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Tuesday, November 30

This morning I proved that even when I get up half an hour early, I can still be late to work.

Also, we're getting hit with our first hard frost of the winter and gosh, it's c-c-c-c-c-cold.

And tomorrow? Chris Isaak is performing at the Virgin Megastore from 5-7. Yes, he'll be singing Christmas songs all the while, but I still can't resist.

Monday, November 29

So, shocks. One of the reasons for the last post is that I laid out a hell of a lot of money for new shocks and brake pads on Friday. Apparently, I have been riding around on the same shocks for the last 12 1/2 years and never knew! Those may have been the original brake pads too, but somehow I doubt that, considering how I drive.

Anway, shocks. So the new shocks are nice, the ride is a bit smoother now. I find I'm not appreciating that as much as you might think, though. Why? Because the ride is now so rolly and bumpy that I get carsick driving my own damn car and find that none of my bras have quite the support needed to withstand the experience.

Any advice on what I could do to my car to improve this?

And how was your Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 28

End-of-year resolutions:

1) I cannot spend any more money ever again. Can you tell I just balanced my checkbook?

... and that would be it.

In other news, for those who care, I will put up the pictures of the babies this week, I promise.

Wednesday, November 24

Reasons I am thankful:

1) My new niece.

2) My year-old niece.

3) I get to leave soon to go Home and see them.

4) My great family.

5) My wonderful friends.

6) My dog.

7) Being able to live where I do, doing what I do, around the people I do it with.

8) My dental health.

9) My camera.

10) Did I mention my nieces?

Tuesday, November 23

Is it just because I'm a librarian, or does the job title "Geospatial Librarian for the National Geospatial Digital Archive" sound really really cool to everyone else too? (they're advertising for the position at Stanford)

Monday, November 22

This is what I did with my Saturday: JishCaching

Sunday, November 21

Did you know that I have 35 items under $15 in my wishlist? I didn't either.

Sign up for Secret Santa and you too will have to check to make sure there are relatively inexpensive things on your wishlist that someone you don't know can buy for you :)

Friday, November 19

Random stuff:

I do software support, so this tshirt must be mine one day. [via Amy]

And I'm a librarian, so as bad as this show looks, I will watch it. Or try to, anyway. Can anyone tape it for me?

Thursday, November 18

World, Lily. Lily, World.

Tuesday, November 16

My niece Lily was born today at 8:02 a.m., 19 3/4 inches long, and 7.8 lbs. Mom and baby are doing fine and I'll get pictures pretty soon.

Yay!

I have a new niece on the way. She's being born today. I am impatiently waiting for my brother to call to let me know how it went. *fingers drumming*

Monday, November 15

My brother-in-law has been in the Army for many years now, and has served in areas like Somalia, Iraq, North Korea and Serbia. He forwarded this note from someone he knows who has visited Afghanistan and will be stationed there soon, and I'm posting it to get as much support as possible:
I just got back from Afghanistan where I was doing my pre-deployment visit, about three weeks ago, and I found out some things needed that I was unaware of. In the process of doing what needed to be done, we came in contact with many children and I had the chance to see the conditions in which they live.

In addition to the job we must do, I and the soldiers of the 720th Ord Co (EOD) have decided to do [our] best to help these children for at least the next six months we are there. We are going to start collecting books, school supplies, crayons, coloring books, clothes, ect. to try and help make a difference in their lives.

We would like to ask for any help that you or your friends and acquaintances could offer. The U.S. Postal service will give you free packing materials and boxes to help defray costs, plus it is free to ship from APO to APO addresses. These items do not need to be new, nor expensive, they would appreciate almost anything we could offer. I will be in Afghanistan right after Thanksgiving and these items can be
mailed directly to me starting anytime after that at:

Cpt Charles Appleby
720th Ord. Co. (EOD)
APO, AE 09355

My unit, I, and the Afghan Children would truly appreciate any help you could give in this endeavor. The majority of the children I have seen in the orphanages and around the base are between the ages of 4 and 10 years old, but please do not limit the collections to just this group, as there are plenty of babies and older kids that need help too. Please keep in mind any old school books and such, for learning purposes, would be beneficial as well. Thank you all again for taking the time to read and any support you can give us with this project. POC for this project is Cpt Charles R. Appleby at this e-mail address. Thank you again for your time and help.

