Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The 1952 Pirates are legends in Halstad, Minnesota.
This small group of high school guys, led by Coach Ray Kerrigan, not only worked their way up to third place in the state basketball championship, but they also unexpectedly won the state baseball championship that same year.
If you're from a small town, you know this is a big deal.
Going to state gives small-town residents hope for an end to their anonymity...If you are from a small town, such recognition is priceless...It is the difference between being a nobody, a complete hick, and being from someplace that matters.
Eric Bergeson writes the story of the Pirates and does a great job showing the relevance of the setting and how the time and place contributed to the community's excitement about the team's triumphs. He also has some insightful commentary about overall social issues of the time, and he never drops the pace when describing the games themselves.
This would actually be a great young adult book--perfect for those teenage guys who so often aren't huge reading fans. However, for younger readers, the language could be problematic. There were only a few instances of profanity, and I'm normally pretty accepting of that when it occurs in literature. But my main complaint here is that they were unwarranted each time--always in direct quotes and not at all central to the story or even the emotion of the moment. Each time the language could have been omitted, but because it was included, I would hesitate before recommending it to, say, a 10 or 12-year-old.
Otherwise, though, it's a great story about small towns, sports and the stuff of life. And bonus! If you're a Prairie Home Companion fan, you'll hear Garrison Keillor's voice in your head while you're reading.
Meanwhile, can't get enough of the Pirates? Check out the book's website.
Other favorite quotes...
Although the old country school is the subject of much romance and sentiment having to do with breaking the ice in the water pail during winter and dipping ponytails in inkwells, the quality of the instruction was pretty spotty...If you had a kind and competent teacher, things could be wonderful...But if you had a sour teacher with a chip on his or her shoulder and a quick willow switch, an entire generation of kids in a neighborhood might go sour as well.
To be described as having an air about you is not a compliment in a stoic Norwegian farm town. To stand out from others in any way--whether by being loud, or by excelling, or by not excelling, or by talking too much--is to invite stares, comments and, at worst, the silent treatment.
That love and respect arose because underneath it all, under the roughness and toughness and behind the clouds of cigarette smoke, people correctly sensed that Ray Kerrigan cared about every student in his school, every player on his teams, and every person he ran into on the streets of Halstad.
Monday, March 30, 2009
My dad and me...
Jason took several of us walking away. This angle does not work well for me, but the picture was otherwise good, so there you go. Pride sacrificed for the sake of photography...
Jason trying out photo techniques...
He got some great shots of a hummingbird. I couldn't believe how close we got to it...
Friday, March 27, 2009
We absorbed a lot of culture during these two visits, but I'm ready to go back and check out some of the special exhibits and get more photos! I was overwhelmed by photo opportunities!
Next up will be our visit to the Botanic Garden!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Have you ever broken up with someone--a high school sweetheart perhaps--and they swore they would never stop loving you? There would be no one for them but you? They would never ever ever get over the pain of your breaking their heart? High drama, right?
Meet Florentino Ariza.
His young dreams of love and happiness dashed by Fermina Daza, he devotes himself not to getting over her and enjoying his independence but to loving her from afar and scheming to one day get her back. He finds time for other pleasures in life--a career, other women--but he never gets over Fermina.
Initially, I found him kind of disgusting, and I had a bit of a crush on the man Fermina does marry--Dr. Juvenal Urbino. But Florentino Ariza's story got under my skin, and he began to interest me, and, once I was interested, I began to see some of his admirable qualities. The question was...would the same thing happen for Fermina Daza?
I'm certainly not going to tell you the answer, but it's worth reading to find out.
Love in the Time of Cholera was written in 1985, but it seems older. It's set around the turn of the century, and Marquez's writing style reminded me a bit of Fitzgerald and others from that time, making the story seem authentic, even charmingly vintage. His descriptions are fantastic, and his observations about love and marriage are poignant.
I was actually skeptical when I started reading this book because I had read 100 Years of Solitude several years ago and just didn't like it at all. If you have the same hesitation, ignore it, and give Marquez another shot! You might never ever ever get over it if you don't.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
But it was nice while it lasted. Oh-so-nice.
