Archive

Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Friday Fun! (Holy Busyness Batman!)

March 23, 2012 3 comments

My lovely readers!  Boy am I ever glad I gave you guys the heads up that things would slow down around here for the next few months.  I’m not even sure how long it’s been since I posted a Friday Fun. A couple of weeks?

In any case, my new job is AWESOME, and I am so blissfully happy that after years of struggling through school and in a bad economy that I wound up with a job in the field and area of librarianship that I wanted in the city that I love.  I love my commute! I love my coworkers! I love my patrons! I love the view from my shared office!  I love that I HAVE an office!  I love that I’m getting to go to the Medical Library Association’s 2012 conference in Seattle!

But it is also a huge learning process and I find myself with a brain refusing anymore information by the time I hit the T at the end of the day.  This means that all three of my nonfiction reads I had started before working at my new library, as well as during the first week, have hit the wayside. Cannot. Do. It. I need memoirs and paranormal romance and swashbuckling and FICTIONAL STORYLINES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.  I cannot read and attempt to comprehend things about evolution in a toxic world or why you should eat this and not that.  Nope.  Can’t do it.  At least not right now.  So, yes.  I’m going to attempt to struggle my way through the three nonfiction reads I had started with a chapter a day. Beyond that, no more.  I mean, I have to work on learning PHP for my new job.  One can only handle so much nonfiction in one day.  That said, I still want to do Diet for a New America, but I think I’m going to have to rework it somehow.  Maybe make it a challenge instead of a project.  That way I won’t feel bad if it takes me a while to get to the next book.  I still intend to finish, buuuut probably not by the end of 2012 *snort*

Speaking of diet and health, I have discovered ZUMBA and it is AWESOME.  I’ve always been a dancer from a very young age (before I got fat and unhealthy) and for some reason even though I’ve recovered my fitness, I was ignoring dance.  No more!  Zumba is basically dance aerobics only using Latin dance and a mix of Latin music and modern popular songs.  (I think to date my favorite routine has been the one we did to I’m Sexy and I Know It.  It involved showing off our guns).  Anywhooo I love the Latin dancing because it is all hip shaking, but it’s also a great class to go to once a week because long-term cardio is still what is really difficult for me, but the class and instructor are just so dang FUN that I am bound and determined to make it through.  And I do.  I just also have at least one point in every class where I am certain I am going to die.  Then we pretend to be roping a cow, and I suddenly am fine. 😉

Happy weekends everyone!  Tomorrow is my first day as a Saturday librarian, and I am mad excited.  (Which seems to be my perpetual state of emotion nowadays).

Friday Fun! (New Job! *Confetti*)

February 24, 2012 8 comments

Hello my lovely readers!

I am so incredibly happy to get to give you all a big update in the life of moi this week.  Tuesday morning after the long weekend, I got a phone call offering me my first professional librarian job!!! Although I’ve been doing the work of a librarian for quite some time now, this position actually requires an MLIS and is in the exact same area of librarianship as my interests.  I don’t like to name exactly where I work on this blog, because this blog represents just me and not my workplace.  Suffice to say, then, that I will be working in educational librarianship in a library that supports one of the medical schools in the Boston area.  The library is the ideal mix of medicine and academia, and I’m so stoked to start work there in mid-March.

This of course means that my life over the next couple of weeks and at least through March is going to be crazy (crazy in a good way).  I’ll have a new schedule, new commute, new health insurance, new paycheck schedule, new….well everything!  It’s all wonderfully exciting and still kind of hard to believe after over a year of job hunting.

Of course this means that other things, like my writing and this blog, are going to have to be pushed to the back burner for a bit until I adjust to all the newness.  One thing I know about me is that I can sometimes push myself too hard, and I don’t want to do that this time around.  So, I’m going to push the release of Waiting For Daybreak back to May or June.  You can also probably expect a few less posts a week here, although I will be doing my best to write up everything for all books finished that week over the weekend and schedule them ahead of time for the next week (Wow, did that sentence make sense?)  There will also be slower responses to comments.  These are all good things, though, because this just means this blog has returned to being my hobby instead of what I’m doing to keep my sanity while job hunting, lol.

