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.

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.