My Big Score

The Loot

So, I went to Half-Price Books last night to pick up the last Christmas present. That was all--I was going to look through their comics, but knew I wouldn't purchase anything. But then... I saw the magical "clearance" sign over the audiobook section...

So, the final score was pretty impressive:
  • Ya-Yas in Bloom (3 CDs), Rebecca Wells - $3
  • The Adventures of Guy Noir (1 CD), Garrison Keillor - $3
  • Wobegon Boy (5 CDs), Garrison Keillor - $13
  • Pontoon (8 CDs), Garrison Keillor - $14

I also scored my favorite volume of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, #3 Dream Country, which has a fantastic retelling of the Midsummer Night's Dream as illustrated by Charles Vess of Stardust fame. For $8. Gah!!!

And then, the big score.

The complete 9-CD dramatized Lord of the Rings set, complete in wooden case... for $15.

My Big Score

I almost fainted right there in Half-Price Books. I walked around the store for another fifteen minutes with that set in my clutches, pondering my fortune, wondering if this was a stressed-out hallucination.

So for all your media needs, I highly recommend the McKinney branch of HPB. And if you're a big audiobook fan, or you commute at all, get yourself over there while they still have a bunch of CD titles for $3. Dude, that's less than the late fees are when I check them out from the public library (I hate to confess it as a librarian myself, but I'm terrible at being late with those things).

Today I have a few work things to wrap up from my remote spot (at Alex's place of work), then in the afternoon it's off to DFW airport and San Antonio! We'll be back Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas evening we're off to Vegas for four days. Woohoo!!!

Oh, and a quick plug here--as of Black Friday, I've replaced my former 17" monster laptop with a 14.1" one and I haven't missed the screen real estate yet--it's 3.5 pounds lighter, and I've already taken it on two work trips. Thus far I've been impressed with the performance--I have 2GB memory in this Gateway; it's not their top of the line, but it's running nice and speedy, even running Vista (not my idea--I'm thinking about dual-booting OS's). Yay for portable technology!!!



Layin' Low

Believe it or not, our Christmas tree is finally up. No ornaments, but hey the lights are pretty on their own.

Last week was my crazy week of two out-of-town trips and four deadlines: this is my week of playing deep catch-up at work, so I'll still be lying low on the blog-radar. Enjoy your holiday preparations!


She's Alive!

The November/December time crunch is on, but I had to update you all:
  • I have been accepted into UNT's PhD program in Higher Education!! Horray! (And eeek!)
  • Appropriate gifts to commemorate the occasion include these sassy t-shirts.
  • No, this has no bearing on when/if we're having kids, and furthermore, that's none of your business. Um, not that I'm sensitive about the subject...
  • Thanksgiving with 18 of our family members was great fun.
  • My hair has been re-dyed and is now slightly less fire-engine red. Very, very slightly.
  • Alex and I are flying to Las Vegas for a real--gasp--vacation on Christmas Day, for 4 days/3 nights.
  • I'm flying on four different trips during December, evenly divided between work and pleasure. Yikes.
And that concludes the news portion of this program. Thank you, and good night.


Rolling My Eyes

Did you hear about the latest "Da Vinci Code?" No, it's not another book/movie controversy--some musician/computer guy claims to have found a hidden musical composition in Da Vinci's Last Supper.

Oh. Come. On.

Even if I didn't have that master's in art history giggling at that one, just my general sense of logic would have scoffed at this one. "Pala first saw that by drawing the five lines of a musical staff across the painting, the loaves of bread on the table as well as the hands of Jesus and the Apostles could each represent a musical note." Riiight. Because hands and bread loaves so closely resemble musical notes. Oh look, is that a knight of Templar over there in the corner?!

Yeesh. You think you get away from the kookier interpretations by sticking to old paintings in naturalistic, non-abstract styles... but there will always be some bizarre theory that makes your whole discipline look foolish. Maybe that's why I wrote my thesis about liturgical objects instead of paintings. When an object is used for a particular function in the church, and it bears a particular image, it's a pretty safe bet that that image is obviously tied to the function of the object. It's not too far a leap, there.

Then again, maybe there were hidden musical notes in St. Veronica's robes on one of those altarpieces I studied... wonder what that means, hmmm?


Meandering Tuesday Thoughts

So I keep composing blog posts in my head... doesn't get them published, unfortunately. As soon as I get that T-1 to my brain, we'll be set.

Anyway, I thought I'd give the "general life update" on things, for the curious. Last weekend, I worked on Saturday but took Alex with me, and on the way home he treated us to dinner at Prairie House, which I've been longing to eat at for years. It was tasty--not only did we enjoy three scrumptious kinds of BBQ meat, but we also indulged in a fried cheesecake. Yes--cheesecake... fried... in cinnamon and sugar... with vanilla ice cream. Sunday, we did a few errands and then celebrated my father-in-law's birthday. Alex and I came home to watch Spiderman 3... meh.

I mean, it's not terrible. It's at least evenly blah--whereas Spiderman 1, I loved the first half, but once Macy Gray starts singing it goes downhill fast. But 3 is not a movie I need to own. I saw it, and that's that--leave the franchise at 2 with its glorious peak, thank you.

Alex said Fantastic Four 2 was better, and I believe him, although I chose to only watch the last fifteen minutes (I also bypassed the first one, because the trailer indicated a high cheese factor). At least FF2 had the Silver Surfer to redeem it. I didn't even like Peter Parker or MJ in S3--the only moment I really *liked* was when Spidey smashed Topher Grace's camera. But that's more because I like Topher's reactions.

We've been watching movies here and there, but nothing is standing out in my mind. We did finally buy Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which makes me quite happy as I've been longing to re-watch it. Alex is similarly thrilled that we bought The Librarian 2, which will be a good addition to our "adventure" genre that we watch so much of. It's nice that there's been a huge increase in fantasy movies in the past five years, but could studios start making more adventure movies now? Those are effects-heavy, too, people. Sahara and National Treasure were steps in the right direction, but I could do with a few more.

I'm not even going to talk about Indy 4 here.... too frightened, yet hopeful.

Oh, we did rent Transformers--hey, it wasn't half as bad as I was fearing. It was quite a lot of fun and not so painfully cheesy as it could have been, and it made up for any cheese factor with its gorgeousness. And, um--have you seen the HD-DVD trailer for Transformers? If you're not drooling, it's obviously because you haven't seen it yet. Go watch it at Best Buy and then see if that doesn't convince you to make a semi-sudden impulse buy of awesomeness.

Other than that... it's been a week and a half of long work-nights for both of us, so little to add. Tihleigh got us hooked on "How I Met Your Mother," and sad to say that we have watched 3 DVR-ed episodes of this, but as of yet none of this season of Heroes. They're right there, on the DVR... but we watch SGA instead, or, much as I hate to admit it, the uber-cheesy Flash Gordon. The only excuse for that being that it has the jerk boyfriend from Smallville in a fun role, and they also show BSG shorts during it.

The previous weekend, we took a day trip to Austin for our nephew's fourth birthday party--and it was a lot of fun! Because it was at a park, the little kids running around were fun and cute, rather than weary-making as it can get indoors. I've now got so many pictures on my SD cards to edit, put on my hard drive, and selectively upload to Flickr that it doesn't bear thinking of.

Sunday, Alex bought GH3 for the Wii, which he's been waiting many, many, many months for, and I finished some homework. Then we watched the Red Sox joyfully tromp on the Rockies (sorry, I do like the Rockies, but... man, it's the Sox, c'mon!). And thus, sadly, ends our baseball for the year. Always depresses me.

