"The simplest way to make sure we raise literate children is to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means finding books that they enjoy, and letting them read them." – Neil Gaiman
I am one of those weird people who actually enjoy filling out questionnaires, but then I also like making lists so I guess it makes sense. I found this one on either Tumblr or Facebook, I can’t remember which, so thought I might do an informational post about myself using these questions. I’m not going to do the full one because the post would go on forever and who needs all that? I added another three from this website.
What is your favorite word(s)? lugubrious, kerfuffle, splendiferous, susurrous
What do you label yourself as? Usually I consider myself a feisty librarian mom; an extroverted introvert/ambivert
Favorite age you’ve been so far? Not sure I have a favorite per se, but ones I’ve had the most fun/most interesting time is a tie between 22 when I was in graduate school in Scotland and came into my own for the first time. I had a really good grasp on who I was and what I wanted, and I was having lots of fun and traveling a lot. The second time would probably be now, at 37 a year past my divorce and with someone who finally gets me and what I’m about, and just doing my day to day with my son, family and friends. It’s not been easy but I’ve grown stronger.
You can only have one sandwich for the rest of your life. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is available, what do you choose? I would totally go with the sandwich I used to make all the time in Italy when I was studying abroad in my junior year of undergrad: freshly made focaccia, genoa salami, pecorino toscano or pecorino al tartufo (pecorino with black truffles), pesto, fresh spinach, and marinated artichokes.
You just found $100. How do you spend it? So this is assuming I’m not having an emergency or any bills to pay. I would go out for a super nice dinner with my boyfriend and then a Jurassic World toy for my son.
The Celestial Gates Of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn’t think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person/etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back? My maternal grandmother at full health because I miss her so much and couldn’t attend her funeral, plus I know how much my grandfather misses her.
Have you ever been admitted to the hospital? Only twice, once when I was five I had to get my stomach pumped after I got salmonella poisoning. And once when I was giving birth to my son.
What is your favorite milkshake flavor? Right now it’s Banana Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
How long could you go without talking? Probably not very long. I can be introverted when I want to be, but I tend to get lonely/bored easily and want to interact with people. Also tend to talk a lot when I’m nervous.
Can you do any accents other than your own? Yes, though not very well. I can do Southern English, New Yorker, and vaguely Italian accent. My normal accent is generic American but when I get tired or am around other Southerners, my Southern American accent comes out.
What do you like on your toast? Normally just butter and possibly some honey/agave. If they’re in season, smashed avocados.
If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today? If not, what would you change? No, I wouldn’t want to spend my last day working. I’d want to spend the day with my boyfriend, my son and my parents just hanging out, watching movies and playing games.
How many of your friends would you trust with your life? Pretty much all of the ones I keep contact with on a daily basis because I know they have my back and in this case, my life
Other than money, what else do you get out of your current job? I love to help people so I get to do that, sharing books/DVDs with others, connecting people with their community and resources they need, helping to create a safe comfortable environment for others to enjoy their free time in
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. I couldn’t resist adding the below picture as it was pretty cool.
It’s only a matter of time before I am sent out to do outreach at local area schools to talk about all the awesome things the library offers. We call our campaign the “Amazing Library Card Campaign” or ALCC for short. This includes all its virtual resources such as the many many databases such as: RBDigital/Flipster which has free online newspapers and magazines, Freegal (where you can get up to 5 free songs you can keep from the Sony music library), TumbleBooks (which will read to your child online while they follow along in print on the screen), Overdrive (aka Greater Phoenix Digital Library in my city) which offers a plethora of ebooks, e-audiobooks, and e-video. All of these resources are free with your library card. And the library card itself is free, something that always blows away children when I do outreach, that you can get all of this stuff for free. And if you’re a teen ages 12-18 in the Phoenix area, you should come check out Teen Central. With your ID or library card, you can use the Wii or Xbox, play an instrument in the Jam Room (or bring your own to practice with), or just play on the computers. Or even look for the newest YA fiction, manga or comics/graphic novels!
Ruth Orkin’s American Girl in Florence, Italy 1951
I am on my way home from the grocery store, having picked up a few things for lunch tomorrow. I walk around the back side of the Duomo and head down towards the Via dell’Oriuolo. I take a deep breath because I know this is the one street I have trouble with in town. I have a very love-hate relationship with the men in this city. The cat-calls start almost immediately as I begin walking down the street.
“Ciao bellissima!” exclaims one man on a scooter.
Another leans forward and sends me air kisses. All the other men on the street turn to stare at me walking down the street. I get several invitations for dinner and coffee, but politely reject them all. I walk faster, finally turning on the Borgo Pinti.
“Ciao ragazzi!” I proclaim, as I head towards my house. “Same time tomorrow!”
The Ecstasy of St Teresa by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1652
I am on my knees again like I am every day. This is my sixth hour in the chapel, having started at Prime and it is now Sext. Suddenly it seems as though a gentle hand is opening my robes, baring my soul, and I look up to see a brilliant burst of light and flame overheard. I hear the soft flapping of wings and I can see the outline of a beautiful diminutive angel holding a fire-tipped spear. He is pulling the weapon back in preparation for striking. All at once, I feel him thrust it down into my heart and I am suddenly engulfed with God’s spirit and love. It is radiating through my body like ripples on a lake. The pain is so intense, I moan out loud with the suddenness of it. I feel the presence of our Lord in a way I never have before.
I am a river dryad, daughter of the river god Peneus, and devoted to the huntress Diana. I have vowed my virginity to her, and Cupid has made it doubly so. My lord Apollo knows this and yet still he pursues me. He too has been pierced with an arrow of a different sort. I run as fast as I can, begging him to leave me alone.
“Peneus, my father, help me I beseech thee!” I scream as I run.
He grants my request, and suddenly my feet become roots, a thin bark covers my body and my raised hands and flowing hair starts sprouting leaves.
Apollo catches up to me, and still wants me despite my transformation. “If you are not to be mine, let me at least honor you.” And so I became a laurel tree, beloved of Apollo.
Marta, from the Eyes as Big as Plates series. Riita Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth, Norway 2011.
Demeter is lost in thought and the fallen leaves have formed an autumnal crown around her divine head. She is contemplating the fate of her daughter Persephone and the time that must now pass before Persephone returns from the underworld. A single tear slips down her cheek remembering that unhappy memory. They hadn’t been on speaking terms in awhile, not since the last fight they had. Both are too proud to admit they need the other. Demeter doesn’t want to think about it anymore and lets out an anguished sigh before silently continuing her journey through the orchards surrounding the temple at Eleusis. Leaves crunch underfoot as she stops to gather a bouquet of late-blooming orange poppies, and sets them near the temple entrance. They are for the women who are about to start the Thesmorphoria.
I haven’t posted one of these in forever, so wanted to start it up again because I miss writing them. I’m going to start with one of my favorite sculptural pieces ever, which I was lucky enough to see in the Villa Borghese in Rome.
The Rape of Persephone – Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1622-23
I’m sitting in a field of flowers with my mother Demeter. Suddenly I spy a narcissus, which would be the perfect centerpiece for the flower crown I am making, when suddenly the ground opens up. I can see a glowing pair of eyes in the darkness, looking right at me, which causes a shiver to run down my spine. Suddenly my taciturn uncle Hades comes bursting out of the ground in his golden chariot driven by four sable horses. Without a word, he drags me kicking and screaming back into the depths of the underworld with him, his fingers sinking into my nubile flesh. The flowers fall from my hand as I descend and are lost in the nothingness. I am calling out for my mother to help me, but it is too late. The ground closes up above my head and now there is no hope.