31 January 2007

National Gorilla Suit Day

The terrorists won. I didn't observe this day in the traditional, time-honored manner. I have several excuses I could use.

I had a couple of bibliographic instruction sessions today. While I would have certainly been entertaining, I don't believe the students would have paid as much attention as they did to my presentation had I been observant.

I don't know if it was her intention, but Emily's comments reminded me that colleagues in my pink collar profession might not necessarily approve of this attire. Oh well.

As well as speaking to the two classes, I worked at the reference desk. I also had more of my usual library duties to perform.

I finally finished reading The Sea a scant few minutes before the book club meeting. It's very well crafted. I see why Banville is often compared to Nabokov. It's definitely a recommended read.

Coppertop has the next selection, and she's chosen The Children of Men by P.D. James. Cinephiles might be interested to know that the book is the source material for the recently released Academy Award-nominated film.

Tomorrow, I speak to two more classes about the library's resources. I've previously mentioned beginning the exercise routine in the previous post as well as my desire to attend this movie at Hal & Mal's after work.

30 January 2007

The Seven Deadly Sinuses

Work at the library went by fairly quickly today. I had a bibliographic instruction session. I talked about the resources can be found not only in the library, but also via electronic databases and web sites. It went well.

I've got to trim the lecture some for tomorrow. I've got two presentations for different sections of the same class (which is also taught by the same instructor), but MWF classes are fifty minutes long and TTh classes are an hour and fifteen minutes. I need think forest more than individual trees. The instructor liked how I handled things though. That's good.

Work at the reference desk went well as did interlibrary loan stuff-- nothing major, and no eighth request for that Tyler Perry book. I also was able to work a little on a couple of different projects.

This afternoon after work, I ran by the drug store to get some sinus medicine. Nasal congestion is not good.

I then went to a local gym to get a membership. I saw some people I knew and recognized over while filling out forms-- another local librarian, the instructor whose class I spoke to earlier today, another instructor, and a student from the college.

One thing that sucks is that I can't apply the costs of being a member of the gym to my medical reimbursement account. I can't write a check for several months (or even a year) membership and get reimbursed. Oh well.

I'm currently at Cups, but will head on out pretty soon. I really need to finish The Sea. I've had so much stuff going on, I've not been able to do much reading for tomorrow's book club meeting.

Thursday, Pezgirl and I are supposed to go to the gym. Afterwards, if I feel like it, I may head on over to Hal & Mal's for the Crossroads showing of The U.S. vs. John Lennon.

It should be interesting, and I rarely get a chance to see the movies shown by the society since they're usually shown on Monday nights when I'm at work. When movies are shown on other nights, I try to attend as often as possible-- not only to support the society, but also to try in some small way to demonstrate that there is a demand for seeing Crossroads movies on non-Monday nights.

Regular visitors to the blog may notice that I've changed up the font types and added links to my long, long, long list of links. I like to change things up every so often. We'll see how long this font type lasts.

It's Not Just January 31 Anymore...

Tomorrow is National Gorilla Suit Day. Thanks go to Neil Gaiman for letting us know about this momentous day.

The Grammys Might Just Be Watchable...

The Police (yes, The Reunited Police) will be performing.

28 January 2007

The Five Things Thing

Harry tagged me with this meme. Post five things you might not have known about me. Fortunately it's not "five things you might not have known about me, that you cared to know."

1. I never have liked to play tag. I've never been fleet-of-foot.

2. I could legally purchase beer while underage. My family at one time owned a grocery store, and I could sign checks, There were at least a couple of times where I had to write checks to distributors. So, while I couldn't buy beer as a retail customer, I was good to go as far as wholesale was concerned.

3. I didn't talk until I was three years old. I was one sick baby when I was born. Consequently, I was spoiled so much that all I needed to get stuff accomplished was to grunt and/or point. That ended when my parents took me to UMC and discovered that I was a near-genius.

4. I learned to write when I was two years old. I had to communicate somehow. I learned how to write cursive-style before I entered the first grade. The teacher had to tell me not to write in cursive. Apparently, first graders aren't supposed to have knowledge of these things.

5. I don't know how to ride a bike. I never had the opportunity to learn when I was younger. I wasn't really inclined to learn either. Why would I learn to ride a bike when I lived a few miles away from my friends?

So, who's next... I don't know, and I really don't care since I don't care for tag... Tell you what, five of you choose (if you've not been selected for this meme already) to do this if you wish. Just let me know if you do.

26 January 2007


Seven requests for this same book from that same library!

Ah ha ha ha ha!

25 January 2007

Footnotes Happen

I imagine after reading books written by Susanna Clarke and Terry Pratchett, I was bound to do something like that sooner or later.1 Hopefully, I'll work it out of my system sometime soon.2

1Please refer to wikipedia articles about Terry Pratchett and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

2Because if I don't, I'd just be beating a dead horse, and that, my friends, is just plain ugly-- not to mention futile.

24 January 2007

Notes of Explanation

My colleagues had a safe return from Seattle. I'm glad they returned.1

The past several days have been hectic at work.2 Monday wasn't too bad for me. I had to open up the library-- not a big deal. I'm accustomed to arriving at work on Monday afternoons instead of Monday mornings. Oh well.

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I needed to attend a meeting in Jackson, and I had to arrive early at work in order to go with my colleague, Pezgirl.

I had to arrive at the library earlier than normal so that I could be Jeeves to another colleague's Wooster.3 In the course of accomplishing that task, other responsibilities came calling. Answering emails. Working on interlibrary loan requests. Scheduling bibliographic instruction sessions.4

After the meeting, Pezgirl and I returned to the library. I had intended to relax some, but duty called.5 Fortunately, lunch followed.6

After lunch, I had to complete some of the tasks that still needed to be done. I finally made it to the reference desk sometime after 2 p.m. and stayed on duty until the library closed.7

I dropped the car off at the shop before arriving at work this morning.8 I was pretty tired from working all day yesterday, and I worked some more time at the reference desk than originally intended today. I also stayed at the library a little longer than intended, but no big deal.9

After getting the car at the shop, I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a new pair of glasses.10 I thought that my new glasses had the same model frame as my older glasses, but of a different color. Apparently not.11

I thought about going to get some sushi after picking up my new pair of glasses, but decided against it. Instead, I dined at Fenian's before heading back to the house.12

1And I wasn't the only one. The only other co-worker in the reference section of the library is several months pregnant, and she left earlier than normal this afternoon. She had worked some extra time covering for me as well thanks to my automotive travails.

2Read the 19 January 2007 and 20 January 2007 posts for further details.

3Obviously, I'm referring to P.G. Wodehouse. Here is a list of characters in his Jeeves series. Incidentally, I've considered choosing a Wodehouse book for book club in the past. A Wodehouse book might just be my selection when it's my turn to choose. By the way, I did complete the tasks in question.

4Also colloquially known as library tours at our library even though the sessions don't necessarily require that students set foot in the library. While librarians at my college regularly conduct sessions in the library, we have been known to go to classrooms and computer laboratories not within the library building.

5Another bibliographic instruction session to schedule and more work-related emails.

6Lemon Poached Salmon, California Vegetables, Carrot Souffle, and Cinnamon Apples washed down with Diet Coke. I got the same meal to go for dinner that night. I purchased a Diet Dr Pepper to drink with that meal.

7The library closes at 9 p.m. I did get away for a few minutes for dinner. The student workers were kind enough to watch the desk while I ate.

8Fortunately, my next door neighbor attends classes at the college. He followed me to the shop and then drove us on to the college.

9I still am tired. One of the people who works the reference desk is also in charge of our archives. One of our instructors wanted to look up some information in our archival collection, and she wanted me to be at the desk earlier than normal so she could help. The person who is in charge of our archives was on duty until 4:30, some thirty minutes after I usually leave work. She drove me to the shop where I picked up the car. As you might expect, I greatly appreciated the ride.

10The cost was extremely reasonable considering the work that needed to be done to the car in addition to the 150,000-mile checkup. My new glasses are again of the rimless variety.

11The frames are metallic blue. The lenses I thought were the same size as my old pair of glasses, but they look to be a little bit smaller. Then again, what do I know? I have bad eyesight in one eye and terrible depth vision when seeing without my glasses.

12I called up Coppertop, Fairy Penguin, Harry, and the Diplomat. While I was tired, I also felt like talking to friends. Incidentally, I had the Irish Stew and Salad (no cucumber) along with a Diet Coke. If it wasn't for the amoxicillin, I would have had a Guinness. I've not had a beer since January 10. I think that future posts with bunches of notes like this post will be extremely uncommon.

Personally, I Blame Tyler Perry

I've gotten several1 interlibrary loan requests in the past two weeks from the same library for this book. When this book was first requested, I sent a courtesy email to the interlibrary loan person stating that it was a new acquisition for us, so I had to deny it, a common procedure for libraries.

The person at the other library thanked me for responding and has subsequently sent more requests. I think it's at the point where that library should just go ahead and purchase the book what with all the repeated requests. It just might be more cost-effective.

1By several, I believe that as of today I've gotten at least five, possibly six, interlibrary loan requests for this book from this same library in a two-week span.

23 January 2007

Hectic Tuesday

I am so glad that the library will be fully staffed tomorrow.

22 January 2007

What Art Garfunkel Has Read

Here's a list of all the books Art Garfunkel has read-- including his favorites-- for over 30 years. Thanks go to Bookslut.

21 January 2007

Sunday Muddy Sunday

It's been raining for most of the day. It's been a pretty dreary day. I had intended to go to the Best of Jackson shindig put on by the Jackson Free Press, but it's just too cool, wet, and dreary to travel.

I did go to Corky's here in town this evening. I had the pork plate, green beans, and fish house slaw along with Diet Coke.

I think I've done pretty good as far as the diet is concerned. I've cut down big time on the carbohydrates during the evenings. A couple of people have wondered if I've lost weight. I don't know if I have lost weight, but I am changing the way I eat.

The AFC championship game just ended. The Colts won. Wow. They're facing the Bears in the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks. It's too bad the Saints didn't win up in Chicago, but home field advantage is called an advantage for a reason.

I'm also going to try to maintain this diet long enough to make Super Bowl Sunday my designated break-the-diet day. Over the course of two weeks, I've had one break-the-diet day. I believe I can last two more weeks before pigging out on February 4.

Normally, Monday's the night I work at the library, but what with colleagues at Seattle for ALA Midwinter and me needing to attend a meeting in Jackson Tuesday morning, I've got to open up the library tomorrow morning. I am so not a morning person.

I'll have to prepare enough coffee to not only keep me awake, but also to ensure that I won't be extremely grumpy. We'll see how that goes.

20 January 2007

My Saturday Afternoon

I attended the funeral of a retired co-worker earlier today. She was a year older than my mother and had worked at the college for thirty-five years.

I've been at the college for a little over six years and worked with her for almost five years. I work one night a week at the library, and I worked with her and another now-retired co-worker on Monday nights for nearly four years.

There were a lot of people at the service. After it was over, I rode with some people I knew to the burial site, a church cemetery near Learned.

After the burial, we went back to the funeral home where the service was held. I got in my car and drove back to my house.

19 January 2007

Three Days of the Librarian

A former co-worker of mine here at the college died Wednesday afternoon. She retired from the library just a year and a half ago. I'll attend her funeral tomorrow afternoon. I thought about going to the visitation this evening; however, I needed to pick up my car from the shop.

My car failed to start Wednesday evening at the Wal-Mart in Clinton. I went over there to purchase some glasses. I noticed that the price of gasoline had decreased, so I filled up the car's tank, and then, it wouldn't start.

Fortunately, I knew that a colleague of mine from the college was at the Wal-Mart. He was good enough to help me push the car to a space in the parking lot and drive me to my house. I wasn't really dressed to work on the car with the temperature being in the 30s along with it being rainy. He said he would drive me to work Thursday morning.

At the house, I called my next-door neighbor, who fortunately was at his house. We went to see if there was a problem with the battery cables or terminals, which was my initial diagnosis. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as simple as I had hoped, and I had to get a mechanic to work on the car.

After I arrived at work yesterday, I called the repair shop that my neighbor recommended. I then called my neighbor. He had decided to go back to school, and he's taking classes at the college. He agreed to stop off at the shop where I dropped off the keys before returning to his house.

I spent the rest of the day at my house relaxing for the most part. What with me undergoing a dental procedure earlier in the week, it was good to get away-- if only for half a day. Later that afternoon, I called the repair shop where I was told that the car would be worked on today, and it was.

This morning, my neighbor and I went to the college. I mentioned to him that there was a chance that I might want to catch a ride with him after he was finished with classes for the day if the car was fixed in time. As it turned out, it was fixed later in the afternoon. I asked a co-worker if she could take me to the shop after work, and she did.

I've got the car back now. The mechanic mentioned that the car needed some additional work soon. Since I'm not planning on any long trips this weekend, I mentioned to him if it was possible to bring the car back a few days later, and he said that it was. It looks like that it'll be this coming Wednesday morning. I've already made arrangements with my neighbor to follow me to the shop and then drive me on to the college.

In the meantime, people's thoughts have been centered on my former co-worker who recently died. In addition, my dean and some co-workers are attending the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, which means that the library hasn't been fully staffed the past couple days and won't be until my dean and co-workers return to work on Wednesday.

I'm going to go out and get something to eat and then return to the house. I think it'll be a fairly quiet weekend for me since I'm still taking medication for the aforementioned dental procedure.

16 January 2007

Amoxicillin Mountain Breakdown

I'm at the house in Clinton. I'm listening to Keb' Mo' on iTunes. I'll be at work tomorrow morning. Sleep is calling, but I'm partially deaf.

I finally felt like leaving my mother's house sometime around one o'clock this afternoon. Between the Lortab and the Amoxicillin, I didn't feel like driving this morning.

I called in sick for the day, so no problems there. I finally left Canebrake a little after 2:30 this afternoon. I made good time traveling, arriving in Jackson less than an hour and a half after leaving my mother's house.

I had another doctor's appointment today. I needed to see the eye doctor since it's been a year since I've had the eyes examined. It went well. No changes.

I went to the Ridgeland Wal-Mart vision store to purchase a new pair of glasses. Sadly, the frames I wanted weren't available. I checked a couple of Eye Marts, but was unimpressed with the selection.

In the course of running these errands, I dropped by Lemuria and purchased The Sea for book club. I'll start reading it sometime soon.

With temperatures dropping, I wanted something warm to eat. I had a hankering for the Irish Stew at Fenian's, so I went over there. I had some stew, some salad, and a couple of diet cokes.

Usually, I would have a beer, but I'll not be imbibing while I'm taking this prescription medicine. I'm more than a bit anal-retentive about this ever since a former college classmate died as a consequence of imbibing in a similar manner.

I left Fenians to go home. I decided to drop by the Wal-Mart in Clinton. I decided to purchase some glasses similar to the ones I already wear-- same frames, but a different color. I found out that I have to wait until tomorrow though since the vision insurance provider closed shop at 8:00 this evening.

I won't be exercising with Pezgirl until later this month, or possibly February. In the meantime, I've been following the suggestions made by my old college friend.

1. Drink water or diet colas.

Makes sense, You've got to count those calories.

2. If you eat carbs, eat them during the workday when you need the energy.

Again, another no brainer, I think. I'll load up on carbs during the day. I'll also have a handy stash of girl scout cookies. I found out a few days ago that I've got to purchase some more cookies from a co-worker's daughter.

3. Cut down on the carbs during the evenings.

This has been especially helpful. I've not been as sluggish during the nights as I have been normally. I've been guilty of eating snacks at night. I've cut down on it pretty good I think.

4. No fried foods.

So far, so good. This is Mississippi though. We'll see how much longer this will last.

5. Every once in a while, break all the rules for a day.

By design, I broke the rules Sunday. I had ice cream, chips, and drank regular Dr Pepper. Since then, I've been a good boy and will continue to be a good boy for the rest of the week, perhaps more.

I think I might hear the sleep calling for me or is that the train? I'll find out soon.

15 January 2007

Lortab Sweet Lortab

I'm still at my mother's house in Canebrake. The dental work that was performed was a bit more extensive than I had anticipated. There was no way I could drive from Laurel to Clinton, so I'm spending the night here in Hattiesburg.

Thank goodness for Lortab and Amoxicillin. I won't be opening up the library tomorrow morning, that's for sure.

I watched 24 last night and tonight. Let's just say that a certain scene was reminiscent of an earlier Keifer Sutherland role.

Regular readers of this blog may know that I love sports and have helped out friends with their high school sports newspaper. Recently, it was announced that MHSAA schools and MPSA schools would compete against each other in high school athletics during the 2007-2008 school year.

One website I like to frequent is the Mississippi Sports Talk messageboard. There is speculation on the site that my old high school alma mater, Heidelberg Academy, will be playing Stringer. I don't know if it's been officially announced though. If it happens, I'd like to see the game.

Also, I see that a touring production of Spamalot will be in Memphis next month. I'm tempted to go see it. I've been a big fan of Monty Python for years.

14 January 2007

Gridiron Thoughts

The Saints won yesterday night, and that was extremely cool.

I didn't go to Laurel to see the game. I decided to stay at my mother's house and watch it. One of my friends had entertained thoughts of going to New Orleans. She didn't go, but Lori did.

I am so jealous. I know I couldn't make it to New Orleans what with my responsibilities, but still...

I saw Chicago and New England win today, and the Saints and a Manning have a chance to meet at the Super Bowl. That's wild, and maybe even one of the signs of the apocalypse.

13 January 2007

Reading Books and Selling Pottery

I got back from my mother's shop a little over an hour ago. I'm watching the Colts-Ravens game.

I finally finished reading Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. It's a great book and worthy of the praise that it's received. It's definitely a recommended book; however, it's not a book one reads if one has a lot of things going on in his or her life. 1,006 pages.

When I wasn't reading her book as well as the latest Dick Francis book (which I also finished-- it was a quick read), I was working. I wasn't shifting and moving pots because the truck had not arrived as anticipated. Customers came to the shop-- looking around, making purchases, and wanting to visit with my mother.

I may head up to Laurel in a few minutes to visit some friends and watch the Eagles-Saints game. Next up on the reading list, Margaret McMullan's How I Found the Strong.

12 January 2007

The Inheritance of Loss; The Fellowship of Men and Women

I'm at my mother's house in Canebrake. She asked me to help her out at her shop this weekend.

She specifically asked that I come down Friday. Normally, she doesn't mind me socializing, but she needs some assistance this weekend. And, so I'm here.

Wednesday evening, I had dinner with some friends. One friend is over in Jackson to participate in a bridge tournament that's still ongoing. It was good to visit with him, Harry, and AA.

I attended book club after we finished eating. It was a good meeting. We were all disappointed in Inheritance of Loss though. I think I might have been the person who was the least irked by the book. I think I was slightly more puzzled.

It's a nice little book with a straightforward plot, and that is it's problem. Usually, the Booker winning books have not been straightforward. The next book selection is The Sea by John Banville.

The book club meeting was rather short. We really didn't feel like talking about Inheritance of Loss.

A few of us then went over to TD's place. We socialized for a while-- commiserating, talking, listening, reciting.

Yesterday, some co-workers and I met with a bookseller. I also helped out with open registration at the college. I was a policeman of sorts-- giving students directions to the cafeteria, the financial aid office, counseling, and the registrar's office, keeping students from entering the building where I was stationed while allowing those employed to pass through, and greeting people.

Oh, and I bought Girl Scout Cookies from the daughter of one of the instructors here at the college. When they arrive, I need to be sure to keep them at the college and eat them during the day when I need the energy as opposed to taking them home to eat.

Today, I prepared some for the beginning of the semester, which included scheduling times for a student worker to work, putting files in the library's intranet folder, working with an instructor to set up times for bibliographic instruction sessions for some of her classes, and sending books to libraries that made interlibrary loan requests.

Classes begin Tuesday.

My Tarot Card

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thanks go to Harry for this tarot meme.

09 January 2007

Where Did We Go Right?

Last week, I won tickets to see The Producers thanks to a Jackson Free Press contest. I've been a big Mel Brooks fan for many years.

The tickets were for tonight's show, which would have normally conflicted with book club. Fortunately, we postponed our book club meeting to tomorrow night.

Fairy Penguin and I saw the show. We had fantastic seats. The show was great. We both agreed that the actor who was portraying Max Bialystock was excellent.

I thought he did really well because when he performed, I wasn't thinking of how Zero Mostel played that same character. The actor who played Leo Bloom was good, but there were moments when I was thinking of Gene Wilder's performance in that same role.

Fairy Penguin mentioned that she'd not seen the movie. I mentioned to her that we need to see it sometime. It is, after all, a classic.

Before we went to the show, we ate at the Elite where I'd not eaten until tonight. I'm still not all that familiar with many of the Jackson eateries-- especially the ones downtown. I rarely have opportunities what with my job not being in downtown Jackson.

I wanted to eat someplace where I wouldn't eat too many carbohydrates. One of the things a good friend of mine told me Saturday was that I should cut down on eating carbohydrates in the evenings while eating them during the morning and lunch, which is what I've done for the past two days, and in case you're wondering, I had the broiled red snapper and green beans tonight. It was very good.

One of my co-workers has also agreed to be an exercise buddy. We'll start later this month. We'll see how it goes.

Tomorrow night is book club. We're having the final Inheritance of Loss meeting. I've no idea what the next book will be.

A friend is also coming in from out of town. He's participating in a bridge tournament. A group of us will meet at the Cherokee and have some dinner. We also need to decide who'll pick him up at his hotel.

Tomorrow is also the first day of open registration at the college. We had faculty and staff meetings today. Registration will continue to Friday with late registration following.

My mother's expecting a shipment of pottery to arrive in the next day or two, and she's asked me if I could head over to Hattiesburg and help her move the pots to where she wants them. I have the feeling I will be making an appointment with the masseuse sometime next week.

Next week looks to be busy. I've got a dental appointment Monday. Fortunately, school won't be in session until Tuesday, so I can get that work accomplished, or at least started.

Tuesday is the first day of school, and I have an eye exam scheduled that afternoon when I get off work. The college changed insurance providers, so I'll find out how much of a change there is regarding vision.

My dean and some co-workers are heading off to Seattle a week from Thursday to attend the ALA Midwinter Conference. I've been forwarding them emails I've received from vendors regarding certain events that are happening.

I've asked if one could attend a luncheon where a vendor usually hands out CDs with documentation, powerpoints, etc., concerning products. I find the CDs to be very useful. I upload them to the library's intranet folder so that the library folks throughout the district can see what's available or coming up in the future.

While they're in Seattle, I'm here. I'll be working more hours at the reference desk.

08 January 2007

Prose of Love and Hate

Gorjus has gone into some detail into the books that he's read over the course of the year and has mentioned the ones he loved and hated. I didn't read as many books as I would have normally what with me having a two-year reaccreditation headache.

Favorite Novels I Read in 2006

1. At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O'Brien.

I decided a little over a year ago that this book would be my first selection for book club, and I wasn't disappointed. O'Brien's style is very descriptive and playful. While I prefer my own writing to be almost utilitarian, I like to read works by people that are done differently than I write. I liked O'Brien's work so much that I subsequently read The Third Policeman and have purchased The Poor Mouth which I plan to read when I have the opportunity.

2. Jujitsu for Christ, Jack Butler.

A Pretty Fakes selection. I checked the book out of my library and read it. I was captivated by the book and thought highly enough about it to read Nightshade, which I thought was another good read in a different genre.

3. The Known World, Edward P. Jones.

Trane's book club selection. I enjoyed reading the work. I suppose it appealed in many levels to the historian in me. I liked the commentary about what happened in the future. The setting of the book was also something that held my interest.

4. Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett.

I've always been a big fan of Pratchett's Discworld series. I generally check out his books from the local public library. One of my co-workers gave me a gift card which I used to purchase it. This book would be properly classified as Young Adult and is the latest of the Tiffany Aching-centric books.

5. Tsotsi, Athol Fugard.

Coppertop's book club selection was read very quickly because we met to see the movie at New Stage shortly after she announced her pick. I think that we book club members were the only people who were disappointed in the movie because of the changes that were made. Unsurprising changes, considering that if the movie followed the last part of the book, it wouldn't have been as commercially successful or likely awarded an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture.

Honorable Mention

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.

Only because of timing. I read the great majority of it in 2005. An excellent selection by the Fairy Penguin.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

Great book. I was on a plane heading towards Evansville, Indiana and was sitting near someone reading another book by Murakami (I think The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle), and she raved about it.

I didn't read many nonfiction works, but I would recommend these books without any hesitation:

Favorite Nonfiction I Read in 2006

1. The Tender Bar, JR Moehringer.

An excellent memoir. I first heard of Moehringer when I read a newspaper article written by him a few months ago. It's definitely a book worth reading.

2. Resolute: The Epic Search for the Northwest Passage and John Franklin, and the Discovery of the Queen's Ghost Ship, Martin Sandler.

An awesome book about exploration and unraveling a mystery.

3. Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy!, Bob Harris.

An entertaining and at times poignant memoir. It's definitely a recommended read.

Fiction I Didn't Particularly Like in 2006

Phule's Errand, Robert Asprin and Peter J. Heck.

Disappointing. I'm a big fan of Asprin's work, but this latest book was not as good as his earlier works.

Nonfiction I Didn't Particularly Like in 2006

Remember what I mentioned earlier about my two-year reaccreditation headache? I helped contribute to the college's reaccreditation documents by writing, editing, doing a little research, checking the links on the web site, and compiling articles, as well as other duties. I actually like the college's documents and documentation; however, as a consequence of my lengthy headache, it gets the award.

07 January 2007

Lonely Train

Sunday afternoon. I'm at the house watching a football game and listening to the Friday Night Lights soundtrack.

The weekend's been pretty quiet. I went to Fenian's for a little while Friday. I relaxed. I saw and spoke to some folks I know-- friends away from the college as well as one I know from the college.

Seth Libbey and the Liberals played. I stayed for a little while. I left at about a quarter 'til eleven. I went downtown and was there for a short period of time. I left for the house a little before midnight.

Saturday morning. My oldest friend from college calls. I had sent an email message to many of my friends about exercising-- essentially what I had mentioned in my January 1 post. He's had experience losing weight-- having gained a lot of weight in the course of taking steroids for cancer treatment a few years back and losing a lot of that weight.

We talk for a while. He wants to reach the weight he had when we were freshmen at MSU. It was good to talk to him. My life's been so busy I've not had many chances to go up to Starkville where he lives to visit. We agree we need to meet up, go see a MSU basketball game, and play a little NCAA 2007 EA Sports football.

I don't have a target weight. Heck, I don't even know what I weigh now. I know that people have asked me in the past if I've been on a diet because they think I've lost weight. Maybe I have, but I don't know.

I think of when I spent a couple months in Europe back in 1994. No Big Gulps. No all you can eat buffets. Walking to a lot of places every day. I lost about 20 pounds that summer. If that isn't an indictment of America, I don't know what is.

Saturday afternoon. I feel lazy. What with New Year's Day being on a Monday, it doesn't really feel like it's the weekend, but I'm glad it's not a weekday. I don't feel like working.

I watch the first wild card game. I'm a bit sleepy and decide to take a nap. When I awake, the second wild card game is on. It sucks to be Tony Romo. Shades of North Dallas Forty.

Saturday night. I don't feel like going out. I'm a little hungry. I decide to eat some popcorn and drink some instant hot cocoa. It's not cold outside, but I felt like drinking it.

It's Sunday afternoon. I've got to be at work tomorrow morning. I'm so not used to being at work at 8 a.m. Monday. I enjoy the fact that I get to sleep in some on Mondays and come in to work in the afternoon.

I believe I'm going to take advantage of an offer by a local gym, but I want to speak to someone who's offered to be an exercise buddy for me to see if everything is a go. I hope it is. If so, I'll go by the gym and sign up. I called Friday and the quoted rates are extremely reasonable and are valid for the rest of the month.

05 January 2007

Flour Child

I'm at the house right now. I'm relaxing and doing a little laundry.

Pezgirl and I completed the first week of the Jeopardy Daily Calendar today. The library's not normally open during the weekends, so we went ahead and worked through the first week of questions.

Apparently, Food Stuff is a weak category for me. At least fava was a correct response.

I did better in the Movie Soundtracks category-- getting all three questions correct. It wasn't Pezgirl's week. She had two bad Soundtrack responses, surprisingly -- she's more into music than I am -- finishing in the negative.

The Final Jeopardy category wasn't necessarily in my wheelhouse, but I did give a correct response, which put me at $5,000 for the week.

It's rained quite a bit over the past couple weeks. It's supposed to rain some more this weekend. It's needed.

The weather should be pretty good this evening. I plan on going out and having a little fun, but first I need a little sleep. And before I take my nap, I'd better provide a link to this story I read today from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

A Bryn Mawr College student wrongly jailed for three weeks on drug charges by Philadelphia police has settled her civil-rights case for $180,000.

Janet H. Lee, now a senior, was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport in 2003 after screeners found three condoms filled with white powder in her carry-on and city police said field tests showed that the substances likely contained opium and cocaine.

Lee was held in lieu of $500,000 bond for 21 days, until further drug testing proved that her unlikely story - that the powder was just flour - was true.

Credit for the heads-up goes to The Chronicle.

I still can't believe that she tried to board the airplane.

03 January 2007

The Seven Deadly Trivia Questions

I'm well known for being a trivia geek. I used to play Pub Quiz at Hal & Mal's pretty regularly. I still play it on occasion, but not nearly as often as I once did.

I've always been fascinated with trivia. I'm a generalist who knows a lot of stuff. People have generously described me more than once as a genius. I tend to refer to myself as a veritable fount of useless information, which is pretty useful in my profession.

I was on College Bowl teams representing Mississippi State and Southern Miss when I was a student. I also did the NTN thing-- winning bar gift certificates more than a few times. I've even taken and passed the Jeopardy contestant test twice.

A year ago, my dean gave us daily calendars. My calendar was the 2006 Jeopardy Daily Calendar. One of my co-workers-- who I'll call Pezgirl-- gave me the 2007 version of the Jeopardy calendar with the proviso that we each answer the questions and see how much money we earn over the course of the year. We began yesterday, and I will provide updates every few days.

Photos have been posted from the New Year's Seven Deadly Sins Party. TD posted about it. I decided to be a pirate. I figured that a pirate could easily represent most if not all of the sins.

I have no idea what happened to the eyepatch at the end. I think someone else might have taken it. You can also check out my myspace page and see a couple of photos taken of me at the party.

02 January 2007

Libraries in the News

Lock the Library! Rowdy Students Are Taking Over

“Having as many as 50 young people with nothing to do creates an untenable situation,” read the note, which pointed out that many students did not use library resources but simply socialized in the building. “It interferes with patrons of all ages who want to use the library and with the staff members who are there to serve them. The library can no longer deal with large numbers of students who come after school and wait, sometimes into the late evening, to be picked up.”
Courtesy of the New York Times.

Hello, Grisham -- So Long, Hemingway?

"I think the days of libraries saying, 'We must have that, because it's good for people,' are beyond us," said Leslie Burger, president of the American Library Association and director of Princeton Public Library. "There is a sense in many public libraries that popular materials are what most of our communities desire. Everybody's got a favorite book they're trying to promote."
Thank you, Washington Post.

01 January 2007

Thoughts at the Beginning of a New Year

Well, it's 2007. I went to a New Year's party-- even had a lot of fun.

One thing I've learned as I age is that when the opportunity to have fun presents itself, you take it. I got to see many friends, acquaintances, and people who I'd not previously met. It was great.

With 2006 being such a hectic year for me, I welcomed this last chance of the year to unwind and be with people I know, like, and love. With 2007 being here, I enjoyed being with friends, renewing acquaintances, and meeting people I've heard great things about but had not had the opportunity to meet.

Simple pleasures are what I love. Having fun with people. There isn't much that could be better. And I think that's saying something considering that as much as I love socializing, I'm an introvert who is more comfortable in smaller groups.

I'll also be forty years old this year, and I'm still single. I'm not surprised. Heh. Nothing quite says romance to Mississippi women like a male librarian who doesn't attend church.

I've done the match.com thing and was completely disappointed. Several of my friends have met and married (and are also currently engaged) thanks to online services such as match.com, but it's not worked for me.

I've been thinking more and more about doing something different. One thing I would like to do, should do more often really if it hasn't been for the fact that my life has been so hectic, is more exercise.

This past August, one of my cousins died. He had a heart attack a few weeks prior to his death, which I thought was a bit surprising since he was in better shape than I am. I still don't know the cause of his death though.

Since then, my mother has been on my case that I should exercise more often. I don't know if it's because she wants me to exercise or if she wants me to socialize. Personally, I think my mother would like it if I got married and she had more grandchildren.

However, I have two problems with exercise. The first is my hectic life. The second is my laid-back attitude. I have to be motivated-- essentially I hope I could exercise with a friend. If I think I have some sort of responsibility, then that might work. Of course, schedules also play a role.

I go back to work tomorrow. There's a part of me who looks forward to working-- I've been away since December 21. And the semester doesn't start for another two weeks. There's also a part of me who wants to take some more time away from work. At times, it felt like that 2006 was three years long.

I hope 2007 is a good year-- not just personally, but as far as the world is concerned. Peace, y'all.