Family, Libraries, Life, Music, Things, Three Things

THREE THINGS 2016.11

MUSIC

 

I’ve recently been feeling a burst of inspiration when it comes to music. All throughout 2017 I have been working on writing and recording the first album for a project I am calling ABIGAIL FOSTER’S PHOTOSYNTHESIS MACHINE. I am really excited about the project and the songs on this first album. I have a lot of thoughts on how I’d like for this album to go and right now I am just trying to keep the original focus of it being an album of simple, easy to digest songs. I want to restart my musical brain and this seems like a good place to start.

And just like I do every time I have a musical project happening, I add another one. This one is the completion of the 2002 Zomo album Waiting For The Green. You see, this album was being worked on back in 2001-2002 and was going to be the debut album for the band Zomo (which went on to record and release two other albums). However, things happened and it never got finished. This has always been something that has bugged me and held me back a bit musically, so recently I made the decision to look at what we had finished and cobble together a version of the album. Is this the album that it was supposed to be? No way. It will never be that album. But that’s not the point…the idea was to finish something that deserves to be finished and put it out into the world. So over this weekend I hope to put the finishing touches on this collection of songs and release it to the world. More to come.

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF

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I spend a lot of my time playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf on my Nintendo 3DS. I find the game to be wonderfully pleasant, well made, and extremely relaxing. There’s really no goal in the game other than to exist in your faux town and go about your daily tasks but for some reason these are the things I search for in a video.

I am extremely happy that even though the game was released 4 years ago that Nintendo has decided to continue to support the game. Just this week, an update was released that adds a lot of neat new abilities and features to the game. You can read about some of those big changes here and the smaller yet equally as important changes here. Considering that I would usually give this game 2-5 hours of my life every week before the update, I expect that I’ll be visiting my town a lot more in the next few weeks.

WINDING DOWN

Once November hits I feel like the rest of my year is gonna be smooth sailing. September and October 2016 were quite hectic, full of book sales, budgets, book challenges, and much much more. Those things have been taken care of and now for the rest of the year I can collect my thoughts and plan for 2017. I think that it is extremely important to budget yourself enough time to sit back and think big. November and December are months where everyone is occupied with the holiday season so for me these months are a great time for that. Mental relaxation and health are so very important. Take care of yourself. I need to follow my own advice!

 

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Books, Libraries, Life, Things

All Time Favorite Books

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Here’s the LibraryThing collection

People still ask me what my favorite books are even though they know that I’m not that kind of librarian, so I made this list as a handy dandy reference. These are the 19 titles that have changed my life.

Life, Technology, Things, Three Things

11 THINGS 1ST QUARTER 2016

These are the days of my life in the first quarter of 2016

  1. I do not want to see any political posts on social media. I get it! You are passionate.
  2. If I sleep in a way that is just very slightly off, my left shoulder/neck hurts the next day. If I sit too long, my left knee hurts.
  3. See above, but I’m calling it: 35 is the age where we all fall apart.
  4. I can’t do everything. Neither can everyone else.
  5. Some people are going to be that way.
  6. I don’t give a shit who you are or what you do or where you come from: be nice to each other.
  7. iPhones/Mobile phones are the worst/best thing ever.
  8. We need to figure out a standard price for internet service in America and get everyone on the same page.
  9. I do not understand the stock market, investments, etc, and at this point I will not even try.
  10. Haley and I own a house and an old church and it is going to become Fidelia Hall and even if that doesn’t work out in the future we own this giant plot of land with two really cool buildings and gardens and a parking lot and everything is fantastic.
  11. Even though my physical form isn’t in tip top shape my mental form is better than ever and I love being able to look at everything that comes at me from a balanced point of view.
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HI THERE.
Family, Kids, Life, Things, Titusville, PA

A List of 47 Amazing Things

In the order that they come into my brain. Of course family and friends are amazing things, but for this list I’m going to think about little things that are not always mentioned. These are the things that I find amazing. I know you may disagree with some of these. That’s OK.

