Friday, December 7, 2007

Good Samaritans

There is at least one good Samaritan in the neighborhood I live in. I have been the recipient of his/her generosity several times over the past few years. The Samaritan(s) in my neighborhood come armed with snowblowers or shovels.

Yesterday I got home early from work, (sick) and quickly shoveled the 3 inches of snow off my sidewalks, then went inside and curled up for a nap. I was awakened around 4:00 as the neighbors got home and fired up their snowblowers. After a while I realized that I wasn't going back to sleep off the fever, so I got up and dressed to go shovel again. My front walk had been snowblown! I know because I took another 2 inches or so off the walk leading from my front door down to the sidewalk. I also shoveled the end of my driveway. That is all I ever shovel off of it because it is in horrible shape, big dips and dives and lots of ground upheaval underneath. This morning when I went out to head into work, someone had come by again and snow blew a path to my car door.

To all you good Samaritans out there, thank you.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mall Shooting

I was going to write a little about video games today, but then one of life's tragedies happened. The shooting at the Westroads Mall in Omaha Nebraska. This mall is about a mile from where my parents live. When I was a young teen I would walk to and from the mall as there was no bus service that far out. We were not even in the city limits at the time.

I have not seen a list of the victims yet, but I have not received any calls from grieving friends, relatives, or co-workers. For some strange reason, I am one of the first ones people call. I cannot do anything for these people but be there, hold their hand, and sometimes cry with them. Somehow this comforts them, so I do it. I had a counselor describe this grieving I do with others as empathic. He liked to have me around in bad situations as well. Perhaps on some level I am empathic and perhaps I do siphon off part of their pain. I know there is no scientific proof of this. I just know what happens. Since I have not been called to someone's house, or hospital room to just be with them, I trust that all those I know are safe. They are safe but feeling the grief and shock that all of us in Omaha are feeling.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Gate of Souls: a Familiar's Tale

I received my copy of Gate of Souls last night. I am quite excited and cannot wait to read it. Probably will sit down Saturday morning with a pot of tea and some scones and really enjoy it. I was a beta reader for this book when my friend Verna was writing it. It was great then, I loved it and was thrilled when she thought she had it published. That promise fell through, and in retrospect it was a very good thing it did. Since I first read the book, my friends Rick and Verna have moved so I haven't seen the changes in this book. Verna published several short stories in e-zines and in this way was 'noticed' by a book publisher. A Familiar's Tale was dusted off and has been through some serious editing. The title of the original, A Familiar's Tale, has become the series title. The story is told through the eyes of the sorcerer's familiars. The first time through Mellypip was the main character along with his sorceress Runa. I expect this hasn't changed any. As sweet and endearing as these two characters are Belwyn the owl -- and Mellypip's tutor -- was a favorite of mine, and everyone in the writers group. To a person, in our imaginations Belwyn had the voice of Edward Woodward. No one tried to give actors or voices to the other characters, but try giving this book a read and see if any voice other than Woodward's comes through for Belwyn.

I hear the 2nd book in the series is almost done. I wonder how much chocolate I'll have to mail out to Verna in order to see a rough draft of this book ahead of time?

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Last night I finished another book club book, just in the nick of time. It was a library book - due today - and book club is tonight. The book was "Water for Elephants". It was a very good book. I had sworn, or rather promised myself not to do another forced read for book club, but somehow life keeps getting in the way. Well, life and procrastination.

Tonight, between work and book club I'm hoping to get some tatting ironed, and also iron some muslin while I am at it. I haven't posted any new tatting over at my other blog for a while and that needs to get done. I'm about 2/5 through the challenge and I need to get the last five items posted and get 'credit' for doing the work. The challenge is to create 25 tatted motifs in one year. I currently am at 9 motifs, the last 5 needing posting.

