Island Park VS Island Trees

Figures that I managed to pair these two together, right?  Whoops.  In any case, onto the battle!

Island Park

I’ve been to this library once before years ago (it was when I first bought my new car–I remember because I sat in the parking lot trying to figure out how to turn my high beams off for an embarrassingly long minute) for a book signing.  It rained the entire night and all I could remember was that the library was really tall and that it was located in the middle of no where.  Well, the library is still tall, but driving there in the dry day made me realize it’s not even close to the middle of no where.  I probably got lost and had to loop around the first visit–it was really mind-blowing when I got there quickly, only to realize it’s right next to Long Beach library.  Anyway, I’m really off topic.  Back to the actual library!

When you first walk in, the library seems incredibly small.  Children’s is to the left, the front desk to the right and young adult in the back.  However, there are stairs to the far right which bring you up to the rest of the library.  I kind of like this characteristic because the small floors give you the intimacy of tiny libraries while also vertically packing in the space of the bigger libraries.  I asked the librarian for help, and she pointed out display book I could browse.

When I went back to ask another question, the librarian was snacking and didn’t notice me for an awkward couple of minutes, even after I said, “excuse me.”  When she did look up though, she pointed me the direction of what I was looking for.  I found a book that was perfect for what I needed, and sat down in the young adult section for a few minutes to read through what I got.  Speaking of, the young adult department is its own corner towards the back of the first floor.  I sat at a table for a few minutes and felt completely isolated from the rest of the library.  As I picked out a graphic novel (which I didn’t quite see a section for, they were in piles around the shelves), I new studying here would be nice.

While I waited to be checked out, I listened to a man complain that he didn’t check out enough books during his last visit.  He explained that he and his wife had gone to the beach and read through the series they had borrowed.  Now, a day later, he was back for more.  I love hearing things like this.  The librarian who helped me checked out my materials since the other woman behind the desk was occupied with the avid beach reader.  As she blooped my card and books, she chatted about her own life, her daughter, and the weather for the weekend.  It was a really nice way to end my trip.

Finally, the parking lot is in front of the building but is a bit small.  I had to wait for a spot to open up, but it isn’t timed spots, so that’s a plus.

Island Trees

This library is located next to a school, though I was told by a librarian it isn’t a regular elementary school.  I was a bit disappointed to hear that because up until that moment I was imagining the hordes of children running to the library after class.  When you walk into the building, you have to pass through a bit to get to the library (I must have looked completely insane when I peeked inside to make sure I wasn’t turning into staff offices, which I’ve done before).  Past the circulation desk is the reference desk and beyond that, the young adult desk.  They have a section for graphic novels, though it’s a bit awkwardly placed.  To view them, I felt like I was invading the librarian’s personal bubble (which didn’t stop me because I have a weakness for them).  Even though the YA section was small, it gave off the impression that it was still its own space.  The librarian jumped to help me while I was waiting to ask a question at the reference desk–she was incredibly nice and just walked me over to the section I wanted without hesitation.  She seemed like someone who cared deeply for her job by the way she explained the collection on the walk to the books.

Across from the circulation department is the children’s room, which, unlike the reference and young adult department, is its own room.  It reminded me a lot of a kindergarten classroom, something I really enjoyed (both kindergarten and the feel of the room).  When it was time to check out, I couldn’t have had a better circulation experience.  The clerk was loud and didn’t hesitate to pull me into the conversation she was already having.  I felt like coming here would be like visiting friends, or going to places like the bar or salon: you make friends with the employees and not only get a service, but also get a chance to talk to real people who genuinely care about your day.


Now here’s where I have to pray I don’t mix up the names.  Island Park was bigger and had more nooks for quiet study, but Island Trees had a staff that really made the visit worthwhile.  Both librarians that helped me brought me right to the  kind of books I needed, though Island Trees had a young adult librarian, despite the lack of a walled in section (also they had tons of graphic novels).  Both had parking in front (Island Trees has masses more) and both aren’t timed.  I like the quietness and intimacy of Island Park, but I’m going to have to give the round to the helpful ladies at:

Half Dead

Half Dead

Barb Lien-Cooper

This graphic novel sounded so good when I first picked it up!  Tell me this doesn’t sound awesome: It’s about a ballerina in London who is caught in the middle of a fight between a team working for the British government and terrorist Vampires.  I greedily read through this volume, expecting the amazing story the back cover promised, but sadly I was disappointed.

