I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


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w August 31, 2008

Yeah, I Know, I'm Slow On The Draw

But it just now dawned on me, that regardless of your politics, and regardless of how the November election pans out, we're either going to have the first black President or the first female Vice-President.

That's pretty amazing.

by Heather Hoffman at 3:46 PM

w August 30, 2008


While it seems that the powers that be on the Gulf Coast appear to be handling things much more efficaciously than in 2005, it's still so heartbreaking to think about these poor people going through this crap *again* - I know, I know, there's always someone saying 'oh it could turn'. Yeah, and it could also hit dead on - at least a concerted effort is being made to evacuate as many people as can/will go in a respectful and timely fashion. I saw this picture on CNN's website - it's astonishing if you look closely at the lights on the highway. It's also sobering:

Evacuation image

by Heather Hoffman at 11:09 PM


Why Where We Live Is Very Strange

While I really shouldn't bitch about a heat wave, considering what is heading toward the Gulf Coast (and in passing - may it not cause too many issues for that area and its populace), it has been pretty wretched here the last few days. I went up to San Francisco yesterday to visit some friends and their newborn; we were kicking around the northwestern part of the city, typically the coldest and foggiest region. With the weather we were having, even this area was sunny and relatively warm, about 65 degrees - this is considered a beautiful and unprecedented summer day for the city, let me assure you. By the time I got back to our house, the car's temperature gauge read 95 degrees. I'll wait here while you do the math.

THIRTY DEGREES. Within 30 miles.

I think this in many ways sums up where I live.

by Heather Hoffman at 3:21 PM

w August 28, 2008

Parenting Paradox

On the one hand, Peabo is pulling wipes out of an almost empty container.

On the other, she is wiping the floor with them.

by Heather Hoffman at 9:14 AM

w August 26, 2008


If there is such a thing as white trash sushi, I think I might have created it tonight. Well, ok, it's not entirely WT, as it does not incorporate either Miracle Whip or Velveeta...but I just gave myself an effing awesome idea. Future post. For now, "fauxshi" that is dead easy to make and actually tastes surprisingly good:

2 cups sushi rice
3 cans tuna packed in water
soy sauce
rice wine vinegar
sesame seeds
fresh ginger
nori (seaweed sheets)

If you have a rice cooker, just bung the rice in with the appropriate water and press go. Let it sing to you. If you do not, read the back of the rice bag. It'll learn you.
Meanwhile, mix together approximately 0.5 cup rice wine vinegar, 0.25 c sugar, a teaspoon or so of salt, and 2 Tbsp of mirin. Stir to combine and let it wait. After dealing with this, drain your tuna and toss in a bowl with soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sesame seeds and minced fresh ginger to taste. I honestly didn't measure any of this so it's really more of a personal thing - if it tastes good, it's right.

When rice is done, dump into a different bowl and pour previously made sauce over, turning gently to cool (you can also try to fan it dry with a piece of junk mail if you want, but I apparently can't chew gum and walk at the same time). Pull out your nori sheets and on a clean surface, glop about 0.33-0.66 cup of cooled rice at one end, and spread a slightly smaller amount of tuna on top of that. Unless you have a rolling mat (in which case, you don't really need this 'recipe'), just try to tuck in the roll as tightly as you can, as you go. Now, I only had four sheets of nori in the cupboard, so I have a lot of tuna and rice left but you could of course make as much as you can handle and can resource.
Making sure to keep the knife wet, cut each roll into about 6 or 7 slices, throw on a plate, and get your eat on. I didn't put any wasabi or pickled ginger in/on for the kids' sake, but I would bet it would taste pretty good.

Feel virtuous. Omega-3 AND seaweed. Now off to ponder the intricacies of white trash sushi.

by Heather Hoffman at 5:55 PM

w August 25, 2008

This Blog Has Made My Week Already

Pretty much every image rocks but this one in particular made me laugh my ass off:



by Heather Hoffman at 9:05 AM

w August 24, 2008

At Least Yahoo Sort Of Put This On Its Front Page

We haven't watched much of the Olympics this year; dribs and drabs on a dull Saturday, that sort of thing. I know about the Michael Phelps medal extravaganza, I know that Usain Bolt broke both his own and world records, and I know the US mens' basketball team 'redeemed' uh, themselves. Do I care all that much? Not particularly to be honest, because in some ways it seems so very odd to be adulated for one thing that has a lot to do with genetics and luck of the athleticism draw, but still and all, you know, good for them. I will say there is something endearing about at least the younger athletes like Phelps and Bolt, because they do embody some of the sheerly amazing things young adults can accomplish - maybe I'm realizing this right after a birthday where I realized I was sort of hurdling toward middle age (and yes I know, Dara Torres. Blah. Don't want to hear about her perfect ass). At any rate, these medalists are ones that went into the Olympics with a monster amount of support behind them, and will go back to even more in some cases. Then there are the two Somali athletes. Read this story, and tell me the true spirit of the Olympics isn't still flickering somewhere, as the author points out.

by Heather Hoffman at 10:59 PM

w August 21, 2008

Brain-cakes, Darling!

This article cracked me up and fascinated me in equal measure this morning.

