Monday, May 31, 2004

First firefly of the season: under the tree in S&J's yard, last night.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

At the pow-wow today, I met the current chief of the Piscataway. (A little web research shows I was not paying attention to her tribe's full name: two groups are using the name Piscataway, right now, and I am not seeing her name associated with either. If she does e-mail me later, I will say more about her.) She knew "Kittamaqund" as a man, the name of her tribe's "last" werowance. I learned of the name as a man's from that fine source, Patrick Price's "Flashbacks" cartoon in the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, a 1959 chilren's book on Maryland Indians names "Kittamaqundi" an "important town" of the Piscataway.

Finally, a book about Virginia's Northern Neck gives us the "romance" of the christianized "emporess" Kittamaqund (Mary), who married Englishman Giles Brent c. 1645. He took her south of the Potomac; they lived on Aquia Creek. They had three children and she died young.

For this figure, in the mid-1960s, the central Virginia Girl Scout council named its new camp on the Northern Neck. Our previous property, in Bon Air (Richmond's tiny Victorian summer retreat) had been named for Pocahontas, so it made some sense: two camps named for christianized Indian women. Camp Kittamaqund's first generation of campers prefer to pronounce the name "kit TOM a kund"; in the 80s, I learned that The Right Way to say it is "kit ta ma KUND" -- not "kit ta ma KWAND." The children's book suggests "kit-ta-ma-QUN-di" for the town. The Piscataway guests at today's event could not give an authoritative opinion. We all agreed that language is one of the many broken links for 21st century Americans to their pre-1607 American ancestors.

Pronunciation may remain a mystery, but some day soon, when I am out of school again, I will have time for recreational research. When that happy day comes, my two high priority projects: (1) Nominating the Upper Mattaponi's school and church for the state and national registers of historic places, and (2) Some Kittamaqund research.


Haynie, Miriam. The Stronghold: A Story of the Historic Northern Neck of Virginia. Richmond, Va. : The Dietz Press, 1959.

Manakee, Harold R. Indians of Early Maryland. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1959.

Bill is king o media scanning. With all of today's great movie technologies, they can't screw this up, can they: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- The Official Movie Website? They've got an actor from Croyden playing Slartibartfast! Maybe they can mess it up: Adams wrote so much of it to be futuristic and outlandish, but how close is a cell phone or a PDA to The Guide? Will they make it more futurama, or leave it a c.1978 view?

There's a link to a Babel Fish game at that site!

Friday, May 28, 2004

I still haven't fixed the Comments, but I gotta go. Hold that thought.
It's Not You, It's Me

I think that when I first signed on with Blogger, free accounts did not get the Comment function, but now we do. I think I deleted the old code successfully and put the new in the right place. So, those two or three of you who do like to Comment may find it possible and/or easier now.

S in NoVa - it wasn't you. Probably. S e-mailed to tell me about their insect visitors:
In the first three days of the ciacada invasion my daughter and I collected over 3000 exoskeletons in our yard. Then I broke out in hives and collection ceased. She's extremely nervous about bugs so I thought this might help and it did.
Being around them helped her, or seeing you get hives helped her?!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

"Far Flung Correspondents"

CW, living on the west coast now, wrote recently and reported, "The Seattle Public Library ... is wonderful and seems to be used by a lot of people. . . ." She also said,
One of the local bookstores is having a "no more war sale" with 25% off all books through tomorrow to encourage people to turn off the bad news on TV and the radio and pick up a good book.
A fabulous idea! I often turn off "Morning Edition," lately. I can't take man's inhumanity to man over breakfast.

C isn't the only one with an eye on the new library in Seattle. I believe the New Yorker wrote about it, but I am three issues behind, again. The Washington Post article on it focused its attention on statistics showing that Seattle is full of well-educated people (willing to pass a $196 million bond to pay for a new library).

CNB says the Brood X cicadas make her want to cover her ears while walking on the trails of Columbia, Md. Meanwhile, BLG says he hasn't noticed any on Capitol Hill, perhaps because they are Democrats. I will see and here for myself in a week or so when I go up to CUA for a day.

FW! Where are those links you promised?

At Home
At RPL -- and without link -- Tuesdays this June are dedicated to the Richmond Writers Series. Caroline Kettlewell (Electric Dream, "a high voltage story about an unlikely team of high school kids and the race to build the car of the future") opens it on June 1, 7 p.m., in the Main Library's Gellman Room. The series is co-sponsored by the Valentine Young Associates (my new board obligation), so as soon as Tuesday classes are done, I'll see you there!

Things I like about walking to the Historical Society, for my practicum:
30 minutes of exercise;
the smell of the blooming magnolias in the last three blocks;
getting garden ideas from neighbors (plant lots of colorful annuals, like petunias and impatiens close together; use monkey grass wherever possible);
and considering the first occupants of the pretty big apartment buildings on the Boulevard (was it fashionable, or the dusty far west end? Were they 20-somethings, just getting started? Single women (nice ones) would not have lived in apartments, of course).

