Wednesday, March 29, 2006

spaz attack

i have a confession to make: i just emailed my favourite author. please compare this to say, anyone normal meeting their favourtie rock star. because yes, in my little world, my authors are rock stars.

i am writing a paper for my book history course on a canadian author. its basically a case study with the purpose of demonstrating one small aspect of the book trade and i chose, of course, Guy Gavriel Kay. the class istself is wonderful (the only one i go to not because i have to but because i enjoy it). you can stretch the topics to almost anything that catches your fancy and still turn out incredibly creative, pertinent and interesting work. i am constantly amazed by the quality of thought displayed in class.

for instance, the other day, walking to the classroom, tamara and i followed a PhD student and our prof. they were speaking of methodist publishing in ontario and i just kind of had one of those 'duh' moments where i realized how academics are different than, say, me. i turned to Tamara and said, "wow, i bet they don't even care who last got eliminated on America's Next Top Model." And Tamara looked at me, straight faced, and said, "Or how Jade is really humble." And then we looked at each, smiled and said together, "On the Inside." Once again, I had to accept that my reality was a very different reality.

But, back to The Point. I was speaking with another classmate about my paper when she casually remarked, "oh, i know him! he's a friend from Winnipeg!" Before I managed to close my mouth, she had promised to speak with him about helping me. and she did! and so, i emailed him. his personal address. its practically like touching him (i'll never wash this keyboard again). i met him once, you know. it was at a book reading/signing in Ottawa. He was signing my favourite book (it still makes me cry...the book, not the signature) and i asked him what he was doing after the signing, you know, real casual-like (now i know how boys feel asking out their first dates). he did not reply and to this day, i am not sure if it is because he did not hear me or because, well, i fear i might really not have said anything at a volume that registers in the human ear. but, this just might be my second chance.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

now i know how prometheus feels

i am trying to go on vacation. and to leave this wonderful country (especially if i want to come back) i have to bring my passport. now, i have a passport. i have lovingly carried it across europe, collecting stamps and treasuring them almost as much as my beloved blankie (they both get carry on treatment). it has come time to renew: except, wait, the canadian passport office no longer renews passports. you have to get a whole brand new one. this is retarded: i am the same person. i am just five years older. that whole guarantor thing? they still know me! okay, okay, i get that you need to fill out the addresses, and perhaps even the emergency contact info again. but the fact of the matter is this: if you were a valid Canadian five years ago, you are a valid Canadian now.

thursday will be my third trip to the passport office. having newly relocated to Toronto, i do not know anyone in the city who can sign my guarantor forms (and picture). but, on the web site, it mentions that if you have not known a guarantor for two years, you can simply fill out an "in lieu of guarantor" form. in my mind, this was for people like me. I figured, i had to prove who i was (show id) and then, someone official looking would authorize, after i had proved myself to indeed be Allison Moira Larsh, it by just signing it or something, perhaps with a flourish. but no. its only for people who are applying for a passport who have not lived in Canada for two years. would it fricking kill them to say that on the webpage? and i mean, even if you have not been in canada for two years, if you move back to your hometown, then hell, you still have a guarantor. i even tried to coerce my friend ian into signing it for me. but he's not a professional engineer. dang it.

fortunately, my boyfriend lives in oshawa. fortunately, i visit. fortunately, his grandpa lets me borrow the car on occasion. these are the things that kept me from totally losing it. so, i got my childhood dentist to sign my photo. yay! i'm me! on my second trip to the passport office (the first was to be told that i needed a real guarantor), they informed me that i need to have him sign the forms as well. crap. this one was entirely my own fault. but i think tears still sprung to my eyes. and by think, i mean they definitely did. so i purolated him the form. and i will pick it up on thursday. and i go to the passport office and they tell me anything other than they will happily process my order, i do believe that i will resign myself to a life lived within the borders of canada. that's what, 6000 km to explore? should keep me busy.

please let me get to egypt, please let me get to egypt.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

i think i can already feel the humidity

the thing that i hate (love?) about spring is that it always makes me want to shirk all my (rather minimal) commitments. there is nothing that i would rather be doing right now that simply wandering about, sun on my face, carrying some kind of coffee/tea, hand in hand with jarrod (he's the only who will hold hands with me in public), wasting the day away in nothing productive, but still very enjoyable, wandering. i think i could even walk around with my coat unbuttoned today. there might even have been a bit of smog around the C.N. Tower. oh, toronto, how i love thee.

but this is what i will really do today: finish my lit review for my research methods proposal and finish entering information into our group database project. fortunately, the inforum provides the time for me to do so. if i was at home, my day would be this: watching last week's Lost and The Amazing Race and reading gossip blogs. after my walk outside of course.

julia may or may not still be at my house. she ended up having a rather rough go of it. after tasha's, i had fully planned on heading home to relax, preferably to watch Braveheart. however, jeff was anxious to go out with a new lady who had caught his fancy, and coerced julia and i into heading to O'Grady's for a few games of pool. turned out to be a good time: the bar was busy, but not too busy, the company was good, and, at the end of the evening, the bar tender offered drinks to anyone who could name the music he was playing.

as i write this, i am hoping that Tasha is not annoyed that i ended up going out last night: it was truly unplanned and, for better or worse, i think, a sisterly duty. see, yesterday, i elected to head home rather than attempt a second movie (Jurassic Park II...we had already watched the first one) because i really was tired, and so, going out seems to be in direct contradiction to why i went home. i have always lived by the rule that you don't hold out for a "better offer" when it comes to your social calendar (there is nothing more damaging to a friendship than being told you are second choice) and i would hate to think that she would think this is what i had done. in conclusion, i feel like a big jerk. hopefully, tasha managed to get some serious crafting time in and won't really care about this.

on friday, a whole whack of us headed over to jeff's hockey game. although not the original plan for the evening, i do believe hockey was a hit. it is always great to go to hockey games with people who have not grown up with hockey the way i have: you definitly see things with a new perspective. the evening was bittersweet, as it was probably the last time i would get to see jeff playing in the OHL. which means, his hockey career is drawing to a close. it certainly is the end of an era. the score of the game was 6-5 for the colts, however, the real score was three free t-shirts, a soft pretzel, two hot chocolates, one major fight, too many penalties, a few annoying kids and a bunch of library students yelling at a sporting event. highly successful in my opinion.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Before reading this, you must preface it with this. this was written by a friend of a friend, in response, actually, to her original post. which you can find here. quick overview: discussion of monogamy and how it has evolved into somewhat less pure state (ex. open secrets about drunken mistakes, etc.)

as a matter of fact, i think that cheating is one of the most heinous things a person can do to their significant other: its selfish, hurtful, and devastating. it destroys trust, in the current person and relationship, and sometimes, even in later relationships.

but is it as black and white as that?

our generation, raised by parents who have stressed to us that we can do anything and be anything, that we can find love and happiness and balance, and that we deserve all of these things because we are wonderfully absolutely uniquely special. As a generation, we are set on the world with impossibly (wonderfully?) high standards and we have set loose a bunch of twenty-somethings onto the world that believe in true love, in a relationship wherein passion is matched by both parties, where lives click and stay clean, where dreams and goals are aligned, and where, always, both parties are on the same page.

but, as anyone who has been in a relationship can attest to, there are highs and lows. there are messy fights, there are tears, there are words screamed in anger, or worse, screamed with hate. and there are make ups and break ups and taking breaks and giving it another shot. there are moments of extreme tenderness, of humour, and of love. there are apologies and mistakes and forgetfulness. and yet, couples stay together and work at it. they try and try, and sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail.

how does this relate to cheating? because people are, first and foremost, fallible silly stupid hormonal creatures. they make mistakes and scrape their knees and betray their friends. and yet, we are asking all of these people, many of whom cannot even hold down a job, to be utterly faithful to one person for their entire lives. is this reasonable? rational? possible?

are we just setting ourselves up to fail?

i remember a friend of mine, now married, who, years ago, had a boyfriend cheat on her. when she found out, she ended the relationship. no ifs, ands, or buts. and this was a boy she was in love with. now, her actions made me see her in a whole brand new light. i saw a strong self of self, a developed moral code, and knowledge of what was, for her, a deal breaker. i call this the looking in the mirror test: there are times when we still love someone, so so much, but when they have done something so hurtful that it is impossible to be with them and still be proud of your reflection in the mirror. so, this disrespect becomes more than simple cheating: it becomes an issue of self-respect. by cheating, by hitting, by lying, by ignoring, by so many things, one person can disrepect another. and regardless of the sin, the response is the same. a person earns their place in life, be that a place of high regard or low, and those who commit actions should be ready to deal with their re-actions. and there comes a time when a line is crossed. a line that means that instead of being respected in a relationship you are disrespected. there are many things that people can withstand when it comes to love. but, i think, that when it becomes clear that there is no respect, that is the ultimate breaker.

and so, even though i know that their are so many ways to fall, i find myself believing in the possibility that love, respect, and friendship can win out in the end because i do believe that we can make the right choices. when i look around my world, when i think of the people i admire and the many positive examples they set, i realize that i admire them not because they "look good on paper" but because they have, somehow, managed to always live with self-respect and their own peace of spirit in mind. this is perhaps why my friend impressed me so much: she was, after all, probably only twenty and more than entitled to make a few relationship flubs, was still figuring out life, still making many mistakes, but, when it came right down to it, she had already found the most important thing: her sense of self. now, quite happily married and living overseas, i have no doubt about her ability to maintain herself. i have no doubt that she makes good decisions, not because they are easy, but because they are right.

i only hope that, when it comes to difficult decisions, i too will have the strength to make the right choice--in life and in relationships.

but i also hope, that when i don't, my partner will love me enough to forgive me. and that when i really cross a line, way way way too far on the other side, i know that he will have the strength to remove me from his life. fortunately, i know how much his presence in my life is valued and somehow, that makes making the right decisions a million times easier.


i think i might be nerding myself out, but i think this is neat.

once, i read an Encyclopaedia Brown short story in which he knew where the key was because it was under a word that was also a palindrome. the thing is, he found it under an eraser. and it has perplexed me for years just how exactly eraser is a palindrome (the same word or phrase forwards and backwards). it keeps me up at night.

another question: why didn't they chose a word for palimdrome that was actually a palindrome?

not single but perhaps a little funny

as per my last post, about the correlation between being single and being funny, we joked about it at work tonight and came to the sad conclusion: once you're paired off, you are no longer fun.

actually, i completely disagree with this statement. i mean, i like to consider myself a teensy tiny bit fun. can i prove it myself with an example? i think you might just have to trust me.

sometimes, i do feel like my life is fuller (more full?) when i am single. i have time for endless coffees, extra curricular courses, shopping trips, work outs, etc. i don't have a steady date on weekend nights (or both nights if i get really lucky) and i don't have that other person about whom i think about perhaps even more than i think about myself. i somehow see every movie that i wanted to see, keep up with my correspondance, and read five books a week. it makes for a very content (albeit a little selfish) life.

but when i do have that special other person, like now, i spend a lot of that free time with him. i choose to. and i find that the contentment that i had when i was single becomes a new and different kind of content-ness. i wouldn't change a thing about it. so, although i am sure you'd love to hear all about the sappiness that is my relationship (seriously...its been over a year...and though there has been ups and downs, i still find myself in moments of incredible smitten-ny, love-ness), its really not that fun for anyone but us. and, all of a sudden, instead of documenting my own exploits, freely, i would be detailing 'ours,' perhaps without his permission or without his endorsement. i hate the idea of having something exist that he would not want to read or see and i like to believe that i would not do such a thing.

after all, this is not a private journal. its a public vehicle in a public forum. i know this. and so i have to take responsibilty for it. sometimes its hard to retain its scope, hard to keep in mind who is reading it and why. but mostly, i think its fun. i love that my aunt's read it, i love that my grandma reads it, i love that my mom reads it. (i also love that my mom has started her own...its much more beautiful than mine.) i love that my friends read it. i love that jarrod reads it. but only as it exists. personal, but not private. instead, i will continue to document my life, in little spurts, with things that i think are funny. or amusing. or clever. or stupid. i have a whole lot of stupid. like tonight when i realized tonight, halfway home, that i forgot my wallet in the inforum. seriously, if my head wasn't attached.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

question of the day

why is it that the best, funniest, cleverest, most insightful blogs are written by single people?

Monday, March 20, 2006

you will note my resume is now taking up a large part of this blog. unless you plan on hiring me, i suggest you just skip over it.

second, you will also see that my handy drop down comment function is now dead. see, i guess while playing with the html, i deleted my "posted by al @11:00" display. and since i wanted to link to the resume post specifically, i had to load the old template again. if i have the time/energy, i will get everything back to normal. but i highly doubt that will happen in the next, say, six months.

on the upside, the wine gums that i bought myself (as a reward for doing so much labelling at work tonight) were extra fresh and delicious. they almost made up for the fact that the battery on my ipod died on my way home. so sad.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Allison Larsh


University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

• Master of Information Studies, Collaboration in Book History and Print Culture
• Completed first year of two year program

Carleton University
Ottawa, ON

• Honours Bachelor of Humanities, Concentration in Philosophy, Graduated Spring 2004
• Received the Pauline Jewett entrance scholarship

