Category Archives: April A-to-Z Challenge

Libraries

CarolineKennedy_NLW13_Leaderboard

The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.
~ Carl Sagan, Cosmos

National Library Week is April 14-20, 2013! Help your library celebrate!

Most libraries will be having some sort of special celebrations during the upcoming week. Our campus library is doing several, including a Fines for Food day, where you can bring in nonperishable food items to pay off a portion of your overdue fines in support of the local food bank. We’re celebrating our student workers with a recognition lunch, thanking them for their service throughout the year, with special recognition to our senior students, who will be leaving us in just a few weeks!

We’re also doing an Edible Book Festival on Monday, which is great fun if you’ve never experienced one before (and even more if you have!). Book and word mongers gather in celebration of wordplay, cooking, and creativity — all for the love of books! The entries can be depictions of the title or characters, food that looks like a book, puns, or other creative ideas that weld together books and food. Take a wander through a Google search to see some of the amazing creations that have been put together for festivals around the US.

I’ve been plotting my entry for a couple of weeks, searching the internet and my shelves, and mine will be no masterpiece. I’m not artistically inclined, especially when sculpting food-like things is involved. I’m far more inclined for a good pun. In fact, my first inclination was to do “The Bundt for Red October”. My husband, pulled into creative brainstorming, came up with a loaf of bread, topped with a beet as “Das Beet.” I even considered doing something from the Rare Book Room — the Book of Kell(ogg)s — but feared it overreached. So, I selected a lesser known book, but one of my favorites, so much so that I have a signed copy I’m loaning to go along with the display. Won’t win any prizes, I’m sure, but I had fun. I’ll share the results after we’re all done on Monday.

How about your favorite library — are they doing anything special? What’s the best thing about your favorite library? Make their week and tell them!

[This post is #11 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please click on the button on the right side of the page for more information about the challenge or to locate others participating — there are more than 1600!]

Previous A-to-Z posts
2012: Life’s Tragedies
2011: Labyrinth

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Kittehs

Sulley Lounge

The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.
~ Paula Poundstone

Most internet trends leave me behind, lost in the momentary whoosh when they fly by me. But one now ancient one that captured my attention was –not surprisingly– lolcats. As a cat lover, I can’t help but laugh, and I love the creativity of the captions as well. True LOLs have escaped. In part, it’s also because my fur-faced child, pictured above, inspires us to caption him as he stares us down over the course of any given day.

So, as a bit of brief respite today, I’ll share my absolute favorite kitteh lols with you in the hopes you find a laugh or two to get you through the day. Please feel free to share your favorite as well!

Tux Lion

LOLCat Library

Fancy Feast LOLCat

Here's Kitty

[This post is #11 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please click on the button on the right side of the page for more information about the challenge or to locate others participating — there are more than 1600!]

Previous A-to-Z posts
2012: Kerfuffles and Kaleidoscopes
2011: The Kiss

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Just Josh-ing

Josh Blue

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. ~ Yiddish Proverb

Our families love to laugh — with each other and at each other. One of the things my husband and I will treat ourselves with is going to see a good comedian. We have had opportunities to see many gifted ones in action — Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin, and Lewis Black, to name a few. For several years, we lived across the street from one of the local comedy clubs and frequented the shows on a regular basis. There we had the chance to see performers such as Kevin Pollack and Tom Wilson, along with a host of rising young comics out on the circuit honing their skills.

My husband and I first encountered Josh Blue when he was competing (and won) on Last Comic Standing. Truly funny and sarcastic, we both immediately gravitated both to his style and his topics. We also had the chance to see Josh Blue perform in person – several times. Each was a treat, and we could always count on laughing out loud in a much needed break from lives and routines. Some of his funniest sets revolve around his having cerebral palsy and his stories about his family. Several of his performances are on youtube, so if you are in the mood for a laugh, I recommend him — but he occasionally is not safe to watch at work!

Enjoy a break, take a moment to laugh.

Go Josh around…….

[This post is #10 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please click on the button on the right side of the page for more information about the challenge or to locate others participating — there are more than 1600!]

Previous A-to-Z posts
2012: Jezebel Doing the Town
2011: Jabberwocky

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Icarus Flying

800px-Bruegel,_Pieter_de_Oude_-_De_val_van_icarus_-_hi_res

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew. It’s the same when love comes to an end, or the marriage fails and people say they knew it was a mistake, that everybody said it would never work. That she was old enough to know better. But anything worth doing is worth doing badly.

~ Jack Gilbert, “Failing and Flying”

I’ve never been one to enjoy studying Greek mythology. Somewhere around the second or third name of a god my attention span skids to a halt and my brain refuses to entertain another piece of information. Always has been that way.

Except for Icarus.

The story of Icarus always fascinated me. Perhaps it was the idea of his ambition, his desire to fly further, farther, closer, even at his own peril. Perhaps it was pride that sent him falling. Perhaps trying to flee, or trying to be free. Perhaps it was my interest in aviation and flight.

Most often the story and images focus on the fall of Icarus, the failed attempt. Bruegel’s painting above is one of the most famous. I first encountered that work after reading a piece by W.H. Auden who commented about the work:

In Brueghel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster, the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green water,
And the expensive ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Honestly, I think it is simply the desire, the quest, that appeals to me. Why I like the lines by Jack Gilbert so much — most people often forget that Icarus did in fact fly.

[This post is #9 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please click on the button on the right side of the page for more information about the challenge or to locate others participating — there are more than 1600!]

Previous A-to-Z posts:
2012: Inquiring Minds
2011: Indulgence

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Health and Happiness

Rose

I am pretty sure that, if you will be quite honest, you will admit that a good rousing sneeze, one that tears open your collar and throws your hair into your eyes, is really one of life’s sensational pleasures.
~ Robert Benchley, “Hiccoughing Makes Us Fat,” No Poems: or around the world backwards and sideways, 1932

Once you admit you are sick –no matter what the cause– the door opens to everyone’s favorite remedies for what ails you. While nursing through my recent illness, a friend sent along a link to “A Spoonful of Sugar” from Mary Poppins. The pharmacist offered much-appreciated suggestions for less-expensive alternatives to the over-the-counter item the doctor prescribed. In my head, I could hear my mother’s voice saying “Chicken soup — with cracker dumplings!”

Perhaps one of my favorite excursions into old magazines are the advertisements for medicines and healing techniques. Dr. Rose, in the photo above, practiced herbal medicine and had no love for the medical professionals of his day. The “Not My Patient” sign came out every time a funeral procession passed his business.

What we know of Dr. Rose is rather slim. He arrived in Dayton around 1857, and he died there on May 26, 1894, at the age of 86. Widowed for the last eight years of his life, and blind the last six months, Dr. Rose was considered a recluse and an eccentric. It was said his medical advice built on that of Ben Franklin: “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” However, he often prescribed his own concoction sold as “Strong Wine of Life”. At the time of his death, the newspaper headline touted, “Could Not Cure Himself.”

I wonder sometimes, especially as I choke down several antibiotics, carrefully followed two hours later by probiotics to counter them, about what constitutes health and happiness. Is healthy the end point or the beginning? Can you have one without the other? Big questions, brought on I’m sure in part by my latest reading trend of end of life stories and stories about endings.

What do you think ~ what makes you healthy and happy?

[This post is #8 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please click on the button on the right side of the page for more information about the challenge or to locate others participating — there are more than 1600!]

Previous A-to-Z posts:
2012: Homage to my Hips
2011: Helpful Tips for Capturing Family Stories

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