Is it totally cliche of me to write a post reflecting back on the past year on New Year's Eve? If it is, too bad. I'm doing it anyway.

2008 was really a mixed bag. It wasn't a bad year, but it wasn't necessarily a good year either. I can't even remember what my resolution was for 2008, so I don't know if I kept it or not. Chances are, I did not.

The Good:

Had some awesome parties (Birthday, Halloween, etc). Got rid of the cats, who were destroying my house. Went to Chicago for the first time and absolutely loved it. Enjoyed a whole year of being a professional librarian in an organization that I am so excited to be a part of. Got awesome new stuff (TV, couch, iPhone, new DS lite, etc.). Participated in Learn & Play and became a lot closer with many of my colleagues.

The Bad:

Had some somewhat unsuccessful parties (Smash Party on the weekend of the blizzard, for example). Did not get accepted as an ALA Emerging Leader (there's always next year, right?). The new Harry Potter movie did NOT come out - total sadness. Had some nasty fights with Jared over the cats (this was, of course, later rectified).

The Ugly:

Had a weird & uncomfortable fight with my mother (things are getting better now though). Injured my foot during the summer and have had heel pain (plantar fasciitis) for well over 6 months now - have been going to an orthopaedist for it. Did not get any thinner (ha, like THAT'S anything new). Been somewhat depressed about all of the above.

What do I want for 2009? I want two things - to pay off my credit card debt, and to learn to cook. Money is the motivation for both of these. Obviously, if I can pay off my CC's, I will be SO much better off. And if I learn to cook better, I will eat at home more and save money on going out to eat. If I'm lucky, this will also help me to eat healthier as well *crosses fingers*. I know now that a lot of my frustration results from feeling like I'm in a financial rut. I can't save money for the life of me, and although I can afford things that I want, I just don't feel like I'm going anywhere or planning ahead. You might say that money can't buy happiness, but if you don't have to WORRY about money, you'll certainly be a lot happier.

So, although I had some great times this year, I will not be sad to see 2008 go. Instead I will be celebrating with those closest to me, and hoping that 2009 brings more of the good, less of the bad, and none of the ugly.

Things I love about December

1. It's acceptable (and encouraged) to eat your body weight in goodies. OMG, you're gonna have to roll me out the freakin' door, people.
2. Watching people fight in stores - either with each other or over that last toy on the shelf.
3. Last minute shopping, especially when I see lots of #2. Hehe.
4. Shrimp cocktail! In my family, it's a staple on Christmas.
5. Christmas carols FTW!
6. Wrapping gifts. I know most people hate this, but I love it. Going to spend the rest of today wrapping, actually.
7. Hanukkah - no, I'm not Jewish, but Jared and I like to celebrate as many holidays as possible. And since we really don't know how to celebrate Kwanzaa, we have a menorah up in the window by our Christmas tree. It's the celebration of light, people! Yay light!
8. Parties, especially New Year's parties. Jared and I are having one this year - YOU SHOULD COME! :D
9. Those ridiculous gifts that Target puts out just for the holidays that they don't have any other time of year. Does anyone even buy those?
10. Drinking with my family. Hey, don't judge - everyone has to get through this season somehow!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year to all of you! :D

For Betty

Today is December 1st - for most people it's just the beginning of the winter holiday season. But for me, it's the second anniversary of my grandmother's death. The loss of a grandparent is always difficult, but losing Betty (I called her by her first name for the majority of my childhood) was especially hard for me. It's been two full years now, and yet I still wish I could call up to my grandparents' house and hear her voice say hello.

My grandmother was very important in my life. She and my grandfather helped raise me while my mother worked long hours to make ends meet. I have her middle name (Louise) and her bright blue eyes. She was a beautiful woman with a classy style - and a flair for bright colors. I like to think that I've acquired some of her fashion sense over the years. I learned to love baking because of watching her so much when I was young, and I developed a love of party planning and etiquette because of her passion for those things as well. She was an amazing woman that would do anything for you, and frankly, I just wouldn't be the woman I am today without her influence in my life.

I thought a good way to remember her today would be to look at some old photographs. Here's one of her holding me when I was just a few months old:

Ha, I was a cute baby, wasn't I? I used to sleep with grandma all the time:

Oh and don't think she was just some "typical" grandma - Betty was certainly a wild woman when she wanted to be:

One of the things I am most grateful for is that I was able to spend so much time with grandma:

I only hope that I will look as good as she did as I get older:

I miss you, Betty. Thank you for being the kind of person who is irreplaceable in my life.


Ugh, it's so early & I'm so tired... I went to a screening of Bruce Campbell's new movie last night, My Name Is Bruce (and here was actually there & did a short Q&A with us, OMG), and it was at midnight so I didn't get home until after 2am. Yikes! I feel so old - I can't stay up late & get up early like I used to.

Anyhow, I saw this on Rock Me Like A Librarian and had to see what my results were. I think they're pretty fitting, no?

Erica's Dewey Decimal Section:

620 Engineering & allied operations

Erica = 58931 = 589+31 = 620

600 Technology

Health, agriculture, management, public relations, buildings.

What it says about you:
You are creative and inspired to make the world a better place. You can work hard on something when it catches your interest. Your friends have unique interests in common with you.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Thing #23 - Recap!

Well, here we are - the end of the Learn & Play road. Obviously, my blogging will continue, and I hope some of my colleagues will continue blogging as well. Here's my recap:

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

I've enjoyed everything, but I especially enjoyed getting to know everyone better on Twitter and playing with things I hadn't used before, like the wiki sandbox and MOLDI.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

I'm definitely less afraid to try new things - I know that if I just take a little time to mess around with something new, I'll figure it out! And if I don't get it right away, I have plenty of people to ask for help.

Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I have just been amazed and delighted at how much more of a "community" there is now with CML folks from all over the system. I feel much more connected to what's happening with my coworkers here at Main and in the branches. Sure, we've all learned a little bit more about technology - but we're also learning so much more about each other! It's incredible!

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

Honestly, I really liked the format - go at your own pace, with some "catch up" time built in. The videos (I felt) were incredibly helpful too. I think additional things could be added for those people who finish early and want more to explore, kind of like the Read On option that kids get with SRC. Play On!

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?

In a heartbeat! I had so much fun with this program, and I think as technology changes and evolves in the coming years, we'll have much more to explore. And depending on the technology, the format might have to change accordingly - only time will tell!

Thanks to all of the library people who have been reading and commenting on my blog! And to those of you non-library people out there, it'll be business as usual soon enough. Of course, if you're sick of me talking about the library, you shouldn't be reading my blog to begin with. ;)


Thing #22 - MOLDI

First thought - I know us librarians love our acronyms, but MOLDI? Really? Did we have to go with that?


