Saturday, December 17, 2005


One of the voices that makes me weak has fallen silent.

"I have never doubted that the dream was real, my love; I will never forget. I hope you will save a dance for me."

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Winter has arrived in Hilo.

How can I tell, you ask?

When I leave the air-conditioned Library at 9 pm, it's colder outside than indoors.

Yes, this just started happening this week -- I love living in Hawaii :}

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Stuffing Saga

It was like my life was being orchestrated from behind the scenes by the director of a comedy skit....

Last week, I went to Safeway to get one of those bags of Love's stuffing cubes so Mom could make stuffing for Thanksgiving. I called Mom from the store to say that I thought the price was a bit high (but what did I know? I don't cook!) and she agreed that at over $4 for a single bag, it was pricey, but probably because it's only available during the holidays. We really wanted stuffing, though, so I worked through my sticker shock and bought just one bag.

Mom came over on Wednesday and we needed to do some other shopping. Here's where the comedy starts:

We went to Cost-U-Less (a small, non-member Costco-like place here in Hilo) where the bags of stuffing cubes were only $3 something. So we got another bag, just for good measure.

Then we went to KTA to get cat food. And here, the stuffing cubes were $5... for 2 bags!

Someone must have been following me around with a hidden camera saying, "She's going into this store now. Quick, lower the price on the stuffing cubes!" If we had hit one more store, they probably would have only been $1 a bag...

And then there was the Sara Lee pumpkin pie with the bottom crust that wouldn't cook.

But other than that, the 6 days I spent with Mom were Really Wonderful!! We watched movies and went hiking in Kilauea Iki crater and floated in the hot springs and played Disney Trivia, where my dear Mother proceeded to win all 5 times!

So, how was your Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Goddess Amy... your service.

A patron just called for help with locating a journal article in an online database. It wasn't really all that difficult for me -- It's what I do, darlin' * -- but he was impressed enough to say 'Wow! You're a goddess!'

Who am I to argue with a patron?

* Any guesses as to the source of this quote?

Happy Thanksgiving

Nothing new, but just to continue the tradition...

I am thankful for:

Mom is coming to visit for almost a week!

Friends -- Distance may have dimmed the edges of some of my relationships, but the bright cores remain...

My cats -- from 'where are you going?' looks every morning to a purr-ful 'welcome home!' each night...

My wonderful home -- I still give thanks each day for my good fortune...

Clear night skies -- yes, they actually do occur in Hilo!

As always:
most things Disney
Books, Music, Movies (Serenity!!)

Christmas is coming...


At the Hawaii Library Association Annual Conference, I co-presented a talk with my Institute for Astronomy boss, Kathleen. The presentation was titled 'Blog, Blogger, Blogging'. We had a large turnout, including some colleagues, and one of them was inspired to start a blog.

Steadfast Sentinel is the blog of my friend and colleague Richard. Welcome to the blogosphere, Baron!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Harry Potter

Holy freakin' WOW!!!

That's all I was able to think when I got out of the theatre last nite.

Holy freakin' WOW!!!

I have some problems with the third movie, Prisoner of Azkaban -- I feel that they 'Hollywood-ized' parts of it while omitting some crucial elements that could have been easily included.

But I have no complaints about Goblet of Fire. From what I remember of the story, the screenplay manages to incorporate most of the important elements and didn't blow anything way out of proportion, although the first task comes close (but not nearly as bad as Aunt Marge or Harry's ride on Buckbeak in the third movie).

I wasn't sure if I would want to go back to see this in the theatre again, but now I can't wait...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Professional Musings

I often curse the compulsion that forced me into a profession that is chilly, quiet, and sedentary. I crave sunlight, fresh air, music!

But weeks like this remind me why I love my job.

In the past two nights, I've helped students find:

books about:

  • Hawaiian political history

  • film editing

  • personal finance

  • introductory physics

  • English grammar

  • ethnography

  • journal articles about:

  • pacific octopus

  • sea turtles

  • the bison massacre

  • cultural influence of fast food

  • a video on tobacco

  • Time magazine articles on microfiche

  • Hawaiian language newspaper birth and death notices from the 1870s.

  • In between patron requests, I'm preparing for two classes I'll be teaching on how to find scholarly journal articles. The instructors have assigned topics like mail order brides, marriage brokers, paternity leave, custody decisions, dating customs in different cultures, and premarital sex.

    As has been recently pointed out, I'm a geek -- an assessment I agree with whole-heartedly, by the way. I'll add to my geekiness quotient now and admit that I enjoy helping people find information.

