Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I've discovered a website that allows one to "catalog" one's books. Check out ozimanndias8's tiny web-library. This is a prelude to an all-out library project I'm considering embarking on--cataloging my own library according to the cataloging standards I'm learning in class. It's a great way to learn by doing.
We just learned how to catalog maps. It's quite fascinating the way Library of Congress allows for a detailed classification of a particular map. You can specify each record all the way down to the type of map it is. You would think that such things as type of map, subject of map (is it topographical or a railroad map?), even the cities within a country, would be a given in map cataloging, but Library of Congress is the only cataloging standard that allows for such detail (as far as I know).

Friday, February 24, 2006

I'm taking a break because the search engines keep freezing up. Isn't technology great?

I'm going home in two weeks for spring break. I think I am going to see about visiting the Marion E. Wade center at Wheaton College to see the papers and miscellena of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, Sayers and L'Engle, to name a few. I am also going to ask Grandma to give me a knitting lesson. That should supply the two main focuses of my brain, the intellectual and the mindless.

Crocheting is like doing the dishes, or taking a walk--my mind tends to sort and organize my thoughts much more effectively if my body is preoccupied with a repetitive task.

Monday, February 20, 2006

There is an old man who is at the Y every time I go there. He shuffles around the fitness room with a somber expression and exercises with the lowest amount of effort possible. It's wonderful to see him there--aged people shouldn't be afraid to work out, but it's absolutely funny to see him on the recumbent bike, solemnly turning the wheels (I don't say "pedal" because that implies more action that what he does) as if it is his sworn duty.
This makes me wonder how other people see me there...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Here is an excerpt from Jesus by James McCauley:

"...And when a dove came to his hand he knew
that hell was opening behind its wings.
He thanked the messenger and let it go;
spoke to the dust, the fishes and the twelve
as if they understood him equally,
and told them nothing that they wished to know."

Poetry has that knack for conveying the emotion of a thing, the full-bodied nature of a drawn out moment. This passage gave me pause, and made me think of Anne Rice's new book Christ the Lord which is a surprisingly good read. Jesus, not quite eight years old, is slowly realizing the totality of his nature, and towards the end, in the culmination of the book, he realizes that everything that is born must die, a realization that carries more weight for him than mortals.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I've sent off my application for the "audio-visual services clerk" position at the Bourbon County library. I doubt anything will come of it. What bothers me is that I am getting a graduate degree, spending thousands to claim a degree, and I will most likely have to start at the bottom with low pay and hopefully work up.
The funny thing about the cataloging business is that it is a broad spectrum. Some libraries treat it like a paraprofessional position, with pay to match, while others accord it full professional status (which it deserves, and I am speaking objectively, considering the amount of education and detail one has to possess to do the job effectively), with a decent salary. Even more frustrating is that it varies within types of libraries. Some public libraries have catalogers, while others just have clerks (like the position above).
I jumped at this position because it would let me get my foot in the door. Considering that Jon and I want to live in a rural part of Kentucky, my options for library jobs will be limited, so any chance I have of working at a public library, I'm going to snatch.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day! Now that both sets of parents have sent us Valentine's cards, I suppose that means Jon and I will have to get one for each other.

On Sunday I went to the Lexington Vintage Dance Society's exhibition at Joseph-Beth. They advertised it as romping music from Jane Austen's time, unlike anything we've seen in the movies. It was actually quite enjoyable. The performers were familiar enough with the moves to gracefully fix any errors they made, so the audience didn't have to suffer through that peculiar vicarious embarrassment that one can feel while watching a clumsy performer.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Here are some interesting Kentucky town names (excluding the standard names like Sulphur Lick or Dogville):

-Pippa Passes

The latter made me think the Three Musketeers. The first was just odd. How do you say, "I come from Pippa Passes"? The way that name is constructed gives one an incomplete-thought, unfinished-sentence sort of headache. It's like a dog chasing its own tail, unable to come to resolution.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I will say right off the bat: I do not like cellphones. I am not against them per se, for they are a means of communication; I am against what they do to people.

I cannot count the number (and this countless number would probably be tripled if I wasn't hard of hearing) of times that I have been walking behind someone talking on a cellphone and overheard something like this: "I'm on Rose Street. I'm like a minute from the library. Yeah, I'm coming up the sidewalk. Okay, I'm right outside the library. I'll see you in 5 sec--whoops, there you are!"

Most of the time I overhear people on their cellphones, this is the kind of stuff they are saying. Literally. It bothers me that people will engage in such banal conversations. Are we so afraid of a mere five minute walk to the library that we have to fill up that solitude with something--anything-- that fills up the silence? Are we so afraid of being alone that we'll rush to fill it up with distractions--TV, computers, cellphones?

This might seem off-subject, but I was reminded of something Mom told Jon concerning his hiking: "You have to like yourself to be alone for extended periods of time in the wilderness. Most people couldn't handle that." I think this points to the root of the matter.

Friday, February 03, 2006

"The farmer and the cowboy should be friends.."

Us girls (or is it we girls?) watched Oklahoma!, starring Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) last night, which led to the discussion on just why we love musicals so much, but our husbands abhor them. (Case in point: Jon announced Tuesday night that he would do anything but watch the President's state of the union speech. He was even willing to watch a movie or go shopping. When I suggested, "Well, we could watch Oklahoma," he said, "Uh... I'd rather watch the state of the union speech.").

I think what bothers them must be the dream sequences, and the spontaneous song and dance that erupt out of the oddest circumstances. We joked that our lives would be much more eventful if we could make episodes out of mundane events, like dinner. We could dance circles around the dining room, belting out lyrics, then assemble in some crazy set-up around and on top of the dining table as we presented dinner with a flourish: "Lamb kebobs! Sweet potatoes! Orange carrots with the raisins on top!"

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Here is my new favorite poem:

Via Negativa (by R.S. Thomas)

Why no! I never thought other than
That God is that great absence
In our lives, the empty silence
Within, the place where we go
Seeking, not in hope to
Arrive or find. He keeps the interstices
In our knowledge, the darkness
Between stars. His are the echoes
We follow, the footprints he has just
Left. We put our hands in
His side hoping to find
It warm. We look at people
And places as though he had looked
At them, too; but miss the reflection.

Negative theology (via negative=negative way) is not, as one might instinctively think, theology that attempts to disprove the existence of God. It is theology that attempts to describe God by what he is not, since he is mysterious and beyond comprehension.