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    Cubicle zoo

    Posted in blogjune
    June 26th, 2014


    This display on my work desk means I can play with my zoo friends during hold music, hold music, hold.


    If I go on leave, I try to position the tiger, dinosaur and giraffe in different (lewd?) ways to see if they’re the same when I return. It’s stressful when Dino and Tiggy aren’t near the rock slice, because then they’ll get too thirsty and steal my tea. Dino used to growl and light up his eyes, but I pressed the button too many times. The rose is a build-it-yourself invitation from a gallery overseas. I sometimes put things on the easel but it makes the display more vulnerable to wind gusts.


    Animal figurines on desk

    Corporate jungle


    Bunny’s heart cushion was made by Kate (thank you!) who also sent me a beanie today which is very exciting in Canberra’s weather. When I was little I would be saddened by “soft” parcels, because it meant that the gift was clothes. But now it excites me because a soft parcel doesn’t contain books and has some novelty value!


    The Bolaffi catalogue of Baj's complete work

    Baj’s cat rais


    Books that came across my desk today included catalogues for Guy Grey-Smith, Christl Berg, and Enrico Baj – the cover reminded me a little of Adventure Time?


    It’s important to have different books on my desk so that the toys have new reading materials overnight (don’t want them to get bored and cause mischief like purposeful misshelving). Thanks Peter for the post inspiration!



    Ten bashful mermaids

    Posted in blogjune
    June 1st, 2014


    Happy first day of blogjune! You can see all the participants on Flexnib’s list, she has also put together this blogjune file for your RSS reader.



    I’m trying to keep better track my reading this year by following another librarian’s example …but I realise that I’ve already changed the list parameters. I wasn’t counting non-fiction books which would greatly expand my count, but it’d also mean I was including books I hadn’t read cover-to-cover. Brings to mind a Cathy cartoon where she started a new year’s resolution of keeping a diary, but used the wrong colour pen so it was ruined. I will continue and aim for a December 2014 list of my inhaled fiction books & movies.


    Of the well-read books list from K, I have only read 6% which is a poor result:


    63. Life of pi by Yann Martel

    64. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

    65. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    99. 1984 by George Orwell

    100. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James



    I could work through the list, but so far I’ve focused on fun books like Tom Holt’s Doughnut, which is like a sweetly salted cookie packed with beautiful descriptive chocolate chips. My favourite quotes:


    “She’d sort of ground to a halt, and was looking hopefully at him, like a dog that can see the biscuit in its owner’s hand.” p. 21


    “That drip-drip noise you can hear is my heart bleeding.” p. 176


    Giraffe toys and toes in the tub

    Pink mermaids



    “He lay back and stared at his little pink toes,

    which rose up out of the froth like ten bashful mermaids.” p. 328


    You can even take a quiz on Holt’s site to find out the perfect love-match book for you. Spoiler: it seems to only choose between 2 of his titles! Doughnut is the first I’ve read by I’m happy to try out some bibliographic polyandry.



    Book collage, Pets of Red Riding Hood

    Posted in Books
    October 31st, 2012


    Book spine poetry’s beauty lies in its simplicity and serendipity, a haiku writes itself on the shelving trolley or in wayward piles on a researcher’s desk. What is the next evolutionary step for book spine poetry? Perhaps movable type on books or automated book spine poems in the style of Philip Parker’s computer-generated books – see McManus’ article, “Dr Parker’s latent library and the death of the author: a philosophical inquiry”. Another possibility is a book collage, where monographs huddle together at night in schoolyard (classification) cliques behind the bicycle shed to create teeming undignified title clusters, a bibliographic laboratory of nonsensical petri dishes like this book collage:


    Collection of books showing animals, Red riding Hood, text and clouds.

    Book collage, Pets of Red Riding Hood


    Title links lead to Trove or National Library records:


    Pop-up stand-out dinosaurs

    Our jungle friends

    Red Riding Hood

    Light zine: dumb clouds and blowy guys

    Some things are impossible


    It just goes to show that Red Riding Hood could have faced a much worse challenge – dinosaurs, giraffes and hippopotamuses. The dinosaurs in the pop-up book are much more three dimensional than the impression given in this photograph of a paper Apatosaurus – presumably named as it’s an affection-loving sauropod. You can see only part of Our jungle friends, the giraffe’s story in the photo, so here’s an excerpt:


    Which jungle friend’s tall, slender, spotted?

    No doubt you’ll guess – Giraffe.

    He’s very fine and graceful,

    And yet he makes one laugh.

    I wonder what would happen,

    If he should go to buy

    A silken scarf

    or muffler.

    A collar

    or a tie?


    …I think what would happen is that the shopping talking giraffe would be rewarded with capture, for displaying such unique skills.

    Red Riding Hood is a facsimile of one of the first shape books published in America in 1863, you can see way the cover follows the shape of her silhouette. It’s also very tiny – 18 by 7 centimetres and kept in a little envelope. The Light zine: dumb clouds and blowy guys can also function as a lantern (it has lots of cut-out cellophane cloud bits) and is made by Poodle productions. The other zine, Some things are impossible is by Andrea Ryer and is a must-read.


    Even though book spine poems can be deeply insightful, sometimes they’re just a fancy version of the search engine BananaSlug –words smashing together to see what happens, a lovely creative bibliographic possibility (just like a library!).