Tag Archives: travels

What’s really happening

Good to see you again. I’m popping in here, hoping that writing this blog post will get my brain juices flowing so I can finish a proposal for my internship supervisor. Someday I hope to stop just “popping in” here. I really want to get into the habit of writing about things as they happen. Meantime, here are some updates.

1. I switched from LibraryThing to Goodreads. I feel kinda bad about it. It seems that LibraryThing is a bigger advocate of actual libraries, and I liked that the site had an organic, home-grown feel to it. But more of my friends are on Goodreads, and I really enjoy seeing what my friends are reading. So if you’re on Goodreads, don’t be a stranger!

2. I went to my first ever book club meeting. This book club is comprised of librarians and library school students in Orange County. Each month we vote on a different genre and book. August’s genre is biography and we’re reading The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant. Apparently Roald Dahl was kind of a mischievous bastard. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m having a hard time getting into this one, though.

3. I finished The Hunger Games (book #1). I wasn’t totally obsessed with it, but I really enjoyed it and I’m eager to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Also, my new mantra is “what would Katniss do?” Before I read the next two, though, I’m trying to read through the Harry Potter series. I only read the first four books as they came out…that was a long time ago. I don’t understand many Harry Potter references as I haven’t seen the movies either (well, that’s not true. I’ve seen #1 once, a long time ago). So with all this hype about HP7.2 I’m extra tired of being left out!

Peach cobbler

4. My peach cobbler recipe is up at The League of Evil Baking Librarians.

5. I joined Spotify. I’m making a monstrous summer-themed playlist and subscribing to my friends’ awesome playlists. This is the only cloud-based music player I’ve used so I don’t have much to which I can compare, but so far I really like it. Sharing music with friends (especially if you link your account to Facebook) is super easy, and that seems to be making up for the lack of discovery-related features.

6. I went on a short trip to Lone Pine, CA for Father’s day with my mom and dad. Lone Pine is this little town off the 395 that everybody passes through coming from SoCal to Mammoth. I’d never stayed there longer than a few hours, so it was interesting to see what goes on there throughout the course of the day. We ate breakfast at Alabama Hills Cafe, played 9 holes of golf at Mt. Whitney Golf Club, drank beers and read in the shade next to a creek, drove around the Alabama Hills (of which I am still astonished), ate Chinese food and called it a night (I get my earlybirdedness from my parents). Unfortunately, I was kind of in a funk through the whole trip. Going up to Mammoth/anywhere in between tends to get me really down for some reason. I’m trying to correct that…I hope to make GOOD memories there again someday.

7. I sewed a skirt.

8. Some SJSU SLIS friends and I did the Munchathon in Oak Canyon Park out by Irvine Lake. We walked the 5k course and ate at some gourmet food trucks afterward.

9. I made the tough decision to quit volunteering at the Orange County Public Libraries Irvine Heritage Park branch. I have fond memories of that place. They were my foot-in-the-door to the library world, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I just felt that it was time to move on to new adventures. So here’s to letting go and moving forward…

I think that should cover it…see you again soon!

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Washington, DC

Last weekend I packed a little suitcase and hopped a plane to Washington DC to visit my friend Julia. Julia and I met freshman year of college at UCSD and instantly bonded over a mutual respect and love for old school punk. She was a world literature major in college and decided to go to law school at American University’s Washington College of Law. I was a communication studies major with an informal emphasis in rhetoric and decided to go to library school. Go figure. But here we are!

Before one of our early morning shows on KSDT

I arrived on Thursday evening. After quickly making my way via Metro into the city, I met Julia at a Caribou Coffee and we walked a few blocks to a dive bar located in the basement of an office building to meet her WCL friends. On the way home I developed a bad case of the hiccups. The good thing was that holding my breath in attempts to get rid of them allowed me to block out the smell of crow. Yes, crow. You see, a randomly located undeveloped lot with thousands of tall trees is unheard of in Orange County (protected parks don’t count). These make good sleeping places for crows. Crows smell like rotting flesh and bird poop. Once I was safely esconced in Julia’s apartment, the building of which is located next to the randomly located undeveloped lot with thousands of trees and stinky sleeping crows, I made my little bed out of couch cushions, washed up, and fell into a deep sleep.

Note: this is a picture-heavy post. Click through to see more!

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Pittsburgh pt. II

A week ago today I flew back home from Pittsburgh where I visited Sunny for a week. If I’d documented everything I did in pictures you’d be bored: I spent a lot of time indoors studying. We did get to go out a few times, though.

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Check Out: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Part I…?)

This edition of Check Out features a library on the opposite end of the modernity spectrum from the Seattle Central Library. Behold: the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (main branch in Oakland).

Try to stay awake during this bit of history: In 1890, Andrew Carnegie offered the city of Pittsburgh $1 million to build a library. Let your brain gnaw on that for a second…a million dollars in 1890. That’s a lot of money. Five years later, he dedicated this branch. But Andrew Carnegie didn’t stop there. He funded the construction of many libraries across the United States. So, when someone says, “that’s a Carnegie library,” they’re talking about a library for which Carnegie provided the money to build. He had nothing to do with the actual operations of the libraries…he just believed that Americans should have access to them. Pretty nice!

Back to the CLP. The first floor has a Crazy Mocha cafe, a kid’s reading room, and new books. You can take an elevator to the upper floors, or walk up the marble stairs that have warped with age. Your food and drinks have to stay on the first floor, sadly. My memory is a little hazy, but I think I only explored the second floor and the mezzanine after the first floor. The portion of the second floor that I saw has a reference area, a career center, some cool old tables, if you’re into that. If you can find your way to the mezzanine, you’ll find even more nonfiction crammed onto shelves, between which you might need to walk sideways.

Like I mentioned before, I spent a lot of time here in March while working on a project for my reference class. Now that I’m writing up this post, I’m realizing that I have a lot more left to explore. Hopefully I’ll go out there again and write up a Part II for this post.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Check Out: Seattle Central Library

I’ve been in Seattle visiting family since Tuesday, and one of the things I wanted to do while I was here was visit the Seattle Central Library. Seattle’s contemporary techie culture certainly seeped its way into the design of the library. I’ll start with the first floor. When you check out books, you scan your card, put the books on a plate that instantly detects their information in the catalog, print your receipt, and be on your way. When you return books, you put them on a conveyor belt that takes them straight up to the second floor to be processed. The second floor is for staff only, so we’ll skip that and move onto the third floor. The third floor boasts a huge reading room, all of the new materials, the fiction collections, and a cafe all under a slanted wall/ceiling of glass. After riding an escalator to the computer room and career help center, you take another escalator to the spiral of nonfiction and reference materials. These materials are so plentiful that they arranged them in a spiral that takes up a few floors and circles the escalators. You don’t even know you’re walking in a spiral; in fact, I almost tripped a few times because the floor was on a slight incline. That, and my boots are too big for my feet, but that’s another story. The top floor (or the highest floor I went to before I had to go down and meet my aunt on the third floor) was another reading room with a marvelous view of the city and waterfront out of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. I would have loved to camp out there for the day with my laptop (free wifi!), my insulated reusable Starbucks cup, and a few books. Next time.

The next edition of Check Out will be about the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (the old one next to the University of Pittsburgh and CMU). I practically lived there for a few days in March when I flew out to visit Sunny and had a huge project due while I was there (poor guy). Keep your eyes peeled!

Image credit: lgarquitectura.wordpress.com