KU Leuven
Leuven, Belgium

• One year exchange through the Institute of Philosophy


Computer Skills: Types 60-81 WPM. Proficient use of MS Office, WordPerfect, MS Excel, MS Access. Thorough knowledge of Windows and MAC operating systems, especially concerning Internet Protocols

Library Skills: descriptive cataloguing (AACR2), subject cataloguing (Sears, Library of Congress), book processing, collection development, SIRSI, online searching using Dialog, LexusNexus, and Factiva

Selected Relevant Coursework: Intro to Cataloguing, Intro to Management, Intro to Information Systems, Research Methods and Statistics, Online Information Retrieval


Help Desk Advisor
Information Commons, Robart's Library
Toronto, ON

• provide excellent client service for students, staff, faculty and alumni requiring assistance with various computer issues, specializing in email and Internet issues
• performed duties on walk-up and over the telephone

Library Technician
University of Toronto, FIS Inforum
Toronto, ON

• Information personnel, providing services in circulation, shelving, labeling, reference, and other general tasks in an academic library setting

Library Technician
Scugog Shores Millennium Project
Port Perry, ON

• Independent research on Lake Scugog, with the purpose of creating and designing searchable database to be located online for the public to use
• Travel to local community and university libraries to complete this research, as well searching online journals and archives

Help Desk Technician
The Pic Group (Bell Sympatico)
Oshawa, ON

• Interact directly with members concerning a variety of internet related computer issues, customer care and dedication are a priority, also a sales element for Sympatico products
• Thorough knowledge of Windows operating systems, as well as Internet Protocols, TCP/IP, PPPOE, etc.

Stacks Services
Carleton University Library
Ottawa, ON

• Return books to shelves, run traces for lost books, and maintain an organized shelving system to keep the collection in order.
• Deal directly with library patrons and oversee book returns

Administrative Assistant
EDS of Canada, Ltd.
Ottawa, ON

• Completed customer care surveys, entered analyst statistics into a database.
• Maintained monthly report on customer comments and statistics, updated expense invoices using spreadsheets and databases.


Publicity Representative, FISSC Council
Toronto, ON
Maintains inventory of FIS related merchandise
• Represents council at recruiting fairs, information events and alumni nights
• Attends monthly council meetings.

Bar Tender
Pangaea International Students Association
Leuven, Belgium

• Served requested drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
• Maintained a tidy restaurant and serving area.

Head Grammatical Editor
The Voice English Newspaper
Leuven, Belgium

• Selected which articles would be published in monthly magazine
• Head of Editing Staff for said articles
• Contributed own articles for magazine


• Reading
• Traveling
• Learning languages
• Snowboarding


knitting day 2

yesterday was a fun night: girls, knitting, wine and some indian food.

with my newly learned skills, on my wonderful nine hour shift today, i have completed a roughly tea doily sized swatch of knitting. i am actually really really proud of myself. because, although there is one hole, oops, there is only one. and i did not notice it until i was rows beyond it, and i decided, well, it gives it some character. Tasha quite kindly, after teaching me, donated some of her older wool (that she had spun herself a few years ago). i planned on making the whole scarf from this green-y wool, however, i am now thinking that it will not be enough. so, the scarf might have to be striped. we shall see. i am sure that jarrod will love it, either way. (i promise not to make you wear in it public!)

crap, now it has two holes.

i am debating taking it out and starting again. i don't really want to! but for some reason, i cannot figure out what i am doing that causes the holes. if i could, then i would, well, stop doing it. mom? any help here?

i have to admit, i love a busy schedule. if i don't have a million things to do, i get nothing done. and so, this past week has been no exception. jarrod visited after work on thursday, and we had just enough time to cook dinner before our out of town guests arrived. ryan (an old old friend from high school) was in town with his boyfriend, also ryan, visiting their perspective schools for next fall. ryan m. is, if he can get his nerve up, accepting york's faculty of environmental science and ryan n. is only waiting on the official okay from ryerson to sign himself up. it was nice to have a full house again, always people coming and going.

