Porch Song by Trailer Bride
yeah, a little obsessed with this song. and thinking back with nostalgia to how great Trailer Bride was — one of my favorite Bloodshot Records bands — and definitely my favorite Melissa Swingle project. so far.
ah my girl crush on Melissa Swingle really knows no bounds.
here she is (“Melissa Swingle talks about Hasil Adkins”):
got some GREAT news today. my internship at CUNY Graduate Center Library processing the Activist Women’s Voices Oral History Project & Archive is winding down as of the end of this month (i.e., next Friday).
i applied for a Community Facilitator position at CUNY Academic Commons. just found out today i got the position. i am so happy.
just realized it is my first paid position since being laid off from Credit Suisse. sort of verklempt now i am thinking on that. progress. baby steps but progress all the same.
it is a part-time position, not a lot of hours, but i have been so impressed with both the CUNY Academic Commons and the IT offerings at CUNY Graduate Center / CUNY Graduate Center Library that being a part of both, continuing this new-found love-affair for things CUNY just really makes me happy.
new / current obsession: Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter, streaming on Netflix. what do they put in the water over there to make such great TV?!? wish there were more than six in this series.
capturing the smile
it is a sunny Sunday afternoon in May* and i have my balcony door open and my window blinds up. making sure i get my Vitamin D and fresh air fix. have exactly two weeks left on my internship at the Graduate Center Library. so decided to take a blog break from pulling together geographic references for the geotag portion of the excel extravaganza that is the metadata of the Activist Women’s History oral history project. whew!
*freaking Mother’s Day, a day i never love every year (RIP Mommy, 1984).
i feel like i am learning some good stuff.
i participated in the Global Women Wikipedia Write-In (#GWWI) and spent an intensive day (or two) forcing myself to learn Wikipedia editing (tutorials, helpful #IRC help desk, trial and error). it became pretty clear that if i dedicate my energies towards technical skill building i can learn things — or at least get a muddle-through adequately level of workability. but did i enjoy the process? not hugely. coding and stuff like this doesn’t come easy to me, but then learning something like this maybe never does? at least for me…. it isn’t where my natural skills lie. maybe this relates to how i approached math and science as a kid, and the phobias / lack of girls participating remainders from childhood. who knows.
late night boringness
saw on Twitter and the New York Times that Seth Meyers will be replacing Jimmy Fallon as the late night host on NBC. ridiculous. seriously, do we need another white man hosting a late night talk show? it is time for some changes. it would be so nice to see a woman — or a person of color, or god forbid, both — on TV in a position of authority and fun. i mean, really, it’s enough already. and in his tweet Seth Meyers thanked Lorne Michaels. yeah, here’s hoping Lorne Michaels won’t be part of the show*, because that can only be a bad thing. the limitations of the Lorne Michaels model are plentiful — as exemplified by the frozen in time and innovation Saturday Night Live.
wow. didn’t know i needed to get that out there like that. feel a bit better. well not really but at least i am not screaming at the computer and/or TV. just screaming on the internet via this blog.
*aaand, reading the nytimes article, Lorne Michaels will oversee the show just like he does for Jimmy Fallon and others. well, here’s hoping that it is minimal overseeing…
Frank and his legacy
my friend Frank has been sick. i get periodic updates but i worry about how he’s doing down in Australia. he has lived a very long life, is a survivor (literally, figuratively). but age is not a kind mistress (cliched but true). the comfort i can give myself is that we have done a lot of great work together, and no matter what, his legacy of materials will survive. i will do my best to continue to work on it, organize it, and make sure that it has the proper disposition and survives. take that Hitler and your killing machine. a big F U.
made reservations for the IAJGS Boston conference this summer — ah, Boston in August. the joy. prediction that will be 100% true: i will be schvitzing, actively and profusely. can’t wait to spend time with a bunch of grumpy Jewish genealogists, of which i am a card carrying member. these are my people. and now i am in my mid- (late!) 40s, i am getting closer to the typical demographic (of being an old grumpy Jewish genealogist). well i feel old. och.
interviewed for an interesting part time job not specifically related to library science, but something that i am interested in, thankfully. not sure if i blew the interview or not. i always feel very pessimistic about my interview experiences. am trying to follow the excellent Ask A Manager advice of moving on and letting go, as these types of things are totally out of your control. but it is difficult to follow this advice sometimes.
