14 September 2008

wow. so sad.

I have been terrible about finding time to blog this summer. I have been blogging from time to time on myspace, but not even a lot there.

sigh. I will try harder. I miss my bloggy friends.

ANYway, what shook me out of my stupor was waking up to the terribly sad news that David Foster Wallace has apparently hanged himself. What a loss - to his family and friends and to the literary world. I am so sad he had so much pain.

There is an unofficial David Foster Wallace website here.

Wishing peace and comfort to his family and friends. I hope he is at peace now.

30 June 2008

LOVE this!

A judge cited my all-time favorite poem in the Guantamano case:

"The government insists that the statements made in the documents are reliable because the State and Defense Departments would not have put them in intelligence documents were that not the case," the court wrote. "This comes perilously close to suggesting that whatever the government says must be treated as true."

The judges compared the argument to the logic in Carroll's nonsense poem, in which a hapless crew hunts for a creature that is never quite defined. The Bellman, the ship's leader, led his men across the ocean, guided by a map that was just a blank piece of paper. He rallied and reassured his crew simply by repeating himself.

"I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true," the Bellman says in the poem.

"Lewis Carroll notwithstanding, the fact that the government has 'said it thrice' does not make an allegation true," the court wrote.

Read the whole story here.

Better yet, read "The Hunting of the Snark." I know I plan to re-read it when I get home!

19 June 2008

I've changed my mind

(Thanks to The Boy for sending this on...)

In Memoriam: Tasha Tudor

I just received word that the incomparable Tasha Tudor died yesterday at the age of 92.

She is, of course, best known for her detailed and delicate illustrations in books for young people. My personal favorite is The Doll's House written by Rumer Godden. Yes, the story captivated me, but all these years later, I can still easily call to mind the face of Birdie, the sweet and flighty and doomed celluloid mother doll.

There is magic in the art of Tasha Tudor, and we are lucky she shared it with all of us.

13 June 2008

Quote o' the day

"There's more to life than books you know, but not much more." (from "Handsome Devil" by the Smiths)


I will *finally* read Pride and Prejudice! I will be reading it on-line at this too-clever-for words site.

no big shock here...

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

12 June 2008

Fight the Power

In a brilliantly proactive move, Barack Obama's team has set up a website specifically to combat false information being disseminated by those who would have him lose.

04 June 2008

¡Sí se puede!

"There has never been anything false about hope." (Barack Obama)

My heart is overflowing right now. For the first time in too long to remember, I am truly hopeful about the future of our country.

As a people, we are *not* apathetic, letting others do unto us without asserting ourselves for what we believe to be true and right. Our votes *do* make a difference.

Science Boy laughed at me a little bit this morning. We were speaking about the nomination and suddenly, I said I wished Tupac was alive. SB gave me the "is my Babi crazy?" look, so I explained. Tupac's amazing hit, "Changes," is one of the songs I play when I am running. it carries me through. But lately, everytime I hear the lyrics, "And though it seems heaven sent / We ain't ready to see a Black president," I want to cry out, yes! Our world is changing! We *are* ready! I love that song, and I am so happy that it seems that maybe that lyric is wrong now...

I was moved to tears by the news of the nomination. It seems like this is a new world that, to quote my favorite high school valedictorian:

We will be teaching the next generation, spreading our ideas throughout the world, and providing a lasting legacy for humanity to come. Even though it may be a little scary, we will do our best to create a saner, more stable planet for our children, and will try to disprove ignorance, intolerance, and hatred.

The incomparable and tireless hero, Caesar Chavez, champion of a people who were marginalized by mainstream society, reminded those who would be trampled that they deserved better, that they could *make* it better, that "¡Sí se puede!"

Yes. *WE* can!

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." (Barack Obama)

My heart is so full. My hope shines so bright.

23 May 2008

I am *so* digging this!

17 May 2008

Give the Gift of Life

On any given day, more than 6,000 men, women and children are searching the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry for a life-saving donor like you. These patients have leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases that can be treated by a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. For many of these patients, a transplant may be the best and only hope of a cure.

You are giving someone hope when you join the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry.

