Saturday, December 29, 2007

About Me

Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, I'm an Alberta girl through and through. I am truly blessed to be working at my dream job - I'm a Reference and Instruction Librarian at a local university. Also known as the curling librarian, I write about curling, Edmonton fun, library stuff, music and general nerdery.

You can also find me on twitter, LinkedInSlideShare, and Bookmooch.

(comic: Curling 101 by Kent Vaughan - Mixed Brood webcomic)

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog for the purposes of sharing information. The opinions expressed in this blog represent my own, not those of my employer(s) or any association(s) I belong to.

My Blogs

make it known
A collection of the random bits of knowledge that I learn or the occasional discoveries I think you should know about. Also included are a Music Monday feature and a healthy dose of curling content.

Ramble With Me
My travel blog extraordinaire. Follow along as I travel the world.

Disclaimer: These are personal blogs for the purposes of sharing information. The opinions expressed in this blog represent my own, not those of my employer(s) or any association(s) I belong to.

Jerry Spinelli

I love this guy's books!! He is seriously one of my most favourite authors. Jerry Spinelli is an American author, mostly of young adult books. If more people (adults, teenagers, kids...) read his books, perhaps the world wouldn't be in such a pitiful state. He writes about odd characters, the geek, the outcast, characters who inspire the rest of the judgemental world to love and care. There's no violence, no sex, no fould language, just warm hearted messages. He mostly writes about loving yourself, whomever you may be, and being yourself in a world full of conformity. There's an emphasis on building relationships too, especially amoung people on the fringes of society. His books just make you feel all happy, and you might even find yourself crying tears of joy (I did multiple times during the Stargirls and once during Wringer, for a pigeon!).

My personal favourites are Maniac Magee (which I studied in a university 300-level English class, see this guy is good), Stargirl, and Love, Stargirl. I haven't read them all. but the ones I have read have been amazing. His website is pretty cool, totally geared towards young adults and kids mind you, and a bit hard to navigate through. I'm interested to see how the films turn out. A complete list of JerrySpinelli's young adult novels (from Wikipedia): Space Station Seventh Grade, 1982 Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush?, 1984. Night of the Whale, 1985. Jason and Marceline, 1986. Dumping Girls, 1988. Dump Days, 1988 Maniac Magee, 1990 (Newbery Award Winner, has been made into a movie). The Bathwater Gang (illustrated by Meredith Johnson), 1990. There's a Girl in My Hammerlock, 1991. Report to the Principal's Office, 1991. Fourth Grade Rats (illustrated by Paul Casale), 1991. The Bathwater Gang Gets Down to Business, 1992. Who Ran My Underwear Up the Flagpole?, 1992. Do the Funky Pickle, 1992. Picklemania, 1995. Crash, 1996. Has a film contract The Library Card, 1997. Wringer, 1997. Has a film contract Knots in My Yo-Yo String, 1998 - Autobiography Loser, 2001. Stargirl, 2001. Has a film contract Milkweed, 2003. Tooter Pepperday, 2004. Eggs(novel), 2007 Love, Stargirl, 2007. Has a film contract. Go on, read one. I dare you!


A couple years ago, all the kids (even the teenagers in their gangster clothing) in England were making 'scoobie-doos', those woven plastic chains. It was the coolest thing to do, I confiscated a whole bunch of them during my time as a teacher. That's the closest to popularity knitting has gotten in the past few decades. I learned how to knit and pearl in Home Economics class in junior high, but unfortunately remember nothing (you use two sticks, right?). I think knitting is becoming a lost art.

However, this past Christmas I was shown how cool knitting really can be. A collegue of mine knitted the coolest Christmas gift for her mom, who drives a school bus:

How cool is that!! I told her she should sell them at craft fairs. School bus drivers, young kids, who wouldn't want one! I myself an a huge fan of scarves and mittens. I was on a quest this winter for a pair of warm mitts, attached together by a string. Very easy to find for little ones, not so for geeky grown-ups. I finally found string-mitten heaven at a shop on Kensington Ave in Toronto. They were all made in Nepal!

Apparently it's not that hard to do. Just type "learn to knit" into google and you get tons of results. And what could be easier than free online instructional videos? I most definitely am putting it on my 'things to do sometime in the future when I have a spare moment' list.

You heard me. Knitting is cool! (And if you do know how, let me know, I'll put in an order for a hot water bottle cover...)

Alternative Fiddle

I love the violin. It is my most favourite instrument. And I love fiddle music. It is my most favourite type of music. I even play the fiddle a little. It makes any type of music better. So that's why you need to check out these two 'alternative fiddle' bands...
This is hip-hop fiddle. And it's so awesome. Have you ever heard a group of guys mesh together classical music and rap/hip-hop/r&b? No I didn't think so.
Here's what their bio says:
These two gentlemen, KeV Marcus and Wil b along with their DJ TK have created the ultimate synergy between classical and Hip-Hop music, and with it an incredible opportunity to reach young children. Since their triumph at the Apollo, Black Violin has toured with Linkin Park's lead singer Mike Shinoda throughout the country, performed at the NFL Kick off party with Puff Daddy "Diddy", performed at the Billboard Awards with Alicia Keys, been featured on the Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Lil Kim's, Brooke Hogan's upcoming albums, and has been giving an Award by the Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts for their Outstanding Contributions to Middle & High School Performing Arts Students. Kev Marcus, and Wil b, both graduates of Dillard Performing Arts High School, used their musical talents to earn full scholarships to college. Now Black Violin wants to make sure that America's young people get the same exposure to the arts, and therefore the same opportunity that they did.
Did you see them on CSI NY (Blue Train episode, season 3)? They rocked a subway train. I'm telling you, these guys are awesome. I don't even like rap/hip-hop/r&b but I love their music (ok, not the r&b songs, but you win some you lose some. They just released their first CD in the U.S. in December 2007. Unfortunatley, it hasn't been released in Canada, yet...
Listen at:
This is techno fiddle. And it's awesome too. Bond have been around since 2000, and have three original CDs out (plus a Greatest Hits and a Remixed CD and a DVD). If you ask real nice you can borrow mine. This quartet of girls from the UK can definitely play classical music, but add in some very nonclassical sounds, and some sexy outfits, and yep, you've got an international sensation. For a few years all the figure skaters were using Bond (is that a good thing?) and I'm sure they did a couple commericials. Anyways, once you get past the outfits, you've got to applaud them for turning people, who wouldn't normally listen, on to classical music.
Listen at: