Author Archives: tina

All hail autumn!

The summer of hell is over! I know its October and clearly summer is no longer, though Los Angeles temperatures dictate that 90+ temps will make it seem like summer well into the arrival of pumpkin spice everything at Trader Joes, but I am just now beginning to breathe a big sigh of relief from the heat.

I spent my summer suffering through hourly hot flashes, two Mercury retrograde periods, selling my house, moving, finding a job, getting back on the dating horse, and generally freaking out big time. I also managed to squeeze in going to ALA, not going bankrupt, and turning 48.Obviously the big stressors were selling my house, where I lived for fifteen years, and moving into a rental house with my two kids and two cats; no one was excited about this change of address least of all me. It was part of my divorce, and I could not put it off any longer.

Since my twenties, I have had a near nightly recurring dream about having to move. It is as horrible as it sounds. Moving in real life began to feel like one of my nightmares, with that slow motion film quality dreams have. I zombie walked through most of it as well as the sale of the house. I felt ground down, small and defeated.  My real estate agent said I would feel such relief at the end of the “process” but I only felt a dull hollow ache for my life that was no longer.

During this hot and heavy time, I was still churning out cover letter and resumes, and interviewing in the summer heat, dripping sweat on the desks of prospective employers.

I am so looking forward to fall and my extra hour of daylight savings sleep! All hail autumn!

Are we ready for life in the cloud?

Are we ready for life in the cloud?

DAM-IT the Blog focuses on the company’s own integrated system, (webDAM), but gives good advice in their blog for getting the most out of your system and also understanding DAM a bit better. Their article: Integration in the Cloud: Finding Smarter Ways to do Business meshes their own tools with best practices in the cloud. Their SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution is cloud based and the article talks about why it’s great: Ease-of-use, Customer Focus, Robust Functionality, Extend functionality, Connect complementary solutions, and Customize an application. That sounds pretty good to me, I’ll have to email them for their pricing structure, might be a lot!

http://www.webdamsolutions.com/digital-asset-management/integration-and-the-cloud/

Another interesting article was a recent post on DAMNews about Amazon and the Cloud, and its search capabilities. This one talks about Amazon’s search functions in their cloud based computing and how they might be aggressively taking over the cloud. The point  seems to be that in a few years there might (will most probably), be newer better services so why not focus now on the best and most cost affective in the short term and worry about the future, well you know, in the future. This does make sense to me, but I do worry about a handful of companies controlling the whole cloud.

http://digitalassetmanagementnews.org/cloud-computing/amazon-announce-cloudsearch/

I found this article on the DAM Foundation website interesting as well.  It takes the perspective of a CEO into account, and why he or she would want the Cloud included in their business module.  The Implications that it could radically change how a company does business especially on the corporate level is interesting indeed.  Is this business module so radical that it could permanently change corporate structure? This does sound far reaching to me, but after reading the article, I can see where a CEO would be looking at a uniquely different business strategy. I suppose I had not taken into account all the ways that cloud computing could change the way the world does business. Who will ultimately have control of the cloud or clouds? Will it be the companies as whole entities, or will the cloud providers have a bigger stake in those said companies than originally thought or expected? Hmm, time will tell.

http://damfoundation.org/2012/04/cloud-a-trend-an-opportunity-or-a-must/

Active User

I sat quietly at the reference desk and contemplated what I should write about.  I hadn’t updated my blog in as many weeks, nay months, and I was beginning to wonder if I could even list it as a skill slash job if I hadn’t updated it beyond changing the word press theme. I do love an exciting new word press theme, and could update that and feel like I got something done, but I digress! It occurred to me that I could write a whole post on the experience of expectations and procrastinations.

What do I expect from myself and what do I assume others in the library and blogging communities expect from me? Is one post a week enough to make me feel worthy or can I lower that to one a month and still feel like I am doing my due diligence? Quality over quantity right?  For me this is as much a lesson in keeping my word and following through as it is on self esteem. Next month I will be giving a presentation at a library conference, and one of the things about me listed in the program; (the program!) is that I’m an active blogger. How many posts will bring me up to the “active user” level that I am now required having without feeling as if I’m lying? Five? Is five enough? What about ten? Ten sounds over achieving, and one (this one), feels a bit slacker. So I’m sticking with five posts before the conference, and I hope to make them as solid and interesting as I can. Once they’re done I can go back to my usual procrastinations concerning working out, sewing new pillows for my couch and the truly ambitious paper mache’ animal head for over my fireplace (don’t ask).

My eggs

0925131725 1030132023c Here are two close ups from a needlepoint project I’m almost finished with. I wanted to create something that represents the changes going on in my body as I go through menopause. What will happen to my eggs and my art when I’m done?

Auf Wiedersehen!

Breakin’ up is hard to do. Neil Sedaka said it in 1962 and again in 1975. Apparently it was so hard he went to #1 in the charts with two different arrangements in two different decades. Well, I certainly concur; whether its matters of the heart or a work situation, the change can be overwhelming. There are the usual feelings of sorrow, and that weird floaty sense of denial that you can’t believe this is really happening, like waiting for those tv dream sequence lines to appear to signal that, fewww, you will wake up from this. There is that awful physical pain that I would best describe as a cramping, squeezing feeling. Plus I really, really don’t like change though this is more like upheaval. I guess I thought that as I got older, these feelings would lesson with each passing year. Instead they have morphed into another beast all together. A stop me dead in my tracks, re-re-evaluation of my life and my life’s goals. Maybe it’s because I have less time to pick myself up and dust myself off, or my twenties provided so many other awesome distractions that I simply forgot to stew and wallow.

Okay, back to the pain thing. Who knew life would hurt so much? When I was a little girl and I would think of all the things I wanted to be when I grew up, I never thought about the caveats. I want to be a princess and find comfortable shoes to wear to the ball. I want to be an artist and find affordable health insurance! I want to be a teacher with a super de-dooper pension! I want to find my Prince Charming and should we ever break up not feel like I’ve been sucker punched in the stomach.

Enjoy these videos about breaking up!

Sisters

I hung with my sister not long ago when we went together to her high school reunion. She graduated the year before me, so I knew many of the people from her class and considered them friends. The experience was surreal on a number of levels. First I realized I hadn’t “hung out” with my sister in many years, possibly decades, and secondly we would be both spending the night at our parent’s house, something we hadn’t done together since I think we both lived there almost thirty years ago. What was so sad to me was seeing my sister at the reunion; she could have been any number of people. She looked familiar, I think I remember a party or two we both went to, and it was good to see her again and catch up on all the good times we had back then.
Being only thirteen months apart, we were very close growing up, but then something happened during the high school years and we drifted, slowly like waves at sea. Among the flotsam and jetsam of time, we drifted in the same direction; we got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, but even that hasn’t brought us back to shore. Our personalities are so different, that without the shared childhood, I probably wouldn’t know her at all. Does being born in the same place and the same time guarantee closeness? I really thought it might, but at the reunion, as I caught up with people I hadn’t seen in years (including big sis) I guess the answer became no.
What can we do short of moving? Schedule weekly phone calls? Monthly visits? Force her to post more updates on Facebook or comment on mine? Your guess is as good as mine.
Do this: Relationships take work, even one’s we think can just drift along. Make an effort before they float away.
These are some pretty amazing lyrics from Ben Lee’s song 2 Sisters.
“Two sisters had so much in common
Now they don’t know each other at all
You thought that they’d grow closer with age
You were mistaken, they’ll go to their graves apart
Not regretting what they didn’t do
Never missing the sister that they never knew

Maybe the friendly sibling myth is a scam
I don’t know any siblings that walk around holding hands
Maybe we all expect too much of them
Not only to be sisters but also to be friends

Maybe two sisters need to fight scream and weep
Maybe if two sisters don’t fight
Then two sisters will never speak
Keep your theories and parent psychology
It doesn’t hold with me”

A frame with two separate photos in it
Is the closest that my two sisters have been

Self Doubt On The Job Hunt

I have had many ups and downs in my extended job hunt (mostly downs), but it’s been a real learning experience. Being out of work for a long time can do weird things to your psyche. There is the shame of it mostly, and the creeping feeling that something must really be wrong. I also have lots of reasons (excuses?) why I haven’t found work.

  1. The economy:  “Dude,” I say, “it’s really bad out there, especially since the housing bubble burst in 08!”
  2. The local economy: “Dude,” I exclaim, “have you seen how many places have closed in our area?”
  3. I’m still in school: Only I’m not, so this doesn’t really work as a valid excuse anymore. I should say, “recent graduate”!
  4. I suck: “Dude!” I proclaim, “I think I just suck at this!”

The last excuse falls into the shame category, but it’s the demon I have to fight the hardest. You would think this would get easier with age, but self doubt smells just as enticing in your 40s. I recently had a job interview where there were five smiling faces from the HR dept staring at me. I was expected to answer some questions that they handed me on a sheet of paper. I was allowed to make notes before I went into the room, so I was a bit prepared. I’ve had this happen before without prior warning as well, and all I could hope was that I didn’t have that beauty pageant smile frozen on my face while I stumble through an answer about saving the children and world peace. I think this time I sound self possessed as the words spilled out of my mouth, but I won’t know unless they call back. At least I didn’t say, “Dude!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BhjUy1db8JQ

Sunny Acres

Talking to yet another friend about the hunt for accommodations for her aging parent(s), I started to think about what we Gen Xers would be looking for in an old folks’ home. I’ve visited enough of these places to know the residents are never doing anything that seems interesting to me. So what if I designed my own place? Sunny Acres, here I come!

First off, there would need to be way better music. So in addition to satellite radio and Pandora subscriptions, there could be live music once a month. All those ’80s and ’90s touring bands that are playing the Orange County Fair can add Sunny Acres to their list of top venues! “Ladies and gentleman!” the announcer would say, “put down your Blackberries, turn up your hearing aids, and get ready to rock!” There would also be an exclusive backstage and after-hours club for those of us that can stay up past nine, and just feel like getting together and chillin’.

No need to hide your drugs, the nurse is going to give you what you need as part of your insurance plan, and she’s a pretty kick-ass tattoo artist, too! For food, there would be vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free menu items. And for those of us still able to properly chew and digest, there would be a smattering of daily food trucks.

The field trips would be much better, too. Take the medic van to the mall or bingo if you want, but Sunny Acres would include an all-access pass (badge and lanyard included) to a festival of your choice, including premier lodging, parking, motorized scooters, and a private nurse to take care of all your needs and listen to you complain about how it used to be so much better “back in the day.”

Sleep Like A Biddy

Sleeping like a baby. Yeah, right! Who wants to sleep like a baby? Bedtime at 5pm, then up every two hours to eat, burp, or poop?! Not me! But like a wrong turn down a windy road with no easy way to turn around, middle age has brought me places I never thought I’d get  to, including sleepless nights. Between the hot flashes, night sweats, and hair trigger bladder, I seem to wake up every two hours — like a baby! I also find it really hard to fall asleep. This is actually the worst part for me because I used to be such a great sleeper. (Head + Pillow = Sleep.)

Now I find myself dreading bedtime. I wait until I’m half asleep on the couch or in front of my computer before I make my move, thinking perhaps I can sneak up on it… lights off, still sleepy… take off make-up, still sleepy… brush teeth, still sleepy. Oh so close… almost there… just a few feet to the bed…. nope. The minute I crawl in, I’m wide awake.

I can make all sorts of preparations: chamomile tea, sleepy time tea, fall the fuck to sleep tea, but none of it works. I’ve tried night light, total darkness, white noise, total silence. None of it matters; I’m still staring at the ceiling.

The irony is, of course, that I seem to be able to fall asleep any other time of the day. I can even fall asleep standing up. I can sleep on airplanes, buses, cars, during important meetings, while reading or watching TV, while listening to a lecture, on a date, at a concert. You name it, I’ve slept through it.

So where does this sad tale end? I wish I knew, because it’s 2:30am and I’m sitting at my computer writing this.

Old Man Jenkins

When I was a kid, I thought my parents were so out of touch with my world. My dad claimed to have walked five miles to school in the snow; he came to America not speaking a word of English. My mom grew up ultra-orthodox, and with a complete lack of knowledge for what was popular or fashionable. She came to America on the Queen Mary and married my dad within the year. I promised myself when I had kids that I would never be like them. I know what you’re thinking: We all become our parents in one way or another, but I was determined never to be out of touch with modern life like they were. I grew up with TV and rock ‘n’ roll, and so, I thought, would my kids. My mom didn’t even own a radio or really know what drugs were.

But now here’s the catch! I find myself saying that same worn out phrase, “Back in my day… we played outside ’til it got dark, rode our bikes to school, read magazines, played records.” (Cue the record scratch noise they’ve also never heard.) What I thought would always be the norm has been ploughed over by technology and the internet. There’s just no way my generation doesn’t look quaint and silly and, dare I say it, out of touch to these darn kids. And I find myself getting irritated by the speed at which what I thought would always remain cool (the ’80s) has not. Also, having to explain to my kids like visitors from another planet who the Beastie Boys (the Clash, the Ramones, etc.) are and why they are still relevant and cool even though you’ve never heard of them and think their names are silly can make me downright angry.