Friday, August 31, 2007

More Cat Pictures

Here's Murphy again. He loves tomatoes. When I bite or cut into a tomato, he can smell it from any room in the apartment, and he comes running. I sat down on the couch after work today with a tomato, and he was all over me trying to steal it. I kept twisting around, moving the tomato away from him, but he was quite persistent. Finally I just let him have a few licks in exchange for a photo op.

And here's Luna, the 16 pound cat, sitting in the tiny box lid from my NIV Study Bible, with that faraway "I am pondering significant things" look on his face. (Don't you believe it!) I love how the map of the Czech Republic is like a halo behind his head. (By the way, the map is on the wall straight. It's just the camera angle that makes it look crooked.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fridge Cat

I opened my fridge to get a snack, and Murphy hopped right on in and made himself at home. He showed no signs of vacating, and once I'd decided my electric bill couldn't stand me holding the door open any longer, I had to forcibly extract him. His fur was very cold, and he seemed mighty miffed over the eviction.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary

Friday at the bookstore, I picked up Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary, by Monica Nolan (New York: Kensington, 2007). The lurid cover, so reminiscent of the 1950s pulps, proclaimed, "Her soul was pure. Her desires were sinful. Her typing was impeccable." How could I resist?

I absolutely devoured this book. It is screamingly hilarious, oozing with purple prose, and sauteed in cheese. In both style and tone, it reminds me very much of my all-time favorite lesbian novels, Mabel Maney's trilogy, The Case of the Not-so-Nice Nurse, The Case of the Good-For-Nothing Girlfriend, and A Ghost in the Closet, featuring Nancy Clue, Cherry Aimless, and the Hardly Boys. If you like that sort of campy humor, then Lois Lenz is for you.

Lois is a small town cheerleader who moves to the big city for an exciting career as a secretary in 1959. Who knew filing could be so enthralling? The clueless, naive heroine stumbles through the labyrinth of office politics, blackmail, stenography, raging lust, Communists, and a mystery that makes me want to ask where Velma and Scooby are hiding, all while making only one single typo. Best lesbian novel I've read in years! It is grand fun with a cherry on top!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Three C's: Coffee, Candy, and Cataloging

I attended a workshop on cataloging sound recordings today. (It was excellent, by the way. The Nebraska Library Commission always does such a good job.) During the lunch break, a colleague and I ventured forth to find coffee. We spotted big awning that proclaimed in huge letters, "Panache, your neighborhood's best coffee." When we went into the building, the letters on the door identified the place simply as "The Coffee House." My colleague got an iced latte, and I got a "Mex Mocha."

I knew I was in for a higher class of latte when I saw the barista get out the massive glass jug of milk. Yes, they were using real organic farm milk. Oh, heaven! Oh, bliss! As implied by the "Mex," the flavor was more like cocoa than the average mocha-grade chocolate, and there was a nice cinnamon bite to it. I have had "Aztec" or "Mayan" mochas before, but this was by far the best.

Now, perhaps I was just pumped up about the cataloging workshop, or perhaps my brain is just naturally warped, but I actually found myself thinking about the sign on the awning versus the sign on the door. I imagined creating a MARC record for the coffee shop. Hey, librarians catalog much more than books. We catalog tools and artwork and historical artifacts, so I see no reason whatsoever that we couldn't catalog a building. But the question is, would one catalog a building as an architectural structure or a place of business? I suppose that's the difference between cataloging it as a serial or as a single monograph of a numbered series.

Anyway, AACR2 and LCRI probably don't prescribe a chief source of information for a building. Would it be the largest sign, visible from the street? That was my gut reaction. On the other hand, what about the sign on the door? Well, with a book, the chief source is defined as the title page. If you take the awning to be analogous to the cover and the door to the title page, then The Coffee House would be the title proper and Panache would be an alternate title.

Well, a little searching on Google verified that The Coffee House is the official name of the business, and Panache is actually the brand of coffee they serve. However, I found a spot on a UNL webpage referring to "Panache Coffee House" as a co-sponsor of the Elizabeth I: Ruler and Legend Conference (how cool is that!), so obviously some Lincoln residents do think of Panache as the name of the business. That's enough justification for inclusion for me. (Add access points based on actual use! Bend those rules! That's what cataloger's judgment is for!)

