Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them #TopTenTuesday


Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is“Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them.”

 

Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh – taught me to be spiritual in the moment, event when washing the dishes, by imagining your washing Buddha or the baby Jesus

My Life With the Saints by James Martin – inspired me to spend a year posting about my own favorite saints

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift – walked along the Hudson to find the lighthouse in person and read the book aloud to my son and various children who gathered around

Sleep Thieves by Stanley Coren – made me realize the pernicious evil of Daylight Saving Time

Asphalt Nation by Jane Holtz Kay – made me an activist against prioritizing automobile use and car culture

Book Lust by Nancy Pearl – this book reccomends books to read and read a lot of the books reccomended

Celebrating Marriage Preparing the Wedding Liturgy by P. Covino – at our wedding, my soon-to-be wife and I greeted guests at the door to the church based on a historic tradition mentioned in this book

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp – I learned how to soothe a baby through swaddling and bouncing.  I got pretty good.  Then the babies grew up.

Amusing the Million by John F. Kasson – made me want to travel in time to visit Coney Island at its historic peak and fueled an obsession with Brooklyn I had for several years in the early 1990s. Although I’ve never lived in Brooklyn, I’m the ultimate hipster, because I wanted to move to Brooklyn before it was cool.

Snowshoeing Through Sewers by Michael Aaron Rockland – one of the urban explorations in this book is walking the full-length of Broadway on Manhattan from Marble Hill to Bowling Green.  I followed in Rockland’s footsteps.  A few years later I created my own long urban walk on Washington Street in Boston.

 

 

 

 

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books Set Outside the United States


Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.  This weeks topic is top 10 books set outside of the United States.

  • Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (England)
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery (Canada)
  • The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (England)
  • The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (alternate universe England)
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (France)
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel (India, Pacific Ocean, Mexico, and Canada)
  • Like Water for Chocolate  by Laura Esquivel (Mexico)
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Iran and Austria)
  • A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle (Ireland)
  • Stalemate by  Icchokas Meras (Lithuania)

This is probably a good time as any to remind you of my Around the World for a Good Book project.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Facts About Me (mostly bookish)


Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Ten Facts About Me (bookish or just general about you facts or ten facts about you as a blogger…whatever you want).” I learned about this meme from my Comment Challenge partner at A Kernel of Nonsense.

  1. I’m inspired to participate in this meme, because despite getting better at scheduling posts ahead of time, I have nothing else to post today.  This is supposed to be my movie and tv review day, but I’ve not watched anything in the past week even though there are 140 items in my Netflix queue.
  2. Unlike most bookish people who read their favorite books again and again, I tend to read most books once.  Even when I want to reread a beloved book I find myself constrained by the desire to read all the other books I haven’t read yet.  Maybe my motto is YORO?
  3. I had very little interest in science fiction, fantasy, and comic books/graphic novels when I was young, but I started getting interested in my mid-30s.
  4. Despite reading a lot and holding a masters in library and information science, I try not to own books.  I think this sets me apart from other bookish people who like to surround themselves with books.  When I moved from Virginia to Massachusetts in 1998 I divested myself of almost every book I owned and haven’t added many since.  I just think too many books are clutter and that they’re better off in a library.  Of course I’m lucky to have access to many public and academic libraries to borrow books and digital files.
  5. The exception is that our house is filled with children’s books.  It’s great to have a large selection of books on hand for the kids, and I read 3 books each night with one of the children.
  6. That being said, while I’m philosophically opposed to book burning in the vast majority of cases, I would happily toss the following books onto the fire: Truckery Rhymes and Sesame Street: Elmo Look and Find.
  7. My wife and I once did a walking tour across London following the routes of characters from Virginia Woolfe’s Mrs. Dalloway.  It’s a great way to visit a city.  One of these days I’m going to make a tour of Cambridge based on Quentin Compson’s peregrinations in The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (stopping short of jumping into the Charles River, of course).
  8. The first book I read on my own was a children’s book about cats.  One of the cat facts in this book was that cats like to sit on books which my cat demonstrated by sitting on the book about cats.
  9. My favorite book series is Jasper Ffforde’s Thursday Next, which features a book-crazy populace who reenact Richard III in the style of Rocky Horror. Thursday also learns to jump into books, which I think would be a great superpower.
  10. If you poke around this blog you’ll find links to my favorite books of all time, a constantly updated reading list, and a catalog of almost every book I’ve ever read.

