Friday, November 21, 2008

The Great Northwest

We had a great vacation in Portland last weekend. Portland is home to some of our favorite people (and dogs.) We got to see Dad and Joy, and Nat and Austen, and Jim and Brien, though sadly we missed Lai. We ate a ton of great food, schnitzel and donuts and scampi and many, many french fries. I miss Portland.

I was enjoying the warmify filter on Picasa.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Library Fairies

No, really, I didn't forget I had a blog, exactly. I didn't.

See, here are pictures of the Halloween Splendour in the library:

The Rock and Roll Fairy and The Coffee Fairy.

The Argyle Fairy and The Cowgirl Fairy.

The Reluctant Fairy and two Circ Fairies, The Horseback Riding Fairy and The Neon Fairy (her wings are made of bubble wrap, for extra lift.)

Group shot!! That's (back row L-R) the Director Fairy, the Classy Fairy, the Neon Fairy, the Cowgirl Fairy, the Tennis Fairy, the Halloween Fairy (I have no idea what was so funny!!) Front row (L-R) half of the Reluctant Fairy, the Rock and Roll Fairy, the Hairy Fairy, and a small horse or giraffe.

Town Employees, some fairies, others not so much. I'm not totally slouching, I'm trying to bend my knees so my wings don't cover the people behind me. This is why tall people always stand in the back for group photos.

When I get ahold of a shot that has all our wings from the back (the pretty side) I'll add that. Happy Halloween, all!!

Rats, I took all the links out by mistake. I'm feeling lazy. If you want to see more details, check them out

And for the backstory on the wingmaking, check out this informative post.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Yesterday, I did something I've wanted to do for a long time. The Ladies of ILL hiking group, well, some of us, hiked a good portion of the Skyline to the Sea trail. Three of us had a hearty breakfast at Brasil (banana pancakes!) and then drove to Waddell Beach. We hiked in to Berry Creek Falls (where some of you will recall Viv discovering she liked Kudos bars), and up past it to Silver Falls and Gold Falls. Then we turned around and hiked back out. Then I went home to take my daily walk with Nathan. So, at the end of the day, my pedometer logged 17.24 miles or 38,514 steps. A good day of walking. I made the trek with only my cell phone camera for photographic evidence...and while it's not perfect, it has some interesting photographic "effects."

From SkylinetotheSea

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Sarah Palin theory

Now, I generally have pretty good experiences with Sarahs whose names end in "h." I'm just not sure that this one is a good choice for a potential world leader. I know other Sarahs with H's that I'd happily vote for as our president, you know who I mean. I have decided, however, that this Sarah's VP nomination is a good sign.

And here's why:

I think it's a sign that the Republicans have given up this fight. I think they're saying (in some office we've all seen on "The West Wing,") "We're not winning this one. But we don't want anyone else to go down with the ship. Who can we send in there that we won't miss the next time around? Who've we got to spare?" Where else would you go looking for someone expendable than the Governor's mansion in Alaska? They can't save McCain at this point, he's too far in, but they don't want to send any of their other power players into this game. They know they're going to have to sit back and wait out at least another eight years, and all they have to do now is pretend they're serious about Palin.

I mean, they can't *seriously* believe that many people will take her as a fair trade for Hillary. They just can't. I mean, I disagree with them about a lot of things, but I don't think many of them are seriously that stupid.

So be of good heart!! Palin is the equivalent of a white flag. But let's all vote anyway, okay?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Blog

I've decided I'm going to try to read only books with lusciously beautiful covers for my school work. To keep my blog database looking sumptuous. :)

Here's the start of my YA database:

Try to have good Mondays, all.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

100 books. 16 weeks.

You know how sometimes I like a challenge? How sometimes it can be more fun (for me) to do something just almost un-doable, than it is to do something a bit more doable? Heh. I'm so set.

I get to read 100 books in the next 16 weeks. That's right. 50 for my YA class + 50 for my Tweens class = 100 books. Plus whatever reading from textbooks I get to do. Plus, if I'm feeling inclined to, you know read an adult book or two.

That's 6.5 books per week, which is, if you're quick on the math, almost a book a day.


Well, okay, in truth, there are some caveats that will make this slightly less impossible, but I'm not focused on those because it is the sheer enormousness of this task that appeals to me. But they don't all have to be "books." I'm supposed to explore various forms of media, so that'd include graphic novels, audiobooks, websites, magazines, movies and TV shows. Still, there'll be a fair number of books. Even though I might, at some point in the next 16 weeks, view (are you sitting down?) an episode of Hannah Montana or something.

I'm so freaking STOKED!!

I'm going to start two blogs (one for each class) to track my books. More on that soon.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Dash of Nerdiness for y'all

So, here at the library, we have a magic shelf called "The White Shelf." You put things on "The White Shelf" when they've been processed downstairs, and they are ready to head upstairs to the Circulation Desk to check in. It could be called "The Lazy Shelf" because you stick stuff there to avoid running up the stairs to drop stuff off. And, in truth, most of the shelves around here are white.

I was just showing a new employee where "The White Shelf" was, and explaining how lately, there seem to be two "White Shelves." I explained my system was to use whichever shelf already had books on it. My desk neighbor Carol overheard my explanation and giggled. I asked her which shelf she thought really was the True White Shelf. She said that was something we should probably decide. I agreed, and said that when we decided, we could stick a sign on the non-true White Shelf that said "This is not the white shelf."

"It would be like a Magritte painting," I said. "Ceci n'est pas the White Shelf." Carol looked at me for a moment, and then we both realized, "Nope. If we're going to be Magritte about it, we have to put the Ceci n'est pas the White Shelf sign on the shelf that actually *IS* the True White Shelf." Ah. Nothing wraps up the work day like a little dorkdom.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Great Lunch Hour

This is a week old now, but still exciting. Last Saturday I went to work. On my lunch hour, I went to a big chain bookstore. I'd reserved a copy of Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final installment in the Stephenie Meyer Twilight series. After wrapping my book in my sweater (so I didn't get finger prints on the cover) I went up the street to the frozen yogurt store. Got myself some lunch, and then sat outside on their patio. And cracked open a book I'd been waiting eight months to read. Could there possibly be a better lunch hour?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Done with Summer School!

So, next summer, when I say I'm thinking of taking two classes, will you all remind me how insane that is? I mean, you know I like to, sometimes, make the same mistake repeatedly, just to see if I get different results. But I'll write it down here, just so that you have some evidence. Two classes + ten weeks + 40 hour work week = too much work. It's not worth it. Not even with the "it's only ten weeks" mentality. Why drive yourself crazy? I ask you. And I ask myself, of about a year from now, when I contemplate doing that all over again.

