Crunch Time

Yes, it is one week before Christmas. Yes, I am having my parents over for the holidays starting this Friday. No, the house is not yet completely clean and you cannot set foot inside the guest room--literally. No, the Christmas tree is not yet up. No, I have not yet finished my "Christmas card" post.

To qualify to criticize me, however, you must first compare the amount of recent messages in both your work and personal email inboxes with mine, take a look at my to-do list, and then add to that the fact that My Awesome Boss's last day was last Friday. If you still feel that my inability to adequately prepare for the holidays is disgraceful, then feel free to post your disapproving comments here.

My weekend was spent:

  • deep-cleaning the house (4 1/2 rooms down, 2 1/2 to go)
  • waiting in line at 4am for a Wii (denied yet again, but finally got two remotes and nunchucks!!)
  • looking at house floorplans
  • coloring the new kitchen design that Alex CAD-ed for his parents (it's really hard to tell windows from cabinets if it's in black and white)

And here's a photo that I'll always treasure, not just because it's of Valerie and of myself, but because it showcases Edward-in-Rare-Books's unique talent for capturing a person's personality in an image. Thanks, Edward, for posting this priceless image to the library newsletter so that all 100-something employees can point and mock and wonder why on earth someone hired me for a professional position.

My heartfelt thanks this week go out to Valerie, for being such a great boss and good friend with a listening ear, and to Kelly of McKinney Best Buy, for calling me the instant she found another nunchuck controller. My best wishes go to Kristen as she applies for a UNT position--which is a bit selfish, as well, since I'd love to have her around again.

This post has been sponsored by the letter "A."


TV Will Rot Your Brain Out, Kid

Last night was the night of terrible TV. Okay, the Gilmore Girls episode we watched (the last episode of Season 4, "Raincoats and Recipes"), wasn't terrible overall, but the end with Rory and Dean... let's just say that I hate Rory a little right now. And I'm really mad she messed up the moment when Lorelai was going to tell her about Luke. Dangit, that kid!

Then we watched Duplex, the only redeeming aspect of which was the fact that it proved that I have an uncanny sense for quality (or lack thereof) in movie trailers--and also that, once again, ComingSoon.net's reviews tend to be pretty right-on.

To cleanse our brains, we watched a new episode of Smallville... ouch. It was more like "A Very Special Episode of Smallville: Immigration." I don't care what your side is on the immigration issue, there's no way you could have enjoyed this episode. I've seen a lot of shows with mysteriously-absent foreign accents, but this kid didn't even try to pretend he came from Mexico (to... Kansas?) only weeks earlier. Which he explains--naturally!--by saying he watched a lot of American TV. Honey, I've watched an indecent amount of Telemundo, I've lived in two Mexico-bordering states, and Mexican food is my default cuisine, but that doesn't mean I can say "Donde esta el bano?" with a perfect accent. Or without hesitation.

I'm sorry--usually I don't judge a naturally-cheesy show like Smallville so harshly, but two of the best three characters (Green Arrow, Lois, and Cloe) were absent, leaving it a lack-luster, Clark-heavy episode. I'm hard-pressed to say if the most painful lines were Clark's wooden discussion with the border agent, or the so-predicable-I-actually-uttered-it-first dialog between Clark and Lex--the same exact conversation they've had for at least four episodes this season, and a couple from last season.

Green Arrow's going to be the only reason to get this season on DVD, let me tell you. Speaking of which, here's an interview with our new intrepid hero.

It's no big surprise that CBR readers, like myself, like Hiro Nakamura best on NBC's "Heroes" --64.11% at the moment!

And now for CBR's discussion of "Heroes..." The writers claim to know all about solutions to the time paradoxes and Eden's persuasive power not-so-revealed, etc. I do really love the reader-proposed theory that since Sylar can detect "broken" people, he would have known if Jackie didn't have powers, therefore she did, meaning that Peter actually failed to "Save the cheerleader, save the world." (Yes, it's the cheesiest tagline ever. I'm just sayin'.)

Okay, I'm really dense, because the writer pointed out that many of the names have something in common: Isaac. Matt. Peter. Gabriel. Micah. Eden. Nathan. Biblical names, huh? Iiiiinteresting.



TGIF = Tired, Gosh I'm Frazzled

Okay, I finally wised up. After four years of failures, I've decided I'll just post my Christmas letter here, instead of trying to print a letter / email a letter / create a webpage for it. Sheesh.