    Sure, most of them are just trying to finish the assignment, usually “due tomorrow.” But some of them are genuinely interested in their topics and curious to learn. Knowing that I’ve pointed them in the right direction brings a smile to my face. And the ones who make a point to come back to the desk to say ‘Thanks!’ put a smile in my heart.

    For them I’ll suffer the cold, the stale air, and the silence. After all, I can use the ride home to lower the windows and crank the radio.

    Serenity on DVD

    I already knew that it was going to be a very Merry Christmas, because I'm going to Florida to spend it with my Dad and Grandpa.

    But before today, I didn't know what I was going to do for New Year's. Now I know I'm going to have a gorram good time...

    Monday, October 31, 2005

    Happy Halloween!

    And how was your Halloween?

    Mine was sweet!

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005


    This is one of the things I don't miss about living on the Mainland:

    This week, the daily HIGH temperature where my Dad is (upstate NY) is LOWER than the nightly LOW temperature where I am.

    Let me phrase that differently (just for grins and giggles).

    The LOW temperature I experience each night is still HIGHER than the daily HIGH temperature my Poor Ole' Poppy gets to experience.

    Yes, I love living in Paradise :)

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Can't Stop the Signal

    It's probably a minor miracle that nobody at work has {yet} throttled me in exasperation over my enthusiasm about Serenity. Everyone knows how much I love this movie as well as Firefly, the TV show that it's based on. Everyone knows I saw the movie three times opening day and twice since then and that it's now at the dollar theatre -- hmm, what nites this week shall I go?....

    But instead of a throttling, I got a positive review from a co-worker today! She said that she saw the movie and really liked it -- and didn't feel lost at all, despite never having seen the TV show. Yeah!

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Worth the Wait?

    Oh, Yes! A thousand times - YES!

    Not only have my Muses fled, but I'm finding it difficult to keep two thoughts together in my head long enough to string them into a coherent sentence. So, instead of trying to provide my own review (although I might try it later), I'm going to point you to some other folks' reviews that I agree with whole-heartedly.

    I've seen Serenity four times so far, but will probably add on a couple viewings by the end of the week...

    Orson Scott Card
    "All I heard was, "It's great, you'll love it."
    Well, guess what.
    It's great.
    I'm not going to say it's the best science fiction movie, ever.
    Oh, wait. Yes I am.
    And I'll tell you this right now: If Ender's Game can't be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made."

    Serenity Cheat Sheet
    "The setting, the music, the unique cinematography, the little details (i.e. having no sound in space) and of course, the endlessly quotable dialogue, make the world of Firefly one worth visiting..."

    VideoSewer Review
    "It’s how sci-fi adventures should be done...Serenity works so well because the archetypical characters and situations are sketched with a loving hand..."

    Video Teaser
    This shows the first 9 minutes of the film. What happens just after this clip ends is classic Firefly:

    "Did the primary buffer panel just fall off my gorram ship for no apparent reason?"

    "Looks like...this landing is going to get pretty interesting"

    "Define 'interesting'."

    "'Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die'?"

    MAL (over loudspeaker)
    "This is the Captain. There's a little problem with our entry sequence. We may experience slight turbulence and then explode."

    "We're gonna explode? I don't wanna explode"

    "How many weapons you plan on bringing? You only got the two arms."

    "I just get excitable as to choice -- like to have my options open."

    "I don't plan on any shooting taking place during this job."

    "Well, what you plan and what takes place ain't exactly been similar."


    "Are we crashing again?

    "Talk to your husband."

    And we're off on one hell of a wild ride...

    Hope you enjoy...

    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    One Day to Go

    But at least I already have the tickets -- bought them last nite on the way home :)

    "Take my love, take my land
    Take me where I cannot stand
    I don't care, I'm still free
    You can't take the sky from me
    Take me out to the black
    Tell them I ain't comin' back
    Burn the land and boil the sea
    You can't take the sky from me
    There's no place I can be
    Since I found Serenity"

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005


    A good friend of mine has finally made the foray into the blogosphere, and I couldn't be happier that she's here. Djinn Rummy is her new space and I am really looking forward to her posts -- I've already added her to my Bloglines feeds to make sure I don't miss anything. See, she's not only a good friend, but she's also one of my favorite writers. I've had the good fortune to read some of her stuff before she started blogging and have enjoyed every bit of it. I'm always careful to put food and drink out of the way before I start reading her writings about our retail experiences -- she truly knows how to hit the nail right on the head with insight and humor.

