Archive for the ‘Best Idea Ever’ Category

LibraryThing, or My New Jobbity Update

Friday, February 29th, 2008

I’m sorry I haven’t posted sooner about my fabulous new job at LibraryThing, but as usual, it was some little detail that inspired me to actually write.

Here’s the life synopsis: On Monday, I jumped in with two feet (holding a wedge of brie and laptop). I’m working on the LibraryThing for Libraries (LTFL) stuff. LTFL is this fantastic idea that any old library can add widgets to their OPAC, joining the LibraryThing data to their catalog, which means tag clouds! similar titles! hottness!

So, that’s what I’m up to now. I work from home, or wherever, so I’m now online 100% of the day. If you IM me, and I can’t chat much, it’s because I’m busy making libraries’ catalogs more awesome.

That being said, part of joining LibraryThing is learning more about what the damned site can do. The answer? A lot.

Right now, my favorite thing is that along with Library of Congress records and member-generated tags by the millions, you can make your own records for things that aren’t already out there.


Zine collections like Paper-Fort.

Teaching a zine workshop

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

When I moved to Boston, I immediately contacted the Papercut Zine Library. I’ve started volunteering there, and on Friday I got to go to 826 Boston to help teach a zine-making workshop.

Boys! zine

Clara and I went to 826, and we spent two hours teaching four kids ages 8-11 how to make zines. It was a very positive experience – the kids were absolutely awesome, the staff was as supportive as needed, and each kid ended up with a pretty imaginative, awesome zine.

The two boys in the group were both into WWE wrestling (which I happen to have a knowledge-base of) so we bonded while they decided what kind of wrestling zine to make.

Wrestling zine

This zine features the author’s top five favorite wrestlers, and his top five least favorites. I have to say, I agree with him on Edge (but I don’t like him because his eyes stick out funny, and is therefore not cute). His favorite is John Cena, who hails from MA.

In all, it was the best zine-making experience I’ve ever had. Between Clara and I, we were able to give a lot of personal attention to each kid, and I’m so impressed that they were able to make clever, imaginative zines in two hours.

new job, new tattoo

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

My new job is awesome in about 41 ways. It’s for a website I <3, it’s helping the library world become better, and I get to work from home.

I’ve always be just a little hesitant to get tattoos that are easily seen, and thus far have been able to avoid showing them whenever I want. To be fair, I don’t think it would have been a problem at the public library I worked at – the director is pretty cool, and the patrons certainly enjoyed my pink hair, and I’ve seen more than one back tat on a mom.

But, now that my job involves even less formal attire, I REALLY WANT A TATTOO LIKE THIS.

knitting tattoo

I just think it’s the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen.

Website review: Zafu, the best clothing website ever

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I posted about this before, but it really requires a full post of its own, especially since I can’t stop talking about it, and today I gave my website addy to the cashier at Old Navy while gushing about how their Sweetheart jeans fit me just perfect, and I know this because of Zafu.

You know how it’s hard to find bras and jeans that fit? And it seems they’re tailored for someone with a body shape very different than your own? Zafu asks you a bunch of questions about your body and how the item usually fits you, then gives you a list of specific items that should fit you better. I needed new jeans, so I tried it out. Lo and behold, I’m sitting at home in my cute new jeans, which don’t gap at the back, or make my thighs look gross. It’s amazing!

Partner points

Monday, February 11th, 2008

I used to think that it was lame for women to know all about what their husbands were into. I thought is smacked of male-dominated relationships. You’re not actually into model trains/ham radios/historical recreations/bonsai, so why are you talking about it, and using the pronoun ‘we’ even though we’re the only two people in the room?

Anyway, I’ve recently realized that being involved in your partner’s interests means more to share and enjoy together. I knew this, of course, but today I was able to use what I’ve learned from Jason’s L33T skills and start-up knowhow when applying for a sweet sweet job (that I won’t be talking about until I know if I’m actually in the running). Then I read an email from a favorite aunt, and allofasudden it hit me that the interest and knowledge she’s gained from being married to a conifer expert has made her an expert too, and it’s a cool, neat thing. Now that I think about it, I know that there’s no way she’d get this into conifers if she didn’t already have an interest. Having a partner super-into it just makes it more likely that you’ll learn more.

