Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday Gender Hi-Jinks with a Delicious Bill Pullman

Now that it's officially Christmas season, I've been indulging in all my favorite holiday movies. One of my guilty pleasures is the 1995 romantic comedy While You Were Sleeping. I have a weird thing for 90's era Bill Pullman, with his denim shirts and perfectly tousled hair.  .  .

If you've never watched this movie 1) that's a minor tragedy and 2) let me tell you what it entails: it stars Sandra Bullock as Lucy, a lonely young woman who falls for the handsome Peter (coincidentally played by Peter Gallagher). The problem is that she's never actually spoken to him. When tragedy befalls him, she rescues him and accompanies him to the hospital. A misunderstanding occurs and she's assumed to be his fiance. After some innocent flirting she ends up falling for the guy's little brother.

Originally, this story was going to feature a young man who loves a woman from afar, and subsequently ends up with her sister, but this idea was viewed to be too predatory. I guess it's not a stretch, for a man to pine after a woman he's never met before, but if she were unconscious and he let people believe he was her significant other it would carry date rape implications.

That scene in the hospital when Lucy talks to comatose Peter, spilling her secrets, wouldn't really tug at your heart strings if the woman was in the hospital bed, unaware and unconscious of the lonely stranger who shares his life with only a cat, who enters her room under false pretenses.

"I always feel like- somebody's watchin' me.  .  ."

I bring up this alternate narrative because gender, with all its stereotypes and expectations, is always worth examining, even in innocuous holiday movies. 

I remember one of my grad school professors once said that she doesn't like the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Of course the entire class exclaimed our protests: how can anyone not love a book which captures the essence of maternal devotion? But when she asked us to imagine the book with alternate gender roles, instead of a mother creeping into her son's room it'd be a father creeping into his daughter's room (even as she ages into a teen and young woman) we began to see what she meant. A mother can cradle her teenage son, or drive across town and sneak into his room, and it makes a comic picture centering on a  nostalgic mother bonding with her son in a way that a typical teenager or mature man would prohibit if he were awake. 

Nobody would be laughing if the father was creeping into his daughter's room, taking her out of bed in her nightie and holding her as she lies unaware in his arms.

For the record, I still like the book, but that exchange definitely made me reconsider what my own preconceptions about gender are, and how they've been informed.

So now that I've planted this little seed for discussion, maybe enough people will realize how uncomfortable the song "Baby It's Cold Outside" makes them, and it won't be PC to play it on the radio anymore. Please spare me from having to listen to yet another cover of the song in which the female sings "The answer is no" and "What's in this drink?" while the male singer worries about his pride. The latest cover features Idina Menzel, the famous voice behind Frozen's Queen Elsa. 

It gives this picture of Olaf, drink in hand, new meaning.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude."

~A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Raw and unadorned
Muted colors
Misty skies
The fairer days are mourned

Dawn comes slowly,
with a pale, intense greeting
Making shadows that stretch
towards each other
but stop before meeting.

The sounds of nature have hushed
The forest has grown still
Pause your steps
and look around
Steel yourself against the chill.

Fallen berries on the snow
punctuate the white
And the amber moon in the clear night sky
Spills down somber light

Halfway to eternity
Caught between the seasons
All at once it slips away
Such a bittersweet ending
without a reason

Monday, November 23, 2015

F*ck You, Read Me!

Usually if I review a book on my blog, it's a children's or YA book, but I couldn't help myself. This book just begs you to talk about it. I don't remember exactly how I learned of this book, but I immediately put it on inter-library loan request. Obviously, we weren't going to purchase a copy for the middle school library.

I had to wait a couple weeks for it come in- apparently it's getting pretty popular. So popular in fact, that it's now on the NY Times Bestseller list. It is quite an attention getter, with its blindingly bright cover and the almost-offensive title; that little asterisk has a pretty important job, standing in for the letter we all know it's representing. It's like a self-help guide written by Goodfellas.

But once you get past the ostentatious covering, is there anything of substance in the book?

The chapters have subtitles that are in line with the book's main message, such as F*ck Self-Esteem. The authors, Michael I Bennett and Sarah Bennett,  write that self-esteem has taken on an unquestionable infallibility in the all-mighty church of The Meaning of Life. We seem to think that it's the answer for everything; if a kid's not trying as hard as he should in school, he's got poor self-esteem. If that guy you meet at a party is having difficulty making eye contact with you, or anyone, he's suffering from poor self-esteem. If that woman responds to your compliment with "oh, no, not really.  .  ." it's because she has poor self-esteem. It's become a key to our collective happiness in this society to make sure that everyone always feels good about themselves, but is it working?

