“The best part about life? Every morning you have a new opportunity to become a happier version of yourself.” ~ Unknown
What a strange Kentucky Derby we had today. Another dreary first Saturday in May – though last year’s 3.5″ of rain was worse – and for the first time in 145 years the winner was disqualified. We were so stunned that no one spoke for a while. Up to that point, however, much laughter ensued. John, Bryan, and Stacy – all radio personalities – make me howl with laughter. Each on his/her own is hilariously funny, but put all three in a room, and it’s better than the best comedy show going. I love these people so much.
“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess.
Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”
Abby and Jen Bartlett came to the Solidago release event last Thursday. Though Abby prefers to be behind the camera, she’s keenly aware of when she’s in front of one, too. It’s been neat to watch her evolve over the years, and I don’t mean her appearance, but her self assurance; her self awareness, and how that presents in front of the camera. What I like most is that she doesn’t pose or act out, or even shy away, as most kids seem to do. Instead, she consciously presents herself as casually as she can with a lens in her face, which is not easy at all. She has serious acting skills. The second time Abby was in the outhouse was six years ago (the first was January 2012), and you can really see what I mean. Our girl is growing up, and Aunt Pannie sure does love her and her big, creative brain.
“[There’s] no guarantee you get someday. While you’re busy making that [bucket] list, you may not see the train that’s coming straight for you, and then you’ve done nothing but make a list. Go live. It’s more important.” ~ Larry Scott Evans
I love this picture. Stacy and I met The Bartletts at Shamrock for brunch this morning. Their little ginger girl Abby is smart, funny, kind, conscientious, and a testament to the goodness of her generation. She gives me hope for the future. Bryan and Jen have done an incredible job raising her and I can’t wait to see what brilliance her future holds. Meanwhile, it’s clear to me that meeting for lunch every once in a while with the Bartletts just won’t do. We need to meet, and meet often, because I always come away feeling better about everything. I’m lucky to have them as friends. I must be living right.
“If we can accept our imperfections as they are, then we can use them as part of the path.”
~ Chögyam Trungpa
The initial plan was to talk about my seriously awesome new fridge that was delivered today. That was, until I got to work where Jen Bartlett invited me to talk to the digital humanities class about Kentucky’s Digital Newspaper Program (KDNP). I ended up talking more about digital preservation, but that seemed okay. My sense was that the class didn’t realize the many facets of preservation involved with digital content. Not a surprise. Most people think any flatbed scanner equals digitization, and then they never give a second thought to how to care for the data long term. You wouldn’t think newspapers would lead me down this path, but working on the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) for eight years (and KDNP for another five) built it into my librarian DNA. Almost everything I’ve done at UK has been connected to digital content creation and care – from texts to A/V. It’s been amazing to watch the technologies evolve. I’ve been really lucky to land in a field that does some pretty cutting edge work, providing access to materials that, without technological advances, would have been accessible to only a few hearty researchers. That there are now classes focused solely on ways to reinterpret, repackage, or repurpose this material and make something even more meaningful from it makes everything we do feel complete. The sky’s the limit in the digital humanities field, and it was great fun to spend a little time with this class today. I hope they use our newspapers for a great project.
“The key to happiness is to focus on what you can control and make proactive choices for joy every day.”
~ Tiny Buddha
Just in case you missed the fact that we had a lot of laughs at the annual Derby Day BBQ yesterday, here are two reminders. Three radio personalities and one Annie Bassoni guarantees you’ll laugh until you cry. I’m so lucky.
“Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated.” ~ Karen Maezen Miller
It was Derby Day and this year’s Springridge Derby Day Garage BBQ almost didn’t happen. First, time got away from me, so by the time I sent invitations, almost everyone had other plans. Then, the weather was absolutely horrid. It rained up until about 2 pm, which wasn’t so bad, but an Alberta Clipper dipped into Kentucky overnight and made it a very cold, dreary rain. A few people bailed last minute, and who could blame them with conditions like that, making this year’s crew small. A small but mighty crew we were. We had a blast. We moved the party indoors where John Lumagui managed to make us laugh until we had tears. I don’t get to see him nearly enough, and I’m reminded of that every time he comes around. Not only is he sweet as can be, he really might be the funniest man alive.
Wally and Lilly (the black blob behind the couch) joined in the fun as John spun joke after joke. I snorted and laughed so much my throat hurt by the time everyone left. We still grilled out. The clouds broke long enough for us to soak up a few rays before moving into the house for the race. I even managed to figure out how to set the self-timer on the camera so I could catch us all together doing jazz hands. I love these people so very much, and their presence in my world today was just what the doctor ordered.
“The only limits you have are the limits you believe.” ~ Wayne Dyer
More library fun was had today with the annual student celebration. I ran into many sweet friends like Jen Bartlett and Shawn Livingston. Shawn and I had an engaging conversation before the festivities began, and Jen, of course, is the perfect hostess. I’ve always been proud of the library for treating student workers so well. I was very pleased that one of our students, Patricia Smith (below with Danielle Gabbard), was awarded the Outstanding Student Award for the excellent work she’s done with us. I must say this week has been kind and refreshing.
“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.” ~ George Eliot
I’m shifting focus from Market in the Park for a bit because of this man: David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. BFF Jen Bartlett did an interview with him today as part of an oral history project. I played camera woman for the interview. I hadn’t met David before. I introduced myself as “Julie, you’re Cruise Director,” which made him giggle, so I knew he was good people right away. That, and his killer American flag socks, would be enough to make me love this dude, but it was really what he said in the interview that won me over completely. He was very well spoken, succinct and kind in his answers as one would expect from a man in his position. Yet, what moved me most was that he gets libraries and archives, and he gets who our patrons are. Even at the highest post in this nation he still walks around the reading room and talks to patrons. He talked a great deal about building relationships between colleagues, mentoring, and helping library schools understand that they need to teach real world library education, not theory. I have been saying that since before I graduated. I was so moved by his comments that I shook his hand and thanked him for speaking up for all of us who’ve suffered through horrid library graduate school experiences. David Ferriero is my hero and I was really pleased to meet him, although I might have to introduce myself to him as “Julie, your Cruise Director” from now on.
“Think good thoughts. Say nice things. Do good for others. Everything comes back.” ~ Unknown
I popped off a few selfies at Tuesday’s Library Spring Gala. The colors were garish, the exposures wrong, and paired with the completely wrong lens, I didn’t care for any of them. But I love the people with me, so I took a page from one of them; excellent photographer and Special Collections Associate Dean Deirdre Scaggs (above). Her work is warm, rich in texture, always with a hint of mystery. It’s very compelling. While these selfies are much more abstract, and not nearly as intriguing or even as fun as her work, they were nevertheless inspired by Deirdre. If you’re going to be inspired by someone, make it someone good. Deirdre fills that bill.
I would not have gotten the Dean’s Award without Danielle Gabbard, plain and simple. I depend on her every day. She has never shied away from a task, and even asks for more work. She’s shy, soft spoken, extremely kind, and a hard, conscientious worker. I got lucky the day she walked into the Nunn Center which was about six months before I did!
It’s a Jen sandwich: Jen Martin (top) and Jen Bartlett were both dressed to the nines in their sexy black dresses on Tuesday. It’s tough to be a dumpy middle aged chick between two beauties like them. What’s not tough is being in the company of such incredibly gifted women who share their knowledge and kindness at every turn. That’s the Jens, and I’m one lucky gal to know them.
“Sometimes you face difficulties not because you’re doing something wrong,
but because you’re doing something right.” ~ Unknown
Okay, I’ll admit it. I had a darned near perfect day. Let me back up. On Monday, awesome boss Doug Boyd gave me a gift he’d found while going through some things at home. This morning, while he and I were having a nice chat, in walks Crystal Heis: show and tell time! Doug gave me a tiny light meter (above). It sits on a camera’s hot shoe and runs on a watch battery. Crys and I tried to find some history on it. The best we could come up with was a $75 bid for one on eBay, and a video voiced in Dutch (zero help). Exit Crystal and Doug, enter Jen Bartlett and Shawn Livingston (below). They mostly dropped in to say hi with a sweet thank you card. Jen had just come from the dentist still numb. I’m happy to report she didn’t drool. Soon, Crys and I found ourselves at Le Madeleine people watching and having a great talk over breakfast food. The afternoon eventually gave way to a presentation by our Diversity Students wherein Jo Staggs-Neel told me I had movie star hair and Beth Kramer said she couldn’t tell I’d gained any weight. I told them I was buying a lottery ticket on the way home after such reviews. I topped that off with a great talk with Shawn on my way out (I saw he and Jen twice today – I really should have bought that lottery ticket). Did I mention my day started by getting the parking space closest to the garage exit? (this is a big deal, trust me) I had a feeling it was gonna be a good day, and it sure was. Many of my co-workers aren’t just colleagues, they’re friends. Really great, irreplaceable life-long friends. I’m blessed beyond measure.