It was a kinda cool quarter though, now that I've got my hindsight glasses on. I've been fairly lucky so far, with library school. Some wise folks I know, who've gone to library school, have found the place to be riddled with jokesters, and really, really lame assignments. So far (fingers crossed and wood knocked) my group mates have been a mix of tolerable folks and an occasional Potential Race That Knows Joseph-er. And the work has been downright (here it comes, Dad) interesting. Even, fairly often, relevant. My main complaint has been time related, not having enough time to get stuff done without stressing.

But I learned some cool stuff this summer. In fact, I've complied a list! Bring on the bullet points!
  • I wrote a marketing plan for a Tween and Teen Summer reading program
  • I created an e-portfolio
  • I learned about Facebook, and discovered many of you hang out there too
  • I learned a whole lot about internet filtering
  • I did a lot of research on services, collections and programming for Tweens
  • and a whole bunch of other stuff that was pretty okay, but not worthy of it's own bullet point.
So while on my "I only have to go to work! vacation" I'm going to recommit to blogging. My poor blog is sad I'm not hanging out here more. And I miss "talking" to you blog folks. And you know what they say about things going around and coming around. Reading about what other folks were doing kept me motivated over the summer, and I want y'all to keep blogging. Or to start (ahem.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

11th inning stretch

Back in the day, the UCSC days, Heteo had a system for describing a paper in progress. She'd say "I'm in the 7th inning." And I'd ask, "How many innings?" and she'd tell me the target page range of her assignment. I don't think H is too much of a baseball fan, but you know, it was a way to put a slight spin on what otherwise is the onerous painful, grueling slog of trying to come up with something more to say on a topic you are so over.

Why yes!! I am writing a paper!

It's such a cool paper too. It's all about collections and programming for tweens and why libraries should really give this group more of their attention. I'm so well prepared for this paper. For one thing, I went to a conference on this topic, not a month ago, when I took those pictures in that post right below this one. Also, I've acquired all the textbooks I'll need for next quarter, because I'm taking a class about tweens, and you know what, I've READ THEM ALL. They are wildly interesting. Also, Heidi and I have been riffing all about new and improved tween services, where we work.

I'm so entirely sick of this paper.

I'm in the 11th inning of 15 projected innings. And when I finish the 15th inning, I'm done with summer school. (Well, obviously there'll be some editing, and I have to figure out how to do APA citations--like anyone really cares about APA citations. I'll tell you where I found the information, but how 'bout I just slip you an ISBN or ISSN number? Wouldn't that really be faster for everyone concerned?) There are really so many good reasons to finish this paper quickly.

For instance, you many not know this, but Breaking Dawn comes out on Saturday. Okay, I'm the only one here with this obsession, so I'll just say it's the fourth book in that girlygirl vampire series I was on about recently. AND, next quarter, I get to read 50 YA books, and probably a similar number of books for tweens. I could TOTALLY get started on that reading, as soon as I finish this paper. Also, the second Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie is coming out soon, and Sarah and Lisa and I are going to go see it. I could also you know, talk to people I haven't talked to in AGES. Or update my blog more than once a month.

Okay, I'm going to go figure out what else I can say for four more freaking pages.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Oh yeah!! More pictures!!

Jean reminded me I hadn't posted these. See, I had carefully captioned all the Parlier pictures, explaining who was in each one, and pointing out how my cousin was trying to drink water from the sprinklers the same way the dog was.....but I guess I did that in Picasa, and not with my web album, so when I loaded them to the web....there were no captions. I was so disheartened by my silly mistake, I never loaded the pictures from Anahiem. But here they are!! We had such a great weekend. Heidi and I had a fantastic time at ALA, learning about books for Tweens, and we heard some totally fantastic authors speak. And then I got to hang out with Jean and Mike! We walked for miles and miles and AB got his foot fixed. And we ate tons and tons of good food. And here are the pictures. Finally.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Parlier Trip

Two weekends ago Nathan and I went to Parlier for something of a Walker Reunion. Dad had a high school reunion, and the rest of us just jumped on board the Reunion Train. It was the hottest first day of summer EVER in Fresno. And we were there.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Awesome. Not in the good way.

When I first got my car, the CeltMobile II, back in February of 2004, I couldn't put $20.00 of gas in the tank. I would let it get down way below empty, I wouldn't try to find the cheapest gas in the neighborhood, it was a thrill...never being able to get to $20.00 while filling up my tank.

Two days ago I filled up my tank. Now, I'll grant you, I was "fill up now or walk home" empty, and I was at work, so I had to buy the fancy, expensive gas that's in the neighborhood by the library....but still. It cost me $48.83 to fill up my tank.


As the kids sign up for summer reading here at the library, they put their name on a yellow paper butterfly, which we then hang on the walls. We're currently surrounded by a plague of yellow butterflies. It's quite festive. I was just hanging some butterflies, a lovely Friday afternoon task, and I found myself stapling one that said........Eowyn. Nice. Eowyn's in our summer reading program this year. I'm soooo bummed I didn't get to sign that kid up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Walk in the Woods

In other news I'm wildly behind on posting, I took a walk recently (okay, recently is a bit generous) with these two folks:

We hiked in the lovely Portola State Park, which is a lovely little drive from my house. We did a good bout of hiking, I think we did six miles that day, through poison oak-ed woodlands and tick infested grasslands. :) This did not hamper our enjoyment in the least !!

Lovely California hillsides:

This picture is a better reflection of my poor timing as a photographer than of N, (though, I think in my archives I have more photos like this one. I'd say it's Ns "speaking French" face, but I don't think that's what was happening here)

After hiking we ate at Alice's Restaurant, which I've always wanted to do. Quite a diverse crowd in there on a Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


It's true, friends, NIL and I went on vacation. It's more than two weeks ago now, since we were in the magical world of Disney. I couldn't face blogging for awhile when we got home. I've been in serious denial about the end of vacation. Really, I was quite cranky about it for several days. Then I was just plain lazy for a few days. But I figure, school's started back up now, so I'd better get this done.