I'm worn out--it's been a week of meetings, lunches out, farewell parties, and a dizzying list of things I'm realizing need to be taken care of. And have I mentioned that I haven't yet put up our Christmas tree? At this rate, if it's not up by Monday, I think I'll have to resign myself to its absence. Shameful as that is, considering it's a pre-lit tree that I don't plan to otherwise decorate.

I feel like curling into a little ball on the couch under the warm, warm blanket and sleeping through the rest of the winter. But I'll have to get up tomorrow to work and get my haircut, so something tells me my plans won't last.


Traditiooooon, Tradition!

(You've got to sing the title with the "Fiddler on the Roof" soundtrack in mind.)

I thought I'd write a little about Christmas family traditions, since it's getting to be that time of year. As a kid I just assumed that most families did what mine did during the holidays, but now I find it interesting to hear everyone else's traditions. Hey--feel free to add comments about your favorite holiday tradition!

In my small family of three, we centered a lot of the festivities around Christmas Eve, which was fine by me. This is because 1) I have always been by nature an impatient person, 2) not believing in Santa meant that most of the presents were around the tree before Christmas morning anyway, and 3) most importantly, Christmas Eve has always been more magical to me than Christmas morning. This is because it's dark, so you can see all the twinkling lights, and it's hushed, and there's anticipation in the air for the morning to come. Most of my favorite Christmas memories are of the evening before--like several years ago at my in-law's house. Alex's sisters were putting their then-infant children to bed, so he and our brother-in-law Frank and I were playing with these tiny radio-control cars around the Christmas tree. It must have been around midnight, and we had to giggle really quietly so as not to wake the kids, and I just felt like I was a ten-year-old trying not to wake my parents. It was great!

My parents and I had this tradition where one of us would read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke--which I have always found is the most beautiful version of that story, all that great language: "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed..." Then we would each open at least one gift--in some years we'd open every gift but one, and open just that and our stockings in the morning. I loved how delightfully forbidden that felt!

Alex's family has several neat traditions that I've come to love, as well. One that has been transferred from the kids to the grandkids is that of opening one small gift each day for ten days before Christmas. They're usually small things like ornaments or toys, but it's just such a fun idea. Another tradition is that each person receives a new set of pajamas, and they get these on Christmas Eve, so that they can be worn that evening (I'm usually the only adult who still wears them Christmas morning when opening gifts, but I think after six years that the family's now fully accepted that I'm just a big kid).

And while we're on the topic of tradition, have I ever mentioned The Lizard Game on this blog? This one tradition fully encapsulates the weird hilarity of my parents, myself, and Alex.

The Lizard Game started when I was in eighth grade, attending Bracken Christian School. BCS held a fair each year--I can't remember why, now--and that year Dad and I played the game in the kindergardners' booth (I think it had to do with plastic ducks in a wading pool, but don't hold me to that). Our prize was a small, rubbery, lavender-colored lizard with a suction cup on the bottom, the type of thing you'd get from a vending machine for a quarter. I thought it was really odd--what the heck were you supposed to do with a suction-cup-lizard?--and the following morning, I found the thing firmly stuck to my bathroom mirror. Dad didn't say a word, so I grabbed the thing and hid it somewhere in his bathroom--I think it was his toothpaste drawer, the first time. Since then, for 15 years now, we've been hiding this lizard and its kin. For the first probably four years, we never talked about it, just found new and bizarre places to hide it. I think the first comment I ever heard about it was when Mom called to tell me that Dad was completely startled to find the thing in his shoe. I'd stuffed it in the toe, and the lizard being of a very squishy consistency, apparently Dad initially thought that the dog had left something less-than-desirable in his footwear. Heh, heh.

The first lizard was lost sometime during my first year at college, and was soon replaced by a similar one--no suction cup, though. He's appeared in many forms since--he's been color-photocopied and mailed more than once--and now there is a whole legion of lizards hiding in my parents' house and my own. I'll find them sometimes months after my parents have visited, on the top edge of a painting, or a high shelf, or a drawer. Upon being startled out of my wits by my mother's clever placement of a particularly large lizard in my washing machine, I retaliated with one in her toilet-tank (Alex disengaged the flush to be sure she'd check the tank). We find them in our luggage, in mailed packages, in lunchsacks. Alex has, of course, fully embraced the game and come up with some quite clever hiding places.

And I wonder if my parents ever found the one I stuck in the coffee grounds bag in the freezer... two years ago. (Hi, mom!)


"I Failed You, Senator"*

*Sorry, it's just that anytime I've heard the word "senator, " for the past four years, that line haunts me. And yes, working in GovDocs, this happens a lot.

I listened to an hour of the Gates Confirmation Hearing with the Senate Arms Committee yesterday, and found it unusually compelling for a) a hearing, and b) a political gathering on c) the radio, where you can't distract yourself from the chatter by wondering what on earth that senator's wife was thinking when she bought him that tie. Then again, I think it's simply further proof that either a) I'm getting old very quickly, or b) this job is interesting me in things I didn't care about before, considering that I now not only will talk politics--one of the few topics in conversation that I used to remain absolutely silent on (out of mixed boredom and fear of conflict)--but I now seek out opportunities to do so, and regularly start discussion of political topics with my husband. My husband, who is similarly becoming interested in all this stuff, which is part of the reason that I suspect my interest isn't due solely to my job--since he tests office software for mobile phones, and the Iraq Study Group's upcoming report will have no direct correlation to his position. Hmmm... not that I know of, anyway.

Unrelated Banter
We had a farewell party this afternoon at work for my Awesome Boss, who leaves in a week and a half. It was a good party--great spread; yum!--but of course I'd far rather she didn't leave at all. Sigh...

And here's the link to my final presentation for my Online Family Archive in my Digital Libraries course. I plan on cleaning up the records, getting better (and lots more) images, and exporting them all in XML to use in a database of my choosing (or, if I'm insane enough, my own design).

Geoff Klock's asking for your 10 favorite comics/graphic novels list--not of all time, or the best, just your "most-fun" list at this moment. Here's mine:
  1. Neil Gaiman's Stardust
  2. Fables: Legends in Exile
  3. Digger (vol. 1 / 2)
  4. Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl
  5. Batgirl: Year One
  6. Death: The High Cost of Living
  7. Persepolis
  8. all of Frank Miller's Batman work
  9. Lone Wolf and Cub (currently on vol. #2)
  10. Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics / Making Comics (I know, I cheated!)
Nintendo's Wiimote Warning: Do NOT sling your Wiimote across the room. To which I reply: Uh-Duuuuuuuuh! This person obviously didn't get the warning, and this gal might want to take heed.

You want these shirts.
You know you do.

Pop-Culture Junkie

Just to show you how sadly DVR- and cable-dependant Alex and I have become, I must relate Sunday morning's crisis. Alex turned on the TV to watch a quick home improvement show before going out to work on plumbing for the building--perhaps this was to psych himself up? Anyway, the TV flashes this message eerily similar to Windows' infamous Blue Screen of Death, in both message and color: Some of the information on your DVR has become corrupted. Please delete all content.

Now, to understand the utter panic this instilled in both our hearts, and the insane shriek of rage I let out, you must first know: we have half a season of Stargate on this DVR. Six episodes of Battlestar Galactica that we have been hoarding for a Real Weekend. And the two last episodes of Heroes. Plus untold scads of DIY and History Channel shows. I suddenly became fully aware of how important cable TV is to my life, and I just wanted it all back, magically!

Luckily, a little of the old power off/on trick and what I presume was a magical combination of buttons that Alex punched, it was restored. But we're suddenly afraid to trust it. And wondering just how soon we can schedule that BSG day.

Speaking of Heroes, we did watch both episodes Monday night. I'm not saying that it's not still cheesy nor increasingly filled with disturbing time paradoxes (Hiro gave Charlie the phrasebook?). But the last two episodes have revealed that as slapdash and predictable as the pilot made this show seem, there was actual forethought given not only to the overall plot, but a mildly complex back-story, as well. I'm not saying it's not incredibly coincidental that everything important happened to all eight characters exactly six months ago, but whatever--it's television, not epic poetry. A point that was brought forth beautifully in one of the lines of the latest episode when the super-villain, a former clockmaker, who says of his power--understanding how other people's powers work--"I know what makes them [significant pause]... tick."


Simultaneously watching Gilmore Girls Season 4, however, produces a weird reaction between persisting in seeing Peter Petrelli as a moody, rebellious teenager, and Jess as a power-mooching hospice nurse. It's disturbing.

After the DVR crisis was averted, we came across MTV's "My Super Sweet 16," which for those of you fortunate enough not to know about, is a reality show about ridiculously wealthy kids and the elaborate shindigs (and tantrums) they throw for their sixteenth birthday. We couldn't decide whether to laugh or vomit when this young princeling of a rap company uttered, "I get everything I want... but I deserve it." He was thrown immediately into a depressed panic when he found out that no, in the state of New Jersey you can't enter your party with two tigers on leashes. That just ruined his whole grand entrance idea, let me tell you. He substituted an entrance on camel-back with twenty African dancers preceding him, but I'm sure it just wasn't the same.

I wonder how many years it will be before he hates his parents for giving him everything he wanted?

Playing Catch-Up (Not Catch)

School's done, and now I can finally blog all the thoughts I've kept pent up in random wordpad documents for the past week and a half.

Thanksgiving Holiday
Alex's first-cousin-once-removed, David, came to my parents' house in San Antonio, and we joined them for a fun three-day holiday. During that time, we:Then we came back and worked on the building, and I dubbed myself the Insulation Queen (to the tune, of course, of Abba's "Dancing Queen"). And had to take two sick days thereafter because I didn't wear a dust mask.

And in the mail: a collection of 50 martyr stories told by various comic artists. Hagiography and graphic storytelling: a bizarre pairing made in my kind of heaven.

Last Weekend
The use of a dust mask this go-round averted further insulation-related misery on my part, although Alex couldn't handle his mask for long and thus suffered, sadly. At least neither of us took sick days as a result, this time.

I spent Sunday working on my school projects--just like old times, before I graduated! Alex went shooting with our friend Brandon (the boardgame geek, not the Star Wars geek), and then they came back to the house and we all played Carcassone the City (which I beat them both at--woohoo!), and Mykerinos (which I was horrible at, but found interesting). We had much fun, but also much sadness, as Brandon is soon moving to Seattle.

And as for the rest of what happened on Sunday... we suffered the Great DVR Crisis. You can read about it in a post I'm titling, "Pop-Culture Junkie."


Starr's Not-So-Chicken Tortilla Soup

I'm currently eating the leftovers of this on my lunch-break:
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes (drain one can)
  • 2 cans corn (drained)
  • 2 cans black beans (drained)
  • 1 can green chiles (with juice)
  • 1/2 to 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped (can use green onion also/instead)
  • chopped peppers to taste (optional)
  • 1 lb pre-cooked sausage OR 1-2 lbs. frozen/fresh chicken breasts

season with:
  • garlic pepper (liberal)
  • chili powder (2-3 dashes)
  • lime pepper (3 dashes)
  • taco seasoning (slightly less than garlic pepper)
  • (mix together; total amount should equal about 3-4 tbsp)

Place ingredients in crockpot and cook for 4-8 hours (on high if using chicken).
Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or plain yogurt.
Eat with tortilla chips or rolls.


Gingerbread Waffles

Since I haven't backtracked yet to this weekend's activities, I'll give you a "taste" of them by posting this scrumptious recipe we tried. Fair warning: it's yummy, but it took over an hour and five people working in the kitchen. Labor-intensive!!!

Gingerbread Waffles
makes 12 waffles
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup molasses (when we ran out of molasses, we substituted honey for the remainder)
  • 1 cup milk (add more milk to use same batter for pancakes)

Ginger Cream Topping
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger (we substituted 1 tbsp ground ginger, because the crystallized ginger kept clumping together)
  • pre-chill a mixing bowl in the fridge or freezer

To prepare waffles, combine flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Ad egg yolks, molasses and milk. Stir in flour mixture. (At this point the mixture may be refrigerated overnight.) In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the batter. Bake according to manufacturer's directions in a preheated waffle iron (add more milk to thin batter if making pancakes). Waffles may be kept warm in a 200 degree oven on a cake rack placed over a baking shet. Dollop with cream topping before serving. Goes well with cranberry compote.

To prepare topping, combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip until mixture forms soft peaks. Stir in ginger. Refrigerate until serving time.

Kristen & Tihleigh, I know at least one of you has got to try this. You're my bakin' gal-pals.


Sick Day

My apologies for lack of posts--our trip to San Antonio for the holiday was followed by a day of insulating the bathroom in the building, which was followed by two sick days of misery related to my lack of common sense, i.e., not wearing a dust mask during afore-mentioned insulating. I'm only now back at work; I've got notes and some photos to share about the holiday that I hope to get up later this week, but from last weekend until next Tuesday promises to be my busiest, most stressful period all year. Expect my full triumphant return here in early December.