If a kid receives a participation trophy instead of a First Place trophy, is his fragile self-esteem really being salvaged? Maybe. Maybe not.

The authors' approach in each chapter is pretty straight forward; they present three scenarios which all center around the same issue. After a brief explanation and discussion, they present the parts which cannot be controlled by an individual, and then go on to point out the aspects which can ultimately be controlled by a person.

My personal favorite chapter is the one titled Stop F*cking Up. I laugh to myself whenever I think about it because in the school I work at, we are encouraged to work and teach the Growth Mindset. For those of you who aren't familiar with this term, it's a philosophy that preaches the basic principles of  resilience and dedication. Being good at something, or being very intelligent doesn't guarantee success when undertaking a project, and it's okay to fail at something as long as you try again.

I don't laugh to myself because I don't agree- I always tell the students I encounter that not being good at something is not the end of the world. But almost all of the adults I know hold ourselves to a much higher standard. I'm not sure when this happens- maybe it's around the same time we decide we don't like the current music on the radio, and we add the classic rock and contemporary stations on our car presets. If I don't do well on something I don't care about, it's not too difficult to get over it. But if I enjoy doing something, or if I think my success is important, my  internal monologue doesn't reassure me with expressions like "challenges make my brain grow", it screams "STOP F*CKING UP!"

Most of their advice to readers is pretty easy to understand and digest. Following through and trying the methods may require some shifting in your thinking. It does get trite at some points, at one point advising readers to just "forget" feelings of shame. Right, like someone could just "forget" someone holding a gun to their head, holding them hostage. 

It's a fun read, even if you're not in the market for any psychological advice. The wry humor contained throughout the text might even get a smirk out of you.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ballet Slipper-stream

I read a really interesting article last night. The author is kind of an expert on a particular holiday tradition: The Nutcracker ballet. Having seen 28 productions in 12 states, Alastair MacAuley is well acquainted with the variations that occur between the original 1816 German story “Nussknacker und Mausek├Ânig” (“Nutcracker and Mouse King”) which in 1844 was adapted into a ballet by Alexandre Dumas, and subsequent adaptations.

I did a presentation a couple years ago at Maine Reading Round Up (a state conference for librarians) on literary slipstream; slipstream is any attempt at reconsidering the historical record or the 'original' text. That sounds a bit complicated, but what it's really referring to is: revisions, re-versions, and re-tellings in the form of adaptations, prequels and sequels, fan fiction, parodies and other  multimedia projects. I focused on books and stories that have been slipstreamed, but I'm ashamed to say that I'd never thought much about slipstream in the form of dance. Slipper-stream? 

But that's exactly what MacAley is discussing in his article. I knew that the young heroine's name can traditionally be Clara or Marie, but there are other nuances that come to light when you spend time watching different productions. Aside from the Sugarplum Fairy's song, one of the most recognizable movements (referring to the song definition now, but I wanted to use that word as a play on the differing choreography!) is the candy canes. But in some productions, this is a Russian dance, with much different costumes.

From what I can figure out, even when the dancers are decked out in red and white striped costumes, the Candy Canes are still supposed to represent Russia, just as the chocolate represents Spain, the coffee represents Arabia, and the tea represents China. The variation is more about the costumes and the choreography: instead of dancing with hoops (many candy cane dances feature them), traditional Russian squat-and-kick moves (Cossack Dance). 

Personally, I prefer the candy canes. I've never quite understood how a bunch of big, gymnastic Russian men fit in among the other residents of the Land of Sweets. It sounds a bit like a Soviet version of Candyland. I guess there'd be no way to win that game because everyone would just be really cold, sitting around Snowflake Lake, and eating the exact same portions of licorice, which of course would be frozen and thus tasteless.   . .

Lastly, the endings vary. As MacAuley writes,  traditional “Nutcrackers” tend to choose between two endings. One which the young heroine realizes she’s been dreaming and is safe back at home . Here, it’s the young heroine  who, played by an adult delivers the climactic Sugar Plum numbers with the young ex-Nutcracker. Because she was a good girl, her reward is romantic love, on a heroic scale; so “Nutcracker” becomes yet another ballet love story. He goes on to discuss parodies such as  Nutcracker Rouge or The Butt-cracker Suite (set in a trailer park). The Butt-cracker suite looks pretty hilarious and I'd definitely pay to see it, but I think I'll skip the burlesque re-imagining.