Friends, Disneyworld was AWESOME. I get it, not everyone is wild about a Disneyworld vacation, but ours was hands down spectacular. We had a fantastic hotel, lovely, convenient, even mildly futuristic. The monorail ran through our lobby. We were on a meal plan, and we ate ABSURD amounts of delicious food. I mean, really, freaking absurd. At one point, you can see in the photos, we were UNABLE to finish a DESSERT! I'm not sure there is a record of this ever happening before, either for me, or for Nathan. Absurd. But Delicious. We took tours every single day. On a train tour, the guy said that there were three kinds of people who took the train tour: a) train enthusiasts, b) Disney enthusiasts, or c) drag alongs....people who had no particular interest in either, but were with someone who was either a or b. Nathan and I decided we were in fact a new category : Tour Enthusiasts. We like seeing behind the scenes and getting insider information. Getting to all of these tours was demanding, I kid you not. We slept, on average, five hours a night on our vacation. We saw fireworks shows (totally fun to photograph) and a Cirque du Soliel show (which may have been my favorite part of all, if I had to pick a favorite part.) There are just too many cool parts to write them all down. It's time for a picture slide show. Nathan took plenty of video, and in theory, I was going to experiment with iMovie or something and turn it all into a little montage. But who's kidding who, it's taken me two weeks to write a paragraph about my vacation....a montage might be beyond my reach at this point and time.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In case... haven't wandered over there in awhile.... is gearing up for The Hobbit. I don't check it hourly as I did in the glory days of The Trilogy (and I use Google Reader now, so I get the feed) and a lot of the stuff over there currently, even I scroll through.

But this is news like that of the Elder Days, and worth reading. Lots of Hobbit info and tidbits.

And while you're there, I'd also recommend this thoughtful entry, entitled (bless them) "The Dragon Problem." It goes on at great length about how Smaug is really THE dragon, the archetype, and how that will be tricky for PJ et al. Interesting, to me, was that they also mentioned the dragon from the animated Sleeping Beauty, which, for me has ALWAYS been the scariest thing going. Smaug, bless him, at least seemed to have some sense of humor for all his nastiness.

Lack of Confidence

I just received the following email from the folks at the Career Center of my Current University:

Congratulations from the Career Center on your graduation! (Jenn : you know, I just got my grades back, and I did well, but not "Two Classes and You're Out Of Here" well.)

If you are graduating and have accepted a career position - - let us know and claim your Grad Duck! (Jenn: Hm. Sooooooooooooooooo many things to say about that one. The "if" makes it seem as though they are aware I'm not graduating, which makes me wonder why I'm getting this email at the mere mention of a Grad Duck supposed to encourage me to persevere? Is a "duck" some sort of graduation paraphernalia of which I've heretofore been ignorant? I've graduated multiple times, and not even at my preschool graduation do I remember anything about a duck. And really? A Duck? Does this remind anyone else of a certain Conflict Management Workshop that ended with the distribution of teddy bears? I mean, seriously, if ANYONE were to get excited about the prospect of a Grad Duck, it would be me. I have a duck at home amongst the rabbits, a duck who thinks he's a rabbit, and still....the idea of my institution of higher learning distributing ducks (and it's worth noting that I'm assuming this is some sort of stuffed, plush toy duck, not a REAL LIVE duck. If it's a REAL LIVE duck, we've got a whole 'nother kettle of wax going on here....I mean, that's a nearly medieval system "Congratulations on finishing school, here's some livestock to commemorate your achievement...") still leaves me a little oogie.)
I've got three more messages from my esteemed university in my box. I may have a whole farm by the time this morning ends.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

John Green

You may or may not be familiar with John Green. He's written a few YA novels, one I'm particularly fond of "An Abundance of Katherines." He's involved with a site I haven't yet explored fully enough, called Nerdfighters, which is a collection of videos between John and his brother Hank.

The video prompted this post is the one with the two giraffes, and well, suffice to say, it isn't really about what it initially appears to be about. It includes both a Schrodinger's cat reference, and for those of you who've enjoyed Stephenie Meyer's books you can also see (insert minor gleeful squeal here) John Green debating the merits of Edward vs. Jacob. I won't spoil it for you.

Also, the video entitled "Three Things" has a special request for anyone who happens to work at Google. I'm just saying.

And lastly, the video entitled "Cutetacular," really is indeed Cutetacular.

Okay, it was lastly, until I found this one, which is a musical tribute to the last Harry Potter, and contains the line : "I need Harry Potter like a grindylow needs water" and more.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wow. Wao.

I'm just about to finish listening to "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." I wanted to love the book, it was replete with geekiness. It's one sentence description says it's about a guy who wants to be "...the Dominican Tolkien." And there were many Tolkien references, and other geekiness, one great line about how Oscar "wore his nerdiness like a light saber." And it had a kinda mystical realism thing going on that wasn't unlike Marquez. That was fine. All in all, I'm just kind of "eh" about this book. It won the Pulitzer this year I think, or some other major literary hoopdedoo. All in all, as I say, it gets a resounding "eh" from me.

However (you must wonder why an "eh" book gets it's own blog post) I was just flipping through the reviews and comments on Librarything, to see what the LT world thought of the book. And I was fairly well shocked by what I found. Lots of people liked it, some people didn't like it, much as you'd expect. But a large percentage of the 32 reviews written (without counting, I'd guess about 25 of them) mention how they found the authors use of Spanish distracting, disruptive or downright despicable. Okay, no one wrote despicable, but I was on an alliterative slope there. I couldn't stop myself.

I was surprised that so many folks complained about that. I found the language off-putting at times, the English, I mean, because it was frequently profane, and while I'm not against profanity to any real degree, sprinkle enough through your narrative and I'll get annoyed. I'm assuming the Spanish was fairly profane as well. I have what could generously be described as a "Sesame Street Level" understanding of Spanish, or what can be made out of understanding a bit of French here and there. And I was listening to the book, so maybe that made a difference. But I never found the Spanish in the book irritating or inappropriate. I'm stunned that other people did. People wrote that they felt like they missed a lot, by not getting the Spanish. I didn't feel like I missed anything. In fact (and again, it could be because I was listening) I liked walking around with the sound of Spanish in my head (blissfully unaware of it's profanity.)

Collectively, y'all speak too many languages to answer this really objectively, but have you ever felt alienated from a book because it had phrases in a language you didn't speak?

P.S. My favorite review in Librarything a) has a footnote, and b) has a Star Trek reference. Let me just copy and paste it here for you, Librarything's "lampland"'s comment. Temba his arms wide.

