December 01, 2003
Be Not Alarmed, Madam or Sir
One thoughtful reader has already told me that I've broken my comments. I'm in the middle of fixing it, so hold tight. I wouldn't have to do this if it weren't for those order silagra damnable spammers, but such is the hand I've been dealt.
Addendum: Comments are restored. I've attempted to rename my comments file and edit the mt.cfg file accordingly, but it didn't work. Guess I'll have to implement the MT-Blacklist after all.
Ooh Ooh Ooh
One can never go wrong with sending a woman flowers. One of my dearest girlfriends sent me a buy silagra dozen deep pink roses from Martha's Flowers for my birthday. Even though FedEx only got to me today, the flowers were still in gorgeous shape, thank goodness. Thank you, Jen!
December 02, 2003
The install of MT-Blacklist worked out pretty easily. Not that I ever got lots of comment spam, but finding any was offensive enough.
Hopefully those of you with MT-powered blogs have silagra online addressed the security risk posed by the mt-send-entry.cgi file by now. Fix your code, delete the file if you don't use that function, it's up to you, but do something, lest your site become a spammer's front and ruin your good name.
[Alert via mrw]
Eco on the Future of Books
Vegetal and mineral memory: The future of books - Last month, Umberto Eco was silagra mastercard invited by the city of Alexandria to give a lecture at the newly opened Bibliotheca Alexandrina. He has some interesting thoughts on libraries:
Libraries, over the centuries, have been the most important way of keeping our collective wisdom. They were and still are a sort of universal brain where we can retrieve what we have forgotten and what we still do not know. If you will allow me to use such a metaphor, a library is the best possible imitation, by human beings, of a divine mind, where the whole universe is viewed and understood at the same time. A person able to store in his or her mind the information provided by a great library would emulate in some way the mind of God. In other words, we have invented libraries because we know that we do buy silagra not have divine powers, but we try to do our best to imitate them.
December 03, 2003
At first I thought I misheard the radio ad for the new Alien box set. But no, it's actually called a quadrilogy.
The word that should have been used is "tetralogy." As the definition link explains, the etymology stems from the Greek tetralogia: tetra-, the prefix for "four" and -logia, which derives from logos meaning "word" or "speech." Tetralogia referred to the Greek presentation of four dramatic pieces silagra online on the Attic stage at the Dionysiac festival.
"Trilogy" refers to a three-part set of connected works, as indicated by the prefix "tri." "Quadrilogy" would seem to indicate a four-part set. Unfortunately, grafting "quad" onto "trilogy" isn't the way to do it. It's one of the most asinine word constructions ever coined by marketing people.
December 04, 2003
Interview No. 2 today, one o'clock. Law library. Not actually a librarian position, but one that would give me good experience to move into one.
Hold a good thought for me - that I'll be fairly articulate, that I convince them that I'm the one for the job, that they'll make me an offer. Also that I won't have any more order silagra mishaps today, like banging my forehead right into the open door of the medicine cabinet. That should bruise nicely, woohoo.
I think it went well. Everyone seemed really nice; apparently this place has a rep for being a good firm to work for. Very little turnover. I hope to hear good news from silagra them soon, because otherwise I'm going to feel a bit like a sucker turning down the other position. (I haven't yet, but they're going to call soon.)
December 05, 2003
Am a Donkey's Posterior
So the other people called and were prepared to make an offer. Feeling lame for wasting their time, I explained that I had decided to pursue other opportunities. They were gracious, maybe secretly pissed with me, but it's done. The next person they make an offer to will certainly deserve it more than me.
If this other job I've interviewed for doesn't work out, I'm not at a loss. There are essentially temp agencies for librarians around here. I've met one of the consultants who works for one, and I just have to send my resume to her. At least it will make me feel like I'm making progress.
Recently I went to a holiday party for one of the professional associations, and I also met up for drinks with my librarian friends last night. It's nice to be meeting people who are so supportive and helpful. But I'm also ready to work again, to have a job, to be needed for my skills and to get paid for them.
I just have to be patient, and enjoy some of this time off while I still have it.
December 07, 2003
This week's schedule has been rather hectic - holiday party, meeting folks for drinks, catching a new print of Eyes Without A Face, going shopping for gifts with one of my sisters. Yesterday we traded in some of our unwanted CDs and of course, found new ones. Good scores include Utopia Parkway from Fountains of Wayne and Car Wheels on a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams. Later, we went out for buy silagra fondue at Dante's to celebrate a friend's birthday; she also turns 30 this year. Afterwards, since we were in the area, also checked out the used collection over at Tower Records, where I found the new Kelly Willis record.
Today was more leisurely - getting bagels and reading the Sunday NYT. This afternoon I'm dragging everybody to see the extended Fellowship of the Ring. It's gonna totally rock. A vital question, though: Do I dare to wear my Austrian woolen cape? While it is chilly enough to wear something so warm and snug, I'm not sure I want to be mistaken for a hobbit. ;)
December 08, 2003
To Paul, one of my earliest amigos in the blogosphere.
A good sign?
Zeebah called me today to tell me she'd been contacted as a reference. I immediately got on the phone to call most of my old supervisors, to let them know they might get a call as well.
I realize this is bad form; they ought to know ahead of time that I'm on the job hunt again, and would they please serve as a reference once more? It's what needs to silagra be done, but I hate dropping off the face of the earth only to resurface and ask my former bosses to put in a good word for me. If I were really on the ball, at least I'd send a holiday card every year, right? Unfortunately, my last firm has the policy of not giving references, so my former supervisor can only confirm that I worked there. But Zeebah has a new job now, so she's free to attest to our working together.
As much as I dreaded the resurfacing, my former bosses were fantastically swell and promised to entertain all such inquiries. I'm so grateful - that they're so nice, and that they also happen to be partners in their firms. 'Cause it's all about status, baby.
December 09, 2003
On-Line Picasso Project - An extensive archive, with 7,044 works currently cataloged.
For those of us who are more subversive than sentimental, shake the snowglobe.
I received a most welcome phone call today - the firm called with an offer of employment, to start in January, and I accepted.
I am very, very happy.
Arts in the News
Today's Arts Briefing in the NYT has several items of particular interest:
Online Music and Dance Archives added to National Registry of Artists With AIDS - The Estate Project for Artists With AIDS and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts announced the addition of music and dance archives to the registry. Also, according to the site's announcement, archives of "noted composers and choreographers" will become part of a permanent NYPL collection focused on artists with AIDS.
Library director resigns from Providence Athenaeum
The executive director of the Providence Athenaeum has resigned amid a furor over the proposed sale of the library's prize possession, a copy of John James Audubon's masterpiece "Birds of America." The 250-year-old library, in Providence, had expected to raise as much as $7 million from the sale, but dozens of people who use the library protested and took the matter to court. The suit delayed the sale until February, when the case is scheduled to be heard. Jonathan Bengtson, a specialist in medieval history who became the library's executive director late in 2001, sent a letter of resignation to the board on Nov. 23, and the board accepted it on Friday. In his letter Mr. Bengtson cited "lingering elitism among a small, but active, group of individuals" whose "disdain for those who seek to secure the institution's survival seems to know no bounds." He pledged to stay on through mid-February to help with the litigation and said that he intended then to take a job as chief librarian of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto.
December 10, 2003
Do's and Don'ts of Blogging
Gothamist offers up some guidelines in What Not to Do When You Blog. Clearly, this site has been in violation of #2 - writing about oneself - for some time. There are personal blogs that I find engaging, because these people make interesting observations about their lives and write them well. But perhaps I'd do better to focus on the general topics of my site description.
The problem with being in the doldrums is that nothing seems interesting enough to write about, so the easiest thing is to write about oneself. Either that, even if it's a bit lazy, or abandon the blog, which I'd prefer not to do. Oh that's right - Gothamist deems "blog" an acceptable term no longer. I don't agree; the recommended "website" doesn't capture the nature of blogging, expansive and nebulous as that nature can be. "Weblog" should be fine, if referring to one's site as a "blog" is really so desperately precious or distasteful.
The fact that more people are embracing the medium doesn't mean the term should be declared over because it's become diluted or tainted by lesser talents. Hell, go to any open-mike night to see who abuses - and who deserves -the title of "poet."
Apart from the word making sense, it also sounds right. "Blog" seems fitting for a miscellaneous collection of entries which may or may not hold together topically. The term connotes the rawness and immediacy that often characterizes blog posts. Some blogs are more focused, such as many professionally oriented blogs, or those devoted to some particular personal interest. But other blogs, like this one, are intended to be a looser colloquy, representing a variety of interests. I do try to focus on the librariana, but I like having the flexibility to discuss other subjects, to be serious or frivolous, or sometimes both, as the mood strikes.
Before there were poorly conceived, badly written blogs, there were plenty of cheesy personal websites. At least blogs allow for easy, regular updating of content; how many of these original websites have become cobwebpages, abandoned yet ever ready to plague some poor misdirected visitor with annoying Geocities or Yahoo popups?
So enough with the excessive hand-wringing and Pepys-type entries; I shall retrench and find more interesting things to discuss than bellybutton lint.
December 11, 2003
Int'l Model Search at NYPL
Page Six reports under their "We Hear" heading:
THAT Ford will hold its international model search finals in New York for the first time in 24 years on Jan. 20 at the New York Public Library with 45 beauties from as far away as Kenya and Singapore competing for a $250,000 contract . . .
When they refer to NYPL, typically they mean NYPL's Humanities and Social Sciences Library on 42nd Street, where the lions, Patience and Fortitude, recline out front.
The Blogbook, which calls itself an "Open Source Law Project," aims to serve as a guide to legal blogging, as well as a forum to "facilitate discussions around the technical, stylistic and ethical components of legal blogging." It's got a clean, simple design, links to recent posts and of course a blogroll of legal blogs, or "blawgs," as they're now being called.
The most interesting feature of the blog's design is the way its content is organized. The horizontal menu bar, beneath the title and caption, has links for Citations, Style, Code of Ethics, and FAQ/Contact. Following one of these links leads you to a sub-blog, whose posts are relevant to the subject link. The look remains the same, so the sense of place, of the site's continuity, remains intact. Only the blog content changes, depending upon the link, because you're actually looking at a separate blog. My only quibble is that while many people know that clicking on the blog title will take one back to the main page, there still ought to be a "Main" link in the menu bar for easy navigation. Overall, it's a neat approach, having separate blogs for related topics that are contained under the umbrella of a primary blog.
Renee Zellweger, as we all know, has put on the weight again for the Bridget Jones sequel. I think she looks much better for having some curves - I doubt she needed any serious support to create all that cleavage. I just hope she doesn't return to her Chicago-proportions.
[via Stereogum via Gawker]
In the mail today:
1. Rejection letter from the academic library I'd applied to in October.
2. Letter from the county confirming my decision to decline the public librarian job.
3. Offer letter from the law firm for a position as a library assistant, accompanied by a three-page document spelling out their available benefits.
December 12, 2003
ABA article on Aggregators
Beating Information Overload with News Aggregators - Article in the current issue of Law Practice Management explains how lawyers can use news aggregators and feeds to stay current with ever-growing sources of information.
Decoder for Laundry Symbols
The Guide to Common Home Laundering & Drycleaning Symbols explains the meaning of all those symbols on clothing tags. No more excuses for putting off the laundry now.
Career Alternatives for the MLS
Librarians in the Information Age: Alternative Uses of MLS Degrees - New article up at LIScareer.com that identifies several categories for careers as information professionals, whether or not "librarian" is in the job title. Under the catagory "Way Out There," the article notes an MLS grad who became the manager of a sex toy shop:
She says the reference interview is directly applicable, just relating to different information. She also has a collection management responsibility, including toy reviews and customer interests. She says, “I’m trying my best to make ‘librarian’ and ‘sex’ go together, one toy at a time.” (Butcher, 2001)
Librarian Action Figure (Again)
One of my librarian acquaintances mentioned that the action figure was sold out and that Ebay was the best source to find it. A recent search shows that there are several auctions currently taking place.
However, I ordered one just the other day at Archie McPhee. So far I haven't been told that my order couldn't be processed, so we'll see. But why compete on Ebay if you don't have to?
December 13, 2003
The Naked Blogger
Jamie Oliver, aka the Naked Chef, has been blogging since March. The site's still under renovation, but it's a visually attractive, easy-to-navigate blog. Most importantly, there's a recipe archive, although there are only a few listings, archived by month, at the moment.
Although I like the efficiency of reading blogs through aggregators, I also like reading entries in situ, depending on whether the blog is for a friend of mine or for a blog whose site is too visually appealing to miss. This might be one for the blogroll, although perhaps I should separate the civilians/vets from the celebloggers, if only because I don't want a single unwieldy blogroll.
December 14, 2003
Queer Eye Parody
To whom did men of the Middle Ages turn to during a lifestyle crisis? Qveere Eye for thye Medieval Man Love it!
Interesting article about an obscure mathematical treatise by Archimedes called the Stomachion ("In Archimedes' Puzzle, a New Eureka Moment" - Gina Colata, NYT, Science, 12/14/03). Although the main focus of the article is the discovery of the treatise's subject matter, combinatorics (whose goal is "to determine how many ways a given problem can be solved"), what's also interesting is the history of the manuscript:
In the 13th century...Christian monks, needing vellum for a prayer book, ripped the manuscript apart, washed it, folded its pages in half and covered it with religious text. After centuries of use, the prayer book — known as a palimpsest, because it contains text that is written over — ended up in a monastery in Constantinople.
Johan Ludvig Heiberg, a Danish scholar, found it in 1906, in the library of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Istanbul. He noticed faint tracings of mathematics under the prayers. Using a magnifying glass, he transcribed what he could and photographed about two-thirds of the pages. Then the document disappeared, lost along with other precious manuscripts in the strife between the Greeks and the Turks.
It reappeared in the 1970's, in the hands of a French family that had bought it in Istanbul in the early 20's and held it for five decades before trying to sell it. They had trouble finding a buyer, however, in part because there was some question of whether they legally owned it. But also, the manuscript looked terrible. It had been ravaged by mold in the years the family kept it, and it was ragged and ugly.
In 1998, an anonymous billionaire bought it for $2 million and lent it to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, where it still resides.
Blog-friendly NYT links
Here's a valuable tool for bloggers: New York Times Link Generator. Paste an article link that you want to use, and it creates a link that's "weblog-safe." The site also offers a bookmarklet for even quicker link-generation.
December 15, 2003
Blogging Tips, Minus the Snark
Although this dates from March (an eon in Internet time), Rebecca Blood, author of The Weblog Handbook, has written a really good essay, Ten Tips for a Better Weblog, that's suitable for newbies and regular bloggers alike.
December 16, 2003
Fists of Miramax
Wired article reports how Miramax sent a cease-and-desist letter to the site owner for Kung Fu Cinema regarding the "selling, distributing and/or otherwise exploiting copies of the film Hero on DVD and/or VHS."
The problem? Kung Fu Cinema only linked to a site that was selling the film, a site that had stopped selling the film as of June, meaning the movie-specific link was dead anyway. But even if it wasn't, the legal arm-twisting of the C&D letter for merely linking to the offending site is dead wrong.
"The letter served its purpose because Mr. Pollard stopped linking to the sites," said Matthew Hiltzik, a representative for Miramax. "By removing these links, he's [Mark Pollard, the site owner] making it more difficult for people to purchase these films, thereby allowing us to protect our interest in these properties."However:
Jason Schultz, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Miramax got its facts wrong when it targeted Pollard.
"Once again this shows how overzealous enforcement of copyright has an effect on free speech," Schultz said. "This guy clearly runs his website to give his opinion about movies that he loves, and links to more information on the movies, such as where you can buy them."
Links are "a part of a discussion ... you're not only writing what you think but you are providing additional information about what you think and it's all interwoven together as speech," Schultz said.
Jane Austen (228)
A holiday for Austen fans everywhere - the birth of Our Dear Jane.
December 17, 2003
To mrw at randomness personified. Go wish him lots of happiness!
Apropos of randomness, attended a 10:30 screening of Return of the King. First meal of the day was lunch afterwards at 2:30. Mentally and physically drained, even now, but I really enjoyed it, even as I kept having to wipe my eyes.
You thought Legolas swinging beneath his horse then leaping up to mount was cool? Just wait till you see him and the oliphant.
December 18, 2003
"A Bookish Contretemps"
Another NYT article about the issues facing the Providence Atheneum.
December 22, 2003
Create your own Bayeux Tapestry with the Historic Tale Construction Kit. Watch this space for my creation.
Send a nifty e-card for the holidays using TypeFlake.
The adorably monikered SquidFingers offers pretty patterns for your desktop or your website - just be sure to give credit!
December 24, 2003
Lenny Bruce Pardoned
Governor Pataki issues the first posthumous pardon in state history to Lenny Bruce, who was convicted in 1964 on obscenity charges - essentially for the profanity of his standup act. Good to know that the First Amendment still has some power.
Use Your Bootstraps
For More People in 20's and 30's, Home Is Where the Parents Are [Tamar Lewin, NYT, 12/22/03] - This article really ticked me off. I know the economy sucks, I know it's not a given that you'll identify your career goals by the time you get out of school. The first job out of college or the job that you take because you get to do what you love may not pay enough for you to support yourself on your own, especially if you live in a big, expensive city. Bad things can happen which make moving back in with one's parents the only viable option. But it's supposed to be temporary, not go on for years and years!
What I don't understand is how people can trade their pride in themselves, their independence, in order to live "at home." In my case I fiercely cherished the autonomy and privacy I gained while being away at school (on scholarship, which I earned by being a neurotic overachiever). It was miserable to come back and live with my parents again - I had no career goals, not even a car to get myself to interviews, let alone to visit friends. To cope I zoned out on the Internet, living in chat rooms and discussion groups.
Until I could support myself, I did not feel like an adult; living at home just reinforced that feeling. It didn't help that one of my sisters would bitchily remind me that my room was really the guest bedroom, so I was really just an unwanted guest in my family's house. I finally snapped out my funk to find a job, any job, that would get me out of the house, that would allow me to save up and move out. Eventually I did - the salary was horrible, but there was plenty of overtime. More importantly, the job helped me to recover my identity and self-respect; at work I was treated as a professional, as an adult. I didn't have to be the surly teenager living with my parents and sisters in the suburbs. As soon as I saved up enough money, I found an apartment with my friend Marco as a roommate, and I packed up and moved out. I was determined never to live with my family again. For my troubles - for not asking for permission, for their blessing; for not wanting or needing their financial support; for living with a roommate who was a guy - my parents stopped speaking to me for months.
I'm sure other people have much better relationships with their parents. But even so, if you have any respect for yourself, why would you remain dependent on your family and still live at home? It's not easy to figure out and then to get started in one's career. Housing isn't cheap - you may have to live with roommates for a long time. You're not settled down, you may not be married or have kids - but does that mean you should move back in with your parents (that is, if they even want you to come back home)? The path of least resistance isn't necessarily the best. Try to figure out what you want, then do something about it!
Homemade Holiday Treats
Yesterday we made chocolate cupcakes with Marco - double batches so we can each bring some to our families. I'll post the recipe when I get a chance. It calls for coffee and sour cream among the more exotic ingredients, and the result is moist chocolate with a subtle taste of coffee. Today we make the frosting. Mmmmm.
Zellweger the Zaftig
Va-va-voom! Here is a much better picture of Renee Zellweger with her Bridget Jones weight. She looks really good!
December 25, 2003
Who Wants a Card?
As usual, I'm late every year with sending out holiday greetings. Although not here on the blog - Merry Christmas!
Since my schedule is now wide open, I thought I might aim for the spirit of the day - goodwill to man, let your heart be light, jingle bells/batman smells, etc. - and write some Christmas cards. As instant and as animated as e-mail and e-cards can be, I've always loved getting something tangible and handwritten in the mail. I love beautiful notecards - as my office supply closet can attest to all the unused stationery, waiting to fulfill their potential. But when I do take a moment to write something, I am always glad that I did, because it's worth telling people things that you might not always say, but always mean to say.
Would you like to receive a card? Email me with your coordinates, and I shall send you one.
"The Meme Tree maps its referers in a tree that shows the propagation of the link, i.e. when you create a link to it your branch will be a sub branch of the link that brought you to the Meme Tree initially. The tree grows chronologically."
List of Lists
5ives is a blog that posts various lists of five things. Simple, focused, and interesting.
Princess Anne's dog kills the Queen's corgi
Now this is a reason to be upset over the family dog at Christmastime.