Monthly Archives: January 2008

Altruism foiled again.

In high school, my sister and I started this thing where we’d knit mittens for any of our friends who quit smoking. It was a small gesture, but symbolic. Smoking with mittens on is not easy, and can end with melted acrylic or scorched wool. I’ve knit dozens of pairs of mittens for friends, and I’d like to think it helped just a little.

I was bummed out to see that I’ve been foiled.

Anything to not get effing hit by a car

Maybe that should be a new category. I keep my eye out for bike-related safety stuff. Ever since I crashed, I’ve been WAY more focused on the safety side of things.

Via Marylaine (of course), I found a forum site called TransportTrends. Within it, I found a post about Safe Turn bicycle indicators. They’re little blinky LEDs you strap to your wrists, which don’t blink until you lift your arm to signal your turn.

I like this idea. Kind of like the SpokePOV Jason’s going to make for me, it’s a flashy way to be visible. I don’t want Safe Turn lights specifically. I think I’d prefer to have $1 LEDs on elastic that blink the whole time – it’s way more raver.

Why are there no Babysitter’s Club readalike lists?

I’m just going to use Outsidecat to rant on reference questions I get.

Since my library has such a small space, we tend to get rid of things that don’t circulate – series takes up a lot of space, and although the occasional young person (or adult) inquires about them, it’s not worth the real estate.

A 19-year-old patron came in looking for the Babysitter’s Club series. As I asked her questions, I inferred that she had a low reading level. BSC is a great hi-lo (high interest, low reading leve) series – the language isn’t very difficult, but there’s enough responsibility and teen angst to appeal to older readers.

I found a few readalike lists that included BSC, but they all seemed to be about a younger age group. What I wish the interslice tubes could send me is a list of books like BSC for hi-lo readers.

Reference interview failures

A patron came in today asking for books for his 10- and 12-year olds on stealing and teasing animals, respectively.

I’m so impressed and glad the dad came to the library looking for information about these difficult issues, and I was sorely disappointed to find very little in the way of books that would address the animal cruelty issue at a level appropriate for a 12-year-old.

Every time I encounter this kind of situation, I think “Someone should write that book.”

(I realize that there is probably a book out there, but seriously, I couldn’t find it.)

Blogosphere niche: reviewing children’s books for out-loud reading

I read a lot of kid lit blogs, which often dictate what I buy for my library’s collection. It occurred to me just now that I would very much like to review children’s books, and specifically I think I have a knack for determining what kind of read they are. With pre-readers and early readers, there are a lot of options.

* Making up the story yourself, without reading the words (this requires a certain amount of storytelling illustrations)
* Stories where the words are the weight of the book (where the text tells most of the story)
* Stories where the illustrations are the weight of the book (where the illustrations shine)
* Stories to be read quietly at bedtime (quiet, cozy books with lots of small detail)
* Stories that are loud, raucous stories to read out loud (good for librarians doing storytime!)
* Stories that end up being playacted out
* Stories that are written so a early reader and a savvy reader read together

Along with reviewing the book as a whole, it would be nice to describe what kind of read it is.

So how do I start reviewing for a blog? I’d better email some of my favorite kid-book-bloggers to ask.

Title Given for Upstanding Actions

Jason has deemed Stella “In Charge of Un-Ironic Hilarity”. Let’s all celebrate:

Stella bites

SB + Stella

Stella sinks

Stella + ents


Stuff on Stella

Stella twist

Love love love

Laser vs. box


Naps all around

That was totally a gratuitous cat blog, but eff you. I love my cat. (So does Jason apparently, because most of these photos are his.)

Pats, Drinks, Hummus, {Knitting}, Legos, Superchrist.


I watched a lot of football at The Catwalk. They have UNBELIEVABLE crab cakes with a ramekin of spicy aioli that I hid behind my drink when the waitress came to clear the appetizer plate so I could keep it to try on my entree. I ended up trying it on the croutons from my salad, but it’s really the crabcakes+aioli that makes magic.