He talks like a major geek, throwing in reference after reference to various movies and comics but to what end? He continuously paints himself as an outsider, as not a geek, but then he starts talking like a goddamn Tamarian* by saying things were Mordor or that he was Kaneda and never actually explaining what the hell he meant.

(*Remember that episode of Star Trek: TNG episode where Picard is kidnapped by that race of guys who only talk in metaphors? The universal translator would translate the words but still no one knew what they meant because there was cultural, contextual knowledge that accompanied those words. "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" and so forth. Well, that's what this novel is like reading sometimes. Díaz will take the time out to explain Dominican history, but not tell you who Galactus is.)


Smoky Skies

There's a fire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains today. South of here a ways, not near our beloved SLV. Heidi and her family can see the flames from their house, but they're still a good distance off too. The major inconvenience for those of us on the non-ocean side of the mountains today is the smoke. When I went through my kitchen this morning, I could smell it. When I got outside, it was like a campground. By the time I drove to work, which is closer to the fire, things were downright unpleasant. Our eyes are all burning today, and we've all got major sniffles. I can't imagine what it's like closer in to the fire. Must be miserable. We talked about closing the library (it smells like we've had a fire here, can't be good for books, staff or patrons) but the local schools are still open, so we figure we can't give up yet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One Semester -- FINISHED!!

That's right folks. One semester of Library School down, and, well, I don't know how many more to go. I finished on Saturday in a blaze of glorious paper writing. Eight straight hours of prose about testing databases. Which is really quite amazing given how little I actually know about testing databases. Just goes to show, that really, you don't have to know much about something to write a paper about it.

I'm school-free for three splendid weeks! Nathan and I are ditching reality completely, and heading to Florida for six days at Disneyworld. I'm super stoked. I've never been to Florida. Though I said this to someone a few days ago, and they said "It's not like you'll have been to Florida after a trip to Disneyworld." Which seems a fair point.

Friday, May 9, 2008


I'm at work, getting a copy of "The Wandering Fire" ready to go out on the shelves. One of the perks of this job is that when I discover the library has made an appalling oversight in its collection, say, they own "The Darkest Road," but NOT "The Summer Tree" or "The Wandering Fire," I can take action. I can put the missing volumes in a shopping cart and they will arrive within the week. It feels good, I tell you, saving the world in this way.

Anyways, I digress.

So, I'm putting barcodes and stamps and tape on this book. It's an edition I've never seen before. I'm not wild about the cover (it's actually kind of hard to find these books these days...I didn't have the option of the cool paperback editions I own.) It's got a fire-colored unicorn/pegasus creature, a horn, stuck on a tree, a guy with antlers on his head, a cloaked lady with a red glowing ring....all in all, not that exciting.

HOWEVER, on the tree on the far right hand side....a heart has been carved, with an arrow no less, and the initials JW and DM. (No plus sign. Not JW + DM, which as we all know, is the appropriate way to carve initials in a tree...) I don't see any notes in the book about the cover illustration. I thought it might be the artist's initials... perhaps it is. I can't think of any relevant characters. Dave Martynuik. That fits. But not with JW. Jennifer Lowell, and Jaelle (who, like Madonna, apparently has no last name.) Those don't work.

I think we have to go with the artist. But I'm opening it up for discussion.

Also, I'd never read the acknowledgments. I'm bad that way. But Wandering Fire was written in New Zealand! In Whakatane. I would have made a pilgrimage, if I'd known.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Day At Work Today

It's possible I have the coolest job ever. (Sometimes I have to remind myself.)

We used sidewalk chalk to decorate the fountain outside the library today after storytime. I took pictures for the library blog.

And since it's probably unethical to post pictures of other people's kids to your blog without asking them, I'll settle for only one (of the many) cute kid pictures I took.

I think this guy was going to go for some chalk handprints, but I didn't see how it turned out. Perhaps one of us is walking around with a little blue handprint on our backsides.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Yes, indeed folks. This weekend, Nathan and I walked our 366th consecutive day of walking. Well, okay, Nathan would want me to point out that some days, we rode our bikes instead of walking. (Those days were actually harder, for me.) But this weekend, we marked our 366th consecutive day of getting outside (all but about two days, when we walked somewhere indoors) and getting more or less an hour of exercise.

Feels good! I'd recommend it!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What We've Been Watching

Lest you think that in my prolonged blog absence I have been unproductive (or that I've only been working and going to school) let me update you on what TV shows we've been watching. And let's celebrate, for a moment, the awesome-ness of watching TV on DVD. How amazing is it to have a whole season of a cool show at your disposal? You can watch episode after episode after episode without the annoying time lag of real life. And no commericals to fast-forward through. Plus, if you are clever (which of course you are) you can check TV DVDs out from your local library, and then it's not only outrageously convenient, it's also free.

The only (slight) drawback is that you're always behind the TV curve, and realizing how amazing some shows are long after everyone else is already done talking about them. Luckily for all of us reading this here blog though, none of us are particularly current in our TV viewing.

Our oldest "new" show is House. I haven't liked a medical show since I gave up on ER all those years ago. I never really got over Susan leaving Dr. Green like that, even though I continued to watch for years. We caught a random episode in our TiVo one day, and were hooked. We've watched them all (or nearly all) now, and it's fantastic. Great ensemble cast (you'll notice that's a theme in the three shows I've got listed here,) great writing (another theme) and mysteries to be solved in each episode. Though, I can tell you this much, if you start watching, the answer to the medical mystery is never, ever "lupus."

Then, when we'd just about finished up with House, we took up with Battlestar Gallactica. I was, I admit, pretty skeptical of this one, and only started watching because I was sick one day and not interested in leaving the couch when Nathan started it up. I mean, everything about the words "Battlestar Gallactica" calls to mind hokey late-70's spacey sci fi. Well, darn. I was wrong about that. It's so good. Worth watching for those of you interested in character development (I'm particularly fond of Kara Thrace, I must say.) The music is really interesting, too. Not to mention the plot! I could explain it, but it would sound hokey. I mean, see, the humans, they made these robots, but oops! the robots decided to rebel. Then they got even smarter, and now they are trying to take over the galaxy. Note to self: The robots will always rebel. Be kind to the Roomba. I'm not sure if it translates, if you haven't been watching the show, but there's a great YouTube video out there called "What the Frak is going on?" which sums up the first 3.5 seasons in 8 minutes. I've watched it many times. Anyhow, Battlestar Gallactica. Watch it.

