Category Archives: blogging

Rabbi Myer Kripke, z”l

I grew up in a family where my father was — and still is — very connected to the Jewish community of Omaha.

While most kids had social connections from their places of worship and school activities that established community, me and my brother and sister had some of that, but it was fractured by the fact that we had a very 1970s, nomadic childhood.

We took the bus to and from Omaha from Lincoln — where we lived with our mom — to visit our dad in Omaha. We did this pretty much 10 years straight for every weekend of our childhood, from around 1970/1971 (when they got divorced) to 1981 (when we moved to Omaha). Continental Trailways on Saturday mornings and Greyhound on Sunday afternoons.

Continental Trailways Bus Depot in Lincoln Nebraska http://www.angelfire.com/al4/buscatal/photo/652.jpg

Continental Trailways Bus Depot in Lincoln Nebraska – Our home away from home (Saturday mornings at least)

So that cut into a lot of time when I think we would have been a bit more connected to our community in Lincoln. And made us weirdly constant and familiar visitors to Omaha, but not necessarily tied and connected….

But also it put a very focused emphasis on our dad’s life in those intense two days every week that we spent with him. He would pick us up from the Continental Trailways bus station in Omaha and we would go to Bishop’s Cafeteria, 1414 Douglas, for breakfast. Then we’d spend the day with him at his office. And back to Lincoln on Sunday after the 3:00pm movie I always seemed to watch. Hopalong Cassidy was a consistent favorite.

I always knew we were Jewish, but in Lincoln especially it wasn’t something we talked about a lot. Like having divorced parents. It was the 1970s when this type of thing wasn’t as common. We weren’t observant but I definitely knew — especially when it came to our dad’s life in Omaha — that there was a bubble of Jewish community in Omaha that we were tangentially a part of.

One of the things I have always experienced with my dad was what we jokingly refer to as Jewish Geography — my dad would tell stories about some of the people in the Jewish community in Omaha that his parents knew and socialized with, or that he grew up and went to high school with, or knew from living in Omaha. Maybe it’s the fledging librarian and genealogist in me, but I was always very interested in hearing the stories about all the people, imagining the glamorous lives of my grandparents. My Grandpa Irv had these shiny suits in some of the pictures we had of him, which I thought were super cool.

There was just this constant influx of names and stories of people from the community. And going to Bishop’s we would meet a lot of these characters. During high school after we had moved to Omaha, I would get a ride from my dad every morning and continue the Bishop’s breakfast tradition, sitting with my dad and his friends who I remember told terrible jokes and didn’t seem to mind having a high school kid in their midst.

I ended up knowing the parents of some of the Jewish kids in Omaha — and not really the kids themselves. It was odd, but it was history and Omaha and our dad and just sort of how things were.

So in talking with my dad recently he told me that he had a great honor. I could hear in his voice how touched he was. He had been asked to be one of the pallbearers who carried Rabbi Kripke’s casket, for his funeral.

Rabbi Kripke conducted my dad’s bar mitzvah, and was the rabbi at the synagogue his family went to, Beth El, in Omaha. Over the years my dad would often refer to Rabbi Kripke as a huge influence in his life. And when my Grandma Pearl went into The Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, my dad would always point out Rabbi Kripke (as well as many other Jewish Geography folks who were there and who I had heard stories about) with reverence.

To spend more time with Grandma Pearl my dad volunteered at the Saturday services, assisting in conducting them. Sometimes Rabbi Kripke led but towards the end I just remember the Rabbi being there, enjoying the services. My dad still does this volunteering, and I know it means a lot to him — even though Grandma died.

So I have this weird reverence — and semi-skewed connection — to the Jewish community that is essentially my father’s (and grandparents). Names and some faces are very familiar to me, like Maury Katzman.

My dad would always talk of these people, after they passed, and say, “of blessed memory.” Like he would tell a great story about his father, and say, “my father, of blessed memory.” I always loved that, how there was a small moment of time where there was remembrance of this person within the conversation.

Z”l

There was another article in addition to an official obituary about Rabbi Kripke in the New York Times recently that triggered me writing this post (and adding the cite to Wikipedia). I think the article on Rabbi Kripke was due to Warren Buffett’s annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting in Omaha that just happened. Rabbi Kripke died this year at age 100.

I have been editing Wikipedia now for a while. I do it to relax and really enjoy the quick publish factor — as well as connecting to my former profession as a word processor for 15 years. Very satisfying.

So in homage to Rabbi Kripke I created a Wikipedia article about him. In his blessed memory.

Rabbi’s wife, Dorothy, as an author of Jewish books, already had her own page, but as usual it needed citation and format cleanup. While creating the Rabbi’s page, I did that. But I hope to add more to her page at some point.

But really, Rabbi Kripke needed his own page, in honor of his accomplishments and years of service to the Jewish community in Omaha. I was so glad — and honored in my own way — to do that.

I have been meaning to mention I did this to my dad when we talk next. I think it continues the tradition “of blessed memory” — and hopefully commemorates a small part of the Omaha Jewish community that yeah I guess I sort of am a part of. At least a little bit.

 

grumpy internet

i am a firm advocate of open access, creative commons licensing, freedom of speech on the internet. i am old enough to remember life before the internet, before a small computer in my pocket that lets me make phone calls and do almost all of my computing — and also plays songs and movies effortlessly — before any of this existed.

the analog world wasn’t so bad. in many ways my childhood years in Lincoln, Nebraska, at least how i look back at this idyllic time, was about innocence and possibilities and living a happy life.

the digital world isn’t so bad either. i have made friends and have reconnected with the various threads of my life because the internet exists. in many instances information is now widely available and free and share-able in a way that it was impossible to dream about 30+ years ago.

Kitty

kitty — and me — pre-Lincoln even. at the house on 53rd Street in Omaha

but often the cost of this openness is you get the good with the bad. the bad can be people being obnoxious on a mailing list that is more like a community than a bunch of posts. the bad can be mistakes of politics and restriction of a truly open conversation.

because really who wants to have a truly open conversation?

i say to myself that i am my mother’s daughter. that is both a compliment and a criticism. hey, i wouldn’t be delving into that side of my family (really any of my family) without a healthy dose of criticism and judgment. apply hair shirt here.

it’s not the end of the world, it’s not the sum total of my existence (although on the internet things become laser tilted out of proportion a lot of the time). but these hiccups and bumps are not without psychic pain and cost.

so what, this hand-wringing about the parts of the internet that are uncomfortable and that i don’t like or agree with — except in concept — what does it get me to post this post. on a blog that few people read or care about.

i guess that is my point. i’m not deluded enough to think that i am this special precious presence online. no one cares what i have to say or post. the traffic on this website is laughable compared to most other blogs.

i claim this blog (and my other blogs) as a public space that i occupy, that is open and free — or as open and as free as my mind will allow.

if it’s not what you are looking for or if what i post / say is an issue, move on. i’m not really worth the agita. i mean, what really in the analog of my life is worth the digital drama? if i was more important or affiliated somehow then maybe, but this dusty corner is just dust.

 

/rant

Coppertone baby

Olives Gourmet Grocery in Long Beach, CA -- at my friend Debra Jane's amazing and wonderful blog

“Don’t be a paleface!” — Coppertone Baby
Olives Gourmet Grocery in Long Beach, CA — at my friend Debra Jane’s amazing and wonderful blog

my friend Debra Jane is continuing to do her roadtrips documenting signs and mid-century buildings and features of interest via her Roadside Architecture resources.

the main website is called Roadside Architecture.

please definitely follow along on her amazing blog.

and her former flickr photostream is now at ipernity.

summer 2013

it is june, that time of the year when i am grumpy (29 years as of June 10, RIP MGH) but also sort of amazed and glad to have a lot of light and sun and nice weather.

well it has been raining nonstop here in NYC, but summer, in general, as a principle, seems to be here and/or coming.

freaking raining non-stop

freaking raining non-stop

so i have a couple of summer projects.