The art is great, as is the concept and plot.  However, the story itself seems really rushed and some things aren’t explained properly.  It almost seems like the authors were forced to make a longer story short for the sake of saving pages.  I would have loved to see this turned into two or three volumes and many of the concepts explored in greater detail, such as the holy water back-trap.  I hope this gets picked up again in a later volume and that the authors take their time bringing us through the plot.  It was quite a disappointing read, and I only recommend it to those who aren’t looking to be wowed by a new graphic novel.

Piece #13 – Me!

When I asked everyone to make their art piece about me, I had already done mine.  You can see from the date that I’m totally not lying!  I thought it would be important for me to make mine before getting any of the others (so I wouldn’t be influenced by any), and post mine last.  I don’t know what to say about it besides I included everything I like as well as all the things I love about myself.  I drew a second picture that couples with this one, but I decided not to show it since sometimes things should be kept for just the artist.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project as much as I have–It’s forced me to look at my friends and my relationship with them as well as look at the way others see me.  Thanks go to all those who helped me out by giving me  pieces.  It means the world to me!

Houdini: The Handcuff King

Houdini: The Handcuff King

Jason Lutes

This graphic novel shows us just a small snippet into the life of Houdini.  I’ve always had a little obsession with this man.  I love the way he led his life, his bravery and his dedication to every aspect of his life.  Most of all, I adored the way he loved his wife.  His fascination with the occult and afterlife didn’t hurt either.  This story focuses on his relationship with the audience, the press and his wife.  I thought it was very well done.

It’s short, but it is interesting.  After the story, there is this really cool bit where certain pages are featured and details are examined more closely.  For example, the author explains why reporters had to call in with their article (no internet or texting here!).  Other aspects, such as how his tricks are portrayed in the story, are explained as well.

I thought this graphic novel about the man we know as the greatest magician to ever live was well done, entertaining and informative.  I recommend it to anyone looking for a good read, especially about Houdini.

Malverne VS North Bellmore


Malverne is a small, but very homey library.  While I visited there was no one at the reference desk, but I contented myself with browsing their shelves for a little while.  The staff was very inviting and I didn’t feel like there was any rush to leave.  Quite the contrary—they made me feel like they wanted me to stay.  A librarian asked if I needed help finding books, but at that point I was frantically writing down several titles I wanted to come back to and declined help, though I was grateful she asked.

I found the young adult department (which is a cute little nook in the corner of the children’s side) with ease, and browsed around for graphic novels.  I didn’t find them right away.  I did, however, find the children’s graphic novels.  I found the YA graphic novels after a bit of searching (they’re around the corner on a shelf behind the children’s desk).

During checkout, the circulation staff member was really clear about my due dates—two of my items had different return dates, so she made sure I was aware of that.  I really liked this, because it’s too easy to assume when books are due–and just assuming books are all due at the same time sometimes leads to a lot of late fees.


North Bellmore

I parked in the back of the building and walked passed a really cute garden area I thought would be great for afternoon reading, then walked all the way around to the front of the building.  I’m beginning to notice a trend with my ability to find correct parking.  I was greeted by a circulation clerk when I entered, and happily (greeting patrons really does make their day, promise) walked to the reference desk to ask my question.  The librarian was extremely friendly and not only looked up my book, but also offered me a ton of other sources I could go to if I wanted more information.  Many of them were sources I had never considered, and having such an open dialogue between the two of us made me feel very comfortable asking questions.

After she wrote down the location of the books I wanted, she handed me the paper and immediately started helping the patron behind me.  I had no idea where the books were located, so I turned back to ask for help, but she wasn’t free to answer.  This made me feel quite awkward, so instead of waiting by the desk for her to finish, I wandered around for several minutes until I found the books I needed.  I chose one I liked, then browsed their young adult books, which were located in the back of the library.

