Archive | January, 2009

25 random things about me

29 Jan

so, i’ve been sucked into the world of facebook. what to know more about me? this is from my profile, in which i was tagged to list 25 random things about me.

1. I hate being tagged to list 25 random things about me.
2. I have an unhealthy attraction to jacked-up vampire teeth in the manner of Ricky Gervais, Billy Corgan & David Bowie (pre-orthodontia).
3. I have an unhealthy attraction to Ricky Gervais. Seriously. I resisted the American Office for years under the pretense of fierce allegiance to the Rickster. And I have a framed art print of him. Hanging in my apartment. For public consumption.
4. I took a Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool, England, where I saw Strawberry Field (no ‘s’), The Cavern, and the roundabout where the pretty nurse sold puppies from a tray.
5. I am three degrees from Kevin Bacon. If you know me, you are four degrees.
6. I am fascinated by the history, structure, function, art, and social impact of the London Underground. One of my life goals is to visit every single station. Especially Cockfosters.
7. I am a librarian and I hate reading non-fiction. I’m working on it, though. See my blog.
8. I would wear Converse every single day if I could.
9. I have an unhealthy obsession with the number 9.
10. Apparently, I have a lot of unhealthy attractions and/or obsessions.
11. I like mashups.
12. I applied and was accepted to graduate schools in Liverpool and London and didn’t go because of the cost. I totally regret it.
13. I love making things. Especially the process, the learning, the failures, the successes…
14. I made All-State band in high school on the clarinet and haven’t played a single note since the day of my high school graduation.
15. I used to have to be drunk to sing when playing Rock Band.
16. I own more than 5 copies of Pride & Prejudice and have no intention of not getting more.
17. I love to cook with my friends.
18. I don’t like normal.
19. I love discussing linguistics.
20. I have plans to get a crafty Dewey Decimal tattoo.
21. I was born with a cleft lip and palate and have had 10 surgeries.
22. I am a hard-core Anglophile.
23. I might be making stuff up to finish this list.
24. I want to own and restore an old house.
25. If you’ve ever come to my library and done something weird, I have a name for you.

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when our noses is froze-ez…

27 Jan

oh, texas, you fickle-weather flirt. a few days ago i was wearing short-sleeves and jeans and today it is perfectly freezing, complete with the pitter-patter of ice droplets outside my window. it finally feels like winter. insert contented sigh here.

what could be better on a night like this than an audiobook of pride and prejudice, a hot baked potato, a new episode of big love, and quilt sewing? not much.

new quilt

i went fabric shopping with some friends this weekend and ended up buying a new quilt book and fabric for a lap quilt. i’ve made one quilt before and am finally ready to dive into another such task. i’m really drawn to bright and retro-esque patterns and colors and i think anna maria horner’s garden party fabrics will go well with the ‘megan’ in my apartment.

sewn up

still a bit to finish, but a good start on a cozy night.

happy day!

20 Jan

change is here

did somebody say party?

20 Jan

yes, a birthday party for my friend penny. her first birthday party. ever. that’s enough reason to bake a homemade chocolate cake, right? she was baffled that i wasn’t going to make a boxed cake mix cake. she obviously has a lot to learn about me.

ready to bake

the supplies quickly took over my tiny counter. which is probably why i used the wrong measuring cup when adding sifted flour into sifted sugar. yeah. you can’t fix that cock-up. and i didn’t have any more sugar. after two frantic phone calls to two patient and knowledgeable friends who convinced me i couldn’t just take a bit of the flour/sugar mix out of the bowl, i drove pajama-clad to my parents’ house to borrow the proverbial cup of sugar (or four, actually).

batter

let me unequivocally state that it was totally worth getting out in the cold night in my pajamas to get more sugar. as promised, it was “the most deeply-flavored, moist-yet-fluffy chocolate cake” i’ve ever tasted. i didn’t make the homemade frosting as planned, but it still turned out good and got tons of compliments and yummies.

happy birthday

the recipe, you ask? here.

i also learned how to make my friend’s thai spring rolls, which were vegetarian-friendly, as her husband is one of those animal lovers. she also made traditional thai dipping sauces. such a good food night.

penny's spring rolls

happy 25th birthday penny!