Capital City weather: the overcast morning became a clear, hot afternoon; that lead to a thunderstorm with plenty of lightening and rain. Good thing the roofers finished today.

Monday, May 24, 2004

A Graduation

I am proud to note that one of my "kids" graduated from Hollins University on Sunday. I got to go to the ceremony. It was like being at Mount Holyoke, only smaller and more southern. The senior class president's address included a remark along the lines of, Don't tell a Hollins woman she can't move a mountain because she'll just move two to make a point. But let's get down to the good stuff: the clothes. On the gents, I counted four bow ties, three seersucker suits, and one pair of kelly green trousers. The latter, alas worn by a handsome 20-something with bow tie. . . and flip flops. Dude! Put on some shoes. The seersucker-wearers had white bucks or saddle shoes. Most of the young women wore Lilly Pulitzer-type dresses. Also, a real Japanese kimono and obi on one mother, and a Chinese-style navy jacket on another. The graduate who's a Hawaii native sported amazing leis.

On Saturday, I picked up a sub at Coppola's on my way out of town, so that on the way I could have a picnic lunch at Natural Bridge. My initial response upon seeing it?: "holy cow!" The bright blue sky beyond, the slightly skewed, yet nearly squared, shape. The soaring heights. Oh, hell, have Jefferson's words, instead: "the most sublime of nature's works." Foolishly, I brought a bird book and not a wildflower field guide. I saw things in the violet family, columbine, some kind of sorrel, may apple, and lots of flowers I couldn't memorize enough details of to look up at home. There were pigeons (rock doves) on ledges on the walls of the bridge, and some cardinals in the woods.

Monday Monday
Today, back to school. The clinic at B Elementary gives kids a tiny plastic tooth-shaped box if they lose a tooth in school. Two kids came to the clinic to ask me to pull their teeth ("as if") and three had a tooth in hand when they walked in the door. Neat-o.

Is it possible I haven't seen this Simpsons episode before? Or since first release, anyway? Mr. Burns "adopts" Bart. The near drowning, the time Bart spends at Burns' house, the deprogamming: nothing's familiar. I do recall the dogs that spit bees - but maybe that was excerpted, later.

Capital City weather: 95 and mostly clear, outside; inside, the temperature is finally dropping, thanks to a loaner window A/C unit from my neighbor.
At the Byrd: Big Fish

Saturday, May 22, 2004

A project to combat the frumpy librarian (or ultra-sexy with book) image: "I am a Librarian."

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Monday, May 17, 2004

Five Things I Learned About Elephants
The G. High School drama classes I had today, like at Henrico High last spring, were the kids left while a bunch of others went downtown to prepare a show they're doing. These kids were lots less interested in the busy work than the Henrico High kids were. I did however gain some insight into the senior prank and teen romance. In the former case, the perpetrators have to write letters of apology - to the high school and, I think, to the colleges they will be off to in the fall. The consenus among students: the TP in the trees and chalk messages on the sidewalk were easily cleaned up and were not "mean or violent," so the students shouldn't get into trouble. The later story is one of a senior in a morning class who moaned she didn't want to go to the prom -- with a friend, a sophomore -- because she had such a bad time last year with her then-boyfriend. She was asking the boys in the class what happens if you don't pick up the tux you rent (would her date still have to pay if she said, Forget it.) Later in the day, I met the sophomore. He seems smitten with her. It could have a very sad ending.

Then I had two biology classes: watch this video, write down five things you learned about elephants (I upped it to 8 for the last period, 'cause I am mean). I learned that elephants:
- make sounds too low for the human ear to register.
- give birth every four years "at best."
- walk on their toes.
- have teeth that weigh up to 12 pound each!
- have microbes in their "guts" to help with digestion.

Shout Out
Great Preakness Party, Dan! Thanks so much, too, for the trip to Glen Echo. Glen Echo features a 1920s carosuel, a beautifully restored dancing pavillion, and the other fascinating remains of a street car line amusement park that made it to 1968. If you're in metro DC, you should go: it's run by a foundation and the National Park Service. Admission is free, carousel rides cost 75 cents. All that, plus I got to see my first 17-year cicadas. They are smaller than the 13-years(?) we get, with red eyes. They don't fly well, so I saw several on the ground. People are mean, so most of those had been squished.

On the musak at Ukrops: "Grease (is the word)."
At the Byrd: Return of the King

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

At L Elementary School, someone in the office mentioned "book fair set up today," and I had happy thoughts of contact paper-covered cardboard enclosing hand-written kid stories. It turned out to be that the fine people of Scholastic Books actually set up shop in the library for a week. The kids can buy books on manga and anime drawing, or from a series called "Judy Moody." The first and second graders did not sit and listen well for story time, but the kindergarteners enjoyed being read to, and even offered hugs as thanks.

