Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Last of My Christmas Reading

3:10 p.m. / 15:10

The shepherd, the Angel and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry turned out to be pretty short for a book with such a long title. I read it in less than 24 hours. I even went to an out-of-town wedding during that time, and still finished it up. (No, I did not read my book during the wedding!)

Now, let's look back for just a moment. First I read The Hogfather, which featured Death as a main character. Next I read The Stupidest Angel, which featured zombies on Christmas Eve. So what now? Bat poop. Lots of bat poop. I kept reading along in this book thinking it really wasn't nearly as absurd as I would have expected a Dave Barry Christmas novel to be, but looking back, the bat poop was pretty absurd. Just to clarify, absurd is a good thing in a Dave Barry novel.

I think that of the three Christmas books I read, this one had the most heart-warming, happy Christmas ending of all of them. It's all about a boy named Doug and the events that took place leading up to and then during the St. John's Episcopal Church Christmas pageant and about how a dog named Walter saved everything. I think my favorite thing about the book is all of the pictures, especially the photos, that illustrate it. Over all though, I think this was my least favorite. It was good, but I didn't feel like it was Dave Barry at his best. I'm not sorry I read it, but I'm a little sorry I lost patience with the library and bought my own copy.



2:40 p.m. / 14:40

One day at work, the week before Christmas, I walked out front to greet a woman who'd just walked in, and she smiled and said she didn't know if I'd remember her or not, but I had let her use the telephone the last time she'd been in and she wanted to thank me. She sat a small gift bag on the counter and in it was a snow lady.

It's hard to see it in the picture, but the little oval says "Thank You for Your Kindness". I hope I thanked the woman appropriately, because I was just in shock at the time. We let people use the phone all of the time since they took out our pay phone. I did kind of remember her, though, because most of the time it's kids who use the phone.

I'm keeping the snow lady at work for now, because I think she's more appreciated there. In truth, she's not my style, but the thought behind the gift will stay with me for a very long time. I have the note that was tied to the gift bag hanging inside my locker in the staff room. That particular day was otherwise rather crummy, but this was a wonderful, glowing bright spot in the day.



2:20 p.m. / 14:20

Two years in a row now I have made ornaments to give to my friends at Christmas. When people ask how I make them, I feel like I never give a very good explanation. So this year I took some quick photos while I was working on them to show what I do.

I start with these brown paper ball ornaments from a craft store.

They have to be painted white before I actually start decorating them.

Then I use a rather unscientific mixture of glue and water to paste on strips of colored tissue paper.

These two are almost done being papered.

This year I coated them with a clear varnish to make them shiny.

It's all very easy to do, but it takes a lot of time because the paint has to dry, and the tissue paper has to dry between layers, and then last the varnish has to dry.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Another Mind-Bending, Awesome Christmas Fiction Experience

1:20 a.m. / 01:20

Okay, I am officially a Christopher Moore fan! The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror is hilarious. Pine Cove is the place to be on Christmas Eve. I'm already starting to miss characters like the pot-smoking Constable and his Warrior Babe wife. There's quite a quirky bunch of people in Pine Cove, plus a quirky fruit bat, and they manage to have a heck of a good time at Christmas. (Even if zombies show up uninvited, hungry for brains.)


Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Report

10:35 p.m. / 22:35

Christmas is almost over for me. I have one more major holiday event coming up on Wednesday, but then it's back to life as usual. I won't bore you with the details of what I ate for Christmas dinner and how many pairs of socks I received (just one, actually), but there are three things I feel like reporting.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Hogswatch Eve!

4:50 p.m. / 16:50

Well, here it is Christmas Eve and I've just finished the first of three books I chose to read during the Christmas season. What gave me the idea I'd have time for reading?

Hogfather is the third book by author Terry Pratchett that I've read, and I think it has done the most as far as pushing me to read more of his Discworld books. It was a really fun... funny book and entirely enjoyable, just as long as I didn't think too hard about how the daughter of Death's adopted daughter inherited characteristics of Death. Hmm... If you've never read any Terry Pratchett, I probably just popped something in your brain. I'm sorry.

The thing about Terry Pratchett is that even though his books are incredibly goofy and often laugh-out-very-loud funny, he also writes in some rather thought-provoking ideas, in a sneaky sort of way.

It's always good to look at anything, even Christmas, from another angle every now and then and that is what happens when you read this book. Hogswatch is a holiday remarkably similar to Christmas, with the Hogfather instead of Santa Claus and the Maul instead of the Mall.

I chose to read The Hogfather at Christmas, but I would recommend this book at any time of the year.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Just Popping In For A Moment

3:10 a.m. / 03:10

I seem to be setting a new post-NaBloPoMo record for most days in a row without a new blog entry. Work and holiday stresses are keeping me distracted; hopefully I will post more very soon.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Things I Should Have Blogged About When They Happened, But Didn't

10:05 p.m. / 22:05

September and October were not good blogging months for me this year. I actually went from mid September to mid October without posting even one little post. So today I'd like to back up and write about a couple of things that happened back then that I so should have written about when they happened, so I could more accurately pass on the excitement of them.

Rockapella came to my hometown for the first time this fall. I've now seen them at least four, possibly five times. In all honestly, I don't get out my Rockapella CDs and listen to them all that much, but wow, they really do a good live show. They always have, but I think they're just getting better. Somehow I wasn't really all that excited that night before the show. Maybe I was just tired, or I'd forgotten how much fun Rockapella is. Whatever it was, it ended almost as soon as the concert started. I was practically on the edge of my seat all through the evening. These guys can really sing, and not only can they sing, but they are funny! They truly know how to entertain. So if you hear that Rockapella will be performing near you, definitely try and get a ticket.