3 Days 3 Quotes Day 3


The rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

Thank you Ashley from Inside My Minds!

“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.”  — Samuel Beckett

I feel totally awkward about tagging other people, but if you do want to participate, please do so and let me know in the comments!

3 Days 3 Quotes Day 2


I got tagged to participate in a 3 Days 3 Quotes challenge.

The rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

 

Thank you Ashley from Inside My Minds!

“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.” – Peter Golkin

I feel totally awkward about tagging other people, but if you do want to participate, please do so and let me know in the comments!

 

3 Days 3 Quotes Day 1


I got tagged to participate in a 3 Days 3 Quotes challenge.

The rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you

2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

Thank you Ashley from Inside My Minds!

“Whenever people say, ‘We mustn’t be sentimental,’ you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, ‘We must be realistic,’ they mean they are going to make money out of it.” – Brigid Brophy

I feel totally awkward about tagging other people, but if you do want to participate, please do so and let me know in the comments!

The Book Blogger Test


Here’s a book blogging meme via Ashley at Inside My Mind.  I took the advice to tag myself.

What are your top three book pet hates?

  • Books where the narrators are completely oblivious to their privilege and how they unwittingly disparage others. This happens in fiction (The Nanny Diaries) and non-fiction (Under the Tuscan Sun).
  • Writers who use big words and overly complicated sentence structure.  In other words, academic speak.
  • Anyone who trashes the writers of popular history and science because they actually use engaging writing in place of academic speak (David McCullough, I’ve got your back!).

Describe your perfect reading spot

  • I do most of my reading on the T these days.  As long as it’s not overly crowded and I can get a seat, I’m happy to cozy up on a subway train or bus and miss my stop if the reading is too engaging. :)

Tell us three book confessions

  • I’m completely unable to read Charles Dickens.  Something short circuits in my brain and I’m unable to comprehend anything my eyes scan over.  This makes me feel bad because I have a lot of friends who love Dickens.
  • There are a great number of class children’s books that I never read or even heard of until I was an adult.  These include Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, The Phantom Tollbooth, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Snowy Day,  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Bridge to Terabithia, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Winnie the Pooh, A Wrinkle in Time, The Westing Game, and anything by Beverly Cleary.
  • I had no interest in science fiction or fantasy until I was in my 30s.  I’m saving Romance for my 50s.

When was the last time you cried during a book?

I felt a lot of emotion reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  If I didn’t cry, I was close to it.

How many books are on your bedside table?

No books.  No bedside table.

What is your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading?

Whatever I can hold while holding a book or e-reader and will not get the book sticky.

Name three books you would recommend to everyone

  • The Eyre Affair by Jaspe Fforde
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

Show us a picture of your favorite bookshelf on your bookcase

I endeavor to get all my books from the public library and I neglected to take a photograph of my favorite shelf last time I was there.

Write how much books mean to you in just three words

Need more words.

What is your biggest reading secret?

I don’t think I read enough.

Elmo’s Song


I got tagged for a meme on Facebook and as my preference I’d rather post it here where I can find it again in a few months.  I think I’ve done this one before to be honest.  Most of the responses are nonsensical, but hey, there are some good songs here.

These are the “rules”:

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.

4. Tag n friends, where n is a non-negative integer

5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.

6. Have Fun!

IF SOMEONE SAYS ‘ARE YOU OKAY’ YOU SAY? “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” – Stevie Wonder

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF? “Come Back Baby” – Aretha Franklin

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GIRL/GUY?  “Woman Be My Country” – Johnny Clegg and Savuka

HOW DO YOU FEEL? “Sail Away Lady” – Uncle Bunt Stephens

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE? “End of the Night” – The Doors

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO? “Kansas City” – Wilbert Harrison

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? “Coda” – David Goodrich

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? “Salvation”- The Paperboys

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? “If I Needed Someone” – The Beatles

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? “Wasted Word” – Kris Delmhorst

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? “Maybe Sparrow”  – Neko Case

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE? “The Train Song” – Music Together

WHAT IS YOUR PASSION IN LIFE?  “Ed Ladki Ko Dekha [1942- A Love Story]” –   Kumar Sanu

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR? “Infinity Guitars” – Sleigh Bells

WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW? “Cruel Sea” -Maybe Baby

WHAT DOES YOUR LOVE THINK ABOUT YOU? “We Are The One” – The Avengers

WHAT WILL YOU TITLE THIS NOTE AS? “Elmo’s Song” – Sesame Street

30 Day Football (Soccer) Challenge


I participated in a meme on Tumblr called the 30 Day Football (Soccer) Challenge.  I took more than thirty days, but I completed the project.  Here are the links to my responses.

Day 1 – Which team/s do you support? Explain why.

Day 2 – Who is your current favourite player (you can only choose ONE) and what is it about them that makes you like them above any other? Post your favourite picture of them.

Day 3 – Which leagues/tournaments do you watch?

Day 4 – What is your earliest football memory?

Day 5 – Which football moment has made you the happiest?

Day 6 – Which football moment has made you the saddest?

Day 7 – 5 things you love about football

Day 8 – 5 things you hate about football

Day 9 – If you were the president of your favourite club and money was no object name one player you would buy and one player you would you sell?

Day 10 – If you were the manager of your favourite club, what would you change in terms of starting team, tactics etc? Transfers not allowed!

Day 11 – Who is your favourite manager?

Day 12 – Favourite ever match?

Day 13 – Favourite goal?

Day 14 – Which live matches have you been to?

Day 15 – Name your dream XI of all time.

Day 16 – Which other current players, other than whoever you answered for Day One, are you a fan of?

Day 17 – Name a transfer that has broken your heart.

Day 18 – Favourite footballer bromance?

Day 19 – Are there any teams you hate with a passion?

Day 20 – Who is your favourite player from a team you dislike?

Day 21 – Favourite legendary player i.e. one who is no longer playing

Day 22 – Biggest footballing injustice you’re still not over.

Day 23 – Favourite young player? (Under 21)

Day 24 – Players you really cannot stand and why.

Day 25 – Describe your typical matchday routine.

Day 26 – Favourite WAG?

Day 27 – Which football shirts do you own?

Day 28 – Most overrated player and most underrated player?

Day 29 – Best football advert/commercial?

Day 30 – Which has been your favourite World Cup? And favourite Euros?

30 Days of Music Roundup


Here are all my answers to the 30 Days of Music meme published over the past month on my Tumblr blog Portals of Discovery.  Enjoy!

Intro

Day 01 – Your favorite song at the moment

Day 02 – Your least favorite song

Day 03 – A song that makes you happy

Day 04 – A song that makes you sad

Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone

Day 06 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere

Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event

Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to

Day 09 – A song that you can dance to

Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep

Day 11 – A song from your favorite band

Day 12 – A song from a band you hate

Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure

Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love

Day 15 – A song that describes you

Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate

Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio

Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio

Day 19 – A song from your favorite album

Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry

Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy

Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad

Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding

Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral

Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh

Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument

Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play

Day 28 – A song that you are obsessed with

Day 29 – A song from your childhood

Day 30 – Your favorite song at this time last year

30 Days of Music


If you follow me on my Tumblog “Portals of Discovery” you’ll  know that I’m participating in a meme about music by answering a question about a song every day in October.  If you don’t this post will help you keep up with this fun project.  My first song went up today.  I’m going to consolidate all of my 30 Days of Music posts with links from this post.  You’ll also find that they appear in the sidebar to the right.

