Monday, March 31, 2008


"It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don't read anymore."
Steve Jobs in the New York Times Bits blog on January 15, 2008.
Maybe he needs to leave Apple and work in a library.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mission Accomplished

After 4 months and close to 10 hours of work in the last 24 hours, I finished my final project (a Guide to the Works of Jane Austen) for my XHTML/CSS class and turned it in an hour ago.
My treat, a large french fry, grilled cheese and banana/vanilla shake.
Now I get to enjoy the new BBC version of Sense and Sensibility tonight.
Here is a clip I used on one of my final websites:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Brit Best

My son and I enjoy watching British TV and watched back in 2006 as a young receptionist from London won The X Factor (a British "Idol" style show). This week she became the first British woman to top the Billboard Charts in America in 20 years. The clip below is Leona Lewis singing her hit Bleeding Love at the Brit Awards in February. She's singing live and it's perfect. What singer can do that anymore? And I love that she performs barefoot.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I just finished watching Michael Moore's controversial documentary about the US health care system Sicko. The film received a 20 minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2007 and for good reason. It's everything a documentary should be. At times I was laughing hysterically (sexy Hillary), crying (families denied medical treatments) and pissed off (patients who can't pay their hospital bills getting forced into cabs and dropped off at homeless shelters). Is everything in the documentary absolute? I doubt it. Is is appalling, shocking, upsetting and just sad that anything in this film is accurate? Absolutely. At times I was so angry at what I was watching that I wanted to grab my family and my passport and move to France or England. But then I also wanted to pick up the phone and call every Senator in my state and find out who is in the pockets of the insurance companies.
Watch it. Get angry. Try and protect yourself and your family from the health care system. Before I went to bed last night I made sure my life insurance policies were in order and fell asleep thankful I do have insurance with a respected PPO (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Phone call from my Kid

Got this voice message today:
"Hi Mom, it's me. I've got my cell phone on.
I'm going to the ghetto to buy some pirated DVD's.
Call me later."

Chatter Box

So I love AM radio. I got hooked back in the late 80's when I was on monthly weekend road trips looking at colleges. I drove throughout the Midwest and finally found the college I would attend in Southwest Ohio at Ohio University. During the years I was there I wasn't home much except during holidays, but the 6-7 hours each way from Chicago to Athens provided lots of radio time (this was before cars had CD players). Back then you could still find an occasional AM station in the middle of nowhere that was playing the audio of the days soap operas. I don't know how many times I drove across Route 70 in Indiana and Ohio listening to the drama on All My Children and General Hospital.
Chicago has some decent AM stations, I have on 720 and 780 daily in my car depending on the host. WGN 720 "The Voice of Chicago" is good, except the morning "Girlfriends" Kathy and Judy can be a little too female for me. 720 can be found here:
My AM of choice is WBBM 780, "Chicago's Newsradio" which can be found here: http://www.wbbm780
I really like to just listen to the news, Pat Cassidy is my morning guy and Kris Kridel is the voice in the afternoon.
Back in college a girlfriend and I had a radio show on campus, we played dance tunes (Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure etc.), we were on in the middle of the night, mainly because my friend liked the boy who ran the station. I think my cheesy on-air radio name was Vivienne. LOL, nice hooker name AKA Pretty Woman.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Like Steve McQueen all we need's a fast machine

I just finished a terrific book for the 2nd time.
Steve McQueen: The Last Mile by Barbara McQueen & Marshall Terrill is a beautiful memoir of the last years of Steve's life written 25 years after his death. The coffee table book is a collection of hundreds of private photographs taken during the couples 3 year relationship from the time of their first meeting in 1977 until his death in 1980. The story of their courtship and relationship is fascinating, she was a world class model almost 25 years younger than him and he was the legendary actor who liked Old Milwaukee beer, motorcycles and fast cars. But it's the personal photographs taken almost from their first date until he became gravely ill with cancer that make this book a glimpse into a fairytale relationship of true love gone too soon. It's also a beautiful tribute to the ultimate "Mans Man", an iconic figure who has inspired a generation of men since his death.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Oil and Water

So from the airport last night I headed to the grand opening of John Barleycorn(the popular bar from the Lincoln Park area of Chicago)in Schaumburg to attend a private party. The bar is HUGE, 2 levels with a restaurant and bar downstairs and a large room with 3 bars for dancing and concerts upstairs. The private party was for employees of the Village of Schaumburg and their families (my friend works for the Village)and was open bar with a full buffet. Everything was going smoothly until 9 when...the country western band started to play. At this point, the doors of Hell opened. I'm not a fan of Schaumburg Illinois, the only time I descend into the madness of this area is to shop or eat. The traffic is terrible, everywhere is crowded and the 20 somethings who populate the clubs and bars are just the sort of people who make me rethink why I live in the suburbs. The lead singer of the band, I swear I think his name was Chase Western, I sh*t you not, was actually wearing a Daughtry concert t-shirt. At this point it was time to go and unfortunately to another Schaumburg bar that smelled like a toilet. When the hostess asked if we wanted a menu, I laughed.
Maybe I'm getting old or just miss living in the city, but the mix of Schaumburg and country music was oil and water to my evening out.
Renee Zellweger's character had it right in Jerry McGuire when she said, "All of them ran a distant second to a good book and a warm bath."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Matumbo Goldberg Debuts!

