Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Mild Sense of Vindication

One of the tasks that has landed on my plate over the past year is the care and feeding of our Overdrive collection. I am part of a state-wide group that meets every quarter to decide what audiobooks we'll make available to our patrons. The last two orders, we've been able to start adding mp3, rather than the DRM-laden WMA files. I don't listen to as many audiobooks as I'd like--I can't listen and re-design database forms for the 5th time this year. But that's another blog post.

On the last selection, I noticed that one of the authors available for mp3 selection (it's a short list) was Christine Feehan. I'm a big fan of her "Dark" series, it's one of the few series I own the majority of the books. Knowing she's been on the bestseller list within the past year for at least one of her books, I thought she'd made a good choice for Overdrive.

In the meeting, which was probably 8 or 9 of us from the different library consortia, I learned that apparently I'm the only one who reads paranormal adult romance. But they were willing to take my word that Feehan should circulate and the orders went in. Today I went back to Overdrive to put another hold on a title and I did a quick search for the Feehan books.

All of them are out with multiple holds on them. Granted, demand is slightly skewed because we don't have that many mp3 books yet, but I feel a little bit vindicated. I'm not the only one in Wisconsin listening to these books. (Actually, I don't listen to them, I prefer text for her stuff. But that aside...)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Have to Keep Hopping....

There's an interesting sorta-meme going around called "Day in the Life of a Librarian." While I will refrain from a full minute by minute, I thought I'd share an account of yesterday, so you have an idea.

Times approximate

8:35 --Call WebGuy to let him know that I will be a few minutes late for the meeting: I have to drop the car at the shop because the power steering has decided it doesn't want to play nice.

8:37 --Since the walk from the car shop to the library takes me right past the doughnut shop...well....

9:05 --Hustle upstairs, box of doughnuts in hand (people in my dept duly doughnuted)

9:06 -- Meeting with RA and WebGuy. Discuss some details for new website. Conclude with need for me to draw squares and return them to WebGuy as promptly as possible.

10:20 -- Turn on computer, check email, check intranet for new incident reports and blog posts. Send emails to Madame Director and Madame Immediate Supervisor asking them for five minutes when they get it (separately--different topics/times); Add patron request to acquisition system; Email title to Teen Librarian to confer if I should buy a book or she should.

10:50 --Get call from Acquisitions Guru to understand that this particular sub-series in American Girl does not come through on the standing order but will be ordered today for patron requests. Bow to the wisdom of the Acquisitions Guru. Get call from machine knitter-- should she bring machine again? What day? Yes, March 25.

11:00 --Write out children's dept requirements for registration module for new calendar program

11:30 - 1 -- Draw physical layouts for children's website--where I want editable boxes for staff (draw squares--write in content specifications); Confirm some money details for Knit in Public day; Rewrite current to-do list and attempt to figure out what I can wade through in afternoon.

1 -5: On Desk- Answering reference questions, walking patrons to shelves, putting books on hold, pulling a teacher collection, create registration form for upcoming children's program, reseting children's game computers that require log out to get a game to end (several times), registering patrons for storytimes. Yes, we have tongue twister books --No, all of our copies of the Sneetches are out, can I put it on hold for you?

1:05 Madame Immediate Supervisor swings past desk to review layout of website main page and primary sub pages. Brief discussion on what will need to be updated, how often, and by whom. Meebo WebGuy to say I have my layouts ready.

1:15 Zooming on the computer screen doesn't mean it's going to print out a full sized page. It will print the original size of that image. No, we don't have a color printer down here. There is one upstairs in reference.

1:30 p.m. Review Knit In timeline and other details with Madame Director. Get approval for some purchases, discuss possibility of interviews with unique knitters in the community, debate where to get snacks from and where we can keep snacks for least amount of mess.

3:00 p.m. Is it three already? I've been sending out emails and confirming with my speaker, hammering out other details, begging for flyer expertise from Sibling-the-Elder [a graphic designer: I am not], WebGuy makes flying pass through children's to pick up layouts and point out immediate problems. I promise to discuss next week and have Parents/Educators site mapped out. As he leaves I advise not to lose my square layouts-- he just took my master copy!!

3:30 Visit from one of my pre-schoolers who is in day care now and can't come to storytime as regularly. I hear that the Mike Myers version of the Cat in the Hat movie was "Icky" and was turned off after ten minutes.

3:40 Teen Librarian comes by to discuss book purchases, make a recommendation, talk about Teen website layout, debate the hiring of new Gaming Assistant now that Former GA has moved across an ocean. Teen Librarian exits stage left serving as pied piper of gaming teen boys.

3:45 [phone] No I haven't seen your brother and we've talked about the fact I can't give out information like that over the phone --two minutes later brother walks out of the stacks--Your sister is looking for you. Brother mumbles okay and settles down at game computer with headphones on.

3:50 -- Who's working the weekend? Me. Learn of mayoral candidate to be in children's room on Saturday for meet and greet. (We're having all the primary candidates in for this little gathering. Not a debate, just a chance for voters to come by and ask questions in separate spaces in library.) Note to self: put on a little extra make-up Saturday morning--the press will be probably be here.

4:00-- Attempting to locate various picture books for 3 themes a day care provider is looking for. Success on most of the books. One appears to have vamoosed somewhere between circulation and the shelf in the past 24 hours.

4:40 Do NOT vault over the side of the boat. [3 foot drop] You could get hurt and I don't want anything happening. Alright? Look at me...alright? Okay.

4:42 Okay, off the boat. Yes I know it was him this time and not you but I just spoke to both of you and you're done for the day on the boat.

5:00 Hello Reference? Me. Is Head of TS still up there? This computer won't let me access the F: drive from a website. Yes the F: drive is functioning. On his way down? Awesome.

5:06 [phone] Hello Youth Services....yes, that was me calling from my cell. Five minutes? Okay...

5:10 He's off the boat, she's waiting for Head of TS--he'll be down in five, this teacher collection isn't fully pulled, I've got to get outside for the nice person driving me home. Would you list me on the intranet out until Saturday?

5:11 This pile on my desk; this pile in my bag. And there was no weeding done today. But I did get four things crossed off my to-do list!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kids Knitting, the update....

I know you were all frantically wondering how my kids knitting group was going. After today, I think you deserve an update.

Thoughts so far: it's going to be a good crop. All of my kids from last session have returned and I'm trying to encourage them to think outside the garter stitch square. Three of the four "brand new knitters" from week 1 have really taken off. The other one hasn't come back but might yet. It doesn't seem to be a problem that I'm only teaching "intro" on the first week of the month and I haven't had to say "No, I'm not teaching basic knit stitch" today. I've had to sort out some funky knitting and do some refreshing but nobody starting at ground zero.

Unexpectedly: It's going to be a BIG crop. I had 15 kids today. 14 girls and one diligent boy (who is a heck of a knitter, I must say). And they're active knitters. I'm highly encouraged by this. Knitting is good for math skills, creativity and, to paraphrase the Yarn Harlot, I'm passing to a new generation the ability to take sticks, string and your cleverness and create something useful.

Today: We had a slightly disastrous first round of pom poms. Suffice to say I just didn't have enough stuff prepped. But they got the instructions and they got to see how to do it...and I promised we'd do it again next week. So next week don't be surprised if there are a ridiculous number of pompoms emerging from the children's department.

I told them about the Knit in Public Day, details of which are about to spread far and wide and will be reported here once Madame Director and I hammer out a few more things. In the interim...much to do and less time to do it in.

Hedgehog for Lunch

I forgot to share with you the most awesome cheeseball ever.

The Incredibly-Patient-Mother made me a cheesehedgehog...


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What's Your Dewey?

I'd always thought I was a 641.3373 (coffee) or a 641.3372 (tea). Apparently I was wrong.

Abigail's Dewey Decimal Section:

850 Italian, Romanian & related literatures

Abigail = 1297192 = 129+719+2 = 850

800 Literature

Literature, criticism, analysis of classic writing and mythology.

What it says about you:
You're a global, worldly person who wants to make a big impact with your actions. You have a lot to tell people and you're good at making unique observations about everyday experiences. You can notice and remember details that other people think aren't important.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Abigail's Dewey Decimal Section:

912 Atlases, maps, charts & plans

Abigail's birthday: 9/30/1982 = 930+1982 = 2912

900 History & Geography

Travel, biographies, ancient history, and histories of continents.

What it says about you:
You're connected to your past and value the things that have happened to you. You've had some conflicted times in your life, but they've brought you to where you are today and you don't ignore it.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's Warmer in my Freezer

Apparently, when the real temperature is -24F, though my valiant little car will start, it will not shift into gear. This I learned when I left work work this morning. Fortunately, a coworker was able to come pick me up and we grabbed some coffee and came in to work.

Due to extreme temperatures, the kids have another day off school, meaning a 5 day break for them (and that we're now going to have them in school til June 12). It's Spring Break in January....kinda.

Everybody bundle up please. I'll be over here watching the weather website, which tells me that tomorrow it will be 21 degrees. That'll be a 45 degree increase. It'll be a heat wave.

Hedgehogs in the News: Or a Video....

I promise, this will not be an earworm. You will not be singing Boogie Boogie Hedgehog all afternoon. Well, maybe you will, but only because I mention it, not because of the video.

Happy Friday

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Teen Books Book Club: Guest Post

Becky gave me permission to repost her blog entry from our internal blog. A few of us who enjoy reading teen fiction have started gathering monthly to discuss it over coffee. Others are welcome to join, though I'll warn you it's librarian heavy! Email me (see blog home for email) if you'd like to be added to Becky's email list.


In case you missed the meeting last night, I thought I would fill you in. We had a relaxing and interesting discussion of The Mysterious Benedict Society and enjoyed soup and hot beverages at Java Vino. And just in case you want to catch the next meeting, here is the 411

When: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 6:30pm
Where: Java Vino (Village Shopping Center)
To be Discussed: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and (yes, I did say AND, we are discussing two this month… one was just not enough) Impossible by Nancy Werlin

You can direct any questions about the books or group at me or Linda. If you want to be included in email updates please comment.

By: Becky

Baby It's COLD Outside

They said last year that I brought the worst winter to La Crosse they'd seen in two decades. This year, we've set records for snowfall and the windchill is utterly ridiculous. I'm a little afraid to ask what next year will bring.

But in the interim, Ricardo Montalban passed away and as he reminds Esther Williams in this clip from Neptune's Daughter;

But, baby, it's cold outside...

(the latter half with Red Skelton is pretty hysterical too)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Motivation on a Monday

I've been trying to figure out how to write this post effectively.

It's a tumultuous time, this current January. There are quite a few people in transition and more for whom the outlook just isn't very positive. Add to it the usual round of seasonal depression, winter induced isolation, stressful job situations and whatever other variables there are and the negatives quickly seem to outweigh the positives.

I'm probably not the best person to speak on this subject, certainly I'm not a professional motivational speaker, but I offer you a few ideas to think on and some suggestions that help me. Feel free to pick and choose, if it will help, or add your own.

1) Make two lists
  • List one is a small list. It can be one thing, it can be three things. No more than five. These are your things to do today or this week. These need not be earth shattering things. My short list for today includes "water the plants" and "portion out the calico beans I made so I have lunches for the rest of the week." (It may then later include the ever popular--wash the crockpot.) Why? It's a self-esteem thing. I can accomplish my small lists every day or week and crossing things off helps. If I keep it short--I complete a list rather than feel like I'm not accomplishing things.
  • List 2 is a big list. Write down all kinds of things you'd like to accomplish--goals, projects, classes, travel, clean outs. Be honest about things you'd like to do, no matter how out there they may seem. Do not say "I could never do that"'s just a list. A set of ideas. You don't know what you can do yet.
2) Consider journaling
  • Writing is healthy. It's part of the reason I make lists, blog, and (unless I do something stupid like leave it on the bed in Atlanta) why I'm never without a journal. It's easier to look back and see things that have shaped you when you have written things down. I write down the bad things and the good things. I try to write the good in more detail. Reliving good times is not a bad thing.
  • Don't question yourself as you write--just put it down on paper. If you say a mean thing about a person in your journal (as long as that journal is properly tucked away when they visit) you're getting it out of your system rather than letting it fester. Be willing to admit things to yourself -- honesty with yourself goes a long way.
  • If you're a more verbal type--record yourself. Microphones aren't too expensive if you have a computer. Put it in an audio file--and talk it out. You can burn it to a cd and store the cd--so other people don't come across the files. Yes, it may feel like you're talking to yourself but think about the multitudes of podcasters who have to talk to an empty room for us to get episodes.
3) Go for a cup of coffee
  • How many of us are bogged down by place? If you're frustrated at your place of work or you have no clarity at home--trying to focus at one of those places may not be in your best interest. After coming home last week from my own coffee shop visit, I made a deal with myself that I need to go to said coffee shop for one evening a week--for at least an hour. If you're not getting traction in your current settings, take an hour and go with book or notebook (preferably both) to the coffee shop. [Insert sit in bakery, quiet room at your library, somewhere where you can handle the ambiance and tune out]
  • When you do this, consider shutting off your cell phone and not taking your laptop or other wireless device. Amazingly (as evidenced by sleep and air travel) most of us can be out of touch for 60 minutes without the world ending. I bring my mp3 player, but usually the coffee-shop light jazz is enough.
4) Set a timer
  • This can work either for self-rewards or work. I can get an amazing amount of things cleaned up, put away, dusted, vacuumed, thrown away in 30 minutes. Make a deal with yourself--if I do this for 15 minutes, I can then... Most of us are open to self-bribery. And often, it's not the doing so much as the getting started. Personally, I tend to work in two sets of time chunks: the length of a CD soundtrack that I've become enamored with or however long it takes the tea kettle to heat (approx ten minutes). I've become the queen of tea-kettle dishes. Flip side is "when I do this, I can knit/read/
5) Take something off list two and make action cards
  • This can be an action list or note cards. I've seen either work for other people. If you have a big goal though, it helps to break it down into bite sized portions. And those portions need to have deadlines.
6) Find someone to whom you can be accountable and who must be accountable to you.
  • This may be a spouse or significant other but I'm guessing this is more likely to be a friend/relative you don't cohabit with.
  • Nag and give each other deadlines. Do reminder calls. If they're willing to fuss at you about your action cards--that's a good thing. Fuss at them. "Should"/"want to" needs to be come "did"--even in little bitty pieces.
7) Remember that you need human interaction, no matter how wonky the public and people seem to be.
  • Human interaction comes in many forms: the phone, social networks and email are primary forms of communication for many of us. If your locals aren't cutting it, look for an online community.
  • Community classes are available in droves and it's a short, tangible way to get out of the house that doesn't have to involve people you already know. If you have a shared interest for six weeks you can decide if you'd like to ever have coffee with those people again or if you think they're all insane. Either way, hopefully you'll learn something from the class. And if you didn't--and you could teach it better--then you need to be proposing your own class.
8) Go through a stash and remember why you bought something you loved or wanted to try
  • Stash includes the kitchen cabinets.
  • If you're me--this means looking through the yarn stash and saying "right, I wanted to make x with that yarn." Then I have to go find the pattern and needles and cast it on. Right now I'm doing a cull of worsted weight yarn and trying to use it up as fast as humanly possible. We won't discuss just how many hours a week I can find to knit.
  • If you love it--get it out. If I spend an hour knitting yarn I enjoy, that's time well spent. It is not a waste of time to spend an hour on a project that makes you happy. Ten hours over the course of the weekend might be a stretch *cough guilty expression cough* but one hour is not.
  • This is also a good time to do light weeding. As the Incredibly-Patient-Mother was reminding me when I was home, if you don't love it and it doesn't have a purpose, you don't have to keep it. She also advised working by a 20% rule---try to clear out 20% of whatever it is you're stashing. (Yes, she does organization and clean out consultations.)
9) Exercise
  • I'll admit, I'm bad about this one. I know exercise helps people feel better and you can look better too and it's healthy. Anywho, do as I suggest, not as I futon-yam. Maybe I need to add a round of pilates to that short list.
10) Share the small accomplishments.
  • Certainly it's lovely to hear that you just climbed Mt. Everest. But most of us can't do that every day or week. So just as we're not supposed to sweat the little things, I think we are supposed to celebrate the little stuff.
With that, I leave you with my accomplishment of yesterday: I cleaned the bathroom and remembered to order a birthday gift more than 24 hours before the birthday.

And today's short list:
1) Water the plants
2) Portion out the calico beans
3) Wash the crockpot
4) Send out the complaint letters I wrote so the companies in question are aware of the problems
5) Vaccum the living room (use the hose attachment on the's shedding)
5a) About that pilates....

Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Cool Website Reminder: Free Rice

Take a few minutes to refresh your vocabulary and donate some free rice! This vocab game works with the UN World Hunger Program

Happy Friday

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What Do You Call 5 Presidents?

A cadre? A cluster? A posse? A parliament? A congress?

Anyway--I liked this NPR pic of Presidents Bush, Clinton, Bush, Carter and Elect Obama and wanted to share
(heads up--click through will resize your browser window for some reason)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Retreat to the Coffee Shop

When all else fails, and when stress hits the hardest, you can pretty much guarantee that I'm going to be well-caffeinated. Very very well caffeinated. This is usually because I will retreat to a coffee shop.

It was the most apparent the five months I wrote my thesis. With only a rewrite to do (only, I say, isn't that an incredible way to look back on tossing out 30 pages of my thesis and starting over?), I was home and working full time. Disliking rush hour traffic, I retreated to Starbucks and waaaaay too many evenings of lattes, macchiatos and scones.

Tonight I had two missions, edit a friend's book proposal and finish the squares for the log cabin afghan that were due to my aunt at Christmas. The former was supposed to be done Monday night-so technically I'm only 48 hours behind. The latter, obviously I'm running a little more late.

For the not as hand craft inclined:

Log Cabin Squares = Squares that are knitted in stripes of different colors. You start in the middle with one color, changing color and direction every certain number of rows (in this case 19). The strips of color get bigger and eventually you stop or start a new square. See here but imagine that every strip was a different color. You could do an entire afghan that is one square, but usually it's made up of multiple squares sewn together.

I was making three squares as a part of an afghan for a cousin who is getting married. It was a joint effort of six women of three generations of the family. Sibling the Elder and I did half the squares of the blanket between us--and fortunately when I was home we were able to confirm our squares were turning out a similar size. But with each color change, that meant there were two ends to be woven in. Due to the nature of the project, I had to split the yarn in half, discreetly weave two pieces in, and put in tons of little knots that will hopefully not unravel. I'm hoping a good washing (careful washing, this is wool after all) will secure it just enough that they'll be okay.

So after work, where I made a small dent in things I wanted to get done, I retreated with printout and the last of the squares in hand to a nearby coffee shop. Over quiche and a cup of hazelnut coffee I edited. Then I popped in my headphones, turned on a podcast, and wove in ends. I only burst out laughing twice--which, considering the podcast (an old episode of Lime and Violet) is admirable restraint. Nearly two hours later I had an edited document and three finalized squares. And a pretty solid sense of accomplishment for the day.

I drove immediately to the post office and mailed the squares. They should be there Friday, I did two day priority and the post office around here is pretty speedy. So my aunt has almost three weeks to complete the afghan now that the negligent hedgehog has completed her squares.

And it's only 9:30 p.m., so I can now tackle my databases. Which means I'm just charging through things today. But first, I'm going to go put on the kettle. I need another french press of coffee.

Taking joy in the small victories.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Evaluating Passion

It's one of those things that strikes you while spending an hour working on an incredibly simple scarf or staring out the window at the grey winter sky. You wonder at the passion in your life: for your work, for your craft, for life and what you're doing. Is it enough? Are you living or just existing? If the former, are you making the most of your living? If the latter, then what's wrong with you that you're not living?

Winter brings on a lot of reflection, especially when faced with my solitude and my own company for more than 24 hours. I'm a nocturnal creature but these days where the light lasts a scant nine hours (at least that I'm conscious) are draining. Without the foliage to think upon as I stare somewhat blankly out my balcony, instead I look at my own internal branches and shrubberies. Am I doing enough in my profession? Am I happy in my chosen career? Am I creative enough in my craft? Should I be reaching out to other crafts and projects? Am I missing something for lack of experimentation?

A million questions, all swirling through my head as I work row after row of knitting. It's not a project that is probably the most valuable use of my limited knitting time, but it is just enough to keep my hands busy. And perhaps that is the problem--I don't really have to think about my knitting and so my mind takes off.

I'm sure we all question our chosen career paths at times. Was it the right decision? Was it the best use of our talents and skills? Could we make a different decision five, ten, or twenty years before (although--making career decisions in 2nd grade might have been a bad idea), would we have made better one? In the past year I've really seen an expansion of my use of social networking technology to coordinate with other like minds and this is both encouraging and depressing. I'm caught somewhere beyond the veriest beginner and the expert. I'm capable of figuring out new tools, able to see their applications, and have moved through blogs, wikis, chat formats and Twitter.

I've written a couple of articles, gotten rejections for a few more, and wondered why it is I just can't bring myself to hop up and down with glee at the idea of submitting dry research for peer reviewed journals that don't seem to be read very often except in limited academic circles. Those authors writing for tenure, I beg your indulgence, I've not yet faced the prospect of tenure and considering the current trend of libraries and the open condescension I've encountered from a few hiring academic libraries, it seems it may be a while yet before someone is willing to take a risk on a current children's librarian who might not want to be one her entire career. Baffling idea, no? Add to that the recent kerfuffle over at the Journal of Access Services (an entire issue written by an unnamed acerbic blogger) and one wonders the efficacy of article proposals.

I've not yet presented at conferences, mostly for financial reasons as well as trying to figure out what it is I'd present two years in the future. By then I expect to have new tools and tricks--and you'd ask me to speak on what I'm doing now in early 2009? Now is two years old by then and heaven help us in this fast paced online world if those coming for their spray of knowledge (single spray versus steady trickle or stream idea of learning) are only catching up to two years ago.

It's not only professional, it's personal too. Listening to podcasts, reading blogs and participating in social networks for knitters, I often wonder if I'm stunted in some way. I knit. End of story. I don't spin, dye, weave, do much more than the basics of crochet, paint, blend perfumes, bake, art journal...any of those things. I can sew, and do on occasion but mostly the sewing machine the Incredibly-Patient-Mother got me for my birthday has been waiting for me these past few months. My last project was altering a hoodie-lined jacket for a friend of mine Christmas 2008. I need to hem a tablecloth for my kitchen table, repair a bag, hem some jeans and make some new flannel/satin pajama pants. All of these combined would take one afternoon, two at the most. Instead, garter stitch squares and one row scarves get turned out. To listen to the creative minds on the intertubes, I'm a major slacker. I should be balancing at least three crafts, two of which I sell on at least an etsy store level, as well as a full time job, three children, two pets, one husband and moving houses.

But here there's just me, and my stash. Simple projects that Audio Girl teases I should be moving on from but it's nice to have control over the little things. The one row scarf that doesn't require checking a pattern every ten minutes would definitely be a nice little thing.

Do I then lack the correct passion? Should I be doing three times what I am now? Obviously I'm feeling a bit of stagnation or it wouldn't bother me to the degree that I keep returning to this blog post. Looking ahead to the new year, facing two freelance contracts finishing and not really sure what comes next I'm wondering what 2009 will bring. Renewed enthusiasm? Continued stagnation? More vague confusion?

I will continue to reach out professionally--it's what one does to advance in this field and it provides variety. If I can get my resume fluffed, I need to volunteer to wile away the hours reading books it's likely I'd not have picked up otherwise and about which I may/may not care very much. One of the articles that was rejected needs to still be written. I don't know whether or not it'll get submitted but the LSW seems to be a nice venue for such things. And ALA Annual is coming up fast. Maybe this time I won't feel like such an outsider. After all, I do have "librarian" in my job title this time.

As for the crafting? Well, I've resolved to knit for myself this year. So at least maybe I'll get some warm woolly things out of it.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hedgehogs in the News

Our first story of the year comes from My-Friend-The-Lawyer

Hedgehogs are Prickly Charmers.

Thank for sending it! Hope your studying for the bar exam goes well!

99 Things Meme....

Blame Walt...


Things you’ve already done: bold

Things you want to do: italicize

Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog.

2. Slept under the stars.

3. Played in a band.

4. Visited Hawaii.

5. Watched a meteor shower.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

7. Been to Disneyland/world.

8. Climbed a mountain.

9. Held a praying mantis. (Albeit, usually inadvertently—there’s a BUG on me!!!)

10. Sang a solo.

Did full recitals and sang at least one solo for Chamber Singers :)

11. Bungee jumped.

12. Visited Paris.

13. Watched a lightning storm from sea

I have a hard enough time with lightning on land....

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.

Someone else taught me to knit, write, bake….

15. Adopted a child.

16. Had food poisoning.

After a date no more food from that French restaurant.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

They only reopened it shortly before I left....

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.

20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. (Called a mental health day for a reason)

24. Built a snow fort.

25. Held a lamb.

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a marathon.

28. Ridden a Gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run.

32. Been on a cruise.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.

35. Seen an Amish community.

36. Taught yourself a new language.

Does the ability to write in the Runic alphabet count?

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. (When the debt balance = 0)

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.

39. Gone rock climbing.

Does vaulting up rocks after the Tech Sergeant count?

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.

41. Sung Karaoke.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa. (Maybe a trip to Egypt)

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

47. Had your portrait painted.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.

This would be a bad idea—I don’t do the whole underwater thing well.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theater. (Granted, I was about 5 at the time)

55. Been in a movie.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China.

57. Started a business.

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia.

60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood.

I’m not allowed for weight reasons.

65. Gone sky diving.

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.

67. Bounced a check.

68. Flown in a helicopter.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.

71. Eaten Caviar.

72. Pieced a quilt.

73. Stood in Times Square.

74. Toured the Everglades.

75. Been fired from a job.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.

77. Broken a bone.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.

80. Published a book.

81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

88. Had chickenpox.

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury.

91. Met someone famous. (Mandy Patinkin, Tony Bennett, Audra McDonald….)

92. Joined a book club.

93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby.

95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.

97. Been involved in a law suit. (Only insofar as who was getting custody of me)

98. Owned a cell phone.

99. Been stung by a bee.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Random Quote Summary

You've survived a year of the strange things I say...what were the best?

"I need more wisdom. Same subject, more wisdom."

"I'm being put in high company, I may have to stop blogging about my hair."

"You only get one pillow per hamster."

[I want to]"Be silly with friends and forget for a while that advertising demographics consider us grownups."

"95% of the world can be defined by picture books. The other 5% needs a time-out or a nap."

"Some things in life shouldn't be taken seriously and there are many days when I'm one of them."

"It's proof of how long we've known each other: he can see the skepticism through my sunglasses."

"There was bat movement and then he looked displeased."

"Can I not just be offended that you don't have something I find offensive?"

Facing a Fresh Landscape

There's a fresh layer of snow dusting over the older snow outside for the new year. While, if at all possible, I have absolutely no intention of leaving the building today, it is a good time for a bit of reflection and planning.

Last year was in two pretty distinct sections:
Before August
After August

Before August was mostly focused here in La Crosse and on work. I orchestrated our Knitting in Public Day, started a kids knitting group, went to PLA, did summer reading in La Crosse, worked on my databases and went to Sibling-the-Younger's graduation. I went on two different yarn diets. I made one flying trip out to New York and a couple down to Chicago to hang out with the Kickers and AudioGirl, but beyond that it was a pretty mellow spring.

And then August hit. My immediate supervisor retired, I flew to New York for a wedding shower and then flew out to Colorado to spend a week with the Tech Sergeant. I came back, drove to the Incredibly-Patient-Mother's for a dress alteration, flew back to New York for a wedding, took on the care and feeding of the chapter book collection, went back to Chicago and caught up with a lot of people I see only sporadically. I started NaNoWriMo though I didn't finish, got braces, and cut a foot off my hair. I flew to Atlanta and bought a tea and coffee pot, knitted until my hands nearly fell off, and went back to the Incredibly-Patient-Mother's for a week at the holidays.

This year lies before me with a lot of potential. Certainly today is not all that different from yesterday but with a new January ahead of me, there seems to be many fresh options.

Goals for 2009:
1) Use things -- I have tea, yarn, many things that are here waiting for me. When they start feeling like clutter rather than things I enjoy, it's time to use up or get rid of rather than hold on indefinitely.
2) Knit for myself. I talk a lot about knitting but almost always it's for other people. Call it selfish but I want some warm woolly things for me.
3) Write for more than just my blog audience. I need a better collection of rejection emails and letters and possibly some acceptances too.
4) Scrapbook old papers. Not the incredibly matted, decorated, and beribboned, just the "here's a paper, here's something from junior high" with some notes on the side about why I kept it.
5) Survive braces....20 months to go.
6) Get my books into LibraryThing.

I wish you big and conquerable goals in 2009 and good health for the new year. With hugs, best wishes and a clean but already filling calendar,

Happy 2009