Joss Whedon is my Master now

Midnight is it, finally the official opening of Serenity--golly gee, with a full soundtrack and everything! In full support, I am wearing my ThinkGeek shirt that subtly pronounces that Serenity is the new Star Wars:

This week is also banned book week, for those of you who have to be coerced into reading by the suggestion that it's the rebellious thing to do. Try some particularly naughty, obscene piece of literature like A Wrinkle in Time or Huckleberry Finn, two of my favorites. In honor of the week, I have earned my first true piece of librarian "flair," a banned book pin.

The real government conspiracy last night was to prevent Alex, Jaime, Amy, and I from watching Lost! We were all settled and ready to eat dinner and watch, when a tremendous storm blew in. This rendered our HD antenna close to useless--unless we had actually enjoyed the dialogue sounding like a stuttering stroke victim. So we piled the food and ourselves into the vehicles and drove the short hop to Amy and Jaime's house, arriving just in time for the show to begin--only the power was out. This meant not only that we would miss whatever Jack found down the hole, but that our dinner couldn't finish cooking! Luckily, it came back on within fifteen minutes--although the episode backtracked from the previous week, so we really didn't learn anything new. Evil, evil writers.


Hit and Run

Some days you're just meant to stay in bed. Alex sprained his ankle Monday night playing raquetball, so Tuesday morning before work, I set him up with water, cold compress for his ankle (now the size of a grapefruit), and other supplies. I briefly thought about calling in sick, since he was going to have a heck of a time getting up each half hour to re-freeze the compress, but decided I really needed the hours.

It took me half an hour to get five miles across McKinney, as 380 was shut down due to a natural gas leak. I headed north on McDonald (Hwy 5), where I was rear-ended by an older driver in a large brown car. I pulled over at the next available place, driving slowly on the shoulder with my blinker on, the offending driver following me.

Until, that is, I pulled in, at which point he sped up and took off going north. Sigh. I called Alex, my insurance agent, and the police, who caught the guy a few miles up before checking out my report.

The truck got out of it a lot better than the old guy's Buick, but it looks like the frame is indeed bent. I am sure glad that the bumper on my truck is nice and hefty and took the brunt of the damage--the tailgate is pristine. The old guy's hood looked pretty smashed up as he whizzed past me--I think it was almost half crumpled. I should get the police report in five days, and then we'll know if the driver had insurance or if I have to pay my uninsured motorist deductable--lucky me.

By the time the police came, it was another hour later, and I just couldn't face driving another hour just to get to work, plus I was shaking like a palsy victim in a blizzard, and my back and neck were a little sore. So I went home and watched a few movies with Alex to relax--let me just say that Mom and Dad Save the World is one of the visually-coolest cheesy eighties' sci-fi movies. And lime popsicles and a bowl of cookies-n-cream go a long way to soothe frayed nerves and a sore ankle.


Life, the Universe, and Everything

So, it's been a few days. No rain, but plenty of wind and interesting clouds whizzed by last night. I've managed to get a decent amount of schoolwork done today, and am feeling slightly--I can't overemphasize that word--less overwhelmed about the semester's workload.

Alex is out on his parent's property shooting with Joel tonight while I sit at the library pretending to hold all the answers to life's questions (not to be confused with the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything). Life's questions that I was asked tonight include, for your entertainment:

Is The Da Vinci Code currently checked out?
Where can I find a copy of the APA Style Manual?
Do you have Forbe's Greatest Business Stories of All Time?
Can I check out a non-circulating book to scan pictures?
Where is the three-hole punch?
What are academic journals, and how do I find them for Criminal Justice?
Where can I find a copy of Woody Allen's Getting Even?


No (I found two copies ten minutes later... oops)
(after much searching) ...behind our desk
No, but we have a scanner
Behind our desk
Peer-reviewed subject-oriented magazines (and too complex to answer here)
Fourth Floor, to the left, call# PS3551.L44 G4 1972

Random comments included:

Starr? Gee, that's a unique name!
[unintelligible rant about purchasing calculators online]

And that's seriously been about all the questions, comments, and answers at the desk in the past four hours. Sunday, slowslow Sunday. (Hence part of the reason that I am almost done with my reading summary due this Friday in Digital Imaging.)


Um... What?

102 to 66 degrees, all in four days? Yikes.

On the job front, an odd turn of events. A work friend called Alex yesterday and let him know that forty people had finally received formal email notification of the lay-off. Alex didn't get a message, and after awhile of wondering, received a call from his manager saying they had received a bit of extra funding, and Alex was elected to stay on.

Financially, it's great news, as long as they don't ask him to take a pay cut. Job-satisfaction-wise, it's questionable. We had both felt strongly that the layoff was a mixed blessing, prodding Alex to find something new. Now we're kind thrown off-guard and don't know what to make of it. I think right now we're both too dazed by the news to process it correctly. (But anyway, yay for continuing paychecks!)

You know it's bad when the top story on Yahoo News is Texas Traffic. Double yikes. My prayers are for everyone trying to escape Rita, for their safety and sanity on the road, especially James, David, and Jonathan.

My Saturday lab session for Preservation is cancelled due to likely severe weather, so I think I'll take a day off from mural-ing and paint my stein project at home instead. If it's going to be cold and rainy, I'd rather be home!


Wake-Up Call

Several weeks ago, I woke up with a start to what sounded like a plane narrowly missing our backyard. As I attempted to wipe drool from my mouth and de-crust my eyes, my sleep-drunken brain ventured a weak thought of, "Well, the air-raids have begun again; time to leave the city." A few moments later, my brain became sufficiently coherent to realize that it was not London circa 1944, and I simultaneously noticed that this plane was repeatedly passing my house--loudly.

Ah, the joys of living next to farmland. It's scenic, it's nature-tastic, but I never before realized that it took two whole weeks to cropdust a single field.

He's back again, that low-flying agricultural hotdogger, for the third--fourth?--time this month. Since it's so--ahem--early, the sun was behind of him and I didn't get a good shot of the offender. Maybe--a wild thought, this--he should do this sort of thing in the afternoon, when no normal person is sleeping. This cropdusting from 7-10am is killer for those of us trying to get one last hour of shuteye during it.

Enjoy the experience yourself, courtesy of Starr's Nosy Cameraphone.


Avast, Me Hearties!

Yes, yet again it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day--er, that is to say--aye, maties, it be that day again. While not the most sacred of holidays, it's inarguably one of the most fun, giving license to growl and squint your eyes while swaggering about your place of work, home, or the local food mart. (Just try not to scare too many little old ladies.) If ye be in need of a bit o' merriment whilst ye swagger about, feast yer eye (only one, remember, since you're wearing that eyepatch) on these comics featurin' scoundrels and scalliwags such as yours truly.

Ye landlubbers, get yer sorry selves to the Official Website, where ye can learn how to talk, dress, and do other things in a pirate-y manner.


Toyz in the Hood

This is what happens when you're a twenty-seven-year-old kid. I like to play around with Alex's action figures, kind of in the Twisted Toyfare Theater vein, and showcase them on his monitor. My favorite has been the stormtrooper holding a teeny-tiny Endor soldier. There used to be two stormtroopers, situated as if they were playing with Star Wars action figures. However, the snowtrooper (not pictured) took a dive off the monitor and is currently dangling by one foot.

I really love my library job; but when it comes right down to it, I'd love it if someone paid me to move action figures into goofy poses and write silly dialogue for them. Darn those lucky Toyfare interns!

Okay, this is heartwarming and great--the story of how two comic artists just got engaged this month, told in their own drawings. (Thanks to Scott McCloud's blog for the tip.) Awwww!

Hoffman Mishaps

It was a day of hilariously ridiculous mishaps.

First, I was happily painting along at a client's home, when I felt a strange draft up my backside. I looked over my shoulder to discover that my painting jeans had somehow gained a gaping three-inch split in the general region of my derriere. Luckily I had an extra painting shirt just long enough to cover the hole. Sigh...

Then in the evening, we played frisbee golf with Joel & Kali. It was Alex's turn for unfortunate events--first, his frisbee landed on the creek bank. Then it landed in the creek. Then Alex landed in the creek--three times--trying to get it out. Then his next shot took it down the road, over the curb, and into the other side of the park. Then it landed--you guessed it--back in the creek. This time, it was a lost cause, and we said a sad adieu to his Valkyrie.

So, at hole six, we decided to call it a night early. We'd had enough mishaps for one evening. It's times like these that we should both be glad of our ability to laugh at ourselves--although if Alex hadn't been laughing so hard, perhaps it would have been easier for him to get out of the creek!


Don't Panic

Alex and I spent Friday afternoon shopping for stein supplies, since the New Braunfels Art League asked us to each complete one before Wurstfest this November. Then we came home and watched...

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

We watched this movie last night, and as I suspected, I had mixed feelings about it. We're both big fans of the book, and I had heard beforehand that those who had not read the book loved the movie, and those who had were either a bit disappointed or a lot disappointed. Being prepared for this, I would say I was merely a bit disappointed.

The oddest thing to me is: why would anyone introduce a villan and then never use him in the climax? It seemed a pointless departure from the book, and it was confusing. When the movie ended, I wasn't prepared for that to be the end, because the climax felt, well, anti-climactic. And although I had been forewarned about the addition of romance between Arthur and Trillian, I still wasn't pleased.

But it was an entertaining movie, the Guide moments were great, and it actually re-used the theme from the radio dramas! That was sheer greatness. And any movie with a Henson puppet deserves snaps.

Zaphod's Second Head: D-
True-to-Book-ness: C
First Third of Movie: A-
Alan Rickman's Voice as Marvin: A
Animations and Narration for the Guide: A+
Use of Music Theme from Radio Version: A+
Puppet Vogons by Jim Henson Co.: A+

Final Take: um.... a B+?

Basically, now I'm just sitting here waiting for Serenity. (And you should be, too!)


Don't Interrupt Me...

This is why history is cool; it proves that people have always been able to come up with a clever quip. From a lecture in my Academic Libraries class:

"Fray Luis was teaching at the University of Salamanca when he was charged [by the Spanish Inquisition] with distributing a "worldly" translation he had made of the Song of Songs in 1572. He was ... thrown into prison for five years and tortured, he somehow managed to survive and, after an admonition, gained his release.

He thereupon promptly returned to his teaching at the university, resuming his lectures at the precise point where they had been interrupted when he was arrested, remarking coolly to his class, 'As I was saying at the last time...'"


Forgetful Jones

So, for all those people dying to see where I now work--all none of you--here's the skinny. (Er... the photo-skinny?)

Honestly, last night I couldn't remember if I was 27 or 28 when someone asked. I also had extreme difficulty remembering the word "elevator." Is there something about a professional job that instantly ages you, or what? I, the person who has been handed a child's menu at age 25, carded at Walmart for buying spray paint and at Sam's for looking 15, was actually called "ma'am"--by not a student at the library, but an alumnus. Sigh...

Something about the title "librarian" must instantly replace your actual appearance with a stock image of a grey bun and librarian glasses--oops, I wear those already. Drat.

Lost Marathon Update: Best Character = Hurley, thus awarded for the most hilariously gratuitious usage of the word "dude" and mentioning Jedi Masters. Dude, you rock.


Accessing Ancient Tech

Ever needed a laptop from 1981, or some woefully ancient floppy disk drive to access a floppy you found? Take a look at the Time Warp Project and find not only information on that item, but possibly an auction item to purchase, thus securing access to your ancient information source!

(That reminds me... somebody rich or well-connected, this item is high on my ancient tech wishlist: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Coin-Operated Arcade.)

The librarian-in-training strikes again.


Sunday, Bloggy Sunday

So, I'm on MySpace now. I'm inept at it, but there I am.

Reference Desk shift, Sunday 6-10pm:
Suprisingly, there are quite a few studious souls here at the library, even though it's only the third weekend of school. These guys are more industrious than I would be if I didn't work here. But then again, my research usually consists of 2-8 hours a day spent on my couch at home, in my Supergirl pj's, staring in a monotonous trance at my laptop. It's got some kind of hypnotoad thing going on.

Mural Job, Sunday 9am-3:30pm: :

I painted a bathroom with stripes, all in one day--blue ones, and green ones, and khaki ones, and pink ones. What did you paint today? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Snazzy Updates

Yesterday, my wonderful husband Alex helped me to spend some time updating Snazzy Décor's website. The photos for my two most recent jobs--Undersea and Baby Boy--are now on the main Nurseries page, under the Examples button (the direct links here take you to the non-frames versions). I also edited the Pricing Examples page with more recent examples.

Yesterday morning, I gave a quote for a bathroom I'll be painting today. It should take less than five hours, so I haven't yet decided whether or not I'll paint another job afterward before driving to Denton for my first Sunday evening shift at Willis.

Random Vin Diesel fact: All your base are belong to Vin Diesel.


A Semi-Published Author!

I just made a most exciting discovery. It's now been almost nine months since I completed my MA in Art History, and I never thought to use my librarian skills to see if my thesis was uploaded, nation-wide, onto Digital Dissertations until now. Check it out: there I am in black and white!

And for your viewing pleasure, two of the most important images I wrote about in the thesis, both by an anonymous medieval painter in Collogne, who was apparently as fascinated by the legend of Saint Veronica as I am:


Hello From the Reference Desk!

Don't you just love camera phones? The power in your pocket to make a fool of yourself, anytime, anywhere.
The view from my side of the desk!

I just answered not only my first reference question, but five questions in ten minutes! And the first question was from a fellow SLIS student, which I found comfortingly familiar. If there's a question I have a background in answering, it would be the SLIS core courses. (That, or incredibly obscure medieval art--I'll bet that won't come up too often, though.)

