Kola's Journal
20 most recent entries

Date:2010-01-01 10:45

Ah. 2010.

I don't normally make new year's resolutions, and when I do, I don't generally publish them. But I'm feeling like sharing this year. My resolutions aren't very exciting as they mostly just involve following through on the projects that I've been thinking about for the last 6 months or so. Anything really exciting, like bike touring or going on other trips is dependent on having a steady income so it'll have to wait.

  1. Finish my MLIS program. This isn't really a goal so much as a thing I know I'll be doing this May.

  2. Get a real job. Duh. I think this will involve putting together a proper professional website. Yip.

  3. Finish two king sized patchwork quilt tops. My mom was super awesome this summer and took me to this great locally owned quilt shop in Apple Valley over the summer. My intention was to make a duvet cover for my king-sized comforter that is made out of two quilt tops. I want to finish those bad boys.

  4. Finish my sweater. I've got this super cute, super simple cardigan on needles right now. I gotta finish it!

  5. Learn to can things. I'd like to be able to have a couple of jars of homemade tomato sauce and the like hanging out in my cupboard. I think Annie can help me with this.

  6. Use my camera more. This is always on my list. The poor Hassy has been neglected. I really should try taking at least a roll of film every month.

  7. Bake once a week. I used to do this all the time, but I sort of fell off the wagon in 2009.

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Date:2009-12-31 21:56

It is New Year's Eve and I'm hanging out at home, listening to Matokie on KALX, drinking wine, and making polenta in anticipation of having the Stones over for brunch tomorrow. I'm not up for going out tonight what with being pretty exhausted and feeling a bit pouty.

So I've been Little Miss Never Blogs again. Time for a quarterly update!

My semester ended a couple of weeks ago. I took courses in Metadata, Research Methods, and Records Management this semester. I just got around to looking at my grades. Straight As. Good times. I actually enjoyed every one of those classes, which was a little surprising and gratifying. I'd had such a difficult semester last Spring for a whole host of reasons that I'd started out the Fall feeling pretty crappy about school in general and my abilities as a student specifically. I'm pleased with how things have worked out this Fall.

I'd assumed that I wouldn't find the Research Methods course to be very useful, but it turned out to be pretty awesome. I learned about how to put together a sociological research project and different methods for collecting and analyzing data. My semester long project was writing a research proposal, which involved defining a topic, variables that would effect the research, doing a short literature review, and putting together a questionnaire that could reasonably be sent out to study subjects.

In my Metadata class, I was introduced to different metadata standards used in the library and museum worlds. My end of the semester project was putting together an archival finding aid for my own photographs and then writing a tutorial about how to put one together yourself. Good, geeky times.

The Records Management class was less exciting. But I discovered a strange, yet true love for color coded file folders.

In other news, I'm still working at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. I've been working on a scanning project for them that involves scanning engineering drawings dating back to the 1920s, when San Francisco began construction on the Hetch Hetchy damn up in Yosemite. Engineering drawings from that time period are absolutely amazing. Seriously, they were hand drawing so the originals are basically one of a kind works of art. I've learned all kinds of random things, like how blueprints are made (They're literally sun prints. Neat!) and about the development of standardized paper sizes.

So yeah. Life's been mostly about weird, archival based geekdom.

This Spring is my last semester of school. I'm taking Vocabulary Design, and a culminating course wherein I create something called an E-portfolio. I think I'm going to spending my next few weeks off trying to learn XSLT and thinking about how to write coherently about my ideas about librarianship as a profession. So, more geeky good times to come.

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Date:2009-10-28 08:59
Subject:Grammar Rules

From a book review in Salon about the book The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of 'Proper' English, from Shakespeare to South Park:

To protests that the language police are only protecting the accuracy, precision and clarity of our tongue, Lynch lifts a skeptical eyebrow. Many of the most roundly deplored "debasements" of English are nevertheless perfectly comprehensible: I didn't confuse you by writing "Ain't it the truth?" in my opening paragraph, did I? The only truly unbreakable rules of grammar and usage are the ones that, when broken, result in a genuine failure to communicate. The rest is a form of covert class warfare, and today's usage reproofs constitute a status-protecting thump on the head delivered by the upper middle class to uppity members of the lower middle.