Which reminds me, wasn't there something about putting up some kind of tree...? Perhaps I'd better get around to that before Christmas, eh?


Hungry for Some Art?

BoingBoing reports that Barney's of New York is selling Andy Warhol-inspired Campbell's soup cans.

Unrelated Banter:

My office door made it to YouTube! Check out this student film, featuring the library mall and third floor of Willis (my door is the one near the clock).

Yep, still adding DC photos to flickr (this is a railing near the Capitol building):

And Some Linky-Loos:

Geeky Girlz

...So, I'll have to concur with Slashdot on this one: CNET's Top Ten Girl Geeks list is great.... except for what the heck are Daryl Hannah and Paris Hilton doing on this list?! I don't know in what crazy world a socialite tiny-dog-carrying fashion-loving corny-actress heiress qualifies as a geek--but it's a very, very scary one.

Happy Turkey Day!

So, we're off to San Antonio for the rest of the week--have fun, kids. Eat lots, enjoy loved ones, and be sure to avoid repetitive holiday movie broadcasts for the rest of the season.

...And if you can't wait to get your Men of TLA Calendar to see Dr. Totten's page, enjoy this sneak preview.


A Sad Day for Entertainment News

No Peter Jackson's Hobbit--no, no, no!!!!
I read this on Slashdot on Monday and hoped it was a wild rumor. Sigh... Can't New Line and Jackson put aside their squabbles over pay just long enough to make the movie their public is longing for? I'm afraid to watch a Hobbit by another director, I really am.

Robert Altman died Monday night at age 81. This makes me sad; we own The Company and Gosford Park, and I've been looking forward to seeing A Prairie Home Companion for quite awhile now.

Today's Good News
  • My utterly-bizarre lemonade-craving this morning was perfectly timed, as a coworker unexpectedly brought some to our office party.
  • I just finished Samurai Shortstop, and can now review it for Jessica, the Cool Librarian.
  • I had a “Eureka!” moment with my book this morning--I won't be making the 50K mark next week, but at least the problemmatic opening is solved! Woohoo!
  • I now have 4 graphic novels on their way to me via BookMooch... Now if I could only learn more patience for media mail.
  • My geeky-artist-librarian expertise was put to good use today while looking for novels/comics for an art student who wanted something to read while he waited in line for a Wii. Does that sound totally up my alley, or what?
I also finished the Abilene backlog post (only LA left to cover!)

Playing Catch-Up

Yes, I finally translated all those analog blog notes into digital format. Here is the chronicle of our October journey to Washington, DC:

DC (and some LA) photos

post-dated posts:

I'll finish the end of that trip (Homecoming at HSU in Abilene) shortly, and then tackle the LA trip.


TGIF... Hold That Thought

So much for being happy that it was the weekend. The highlights were: being with Alex, and going out for a birthday dinner for one of Alex’s friends. Other than that, Alex worked—yes, beyond working late every single evening, and this is not the first weekend he’s worked—we loaded scrap metal onto my father-in-law’s trailer, and we finished the building. Which is great on the one hand—hooray! Inspections this week, then we can move our project stuff out there!—and frustrating on the other—it took us from 3pm to 8pm yesterday to finish, and after that whole weekend of work, we were absolutely dead. At 8:30pm on a Sunday. Sigh…

Actually, perhaps my favorite part of the weekend was on the way to Home Depot (for building supplies, of course), Alex and I remembered that it was the debut day for the Nintendo Wii, and Alex called Jared. Because of course, there was no doubt in our minds that Jared had not only purchased said console, but had already played several games with Justin and therefore would have gleeful and valuable information to convey. Short version: he likes the remote controller evern better than he thought he would, and from first glance, Zelda rocks. I am gleeful with anticipation, and suddenly Alex is wanting to drive to Tyler (closest place with a Wii left!) to get one. My hope is that this controller will finally let me become the Uber-Gamer I have always dreamed of being (but lacked the time/training/skilz to be). I wish to play a Zelda game completely through for the first time (okay, not counting Four Swords which rocked the hizzy, but since I had three teammates, it wasn’t achieved fully on my own merit).

