Monthly Archives: April 2005

Beware of This Shop

Don’t know what got me thinking of this book, but after some online searching for the title, which I’d forgotten, I found a copy of Beware of This Shop by Carol Beach York. The time period isn’t explicitly stated, but my guess is that it’s meant to be late nineteenth-century/early twentieth. A young woman buys a china shepherdess from a newly-opened and somewhat mysterious shop. She gradually learns that the store’s objects have strange and unpleasant effects on their purchasers. She’s pressured to take a job as a sales clerk there and becomes even more enmeshed in the strange goings-on of the store. It’s a slim book and the ending isn’t cut and dried.

I’ve done a little searching, but I can’t find all that much on the Web about the author or this book. I did find this thread so it’s good to know I’m not the only one who felt similarly.

I’ll never use it for work, but . . .

For all of those elusive childhood titles that I can never remember, but really want to read again, there is this service. The search interface is quite horrid though.

Turning into my mother

When I was a kid, I used to tease my mom about her ability to fall asleep whenever she sat down in front of the TV. Now to my horror, I’m doing the same thing. What kills me is that it seems to be a selective gift. For instance, let’s say there’s a program that I really want to watch (I know, I know, but I love trash. I can’t help it), it never fails; I fall asleep. However, when I wake up at 2AM and can’t fall back to sleep, this ability is lost to me. So I sit there flicking through the 100 odd channels only to find that irritating guy on most of them.


What a handy little tool

One of my colleagues was telling me about BugMeNot a couple of weeks ago. I obligingly downloaded the Firefox extension and forgot all about it. Today I right clicked on something and voila! There it was. Tried it out on a couple of news articles. It works quite well.

I truly loathe having to register each and every time I want to read an online article. I’m sick of having to disclose information and even if you fudge the data a little bit just in case, it’s a pain. The cookies alone…anyhow, will be playing with this some more.

Alias Grace

You know how sometimes you get it into your head that you have no interest in a particular book/movie/show? And maybe you finally do see or read that thing everyone’s telling you to see or read. Nine times out of ten, I usually still have no interest. But there’s always that 10th time.

Friend of mine raved about Alias Grace. I’m not a big Margaret Atwood fan, which most would probably consider heresy, but hey, call me a heretic then. Anyhow, she booktalked it so well that I thought I’d give it a shot even though the subject matter sounded dark and I’m getting tired of dark, grim novels.

Somehow though, this book which is based on a real story of a 19th century servant who was convicted of aiding and abetting in a murder of her employer and the housekeeper, is both beautiful and even uplifting. It’s a remarkable novel with a wealth of detail. I resisted the temptation to read up on the book and the original case. Just read an interesting interview with Atwood.

I think I need to reread this book again…

It’s about time

Nightmare Alley is finally being released to DVD. Actually a number of very good films are finally making their way to DVD. I read an article recently which explained that the DVD market is opening up, hence the interest in putting these classics out.

Can only be a good thing for classic film fans.

I Know Where I’m Going

How did I go this long without ever having seen this film? Watched it this weekend. Plot is simple enough: determined young woman who has always known who she is and what she wants out of life gets engaged to a wealthy man. She doesn’t love him; that’s quite clear. She’s journeying to a remote Scottish island to marry him and gets stranded in a tiny little town along with a naval officer who’s on leave. And then her her convictions are shaken to the foundation.

Wonderful performances from Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey. It’s the kind of movie that I don’t think many people have made before or since. The setting (most of it was filmed on location) and the two leads are remarkable.

New Google command

Stumbled across this today. Simply type in movie: movie title and it will not only pull up reviews, it will also let you find movie times.

Not sure how often I’ll be using this at the desk, but good to know it’s there, I guess.

When the patron has ADD

I’m the first to admit that I can be impatient. I try to curb this tendency whenever on the desk–at the very least, I try not to let it show, but it’s funny how certain personalities bring it out in me. Ironic really. I’m okay with the non-traditional student who’s typically scared to death of the computer. I can handle the totally ignorant “My professor said no web sites so don’t show me that JAMA online thing” kid. I can even contain my annoyance with the students who have waited till the very last minute and need to find 10 articles for that apaper due tomorrow. What I can’t handle are the patrons with ADD.

And no, I have no qualifications to diagnose anything let alone ADD; I speak loosely. This is the guy hears one thing out of ten. He’s the one who jumps ahead of me and says “I get it” when in fact he has no clue. She’s the student who impatiently tells me they’ve already had this in class. She’s the woman who gets sidetracked constantly and turns a simple three-page paper into a nightmare.

I’ve tried getting them set up and teaching them one thing at a time. That works sort of. Until you’re back and forth on the floor so many times you feel physically tired. I have had some luck with bluntly telling them to stay with me. Slapping them upside the head is out for a number of different reasons . . .