In his New Yorker review of a book on the media, Nicholas Lemann writes of the "commercialization and concentration of [media] power": Clear Channel Communications has 1200 radio stations; a newspaper conglomerate probably owns your hometown paper; TV networks own the local TV stations, and "now that there's no government pressure [on them] to offer a diversity of political opinion and civic-minded programming, they have stopped doing so."

Except for the news and channel 8's occasional forays into programs like "Virginia College Football This Year," I cannot think of any locally-produced network television broadcasts. I don't read my hometown paper because I find it poorly written and conservative, not because it's owned by Media General. The current radio scene annoys me too much to put into sentences: sexist, juvenile morning shows that aren't even local bozos any longer; "oldies" stations that use playlists as if they were top 40 stations -- if it's 3:00, I should hear "Crocodile Rock" from two spots on the dial; the loss of WXGI's old time country format; the wanderings of Floyd Henderson and his bag of true oldies.

I have also been reading about cicadas, and have to admit it was the item in "Parade" that finally set me straight: despite the fact that the range of the 17-year cicada has been described as "the Mid Atlantic states" and "through the Carolinas," we won't get them in Capital City. "Parade" printed a map that clearly shows that central Virginia is not home to the red-eyed critters. No wonder I couldn't imagine an infestation such as "Parade" and the Washington Post describe. (There's a cicada quiz at that link! I got 6 out of 7.)

In the Sunday Post, Amy Joyce uses as a starting point for her column the Gallup Poll "Q12" that led me to leave my last career. Employees who strongly agree with the 12 statements seem to be those who are most engaged with their work: the happy, productive workers. When I realized that I said "no" to most, I knew it was time to get out. The statements include:
- I know what is expected of me at work.
- I have received recognition for doing good work in the last seven days.
- My opinions seem to count.
(Click on the article to see the rest, in about the fifth paragraph.)

Capital City weather: sunny, 80s

Friday, May 07, 2004

Bird watching

Baby W. has a cute stuffed bird that I noted is clearly a male scarlet tananger: red with black wings. How, odd, I thought, toy animals aren't usually accurate. A visit to the gift shop at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens solved that mystery. The shop had a mixed flock of these toy birds, sold with the Audubon Society name attached. Alas, no purple martin for the nephew.

I had lunch and a walk at Lewis Ginter with Boo, who drew this urban falcons website to my attention. I didn't know that McGuire Woods was in the First National Bank Building. That 19teens skyscraper is one of my favorite Richmond buildings. Too bad it lost its Italianate cornice years ago.

As if that's not enough, let me note the $1 copy of Peterson's field guide I picked up at an estate sale, the flicker I had in my locust tree, and the hairy woodpeckers (I think) building a nest in a tree on Davis Avenue. Next door, sparrows have hatched in the nest on C's porch.

Capital City weather: getting hazy, 90 degrees.
On The Simpsons: Marge works at the power plant; Smithers imagines Mr. Burns flying through the window

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Saturday drives to DC left: ONE MORE
Final Projects n papers: 1/3
Oral Presentions: 1/2

Capital City weather: beautiful blue skies, 78 or so.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

At Richmond Public Library
I missed The Simpsons tonight because I attended my final Friends of RPL Board meeting. TDespite the plastic covering the carpet, we met in the Gellman Room. Its share of this year's renovation was fresh paint, rug, and new light fixtures. We got a peak in the new children's room, in the old art section. It features bright linoleum, carpet, and more cool light fixtures. It's a much more formal approach than many kids' spaces -- and I don't think that's a bad thing. It does mean that the people working there must be great at being welcoming and approachable.

This Week
At Target: no fewer than three women wearing orange.
On a walk to the Video Fan: azaleas, kids playing with their grown ups in the yard at Fox School, dogs, and the juxtaposition of new trees in tree wells but the house repairs made by the old tree's fall in the hurricane still not completed.
In City Hall (where I to support the library at a budget hearing): I was pleasantly surprised by the council's chambers. It looks all bleak and Scandinavian modern on TV. In person, it is sober and impressive without being oppressive. The names of all of the city's mayors are carved into the wall, in two great columns. Shall I follow in Bill's footsteps and have a no-prize-at-all game? For No Reward Whatsover: What is the first name on the list?

Monday, May 03, 2004

Still Messing with ad banner.
What if I tell you that tonight's episodes of "The Simpsons" were God tells Homer he doesn't have to go to church and Bobo?
At Ukrop's today, I ran into Greg, so we had lunch. The Mongrel dude was there again. On the Musak: the Blues Brothers, "Soul Man."

Heads up: Joan Tupponce wrote a little item on my collections for Home Style that should appear this Wednesday.

Miscounting: I know I boasted to several people that I had two whole weeks off between this semester and summer session 1; turns out, it's only one week. Drat.

Messing with the ad banner. Will a link to my first choice Simpsons reference website bring back Simpsons ads?

Capital City weather: 50 and drizzly

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Counting Down
Saturday drives to DC left: ONE MORE
Final Exams: 1/2
Final Projects n papers: 1/3
Oral Presentions: 1/2