weekend in brief:

times out for breakfast: 2
movies walked out of: 1
book stores with no terry prachett books: 3
green beers: 0
doppio espressos: 1
thai dishes with seafood: 3
couches moved: 1
high school friends visited: 3
unsuccessful knitting attempts: 5
sucessful knitting attempts: 1/2
glasses of wine: 1
good conversations: 102938449238201

a great success, any way you look at it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

i got bit with the nostaligic bug this morning. in my junk mail, i recieved a survey about how i found the humanities program at Carleton. so then i decided i wanted to check out the web page, you know, see what is going on back up in good ol'Ottawa. well, things look like they are progressing well. they are just progressing without me being there, or really, without anyone i know being there. we had such a fun group of people and we had four years together. when you are nineteen old, four years is a long long time. my entire adult life. a lot of firsts happened in those years. and suddenly, i had this pang that that group, and that life, that is quite permanently gone. those people will never be in the same city again. we will never be in humanities again. on an average night, looking for something to do, those people will not be the ones who live a street or two away. rebecca is out west, mike and ciara are in asia, drew is in berlin, emily is living up north (but will come...maybe), julia is in richmond hill (you'd think i'd see her more than i do!), amanda is studing in northern ontario in a town that for the life of me i cannot remember...and those are the ones i can remember off the top of my head. heck, i'm not even in ottawa anymore.

i am loving living in toronto. its hilarious to live with my little brother (who knew?), its wonderful to only live an hour from jarrod (preserves a little spontaneity), library school has turned out to be a blast (if you are a bunch of nerds, therefore having many friends, are you still nerds?)...but i suppose this is what life is, right? having happy memories that you value--not wanting to turn back the clock, not wanting to be there again (and i certainly don't want to be twenty, twenty two, twenty three again...(i left out twenty one, cause well, maybe i'd do belgium again...). but having memories that can just, stop your heart for a second. a brief reminder of life and living and how this present was not always the present and how it will never be the present again. which leads me to realize, what this really means, i should get out of the humanities frame of mind, go do a work out, clean up a bit (again) for my guests, and get my head back into the present. an old friend is visiting just for the evening. sometimes the past does visit again. thankfully!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

remembering faces and moments

i find that the constant moving in my life has left me with too many faces. even when i am in an unfamiliar town, i seem to recognize people. (maybe its just an out of date presecription) i stop, i pause, i try to figure it out, all the while, i am sure, appearing like some crazy person who is wondering if she remembered to turn her stove off. so, today, walking to class, sure enough, i caught sight of someone whose face i recognized. but--it turns out i really did know him! he graduated from the Humanities program at Carleton a year or two a head of me. i have vague memories of parties thrown by upper year students, of being unsure of my place in it all, and he and his girlfriend reading poetry to each other in the midst of chaos. i remember that moment more than i remember him, or the girlfriend. i was amazed, jealous, had these two created such an intimate moment when fifty other drunken kids were around? and it was intimate. they were sitting on the ground, alone, laughing, reading, touching. i felt invasive. but they seemed nary to mind nor, even, to notice. they had captured something in that moment, and although i could not process what it was, i did have the capacity to recognize it. maybe. well, enough that it is five years later and i still remember that boy sitting with a girl. now, having sat with boys of my own, having moments of my own, i think i might value that one even more. for setting an example. for making me want something.

but back to the point. i saw this guy walking around campus this morning. now, to make myself appear less like a crazy stalker, i also met him in belgium when he visited my friend mike. and i decided to stop him, say hi, acknowledge that we knew each other. i don't think he remembered me. but that's okay. because it would have been somehow worse to let him walk by. i needed to treat him friendly-like simply because, well, i knew him. come on, we all walk by people, we all pretend not to see. well, for once, i decided to take a stand against standoff-ish-ism. and so i was friendly. he's thinking about going to school here, i told him what program i was attending, yadda yadda yadda. we went out separate ways. i seriously doubt we will ever cross paths again. but i know that if i do see him again, it will be a much more honest greeting than if i have walked on by today.

when i was young (and by young i mean up till, uh, now) i hated talking to strangers on the phone. family members, new friends, everyone. the phone=my enemy, my nemesis, it was the thing that made me abandon my confidence and caused my knees to shake. it was practically a phobia. seriously. i'd beg my mom to make phone calls for me. she never would, insisting that i had to learn to do it on my own. the reason for my paranoia: i hated the thought of people not remembering me. especially if i remembered them. it just seemed humiliating. but here i was, facing my fears like some kind of champion, and even though he didn't remember me, i survived. it was not a commentary on how valuable, or even how memorable, my existence on this planet is. because, hey, i know i stick out, at least for some of you. maybe i should make this post a challenge: smile at the people you recognize. tell them a joke, a story. but damn it, stop pretending that they aren't worth even a head nod. a head nod! it costs nothing.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

