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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Daily Dose

Blogging every day?

http://nablopomo.ning.com/

I think I'll just try it on this blog. Not sure I can manage doing all three every day!


Anyone else up to the challenge?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Question Answering

David asks about television addictions...

Hmm...

Not addicted to any particular shows at the moment, but we are on Blockbuster's plan where they conveniently send the DVDs right to your door. Whatever I get, I can't wait to watch it!

Recently, I've been checking out Heroes, Star Trek Enterprise and Smallville.

Thanks for asking, David!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

All About Me

Even though this is my 111th post here, I'm celebrating my 100th on my personal blog.

So, if you're interested, here you go:

http://tiffdnorris.blogspot.com/2007/10/happy-100.html

Happy 100!

So, here it is. My 100th post. In honor of this auspicious occasion (ha), I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and tell you...

100 Things You Never Knew You Wanted To Know
About Me...
Enjoy! (And I'm sorry about the spacing--I've tried three times to correct it. Oh well.)
1. My name is Tiffany (duh), but most people call me Tiff.

2. A few people still call me Tiffy, but they’re mostly close relatives who know they can get away with it.
3. I didn’t like my name until a few years ago, but now I’m OK with it.
4. I also like Tiffany merchandise, of which I now have a whopping three items. Hey, it’s a start!
5. I have one brother, who is 14 years older than I am.

6. We are pretty much polar opposites, but I think he’s the funniest guy I’ve ever met.
7. This serves him well in his job, which is as a sportscaster on ESPN.

8. He has known that he wanted to do this since he was a kid. I, on the other hand, have changed my career about 37 times already.
9. This is ironic because I tend to be the plan-ahead, rigid scheduler of the family, while he is a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants, last-minute kind of guy.
10. I often wonder where clich├ęs and other phrases like fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants originated.
11. My husband and I have been married for almost two and a half years.
12. We had a tiny wedding, and I kind of wish it had been even smaller.
13. I am a pretty extreme introvert, but that doesn’t mean I’m shy. It just means I get tired when I have to be around people, especially large numbers of people.
14. This was probably why I was exhausted every day after working with more than 900 students and teachers at American Christian Academy.
15. I now manage about 20 student workers in the audio-visual/computer sections of the library at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and I am nowhere near as tired at the end of the day.

16. I still miss seeing a lot of people from ACA, though…and from Alabama in general.
17. I really like living in Fort Worth so far, but I’ve only lived here for a couple of months.
18. If my brother is the funniest guy I’ve ever met, my husband is the nicest guy. Really. He’s just very very nice. :)
19. Jason is also an introvert, but we rarely get tired of being around each other. (Probably because of all of his nice-ness.)
20. Sometimes we do get tired of being around Fred.
21. Even though Fred only weighs 15 pounds and doesn’t verbalize his thoughts, he sort of fills a room.

22. Fred is really spoiled, and, in case you haven’t figured it out, he is our dog.
23. He is a Bichon Frise, which is sort of like a fat poodle.
24. I want to have kids one day, but sometimes I think I would be content with just having dogs.
25. I realize this is kind of peculiar, but I’m OK with that, too.
26. Jason and I met at the University of Alabama in 2001.

27. We both worked for the news web site of the College of Communication.

28. Past that, our dating history is complicated, but it all worked out in the end.
29. I majored in journalism at UA.
30. I have worked in journalism in the print, television, radio and Internet sectors, but I liked public radio the best.
31. I still miss journalism occasionally, and I wonder if I will go back to it one day.
32. I think it’s more likely that I will get my PhD in something or other.
33. I forgot to say that I got my Master’s in Library and Information Studies.
34. This program was in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, and I always get confused about which was Studies and which was Sciences.

35. I was always much more conservative than my classmates in both journalism and library school, but I was/am more liberal than most people both at ACA and at Southwestern.
36. Even though I want to get my PhD someday, I hate it when people are academically snooty.
37. Make that snooty in general.
38. I struggle with materialism, but only in certain respects.
39. For example, I am totally OK living in a tiny apartment and sharing a Honda with Jason, but I want to spend all of our money on Kate Spade shoes and Coach bags.
40. God is working on me in this area.
41. Actually, He is working on me in a lot of areas, and I’m really thankful for that…even if the process is painful at times.
42. I officially became a Christian when I was 10 years old, but I recommitted my life to Christ when I was 24. These decisions are equally big to me.
43. I grew up in the Church of Christ, but now I attend a Baptist church.
44. This is a small difference to most of the world, but it was a huge difference to my family.
45. I now just feel like a “Christian,” and I don’t really feel like I fit in with any particular denomination.
46. I used to feel like I fit in with the Republican party, but then they started spending more money than they were bringing in.
47. I have enough problems with that in my own finances, and I think the government should set a better example.
48. My husband almost never talks about his political beliefs.
49. I almost never cry.
50. Some people think that I can be cold and stand-offish, but I’m really just kinda slow to get to know people.
51. This is odd because I’m super fast at most everything else (reading, typing, driving, working…most everything).
52. I hope that didn’t sound like bragging.
53. One thing I cannot do well is decorate. My house is clean, but not that snazzy.
54. My mother was a fantastic decorator, and she had no formal training.
55. On the other hand, I like to cook, and she did not.
56. These differences could go on and on. Other than being freakishly clean, we are not anything alike.
57. My dad and I are very much alike. We have the same (Myers-Briggs) ISTJ personality type.
58. All this knowledge about personality types would have come in super-handy when I was growing up, but I’ll settle for it helping me better understand people now.
59. My mom passed away almost five years ago.
60. I miss her every single day.
61. This is the worst thing I’ve experienced in my life, but since then I’ve been trying to help others who have gone through the same thing. I’m not sure how successful I’ve been, but I plan to keep trying to help.
62. One thing I inherited from both my parents was an unnatural obsession with coffee.
63. I drink way, way…way too much…and now I’ve corrupted my husband.
64. Oh well. It’s not a bad obsession to have.
65. I wouldn’t call it an obsession, but right now I do have a little crush on the new Mac.
66. I still have (and use) my first electric typewriter from almost 20 years ago.
67. I also have, in our teeny-tiny apartment, my piano because I just can’t part with it.
68. I have been playing the piano since I was seven years old.
69. I do play a little almost every day, but I would love to still be able to sit down for an hour and just fly.
70. My husband refuses to fly on an airplane.
71. This makes it difficult when we go see family in Connecticut and have to drive for two days with a 15-pound Bichon in a Honda Accord.
72. Actually, it’s not that bad. We have a lot of fun on vacations together.
73. We also have fun watching television together, but we probably watch too much of it.
74. We’re both crazy about The Dick Van Dyke Show…as well as Smallville and now Heroes. I personally also loved Gilmore Girls, The Doris Day Show and Felicity.
75. Now that Blockbuster has the “send the DVDs right to your house” plan, our TV problem has grown exponentially.

76. I probably have too many favorite movies to name, but tops on my list would be Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Godfather, Amelie and You’ve Got Mail.
77. I also love just about every kind of music. Lately, though, I listen to a lot of Christian rock music…because it’s gotten much better since when I was growing up.
78. I am a really heavy sleeper. Sometimes I think I scare Jason.
79. I also talk in my sleep…but not nearly as much as I did when I was a kid.
80. I still have scars all over the place from when I was an accident-prone kid.
81. The most notable is the piece of lead still stuck in my knee from the pencil I jabbed in there (on accident).
82. I started reading when I was three years old, and I haven’t really stopped since.
83. I have always read pretty much anything I can get my hands on…newspapers, encyclopedias, dictionaries and plain ol’ books.
84. I usually have a stack of current books I’m reading as well as a stack of what I’ll be reading next.
85. Because it’s too hard to name favorites, I’ll just say that the first novel I read was Little Women. The book that had the most impact on me was probably Mere Christianity, but that’s a tough call, too. I also try to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird every year. I’m going to get carried away if I don’t stop.
86. I was a head taller than every other kid in my class until about the 8th grade. Then they all started growing, and I stopped…at almost 5’3”…where I remain today.
87. I really, really wish I was tall. Like six feet tall.
88. I am a morning person.
89. I get my Bible study time, my walk/exercise, a good bit of prayer and my shower before 7 a.m. Sometimes even on the weekends! After work, though, I do nothing.
90. I used to run daily and even trained for a half-marathon.
91. Now the asthma from my childhood days has returned, and I’m back to walking.
92. I have finally stopped feeling guilty about this.
93. I do still feel guilty when I eat Little Debbies.
94. I wish it could be as easy for me to “believe God” as it is to “believe in God.”
95. If you don’t understand that last statement, read Beth Moore’s book Believing God.
96. I also wish my life looked more like Christ’s.
97. When I really think about what his life looked like and the changes I would have to make, I get excited and frightened at the same time.
98. To learn more about what Jesus’s life looked like, read The Bible as well as The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey.
99. I can finally and honestly say that God is in control of my life, and I want my life to be all about Him.
100. I am so excited to see what He does in our life at seminary and where He takes us after that.
OK, the end!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This Week in Library World...

I am almost finished with the collection of short stories I'm reading, and I hope to get the review up soon. I'm loving it so far! I think the short story is just the coolest thing.

In the meantime, I have sort of a random conglomeration of things to share...

An amazing article from my home paper about a really really overdue library book.

Another article with up-and-coming librarians talking about the field. (Been having a bit of trouble with this one, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)


This makes me want to relocate to Syracuse...
iSchool Secures Grant to Fund Five Future Library Professors

The School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University [love that name, by the way] received an $885,600 grant from the Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to support a future generation of library science faculty. The monies will cover four years of tuition for five Ph.D. students who are interested in pursuing an academic career in library and information science. The five recipients will also receive a living stipend.


A bit closer to home...

The Tuscaloosa Public Library is bringing together local celebrities to participate in a Celebrity Pumpkin Decorating Contest to draw awareness about the library system. The finished pumpkins will be on display in the front of the Main Library from October 26 to November 1 for patrons to view and vote on. Participants include Mrs. Terry Saban (Saint Nick's other half), Laurie Mundy (radio personality) and Professor Elizabeth Aversa from SLIS itself.


And this is an excerpt from an article that my favorite teacher e-mailed me last week. Enjoy!

Politeness and Authority at a Hilltop College in Minnesota
By Verlyn Klinkenborg

A writer's fundamental problem, once her prose is under control, is shaping and understanding her own authority. I've often noticed a habit of polite self-negation among my female students, a self-deprecatory way of talking that is meant, I suppose, to help create a sense of shared space, a shared social connection. It sounds like the language of constant apology, and the form I often hear is the sentence that begins, "My problem is ..."

Even though this way of talking is conventional, and perhaps socially placating, it has a way of defining a young writer - a young woman - in negative terms, as if she were basically incapable and always giving offense. You simply cannot pretend that the words you use about yourself have no meaning. Why not, I asked, be as smart and perceptive as you really are? Why not accept what you're capable of? Why not believe that what you notice matters?

I can hear them [young women] questioning the very nature of their perceptions, doubting the evidence of their senses, distrusting the clarity of their thoughts.

And yet that is the writer's work - to notice and question the act of noticing, to clarify again and again, to sift one's perceptions. I'm always struck by how well fitted these young women are to be writers, if only there weren't also something within them saying, Who cares what you notice? Who authorized you? Don't you owe someone an apology?

Every young writer, male or female, Minnesotan or otherwise, faces questions like these at first. It's a delicate thing, coming to the moment when you realize that your perceptions do count and that your writing can encompass them. You begin to understand how quiet, how subtle the writer's authority really is, how little it has to do with "authority" as we usually use the word.

Young men have a way of coasting right past that point of realization without even noticing it, which is one of the reasons the world is full of male writers. But for young women, it often means a real transposition of self, a new knowledge of who they are and, in some cases, a forbidding understanding of whom they've been taught to be.

Perhaps the world will punish them for this confidence. Perhaps their self-possession will chase away everyone who can't accept it for what it is, which may not be a terrible thing. But whenever I see this transformation - a young woman suddenly understanding the power of her perceptions, ready to look at the world unapologetically - I realize how much has been lost because of the culture of polite, self-negating silence in which they were raised.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Random Friday Thoughts


Just a few things in life that I'm loving right now...










Ballet flats (I finally broke down and bought them in red and black) and my houndstooth messenger bag. Brings a little bit of The Bear to Texas.






My Bible. It's a daily reader, and it's chronological. Who knew that Nehemiah actually comes along after Malachi? I feel like I'm really absorbing so much more of the Old Testament by reading it this way. Also, it's the middle of October, and I'm just now getting to the New Testament. Kind of stresses the importance of the OT to me. The only thing that would make it better is if the version were TNIV instead of just NIV.



Now, before you get all worked up about the gender issues with the TNIV, check out the website, the reasoning, the theology. Then actually read a little of it. It's good stuff.








Fred's Halloween costume. He's Yoda. I'm Leia. We're trying to decide if Jason should be Darth, Luke or Han. Of course, that all hinges on actually convincing Jason to dress up.












Speaking of Halloween...don't you love Fall decorations? We haven't gotten our pumpkin yet, but that should come soon!




It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Classic! I always tease Jason that he is a lot like Linus, and I might have a Sally characteristic or two.






Pumpkin spice lattes. Autumn in a cup. Yum!






The end. (Someone please teach me how to make multiple pictures look good on Blogger! ha)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Quick Links and Alabama News

*Updated...Just a quick note to let y'all know that I am no longer moderating comments here, so feel free to comment away. Didn't mean to be rude...I was just paranoid about spammers when I started this blog. :)

A couple of cool quick links for your Tuesday...

Fun stuff from Library Thing

A manuscript which contains some of the earliest examples of written Anglo-Saxon language is set to go online.

But, on to the big news, Kathryn Tucker Windham is all over the place (or at least all over Alabama) this month. Check out her schedule here. And I encourage all you Alabama folks to go see her if you can!


I personally think October is the best month to listen to Mrs. Windham's delightful stories about Jeffrey, Selma and her other Southern adventures. This fuzzy picture is of her addressing pets (and their owners) at the T-Town Pawpaloosa earlier this year. I'm sure you can still catch her on Alabama Public Radio as well.

