Catching Up on Last Year

Varric's Chest Hair from Dragon Age 2

From last year’s New Year’s blog:

I have smaller, simpler goals too: I want to start cooking dinner again, get back into baking, remember how to crochet and cross stitch. I want to write stories like I haven’t since I finished undergrad, and maintain the great friendships I’ve made with a little more gusto. I want to read whole books again, rather than just skimming them for papers. I want to beat DragonAge on something other than easy level.

I have been slacking on these goals. Granted, these were the small ones on the list. I did manage to graduate and get a job, so I don’t feel too bad about these. But that means it’s time for a revisit.

I still would like to cook more of my own meals. This means I’ll have to relearn how to cook since I do it so rarely.

I’ve been reading books (check out my first New Year’s Resolution about reading more diverse books). Audiobooks totally count as far as I’m concerned.

As for Dragon Age: Origins, I re-downloaded it to my new computer, and it’s next up on my to-play list as soon as I finish this second playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition. There may be a pattern here.

As for crochet and cross-stitch, I’ve more officially given up on these. They’re awesome hobbies, and I may come back to them, but for now I just don’t have the kind of interest it takes to keep up with them.

Trying to think of things that I missed. Any resolutions you’d like to share?

New Look, New Stuff

Cover Image:

Happy New Year Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  anyjazz65 

If you read this on my site, you may have noticed that it looks a lot different. I’ve opted to go with the new Twenty Fifteen theme from WordPress, because I really like how clean it feels. I tucked a lot of my old blog posts away in the archive, too, to give the site a fresh start.

I’ve started – and promptly forgotten about – dozens of blogs, tumblrs, LiveJournals, MySpaces, Twitters, and more – each while I tried to figure out just what I wanted to say. Theme blogs didn’t work well for me – my interests vary and change too quickly. I tried personal blogs, but they felt uncomfortably confessional, and I’m no Sylvia Plath. Academic, fandom, library…they’ve come and mostly gone.

This is the first year I’m ostensibly settled. I graduated for what might be the last time, got another new living situation, got a first “real” librarian job, and dug in a little bit to the place I live now. I’ve gained a lot of friends, a few new hobbies, and adjusted my perspectives on a lot of things.

I’ve weirdly become known in my friend group as the library/craft alcohol/fanfic/video game girl. It’s a pretty fair assessment of my time spent, and it didn’t seem reflected in my online persona. There was a time where I wanted to make sure that my “IRL” self wasn’t the same as my online self – after all, it was the Wild West days of the World Wide Web – but I’ve kind of settled into the fact that my identity is what it is. There will probably be more farm ale posts; or a few about my thoughts on fan fiction’s role in developing story telling in young adults; my opinions on the launch hiccups in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and my experiments in making a gosh darn good Last Call. There will be library stuff, book stuff, learning stuff – after all, I haven’t stopped being interested in that either.

Reading Resolutions

So I’m a little early on this post, but there’s Christmas music blaring over the intercom and it puts me in the year-end mindset. There’s been a lot happening in the world, and in my life, this year. I’ve made some big changes (graduating, moving, starting a new job), but I’m trying to think about the ways I can make next year even bigger, even better.

So, I’ll be blunt: I’m going to shamelessly steal from all of you. Library folk internet-wide have been posting AMAZING programming ideas, library philosophy, and book suggestions. And I feel like a David that’s forgotten his slingshot in a matchup with Goliath. WHERE DO YOU ALL GET THESE AMAZING IDEAS?

For instance, I read about a really amazing Etsy workshop for teens today. That’s baller. Or how about this crazy cool library blog that should make all public library blogs jealous from my home state? Or the people who accomplished reading lists that make me think.

50 books by POC. 50 books about LGBTQ characters. 50 books in translation. Books with non-Western style illustrations. Books with narrators with less privilege than me. With different viewpoints than me. With different ideas than I could ever think of. That’s what you’re all reading, and it blows my mind.

I read an old Slate article (which is the owner of the beautiful header image) about reading a book a day all year. I’ve decided to layout some more modest goals for myself, since I know I have trouble getting outside of my reading bubble, which is a problem. So let’s mix it up. In 2015 I will:

– Read 25 teen/middle grade books by POC.

– Read 50 picture books written/illustrated by POC

– Read 25 books with LGBTQ protagonists

– Read 25 books in translation.

In complete honesty, this is more than I’ve read for pleasure since before I started grad school (gasp!). But I’m not stopping there.

– Listen to 25 books on CD (any length)

– Design an app (which means learning how to build an app)

– Update my blog more often (this probably means I’ll be linking it up to tumblr, because I love some tumblr and I’ve gotten away from it)

What do you think? Worthy aspirations? Suggestions or tweaks? What are your reading resolutions, if you’ve gotten that far?

 

Wrapping up 2013

Somehow, there are less than two weeks left in the year.

This has crept up on me.

It’s been a big year – I’ve moved, started school, gotten lots of experience at lots of jobs, and started to feel at home somewhere that wasn’t my parents house (this was probably helped along by the fact that my parents moved, too). I’ve broken my first bone, narrowly avoided my first stitches, and continued my love affair/addiction to coffee. I started watching Doctor Who (for shame on waiting so long!), playing video games (Bioware can hide nothing from me now), and learned to build a website. I’ve dreamed about finding a way to move back to Europe, living a normal schedule, and getting a job that pays all the bills.

So now I’m wondering about next year.

I want to finish school, for starters. Though there’s some uncertainty about my financial aid situation for summer, I’ll definitely wrap it up by this fall. The next semester has a lot of great things in store for me, academically. I’m excited to be a guest student in a Syracuse University course called Innovation in Public Libraries. The Fayetteville Fab Lab was a product of this class,  and that kind of thinking is magical. I want to have a Harry Potter moment with that, where I realize that I can do that magic too.

I’m waiting on some light to be shed on a lot of divergent paths, too. I need to decide about interning this summer vs. taking classes, and who and where I would want to intern. I want to GO TO ALL THE CONFERENCES (I love conferences. Weirdly, I love volunteering at conferences. Makes me feel useful.). Sadly, this contrasts with my other goal to PAY ALL THE BILLS. Adulting isn’t for wimps.

I have smaller, simpler goals too: I want to start cooking dinner again, get back into baking, remember how to crochet and cross stitch. I want to write stories like I haven’t since I finished undergrad, and maintain the great friendships I’ve made with a little more gusto. I want to read whole books again, rather than just skimming them for papers. I want to beat DragonAge on something other than easy level.

So, 2014 is a year with a lot on its plate already, and it hasn’t even started yet. Old man 2013 has been busy writing a will, I guess, and 2014 is inheriting a lot. Maybe more than it can handle.

I think it can live up to the challenge.