Miller and Rob's film debuts today on Will Ferrell's website Funny or Die. Here is a brief description of the short film that Rob wrote and directed:
MATUMBO GOLDBERG, which stars Anthony Anderson (The Departed, Transformers and soon, Law & Order), is about a trendy,none-too-bright couple who adopt an African baby, only to find their new son is a bit older than a toddler.
Also starring is J. Robin Miller (Andy Barker P.I., General Hospital) and Rob Pearlstein, who also wrote and directed. Rob's film "Our Time Is Up" was nominated for an Oscar in 2006 for Best Live Action Short Film.

On my most recent trip to LA while staying at Rob and Miller's home I had the pleasure of reading the script a few weeks before filming and am excited to see the finished film. It is absolutely hysterical and after viewing you can vote FUNNY, the more votes, the more people who will see the film.
FYI it is not appropriate for viewing at work unless listening with earphones.

Here is a direct link to the film at:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

All About Austen

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I LOVE the works of Jane Austen. Now in the last 6 weeks before my May graduation with my Masters (MLIS), I am busy working on my final projects. For both my final works I am concentrating on Jane Austen, 1 project will be a pathfinder of her works as well as the hundreds of sequels, prequels and "influenced by" works that she has inspired. The larger project will be a multiple page website with information about Jane as well as links to (hopefully) every book adaption done on film, tv and stage as well as all the books researched in the pathfinder. I'm having a lot of fun with these projects mainly because I am immersed in everything Austen. In fact, last month I joined the Jane Austen Society of North America and am looking forward to the Annual Meeting, this year held here in Chicago for 4 days in October. For more information link to JASNA.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

80's Nostalgia

This is one of my favorite music videos of all time. It's everything that was the best of the 80's genre. Great song, mini movie and pure 80's camp.

Geez I miss the fun of the 1980's but I love the technology of today, what I find on YouTube surprises me every day.
Enjoy Marilyn Martin in Night Moves (she is the female voice in the Phil Collins song Seperate Lives).This video was too risky for MTV in 1986 and they only played it in the evenings.
I'm still looking for a replica of the fantastic coat she wears in the last shot.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Shift Happens

Are you ready for it?
Watch and be amazed.
Google is taking over the world.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back to Reality

I'm home and back to the grind. After almost a week of R&R where I completely stepped away from good sense and good eating (beer with lunch and dinner, ice cream every night, oh my....), I am working on getting back to a healthy routine.
The 2 books that I am turning too are say-it-like-it-is advice on eating right. The first one which is 2 books in one is: Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bitch in the Kitchen by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. These girls tell it like it is in truck driver language without sugar coating it. Coffee is poison, diet soda is the devil and if you have a "fat ass" you worked hard to get it. A funny, funny read, different from most diet books and full of simple and smart advice.

The 2nd book is an illustrated guide to eating titled: Eat This Not That by David Zinczenko. This book is loaded with photographs of foods you should eat and those you should avoid. My favorite chapters are: 8 Foods to Eat Everyday, At the Supermarket and What to Eat at Your Favorite Restaurant. This book is worth a look just to see the photographs of the more popular foods we consume and the data on just what we are putting in our bodies.
One question Skinny Bitch addresses is "Do you consider yourself a positive, smart and successful person? Is it hypocrisy then if you feed your body poison and are unhealthy and over weight?"
One life=one body.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Green Beer in Florida

For the first time in years I will be missing the South Side Irish Parade and house parties in Chicago this weekend. Happily for good reason, I am enjoying some serious R&R at my parent's home in Florida. I will post again regularly next week.
For those going to the parade and parties, have a green beer for me, I will try and find one here to enjoy while in the pool.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Fun of Web 2.0

Creating webpages and blogging has become such a regular part of my life I'm now working on podcasting, wikis and creating videos and WAV files, hopefully to include on my sites soon.
The best part of starting the Lively Librarian blog has been the feedback I have received from friends who read it regularly. In a "6 degrees" style I have had new readers from all over the world, thanks to those who read in Australia, England, the Philippines etc. In order to communicate with fellow bloggers and Web 2.0 (soon to be 3.0)users, here is my new email for contact about this or my other sites.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Newberry Library

Busy, busy weekend, Friday and Saturday night I played bocce, Friday at a party and Saturday at a charity event and Sunday I attended a delicious Italian themed dinner party (Thanks Diana!)
In between the fun social events I was thrilled to get a behind the scene tour of one of the best libraries in the country. The Newberry Library in Chicago is a world class history and humanities library and worth a visit if you are in the city. Many people are familiar with the Newberry due to its major role in the popular book, The Time Traveler's Wife. During the tour I was able to see the famous "cage room" where librarian Henry De Tamble suddenly appears in a scene. The author of the book Audrey Niffenegger worked at the Newberry and although the movie is currently being filmed in Canada with Eric Bana as Henry and Rachel McAdams as Clare, the library staff I spoke with didn't know if that famous scene will be shot at the Newberry. If you get a chance check out the library's website at:
Their Cartography, Renaissance and Arthur Conan Doyle collections are outstanding.