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September 03, 2003

DragonCon: Days 3-4

Sunday was another full slate for me. The 11:30 panel included Anne and several of her coauthors, Jody Lyn Nye, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, and Todd McCaffrey. At the end of the panel, Anne judged a selection of dragon eggs, rendered by artists who had 24 hours to decorate an ostrich egg, and the winning one would be chosen.

I stayed for the next session, a Q&A with James Marsters, but that proved not so interesting. Lots of giddy gushy questions. Unfortunately, someone in the crowd yelled for him to take off his shirt, he said no, and told the person who said that to get up onstage with him. A woman in an ill-fitting sleeveless black jumpsuit, some sort of costume, came up. He dared her to take off her shirt, and unfortunately, she did. He then teased her about her bra, and ACK! she took that off too. This was not an attractive, physically fit woman. It was just completely a grotesque sight. James told her she was braver than he, gave her a hug, and then she redressed and got read the riot act by the security working the room. If only they'd kicked her out of the con.

The 2:30 panel was with Todd McCaffrey, who was there to discuss the world of Nimisha's Ship. Another frustrating session, because every time he tried to articulate some idea, he was practically shouted down by people in the audience who would interrupt and correct him. He's a nice guy, and people meant well, but they took advantage of his being willing to entertain their remarks. It isn't pleasant to think about, certainly not for those close to Anne, but given that she had a heart attack and then a stroke in recent years, there's only so many books she has left to write, and their editors want to see more Pern books, rather than any set in the others of Anne's worlds.

The 4:00 session was with Jody Lyn Nye, who spoke about her own books as well as those she coauthored with Anne. She also talked a bit about her writing process and how she gets ideas. One question I'd been meaning to ask at one of these sessions is how a sci-fi/fantasy writer goes about doing research, so I asked Ms. Nye. Yes, she does go to the library, and she joked that one day the earth's crust will crumble because of all the writers buying reference works for their personal libraries. She also often asks people who work in a field of interest, because they spend all this time in school learning all sorts of specialized arcane information, but no one asks them about it once they're employed and applying their skills. She says they're usually more than pleased to talk about their area of expertise. Her brother, for instance, is a doctor, and she once asked him to give her any information he could tell her, because her book needed a plague. He faxed her something like four pages of single spaced text in 5 point type.

The last day there wasn't as much going on. I finally had some time to people watch, but hardly anyone wore their costumes. (I'll post the few pictures I took later.) I caught Anne and Todd's last session, another general conversation, Q&A arrangement. As with every other session, someone asked about whether there'd be any Pern movies. There are some eight contracts tying up movie rights, so who knows if anything will happen. What's happening with the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films is a good sign. Anne did mention at one point in an earlier panel that the popularity of Harry Potter has done well for her books as well - royalties for the Harper Hall trilogy tripled in 2002. While I'd love to see it happen, especially while Anne is here to see the finished product, I'd be content with the books. I'd rather not see an abysmal adaptation of her work.

One last dash through the Dealer's Room, as oftentimes you can find some discounts on the last day, but nothing called to us. Good thing, as I have enough junk at home. At the last moment I decided to try one last time to win a galley copy of Dragon's Kin. Scott and I came in toward the end of the last Pern panel, which seemed to be everyone listening to the Masterharper cd. They ran the raffle differently this time, having handed out numbers before I'd gotten there. I asked for a number, and a few minutes later, it was called. Finally! I was so certain I was going to be disappointed yet again. Todd had even signed it. So now I get to read it, but I'll have to get the official copy since all the corrections and edits will have been made by then.

A good experience for me, not so great for Scott, since there was less to hold his interest. We'll have to see how the schedule is next year.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:08 PM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

Best Trend Yet

Have been sucked in, finally, by the allure of Friendster. In marketing theory, I am probably one of those "late adopters" who either only just hear of something cool through their much cooler friends, or are waiting to see if it's worth their time to get in on the act. Just watch, I'll have joined only for the site to go subscription on me and ask me to pay to sustain my personal network of 18,093.

Wanna be my friend? You may search for me by ladycrumpet {at} myrealbox {dot} com.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:04 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

September 05, 2003

The Remote Fix is In

Will Bush Backers Manipulate Votes to Deliver GW Another Election? A blunt question asked by Democracy Now! The article interviews Julie Carr Smyth, a reporter with The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Bev Harris, author of Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century.

Smyth has reported that the head of Diebold, one of the companies that manufacture electronic voting systems, is a top Republican fundraiser. Hmm, the CEO of a maker of voting machines promises to deliver votes for Dubya. Harris' research has uncovered a file off of Diebold's own website that is a time and date-stamped file of election data from San Luis Obispo County, California, data that seems to have been retrieved during actual voting hours. What this suggests is that Diebold, or some other interested party, could not only retrieve election data during a live election, but potentially send data as well, and thereby fix the results.

The news about Diebold just keeps getting worse. And while alarming in its own right, this is the very electronic voting system that's now being used in my state. *shudder*

Sighted at the DMV

An elderly man, wearing a blue shirt and garish yellow striped shorts. His wife, carrying a folded cane used by the blind or severely visually impaired, held onto his arm. He guided her to a seat, which she had to feel for before sitting down.

Later, we looked on in alarm as the woman was guided by her husband to the counter. Let's hope she wasn't getting her license renewed.

Yours, &c., LC at 03:28 PM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

September 07, 2003

Impressions

rprato.jpg

This illustration by Rodica Prato accompanied several writers' pieces about their bit of New York in the 9/6 NYT. I know I like it - it makes my heart ache with happiness and longing. It seems both beautiful and perilous at the same time, in a Chagall sort of way, though with a lighter, less intense palette.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:11 AM | New York minutes | TrackBack (0)

September 08, 2003

Weekend Recap

Oh no. I have become one of those expat New Yorkers who bemoan the quality of the local bagels. True, I did have a decent everything bagel at Einstein Bros, even though I'm sure they used to make garlic bagels, and that was what I hoped to have. And the cinnamon crunch bagels at Panera are also really good, especially with the hazelnut cream cheese. But what is it with the timid toasting down here? I specifically asked, very nicely, both times to have my bagels toasted, and while they were warm, they didn't have the toasted crunchiness one expects. *sigh* I'm going to have get all high-maintenance and spell it out for them: "I want it toasted - can you make sure it's well toasted, as in crisp and crunchy, but not burned?" My friend Marco thinks that they should ask you how much toasting you want - light, medium or dark, but I suppose this brilliant, sensible idea is rather beyond these establishments.

Friday night we went to a dessert reception hosted by the dean and his wife to welcome new faculty. Not long after we'd gotten there, I sorely wished to be back at home. A house completely full of strangers to whom I'm supposed to perform, and I'm merely someone's spouse, not even a networking contact. I drank my wine way too quickly, and the bits of dessert, delicious to be sure, seemed to stick in my throat.

But we slogged through. Scott did meet some people. I spoke briefly with a chemist, one of the university librarians, who told me to keep my eye out for some openings, and a Ukrainian physicist, who was a very nice man, but I wasn't sure if he kept talking to me to be polite, or if he was latching onto the conversation as desperately as I was. Eventually I found Scott talking with his department chair, and since it was near the end of the evening, I could finally let down a little of my reserve, which takes the form of giddy nonsensical talkativeness. The best part of the evening was when the dean's wife let the pets roam the house again, so I introduced myself to the family dog and cat, both of whom were eagerly receptive to my attentions. If only they'd come out sooner, I might have had someone to talk to! I suppose there will be more of these functions. Somehow I've got to get over this anxiety - I should be more like Lizzy, rather than Darcy. Perhaps with practice, I won't quite seem like a deer in headlights.

Saturday - Like a bee to honey, I was drawn in to one of the local used bookstores, Book Nook. And I did not come out empty-handed - a paperback of Nick Hornby's How to Be Good, a pocket Oxford edition of Wuthering Heights, a compendium of three Gothic novels (The Castle of Otranto, The Mysteries of Udolpho (abridged, alas) and Jane's Northanger Abbey, Samuel Richardson's Pamela, and season one of Buffy. And while it is rather pathetic that I'm already buying books when I've got boxes and boxes at home, I know I've still got stuff that I can bring in for credit. So it all works out. Or that's what I'm telling myself.

