About Who?

I have found that I'm pretty awful when it comes to describing myself. Some people just have a talent for it, and I am not one of those people. For instance, anytime I sign up for a new service and have to fill in an "About Me" section, I usually just groan and put it off. However, there are a few times when I think I've really nailed it.

My last.fm one is my favorite - I was up late and in a weird mood, so I just started listing things. This is what I came up with:

Things I love:

Music (obviously)
B movies
Driving with the window down
Bodies of water
Chinese buffets
Road trips
Occasional blogging
Being crafty
French fries with salt and vinegar
Dancing (badly)
Singing (even worse)
My Garfield pillow

I like that. A nice list of my interests, and nothing too deep or personal. I also hate when people ramble, so I kept it to one topic. Another one I like is my facebook one:

I am an uber-geek, a librarian, a procrastinator, and a wanna-be crafter. I love books and libraries and science and computers - and any combination of those things.

Short and to the point - you don't get much better than that. I don't like the one I wrote for Blogger, but since I refuse to write the same thing twice, I won't be changing it anytime soon.

With any luck, you've learned a great deal about me from this post.


Today marks my two year anniversary at my library, and I started thinking this morning about how excited I was two years ago when I found out I got the job. I was working at Target at the time, and I was so happy to be out of there before Thanksgiving! The past two years have really flown by - in some ways, I feel like I've been working here forever, but I also feel like I just started. Does that make sense? In any case, I love my job and the people I work with, and I hope that when I move up in the ranks (fingers crossed) I will enjoy my job just as much or perhaps even more.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Going home, visiting family, eating lots of turkey? Jared and I aren't having a very big Thanksgiving celebration, but we are cooking at the new house and I think it's going to be really nice.

PS - WTF Kindle? You were supposed to be so awesome, but you're full of DRM and hidden costs? I thought I knew you.

Lady in waiting

Here's another video about the writer's strike, this time from the writers of the Colbert Report:

I'm very interested to see how long this goes on.

In other news, I had an interview for a job I really, really want today, and I think it went pretty well. Now I just have to wait and see if they thought it went well. Patience is a virtue!

Teachers are people too

Apparently, teachers in Ohio are being encouraged not to join social networking sites or participate in other online communities or dating websites.

Does this make you as angry as it makes me? If it doesn't, maybe it should.

Okay, I get it. We don't want our teachers having inappropriate relationships with students. That shouldn't have to be said. But come on - MySpace and Facebook aren't causing that. Teachers have lives outside of their profession, and they shouldn't have to worry that their online presence will cause them to be accused of being "immoral" or "unprofessional." Instead, teachers should be encouraged to join social networks. Why? Because it's what their students are doing! Teachers need to understand what these services are and why their students are interested in them. In the library world, we are doing everything we can to join these sites and see what makes them so popular. We understand that to make the library more relevant, we need to go where our communities are going - and right now, that's online. And for teachers and librarians who grew up with the Internet, we shouldn't be expected to stop our online activities for our jobs. Furthermore, it's appalling to me that teachers would be discouraged from joining dating websites. Trying to find love on a dating website doesn't equate to doing inappropriate things with students. It just doesn't.

My point is this - we're all people, and we shouldn't have to change who we are or what we do in our free time because of our jobs. Now, if what we're doing is wildly inappropriate, then we should be reprimanded for our actions. But being a teacher doesn't automatically make you a better person than anyone else, and it's certainly not fair to those people who have dedicated their lives to educating our children to be told what they can and can't do outside of work.

It's too bad I'm not getting paid for this

Most of you have already seen this, but in case you haven't, here's a video about the writer's strike from one of the writers of the Daily Show:

What do you think about this? Personally, I think if you write content for a show, you should get paid for that content. If you write content for a website, you should also get paid for that content. However, I'm don't know whether or not they are striking about not getting paid for content they created specifically to be used online or content they created for TV being put online. Does that distinction even matter?

Chipotle philosophy

So I've lapsed a bit in my blogging, but that's okay. I think I knew I wouldn't really post everyday for a whole month - but look at how much I have posted! My goal was to get in the habit of updating this blog more regularly, and I think I'm accomplishing that. Go me.

Highlights of my weekend:

I. Got. To. Meet. John. Glenn. Yes, you read that correctly. John Glenn and his wife were in attendance at the Celebration of Learning (aka, the big library event that I volunteered at Friday evening) and I got to show him to his seat, shake his hand, and introduce myself. I was beside myself with happiness, and I remember saying something about him being an inspiration to me, and that I got my degree in physics, at which point he shook my hand a second time and told me it was a pleasure to meet me. A pleasure! To meet me! Later I saw him again, and he recognized me and the girl I was standing with (we both got to shake his hand and say hello). He also cracked a joke about his wife - they were walking up the stairs, and when we mentioned that they could take the elevator if they wanted, he said, "Oh, she needs the exercise." It was so cute!

Even if I hadn't met John Glenn (but I did! I did! Yay!), the Celebration of Learning would still have been a blast. I got to hear Walter Isaacson speak about his new book, Einstein: His Life and Universe, and I got to hang out with important library people and eat some delicious foods from area restaurants. Although I always feel a bit out of place at fancy events like this, I still managed to have a great time and meet some new people. Like John Glenn. (And yes, I promise that's the last time I'll mention it.)

I also went to a fantastically planned wedding Saturday night (and coming from a wedding critic like me, that means a lot), and my mother came down to visit for a day, so it's been a pretty exciting and busy few days. In the morning, mom and I are going to sell some books at Half Price Books, maybe hit up Panera Bread (yum!), and then probably relax at the house before she has to drive back home.

Random thought - have you even just stepped back, looked at your life and thought, "Wow - how did I get here? I could have never predicted that this is where I would be right now." I did this today in the line at Chipotle. There were some high school kids talking behind me in line, and it hit me that it's been 7 1/2 years since I graduated high school. That's a really long time! After getting over feeling incredibly old, I started thinking about where I thought I would be at this age back then. I think that sometimes you really can predict what you'll be doing in any number of years - but then again, things can change so much in such a short amount of time. When I graduated high school, I knew I was going to Miami, but I didn't have any idea of what major I would be in, let alone the fact that I was going to be there 5 years instead of 4, and that I would go to grad school afterwards for 2 more years. Even when I graduated from Miami, I didn't know the future of my relationship with Jared, and that I would be living with him in just a few short months. And now, here we are, living in a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood in Columbus, and we have no idea where the next few years will take us. It makes me wonder who I'll be in 7 1/2 more years, and what I'll be thinking when I look back at this time in my life.

November mania

Today my mind is preoccupied with everything that's happening in my life right now - I'm waiting to hear about a job, I'm volunteering for a big library event tonight, and tomorrow I'm going to a wedding. It's not that much to worry about, but for some reason I can't clear my head of those things. Plus I feel like I'm losing my weekend, since I'll be at this event until late tonight, busy with the wedding tomorrow, and I have to work on Sunday. I do have Monday off for Veteran's Day though, which will help me to relax a little bit.

I know a lot of people think I'm crazy for this, but I'm really excited to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I'm not sure how it's going to work this year though - usually, I drive up north for Thanksgiving, then I go shopping with mom and Natalie (my cousin). Last year, Nat's daughter Brooke came too, and it was a blast. Daphne even met up with us for part of the day! But this year, mom and grandpa are coming down to my house for Thanksgiving, and I'm not sure that Natalie is going to come. We've also never tried day after Thanksgiving shopping in Columbus, and I'm worried that the craziness of that day might reach levels we've never experienced before. Can mom and I handle it alone? I think we're at least up for the challenge. Does anyone want to join us? ;)

I hate how all the stores are ready for Christmas already - and yet here I am, blogging about how excited I am to start Christmas shopping! Does that make any sense? Perhaps I should just try to get through Thanksgiving first.


Did anyone else see that Kevin Smith joined facebook? I read his blog, so I found out about it and added him as a friend pretty quickly. Within a matter of days, he maxed out his account at 5,000 friends - so he created a "celebrity/public figure" account, which is way lamer. In any case, he's keeping his original page up, which means I still get to be one of his facebook friends! It's totally stalkerish, but if 4,999 other people are doing it, I don't feel so bad.

Low-gravity fun for everyone!

Damnit! I missed posting today by 24 minutes. I could cheat and backdate this post, but I won't. Instead, I'll just post twice today. It's not like I'm going to win a prize for posting this much anyway - it's all for funsies. Yes, I said funsies. Deal with it.

I get emails from various library-related listservs everyday, and most of them are pretty boring. I mean, I enjoy keeping up-to-date with trends and such, but I skim through them all very quickly each day. However, the other day I was reading an email from a science librarian at some university asking if anyone had a copy of an article about Mars (or something like that, I can't remember the details). Now, I almost never look at the Google ads on the right side of the screen (yeah, Gmail!), but this time I did - and here's what I saw:

Luxury Cruise to Mars
Visit the Red Planet in Style Low-gravity fun for everyone

I want to go on that cruise! Sign me up, example.com!

Revelations of the day

Revelation #1: This morning during my commute to work, I thought about the fact that I haven't had much time to unpack and get the house organized the way I want. Sure, I have my evenings after work, but who wants to spend the whole night cleaning and unpacking when there's shows to watch on the DVR? Certainly not me. So I thought about this, and realized that I probably have enough PTO built up to take a whole week off work, and that the beginning of December would be the perfect time to do that. Not only will I be able to get some stuff done around the house, but I'll be able to do some Christmas shopping, get cards sent out, and visit family. Just knowing that I can take that time off is making me less stressed out overall, which is a very good thing.

Revelation #2: The other day, Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) talked about his mancrush on Wil Wheaton (he played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, for those of you not geeky enough to know that already), and it got me thinking - do I have any girlcrushes? (Do girls even talk about their girlcrushes?) There's plenty of men I have crushes on via the internets and tv - Phil Plait (obviously), Kevin Smith, Harrison Ford (my true love), and many more - but what about women I respect and admire? After some careful thought, I've come up with two women that I can claim to have girlcrushes on:

Morgan Webb - She's smart, sexy, and a total geek, which is completely awesome. I love the fact that she is a gamer, and you can totally tell that from the way she reviews games on X-Play, the show she co-hosts on G4. (The other female hosts on G4 don't convince me that they actually know anything about gaming other that what they are reading off a cue card.) She also does a daily video podcast to report important internet and technology news, and I always get the impression that she really knows what she is talking about. That's definitely reason for a girlcrush!

Damaris B. Sarria - She writes about how she is becoming an astronaut, and I'm pretty sure that I learned about her blog from Phil Plait. In any case, she is everything I wanted to be when I was a kid, and I think it's fantastic. She's not famous or anything, but that's what makes her so cool - she's just a girl who is following her dreams, and she's sharing her experiences with the world. So awesome.

Do you have any mancrushes/girlcrushes that you're willing to publicly admit?


Just a few minutes to spare!

Random weekend facts:

I got cozy new slippers! Yeah!
My mom and cousin came down to visit, and we had a great time.
The guy taking names at First Watch today was a jerk - but the food is still delicious, so I'll probably go back. Damn you Key West Crepe!

I'll try to make tomorrow's post more interesting.

Making impressions

The other day, a woman came into my library who I'd seen maybe a handful of times before. I was at the desk, and although someone else was helping her, she found her way over to me to say hello. What follows is our exact conversation:

Woman: Hey there friend!
Me: Hello.
Woman: I haven't seen you in a while!
Me: Oh, well, I've been here.
Woman: Oh okay. Hey, would you like my home phone number, so you can call me?
Me: Uhh.. no, I'll just see you when you come in.
Woman: Oh. Well, will you be here tomorrow?
Me: No.
Woman: Oh. 'Cause I'll be in tomorrow.
Me: That's okay, I'll just see you next time.
Woman: Okay.

