Thursday, October 30, 2008

You Can Vote However You Like

This is too cute! Love, love it! Love their passion and enthusiam, their involvement and knowledge and they're on CNN! You know this an election they won't ever forget!



Kudos to their teacher and parents, who must be so proud!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Barnes & Noble Adds Social Features

Via B&N Launches Social Networking Site

Interesting, I've logged on and created a profile under Literanista but honestly don't have the time to search for all the books to add to my catalog. I remember my Shelfari bookshelf took almost one complete Saturday afternoon to build and that was just the books presently on my bookshelf.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Speaking of NPR...

NPR to Run Exclusive Pre-Pub Reading with Toni Morrison - looking forward to listening in on this - I love Toni Morrison.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vamp on a Hot Tin Roof

I was just over at racialicious.com and read the post on True Blood and saw that line, "vamp on a hot tin roof," in the comments. Oh my lord, it suits the show just perfectly, love it!

Haven't been in the mood to post lately. There's just too much going sometimes. I also hired a personal trainer and so far it's going great. He has me doing all sorts of weird things like running backwards on a treadmill while simultaneously doing curls with some free weights. Weird but fun! Although, I must admit it even hurts to sneeze right now. LOL! The best part is the massage afterwards and the feeling of serenity and just being one with my body and the moment that I feel when I leave the gym.

Recently, I finished reading Candy By Mian Mian, a tough but lyrically tender story of love, self-destruction, drugs and addiction, and coming of age in China. Interestingly, Mian writes that in her language the term for whores is "chicken" and instantly I wondered if the common urban (hip-hop) usage of "chickens" or "chickenheads" for women is linguistacally related to that origin. It's always been a term I despise, quite frankly.

Sometimes while I work and write I prefer to tone out the word with some music. Last year, I discovered www.pandora.com and it became a nice change from the Sirius Radio I was listening to all the time. I have a private subscription through W. but it annoys me sometimes that they often play the same songs on a channel several times a day. Meanwhile with Pandora, you get to discover new music and artists. So last week, I googled Lizz Wright who I sort of re-discovered on Pandora and found that www.npr.org has this great feature called "Discover Songs" and they offer new music daily and even have a media player that saves your playlists. Fantastic!!!

It led me to discover I like songs that have a folksy, southern gospel sound. Interesting for a girl from New York!

I spotted this great post on Mashable: 200+ Tools for Surviving the Economic Crisis
Another really cool site: Tip of My Tongue helps you find that word you can't quite remember. I always have this problem.

I saw this "Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004" however, and had myself a good laugh. I seriously don't think blogging is dead if anything it more mainstream than ever and for those who don't feel quite comfortable twittering or facebooking the blogging platform seems more welcoming than ever.

Malcolm Gladwell, recently wrote "Late Bloomers" for The New Yorker and it gives me a sense of hope in regards to my own success. Speaking of success, his new book which delves deeeply into what makes people, who are successful, succesful. The book is called Outliers and it's due out next month.

BoingBoing brings us the news of a Librarian fined (read: irony here) for nepotism: Librarian fined $500 Whoa! Poor dad.

Also take a look at this new site for latinos: www.cafemagazine.com

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dental Nightmare

My younger brother calls me today and tells me he had to leave work because his teeth were really hurting him - it turns out he has 11 cavities! 11 cavities! 11 cavities since his last dentist visit last year! I mean was this kid churning sugar all night long with his chompers? Simply outrageous!

Anyway, speaking of upkeep, don't forget people - tomorrow is the last day to register to vote in the election on Nov. 4th. You can register here: www.rockthevote.com. Don't let your voice go unheard and don't let this historic once in lifetime chance to get a minority in the White House, whether it's our first Black president or the first woman VP!

Some new books on the radar (noticed these today in my Nov. issue of O mag)

A Mercyby Toni Morrison
2666: A Novelby Roberto Bolano and Natasha Wimmer

Films I'm dying to see:

<Guerilla
Miracle at St. Anna

Lately, Latina Magazine has been offering amazing recipes on their site. I usually get them in my inbox from the newsletter (but you can find them here: www.latina.com/recipes) and I swear I salivate just reading the titles.

That's it for me tonight, hasta manana.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Help Put Diabetes on the Google Logo!

So I'm feeling icky and run-down but I thought I'd deliver a message in honor of both my mom and my six year-old nephew - both suffer from Diabetes!


Diabetes Doodle for Google

Hello JDRF supporters, The founders of TuDiabetes.com and
DiabetesDaily.com have teamed up with a mission of getting a diabetes doodle on
Google in honor of World Diabetes Day on November 14.

What's a doodle?

It's those funky Google logos that you sometimes see, especially around the
holidays. There is a petition circulating right now and we need 20,000
signatures by November 1.

Sign the petition at www.diabetesdoodle.com .


This Cause has more than 45,000 signatures, so if you support diabetes
awareness, please sign the petition. Millions of people will see the doodle on
November 14 for World Diabetes Day.

The web address again is www.diabetesdoodle.com .

If you have questions, email me at amblass@gmail.com or send me a message on
Facebook.

