For the past week, I've been using someone else's really shoddy internet connection until I could get professionally installed wireless in the place where I'm living now.  And it is soooo stinking worth it.

These are my priorities.

So.... I've been working all day (more or less) on this project and the fact that I am thisclose to having it done fills me full of squee.  May I present -

Cut for photos )
::My posting on LiveJournal has been slim of late - and I realize that I never posted my review of last week's Doctor Who here.  But I posted it at my other blog and I don't feel like reposting it here.  So, have a handy link and enjoy (fair warning - SPOILERS for "The Almost People")

::I've moved up to Salt Lake now (we'll... in the Salt Lake area, anyway) and hopefully will be started my practicum tomorrow *fingers crossed*  I wish it would have started sooner because I've spent the past few days moping around the house because I don't have anything else to do and I don't have a job.
   :::Oh, here's a great story - one of the jobs that I applied for was to be a substitute for the Salt Lake County Library system.  On the application, I put my address as where I'm living (which is not quite in Salt Lake, but it's close enough as far as I'm concerned).  I got an email from the County yesterday morning saying (quote) "It appears, with your past work experience, that you are qualified for the position, but because of the volume of applications, we are not considering anyone who lives and works in a distant location." (emphasis mine).
      Well, I came uncorked at that because 1) I've been driving 70 miles round trip every day for the past ten months ON DIRT ROADS to work at the high school.  To me, twenty minutes on the freeway is like running to the corner market for bread and milk. 2) I fully intend to move into Salt Lake City proper when I get an actual job - I just have to live where I do because I don't have the money to get a place in SLC yet.  PLUS - I'm doing a practicum in West Jordan, which means I'll be driving into the Salt Lake Valley nearly every day anyway.  I called the County up and told them as much (I was a lot nicer than if I'd picked up the phone the minute I got the email) and they said they'd consider my application.  Sooo... yeah... *more crossing fingers*

::I finally got out of the house today, though.  I went to the Jordan River Temple, which was nice.  I hadn't been to the temple for a long time and I hadn't realized how much I missed it (also how much better I feel after being there).  It was a good feeling, that's all.

::What else? My cousin is getting baptized on Saturday and my aunts are giving my sister a baby shower afterward, so that's going to be fun (I threw a shower for my sister a few weeks ago).  And my other cousin had her baby last night, which is great.  Yup... it's great.

That's it for today.  I'm working on a baby quilt for my sister, so I want to get that finished before the baby's born.  I'm about halfway done.
Spoilers for "The Rebel Flesh" beneath the video (this makes a point later)




I Have a Point! I Promise! )
I had to work today and most of my family had to go into town for a funeral, so I was most or less on my own for my birthday (however, since today was also my dad's birthday and my mom's is next Sunday, we're going to do something to celebrate later).  I got tons of birthday wishes via Facebook and Twitter (Thanks y'all!) and one of my dearest friends left me the sweetest voicemail.  Plus, I stretched out my birthday gift opening so I basically opened presents all day.  I wound up with Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher (I've heard nothing but good things about those and I'm eager to read them) plus the "Trial of a Time Lord" DVD boxed set (*gleeful cackle*) (Don't ask me why I'm gleefully cackling over "Trial" - I haven't even seen it yet).  And my boss left me a gourmet frozen pizza from Schwan's with a really nice note wishing me happy birthday.  All in all, a pretty good birthday.

Then, my cousin calls and says she's making a nice dinner and chocolate cake for my birthday (WHEE!). So I go over and visit while she's making dinner when her eight-year-old daughter comes up the stairs with the distinct look that she is Up To Something.  The eight-year-old tells me she has a birthday present for me, but I have to guess a riddle in order to get it.  Something to do with where birds build their nests (she's eight - it's cute).  Evidently, I guessed correctly because she leaves for a minute and comes back with this:

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(And suddenly, the fact that she had been staring at my TARDIS t-shirt at intermittent intervals makes so much more sense!)

I don't care who you are - that is so stinking adorable.

WARNING! WARNING!


SPOILERS FOR "THE DOCTOR'S WIFE" BENEATH THE NEIL GAIMAN QUOTE GIF!


WARNING! WARNING!


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So. Much. Validation! )
So... I tried to post from my phone while I was at the Utah Library Association conference earlier today.  And I have discovered that my post never appeared.  I swear I hit the "Submit" button... but alas - nothing.

