Apr. 26th, 2007 01:17 pm
luciab: (Default)
I finally had my presentation this morning. Damn, I'm glad that's over. I kinda blew off preparing for it, honestly, except for reading the paper over two or three times. I emailed her the paper yesterday, and boy, I could tell it. It was about half discussion, as opposed to presentation like everyone else did. Which was okay, I think. She said she liked my idea and paper, so I guess it's good.

Now I get ready to go to Kentucky for a few days. I'll be leaving here tomorrow and coming back on Wed next week, so I'll be there for Derby weekend again. I'll be counting on someone to call and tell me who wins Crown, though. Gotta keep up with all the news, after all.

Better go start getting stuff together.
luciab: (Default)
I just got email from the last teacher I owe work to.... ungrammatical, tough shit. I was supposed to give my presentation on Monday at 3, and was going to KY on Tues or Wed. She says, though, that we have to change the presentation date to Thursday. I am SO not amused. I wanted to get this crap over and done. Who would have thought that any grad student would ever be complaining about having too much time for a paper?

I've been painting today. I decompressed by reading this morning; read a whole silly mystery before noon. Sweet. I mean, not that I was too awfully compressed to begin with, but I still had absolutely no ambition this morning. So after lunch I turned on the TeeeVeee and started painting. I have a scroll blank I was going to try to do for the competition Livia had-- I hear no Laurels managed to get anything entered in that, BTW, which was disappointing. I decided to go on and finish that one, which was drawn, inked and calliged, with a little bit of painting started. I have an Undine to do next.

Mythbusters was on this afternoon while I was painting. I learned all kinds of interesting stuff, some of which I knew or strongly suspected, but it was entertaining. Myths are all done for the night, though, and Harry Potter is now meeting Hagrid for the first time, which is pleasant painting company.


Apr. 19th, 2007 01:02 pm
luciab: (Default)
I just finished applying for a job at State in the preservation dept, doing book repair. I had the application all filled out... when it's a government job, you do a god-awful-detailed application.... and got ready to submit it online. I was hauled up short by the option to add a cover letter. Erk? Never had that happen before, when filling out an application online. Never had an application and a cover letter together, because usually when it's an application you don't have any idea who will review it, ie, to whom such a letter should be written. Guess what-- I still had no idea to whom this thing should be addressed, but hurried consultation convinced me that I had to do it. Thank god for good librarians, because [ profile] zihuatenejo came up with a solution I could use. I was still dreading it; I"m SO bad at those things. So I just sat down after lunch and started writing, using a template I found online (from VT, which gave me a jolt, though it really had nothing to do with anything-- it was just weird.) And lo, it was easy. I used a slightly less formalized approach than I've used before, which helped, and it probably also helped that I am genuinely excited about the possibility of getting this job and could explain exactly how I felt I was suited for it. Always helps to believe what you're saying!

This AM I had an appointment for a check up with a doctor for the Social Security disability claim. It was kind of medium-thorough, I guess. No idea what they'll come up with next. I'll play their silly games, though.

I also dropped off a couple of prescriptions at my local drugstore, and realized I'm turning into my mother.... I have a favorite pharmacist, I know her name, and she knows MY name. I was always kinda spooked about the idea of a bartender knowing my name (it happened once or twice) but at least I spent time talking to them. But with a pharmacist, you're just dropping off an order, not standing around chatting, and they don't even see you when you pick it up. That means I'm dropping off way too many prescriptions, IMO. Sadly, that opinion makes no difference I'll have to keep on doing it, at least if I want to keep breathing easily, sleeping easily, and not having migraines, and hopefully not having broken bones and heart attacks, either. Depressing as hell, I tell you.

I have the essay almost done-- I'm riffing off the topic I used for the big paper this semester. Oh, and there's a competition for papers about archives and preservation, and I think I'm going to submit the ink/vellum/paper piece I did last semester. School is drawing near the end, guys. Very strange.
luciab: (susan 3rd grade)
My mother called last night, trying not to let Daddy hear her talking. It was kinda funny; I felt like I should close the studio door to keep it more secret or something. Anyway, she was telling me about their taxes. She wants to believe Daddy's okay, so she has let him "take care of" the taxes this year. Yep, that's worked out just about as well as you thought it would, given that he still has some dementia from the hospital stay, and I think he has recovered about as much as he's going to. When she asked him about it, he said, "Well, let me think about that a minute." And later when she siad, "Well, where would you have put stuff like that?"he said "Don't be so critical!" Seems no one has any idea where the tax information is. It's not just their retirement income, either; they have interest income too. They have an accountant (I should probably send him flowers or steak or something) who said, "Don't worry about it! I'll file an extension for you," which was a hell of a relief for Mother. What a saint, to be so nice when they called him on April 14 with this dilemma. Mother said he was so sweet she almost cried, and she doesn't cry any easier than I do. She said he did tell her that he noticed some confusion on Daddy's part last year at tax time but thought it was because of Aunt Susan's death. That really surprised her.

What really prompted the call, though, was that the accountant said he should probably have Danny's and my phone numbers and contact info. That both scared her and made her indignant. She informed me that during the war, her job was "figures" whatever the hell that means. (And here I had pictured her with her little Rosie the Riveter scarf on.) She was good at it, too, she informed me. And while she was telling me the story, she uttered the first curse word I have ever heard her say in my entire life. She said she had done everything she could find to do, so the supervisor gave her a project she thought would take Mother awhile. Later she came back and said "How's that coming?" obviously thinking Mother would be working away for hours more. Mother handed her the papers, and the supervisor said "Damn!" Mother got such a kick out of saying this forbidden word that she repeated that part of the story two or three times. Mother learning to curse....what a Hallmark moment.

She admits that she can't afford to let financial stuff like that go now. She insists, though, that he drove to church yesterday "and didn't make a single mistake!" Sigh. Or yikes. Or both.

It's just the same-old, same-old, otherwise. I volunteered at the library today, got my taxes submitted, and filled out a job application. Wait, that isn't exactly the same old thing. Blase, that's me. Now I'm working on the last set of silly questions. Some of these are harder, though. Might have to bestir myself to go to the library or something. What a concept.
luciab: (Default)
For some unknown reason I feel like I finished something today, even though I didn't do my presentation and didn't turn in my paper. Wait, maybe because it was my last class for this degree? Yep. Must be it. I do have the tremendous advantage of seeing everyone else's presentations, and made a few notes. I was almost ready to turn my paper in today but I'm glad I didn't. I was not at all satisfied with one part that she said was "the most important" but hadn't a clue what to do about it. Today I got a better idea of a few things to say, even though it doesn't really say anything additional about how the research would be conducted-- it'll just sound more like I know more about how the research would be conducted. FTW!! A friend in the class looked my paper over, too, and made a few notes on style. It's downright confusing when you've used one style for years and suddenly have to use a different style. I felt like I was spending as much time looking up details about exactly how to do citations and such as I was writing The Damn Paper.

I still have to edit the paper and make the presentation to her. Whee. Nothing like making a 10-minute presentation to a single person in her office. It would have been easier with more people to look at and talk to. Oh, well, nothing to do about it now. I am glad I got the extension, I guess. I was hoping to finish it up this coming Monday, but she's busy till the week after that. So now I have one more set of silly questions, one essay and this paper to finish. The essay can be on any topic (and in any style) and I think I'm going to write about what this paper was about-- graphic novels. I kept wanting to veer off topic on this one, so for the essay I can follow the thread that kept intriguing me so much. Yay! Another win! After that, I'm not just done with classes but done for this degree.

Coincidentally the migraine that was plaguing me vanished when class was over. It was so bad-- I took 4 doses of meds-- the max I could take for 24 hours. Quite the coincidence, eh? Oh, and one of my fellow students works in the preservation department at State and says they have an opening for a tech. Doing what? I asked, hoping for the answer "repairing books" and guess what-- that's the answer I got. The posted job description includes a metric ton of other stuff, but job descriptions (especially for the state) bear so little resemblance to what the job actually is that I'm not going to stress about it till I talk to him. If I got the job I'd be working for him. Cool. I've had two classes with him now (including the one I took with [ profile] zihuatenejo) and he seems to be really laid back, which would be a HUGE change from my last job. TREMENDOUS, HUMONGOUS change. Can I just emphasize that this would be rather unlike the last job? I swear, I still feel broken from that job. I feel like a dog that's been beaten and cowers in the corner. Makes me very nervous about applying for a job and saying "Yes, I can can do that." Even with a shiny new MLS degree. Wow..... gotta watch out or I'll talk myself back into a migraine. Eek.

My trip to Kentucky keeps sliding back, a few days at a time. I was going to leave Saturday after the essay, but now have to stay till the following Monday for the presentation to the teacher, and then on Tuesday there's a reception and presentation I want to see, about doing resumes.... could be handy. I was going to say I want to be here for Crown, but you know what? I wonder if any of my friends in KY are going to throw a Derby Party? Heh. I haven't been to a Derby Party for years. That sounds like kind of a hoot. I'll find out.

I'm enjoying not having a migraine... I have my music cranked up enough that I can actually hear it instead of it being a subliminal suggestion, and I've been singing along with all kinds of good stuff. Gillian Welsh, and now Leadbelly is singing "Midnight Special." And now George Thorogood..... ggggrrrowwww!


Apr. 12th, 2007 07:11 pm
luciab: (Default)
I am so frustrated with this paper. I work along and think I'm getting somewhere and then I look over the whole thing and realize that I've repeated myself, random bits of topics wander all over the place and generally speaking, it's a big muddle. I wrote the teacher last night and asked how long an extension I have and whether she wants me to do the presentation on Saturday when everyone else does. She wrote back saying not to do the presentation but didn't say about how long an extension I have. At this point I'm almost sorry I asked for an extension to begin with; I would have had to churn something out and it might not have been good but it would have been done. As it is, lord knows when I'll have to finish it, and I still have one more paper in the other class. I'm not too stressed over it. All she said is "write an essay" on something about the humanities. No length, no requirements about which damn citation style to use or anything else. Just, write an essay. Oooookayyyy then. But before I get to do that little bit of frippery, I have to finish the research proposal. Sigh.


Apr. 9th, 2007 03:12 pm
luciab: (Default)
Well, I'm at least semi-officially allergic to something. Definitive, huh? I went to a doc-in-a-box about the congestion in my head; despite the sound effects and dizziness yesterday (eased by Sudafed) I was about half convinced I was imagining it (it's all in my head! Ha!) so I felt moderately vindicated when the doctor agreed with me. She gave me samples and prescriptions, along with a note for my teacher. Yep, a note for my teacher. I felt like a ten-year-old.

I wrote to said teacher yesterday explaining that I'm concerned about being able to finish the research proposal on time since I've had so many migraines the last couple of weeks, and now the ear thing. She replied that if I needed to turn the paper in late, I'd need a note. So, by golly, I got a note.

Since I'm not contagious, I decided to drop by the hospital and see Gene. There I discovered that he's been moved out of ICU. Yay! Big relief for everyone, I'm sure. He was pretty restless and not entirely clear of the drugs, which have him a little disoriented. It made for a highly entertaining visit, at least. I didn't stay long; I just wanted to say hi to Beth and see how he's doing. Beth is so excited she's practically beside herself.

So. Even though I have the note from the doctor for my paper, I'd better get cracking and not put this off any longer. I"m oozing dread here.
luciab: (Default)
So. I went to the library yesterday to look up answers for a class. No, that isn't cheating, it's what we're supposed to be learning to do. Unfortunately, most of the questions she asks are extremely easy to answer via Google, so I have to go out of my way to find other ways to answer these siliy things, or at least document the answers I find on Google. One of yesterday's questions was "What is Elton John's real name?" The amusing part is that I kept thinking... "Reginald Dwight.... Reginald Dwight... Reginald Dwight WHAT?? What is his last name?" and then found that Dwight IS his last name. Or was, anyway, since it's "John" now.

Anyway, while in the library of course I had to scan the new book shelves to see if there was anything there I wanted to read that I hadn't already read, because I'm a junkie that way. And behold, there was a book called "The Perfect Fake." No mystery genre sticker on it but my instincts were right and the blurb sounded good. Brought it home. Finished my homework like a good girl and sent it in before The Sopranos came on. Watched two hours of quality TV entertainment. Went to bed. Found new book on bed. Started reading. And kept reading. Until I finished the book, in fact, at 3 AM. Made me very happy I didn't have to go to work today.

The name of this book that I stayed up reading is The Perfect Fake by Barbara Parker. I'd never read her stuff before but she's apparently a NY Times bestseller. Of course, I think James Patterson is, too, and I absolutely can't read him. Anyway, it's about a man who is hired to replicate a Renaissance map and it's excellently done. It's a caper, of course, and I'd say I could imagine a movie of it, but Hollywood would have to change it to something more glamorous than a map, fergodssake, and then it'd get really weird as they tried to adapt everything to fit. One of the things I appreciated most about it was that as Parker introduces the characters, she presents almost all of them sympathetically and it isn't till later that the reader (at least this one) realizes what a nest of vipers it is. I'm used to authors signaling early on which are the good guys and which are the bad; even if you're supposed to like the bad guys you know from the first time you "meet" them what they are. Not here, baby. After watching The Shield on Tuesday night, The Sopranos last night and then reading this, I feel like I'm drowning in moral ambiguity and maybe I need several hot showers and a scrub brush to be fit to go out in polite society again.

Ah, well. Back to reality, I guess. I need to get started on the next paper, this one for the good teacher who is really hard. This is a research proposal on graphic novels and I'm dreading it for reasons entirely different than the reasons I dreaded the last paper.

I'm also meeting a couple of friends tonight. One's husband is in ICU; [ profile] nikulai and I are taking her out for dinner. Talk about reality, that's gonna be plenty of reality right there. In that context, doing a paper for grad school is merely a pale imitation of reality. Still, it's my reality and I'd better get to it.


Apr. 4th, 2007 10:45 am
luciab: (Default)
I just got a surprise.... a book I read was much better than I expected. I remembered liking Guy Gavriel Kay's work in the past but the last one of his I tried to read was.... well, awful, at least given the mood I was in at the time. I'm never sure how much of "great" or "awful" is my mood and how much is their skill. Anyway, I saw his new book Ysabel on the new book shelf at CAM and picked it up on the basis of pleasant memories of his earlier work and skimming the blurb. Started out well enough that I stayed up till 2 last night reading it. That's not as late as it sounds since I was up till midnight watching The Shield and doing homework during the ads. This morning I finished it and was nearly in tears. And really, that's a lot. What makes my eyes prickle would be a two-box-of-Kleenex event for some people who aren't as butch as me about crying. The main character is a teenage boy, and Kay did a good job of making him seem real. The main plotline is... beautiful in a terrible, epic sort of way. Really caught me off guard; I've been reading pretty run-of-the-mill mysteries. Good but nothing to make my head spin around. Part of this was leaving the mundane world for the fantastic for a bit.

I got the latest incarnation of That Damn Paper submitted. I got as much as I could done and finally realized that I was bone dry, no ideas left. Hadn't done everything she suggested or even as much as I had hoped but just didn't care any more. I wound up sending a note along with the paper saying that I knew it wasn't my best work but was the best I could manage, what with migraines and concern over Eogan's illness.

Today I need to get to the nearest university library... or, wait, this set of questions is all about pop music and such so I'd be willing to bet it's all available at CAM. Yay!! Much more doable AND pleasant.

I'm having trouble juggling even the few things that I'm trying to multitask right now. Like washing dishes, paying bills, and doing homework. In addition to the migraines I told Mother that I've got a bad case of "short-timer's disease" and I am totally not kidding. Concentration is right out the window. Sped along, I might add, by the contractors putting in new light fixtures in the hall outside my door. The studio is along that wall so I hear everything. Sigh.

Back to one of those tasks.
luciab: (Default)
I've been battling a migraine for.... I dunno, a week?... now. Sometimes it's worse, sometimes the imitrex helps, sometimes it fades in and out. It got enough better last night that I went to State to the Design Library and to the main library to do some reading for This Damn Paper. I think the reading helped; at least I have a somewhat firmer grip on what the theoretical job is all about. I took another imitrex before bed hoping the migraine would be gone this morning. Ah, vain hope, tantalizing as ever, and still duplicitous. It wasn't too bad though, till the high school marching band percussion competition started up at the school next door to the apartments. I had to abandon the studio with its comfortable chair and big-screen computer and flee with my laptop to the living room, which has the sole advantage of being on the far side of the building. That drops it to a dull rumble, at least. I've cobbled together a working arrangement that I hope will serve till the little buggers finish drumming and tinking on their xylophones (which is like a thorn in the brain every time I hear it, as opposed to the blunt caveman-club of the drums.)

I'm hoping I'll be able to cobble together a paper by tomorrow night. That may seem like plenty of time for a five-double-spaced-page-paper, but I'm not feeling sanguine since I don't feel I have a really good grip on what I'm doing. Not to mention the effects of the migraine and/or the meds. I was concerned enough last night that I wrote the teacher and told her the situation; she probably thinks I'm crazy for being so concerned so "early" but I wanted to let her know in advance just in case, instead of five minutes before the paper's due.

One interesting side effect of this paper is that I've been having these wild-assed fantasies of going to conferences all over the country-- ALA in DC in June, the art librarians conference in Baltimore the week before that (guess you're supposed to go early and do both) and suchlike. If I were looking for a job anywhere in the country, it'd probably be well worth my while. If I knew how to do that sort of networking, that is. The conferences that sound like more fun, though, are the ones that are actually in the topic I'm supposed to be librarian for (in this theoretical world), like art books and graphic novels. Heh. And I can see the looks on the faces of my imaginary managers when I turn in a request for reimbursement to go to Burning Man. Hey, it's all art, right?
luciab: (Default)
Spring exploded here on Wednesday, and I was just so distracted by this silly paper that I didn't write about it. There's one day every year when I notice that damn, the trees are all leafy and stuff and I don't exactly know when it happened. This year-- I know exactly. When I left for UNC Wed morning, one tree on our street had what would properly be called leaves, and the rest had a green hazy look to them, but no visible leaves. When I got home Wed night, lots of them had little leaves all over. Made me wonder if I could have watched them over the course of the day and seen the difference. Now, two days later, the leaves are so big that visibility is gone in that direction. Cool.

I got up this AM all bright-eyed and rested, ready to start on the latest version of This Damn Paper. I was all gung-ho. It won't be the easiest paper I've ever done, but I'll break it down into its component parts. What job title will I have? Art librarian. Check. Teaching bibliographic instruction. Check. Research/writing-- not so easy. A couple of hours of poking around on the web (wait, I should call that "research" instead of "poking around") and I even got an idea for that. The book as art object, and how artists books are handled by libraries; collected, cataloged, preserved.... yeah, that'll do. Check. Service? I think she means committees and such. I found some on "Information Literacy" and "Library Instruction." That'll work with the teaching, so that's double duty. Cool. Especially since there really aren't other committees I can even pretend any interest in. Associations and Conventions-- these kinda go together. I noted dates and locations of pertinent conferences and picked out some appropriate ones. Except now I can't get beyond my notes on these things. Writer's block is kicking in. How do I start writing? I hate this part. I don't have a whole long time to agonize over it, either, since it's due Monday midnight. Eek. I even took a break to refresh myself, and finished a mystery and dozed a few minutes. Nope, no inspiration yet. Guess I'll have to just start writing, sans inspiration. Sigh.


Mar. 29th, 2007 07:54 am
luciab: (Default)
Sometimes I think I have no imagination at all. The next assignment due for the Humanities class is a five page essay; we are to pretend that we are short-listed for a job (subject specialist librarian; we can choose the subject) at USC and have been asked to submit this essay as part of the interview process. We are to describe how we would fulfill teaching, research/writing, and service obligations for the first five years of employment there. There are three single spaced pages of direction on what should be addressed in this essay, including associations, conferences, committee appointments, research, publications and university initiatives. "Will you work on a second masters degree? On a Ph.D?" "Are there gaps in the literature? Gaps in reference sources?" My head is spinning. She (yes, this is the teacher who might best be described as "whimsical") has asked three single-spaced pages worth of questions that we are to answer in five double spaced pages, while throwing in details like "someone in the field" I would be collaborating with. Like [ profile] crevette's "imaginary celebrity boyfriend" but not nearly so much fun.

I have a hard enough time doing this crap for a job I really want and think I'd like, never mind one in the heart of LA (I don't think so! UCSB or UCSC, maybe) where "bibliographic instruction appears to be a key part of this position and the applicant should illustrate knowledge of technology." Considering that the things I've gotten most excited about during this whole masters degree were a book repair practicum and a paper on the effect of iron gall ink on vellum and paper, this does not sound like an ideal fit to me. I'm having a hard enough time getting my mind around finding employment in any modern library, never mind pretending I want to set the world on fire in a major urban university. (Um, given LA and southern California in general, perhaps "set the world on fire" is not the best phrase here.)

In architecture school, they tried to teach us to think outside the box. I am so bad at this, I can't even tell you. If there isn't a box, I build one and climb in it. I see what I expect to see, I go where I'm told, I think what the movie maker or author wants me to think (unless they are just awfully bad at what they do.) The box I'm in does not include anything remotely like this job.

Admittedly, this is made a little worse by the fact that I woke up at 5:30 this morning with a migraine.... just enough that I knew it'd get worse if I stayed all snuggled down under the covers like I wanted to, but not enough to be worth taking a pill. I even read for an hour, thinking it'd make me sleepy and I could sleep sitting up, which would have worked fine if I could have gone back to sleep. Perhaps I should have read my Research Methods assigned readings instead of a good novel? Alas, I'm awake but groggy and clearly uninspired. Caffeine cleared up the migraine but left me twitchy without helping the mental fog.

Well, okay, if not the tenure project, what's next? The assignment due after that is the research proposal. The meeting yesterday with the teacher went far better than I expected; she basically told me how to set up the research, and it wasn't anything like I had in mind. Fortunately, her way is better. Of course, it's one of those cases where someone else has a clear idea of what something should be and expects you to be able to produce it, whether you really have the information you need or not. I hate when that happens, and sometimes I feel like the world is full of managers/teachers like that. I know it isn't true, but I just always feel so lost and unsure of myself when confronted with/by the ones that are there, that I lose all perspective. Not quite up to tackling that one, either.

Yesterday was also my last day at the book repair lab. I'm so glad I did that-- thanks, [ profile] zihuatenejo for encouraging me to try to set it up. I'm not sure I'd have had the nerve myself. (See above where I climb into the box of my own devising.) And one of the things that was really good about it was the group of conversations I had with the man who's the head of the Preservation Department. The rules for a practicum require that the student be "under the supervision" of a professional librarian. My experience with "under the supervision" of whoever is that the supervisor tells the group leader what needs to be done and we, the underlings, do it, and that's considered "under supervision." Andy took it to mean more than that, and set up four meetings with me. I was dreading them; especially the first time, when I felt like I should have important questions in mind to ask, and take notes and such. I couldn't think of a damn thing to ask, but fortunately he is very easy to talk to. Several times we touched on what I can only describe as practical philosophy-- for example about preservation, and who decides what to preserve, and how those decisions are made. He is a natural teacher and made me look at some things that other teachers had tried to pound into my head and I wound up understanding a lot more than I had before.

Apparently I had more to say than I realized. Too bad it isn't about that damn job at USC.
luciab: (Default)
I want to work on the scroll blank I promised [ profile] harleenquinzell I'd do for the competition at Coronation. I've started on it, got the callig done and some of the simplest painting. That means the hard/fun part of the painting is yet to do.

And now I have to do schoolwork! How unfair is that? I have a meeting tomorrow with one of my teachers to discuss a research proposal (fortunately, we don't have to actually DO the research, just say what we'd do if we were going to do it) and I'm not exactly prepared for that. And there's class on Sat, and another assignment due on Monday-- this one for the erm.... scattered teacher.... about how we would get promoted/get tenure at a university, or some damn thing. I have NO idea what that's about. Then another set of silly questions due Wed. I finish my book repair practicum tomorrow, so next Wed I'm home all day, at least; that'll help considerably. Then the actual research proposal paper is due April 14, which sounds like it's oh-so-far-away, but ha! It's only a week and a half after that. Can you say "Yikes!"? I knew you could. I'll have to figure out more about the research proposal and see if I'm going to have time to work on the scroll at all. Even if I don't get it done for Coronation, I can still turn it in for use later. Sigh. I'd still rather be painting.

Biggest excitement around here tonight is that today when I was doing dishes I apparently flooded Miss Lily's apartment. I guess she wasn't home during the day-- what a joyful thing to come home to. The blockage isn't mine directly and I had no idea there was a problem at all. The maintenance guys came around tonight knocking on everybody's doors and checking to see what was working and what wasn't. Everyone's finally gone home for the night, at least.

I'm going to miss going to the book repair lab. That's fun. I have printed out a copy of my log, complete with pics, to give Josh. It's kinda impressive.

So to bed, so I'll get my beauty rest. Ha.
luciab: (Default)
Okay, this weeks silly questions from my class assignment include:

Did Robert Johnson really sell his soul to the devil to play guitar well? Is this a myth? Ummmm.... okay, as a reference librarian I'm supposed to... what, look up the devil's phone number in my handy dandy long distance directory and call him to ask? This is a pretty damn existential question, if you ask me, and I thought I was done with that philosophy and religion crap for this class. Sigh.

Who was Antonio Salieri and why did he hate Mozart? Riiiight. Because Salieri kept such an extensive diary full of little tidbits like "OMG!! I have just HAD it with Mr Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! Mr High and Mighty! Gets all the chicks just because he can write music. I'll show him! I'll whisper in the King's ear that his music has... has... TOO MANY NOTES! Yeah, that's it!" Because we all know that if it was in a movie it must be true.

What is important about Art Kane's photograph called "A Day in Harlem"? Or something like that? Sigh. Just.... sigh. Because there's only one reason any artwork is considered "important" and everybody, including notoriously opinionated art critics, agree(s) on what it is. And why is a photograph in the "Performing Arts" set, anyway?

The good news is that she finally graded the question sets that we've turned in so far, and I got full credit for all of them, so I guess my use of Google isn't going to get me flunked. That's a relief, since we're almost done with the semester.


Mar. 25th, 2007 10:50 pm
luciab: (Default)
I've had a pleasant day, on the whole. The cookout was verra verra nice, with yummy steaks (gotta teach the O of [ profile] zihuatenejo the meaning of "rare" but mine was tender and tasty anyway. ;>) and lots of other delicious food, and good company.

I came home and worked to finish and print out my "log" from my book repair practicum. Normally "log" would mean notes, I suspect but I got carried away as usual and took pictures and made fancy notes with bullets to document everything. This is totally on the "if you're going to do it, do it right" theory. I printed out an extra copy for them to keep in the lab; Josh said they'd like to have it. Cool.

While I was doing all this printing, I was also watching "To Catch a Thief" for approximately the dozenth time. I love that movie. I should probably consider it one of my all time favorites-- Hitchcock, Cary Grant on the Riviera, and Hollywood elegance out the wazoo; what's not to love? (oh, wait, wazoo and elegance probably don't go in the same sentence, do they?
luciab: (Default)
I didn't get the mail from my mailbox yesterday so today I got a birthday card from my parents. My mother picked it out (pink!!11eleventy!! boy, is it pink! With sweet poetry!!) and wrote it, of course; she always has. Her handwriting hasn't changed in a definable way, but suddenly it looks like an old person wrote it. She's called two or three times this week. I think it may be partly because of my birthday but it's also because she needs reassurance. Despite her earlier assertions that Daddy's doing better, she said yesterday that he's gotten noticeably worse since I saw him last. She said she found him the other day sitting in the chair in the bedroom wearing his boxers, socks, a t-shirt, and two heavy outerwear jackets. During the conversation I mentioned that I thought he was more confused when he is really quiet; it's like he is afraid if he says anything someone will notice how confused he is. Mother's response is that he's like that most of the time now. She said a friend suggested that she talk to their doctor; he might decide they need to take away Daddy's driver's license. Mother said "It would be awful if they did that; it'd just kill him." She did say that she exercises control and has decided not to let him drive on days he's particularly confused. I was relieved to hear that, and mentioned that while she's concerned for his mental well being if they take away his driver's license, she also has to consider her safety and that of others on the roads. The thought that he's worse off now than when I was there but is driving now scares the crap out of me.

On Saturday I had an appointment with a psychiatrist about my disability claim. I think it's about the Social Security one, but I'm not totally sure about that. This was triggered because of one of the meds I take. One of the first questions he asked was my age; when I told him he said "That will really help your claim!" I burst out laughing. "I'm glad it's going to help something!" He actually acted like he thought I might be approved. I remain unconvinced, but boy, that'd be something. People who have seizures and are legally blind have to fight to be approved, but I'm going to get it? I suppose it's remotely possible that different areas have different analyses, but on the whole, I think not.

I'm working on an assignment for the Humanities class. While poking around the other day I found a photo and brief bio of the teacher and damn, it has helped me a lot. Very strange how I need a picture in my head of who I'm writing for, but it's definitely true. Even writing this journal I have a sort of mental composite of readers. Anyway, the homework is to create a subject guide. We need to specify our target audience so she can gauge how well we have tailored our recommendations. I chose "quilting" as my topic and public library patrons as my audience, and damn, I am going to have trouble limiting my selections. In addition to "getting started" and patterns kind of sources, I also want sections on different styles (including art quilts), history, collaborative quilts and regional variations. Damn, these things are beautiful. I hadn't counted on the research having quite such a strong effect of making me want to quilt. Just what I need-- another art to pursue. I haven't quilted for years-- not since I made a panel for the AIDS quilt for my architecture school friend, Scott Hallam. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to zoom that image and I don't have those photos on my computer. My favoriet square on his panel shows a beach scene at night with lace for the froth at the edge of the waves and a satin moon and seed bead stars on a black silk sky. The text around the block is a quote from Scott: "The only problem with sex on the beach is that sand gets EVERYWHERE." Heh.

And so this gets more cheerful towards the end, I had a great time yesterday shopping at the art store with the J-half of [ profile] zihuatenejo. I am pulling her to the dark side.... er, make that, "teaching her to be even more finicky about her drafting techniques." We had also hoped to get some egg tempera paint, but the store doesn't carry it; we'll have to order online. Le sigh. No instant gratification on that score. After shopping we had breakfast (midafternoon-- yay!) and were both gloriously unhealthy. Yum, I say, even if corned beef hash does look like dog food, and we both agree it does. Still, yum.

So. Back to quilting books.

le sigh

Mar. 16th, 2007 09:21 am
luciab: (susan 3rd grade)
Yesterday is a prime example of my brain on Imitrex. (Oh, geez, no, don't tell me those stupid ads are true...) Between the migraine and the effects of the chemicals, it's clearly not a pretty picture. This morning the first thing I checked was how much space is left on my hard drive (over 30 GB-- yesterday I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do that) and I figured out that it wasn't storage the message was talking about but memory because I had too much stuff open. Still, it seems wrong that when I told it to empty the trash it was telling me the files were locked. There were only 700 items actually in the trash but it said there were 30,000 items to delete, and it kept saying it can't delete this or that file because it's locked. That sounds more like cache to me, but why would it be trying to delete cache? I am beginning to suspect a virus.

Still, the fact that I am coherent enough to figure this out when I've only been awake less than an hour bodes well for my thinking processes today. Big improvement!

And a good thing, too, because Mother called last night to say hi and ask when I have projects due so she can avoid calling to distract me right before. When I checked, I realized that I have stuff due a lot sooner than I thought. Ooops! The call was very disturbing for other reasons, though. Mother was all perky-cheerful at first but suddenly she lowered her voice and said, "I'm in the kitchen now. James takes it by spells," which is an old-fashioned/ country/ mountain way of saying he's sharper some days than others. She didn't elaborate, but I knew exactly what she meant. Daddy may be better some days, but he's also very fuzzy some days. Apparently one of his tells is that he puts his clothes on wrong-- at first he'd try to put a sweatshirt on as pants, but lately he's been putting his t-shirt on over top of his buttoned flannel shirt. Mother says he sleeps most of the time, sitting in front of the TV. After his surgery, when he was so terribly confused all the time, someone told us that elderly people sometimes take six months to fully recover from the disorientation. Well, it's now been a little over five. My experience is that stuff like this gets better gradually; it doesn't go from 60 mph to 0 in 10' or less. Seems like months 3 and 4 showed the most improvement, though the last month he's been driving a little. Frankly, that scares the hell out of me. I have to trust that if he gets up and put his clothes on wrong that Mother will know it's not going to be a driving sort of day and call someone else to take her for her errands.

I also realized that I need to be calling more often. She's starting to get concerned, scared, depressed-- all those things, and lord knows it's a perfectly reasonable reaction. She's kept telling herself he'd be better in six months and now the six months is nearly gone and he's still putting his clothes on wrong. The woman who lives across the street from them just had to move from her condo to the assisted living apartments, and she didn't want to go. The apartments are nice, but obviously smaller, and she can't have a garden, which she loves, and she's lost that independence. Mother made a comment a little bit ago about them moving there, but she's not happy about it either. It's not in the immediate future, which is a good thing. There must be a crew on staff that helps move people, because they're sure not going to be able to do all the packing and such themselves. Mother and Daddy say everyone who lives in the development calls the whole place "the reservation" which I think is pretty damn funny.

Today I'm beginning to admit that this may be as good as it gets for Daddy. All the furniture that he was planning to make isn't going to happen. All the little helpful things he's done for the widow ladies will have to be done by someone else. He won't be taking care of the strawberry plants and delivering fresh berries to favored neighbors. Mother has become better about taking care of things, which is good. I am feeling guilty because I'm not the good selfless daughter who goes to take care of them in the longstanding tradition. People used to just do that sort of thing without apparent consideration for their own lives. Did they not get depressed at giving up their own plans and friends? Was that always the assumption so it didn't come as a surprise? Have we gotten so selfish that we aren't willing to give up our own priorities to take care of the people who raised us? Much of this is moderated in my case because they are in an assisted living community, and there are friends who still drive and can help Mother run errands. I know that if I moved back, I'd be even more depressed than I already am, which is bad enough. And at least for the moment, running errands is about all I could help with. Somehow it doesn't seem like a good enough reason.

Well. Now I've gotten myself all in a mood and I still have assignments to do. Time to pick myself up, give myself a metaphorical shake and get to work. Whee.
luciab: (comma sutra)
Not an exciting day. I suppose I should be grateful for that. Not a particularly good day, either. I woke up at 5 with a migraine, AFTER taking an Imitrex last night before I went to bed, because I could feel it starting even then. I only slept 4 or 5 hours, and that includes feeling the migraine every time I woke up. I wanted to take a nap this morning after the second Imitrex kicked in but the caffeinated coffee I took for medicinal purposes foiled that scheme, except for dozing off for a couple of minutes while I was reading whatever bad book I had in my hand. At least I know that author isn't worth checking out again.

Before I forget it, I wantI have an appointment to thank [ profile] wakeupmagy for her recommendation awhile back for a treatment for cold sores-- I got some l-lysine at Whole Foods, and damn! That stuff worked, literally overnight. I forgot to take it with me when I went out the next day and the swelling came back a little, but it was pretty much over with. Yay for that!

I was an impetuous woman yesterday. My iPod, upon which I have come to rely, wouldn't turn on one time too many. If modern gadgets can have loose connections, I swear this one did. It worked, it didn't work, totally at random. It was fine yesterday morning, but in the afternoon, no dice. Having recently received a check for three months of disability from the state, I said tohellwithitall and stopped at the Apple store, which just happens to be conveniently located between the Book Repair lab and my house. Convenient, eh? I was originally lusting after the cute little Nano, but when I realized that the regular size iPod provided three times as much storage space for the same price, I abandoned "cute" in a heartbeat. Screw cute, give me more music. And just like the nice man at the store promised, it "recognized" almost all the music on my computer as being mine, or assumed since it was on there, and it was bonding for the first time, it must be okay, or something, and loaded everything. Except one Lyle Lovett song, for some bizarre reason. Just the one song. So I've been playing with my new toy, which of course led me to play with my iTunes and set up some more playlists and such. Fun.

I have an appointment on Saturday with a doctor to see if I'm disabled enough for Social Security, which as we've already discussed, I know I'm not. Still, I'll play their silly games and go. As I said to someone this morning, I have no idea whether this guy will give me a cursory once over before telling me "Nope" or whether he'll examine me in excruciating detail before saying "No."

A mental health professional recommended yesterday that I only work halftime instead of full time, in the interest of not provoking the migraines to greater heights. Since the disability guarantees me a certain amount of income whether I work or not, (as long as it isn't the job that made me sick in the first place-- not bloody likely!!) that makes a great deal of sense. I think getting out and working some will help keep me sane(r) but I hadn't really considered all the ramifications of this whole disability thing. I have been blithely assuming that I'll be able to do a less stressful job as long as I keep taking my Imitrex, but there's no real guarantee of that, or that this will be less stressful, for that matter. Maybe it'll be the same amount of stress but in a different way. Joy! It's given me a lot to think about. In between thinking about the papers I have to write, and the random other assignments, and of course, most important of all, squeezing in time for a scroll blank or two for Coronation. I mean, let's keep our priorities straight here.

Now that the Imitrex has kicked in, I've had lunch and a couple of winks of nap, I think I feel alert enough to work on one of the random assignments, so I'll start writing now.

what EVAR.

Mar. 11th, 2007 08:19 pm
luciab: (Default)
I'm working on homework. On a Sunday night, a week and a half ahead of its due date. The world must really be coming to an end. Consider yourselves warned. It's more Humanities Resources questions, but at least this week it's good stuff-- Visual Arts! Yay! Amazing how much easier it is to find answers when you have a clue. I am still amused, however. One of the questions this time is about Fiestaware. I gotta say, I googled that sucker. I can't help thinking of the scene in Indiana Jones when he gets tired of all the fancy stuff with the whip and just pulls out his gun and shoots the guy. Yeah, there are lots of things I can do to find info about Fiestaware, including books galore, but when the question is "Where is Fiestaware made and what makes it so collectible to some people?" well, really. Do I really need fancy reference books for that? What can I say, besides what a dumb question. I have no doubt that there are people in the world who collect gum wrappers, and who can ever know why? I doubt that there's any book in the world that can adequately address the issue of why anyone collects anything, except psychologically maybe. I'm pretty sure she doesn't want psych theory. So half the question can be answered in about 30 seconds on Google, and the other half may never be adequately answered. I say we don't need a book for this. I'll give her a book, anyway, but geez. I'm putting my metaphorical whip away.

I have had further cause to be amused and dismayed-- this time at myself-- this weekend. We got out of class early yesterday and I wasn't in the mood to start homework just yet. I decided I'd look through some books and see if I could find something to do for the addendum to [ profile] harleenquinzell's Scroll Blank Competition (see comments for the addendum) and promptly got bogged down in all sorts of competitive considerations. It took me years to figure out that I am so damn competitive that I basically just don't play a lot of things because I know I won't do them well and thus have no chance of winning. Is that pitiful or what? So at least part of what I ran into yesterday is that if I'm going to do an entry for a competition I start looking for something with some flash to it; something eyecatching, maybe not what looks most fun to me to do right now. Utterly ridiculous. Because I have so much to prove, you know. As much as I theoretically know that, my mind gets all twitchy like a thoroughbred horse with a starting gate in sight. Lord, I do make life more difficult than it needs to be.

One thing I'm relaxing and enjoying tonight, though, is the Bourne Identity, which is on TV. I saw the Bourne Supremacy last weekend, but it's been a while since I saw the first one. Sweet.
luciab: (Default)
There are contractors working in the front hall, attaching drywall over the plaster. I suppose this will look better when it's done, but I didn't have a serious problem with the shabby chic of the peeling plaster. There been a few half-hearted motions in the direction of repainting, but this will be much more comprehensive and will provide a smoother finish. However, they have been drilling for what seems like days now, and the kitties are most decidedly unhappy with the racket. I'm not too thrilled myself, being of the mind that dental work is of the devil and is entirely suitable for torture, and drills (unless I'm the one wielding them) sound entirely too much like dental drilling to be borne without complaint. I have been biting the insides of my cheeks to stop the sympathetic vibrations; the cats have all been showing agitation by jumping at every noise, slinking everywhere and hiding in any little corner or cubbyhole they can find. Every now and then I look up from my reading to see a cat staring besechingly at me, as if I could make it stop if only I were willing to stop torturing them.

I'm preparing to leave them to their own protective devices, however, since the student library association is sponsoring a trip to the NC Art Museum's library this afternoon, and after that I'm having sushi with [ profile] zihuatenejo to celebrate her completion of her comprehensive exam. Woot! for finishing comps. And Woot! for visiting the Art Museum library. Now if they were only hiring... Heh.


luciab: (Default)
Susan Arthur

February 2011



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