Help the NMDP reach their goal of recruiting 46,000 members to the Registry during the Thanks Mom marrow donor drive. During Thanks Mom, May 5 - 19, you can join online for free, while funding remains.

Until the NMDP reaches its goal during Thanks Mom (May 5 to May 19, 2008), generous partners and contributors are covering the costs to add members to the Registry.

It's easy to join:

Step 1. -- Confirm you meet basic donor guidelines.
Step 2. -- Complete the online registration form and order your tissue-typing kit. This step will take about 30 minutes. Please remember funding is limited. To join for free, you must complete the online registration step before May 20 or while funding remains.
Step 3. -- Use the kit to give a swab of cheek cells to test for your tissue type.

I signed up tonight. If this is something you'd like to do, click here.

15 May 2008

I Always Feel Like, Somebody's Watching Me...

This picture was on the on-line Chicago Tribune today, and, for some reason, it was creepin' me out.


Maybe because it firs put me in mind of looking in your reaerview mirror and seeing a person where there shouldn't be one. (Oh, crap. Now I'm freaking myself out more...)

Clicking on the photo reveals that it is a crop of a larger photo, one that depicts, "An August 1, 1951, photo shows a slotted peephole in the steel door of gambling room in Melrose Park that was raided by Cook County sheriff's police. (Tribune archive photo)"

Still creepy, though.

FREE is my favorite price!

Thursday, May 15 is Free Iced Coffee Day from 10am to 10pm at Dunkin Donuts:

“Stop by your local Dunkin' Donuts on Thursday May 15, 2008 from 10am
until 10pm and receive a FREE small (16 oz.) sized Iced Coffee*.

You will have the option of trying one of our 9 flavors (French Vanilla,
Toasted Almond, Raspberry, Hazelnut, Coconut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Caramel, and Blueberry) or create your own flavor by combining 2-3 flavors.

*At participating Dunkin' Donuts shops only. Thursday, May 15, 2008 from 10am-10pm. Cannot be combined with any other offer. One free small 16 oz. Iced Coffee per person, per visit.”

Thursday is also the day McDonald’s is giving out free samples of their new chicken breakfast and lunch sandwiches (but you have to buy a drink to score that one...).

I'mma skip on the McDonald's (Science Boy and I are taking Gram out for dinner tonight, so trying to have a low-cal day), but think I'm just about ready to go get a blueberry iced coffee.

14 May 2008


Science Boy and I have been using the crockpot more often in the past few months. (Or, rather, I have been using the crockpot and he has been happily eating the results!) Gram even gave us hers when she found out I use it since she says she hasn't used it in 20 years. Still works great!

I love the way the house smells delicious when I get home from work and how lovely it is to have dinner ready to go.

While doing a random search, I came across the fantabulous Crockpot Lady's blog. She has resolved to use her crockpot Every. Single. Day. Wow. Looks like she has lots of great ideas and recipes. I think I {heart} her!

Look at Meez!


If you haven't created your cartoon avatar at Meez.com, you should try it out sometime. It's fun!

HELP!! Walk NOW for Autism!

Hi, friends!

Walk NOW for Autism!

Well, not *right* now. And you don't actually have to walk anywhere. I will do it for you.

May 18 is the Walk Now for Autism 5K walk in Chicago. My colleagues and I have spent a lot of time this past year discussing autism and how we can best serve those families with a member on the autism spectrum. I decided that one thing I, personally, can do is to help raise awareness and money for research by participating in the event.

I will be walking and I would like to ask every one of you to contribute in any way you can. Seriously. If you can only give $1, I will take it and thank you with sincere appreciation.

A few facts (I am, after all, a Librarian):

* 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism
* 1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum
* 67 children are diagnosed per day
* A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes
* More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
* Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
* Autism costs the nation over $90 billion per year, a figure expected to double in the next decade
* Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases * Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
* There is no medical detection or cure for autism

You can contribute directly online by going to our Baby Got Book team page. If you are not comfortable using your credit card (or want to give less than the $20 minimum the site requires from credit card donations -- and we would appreciate ANY amount!), you can click on "make offline donation" and a form will pop up. Fill out the form, print it, and you can mail it with a check made out to "Autism Speaks" to the address they provide (or, if you'll see me soon, just give it to me and I can take it along to the walk).