Like many others, the music and performance of The Nutcracker is one of my beloved Christmas traditions. It has been ever since I was 13, and I played one of the toy soldiers on stage in the Buffalo City Ballet's production. I already loved performing, but performing during the holiday season made the whole experience even more magical. I was lucky enough to experience it again two year later, when I auditioned again and was cast as a mouse. That role was much more fun to dance in: the choreography was more free-form rather than regimented, each mouse had her own style, and since we were wearing big mouse heads, if we messed up, no one in the audience could tell which dancer was in which mouse costume. It's always more fun on stage if one is cannot concerned with the possibility of humiliation.

Since I was spared the humiliation on stage in front of hundreds of people, I'll make good here, (on my blog which almost no one reads) and display the photos from these experiences. 

                                     toy soldier, 1995                mouse (sans head), 1997

Who needs a Nutcracker burlesque when you can be a big, gray shapeless blob, hoping to God you don't lose your head? (A fitting description of me any day!)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

My Dear Mr. Gable

So on my quest for more pre-code films starring Helen Twelvetrees, I realized that she appears in The Painted Desert, which also contains the first talking and credited role for none other than Clark Gable. I realized I never blogged about my trip to Clark Gable's birthplace in Cadiz, Ohio.

Clark Gable has been my #1 guy ever since I first watched Gone With the Wind. I still remember sitting in the recliner in my parents' living room, watching that dramatic final scene and I could feel myself changing. I was no longer a kid who was satisfied just watching The Wizard of Oz and Shirley Temple movies- I needed more. More to take in, more to think about, more to analyze, and more to discover and more to research. I started haunting the library- tracking down other Clark Gable movies like Red Dust.  Back then, I was frustrated that I couldn't find many of these movies on VHS, now I'm frustrated that I can't find more of them streaming online. I may have been the first highschool girl since about 1950 that had a picture of Clark Gable in her locker. Of course I realized that he was long dead- he'd been buried for 22 years before I was even born. But whenever I watch one of his movies- I fall in love with his screen presence, and everything he represents.

I can't even express how happy I was when I discovered this film, in which one of my favorite actresses, from my all-time favorite film, sings a love song to my all-time favorite actor, in the way that only someone with the schoolgirl innocence of Judy Garland is able to.

Visiting the birthplace of Clark Gable's has been on my to-do list for years

The home is reconstructed (the original one was torn down), but it does have the layout of the original house. The museum is a very small one, and most of their collection is centered on memorabilia, most of which is Gone With the Wind related. They don't have many of Gable's belongings, but they do have his 1954 Cadillac.

Seeing the King of Hollywood's car was pretty cool, but the artifact that I liked more is his childhood sled. The simple wooden toy, painted red and embellished with a horse and his name almost brought tears to my eyes. It never fails to amaze me that no matter who we are, or who we become, we all start from the same place. Did little William Clark Gable ever dream that he'd be a Hollywood icon when he was playing in the snow during those cold mid-western winters? 

I'm pretty certain at this point in my life that I'll never become a film star (or any kind of star), but the fame is secondary. If someday my great-great grandchildren find an old trunk with a bunch of my stuff in it, what's is going to contain? What did I cherish enough to hold onto? Or, what did other people who knew me hold onto?

I used to go up into my great-grandmother's attic, and look at everything she kept up there. She held onto a couple of doll that belonged to her daughter (my grandmother). There was also a teddy bear that belonged to one of her grandson's (my Uncle Richard). Of course there was a ton more stuff, but those items are what always stood out to me because they belonged to children. It's funny how an inanimate possession can represent a person's identity, and childhood treasures always seem to hold the most significance.

So that's me waxing nostalgia and getting kind of philosophical on a Saturday night.

Luckily, it doesn't happen too often.

Friday, November 20, 2015

New pre-code film favorite!

I've been aching to watch more classic films lately. I don't have cable, so I can't access Turner Classic movies, and Netflix's selection of classic films is appallingly bad.

I have to find ones that are in the public domain and available to stream on YouTube, which narrows my selection down quite a bit. I'm not going to find any Clark Gable or Jean Harlow films in those parameters.

