Wistful and confused

I know I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Lots going on and not so well physically. I just seem to stay sick anymore.

Lots of things happening, though.

Bibliography class

I have a topic for my Bibliography class and I’m making great progress collecting things and entering them into Zotero. I’ve read a few previously and I read the earliest one Monday eve. I’m not yet ready to discuss my topic here for a couple reasons, but I will. As for the fancy web-based ideas I’m not counting on them happening for this project.

I am excited about being able to read this body of literature chronologically, though. It will be a vastly different experience from my normal habits.

I am focusing on one author and will attempt to situate his work (0verall themes, where drawing from, where pointing to) within the overall context of our discipline. I am starting to get a grasp on some of the overall themes, “paradigms,” and so on in the field thanks to all my reading. I hope to write an introductory essay that will sketch some of this out while firmly situating my author’s perspective(s) within it.

Zotero and Web of Knowledge/Science

Anybody out there using Zotero also using ISI’s Web of Knowledge/Science and able to get usable citations out and into Zotero? Zotero’s site claims they work with ISI but I have been unable to get anything out that Zotero will recognize.

Programming class

Just getting started with Python was really kicking my butt until yesterday evening, but I finally made a breakthrough and then made some real progress. I’m pretty sure I met all the requirements for my 1st program and it’s 9 days early. 🙂

I doubt it will stay this way but here’s hoping there’ll be similar breakthroughs.

Job applications

Due to budget issues, the position I was asked to apply for was put on hold until February at the earliest (along with a few other positions). I’m not sure how I feel about this exactly, but it does complicate life some. For one thing, as much as I would love the other position I applied for, I only did so because I was applying for the other. I figured that if I was applying for a job before I was really ready to then I might as well apply for a second. And since the second seemed perfect, well….

That job is at a much smaller school, though, so I imagine they are having a hard time getting the search committee together to meet at the start of the fall semester. As much as they wanted someone to start right away they may not be able to pull that off.

And if anyone from this school is reading, I am perfect for your job and would love to work with you. My above comment is only in relation to the actual decision to begin applying and not about choosing what to apply to.

The P-word

The P-word has been cropping up a lot again lately. I have also discovered an interest that is easily P-level work—if I am capable of it—and which is really calling my name. I feel like I need to strap myself to the mast and plug my ears.

[Had a nice talk with my advisor today (most of this post was written last night) and the P-word has again been banished. Whew! In fact, despite my earlier concerns over doing this topic as my CAS “project” we have decided that it is a wonderful fit.]

Confusion reigns.

Ex moving away

Friday evening I’m heading to Normal to help my ex and her boyfriend load up a moving van for their move to Georgia (his home). They’ve been talking about this for a while now and it’s finally truly happening.

I’m not sure how I feel about all this. I know I’m supposed to hate my ex but I don’t. In fact, I love her very much (and her boyfriend). We are all good friends. No; I am not in love with her and have not been for well before we were divorced. But she is important to me.

Since Sara went off to college over 5 years ago, the ex has been my only family member living anywhere near me. Heck, I have been using her as my emergency contact since she was by far the closest to me physically. Now I’m truly going to be all alone in the (local) world.

I don’t like it.

ACRL@UIUC

Karla and I did our best to get the ACRL student chapter reinvigorated this year, and while we seemed to have lots of people interested in academic and research libraries at orientation and Orgapalooza we played hell getting people to volunteer to be officers. Elections finally opened yesterday. Yay!

Karla and I both have a lot of things going on in our lives and we have given and given over the years. We did what we could this year out of a feeling of duty. [And I despise duty ethics!] We are the only two long-term members still around and we want to see this chapter flourish again and, perhaps, spawn a few others. While neither of us is interested in being officers, we can (and will) provide lots of guidance and even spearhead a few things. We started seeding the ACRL@UIUC Moodle space with suggestions and started collecting meeting times that would work for folks once we had officers to get things moving.

