"Without music...

by tosca on Wednesday, October 26, 2011

...life would be a mistake."
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

In which Tosca blathers on about 4 covers of Massive Attack's 'Teardrop' that she now cannot live without. Or something like that. And I know, it's Wednesday and this should be a work-reflective post but thanks to the long weekend I'm a day behind everybody. (Which is a common occurrence even when there's no long weekend, let's face it).

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'Comic books are a way for people to get away from the real world...

by tosca on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

...They don’t want to be reminded of wars or tragedies or economic catastrophes."
~ Mark D. White

In which Tosca discovers that her graphic novel reading experiences to date have been mere dabbling. Now, finally, she has an inkling of why people enjoy them so much. Can she got a w00t!

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"Goals allow you to control the direction of change...

by tosca on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

...in your favor."
~ Brian Tracy

Ordinarily, I don't have many IT hassles. If something needs doing, or if there's some skill I suddenly find I need in order to get something done, it's a simple enough thing to figure it out for myself. That method usually works best for me. The odd time or two I can't get it done that way, then I'll discuss it with someone else. Someone much more rational and sane than I am. Usually with Danielle and Natalie because they know everything. But this time, I don't think they can help me. See my sad face :( So, what's the problem? It's this: I really suck at fielding downloadable media queries. Like, really suck. And so I've decided that I have to do something about it, because I'll be damned if I let it get the better of me.

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'Driver picks the music...

by tosca on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

...shotgun shuts his cakehole.'
~ Dean (played by Jensen Ackles) to Sam (played by Jared Padalecki) in Supernatural, pilot episode

In which Tosca posts out of order, with the wrong topic on the wrong day, about something that isn't even remotely related to libraries and/or books. Quite possibly isn't funny, either, but I love it and that's all that matters. In fact, it's an REO Speedwagon clip/Supernatural reference. Why? Because I can.

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'Let your performance...

by tosca on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

...do the thinking.'
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

In which Tosca realises that this is going to be one of those weeks where she has more questions about libraries and, as is usual lately, offers no answers whatsoever. For the simple reason that she doesn't have any answers. I don't know that there are perfect answers at all, actually. This time around I'd like to know why we measure the success of our services by playing a numbers game. Is it really an accurate depiction of how well we're doing? Or of how many people we're actually reaching? Do stats/reports/numbers really mean that we're providing the best quality library services that we can?

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'If you ever plan to motor west...

by tosca on Monday, August 22, 2011

...Travel my way, take the highway that is best
Get your kicks on route sixty-six'
~ 'Route 66' by Nat King Cole (written by Bobby Troup)

In which Tosca writes a somewhat long and rambling post with no point whatsoever except to state what she's reading (which is also related to her 2013 international trip). C'est tout. The clip is, of course, Nat King Cole's version of 'Route 66.'

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'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself...

by tosca on Thursday, August 18, 2011

...You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'
~ Angela Carter

In which Tosca started to write about her family (because it's Thursday) and does (in a roundabout way) but ends up with more questions about New Zealand public libraries. Again. And this time asks: Why don't we talk about books, anymore? When did it become a dirty word? When did it become incidental to what we do? Did it just happen over time as library services started to change? Did we not notice until too late? Have we noticed at all? I do apologise in advance for making this week a Cranky McRanty Pants weeklong barrage of library-related posts *pulls a face* but I have lots of questions and no answers. I don't know what I would do with the answers if I did have them. I just find that the more I puzzle things through, the more questions it always engenders. I guess that's life.

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'Love is the outreach of self...

by tosca on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

...toward completion.'
~ Ralph W. Sockman

In which Tosca has more questions about NZ public libraries. It's Wednesday which means that for once this week I am actually on track for writing a library related post (even though I've done it twice already). However, then I stuff it up slightly by not writing a reflective post at all, so much as asking questions about outreach - what we do, how we do it and whether or not it's still relevant or in need of revision. I guess what I really want to know is: Do NZ public libraries still do outreach?

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'That silhouette creates an image and a night I won't forget...

by tosca on Tuesday, August 16, 2011

...it has a scent of something special
I can't rest
If I resist temptation
Oh, I know for sure that I will lose the best'

~ Caro Emerald's song A night like this from the album Deleted scenes from the cutting room floor

In which Tosca takes a break from Cranky McRanty Pants library posts and, instead, mellows out a little and shares a music clip. C'est tout. (Yes, I realise that the post quote is longer than the intro).

