Archive for the ‘random thought’ Category

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An update and some random/happy thoughts

June 3, 2011

Well earlier this week I finally got the news that I didn’t get the job. ūüė¶¬† Obviously that isn’t the happy thought, but actually it really isn’t the end of the world.¬† I knew going into it that my chances of getting the job were low (not due to any lack of awesomeness on my part, but mainly due to the huge number of equally qualified folks applying to all the same jobs as me) and I was really glad to get the chance to get two more interview practice sessions in.¬† Sure, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, but at the same time I never really thought I would actually get this job in the first place.¬† However the one thing that I have found to be a bit of a downer is that it is looking pretty likely that whatever happens next fall, I won’t be working at a school library.

But on to happier thoughts:

  • Today is Friday! Bringing my countdown to summer down to a measly 7 days!¬† And while I knew that was coming up, I had managed to kind of forget all the awesome things that brings with it – sleeping in, unstructured days, beach time, lazy time, craft time, sitting on the porch swing sipping iced tea time, movie matinee times, etc.
  • Summer also means a chance to really tackle my out of control to-read list.¬† I kind of have this half-way serious goal to read as many books this year as I did last, which might be quite hard unless I read about 10-15 picture books like I did for my children’s lit class last spring.¬† However my alternate goal is to just equal the same number of pages as I read last year and on that account I am doing okay, but a little behind.¬† But first on my perfect summer read list is Game of Thrones, which I keep hearing endlessly good things about and it has been way too long since I have read a really long involved fantasy series.¬† Plus this way when the first season of the TV show comes out on DVD I will be prepared.
  • Last night while I was hanging out with Jess and Becca, while the later packed for her upcoming trip to India, I did some mental calculations and discovered that I own 17 cardigans (of which the majority are thrifted)!¬† I guess this is more a hilarious thought than a happy one, but I just find it so amusing.¬† Especially when you consider that a) 5 years ago I am pretty sure I owned maybe 1-2 cardigans, tops and b) I actually wear all of these pretty regularly c) could I be a more stereotypical librarian?.¬† In fact I think this collection would be worthy of its own unique post.¬†¬† But for brief preview, here are 7 of them that have managed to already photograph:
    Nov 16, 2010February 8, 2011Nov 2, 2010Wednesday Jan 20, 2010July 23July 27August 2
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Disaster averted and an overdose of bacon*

May 4, 2011

In the ongoing saga of Abby’s computer and her enjoyment of troubleshooting, the wireless on my macbook gave out Monday night.¬† I reset it, checked the house modem and asked a housemate if their wireless was working, all to no avail.¬† Cut off from my main source of information on fixing my computer (the nerd-0verlord Google), I decided to just sign up for a Genius bar appointment on Tuesday night and see what was the problem.¬† Not looking forward to having to pay for a replacement wireless card on my almost 5 year old laptop, I was a bit apprehensive.¬† However, I received a happy surprise in that it was only a software/permissions error, so after the wonderfully helpful genius dude repaired the disk using the disk utility function off of the start-up disk, I was good to go!¬† So once again I am reunited with my beloved laptop and in celebration I highly recommend you celebrate your internet access by reading this Wait, Wait Don’t Blog Me Sandwich Monday report on The Bacon Bomb.

Mike: This is the vessel Kevin Bacon arrived in from his home planet.

Eva: It looks like an old football. “Pigskin” is a much more delicious term than most people realize.

Ian: It’s like someone made some bacon, felt bad about it, and tried to put the pig back together.

*In strong contention for my favorite blog title ever

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Enchanted versus Salt

March 8, 2011

I recently discovered this post (which contained only this title) sitting in my draft folder and realized I should probably either write some semblance of what I was going to originally or just delete the thing.

One evening in December, through no intentional plan on my part, I ended up watching the movies Salt and Enchanted back to back.¬† Now I had seen both of these movies previously, but the direct juxtaposition made me realize what a fascinating dichotomy these movies presented in regards to society’s ideas about femininity.

Before I get into my points, here are some brief [Spoiler Alert] plot summaries, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the plot lines of these movies.¬† Salt is a taunt 100 minute¬† spy thriller in which Salt (played by Angelina Jolie) is accused of being a brainwashed Russian spy. The movie follows Salt on her quest to either save her husband and clear her name or fulfill her secret anti-US mission*.¬† Throughout the movie, Salt displays a wide range of spy skills including jumping on moving semi-trucks, barefoot ledge climbing, familiarity with explosives, knowledge of poisons and disguises.¬† In typical spy movie fashion, the audience is not allowed into Salt’s head, but clearly meant to remain in awe of her abilities.

