Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blah blah blah

I know it's been a few days since I've written, and that's because I've been working on my paper for my cataloging class, and writing Dewey Decimal numbers for the take-home exam, and working, and hanging out with S, and feeling kind of under the weather. But now the paper is done (mostly just needs revising and a bibliography) and the exam is nearly complete (need to go over my answers again) and I'm starting to think more seriously about Christmas. I'm going to have a few days off around the holidays, which will be great, like a real Christmas break like back in elementary school when I had nothing to do for a week and a half except play with my new toys and watch television and sleep in. I'm looking forward to that.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

So thankful

To recap, Thanksgiving was spent with S's family in Hastings, Minnesota, and it was a really good time. The day consisted of eating all the traditional items, watching some football, and then playing the 1960s version of Careers, which S's mom won. We took Zipper the dog on a walk near the river and took a drive around the town and over the bridge into Wisconsin. In the evening, we made it back to my house in time to stop in to my family's gathering as well, and it was nice to see my cousins.

This was my first major holiday spent without any of my own family members. That was a little weird for me, but my mom saved me some of the potatoes and turkey they made and getting to see my godparents for a little while was good, too.

Meeting more of S's family was cool. His cousins John and Wyatt were fun to talk to, and his great aunt was sweet and his aunt Jean was a superb hostess, what with her cherry pie and brandy alexander and coffee with Bailey's. Good times.

Now I need to hunker down and finish my final exam for cataloging and begin writing my paper. Eek!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Frickin' chicken

I have often vowed never to buy my children toys that make noise of any kind, and never to buy my friends children toys that make noise. But at the library where I work, the circulation desk is very near the children's room, in which there are many toys that make noise or play music.

The absolute worst is the chicken that plays the chicken dance.

I have no words to express how annoying it is to hear the chicken dance song an average of 20 times per hour when I am working the circ desk. For the love of pete, no more chicken dance! I have threatened to throw the thing off the roof many times, and while throwing things off the roof may be a common threat of mine, I am rather serious about the chicken dancing chicken.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

She will have her way

So I guess the answer to the question of St. Kate's was answered vaguely by a classmate whose husband talked to the office manager of the MLIS deparment. Apparently, and this is coming like fifth-hand or something, we can transfer into the St. Kate's program and not take any Dominican University classes whatsoever. I guess this can be done at any point along the way, but I'll wait and see what my classmates do and ask about the process from someone who has done it.

On one hand, this is a great relief, but I also didn't mind the idea of dropping out for a semester. There are course offerings, however, for Summer 2007 which interest me greatly. For example, Professor Cathcart is teaching the Management of Library and Information Centers course, and she was head of the Legislative Library for a long time, and I already know I like her as she taught my intro section. I know I said I really wanted a vacation, but taking one summer class doesn't preclude me from doing any number of things in July and August, namely going to the famed Winnepeg Folk Festival with my sister Andrea and friends.

I guess it remains to be seen exactly what I will do about Winter semester, but at least I know I don't have to drop out in order to just be a St. Kate's student, independent of Dominican.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A blurb of an entry

Two things I'm loving lately:

1) Web usability expert Steve Krug's book, "Don't Make Me Think." Brilliant. I read it for a library work-related team meeting today in a few hours. It's really about how people think, use the web, and process that information. Excellent, succinct, laugh-out-loud funny, great for anyone who deals with information (library workers!!).

2) I ruined the catalog by getting food on it, so I ordered another from the website, because the Garnet Hill stuff looks great. I'm thinking CASHMERE! I'm thinking KNITS! I'm thinking I would never leave the house if I had that cashmere robe. Why bother when you can be wrapped in cashmere?

Getting up kind of early tomorrow to bring S's great aunt to the local airport (snowbird flying south) and then get some reasearch done for the ol' grad class. I'm hoping to harness the perceptive powers of my boyfriend's brain to aide in coming up with a paper topic on the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Oh, LCSH, we'll have you in our clutches yet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And here's when having some cataloging knowledge is nice

So this morning, one of the library aides was checking in music CDs and found one that looked kind of weird.

During check-in, all media items (books on tape, DVDs, CDs) get opened to make sure what's inside the case matches the case/booklet/any additional material. The aide noticed that the booklet said the call number and "Mussorgsky" and "Pictures at an exhibition," but the disc inside said "Emerson, Lake & Palmer."

She brought it to the attention of a fellow Library Assistant, who also wasn't sure about the discrepancy. I wanted to see what was up, so I had a peek, too. Instantly, I knew what was going on.

Classical music is a special thing in the cataloging world, since in order to be able to find things, it's best to have composers (and time periods) near each other on the shelf, vs. grouping them by the artists who actually play the music. Emerson, Lake & Palmer are not responsible (in terms of cataloging) for the intellectual or artistic content of the work in hand.

In other words, it's more useful to have all the Mussorgsky together than have all the albums by Emerson, Lake & Palmer together, hence the bibliographic record being as such:

Author: Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich, 1839-1881
Title: Pictures at an exhibition [sound recording] / Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Aw yeah, look at me, a beginner cataloging geek.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Library school is a big question mark right now

I got a letter from Dominican University last week reminding me that those of us who started at St. Kate's with the summer courses need to be done by Fall 2008.

Wait, what?!

I am trying to sort out all of this information and so are some of my classmates. Since St. Kate's is currently treated as a very western campus of Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, that's where my degree was supposed to come from, but now St. Kate's is undergoing the American Library Association's process for getting accredited themselves. So I am just befuddled about what to do about next semester. I really wasn't planning being done by Fall 2008, unless I wanted to:

a) die
b) die a horrible death of too much school/homework/commuting to St. Paul
c) postpone a vacation for two more years (special note: haven't had a vacation in a year and a half)

So maybe I'm being a whiny nuisance for nothing, but we shall see. I shot an e-mail to the department today, illustrating my points (I live an hour and a half from school! I really can't rush this!) and asking what can be done. I am hopeful that it will work out, and I know that either way, it will be fine. If there's a way to grandfather me in, great. If it means I have to drop out and reapply to the St. Kate's program separate from Dominican, fine. Keep your fingers crossed!

Jane Austen to tha maxx!!

Saturday was class, and then "Pride & Prejudice" put on by my cousin Simon's school in the cities. I headed to Simon and Eve's apartment to pick up Eve after class, and we booked it to dinner (Burger King) and then the school where the play was. We met up with my parents and S there, and man, it was intense. That's a really difficult, long, complex play for a high school to put on, especially a small school like it was. Amazing, really, although I was quite tired of sitting for as long as I did.

S did really well, understood everything that was going on, as I'd prepped him by having him watch the new movie version (with Keira Knightley! What guy would say no to watching her for two hours?). He said I was right to make him watch the movie, because his appreciation for the play was that much greater. I now owe him about four sci-fi/action movies to atone for the last few incredibly girly movie selections and five hours spent on Jane Austen in one single week.

Best boyfriend quote of the last week

Keeping in mind we first met when I was 17 and he was 16:

"I think you get more beautiful every year. By the time you're forty, I won't be able to look directly at you, you'll be so stunning."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 7: recap

The results from yesterday are in, in more ways than one. The elections are over (thank God) and the candidates I elected mostly won (sorry Patty Wetterling and Mike Hatch) but our anniversary date yesterday also went really well. S sent me flowers! At work! Red roses! With a sweet card! Great guy, my boyfriend.

For our date, first we stopped at the polls so I could cast my ballot (holy incumbent judges, Batman) and then went to dinner, which was delicious. He ordered my favorite appetizer, and I had a margarita (I'm a fan of tequila) while he had a Bloody Mary, and we talked for quite a while even after finishing our meals (Walleye for him, massive burger for me).

We then headed over to campus for the astronomy night at the planetarium. Yes, the planetarium! We wandered around my old haunt (Riverview, the English building) and played a game of Fluxx (I carry it with me always) which was decidedly the worst game of Fluxx ever played. Then it was back to my house for some more quality time. I'm tired today, but very, very happy.

I did ask him in the car if it seemed like we'd been together for a year. He thinks not, more like seven months, but I feel like we missed some of that in-between stuff since he was gone for a while, and all those little anniversaries (months six through eleven, if you're keeping track). Now it's all kind of daunting, because that year marker seems significant and possibly scary, but we're doing really well, as S always reminds me in my anxious states.

Thanks, S, for a great anniversary. I love you.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Not only is tomorrow a big day (Election day! Get out the vote!) for the nation, it's a big day for me and S. It's our one year anniversary of doing this thing called "our relationship." Yay for us, huh?

I am pretty proud of us, actually, since I believe this is the longest, healthiest, functional and loving and spiritually based relationship either of us has ever had. We have worked hard on this, especially recently and while he was gone in Alaska. It has most definitely been worth it. I think we are going to vote together and then go on a date (?). I don't really know, as I am leaving the plans entirely up to him, but I do have something to give him, and he said something about giving something to me, too..

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A little overwhelming, really

I don't know what to do about classes next semester. I've been looking at the course offerings, and there are a few that I should take (Reference & Online Sources, Management of Libraries and Information Centers) as they are required of me, but I don't really want to take two potentially homework-heavy courses at once (from what I've heard anyway, these two are involved). History of the Printed Book also interests me, and it's an early morning Saturday class (8-1) but the weekend course schedule for winter 2007 semester doesn't mess with my work schedule nearly as much as it did this time around.

I guess I just forge ahead with the whole graduate studies thing, even with my fears and anxieties.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Getting lost and found again

Last night after work, I headed for the cities to pick up S at a rendezvous point (Dubliner's Bar in St. Paul) and then to my friend Mike's (near the U of M campus) where S could clean up after working with fiberglass all day, and then to the Loft (downtown Minneapolis) for my former professor's reading from his new book ("The Road to Cosmos" by Bill Meissner, link to be added later).

On the way to Dubliner's, I got lost due to taking Google Map directions rather literally (silly me), and called S in a bit of a frazzled state. I knew where I was (Larpenteur Avenue) but also knew I had gone way too far past where I needed to be (Corner of Vandalia and University). S calmed me down as I looked at my handy Professor Pathfinder map of the area, and within fifteen minutes I had my trusty boyfriend in the car with me. I got slightly confused in getting to the Loft as well, and S helpfully asked a parking garage attendant for directions. Good guy, that S. I am so thankful for him.

He's been helping his uncles move stuff from St. Paul up to central Minnesota, and working these 12-hour days lifting and using those muscles he built in Alaska. He's been busy, but I think it's great that he can help and do something other than hang out with me all the time.

The reading was quite good, interesting little bits of short stories about different characters, and some audience participation as well, and it was fun to see my college friends Kelly and Sara and Sara's boyfriend Tori. I think we're going to try for a game night at Kelly's place sometime in December, which would be super cool.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

On being a Jane Austen "expert"

As one who gets to know me will discover, I am a devotee of Jane Austen and pretty much anything to do with her writing and world. I love the books, I love the movie versions, I'm a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. My cousin Simon's wife Eve and I can talk about Jane for hours, comparing and contrasting, and discussing everything from Darcy to Emma Thompson's version of "Sense & Sensibility."

Last winter, I served as Jane Austen/Pride & Prejudice expert for my cousin Simon's ninth grade English classes at the school where he teaches in the cities. I really had to read up and study in order to give good lectures to each class section, and for the most part, I was well prepared for all the questions the students had. Now one of his students is writing a paper on Jane and wants to interview me as a source. I actually remember the girl who wants to interview me, since she reminded me somewhat of myself in high school. She liked Jane Austen, for one.