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'When I got my library card...

by tosca on Monday, August 15, 2011

...that's when my life began.'
~ Rita Mae Brown

In which Tosca has more questions about libraries, only this time in relation to books in general and readers' advisory in particular. I don't proclaim to know the answers to any of what I'm about to ask. I guess it's more my way of talking aloud in an effort to clarify some thoughts I've had about readers' advisory and how I don't think we've quite managed to do it justice in the past. I also don't expect that anyone answers, but it sure is the icing on the cake if this strikes a chord with someone, somewhere.

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'The quality of our work...

by tosca on Sunday, August 14, 2011

...depends on the quality of our people.'

In which Tosca has been having rather deep thinky-thoughts about customers, who they are, how we think we're doing it right but don't always and other trivial stuff. You know, the usual.

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'For many people a job is more than an income...

by tosca on Thursday, July 28, 2011

... - it's an important part of who we are. So a career transition of any sort is one of the most unsettling experiences you can face in your life.'
~ Paul Clitheroe

In which Tosca discovers the importance of tea breaks, namely that I feel less like whacking people if I regularly get sugar and food, and then realises that if something as simple as a tea break solves that problem then maybe she can find other tricks to make work more enjoyable. And perhaps the workplace will be a more enjoyable (although I'll settle for bearable) environment to be in.

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'Reading - the best state yet...

by tosca on Monday, July 25, 2011

...to keep absolutely loneliness at bay.'
~ William Styron

In which Tosca shares what she's reading at the moment (funny title, funny book) and takes time out to leave numerous links of interest here as well (yes, even though Link Love posts aren't until Saturday).

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'...the relentless Maorification...

by tosca on Friday, July 15, 2011

... of every bloody thing in New Zealand.'
~ John Ansell

In which Tosca finds herself surprised that she isn't angry about Ansell's comments so much as she is resigned. And thinks that maybe that's a worse thing to be.

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'Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his...

by tosca on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

...aren't very new after all.'
~ Abraham Lincoln

In which Tosca discovers that Steven Lowe and Alan McArthur have read her mind about some of the exasperating crap that makes up modern culture and have written another book about it. Yay. (And wishes she could say that she'd found it using some fantastic scientific method but admits to using a keyword search for, well, 'shit'). Or something like it. Did you really expect anything classy?

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by tosca on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

...is a four letter word.'
~ Lenny Bruce

In which Tosca shares a book cover that made her forget what she was looking for in the first place, and a dvd title that will give her the swear-fest she wants to indulge in but won't, and do it in a classy way to boot (maybe)...because she can.

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'For some moments in life...

by tosca on Monday, July 4, 2011

...there are no words.'
~ David Seltzer in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

In which the death of a child makes Tosca somewhat sad and reflective. Or something.

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'A book is a gift you can open...

by tosca on Sunday, July 3, 2011

...again and again.'
~ Garrison Keillor

In which Tosca shares a book cover that may never get opened, ever ever ever, because she's sure women everywhere will die happy just looking at the cover. Or something like that.

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'We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion...

by tosca on Friday, July 1, 2011

...and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still."
~ John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

In which Tosca moderately expresses her disappointment at what passes for 'journalism.' An epiphany that came about as a result of reading an online article that discusses how Auckland Libraries will stock a controversial book and is amazed that this is considered 'reporting' - and I use that word loosely - because it's rather stating the obvious, isn't it? Isn't that what public libraries do? Stock books? And which controversial book in particular? We have thousands of books, a good chunk of which have been challenged and or banned at some point or another.

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'There are two ways to live...

by tosca on Thursday, June 30, 2011

...you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.'
~ Albert Einstein

In which Tosca offers up an unusual title she found in the catalogue purely by accident (funny what you find when you perform a keyword search using the word 'fuck' isn't it?), remembers she never congratulated her older sister on her success...two years ago *shamefaced look* and shares a work blog post here.

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'A heart that yearns...

by tosca on Thursday, June 23, 2011

...be careful.'
~ Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks

In which Tosca feels slightly nostalgic and yearns for the days when she and Kyle MacLachlan (as very Special Agent Dale Cooper) were younger. Much younger. Like twenty years younger. And somewhat dumber. Ok, a lot dumber, but hey, that's life. And besides, know me before you judge me. Two video clips courtesy of YouTube: one from Twin Peaks and a Barenaked Ladies music video.

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'Every book is a children's book...

by tosca on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

...if the kid can read!'
~ Mitch Hedberg

In which Tosca finds two unusual book titles in the catalogue and feels a burning need to share them. Umm but kids probably won't read them. Even if they could do so.

