There’s a lot of really awful stuff in the world, but there’s a lot of really awesome stuff, too. For example, Dzhokar Tsarnaev was captured during the Phillies game and, thanks to Twitter, I was able to stay informed without turning on the news or listening to the Boston police scanner online. That’s pretty darn amazing.
On to the list.
I am always going to click links about Mr. Rogers. Always. Everyone needs to remember how awesome Mr. Rogers was, even during normal weeks when we haven’t seen his quote about looking for helpers on every social media platform, and it turns out he was even more awesome than I we thought.
In lieu of cuteness this week we have a GIF of Joe Biden. And it’s set to “Return of the Mack.” And listening to “Return of the Mack” led me down a 90s hip hop rabbit hole in Spotify. And it was awesome. So, really, I’m giving you a chance to start your own 90s hip hop dance party and that’s actually better than some cute animal video. Right?
I feel like this entry is really positive, which is pretty remarkable when one considers how negative the rest of my entries this week have been. I think this is a good sign.
It wasn’t getting drunk. It wasn’t even drinking. It was watching baseball, baby!
My parents got me Phillies Spring Training tickets for Christmas and today was the day I finally got to use them. I was intentionally not talking about it here because I didn’t want to jinx it. My parents and I have only gotten tickets for one Spring Training game a year since ’09 and the past two years something happened that denied me the ability to watch the game. The game in ’10 was cancelled due to the weather and last year I was working in March. (Last year’s crappy temp job just happened to be five minutes from Bright House Field, though, so I watched one whole inning on my lunch break.)
Today was gorgeous, though. Blue skies and temperatures in the low 80s. Although we could’ve done with a bit more of a breeze.
We bought lunch (cheesesteaks – on Amoroso rolls – yes, that’s important) en route to our seats. Our seats were pretty good – in right field just past first base. But since we got off to kind of a late start since I’m a sleeping-in slacker (whoops) both teams were done with batting practice by the time we sat down. Since there was nothing going on on the field when I finished eating I took a picture of the lineup to post to Instagram and Facebook (and here, teehee).
I brought my camera with me as well since it has a better zoom, but most of the pictures ended up being kind of blurry (as you will see).
After a couple of innings I had the same epiphany that I had about concerts a decade ago: I’d rather experience the event fully than through a viewfinder. So I put the camera away. (I swear this was in no way motivated by my inability to take a halfway-decent picture.) And, really, I was having so much fun that it would’ve been silly to stress about taking pictures. The only real downside to the whole day was the group of drunk Canadians behind us who got kinda obnoxious when the Blue Jays took the lead. But the Phils walked it off in the tenth so, y’know, that was awesome.
Yep, today was a good day. The Phillies won. I ate nothing but Philly foods: cheesesteaks and soft pretzels at the game, hoagies (also on Amoroso rolls) and Herr’s potato chips for dinner. And I got a new green Phillies hat.
My technology problems? Over. Once again, all my fun tech toys do what I tell them to do. (But I totally printed some of the Lion WiFi tips I found online yesterday. I have no faith that I won’t continue to experience WiFi issues. And as someone who has loved Apple since I was a little kid, this really bums me out.)
I felt so good about beating technology into submission that I decided to tackle something else and I finally took a first pass at cleaning out my closet. Clearing space in the closet allowed me to attack the pile of clothes that had been building at the foot of my bed for over a year. The pile was approximately 18 inches high and my bed almost looks weird without. But weird in an awesome way. Today I only had the energy to put everything away. Tomorrow I’ll go through the stuff again and cull some more (I have five pairs of black pants, that seems excessive to me). Then I’ll deal with the piles of dirty clothes on the floor of my closet. I’m not looking forward to the laundry, but I am looking forward to getting my closet even cleaner and ultimately being able to give most of the stuff away.
I was on YouTube earlier and I discovered that Brand New has (finally) added their actual music videos to their VEVO page. (Judging by the very low number of views each video has, this is a recent addition.) No more grainy video of “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” for me. Although I do kinda miss the Fuse logo chyron in the upper right corner (is that weird?).
