Tag Archives: Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian

Wombat Storytime

Hello and welcome back to another fun filled season of the Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian…

So, summer is more or less over… can I get a collective whoop from all the parents out there? Are ya’ll as happy school started back up as I am?

Well, normally we wouldn’t really have anything going on until September; but there’s been a lot of shifts in upper admin over the last few months, and apparently they have all decided that we need more programs.  More MARKET PENETRATION! Which, whoopy-effing-do… like we don’t do a sorts of programs and outreach.

That 40 hour position I had been working my ass for over the course of the 8 years I’ve been here…. was given to someone else. Lady from the business office that had been one of the ‘Subs’ or ‘Learning Experiences’ that we had at the beginning of the year.

No, no, it’s cool; I’m totally not even remotely bitter about it…. nope… not at all.

hades

And really, it’s not even that I don’t like the person they chose. I think she’ll make a very good children’s librarian.  It’s just very disappointing after busting my rump for 8+ years.

I do have to give her kudos; she got us some Leopard Geckos which have been a HUGE hit with the kids. I think we’re going to have some sort of mini contest to decide what their names will be….

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Anywho, on to what ya’ll are really here for! Wombats! Or rather, Wombat Storytime!

Ok so Wombats is probably a really random topic for a storytime; but I happened to find a cute craft idea for them and went with it. Then I found another cute craft…. and that’ll be saved for next time. So don’t be surprised if there’s another Australian themed storytime next time I post.

So to start off with, there aren’t a whole lot of wombat books out there; but there were more than I thought there would be and they were SUPER cute.

Since I wasn’t sure if the kids would know what a wombat was; I found a nonfiction book  called Wombats by Sara Louise Kras, that had some really nice pictures that I used to show the kids what a wombat was.

It was a fairly simple nonfiction book and had my kiddos been a wee bit older that attended, I probably would have actually read this book to them. However, all the kids were pretty young, so I just used it for pictures and moved on to the next book.

Next I read Swim, Little Wombat, Swim! by Charles Fuge; which was very cute and wouldn’t you know it, part of a series! This particular story talked about Little Wombat making a new friend and learning how to swim. In hindsight I probably would have used Watch Out, Little Wombat! which was a bit sillier than this one.

I actually had to more or less pull my ‘game’ out of a hat because I totally FORGOT about it. I prepped for this storytime a full 2 weeks before due to the fact that I wasn’t going to be here the week prior – I took a Tai-Chi instructors training class.  So I got to about 20 mins before storytime was about to start and realized sh*% I didn’t have a game! AHHHHHH!

Fortunately a book called Wombat Walkabout by Carol Diggory Shields had come in; which essentially was the ‘5 little monkeys’ of the wombat bookverse.  A really cute story about 6 wombats that go walkabout and what happens to them.

Basically I would read the story and everytime I got to the part of  ‘And then there was…..’ I’d have a kid come up to the board and take down a wombat.  Then at the end when all the wombats come back; I had all the kids take turns and come put their wombat back on the board.  It was simple and each time we practiced counting how many wombats were left.

During the morning session, I had such a young twitchy group that I stopped reading here and let them go on to the craft.  I could tell I was loosing my audience (to normal wiggles) and it was time for a change.  For the afternoon session, I had slightly older and calmer group; so we read Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball, another Little Wombat book by Charles Fuge. It allowed me to engage my audience a bit more; I’d ask them if they liked to get muddy, or sometimes just liked to yell.

Next it was craft time and we made our own ‘Wooly wombats’.

I found a coloring page of a wombat off Google. I cut some yarn in small 1 in. pieces of various colors. Pulled out the glue sticks and markers… and let the kids have fun. The idea was to let them color their wombats then glue yarn on them as ‘fur’.

There were quite a few very rainbow colored wombats wandering around the library after storytime, lemme tell ya.

The books I decided not to use for storytime, I actually set up and let the kids check out.  Diary of a Wombat and Diary of a Baby Wombat were very cute and I’d recommend them if you’re reading to a group of slightly older children.

