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Archive for July, 2011

Earlier this week I began to fret in earnest about my upcoming move.  Was it packing that led to my panic?  Was it the dread of driving or fear of flying?  Nay!  It was the question of how I would move my cat from here to the opposite corner of the country.

Fritz was decidedly less worried.

After a few hours of research, it became increasingly apparent to me that flying with Fritz was not a good option—he’s too big, the risk of delays or cancellations at that time of year is too great, he’ll likely cry the whole time, etc. etc.  This meant driving would have to do.  The implications of that are a story for another post, but at the least it meant starting the prep work for getting Fritz comfortable in the car.  Which brings us to: THE HARNESS.

More dignified than kitty Halloween costumes, but only slightly.

I’ve been wanting to harness-train Fritz forever, but never had the guts to try until now.  When I found the package in my mailbox this afternoon, it seemed a now-or-never type situation.  My original plan was simply to let Fritz spend a few days being comfortable even seeing the harness before trying it out on him.  With that in mind, I got it out and laid it on the floor next to me as I read the instructions.

It did not take Fritz long to become comfortable.

"Is this a new toy?"

"...Sure is a funny-shaped toy..."

"...Maybe it's food?"

"I AM YOURS, TOYFOOD <3"

With Fritz in such a good mood and with my confidence building, I decided—why not?  Let’s just make the harness ultra loose and see how he does with it.  (“Ultra loose” on Fritz is still not so big, even with the largest size they make.)  I wasn’t sure at first how I would “reward” Fritz for wearing the harness, as his digestive issues rule treats out.  Then it occurred to me to use his two favorite things: hair bands and riding around on my shoulders.  Overall, I’d say he did pretty great!  He wore the harness for about an hour, and eventually was comfortable enough to walk around the house in it.  Progress!!

"I liked it better when I could play with it."

If you have three minutes of your life you’re willing to part with, and if you love poorly edited self-indulgent videos of other people’s cats, might I interest you in the YouTube video I made of the event?

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Two weeks ago my obliging boyfriend took me to a Seattle Mariners game.  While I spent my entire childhood through age 12 attending my brother’s baseball games (even working the scoreboard at his Dixie Youth Baseball1 games while my mom kept the books!), I’ve only been to one other professional ball game.  And since my only memory of it is what the field lights looked like as I was being either carried out in arms or in a stroller, I was pretty excited to experience a professional baseball game I might remember, especially for my new team.2

Safeco Field, which just celebrated its 12th birthday last week, is beautiful and in great shape.  The weather was perfect—sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, always with a lovely breeze, and no need for the stadium’s unique retractable roof.  We initially tried to get there an hour early, but between delays leaving and confusion with parking (also known as “wallet raping”), we made it to our seats just in time for the first pitch.  And all credit to Stephen here—they were great seats!

Behind home plate

Look! Other people who love saying "Ichiro!"

As it was a Sunday, the day before Independence Day, and a “kids run the bases after the game” day, there was quite a crowd, at least by my standards (“Twenty-eight thousand… and one,” boomed the announcer at the end of the game).  Alas, we didn’t get there early enough to snag a free patriotic cap.

Take Me Out to the Crowd

...I SAID, "Take me out to the crowd"...

Okay, that's enough, take me out of the crowd now.

Of course, I was most excited to see Ichiro in person.  While he hasn’t been having his best season this year, he had a pretty good day with 2 hits and 2 runs out of 3 at bats.  It was also very cool to see a new pitcher, Blake Beavan, have his first Major League start.

Ichiro Yoga (Ichiroga?)

At Bat

I was geeking out for most of our time there.  Stephen, who isn’t a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination, still found something to be enthusiastic about: BALL PARK FOOD (also known as “in-game wallet raping”).

Buy Me Some ... Pretzels and Cracker Jack?