I first discovered Mrs. Windham when I was just a tiny kiddo running around at the Helen Keller Festival. I was enchanted then, but imagine my delight when I found that she also wrote books. The "Jeffrey" series was my only solace and the only books I would read when I had a particularly nasty case of the flu in the 4th grade. I've been a fan ever since.


I wonder if they have her work at the libraries here in Fort Worth.

Quick Snapshots of Norris Life

*Updated...Just a quick note to let y'all know that I am no longer moderating comments here, so feel free to comment away. Didn't mean to be rude...I was just paranoid about spammers when I started this blog. :)

OK, these aren't anywhere near as cute as all those adorable pics of the kiddos that a bunch of y'all have on your blogs. But here's what's going on in our world...


Jason and Fred studying hard...

I'm still driving us all around because Jason's eye is not completely healed. We're planning to go back to the doctor this month. Anyone else feel like you spend half of your life in the car?

And, my latest attempt at decorating...our fun little bulletin board, a work in progress.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bookish Questions...

Nothing like a good meme to cure a case of the Wednesday blahs. Thanks, Bookgirl! Feel free to join in the fun if you're looking for a blog topic!

Hardcover or paperback, and why?

Hardcover if I want to keep a copy of the book forever...paperback if I want to carry it in my purse and read it whenever I have a few spare minutes. So, if I really like the book, sometimes I'll get both. :)

If I were to own a book shop I would call it…

Common Grounds Coffee and Book Shop. There's one in Scotland, and I love the name! So I would get permission and start one here in the U.S.

My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…

I don't think I have one single favorite quote. That's like picking a favorite book--way too hard.
So, how about just a few I really liked...

From A Series of Unfortunate Events...
"There are few sights sadder than a ruined book."
"A newspaper, as I'm sure you know, is a collection of supposedly true stories written down by writers who either saw them happen or talked to people who did. These writers are called journalists, and like telephone operators, butchers, ballerinas, and people who clean up after horses, journalists can sometimes make mistakes."

From Mere Christianity...
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

From A Tree Grows in Brooklyn..."She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered 'different.' She did not suffer too much."

The authors (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be…

Suze Orman, so she could show me what to do with my $$!
Ernest Hemingway, because we're both kind of grouchy, and he would probably know some really great seafood places.
And...Paul (as in the saint), so I could ask him to clarify some of the stuff he said about men and women.

If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…

The Bible. (Really!)


I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…

Would allow the outside of the book to be small, but when you open it, the letters and the pages are large-print...kind of like a literary tardis.

The smell of an old book reminds me of…

Heaven (sigh).

If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…

Jo in Little Women. I kind of feel like I am her already, so does that count? Second choice...would be Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather.


The most overestimated book of all time is…

100 Years of Solitude. I know lots of people loved it, so please don't throw things at me--I just didn't get what all the fuss was about!

I hate it when a book…

ends.

Bookish Questions

Nothing like a good meme to cure a case of the Wednesday blahs. Thanks, Bookgirl!

Hardcover or paperback, and why?

Hardcover if I want to keep a copy of the book forever...paperback if I want to carry it in my purse and read it whenever I have a few spare minutes. So, if I really like the book, sometimes I'll get both. :)

If I were to own a book shop I would call it…

Common Grounds Coffee and Book Shop. There's one in Scotland, and I love the name! So I would get permission and start one here in the U.S.

My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…

I don't think I have one single favorite quote. That's like picking a favorite book--way too hard.
So, how about just a few I really liked...

From A Series of Unfortunate Events...
"There are few sights sadder than a ruined book."
"A newspaper, as I'm sure you know, is a collection of supposedly true stories written down by writers who either saw them happen or talked to people who did. These writers are called journalists, and like telephone operators, butchers, ballerinas, and people who clean up after horses, journalists can sometimes make mistakes."

From Mere Christianity...
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

From A Tree Grows in Brooklyn...
"She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered 'different.' She did not suffer too much."

The authors (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be…

Suze Orman, so she could show me what to do with my $$!
Ernest Hemingway, because we're both kind of grouchy, and he would probably know some really great seafood places.
And...Paul (as in the saint), so I could ask him to clarify some of the stuff he said about men and women.

If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…

The Bible. (Really!)

I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…

Would allow the outside of the book to be small, but when you open it, the letters and the pages are large-print...kind of like a literary tardis.

The smell of an old book reminds me of…
Heaven (sigh).

If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…

Jo in Little Women. I kind of feel like I am her already, so does that count? Second choice...would be Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather.

The most overestimated book of all time is…
100 Years of Solitude. I know lots of people loved it, so please don't throw things at me--I just didn't get what all the fuss was about!

I hate it when a book…

ends.

Read from the beginning...