november 16, 2018

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“Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical, person that you are.” ~ Mandy Hale

 

duck face photo bomb (snapseed)

 

Friday is great because it’s Friday, but this Friday was extra great because I got to see lots of people I love, meet two new people I loved right away, and listened to some inspiring thoughts by Jad Abumrad, founder and co-host of the popular NPR program RadioLab. I had a wonderful lunch with Gail Kennedy who introduced me to an absolutely delightful Kevin Dearinger, actor, writer, and all ’round awesome dude. I was so enthralled with our conversation that I didn’t think to snap a pic. If the day had ended there it would have been a great day, but that was just the first course.

 

family ties (snapseed)

 

Crystal, Judy, and I made our way to the Jad lecture when Ruth and her friend Chuck sat down behind us. We were having a great time socializing before the lecture when suddenly Josh James sat down in front of me. The NPR station where he is a reporter moved to an off-campus location so I don’t get to see him as much as I used to and it was a real treat to spend a little time with him. As a bonus, he introduced me to his mom! Like Josh, she’s totally adorbs. We had a great conversation about everything from rotten politics to Uber. I met two new awesome people today and I got to hang out with even more awesome people throughout my day. I must be living right.

 

the gang (snapseed)

september 21, 2018

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“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

laughing ice cream

 

Greg met Judy. Judy met Greg. We ate. We laughed. The original plan was to go to a UK men’s soccer game after dinner, but none of us were keen on sitting in the rain. We opted for Graeter’s ice cream instead. It was a great start to the weekend, and of course, I’m always happy to have my little brother home with me. I feel whole.

 

big mouth

july 12, 2018

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“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” ~ Pope John XXIII

 

work family (snapseed)

 

Wonder Woman, Marietta Watts, convened Humanity Academy grads for lunch again today. We were a small but mighty crowd, but make no mistake, the conversations were no less powerful. I’ve probably said this before, but it’s worth repeating: the University of Kentucky is damn lucky to count Marietta among its ranks. Her spirit is boundless. When I look around a room of HA grads, I marvel at the complexity of the personalities sitting shoulder to shoulder and being happy to be there. One of the most important things said today was that HA grads, as attendees, come to the program with open hearts. Not everyone agrees, not everyone should, but what happens after a week of coming face to face with our preconceived notions of who we think other people are is a deep understanding that we are all just human beings. Every label, every stigma, every negative thought we hold about others different from us, and even about ourselves, are products of some weird socialization that’s gone horribly wrong. It has nothing to do with our basic needs as human beings. HA grads learn to talk about the elephants in the room. Most importantly we learn to listen. Humanity Academy is a gift from Marietta and I’m so grateful Stacy Yelton nominated me to participate a decade ago. I’ve made lifelong friends from HA, and so many of my other UK colleagues are members as well, like Renee Collins (smiling), Marie Dale (head turned listening to Marietta), and Judy Sackett (way on the back), who, I learned today, was in the HA pilot program in 2006. It is amazing how good I feel about myself, and about being a UK employee, when I leave the company of our HA meetings. That is power in the most wonderful way. Thank you, Marietta, for being a light in this world.

june 24, 2018

posted in: music, photography | 2

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” ~ Bernard Meltzer

 

new friends

 

Judy Sackett had seen Willie Nelson when he was a youthful 69. She enjoyed him back then, and loved the idea of seeing him again. So, off we went to the Outlaw Music Festival. Judy is a blast to travel with. She enjoys people. She enjoys food. She enjoys learning new things and going new places. I don’t think she’s ever met a stranger. We hadn’t been in our seats long before this couple made friends with us. We didn’t get their names, but I sure wish we had because they were awesome. He was especially fun, as you can see. The couple in front of us were nice, too. The young man especially. In fact, he took up with Judy, hanging on to her later in the evening when the whiskey kicked in and everything began to spin. Once, when I returned from the ladies’ room, Judy had another man chatting her up. I don’t know where he came from, but he wasn’t sitting near us. I had no idea she was such a dude magnet! I told ya, she’s a hoot to travel with. I’m glad we made some fun memories and met some great people along the way. If anybody down London (KY) way recognizes this couple behind us, tell ’em we said howdy.

january 28, 2018

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“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

 

a cake wedge

 

The January babies of SCRC (minus Matt Harris since he was transferred to Young Library last year) had dinner to celebrate our birthdays. We were joined by The Lunch Ladies since we never celebrate their birthdays, especially poor Marie whose birthday falls in the 4th of July. We’re never at work on her birthday. So, this year, we decided to celebrate all our birthdays now. We enjoyed a fabulous meal, and afterward, we shared this hunk of chocolate cake. As you can see, it was huge. Even still, the photo doesn’t do it justice. It was nearly half a cake, and with the five of us each taking a generous slice from it, we still had leftovers. I think we may have started a new tradition, and I, for one, am very pleased by it.

 

January babies

december 20, 2017

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

 

Lunch fronds (Snapseed)

 

Today was the library’s annual holiday luncheon. It’s never a lunch. It’s always a luncheon. I don’t know the difference, but the food at the Boone Faculty Center is fantastic. Every meal I’ve had there in the last two years has been good enough to make you wanna slap your granny. Add in your favorite coworkers and you’ll wanna slap your papaw, too. Happy Feasting one and all.

september 21, 2017

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“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” ~ George Addair

 

authors (photo by Laura Whayne)

 

Judy Sackett and I wrote an article in 2016 that was featured in the journal, Kentucky Libraries. Lo and behold, it was awarded Most Outstanding Feature Article, and today, we accepted our prize at the annual Kentucky Libraries Association (KLA) conference luncheon. Judy called it our “major award,” then asked to see the leg lamp (if you’re not familiar with Christmas Story that joke will make no sense). Henceforth, it is known as our major award with complete respect. Though we didn’t get leg lamps, we got very nice personalized plaques, and Robin Harris, who introduced us, gave us a glowing introduction. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Judy. We have so much fun together. It’s really fantastic to share this professional acknowledgement with her. As we say in the band, “We do not suck.”

 

major award recipient

september 7, 2017

posted in: photography | 0

“Our job is to love one another without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”
~ Thomas Merton

 

tall drink of water (that means he’s tall)

 

You met Gabe Tomlin earlier this year as part of the Human Library. He dropped by my office with Judy Sackett. It’s always a joy to see Gabe. He’s one of the smartest, most creative people I know. He hugs me when he sees me, and what’s not to love about a good hug? Having someone of Gabe’s caliber as part of our team sets the bar awfully high for all the new student workers, but so be it. I’d trade a semester’s worth of students for one Gabe. He’s just that awesome, and I’m really grateful to call him friend. And he’s got the coolest suede jacket ever.

august 31, 2017

posted in: art, photography | 1

“Magic happens when you don’t give up, even though you want to.
The Universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.”
~ Unknown

 

extra special (snapseed)

 

Last Christmas Judy Sackett gave me an original Joe Molinaro mug. It was one of my all-time favorite gifts. If I haven’t told you about Joe, let me fix that. Joe is one of America’s best ceramicists. He recently retired from Eastern Kentucky University where he’d been teaching ceramics. During his tenure there he studied indigenous pottery craft in Ecuador (and other places, too, but mostly in Ecuador). That in-depth study surely informed his organic style. He creates stunningly beautiful work; truly elegant in its simplicity. As a bonus, he’s a super awesome guy. Naturally, I was thrilled when Judy gave me one of his pieces because I could never afford one on my own. So, you can imagine my heartbreak when, last Saturday, I dropped Joe’s mug onto a kitchen counter only to have it shatter into thousands of pieces. There was no way to fix it. I was sick. I confessed to Judy that I had destroyed my beloved gift. She, being the queen of awesome, today brought me another Joe Molinaro mug. I couldn’t believe it! I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such kindness, but I’m sure glad I did it. 

january 4, 2017

posted in: photography | 2

“Growth is painful. Change is painful.
But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”
~ Unknown

 

Capricorns 

 

Special Collections has been filled with January Capricorns as long as I’ve been there. The majority of us are still around, too. Here, we’re lined up in the order of our birth day (youngest to oldest as luck would have it) starting with Ruth Bryan (Jan 3), Matt Harris (Jan 4), moi (Jan 8), and Judy Sackett (Jan 9). Matt and I were born the same year. Unlike me with a dog and two cats, he has five real children. He’s holding his birthday card that I thought was going to be cool for his kids (although he had to ask who left it in his mailbox because he couldn’t read my signature). It wasn’t going to be quite as fun as I thought. After a meeting this afternoon, we decided to take pictures with the cute mustache on a stick only to find it didn’t actually come out of the card. I think they used cement to be honest. So, we were forced to pose with the whole card instead of funny individual shots with the mustache. Still, Ruth provided plenty of funny faces. It was good fun, and I hope it made Matt’s birthday a little brighter. It sure made my day bright.

 

making do without the mustache
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