making me happy…

14 Jan

a raisin & biscuit yorkie. i’ve officially blogged about a british confection twice now. just proof that my british sensibilities are heightened as my trip draws near. i found myself with the afternoon off from work and headed to the british emporium with my friend. to go along with my yorkie, i got some of my other favs, chocolate hob nobs. and i don’t even really like chocolate that much. i’m a sucker for foods with accents.

also making me happy?

pick me up by jeremy leslie and david roberts. it is literally crammed with interesting tidbits and it fits in nicely with my january reading (031.02). the writing is interesting, concise, and humorous. so, okay, it was probably written for kids. that just means there’s a better chance i’ll finish.

i browsed the library stacks for some more interesting 000s and here is what i checked out:

the cult of mac by leander kahney.

the black swan: the impact of the highly improbable by nassim nicholas taleb.

the chances of me actually reading both (well, all three) of these books by the end of this month? highly improbable (take that black sawn!). but i guess that also depends on how/what you consider reading. how do you read?

i learned tonight that people skim books. they scan, skip, jump ahead, etc., and easily consider the book read when they come to the end. that notion terrifies me. it literally has me in a cold sweat. i cannot skim. i cannot scan, skip, nor jump ahead. sometimes, when i glimpse an upcoming paragraph and happen to read a sentence or two, i have to stop, go back to where i was, and read. every. single. word. in. between. it is a total sickness. i feel dishonest saying i’ve read a book if i have not read every single word. maybe that is why i can’t read non-fiction. i try too hard to get every single concept, thought, and proclamation processed that i lose the meaning. i think i just had a realization.

but that still doesn’t change things. i have to read every word on every page before i consider a book read. call me anal. out loud. i know you’ve already been thinking it.

on a scale of one to five…

13 Jan

i took a wee break from the books this week and knitted up a half-pipe hat for a friend’s teenage son.

half-pipe hat
(apology for the harsh flash. it was the only way to see the knitted stitches)

i think he liked it.

evan

admittedly, he is not smiling. but it was the fourth or fifth attempt on my part to get a good shot and he wore the hat for the rest of the night. so now we know that pictures don’t tell the whole story.

i found this pattern in debbie stoller’s son of stitch & bitch. it was a fairly easy project, but i did have a tiny bit of a learning curve with the tubular cast-on and grafting. nothing to lose sleep over, but definitely a few wtf?’s along the way. that would be a great measuring tool, by the way. how many wtf?’s would you rate _____? on a scale of one to five, i wouldn’t attempt anything with more than three.

reading resolutions

5 Jan

at the beginning of each year, i resolve to read more. i read quite a bit, but i want to read better, if that makes sense.

let me explain. i am not a great non-fiction reader (please tell me you know the difference between fiction and non-fiction). for some reason, i find it really hard to get into non-fiction works. i can read collections of humorous essays, like those by david sedaris, and cookbooks galore, but just plain non-fiction learnin’ books – gosh darn it, i can’t do it. it feels so much like being in college again, where i would have to read and re-read paragraph after paragraph because i got so bored in the middle i forgot what i was reading about. so, what is a librarian to do? change.

this year, i will read more non-fiction and i will do it in a hopefully interesting manner. in addition to my regular reading of Austen, cozy British mysteries, and domestic fiction, i propose to read at least one non-fiction book per month. each month will correspond to a different dewey decimal main class. that covers ten months. i will devote one month to biographies and one month to free-choice reading.

so, what are the dewey decimal main classes? i just happen to know them, being a finger-shushing librarian and all. i actually took a concentrated three-week course on dewey decimal classification, so i’m pretty familiar with dear old dewey’s sexist ways. really, he was quite a pig, which incidentally is classed in 636.4 under swine.

here’s my proposed schedule

000  computer science, information and general works (january)

100  philosophy and psychology (february)

200  religion (march)

300  social sciences (april)

400  language (may)

500  science (june)

600  technology (july)

700  arts and recreation (august)

800  literature (september)

900  history and geography (october)

biography (november)

free choice (december)

::

so, first up is “000 – computer science, information and general works.” my choices thus far include:

the know-it-all by a.j. jacobs (031)

sixpence house by paul collins (002.075)

the last lecture by randy pausch (004.092)

i’ll report my progress on my reading page. you can join me if you’d like. we’ll build a reading rainbow.