(It wasn’t until after the game that I saw a message from my Dad asking what their specialty stadium food is.  Stadiums… have… specialty food?  I’m still unclear on exactly what it is—the Ivar dog? Rally fries? the brilliantly named Ichiroll?—But we didn’t venture past pretzels on this particular day.)

I Don't Care If I Ever Get Back! (The couple behind me looks like they care, though.)

Even Stephen, who felt a little ambivalent about discovering I enjoy watching a sport (it’s just this one, okay!), seemed to be having a good time.

I like the part where they show bloopers on the big screen.

After all, it was a pretty exciting game (against the San Diego Padres, giving me an excuse to try to taunt the unflappable Steve Betz).  Here’s a completely candid, unstaged shot of us watching the game; you can tell it’s authentic by the way we’re looking at one thing and everyone else is looking at something else:

And It's Root, Root, Root for the Home Team, If They Don't Win It's a Shame...

And in the end, we weren’t disappointed.  Beavan pitched a great game with Brandon League brought in to close, and the Mariners took the series with a 3-1 win, ending the game on a strike-out.

...For It's One! Two! Three Strikes, You're Out! At the Old Ball Game!

 **********

1 Dixie Youth Baseball is basically the South’s way of saying, “To hell with Little League and all its wonderful organization and possibilities it offers kids! We’ll have our own league! *spit*”

2 I was wondering the other day—how do you decide who “your” team is?  Random choice?  Overall charm of the team and/or a player?  I’d always assumed, as everyone here roots for the Atlanta Braves, that this was a geographically-based decision.  But I suppose there’s some crucial window in your life when you are, for whatever reason, a fan of one club, and after that window closes they are YOUR TEAM, regardless of where you live.  Will I now be bound to the Mariners for the rest of my days?  Is it okay that I still have a fondness for the poor Cubs?  Are we all united by our despising of the Yankees?  Who can say?

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It’s a summer of transition here at the academic library where I work.  We’re beginning the slow process of partially transforming ourselves into a learning commons.  It’s an oversimplification, but you can think of a learning commons as something of a 21st-century library—as social networking grows and seas of information available online become overwhelming, a learning commons (also sometimes called an information commons) represents a collaborative, digitally-oriented learning space.  Gone is the stereotype of shushing librarians and dusty stacks; in its place are technology-savvy librarians helping to create information-literate users, whether they’re consuming that information from traditional (print) sources or the trickier world of Google and Beyond.

Of course, such a transition means that a lot of our more-traditional library structure has to be rethought.  We’ve designated our ground floor as the upcoming center of our cool new learning commons, but much of that floor’s real estate is currently occupied by relics of the print era: bound periodicals.  Lots of ’em.

'Tis but a fraction of them.

It’s sad to see a lot of these go, especially since I spent my first few years here working exclusively with periodicals (and I tend to become bizarrely attached to inanimate objects).  But some titles are simply too outdated to be useful (and not historically important enough to warrant keeping), while databases and online subscriptions have rendered many others unnecessary to retain in print.

Wait... which century?

Sad?  Yes.  But…

That's Life.

(Note: We aren’t getting rid of Life. I wouldn’t be able to handle it.)

Not all of our bound periodicals are being unceremoniously dumped, however, and we actually still maintain a sizable number of print subscriptions.  Good for researchers, sure, but bad for the person in charge of periodicals when it comes time to shift the entire collection from one side of the main floor to the other (to make room for a new digital learning lab and group study rooms).  Especially when I found out I had less than 2 hours to clear ’em out (in an organized fashion, of course; this is a library) so the shelving could be moved.

And you thought YOU felt empty inside!

Fortunately I had the help of two generous student workers, and we managed the task in about an hour.  And while we were able to maintain some semblance of order, it’s still just a bit of a mess.

It's like dominoes, except no one will be laughing if they fall over.

ARE THEY MULTIPLYING?!

As of this moment the shelves have officially been moved, and the space is really opening up out there.  Next step: the moving of the microform cabinets. Stay tuned…

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