I started the other blog to be just tatting and leave this blog for everything else. Well, the lines have become blurred and now I'm wondering how to blend the 2 blogs into one and change the name to reflect the whole. I know other people have moved blogs so it can be done, it is just finding out all the mechanics behind it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Catching up with requests

In the comment section, I got a request for some crazy quilt links. I don't have a lot yet, but the blog that got me all inspired for crazy quilts was Honey Bee's Bliss. Hers is the only one I currently have linked over at the tatting blog. She has some great links on her site and when I'm looking for information on stitches or quilting, I usually stop by her blog to find the sites she uses. I'm sure as I actually start working on my own projects I will develop my own list of sites and blogs that I find helpful.

Several months ago a co-worker asked for a list of the 100 best books of the century and pictures of my cats. Those many months ago I did get the best books list blogged, but I never posted cat pictures here. So here are a few piccies that are different from those posted on the tatting list. The black cat is Banichi. He is named for a lawyer/assassin from the Foreigner series by C.J. Cherryh. Leo still has the name is rescuer mommy gave him for Leonardo DaVince. He likes to shred things artistically. And Motoko is named for the beautiful yet scary Major Motoko Kusanagi (better known as shousan) from the Ghost in the Shell movies and books, and series. Unfortunately the pictures are all a year or more older. I need to get one of my friends with their digital cameras over to take some updated pictures for me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Naming confusion?

I realized that I have a naming confusion going on here in my blogs. So I'm taking a moment to sort it out. My blog name is listed as Kelly, my tatting blog says it is Catherine's tatting attempts, the online Tarot community knows me as Catherine, at one job they call me Kelly at the other they call me Catherine, and no I don't have 2 personalities. At least I don't think so. My mom and my aunt both loved the name Kelly for girls. Whoever had the first girl got to name her Kelly. I was the first girl and so that is what my family calls me. My legal birth certificate name is Catherine Marie, after my grandmothers. I use the names almost interchangeably, and you all can too. But please use Catherine and not Cathy. Oh, and dear Peter in Oz, you and you alone are allowed to call me Cate. ;-) The only other person to do so was my Master Sergeant when I was in Junior ROTC in high school.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Endless possibilites with Fibres, & a videogame mention

I was going to try and post at least once a week here, oh well. I have been posting a bit more regularly on my tatting blog -- link is to the side. Life is seeming so disjointed for me at the moment. I did finish another video game. I think this brings me up to about 24 or 25 % of games finished. This one was Final Fantasy XII. In general, I love the FF games. For me they have a great deal of replay value so I really get my money's worth out of the game, especially since I usually buy used games.

While wandering around tatting blogs to get ideas and inspiration from other tatters, I have discovered some very interesting sites on embroidery and crazy quilting. Just what I need, more UnFinished Objects or UFOs. However looking at the crazy quilts, this looks like a possible way to incorporate some of those other scattered projects into a coherent whole. A way to use those purchased materials - yarns, threads, ribbons etc - in one piece. I had never tried a crazy quilt before because it looked like so much work. But looking at what they are doing with them nowadays, it is incredible. I've already started scavenging through my supplies, and racking my brain to see what I might have on hand. I have a list of people that I hope to hit up for nicer scraps of materials. It still looks like a lot of work, but it doesn't need to be a whole quilt. Throw Pillows, Christmas Tree Ornaments, Wall Hangings, Christmas Stockings and more ideas if I keep reading those blogs.

I did buy a dictionary of embroidery stitches earlier this week so I could learn some more stitches. I've done crewel work, cross-stitch, and other embroidery projects over the years, but they have all used the same basic set of stitches, maybe 10 different stitches, 20 if I'm being generous. I thought that made me somewhat accomplished at embroidery. What a laugh, this book has 234 different stitches. 72 are for needlepoint alone. Now instead of somewhat accomplished, I will place myself at rank amateur. I don't see this as a bad thing at all. It gives me permission to not be perfect, and then all the things that I get the joy of learning how to make. The possibilities have left me unable to start at the moment. I'm finding myself wanting to design and make a lovely needlepoint sampler, showing off all 72 stitches. Not realistic at all is it? Plus 3 of the stitches are just 3 ways of making the same stitch, so now we are down to 70 stitches. Still not realistic to expect to get 70 stitches into one sampler and have it look planned and coherent.