V/R,
Cpt Charles "Rob" Appleby
720th Ord Co (EOD)
Commanding

PS. Please feel free to forward this message and information on to any family, friends, or organizations you think may be willing to help us with this project, all participation is welcome. If you know anyone who could get something out to the press or papers, that would be an awesome avenue to help spread the word.
The email headers are such that I don't know the sender's email, but if you want it, I could get it from my brother-in law, no problem. This isn't a hoax, this is real people trying to really help people in need.

Oh! And in case you didn't know, mailing to an APO from the US costs the same as mailing in the continental US, so it won't cost more to send overseas.

Sunday, November 14

Weekend review (because it's either this or balance my checkbook)...

So Fray was fun last night. While I appreciated that Derek didn't allow anyone to run over their allotted amount of time to tell their stories, and every performer (with one - and maybe one other - exception) was riveting and entertaining, I felt a little nostalgic for the old days, when the funny people would just keep talking and talking and gosh, it was midnight already and did we really have to go? Still, a good time was had by all and I look forward to Fray Day 9.

I was at Zeitgeist Friday night, where the new freeway expansion has made the nightmare of San Francisco parking even more of screamer. I was telling my mom tonight that it took us half an hour to get to the bar. I realized she didn't quite get what I was saying by the bland look on her face. I revised my statement: "I mean, we got there, and then had to drive around for half an hour looking for a place to park." That got the reaction I was looking for. Still, some of my friends showed up and some of my friend's friends came by, and it rained, and we sat by the bar and were sweet-talked by all the bartenders till we decided it was time to go home. Good times. It's the neighborhood bar that we have to drive way out of our neighborhood to get to.

I spent yesterday afternoon with Amy, indulging my consumer tendencies. I spent quite a bit of money on clothes (but not as much as I would have without my AAA card! It was AAA Day!), but at least they all coordinate with one another and will keep me comfortable and sparkly through this wedding/holiday season and for several wedding/holiday seasons to come.

And today I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned until going out to mid-afternoon brunch with Wendy, and then back home to clean some more before my mom came by. I've lived here for just about 2 years - in fact, I think this weekend marks my second anniversary here - and this is the first time she has seen it since helping me move in. I'm glad someone besides one brother has seen the place before I move, whenever that happens.

I am not ready to work another week. Can we start the holiday vacation now?

I want to hire this guy just to keep me entertained. [via Ernie]

Friday, November 12

Tell your story at Fray Day

Fray Day is yours.

Saturday, November 13, 7pm.

Thursday, November 11

Feeling frustrated with the technology surrounding you? Show them who's boss! [via Jessa]

Book stuff:

A bookstore arranged by color
For one amazing week in November, Adobe Bookshop in San Francisco has agreed to allow its estimated 20,000 books to be reclassified by color. Shifting from red to orange to yellow to green, the books will follow the spectrum continuously, changing Adobe from a neighborhood bookshop into a magical library—but only for one week.
The story I hear most from reference librarians is about those patrons who can't remember who wrote the book or the name of it, but they have a vague recollection of what it was about, and they definitely know what color it was. This would be a color-oriented patron's dream. [via Metagrrrl]

Also, The the Prelinger Library
The contents of the library cohere around four constant threads: landscape and geography; media and representation; historical consciousness; and political narratives from beyond the mainstream. Each of these four threads is represented in its own dedicated section in the library, but each is also represented to some extent on nearly every shelf.

The library is appropriation-friendly. It has been built to serve the raw material needs of creators of all kinds, including visual artists as well as researchers and writers. This means that the holdings are weighted toward image-richness, and toward materials that are within the public domain.
Good good stuff.

Wednesday, November 10

Fray Day 8

Fray 8 is this weekend. Check it out!

I don't get bored easily, but I have been known to get kind of antsy with how things are or how they're not, and I do something to, well, to do something, to have something to talk about at lunch or when my mom calls and says 'so, what have you been up to?", that sort of thing.

To that end, I do things like get season tickets to the opera, or write up random stuff on Craigslist, or volunteer.

I'm currently going through the opera tickets and loving them. Not sure if I'll renew next year, but I probably will. I'm burned out on Craigslist since that last really bad experience. That leaves volunteering.

I only started doing this this year, and I have really enjoyed it. I can't say that I've made any real friends at it, but I blame that on my own underdeveloped social skills as much as anything else. Usually I sign up for stuff like volunteering at the San Francisco Food Bank, which is a 2-hour shift doing whatever the food bank staff needs done that night. I've never had the same task twice. It's generally repackaging the corporate donations that they get, like pasta, carrots, oranges, kiwis (yuck), coffee, and meat into smaller containers so that they can be distributed to individuals.

This last weekend, I went out on a limb and volunteered to serve food to the homeless at Glide Memorial Church. It was an eye-opening experience, and it sounds cliche, but I'm not taking anything I have for granted right now. I'm sure I'll get over it in time, but I think I'll continue to do this sort of community service so I never lose the feelings I've experienced since Saturday.

So between the volunteering and keeping up with friends (moving furniture, having dinner, watching movies, seeing awesome musical acts at laundromats, etc) I haven't been home much. And work continues to stress me out and I found out tonight that I can't cancel my gym membership for another year and a half, which kind of pissed me off. I suppose the bad will always come with the good. Which is not entirely a bad thing. If it was good all the time, how would we know how very good we have it?

To relieve the ADD and stress that's rampant at work this past week, I have come across the following entertaining sites:

Clientcopia (I can so identify with these people) [via Reecie]

Dysfunctional Postcard Gallery (If only I had the courage to send one of these) [via Reecie]

Poor Tara Reid ('Tis the Year of the Breast, isn't it? Pretty necklace though) [via Jon]

Animation Flash - Creep de Radiohead (I don't even like this song, but the animation is way cool) [via Jon and Ernie]

How many does it take? (so many freakin' jokes I don't know what to do with myself - kept me entertained for a whole workday)

Spamshirt! (The idea is great. However, there's not a chance in hell I'm paying 25 English Pounds [no, I don't know how to make the symbol] to have one shipped to me when I can get my friend at Zazzle.com to make one and save me the shipping charge by hand-delivering it.)

By the way, Onebrick does lots of other stuff besides the food bank - they are entirely volunteer-driven, they have weekend activities that can get you outside and they help make charitable events happen. Check out their calendar to see what's happening. 'Tis the season!

Thursday, November 4

I went to the opera tonight to see Tosca. I was determined that this time, I'd be in my seat before the show started, instead of walking in halfway through the first act and standing until the intermission. You know, like what happened last time.

Lesson learned: check the symphony schedule before heading out. 'Cause you know what happens when there are performances at both places on the same night? The parking garages fill up and every available parking space in a 5 mile radius is taken.

I exaggerate, of course. San Francisco is only 7 miles square all around. But I exaggerate only a little.

So anyway, the show was great, as usual. The music was moving, the performance was satisfactory (except for the guy who was way too in love with his cape/jacket - he kept swirling it around no matter what he did), and the audience was entertaining as well.

I have another show to attend at the end of the month. Maybe next time I can apply all the lessons I've learned so far and get there on time (and well-fed - stomach-growling is kind of distracting too).

Happy Thursday!

I received the best compliment ever today from one of my co-workers:
You're a very thoughtful, quiet-but-not-irritatingly-so buddy

I came home yesterday and apparently just missed a major hailstorm. There was so much hail, in fact, that it looked as if it had snowed! There was slush all over the roads, rooftops were white, and flowers were suffering. As I drove around taking pictures, children with evil glints in their eyes hefted heavy balls of ice, considering how much trouble they'd get in if they tossed one in my direction. It was fun!

Also, if you find my site because you can't stop coughing, my advice to you is to go to the doctor. Really. They have stuff that will help you, trust me. Mmmm... codeine.

Wednesday, November 3

If not for this article, this article would make me want to move to China tomorrow. Maybe I just need to strengthen my thighs.

Tuesday, November 2

Just Letters I just wasted several minutes with this. Just so's you know. [via Davezilla]

Monday, November 1

Happy Monday!

Alright, so when you're leaving for work, and you know - you know before you even leave - that you have barely enough gas to get to work, and that you will have to fill up before coming home or you're going to be one of those poor saps sitting in the middle of the road as everyone tries their darndest to get around them, wondering how anyone could be so dumb as to run out of gas, fill up the tank before you get on the freeway.

Because there will undoubtedly be an accident on the Bridge, and you'll spend 20 minutes creeping uphill with the gas gauge on E, muttering to yourself "please don't run out of gas, please don't run out of gas ..." ad infinitum and the next 10 minutes after passing the accident scene muttering "just get me to the offramp, just get me to the offramp ...".

By the way, I officially fit the librarian stereotype today: comfortable shoes, glasses and my hair's in a bun, held together with a pencil. Next year, I'm going to affix some sort of button to my back and dress up as the librarian action figure for Halloween, with the Amazing push-button Shushing Action!