norris vs. taylor

do you ever have those mornings that you wake up and you have this pit in your stomach that stems from guilt or sadness or hurt? i am hoping this isn't a phonomenon just common to me. i used to wake up that way in Belgium (and i would like to say that that only happened for the first few weeks but that would be a blatant and total lie). I used to wake up with that feeling after my first serious boyfriend and i broke up (and i would also be lying if i said that only lasted a few weeks as well). i use that feeling as my emotional barometre. if i am seriously hurting, i will have that pain. if i am not, it just won't be there. it is either a kick in the pants to get moving or else it is a warning to address what is going on with me. i woke up with that feeling this morning. There are several things it could be: stress about work this summer, my upcoming trip (which has run into quite a few snafus), a misunderstanding with a friend that last night (which i still feel like quite an idiot about)...i don't know. part of me thinks it might just be a feeling of loss: j. has been around the past few days and i miss him when he is not around. but it always worries me when it comes.

we (and i use the term we loosely--at least one of us can cook) did manage to make a stunningly delicious pork roast on friday night. j. discovered a recipe online (with a medium difficulty i might add) and we headed to kensington to shop for the basics. i love kensington market. i mentionned to j. about living here one day and he looked at me like the crazy that i am and said simply, "this place is too sketchy to live. its a nice place to visit but..." and i looked around, and to my chagrin, realized that he was quite right. a particular example: while waiting for me in the bakey (which he has boycotted due to roaches...i vote that all bakeries have bugs!), he watched a raggedy man spot a glove near a bench and proceed to pour coffee on it. what? why? i would have thought that a homeless person would have been less...wasteful. but its true. even with all the colour and flavour of the little place, it does seem to attract a, ahem, variety of people.

after we collected our produce and meat (is there anything better than going to three separate independent shops for bread, produce, and meat?), after we prepared our roast and left it to cook for three hours, j. and i met stephanie, tasha, and lorien at the ROM. its is always fun to go somewhere that i associate with childhood memories. its never the same and is usually a lot smaller. not much is open to the public right now, as there are serious renovations currently underway, but you still get that museum-y atmosphere. these kind of events, though often only an hour or two, are often the highlights of my week. good company, interesting things to look at, new stories that emerge...i learn more about myself and my life in there settings than i do in a classroom.

actually, i am really chafing with the classroom yoke right now. i spent a brief part of the afteroon checking out tours in egypt for a few weeks this summer. my brother, jeff, and i were supposed to be visiting our parents but really, we're in it for the adventure. but. his exams are all over the place and not conducive whatsoever to me working this summer. so it might not be quite the trip i had planned. which, actually, really disappoints me. i am trying to talk julia t. (who was interested the whole time but wasn't sure she could swing it) into it, so we shall see.

to end on a humourous note: while shopping, a pair of converse slip ons caught my eye. i have two pairs of high tops at home, and well, slips ons would be the perfect travel accessory. you know, real shoes, but still relatively, uh, cool. but, the reason i don't wear my high tops is because they KILL my pinky toes. so i asked the high school student/salesperson if "the chuck norris shoes all had the same width?" i am not really sure if i managed to get out the whole sentence before laughing. they are chuck taylor's. t-a-y-l-o-r. not n-o-r-r-i-s. the texas ranger, though formidable, has not passed his name on to shoes. yet. j. pulled me away, without purchase, before i could a) embarrass myself further and b) to stop scaring the poor boy. i have to admit that the thing i thought of first, was that there was one person who had to know first: my aunt beth. she alone will truly understand both the humour and the pain.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

why do i love these? (last one, promise)

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy

In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.
You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.

Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho

this quiz horrifies me

Your Stripper Song Is

Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard

"Love is like a bomb, baby, c'mon get it on
Livin' like a lover with a radar phone
Lookin' like a tramp, like a video vamp
Demolition woman, can I be your man?"

Break out the baby oil, you rock it old school.

FIS 1311 Article Review

Article Review: “The Digital Preservation of e-Prints”
D-Lib Magazine, September 2003

The article, “The Digital Preservation of e-Prints” discusses the question of whether e-prints should be preserved along with other digital artifacts. The authors of the article, Pinfield and James (2003) promptly and appropriately define e-prints, for use in this article, as electronic copies of research papers or articles, usually stored in an online repository for scholarly use. This definition is important in order to contextualize the term and to limit its scope—in this article, what is being discussed is not journal or other online archives. With the ease of online access, large volumes e-prints are being collected and stored and are open for public access without metadata standardization. Easily searchable, a collection of e-prints can offer a great deal of information, quickly and easily. However, without thoughts to standardization and preservation, these digital collections could be lost with the next generation of hardware and software. In this article, Pinfield and James (2003) illustrate many of the main issues that must be addressed when discussing the viability and longevity of e-prints.

Pinfield and James (2003) begin this article by addressing the two main sides of this issue: that of the digital community, which would like to preserve all things digital, and that of the e-prints community which would like to place more emphasis on building the repositories rather than on preserving them. They use this discussion as a back drop to emphasize their point of view, that the most important part of e-prints is open access to a large collection. If there is nothing in the repository than there is nothing to search, and even more, there is nothing to preserve. From the e-print perspective, collection, not preservation, is the focus of the endeavor. On the flip side, many in the digital community believe that these information rich repositories should be preserved for future use (Pinfield and James, 2003). Only by preserving e-prints, can you also preserve the open access of e-prints. Open access is important because the repositories are often cited, and if they are allowed to decay, this information is no longer viable to future users (Pinfield and James, 2003).

In order to personalize their perspective, Pinfield and James (2003) draw largely on two people to present these differing viewpoints: a leading advocate for e-prints, Steven Harnad and a member of the digital preservation community, Peter Hirtle. The authors frame these viewpoints as a discussion rather than as a black and white issue. For example, Harnad does not say that e-prints should not be preserved, he just mentions that the primary focus right now is on collecting, not preserving (Pinfield and James, 2003). Hirtle is also a moderate voice. By choosing individual moderate voices, they ensure their discussion of the issue is much more reasonable and valuable. The authors suggest that although many in the digital community would suggest that to set up such a complex system of retrieval and not preserve it is doing an injustice to the digital preservation community (Pinfield and James, 2003) but these are not the voices they choose to highlight in this article.

At first, it seemed unacceptable to use such informal sources and the use of Harnad and Hirtle without reference to published articles does reduce the academic value of the article. For example, Pinfield and James cite discussions with Harnad and one editorial from Hirtle as their source of reference. Though the article is formal in tone, they do not cite their sources from appropriate academic resources. Though these viewpoints are accurate, they do not carry enough authority and, from an academic point of view, the article would carry more weight if it cited other academic articles. However, this article does not seem to be intended as an entirely formal resource. It has the tone of a discussion and blends many points of view. The use of specific discussion by specific people actually narrows the discussion from complete generality to a more specific nature. It is an effective way to present the argument and is easy for the reader to follow. The magazine in which it is published, D-Lib, is a magazine entirely devoted to digital library research and development (Wikipedia, 2006) and the tone of its articles are largely exploratory in nature. Pinfield and James (2003) strike an appropriate tone for the medium in which their article is published.

The sourcing of this article can be questioned by the reader. Most of the sources are from 2001, and with the growth of technology, that is simply out of date. A search of more recent articles on e-print preservation, such as an article by Simpson and Hey (2005) suggest that not only are article repositories gaining more popularity due to ease of access, they are becoming more reputable, but that they still have issues with what to preserve and how to preserve it. Where they surpass Pinfield and James lies in their use of examples of preservation initiatives, but this simply makes sense: as it becomes a more prominent issue, more people are addressing it. Although this article was written in 2003, the issues it discusses are still current. Pinfield and James quite successfully encourage people to think about an issue, years ago, that is only becoming more important today.

What this shows is one of the strengths of Pinfield and James’ article: it is written in such a way that the issues it discusses are broad enough to still be pertinent. Because the article was not a technical solution to the issue, but a large discussion of it, this generality is acceptable. This generality also leads one to believe that the article was written to provide information for information professionals and to raise questions, rather than to offer concrete solutions. Pinfield and James (2003) do use two examples of initiatives that are trying to bridge the technical and organizational difficulties of preservation. The first is a standardized metadata protocol called the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting which aids in searching more than one repository at a time (Pinfield and James, 2003). Secondly, is the UK SHERPA (“Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access”) project, already in existence and functioning, which list the creation of OAI-compliant e-print repositories and the preservation of the content of these repositories as its two main mission statements (Pinfield and James, 2003). These organizations are both still in operation today, as well as other similar projects. The existence of these projects attests to the fact that the issue of e-print preservation is still relevant in the world of digital preservation today and Pinfield and James (2003) have effectively given the reader a history of the issue that is still applicable today.