The next day I had to do the Storytime at the Mall; which I actually had a couple kids for! YAAAAY! Normally we don’t have anyone show up for that; so having even one family was awesome.

Those kiddos were really young, so I was glad I had the foresight to bring a cute wombat themed boardbook called Once I Heard a Little Wombat by Renee Treml. Which basically went through a list of different Australian animals; there was a lot of repeating words and rhyming. We also did the Wombat Walkabout game and some coloring sheets that a coworker had found from years ago that had koalas on them!

Over all, not a bad start for our after summer storytimes. It’ll probably be another month or so before I update as there are now 4 people in my department that are doing storytimes and we rotate each week.

Like I said, it’ll probably be Australian themed again; I found a really easy, cute Rainstick craft I want to do.

So until next time! Ciao!

 

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Snakes Storytime 2017

This week was the 3rd Annual Snake Storytime at my library. This is a program I do every year (hence the ‘annual’ bit), each year is a little different; but I always try to impart some of my love and respect for our slithery garden companions.

This year, my crowd was a bit younger; so for my first book I read The Greedy Python an Eric Carle style book written by Richard Buckley. 


This story has the traditional Eric Carle bright crayon-like illustrations and rhyming words. Its about a snake that eats waaaay to much and just ’bout explodes. The ending has a funny little twist that the kids really seemed to enjoy.

My next book was a Nonfiction book on Garter Snakes written by Julie Murray.

This was an easy to read book that discuss various simple facts about the common Garter snake. The pictures were big and colorful and the facts were easy enough for young kids to comprehend. It opened the way to talking about Snakes more and allowed me to bring out some of my show-n-tell items (more on that later).

After that, was our Make a Snake game using shapes.

Since my crowd was a lot younger then previous years; I shelved the snake identification game…. and went with something more toddler friendly.

I chose 3 different shapes that I thought young children would be able to easily recognize; but weren’t the standard circle, square, triangle.

I went with a heart, oval, and diamond.

I got the template from DLTK’s Growing Together; it was actually a paper craft that I turned into a shape matching game.

I printed the shapes onto colored paper. Then, to make the heads stand out a little more, I added some red glitter to the tongues and google-eyes….because who doesn’t like glitter and google-eyes???

I printed off regular shapes  -sans glitter and google-eyes; on different colored paper. I then handed those out to the kids and had them take turns coming up to the board and putting their shapes next to the snake head. (Just a note: toddlers do NOT get the concept of coming up to the board one at a time. It normally turns into a free-for-all as they all rush the board for their turn.)

After that was our 3rd book; a personal favorite and one that’s enjoyed by both younger and older children – Elephant and Piggie’s Can I Play Too? By Mo Willems.

I love Elephant and Piggie….as I’ve said on many, many occasions. This features a snake and the age old question burning every in child’s mind….. can a snake play catch???  If you’ve never read it, I won’t spoil the ending for you.

Next we did our craft: Snake Finger Puppets.

I got the idea and template from Mr. Printables. The templates come in the 4 colors shown and in a blank version that kids can color and make their own snake patterns.

Folding is a little complicated of a concept for the real young ones; but this craft was to cute NOT to do. So to make things a little more user friendly; I added glue dots where glue needed to go, and a red dot where the piece needed to be stuck.

In hindsight, I probably should have made the dots different colors, because somehow the kids were sticking the glue dot on the red spot on the opposite side of the snake, instead of the dot right next to said glue dot.


Anyway, despite the small road blocks we had; all the kiddos left happy with snakes hissing from their fingers.

Now originally, the template produced a smaller snake. Like so:

I worried that the smaller size would make it more difficult for little hands to work with it…. so I blew it up a couple sizes to make giant snakes…

Now normally, this would be where my program normally ended; but for this Storytime, I had show-n-tell items.

Being the odd ball, pagan, nature lover and mother of a little boy that I am… my mom is always sending me weird things she finds out on her walks so I can show my little munchkin.

