Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Years Eve For the Proxemic Sensitive

New Years Eve has always posed a problem for me. I'd like to go out with people and celebrate. I'd like to cheer and yell when the clock strikes midnight as if it were the first time that had ever happened. I'd like to randomly grab the person next to me and kiss them like a sailor back from war. But here's the thing: I don't like peop... crowds. I don't like crowds. Don't like them with a passion.

Most of that has to do with the fact that I don't want you touching me. (That's a generalized "you," not you personally. That being said, the same applies to you too.) Personal space, as described by experts, is a radius of four feet to a foot and a half. Personal space, as described by me, is at least three times that size if not as far away as the horizon line. Personal space, as described by the drunken masses at the Blank Club's New Years Eve party last year? 1.5 centimeters. Not cool.

To avoid a repeat of last year's almost crippling panic attack, I'll be staying home come December 31st. This may solve the personal boundary issue, but it creates a whole new problem: what countdown program do you watch?

Somehow I always end up watching "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest." This show bothers me on a number of levels. First, the word "rockin'" is placed awkwardly in that phrase. Secondly, they use the word "rockin'" which I hear in my head as "rrrrrrhhakun" and that's annoying on top of being not proper English. Thirdly, Ryan Seacrest's perfect teeth and dead-eyed smile scare me. I fear he is trying to eat my soul. And he has perpetual George Michael stubble to boot.

On NBC you can watch Carson Daly try to out host an 80-year-old stroke victim on his Dick Clark knockoff show. And you'll watch him fail at that. You may not know this, but Daly use to be a local radio DJ in San Jose. Then MTV took him to New York to subject him to years of full-gale pre-teen screaming on Total Request Live (if you are unaware of what TRL was, that is all the better for your life). Should you put those shows in some sort of chronological time-lapse sequence, you can actually watch his spirit drain from him. True story. He currently appears to be a humanistic robot mired in the uncanny valley. Let this be a cautionary tale to those who do not believe the destructive force of teenage enthusiasm or MTV's diabolical nature.

Speaking of MTV's ultimate intention to reduce humanity to nothing but inarticulate potty mouths (or at least document the descent), you can countdown the new year with the cast from Jersey Shore. Wow. Just... wow. I'm not going to comment any further on that.

On second thought, seeing as all those choices are equally depressing, I may just try my luck with the personal space encroaching hug monsters at a party. Panic attacks don't seem so bad in comparison.
posted by jw

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Enjoy a Break from Job Hunting

Come back again in January and take advantage of these free hands on computer classes to jumpstart your job search:

Job Hunting Help
Thursday, January 13, 2011, in the Technology Center from 10:15-11:45
Learn about the best online resources for helping you find a new career or get back to work. Get help with reformatting your resume for different applications.

Learning to Use Linked In
Thursday, January 20, 2011, in the Technology Center from 10:15-11:45
Taught by a guest teacher from Linked In, you will learn about this professional networking site designed to help you connect for jobs and career success.

Try these books or others found in the 650.14 nonfiction section on the 2nd floor.

posted by mb

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!*

Definition of Family from

No matter what holiday you celebrate, November and December tend to be a popular time for families to get together. While the definition above from suggests that "family" is related by blood or currently live together in the same house, "family" can also mean any close relationship between people. Do you have any holiday traditions with those closest to you?

Here are some suggestions for how to spend time with your loved ones this season:

- Go ice skating at Downtown Ice in San Jose. The rink is open until January 17, 2011, and the hours vary, so check the website for more information.

- Grab some funny props like old hats and fake mustaches and have set up a family photobooth in your house! Hang up a sheet or set up in front of a blank wall, and make some funny faces. Post your pictures on line for the rest of the family and your friends to see.

Grandmas with Mustaches

- Try some new baking recipes. Even little kids can get in on the action of making and decorating sugar cookies for the holidays. Try some of our cookbooks for inspiration.

- Make your own wrapping paper out of recycled materials, such as newspaper or tissue paper. Use an ink pad with washable ink to put your hand prints or other stamps all over the paper.

- Sing traditional holiday songs together. Here are some Christmas music CDs. Here are some Hanukkah CDs. Holiday music not for you? We also have an extensive collection of non-holiday music CDs. Come in and browse our collection located on the first floor.

- Snuggle up and watch some family holiday movies. These ones happen to be about Christmas. OR, if holiday movies aren't for you, then browse our collection of other movies that are good for the whole family. The best place to look is in our Juvenile DVD section on the first floor.

- Do a holiday card swap where everyone has to make his or her own card to give to another family member.

- Have a "White Elephant" gift swap where all gifts must be under $2.

- Instead of one giant meal at one person's house, consider a "progressive dinner," where you might have appetizers at one person's house, then switch to a different house for the main course, and then another person's house for dessert. Bonus points if you can walk between courses.

No matter what you do, have a safe and happy holiday season! The library will be closed from December 24-26 and again from December 31 - January 2.

Posted by ws. *Quote in title by Albert Einstein.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

That's Knot Impressive

Spend enough time in San Francisco and you'll see a lot of bizarre attire. You almost feel bad for these creative costumers. They are trying very, very hard to be kooky or shocking, but there are just so many people already doing the kooky/shocking thing they can't break through the noise.

For example: thousands of drunken and grungy-looking Santas descend on Civic Center Plaza to celebrate "Santarchy" and passerbys yawn. Naked people running marathon races in 45 degree weather don't scandalize the viewer, but they do make them feel sympathetically cold. And seeing someone in a leather vest and no shirt is a helpful reminder that you are on Folsom Street should you be lost.

Yet I found myself shocked (shocked!) at seeing the way someone was dressed Monday. He was wearing a bow-tie. I. KNOW! Weird, right? And it wasn't even being worn with ironic intention. This person was a full on disciple of the Orville Redenbacher school of style. Moreover, he was one of two people wearing them.

I think it should be made perfectly clear that (most) people who wear bow-ties are not old fuddy-duddies who would use the term "fuddy-duddy" in a real-life conversation. They are rebels. Don't shake your head, it's true. Bow-ties went out of fashion a long, long time ago. Here is the short list of people who still think they are cool: James Bond and ridiculously wealthy people who like to be known as "ridiculously wealthy people." That's it. If you are not an international super spy or brushing your teeth with gold paste, you are wearing a bow-tie to make a statement.

And that statement is... to be honest, I don't know. Perhaps it's a tip off to your crazy knot skills. Or maybe antiquarian leanings. Barbershop quartet fan? Collector of public ridicule? Whatever the case is, the bow-tie aficionado is the lone wolf of the neckwear fashion world. And for that, they are twice as kooky and shocking as the kooky/shocking folks wish they themselves were.
posted by jw

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tea for Two, and Two for Tea*

Boston Tea Party
Did you know that the 237th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party is coming up on December 16th? That's right. On December 16, 1773, a group of protestors tossed three shiploads of tea into Boston Harbor in Massachusetts. They were upset that the East India Company required them to receive unwanted taxed shipments of tea from Britain.

Learn more about this important event in US history:

The Boston Tea Party by Cynthia Klingel

The Boston Tea Party by Trudi Trueit

The Boston Tea Party by Ida Walker
The Boston Tea Party by Ida Walker

The Great Separation: The Story of the Boston Tea Party and the Beginning of the American Revolution by Donald Chidsey [found in the Adult section]

The Story of the Boston Tea Party by Mary Phelan

Stop by the Youth Services Desk with any Boston Tea Party questions!

Posted by ws. *Title references the song "Tea for Two" from the 1925 musical No, No, Nanette.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Put on Your Dancing Shoes!

Dancing Animals
We're having a special dance party for kids 0-5 years old and their parents or caregivers. Join us as a local DJ spins fun songs like Love Shack by the B-52's, Van Halen's Jump, and some Bollywood tunes that are sure to get you moving.

Wednesday, December 8
10:30 - 11:30 am
Redwood Room

And if you can't make it to the dance party, you can always try having your own at home by checking out some of our music CDs:

Dancin' Tunes
Children's Folk Dances

Dance Party Fun

Dancin' Tunes

Mickey's Dance PartyLa Di Da La Di Di Dance With Me

Mickey's Dance Party

Mouse House: Disney's Dance Mixes

Feel free to ask at the Youth Services Desk if you have any questions about the program or if you want help finding more kid-friendly dance music.

Posted by ws