I don't normally re-post the kind of stupidity that I wind up posting on internet forums, but today a thread on one of my regulars got me thinking; it was all about how people who had registered in 2001 had been posting there for 7 years (2001 being the general agreed-upon date as being an OG on this particular site). My first comment was something to the effect that it was kind of sad that my participation on that particular forum has outlasted pretty much every other 'constant' in my life, save certain relationships with family and a couple friends.

My second post, once someone agreed with this revalation, went into more detail and merits the re-post in here:

I know, right!? Let's see, since 2001:

5 boyfriends - converted one into a husband (been with him 5 years (give a little); he's on DOA rarely but we didn't meet here)

quit drinking caffeine 3 times - drinking my second pot of earl gray today

3 universities to finish my undergraduate degree

1 university, almost done with my graduate degree

lived in 5 different residences

held 4 different jobs - currently unemployed

haven't been to a non-old-school jungle/dnb night since about 2003

switched phone companies 4 times

had 3 cars

had 1 dog die, 2 more dogs come into my life, and my first cat

started 3 different blogs; keep up with 1

quit drinking once - lasted about a year

went through 1 film camera, 3 point-and-shoot digital cameras, finally bought a dslr

went through 2 PCs, 1 dell laptop, finally bought a macbook

had two DOA usernames, many aliases, but only one loyalty

Response from other user: can safely say i'm probably the most inconsistent person on the planet ,I can't stick with anything, music ,relationships,jobs,diet,friends,all seem to come and go
:constant drifter:

apart from doa it seems? its been the longest thing ive stuck with ,even though I said to myself on many occassions maybe I should post less! its kind of crazy really.

My final thought: I guess DOA is more portable and easier to tailor to your needs than most other things in life

Ah the odd realities of being a 20-something and living life on the internet.



It's that time of year again - really the start of the countdown to the new year and new beginnings - when people start taking stock of what they're thankful for (and often times, as a result, what they're lacking).

This year seems to have become more about what I've been going without than what I actually have, so tonight I'd like to focus on how good I really do have it.

Losing my job was perhaps the biggest blow I've received in my relatively-short adult life; to me it marked the end of an era - a position in life - that I had worked for almost a decade to achieve. In this time, my friends and family, and even acquaintances, have really stepped it up to show me how much they value me and want to see me succeed. Immediately after I left the museum for the last time, I was getting emails forwarding me job descriptions, sent from friends, coworkers, family, and even friends of friends and family; it was completely awesome to see that so many people had my back.

When I decided to take on a full course load of classes rather than getting a part time job immediately, Dan was 100% supportive of my move and told me he was happy to shoulder the burden while I took care of what I had to. Throughout it all, he has been constantly patient and understanding about the mayhem going on here. My parents have also been great sources of advice, and my mother-in-law a nice confidant to vent to from time to time.

At this time I am also thankful for my own health and drive; I have been under a ton of stress, and have been amazed at my ability to keep it together. Being able to go out a night or two a week to play hockey has been an absolutely invaluable luxury and stress release; I'm thankful for my dad who loves hockey so much that he helps cover the costs so that he has an endless supply of hockey to watch.

Finally, though it may sound silly - I am thankful for my kitty, Hunter S.. Now that I'm a complete shut-in, we've become great pals. Thanks, kitty, for snuggling up to my head once Dan leaves in the morning to keep me warm. Thanks for following me around wherever I go, curling up, and keeping me company. Thanks for providing ample laughs; at a time when real human contact is rare, it's nice to have a kitty like you with a lot of personality to make me feel like I'm not a total hermit.

So, for those of you reading, I hope you all have people, pets, and other things in your life making the bad times as good as they can be.


As nerdy as it gets...

It's 7:30am, I've been up all night slogging through my final Cataloging and Classification I assignment on Dewey and LC, and I have the nerdiest mental comparison of what my struggle felt like to me. The imaginary conversation goes a little something like this:

Me: "You know that part in that LOTR movie where Gandalf fights that fire demon, you know... the Balrog?"

Nameless/Faceless Person: *Blank stare - clearly wondering where I'm going with this*

Me: "Well, anyway, I felt like my night-long battle with Dewey Decimal number building and Library of Congress classification numbers were analogous to Gandalf's struggle with the fiery entity in the dark pit deep in the Mines of Moria - Nobody knew that I was still awake and struggling with it, but in the end I triumphed and became a more powerful wizard... errr librarian..."

Nameless/Faceless Person: *No response except for generally shunning me for the embarassment I have become*

Hopefully my prof. doesn't write "You shall not pass!" on my assignment...

There we have it, blog friends; possibly the nerdiest thought to have ever crossed my mind, and that's saying a lot. Damn you, library school... damn you!!!


Stroll through Kenwood/Hyde park

Some pics from the Kenwood / Hyde Park area.

The Godfather at Zaleski & Horvath Market Cafe

Details on the residence of Louis Farrakhan

Lovely entrance gate

Side entry

A bit of color

Professors Row

Woodsy Porch


Click on the photos to enlarge them. The rest can be found here.


