Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The students are back...

...And I am trying not to be cynical. Really, I am.

But this is the cartoon I have on my computer desktop. I found it here.

Maybe I should change it. My advisees might find it depressing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Suffragette City!

Girls, listen up. My friend Jean sent me this cool link to the Library of Congress American Memory Project. Specifically, to a special exhibit of images from the National Woman's Party -- an important part of the American women's suffrage movement.

These are images of the faces of women who went to prison so you and I could have the right to vote. Check it out!

It kind of gives me a little thrill that the Library of Congress does this cool stuff. It makes me proud of my profession.

It also gives me a little thrill to see the eyes and the expressions of people who have had a direct impact on my life, even though I can never meet them or thank them. I like to think if I lived back then I would have been one of them. But, to be honest, I'm not really much of an activist. I'm not proud of it, but that's the truth.

Still, I'm glad they were. Aren't you?

Update: It seems that right now there are women in our country who aren't so glad about it. Isn't it surreal?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Five Years?

Sorry to be a downer today, but sometimes I hear news about global climate change and I start to get freaked out about the end of the world. Does this happen to you? It is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and sadness that I try to shut out.

Lately I have a song stuck in my head, it's David Bowie's "5 Years", it seems to be a little reminder of this sad feeling that I try to ignore.

"Pushing thru the market square, so many mothers sighing
News had just come over, we had five years left to cry in
News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying
I heard telephones, opera house, favourite melodies
I saw boys, toys, electric irons and T.V.'s
My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there
And all the fat-skinny people, and all the tall-short people
And all the nobody people, and all the somebody people
I never thought I'd need so many people..."

Do you worry about the end of the world? If so, what do you do with that worry?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Voyage to the Bunny Planet

"It is the first duty of a flagging spirit to seek renewal in the latitudes of whimsy. I, for one, dream on beyond the five planets to a world without wickedness; verdant, mild, and populated by amiable lapins".

-Benjamin Franklin, letter to his nephew, 1771.

Mowing the lawn

Dave and I mowed the lawn today. Mowing the lawn is a hot, repetitive, mindless activity that smells good and makes me really tired and gives a pleasant feeling of order when it's done.

It also makes me really sweaty. Just call me "Sweaty Betty". I actually like to pretend I'm Bettie Page when I mow the lawn. Why not?

It's sad though, when I mow over the grave of my dear cat friend, George.

Also, there is the avoiding the yellowjackets aspect. Eek!

Afterwards I took a splash in the diminishing creek. It's so shallow this time of year. But still cold. It felt so good to be done and cooled off and look across that neat lawn.

We saw some frogs and toads jump out of the way of the mower, but I was too busy working to take their photos. Sorry!

I love toads. It makes me happy to see a toad. I don't know why.

There's about a million crickets and grasshoppers out in the lawn too. What's up with all the crickets this year? I can't ever remember there being so many at once.

Sorry my summer thoughts are so banal, I used to be an intellectual, I swear!

Now I will make a cup of peppermint tea and lay down to read. Goodnight, blog readers. :-)

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Today I must deal with the ridiculous number of tomatoes that ripened while I was on vacation.

Every August there is this explosion of tomatoes and they are SO delicious, but something must be done to preserve them for winter. And canning is a lot of work, it's messy and it's hot.

I'm planning to can some this afternoon, but I'm also trying a new idea. A guy I work with suggested this and it's cool. I cut the tomatoes in half, put them on a greased cookie sheet and bake them in the oven at the lowest temp overnight. Then I take them out and freeze them in plastic bags. In the winter, they'll be great in soups etc. Easy-peasy. :-)

In the meantime I'm eating as many tomato and cheese sandwiches on white with lots of Hellman's mayonnaise, salt and pepper as I can. Because they are really, really good, people! I mean it.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And I'm gonna go make one right now.

Vacation Pictures

We had a fun vacation in Long Lake, NY. Want to see some pics?

Lake Posted by Picasa

Falls Posted by Picasa

Great Horned Owl at Adirondack Visitor Center Posted by Picasa

Some beautiful feathers this guy has.

Great Horned Owl  Posted by Picasa

Saw whet owl at adirondack visitor center Posted by Picasa

funky orange fungus Posted by Picasa

a fungus among us... Posted by Picasa

Does anyone know what these blue flowers are? Posted by Picasa

What is it? Posted by Picasa

cardinal flowers Posted by Picasa

little frog Posted by Picasa

cardinal flowers Posted by Picasa

Lake Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 12, 2005


I'm on vacation and will return the week of the 22nd. Have a good week!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Baby Cottontail Rabbit

I just saw possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen. A baby cottontail rabbit. It was just sitting in the grass in front of my sister's apt complex, right next to the parking lot. It sat there, frozen, and Dave, Danny and I knelt down to look at it.

