nice to students, I am allowed my coffee.

Yes, coffee is my opiate.

When I have the opportunity, I usually go to Cups (either the one in Fondren or the Quarter) and relax. Coffee time away from work is a time to get away, a time to socialize if a friend is there, and a time to unwind. When I go to Cups, usually I'll get a flavored coffee or perhaps a latte-- unless it's summer, then I'll tend to order frappes.

When I earn enough points on my Cups card, I usually cash in to get a pound of Snickerdoodle, which I bring to work. Sometimes I like mix in a half scoop of Snickerdoodle with a full scoop of whatever store-bought coffee (e.g., Folgers and Maxwell House) is available when I make coffee at work.

Yesterday, I attended the MHSAA state championship football games. As my more frequent readers know, I help out a couple of friends who have a high school sports newspaper covering schools in the Hattiesburg-Laurel area. I attended the afternoon game-- I wasn't planning on it-- but my mother had told me that the daughter of one of her oldest friends is married to one of the football coaches. I went to the game. I spoke to my mother's friend and her daughter for a while. It was fairly cool, not quite as cold as the night game would be, but still.

After the game, I went to Que Sera Sera. I had some gumbo, relaxed, watched the last portion of the USC-UCLA game, and before I headed out the door to go to the Wayne County-Clarksdale game, I had an Irish coffee.

After the ballgame, I went to Fenian's. I was wondering why it was so packed on a Saturday night. I found out. Cary Hudson was performing. I had forgotten about that. I remember reading an email message, but with so many things going on, it completely slipped my mind.

I went to the bar. I sat next to one of my friends and ordered another Irish coffee. We talked for a few moments. I also recognized someone I knew, but couldn't place him-- as it turns out he's a student who attended an Anime Club meeting last month, which was his first meeting there. It was good to chat with him too. Pretty soon, my friend had to leave, and at that point, I ordered a Guinness and went to the back to listen to the music and chat with more friends and acquaintances.

I purchased a couple of albums from Cary when he finished his set and chatted with him for several minutes about several things including south Mississippi as well as Victoria Bynum and her book on Jones County. He's a really nice guy. He performed some more songs and finished up his singing at around one o'clock this morning.

Shortly afterwards, this guy approaches me and mentions that he had heard me mention Jones County to Cary. We talk. After all, we are in Mississippi, and in Mississippi, Mississippians are wont to make connections. As it turns out, he's the baby brother of one of my high school classmates. He had said he was six years old when his sister and I graduated in 1985. I ask how his sister is doing. I'd not seen her since I had been working at the public library in Laurel.

I visit with more friends and acquaintances. People begin to leave Fenian's. I leave at a quarter 'til two and drive to my house in Clinton.