Blogs

The Epic Novel

infinite jest

Summer is supposed to be a time of long sunny days and carefree fun. Why in the world would anyone want to bog themselves down with a thousand-plus page novel? A valid question for sure, but I don't think I'm alone in taking on an epic novel this summer.

My poison of choice, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, a polarizing brick of a book full of nonsequential chapters, more characters than you can count, and 100 pages of fictional footnotes.

New Classes! Social Security & Managing Your Finances Online

SS Online Logo

It's possible to do just about anything online these days, including applying for Social Security benefits and managing your personal finances.  Our community partners, the Social Security Administration and Denver Community Credit Union, will show you how in back-to-back classes this Thursday, June 2, at 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

The Community Technology Center is pleased to welcome instructors from the Social Security Administration and Denver Community Credit Union, who will teach two new classes this coming Thursday, June 2.

Introduction to Social Security Online

Thursday, June 2, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Cotton Mill Girls

Hard Times Cotton Mill Girls

Browsing the new biography section at the Central Library led me to discover a collection of personal histories of women living and working in Southern mill towns, a surprising link to my own family history.

My great grandmother Zella was a child employee for the  Eureka Cotton Mill in Tennessee.  She was nearly 102 years old by the time I discovered this fact.  Zella wasn't tall enough to reach her work so she was hoisted on boxes and tied in place, making sure she wouldn't fall into the dangerous equipment.  Job safety being what it was, some of her friends weren't as fortunate.  She wouldn't say much about this experience other than she and her family had been grateful for the work.

May is Zombie Appreciation Month

World War Z by Max Brooks

May is Zombie Appreciation Month, here's a list of Zombie novels that are not to be missed!

Zombies Zombies everywhere and not a brain to eat!

Music of the Sahara

Ali Farka Toure

I've been recently enjoying the "desert blues" of Saharan Africa.  When you think about the harsh climate and political history that peoples of this region have faced, it seems only natural that powerful and soulful music would emerge similarly to American blues.

This music combines guitars with traditional African instruments such as flutes and harps and finds structure around percussive rhythms that stay with you long after you shut off the stereo.  Although you probably won't understand a word of the lyrics, you get the strange sense that you know what they're singing about purely through their emotive tones.

Climbing Mount Everest

Everest season 1

The short climbing season for Mount Everest is coming to a close in the Himalayas, and here in Denver my family has become totally hooked on the Discovery Channel's Everest: Beyond the Limit series.  We have blazed through both Season One and Season Two in less time than it takes to climb the mountain itself.

The climbers literally risk life and limb in their attempts to reach the top of the world.  I especially liked the recognition and appreciation shown for the amazing Sherpas who risk their own lives to help these climbers not only make it up the mountain, but perhaps more importantly make it back down alive.

Learn to speak Pirate, courtesy of Mango Languages

Jolly Roger - skull and crossbones

Mango Languages is offering this free course 'til the end of June - Learn to Speak Pirate. Scroll down to "Start Learning Pirate." As you can imagine, it's not on our regular Mango subscription list so we'll have to use this link. The cultural and grammar notes in the language lessons, not to mention the Pirate voices themselves, are hilarious!

How do you say: Oh my gosh, the ship isn't moving!
Answer: Blow me down, the ship's becalmed!

If this inspires you to learn other languages, like Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Greek and more, check out DPL's Mango Languages database (library card required) and more language resources.

The Game Night formerly known as WordNerds

Taboo

You say you're not a player? We think you are.

Fresh City Life has been presenting a monthly game night for a year or so; it's been perking along under the name WordNerds and drawing happy crowds to Mad Wine and Novo Coffee (our partners in this gathering for game players).

Getting to Happy

It has been 18 years since Terry McMillan has told of the story of Gloria, Savannah, Bernadine and Robin in the novel Waiting to Exhale.

Years later McMillan follows up with the highly anticipated sequel to these ladies lives and friendship.

Getting to Happy, wastes no time telling the reader what these ladies have been up to the last 12 years.

Over the years these four friends have dealt with divorce, death, addiction, raising children as well as trying to find happiness!! McMillan is a master at telling the story of Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine and Robin.

The question is will they all finally find happiness?

Johnny Depp reads to me

Life by Keith Richards

Oh, yes, I've been spending a lot of time with Mr. Depp.

Ok, so I might be stretching the truth just a bit. The truth is I recently began listening to Keith Richards' autobiography, Life, read by Johnny Depp and I don't think there could be a more perfect reader. Depp's droll tone conjures Richards (except Depp is easy to understand!) and when he slips into a British accent it doesn't sound fake (a must for me).

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