Okay, I'm done screaming now, I promise. I'm really glad that this was one of the L&P things, because I've never explored MOLDI on my own, and it was good to know what we have available. It's also good to know that they have more bad horror movies available to watch than I have free time to watch them! Seven Mummies caught my eye first, then I found the Bigfoot Terror Collection parts 1-4, The Blood Drinkers, Raiders of the Living Dead, and so many more. (PS - Best quote from an IMDB user about Raiders of the Living Dead: "This movie took an hour and a half of my life. And I want it back." I can't wait to watch it!)

Wait, what? I was supposed to be looking for books? Oh yeah - I seem to have forgotten about that! I found "Reconciliation" by Benazir Bhutto in audio book format, which is a title I've been really wanting to read. I've never been really good about listening to audio books, but I'm pretty sure that we'll be seeing more and more demand for this kind of content. I hope that MOLDI is able to provide more titles for iPods - that would definitely make it more convenient and useful for our customers.

Thing #21 - Podcasts

I've been slacking on my learning & playing, so I'm going to try to finish up today. I only have 3 things left! If I don't get all three done today... well, then definitely by the end of the week. :)

Podcasts! I don't listen to them all of the time, but the few I subscribe to I really enjoy. Of course there is This American Life, which is pretty well known. If you aren't familiar, it's a weekly radio show that they put out as a free hour long podcast. That might seem like a really long time, but the stories they tell are usually interesting enough to hold your attention. Plus you can always do other things while listening to it, which is what I normally do. I love multitasking!

I listen to one library podcast, and that's George & Joan: Thinking Out Loud. It's usually only 20ish minutes long, and I am always inspired after listening to it. George Needham and Joan Frye Williams have great ideas and thoughts about library service and the future of libraries, and the format is very natural - they are just having a conversation, and we get to listen in! I love it.

For my daily dose of techy goodness, I watch a video podcast called WebbAlert. This is hosted by my girl-crush, Morgan Webb (of G4 & X-Play fame). It's a great way to keep up with what's happening in the technology world, and is only about 3 minutes long on average. Plus it's Morgan Webb! And she's amazing! *commence totally platonic swooning*

Okay, so enough about what I already listen to. I tried out the podcast search sites - I liked the best. I found a podcast from the Lunar and Planetary Institute Library in Houston, Texas, definitely right up my alley. Usually though, I find out about podcasts the same way I do about blogs - worth of mouth.

I think it would be great if CML could implement podcasting in a useful way. We could record programs or lectures so people who couldn't make it could listen to them or view them. Staff could do a weekly book review talk for different age groups that would highlight new books that the library has available to check out. Even just a general "What's new with the library" podcast might be something our customers would be interested in. However, it requires dedication and regular updates - are we willing to do that? My biggest concern/worry is that we would start something and then not follow up with it.

Hmm, this ended up being a much longer post than I thought it would be. Stay tuned for more L&P action with Things 22 and 23!

10 Random Things

Okay, so I've been meaning to respond to a meme that The Domestic Scientist tagged me with forever ago... and I never did. Because I'm a lazy blogger. Anyhow, the meme was to list 7 things that nobody knows about you. More recently, Helene challenged us CML bloggers to write a post listing 10 random things about themselves. Well, I can't pass up two different meme requests, so I'm combining them! Here is my list of 10 random things you might not know about me:

1. I am generally a very paranoid person. I worry about what people think of me just about every minute of every day. I get easily freaked out about small stuff. Somehow I can always manage to be the calm voice of reason to other people, but never to myself.

2. I have a difficult time remembering specific things about movies - even ones I've seen multiple times. Maybe that's why I like to watch movies I've seen before, cause I'll always see something new!

3. I can't stand the taste of tea. YUCK.

4. Sometimes I can completely entertain myself with only my thoughts. I have been known to sit and stare for extended periods of time and not realize it. I'm pretty sure this is why I take ridiculously long showers, and also why I love JD on Scrubs.

5. I would be barefoot all of the time if I could be. Even at work.

6. I actually kinda like that stores put out all of their Christmas stuff way early. I like to get excited about it early too!

7. I am a total control freak, and it's really hard for me to admit it. Except that I just did, so never mind.

8. I slapped a kid in the face on my first day of my freshman year of high school. Don't worry, he totally deserved it.

9. One of my earliest memories is of sitting in a high chair, playing with a rattle, and watching my grandmother vacuum the floor. It's such a random memory, and yet it's so vivid in my mind.

10. If I could pick a second career, I would be a party/wedding planner. I think I'd be good at it too! So, you know, if this librarian thing falls through, I have options. Ha!


Today is Election Day, and I have just one thing to say to everyone reading this blog: PLEASE get out and vote today if you haven't already. As Jared pointed out, this could be the most important election in my generation's lifetime. Of course I want MY candidate to win, but I also want everyone I know, regardless of your political views, to get out and make your voice heard. It really does make a difference.

Thing #20 - YouTube

I have a confession to make. Until just now, I'd never set up an account with YouTube. In fact, I *just* realized that since I have a Google account, I practically already HAD a YouTube account. How did I stay away from the video behemoth for so long? Well, I didn't really. I watch YouTube videos all the time. But I always thought the site was too cluttered, and I prefer uploading my own videos to Vimeo. Now, however, the site looks much cleaner and easier to use than in the past. I'm having fun customizing my profile and finding all of my favorite videos!

Here's a classic that everyone can enjoy:

You can find me on YouTube and view some of my other favorite videos here.

Thing #19 - CML Power Tools

Time again for some L&P action. This was probably the easiest & fasting thing to complete. I'm already using most of the services on the Power Tools page, so I joined in the Gmail conversation on the Tooling Around blog. Gmail is the best! I'm at work right now, but I need to remember to put the library toolbar on my home computer later. Then my library geekiness will be complete!

Thing #18 - Web 2.0 tools

Two posts in one day?! Crazy.

For this exercise, we are supposed to pick a Web 2.0 tool from this list and discuss what we learned from it. The hardest part for me was finding a site I either didn't already have an account with, or finding something that didn't overlap with a service I already use!

For fun, I tried HairMixer. I uploaded a picture of myself and tried out different hairstyles. I have to be honest, they were all pretty awful. But I guess that's not the site's fault!

For something more serious (and that might have a library application), I tried out RevolutionHealth. I was surprised at how GREAT the site is! It has a clean, easy to navigate layout, and some awesome features like a symptom checker, BMI calculator, and the ability to create your own personal health record. The information on the site is from trusted sources (MayoClinic, Cleveland Clinic, so I would definitely recommend this site to interested customers.

Thing #17 - Google Docs

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I love Google Docs,
And so should you!

Aren't I just the poet? I published that straight from Google Docs, which I (surprisingly) had never done before. It was just as easy as I expected it to be!

Now for some history. You see, Google Docs and I have been friends for a while now. In fact, before it became known as Google Docs, the word processing part of it was known as Writely. I actually became a beta tester for Writely back in 2005, and used it in library school to collaborate more easily on group projects. I still have some of those projects saved, too! I was super excited when Google bought Writely, and I love that they keep expanding it and making it better.

Yes, Google does own my life. And I think that's okay.

Autumn excitement

I have been MIA for awhile - not really sure why, but I've felt very uninspired to write anything lately. But I thought I'd break the silence and list some things I'm excited about right now:

1. Going to the Circleville Pumpkin Show tonight. I've never been to it, even though I've lived in Columbus for 3ish years now.

2. Halloween! Jared and I are having our party again this year, and I'm hoping it will be even better than previous years. Please come if you are free the night of November 1st, and don't forget to dress up!

3. Making costumes for the aforementioned Halloween Party. I ventured into the realm of costume making last year with this Princess Peach costume for Erica M., and I'm hoping that the costumes I'm making this year turn out just as good or even better! (Also, I hope I have time to finish them before the party!)

4. Being crafty. I haven't just been in a blogging rut lately, I've also been in a crafting rut! But I found some fabulous fabric at Joann's the other day, and I'm hoping to make something fun with it. I probably won't get to it until after Halloween, but I'm still excited that I'm actually inspired to make something. It's been a while.

5. Cooking! Yes, I've actually been cooking more lately, and I'm enjoying it. I always love to bake, but cooking has never been my strong point. It still isn't, but I think I'm improving. Practice makes perfect, right?

What are you excited about right now?

Thing #14 - Library 2.0

So I'm finally getting around to posting about Library 2.0. I've been putting it off for a while now - I wasn't sure what I really wanted to add to the conversation. But I've been thinking about it more lately, so here are my thoughts on the subject.

The idea of Library 2.0 has been around for quite a while now. In fact, the articles we read for this "thing" were all from 2006 - that should tell you something right there. Of course, a lot of people think we've been 2.0 all along, and that's somewhat true. But the thing that sticks out for me is the customizable part of Library 2.0, and that's where I think our challenge lies.

Now, when I say customizable, I'm not talking purely about using technology. Sure, web 2.0 tools will make it easier to customize the user experience. For instance, our users could have their own customized library web page - when they log in, all of the resources they like best would be on the front page. Maybe it could also save their reserve settings, knowing automatically which location they prefer to have items sent to. Those would be really cool, customizable things. But our non-web services should be that way, too. If someone wants to just come in, pick up their reserve, check it out themselves, and go - they can do that. But what if someone wants to come in and talk to a staff person about what they are reading that week? What if they would really prefer having a live person check their items out for them? Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. I think we should make sure that we are still giving our customers options on what kind of experience they can have when they are in our buildings, even if the option they want is the "old fashioned" way. That doesn't mean reverting back to a card catalog - it just means making sure our customers feel like they are being taken care of when they are here. Does that make sense? For the record, I think we do a pretty good job of this already. I just don't want those that aren't ready for web 2.0 to lose out on all the wonderful things that Library 2.0 can provide.

There are plenty of other examples of ways to customize the "library experience" that I can't think of right now. Thoughts?

Things #15 & 16 - Wikis!

As you may or may not have noticed, I've skipped Thing #14. I feel like I have a lot to say about Library 2.0, but for some reason a post is just not coming to me right now. All I can think about are wikis - so that's what I'm going to talk about now. I'll get back to Library 2.0 stuff later.

I really enjoyed the wiki common craft video, and looked at some of the library wikis that are already out there. Overall, I liked what I saw, but I have to say that I'm a firm believer that wikis are not the way to go for everyone. For some reason, when people learn about them, they are like OMG BEST THING EVER and decide that they *have* to start one. In general, I think you should use what works for you - know about the rest, but don't feel like you have to use a certain tool just because it is there.

That being said, I think iwannaprize has a great idea for using wikis as subject resource pages for the public. I also think we could utilize a wiki internally to help us keep better track of resources to use for different kinds of questions, and it would be easy and quick to access when we need it. I'm remembering a question I got not long ago about bonds - we don't get these questions very often, and they are very difficult to answer. If we had a wiki set up, I could add a page about bonds and list the resources I used to find the answer. And other librarians could update it with other resources I didn't know about and/or couldn't find!

I played in the Learn & Play wiki sandbox, and had fun adding my favorite restaurants and movie. However, I found myself wanting to fix everyone's mistakes. I really must learn to control my anal-retentive perfectionist side. :)

Thing #13 -

As with many of the "things" we've been doing, I've already had a account for a while now. And yeah, I know that I don't need to put the dots in it anymore... but I like it better that way. :)

I don't put all of my bookmarks in delicious though - I just put stuff on there that I think is cool, or funny, or worth sharing with other people. For example, I wouldn't put big sites like Flickr or Gmail on delicious. But maybe I would share a really awesome picture on Flickr or a certain YouTube video that I liked. It's stuff that I might go back sometime and look at again, but not stuff that I go to everyday. I try to make sure that the things I bookmark on delicious are different than the things I share on Google Reader. (An example: Recently, a blog post I read on Google Reader pointed me toward a fun quiz on another site. Instead of sharing the blog post, I bookmarked the quiz in delicious. Had the blog post itself been particularly noteworthy, I would have just shared it in Google Reader. Does that make sense?)

If you're interested, here's my delicious page. Enjoy!

*edit* I forgot to mention how I think delicious can be used in the library! Doh! Actually, what I wanted to say is how great it is that my division is using delicious! See our page here. I would love to see us add to this page and include other websites that we use frequently with our customers.

Just for fun

Disclaimer: I have no desire to start up any political conversations here - but this was too funny not to post, especially after playing around with image and word generators last week.

We all know by now that Sarah Palin has named her kids some very unique names. Well, now you can find out what she would have named you! My name would have been Krinkle Bearcat Palin. I have to say, having the middle name "Bearcat" would be pretty frickin' sweet. If you try it out, let me know what your new name is!

Things #11 & 12 - LibraryThing and Twitter

So I found out after my last post that the stats feature on Flickr has not only been around a while (aka, not new at all), but is only available to people with pro accounts. So... yeah. Sorry about that. But if you have a pro account and haven't seen your stats, you should really get on that.

Anyhow, THIS post is all about LibraryThing and Twitter! I'm combining them into one since I already have accounts with both services. I joined Twitter earlier this year after I finally caught up with the rest of the world and got a texting plan, but I've been on LibraryThing since 2006! In fact, I even got to meet Tim Spalding, creator of LibraryThing, at the 2007 OLC Convention & Expo. Here's my catalog on LibraryThing, and my Twitter page. Feel free to friend me/follow me on either service!

One of the features on LibraryThing that I haven't explored much (but really should!) is LibraryThing Local. What a great opportunity for libraries to advertise our events to the kinds of people that would want to come to them! Also, I just wanted to mention how I love the fact that the largest group on the site is "Librarians Who LibraryThing," with just over 5000 members! Although really, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the kinds of people who want to catalog their own books would also be the kinds of people who become librarians.