I did get some free coffee at Jazzman's (UNT's Starbucks knock-off) this afternoon, which was much happy-making. And now, on to more things... like graphic design and such.


Remember, Remember the 5th of November

My apologies to those who read both of my blogs. Just in general, really--but also because this is re-posted from the Geeky Artist Librarian.

So, this is another illustration that you should befriend your IT people. Besides the obvious necessity for keeping those that run all our technology happy, and thus getting some bang-up fast/awesome service, there are things like this.

One of our IT guys, who is an English grad student with a penchant for comics (thus our friendship--he loaned me the rest of Planetary over the summer) just dropped this by my office:

He made them for friends around campus to wear today. How cool is that? (And if you're totally wondering what this is about--it's Guy Fawkes Day. Go read/watch V for Vendetta, and you'll get it.) Remember, remember, the fifth of November...

A case of Mountain Dew and some friendly words go a long, long way, people.


Where Am I? (aka Dazed and Confused)

I'll give myself three guesses.
  1. San Antonio? ...Nope.
  2. Washington, DC? ...Nope.
  3. Abilene? ...Nope.
Oh... this is home. Which is apparently in McKinney. This seems oddly familiar.


Vacation Means Not Thinking of Titles

So, the San Antonio trip/presentations is done, the DC trip and presentation is done, we picked up Bryce, and now we're in Abilene. It's been a packed two weeks! And for once, I've been mostly off-grid--which is both disturbing, and nice. I've been rediscovering the use of the phone for things like checking museum hours, and enjoying the silence of a hotel room with nothing but a comic book in hand (the internet connection having gone bad, and me having not the energy to complain). But a break from email, even for just three days, was a great way to relieve some stress (momentarily, however, as there will be four times as much to deal with when I log in tomorrow).

The DC trip was fantastic--I had a great three days of vacation with Alex and all four of our parents, seeing many thing I didn't have time to see before. And then the FDLP conference was really great--it's nice knowing so many people now. Plus, my presentation went so well and was so packed (upwards of 100 people!) that I was asked to give it again in KC in the spring--w00t! And since Alex's parents stayed while I was in conference, Alex had people to go out and have fun with, which left me feeling at ease about attending meetings I needed to. And even gave me a few hours after my presentation to decompress with that comic book mentioned (Jack of Fables vol. 1, which was as great as I expected). Then I watched part of two of my favorite movies, Star Trek: First Contact, and Stargate (not as great as the series, IMHO, but still awesome, particularly the beginning).

Bryce was waiting at the airport when we got there last night, which was awesome, if surreal, and we spent this morning laundry-ing, re-packing, and catching up on Stargate Atlantis episodes. I think the series will truly be great, now that Sam's on it and they've got the potential for a nice Locutus-esque storyline with Dr. Weir. Oh, and I also re-read Y: The Last Man vol. 1 so that I could then read vol. 2--and man, that series is not overrated. I can't really place my finger on what I like about it so much (unlike Fables), but it's just a heck-ton of fun and fast-paced beyond belief.

Now we're all at the Grand Admiral's place (i.e. Jared) in Abilene, playing Wii and doing a large amount of giggling. I had to take a break to do some work and re-connect to the internet, but I think next I'll read some of my "for-fun" blogs and then sign off. I'd like to take that "vacation = relax" philosophy seriously for another day, considering that tomorrow I need to do some serious homework catchup, type up my conference notes, etc. Sigh.



I... want... this.

"...thanks to the ingenious ThinkGeek robot monkeys you can display the current wi-fi signal strength to yourself and everyone around you with this stylish Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. The glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates."

That is all.


Ick, I'm Sick

So, who called that this was going to happen? I spend a week with a couple of 14+-hour days at work, complete a major project, welcome my husband safely home from a foreign country, and dodging about ten coworkers with various instances of colds and bronchitis... so, yeah, my body decided Sunday night it had had about enough of that.

Well, that and then already being tired and achy on Sunday, I nevertheless pushed myself through the paces on DDR Hottest Party for our Wii. My humiliatingly, husband-laughing-gut-bustingly bad paces. Probably didn't really help the whole energy level... but gosh darn it, they have "Hot Stuff" on the soundtrack. You know I can't resist a disco siren call like that. (Fair warning to DDR n00bs like me: turn off the hand motions until you've got some semblance of skill. Trust me.)

So yesterday I spent the day... sleeping. Wow. Imagine that!

Here are the pros of being sick:
  • Getting sleep.
  • Discovering that Burt's Bees Hand Salve is also effective on a chapped-from-too-much-Kleenex nose.
  • Reading a new book from one of my favorite authors. (I might mention that this favorite author is, to my relief, still alive, unlike Madeleine L'Engle, Robert Jordan, or well I guess I had no hope with C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkein. Still, it's rough when most of your favorite authors will never produce something new. Good thing I've got Jasper Fforde to add to my list.)
  • Getting work done. (Er, ooops--but really, I needed one uninterrupted day of solid work to get a lot of updates done on the ALA GODORT website. Sad thing is, I'm still not done--I blame the crummy CMS and my lackluster internet connection.)
  • Being so rested that I write most of three presentations without really trying, because I suddenly have the energy to be excited about my topic again. And it not feeling like "work."

Here are the cons of getting sick:
  • The chapped nose. And the fact that before I tried the hand salve on it, for some reason I tried peppermint lotion... owwwwww!
  • Feeling more thirsty after drinking something. Which makes me want to drink less, which of course is not the best of ideas when sick.
  • Realizing that I have three major tasks to complete before Friday... not counting finalizing three presentations for next Monday. And trying to relax and get better and not freak out about it all, considering that similar circumstances are what got me sick in the first place. Riiiiight.
  • Having cable and realizing that most of the time, TV still sucks. (Although that does make me feel better about spending my days at work instead of vegging out on the couch.)
  • Forgetting to call my mom on her birthday, because I slept through most of it. (Luckily, she's a forgiving mom, and didn't realize I didn't call her, until I called her today to apologize.)
  • Oh, did I mention being sick? That's a huge con, right there.


The Falcon Has Landed

(Er... the falcon being Alex.)

He called at 4:30 am to let me know he was in Paris, and I just got off the phone with him--he's in Helsinki!! It's odd how he seems closer now, over the phone, than he did when I dropped him off at DFW airport, when he was still in town for two hours. The beauty of cell phones and global communication, eh? And my husband is now officially an American Airlines Advantage Platinum member, and he's terribly pleased with himself making it to that point before I did. Hmph.

Monday morning is proving to be much more fun than yesterday afternoon--lack of sleep and coffee are much more my normal routine, I guess. I did complete my homework last night, but not all my work-work, so I got to work a bit early to start on that before my meetings begin. And a huge thanks to Tihleigh, who chatted me up last night until I was cheery, as well as let me know that I wasn't pathetic for feeling sad. And another huge thanks to Gayla, who is graciously hosting me tonight and tomorrow, so that I don't waste time and gas commuting home for no reason (particularly since I work until 9pm both tonight and tomorrow). I'll be back in McKinney Wednesday to catch up on mail and housework, since I will end work at a much more normal time.

And I'm wearing a new Audrey Hepburn shirt today--who can't help but feel a little glamorous when wearing such a gal on your shirt, I ask you?


Goodbye, Buddy!


So here I sit on my bed, laptop in lap, completely ignoring all the homework and work I have to get done before Monday morning. Because every time I try to concentrate on work/homework, my brain panics and starts to think about Alex. Which is ridiculous, because at this point he's still in Dallas. He doesn't board for another half hour, and he doesn't take off for another hour beyond that. Sigh.