  1. Homemade Bread
  2. Day old Movie Popcorn
  3. Red Rose Tea with a little bit of sugar
  4. Writing professional emails and telling people that they’re awesome and that you appreciate what they do
  5. Going to dentist and having my teeth cleaned really well
  6. Doing 5-10 minutes of yoga with Haley in the morning
  7. Really average soft rock from the 70’s and 80’s
  8. Buying toys with Finn and Aero at Target
  9. Seeing the art that Haley creates
  10. The number three
  11. Music that inspires me
  12. Drinking water out of my S’well canteen
  13. New Zealand
  14. Wearing a nice shirt that makes you feel proud
  15. Prince outtakes and rarities
  16. Growing older and realizing that everyone else all around you is doing the same thing as you: making it all up as they go along and trying their best
  17. Balance
  18. Haley and her mom’s cooking
  19. Shelving, straitening, and shifting books in the library
  20. Pilot G-2 07 pens
  21. Glitch art GIFS
  22. Hockey
  23. Kickle Cubicle
  24. Amiibos
  25. Creativity
  26. Burger King every once in awhile
  27. Well made headphones
  28. Podcasts
  29. Pajamas
  30. Having a home that allows my family and I to spread out, relax, and express ourselves
  31. Forward motion
  32. The moment before you fall asleep
  33. Recycling bins
  34. Rearranging furniture every once in awhile
  35. Working with people who realize that I’m just trying to do my best
  36. Noticing the personalities of many different people and doing my personal best to understand who they are and what makes them happy
  37. People who enjoy their jobs but not take them too seriously
  38. Time away from work
  39. Paying bills
  40. Both the sunshine and the rain
  41. Snowfall that really covers the ground and creates a nice winter landscape
  42. Trees
  43. Really nice sticks
  44. The color pink
  45. Watching the amount and type of food that I put into my body but at the same time not completely cutting things out
  46. Creative and inspiring uses of technology
  47. Talking to someone that really cares about you
Life, Misc., Things

WAKE UP THINK POSITIVE LOVE

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Wow, I am having a lot of strong feelings about things lately.

Be it in libraries, government, politics, or our day to day lives, there is a great number of things changing all around us. The way we think, the way we speak, and the way we act are radically different today than they were just a few years ago. I know it can be argued that we change a little bit every single day, but wow, these past few years have been full of radical change.

I see people posting memes on social media networks that talk about how different they perceive the world to be today than it was when they were young. I see folks arguing that a snow day back “when they were kids” was “when we had 17 foot of snow we’d just have a delay” and how “kids have it so easy these days, they cancel school when they have 1 inch of snow.” I see folks posting a lot about politics and how this person or that person said this or did that and how everything is going to be horrible. The world feels as if it is building up to some kind of explosion.

Our 24/7/365 news cycle coupled with social media that gives everyone their own platform to broadcast from has all made us hyper aware of everything going on at the world. It makes slightest blip in the radar newsworthy. We have to fill the time up with something to talk about. We have to be involved in something. It gives us a reason to exist these days!

Man, I don’t know where I am going with all of this, but I do know that I have a lot of stuff floating around in this brain and in this heart of mine.

WAKE UP and realize that the world is indeed different and that no matter what it’s all gonna be OK. THINK POSITIVE from the moment you wake up till the moment you go to bed and everything that may trouble you will seem small. LOVE each other and be respectful.

I wanna understand this world and what’s in it. I wanna make sure that we’re all together in this thing. I wanna stop wondering and thinking that all of this worry and confusion about the changing world is generational. It isn’t! It’s people! Some folks have the power to keep up with the world and some folks don’t wanna face the change. You’ve gotta face the changes head on and realize that no matter what you ain’t gonna make the world undo all of the changes!

Wow my brain is on overdrive these days.

