And just because I like you weird librarians so much, here are a few more clips from “Portlandia.” This one is called “Hide and Seek.” Enjoy. And if you want more go to the Portlandia website. I highly recommend for librarians “Technology Loop.” Brilliantly funny.
January 23, 2011
January 23, 2011
Enjoy this clip from IFC’s new show Portlandia starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Did you read????
April 4, 2010
Bestselling author Michael Pollan’s latest book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, is a quick read, but is not light on information for anyone that eats. There are a lot of long and exhaustive books that don’t get to the point, especially when it comes to diet and health. Pollan however gets right to practical advice and scientific information with this slim book of ideas that span the space of a small page.
He makes interesting points, 64 in fact. I tend to enjoy reading about health, and honestly, I find that a lot of these kinds of books are not quick and easy, or the advice is simply not good. Not since I read You on a Diet have I felt so satisfied with a health advice book.
A lot of this was not new to me, but I tend to try to stay up on health news. Even still, I found a lot to take away myself. Pollan is an expert on food and the food industry, and informs us without a gimmick of weight loss. Yes, you will lose weight if you follow his advice, but it is about being informed. Like his other books and talks, he also discusses what has happened with the food industry and American society to cause our issues with food.
One thing that I loved about this book is that it didn’t focus heavily on meat vs. vegetarianism, but it did comment on it. It is difficult when a book does not take into account the different perspectives of the potential readers. It is a wonderful way to dip your toes into understanding food, but even people already knowledgeable will enjoy Pollan’s quick tips. This book is really a great little read for anyone interested in being more mindful and healthy about what they eat with realistic solutions.
On Wednesday, April 21, the highly talked about Academy Award Nominated documentary film Food Inc. will be shown on POV. Robert Kenner’s film features Pollan and other experts on food. They explore the fascinating topic of how our food is making us sick, and what we can do to make it better. Check your local PBS station listings. You can even get a one time e-mail reminder from PBS so you don’t forget.
Because of this, PBS is featuring an excerpt from Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Unlike Food Rules, The Omnivore’s Dilemma is not quick tips, but rather a discussion of how our food industry is run and how we got to this point. This is not to say it won’t help you make smarter decisions. Rather, Food Rules is the distilled advice of Pollan, but is hardly exhaustive of his knowledge.
Official website: Michael Pollan
Interview: Michael Pollan on Democracy Now! (VIDEO) — highly recommended
Excerpt (PBS): The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Excerpt (WorldCat/GoogleBooks): The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Official website: Food, Inc. documentary film
Find these items at a library near you! Don’t forget, this website’s official list of library items can also be found here or in our side bar by clicking on the WorldCat logo.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan — There is also a GoogleBooks preview, which you can find on WorldCat by clicking under the image of the book cover. Or, you can click here to be taken there directly.
December 29, 2009
Everyone should know who Hardrock, Coco, and Joe are — Santa’s helpers! You also should realize not only how awesome Frosty is, but also how we owe it all to Suzy Snowflake. So, I decided that for my holiday treat to all of you I would share three classics that I grew up with and watch every year. It wouldn’t be the holiday season without them!
Hardrock, Coco, and Joe (my favorite!)
Frosty the Snowman
October 27, 2009
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After a long day of shooting video at the library and wishing I was sleeping, I’m finally home and drinking a cup of tea and watching some of my favorite Halloween DVDs. The Halloween Video Countdown continues! Now it is only 4 Days to Halloween! Today is all about Halloween episodes on television series. It is like candy corn for the soul.
Supernatural is my current television addiction. The show is about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, that travel across the country in a 1967 Chevy Impala (to a classic rock soundtrack) hunting demons. Could it be any better? Did I mention they are really sexy? For those already hooked on the show, don’t forget season 4, episode 3, in which the boys roll into a classic horror movie!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
**SPOILER ALERT– Don’t watch this video unless you’ve already seen these episodes**
Like Supernatural, clearly watching just about any Buffy episode is going to be good times for Halloween (or any time, hello!). However there are two episodes you need to watch for Halloween. The first is season 2, episode 6, in which Buffy and the Scoobies turn into their costumes. It also should be noted that we get a bit of Oz noticing Willow! Eep! The next must see episode for Halloween comes in season 4, episode 4, (“Fear Itself”) in which the gang gets locked up in a real house of horrors. Now, if you are going for creepy, watch the critically acclaimed “Hush” (season 4, episode 10).
