Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Where to begin...

Well, I guess a little explanation is in order. At the end of December my next door neighbor moved out and took his internet hook-up with him, so since then I've been without the internet at home. And while it's easy enough to check my email at work, it's really not that easy to post photos and blog.

So what have I been up to? Well, I've been applying for jobs which is one of the most daunting things I've done in a long time. And I haven't heard anything from anyone except when I heard that a job I was interested in at Princeton had 200 applicants in the first 2 weeks. That was a huge reality check and made me realize what a tough market it is out there. And every once in a while I realize that the end of May is fast approaching! This should be interesting, folks...

I've been continuing to work at the Paper Source on the weekends. They have decided to keep me on for my one or two shifts a week, which is great for me. I've been putting all of those checks straight into my savings account and I enjoy the work, so it's a win-win situation.

I've been watching Syracuse kick some serious ass in basketball! These games are so fun to watch, and since I only have the most basic cable I don't have ESPN, so I've been catching some games at a local sports bar and trying to convert my Princeton friends into Syracuse fans. Or at least convince them to come out for a couple hours on a weeknight and have a few drinks while I keep and eye on the game. They are currently 20-1 after last night's romp of Georgetown! Go 'Cuse! I even picked up a pair of bright orange flats to go with all of the orange clothing that I've accumulated over the years. They're quite fun.

Speaking of Syracuse, I also applied for a Certificate of Advanced Study program through Syracuse's iSchool. This is another back-up plan depending on how things pan out job-wise. I should hear by the end of February whether or not I was accepted.

The Empire State Building: no lines, no waiting on a chilly Sunday night in January.

I've had two little trips in January, one to NYC which included a trip to the Guggenheim, the HighLine park and the top of the Empire State Building! It was super-cold, but very clear and not crowded at all. I also made it to Boston to catch up with tons of library friends who were all in town for ALA's Midwinter meeting. We all made it out for candlepin bowling, which has somehow become the thing to do when I'm in Boston.

Bowling Librarians!

Here's my team: Miriam, Matt, me, Lee and Allison

I've also been doing a lot of cooking. My friends Kim and Ann are both doing home-cooking challenges and blogging about them, so I've had some good inspiration to try some things in the kitchen. I've been continuing to bake bread about once a week and have had great success with a half-whole-wheat sandwich loaf that comes out well every time. This is partly due to the realization that my radiator is the best place to let it rise.

Rising on the Radiator

The finished product!

Oh speaking of radiators, I had a few days there with no heat. I even woke up one morning to find my apartment at a brisk 53°. Thankfully my landlord (who has the only thermostat in the whole building) came back from being out of town and turned it up to a reasonable temp and now all is well.

Whew... It's been an interesting month, that's for sure. I still don't have the internet at home, but I am going to try to be better about posting more often.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Footer

It has long been a tradition in my family and my mom's family before that, that the youngest dark-haired male be put out onto the front stoop immediately following the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve with a loaf of bread and bottle of wine. They are then let in after they knock on the door. A quick little internet search has varified that this actually is a tradition (with some variations) not just in my family. It is called First Footing and refers to the first foot to cross the threshold in the New Year. As stated on this website:

"In Scotland an old tradition that still is relevant today is that of the first footer which is said, that whoever the first person to set foot into your home on New Year's day decided the family's luck for the rest of the year. This was based on the belief in the magic power of beginnings. The start of the New Year controlled its future course.

The person most welcome on new year's morning was a tall, dark haired man and especially if he bought a gift as this was considered magical as his handsome features would make the year a pleasant one and his gift of a loaf of bread, or a shovel of coal would ensure that there would be no lack of food or warmth in the household."

This year I was at Kim's apartment in Philly, so her boyfriend Mike was who got sent out with the wine and bread. Kim's son, Alex, has participated in this tradition many times over the years, but he was at his own party this year, so Mike was forced into doing it. So many of my male friends have been part of this tradition over the years, most notably Mark in Minneapolis, as seen here in 2009. So thanks to all of you who have looked at me funny as I hand you a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine and shove you outside at 12:01am on Jan. 1. Here's hoping this trick continues to work and 2010 turns out to be a great year!