So I am seriously wondering how I'll get myself to concentrate on the things I need to do, instead of continuously distracting my miserable self with the internet, comics, and the fact that I've got "The Empire Strikes Back" in the DVD player in front of me, and I don't have to leave the bed to enjoy any of these distractions.

Yeesh, and I have chocolate next to me, too. All I need is ice-cream and I'd be classic break-up mode girl. Geez. And here I used to have no problem living alone--I guess I had a much smaller apartment, then. And it wasn't so quiet, considering I lived near a college campus. And, y'know, the bed was too small to feel empy.

Yes, get used to this. Because if I have any time to blog this week, it will probably be more sniveling about how sad I am that my best friend is gone. If it sickens you, you can just come back Friday, when I'll probably start relaying all the awesome adventures Alex went on without me. Sigh...

Okay, seriously--who can I get to kick my butt about this work/homework stuff? Yeesh!!



This morning, I dutifully did my homework. Then I spent several hours looking up relevant online info for Alex's trip. Then I double-checked my list of things to get for him, loaded up the Dreamsicle (yay! she's back!!) with Goodwill donations, and I was off.

I'm back, almost four hours and six stops later. I spent the most time, predictably, at Walmart. I got little travel-sized things of whatever we hadn't already bought for our last trips, luggage tags, large ziplocks, and that Tide stick I've been wanting to try out. Then, since Wally World didn't have a passport holder or flip-flops of any worth, I trekked further south and hit Bed, Bath and Beyond (no dice), Sports Authority (flip-flops), Half-Price Books (also no dice), and Office Max (passport holder).

Now, I'm sitting here unloading scads of photos off of seven SD cards (7.25 GB worth). Because my Nikon and my backpack are going to Finland with my boy--dangit, if I can't go, at least I can con him into taking photos for me.

No, I didn't play hookie today. I used some of that ever-present comp time, and I scheduled it last week. It was supposed to be the big cleaning-house to prep for that whole getting it fixed and then put on the market thing... but Finland takes precedence.


Happy Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day!

Arrr, my mateys!
May ye enjoy this day of celebratin' with a pint of grog.

My pirate name is:

Bloody Mary Kidd

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Finland, Here We--er, He--Comes!

Yesterday morning, I got a message from my husband just as I arrived at my desk. He's going to Finland this Sunday, and he has never had a passport.

My heart leapt for about two hours on the double-adrenaline-rush of acting as GovDocs librarian trying to help Alex get a passport, and also thinking Finnish thoughts and trying to figure out how to squeeze in my own trip with him.

Alas, it was not meant to be. Not only is the cheapest plane ticket I (and one of my info-maven friends) could find around $900, but my passport just expired three months ago, I can't find it or our marriage license, it would cost about $470 to get it renewed in time (assuming I found those documents), and during the six days that Alex will be gone, I have an important meeting with administration--along with my regularly-scheduled I'm-already-far-behind work.


But we did manage to get the passport documents and service taken care of this morning, and I've already created several wiki pages of helpful information for Alex's trip, along with plans to make several more. I am nothing if not a thoroughly librarian wife.

(My apologies for cross-posting, to the two or three of you that read both of my blogs.)


Promoting Silliness

The Glow of Promotion

Today, UNT's Women's Studies Program held a ceremony to honor all female faculty promoted at UNT this year. I took photos, because, well, I'm a big camera dork, five of our librarians were promoted, and also because I was one of them: promoted to Librarian II (a year early--woohoo!!). Our president, Dr. Gretchen Bataille, and our new Provost, Dr. Wendy Wilkins, also came and spoke at the ceremony--it was quite nice.

And then, big dork that I am, I came back to my office and took photos of myself being thoroughly silly. (Yeah, that's a Minx poster in the background for you comics nerds.) Very professional of me, don't you think?


Slow Like Dial-Up

I'm not sure if everyone has this problem, or it's just us... when it rains, or has recently rained, our DSL is sloooow. This happened back in our wireless days, as well--but it's apparently as much a problem for SBC Yahoo as it was for the small-ish company dividing up a T1 among my neighbors. I'm online right now trying to access my SLIS course materials... and it feels just like early 2005, just before that February when our semi-rural area finally got one highspeed option. I used to spend two hours just posting discussions to one course, every night--and then magically highspeed cut 120 minutes to 10. No kidding.

And here I am on molasses-like internet again. (Or, as the people who used to provide wifi spelled it on their sign, i-net-re-net, which sticks in my brain as singularly hilarious.) As if homework isn't un-fun enough--I have to be dragged through it, slowly, while someone scritches their fingernails across a chalkboard.

And I'm not even a true millennial--how soon we forget those days of internet-less yore, eh?


Weekend O' Fun

It's hard to describe how awesome it was, but I'll try. (I should have allllll the photos up on Flickr at some point this coming weekend.)

Jared drove in from Abilene Friday night, and for once we all went immediately to bed. This is how you can tell how important Star Wars is to us--we all went to bed shortly after midnight on a Friday, voluntarily!

We got up early-ish Saturday and picked up Claire, another friend who just happens to be my GovDocs student assistant, at her home. We all sang along--loudly, if not well--to oldies, thanks to the glories of the Siruis Satellite radio in my Awesome New Ride. (Which, btw, I've named Dreamsicle. It doesn't fit in with my previous car-naming scheme, but sometimes things find their own names, y'know?)

We arrived in Ft. Worth at the Museum of Science and History for their Star Wars exhibit... only to find that the adjacent Will Rodgers Auditorium was hosting a gun show the same day. No parking. Less than no parking. We ended up parking on the grass, crossing our fingers that we wouldn't get a ticket.

Inside, we found... a huge, long line. Because, really, that's what Star Wars geekery is all about. Fans may tell you it's about the imagination or the effects or the really hilariously bad dialog--but when you come down to it, Star Wars is about two things: merchandising, and lines.

Luckily, though, the line moved quickly, and soon we were near the front, where we discovered that the "Special Effects" move at the IMAX was already sold out--primarily because "Harry Potter" had been contracted for four time slots that day, and there weren't enough seats to go around. We groused about it, quickly recovered, got our tickets, and made our way to the exhibit--but we had fifteen minutes before they opened it to our time-slot.

We wandered through an exhibit of the last hundred years or so of the museum's artifacts. Some were neat, some were silly, and some were just plain disturbing. Like the huge display of odd-things-preserved-in-jars. Or the bureau that had a drawer full of neatly-lined-up rodents (aka, my mother-in-law's worst nightmare, neatly encased in the same kind of place that she keeps her socks). We all made appropriately-grossed-out noises and took photos to prove just how inhumane, disgusting, and creepy it all was. I was nostalgically thrilled to see they had a case of phosphorescent rocks with a lightswitch, so you can view them in the dark (well, under blacklight) or the light. When I was five years old, a similar phosphorescent rock exhibit was my favorite thing in the entire San Diego Museum of Natural History. I mean, even more than dino bones, and that says something. (It says something about how extremely nerdy I was as a kid.)

Then, it was the magical time to enter the Star Wars exhibit. It was, all told, a really nice exhibit. It was so gorgeously lit that I hardly used my flash, which made for a few blurry photos, but the atmosphere was worth it. The exhibit blended current/upcoming technologies with the Star Wars equivalents that "inspired" them. They were very hands-on (and therefore fun): build your own levitating Lego car, build/program your own R2-like droid, and this fantastic RTS-like (real-time-strategy game, for those of you who don't Speak Geek--think of Age of Empires) interface. The RTS-like thing had an optical sensor that recognized patterns on cards that you laid out in a table, which represented portions of a city (sanitation unit, water plant, housing, eatery, etc.), which you then laid out to make the citizens "happier" in areas like social, health, etc.