Unrelated Banter:
  • Here’s a free information number (they play short ads before giving you the number, but free beats 411 charges): 800-373-3411
  • Along those lines, I’ve been screening my calls when a caller ID doesn’t show up—reject the call, then look up the number on this website. When it’s obviously a telemarketing call, I save the number under the contact name “Telemarketer”—I’ve got five numbers saved under that name now, and they immediately pop up as “telemarketer” when they call. This website’s also a fast way to report a No-Call-List violation.
  • I finally added the “Best Of” shots from our DC trip to my newest flickr account: enjoy!
  • Oh no, the movie "Stealth" comes to life! Aiieee!!! (Heh, heh, heh.)
  • Even if you already type well, you'll want to play this typing game: Qwerty Warriors. Typing "detonate" when that word appears will obliterate all other enemies/words on the screen, heh heh.
  • Very interesting, very controversial article.

esprit d'escalier

Geoff replied to my last post about wanting to sound like a Gilmore Girl with "I watched West Wing and Sports Night non stop to sound like an Aaron Sorkin character, and I did my level best, but alas, not to be.”

That got me to thinking. I think a big part of the blog movement is a reaction to the age-old problem of "esprit d'escalier--" that great French phrase from "wit" and "stairs” that means thinking of a witty remark too late. I guess it’s really just an extension of a writer’s age-old quandary, being able to write sparkling prose when you’ve got the time to think, but coming off as boring in conversations. I know that I’ve written far more witty stuff since I started blogging… but don’t think I’ve become much more interesting in conversation.

Why is it that I can have a great running commentary in my head, but it can only be pushed out by my fingers, not my mouth? It can't just be a fear or inability to speak in public, because I've tried recording my thoughts. Even when alone, speaking to a recorded stems my creative flow; the only thing I've found it useful for is recording plot points or subjects when I'm driving, or my hands are otherwise occupied.

If this isn't making a lot of sense, or seems unusually philosophical for me, it's probably because in the past 2+ weeks, I've been lucky to get 6 hours of sleep a night. Starr = no function well on less than 7 hours of sleep. Which means Starr no function well... most of the time.

Happy Holiday Feasting

I’ve just committed to making cranberry relish for the UNT Libraries’ holiday dinner. This is a Julia Child dish that my family is famous for taking to holiday events (it makes a sumptuous ice cream if you add whipped cream and freeze it). And for some reason, I thought that I needed some other project for December. Ah well, at least cranberries are healthy!

And just for fun: here are some maps showing the location from which food items traditionally served at Thanksgiving originate.

Why yes, yes I am a Huge Library Nerd.


Beta is the New Gamma

When watching The Wizard, I never thought I'd see the day that pro gamers made six figures. Yeesh, sign me up. (Guess I need to get some of those mad skilz first, though...)

Speaking of games... Wii launches tomorrow!!! And we've already got a cast of Mii characters for it (more about Mii). Playstation 3's already out and causing violence. Ah, Penny Arcade, I'm sure you'll be talking about violence again* soon, eh?

Added to Wishlist: attain the vocabulary, wit, and charm of a Gilmore Girl. (Watched 6 episodes last night.)

If ever an archive should be opened, this is it: the International Tracing Service office in Germany holds 16 miles of files pertaining to the Holocaust.

*Warning: PA strips may contain profanity, violence, and extreme sarcasm. ...In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the point.


TGIF... (And We're Home for the Weekend!)

This is evil of me, but... I opened a CRS report that was titled "Intelligence Issues in Congress." And snickered.


Not Creative Enough To Title This Post

Heard on NPR's Morning Edition:
Your Book & Movie News:
While in line at the post office today, not only did two guys stand extremely close to me--so close that if my best friend stood that close, I'd wonder if she was making a move on me--but they then proceeded to converse animatedly. With their hands. To the point that one of them brushed my hair. My short, short hair that sits close to my head. Um, hellooooo, personal space. Don't you love cultural differences in the concept of personal space?

While I was leaving the post office, I ran into my friend Beau, whom I worked with at UNT's Technical Writing Computer Lab seven ages years ago! We had lunch together and caught up; it was so great to see someone who I'd been wondering about off and on. And now he's back in the Art History dept. at UNT--Hooray for reconnections!

Smallville--it's okay and all, the angst is getting lesser... but huzzah for the Green Arrow! Not only does he have a pretty spiffy costume, but he's a fun character with great lines and--gasp--some character depth that is not all about teen angst. Ah, Lex, how you have fallen. (This dys-Lex-ia quiz sounds too funny, btw.)

Unrelated Banter:


His First Time

So I'm not sure how Brandon's Star Wars virgin experiment worked out (he was showing them to his virgin friend not in original or in chronological order, but an interesting one of his own devising)... But Entertainment Weekly got a SWv to watch all six in one night (!) and then write an article about his thoughts. That definitely takes me back to long conversations in The Line.