One of the items she sent me was a dried ‘petrified’ baby snake; pretty sure its a ring-neck snake.


Not that my mom isn’t totally justified sending me weird crap. I love it. While camping last summer my son and I found a baby snake skeleton, complete with jaw bones (well, we actually found 2 but I could only find one, which was a miracle and a half, since we literally just moved).

I, of course, kept the skeleton… because…well…because its cool alright! I woulda kept it even if I didn’t have a kiddo… but I do, so I have an excuse!

Anyway, later that same summer, we were walking along the outdoor track at our local gym when we found our 2nd petrified snake… this time a garter snake (I think).

Now before anyone asks; no, I didn’t put the them through the laminator… I used clear book tape. This way the kids could pick up the pieces to get a better look without destroying them.

I also had a magnifying glass available for them to get a better look.

And, as I had for the previous years, my rattlesnake head made another appearance.

Kids always like him; its a pity his mouth doesn’t open. The kids always want to see his fangs. Oh well… eventually I’ll get a rattlesnake skull with fangs and a tail rattle.

I also updated my Oklahoma Venomous Snake guide; this year I added a section on ‘Snakes and Your Dog’ that talks about what to do if your furry family companion has a close encounter (just in case you’re wondering….the answer is TAKE YOUR PET TO THE VET!!!!.

And as usual, I made sure there was a cart full of books for the kiddos to check out for further reading.

Well, that’s all for this week! I hope everyone had a great Spring Break! Mine was spent working on getting our new house set up… feels more like I’ve just been moving one pile of crap to another part of the house. But, I don’t mind really; I love we’re someplace new – hate the actual moving process. With all the warm weather we’ve been having; my mind has been fixed on getting my garden ready; since I now have the space for one. I know, technically it’s still to early…. but it FEELS like spring! It was freaking 90 degrees yesterday! Surely it’s time to start shopping for plants….right?

‘Til next time my lovelies. Ciao!

 

 

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Nautical Storytime

 

I was browsing around Pop Goes the Page, a library blog that I follow, looking for inspiration when I found their Nautical Flag Necklace blog and realized…. that would make an AWESOME craft for kids. Not only had I not known that there were flags that symbolized letters and numbers (as well as a bunch of other things) that ships used; but the idea of turning that into a craft just tickled me.

And as usual for me, once I find a craft I like, I create a storytime around said craft….thus Nautical Storytime was born.

Now, sadly, no one showed up to our Storytime at the Mall program… which, honestly, wasn’t that surprising really, since it was Columbus Day, they probably didn’t think we were doing anything….or even open.

But we had kiddos show up to the regular storytime so no worries!

My first book was Pig Kahuna by Jennifer Sattler:

This was a cute book about a little piggie who was just not having a great day and was grumpy, then that grumpiness paid off by giving him the perfect grumpy pirate growl.

The next book was a Nonfiction book called Big Boats by Catherine Ipcizade:

And gave simple discriptions and pictures of Big, Bigger and Biggest boats.

After that, we did a Find the Anchor game.

I did a simply google search for different boats coloring sheets and just picked four that I liked. I printed them on different color paper and found picture an anchor. I woukd hide the anchor under a boat and each kid would get a turn to come up and check under a boat to see if the anchor was there.

The third book was one the younger kids loved called Row, Row, Row You Boat by Jane Cabrera:

This cute little book followed along with the song, then talked about ‘what to do’ if you see certain animals, and *insert animal sound here* lol. the kids, of course, LOVED making lion roars

Now came the craft, our Nautical Necklaces.

This took a bit of prep.

I enlarged the flags a bit then cut multiples of each.

Then I quartered a glue dot…. I know, quartered???? Yes, you dont need a lot, its small after all.

Now, all the kid has to do is peel off the back like a sticker and fold. I recommend folding AROUND the necklace cord. Folding first and attempting to get the cord through is a pain in the @$$.

I also used plastic string and set out some beads for the kiddos to use on their necklaces.

I think they liked the bead part better than the flag part, but oh well.