Synology

i’m beyond frustrated with how many files i have, how impossible it is to find stuff, and the fact that i have duplicate copies of things like my itunes library (in various iterations) in multiple places. plus the fact that i need to deal with Frank’s vital records archive. aagh.

so i decided to do Network Attached Storage (NAS) and got a Synology. very reasonably priced. and two Western Digital reds in a RAID setup.

i took loads of pictures during the unbox and installation, which i hope to do in a more detailed blog post but for right now it’s broad strokes time until i feel less sour about stuff.

this is it, fast forward, up and running.

my Synology NAS, next to my new TrippLite ISOBAR strip. see the blinking lights. they are staring accusingly at me

my Synology NAS, next to my new TrippLite ISOBAR strip (at left).
see the blinking lights? they are staring accusingly at me

so that is one summer project.

Greenery

the other summer project is that — from the hours of time i seem to be keeping my balcony door open lately — i was inspired to actually try to get some greenery out there on the balcony. i need to liven this joint up if i’m going to be home so much.

so i got an EarthBox Junior (organic). yeah it might be a nightmare / overkill but i wanted a kit and it looks sort of cool.

as a hedge — and just in case it looks to be a long-term project similar to the Synology (which is taking longer to play with than i expected) — i also got the following:

Garden-in-a-Pail (Lavender)

Catnip Kit

and for the EarthBox, couldn’t resist the idea of a non-controlled, semi chaotic bomb name….:

Wildflower Seed Mix (2)

Pet Dog & Cat Grass (2 bombs)

i like purple. and don’t mind the smell of lavender.

don’t have cats, though i plan on skilling up to them here chez moi hovel. but i read catnip retards mosquitos, which seem to mercilously bother me here at the hovel. so the smell will hopefully help mitigate that.

flowers… yes!

this pet grass should also help with greening up the joint and fill the EarthBox. it is an uncontrolled plan / experiment.

and so

am feeling a little burnt out on the blogging, social media, screens, etc. so this is a brusque, less friendly blog post than i usually aim for.

Mandala i colored in

Mandala i colored in

i am trying to keep it on the road, stay in the driver’s seat, keep on truckin’, etc.

Keep on Truckin (in homage to R. Crumb)

Keep on Truckin (in homage to R. Crumb) photo credit flickr user St0rmz, some rights reserved

but this under-employment situation is not a comfortable fit for a workaholic, no-life person such as myself. i am pretty discouraged and yet at the same time i am not trying hard enough.

though i feel very strongly that the right fit is out there for me, the right position with the right team of people and please oh please god a manager / supervisor / mentor who appreciates what i bring to the table, can provide structure and guidance, and will let me, well, blossom.

i know, a tall order. we shall see.

onward June…

Enthusiasm, muddling through

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

On “A Case of You”…

“I remember playing it for Kris Kristorfferson. And he was kind of shocked by it. Said, ‘Oh Joni, you know, save something of yourself.’ I think he felt that I had gone to reveal too much of something. I’d laid myself too vulnerable.’

— from Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind

Enthusiasm, muddling through

Not to underline myself as a creator of the magnitude of Joni Mitchell — no Kanye West messianic histrionics here, thankfully — but the words and thoughts in this Joni Mitchell documentary really spoke to me today.

I watch this documentary (American Masters’ Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind) a few times a year, if not more often. I love the ideas of Joni Mitchell, of her creating, doing her own thing. This documentary has a lot to dig into, in Joni’s own words. Plus Joni Mitchell represents my childhood, that time of my life in the 1970s. She was so much about being an independent women creator, just being, just being brilliant, herself, ferociously.

STAND BEHIND LINE

STAND BEHIND YELLOW LINE

I was one of those kids who sat with a headphones on, in the space between the huge armoire and the stereo cabinet, record sleeve and cover in my hands, parsing every bit of the lyrics and images possible. I felt this connection to the emotionalism of the songs Joni Mitchell sang. The melodies, her singular voice.

So anyway….

I err on the side of enthusiasm so much. And I live my life in a certain way that is very open (in many respects). I love to ask questions and have discussions about stuff. I forget all the time, because I get caught up or I don’t operate in any other mode, that other people are definitely not as enthusiastic. And they aren’t necessarily open — or most importantly, they aren’t interested in a conversation.

