Fair Warning

So, in the next few days I have to clean my house, finish painting my front door, move some boxes, feed some guests, and have a huge alumni party at my house.

Yeah. I probably won't be posting regularly until July 5th.


Disjointed Thoughts on a Wednesday

A great phrase on This American Life (2004 episode "I Love My Car"), speaking about a gangly teenager:
"There's something tech-support about him."

And now I must paint my front door black. Why? Because it's there. Because it was white. Because someone, somewhere, invented paint, dangit.

I'd also like to point out that del.icio.us is handy for so many things--my most recently-tagged topics are Egyptology, gamers, and parenting.


Groove to the (Video Game) Music

I am so loving the altNPR podcasts, especially Press Start, all about video games. I love the episode about video game music. It brings back fond memories of my pals Amy and Bryan, using our tape recorder to record NES music. Yes, I know, the uber-geek/nerd/dork labels are all applicable here.

Did you know that Beck rocks like NES?

This has got to be one of the more interesting CRS reports I've come across:
"Members of the U.S. Congress Who Have Died of Other Than Natural Causes While in Office"
Yes, I know I'm terribly morbid and curious--but those are naturally inseparable charcteristics: curiousity, after all, killed the cat. And yes, it does list the cause of death.

So, how exactly does "drowned" differ from "accidentally drowned," anyway?


...And Knowing is Half the Battle

Ever wondered where zombie babies come from? Now you know.

A Hubby By Any Other Name...

Alex just called and asked if I wanted to get a quart of (semi) glossy black paint on my way home to paint our front door! I'm quite happy--it's something we've talked about for awhole, that I've desired at least since seeing Hugh-Grant-as-Prime-Minister's glossy black front door in Love Actually, and it will be a spontaneous and concrete change to the house. Not a big one, but enough. (I tell you, that home improvement gets in your blood, and you've got to get that high every once in awhile, be it the smell of paint, grout stains on your pants, or flooring glue on--well--everything.)

That reminds me: Alex. I make a conscious effort to refer to my Main Man as "Alex" both in my blog and in person when he's not around (i.e., at work), even if the people to whom I am speaking don't know him. I thought that might seem odd to some people--maybe some blog readers are wondering if we're married or what--so I'll just take a moment to reflect upon the habit. Yes, we're married--going on six years. Yes, I love being married--I'm not trying to hide that fact. It's just that I've always hated, in conversations, saying, "My best friend in high school..." or "My pal Rita in Las Vegas..." or "My husband..." There are a few tenuous reasons that suggest why this bothers me.

It assumes the person you're speaking to doesn't know this person or share this experience, and they may feel excluded (I tend to, when other people talk this way around me).

If that person does know to whom you're referring, or at least knows their name, they might be annoyed or confused that you don't simply call them by name.

It seems really impersonal to me to refer to Alex as "my husband." There's a difference between saying, "This is my husband, Alex," and saying "This weekend, my husband and I went to Home Depot." There's no personality in that statement; my husband, for all the audience could know, might have a blank white face and generic build--American Husband, Model #1157. To me, to refer to Alex as, well, Alex, not only gives him a concrete presence as a person, but it connotes the strong friendship that our relationship is based upon. I don't want to obliquely refer to him as "my husband" to others and give them the sense that I don't like him well enough to use his name.

Of course, the odd thing about it is that we rarely call each other by our names. Granted, as we both go by our middle names anyway, we're already not using our given first names. But unless we need to get each other's attention, it just sounds kinda funny. I don't call many people by their names anyway, for whatever reason. It's not as if, after twenty-two years, I'm afraid that I've got Amy's name wrong. It's just that "Dude" and "Ames" seem more natural.

I hope my pondering hasn't bored you, or caused you to mutter bitter comments about married people and their starry eyes for each other, or whatever. I'm with you--Smug Marrieds suck, they really do, and I'm trying my darndest not to be one of those annoying chicks--but dang it, I can't help that I married my best friend. Nor would I want to (help it, that is).

(Yeah, yeah brevity is the soul of wit. I know.)

Iloveya, babe!


Re: Rethinking Remodel

So... yeah. In the interest of sanity, Alex and I realized that we didn't have to kill ourselves getting our bedroom remodel done before July 1st. So you'll have to wait a little longer for photos and ludicrous anecdotes.

Re: North Korea fueling missle: Alex made a hilarious metaphor yesterday--he said that North Korea is like the wimpy high-school nerd, and that the US is like the star quarterback, and North Korea just threw a superball at the US's face. And it was an airball. Man, don't tick off the quarterback. It's just not smart.

In the meantime, here's an update of what I'm thinking about:


Impromptu Presto-Chango

Those of you who know myself and my man in Real Life (that's the sunshiny-space outside your blacked-out window to you virtual-life die-hards) are well aware of the fact that Home Improvement is a genetic... curse? flaw? ...in both our families. We got not only the "do-it-yourself" gene from both of our families (closely related to the "I-could-make-that-cheaper-and-better" gene), but we're both addicted to before/after scenarios. Makeovers, project cars, remodels, whatever--if it was old and boring and now it's miraculously snazzy, we're into it.

This sick urge tends to strike us in six-month intervals, ironically coinciding with a college-alum party we host every six months. Which inevitably makes finishing our latest project a mad race, the last twenty-four hours of which we spend scrubbing off grout/installing trim/etc. while frantically muttering to each other, "Why do we always do this? Why? Why?"

I theorize that there are two reasons for this. First, it takes six months for us to forget the pain, sweat, and complete insanity of the latest project. Second, subconsciously our minds realize that if we schedule a project shortly before the party, we have a strict deadline, causing our natural procrastination to be obliterated in the panic of knowing that 30-50 people will be walking into our house 2-4 weeks from now. (Third may be that paint samples and tile give off a powerful pheremone to which we become temporarily immune, but which eventually cripples our good sense.)

Reason #2 is the best reason, really, since it impels us to be finished, and after the party we can sit back and bask in the loveliness of a finished project. But it can also be incredibly stressful.

We've been working on our metal building since before the last party at New Year's--although it wasn't completely sided at that point--and was our only home improvement plan to complete before the party. But in the past two weeks, although the exterior is quite finished, we realized we would be unable to complete the bathroom inside. Enter frustration over an unfinished project.

Then add in tremendous heat that makes us want to stay indoors. And a good dose of home makeover shows. (Drat HGTV, TLC, and satellite itself! The peer pressure is too much!)

So Saturday, after three years of hemming and hawing over a bedroom wall color, we instantly picked a greyish-blue shade. Much like we picked the living room wall color after a year or two of undecided frustration--one random day we picked a green we liked and painted it that week.

And of course, there are all kinds of things that crop up after you pick out a wall color. Lest I reveal too much of our mad plot, I'll let that tantilizing suggestion... er... tantilize you for awhile as we tackle this epic endeavor. I'll post some before/after photos (see, I told you) when we're done--hopefully next week, just in time for the party.

In the meantime, don't be surprised to see a bit of lag in this blog for the next week. I'll regale you with stories of home improvement mishaps next week.

Shoes (aka, Vanity Before Comfort)

I own two kinds of painful shoes. The first is the obvious kind: the kind that make your feet ache (either the entire foot or a specific part). There are the high heels, the narrow heels, the shoes that are a tad too tight, those that don't support my arches, and the heeled sandals that the balls of my feet slide in.

The second kind doesn't make the food ache or sore, but is more insidious: the skin irritant shoe. Even when they fit well, there are a number of shoes I own which rub against the heel or back of my ankle until they produce blisters, which are in turn rubbed off, revealing raw dermis to be gradually chafed off. As I don these evil shoes, I tell myself hopefully, "Well, last time I wasn't wearing hose--or my foot was swollen--or I needed to add a pad to the back. It'll be okay this time." This is what is known as being delusional.

Of course, it never ends well. I've added tape, bandaids, gel inserts--you name it, I've tried to cushion the back of these shoes with it. It never works.

Since I started this job, I've kept my shoes on a rotational schedule. I wear gorgeous but painful shoes every other day, giving myself a day to rest with shoes that are comfy, but don't necessarily finish off the outfit. I'm getting addicted to wearing heels again, which is cruel, cruel irony now that I work on the third floor. And take the stairs.

But I still do it. Aesthetics before comfort, fashion over happy feet. I may have some tomboy ways, but in the area of shoes, I am as weak as Imelda Marcos.