So I think there should be some sort of nomenclature for this, a rating of how much you know about architecture, or dancing, or cattle, or programming because you spend your free time with someone who’s interested in it too. Partner points? Personal interest rating?

I’d say I have a healthy knowledge of Internet start-ups just by being with my partner, and I want to be able to convey that in a cover letter without sounding too wifey.

And now maybe I can find a way to get Jason knitting.

(Disclaimer: Jason has knit a potholder, in 2003 I think, but I think giving him some circular needles and letting him knit a hat would be more effective.)

(Disclaimer disclaimer: Jason knit said potholder when we first met, when doing things like knitting and playing Super Mario Sunshine are important to culling a good relationship.)

Watch this and be a little happy

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Andy over at Flaky Biscuit blogged about this, and I watched it, and it made me grin, so I’m blogging about it too. (Is there a word for this? Blogbacking? Leapblogging?)

The Improv Everywhere group did an impromptu performance at Grand Central Station in NYC. 207 people froze at the same time, for five minutes, then continued on with what they were doing. The video is so much fun to watch. I’m a big fan of impromptu group activities (Critical Mass, por exemplo) and the best part is seeing the reaction of the passers-by. Watch it! Watch it! Watch it!

This also reminds me of something my friend Meg described: a similar event, but the task being to take headphones and a music player, and dance around to your own music. I would love to do that – bopping around at the ped mall in Iowa City, near the Bean in Chicago, or … someplace cool with space in Boston. Boston Commons. Yeah. I like the idea of showing expression, and I LOVE the idea of a bunch of other people doing it at the same time. Like, later in the day, a passer-by might mention that they saw this crazy pink-haired, librarian-looking lady shakin’ it in front of their T stop, and their friend will say “OMG, I saw the same thing, except it was an Asian teenager headbanging.”

29 and feeling fine

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

It’s my birthday, all! Last night, around midnight, I decided to get all excited for my birthday. I made Jason be charming and fun. (Then he put his cold feet on my legs.)

Today I slept in (8:40!), reached my hand over to the nightstand, pulled over the Nintendo DS, and played videogames for an hour. Then a bubble bath, and a call to my sister. Now I’m eating frosted mini wheats and updating my Goodreads. I’m going to go pants shopping (thanks ever so much to Inky for pointing out this fabulous website that asks you in-depth questions about jeans and bras and such, then offers suggestions based on your body shape) and meet Jason for a birthday dinner.

I was thinking about picking up a tiara to wear, but it’s snowing and I don’t think it’ll fit under my hat. Maybe I need to knit a hat that has room for a tiara, or a hat that has a tiara on it. That would be totally Fancy Nancy.

Ta ta.

Anything to not get effing hit by a car

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Maybe that should be a new category. I keep my eye out for bike-related safety stuff. Ever since I crashed, I’ve been WAY more focused on the safety side of things.

Via Marylaine (of course), I found a forum site called TransportTrends. Within it, I found a post about Safe Turn bicycle indicators. They’re little blinky LEDs you strap to your wrists, which don’t blink until you lift your arm to signal your turn.

I like this idea. Kind of like the SpokePOV Jason’s going to make for me, it’s a flashy way to be visible. I don’t want Safe Turn lights specifically. I think I’d prefer to have $1 LEDs on elastic that blink the whole time – it’s way more raver.

kidlitreview nomenclature quandry

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

So, I’ve been pondering jumping in the kid lit review game. I joined the Yahoo group, and now I need to come up with a website name.


Blogosphere niche: reviewing children’s books for out-loud reading

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

I read a lot of kid lit blogs, which often dictate what I buy for my library’s collection. It occurred to me just now that I would very much like to review children’s books, and specifically I think I have a knack for determining what kind of read they are. With pre-readers and early readers, there are a lot of options.

* Making up the story yourself, without reading the words (this requires a certain amount of storytelling illustrations)
* Stories where the words are the weight of the book (where the text tells most of the story)
* Stories where the illustrations are the weight of the book (where the illustrations shine)
* Stories to be read quietly at bedtime (quiet, cozy books with lots of small detail)
* Stories that are loud, raucous stories to read out loud (good for librarians doing storytime!)
* Stories that end up being playacted out
* Stories that are written so a early reader and a savvy reader read together

Along with reviewing the book as a whole, it would be nice to describe what kind of read it is.

So how do I start reviewing for a blog? I’d better email some of my favorite kid-book-bloggers to ask.