Also back in the fall during my blogging drought, I met Nancy Pearl.

Nancy Pearl, for those who are not cool enough to already know is, I think, the first celebrity librarian. She is the author of Book Lust and More Book Lust (recommended reading listed by unusual categories) and there's even a Nancy Pearl action figure available. I have both books and the action figure. I wouldn't have thought books about books would be so readable, but they are, and I just think it's the coolest thing that someone decided to make a librarian action figure (with real shushing action!).

Okay, now back to the part where I met her. She came to town to do a workshop for librarians, but there was also a public talk in the evening. I went to the public session with two friends, one of which recently talked about the evening on her book blog. I was exhausted that evening, but I am so glad I went. She gave a really good talk, and afterwards did a book signing, so now both of my books are signed. The funniest part of the evening, for me at least, was when she was describing how she usually talks. Evidently she shares my problem of skipping around in a verbal story. She calls it hyperlinks, which is actually a pretty good way of describing it. My friends have always said I talk in footnotes. I was really glad she turned out to be such a nice, interesting person, in person.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What I Listen To At Christmas

9:45 p.m. /21:45

Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller

Christmas by Rockapella

A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

Barenaked for the Holidays by Barenaked Ladies

Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Knew I Was Going To Love This Book

1:30 a.m. / 01:30

I am now free to begin my holiday reading (scroll down to 12/6/06) since I just finished an excellent book called Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen. This is the first book by Carl Hiaasen for grown-ups that I have read (I've read Hoot), but I knew before I even started it that I was going to love it. In some ways the book is sad, especially if you're a nature lover, but a lot of the time it's really funny and mostly it's just really good. It is not a book about a dog, but one of the main characters is a dog and every now and then, especially towards the end, Hiaasen tells the story from the dog's perspective, which is usually pretty funny and always interesting. I cannot really condone the actions of the... well, eco-terrorists, more or less, in the book but they were fun to read about and anyone who knows me knows I sympathize with them, I just very much prefer that things be handled legally. Yes, I would probably want to stop some rich asshole from destroying an entire island to create yet another golf resort, but no, I would probably not kidnap a lobbyist's dog, etc., as part of my campaign to stop the project. Anyway, I definitely recommend that you read this book.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

HeeHee; This Quiz Is Fun!

9:33 p.m. / 21:33

No getting thrown out of bars tonight; I'm staying home and taking it easy. Yup, just me and my stuffy nose.

While passsing the time, I found this at
To Know As We Are Known. It's the most fun internet quiz I've taken in awhile. I'm not 100% sure I agree with the results, but I read all of the other possible results and this one is closer to being true than the others. At least there's a picture of a cute hamster. (Have I mentioned I love hamsters?)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Holly Jolly Reading

9:30 p.m. / 21:30

I usually prefer to wait until I've finished reading a book to bring it up here, but I'm making an exception for my planned Christmas reading, since it might be more interesting to you now than in January.

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry


Monday, December 04, 2006

Because Just Being Minutes Late Wasn't Good Enough Today

8:20 a.m. / 08:20

I walked out of the house late for work as usual today. I knew it got very cold last night, but I hadn't thought about how that would mean window-scraping this morning. So, I stood there scraping my windows so I could see to get to work, even though I was already late. Finally, I drove off. But the car seemed sluggish and there was a funny noise. I pulled over just up the street from my house and went to look at the tire that seemed like it might have a slow leak. It seems the leak has become less slow. The tire is totally flat. So, now I sit here blogging while I wait for my brother to come rescue me. He's a mechanic, so he's extra-good at this kind of rescuing.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I Got Thrown Out Of A Bar

11:55 p.m. / 23:55

Getting thrown out of bars is not a normal activity for me, since you have to be in a bar to get thrown out of one, and I'm rarely in a bar. Also, I've always sort of felt that getting thrown out of a bar would almost have to involve drunkenness, but I was quite sober.

I got thrown out, because I decided to climb a metal railing surrounding an outside area, rather than walk back inside and go out the other door. I had no idea I was doing this right in front of two security guys. They didn't have on the black-and-white T-shirts I saw burly men wearing inside. I considered the possibility they weren't really security, but they were really, really mad at me, so I think they really were security. (Hey, I used the word "really" four times in that sentence.) I thought the problem was probably that it looked like I was sneaking in, so I showed them my purple wrist band so they'd know I had payed the cover charge. No good; they still said I was out. I had no problem getting the attention of my friends from outside the enclosure, but it took a bit for it to sink in with them that I had been thrown out and I was definitely not joking. It was late, so we all just went home after that.

So, yeah, climbing a railing can get you thrown out of a bar. However, earlier that evening another girl and I ran into a guy we know in the women's restroom. Security got wind he was in there and one of the burly guys in a security T-shirt came and poked his head in. I don't think he even said anything to the guy once he saw he was willing to leave the restroom without protest. I'm not really complaining that there was a guy in the girls' room. We know him, and he was in there on a bet; no big deal really. I just feel like I was treated sort of harshly by comparison.

The occasion that caused me to be in a bar in the first place was a bachelorette party. One of my good friends is getting married in two weeks. She's thrilled to death because now there's a story about her bachelorette party. She never expected one of her bridesmaids, especially not me, to get thrown out of a bar at her party.

Beta Blogger

11:29 p.m. / 23:29

Does anyone out there have anything to say about the beta Blogger? I didn't want to mess with changing over during NaBloPoMo, but I've been thinking about getting it over with since that's over now. I'm just wondering if anyone who's already made the switch had any problems or anything. Complaints? Praise? Anything...?

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