Twitter is pretty new to me still but I'm really enjoying it. I like being able to record the random thoughts I have during the day, and read all about what my friends and colleagues are doing. However, when I try to explain how it works to people that don't know anything about it, I usually get blank stares. Maybe it isn't for everyone. But I can definitely see where libraries could use this to easily post quick updates on their website, or maybe just to connect to our customers and let them know what's going on that day at the library.

Flickr stats

Has everyone tried out the new Flickr homepage yet? I love it. If you haven't, login to Flickr and look at the bottom of the page. You should find a link to try out the new homepage. Click on it, enjoy the music (totally serious), and explore the new page.

One of the best new things I found was an option to turn on statistics about my photos. I'm such a numbers geek, so I had to do this. It told me it might take a while to compile all of the numbers, but I checked back in a few minutes and it was ready. What I found was shocking!

I should give some back story here. When Jared and I were first looking for a place here in Columbus, I took this picture of my foot on the dashboard of my car (I like taking pictures of my feet, apparently). It's really not that exciting of a picture, but somehow it was getting way more views than my other pictures. So about a year ago, I decided to try to take a picture that would surely get more views than any of my other pictures. The result was this picture (safe for work, I promise), which I strategically named "Foot Fetish." Sure enough, it has gathered just over 2,000 views to date, and 7 people call it a favorite. But to my surprise, that is not my highest viewed picture. What picture could possibly get more views than that?

This one, apparently:

Yes, somehow a cart full of Wii gear is way more exciting than a bunch of feet - this picture has gotten over 7,000 views to date! That's a whole hell of a lot more than the foot fetish one. Nobody calls this photo a favorite though, and that doesn't really surprise me. My guess is that the majority of the views came right after this photo was taken, when a lot of people couldn't find a Wii in the stores and were looking around online for photos of one - although the stats don't seem to go back far enough for me to confirm that.

The foot fetish photo is still racking up views, but it will be a long time before it ever surpasses the cart o' Wii goodness. If you want, check out the rest of my stats here.

I'm a star!

Check out this video on Gerald 2.0 - my coworker Jim and I got to talk to Gerald about the fun we've been having with Learn & Play @CML. Surprisingly, we did the whole thing in just one take! I feel kinda famous now. And no, the glasses aren't permanent - they're the ones I wore for my Professor Trelawney costume. I also wore my now infamous green shoes (Jim's request) but we didn't get them in the video. Oh well. If you are reading this from my site and not in a feed reader, you can enjoy the picture of my shoes in the upper left of the page. :)

In other news, I had a fantastic dinner tonight at Tip Top Kitchen with Jennifer. We love our Tuesday night outings! Now it's time for some work, and as of tomorrow I'm off until next Tuesday. What will I do with all my free time, you ask? As little as possible, of course! Haha. Actually, I'm looking forward to catching up on some crafting, movie watching, and a video game I've been neglecting. Should be fun!

Thing #10 - Image Generators!

Oh man, I love these things. Here is one of my arch nemesis, Clippy:

Almost everything else I thought of him saying was completely inappropriate - be glad I spared you, haha. Seriously though... I hate Clippy so very, very much.

Next I decided to do one of something I really, really love - so check out my very own personalized My Little Pony:

Isn't she adorable?! The winged unicorns were always my favorite.

There are lots of really fun image & text generators out there. The other ones I liked were the Motivational Poster and the Alanis Morissette Random Lyric generators. I could probably play around with these all day!

Thing #9 - Finding blogs and feeds

I have to say, I don't really use any blog search websites on a regular basis. Most of the blogs I read I found because another blog that I like linked to them, so I checked them out. I'm trying to think back to when I started reading blogs, and I really can't remember how I found the first ones.

Anyhow - here are my thoughts on the search tools I looked at:

Bloglines Search Tool: If I had a Bloglines account, I might actually use this. But since I don't... well, probably not so much. It works pretty well, although I wish the blog results were right on top instead of the post results.

Topix: Looks like a decent enough news site, and I like the local content. Not sure that I would use this to find feeds though. I would just see what the top stories are, and move on. "Hi - 1998 called, and it wants its HTML code back." Fine if you're into the stripped down IRC look - although this is probably the easiest for newbies to use.

Technorati: Other than the occasional crazy flashing ads, this is a pretty good website. It's the only one where I really get a feel for what is "happening" in the blogosphere (I kinda hate that term though).

Although this wasn't in the list, I noticed that Google Reader has a "discover" feature where it recommends feeds based on the ones you are already subscribed to. Not surprisingly, mine was filled with more library blogs... go figure! This probably wouldn't be very helpful if you are just starting out, but if you are already subscribed to a few blogs you like, this would be a great way to discover more.

Thing #8 - RSS feeds

I am a huge fan of RSS feeds - I have a Google Reader account (because, well, Google owns my life... haha) and I am currently subscribed to 100+ feeds! Some are library blogs (LibraryBytes, Tame The Web, Librarian In Black, Ohio Library News - just to name a few), some are craft/baking related (Sprite Stitch, Cake Wrecks, The Domestic Scientist, Made in a Treehouse), and some are just plain geeky and fun (BoingBoing, Bad Astronomy, TechCrunch, Neatorama). I also have plenty of friends and CML coworkers blogs on there, as well as some podcasts (This American Life, WebbAlert, Thinking Out Loud). Although Google Reader doesn't allow you to publicly share your entire reading list, I do have a link to my publicly shared items. When I find a post that I like, I can share it so others can read it too. My friends that also have a Google Reader account get these shared items sent to them automatically, and I get theirs as well. It's a great way to share interesting posts with other people and discover blogs that you didn't know about!

I have also added a widget to this blog that shows my most recently shared items from Google Reader. How fun is that? I also forgot to mention that I also subscribe to a few web comics as well, and of course Unshelved is on the list. No librarian can resist Dewey and his antics!

Thing #7 - Technology

Every time I hear the word "technology," I think of the song from the end of Napoleon Dynamite:

"I love technology, but not as much as you, you see... but I still love technology, always and forever."

Ah, technology. I almost feel like writing a totally cliche post about how technology moves so fast, and how hard it is to catch up, and how I can't believe kids these days are doing this thing instead of that thing, and how they have NO IDEA how hard it was for me when I was their age, blah blah blah. But (thankfully, for you) I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to list some cool things I'm excited about:

Google Chrome. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I will soon. I read the comic that they put out to promote it, and it sounds really awesome. I don't know that this will replace Firefox for me, but it should be fun to play around with.

The iPhone. I think I've decided that I'm going to get one, but I'm not sure when. I just think it is so cool that there is a phone that does practically anything you could want it to do. I don't really need it, but who cares? Nobody NEEDS an iPhone. I just want one! :)

Picnik. This is a site where you can edit images for free, and it's super easy to use. I don't have Photoshop or any other photo editing software, but I wanted to take a picture I had and make it into a logo for my blog. I found Picnik (which I had heard of before, but never used), and within minutes I was able to do exactly what I wanted with my photo. Sure, it's not as sophisticated as Photoshop - but it was fast, easy, and did just what I needed it to do. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much you can do online for free!