The Adventures of Pete and Pete: Season 2, Episode 7, “Halloweenie”
**In addition to Halloweenie, watch this Pete and Pete short**
Halloween is when “the ghouls and goblins of our souls are set free to roam the night and scarf candy.” So, what is Big Pete’s damage? He thinks Halloween is for Halloweenies. The Pumpkin Eaters, “the dark knights of Halloween,” are looking to recruit Big Pete to smash pumpkins and ruin Halloween for everyone. Can Little Pete help his brother find his Halloween spirit or will it be destroyed forever?
The Muppet Show: Monster Laughs with Vincent Price (VHS) or Best of the Muppet Show – Alice Cooper/Vincent Price/Marty Feldman (DVD)
Now on this one I’m old school. I have the VHS, but it appears that the same Halloween themed episode is available on DVD now under a new name. At any rate, this time Kermit holds auditions to be in a Halloween skit and spooky favorite Vincent Price shows up! Rocker Alice Cooper gets into the mix, too! The Muppets are amazing and Halloween is amazing so clearly you need to watch this. I mean, come on…what could be better than Alice Cooper singing “Welcome to my Nightmare” with Muppets!
In classic Ted fashion, young Mr. Mosby is attempting to find the love of his life. He is convinced that he needs to find a girl he met years ago at a Halloween party. She was dressed as a slutty pumpkin. He was dressed as a hanging chad. So, despite the seriously dated costume, he wears it year after year in hopes that one year he will once again find his slutty pumpkin. Meanwhile, Barney tries costume after costume in an attempt to get a hot girl to come home with him.
It certainly isn’t the best thing ever, but it is free and is kind of a kick to rewatch it many years removed. You can watch all the teenage angst on Hulu. Actually, the entire series is online, but since it is Halloween…what better than the Halloween episode. It is really strange to watch after so many years. Angela dresses up in some horned rimmed glasses and a cardigan. She has the book of Nicky Driskal, a boy that supposedly died in the school. The kids get themselves locked up in the school after hours. Ghosty craziness ensues, meanwhile, the parents get wrapped up in their costumes. Oh, the melodrama of it all!
Tomorrow: 3 Days to Halloween, Halloween through the eyes of Tim Burton
October 26, 2009
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It is that time of year! It is almost Halloween! Over the past several years it is getting harder and harder to find good Halloween viewing on television to get in the mood. Thankfully, now with the proliferation of video players at home and online viewing, it is easier to get our hands on Halloween themed goodies so we can gorge ourselves on Halloween fare of any variety. Over the next week I will post some of my suggested viewing to get into the Halloween spirit!
5 Days to Halloween: Halloween for the Young, and Young at Heart
Clearly, the first two choices on this list are not new to a lot of people, but I was shocked and horrified to find out not everyone knew that both Charlie Brown and Garfield have classic Halloween specials. The Peanuts Halloween special now comes out in a Remastered Deluxe Edition. This edition includes two other Charlie Brown specials : It’s Magic, Charlie Brown; and We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown. But to be honest, we all are much more interested in watching Linus as he and Sally wait for the Great Pumpkin to rise from the pumpkin patch, Charlie Brown in the most memorable ghost costume of all time, and Snoopy’s adventures as the WWI fighting ace.
Garfield’s Halloween is the best of all the Garfield specials (which is saying something). Garfield’s holiday specials are an annual tradition. Lucky for you, the Halloween special comes with Garfield’s Thanksgiving and A Garfield Christmas. Garfield and Odie go trick-or-treating and have a memorable adventure complete with that crazy old man, ghost pirates, and great songs. I for one know them all by heart to this day. “What Should I Be” is the best part of the entire special, but that is just one weird librarian’s opinion (although I doubt that I’m alone in this). Dead pirates and candy, candy, candy! What more could anyone want?!
Aardman has been delighting us with Wallace and Gromit for years, but previously only in shorts. The huge undertaking to create a feature length Wallace and Gromit movie was well worth the wait and does not disappoint. Also included on the DVD are great bonus features. Not only are there deleted scenes and activities, but there are also amazing behind the scenes bonuses (including how to make a bunny like from the movie) and another Aardman short called “Stagefright.” Our favorite cheese loving inventor has set up business with his dog, Gromit (the real brains behind the operation), to humanely take care of the rabbit problem before the town’s vegetable competition. But of course something goes terribly wrong and the Curse of the Were-rabbit is unleashed on gardens great and small…it is a vegetarian horror film after all. Also, Wallace has found a new love interest in Lady Tottington — the same woman that the villain of the story has his eye on. Oh, the drama! The suspense! The watermelon!