I spent awhile today not only training with my supervisor, Ellen, but also chatting with her about board games and HTML color codes. It's so fun finding what odd quirks and interests you share with new acquaintances!

Laptop in Waiting

Yesterday, I got my job schedule and did paperwork at the library; today I begin real training! The worst part of my schedule is that I work 6-10pm on Sundays... ugh... but the latest I work during the week is 7pm. Could be worse.

Now, I'm checking into my classes and gritting my teeth, since our broadband is still not up. It's really hard to post comments in WebCT when you don't have broadband. That makes it a little difficult to, yaknow, participate in class. Sigh....

Btw, if you have an interest in wombats--or just like odd little webcomics with amazingly great art--check out Digger.


What We're Watching

Alex and I are currently watching the Trigun series (anime), after having finished the second season of Deep Space Nine and the first season of Battlestar Gallactica last month. We're enjoying Trigun quite a bit, although I like Cowboy Bebop better, as far as anime goes.

Since I am now in the thick of school, work, and murals, I've had to give up on reading Inkspell for now; I was about three-quarters done, too. And in October I'll be tempted to begin reading Robert Jordan's latest the instant it comes out. Sigh. It's a fiction addiction. I readily admit it.

I'm finally adding the word protection to comments after Kodiak's example and three annoying spam comments. I hope this helps.


Family & Friends

We spent the morning and afternoon at Alex's parents' place. We celebrated my brother-in-law Frank's birthday, as well as had a surprise birthday cake for our friend James. There was cake, ice cream, a giant cookie, three nephews, and lots of food. Now we're home watching movies late into the night, the guys on the couch while I work on the laptop at the kitchen table. I'm about to crash from lack of sleep--I'll probably go to bed soon, since I will be painting again in the morning.

Wait... Labor Day is for laboring, right?

Had to add this note: this comic illustrates my checkout habits for the past month at McKinney Memorial Public Library...


Back to School

Well, the semester is now officially underway. Tonight, I'm reading some material for my class in Digital Image Management. Pretty interesting stuff, about digital collections, copyright, etc. I like a class where my scanner and Photoshop are part of the required materials.

Last night, I read material for my Preservation course, also very cool. We have three lab sessions on campus in the Rare Books room, where we'll be repairing old books hands-on. Courses like this make me wonder why I ever took courses that required long lectures and memorizing dates.

My third class is Management of Academic Libraries, which deals with policies specific to university libraries. We've only have a brief reading so far, but I like my professor. Hey, now I'll actually be working in an academic library this year!

Today, I painted on the Snoopy mural again--that's about twenty hours I put into it in three days. I am tiiired. But I only have outlining now, so it's nearly done; see work-in progress below (as compared to the first version):

Right now Alex, Justin, Jared, and James are testing their wireless ignitor on our latest batch of fireworks. Mathematical Fact: Men + computers + explosives = giddiness * booming noises.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!


See, I Can Look Serious

Yes, I am finally posting my two favorites from that photo shoot with Kali and Joel this summer. I know these are crummy quality, but my broadband is down, which means I have to use my Cingular Edge card. Translation: "slow-DSL" speed and unreliable connection make for quick and dirty posting.

Now, it's time for a quick breakfast before I'm off to work on the Snoopy mural again! I have three rooms to paint for this client, so I'm trying to get as much done as quickly as possible before my GLA position begins next week. But my client has referred me to another interested party, which is great!

Repeat mantra five times: I can sleep when I'm dead.

(Well, or at least when I've graduated. Again.)


Ear to Ear

(Grinning, that is.)

I got the GLA Humanities position! In fact, I got the call back on it today, four days before Ellen told me she'd decide about it. Wow!!! I can't wait to start--now we get benefits, and I get a six-month internship that not's only paid, but will give me the precise kind of experience I want.

And I'm well under way on the new version of the Snoopy mural. It's been a good day!

I know, I know. It makes no sense. Alex had his best day at work every today, and we're both almost giddy with excited happiness. But we had the bad news that we had been fearing for almost five years, and now not only does Alex not have to live with that fear, but God's dropping blessings into our laps left and right--I tell you, we feel pretty blessed right now.

My Next New Car...

So, how long after graduation do you think it will take me to become a rich and famous librarian/novelist? I'm thinking six months, tops, then it's time to buy the Ford GT. In luscious, glossy, wanna-run-my-hands-all-over-it black. Mmmmm...

Of course the intense sticker shock--Prestige Ford told us that they sold several for $285,000; waaaay above MSRP--makes those dreams of getting my black 1972 Stingray 'Vette (to be nicknamed, of course, "The Batmobile") seem suddenly very attainable.