I also provided a cart of books on boats, pirates, the Titanic, etc. etc.

I think I might have gotten a little carried away, lol.

Well thats all for now. Got 2 weeks of vacation calling my name. Ciao!

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Silly Storytime Take 2…or is it 3???

Hello! Hello! And Welcome to October! Is anyone else excited about the fact that it’s FINALLY starting to get cooler out?


Yea, I’m a Fall person; it’s my favorite season with Halloween being my absolute favorite holiday.


I don’t know about the rest of ya’ll; but man, life has been BUUUUUUSY! Which is better then it has been, cause for the rest of the year, it just straight up sucked; so I’ll take busy.

This is actually for my storytime last week; yes, yes, I know… I’m late. Like I said…..busy! Doesn’t help that my supervisor is on vacation last week and this week; so both the regular storytimes and the new mall storytimes fall to me. So yea…. time got away from me a bit.

Anyway; last week was another ‘Silly Storytime’; which was about the best I could come up with for a theme. In reality; I found some new books I really liked and decided to use those and ‘Silly’ was about all they had in common.

The first book I used was called Silly Doggie by Adam Stower:

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Which is a super cute book about a little girl who somehow mistakes a bear for a dog…… and the bear not only doesn’t eat her(which would be an awful children’s book), but lets this child treat him like a dog and love on him. It’s adorable and I had quite a few kids that told me very plainly that that was NOT a dog, thank you very much and pointed out that the bear would, indeed, probably eat the girl. So DON’T try to play with bears!

The next book was Whose Story is This, Anyway? by Mike Flaherty:

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This story was a bit longer, and lost my younger kids a bit; but the older kids liked it and it was a good book to break out different voices and have a bit of fun. The story starts off with a boy claiming that this was HIS story about him and his cat…until he gets interrupted by a pirate…. then a dinosaur….then an alien…..and finally a knight.  All the while the kid is being kinda a brat and saying this is HIS story and the others have to leave. Eventually the other characters get annoyed and wander off leaving the kid to his story, only for him to realize that his audience is supposedly bored with his story about his cat and it would really be improved by having all the other characters in it.

After that we did a storyboard of Ten Dizzy Dragons; a cute poem that I’ve used before and completely forgot about.


TEN DIZZY DRAGONS

Ten dizzy dragons lived long ago,
In a land full of magic where few people dared to go

The first dragon wore a garland of flowers
The second dragon had strong magic powers

The third dragon flew wildly through the air
The fourth dragon lived in a jewel filled lair

The fifth dragon rescued people in trouble
The sixth dragon liked to blow pretty bubbles

The seventh dragon wore a crown made of gold
The eighth dragon had a heart brave and bold

The ninth dragon had breath of smokey green fire
The tenth dragon was a terrible, awful liar.

Ten dizzy dragons lived long ago,
In a land full of magic where in your dreams you can go


This seems to be a fairly common flannel board. Sadly, I’m not sure where I got it originally (if you happen to know who the original artist/author is by all means let me know so I can give credit where it’s due). I’ve seen this flannel board done dozens of different ways, I went simple with mine; I kept the dragons white and just colored the specific parts that set them apart from one another.

 

A simple Google search will show you dozens of these dragons colored in a plethora of different ways.  If you’d like the plain print of, to make your own: ten-dizzy-dragons.

 

My third and final book was That Stinks: A Punny Show and Tell by Alan Katz:

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Which is a goofy story about a class doing show and tell; and each student seems to interrupt the class saying something offensive like ‘that stinks’ or ‘that’s garbage’, only for them to turn around and show the class something like a pet skunk, or some day old garbage (ew). There were quite a few very loud EWWWWWWWWWWW’s that erupted during this story.