(They've also got an interesting feature on the 10 Worst Bond Girls, which I'm sure Jared will enjoy as much as I did. And let me cross my fingers one more time to hope that Casino Royale is at least half as spectacular as its trailer, and prove my grumblings about non-dyed hair to be petty.*)

*I was going to link to the post where I whined and moaned about Daniel Craig and the non-dying of his hair, but I can't find it. Hmph.

Media Consumption

Currently Reading:

Currently Watching

Currently Hopelessly Caught in an Obsessive Listening Loop:


Lunch Break Links

It's a Nice Day for a... Pink Wedding!

Here are some preliminary shots of our LA trip... Both our afternoon at the Santa Monica Pier, and a few shots of the wedding of Amy "Pink 5" Earhart & Terry Matalas (who, for you fellow geeks, works for Brandon Braga). Unfortunately, I have yet to find non-blurry photos of the bride & groom... but I'll keep hunting.

For commentary on these photos, you can just hop on over to my Flickr account (my trip photos are going in this new account for now, not the old one--hoping to set up my own image gallery soon-ish).


Ta-Ta to La-La-Land

Alex and I became slightly worried last night, as we listed off major changes in our likes/dislikes lists. Things that haven't changed since before we were married, that are coming fast and steady now. Monumental changes, like... Alex getting on the dance floor. Not once, not twice, but for hours, no wife-dragging/begging involved. Granted, once he realized that it only took a single glass of champagne to make me like being flipped, lifted, thrown, etc. (instead of my usual shrieking "eeeeeeek, PUTMEDOWN!"), I'm sure the whole dancing thing became a lot more attractive to him. After all, what's the good of having a tiny wife if you can't use that tiny-ness to toss her about? I mean, really.

As I still haven't translated my hard-copy blog posts from DC into this digital format, it seems kind of jumping the gun to go into the LA trip. But dude.... dude. You know those weddings in magazines and movies? The ones with sit-down dinners and gorgeous lighting and a talented DJ and more than twenty people on the dance floor at any given time shakin' their groove thang? The ones where you see the photos of the bride and a made-to-order flower girl that can't possibly be real, because of the high beauty/cuteness factors involved? The ones where you could have a polaroid instamatic and still not manage to take a less-than-perfect photo because the entire event is so gorgeously choreographed?

Yeah, it was that.

It was that, plus both sides of the family were gracious and awesome and fun and so, so nice, and all the wedding party and pals were great fun, and the entire weekend involved copious amounts of incredible food. With all this travel/food, coming home to a sinkful of dishes makes me just want to hop on another plane. (C'mon, we've done both coasts; isn't it time for Europe now?)

So, the blow-by-blow will come later, but for now let me say that yesterday, on the twelfth day of November, I spent the afternoon at the beach. In the sunshine. And called my California-born mother to let her hear the beautiful sound of the ocean.


In Other News...
  • Ursula Vernon's Black Dogs is reviewed by Library Journal!! That's like a librarian fangirl's dream.
  • A great list of Movie Librarians.
  • NaNoWriMo: I am trying, actually. I'd like to say I'm still shooting for 50k, that I have hope and belief... but I'm struggling to put out much and I was just out of town for another weekend, leaving me with two weeks left and one of them will be hijacked by Thanksgiving in San Antonio (along with finishing my online archive final class project). Be that what it is, I'm writing anyway. I've neglected this particular novel long enough, and couldn't justify trying on a new one just for NaNoWriMo, so I'm trying to fill in gaps (which is the dirty part of all my creative work: gap-filling). Sorry: no plot details forthcoming until the thing's a done deal. Keep your fingers crossed for a 2007 finish date.
Mental Playlist*:
*(heavily influenced by wedding DJ--with the exception of Schnappi)


It's Election Day...

Did you vote?
I did, and I have the sticker on my cheek to say so. I'll not delve into the wild world of politics here, but let me say: I proudly voted for some R's and some D's, and I fervently hope that Texans never again have to choose between the lesser of six evils.

I hope it doesn't make me a bad documents librarian (or a bad person) that today as I was cataloging CRS Reports, I came across "food as a weapon" -- and my first thought was cafeteria food fights.

