Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is my kind of cat

From news.bbc.co.uk...

Fidel the cat
Fidel the cat spends his days at Deal library while his owners are at work

A Kent library has been visited almost every day for two years by its own "puss in books", the council has said.

Fidel, an eight-year-old black cat, turns up at Deal library almost every day while his owners are at work.

He spends the day on his favourite blue chair, only leaving the building when he sees his owners arriving home.

Staff say they have never tried to encourage Fidel with food and even used to put him outside when he first began to visit them, but he always came back.

'Art critic'

Heather Hilton, district manager for Deal Library, said: "Fidel certainly seems to like coming here and he's very popular with our customers.

"I think he's a bit of an art critic too because we sometimes see him examining the pictures on the gallery wall," she added.

A spokeswoman for Kent County Council which runs the library said Fidel was such a "dedicated customer" that he sometimes arrived before staff and could be found waiting at the front door.

Fidel is a rescue cat, whose owners chose him from a local sanctuary after he was found abandoned in a flat in Deal.

This is how my house will be...

Michelle Oka Doner's loft in loftlife magazine (found on sfgirlbybay)

It would be such a nice place to be.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Ballerina Project. Gorgeous.

Seriously, seriously nice stuff. Please check out the rest of the photos, especially if you're an obsessed dancer like me.

All pictures via The Ballerina Project's Facebook page, HERE.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Philly, NYC, and All That

Hooray! I am back from a fabulous but oh-so-exhausting trip that was possibly the best vacation yet. It was the first time that Dean and I have really had even part of a holiday that had nothing to do with visiting family or dancing (ok, the reason for the trip was dancing and we did see family and friends, but the last 5 days were just fun).

Honestly, it would take waaay too long to talk about all the cool fun things we did, but some highlights include:

  • 26th at World's!!!!!!
Photo by Dean McCarthy
  • Lots of nights out without having to go to work or dance the next day

  • Seeing the Met Opera dress rehearsal with Meagan

  • Going out with Rachel

  • Going to the Met and seeing Degas' Dancer
Photo by Dean McCarthy
  • Hanging out with Anna
  • Staten Island Ferry
Photo by Dean McCarthy
  • Man Utd game at Nevada Smith's (although not so much the beer that got thrown afterwards)
  • The Philly Art Museum steps (aka Rocky Steps)
Photo by Dean McCarthy
  • The view from our hotel room
Photo by Dean McCarthy
  • Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches at Jim's on South Street
Photo by Dean McCarthy
  • The Burger Joint @ Le Parker Meridien (it's behind the curtain. And totally grungy. And it rocks)

Various other cool things included champagne, hummus, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Joe cooking us dinner. Oh and seeing my Mom and Kim!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!

I'm away in Philadelphia for a while (relaxing now that the dancing is done, hopefully), but enjoy this! I don't even like Peeps that much and it looks lovely!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New York, New York (and Philly. And the World Championships. Which is really a location in itself)

So. With my last day of work out of the way about ten minutes ago, I am counting down the hours til we leave for Worlds. And really truly, the Worlds bit is the most important and best part of the trip, especially because it's the last one for me (oh dear I am getting old). BUT I am also going to NYC and seeing and staying with lovely people, which is building a gradually but persistently growing bit of excitement within my stomach. !! I can't wait.

The thing is, D is not a touristy attraction type person, and I don't like planning out my stays to the minute (although he would argue otherwise, I do really truly just like walking places and wandering), and I don't know NYC. Any suggestions? I like green spaces, books, vintage shopping, markets, art, water, and perhaps a show.

PS. The excitement is intermittently overwhelmed by the pure panic that always sets in before Worlds. Have I practiced enough? I should be practicing now. No, resting. No, practicing. No, packing. No, practicing. ARGH!

PPS. For those of you who don't know the wonders of the world of Irish dancing competitions, post soon to come (perhaps after Worlds, with pictures). It is truly another dimension. Just ask my friend Will.

Friday, April 3, 2009

This rocks: Unemployment Olympics

Joanna's brother is clearly awesome. Read here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Library Things (possibly including Library Thing)

So. Clearly the future of libraries are at stake (and we are the generation to decide and save them, yadayada. I know). Compare articles such as these:

Downturn Puts New Stresses On Libraries from the New York Times (although this says how cool we are)

Our libraries are at risk from the Guardian
This one included a reader commenting: "The internet has replaced libraries. What are they for?"

And, although older, the shocker of shockers:
Bangor librarians face internet threat from 2005 in the Guardian.

Why DO we have libraries? What are we good for? What do we need to do to save ourselves? Do we need to save ourselves? Is there really a "Great Library Emergency," as the Guardian claims?

I think that, as an academic library, my workplace is safer than others. Despite the changes we're making, students still need resources that they can't get for free online. But we're still facing huge changes, and public libraries perhaps even more. When Google provides millions of out-of-copyright books and LibraryThing serves to help you choose the good ones, what's a librarian to do?

Here's the deal. As Geoffrey Bilder so pointedly told us at our Staff Conference recently (I love working somewhere big enough to have a full day conference for staff!), libraries need to brand themselves. This sounds scary. What it can mean, though, is that libraries need to make themselves the trusted go-to source for information -- or at least for guidance on where to get information. The internet is now too big for people to search properly without some training and experience.

But that's what everyone's doing, and it seems to be working fine, you say? Hmmmmm. There's a dirty rumour (probably true...) that a survey asked librarians some quick factual-type questions. A huge percentage got one wrong, all in the same way. Why? Because the wikipedia entry was wrong. Now, this doesn't speak particularly well for librarians, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and also assume this was a few years ago and they weren't all up on their IT (clearly, all librarians today have mad IT skills. Ha). The point is, if we clued up librarians are doing it sometimes, most people are doing it more. Even if we do make mistakes, we know how to look for things better, if simply out of sheer practice. After three months in the reading rooms, for instance, I learned pretty fast how to find things that most undergraduates came in crying over. And that's not just books or articles online. It includes blogs, book reviews, electronic resources from the 18th century, online copies of Shakespeare's folio, latest medical abstracts, and funding opportunities. According to the news, librarians at many libraries are helping with resumes and jobsearches too (plus it's FREE. Come on people. FREEEEEEE).

CILIP, the UK professional body for librarians, is bemoaning the trend towards the deprofessionalisation of librarians. I am not sure it's as bad as they think, but their point is that not just anyone can walk in and do a librarians job. It's not just a personal form of the internet. It's like the internet with a brain and a history and training that does the grunt work for you. OK, maybe that's not going far enough (cuz at this point, maybe Google is that already). It's like the internet can read your mind, in a non-scary kind of way. We know that Professor So-and-so never puts the right references on his reading lists and that the articles are really on a hard-to-find NGO website. We know that even though the database you're using comes up first on Google, it's really crap and you should use this one because you're more likely to get a job off it. It goes on. Seriously.

Anyway, that's a not very in-depth part of why this stuff is important. There are lots more reasons why, and things that demand dissertations and essays. But come one. We're pretty cool. We even talk and laugh and joke. Bet Google doesn't admire your new haircut for you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

a week in snippets

Nearly every spare minute of mine has been devoted in some form or another to dance, eating, or sleeping over the past week, so this is going to be short. It has to fit into the last 5 minutes of my break at work...

So, without further ado, the most memorable things of the past 10 days or so...
1. A 3 year old telling me my lifts must be "much much much higher"
2. Said 3 year old then hugging me.
3. Will stoically managing 7 hours of dancing competition.
4. Will's dad managing over 2 hours.
5. Canals, curry, and flamingo wallpaper.
6. Hugs.
7. Rehearsal for Yeats at Garsington, with a kitchen full of musicians, running through the dances on the kitchen floor with tea in hand.
8. Being told you can't dance to Si Bheag Si Mhor.
9. Dancing to it. Nicely.
10. Someone outside my family expressing interest in my dissertation/
11. A card from Cathy.
12. A lovely Sunday with Dean...sleeping in, French toast, little bit of NYC/Philly shopping, tennis in the park, and relaxed dinner.
13. Planting garlic.
14. Getting hair cut! (well that's later today but it still counts)
15. Finally doing a decent hard jig.

I think that's it.