Anyway, this brought me to:

245 14 $a The Coffee House.
246 1_ $i Sign on awning : $a Panache : $b your neighborhood's best coffee

Those of you who don't work in libraries are looking at that and thinking, "WTF?" Those of you who do work in libraries are looking at it and thinking, "Hey, where's your GMD?" What would be the GMD for a building anyway? Realia?

Anyway, I'm going to stop now, before I lose my non-library readers, if I haven't lost them already.

After returning to Omaha, I made a beeline for my bank. The new presidential dollars were supposed to be released into circulation today, and I was hyper-hyper-hyped for it. Hooray for Thomas Jefferson, our third president on his own shiny gold dollar!

I got to my bank and they didn't have any. They won't have them in until next Wednesday.


Despondent, I trudged over to get some take-out Chinese food and a candy bar for dinner.

Now, about this candy bar . . . it was a Peanut Butter & Banana Creme Reese's Big Cup, "King Size" in honor of Elvis. Now, the idea of peanut butter and bananas together was absolutely appalling to me. However, I have this thing, see--I must try every new flavor of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that comes out, and I must buy it upon first-sighting. It's a requirement. Okay, I lied. It's just an obsession. Anyway, with great trepidation, I bought the PB and banana cups.

To my immense shock, I liked them. It's actually a delicious combination. I'm traumatized and delighted at the same time.

So now I'm stuffed full of Shanghai chicken and peanut butter, banana creme, and chocolate, and I'm still sliding off the caffeine buzz. The PlayStation 2 calls . . .

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Weekend

Yesterday was my grandmother's 90th birthday. She is in excellent health, body and mind. We had a lovely family dinner at her house, celebrating not only my grandma but also my aunt, since they have the same birthday. Grandma had a card shower, and she was hoping to get 90 cards, one for each year. She surpassed that number of cards by quite a few, receiving tidings from as far away as the Czech Republic. So that was quite wonderful.

I wanted to do something special for my card, so I drew it myself. Here's the front.

I thought about coloring the whole thing, but a test version I did on a photocopy ended up looking pretty bad. The brown ink completely obscured all the fine detail on the feathers. So I decided to leave it as a predominantly black and white picture, with only the splash of yellow. I think it worked out okay. I've only recently started using a .38 mm pen to ink my pictures, and I'm liking the effect. I previously used wider pens and went over some sections multiple times to create variable line widths for the illusion of weight and substance. But I'm finding that I like the fine line work better, since it allows for much more detail. In some ways, it's like I'm reverting to an earlier art style, since this is more in keeping with the kind of work I did back in high school. The thick-line style was something I picked up in college, and it gave more cartoony effect. Sometimes that's what I want, but it also feels good to get back to realism sometimes.

On the way home from Grandma's, we got caught in a phenomenally vicious thunderstorm. We had to pull off the highway three times, and on several occasions it seemed like the wind would shove us off the road or roll us over. It was probably one of the worst storms I've ever been caught out in. (I've experienced worse storms on occasion, but always from safely within a building.) Mom was very nervous, and she mentioned that she'd been struck by lightning once. I was a small child at the time, so I have no memory of the event.

This leaves me wondering how I came to like thunderstorms so much. I mean, I respect their power enough to seek shelter and unplug computers and such, but I don't really fear them. Usually children absorb the fears of their parents. That's how it happened with Mom's fear of spiders--I grew up completely terrified of spiders, and I remain so to this day. So, if Mom is (rightfully) afraid of lightning, why is my reaction completely opposite? But I love nothing better than watching a lightning storm (through windows, while I'm safely inside, of course). We had a big thunderstorm last week while I was at work, and I was practically dancing in my office. It improved my mood and morale for the entire day. Thunderstorms are like uppers for me. So I guess I'm aberrant in that respect.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Java Pop

I found another strange soda to try: Java Pop. I keep thinking, "I need to quit drinking soda and cut back on the coffee," and then I see this Mocha Java Pop Coffee Soda on the shelf, and I don't even think twice about grabbing it. I mean, it's two of my vices wrapped up in one! Cane sugar pop and coffee together? How could I resist?

On the positive side, it's fair trade certified and USDA organic. Does that offset the calories and tooth rot?

Well and good, but how does it taste, you ask. Pretty nice, actually. It reminds me of some coffee candies I've had. I can't say that I really notice the "mocha" part of it, but I do detect a definite hint of caramel. Decent stuff. (Although overall I still like the green tea root beer better.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Pretty Moth

Behold the beautiful creature that was waiting on my door when I came home from work.

Darned if I know what species it is, though.