And if that weren’t enough proof that I win, the Phillie freakin’ Phanatic was on 30 Rock! I wonder if he knew that in the previous episode, Liz Lemon posited that he is biologically female? Doesn’t matter. The Phillie Phanatic was on 30 Rock. Two great tastes that taste great together. Plus, I noticed that Tom Burgoyne, the Phanatic’s best friend, was listed in the credits.
About a month ago I was visiting my brother in Philly and decided to take a trip to the Parkway Central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. While there I spoke with Marion Parkinson, a reference librarian in the Education, Philosophy and Religion room. I chose to visit the Free Library because I had never been there. I chose the Parkway Central Library because it’s only about a mile from my brother’s place (at least until he moves to Jersey at the end of the month). Unfortunately I didn’t have Instagram on my phone at the time, so I don’t have a pretty picture of the facade.
Marion told me that it was a “complete accident” that she became a librarian. In fact, for most of her life she didn’t want to be a librarian, but she believes that was largely due to her first name. She said that when she was growing up The Music Man was a very popular movie. One of the stars of the movie, Shirley Jones, plays the town librarian, Marian Paroo. There’s even a song in the soundtrack called “Marian the Librarian.” I told her I could understand how that could turn someone off the idea of becoming a librarian. Despite her childhood associations, she started working
at the Free Library as a computer tech. In early 2000 she was given an opportunity to join the library trainee program, which would pay for her library science studies. She really enjoyed working at the Free Library, so she joined the trainee program in June 2000.
The Free Library of Philadelphia has 54 branches. Its social media presence includes a blog, a YouTube page (the featured video currently features the Phillie Phanatic), and a podcast. There are many different services offered by the various branches. The Parkway Central branch offers adult education classes and the LEAP after-school program for grades 1-12. Additionally, all the author events hosted by the Free Library are held at the Parkway Central branch (the author events are recorded for the podcast). The Parkway Central branch also holds some of the Free Library’s special collections, such as rare books collections and the automobile reference collection.
Would I like to work here? Well, it’s in Philadelphia, which is currently the only requirement I have for my dream job. I also think that working in a public library, especially in a large metropolitan area, would be very fulfilling. I’d imagine working reference in a library like this one would rarely get boring. On the other hand, the reference librarians at the Parkway Central branch are specialized to the areas that correspond to the rooms they’re in (in Marion’s case, Education, Philosophy and Religion). She also told me that they get a lot of regulars in her room that don’t need reference help and she spends more of her time assigning computers than answering face-to-face reference questions.
Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia PA 19103
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 9 AM – 9 PM
Friday: 9 AM – 6 PM
Saturday: 9 AM – 5 PM
Sunday: 1 PM – 5 PM
Today’s “thing” is video sites, specifically YouTube, the granddaddy of them all. (Interesting side note: one of the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley, went to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, my alma mater. Not that I ever met the guy, I just think it’s cool that one of the YouTube guys went to IUP. Sadly this fact is not widely known and has done nothing to erase the confusion most people feel when they first see or hear the name Indiana University of Pennsylvania. It’s a PA state school located in the town of Indiana, PA; it’s really not that complicated. But I digress wildly.) Of all the “things” I’ve covered so far, YouTube is the only one that I embraced immediately upon learning of it. Like most people, I use YouTube almost exclusively for entertainment purposes, but I see it’s potential for libraries, professional organizations, and education. A quick search led me to the YouTube channels for the ALA, the Library of Congress, and the Free Library of Philadelphia (whose most recent posting featured the Phillie Phanatic!).
As I’ve said before, blogging is new to me and so is the embedding of media into blogs. Luckily, the process to embed videos in WordPress is pretty simple. I ran into a bit of trouble when I first tried to embed the video because WordPress didn’t accept the shortened URL that YouTube gave me when I hit the Share button, but I got around that by simply copying the actual URL for the page. Everything seems to be working just fine now.