It's Wednesday which means this is a 'What the...?! - funny, stupid, oddball book titles' kinda post. No intro because 1) I can't be bothered and 2) the books don't need one, really. They're about organic waste as fertiliser - what more can I say? And, maybe the next time someone shovels me bullshit, I know what to do with it...grow flowers.

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'The time to read is any time...

by tosca on Monday, June 13, 2011

...no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary. It is the only art which can be practised at any hour of the day or night, whenever the time and inclination comes, that is your time for reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness.'
~ Holbrook Jackson

In which Tosca works on getting back her broken book mojo by reading a number of books - three horror titles courtesy of SFFANZ for reviewing, and three graphic novels found while generally hanging out in subversive pockets of our library catalogue. Namely, yaoi graphic novels (two with the sex scenes ripped out of them) and zombies (with the horror scenes intact).

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'Don't ask yourself what the world needs...

by tosca on Friday, June 10, 2011

...ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.'
~ Howard Thurman

In which Tosca is inspired to take back her joy. And yes, it truly is as corny as you think it's going to be.

Last month I met a guy who knew his way around a bed. That's not a euphemism. Dylan is a sales assistant and he earns an income selling beds. On the face of it, it may not seem particularly inspiring, and yet within two minutes of chatting with him I learned four things: 1) Dylan is enthusiastic about what he does, 2) he knows his product, 3) he believes in the quality of it and 4) can quite happily put his money where his mouth is. When I met him he'd only worked there for about two weeks but - and this is the bit that amazed me - had chosen to use his lunch breaks and personal time to visit local competitor stores. He would test their beds and see how much their staff really knew about their business. I was fascinated by his attitude. It made me think to myself, 'When was the last time you felt that energetic and fired up about what you do?' And the answer is, 'Not in months.' Probably seven, actually, if I'm honest. I had often wondered if maybe my enjoyment of what I do had gone for good and if maybe it was time to move on. Listening to Dylan, though, I began to realise that, maybe, some of the responsibility for making my job more enjoyable had to be mine. I needed to step up. I needed to create, find or foster activities/opportunities that would give me back what I used to love about it all. I came away inspired by Dylan's attitude and determined to take back my joy. Yes, I'm fully aware of how totally dopey that sounds. He made me believe that I could feel that exact same way about something, anything. (I'm hoping like heck that last sentence didn't come across as irony or, worse, apathy). I'm just not sure how, yet. That will be the next step.

'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio...

by tosca on Thursday, June 9, 2011

...Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'
~ Shakespeare, Hamlet

In which Tosca is depressed and frustrated that today's taniwha in-joke results in her cultural beliefs becoming the butt of a nationally recognised corporate joke. My personal tweetstream was busy today with the hashtag #taniwha that I didn't get at first and, when I did, I was taken aback, and then grumpy, and then depressed. So much so that I posted in a hurry and know I will have grammatical errors (Maori and English) galore. Deal. I am.

Amended note - 11:10pm: I'd like to point out that what I saw on my personal tweetstream was not instances of the people I follow making jokes or throwing off about Maori and the #taniwha topic. It was mentions of the article I saw in my personal tweetstream. Where I hit the skids was in being curious enough to want to look up people's personal comments and opinions online in various blogs and websites.

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'Nothing is so fatiguing...

by tosca on Wednesday, June 8, 2011

...as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.'
~ William James

In which Tosca apologises (albeit briefly) for being a slacker tarty face and not updating more often and promises faithfully to do so from now on. Or something like it.

Dear beloved blog with the rather unprepossessing and longwinded title of 'confessions of a southside catatonic chataholic,'

I have not forgotten you, I swear. Soon, very soon, I hope to love you longtime with library, family, work and book related posts that display my charm and wit. Failing that, let's aim for showcasing my (sometimes erratic) ability to conjugate verbs and construct (somewhat) cohesive sentences and take it from there.

Peace out,
- tosca

'A life lived in fear...

by tosca on Monday, April 11, 2011

...is a life half lived.'
~ Strictly Ballroom starring Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice (yes, this is how low I've sunk, quoting lines from one of my alltime fav movies - sue me!)

In which Tosca blathers on endlessly and aimlessly about her hopes for her job and describes why she let fear stop her from personally blogging. Or something much like it.

I have let my personal blog slide. Badly. Fear made me do it. And it is fear that makes me pick it up again. Not fear that I will suck badly at it because, very possibly, I do already. I started this blog because I was on a learning and discovery journey and needed somewhere to record that. Over time this became my area to think ideas out loud, to reflect on what I've learnt and, really, to put my epiphany down in words (should I be enlightened enough to have one). The fact that sometimes it gets read is wholly accidental. For the last three months, though, I have been afraid to blog. I was afraid that I would get in trouble if I wrote about the amalgamated organisation I find myself working in (even if it wasn't negative). I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to reflect on my job without it being held against me. I was afraid that people who knew my official work title would judge me by my personal blog, tweetstream, Facebook page and imagine that that was all there was to me. I was afraid that people would follow me/read me for the wrong reasons. And then, just the other day, I realised that I'd forgotten how to enjoy exploring whatever catches my interest and then sharing it. I had let myself be silenced...by myself. Work didn't have to do it (should it have wanted to) because I did it to myself first. Once I saw that, I realised also that fear is the worst reason to stop doing something and so, in an effort not to be any of those things I listed above, I have started again. On a hopeful note, I think. I want to keep this blog as varied as it has always been with roughly the same mix of stupid/important as it has always been without this space becoming one great, big Cranky McRanty Pants post. This is a time of great upheaval and change for me so, naturally enough, I'd want to talk about it, but by the same token I didn't want to make it seem like it's all crap. Because it's not. We're all still exploring where we fit in the organisation and finding out how we progress from here. I'm still trying to see it as a big adventure and, admittedly, some days it's harder than others, but I imagine that's normal. Or as normal as it gets right now. And it won't be that way for long.

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"It is what you read when you don't have to...

by tosca on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

...that determines what you will be when you can't help it."
~ Oscar Wilde (did anyone have better quotes than Wilde?)

When I don't have to read, I read fanfic and sometimes confuse it with the actual tv show it comes from. Made up fan stories about a made up tv show. Confusing make-believe with make-believe? Uh-oh. Maybe, I'm reading a little too much of it. But how can I tell? When is too much fanfic enough? Is it when you reach that point where you find yourself getting confused between what happened in fanfic and what happened in the episodes? Or is it that moment when you realise you've read more fanfic than library books in the last 5 months? Or is it when you find yourself speaking in fanfic comment style to your siblings (I told my sister that I was 'Ded of hotness.' Needless to say, she said, 'You're a dork.')? Or is it when you see all tv shows in fanfic terms (is it normal that I saw Blaine/Glee's 'Baby, it's cold outside' as 'dubcon')? Or is time to call it a day when you find yourself crying over a 50 chapter long story where Jensen dies and leaves Jared desolate, even though you know he's alive and they're both happily married to women? I have done all of those. So...when was enough again?

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No quote for this post - can't be bothered :)

by tosca on Thursday, January 20, 2011

I have been very slack of late with updating my blog. Work is...work. Well, it feels like work which means I'm having to find things in it that I can look forward to. I've always been of the opinion that when you no longer enjoy it, perhaps it's time to move on and I'm not ready to move. Yet. I'm in need of humour this month more than ever so I've got a two-in-one post: funny romance book titles and a totally camp clip featuring the ever funny (and dashedly good looking) John Barrowman. I HEART HIM MUCH.

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'You can't deny laughter...

by tosca on Thursday, January 13, 2011

...when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.
~ Stephen King, 'Hearts in Atlantis'

Laughter is most welcome this week. It has been a brutal return to work, and a killer of a kickstart to my new year. Finding one's voice in the new library system is an adventure. That's all I'm saying at this point. It's Thursday! This is a short post. Totally *points* this is it. Today is my video/image clip of the week post, which comes to you courtesy of contacts on Twitter (please don't ask me what Twitter is...I may have to hurt you if you do). I'm not going to bother to introduce the clip. Watch it and all will become clear. I'm not sure if it's good or bad that as someone who has owned 3 Blackberries in my lifetime (until I switched to the iPhone 4) I understand everything they were talking about in the clip. What's more, I winced and chortled my way through the whole thing.

I heart you Enfield and Corbett :)

'You can never go home again...

by tosca on Sunday, January 9, 2011

...but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right.'
~ Maya Angelou

It's Tuesday and, ordinarily, this would be a 'My family & other animals' post where I relate some terribly funny (albeit embarassing) story about my insane whanau, but that's not the case for this one. Instead, it's a semi-heartfelt one. I know! I'm shocked, too :) This year, 2011, is a year of homecoming for me. And quite unintentional, too. Sometimes stuff happens when it happens for a damn good reason that is always beyond my understanding.

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