30.10.09

I just shouldn't be allowed out on my own...

I live in a Town about an hour north of NYC. It's a sprawling town, and there are some oddities (like, I have a street address there but vote/pay taxes in the next Town over and my fire district is a third Town). All the shopping and sidewalks and Post Office are in the smaller administrative unit. This isn't that unusual: my parents live in SmallTown, just outside SmallVillage.

Today I went to buy groceries and saw a sign that read "Hamlet Beautification Project" and the only thing that crossed my mind was, Isn't that why they cast Jude Law?

27.10.09

Ethical?

I've spent a little time over the past two days printing out invitations and planning my schedule for the upcoming AASL Conference. I was reminded of these posts, discussing the ethics of accepting perks from the vendors.

I've consulted for a few publishers, accepting free books in exchange. I've helped another with a new database, accepting a free trial. At conferences, I gladly go to the breakfasts and lunches they sponsor to learn about the new products (or twists on old ones). I'll pick up ARCs, pens, coffee mugs, posters.

Is this ethical? I won't promote a product I don't honestly believe in on this blog - and despite my accepting the freebie, I'll even denigrate one I think is bad (just look at some of my book reviews!). I don't think that the vendors are giving this stuff away to buy good press - although I'm sure they'd love it - or to guarantee a sale. If I treat all vendors, those with freebies and those without, equally, it's ethical.

Some have higher standards, but I suspect part of that comes from a position of higher visibility. If you can sway hundreds, or even influence them slightly, then it's best to not partake. If you speak for an organization, or are clearly associated with one (as I am, in other places and at other times), then a higher level is needed. But here, as Lazygal, I feel freer because I'm not speaking on anyone's behalf. Caveat venditor.

18.10.09

The horror...

Maybe it wasn't actual horror, but it was nearer to Amityville than I've been before, so it just seemed appropriate.

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing #3 Niece marry her boyfriend of 12 years (they met at a basketball game in high school). The ceremony was in Queens, with the reception out on Long Island, so we'd have to spend the night at the Hempstead Hilton. Because of my chronic fatigue, the idea of staying in a hotel with uninterrupted sleep (something I never get), was really appealing.

How wrong I was.

First, the hotel didn't have my room ready. Now, I don't really care about two queens v. one king-sized bed. It's a bed, after all. So switching from one to the other wasn't an issue. What they didn't tell me was that the new room was on a smoking floor (really? a smoking floor? today???). That actually matters. They also failed to mention that the room was an indoor room, directly (as in "10 feet-ish") above the casual dining area, which wouldn't have been that bad. Except...

The hotel was the site for at least one wedding (and the dining area was set up for the evening reception) and was housing three others, including ours, and a class reunion. That dining area could get kinda noisy just as I'm trying to drift off, ya know? So Thing One and I switched rooms. His was on the other side of the building, on a non-smoking floor. All's good, right? Except...

The original room had a decent tub and I love to take baths. The new room was on the old fogies floor, with one of those wheelchair accessible bathrooms and sinks. No bathing. But that's ok, I could still read myself to sleep and get a good nine hours, right? Except...

At 2:19am there was a fire alarm. False, of course, probably set off by one of the cigar smokers from the class reunion or one of the drunken wedding guests. I was sort-of awake after and decided to read for a little longer except...

The light on the bedside table no longer worked. The bulb wasn't blown (I switched bulbs from the other lamp): the lamp just wouldn't turn on. Ok, I'll just go back to sleep. Except...

That's when I noticed that the pillows - ok, 3 of 4 on the bed - reeked of cigarette smoke. Ugh.

According to Thing One, every phone (including the two in my room) was flashing and no one could leave messages for anyone; some guests had to wait over an hour before their rooms were ready; #1 Niece's room contained a broken bed; and two siblings had broken toilets.

Upshot? My planned night of sleeping soundly and rising all ready to face the week with vim and vigor was shot. There's no way I am ever - and I mean it, ever - staying at that Hilton again.

14.10.09

Imponderables

There's a road near me that has been repaved. For the past two weeks(ish) there have been delays as the lollipop guy guided traffic around the area undergoing work; sometimes the line has been so long that it's worth it to go the five miles out of my way to get home (when I leave early in the morning there's no problem). Usually, repaving means that there's grading and a nice layer of asphalt and a real disruption to the roadbed before it's all put back together.

So imagine my surprise when driving along this road now that the work has been finished. This road is New! and Improved! Now with Added Potholes!!

Seriously. They've repaved and added potholes. Wha???

12.10.09

Losing the Symbol

If a student asks me to read a book, I'll usually drop everything and read it (even if I'm in the middle of another read). It's led to some great discoveries, like City of Ember as well as good re-reads (The Bell Jar, for example). Then there are the books I pray I don't have to read: The Lost Symbol being one of them. Thanks to bookshelves of doom I learned that I
could read John Crace's Digested version of The Lost Symbol.

Or even better, you could read his as-he-read-it play-by-play:

Langdon hurried towards the Rotunda. The lecture was due to start in five minutes and he was running late. Still, he was well-prepared. The Symbolism of the Freemasons was his latest research project and what better place than to deliver his lecture than in the hall designed by Benjamin Franklin and so many of the founding fathers of America and Freemasonry? He strode onwards through the clunky sentences and the turgid repetition of pointless information till he reached his destination.

And then there's this list of Brown's worst sentences.

9.10.09

Links Galore

5.10.09

Notable Quotes

The shop's tables, I now sa, were covered with wooden blocks of varying sizes, each one carved with a single letter; the were literally the building blocks of words. There were also blocks carved with every imaginable mark of punctuation. He lifted one displaying a cartoonish "!" and put it in my hand.

"Have you ever held a shout before?" he asked. "How about a question?" He found a "?" in the pile of punctuation marks and placed it in my other hand. "Did you know that this is how a story is built? Inch by inch, line by line?"

Songs for the Butcher's Daughter, Peter Manseau

2.10.09

Am I worthy?

According to the NYC Heat Guidelines, between October 1 and May 1, landlords are required to provide for their tenents when the outside temperature falls below 55F (day; it's below 40F at night). During those times, the heat should meet a <i>minimum</i> of 68F degrees from 6am through 10pm and a <i>minimum</i> of 55F the rest of the time.

The temperature where I live isn't that low... ish, so I haven't turned on my heat. It'll be under 40 for a few hours late tonight. On the other hand, the temperature inside is currently a toasty 61F.

At what temperature will I decide that I'm worthy of a little heat?

1.10.09

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Haven't been blogging as much, but I have been reading (and watching many Netflix - but that's another post!). So, what does Q3 bring? Not quite as stellar as Q, "only" 45 books read, but not bad. All reviews are over on Killin' Time Reading.

Biography

Children's/Young Adult

Fiction/Literature

Mystery

Non-Fiction

Science Fiction/Fantasy


Books left on Mt. Bookpile: 337
Books added: 62
Net gain/loss: +11