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Keem Street

Ah, one step closer to world domination. (pictured with helpful Zach, aka Mr. Toffamy). This street was spotted in Cairns, an Australian city close to the Great Barrier Reef. I feel like there must be some sort of Great Gurgle/Great Barrier Reef wordplay in there someplace, but I can’t quite find it.


It is unfathomable to me that in 3 weeks I will be a Master of Science. Even less believable is that I’ll be completely finished with the seemingly infinite number of things I have to do before that can happen. And truly beyond comprehension is that I have NO CLUE what I will be doing with myself the day after graduation. I have no choice but to save the bulk of that freakout for later but trust me, it is on its way and it will be a doozy.

In the meantime, I’m having a great time at my second student teaching placement, enjoying the company of a Fun New Guy, and further discovering the joys of warmer weather and my rooftop deck. In addition, I’m eating Indiana Jones M&Ms with teensy fedoras and skulls and such printed on them.
Life is fun.

And somehow it is suddenly mid-March. How the hell did that happen? Everything continues to be getting better and better on both the work and personal fronts. Daylight Saving Time is playing havoc with my poor confused and sleep-deprived brain, but I think that sunny warmish days will help the adjustment in no time. I’ve gotten to see a number of well-missed out-of-town friends in the last few weeks. The better weather is facilitating a growing love for my new neighborhood.  Tomorrow I get to go see the G-pantsses and next week I hit the Alabama beaches. I’m finding myself walking around humming and whistling again, all of which indicates I am getting back to Keemness after a short hiatus of intense crabbypants. Good Gurgle to you all.

Things are slowly looking up at work, at home and on the social front. I think the glimmer of the promise of the end of winter is helping my mood considerably. Also helping: about 40% of my 400 students now say hi to me in the hallways. And a teacher I don’t even know came up and told me she appreciates all the work I’ve done in the library so far. And also today at lunch a 7th grade boy asked, “We get to come see you for class in the library today, right?” and another student and I bonded over Inkheart, with him telling me that the second part of the trilogy is the best and that I’ll “be really surprised at what happens”. Aw. His classmate then came up to me after class to tell me that when a friend tell you that a movie is good, that is a subjective statement (our topic for the day: opinions, objectiveness and bias) and that liking the 2nd and 3rd Pirates of the Carribbean movies just because you liked Johnny Depp in the first one is an example of bias.

My heart, she soars.

One of the crappy things about having a birthday around a holiday is that usually your actual day is either boring and non-eventful or filled with obligations that are not birthday-related. Because Thanksgiving is a movable feast of sorts I’ve had it both ways, and let me say, neither makes you feel very special.

However, one of the BEST things about having your birthday around the holiday is that instead of everyone remembering your day all at once and making a big stink and having a Princess for the Day kind of experience, you get to have a lot of separate celebrations sprinkled whenever people can get together. This simply rocks, as it makes the birthday extend for days and weeks. This has been my experience my entire life, and lemme just say that if you have the means, I’d recommend arranging it so for yourself.

This year was no different. I was lucky to get to spend this birthday doing and seeing and eating and drinking, laughing and talking and remembering and planning for about 10 days…I got some great loot (thanks to all!) and most importantly, I got a reminder that I’m pretty darned lucky — lucky enough to have a lot of really amazing people in this world think its a cool thing I was born. That’s pretty nice, huh?

About a week ago, my sister did something amazing. Those of you with math skills and good memories already probably know, but those who do not may cheat here.  I wasn’t there for the delivery or anything horrifying like that, but I did get to go see the new and improved  G-pants Family (now with 50% more Pants!) very soon afterwards. Everyone was still a bit dazed and blinky for the next couple days, as expected, but it was nice and laid back — for me, not for them I’m sure — and a very fine way to welcome a new family member. I don’t even know how to articulate how much I love my sister, and to see her so brave and collected and mentally and physically strong was just almost more than my tiny heart could bear.


Now I find myself wistfully thinking “I want that!” which is dangerous turf,  my friends. Dangerous indeed. For one thing, no one likes Baby Fever. It really doesn’t wear well.  It isn’t attractive OR polite to blather about babies when there isn’t one anywhere in the vicinity. (It isn’t nice to go on and on about babies when they are in the vicinity either, but that is more of a personal preference than an etiquette breach). More importantly I don’t really even want a baby. I don’t even really LIKE babies that much. And frankly I couldn’t be further away from having a baby at the moment. Hell, since we are being frank, I couldn’t be further away from having a hot date at the moment. So babies aren’t really on the agenda just yet. After some thought I realized that what I’m coveting isn’t really the baby, it’s the family unit. The display of partnership and teamwork and respect and support I witnessed at the hospital wasn’t surprising, but it was displayed in a way I’d not seen from them before and it really moved me. I’m crazy proud of Mrs. and Mr. G-pants and wish them the best, but I think I’ll always hold them responsible for being good role models and setting an example by which I’d like to live. Totally unforgivable.