I ended up watching one called Young Bride from 1932. The opening scene takes place in a library, so I was interested in watching more. There's even a funny little aside in which a male patron comes in asking for an illustrated copy of Aphrodite. Upon hearing his request, the female library paige gasps and covers her mouth as she scurries on with her cart; the spinster librarian replies that the book is not currently in publication.  After a bit of research, I found out that this is referencing Pierre Louys' Aphrodite: moeurs antiques, published in 1896. The book was banned in 1929 by the United States Customs Bureau for being "lewd, corrupting and obscene," probably due to the lesbian relationships and "unrestricted sensuality among women."

From there, we cut to the children's room, where a pretty women is showing a miniature village to two children, and pointing out where all the fairytale characters such as Rapunzel and Peter Pan live.

So far the movie contained a library, banned books and a children's librarian who loves fairy tales and miniature renderings of them.


I was so happy in my new discovery that I can easily overlook the old spinster librarian trope. Librarians seem to be akin to nuns in 1930's and 40's films; remember George Bailey's horror at that alternate fate for Mary in It’s a Wonderful Life?

The story line isn't highly original; Good Girl falls for Bad Boy type of romance. The plot is reminiscent of No Man of Her Own, which is also from 1932. That movie must've had a much bigger budget for casting because Carole Lombard plays the librarian and Clark Gable plays the gangster.

I thought from the beginning that Eric Linden, who portrays the love interest, is a poor man's James Cagney and come to find out he actually plays Cagney's brother in Big City Blues (1932). The protagonist Allie is played by Helen Twelvetrees. I admit I'd never heard of her before, but from now on I'll be looking for more pre-code movies featuring her.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Not That There's Anything Wrong with That

Whenever I tell people I work in a library, they often reply with something along the lines of "Oh, that must be great! So do you just get to sit around and read all day?"

That always makes me laugh.  I don't even know how to reply to that question. Library jobs are so diverse, and have evolved so much to fit the needs of public/elementary/college/legal/film/corporate/medical/federal/theological/etc. libraries but the job description still gets reduced to that singular aspect.

I was scrolling through our library's Instagram history today, and I am so happy to see that our photos capture all the different types of responsibilities and tasks we undertake on a daily basis. If I just sat around reading all day, I wouldn't have time to:

set up displays that promote literature discussions

supervise our awesome library helpers

buy books for the library, and get them autographed!

take care of our two resident library bunnies

manage art supplies

fundraise for the library (with the book fair)

set up obstacle courses for our Hunger Games party

appreciate middle schoolers, and the things they think of/draw

write on bathroom mirrors with lipstick

what's your best guess?

These photos only show the last couple of months; there's so much more that goes on.

So for the official record: "NO- I DON'T just sit around and read all day."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wanted: Dead or In Love

I was drawn to this book because the description immediately tapped into my passion for classic film. (The protagonist's name is Monroe, "as in Marilyn"). It's no news to anyone that classic film is my own kind of catnip. It's refreshing to find a YA novel that features a female protagonist who has a different kind of interest. I first became enamored with old movies when I was a pre-teen, and it was difficult for me to relate this to anyone my own age. Anytime I wanted to talk about another old movies I'd watched, I'd ask my grandmother about it. Even now as an adult, I know very few other adults who have a similar interest in it. I give credit to an author who creates a protagonist whose passion for vintage Hollywood and history drives the story forward, rather than just serving as a quirk that alienates her from her peers.

I think the cover definitely hints at a YA story, but I think it could have better represented the narrative if it included a better look at Monroe. Early on, she reveals that she has her hair dyed black and cut into a short flapper style, so perhaps a model with a Louise Brooks-type look, and a photograph which shows us more than one eye and part of her hand would have been more interesting.

The story draws on the glamour of doomed romance that is frequently found in pre-code films during Hollywood's Golden Age. These films are not (usually) a show of feminist ideals; the women are shown in slinky satin nighties, falling prey to men that they know are no good but loving every minute of it and frequently playing damsels in distress and/or shrieking drama queens.

But check out this fun video montage (set to a Madonna tune!) of women in pre-code films:

The romance of classic film is brought to life (literally) with the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, who have been resurrected in spirit form and take over the bodies of Monroe and her new friend Jack.

The premise of the book was unique enough to draw me in, but I quickly tired of the cliche gangster speak of the reincarnated Bonnie, who lives inside Monroe's thoughts and taunts her.

The chapters that are focalized through Clyde (who inhabits Jack's thoughts, and quickly learns how to control him) are more tolerable. Maybe it's because he is characterized in the manner of an old film star, such as Clark Gable or James Cagney. He loves the ladies: he loves to love them, and he loves to hate them. Kiss em', or slap 'em or if all else fails, grab a grapefruit:

I love the originality of this book, but I really wish that Bonnie had more to say than quips such as "I ain't no squealer" and "He's my man."

I wrote earlier that pre-code Hollywood isn't a shining picture of modern feminism, but I guess that really depends on one's own perception of what feminism should be. If you think that a woman's sexuality should be at her disposal to use as she likes in plays of power, then some of these films might hold up to that. But none of these women are CEO's in power suits. Bonnie Parker matches that description a little more closely based on her notoriety and her influence and the threat she posed to The Man. Therefore, she really should have had more to say, especially as she was transplanted into 2014; she skipped right over second wave feminist age into the third! Although come to think of it, maybe Bonnie wouldn't have been concerned with reproductive rights or workplace inadequacies.  .  .

After all, Clyde (inhabiting Jack's body) seems to adapt pretty well to 2014. He figures out how use cell phone and credit cards, and gives Monroe the nickname Twinkle, after the diamond stud she wears above her lip. The contrast of it along with Bonnie's lines make her very one dimensional.

I kept reading mainly because I wanted to see what would happen to Clyde. I have a penchant for horror, ghosts and gore but it was really more of a history nerd kind of paranormal romance.

Friday, November 13, 2015


OK, I'm going to say this, even if it makes me sound crazy.

I hear voices. Not only do I hear them, I listen to them.

They tell me their names. What they like. If they're lonely. If they're happy.

For example, I recently started hearing Edmund Applebaum. He's a professor of literature. He lives alone with his cat Winston, but he doesn't mind. He always has a good book to read and a notebook to write in. His little cottage is the only one in the woods, but it's the best place to watch the seasons change.

Edmund Applebaum is a doll that lives in a dollhouse I made. For the record, he doesn't actually talk to me, but my mind creates a story just by working on that little dollhouse. I'm sure JK Rowling heard plenty from Harry Potter before she wrote the first page, so that makes me feel a bit less crazy. It's like writing a book.

This dollhouse had been in my parents basement for years, and I finally brought it home with me. As soon as I started working on it again, I got a picture in my mind of a quaint little cottage, sitting in the middle of an autumn wood .  .  .the air outside is getting colder as winter approaches, and the windows have a layer of frost on them, and gives the light that radiates from the little house a translucent glow, inviting you in.

Edmund spends most of his time thinking, pondering, wondering and dreaming, and Winston the cat is the same way; he's too busy looking out the window to hunt the mouse that's under the stove.

Why am I blogging about this? Because the creative potential of the human mind amazes me. I didn't have to research this, or struggle to build it. There was no outline or plan in front of me. Nobody asked me to do this. I just did it. I can't even explain exactly how all this unfolded before me.

How does a composer hear the music before he's written it? How does an author create entire backstories for characters when they haven't even picked up a pen yet? The process is different for everyone, but the process isn't even the part I'm talking about right now, I'm talking about that mysterious part before we even embark on the creative process. The spark of inspiration.

Why does one thing ignite a creative fire in some, while others don't even have match to spare?

I look at a cardboard box, and I can immediately see it as Peter Rabbit's home in 1:12 scale. Others might see something else, or maybe they just see a box. I don't know what they see because I can only see through my own mind's eye. Someone else might see an afghan or a pair of mittens when they look at a skien of yarn, but for me it's just colored string.

It has happened that I have a cardboard box/dollhouse/structure/other item that I know I need because it will be integral in some brilliant exploit, but I don't know exactly how yet. That's torturous. But, I try to have faith in the concept of inspiration, knowing that it can hit at any moment.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cardboard Box Becomes Rabbit Burrow

Just a little update on my latest literary-inspired dollhouse.

Months ago, I was musing about which story to try recreating next, and my husband suggested Peter Rabbit. I thought it was a great idea, but I didn't have the opportunity to start until August.

In August, I went to a workshop about makerspaces in libraries, and as a part of the workshop we 'tinkered' about with different materials, experimenting. I really wanted to run right over to the cardboard station, because I'm already pretty adept at transforming cardboard boxes into 1:12 scenes. BUT, I forced myself to try something new, since that was the whole point of the workshop, and of makerspaces. I started off with squishy circuits (wires, lightbulbs, batteries and conductive playdough) and then I moved onto the sewing machine station. Afterwards, I felt it was OK to return to a medium I'm already comfortable with.

