Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Finding Chi

(Chi Frog LCS 2007)
I look up the word chi online and the jist of the definitions means life and/or energy force. It is listed as a noun. This reminds me of a t'ai chi instructor who used to do programs for the library. She used to work with people at the homeless shelter and always told them that no one can take your chi or your power away. This is a good lesson. Sometimes the chi can be lost temporarily, like my credit card, my name badge and my sanity (which all were found by the way). However, I restored my chi, my essence, my power. I felt this way in tae kwon do tonight, after Master Sponseller re-adjusted my helmet before sparring. If you lose your chi, restore your chi.

Monday, August 25, 2008

LaSalle RetroFest: Celebrating the 1980s

(Librarians 1980's Style August, 2008)
(Groundbreaking 2008)
(LaSalle Branch Sign 2008)
I survived groundbreaking and the festival. We estimated around 800 people for the entire day. The weather was perfect and the music was wonderful. We had Surf Simians playing surf music, Miss Jackson performing 80s tunes, and DJ Swygg performing cover tunes like CCR. I am glad it worked out. Now I can relax a little and focus on Open Book and closing LaSalle Branch for renovation.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

On the Eve of the Eve of LaSalle RetroFest

It is two days before groundbreaking and the 3rd Annual LaSalle RetroFest: Celebrating the '80s. I will be making an introduction and presenting Board members, local politicians, and the Director and Assistant Director wearing blue eyeshadow and enormous 1980's hair. Only in my crazy library world. But it's so appropriate! I'm getting to the point where I am beyond anxious and nicknaming this event RetroHell and now realize that it's going to happen. And it will be fun!And I will celebrate.
After Saturday, life can get back to normal (sort of) and I can resume my normal life: martial arts, walking and biking at the gym, and writing.
I finished Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer and started Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich. I was reading Janet Evanovich's book and laughed out loud. Someone else stopped by and told me how much she enjoyed the books.
I will post pics and give you an update! Pray for sunshine.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Breaking Dawn

(Spoiler Alert!)
I broke down today and purchased the 4th book by Stephenie Meyer entitled Breaking Dawn. It's the 4th installment of the Twilight Series. Meyer's books are about a love story between Edward Cullen, a vampire, and Isabella Swan, a human. Although they were originally written for young adults, there is the wide audience appeal not unlike the Harry Potter books. I read this book while riding twenty minutes on the bicycle at the gym and during my solo dinner out. So far I'm at Edward and Bella's wedding reception. Perhaps being a gaming convention widow has its positive moments. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chasing the Sunset: Revisited

(Sunset Hiding in Trees LCS/ 2008)
(Midwestern Sunset LCS 2008)
(Final Glimpse of the Sunset, LCS 2008)
It's Friday night and I have the run of the house with the kitties. Of course I miss Steve, but he's having a great time at GENCON. I'm going to nestle on the wicker couch on the front porch, listen to music, organize a few things and when my head settles, I'll write. Here are more photographs from our road trip last weekend. I loved the sunset.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chickens, Goats, and Horses, Oh My!

(Chicken! LCS 2008)
(Kids LCS 2008)
(Horse Hair LCS 2008)
(Brown Horse in Pasture LCS 2008)
This is the second part of the adventure Steve and I had when we visited friends last Saturday. We ventured into a petting zoo and it was wonderful! The animals were so docile, sweet, and well-fed. They had the humans trained pretty well. Enjoy the photographs!

Barkmates: Featuring Sir Kingsley

(Sir Kingsley the Olympian, LCS 2008)
(Sir Kingsley the Gentleman, LCS 2008)
This blog posting has gone to the dog. Sir Kingsley is the fur child of two dear friends of ours. He is 65 pounds of fun. He has his own room, his own portrait, and his own bed. Last Christmas we received a Christmas card featuring Sir Kingsley and Santa. I almost fell off the couch laughing because Santa completely resembled Sir Kingsley. When Steve and I visited last Saturday, we toured the town, pet the animals, shopped at the antique store, and had lunch. We then hung out at Sir Kingsley's house and watched the Olympics. In fact, we had our own Olympics. Tug-of-war. I was convinced that with all of my martial arts training, I could hold my own and stay on the couch. Right. I gave Sir Kingsley a good fight, but he got the gold (and the slimy dog toy). Sir Kingsley, I demand a rematch.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bobby Found the Tabu, Friends, and Samurai

Okay, I stand corrected. It was Bobby, not Jan that found the Tabu on The Brady Bunch. This proves that I cannot believe everything I read on the internet. Thank you, anonymous writer! Also, my apologies for those of you who received my email link and it sent you to Google! Oops. It's been that kind of writing weekend. Steve and I visited dear friends in Illinois on Saturday. We had a great time. More details will be posted soon. Steve is my new home tae kwon do coach to help me with advancing to red belt and to incorporate martial arts in my everyday routine. He is enjoying bossing me around and wants to sport a Fu Manchu. Steve helped me with forms from Master Sponseller's book and with the sword. Steve also recommended a book called A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. The book is about Musashi's philosophy of strategy from a samurai's point-of-view. I will give you a review when I finish it. Have a good week!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Adventures in Libraryland: Evil Voodoo Curse of Rudy's Head

(Rudy Before He Lost his Head, LCS/2008)
Ever since Rudy the Mannequin's accidental beheading, I have been placed under a curse. This reminds me of the Brady Bunch episode entitled "Pass the Tabu" where Jan picks up an artifact and thus curses the Brady family until it is returned to the ancient caves. Well, Rudy's head is resting peacefully in some one's backyard, so what the heck? Are there any ancient caves in northern Indiana to return Rudy's head? And Rudy was found at a thrift store. Would they want him there? In pieces?
On Wednesday, like any other professional, I pick up the phone and try to dial out. All I get is a clicking sound. Click, click, click, click. I check all the zillions of plugs behind the desk to trace back to the phone, plug in and plug out. Check to make sure all lines are tight. So I call IT. I do it all over again and it still doesn't work. The IT professional will come out tomorrow and check it. (Glad I wore pants on Wednesday.)Earlier, we had to move an entire wall of books for construction. The library is getting torn apart. Lula the Whale has died and the ship and shell are being shipped out to sea on Thursday. On Thursday, I arrive at libraryland and my phone is gone. It is broken. They will send me a new one. (Dum Dum DUMMMM). Late Thursday night, I receive an IM. A musical performer cancels on me for a huge program coming up (RetroFest). On Friday, another musical performer cancels on me for a huge program coming up. I am peeved. I do find one group with assistance from wonderful staff, but all the publicity is out. And it's now incorrect. Hopefully, Rudy will lift his evil voodoo curse from his head and let me have a normal week. Meanwhile, we're getting out of town tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Adventures in Libraryland: A Mannequin's Murder

I returned to play library today and staff surprised me a wonderful belated birthday brunch. They also trashed my office as tradition when I am away on vacation. One year they turned my desk around and I didn't notice for three hours until I tried to open a drawer. Another time they placed furniture against the door and locked me out (I have two doors). Recently, staff turned the room into a cattery, with stuffed kitties, cat balls, and a pretend litter box (ew). Other pranks include taking Moocow (a cow puppet) hostage with a photograph of a blindfolded cow puppet and a ransom note. (I can feel the love. Can you?)
Another devious prop used for pranks are mannequins. A few years ago we borrowed Stan the Mannequin from a sister library to dress up and use for a large program that was occuring. Stan was delivered on a Friday morning and I did not work until Saturday. Someone (who was probably caught on the security camera) dragged the upper half of Stan (he arrived in two pieces) in my office. When I opened the door on Saturday, I saw a figure sitting at my desk and jumped the proverbial ten feet. Someone placed the bottom half near another staff member.
After we shipped Stan back to his home, we liked the idea of mannequins displaying books. So, a staff brought in a mini-Stan. He had no legs, no arms, but a torso and head. We had a naming contest and his name was christened Rudy. Rudy lived on the display table until 2008. He started to fall apart, so we decided he could retire (and be put in the garage sale after the branch closes for renovation this fall) .
(Back to the current story... you can see in the photo what I came back to on Monday.) Today, I attempted to move Rudy the Mannequin out of my office. I dropped him, not on purpose! He landed with a loud THUMP. Oh my God. I killed Rudy! Worse, I beheaded Rudy! His pasty mannequin head rolled out of my office. I enjoyed the looks on my staff's faces. After they recovered, they started with the jokes... that they were going to call the FBI and that I tampered with evidence when I took Rudy's torso to the trash. And then the head mysteriously disappeared, only to appear in my bag next to my laptop. THANK GOD I opened the bag before a meeting. Rudy's torso is in the trash (he gave my custodian quite a scare--Rudy's the gift that keeps on giving). His head is in the middle of a staff member's garden. May Rudy rest in pieces.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Adventures With Greenie: Finding Sunshine in Bremenwood

(Sunflowers, LCS 2008)
(Sunset, LCS 2008)
(Hildy, Hildy! LCS 2008)
A dear friend sent me an email about a local newspaper article on sunflowers in the country. Since I have absolutely no sense of direction, I print out my mapquest directions and Greenie (my 2002 Honda Civic) and I head for the south. The sunflowers, like me, are hot, tired, and feeling a little droopy. I knock on the farmer's door to the white house to see if I can take some sunflower photos close up and in the field. Since no one answered the knock, I put my hazard lights on, park on the side of the road, and start snapping photographs.

Afterwards, I attempt to find my friend's house for an afternoon swim and talk. She is one of my closest friends, and I love her and her husband so much. They are extended family and I am so grateful to have them in my life.
I get lost, then after several cell phone calls, I find my bearings and find Bremenwood,which is a little slice of heaven. It is out in the country.

When a person is feeling discouraged, there is nothing like a 65-pound black lab who pounces on you when you open the car door and greets you with a wagging tail and doggie kisses (a relative refers to this as puppy breath). It was love. Hildy, Hildy, I love you! So Hildy attacks me with ultimate dog love, and then she waits outside Greenie, wagging her tail.
Since it is hot and muggy, my friend and I swim in her pool, relax, and hang out for a long time.
She is the perfect hostess. She provides snacks, water, and the best company one could wish for.
Elsa the calico cat makes a brief appearance in the kitchen (and then chased away by Hildy, the laborador love beast.)

On the way home, I notice the sunset to the west. It is lovely.

National Lampoon's Garden Adventures, and Last Thoughts on 46

Update on Sake Sakura: We will be making an appointment to get Sake's MRI. It's been really hot and our schedules have been nuts,...