  • Interested in the 1st year academic librarian experience? Who do you think knows most of the 1st year academic librarians at UIUC? They were (mostly) Karla and my classmates.
  • Want to visit the Circus Collection at ISU, or ISU as a possibly more typical academic library setting than UIUC? Who worked there for 6 years and still has lots of friends there?
  • Interested in the idea of the Information/Learning Commons or gaming in academic libraries or any of the other innovative things happening in the UIUC Undergraduate Library?

We can do much of this legwork and/or putting people in contact with the right people. So I’m very glad to see us moving forward.

Good and bad

As usual, there is much not being said although, in this case, most is on different but related topics.

Clearly there is much good in amongst the bad. And this is not to claim that there is no middle. Me; I’m no 2.0topian nor a Luddite. There is a middle, or should I say there are middles?

I am grateful for friends, near and far. I am grateful to have an advisor who doesn’t push me to do things I’m not ready to do, but who believes in me nonetheless.

ASIS&T Annual 2007 is soon and I’ll get to see some of those dear far friends. I’ll also get to rub elbows with some of the “names” in our profession. Hopefully this year I’ll be a little less shy about approaching some of them. [Reminder to self and others: They have always been gracious.]

I just wish I could be well for a while.

And I sure as hell wish I hadn’t “woke up” to find myself all alone (in a direct sense) this close to the mid-century mark.

Confused and wistful; wistful and confused. Pick one.

5+ liblogger influences and friends, and more

Blogging, or not so much

I’m sorry—although mostly to myself—for my non-blogging lately. There are things I’d like to write (e.g., Green on following Humanities sources) and some I even started on (e.g., Hope Olson) amongst others. But I’ve been working hard at keeping on a reasonably even keel emotionally and mentally, while trying to get in as much learning as I can before this school gig is up.

I’ve been fairly disappointed in myself for the state of this thing for a while now, but I’m also aware that it has gone through various cycles and states since the start. So for those of you who are still out there and read some of this, I truly appreciate it. And I really appreciate those who comment, whether it is to take me to task or just to say, “Me too!”

Last night as I was getting caught up on my blog reading I came across two posts by two wonderful ladies who made me feel very special: Jennifer and Iris.

I’ve been avoiding this meme because I’m not a fan of the loose use of the word “hero.” I’m well aware that it means little in today’s overly celebritized society and that the language change genie cannot be put back in the bottle, but I can try to reserve it for serious use.

But rest assured that those two ladies with so many interesting things to say said well are on my list. Besides their wonderful writing, they have both offered me a place to question and to discuss.

And because I’m not a fan of numbered favorites or favorites period, and because I am actively trying to learn to color outside the lines, my (current) list will be seven in number, in no particular order:

Iris Jastram (Pegasus Librarian): As I said, she writes well about many important things, things which I don’t have a direct connection to seeing as I am pursuing a different area of librarianship. But they are things of which I need to be aware to do my job. And as she mentioned, we have become good friends. A few months back, Dorothea (see below) had a mini-rant about “Friends” where she started with the following:

Online friends versus real friends. Online life versus real life. All these briar-fences and hedges we construct when we speak so that we don’t admit the possibility that people we meet online are, you know, people, meaning as much to us as people we meet elsewhere.

I don’t want to hear that nonsense any more, and in fact I intend to laugh loudly and point a derisive finger whenever I do hear it.

While I understood her point philosophically, I still distrusted it a tad experientially. While I had made good friends with several people whom I’ve spent at best a couple to several hours with at a conference and then stayed in touch with, I had yet to make an actual friend with someone I had only met online. In case you are new to this blog, “friend” is a concept and term even more dear to my heart than “hero!”

I am proud to say that Iris is my first friend who I met online. I joyously look forward to the day I actually meet her in person.

Jennifer Macaulay (Life as I Know It): Jennifer writes eloquently about other issues within librarianship that often impinge on my own work, about LIS and distance education, and simply has a lovely site. Hers and Walt’s are two blogs that I am guaranteed to click through to to read. I’m not sure why, but her blog header puts me in a better frame of mind, and the simplicity is simply elegant. She makes me think and allows me to question. I sincerely thank her for that.

Jenica Rogers [Sorry, kid, can’t remember if you hyphenated your name or not.] (Mermaid – Thinking Out Loud): All I ought to say is go read her about page and see why I love her. But. I met Jenica at ACRL in Minneapolis in April 2005, which is also where I met Dorothea, Joy Weese Moll, ranger, Jane/Michelle Boule and a few others.

Jenica is absolutely relentless, in the best possible way. 🙂 I am completely amazed at what she can accomplish, in any amount of time. Her blog is a direct reflection of the human being that she is with none of those stupid walls of fragmentation. I feel completely safe to question in her space and that, my friends, is a difficult thing to achieve.

Dorothea Salo (Caveat Lector): I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said elsewhere, but I think Iris may have said it best:

But Dorothea’s authorial voice keeps me coming back for more, no matter the content. I’m equally happy listening to her talk about the weather or about mysterious tech-ish script-ish things that I don’t understand at all.

I may have a slightly better grasp of some of the techy stuff than Iris, but I agree with her point. There are so many things for me to learn from Dorothea, not the least of which are how to vehemently disagree in a civil way, humility, and how to apologize. One classy librarian.

Meredith Farkas (Information Wants To Be Free): “Not another person pointing to Meredith,” you ask? Well, yes.

She’s prolific, thoughtful, expressive, questioning, and allows others a space to question vehemently (as long as they’re civil). While we certainly do not agree about everything—none of the people on this list do, thankfully— I’d have her back in a heartbeat on most anything. Oh. I already did that, didn’t I? And I’d do it again. 🙂

Another very classy lady I am proud to know. And welcome to the wonderful world of Macs, Meredith. 😉

Jennifer Graham (jennimi): I met Jennifer at ASIST last November and was immediately “smitten” with this caring, thoughtful new librarian with one of the biggest hearts I have ever met. She is the epitome of someone dearly enamored of technology in the service of people. She’s also a lot of fun and gave me, perhaps, the best birthday present ever!

Walt Crawford (Walt at Random): Many would call Walt a curmudgeon or, perhaps, worse. While those folks certainly have a right to that opinion, I don’t think it is one that counts for anything. Walt is the best reason I can think of for generally using the concept and term “librarian” loosely. Once in a while, a context might require us to draw the specific lines a little tighter, but I would not be comfortable in too many (any?) conversations about “librarians” that excluded this true professional.

Walt provides an amazing service to a broad swath of folks through Cites & Insights. I’ve read it for a couple of years now and almost always read it “cover to cover” as soon as I download it. When he started blogging (on April Fool’s day no less) I was ecstatic. Always thoughtful, often insightful, and never irascible, he puts a much needed voice of reason into many discussions. This gentleman has a lot to teach me and I’m doing my best to pay attention.

While compiling this list I came across this post at W.a.R. I guess I should get over feeling bad about my blogging and just get on with what I’m doing.

And, yes, it is true that Walt helped name this blog. See the comments here.

[I also just determined that Bloglines is broken again!! There are several posts at jennimi I haven’t seen and the above one from Walt. Grrrr!]

As Iris said at her post, this list is about far more than libraries and professional contacts. These are all people I have corresponded with in more than one format. I have met all but 2 of them and look forward to seeing them all again, or especially for the first time. Dorothea and Jenn will be at ASIST in October. Yay!

Everyone of these folks are special to me for one or more reasons, and while they may not be my heroes, I know that a few are my friends, and I’d be honored to call the rest by that very important word, too.

A crazy mishmash of life

Sickness and death

Been having odd sick-like things going on for a couple months now. Went to the doc last week. Sinus x-rays showed an infection and I’m a third of the way through 20 days of antibiotics. My electrolytes were also off and I had to have them retested. Go back Monday for a follow-up.

I need to call the pest control dude back. Maybe it’s the cold snap, but I have had a couple ants the last couple days. I have about 3 more weeks to get a free touch-up spray. It’s stressful enough right now with the semester’s end rapidly approaching without needing to kill more ants. “Stay outside, you little bastards!”

End of the semester

Speaking of the end of the semester … I’m OK, but really need to get productive quickly! I’ve been reading a lot as you can see, but now it’s time to do something with what I’ve read and to actually research some (i.e., visit and play with) some terminology services-type projects. I’ve been entering many of my readings in Zotero, too, so I can do my bibliography.

My project for Representation and Organization is probably going to be an annotated bibliography. Kathryn’s left it up to me to produce something useful for the class on my topic, relationships, although she suggested a few things including the bibliography. I am going to structure it around Bean & Green’s 4-way grouping from the introduction to Relationships in the organization of knowledge:

  1. Bibliographic relationships between units of recorded knowledge
  2. Intratextual and intertextual relationships, including those based on text structure, citation relationships, and hypertext links
  3. Subject relationships in thesauri and other classificatory structures
  4. Relevance relationships (vii)

I will, of course, expand on these (non-mutually exclusive) categories and try to include at least one good article on each topic. Many topics will have several good or even great ones. And, if you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I’ve even gone back and read some of the early classic articles.

Allen really liked my first paper for Ontologies and now I just need to do a bit of expansion and try to add a couple sentences here and there on some points he said I’d get nailed for if it were a conference paper. Our initial limit was 3 single-spaced pages and now I have 1-3 more to “play” with. Of course, I’m supposed to explain the notion of hierarchies, my choice of methodology (chose the right one, but need to say why), and also what I mean by “fundamental category.” I love how he said that “I need to do something (about “fundamental category”), that it’ll be hopeless, and that I won’t be satisfied.” Truer words of advice from a philosopher were never spoken. In 1-3 sentences I need to stave off criticism from those who think they know what they are and that I don’t, and criticism from those who think no one knows what they are. Certainly a simple task, eh? 😉

I really had no idea what to expect from Allen when I went in to talk to him last Sunday since I had never written an actual paper for him before, but it was delightful. We chatted for a good while about a fair few things and it did my heart good. Those memories are mine, though.

I need to get on this paper, though, as I present it to class on Tuesday the 17th. I’ll post it here at some point. I’m even considering posting both versions, but I want to have the expanded version written before I post the original.

Assistantships

I just realized that my thesaurus assistantship is over May 15th, and I verified that they have no money to pay me (hourly) after that. At least I didn’t get let go like several other folks a month or two back. That means I will not completely finish my first pass through FireTalk, although possibly all Top Terms except TT00 General. The problem is, I’m still waiting for node labels (maybe next week) and it will really need a 2nd pass. ::sigh:: “‘ferris wheel rescue’, ‘ferris wheel rescue’, ‘ferris wheel rescue’…”

I think I’m set for Fall, though. I scored another assistantship in Rapid (monographic) Cataloging and kept my Serials gig. Sweet! I’ll get to sit at my own desk all week, and get some great monographic copy cataloging experience. I’ll certainly see a vastly wider range of subjects, class nos, and some other MARC fields than I do now. My only concern is that if some adjustments aren’t made it’ll be 60% total, and those extra few hours/week make a big difference.

My serials gig is through the summer, but I need to find some way to make up the $$ from the Fire Service gig. Cause it only adds up to rent and utilities for 3 months. Else it’ll be a very boring summer as I basically sit in my house and it ramen.

Blogging, or not so much

See the next post…

Future classes

This summer I’ll be taking a class on Topic Maps with Patrick Durusau via LEEP. This Fall, who knows? Registration opens Monday and we don’t have all the classes listed yet! Now this is certainly abnormal for us, but it sucks nonetheless.

I am taking Bibliography with one of our amazing emeritus professors, Don Krummel. After that, hmmm? There really aren’t many decent courses being offered in my opinion. But one should keep in mind that I’ll have 74 semester hours of LIS credit by the time Fall semester starts. Maybe it is about time to move on. 😉

There are a couple that might be interesting in light of my previous socio-technological work, but they are with someone I don’t think I’d take any class from based on what I’ve heard from many of the PhD students.

Julia Flanders (who is amazing!) will be teaching Electronic Publishing via LEEP again. While interesting, I had a look at last year’s syllabus and I don’t know. Kind of peripheral to my main interests.

An analysis of contemporary electronic publishing from the perspective of the production process, emphasizing the role of information processing standards and the concept of documents as knowledge representation systems. Specific topics will include the organization of digital document production, tools and techniques, technical strategies, business strategies, and policy issues. Particular attention will be given to the use of key XML-related standards in the production process, and to the general role of data standards in supporting the development of a high-performance electronic publishing industry. As a vehicle for presenting a coordinated selection of fundamental issues, we will focus on the development and use of the Open eBook Publication Structure, a new industry specification for the content, structure, and presentation of “electronic books”. Students may approach the material from a variety of perspectives. Final projects will be individualized to student’s interests and backgrounds and may be either analytical research papers or technical projects designing and implementing portions of publishing systems (From GSLIS Course Catalog).

Dave Dubin will be teaching Foundations of Information Processing in Lib & Info Science, which will include Python programming. Allen Renear highly suggested I take this after hearing of the other classes I have taken and my professional plans. He’s right; I need to do this. But it’s LEEP and I broadcast this class for Dave once and had a hard time keeping up when in the same room with him even. That boy can pack an English sentence like none I’ve ever known!

Covers the common data and document processing constructs and programming concepts used in library and information science. The history, strengths and weaknesses of the techniques are evaluated in the context of our discipline. These constructs and techniques form the basis of applications in areas such as bibliographic records management, full text management and multimedia. No prior programming background is assumed (From GSLIS Course Catalog).

More important to my current goals are the independent studies/practica that I’m trying to put together. I want to do some work with “authority control,” both traditional (AACR, MARC, LC) and newer, non-traditional forms like embedded gazetteers, term lists, etc. They will probably have to be separate, but who knows? I’m drafting a letter to ask for a meeting to discuss possibilities with our head of cataloging but am waiting on a couple feedback responses first. Quite possibly something could come of this that would shape my CAS project. It’d be nice to do some real work and learning, and benefit the library and our patrons at the same time.

I thought I had the authority control thing sewn up when I got a CETRC Mentor, but seeing as I never heard from them I seem to need to find a different route. And speaking of never hearing from….

ALA and its offshoots

Almost 2 months ago, I wrote about ALA membership processing being broken. I called them a couple of days after that and was assured that everything was right with the world. The lady I spoke with really was very pleasant. She assured me that, “No, I did not owe any more $$ for ACRL and that I really was no longer a member of ACRL, and that surely LITA knew I was a member because they have exactly the same info as she does.” She suggested that maybe I hadn’t heard from them yet as their journal is quarterly and, well, Nov. to Feb. When I asked whether I should have at least received a welcome email or such she was a bit perplexed but, nonetheless, “All is right with the world.”

Well, damn it ALA! All is not right with the world. I still get ACRL publications. I have yet to receive any thing—journal, email, “Fuck off but thanks for the $$”—except for a kindly welcome from a member in my post comments. As I said in my previous post:

I voted for the dues increase ALA. I expect you to actually fix some of the broken parts with it. Starting with membership services might be a good place. That seems like such a basic concept for a membership organization, especially one whose purpose really isn’t to serve their members but where their members work. It seems to me that asking people to pony up large sums of money to be a member of something that actually supports their employers—truly one heck of a concept—would particularly make the organization pay attention to the “small” matter of membership.

I said a lot more, too, and I stand by every word of it. There are other games in town and as I figure out exactly where I want to put my limited time and energy professionally ALA is at the bottom of the list. I also doubt that they could do much to improve the situation for me at this point. I’ll probably stay a member of ALCTS next year, but after that when I am no longer a student and depending on where my 1st job takes me … who knows?

ALA, you are improving in a few small ways and I am truly glad for that. But you still truly suck in some very overarching ways that are far more important. So keep putting money into Second Life because that is far more important than even recognizing that someone is a member of part of your organization. Yeah, seems like the right priority to me. In the meantime you can find me at ASIST and NASIG.

That is all I’m willing to say because I don’t want to find myself in a situation like someone else I know who swore “Never again ALA…” and ended up taking a job there a few months later. See, my ethical sensibilities would have a real hard time with that.

That’s all for now as I have another post to finish so I can concentrate on school work.

ALA membership processing is broken

Update 19 July 2007: I wanted to add an update that I have been contacted by LITA and that official steps are being taken to preclude whatever disconnect happened in my membership from happening to anyone else.

I have been personally welcomed into the fold and look forward to my future time with LITA.


For a bit of context, and to help folks realize that it’s not just me bitching again: see rikhei’s recent trials and tribulations with ALA membership:

I am already regetting renewing my ALA membership

Clarification on the ACRL registration problem

In the middle of November 2006 I renewed my membership in ALA and made a few changes in said membership. One of the things I did was to drop ACRL and join LITA. These were certainly the changes which cost the most.

Here is an excerpt from the renewal confirmation email:

The following Membership(s) were purchased:

1. Student pricing - Student Membership Basic Dues
2. ALCTS - Association for Library Collections and Technical Svcs
3. LITA - Library and Information Technology Association
4. IFRT - Intellectual Freedom
5. LHRT - Library History
6. NMRT - New Member
7. SRRT - Social Responsibilities Round Table

That said, I am still (mid-February 2007) getting ACRL publications and I have yet to receive a word from LITA. Any word. A freaking “Welcome” would be a good start!

I went in and looked at my membership status at the ALA site last night. [That trick is, well, a trick. I know ALA is working on another website redesign so I’ll cut them some slack on the idiocy that is checking your current member status for the moment.] It seems that all of the above is true, along with still having a membership in ACRL and the fact that I owe them $35 more dollars.

Of course, I have received absolutely no communication from ALA on this matter, but at least it explains the ACRL publications I am still receiving. But guess what ALA? You are not getting another penny from me for this year! And the future is seriously under reconsideration, again.

I did not renew my membership in ACRL. In fact, I cancelled it. I did join LITA though. And while your confirmation email and the website confirms that, they do not seem to know it.

I know some of you out there will (again) try and defend ALA on this. But you know what? There is absolutely no justification! It is simply broke. Plain and simply broken.

If Amazon and all the other sorts of entities that are currently being tossed around as things libraries should be emulating were broken like this “we” wouldn’t be saying these things, would we? [And, yes Jenica, I feel your pain. Amazon is currently broken for me too.]

I have taken a look at the ALA Membership Committee page and I see some names I recognize—names of people I like and respect. First, let me say thank you for serving. Second, let me say you have a big task ahead of you. Third, I doubt you really have much input into actually fixing the problem. But I sure hope you are beating on the door of those who do, and I wish you luck. Because wherever the problem lies, it is causing you membership issues and member loss.

I don’t actually expect a lot of “glitter” from ALA because I am somewhat happy to give them money to do some of their more important background work. But I do expect for the confirmed membership info from mid-Nov to match what it is in mid-Feb. I also expect that if you think I owe you money that you would contact me. I also expect to get what I pay for; even if that is simply a welcome.

I voted for the dues increase ALA. I expect you to actually fix some of the broken parts with it. Starting with membership services might be a good place. That seems like such a basic concept for a membership organization, especially one whose purpose really isn’t to serve their members but where their members work. It seems to me that asking people to pony up large sums of money to be a member of something that actually supports their employers—truly one heck of a concept—would particularly make the organization pay attention to the “small” matter of membership.

ALA membership services is simply broken. Considering I have had an issue every time I have renewed my membership the last couple years I do not see myself retaining my membership when I am no longer a student. To give that kind of money for such service is completely unthinkable. Actually, to give up the kind I did as a student is also unthinkable. Taking 3-6 months to get straight any changes in my membership and then turning around and asking me for money in another 6 months is inexcusable.

ALA, you are not the only game in town. There are plenty of other professional organizations which I would happily join if I wasn’t giving you the money I am each year. I have only heard good things about these organizations, also.

I am tired of this crap ALA! Fix it! Now!

I welcome any contact—public or private—from members of the ALA Membership Committee or anyone in LITA who has any insight into the issue. But for anyone planning on just giving the same tired excuses, please save yourself the trouble. I have absolutely no desire to hear them. Again.

MyALA for 2007

In case anyone is interested, here is what I did about ALA for this year:

Stayed as a student member.

Kept ALCTS and the Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS).

Added Serials Section (SS). Hey, it was free and I do serials.

Dropped ACRL and the two sections I was in. Hasn’t been of much value to me and I’m no longer so involved in the student chapter. [Yes, the site needs updating. We’re having a “small” issue getting control handed over to the new webmaster.]
Kept Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT).

Finally added New Members Round Table (NMRT).

Added Library History Round Table (LHRT).

Joined LITA. I decided to give it a try and see how it fits my interests.

In the end, my dues went up by $5/year. I guess I was feeling generous when I renewed two days ago. All this certainly won’t be sustainable when I’m no longer a student, though.

Where am I? What day is it?

Poor and I’m tired
Fallin’ asleep
Everyone’s praying’ I’ll get back on my feet…

Haley Bonar, “go away angels”, …the size of planets

I am feeling so completely whelmed lately. Not overwhelmed. Simply, massively whelmed.

No doubt much of it is my own doing. That is, as much control over friends leaving as I might have. Because one must celebrate with their friends before they go off to do incredible things in the wider world.

I am so behind on school or, at least, it seems that way. Having an 8-week class certainly contributes to the state of whelmedness. Especially when it is in your immediate field of interest.

Cataloging work went well this morning, despite my being up past midnight last night. I get up at 6. I got 4 records uploaded to WorldCat and then imported into our catalog today. Friday I’ll get the holdings records done. [ranger: I haven’t forgotten you. I’ll get you that title shortly.]

The rest of my work day this afternoon and early evening wasn’t as smooth. I really started flagging after lunch, which certainly didn’t help either.

I’m teching an ALA CPLA course for Bob Burger (Associate University Librarian for Services). When I finally got the audio started today (late due to technical issues) I accidentally typed something along the lines of “Today’s music is boob’s selection: artist, album…” Yeah; I did. So much for pressing the shift key and amen for extra letters. And to think that one of my bosses lovingly suggested that working with the Associate University Librarian would be good for my career! 🙂

I did manage to “attend” our ACRL@UIUC meeting via LEEP while I was broadcasting another class. I missed a lot of the meeting though. Kind of hard to virtually attend a meeting when you’re helping others (virtually) troubleshoot their tech issues.

Then, near the end of the class I was teching, someone popped into the tech room with some audio quality issues. I thought it was a friend of mine so I started teasing her with “just have another drink, it’ll clear up then,” mostly by “whisper” thankfully. Then I realized I probably wasn’t talking to my friend. I was so embarrassed! But she was very grateful. She said I really livened up the class for her, and that she was heading straight to the liquor cabinet as soon as we were done chatting. Distance ed does have its advantages, kids. 🙂

I really need to just go to bed. But domestic chores can only wait so long. I’m drying the 2nd load of clothes now. I also did a small bit of not too intellectual homework. I made a few replies on the bulletin boards and picked out and posted my “quote of the day” for tomorrow’s class (well, the 1st of 3 of tomorrow’s classes).

I also need to decide about attending ASIS&T soon. The price goes up in 2 weeks. I really want to attend, but as broke as I’ve been lately I’m having a hard time even thinking about it.

But then, clearly, I’m not thinking about enough things anyway.

…taped his own wings on.

Haley Bonar, “hawaii”, Lure the Fox

Yes. I know. I best get to taping. Cause sink or swim, this boy intends to soar.

Labor Day weekend, so far

Hung 23 pictures in my apartment.

Read some sociology of science for class:

Read a few articles on classification systems for Pauline’s class, including Ranganathan’s “Hidden Roots of Classification,” Inform. Stor. Retr. 3, 1967: 399-410. I have to say I’m pretty sceptical about an “Absolute Syntax.”

Somewhat organized my network drive at school, from home. Yay for WebDav!

Prepped the new ACRL@UIUC website to replace the old one. The goal is to have it up before the weekend’s out. A big shout-out to Lynn Jasper, of Chicky Chicky Boom Boom!, for redoing all of the underlying code for the website this summer. [Dang! Something is weird with the server, FTP client or something. I was able to create a new folder, but cannot seem to move (or copy) the old files to it so I can upload the new ones. That really sucks!]

Went to dinner at a German restaurant and 2 bars as part of a bachelorette party, which was really just an elaborate and fun going-away party for the fabulous Jenny B [That link really is to the Flickr set, but it’s marked family and friends only.].

Sidenote: Flickr needs more fine-grained control. I generally make all my photos public. But once in a while, for the sake of others, I mark some family and/or friends only. But what if you want a photo/set available to someone who you don’t necessarily (or even explicitly) want as a family or friend? For instance, a participant in some event that you’ve photographed might deserve to see those photos, but not all of the rest of your photos that are restricted. And, Jon, that is not directed at you!

Kept up with my Bloglines.

Did a lot of maintenance on my books in my LibraryThing catalog.

Put some more stuff away, as in getting more moved in.

Read Sunday’s newspaper.

Worked on some classification systems homework.

What I haven’t done:

Enough homework, of all kinds, for all classes.

Enough work around the house.

Life right now

I’m just a bit stressed lately. Last night (Tues) that would have been a complete understatement. [Much abridged.]

I had been working on a lengthy post, which I just cut all but the 1st sentence from, on how sucky my life has been the last week or so. I was chatting with one of my LEEP buddies during class Wednesday night and had told her I had this lengthy post that I was working on concerning all my recent trials and travails. But, honestly, no one cares, nor should they probably.

Things are slowly getting better. Some of the issues have been resolved, some I’m learning (or trying) to live with.

Lately, it’s been customer service support hell for me. Not in the giving, but the receiving. I have a credit card that I recently transferred large sums of debt to that managed not to change my address, then sent me a bill that I received 2 weeks after it was due. Now when I am trying to resolve the issues they are acting like they don’t know who I am and I have to wait for their security department to call me. That’s kind of hard when I work or go to school most of the day!

ZoneAlarm really screwed me over when I tried to update my subscription for the next year due to completely inept error messages in their shopping cart. In the meantime, they managed to encumber my debit card for over $240 for a charge of $31.82!

Thus, I started getting overdraft statements from my credit union on Tuesday. But the system did not show the encumbrance and it simply looked as if they just started “stealing” money from me, to the eventual tune of $110. I got that one worked out yesterday thanks to a very helpful Connie (and Jennifer the day before).

Those are just the tip of the iceberg that has drifted (crashed?) into my life at the moment. But, it has to get better.

I’m enjoying serials cataloging, although mentally it is like taking a 4th class.

I’m also assisting in getting our student group, ACRL@UIUC, up and running for the new year. Our 1st meeting of the semester is next Wed., so those responsibilities will settle down soon. Unfortunately, I am working at that time and can’t attend.

I was having WordPress issues for a while so I asked Richard Urban who told me to contact Blake. He had had the same problem with the Musematic blog before and Blake fixed it. So despite all the badness settling on me hard on Tuesday evening, Blake did me a world of good and had me fixed in under 2 hours from when I sent my email to LISHost.

So, thanks to people like Connie, Jennifer and Blake, things are beginning to look up.

One last person I’d like to thank is the Feel-good Librarian. Tuesday night while my world seemed to be crashing around me I was steadfastly refusing to cry or scream. I tried to distract myself for a bit and looked at a few things in my Bloglines. That post finally made me cry. Not for me, but for that mother and her daughter, and for all the other people in the world who do not feel safe for serious and justified reasons. I may have, or think I have, lots of problems in this world, but I do feel safe.