What cool things are you excited about?

Thing #6 - Playing with Flickr tools

Well, I played around with some of the mashups, tools, and third-party sites suggested - my favorites were the trading card maker and FlickrSLiDR. Here are my creations:

My librarian trading card!

I love that photo - I was dressed up as Madame Trelawney from Harry Potter for the 7th book release party at Barnes & Noble. Can you see the resemblance?

A slideshow of my photos tagged "library":

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thing #5 - Fun with Flickr!

I have to admit, I'm cheating a bit here - I took this photo over a year ago! But it's one of my favorites, so I wanted to use it for this post. Flickr is about the best thing ever, and I'm glad to see all of my coworkers discovering how wonderful it is and having fun with it. I have a pro account, and it's the only online service I actually pay money for. I've always loved to take pictures and share them with friends, but it wasn't always so easy getting someone to sit down and look through a photo album with you. Now my friends can enjoy my pictures at their leisure! Also, it's really exciting when someone you don't know finds a picture you took and either comments on it, marks it as a favorite, or uses it on their website or blog. This blog used my photo, and so did this article. Very cool!

So that's Thing #5, and now I'm moving on to Thing #6 - playing with Flickr mashups!

Fabulous finds

Recently I helped my mother sort through my grandmother's things. She passed away about a year and a half ago, and we are just now going through everything in her bedroom, deciding what to keep, what to donate to Hospice, and what to pitch. It's a difficult and emotional process, but also exciting - my mother and I came across some really cool stuff (click on the photos to enlarge):

I found this "recipe card," written by my grandfather, tucked away in a side pocket of one of my grandmother's old purses. It's so cute and romantic! The best part is the last line - "Bake the hell out of it!" My grandpa's a funny guy.

These little cards are so adorable! I found these in my grandmother's dresser, wrapped up in tissue paper for safekeeping. My mother said that grandma wasn't sure what she wanted to do with them, only that she really liked them and wanted to keep them nice. I haven't decided what to do with them yet, either - maybe a craft project? We'll see.

My grandmother had so many purses, most of which we decided to give to Hospice. But this particular purse caught my eye. It's a faux leather clutch, and I fell in love with it! Check out the awesome lining fabric - it really makes it stand out. It even has this cute mirror attachment on the inside. Unfortunately, the outside of the purse is starting to flake, so I have to be careful with it. I'm probably only going to use it for special occasions. Still, an awesome find!

There's more pictures on my Flickr page, including one of some "interesting" turtles my grandfather gave me...

Thanks for the laugh

Fun story: Today I went to Wendy's for lunch. I pulled up to the window to pay and gave the guy my debit card. He looked at me sorta funny, ran the card, then said, "I'm sorry, your card was denied." What?! I looked at him in disbelief - there's no WAY my card should have been denied! Then he started laughing, and said, "Nah, just kidding!" I could have been mad, I guess, but instead I cracked up. He said, "See? I made you smile." You sure did, random Wendy's employee. You sure did.

And, for your amusement, here's what I would look like if I had been in high school in the 60's, courtesy of

Now that's one sexy lady, am I right? :D

Things #3 and #4, and more

Things 3 and 4 were pretty easy to accomplish - start a blog and record it in the tracking log. Done and done. I'm not sure that I really even need to post about it, but I am anyway for consistency. So... yeah. There you go.

Just so this post doesn't feel like a complete waste, here is a list of some blogs/websites/comics that you all need to check out right now:

Cake Wrecks. Just do it - you'll thank me later.

The Domestic Scientist. Renee is talented & funny - check out all of her awesome creations!

The Martha Blog. Yes, that Martha. Yes, I'm serious.

Indexed. Most of you probably read this already, but did you know that Jessica Hagy is from Columbus? Well, now you do.

Xkcd. The ultimate geek web comic. If you don't read this, there is something wrong with you, and we can no longer be friends.

Lifelong Learning - Thing #2

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am participating in Learn & Play @ CML. As I go, I will be posting about each of the 23 "things" that we do, in hopes of getting cool prizes at the end. This is my first official post about one of the things - namely, Thing #2. Thing #1 was simply familiarizing myself with the program, so I didn't really need to post about that. (Hmm, this is starting to sound like a Dr. Seuss book - Thing #1 and Thing #2.) I hope even my non-library staff readers will find my posts about the "things" somewhat interesting, even if you already know all this stuff.

Anyhow, I just watched an online tutorial about lifelong learning. Ironically, I had already watched it before on my own when I first learned about the Learning 2.0 program. But I watched it again, and it got me thinking about people I help everyday at work. So many of them have just given up on learning, especially when it comes to computers. Most of the time it's people who need jobs, and employers expect them to be able to fill out a job application online even though they've never touched a computer before. Some of these people just want you to do everything for them, which can be really frustrating. How do you convince someone to learn when they don't want to? How do you make it exciting for them?

But not everyone is that way! We have so many customers that come to our technology training classes - they want to learn, and even if it's difficult for them, they are making progress. It's extremely rewarding to see people take charge of their lives and better themselves - and know that you played a small part in the process.

As for me, there are a lot of things I want to learn. Right now, I need to learn more about investing. Not only for my own financial gains, but because I deal with investment and business questions on a daily basis - I certainly don't want to be stumped when someone asks me to look up the price of a bond! Also, one of the 23 things is learning about wikis, and although I already know what a wiki IS, I am definitely curious about why and how libraries are using them.

Now for the assignment part of the project: what is easiest and hardest for me to do? Out of the 7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners, I think it's easiest for me to teach and mentor others. I love sharing what I know with other people! On the other hand, it's hardest for me to have confidence in myself as an effective learner. I can get easily frustrated if I don't "get" something right away. That's definitely something I need to work on!

So, dear readers - what are you learning about right now, or what do you want to learn more about? Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner?

Work + Play makes Erica a happy girl

My library is finally starting Helene Blowers' Learning 2.0 program - only we're re-branding it (as we are so good at doing) to "Learn & Play @ CML" - woohoo! I've been hoping we'd do this program since before we even hired Helene, so I'm pretty excited. Of course, it won't really be hard for me to participate... I've pretty much done all of the 23 things already. But it will be really neat to see my coworkers use some of these services for the first time. I *heart* the interwebz.

