Thursday, February 12, 2015

Planning for Portland

You wouldn't believe the incredible luck I stumbled into a couple weeks ago (and the subsequent ridiculous headaches it has caused). See, a few months ago, one of our librarians took a job at another college. Before then, she was the point of contact for the library to the Office of Intercultural Learning. She and someone from the OIL planned a poster session for the ACRL conference this March, about the partnership between the two departments. Well, it came to light that the librarian can no longer speak to the future of this partnership and upcoming programs and developments, since she no longer works at our college, so somebody else needed to go with them to cover that portion. Logically, it came down to me and one other librarian, because we're on the committee that deals with intercultural education, and since my mom lives near Portland, the other librarian was happy to let me have this one.

In other words... I get to go to Portland in March!!!

Granted, there have been roadblocks after roadblocks (example: less than a week after establishing that I'm going on this trip, the college had to freeze out-of-state travel and I had to find hoops to jump through to get the money approved, and we're still in the middle of doing my paperwork) but it's happening, sure enough.

Now, of course I'm excited about the conference itself. I've been perusing the conference schedule and finding all sorts of panels and workshops and posters I want to check out. But let's not forget that I'll be in Portland. If you told me I could live in any city in the world, I'd have to flip a coin to decide between Virginia Beach and Portland. (I'd give Paris pretty serious consideration, but when it comes down to it, I think I'd rather stay stateside.)

Benson Hotel
Let's start with my hotel, shall we? It's old... opened in 1913, and added to the National Register of Historical Places in the year I was born, 1986. It's walking distance to all sorts of really neat stuff, including the Pearl District, which I recall as having quintessentially Portland-y shopping. (It's also the home of Powell's City of Books, which I can't go into or I'll spend all day there and see nothing else. I love Powell's!) Also? It's haunted. Supposedly by the owner of the hotel, since it was his baby and he wants to make sure everything is still going okay, and by a former drummer for Jimi Hendrix who died there. As long as my room isn't on one of the three (out of twelve) floors that has had a sighting, I'll be fine.

Portland Art Museum
Surprisingly, I've never been to the Portland Art Museum, and it's only a 10-minute walk from my hotel! I think I'll have to spend a hefty chunk of Wednesday there (I don't have to be at the conference until 4pm that day). They have a couple interesting exhibits that will still be there when I'm there, including a Japanese clay exhibit I need to check out for my mother-in-law!

Oregon Zoo
If for some reason I decide that I don't want to go to the Art Museum, I'm also staying pretty close to the Oregon Zoo, which is great fun and really huge. Who doesn't love a zoo?

OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)
I've been to OMSI two or three times (last time I was there, we saw the Bodies exhibit, which was just the coolest) but they always have some new huge exhibit to explore. There's actually a reception type of thing on Friday night with the conference taking place at OMSI, so I might just go to that, or I might go explore it another time and skip the reception. I'm not entirely sure yet. Right now, they have a "what I eat" exhibit about diet around the world, which is something I'm absolutely fascinated by. They also have an exhibit starting in two days (which will stay until May, so I'll be there to see it) about mazes, which seems really interesting.

Voodoo Donut
It's really important to me that I go to Voodoo Donut while I'm there. They have a location just a few blocks from my hotel, and I must eat there again. It makes me so happy. Oregonians know their damn donuts, I tell you what.

Food trucks
It should be illegal to go to a city like Portland for a week and not get something from a food truck. I'm typically not a food truck kind of person. (I judge restaurants heavily based on bathroom cleanliness... I don't know what to think of a food service establishment that doesn't have a bathroom.) But Portland is crawling with them, and everything they sell sounds incredible. I hope the one-mile walk between the hotel and the convention center has tons of them to give me lots of options each day. Then I can eat on the way back to the hotel, and do something else with what's left of the evening instead of agonize over where to go eat!

