Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Get Smart

Forgive me for projecting, but most women fear turning into:

a) Crazy cosmetics kook: the woman who looks like she uses a Sharpie as lip liner.

b) Depressing woman: the one who calls to say, “Do you remember so and so?” and keeps trying to make you remember some obscure person you met in a previous life. When you finally lie and say you remember said person so you can move on with your day, she tells you, “Well, they passed away.”

c) Cat food lady: the woman who lost it all and now has to eat Nine Lives morning, noon and night.

While the library does not host classes for individuals who insist on using products bought at Office Max as makeup (though we can point you to a few helpful books on the subject), and we can only advise you not to call someone before six in the morning unless the earth is on fire, we can help you a bit on the financial front. Central Library's Smart Investing for Women series continues on Wednesday, December 3rd at 12 p.m. Last time Pam Krueger, co-host of MoneyTrack and author of The MoneyTrack Method, showed us how small amounts of money invested over long periods of time can grow to huge amounts of cash. Hopefully this next class will cover how to stop freaking out everytime we turn on the news. Cookies and sodas will be provided, but you should really bring a lunch so you don't crash twenty minutes after you return to work.

Monday, November 24, 2008



La recién publicada "Enciclopedia del Español en los Estados Unidos" por la directora del Instituto Cervantes Carmen Caffarel es una compilación de más de 80 artículos escritos por hispanos e hispanoamericanos dedicados al español en los Estados Unidos. Esta obra es importante no solamente por el tiempo necesitado para componerlo sino también porque es el único estudio desempeñado de este tipo en este país y en el mundo.
Actualmente, el número de hispanos en este país llega cerca al 15% de la población , o sea, redondamente el 45,000,000 de hispanohablantes. Para el año 2050, esa cifra incrementará al 132,000,000 aproximadamente.
Eso indica que los Estados Unidos es el segundo país de habla hispana debajo de México. Las implicaciones para este país son enormes ya que el español es el segundo idioma utilizado en el mercado internacional. Para las agencias púbicas tanto como las de gestión privada, tendrán que mejorar sus servicios para servir mejor a nuestra comunidad. ¡Pronto estará disponible en nuestras estanterías!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hand Made Especially For You By Me

Recently, the Sacramento Bee ran an Associated Press article about an "alternative handcrafting" movement that is gathering momentum. It seems a growing number of people are beginning to step away from online connections, runaway consumerism and big-box stores in favor of connecting materially in the real world, of hand-crafting limited numbers of unique items for themselves, to give as gifts, and to sell. The Seattle Times also wrote about it, as did the Taunton Gazette.

For Sacramentans with a little time and a sense of adventure, Central Library's crafts collections can provide inspiration and instruction for making this holiday season truly special. From fiber arts like knitting and crocheting, quilting, and home decor to the more robust wooden toys or garden art; from handmade greeting cards to quilling and calligraphy; from decoration of clothing to fashion; from candlemaking and soap to culinary delights for the holidays ... there is something here for the artist in everyone!

The Web is also a treasure-trove of information and ideas for crafters. The Librarians Internet Index is a good place to start, because the sites are vetted by information specialists. Stores like Michael's and Jo Ann also post crafting ideas. Other places to visit include where you can buy and sell all things handmade,, a forum for hand crafters, and Where Creativity Happens, Michael's handicraft how-to videos.

If you'd rather be a consumer than a constructor, this is the season for local craft shows! Whatever your inclination, this can be a handmade holiday season!

Springm's photo used with permission.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Point Reyes, A Sleeping Toddler, Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hinde

So, here I am sitting in my car in the North Beach area of Point Reyes. If you've not been there, you really should go. The strength, size and power of the waves are all quite humbling. I lounge back in the front seat as my toddler son sleeps. It's a busy day, it's gonna get busier, but even a 1 hour nap can give him ample fuel to burn.

While he's "out," I'm awake, and it occurs to I look out upon the Pacific...that Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hinde reached Point Reyes in 1579.

I could squint my eyes just enough to imagine the little 120-footer bobbing its way across the horizon. Oh, and there's Sir Francis dangling off the prow, hand gripping rope, shouting "boys, it's land I see!" Cool. I then refocus my eyes - there's nothing there, except for the same smells, the same sounds and see many of the same sights that Drake and his Salts saw.

It's weird also that I'd chosen to bring the soundtrack from the 1998 film, Elizabeth; that's Elizabeth the First, probably Drake's most generous and well-known patron. Domine secundum actum meum is what I can hear. It was written in 1575 by William Byrd. Haunting, especially with the backdrop of crashing whitecaps. The dirge builds and builds, a tenor spilling out - what to me - is unintelligible, but sublime Latin. I then look at my son, then the ocean, the same one that held the Golden Hinde so many centuries ago, and I wonder what my son's Point Reyes will be. My thoughts lean to less material concepts: tolerance, peace, trust.

I hear a stirring in the back of the car. It's my son. His puffy little eyes open and look over at me. Then his head swings around to an SUV blazing its way out of the parking lot. "Bus," he says. "Yep, that's a bus, sweetheart," say I.

So, how does all of this relate to the library? Well, I may not know what my son's Point Reyes will be, but I do know - a least early on - what shape his Golden Hinde will take. The library. The book. The written word. All of which will sail any sea, traverse any desert, and plant a flag atop any mountain. The economy is down, news about the world is a bit unkind, but one constant in a world of ever-decreasing constants is...our library.

To hear Domine secundum actum meum, click on the image below:

Econo-talk in Central's Sacramento Room

The economy is the big creature with a bull’s head and bear’s body, sitting in the corner of the room. Last Wednesday evening, the 12th of November, the Central Library decided to talk about. With the assistance of CSUS Economics professor, Kristin Van Gaasbeck, and the passion and enthusiasm of a great group of participants, the current and future state of the financial markets, both home and abroad, were discussed in detail.

Plus, those buzz terms that have become near household were thrown about: sub-prime mortgages, credit default swaps, and the sham of the mortgage-backed security. What’s more, the fate of the dollar and the slow, but deliberate conversion of the U.S. economy from one of a manufacturing base to one that is service-centered were tackled.

And, how much is too much regulation, since we know that it’s inevitable with a new administration taking its place on Capital Hill in January?

The expertise and ideas of Van Gaasbeck were illuminating, but what the made the program truly meaningful was the participation of those citizens who joined us. It was a pleasure to watch this cross-section of Sacramento convene in the library to exchange ideas and experiences over an issue that affects every last one of us. My hat is off to Professor Van Gaasbeck and those of you who attended and contributed to this timely discussion.

Photos taken by Julie Garabedian.

Friday, November 14, 2008



"Cuidar la silueta suele ser una preocupación muy frecuente en las mujeres que temen aumentar de peso y perder elegancia. Algunos vestidos se diseñan para realzar la belleza de la silueta femenina, entendida como los contornos del cuerpo.De un modo más genérico, silueta es un dibujo de la sombra de un objeto, o sea, de su contorno, sin tener en cuenta los detalles de ese objeto.La palabra proviene del francés silhouette, y se tomó del nombre de un austero ministro de Hacienda de Francia de Luis XV, Étienne de Silhouette (1709-1767), quien llegó al cargo en marzo de 1759 por recomendación de la favorita del monarca, madame de Pompadour. Este ministro tenía la afición de recortar en papel retratos de siluetas. Silhouette se granjeó la animadversión tanto de la nobleza como de la pequeña burguesía, perjudicadas por sus medidas, con lo que su impopularidad muy pronto se generalizó en toda Francia, a tal punto que en noviembre del mismo año se vio obligado a renunciar. Pero la afición del ministro de recortar dibujos de contornos, que los cortesanos llamaban con desprecio portraits à la Silhouette (retratos al estilo Silhouette), se había hecho famosa y contaba con una popularidad mucho mayor que la del alto funcionario nombrado por la favorita del rey.En 1788, silhouette ya aparecía en francés para designar dibujos de contornos, y en 1835 la palabra era admitida por la Academia Francesa. Pero fue Chateaubriand quien en 1841 usó por primera vez silhouette para referirse específicamente a los contornos de cuerpos humanos.Silueta apareció en el Diccionario de la Real Academia en su edición de 1869, y ya en 1864 era usada por el poeta sevillano Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836-1870) en Desde mi celda:

Absorto en estos pensamientos, doblo el periódico y me dirijo a mi habitación. Cruzo la sombría calle de árboles y llego a la primera cerca del monasterio, cuya destellada silueta destaca por oscuro sobre el cielo, en un todo semejante a la de un castillo feudal."

Monday, November 10, 2008

T.G.I. Over

After the past two presidential elections I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe voting lines rivaling those at Six Flags or an alien invasion from the planet Ork. I probably wouldn’t have blinked had I heard Halle Berry’s baby declared the winner in the Minnesota senatorial race, or that because I failed to check two boxes at the bottom of my ballot, I was now a member of eHarmony and my phone service was being transferred to T-Mobile. Thankfully none of those things happened (I’d better check the phone bill) and Senator Barrack Obama is now our president elect. And while he has some big things to tackle, like our $10 trillion debt, Guantanamo, and finding a hypoallergenic yet completely adorable shelter puppy, here are a few quick actions he could do on day one:

Clone Sasha and Malia
Is it just me, or are these the most gorgeous children? Parents are attractive, Ivy League educated professionals. If Michelle Obama was under age 30 she could sell her eggs for a fortune.

Push up the fall back
Our current Daylight Savings Time schedule, for the lack of a better word, sucks. When I was a kid, you could barely see your hand in front of your face on Halloween. This year it was so bright, the only reason I knew it was time to pass out the candy was I heard a toddler crying on the corner while his mother said, “Stay-with-me-baby-baby-stay-with-me-stay-with-mommy-listen-to-mommy-get-your-butt-over-here-now!”

Speaking of Halloween...
Pass a law requiring people with their lights on to pass out candy to EVERYONE. When I opened the door to trick-or-treaters, I didn’t see Obama supporters or McCain supporters. I saw Iron Man, Spider Man, Batman, Cinderella, a ballerina, a bunch of teens who didn’t bother to wear costumes but wanted candy anyway, and some adults who knew better yet did it anyway.

Outlaw scary Facebook photos
While such Facebook photos have rightfully ended many what-might-have-been fantasies, it’s a bit unsettling to discover your high school crush now resembles the Unibomber.

Keep taking your kids to school
The next time a significant other tells us they can't pick the kids up/take out the trash/drive us to the hospital, we can say, "Don't tell me you're too busy to make dinner when the leader of the free world took time out of his busy day to drop the kids off by the flag pole!"

Host inaugural ceremonies in every state
Considering scalpers are selling tickets for over $20,000, it’s needed. Plus it will save me from either commuting daily from New York because it’s the closest place with an affordable hotel room, or staying at lounges all night and showering at 24-Hour Fitness.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Administration, Same Wall Street Angst: Get the Prognosis for the U.S. and You this Wednesday Night

September 2008: Wall Street’s financial giants take a historic hit. Weeks later, the United States Congress responds with a 700 billion dollar rescue plan, coming in the form of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. To make the issue even more layered, the Obama Administration steps forward with its own intent to push a stimulus package through Congress.

The implications of the plan(s) are many. The credit market, business payrolls, national security, and just overall ebb in economic confidence are all issues that are swirling about, New York to Chicago to Wasilla to London to Sacramento.

On November 12, at 6:00 pm, in the Central Library’s Sacramento Room, find out more about the significance of a wounded Wall Street and staggered American economy, as Sacramento State University Economics Professor, Kristin Van Gaasbeck, joins us.

In addition to addressing the state of financial markets and the economy as a whole, she will take your questions on how these looming issues will affect you, the consumer, investor and business owner.

Registration is encouraged and can be done by calling 264.2920 or by going online to

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton (1942 - 2008)

He gave us the Andromeda Strain and The Terminal Man, the Great Train Robbery, Congo, and Jurassic Park. Michael Crichton, who excelled at combining great storytelling with science and science fiction, passed away on November 4, after a struggle with cancer. He touched many lives, both through his books and through the movies that were made from them.

For a peek into his life, there are many articles in the Biography Resource Center (library card needed if you click the link at home), and in case you want to revisit his books, here's a link to the list in the Sacramento Public Library catalog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Results Updates

Record numbers of voters turned out to register their opinions this year. Thanks for voting!

Some races and votes were too close to call; mail-in ballots are still being counted; Prop 8 voting results are being challenged. NewsBank has a special report on the election - log in with your library card number to read stories published in newspapers across the country.

Ongoing election coverage updates are available at:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Last Chance to Vote!

Need I say more?

Apparently, yes, because there are some people who aren't going to vote because they are still undecided. Though this election cycle officially started around the Nixon administration, they are lost as to what to do. Last night visions of undecided voters danced in my head and all I could think of is this burning question:

Do undecided people eat?

Seriously, do these people eat? Are they able to pick up a menu and decide what they want? Or do they sit staring at the menu their entire lunch period because they can't chose between chicken teriyaki and beef stroganoff? Is it really that hard? Because our political choices look kind of like the menu board at In-N-Out: Do you want a soda or a shake? Cheese or no cheese?

And how can you live with an undecided person? One time in CostCo I watched a woman call her husband because she couldn't decide which detergent to buy. I wanted to yell, "Get the cheapest one with the nicest smell and leave the poor man alone!" But I didn't do that, though had I done so, her husband might have decided to divorce her and marry me on the spot. Thus, by keeping my mouth closed, I saved her marriage. (Considering she likely lives a better life than me, I sometimes question this decision.)

Look, I realize life is confusing, but it's important to make decisions about the place you live in. They're even bribing us with free coffee! So even if you don't care about democracy or where we live, or if 14 year-olds should be tried as adults, at least care enough about caffeine to get out there and pick someone!

You have until 8 pm.

Breaking News: Richard Scarry's "Pig Van" Found in Sacramento?

In a shocking turn of reality, a photo was released today of what appears to be Richard Scarry's Pig Van. The exact location of the photo was not released, but sources say that it was indeed taken in the greater Sacramento area.

Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster all pale in view of this sighting. What's more, there's speculation that the near unintelligable streak on the left side of the photo carries an uncanny resemblance to Smokey the Fire Pig.

Public safety officials from the Capital City all the way up to the National Security Agency have been briefed on the image. World leaders are also ready to summit to discuss the significance and next step to take. In support of any claims to the veracity of the photo, the following image - in particular - is being studied by experts at the CIA in Langley, Virginia.

It is recommended that the public, in order to better aquaint itself with this startling occurrence, head to their closest Sacramento Public Library branch and study up on the artful greatness of Richard Scarry.

It's difficult for this reporter to not impart a bit of editorialism in the face of these quickly-developing events. For the last few months, my son has been convinced of the reality that is Richard Scarry. The existence of Pig Vans, Three-seater Pencil Cars, Beaver-driven bulldozers, and Lederhosen-clad wild boars driving jeeps, are a foregone conclusion to millions of children.

So, what say I to you, fellow grown-ups? Especially in these harried economic times, let's think of a place where Mistress Mouse is the only mechanic you'll ever need to call if your Banana-mobile (and I know we all own one) breaks down.

Stay tuned to grandCentral for any and all breaking news!

RINCóN LATINO: 2008 Festival del Invierno

Le invitamos a todo su familia disfrutar de los días festivos con títeres, música y más.
Los sabados, @ 1:30pm en el sucursal Central, 828 I Street Sacramento CA 95814
  • 16 de noviembre: el Mundo Maravilloso de los Títeres, presentado por Jim Gamble

  • 23 de noviembre: Música de las Americas con Zun Zun

  • 30 de noviembre: el Príncipe Rana con las Marionetas Fratello

  • 7 de diciembre: Felices Fiestas: un concierto con el Sacramento Youth Symphony Premier Orchestra, dirijido por Michael Neumann

  • 14 de diciembre: Andando por la tierra blanca, cuentos y canciones del invierno con Francie Dillon y Teatro del Arte de Marionetas

Monday, November 3, 2008


Mañana el 4 de Noviembre será una fecha histórica porque por primera vez en la historia de los Estados Unidos un ciudadano de raza africana tendrá una gran oportunidad a ascender al puesto más poderoso del país.

Getting Out the Vote

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Time Changes

Why do we do it? We reset the time on clocks, watches, microwave ovens, stereos, car dashboards twice a year as most of the United States adjusts for Daylight Saving or Standard Time changes.

The U.S. Naval Observatory's Astronomical Applications Department lines out the starting and ending dates of Daylight Saving Time, and its history.

From the library's collection, David Prerau's "Seize the Daylight" explains "the curious and contentious story." The Librarians' Internet Index provides additional selected time web sites with information about time and calendars that both adults and kids can enjoy.

Hope you enjoyed your extra sleep-in hour this morning!

Petoo's photo used with permission.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Gwen Stefani and the Public Library

When Gwen Stefani decided to debut Kingston’s new baby brother, Zuma, she didn’t pick just any old Beverly Hills scene. No. She wanted her two-month old son to be associated with culture, intelligence, and a thirst for knowledge. She had only one place to go: the public library. She could have dined out at a hot new restaurant, like the Library Bar in Los Angeles. Or, she could have checked into a fashionable New York City hotel with babe in arms, one like the Library Hotel. The moral of the story: The road to lifelong learning can begin at birth, and Gwen Stefani is one smart mama.