conferencing

“I am a traveler / I sail the open free / Oh I am a traveler / All roads they carry me”

I am about to embark on a month of conferencing and vacation, and the preparations are about to wear me out. Most of this is my own doing.

I am a consummate procrastinator, which means that in addition to the regular getting ready to go and daily work things I need to do, I’m also frantically trying to finish up some projects that have to be done by the end of the quarter, which is June 8th. However, I will be gone from May 24 – June 5, which leaves me exactly nine working days to complete my tasks that I had planned to spend about a month on. Argh.

On the up side, I’ll be able to visit family, as well as serials librarian geek-out at NASIG.

After I return from NASIG, I have a couple of weeks of regular work before I leave again for ALA, followed by a week of visiting friends, as well as a Where’s George geek-out with folks in DC.

Then, three days after I return from DC, I’m back on the road again to Illinois for the National Women’s Music Festival. I wasn’t planning to attend, but in a moment of weakness I snagged tickets for direct flights to and from Chicago on Southwest. After July 8, I plan to stay within my county for several weeks.

towing

I should quit this librarian gig, get a tow truck, and then I’ll be living high on the hog!

Last Saturday, I drove over to Louisville to attend the first annual Living Out Loud music festival. I volunteered to help promote the National Women’s Music Festival by chatting up folks who came by the table, and also several of my friends were performing in the festival. A good time was had by all, and afterwards my famished performer friends and I caravaned on over to Ramsi’s Café on the World for some fabulous food.

At this point in the evening it was nearly 11:30pm, so none of us thought much about parking across the street in the Mid-City Mall lot, since it was obvious that the mall was closed and there were plenty of spaces away from the mall itself. I was the only one in my group of five (the other three arrived later) who noticed the “parking for mall customers only sign,” but I assumed that it would be okay. Why would the mall need those spaces at 11:30pm on a Saturday night? Right? Wrong.

It seems that they have recently gotten tough on those parking there who are not mall patrons. During the day, it’s harder to catch them, but after the mall closes, it’s apparently a gold mine for Dave’s Towing Service. At $107 a pop, no wonder they are quick to tow offender’s vehicles away. Out of the eight of us, they made $428 that night. Cash. That was the most expensive dessert I’ve ever had.

We had such a great time talking and laughing at Ramsi’s that it was quite a shock to walk out at 1 a.m. and realize that our vehicles were no longer parked in the lot. We managed to get directions to the lot where our vehicles were being held and flagged down a taxi. Once we got there, we encountered Mr. Towing Jerk. MTJ sat in his monstrous truck with the huge engine loudly running as we tried to explain to him that only two of us had our $107 in cash on us, but that the other two had their money in their cars. He seemed quite put out that he would have to take them to the lot at the far end of the street in order for them to get the money for their cars. Mind you, my friends with the money in the cars had all of their gear and instruments in those cars. We weren’t leaving.

MTJ finally drove down to the other lot, with one of my friends in the truck with him. He offered to let the rest of us ride in the back, but I wasn’t getting in there. The three of us decided to take our chances walking down the road to the lot. All of us but my friend who rode with MTJ quickly found our vehicles and were able to move them over towards the exit. However, the fourth vehicle was blocked by another car, and MTJ sat there with his engine running and headlights in our eyes until one of his tow trucks returned to move the blocking vehicle. By 2am, we returned to the Mid-City Mall parking lot and retrieved the other four passengers.

Dave’s Towing Service was out in full force that night, and I pity the other souls that had to deal with Mr. Towing Jerk. The $107 was a hard hit to my wallet, but his attitude was a much harsher blow. Yeah, I’m sure he has to deal with a bunch of drunks every night, but we were obviously not drunk and equally obviously stranded without our vehicles. The least he could have done was shown us some sympathy for our situation. However, for a towing service charging an outrageous $107, I’m not surprised that they only hire the worst dredges of humanity.

I’m looking forward to hearing what the five songwriters in the group come up with in retribution.

are you a chair-head?

For the past week, I have been spending my spare time working on putting up the storefront for the National Women’s Music Festival. If you haven’t been to this festival, you should make plans to be there this year. There are many great musicians performing, and unlike some other women’s music festivals, men are allowed to attend and you don’t have to camp outside. Also, my friends are performing on the Saturday night mainstage.

The Toronto Sun‘s Career Connection section has busted some stereotypes in its write-up on librarianship.

Jeb Bush’s proposed budget would eliminate funding for Florida State Libraries and Archives. We wouldn’t want any messy evidence hanging around, now, would we? In a subsequent PR move, he delcared February as Florida Library Appreciation Month. I wonder what he’d do to you if he didn’t appreciate you?

Are you running out of patience with your neighbors? Terry Jones takes his direction from Dubya and proposes to bomb his suspicious neighbors.

I’m not sure if there is enough reason to even consider it yet, but some folks have started a movement to impeach Dubya.

Last, but most definitely not least, my Alex is the Petmate of the Month!

musicians & librarians

It’s been a while since I wrote here, I know. I’ve been off traveling the country, and I’ve barely had time to breathe, much less write something here. Nevertheless, I shall try to summarize.

A few weekends ago, I attended the National Women’s Music Festival for the first time. It was amazing! The music was top notch, and very intimate, since this festival is not as highly attended at some others. I was able to see some performers that I already knew and loved (Wishing Chair, Jamie Anderson, Ember Swift, etc.), as well as others that I came to love after seeing them perform at the festival (Kim Archer, CommonbonD, Jennie DeVoe, etc.). Not only was the music a wonderful collection of soul food, but the festigoers were a diverse group of women who somehow managed to blend together well. It was difficult for me to transition back into the “real world” after those few days of being surrounded by the energy of women together.

I had four days of relative normalcy, and then the conference marathon began. First, I drove down to Atlanta with several of my colleagues to attend the ALA 2002 Annual Conference. This was my first ALA meeting, and I was excited to be able to go. The high light of the conference, for me, was when the Indigo Girls performed at a fundraiser for the ALA Scholarships, and I was in the second row! When I finish the roll of film in my camera & get it developed, I might have some pictures to share. It was kind of bizarre to be in a place with more than 10,000 librarians, but I got used to it. The conference itself was disappointing, since there wasn’t much about serials or cataloging (my job in real life).

The next conference occurred right after ALA, with only a day between for me to travel. Unlike ALA, this one was directly relevant to my job. The North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) 17th Annual Conference agenda included numerous items related to serials cataloging, as well as other serials issues, and it was also great fun! If you are ever in Williamsburg (VA), I recommend a visit to the Green Leafe Cafe. Although I may have had more beer while I was in Williamsburg for the conference than I had at any one time in my entire life, I did learn a good bit about serials cataloging issues. I also realized how little I know about serials cataloging, despite having been on the job for nearly eight months! Well, it certainly has given me quite a few goals to reach.