Having a Sense of Humor about my Work

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LOL, if only and not one wearing a cardigan (Cassie maybe is – it’s hard to tell) [Originally from The Sci Fi TV Site]

I just finished the second season of The Librarians. I’ve been making my local library buy the seasons on DVD. Sadly, season 3 isn’t out yet on DVD and I am currently avoiding the temptation to just buy that season on iTunes and call it a day so I am caught up when Season 4 debuts later this year. We’ll see how long I last.

I have always adored these types of movies and shows. The original movies that inspired the series, the National Treasure movies, Warehouse 13. Even the Dresden Files (tv show, not the books. It was one of the few times where the books disappointed after the show) had a touch of the artifact/library/book to it. They are ridiculous and nowhere near close to the actual work of librarians, curators, and archivists. And I like to think most people understand that considering all of them include elements of magic. And to some extent, it is fun to think someone out there thinks I’m more Flynn Carson than Marian the Librarian.

However, at a recent conference for archivists, there was an entire panel about the Archive and how that word is being appropriated more and more and seems to mean less and less. They even pulled out the best Princess Bride quote that shows up in my library’s Slack feed every time someone uses the word “archive” – “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” So, as much as I would love to tell you all I work in a super secret magical library and hunt down lost artifacts all day long while saving the world…I sadly do not. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate why everyone thinks that idea of the “archive” is cool.

Out vault at work is not as impressive as the word “vault” would have you believe but I do get a tiny little thrill every time I get to go in it. And don’t tell me what’s in there isn’t magic. I don’t get to work with the classes or tours much but when I do, the look on people’s faces when you say to them “this is a signed first edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species” or “this is a rare copy of Napoleon’s Death Mask” or “this is a book which still has its chain on it” never gets old. The fact I get to work in a place where anyone can come and interact with those types of things? Never gets old. Bonus? I get to be the one to put those out on the web where anyone with an internet connection can see them. Let’s call that my super power. I guess those are my magical artifacts after all. Now…where’s my Excaliber?

Well, that’s summer then…

I will admit, the fact that it is September literally shocked me. Summer went so fast! It helped that I was very busy for most of it and had lots of fun times but that also meant I apparently didn’t have time to blog. I have reasons.

Up a tree. Photo credit to my awesome cousin Jodi
One, summer was, as I said, busy! I got to go home when the temperature was above 40 degrees which means dinner at the Loop, races in Oswego, ice cream at Byrne Dairy and especially an awesome, no holds barred feast up at Grandma and Grandpa’s camp. It was awesome! And then I went to Orlando to hang with a super awesome family which meant actually having children with me at the Disney parks. This was novel and so much fun and slightly nerve wracking because at times, in case you’ve never visited a theme park of any kind in the summer months, it was CROWDED. The amount of people required capital letters. But, we had a blast and rode lots of rides and ate lots of food and just had a fantastic time at Disney. I then turned right around and left for New Orleans for a conference but I did get to see some of the city but it’s on my “really need to go back and spend days exploring” list because I really only had a day to see the highlights and that wasn’t doing it justice. I did get beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde though and it is as tasty as they say. I always like when things live up to their praise.
Two, work. I love my job, I really do but we were very busy this summer. Hopefully, sometime this fall people will start to see the fruit of all our work when our new digital library site goes live but until then, I don’t have much to show for everything we’ve done but know that we worked hard this summer on lots of stuff and hopefully this fall we’ll get some awesome things to show for it. One of the downsides of my job though is a lot of hours in front of the computer screen meaning the last thing I often want to touch when I get home at night is my laptop.
Three, I think I am officially in a bit of a reading slump. I haven’t been reading very fast or very much. Nor have I been that interested in what I’ve been reading. I am hoping to get back on track this fall and into a reading routine again. That always helps me stay on track with books even if they aren’t holding my attention very well.
Four, something about summer just means I go out for an hour and then spend four in front of the TV. Not good. I was hoping to get rid of cable (and temptation) but a frustrating couple of phone calls meant it would cost me more to pay for just internet instead of my current bundle (how twisted is that?!) so cable stays. However, a reading routine and books I actually want to finish will help me kick the cable habit I have developed! Also, the start of the fall TV schedule will help as when I know there is a show I want to watch at 10, I make the effort to read from 8 until 10.