Awesome. I'm glad there's a book meant for popular reading that makes this point. Grammar rules are like rules of etiquette. They should just function as a way make things clear, but they're mostly just a way to mark class differences and make rich people feel superior.

That said, using quotes on signs used for emphasis drive me nuts. Choose bold, people. Choose bold.

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Date:2009-09-29 18:43
Subject:This close, they always look like landscape.

I just looked at a satellite photo of Iran on Yahoo News. It was a thumbnail and at that size it really looked like a chest x-ray with some kind of cell phone stuck in a lung.

Now all I can think about is that episode of Arrested Development where they think they have satellite photos of buildings in Iraq but it turns out to just be a really, really close up photo of balls.

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Date:2009-09-13 23:00
Subject:U locks are bullshit

My bike got stolen tonight. This would be the same bike whose back tire got stolen about a month ago. I parked it outside of 19th Street Bart in Oakland this afternoon at around 4:45. When I got back at around 10, it was gone. There's no evidence that I even left my bike there except that the plastic bag I was using to cover my bike seat in the rain was on the ground.

When I parked my bike, there were three other bikes parked at the same spot. There were also bikes parked across the street. When I got back, every single one of them was gone. I don't know if that means anything, but it was sort of weird.

I have no idea what I'm going to do for transportation now. I don't have the money to buy a nice folding bike. I could replace the bike with some used beater, but I don't really want to have that one get stolen a month from now, you know? Plus I don't want to spend what little money I have on some crappy bike that I don't even like.

Bah. Total bullshit.

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Date:2009-09-12 13:42
Subject:Learning something new

You know, I used to vaguely wonder what the conservative equivalent of threatening to move to Canada was. Did they all promise to buy 300 guys and live in a shack in Montana or something?

Now I know. They bring guns to town halls, throw hissy fits over nothing, and talk about about Russia like it is 1965.

So weird.

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Date:2009-09-05 12:39
Subject:So that happened

Wow. It has been a good long time since I updated this thing, hasn't it?

I've been putting off updating because while I really didn't want to talk about the death of one of my best friends, I also felt like following up the announcement of her memorial service by my regular posts about Twinkies and missing the bus would seem, well, undignified. So I've avoided the whole mess all together.

But I rather miss blogging. Sometimes I have things to say that take longer than a Twitter update, you know? So I'm going to try out getting back to baked goods and having my back tire stolen. It is, after all, the stuff of life.

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Date:2009-02-10 21:48
Subject:Timanna Bennett's Memorial Service

Saturday 11am @ The Mills Chapel.

There will be a reception after at the Student Union. Everyone is asked to bring food to share. Everyone loves a potluck.

Flowers can be delivered to the Mills Chapel between 8am and 10am the day of the service.

T's sister Norah wanted me to make sure to emphasize that this is intended to be a celebration of Timanna's life. Bring your best Timanna stories.

We're trying to get together photos of T and a play list of music that she loved. If you have photos of T that you really like or have a song that always makes you think of her, you can send them to me and I'll pass it along.

Also, people are getting together at The White Horse tomorrow night for drinks and music in honor of Timanna.

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Date:2009-02-09 13:28

Originally uploaded by un_cola.
It's crazy when I think about it. With the exception of a few people here and there, all of my very closest friends are people that I met between August and October of 1996. My friendships with these people have waxed and waned. We've shared apartments, helped each other move, cried on shoulders. We've fought and made up. I grew up with these friends and they've made me the person I am now.

Timanna was one of these people. She was one of the most amazing, insightful and funny people I've ever know. She died last night, surrounded by friends and family. She'll be missed deeply. I was lucky to have known her.

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Date:2008-11-21 10:22
Subject:Dressing up

I have an interview for a cataloging internship at the Academy of Art library today and I am having trouble figuring out what to wear. Librarians do not dress formally for the most part. Especially librarians who work in tech services since they don't interact with patrons. My cataloging professor wears trainers to work, for god's sake. But it is an interview so I feel I should dress up a little.