I love cookbooks. No, I mean I LOVE COOKBOOKS. I read them like novels. I read them when I am feeling the me-grims and needing cheering up. I read them to get ideas for future dinner parties. I read them when I am needing the coziness of a text security blanket. I am perhaps in need of some help.

However! Who could not love a cookbook by Vincent Price? I mean, really. And my birthday is tomorrow, if anyone needs an excuse...yes, yes, I'm kidding. Honestly, people.

by Heather Hoffman at 8:36 AM

w August 19, 2008

For Reals?

While I wouldn't consider myself a grammar fascist, I might perhaps call myself a grammar Avanguardista; my father on the other hand, well, let's just say I grew up calling him The Royal Grammarian. Anyway, my point is, I have a certain interest in well written prose, but I'm not going to throw a hissy fit in the streets for want of a, say, semi-colon. As much as I particularly like using them, it's really no great shakes if other people don't. That can't be said of many writers, apparently, as witnessed by this Boston Globe article.

Am I nuts in thinking there are probably better things in this world to get het up about?

by Heather Hoffman at 7:49 AM

w August 17, 2008

Seeing The Possibility Of Eventually Seeing The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I took some time yesterday afternoon and plotted out a proposed program for my MLIS, using the semi-conservative belief that I could handle 2 courses per semester, 3 semesters per year (thank god for summer school, eh?). If I manage this, I will actually be graduating in December 2010, which sounds actually feasible. Even if I had to shift out another year, that's *still* better than I had initially thought; I had been sort of convinced it would take me 4 or 5 years to get this done. Will I actually manage this? Remains to be seen, certainly, but just seeing the Excel spreadsheet in front of me (yep, used Excel, gotta represent the whole proto-database librarianiness) made it all a lot more realistic, if perhaps a bit gulp-inducing. There are some awfully interesting sounding courses out there though, and I think it's a sensible program for someone who wants to head the archival stream but still have a solid foundation in Lib/Info Sci. I will hopefully even have a working knowledge of your complement of things like SQL and Oracle and all that happy fun stuff.

My favorite semester if it works is next fall, which will be Preservation Management and Archives & Manuscripts. Heather's Happy Places. I even plugged in an internship semester, along with Records Management. Is this Martian to everyone else? Probably, but trust, it's a pleasing thing to ponder.

My friend Xat had a wonderful idea for motivation, which is buy myself an amusing tshirt touting some virtue, real or imagined, of librarians or bookish geekiness for each semester that I successfully complete. One way or another, I'll end up with an useful professional degree and a closet of droll clothing. Cafepress and One Horse Shy have good collections; my favorites thus far are (in Google script) "Librarian: The Original Search Engine" and "I'm A Librarian. Don't Make Me Shush Your Ass!".


by Heather Hoffman at 2:51 PM

w August 13, 2008

If I Don't Respond To Your Emails

For the next three to four months, this is 50% why:

I opened the one on the left to an algorithm that made me start to whimper. A friend just told me that math is 80% vocabulary so I'm going to hang onto that as my mantra. I'm starting to understand why they call it library and information SCIENCE.

by Heather Hoffman at 5:43 PM

w August 12, 2008

Sweet Baby Jebus, What Hath I Wrought?

I just got the textbook for one of my first classes, actually *the* first class - LIB200. There ain't nothing lower.

Dudes, it's MARTIAN. Greek. Hieroglyphics.

Ok, no, it's really not, and I had only flipped through it while having half an ear on the kids and putting dinner in the oven, but it just gave me that sinking feeling of not being as smart as I maybe thought I was. I think I need to remember that no one starts this program - well, ok, many people do not start this program with any knowledge of information systems or library terminology or the like. Granted, a lot of my peers have been working in various capacities in various libraries around the state and country, so they may well be farther along the clever path.

Here's the book if anyone else feels like seeing what beginning erstwhile librarians/archivists have to wrangle. I'm already ok with the 'shhhing" part.

by Heather Hoffman at 5:48 PM

w August 08, 2008

Thought Provoking

*Copied in entirety from my LJ post, so feel free to ignore if duplication is dull*

I think I'm going to buy the book as a birthday present to myself, but check out the snippet from Peter Menzel's "Hungry Planet":

Photo Essay

I can't quite tell if it was artful staging or the actual truth, but it is pretty true that in most Western(ized) countries, the fruits and vegetables and bare bones meat and breads are somewhat lacking. Or rather, they might be there, but they're probably in packaged, pre-prepared form. I don't particularly like soda myself except on very rare occasions, so I think there is some bias in terms of my gobsmackery at the sheer amount of that displayed; the hardest thing to do while looking through this series of photos is to turn off the 'judgment button'. It's hard, but it's worth doing - give it a try, and let me know what you think.

Ok, fine, I admit I had to laugh at the beer in the German family's photo. Feel free to pillory.

by Heather Hoffman at 9:18 AM

w August 02, 2008

You KNOW You're Old When

REM's "Shiny Happy People" is playing on the XM Kids' radio station.

I was sixteen when this came out. Sixteen. I barely remember sixteen.

by Heather Hoffman at 12:20 PM