Now, since I have younger kids in my Mall storytimes and my morning sessions during the Preschool Storytime; I did switch out That Stinks and Whose Story is this, Anyway. During the Mall program I initially used Whose Story is This, Anyway and saw that while the parents liked the story, I lost the kids a bit, so during the Morning session in regular storytime, I replaced it with That Stinks– which the younger kids liked a bit more. For them, my third book was a tried and true favorite The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak:

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Which, if you’ve never read it to your children; shame on you, go borrow it from the library right now and remedy that oversight immediately. It’s a fun book that has absolutely no pictures in it; just words. And it makes the reader say weird and goofy things. Kids LOVE it.

For the craft portion of my program we did masks/hats that corresponded to the Whose Story is This, Anyway book.  However, instead of a dinosaur mask, I substituted a dragon.

Dragon Mask Template

Alien Mask Template

Knight/Spartan Helmet Template

The Pirate Hat templates I got from FleeceFun.com from their free printables section.

I printed these out on cardstock, cut them out and punched holes in them so we could tie string to them. Then I let the kids color them however they wanted.

 

 Also, on a more personal note; one of our kiddos gave us a present she had been working on. A little number book! Why…. I don’t know. But for some reason she wanted to give this little book to her storytime librarians so I’ll proudly accept it and display it at the desk where all my coworkers can see it.

Alright, next up Nautical Storytime!

Ciao!

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Beaches and Oceans Take Two

Summers over, school has started back up for most the country (can I get a collective HUZZAH! from all the parents out there?); which means that for my library, storytime is once more in swing.

This year, seems like the library system is all about ‘Market Penetration’… (stop snickering… I hear you over there. Mind outa the gutter….) Which essentially means that we are attempting to get at least one active library user in every household. And guess what that means?

Yup….OUTREACH!

So every Monday we now do a storytime at the Mall. Sadly, it hasn’t been getting a lot – note any – participation. Granted, our regular storytimes don’t always have a lot of participation either; so I’m not sure if this new program simply hasn’t garnered any interest, or if folks just don’t know its there, despite our advertising.

In any case, the Storytime at the Mall will more or less be the same material we used at the Preschool Storytime the week before. At the moment, what few parents I have run across while there yesterday, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think they realize we’re from the library. Pretty certain they thought I was an author selling my books or something.

They gave me the same ‘oh shit, I made eye contact’ look I know I get whenever I accidentally look at one of the vendors at a mall that pushes the samples on people.

I immediately came back to the library and made some signs proclaiming that the PUBLIC Library was presenting Storytime at the Mall and it was FREE. I also made a big bright orange sign that sasys “Storytime In Progress, Please have a seat”. I’m hoping it clears up some of the confusion and maybe will catch interest.

Certainly can’t hurt.

It’s been a long and stressful last few months; so it’s kind of nice to get back to something I enjoy doing.

I decided to do Beaches/Oceans again do to the fact that we had quite a few new really cute Beach and Ocean themed books that had just come in. Also…. I really could go for a nice beach vacation; so hey, lets pretend! LOL.

The first book I read was Beachy and Me by Bob Staake:

Which was a colorful, cute, rhyming book about a lonely girl who befriends a whale.

The second book was Barnacle is BORED, by Jonathan Fenske:

Which depicts a barnacle (obviously), who is essentially complaining about how dull his life is.  He starts comparing his life to the cute, colorful polka-dot fish that he sees and imagines all the fun things this fish must be able to do…all the way up until said fish gets eaten. Suddenly Barnacle isn’t so bored anymore.

The parents actually seemed to get a kick out of this more than the kids. I know, a little morbid. However, the very last page of the book shows the same little colorful polka-dot fish safe and sound in the eel’s belly stating how bored IT now is…… which yea, gets a cackle out of the adults.

After that we play a number/color recognition game I called ‘Feed the Shark’.  I crafted a shark head out of cardboard, complete with sharp teeth and google eyes that’s very reminiscent of a JAWS movie cover.

Most of the kids LOVED it. Though I did have one who refused to get near it, kept trying to throw the fish into it’s mouth. We kept trying to explain to her that Bruce was a NICE shark and wouldn’t bite her….. but she just wasn’t going for it.

I made some basic fish that I printed out on colored paper and then added numbers too. I used only 1-10 this time, but it has the potential to be used for the whole alphabet as well.

The last book I read was If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T!, by Elise Parsley:

This was just a goofy book on why exactly bring a piano to the beach was a bad idea. It was seriously cute and the kids- who were all smart enough to know immediately that taking a piano to the beach is just silly – were wincing and wide eyed at all the things that happened to this poor piano. It was a great book to engage the kids and get some participation.

After that we had our craft; Water-Resistant Clownfish. I had the kids put on the google eyes (with glue dots on the back to make stickers) on first, then we used white crayons to draw designs on the fish cutouts (on cardstock), after that we used watercolors to paint.

The kids didn’t understand why we used white crayons at first; but once they applied the paint and saw their designs ‘magically’ appear, they thought that was pretty cool.

We had quite a few very colorful clownfish swimming around the library after storytime.

I also had a cart of both fiction and nonfiction books about beaches and oceans available for the kids to look through and check out.

I used the same set up, minus the books to check out, for the Storytime at the Mall program.

On a completely unrelated note… well, not quite unrelated, but unrelated to Storytime…. Welcome the newest addition to our household.

This is Kip. A 2 month old kitten my supervisor found under a truck near the library. It was a group effort to catch the sweet little fuzzball and get him cleaned up and taken to the vet. But once everything was said and done; my husband and I decided to take him home. Our new house has been empty without a kitty-cat.

I haven’t decided what I’m doing for Storytime next week. I’ve found some cute, kinda silly new books that I like, so I might just do something along the lines of a “Silly Storytime’ again. “Goofy Storytime’ maybe? Hmmmmmm……

Well, until next time. Ciao!

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The Liebster Award

My friend Anna over at A Sweet and Delicate Thing and A Glorious Beauty recently nominated me for something called a Liebster Award.

Liebster Award

 

I’ll admit, I had no idea what this was.  Fortunately my girl Anna was wonderful enough to provide a link to the ‘Official Rules’ of this award; so answering that question was easy enough.  One of the many things I love about Anna’s blogs; she always does great research before she posts something.  I may not necessarily agree with what she’s posted; but she always have facts to back up any of her opinions.  That and she has such a unique perspective on things; it’s fascinating and informative to read.

The simplest explanation of this award is that it’s to recognize new bloggers, and in turn nominate at least five other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  Truthfully; the only two blogs I follow with any regularity are my friend Anna’s blogs. Soooo…. nominating five other newbie bloggers is going to be a bit difficult.  Admittedly, I spend far more time on Facebook than I do, here on WordPress.

Since part of this award was also answering questions the nominator posted; I guess I’ll go ahead and answer those and make an effort to browse some blogs and see if I can find any other newbies that catch my attention.

 Why do you blog and how did you get started?

I initially started blogging back in 2010, I believe. I had massive writers block for my own personal writing and was looking for some inspiration. At first, I simply shared some things I found funny.  Then I came up with the ‘Sh** My Husband Says’ idea; because really, I wish I had a recorder for the things that come tumbling out of that mans mouth. It’s too funny.  Then life happened, and I forgot about this blog for a while.  When I rediscovered it, I decided that I really should get back into writing.

Still had no idea what to write about…. at which point my Mother’s voice popped into my head: Write about what you know.

At the time, I was stalking several Storytime blogs looking for new fun ideas and crafts to do during our weekly Storytime…. which is about the time the light bulb went off in my head.

Duh… STORYTIME. You’re a Librarian, you dolt, write about what you know.

So, I started blogging my storytime ideas and crafts; and since, my son is now older and just as much of a character as his father, I couldn’t leave them out, not when they’re such a crucial part of my life.

If you could accomplish one thing with your blog, what would it be?

If some of my ideas help a single stressed, at-wits-end librarian; or my family stories entertain and cheer even a single person – I’ll feel accomplished. This blog was meant to provide information and entertain; if it does either of those two things then hey, I accomplished my goal.

What unique thing do you think you bring to the blogging community?

