December 18, 2009

Chicago Skyline...oooh

Look at this awesome picture that my brother made. While we were in the city a few weeks ago, we were standing in Millennium Park by the Bean...excuse me 'The Cloud Gate'...and he took a series of photos of the buildings along Michigan Avenue. Then he used his computer savvy and some fancy program (I'm sure he explained it, but I've forgotten) and made this panoramic photo.
Feel free to ooh and aah.

Christmas in Chicago

This past weekend I was able to head into Chicago on Saturday to share some shopping and site-seeing with my MI and IL friends. We hit the Art Institute gift shop ('cuz it's free), and Millenium Park, and walked the Macy's windows, and shopped in Macy's (which is seriously overheated for people wearing long underwear), watched a little of the 5 o'clock CBS news through the studio windows, hit the Christkindlmarket (where some of us purchased hot chocolate in a commemorative boot - awesome), and ended the night with dinner and drinks at the Crepe Bistro.
Great fun was had by all. Here are some pics of the day.

December 7, 2009


This past weekend I rode the train down to Galesburg, IL for a day of baking with my Augie buddies Melissa and Larisa. (I bet you didn't know taking the Amtrak from Naperville to Galesburg is actually faster than driving). When I arrived in town Larisa and I stopped at a local bakery to get a treat for a mid-morning snack. Besides the sticker-shock of buying baked goods outside of the Chicago area (a good-sized cinnamon roll cost only $1) I walked into the attached small grocery shop next door and had another unusual experience.
This is a goat or a sheep or something like that...made of seeds and beans. He's completely covered, and dressed for the holidays. It was so avant-garde in such an unexpected place. Of course I took a picture.

Door Decorating 2009

We've done it again. USF is decorating our doors for the holiday season and the Archives is no exception. You may remember my Narnia door from last year. This year the offices in the Library got together to have a theme through-out the building. We all decorated our doors with a different Christmas movie, and then did a display on the first floor for a "Library Movie Theatre".
My movie is A Christmas Story, and in true Linnea fashion, I went way overboard. Here are some pictures: (For those of you who haven't been to my office, it's a door set in a wall of windows).
And this is the display by the front door that I did for the "Library Movie Theatre":
My job rocks.

September 24, 2009

More TV Goodies

The new shows just keep coming. So far this week I've been impressed.

NCIS - They did a creative take on wrapping up the season finale cliff-hanger from last year, but still leaving it open to see how things will progress this season. I was glad to discover that watching all those re-runs on USA hasn't turned me off of the new season.

NCIS: LA - They made some changes to the set-up of the show since they did the introductory episode during NCIS last season. The blonde boss from CSI is gone (too bad) and replaced by the tiny woman from The Incredibles (jury's out on that one). It seems to have shifted from a large team format to a partners with office back-up format. I do like Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J's chemistry so that might work, although I hope they don't ignore the other techies.

Castle - It just keeps getting better and better. I'm impressed each week and can't stop giggling at Nathan Fillion's hilarity. I follow this great blog The Park Bench, and her post sums it up better than I can.

Still to come this week: CSI, FlashForward and Community, but I'm gone Thursday nights at my Bible Study Small Group so I'm going to have to figure out a system for watching them OnDemand (Comcast) or online. When I do see them, I'll let you know what I think, since that's what I like to do.

September 14, 2009

Boastin' and Braggin'

What I Did on My Summer Vacation...

I had a crazy and full summer in the Archives. I had two big projects that needed to be finished at the start of the school year, and I definitely felt the burn more than once. But with plenty of Mt. Dew and a few refreshing, long lunches I'm done with both projects. I will now take this time to brag.

Project 1: Sharing Our Past Online Collection - Last year I won a grant for the Archives to digitize 5,000 images and then create an online collection. It was finished in August and I'm now working on the marketing campaign. Please take a look here and let me know what you think. It's basically a visual history of USF, and it's like my baby so be kind with your criticism.

Project 2: Founder's Day Displays - Last year I volunteer (or was volunteered, my memory is a bit fuzzy on that) to do a display with materials from the Archives for Founder's Day. It was pretty successful so this year I was asked to do 3 displays. Wow, that was a lot of work, but it's done. You can check out the Archives' blog for pictures and more info.

So there's my Egypt.

Newsflash - they're now asking me to help with a fourth display - and by the end of the day today. eek.

September 11, 2009

Tis the Season...

...for new shows. One of the best things about fall is the new TV season. Unfortunately, I tend to fall hard for shows that are quickly canceled, but it never stops me. In the last few years TV schedules have gone all over the map. It used to be everything premiered in September, ran for the school year and re-ran during the summer. Now there are shows premiering in mid-winter or whole seasons running during the summer.

For example, Leverage has had two seasons in less than a year and 10 Things I Hate About You had their first season in a couple months this summer. It breaks up the routine, but can be confusing and easy to miss stuff.

As for the new fall season, I've only seen two new shows so far, but I liked them both. Glee is a great mix between High School Musical, 90210 and Napoleon Dynamite. I'm excited to see what they do with it.

I also watched The Vampire Diaries last night. It has potential. It's based on a series of books that have been on my "To Read" list for a while now so that upgrades it in my head. The thing that stood out for me the most, though, was the music. It was FIERCE. So many good, mood-setting songs, and I had actually heard of some of them before. Because the internet is an information overload I found a list on someone's blog:

Sort of by Silversun Pickups
Here We Go by Matt Kearney
Consoler of the Lonely by The Raconteurs
Say (All I Need) by OneRepublic
Take Me to the Riot by Stars
Thinking of You by Katy Perry
Kids by MGMT
Running Up That Hill by Placebo (my current favorite moody song)
Death by White Lies
Back to Me by The All-American Rejects
Siren Song by Bat for Lashes
Never Say Never by The Fray

I may just watch the show for the music.
I hope the rest of the shows I try out this fall do as well. Fingers crossed none of them get canceled early and break up with me.

September 9, 2009

30 Rocks Birthday Weekend Extravaganza!

I had a superb and magnificent weekend in MI celebrating my birthday with friends and family. (And apparently it's caused me to use descriptive words usually saved for movie reviews and magic shows.) Saturday started with some shopping with mom (always awesome) and then the 30 Rocks Day of Adventure started. Basically, I made my friends go around with me to some of my favorite spots around Lansing.

1) Old Town - we hit the snazzy boutiques Grace and October Moon and even walked through the peppy Polka Dot Bead-a-full shop.
2) Lansing City Market - I was on a mission by buy chips from the El Azteco stand, but was too late so I got some really good popcorn instead.
3) Cheddar's - there's only one reason to go to Cheddar's in the middle of the afternoon...that's right - A Cookie Monster. mmm.4) Frances Park Rose Garden - such a glamorous and well-tended garden with awesome views of Grand River. It doesn't feel like you're in the middle of Lansing. We tried to get in the background of some wedding photos, but were unsuccessful.5) Jesse and Scott's house - why not? They moved in last week and are working on unpacking and decorating and were more than willing to give a tour to a car full of girls.

After the incredibly fun afternoon we returned to my parent's abode for the evening party. The 30 Rocks evening was a rousing success. It was so much fun to see some of my favorite people all in one place and the food was great (especially since my mom picked all my favorites). There was cake and laughter and creative presents (Margaret brought me 30 rocks - 30 rocks candy sticks - awesome) and a large game of Apples to Apples.Sunday was another fun day with family. We celebrated the September birthdays all together at my parent's house. It was great to see everybody, especially since I live out of state now and don't get to attend as many functions. And yes, there are 30 candles on that cake. My grandma said "Just be glad we didn't use 82."Overall - awesome. On a scale of 1 to 10...52.

September 3, 2009

Author! Author! Author!

On Tuesday I went to the Book Club Kickoff Celebration at my local public library. I've been going to a book club through this library since I moved to IL and thought it would be fun to see what this celebration was all about.

They invited a number of local authors to come and talk to us. I hadn't heard of any of them and most of them are romance writers so I thought it might be a bit boring. I ended up having a great time! My name was drawn for a free book, and when one of the women from my book club told them it was my birthday, I got another free book. And since both the authors were there I got them signed.

I'm really excited to read them and see if they're any good. It was such an enjoyable evening and the women were so nice and approachable. I would recommend checking them out if your stumped for a romance or historical romance or supernatural romance read.

The Authors:
Luisa Bueler - Mysteries
Dyanne Davis - Supernatural and African-American Romance
Blythe Gifford - Historical Romance
Keena Kincaid - Historical Romance
Michelle Larks - African-American and Christian Romance
Ann Macela - Supernatural and Historical Romance

September 2, 2009

Random Thoughts of the Day

These came through on a forwarded e-mail and made me laugh... a lot. Thought I would share my favorites. (I don't know who wrote them, if you do let me know).

* I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

* Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete oppostie direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

* I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

* The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work e-mail with the phrase "Regards" again.

* Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow on it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards of FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

* How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

* I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

* Lol has gone from meaning, "laughing out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

* Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

* Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

* Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that G as in...(10 seconds lapse)...ummm...Goonies".

* MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

* I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

* If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

* Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem...

*I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

* I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

* The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fatso before dinner.

* There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

September 1, 2009

30 Rocks!

Happy Birthday to me.

August 31, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

I was very reluctant to see this movie. I have fond memories of (and pieces of) playing with the Joe guys when I was a kid. There were a couple girl characters so I was allowed to participate when the boys were playing. The cartoon was classic 80s as well, but for some reason the trailers and commercials for the movie looked uninspiring. I was fine with waiting until it came out on DVD. But this weekend I had some free time so I decided to hit a matinee. I'm really glad I did. It was a great adventure. It had all the action and fun techy toys that you would expect and the actors did superb jobs of being the "Joe" characters without being cheesy or unbelievable. The story wasn't too hard to follow and actually made sense.
My guess is the Marketing and PR guys for this movie were Marvel fans and were unexcited with the task of promoting the Joes. If so...shame on them. I hope other people go see it despite the so-so PR. I would definitely recommend it and I hope it does well enough to warrant that sequel that they set up oh so well.

August 28, 2009

The Sugar Queen

by Sarah Addison Allen
2008, Bantam Books
This was the latest Book Club book that I read, and it was the best that we've read so far. It's definitely chick lit, but it has this extra bit of fantasy that works really well. One of the characters is visited by books that appear just when she needs them (Wouldn't that be awesome!). The twists are creative and I wasn't able to guess any of them ahead of time, which added to the excitement of their discovery. It's a well written book that follows the romance of the characters without shoving it down your throat. It also ties up all the loose ends for a satisfying ending.
Check it out and enjoy!

July 29, 2009

Two Stories

I recently got a haircut...a drastic haircut. I cut almost 11 inches off to give to Locks of Love. It was time for a change so I went for it. The responses have been overwhelmingly positive. So many compliments and oohs and aahs. I'm thinking I should have done this a while ago, it's been great for my ego.
Yesterday someone was heard to say that I looked "adorable". Now, it may be because I don't really use that word, but it really threw me. It was the second time someone used that word to describe my new haircut and each time I was like "really?". To me adorable is a word for small things or baby things or precocious things, not 6' tall awkward people with new haircuts. I guess there are worse things people could have said, but I'm hoping that's the last "adorable" I hear.

On a lighter, less neurotic, note:
I was driving home from work yesterday when someone pulled out in front of me. They weren't super close, but I did have to hit the brakes and it freaked me out a bit. I'm not 100% over the car accident from a month back so I still get a bit nervous when people are too close to me on the road. I was scared and I got pissed so I laid on the horn. Unfortunately, the horn in my new car is ridiculous. It sounds like I'm killing a pack of out-of-tune geese in my engine. I had forgotten about that fact. So after I angrily honked at the stupid driver I immediately started laughing. Even though it's a completely useless car horn in an emergency, at least it's a great cure for my road rage moments.

p.s. I'll post pics of my new haircut once I get some good ones.

July 21, 2009

Heather's Wedding

One of my friends from Augustana got married this weekend. It was a very fun event, and I had the privilege of being a "helper" of sorts. She handed me a binder of details and I made sure the starred things happened correctly. It was a blast and the perfect outlet for my A-type tendencies. Because I was there for the rehearsal as well as the wedding and reception I got plenty of great pictures. I thought I would share some of the fun ones. (you can click on them to see a bigger version).I also took a video of a younger guest at the reception shaking his groove thing on the dance floor. He was out there for quite a while living it up. See it here on Youtube.

This weekend was also an awesome opportunity to catch up with my Augie buds and some friends I hadn't seen in years. I've got some good reception pictures to share too.

July 16, 2009

ALA Exhibits

On Monday I went with my fellow USF Librarians to the Exhibit Hall at the American Library Association Annual Conference. What fun! It was amazing the amount of people and vendors that were there. Over 1,500 booths. It was great to talk with other librarians/archivists and other vendors to see what's new, what projects people are doing, what information is coming soon.
I took a few pictures while I was there of the "decorations":A knight at one of the booths. I don't remember where, but he was pretty impressive.

At one point I turned to the side and almost ran into this dinosaur guy. Needless to say I was startled and then I kept seeing him prowling around the exhibits. It's hard to be creeped out by a dino in a orange shirt and blue hat, but he was a little weird.

My favorite. I have a soft spot for The Cat since I have been him for Halloween quite a few times. This guy was very popular, but he stopped to pose for me.

July 14, 2009

Ashamed of My State

I'm very disheartened by a news release that came my way through the library world. The State of MI, the state the I love and have hopes of someday returning to, has passed an executive order to terminate the History, Arts and Libraries Department and close the Library of Michigan.

How do you close the State Library? And how do you think you are saving the state money by taking away their access to free resources?

