Tuesday, January 20, 2009

25 Things You Never Cared to Know About Warmaiden (aka The Guardienne)

There's been a random meme going around called "25 Things," where folks list 25 random things about themselves. I first saw it on notes in Facebook, lately it's hit Friendfeed. I figure I'll just post mine here and then from now on I can just link to it in other venues. I'm a cheater like that *grin*

1. Someone else has the domains and, and I was the Guardienne long before I became Warmaiden. We'll just have to deal with that. Occasionally, I also go by the name Colleen. It confuses my online peeps. But today I go by Warmaiden almost exclusively online, unless someone has already sniped my name. Grr.

2. My dream job isn't to be a librarian. It's not even to be a poet, which some of you know I do in my free time. Nope. It's to be an NFL head coach. Of the Oakland Raiders, so I can restore them to their glory days of battle, when they led the league in penalty yardage, but won anyway.Because they were that good, that mean, and that feared. Nowadays they're just a bunch of guys who may as well be wearing tutus and drinking Heineken, for goodness sake. Pitiful.

3. I was born and raised on Long Island. I left as soon as I had my high school diploma and have lived below the Mason-Dixon ever since, except for a brief nightmarish period from January through July of 2007, when I moved back to check out NY. It was awful. Hurtling to work at 85 mph on the LIE was a sure way to guarantee a bad morning every morning. being from new York does come in handy, since the accent comes back when I get angry, and makes me sound tough.

4. Most of the men I love are nerdly, and I would not trust them to have my back in a barfight. Or to protect me from a college brawl in the library bookstacks. But when my level 40 warrior chick needs new gear, they're totally there to do a run-through for me.

5. Most of the librarians I know and consider my colleagues are invisible internet people I've never met, and they've been an invaluable resource for me. My current bosslady I first met on Twitter, and had no idea who she was when she greeted me with a hug at ALA Annual 2008. Gotta love the internet.

6. I really despise those peanut butter candy things that Brach's puts out around Halloween. Gross. Cavity-ninja fare.

7. I have a slight obsession with moose. I've never seen one in person, but I collect moose figurines, posters, magnets, you name it.

8. I have a similar obsession with cows, but living in Kentucky for nearly 10 years has taken some of the edge off of that one.

9. The only stitches I've ever required were due to slicing a fingertip off on a can of Chunky Soup, and due to my sister smacking me upside the chin with the metal bar of a seesaw.

10. Very few things in the world make me cry. Remembering my mother sitting beside my hospital bed and holding my hand after my tonsillectomy ruptured is one of those things. The rest I try very hard not to talk about.

11. I have no idea how noun cases work and cannot decline nouns to save my life. This is why I specialized in romance languages and was awful at German and ancient Greek. Thanks, NY public school system ;)

12. I was raised as a Catholic. Which pretty much means that I learned to be suspicious of rules created by councils and to break rules early and be okay with that. Bucking library administration and various other authority figures pales in comparison to being damned, right? *grin*

13. I'm pretty sure there's a God, but don't think he gives a damn what denomination we choose. I'm also pretty sure he doesn't listen much to any of us, except for my mom. pretty sure she's got the Batphone to the Deity - all her prayers for her kids come true.

14. My mom taught me what unconditional love looks and feels like. I'm not saying I can do it, but I'm still in awe of her practice of it.

15. I was raised in the general philosophy that all you need to succeed are Carhartts to keep you warm and a great big glass of suck-it-up-atine, since the world owes you - and will likely give you - nothing. This has served me very, very well in life, and I try to share it with others. Who are generally not receptive.

16. I don't do drugs, and am seriously unamused and unimpressed by those who do. I don't mean to judge, but...judge.

17. I am a homebody and much prefer staying in with a book or my crochet - or spending time with a small handful of select close friends - to just about anything. In this case, it's really not you, it's me ;)

18. I tend to pick up the accents of those around me. No, I am not making fun of you. Ask Allison, who heard my accent change from hard Long Island to mild Kentucky over the course of our college years. Ask Allison, who had to haul me out of a Kentucky bar filled with Irishmen when my brogue got to be a bit much. Ask Allison again, who had to deal with me on a weeklong trip to Jamaica :)

19. I'm terrible at MMORPGs because I don't have the dedication or stamina to play for hours on end. But I have a level 40 warrior chick, and getting there in Warcraft helped me understand my gamerboypeeps *so much*. It also helps me connect with other gamers I have in classes. I highly recommend it, if only so you can therapeutically kill monsters for their sparkly, shiny loot and know what someone's talking about when they bring up DKP jokes. Or Leeroy Jenkins. or if they refer to your wife as a pet with Nag Plus One Thousand.

20. I shop victoriously on eBay. Like, 300 victoriously. (Well, they lost, I guess, but they certainly lost victoriously.) I will snipe your ass and never feel an ounce of shame.

21. I used to prefer white wine, now I prefer red. I no longer enjoy beer or liquor, which shames me before all of my college pals, but greatly reduces my incidence of hangover.

22. I cannot stand the Brontes or Charles Dickens, but I could live on Tom Clancy and Stephen King. I feel like I should be ashamed of this. But I'm not. Also, two of my favorite poets are Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky - not exactly Nobel winners, but good clean fun.

23. I can't stand the smell of lavender, and I don't care how many therapeutic properties it supposedly has. Peppermint and spearmint are my preferreds.

24. I love to cook, but only when there's someone there to enjoy the meal with me.

25. I would not take back a single drop of love I've expended during my lifetime. As I age, though, I can better see the psychic consequences of love poorly applied, so I try to be less damaging and more gentle while wielding it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doing the Access Shuffle

I feel a bit like I've gone back in time, even as I've sort of catapulted my career a bit. I'm in the midst of my second week as the Associate Head of Access & Delivery at NCSU, and already loving it. I started in Access back in 2004 at the University of Kentucky, and once I had my MLS I bounced to reference and instruction, the "fun" side of library work. Not, of course, that Access isn't fun. it's just a different *kind* of fun...sort of like rugby and baseball are both sports, they're just different. And in one, you're more likely to get heavily bruised. *grin*

Anyway, my initial reaction has been: YES! While I was in reference and instruction, I got to stretch my creative side, I loved teaching, I didn't have the headache of supervising folks, and other than refdesk time, I had nearly complete control over what projects I worked on and how I spent my days. I will say, that sort of thing is handy if you want to get research done, get published, pitch presentations, and motivate yourself to keep up with a kind of momentum for your career. It helped that the environment I was in was completely supportive - of my desire to teach, of my ideas, of my traveling for various conferences. While I like to think that I contributed to the good image of the library on campus with my work at UTC, I also simply had a ball. It was *fun*. And while occasionally I would stress out due to saying "yes" to too many things, my time in reference and instruction was largely composed of rainbows and unicorns, and the occasional cotton-candy cloud. Reference and instruction wasn't work to me - for the most part, it was play. Which of course means it was my dream job.

Which seemed entirely too easy, so I left.

Heh, well, that's not entirely true. A too-good opportunity came around and swept me up, and that's why I've landed back in Access. I almost forgot how much work there was to do, and how interesting supervising others can make life! And having never been quite this high up on the food chain before, I was unaware of the amount of time spent in meetings. I'm already shucking my buns to keep up, but I'm loving it - the frenetic pace, things that can be fixed, dealing with people and their unique needs and quirks. I feel like a part of a larger process-at-work, though much of that is getting re-accustomed to being at such a large library - UTC was small compared to both UK and NCSU. I'm excited about starting new projects, finishing old ones, and polishing our service even as we enter tough financial times, as most universities are.

And so here I am, in my dress shoes, on the floor and re-learning the Access Shuffle. Expect to hear more soon...