Those Were the Days

Slashdot alerted me to this fun Revolution Advanced article on game controllers of the past and present. I had forgotten how tremendously clunky the N64 controller was, but I well remember the stiff quality of the Atari 2600 joystick. Ugh.

Graduation on My Mind

  • register for Capstone exams: check
  • order graduation regalia & announcements: check
  • file graduation application: check
And so the waiting begins.

Note to friends & family: February 27th - March 6th I'll be working on my comprehensive Capstone exams, so I won't be very accessible for that week. However, I'm going to have a great celebration once they're done and Spring Break starts--by filing my taxes. Aren't I a barrel of fun?



It's been nearly a full week, and my home is still spotless. Despite the ever-prevalent demands of school and work. If I'm not careful, Alex will begin to suspect that I'm an alien sent to replace his abducted wife and to observe the strange habits of the humans around me. Drat.

My most recent bouts of insanity: creating CID tutorials with WINK, offering to start a library FAQ, and pursuing the creation of a library blog. Why do I seek to create new work challenges for myself? Is it a blessing, or a sick disease?


Happy 27th, Alex!

Happy birthday to my husband and best friend!

May your next year be filled with blessings, friends, and love. May your belly be filled with enchiladas and cake. (...And, um, may you share such culinary indulgences with your wife.)


...Have You Been Working Out?

Ouch, I hurt!! Why does becoming fit have to HURT so much? And involve activity that isn't inherently fun?

Activities that should count as exercise:
  • Snuggling
  • Reading
  • Doodling
  • Baking
  • Eating
  • Internet Surfing
  • Painting
Actually, painting kinda counts if the mural is big enough. At least, it produces sore shoulders, arms, legs, and feet, so that has to count for something.

If cooking was exercise, it wouldn't be fun, but at least I'd be getting two "Ought-To's" done at once. My main beef regarding exercise, apart from the pain, is the difficulty to multi-task during it.

I Would Drive 100,000 Miles

My beautiful, beloved F-150 turns 5 next month, and just Tuesday morning it rolled over 100,000 miles. Sigh. Now, I can moan and complain about my lack of cargo/passenger space as much as I want, but I dearly love my truck. It's one of those "opposites attract" relationships: tiny, artsy girl loves big, manly truck. You know, SUVs have the passenger space, the grocery-loading ease, the commuter-friendly auto transmission. But when you come down to it, this small girl just likes sitting up high in a big cab and shifting into high gear--literally.

100,000 miles reminds me that Alex gets to watch the 100th episode of Smallville tonight, the lucky duck. If they kill off Chloe--again--I'm going to be mad for months. Jerks.

So between work, school, and keeping the house clean--gasp! me?--I'm creating an online portfolio to help in the job hunt, looking at creating a blog for the library, and trying to create some tutorials for the CDL. Hey, the more skills I learn in the next four months, the more marketable I become, I say. And learning anything techie just makes me warm and squishy inside.

...Or is that the caffeine?


Let's Backtrack a Bit...

So, about that building in our backyard...

My father-in-law is a monkey.

This isn't some sort of strange insult or even more bizarre complement, but a simple statement of fact, which everyone in the Hoffman Clan acknowledges. Granted, repairing A/C systems in attics for a living has got to produce some balancing skills, but this man has natural talent. Over Christmas, Alex, his sisters, his mama, and I were all discussing this trait with amusement and our usual amazement at his latest feat--crawling all over the bare trusses of our 12 to 14-foot high metal building. My theory is that he has a monkey tail, but that it's invisible. Alex's far more interesting theory is that his dad was bit by a radioactive monkey, a'la Spiderman's origins.

I, on the other hand, transform into a hoodlum when working on the building (Jared asked me which bank I was going to rob). Who's the baddest gal in town? Sho-Nuff! (Yes, I've sunk low enough that I mis-quote The Last Dragon.)

...And here's Bryce on 12/30/05, acting as a trailer hitch.

We were transporting all of our large platforms of fireworks to the backyard... only to be informed of the burn ban five hours later. Sigh.

Currently watching:
Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.0
Release date: 20 December, 2005


The Great Library Geek-Out

Whew! We're back from a whirlwind weekend in San Antonio. We spent Saturday at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, and had a blast. I worked the Unshelved booth from 9-12, and the SLIS booth from 1-5, which left me one hour to run around grabbing cool library swag and talking to vendors about job opportunities.

As Mom and I started through the Exhibits Hall to find Unshelved, her eyes got bigger and bigger at all the bibliophile goodies, and when we got to the booth, she breezed "See you later!" as she rushed off to score as many free books as possible. I looked across the isle and nearly salivated--Unshelved was across from the DC Comics booth. An aisle over, I found Dark Horse Comics and Marvel Comics--scored a little swag there, too.

I had a great time working with Bill and Gene--Bill gave me webcomic tips, and Gene gave me more insight into the furthering of my comic education. Thanks, guys, for the fun experience, the conversation, and the cool swag!! I also had a complete library geek-out moment when Nancy Pearl walked by the booth and said hi to the guys--eek! Speaking of whom, my loving Mom bought me the Deluxe Librarian Action Figure as an early graduation present.