Highlights of Executive Order No. 2009-36:
* They will stop checking out books. whaaat?!
* Eliminate nine staff positions, including the State Librarian.
* Start charging an admission fee to the once free State Museum.
* They are going to "shop around" things like the Federal Documents Depository, non-Michigan genealogy, Michigan History Magazine, and the museum store and if they can't find people to take them over they're going to eliminate them.
* They won't be administering the MELCat program anymore, which is a huge blow to libraries in the state. MELCat is the inter-library loan program that allows Michigan residents to borrow books from outside their library system, from anywhere in the state. No more MELCat means no more ILL for lots of libraries.
* Many things will be transferred to the Department of Natural Resources including museum facilities, archives, historical records and related functions, and the Mackinaw Island State Park Commission. Exactly how does the DNR qualify as administrators of the state's history?
* They are "creating a nine person "Center for Innovation and Reinvention Board" that has until June 1, 2010 to come up with a way to "preserve and maximize the benefits to the public of existing state library and historical resources" using "creative and innovative ideas," but doesn't get more specific than that."

It just seems so backwards to me. I can see backing off on services or collection development or other things for a few years, but to eliminate or reassign everything is going to be such a mistake in the long run. I worry that when (or if) Michigan ever gets back on its feet they're going to look around and say "What happened to our State? And who are all these uneducated people milling around causing trouble? Don't we have somewhere they could go to learn outside of school?

July 10, 2009

Librarians Rule!

Did you know that the 2009 Annual Meeting for the American Library Association is being held in Chicago today through next Tuesday? I'm headed in to the city on Monday to visit the exhibits and meet up with some classmates and friends and enjoy the experience in general. I thought I would post some quotes in honor of my fellow book lovers and information gatherers.

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
- Jorge Luis Borges

"In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us how to swim."
- Linton Weeks

"Our whole American way of life is a great way of ideas, and librarians are the arms dealers selling weapons to both sides."
- James Quinn

July 9, 2009

Read What You Want

I am such a huge fan of reading lists that I've kind of overwhelmed myself with lists of books that I want to read. I have a "classics" list, and a "new classics" list, and an "ultimate teen" list plus the list that I kept while I was in grad school and had no time to read for fun but wanted to keep track of all the books that my fellow future librarians recommended. Whew! It turns out it takes a whole lot longer to read a list of books than to write or print it out (who knew). I also get frustrated because I'll be following a list and then want to read something off the list that just came out or was just recommended and I have guilt about it. Then I get stuck in indecision. Ugh.
I know it's a very petty problem to have, so I do sometimes have to remind myself that the world will not end because I read a few books "out of order". I recently found a quote by Samuel Johnson that says:
"A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good."
While I think that assigned reading for a class may be an exception to that, I'm going to try to remember his words when I get caught up in silly fretting over what to read next. I'll read just as I'm inclined. The trick will be to figure out what I'm inclined to read.

July 8, 2009

A Neeeww Caaar!

Imagine that title was yelled by Rod Roddy on the Price is Right.

I had success on my 4th of July weekend mission to find a new used car to replace my poor jeepy that was totaled in the accident last month. I bought a 2000 Honda CR-V in dark green. It was the least expensive car that I test drove and had the most amount of features that I wanted.
So far, so good. There are some amusing/annoying things about it, but they're not worth fixing so I'll just get used to them. And the horn makes a sad, unfortunate noise that I laugh at each time.

The plan is to use the money I saved to do some fixes that will bring it up to worry-free working condition, and drive it for a couple of years until I've saved up enough to buy the car I really want. Who knows, maybe I'll end up with a new CR-V down the road. Right now I'm just thankful that I'm not having to pay for a rental anymore.

Thanks also to Bob for his amazing help on the car buying day. I know I got the awesome deal that I did because of him. And he stuck it out even after I complained about one car because there was no place for my purse. (I'm such a girl).

July 7, 2009

D.C. Highlights

I recently went on a family vacation to our nation's capital. I love that city. It's clean and peppy and chocked full of stuff to do. I thought I would share some highlights and some pictures. Enjoy!

* Smithsonian! Smithsonian! Smithsonian! - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian props, The Castle, and the repairing of a space something or other at the Air and Space Museum are the main things I got pictures of, but we did quite a few of the museums.* Travel on the Metro was very somber and a bit slower after Monday's accident, but it is still my favorite public transportation system.

* Vacation Eating: McDonald's for breakfast, various food courts for lunch, and Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Lovely!* Kooky, yet relaxing, sculpture gardens.* The National Archives! We didn't actually go in because the line was always too long, but I had to take some snaps outside my motherland.* We got surprisingly close to The White House.* Nature in the big city - a duck family cruising in the Constitutions Garden Lake on the Mall.* Did you know that the National Aquarium is in the basement of the Commerce Building? Odd, but true. We spotted a turtle on the move.* The Tourists Traps - We saw the big ones, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capital, Arlington Cemetery, and the White House. I really like the Jefferson Memorial and the FDR Memorial, but we didn't make it to those this time.