We were all dazzled by it's extreme cuteness. It's little ears were so short, tipped in black. It's body was smaller than the palm of my hand. It was light brown and so adorable CUTE, we were in awe. It had a tiny little spot of white right on the top of it's little head. I reached out my index finger and very, very gently petted it right on that spot. As I touched it, it suddenly jumped to life and scooted over Danny's sandals and into the bushes.

Later, in the car on the ride home, I asked Danny what it felt like when the rabbit ran over his feet. He said: "It was soft, really soft. It has little pads on it's feet"

What an awesome thing.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Interview Tag, Anyone?

Tania interviewed me so here are my answers!

1. If you could live life as any other animal for a day, what would you be and why?

That's a tough one because I'd want to try so many different animals.

From a hedonistic viewpoint I'd choose dolphin or otter, just because they just look like they are having a lot of fun. Don't they? They seem like they enjoy life a lot.

From the viewpoint of wanting to try something totally different I'd say an arachnid or an insect, maybe a spider or a praying mantis. Or a honeybee. That would be interesting. They just seem so alien to me, I think it would be interesting to see the world like they do.

I also feel I could learn a lot from being a bear. I just think bears are cool.

From the viewpoint of what animals do I feel closest to or identify with, I'd say a cat, bluejay or crow. But I feel I already share a sort of understanding with these animals (especially cats). So, I don't know if I would pick them.

When it comes right down to it, I think I would choose: my dog - Betsy. I would choose her just because I would want to see how she views her life, if she's really happy or sad, if I could be a better dog owner. Also, I'm really curious about what her memories are of her life as a stray dog. I feel like she has this whole long story that I know nothing about. Did anyone own her before us? How did she become a stray? What happened to her puppies? Does she miss them? Does she miss her former owners? Her stray doggie pals? Her freedom? She seems sad to me sometimes. I wonder if she really is, or if she just seems that way? Here she is, isn't she so beautiful?

2. How did you become a librarian?

Yeah, I ask myself that question too! :-)

My first job, at the age of 13, was in our local public library. I was a page. Mostly, I hung out and read poetry in the back room, sitting on a stool. I was supposed to be shelving books, but even back then I was a slacker. The librarian there used to tell me all the time that I was fated to become a librarian. I would cringe at the thought. How boring! I had no intention of being a librarian and my teenage goal was to become a stripper, a famous writer, artist, anthropologist or a rock star.

All through my life I would run into this librarian and she would smile and say "Are you going to library school yet?" Or "Got your MLS yet?" And I would think "Yeah, right, Lady, I don't think so."

Well, I worked as a waitress (a job I enjoyed and still miss at times. Former waitresses: don't you sometimes eat in a busy restaurant where the waitress is swamped and wish you could jump up and help her cover some tables? Don't you also wish you could reach into your pockets on laundry day and always pull out big wads of cash? I do. ) Other jobs I had were: manager of a vintage clothing store, (also fun) and clerk in a copy shop.

I put myself through college little by little and majored in English because I liked to read and write, and it was something I was pretty good at. I got good grades and my professors started talking to me about graduate school. There seemed to be this assumption that I would go on to get a PhD in English and become an English professor like them. I didn't know if I wanted to do that, but my professors seemed to think it was a given that I would.

I also worked in the University Writing Center and I knew from my graduate school friends how cutthroat gradschool could be. I knew that many of them felt that they had given up their creative side, given up their social and romantic lives, given up most of their free time for years and years, but that the chances that they would be able to get a full time tenure-track position teaching English at the college level with their graduate degrees were pretty low. I didn't want to go that route.

I liked to write and I was trying to write a novel. I also had many notebooks full of interesting anecdotes and observations, sketches, etc. But really I wasn't as committed to that as I would have to be to really be a writer. I also knew that I wanted to have kids and so I wanted a more stable income and health insurance.

So one day, I ran into the librarian mentioned earlier and told her all about this and she said: "Thats because you are supposed to become a librarian! Get it now?" So, I gave in and accepted my fate. I also looked through the jobs section of the Chronicle of Higher Education and figured out that there were way more jobs for academic librarians than for English professors, so Voila, here I am.

Oddly enough, a few years ago a position became available at the college I work for that fit the interests and background of the librarian who pestered me all those years, and I was on the search committee. Yes, we hired her. I work with her now!

3. Suppose civilization was wiped out, and all electricity, gasoline-powered engines, municipal water supplies, and other infrastructure ceased to operate. What would you need to survive?

Ha! You know I like to fantasize about this. I like learning all kinds of traditional skills and I do kind of have that "survivalist" mindset at times. Knowledge of hunting, fishing, gardening, foraging for wild edible plants, knowledge of medicinal plants, knitting, quilting, canning/drying preserving, etc. are things that I always want to learn more about.

My friend Chris wrote a great essay about this.

4. Have you ever seen a ghost?

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? I think everyone has a few. I've never "seen" a ghost, but I have heard and felt some strange things but I'm not sure if they are ghosts or not.

When I was a kid we lived next door to an old family graveyard and I used to hear music coming from there frequently. It sounded like banjo/fiddle music. Later in life I recognized the tune as Old Joe Clark.

I also used to see distinct shadows moving across the walls that looked like a procession of pallbearers carrying a coffin. At the time I didn't know what pallbearers were.

Also, I would wake up suddenly because someone or something pulled my hair really hard. Also, at times I would feel the sensation of a cat jumping onto the bed, I would see the impression of something on the covers of the bed in that spot, but there was no cat there.

When we moved to Albany, I had another bedroom that really creeped me out. There was a closet in the bedroom that had stairs going up to the attic that had been walled off. The closet door would not stay shut. Every night I would shut it carefully and make sure the latch "clicked", but every night it I would hear it swing open in the middle of the night with a loud creaking sound. I always had the sensation of being watched there and it was very eerie. Later, when I moved out, my younger sister got that room and she told me she also had the creepy sensation of being watched in that room.

When my husband and I went to Ireland for our Honeymoon, we wandered upon an Irish graveyard on Mizen Head Peninsula, near Goleen. We decided to explore it. The graveyard was surrounded by a "moat" of running water. I think most of the people who were buried there had died in the famine, or drowned at sea. We both felt strangely unsettled there. My husband isn't the type to be afraid of much, especially the supernatural, but he was nervous too.

The ground was lumpy and spongy, like as we walked we were stepping on the bodies of those poor starved people, who seemed to be buried very shallow, or perhaps they were pushed up as the earth shifted? We imagined that their hands could reach up through the earth and grab our feet! We looked at each other and said "Let's get out of here, Scoob!".

Here are some pictures of it.

I am pleased to say I have never felt the presence of any ghosts in my current home, although I have found some bones in the garden that sure looked human to me, but Dave says he things they are animal bones. Anyway, they aren't haunting, whatever they are.

Well, I don't think they are. But Danny once said there was a man sitting in the rocking chair in his bedroom and when I asked: "what does the man look like?" He said: "You can see through him, like he's made out of water".

5. Do you think there's life on other planets?

To be honest I've never been the Sci-Fi type of girl who cared. I'm more the Lord of the Rings/Carlos Castaneda type of nerd. :-)

I love this earth and I just hope we don't fuck it up too badly. There could be life on other planets but I find this one so mysterious and interesting that I don't feel too compelled to speculate about others.

Sometimes it seems like the visions people had in the Bible could have been extraterrestrial things, (i.e.: "a wheel within a wheel" "Jacob's ladder" etc.) I think that's kind of interesting. Also, how did the Egyptians build those pyramids? And how did that wacky guy in Florida build that coral castle? I guess aliens could have been involved. Who knows?

Thanks Tania, that was fun!

Now, if you have a blog and you want to be interviewed, leave me a note in the comments that says, "Interview me, please." I will respond by asking you 5 questions, but not the same as the above questions. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and interview someone else in the same post or new post. Yay!

Peaches from our tree. I made peach pie. I also ate some for breakfast. :-)
 Posted by Picasa

So long my Honey, So long... Posted by Picasa

Bye Bye, Birdie, Bye Bye...

Our dear bird friend is now staying with a very nice vet who takes wild birds, treats them and gives them to wildlife rehabilitators to release into the wild. It had a ruptured air sack and needed antibiotics, so I'm glad the vet was able to help it. I feel a bit sad when I come home from work and step onto the porch and it's not peeping and chirping, but I know this is for the best.

"...Well so.... long... my honey, so long.
I guess I'm gonna make it OK.
I'll see you in the funny papers some old day...
So long, my honey, so long...." - J. Joplin.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Busy busy busy...

Sorry Darlinks, I am so busy... summer is like a ball rolling down a hill, it gathers momentum as it nears it's end. Also, work is suddenly very busy as we are installing a new software system for Interlibrary Loans and I have to customize it for our use.

I will try to update the blog tonight. I have some stuff to post, it's just not quite ready yet. Tania of "Brain Trapped In a Girl's Body" has interviewed me and I have answers for her questions but I want to put pictures in too, and they aren't ready yet. Katiedid of "Seldom Nice Nowdays" has very kindly offerend to help me with some formatting changes that I want to make too, but I haven't had time to do them. So...dear readers, thanks for your patience!