Count Duckula is a cartoon, vegetarian, vampire, duck: unlike the vampires of *Twilight he actually is a vegetarian. He once was a blood sucking vampire, but when he was brought back to life ketchup was used instead of blood. Now, much to the chagrin of his butler Igor, he is repulsed by blood and violence. Along with Igor and the half-wit (but loving) maid, Nanny, Count Duckula travels through space and time in his teleporting castle. And don’t forget other characters, like Dr. Von Goosewing (Duckula’s Van Helsing of course). The show is silly to say the least. Monty Python fans will certainly appreciate this cult classic. The fact alone that one of the episodes is called “Mutinous Penguins” should really be enough to sell you.
*If you hate or love Twilight, and have a sense of humor about it, you should watch this video. Honestly, it is one of the funniest things I have seen all year.
Tomorrow: 4 Days to Halloween, Halloween on TV
July 27, 2009
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A bitter-sweet moment came in the mail for many “Pushing Daisies” fans as their pre-ordered copies of the second, and final, season of the Emmy award winning television series arrived this past week. I certainly hope that a movie comes along, since there is much more to be said in the world of “Daisies.” There may be graphic novels in the fall, but as much as I would treasure those, it is not the right format for this truly cinematic show. The fast and literary dialog has a special quality when performed by the cast and the look of the show can’t be captured in another medium.
The world of “Daisies” is a fantasy about a pie-maker, but it is more that that. It is a contemporary fairytale that, not surprisingly, reminds one of films such as the French film “Amelie,” that use vivid and highly saturated colors and creative camera and editing techniques. The shot construction often mirrors classic Hollywood (including many references to Alfred Hitchcock and even “The Sound of Music”). It is a fantastic hard-boiled murder mystery combined with the film “Big Fish” on the small screen…and then some. The sets and props are brilliant examples of pure imagination explosion. When Brian Fuller (creator and executive producer) and his crew put something together they go all out.
The facts are these…
“Pushing Daisies” is the story of a pie-maker named Ned (Lee Pace) who owns a pie shop (The Piehole). Ned can wake the dead with his touch, but only for a minute. If he doesn’t touch the dead thing (or person) again in that minute another must die in its place. He may never touch a once dead thing a second time or they will die for good. Ned has teamed up with private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride), “a man named for a poet and a fish,” (ep. 6, s. 2) to solve the murders of the dead by waking them up and asking who killed them. Then everything changes when lonely tourist Charlotte Charles (Anna Friel) is the victim. Charlotte (or “Chuck”) is Ned’s childhood sweetheart so he hasn’t the heart to redead her. But the lovebirds can’t touch or she will die, this time forever. Toss into the mix Olive Snook (Kristen Chenoweth), a feisty waitress at The Piehole and you have a bizarre love triangle. In addition to these colorful characters add Chuck’s aunts Lily Charles (Swoosie Kurtz) and Vivian Charles (Ellen Greene), the former synchronized sister swimming act, The Darling Mermaid Darlings. And let us not forget Digby, the once dead dog, and later the pig — aptly named Pigby.
Every episode features bizarre and hilarious deaths and scenarios. Season one features such gems as windmills and a bird with a Bedazzled wing (ep. 4), a scratch and sniff book that kills (ep. 7), and (possibly my favorite) the Dandelion Car Company (ep. 2). Season two offers up more fun with a friend-renting service (episode introduces David Arquette as a taxidermist and love interest, ep. 4), widows making death dioramas (with glitter, ep. 9), and a deep fried murder of chef Colonel Likkin (ep. 8).
Also, the series has a great soundtrack. Olive (Kristen Chenoweth) breaks into song a few times in the series, adding another special layer of surrealism to the show (Ellen Greene who plays aunt Vivian also gets in on the fun a couple times). Sadly the soundtrack, which came out prior to season two, does not include Chenoweth’s ballad from Comfort Food which is hilarious (ep. 8, s. 2). However, it does include the three songs sung in season one and the fantastic score composed by James Dooley.
Episodes are narrated by Jim Dale (a voice recognizable to fans of “Harry Potter”) which gives an extra special touch, like a story being read aloud. Episodes flashback to the characters’ childhoods. Ned is a lonely boy left at boarding school. Chuck keeps bees as a hobby. Emerson Cod is, as always, a modern day Marlow (the kid cast for Emerson is especially spot on). Olive is kidnapped as a child. And Lily and Vivian become the Darling Mermaid Darlings, forever strengthening their sisterly bond.
While the season finale wraps up the story as well as it could, it also says that it is not the end, but rather a beginning. As a huge fan of “Daisies” I sure hope that is true. I know that there is a lot more story to tell. However, as much as I look forward to the rumored comics, this story is meant to be told on screen.