celebrating the good things

Lately, I have been reveling in the awesomeness that I have been blessed with over the past couple of months, but I find it hard to blog about that since a great deal of it has to do with my (relatively) recent cross-country move. How does one write about job things without actually writing about job things? Particularly when one has not-so-nice feelings about certain job things?

It’s probably best to just write nothing at all. So I haven’t been writing. But, the down side to that is not getting to share about the awesome good things.

Things like:

  • Eating lunch in the break room nearly every day with most of my new colleagues filtering in and out over the lunch hour, and enjoying the time spent talking about whatever.
  • Asking, “Is this a resource we need?” and focusing on benefits and outcomes more than on pinching pennies.
  • Feeling like I have support to do just about anything I want or need to do professionally.
  • Figuring out how to alter my old routines to incorporate the broader social opportunities that Richmond offers.

I could go on, but that gives you an idea of some of the good things that I am blessed with these days.

Change can be scary, but sometimes it’s worth the hassle and heartache if it means that in the end you are able to thrive and grow in a way you never could have before the change. I knew that, and to a certain extent, I had lived that before, but I know it even better now. Sure, maybe in five years I’ll look back and wonder, “What was I thinking?” But, for now, I’m thinking that I made a good choice in deciding to face my fears and overcome inertia to step out into something new.

—————-
Now playing: Collective Soul – Heavy
via FoxyTunes

carnival of the infosciences #87

Welcome to the Carnival of the Infosciences #87! Not too many submissions this time, but they’re all good, so take a few minutes, kick back, and let the Carnival start your Monday morning.

Martha Hardy made two recommendations for this edition of the Carnival. The first is an essay from Roy Litwin entitled, “Annotated list of things not to forget (in the 2.0 craze)….” Litwin writes, “These days, when reading the library literature or a conference program it’s hard to find much that is not about the Library 2.0 idea. It seems to me that many librarians have forgotten that there is something worthwhile in what we do already, and that ‘Library 2.0’ is an update rather than something completely new.” This essay is a must-read for librarians, both twopointopians and those annoyed by them.

The other submission from Hardy is a news item from the Library Boy, Michel-Adrien Sheppard, about a criminal investigation in Toronto and the way authorities are using Facebook to get around the publication ban (“Is Facebook Interfering With Criminal Investigations?“). The Uncontrolled Vocabulary crew also discussed this in the January 9th episode.

Sol Lederman recommends that everyone take a look at Federated Search: The year in review, a review of the major events in the federated search industry in 2007, from the Federated Search Blog. 2007 saw commercial entities making odd business decisions, mergers and acquisitions, and new open source options.

Iris Jastram writes about her experience with creating “subversive handouts” for library instruction sessions, and what she learned from the process. This might give you a few ideas for your own “subversive” handout.

Kate Sheehan asks the question, “Are librarians culturally self-aware?” She also gets a few responses from John Blyberg (“Library 2.0 Debased“) and Rochelle Hartman (“Blyberg Speaks: Safe to come out of hiding“), among others.

The 2008 conference season kicked off with an early January ALA Midwinter meeting, which prompted Sarah Houghton-Jan to link to the useful Tips for conference bloggers, which was originally posted by Ethan Zuckerman and Bruno Giussani last October. Midwinter may be over, but there are still plenty of upcoming conferences that need to be blogged. Be sure to read their advice before you pack your laptop.

Blake Carver at LISNews has put together a list of ten blogs to read in 2008. I’m already reading a few, but I’ve added more to my pile based on Carver’s recommendations.

That’s all, folks! Please submit posts to the Library Garden for #88. You can use the online form or tag posts carninfo in del.icio.us.

#3

I picked up the graphic novel Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Space Between because I’m a fan of the series and because my favorite character, Tasha Yar, is on the cover. (Side note: For Christmas, some good friends of mine gave me a signed photo of Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar. It’s addressed to me and is probably the most thoughtful and unique gift I received this holiday season.) Also, I remembered reading something on Wil Wheaton’s blog about a script he wrote for Star Trek: The Manga, which is totally different, but when I was wandering Barnes & Noble, it seemed like a good idea to pick up this book.

This is a completely different animal from the Japanese manga, and is published by IDW. It’s a collection of good stories and beautiful drawings, but the finale that would tie everything together seems contrived and inconclusive. Will there be a follow-up? I don’t see any indication of that, which is disappointing.

#2

My review of Lipstick & Dipstick’s Essential Guide to Lesbian Relationships by Gina Daggett and Kathy Belge has been published on Blogcritics. I read the book over the first week of this month, but I didn’t have time to start writing the review until the end of last week. Which I then left on my work laptop (what I had with me in the hotel where I wrote the first two paragraphs) over the weekend. Otherwise, it would have been finished and published long before now.

[The book] may seem to be targeted at a limited audience, and for the most part, the examples given would mainly be applicable to lesbian relationships only; however, the core of their advice — from dating to long-term commitment decisions — rings true for any romantic relationship, regardless of the gender of those involved.

carnival of the infosciences #87 – call for submissions

I will be hosting the January 21st Carnival of the Infosciences, so get your submissions ready! Martha Hardy had a solid collection of essays from bibliobloggers, despite the holiday disruptions, which bodes well for the next two weeks. You can submit suggestions via the form or simply tag them carninfo on del.icio.us, but whatever you do, please do it before 6pm on January 20th and follow the submission guidelines.

#1

My review of Open Your Heart With Geocaching by Jeannette Cézanne has been published in Blogcritics Magazine. It’s the first book I have read for 2008, and I’m once again gunning for 50 this year. Since I have about four or five review books on deck, it looks like the year will start with a bang. I’m already half-way through #2, so expect more on that soon. Anyway, here’s a snippet of my review:

Cézanne has poured herself and her world into this book. The language is conversational and flows easily from point to point. She approaches geocaching less from the geeky/techie perspective, and more from the outdoor enthusiast perspective. For her, caching is less about the destination as it is about the journey. I think this is a perspective that is often lost amid the crowing and strutting by those who play for the numbers.

books read: 2007

I tried and failed once again to complete the 50 book challenge last year. However, I did a little better than the year before, and probably would have read at least two more books if I hadn’t made a cross country move.

  1. The Empty Chair by Diane Duane (fiction)
  2. A Librarian Is To Read by Betty Vogel (non-fiction)
  3. Wordplay: The Official Companion Book by Will Shortz (non-fiction)
  4. Death in Winter by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  5. Puss ‘n Cahoots: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown (fiction)
  6. So Say We All: An Unauthorized Collection of Thoughts and Opinions on Battlestar Galactica (Smart Pop series) edited by Richard Hatch (non-fiction)
  7. Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip (fiction)
  8. Gauntlet by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  9. Progenitor by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  10. Reunion by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  11. The Valiant by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  12. Three by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  13. Oblivion by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  14. Enigma by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  15. Maker by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
  16. Journey Between Worlds by Sylvia Louise Engdahl (fiction)
  17. Orphan’s Quest by Pat Nelson Childs (fiction)
  18. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (fiction)
  19. Towards Zero by Agatha Christie (fiction)
  20. At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie (fiction)
  21. Nemesis by Agatha Christie (fiction)
  22. Ordeal By Innocence by Agatha Christie (fiction)
  23. First Have Something To Say by Walt Crawford (non-fiction)
  24. Social Software in Libraries by Meredith Farkas (non-fiction)
  25. Beer & Food: An American History by Bob Skilnik (non-fiction)
  26. Guinness – The 250-Year Quest for the Perfect Pint by Bill Yenne (non-fiction)

—————-
Now playing: FarPoint Media Live Feed
via FoxyTunes

reviews update

It’s been a while since I posted an update here of what I’ve been writing over at Blogcritics.org. Between moving and the holidays, I’ve fallen far behind on many things, not to mention writing (or even writing about writing, as the case may be). Here are the handful of recent reviews:

  • Guinness – The 250-Year Quest for the Perfect Pint by Bill Yenne

    Yenne has written an engaging book that is accessible even to the pedestrian beer drinker. His research is thorough, and the bibliography at the end of the book has a few titles that caught my eye as potential future reads. [more]

  • Carole King – Welcome To My Living Room

    The film quality and editing rides the line between a PBS TV concert and a big-screen hyper-reality, with long cuts and minimal camera movement. In the end, it has more of an “I was at a concert” feel than the audio recording from a different show, mainly because of the aforementioned between song banter that was left in the video and removed from the CD. [more]

  • Leiana – No Going Back

    The skatepunk sound found on Leiana’s second full-length, No Going Back, feels as comfortable to me as an old pair of jeans, and I think most of that has to do with the distorted crunch of Chuck Treece’s guitar riffs and the straight-ahead drumming. It’s a little bit retro, while remaining modern and fresh. [more]

  • Macally BTCUP for iPod

    Over the years, I have purchased a variety of FM transmitters in the hopes that they will transfer the sound from my digital devices to my car stereo better than cassette adapters. In general, I have not spent more than $30-40 on these devices, and in the end, I was unsatisfied with them. Recently, I was given the opportunity to test Macally’s BTCUP for iPod, and I was suitably impressed with the device. [more]