"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes


"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My Newest Random Analogy

Brilliant thoughts come to those who sneeze!

Maybe.

We had a terrible winter here in Utah this year. Meaning: We didn't get one. Barely any precipitation of any kind. And a lot of warm weather, particularly in February. Which means things started to bloom much earlier. Which means those bloomin' things that trigger allergies which don't normally come until mid-May started in March. At least for me.

Now, here is my little personal background to allergies. Growing up, I did not suffer from them. At least, not enough that they left an impression on me. It's possible that I may have had an occasional day or two of hay fever, but it never brought much attention to itself. Especially as my father always suffered terribly from his allergies. What I had, if anything, was a sneeze compared to his days of watery eyes, sniffles, etc. Literally. I must have sneezed a few times and then it was all over. And then when my precious Little Bug ended up being allergic to everything as a child spent years of shots and daily allergy pills, yeah, I certainly had no comparison.

One spring in late high school, I helped lay mulch at our new house. AHHHHH-choo!


What a miserable couple of days! I hadn't a clue what was going on. Went in for one of my regular doctor visits (I already had enough other things "wrong with me") and asked her about it. She said mulch carried some powerful yuckiness and I was probably allergic to something in that. She gave me some free sample allergy pills. I took one, and voila! It was over with for the year. Since then, I noticed that every time I would move to a new state (5 times now), I spent the first couple of years having a few days of hay fevery allergies. If it felt a bit too miserable, I took a sample allergy pill and was fine. The sneezing et al. never lasted beyond 2 or 3 days. And within a couple of years, my body had adjusted.

But not here. Not in this different part of Utah that I moved to. I blame it on the cottonwood trees. For the last 3 years, around May, all of the sudden I'd get my sneezy, hay fevery symptoms. Within a day or two, I'd start to notice all the white stuff floating in the air, and my car being covered in green dust. Yep. I figured I was stuck with hay fever in this part of Utah for as long as I lived here. I also didn't have any allergy pills by this time, but within 2 or 3 days, it would pass.

Not. This. Year.

Wow, have I ever learned sympathy for those--like Dad--who have suffered so much from allergies for many repeated lengths of time. I am going on 6 weeks of sneezing, itchy eyes, watery eyes, and sheer exhaustion. A vast difference from 2 or 3 days. And I caved and bought no-frills allergy pills. Which didn't seem to help much. And then tried a well-recognized name brand of allergy pills--which seems to have made things worse! I know what I've been sneeze suffering is still nothing compared to Dad. But the shock and frustration of being so tired has left me the tiniest bit whiny about the whole thing. It has eked over to other aspects of life. I've certainly been a little less patient than I would wish. And the emotional roller coaster has chosen to have more lows than highs. All of which could easily be resolved if I could just get some decent nights of rest.

But!

Lessons can be learned. As I mentioned before, sympathy. But on Sunday as I was coming home from a date, and had yet another one of my body-racking sneezes, my moment of brilliance came.

Allergies are like being single!

Loki tom hiddleston what confused huh gif

They are! Here are some similarities:

*It's rather a nuisance--some times are worse than others.

*It can come with a great deal of pain, but I'm not going to die from it!

*It's not romantic.

*It sometimes draws attention to me.

*Most of that attention is unpleasant, but it isn't harmful. And it often comes with sympathy.

*I'm not the only one who suffers from this.

*It can be harder for others, it just depends on the season and the situation.

*I some times lose sleep from it.

*Tears have resulted.

*It can bring a lot of frustration.

*Some things/situations make it worse.

*It doesn't rule my life. Moments it seems it does, but overall no. I have my life and it is wonderful. It just has this which is some times inconvenient. And annoying. But it's a part of life!

*It brings its own humor.

*It can be fun....sort of.

*(At least this time around) medication won't solve it. But I still need to do all I can to take care of and deal with it.

*I have to remember and work at being patient and cheerful in a situation that is certainly not one I'd choose, but it's my lot right now and I can grow stronger from it by doing my best to be as Christlike as possible in spite of everything.

*It will be over when it's over.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Explanatory Story of the Bathroom Comment

So, a few days on Facebook, I posted this:

Pre-ordered my Josh CD. And this HAD to be the Song of the Week (though this is the shorter version): 


(Now I feel the need to go clean a bathroom.... Long story.)

Now I can see the confusion related to this. So I felt the need to explain, as it is actually humorous and not worrisome.

As a young teen, I discovered my parents' record collection. Already I was a lover of musicals, so I was pretty excited to find records like the soundtrack for Oliver! I started to discover a bunch of other songs on records that I enjoyed. So--oh the old school tech days--I recorded the songs I liked from the records onto a cassette tape. (Yes, that meant I had to put the recorder up to the speakers as the record played. This was analog--we couldn't do a digital transfer!)

This tape was very treasured, and somehow, it became the tape I always listened to as I cleaned the bathroom. There was a cleaning routine, which meant the cleaning always began with the toilet (worst first) and then the sink, and the cast of Oliver! singing "Who Will Buy" and "I'd do Anything." Eventually I would get to the shower (biggest last), and if the timing was on, inevitably I would be scrubbing shower walls as I listened to "What I Did for Love." When I first recorded my cassette, I was not familiar with A Chorus Line. I saw a movie version once some time in my high school years. I remember not being as fond of it, but I still adored the song. Every time I cleaned a shower my heart would soar as she sang, "Goooooone! Love is never gone!"

So on Wednesday I pre-ordered the next Josh CD. With it, I was able to have two immediate song downloads. And one of them was "What I Did for Love." I couldn't wait to hear Josh sing that long-loved favorite. And if anyone knows how to soar on notes, Josh does. And not only does Josh do unsurprisingly amazingly awesome on "Gooooooone!," but his version then has hime sing it a second time--complete with key change!

And that my friends is while I will forever love and adore Josh, and this song of his, and still feel like I need to go clean a bathroom (specifically a shower) so I can sing "Gooooooone!" while scrubbing. Truly makes the work go faster and not seem like work whenever I can sing along as I do it. Especially a song that lets me belt like that. "Gooooooooone! Love is NEVER gooooooooone!"

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Book Challenges Wrap Up

2014 is over. So then are my book challenges. This year was the busiest of my life. If it was just work considered, no I have had busier. (I don't think anything will surpass my first year as a children's librarian.) But work was quite busy with the YSRT extras and creating new and very successful programs. But let's also throw in that I actually had a social life to speak of this year, which was always a goal. Quite a bit of one! And another musical. And a couple vacations. So life--in work + out of it--was very busy.

I still had the goal to read less, because I would much rather have the social life right now. It felt like I read very few of what I needed to (children's and teen chapter books). The year ended and I could see how it affected my Reader's Advisory skills at work. Not good. So this year we will not have a goal to read either more or less than my norm. Just to read. :-) Still, I'm sure you are dying to know how I did in my challenges. I'll be nice, and I'll end your anticipation.

GoodReads Challenge

I said I would try to read 300 books. I managed! Kind of. I'm 0.5 books short. But oh well. Close enough! (Close can count in horseshoes, hand grenades, kissing, and book challenges.) There were more picture books in that total than I had anticipated, but I'm still OK with that. That may affect the comparisons.

2014 HM & SL & Friends Book Challenge

I was so close. Four books shy of reading 50 books within 12 categories. I tried. Very much. But it didn't happen. So here are the pdfs of my charts. Let's hope they're more readable than last year.
Books I read that were under 100 pages (and not picture books)
 Books that I Own (supposed to read 6)
 Adult Fiction by author I've not read before (supposed to read 4)
 Classics (read 2; we all picked the same two)
 Religion books (read 4)
 Mystery (read 4)
 Books set in other country (read 4)
 Award winner or nominee (read 4)
 Other (read 4)
 Nonfiction (read 4)
 Books on ToRead list (read 6)
 History (read 4)
 SciFi or Fantasy (read 4)
 Totals


Let's See how the comparisons add up. This is the first time I'm seeing these results as well:
Oh my word. I read more books! 299.5 vs 287. I know. Not a lot. And a ton of picture books. But oh my word! I can't believe I managed more.

With pages (which does not include any picture books), I read less. 24,656 vs 29,584. No surprise. So even though more books, I still read less.
And the points? 1429.9 vs. 1152.6. Woohoo! Thank goodness we added way more points to books we owned or were on our to-read list. Otherwise I don't think I could have managed that. Especially when books over 900 pages only gave me 5 points! Such fun.

And, then there's my A to Z Totals (aka The Scrabble Challenge) with comparison to last year:

Count Scrabble points for first letter of each title and author that I read. Bonus points for letters my names start with. (Not including picture books.)


2013 Titles: 223
2014 Titles: 79 (uh, yep. There's the proof of how much less I read when picture books aren't included)

2013 Title Letters not read: G, J, K, N, Q, X, Y, Z
2014 Title Letters not read: K, Q, U, V, X, Z

2013 Highest Scoring Title letter: H (35 points)
2014 Highest Scoring Title letter: B (27 points)


2013 Authors: 254 
2014 Authors: 64 (oh my word)

2013 Author Letters not read: E, I, Q, U, X, Y
2014 Author Letters not read: I, N, Q, R, U, X, Y, Z

2013 Highest Scoring Author letter: Tie! B & H (30 points)
2014 Highest Scoring Author letter: H (35 points) More H's than last year.

2013 Grand Total: 477 
2014 Grand Total: 346. (Very far down, even though I didn't have as many repeat authors this year. At least, it felt that way.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Muppets, The MoTab, and The Fontana

For all of my life, music and Christmas have always gone together. Music plays a huge role in my life, but at Christmas time, our home was saturated with it. Mom liked to keep holidays in their places, so growing up we did not start listening to Christmas music until the Thanksgiving meal was over. But we had a family tradition of how that music began, one that started either when I was quite the young little thing, or perhaps even a year or two before. At a friend’s home, my parents were discussing Miss Piggy and they mentioned a record that they had which had John Denver and the Muppets singing Christmas songs together, specifically Miss Piggy's Christmas is Coming.
 Already fans of John Denver and the Muppets, my family was intrigued. They listened. They loved. And our copy (whether record, cassette tape, or CD) of John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together was the first of all the Christmas music we would begin the season with. It still plays a part for me, as I have my own CD copy—one of the best presents my mother has ever given me when I was celebrating Thanksgiving in Nauvoo.

It was with great joy over a decade later to find the TV special they filmed based on that album. We taped that on to VHS. While not every scene in that is my favorite, I will watch it specifically for the songs from the album that I have grown up with.


But that was not the first Muppet Christmas-y thing our family added to our holidays. For as long as I can remember we had a taped-off-TV copy of The Christmas Toy, which movie would make me cry when the toys sang “Old Friends, Dear Friends.”
 Heavens—it still does as I was doing so only 2 weeks ago while decorating my home with my own copy of the movie playing.

The Muppet Christmas Carol came out around my 7th grade year—the year I first read/studied the play in school. I still think it is one of the most brilliant adaptations ever. And probably one of the very few that shows Scrooge as he is in the book—already beginning to change from the Ghost of Christmas Past’s visit and not out of fear because of his and Tiny Tim’s bleak future. Being the family Queen of the Taped-Off-TV Acquisitions, I made sure to add this to our collection very quickly, though we bought the VHS a year or two later. I have my own DVD copy of it now. It is watched every year, because it wouldn't be Christmas without it,


Around this time, we discovered one of the best gems ever on TV: The Muppet Family Christmas. My mom and I were immediate fans. The rest of the family joined in pretty quickly, too. I never stop laughing at The Icy Patch.


And EVERY year as I bake my Christmas goodies I find myself inevitably quoting Janice:


This was an immediate taped-off-TV addition. I have been able to procure a copy on DVD for my mother in later years, but still have been unable to get my own. It’s a tragedy that hopefully will be remedied in some year soon to come.

Other Muppet Christmas things have come along that have added to the humor of the season. Just last year my brother posted this on Facebook for the family to enjoy:


(I should add here that my family of 8 kids + 2 parents is full of many diverse personalities and interests. But there are three things to which all of us can come together on: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, games, and the Muppets. So it isn’t just that we like the Muppets. They are a mutual interest that brought us together in our earlier years and still do so today.)

It isn’t the Christmas season for me without the Muppets. Nor is it Christmas without the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. My parents owned a substantial amount of Christmas music, and a good deal of it was MoTab. I bet there are family members who can still quote from the hilariously fabulous “Night before Christmas” song on the record we’d listen to. (Specifically “his droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow!”) I always feel at peace when MoTab sings Christmas—not just the sacred ones but also the upbeat or silly or fun ones. They help bring home to me the true meaning of Christmas—the gift of the Savior to the world.

Muppets and MoTab. It isn’t Christmas for me without them. Which is why when they announced Sesame Street Muppets as guests of the annual MoTab Christmas concert, I was floored. I had to go. But my name wasn’t drawn from the ticket pool. I was resigning myself to not get to be a part of this, when a friend of my roommates gave her tickets for the concert. And she asked me to go with her. And it is one of the best Christmas presents of my life! Not to mention that the amazingly talented, gorgeous, possibly single ;-), Broadway star Santino Fontana will be with them. I got to hear him at the Pioneer concert and was blown away.
He might soon rise up among the greats like Josh Groban and Dallyn Vail Bayles.

This concert, for me, honors my life full of Muppets plus family plus family memories, Broadway and singing and music, MoTab’s presence and influence, and my Savior. A truly wonderful Christmas season it is!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Breathing

I exist. Really. I do. I've just been busier than I have ever been (except for perhaps my first year as a Children's librarian). My brain has been pretty swamped with too many new things added to the already full plate of other things. So, yes. That's my excuse.

But life goes on. All is well. All is wonderful. And I'm just as much of a Janeite nerd as ever. And in case you didn't know, in November/December I added Doctor Who to my nerdy fandoms.

Just threw a Doctor Who party at work today, too. FABULOUS! So I'm posting pictures of my Clara costume.
I'm The Impossible Girl. 

 In so many ways, too, right? :-)

Run. Run, you clever boy, and remember.

Friday, January 17, 2014

HM & SL 2014 Book Challenge

I'm a bit behind in posting, but here is the challenge for this year. We liked last year's set up, so we did a wee bit of tweaking and here you go!

The categories for this year's challenge along with the required number of books for each category:

Science Fiction/Fantasy - 4 books
Travel (Books about travel or set in places you've never lived) - 4 books
Nonfiction - 4 books
Mystery - 4 books
History/Historical Fiction - 4 books
Award Nominees/Winners - 4 books
Religious - 4 books
Classics - 2 books
Adult Fiction by an author you've never read - 4 books
Books You Own - 6 books
Books on Your To-read List - 6 books
Other - 4 books

Books have to be at least 100 pages long to count. 

SCORING GOES AS FOLLOWS:

In all categories except for Books You Own and To-read Books, each "required" book is 10 points. (In other words, the first two, four, or six books in the category.) After you have read the required number of books, each book is 5 points in a given category.

For Books You Own and To-read Books, each book is an additional 25 points - no matter how many you read! (But you are required to read at least 6 in these categories for full credit.)

Also, for Books You Own and To-Read Books, if those books fit into another category, you can count them in both categories, and still add another 25 points! Hooray!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 HM&SL Book Challenge Wrap-Up


2013 has ended and with it the annual HM&SL Book Challenge. And awesomeness: I completed it!! Even when I read significantly less than usual (which was also a goal). Amazing what being busy can do to reading time. Though it is affecting my abilities at work, so I may not carry that goal over to 2014. So here are the iffy jpgs of my category tracking:



Travel or Book set where you have never been


Adult Fiction Author (which eventually became any author, but the 1st 4 are adult fiction) which I have never read before

Award Winner or Nominee

Classics

History or Historical Fiction

Chapter Book with less than 100 pages

Books Turned into a Movie or Musical

Mystery

Nonfiction

Other

Recommended by

Religious


Science Fiction or Fantasy
And the final totals:

Interesting comparisons:
I read less books (287 vs 359)
and less pages (29,584 vs 32,854)
But I got more points this year! (1152.6 as opposed to last year's 1076.1).


And, there are also my A to Z Totals (aka The Scrabble Challenge) with comparison to last year:

Count Scrabble points for first letter of each title and author that I read. Bonus points for letters my names start with. (Not including picture books.)


2012 Titles: 246
2013 Titles: 223
2012 Title Letters not read: Q, X, Y, Z
2013 Title Letters not read: G, J, K, N, Q, X, Y, Z
2012 Highest Scoring Title letter: H (30 points)
2013 Highest Scoring Title letter: H (35 points)

2012 Authors: 210
2013 Authors: 254 (whoa! Go me!!)

2012 Author Letters not read: N, Q, U, X, Z
2013 Author Letters not read: E, I, Q, U, X, Y

2012 Highest Scoring Author letter: W (28 points)
2013 Highest Scoring Author letter: Tie! B & H (30 points)

2012 Grand Total: 456
2013 Grand Total: 477 (wow. higher even with reading less.)