While we were in Dallas for New Years, we tried to get Lou and Cheryl hooked on BSG. Instead, they got us hooked on Lost. We spent several days watching one episode of Lost, then one episode of BSG. Ultimately, we finished the season of BSG that we had packed, and we watched only Lost. For days and days. A truly great vacation. Currently, we are only two episodes away from being caught up with "real time" Lost. The stuff that's on the air now.

Why should you like Lost? Well, first off, you get to see what Dominic Monaghan did with his post LOTR life. Hm. This is a travesty, but I'm considering typing "I like him better as Charlie than as Merry." I KNOW! I can't explain it. Lost is occasionally creepy, often funny, sometimes more violent than I'd like. Sometimes they eat bunnies. I KNOW! I can't help it. I think the thing I like best is that I never really know where I stand with this show. You never know who's good, or who's about to trick someone else, or who might do something you'd never in a million years think they would do. You do know that everything is connected, so if you stumble across a dead guy in a VW van in the middle of a deserted island, there's some reason he's there that relates to the story at large. And, lastly, why you should watch this show on DVD -- it's cliffhanger central. These people are masters of cliffhangers. I have no idea how people who watched this show air on television once a week didn't collapse of curiosity.

(P.S. It has taken me THREE DAYS to write this post! I can't figure out why blogging is so hard these days!! I have lots of ideas of things I want to blog about! I just can't get them written.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Raising the bar on dorkdom

I'm discovering new and varied ways to enjoy being a nerd, now that I'm in library school. Because I know you all revel in dorkiness, in the way I do, I thought I'd share some of my latest, greatest achievements with you.

Exhibit A:
I'm in this class about databases. We had to get together in a group and build a database, developing ways to describe things one might not usually think to spend time "classifying." My group decided our database would be about produce, and we spent weeks deciding things like whether "potatoes" and "sweet potatoes" were different enough to merit separate records, and if so, how could we quantify that which made them different enough so that we could apply the same standards to other produce. When we had created our produce data storing masterpiece, we traded empty databases with another team, the idea being that we'd each try and sort some data into the other's structure to see how well it held up.

When it came time to trade, I was really looking forward to seeing what our trade group had decided to classify. The rules of the assignment said we could do anything that wasn't "overly bibliographic in nature." In other words, you silly librarians to be, don't reinvent the wheel and organize your book collections. They'd made their database about--squeal!--TSHIRTS!! So Friday night, after a week of working, I "treated" myself to, yes, you are understanding me correctly, **entering data about my tshirts into a database!** I had fun doing it!! Organizing and T-shirts combined? What could be better? Except maybe getting graded for thinking of ways the experience of organizing t-shirts into a database could be improved!

Exhibit B:
I'm spending the day working on a midterm for my database class. (I do have another class, but it's not really expanding the horizons of my nerdiness in the same fashion.) Here is an *actual answer* I'm going to turn in on my midterm. (It's worth noting that my teacher a) seems to have a good sense of humor and b) seems to appreciate a "real world analogy.")

I'm writing about three ways one can evaluate the "closeness" between a search term and some search results. There is a fiendish amount of math involved in this process, but I treat the math the way I sometimes (oh, my nerd street cred is going to drop if I write this) treat the songs in LOTR. I see them and I skip right over them:
The second model is the Probabilistic Model. In this model, each term in the search query is weighted. The IRS returns documents that have the highest score, given the prevalence of each of the weighted terms in the document. (It's not an exact metaphor, but I think of this like the points for each letter on Scrabble tiles. Words with lots of vowels—like low weighted search terms—will clear your tray but not get you a big score. Pull off “quixotic” however, and you'll get a higher “status value.” The equations in the book make my head spin and my eyes water, but Scrabble I can wrap my head around.)
That's right. I busted out a Scrabble metaphor on the LAST question of my midterm. Who else has been this nerdy today. Come on, fess up. Let's hear the story.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Rabble being roused

I walk on Sundays with a group of former ILL-ers. Usually at some point in the walk, Sarah and I trade notes on what we're reading. We're both big fans of the YA genre, and we keep each other up-to-date on what we should be reading. (Or what we've read, as Sarah described a book to me today, I asked her, "Have I read that one?") We had a guest walker today, who was around for this conversation and asked why it is we liked YA stuff so much. And we both took stabs at answering the question.

At home, getting caught up on my blog reading, I found a link to this post. I'm not familiar with this guy, so it could be that he's just generally cranky for the sake of stirring up interesting controversy. He makes the claim that adults who read kidlit should "grow up." And a number of good folks commented back to say, in various forms, "go jump in a lake." (Both his point and the comments are much more sophisticated, but I'm summing up.)

Two points I found particularly resonant, in an "I wish I'd said that!" way are
this from Rachel, whoever she might be:
I think children's literature is still invested in "meaning" in a way that it is no longer fashionable for contemporary adult literature to be. That's how I understand Philip Pullman's famous and much-maligned statement about there being some issues too big to deal with in adult books. I don't think that adult books are intrinsically unable to deal with the big issues, I just think that post-theory literary world finds such issues embarrassingly unsophisticated. I do not, and so I read fairy tales.

What a great quote from Phillip Pullman!

And this from Christina, another wise stranger:

I find myself annoyed with adult literature sometimes (or at least contemporary adult lit-- give me Jane Austen any day). It can be so self-important, so egocentric, and so pretentious in its superfluous description, its deep psyche-scouring penetration. It's irritating, to put it bluntly.

I don't find the same to be true of children's or YA books. Out of necessity towards the audience, there's no room for all of that artery-clogging junk. In a way, I think that leaves a much wider scope of interpretation, in addition to being quite refreshing.

I *just* read The Giver... anyone who thinks that THAT is a book for (just) kids needs to read it again.

In addition to her Jane Austen plug, she captures some of what I was trying to explain to our guest walker. I sometimes find that adult writers are too invested in showing off their vocabulary, or their, oh I don't know, depth or something. I finished a long book this week about wealthy intellectuals living in Manhattan scorning others for their lack of wittiness and poor fashion sense, while wrecking their relationships with each other in various fashions. It was 16 discs of audio book!! And, like Christina above, I followed that with Lois Lowry's 3 disc "The Messenger," and felt I learned a whole lot more about the world and good and evil and the nature of human beings from the kid lit thank you very much.

Anyway, if you want to get riled up, check out the aggravating post. Oh, and then you can enjoy this comic. Are you reading xkcd yet?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Garden Pictures

I was worried that I hadn't seen any freesia or grape hyacinth yet this year. The hyacinths are out at the library, so I feared I had somehow harmed the bulbs the previous tenants had left. But this morning, I found a few little ghs and a lone freesia, so I'm hopeful more are on their way.