The Star Wars paraphenalia was incredible. There were lots of original costumes, props, and--most fantastic of all--the original models of the vehicles. For all intents and purposes, the "real" Star Destroyer, X-Wing, Millennium Falcon. All four of us had this mouths-open, eyes-wide kind of moment when we saw them. They are simply huge, and so detailed, and... just wow. If you're a Star Wars geek, then you went to this exhibit and therefore you understand. If you're not a Star Wars geek, you wouldn't understand anyway, so I won't bother describing it.

Hours later, we finally pulled ourselves out of the exhibit--and then another hour later, pulled ourselves out of the gift shop. (Remember that second facet of Star Wars culture I mentioned--merchandising?) Alex and I managed to come out only one t-shirt, one bib, and one onesie poorer, which is a tad bit of a miracle (I was sorely tempted by the entire "Infinities" trilogy of comics, though--that is sooo on my wishlist).

We drove back and grabbed some Taco Bell, being starved after all that geeking about. We stopped in downtown McKinney, where we'd planned to attend the Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank-Off... but sadly, they'd already ran out of ice cream and were shutting down. No jalapeno ice cream for us.

Claire and I headed off to Walmart to procure some more traditional ice cream, and other snacky foods to sustain us through the planned Firefly marathon. We all made it through half of the season, but by the end of "Jaynestown" sometime after midnight we had to crash. Claire, the Firefly newbie, was just as enthralled as I'd hoped she would be--the first thing she said after the pilot episode was "Next!" --always a good sign. Then on Monday at work, she informed me she'd already ordered the DVD and soundtrack on Amazon--another browncoat recruited!

And thus was our grand weekend. Rather less ice cream was consumed than was planned, but all in all it was a tremendously geeky good time.


Jayne Would be Proud

You know you want to go read this entire week's arc in Unshelved. Just go. Now.

Unless, of course, the strip above made no sense at all. In which case, I pity you. Greatly. Here's some help.


I'm Now Thinking in Thought Ballooons

I won't reveal it here, but the reveal (and then the smaller reveal on nearly the last page) in Marvel 1602 was... just wow. No other words, really. That whole book was fantastic! Good art, great story, cool setting for us history-nerds... yeah, I don't think there's a way to improve on that.

It's Comics Bonanza week. The library-IT-comics-guy that lent me Planetary a few weeks back dropped off the Authority with me yesterday. I've got the last three volumes of Sandman at home, but never manage to get to them because I've been busy every evening. I usually read comics while I cook (which may explain why my cooking isn't spectacular), but for some reason Sandman never made it to the kitchen. I'm reading volume 1 of All-Star Superman instead, which is ridiculously gorgeous and fun. I love the classic look/feel of it. Giant lizards! Insane arch-nemeses! Jimmy Olsen's annoying Superman-signal watch!! Superman robots in a variety of colors!!!

And yesterday, we got a package from SciFi Book Club--Alex ordered a Star Wars book, and while he was at it, added Trinity and The Dark Knight Returns for his spoiled geeky wife. I read DK almost two years ago, and things like Planetary keep me wanting to refer back to it--that, and the awesome page with Superman (aka Super-Goody-Two-Shoes, according to Mr. Frank Miller) against the backdrop of butterflies and horses, with Ronald Reagan talking about patriotism. That, contrasted against Miller's huge, scary Batman whose sole purpose seems to be to mete out violence upon the wicked. Good times. (And also appropriate timing, since we just watched Miller's bloody-good The 300 on Sunday. Finally, a movie that makes decent use of Gerard Butler.)

And I just had a conversation with another work-geek, who's now going to lend me a Fantastic Four story that follows 1602. Oh, the goodness. And how the geeks do come out of the woodwork at the library... this makes four comic book geeks and... well, I lost count of the scifi tv/movie geeks at about six.

There is work to be done, and more work to be done, and classes to register for, and personal affairs to be taken care of... but I'm really just looking forward to this weekend, when Alex and I and two friends will be geeking out over the Star Wars exhibit, eating odd flavors of homemade ice-cream, and watching the entire season of Firefly. Ah, the good things in life--they're not free, but they are... er... good.



Things that Suck About Being An Adult
  • Filing auto insurance claims.
  • Filing taxes.
  • Filing work paperwork.
  • Generally, anything that has the word "filing" in it.
  • Bills.
  • Student loans.
  • Generally, anything that deals with finances.
  • Missing your parents, because you no longer live with them.
  • Yardwork. Housework. Other forms of "work."
  • Calories showing up in physical form on your body.
Things that Don't Suck About Being An Adult
  • Staying up as late as you want.
  • Watching any movies or TV shows that you please. Even The Simpsons.
  • Eating cake for breakfast. (Except for the last point in the first section.)
  • Living with a member of the opposite sex. Who isn't your parent.
  • Being friends with your parents--not because you have to, or you live with them, but because you love them and they are genuinely interesting, fun people.
  • The fact that bills and housework signify that you are independent and master of your own home. (Even if you do have to pay for it and upkeep it.)
  • Having the choice to go to school, or not.
  • Being able to enter things like "awesome new games for the Wii" into the budget.
  • Having a great job that I love, that is what I was trained to do, instead of all the wondering and worrying and preparing for my future. Dude, I am living my future.



  • Want to get paid for blogging? Check out these opportunities.
  • What have I been tagging recently, that I've been to busy to link here? Check out my bookmarks on del.icio.us.
  • No, I still haven't uploaded my over 3GB worth of photos to my flickr account yet, but check out the amazing photos all my contacts have been taking!
  • Movie Mini-Review: Hot Fuzz is fantastic--loaded with dry humor instead of predictable pratfalls, this movie does not stint on the action (or gore) one bit. You can tell that the creators (incidentally, the minds/actors behind the also-fantastic Shaun of the Dead) just made the perfect cop-comedy-action movie they'd always wanted to see. So see it.
  • Planetary was glorious. There should have been more of it--I almost feel cheated.
  • Almost finished with Marvel 1602 (put it down briefly to finish Planetary). Also fantastic--but then, it's Neil Gaiman. And the 1600's. And painted images. What's not to love there?
  • Shocking, but true: I'm not borrowing audiobooks, I'm hardly listening to NPR at the moment--I've become obsessed with my six-month Sirius subscription. I, who complained to high heaven that paying for the gloriously free service of radio is ridiculous--I love it. (Then again, I'm not paying for it.) And it's not the extra NPR stations, or Broadway, or Sinatra that I listen to--the only merit I previously saw in subscription radio. No, the real glory of Sirius is that it has an awesome 80's station.

I'd hang my head in shame, but I'm too busy dancing to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."