Libraries, Life, Things

THE THING THAT HOLDS US BACK

If you are feeling lazy today, I’ll sum up everything I will get to right now. The thing that holds us back is our general uneasiness and inability to deal with changes.

We’re all guilty of this. I know I am. I know you are. It’s not something that we can fully get rid of. We are after all blessed and cursed with all of the things that come with being a human being. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…you get it and now you can’t stop thinking about Lisa Whelchel.

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Image by Shawn Carpenter via CC License (#1) see below for link

In my library work, I have seen everything when it comes to our general uneasiness and inability to deal with change. It is one of the biggest problems facing the public library at this point in time. For some reason, librarians are really, really scared about things if they’re a bit different. I’ve seen this terror manifest itself in many ways.

The first approach I have seen is where libraries and communities are ground to a halt out of a fear of change. “We’ve always done it this way” and “well, we’re unique in that we don’t have to do what others do” is their rallying cry. They rely on what is familiar to keep them afloat, and floating is all that they’re doing. They are at their level of ease that helps them get through their day to day. They don’t want anything to deviate from the ritual because that deviation makes things a bit uncomfortable. The library and the community suffer the most from this approach. The library becomes a relic of the past, something that occupies the present moment in space and time but feels like it is from 50 years ago. When the library becomes a relic of the past, the community reacts and sees themselves as living in the past as well. It’s a cycle that becomes way too easy to get caught up in. We forget about the present and the future just because we wanna feel good, and we’ve gotta think about the present and the future if we wanna continue to live.

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Image by tracyshaun via CC License (#2) see below for link

The next approach is one where we recognize the importance of change and we do one of two things: we either talk about change so much that our faces melt off or we overcompensate and change the hell out of everything so much that we piss off everyone around us.

I’ll talk (briefly) about how libraries talk about change so much that our faces melt off. Our professional publications, conferences, and tweetotumblrblogosphere have rallied around change as the go-to theme and topic. Change sells! It must sell so much because I feel like we’ve spent pretty much all of our library energy  talking about it for the past 5 years.

The “change it all change it now change it fast and change it hard” approach is also there. While I’m more of a fan of this approach than anything else, I also must recognize that it too has some big downsides. As I mentioned before, a large amount of the population has a general uneasiness and inability to deal with changes. When you make the changes that you want to make in that “change it all change it now change it fast and change it hard” approach you are basically putting a stick of dynamite in those people and waiting for them to explode. After time, they’re gonna get to the end of their rope and explode, thus setting up a toxic work environment that will have to be fixed.

So what’s the solution? Doing nothing or doing everything both have massive drawbacks. Do I have the answer? I don’t. I think balance has something to do with it all but I am having trouble putting it into words. Maybe patience is another word that I’ll toss out there. Anywho, I’d love to solve this problem. I don’t think we will ever fully solve it because we are human beings and we’re generally flawed, but in the long run our general uneasiness and inability to deal with changes is something we’ve gotta at least be mindful about.

Image #1 https://www.flickr.com/photos/spcbrass
Image #2 https://www.flickr.com/photos/tracyshaun

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spcbrass

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/spcbrass/

Life, Things

I STAY UNDER GLASS

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There is snow on the ground.
It will be there for the next few months.
Put on your slippers and sit on the couch.
Play a video game or watch a movie.
Netflix is pretty awesome.
Get a cozy blanket and snuggle up.

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Think about all of the awesome things you can do with your life if you stop worrying about what modern society will think of you. They’ve got it all wrong. When they say you’re a weirdo what they actually mean is “wow, you’ve managed to truly find yourself and discover that modern life is just a facade.” They just haven’t figured out how to liberate their own hearts, minds, and souls.

I am a passenger
I stay under glass
I look through my window so bright
I see the stars come out tonight
I see the bright and hollow sky
Over the city’s ripped-back sky
And everything looks good tonight

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It’s all ok.