In an effort to actually post something here that's useful and not just the usual fandom stuff like I have been lately, here are some of the highlights from today:

- Teen Authors Panel - There were actually two of these and none of the other offered workshops tickled my fancy, so I stayed for both.  And it was GLORIOUS!  One thing I struggle with is speaking up to strangers, especially in professional settings.  When I think "OMG - this could influence my career, thus affecting my entire LIFE!" my brain goes stupid and I just can't talk.  But at this panel, I got up the gumption to raise my hand and ask intelligent questions of the authors.  I even gave some of them my business card with my book review blog on it (cjsbookshelf.blogspot.com) and told them I'd be interested in reviewing their books (maybe I'll get emails from their editors - one of the authors asked me if I did author interviews - which would be AWESOME to actually do).  I had never heard of any of these authors before, but they had some cool stuff.  One of the authors was a Sheila Nielson from the Provo City Library who wrote a book called "Forbidden Sea" after a bunch of girls in her library said they wanted mermaid books and she just didn't have them.  Two of the authors co-wrote a book called "Blogs of Wrath," which sounded fun.  The one book I did buy at the conference was "I Kissed a Zombie and I Like It" by Adam Selzer.  He was hilarious - I wanted to buy more of his stuff and have him sign it, but I resisted and just bought the one.

- Morning Business Meeting - I snuck in for that little nugget of joy at 8:00 this morning (considering I had to get up by 6:30 just to get ready and be there... oy...)  It was mostly awards and junk, but one thing that happened gave me a glimmer of hope for myself.  One of the presenters in the meeting was plugging the Mountain West something-or-other academic history library.  Before she came up, she was sitting next to a guy who just graduated from library school and was looking for a job in an academic library.  So while she was up at the podium, she pointed this guy out and then pointed out one of the seasoned historical librarians (who had just been awarded Librarian of the Year) and told the two of them to talk after the meeting.  It was meant as an example of networking and it just imbued me with the thought of "I can do this!"  And the people I talked to today were so nice and excited to hear that I was new in the library field, so that was encouraging.  It's good to know that the kinds of people you want to work for are friendly and won't eat you if you misspeak or something.

- President's Reception - Oh, this was fun!  They had door prizes and snacks and lots of exhibitors with TONS of free stuff!  I actually won a signed copy of "Write More Good" by the people from @FakeAPStylebook.  The funny thing is that I'm staying with one of my classmates and she is good friends with one of the authors of that book.  We actually were talking about that book last night before bed because I'd picked up her copy and was flipping through it.  It's funny.  A little crass, but I got a good laugh out of it (I'm turning into a heathen, aren't I?)

Tomorrow is when most of the workshops are.  And there are some pretty good ones to go to, so I'm excited about it.  Oh, and I also sent my resume to the Salt Lake City Library for one of their Library Assistant positions - fingers crossed!! (please, please, please)
Here is my reaction post to "The Curse of the Black Spot." SPOILERS AHOY! (and it actually makes sense to say that in this case!)

First - a nice little song (which should always be played and sang to at the highest volume possible)




Spoilers, Matey! )
... and I am super-stoked about it!!!

He's been serving in the Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission.  He left before I came home from my mission in Florida, so I haven't seen him in over three years.  The last time I saw him was when my family took me to the Missionary Training Center in Provo and the last thing I said to him in person was to wish him luck in the state basketball tournament (they won the consolation bracket).  He left for his mission about three months before I came home from mine, so we completely missed each other.  The only time I've talked to him (other than emails and letters) is Mother's Day and Christmas phone calls.  But tonight around 7:00 MDT, he'll be getting on a plane in Buenos Aires and he'll land in Salt Lake tomorrow afternoon around 4:40 (that is a stinking long plane trip - to be fair he has two super-long layovers in Atlanta and Dallas.  Poor kid's going to be exhausted).

Anyway, I've had this song stuck in my head all day long and I figured why not share in my excitement?



This is going to seriously be the longest day in my life - then again, it'll probably go pretty quick (come on clock - MOVE FASTER!!)
It took me two viewings to fully digest "Day of the Moon," but now I'm ready to pontificate about it. Spoiler Warning... and away we go!

Still More Questions Than Answers... )
Do you all remember back in the early days of Harry Potter movies that HP was continually compared to Lord of the Rings?  And I thought it was kind of stupid because they were both such different stories?  Well, maybe those who insisted the comparison was there may finally have something.  I mean, look at all these battle sequences:



Not that I'm complaining, mind you. ^_^  This is gonna be gooooooood...
Just rewatched "The Impossible Astronaut" - now that my brain has had time to process everything, I've come up with a list of things I want answered in this season.  This isn't a demand or anything - just a way for me to keep track and refer back to later.  Spoilers intended and implied:

Remember that one thing that one time? )
WARNING - THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR "THE IMPOSSIBLE ASTRONAUT!" PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

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Spoilers Within )
Guess what day it is???

IT'S APRIL 23!!

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension premieres in NINE HOURS (for me, anyway)

Pardon me whilst I spam the everliving crap out of my excitement!

Crazy Bunny Rabbit OMG!

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Matt Smith Finger Gun

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Heck Yes!