Enjoy the Hush

Whew! My Bloglines feeds are all empty. No, I didn't select "Mark All As Read," either--I had to rush on over to my blog here and enjoy the 1.2 nanoseconds that this will last.


Collect Them All!

Yes, I now have my own Librarian Trading Card on Flickr.
See it, print it, save it, at geekyartistlibrarian.

Update: Oooo! Free Shakespeare in the Park Tickets from Half Price Books! Just when I think I couldn't possibly find another reason to love that place...


Ancient History

First round of notes is posted.

I found two little gems, circa 1997:

Oops, She Did it Again?

Yes, she did.

I've finally decided to separate out my professional geekery into another blog: geeky artist librarian. I attended some interesting techi-librarian sessions today, and finally decided that rather than posting them here, and subjecting unsuspecting non-librarian family & friends to such geekery, I'd put them in a more appropriate place.

Like... a wiki!

Stay tuned to this channel (and, er, that new one); I'll be posting updates whenever I get my danged notes typed up.


Getting There

I managed to re-program my mouse buttons, which not only gave my left shoulder a rest, but really increased my efficiency. Woohoo!

It seems much better, although I'm still getting periodic twinges. Hopefully, I can resume my recreational posts soon; I've got a scary load of interesting links to share. Of course, if you already frequent Slashdot, BoingBoing, and/or NPR, there's probably little I can tell you that you don't already know.

In which case, I feel sad. Why are you ruining my fun by being so RSS-y?

Ouch... Alot

My lack of a post yesterday wasn't due to a lack of time, or even a lack of ideas--goodness knows I have a list of interesting links and comments that's a mile long--but because of crippling pain in my left shoulder. Sometime yesterday morning at work, I began to have excruciating pain. I've had the oft twinge and ache before, primarily when doing a lot of repetitive cutting and pasting, but not only had I not felt any aches for the previous two weeks, but I don't ever remember it being so intense.

Twice, I thought about going home early, but I didn't really want to use a sick day or make up a ton of hours the rest of the days. Plus, since I didn't really know why I hurt, there wasn't really much I could do about it--even "resting" my arm/shoulder hurt. Once I got home, medication did nothing, but laying down helped a bit and Alex iced it, which helped mainly because the intense cold distracted me from the pain.

I woke up without any pain, but took an Aleve anyway to keep my muscles loose. Once I got in the truck, however, I could tell the same muscles were still tight, so I gritted my teeth and did the best I could.

This morning, I plan to reprogram my extra mouse keys on the left and right sides to perform the cut/paste functions, so I can do almost all my work with my right hand. We'll see how that pans out.

In the meantime, further recreational posting is suspended until computer operation--and sitting in chairs, standing, existing--is no longer painful.


Definition of Hope

Carrying an umbrella to work each day during a drought.

Serendipity's Sequel

Rachel Singer Gordon, Library Professional Extraordinaire, recently posted something cool about librarians, curiousity, and serendipity:

"One of the things that makes us professional is the underlying inquisitiveness that makes us go beyond, that makes us think about how things fit together and who else might benefit from or be working on a given topic, that makes us ponder what implications our serendipitous finds may have on our workplace or our profession -- and makes us want to pass our thoughts on to others."



When I was growing up, there was this annoying radio ad for some Spanish-learning program. Now, I only remember that to demonstrate their easy-to-remember method, the cheery woman would say, "How do you spell socks? S-O-C-K-S; that's what it is!" Hence forever engraving in my brain that "¡Eso sí que es!" means "That's what it is" in Spanish.

Now, S-O-C-K-S is my own in-joke for when something describes or demonstrates what it is (ahem, metadata). I had experienced two instances of this today at work.

I was passing through the stacks on my way back to my office, and happened to be in the art section--how I love the N's!--and my eyes happened to glance at one particularly bold title: Serendipity*. I thought this was quite nifty, as one of the major discussions of artists and art historians as information-seekers involves serendipitous discovery, or walking through the stacks and picking books at random (instead of first searching the OPAC).

And this afternoon, my boss and I were discussing our thoughts on using IM as a reference service--oh, and we were discussing this on our email client's proprietary IM service.

I love my job.

*No, I did not realize I was still in the P's when I had that fun little thought. Sigh. So much for making my point.