My house is very, very clean. We had quality time with Dad. We got culture-fied at Fort Worth's museums and nature-fied at the Botanic Garden. Slept late, read many books, saw many book stores, drank many cups of coffee, took afternoon naps.
Heavenly. Totally worth half my vacation.
Pictures coming soon! Just wanted to say hi. :)
Friday, March 13, 2009
Huntsville archivists work to preserve the Von Braun legacy
UCLA will get Aldous Huxley's archives (Side note...anyone read Brave New World? It wasn't a favorite for me.)
Very cool Shakespeare portrait found
In not-so-good archives news...
Arizona State's archives are shutting down...thanks, economy. Boo.
An archives in Germany faces catastrophe.
Meanwhile...Spring Break is bound to include lots of reading, so look for reviews soon! Happy weekend, everyone!
- My favorite PJs...Nick & Nora...so soft...three-quarter length top and bottom. Perfect material, perfect fit. All-around perfect.
- Drinking grape juice or lemonade out of my favorite glass. I have no idea where this came from or how long I've had it. Like the pajamas, it is the perfect size, and seeing the old-school SEC logos just makes me smile.
- My bad-day iPod mix, with titles including Bad Day by R.E.M. (hence the post title), Ooh Child by The Five Stairsteps, Bubbly by Colbie Caillat and You Can't Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones. (And you can tell I've had a rough day in that picture, but it's the only one I had with my iPod.)
Your turn! How do you deal with a bad day, and what are your plans for Spring Vacation (Or Spring Break-Whoohoo!)?
Monday, March 09, 2009
Stevens grew up poor; his father died when he was young, leaving only $84 for his family--virtually no savings or assets. That experience has stuck with him and makes him take money seriously--religiously, even. I can't imagine how an experience like that would affect me.
However, while he has some great thoughts and advice, at times, Stevens seems a bit too intense concerning money. But that's just me, and I follow a different religion--one that says "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes."
I'm still working on that! But I'll be working on some of Stevens's helpful principles as well now.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Looking for fellow book lovers?
Looking for librarian movies?
Looking for (a little) economic relief?
Looking for headlines?
Looking for librarian standards?
Looking for a review? I'll have one (or two!) next week. Librarian's honor.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Uncharacteristic for me, I'd like to think.
- I love to read, but I've been approaching my books as if they are to-dos to check off my list. Just plowing through them instead of savoring the writing and letting my imagination take off into the plot.
- I love to see a crowded public library, but I find myself griping when my choices are checked out or when I have to wait for someone else to move before I can browse in a certain section.
- I love to blog, but I've been viewing it as an obligation, not an exercise in creativity.
- I love taking classes, but I've been stressing more about completing the assignments than really learning and absorbing the information.
- I love to introduce people to our library and help them out around here, but I've been expecting them to know our policies and procedures the first time they walk in the door. Crazy!
So, welcome vacation! Hopefully the anticipation of a week-long break will make me a little nicer next week, thus sparing those who have to live and work with me from even further grouchiness.
Just bustin' out (forgive the pun) there for all the world to see.
Now, apparently, this is a big controversy. Who knew? (Well, Jason did because he warned me about this before I posted.) Anyway, I'd like to go on the record as saying that I fully support women who nurse their children in public. I'm not asking them to use a bottle or go to a restroom, but I do think it's acceptable to ask them to be as modest as the rest of us.
I don't walk around topless (or even semi-topless), so why should it be OK for someone else to do so? Just because there happens to be a baby in the vicinity?
I know I've not yet experienced this nursing thing (at least from the nurser end-ha). So, moms out there? Am I off-base on this one?
Read from the beginning...
- ► 2014 (34)
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- ► 2010 (164)
- Pirates on the Prairie
- Earth Laughs in Flowers...'09 Version
- Getting Culture-Fied
- Love in the Time of Cholera
- Spring Break Has Sprung!
- All About Archives
- It's been a bad day...please don't take a picture
- Rich Is a Religion
- Funny Fred
- Looking For Quick Links
- Confessions of a Grouchy Librarian
- ▼ March 2009 (12)
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- ► 2007 (181)
- ► 2006 (57)