i could have been much more prepared, which i am peeved at myself about. that was a definite learning experience which i will not repeat. and interviewing for a position with more than one person is always non-ideal in my book. this was four people, which is nerve-wracking. i guess this is how job interviews are done nowadays but stressful. i don’t think i’m the best interview, but once i get into a workplace, well, that’s where i do well. semi-desperate (true, but not true) for a foot in the door. oh gads, i don’t know…
the folks involved in the project i would potentially work on are scary interesting and talented, have implemented a very cool technical interface. plus it has to do with CUNY, a place i have become passionately a fan of, so there is that… more smart people doing cool stuff. i hope it works out because it would be fun, interesting, and very cool.
in addition to feeling like i will never be able to earn a living again, which is obviously a ridiculous thing to even say, but at this point post-CS it is a very real experience. all the jobs in academia require a second master’s, which i would happily get if the institution would let me go for free AFTER hiring me… (yeah not very realistic) i loved grad school, love learning. but i am also very ready to complete this shift into a new career already.
i know a lot of folks have been working at getting a full time library gig — or any substantive library gig — for much longer than me, that i need to be patient and keep my nose to the grindstone of creative problem solving and hard work, but it is inevitable that i am questioning my efforts here. do i succumb to a money job in a good environment (if i can find something like that, hopefully)? or do i continue on this broken-down, unstable / sketchy path of cobbling together a library science career? which is going to take a lot of time and effort.
the conflict i feel is that i could continue to do what i did in my last money job (of 16 years). i could work on things i love, things like the work with Frank that have no financial compensation, that actually cost me money and my time. but make me soul-deep happy and satisfied. do i continue to do what is technically classified as “hobbyist” work for free, follow that passion and journey? or do i try and shove my square shape into a round hole of a library science job. it is very unclear right now.
SouthLAnd was canceled. not a surprise but damn.
not a lot to smile about there. sads.
okay, back to the grindstone of prep for geotagging locations. hopefully can use Leaflet, though i suspect the tech side of this Activist Women’s Voices oral history project will not be part of this journey / experience, is out of my hands. oh well, i will use it for Frank’s stuff maybe? or another project. oy.
thanks for reading, if anyone made it this far.
so i am blogging in multiple places right now, at the cost of only intermittently blogging here. which i suspect will be the way things will be for the Spring 2013 semester while i am working on this internship.
in addition to this SchmattaLUV blog….
i am doing a private blog (private due to permissions / rights issues*) that is my own personal process blog: Activist Women’s Voices
and i am doing a public blog via the CUNY Commons: Graduate Center Special Collections CUNY Activist Women’s Voices
the CUNY blog is going to be more formal, with less tangential forays into free associations (think less Library of Congress / public domain images, less YouTube videos, etc.).
so i’ll still have this one, and will post when i can. but feel free to visit the others, if you want.
*will try to unlock selected posts if i can get them approved to be public
Mark freaking Mothersbaugh
first off, i want his glasses. so aluminum and shiny!
second off, his office building is that weird circular building on Sunset i always drove by and wondered about when i lived in El-Lay….
it mystifies me that more buildings aren’t circular. it makes much more sense to me than square. i think circular, more pod-like, egg-like structures would create a more welcoming and organic work and living space. big fan of the circular.
it was white back in the day, but i love this color — lime green!
and then, thirdly, there is what Mark Mothersbaugh talks about when he talks about Devo. which totally blew my mind.
DEVO, when we were starting as a band it was right after a shooting and not just
at Kent but other campuses around the country there.
Students were saying, hey!
We don’t want to be part of this Vietnam War.
You know, we were watching it on TV and we are like who are we defending and
why and why are we attacking people over there?
They didn’t do anything to us.
What is the point to this war?
It’s not a good war.
During that time period Jerry Casale who I’d collaborated with on a few
visual things already that year, he came over and he started playing music
with me and he was a bass player and he was playing in a blues band to make some extra money.
I was a keyboard player but I was playing like synth stuff and it was more like
Soft Machine or something.
It was kind of like more acidy and we were trying to figure out what is this
sound we were thinking. Oh!
It’s like Flintstones meets the Jetsons.
You know, like I was playing kind of space age-y kind of sounds and he was
playing like kind of primitive bass sounds, blues, blues-y kind of things.
We started talking about what was going on around us and then what was happening
at school and what was happening in the world.
We came to the conclusion that what we were observing was not evolution but
So, that’s where we’ve got the name the De-evolution band and then the
De-evolutionary army before we cut letters off the end and turn it into DEVO.
De-evolution was sort of our platform.
It became a way that we could talk about things that we were curious about,
that concerned us and we could make fun of things and we could draw attention to things.