I do hope you guys will keep following along, because I’m still the same me, just a far far happier one now. 😀

Friday Fun! (New Foci. Yes, Foci Is the Plural of Focus)

October 14, 2011 5 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  I hope you’re all enjoying the new genres that have found their way to my blog since the start of the Real Help Reading Project a couple of months ago.  I’ve been alternating between books for the project from the library and books from my tbr shelf at home, and I’ve certainly been enjoying the variety.  African-American and African lit (outside of scifi) always felt a bit inaccessible to me.  Perhaps it’s that it tends to be in its own special interest section in libraries and bookstores?  Or maybe that it was never really included in regular English classes but instead in special interest classes?  I’m not totally sure, but I do know that I needed the kick in the butt to realize just how accessible it actually is.  In retrospect it seems silly that I never picked one of these books up.  Reading is so universally accessible, and I’ve read stories set in pretty much every racial, cultural, and class surroundings. Who knows really why I’d never ventured into black lit before, but I’m really glad I have now. 🙂

In light of this, I’ve planned out a new reading project for myself to embark on with the start of 2012.  No, it does not have to do with black lit. I’m not telling you what it is!  But I have already started assembling a list of possible titles to pull from and am stoked for it.  You’re just going to have to wait until the end of December wrap-up/announcements bonanza that happen on book blogs to find out what it is.

My life has now adjusted to having a second job and has reached a nice rhythm.  I am busy almost every minute of the day between job 1, job 2, commute, gym, friends, reading, writing, drawing, etc….  I only barely make time to watch my two favorite tv shows every week (Parks and Rec and Big Bang Theory).  Periodically I play catch-up on The Biggest Loser and America’s Next Top Model when I’m cooking dinner.  Other than that, though, I feel a sense of enrichment in my life that I haven’t felt since being completely immersed in learning culture in undergrad.  It’s a good thing. 🙂  I love it that I can get home totally exhausted and still prefer to read a civil rights era memoir over watching the latest crap on tv.  I’ve reconnected to what’s important–people, self-improvement, learning–and let go of the other things.  When I compare now to a year ago, I can see marked improvement.  So, yeah, being 25 is hard. Being in your 20s in an economic depression is hard.  But I’ve got good people, good food, good books, and my health. That’s what’s important.

Happy weekends!

Friday Fun! (A/C, Rent, Gardening)

June 11, 2010 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Last weekend saw a heatwave here in Boston that finally convinced me to buy an a/c unit.  My brother informed me that the new models use far less electricity than I previously had thought, and my dad offered to contribute some money toward one as an early birthday present, so one was acquired! Of course, the day it arrived was so chilly that I had all my windows shut, lol.  We plan on installing it this weekend in preparation for the imminent return of the heat. Long as we can find an electric drill to borrow somewhere.

My lease is up the end of August, so I wound up discussing renewing it with my landlord.  He told me he’s probably going to have to raise my rent due to taxes.  A friend reminded me that it’s a renter’s market, so that’s a bit odd.  However, I also just remembered that he gave me a deal when I first rented it, knocking $50 off the original monthly amount he wanted, so I guess that evens it out?  Either way, I really don’t want to move.  I haven’t been in one place for more than a year since I was 15 years old (15 through 18 consisting of switching back and forth between parents’ houses), and it would just be nice to have 2010 be The Year Amanda Doesn’t Move Anywhere.  Also, with the job hunt and graduation in January, I’m expecting that my entire financial situation will be very different in a few months, so I’d rather wait to move until that happens.  Anyway, cross your fingers for me that it doesn’t go up too much and that I’ll overcome my patriarchy-induced tendencies to not advocate for myself in monetary situations!

In container gardening news, one of my tomato plants is getting tall, and I’m wondering when I should stake it.  I’m a bit clueless about tomato plants.  The other one is kind of failing to thrive. It looks healthy, but it’s still only 3 to 4 inches tall.  I added some dirt and watered it, but I don’t know what else to do.  Thoughts on that?  The good news is, my pepper plants are doing awesome!  I may have discovered my gardening niche.  I also just planted some onions (yes, in containers).  I’m super excited about that, because they’re my favorite veggie! Unfortunately, two very sun-lacking days followed my planting of them, so I’m not sure if that’ll affect the germination.  Next up, I need to figure out some way (*cough* some free way *cough*) to raise my long container for spinach so it’s closer to the light.  I’m thinking using empty boxes since that’s about all I have laying around.