Jason and I went for dinner, and got to witness the awesome polar-bear action of the Packers. Then friends Jasmine and Kelly came to watch the Patriots in full New England style. (We rolled in chowder and mispronounced our rrrrrs.) No, we got drunk and felt superior. Seriously – that pump fake?

Anyway, Jason left some time in the third quarter I think. We girls were doing a good job of having just enough drinks to complete our New England duty, when our waitress came over and said that a representative from Narragansett beer was buying pints for anyone who wanted them. Haaaaar. I went home and tried playing Big Brain Academy for kicks. As you can imagine, I did poorly, but it was hilarious to my drunk self.

The general events of my Sunday were unremarkably domestic until working out with Laura. We went to the gym, then walked all over New Bedford because it was so nice out. It quickly turned cloudy, windy, and cold. It was more invigorating than traumatic, and I felt better about all the crabcakes.

I made black bean hummus, which turned out surprisingly well, considering I didn’t have lemon or cayenne pepper. That was part of dinner (other parts of dinner? chips and salsa). Then Jason and I watched more football and I finally figured what was going on with my sweater.

{knitting diatribe} I am knitting a baby sweater for Steph, and since you pick up stitches for the sleeves, I can’t knit them at the same time, which would assure symmetry. I had finished the second sleeve, and could not figure out why it did not match the first sleeve. Same decreasing, same number of stitches started with and ended with … I kept remeasuring and counting until I was crosseyed. I should have recognized the symptoms, because in the end, it was that I had used the smaller needles reserved for the cuffs on the whole sleeve. There was an odd ridge where I picked up stitches, but I thought that was my sloppy work. Nope, it was my lack of attention. So now I’m back in business, and Oliver may have this sweater before he grows too big for it after all! {/knitting diatribe}

After the game, Jason and I decided to play some Lego Star Wars. I wanted to listen to an album at the same time, so I thought long and hard about what one would listen to while playing Lego Star Wars.

I'm Obi Wan.

Now, it could be something light and whimsical, like the Juno soundtrack, because of the kidlike, Lego quality to the game, but I went with something that would make me want to get just a teensy bit agro, and revel in all the limbs I was going to be disassembling. I went with Superchrist.


We’ve listened to it enough now that we can sing along, and since Lego Star Wars is fairly easy to play, we could concentrate on both at the same time. It was a fantastic evening. Thank you, Superchrist. You’re keeping my marriage strong, and my deaf cat alert.

Face in your face

I just finished catching up with one of my favorite blogs, The Sneeze. I got to read the saga of The Face (read it here). Basically, Steve’s dad always drew this face on cards, birthday cakes, etc.
The Face

Steve interviewed his father about it, and after blogging about it, found out where it originally came from. It’s a hilarious story (my favorite part, the part where I laughed silently to myself at my desk in the library, speculates on the other objects drawn on one of the cakes his father decorated), and in the end, I found myself wishing I had a signature little sketch that I could use – not as a personal symbol necessarily, but just the thing I could always draw. This feeling is somewhat related to how I feel about this symbol:
Crying of Lot 49

It’s shrouded in mystery, it’s something that could be uncovered with a little effort, and for some reason, I feel I need to come up with something similar. I’ve been using sheep in a box for my letterboxing monikor:
sheep in a box

but I think I’d like something less abstract. Nothing says ‘cheers, friend!’ like a funny face. Or a robot bunny.

Any suggestions?

Happy belated New Year

Happy Ocho, everyone. Don’t you just love 2008? It’s so … round-y.

New Years splash

Jason and I went to Holden Beach to hang out with friends and play a lot of whiffleball. (I got MVP.) At some point I decided it would be a good idea to get a bottle of champagne for the express purpose of dumping it on my own head. It’s semi-baptismal, it’s like christening a ship, and spizzy.

Since Jason was there, he got it too. (He MUST have seen it coming. I’d been talking about it for days.) It was so much bubbly as it was brisk. Next time, I won’t use chilled champagne.

I made the resolution to always carry a Sharpie with me, and Jason and I together agreed that we’d like to spend New Years 2009 knowing that we’d be living in the same place in the new year.