Awesome news: I'm going to be writing reviews for FantasyBookSpot! And "They" said that blogging and reading boingboing would get me nowhere... whoever "They" is... Anyway, there are two advance copy (say it with me: ADVAAAANCE COPY) graphic novels and a fantasy novel winging their way to me right now, courtesy of the USPS and FantasyBookSpot. (Thanks, Damon! And yes, Tihleigh, you hate me more than monkeys, I know.)

NPR reported last week that UK citizens are caught on closed-circuit camera on average 300 times a day--and the plan is to extend the cameras to be all-pervasive. I had no idea it was getting that way in England--reeeeeally makes V for Vendetta look timely (again), doesn't it?

I really need to download Firefox 2, and so should you. Speaking of which... Firefox for scholars in the humanities: Zotero.

We leave for Los Angeles in two days!!! Eeek!

Linky-Loos For Your Reading Pleasure:


Update: Comic Book Education

I can't find the exact post where it started (darned Blogger and their late-to-the-party-ness with tags), but it seems it's been at least a year and a half since I started my comic book education. I thought I'd give you a little update as to what I've got, what I've read, and what's on my list.*

Digger, vol. 1
Understanding Comics
Reinventing Comics
Making Comics
Fables vol. 1
Death: The High Cost of Living
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Batman: Year One
Batgirl: Year One
Star Wars: Mara Jade: By the Emperor's Hand
Star Wars: Union
Amazing Spiderman, vol. 2
Ultimate Spiderman, vol. 1

have read:
Ghost World
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 1
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 2
Sandman: Nocturnes and Preludes
The Dark Knight Returns
The Dark Knight Strikes Again
How to Read Superhero Comics & Why

to read:
Finder by Carla Lightspeed McNeil

on its way to me:
Book of Martyrs (yep, it's a graphic novel--how cool is that? How nerdy am I?)
Thieves & Kings, vol. 1

just borrowed (friends & library):
Lone Wolf & Cub, vols. 1-4 (thanks, Vale!)
Batman alt. story
Comics as culture
Comics & culture : analytical and theoretical approaches to comics
The making of a graphic novel

sooooo on my list to own:
Digger, vol. 2
Fables... all the rest of what's published!!!
Flight (all three volumes)

also on the list to own:
Daisy Kutter
Castle Waiting
Infinite Crisis
Trigun, vol.1
How to Read Superhero Comics & Why
Batman Adventures: The Lost Years
Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run
Serenity: Those Left Behind (no, I don't care that everyone says it sucks)
Marvel 1602

*I'm going to be a little unusual in this post and not link every single title. I figure, if you like comics, you already know what I'm talking about, and if you don't, you either won't care--or you'll just type the titles into Amazon like I would. And, y'know, if you can't find it and want to know--you know how to reach me.


Clint Would Feel At Home

The Good:
--gave my metadata report and presentation of 20 records for class last night
--a friend's pregnancy is progressing beautifully
--a friend's spring wedding plans are nearly complete
--have three graphic novels winging their way to me for free (Trigun!!!)
The Bad:
--a friend may be re-diagnosed with lymphoma ...her third go-round with this disease
--a friend's second maid of honor backed out ...ten days before the wedding
The Ugly:
--life imitates art parody: NPR reported that Kerry actually said "right-wing nutjobs" yesterday. Now I'll have that darned song in my head all day.


Links in Lieu of Content Redux!

I'm still catching up on all the posts that Bloglines faithfully aggregated during my absence. This has primarily consisted of quick scans of post titles and a lot of discarding without reading. I think I can live without completely reading one week in the blogosphere. I'll have to--I don't have time to catch up completely!!
  • This Library Etiquette post further justifies my career choice, since last year at C3 we both were clad in obscure costumes that not even 80% of the Star Wars freaks in attendance recognized. I was mistaken for Tank Girl more often than Pink Five for some reason--um, hello, Star Wars convention?!--although Alex's Ice Cream Maker Guy definitely got the most delighted recognition.
  • CueCat and LibraryThing--what fun! That reminds me, I don't think Alex and I are more than half-finished using the CueCat to enter our DVD collection. (It'd probably go faster if we didn't have the scifi genre subdivided into twelve other categories like "space travel - with aliens" and "time travel.")
  • Fun for perfectionists--I mean, English majors: Typo of the Day.
  • Amazon.com reviews for bananas: "Ideal for people who like eating bananas or who wish to befriend a monkey." Indeed, my friend, indeed.
  • This place looks fun: and a damaged books room! Sigh...


Link-en-stein's Monster

In lieu of actual blog content, I bring you linky goodness.