Kitchen and bathroom are pretty much done. Pantry is filled. CDs are mostly unpacked. Clothes need to be unpacked (and ironed, bleah). Living room is beginning to emerge. Office, is, well, a storage room at the moment.

The weather is beginning to cool. Have actually turned off the A/C. We went with Marco and his dog on a long, lovely walk to Candler Park, with a detour on the swings. Afterwards, I made black cherry Kool-Aid and we did an impromptu dinner - baby spinach & arugula salad with bits of carrot and honey roasted almonds with a balsamic vinaigrette, spaghetti and garlic bread. So Marco was our first official dinner guest, and we hope to do this cooking and gathering together on a regular basis.

Got My Library Card

Over the weekend, we also stopped by the library. What a brilliant idea - not only do you get a full-sized card, but you also get a smaller card that you can put on your keychain. I don't know how many libraries are doing this around the country, but this ought to be done everywhere. In terms of ease, usability, of putting people in mind of the library more often - you always have your keys with you, so why not your library card? They even list the number you can call to renew the books you've checked out. And yes, I've already checked out four books, including the one I'm supposed to read for the book group I've joined - A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

I also applied as a volunteer, so I can at least do something in the field while looking for work. I'm going to be meeting a former colleague from my law firm days - she was head of the library when I worked at the firm, and she's more than willing to be a mentor, thank goodness. Hopefully I will find something I am both happy with and can make a significant contribution to. Plus, getting paid again would be awfully nice.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:47 AM | Librariana | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Propaganda Works

I am not fond of citing USA Today, but here's a story to chill the soul:

Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link

It's really depressing to realize people can be so damned gullible, undiscerning, and frankly, retarded.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:46 PM | Politics | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 10, 2003

The Great Salivation

Maury Rubin's grilled chocolate sandwich. (Dan Forbes for The New York Times)

Omg, does anyone have a permalink for Michael Boodro's "Bread Alert" from the recent (9/7/03) NYT Magazine? This may be the recipe that drives me to the inaugural use of the George Foreman my sisters gave me ages ago. Of course I do have a sandwich press as well. And a huge bottle of Nutella in the pantry. Article and recipe follows below.

Bread Alert
By MICHAEL BOODRO

The Atkins diet has triumphed, the French diet guru Michel Montignac is in resurgence and ''low carbs'' has become the mantra (or is it war cry?) of the fit and fabulous. So in a clever bit of adaptation, bread, once the benign starter to every restaurant meal, has migrated to the other, more sinful side of the menu. It has become dessert.

Bread pudding, of course, has long been a favorite of children of all ages. And the French have always paired bread with chocolate; pain au chocolat is now ubiquitous. But the grilled chocolate sandwich is both simpler and more decadent, a primal blast of bread and chocolate in which the two components are evenly matched -- and mutually enhancing.

In part, this new sandwich is a reflection of the popularity of panino shops around the city. And Lord knows, all those owners of George Foreman grills are always looking for something new to do with their favorite gadget. So perhaps the grilled chocolate sandwich was inevitable. What's fascinating is how varied the combination becomes in the hands of talented chefs.

At the Chickenbone Cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Zakary Pelaccio grills bittersweet chocolate between slices of rich brioche, creating a density akin to the most elegant cake. 'Wichcraft bills its chocolate sandwich as a breakfast item (albeit available all day). However, melted chocolate, roasted banana and hazelnut on brioche is morning fare only for those who find Krispy Kremes a touch too ascetic.

At the City Bakery, the owner and chef Maury Rubin has come up with the simplest and most delicious variation. He uses the finest-grained white bread, lightly buttered, then filled with a ganache and batons of dark chocolate. Grilled and cut on the diagonal, it evokes the joys of that archetypal childhood treat, the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, but it is a far darker, more sophisticated creation. ''Most pastry looks great but never tastes quite as good as you think it will,'' Rubin says. ''This is exactly the opposite experience.''

Maury Rubin's Grilled Chocolate Sandwich
8 ounces dark (bittersweet) chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 to 16 slices of plain white bread
Handful of chocolate batons ( 1/2 inch long) or chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup)
3 to 4 tablespoons soft butter.

1. Chop the chocolate fine and set aside in a medium bowl.

2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until just slightly solid, about 30 minutes.

3. Spread a layer of the chocolate mixture 1/4-inch thick (approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons) on half the bread sides to within about 1/4 inch of the edges. Press about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate chips (or 5 or 6 pieces of batons) into the center of each filling.

4. Spread a bit of softened butter over one side of the remaining slices. Buttered side up, place the slice over each chocolate-spread slice and press lightly around the edges to seal. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before putting on a grill or on a press. (If you are using a skillet instead, freeze the sandwich 15 minutes.)

5. Heat a grill or sandwich press (or a large griddle or skillet over medium-high heat), and add the sandwiches. Press on one side only for a minute or two (depending on the particular grill or press you're using) until the bread is nicely browned; the chocolate should be barely melted and not swimming out the side. If you are using a griddle or skillet, heat the sandwich first on the unbuttered side until lightly toasted, about 1 minute; turn the sandwich over and weight it down by placing a baking sheet or pan on top of the sandwich and placing a few soup cans on top. Toast for another minute, until golden. Cut in half and finish with a frilled toothpick.

Yield: 6 to 8 sandwiches.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:39 AM | Food | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Left Hand, Right Hand - Who's on First?

Does ALA's Law Firm Have a Conflict of Interest? (9/3/03)

The American Library Association (ALA) is investigating whether its relationship with law firm Jenner & Block is a conflict of interest, as the firm has represented the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in its recent efforts to gather the names of those suspected of illegal file-sharing. In a letter to ALA executive director Keith Fiels, Emily Sheketoff, executive director of ALA's Washington Office, said that the office has grown "very uncomfortable" with Jenner & Block's legal activities on behalf of the RIAA. ALA is seeking a letter from the firm setting forth how it would handle any potential conflict.

[via Shifted Librarian]

Yours, &c., LC at 10:06 AM | Legal , Librariana | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Happy Birthday, Mr. Darcy

look.jpg

That is, it's Colin Firth's birthday.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:51 PM | Film/TV , Jane , Sundries | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 12, 2003

Boob & Tube, Reunited

I have satellite telly! An installer came to attach the dish and hook up the equipment. Don't worry, I still have three library books to read as well as all the others I own. Complete brain rot isn't on the agenda. But I now have BBC America. Woo!

After dropping Scott off at the train station yesterday I felt somewhat adrift. It was too quiet in the house. I was in the middle of a shower when that damn Lee Greenwood song came on the radio. I jumped out and slammed off the switch. Later I called Zeebah while she was still at home and told her what I'd last been up to: cleaning the litter box. She laughed, and I felt a little more grounded. We caught up for a bit, and then I got on with the business of unpacking.

Today while waiting for the FedEx guy to show up, I noticed a realtor's "For Sale" sign stuck into my front lawn. I knew this was a possibility, although given that we just moved in (and just attached a satellite dish to the house!), we're probably okay until next August. Marco's lease is up next month - surely reason will come to the fore and he'll be able to stay? Still, nice way to find out, rather than some kind of notice from the landlord, right?

Yours, &c., LC at 03:10 PM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

September 13, 2003

RIP

The Man in Black has moved on. I have now heard "A Boy Named Sue" more in the last two days than I'd ever heard it. I'm sure someone can school me on what songs I ought to know from Mr. Cash, besides "Ring of Fire."

No less sad, but more suddenly, John Ritter has died.

September 14, 2003

Destiny on a Silver Hanger

It was love at first sight.

I'm a taken woman, as my closet at home would amply indicate. Rummaging idly, I was looking just to look. You were there, in the back of the room, barely visible on the crowded rack of vintage. Your pattern intrigued me, shades of blue and green and indigo, with bits of white, bound by a haphazard grid of thick, black lines. I had the impression of modernist stained glass.

As I leaned in to reach for you, my fingers brushed your gleaming surface. Your vinyl caress startled me - I swear I heard thunderclaps, smelled the sizzle of lightning moving jaggedly across the horizon. Suddenly I was overcome with the desire to sing and dance along a curb in the middle of a torrential downpour.

Blindly I fumbled for your tag. What? A mere sixteen dollars for a lifetime of happiness? I was truly, madly, deeply and irrevocably besotted. Together we went before the full-length mirror, the oracle which would pronounce our fate.

I slipped you on like a second skin, fastening the shiny silver snaps. I flapped my arms about, testing the freedom of movement. I stuck my hands into your slim yet generous flap pockets. Finally I dared to look into the mirror.

I squealed. I twirled. I hopped in my high tops. I faced twinkling eyes and a grin of impish delight. Oh, we so go together, rama-lama-ding-dong.

I made giddy conversation with the shop clerks, discussing the necessity of precipitation and the benefits of having a cloud over one's head.

I want us to grow old together. When I am deaf, dumb and blind I hope that we will still venture forth, puddle-jumping.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:58 PM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

September 16, 2003

Cool Tools

fontBrowser allows you to quickly preview the active fonts on your computer.

Listamatic explains how to create different styles of lists using CSS. Its companion page, Listutorial, can help you get started.

If your background is dullsville, check out the wallpaper selections at Veer.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:09 AM | Sundries | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Smackdown: Ashcroft v. Librarians, et al.

Ashcroft Mocks Librarians and Others Who Oppose Parts of Counterterrorism Law [NYT, Eric Lichtblau, 9/16/03] - The Attorney General has gone on the attack, again, in response to criticism of the Patriot Act, and this time he's got librarians in the cross-hairs. He has "accused the country's biggest library association and other critics of fueling "baseless hysteria" about the government's ability to pry into the public's reading habits." The departmental spin on his speech, of course, is that he isn't directly blasting the librarian community. It's just that the
ALA "has been somewhat duped by those who are ideologically opposed to the Patriot Act," says a Justice department spokesman.

So we librarians are merely misguided, easily driven to hysteria? So we should just shut up and shelve our books, or whatever it is librarians do? Do we become the new terrorists, because we seem to care more about our patrons' civil liberties than the Attorney General?

Sorry, my poor librarian nerves are just overwrought. I should trust my government implicitly and believe that they are looking out for my interests, my safety, my intellectual freedom. *snort*

Links: The text of Ashcroft's speech; the ALA's response.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:51 AM | Legal , Librariana | TrackBack (0)

September 18, 2003

Strike That, Reverse It

Perhaps Ashcroft thought he had an easy target when he made fun of librarians. But Big Bully has decided to declassify the data indicating how often federal agents have requested records from libraries and other institutions. ["In a Reversal, Ashcroft Lifts Secrecy of Data" - NYT, Eric Lichtblau, 9/18/03]

Did you know that the Democratic National Committee has a blog? It's also chimed in on the Ashcroft/librarian story.

Yours, &c., LC at 03:13 PM | Legal , Librariana | TrackBack (0)

*Ooh*

On November 4, Sarah McLachlan will finally(!) release a new album, called Afterglow. Her site notes that the album will sell for $15.99 retail, which is notable because it seems new albums go for twenty bucks these days. Since I buy so many used CDs, I still think that's steep, but for her first album in six years I think I can spring for it.

On November 18, Tori Amos will release Tales of a Librarian, apparently a compilation of music from her Atlantic years. Clever name for an archival album, no?

Methinks I shall have to get these as early presents to myself, as November shall be my birth month.

Yours, &c., LC at 03:43 PM | Librariana , Music | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Svenska, Y'all

IKEA is coming! IKEA is coming!

Ok, ok, in Spring 2005, but omg, it's coming, it's coming!

Guess my books are going to stay in their boxes for a while longer. And now I'm actually glad my sisters have SUVs.

The Gospel of Supply Side Jesus

Reprinted from Al Franken's new book, Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them -- A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. [via BoingBoing]

Yours, &c., LC at 04:13 PM | Politics , Sundries | TrackBack (0)

HAH!

From The Onion:

Revised Patriot Act Will Make It Illegal To Read Patriot Act

WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush spoke out Monday in support of a revised version of the 2001 USA Patriot Act that would make it illegal to read the USA Patriot Act. "Under current federal law, there are unreasonable obstacles to investigating and prosecuting acts of terrorism, including the public's access to information about how the federal police will investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism," Bush said at a press conference Monday. "For the sake of the American people, I call on Congress to pass this important law prohibiting access to itself." Bush also proposed extending the rights of states to impose the death penalty "in the wake of Sept. 11 and stuff."

Yours, &c., LC at 05:08 PM | Sundries | TrackBack (0)

September 19, 2003

Baseless Hysteria, &c.

Government Says It Has Yet to Use New Power to Check Library Records - In the continuing saga regarding Sec. 215 of the Patriot Act, Ashcroft has released the data regarding the number of searches for records demanded of libraries and other institutions: Zero. Yes, that's zed, zip, nought. [NYT, Eric Lichtblau, 9/18/03]

Ashcroft: See, you silly librarians? You were duped, you made mountains out of molehills. Yes, we have this power accorded to us by statute, but we haven't used it, so there! Pffffffft!

Librarians: So? You just haven't used it yet. As long as this law is still on the books, your agents will still be able to demand records from libraries and librarians will still be under a statutory gag order, unable to say anything about it.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:38 AM | Legal , Librariana | TrackBack (0)

Beltway Pickup Lines

The Washington Post has a column in its Style section, The Style Invitational, to which readers submit items for its weekly contests. The column for Week 519 [free, mini registration required] asked readers for pickup lines which you'd only hear in D.C. The top winners (follow the link for the Honorable Mentions):

Third Runner-Up: Excuse me, ma'am, but the gentleman at that table has sent you a FYH 2005 energy and water appropriations bill rider for a $52.3 million solid-waste treatment plant upgrade in your home congressional district, with his compliments. (Mark Briscoe, Arlington)

Second Runner-Up: I'm guessing you work for Fannie Mae, because your fanny may be the best I've ever seen. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

First Runner-Up: Babe, why are you wasting your time with an assistant to a deputy secretary, when you could be with ME, a deputy assistant undersecretary? (Dan Steinberg, Falls Church)

And the winner of the the Lyndon Johnson commemorative plaque:

Your beauty renders me as powerless as Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. (Cindy Burnham, Alexandria)

Yours, &c., LC at 12:22 PM | Sundries | TrackBack (0)

September 21, 2003

OCLC sues Library Hotel for Trademark Infringement

The Library Hotel, a scant walk from NYPL's Humanities and Social Sciences Library (the one with the lions), is laid out according to the Dewey Decimal system. What the hotel didn't realize, nor did I, is that this classification system is trademarked and owned by OCLC. (Libraries that use the system have to pay annual licensing fees.) OCLC, a nonprofit organization, has sued the hotel and seeks treble the hotel's profits since its opening, or treble damages, whichever is greater.

OCLC has to protect its trademark, true. But this does nothing positive for the image of librarians.

Update: NYT has its own article on the lawsuit.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:29 PM | Legal , Librariana | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Banned Books Week

2003 BBW logo Open Your Mind to a Banned Book; Link to the ALA's Banned Books Week page; http://www.ala.org/bbooks/

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:47 PM | Librariana | TrackBack (0)

September 23, 2003

Wracked

Ok, right now it's just butterflies. I've already met for lunch with a former colleague who ran the library at my last Atlanta job. She was great, showing me around her current library and giving me ideas as to job hunting. If nothing else, I'll turn to temping, which would certainly help to build up my librarian work experience outside of what I've been doing.

But I do have one lead that I'm to try for. It's an academic librarian position, and it would be a very good opportunity. But would they be willing to take someone who's fairly green? How did all those other librarians get started in academia?

So it's time to whip out the resume, and call upon the aid of the career services person at my school. And get references. And write and rewrite and rewrite yet again a cover letter. Ugh.

So I've taken one baby step towards the job search, lunch with the former colleague. The next is tonight, a social/networking meeting for a local chapter of a librarian association. There'll be free munchies and soda, although I suspect there may be need to splurge for some liquid courage. But considering the last time I did this, back in NY, I did meet and get a subsequent interview/offer for an internship, so I just need to grit my teeth, smile like a madwoman, chatter and chatter and remember to circulate. If my nerves fail me I'll just circulate out the door. It's only two hours - if I can at least manage the first hour I'll have made progress.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:04 PM | Librariana | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

September 25, 2003

Perception v. Reality

I'm happy to say that the meeting of library professionals went really well. I got there a bit late, but I did end up staying for two hours. In addition to drinks, we sat down to eat tapas, so we had something to do besides talk. People were really supportive and encouraging - just plain nice. They would introduce me to other people, and I would make the effort to introduce myself and ask them about their libraries and what their work entailed. I even recognized one person, someone who had come to two of my classes up in NY to do a database presentation.

So now I have a few business cards and I'm to send one woman my resume. Now I really have to get going on that process!

Right before I left, I went to say goodbye to one of the first librarians I met, who had been really lovely about talking with me and introducing me to others. I ended up listening in on her conversation with two academic librarians. As we were winding up, one of the academic librarians and I started chatting. She knows someone at the school where I want to apply and gave me her card. She also invited me out to a more casual outing of younger librarians who are just starting out or are new to the city, which will be really great. Basically they just get together to drink beer, make each other's acquaintance and give each other the skinny on what things are like - networking but more laidback. So I have that to look forward to in a few weeks.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:17 AM | Librariana | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

September 26, 2003

Wish He Were Still My Senator

Max Cleland has written a stinging editorial in the AJC, "Mistakes of Vietnam Repeated With Iraq." [via randomness]

Yours, &c., LC at 03:09 PM | Politics | TrackBack (0)

Try, Try Again

Note to self: In the future, would be v. good idea not to shoot oneself in foot, stick foot in mouth, &c.

Dealing with administrative government does not give cause for leaping out of bed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Rather, so as to slightly delay going to the county tax commissioner's office to get the car's tag/title transferred, I actually cleaned out the litter box this morning. (Amazing how two otherwise lazy cats manage to be quite productive.)

I checked the site numerous times. All owners present and accounted for, check. Emission inspection, check. Application, check. Proof of insurance and local driver's licenses, check. Acceptable method of payment, check. Proof of residency so as to avoid two years' worth of ad valorem taxes? What? WHAT? At that moment, I was deflation defined.

I had to console myself by going to the Container Store, which has all manner of items for organized domestic felicity. Seeing the varieties of containers for one's cotton balls and cotton swabs restored a modicum of faith in myself. Perhaps next time I won't fuck it all up.

Yours, &c., LC at 03:44 PM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

Freedom to Read, Freedom Not to Read

A school board in Texas opts not to remove Aldous Huxley's Brave New World or Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land from a school's 10th grade Advanced Placement curriculum. However, it has instituted the policy that there must be an alternative available to a book that's been challenged. One of the afflicted students explains:

Sophomore Heather Outland said she found the books to be pornographic and offensive.
“I don’t feel that I should be carrying them around, much less be forced to read them,” Outland said. “I believe in the freedom to read. But I also believe in the freedom not to read. I don’t want to be forced to read these books if they go against my values and the values of the community. This is not censorship, this is not banning. This is freedom.”

Ah yes, freedom. Freedom to be illiterate, freedom to be uneducated, freedom to be ill-equipped to understand or discuss cultural or literary references because your values are offended. Reading a book doesn't automatically pose a danger to your values. Maybe the book forces you to think, to examine your beliefs. Maybe some ideas will change your mind. Maybe they won't. But how will you know, Heather, if you don't read the book? If your values are so desperately at risk just from reading a book, then how firm are your beliefs anyway?

[via ObscureStore]

Yours, &c., LC at 04:39 PM | Legal , Librariana | Comments (8) | TrackBack (1)

September 30, 2003

"Subversive Reading"

Worth a read: Margaret Talbot's observations about the dustup between Ashcroft and the librarian community in the 9/28 NYT Magazine.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:51 PM | Librariana | TrackBack (0)

Patronage

According to the Patron Saints Index, today is the feast day for St. Jerome, one of several patron saints of librarians.

The index allows you to look up saints by name or topic. For instance, the patron saint of the Internet is Isidore of Seville.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:54 PM | Librariana | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Hawking Miss Austen

The Sally Lunn Tearoom in Bath now offers blends of teas and coffees that were supposed to be popular in Jane Austen's time. The proprietor has patented this line of beverages, using the Austen name. Naturally, a tempest is brewing in teacups all over England. [via Austen-tatious]

Addendum: A more detailed article in The Telegraph.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:31 PM | Jane | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)