Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Learn Something New

I literally learn something new every day.

Most of the time, it's from a student's question while I'm working at the reference desk. A lot of it comes from ITE students (the computer class where they have to learn every minute detail about Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, and Access, regardless of how useful it might be in their future). I find a new way to do something I've been doing for years, or I discover some feature I didn't know existed.

Today, I used the Help menu on a piece of graphic software I've been using since elementary school, because something I thought I knew how to do just wasn't working right. I discovered an entirely new toolbar that I never knew existed, and is incredibly helpful.

Yesterday, I read an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education about interviewing for jobs in academia. One of the bits of advice was that you shouldn't be afraid to admit that you don't know something. Of course, if you find yourself not knowing a lot of things, you should reconsider your candidacy for that position, but it's not shameful to not know something; it's shameful to pretend you know something and get caught in the lie later on. Who knows? You might learn something.

So what I'm saying is, if you can admit that you don't know everything about something (in my case, the software I've used for 80% of my life) you could learn something new that makes you even more knowledgeable in that area.

Cool, right?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Next Round: Little Visitor

You guys remember my Little Visitor from the craft swap? The next round is starting soon! I'm just really excited. The new visitor will be here until September 30!!! So much is going to happen between now and then...

Friday, March 8, 2013

10 Years

Today is Birk's and my 10-year anniversary of dating. TEN YEARS, you guys. A DECADE. We started dating on March 8, 2003.

That's a little over a month after the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry, and a little under a month after the war in Darfur began. It was a month before Square Enix became a corporation.

It was the year of Hurricane Isabel. It was a month after the 300th episode of "The Simpsons." (They have aired 522 episodes today.) This was two months before the first person to win one million dollars on the American "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" did so. This was only the second season of "American Idol." It was five months before SpikeTV was born.

This year saw the debut of "That's So Raven," "Chappelle's Show," "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!,"  "The Venture Bros.," "Reno 911!," "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," "Teen Titans," "Nip/Tuck," "Two and a Half Men," "NCIS," "One Tree Hill," "Viva La Bam," and "Arrested Development." It also saw the end of "Dragonball Z," "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch," "Touched By an Angel," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dawson's Creek," "Even Stevens," "Futurama," "Just Shoot Me!," "Pokemon," and "The Angry Beavers."

Fun fact: It was the day that Malta passed a referendum to join the European Union.

It was ten days before the War in Iraq began, with the US invasion of Iraq, and "South Park" began its seventh season. It was nine days before Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire were released. It was the same month The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was released. It was a month after Dolly the first cloned sheep died.

It was a little over a month before the Human Genome Project was completed. It was four months before Barry White died. It was six months before the Hubble Telescope began Hubble Ultra Deep Field, and also six months before John Ritter died. It was also six months before Valve released the first stable version of Steam. It was the year of the Game Boy Advance SP, the year of the first PSP prototype, and the year that NES and SNES officially died. It was also the year the old-style VW Bug died.

It was the year of 28 Days Later (in the US, anyway); Big Fish; Finding Nemo; Lord of the Rings: Return of the King; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; The Matrix Reloaded; Bruce Almighty; Love Actually; X2; Kill Bill, Vol. 1; Mystic River; Scary Movie 3; and The Lizzie McGuire Movie.

The number one song of the year was "In Da Club" by 50 Cent. Other top 100 Billboard hits from that year were: "Crazy In Love" by Beyonce; "When I'm Gone" by 3 Doors Down; "Unwell" by Matchbox Twenty; "Right Thurr" by Chingy; "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence; "Get Low" by Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz; "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera; "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne (you know, the one they put news clips of 9/11 over); "Where is the Love?" by the Black-Eyed Peas; "Drift Away" by Uncle Kracker; "Lose Yourself" by Eminem; "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body" by Justin Timberlake; "Miss Independent" by Kelly Clarkson; "Your Body is a Wonderland" by John Mayer; "Headstrong" by Trapt; "The Remedy" by Jason Mraz; and "Why Don't You & I" by Santana.

The top books of the year included: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#5) by J. K. Rowling; The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon; The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; Eragon by Christopher Paolini; Eats, Shoots & Leaves: A Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss; Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach; Blankets by Craig Thompson; and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

The top 3 Google searches that year were "britney spears," "harry potter," and "matrix." The top 3 Google news searches were "iraq," "lacey peterson," and "kobe bryant." The top 3 Googled men were Eminem, David Beckham, and Orlando Bloom; the top 3 Googled women were Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and Pamela Anderson. The top 3 Googled fictional characters were The Simpsons, Harry Potter, and Pokemon.

George W. Bush had only been president for two years.

It would be two more years before Lady Gaga and Ke$ha began their musical careers. It would also be two years before the first Twilight book was published. Justin Bieber had just turned nine (his career would begin five years later).

It was a year and a half before World of Warcraft was launched. It was four years before the first iPhones. 

Children born that year are now almost out of elementary school.

So I guess what I'm saying is, it's been a long time.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Credits Game

Birk and I have a game we play during the credits of every movie we watch: find an Alex.

We haven't failed yet.

In a pinch, a last name like Alexander will count, but so far, we have always found a first name of Alex, Alexander, Alexandra, Alexandria, Alexandrea, Alexis, Alek, Alec, Aleksander... you get the idea.

So far, we haven't had to make a call on whether names like Lex or Lexi or Xander count, but I think if we can count a last name, we can count a nickname or short-form like that.

One thing I've noticed: rarely do you find our kind (the Alex kind) in the list of actors. The only one I can think of in recent memory is Alec Baldwin (and that was TV; we were watching "30 Rock"). Maybe if we watched something with Alexis Bledel in it...? But usually we find them in the sections like CGI or costuming or Production Coordinators (there were two Alexes in that section for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1... which I am currently watching the credits for, and which prompted this post).

At any rate, we have a fun time with it.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

NaPoWriMo 2013

I'm participating in NaPoWriMo 2013! All you have to do to participate is write a poem every day in April. It's a writing challenge much like NaNoWriMo: you don't do it FOR anything; you just do it because you want to do it.

I'll be using the Grammar Amateur blog for my daily poetry (I didn't want to share this blog on the NaPoWriMo site) so if you want to check it out, go over there in April. In the meantime, all my Grammar Amateur posts for the month of March will be discussing poetry, every Monday and Thursday, covering things like meter, rhyme scheme, and poetic forms. EXCITING!