Works Cited

Anonymous. (2006). “D-Lib Magazine.” Wikipedia. Accessed on 03 Mar 2006 from

Pinfield, Stephen & James, Hamish. (2003). “The Digital Preservation of e-Prints.” D-Lib Magazine. Accessed on 05 Mar 2006 from

Simpson, Pauline & Hey, Jessie. (2005) “Institutional E-Print Repositories for Research Visibility.” Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (Online) Accessed on 05 Mar 2006 from

Sunday, March 05, 2006

ups and downs

in honour of new york kristen, us toronto gals (and a few honourable boy mentions: ian and eddy) headed out to a night club downtown last night. fueled by a rather disgusting mix of johnnie walker (red label), wine, and mixed drinks, we danced it up. stefanie (and certainly not me) actually danced on top of the bar. the establishment was considerate enough to install a horizontal bar along the ceiling so that poor intoxicated women could dance their hearts out without falling off. while tasha was amusing herself with a lawyer, his friend challenged me to a chugging contest. this was a bad move on his part and this is why: i am a world class (and i definitly mean to use the word class) chugging machine. international competition winner. the poor guy ended up puking in the bathroom and getting kicked out of the bar. 1-2-3 winner! we had a good time, but there were some notable missing people: annetta, tamara, diana...ladies? you are going to have to pull your socks up and put on a show next time we venture out. which will be sometime next month. mark your calendars. (there is no way i can handle that can kind of thing any more than that) a night out is fun and all...don't get me wrong. there is nothing that bonds people more than making fools out of ourselves. but, right now, there is nothing that i want more right now than some quality home time with take out, downloaded tv shows, and jarrod.

sofie and i went out for breakfast this morning, and of course, because she is one of the best people with which to discuss such things, we spoke about our lives and our relationships. and that last point in the above paragraph (the one with tv) is one that i am really learning about. there was a time when i was out and about both weekend nights and perhaps even a day or two during the week (i am thinking of one particularily bad summer). but, when it comes right down to it, most of the time, i was looking for that one person who i could just sit at home with. a person who makes me laugh and smile and whose company i simply enjoy. having that in my life now is something that i truly value. but i still that going out every once in a while, helps put everything in perspective and helps me realize that while i like going out and having a good time, . i love going out with friends, seeing them in often hilarious situations, i also love relaxing at home. and as i get older, i no longer feel the pressure to be such a social butterfly. i am more content just being myself, and i like that self to spend at least fifty percent of her time in pj's.

out of a seventeen hour weekend work schedule, i have about five hours to go. i am pretty impressed with myself. working and all. earning the bread and butter to support my family. you know how it is, nose to the grind. i've been doing some work with collection development. basically, you look through publisher's magazines and serials and take note of any new publications in the information field. if the library doesn't already have the book, you take note of it and then the collection development librarian can order it. okay, this seems like the stupidest boringest job in the history of libraries. there is no reason that each library should be doing this. it should be a) outsourced or b) centralized at U of T. in the first option, a company could do all the searching and prep work for you and release a list of new titles. even more, your library could fill out detailed buying forms and when a book meets the criteria, it could be sent to you. if they want to keep collection development at home, the system could merged from each separate library completing their own development to one group which would be responsible for the whole university. as it stands now, each of the fifty libraries on the U of T campus are wasting valuable time. if there was communication (any kind at all) between the libraries, they could all save time. it may very well be that there are systems like this available somewhere in the library world. i would love to know about them if there were. and then i would like to sell one to the Inforum.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

me, myself, and the go train

i am beginning to hate the go train.

yesterday, i ran into the station, fully ten minutes before the train left (a record for me, i think) only to find a gigantic line to the ticket booth. fine. i wait. then i decide i probably have enough time to get jarrod and myself and a sandwhich from mickey's d's. no line. i risk it. sandwiches, bag, book, pop, ipod, ticket in hand, i literally run up the escalator to hear the last boarding call (note: two coats with stitches still on them noticed on the run up). i sit down. and realize i had forgot to stamp my two way go train pass with those annoying machines (why they can't just put them on the platform is one thing i will probably never know). so i grabbed my stuff and looked for the conductor because i figured if i confessed he'd let me off easier. and i could not find anyone. so i sat back down. and ate my sandwich. which...of when the conductor comes around. fortunatly, he believed my tale (i tend to believe its because i am adorable) and didn't ticket me. but i got a stern lesson on validating my pass.

this morning (same ticket) i was getting on the go bus and i dropped it. i looked down. it wasnt there. poof. disappeared. into the grate. seriously. does she print me up a new ticket? no. at the station two guys (yes, it took two of them) unscrewed the gate and gave me back my ticket. uh? was that really that efficient? couldnt they have just printed me a new one? sigh. another thing i will never know. but hey, i made my train, made it back home, and all is good.

i also splurged on three (count 'em) new books. They are:

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
The In-Between World of Vikram Lall
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

We will see if i get anything done in the next few days.