Sunday, June 25, 2017

Back after two years

Well. It looks like this is a "post every two years" blog. Let's see if I can change that.

The current atmosphere in the U.S. is a mixed bag. We are so divided, so easily offended, so overly concerned with ourselves and "my rights". Don't get me wrong, my rights are important (so are yours) but demanding those rights in every situation without considering anyone else leads to awful things. I'm doing what I can in my own community to talk with people, to promote respectful conversations. It's tough going, especially when so many of my friends seem to prefer social media to share their opinions and to seek affirmation of those opinions (from both sides of the aisle.)

A long-time friend and former neighbor unexpectedly stopped by recently. He's originally from the Northwest but he lives in Florida now so his appearance was a wonderful surprise. We caught up on local news and we spoke of our families, what the kids are doing now, both his and ours. He shared that he was distraught to learn that his eldest daughter had voted for Obama. Both times! She was raised in a Republican family; how could she have done this? We gently informed him that we, too, had voted for Obama. He was appalled. "You're Christian. Why would you vote for him?"

Well, believe it or not, our vote was informed by our faith. And Jesus was pretty clear that he didn't come to participate in earthly politics. Our politics don't inform our faith, an important difference. We had a good conversation but our friend is not so sure about us now.

I don't plan to write about things like this, though. I plan to carry on with the original point of this blog: humor. Given the snark, the hatred, the selfishness, the fear. . .I'm going to stand up in my very small way and write about the good and funny things that happen.

So. Stay tuned.

Overheard on Twitter: Candle lighting vigil for the cow that was shot & killed yesterday in Queens after a wild Police chase .  
(the comment thread on this February tweet from @NYCScanner is almost worth its own blog post.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

A busy week

Whoa nelly, what a week this will be: a library conference, artist wrangling for the May artwalk, and lots of daily things to catch up on. I love my job and these are all good things, absolutely; an occasional dose of levity will help to keep the stress at a healthy level.

The best question I heard in the library came from a mom, after I'd helped her 8-year-old find some books on dolphin communication. She asked her daughter, "OK, now do you want to find some normal books?" They headed to the juvenile fiction shelves.

One of my favorite places for a humor break is AV Club. The thoughtfully-written articles cover film, music, comedy, television, books, and games. It's excellent reading. But the best part: the comment threads. You must read the comment threads. Commenters are witty and wry and prone to puns, with not a troll in sight. This week, the unnerving statue of Lucille Ball gets AV Club's attention. If you're reading this post, you should head on over there. It's a good start to the week.

Overheard on Twitter: Guys, asking a woman you don’t know to help you pick out a toothbrush is not a good romantic opener. Just no.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Two years on.

I'm back.

Blogging is a peculiar activity. It's one of those things that's much easier to do when done regularly. It's a simple thing to write my thoughts daily but skip a week and hooboy, it's tough. I don't write this with the expectation that others are reading it (although that's how it started out - a system-wide introduction to the wonders of 2.0 for staff), but there's still an odd guilt when I don't write something. And then my perverse nature kicks in and I don't write anything, sort of a "you can't make me" thing. And here it is, two years on. Human nature is just too funny sometimes.

I still like my humor theme. It's important to laugh, even if the laughter is a small inner chuckle or a smile. The Internet (do we still capitalize the word "Internet"?) is a purveyor of all that is wretched in the world, from breaking news of something grim to comment threads that seek to bully and ridicule. BUT. . .the online world also affirms that there are good things happening through creative responses to problems and needs, and there are comment threads that are delightfully witty and restorative (check out the occasional Pun War that erupts on AV Club.)

So, I'm back. Back to blogger, back to humor, back to recording the things that make my day a little lighter.

Overheard on Twitter:  There's no travel delight equal to successfully identifying and evading the wannabe-chatty seatmate on a long flight.

Until next time. . .

Monday, September 2, 2013

Well, hello.

It's been awhile, a state that's become typical. It's been a challenging year, with writing near the bottom of the Priorities List. Let's see if I get better at blogging in the last quarter of 2013.

I'm participating in a Goodreads challenge. The idea is to decide how many books I want to read this year and posting that number on the challenge page. My challenge is "60 books in 2013." I added a personal sub-challenge, unposted: include books that other Goodreads folk have liked. It's too easy to stick with my favorite genre and I wanted to branch out a bit. I've read titles from Young Adult fiction lists, explored a bit of steampunk, and wandered far and wide via book reviews. I've also developed an Author Crush on Ernest Hemmingway while reading A Moveable Feast.

The range of non-fiction titles reflects the difficulties this year has brought. I'm revisiting Chesterton, his Father Brown mysteries to balance Orthodoxy (a book I read when I was much too young to really get it.) Thomas Merton's Seeds of Contemplation. Books on coping skills and mental disorders as I learn as much as I can in order to be useful to someone going through a rough time. Humorous books, of course, to help me laugh (or at least chuckle) when things seem bleak.

"Beautiful Battlefields" by Bo Stern is one of my current titles and I read something in it today that spoke directly to our situation. Perhaps 'speak' isn't quite right. It was louder than that, a Pay Attention that rang true. I'm sharing it here, mostly for myself, so I can find it again after I return the book to the library.

"The God who knows the whole story can be trusted with all the days that fill its pages, but it's always tempting to pick up the pen ourselves. When it seems like the plotline is spinning out of control or when the hero is taking too long to arrive on the scene, I want to take over. I want to make my own happy ending, or at least take a sneak peek at the postbattle pages so that I know everything will turn out okay if I trust Him with my life. I'm finding, though, that He is a page-by-page, line-by-line God. He shows up in every word, in every syllable, and He proves Himself trustworthy every time. . ."

Shall I finish up with something more to the point of this blog? How about this gentle Father's Day rap, Dad's Life?

Overheard on Twitter:  I wonder if Vegas is taking bets on who dies in Downton Abbey season 4?

Until next time. . . (by the way, I reached my Goodreads goal by June. Kind of surprised me.)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Everything old is new again.

I'm preparing for the annual Washington Library Association conference which takes place this month. It's a joint endeavor with the Oregon Library Association, something that happens every five years, and there are 800+ attendees registered. One of my tasks is to make sure that the WLA interest groups (hereafter known as IGs) have an opportunity to present themselves to those who don't yet belong to an interest group. The traditional time is the Wednesday evening Meet & Greet, where each IG has a table manned by members of the group. There is usually a playful theme and IGs are encouraged to dress up their tables, and often themselves, according to that theme. There's always a friendly competition between IGs as Meet & Greet folk move from table to table.

This year, the conference theme is "The Future is NOW: Networking Oregon and Washington." The graphics are wonderful, pulling from the 1960s space craze and vintage library symbols. Everyone agreed that planets/moon/sun would be fun to work with for decorating the IG tables. Each IG officer was to email their celestial choice to me and boy, those emails came in quickly as the officers claimed their favorite. The list dwindled until only one actively-avoided planet remained. The last IG to choose was CAYAS (pronounced chaos) - Children And Young Adult Services. CAYAS had hoped for Pluto but someone else had already nabbed it. After some deliberation, CAYAS sent their email claiming that final planet:

"In the true spirit of youth services, CAYAS will choose Uranus."

So. Funny.

I've blogged before about the odd things that show up in the life of a library. There are peculiar  bookmarks, donated items of questionable origin, disturbing notes left at the public computers, fake "Bubba" teeth in the bookdrop . . . and just when we think we've seen it all, something comes along. . .

That was written on the back page of a book we had to discard. People write in library books all the time but this budget was notable for the recreational plans for the remaining $200. Someone commented that the patron had properly taken care of his obligations first. One of our staff did a superb comedic riff on it.

(Hm. I've just uploaded the photo and it's not very good but I think I'll leave it there anyway. In case you can't read it, the $200 is designated for "Hookers and Blo.")
Overheard on Twitter:  Watching an early episode of "Buffy." Ancient book gets digitized, subsequently releases a demon. TYPICAL.

Until next time.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Back to the beginning.

Well, it's pretty clear that blogging has not been a priority for several months.

This blog was originally established due to a library initiative for staff, exploring 2.0 apps and (at the very least) becoming familiar with them. Sometimes a 2.0 week totally appealed to people, Blog Week being one of them. Mine started out as a blog that explored humor. That has changed over the years although I still include funny tweets. It's time to get back to the point of the blog. Where shall I begin?



Oh my, yes. If you do a board search for "humor," some very funny things come up. Humor is such a personal thing and Pinterest boards reflect this. Some of them focus on epigrams while others are strictly-visual collections. Many are themed. Pick your subject and there's probably a Pinterest humor board for it. I often come across grammatical, nerd, or feline humor. One of my favorite boards is Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy's "Humor: just what the doctor ordered." An example from this board:

Here's another pin from the board:

There's a lot that can be done with health-themed humor. This pin originated with Planned Parenthood.

Heads up. Pinterest is dangerously addicting, especially if you already enjoy browsing around the internet. I have to set a timer or I will spend hours. Seriously. Hours.

And that is that, a good start to refreshing my blog. The goal is a weekly post. Let's see how it goes.

Overheard on Twitter: Let's redefine "going commando" as leaving your home without your phone.

Until next time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ready to laugh?

January 1. Chapter 2013, page 1 of 365. Isn't that a terrific way to look at the year ahead? Time = book. I entered the story at chapter 1954. I don't make resolutions at the new year, preferring the more natural (for me) starting point in September for those. But I like the thought of a year being a chapter with pages. I'll keep it in mind as the year rolls along.

I've fiddled about in my computer's Humor folder this morning, having a wonderful time revisiting some of my old Web favorites. One stands out.

I'm usually not all that interested in tourist attractions in major parks but there's one on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls that I would visit based purely on their website. It's a haunted house, not something one would naturally associate with Niagara Falls. Nightmares Fear Factory snaps photos of people in the middle of a major fright and creates a slideshow of the best ones. They even keep track of how many people chicken out and don't enter, indicating just how scary this haunted house might be.  I watched November's slideshow and laughed until my sides hurt. The photos of guys, all ages, are usually the funniest. It feels a little odd to be entertained by pics of frightened people, but . . .well . . . there it is.

I have the whole week off as we prepare for a visitor from Japan. We're mostly ready - we've been listening to Japanese for Dummies CDs to learn some basic phrases. Ken picks up languages easily but I do not. I have a feeling I'll be more entertaining than correct!  Ah well.  Today is glorious, sunshine and blue skies. The squirrels are marauding the suet cake again, occasionally chased off by a Flicker. A hummingbird has made repeated inquiries at the berries on our Christmas wreath so it's time to dig out the feeder and make some sugar syrup. It's a peaceful beginning, January 1.

May your year be blessed.

Overheard on Twitter:  What's the best kind of medical attention to get on Christmas? TREE-tment! This joke nearly got me thrown out of the house into the cold.

Until next time.