down the rabbit hole

The thesis defense went great, though I has something of a rough start to my day…

I got up at 6 to get ready and avoid the crazy election day traffic situation, but overdid the early thing and ended up on campus about an hour and a half before I was scheduled to defend. I grabbed some coffee and roamed around a bit, took some campics of a beautiful flowering tree that I found on my ramble, and decided to spend some time relaxing in one of the little wooden gazebos by the lake near the building where my department is located. I used to spend hours there when I was an undergrad and had not been around there in a while, so I thought I would reminisce and have a nice alone moment.

I stepped into the gazebo and fell straight through a rotted floorboard.

I didn’t realize what had happened for a moment. I thought I took a bad step, until I realized that my right leg was sunk into the floor of the gazebo. Up to my thigh. And I only stopped myself from a worse fall by bracing myself with my left knee.

I pulled myself out and saw the hole I feel into. Later, I realized I should have taken a picture as evidence, but I was too shocked at the moment and worried about not being able to defend that I left. I reported the hole to public safety and got some neosporin at the clinic and was off to my defense.

I really should have taken a picture. My leg is in pain. Nothing terrible, but I wonder if I may have chipped a bone since it hurts a bit much when I rest on it for too long.

Of course, my friends all assume I live in fairyland, so whenever I mentioned that I fell down a hole they would ask, “Like Alice? Down a rabbit hole?”

Seriously. I got this from a number of people. No dearies, I really fell down a hole.

The bruise is going to be epic.

But the defense went great 🙂 my director even surprised me with a celebratory lunch. And since I work for the athletics department as well, I got ice from the training room to dull the pain later this evening.


a dastardly knave

My students had to attend an information session in the library, which means I had to attend an information session in the library. These sessions are usually a bore for me, since I’ve been navigating the databases for over six years and am web savvy as it is… However, the librarian that conducted this session sparked my interest in some of the newspaper archives that are now available at our uni, so I started browsing around, just out of curiosity, when I had a few hours off at work.

My favorite is the New York Times historical database, which features files dating back to 1857. I started by searching random historical names, like Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens, and got quite a few hits. Then I tried searching specific dates, like my birth month and day, minus a hundred years (I also tried Em’s)… that’s when the fun articles started to appear…

My favorite has to be “A Car Conductor’s Gallantry: the Very Aged Lady, Two Spinsters, and the Horse Car,” printed in 1884. I’m still not certain whether this is just satire, or an actual report, but it would make for a very good farce 🙂 . Sadly, I can’t post it, copyrights and all that.

the beginning of an existential crisis?

I decided to clean my room. A wise move where the dust-bunny over-population is concerned, yet not such a good move far as the “why the hell do I have so much junk?” question is concerned.

Nearly every available horizontal space in my room is covered by books… but what is left over is covered with assorted knick knacks. However, other than the maneki neko that I have on my desk, much of the other stuff was given to me as a gift. These gifts have taken over! It makes me feel desperately cluttered. I just want to get rid of it all. Put it away in boxes and become unattached to this mess. I want minimalism. Most of this stuff means absolutely nothing to me. I keep receiving fairies from people. I like fairy tales, that does not necessarily mean that I have a desire to be surrounded by fairy figurines.

I like my lucky cats, my momijis, my matryoshkas… I need some sort of order for the rest of this stuff. Give me open space. 

at the library

Yesterday, I was catching up on my google reader subscriptions when I noticed this short piece posted on

When the economy is bad people go to the library. We know this. Here’s two different media mentions: serious (Grand Rapids Press), funny (Colbert).

It got me thinking… as an avid reader dealing with the strain created by the economic crisis, I recently started to cut back on my book purchases. Let’s face it, I’m a bibliophile. I crave the scent of books. I can’t walk by a bookstore without going in an buying a new book. So, a few months back, I started avoiding bookstores. 

I’m not much of a TV person. Other than “Heroes” (my most recent tv obsession) and the morning weather forecast, I rarely watch television. Netflix has me covered as far as movies. And has me covered musically. What’s left… my bibliophilia.

When I evaluated my spendings, I realized that if I wanted to limit myself to the essentials, I would have to restrain my enthusiasm for book collecting. 

This is where the library comes in… 

You would think that for someone with such an obvious love of books, I would be a dedicated library patron. I love libraries. I just never particularly cared for checking out books. As a kid, I was limited to the selection at our local library, which was not very extensive and rarely had what I desired. As a result, I got in the habit of buying books, and created my own collection (a collection that has grown out of control in our tiny apartment…). I buy them. I stack them. I read them when the mood strikes. I always have a new text on hand.

However, the occasional $10, $12, $24 book purchase is no longer feasible for me. Unless it’s something I’ve been anxiously awaiting (like Inkdeath) or a fantastic bargain bin find, I am no longer adding to my collection. At least, until the crisis passes.

Instead, I’ve turned to the library.

And it seems I’m not the only one.

The Miami-Dade public library system has been expanding across the county, so a number of small, local branches have cropped up. Many of these are more like computer libraries and inter-library loan stations than traditional libraries, but they serve the community.

One of these outposts is located near my home, so I have been taking advantage of its proximity and using it as my preferred pick-up location. This afternoon, I popped over to pick up a text that arrived for me, and the place was packed. Packed with kids and tweens. This area is not known for its scholarship and we have many of the lowest ranked schools in the county, but it was a pleasant surprise to see that kids going to the library, if only to conduct research.

do the twist

I twisted my ankle Friday evening after an afternoon of cupcake making merriment with Em… It wasn’t as terrible as the time I twisted it when I was a kid, but I felt the snap all the way up my leg and started bouncing and screaming for a bit. Honestly, I was surprised Em didn’t hear all the fuss, but those old Gables homes seem to be pretty soundproof. It looked fine, no puffiness or bruising, and it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t make it to my car and drive home. I thought, oh well, it’ll just be a bit sore, but it’ll be fine. 

Not so. Not so at all.

I put on a brace, and went out on Saturday only to find that my ankle had swollen to twice its size when I got home. So here I was panicking, wondering if I should bother going to the hospital, or risk it and hope the swelling went away. That’s when I decided to turn to trust ol’ WebMD. Yes, self-diagnosing is wrong – don’t do it kids – but I had a bad sprain before, and this did not feel as bad as that one felt. 

I followed WebMD’s recommendations for a sprain (not like there’s much you can do when it’s not broken). I did the ice pack, elevated my foot, yadda yadda. Today, it’s much better… but I feel like an old lady! I’m all… limp limp limp. My dad came over for a visit and we limped towards each other like a pair of old fogies (he has a bad hip). This whole process has made me very lazy, I am so not looking forward to having to get dressed and go to work in a couple of hours (as always, I ask myself, why are we the only office on campus that works on Sundays?!?). Now, am I feeling lazy and not up to anything because of the ankle, or am I using it as an excuse? So easy to use it as an excuse…

hovering gloom

This is truly South Florida weather at its best… perfectly clear skies in the distance, torrential downpour over one particular area. And, yes, this really is a common occurrence.

This black cloud o’ doom stretched from the Gables to who knows where, but it only hovered over a certain area… at times, it seems like these evil clouds are following me around…

the t[eee]ny

My students are absolutely fascinated by my eee pc (and it’s not even the really tiny model). They all kind of stare in wonder and ask, “Is that really a laptop?” as if something so small could not possibly be more than just cuteness without a purpose 🙂 . I do love this little thing, it’s saving me so much trouble… I can pop it into any tote and I’m off. The cute factor is just one of the many perks.

leadership and peon-ship

One event down, two more to go. Overwhelming? Definitely. Did I realize what I was getting myself into when I agreed to this whole organization presidency gig? No. Not at all. I might not have done it, otherwise. The  bright side… all the “real-world, leadership experience” I am gaining. I am now highly skilled in the art of describing how a particular event will benefit the institution in order to get funding, deciphering bureaucratic double-speak, and staying awake during long meetings. My resume appreciates it at least.

While on the subject of my resume… I need a job. A real one. Ideally, a full-time position in a library. This whole two job, teaching deal is slowly destroying me. I find that I give too much of myself to work, and have no time to work on my own projects. I want a job doing something I love, not something I do because I have no other option.