Apparently, my customers like me. Maybe too much.

PS - I'll work on getting a pic of the pool table on here for you, Ryan. I took some pictures last night but didn't get them uploaded. Maybe that can be tomorrow's post.

So far, not so good

It's day 2 of November - I haven't written a word yet for NaNoWriMo, and I barely remembered that I needed to post before midnight to keep up with NaBloPoMo. I have a feeling I'm not going to do either, but I guess I won't completely give up yet.

Hmm, what to write about? Tonight Mark and Jared put together our (free) pool table. The best part is that by the time we were done, we were all too tired to play pool. It wasn't a wasted evening since we will eventually want to play pool, and now it will be there for us to use. But still.

My new obsession is artichoke and garlic salsa. Mmmm... delicious.

Well, time for bed. Erica needs to go to work tomorrow and put up a display about unicorns. How sickeningly cute.

Impossible tasks

Question to the masses - Should I attempt NaNoWriMo this year?

Reasons to go for it:
1. I'm not in school anymore, so I have more time in the evenings to dedicate to creative things.
2. It would be really awesome to write a whole novel!
3. I have a vague idea already of what I'd write about.

Reasons NOT to go for it:
1. I didn't even come CLOSE to finishing last year.
2. I have too many projects already that I need to work on.
3. I still haven't unpacked my room or put everything away in the new house.

So, what do you think? I would really like to do it, but realistically, I probably won't finish. So maybe I'll do this instead:

This seems more manageable - plus, it would get me in the habit of posting here more often, which is something I've been trying to get myself to do for a while now.

Besides - they have cute logos with lolcats. That's enough to get me on board.


Moving into the future

Well, it's been a very busy fall so far! Let's recap, since I've gone WAY too long without posting:

Guard was fantastic - I met some great people, cracked myself in the nose with a flag a few times, and had two performances. Our season is actually already over, with the exception of a possible performance in a Christmas parade on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Now starts winterguard - H20 Winterguard to be precise - and I've been asked to be on staff! I'm very very excited!

Pictures from guard related things can be found in my Flickr photoset.

I moved into a new house this month, and I love love love it! I still have a lot of unpacking to do, but hopefully that will be done by next weekend, because we are having our annual Halloween party on Saturday! Pictures from the house are up on my Flickr page, and pictures from the Halloween party will be up sometime next week.

A funny thing that happened a while ago:

I really like the Feist song that plays in the new iPod nano commercials - so Jared downloaded it for me from the DRM-free Amazon MP3 service. Does that seem ironic to anyone else?

And in sad news - the Cleveland Indians are not going to the World Series. I got really excited about a week ago when I learned that not only were the Indians going to be in the American League Championship Series, but that my favorite player, Kenny Lofton, was back on the team. I used watch baseball all the time, but I haven't for the past few years - so I really don't even know how long Lofton has been back with the Indians. Regardless, it was fun watching the series, even if they lost horribly to the Boston Red Sox in games 6 and 7. There's always next season.


This morning at work one of my coworkers gave me a great idea for a blog post. But then I started teasing him that I was going to give him credit for the idea by posting all of his personal information for the whole interwebz to see - and now I can't even remember what I was supposed to post about. Figures, eh?

I did have an interesting day, however. I went to a diversity training for work this afternoon, which wasn't all that exciting, but it wasn't completely awful, either - definitely a bonus. But on the way there, I started thinking about how professional I felt. Here I am, 25, working full-time, driving across the city to go to a training for work - I felt like a grownup, like someone who might actually get that librarian job she's been desperately seeking for months now. Ahem. So I got to the training site, which I've been to a million times now, and I was greeted at the door by the trainer, whom I'd met before as well. She told me where to go, and I said, "Oh yes, I know exactly where that is," and I felt really good about it - it's like I needed to prove to her that I'm a veteran at this, a REAL grownup now, and I KNOW where that training room is. So what happens next? Well, she follows me up the steps, and I trip and fall flat on my face. Yep. Just like that. All thoughts of being professional or grownup were ruined.

When I got in the room and found my seat, I started thinking about how easily embarrassed I get - maybe other people would have just shrugged that off a few minutes later, but not me. I agonize over those things and beat myself up over them. I have this internal voice that scolds me repeatedly for being so clumsy - what was I doing on those steps? Why didn't I pay closer attention to my feet? This is why I tell people that I'm psychotic - I don't think normal people do this.

Eventually I forgot about the incident. But just when I let my guard down, and someone said something really funny, I laughed - and snorted. SNORTED. Very loudly, I might add. I wanted to die.

But I'm home, and I didn't die, and life is good.

Update: I finally got in touch with Spin Columbus (thanks to Eebs, my hero) and I'm going to my first practice with them this Sunday. I'm super excited to be in color guard again!

Jeep Lampshade

Jeep Lampshade
Jeep Lampshade,
originally uploaded by silver marquis.
Saturday night I decided (with a lot of persuasion from Jared) to start on a project that I had been putting off for quite some time - make a new lampshade for our old floor lamp in the living room. The lampshade on it was yellowed and had a big hole in it, and I had recently hit it with a dishtowel (I was trying to kill a fly) and broke off the bottom ring. I thought about just buying a new one, but I figured this was a perfect opportunity to try out my new sewing machine and get creative - I mean, the worst that could happen is I screw it up and have to buy a new lampshade, right?

I swear, I nearly had a mental breakdown before I even started. I have a very deep fear of failure, and I was convinced that this was going to turn out terrible. I wasn't even completely sure that I had enough material laying around to do it or that I could sew in a straight line. But Jared reassured me that it would be fine, and so I went in search of fabric. It's a good thing I'm the daughter of a seamstress, or I might not keep random fabric scraps in a tin in my room - but I am, and I do, so I found plenty to work with in there. I decided to do a patchwork design since all I had were small pieces - at least then it would look like it was supposed to be pieced together, instead of looking like a big piece of badly-sewn-together crap.

I was fine up until I got out my sewing machine - in fact, as I jerry-rigged a pattern for the lampshade out of construction paper and electrical tape (I couldn't find any scotch tape in my apartment), I was really proud of my ingenuity. But as soon as I got my sewing machine out of the box, I freaked and called mom. How the hell was I going to do this on my own? How did I even think that I could remember how to thread a machine? (I did it ONCE as a kid - a very long time ago!) Or the bobbin, for chrissake?! Augh!

Mom didn't answer, so I had no choice but to figure it out for myself.

And I did! I read the booklet and figured it out! I'm pretty sure it helped that I had watched mom do this a million times - but watching and doing are two very different things. In any case, my excitement of figuring out how to work the sewing machine on my own made me less scared of sewing my fabric pieces together. And it's not like I haven't sewn before anyhow - just never on my own, with my own machine. It was exhilarating.

The rest of the process went pretty smoothly. Amazingly, the cover I created actually fit the old lampshade perfectly, which I was pretty happy about. I broke a needle trying to hand sew some white cord on the top to secure it, but I got a bigger needle and was able to finish it up. That part took forever, but I think it really made the shade come together nicely.

It's not perfect - for one thing, it makes the living room darker. Oops. I guess dark fabric will do that. And I didn't cut off some of my seams, which show through and look weird when the light is on. But I'm still pretty proud of it. And hey, it's my first big sewing project - I'm bound to get better, right? I'm actually really excited to start another project now! I leave so many projects unfinished, but by following this one through to completion, I'm more motivated now to finish others I've put aside. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen, but for now I'm enjoying the high.

MySpace update

My account is gone. Again.

I think I might actually contact MySpace and see why this is happening. Am I somehow unknowingly violating the Terms of Service? All I want to do is contact a guard to join. Perhaps that is too much to ask.


In the world of online social networking, I have made facebook my home. In fact, I have ignored most of my friends' pleas for me to join MySpace out of sheer principle - everyone is on it, and I just don't like the way it looks. And even though the library world is all "a-buzz" about social networking and using it to reach customers, I have just never been able to bring myself to join it - even for work! But yesterday, I broke my rule and joined MySpace. But why? Why would I do such a treacherous thing? Well - it's for color guard.

Let me explain. First of all, I was in color guard all through high school, and most of college. I love it, and I really mean love it - so much so that I have been almost depressed about possibly never performing or assisting with another guard ever again. It was my life for about 9 years, and... I miss it. A lot. Anyhow, I was reading a local newspaper yesterday, and on the front page was a picture of some guys spinning flags. My heart jumped a little, and I read the article associated with it - apparently, there are two color guards in Columbus that are designed for adults who want to spin again: Flaggots, which is an all-gay men group, and Spin Columbus, which is for anyone who wants to join. That means me! ME! I went to their website, and it sounds great - but they don't have an email server set up yet, so the only way to get in touch with them is - you guessed it - through MySpace.

Fucking hell!

I actually had to talk to Jared to make sure he wouldn't break up with me if I joined MySpace for the sole purpose of messaging Spin Columbus. Of course he wouldn't (I think), but still - I really, really didn't want to join. But I also really, really want to spin. Such is life, I guess.

So I joined. (Don't hate me?) But please don't try to add me as your friend if you're on there - I'm deleting it as soon as possible.

Let me just say, the website sucks. It's full of large, annoying ads, and it's not very easy to navigate. I signed up and had to verify my email address - but once I did, it still said on my profile that I had to verify my email address. For the verification to register, I had to logout and log back in again. (It sure would have been nice to be prompted to do so.) So then I searched for Spin Columbus, and sent them a message. I also requested to add them as a friend. I felt dirty about the whole thing, but at least I was able to contact them, right?

Well, today I tried to log in to MySpace and found that my password wasn't working. I knew that I was putting in the right one (I even checked my confirmation email to be sure), but I figured I'd go through the "Forgot your password?" thing anyhow just to be thorough. However, I was told that my email did not match any registered email addresses. What?! But I registered yesterday and even sent a message to another member! How can my account just not exist anymore? Shit, I didn't even get to upload a picture! So I had to go through the whole process again today and send another message to Spin Columbus. I don't even know if the first message I sent went through - and if it did, they wouldn't have been able to respond to me anyhow. I even signed up with the same email address, password, and url as yesterday, as if I had never even joined in the first place. Perhaps it was all just a bad dream?

The weird part is, when I went to MySpace today to login (before discovering that my account didn't exist anymore), it said on the main page, "Hello, Erica" - but how could it have known who I was if my account was deleted? For shame, MySpace. I hate you even more than I already did. And apparently, you hate me just as much back.

Hopefully I will hear something from Spin Columbus, and this whole ordeal will be worth the effort. And then, I will truly enjoy deleting my account.

Sqeezing through the tubes

Sometimes, I feel like I'm all over the internets. And then, on nights like tonight, I feel like I'm lost in a Web 1.0 ocean. Thanks to much pressuring, I have finally joined last.fm - and discovered that none of my friends share my musical tastes. Sad, isn't it? A few months ago I joined Del.icio.us, and posted some interesting links... but stopped. I'm also on 43things, but I haven't been active on there for at least a year. And this blog - oh, this blog. I love it and hate it at the same time. I like blogging; I really do. So why can't I ever update? Who knows.

Apparently, I go through Internet Phases. I join a site, start updating like mad, then forget about it a week later. There are precious few sites I actually frequent, and even those change every few months. Right now, I check facebook almost daily, and a site called StartSampling. (By the by, I've been a member of that site since at least 2000 - pretty impressive, eh?) But beyond that, it's a crap shoot. I can't even update Flickr on a regular basis! I'll take pictures at an event, then wait a week or more before putting them up. I guess that's not so bad, but I feel so far behind everyone else.