Thing is, though, what I have to dress nicely in is a black pencil skirt and short tweed blazer. If I were interviewing a different kind of establishment, this outfit would be totally fine. But I feel weird going into talk to librarians dressed like a "Librarian". (I find the Librarian stereotype to be really weird. Were librarians the last hold out of 1950s suit fashions? What's with the tweedy pencil skirts?) I feel like if I walk into a library dressed like that, I need to explain that I'm not in a costume, I really dress like this in real life. What to do?

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Date:2008-11-05 11:55
Subject:Prop 8

Dear California,

It should not be easier to take away my civil rights than to raise property taxes. This is no way to run a state.

Fuck you very much,


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Date:2008-10-27 12:04
Subject:Birthday stuff

My parents very awesomely gave me a nice, fat check for my birthday this year. Right now I'm just leaving it in my savings account in case of emergency. I probably won't get around to spending it until next March, after I get my student loan check for next semester.

This is kinda a boring post because I'm just making up a mental list of big ticket items that I've been wanting for a while. But I really need to write these things down so that I don't just up and buy whatever pops into my head in a couple of months.


1) A new camera. So I have the most awesome camera ever right now. But it is huge and heavy and really, really loud. It would be nice to have a 35mm camera again. Or maybe a medium format TLR. If I get a TLR then I'd save on film since I'd use the same stuff as I do for Hazel. I lost my 35mm cameras in the mail last October and I've been wanting a new one ever since. Rangefinders tend to be cheap, right?

2) A new tiny laptop. I've needed a Windows machine the last 2 semesters and have been getting by using an 8 year old laptop that my brother gave me. I guess there isn't much library software that works on Macs? I could very well need a windows machine for my next 2 semesters. Also, an ultra light weight laptop that would be easy to lug around would be super keen.

3) A new bike. Right now I have my Giant Bike of Dutch Doom and Les's old commuter bike. Les's bike is fine. I use it to get to and from class on Thursdays and anytime I need to take a bike on public transport. Thing is that 1) it is my ex's bike and it would be better if I had my own and 2) it is a tad big for me. I can't take the giant bike on public transport, so I really need *something*.

4) A stand mixer of my very own. I've been using Les's stand mixer since January. I tend to use it twice a week when I bake bread, so this is actually something I'd miss *a lot* when I have to give it back. (I really should already have given it back but 1) Ellen said she never used it 2) Les is out of the country and can't use it and 3) I really do use it twice a week.)

5) Various odds and ends. I don't own a tripod (got lost in the mails) or a light meter. I could use better boxes to keep my photos and negatives in. My preservation management class has made me much more worried about how I store my photos than I already was. Eeeee. Also, I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of other stuff around that I need to fix that I haven't gotten around to yet.

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Date:2008-10-22 08:11
Subject:Happy Birthday to Me

I'm 30, y'all.

Today my plans include getting breakfast with T and Alex and then going to SF and hanging out.

Aaron's making dinner this evening. I'm going to be seeing some of you there. Woot!

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Date:2008-10-19 22:38
Subject:Quilts and stuff.

I totally finished sewing my quilt today. Last Sunday I put the back on and added the batting. Today I stitched the pieces together. I continue to suck at sewing straight lines, but I think the quilt looks ok anyway. I look forward to napping underneath it frequently in the coming months.

I really enjoyed making the quilt and I'll probably make another soonish. Although in the future it would be nice to get those weird clip things that help keep the quilt rolled up while you sew. And walking foot would be really helpful in keeping the fabric moving. I had trouble with it getting stuck while I was sewing.

In other crafty news, I've been totally slacking on getting this pair of mittens I promised Sarah knit up. Like, ten months worth of slacking. Ug. I think I'm going to implement a "no crafty items for others" policy for the foreseeable future. I just can't manage to get things done with any speed.

I am planning on going back to knitting, however. My birthday is coming up and I've decided to give myself the gift of sweater yarn. I'm hoping a new project will get me motivated to finish Sarah's mittens. And working on and off on a sweater for year seems less stupid than starting and stopping a bunch of tiny projects.

(The no crafty items for others rule does not apply to baked goods or photos, by the way. I can get things baked or printed in reasonable amounts of time.)

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Date:2008-10-08 09:26

So somehow I managed to buy twice as much batting as I need for my quilt. I'm not sure what to do about this.

