Saturday, July 22, 2006

My New Piano!

Sultan and the Piano
Originally uploaded by lildebbie_77.
Ok, so the piano is far from new. But I just got it today. Some friends of mine have had it sitting in their garage for a while (over a year, actually), so it's not in the best of shape. It badly needs to be tuned, and a couple of the strings are damaged - but I have a piano!

Sultan has already claimed the bench as his personal territory. I was going to put some picture frames on top of the piano, but I think the cats will just knock them down.

So get ready Mom - the next time you visit, I expect to hear Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Last Friday, I went to Mississippi State University to attend an E-Journal workshop. I won't go into too many details (if you're interested, check out the Mesoj blog entries on it, here, here and here), but it was a great day. This is the second year I've attended, and both years were great.

The day didn't start off so perfectly, though. Half of the MSU Campus roads were closed; what should have been an easy drive across campus on a route I took last year turned into 30 minutes of frustration as I tried to get to the correct area of campus. Finally, I parked in a lot and just walked - the roads were insane. I got to the library 5 minutes late (I should have been at least 20 minutes early), and walked in as the 1st speaker started.

Of course, the auditorium was almost packed. There were a few seats available, but I didn't want to walk down the center isle in the middle of a presentation. There were two seats in the back, one on either side. The first - and nearest - was between two women whispering furiously to each other over the empty seat between them. The second was next to someone who was obviously a geek: a MacBook was open on the table with tons of windows open; a cell phone was lying on the table and I thought I glimpsed the earbud cord of an iPod peaking out of the backpack on the floor. Choosing a seat was really an easy decision - give me a geek over whispering women any day!
When I sat down, I was suddenly very sad that I hadn't brought my laptop (There weren't very many people there with laptops - which really surprised me.) I guess it's kinda how when your kids are away and you see someone else having a good time with their kids, it makes you miss your own. But by the end of the day, I was glad I hadn't brought mine - it was 100 degrees when I left, and lugging an 8 pound laptop around in a bag all day would have gotten old. Know what that means? I need a new, lighter laptop. ;)


At the break between the first and second presenters, I met up with a couple of friends who had gotten seats up front. They convinced me to take the open seat in the front row; it wasn't hard to talk me into it - the next speaker was Michael Stephens, and he was one of the reasons I really wanted to go this year. His blog is awesome (if you're really into libraries and emerging technologies, that is), and I'd heard that he's a great presenter. So I happily transfered my stuff to the up-close-and-personal spot right in front of the podium.

And whaddya know, the guy that got up and started speaking was the geek I had ended up sitting next to because I was late.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Marriage is hard enough, and scary enough, all on its own. Trying to merge two lives together - even under the most ideal circumstances (whatever those are) - is hard. So why do people insist on putting obstacles in the way? Think about it: you've got two people with their own lives, jobs, families. They meet and fall in love, they're excited - they want to shout to the world. They plan their wedding, a big party to tell everyone how much they love each other - and let me tell you, that planning process is stressful enough on its own.
Now they're living together, and eventually they have to go back to work. Life and time both march on....and that's when things can get hard. Because two adults that have already happily constructed their lives on their own often have a very hard time integrating those two visions together. And when you've done that, you have a good marriage.
So, when two people decide they want to try this, that they want to be committed to each other, when they say "sure it'll be hard, but we're up for it" would think they'd get a little encouragement from everyone who has been there before. You would think married couples all over the world would cheer them on.
You might even think that {gasp} people would be glad that these two specific people could get a little happiness out of life.
Instead, you get this.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Storm Thoughts

I love sitting outside when there's a storm whipping up around me. I've been outside for about 30 minutes now. When I sat down, there was still some dusky light outside. The sun was setting, but there was enough cloud cover to make the pinks and oranges glow through the clouds in a sunset that made me wish I had an expensive camera to capture it all. The wind began to rise slowly - I was reading, and didn't notice it at first. Suddenly, I realized the light was gone, and the wind was strong enough to blow through the pages of my book. Now, twenty minutes later, I'm sitting on my back porch, enjoying an incredible light display. The wind is a little stronger - a gust moved my book across the table a few inches just after I'd set it down to enjoy the show. The weather radar (which I religiously watch when there's any kind of thunder in the area) plainly shows that the summer storms are south of here. The thunder is only a soft soundtrack, far in the distance. Right now, I'm free to enjoy the electricity of the moment without any worries. So tonight, I don't get any rain, hail or sever weather. Instead, I get a show almost as specacular as the ones put on a few weeks ago for the Fourth of July. Mother Nature is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I come to you today as the newly elected president of the staff association of my library. I'll allow you a moment to take in the importance of that, and give you a few more seconds to begin changing your mindset so that you can address me with all the importance and respect that I now deserve.


No, I did not run for this office. This is how you get "elected" to this committee (they call it an association, I call it a mandatory assignment):
  1. You get hired.
  2. The previous year's members round you up with anyone else that has been hired since they took office and say: "Decide which position on the Association you want to be."