I couldn't do much during the workshop day, but I reinforced the cardboard sides of the box, and used crumpled newspaper to start shaping the inside walls of the burrow. Later at home, I used plaster cloth and paint and spackle on top of the newspaper.

Since August, I've been working on it whenever I get a chance, and it's finally starting to match my original vision.

Just yesterday, Peter Rabbit, his mother Josephine, and the young Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail arrived. Peter is already getting into mischief in Mr. McGregor's garden:

It's a good thing his mother has some camomile tea ready:

I love making these miniature scenes and dollhouses that are based on stories. It allows me experiences the stories I love in a new way, making my own adjustments or additions. It's kind of like fanfiction. Sometimes I think they're a waste of time and money because they really don't serve much of a purpose- but I can't stop making them.

I recently stocked up on Halloween miniatures that were on clearance because I'd like to do a Nightmare Before Christmas scene eventually, and just the other day I thought it'd be fun to do an Alice in Wonderland scene.  .  .

What am I going to do with all these dollhouses and roomboxes? 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Everything Counts

“In order to be really good as a librarian, everything counts towards your work, every play you go see, every concert you hear, every trip you take, everything you read, everything you know. I don’t know of another occupation like that. The more you know, the better you’re going to be.” -Allen Smith

This is a fantastic quote, and it describes perfectly why I love my job.

Often, a job evokes certain images, stereotypes and assumptions. For example, my roommate when I was in grad school (the first time) lamented that people had such a narrow view of her major. She earned her Bachelor's of Fine Arts, and whenever she told people that she was an art major, they'd say something like "Oh, you want to be a famous artist?". That's like assuming that someone who majors in Literature intends to write the next great American novel. Sure it's a possibility, but there's a vast scope of possibilities that can come from that choice of major.

Similarly, when I tell people that I work in a school library, they probably conjure up images of me reading aloud from a picture book, and shushing students, and in fact I rarely do either. My chosen job has me performing a number of responsibilities in different roles; saying that I enjoy my job simply because "I like to read" is a huge understatement. My job is not one dimensional, and neither am I.

I love that all of my interests and talents can converge and work together, like cogs in a clock. When I watch the 1940 rendition of Little Men, not only am I indulging my passion for classic film. But I'm also adding to my knowledge of Louisa May Alcott, her body of work, transcendental themes in American literature, and cinematic techniques in Hollywood's Golden Age. When I take a day trip to Littleton, I'm absorbing the atmosphere, but also thinking about how this town and its native author Eleanor Hodgman Porter are responsible for the classic story Pollyanna, and educating myself on New Hampshire state history.When I create Peter Rabbit's burrow in 1:12 scale, I'm not just making another dollhouse, I'm tinkering with different materials and engaging in a trial and error learning approach. If something doesn't hold together or achieve the look I'm striving for, I'll try a different technique. That's the philosophy that serves as the basis for the new Makerspace revolution.

I love that every NPR program I listen to, blog I subscribe to, movie I watch and new place I explore are informing my chosen career.

It's not reasonable to expect every librarian to know the answer to every possible question, but I do think that a librarian should have enough diverse interests and knowledge in different areas to be able to help patrons/students with any type of request.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween with Paddington Bear

I try to keep this blog professional, but every once in a while I have to do the obligatory Proud Mom post. This was Baby J's first Halloween. Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I was glad to dress him up in costumes and take him trick or treating a few times.

We'd had his costume since before he was born. My 
godmother sent me a Paddington Bear outfit while I was pregnant. She also included some little yellow welies, but they were too big for his feet. These boots are actually from one of the Paddington bears in his room.

It was fitting that he'd be dressed as Paddington for his first Halloween; Paddington Bear has been kind of a theme for us for the past couple of years. When we took our honeymoon to the British Isles, we had to stop in Paddington station. I had to see the statue and go in the gift shop, where I learned the difference between a true British Paddington, and an American one. Good diplomatic relations made the two types acceptable, but there was a big problem with Paddington pirates:

An ad from 1975

 I brought my own (American, but official) Paddington with us on the trip. He became kind of a mascot for us, and every place we went, we bought a pin to put on his coat. He even got his own miniature Paddington bear (very meta).

So even though it's not Thursday, here's a throwback to 2013:

I'mnot sure when or if I'll ever get back to merry old England, but in the meantime "It's nice having a bear about the house."