"We don't know what the f*ck you want from us"

That was Billy Corgan's 'rant' (though I would call it a lament) from the Tuesday night concert at the Chicago theater; the show received confused and otherwise tepid reviews from the local news sources; I had my chance to check it out for myself tonight (now last night). After watching the near two-and-a-half hour show, I think I may have some answers for Billy.

First of all, Corgan was in a much better mood tonight, but made it clear that he was under the weather - coughing a bit between songs and taking a bit of a breather at one point to talk about the Cubs and the Sox (amusing, to say the least!). As the show progressed, I started realizing that the problem has never been Billy Corgan, or The Smashing Pumpkins, it has been the fans. Like any great, generation-defining rock band, the Pumpkins meant a huge deal to the people who grew up with them.

I fell deeply in love with my first boyfriend to the soundtrack of Pisces Iscariot, Siamese Dream, Gish, and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness; as a matter of fact, I had my heart broken for the first time by him to those as well! I grieved the for the death of my grandfather to the sounds of Adore, and helped my best friend over a huge loss of her own driving around at all hours of the night, talking and listening to the Twilight to Starlight disc of Mellon Collie. Dan and I bonded over the Pumpkins when we first met, and even walked in to the banquet hall to be announced for the first time as husband and wife to 1979.

All those songs have vivid memories, emotions, mental pictures, and a whole lot of baggage attached to them; judging by the reactions of the crowd at the show, everyone else had their own strings attached to them as well. The Chicago Theater rocked when the Pumpkins were playing old materials, but the energy waned and the crowd sat down as the material got newer or more obscure. I was sitting there listening to the material I didn't know, and would find myself waiting for it to end in the hopes of hearing one of 'my songs' - then I'd come to the realization that the music was actually really good but it just wasn't getting the emotional response out of me that I had come there to experience.

Everyone got old; we were there to have those emotions served up to us on a platter. Just like how everyone my dad's age seems to hit the bathroom at the Rolling Stones concert when the post-1980s tunes come out, or Keith Richards has his token songs, we all just want to get nostalgic at this point. I looked around the crowd and saw virtually nobody under the age of 23 - the majority were actually into their 30s and older; for many people in this demographic, we've hit the point where we're no longer picking up new music like we used to. Sadly, we've stagnated and love the things that moved us back when we were busy becoming the individuals we are now; we used that music to help define us, and once that identity was put firmly into place, it was hard to knock down that scaffolding and move on. Also, for a lot of us, we're at the point in our lives where things aren't nearly as dramatic as they seemed to us as teens; it's not such an emotionally-charged situation where the sights and sounds around you become the backdrop of amazing or horrible memories later on. When the going gets tough now, we just return to the 'comfort food' music anyway.

I know this isn't everyone, and I have a lot of respect for those who keep finding new bands to love, but there's a reason our parents started having oldies channels on the radio about the time they hit their late 30s, early 40s; for those of us who were children of the late 70s-late 90s, we're getting there.

So Billy - to answer your question - we want you, and us... 10-20 years ago. You are still an amazing musician, but we have gotten soft on you. Never think that your lack of sales has anything to do with your lack of talent; I still believe you're one of the true musical geniuses of my generation and I think all your work (even up to now) demonstrates that. Sadly, you are stuck in the no-man's-land of musical greats between the era where you made it big, and the revival where our kids are old enough to find 'our music' cool. Hang in there Billy - you will have that young crowd again, and maybe they'll even be dragging us there with them, the way I brought my father tonight (and to the Adore tour way back when) - you have much much more to give the music world before you give up in frustration.


Charged up

This may sound silly coming from a future librarian, but my resolution as of right now is to use the library system more. For ages I have been an Amazon addict, having to buy every singe title I wanted to read because I've always valued having a good collection at home. Thing is, even when books are priced at under a dollar, once you factor in shipping and all that, it gets pretty expensive when you have a habit like mine. Ordering all those books, and having them shipped also creates a lot of garbage in packaging and paperwork, not to mention the fumes from the planes and other vehicles that get them to me in a matter of days.

Aside from the mess and the cost, having an actual due date will make me actually read what I've ordered up. I have shelves of books that I know I'll get to, post grad school, but it doesn't make them any less of a space-waster as they sit around collecting dust. So, now is the time to end my own hypocrisy - to stop complaining about librarians losing their jobs, and to start making them work for me. If even future librarians refuse to utilize the services offered by their peers, how can they expect there to be jobs waiting for them when they graduate? Time to do my part in keeping my industry a valued one.

What's first on the list? I am not ashamed to say, my inner dork just put a copy of Twilight on hold (thanks Em).


Fall in the non-profit world

This season it's not just the leaves that are dropping rapidly around Chicago; it seems that the sizes of the professional staffs at local cultural institutions are as well. Just today I got word of a special meeting called by the president of The Field Museum addressing new measures to fix the same broken budget that cost me my own job. This time there is a call for 50 positions to be vacated as soon as possible, preferably voluntarily by early retirement and general atrophy. For those facing the 'choice' of early retirement, apparently a statement was made to the effect that if they chose to stay on and refuse the 'early out,' their jobs wouldn't be guaranteed to be there in January. Lovely.

This seems to be a silent crisis going on in tandem with the much louder calamities occurring in the larger industrial sectors of the nation; non-profits freezing positions that have emptied, not renewing term positions that are about to end, and generally sucking the lifeblood out of all the work that they are trying to accomplish by depleting their staff of ground soldiers. What's left? Anyone with a PhD or a six-figure salary; how messed up is that? It will be interesting to see what kind of work gets done once these folks have to jump down from their pedestals and do all the leg work they formerly assigned to their minions. How much money will these museums be bringing in when the staff that help to physically create (not just the intellectual parts that curators come up with get it done) exhibits and events are gone and the work grinds to a halt?

Yes, I understand that times are hard and the money is short, but how about turning the gaze on some of the non-productive members of the staff at higher levels? It's not my place to name names, but there were no secrets about what curators were virtually dead weight at The Field Museum, yet they remain safe as this all goes down. Yes, this is an angry post, but this news has made me very angry. People, USEFUL people, friends who have given their lives to The Field Museum are being forced out like they're nothing - as though decades of service, and years more of viability mean nothing because it's harder to let go of someone with extra degrees and a mistaken assumption of tenure. There is no tenure track at The Field Museum, and therefore no good reason why curatorial staff couldn't be laid off as well. Plain and simple. But it's always the grunts that get cut in the end.


K9 gets props

From the guy who runs the "Things My Dog Ate" site:

Classic! No, Legendary better defines it! I absolutely loved it! Very well told! She has deservingly earned the key to the "Things My Dog Ate" castle - her own page and everything! I'd be honored to feature her story on my site. I'll let you know first thing when her page is up... should be by the end of the week.

Thanks so much for sharing K9 with me (and her pics). It's truly one of the more memorable stories I've received. And I've received a lot :)



The Legacy of K9

Submitted by Lisa L. for the approval of Things My Dog Ate

The late, great K9 had a very refined palette, but she never walked away from a challenge. While K9 had a preference for beef almond ding, delivery containers and soy sauce packets included, she also never turned her nose up at the garbage, cardboard boxes, TV tables, hockey sticks, retainers, or mouthguards. One thanksgiving K9 and her partner in crime, Mittens, made a whole turkey disappear from the back of the stove; we never even found the bones. When the cicadas hit Chicago in 1990, K9 spent hours in the backyard, crunching away on her new favorite high-protein snack.

K9's biggest hurdle to greatness, and ultimately finest hour, was her battle with the bar of Clinique soap... and the soap dish; she had a few rough hours after we came home to find her passed out on the hallway floor and realized what she had gotten into, but eventually the emergency vet gave her the clean bill of health and sent her home. K9 often would find bottles of TUMS in my hockey bag and eat those, plastic and all - I figured that she needed to sort out all the randomness that she ingested on a regular basis.

Only once did K9 fail to conquer a challenge she set for herself, and that was the 5lb bag of gummy bears that she found hidden in my brother's bedroom - we found K9 sprawled on the floor next to the bag, which had been 2/3 eaten (including the plastic), completely sated. She pooped in color for almost a week.

K9 died in 2001, at the ripe old age of 13. The dog, the myth, the legend - she was born somewhere in the backwoods of Kentucky as a stray, and like any hobo worth her salt could never pass up the opportunity for a meal, good or not. She was loved by all who met her, and gave her family the inspiration to try just about anything, at least once.


Photos are up!

Check them here

Some previews though (click on them to see them larger)

Andrew on the train, heading to Kasey's Tavern

Dan and me at Kasey's before the rally

Victory is declared in Grant Park

Obama speaks - I couldn't see him, but hearing him and feeling the energy in the park was enough!

Simply amazing

A beautiful fall night, blurry or not!

Energy in the streets

Walking past my favorite view of Chicago on our way to the Halsted bus.

I love my city.



The tickets have arrived :D

The final hours

I can feel the tension mounting as we are hours away from the start of election day and the massive rush to vote; wow am I glad I got in on the early voting because I have a feeling it's going to be insane. For the first time in a long time I have genuine butterflies of anxiety in my stomach, not wanting to believe news from either side - not wanting to count my chickens before they've hatched but also never wanting to doubt for an instant that things will go well tomorrow. We are on the verge of something historic; well, the historic has been happening for a while now, but the final act is about to play out. Hopefully I will be there, front and center, to share in the making of history at the Grant Park rally - camera at the ready - I'm nervously waiting for my tickets to be emailed, hoping that they actually show (I need to see them to believe it!).

Everyone who still reads this, please go out and vote; take part. Even if you don't agree with me and are not an Obama supporter, it's important that you have your say. It's been a long 8 years, and I feel like tomorrow will be a big day for national closure of some sort or another, and hopefully new beginnings. Fingers crossed - waiting on pins and needles in Chicago