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I can’t let my readers scare me.  I know there are some who are reading my blog in hopes to find some thing to report; to shame me or to prove that I dislike my son’s other family.  Just so you know, if you find some thing that fits your criteria, you have fabricated it to be so.  While we have our differences in parenting styles and social mores, I don’t think badly of them and in fact really respect the things they have accomplished since I have known them.  If the circumstances were different, if we didn’t have the history, I believe we could have been friends.

I ran from my last blog, which had a healthy amount of followers, when I found that some were scouring it for “bad things” to pass on.  I hated the idea of being watched like that.  I akin it to living in a small town, knowing all your neighbors and somehow garnering a bad reputation so that the local past time becomes spotting your next transgression.  It’s enough to make you want to pull up stakes and move out of town.  That is the cowards way out though and I won’t be doing it again.  If  you want to know what I am up to, you can continue to find out right here.  Hopefully the neighbors will get bored and start minding their own business, but I’m not counting on it.  I am also not making my Twitter private, as I think it takes away from the point of it all.  I will block trolls though.

I like this blog.  I plan to make it better and maybe stop being lazy and start including more pictures–at least of book covers.  I admit that I hate finding a cover, downloading the picture then uploading it again.  I wish there was some photo repository in the sky (or the cloud) where I could just link to the url.  Maybe Goodreads will let me use theirs…

Oh, and yes I have learned my lesson.  No more sarcastic twitter posts about misspellings.  Be nice and let the person know.  These days you can’t assume you are shouting into a void.  And I should help my friends, not mock them, however anonymous it felt at the time.

Well, I was going to go to bed early, but instead I feel the need to write about some of the terminology I use here.  Who has heard of The BFG?  Anyone?  Of course there is also BFE, which can mean a place that is far away or obscure.  Possibly also a place you don’t want to go, but not always.  Usually there is a reason you would want to go to that place, just that it is hard to get to and a long distance.  I happen to love Roald Dahl, so I combined a bit of the two and I call the place where my son lives BFD sometimes.  As I am a big reader, I will make literary references and combine them with my own sense of fun.  Doesn’t mean I don’t like the area or that I disrespect it.

I don’t feel that misspellings are the end of all on the internets, there are a lot of them here and some are intentional.  However, if I am going to make hits on others intelligence, I usually try to make sure that everything is spelled right.  If I see something on the internet that hits me as funny that way, I might mention it, or tweet it, or whatever.  However, I am not going to make the person feel dumb by telling them their spelling is lacking.  Nor am I going to post a link, then point and laugh.  See, still not doing it.  If that is passive aggressive, I am sorry.  I see it as maturity–although not as mature as I should be, since I did make the tweet that started the slamming that is going on.  I should have known that the internet spies were watching.  Of course, I also don’t expect praise when I forward someone’s excellent posts on to my Google Reader friends.  Which I won’t link here either.

So, now you know the dangers of being catty on the internet.  People feel they should publicly shame you.  Even if that is not what you did to them.  Don’t worry, I am going to keep my chin up.

What am I reading? Lot’s of good stuff!

Currently devouring The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter, after reading a wonderful review by Librarian of the Teenagers.  It is quite good and reminds me of the arc I reviewed of The Atomic Weight of Secrets.  More when I am done.

I am listening to the eighth and most recent book of the Bloody Jack Series: The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Adventures of Jacky Faber, on her Way to Botany Bay by L.A. Meyer.  You have heard me rave about these books before; I love the adventure, the strong female character (with some moral flaws) and the reader is excellent–Katherine Kellgren.

And I am reading No God but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam by Reza Aslan because I wanted to find out more about the Islamic religion and culture.  Right now I am still in the history of the religion, which I am not sure that an Islamic person would agree with (much as a Christian might not agree with an outside review of the history of Christianity) but I am hoping it will get more into the belief system later.

Here are links to my reviews for The Clearing by Heather Davis and Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool that I read while I was away and had limited posting power.

