Archive for February, 2011


Thank you all for such a wealth of good advice

February 28, 2011

It was good to hear that for most people they wouldn’t be offended by this blog appearing as a part of a pre-employment google search (and would even consider it an asset!). 🙂  But I also think Katie’s point about the permanence of meshing professional and personal was a really good one and Justice Bird’s point about cost/benefit analysis were good ones.  This made me think about the fact that while I do occasionally write about professional topics or at least professionally related ones, this has been primarily personal and while I don’t think I need to live in fear of being “found out by an employer” I also might not gain huge amounts by taking down the boundary between personal/professional.   That said, if a potential employer asked to see examples of my blogging, I think I would feel okay using this blog as an example.

Anyways I still have some thinking to do about all of this, but I think I am leaning towards keeping this blog semi-anonymous.  Thanks again for all your great comments, they really helped me with this decision!


question for my readers (all 17 of you non-spambots)

February 24, 2011

Hey folks, as most of you know I am in that lovely post-graduate job hunt stage of life and as I brush up the resume, write essays about my ideal library, re-learn the art of the cover letter I am left pondering what to do with my social network footprint.  Here at Mennogirl, I have been blogging semi-anonymously* for over 6 years, which in the world of blogland is kind of a long time.  And in the world of libraries, the ability to demonstrate a mastery of blogging, familiarity with tweeting, knowledge of flickr, etc is currently seen as a plus.  Overall this blog is something I am actually kind of proud of, while not every (or even most) posts are written with specific topics in mind, I feel like this blog does a good job of representing the range of personal blogging.  BUT therein lies the rub, this has been and always will be my PERSONAL blog.  While I also have a pretty strict, “don’t blog about work and generally never blog something I wouldn’t say to a person’s face” policy I really don’t know if seeing this blog would be a plus or a minus to potential employers.  In regards to tweeting, I do that under a non-mennogirl name and that has been a bit more of a mix between personal and professional (tweeting was a key part of one of my library classes last spring).  As for Flickr, I also use that primarily personally and as a online back-up for my photographs.  However to access my blog is to gain access to my Flickr account, so my questions about that are linked pretty closely to my questions regarding this blog.

I did maintain a more professional blog for the above mentioned library class, which I am planning on including in my online portfolio, but it was also fairly short-lived (only a semester worth of posts) and may not be a representational of my blogging style.  Anyways so here is the question:

You all read my blog.  Pretend you are a library director of a middle school library, you have received my stellar resume, read my impressive letters of recommendation and are now looking through my online portfolio,  you see a link to my personal blog – Mennogirl and click on it.  Are you impressed? repulsed? frustrated with my lack of professionalism? happy that a potential employee demonstrates such familiarity with social network tools?

*To me semi-anonymously means not using my last name and attempting to keep Mennogirl out of the Google results for my full name.  In other words, it would not be difficult at all for someone to read Mennogirl and figure out who I am, but pretty hard for someone who doesn’t know me to find Mennogirl.


Girl Talk

February 23, 2011

Last night was a lovely reminder of the power of girlfriends.  My dear friend Steph, with whom I went to college, traveled to China and lived with for 2 1/2 years, came up for a visit and so after a spaghetti, garlic bread and chocolate pudding* supper at Cana we went out for drinks at a local restaurant called the Union.  While I am oh so blessed to have lots of close girlfriends in my life (two of whom live right down the alley), I sometimes forget the innate power that long conversations with close friends can have.  Problems that seem all-consuming or fears of one’s own unique struggles are almost always assuaged by those long rambly conversations in which the biggest part of what we tell each other is “You are wonderful. Everything will be okay. I care about you.”  And somehow instead of feeling like cliches, hearing those things as the undercurrent of advice and conversation, ends up making one feel so much better about life and all the good and bad things currently happening.  I honestly don’t know what I would do without my girlfriends and the many ways they support me.


Steph and I way back in the balmy days of 2009 at Michigan City at the annual Girl's Weekend in May.