Proceeds from sales of the Baby Got Book shirts at http://www.cafepress.com/book_kitten/1909160 will also be donated to Autism Speaks.

Please feel free to pass this on to others who might be interested in contributing, too.


wishing peace, love, and healthy children to all,

Hey! Where'd those blogs come from?!

I added a few posts I had put up at my myspace blog. I really do plan to start blogging here again soon - I *like* this site! - but until then, I pasted a few from the other blog.

05 May 2008

Sticks and Stones... But Mostly Stones

On Saturday, Science Boy, The Boy and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Edward Hopper / Winslow Homer exhibit. It was lovely and exhausting. We had a great day -- the two of them always enjoy ganging up on me to tease...

We rode the train home and then just had a short walk. There were three boys playing in a field on our way. I would have guessed them to be between 10-13 years old. I noticed them and then didn't pay any more attention.

Suddenly, one of the boys shouted something. I glanced over and saw them watching us. He yelled again, his words clearer.

"White Bitch!"

And then, the little darling threw a rock at me.

He missed.

SB saw a rock land but had missed the yelling. He asked, "Did someone throw a rock at us."

"Yeah, those kids," I nodded that way. We kept going and the same kid called out, loud and clear, "White Bitch!" again. Another rock. (Thankfully, another miss.)

This time, SB heard and froze. He turned to look at the kids. The same one who seemed to be doing all the yelling and rock throwing called out that ugly name one more time and then yelled, "We'll beat all your asses!"

Then, he and his friends, turned and ran away.

Our mood was somewhat subdued after that. I felt so wounded. "They don't even know me," I said. "I am a bitch sometimes, but I don't think it's because I'm White."

This might be the time to mention that SB and I live in a relatively poor, predominantly African-American community on Chicago's West Side. We've only lived here since August, but I like it. People are pretty friendly and our apartment is beautiful. I like our neighbors. When an electrical fire broke out on our back porch a few weeks ago, neighbors saw, called the fire department, and alerted SB. People say hi when they pass you on the sidewalk.

SB is African-American; I am Caucasian. It's never been an issue.

This is the second time I have been called a White Bitch since we moved. The first time, Two teen girls were walking past my house as I was bringing mail in in the evening. I said, "Hello."
One replied, "White Bitch."

That time hurt, too.

I just don't understand what would move someone to call another person, one they don't even know, an ugly name based on nothing more than race. I try to be pleasant to the people I encounter. These children, both of them who have called me this name, are very likely neighbors.

And do I have to worry that might run into these boys again one day while I am walking home, heaving their nasty words and solid rocks?

I've been lucky that their aim with the rocks was not good this past Saturday. Their words, however, hit their mark.

01 May 2008

Lighten Up!

Oak Lawn, IL put up auxiliary stop signs a little while back, hoping they would get attention and gently encourage drivers to actually heed the "stop" on the top sign.

IDOT, however, is not amused and has insisted the signs come down.

How sad. The Mayor complied, but said, "I think government needs to take itself less seriously... We have to take the work seriously, but it's OK to smile and to be creative in enforcing a serious message."

Very true.

And, NOT from Oak Lawn (actually, I am not sure *where* I got this), my all-time favorite STOP sign:

29 April 2008

31 March 2008

I'm not dead yet


I really mean to blog more, especially when I have fabulous cyber-pals who e-mail to see if I am okay.

I am.

Maybe a little blue lately, but mostly fine.

I just haven't had much time or energy to blog. Too much time spent at work, where blogging is verboten.

I will try to start up again SOON. Promise.

In the meantime, how blue am I? Well, apparently,

You Are Sky Blue
Dreamy and creative, you see the potential in everyone ... and everything!
And while you strive to have an ideal life, you are pretty mellow about it. You know your time will come.

Not entirely inaccurate...

I'll be back soon.

Peace out, all!

14 January 2008

almost forgot...