Intro

Day 01 – Your favorite song at the moment

Day 02 – Your least favorite song

Day 03 – A song that makes you happy

Day 04 – A song that makes you sad

Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone

Day 06 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere

Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event

Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to

Day 09 – A song that you can dance to

Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep

Day 11 – A song from your favorite band

Day 12 – A song from a band you hate

Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure

Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love

Day 15 – A song that describes you

Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate

Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio

Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio

Day 19 – A song from your favorite album

Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry

Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy

Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad

Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding

Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral

Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh

Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument

Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play

Day 28 – A song that you are obsessed with

Day 29 – A song from your childhood

Day 30 – Your favorite song at this time last year

12 Books in 12 Months Challenge


I discovered a book reading challenge via Gypsy Librarian about reading 12 books from one’s own collection within the next twelve months.  Since I almost always read books from the library and procrastinate reading the books I own (no deadline, I suppose), I figured this would be worth trying.

Here are the rules:

  • Pick 12 titles from your To Read Pile.  These should be titles you currently own in whatever format you prefer.
  • Acquisition of other formats or translations is permitted.  So, if you have a paperback but want to read on your Kindle, you can get a Kindle copy.  If you have a library copy but want to buy your own, that’s kosher.  Heck, if you own a copy and want to check another out from the library, I’m not gonna stop you.
  • Post your list in your public space of choice by September 1, 2010.  If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your list.
  • Read all 12 titles between now and September 5, 2011.  Might as well tack on an extra long weekend at the end for cramming.
  • When you finish a title on your list, post about it in your public space of choice.  If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your review.
  • Once a month, I’ll post a round-up of the reviews posted from that month so that we all know what everyone else has read.

I missed the deadline, but I think I can still swing it.

Here is my list:

  • Mapping Boston by Alex Krieger
  • The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
  • Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
  • Freddy the Pilot by Walter R. Brooks
  • Zen and the Birds of Appetite by Thomas Merton
  • The Fifties by David Halberstam
  • Catwatching by Desmond Morris
  • Truman by David McCullough
  • Light in August by William Faulkner
  • It Happened in Boston by Russell H. Greenan
  • The Name Above the Title by Frank Capra
  • Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, & Anxious Patriarchs by Kathleen M. Brown

Meme: 15 Albums


Tagged for another music related-meme on Facebook by a different friend.

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

Should be easy, no?  I promise not to look at my list of 100 favorite albums list first.

  1. This Are Two Tone – Various
  2. The Ultimate Otis Redding
  3. Folk Song and Minstelry – Various
  4. Belafonte at Carnegie Hall
  5. May I Sing With Me – Yo La Tengo
  6. The Beatles (White Album)
  7. Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World – Johnny Clegg & Savuka
  8. Ágætis Byrjun – Sigur Rós
  9. Lincoln – They Might Be Giants
  10. Free to Be You & Me – Marlo Thomas & Friends
  11. Intersections – Maus
  12. Tanglewood Tree – Dave Carter and Tracey Grammer
  13. Channel 1 – Various
  14. Doolittle – The Pixies
  15. Rum, Sodomy & The Lash – The Pogues

There’s a little method to my madness.  In addition to a few of my all-time favorites that I keep coming back to I picked out some albums I remember introducing me to a new band, new sound, or new genre and thus changing my musical tastes.  At any rate I did this in much less than fifteen minutes so I’m sure it’s not representative.

Related Posts:

Meme: If your life was a movie…


A friend of mine tagged me for this meme on Facebook but I thought it would be more fun to make a blog post out of it.  I don’t what it really “says” about me but some of the answers are funny and at the very least you get to see a slice of my music collection.  Feel free to do it yourself and share your results if you like but I don’t do the tagging thing.

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?

RULES:

1: Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)

2. Put it on shuffle

3. Press play

4. For every question, type the song that’s playing

5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

6. Don’t lie and try to pretend your cool…

7.Then tag 16 friends including the one that tagged you

Opening Credits:

Strangers When We Met by the Smithereens

Waking Up:

Spectacle by Voyager

First Day at School:

Lord of Glory by The St. Louis Jesuits

Falling in Love:

Time is Tight by Booker T. & The MG’s

Fight Song:

Treat Her Right by Roy Head  (that’s right,  I’m a lover not a fighter!)

Breaking Up:

Very Fine Funeral by Eddie From Ohio (a bit extreme, yes)

Prom:

Wurz + Blosse by the Wighnomy Brothers (apparently our prom was on Ibiza)

Life’s OK:

Will You Be Lovin’ Another Man by the The Vinal Avenue String Band

Mental Breakdown:

Born to Lose by the Ray Charles (this one really hits the mark)

Driving:

So Far Around the Bend by The National

Flashback:

Ana Ng by They Might Be Giants

Getting Back Together:

Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley

Wedding:

Black Satin by the Raveonettes

Birth of Child:

After the Tornado by Jim’s Big Ego

Final Battle:

Beat on the Brat by The Ramones (apparently I do fight, with a baseball bat)

Death Scene:

Darlin’ One by The Replacements

Funeral Song:

My Iron Lung by Radiohead

End Credits:

Girl They Won’t Believe It by Joss Stone

Related posts:

Fifteen things about me and books


“15 Things About Me and Books”  is a meme moving slowly across the biblioblogosphere started by John Scalzi in 2005.  I’ve seen it done by Steve Lawson, Michael Sauers, Jenica Rogers, Iris Jastram, and Angel Rivera.  Now it’s my turn.

1.  The first book I read on my own as a child was about cats.  I read it at my grandparents’ apartment in Brooklyn.  It started with cats in Egypt.  It also had a page about how cats like to sleep on top of books.  My cat demonstrated by laying down on this book.

2. I never read a lot of the children’s classics as a child (for example – Where the Wild Things Are, The Phantom Tollbooth, Winnie the Pooh, Make Way for Ducklings, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, A Wrinkle in Time, many more).  From an early age I was interested in reading about history and specifically biographies of colonial and early American figures.  To this day I read more non-fiction than fiction.

3.  I did read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books twice, with the exception of Farmer Boy which I wasn’t interested in at all.

4.  It always annoyed me when TV shows had a kid reading a book and that kid suddenly appears in the book participating in the action.  Reading was never like that for me and I always thought I was doing something wrong.  I still think they need a way to illustrate imagination in a way that works for more literal-minded children.

5. Defying the stereotype of librarians and bibliophiles, I’ve made a conscious effort to not collect lots of books in my own home.  I strive to check out books I can from the library.  The only books I own are reference books, gifts, books by people I know, and books I could not get through a library.  When I finish a book I give it away.  It helps that I live in Boston with access to all the Boston Public Libraries, the Minuteman Library Network and the Harvard Libraries. Of course with my wife’s books and son’s books, the house is still cluttered with books, but imagine how much more so it would be if I weren’t so disciplined.

6.  I was an anti-audiobook snob for a long time.  I listened to one for the first time in 2007 and now I listen to them regularly especially while doing processing work in the archives.

7. In order to remember the books I read I started keeping a list in the back of my journal in 1990.  Around 2000, that list became a spreadsheet.  In 2003, I started writing summary reviews of every book I read.  In 2006, I started publishing those reviews on this blog.  In 2008, I entered every book I’ve ever read* into LibraryThing.  To date I’ve reviewed 292 books on this blog and 765 books on LibraryThing (making me the 58th most prolific reviewer). Last year I ranked my 100 Favorite Books of All Time, although the list ended up having 125 books because I included series under one title.

8. I rarely reread books although I’m going to make a conscious effort to reread my 100 favorites starting this year.

8. When I was in high school I thought I would become a novelist & short story writer when I grew up.  To date I still have not written any books.

9.  The longest book I’ve ever read was Les Miserables by Victor Hugo which was over 1200 pages in the edition I read.  Surprisingly I read it in only 12 days, devouring it during a family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

10.  In college when struggling with a difficult assignment for my physics course I reached a point of stress where I tossed the textbook out the window.  It landed with a resounding boom that echoed off the neighboring buildings.  Tension relieved, I retrieved the book and finished up the assignment in 15 minutes and went to bed.

11.  Since 2003, I’ve been trying to read a novel (in English translation) by an author from every country in the world.  I call it Around the World for a Good Book.

12. Second semester senior year I took 3 English literature courses and a history course based on Southern writers and had to buy something like 25 volumes of fiction.  Instead of going to the bookstore I went to the local book exchange and picked up paperbacks and ended up spending less than $20 for the semester.

13. For much of my life I could spend hours looking through The World Almanac and Book of Facts, staying up late learning things.  Now I surf the web.  There’s something lost and something gained.

14. In the winter of 1997 during a temporary layoff from Colonial Williamsburg I worked at the college bookstore at William & Mary.  It was the only retail-type I ever had and it was relatively relaxing but I wouldn’t want to do it again.  I loved the special dollies designed the carry the books around for shelving.

15. People sometimes make fun of me for reading too much.  I feel I can never read enough.

Return of A Day In a Life of a Librarian


Back in July, I participated in a web-wide librarian event entitled Library Day in the Life.  This event was created by the terrific librarian-blogger Bobbi Newman to allow people who work in libraries to share the great variety of work we do with students, patrons, and fellow librarians.  For more on what I do, check out my post from July.

A Day in the Life of an Information Lifecycle Management Assistant

  • wake up late after a rough night due to my son having frequent coughing fits.
  • once out of bed though, he seems alert and energetic so now it’s time to chase him down to get him to school.
  • my wife drives my son and I to the school.  He goes to the childrens’ center, I go to the library.
  • sort through my email and catch up on social media sites.
  • scan a few articles from Peter Kurilecz’s Records & Archives in the News (RAIN) update, but none of them seem worth in-depth reading today.
  • spend some time planning out tasks for the work week to come.
  • worked on a project to calculate the amount each administrative office at the school would pay for records storage (costs currently absorbed by the library).
  • lunch break:  the students are back so there are nearly no seats left in the cafeteria.  I’m able to sneak into a dark corner to eat my salad and write in my journal.
  • for one hour I’m on-call to page materials to the reading room from the stacks, but I’m not needed.
  • read articles from professional literature and blogs related to libraries, archives, records management and general news.  Tag some articles on Delicious.
  • place an order to retrieve a box of student records from offsite storage.
  • get a call from the Childrens Center that my son didn’t nap well due to coughing fits, and he’s a little warm but not feverish.
  • work on accessioning five boxes of videos which includes making a preliminary inventory, labeling & barcoding the boxes and preparing accession forms.
  • talk to wife on phone about coming to pick up me & our sick son on a miserable, rainy night.
  • close out day & head to the Childrens Center.
  • my “sick” son is cheerfully jumping up & down and playing with his friends.  As usual, he doesn’t want to go home.
  • supper, tubby time, bedtime for the boy & chores for me, and that was the day that was.

I think a lot of people are doing “A Week in the Life…” but for me I will end it there unless there’s some popular demand in the comments for more.

A Day in the Life of a Librarian


Librarians everywhere are signing up for the Library Day in the Life project as a way of showing what we do to fellow librarians, library school students, and anyone curious.  I missed out on this the last time it occurred so I definitely wanted to participate this year, especially since I’ve been looking for ways to kickstart the library content on this blog.

My position at my place of work (MPOW) is Information Lifecycle Management assistant.  The job title is not the most self-evident and in the year and one month I’ve been working in this position the responsibilities and definitions have shifted.  Basically, I work with people and records whether those records be active (records management) or permanent (archives).  My typical responsibilities involve accessioning records for storage or for archives, retrieving & returning boxes at the request of an administrative or faculty office, and answering reference questions related to archival material.

That scratches the surface, and hopefully this exercise will explain more.  With no further ado, I present…

A Day in the Life of an Information Lifecycle Management Assistant

Monday

  • wake up (late).  My son gets me up with zerberts and lots of giggling. Get ready for work.
  • My wife drives my son and I to the school.  He goes to the childrens’ center, I go to the library.
  • begin work day by checking emails, planning out tasks for the day and other administrative tasks.
  • check out Twitter and FriendFeed to see how my other library peeps are doing.
  • continue an ongoing reference project to learn about details of the lives of students from China who attended the school in its early years.  This involves reviewing registrar records, yearbooks, and alumni bulletins among other things.
  • at request from a faculty assistant, arrange to have boxes picked up and returned to offsite storage
  • prepare a student file for loan to the admissions office.
  • Lunch!  I eat a salad and read the Rex Libris graphic novel.
  • Spend an hour on-call to page materials from the stacks for patrons in the reading room.  Spend the time populating a spreadsheet for records storage stats and reading scholarly articles and blogs relevant to my job.
  • At request of my manager, I refile boxes related to a reference question we worked on last week.  Also photocopy a few pages of interest to the patron.  I cut my finger when trying to remove the staple.  Ouch!
  • Resume research on Chinese students.  Also work on a similar question about the school’s earliest research in India.
  • Close out my day of work.
  • Go to childrens’ center to pick up my son.
  • Take bus to public library.  I get teased for going to the library on my time off, but MPOW generally doesn’t specialize in stuff I’m interested in.
  • Ride subway home.  My son is inordinately fussy.
  • Relieved to get home, eat supper, put the boy to bed and go to bed myself.  Whew!

I’m glad to get that done.  Now I’ll have to find time to read what everyone else wrote.

Meme: iTunes/mp3 library


Via Wordishness

Number of Songs: 12,267
Number of Albums: 1223
Most Recently Played Song: “Run Run Away” – Slade
Most Played Song: “Wind and Rain” – Crooked Still
Most Recently Added Album: Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music – Ray Charles

First Song Alphabetically: “A-Punk” – Vampire Weekend
Last Song Alphabetically: “Zooropa” – U2
Smallest Song Numerically: “1-2-3”- Len Barry
Biggest Song Numerically: “1999″ – Prince & The Revolution

Shortest Song: “Kangaroo-SFX”- Carl Stalling (0:03)
Longest Song: “Comes A Time”- Grateful Dead (36:29)

First Album Alphabetically: Abbey Road, The Beatles
Last Album Alphabetically: Zooropa, U2
First Album Numerically: 1-2-3-4 Die, The Ramones
Last Album Numerically: 1964 Rock ‘n’ Roll Era

First Five Songs That Pop Up On Shuffle:

  1. “Low Down Man” – Squirrel Nut Zippers
  2. “You Don’t Know” – Erin McKeown
  3. “Achin’ To Be” – The Replacements
  4. “Bought For A Song” – Fountains of Wayne
  5. “When Your Heart Is Weak”– Cock Robin

Meme: 2008 End-of-Year


Via Caveat Lector, some questions to reflect on the year recently passed

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

I rode the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Trolley.  Woke up to the sound of a yodeling pickle.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t remember making any so I probably didn’t keep them.  I haven’t made any this year.  I think I’ll work on things as they come along instead.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Two of my dearest friends adopted a baby girl who was born in December.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My stepfather Wayne died in August

5. What countries did you visit?

Seven of the United States: Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, & North Carolina.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 which you lacked in 2008?

A tidy house.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched in your memory, and why?