So, trying to be realistic, trying to be sensible, I have dug out my sampler kit, looked over it and will work on finishing it. I've only had it for 25 years now. I've never counted it as unfinished though, it has always been a long term project.

Friday, October 5, 2007

More Games

No, I haven't bought any more, just been playing them in all my spare time, and time that should be spent more productively. Once again, poor Ghost in the Shell is languishing in its case unfinished. I dug Final Fantasy XII back out. Like a few of its predecessors that I have it it has seen a lot of game play. Definitely pennies per hour by now. Other than that, work at the 2nd job and allergies have taken up much of my off work time. On my full time job, I've been living in Wiki land. I love special projects and was totally engrossed. Now I'm afraid I must surface and deal with what wasn't getting done for the last week, and seriously think about training issues.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another Game Finished

I finished another video game last week. Radiata Stories. It is a RPG with a fair amount of replay value as a choice is made 2/3 of the way through the game, and the hero will follow totally different paths depending on what you choose. There is also supposed to be a fair amount of after-game material. I have not explored that yet, but went on to try and work through Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. I've started this game many times, but keep getting frustrated at it. RPGs are much more forgiving than Shooters. Anyway, I have now officially finished about 22% of the games I own. For folks my age I hear that is a really good percentage. For younger people that is a really bad percentage.

After reaching level 6 of GitS, I got distracted by my tatting -- if interested see my tatting blog, link is on right side of this page.

Friday, August 24, 2007

More from my Book Club

I belong to a book club started by several ladies I work(ed) with. It is called Discriminating Women. I was a faithful attendee for several years, then I went back to school and couldn't keep up with classwork, social life, and reading a book from outside of my comfort genres. I had a list from one of the founding members, it was on a computer that crashed. Because of that I am posting the list of books that the Discriminating women have read. Now, hopefully that list will be safe from crashing computers, and maybe I'll get some of those missed books read. And I realize now that our next meeting will be our 10th Anniversary.

This post will probably be edited over a period of time as I look up books to add links. As I link them to the find libraries with copy pages in OCLC's Worldcat Beta, I will try to double check and correct typing and spelling and add authors where needed.

The Rector's Wife by Joanna Trollop
Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
Cannery Row

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
At home in Mitford by Jan Karon
The Book Shop by Penelope Fitzgerald
A Lantern in her Hand
The Professor's House by Willa Cather
Deep Water Passage by Ann Linnea
The Diary of Mattie Spenser by Sandra Dallas
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Circle of Stones by Judith Duerk
Zen Zele by J. Nozipo Maraire
Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams

No Time on her Hands by Grace Snyder Yost
The Giant's House by McCracken
Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Summer of the Great Grandmother by M. L'Engle
Pope Joan by Donna W. Cross
Birdsong by Faulks
The Divine Secrets of the Ya Y Sisterhood by
Ill Wind by Nevada Barr
Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The Mirror by Lynn Freed
The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd
The Glass Lake by Meave Binchy
The Killer Angels by Michael Sharra
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Watery Grave by Bruce Alexander
Imagining Argentina by Lawrence Thorton

The Poisonwood Bible by Barabra Kingsolver
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin
no meeting bad weather
The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Red Tent by Anita Diament
Mrs. Dalloway by Virgina Woolf
The Archivist by Martha Cooley
Corelli's Mandolin by Louis DeBernieres
Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis

Moo by Jane Smiley
Confessions of an Ugly Sept Sister by Gregory Maguire
Hawk Flies Above by Lisa Dale Norton
My Only Story by Monica Wood
Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Roxana Slade by Reynolds Price
Meely LaBauve by Ken Wells
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
The Road from Coorain by Jill K. Conway
The Fourth Hand by John Irving

Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama
The Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik
Behind the scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri
Bell Canto by Ann Patchett
Mr. Posterior and the Genius Child by Emily Jenkins
Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney
The Dive from Clausen's Pier by
The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman

Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland
The Elegant Gathering of White Snows by Kris Radish
Nine parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks
The Lovely Bones by
The Day the World came to Town by
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Middlemarch by George
The Amateur Marriage by Ann Tyler
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Rose's Garden by Carrie Brown
House of Sand & Fog by Andre Dubus III
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks
The Turk and my Mother by Mary Helen Stefaneak

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffennegger
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Rich Part of Life by Jim Kokoris
The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Oh my Stars by Lorna Landvik
The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel

Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton
His Oldest Friend by Sonny Klienfield
The Handyman by Carolyn See
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Last of her Kind by Sigrid Nunez
And the rest of 2007 is listed in a previous post.
I have not yet read entries in blue.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Work temperatures now livable

Okay, to say they were not livable before is an exageration. But almost 90 degrees with little to no air circulation was definately wearing almost all of us down. One day they even allowed us to go home on administrative leave because of the temperatures at 90 + and OSHA rules. All this week the temperature in our office suite has been in the 70s. I think even the individual offices have been dropping into the 70s. It is heaven. The humidity in the office suite is also at a good level. The air quality is better now that they have quit excavating the basement level. So from my point of view, all is well and work is good again.

My Bookclub's Reading List

Below is the list of upcoming books for my book club.

September: Falling in Love with Natassia by Anna Monardo
October: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
November: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
January: Manhunt by James L. Swanson
February: Beneath A Marble Sky by John Shors

I have not yet read entries in blue.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Useless tests: lolcat

Fun test time. There are lots of test sites out there that can tell you all sorts of things about you. Many of these things most of us never thought to ask about ourselves until we found the tests. For example, what kind of lolcat are you? Forget that, what in the world is a lolcat? so below is my answer to the lolcat test, and here are 2 urls, one so you can take the test yourself, and the second is a whole website of lolcats.

If you go and take the test, please feel free to let me know what lolcat you are in the comment section. ;-)

Sad Cookie Cat

64% Affectionate, 39% Excitable, 57% Hungry

You are the classic Shakespearian tragedy of the lolcat universe. The sad story of a baking a cookie, succumbing to gluttony, and in turn consuming the very cookie that was to be offered. Bad grammar ensues.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Spam in Disguise

I'm going to have a little rant now. I'm sure anyone who reads blogs, and has access to the Internet is aware of the problem of Spam in disguise -- Chain E-mails. These come in the form of E-mails from friends and family and co-workers. The people that have forwarded them are most likely smart, well-educated, loving individuals. They want to help. They want to help you, me, their family and the people whom the e-mails say will be helped if you forward the e-mail. There is an easy way to check out many of these e-mails. Go to a hoax site. The one I use is Snopes.

Do you remember being a child and getting a chain letter either in the mail or from a friend who handed it to you at school? Did your parents say don't pass that along it is illegal? Guess what folks, same thing here. Well, I don't know if it is illegal, but it doesn't work. Have some confidence in yourself. Before you hit the forward button and start typing in e-mail addresses remember who those addresses belong to. If they are your family, well they'll still be your family whether or not you send them the e-mail. They will still love you even if you don't pass it along. Are they your friends? You won't lose friends if you don't pass them along.

Will God remember if you don't forward that prayer and then not let you into heaven? I kinda doubt that, at least the not getting into heaven part. While I find other chain mails range from amusing to annoying, this type downright angers me. I see it as emotional blackmail. (Pagans and atheists bear with me a moment.) If you are worried about witnessing and sharing your love for God and his love for all of creation with all of creation then get up off your chair, log off the computer and go find clean blankets or towels to donate to the homeless shelter. Go volunteer to serve meals, and not just on holidays, they need volunteers all year long. You don't even have to tell these people about God, your love and his will shine through anyway. If someone asks why you are doing it, then tell them that you are living your faith, that this his how you are demonstrating your love for God and his love for the world. That donation of time or money or things may be better remembered by God than whether or not you hit a forward button. This low key way of witnessing will not push people away. If you are pagan or atheist, you can do these things, but say it is your way of giving back to the community, of contributing to society.

Spam, lets keep just for breakfast. ;-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Games and Movies

I like to game. I play pencil and dice RPGs and I play video games on Playstation 2 and some Computer games. I like movies. Movies made about games, though are usually check your brain at the door and enjoy the slugfest events. That is okay, they are entertaining for a few hours and I don't expect anything more.

That being said, most anyone who likes the pencil and dice type of RPG should check out the independent flick The Gamers. It is a Dead Gentlemen Production.

I was expecting the same schlock as the Movies Dungeons and Dragons, or Street Fighter, only with no budget, light entertainment and then forget about it. Boy was I wrong. It is a clever little movie, only about 45 minutes long, that could only have been written by someone who plays the game. Or maybe someone who loves someone who plays the game. If you don't play Role Playing Games, I'm not sure if you would like this movie or not.

The movie follows 4 gamers, their dungeon master, an absentee gamer, and a random annoyed fellow tenant of a dorm building. Except for that random annoyed fellow tenant, I have played in that game. I think most people who have gamed, have been in that game, or some version thereof. The movie switches between the table where the players sit and the game world as imagined by the players and the dungeon master.

Some friends showed me the movie. I loved it and borrowed it. I showed it to some more friends. We dusted off our books, went to the local comic book/gaming store, visited the Wizards of the Coast website, and we have 2 campaigns going now. That way the other DM and I both have a chance to play. Not only am I working on the current campaign, I'm taking notes for future campaigns.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Renovation update

I was hoping to post more often than I have been. Funny how life and work get in the way.

Renovation is moving along and currently out the door. The estimate is that when all is said and done 600 to 800 truck loads of concrete, dirt, carpet, and who knows what else will be removed from the 1st or basement floor of the Criss Library. I think most of the concrete floor has been removed as I have not heard any banging or pounding for a few days.

The air quality of the building has been, well dismal. They are doing everything they can to keep things comfortable for patrons, employees, and the contractors. Most of the employees are running fans as the building's air handlers get turned on and off as need be. All of my fellow employees, or at least the ones I've talked to about building issues, are keeping an optimistic attitude. There are complaints, but nothing worse than under normal working conditions, and possibly not as vocal as under normal conditions.

Also on campus this summer, the Library is not the only building undergoing renovation. The student center food court, the HPER building (or was it the field house), and the former Engineering building are all undergoing improvements. New dorms are being built, which is a good thing. There is rumor of a new parking garage, and I think the old parking garage has also been undergoing repairs. On a sad note, the home my father grew up in was torn down to make room for the new dorms.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Relocating for Rennovation

Preparations for rennovation are continuing. I decided not to take my desk with me. Who needs that much storage space at work anyway? I will have a desk sized table with a desk topper and an arm off that table for typing. The person in charge of the move is pleased that I am not taking a desk along, and now I am starting to regret my decision. All the drawers are emptied, and my life at work is strewn over the top of the desk and the top of the table where I do most of my work. I have a one drawer locking file cabinet for the files one needs to keep locked up, and that is stuffed to overflowing. What I am wondering is how I accumulated so much stuff, why do I need it all, and how much will I throw away?

Friday, April 13, 2007

100 best books

I have had a couple of requests for blog entries from my co-workers. The first was a request for pictures of my cats, the second was for a listing of the top 100 books of the century. For today here from the Random House Modern Library site are 2 lists of the best novels of the 20th century. And just in case anybody cares, the books that I have read are in purple.

