Archive for April, 2012


Artful Fridays

I apologize for not writing more this week but I’ve been busy with work and have just been exhausted by the time I get home, due to the fact we have another conference this weekend so I’ve been helping to get ready for that. Once home, I have either wanted to do one of my two latest guilty pleasures (LOTR online or the TV show The Vampire Diaries). I finally got horses for both my characters and I bought a house, so been decorating that, plus it’s LOTR’s 5th Anniversary so they’re giving away all kinds of free things in game (like the horse I won for my female human character). I also have a male dwarf. I noticed The Vampire Diaries a couple weeks ago at the library and decided to give it a try after I found out I can watch the first two seasons on Netflix. Just finished Season 1 and I’m hooked. Yes, it is pretty much what would happen if Twilight and True Blood had a baby, but I still like all the twists and turns in it.

Meanwhile back in the real world, I’ve been having trouble focusing on books lately. I’m doing great with audiobooks, whizzing through the first three books of The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. I am currently about to start the fourth book. I’m stuck on the book I’m supposed to be reviewing for the guy who sent me the free book (see this post for explanation), as I can’t decide if I like it or not. I picked up a copy of Emma, Volume 9, the Victorian romance manga that I’ve been reading for a couple months now, so I have that to look forward to. I’ve also been trying to read more books to my son, as he has started babbling more. There’s lots of ba-ba, blah-blah, and ma-ma’s coming out these days but no words really, but it shouldn’t be long as quickly as he is growing and developing lately.

Anyways, I figured since my Van Gogh post went over well, I would try to discuss art on Fridays. Following the Impressionist theme from the Van Gogh post, I wanted to discuss some more artists from that time period that I love. I took a class on Impressionism and the turn of the 20th Century art during my undergraduate career and I loved it! Most of the works I wanted to share are works I discovered during that class.

When most people think of Monet, they think of The Water Lillies. I personally hate this piece because it is so overdone everywhere. The man lived a long time and he did paint other things, like this series of 31 paintings on the facade of Rouen Cathedral. Monet had a habit of doing multiple paintings of a single subject in the 1890s, such as haystacks or landscape views. I have seen a couple of the Rouen Cathedral series in person, and they are gorgeous. He painted them at different times of day and you can see the contrast throughout the artwork.

Rouen Cathedral, the West Portal and Saint-Romain Tower, Full Sunlight, Harmony in Blue and Gold, dated 1894, painted 1893

Another painter I really liked was Pierre-Auguste Renoir, but not the works usually associated with him, like Dance at Bougival or Luncheon of the Boating Party. I like the ones he did in his later life, all the Bathing portraits, which didn’t look like his regular Impressionistic style. The bodies are a little out of proportion, but I like that they are not the insanely skinny models we have today. They are real-sized women with curves. I will also include a Renoir that I found the other day and I loved the coloring of it. It looks happy.

The Bathers, 1887

Mosque in Algiers, 1882

The final piece is another from the Impressionism class. I liked that during this time period in art more common place people and objects were being painted, like Van Gogh painting potatoes and old boots. Gustave Caillebotte was also interested in painting everyday things when he did the below painting. According to the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, this painting was “one of the first representations of the urban proletariat. When the painting was presented at the 1875 Salon, the Jury was shocked by its crude realism and shocking subject matter. He later exhibited the painting with the Impressionists in 1876.”

The Floor Scrapers, 1875

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National Poetry Month

I had forgotten that April was National Poetry Month, as there is so much else that is going on this month, so I am behind on sharing some great poetry. To discover more poetry websites, check out this article from @ Your Library. Because I haven’t been posting about poetry this month, I will remedy that by including two poems I enjoy. As in this previous post, you know that I am a huge Pablo Neruda fan, and he is in fact my favorite poet ever. The first is Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XXVII from his 100 Love Sonnets.

Sonnet XXVII: Naked you are as simple as one of your hands by Pablo Neruda

Naked, you are simple as one of your hands,
Smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round:
You have moonlines, applepathways:
Naked, you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.

Naked, you are blue as the night in Cuba;
You have vines and stars in your hair;
Naked, you are spacious and yellow
As summer in a golden church.

Naked, you are tiny as one of your nails,
Curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born
And you withdraw to the underground world,

as if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores:
Your clear light dims, gets dressed, drops its leaves,
And becomes a naked hand again.

Since I’ve gone all romantic poetry on you, I figured I should go totally the opposite way and do something completely different. I’m going to switch to a classic poem by Robert Frost which I learned in high school, 10th grade I believe, which I still can remember from memory today. Do you have any favorite poems? If so, please share them in the comments section.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Things going on…

Usually I don’t leave so many days betweens postings, but it has been pretty busy around here the last couple of days. Wednesdays are usually busy for me, as that day is our staff meeting in the morning and then I usually have projects in the afternoon. Yesterday we also had a farewell party for my friend Theresa, where we went bowling and had pizza and wings. It was fun, though it has been forever since the last time I bowled. My first game was good and I got a score of 92, the second was crappy with 64 (though I did get a strike).

My desktop computer has also been on the fritz at home, so that’s part of the reason I couldn’t post anything. The automatic updater kept trying to upload Service Pack 2 for Vista, but I wasn’t sure about downloading it because of all the problems my husband had with his computer. He however said to go ahead and install it. So I did, and it proceeded to crash my computer and then it kept recycling this error message screen but never resorting back to the previous version of Vista (by the way, I hate Vista). The only way to fix it was to put the Windows CD in, but then we found out that my disk drive also wasn’t working, and I only have one, so my hubby had to insert one of his extra ones to fix it yesterday. When I tried it this morning, it only worked in safe mode and said I had no space on my C drive, though I’m pretty sure there was room there before. I’m not sure what is going on, so I will have to ask my hubby if he can look at it again.

The one thing I have been working on the last few days is the About Me section of this blog entitled Who is LibraryMom?, so ya’ll can go ahead and check that out now that I’ve finished.

The baby has been extra fussy the past couple of weeks as he has finally started teething, and currently has two teeth coming in the bottom center of his mouth. So if anyone has any suggestions on how to help a teething baby, I welcome the advice. I’ve been told about the a cold/frozen washcloth for him to chew on and his pediatrician told us that pineapple juice helps.

So this week we have three things to celebrate: National Library Week from April 8-14, then today it is National D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything And Read), and Support Teen Literature Day. Therefore the ALA will be very busy. National Library Week focuses on celebrating libraries and the work they do for the community, getting people to support their local libraries and to not cut funding to those organizations. Since I am an unemployed librarian, I know how important libraries are not only to myself and the community, but also that they continue to be funded by local government organizations. I know Phoenix Public Library’s funding will hopefully be increasing soon due to a generous benefactor, so hopefully their hours will extend to 9pm for the entire week (they are currently open till 5pm three days a week).

Drop Everything And Read Day is to encourage people to read every day, especially kids. It is celebrated on children’s author Beverly Clearly’s birthday, which is today. She is the author of the Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and the Ralph S. Mouse book series, as well as classics like Dear Mr Henshaw. For librarians, parents and other caregivers who would like to celebrate today, this website page has resources you can use. If you would like to use the favorite booklist compiled for this day, check it out here.

Support Teen Literature Day is also April 12 and teen librarians and YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) wants the public to know and “raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens.” For more information check out this press release, where the preceeding quote was taken from. This website, off the YALSA wiki, has a list of 38 Things You Can Do to Support Teen Literature Day, and here is the 2012 booklist for the Best of the Best Teen Books (which includes all the award-winning books as well as the Top Ten lists). I am very lucky that the Phoenix Public Library central branch has a great Teen section and they keep very up-to-date with the latest books, CD’s, and audiobooks. Even though I am no longer a teenager, the majority of my reading materials are YA as I like to keep up with what is out there, plus there’s a lot of good books written for this age group. I am hoping that I may be able to volunteer with this age group in the future at my library.

I’m pretty sure most people have seen the Google Doodle today, which features British photographer Eadweard Muybridge. If not, here it is. As you can see from the Doodle, Muybridge was famous for his stop-action motion photography, which were like short films in the early days of silent movies. He was famous for the one on the Doodle because it showed that a horse, while galloping, does lift all four legs off the ground. I think it is interesting that he changed his name many times before settling on the final spelling, said to be from a coronation stone from King Edward (962-79).  An LA Times article featured here tells about the man and his very interesting life. He influenced filmmakers like Edison and the Lumiere Brothers. One of my favorite early films is the Serpentine Dance, seen here. Crazy to think that this film, like so many others of the time, was hand-colored. I remember getting the opportunity to go to the Library of Congress in high school to see a silent movie presentation which included Georges Melies’ A Trip to the Moon, which I just loved, especially because they had a piano accompaniment, so it was like seeing it as people did at the turn of the 20th century.  This, in addition to growing up watching 1940s and 50s movie musicals, gave me a love of classic movies which continues today. I may post on that some more later on.

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