Or, more brutally, that they don’t see the world like I do. They have their own thing going on that may not correlate with my oftentimes clumsy, enthused, barreling through.

Hello Kitty (and friend) in flash drive jail -- and the re-appropriation of obsolete media containers

Hello Kitty (and friend) in flash drive jail — and the re-appropriation of obsolete media containers

I forget this. All the time. I can guarantee I will learn from my mistakes with this kind of enthusiasm. But I can also guarantee I will screw up again and again going forward. It is a problem of boundaries, unclear thinking, and hard wiring.

At this point in my life I can learn from experiences — and I am glad I have the chance to continue to do this. But also some things are hard wired into who I am as a person. It is just how I am and I don’t think I can stuff my square self into a round hole to the extent that I could adjust this personality trait enough to “fix” it.

It is what makes me me. A flaw and an asset. I apologize. But I am not sorry. If that makes sense.

And in the end analysis: I can only admit my flaw, try and learn, and continue to move forward. And hope those around me can be patient, loving, and kind if at all possible. I write that and think, yeah, not other people’s problems. Understood. I sort of just have to throw myself on the mercy of the general good in others, I guess. And really, no one is really all that interested in going this deep (or noticing), thankfully.

just smile

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).

good stuff

i feel like i am learning some good stuff.

Global Women Wikipedia Write-In

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.

new non-diverse late night TV host #zzzz

new non-diverse late night TV host #zzzz

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.

schwetty Jews

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.

prospects

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.

confliction

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.

TV

SouthLAnd was canceled. not a surprise but damn.

SouthLAnd RIP

SouthLAnd RIP

not a lot to smile about there. sads.

Sammy, oh Sammy

Sammy, oh Sammy

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.

patience and fortitude

patience and fortitude

Patience, who faces Southat the main branch of the New York Public Library

Patience, who is the southern lion
at the main branch of the New York Public Library (taken during a snowstorm in 2011)

and

Fortutide, who faces Northat the main branch of the New York Public Library

Fortutide, who is the northern lion
at the main branch of the New York Public Library (taken during a snowstorm in 2011)

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.

pity

 Alexander Covers the Body of Darius with His Cloak, engraving by Bernhard Rode 1769-70. "Darius on a wagon, in golden shackles and killed by an arrow. His tiara has fallen from his head. Alexander spills tears over him and covers him with his purple cloak. The Greek soldier who succored him with a drink of water shortly before his death and led Alexander to him, sees with a look of pity that he has already died." (Catalog of the Exhibition of the Berlin Academy, 1794, 3, in Die Kataloge der Berliner Akademie-Ausstellungen 1786-1850, ed. by H. Börsch-Supan, vol. 1 [Berlin 1971].) Literary source: Quintus Rufus Curtius, The Life of Alexander the Great, Book 5, 13.

Alexander Covers the Body of Darius with His Cloak, engraving by Bernhard Rode 1769-70.
“Darius on a wagon, in golden shackles and killed by an arrow. His tiara has fallen from his head.
Alexander spills tears over him and covers him with his purple cloak.
The Greek soldier who succored him with a drink of water shortly before his death and led Alexander to him,
sees with a look of pity that he has already died.”

(Catalog of the Exhibition of the Berlin Academy, 1794, 3, in Die Kataloge der Berliner Akademie-Ausstellungen 1786-1850,
ed. by H. Börsch-Supan, vol. 1 [Berlin 1971].)
Literary source: Quintus Rufus Curtius, The Life of Alexander the Great, Book 5, 13.
[my bold / text highlight added]

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!).

Camryn Manheimyeah, she said it!!!

Camryn Manheim
yeah, she said it!!!

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).

Marilyn Monroe, by Richard Avedonso pretty. so screwed up....

Marilyn Monroe
Copyright 1957 The Richard Avedon Foundation
so pretty. so screwed up…. but at least she wasn’t fat!

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.

hallelujah

Hallelujah!

CUNY Graduate Center Mina Rees Library internship

Mina Rees

Mina Rees, mathematician

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.

