Friday, February 29, 2008

They Sell What On Amazon?

Have you ever been on Amazon and wondered why are they selling that? You are not alone. Something, perhaps boredom, made me want to compile a short list of the weirdest things I've found. Some make me say "why are they selling that" while others make me say "why are people buying that?" Most do both. And I'm not even going into all the weird stuff lonely men tend to buy on Amazon (although some of these obviously fall into that category). Enjoy and view at the risk of offending the person next to you...

Weener Kleener Soap...make sure and buy this lovely gift with the Butt Face Soap!

Wedding Chapel

JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank

Nose Pencil Sharpener

Heinz Spotted Dick Pudding...this stuff is actually REALLY good if it's made right.

Infaltable Wife

Nearly Me Gaff

Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom

Dr. John's Famous Pee Pee

EA Brevita Branded Drive-Thru Unit

Venison Carcass

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One More Thing

If you are absolutely sadden by news that you cannot own the previously mentioned bootleg copy of Quiet, Please, ABEbooks is also selling it through one of their sellers.

Also, I will be sending out a more official type email regarding the book sometime in March. If you would like to be on that list and I don't already have your email, then drop me a line at:

Bootleg Update

Lorem Ipsum Books no longer is selling the bootleg/review copy of "Quiet, Please"! Which means someone bought it! I'm so honored. Now if only the person who bought this book would leak it on the Internet (allowing me to join the ranks of J.K. Rowlings) my life long dream would finally come true!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Darn You Oscar!

Occasionally librarians do very serious work. This week was one such week, because it was the Oscars. Oscars give librarians an excuse to do serious research on such important topics as "Who will win best actress." On Tuesday when the votes have been tallied, a librarian who wins is hailed the best person to take with you next time you take to Vegas or want to know what stocks to pick.

I was confident this year. I made some wise decisions in the stock market, and ended making a handsome sum of money. I believed that at last I finally knew how to research. My time had come. I would be the Oscar king! But I lost. I got a score of 19. The winner got a score of 22.

In retrospect, I did pretty good. I wisely choose the right picks for most the categories with movies no one will ever see (i.e. Short doc and live short). My biggest fault was not having faith in the Bourne Ultimatum, and, for reason I'm not sure of, picking There Will Be Blood over No Country for Old Men.

In truth I hate the Oscars (if this statement is true then what is this essay all about?). I have never watched one all the way through (does anyone?), and for the past few years I have watched known of it at all (though I did go to YouTube in search of Jon Stewarts better moments). But I'm a sucker for competition, and am logically drawn to this annual contest.

Oh well. There's always next year...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Contest News: An Update

I promised to have full contest details up in Feb for the "Quiet, Please" book give away....well it's almost March and I have nothing official, but I have something pretty darn close. Thanks to all those email their ideas about what the contest should be.

Unofficially speaking, the contest will be a photo contest of sorts. Participates will be asked to submit photos that best illustrate the insanity of the library. One winner a week will be announce from the end of March to the end of April.

Once everything is official in March, you'll be able to send off your photos. Until then start digging around for photos!

Monday, February 25, 2008

John Warner's New Book

The Web editor at McSweeney's, John Warner, has a new book (So You Want To Be President?) coming out, and is starting a Web campaign to promote it. On Wednesday he is asking fans and wannabe fans to buy pre-order his book on Amazon (basically what this does is boost the sales so people are more likely to see it...Amazon puts the bestselling books first). He hopes it will be the number one humor book in the Political Humor category. If you like McSweeney's, then you might enjoy Warner's book. If you hate McSweeney's then you should still give it a chance! He has a great voice and wit...he write's often on the Web, so you might have read his stuff without even knowing it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Coming to a Theater Near You: Monopoly


"Ridley Scott and his Scott Free Productions are reportedly developing a real-estate film based on Monopoly, though no word what it's about exactly."

I love the game, but you have got to be kidding me!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hot Off the Presses

Advance copies of Quiet, Please arrived at my doorstep today! These are the real thing! Cover and all. Basically it's the first ones off the presses. The rest are still being printed, but will start heading to bookstores sometime in March. A picture is below...and on that note I'd like to give a big shout out to all the fine people at UPS; this special two day delievery would not be possible with out your love and support.

