Thursday, February 12, 2009

A List of Random Things (or is that A Random List of Things?)

I've read other blogs in which the authors posted lists and I always find them interesting, no matter what the subject (or subjects). So I thought I'd try it. Here goes:

If you are a mystery reader and like to read series in chronological order (do I sound like a librarian, or what?), then I have to recommend Stop You're Killing Me, a website of lists of mystery authors' books, in order. It's quite extensive and includes authors you've probably never heard of. If you are an adventurous reader, you might like to try some little-known authors. One of its features is a location index. This came in handy one evening when a friend of mine was trying to remember the author of a mystery which took place in South Africa. The website also has lists of forthcoming books and announcements of mystery awards nominees and winners.

Last summer I got an e-mail from Richard telling me that we had a new pet. Her name is Frogzilla. She is a bullfrog. She was living at Patty's little fish pond, but Patty's dog Hobo wanted to play with her and Patty was afraid Hobo would hurt the frog. So since Richard and I have a small fish pond in our back yard, we got elected to adopt Frogzilla. When the weather turns warm, as it does occasionally in the South during the winter, all the tree frogs and other critters come out of their hibernation (if frogs hibernate) and hold a singing competition. All night long. Female bullfrogs don't sing, but I bet Frogzilla was conducting the orchestra. We've seen Frogzilla a few times since she moved in, but she is a wild creature and we don't interfere. She is BIG.

Have you watched Ballykissangel? It was a BBC production (I think) and we heard about it from some friends. They just raved over it so we rented the first series (there are 6) from Netflix. We really enjoyed it, but there was a tragedy at the end of series 3 and I wasn't sure I wanted to watch any more. But, our friends own the entire series and they lent us series 4 through 6. We've been watching it and the writers and producers came back with good scripts and more characters and the quality has not slipped. In fact, it may have gotten better. The setting is a small town in Ireland. There is beautiful scenery, interesting stories and characters, humor, sadness, and other daily-life issues. It's never been boring. Try it out.

I am a librarian, and I love books. But the two things are entirely separate matters. I did not choose librarianship because I love books. Becoming a librarian was the path of least resistance for me, and I loved reading before becoming a librarian ever crossed my mind. (Did you know some people believe librarians get to read books all day at work? No kidding.) I do, however, love reference books. I think that must be because I like trivia. There is all kinds of information in a dictionary (unless you get a small paperback abridged dictionary which makes a good paperweight and that's about all it's good for). In a good dictionary you can find out birth and death dates of prominent people, populations of countries, etymology. Sometimes I get carried away in a dictionary and one word will lead to looking up another. (Am I sounding crashingly boring right about now?) One of my very favorite reference books is Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. (You can find this at Amazon.) It has information and explanations on all kinds of things. Fowler's Modern English Usage is another good reference book. It says it's all right to end a sentence with a preposition AND I can split infinitives. It's like language freedom.

Two days a week I work at a satellite campus of the Small Public Institution where I am employed. On those days I walk down the block for lunch. I'm a creature of habit, so I get the same thing for lunch every time: a hot ham & cheese sandwich, chips, and unsweetened tea. In fact, I'm so predictable that Barbara, who runs the kitchen, starts making my sandwich as soon as I walk in the door. They all know my name (and I theirs). It's good to be a regular. It gives me warm and fuzzy feelings.

In 1940, when my mother was 16, she got kicked off a dance floor for doing the jitterbug too wildly. I told this to a friend in high school, and she said, "Oh, you must be so proud of her!" I guess I am.

Okay, that's enough random stuff for today. I'll try to bore you less the next time I post.

Y'all come back, y'hear? (That's Southern for "come see me again soon.")


Theresa said...

Oh, how I do love random stuff! I'm proud of your mother! How cool is getting kicked off the dance floor for dancing wildly? sigh. And I get to end sentences with a preposition? In your face all you grammar queens!! Good post - keep writing, I'll be looking for new posts while I'm gone.

Bridget said...

This was a fun post!

When we visited Ireland, a couple of years ago, we went to Avoca, where there is a mill (and also their famous cafe!). It turns out that Avoca is the town that "stands in" for Ballykissangel. I'd heard of the show, but never watched it ...

Ah, yes, the librarians who read books all day. I would sure like to meet one of them, wouldn't you?


Harriette Some of my writer friends and I are about to lose a wonderful friend.  Harriette Austin is now in hospice care in At...