The UK premiere is in about an hour, so I'm going to have stay off the internet after that to avoid spoilers. I've done a good job staying unspoiled so far and it would suck to screw it up now.  However, I will be back afterward with a suitable Review/SQUEE Post.

But for now - we DANCE!

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I didn't want to do this today ever!



Well, I guess everyone's heard by now - and it's been confirmed by official sources - that Elisabeth Sladen has passed away.

The first time I saw Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith was in "School Reunion" during Series 2 of "Doctor Who."  I knew this was a special moment in spite of the fact that I hadn't seen any of the Classic series at that point.  I saw how special Sarah Jane was to the Doctor - indeed, how special she was to all Doctor Who fans (as I am writing this, "Elisabeth Sladen" and "Sarah Jane" are both trending worldwide on Twitter).  When Sarah Jane appeared in "The Stolen Earth," I was so thrilled because I'd enjoyed her in "School Reunion" and I wanted to find stories that featured her from Classic Who - and that turned into watching some of "The Sarah Jane Adventures" as well.  I also listened to some BBC radio documentaries about the start of new Doctor Who where she had provided linking narration.  She just always seemed like a very personable and kind lady - happy to be part of this beloved franchise and very receptive to the fans.  I also loved that she would take on the role again in a spin-off show meant for kids all these years later.  Sarah Jane's such a wonderful role model and that's due in no small part to Elisabeth Sladen's talent.

I haven't been watching "Doctor Who" or involved in the fandom as long as most people, but Elisabeth Sladen made a great impression on me and I'm going to miss her terribly.  I can only imagine how people who grew up watching her are feeling right now - if it's anything like what I'm feeling right now.  My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

Goodbye - my Sarah Jane.
April is certainly the month for awesome birthdays, isn't it?

Today is David Tennant's birthday! Otherwise known as the Tenth Doctor, Hamlet, Barty Crouch, Jr., a random voice in "How to Train Your Dragon" ... and I'm sure plenty of other things that I just don't know about.

In honor of the day - here's a tribute video to Ten that I made a while back:



And - for a random bit of coincidence - this catalog landed on my work desk a few days ago. Usually I just throw these catalogs away because they want boatloads of money for these classroom sets of DVDs and I could probably get them on Amazon for $20 - but I had to keep this one:

Hamlet Catalog Cover

Happy Birthday, David! And here's to many, many more!
I'm working on a program plan for my Young Adult Library Services class.  I'm supposed to plan and put together a program (though the rest of the world would refer to it as an activity) geared toward young adult patrons.  I got the idea to do a March Madness-type tournament a la [livejournal.com profile] f_march_madness , but with books instead of fandom characters.  Plus, the library at the middle school close to where I live did a similar "Battle of the Books" thing, so I figured it would be okay.

So, I'm just plugging along writing up my idea - even created a mock-up of a bracket and came up with categories and points systems and everything.  Things are looking up (which is good because this assignment's due TONIGHT).  Until I realized that the term "Office Pool" might make people think of gambling and parents would get upset about that.  Even though I wouldn't charge anybody to participate in this activity and anyone who wanted to could turn in a predictions bracket.  I changed "Office Pool" to "Predictions Round,' so maybe that will make it okay?  It's just for fun anyway.  Good grief - I've never put money down on the actual March Madness tournament or any other kind of sporting event, so I just don't think of these things.  Any kind of guessing about sports, etc. is purely for my own enjoyment.

Sad thing is this is the last MAJOR ASSIGNMENT I have this semester.  I don't really want to be stressing about this too much.

Title:  Gregor the Overlander

Author: Suzanne Collins

ISBN: 9780439648131

Publisher:  Scholastic

Date of Publication:  August 2004

Reading Level: 7th grade and up

Keywords:

Books in Print:

JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General

JUVENILE FICTION / General

CHILDREN'S FICTION

ADVENTURE AND ADVENTURERS - FICTION

My additions:

Family Relationships

Death and Dying

Sibling Relationships

Fantasy

Synopsis:  (from Books in Print)

When Gregor falls through a grate in his apartment building, he's hurtled into the dark Underland, a world that is on the brink of war. But his arrival is no accident--a prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future.
When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.
When eleven-year-old Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment, he hurtles into the dark Underland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats--but the fragile peace is about to fall apart. Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. He just wants to find his way home. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland's uncertain future, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life. Little does he know his quest will change him and the Underland forever. Rich in suspense and brimming with adventure, Suzanne Collin's debut marked a thrilling new talent, and introduced a character no young reader will ever forget.

Awards: (from Books in Print) –

Beehive Children's Fictional Book Award (NOMINATED) 2005

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2005

Nutmeg Children's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Sunshine State Young Reader's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Sasquatch Reading Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Great Stone Face Children's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2005

Massachusetts Children's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Garden State Children's Book Awards (NOMINATED) 2006

Bluebonnet Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Rhode Island Children's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Young Reader's Choice Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Virginia Reader's Choice Awards (NOMINATED) 2006

Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (WON) 2006

Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2007

Young Hoosier Book Award (NOMINATED) 2007

William Allen White Children's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Flicker Tale Children's Book Award (NOMINATED) 2007

Sequoyah Book Award (NOMINATED) 2006

Nene Award (NOMINATED) 2007

Maud Hart Lovelace Award (NOMINATED) 2007

Volunteer State Book Award (NOMINATED) 2007

SCASL Book Award (South Carolina) (NOMINATED) 2007

Comments: This was a good enough book – typical kiddie-fantasy-quest fare.  It’s the first of a larger series that seems to follow the formula set forth in books like “Fablehaven” (or maybe “Fablehaven” copies “Gregor"?)  Basically, Gregor and his two-year-old sister, Boots, wind up falling down below the streets of New York into the Underland where humans live alongside gigantic cockroaches, bats, spiders and rats and they have done so for years.  Oh – and Gregor’s father mysteriously disappeared two years ago and Gregor has to be the “Man of the House.”  When Gregor and Boots find themselves in the Underland, Gregor is named as a great warrior put forth in a prophecy to fight off the rats that threaten the unsteady peace in the Underland.

I actually lost interest partway through the book.  This is another book I might not have finished if I wasn’t planning on writing a review of it.  The plot is so formulaic and trite – just the names and places change.  Eleven-year-old Gregor could be any number of pre-teen hero in any sort of young adult adventure novel – Percy Jackson, Kendra and Seth from “Fablehaven,” Meggie from “Inkheart,” Jared, Mallory and Simon from “The Spiderwick Chronicles.”  Those are the ones that I thought of initially, but I’m sure there are others.  The pre-teen fantasy/adventure genre has been around for a long time and the formula’s hardly changed much.  The main difference is probably that Collins includes Gregor’s little sister in the story.  Boots is easily the best character here.  She is unafraid of the giant creatures and even befriends two of the cockroaches (they call her their “princess”).  I think she saves this story from being a completely mechanical plot.  In fact, I would much rather have had the story told from Boots’ point of view than Gregor’s.

Having read “The Hunger Games ,” I sort of expected more from Suzanne Collins.  I do understand that this was her first foray into YA literature, so this could be a case of an author’s talent getting better with time.  Or maybe I just expect more from the books I take the time to select and read.

Up Next: “Something Happened” by Greg Logsted

On Deck: "Pretties" by Scott Westerfield, "The Truth About Forever" by Sarah Dessen

I can't believe this is finally happening!



Pardon this sentimentality, but it's moments like this that I really have to look at life.  I mean, I was still in high school when "The Lord of the Rings" movies came out (okay - I was in my first year of college when "Return of the King" came out, but still).  It's very unlikely that I'll see "The Hobbit" with the same group of friends I saw LotR with - most are married, some with kids and all are living far away from me.  Plus, I really don't keep in contact with them (one of the great blessings of moving before graduation).  But some of my best memories from high school are congregating at someone's house to watch the Extended Edition DVDs - even if some of the people there couldn't care less about the actual movie (who invited them?  Honestly...)

So, maybe it's silly that I'm looking at the initial production stages of "The Hobbit" and getting a little emotional about it (Me? Get emotional?  No!), but I measure life's events with fandom.  It really doesn't feel like much has changed since then, but in reality it has.  Anyway - I'm going to stop before I sound even more stupid than I think I am.

- Speaking of sentimentality - most of the kids at school were gone today.  The few that were there were getting Prom decorated and stuff, so I ended up with no students.  I got my stuff done for the library, so I went in to the gym to watch Mrs. L and the special ed student, D, play Around the World.  Long story short, I wound up playing with them.  It was nice to be shooting baskets again.  I even made one from almost half-court - which NEVER happened in my center-forward basketball career in high school (three-pointers?  NU-UH!  I always blocked the middle under the basket.  I had MAD DEFENSE SKILLZ ^_^).

No, serious - it really felt good to do that today.  I need to get out from behind my desk at school and go shoot hoops more often, especially when I have moments of boredom at work.  I think I would just rather play by myself and not in front of other people, even if those "other people" are my students (I'm just odd that way, I guess).
I've just been made aware (thanks to the Whoniversaries feature at Doctor Who LJ comm) that today is Peter Davison's birthday!

I can't let this go unnoticed, can I?

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Awesome Fivey fan vid #1 -



Awesome Fivey fan vid #2 -



Video from Gallifrey 22. Just because.



Many happy returns, Peter - and thanks for being such a fantastic Doctor!  And just plain awesome in general :)

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December 2011

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