Punk Librarian

  • Reading audiobooks is not cheating. Read more here. (I know Auntie K's going to back me up on this one.)
  • We all knew that Joss Whedon is genius. Yet here he goes, proving it again, and this time in a freely-available-online comic!! Robots! Aliens! Snappy dialogue! Chick bands!!! The glory of it!
  • Wait a minute.... scientists can be wrong? Gasp!
  • Airplane rides... purple lighting... USB charging stations... mp3 playlists that stick with your travel account--nope, there's nothing I don't like the sound of on Virgin America's new airline.
  • I know you all read this already--most of you sent it to me. But just in case you don't read Penny Arcade, here it is ("guybrarian" episode). (And for once, I actually don't have to put a profane warning on this comic.)
  • I know you don't really care, but my left wrist hurts. Not five days after I told my dad that my chronic wrist problem from 1998 - 2004 had finally left after surgery. Dangit.
Oh right, the title of this post. The reason for it is that today, I am wearing (from head to toe):
  • my usual spiky-hair edgy haircut
  • my cool librarian glasses
  • funky triangle/circle earrings
  • lavendar button-down 3/4 sleeve shirt
  • black "Book Club" t-shirt over that
  • Vertigo and Batman logo buttons
  • banned books bracelet
  • "librarian" skirt (funk-i-fied by myself with librarian-themed appliques and some lace)
  • awesome tall tall boots (similar to these, without the funky stitching)
The reason why I am wearing all this is three-fold (warning! another needless bulleted list ahead):
  1. We're in another round of Gilmore-Girls-obsession, which always makes me want to dress like Lane (post-Mrs.-Kim) and listen to the Ramones.
  2. I have been listening to too much 1980's punk on my sirius radio subscription in My New Awesome Ride (aka the Dreamsicle).
  3. We're really, really low on work clothes at the moment. Our dryer is, well, not. (Drying, that is.)
I may post some punk-ish librarian photos, at that undefined future moment in time when I spend a full 24 hours uploading images from My Awesome Camera. Sigh.


How Did It Get to Be August?

Wednesday, I got a happy little letter detailing my promotion and raise next month--w00t! Alex and I celebrated at a great Greek place in Plano, Zorba's, with our pals Josh and Stacey, then played Hearts at their place. I cheerfully lost, having completely combined Hearts, Spades, and Pinochle together in my brain for all time.

This weekend, we drove done to ol' San Antone to visit my parents. We had a grand time--Mom and I lost to Alex and Dad at Canasta (quite shamefully, too). We enjoyed key lime pie, some fantastic pecan praline ice cream, and the best brisket I've ever had, hands-down (thanks to Buck & Ozie's Last Chance). We exchanged gifts for my birthday, my dad's birthday, and Father's Day, then watched the end of "Gladiator" and the beginning of "Amistad."

Mom and I had a really great visit with my pal Cherie, who I went to high school with and then roomed with my first year at HSU. She is currently in her fourth battle with cancer in the past five years. She's recently been put on steroids, so she looked great and felt much better, but it always blows my mind to realize that Cherie, of all people, has been chronically ill for so long. She was the sarcastic, sardonic one in high school and here she is with a husband, two kids, and an incredible strength and optimism in the midst of a long illness.

Mom took us both to the Alamo Cafe for lunch, a longtime favorite of us all. We had fantastic food and a lot of laughing--sometimes it's hard to believe the things we did in high school. We reminisced about how Saturdays at Cherie's house, she and I would always eat frozen pizza (Tony's, I think), Dr. Pepper, and make brownies. Every single time. And we wrote a story together with the most fantastic title ever, by passing the paper back and forth line by line. And despite the fact that we've been reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series since our junior year, thirteen years ago, he still hasn't published the last book.

I also got to visit with Cherie's family for the first time in years. Isn't there some song about how everything changes, but everything's the same? Yeah, it was that.

As usual, I have many many photos of the weekend, and yet no time to upload them. Ah well, watch my flickr account periodically and you'll find them in time.


The Weekend

Funky Metropolitan


  • Enjoyed seeing my good friend Kat, who is Most Greatly With Child.
  • Took a ridiculous amount of photos, as usual.
  • Played Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, and did not totally suck on the medium level.
  • Turned 29.
  • Enjoyed many phone calls from wonderful family members (in particular the voice-mail from my father-in-law singing "Happy Birthday").
  • Had some really incredible steak and shrimp.
  • Held my first meetings as Chair of one of the HSU BYA Committees (as did Alex, Chair of another committee in that group).
  • Wore a purple shirt.
  • Had Ben & Jerry's Irish Delight Ice Cream.
  • Did not sleep a wink Friday night.
  • Enjoyed driving my Awesome New Ride.
  • Enjoyed having the fuel efficiency of a car, not a truck.
Yep, I'm still busy as heck. Check out my photos instead of waiting around for text comments (er, the Abilene photos aren't up yet, though):


Making a Wish

Would you like to see my laundry-list of excuses of why I'm too busy to blog much at the moment? Then click here. And add to that list a list of personal items, such as (but not included to):
  • reading my camera manual (again)
  • reading Fables vol. 9 (happy birthday me!)
  • preparing for the October trip to DC (yes, you have to reserve tours that early)
  • editing, processing, and uploading photos
  • keeping mi casa clean(ish)
  • waiting for Guitar Hero III on the Wii (oh wait, that's on Alex's list)
  • working a second job over the summer
  • writing creatively twice a week (woohoo!)
  • going out of town all the frelling time

The 29th Wish

So... short and sweet update, then.
This past weekend, we bought some stuff at Best Buy, including (finally) the last Farscape DVD volume. We also had my (early) b-day party with the Hoffman clan, at which I received a new flash for my new camera (yay!), some toys, a giftcard, and the above-mentioned Fables vol. 9. This joins my new stash of comics* that the boy bought me a few weeks ago at Recycled Books in Denton (aka Mecca of All Things Bookish). We also had some fantastic mother-in-law baked cake, and two of my three nephews astounded us with the sheer energy that is possible in a body under the age of six. Kind of a cruel reminder, this close to my actual 29th birthday, considering that my body's energy level is about a tenth of that. When I'm lucky.

This was illustrated when I went to blow out all 29 candles. I got about three done before I thought my old lungs would cause me to pass out--luckily those two nephews saved my wish from eternal non-fulfillment. And no, they weren't trick candles, and I'm not a smoker--just a sedentary old librarian. Hmph.

I've worked the past two Saturdays, so "weekend" has been a kind of loose concept, anyway. Hence even less time to get everything done, hence even less time to blog about all the stuff I'm doing. Ah, well.

I am really, really looking forward to spending this weekend in Abilene. Alex and I will be chairing BYA committees, sure, and that will take a bit more effort on our parts than usual--but it's Abilene and HSU and friends and my about-to-pop-she's-so-pregnant pal Kat, and our generous host Jared and staying up late to play games and talk geekery. That sounds very relaxing and fun.

*About those comics...
I can't find that I blogged about these yet, dangit. So here was the score:
  • Astro City, Vol. 1
  • Planetary, Vol. 1 (I've already borrowed and read 2 and 3 since then)
  • Marvel 1602 (hardback!!!)
  • Mary Jane vol. 1 (okay, so I'm a girl, and this proves it--just deal.)
  • Flight, Vols. 1, 2, and 3 (major score!!!)
To date, I've finished Astro City and Planetary (and--ahem--MJ), and am in the middle of Marvel 1602, which I am thoroughly enjoying, despite being less familiar with the Marvel uni than the DC universe. I'm trying to save Flight for a little, since it's short stories and I tend to devour those. So the top item on my wishlist, now that I've finished Fables 9, is the Fables stand-alone Jack book.

Once again, I'm running out of space on my comics shelf. I removed all the manga, and that helped--for about three weeks. And now, back to square one.


Still Tired, But Excited

...And in about a week, I'll tell you why.

In the meantime, I have to move my office in preparation for my new boss (hooray!) arriving soon, migrate content onto our new library website, finish up everything that has been sitting around since before ALA last month, and get my feet wet as ALA GODORT's Web Administrator.


In those moments I can steal to read comics, I'm on Vol. 2 of Planetary--which is only less-than-excellent because each story ends right at the point where I'm wanting more (which I suppose is the point)--and I finished Vol. 6 of Sandman and Vol. 1 of Astro City. Oh, and I started reading Marvel 1602 Monday, but haven't been able to come back to it.

This weekend is my birthday celebration with the Hoffmans (we'll call it my the-last-year-of-your-twenties-is-the-best birthday), and the weekend after that, we hit Abilene for the Board of Young Associates meeting. This time around, Alex and I are each chairs of committees--eek!

And, um, I need to return to my lunch. And my coffee. C ya!

Update: I fixed the previously-non-accessible library website link. Oh, and just to clarify, what I'm hinting at in the first sentence is *so* not about me being pregnant or anything. Just in case you were wondering. (The "tired" and "excited" have nothing to do with each other.)


Monday, Tired Monday

It's late, and my brain definitely is aware that it's Monday, and that it did not get enough sleep last night.

However, Alex and I did have a good time watching one of the best movies of all time last night, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. We nearly went for another best-of-all-time qualifier, Back to the Future, but Alex was feeling slightly more adventure-ish. I also got a lot of housework done Sunday--dishes, cleaning the entire kitchen--a scant week after it had been previously cleaned, gasp!--and folding laundry, which I also put up this morning before work. Amazing what I can get accomplished when I set my mind to it. Or rather, when I realize that being stressed out by the mess is actually more work than getting off my lazy buns and doing the work. Is that... adulthood... I hear creeping in? Maturity added to my character? Aaack, run for the hills!

Other than the chore-performing and the obligatory fat-couch time, we sat around with dazed looks, blinking a little, wondering what people actually do on a free weekend day. I worked Saturday, as I will again this week, and that added to the weeks I've/we've been out of town, or had parties, or seen friends/family, or had other obligations--it was a little disconcerting to have unplanned time. I think we both panicked a little--"Free time, oh no it's not scheduled, what do we do, we can't waste it, ack!" But finally we relaxed a bit--I think the housework helped me in this respect--and allowed ourselves to remember what our former glorious "lazy weekends" were like. Pure, vegetative goofball bliss, primarily involving time on the fat couch. Ahhhh.

I worked this evening, so I had this morning free to put up afore-mentioned laundry and--gasp--clean the interior of My Big Awesome Truck. I throughly vacuumed it and spot-cleaned all the hard surfaces after first removing a huge trash bag's worth of Stuff That Does Not Belong In My Truck. This stuff included a roll of copper wire, no less than five mostly-empty water bottles, six library books, and some craft beads shaped like letters of the alphabet (still in package). I know, I disgust even myself.

Also, I'm getting close to finished uploading party photos to Flickr. I'll link them on this blog when I'm done.


Fresh-Baked Goodness

Product of a Domestic Goddess Fit

After everyone left the party (again), I felt lonesome and sweet-tooth-y. So I baked us a strawberry pie. I kind of combined recipes from two different cookbooks I had, as FoodNetwork.com had surprisingly little to offer in this area. It be tasty.

So, Saturday we had our youngest nephew's 3rd birthday party*, and then our own Independence Day party--er, again. This time, we had about twelve or so people (eight the previous weekend), and we successfully set off a ton of fireworks. We caught them on video this time, and if Alex's computer will ever agree to process it, I'll post it on YouTube and link it here.

I have photos from both of our parties to upload, as well as the rest of California and the rest of DC. I'm operating without a SD-card reader right now, and can only get photos off my leaving my camera on and attaching it to the computer with a USB cable, which transfers photos at a remarkably sluggish rate--hence the sluggish rate of posting to Flickr. Sigh.

*Note: all photos of the birthday party are uploaded and accessible through the link above, but all are unedited, as well. This means they are large, and might be blurred or have odd lighting--if you'd like a copy of something cropped/sized/edited, just let me know.


Color Me This

(Apologies for cross-posting this, but it applies equally to all groups.)

Okay, file this under the "sheer genius" category-- the site COLOURlovers.com not only provides ever-changing color palettes that are ranked by users, but you can download palettes in a variety of formats, including CSS. You can browse palettes by newest, top, or search by specific color combinations.

So, so pretty. Good for adventures in interior design, graphic design brainstorming, or a CSS recharge for your website.


My Nikon: A Love Story

Nikon Self-Portrait

All right, I won't keep you waiting until I get to my Sunday and Monday ALA notes and finish up the ALA-blogging process. Here's the skinny on my newest gadget: the Nikon D40X.

Monday evening, my flight was delayed, then canceled, then apparently not canceled, then definitely canceled and I was on a flight for Tuesday--anyway, I finally got on a different flight, two hours later than I was supposed to, but I was just glad I didn't have to spend the night in the DCA airport. I like Reagan a lot, but I didn't particularly want to sleep there.

I disembarked at DFW sometime after 11pm, got my luggage, greeted my best friend warmly and thankfully, and we got back to the house sometime after midnight.

Back at the house, we unceremoniously dumped all my luggage to be dealt with later, and I plopped onto the couch. Alex told me he had a surprise for me, and I obediently closed my eyes and waited, assuming it was the nice normal sort of surprise he likes to provide--a new movie, or a chocolate-chip cookie.

I opened my eyes, and there was a gorgeous new backpack (similar to this)! More specifically, a laptop backpack--one with shorter straps than my current monstrosity (that I lugged all over DC), and which fit my laptop more snuggly. And which--oh joy of joys!--has a camera compartment in the bottom, just the perfect size for a SLR, a few extra lenses, a charger, and some memory cards. Perfect.

Well, except that my camera isn't a SLR, even though I tend to borrow them from the UNT Libraries Digital Lab fairly often. But I had plans to get one in a year or so.

Then he had me close my eyes again--and you'd think the next thing would be fairly obvious, right? But keep in mind that I was really, really tired, and my brain wasn't fully in Texas yet.

So yes, he had my close my eyes again, and there sitting on my lap was a Nikon box and a new 2Gb SD card.

I was more than a little flabbergasted. We've been saving for a specific goal, and it's seemed that everything is moving toward that goal, hence the reason I wasn't looking to purchase a SLR in the near future. We'd come into a small pocket of money that I'd assumed we would just push toward that goal, but apparently my very-generous and thoughtful husband had other ideas.

So, you see, although I very much enjoy my new Nikon and the glorious freedom of always having a spectacular (and light!) camera on-hand to capture the moment... the true love story of this post is my best friend. I loved him before the camera, I'm touched by his gift of the camera, and I'll try to prove worthy of his gift by not posting too many photos of him on flickr.


Yes, I'm On YouTube Now

And I've even got four videos posted. Three of them are from the 2005 Star Wars Line-Up, and one is from the ALA Book Cart Drill Team competition last Sunday. (I've discovered that my point-and-shoot Kodak is perhaps better at taking short videos than it is taking stills.)

Also, we've got a nice little video camera, so we're going to attempt to record the awesomeness of our fireworks show... this is, of course presuming that it doesn't rain more/still. I heard this morning that Lake Lewisville is at 90% capacity, and the Corps of Engineers plans to drain it soon into the Trinity River (which, being at 39 feet deep and apparently not reaching a problem point for flooding until 62 feet, has plenty of room for the extra H20).


A Taste of What is to Come...

The beginning of a new era: the Nikon D40X.

What's this, you say? I'll tell details later. For now, enjoy the lusciousness.


The Bryce Has Landed

(Well, that's what we'll be saying in 6 hours, anyway.)
Yes, people, it's getting to be that time--time for the semi-annual HSU alum fireworks extravaganza at the Hoffman place!