Alex was tempted into coming later--thanks for the extra badge, Gene--and made the exhibit rounds for me, grabbing posters, pins, books, pens, book bags, and I don't know what else. His most fantastic score by far was a Timothy Zahn advance copy--the Dark Horse rep had only two copies, and she wasn't giving them out until Monday. But something about that Overdue Media badge won her over...

I spoke with many enthusiastic SLIS alumni, and gained new encouragement job-wise--granted, the interested parties primarily wanted me to relocate to California, but it was just nice to know that there are jobs out there. Take that, negative new-librarian articles!

Back at Mom & Dad's place, we celebrated a late Christmas--with all the neat gifts, Mom had also included an awesome article on why there aren't many female comic artists. Awwww, so thoughtful. Then I finally got some sleep Saturday night, after my 5 hours between work shifts Thursday, and my inability to sleep more than 3.5 hours Friday (due to library geek excitement).

...Did I mention that I met Elvis, too?

Oh, and Tihleigh, I've got something for you...

Update: Photos now uploaded! Building progress update to soon follow...


Job Hunting (And Gathering?)

The Official Job Hunt is now well underway. I'm making a file with all my job resources categorized, in true librarian fashion--resources, articles, job search sites, list-servs, etc. I plan on creating a web-page for myself, so that I can quickly and frequently check sites, and to keep track of easily-forgettable URLs. It also helps me keep track of which articles I've read and to which I'd like to return.

I am beginning to realize that any job hunt is fraught with emotional turmoil--both positive and negative. I sunk with gloom last night upon reading The Entry-Level Gap and reaffirming its conclusions by finding few open positions in North Texas. This morning, I surged with confidence upon re-reading my resume and reading more articles on LisCareer. Currently, the initial caffeine rush of my green tea having worn off, I am stuck in a flux of thoughts in both directions. I'm also seriously hampered in my ability to perform simple tasks--since when did typing get so complex? I can see that my early-morning Friday shift will require a full mug of green tea, not the small sip I had during my drive.

Hmmm, some job search expenses are tax-deductible. Does that include the Starbucks necessary to keep me functioning at 6:30am on Fridays?


Wally-World Revelations

Walmart receipt that will ensure that I'll be the next American put on a government watch list:
Prescription drugs, an issue of "Shotgun News," and Bluebell Pecan Pralines N' Cream. That's right: drugs, weapons, and sugar.

Burning Question Answered:
Who buys Lindsay Lohan calendars? Preteen girls? Adolescent boys? Creepy old men?
Answer: Early thirties guys dressed all in black with straight, shoulder-length hair.

Note to Self: Never put a canvas tote-bag in the dryer. Unless you actually prefer it to be half its current size.

I'm on Serenity!

Find out Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (v1.0) when you take the quiz! See my score breakdown (disappointing show for Star Wars, dang it!) here.

Bi-Polar Blog

If you've read this blog since last spring, you probably know by now that it hasn't really settled into a genre yet (not that I can tell, anyhow). At first, it was a "this is an assignment for class" blog, then a "I'm a major geek in the Star Wars line" blog, and since June it's been caught between a "this is an update on my trivial life" blog and a "listen to this interesting tidbit of info or opinion" blog. I was trying for less of my life and more just interesting tidbits, but then again, this is a nifty way to keep friends and family in the loop. Ah, heck, a split personality blog just reflects my own myriad interests/moods more accurately, right?

So back to the "this is my trivial life" theme. I'm packing to go to ALA in San Antonio this weekend, and I feel like I didn't pack enough clothes. It's only one full day, and part of Friday and Sunday, so three outfits is overkill anyway (since I'll already be dressed on Friday), but for some reason, the suitcase seems emptier than usual. What important item did I forget? I see pants, shirts, sweaters, underwear, and even socks. Heck, even dress shoes, which I usually forget. Did my clothes shrink or something? Sigh; I am so going to show up to this conference missing my pants or something. Score one more point for anti-professionalism in my life.

"Lost" update: Jack, you need to chill. No point in getting angry, man--you're even more stressed out than last season, when you crashed on a deserted island and suddenly ended up the doctor/leader/father-figure for these people. Sheesh, now you've got bunk beds, a stereo, and a blender--what more do you need to relax?

And where's Hurley? I want more Hurley on this show again!!

Your Assignment: check out scrumptious new ROP5 updates here!

Parting thought: job searches suck.


Draw Batgirl

What a fun art assignment!

Am sketching my own; will post tomorrow.

1/19/05: Due to technical difficulties (aka Real Life), Starr will not have time to complete and post her sketch at this time. For more information on the "draw your own Batgirl" thread, read Scott McCloud's blog (1/13 post).

Back to (My) Future

"Back to school, back to reality..."

Alex and I watched the three Back to the Future movies yesterday and today, so the future's on my mind (man, I love the music in those movies!). That, and the NASA Pluto Mission, which I just found out will take almost a decade to reach Pluto! Wow.

In 2016, I will be:
  • 37 years old
  • graduated for one decade
  • ....?
The rest is a big question mark. A mother? A library director? A PhD student? A media mogul? An insane asylum resident? A novelist? A world-famous muralist? (Ha!)

My future's certainly in sight now. I feel that having reached the five-year mark of our marriage, Alex and I are in for Stage 2. He starts his new job this week, I graduate in May, and suddenly we're not defined as "Alex: works at Nortel" and "Starr: lifetime student" anymore. That's a pretty major change of events for the Hoffman household.

I'm back at work today, and just finished logging into my LAST two classes for the first time. 5300: Management of Information Agencies looks all right, and somewhat similar to my Academic Library Management course from the fall. 5080: Research Methods, however, looks like a lot of statistics, which makes me shudder and cringe. Also, my work schedule is 6-10pm three evenings a week, plus daytime on Fridays, which means Alex and I have very limited time together for the next four months--ugh. The plus side is that this schedule means I can park in the close parking lot, instead of four blocks away.

All in all, the future seems like a pretty mixed bag. Here's to change!


Junk That Junk Mail!

I've just spent some worthy time ensuring that my personal and small business junk mail will--eventually--lessen. When I sat down yesterday to spend the day filing my YOC (Year-End Crap), I ended up with a HUGE bag of junk mail containing my personal or business address that I will have to shred. I don't have time to shred it now, and there's a burn ban, so I have this enormous bag sitting in a spare bedroom, a goldmine of information to potential ID-thieves and a nuisance to my already space-deprived home.

In an effort to ensure that once I am gainfully (full-time) employed, that I do not spend 85% of my weekends sorting and shredding mail, I signed up on DMA's personal do-not-mail list. And if you didn't sign up for the state do-not-call list, thwart those telemarketers here.

After a bit more effort, I discovered a similar resource for small businesses --I get almost as many credit card offers for Snazzy Decor as I do for myself (also see this). You can even print these pre-formatted postcards on carstock to send to all companies that send you unwanted catalogs (U-Line, I'm talking about YOU!).

It takes 3-4 months for all this to pay off, but at least once I graduate, I'll have less crud to deal with.

Back in the Swing

Life is slowly drifting back to a more normal pace. Alex is at Nortel for the second of his last three days there, and he begins work at QuickOffice on Monday--hooray! The last of our extended-stay company left on Monday, and the house has been eerily quiet since then--and I'm trying to catch up on things like dishes and laundry. We watched "Lost" at Amy & Jaime's last night, which we haven't done regularly in over a month, and I begin classes and work again on Tuesday.

Which means I'll return to more my normal posting rate soon. Never fear, innane and often insane banter will once again appear on this page with terrifying frequency. And I have self-incriminating photos of how silly I am, as well as progress on our building in the backyard, to post for your enjoyment.

Monday, my last day of vacation, I plan to spend editing photos from the last four months of mural painting and then update my Snazzy Decor site with them.

Expect weekly panic updates as I begin to realize that I'm finally leaving school in May after twenty-two years and that yes, I really have to find a full-time job. Yikes.

Yesterday's Panic Level: 11 (out of 10)
Today's Panic Level: 2


"I Feel Terrible"

Han was so right. Excuse me, I'm feeling a bit under the weather today. Urg, erk--and I thought I felt like the undead last week.

I've heard rumors for a few months now about new DVD episodes, but this article talks about reviving Futurama as a TV series! Woohoo! Let geeks everywhere rejoice!

Still waiting to get the energy to post some photos and notes from the previous weeks that never made it to the blog--I might begin that tomorrow. Today's schedule includes: filing two state sales tax forms (arg!), much coughing and wooziness (bleh), and a Star Wars marathon (whew!). I was excited about our marathon six-movie day (to echo our Extended LOTR marathon last January) before my stomach was attempting to digest large amounts of mucus. Now I'm kind of un-thrilled about consciousness in general, and specifically otrying to focus my vision and attention on one screen for thirteen and a half hours. Whew.

On a related note, I've recently changed my mind regarding the prequels. I know about a million people will be shocked and apalled by this revelation, but I think that Episode I is actually my favorite among the prequels. (No hate mail, please--I've got enough spam as it is.) And here's my reason: it didn't try to be as serious or self-important as the next two. There are some admittedly cool darker moments in the later ones--I thought that Palpatine in the opening of Epi-III was particularly awesome--but... After time, I remember more and more of E-I with fondness--admittedly, this is ignoring Jar-Jar and the fact that you can actually see Jake Lloyd reading cue cards throughout his un-cute wooden performance. But this is also the movie with Qui-Gon and Darth Maul and lush Naboo landscapes; and so far in playing Star Wars Legos on Gamecube, I like the Epi-I environments best. (Speaking of which, try this odd little Lego game online...)

Now that I've completely discredited myself in several of my geekier pals' eyes, I think I'll go see if my husband is ready to begin the marathon.



I must write; my muse commands me.

(Novel-writing ensues.)