Easy Rice Bowl

Check out the super not-fancy dinner I made myself with whatever was left on the shelf after people stocked up on hurricane supplies:

You’ll need:

Shrimp (I used frozen, but fresh is probably better)

Peas (I used half of a can)

1/3 of an onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 red pepper

1/2 raw rice

Here’s the complicated directions:

Chop up the red pepper, onion, and garlic.  I used a rice cooker to make my rice while I did this, but you can use a pot like a normal person (I was hungry and impatient).  Either way, don’t forget the 2-1 ratio for rice.  For every cup of rice you decide to cook, add two cups of water.  In this case, you’ll be adding one cup of water for your half cup of rice.  Anyway, you’ll want to peel the shrimp before cooking it.  I didn’t, and that did not make for easy eating.  Once you’ve chopped everything and peeled the shrimp, throw everything in a pan and cook until the shrimp is done.  The rice should be done by now, so toss that in too.  Wah-lah!

Week Sixty-Eight

I realized that I only number these weeks when I weigh myself and write about it.  I’ve been doing this longer than sixty-two weeks (which is the number week I’d be on if I were just following the pattern).  From now on I’m going to count each week I do this, regardless of whether or not I post.  I’ve been looking for a new center, and I think I found one I can call home.  Now, without further ado, here are my stats:

Over the past few missing weeks, I’ve lost another 2.2, for a grand total of 70.6 pounds.  70!  That’s TEN BABIES!  Ten!  Oh my gosh, you have no idea how great it feels to make it this far.  I brush it off a lot, but secretly, I feel like laughing and dancing on the scale and jumping for joy whenever there’s another loss.

In order to get to my goal weight, I need to lose another 62.8 pounds.  This is the last leg–I’m over half-way there!  I need to buy better fitting clothes this weekend too.  Clothes shopping is beginning to be a favorite thing to do.  Thanks go to all the beautiful, wonderful people who have cheered me on and supported me through this.  Let the final countdown begin!

B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories (Volume Two)

B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories (Volume Two)

Mike Mignola

I didn’t think this volume was too bad.  It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it didn’t cause me any mental pain to read it.  Like the first volume, it’s comprised of many shorter stories rather than one continuous arc.  It follows the BPRD members as they travel to Venice, deal with some witches and help out with a ghost train following a Nazi around.

The main force behind reading this volume was my great affection for the characters.  Mike Mignola is very good at making characters we love and care for, and then he tosses them into different Hells for our entertainment.

At the advice of a commenter, I am going to do everything in my power to get my hands on volume three (which he promises is awesome).  Either way, I am always happy to spend some time with Mr. Sapien.

There was a reference in Hellboy of something bad happening to Roger.  I wonder if it occurs in this series (no spoilers in the comments!).  Regardless, volume three, here I come!

Fright Night (2011)

Fright Night (2011)

As some of you know, I am a huge, huge fan of Doctor Who and so when I found out David Tennant was making an appearance in this movie, I went.  I don’t think I even really knew what it was about until I got to the theater and my friends kept mentioning how surprised they were that I would agree to come see a horror movie (I don’t do scary movies).  Well, to be honest right off the bat, this isn’t so much a horror movie as it is a great movie with some gore and Vampires and bits of surprise waiting around a few corners.

The story was completely corny (I know it’s a remake–still corny), but it worked well.  It was way more gory than I thought it would be, but I like that kind of stuff, so I happy sat through exploding Vampires.  Be warned, parents of small children–this movie is very bloody and the Vampires make scary faces before they eat people.  Otherwise, I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good, fun movie.  David is great, the main character is funny.  I could have done without the lady interest (though the actress has a funny name), but I was able to tolerate her.  I loved it and would definitely see it again.

Oh, and one tiny thing I noticed: The Vampires look a lot like the ones from 30 Days of Night.  The opening fonts are super similar too.  I wonder if this means anything,  or perhaps I missed something everyone else knows?  Just thought it was odd!

Lynbrook VS Westbury

Lynbrook

This library reminds me of an old school from the outside.  Or maybe more like a museum?  Either way, it’s gorgeous.  I stood outside for a little while and simply looked at the street-side facade.  You can’t enter through this grand entrance, but it’s still beautiful to look at.  Around the corner is the teeny tiny parking lot.  If you want to pay for parking, there are dozens of metered spots, but the free lot is very small and I ended up waiting for a spot.

