Tag: Sibling-the-Elder

Saturation and Patience, or a Lack Thereof…

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful

—William Morris

I complained to coworkers this spring that I knew it had been too long since I had moved. I could tell because I had too much stuff in my apartment. Nothing triggers a cleaning out spree like having to pack up everything I own, haul it up/down stairs (there are always stairs) and then unpack it and say “why on earth did I move THIS!”  It’ s been a relief to not move for a couple of years–I’m sure the post office is grateful for the brief respite of forwarding addresses–but the clutter has piled up.

I’ve been working on cleaning out clothes I don’t wear. Having all those options is great, but I need to be realistic about what I’m actually putting on in the morning. I don’t feel too much guilt about getting rid of tank tops I was wearing junior year of college or pants that aren’t flattering that I was keeping because they mostly fit.  I’ve actually found one style/cut/size of professional pants that really fits and I stalk them on Ebay.

Book weeding is a bigger challenge for me.  I have quite a lot of them and despite increasing e-book availability, an excellent public library, and strong ILL capacities, I still end up over at Amazon, filling my cart. Or I’ll glut buy at Half-Priced Books with the Incredibly-Patient-Mother and Siblings-the-Elder/Younger or the library book sale, or Paperbackswap or or or…. And then I want to keep 90% of them forever and ever and they are mine and I want to continue showing my love of them by having all of them on my bookshelves.*

Now I’m trying to do some similar things in my digital world. While I appreciate the various filters and such that I can put in place, I do have to put a limit on how much time I can pour into blogs of cute animals, helpful financial newsletters, library stream stuff, and just how many people I feel that I can effectively follow on Twitter, Friendfeed, RSS feeds, etc.

And the easiest thing to weed/block first? Much like the junk mail that does still appear in my snailbox –advertisements are the first to go.  I have a yahoo account that I use for clothing stores, book stores, random other places that want an email address. Like the clothes I’m not wearing, I can easily toss things that aren’t a part of my current life or just don’t fit well enough into who I am and what I’m doing today.

Harder is pruning the twitter feed, facebook wall updates, and RSS feeds. I have things categorized within about an inch of their lives–but it seems that everytime I turn around there’s something new and interesting to add. Sometimes I just hit a point of frustration and the hide/unsubscribe function is used quite liberally. I’ve had two of those this week.

Situation 1: I was getting near daily emails from an Avon rep–even after making use of the unsubscribe button.  That is a huge pet peeve of mine and I’ve taken several websites to task about it**. If I hit “unsubscribe” and you confirm it–then I shouldn’t get another email from you. I certainly shouldn’t get 5-10 more emails from you. It shouldn’t take a week to purge me out of your system.  Frustrated when yet another email showed up–I sent a rather sharp email to the rep. Things have gone quiet, hopefully on a permanent level.

Situation 2: Selling me stuff on my social networks when that’s not the implied relationship. I have strong respect for freelancers. I am one. I appreciate needing to develop your brand, build your business, remind people you are there. It’s part of my library job and my freelance work and everything else that I do.  But if your Facebook page was set up to be social–not commercial–I grow quickly weary of repetitive sales pitches and invitations to pyramid schemes.

I expect commercials from some of the author pages, yarn stores, yarn owners, etc that I follow. The purpose of their pages is to promote their product(s) and I accept that when I choose to follow them. But I elected to follow people I know from high school/college in an attempt to keep up socially–not commercially–with them.

I opened a can of worms on Facebook by stating that I was hiding people who I perceived to only be selling stuff. Almost instantly I got politely chastised that people needed to make a living or it made their bosses happy. I empathize the making a living and growing a business part but again, that’s not the relationship I signed up for with you. And thankfully, Madame Director isn’t telling me that I need to be hawking the library on my Facebook account or even here on my blog. If I choose to talk about the library, that’s my choice and hopefully you know that means I’m excited about what’s going on–not that I’m just trying to drum up business.

Nothing lasts forever, even cleaned out closets, and, just as I’ll go shopping again, I’ll collect more subscriptions.  But for now I’m trying to hack the physical and digital back to useful or beautiful…

*I still aspire to a Beauty and the Beast type library someday. Or at least the whole wall of floor to ceiling custom built bookshelves like the Incredibly-Patient-Mother has….

**Monster Newsletters–it took 4 emails and they STILL screwed up what I wanted to unsubscribe from.

The Hedgehog Necklace

A couple people asked about the hedgehog necklace.

Here it is–and I’m sure it will look familiar to ALA attendees because I wore it all weekend. It was a Christmas gift from Sibling-the-Elder. It’s pewter on a silver chain and came from England, I believe. Apparently the Royal Post delivered it.
It’s on a background of the knitting I hauled about all weekend, in case you were curious as to why that also looked familiar.  Hedgehog Necklace

This is a Song for My Generation

Over the past couple of years, I’ve commented about the focus on teens and a lack of library service to young adults–which by my definition is people over 18. 

Following the discussions I had with people at ALA last summer, I kept editing and working on a draft about what kind of programs to offer, what focuses I saw missing, and this general issue of a lack of outreach to a big part of our tax base.

This morning I had the chance to express my feelings on a broader level. I entered the LISNews Essay Competition with the following:  Don’t Forget About Us. 

I wrote that essay for myself, for the Blonde and the Brunette, for AudioGirl, My Friend the Lawyer, LibraryChic, Sibling-the-Elder and Younger, and the other friends who look at me like I’m crazy when I suggest that they use their local public library. It’s sad when my friends will call me–two time zones away–rather than reach out to their local resources. Not that I don’t appreciate the validation that they think I’ll be able to find the impossible, but they have free resources closer to home. 

I Miss Barbie…..

There are days when the ultra-pink, super frilly, princess fairy-ness of it all gets to be too much. Today might be one of them, but we’ll set aside the flower pet tiara princess fairy with winged horses portion to focus on a standard.

Barbie.

I grew up with Barbie dolls, and had hours of dress up and make believe with them with Sibling-the-Elder. I still have a number of my Barbie dolls, though they don’t get quite the playing time they did twenty years ago. My favorite was Betty, probably named after Rosemary Clooney’s character in White Christmas because they both had shoulder length blond hair. A discriminating four year old, that was me.

Betty was an astronaut. She had a purple lame spacesuit and tall white heeled boots. She was going to go to the moon.

Though many times Barbie and her friends were off to parties, or riding around on the horse, or being dressed, redressed, and hair done a million ways, she had all kinds of jobs. She could do anything, be anyone. I loved it. You could be beautiful, talented, and you could wear high heels on the moon.

I think we’ve lost some of that.

Patron Age Almost 4 came in and grabbed some Barbie books this morning, in addition to her usual pile of whichever picture books appeal to her today. She loves Barbie, much the way I did at her age. But she has Barbie in Fairytopia and Barbie and the Diamond Castle. These movies and movie-tie-in books and games, it’s all either about Barbie as Fairy or Barbie as Princess. Where’s Barbie as Astronaut or Barbie as Secretary of State?? Barbie could still travel, still meet interesting people, still save the world in under 30 minutes, and you could throw in some sparkly Martains with wings for good measure.

I don’t have an issue with pink, most of the time. I don’t take issue to princess and fairies, usually.

But I wish they’d do something with those movies that didn’t only relegate Barbie to an incredibly pink princess or fairy. Barbie’s had so many jobs over the years, why are we restricting her to only those imaginary ones? There aren’t that many unmarried princes running about Europe (Harry and William aside) and while I’d love to believe in a Dish Fairy, the closest I get to come is the dishwasher.

I’m going to go find Betty…. Might as well shoot for the moon, right?

Of Yarn and Photography

I took a furlough day the other day (ours are voluntary, this year at least, and only one day makes the damage to the paycheck manageable) and Sibling-the-Elder and I went to a yarn festival.

I was less than thrilled by the festival. I’d signed up for email notifications, arranged a hotel, all sorts of things. Upon arriving at the location of the festival I was told, in stringent tones, there was a $10 entry fee and they only accepted cash at the gate. (Please note–the entry fee was never mentioned in the emails, I went back and looked.) Okay, fine, point me to an ATM. There was one inside but they weren’t going to let me go in because people were cheats and liars and didn’t come back to pay the entry fee. Yes, that’s really what I was told. Nothing like being accused of being a cheat upon arrival. Finally, it was determined that another worker could walk me to/from the ATM. Considering that all I was getting for my really high entry fee was a walk through the vendors, I was disgruntled.

Once we achieved the vendors, who were sprawled out across a huge building in a seeming haphazard manner, I looked, but didn’t buy. Can you believe I was actually not in a mood to buy yarn? I was nearly shaken out of it when we reached a vendor selling Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yarns. BMFA is on the west coast and I’ve never been in a shop that carried it. (The Master Sergeant and I have discussed a west coast trip for fishing and BMFA reasons.) Tina, the BMFA color-mistress, came up with a cool process of infusing black and white with hints of color and I wanted some of those yarns. Only, the vendor was complaining that they’d had inadequate time to set up and refused to let me in the booth to those yarns. Four hours to set up the day before, and it was nearly noon when I got to the booth. Disgruntled was deteriorating into peevish.

Ultimately I bought one skein of yarn, some beautiful green wool from New Zealand. And truly, most of the vendors were lovely, but I felt really turned off overall.

When we adjourned to the outside, there was good Polish food!! Despite my braces having been freshly tightened, Sibling-the-Elder and I packed away blini, potato pancakes, sausage and applesauce and loads of sour cream.

And then we adjourned to out front of the community college–to take pictures.

Sibling-the-Elder is quite a photographer and it had been nearly ten years since she’d last done a full shoot of me. Usually being in different states, if not continents, tends to do that. Here are a few of the pictures, we took over 400 and edited heavily. The yarn is the one skein I acquired that day.