I think, perhaps, I just don't let myself get addicted to things like I used to. I can't even remember to watch a TV show every week on the same night; how am I supposed to remember to visit certain sites each day? I even got a Remember The Milk account to help me remember to do things - but I never check it. Sometimes I feel apathetic about it all. Nobody reads my journal anyway, right? The world isn't going to end if I don't go on a road trip with no predetermined destination. Sure, it would be fun, but when would I find the time?

I think, perhaps, I have been spreading myself too thin. I can't join everything and expect to update everyday - I have to pick a few, good sites to be active on and monitor the rest. Yes, that's what I need to do. Budget my internet time. Or maybe I'm just lazy and forgetful. My money's on that.

In case you're wondering, here's a (probably partial) list of sites I'm a member of:

All things Google (Gmail, Reader, Docs, etc.)
last.fm (newest addition! yeah!)
GrandCentral (oh yeah, that's Google now too)
Remember the Milk
Friendster (ugh, I know)
MSN/Hotmail (might be expired by now)
Angelfire (old website)

Think I forgot anything? Probably. But if it's something I can't remember and it's not in my bookmarks, it's not worth mentioning. I'll probably never go there again anyway.

Wood hazard

Alright. I know that this will sound crazy, but hear me out.

A few weeks ago, on my way to work, traffic on the highway came to a startling halt. Now, this wouldn't seem so odd, considering how terrible the traffic in Columbus can be - but it was around 10:45am, long after the morning rush hour. I tried to see what was causing the pileup, and only saw smoke coming from the side of the road up ahead. I assumed (as I imagine most would) that there had been a nasty accident, and a car was either on fire or had been on fire. And sure enough, as I drove up to it, I saw a pile of something on fire. But it wasn't a car. It was a very large pile of wood, at least 8 feet high. I couldn't take my eyes off of it until I had completely driven by - had I actually just been looking at a large pile of wood, on fire, completely blocking the right lane? And were those firemen putting it out, or tending it?! I swear, I wouldn't have been any more surprised if I had seen them out there making s'mores!

Anyhow, I told Jared about this when I got home that night, and we looked on the local news websites to see if there was any mention of it. Of course, there was nothing, and I sounded like a lunatic.

But, it gets better! Today, on my way to work, driving past the same patch of highway... traffic comes to a halt again. This time, there were two cars that had just gotten into a minor accident - no fire or smoke or anything like that. But as I passed them, and tried to avoid the broken glass on the road, I noticed that one of the cars was - you guessed it - sitting on a small pile of wood. This wouldn't have seemed that weird if a truck were involved in the accident. I could buy the fact that a truck could have been hauling wood and it fell out during the accident. But you can't tell me that two cars would somehow cause wood to be left in the road. That's just crazy!

Apparently, I need to watch out for falling wood on my way to work. I could be next!


Have you even been to a lecture that just sounds like a load of jibberish? Do you like chickens? Then you will love this video.

Here's the paper it's based on - equally hilarious!

Space mania

Check out this trailer for the moon (high res, low res) - I found the link at the Bad Astronomy blog, which, if you like astronomy and don't already read this blog, you really really should. Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) is awesome. He said (in his post about this trailer) that this is the kind of thing that NASA should keep doing, and I completely agree. Watching stuff like this brings the magic back into space exploration, and I was completely giddy while watching it. This is what I went to Space Camp for!

The devil's playground

Would you believe that I am voluntarily watching a Powerpoint presentation?

Last week I was scheduled to attend two different library presentations, and I was only able to make it to one. Really, I could have made the other, but I was tired, lazy, and wanted to go shopping. Aren't I the motivated one? Anyhow, the presentation I missed was by a librarian at Case Western Reserve University who's blog I read - so when he posted a link to his Powerpoint, I decided to see what I missed. It looked like a good talk - I won't bore you with the specifics, but what I WILL bore you with is the site his presentation was posted on: Slideshare.net.

Although this site would be fantastic for medieval torture (You must look at Powerpoint presentations until you PUKE! Mwahaha!), there are a lot of practical uses as well. This site makes it incredibly easy to post and share slideshows with colleages and friends (or enemies!), and by poking around on the site, you can view all sorts of neat presentations in subjects that you are interested in. Additionally, if you are curious as to what a "good" or a "very, very bad" slideshow looks like, there are plenty of examples to choose from.

Just another fun product from the makers of Web 2.0.

I will be your shining star

I just got done listening to a speech given by the new president of Kent State University, Lester Lefton, and I am moved to blog about it. President Lefton spoke to the Akron Roundtable on March 15th of this year (and yes, I *just* got around to listening to it...) about how public universities in Ohio can work together to keep graduates in the state and improve Ohio's staggering economy.

Just as some background information, President Lefton was hired as Kent State's president before the start of the 2006-2007 school year. Immediately, he sent out an email to the entire Kent State community to introduce himself and his family. Since that time, he has continued to send out weekly emails to both students and staff, telling us what he has done that week (meetings, events, talks, award ceremonies, sports events he has attended, etc.) and giving us periodic updates about his cat, Leo, who apparently took a while to adjust to their new home in Kent, Ohio.

Maybe I'm just a geek (read: huge geek), but I think that this is fantastic. President Lefton is not only showing Kent State students that he knows his way around a computer and keyboard, but he's letting us know that he's actually doing something each week, and that he wants us to know about it. I feel almost as if I know President Lefton - and I look forward to his email each Friday. Through this small effort, I feel more connected to a university campus that I've only visited a few times (since I take classes in Columbus), and I've learned a heck of a lot more about what a university president actually does. Most importantly, I trust this guy more than I ever trusted the president of Miami University while I was there. Lester Lefton is transparent (in a very good way), real, and even a little funny.