Unique? Hard to say; there are dozens of storytime blogs out there and I’m sure there are even more blogs about people’s families. Only thing I can say is that they aren’t written in MY voice and they aren’t MY family – who are unique in their own right.

What do you think is the most defining thing about yourself?

My morbid, twisted sense of humor? Honestly, don’t know. I’m a mother and a librarian; those are two things that I take very seriously and are two main defining factors to my being.

If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Travel with my family. My husband and my son are two of my favorite people in the world. I would love to be able to just travel the world, seeing new sights, experiencing new cultures… essentially having adventures with the two people I love most in the world.

Either that or living somewhere peaceful and scenic, surrounded by loved ones; either working at or running a library where I can continue to pass on the joy of reading and life long learning to new generations.

Not sure which idea appeals to me more….

 

Alrighty, that’s it for the questions. Like I said, I’ll browse around and look at some blogs to see what I can find and if any catch my fancy I’ll update this and nominate those bloggers in turn for this award. Thanks again for the nomination; and as always, I hope you enjoyed.

 

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Adventures in Pokemon Training!

 

Yes…. I too am part of the Pokemon craze that is currently sweeping the nation. Do I care that it’s a child’s cartoon; no. Pokemon was one of the first Japanese cartoons to finally make it to the states; as a child who spent a good many developmental years overseas in Okinawa, Japan, I grew up with anime, Godzilla and the less-sweet Japanese candy.

You seriously have no idea how excited I was the first time I saw Pocky on the shelf. My friends thought I was nuts.

Anyway, back when Pokemon made it’s debut here in the states, I was a teen, and thus to old and attempting (and failing) to be too cool for a silly thing like Pokemon.  Even though, behind closed doors I still watched it and played the card game with my younger brother…. and when the movies came to theaters…. guess who was the only one willing to take my little brother to see them…. you guessed it. Me.

All in the name of sisterly duty, of course…..

Now, I’m in my thirty’s and I have hit the ‘I don’t give a shit’ phase of my life; so I can do all the nerdy, geeky things that I never would have attempted out of embarrassment a decade ago.

Anyone who says bullying doesn’t leave a lasting impression; take note…. you’re in denial. It left enough of an impression that it is only now, nearly two decades later, that I’m able to cast off some of the baggage I’ve been carrying round from the bullying I received when I was in 6th grade. Not all of it, Goddess forbid that my pants ride up past my ankles when I sit down; but I can now geek out about the things I love without feeling embarrassed by it.

Partly because being a ‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’ has become more socially acceptable.

So now I can proudly proclaim that YES! I AM A POKEMON TRAINER!

And I really don’t give two shits what you think about that. So 😛

Ah… how enlightening.

Anywho, for those who have had their head under a rock for the last week and are wondering what the F*** I’m talking about; I’m referring to the recent launch of the AR mobile app game: Pokemon Go!  A game where players get out and walk around their neighborhoods and ‘capture’ Pokemon. The key to this is that you actually have to get out of your house and WALK AROUND.

GASP!

*pauses to listen to all the gamers hissing as they are forced into the sunlight for the first time in ages*

So, this game uses the camera on your phone to superimpose the images of pokemon in the real world. I’m not the only one who will tell you that it’s majorly cool. I don’t know a kid in the 2000’s that didn’t want to break out and travel the world as a Pokemon trainer.

And the Pokemon pop up everywhere, in the oddest locations…..without much rhyme or reason.  Like, I found these guys at the gym:

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And these at my work:

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In addition to being able to go out and ‘catch’ these mostly cute creatures; there is of course, another aspect of the game that anyone who is familiar with the series will know is a must in any Pokemon game…… Gym Battles.
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Now the developers are still working out some of the kinks. But for the moment; there are three teams: Instinct, Mystic and Valor.
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If you have any Pokemon knowledge; you’ll notice that each team corresponds with one of the three legendary bird Pokemon:

Zapdos – Electric
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Articuno – Ice
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Moltres – Fire
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Now in order to participate in the Gym Battles, you have to join a team.