So, we looked at people like Andy Warhol for inspiration.
We saw– and not so much in his messages but in his techniques.
We saw that was the perfect.
He was about ideas and it didn’t matter what medium he worked in.
I’d liked the idea that he wasn’t just locked into like playing guitar or to
painting watercolors on a piece of paper, the same exact thing every time.
He was into solving problems.
So, we kind of wanted DEVO to be like that.
Devo came from the idea of de-volution, a reaction to the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings and trying to make sense of the world at that point in time. it’s just all sort of brilliant and so much more connected and much more meaningful than i ever imagined Devo to be. just love this, hearing such a smart man talk about the ideas behind what made Devo Devo.
and more to the point, the name Devo and the idea of de-evolution, and the ideas of doing things however they came to be (i.e., Warhol example) was also about parsing process and vision and intention in the most organic and revolutionary, naturally evolving way. as Mothersbaugh describes, it was about solving problems. and agitprop.
Agitation propaganda (commonly shortened to agitprop) is the systematic spreading and thorough explanation of political, philosophical, economic, historical, as well as scientific, technical, and other types of ideas by the political leadership of a movement, society or organization, advancing the effectiveness of political persuasion and training on the target, leading to rapid action, or mobilization. In a simplified sense, Agitation Propaganda is focused on causing an excitement of emotions in the target, with the aims of stimulating action.
it’s a great example. a great example of inspired thinking. makes me want to keep it on the road, keep going, keep at whatever i’m doing that’s working….
the history of my Devo-revolution
and on a more personal note, my earliest memories of Devo were their record (below) i think my brother Michael had.
and then of course i remember a high school performance of the annual Roadshow (i think that was it) by my sister Claud’s friends (including Saybert) where they did a song by Devo, wearing the same outfits and hats. it was so cool. i loved her friends.
this picture isn’t that but it captures how awesome these guys were.
some video awesomness. my favorite Devo song, “Uncontrollable Urge”.
i read about the Valmadonna Trust Library a while ago. then this week have had a bit of a crazy — wonderful really — connection to the library.
found this cool video over at Sotheby’s, if you are interested in an overview of this truly inspiring collection.
JewishGen psychic family connections!
so anyway, i get contacted periodically via the awesome resource that is JewishGen Family Finder.
for those not familiar with it, the JewishGen Family Finder is a database of searchble surnames and towns (in my case, shtetls) that you can search to try and find your Jewish ancestors.
i have listed the surnames and shtetls in my immediate family on the JewishGen Family Finder. if someone is searching for or has a similar surname and town listed, the Family Finder is a great way to connect with fellow genealogists and try to share share information. in many ways the Jewish community is much smaller than you would ever think, especially genealogically.
so a wonderful woman named Pauline Malkiel is the librarian at the Valmadonna Trust Library. she also happens to be a Segall relation from Nasielsk, Poland!
we haven’t quite worked it out how we are related — i am embarrassed to say i have done very little research on my grandmother’s mother (Rachel Segall) and grandmother’s (Sarah Segall) specifics. i stopped doing my own genealogy to help out my friend Frank and haven’t been focused on the Segall branch’s information at all. i haven’t really been able to focus on Frank’s work much either due to grad school, working too much, grad school burnout, job tribulations, etc. no good excuse really. and the guilt is pretty bad but i don’t seem to be able to harness it towards good right now. i hope to get it together soon. oy vey….
back to the wonderful story though. Pauline contacted me. i am going to send her the information that i do have. she will hopefully share her information too. and i am just absolutely thrilled to learn more about the Segall branch of my family. i love my Segalls dearly.
i fear that it may be an unbalanced exchange of information — seeing as i think she has more information than me (she has gone through the truly awful — and expensive — process of procuring Polish and Cyrillic records from the Polish State Archives and it sounds like she has gotten some of them translated). but i hope to reciprocate in some way.
the fact that Pauline is also a librarian is just a stunner. so excited, really blown away about that. librarians are GREAT people. i kvell!
the value of the hobbyist / collector
which got me to thinking about the Valmadonna Trust Library some more.
the Valmadonna Trust Library is another instance of a hobbyist / collector taking the time and energy and expense to create something that is so rich and deep that it rivals the holdings in traditional libraries and archives. and because the hobbyist / collector owns the works, the issues of copyright and use and access tend to be much less complicated than in traditional institutions.
another example of this is the David Rumsey Map Collection.
i mean really. the image above is insanely cool. plus it is usable via Creative Commons licensing. the Rumsey Collection is amazing database with crazy deluxe metadata. in a word: sublime.
i hope the Valmadonna Trust can do something similar to this.
my friend Debra Jane Seltzer has created something similar to this via her website, Roadside Architecture. based on a passion and moral imperative for documenting disappearing architecture that she loves, Debra Jane has spent countless time and energy and money on taking pictures, researching, and documenting disappearing mid-Century roadside architecture.
i love her blog. have learned what makes a good blog from the effortless way she writes and displays images, creating such a interesting visual stories. and Debra Jane’s flickr photostream is pretty incredible. of course the main resource is her website linked above, but all of these components make an argument for user-generated content, beautifully curated, displayed and shared openly.
patience and fortitude
i took these pictures a while ago, when i was going to the main branch of the New York Public Library for my Map Institute class. love these lions, Patience and Fortitude.
been thinking a lot about big picture things lately, which makes sense since i am going through such a significant amount of change right now. thinking about these lions and what they represent, patience and fortitude, as guiding principles for myself right now.
the one thing that i stubbornly feel supreme annoyance by is pity.
even if it is something others are expressing out of love, pity is worse than telling someone upset to calm down (don’t even get me started on THAT one!).
i wish i could find it, but it’s in storage in my clipping files — i have a clipping from an old Time Out New York article i found of a review of Camryn Manheim’s one-woman show (of the same name as this book) that features Camryn in a similar pose / photo. the name of the show was so great, “Wake Up, I’m Fat!” brilliant even. really spoke to me, even then, when i was less heavy than i am right now.
weight (metaphorical, literal) is a complicated issue. for me, for others. and if someone wants to pity me for my weight, well, i don’t give my permission. i own my own life, my own body, my own choices.
quite frankly, i don’t need anyone to tell me i am fat, am carrying a lot of weight. it’s like, really, no crap!?!? well, i did not know that! thanks so much.
this is my business. my life. my burden (metaphorical, literal).
in the high school popularity celebrity-obsessed culture we live in — and i am just as much of a participant as everyone else — we are totally screwed up when we talk about and deal with fat people.
the other day on The View, Joy Behar was saying she took an informal poll (of one) and asked a guy if he would rather be with someone with pustules on their face — or someone fat. the guys said pustules all the way.
i am not surprised by any of this anymore. i don’t have expectations of people to rise above their issues around fat people. but these are exactly that: their issues.
me, i have my own issues, issues that are mine and mine alone. they are private (if i choose to keep them private while not blogging – oy). and i did not ask for the feedback, or pity.
i have been thinking about this — triggered by a visit and phone call by some extended family members. i love my family no matter what — or maybe i should say, despite everything. and they don’t read my blog (very few people do really). but this is my process blog, so i wanted to put this out there….
and say thanks but no thanks for the pity.
yeah, it feels like today was day one of the rest of my life. nothing big or anything….
for my interview this morning at The National Archives of New York, unfortunately their building has what i suspect was continuing problems from Super Storm Sandy, so they had no power. i didn’t have a chance to have my interview to volunteer, which was frustrating. hope to reschedule soon.
i am also intrigued to see their new space. saw a picture of the new facility on Facebook and am intrigued.
first day jitters at the CUNY Graduate Center Library. first day, which was only a few hours.
i think the whole idea of if i am stressed or scared about something, well that means i am invested, and it matters — this makes sense. but my nerves are pretty shot.
the blogging thing is complicated by the fact that i want to maintain this blog, it might be possible to do an official CUNY blog, and i sort of want to do the separate internship blog like i did last time. it was very helpful when i wanted to use it for motivation, as a process blog. so i may need to retroactively blog once that is worked out. hopefully.
while all of this stuff is happening, i feel like cut glass, shattered, with holes, still holding up, but definite fissures and stresses.
The Graduate School Library has been named in honor of Mina Rees in tribute to her remarkable qualities as administrator, teacher, and colleague, and in recognition of her critical role in establishing doctoral work at The City University of New York.
Dr. Rees had a long and distinguished professional career. She received a B.A. degree from Hunter College and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and began her teaching career in 1926 as a member of the Hunter College Mathematics Department. In addition to her more than 35 years at the City University, she served with the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II.
A distinguished mathematician and educator, she was acclaimed for the important role she played in mobilizing the resources of modern mathematics for the national defense during World War II, for helping to direct the enormous growth and diversification of mathematical studies after the war, for her influence in initiating federal government support for the development of the earliest computers, for helping to shape national policy for all basic sciences and for graduate education.