The clerk who greeted me when I walked in checked out my materials and commented on the things I was bringing home.  We had a friendly chat before I left, which left me in a cheerful mood.


Malverne was the smaller library, though North Bellmore really didn’t tower over this round in terms of size.  I noticed that Malverne’s staff walked around the library asking patrons if they needed help, which was really nice when compared to the sudden drop in service at North Bellmore.  It was strange to get so much attention, then be left to fend for myself as soon as it came time to physically find the books.  Parking was nicer at North Bellmore (Malverne didn’t have its own lot*) and it seemed to have more space for studying, though Malverne did have a really cute area towards the back for sitting.  For staff that seem to genuinely want to help as much as possible and great atmosphere, I’m giving this round to:


*Edit: A kind commenter informed me that there IS a lot (but it is small).  Please keep this in mind!  I parked across the street, so even without finding the lot, I found a spot without trouble.

Dear Diner Guy,

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  What just happened?  Did you really just hand my change to my male friend standing over a foot behind me even though I handed you the check and money?  I couldn’t help the look of complete shock as I watched you hold out the money for him to take, even after he hesitated to accept it.  I also couldn’t help the extreme laughter that ensued the moment I stepped out of the front door.  I know you heard me because you came outside to see what was going on, but I just honestly didn’t know how else to let you know that your extremely silly sexism had been noticed.


The chick you didn’t think could handle the change

Piece #12 – Sandra

How completely incredible is this piece?  Me as Charlotte Bronte?  Amazing.  Sandra is one of my oldest friends and even after years and years of knowing one another, I still find her hilarious and amazing.  There is not one inch of her that isn’t awesome and it’s clear from this picture that she not only knows me well, but she’s very skilled.  I see a future Halloween costume in the making.  Thanks Sandra!

Week Sixty-Two

I lost another pound this week, bringing my total to 68.4 pounds.  Last night I went out and ate a lot of food I’ve been holding back from having for a while.  After much debate about whether or not I should eat what I was craving, I ended up just going for it and having the order I wanted (even though it was really not the best option ever).  The food was delicious and I still lost weight.

Lesson learned?  If there is something you’re craving, have it.  As long as you don’t splurge all the time, treating yourself nicely won’t hurt you.  I find it even helps if you plan accordingly.  If you really want a burger (another craving I had this week), then have a light breakfast and lunch, and enjoy your juicy burger for dinner.  Don’t deny yourself anything.  It’s worth it–you’re worth it.  Treat yourself kindly.

Outside of food, I’ll be in Montauk tomorrow (let’s pray the thunderstorms get stuck in traffic).  I’m pretty excited about the whole mini-trip, so expect to see photos and stories from it.  The art project has two weeks left–keep those ideas coming as to what you’d like to see on Sundays!  That’s all for now.  Have a great week!

The Dopple Ganger Chronicles: The First Escape (Book One)

The Dopple Ganger Chronicles: The First Escape (Book One)

G. P. Taylor

This is the first book in a series (I believe at the moment there are currently two others).  It’s about the adventures and rescues performed by the Dopple twins and their friend Eric Ganger.  The three are orphans who are  tossed into a sea of bad luck and even worse authority figures, though in the end they manage to save  the day (and one another).

The book is half-traditional novel, half-graphic novel.  I was so excited to read it.  However, it quickly left me feeling pretty disappointed.  Firstly, the writing isn’t very good and the beginning of the novel felt awkward and unedited.  The art of the graphic novel parts was elementary and finally, there is a whole section in the center of the story revolving around a  magician had-been that seemed completely out of place and useless to the plot.  It might come back in future installments as something important, but for this book, I just didn’t understand the point of including it.

The only things I liked about this book were: the cover and the feel of the pages.  They are printed on thick card stock, which I really enjoyed.  I managed to read through this volume over several days, but I won’t be picking up any of the others in the series.  Stay away from this one–it was a killer!