Friday, May 11, 2007

Greenpoint #41, 5/10/07

Ok, moving on. I haven't made much of a dent in those Uncle Remus stories yet, primarily because the book I took out contains the complete stories, and is about 800 pages long, which is fairly daunting. What I have read so far is very good, but I doubt I'll make it through the whole book. In any case, I decided to take a break some comics. My favorite freeform radio blog WFMU's Beware of the Blog, reminded me that Kim Deitch (also wrote Shadowland and The Boulevard of Broken Dreams))has a new book out, and the Greenpoint Branch had it. Even though yesterday was probably the most humid day we've had all year, I decided biking 13 miles (round trip...ok, yeah, its not that much) was a good idea. Well it was! Despite having a shirt so sweat-soaked that it didn't dry for hours, it was a day of firsts: first ladybug I've seen this year (flew into my face...luckily I was motionless at the time), first time I got splashed by water and was glad, because it cooled me down, even the first time I drank water from the sink in a library bathroom because there was no other water to be had and I perspired so much that I needed it to live. Onward!

Branch: Greenpoint
Location: 107 Norman Ave. at Leonard St.
Transport: bicycle
Book: Alias the Cat by Kim Deitch; The Grave Robber's Daughter by Richard Sala
Date: Thursday, May 10, 2007

So, I got to the library, and not only was there an awesome group of little kids holding the door for me with (I assume) their grandfather, who had such a sweet long beard that he looked like a wizard, but there was this other creepy looking comic that I kinda wanted to read but wasn't sure enough about to buy. That, of course, was after I got inside. Wait, let me start over.

The Grave Robber's Daughter is really cool. I read it already, and it wasn't at all what I expected; way creepier, but also way funnier. I recommend it. As for Alias the Cat, we'll see if it lives up to/surpasses Deitch's other work. I'm not too worried about it.

I didn't spend much time in the library, because I was hallucinating from lack of water and the walls were all bendy. No, that's not really true. Well, the first part is. It seemed nice took me forever to find the new books but I'm fairly sure that was my own fault. It was pretty dark in there, that's what really sticks out, but that could also have been my imminent unconsciousness/death. Ok, not really, I was fine. I don't know why I keep playing up the dehydration thing, it wasn't really all that bad. But seriously, what's with the consistent lack of water fountains? I guess I just feel like the people are...entitled to them. (Wink.)

I guess that's all I got. Oh wait, one last thing. If anyone is looking to improve his or her hitting, I noticed a book that should be most helpful: Don Mattingly's Hitting Is Simple, on bookshelves now. Perhaps on your bookshelf? Perhaps. Pictures...




Monday, May 7, 2007

Clinton Hill #83, 5/7/07

This is going to be a short entry because I'm watching the Spike Lee documentary When The Levees Broke and it's very emotionally draining. Today was a gorgeous day, a little cool but good bike riding weather. I had finished The Children of Húrin from my last visit, and it was excellent (not extremely different from the Túrin Turambar version of the story in The Silmarillion, but definitely worth the time) so I hopped on my bike to head over to the Clinton Hill Branch.

Branch: Clinton Hill
Location: 380 Washington Ave. at Lafayette Ave.
Transport: bicycle
Book: The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris
Date: Monday, May 7, 2007

Yesterday Liz found a random book on the street about all of the classic Disney movies, and it included Song of the South, which I hadn't thought of for quite a while. It still isn't out on DVD, likely due to the racist overtones, but it is based on old folktales from the south that I had never read so I decided to check them out. The book is so large that I'm not sure I'll be able to read all of it (especially with the new Murakami novel coming out tomorrow) but I'm looking forward to reading what I can.

The library - and the neighborhood - are gorgeous. I had some errands to run so I couldn't spend much time there, but just the trees out front and the houses along Washington Street made the neighborhood very pleasant. The barely noticeable woman in the first picture saw me taking it and asked "You're just taking a picture of your bike, right?" She sounded angry enough that I was worried I was breaking some sort of library code and nodded profusely. Don't worry, your privacy won't suffer, your face isn't in the picture. Sorry about lying to you though.




next door.

