Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: My Favorite Stuff

2009 certainly was an interesting year. Here is my list of favorite stuff from the year that was:

Watchmen: Unfilmable no longer! Director Zach Snyder unleashed the long-awaited adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' graphic novel on March 6th. We had a deliriously enjoyable sneak peek at the New York Comic Con a month before. Several iterations of the movie followed on DVD. 2009 was the year of the Watchmen movie as far as I'm concerned.

Apple iPhone: After searching long and hard, I finally found a do-it-all handheld device. My life hasn't been the same since.

NJSL Graphic Novel Workshops and Grants: This was my proudest moment this year, as my colleagues and I gathered together to help you guys with your graphic novel collection development needs. We even had librarians from two other states requesting to join us. Kudos to the State Library for committing to the establishment of this historic grant program.

Lady GaGa at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards: This was my favorite pop music moment of 2009, as Lady G pulled out all of the stops and delivered a bloody good performance of 'Paparazzi.'

Amazon MP3: I bought digital music in earnest this year, thanks to Amazon's fabulous digital music service.

True Blood: I was introduced to the show this year and loved every moment of it.

The Big Bang Theory: It's still my favorite TV comedy and I'm glad to see it enjoying ratings success. Comics, sci-fi, fantasy gaming, nerdism. This is my life.

World of Warcraft - Year 5: Never before have I played a single PC game for this long (the closest was Blizzard's previous effort Diablo II). To me, WoW is much more than just a game; it's a vibrant social community, it's a great entertainment value, it's a way of life. I fully expect to continue playing World of Warcraft throughout 2010.

Zombieland: This is my kind of movie. I had so much fun seeing it, much of which was due to going to see it with my nerdy friends who liked it as much as I did.

Avatar: I was so glad to see James Cameron return with such a great sci-fi movie. It was also very enjoyable to get to see the limited preview earlier in the year with the faithful.

The Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D.": This was my favorite album of the year. Very infectious and you heard it just about everywhere.

Inglorious Basterds: Even if Quentin Tarentino wasn't one of my favorite directors, I still would have loved this movie. Enjoyable in that cool Tarentino way.

The Beatles Remastered CDs: At last the catalog has received the respect it deserves. The music sounds better than ever and I really love the new packaging and liner notes of the CDs.

Wade's Comic Madness: I finally found a great local comic shop that exceeds my notoriously picky standards. Wade does it the way I'd be doing it if I was still a comics retailer. It's fun to shop at Wades.

Star Trek: This was such a great movie that I went to see it twice, something I rarely do. I loved J.J. Abrams' relaunch and I can't wait to see what happens next.

District 9: This movie took me by surprise and turned out to be one of my favorites of 2009.

Drag Me To Hell: I counted the days until this, Sam Raimi's newest movie, was released. It was my second favorite movie of the year, right behind Watchmen. It was great to see Sam return to the horror genre he ruled with the Evil Dead movies.

Lost Season 5: It was another great year of Lost, in which we saw lots of time-traveling madness. We're all wondering what the hell will happen as the season draws to a close in Season 6.

Facebook: I spent a lot of time on Facebook this past year. I consider it to be the supreme social networking tool and I had a lot of fun investigating different networking possibilities in addition to indulging my marketing subconscious.

The Three Stooges on DVD: Sony is just about finished with their presentation of the complete chronological works of The Three Stooges on DVD. This Stooges fan is very pleased with the result.

The Sword: The Luna Brothers' epic held me spellbound throughout the year and became my favorite continuing comic book series.

Beasts of Burden: I stumbled upon this limited comic book series by accident and I discovered one of the best groups of characters ever. Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson have done great work here.

Princeton Record Exchange: I'll say it again, Prex is the best independent record store in New Jersey, if not the US. When I moved across the state in 2008, I moved to Hamilton for two reasons: to live close to where I work and to live closer to the Princeton Record Exchange.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve Dinner

This traditional Italian Christmas Eve meal has been in our family for over 100 years and includes several different types of fish.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowy Hamilton, NJ

And the snow arrived, right on schedule.

Avatar Was Astounding!

I really enjoyed seeing James Cameron's new movie Avatar in IMAX 3D on Friday, December 18, 2009 at the AMC 24 Hamilton. It was a spectacular film, filled with so many great moments. The 3D was truly revolutionary and didn't surpass the film's emotional power as much as support it. Many moments reminded me of some of my experiences playing World of Warcraft. The floating mountains in the film reminded me of those in Nagrand in Outland. The flying dragons reminded me of players flying their own in WoW. The giant tree in which Pandora's denizens dwell made me recall the giant World Tree of Teldrassil in which the Night Elves live. And the mechs and military brought to mind some elements of Starcraft. All of these similarities didn't diminish my enjoyment of the movie at all. Avatar stands as one of my favorite films of 2009.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


New Engineer Starcatt got the elusive Jeeves schematic!

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Letter from Santa

Was I naughty or nice this year? Click on the letter for a closer look!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

Computers in Libraries 2010: "Bridging Community, Research, Skill Building & Entertainment with World of Warcraft & Libraries"

I'm thrilled to announce that I will be appearing at the 2010 Computers in Libraries conference in Arlington, Virginia next year presenting with three of my colleagues on the intersection of libraries and World of Warcraft. Complete information below. Please mark your calendars and join us at the conference. We have a great session planned for you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
1:30 - 2:15 PM
Track C, C203

Bridging Community, Research, Skill Building & Entertainment with World of Warcraft & Libraries

David Lisa, New Jersey State Library
Bob Beck, Central Arkansas Library System
Liz Danforth, "Games, Gamers and Gaming" columnist for Library Journal
Michael Porter, OCLC

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs or just MMOs to gamers) are some of the most popular types of PC games, especially Blizzard Entertainment's hugely successful and wildly popular "World of Warcraft" (or "WoW"). Many library staffers find deep value in the combination of a fantasy gaming franchise with a virtual, online social environment, and this value greatly enhances game play.

Moderated by veteran World of Warcraft player David Lisa, this panel showcases their experiences with WoW and how gaming is shaping the future in information and community access. Bob Beck of the Central Arkansas Library System will talk about instituting WoW as a library program and service. Liz Danforth, "Games, Gamers and Gaming" columnist for Library Journal, will talk about her WoW experiences and the positive impact of the game upon the players' lives. Michael Porter of WebJunction/OCLC will show us how and why he developed the WoW guild "Libraries and Librarians."