Friday, July 8, 2016

Pokemon Go Diaries

A lot of people are noticing that Pokemon Go really is getting them to walk more, go outside more, and explore parts of their neighborhoods that they never knew existed.

Seeing that a Staryu was nearby propelled me off the couch and out the door, even though I believed it to be pouring rain at the time. (In fact, the rain stopped just in time for me to dash out in search of beloved Pokemon.) It turned out that my game had just frozen for a while, and in fact, the Staryu was hours past. But I still caught four Pokemon, hit up my apartment complex's Pokestop twice, and saw:

- fire trucks clear at the other end of the complex, but I don't know why
- a guy on his phone walking around but I don't think he was playing Pokemon Go
- I visited Missi's place because there were leaves rustling out front but her lights were off so I didn't go bother her
- a sidewalk I didn't know existed on the other side of the complex (not that I think it'll come in handy, but hey, it's new and different)

Not the most exciting walk I've ever been on, but I caught a Paras and added 1.1km to incubating my first egg, all while getting more exercise than I've gotten any night this year!

Thank you, Pokemon Go!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year's Resolution 2016: Reading

As one of my New Year's resolutions, I'm going to read one book from every shelf of the college's circulating collection at my library. That's 70 books, most of which will be non-fiction. I don't read much non-fiction, and this seemed like a pretty good way to explore some.

[1] Forty studies that changed psychology
[2] From axons to identity
[3] The believing brain
[4] Bhagavad Gita
[5] Alexander the Great and the mystery of the elephant medallions
[6] Kilroy was here
[7] Pity for the Guy
[8] The night of broken glass
[9] Vietnam War nurses
[10] Becoming two-spirit
[11] Angela's ashes
[12] Thomas Jefferson's creme brulee
[13] The audacity of hope
[14] Eight women, two model Ts, and the American west
[15] Sea monsters on medieval and Renaissance maps
[16] SEAL survival guide
[17] Croquet and its influence on Victorian society
[18] Brand failures
[19] Super Mario
[20] Signs, streets, and storefronts
[21] Bi
[22] My little red book
[23] On women turning 30
[24] Washed away
[25] There is a gunman on campus
[26] The thirteenth turn
[27] Homer Simpson ponders politics
[28] Is eating people wrong?
[29] Libraries, the First Amendment, and cyberspace
[30] The Montessori method

Back-up options:
[1] Pensees
[2] IQ: a smart history of a failed idea
[3] Haunted Virginia Beach
[4] The autobiography of Malcolm X
[5] Ten Popes who shook the world
[6] Dear Miss Breed
[7] Destined to witness
[8] The history of Iceland
[9] A geek in Japan
[10] Failures of the presidents
[11] Catfish and mandala
[12] Weevils in the wheat
[13] Flapper
[14] The Chesapeake book of the dead
[15] Moby-duck
[16] A brief history of nakedness
[17] Taking sudoku seriously
[18] Killer UX design
[19] (rescinded choice because it's not at our campus; replacement coming soon)
[20] Soap, sex, and cigarettes
[21] Condom nation
[22] Poking, pinching, and pretending
[23] Camgirls
[24] Talking with your hands, listening with your eyes
[25] Kitty Genovese
[26] History of the Virginia Beach Police Department
[27] Robert's rules for dummies
[28] Math on trial
[29] At liberty to die
[30] The gift of dyslexia

Thursday, April 2, 2015

NaPoWriMo 2015: Day 2

Haiku: Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness is
A bad habit that's plaguing
me lately. Sorry.

Dedicated to posting a day late and changing the date stamp to look like I didn't forget anything.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NaPoWriMo 2015: Day 1

It's National Poetry Month again! And that means I'm writing and posting one poem every day this month, right here. So let's get started! This one is a cinquain, following the syllables method (first line is 2 syllables, second line is 4, third is 6, fourth is 8, fifth is 2 - the first line, repeated). Read more about it here.

Rain, cold, sun, warm, pollen.
It can't make up its mind at all.

To be fair, I spent the last week in a sunny, warm version of Portland, drove through hail to get to the airport, and landed in sunny, chilly Virginia Beach. So my weather woes are not what the poem presents. But I know April will be like this, so I'm prepared.

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!