And this is pretty sunlight on our otherwise very bland agapanthas.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Geek Cops

Like most public libraries, we have a patron or two here that occasionally require more than just the help of librarians. Luckily, we're located right next door to the local police department, and we're in a town that has pretty low crime rate, so when we call for backup, as it were, we usually get help very quickly.

So today, I'm in the kids room, and I see one of our regular patrons involved in some sort of altercation with our pay phone. He's slamming the receiver repeatedly, and he's on "the list," (those individuals with whom we no longer engage in the dance of public service.) I call my supervisor, who comes up, assesses, and calls the police.

A few minutes later, I see the full force of our local police department in action. I'm watching through the panorama of windows in our kids room; it's like great television. First, from stage left, comes a cop in full gear, striding purposefully. He looks like he's ready to rumble. Then, following behind, like synchronized swimmers, two more police officers. I know they are police officers only because their polo shirts say "POLICE" in jaunty blue letters. They are in shorts. And they are RIDING SEGWAYS!! Rather than feeling relieved someone was here to handle the phone slammer, I had to laugh out loud at how silly they seemed.

They scooted around in peppy circles while waiting for the patron to finish his phone conversation. Was there anyone on the other end of that call? Hard to know.

I suppose, especially for here, it's good that our cops look more nerdy than threatening. I can see the advantages of it. But it's hard to imagine them segwaying down the road after someone who'd snatched a purse or something.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Mindful Application of Technology

It's the most wonderful time of the year (for snacks.)

You may have noticed it's Cadbury Mini Egg season again. Hooray! And, as always, Cadbury Mini Egg season (or CME season) overlaps with GSC season. That's right. The Girl Scouts are out with their cookies. Nathan brought some home from work with him on Friday, and we got to discussing the old cookie names vs. new cookie names. Seems Nathan has always known them as "Do-si-dos" but when I was in my cookie peddling days, we called them "Peanut Butter Sandwiches." And they were "Peanut Butter Patties," not "Tagalongs." Anyhow, we started to do some research on the internets, and uncovered this marvelous site.

The Girl Scout Cookie Locater!!

When we put in our zip code, it took us to the NorCal Cookie Finder, which, when we put in our street address, produced a Google map with (no really, it was incredible) little cookie icons indicating the nearest supermarkets where one could procure cookies! Even had the times when the cookie booths would be staffed! It's truly a great time to be alive.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

A great book, folks, I think you'd all enjoy it. There's something for everyone, Shakespeare, cross-country runners, Rodents of Unusual Size, diagramming sentences, and wow, it's funny and deep and moving all at the same time. Let me set up the quote below for you. Our protagonist is named Holling Hoodhood, indeed, he is named Holling Hoodhood. And he's a seventh grader in 1968. On Wednesday afternoons, half of his class goes to Hebrew school, and half of his class goes to Confirmation classes. As he is the only Protestant in his class (and they don't have anywhere to be on Wednesdays) he's stuck with his English teacher, who decides he should be spending his time studying Shakespeare. He's fairly certain his English teacher hates him.

" Mrs. Baker hates me.

She hated my guts.

We spent the afternoon with English for You and Me, learning how to diagram sentences -- as if there was some reason why anyone in the Western Hemisphere would need to know how to do this. One by one, Mrs. Baker called us to the blackboard to try our hand at it. Here's the sentence she gave to Meryl Lee:
The brook flows down the pretty mountain.
Here's the sentence she gave to Danny Hupfer:
He kicked the round ball into the goal.
Here's the sentence she gave to Mai Thi:
The girl walked home.
This was so short because it used about a third of Mai Thi's English vocabulary, since she'd only gotten here from Vietnam during the summer.

Here's the sentence she gave to Doug Swieteck:
I read a book.
There was a different reason why his sentence was so short--never mind that it was a flat out lie on Doug Swieteck's part.

Here's the sentence she gave me:
For it so falls out, that what we have we prize not to the worth whiles we enjoy it; but being lacked and lost, why then we rack the value, then we find the virtue that possession would not show us while it was ours. "

Saturday, February 16, 2008


See, my friend Heather (I call her Heatherly, but many of you know her as Heteo the First, to distinguish her from the Heteo we usually call Heteo, but really, Heatherly was the first one to call herself Heteo, we just ran with it afterward....) well, she's shaving her head. Not just for fun. Nope. She's shaving her head for a good cause, to raise money for kids with cancer. And that's just downright gutsy, and inspiring! And not long ago, my friend Gina, in celebration of her 30th birthday, cut 13 inches off her hair, and donated it to LocksofLove. This organization makes hairpieces for kids with cancer, out of donated ponytails.

So, since I'm not quite brave enough to shave my head, but I was still majorly inspired, I went the LocksofLove route myself. I'm now the proud owner of a head of hair shorter than I think it's been since I was about six. And I'm super-stoked about doing a little something for someone else.

Check out the pictures:

The lady who cut my hair was laboring under the misapprehension that I actually like to spend time styling my hair. She gave me this do, and then told me how easy it would be to either blowdry it in the morning using a round bristled brush, doing sections at a time, from roots to tip, straightening, yet gently curling....OR, if I wanted something easier, I could just blowdry it regular, and use a FLATIRON on it. Heh. She totally doesn't get me. So, tomorrow I'll find out what it looks like when I wash it, dry my bangs, and let the rest airdry. :)


My goal this spring (or one of my many goals) is to fix up what I call "The Front Garden." There is a half circle of a garden bed at the front of our driveway that, well, is sad looking. I left it alone last year, to see what happened out there. And not much happened. So I'm going to tackle it this year. I'm thinking all drought-tolerant plants. But that's getting way ahead of myself. I'm posting these "before" pictures to keep myself motivated. "Before" shots usually imply there'll be "after" shots sooner or later.

Yeah, I still have my snowflakes up. It's true. My tree IS down though.

There is certainly plenty of potential here.

There was a mighty battle in my yard at one point. I've dug up platoons of army guys. And one VW Bug.

I'm not sure who's soccer ball that is.

These pictures are a week or two old now, so there has already been some small progress. I've already done a bit of my rototiller routine. I had to work in sections, since, well, hoeing is hard work. But the dirt looks better already. Hopefully in a month or two, there'll be a substantial change.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Back to book quotes

The following is an entire chapter of a book called "What My Mother Doesn't Know," by Sonya Sones. It's a great little novel in verse that I read last week. This chapter reminds me of "The Sweater," by Maryn Cadell. And a little bit like Shel Silverstein, too....