Ah, the Joy of Siblings


Grrr, Arg

(Those are zombie noises, btw--I got very little sleep last night.)

This is just a quickie to say that I'm currently going through scads of work email, but I'll post stories about Sunday/Monday as soon as possible, along with the rest of the trip photos.

'Twas fun, but it's good to be home again.


DC Day Three

ALA is intense. Or perhaps it's just all that walking, combined with the 15 lbs of laptop/backpack I'm lugging around that makes it seem that way. Every time I get back to the Tabard Inn, I just crash with exhaustion.

I'm not going to be at the Facebook party that starts in fifteen minutes--even if I wasn't dead-tired, I have a GODORT thing to interview for at 8:15am tomorrow. Isn't that a spectacularly cruel time to schedule an interview?

So, this morning, I awoke with great hopes of trying a different breakfast at the Tabard--maybe bagels this time, or granola with homemade yogurt. Only--they serve breakfast at 7am on weekdays... and 8am on weekends. I only had time to frown with sadness, then rushed off to my first session, ERT's Digital Natives. The presentation wasn't really anything I hadn't heard already, but there was an interesting, lively discussion afterward, and the room was jam-packed with people. (The link above also provides some notes taken on the discussion, if you're interested.)

Dreanna Belden from UNT went with me to that, so we then got some much-needed coffee and a delish cranberry-orange muffin from the obligatory 'Bucks kiosk, and sat down for some good chat about life, the universe, and everything.

Then I had to run off to the GODORT Update at the Renaissance Washington, where I pulled up a chair and my laptop to Julie Linden's corner (near an outlet, thank goodness). I briefly got to chat with Kris Kasianovitz, who I met in Oakland through NDIIPP, and then met Amy Stewart-Mailhiot F2F for the first time--she's been generously donating some govdocs for some digitization projects of ours.

I met Dreanna in the hotel lobby, and we wandered off to Chinatown, eventually settling on the "Wok and Roll" where Dreanna had some gorgeous-looking sushi, and I settled for an uncharacteristically less-adventurous beef lo mein. I took some fun, colorful photos as we left Chinatown, and we got the giggles as we passed a tableaux at Hooter's. Four orange-clad buxom gals were outside, taunting a slightly-inebriated male librarian with, "Well, we never went to library school." He was amazed that they knew he was a librarian--until they pointed out that he was still wearing his enormous ALA badge. Sigh.

I went back to the Renaissance for GODORT Leg. II. It's not that I'm a glutton for attending meetings for committees I'm not on, but they were discussing a response to the recent CRS report legislation being considered, and of course that's particularly relevant to my work archiving those reports. It was an interesting meeting, and I learned that editing resolutions isn't nearly as boring as it sounds--or else that's the old English major in me, but I found it fascinating.

And afterward, I wandered in the general direction of the LITA Meet n' Greet, but along the way... I met Meredith Farkas in-person! (And sorry, but you'll have to read that link for the story.)

The LITA Meet n' Greet was... well, not as lively as I was hoping. I was mildly interested in the interest groups on Digital Library Technologies and Distance Learning... but if I become more involved in GODORT like I hope to and only increase my courseload in the future... I don't need one more committment. Unless I find a compelling reason, I probably won't renew my LITA membership next year--I can read their articles, blog, and attend their sessions without being a member, after all.

Coming out of the hotel, I ran into Valerie, Kevin, and Brooke--whom I met for the first time, having of course heard glowing things from Val. Which all turned out to be completely true, as Val went back to her hotel to write a CRS letter for Leg., and Brooke and I whisked through the Exhibits Hall for an hour. During which, I witnessed an amazing performance of female flirting that on her the coveted, swag-filled and quality-stitched Oxford UP tote bag. Clever girl, that.

We parted at 7th and L, and I headed once again toward the Metro and the Tabard. I lugged my technological burden upstairs, changed out of professional and sweaty clothing, and briefly hopped out again to traipse up and down the block with the Digi-Lab camera, capturing the gorgeous architecture.

I came back to have some more of the Tabard's lite fare--this time a mozarella-and-roast-pepper salad that really was lite, but had enough protein to keep me going. I dragged myself back upstairs at the ridiculous-for-one-under-30 hour of 6:45, and promptly spent a few hours in blissfully decadent, useless novel-reading and a half hour nap (finished Deboarh Crombie's Dreaming of the Bones). Suzanne Sears called and we arranged to share a cab tomorrow to Cathy's party, and then we sent awhile chatting and giggling.

I called Alex, but he and Jared were watching "Invincible," so I started being productive, and then chatted with him when he called back awhile later. He and Jared watched the last SG-1 today--completely with my full knowledge and permission before-hand--and said there's a possible second spin-off series in the works, as well as some TV movies. Well, there's hope, then! And, of course, I only let Alex watch the episodes without me under the strict understanding that he has to watch them with me Tuesday night, as well.

And now I'm here, having fully intended to go to bed an hour ago, but being sucked into that novel and my blog/wiki/flickr/Facebook ate up several hours of my life. Ah, well. Thus is the life of a digital semi-native.

Now, I think I'll spend a little more time ignoring my headache, uploading some photos, and looking at the GODORT website in preparation for tomorrow morning. And then to bed, to bed.


Holy Crud

I just tried to charge the camera batteries--for the awesome Canon Rebel SLR I'm borrowing from UNT's Digital Lab--and I've got the wrong charger, or else I'm completely mentally deficient. They... don't... fit. I have three days left in DC at my first ALA conference--and the awesome camera may have a limited power lifespan.

So pardon my French, but Holy Crap!!!

Update: Photos for the day are here: http://flickr.com/photos/geekyartistlibrarian/tags/20070622/

DC: Day Two

I might be more exhausted than last night, but it's hard to tell. Oh, how I love, love, love this city.

I had planned to get up early and take the Metro in and just wander about a bit taking photos... but instead, I stayed at the Tabard until past 11am. I slept much later than my original plans--6am on a non-morning session day? What was I thinking?!--and then headed down to some of the Tabard Inn's delicious complimentary breakfast. Homemade cranberry scones with some delicious jewel of a jelly--some dark berry with orange that was delightful--and enormous slabs of honeydew melon that I sadly could not finish. The two cups of coffee was probably more than I needed, but was so nice. I wandered about the Tabard a little taking photos, then headed back upstairs to become engrossed in the wifi and photo editing.

I finally realized it was past time to meet Val, so I hopped out into the sunshine. I took the Metro to the WCC and met Val outside, then we walked to the Austin Grill. We had a great time chatting, and I enjoyed a wonderful chile-rubbed tuna sandwich--the tuna steak was an inch and a half thick and covered in avacado slices.... sooooo good.

After our lunch and gossip, Val and I ran into Cathy Hartman, Larry Romans, and Amy West at the ALA registration area, and they all went on to GODORT-y sessions, while I headed back to the Metro for GODORT's tour of the Senate Library.

I was happy to have the opportunity to pass through Union Station again, and snapped photos as I went down Delaware to the Russell Senate Building. I didn't realize the Senate Library was right next to CRS--tempts a nerdy girl to run in there and make off with a bunch of reports. The tour was fantastic--lots of gorgeous, interesting documents and a pristine Serial Set--I know, this stuff should be on my professional blog, but I'll just link it here. I love that the clocks in the entire Senate building, including the restaurants, have lights and buzzers that are all code for different things--five minutes to a vote, a quorum call, etc. So anyone in the Senate buildings always know what's going on, no matter where they are. And for any librarians needing hard-to-locate government information, the Senate Library not only has a fantastic collection, but they're happy to provide reference assistance to librarians (they don't have a public mission, so they don't serve patrons directly). And they have quite a few CRS reports from the 1970's through the 1990's... hmmm.

