Paste it in the head!

Spinster

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mensa probably wouldn't want me

Every now and again I have to ask myself, how smart am I really? I mean, I can navigate the shallow waters of North American culture with ease--I'm already 10 points ahead cause I don't watch reality TV, America's Next Top Model excepted, and I read books more complex than The Da Vinci Code; Lorien and I receive The Globe and Mail daily, and I try to keep up with major current events. However, there are certain things that have been known to stump even this smartie:

1. Umberto Eco's books. I read The Name of the Rose in Turkey and I'm currently "reading" Foucault's Pendulum. I can honestly say that I understand about a quarter of what I'm reading (hence the quotation marks)--I figure that since my religious education consisted of a few years at a Lutheran church (probably cause it was the closest church to our house) and attendance at a Baptist preschool (thanks, Mom and Dad, for leaving me ignorant of all but the major Christian players), I'm naturally not cut out for Eco. Or any books that focus heavily on religion. I can't keep the characters (historical figures?) straight--I don't know my Cain from my Abel, my David from my Goliath.

2. The inner workings of politics. I can name the leaders of all of the North American countries (thank God there are only 3) and try to follow major political events, but I honestly do not care about the day-to-day quibblings of Congress or Parliament or whatever. In section A of the Globe and Mail, the first 10 pages are devoted to Canadian politics and I can honestly say that I have never once read a story on any of those pages. I skip to A12 where the Toronto and world news starts.

3. Foreign languages. While I've managed to master English, I still cannot speak more than Traveller's Spanish (Donde esta el bano? Mas cerveza, por favor). After 14 years of studying it. I started in 2nd grade. Continued through elementary school. Picked it back up in 9th grade, even took Spanish 3 Honors in 11th grade. 3 semesters in college. I've been to Spain. I lived in Miami, for the love of god. But no, ask me something more complicated than De donde eres? and I crumble.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bourbon Street and beignets

On Monday night, Lilly and I went to Pat O'Brien's to try their famous Hurricane (4 oz rum, 4 oz some crazy red punch-like liquid).

Unfortunately, there are no pictures of Hurricane Lilly, so these are mostly of me.

It's legal to drink on the streets of New Orleans (or at least in the French Quarter), so we took our beverages and headed to Bourbon Street.


Even on a Monday night, there were plenty of drinkers out seeing and being seen, and even the balconies were full of guys trying to find girls who really wanted beads. Bourbon Street is bars and strip clubs, as evident from the signs.



After we tired of the frat house-style shenanigans (how much do you love that word?) we headed to Cafe du Monde for my last round of beignets before heading out on Tuesday morning.


Oh, fried pillows of dough on a bed of powdered sugar, how I do love thee.

Hurkey the Bone Man

I’ve never had my fortune told. I am a skeptical believer—I wish I didn’t believe that people have the ability to look into the future, cause that stuff is so easy to dismiss as hippie-dippy bullshit, but I do think that there are some people who have a deeper connection with the universe than the rest of us.

I live a life that is decidedly terrestrial. I’m a Taurus, an earth sign, and I have my feet planted pretty firmly on the ground. I’m creative but not outlandishly so, and my creativity tends toward the practical—I like knitting, spinning, and sewing cause I can make useful things, and I like photography because it is the process of reinterpreting reality. I want to be a librarian, for the love of god. Does it get any more practical than that?

Despite my deep-seated practicality, however, I’ve always had a fascination with the other side of things, the side that firmly embraces the idea that it is possible for humans to have deeper connections than we like to admit. One thing I’ve always felt was ironic is that it’s ok for religious people to fervently believe in things and beings they can’t see, whose existence they cannot prove save for weeping statues and outbursts in unfamiliar tongues, but it’s not ok to believe in others’ ability to predict the future. As I said, I’ve never had my fortune told and New Orleans, being the home of voodoo and the supernatural, seemed like the place to change that.

Last night, Lilly and I were roaming around the French Quarter and in Jackson Square, I saw a man who told people’s fortunes using bones; he was a bone reader. After dinner, we paid him a visit.

Hurkey is an old black man with dreadlocks turning white around his temples. He reads your interest and says, “Sit down, blondie.” He has a calm, soothing voice and a light touch. He asks you to hold the bag of bones while he puts oil on his hands. When he is done, he tells you to empty out all of the bones—all of them now, make sure you don’t miss a single one—onto the table. When you have done so, he takes your hands in his and quickly runs his fingers over yours. You are nervous and feel a little bit silly; out of the corner of your eye you can see other tourists gathered in flocks, watching you, and one even takes your picture as you and Hurkey sit, hands joined, and he tells you about yourself. He says, “Many people are jealous of you, baby. Men find you attractive but intimidating. You ever been told that, child?” You murmur, yeah, you’ve been told that before, but wonder if he’s trying to flatter you. Still holding your hands, eyes closed, he tells you that you should have been a twin and when you say there are no twins in your family, he says that you and your grandmother—your paternal grandmother, at which you feel a little bit proud, cause she was elegant and fascinating, and a bit relieved, cause your other grandmother is in the grip of Alzheimer’s and you don’t like to focus on that—share the same spirit. This, too, may be lip service, but you love it because you don’t look like anyone in your family except her, which you didn’t even realize because the one photo you’d ever seen didn’t look like you at all but then you found a different one and it was like looking at a mirror. Hurkey tells you that you will go far in life, you will grow into a conservative woman (which you hope doesn’t mean politically), you have been hurt in the past and are trying to recover. You are like a winged insect trapped in a lidded jar, beating your wings against the sides and the top, trying to escape and getting hurt in the process. When someone lifts the lid, you are afraid to fly up and away because in your experience, flying up only means pain. All you have to do is look up and realize that the future is wide open and you will be able to fly away and be free. In his baritone, he tells you that you need to start looking up. As he says so, he opens his eyes and releases your hands. Shaken, you sit there and thank him. As you and your friend walk away, he calls after you, “And baby, you got yourself a fine walk. Listen to Hurkey the Bone Man, baby. You gonna go far.”

Monday, June 26, 2006

Thoughts on New Orleans

So, this is the third time I've been to New Orleans.

The first was when I was 17 and was looking at colleges with my dad; we stayed in the French Quarter and toured Tulane but I decided that, because Tulane didn't have a photography program and New Orleans had more visible roaches than Miami, I wasn't going to be able to live here. I think that those sentiments are the entirety of what I took from my high school visit.

The second time was in 2001, after September 11 when flights were cheap, and my then-boyfriend and I spent a week here over New Year's. We were 20 and didn't have fakes so we couldn't go out and drink legally in bars. Instead, we bought Red Dog beer from the vending machine at the hostel and paid whoever to buy the cheapest vodka they could find, which we then poured into a flask and sort of stood on the outskirts of bars. As I said, we were here for a week, staying at a hostel and without a car, so we got to know the French Quarter and surrounding areas really, really well. Every morning we would eat at La Madeleine cause V loved the coffee; that restaurant is now closed, whether from Katrina or something else, I don't know. We went into all of the galleries and quirky little museums and shops in the Quarter. My favorite was the coin and gun shop, which I first refused to go into, being interested in neither coins nor guns, except when they're in my pocket or being pointed at me, respectively. However, it turned out to be one of the most fascinating places I've ever been in. It was a museum of US and world history, viewed through the lenses of money and arms which, after all, pretty much make the world go round. There were old Roman coins and currency from each of the US states before the union; there were swords and muskets and shields. Somehow, we managed to miss the Pharmacy Museum, or maybe it wasn't here at the time, but I've passed by it several times so far, but it's always closed and I can't find its hours anywhere. I love eccentric, single-focus museums. They are so much more interesting than huge institutions, mainly because they reflect the psychology of collecting. Anyway, I enjoyed New Orleans in 2001, though I was certainly grateful to get out of the shitty hostel and go home.

This time, the third time, I've gotten the requisite food tour: the beignets (like crack they're so good), the jambalaya and gumbo and crawfish etouffee, but I haven't been to the Garden District or Bourbon Street (not really worth it but certainly fun people-watching, which I'll be doing tonight), and I haven't seen much of the Katrina damage. When I was 11, Hurricane Andrew hit Miami and shortly after that, my family experienced a personal tragedy indirectly related to the hurricane (no one died, though). The images of Katrina and the resulting fuck up on the part of our illustrious president and his cronies hit me in a way that I haven't been hit in a long time, not even during September 11th. I only knew a couple of people in New York at the time, and I hadn't been there (still haven't), so I didn't really feel a sense of personal loss during those days. The images were horrifying, of course, and I still reflect on how much the world changed that day, but what I felt and still feel for the people who went through Katrina is the empathy of someone who's seen firsthand the damage that hurricanes can cause. I know what it's like to be unprepared, as a city, for the absolute devastation that follows the storm.

I have to say, though, that despite Hurricane Andrew's flattening of Miami and its suburbs, we fared better than New Orleanians. At least we had a city to live in. We weren't driven out by rising waters and governmental indifference. Looting occurred, of course, but not on the scale that it did here. I was talking to a cab driver here who was telling me his hurricane story. He is originally from East Africa but has lived in New Orleans for 15 years. He figured that he could be considered a native because he had hurricane experience. He and his mother left 5 hours before the storm hit and, after sitting in traffic for 10 hours, managed to complete the 200-mile journey to a relative's house. Can you imagine? 10 hours to go 200 miles? He wasn't able to get back to the city for 6 months and when he did, he found that his house, the first house he ever owned, had been badly damaged, first by wind and then by water. Now, the city is at 60% population and while the tourist districts are up and running, the residential neighborhoods haven't fared so well. Many of the people driven out by unlivable conditions were black and poor and there is some indication that the racial demographics of NO are changing. There are more Hispanics here than before, for example, apparently drawn by employment prospects. I don't know if NO is expected to become richer or poorer, or if the original black residents are expected to come back (or are being asked back, as I hope, since this is their home, but doubt, cause this is also the US and those who are poor usually fend for themselves).

So this time, even though I haven't been able to see everything, I've enjoyed the French Quarter and the southern style of the people, and I've decided that I really like New Orleans. It's hotter than hell and the roaches are fierce and it smells worse than any other city I've been in, and it's not always pretty, but it has a charm to it that I think is unique to the south. I loooooove the laid back attitudes of New Orleanians. I love that Mardi Gras happens here. I love the bead trees. I love the hospitality. I love that you can drink on the street. I LOVE the food. If I lived here I would eat beignets for breakfast every day and gain 50 pounds. I love that this is the seat of American jazz. I love the Frenchness that is still so American. New Orleans is one of the most interesting cities in the United States, with a rich history and unique traditions, its own music and accent and food. I still don't know if I could live here--I'm pretty much over the humidity and roaches scare the shit out of me--but I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of my stay here. Sometimes, that which you love the most you have to let grow on you, kind of like a song that you don't get at first and then something about it catches your attention and, after repeated listenings, you realize that its complexity was what confused you at first, and it took you a while to find its heart under the layers, but once you did you knew you would identify with it forever.

French Quarter neighborhood






How can anyone resist cats on a loom?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The hip-hop generation is often maligned for embracing only crass commercial and superficial values: the bling of "ghetto fabulous" superstars with cash to burn, the rampant degradation of women, and the glorification of turf wars and gang violence. I wouldn't exactly call myself a rap afficionado or even a fan, but that narrow-minded approach to the music, the movement, and the culture really gets to me. Same with the attitudes toward rock or goth or heavy metal. Why aren't young people--especially teenagers--allowed to explore things that aren't mainstream? I know that when I was in junior high and high school, I totally got into the pop-punk scene, which wasn't really mainstream, and it wasn't about subjugation or witchcraft or whatever stereotypes the counterculture evokes. It was simply about finding something that agreed with who I was at the time--an angry, insecure, smart kid who needed an outlet that whatever was the mainstream music of the time didn't and couldn't fulfill.

The point of this diatribe actually has to do with the conference. Yesterday afternoon I attended a presentation called "From the Bronx to the Burbs," about including hip hop in libraries. The two presenters--there was supposed to be a third, the author of the book Why White Kids Love Hip Hop but he had to cancel because he was sick--were young women who grew up with hip hop culture and wanted to include it in their professional careers as librarians. They talked a little bit about the history of hip hop, which I read about in Can't Stop Won't Stop. The history of the movement or culture or whatever is pretty interesting--it turns out that hip hop isn't all about women ("wimmin"), money and drugs. The audience at the lecture (the room was completely full and wasn't only young people, as I sort of thought it would be) was interested in learning how to draw in kids who relate to hip hop, and also about preserving local hip hop culture in their towns.