My loving husband and partner-in-geekery just emailed me a link to this Press Release about not one more DVD edition of The Princess Bride, but two! So, not only do I already own two different copies of this movie on DVD (yes, I finally gave away my VHS four months ago), but I have to choose either the Buttercup Edition or the Dread Pirate Roberts Edition--and apparently yes, there is different material in each, not just a different cover.

Curse marketing professionals and their evil ways!

Smells Like Summer

Very interesting interview with comic Carlos Mencia on NPR, primarily concerning immigration.

This weekend, we went to a friend's tropical-themed wedding shower, spent some money we probably shouldn't have, got high on DVR, and successfully avoided working on the building. We also ate a lot of watermelon.

I love summer!

NextGen Librarian meets OldSchool Librarian.


On the Job: Reflection

So, I've been gradually catching up on Bloglines the last few days--primarily the library and tech blogs--and now I have a thousand cool links to post. And it's 5:30pm on Friday and I'd really rather begin my weekend on the couch, not at the desk, so I'm not going to post these treasures now. I'll just give that tantilizing mention to haunt you all weekend.

It's hard to believe that this is my seventh day, and the end of my first full week, of work. I feel like I've done so much--and so little! It's overwhelming and fascinating, and many other pairs of opposites.

And I'm of two minds on the this-is-finally-my-first-full-time-job issue. On the one hand, I feel really embarrassed and inadequate next to the younger librarians; they're near my age, but they have years and years of experience already. This makes me feel really young for my age--a new sensation for me--and it's unsettling. It almost makes me feel like I shouldn't have put my action figures up on my office shelf, because they emphasize my juvenility. Arg.

On the other hand, I'm so relieved and confident because I've already got the second, subject Master's degree. I'm relieved because I won't have to go back to school for it, and feel slightly--only slightly--justified that I took longer to get out of school. And it makes me feel like there's at least one subject in which I'm decently knowledgeable and possibly respected for.

I wonder if I'll feel any more confident and less frustrated about being 27 in my first full-time position after I've done this for a year. Maybe after a year, I won't think about it on a daily basis?


It's Quittin' Time

In case you didn't already know how a bill becomes a law, I looked up the SchoolHouse Rock song, I'm Just a Bill.

While researching art law today, I discovered that Constantin Brancusi's sculpture Bird in Space was the inspiration for the Xbox 360 design.

Speaking of the Brancusi Case (Brancusi v. U.S. , 54 Treas.Dec. 428 (Cust.Ct. 1928)), in case you weren't already in the know, it's an interesting tale about early perceptions of abstract art. Edward Steichen bought the piece, had it shipped to the US, and was understandably upset when the customs officials told him it didn't look like art, it looked like a big hunk of metal, and therefore they would tax it at the metals tariff rate of 40% of the sale price. Yikes!

Steichen, Brancusi, and Duchamp were all incensed, and the customs office finally agreed to reconsider the decision, and in the meantime released the piece to be exhibited -- under the category "Kitchen Utensils and Hospital Supplies." Steichen later sued the customs office, and suddenly artists were called in as witnesses for the prosecution and the defense, to state whether or not an abstract piece of metal could be considered "art." (Steichen eventually won the case.)

Art-related news:
And now for something completely different. I was astounded today to watch my calendar fill up at an amazing speed with a tour, a presentation, a faculty/staff picnic, a department meeting, two hours of reference desk duty, and finally picking up my office key. I got here at 8:30 am, and the next time I got to sit at my computer--and, er, work--for more than twenty minutes wasn't until 4pm!

I keep thinking that eventually, I'll have less items in a week when I'm settled in--but then again, by that point I'll presumably find some committee(s) or workgroup(s) to be active in. Whew!

And my thanks to
AuntieK for helping me find the Blogger date function.


Getting Oriented

...And now I've been oriented. We had two great orientation presenters, but I knew a lot of the non-benefits-related info, and by the time we hit insurance details after lunch, my brain officially declared itself on Sick Leave Without Pay.

To recover myself when it ended at 3pm, I've been reading up on library publications and blogs, and I came across an article on library humor. Yes, Virginia, there is a whole category of what is known as library humor.

Here's my favorite Great Moment in the History of Technical Services, "1916: Jean Arp, Marcel DuChamp and others mount an assault on the traditional definition of art. Catalogers attempting to describe their work respond with the invention of metadada."