    She also has a book reviews site, Lamp Side Reading. She reads some pretty esoteric stuff, so check it out!


    As of today I have been in my wonderful house for one year.

    Before next year, pictures of the outside! :)

    Friday, September 23, 2005

    Today's Date?

    All week long I've had trouble remembering the date --'I dunno, um, September 20-something?' But not today. Today's date comes easily. Because in 7 days it will be September 30th. In less than 168 hours, I am going to spend all damn day in my local theatre watching, re-watching, and re-watching Serenity.

    Hey, it's my personal day off and my money. I can do what I want.

    Yeah, it's gonna be that good....

    Thursday, September 22, 2005


    Memory sure is a funky thing.

    This post is in response to a comment left for my "Coffee and Voices" post.

    I've always remembered this as a writing project, not as a 'cardboard box TV' but now that I think about it some more, that must be what it was. You have a good memory, 'you know who'.

    It was sixth grade and my story was about one-armed aliens -- don't ask why, because I honestly don't remember. If our house hadn't burned down when I was 17, I'd probably still have this project and I could tell you more about the story. Yes, I'm a pack rat -- always have been, probably always will be. I've learned to deal with it and if you're going to hang with me, you should, too.

    Anyway, I remember a cardboard box and two empty paper towel rolls and having to glue (tape?) the pages of the story together and onto the rolls. The 'TV' design wasn't mine, I don't think. I'm pretty sure that the format was the teacher's idea, but the storyline and (godawful) pictures were mine. I will certainly never be able to claim 'artist' among my accomplishments.

    I hope that some mad scientists somewhere are working on ways to improve memory retention or verify memories or something along those lines. I've got a few I'd really like to nail down....

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    New 'Do

    Check out my new haircut!

    It's a little shorter than I had envisioned, but I was able to donate what was chopped off to the Locks of Love program. I'm still getting used to 'styling' it, but it's already so much easier to wash, dry, and keep out of the way. So far, the response at work has been very positive -- What do you think?

    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    I Will Not...

    I will NOT read either Serenity (the novelization) or Serenity: The Official Visual Companion that I just picked up today. I will wait 3 more weeks (ARRGGHHH!!!) and watch the movie first. I will not peek, I will not peek, I will not peek....

    Saturday, August 27, 2005

    Coffee and Voices

    Good news – I woke up this morning with a craving for coffee.

    Now I know what you're thinking: "Amy, I've known you for (fill-in-the-blank) years and you don't drink coffee. I've never seen you take even one sip."

    And you're right, I don't drink coffee. But one of the voices in my head does.

    Now, before you call for the men with the white jackets, let me explain...

    I write fiction, fan fiction mostly, and the way that I write it is by listening to the voices in my head. There are a few shows that are really strong -- well written, with good characters, portrayed by incredibly talented actors who do such a good job of bringing those characters to life that the characters become almost like real people to me.

    No, don't start dialing -- I said 'almost'. I still know the difference between reality and fiction, but the walls are sometimes a bit thin where I am. Which might worry me, except that I know I'm not alone in this flimsy structure – there's at least one co-conspirator in here with me.

    So, this morning I woke up with a craving for coffee, which means Daniel. Except, I don't know if it's because I don't have any coffee in the house, because he had something important to say, or just because he's impatient, but it's actually Jack who has been yammering away.

    Of course, he waited until I pulled out of the driveway to start talking. That's right: he let me take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, make lunch, and feed the cats before he started babbling. It could be because I've yelled at him before for jabbering at me when I'm in the shower, but the other activities are all interruptible, so it was probably just a case of Jack being Jack, i.e., mischievous. He's got this really wonderful grin...

    {Yes, I pulled over to write down what he was saying. I occasionally talk on the phone and drive at the same time, but I draw the line at trying to write. Usually... Just kidding!}

    I've been hoping that my new work schedule, which is more in tune with my body clock, would entice the voices to come back. I know some people don't believe in it, but having to get up early (even if I go to bed earlier) leaves me with no energy and a head that feels like it's stuffed with cotton. During the summer I had an early schedule, so I didn't write anything. And it's been a bummer, because for a while the voices were garrulous and I was really enjoying the satisfaction of writing...

    Oh. You're still going to call for the men in white coats? Okay, just give me enough time to type up my notes and send them to P. After all, this whole thing is her fault, err, I mean, her idea.

    Anyway, I still don't like the way it tastes, but a writer has to suffer a little, right? So I drink my cup of coffee, salute Jack, and wait for Daniel and, hopefully, the rest of the voices, too. Welcome back, everyone, I've missed you...