Personally, I’m Team Instinct!
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Then, there’s of course, a few fan based teams/alliances that are attempting to keep things light, carefree and peaceful, because OF-FREAKING-COURSE there are those overly-competitive people out there that want to take things a bit to far.

The first, pulls from the Pokemon 2000 movie and the ancient prophecy that surrounds the legendary bird Pokemon.

“Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice or lightning

Lest these titans wreck destruction upon the world which they clash.

Though water’s great guardian shall rise to quell the fighting,

Alone it’s song will fail.”

 

This is the Lugia Alliance or Team Harmony

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(Now if you’re a Pokemon enthusiast, then you probably know that’s not the WHOLE prophecy; they’re of course missing the part about the world turning to Ash.)

The other fan base team, is kinda a no brainer, because they were iconic. You can’t have Pokemon without…. you guessed it….

 

TEAM ROCKET!!!!!

Though, so far, most of those claiming to be Team Rocket are using the iconic villians to do more pranks and less actual…..villiany.

In fact there’s even a Team Rocket group that’s more about charity work then villiany; check it out here.

I have to admit; I’ve joined Team Rocket.  Just last night my son and I were walking our dog around the outside track at the gym hunting Pokemon, working on hatching the eggs, and all around killing time until my husband got off work.  It’s late, after 11pm, and we are NOT the only ones on this track; in fact there’s another family of 6 walking the track too.

We pass them a couple times, when on one pass one of the boys – who is bout my son’s age- calls over and asks if we had caught a Psyduck. To which MY son exclaims, “I TOLD you they were playing too!!!”

Smart-ass…..

Anyway, I had to restart my app, but I told the kid that yea, I had caught a couple. After they passed us, my app loaded and suddenly I realized that there was a Psyduck NEARBY and that was what the kid was asking about…. So, I immediately start looking for the goofy fowl – I want my Golduck dammit.

I quickly find it, and tell my kid, showing him the Psyduck standing next to the fishing lake. He cheers and exclaims, LOUDLY, “WE FOUND THE PSYDUCK!!!!!”

(facepalm)

I catch it-because, yea GOLDUCK!- and again my kid cheers, proclaiming loudly that we caught it. To which I exclaim; “TEAM ROCKET BLAST OFF AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT!!!!!” And race off to my car, leaving a stunned kid and a cackling father in my wake.

Back on track; once you’ve chosen one of the 3 main teams, you can then participate in gym battles in one of two ways… Attacking an Enemy gym (or one that defended by a different team) or by Sparring/Defending at a Friendly gym (or a gym that’s defended by one of your own team members).

Sparring with your team mates is a great way to level up your Pokemon, and defending a gym nabs you some cool prizes. Don’t be overly disappointed  if your gym is constantly overtaken; it’s going to happen.

Eventually, the game is supposed to roll out neat features like trading options and global leader boards.  Also, eventually, there will be mass city wide events to capture rare and legendary Pokemon…. but considering the game is barely a week old, I’ll give the developers a little slack. I’m still attempting to get my 3rd and final Evee evolution still, and haven’t even catch half of the 135 Pokemon that are available at the moment.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to the all the upgrades. It’s unclear how long the craze surrounding this game will go on for.  Will it still be popular once everyone’s data bills come in at the end of the month? A month from now, will people still be milling around in-mass at the poke-stops?  Who knows….

Personally, it gives me something to do while I walk. I could honestly walk around all day just collecting Pokemon; but sadly the heat drives me inside to the a/c, and both my kid and dog lack the enthusiasm and stamina I seem to possess.  Not sure how…. you’d think a 7 yr old and a dog would be able to run circles around a 32 yr old librarian….buuut apparently not.

It makes things doubly interesting since I’m planning on going into the military soon; so I’ll really be ‘travelling across the lands, searching far and wide’ on my Pokemon journey!

So, until next time! Be safe all you fellow Pokemon Trainers! No Catching and Driving!

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