I ran into Julie Linden on the second tour, then left the Senate building and walked back to Union in that gorgeous sun--although it was a bit warmer than I was expecting, Texas having been so rainy and cool for the past... how long has it been raining constantly? Since February?

When I got back to the WCC, I got all my ALA gear and officially donned my conference badge--not wanting to look like a likely target, I wasn't wearing it outside the WCC. Then it was time for GODORT Legislation I, so I went up to 209 and turned on my laptop--it was worth all the pain of lugging it around all day just to have it there for instant notes on my wiki, let me tell you. I also met Jennie Burroughs, who's a Facebook friend of mine, and Kristin Clark, who apparently reads my (other) blog--I just love the internet! Cathy was in the session, as was Jesse Silva, who after the meeting showed me the awesome things they're doing at Berkeley with their wiki. He's mashing up pmwiki, Camtasia, and the LexisNexis interface so that the wiki plays the tutorial (in flash), then at certain parts the patron scrolls down to Lexis and actually acts out the tutorial--genius! They've also got related RSS feeds in the right-hand column.

Leg. I was pretty interesting--Jesse's set up a wiki for them, and there was some discussion about having some members participate only online, and what roles they might take. Then I took a few minutes to check email and IM, and then joined the GODORT Happy Hour at the Embassy Suites bar. I met quite a few more people and got the GODORT ribbon for my badge, then left with Cathy and her posse to go find dinner.

We walked down 10th--there was a gorgeous crushed glass mosiac walkway that I photographed--and went to a funky little French bistro across the street from the Ford Theater. Yes, that Ford Theater, girls and boys, the one where Lincoln was shot, and the house where he died was right next to the restaurant. But the real treat was the food--I had some kind of salad I don't think I can even pronounce--Chevre Chaud?--with huge slabs of warm goat cheese that was to die for, and afterward a crepe suzette that was about the best thing involving an orange that I've ever tasted. They finally kicked us out after 9:30--we were the last ones there--and we had a gloriously fun, chatty walk back to the Metro, exited at Dupont Circle, and I wearily pulled myself into the room a bit after 10pm.

I've just got off the phone with Alex, who is waiting for Jared to come over and they'll be make firework preparations this weekend. Now I should be consulting my schedule for tomorrow and sleeping--as I have a tremendous headache and am exhausted--but I'd rather read my frivolous novel, edit and upload photos to flickr, and generally glutton myself with technology instead of being responsible. Sigh.

Today was much less lonely than yesterday, and it was just amazingly fun to be out and about in DC. I am always a grumpy, shy wreck the first day of any trip, and the farther away the place is, the worse I get. The first day in Italy in 1997, I hardly spoke to anyone--even my American travel-mates--but the day afterward I was up for wild adventures like I never am at home. Travel does odd things to people.

I succeeded, I think, in creating a great travelouge of my day in photos, but I wonder how long it will take me to get them up. I think I may forget editing them for now, and just upload as-is, willy-nilly, so that anyone who's interested can follow along my trip.

Oh, and that laptop--it's so worth it, but I think I need to hire a... oh I'm too tired to think of the name. The guys who carry your luggage up the mountain. Yeah. That's world-class blogging right there folks: "It was the thing, with that stuff, remember?" Yeah... Ah, well.

DC: Day One


Right now, I am snug in bed at the wondrously funky Tabard Inn (my grateful thanks to Cathy Hartman for her recommendation!), checking Facebook, Gmail, and uploading part of today's photos to flickr.

This morning, I rode in to Alex's place of work in Plano, and bummed around on the internet until lunchtime. After a quick bite, we hopped over to DFW Airport--that would be my third time so far this year, folks! After a lot of goodbye hugs, I left Alex (gulp) and got my extremely-too-large suitcase checked. Yes, the gal who tends to share a tiny suitcase with her husband is taking a gigantic one for her tiny self. I think this reveals both my lack of time to make apparel decisions, and my slight insecurity about my first ALA attendance--everything I had any thought of wearing, I threw into that suitcase.

I had no trouble at all finding my gate, for once, and thus had a lovely hour and a half to take photos and edit them on my trusty (but battery-power-deficient) laptop. Then, wonder of wonders, I bumped into Doina, another UNT librarian who happened to be on the same flight. We boarded together, and then proceeded to wait on the tarmac twenty minutes behind seven planes.

The turbulence we went through until we got through the now-ubiquitous rainclouds over Dallas was unpleasant--but you can endure half an hour of almost anything.

I worked on my ALA schedule, looked out the window a lot, took completely unnecessary and probably uninteresting photos, and read a completely frivolous book. In fact, I had no intention of reading it, had never heard of it or the author, but found it in the paperback swap section of our library's cafe, and thought I might as well give it a try. It's actually pretty enjoyable thus far: Dreaming of the Bones, by Deborah Crombie. I'm not a huge mystery person, but it's very British and that feels very "summery reading" to me.

When we got to DC, those rainclouds had apparently followed me. Dark grey was the sky, except for a thin band on intense red that reflected gorgeously on the Potomac. And there was good old DCA, right where I left it with its horrifyingly-short runway.

We landed, and I completely scrapped my original plan of eating at the airport in favor of locating my luggage as quickly as possible. I lugged that huge suitcase up to the Metro station, where I found Doina again, and we took to Yellow Line. I happily proceeded to identify myself as an annoying tourist by snapping photos on the metro, and got a happy lump in my throat when I could see the Washington monument through the window.

Doina and I parted where I switched lines, and then I exited at Dupont Circle. This is when I became fully aware that my suitcase was not suited to: 1) airports 2) metro systems 3) escalators, or 4) street-walking. I walked three blocks south before realizing that I was alone, lost, and nearly unable to lug my suitcase any further. Being a huge nerd, I took a photo to document this.

I then went back another block north, called Alex in frustration, and then realized I was where I needed to be, and walked a half block east to my hotel. I also then took several photos of triumph. Because of my extreme nerdiness.

I checked in with a friendly woman I was so happy to see that I could have hugged her, and proceeded up to Room #5. By "proceed," I mean that I banged, pushed, and pulled my ginor-mo suitcase up a flight of stairs more narrow than it is (no, there isn't an elevator). But it's so homey, elegant, funky that I am extremely happy I'm not in a regular hotel. This is more relaxing, as well as cooler.

I went down to the restaurant and discovered that while entrees started in the $20's, their "lite fare" was more than appetizers and was in the more reasonable $ 8-10 range. I ordered a smoked pork quesadilla and water, and it was almost too much food--but gloriously tasty, and a wonderful treat to eat in the parlor with my book during cocktail hour, while a group apparently from Baylor discussed teacher benefits. I charged it to my room--oh, glorious luxury!--and snapped a few more photos of the room itself.

Since then, I've been in bed with the laptop, spreading my online presence and uploading about half of the photos I took today--I plan on getting the rest up tomorrow morning-ish. I read Alex to sleep over the phone--I think that might have been our sixth phone conversation today. (But then, that's not abnormal at home, really.)

I'll have to post more about thoughts and the Tabard and all tomorrow--I'm having lunch with Valerie, and then it's off to make my ALA debut, baby!

Note to self: stop wearing geeky-phrase t-shirts when you're traveling. You get tired of all those strangers staring at your chest, remember?

And to Alex: good night, my love--I miss you sorely.