I really enjoyed the presentation. I love small, community movements that people can't help but get involved in. Most movements that have changed the world have come from the people, which is why it's so important to keep people informed--in their lives, in their communities, they are the ones who can effect change, and I try to always remember that when we're informed we can do anything.

Madame Secretary

Last night was the welcoming address featuring the keynote speaker, Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton (pun intended). There was the usual pomp and circumstance, lots of people to be introduced, a bunch of short speeches by people like Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans, whose speech was funny and entertaining. Everyone was patting themselves and ourselves on the back for having the balls to hold the conference here after Katrina and for attending the conference, but I did like what Nagin said, that by holding the conference here despite everything, we're sending the message that New Orleans is okay. There were also brief speeches by the governor general of Louisiana, as well as the president of the ALA (pictured below).


Madeleine Albright was promoting her new book, The Mighty and the Almighty. I don't remember the subtitle, but it's basically about the role of religion in US international relations.



(Sorry for the crappy pix.)

Her speech was pretty good. She, of course, commended everyone for attending the conference blah blah blah, and then she started discussing some of the main points of her book. She was actually pretty inspiring. In outlining some of her suggestions for a change in the US approach to other religions, she said that we should remember all major relgions share a basic tenet--the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism--they all say the same thing. We would do well to remember that.

She talked a bit about terrorism and its place in the Muslim world. In particular, I thought her comment that terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda (sp?) are trying to convince Muslims that they are victims, and if they succeed in doing so, the world is in major trouble.

Finally, she said that questioning our country's foreign policies does not mean that we are unpatriotic--patriotism has nothing to do with blindly following the leader if you do not agree with what the leader says and does. That's one thing that has always pissed me off--just because I question political leaders and various policies, both domestic and foreign, does not mean that I don't care about the US.

Anyway, I have to attend a lecture now. Peace out, yo.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Thoughts on librarianship

This morning I went to what turned out to be a really interesting lecture called "Intellectual Freedom in Rural Libraries: How to Keep the Library for Everyone." I'm not planning on working in a rural library or anything, but I figured I could use a refresher on intellectual freedom. It's always been one of my "things," and I believe very strongly in unrestricted access to information. One of the reasons that I wanted to pursue librarianship was my interest in intellectual freedom. I think that's one of the few things that's important in the world today. So much of the "news" in the United States comes from a handful of sources (AOL TimeWarner, for example) that it's almost impossible to know if what you're reading or watching or hearing is true, or if it's spun through the media machine (it most certainly is). I'm attending a lecture tomorrow called "All the News You Never Get: Breaking the International News Blockade," which I'm really looking forward to to which I'm really looking forward which I'm really looking forward to.

Not to get off topic or anything.

Anyway, the man who presented the intellectual freedom piece is a librarian who teaches at the University of Buffalo [go Bills! (sorry, that was a shout-out to my mom and my other Buffalonian relatives)]. He's worked in rural libraries all over, and visits libraries constantly. Even on his honeymood. Which might be a little bit much. However, he's certainly well-versed in the unique challenges faced by rural librarians. He went through a bunch of ways librarians and libraries can emphasize their commitment to intellectual freedom--by doing small things, such as using IF-related quotations as signatures on their email, to bigger undertakings, like prominently displaying banners outside the library with IF material on them. He made a clear connection between the Bill of Rights, and particularly the First Amendment, as well as the Constitution and our other founding documents, and intellectual freedom. I liked that. I think that, as a fairly cynical American, it's easy to forget that we, too, own the First Amendment and the Constitution--by that, I mean that while the First Amendment is often used to uphold the constitutionality of white-power groups and the like, it can be applied equally well to the more inclusive side of the United States. One of the speaker's biggest points was "don't back down." Intellectual freedom must be protected if we are to ever gain an understanding of our politics, our cultures and societies, and the international relations our country embarks upon.

God I'm a prostelytizer, huh? (Ha.)

Anyway, I'm turning up some cool stuff at this conference. This afternoon I'm going to a lecture on representing hip-hop in library collections, and tonight is Madeleine Albright's keynote address. Sweet!

L is for librarian



Today (June 23; I wrote this from the hotel last night but posting it at the convention today) I helped the people at the Public Programs Office set up the booth. I did random tasks and errands.

To solve the problem of the instruction to bring business casual attire that I ignored, Lilly and I went to Magazine Street. Apparently, “magazine” means “shop” or similar in French. Them Frenchies are so clever with their words. And our adoption of their words is clever, too. I’m pretty sure that “croissant” translates to “crescent.” (Ask me how I figured that one out. Ok, fine, I’ll tell you—New Orleans’ city nickname is “The Crescent City.” There’s a breakfast cafe here called Croissant D’Or, and croissants are shaped like crescents. Yup, I’m a smartie.) Anyway, we had like no time to really search Magazine Street cause we were meeting Lilly’s friends at Emeril’s for dinner at 7.

Bead trees on Magazine:



I was looking for a skirt (the pants search is usually ridiculously difficult and fruitless, since my body proportions are obnoxiously non-conformist). After looking through one store that seemed only to contain some very strange ideas of trendy (really ugly crochet, anyone?) and trying on three skirts the fit of which I can only describe as “retarded,” I finally found a semi-decent button-down shirt that will have to suffice as my nod to the business casual world. Something tells me I’m not cut out to work in a real, proper business.

Anyway, we had dinner at Emeril’s, which was a very nice experience.


The food was good—I had the gumbo of the day with homemade andouille sausage (we’re not going to consider the ingredients of that one) and a delicious tomato-mozzarella salad, the world’s priciest lemon drop martini, and a piece of stinky but fabulous sheep’s-milk cheese for dessert.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Q: How many librarians does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: How the hell should I know?

Greetings from the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans!

I arrived here yesterday to find that my roommate and I had been reassigned to a different hotel without our knowledge. Fabulous. However, it all worked out ok. Those of you who have listened to my whiny questions about how a girl from Texas could possibly be cool will be pleased to know that Lilly turned out to be quite excellent. There are cool Texans, after all. She's a vegetarian, which makes her more progressive than I, and her politics are liberal. Excellent. She's an experienced conference attendee, so she's making sure I get the full experience. Gotta love that!

