Sunday, August 06, 2006

Well, at least I'm blogging somewhere...

Yup, believe it or not, I'm still alive. I know my blogging has come to a screeching halt this summer. Partly that's because I've been super busy, but I won't try to make excuses. I will say, however, that for at least the next few weeks I'll be making contributions to the new "GSLIS Dispatches" blog at Simmons, located at So if you want to know a bit about what I'm up to, you can pop over there and read about my trip to the Society of American Archivists convention in Washington, DC, and my upcoming trip library-related trip to Nicaragua! I promise I'll get back to blogging regularly at some point. However, I'm also pondering changing the focus of this blog to cover more topics related to libraries, archives, history and technology. Since those are the things I'm spending most of my time on these days, it would make it easier to come up with regular content. (I might simply start over with a new blog. We'll see.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spam of the day

When your morning starts off with an e-mail that begins "Would you like to have unbelievable sex during all the night?" and ends up with a passage from Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, you know it's going to be an interesting day.

Monday, May 15, 2006


My last history paper was due at 10:00 this morning. At 9:51 AM I walked through the professor's office door and handed her my 30-page opus. I am now officially done with my first semester of Library school. Yay!

Nothing left to do now but sit here refreshing the grades page.

Monday, May 01, 2006

In need of regretable 1950s recipes

Our "Cold War Culture" history class meets for the last time on Monday. My main concern related to this should be fleshing out my final paper so that I can present a coherent outline of it in class. (I'm buried in sources I've been collecting all semester, but haven't written a word. Luckily the actual paper isn't due for another two weeks.)

It has also been proposed that we all bring in 1950s-themed dishes to eat while we're listening to people explain their topics. Someone has already spoken for Mamie Eisenhower's Million Dollar Fudge, so I'm trying to come up with some other uniquely cold-war-era recipe that I can make. Any ideas?

UPDATE: For some reason, Blogger apparently ate this post and it never made it online. So I'll just give you the post-action report. After a not-massively-helpful discussion with my cold-war-era parents, the only really good idea was Tomato Aspic.

I was looking for something with a little more pizazz and a little easier to transport, so on Sunday I stopped by the library at Simmons. Unfortunately, the library is in the middle of a massive, multiyear renovation project, and something like 2/3 of the collection is now stored off site and takes a day or two to retrieve. It seems that the 1950s cookbooks didn't make the cut for staying on campus. So after browsing every cookbook that was left, I headed back to my office to ponder my options.

But then, while aimlessly wandering the web, I found this reprint of Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook from 1950, and it has the "search inside the book" option! So I searched for "appetizers." Booya! Pages of classic 1950 party food.

I desperately wanted to make the "flaming cabbage." But alas, it seems that Sterno is harder to come by than it was in 1950. (I tried the drug store and grocery store at Porter Square before giving up.) So I went to plan B, which was essentially a layer cake made of out bologna and mustard/chive flavored cream cheese, and garnished with sliced olives. The cookbook calls this cholesterol and nitrite laden delicacy "wedgies." Yum.

When I got to class, this was definitely the most, umm, unique food there! A few brave souls actually tried it. No deaths have been reported.

Oh, and the part where I talked about what I wrote in the paper that I hadn't written went pretty well too. (Apparently all my research this semester has paid off -- let's hope I'm as loquacious when I actually sit down to whip out 20 pages this weekend.)

After Monday I should have a lot more time -- no classes for a month! So perhaps blogging will become a bit more consistent.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

On second thought...

Spent several hours in consultation with catalogging study group. Now pretty sure that the Dewey for the home weaving thing is actually 659.1974614 -- with the difference being whether you consider weaving to be an art or a trade. Let me tell you, it was an exciting evening!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Trot, trot, to Boston

Trot, trot, to Boston;
Trot, trot, to Lynn;
Trot, trot, to Salem;
Home, home again.
Well, I wasn't precisely trotting, and I certainly didn't make it as far as Lynn or Salem. But I did make it to Boston proper on my bike today. (Charlestown, where I went on Friday, is technically part of Boston, but it doesn't really count since it's on this side of the Charles River.)

Today was going to be another study day. I had toyed with the idea of having some folks over for dinner, but the timing didn't work out. By 4:00 PM the sun was peeking out and I was sick of the inside of my apartment. So I lugged my bike down the stairwell and set out. My original plan was just to head in the direction of Harvard Square, since I figured that if I could get the hang of riding there I could take the subway from there to work. (Thereby getting a workout and a shorter subway ride.)

I made it to Harvard and sat on one of the quad-like areas for a bit. I was still feeling pretty chipper, so I decided to push onward. After getting lost in the windy little European-style streets between the university and the river, I finally found the Charles. Since the river has relatively flat bike paths on either side, I kept going.

Next thing I knew I was on Commonwealth Ave. near BU. From there it was only a short ride to Kenmore Square, where, to my surprise, there were still marathoners jogging the mile 25 marker! People were cheering like crazy, and the beer was clearly flowing. I pushed through the marathon crowds for a bit with the idea of possibly seeing either the finish line or a red-line T-stop where I could hop a subway home. When I got to Copley Square, the whole square was barricaded for finish-line VIPs, so I didn't actually see the marathon at that point. (Did see lots of exhausted runners heading away from it, though.)

At this point I found out (through a call to a friend) that a group of friends who had gotten up early to watch the marathon were still wandering the streets of Boston. We agreed to meet up at India Quality in Kenmore Square. So I headed back in the other direction. I was thrown off by the marathon barricades and ended up going past Northeastern, the MFA, and then up the Fenway and around Fenway Park. (This is actually about 3 blocks from Simmons, which proves that I could realistically bike there!)

Dinner was very good -- I had lamb kabob type thing. My lawyer friend explained to us that if we could build a hut and live on someone else's land for 20 years without anyone evicting us, we would own the land thanks to the doctrine of adverse posession. (Note to self: if housing prices keep going up, seriously consider this!)

After dinner, it was starting to drizzle, so my first thought was to find the nearest bike-friendly subway stop and head home that way. But I ended up missing Kendall, and was still going strong when I hit Central Square. Made it to Harvard, and from there it's not too far to Porter. Next thing I knew I had ridden all the way home! In the dark, in traffic, no less! (This is something that would have terrified me a few weeks ago.)

Hard to say for sure, but my guess is I rode at least 14-15 miles -- and I have the butt-bruises to prove it! (I think I may need to look at alternate saddles at some point.)

I'm really getting down with the whole bicycle transportation thing. Remains to be seen if I can keep it up when the weather gets hot, but for now it's definitely a good way to get around and get some serious exercise at the same time. (I've lost something like 5 pounds in the last week since I started riding regularly -- not surprising when, according to the computer, riding at 10-12 MPH with "light effort" burns something like 1,000 calories/hour!)

Now that I'm home, I've seriously got to work on the archives management paper I've been avoiding. Ugh.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


That's the Dewey Decimal number for a book about advertising your home weaving projects. At least I'm reasonably sure it is. (It doesn't really matter in real life because no library would be crazy enough to have a 14+ digit call number!)

This, my friends, is how I've spent a major chunk of my holiday weekend Saturday. It could be worse -- LC classification makes Dewey look like a walk in the park! Luckily I've gotten most of the LC stuff done with my study group.

I also took the bike out again and rode up to Spy Pond where I watched the geese and read a chapter from"The Invisible Man" for my history class. From there, on to Arlington Center where I ate an orange croissant and did some more reading. After that I followed the path a while longer to roughly the border of Lexington. I felt like I was losing steam, so I turned around. At that point I realized that I'd been pedaling up a shallow grade -- which is probably why I was feeling sluggish. The return trip went a lot quicker. At Arlington Center I got off the bike path and rode back along Broadway, which was also a pretty easy ride despite the traffic. I don't know how far I actually went -- I've got to get a cycling computer for the bike so that I can keep track of these things. (The real question is am I brave enough to attempt the 6-mile ride into Boston to get to school.)

When I got back, I vegged on the deck for a with Ralph Ellison and a beer, then headed back to Dewey Land.

Tomorrow's Easter, but I don't really have any plans. I was originally considering going home, but I had too much schoolwork stacked up to give up the travel time. So it's probably going to pretty much be just another day, other than the fact that I may actually go to church for once.

Boston by bike

Last Friday I purchased a bike, my first since sometime in high school. Tuesday morning I ignored the homework I should have been tackling and instead took it for a spin. I started out heading toward "downtown," but soon reveresed course and headed out through Davis square and onto the Minuteman bike path toward Arlington. The weather was beautiful, and eventually I made my way to Spy Pond. I sat on a bench watching ripples course through the reflections of budding trees and a white church steeple. Two geese paddled placidly around the pond, keeping a wary eye on a woman who was swimming in their general direction. An extended family was gathered at the water's edge -- two young kids were busily occupied chucking handfulls of pebbles into the pond while their elders conversed in rapid-fire Korean. I soon had to turn around and head back for work. But the sunny morning at the pond set the tone for the rest of my day.

Today I got up a bit early and biked to my internship in Charlestown. I think this was a longer trip than the Tuesday ride, and also involved far more hills and intense traffic. I made it on time, and made it back without major injury. Go me!

For my last 9 months or so in Nashville I'd gotten in the habit of going to the gym 3-4 times per week. Since it was at work I could get in at any hour, so it wasn't a problem to stop in even if I was heading home at midnight. And it was working -- I've shed close to 100 pounds in the last year.

Now I'm relying on the gym at school, which keeps "normal" hours. I'm often in work, classes, or study groups until late evening, so it's sometimes hard to make it to the gym. I've probably been averaging once a week since I started going again a month or two ago.

The fact that I'm walking a lot more than I used to certainly helps. On most days I walk about 30-40 minutes as part of my daily commute. But I'm hoping the bike will give me another way to keep up the routine.