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005


    Another way to spend time online...

    Games for the Brain

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Yes, I'm a Browncoat

    Like Jane, I've spent a lot of time lately watching and re-watching (and re-watching) Firefly episodes. There are only 14 episodes (damn you Fox!!), but they are all I have to tide me over until the end of September, when I plan to spend a lot of time at my local theatre watching Serenity, the movie based on this show.

    Note to the cautious: don't start watching this show unless you want to be totally consumed -- yes, it's that good. Oh, you'll also probably start cursing in Chinese...

    Lucky Lis has already been to an advance screening -- I'm really jealous, although not enough to give up living in Paradise to be someplace where this kind of thing happens (sorry, Dad!).

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    Return to Earth

    Welcome home, Discovery!

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Sad Moon Day

    While I was working on this post, I found out that James Doohan died. Like so many other people, I always liked the character of Scotty. I'm glad that James didn't mind being identified with the role. Tonight I'll watch a ST movie and raise a glass -- rum, not scotch, but the sentiment will be the same.

    My original thought for today:

    Why is it that it took less than 10 years from when President Kennedy said 'Let's go to the moon' to Armstrong and Aldrin leaving their footprints in the dust and yet, here we are, more than three and a half decades later and we still haven't made it to another planet? Hell, we haven't even been back to the Moon since 1972! I know that our probes and probes are doing great work, and we need to continue on that avenue, but it's also time for us humans to get going....

    Friday, July 15, 2005


    I've been working on a Harry Potter post (mostly dealing with my disappointment with the third movie), but am finding it difficult to finish, so for now I'll just ask that you please don't assault your mail delivery person tomorrow, okay? They've got enough to deal with....

    {Yes, I'm aware that the above is grammatically incorrect, however, colloquially it's okay.}

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    Deep Impact Perspective

    For those concerned about the audacity and ramifications of a bunch of Earthlings messing with a comet, please read this explanation from the Planetary Society Weblog.

    Local news coverage of the event can be found in the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and The Maui News.

    Event sites:

    Sunday, July 03, 2005

    DI Success

    Deep Impact successfully collided with Comet Tempel 1 -- congratulations everyone!

    Friday, July 01, 2005


    Well, today I started working full-time for the Mookini Library at the University of Hawaii at Hilo / Hawaii Community College. It's a temporary position, but has benefits (vacation, sick, medical, dental, vision)-- yippee! I'll be doing all the things I've been doing while I've been working here part time (Astronomy, Physics, Nursing, and Pharmacy collection development, website maintenance, annual reports preparation, other special projects). I'll be adding Reference Desk duties for 20 hours per week, and I may get to teach some Library Instruction classes -- I taught some at UH-West Oahu a few years ago and enjoyed it.

    We're a bit lost in the paperwork jungle when it comes to how I can continue to work part-time for the Library at the Institute for Astronomy Hilo, but I think we may be close to some daylight.

    Hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

    Friday, June 24, 2005

    Testing comments

    Testing the changes I made to the template to include comments...

    MIT Weblog Survey

    I just completed the MIT Weblog Survey. It was interesting to go back over the history of this blog and do the actual math to find what percentage of the posts have been personal (60%), business (40%), and current events / news (30%). My original guesses were way off....

    Friday, June 10, 2005


    Yet another nifty place on the 'Net where you can spend {waste} bunches of time....

    WordCount™ is "an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonness." The data comes from The British National Corpus (BNC), "a 100 million word collection of samples of written and spoken language from a wide range of sources, designed to represent a wide cross-section of current British English, both spoken and written."

    Okay, so it's British. It's still interesting....

    To get you started:
    1 the
    2 of
    3 and
    4 to
    5 a
    6 in
    7 that
    8 it
    9 is
    10 was
    11 i
    12 for
    13 on
    14 you
    15 he
    16 be
    17 with
    18 as
    19 by
    20 at

    376 god
    384 love
    1279 dog
    2532 cat
    3107 hate
    14646 hawaii

    86790 tella
    86791 savills
    86792 homemakers
    86793 golgotha
    86794 lauro
    86795 multilingualism
    86796 tangency
    86797 carniola
    86798 workless
    86799 recrossed
    86800 conquistador

    aloha (currently not in archive)

    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    SW III

    Why, in this age when everyone loves abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms, would you have a lengthy title that can be shortened to ROTS?


    This movie was much, much, much better than I had expected. Still some rough spots and some wooden acting, even from Ewan (who looks an awful lot like Kiefer Sutherland in these last two SW movies). The killing sequence has a wonderful musical score.

    Note to N: there are a couple of groaner places in the very beginning when I thought "Oh no, please don't let this be like II." It never got that bad, I don't think. Then again, I started getting a cold that day, so maybe my head was more fuzzy than I realized. It will be interesting to see what I think the second time around....

    Thursday, May 19, 2005

    Store Wars

    Brilliant... absolutely brilliant: Store Wars

    Thursday, May 12, 2005

    More Cool Sites

    I haven't explored these much, but at first glance they look interesting:

    Eternal Egypt

    The Big Myth -- the Hawaiian link doesn't work yet, but the Egypt one does.

    TV Shows on DVD -- you can vote for TV shows you want to be released on DVD.

    Friday, April 29, 2005

    Cool Sites

    Lori pointed out this awesome photographer's site, Chromasia.

    MapMachine -- National Geographic Maps, 'nuf said....

    The End of Everything?

    In the short article "What are the odds of Earth's cataclysmic end?" IfA researchers explain some of the possibilities other than a galactic highway. Don't Panic -- you don't need to lose any sleep over them.

    One of the things I love about astronomers is their ability to talk about their science in plain language. You can hear for yourself at the free "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the End of Everything", a panel discussion by University of Hawai'i astronomers, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at the Art building auditorium on the Manoa campus.

    Another thing I love about science in general is that truth is almost always stranger than fiction ever could be.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Campus Hawaii Clubs

    Hawaii is special in so many ways, even when it's exported to the mainland: "Hawaii clubs are fixtures at more than 50 colleges nationwide, and on many campuses are the only state-themed clubs."

    Sorry, Dad, even if Cornell had one, I still wouldn't move back....

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    Two Links

    I love Michael McGrorty's writing. This post goes well with our 52 in 52 attempt. I'm think I'm now at about 27 -- I may have forgotten a couple along the way...


    In Wil's words: "I'm not sure if this is real, or not. If it's not, it's the funniest satire in history. If it is . . . it explains so much."

    Open House

    And a wonderful time was had by all...

    Monday, March 21, 2005


    Just in time for her foray back into the world of being employed by someone else, Miss Lori has established Haikubes, "Poetry for Modern-Day Corporate Warriors." And she asked me to join!

    So, I wrote 6 of these darn things in 1/2 an hour yesterday -- the voices in my head are back! I will post them gradually so as to not be too overwhelming, and also because I'll probably never be able to write another one after that creative burst....

    To get you started, and because the last one I wrote doesn't really fit the theme, I'll post it here:

    I can’t stop thinking
    In terms of five, seven, five
    Guess things could be worse

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    Handheld Recovery

    I will never understand computers as long as I live. I finally broke out the operating system disc for my handheld, but decided to give it just one more try (fingers crossed, whispered pleas). And damned if it didn't sync right away! I have no explanation. None. I'm completely stumped and confused. Also, mightily relieved...

    Wednesday, March 09, 2005

    Handheld Problems

    I had to do a reset on my Visor Deluxe (old, but reliable) last night, which didn't worry me at all, but today when I try to HotSync, I'm getting the following error message:

    "Restore application database error
    HotSync Error: Connection is lost (6410)"

    I did try searching on the Handspring site, but nothing that was suggested made any difference.

    Anyone have any ideas?
    email: amy at amysbookshelf dot com

    Looking at all the data I have on the desktop that's no longer in the palm of my hand is making me very nervous...

    Sleeping Cat Poses

    The Silly Sleeping Pose Olympics for cats. If you live with cats and you haven't seen poses like these, you aren't paying enough attention.

    Thanks, S., for the link and the smiles!

    Wednesday, February 09, 2005

    Kung Hee Fat Choy!!!

    Check out Google's homage to Lunar New Year.

    If you miss seeing it on Wednesday, you can check out the archives here.


    Clientcopia is one of those things that I wish was made up (and some of it probably is), but unfortunately the majority of it is heartbreakingly real and it just makes me shake my head in despair. Can something be so funny that it's sad?

    Sometimes the way to avoid stupidity is just to slow down the pace of your life...

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    52 in 52

    Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

    I don't make New Year's Resolutions, but if I did, this would be a good one:

    Some friends came up with the idea of reading 52 books in 52 weeks. Certainly a worthy goal, so I jumped aboard and am going to keep track of them here. For later reference, there's a link over there on the right.

    Now I need a similar goal for writing....