On the other hand Enchanted is a children’s movie (with appeal to adults) which plays on many of the typical fairy-tale princess tropes including (but not limited too) swash-buckling prince, evil step-mother, talking animals, innocent princess, the all-encompassing power of true-love’s first kiss.¬† The twist in Enchanted is that the cartoon princess of the opening, quickly segues into a lost princess wondering a cold/cruel New York City where she must find a way to return to “true-love”.¬† Of course she ends up meeting a much more interesting modern-day single father, discovering the liberating concept of “casual dating” and ends up rescuing her new-found paramour from the evil step-mother turned dragon.

Now to my points about society and femininity:

  • Interestingly enough Salt was originally written for a man and that foundation comes across in the finished product.¬† Unlike other female superhero movies such as Charlie’s Angels, Salt is not known for her beautiful fighting style, there are no lingering close-ups of her hair swinging as she round-kicks the bad guys.¬† Nor are there many lingering close-ups at all, her fighting style is rough, to the point and very effective,¬† in other words more similar to traditional ideas about masculinity (i.e. James Bond, Jason Bourne, etc).¬† Also it is only at the very end that she attempts to use her femininity to gain the upper hand and that is after she is dressed as a man.¬†¬† Yet throughout all of this Salt’s redemption and constant priority is to find and rescue her husband.¬† While he is played mainly as a pawn, her husband is given very nurturing characteristics and the love Salt feels for him is depicted as the primary reason for Salt’s conversion to US-centric loyalty.¬† However even after dealing with the death of her husband, Salt keeps her focus and maintains her mission to save the President of the United States.
  • On the other hand, Giselle from Enchanted, comes into the modern world with a guileless belief in true love, a truly fantastic ability to excel at the traditional feminine tasks of cleaning (aided this time by roaches, rats and pidgins as opposed to her more traditionally animated woodland rabbits, squirrels and songbirds), sewing fantastically gorgeous clothes out of curtains, and leading random people in parks in full out musical numbers.¬† For her the struggle is learning that sometimes you need to know a bit more about someone to fall in love (although I don’t know if 2 dates, over approximately 2-3 days is a big step up from first sight) and that there are other emotions other than happy, giddy and excited.

In the end, I think I find it fascinating how both Salt and Giselle are seen as feminine ideals, but are in many ways diametrically opposed to each other.¬† I think there is a lot of pressure on modern women to also emulate the idea of being fiercely independent and highly capable, while also being the dewey-eyed innocent who main goals revolve around finding love and building a domestic haven for a family.¬† So those of you who have seen these movies (or those of you who haven’t, but still have an opinion about any of this) what do you think?

*the “or” is an indication of the fairly good job the movie does at making Salt’s true motives unknown to the audience, unless of course you are Katie, blessed with a omniscient eye for plot twists

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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!). ūüôā¬† 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!

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day 29 – linky Monday

November 29, 2010

Well, seeing as I have no more vacation excuses to throw at you and still have not actually gone through or uploaded the many Thanksgiving pictures I have, I figure I will distract you from any apparent lack of thoughtful blogging by showing you random things on the internet that I have found interesting recently.

Charletta showed this rather brilliant video about the state of education and society in general to the family on Sunday afternoon and it sparked a lot of good conversation.  I know it is pretty long, but the incredible artwork that accompanies the speech is an added bonus to reward your attention.

Mathew Baldwin (of Defective Yeti) fame created this list of Animated films for Grown-ups, I have seen several of these and would like to see more.

Jesse (a friendly acquaintance from college) has started a blog in which he is reviewing the World.  Despite a rather ambitious goal, Jesse is off to a great start with reviews of Thanksgiving, Harry Potter books from Best to Worst, and a new cereal.

In the friends from college category, Emily recently posted a really fascinating write up of her experience joining a local food co-op.  Once a month the group meets to share harder to prep foods with each other as to try new food, eat more homemade food and have fun together.  I would love to get involved with something like this.

Every year I love looking through the National Geographic Photography finalists. ¬†Such a wide variety of inspiring photographs from all over the world! ¬†But if you don’t have time for the full site, the Big Picture has curated 30 great pictures.

While the picture itself is raw and graphic (as war photos often are) I was incredibly struck by the back story of this iconic photo of the first female war correspondent killed during the Vietnam war.

One of the consistently hilarious bloggers that I regularly read, Alice Bradley of Finslippy recorded this very amusing and apt conversation with her 8 year old son.

My cousin’s husband works as an English teacher and therefore gets to read some incredible and often amusing work produced by young people. ¬†Go read some of the works his students wrote when he assigned them disparaging love poems.

And what would a link post be without a little XKCD.  This is a guest post by Zach Weiner and it depicts the Smithsonian Museum of Dad-Trolling.

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day 12 – goals for after grad school

November 12, 2010

When I graduate in December, I will have a large upsurge in free time and here are few ideas I have for things to do with my time:

  • sew myself a new dress (this will require both setting up and fixing my sewing machine)
  • date more (I have talked before about online dating, but haven’t tried it much since earlier in the summer, so time to try, try again)
  • take a photography/design/art class
  • read more! (I know it seems like I do this a lot already, but the freedom to read whatever I want in whatever order I want is a little intoxicating)
  • exercise more (I have yet to find a regular way to fit exercise into my life, despite many attempts over the years, but I really like the way I feel afterward and want to feel stronger and be an even better Boundary Waters leader this coming summer, so that is definitely a goal)
  • start the job hunt (okay this is not a fun goal, considering I kind of hate that whole process, but is definitely on my list of things I need to do post graduation)
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day 4 – things I believed as a child

November 4, 2010
  • Police will never pull you over for speeding if you are only going 5mph over the limit.
  • You are perfectly safe riding without a seat belt as long as you are a) in the back seat and b)on a divided lane highway (less stopping and starting or alternately, a crash at that speed will kill you either way?).
  • If all parties involved are really nice people, no one will get hurt.
  • As an adult, going out on Friday and Saturday nights will seem exiting and appealing and you will no longer just want to sit around read a book.
  • Tights are annoying and pointless invention mainly because they are essentially knitted tubes of holes.
  • Coffee is gross despite it’s great smell, in fact drinking it closely resembles the idea of drinking vanilla extract
  • By the time I am 25, I will definitely have life completely figured out.
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Commuting (e.g. long slow slogs across Chicago)

September 30, 2010

As you can see, I haven’t quite managed to get my other “6 favorite….” posts up and currently they are sitting neglected in my draft folder.¬† I still hope to get those together soon*, but don’t hold your breathe considering right now a victorious day involves tasks like getting out of bed, not having car accidents, book talking to middle school students and trying to not be a total hermit during my “free time” (with mixed results).

But what I really wanted to talk about is commuting.¬† If I haven’t talked about this enough, my student teaching placement is a good distance from my house, so my alarm goes off at 5:30am and I spend 45-55 minutes driving there and usually a little over an hour driving home every day.¬† And then on the days I have class in the evening I spend another hour driving there for a total of around 11 hours a week.¬† So here are a few things I have learned:

  • Round-a-bouts are a foreign concept in the US and therefore they are scary as all get out as cars inch/speed/change their minds around the circle on their way to their chosen lane.¬† Therefore the best tactic for surviving them is similar to crossing streets in China, be direct and travel in pairs!
  • Bring coffee with you in the morning, it makes sitting at traffic lights way more bearable.
  • Listening to NPR for both commutes is often too much, so I do NPR in the morning and random music stations in the afternoon.
  • Other drivers will always impress you with both their capability for pettiness (hello driver blocking the intersection who wouldn’t let me get past even after I made eye contact and honked my horn!) and kindness (thank you driver who let me in when I got surprised by a lane merge and did the obnoxious drive in the open lane past all the waiting cars thing).
  • Sunrises are gorgeous, even if you watch them through your rear-view mirror.

*Actually maybe I will save those idea for if I do another blog every day in November thing….oh good idea Abby!

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random conversation tidbits

August 13, 2010

Me: How do you spell whiney? w-h-i-n-n-y ?

Becca: Hmm, I think that spells whinny, as in horse sound

Me: Oh, so I probably don’t mean to say “humidity makes me whinny”

Becca: Neigh

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a brilliant depiction of the downward spiral of bad-dayness

June 8, 2010

It starts here:

and ends up here

If you haven’t seen this hilarious comic by Hyperbole and a Half, you should definitely go do so.¬† And while you are at it, browse around, I had been finding links to this blog for quite a while now, but hadn’t really taken a closer look before today, go see for yourself, great stuff!