Dr. Rees was appointed the City University’s first Dean of Graduate Studies in 1961, when the doctoral programs were established. In 1969, she became the first president of the CUNY Graduate School , serving until her retirement in September 1972. She died in 1997.
so i found out yesterday that i was offered the internship position at the CUNY (City University of New York)’s Graduate Center Library to work as a Special Collections Intern for the Spring 2013 semester, with a specific focus on the digital project: The Activist Women’s Voices Oral History Project and Archive.
i am BEYOND happy. so excited about the collection, the wonderful librarian who i will be working with, and the upcoming experience, where i already know i will be learning so much.
if i get the okay, i will either do a separate regular blog of the experience, like i did for my NYPL internship where i spent the majority of my time processing the Meredith Monk Collection. or i will do a periodic blog via official channels of CUNY. i think i would prefer my own blog, as i can do something more in depth and continuous. but i will find out more as this process continues.
i also go in today to interview for a volunteer position at the National Archives at New York. the New York offices have relocated to a new facility almost at the southern-most tip of Manhattan, at 1 Bowling Green. i hope to become involved in any digitization projects they may be undertaking.
i know a lot of folks in the United States are pretty upset about the whole “turn of events” on Downton Abbey this week, but i hope they know things will recover, as they tend to, in a Jullian Fellowes experience.
seeing as i don’t have a steady income right now, i decided to make some adjustments to my budget. for a while now i have been upset at the monopoly of Time Warner Cable in New York City — and have been dismayed and annoyed at the cost of basic cable service. so i actually needed to get my monthly bill down significantly, and had turned off the original programming channels i had (HBO and Showtime) a while ago.
then i did some belt-tightening over the last few years and decided to go down to the Basic and Standard cable packages.
well a week or so ago i decided to go down to Basic. that means no TNT, no Bravo, no E!, no TVLand, no ABC Family.
i thought it was going to really suck, but it has been actually okay. i am watching the network TV shows i usually watch for original programming, so that hasn’t changed much. but now i am watching a lot more PBS. because PBS, quite frankly, is AWESOME.
i am also, yes, watching C-SPAN. it is also quite awesome.
though i don’t seem to get the HD C-SPAN channels, and the Time Warner folks don’t know why. but at least i get the main C-SPAN channel. yay.
i do miss the Rachel Maddow, who has such a fabulously playful and attractive brain. seriously, i have a crush on thee Rachel Maddow’s brain.
i was watching Democracy Now! as well, but now it has now become my main feed for great news coverage. especially in the absence of thee Maddow.
as i am wont to say, ad nauseum, it’s all about content. content is king. and i’m pretty happy with the content that is out there right now.
ooh deliciousness! Eels has a new record streaming. will be released in the next week or so.
so i am an addict, an addict to the Google Chrome browser. i used to love Firefox, thought it was a sea change from Internet Explorer and Safari. but then along came Google Chrome with the elegant single address bar and search bar. and the theory that each tab was a separate operating instance, so having multiple tabs open at once doesn’t (theoretically) drag you down.
however, recently i’ve noticed there are significant performance issues with Google Chrome. YouTube doesn’t want to play. i today noticed i can’t get sound to play if i use Chrome. and it’s slow to load many tabs now. and locks up very often.
Safari is actually a lot faster and is definitely more stable. but i want to have the tab icons (see above).
well if i continue to have these performance issues i may have to suck it up and lose the tab icon convenience and seductive aesthetic of Google Chrome — and shift to Safari.
i am actually sometimes using Camino, a Mac-only browser i found out about on Lynda.com.
beyond that gripe
i’m still in limbo, of my own creation, of course.
have a bunch of options up in the air. LIS / Archives options that are not paying but would be soul-enriching and lovely if they work out. crossing fingers!
have started to get phone calls and emails from headhunters about Financial Presentation Specialist jobs, a job i know i can do, have loved doing over the last 15 years, but is not really where my heart and vision for the future lies.
am trying to think outside the box, really listen to my heart about things. am not in 100% panic about money thankfully, so although this is a frustrating time i have to believe that things will work out in terms of job(s), career(s), things that i feel passionate about. i am loving being in touch with people and actually spending time out and about more. i was truly under a rock when i was working all the time, second shift, and just not available or around much.
definitely suffer from flabby muscle syndrome. having motivation issues for sure.
also very stubbornly feeling like i want to stay in New York City and not relocate. unless i really love the job opportunity. i am not done with this place, a place where i feel like people understand who i am and what i am doing. a place where there is diversity and community (at least in the sense of having a common existence). i don’t know. much more later, as it goes.