My fabulous friend and colleague, A, texted me Saturday to let me know that the Coretta Scott King committee is adding a new award: The Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. This will be awarded to an author, illustrator, and/or a librarian! I have no details, just a brief text message received. If anyone else has more details, please fill me in. A tells me this is to be awarded beginning in 2009.


I have to leave for work, but throughout the day, I will clean up the award info, add links, (maybe) give opinions, etc.

I'mma have a lot to think about on the ride in!

updated at noon, 1/14/08: As far as I know, all of the information and links below are now correct. Thanks for your patience. My top priority was just getting the news up ASAP!

John Newbery Medal

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

Randolph Caldecott Medal

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Henry's Freedom Box illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Ellen Levine
First, the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
The Wall by Peter Sis
Knuffle Bunny, Too by Mo Willems

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems

First, the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Hello, Bumblebee Bat by Darrin Lunde and illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne
Jazz Baby written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Vulture View by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Andrew Carnegie Medal

Jump In! Freestyle Edition produced by Kevin Lafferty along with executive producer John Davis, and co-producers, Amy Palmer Robertson and Danielle Sterling

Pure Belpre Author Award

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Sean Qualls

Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life! by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Martina, the Beautiful Cockroach
retold by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael Austin
Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marissa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Pura Belpre Award for Illustration

Los Gatos Black on Halloween illustrated by Yuyi Morales and written by Marisa Montes


My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez/Me llamo gabito: La vida de Gabriel García Márquez illustrated by Raúl Colón and written by Monica Brown

My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez

Robert F. Sibert Medal

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain written and illustrated by Peter Sís

Nic Bishop Spiders by Nic Bishop
Lightship written and illustrated by Brian Floca

Mildred L. Batchelder Award

VIZ Media for Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe, translated by Alexander O. Smith

Milkweed Editions for The Cat or, How I Lost Eternity by Jutta Richter, translated by Anna Brailovsky
Phaidon Press for Nicholas and the Gang by Rene Goscinny, translated by Anthea Bell

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture

The 2009 lecture will be delivered by...

Walter Dean Myers

Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production

Live Oak Media for Jazz

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy, produced by Listen & Live Audio
Dooby Dooby Moo, produced by Scholastic/Weston Woods
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, produced by Listening Library
Skulduggery Pleasant, produced by HarperChildren's Audio
Treasure Island, produced by Listening Library

Michael L. Printz Award

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean

Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox
One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke
Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins
Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath by Stephanie Hemphill

Margaret A. Edwards Award

The winner of the Edwards award is...

Orson Scott Card

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards


Let it Shine written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

The Secret Olivia Told Me illustrated by Nancy Devard and written by N. Joy
Jazz on a Saturday Night written and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

Coretta Scott King Author Awards

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

November Blues by Sharon Draper
Twelve Rounds to Glory by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It by Sundee T. Frazier

Schneider Family Book Awards

Best Children's Book
Kami and the Yaks written by Andrea Stenn Stryer and illustrated by Bert Dodson

Best Middle School Book
Reaching for Sun by Tracy Vaughn Zimmer

Best Teen Book
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby

Alex Awards

American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China by Matthew Polly
Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff
Essex County Volume 1: Tales from the Farm by Jeff Lemire
Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden
The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Night Birds by Thomas Maltman
The Spellman Files
by Lisa Lutz

ALA Book Awards

I am *really* hoping our Monday Morning staff meeting doesn't overlap with this most exciting day in the children's lit year -- annoouncement of the ALA Children's Book Awards.

Awards to be announced today are:

Alex Awards for the best adult books that appeal to teen audience

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video

Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children

Coretta Scott King Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults that demonstrate sensitivity to "the true worth and value of all beings"

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children's book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States

Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature

Odyssey Award for audiobook excellence

Pura Belpre Award for a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work "best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth"

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the outstanding book for beginning reader

I'm going to try to get in on the webcast and post the winners as announced. Later, I will add links and pictures to those entries.

Predictions? I am almost always wrong. BUT. I think Elijah of Buxton is Newbery-bound and I would love to see the innovative artwork in 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore acknowledged.