Three Hours Before the Dance

Even though I wash it,
with shampoo that’s especially formulated
with essential fatty acids
derived from natural botanic oils
to replace valuable lipids
and restore the emollients necessary
for the hair to remain
soft, pliable and supple
with a healthy, radiant shine,

And even though I remove
the excess moisture from my hair
and evenly distribute a small amount
of instant reconstructor and detangler
to enhance strength and manageability,

And even though
I work it through to the ends,
leaving it on for three minutes
and then rinse thoroughly before adding
the revolutionary polymerized
electrolytic moisture potion
that actually repairs split ends
while providing flexible styling control
by infusing the roots with twenty-three
essential pro-vitamins,

And even though I massage it in
to make my hair feel instantly softer
and fuller with added shaping power,
and then rinse it again
with lukewarm water,
towel dry and apply the desired amount
of styling gel to the palm of my hand,
then comb it through
and blow it dry

It still looks pathetic

Friday, February 8, 2008

I think we should hang out HERE more

Are you all using Google Reader yet?? I follow millions of blogs since I got Google Reader, and it's ridiculously easy. It puts new stuff from all the blogs you like in ONE PLACE. I suppose all feed readers do that, but you know you want to try the Google one, right?

Believe it or not, this post isn't about Google Reader. I got off on a tangent, because I found reference to a book in my Google Reader last night. I have a whole bunch of blogs that tell me which books I need to know about to be a hip librarian book referer type person. Anyway, the book in question is called, "Not Quite What I Was Planning."

It's put out by the folks at a place called Smith Magazine. I haven't fully explored Smith Magazine yet, but they seem to be almost "This American Life" esque. Though perhaps with a tendency for shorter stories. Check it out, let me know what you think, but don't miss the Flickr slideshow of Geeky Tshirts. This is reminiscent of an idea I had while at a Google event one day. I thought to myself "If one were to map the density of geeky tshirts world wide at this particular moment in time, I must be standing at the epicenter of Tshirt Geekiness." The Smith Magazine folks went for a less-mathematical photo essay, but their method has the advantage of being able to see the wide array of geeky shirts roaming the world.

Ah, yes, I haven't told you about the book yet. It's a collection of life stories, by famous and not-so-famous people, each told in exactly six words. You can read thousands of them at their site, it's kind of addicting. It's amazing to me how much of a sense of someone you can get in six words. Most of them don't grab me, but probably one in 25 really makes me think. And of course, there's the inevitable, you can't help but write your own six-word-life-story. I've still got one adjective in mine that needs work. It's not ready for "publication" yet.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Almost Tuesday

Now, y'all know I'm not the greatest political mind of my generation. Most of what I know about how this country is run, I learned from watching The West Wing. I know that if it's ever critical that I learn how a bill becomes a law, I'll need to rewatch that episode of Schoolhouse Rock.

I have two regular sources of news:
  • whatever I absorb between 5:15 and 6:15 from NPR (this mostly by osmosis, don't you love the way news sounds when you're drifting in and out of sleep?)
  • whatever is ridiculous enough that it makes it to The Daily Show / The Colbert Report
And yet, I have to say, I'm fairly stoked for tomorrow's round of primaries. In that "if I go to bed early, tomorrow will get here faster!" way.

I'm a regular voter. I believe firmly that if you are eligible to vote, and you don't, you forfeit any right you have to complain about whatever lameness ensues. And I refuse to forfeit my right to complain about lameness. I even try to be an informed voter. I like going to the polls (I particularly like WALKING to the polls, it makes me feel like SUPER-CITIZEN!!) Still and all, I've never particularly looked forward to an election before. (I've dreaded some.) And certainly not a primary election.

But as we walked tonight, Nathan and I were running through the various scenarios that could unfold, and commenting on what and who we liked in and about each match up. Clinton v. Romney? Clinton v. McCain? Obama v. Romney? Obama v. McCain? Clinton v. Huckabee? I'm fairly certain I'd find some to most of Huckabee's politics unsavory, but he's a kick to watch on The Colbert Report, and it's hard to pass up the idea of a President Huckabee. Doesn't that almost sound like a fast food restaurant or something? As I drove home, I saw folks hanging a Ron Paul banner from the freeway overpass. Nathan's fairly sure California is going to be big for Ron Paul. He's also a kick to watch on the Colbert Report.

I'm not sure what it is that makes this so exciting. Perhaps its just seeing the light at the end of this tunnel we've been in for eight years. I won't call it "hope" quite yet, I'll save that for when Martin Sheen runs for president. But it does sort of feel like one of those times when you realize history is happening right around you. And not in the way that makes you cringe.

Anyway, I've got to get to bed!! Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. (And the start of Hollywood week, on American Idol!)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Because Jim posted his pictures

Here are some of the rituals we enact at the Los Gatos Public Library. I'm not totally sure if the copying and pasting of pictures is going to work well from flickr, but you can go to
and see some hokeying and pokeying action. And "Stay Awake Sally," which, if you haven't already read it, I'd totally recommend.

p.s. I'm going to have to speak to someone about the differences between people named "jen" and people named "jenn." :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Addiction Update

So I've finished reading the three books in the Twilight series. And then I went through and read books one and three over again. And then I sort of sunk into a funk, pleased with how they ended, but sad that they did in fact end. Sure, they are making a movie (thanks Dad!) but I'm not at all optimistic that it'll be all that good.

Good news, though, my coworker (you remember, the one who makes up the puns?) had read only the third one, and he'd done some research on wikipedia, and it turns out, she's writing not one but TWO more books in the series. The fourth one is just what I needed (I need to see someone go from being human to being a vampire) and the fifth one is a retelling of the first one from a different perspective. So, though there's no instant gratification (well, there is one chapter from book five on Stephanie's website, so there was some small gratification instantly.) I suppose it's good to draw it out some.

However, I'm in the phase where I can't really imagine liking other books.

Still, there is hope!

I went to a class this week, or a talk, or a presentation, well, an "expert" in Young Adult Literature. (How cool is it that this is part of my *job*! A whole day listening to someone list their favorite new books for young adults?) And he gave us a LIST! You know how I love a list! A list of things to read, really my favorite kind of list!! Want to see it? Here it is.