The National Archives at New York City

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.

brrr it’s cold outside

brr!

freezing temps here in NYC…. has me thinking of that cheer in the seminal cheerleading movie, Bring It On.

I said…

Brr!

It’s cold in here

I said there must be some Toros

In the atmosphere

always a dicey proposition posting a clip like this in the blog. it will probably expire / get pulled from YouTube due to copyright. and i may or may not notice it and if i do i may try and find a new clip, which will have the same problem. again and again. sigh.

but at a certain point when a movie joins the zeitgeist — at least for me — and it is over 10 years later, the copyright issues and reuse issue get more and more hindersome and impractical. big sigh repeated.

i wish the movie studios would understand what a disservice they do to their own product by not letting anyone have fun with the material, by not capturing the possibilities that people would maybe pay a little bit of money if the usage was clever and smart enough. the MPAA and recording industries take no responsibility for their part in this problem. if the usage and deployment was more usable, their products would be even more popular, and they could actually monetize it more effectively.

aaagh, copyright is just a flipping nightmare.

/rant & handwringing (for now)….

blog template

have been trying a different template for the blog in hopes that the load time of the graphics, etc. would be improved, but i haven’t found (a) a good solution and (b) a template i like as much as the Matala template i used for my old blog, so i’m going to stick with the initial one i think….

the things i am looking for in a blog template is a clean graphic, preferably a dark background, and social media icons. i think the social media icons should be available on all of these templates, but it seems to be a relatively new option.

wish i “clicked” with this one the same way i did with the Matala — and could figure out a quick fix to the slow loading of pictures, APIs, etc. that didn’t seem to be a problem with my other blogs. it could just be this buggy and slow Chrome browser. or my lazy approaches to making sure photos are small file sizes.

it might also be the distributed computing i am doing via Boinc that is slowing things down, but i am starting to use other browsers. Chrome performance issues are concerning. though i love so much about the browser. ugh, Google isn’t always better, it turns out. 🙂

i will figure it out eventually. hopefully.

current recalibration

color balance

color balance card
when i worked on movie sets, the Director of Photography (or their assistant) would always do a “white balance” for the cameras.
i always loved that technical side of being on set….

after spending time and energy on applying for jobs via USAJOBS and other job search websites — and at least blessedly hearing back from the USAJOBS folks on the status of my applications, that i haven’t even gotten through the initial filter because of lack of experience. so i have recalibrated my efforts.

i simply don’t have enough quantifiable, relevant, library and/or archival experience. i understand that. own it, as Stuart Smalley says. because i rushed through graduate school and didn’t maximize my internship opportunities, i am in a bit of a pickle. my own damn fault. but i am hopeful, as i have retrenched.

the new plan: i am going to temp for money and will volunteer like crazy, but only at places and/or on projects i feel passionate about.

the benefit of doing internships while matriculated in a degree-granting program is that most internships require there to be some formal structure and connection to your educational institution. i get that, there is protection in some sort of monitoring of the internship.

but now that i am “out the door” on my degree, this is a big problem. not matriculated = no internship. however, not matriculated = volunteering. yay!

potential opportunities

i have two excellent potential volunteer options.

one potential volunteer project is at CUNY. another potential volunteer opportunity is at the newly relocated National Archives at New York City.

until these options become finalized <knock wood> i don’t want to jinx them or go into much detail. yet.

but even if i have to find other options, the best part of this new approach is that i have had positive responses to my inquiries. responses! and i even had a phone interview. an interview! which in this market and with my relative inexperience in the field is just something i am so grateful for, even in the context of volunteering.

i hope to blog these projects if it is allowed. i kept a blog for my one official internship during grad school at the NYPL. i did a blog in lieu of the required paper that was the academic side of the internship. but i initially misunderstood and thought i needed to blog every day, not just once a week or periodically. which was actually a happy accident and got me into a disciplined habit.

so the blog really stretched me, and i was constantly thinking about the work i was doing at the library and how i could translate my learning experience into an interesting and engaging record of what i was doing in the internship. i started to think of the blog as it functioned as a “process blog,” or a “project blog.” the functionality really made sense to me, helped me to document the experience so effectively.

