Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial Day Library Materials!

With the three-day weekend approaching, why not celebrate Memorial Day by going to your local public library and checking out some books about the holiday we are celebrating.  Sure, going to the beach and grilling hot dogs is always fun, but before you later up the sun block and pass out those Capri Suns, let us never forget the brave men and women who have served this great nation!  And no, I don’t mean those idiots on “The Jersey Shore.”  Sure, Snooki has a book out too but hopefully that one is still being processed by the library staff and not in circulation yet.

Here are some of my Memorial Day book suggestions, which are currently on the display table at the Gulf Beaches Public Library (so obviously the list is based on the materials currently on the shelves of that specific library.)  I have included both fiction and non-fiction titles in a variety of Memorial Day related topics to appeal to all of your reading interests and weekend activities.  Since most of you aren’t able to visit that library in person, I have also provided some search terms for you and the call numbers so you can find them easily at your own library.  And don't forget that libraries will be closed on Monday, so go today!

Happy Memorial Day to each and every one of you!  May you and your families & friends be safe…and well-read this holiday weekend!

Search topics: Memorial Day aka Decoration Day; veterans; wars remembered: Civil War,WW1, WW2, Vietnam, military service, National cemeteries, American flag, picnics, barbecue 

1. Memorial Day / Vince Flynn FIC FLYNN OR LP FIC FLYNN
2. The widow of the south / Robert Hicks FIC HICKS
3. The leper / Steve Thayer FIC THAYER
4. The ha-ha : a novel / Dave King FIC KING
5. Rules for old men waiting : a novel / Peter Pouncey FIC POUNCEY
6. The lost city / by Henry Shukman. FIC SHUKMAN
7. The valley of light : a novel / Terry Kay FIC KAY
8. The soldier's return / Melvyn Bragg FIC BRAGG
9. The things we do to make it home : a novel / Beverly Gologorsky FIC GOLOGORSKY
10. The year of Jubilo : a novel of the Civil War / Howard Bahr FIC BAHR
11. Moon's crossing / Barbara Croft FIC CROFT
12. An echo of hope [text (large print)] / by Dianna Crawford LP FIC CRAWFORD
13. Pay the devil [text (large print)] / Jack Higgins LP FIC HIGGINS
14. In the fall / Jeffrey Lent FIC LENT
15. The war at home : a memoir-novel Nora Eisenberg FIC EISENBERG
16. Rocket science / Jay Lake SF LAKE
17. The Civil War : a narrative / by Shelby Foote 973.7 FOOTE
18. Battle cry of freedom : the Civil War era / James McPherson 973.7 MCPHERSON
19. The assassins' gate : America in Iraq / George Packer 956.70443 PACKER
20. The wounded warrior handbook : a resource guide for returning veterans / Don Philpott and Janelle Hill 362.1086 PHILPOTT
21. Chicken soup for the Veteran's soul : stories to stir the pride and honor the courage of our veterans 355.0092 CHICKEN
22. The GI bill : the law that changed America / Milton Greenberg 306.0973 GREENBERG
23. Forever a soldier : unforgettable stories of wartime service / [edited by] Tom Wiener 355.0092 FOREVER
24. Voices of war [sound recording] : stories of service from the home ront and the front lines CD BK 355.0092 VOICES
25. The Wall : images and offerings from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 959.7 WALL
26. Chickenhawk, back in the world : life after vietnam / Robert Mason 959.704 MASON
27. Falcon's cry : a Desert Storm memoir / Michael Donnelly 956.7044 DONNELLY
28. Flashback : post-tramatic stress disorder, suicide, and the lessons of war / Penny Coleman. 616.8521 COLEMAN
29. Charlie Company : what Vietnam did to us / Peter Goldman 959.7 GOLDMAN
30. The father of all things : a Marine, his son, and the legacy of Vietnam / Tom Bissell 959.7043 BISSELL
31. Dear America : letters home from Vietnam 959.7 DEAR
32. Under fire [sound recording] / by W.E.B. Griffin AUDIO FIC GRIFFIN
33. Bitterroot [sound recording] / by James Lee Burke. AUDIO MYS BURKE
34. Maya Lin [videorecording] DVD 1340 DOCUMENTARY
35. The best years of our lives [videorecording] DVD 2156 CLASSIC
36. The classic barbecue and grill cookbook / by Marlena Spieler 641.5784 SPIELER
37. Finger lickin', rib stickin', great tastin', hot & spicy barbecue / by Jane Butel 641.5 BUTEL
38. Weight watchers slim ways grilling 641.5635 WEIGHT
39. Indoor grilling 641.76 INDOOR Weber's big book of grilling / by Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae 641.5784 PURVIANCE

Friday, May 18, 2012

Placing Stock in the Value of My Life

Two of my favorite books are Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes and Peter Walsh’s It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan For Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff.  Both books offer insight into how the physical messes in our lives are in direct relation to our psychological messes and vice versa.  Truth is, I am actually a neat freak.  Extremely organized.  Not a single belt or book out of place in the closet or on the shelf.   My problem is that I can’t seem to let go of any of those things due to thinking I might need it later (I know there are many people out there who are the same exact way.)  I also attach emotion to materialistic things.  It is because of the extreme case of this behavior that TV shows like “Hoarders” exist and Peter Walsh can continue writing books about this issue. 

Due to Facebook, we now hoard “friends” as well.  Even the ones we don’t really know or like anymore.  Why do we meet someone once and think we need him or her in our lives when the people we have known for years we don’t even see or talk to…and they live down the street?

FB stock is available for sale today and it really made me want to take stock in the value I have invested in my own life.  Do I really need all this stuff from my past?  Do I want to collect friends I never see or spend time with?

Don’t get me wrong.  Sharing things with people is fine, (I mean that is the purpose of this blog and my FB & Twitter pages.)  The problem I am referring to is when we have an expectation of something or someone becoming more than what it is.  Holding on to the worn out interview shoes I have had for 12 years is not going to help get me a job.  Staying “friends” on FB with that guy I hooked up with isn’t going to get him to suddenly apologize for not being the man I wanted him to be.  And saving a book signed by an author I am not even a fan of? Jeez, let it go!

Like Frances Mayes, I am looking for a fresh start with my new life.  Granted I don’t have the money to move to Italy, but I can start cleaning up the house in my head.  It is hard enough to try to make the necessary changes in yourself, so I certainly don’t need the casual FB reminders that you didn’t invite me to your wedding or that you are sitting on the beach down the block and didn’t think of me.  It’s actually okay with me that I am not a priority in your life anymore, but I am very much a priority in mine.

So from now on, if something or someone in my life doesn’t have a genuine purpose that applies to the person I am today, I’m getting rid of it.  And if you don’t “Like” that, go buy stock in someone who cares.

Renovating my bedroom from NYC apt circa 2003 (all black & red) to
2012 beach theme (blue & white.) I carried this bench 8 blocks in NYC &
it still has a purpose today, proving a great foundation can withstand life's many phases!
I collect seashells I find on the beach, not friends.
My friends need to do more than look pretty for me to find them valuable.
For 12 years, these shoes have taken me on a ton of adventures, (including hundreds of job interviews.)
I am retiring them to the trash along with the baggage of my past.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mark Your Calendars!

Most of May will be spent preparing for my upcoming performances and appearances in California so please mark your calendars should you be in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas this June!  I will probably add a few comedy club gigs in there as well.  Nothing makes me prouder than coming back to Los Angeles to perform with some of my favorite librarians!   

June 9, 2012:
An evening with the Stand-Up Librarian
Yorba Linda Public Library
18181 Imperial Highway
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
7 - 9pm - FREE!

June 25, 2012:
Stand-Up Librarian & The 817's Library Improv Group
American Library Association 2012 Annual Conference
Pop Top Stage in the Exhibit Hall
Anaheim Convention Center
800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92802
10 - 11am - $25