Continuing the trend of photos and links

February 14, 2011

So while maybe not a succinct or well-written update on my life, I figure posting anything at all should at least give me a few half-points.  Let’s reverse my trend from my previous post and start with the links first:

The Moral Crusade Against Foodies – In an interesting response to the Michael Pollan article I posted last time, this presents a rather rabid counter-argument  in which the author poo-poos our entire obsession about food.  While I agree that his comments regarding pursuing the exotic (songbirds forced to eat themselves to death and living out their short lives in darkened cages seems like absolute cruelty regardless of any exotic benefits too taste) are right on the money, I found his anti-Pollan talk a little less well-reasoned and more in the rant category.  However I still found it an interesting read.

Delancey – Apparently this review lists it as the best pizza in Seattle, which makes it even more ridiculous that I haven’t been there yet.  Hopefully I will make this happen during my next trip, especially so I can try their homemade sausage pizza!

75 summer memories for a winter day – Tim, as usual, hits it out of the park with this great post that collects several of his photos from warmer times.  As a fellow Chicagoan, I too am appreciating the “balmy” 40 degree weather and the chance to be reminded that there are actually colors of ground cover besides white (although unfortunately thaw in the city time means more browns and greys than green).

Open Letter to Ann Voskamp – And last but not least, for a switch in tone, my cousin who is currently dealing with cancer, wrote this incredible post about trying to find faith in times of adversity and the strength she has found through a book she read recently.  Not only is this post worth reading, but her entire blog is a great example of funny, honest, and thoroughly good writing.

And for the photo part I will leave you with a picture of Becca, Jess and I all dressed up and headed out for a dinner and a movie on Saturday night.  We of course took this as opportunity to get all fancied up, which as you can see is not a new trend. What can I say I have beautiful friends!


oh ‘ello there blog

February 11, 2011

Well that was a bit of a breather, wasn’t it!  Not really intentional, but anyways lots to catch up on, which I will do in my characteristic “giant post with lots of pictures” format.  In other words if you have already hopped over to that Flickr link on the right, you might as well skip this one. 🙂

My Seattle trip was awesome, but I didn't actually take that many pictures. I might write more about it later, but for now let me just say it was my favorite trip out there yet.

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of my beautiful night arrival into Seattle, but I also had some great views on my departure.

I had only been back from Seattle around 24 hours, when "The Storm of the Century" blew into town and this time the weather forecasters actually got it right. Crazy winds (and thunder), over 20 inches of snow and my first TWO snow days during my time in Evanston made for a pretty thrilled Abby.


Wednesday afternoon I got to flex my snow-shoveling muscles and discovered that I find a perverse pleasure in clearing 3 ft drifts of snow (of the powdery type) off the front porch, I am less ethusuased about the 2 plus hours it requried to dig out my poor car.

Of course the lake was also so beautiful after high winds had scraped the beach almost clear and added layers upon layers of ice.

It was a lovely surprise on Friday after my first day back at work to come home and find a new animal in the front yard.

What can I say, I have a very talented housemate!

Then after the blizzard had settled down a bit, I went over to a neighboring house to hear an evening of music provided by some talented local singer/songwriters. Once again my housemate Anne got to show us all how amazing she is. Unfortunately my camera battery died before I got to take pictures of Jess singing some very lovely songs with her mother.

So that should bring us roughly up to date, other highlights include a rocking Chinese New Year’s party, dinner with an old friend from junior high and her adorable family, another week back at work and the quickly approaching weekend.

As an added bonus to this already way too long post, here are three things I thought were cool today:

Unhappy Meals by Michael Pollan – I finally finished reading this article that the always amazing Katie recommended on her blog recently and while long it is really worth it, especially if you haven’t read much by Pollan already.  He every so succinctly presents why nutrition in its current form isn’t the healthiest for Americans, why we should eat more food (and less of the stuff that just resembles that concept) and the dangers of trying to fix your diet with the newest health craze.

Valentines by NPR for the public radio nerds among you – I don’t normally find valentines that entertaining unless of the snarky vein, but these were both hilarious and cute.  Plus they are free to send to any and all of your friends/lovers/arch-enemies/etc.

World Press Photo Contest 2011 – I tend to find the field of photojournalism a fascinating one and this link proves over and over again the incredible power of the perfect image to inspire/sadden/frighten/disgust/comfort/etc