I had a couple of days off, and in that time:

I made some (okay, a LITTLE) progress on that article that’s due by the end of the week.

I worked on my website troubles but didn’t actually fix them.  I’ve hit a couple of dead ends, which mean that the technical people might not be able to fix my problems.  So I might have to rebuild my podcast and website … from scratch … which will totally suck 😦

I read a few books — Audacity by Melanie Crowder (awesome poem-format historical fiction), Displacement by Lucy Knisley (poignant graphic-format memoir in the vein of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast), My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (a poignant friendship / romance / tearjerker story), and The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi (gripping and paranoia-inducing).

And speaking of paranoia-inducing, I also watched some TV, including Citizenfour, which made me want to unplug all of my electrical appliances and never leave my apartment again.  I saw episode 5 of The Jinx, which almost made me fall off of my chair at the big reveal.  My boyfriend was watching with me, and he turned to me after the reveal and said, “I just got CHILLS!”  That was Sunday night, and then on Monday morning I woke to learn that there was a new article in the New York Times about the Durst case that referenced what we’d learned the night before.  Yikes!!!

Monday was my boyfriend’s birthday, and I had taken the day off to go shopping for cool and fancy things.  I went on a SOHO/NOHO shopping spree, where I went to Uniqlo to go clothes shopping for myself, then to Pearl River Mart for some unusual birthday gifts, then to Whole Foods for ingredients for Tuesday night’s dinner, then to Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken for Monday night’s dinner.  I went a little nuts in the food department …

Blue Ribbon Fried ChickenYeah, so some of that was going to carry over into Tuesday.

Oh, and BTW, the food was very good here, and the sauce selection was AMAZING (chipotle honey being a personal favorite!)  But the chicken wasn’t quite as good as the chicken at Root & Bone which was, like, TRANSCENDENT.  To be fair, Root & Bone is a sit-down restaurant and Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is an upscale “order and pay at the counter” place.  They’re within walking distance of each other, though, so you can sample both and compare for yourself!

So today I caught up with several loads of laundry and then I did some cooking.  My boyfriend is a fan of lamb but I’m not, so I try to make it for him a couple of times a year and then arrange a dinner alternative for myself.  I made a Garlic Braised Lamb Roast for him (with some of those extra BRFC side dishes) while I had sushi.

After dinner we had dessert, I watched the latest episode of The Voice, and then I tooled around online for a while.  I caught up on work / email / committee stuff and also browsed around on Tumblr.  Which is how I found several library-themed Tumblrs like I Freaking Love Libraries, Vintage Libraries, and When a Librarian … [ETA: Oops — and I almost forgot Librarian Problems!]

It’s also how I stumbled across The New York Times Tumblr called The Lively Morgue.  It showcases just a fraction of the millions of pictures from the NYT archives, many (most?) of which were never used in the paper.  I’ve found a bunch of photos that are really cool (just a few of my favorites), and several of the pictures have led me to discover some fascinating stories.  Be forewarned … that Tumblr is kind of a black hole of browsing.

I’m sorry, and you’re welcome!

Tomorrow I go back to work, so I’ll be getting back in my “regular” routine again soon.  Stay tuned for lots of pictures I’ve taken recently that I still need to upload.  And yes, they’re mostly NYC pictures and food pictures.  How did you ever guess???


And even better, it’s a snow day that turned out to be not as bad as we expected (for NYC, anyway).  I’ve been spending most of the morning eating breakfast, listening to podcasts, and browsing around the internet (5 Conspiracy Theories You Won’t Believe (Really Happened), a picture of “Radio Row” in lower Manhattan from 1935, 38 Dogs Who Embraced the Snow (EEEEEK!))

But since it’s NOT too miserable out, we’re going to venture out in a little while and go for a walk.  I’ll see if I can get some cool pictures in the snow, and we’ll see if the supermarket is open so we can pick up some dinner ingredients for the next couple of days.

I’ll put some pictures up when I get back.  Stay warm and stay safe!

Check out the famous and not-so-famous people participating in the #ireadeverywhere campaign!

The State of Children’s Literary Blogs Today

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories From the Stacks

Guess what?  According to a friend who lives in Australia, they’re getting to enjoy the Dr. Who-themed Google homepage that the rest of us won’t get to see until tomorrow.

Ah …. but it turns out that we CAN see the page (and play the game!) if we go to Australia’s version of Google: https://www.google.com.au/

And, hey, now we know for future reference how we can see into the future!

Many thanks to Rusalka for the heads-up!!!

First off, you should know that this all started because I’ve been rewatching classic Star Trek episodes.  Why are you not surprised?

Okay, so I’ve been re-watching classic Star Trek episodes on Netflix as I’ve been listening to the Mission Log podcast, and in each episode of the podcast they discuss one episode of the series.  Recently, they (and I ) watched the 3rd season episode “And the Children Shall Lead,” and the podcast hosts discussed guest star Melvin Belli.

And here is where I took my first step down the rabbit hole.

You see, when I watched this episode as a kid I had no idea who was playing the “space angel” character.  I just knew that he was an old guy in a sparkly muu-muu kind of outfit:

Melvin Belli on Star Trek

Then I watched it again recently, and I still didn’t know who he was, but at some point over the last year I’d heard that he was some kind of lawyer.  So I listened to the podcast and looked him up online and — WOW!  He was a CELEBRITY lawyer!

