18 April 2006

Congratulations, Ref Grunt!

Ref Grunt has co-authored a new book, Reference Librarianship: Notes from the Trenches. If it's even a teensy bit as funny and fascinating as his blog, it'll be well worth the cover price!


First of all, it is the funnest store name. EVAH. I *love* to say it. go ahead, try it yourself. First slowly: "Be-Bo-Ba." Now quickly, all one word: "BeBoBa."

Okay, now that that's out of the way. let me tell you why you should go to BeBoBa if you are anywhere near Chicago.

First off, what is BeBoBa? It's an independent Bubble Tea house on Western, just south of Addison. Okay, so what the heck is bubble tea? It's a sweet tea drink, which originated in Taiwan in 1983. It gets its name from the soft tapioca pearls -- or bubbles -- in it.

Bubble tea is YUMMY and BeBoBa is the place to go. The owners are friendly and wonderful. The prices are reasonable -- no more than your daily Starbucks fix. They have a gazillion flavors to choose from, so you can have a different tasty treat each time you go.

Science Boy is really good at picking delicious combinations of flavors. I've found a few I love -- and I *always* love whatever they recommend when I ask for help! Some of our favorite combinations have been: Pineapple Cranberry, Matcha Lavender Orange, and Avocado Honeydew.

Science Boy and I have gotten into the habit of timing our visits to the video store around BeBoBa's hours.

Go to BeBoBa! Heck, if any of my readers are in the Chicago area and want to try it, I'll even treat. (Okay, I will treat the first person who responds to this.)

And if -- no when -- you go, tell 'em Miss Katharine sent ya.

15 April 2006

In Memoriam

From Yahoo: "Dame Muriel Spark, whose spare and humorous novels made her one of the most admired British writers of the post World War II years, has died in Tuscany, Italian officials said Saturday. She was 88." Read the whole story here.

14 April 2006

Fighting the Good Fight

Mary Schmich's column in todays' Chicago Tribune talks about moms who are working to keep small children out of R-rated movies. Two such moms have banded together to raise awareness of this issue, even creating a website, Box Office Offenders.

In my mind, this is *so* not an issue of censorship, but rather of appropriateness. It seems so common sense. As one of the moms writes, "Doesn’t forcing a 4 year old to be subjected to images of molestation, brains being blown onto walls, and cannibalism of the dead constitute as SOME form of child abuse? "

Um... YEAH.

And, if you want to look at it from a different, more self-centered point of view, should adults have the right to enjoy an evening out at a film made for adults without worrying about the 4-year-old screaming in terror next to them. Science Boy and I went to the Symphony last night and even the CSO has a policy that prohibits children under 8 years of age from attending concerts, unless it is a show planned and appropriate for children.

IT'S JUST GOOD SENSE. Just because something is appropriate for an adult does not make it appropriate for a child. I understand that adults want to see grown-up movies and I guess that's what leads to taking the kids along. But DON'T. Drop the kids off with your mom or a neighbor. Arrange a playdate with a friend (you can watch the friend's kid when he/she wants to go to an adult-appropriate film/concery). Hire the teen down the street to babysit for a few hours.

As if the world isn't hard enough... Please don't force your children to watch films that are inappropriate for them.

A letter in the Trib; that's kinda cool...

The Chicago Tribune graciously printed a letter I sent them about Beverly Cleary in yesterday's paper. I don't know how long it will remain on-line, but it's there now. Some of it I cribbed from my blog entry on her birthday... I'm kinda proud that I got this paper to print an appreciation of one of the brightest stars in the Children's Lit sky.

12 April 2006


Okay. So I am caving in. I want an iPod. I have so many books on cd. I just want an efficient way to carry them around with me so I can listen on the daily commute.

But, no extra money for an iPod.


(Geez. Why is this embarrassing?)

Okay. So by looking at internet ads, signing up for an offer from an advertiser, and then begging my friends to do the same thing, I can win a free iPod.

And the thing is, I have seen these offers before and have always TOTALLY assumed they were a scam.


But NPR ran a story about this. Not a tabloid or some anonymous person on-line, but NPR, Man! AND The Boston Globe, in an article written by someone who begins believing it's all a scam, too, is convinced. Actually, this company freepay.com, has received such good press that they provide a handy index for you.

It's not only iPods, either. Freepay.com offers members choices: flatscreen tvs, laptops, designer handbags, and more.


I am caving in to Wall Street for however long it takes me to earn the iPod. Please consider clicking this link -- http://premiumipods.freepay.com/?r=29357159 -- and at least considering the offers. Some are completely free, some cost a few bucks. I chose a free offer and hope to figure out a way to get enough others to look so I will soon be listening to Thoreau on the subway.


Drop Everything and READ!

Today is National D.E.A.R. day -- Drop Everything and Read. D.E.A.R. time was first enjoyed by Ramona in Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

It is also, not coincidentally, the 90th birthday of the amazing Beverly Cleary. Newsweek recently ran a profile of Ms. Cleary and today's Arizona Republic also features an article.

It's so nice, in an age of tabloids and starlets behaving badly, to see such a wonderful author still so beloved. And who HASN'T read the Ramona books? Even Science Boy confesses to having read them as a child.

So many images come to mind as I write this -- Ramona wearing pajamas to portray a sheep at the Nativity; Ramona cracking a raw egg on her head; writing her Qs as little cats; trying to write her name for a library card; envying Willa Jean's ability to pull all the Kleenex out of a box and still be thought of as cute; Beezus and Ramona being horrified when their parents cook tongue...

I LOVE Ramona. And Ellen Tebbits. And Henry Huggins. And Mitch and Amy. And Ralph. And EVERYONE who inhabits the pages of Beverly Cleary's books.

Thank you, Ms. Cleary, for writing so many books for children -- and their adults to read and cherish and read again. Happiest of birthdays to you. I love you.

NOTE: There are more tributes to Cleary at The Yakima-Herald (where she once worked), Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Washington Post, NPR, The Oregonian, and The Boston Globe. I'm sure there are more that I have missed, but I think I am gonna go read Beezus and Ramona instead of surfing the 'net anymore.