The inside of this library is large and full of books–I went to the reference librarian, and asked for a book (you guys know the drill).  She immediately took me to the shelf, where she very kindly explained the Dewey Decimal system to me.  She was really friendly and even pointed about a few other books I might be interested in (they were related to my topic).  Before leaving, she told me she remembered another book that just came in.  While I was picking a book off the shelf, she came back with a brand new book exactly on my topic.  I couldn’t thank her enough for being so nice and proactive.  The way she helped me made me feel like she wasn’t just waiting to show me to a shelf, but instead was really thinking about how she could get me exactly what I needed.  It was refreshing to deal with such a great librarian.

I wandered the shelves a bit and found the young adult books.  The section was really confusing and I had a hard time following how the books were arranged.  After looking and not finding any graphic novels, I gave up and started towards the circulation desk, only to happen to look over and see them.  I grabbed one and went to the circ desk.  There was a patron in front of me, already waiting.  The clerk was scanning books on the other side of the desk with her back to us.  While I waited, I noticed the children’s room had tons of clocks on the wall to show the different times from places around the world.  That was a GREAT idea to celebrate the summer reading theme!  I hadn’t seen it before and I really thought it was clever.

Another staff member came to the desk and told the clerk there were people waiting to be helped.  She seemed very annoyed (grumbles, glares and all) to have to stop what she was doing to help us.  When it was my turn to be helped, she ignored everything I said to her, checked my items out as quickly as she could and then walked away without a single word to me (even though I was cheerfully trying to start a conversation with her).  I reached across the desk and took my books, leaving this great library disappointed.

Westbury

This library and its parking lot are really long, but really pretty.  I found a parking spot without trouble and walked through the cool looking entrance.  It would be fabulous if next to the library there could be a large reading garden.  Perhaps with a fountain and statues of famous authors.  This is a place where you feel like spending you day reading.  Okay, now I’m really off topic.

Anyway, there are meeting rooms when you first walk in, as well as some offices.  I also believe there’s a quiet study space, but I didn’t investigate very much because the circulation clerk greeted me as I walked in and I wanted to say hello back.

The entire center of the library is media–it was a really impressive collection.  In any case, before going to the reference desk I browsed the DVDs for a little while, then I went to the young adult section, which is located in a nook to the left of the circulation desk (if you’re facing the wall).  It was a great section, and I picked a graphic novel from the ones I saw on display.  After, I finally made my way to the reference desk (which for some reason, I completely missed when I first walked in).  The librarian helped me right away and showed me a display they had on my topic as well as the books they had on the shelves.  I found an interesting title thanks to her suggestions.

I checked out my materials at the circulation desk, where a really friendly clerk mentioned the earthquake and all the media coverage it’s been getting.  We chatted briefly, then I left, glad to have visited.

Bonus, unrelated, other stuff: The Westbury library’s website is AWESOME.  Things move and it’s so much fun to explore.  You can do a lot through the site, and there’s even this feature where you can figure out just how much your library card is worth.  I don’t have a Westbury card, but I plugged in my estimates for what I get from my own card and nearly fainted.  If you’d like to see how valuable your library card is, click here: How much is your card worth?  This has nothing to do with the battle at all, but I just happened to notice how cool and pretty their site was and I wanted to mention it.

Results

When it comes to outsides, both of these libraries are on top.  They’re both very beautiful.  Westbury has the bigger lot for sure, though it isn’t very much larger.  Both libraries had tons of materials to offer patrons.  Lynbrook’s librarian won me over with her extreme helpfulness, but the combination of Westbury’s kind librarian and friendly circulation clerk left me in a better mood as I walked to my car.  Westbury has a clear, neat young adult section, while I had some trouble navigating through Lynbrook’s books.  Though I’d gladly stand outside and stare at Lynbrook’s breath-taking facade, I’m giving this round to the teamwork at:

B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth and Other Stories (Volume One)

B. P. R. D.: Hollow Earth and Other Stories (Volume One)

Mike Mignola

Ahhh…you know that feeling you get when you find something you didn’t even know you’ve been missing?  That’s what reading this volume was like–I missed Abe Sapien so much!  This line of graphic novels follows the characters left behind with the BPRD after Hellboy leaves.  There are some new faces added to the cast (super cool Johann Kraus), but for the most part, it’s the old crew jumping around on adventures and missions.