And no kidding, there's a Bibliography on Library Humor hailing from Italy--and I'm pleased to say they mention Unshelved. Thanks to Norman Stevens for citing this in his Informed Librarian Online article this month.

And don't forget the Laughing Librarian -- one of the best recent posts? Kiddy Kages that parents check children into while at the library. I chuckle with evil glee.

Unrelated Banter
  • "6.6.06" -- Is this the cheesiest marketing campaign ever? And is Julia Stiles one of the strangest casting picks for the mother of a six-year-old boy in a horror movie, or what?
  • Need some cute in your life? Go to Cute Overload and delight.
  • Catherine of Alexandria, one of my favorite saints (along with my thesis-subject St. Veronica, and the droll "I'm done, turn me over" St. Lawrence-on-the-grill), happens to be the patron saint of libraries, librarians, and archivists. This makes me happy--who wouldn't want their patron saint to be an outspoken, well-educated 18-year-old who had to be beheaded because she didn't die on the wheel?


Monday, Sunny Monday

So, I forgot to mention that we watched X-Men 3 on Memorial Day. Um, that itself probably indicates my opinion. Not disappointed or outraged enough to remember to deride it, and not impressed enough to praise it. It was very, very pretty visually. And that's about it.

There are a number of "wha...?" moments, including daytime magically becoming night in two seconds (sigh) once Magento tears up the Golden Gate Bridge (sigh) to span to Alcatraz, the mutant cure lab (sigh). Of course there's also the bajillion-plot-points- none-of-which-are-adequately-explored-or-resolved, and then a particularly frustrating incident--a main character's death... off-camera. There's not really much said about it afterward, so little, in fact, that I wasn't sure that was what had happened until the headstone was shown at the end.

Ah, well.

It took an extra half an hour to get to work this morning, due to a three-vehicle accident on 380. In the end, though, it wasn't too bad, because I got to listen to an extra half hour of NPR news, which just means I'm that much more in touch with world goings-on. But it did make my morning flow a bit wonky.

We--by which I mean Alex--got the fourth bathroom wall and almost all the joists up in the building. We're going to try to finish the walls/ceiling this week, so that this weekend we can finally call in the plumber to finish pipes to get us a working shower, toilet, and sink. And that, of course, leaves us to get the electricity wired and lights hung. Uggghhhh...

Some Fun Items for Today

Information Overload

Eyes... darting... in too many directions... must slow down!

How can I feel like I have nothing to do and everything to do, all at once? Don't you love trying to figure out a new job? :)


I [Heart] Metadata

I really, really love that I can be a librarian and a techie. Talking about metadata makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Today was a good day at work!

Tihleigh, you truly are a mad genius--many thanks for your ancient oriental secret. I found Tiger Balm at Walmart while looking for more cortisone. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. My itches are much soothed, and I smell minty fresh, too!

I am assuming that this incredible foosball table is far beyond the reach of my pocketbook.

Check it out: my name's on the list, official and everything!

I'm getting business cards, too--ain't that nifty? And I set up my office; just have pictures left to go on the walls. Hooray for decor!



My first day is wrapping up. I was jumping all over the place on my computer initially, remembering things I needed to read/do/check out, so I stopped and created a handy-dandy list in Excel. Why? Because I'm a librarian, and because if it's not written down, my memory probably hasn't archived it.

Hey--I really am a librarian, as of today!

For filing away in your "Hmmm" section: Batwoman returns.

Give Me a Break

Hail from my first official lunch break!

I will now devour a scrumptious cupcake which my new boss Valerie provided in honor of my first-day-ness. Mmmm... frosting. And chocolate. And sprinkles.

I am indeed wearing the skirt, and enjoying it--except that the lace is driving me crazy. It might be minimally itchy on a normal day, but today I have three million chigger bites from our target-shooting trek on Tuesday. Ugh. Alex has been awake two nights running from his host of bites; I think I'll dose us both with Benadryl tonight.

In half an hour, I get to go to my first official meeting--woohoo! And shortly afterward, I expect to experience my first official sense of overwhelm-ment. (If it wasn't a word before, it is now.)

Go eat your own lunch; I'll catch up with you later.