Anyway, since everyone else at work is blogging about the program, I had to be sure to put in my 2 cents as well. The program starts tomorrow (with an kick off presentation by Michael Stephens, awesome), and I'll be adding this blog to the official blog roll. Hmm, I sure hope I haven't said anything on here that I'll regret... haha. :D

Trying to get away is harder than you might think

Jared and I are considering taking a mini-vacation in September/October - we were originally planning on going down to Gatlinburg, but we recently decided that it might be more cost-effective to just visit Hocking Hills for a weekend. It's closer, which would mean less money spent on gas, and even though it's not quite as breathtaking as the Smoky Mountains, it's still a very scenic place to visit. So for the past week or so I've been pricing cabins in the area, hoping to find something relatively inexpensive. This has proved to be a difficult task - most cabins range from $150-$200 a night, even in late October. Yikes! Anyhow, as I was checking the availability of cabins from a particular company, I saw this message at the bottom of their page (emphasis added):

"Please note: There is a 2 night minimum on the weekend at the weekend rates. A weekend is considered Thursday/Friday, Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Holiday weekends are a 3 night minimum. Lodges are 3 night minimum - Memorial Day through Labor Day.

We apologize that our rate structure is illogical and the system can not always quote your rates correctly."

Wow. Really? Can't you just... make them logical?

I think maybe we'll be camping instead. At the very least, we won't be renting a cabin from THIS company.

Weirdness, insults, and fun with words

If you have facebook, you've likely seen the ads that show up on the left side of the screen. Most of the time, they are pretty standard. But one day, I found this:

Apparently, this is an actual thing. Here's the petition, if you want to look at it. In case you're wondering, I'm not going to sign it. Now, if it were a petition to get the Bad Astronomer on Stargate, that's a whole different story. Sign me up!

Completely different but almost as random are the junk emails I've been getting at work. Here are a few recent ones I've received:

Umm, I didn't think junk mail was supposed to flat out insult you. Usually it just suggests that you might want to "increase ur size!!" or that you could really use some cheap Viagra. But to come out and just tell me that I look stupid?! How do they know how I look? Maybe I look great today, thankyouverymuch. Has anyone else seen junk mail like this?

Oh! Check out my Wordle:

I made it out of all of my tags on Delicious. Obviously, I like me some humor and libraries. But was there really any doubt about that?

I can has decent PowerPoint presentation? KTHX.

I attended the first day of my second official library conference today - the OLC Reference and Adult Services conference. I have to say, even for a smaller affair than the first conference I attended (the big OLC Annual Conference last October), it was really nice. The food they served for lunch was great (bonus!), I was much less scared to talk to people I didn't know, and the programs and speakers were really good.

...except the last program of the day. I hate critizing presenters, because I know hard they must have worked to prepare, and sometimes things just don't go as planned - but let me explain. This particular presentation was a combination of uninteresting antecdotes, bad jokes, and the worst PowerPoint presentation I've seen since library school. His topic was adult programming in the library, and although he did stay on topic and gave some good advice about how to come up with programming ideas, he spent far too much time talking about the individual programs that he had put together, and not enough time talking about the logistics of hosting a program and marketing it to the community. After a while it just felt like he was showing off - he kept raving about all of the programs he'd put together for his library, and then would drift off into a story about the people involved in the program or try to tell a not-so-funny joke. (I'm sure it didn't help that I had a huge headache at that point... but I digress.) And when I say "bad PowerPoint," I'm talking flying/rotating text transitions (SIGH), all white backgrounds, and nothing but Times New Roman font. The slides were set up in a basic outline format, and other than some pictures of posters his marketing department created for his programs, the slideshow really didn't add anything useful to the presentation. The scary part is that he stressed how librarians need to learn to use PowerPoint (O RLY!?!), and that he teaches a technology class for patrons at his branch. To top it off, he muttered several times during the program "I hate technology!" after he'd accidentally jump forward too many slides - meant as a joke, I'm sure, but isn't that a bad sign? Especially if you consider yourself a technology instructor?

The rest of the day, however, was amazing. Joan Frye Williams gave a wonderful talk in the morning, as she always does, and I enjoyed every minute of it. After lunch, I was inspired by a program I attended on marketing your collection - now I have all sorts of good ideas to take back to work with me on how to display some of our newer titles and get more customers interested in them. And I also attended a very enlightening panel discussion about how the business community sees the public library, and what they would like to see us do to serve them better. So one rotten apple didn't ruin the bunch for me! I can't wait to learn more tomorrow morning.

Summer fun-ness

You may be wondering what I've been up to. Or maybe you haven't been. Either way, you are about to find out. Oh, the magic of blogging!

First of all, I visited Chicago two weeks ago - and it was amazing! There is so much I didn't get to do (I needed to stay there a week longer!), but what I did do was completely awesome. One of the places I had to visit was the Threadless store. If you've never heard of them, check out their website - if you like unique t-shirts or creating your own designs, you'll love it! Anyway, I visited the store and bought myself a shirt. They also have art prints for sale based on the t-shirt designs. The best part is that they release the newest designs in the store before they release them online - so I got my shirt early, and actually wore it on the day it was "officially" released! Very cool.

Another place I made sure to visit was the Chicago Public Library. This is apparently the largest library in the country (and with 79 branches, there's really no doubt in my mind about that), and the main library is called the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago. I visited the library on a Sunday - I expected the place to be packed (my library is a madhouse on Sundays!) but found that it was quite peaceful. There were 9 floors - I didn't visit them all, but I could tell that each was laid out the same way. The exception was the 9th floor, which was a beautiful open room with a few tables and a glass ceiling. Surprisingly, only one person was using the space to study when I went up there. If I lived in Chicago, I would be up there everyday! You could even see the top of the Sears tower through the glass. The library had a very modern feel, but I have to say that I wasn't really impressed with the layout of the floors or the use of the space. The walls and decor were... well, not very exciting either. Not bad, just not as impressive as I had hoped it would be. But overall, it was a very nice building.

Check out all of my Chicago pictures on my Flickr page.

In other news, last weekend I was in the Pride parade with Spin Columbus. We did pretty well and everyone seemed to enjoy our performance - we got a lot of compliments afterwards, which made everyone feel really great. This weekend I will be performing with them again in the Doo Dah parade on July 4th - come out and see us if you can (and if it doesn't get rained out)!

Erica's realization of the month: Sunglasses are AWESOME. I bought a pair for myself on the way to Chicago, and I instantly felt both way cooler than usual and much more vacation-y. Now I wear them all the time, and I'm not quite sure how I have lived almost 26 years without them. In fact, I'm pretty sure people smile at me more when I wear them - this is probably either because of the aforementioned coolness factor, or perhaps because they can't see my eyes (and thus can't see the weird look I would have normally been giving them). I have also started noticing just how bright the world is without them - and when I drag my groggy self into work in the morning, the last thing I want to see while driving there is anything bright and sunny.

What exciting revelations have you had this summer?


I just got tagged by made in a treehouse, so it's question and answer time! Yay!

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Wow, 10 years ago I was just about to turn 16! I remember that I was glad to be out of school for the summer, because I had been feuding with some friends and needed a break. But I was also busy planning my sweet 16 party, which I wanted to be huge... and it was!

My sweet 16

What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
Well, it's the end of the day - so here are 5 things that were on my to-do list:

1. Build arcade game out of cardboard boxes at work - it's our display for Summer Reading Club, and I started working on it today with a coworker. A little late, I know, but we should have no trouble getting it done for the kickoff Saturday. I hope it turns out good!
2. Put up SRC posters - done and done.
3. Organize old family video tapes so they can be put on DVDs - I'm working on this one all week.
4. Help Jared update his resume - currently working on that.
5. Play Wii Fit - it was on the list, but I probably won't get to it tonight, unfortunately. It's so much fun though!

What are my favorite snacks?
Oh man - I love eating Doritos dipped in cream cheese. That is my comfort snack. I also love pudding - right now I'm obsessed with rice pudding. Really, I would much rather just snack throughout the day than eat full-sized meals. I have heard that it is more healthy to eat this way, but it hasn't worked out well for me thus far.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire?
Pay off my students loans - and probably Jared's too, just because I'm that nice. I would buy a house and pay off any other debt I have, then give money to my mom because she deserves it. I would probably also buy cool gifts for my friends and throw some big ridiculous party in the new house. It's too bad I'm not a billionaire, because that all sounds so awesome.

Places I have lived:
Born in Akron, Ohio
Portage Lakes, Ohio for a few months after I was born
Canal Fulton, Ohio
Atlanta, Georgia for about a year when I was 2
Canal Fulton again for a few years
Sugarcreek, Ohio from 2nd-5th grade
New Philadelphia, Ohio from 6th-12th grade
Oxford, Ohio for college (Miami U!)
New Philadelphia, Ohio for the summer after graduation
Columbus, Ohio for grad school - present :)

Hmm, who to tag? Well, let's go with The Chaser Nation and Two-Headed Blog, just because I can. I look forward to seeing embarrassing pictures of you from 10 years ago! (Kidding... kinda!)

Time? What time?

Is it the end of May already? Lately it seems that I have been too busy to even think. Between work and being the Company Mangaer for Spin Columbus, I haven't been home or online nearly as much as usual. In fact, last night I watched 18 WebbAlerts - that's how far behind I had gotten! But I was determined to watch them all, because Morgan Webb is my hero.

By the way, I love my DVR - since I'm gone all of the time, I miss most of the shows I really enjoy watching. But no more. Like the new American Gladiators - I can watch it anytime if I'm gone on Monday night. Oh and if you don't watch that show yet, you really should. After watching this week's show (and being introduced to the new, "silent" gladiator named Steel), I thought it would be funny to come up with some rejected gladiator names. I can't remember what I came up with right now, but they were probably funny. Unfortunately, Carson Daly did that exact gag on his show that night! I don't know what makes me more upset - that someone beat me to the punch, or the fact that it was Carson Daly that beat me to the punch. Sadness.

Now that I'm caught up with TV and the internet, I need to start reading - I have an ever-growing pile of books that I just haven't had time to sit down and dive into yet. Maybe soon?


I made a very interesting find today - on my library's teen website, in the "Express It" section, there is a place for teens to submit poetry they have written. Some are silly, some are kinda depressing, but all of them are just amazing! I don't really know that much about poetry, but I am really enjoying reading through what the teens have submitted. And some of the regular posters comment on each other's poems, which is really cool.

A random list of things I have learned over the past month that may or may not be interesting:

1. No matter what flavor of milkshake you order from McDonald's, they will give you a mix of all of the flavors. A few weeks ago I swear I got a Chocolate-Strawberry-Mint milkshake. Yikes.

2. I LOVE meetings. Of any kind. Even unproductive ones. Most people hate them, but I just love them. Knowing that I have a meeting makes my day go better. Someday, perhaps, I'll be sick of them, but not anytime soon.

3. I really like the clicking sound that high heels make on hard floors.

4. If you want to light a gas grill, you should turn the gas on first. You should not just turn knobs and hit the ignition button over and over, wondering why the damn thing won't light. Just a suggestion.

5. Green is the new black.

6. If you have a bumper sticker on the back of your old crappy car that talks about how much we all pollute the air, you are a hypocrite. You're polluting the air just as much as the rest of us.

7. I enjoy going to the grocery store by myself. It's strangely relaxing and makes me feel like a grown-up. And yes, I know that I'm already a grown-up, but that doesn't mean I always feel like one.

8. I like to sew because the sound of my sewing machine will always remind me of my mother.

9. I am obsessed with Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and I want the sequel to come out RIGHT NOW.

10. I can't wait to see the new Indiana Jones movie! Eeeeee! :D

Misery loves the BMV

I'm just going to say it: going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles can be a nightmare.

I don't know why, but every person that works at the BMV seems to hate their life. And because of that hate, they make your visit miserable. Nobody smiles in the BMV. You take your number, wait for your turn, and pray that you brought the 5 forms of ID that they require. Oh, you wanted to pay by credit card? Sorry. No license for you. Did you spend time this morning trying to look nice for the photo? Forget it. You're going to look like a deer caught in headlights no matter how you do your makeup. The best thing you can hope for is to leave in a mildly bad mood. At least then there might be a chance of your day improving. It helps if you have something fun to do after you leave.

I can't completely blame the workers. But it would be nice if they had some customer service skills. Is a smile too much to ask for?

Anyhow, this morning I went to the BMV with Jared so he could renew his tags. We went early, in hopes that the workers there might not be quite as jaded first thing in the morning. We made sure he had his checkbook (they do take personal checks as payment) and 2 forms of ID. Luckily, we didn't have to wait, and he had everything he needed with him. Sure, the lady that helped us had a scowl on her face the whole time, but it was a quick and painless process.

We walked out into the parking lot, and turned to look at each other. "That was the least miserable BMV experience I've ever had," I said. Jared agreed. We finished the morning by going to First Watch for breakfast, which was deliciously awesome.

Until next time, BMV...

Mediocrity, maybe

I decided to do a little facebook stalking tonight, and I ended up kinda... bummed out. There are a lot of people I'm friends with on facebook because we went to high school or college together, and since I don't talk to most of them anymore it's nice to see what they are doing now. The problem is that many of them are doing things that are so cool or exciting that it makes me feel extremely boring in comparison. For instance, I know a guy who studies endangered birds - how cool is that? There's also a girl I know that went to school to be a governess. A governess! Then there's the people who have moved to California or Florida or are studying abroad or other things that I just wouldn't have thought of. It's so exciting, and I'm happy for all of them.

And then there's me. What do I do with my life? I become a librarian in the same state that I grew up in and have lived all my life. Does anyone look at my facebook profile and think, "Wow, look at Erica! I'm totally jealous of her awesome life!" Probably not. Most people think, "Wow, you're a librarian... wait, you need a degree for that?"

But the thing is, I really love my job. And I'm very happy here in Ohio, even if it's the same state where I was born and raised. (At least I'm in a different city, right?) So be jealous of me, facebook friends. I (enthusiastically) deal with the general public on a daily basis and live to tell the tale - that's pretty damn impressive.

