Showing posts with label Library databases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Library databases. Show all posts

Friday, November 8, 2013

Retirement and the Library and the Week in Reviews

[I review movies "About Time," "The Look of Love," "Lovelace," "Nobody Walks," "Down by Law" and "The Red Riding Trilogy" as well as Linda Ronstadt's memoir and some local theatre.]

But first

Retirement and the Library

As you can see from the picture above, I was an early library user (I'm the one third from the left - looks like Dutch Boy haircuts were in vogue).  My mother took me to the library story times as a preschooler, and as I have said in a previous blog ("20 Books and Films that Shaped this Baby Boomer's Life"), when I was older, I went to the library regularly as I worked my way through the "Masterpieces of Literature."  It was also a great place to meet up with my friends.

Libraries are still about childrens' story times and books and a great place to meet your friends, but today they are so much more.

I am always amazed that people don't know much about what libraries offer these days.  They are not what libraries were 60 years ago and librarians don't look like that anymore either (most of them anyway).

I can't tell you how many times I will give someone my little "elevator speech" about the library while standing in line somewhere and the response is usually, "I didn't know libraries did that" or "I haven't been to the library in years, not since my kids were little."

When I tell people I am a librarian, I still get the "shushing" motion or the "You don't look like a librarian" comment, comments I have been hearing for 40 years. These comments just indicate to me that libraries have not done a very good job about getting the word out about what is available for adults and for free!

Since I was a librarian for 40 years, it makes sense that the library was on my mind constantly, and I realize that it isn't the first thing that pops into the minds of civilians but it should be.  I have always been convinced that if people really knew what libraries provided -- for free -- they would be breaking down the doors.  But for some reason, word hasn't gotten out.

But now it has!

I am going to provide a public service and share some information about the library that you might not be aware of and might spark your interest, especially if you are retired or thinking of retirement.


If you go to your library's website, you can manage your account, use premium databases, read magazines and newspapers and download e-books to your computer or mobile devices -- all for free.

By managing your account, I am talking about renewing items online, placing requests for titles you want to read and many libraries provide the option of "freezing" your requests so you don't lose your place in the queue if you are on vacation when it's your turn for the book.

When I say "premium databases," I am referring to providing access to content that is NOT free on the Internet.  There is this misconception that everything is on the Internet.  That is partly true. Much is on the Internet but much of it is NOT free. For example, if you are into genealogy, you might want to use or HeritageQuest, neither of which are free if you went to those websites directly.  However, your local library probably subscribes to those databases and you can access them for free through the library's website using your library card.  The content available in other databases that the library subscribes to runs the gamut from auto repair data, home repair information, job hunting help, financial information, computer instruction and more.

The same goes for magazines - the entire issues - which you can download to your computer or device (Zinio is one vendor), and Overdrive and 3M Cloud provide FREE downloadable print and talking books. 

Why buy them when you can download them for free from your library?

You don't even have to go to the library to ask a question 

You can chat live with a librarian right from the website and ask your questions about Social Security, finances and other areas of interest to retirees.

Books, Audio Books, CDs and DVDs

Yes, I know you know that libraries have books. 
But did you also know that you can get talking books to listen to in your car or at the gym, the latest music CDs and movies on DVD?  Especially if you are retired and on a fixed income, why pay Netflix when you can check out the latest DVDs for free?  My library allows me to check out 10 at a time.


Many libraries offer computer classes, citizenship classes and classes on a wide variety of topics of interest to adults:  finances, planning for retirement, gardening, resumes and more.  And it's all free.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are retired and feeling like you need something purposeful to do, volunteering at the library can be fulfilling.  You get to hang around really cool people (librarians are very cool) and serve your community at the same time.

And libraries are just wonderful community gathering places
If you make your way to the brick and mortar library, you will find free Wi-Fi, computers and printers, photocopy machines and other services. Many libraries have meeting spaces for your group or study areas where you can meet with your friends to work on a project or have a quiet place to study.

So next time you and your friends are wondering what to do,
why not say
"Meet me at the Library!"

Share your library memories and experiences!

Cooking Classes

I am enjoying taking cooking classes. 

I love to cook and do it often, but after taking a couple of classes, I have already learned some things I didn't know.

My second cooking class was "Simply Seafood."

I tend to overcook my fish and shellfish.  I guess I can't quite believe something can be done in just a matter of minutes.  In fact the teacher said that you don't actually cook fish so much as "threaten it with heat!"

Anyway, here are some tips you may or may not know.

       This is what they do in restaurant kitchens.  You do all of your prepping  
       first: chopping, measuring, etc. so everything is ready before you start
       putting things together.  Good advice, especially if you have found yourself
       in the middle of putting a dish together and discovered you lacked a
       particular ingredient. I am going to make myself do this from now on. 
       Plus I like to say "mise en place."

  • You can peel a piece of raw ginger with a spoon.  It's actually better than using a peeler as you don't pull off as much flesh this way.

  • Use a zester for all of your grating needs when you need it grated very finely.

  • No matter what Rachael Ray says, don't use olive oil for anything you will heat higher than medium.  It changes its flavor at high temperatures.  Use canola or nut oils instead.

  • Heat your pan first without the oil, then add the oil.  If you add the oil and then heat the pan, it takes forever.  Then when you add the food, it gets cool again.

  • When frying or searing fish or meat, don't crowd the pieces in the pan.  When the fish or meat is crowded together, it actually stews it.

  • When searing fish, it will release from the pan when it has a nice sear.
I feel myself becoming a better cook already!  Now I am going to say mise en place again. Mise en place.
Have some cooking tips?

About Time (2013)


When Tim turns 21, his father tells him that the men in his family can time travel.  Tim uses this new power to find love and much more.
Richard Curtis, who wrote and directed "Love Actually (2003) "  and "Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)," has produced another affecting and life affirming film.  A little bit "Groundhog Day (1993)," a little bit "Somewhere in Time (1980)," this film has everything I love:  English Countryside, London, recognizable British actors (Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Lindsay Duncan), British humor, pathos and a love story.  (The baby is even named Posy and Posy, you know who you are).
Though Domhhall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter series) seems an unlikely leading man, he reminded me of a young Hugh Grant and he was delightful.  Rachel McAdams was also delightful as Tim's love interest.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Utterly charming.  A must see, but fathers and sons should especially see this together.

Movies You Might Have Missed
And some you will be glad you did!
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)
Note:  Funny how my weekly DVD watching seems to run in themes. 
Last week it was blood and gore and this week seems to be sex and porn!

The Look of Love (2013)

Biopic on the life of Paul Raymond, often called the Hugh Hefner of Britain and once Britain's richest man.
Lots and lots of nudity and sex in this one, but that aside, I love biopics and this one captures the "Swinging London" of the 1970's and the sad ends that often besets the children of the very rich. Moral:  Money can't buy you happiness.
Rosy the Reviewer says...A good biopic, but only recommended if you are not offended by lots and lots of nudity and sex.
Lovelace (2013)
A cautionary tale about growing up in a strict religious household and meeting the wrong guy.
If you haven't heard of "Deep Throat (the porn movie, not the Watergate code name), you are either under the age of 20 or over the age of 90.  "Deep Throat" brought porn to the mainstream, as it was one of the early ones where there was actually a plot and some humor. 
Peter Sarsgaard and Amanda Seyfried star, but it's fun to see all of the cameos by big stars (You might not recognize some of them):  Sharon Stone without makeup as her mother, James Franco as Hugh Hefner, Juno Temple (she's everywhere these days), Chris Noth, Eric Roberts (who starred in a similar story of domestic abuse, "Star 80, the tragic biopic about Playmate Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered by her abusive husband.)
If you watch this film for prurient reasons, you will be disappointed.  There is some nudity, but this movie is based on Linda's book "Ordeal," which describes the abuse Lovelace took at the hands of her husband and is more about domestic violence than porn and how women are used by men. 
"Deep Throat" made millions.  Linda Lovelace made $2500.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you like biopics, this is a good one.  If you like porn, you might be disappointed.
Nobody Walks (2012)
A young woman comes to LA to get some help with her film and wrecks havoc on a marriage... of course the husband cheats.  Yawn.
I kept checking to see how many more minutes until this was over.  You wonder sometimes why some films get made.
Rosy the Reviewer says...everyone in this film is so annoying and inappropriate.  You can skip this one.

Down by Law (1986)

Three guys from disparate backgrounds find themselves in a Louisiana jail together and plot their escape. 
Roberto Benigni stars along with Tom Waits.  This is Benigni pre "Life is Beautiful." Have been a big Jim Jarmusch fan ever since he did Stranger than Paradise in 1984.  He does quirky films often in black and white.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Reminds me how beautiful black and white can be.  If you haven't already and fancy yourself a film expert, you need to add Jarmusch to your repertoire.
Red Riding Trilogy (2009)
Riding is the nickname for West Yorkshire in England and this series of three films, that first appeared on UK television, follows the disappearances and murders of young girls from 1974 through 1983 and the police corruption that covered them up. 
All three films are related and there are some recurring characters in all three.  In addition to some familiar British actors such as Jim Carter and Michelle Dockery (Mr. Carson and Mary in "Downton Abbey" respectively), this was some early work by Andrew Garfield before he hit it big in "The Social Network" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" and Rebecca Hall, before she got noticed in "The Town."
Sometimes I think I am too stupid for British crime films as they are usually so intricate with so many red herrings that I lose track of the plot.  But I am still hooked. 
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you like your British crime films gritty and smart, these are for you.
***Check your local library for these DVDs.
***Otherwise, they are available through Netflix and Amazon.
Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt (2013)
Linda recounts the ups and downs of her life and eclectic musical career.
She doesn't give much in the way of personal details.  She mentions her two adopted children but does not address the issue of never marrying and only briefly mentions famous liaisons such as Jerry Brown.  But if you are interested in the LA music scene circa 1970's and 80's, it's fun to see how those performers all intermingled e.g. the Eagles were formed when Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon and Glen Frey came together to form Linda's touring band when she was first starting out.

It was sad to hear that Linda can no longer sing because of Parkinson's Disease.  What a cruel fate for a singer.  But she doesn't lament her situation. 
She is nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for 2014 and deserves this recognition as one of the most successful female singers of our generation. 
Rosy the Reviewer says...A straight-forward tale of the music scene of the 1970's and 80's that Baby Boomers will especially enjoy.


Anything Goes

This is the Tony-winning production (2011 Best Musical Revival) currently on tour.  You can enjoy the witty Cole Porter songs and lively dance numbers, though the book is sheer farce.

Rosy the Reviewer says...If you like Cole Porter and lively dance numbers, you will enjoy this.  See it if it comes to a town near you.  Click on the link for tour dates.

That's it for this week.

What did YOU do this week?

See you next Tuesday
for the
10 Signs You Are Getting Old!

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