That's it. I am now the president. The Official Handing Over of the Notebook (our version of the Oath of Office) took place yesterday, along with the tour of White House ( a couple of shelves in the back of the storage area on the second floor of periodicals). My worldly goods now include three old (fake!) Christmas trees with decorations, two boxes of Halloween decorations, a couple of cans of cranberry sauce and more plastic cups than you can make punch to fill. There's also a very nice punch bowl with cups - but I was told that these are never used. There's a box with some very nice coffee cups and saucers, but those don't ever come out of the box.
{Beware of the wicked gleam coming to my eye}
Think I should shake things up this year and fix punch in the bowl and serve it in the cups?

The most important part of my new inventory, though: the two large coffee makers; you know, the kind that are always in meetings that hold about three pots of coffe in the stainless steel and black contraption with the little spigot at the bottom? Well, we have two of them. One of which is ONLY supposed to be used for hot water, not coffee. This is so that when we have parties, we can serve coffee in one and hot water in the other for people to make tea with (but I don't think we actually provide the hot tea bags). So where's The Controversy, you ask?

Last year's committee members didn't know which was which, because the boxes aren't marked. So they aren't able to tell me which one is for the hot water, and which one is for the coffee. This was a problem last year, because they think they gave the wrong one to a group in the library that used it for a baby shower. Since the expectant mother couldn't drink caffeine, they specifically requested the urn that is ONLY used for hot water. I wasn't at work the day of the shower, but the rumors tell me that the results of the coffee urn mix up weren't pleasant.
A month later, it was discovered that both of the urns smell like coffee. I can just picture three or four librarians standing around sniffing empty coffee urns and comparing notes, cataloging the scents that are wafting through their noses.

The result of all of this, though, is that I have two coffee urns that smell like coffee, and that is just wrong. It must be corrected at once! My first duty as President will be to figure my way out of this mess. I hope that the Master's Degree I paid all that money for will come in handy when I sit down to work through this problem.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Originally uploaded by lildebbie_77.
We ended our Great Northern Adventure by heading south and spending a couple of nights with my aunt and uncle in Virginia. On Friday, we drove over to Williamsburg; I'd never been and my aunt's been dying to take me since....well, forever. Williamsburg is beautiful! And it wasn't too terribly hot at 11 AM. I pulled out my camara to start snapping pictures...and I got exactly one click before the batteries died. I had forgotten to charge them the night before. :( So this is the only picture I have of Williamsburg, and it really isn't a very good one. We had a fantastic time - although I didn't get to do much shopping. By the time we walked all over the colonial part and had lunch at The King's Arms, the boys were kind of tired of the Williamsburg fun. So we drove back to my uncle's house, cracked open a few beers and debated where to eat dinner for a while, before high-tailing it out for Mexican and more beer. Then it was home for cards (I totally kicked butt at Shanghai) and, of course, more beer.

I LOVE visiting family!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What Kind of Sports Car Are You?

Thanks for the link, Mom! Not sure about that athletic bit...but I do like the way a Corvette looks. ;)

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Back home and back to work...always the worst part of a vacation. Well, not the back home part - falling into your own bed after 8 days away and a solid 15 hours on the road is always blissful. Back to work, though, is another story.

New England was is beautiful. Unfortunately, I was only there for four full days - and my husband has lots of family up there to visit, so I couldn't do too much sight-seeing. His parents really wanted to show off Rhode Island, though, so they drove us all over the place. I got to see Brown University (one of hubby's siters went to school there), and we drove all through downtown Providence (which has a gorgeous captial building). I couldn't get pictures, though, because we never got out of the car, and I was usually in the middle of the back seat - so I couldn't even hang out of a window to snap pictures. We went out to the docks one day to buy lobster off the boats, and I had clam cakes from Iggy's and a frozen lemonade from Del's and a weiner from Wein-O-Rama - they have an incredible meat sauce on their wieners (which are not, I was informed, hot dogs. They are weiners.).

Point Judith was beautiful. It was a very windy, stormy day when we drove out there, and I could have stayed there watching the ocean forever, I think.

I really wanted to drive out to the Naval War College on Newport - I wanted to check out their library - but no one else was interested in doing that. So I'll add that to my list of things to do when I go back.

Mom sent me an email (which I have shamefully not answered) asking what my favorite parts of the trip were, what I wish I could have done, what I want to do when I go back. Most of that can be summed up in one word: Boston. We drove up to Boston on Tuesday with my in-laws, and spent a couple of hours at Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. On the way back to the car, we walked through the Holocaust Memorial. I would have liked to stay and examine that, but my in-laws were affected pretty strongly by the heat so I didn't linger. There are hours worth of stuff to do in Boston (not to mention the shopping that I could do!), and the city is so accessible that I know I'd have fun no matter how little time I could spend there. Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church, even just walking around and looking at the buildings. I saw about 30 restaurants that I wanted to try out (and we were only in town for 3 hours!), but the place that's currently highest on my list of places to try in Boston: