Thursday, November 27, 2008

I've been tagged, so now you're it

I've been tagged by my friend Melanie so here goes.

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.


1. I used to only wear red shoes, mainly red faux leather penny loafers, in high school. They were my "ruby slippers," since I was obsessed with "The Wizard of Oz."
2. My favorite book is "Disobedience" by Jane Hamilton, because I love the audio version read by Robert Sean Leonard. I have a big celebrity crush on RSL.
3. Pretty much from November until March, I wear long underwear every day. One of the best presents (besides jewelry) that S ever gave me was a shirt/pants set of long underwear designed to be super thin and temperature regulating. This is because I am always either very cold or really, really hot.
4. I first dyed my hair when I was in the sixth grade. None of my female friends could believe my mom let me do it, but it was brown hair dye and I had brown hair, so it wasn't like I turned it purple. I did, however, turn it purple in high school, except it was by accident.
5. I technically had my wedding dress before S and I were officially engaged. This is because it went on final sale at J. Crew and I knew it was "the one" and S encouraged me to get it, and if need-be, later sell it on eBay, if for some reason it wasn't as great as I thought it was.
6. I pretty much believe in fate.
7. If it were possible, I'd work full-time as a librarian, and tell S to quit his job so that he can do whatever he likes. All I'd require is that he cook for me.

The folks I'm tagging are: Simon, Jess, Lindsay, Christie, and Lisa.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What's next?

My assigned blogging has wrapped up for the semester, for the most part, so I'm back here! At least, until next semester. The plan is to do a practicum at the St. Cloud State University library, and do an independent study with a Dominican University professor, and then get my degree at the end of April from Dominican.

I'm all registered for the practicum, but need to come up with learning goals and a work schedule with my supervisor there. For the independent study, I am going to be doing the history of YA literature, thus extending my reading in that area, and I will be blogging my reactions to the books I read for that course, so this other blog will continue but in a different mode.

I will probably still blog about technology, Library 2.0, etc. but I will probably do that at my other blog. And then, the job search will begin...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quick update: some wedding photos

I'm definitely going to put more of these on flickr, but I thought I'd share a few shots that we got from our semi-professional photographer, Alex Johnson. He's a friend and an awesome photographer, so it was great that he did our photos—and edited them, too. Woo!

Here are a few favorites (so far):










Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sunday Soup

I've taken to making a big pot of soup on Sundays, so that then S and I can take leftovers with us to work throughout the week. Here's a recipe I invented and have tweaked based on whatever veggies/pasta we have in the fridge/pantry.

Mostly Veggie Italian Pasta Soup

chop up the following into soup-sized bits:
1 cup carrots (optional, or use potatoes)
2 cups potatoes (optional, or use carrots)
1 cup celery (or more if you love it)
2 medium or 3 small onions (note: onions add most of the flavor here, so you NEED these)
other veggie ideas: frozen or fresh spinach, corn, broccoli... to total about 4-5 cups of veggies

Additional advice: if you are feeling especially lazy, and you have a food processor (or even a hand-chopper from the likes of Pampered Chef) then all the chopping can go really, really fast.

Other necessary ingredients:
Chicken soup stock (enough for 8-10 cups)
1/2 lb. cheese-filled small pasta (tortellini or little raviolis work great!)
Italian seasoning (enough for a few tablespoons of this)
Garlic (I love it, so I put in 2-3 cloves worth)
Olive oil for pan
Salt & pepper

Start by putting olive oil and garlic in a big pot, since this is a one-pot recipe that means little clean-up other than soup bowls/spoons. Don't turn on the heat until you're nearly done chopping up your veggies. Throw in the onions and celery first, since they need the most cooking to release flavor. Cook until the onions are shiny and the celery is easily bite-able (test this) but not too soft. Add in other veggies (potatoes, spinach, corn, broccoli, carrots). Cook for a few minutes more--add a bit more olive oil if needed. Add 8 cups of chicken stock if you like a thicker soup. Add 10 cups if you like a more brothy soup, since the pasta soaks up a lot of water. Add Italian seasoning and pasta; cook until done according to package directions (16-20 minutes, usually).

Enjoy with a big piece of bread!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Haven't been blogging in weeks

Well, that's not actually true. I am just blogging elsewhere! I have my class blog for my Library 2.0 course with Michael Stephens, and it's right over here. Feel free to check in on me there; mainly, I am writing observations about libraries, library 2.0, technology, etc.

I have a bunch of homework this semester, seemingly more than ever before. My reading list for my Young Adult Materials course is 55 books long--seriously. So, I spend pretty much all spare non-work moments doing homework or spending time with my new husband. Blogging here will be sporadic but probably will resume on November 15th or so.

Edited to add: I am also twittering. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

This customer hasn't been this happy in minutes

I just had what I'd describe as one of the best customer service experiences ever, and it was with Tires Plus. To tell the story in its proper context, I'll have to travel back in time with you for a bit. For the past few weeks, you cannot believe the bad car experiences I've had.

It all began the day before our wedding...

I spent the night at my parents place, because S's surprise bachelor party was happening that evening after our rehearsal, and I wanted to give him space in case he wanted to invite guys over to our apartment after the party. I parked in the driveway, at the end of the driveway behind where my mom parks her car. I would never park behind my dad, because he's been known to back into things. Unfortunately, I think my mom's excitement/stress got to her that day, and in backing out in order to run last-minute errands for their vacation and the wedding, she backed into my Saturn SL2. It was bad, too—$1,500 bad, but thankfully, it was repaired and paid for within a week, and we just took my mom's car on our honeymoon trip.

However, we noticed the car making a bad/loud noise right after it was hit—especially upon starting up and in gear changes. I had my dad listen to the sound, and he said it was a muffler problem, not an engine problem. Whew! We traveled to the Renaissance Festival, knowing there was a hole in the muffler, but not realizing the extent of the problem. Suffice it to say, we had a rather dramatic removal of muffler from my car on the side of I-94, just before the tunnel near Uptown in Minneapolis. The entire muffler system fell/broke off, and we left it there. Sorry for the massive litter! This made for a very loud trip back home, but luckily, S and my cousin Angie who went with us were both pretty good sports.

After having this repaired (for about $88), on my very next trip to class, I had yet another problem; this time, the coolant light came on as soon as I got to the surface streets in the neighborhood of St. Paul near my school's campus. I remedied it by turning on the heater and rolling the windows down to bring the temp down. My cousin Simon deserves a HUGE thank you for checking my coolant, determining that it was probably not an actual radiator problem, and for alleviating my nervousness about driving home—an hour and a half away—with this problem. He determined it was probably a fuse or the radiator fan, and he was right! The fan was dead, which was a $168 fix, but at least my radiator is okay!

And then...

Prior to my next trip to class, my dad checked my tire pressure. It was all good until he got to the back left tire. Tire pressure was waaay low, so he pumped it up, and I was good to go. However, the next time I checked it (yesterday before class) it was down to 15! Yikes! I beefed it back up to 32 or so—you know, for good mileage, and hoped for the best. This afternoon, I was feeling anxious about driving back to St. Paul for class tomorrow morning with this tire leakage issue. I called Tires Plus about checking it out for me. TJ was quick to offer to check if I really needed new tires or just a patch, and so I made a 4:30 appointment. He determined that I did not need new tires—yay!—and proceeded to check out the leak situation. The fix? The valve needed replacing. Cost? Nothing! I was so relieved, and while waiting for the fix, I even got some homework done for my weekend class tomorrow. Bonus!

Friday, August 29, 2008

John McCain seals his fate?

I don't normally write about politics in the typical way, but being a librarian wannabe and a city/county employee, I am definitely aware of the climate of the times.

Right now, I'm at my parents house, attempting to get a jump on homework for my YA class, and my father just got home. My mom's first question to him was, "Hey, did you hear about John McCain's VP pick?" and my dad said, "Uhh, yeah, Palin," and my mom started talking about it, and all of a sudden, my dad announces, "John McCain sealed his fate with that choice!"

I kind of wonder. Yeah, it's cool that she's young and has run the state of Alaska, but on the political spectrum of Pretty Much Everything People Care About, expecting people who wanted Hillary in the White House to vote for a McCain/Palin ticket? Uhh, I'm not seeing it. Sometimes I think people vote for who they think "deserves" it most, but I like to think that most pick someone who represents their values, and Clinton and Palin are worlds apart.

Just heard the factoid that more people watched Obama's speech last night than watched the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics. Hmm...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back, and better than ever

I'm back to blogging, mainly because I'm experiencing some writers block with an assignment I have due in one week, an autobiography of my reading/literacy as a young person. I'm trying to get a jump on this because I am feeling like this semester may be the death of me. I've got two again, Library 2.0 and Materials for Young Adults, but the YA class has a reading list of over 50 titles and the 2.0 class only meets six times, so somehow I already feel behind, like I should have been working on this stuff since July. Except, I was working on wedding stuff in July and enjoying a month free from homework.

This past week, I've read "Doing It" by Melvin Burgess, "Forever..." by Judy Blume, and "Seventeenth Summer" by Maureen Daly. "Doing It" was great, the Blume was typical Blume, and I'll admit that I skimmed vast passages of Daly's book, simply because nothing much happens and I didn't miss anything but five paragraph descriptions of the light and the garden and whatever else was going on in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 1942 when the book was written.

I actually managed to cook dinner for me and S before he had work at 4pm, so I feel like that's my primary accomplishment of the day. I made a quiche that tasted like pizza because I used tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in addition to the regular onions and cheddar and other veggies we had in the fridge. S kept saying how good it was, so that was great.

I've watched a very tiny bit of news, catching Hilary's time on the floor during the 6:00 news putting up New York's delegates for Obama. I'll admit that I got goosebumps--the convention floor just must be glittering with excitement.

I promise wedding, honeymoon and vacation photos in the near future, but right now, I'm probably going to start "The Pigman" by Paul Zindel while my brain cooks my ideas for my autobiographical essay.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This may have to suffice for a while



Today my flowers arrived, and so my mom is busily putting them into water. S and I have some errands to run, and then I can begin the task of arranging flowers. Tomorrow is our rehearsal, and we have chocolates to pick up and box, and I need to fix the steaming on the front of my dress since the silk isn't laying quite right. Also, I need to haul our photographer downtown to scope out places for photos, and confirm things with the restaurant where our reception will be.

So, I may not be blogging for a while. "And yet somehow the world goes on..."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here, take my sweater

My mom invited me and my sister to go to see the Wailin' Jennys with her tonight at the local Paramount Theatre. It should be a good time; I missed them the last time they were here (right before our trip to San Francisco last year) because I had bronchitis that was slowly causing me to die. Except, I didn't die, because I went on vacation four days later, but it was painful, so. I'm quite pleased that my mom offered to take us to the show tonight.

The last show I saw was with S when we saw Ingrid Michaelson at the Fine Line. It was a sold out show, and I learned a few things. First, that she is a great live performer, very witty and charming the crowd to bits. Second, that I am far too old to stay standing for more than four hours together in a row. Third, that mean girls who steal Ingrid's sweater are bad. Shame on the girl who stole an Anthropologie sweater from Ingrid on her last tour. Shame! Maybe she was just really drunk?

Here's to not thinking about wedding things for at least three hours.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The joys of unity

S and I are both working with our insurance guys to figure out the best coverage for our cars and since we are in an apartment, renters coverage as well. I really like my insurance guy, and I just got off the phone with him. Coverage for our rings would be a bit cheaper if we added a rider to the rental insurance, so I my have to debate switching that over. I'll have to see if S's insurance guy can add the quote for jewelry coverage as well. Ahh, the joys of unity.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Eee, very excited about this...

So back when I discovered Myra Callan and her Twigs & Honey shop on Etsy, I knew I had to get a hair adornment of my own. Mine was so fun and inspiring that my cousin Maggie offered to be my flowergirl, but she wanted a hair flower of her own.

Today, Myra updated me with the news that the headband she made for little Meg was finished and ready to go. I'm going to surprise her with it once I get it in the mail. For now, since she's seven and doesn't use the internet, I think I'm safe posting it here. I love that Myra went the extra mile on this; she matched Meg's dress, and added the berries to match my hair flower. It's so cute, I just want to eat it up!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update!

S graciously offered to drive to my school in order to pay for the lost library item. He hit the road around 1pm, and made it there, only to discover that the item had been returned, just not checked in. Eek! This happens occasionally at the library where I work, so I was sympathetic, but criminy! The librarian removed the hold on my account and I got into the two courses I wanted (Materials for Young Adults and Library 2.0 with Michael Stephens). Overall though, I just keep thinking, S drove an hour and a half to St. Paul and back for me. That's what we call "a keeper."

Ups and downs

I am feeling pretty anxious right now, though I'm trying to play it cool. I woke up at 5:50 this morning to register for classes, both of which had plenty of seats left, only to find that I have a hold against my registration for a lost library book! I am going to be making a lot of calls today (already sent e-mails at 6am) to try to resolve this and register today instead of later this week. I have earned enough credits to register today, and so I just ask that you say a prayer/send a wish/hope/dream that I am able to get into the two courses I would really like to have this fall. Thanks.

In other news, S surprised me yesterday with our couch! He and my parents picked it up, lugged it into the apartment, and assembled the legs (they are plastic but look like wood) all without my knowledge. S picked me up after work to attend his cousin Becca's birthday party, which was fun. On the drive, I was asking about when he could pick up the couch 'tomorrow' and he said he'd 'work it out.' Sneaky. So I'm writing this from my new couch, on internet access that I am paying for, across from our fully assembled Ikea bookshelf. Woo!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Foray into real furniture

S and I started off the day with a trip to a local discount store, along with my mom, to look at some bookshelves similar to the Ikea Expedit that we liked. We wound up looking at microfiber couches, and after we decided we liked one enough to buy it (in our price range of 'as close to zero dollars as possible') my mom informed me that she could just buy it and it could be "part of" our wedding present from my parents.

Awesome!

So, she paid for it, and we'll go pick it up sometime this week. How excited am I to sit on a real, padded surface instead of our Japanese Zen style cushions or hard dining room chairs? Words cannot describe.

After dropping S off at work for a hard afternoon/evening worth of raising money for various political groups, I hit the road with my friend Amanda for a lovely shopping-filled afternoon. We headed southeast for an afternoon of shopping at Ikea. The bookshelf at the local store wasn't quite the versatile statement piece (see #1) we were going for, so I bit the bullet and bought the real deal. S is assembling as I type, and I'm enjoying sitting on a chair cushion which only set us back $5.99.

I also acquired two more dining room chairs, so now we can have a proper game night, and many textiles and some lighting. I bought some art as well—some Carl Larsson cards and box frames to put them in. I actually am part Swedish, and they are very cheery little pictures for our kitchen. I promise some photos of our fully furnished and decorated apartment are coming soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Naked walls?

Our apartment is still coming together. We're gathering more furniture, though we have more bookshelves than seating currently, I may hit up Ikea for another one this weekend. Maybe the couch shopping will happen on Friday, if I can convince S to take some time to head to the other end of town.

The real problem, in my mind, is our naked walls. At my parents house, all the walls in our downstairs are painted vivid colors. My sister Andrea's room is blue, my room is red, the family room is a sea green, and the hallway is marigold yellow. The apartment is pretty stark cream-colored walls with texturizing.

S and I have put a few of Gennine's prints on our registry, though I am very tempted to just buy one or two to cheer up the place. I would also like a few things from Three Potato Four but need to figure out some cheap frames and where I'd put the little prints. We also should get our engagement photos developed and framed for a grouping, and of course, quite soon we'll have wedding photos as well.

At least I have some lovely flowers left over from Sunday's bridal shower in my honor, hosted by S's wonderful aunts. They cooked fabulous food (chicken salad, a quiche type thing, fruit skewers, a special shrimp cocktail since I love shrimp, plus three kinds of dessert and two kinds of punch!). It was a good time for all, and we got some lovely gifts. I've been diligently working on writing out thank you notes.

Heading out this evening to see "Sex and the City" with my sister. Woo for movie night!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Update from the new homefront

It's been a while since I've updated, mainly due to the fact that we don't have internet access at our new place yet (Monday!), and I am lazy. It seems that every evening this week, I've been going over to my parents' house, picking up a few miscellaneous items, then going to pick up S from work. He's working evenings now, which means I see him far less than when he was working days. It's kind of sad, but I'm hoping he can find a different, more rewarding job that will see him through the fall semester at least. Last night I hung out with my sister, and we played Wii golf and went for a bike ride which was great. Tonight when she gets off work, I think we'll swim, since it's like a sauna outside.

It's kind of weird to be moved out of my parents' house, but it's also weirdly nice. Our apartment is lacking furniture, but I'm hoping to find acquire seating this weekend, and add some artwork to our very bare, very white walls. I don't yet have my summer routine down without class in session, so I feel somewhat lazy and bored, until I realize I have books to read and wedding things to do...

Wedding plans are down to just a few things; S needs to buy a suit, we need to call people and confirm that they are coming and what they want to eat, figure out a seating chart, and ask the restaurant how early we can set up the room with place cards and such. The week before the wedding, we'll have favors (chocolate truffles) to pick up and box, I'll have flowers to arrange and assemble, announcements and programs to print, and we'll have our rehearsal. Really, there's not too much left to do, or that I have to do, anyway. Now it's up to the kind people who are helping us out to do their part! Oh, and S's aunts are throwing me a bridal shower on Sunday, so that should be fun, and they are both awesome cooks, so it should be a yummy time as well.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ch-ch-changes

Have I mentioned how much I am loving having an online class? It's been really convenient—no driving, and I think I'm learning as much if not more than in a traditional class. I do miss the human interaction, but I've gotten to e-mail my professor and share a discussion forum with my classmates (many of whom I've already had a class or two with, so they are familiar to me) which has resulted in some interesting threads. We've read about tagging, OPAC web-based adaptations, Drupal, social networking, Library 2.0, search engine optimization, openness/copyright, and so on. I've successfully learned how to develop a webpage using (X)HTML and CSS, and have really enjoyed pretty much every facet of this course. Here's hoping I can take another one before I graduate, since this class ends tomorrow with a final exam...

After class is done, I'll have a new task to look forward to: moving! Here is my new neighborhood, showing the distance from our place (B) to the new library (A, completion date: sometime at the end of August—in the aerial view, it's still a big parking lot):



On the right of the aerial view, you can see the dense buildings that make up the campus of my alma mater and S's current place of education. We'll both be within 10 blocks of the place we go to most frequently. We're going to try to be as green as possible, factoring in that I drive a total of 3 hours merely to get to my school's campus and back at least once or twice a week. See the green spot on the map? That's our 'lake'! And currently, my friend Amanda lives on the corner of the green field near the dot you see in the image.

We have a bit of packing to do, and the plan is to start moving in some larger furniture on Tuesday evening, culminating with the delivery of our new mattress on Wednesday. I see a trip to IKEA in our future...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fingers crossed

Well, tonight at midnight is the deadline for my final project for this summer's course. There are a few assignments and a test left, but this is the major assignment:

The Final Website!

So, that's the link, and I feel like it really is some of my best work. I actually understand XHTML and CSS now, which is incredible and surprisingly fun. I really got a kick out of making things look how I wanted them to look using simple commands.

I really, really hope I get an "A" on this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm so happy you're alive

On Saturday I headed to the Rosedale Mall to meet up with two of my college friends, Kelly and Sara, to see David Sedaris read at the Borders there. They managed to get me a contraband wristband at the line up earlier that day, so we were able to eat a leisurely lunch and talk before the reading and then have books signed after the reading. It was really nice to see them both and catch up. Both of them are married and we talked about what comes next in our lives. They got us a lovely wedding present as well, which was an awesome surprise: our espresso machine! Woo! Plus, the game Taboo, so now we can have proper game nights and make yummy lattes for our guests.

Kelly had to leave a bit early, so Sara and I stood in line after the reading to have our copies of "When you are engulfed in flames" signed. We were talking about random things, and I was commenting about what a crappy day it was to be inside for an author reading, since the weather was so great, and that's when it was my turn to talk to Mr. Sedaris. So I wound up talking to him about the weather. Oh well. He signed my book, "To Beth, I'm so happy you're alive," which he signs for a lot of people, but it's kind of funny nonetheless.

Sara doesn't have a blog, so I'm going to tell her story here. It was her turn right after me, and David said her full name aloud, "Sara-Bridgett... we met last night!" and Sara said, "No... but we met the last time you read here," and he said, "I remember you," and she said she was surprised, but then he said, "Sara-Bridgett, what's in your bag?" and she kind of laughed and said, "Well, I'm kind of embarrassed." David said, "Why would you be embarrassed?" and Sara said, "It's a book for my husband," and she pulled it out and said "Cthulu and other stories," and David said, "How do you say that?" and Sara repeated, "Cthulu" (cuh-thoo-loo) "Why, how do you say it?" and David replied, "Oh, I don't know! Cthulu... Well, that's a lovely painting on the cover," and Sara agreed. I forget what he wrote in her book, but I do remember that he missed a word, probably because he was busy chatting to her about Cthulu. Hee.

Anyway, I've already read a few of the stories in his latest book, and they're pretty great. Also, if you're a Sedaris fan, I definitely recommend checking out Sloane Crosley's book, "I was told there'd be cake." It's humorous urban essays about everyday things, but the woman has a knack for description, much like Sedaris.

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's nice to be living in the future



This video (in case the embed above doesn't work) is something I had to watch for my class, and watching it kind of gives me goosebumps. It's so great to be living in an age of technology; typing this as I sit using my laptop to read articles online and watch Clay Shirky videos for my graduate school class, while thinking of how to design my webpage for my final assignment is pretty incredible when I think about what higher education was like even 20 years ago.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My favorite summertime drink

When Melissa posted Hemingway's favorite drink, I realized how similar it is to something my sister Andrea and I accidentally 'invented,' which we like to call:

The Lime-gasm!

Instructions for use:

Fill highball style glass with ice

Pour in the following:

original Malibu rum (approx. 2 shots worth)
lime juice (approx. 1 shot or to taste)
fill rest of glass with citrus soda (7up or Fresca work equally well)

Sip and enjoy!

I had no idea that there was already a drink called the Papa Doble, but I am not really a 'drinks' kind of person, more of a 'meet up with friends' type who capitalizes on cheap beer and/or wine. Anyway, I really like the lime-gasm, and if you try it, hope you do, too!

Also, check out Melissa C. Morris in The New York Times! I've enjoyed reading her blog for a while (I remember when she posted the first wedding photos, and I loved her intimate ceremony and white suit) so it's fun to see her getting some blogger recognition. She's not the typical blogger, that's for sure, and I love Monty Mondays! Like she says in the article, she tries to be lighthearted, and that's why I enjoy her writing.

Friday, June 06, 2008

As promised, Thing #4, photos of the new STC Library

IMG_1168
IMG_1168,
originally uploaded by rubybeth.
As my readers know, I already use Flickr, but it's on the list of 23 Things, so again, I'm blogging about something I already like. I mainly use Flickr for personal photos, though with Facebook having unlimited uploads of photos, I often skip uploading things to Flickr and go to Facebook instead. I guess I do this because some photos are only interesting to those who are in them, and with Facebook tagging, this is easy and more fun for my friends than just seeing photos on Flickr. However, Flickr opens me up to a far wider community of awesome photographers. I love trolling for new and interesting photos, though I don't do it very often.

I used Flickr to find ideas for engagement and wedding photos, and our photographer uses Flickr, so I could comment on our e-photos as soon as he uploaded them, only a day after they were taken. I think this immediacy is what users want from libraries. As a millenial/gamer generation/generation Y librarian-to-be, I understand this need for something I want. Right now. That's what great about digital media; I take a photo of my friends out celebrating, and then before I go to sleep, I upload the photos to Facebook, and the next day we can already reminisce and solidify relationships, all because of technology.


All the photos of the new St. Cloud Public Library are on Flickr.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Customized!!

I realize this is fast becoming a total wedding blog, but hey, when I've got 2 months to go, I want to write about the fun things I'm doing!


We decided on some custom stamps for our invites/reply cards/thank you notes. One of the things that we're paying special attention to for the event is the invitations. I really think the invites give guests a cue about the event itself—its formality and level of personalization, etc. so the fact that we designed our own stationery and are having it printed (soon!) and are getting these photo stamps, etc. is kind of important to me. I also addressed most of the envelopes today, and only messed up one! I inadvertently wrote "MN" instead of "Minnesota"—so not a huge deal, but I re-wrote it nonetheless. Here's hoping the printing process goes well!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Excitement at the library

Today as I was checking in some items at work, the power went out. We waited in the dark, scrambling for flashlights, checking out by hand by writing down patron's barcodes, asking, "How much longer until they let us go?" It was about a half hour, and we got word that we could leave. I made it as far as a downtown coffee shop before getting the call that the power was restored and to come back. Oh, the excitement!

On an unrelated note, round one of engagement photos are on the web! Alex did a good job, kind of staying out of the way, and getting some great candid/photojournalistic shots of us just having fun. We had one more location in mind, so we're going to attempt to get some more shots in a day or so, namely a semi-lame one where we are both looking at the camera and smiling for the local paper announcement (our mothers are very keen on this).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fun with XHTML

I have been working a lot on my exercises for my online class (Internet Fundamentals and Design). My first assignment was easy. It was basically, here, make a little webpage with some italicized and bolded text with a link. So I put five links. *shrugs* I am all about content.

Next, I made this page which I lost some tiny fraction of points on, because I had two body tags and didn't close a paragraph tag. Oops. I fixed them and put up that identical page without the errors. The assignment got a little more tricky (include an image, resize it, etc.) but it took me back to the days where I made a blog on my Tripod site, superrubypunch, in 1997. Oh, I am nothing if not old school. I taught my sister everything I knew about HTML, and then promptly forgot most of it.

Then, I made this page which was fun, because I spent a ton of time hunting down pretty pictures (and naming them, so when you put your mouse over the images, there's a description). We also learned how to make links that pop up in a new window (or tab) and about ASCII symbols. I got all the points for this one. Hot stuff.

Now, I have worked ahead and created this version of the previous page because we learned how to make tables. I fully realize it would make much more sense to have the images be links directly to the items, but for the assignment, we were to make two tables, one of text that is centered, one with images. I will probably ultimately revise that page to a much larger table with links and image descriptions, etc.

I actually geek out about this stuff, which shouldn't be surprising to me, since I liked it when I did it at age 16, but hey, it's nice to know I haven't changed that much. I still like the same boy I did at age 17, so at least I'm consistent.

An additional item I didn't need, but love anyway


I am loving this scarf, which I just bought after finding out about it via, where else? The Etsy Wedding Blog.

I do realize that my wedding is in August, one of the (statistically, anyway) hottest months of the year, but since we'll be indoors for much of the time, and air conditioning is not known to be the perfect temperature, I was a little concerned about my bare shoulders/neckline. And, it should be a good match with the red silk shoes!


Oh, you'd think I'd planned this really well, wouldn't you? It's really been the luck of the wedding gods. Love the details on both are silver, and that I'll be wearing white gold jewelry, etc. etc. It's these little details that get me excited for our wedding day all over again, everytime I look at them.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My cousin Christy



My cousin Christy had her graduation party yesterday, and it was a hit. I tried my first Miller (gross), talked to various cousins I haven't seen in a while, ate a huge number of cookies (I lost count after four), and failed to really make any progress in wedding decision-making (cousin Angie is helping me with music! woo!). I scored a "you are good friends with Christy" on the 'Christy Quiz,' which was good news. I admit to cheating to figure out her favorite band (my cousin Erik revealed that the right answer was the top play count on her computer, even though the next 10 most played songs in iTunes were Colbie Caillat—hah!) but this didn't actually bump me to the eschelon of "You are best friends with Christy," so oh well.

I also got a lovely belated birthday present from my cousin Simon and his wife Eve, in the form of the game Clue. It's been a while since I've played the game, so we're going to find time in the next few weeks to hang out and watch Star Trek, play games, and go to an electronics store in the cities. Yay!

Perhaps if you are a regular reader, you've noticed the addition of ads to this blog. I'm going to try it out, see how it goes, etc. I've often wondered how ads work in a personal blog, but looking at the success of bloggers like Heather Armstrong who have a seriously huge amount of ads (but also excellent, fabulous content), makes me curious enough to try it out.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A plug: MyRegistry.com

This is just a brief plug for the site MyRegistry.com. S and I are using it to some extent for our wedding registry, because we like some things that aren't available at la Boutique Targét. There are awesome housewares available all over the web, from the likes of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and even Etsy! I recommend the site even if you aren't 'registering' for an event, but just want a place to store all the stuff you find online that you like and want to remember. I know life isn't about collecting piles of material objects, but hey, everyone needs bedding and towels, right? And why not a rice cooker, too?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why online classes rule

Okay, so I'm taking this online class this summer with an instructor from Dominican University (my MLIS program is kind of confusing; I understand it, but it's weird to explain) and as I sat down this evening to watch a movie, I realized: I have an assignment to complete!

I'd started working on it yesterday morning, then promptly forgot about it as S and I went about our days. I subbed at a branch library, then we had delicious Chinese dinner with two of his aunts. After that, we watched a 'drive-in' movie, wherin we took my laptop to a parking lot where we could see the sunset and we watched "2 Days in Paris" which was great. This morning, I had a dress fitting with his aunt Jean, a.k.a. the amazing seamstress who sewed her daughter's wedding dress, and then we looked at an apartment.

So, this website is my completed assignment (nice, huh) plus I am reading about "As We May Think". And I just have to have this done by 11:50 pm! Yay for online classes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Engagement photos coming up

meagan
meagan,
originally uploaded by Alexander Pierce Johnson.
This is a photo taken by our photographer, Alex Johnson, a.k.a. my sister's best friend since preschool. I'm really psyched to have him take our engagement and wedding photos. We're probably going to attempt to get outside and take e-photos either tomorrow or sometime next week.

Everyone has said, "You need a good photographer!" and I've said, "oh, my friend Alex is taking our pictures" and they've given me this weird sideways "you cheapskate" kind of look. But c'mon, look at this and his other photos on flickr... no worries! We're already comfortable with him, so that's half the battle. He's got such a great eye for beauty in small details, I'm excited!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

You take me the way I am...



Isn't Ingrid Michaelson a really cute girl? I heard "The Way I Am" on public radio a few weeks ago, and just loved the song and listened to it a million times on last.fm. S and I just bought tickets to see her on June 6, so that will be our first concert together. We've been to bars to see bands, but it wasn't deliberately to see an artist we both liked. How weird is it that we've been together for more than 2 and a 1/2 years, and this will be our first 'show-going experience'?

Anyway, today is my first class meeting for Internet Fundamentals and Design, and the rest of the course will be done online. I've already decided that I'm probably going to design a wedding webpage for me and S, because, what the heck, that's what I'm spending the majority of my time working on, aside from actual library work and the difficult job of enjoying the beautiful Minnesota spring weather.

Friday, May 16, 2008

#3: RSS, Bloglines, oh my!

Thing #3 is another one I've already done. I use Bloglines, and I really like it. I have a few options that I do regularly: to skim for interesting posts from favorite bloggers, to read all posts by those bloggers since the last time I checked in, or to know it's been updated and to click through to their actual blog and read it from there. It's also one of those browser tabs that rarely gets closed once I open it in Firefox. I just keep it up and look at it once or twice a day when I want something to read.

I think one of the most useful applications of RSS could be for libraries and teachers to put out timely information on a feed instead of e-mailing or expecting users/students to login somewhere. RSS makes it easy to update the masses without masses of 'extra' information overload.

To be completely transparent, I will say that the only reason I found out about Bloglines 2 years ago was because I attended a session on Library 2.0 in Willmar, taught by Michael Stephens himself. I was the only one in the room of about 30 library staff who'd heard of or already used half the things he was talking about (last.fm, Facebook, Flickr, to name a few) and he literally told me, "You need a Bloglines account," so I went home and made one and never looked back.

I used to visit a lot of blogs on a regular basis, just to see if they'd added anything new, and now I don't have to waste time hunting around for updates. Aggregators, I find, are especially nice for keeping up with Michael Stephen's blog, Found Magazine's Daily Finds, and the combined list of LIS jobs. As of right now, I have 43 feeds in my Bloglines. Instead of hunting down where a feed is on a site, I usually just type the URL into Bloglines and let it search for the feed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Decisions, decisions, wedding related decisions

So I'm pretty sure I know why brides seem extraordinarily obsessed with their own weddings. There are so many little decisions to make, and going through the process of making those decisions leads you closer and closer to the goal of being married to your guy. Case in point: what should I do with my hair for the wedding?


Exhibit A is my curly hair with the hair adornment made by the lovely Myra. I want my hair to look kind of natural, how it normally does, but punched up a bit. My Colombian 'sister' Cata said she will help me, and I'm sure Andrea (my sister) will, too. I just really like an un-fussy look, but need something that will hold up through photos and being outside in August.



The back of my head, with curls (some enhanced with curling iron, but not much).



So, what to do? I still don't know, but it helps to write about it instead of keeping it in my crazy bridal brain.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Paper's here!

Our paper for our wedding invitations is here, and it's really lovely. These are the firecracker red pockets and we went with natural white cards. I think it's a beautiful color combination (I would, wouldn't I? Since I'm wearing the same colors...), and once S designs a motif and we decide on wording, we'll have them printed locally. I'm excited to see how great it looks! S says we can have this done by the end of the month. Woo! Yay for marrying an artistic guy.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thing #2: Web 2.0 and why I should care

For #2 of 23 things, I'm going to address some questions:

* We know time is always an issue--Stephen Abram shares some ideas on where to find the time for 23 Things. Where will you find the time?
* Why are you participating in 23 Things On a Stick? What do you hope to learn?
* How has the Internet and the vast resource it can be affected your use of time at work and/or at home?
* Where are you in your knowledge and use of Web 2.0 tools? How about your library?
* What are you looking forward to in 23 Things On a Stick?

To answer all of these, first of all, do I get bonus points for being Facebook 'friends' with Stephen Abram? No? Okay, well, anyway, part of why I want to do the 'things' is that I've got a few weeks before my next course begins, and so it will be fun to try these things and think about them differently. I already use so many of the 'things' that I'm going to be blogging about, and my hope is that I can think about these Web 2.0 tools in relation to what I will be doing as a librarian once I graduate and find employment as a 'real librarian.'

I think the perspectives of Millenials/Gen Y'ers are very important for libraries right now. Since most of us already use these Web 2.0 tools for our own personal uses (sharing photos on Flickr, using aggregators to keep up with friends' blogs, etc.) and don't even think about them as being anything 'new' or unusual, I think we can help bridge the gap between the seasoned librarians and even younger generations who simply do not find the library a relevant place. This is where Library 2.0 (or L2) comes in. As Blyberg points out,

"While there are a lot of non-technical components to L2, the fact of the matter is that technology is L2’s impetus. I think this is where a lot of confusion comes in to play. L2 is not about technology, but technology is an important component of it."

Also, I love this point:

"Also, it’s not terribly costly to integrate social software in ways that Jenny Levine, Jessamyn West and Sarah Houghton have been suggesting for a long time now. It just takes energy, enthusiasm and a will to do it."

It's like, come on, people! This stuff is FREE! Why not try it, play around, enjoy it, and embrace it? New things are fun and exciting; don't be afraid of change. Life is all about change. I love that I get to be on my library's Virtual Service Team, and talk about these things with librarians and actually implement change in my organization. What's hard is really making 'radical trust' work in a bureaucracy, which is essentially what all libraries are. I'm glad that our director has been supportive of the VST and overhauling our library's website.

Another Blyberg point I like:

"L2 is not an option. If we don’t acknowledge the weighty significance of L2, we will not just be running the risk of sliding into obscurity, we just wont be that important to society. We will become the functional equivalent of back-room storage full of green hanging-file-folder boxes."

Amen to that.

I'm really looking forward to the next 21 things, and re-energizing myself both in library school and in my current job as a library assistant.

Little Miss Maggie

IMG_0024
IMG_0024,
originally uploaded by rubybeth.
On my birthday, my cousins visited for a while. Maggie was kind of monopolizing the conversation, so I tried to distract her for a bit with some books of centerpieces and bouquets, saying, "Tell me which of these you like," while I talked to Nick and Emily. Moments later, she found a page with, you guessed it: flower girl floral ideas.

"I could be your flower girl!" she said, "I even have a dress!" sounding completely delighted with the idea. I asked her mom (my godmother) about it, and she gave the go-ahead, so I stopped over yesterday to see the dress.

She went inside wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, and came back out in this. She's a pretty cute little ragamuffin, isn't she? She really wants a hair piece like the one I had made by Myra on Etsy, so we shall see about that (I'm thinking a headband, for the little girl who hates having her superfine hair in her eyes). So, there will still be no bridesmaids, but at least I've got my seven year old cousin in my 'bridal party.' Woohoo!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Beginning 23 Things on a Stick

Libraries in Minnesota are involved in a self-guided Library 2.0 tutorial called 23 Things on a Stick, since everything at the Minnesota State Fair is 'on a stick.' The first session of the tutorial is over, but a new round is beginning May 15. The first 'thing' is to create a blog... well, we know I've got that down! I've decided I'm going to attempt the 23 things, and just label them as such with my current blog. I'm getting a jump on the things since they're already posted here.

The other thing I'm supposed to accomplish is to make an avatar with Yahoo avatars. That was fun! I added my little Beth avatar right over there -----> and I really like her! (Note: I would never wear a skirt that short to work, but y'know, she is cuter that way.)

My thoughts on the first 'thing'? Blogging is so easy and fun that anyone can and should do it, except that blogs really need a focus in order to be relevant for readers. As my readers know, I am kind of all over the map, but I write about how I am in library school, my fiance (who appears as 'S' in this public forum) and our upcoming wedding, food, family, and lots more. I'm into a lot of hobbies (knitting, movies, classical voice, etc.) and I also like to take photos. One of my gifts for my recent golden birthday was a sweet new Canon camera from my parents, so more photos will be appearing soon!

So, here's hoping the next 22 things are as fun as the first one.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Easy spring salad: the 'Fandango' from Panera in your kitchen

S and I went to Panera earlier this week (mm, soups and panini sandwiches) to do some reading/homework (gotta love free Wi-Fi) and had their Fandango salad. It was quite tasty and seemed easy enough to make, so we went to the grocery store yesterday and recreated it at home.

All you need for this tasty, light salad are the following:
Spring mix (fresh spinach would also be good)
Feta cheese
Walnuts (a handful or so to toss in)
Raspberry vinaigrette (we got Wishbone's version with hazelnut, which was cheap and good)
Mandarin oranges (the kind from Dole in the plastic container are nice--no aluminum can taste, plus you only have to use a few at a time and can put the rest in the fridge for later)

Toss everything together in a big bowl, and serve with a mini French baguette, and you've got a quick lunch or dinner. I also think this would be good with grilled chicken or bacon if you want a meat version that will stick with you longer. You could also toss in raisins or dried cranberries to up the fruit content, or even grapes might be good. Ooh, I'm giving myself ideas...

Let me know if you try it and like it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Best fiancé ever?

Today is my birthday, and S and I started the celebrating last night by going out to have some sushi. It was delicious as usual. We had the local sushi place's super yummy house salad, miso soup, and California roll tempura style and something called 'monster roll' which had a lot of things in it. It was right at the beginning of eating that S said to me, "Why did you bring your bag in?" and I said, "Well, ah, there's stuff in it I might need..." and he said, "Like what?" and I replied, "I guess my wallet, and my makeup things, and some lotion," and he asked, "What else?" I opened up the bag and looked in it, and what did I spy but the "Enchanted" soundtrack. S had snuck it into my bag as a pre-birthday surprise. Aww. I was really happy about it, because I wanted to buy the CD last week but figured I could wait on it, which paid off. Nice! We finished dinner, came back to my house, and later watched an episode of "Poirot" before crashing.

This morning was nice and somewhat lazy, eating breakfast and drinking coffee. My parents and S and I went out for lunch at a mexican place where they will serve a free birthday meal and fried ice cream on your special day. I started the meal with a pina colada, and just in the middle of telling a story, I looked down at my purse next to me, voila:



Except in its box. I looked at it for a second, not realizing what it was, and then went, "An iPod? For me!?" Upon closer inspection, it's a 160GB! I think this may mean that S is the best fiancé ever. I'm a very happy woman.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yes, that is really my dashboard from this morning



Ain't Minnesota great?

It's a birthday miracle! While it is indeed a snowy wilderness outside today, I'm quite pleased. I wasn't too excited about sitting in our marriage preparation course this weekend, on my golden birthday (which is tomorrow) (which also reveals how old I am). This morning, S and I woke up and got ready to go, and I had some orange juice which didn't agree with me (I'll spare the particulars, suffice it to say I wasn't feeling well). Then my phone rang for the second time with a number I didn't recognize. I handed it to S and he answered. Turns out, because of the crazy snow, the marriage prep course was cancelled! Too many attendees and presenters had to drive in from areas where road conditions were worse than in town.

I feel like I've gotten a bonus 3-day weekend (I took my personal day for Monday) for my birthday! Then S and I decided to go back to sleep, which we did until nearly 11, then woke up feeling pretty good. I made waffles, S got me a Starbucks mocha (we have been trying to cut down on coffee house fare so this was a special treat) and he revealed that I have 'some' presents for tomorrow. Yay for birthdays and snow days!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Branching out

On Monday, I started reading the first of Mark Crilley's "Miki Falls" series. For a while, I've wanted to give manga a try, but haven't really found a series that caught my attention and seemed like something I wanted to devote some time to—but Crilley's book has some nice things about it: the drawing style is a bit more refined than the average line-drawing manga, it's not in the backwards-style 'original manga' format, and it's only four books for the whole series. I liked the first one so much, I stopped by the library today to pick up my hold on #2.

I also still have another stack of graphic novels to read after my classes are officially done (tonight!). We're having a bit of a pot luck tonight in class, so I got some hummus, carrots and crackers to bring. Yay for being almost done!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Semi note to self about our future apartment

(I know I promised library photos, but I can't find the camera cord and I need to keep these notes somewhere!).

Things we're looking for in a place:

shorter lease options (6 mos. or month-by-month)
available July 1 (or June, but better if July)
1-2 bedroom (2 bedroom pref. even if they're very small)
on bus line to downtown or campus
close to new library/campus (walkable/bikeable distances in good weather)
free parking (garage available = even better for my dumb Saturn)
laundry in building

Bonuses:

dishwasher (v.nice)
heat/most util. included (except phone/internet/electric)
balcony or small yard area (v.nice)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nearing the end

My new toy came via FedEx on Thursday. That's right, I finally got a MacBook. S and I have (obviously) had fun taking lots of Photo Booth photos of ourselves, but mainly, I'm liking that I can do my homework using Google Documents and carry the computer with me to another room. I already ordered a Speck case for it, so I can keep it looking somewhat new.

I only have two more class meetings until the semester is over, and only one project. My grant proposal is probably about 2/3 done at this point, but I also need to make a one page summary and present the project in class tomorrow. Honestly, isn't writing a grant enough work? I don't know how I'm going to talk about it for 10 minutes. Part of me is tempted to just e-mail my instructor the thing and be done with it, thus saving gas (which is now up to $3.45/gallon in my area). I won't actually do that, though, because I'm so conscientious about my participation points.

S did end up watching "Enchanted" with me, and he really liked it. He actually wanted to watch it again last night, but I was feeling too driven and wanted to work on my homework.

I promise photos of the library the next time I post!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In need of some entertainment

So right now I should be working on writing my paper on "A" is for Alibi for my readers' advisory class, but I have to leave in about 15 minutes to pick up S from campus after his class, so instead I'm dorking around the internet. I really wish that I had written this paper sooner, but I spent time working on projects for my other class and watching movies, like "The Namesake" and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and "The Jane Austen Book Club" and "Atonement." Well, not all at once, but in the last few weeks or so. I have grand plans to finish the paper this evening, let it sit tomorrow morning while I go on the tour of the new library (I promise photos... as long as I remember my camera!), and then edit it before heading off for class.

I got "Enchanted" from Netflix today, and I really want S to watch it, but even if he can't, I'm going to watch it soon, even though I've seen it before. Along with my cousin Simon, I thought it was a great movie, really lighthearted and refreshing. It was light and fun and pure entertainment, just like I like movies to be.

Also from Netflix, I got the next disc of Agatha Christie's Poirot, which S and I have been watching for a while. Well, I introduced him to it, but now he loves the Belgian detective even more than I do, and often begins sentences with, "Poirot would..." or makes references to it even when the occasion has nothing to do with solving mysteries. Aww.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Accomplishment(s)

I'm feeling like I actually got something done this weekend, even though I felt like going to class was a waste of time with all the stuff I have to get done this week. S and I ordered our wedding bands, so that leaves only one item left on the to-do list for this month. Hooray! Oh, and registering for gifts is sort of tentatively on the docket, too, but that can wait as long as we need it to.

The other accomplishment was that I (well, really S and I both) decided to order a laptop. I feel weird spending more than 1K on anything, but we'll need two good computers once we get married, and if we're in a 1-bedroom apartment for a while, being able to be in separate rooms to work on homework will be good (S likes music while he works late into the night; I like to go to bed at a reasonable hour). Plus, my class this summer is an online deal, so I have grand plans to sit on my deck and learn about internet fundamentals and design.

Now, back to work...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Homeworkin' it up

Oh my gosh, I am inundated with homework. I actually worked ahead last week in order to feel less pressured this week, but I still feel overwhelmed. I've got the following assignments to complete:

For readers advisory:
-Complete reading of books for booktalk on Wednesday (1.5 books to finish reading, writing booktalk blubs for)
-Complete 10 page paper on publishing/readers advisory significance of "A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

For services for children and young adults:
-Write grant proposal

Okay, so three assignments looks like piddly nothing, but the final projects are worth significant portions of my grades for both classes, and the booktalk thing is just becoming an afterthought, though I am excited about my chosen books and idea ("Books to try if you liked 'Eat, Pray, Love'—travel and self-discovery abroad"). Thank goodness I am done with my two projects due for class tomorrow (design a summer reading program with $1300 budget, and design a single teen program with $200 budget). I know these assignments are really preparing me well for working with young adults and with readers across genres, but it feels like a lot is on my plate before the end of the semester on Wednesday, April 23.

Thankfully, I have a couple weeks reprieve from April 23 until May 18. S and I have wedding-related work to do on my birthday weekend (April 27) and we are trying to check a few things off the to-do list before then. One nice thing I found out last weekend is that my Colombian sister Cata (exchange student who lived with us for a year) has enlisted her mother to find me some earrings/necklace (?) to wear from Colombia. We'll see how this pans out, but her mom has pretty fabulous taste, and knows I am wearing some red accents. As a backup, I may find something(s) from LuxeDeluxe on Etsy, because her stuff has a good style that I like. This is the fun part of wedding planning! This, and getting to eat tiramisu at the reception instead of cake. And, bugging S to design our invitations soon so we can get them printed and sent out in June.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

PLA: nerdy fun

Last week I had the excellent opportunity to attend the Public Libraries Association conference in Minneapolis. My cousin Simon and his wife Eve were gracious and let me stay over at their place in St. Paul, which saved me considerable drive time for three days while I learned about all kinds of library-related things.

I saw a lot of people I knew, both from my job and from school, and it was nice to see so many friendly librarian faces. I attended a preconference session on management, sessions on readers advisory services for young adults, gaming in libraries, weeding, how to handle upset patrons, a session on dealing with work stress, and got to see lots of cool vendors booths. One of the best parts was when my coworker and I were on the convention floor and we happened to be by the booth for the company who is putting together our library's automated materials handling system (AMHS). We got to see the set up, how it checks in books automatically, how it sorts items into bins, and so forth.

The library fun continues today with a tour of the new library building. People in my department have yet to see what our new building looks like inside, and so today, I get to see. I have plans to take photos, so I will definitely post some of the best of those later.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I love Myra!



A few weeks ago, I was reading the Etsy Wedding Blog and read about Myra Callan who makes custom designed hair ornaments for special occasions. Man, are these things beautiful, I thought. I wrote her a message on Etsy and she replied promptly with a price quote and ideas for the design. When she had the piece completed and I felt it was maybe a bit too large (I have a small head, okay?), she re-made it for me a little bit smaller. She is incredibly understanding and will do pretty much anything to make you happy, and I highly recommend her pieces for special events, or even just something fun to wear for a night out. I keep trying on my piece and wearing it around, forgetting it's even there because it's so light. I'm so excited to wear it on my wedding day, and even after that!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The things you have to decide

In my wildest imagination, I never once thought of having to plan a wedding and think about the kind of things I have to think about now that we're about 4 and a half months from our wedding date. The latest thing I'm focusing on: flowers. I want to have a nice bouquet but I don't want to spend a lot, and I also don't want the huge bridal bouquet. I want a smaller, lighter bouquet, since I have gimpy wrists that get tired quite easily. Plus, my dress is fairly simple (see previous post) so I want my bouquet to be in line with that style.

So, I found fiftyflowers.com and growersbox.com and I think I want to create something like these:




Also, I found some bouquets that feature a pretty little flower, hypericum, and I really like them. This is one that I really like, just not in those colors. Since my dress is ivory and my shoes are red, I think I could go with mostly ivory flowers (the calla lilies and the roses) and then a few red hypericum berries thrown in for some color. Oh, decisions, decisions. With the Grower's Box flowers and the Fifty Flowers sites, I could have plenty of flowers to work with for both my bouquet, a boutonniere for S, and centerpieces for our restaurant reception.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Two fun things and one icky thing

Today, S and I are headed to the cities for some water park fun with some of his cousins. I'm pretty excited since it's been months and months since I've been swimming, and now that the weather is warming up, my spring fever is getting better, but I think the day at the water park may cure it entirely. That, and the fact that I can now bike again. Huzzah! I actually went out on Tuesday night after work to just stretch my legs again, and it felt great.

This evening, I'm singing in a special mass at church, so we're going to have to leave the water park a bit earlier than everyone else, but I'm looking forward to singing. The cathedral gathers these "festival choirs" from among everyone in the diocese for their special event masses, so it's a fairly large group, and the music is awesome.

One thing that sucks about spring is the onslaught of boxelder bugs. I think my dad needs to do some sealing of our house, because I kill three bugs a day, at least. I'm not afraid of bugs, especially not boxelder bugs, because they don't bite or sting or anything, but when they're just randomly on my desk or my floor in my house, I kind of get the creeps. Plus, they're just ugly!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Some weird things

My cousin Jess has challenged me to write about some weird things that I do, so I will attempt to explain some of what makes me weird (though probably not that weird).

1. My cousin Simon noticed that I do this. While eating, I usually have to be talking to someone or reading something. If I am talking to someone, I frequently stop eating and focus on talking, thus leaving my food alone. When I am talking to S and eating, S reminds me to eat. If I'm eating with someone else, they may think I am done with my food before I really am. And, if I'm alone and eating, if I don't have something to read, I feel very awkward, even if it's just breakfast at my own table.

2. The only thing I ever imagined about my wedding before S and I actually talked about it was what I would eat: tiramisu. Pretty much every wedding plan I've made thus far is merely to get me to the point where I am at the reception, eating that very tiramisu. I am very excited about it actually happening.

3. All my CDs are shelved in alphabetical order by artist. All of my books, however, are shelved according to made-up genres.

4. I will have a beer on a whim (S thinks this is weird, whereas I think it's just his fault he got me to like beer). To me, a beer is like a snack.

5. I've blogged for over 10 years, before the word "blog" even existed. S also wants to me to add that he made contact with me again (post high school) via that very old blog, and without it, we probably would not be together right now.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Quick update during my crazy week

I have a really busy week ahead, but thankfully I am done with my homework (mostly) for my next two classes. I have a bit more work to do on a project for Minnesota Storytime (www.minnesotastorytime.org) but I'm confident that my partner and I will have it done by Sunday.

In addition to starting our premarital sessions at church this week, S and I need to get down to business on some other wedding-y details. We booked our reception venue (a local restaurant) on the weekend, and as long as my parents are okay with it (and the price of it...) then that will be our place, which is a relief. Church and reception down, only details to follow.

I was the 'special guest' at storytime today at work, helping out one of the children's staff people. It went really well, and I was surprised how well-behaved the children were. Sure, a few of them were talkative and pointed out things that were unrelated to the happenings, but that was part of the fun. I read "Quick as a Cricket" by Audrey Wood, "Tumble Bumble" by Felicia Bond, and "Bear Wants More" by Karma Wilson, and the children's staff person read "I Like Me" by Nancy Carlson and did a felt-board story that was very cool, plus opening and closing songs. All in all, a very good experience.

Later this week, I have a choir practice for a special church service occurring in two weeks, and then on Saturday, I have a JASNA MN (Jane Austen Society of North American Minnesota) event at the Edina Country Club with my good friend Eve (co-JASNA member). Oh, and a play to attend on Friday night! Ye gods, I really am busy this week.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Woohoo

Obviously in the midst of schoolwork, my job, and planning a bunch of stuff in order to merge lives with S, the blog is taking a backburner. Bummer! I have a lot of things going on about which I could blog, but by the time I think about it, it's time for some sleep.

I haven't been feeling extremely well that past few days. Kind of generally icky, a bit of a sore throat, tired, weird appetite, etc. so I have been laying low and just doing homework and things that absolutely have to get done. I did two presentations in class on Sunday (Services for Children and Young Adults) which I think both went okay. I also got my first two written assignments back, and got perfect scores on both. Woohoo! Now I'm just hoping that my mad storytelling skills and inexperience but exuberance about manga/anime will net me even more points.

Other things am contemplating: how soon to start planning a honeymoon (the best part of getting married, in my opinion), what do with with my last name, where we're going to live, where S will do student teaching in the spring, and if I should try to get a full-time job and just graduate later. It's a lot, really, to ponder.

I feel really good about my decision to never, never, ever look at the checklist of things to do on my theknot.com account. According to that website, I am overdue on doing about 50-some odd things, and have 175 or so to go. Oh heck no! I made my own checklist, which fits on one page of a Word document, thank you very much, and I feel very good about it. I can even add eight more things to the list and still have it on one page. Some things are just things we have to do closer to the date (confirm hairstyle), and others are more pressing (choose a reception venue!?! ack!). I definitely understand why people elope, except that we've broken it down to the very minimum of things to do, and some of the things you skip when eloping (invitations, reception menu) are the things I'm looking forward to doing. I am also glad we're pretty set on our very tiny guestlist, which at this point is right around 50 attendees. Can I get a woohoo for small weddings?

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Emotionally Engaged" and other stuff

I posted some more photos of me and S at the Mardi Gras fundraiser on my flickr account and of course, more pictures of my ring. Whiteflash was so great for us. I got exactly what I wanted, and my does she sparkle!

I started reading "Emotionally Engaged" by Allison Moir-Smith, and have started journaling all my feelings during this time. I'm very excited to be marrying S, but less so about all the planning, except for... the shoes! I originally wanted the rouge of this style (Caparros Val) but Zappos.com was out of my size, so I ordered the vintage pink. Then, suddenly, one pair of the rouge was available, so I jumped. Obviously the red are the more fabulous color, what what with my fascination with Judy Garland, the Wizard of Oz, my red slipper fetish since high school, and my general love of all things red, they make the most sense. Plus, talk about being able to wear them again! But the vintage pink is so lovely, too. Lucky for me, Zappos has a great return policy (365 days from purchase, and they can still be returned for FREE) so I can decide the day before our wedding, or I could wear the pink for the church and the red for the reception...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Silly silly taxes

So, as usual, I was very excited about doing my taxes. That sentence is not sarcastic. I really was super pumped to get my refund! I don't make a lot as a library assistant, so I always get something back. Last year, that 'something back' funded my part of S's and my trip to San Francisco. So, you see now why I was jazzed to do the 'ol 1040.

Well, I filled in all the boxes in TurboTax as usual, except I had a question about the amount I spent on school this year, which is a lot. Let me repeat: graduate school costs A LOT. Unless your Masters or PhD is going to lead you to either A) a lot more happiness, or B) a lot more salary each year, then it is not worth the money/effort/time you spend getting the darn certificate. This year, I entered how much I spent on school tuition (paid for via loans) and my refund was like ca-ching!$!$!$!!$! The dollar signs included in that bit of punctuation represent how big my refund is going to be this year. Crikey!

So I got to thinking: hmm, refund last year was nice, paid for a flight/hotel/food for one week in a glorious California city, but it wasn't nearly as much as for my 2007 return.

This morning, of all mornings, I fired up the 2006 version of TurboTax and tried to see what would happen if I amended my form (1040X for all you tax nerds out there). Well, wowsers! I had plum forgot to put in the amount I spent on tuition! Silly me! Even a girl in grad school sure can be dumb sometimes. Maybe I shouldn't have filled out my form while sipping a rum-infused drink?

Anyway, so now, I am going to refile for last year, along with filing for this year, and so last year's even bigger refund can help fun my honeymoon!$!$!!$! The punctuation represents my new shiny refund amount.

Now I really cannot wait to get my refund. Oh, and my crazy President Bush induced tax credit, which I will pay for later, I'm sure of it, damn you W, I refuse to spend it! I will buy a Certificate of Deposit and nothing more, I swear to God!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What is there to be happy about?

Today I am especially thankful for coworkers who really care about me. We have such a great staff in the department where I work, and I genuinely appreciate their support and encouragement when I am feeling less than my best. I've heard it said that our library has some of the best staff anywhere, and I wholeheartedly agree!

Friday, February 08, 2008

One thing down, and I don't even want to think about the rest

So, I'm pretty sure that this dress is the dress I'm going to wear to marry S. It's the J.Crew Goddess Long dress, and it's currently on final sale. Yipee for a wedding dress on the cheap! It fits me quite well, and S's aunt is an incredible seamstress, so she can help me tweak it (omg, I need a bustle?).

The only bummer is how weird my sister is acting since I got engaged. I guess I expected some strangeness, but not this much, you know? I was showing her the dress tonight, and she asked, "Is it a wedding dress? I know you're going to get married in it, but is it a wedding dress?" I just said, "Yeah, it is, it's got a train..." and she flipped and said she was just asking, because some people get married in dresses that aren't labeled as such, and blah blah. I just wanted to say, dude, it's fine, drop the drama. I think she just wants to roll her eyes at me constantly, but what are you going to do with more than six years of age between us.

I guess weddings bring out the best and worst in people, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

An announcement

So, my blog readers may like to know... S proposed last Friday night! I said yes, of course. The next evening we went to the Mardi Gras fundraiser dinnner/dance. Here are some photos.