and really, i had such a good time, and i got positive feedback from the librarians, so a love for blogging began.

temping

as far as temping for money while i do these internships, that has been more difficult than i anticipated as well. the temp scene in New York City has completely changed since I temped full time back in the late 1990s. it used to be that you could find a really good paying, interesting, plentiful temp job that was flexible with no problem. and your fellow temps would be other folks like yourself, chasing dreams to be opera singers, actors, directors, filmmakers, undergraduate and graduate students. the jobs were “money jobs” that funded your career, your vision, your life.

these jobs used to be everywhere in New York. in the financial sector, in the legal sector, in publishing, advertising. everywhere. and if you had good computer skills, could type and problem-solve, these opportunities were almost assumed.

post-globalization, post-outsourcing (domestic and international), and especially post-2008 these opportunities are few and far between. and the rates that we used to assume we could make are gone. you need more technical skills in a more diverse set of programs for a guaranteed lower hourly rate of compensation. and getting a temp-to-perm gig that was flexible, like i had, forget about it. and definitely no benefits.

so this is scary and stressful. but not impossible.

i was grateful to have a chance to test at one agency this week, though i am not sure if i passed the very difficult test, sad to say. there were some native tricks that my 15+ years of dependance upon macros meant i was slow and had to dig around for solutions. as well as battle Office 2010, which is always a barrier.

however, the folks at the agency have been sympathetic and amazing and full of really valuable advice. they are familiar with my skills and the market and they will do what they can to use my talents. but the whole setup has changed.

if i can skill up and get some deliverable projects i hope to leverage myself to either a better “money job” and/or start to freelance maybe. the last resort will be a 9-to-5 job doing secretarial work. but i suspect the competition for a job like that — and a good fit for me for a job like that — will also be something i will need to either luck upon or will need to do a lot of legwork to land.

Licensed nurturer Stuart Smalley

Licensed nurturer Stuart Smalley

as Stuart says, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt….” trying NOT to do that. and taking comfort from places where i can (like Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations).

MLK day

Martin Luther King Day

it is Martin Luther King Day today, and also the Presidential inaugural — though Obama and Biden were both sworn in officially for their second term yesterday.

via the amazing http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/01/08/decayed-daguerreotypes/

via the amazing Public Domain Review
James Buchanan, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front
Source: Library of Congress

illin: flue

i haven’t been feeling well enough to blog for a while. had this danged flu — which i always spell flue cause i like the way the letters look (plus it reminds me of the flues in our chimneys in all the houses we had growing up)….. had the flue for about 3 weeks total i think.

finally went to acupuncture, felt better immediately (and was kicking myself for not going sooner!). plus i got some Chinese herbs that you drink like a tea that is some kind of miracle tea. i drink 1 to 1-1/2 packets 3 times a day and voila!

miracle flue medicine(front of packet)

miracle flue medicine
(front of packet)

miracle flue medicine(back of packet - with ingredients)

miracle flue medicine
(back of packet – with ingredients)

In my Joker cup that i procured from McDonald's.... the tea in drinkable formyumula!

In my Joker cup that i procured from McDonald’s….
the tea in drinkable form
yumula!

Lynda.com cod liver progress

have been making painfully slow but steady progress on the UNIX for Mac OS X Users. i need to make sure i don’t just whip through these UNIX basics but truly absorb and understand as much as possible. so i rewatch and play around on Terminal and try not to go mad. sitting and watching these tutorials is a little bit maddening for me. i think i am anxious to acquire knowledge, so much that i get bored and fidgety very easily.

i always tell people who i help with computer stuff, that the biggest barrier to learning stuff is being anxious and/or afraid. i am definitely both of those when it comes to the programming / technical side of computing. which is ironical because much about computers is easy and fun for me. but this is sort of like cod liver.

going to embrace the cod liver!!!

Cod LIver Oil

Buffalo, New York.
Lakeview nursery school for children of working mothers,
operated by the Board of Education oat a tuition fee of three dollars weekly.
Taking cod liver oil after lunch
Source: Library of Congress