Concert Mania

I absolutely love going to concerts in the summer. LOVE IT. I'm not sure that a summer has gone by since my senior year of high school that I haven't gone to a concert. And since I save all of my ticket stubs in a special concert scrapbook, I could probably confirm that fact. Anyhow, here's the lineup so far:

THIS SUNDAY - Kids in the Hall will be at the Wexner Center at 8pm (OMG OMG OMG) and I just bought tickets for Jared and I to go. *squeal*

July 13th - Poison!!!! Hell yes. They were so awesome last summer, and I can't wait to see them again!

August 9th - Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams! Yes, I know what you are thinking. And yes, I am totally going. My mom is obsessed with Rod Stewart - always has been - and I've wanted to see Bryan Adams in concert since I was 12. I'M SO THERE. I'm surprising mom with tickets for Mother's Day, so don't frickin' tell her or I'll kill you, m'kay?

I hope there are more. I'm missing out on seeing Third Eye Blind this Tuesday night, but I'll live. I've seen them before. I will also get to see a band at the Ebay convention, but they haven't announced who will be there yet, so I don't know how excited to be. But hey, I'll be in Chicago, so it's all good. I'm going to be having a blast regardless!

Clean Slate

I decided that I was sick and tired of the "normal" blogger templates, so I found myself a new one. What do you all think? I am enjoying how clean and refreshing it feels. Like a nice, hot shower. Which I need to go do, since I have to get to work!

Excitement for this week - my department gets to meet with Helene Blowers today, of whom I am a huge fangirl. (As a side note, I'm hoping she doesn't think I'm a complete idiot - she came up to me the other week and said, "Hi Erica! I know you from facebook!" and I just stared at her for a minute because I didn't recognize her right away. Talk about embarrassing!) Also, tomorrow is a kick-off meeting for a project I got invited to be involved with, so I'm pretty psyched for that too.

Did anyone else notice that the Internet April Fool's Jokes were just not up to par this year? My favorite though is in Google Docs - if you open up a new document, then go to the file tab, you will have the option to create a paper airplane. I like AF jokes better when they are fun and somewhat hidden - especially when we all know that Google puts out a million jokes today.

Did anyone get you good today? Online or in person?

Who needs money?

Not long ago, I ordered a t-shirt from a website called T-Shirt Hell - this shirt, to be precise (in pink!). When I got to the payment options screen, one of the options was "Sexual Favors". Of course I clicked on it, and this is the message I got:


Vote Librarian in 08!

I just read on Ohio Library News that Jennifer Sechler, a children's librarian from the Westerville Public Library, is one of 10 finalists to be the CMO - Chief Magic Official - for Disney! If chosen, she'll get to entertain and bring magic to families visiting Disney parts around the world. AKA, the best job ever. You can read a statement from Jennifer in the post from Ohio Library News. I don't know Jennifer, but librarians stick together - especially librarians from Central Ohio! Please vote for her at:

You can vote as many times as you want until voting ends tomorrow. So get to it! Help a librarian out, would ya?

Muppet Time

A quick post because it's been far too long:

Happy St. Patrick's Day, whatever that means to you, and enjoy this video of the Muppets' rendition of "Danny Boy," one of my favorite stetches from The Muppet Show.

Thanks to BoingBoing for posting this earlier today.

I'm actually kinda sad today, because I usually make a big deal out of St. Patrick's Day. I typically wear green (I still might do that...), I've hosted parties, I've gone out drinking with friends, I try to get everyone else excited about it - I've even been featured in a news article because I blogged about a party I was hosting in 2006. But this year, I'm just not feeling it. I have no plans to go out, nor did I have or attend any parties this weekend. Not that there were any parties I could go to anyway - everyone else I know has seemed to forget about St. Patrick's Day, too.

But you know what? 2008 has been a great year. So what if St. Patrick's Day is a bust? I'm going to kick back tonight, maybe with a drink (Baileys feels appropriate), and celebrate by enjoying a nice evening with Jared and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (cause, well, that's just inevitable). Cheers!

Can't you just get on that Google thing and find out?

One of the fun parts about my new job is that I get to go around to each division at the main library and go through a brief orientation. Yesterday was my day to learn about the children's division (known here as the Center for Discovery). I got a tour, talked with one of the managers about children's programming, and observed a baby laptime program. Now, as far as I can tell, "baby laptime" might as well be called "bounce your baby on your lap..time," because that's mainly what it consisted of. It's a great program - the babies seemed to love it, and it gave the parents/caregivers a chance to mingle. I sat in the back, and occasionally some of the babies either crawled over to me, or just stared at me. One in particular stared at me for quite some time, so I started to make funny faces, hoping he would laugh. Instead, he started to cry. Whoops! I guess that's why I'm not a children's librarian.

One of the not-so-fun parts about my job is dealing with people who insist that you can find what they need "in the computer." As if a computer is a magical encyclopedia that contains all of the world's knowledge, and "that Internet thing" surely will tell them exactly what they need to know, if only I would look in the right place. Sure, there's a lot you can find on the Internet... but not everything. If it's not there, it's not there. That's a difficult concept for some people to grasp, especially for those who are not familiar with computers or have never used the Internet. I have had angry people tap furiously on my monitor screen, exclaiming, "Just look in there! It will tell you!" I can do my best, folks, but I can't do magic.

If nothing else, my job will never, ever be boring. I'm in a great field. :)

Even the Saudis want overpriced coffee

I just read this story, courtesy of Pharyngula, a science blog I now read on a regular basis.

My question here is this: if the family area in Starbucks is the only place women can sit with men, why was she arrested? Wasn't she abiding the law? Putting aside the fact that I think religious laws (especially ones like this) are completely bogus and unfair, and forgetting that she is American and probably an easy target, I still don't understand why she was arrested for sitting with a man when she was sitting in the only place in the restaurant that women are allowed to sit with men. I read some of the comments on this story, and while most were pretty retarded, a few made a good point - if you are going to accept a job in a country with laws like these, you should know what you are getting yourself into. But I don't know this woman's situation, and I (of course) completely disagree with how she was/is being treated.

Even with all our problems, I'm very glad to be living in a country where I have the freedom to be a woman, and not be ashamed of it.

The good life

The holidays are over - well, they've been over for quite a while, but for some reason it feels like I just got mentally caught up. Does that make any sense? Probably not. In any case, even though I announced this on my other blog (and even though most of the people reading this have known for weeks), I have a new job! I am now officially a librarian - how about that? I've been claiming to be a librarian since I got my degree in May, but now I'm getting paid like one. That's very important.

Now that I am a librarian by job title, it is amazing just how many random and obscure questions I get asked on a daily basis. I love it.

So yeah, life is good. :)

To any new readers or commenters: Sorry this blog has been so lame recently. I'll try to remedy that, but I'm not making any promises.

To any old readers: See above.

Hmm. Not much else to say today. I'm looking forward to the weekend, and to a lot of fun things that should happen this year. I'm also really enjoying my new job and all of the challenges I've encountered so far.

What are you excited about this year?