The Feast of Saints Peter & Paul


I’m making this post two weeks two late, but I did not want to let this feast day go past without some note. Saints Peter and Paul of course are two of the most important saints in church history, both being leaders of the early Christian community after the ascension of Christ. I did not…

Movie Review: Swingers


Way back when I saw a trailer for Swingers (1996) couldn’t figure out when it was set.  The characters all dressed in 50’s clothing and drove classic cars, but had the Club.  I read a review and learned that the movie was about a Los Angeles sub-culture where people dress like they did in the…

Book Review: White Teeth by Zadie Smith


White Teeth (2000) by Zadie Smith is an ambitious, epic-in-scope, yet flawed novel. Starting in 1975 and continuing for two decades it tells the story of two families. First there’s the Jones family. Archie dumb but affable is a English man who narrowly escapes committing suicide on New Year’s Day 1975. Instead his celebrates his…

Tuesday at the ALA Annual Conference


Wow! Librarians certainly like to read a lot. I had 112 hits yesterday and my reports from the ALA Conference are looking pretty popular. It’s about time something gave my review of The Painted Veil a run for its money. I’m grateful for the Internet Cafe at the Washington Convention Center and apologize to all…

Monday at the ALA Annual Conference


I had a slow start to the day and had to call Susan from my hotel bed to have her tell me to get out of bed and get to the conference center.  It turned out to be a lucky day though.  How often does one get a 1905 Indian Head cent in one’s change…

Sunday at the ALA Annual Conference


My third day at the conference continued the parade of celebrities I admire. Nancy Pearl is not only a hero but a Library Action Figure. She’s also written several books of book recommendations including Book Lust, More Book Lust, and the new Book Crush for children and teens. She spoke mainly on encouraging children to…

Saturday at the ALA Annual Conference


When I was a teenager I wanted to grow up to be Ken Burns, or at least a whole lot like him.  Of course I never became a filmmaker nor a professional historian, I became a librarian.  But Ken Burns is down with librarians and addressed us early on Saturday morning.  He spoke of how…

Movie Review: The Hollywood Librarian


The Hollywood Librarian (2007) debut at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Do not be fooled, this is definitely a propaganda piece, not that that’s a bad thing. Filmmaker Ann Seidl wants to promote librarians and all we offer, and plans to distribute this film by having it shown in libraries across the country…

Friday at the ALA Annual Conference


I arrived Thursday evening and registered but didn’t have much else to do conference-wise, so I visited the Smithsonian museums of American Art and National Portrait Gallery nearby.  Later I met up with friends Edward and Charlene for supper at a restaurant punningly called Thai Tanic. Friday morning I walked down to the Mall and…

On the Way to ALA


I’m heading off to attend my first professional conference, the American Library Association annual in Washington, DC. It should be five days of fun, learning and meeting people. I’m not so good at that last part, but I’ll give it a go. At least it will be a social situation where I won’t have to…

Movie Review: The Mission


The Mission (1986) has long been on my “too see list.” A lot of people I knew in college loved this movie for it’s explorations of faith (“the perfect movie to watch on Good Friday,” said one), it’s cinematography and the soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. So I’ve finally redressed that wrong. The film itself is…

19th-Century Weapon Found in Whale


Did you ever have a pain in the neck that just wouldn’t go away?  Some poor bowhead whale was lanced with a weapon by some whalers 115-130 years ago and has carried a fragment in its neck ever since.  Well at least until last week where this whale got caught in another whale hunt off…

Biking to Work


The Bike Commute Tips Blog shares the Top 10 Best & Worst Cities in the US for Bicycle Commuting.  Boston is on neither list which doesn’t surprise me because Boston is good enough to have a bike friendly attitude but has not invested in the infrastructure for lots of bike paths, bike lanes, bike racks,…

Bunker Hill Day


Today is Bunker Hill Day (observed), a legal holiday for government employees in Boston.  Since I don’t work for the government I had to go to work, but figure it’s a day worth mentioning. Mass Moments recounts the battle and its commeration with the Bunker Hill Monument, a granite obelisk I see each and every…

Saint Botolph


This year June 17 is the intersection of three different days that twine together in Boston, MA: Father’s Day, Bunker Hill Day, and the Feast of St. Botolph. Botolph, in a sense is the father, and patron saint of Boston, the name deriving from a contraction of “Botolph’s Town.” The original Boston is in Lincolnshire…

Friday Sillies: Apoohcalypse Now


Some disturbed creative genius has taken the audio track from Apocalypse Now and dubbed it over old Winnie the Pooh cartoons. It’s funny, unsettling, and trippy, and they did all of this without including the Heffalump that disturbed many a childhood. If you’ve seen Apocalypse Now and don’t like the language, be warned it’s unedited…

Somerville Madonnas


One of the charms (“chahhms?”) of Somerville are the displays of devotional art in many residents’ yards, gardens, and sometimes even incorporated into the architecture of a house.  The statues are usually a Madonna in a tub-like niche (a “Virgin on the half shell” as my old roommate called them), but there are plenty of…

Book Review: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel


Here is another venture into the graphic novel for me, or as the case, the graphic memoir. Alison Bechdel writer and illustrator of the classic comic Dykes to Watch Out For writes about her life and her relationship with her father in Fun Home (2006). Bechdel’s father was a high school English teacher, a director…