Tag Archives: nerdiness

4 Reasons Why I Am Embarrassed

Or, 4 Reasons Why I’m A Goober

1. It’s been 3 months since my last post.

I mean, good lord. That’s pretty much a lifetime. I can’t believe what a sadsack blogger I am. So…what’s up with you guys? Anything exciting? I trimmed my bangs too short back in March. That’s my news.

2. All my pants look like this.

Piglet is in this picture because she was chasing a fly. Note the crazy eyes.

Piglet is in this picture because she was chasing a fly. Note the crazy eyes.

How did it come to this, you ask? Well, I’m short and lazy. That’s like the perfect storm of bad traits in terms of pant length. Every pair I buy is too long and I’m certainly not going to do any actual hemming. I mean, I took this picture when I went downstairs to get my sewing machine and pin up the pants to the right length, and the whole time I knew I was lying to myself. I just color-coordinated the yarn in my yarn drawer and eventually got chased away by an angry fly.

So the upshot is that I go to work everyday looking like Huck Finn.

3. I used my busy academic library’s borrowing service to get this book.

How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel (How to Train Your Dragon 10) by Cressida Cowell. Picture from www.amazon.co.uk.

How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel (How to Train Your Dragon 10) by Cressida Cowell. Image from http://www.amazon.co.uk.

Although the ILL folks are all very kind and would assure me that I’m not using this service inappropriately, I know they’d just be saying that to make me feel better. It’s clear that our interlibrary loan exists for researchers who need that obscure but crucial article or they can’t finish writing the incredibly serious paper/thesis/book chapter which must be completed BY NEXT WEEK OH GOD PLEASE PLEASE LET THE ARTICLE GET HERE SOON OR I’M DOOOOOOOMED

And here I am clogging up the works with kids’ books. But you guys, these books. They are the absolute best. Please please read them yourself and then give them to all the kids you know and also make sure to listen to the audiobooks which are narrated by David Tennant. Yes, that David Tennant. You remember David Tennant, right?

And of course he narrates them with adorable Scottish-y brilliance. Don’t miss it.

4. There are eight realistic toad figurines on my eBay watchlist right now.

And I spent a long time at work today carefully comparing these toads and wondering which would look the most…er, toady. The wartier the better. Because [imagine my voice going into high-pitch rapid-fire mode right about now] I’M DOING A HARRY POTTER EXHIBIT AT THE LIBRARY AND IT HAS TO BE PERFECT. I am obsessed. Harry Potter deserves nothing less than the best, you guys, so I’m giving it my all. (I should probably also remember to catalog some stuff though.)

Is it just me, or is this one a little too cute?

Is it just me, or is this one not warty enough?

Hey, does anyone have a cute little burlap sack I could borrow for three months? I need it for dragon dung. Thx.

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5 Reasons Why I’m Straight Ballin’ At Work

Or, 5 Reasons Why These Apps and Online Tools Will Make You Rich and Successful and Cause Your Wildest Dreams To Come True (Not An Exaggeration)

1. I use OmniFocus.

Now that my work involves pursuing tenure through professional development and scholarly contributions (that’s just the kind of boring sentence a tenure-track person WOULD write), OmniFocus is, like, my crack. I discussed its ridiculous features in this post in some detail, so I won’t expostulate about it too much here. Suffice it to say that OmniFocus is capable of breaking down large goals or projects into small, achievable tasks with plenty of reminder and due date options. I use it to catch all my half-formed ideas when I’m on the run, flesh out projects and objectives, and keep track of my progress. Oh, and lest I forget, it also gives me the opportunity to enjoy a smug sense of superiority whenever I check something off the list. And who doesn’t want that?

I can be obnoxiously smug sometimes. It’s a shortcoming.

2. I keep my meeting notes in an online blog.

So most jobs involve, like, a million trillion meetings. Honestly, what is that about? You really can’t just send me an email? Anyway, all these meetings require note-taking, which means you need a good way to record, organize, access, and preserve your notes (and that’s just the kind of boring sentence a librarian would write). But seriously, y’all, it’s 2012. Time to step away from the notepad and file drawer (or pile of random paper on your desk, if that’s your system). Instead, do this:

  • Establish a free WordPress blog
  • Adjust the settings to make it completely private
  • Enable the ability to submit posts by email
  • Create categories for different types of meetings (staff meetings, committees, clients, what have you)
  • Establish a standard method for titling each post (“Weekly Staff Mtg 9/27/12” or “HR Webinar 10/4/12”, etc.) and use those titles every time
  • Download a note-taking app with rich text editing and email capabilities, like Notemaster
  • Use your phone or tablet to take notes in your meetings (and be sure to tell people you aren’t texting or you’ll get some really dirty looks)
  • Code your notes with appropriate categories and tags—most important step of all!
  • Email each new set of notes to your blog

And voila! Now you have a database of all your notes featuring built-in organization, instant access from any device or machine, and robust searching capability. Do you see the beauty of this system? If you’re trying to remember what your boss in that meeting six months ago about TPS reports, you don’t have to thumb through a stack of paper in a drawer somewhere. Just go to your blog and search your tags, or pull up the “Boss meetings” category and scroll by date. Immediate retrieval FTW!

3. I browse with Firefox.

Look, I know Chrome is a good browser (I actually use it at home), but for work purposes Chrome can’t quite compare to the level of customization that Firefox offers; plus it seems to work better with sites I visit often in the course of my cataloging tasks. And we’re not even going to discuss that other browser. What’s that you say? You like it? Excuse me while I scornfully harrumph. HARRUMPH SNARK HARRUMPH. Anyway, install Firefox. Done? Good. Now install some add-ons. My goal for my work browser is to give myself as much screen space as possible for actual content instead of wasting it on menu and tool bars, and I also like to speed up navigation as quickly as possible (I’m often jumping between six or eight different sites while cataloging), so here are my favorite add-ons:

  • Bookmarks menu —> places your bookmarks folders on the nav bar for quick access
  • Speed Dial —> make your home page and new tabs a panel of favorite sites
  • OmniBar —> combine search engine and nav bars
  • Translate This —> no more copying and pasting, just translate right on the page
  • All-in-One Gestures —> use efficient mouse movements to quickly navigate  through and between pages

With all these tools in place, I blaze through the web like a freaking comet. WHOOSH. That was me, just blazing by. I was probably saying “Suckaaaaas!”

Here’s how Firefox looks with all my customizations (click to enlarge!).

4. I store articles and manage citations with Zotero.

Being a cataloger at an academic library means reading a LOT of scholarly articles, plus a bunch of other documentation on cataloging standards and practices. At first, I was printing articles off as I found them and sticking them in a “to-read” file, but again, I find this paper-based system inadequate. Some of those articles are about the tenets of cataloging sound recordings, but others are about changing standards in encoding bibliographic data. My file doesn’t allow me to easily sort by subject or date or anything helpful like that—instead I just have to thumb through a pile of paper and probably get a paper cut and turn into the Autumn Monster. To prevent these distressingly Hulkesque incidents, I’ve started using Zotero, a free program that will automatically save articles, web pages, and other content to folders which you can label by category, author, format, whatever. But that’s not all—Zotero also generates citation info in dozens of different authorized formats (APA, MLA, etc.) so that if and when you decide to write a brilliant and exciting paper about the use of geographic area codes in the public catalog, your bibliography is already formatted and ready to go. And the very awesomest part is, there is a Zotero add-on for Firefox. It is so easy to grab an article while browsing, stick it in a folder, and tag it “to-read.” In fact, sometimes I feel compelled to say BOOYAH to the computer when I do it. Sorry, coworkers.

5. I stay speedy and secure with LastPass.

If you’re like me, you have approximately five thousand logins to various essential sites online. Also if you’re like me, you’re dumb and use the same password all the time. Well, stop that. ::reaches through internet and flicks your forehead:: It’s dangerous, as I found out when someone hacked my Gmail. I had to fly around in a panic changing Amazon, iTunes, Facebook, bank accounts, bills, and other sensitive stuff. And then I couldn’t remember any of those new passwords. DAMEET. So…enter LastPass. I found out about it from a rave review on a tech blog and I haven’t looked back since. It’s a free service that stores all your login information in a secure vault to which you set one master password and which you can access from any computer. You only have to remember that one single password to open your vault, and LastPass does the rest. The LastPass Firefox add-on will automatically retrieve and enter your login information into all your sites, depending on your settings and stipulations. So when I click my SpeedDial button for ClassWeb, the next second I’m in, no waiting or typing. And LastPass will even generate crazy good passwords for new sites if you want. But for the LOVE OF GOD don’t forget your master password. LastPass can’t give it to you or reset it–they don’t store it anywhere, which makes your account nice and secure but also a huge pain in the neck if you forget. Then you might turn into the You Monster. And nobody wants to see that mess.

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3 Reasons Why I Love My Bike

Or, 3 Reasons Why I Don’t Miss My iPad One Little Bit

1. My bike is comfy.

The Electra Townie is designed so that you can sit upright rather than having to lean forward. No more back aches. Plus it has a nice wide seat, an ergonomic handlebar, and a very smooth ride thanks to top-notch materials and construction.

Who needs Angry Birds Space on a bigger screen anyway? ::stifled whimper::

I’ve ridden miles and miles without any discomfort (well, any serious discomfort—there’s no bike in the world that can manage to give its a rider a completely pain-free posterior, alas). In short, the Townie is worth the extra money, even if it means selling your beloved iPad. Which I did. Willingly. No regrets. At all.

2. My bike is cute.

I just need streamers and beads on my spokes and I’ll be all set.

Just look at that dreamy color! It’s like the bike version of a Creamsicle. Plus my wicker basket is très chic, and I have a little bell that goes ring-a-ling-ding. [Translation: Get out of my way, you stupid pedestrian, how dare you amble along in the exact middle of the path looking at your phone and listening to music with giant headphones on!? I will run your ass down fool!]

3. My bike gets me out in the sunshine.

We booknerds have a tendency to retreat into the dark recesses of our homes and develop nocturnal habits. I used to go weeks at a time without getting a good dose of the outdoors. This isn’t helped by the fact that I’m a prissy fussbudget. During any sort of outside activity, I get this creeping feeling of misery, starting with the onset of sunburn and dehydration during which my blood sugar drops and my head begins to ache and my mouth gets all parched. Next I get bitten by insects and my clothes start sticking to me and a film of dusty grit adheres to my sweaty skin and my hair gets plastered on my neck and my face feels like it’s on fire and my sunglasses keep sliding down my nose. By that point I’ve entered the sneaky hate spiral and the day is a wash. But a bike ride, by contrast, is a pleasantly cool adventure. I adore cruising around town like a boss, feeling a balmy breeze on my face as I take in the scenery and chart new routes on the fly. The husband and I have discovered all sorts of cool places this month that we had no idea existed, and last week I saw a muskrat. IN THE FLESH, people.

Wook at his widdle self. Just swimmin’ along, all like, doo-de-doo-de-doo, here I go being a muskrat.

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