Cheers,
Allison Blass
Founder of the JDRF Cause on Facebook

Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday Fusion

Banned Books Week is almost over but Shelf Awareness has been posting a great round-up of related news all week long:

Galleycat linked to the Haphazard Gourmet Girls blog ("Braising the Culture, One Recipe--And One Recall--at a Time"), which offers "Civilization Is Cooked Without Books, our haphazard project that pairs censored literature with recipes." Other recipes here and href="http://news.shelf-awareness.com/ct.jsp?uz3664752Biz7381336">here.

The Daily Californian reported: "In a celebration of controversial books yesterday, community members read portions of their favorite banned books at the main branch of the Berkeley Public Library."

Even virtual book worlds need attention. The American Library Association is once again staging Banned Book Week events in Second Life.

"Would you ban any children's books?" the Guardian's book blog asked readers. One respondent, just a bit off assigned topic, suggested "the bible is a fairytale book that I'd have banned. To [sic] much sex and violence for the target audience."

Also in the Guardian, a banned books quiz to test your censorship awareness skills.

Some folks are celebrating Banned Books Week more literally than others, according to the Associated Press (via the Mercury News): "An Orange County school district has reinstated a series of fantasy vampire novels at its 12 middle schools after banning the books from campuses last week."

You just can't shock some people. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "a dozen authors and journalists gather[ed] on the steps of the Main Library at Civic Center and read passages from books that have been banned somewhere or other. . . . One by one, as the writers rattled off steamy paragraphs by the likes of D.H. Lawrence, J.D. Salinger and Malcolm X, it became clear that what might be tempestuous in Wasilla is tame stuff in San Francisco."

The Guardian's John Crace "condensed six forbidden fictions. Read them if you dare."

Lisa Navarro, assistant principal and English teacher at McGann-Mercy High School, Riverhead, N.Y., told the Suffolk Times "that although she's quite conservative on many issues of the day, she believes passionately in 'freedom of the press and being able to chose what you read.'"

Words and music. The Hartford Courant reported that the "first-annual first amendment rock off," held last night at Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford, Conn., was a musical tribute to Banned Books Week hosted by the Connecticut chapter of the ACLU and the Connecticut Library Association.

Also via Shelf Awareness:

Blindness, based on the book by José Saramago, opens October 3. Fernando Meirelles directs this story of a doctor's wife (Julianne Moore) who is unaffected by an epidemic of sudden blindness. She tries to protect her husband (Mark Ruffalo) by following him into an inhumane quarantine area. Saramago, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, has a new book, Death with Interruptions, coming out next Monday, October 6.

Book Review: American Widow by Alissa Torres, illustrated by Sungyoon Choi

Alissa Torres' compelling new graphic memoir, American Widow, is her story of marrying a Colombian boy whose green card has run out and of their happy year together culminating in her pregnancy as he starts his new job on September 10 at the World Trade Center.

With a frequently lyrical art style designed by Sungyoon Choi, the unfolding story is a non-linear, intensely emotion-driven tour de force, never going where you think it's going, following its own trajectory through grieving and surviving. Instead of capitalizing on its subject matter, Torres' heartbreaking, Kafka-like tale of overnight vulnerability and dependence on bureaucracy is more concerned with the broken promises of the Red Cross, getting lost in labyrinths of red tape and the assault of often callous relief workers.

Choi's boldly graphic, frame-bursting style of artwork gives a comic book punch to a story that's mostly interior. The survival tale of Alissa is less about the tragedy than about the nightmare engulfing September 11 survivors in the aftermath. Frame by frame, page by page, baby in arms, Alissa has to learn how to negotiate strings of regulations and qualifications and unfulfilled government pledges while trying to cope psychologically and emotionally with Eddie's absence.

There's no disguising that the book is a monument to a real relationship. Photos of Eddie Torres are inserted into the text. It's a true cry from the heart, transformed by Choi's interpretive, frequently surreal artwork into something universal about loss, readable in a single emotion-choked sitting. Torres and Choi avoid sentimentality, and it's the silent frames that often carry the wallop. There's a page of loving tributes to her dog, Boris, for instance, with a frame on the page that says it all--the young mother under an umbrella with baby strapped to her chest, walking her dog in the rain.

Or consider the frame showing the sheer, monolithic side of the World Trade Center against a vast, open sky, with a tiny, tiny speck tumbling down. It took Eddie Torres 18 seconds to fall.--Nick DiMartino

Shelf Talker: A compelling graphic novel by a young woman widowed on September 11. The artwork is lyrical, and the story of her loss is heartbreaking and often surreal.

Check out:

Junot Diaz
Book Presentation: La breve y maravillosa vida de Óscar Wao
Friday, October 17, 2008
7:00 p.m.
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue

Very interesting Study Pegs Beginning of AIDS — 100 Years Ago


It's Annual openhousenewyork Weekend: flavorpill.com

HipChicas.com, a Latina-themed site for tween girls, is launching its Beta trial this week.

& a special shout-out to Stella at learnlovegrow.blogspot.com for the lovely award.
 
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