Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From my Library application / On Reading

I want to work at the library because I love to read. A lot of people love to read, so this statement isn’t necessarily a distinguishing factor. But when I say, “I love to read,” I mean: I would submit a photo of my personal library if it were here with me in Telluride, as it brings me incredible joy; I mean the first thing I do after entering someone’s home (after taking off my shoes and exchanging pleasantries, of course) is beeline for their bookshelves to celebrate that which we have in common, and to discover that which we do not; I mean I attended the centennial celebration of Bloomsday in Dublin to experience Ulysses come alive in its proper context; I mean one of the more beautiful things I’ve seen are Candida Höfer’s large format photographs collected in Libraries; I mean I actually considered buying an old-bookstore-scented perfume (yes, this exists), just on principle.

I credit almost all success in my life – the adventures I’ve had, the knowledge I’ve gained and applied – to my love of reading. As a result, I believe reading is one of the most important things in which a person should regularly engage; this is especially true in regard to children and young adults, who are in such a formational period of their social, intellectual, and emotional development. Thus, it is also for the chance to help foster a love of reading in others, and to help them attain the desire and skills to read well, that I wish to work at the library.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Digital Vs. Original Materials

On its Facebook page, the Harry Ransom Center posits the following question:

"Increasingly, archives are digitizing materials to make them available on the web. This can provide access to a wider range of users, but is there any difference between working with a digital copy and the original document?"

My response:

Of course there is a difference. Though the profound merit of universal access is self-evident, viewing a text online is not equivalent to handling it in person. One cannot fully comprehend the rich luminosity of the Book of Kells from a computer screen, nor can one experience the musty tobacco and scotch smells of various writers’ manuscripts without handling them in person.

See this recent article in the New York Times regarding the handling of archives / manuscripts that identifies a new way of thinking: “Rare books should be a hands-on experience.” Robert Darnton, director of the Harvard University Library, says, “By examining a book’s physical attributes, you can enter a world we have lost and understand it as it was.” Surely this understanding is as vital to compelling literary criticism as the work itself.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Heart Libraries

Says Borges: "I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library."

I couldn't agree more, especially if that paradise looks like any of these libraries. Update: or this library.

Of course, there would have to be cozy little corner nooks in windows holding a snow-flurried silence at bay, and there would have to be down comforters and thermoses of mulled wine handy, as well.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Overheard at the Office

Younger female colleague: "I LOVE the magic bullet!"

Older, overweight female colleague: "Oh, me too, you can just do so much with it!"

Younger female colleague: "Yeah, it's great, I use it all the time!"

NSFW, ladies, NSFW!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Death by Hot Sauce (The Source fans beware)

A British citizen died recently after creating and consuming a “super-hot chili sauce” when a friend challenged him to a “who’s balls are bigger” endurance contest. Though officials initially suspected Andrew Lee died of a heart attack, a post mortem uncovered no heart problems and an earlier medical examination had found him in perfect health.

Andrew Lee obtained the chilies used to up the sauce’s spice factor from his father’s garden. Considering the typically mind-numbing blandness of British food, one must wonder from what corner of the planet these chilies originate, and what the dickens they were doing in someone’s English garden in the first place.

Lee’s sister spoke of Andrew’s culinary ambitions, saying, “He always said he wanted to be a chef but didn’t want to start at the bottom.” Perhaps if he had started at the bottom of the spicy spectrum, or even within the intermediate to advanced Austin range, he wouldn’t be ending his start at the bottom of the grave.

What I want to know is, where can I get the recipe?

Reposted from Taco Town.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Legend of the Drunken Master (Chef)

I often concoct rather interesting late-night/early-morning snacks after returning home from the bars: canned tuna and rice remains my most notable failure. Last weekend, upon waking at 7:30 a.m. after a wedding to find all my usual breakfast taco haunts closed (who is open at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday, anyway?), I once again took matters into my own hands, and ended up making the best damn gourmet breakfast taco I’ve ever had. Might this be a chance to turn my tendency toward the drunk munchies into a career?


Feta cheese
Cracked pepper
Portobello mushrooms
Marinated artichoke hearts
Roasted red bell peppers
Pine nuts
Olive oil tortilla wrap


Sauté portobello mushrooms in olive oil. Beat feta cheese and cracked pepper into eggs; scramble. Brown tortilla in pan. Wrap scrambled eggs, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, bell peppers, and pine nuts into tortilla.

While preparing food, bitch and moan about how no person in their right mind wakes up at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday (after a wedding, at that); continue mumbling and grumbling that no taco stands are open that early (of course they’re not), that sometimes you just have to do it yourself if you want it done right. Upon completion, shut up and forget about the world of hangover hurt you’re about to enter as you enjoy ridiculous, unadulterated deliciousness. And then go back to sleep.

from Taco Town.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Romantic Comedy #1 (5 stars)

Says MustLuvCats about the movie Two Weeks Notice:

"This is one of my favorites. It's a movie you can watch over & over again, and never gets old. I know I've seen this at least 15 times...literally! It's SO funny, but at the same time completely romantic."

Because hopelessly romantic people (ahem cat ladies) are not SO funny enough. Am I mean?