Obviously a huge perk of this trip is seeing my mom and Kevin. I can actually only have my hotel room for three nights because of complex funding reasons, so I'll go stay with my mom the night before the last day of the conference, which means I'll be taking the MAX all the way across the city (or asking for a ride) back to the convention center Saturday morning. But then I have two full days to have fun before I fly back home! Any of the stuff above that I haven't gotten to can be done then, plus seeing other family and just lounging with the pugs after a long hard conference.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

I don't like sharing New Year's resolutions publicly. Part of it is that I think they should be things that are important to me personally and sometimes that means things that I don't necessarily feel the world needs to know about, but also - let's be real here - partly I just don't want to be held accountable for them. But I'll give it a shot this year.

One: I shall banish the floordrobe.
No more putting clothes - dirty, clean, or otherwise - on the floor. Clothes don't belong on the floor. Clothes belong on a hanger, in a drawer or one of those fabric box thingies we use, or the washer or dryer or laundry basket or on my body (or in the case of pajamas I intend to wear again the following night, left on the bed). No more floordrobe. The floordrobe shall vanish.

Two: I shall read every book we review for Review Me Twice in its entirety, on time, and in time to write a review of it before the appropriate Friday morning.
There were too many weeks in 2014 where I posted late and/or didn't finish the book (either because I got my hands on it too late or because I didn't like it). This will not be the way of 2015.

Three: We will get so much better at saving money.
I'm not going to announce a more specific goal than that, partially because I don't want to tell everyone our financial business and partially because the day-to-day goals will be... let's say "fluid." We'll try different things to see what works and what doesn't.

There are, of course, other things I would like for this year to hold. We plan to move, so that's a pretty big project. I'd like to greatly cut down on our number of possessions by decluttering before moving. I plan to continue to cook more and healthier meals, and take lunch to work more often than I stop at Wawa in the morning for it. I'd like to learn to enjoy tea, to knit and/or crochet, to do something I don't even know exists yet. I intend to finish all Christmas gifts by the beginning of December. I'm planning my first self-made cosplay for the May TWCC, plus one for the new Star Wars movie, my next tattoo, several big and exciting projects for work, and a major cross-stitching project that won't get done this year but I'd like to make significant progress on this year. I've started a photo-a-day attempt again (with daily reminders programmed into my phone to keep me on track). But I don't want to prescribe my 2015. A lot of that stuff will probably fall by the wayside, but in the interest of other, new, interesting and/or important things, and that's fine. I don't intend to be the same person in 365 days that I am now, so I won't have precisely the same goals that I do now.

So happy 2015 to all, and best of luck in your own resolutions!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Crafting 2014

Now that everyone has opened their presents, I can show you the things I made as Christmas gifts this year! (Except one that isn't finished... yes, my dad had to open a "work in progress" gift, but only because I lost the one I finished nearly an entire year ago and had to start over... this week).

Beatles silhouettes for Kevin

Elvis profile and signature for Ralph (Ignore Ipo sitting there, I didn't have a photo without him)

Peeps ornaments for Lori (felt backings to match each Peep)

Pug ornament for Mom (not pictured, pink felt backing and ribbon hanger, added after photo was taken)
Plus Dad's lemons speech from Portal 2, but like I said, I had to redo that one and it's not done. Still... I had fun making presents (like I always do) and other people seemed to have fun receiving them, so that's a good thing.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Weird thing to post about, I know, but I'm loving Warlords of Draenor (the new expansion for World of Warcraft) and here's a huge reason:

Yeah I totally met a Naaru. Love it. Love everything about it. Love the Naaru.

And yes, I only posted this so I could Pin this image to Pinterest for other stuff.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tidewater Comicon

You know what's amazing? Cosplaying.

You know what else is amazing? Tidewater Comicon.

You know what's the most amazing? WINNING first-place group cosplay at Tidewater Comicon!

Wanna know how I know? WE DID!

I'm ever so proud of Beth and Chris for making our incredible Game of Thrones outfits and rocking them. So there's a photo of us with the other winners.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy Birthday from... Google?

I didn't know Google did this for birthdays! If you're logged in, this is the Google logo you get. I felt special. Thanks, Google!

Gimli Gif

Sorry, this isn't a gif of my cat or the dwarf we named him after... it's a gif that our cat is completely entranced by. He's watching it for about the 30th time as I type this sentence. It's Jell-O, bouncing at 6200 fps, found on Reddit.