Monday, October 21, 2013

Neil Gaiman and Libraries, Sittin' in a Tree...

It's no secret that Neil Gaiman loves libraries. Perhaps that's a large part of why he's my favorite author. There's a recent article from The Guardian where he goes into great detail about this fact (that he likes libraries, not that he's my favorite author) and I think anyone who has ever questioned the reasoning behind having a library or librarians should have to read the entire thing, beginning to end. You can find it here.

This is my favorite paragraph from the whole thing:

"I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them. They belong in libraries, just as libraries have already become places you can go to get access to ebooks, and audiobooks and DVDs and web content."

But there's a lot of other really great points and opinions and jokes of a British nature to enjoy in there, too. If you think it's tl;dr, all the more reason for you, specifically, to read it. You'll see what I mean if you actually do.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Captain!

I've been wearing my suit jacket for a couple days to get comfortable in it so I don't move like an awkward robot during my interview, and I discovered that I feel like Picard when I'm wearing a jacket. If I leave it buttoned, whenever I stand up, I do that double-tug he does to his uniform when he gets out of the captain's chair. This realization makes me feel dignified, and kinda makes me want some tea. (Earl Grey. Hot.)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Post-mortem Facebook

The other day, I saw that a Facebook friend had said "RIP [name]" in a status update. Since the name was linked and looked vaguely familiar, I clicked through to see if I knew the guy. I didn't, but that's not the point. I scrolled through pages of comments on this guy's wall from his many bereaved friends and family members, expressing surprise, saying they had just seen him however many days ago, and he was so young (approximately my age), and sadness at his passing, and condolences for the others commenting there. I kept scrolling because I was still unsure whether I knew him, and I thought maybe one of the comments might mention something about school, or an extracurricular activity I might have known him from. They didn't, but eventually I got past all the RIP comments and I found the last post he made himself. It was... unflattering.

It wasn't anything horribly shocking or terrible. I didn't know the guy, like I said, so maybe he wanted everyone's lasting memory of him to be that he was the guy who liked beer and chicks and probably some swearing. That's absolutely fine with me; none of my business. But it did make me think...

Be careful what you say on Facebook. You never know which post will be your last.

Doing vs. Getting Done

How is it that everyone always seems so busy but never seems to get anything done? I finally have the answer: doing things and getting things done don't have to have anything to do with each other.

See, right now, I am doing something. I am thinking critically and typing and blogging and also laughing at the cat because he's sitting on the desk licking his butt and it's funny.

But what I need to get done does not include any of those things. (Well, I do try to laugh at the cat at least once a day, but it's not really on the to-do list.) I need to do laundry, dishes, vacuum, clear off the living room table, take out the trash, find a good tailor, work on a Powerpoint presentation, move that box to the outside storage, read three books, find the charger cord to my iPod shuffle, return a text message... you get the point.

I'm always doing things. Even if I'm in the shower or on the computer goofing off or watching Netflix, I'm doing something. My mind is active and my body usually is too in some way (walking, typing, etc.) Even going to bed and falling asleep is doing something (although, to be fair, I'd consider that getting things done too, because I do require sleep in order to get anything else done the following day... it's like a getting things done prerequisite, which in itself counts as a thing that got done).

I'm thinking that, if I stop doing things constantly, and take just a few minutes every once in a while to not do anything (not just not get things done but to not be doing anything) it would be nice. And maybe once I returned to doing things after a short period of not doing anything, more of the doing would contribute to getting things done because there would be less time for doing without getting things done.