I've read two books from the list already. Just because, even though new books might not ever be interesting again, still, you should read them. I read "The Beautiful Miscellaneous" by Dominic Smith and "Hush" by Donna Jo Napoli (which is in the kids section at our library as of now, but I'm going to suggest we move it to teens.) Both were just okay. They had their moments, but they weren't quite enough to restore my faith and interest in the world of literature beyond Stephanie Meyer. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First Day

It's my first day of school! My first "first day" since 1992. Wow! I'm getting to be such a grown up kid. :)

So far, I have nothing interesting to report. I have "introduced" myself in both classes, and I have some reading I need to do. Who didn't see that coming.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Return from Hawaii

We're back after five lovely days on the island of Oahu. We visited Nathan's aunt and grandma, and saw many lovely parts of their home island. We saw turtles, and hiked to the top of an extinct volcano. We walked in the ocean, and ate some great pie. We went to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and visited Costco. You know they have Costco-sized mochi in Hawaii? True story. We drove almost the entire perimeter of the island, and saw spectacular sunsets. Here are pictures of all of it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I've been obsessed by a series of books lately. By "lately" I mean "the last four days." Not longer than that, because I get through them too quickly. The first in the series, "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer, I had as an audio book, and I listened to it compulsively. I contemplated taking my iPod to the kids desk, and trying to listen while answering reference questions. Like the classic sitcom moment with the doofus dad trying to listen to some sporting event while in church. I talked myself out of it. The second book, "New Moon," I just read in book form. In a day. That was yesterday. I had to give myself a pretty strict talking to, so as to avoid launching right into the third (and I believe final) book. I have to have something to do while we fly to Hawaii.

Now, it's important that I be clear. These books aren't (strictly speaking) great literature. I don't think I'd even recommend them to any of you Teos reading this blog. I think you'd find them trite. And perhaps you'd be right to think so. But I seriously can't get them out of my head. At the moment, I can't imagine ever finding another new book (see what I did there, exempting old favorites) that I would enjoy more. I think I have an unhealthy relationship with these books.

These have been a sensation in the world of Young Adult literature, and they are, you'll probably be surprised to hear me write it, vampire stories. Yep. Addicted to a vampire story. But really, the "vampire" is just the gloss that surrounds a pair of star-crossed lovers. See, she's human, and he's a vampire. See the problem? I thought you would. And oohhhhhhh, every Santa Cruz Feminist would simply tear her hair out, if she saw how these books I was loving were setting back the cause of the sisters. It's really quite shocking. She's not only human, but in constant need of rescue and shockingly devoid of much self esteem. I can't help it!! These books are like Cheetos. On every level, I know they aren't good for me, and yet, I can't stop obsessing over them. Perhaps our heroine will kick butt in the third book. I can't say it matters to me if she does or doesn't.

On the plus side, I think we might like the author. She could come to one of our fictional dinner parties where we try and mix interesting musicians and authors just to see what they'd say to each other. I haven't worked out yet who else would come, but from the interviews I've read (see what I mean about obsessed, I've been tracking down interviews with her. I've been to her blog!) she has a good sense of humor and a fair sense of her place in the world. I mean, she did a fine job writing the books, they are clean and funny and age appropriate, I'd say, and aside from the wimpy heroine thing I'd say they were harmless.

Maybe it's the cover design that's altered my mind. All three volumes of the trilogy are as pretty as the one above, and I know how nice they look because I speedwalked to the bookstore (a chain bookstore even) on my lunch hour and bought the set (in HARDBACK!!)

I'm just saying, y'all may have to stage an intervention at some point. I'll keep you posted. (Get it? This is a blog, "posted?" Get it? It really wasn't worth getting was it?)

Friday, January 11, 2008

As the kids say "OMFG"

Every once in awhile, you stumble upon something that really makes you understand your place in the dork universe. The Dorkverse, if you will.

Sometimes you just have to applaud those who outrank you in dorkiness.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, "The Battle of Pelennor Fields" made entirely out of candy. Also note the link for last year's effort "The Battle of Helm's Deep" made out of candy.

Friend of a Friend

I just heard on the radio this morning that Sir Edmund Hillary died. And while I can't say he was ever a particular hero of mine (don't get me wrong, he was definitely cool, but he wasn't often on my radar, as it were) I feel sad for New Zealanders generally, and specifically our LOTR friends.

The NPR interviewer I woke up to was talking to a reporter in New Zealand. It was nice to wake up to the New Zealand accent, a little mini-vacation. I missed the first part of the story, but once I was awake enough to understand they were talking about Hillary, (Sir Edmund, not the Hillary we have here) I knew how bummed the whole country would be.

There's a great bit of commentary about the day Hillary came to the LOTR set, and how excited everyone was. In fact, I think it's in two places, because I can hear Peter Jackson telling the story (which would be the directors commentary, clearly) and also Elijah Wood (which would be a totally separate commentary track, which you clearly know already.)

Anyhow, this is just my way of saying to New Zealand, "I'm sorry you lost a friend."


I was leaving Safeway a few days ago, pocketing the Safeway Club Card that I've been using for years. I picked it up off the ground in a parking lot once, as part of a plot to help a friend secure a large amount of a particular soup he enjoyed that was on sale. I've used it ever since, you know, to confuse "the man," and keep my shopping habits to myself, thank you very much. As a side note, there's a YA book out there, don't ask me which one now, where the trading of supermarket cards is the secret handshake of the inhabitants of the town wherein the book is set. When you meet someone on the street, they hold out their card, and you exchange, even if you don't even say hello. Anyway, I digress.

What I love about my Safeway card is that it's original owner was named (probably still IS named, truth be told) Suzanne Mailloux. And almost invariably, with only one memorable exception, when they Safeway clerks hand me a receipt and go to wish me a personalized farewell, it comes out "Have a great day, Mrs. um... Malox?" And I happily nod, and say, "Yes, that's right. Malox. You have a nice day too."

So I was leaving Safeway, enjoying my secret laxative identity, when it hit me:

All my aliases start with the letter M.

Think about it. Meg. Meteowrite. Mrs. Malox. Marigold. Heck, even my middle name starts with M.

I stopped in the middle of the parking lot and scratched my head.

I still don't know what it means, but I haven't given up the idea that it's hugely significant.

Post Backlog

I'm going to spend a few minutes and try and get caught up on all the "mental blog posts" I have swimming in my brain. One of my resolutions was to be a better blog correspondent, and well, here I am blogging in a clump. :)