This is a blog about libraries so I hate to talk about anything else in my life or in the world since it seems contrary to the purpose. That said, this movie about Hurricane Katrina is completely devastating, and not just because of what the storm did, or what the people in charge failed to do, but because we as a country have allowed those people to remain in charge. It's sickening and it makes me ashamed of myself and of my country.

I wandered around on some abandoned train tracks last Friday. Check it out here if you want.

"If you tolerate this, then your children will be next." - Manic Street Preachers

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ulmer Park #71, 5/3/07

Whew, finally. That was a busy couple of weeks...I had a friend from Minnesota visiting for a week, went to New Jersey more than a couple times, had things stolen, finished my library school application (woo!), and read a few (gasp) purchased books. But eventually, I finally found the time to finish the book I took out of Flatbush, that being I, Stagolee. It was an excellent book, and the clear, straightforward prose would have actually made it a quick read if I'd had any time at all. It turned out to be much more complex than I had originally anticipated, though, which was a pleasant surprise. The bits regarding political corruption, and the state of both the Democratic and Republican parties near the end of the 19th century, were very interesting (though I don't know how much of it was based in fact). Apparently the author, Cecil Brown, also wrote a non-fictional account of the murder and the songs it spawned, Stagolee Shot Billy, which you can read about here.

So after finishing that book late last night, I set out today to the next library. My goal was to get the one available copy of The Children of Húrin, the newly released J.R.R. Tolkien book, in the entire Brooklyn Public Library system. It is a longer version of the story of Túrin Turambar, which is a chapter in The Silmarillion, which I have read, and which I recommend to any Lord of the Rings fans who haven't. Luckily enough, out of 33 copies, the one available one was in a library I had not been to. Therefore I set off for the Ulmer Park Branch.

Branch: Ulmer Park
Location: 2602 Bath Ave at 26th Ave
Transport: R train to 36th St.; D train to 25th Ave.
Book: The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
Date: Thursday, May 3, 2007

Can't believe it was two weeks since my last library, I was starting to go into withdrawal...anyway, the branch was very nice, filled with kids who just got outta school, working on projects, hanging out, whatever. I went to sit at one of the less occupied tables and finish the other book I've been reading, only to notice a sign reading "Reserved for Seniors." It's like adult swim, but...with tables. I'm not sure if "Ulmer Park" is an actual neighborhood, but according to my sources I was on the edge of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach. Ok, I guess entirely in Bath Beach. Anyway, the houses were gorgeous, the weather was gorgeous, the flowers and trees were gorgeous. Assuming the honeybees make it through this year, we can enjoy flowers next year as well, though I only saw one bee all day today, and it was a bumblebee.

In any case, the library was nice, a large selection of books and adequate facilities, ah who am I kidding, I was in full on Tolkien nerd mode, I barely noticed the place. It was nice though, really. And so far the book is excellent, by the way, sort of like an extended director's cut of a story, totally totally totally rad. Ok, I'm babbling, I just want to get back to reading some more of it. The upshot being that you should hear from me soon, cause I'll be done with this in no time. Or maybe more horrible/awesome circumstances will befall me and it'll be another two weeks. We shall see.

One last thing: my crappy rechargeable batteries (ENERGIZER! DAMN YOU!!!!!) can't hold a charge, and I was ready to go, so I figured I'd just buy a couple AAs at a convenience store in the area. I somehow managed to spend a dollar on batteries that are a) significantly lighter than normal AAs and b) didn't work. At all. Not even a little bit. By the time I tried them I was nowhere near the store and I didn't feel like going back and complaining, so I shelled out another $2 for some batteries that actually worked. I relate this story not to lament by own bad luck, but to warn you, the reader. Don't buy the batteries that aren't in the full packaging just cause they're a little cheaper. IT'S NOT WORTH IT! Pictures anyone?

Front! A car! A van! Panama!

And then there's always the door...

And the ever popular angle. Well that's it for today. I should be back very soon though, really. See you next time.