I have yet to decide exactly what I’ll be doing tonight and Saturday (but I guarantee some reading and some videogaming).  Sunday I’ll be doing some invasive species removal on the Charles River. Stoked for that! What will you be doing with your weekends?

Librarians, Enough With the Hero Complex

March 15, 2010 7 comments

Last week, I was chillaxing on my couch, enjoy some crackers and cheese whilst watching tv, and I checked in on my twitter feed.  My twitter feed is an interesting mix of folks–writers, publishers, libraries, gardening tips, celebrities who amuse me, veg folk, real life friends–but predominantly other librarians.  Well, suddenly everybody started tweeting at once.  The freak-out was over loss of funding for Florida libraries.  This turned into everybody bemoaning the fact that nobody understands the importance of libraries.  Then out of the blue, a male librarian said, “Simple truth- police & firefighters can always rehire when times get better. Close a library & what are the chances they’ll bring it back?”
I replied, “Well, y’know, I’d rather my house not burn down than be able to use old crappy computers for free.”
To which a different male librarian replied: “If a fire starts, no matter how much you spend on fire fighters, your house it totalled in a matter of minutes.”

I have refrained from naming them, because this isn’t about these individuals.  It’s about a general attitude going on among librarians that is just wrong and self-centered, and I wanted to illustrate it with actual quotes.  The attitude that libraries are the most important public service, and they–and by extension, librarians–are misunderstood and under-appreciated.  I mean, a book just came out whose subtitle is How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All (LibraryThing record of the book here).  You know what? No.  We’re not more important than policemen and firemen.  We’re not even as important.  As librarians, we’re not out there risking our lives to save strangers’ lives.  Contrary to what male librarian #2 said, not all houses burn down anyway, and even if they did, there’s still people to save.  There’s also the fact that the blaze needs to be prevented from spreading, but I digress.

We are librarians.  We are not out there providing for the safety of lives.  The fact that we exist doesn’t make it so people can sleep at night safe in the knowledge that if a fire starts in their house, someone will show up and run into the blaze to save them.  Public librarians, at best, provide educational support outside of the public school system.  At worst, public librarians are providing entertainment to the low income masses, and do you think the low income would rather be entertained or be alive and able to walk down the street safely?

I don’t enjoy the fact that libraries and fire departments are pitted against each other for money.  However, it is an economic crisis.  The money just is not there.  Of course I would rather see libraries’ hours cut instead of the doors closed, but if the choice is keeping the library open a few hours a week or maintaining a safe number of firemen for the community, I would choose the firemen.  You know why?  Because I don’t have some hero complex.

What we’re really seeing is people freaking out because they think either their job won’t exist in the short-term or that libraries are going to cease existing entirely, making their career choice a really poor one.  I get it.  I do.  It sucks to be worrying about getting laid off.  It sucks to wonder if your career will still exist in 10 years, but you know what?  Almost everyone is having to worry about their job right now, if they’re even lucky enough to still have one.  There are also plenty of people worrying that their careers will cease to be an option due to technological advances, changing world economic climate, etc…  I saw it happen to people I care about when the Silicon Valley happened.  Yes, it sucked, but maybe it’s time to admit that you chose your job because you like it.  Because you enjoy organizing things, helping people, books, literacy, and more, and yes that’s more noble than becoming a back-stabbing CEO.  However, it’s not this superhero career.  It’s just a nice one.  One that I certainly hope continues to be needed, but I’m not about to go out there and over-inflate it because I’m worried about jobs.  I’m realistic, and the fact that other librarians are being so unrealistic in the face of this economic crisis is just making us look like a bunch of snobby, privileged, unrealistic bookworms.

(Yes, I realize this post is mainly about public libraries, which is something I strive to avoid, but I haven’t been hearing much of the same thing regarding academic or special libraries.)