I have the urge to just fold it in half, sew up the edges and use all of it. However, I'm not very experienced with this whole quilting thing. The Brompton flight bags that I made earlier this year used two pieces of thick canvas and a single layer of the same batting. I had huge problems with my machine creating stretched out, loose stitches on the bottom. I'd rather not have that happen again with my quilt and I'm worried that a thicker batting layer will cause me problems.

My other option is to just use the extra batting on a new quilt. The only thing about that is that I'm making a twin-sized bedspread and I'd rather make a larger quilt next time. Plus I don't know if I'll make another quilt in the near future. I've really enjoyed doing it, but I think I might invest money in yard for a cardigan instead of fabric for a quilt.

So, people who've made these before, what do you think I should do? The batting I have is thin 100% cotton. It's really very easy to work with what with being flat and even and all. Is doubling up on the batting a horrible idea?

Also, should I invest in a walking foot? I get how it'll be easier to quilt with one. However, $30-$40 is kinda a lot of money for me right this second.

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Date:2008-10-03 16:32
Subject:Money and crafts

I'm making this extra large "twin" sized quilt. It is the first one I've ever made and so far I've really enjoyed it. I spent the last two Sundays cutting out fabric and sewing up the squares. I'm done with the squares and now I just need to...do everything else. So far I've really enjoyed making this quilt. I'm horrible at sewing garments so I was worried that doing something as big as a quilt would be terrible. But it turns out that I actually like making quilts.

I bought the batting and a couple of twin sheets for backing fabric today. I'm constantly frustrated with how much fabrics and yarns cost. I always end up spending more money making something myself than just buying an inexpensive version of whatever it is at a store. I guess what I make tends to be nice and with fewer third world children involved in the making. But still. It would be nice to save money, too.

Speaking of money, it's been tight, tight, tight round these parts. Student loans, man. You don't live like a king. But I think that the budget that I've set out for myself is actually do-able, thank god. I'll have enough left over at the end of the semester to carry me into the next one without freaking the hell out. Woot.

I really should start looking for full time employment. I applied for a job at Mills a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think I'll even hear about getting an interview for a week or two. I guess I should really be applying for jobs now if I want something to turn up in December. Blech.

Tonight I'm going down to Santa Clara to hang out with Sarah Doty. Tomorrow morning I have class in San Jose.

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Date:2008-10-03 07:44
Subject:World! Ending!

Way to terrify my first thing in the morning, California!

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, alarmed by the ongoing national financial crisis, warned Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson on Thursday that the state might need an emergency loan of as much as $7 billion from the federal government within weeks.

I really thought Schwarzenegger was just fucking around with the whole budget crisis thing. :/

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Date:2008-10-01 17:35
Subject:Palin v. Couric

Ok. So here's the clip of Palin being unable to talk about Supreme Court cases. It wasn't so much that she wasn't able to name one, she just couldn't talk about any one with enough knowledge to say she disagreed with it.

But she *does* manage to babble about local control. Which...is she talking about Brown here? For real. When do conservatives like to talk about local control? School boards teach creationism, abortion (they don't actually favor local control in that case as the late pregnancy abortion ban that Congress passed shows), and segregation. They do not favor local control when it comes to gay marriage or some medical pot, to bring up some current issues where you'd think States Rights would come into play. States Rights = Brown. Legislation from the bench = Roe. Yes?

I know I'm, like, assuming that she had some kind of point. And that when she talks it means something. But still. Is there some *other* decided-on-a-local-level issue that she could be talking about that I'm not thinking of? I guess she could be talking about Lawrence v. Texas, but somehow I doubt she's even aware that sodomy laws aren't allowed anymore.

(The bar has been set so low for this woman that I'm just happy that this was the question she couldn't answer and not "quick! name a Supreme Court case!")

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Date:2008-09-29 17:14

I hear people freeze can freeze cookie dough. Does this work with any drop cookie? I want to make ginger cookies. There's a lot of butter, a couple of eggs, and molasses.

I'd rather bake myself 2 cookies at a time than 2 dozen all at once, you know?

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Date:2008-09-28 12:20
Subject:There's no point to this post

I just really wanted to use this Colbert icon. Look at his little face! Adorable.

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