So today I'm working for four hours, helping to set up the ALA-Public Programs Office's booth. Then for the next three days I'll be answering questions about public programs, I suppose. Which will be interesting, considering that I know nothing about public programs. Anyway, I expect it'll resolve itself in the end.

It turns out that we were supposed to wear business casual clothing for this volunteer thing. I guess I was only reading the emails that contained money and hotel information, because all I brought was jeans, tank tops, and one skirt. I figured I would pack for a southern city in the summer, not a job interview. So after my shift today, Lilly and I are going shopping to get me a pair of decent black pants, cause it's probably not kosh for me to wear the same white skirt three days in a row. (Take note, however, that if it was ok I would do it.)

Other than that, the only thing I have to report is that it is damn humid here. I am so glad I no longer live in Miami, cause honestly I think my humidity days are over. (Don't even bother trying to convince me that the humidity in Toronto will kill me, cause I'm pretty sure that no matter how humid Toronto gets, it doesn't have like 8 months of it.)

Pictures tomorrow, darlings.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nawlins

I leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow for the American Library Association's Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. I was chosen to participate in the student-to-staff program sponsored by the ALA for their student chapters. My name was picked out of a hat (lucky me--I didn't have to write an essay or anything! Cause if I had had to, we all know I wouldn't have been chosen) and so I'm off to the conference for five days.

I haven't really been thinking much about it, as I've had other things to concentrate on for the past few weeks, but now that I'm actually going I'm starting to get excited. The events that I'll be able to attend sound pretty interesting ("From the Bronx to the Burbs: Defining, Collecting, and Preservation of Hip Hop Culture, Literature, & Resources" sounds like it could be cool), and New Orleans is a pretty interesting city made even more so by Hurricane Katrina.

I've been to NO before so it'll be interesting to see the havoc that Katrina wrought, to see how it has changed the urban landscape, and to see how it compares to the change that took place in Miami after Hurricane Andrew. Not that I'll get the same kind of intimate look at NO that I did with Miami. I was hoping to participate in Librarians Build Communities!, the joint effort of the New Orleans Public Library and various service organizations (Habitat for Humanity and United Way were mentioned) to encourage conference attendees to spend one full day working to aid the city and its residents, but because I'm expected at my volunteer "job" that won't be happening.

Anyway, it should be interesting and I'll be bringing my computer with me to the conference so I'll be able to update and hopefully post some pictures.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Thanks a lot, Blogger

Crap. I just wrote a long post about last night and how I saw a mini three-way in a bar. But then Blogger fucked up and lost it. Do I really feel like writing the whole thing all over again? I'm not really sure. I'll try, though.

So on Friday night I met this guy and gave him my number because he was nice, not because I was drunk. Well, not only because I was drunk. We went out last night, first to one of my favorite little bars by my house, then later to a place called Cameron House to see this band. The music was great and I was having a wonderful time--the vibe was convivial, the company was excellent, and the beer was flowing freely.

I was really digging the music and the band had my undivided attention until I saw the beginnings of a three-way across the bar. Keep in mind that this is a small place, and though they were in a corner, it wasn't a super-dark or -secluded corner. And the participants were not that attractive. I say, if I have to watch people make out in public, they might as well be good looking. The guy was sitting in between the two girls, and kept making out with one girl while rubbing the other girl's leg. While she, in turn, was rubbing his leg. Sometimes he would stop and kiss her neck, or she would rub his back, or whatever. I realized that she was totally second fiddle though, cause he never actually kissed her, like on the lips. Why the hell would you engage in a threesome if you weren't seeing any action? What is the point of that?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

These colors don't run



I'm not usually clothed in patriotic red, white, and blue, but when the US is playing Italy in the World Cup and Toronto has its own Little Italy, how could I resist?

I decked myself out in the red tank top and blue skirt (sans flag) and walked down to meet my friends to watch the game on College Street. En route, I spotted a yard sale (I am my mother's daughter, make no mistake) and there was an American flag for sale. I'm pretty sure that was a gift from the universe, cause just last night I was telling Eddie that if we could find a flag before the game today, I'd wear it and nothing else. So the flag was cheap and I bought it, and the guy who sold it to me told me this fantastic story about a "real" American flag he had at his house:

Apparently, during World War 2, his parents were in an internment camp. When the Americans came to liberate the camp, they naturally hoisted the flag. His mother was "a gorgeous woman" and wisely decided to flirt with an American soldier. They were drinking and talking, just generally having a good time, and she asked him if she could have the flag. He brought it down from the flagpole and gave it to her. She kept it for decades before giving it to her son.

He is now thinking of selling it on EBay.

Is he crazy? That flag has fewer than 50 stars on it, which makes it valuable historically, and has an interesting story behind it, which makes it valuable both personally and historically. I can understand not having the resources to care for a flag (fabric deteriorates, after all), but if you have to get rid of it, donate it to a museum. Don't sell it on EBay. No matter what kind of money you would get for it, it's not worth it.

Anyway, I bought the flag and headed for Dave's house, where we were going to meet before the game. Keep in mind that we were definitely merry last night: Dave's landlady was having a barbecue and everyone was invited so, naturally, everyone came; later, we moved on to the bars on College Street.

Number of guys I hit on: 1/2 (it doesn't count if it was a conversation and I knew him prior to the drinking, right?)
Number of same guys who have a girlfriend: 1 (dork)
Number of guys who hit on me: 1
Number of guys who hit on me who actually listened to what I had to say: 1
Number of guys who hit on me who I gave my number to: 1

All in all, not bad. Add to that the hilarity of Alli giving Tamara a piggy-back ride for 650 meters (those were the rules) because Tamara was wearing her party shoes, the ridiculousness of the following pick-up line: "Where did you get those beads? Mardi gras?" (Tamara was wearing a necklace and therefore was the recipient of that gem), and the general drunkenness of the company, and you have yourself a pretty good night out.

Um, where was I? Oh yeah, the World Cup. My digression actually has a semi-point. No, it doesn't. I just wanted to say that for once, I didn't get drunk and stupidly hit on some lame guy.

Point made, so we're moving on.

I met my friends at Dave's and we headed west on College to find a good bar. I decided that Eddie should wear the flag, cause I had my colors on and he wussed out and wore an England jersey. College Street was blocked off, maybe for the WC? Little Italy is fiercely patriotic, which is why I wanted to watch the game there. Not to torment the other team, but just to feel that exhilaration of an audience that actually gives a shit about the score. We definitely found it. We went to the College Street Bar, where they drew a pretty sizeable crowd for the game. Luckily, we got there during the Ghana-Czech Republic game so there were still seats.

And here's where it gets kind of ranty. Ok, so you own and operate a bar in Little Italy. Pretty patriotic part of town, huge soccer fans. The World Cup comes around. Italy is playing the US on a Saturday. The main street is blocked off. People are everywhere. Why in the name of all that is holy would you only have 1 server covering the entire bar? Not to mention a sour-faced and disagreeable bartender/bitch? There were 6 of us at a small table meant for four (barely), and 4 of us had ordered food. The couple at the table next to us got up and we asked our server (and by "our" I mean "the only") if we could take that table. She said yes. As soon as we made a move towards it, however, the sour-faced woman honed in on it/us and refused to allow us to use it because there were people waiting. Well, yes, I can see that, sweetheart, but we just wanted the extra room so we could eat. There is nothing I hate more than bitchy waitstaff.

We contemplated leaving but what the hell, we weren't going to find room anywhere else. So we stayed for the duration of the game. Which was wonderful. What a nail-biter! What made it better is that we ended up running into an Italian guy who is in my program, and he was with his girlfriend and some other Italy fans. We sat at 2 tables (ha!) and, despite the inherent rivalry, it was a great experience. The teams were playing with such heart and determination, and there were so many close calls, and there was none of that "In your face" crap (though I'd have dished it if I could have). We tied, 1-1.

I walked home, wearing the flag as a cape. Several people stopped me to ask the score, and one guy said, "Ahh, USA. Go USA! Go Bush!"

Sorry there, buddy, my patriotism doesn't run that deep.


Friday, June 16, 2006

The glory of 20/20 hindsight

There was a boy I dated in college. It was definitely an epic relationship--3 1/2 years, and we lived together for 1 1/2 of those years. We started dating when we were 18 and broke up when we were 22. He was most certainly the one who I fell in love with and who broke my heart. (Not that I didn't have a lot to do with the end of our relationship.)

Anyway, we're still sort of in touch. He called me last year on my birthday. This year I got an email. (My mom says he remembers my birthday because after we broke up, he went out with a girl who shares my birthday. Bitch! The girl, not my mom.) I emailed him on his birthday, as well. My brother is thinking of moving to California, and as this ex-boyfriend was living in northern California the last I knew of his whereabouts, I thought I'd send him an email asking if he would be willing to help my brother out. The ex kindly gave me his brother's contact info, as the ex is now living in Barcelona, Spain. That's cool, I love Barcelona.

What I don't love, however, is the ex's email. For example, he's not "living" in Barcelona, he's "L.I.V.I.N" in Barcelona. Is that a reference to Ricky Martin, like Livin La Vida Loca? I seriously can't figure it out. He refers to Canada as "Kanukistan," which is kind of offensive, and is spelled incorrectly anyway (should be "Canuckistan"). Florida, my home state, is called "Flaurida," which I suppose is the way some Floridians pronounce the word, but still.

The ex is a brilliant guy, far smarter than I could ever hope to be. He and I were compatible in so many ways, and lately I've been thinking about how I haven't really met anyone I'm as compatible with since. Until now, that is. Maybe I used to find his semantic antics (how's that for annoying) cute, but now I just want to bash my head against the monitor and tell him to stop, for the love of God.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Info*nation

For those of you who don't know what I do, I'm currently in the process of obtaining a master's in information studies, with a focus in archives that is becoming more of a focus in libraries (I didn't really like my archives classes all that much).

I was originally drawn to this profession because I love reading. It was pretty much as simple as that, with an added interest in literacy and access to information. After a few retail customer service jobs, I was kind of turned off from working with the public, so I thought I'd pursue archives as a way of getting more into the reference and research aspect of information studies.

As I have limited professional experience in either an archives or a library, I'm not really sure which one I prefer. What I do know is that I do not care for the theory of information studies or archives, nor am I particularly interested in the endless stream of new technologies that is constantly parading by. I think that I'm into a more down-home, simple, Luddite desire to promote literacy and books; and to remind people that, even in this fast-paced technophile world, you will never need a machine to read a book. I may be perennially unemployed in the future due to my lack of interest/ability in the technology sector, so my opinion may be moot. Anyway, I usually do not wax poetic or rhapsodic or anything, really, about information studies on this blog.

However, this Info*nation business caught my eye. I'm usually not a shill for--well, for anything, really. (Except maybe yarn stores.) However, I'm at work, and I'm browsing through information studies-related journals looking for book reviews, and I came across a very hip ad featuring a guy getting "Info*nation" tattooed onto his arm. The tag line says, "It's in the blood," and underneath is the phrase, "choose a career in libraries."


Clearly, this is designed to appeal to the young, hip twentysomething who takes pride in the geekiness and techno-appeal of his or her chosen profession or potential profession. I'm hoping it won't dwell on the technological aspect of it, since I really don't care about the latest in RAM or meta-beta-blahblahblah-whatever. I'm hoping that they will provide some interesting insights into a profession that seems to be constantly at odds with itself (does it embrace technology, as it would seem to love to do, or shy away from it because of a lack of resources? do patrons really show library loyalty, or can they do without brick and mortar libraries with the advent of the internet? are there jobs available, as the greying of the profession would suggest, or is it a no-man's-land of unemployment, as a bunch of recent articles would have me believe?).

Anyway, the site's launch isn't until July 1st, but they do have some info up and it's worth checking out. It'll be interesting to see what the site turns out to be like.

I can't remember what I was going to say

Here I am, eating lunch (ramen and a smoothie; I figure that the goodness of the smoothie totally cancels out the damage that the ramen is doing) and basking in the cool air of my fan. I was reading blogs, enjoying It seemed like a good idea... and I thought to myself, "I should post something on my own blog." I even thought of a topic. But then I logged into Blogger and I completely forgot what I was going to say. So then I thought about what else I could say. I got nothing, people. Nothing. Not one single interesting thing to write about. I guess I could say congratulations to Lorien, cause she graduated yesterday. So, congrats, Lorien. There. Now I really have nothing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Why are soccer players so damn hot?

Dear World Cup,

Every four years, I get to watch incredibly fit men run around in shorts and showing off their muscular legs. Soccer players seriously have the best bodies. The first time I watched the WC in 1998, I remember looking forward to seeing the Brazilians play cause I figured they'd be the hottest. Then I saw the Yugoslavian team. Hot damn! Now, I'm older and a little bit wiser. I watch Brazil when I want to see a great soccer game. I watch England, Croatia, and Switzerland when I want to drool.

Anyway, on behalf of women everywhere, I just wanted to say thanks.

Sincerely,

Tasha

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Musical notes

As I sit here writing this post, I'm on my bed. I have my knitting, I just woke up from an excellent nap, and it's going to be a pretty laid back evening around here. I have my iPod plugged in and my iTunes on, and I can't decide what to listen to.

I am not obsessed with music but I have always believed firmly in two solid Rules of Music: 1) making a great mix tape (or CD or mp3 playlist) is an art and some people just naturally have an affinity for it, and 2) there is a perfect song for every situation.

I love the book High Fidelity for emphasizing the importance of the mix tape and how the arrangement and positioning of the songs is as crucial as the songs themselves: put the music in the wrong order and you could end up sending the recipient the wrong message entirely. In the book, the main character, whose name I forget now, redeems himself to his estranged girlfriend at the end by putting together a mix tape for her. He'd done that many times, of course, but this time the tape finally contains music that she actually likes, not just music that he thinks she should like, thus signifying his acceptance of her as a person, flaws and all.

I'm not sure I ever had any great talent for the mix tape. As I said, I like music but I'm not obsessed with it, and I would often start out with the best of intentions for putting together a killer mix, but then sort of trail off as I found a really good book to read, or I got hungry, or whatever, and it would end up a little sloppy. Some people, though, are mix tape geniuses. They always include the right songs, perfect for the listener, who wouldn't even realize that their friend knew their taste so well, and always in the right order. At least, I think that's what these people would do, as I'm not sure I've ever met a Mix Tape Genius. They're elusive and wily, after all.

As for the perfect song for every situation, I tend to refer to this phenomenon (in my head) as the Soundtrack of Life. Like, when I was living in Portland and the sun broke through the clouds on a blustery spring day, I figured that the Jukebox in the Sky (NOT a metaphor for heaven, but an actual jukebox that resided in the sky) should break out The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun." Similarly, there was this guy named Jesse that I had a massive crush on, and whenever he walked by, Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl" would start playing (and the lyrics would go, "I wish that I was Jesse's Girl," instead of, "I wish that I had Jesse's girl"). Just simple things like that, music that would emphasize a mood or a feeling or a situation instead of creating one.

But right now I can't decide what to listen to. I'm definitely feeling laid back. I tried the Grateful Dead but didn't get too far. I can't listen to one more second of Death Cab right now. I listened to the Postal Service earlier. Elliott Smith is too depressing at the moment. Or maybe I should just go with the flow. Clearly, I have musical ADD and I shouldn't try to force myself to listen to one band or one artist. I need something more eclectic than that.

Random...

1. Does anyone else think that the phrase "screen shot" sounds dirty?

2. I hate the feeling of fax paper. It grosses me out to the point that I would really prefer to never touch it again.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why can't weekends last forever?

I have managed to watch an amazing amount of television this weekend. I watched some of The Office, I watched two movies, some soccer, and I finished watching the first season of Veronica Mars and started watching the second season. Isn't it the best show? If I could be one character on TV, I would totally be Veronica Mars. I don't necessarily want her crazy problems, but I would love her hair and her wardrobe. She always looks so cute. And I wouldn't mind making out with cute guys, either, although I have to say, I'm not a huge Duncan fan. He just looks too jockish and solid. I definitely like Leo, though. I ended up liking Logan but I can see why she broke up with him. I don't know what happens on the rest of the second season, so don't tell me!

Look at this!

I'm about to begin the shoulder shaping on the back of my Pistachio Aran! Verrry exciting. This sweater is knitting up so fast, I love it.

And! More crafts: I'm working on a top I've been meaning so sew for, like, decades. Not actually decades, obviously, just a while.

And! Aundra's coming to visit me in August!!!! That is ridiculously exciting and I know we'll have tons of fun. We always do. It's sort of become a tradition for us to see each other in the summer, though so far it's always been me visiting her. So this time she'll be on my turf. I'm so dragging her to the shoe museum. She did absolutely refuse the textile museum, though, much to my dismay.

God this post is so lame and exclamatory. Sorry. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back to my usual grumpy self.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hollister = vomit

I was reading the Style section of the Globe and Mail this morning, and there was an article about the clothing store Hollister. Now, I've never actually been inside a Hollister, but I have had plenty of experience with Abercrombie & Fitch, the company that owns Hollister and has been famous/notorious for years for their abundantly homoerotic quarterly catalogues (now defunct, I believe). Have I mentioned that I hate A&F? Not for the catalogues, which I thought were hilarious, but for their simple ubiqituousness (is that a word?)and cooler-than-thou attitude. Why do stores only hire skinny hot people? I mean, A&F does it, American Apparel does it, I'm sure Hollister does it. As if it's not enough that magazines emphasize lean, lithe bodies and flawless features, now you can't even get the typical teenager/twenty-something retail clothing job without being gorgeous. Ugh. I stopped even looking at A&F years ago, although I will admit that I like American Apparel, mainly because of their commitment to sweatshop-free production.

Anyway, this article explained how Hollister was geared toward the under-20 crowd and how the stores are designed to look like beach shacks, complete with interior lighting so dark it's hard to see the merchandise. This aesthetic has apparently agreed with the company, as the VP of blahblahblah was singing its praises--We make blahblahblah millions a year without even advertising, the kids love us, nobody wants to be told what "cool" is when they can discover it for themselves, everyone is unique, etc etc etc ad nauseum.

Um. Here's a thought: the kids who shop at Hollister are not exactly the archetype of "unique" cool if they are following the latest in mallrat trends. Here's another: I'm pretty sure you actually do plenty of advertising, Hollister, since you can't swing a pair of "distressed" jeans in this town without hitting a group of high schoolers wearing t-shirts with your name plastered all over their chests. If college students are indeed putting your shopping bags on their dorm room walls as decoration, as the article claimed, they need to get a hobby. Congratulations for becoming yet another in the long line of corporate brands that make it just a little bit harder for people to think for themselves.

I'm so tired of these stores with their insane ideas of what constitutes cool. What happened to not putting your logo across women's breasts or asses or across men's pecs? Do I have to be a walking advertisement for some lame-ass company? What happened to hiring all kinds of people, not just the skinny hot ones? What happened to selling a product with a hint of imagination? It really doesn't take much to grab a t-shirt, scrawl "Hollister" across the front, and sell it for some ridiculous mark-up to kids who're so well branded that they don't know any better.

Ok, so can somebody tell me how it's possible for it to be 11 degrees C/52 degrees F IN JUNE??? I mean, what? I'm pretty sure that global warming is going to kill us all. [And don't give me that 50-degrees-in-June-means-global-cooling-you-moron crap, cause let me tell you, I've read The Weather Makers (go buy it/steal it/check it out NOW) and I know that the increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere wreaks all sorts of climate/weather havoc on our planet, and autumn weather in June could be one of them.]

Friday, June 09, 2006

I so have no life

Things I want to do this weekend:

1. Go to Kensington Market and get some cheap sunglasses.
Why spend lots of money on sunglasses and umbrellas when I always lose/break them?

2. Sleep.

3. Knit. Duh.

4. Drink. Duh.

5. Hmm. Can’t think of a fifth. So, I guess my weekend will consist of sleeping, knitting, drinking, and buying cheap stuff. That doesn’t make me sound too cool, does it?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ok, so I might have been a bit hasty with my World Cup rant. Apparently, the variously-lingual Omni stations will be broadcasting the games and we get one of the channels, so I might be able to see some of the Cup. But whatever, I still say kudos to the American broadcaster ABC for showing 10 of the games to cable- and satellite-free viewers.

Speaking of sports, how about the Stanley Cup? Last night's game was so close; I was definitely on the edge of my seat until the bitter end. I was pretty sure the game would go into overtime but somehow Carolina pulled off a 5-0 sweep at the last minute. Sarcasm, people.




Awwww. That's me and Lorien, smiling for another picture on another camera at a party on Tuesday night. We're devil worshippers, so we wanted to celebrate 666. Or it was Lorien's friend Alicia's birthday. It was fun. I met a bunch of new people and heard some funny stories about sailors with the clap from a guy who looked remarkably like my friend Alli's boyfriend.


And last but not least, I present you with the progress so far on the Pistachio Aran:





This has to be one of the most satisfying things to knit. I complete one repeat of the Framed Cable (center) at a time, and the knitting is interesting and varied. Soooo much better than stockinette!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

World's game? Not so much here, unfortunately

Most people who know me know that I am not a sports fanatic, or even much of a sports fan. (The exceptions to that rule being: whenever any of my home teams (Heat, Marlins, Panthers, and Dolphins) are in some sort of playoff, as I am the ultimate fair-weather fan; and when attending an actual sporting event. When I watch sports in person I get really into it. I think it's from years of watching my uncle bellow at the TV during Bills games. Generally, though, I don't follow sports.) However, underneath my sports-cold exterior lies a serious love of soccer.

I think soccer is a beautiful game, and so intense, and requires a fantastic combination of speed and grace and agility and cleverness. I think it's unlike any other sport in those aspects. I love the World Cup for its effort to bring together the best teams in the world, from every inhabited continent, for allowing people like me the opportunity to see a sport for once not dominated by the US. I love the international flavor of it, that the entire world is united in the ultimate tournament. I was reading today that FIFA estimates that 8 out of every 10 people in the world will see part of a World Cup game. And we think the Super Bowl is well-watched?

Now, most Americans do not share my enthusiasm for the sport, preferring the bone-jarring brutality of American football or the somnolence of the baseball diamond or the bling-bling hijinks of the NBA. Soccer has never caught on in the US, despite it being hugely popular among elementary school children and their parents. I suppose that somewhere between childhood and the peer pressure of junior high and high school, kids learn to see soccer as a less manly sport, somehow not as real and visceral as football.

However, despite soccer not being an American sport (which actually disappoints me less than I let on--I kind of like it that there's a sport played the world over that Americans don't get, and therefore don't get to dominate), I have to give credit where credit is due--for those of us who grew up without cable television, it was still possible to catch the majority of the World Cup games on various network and Spanish-language TV. In 1998, when the World Cup was played in France and I was in between my junior and senior years in high school, I followed the tournament as closely as possible, even to the point of reading the sports section of the paper, an unprecedented event in my life. I learned that watching soccer on Spanish TV is infinitely more exciting than watching it on English-language networks. The Spanish-speaking announcers clearly LOVE this game, and their passion was never more evident than when either team scored a goal--where their English-speaking counterparts would announce (excitedly, admittedly) the achievement of a goal scored by recapping the play that led to the event, the Spanish-speaking announcer would simply yell, for 30 seconds, "Gooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal." And rest assured, I do not exaggerate. Sometimes it would be two full minutes of "Gooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal," repeated until the announcer could milk it no more.

Since moving to Toronto, I have become accustomed to generally appreciating the Canadian approach to most things more than the American approach to same. I figured that Canadians, being a sophisticated bunch, would have caught on to soccer fever, particularly as Canada supports an incredible number of recent immigrants from soccer-loving countries the world over. When I received the World Cup schedule in the paper today, though, it appears that, for those of us without cable, the only game we will be able to see is the final.
A month from now.

What. The. Fuck.

Are you kidding me? Is there no Canadian Spanish-language television equivalent? Perhaps in French? Or Arabic or Chinese or Korean or something? I will watch it in sign language, I don't care. The beauty of sports, and especially soccer, is that you don't need to watch it in your language. I don't care what language it's in as long as I get to see it. Why do I have to have cable to see a sporting event that is watched everywhere in the world, mostly by people who will never, ever know the joy of 500 channels? I guess I'll have to badger my friends with cable or go to sports bars, neither of which sounds particularly appealing.

Grrr. And end rant.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Random thought

Number of hot guys I have seen today: 1 2*
Number of same hot guys that were wearing a wedding ring: 1

Why does it seem that guys roughly my age are either married/in what I like to call "epic relationships," or are eternal bachelors? I mean, where is that happy middle ground of being interested in actual adult relationships but not currently being in them?

I joke about how I'll just wait for the married guys to get divorced and begin Round 2, the divorce rate being what it is (especially with people who get married before the age of 25), but I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with someone who'd previously been married. That may change as I get older, as many of my previously-held convictions already have as I've matured. But for now, I think that people who have been married and divorced by the time they're 30 were fooling themselves about their feelings for the other person. Obviously. And do I really want to be with someone who can't be honest with himself? Particularly about something as important as marriage?

*See comments below.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Pistachio Aran



Last night while Alicia, Joy and June were over for dinner and knitting, I started working on my cabled sweater. I was going to knit the Urban Aran from Patons, but due to sizing difficulties, I decided to design my own pullover, using the techniques I learned in Pattern Drafting and some of the shaping from The Knitter's Book of Handy Sweater Patterns. The cable stitch patterns I got from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker. I loooove that book. I have another book of stitch patterns, The Knitting Stitch Bible, but it doesn't even come close to the comprehensive, creative encyclopedia that is A Second Treasury. Barbara Walker wrote 4 Treasury books, and though the pictures are unfortunately in black and white, even for the colorwork, I think that these are indispensable resources for knitters who don't want or need to use commercially-available patterns.

Anyway, I designed a fairly simple set-in sleeve sweater, with ribbing along the sides and three panels of cable patterns. The central panel is called Framed Cable, which I like primarily because of the triangles flanking the cable.



On either side of the Framed Cable, there are panels of a simple twist-stitch pattern called Rapunzel's Braid.
This is the left one:


This is the right one:


So far, this sweater is fun to work. Cables and lace and basically any stitch pattern beyond stockinette are fun to work because you can actually see the progress you've made. Stockinette, which shows off color changes beautifully, can be eternally boring, though definitely easy to do while watching TV or talking or drinking, since you don't have to pay any attention to it at all.

Ok I don't know how to end this post so I'm just going to end it. Ta ta!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Favorites

Things that I need to reassert:

1. Death Cab is the favorite band

2. The OC is the favorite show

3. Knitting is the favorite activity.

4. Perhaps knitting is tied with reading

5. Ramen is the favorite drunk snack

6. Why aren't there people around when I have these revelations? There never are, and I feel that this is one of the great tragedies of my life.

Like, who is going to know just how much I love ramen at this very moment in time? Because when I love it again, this specific moment will have passed and no one will be any the wiser, even if I do have someone to share it with then, in the healing future.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Memo: New Boyfriend Standards

Ok, so I spent Friday night watching The Office. My excuse--I worked all week. My other excuse--I'm going to a party tomorrow night. Anyway, I love The Office. I think that it's hilarious and the casting is fabulous. I can't even pick a favorite character. If you people aren't watching it, you need to start.

Even though it would be hard to choose a favorite from among the many excellent characters, I have to say that I love Jim and Pam (Jam). Reason: everyone wants a Jim in their lives. He's like Lloyd Dobbler (...Say Anything) except way hotter. And funnier. And more creative. Another reason: girls can easily imagine themselves as Pam. She's smart but not too smart, pretty but not beautiful, and definitely doesn't have enough self-confidence. She has this great guy (Jim) completely in love with her but she's marrying someone else for security and comfort but certainly not happiness.

So, the season finale. There was a confession. And there were tears. And then there was seriously the most fabulous kiss ever. I'm pretty sure I've never been kissed like that, so directly and sweetly, with no drunken sloppiness or hesitation.

I'd like to announce that, thanks to Jim and Pam, there are now new Boyfriend Standards. (Yeah, there were Standards before, so no jokes!) Boyfriends and potential boyfriends must be: cute. Maybe not hot like Jim, but definitely, seriously, cute. And it's not like personality doesn't play a role in cuteness, so it's not like I'm looking for some male model type. Moving on. Personality. And by personality, I mean wit and intelligence and inquisitiveness and creativity. Someone who gets the sarcasm. Someone who is curious about the world. Someone who has a little bit of an edge, too. Someone with just a hint of a mean streak. And, last but certainly not least, they have to be really into me. You'd think that would be obvious, but you'd be surprised. Otherwise, why would there be books like He's Just Not That Into You? And why would I own it?

So thanks, Jam. Thanks for reaffirming the Standards. Thanks for being cute and funny. Thanks for a super sexy kiss.

Reflections

Surprisingly, as exciting as my life is right now (eat, work, eat, sleep), I don’t really have too much to talk about. I bought dye yesterday, and Lorien and I are going to paint some yarn next weekend; I missed the season finale of The Office cause I was working (damn you, Thursday night!); um… see, I can’t even think of a third thing to add to my list. That’s how slow things are right now. But that’s ok, I suppose. It doesn’t really bother me.

I have been thinking a lot about Turkey and travel and life in general. You know how people always say, “Time flies when you’re having fun”? Well, in Turkey I was definitely having fun but those two weeks went by so slowly. And now that I’m back, and back at work, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m having fun, but time is going so fast. I think that in Turkey, there was so much to see and do that I was so conscious of each moment. I knew that it would be a long time before I’d be able to travel like that again and I wanted to really be present. That’s a problem of mine—I’m always looking ahead, I expect the future to be so much better than the present. Inevitably, I end up being so fixated on what’s going to happen next that I’m not fully aware of what’s happening now. I made a conscious effort in Turkey to really be there, and to take in as much as I could.

I would like to recapture that feeling here, but how can I? Do I really want to be present every minute at work, or when I have horrendous papers to write? I feel like I’ve accepted the fact that this library science/archives program and possibly career is not necessarily my calling in life, if such a thing exists, and I would like to make the best of it, but if it’s not what I love should I try to be uber-conscious of it? Won’t that just make it that much more painful, that I’m spending two years surrounded by people who are fascinated by things like human-computer interaction (bores me to tears), when I’d really be doing something so much more creative and free?

It’s not that I want constant excitement or stimulation; far from it, in fact. I’d rather just be content, knowing that what I was doing with my time was productive and healthy and creative and good. I don’t have to make tons of money, though I’d like to be comfortable financially, and I definitely don’t need fame or followers.

I’m pretty sure that I won’t ever be locked in the ivory tower (thank God), so maybe I’m just feeling stifled by academia. I mean, I like my job well enough; it appeals to the side of me that enjoys putting together puzzles, but I certainly wouldn’t want to write papers about the philosophy of records management, or even archives. I guess I won’t know how much I actually like archives or libraries until I get out into the working world. For the time being, I guess I’ll just choose my moments to be present. For example, I don’t need to remember every second of writing my research methods paper…