It's a bit with weird to stare at the 300+ pages and think, I wrote that! I didn't know I had so much to say! (Actually the last 250 pages are just me saying, "I love Diana. I love Diana." over and over again! j/k). I don't know that the feeling will ever really go away...I hope not.

Sorry, but most of you will have to wait one more month to read it. In the meantime, read some early reviews about the book here:

*Jessaymn West from

*Steve on Goodreads (who got an advance copy at a book show in January):

*d on Goodreads (a slightly bias review (being as how she's going to marry me and all...and she's in the book!)):

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Great Stuff!

My fiance, Diana, brought this page to my attention because she thought they had great stuff...I happen to agree. Check it out:

Play iTunes Anywhere!

The kid who figured out how to decrypt a DVD at the age of 15 is all grown up, and at it again! This time he's out to get iTunes. In the past, if you buy a song on iTunes, then you're stuck with that song even if you ditch your iPod in favor of a different MP3 player; now Double Twist has unleashed software to take away the DRM encryption on the songs at the touch of a button! And best of all it's free!

Visit Double Twist's homepage to get your copy of this program.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Times They Are a Changing...

It's been a busy week for change this week. BART announced plans for mini-libraries of sorts inside metro terminals (which means we are one machine closer to replacing librarians, but equally closer to having Star Bucks fully staffed with MLIS carrying barista's); Fidel Castro resigned, which everyone knew was coming but still a sign for changing times. And finally, most importantly perhaps, Wal-Mart announced plans to open health clinics in their stores! It's a pretty sorry day in America when the best thing we can do for our citizens is send them to Wal-mart instead of giving them free health care like every other established country in the world; maybe it's just me, but does having your doctor say he's "rolling back prices on a flu-shot" sound just a little scary? When Wal-mart seems to care more about the little guy then the government, then perhaps it's time for change. Sure Wal-mart is only doing it because there's a profit to be made, but if they can find a profit in helping the underprivileged, then why can't the rest of the country...Wal-mart is supposed to be our enemy, not our friend!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Support A Good Cause

Most of you readers probably aren't reading this from work, so you are likely not I will be quick. This Presidents day while all you full-timers are enjoying the day off doing nothing and getting paid, consider doing something something that makes a difference in the world while supporting the field of librarianship.

Some of you are aware, but many of you aren't, of a Canadian non-profit group called "Librarians Without Borders." It's basically the librarian response to Doctors Without Borders. They started a couple years back and now have a little more then 500 members. It's a great organization to get involved with because it's so new, and they'll take just about any help you can give them.

To all you part-timers enjoying this day off with no holiday pay, I feel your pain! I'm a part-timer at four (yes four!) different jobs. Rest assured, however, that membership to this organization is free! You can't argue that.

Get inovolved today:

Now enjoy the rest of your holiday...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Erik the Librarian

Brent Forrester (one of the writers for The Office) has created a new web series called "Erik the Librarian." Four words: BEST LIBRARIAN SERIES EVER! Ok so there's no other librarian series in existence (at least in the U.S.), but it's still pretty funny. Check out the thrid episode in the series below, and make sure and check out the first two also!

The Series is one of the first from 60 Frames, which is teaming with several writers to bring original short shows to the Internet.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Amazon Finally Got It Right...Sort of

Amazon has finally updated my cover with the right if they'd put the "Dispatches from a Public Librarian" subtitle I think they'd be set!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thomas Pynchon

Not long ago I spent nearly all my day, off and on, trying to track down a copy of an international newspaper that printed, allegedly, a current photograph of Thomas Pynchon (by current I mean within the last 10 years). Why? I really don't know. I was bored at work, and honestly (i.e. shamefully), I believe I have developed a huge man crush on Pynchon that revivals only that of David Foster Wallace.

I went through dozens (probably more like hundreds) of websites, databases, and blogs searching for Pynchon's mysterious face. I found his infamous clips from The Simpsons, those shots of him in his youth, a fuzzy picture of the alleged shot that CNN got of him walking down a busy New York City street, and, my favorite, photos that used computer technology (complete with aging filters) to show what Pynchon would look like based on his only confirmed photos (they were scary to say the least).

I confess I enjoyed my search; who wouldn't? They were full of wild theories about his Navy days and what he did to want such deep cover, how he had plastic surgery and was living down in TJ, that he was really J.D. Salinger, and that he had been dead for years and it was really just a group of writers using his name as a pen.

In the end, I still had not seen the alleged photo of him. In the end, I'm not sure I'd want to. The mystery of him is what I admire so greatly. I have The Crying of Lot 49...that's enough to keep me least for now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Let Me Explain...

A lot of people have responded to those library invitations...mostly positive things. One person did wonder if perhaps this whole marriage thing was some sort of twisted publicity stunt because my book comes out the two days after the wedding. It's a logical question that can be summed up quite nicely with a simple no.

Actually, when we set the date, the publication date had not even crossed my mind, and once it did I couldn't have been more thrilled. There are things more important then books and work; one such thing is Diana. The fact that we get to start our new life together right about the same time I get to start a new venture of sorts with my book is fantastic news to me!

If there's actually a person out there who will miss this blog for the week that my book is out, then rest assured I have taken care of you! Roland, who has a few key scenes in the book, has agreed to be a guest blogger that week. I wish I could have found someone more skilled, more tasteful, and more...well basically more, but he was the best of what's left. I am sorry for letting you down. Actually, he's a fine writer with great ideas and I think you'll get a kick out of his thoughts. You can see a little about him by going to his MySpace page ( He also has a blog of his own that we rarely updates, but I can't recall the address.

Also, I should note that I unintentionally failed to mention to people who help Diana & I greatly as we cut and prepared all the invitations. Those two people are Joyce & Amy. To make amends for my failure to mention them and their help earlier, I will promote here an art show that Amy has put together in Los Angeles for Stephen Tompkins( The Found Gallery has put on some great exhibitions in the past (Devendra Banhart, Cold War Kids bassist Matt Maust, and McSweeney's author Salvador Plascencia...just to name a few), and this exhibition will surely match them. So if your in the L.A. area check it out! To Joyce...I'm sorry I have nothing to promote except the fact that Diana is lucky to have you as a friend!

Friday, February 8, 2008

New Library Movie

There are library bands (The Long Blondes), library TV shows (New Zealand's "The Librarians"), and library authors (me!)...long story short, the media is loving librarians right now! So it shouldn't come as any surprise that there's a new librarian movie in the works (yeah I know there's "Party Girl" but it was so long ago)...

Emilio Estevez is filming his followup to "Bobby" with a movie about homeless people in the library. It's called "The Public" and it's loosely based on a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece written by Chip Ward. He is hoping to film some of the movie inside the LAPL building in downtown LA.

I'm really looking forward to this one...I've been a huge fan of his ever since "Men At Work" and "The Mighty Duck" francise! (Sadly, I am serious about this)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

ALA Anaheim Conference

A few of you know that I will be speaking this summer at the ALA conference in Anaheim. If you didn't, I will be speaking at the ALA conference in Anaheim. I'll have more details on that soon, but what I have so far is my date will be Sunday, June 29. I will also be signing autographs at the Perseus Books Group booth probably the same day I am speaking, but none of that is for sure.

If you have never gone to the conference, I encourage you to go and at least see what they are about. If you hate it, it's literally across the street from Disneyland this year, so there's plenty of other things to do! If amusement parks don't cut it, come see me at the library I work at in Anaheim...I'll give a tour!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Library-Themed Wedding

Diana & I have finished putting together our handmade (yes we did it ourselves (although huge thanks must also go out to Joyce and Amy ( who helped cut hundreds of these invites) and have the blisters to prove it) wedding invitations; most of you probably won't get an invite (sorry about that), but I still wanted to share with you what they look like. It's a library theme (it sounds geeky, but it fits us because we both work in libraries...she's a library assistant @ a college and is pursuing a library degree, and I am a librarian).

GPS Phone

I may have finally found a cell phone I can love! It's part GPS, Part Internet browswer, and part phone...

Find out more here:

Monday, February 4, 2008

McSweeney's RSS

McSweeney's has started an RSS feed (They've been around for nearly 10 years! It's about time!). Subscribe now...they won't let you down.

Friday, February 1, 2008

As with most things, I'm a bit late to the game, but I recently started a profile over at ( ); it's something I've been meaning to do for quite some time, but I just never took the opportunity. Check it out if you get a chance, and perhaps we can be friends.

For those of you who have never heard of the site or been there, it's a social networking site for book lovers.