Sigh, so good. Beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde
I also am debating a movie re-watch of all my movies and blogging about it. This is both an effort to do some cleaning of my DVD collection (would I want to watch this ever again?) and also an effort to blog more about movies AND books again. We’ll see if this fall works out for that or if that becomes a winter project (or at least as wintry as it gets in the South – autumn is just depressing because I really miss all the colors)
And recipes too should be making a reappearance here! I actually think I have a recipe to share that I just never did this summer so I will try to dig that up and share ASAP. I did just try a new dish last week but it was kind of blah so not sharing that one. Again, I am hoping to get back into a routine this fall and cooking is on the list to make a priority!
Happy Fall everyone!

It’s Funny What Sticks…

The ocean has always fascinated me. Why I have no idea. I didn’t grow up near it. I have rarely visited it. I can attribute my love of the ocean to two things. One, The Living Seas at Epcot. Once they took Horizons and the Dreamfinder from me, The Living Seas became my favorite pavilion at the park. These days I tend to drift towards The Land and my new found love of the greenhouses. My thwarted green thumb tendencies are apparently kicking in. But the Living Seas has always drawn me. I could watch the manatees and dolphins for hours. My second reason? SeaQuest DSV. It was a television show that ran for three seasons from 1993 to 1996 on NBC. Apparently these were formidable years for me because I’ve often thought of the show over the years. I remember episodes better from this show than ones I’ve watched in the past few years. The show inspired my first research paper in 6th grade (I argued why we needed to address ocean pollution on a national and international level. Don’t laugh; I got an A ;-). The show inspired my computer’s current name, Darwin. I named my computer after a dolphin. You have my permission to worry about me.

SeaQuest DSV is a show about the adventures of an advanced submarine at the beginning of the 21st century. What has struck me the most in re-watching this show is how they didn’t put it off in the distant future. They talk about 2011 or 2015 in passing as years not so far removed from where they are. The potential of the ocean was introduced to me through the first season on the show. So far it’s still my favorite. They were more interested in showing the science of the ocean that season. Once we got past that, the show got a little ridiculous; I’d be the first to admit. I mean, as I type I’m watching an episode in the middle of the second season about a giant plant eating everyone at a horticultural colony. I know what you’re thinking, hello Little Shop of Horrors and you’d right. I’m sad the further I get into watching the series, everything I loved about the first season seems to be in short supply. I liked the educational element of the first season, which makes me a nerd I know. And also an atypical viewer I imagine so I can see why they went for a more sensational, action-adventure format after the first season.

What has impressed me so far in my re-watching is how well the show has held up in terms of its special effects over the years. True, one of its producers was Spielberg so it had the money and support to look good at the time. When I mentioned to my dad how impressed I was, he told me it was because there hasn’t been science fiction shows on TV like this since then. And I have to admit he’s right. And the few that have been on TV haven’t lasted long. Take my beloved Firefly, canceled before its first season was even complete. It’s since been given cult status, which is how I found it. I didn’t even watch it when it was first on. How I missed it continues to puzzle me.

So why has there been a dearth of science fiction shows on mainstream TV? There have been shows that technically fit the mold. Lost would fit, so would V. But I am a kid who grew up on the many incarnations of Star Trek after all. And it would have been Dad that started me watching SeaQuest too. I miss those shows. They were full of impossible situations but the crazy situations and imaginative new worlds kept me coming back for more. I guess budgets don’t spring for that kind of series these days. I’ll write more once I finish the entire series but I wanted to write about why I was re-watching, reliving a little of my childhood, one episode at a time.