Monday, May 24, 2010
Patron: Do you know of any good books?
Me: Sure. Depends on what you like.
Patron: I'm looking for something good.
Me: [I rattle off a few of my favorites which usually juvenile, YA or some fantasy.]
Patron: I don't really like that kind of book.
Me: My adult reading, sadly, has been lacking. I can recommend some good teen or kid books; I've been trying to keep up with what my kids (as in library) are reading. I can recommend [insert last adult book I read which usually involves some type of murder]
Patron: Oh. I'm looking for Terry McMillan's (or some other author's) new book. You know, the sequel to Waiting to Exhale (or some other series).
Me: That's not out until September (or it checked out).
Patron: Well, I'm looking for a good book, you know, a drama. One of 'our' books.
At this point, depending on how much coffee and the time of day I handle this request with either a list of books I have read and loved, do a quick search of "our authors" type of books or a combo of both. As one of two, I am frequently called upon to recommend books to entice the most reluctant readers as well as books for those"just starting to read again" but are only looking for Black authors. I mostly don't mind; I love books and I love to share what I'm reading. I do mind, however, when my my recommendations are shot down because someone doesn't want to try something different and refuses to give my recommendations a try (yes, I do have feeling s too ya know!). In my role as library chick, I feel like I should offer a variety of books, especially if they are books that I really love regardless of author or genre. But I'm torn. Do I offend a reader by suggesting what they are NOT asking for? Do I gain a new reader when I offer a new genre? Am I underestimating my reader, insulting them by not trusting them enough when I don't offer the books that I am reading? Am I disconnected from my patrons?
The book group that I am a part of answered a host of these questions. Professor Morris and the members of the group have shared reads that they love, offered ideas to engage readers and given me the confidence to pull that neglected book from the shelf to be loved by a new reader. In addition to the professional bonding that I have gotten, I have also been encouraged to trust my readers.
Sometimes, and because it's me*, I get flustered. I haven't been keeping up with the latest books and it shows! The only reason I knew about Waiting to Exhale's sequel was a tweet that I happened to read from a friend. Patrons often request books from other libraries that leave me scrambling to order. I have trouble keeping up and feel like I will never catch up! It can be positively overwhelming! But once I talk myself out of the equation, I learn from my patrons, they teach me to trust them and eventually they are reading the latest Karin Slaughter, Walter Mosely and Ian Rankin along with Markus Zusak or Rick Riordan along side Terry, Eric and E Lynn. The more I work, stop being so self conscious and listen (key) I realize that whether it be "our" books or any book, I am making connections and more readers.
Checking out books,
*I've got issues and here is the Poor Rachée part of the post.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
(Image credits at end of blog*)
...or another lazy blog post.
Note: This post has gratuitous cussin'!
Since Ironman 2 and Sam Jackson as Col Nick Fury, I have been looking for this list of The TOP 10 Things We Want To Hear Samuel L. Jackson's Character 'Jedi Master Mace Windu' Say in the Star Wars Prequels. I FINALLY found it on netscrap.com.
Please to enjoy M----- F-----!
10. You don't need to see my g*ddamn identification, 'cause these ain't the m*th*rf*ckin' droids you're looking for.
9. Womp rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'll never know, 'cause even if it did I wouldn't eat the filthy m*therf*cker.
8. This is your father's lightsaber. When you absolutely, positively, have to kill every m*therf*ckin' stormtrooper in the room... accept no substitutes.
7. If Obi-wan ain't home then I don't know what the f*ck we're gonna do. I ain't got no other connections on Tattooine.
6. Feel the Force, m*th*rf*cker.
5. What ain't no planet I've ever heard of! Do they speak Bocce on What?
4. You sendin' the Fett? Sh*t, Hutt, that's all you had to say!
3. Yeah Chewie Rocky Horror's got a hair problem. What the brother gonna do? He's a wookie.
2. Does Jabba the Hutt look like a bitch?
1. Hand me my lightsaber... it's the one that says, 'Bad M*therF*cker.'
Leave your favorite quote in the comments.
Cause I'm sick of these mf'n lurkers on my mf'n blog!**
*Picture courtesy of Lopez Tonight (http://www.lopeztonight.com/whats_your_favorite_samuel_jackson_quotes.php?page=3)
**I really don't mind if you lurk but let me know what you think!
Friday, May 14, 2010
As far as superheroes goes, Ironman is on par with Batman. Rich, playboy with daddy issues who's powers are of the man made variety and not due to exposure to some sort of radiation, alien encounters or the like. Where Batman/Bruce Wayne was born when his parents were murdered in front of him, Ironman was born when Tony Starks had to literally save his life after being kidnapped by terrorists*.
The movie was pretty good. I can't really remember the first one; but I am not going to compare and contrast. This is all nitpicking and waxing dreamily about RDJ shirtless, Scarlett Johannsen in a leotard (I am so hitting the gym after work today!) and what the bleep is going on with Mickey Rourke's face?
-Robert Downey Jr is an enigma.
Hollywood and the public at large, are usually such an unforgiving group but it seems that the talent and charisma possessed by MR. Downey has more than made up for his past indiscretions. Despite a shady history of drugs, arrests and other stuff, RDJ always seems to come back on top. (I could get into a whole how we build people up to knock them down but I don wanna; it's Friday)
-What the heck is going on with Mickey Rourke's face? He looks a mess! He's an excellent actor but I swear I was distracted by his face. I'm no beauty queen (and in fact I am breaking out as we speak) but really, what is the deal?
-Not sure who is luckier...
...Ryan Reynolds or Scarlett Johannson. She was HOT as Black Widow and all I can say is I'm hitting somebody's gym or track today.
-I love Terrence Howard but Don Cheadle made a better Rhoadie. Don Cheadle is always such a fine actor and this was no exception. I heart him**.
-Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper Potts was a whiny pain in the tuckus! I'm sure working for the likes of Tony Starks is not fun but really, she was a bit of a nag and a drag.
I know that I will see Ironman 2 again once it hits DVD or in a theater if someone is willing to take a sister (I went to a late evening show and while I enjoy the thrill of the movie 22.00 bucks for two tickets was a bit much!)
r's addendum (5/17/2010) I forgot all about the two Sams! Samuel L Jacksin as Nick Fury and Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer! Both were excellent as a badass (Fury) and an ass (Rockwell).
*That's it for backstory, if you need more do a google search.
**NOt as much as I heart pizza. A gal's gotta have some standards.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I still can't think of anything to write so here are random things going through my head.
1) I am digging Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings new CD, I Learned the Hard Way. So far I have given this heavy rotation in the car, at work (shh! Don't tell!) and I love it! My early favorites: Tracks 2 (I Learned the Hard Way) 5 (Money) and 7 (Window Shopping).
2) Relief is flooding me as I am still able to wear a sweater to work. This means a few more weeks to cover up from the cookies that I ate during my group today (and the tastes of snacks that I have been sneaking from the back table at work).
3) I Heart Will Hillenbrand!
I had the opportunity to meet him and he wowed me by being such a nice guy, reminding me of my friend Jeff and because he genuinely seemed to love kids.
He draws upside down, encouraged me to draw and has known his wife since she was one week old.
That's it for now. This is feeling forced and not so much fun for me. Next week I hope to be a bit more prepared.
Thinking thoughts I never thought before,
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Even the most casual visitor may notice my fanatic postings about weight, getting in shape, the desire to have a better body image and to practice positive self love. As a someone combating a lifetime of mixed messages from the media, family and those helpful folks whole feel they have a right, nay, duty to comment on my weight, I have attempted to raise my tween without most of the body hangups I enjoyed [tongue firmly pressed into cheek]. I have struggled to keep my derogatory comments about my feelings of self to myself as well as practiced the positive self talk that will ensure that The Bee will never miss a party, school or work because she feels fat. The process is one that needs to be practiced daily. Closet lotto is a fickle game and there are times that my outfit can make or break my attitude for the day.
At lunch a few weeks ago, I thumbed through a People magazine, cause um, I like the music recommendations, and saw there was a book called "How to never look fat again : over 1,000 ways to dress thinner without dieting" by Charla Krupp. After sucking my teeth and thinking that there are never books like this for men, I drank the Kool-Aid and added my name to the list to get a copy when it became available.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Anyhoodle, I thought about bad cop movies and I wanted to compile a list of them but really couldn't think of more so here a few movies I have seen in the last few months because I know you wanna know! Using my very scientific** rating system I will share my movie thoughts from the last few weeks.
Really good: Would see in a theater, full price
Good: Would see in a theater, matinee with smuggled in snacks
Fair: Will wait until it comes to the library (cause I can rent for free for a week in Philly or a buck in Delco for three days)
Poor: Will wait until it comes to premium cable
Awful: Will wait until it comes to regular cable (aka TNT, USA, etc)
God awful: Will wait until it comes on network television and I am too lazy or impaired to find the remote to change the channel
1) Cop Out.
Besides the funniest bits being shown on television, (the thing about the kid asking if he is being harassed by the cops because he is Black and Brotha Man whining, No, because you're ten! for one) the movie made no sense. Veteran cops making dumbass mistakes, a whole thing with Earl Hickey being a rich man and therefore a dick, and Brotha Man suspecting his wife of cheating [stolen directly from True Lies but hey!].
As much as I have complained about this movie I probably will watch it once it hits HBO and complain about it some more.
2) The Lightening Thief, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
The Bee, Dill and I went to see Percy Jackson when it came out and while The Bee and Dill loved it, I was not so impressed. I do appreciate that the written word cannot be translated on screen I was a bit perturbed that Percy was aged from 12 to 17 and whined about his dyslexia throughout the movie, the AnnaBeth character was combined with the Clarisse character from the book and therefore became a big Amazonian know it all and that the only two characters of color, Brandon T Jackson's Glover and Rosario Dawson's Persephone were (surprise, surprise) sexualized and Persephone was akin to a predator. Really? Really! Rosario Dawson's Persephone was all over Grover from the time he entered Hades with double entendres, clearly hitting on him and although married, it was insinuated that something happened between the two of them once all was right in the world. By comparison, the Percy and Annabeth characters enjoyed a sweet flirtation that ended with a sweet kiss at the end of the movie.
Rating: Fair because of the Grover/Persephone thing
Verdict: I will watch this movie again once it is available at work but I will make sure to read the books with The Bee.
3) Alice in Wonderland (in 3D)
Tim Burton's dark imagining of a grown Alice, an Underland led astray and Johnny Depp as a ginger was too much for me. Without going into the plot (something about Tim Burton's wife being a bitch and her sister, Mia Thermopolis, aka Anne Hathaway, being a wuss and Underworld needing Alice to slay the Jabberwocky) the movie was CGI, live action, loud and I want my money back!
When Disney Channel airs this during a three day weekend event (and anyone with kids KNOWS this will happen several times) I will catch it again. Perhaps I will enjoy it more without knowing that I spent he equivalent to a week's worth of gas. Probably not
4) Clash of the Titans
Again 3D. The hero, Perseus looked like he was pissed that he was in the movie the entire time. A remake of the eighties movie, this modern version relied too much on CGI, assumed that people would be impressed with Liam Neeson as Zeus (I wasn't although Ralph Fiennes as Hades made me want to take a walk on the dark side) and assumed that plot could be overlooked for action (it can't).
Rating: Fair. Verdict: Yes, I complained but it's mythology and I am a sucker for it! When it hits the desk at work I'm so borrowing it again!
5)Where the Wild Things Are
It had all the makings of a decent film: Catherine Keener, Spike Jones (loved Fatboy Slim's Praise You!) and I love the book. However this movie will a chore to watch! This moody, tortured film was loosely about some bad ass kid making mischief. Not being one to spank my kid, even *I* think Max just needed to have his ass beat, screw not having dinner. Anywho, the Wild Things were these monsters who seemed to based on the pain in the asses that you encounter at work (of course not MY work) or Jury duty.
Rating: God Awful
Verdict: Once was truly enough.
Ironman due out this week. Still haven't seen Kickass although I've heard good things about it and Toy Story 3 and Shrek 4 are on the horizon. I have been hitting the theaters more than I usually would and think that I am going to see the summer blockbusters, especially when the heat index is hella*** high. More later.
Stocking up at 5Below,
**It's not really scientific.
***That's the second time I used 'hella' today. Three more times and I own that word.
There are several websites that have a day full of alliteration (ie Movie Mondays, Wordless Wednesdays, Five for Friday, Six for Sunday) dedicated to one topic or another and I decided to
1. Getting out of my comfort zone is good.
Last night Leaky gave me tickets to a Phillies game and although I have emphatically expressed my dislike of the game, I had a blast! My friend Tom is a huge Phillies fan and went with. We missed the first three innings and despite the Phillies losing, I got caught up in the excitement. As we entered the park the sea of red almost made me want to jump on the bandwagon. While I may have though Shane Vittorino's name was actually 'Vic Torrino' and thought the crowd was booing Carlos Ruiz (Chooooooooo!) I eventually got caught up in the noise, excitement and good times to be had. We witnessed first hand the shenanigans of the Phillies Phanatic, a few Asian dances (because it's some kind of Asian Culture month in Philly) and the dude who decided it was a good idea to run on the field during the game.
Tom trying to watch the game despite my
2. Being prepared takes a lot of pressure off.
4. I'm cold!
I have oft complained about being cold and yet, hate to do so at work as our air is temperamental at best. Today, however, I am COLD!!!! I have a sweatshirt on and will keep one on the back of my chair. It's going to be a long summer.
That's all folks.
Thanks for checking me out!
Thinking some good thinks,
*And by different I mean, I stole this, er borrowed from another blog!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
She works hard for the money
So hard for it, honey
She works hard for the money
So you better treat her right
Donna Summer, She Works Hard For the Money
This morning I woke up extra early, heart racing, head pounding as I contemplated my week ahead. This is my last week at my second gig and while grateful for the job, I do miss that my Tuesdays and Sundays aren't mine for nine months of the year. Simultaneously, while thankful to get such a convenient gig and relieved for the two extra days a week that I will have no obligations, I am also panicked at the thought of loosing a second income for three months. The normal thoughts ran through my head:
The if onlys: If only I had saved, planned better, budgeted better... If only I had finished school I could have my pick of jobs.
The shoulda, coulda, wouldas: Should have been looking for a second job, Could have found one by now if I REALLY looked, would like to work for cookies (oops!)
Money is not something that I write much about in my blog. It's a subject that makes me uncomfortable for a variety of reasons that I will discuss in depth later. I like money, I work to make money but my relationship with money is so fragile that I would sooner tell you how much I weigh than what's in my bank account. In the last year I have been better at monitoring my spending but I have still really had to fight impulses to buy stuff just because. It's more comforting to have money in my pocket than, say another ball of yarn and that added option of being able to BUY that yarn is priceless. When I think about my money woes, I get so overwhelmed! Each time I pull out my checkbook determined to balance it and reconcile my funds, I procrastinate, putting it off thinking that later will be the time.
The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I want money
The Flying Lizards, Money lyrics
Without having crafted a formal budget (OK, lack of funds made this work) I took some mature girl pills and have been making more conscious spending decisions. Do I need five crochet hooks? No. Do I want them? Yes! Will I get them? no.
It's been tough; I like the thrill I get when I go into a store and can take the pretty new thing home with me. I like the hunt for the bargain knowing that I can tell the story of getting blah, blah, blah for half off. I like eating out cause I don't have to clean the dishes but all of these conveniences come at a price and the comfort of having my own trumps the spending frenzy...sometimes.
With my Etc Move becoming more and more real, my role as responsible adult is being brought smack dab into center stage. While married, The Bee's dad (TBD) handled most of the bills and I gladly allowed it. When we went our separate ways, I took up my slack but honestly living with my mom was living with my mom. I helped but she really took care of the heavy stuff and when needed I stepped up. Now it's all on me and I am totally scared shitless! I want to take care of my own, during the fights at the end of our TBD and my relationship he would make sure to throw in my face exactly what he had did and how grateful I should be. Because of this, I feel honor bound to get my shit together and take care of The Bee and me.
Money makes the world go around
…the world go around
…the world go around.
Money makes the world go around
Of that we both are sure…
*raspberry sound* on being poor!
Liza Minnelli, Money, Money (Caberet)
A blogger friend writes without apology about her money woes, more honest than I think I could ever dare to be. Once again I would rather share what size shirt I wear than talk about money. My worry is that I will be judged and looked at as a bad person who cannot take care of herself if I come clean about money and bills and cash. It may as well be Greek when I am called upon to make a budget, to balance my checkbook and I just feel sleepy when Market Place comes on the radio*. My financial stresses have caused many a 3am wake up and I realize that ignoring it won't go away.
Only boys who save their pennies
Make my rainy day
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
Madonna, Material Girl
My grandmother always said, "Romance, without finance is a nuisance!" and she ain't lying! I joke that the next Mr. Rachee will be an old rich man (la da di da di da da!), referring to a former supervisor's edict: First marriage is for love, second is for money. Gosh knows I am NOT a gold digger but I will be looking for someone a little more financially savvy than myself. I am not going to be in some man's pocket but like Gwen Guthrie says:
`Cause nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin
'You got to have somethin' if you wanna be with me
`Cause life is too serious, love's too mysterious
A fly girl like me needs security
`Cause ain't nothin' goin' on but the rent
You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Some people got to have it
Hey, Hey, Hey - some people really need it
The O-Jays, For the Love of Money
I do feel powerless as I worry if, like the number on the scale, the number in my account is going to make or break my day. Unlike the number on the scale, I am happier seeing the bank account number climb higher and higher. So, instead of whining about not having money, being broke, busted and disgusted (thanks Rob) I decided to face my problems head on.
Initially I avoided credit counseling because I felt like I could do it on my own or that someone would KNOW what I was doing and make fun (because people have so much time and energy to waste on me but I digress). It was a relief to speak to someone about my shameful secret, to have someone guide me through the things I needed to do in order to get back on track and hey, I like the way I feel like I can control what I want to do instead of a number. I feel a sense of possibility that I have not felt in a while and a burden has been lifted. I will look forward to getting paid weekly but I won't have that sense of desperate need that grips me at times.
*I feel that Stephen Beard will come through the radio and bitch slap me for not understanding his financial news reports