But back to his speech - the main point was to stress that many smart and qualified college graduates are leaving the state to find employment, and Ohio needs to make a greater attempt to retain some of these talented folks to help improve the state's economy. Having lived in Ohio all my life, I wholeheartedly agree - and I share President Lefton's excitement and optimism about what our newly elected governor plans to do to help.

In any case, the point I'm getting to is this: I would like to offer my services as a future Ohio professional employee. I'm graduating in about 2 1/2 weeks, and I'm currently seeking employment. I want more than anything to stay in the state, and it seems that Ohio wants me to stay... so, here I am, Ohio. Hire me. Keep me here. I don't want to look for an out-of-state job, mostly because I'm too lazy to move, but also because all of my family and friends are here. Ohio, you still have a pretty decent public employee retirement system, and I want to take advantage of it. Don't make me leave. Just hire me! I'll be a good librarian, I promise. I even have a Bachelor's degree in Physics! See, I'm smart! You need me!

Sigh. Anyone think that'll work?

If you are interested at all, you can find Lester Lefton's speech at the Akron Roundtable website. If you have time to listen to the whole thing (30-40 minutes, but it's all audio so you can do other things while listening), it's pretty good.


As my friends are well aware, I am a person of obsessions. I don't just like things, I covet them. Pepsi is one of those things. Don't EVEN get me started about how much better Pepsi is than Coke, because I'll just get all huffy. And it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about it anyway, because to me, Pepsi is like the God Of Beverages. Sadly for me, I have recently given up all forms of soda.

Let me tell you, it's hard to give up something you love so much. But I know that I need to eat healthy, and let's face it - pop is extremely unhealthy. For me, it had to be the first thing to go. And I have to be diligent about it, because even if I were to try to drink it in moderation, I would soon slip back into drinking it multiple times a day. Instead, I drink mostly water, with the occasional juice or light lemonade. And, surprise, I feel better. I am no longer addicted to caffeine, meaning I no longer get nasty headaches when I don't have it. But most of all, I'm glad that I've eliminated the High Fructose Corn Syrup that pop contains.

There's only one catch - almost everything else I love to eat has high fructose corn syrup in it! I'm finding it in juice, in chocolate milk, and in my beloved sweet & sour sauce at McDonald's. Granted, I need to eliminate fast food from my diet too - that's next - so the sweet & sour sauce won't be a problem. But juice? Damnit. And thinking back, my family always used Karo syrup in their cooking. And Karo is just pure corn syrup. Yuck!

If you pay attention to labels at all, you'll find corn in almost everything. I don't really think that's all bad, and it makes sense - the United States can produce corn very easily. Just drive around Ohio and you'll see corn everywhere. Hell, we're even trying to make gasoline out of it. Perhaps there is a corn conspiracy. Are we being fed all this corn for a reason? Maybe all food is actually just flavored corn. Or, maybe all food WILL be flavored corn, and we're being slowly fed more and more corn so we won't notice. Or maybe, just maybe, the powers that be will soon attempt to harvest the combined power of corn and humans, and we'll all end up in pods with our brains connected to a virtual representation of the world we once knew.

Oh wait, that's the matrix.

The point is, it sucks giving up Pepsi.

The Librarian

Watch this film and tell me if you aren't moved to become a librarian.

A more lengthy and absurd post is in store, so stay tuned.

Library Geek 2.0

Okay, so I just got wind of a new LibraryThing service (thanks Jared!), targeted specifically at libraries and their online public access catalogs (OPACs for the non-library geek readers). LibraryThing for libraries aims to enhance a library's existing OPAC by taking their data and generating a widget with both "Similar Items" and "Related Editions." This is really cool because right now libraries around the US are trying to upgrade their online services, specifically their catalog functionality. Here's the New York Public Library OPAC (with a sample search) - and here's the same OPAC with the LibraryThing widget in place (Look in the sidebar). It's helpful to patrons and non-intrusive, and it doesn't require any major OPAC upgrades on the library's end. I think this is really cool, especially when services like Amazon already have these kinds of functions. Library users expect it and want it! LibraryThing is going to unveil this at the Computers in Libraries conference, so I'm interested in seeing what the library world's reaction will be to it.

Since I'm going to be a librarian in one month and a day (*ahem*), you'll have to excuse me if I get excited about this stuff.

I also heard recently that the Brooklyn Public Library is going to start using Netflix for their customers. How cool is that? Imagine - you get a library card, and with it you can rent ANY MOVIE YOU WANT FROM NETFLIX FOR FREE. I think that's a fantastic service, and I really hope it catches on.

Here's something else that might be of interest to my Central Ohio readers (AKA, like two of you): Library Journal did an article about the Ohio State University Libraries and the remodeling of the Thompson Library. (Mary, remember when we spent an evening exploring that library? There won't be 12 crazy floors anymore when they're done with it.) It sounds like a really cool project, and after doing my practicum at the Science and Engineering Library, I saw how busy that library was now that there isn't a main library to go to.

Yes yes, I know, lots of library links. But now that I'm about to officially join the profession, I need to be keeping up-to-date on these things. I've been reading a few new blogs recently - It's All Good, by some of the staff members of OCLC that work on WebJunction, The Shifted Librarian, a pretty well-known library blog, and Are You 2.0 Yet?, a blog by the Engineering Librarian at Case Western. All very cool and very geeky.

That's all for now. I love being a library geek!

April Fool's Wha?

Today, as most of the world knows, was April Fool's Day. I was sad about it falling on Sunday, because so many of the best jokes are played during the work week, and having it on Sunday makes it harder to be around gullible people. But the Internet didn't take a break from April Fool's; there are plenty of popular websites with fantastic gags, and I'm about to tell you where they are.

First off: Google. Google is known for their April Fool's Day jokes, and this year is no exception. Check out their "crappy" new service - I doubt anyone believed this for a second, but it's pretty hilarious. Be sure to look at the Google Group created for it, and if you want to see previous April Fool's Day jokes, just go to this fake "Not Found" page. Oh, Google, you never disappoint.

Gmail had it's own gag separate from Google proper - their new Gmail Paper service! Can you imagine getting all your emails sent to you in paper form? I bet some people would actually use this service, if it were real. And I'm willing to bet that more people believed this one than the TiSP service.

Livejournal, my other blogging home, really got me this year. Their news announcement about needing to be more competitive in the social networking market was almost believable. In fact, I had to look at the comments to see that this was just a gag and not my beloved Livejournal selling out to the MySpace overlords. Fantastic!

Facebook also had a few tricks up its sleeve in the form of news feed items. Since all of the other crap your friends do will ultimately cause these to get pushed out of your news feed, here's what they were:

"You are on Facebook, reading your News Feed."
"Harry and Voldemort have set their relationship status to 'Mortal Enemies.'"
"Two of your oxen drowned when you tried to ford the river."
"Bracket Buster: Ohio State and Florida have mutually agreed on a tie and will not play the Championship game."
"Meredith and McDreamy have changed their relationship status to "It's Complicated" ... oh wait ... "In a Relationship" ... oh wait ... "It's Complicated" again."

and finally:

"Introducing LivePoke(tm)! Facebook will dispatch a real live person today to poke a friend of your choice.*
*offer good for only the first 100 pokers in each network."

Also, if you looked at the bottom of your News Feed page, you would see:

"A (insert your name here) Production." (With name inserted, of course.)

And when you reloaded the page, other random names would appear as well.

LibraryThing didn't do much, but they did change their logo to say "LibraryStuff," which is still pretty funny.

And finally, the most ridiculous and hilarious gag of the day (in my opinion) was from Ask.com - apparently, they are going to team up with Kevin Federline. Oh, how I loves a good K-Fed joke!

What did you see today? Did anyone play any good jokes on you? Or did you get someone else really good? Whether you were the butt of the joke or the tormentor, I hope you all enjoyed your April ze first.

Procrastination cat is not amused

For any of you that don't already use Gmail, or even for all of you that do, here's a video you should watch:

Gmail Theatre

I love it! Puppets make me smile.

I believe my levels of procrastination recently reached an all-time high. Last spring, I attended a library-related weekend workshop, worth one credit hour. I didn't really need that one credit hour, but the workshop sounded interesting. I really enjoyed it, but once I came back I put off starting the post-assignment. The assignment was just a 5-7 page paper - nothing fancy, nothing that difficult, nothing I shouldn't have been able to churn out in an hour or two. But, being the ridiculous master of procrastination that I am, and given that the deadline for the paper was arbitrary (the instructor gave a date for the deadline, but later said it didn't matter when she got it), I put the paper off until after finals. Surely, I would have plenty of time afterwards to write it up and send it off - at least that's what I told myself.

Note that this was last March. Almost an entire year ago.

"So," you're probably wondering, "when did you write the paper?" Well let's see... I took three classes over the summer, so I didn't make time to write it then. Fall started up almost immediately, and that led into all kinds of family issues by year's end, so I didn't write it then. During these months, I had started the paper and added to it several times, so it wasn't as if I ignored it completely. However, it wasn't until last week - Thursday night - that I finally just forced myself to go to a computer lab and write the damn paper. I sent it to the instructor, tail between my legs, hoping that she would accept it. She did (thank you thank you thank you), and I would have screamed in pure joy if it hadn't been 8am when I got her email response.

The moral of this whole story is this: Procrastination only works when you actually finish the thing you're putting off. And in no way was this a successful procrastination attempt. This paper plagued my mind for months, and each time I thought about doing it, I was overwhelmed with the realization that it was so severely overdue that I couldn't possibly think of any logical reason why I hadn't finished it. As time went on, working on it became an increasingly harder and daunting task. Surprisingly enough, I was actually pretty happy with the end result, so I guess that's a good thing? Eh.

Never again, my friends. Never again.

It's a good thing I'm not like this at work. When I'm there, I'm so focused and driven. And organized! God, I wish I could be that organized at home. I'm not sure why that is - aren't organized people supposed to be organized in ALL aspects of their life? I'm creative, I problem-solve, I get things done quickly - too bad that doesn't translate very well into my personal life. I guess that's a goal to strive for. At least, for now, my mind is free to focus on other things. And I promise I'm going back to my normal, "healthy" levels of procrastination.

It's more like Milkshake Day for me anyhow.

Thanks for the web comic suggestions - I found a few that I enjoy looking at and subscribed to them in Google Reader. As if I didn't have enough to look at with Boing Boing posts alone.. sheesh. (I love you, Boing Boing, but it's hard to keep up!)

So here it is. Valentine's Day. Usually I either love or hate this day - depending entirely on whether or not I'm single. But this year, I'm apathetic. I don't think I'm really getting any "traditional" Valentine's gifts.. Jared and I would rather celebrate our anniversary (the 13th) than v-day. But I do enjoy my romantic stuff, and I think we're going out to dinner and a movie sometime soon to celebrate. Right now there's so much snow out that we really can't do anything except hang out in the apartment anyhow.

There used to be a time when I was hell-bent on hating this holiday, regardless of my relationship status. However, I would like to tell all of those wishing to hate this day a few reasons NOT to:

Hate reason #1: It's a Hallmark holiday! It's just a ploy by the card companies to make more money.

Me: Of course it is! Just like St. Patrick's day is a ploy by the beer companies to get us to drink more beer, and Independence day is a ploy by the fireworks' companies to get us to blow our limbs off, so is Valentine's day a reason for us to buy cards out of necessity. But we enjoy getting drunk and blowing ourselves up, don't we? And let's be honest - if you weren't required to send cards for holidays, would you? I enjoy getting cards and gifts, and I also like giving them to people who appreciate them. So, if I'm okay with other commericialized holidays, I'm okay with Valentine's day.

Hate reason #2: You don't need a day set aside to be romantic - you should be romantic and remind your partner you love them every day.

Me: Oh sure, in a perfect world maybe. But seriously - does that happen? If it does, then great! Good for you! But for the rest of the world, it's kinda nice to have a day to remember how much you really love the person you are with - or how much you appreciate the friends you have in your life. I'm okay with that.

Hate reason #3: But it reminds me of how single and lonely I am!

Me: I've been there, so I know how it feels. All these happy couples around you, kissing and exchanging gifts... it makes you sick. Honestly, even though I'm in a happy relationship with someone, it STILL makes me sick to see these couples. What I would suggest is to take the day as a chance to do things for yourself. Enjoy your favorite hobby or go out with your friends. There's more love in the world than just romantic love, and enjoying the activities and people you love should put you in better spirits. Just avoid expensive restaurants with gross couples having dinner - unless one of your favorite activities is mocking them. In that case, go for it!

As for me, I'm going to spend the day doing the one thing I love most of all - nothing!

Web comic rush

I'm reading two books right now, but I haven't finished either of them - so no book review today. Sadness, I know. But at least I'm updating.. so that's a start.

I've never been a big web comic person - I usually hear about them, or see them once or twice, but never remember to keep up with it. Plus, a whole bunch of them aren't that funny. Well... they aren't that funny to me, and that's all I care about. But lately I've been reading Unshelved, a fantastic comic that pretty much sums up life in a public library. Even if you don't work in a library, it would still be funny.

I've also become aware of another comic - Questionable Content - which seems promising so far. I had heard about this one some time ago, but it keeps popping up in people's blogs, and now I'm curious about it. So curious, in fact, that I decided to find out which character I'm most like. I wasn't expecting to be the robot, but whatever. Me likey robots.

Which Questionable Content Character Are You?

You are Pintsize! You are a destructive little monster who only manages to get away with things because he's cute. You have a fondness for cake mix and a weakness for duct tape. I pray to God that no one ever builds a laser into your stomach.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Questionable Content also has both a rockin' library t-shirt and Harrison Ford t-shirt for sale, both of which I absolutely. must. have.

I think QC might be a little too indy for my taste, but whatevs. I just started reading it today anyhow. Their stuff is cool, so the comic must also be cool. It's a rule. (Rhyme!)

All of this reminds me of the aspirations I had to start my very own web comic. Hmm, that's worked out well so far, hasn't it? Perhaps I am not Web Comic Creator Material. Or perhaps I am just lazy. Actually, I told someone about my ideas and found out that it had already been done - and done much better than I could have, I might add. Go figure.

Jim Rummy Punch

As some of you already know, I've been on jury duty for the past two weeks. Today was my last day, however, and that makes me sad. I've met some really fun people that I'll probably never see again. It's always strange to me how awkward goodbyes are between people that have only known each other for a short time. Even if you don't admit it, you know that you will probably never see each other again. It's hard to know what to say in that situation. Do you try to exchange phone numbers or email addresses? If so, do you honestly think you'll attempt to stay in touch? Or do you just say, "Well, it's been fun - have a nice life!"

One of my fellow jurors told me of plans to build a Sonic here in Columbus. I am absolutely thrilled, because the closest one right now is near Athens, and I need more reasons to avoid my diet.

Random fact about me #173: I kick ass at Rummy.

Random fact about me #174: I really, really like the number 173. And 137.

For any of you book-lovers out there (and I know you're there), there's a new service coming out that will probably blow your mind. It's called BookSwim, and it has been called the "Netflix for books." Basically, you rent the books like you would DVDs from Netflix, and you send them back in a pre-paid envelope to get the next one from your queue. If you like the book, you can purchase it and keep it. You might be surprised that someone as gung-ho about libraries as I am would be interested in a service like this - and rightfully so. But, they are different services catering to different consumers. Books, DVDs, and CDs from the library are all free, with the catch that you have to bring them back on time. (If that frustrates you, think about it: no library fines = no motivation to bring items back = libraries lose materials and money. Not happy.) You also have to get off your lazy ass and go to the library to get them. Of course BookSwim doesn't have late fees, because you are paying those fees upfront with your subscription cost. (No word yet on what that cost will be - I'm guessing it will be comparable to Netflix.) The benefit is that you can be as lazy as you want, and read as slow as your feeble brain is able with no penalty. Needless to say, I can't wait to try it out.

Book review time! Yes, I managed to read a new book, and mostly because while on jury duty this week, I had to keep myself from being bored out of my mind. The book is Jimmy Carter's Our Endangered Values, and it was fabulous. (Yes, I know he has a newer book out. But I'm slow.) The values that he is referring to in the title are the historical values our nation was built upon and that have been developed throughout its existence: separation of church and state; human rights; peaceful diplomacy; war only as a last resort to solving international disputes; protecting our environment; and providing humanitarian aid to other countries. Carter, after outlining his own very deep and spiritual religious beliefs, outlines how fundamentalism in our government is ruining our country and our country's reputation throughout the world. Carter does not beat around the bush when it comes to his opinions; instead, he delivers factual evidence along with an eloquent and convincing argument towards his way of thinking. If you're looking for a book to make you angry about the current state of affairs in Washington, look no further. However, if you are happy with our current administration, then you probably wouldn't enjoy the book - there are plenty of instances when Carter makes direct attacks on the very government he once led. Although the beginning, for me, was too religious-y, the discussion of Carter's personal beliefs and convictions help the reader to understand where his viewpoints come from. If you can tolerate the religious discussion, the rest of the book will inspire you to learn more about what's really going on with our government today. It will also make you want to punch a wall, so get ready for some anger. Gooood anger.

A long post today - but damn, it's about time. Hope you read this far and enjoyed yourself. Cheers!