Unfortunately most of the books from the Boards list I read for classes. There are a few books on the list that I have tried to read, William Faulkner's As I lay dying is one I will probably pick up and try again some day. On the other hand, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind I doubt will get a second chance. Not because of her writing, or the story. I just got so mad at Scarlett that I couldn't stand it anymore. Mitchell made her characters and story so real that I had to cut myself off from Miss Scarlett the way I would cut myself off from a toxic relationship in real life. I am content to deal with her in the movie. I also tried to read The Stand by Stephen King. I had the flu at the time. I put it down, I couldn't stand to be reading about all these people dying, they had the same symptoms I had. It was depressing. My friends still laugh about that one.

For all sorts of best book lists, just Google "best books" you'll get thousands of websites with lists to suit all tastes. Happy Reading.

100 Best Novels
  1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
  2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
  6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
  7. CATCH-22
  8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
  9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
  10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
  11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
  12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
  13. 1984 by George Orwell
  14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
  15. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
  16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
  17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
  18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
  19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
  20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
  21. HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
  23. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
  24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
  25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
  26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
  27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
  28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  29. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
  30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
  31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
  32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
  33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
  34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
  35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
  36. ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
  37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
  38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
  39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
  40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
  41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
  42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
  43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
  44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
  45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
  46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
  47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
  48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
  49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
  50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
  51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
  52. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
  53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
  54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
  55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
  56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
  57. PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
  58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
  59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
  60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
  62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
  63. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever
  64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
  65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
  66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
  67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
  68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
  69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
  70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
  71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
  72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
  73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
  74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
  75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
  77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
  78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
  79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
  80. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
  82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
  83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
  84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
  85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
  86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
  87. THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
  88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
  89. LOVING by Henry Green
  90. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
  91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
  92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
  93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
  94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
  95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
  96. SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
  97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
  99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
  100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington
  1. ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand
  3. BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
  4. THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
  6. 1984 by George Orwell
  7. ANTHEM by Ayn Rand
  8. WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand
  9. MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
  10. FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard
  11. ULYSSES by James Joyce
  12. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
  13. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  14. DUNE by Frank Herbert
  15. THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein
  16. STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert Heinlein
  17. A TOWN LIKE ALICE by Nevil Shute
  18. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
  19. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
  20. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
  21. GRAVITY'S RAINBOW by Thomas Pynchon
  22. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
  23. SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
  24. GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell
  25. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
  26. SHANE by Jack Schaefer
  28. A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving
  29. THE STAND by Stephen King
  31. BELOVED by Toni Morrison
  32. THE WORM OUROBOROS by E.R. Eddison
  33. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
  34. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
  35. MOONHEART by Charles de Lint
  36. ABSALOM, ABSALOM! by William Faulkner
  37. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
  38. WISE BLOOD by Flannery O'Connor
  39. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
  40. FIFTH BUSINESS by Robertson Davies
  41. SOMEPLACE TO BE FLYING by Charles de Lint
  42. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
  43. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
  44. YARROW by Charles de Lint
  46. ONE LONELY NIGHT by Mickey Spillane
  47. MEMORY AND DREAM by Charles de Lint
  48. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
  49. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
  50. TRADER by Charles de Lint
  52. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
  53. THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood
  54. BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy
  55. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
  56. ON THE BEACH by Nevil Shute
  58. GREENMANTLE by Charles de Lint
  59. ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card
  60. THE LITTLE COUNTRY by Charles de Lint
  61. THE RECOGNITIONS by William Gaddis
  62. STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert Heinlein
  63. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
  66. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson
  67. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
  68. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
  69. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
  70. THE WOOD WIFE by Terri Windling
  71. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
  72. THE DOOR INTO SUMMER by Robert Heinlein
  74. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
  75. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
  76. AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS by Flann O'Brien
  77. FARENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury
  78. ARROWSMITH by Sinclair Lewis
  79. WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams
  80. NAKED LUNCH by William S. Burroughs
  81. THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER by Tom Clancy
  82. GUILTY PLEASURES by Laurell K. Hamilton
  83. THE PUPPET MASTERS by Robert Heinlein
  84. IT by Stephen King
  85. V. by Thomas Pynchon
  86. DOUBLE STAR by Robert Heinlein
  87. CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY by Robert Heinlein
  88. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
  89. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
  91. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
  92. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
  94. MY ANTONIA by Willa Cather
  95. MULENGRO by Charles de Lint
  96. SUTTREE by Cormac McCarthy
  97. MYTHAGO WOOD by Robert Holdstock
  98. ILLUSIONS by Richard Bach
  99. THE CUNNING MAN by Robertson Davies
  100. THE SATANIC VERSES by Salman Rushdie

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Highwind in Jamaica

Highwind in Jamaica
by Richard Hughes

It is safe to say that I would probably never have heard of the book, A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes, if it were not for the much debated list of the Best 100 Books of the Century. I started to read the preface, but quit as it seemed to be giving away the plot. The book was a quick read, and it was charming. It seems to me to be a combination of a child's fantasy of running away to sea or joining the circus, and a parent's worst nightmare of their children disappearing. There were a few places where the author seemed to go off on a tangent, and I was looking at page numbers to be sure none had stuck together. They were tangents, but the author always meandered back to the point. I was constantly reminding myself that I do that all the time in conversation; it didn't hurt me to be the one trying to stick to the story for a change. The preface of the book at one point stated that nothing bad happened after the first chapter. I must differ from this assessment. Bad things did happen, both to the children, and by the children. The book still managed to be charming. Perhaps it is the sensibilities of today that make it seem so. Today what happened to the characters would have been described in graphic terms, and in lurid detail. The bad things were mentioned, but not dwelt upon, in fact they were almost lightly brushed over. I am still trying to figure out the focus of the story, but each time I think I have it another aspect of it interrupts my thoughts. In the main though, I think it is the adventures and thoughts of a ten year old girl and her trip from Jamaica to England.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Preparing for Rennovation

I work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Criss Library. We have recently completed an addition to the building and are getting ready to start renovating the old portion of the library. The library was built in 1976, and when I started college in 1978 I though it was a wonderful building, it was so new and modern. That feeling of new and modern had definitely worn off by the time I started working here in 1989. Among other things the 1970's colors were no longer new and trendy and much of the staff seemed ready for a change to conservative and classic. The architectural style of the building is called Brutalism, and I feel that people should not be made to work or live in anything described as brutal. Some staff members have described it as looking like a parking garage.

Several drawings and plans were made up in anticipation of remodeling, three that I know of. Two deans later there is funding and we are anticipating groundbreaking for the project. Literally groundbreaking. The entire slab of the basement floor will be ripped up, a process starting sometime in mid May to late June. Everyone who works on the basement floor will be relocated, as will the collections housed on the first/basement floor. The bound periodicals will be shipped off-site, we don't know where yet. I really wish to know where as I am all that is left of the serials office and even though it is not my collection, I do feel rather protective of it. The Government Documents are already on their way to their temporary lodgings on the third floor. Archives is also supposed to go to the third floor.

The staff members and Faculty from first floor will be spread out between the second and third floors. We are all supposed to be cleaning out our offices. Taking home the personal knick-knacks that came to roost and multiply on our desks, and cleaning out old files. Almost everyone involved in this move will be working from smaller offices or cubicles. Despite the fact that our work space will be reduced, and our work lives made temporarily more complicated, there is a feeling of anticipation in the air. I am actually ready to move to a workspace about a third of the size I use now. I am ready to try to fit everything in, arrange it all, and throw away more things; because, no matter how hard one tries, one never gets rid of everything before they move. Everyone at the meeting seemed almost excited. We had been joking about being moved to the cupboard under the stairs, like Harry Potter's cupboard in the first book. We joked about spiders and hoped there would not be snakes as well. Our temporary digs will be much nicer than that infamous cupboard, no matter how cramped, and we will adapt to the confusion and mess. And I am sure we will also complain about the noise and dust, we will bemoan our temporary loss of parking spaces, and no matter how quiet the workers try to be, it will be noisy. But then most Libraries are no longer the quiet refuges they once were.