My Life on Trial

His clients included Mae West, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tony Curtis, The Rolling Stones, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker, and … Jack Ruby???  He wrote lots of books, did stuff in the courtroom that set precedents for future generations of lawyers, he stirred up controversy, he received a letter from someone who probably was the Zodiac Killer, and he had a huge FBI file … hmmmm …

So I went through my library catalog to see if I could get a copy of his autobiography but there weren’t any circulating copies available.  However, I DID find my way to … his FBI file!  Woo-Hoo!

So now I’ve spent several hours reading through these documents, and I’m not even halfway through.  There’s a lot of quaint phrasing here — people are contacted “by airtel” and “telephonically”, one of Belli’s wives used to work as an “air line hostess”, he defended a judge who was accused of offering “leniency for love” to several women, and there’s mention of a client — a 17-year-old girl who was referred to as Errol Flynn’s “protoge”.  Um … protoge?  Really?

So then I had to look up Errol Flynn and the then 17-year-old Beverly Aadland who was with him when he died of heart failure (?) at age 50.  Anyway, there’s a LOT of stuff available on Errol Flynn online, including a great article from The Hairpin:

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: In Like Errol Flynn

(Speaking of rabbit holes, if you read one of those “Scandals of Classic Hollywood” articles, you’ll want to read another, and another, and another …)

If you look up Beverly Aadland online, you can read an interview with her in which she admits that she lost her virginity to Errol Flynn when she was 15!  Aigh!  And it really wasn’t consentual!  Aigh!  But afterwards he apologized profusely, and she forgave him, fell in love him, and promised to marry him.  So … that’s okay, then?

Beverly Aadland and Errol Flynn

Oh, and FWIW, I happened to hear on the Stop Podcasting Yourself podcast (which is based in Vancouver, where Errol Flynn died) that he ACTUALLY died in a whorehouse there but his body was moved afterwards to try to preserve his reputation.  I have no idea if this is true or not; I’m just throwing it out there.

Okay, so now I have to finish reading the Melvin Belli files.  Then I have to check out Gimme Shelter (Belli appears in the film because he was the Rolling Stones’ lawyer during their disastrous concert at Altamont) and re-watch Zodiac (I saw this film already, but totally missed how the TV host who’s about to interview Belli about the letter he received from the Zodiac Killer mentions the Star Trek episode that started my research rabbit hole).  I also have to read the Errol Flynn autobiography that I just reserved online, and … hmmmm … I wonder if Errol Flynn has an FBI file?  Hey, whaddya know, he does!

And OMG, the rest of the old FBI files I could read could keep me reading for the rest of my life … talk about losing myself in research!

Earlier today, one of my colleagues was checking out material for a 50-ish female patron at the service desk.  The patron was rummaging through her purse looking for her library card, and as she was pulling things out of her purse, out came … well, my colleague referred to it as a “dime bag.”  Which took me a moment to process, because I don’t think I’ve seen drugs in … uhm … “bag” form since I was in grammar school and a nice policeman visited our class to talk to us about the dangers of drugs.  So, wait.  A “dime bag” means pot, right?  I was simultaneously entertained and confused by the reference, but I didn’t want to admit that while I understood that a bag of drugs fell on the counter I’m so tragically unhip that I didn’t know if she was talking about pot or cocaine.  Can one of you please enlighten me, Dear Readers?

Also, I’m doing some prep work for a meeting later this week, and part of our assignment is to check out some online readers’ advisory services.  I already get email alerts from Bookish and I do have a Goodreads account (which I REALLY need to update).  I also get email newsletters from NPR and Publisher’s Weekly.  But we’re also looking at sites like LibraryThing, Whichbook, Hunch, BookPsychic, etc.  Does anyone have any favorites?  And more importantly, why do you like them?

This week had a couple of major stress points — I came back from vacation, I had 80 students visit our library in one day during two class visits, my summer reading club party was this week, we had flooding in multiple locations during a brief but torrential rainstorm, and two out of our three air conditioning units stopped working (probably because of the rainstorm and/or the flooding).

Oh, and I also broke a heel.  On the day of my summer reading club party.  When the air conditioning wasn’t working.

Like I said, a hectic week!

But now it’s time for a three-day weekend!  YAY!!!  We spent some time this morning at our local farmer’s market stocking up on stuff like bread, corn, green vegetables, and dairy products.  I figured I’d spend the rest of the day … I dunno … watching movies?  Maybe READING A BOOK?  Well, that hasn’t happened yet, because I’ve spent the last few hours goofing off on the internet, with occasional snack breaks.

What’s that you say?  You’d ALSO like to fall into an internet black hole for a while?  Well, I’d be happy to oblige!  Here are links to some sites where I’ve been wasting spending time today:

Fond Memories of an Extremely Hazardous Amusement Park

The Late Show With David Letterman’s Most Memorable Moments, Year by Year

I’m a Librarian: That’s My J-O-B

Seeds of Lovecraft’s “Mountains of Madness”

The Fundraising Campaign For the Skin Crawling Comics Anthology

Neil Gaiman’s New Wayward Manor Video Game

EEEEEEK!!!  Cat Videos!!!

Okay, now all I have to do is figure out how to get something productive done over the next few days before I go back to work.  But then again, I still have to fight through some more pirate zombies in Plants vs. Zombies 2