It’s told in shorter stories, like the middle volumes in the Hellboy series I adore so much.  And Hellboy himself does make appearances now and again, though it’s just in flashbacks.  This volume wasn’t as good as the best of the Hellboy series, but all in all, I enjoyed this dip back into the pool of characters I missed so much.  I really look forward to grabbing volume two.

Dear Kind, Really Good Looking Man On The Subway,

Thank you for the great introduction to Manhattan.  Even though all you did was talk to me and make me laugh, the simple gesture meant more than you know.  I was on my way to the doctor and felt about as unattractive and unappealing as a person can feel, but in four stops, you countered that.  I hope you never miss a subway train, and you always find a seat.  Above all, however, I hope I meet you again.

Love,

The chick who couldn’t help you locate anything you needed to find on the F train

Plainedge VS North Merrick

Plainedge

Without meaning to, I visited this library very close to closing.  It was both a combination of misunderstanding the closing time and thinking it was earlier in the day than it was.  I was greeted pleasantly by a circulation clerk as I walked in, and when I asked a reference librarian for help, she snapped at me that the library was about to close in a minute.  Surprised, I checked the time, and apologized, ready to leave and come back.  She insisted she could help me after all, and walked me to the shelves while asking why I didn’t just look up my own call number.  She handed me a random book that was lying on top of the others on the shelf and walked away before I could thank her.  I took my book and sprinted to the circulation clerk, who pleasantly asked if I found everything I needed.  I thought I would get whiplash from the drastic difference in moods.  I collected my books, and hurried to the car, stepping around the vacuuming custodian on my way out.

I decided since I had made such a big mistake coming only a dozen minutes before closing, I’d revisit this library.  I made sure I had plenty of time to browse and ask my usual question.  I arrived and walked straight to the reference desk.  No one was around, so I waited for a few minutes before I couldn’t hold myself back anymore.  I hurried to the young adult corner and browsed their graphic novel titles.  After finding one I wanted, I returned to the reference desk, which was still unoccupied.  While I waited, I browsed travel pamphlets and new books.  I found one that looked really good, so I wrote the title down on a piece of paper for later reading.

After waiting for almost twenty minutes, I approached the circulation desk and asked if there was a staff member that could help me locate a book.  She not-so-kindly informed me that she was busy and I would have to wait.  Smiling, I stepped back and waited.  When she finished, she beckoned me forward and I asked for a specific book.  She brought me immediately to the shelves and pointed out the general area I would have to look, informing me that I should browse for my book.  She left me at the shelves, nowhere near my desired book.  Frustrated by staff that seemed completely disinterested in helping me, I took the nearest book to me and checked out.

North Merrick

I was told after visiting that this library was once a school.  Looking back, I suppose it did have that kind of feel on the inside, but I don’t think I would have guessed on my own.  The reference room is very large and bright–I went to the librarian and asked my question (as usual) and she happily looked up the call number while I listened to an older gentleman inform her that the day I was visiting was the best day of the summer because there was no rain.  She walked me to the shelves, realized the books she was bringing me to had been moved and quickly looped around to the right area.  Joking that she had intended the mini-tour, she pulled a few titles for me, and left me to choose one I liked.  I felt guilty she had jogged around the library to find my book, but her positive attitude made me feel like she’d do just about anything to find the right book.  It’s a simple gesture, but it made me feel cared for as a patron.

I stopped by the young adult department, which is located by the non-fiction shelves across from the reference room.  I chatted with the lovely librarian there for a few minutes before browsing their graphic novels and grabbing one.  Checking out was completely wonderful–the clerk processed my materials quickly and wished me a good day.

Results

I’m sure you can guess which library wins this round.  I hoped Plainedge’s original mixed signals (welcoming, friendly circulation staff and disinterested, irritable librarian) were because of my own mistake, but a corrected second visit landed me almost the same disappointing service.  North Merrick’s staff served me with a smile, even when they had to go out of their way to do so.  I don’t have to compare buildings, collections or parking lots for these libraries, because regardless of what faults North Merrick has in those categories, I would visit them any day of the week.  The winner of this round is: