Mountlake Terrace Library Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Best (or Most) of Everything

I always enjoy Seattle Weekly's Reader's Choice Best of Awards with such quirky categories as “Best Place for a Non-Kid Birthday Party” or “Best Place to Splurge on your Pet.” As summer winds down and the days become rainy, I thought it would be fun for us all to share our “best” lists.

So my Peeps, weigh in as I am sure you also have your favorites, and some of my picks might stir some controversy.

Most Handsome Actor (not married to Angelina Jolie)
Since Brad has won People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive Award more than once, I thought I would take him out of the running. And I know you think I am going to say Tom Cruise, but I also have a thing for brooders and no one broods like Ralph Fiennes. See The English Patient.

Most Beautiful Actress (who isn’t Angelina Jolie)
No one has ever been more beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun.

Honorable Mention: Charlize Theron

Honorable Mention no longer with us: Hedy Lamarr

Funniest Musical Film (that Wasn’t Supposed to be Funny)
Moulin Rouge
Now tell me Ewan McGregor did NOT look like a Muppet when he sang.

Best Movie featuring a dragon.
Hard to find but worth it. Who can resist a Dragon named Yowler? And you movie buffs? Did you spot a young Alistair MacKenzie (of Monarch of the Glen fame) listed in the credits as Sam MacKenzie?

Best Film of All Time
Citizen Kane – no arguments.

Honorable mention: Paul Blart, Mall Cop.
Just kidding.
But it is a surprisingly fun film.

Best Lifetime Movie
“Chasing the Dragon” was a particular favorite. Markie Post as a heroin addict was quite entertaining. But the all-time best Lifetime movie title is “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?” (We have Tori Spelling to thank for that one). Even after seeing the movie, I still don’t understand the title.

Best Athlete (who didn't use steroids or run around on his spouse)

Phar Lap.

Best Restaurant when Someone Else is Paying.
I would bet you think I am going to say Canlis. But I am not. I am interested in The Corson Building, one of local celebrity chef Matt Dillon’s ventures (He also owns Sitka & Spruce). It’s not so much a restaurant as a dining experience where you sit at communal tables. The more the merrier and the more the costlier thus my desire for someone else to pay.

Best Food to eat while reclining and watching "The Housewives of New Jersey" Reunion Debacle, I Mean Show (or some other bad reality TV.)
Skinny Cow White Chocolate Truffle Bar followed by a chocolate covered raspberry bar followed by...

Best Coffee Drink
I once ordered my favorite in San Francisco – “Nonfat, sugar-free caramel latte, no whip” – and my daughter-in-law said, “Rosy, this isn’t Seattle!”
What’d I say?

Best New Year’s Eve Resolution (one you can actually keep)
Not to make New Year’s resolutions.

Best Travel Experience (that doesn’t involve wine)
Standing at the Eiffel Tower on New Year’s Eve counting down to 2010, (even if we were on the wrong side for the light show).

Best Day Trip
Recently a young girl and her Dad decided to visit all 21 Sno-Isle Libraries in one day. I think that’s so cool.
Read About It..

Honorable Mention: Woodinville Wine Country (this does involve wine).

Best Dog Breed
No shedding, they are smart, and they really want to be with you.
And they let you dress them up in cute outfits.

Honorable Mention: German Shepherds, but, boy do they whine.

Best Name for the cutest, most darling-est toy poodle on earth.

Best Way to Spend a Rainy Day (Get ready folks!)

Drum roll please.

The library, of course. The library is a destination. You can not only curl up with a book in a quiet corner or travel to fun websites on the computer, but you can also attend classes and quality family programs – all for free.

Honorable Mention: Stay home and watch Lifetime movies or cook something to eat while lying down watching Lifetime movies.

Best Way to Spend a (Rare) Sunny Day
Take the long way to the library.

Honorable Mention: Sculpture Garden or driving your convertible with Bob Seger blasting from the CD player.

Best Book from your Childhood Memory
Does anyone remember the “twins” series by Lucy Fitch Perkins? She wrote “The Dutch Twins, “The Italian Twins,” “The Colonial Twins of Virginia...” You get the idea. It was always a boy and a girl twins. I loved those books and remember my anticipation as I headed to the library to check out yet another in the series. I read every single one and then my friend, Chuckie and I would act them out. Early acting bug.

Best Return for your Tax Dollars
We pay the price in taxes for just about everything but how often do you actually have to use the services you pay for such as the fire department or the police? Do you get personal service and a smile from the roads or the DOT? For the small amount you pay to maintain your library, you get books, DVDs, CDs, talking books, teen programs, children’s story times, computer classes, citizenship classes, quality family programs and much more – all delivered to you with a smile by friendly, approachable people who love what they do. That’s pretty priceless.

Best Blog.

Best Sno-Isle Library Experience.
You tell me!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Two Weddings and a Baby

July 31st was Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. As Bill and Hilary Clinton’s only daughter, it is understandable that they would want to throw her a big wedding.

July 31st was also my only daughter’s wedding day and, though it didn’t equal Chelsea’s in expenditures or attendees, it was a lovely affair. Did I mention that the wedding and reception were not only held outdoors but outdoors in our garden.

My son was married last summer so that makes two weddings in one year. I have been the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride, so I feel I am well-placed to offer up tips to those of you who are currently planning a wedding (or if you just want some laughs about the pitfalls).

I will get to how this fits in with the library later (and you know I will).

Here is what I learned:

  • If you decide to have the wedding and reception at your home, as the day approaches and you notice the windows are dirty, the kitchen needs to be cleared out and you haven’t seen your spouse for days because he has been completely redoing the yard, you will find yourself muttering, “What was I thinking?” You will also start checking the weather every day starting months before the wedding date.

  • If the wedding is outside at your home, you must make sure to ask your neighbors to not use power tools during the ceremony. However, that will not stop the guy down the street from yelling to his wife and belching during the “I do’s.”

  • If you are the Mother of the Bride (MOTB), you and, I mean, you and The Bride, call the shots. If you are the Mother of the Groom (MOTG), you don’t.

  • The MOTB might either attend a shower for her daughter or host one herself –a shower, as in “showering” the bride with gifts. You will play games at this shower such as trying to guess the celebrity whose face you have so meticulously pasted onto a picture of a wedding gown or making wedding gowns out of toilet paper in teams.

  • The first meeting between the respective parents can be awkward. To avoid that, plan to meet somewhere where the atmosphere takes over such as Teatro Zinzanni or a rodeo.

  • Whether you are the MOTB or the MOTG, be sure to find a dress that has some wiggle room. Don’t think you will lose weight by the wedding day in order to fit into a smaller dress. So plan for that. In fact, you will probably gain weight under the stress of wedding planning (I have fond memories of late nights with just me and Baby Ruth). I can’t think of anything worse than on the day of the wedding your dress won’t zip up. Well, I can actually think of worse things (and I thought of them), but let’s not go there.

  • During the reception, when your sister yells out “The food is cold,” it is best to ignore her and pour her another glass of wine.

  • If a big karaoke machine with 18,000 songs is your main reception entertainment, try to keep the FOTB (Father of the Bride) from hogging the microphone, even though he is a great singer (he told me to add that). However, ending the evening with a group-sing of "Bohemian Rhapsody will be a high point.

  • After you have invited everyone back over to the house for breakfast the next day, you will again mutter, “What was I thinking?” This comes up again when you are still finding half empty beer bottles in the strangest places weeks later.

  • Psychological help will be needed after the wedding is over when you realize your child is gone for good (unless you didn’t like your child and, in that case, you would still need psychological help).

    But despite the work and stress, there is satisfaction that your child has found love and happiness, and you hope that the bride and groom will be great partners.

    Speaking of great partners....

    (I told you I would get back to libraries).

    Just as in marriage, where two people join together to form a partnership that is beneficial to both, so the library is a community partner.

    In fact the Williamsburg Regional Library System patterns their levels of partnership after a courtship that can lead to marriage:

    It starts with a "glance" (any contact), a "date" follows (an agreement between the library and a group/business to accomplish a specific activity) and then an "engagement" (a formal agreement to work together toward a marriage). If all goes well, in library partnerships as in life, a "marriage" will take place (a formal agreement between the library and the community partner to share the work, the risk and the results).

    These levels of partnerships can take many forms.

    Knowing the importance of keeping teens involved in their local communities, a business might regularly supply refreshments for the Teen Advisory Board meetings.

    Or wanting to help children get ready to be successful in school, a group might want to give money and add their sponsorship to an ongoing literacy project.

    Or a local senior center might encourage its members to volunteer at the library so that the seniors can be active.

    And in return the library provides local businesses with resources to help them succeed.

    They partner with the schools to provide homework help and study areas.

    They partner with senior centers to provide life-long learning opportunities for adults.

    They partner with health agencies to provide literacy information to new mothers.

    The levels and possibilities for partnerships are wide-ranging.

    Continuing to initiate and maintain strategic partnerships is part of the Sno-Isle Libraries Strategic Plan, and I am proud to be on a team working on how this might take shape.

    As we move forward, you will see many positive changes at the library and library staff more and more involved in community events outside the library.

    Your community library is a great partner!

    Oh, I suppose you are wondering about the “baby” in the title of this entry?

    Remember I said my son was married last summer?

    Lots of positive changes - at the library and at home.
  • Monday, August 2, 2010

    Getting Crafty With Duct Tape, And So Much More

    This Wednesday from 4-6pm at the Mountlake Terrace Library we will be having a really fun program for teens called DIY and SIY: Duct Tape Wallets. DIY stands for Do It Yourself, and SIY for Sing It Yourself as we will have our karaoke machine available for extra fun.

    Often people ask why we offer teen programs that do not have a clear tie to literacy. While books and reading are a huge part of our mission, we also care very much about helping create great communities, too:

    The mission of Sno-Isle Libraries is to be a community doorway to reading, resources, and lifelong learning, and a center for people, ideas, and culture.

    With a program like DIY & SIY, we are encouraging teens to have fun with learning new skills, and think of learning as something more than just what happens at school. Our teen programs are a place where teens can share ideas and take part in all kinds of culture. Also, we follow the philosophy of The Search Institute. They have a list of 40 Developmental Assets, things that help kids develop into happy, healthy, community minded adults. When developing our programs, we keep these in mind.

    So while a program like duct tape wallets might just seem like fun on the surface, we hope we can provide these assets for teens, too:

    #3 Other Adult Relationships | Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
    #7 Community Values Youth | Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
    #17 Creative Activities | Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
    #25 Reading for Pleasure | Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
    #33 Interpersonal Competence | Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
    #34 Cultural Competence | Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
    #37 Personal Power | Young person feels he or she has control over "things that happen to me."
    #38 Self-Esteem | Young person reports having a high self-esteem.