April 24 – the day I received the treatment that stopped my sciatica pain.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I discovered I’m actually a pretty good dad.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Didn’t do very well at household chores, financial management, nor keeping in touch with friends & family.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Dear me, yes!  January through April were marred by the crippling pain of sciatica.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

In light of the previous question, probably the copay on a Vicodin prescription.  In reality, the adorable pirate costume for Peter’s Halloween.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My son and wife.  Also, people like Trucle and Joe who cooked meals for us.  And all the people who helped out when I was injured.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The staff at the Somerville office of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Child care and mortgage on the house.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Anything Peter-related.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

“White Winter Hymnal,” by Fleet Foxes.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?

Happier.  Slightly thinner.  Poor in money, but wealthy in love.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Traveling, biking, spending time with good friends, household chores, volunteering, writing,  contemplative time alone, and prayer.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Writhing in pain, vomiting, and feeling exhausted.

20. How will you be spending New Year’s?

Playing dominoes with my wife and her parents.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

Tad from Leapfrog and the doctor’s office.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?

My son was born near the end of 2007, but I’ve discovered new and deeper love for him in his first full year.

23. How many one night stands in this last year?

I don’t roll like that.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, and Bob the Builder.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I’m a lover not a hater.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?

Favorite Books of 2008.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, and WFMU’s Antique Phonograph Music Program

28. What did you want and get?

A new job.

29. What did you want and not get?

A trip to Washington for our friends’ wedding, a night out with my wife, and the Christmas Revels.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I enjoyed watching New York: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old did you turn?

I celebrated my 35th birthday by going to work and then having dinner and cake with my family.  A few days earlier had a lovely dinner with a number of good friends at the Dogwood Cafe.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

New York Mets, World Series Champions.  Or an express subway line from Jamaica Plain to Allston.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Sloppy.

34. What kept you sane?

The usual: family, reading, getting out of the house.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Gwen Ifill.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

2nd Suffolk district Senate race.

37. Whom did you miss?

All the friends we were supposed to see on our April trip to Washington that we had to cancel.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I’ve met lots of wonderful babies via  Peter, plus all of his child care teachers are great people.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

The drums are much cooler than the triangle.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“Baby shark, baby shark, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.”

2008 Year in Review: First Sentences


The first sentence from the first post of the first day of each month of this year.  Exciting, eh?

January:  “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) tells a familiar story.”

February:  “It’s early morning on Sunday 1 February 1998 and mist shrouds Galway as I board a bus to Rossaveal.”

March:  “On the first of March 1998, I made a rail journey across London to the borough of Greenwich.”

April:  “Here’s a bunch of short movie reviews, notes for my memory at least.”

May:  “Nobel Prize Laureate Heinrich Böll’s novel Billiards at Half-Past Nine represents Germany for Around the World for a Good Book.”

June:  “On Sunday, the Forest Hills Educational Trust and Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston presented a family concert in the lovely Forsyth Chapel called Tunes, Tales & Tricksters.”

July:  “Boston By Foot offers a special walking tour during Harborfest called Son of Boston: A Salute to Ben Franklin.”

August:  “New York: A Documentary Film is an 8-part film made by Ric Burns that debuted on PBS in 1999 (except for episode 8, which is from 2003).”

September:   “I arrived early for a tour in Ashmont and with nothing better to do, I got my geek on and rode the Mattapan-Ashmont High Speed Trolley Line.”

October:   “Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948) begins with a pre-teen boy arriving to move in with the father he never knew, hoping to avoid going to military school. ”

November:   “Last year when I went through a liturgical year with posts on my favorite saints, inspired by Fr. James Martin’s book My Life With the Saints, I failed to make a post for All Saints Day.”

December:   “I read Freeman Walker (2008) by David Allan Cates on the tails of completing The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, both of which feature young men in slavery in extraordinary situations, but their tales diverge rapidly from that similarity.”

Previously: 2007 Year in Review: First Sentences