Monday, August 1, 2011


From the statistics bar on the ole Blogger here I note that I haven't blogged since February 16th. A lot has happened in the world since February 16th, which is why I haven't blogged in 5 months.

So, what's happened?

In Wisconsin, all hell broke loose. The recently elected governor, a Tea Party schill, decided to change the motto of the state to "Backward". The biennial budget takes $800 million from education and the governor now has the power to decide who should be on the medical insurance Badgercare. Since this all happened we discovered our political backbone and have been volunteering time making phone calls and canvassing for signatures and votes.

I also got a job. It's not a library or archive job, but it pays well and I use everything I learned in library school.

Despite the pulls on my time, I'm going to try and blog more just as I have done in the past to practice my writing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Job Interviews

I had two job interviews this week and I must say, I'm getting better at them.

Monday was a phone interview for a digital librarian position. The job description sounds like something I'd like to do and similar to some of the work I do now. While talking to the group of four interviewers, they sounded very enthused about my resume and qualifications so I'm hoping I get a call or email for an in-person interview.

Yesterday I had an in-person interview for a part time job. I wasn't all that jazzed about going to the interview, but when searching for a job, one must take every opportunity to interview to practice at it. This one went smoothly as well.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that, while the entire process of job hunting stinks to high heaven, there's always a little light on the path when you finally get an interview. Even if it's for a job you don't really want or care about.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Illness and Wellness

I've been sick for the past several days and I don't think I ever really appreciate how good I normally feel until I feel awful, which is probably true for most everyone in the world.

This illness started with a cough that I believe I developed while shoveling snow. Have you ever been outside in the winter (in a cold-weather climate) doing some activity where you get sweaty, but you're still quite cold otherwise? Yeah, that's what happened to me. I shoveled snow for about two hours last Wednesday morning after the Groundhog's Day Blizzard. I went inside to rest and found myself shivering because I'd just had a two-hour workout in 20 degree temperatures. When I went outside later in the day to finish shoveling, I ended up not wearing a hat after a while because I had warmed up again. This also proved to be an error on my part and I wound up with a cough originating from my chest.

The cough ended up getting worse and is now better but has turned into a head/chest cold that makes me fuzzy-brained with or without medication.

Luckily I feel well enough to exercise (inside this time) tonight and I'll be happy to get back to yoga and some light weight-lifting.

Thus the vow to take better care of myself. Eat well. Exercise. Rest.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Relationship with Reading

During the summers when I was growing up in south central Illinois we would visit the library at least once a week. The closest decent library was about a half-hour drive from where we lived and it would usually be accompanied by a grocery store trip or Wal-Mart trip. My siblings and I (all four of us) would check out a stack of books each to take home for the long, lazy Sunday afternoons when nothing was on TV (we didn't have cable) and a Cardinal game wasn't on the radio (I still miss you, Jack Buck).

Being the youngest of four I was an impressionable girl and wanted to read what my brother Andrew read. Andrew read Steven King. A lot of Steven King. (I think he's read just about every Steven King book out there.) But, being 8 years younger than Andrew, my mother wouldn't let me read Steven King as an 8- to 10-year-old. I ended up reading a lot of Little House on the Prairie ("Farmer Boy" rocks!) and the Love Comes Softly series because that was what my sister read and she's much closer in age to me.

It wasn't until I started high school and started watching Star Trek that I developed an affinity for Sci-Fi and Fantasy writing. I would also try to read more Literature than my high school classmates because I didn't want to give the 3rd book report on John Steinbeck's "The Pearl" during same English class. I read some Ayn Rand -- and didn't understand it -- and I read some George Orwell -- that I love to this day -- and I read these things to be set apart from my peers.

While in college I always said I was a big reader. I even stayed in undergrad an extra year to earn a BA in English. But I found that after getting done reading my assignments for school, all I wanted to do was veg out in front of the TV and let my brain rest, not read something for enjoyment. This proved to be an error on my part because then I stopped reading as much. I would turn to the television for my entertainment instead of making my mind work to imagine the situations described by authors in text. Let's face it, I got lazy.

Don't get me wrong. I still read stuff. After undergrad, and watching the second Lord of the Rings movie, I decided I would read the LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit and I finished all four books in about three months. Not shabby for Tolkien. But then I went back to school and had to read a lot of intense historiography (read: boring nonsense) and primary documents that really took the wind out of my sails for enjoying what I read.

Then I had the opportunity to work in a library and talk about books with patrons all day long. It rekindled my love of reading and made me want to explore new stuff and new Literature. When I got to Library School I promised myself I would try to read one book for pleasure in the midst of all the other reading I had to accomplish and I didn't do too shabbily at it.

Now I honestly enjoy reading and am reading different stuff to what I've tried before. I read Junot Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" in over the course of about two weeks and even recommended it during a job interview. I'm reading a biography of John Adams that's taking a long time but that's mostly because it's 600 pages long and I'm reading a fiction book, too (Raymond Chandler, you're my detective author crush).

All in all I've learned that, while you can't force reading, you should really try to engage in something you enjoy even when you're stuck reading something that turns your brain to mush (I'm looking at you Peter Novick).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rest is a four-letter word

Yes, I absolutely mean that in the pejorative sense.

Since my interview last week for a job that I have an honest chance at landing, I have been on the edge of my seat: checking emails with annoying regularity (how many times can you hit the refresh link before it won't work anymore?) and convincing myself that there's no way in the world they would hire me just so I won't be so let down when they don't hire me or be absolutely amazed when they do.

When this edgy-ness is added to my regular inability to rest this means I nearly fall asleep in front of the computer screen at 8:30p.m. while trying to write more cover letters for more jobs I won't know about for months.

I'd like to know today, one way or the other, but I doubt I will. I may even have to go through a second interview.

But fear not, I will keep the blog-o-sphere posted.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hope - Not just a 4-letter word

I'm hopeful.

Not just because I have a job interview tomorrow for a job that I can most definitely do.

No, I feel hopeful about any new job that I'll be getting this year. In fact, a new job that I'll get in the next couple of months.

I don't know why I feel so hopeful. Maybe it's because my age is an even number. Maybe because there are a lot of cool jobs out there and I've finally worked out several good paragraphs that make up a pretty decent cover letter. A new volunteering opportunity.

Whatever it is, I like it and I hope it will last. (Yes, pun intended).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A New Day Dawns

I needn't have been all that scared of the scale. I weighed myself yesterday, per husband's suggestion, and it was 159.6. I feared 175 or higher but, apparently, the sporadic biking I've done over the last 5 months has done me some good.

Husband also suggested I keep a food journal or weight-loss log to keep myself on track. I started a word document on the desktop of our computer to keep track of food intake, water intake, weight, and exercise.

The target weight is 145 by April 17th. That gives me 3 months of controlled eating and good exercising. I think this can be done.

Now to an Archiving post!

I don't have an archive or a library job. I feel like I'm perpetually searching for one, but they prove to be as elusive as catching a fairy or finding a four-leaf clover. Instead, I volunteer at archival repositories to keep myself  in the biz and learn new archiving skills.

Since June, I've volunteered in a film archive. Yes, it's as fun as it sounds but I think I've reached a plateau. I'll soon be volunteering at a veterans archive and cataloging a gigantic oral history collection. Sounds like fun, right?