According to the weather robots, it is 96 degrees with the Heat Index today. Stupid August, all hot and sweltery. So, instead of going to the yard sale I planned on, I went to the air conditioned library. I got lots of goodies, including the audio-book of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass on recommendation from Sunday. So far I’ve listened to about 20 minutes and I like it about 40 times more than the book. I guess I need someone to tell me fantasy stories instead of reading them because I enjoy fantasy movies (and evidently audio books) so much more than books. Reading them feels like too much work. Anyway, I’m getting back on the His Dark Materials wagon in preparation for the upcoming movie version (hop on board, you know you want to!) and it starts with this. Please take a gander at my awesome daemon, Callum, and let me know if you think he should remain a lion by answering a few questions about me, your darling Keem.

Check it out here. Currently Callum (read:Keem)  is modest, responsible, a leader, inquisitive and sociable. But what do you think?

I don’t mean to alarm you, but I think I might have magical powers. First, I was thinking about a particular episode of Gilmore Girls — the one where Lane dyes her hair. I was trying to remember what color — and then that episode came on! (It was purple, BTW. Her hair, not the show).  A few hours later I was thinking about the episode of Sex and the City where Aiden and Carrie get into a huge fight in front of that fountain, all “If you don’t want to marry me now, you never will”, and then she tip-toes into where he is sleeping — I always though the way she tip-toes in is so weird looking — and then that episode came on too! THEN I started thinking about Bob Fosse (as one tends to do) and  Kiss Me Kate came on TV! Eerie.  I’m telling you, if you have never seen it, it is totally worth it just to see Fosse’s dance duet in “From This Moment On”. Plus the delightful Cole Porter-ness. And while you are there you can witness the tiny teensiosity of itty bitty Kathryn Grayson and the amazing voice of Howard Keel. You know what, rent it.  Really, it’s great.

But my point is this: I have this magical ability and now I need to figure out how to use it for good (saving puppies’ lives, making me money) instead of evil (watching TV all evening).  So let me know if there is anything you are hankering to see on TV and I’ll hook you up. Only $25 a show.

I don’t think anyone would be surprised to learn that I am an exclamation point!!


Your Score: Exclamation point

You scored 53% Sociability and 58% Sophistication!

  Yes, you are fine around others. Fine. But you wish you could have just a *little* more alone time. Okay, well, a lot more alone time. In fact, you’d be happier if you didn’t have to go out nearly as much. You get along very well with the period, who tries mightily to take up as much of the load as he can. But fools will not listen. You want to scream, “Cut it out, for the love of Safire!”

But, all of that notwithstanding, you do your duty. And, if sometimes you feel like a Chicago street hooker, you also remember that you really do have an important role to play. Your soul remains pure. Hold your head high!

Link: The Which Punctuation Mark Are You Test written by Gazda on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

originally from Semicolon Mark.

Tonight was a fun night at work. No really! First, a regular PhD-student patron asked me if I was a recently graduated senior. Since I haven’t been an undergraduate for almost 10 years I took this as a compliment.  I realize that he might have been trying to be funny but I’m choosing to believe that he thinks I actually look like a 22 year old.

Then I had one of those Oh My, I Really Am A Librarian conversations. It was also one of those Oh My, The Person I Am Talking To Is Not Kidding conversations. It started with an extremely perky guy bouncing up to the reference desk and just saying HI! and smiling at me.

Me: Hi. What can I do for you?

Extremely Perky Guy: OK. Pretend you are my friend.

Me: Errm…I guess….

EPG: Now, tell me something fun about the library!

Me: Well,  something about this library or something about libraries in general?

EPG: You tell me!

Me: There are lots of things I like about the library. Are you wanting to know something to do with using the library for research?

EPG: That’s what I’m doing! I’m researching!

Me: Great. What kind of information are you looking for? [thinking I can figure out some way to make article databases fun. “Looky! You can email the citations to yourself! Whee!”]

EPG: I told you. I’m trying to find something fun in the library!

Me: I see. [I do not see at all.]

EPG: My assignment is to pick something totally boring and then give a speech about it to make people interested in it. I chose the library!

Nice. And then the kid seemed genuinely surprised that I didn’t say “Yeah, libraries are really boring, aren’t they?” Instead I thought a minute while he yammered a bit about the other libraries he had already visited. I knew these other places would have shown him live reference chat and Facebook catalog searching and all the other newfangled bells and whistles. Then I told him what I think really is one of the most fun things about the library: the Dewey Decimal System.

I  know, it sounds totally nerdly. But after explaining that Dewey numbers actually mean something, and that it attempts to organize ALL INFORMATION while it enables shelf browsing and how I could make a Dewey number for any topic he could dream of (he suggested eel worshiping), I think I had this guy convinced. Even better, now he is doing a speech on why the Dewey Decimal System is cool.

What on earth did I get into Library and Information Science if not for this?