So it is good that I was bad on the internet.  It motivated me to write a blog post.

I’m currently in Vegas visiting my sweetie. His birthday is this week and Southwest was nice enough to give me a free round trip in exchange for going into debt to Chase.

I’ve already finished two books since I got here Monday night and started a third. Thank goodness for the overdrive app–I was able to download the first book in The Vampire Diaries series. I have been meaning to read it for a while, and what better time than when stuck away from my library?

What am I reading? the books I finished are Moon Over Manifest-newest Newbury Award winner, well deserved–and The Clearing by Heather Davis–also quite good.

Reviews and links when I’m back at a computer.

Oh. Did I mention it is 68 and sunny here? Just wanted to run it a little.

People in my profession and other bookly professions (editors, publishers, artists, authors, even readers) argue over whether a book should be called a comic or a graphic novel.  There is a line in Blood and Chocolate (the movie, not the book) where Vivian refers to Aiden’s books as “comics” and Aiden replies that “they’re not comics, they’re graphic novels,” at which, she shrugs.  Her shrug signifies how most people feel about the argument, while Aiden’s declaration shows the prejudices some people have against “comics”–comics are crude funny pages with bleeding color and shallow characters, among others.

My opinion isn’t a strong one.  I don’t care for super hero comics, but I do like serials.  Some of my favorites are Girl GeniusUnshelved, Questionable Content, Bad Machinery, Diesel Sweeties, Get Fuzzy and xkcd.  These are all available on the web, which is a must for me, because otherwise I will never keep up.  I do also buy some of these and they often include never before seen panels, which makes it totally worth it.  What I consider a graphic novel is a comic that tells a story contained in one book.  They can stand alone or be a series.  Some examples of these are Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Blankets by Craig Thompson, I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly, J.M. Ken Niimura (Illustrator), and–ah well, here is a list of the ones I have read in the last couple of years.   Don’t judge me too harshly for continuing Buffy through comics.  I know they aren’t as good.

What am I reading? As promised, here are some graphic novels that I learned about in a webinar a couple of weeks ago:

How I Made it to Eighteen; A Mostly True Story by Tracy White really struck a chord with me.  I have a few people near to me that struggle with some sort of addiction, whether it is drugs, alcohol or eating disorders.  This book helped me look at those illnesses from the person experiencing them’s perspective.  It made it a little easier to forgive and to stop feeling guilty for not “being there.”

This is a memoir style comic that tells how Stacy Black ended up in a mental hospital to deal with the depression that has been slowly building up  in her over the last several years.  The situation in the mental hospital reminded me of the movie It’s Kind of a Funny Story–there’s art class, group therapy, individual therapy and stark hospital rooms.  The characters have to figure out what is really wrong.  Most of them are lying, even to themselves and they can’t get help until they stop.  There are interjecting chapters where questions are asked of Stacy’s 4 closest friends that give insight into her illness as well as some into the corners of their own minds.

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch This one is a much more lighthearted story set in an Orthodox Jewish community where a girl’s future is to get married, take care of the house and have children.  Mirka doesn’t deny those ideals, although she does do her best not to learn the lessons her step mother painstakingly tries to teach her.  Mirka wants to find a sword and kill a giant.  Being attacked by a pig really wasn’t what she’d envisioned for her quest.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier Another Memoir style graphic novel.  It begins with Raina in 6th grade, dreading what braces for an overbite will do to her social standing.  She races her friend to her front door, but trips and falls on the cement, knocking her one front tooth out  and the other up into her gums.  Ouch, I cringed at the scene, remembering having my own front tooth broken off when I was in Middle School.  It was years of temporary crowns until I could finally get a permanent one at 18.  I have pictures from choir of what could happen if I ate a cookie and the cap fell off.  Raina has a worse fate–several weeks of painful recovery followed by years of painful and embarrassing orthodontia.  This might sound depressing and dull, but the story is bright with coming of age stories, humor and a journey to self actualization.

Disappointment in programming for libraryland.  Turns out all the wonderful programs I have planned have to be put on hold while managers figure out what we are doing on a system wide level.  I still get to do TAG and most likely the scavenger hunt, since that is a program they will be planning.  No game programs for now.

My first TAG meeting is tomorrow and I am excited to see all the kids.  It has been almost 2 months since I have seen some of them and there is likely to be a few new faces, by the interest I have seen.  I am going to break out the duct tape and Stick It for funsies.  The last time I tried making something with duct tape I had a big mess and tape stuck to my fingers.  I have two left thumbs when it comes to sticky materials.  We will also talk about making the video and break into groups to work on various parts.  We have two months to complete it and load it up to youtube.

Yesterday was so busy.  We had a ton of sick calls, the schedule was wrong for some folks, so there were less bodies than we thought, and three of our staff were sent elsewhere (none of us were sick).  It went ok, but on top of it, we were pretty packed all day.  There were young families I’d never seen before, lots of kids, a memorial service in the meeting room and a few service animals to top things off.  I won’t go into service animals.  I hope the young families weren’t put off by the chaos.  Yesterday was not a quiet day at the library.  There was one moment when the people in the memorial service started singing and we all looked at each other, shrugged and went back to what we were doing.  Here’s hoping that the Super Bowl allows us a quiet recovery day.

What am I reading? I finished The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.  This is a cleverly written book that echoes and contradicts The Odyssey by Homer.  The main voice is Penelope, the wife of Odysseus and daughter of King Icarus.  There are always two sides of a story, and in this case there are three.  Penelope’s prose, talking of her faithfulness, her problems with her adolescent son and her myriad of suitors, is peppered with poems that tell various versions of what happened to the hanged maids.  This retelling of the classic tale will make your historical fiction, mythology and most feminist readers happy.  That last might open a bag of worms, as any time you say “feminist” someone will shoot you down.  However, Penelope’s is a strong voice, current with the times she lived in, and she fought to not become the toy of bullies and braggarts.  She was still somewhat a prisoner of the times though and felt compelled to conform to the norms, at least on the surface.

I am currently halfway into Beka Cooper, Terrier by Tamora Pierce.  One of the TAG group gave it to me for our secret gift exchange at the end of the last session.  I am really liking it so far.  Tamora Pierce has a really solid writing style.

I think my next post will go over some of the graphic novels I discovered during a webinar a couple of weeks ago.

Lots of fun things planned in Libraryland.  My new manager is great and I am seeing her a lot more.  We had our one on one yesterday and we discussed programs and outreach.  I am going to add one gaming program a month (mostly table games) starting in March.  TAG is going to work on a video project and we discussed ways of making a neighborhood scavenger hunt work.  The problem being, how do we send the teens out into the world without having to worry they will be hit by a bus or get lost?  Has anyone else done one of these?  What did you do?

My assistant and I are planning a Facebook class for the semi computer literate and to revamp our email class once again.  We have had  a lot of requests for the former and the later is giving us problems.  We changed our email class a while back because people were showing up for the wrong class-(email 1 is for beginners, email 2 is for those more advanced)-often people would show up for email 2 having never had an email account.  We combined the classes, but have found that it is too much to cover in one class and that we were still spending a lot of time on those needing to sign up for email accounts.  This time we are going to concentrate on email 1 and build in an extra half hour at the beginning for acquiring email accounts.

What am I reading? Still Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, but I also finished the first omnibus of Girl Genius by Phil FoglioKaja Foglio.  I really like this comic, with it’s complicated plot and smart girl hero.  It is a steampunk comic (created before steampunk became such a cult craze) with dirigibles and something called spark, where those that possess it can make mechs that move on their own.  Agatha has always thought she was just a bad mechanic with big ideas.  Everything she made malfunctioned and wreaked havoc.  One day, on her way to class, her broach was stolen and everything changed.  Agatha is a strong female character, she knows who she is (well, mostly), what she wants and she isn’t going to let others push her around or make up her mind for her.