My menopause book club with Kate Haas is about as regular as a perimenopausal woman's period, since we're on our fourth book since February. This mostly non-fiction anthology is my favorite entry so far. I liked one of the novels quite a bit, but Off the Rag is the first to get into what menopause is like, which is what drove Kate and me to start our club.
I miss being a fertile woman about as much as I miss my wisdom teeth.
As a feminist I couldn't accept that I was a chemically-driven being!
It is my belief that a woman my weight (a little under two hundred pounds) could go into an emergency room with a bleeding stump and her detached leg in her arms and the doctor on call would prescribe a diet.reviewdate: Nov 3 2013 isn: 0-934678-77-4
On Friday I cataloged the first five issues of librarian Anne Hays' pretty gender and self-exploration zine. It started off as a compilation zine, focusing exclusively on gender. In number two, Anne shares a bunch of her friends' responses to questions about how they feel about bras, and the zine continues to evolve into a personal zine on multiple topics with each issue.
Nov 1 2013
Cover image from Stranger Danger zine distro
In part two of Carlson's Blooded series, the only female werewolf in the world is on a mission to rescue her mate, a werecat (of an as yet unidentified genus) with barely a cameo role in this installment. She's fighting a powerful goddess and there are stakes beyond saving her dude, like preventing a war between supernatural sects.
The audiobook "Getting to Know the President" was recently released by the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI). It's available on GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) in MP3 format, broken into several chapters. It's also available in PDF on the CIA site.
CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI) has released its first audio book, Getting to Know the President (Second Edition). The audio book takes listeners inside the history of CIA briefings to presidential candidates and presidents-elect from 1952-2004, all through the eyes of former CIA Inspector General and Director for Intelligence John Helgerson. This second edition of Getting to Know the President updates Helgerson’s 1996 book with reflections on the transition to President George W. Bush in 2000 and the briefings provided to his Democratic challengers in 2004.
The book offers a look into the interactions of political figures and intelligence professionals across 10 presidential transitions. Helgerson relies on internal documents, public memoirs and interviews with four former presidents, several former Directors of Central Intelligence and Directors of National Intelligence. The result is a highly engaging account, providing both anecdote and analysis.
I was recently interviewed on KPFA (Pacifica) Radio's program Against the Grain. C.S. and I mostly discussed topics surrounding the chapter I wrote, "Meta-Radicalism: The Alternative Press by and for Activist Librarians" for the book Libraries and the Reading Public in Twentieth-Century America, Edited by Christine Pawley and Louise S. Robbins. I'm hoping that I represented the issues involved well, but I'm always challenged by interviews--there are so many ways to represent ideas in conversation(s).
The interview will be broadcast Tuesday November 5 at noon Pacific Time if you'd like to listen.
Against the Grain on Pacifica Radio airs on KPFA 94.1 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area, and on KFCF 88.1 FM in Fresno and California's Central Valley.
It also broadcasts worldwide via kpfa.org.
The audio will be archived afterward, in on-demand and downloadable forms, at againstthegrain.org.
Here are some highlights of the past week's activity at the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases:
CALIFORNIA (Joel Rane)
Toxicity Criteria - A database of toxic chemicals as defined by the OEHHA, browsable by chemical name and searchable by common name, CAS number, use or synonym.
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Linda Johnson)
OneStop Data and Information - More than 30 environmental databases covering air, water, asbestos, permits, and a variety of other topics are brought together here.
For a full listing of the past seven days of activity at our project, visit http://tinyurl.com/statedbs.
Ray K. convinced me to do it, and I'm so glad I did. But really, I'm not sure what pushed me into going, now that you ask me. I think it's just Ray's persuasive and charming personality.
Going out to Oklahoma was a little insane. My life has been insane - Hinson 24 Hour in NC, followed by Ted Corbitt 24 Hour the weekend following, then visiting my bestie in Buffalo (wine! tea! fun!), then Toronto for work and the Toronto Waterfront Half. I came home on Wednesday from my work trip, unpacked and immediately repacked my suitcase. Then I took a nap, worked a day, then flew to Oklahoma. Ray K. and his son Jon picked me up from the airport, where I had shared a flight with the legendary John Geesler (who frightened one of my pacers at the VT100 two years ago when he was literally sleepwalking on the course...of course I was uber impressed).
The race was full of impressive runners - American 24 Hour Women's Record Holder Sabrina Little (who dropped out due to having a wretched cold/bronchitis/asthma), Connie Gardener, John Cash, plus a lot of of the older-but-super-fast-in-their-time runners. I met "Doc" aka Andrew who gave me advice on the damage that my frostbitten feet are STILL experiencing.
Race morning, Ray impressed many by arriving more than 4 minutes before race start. We put our chips on; they used the ankle strap but I have never loved those. I imitated Ray and strung it through my shoelace (which just meant I had to move it when I changed shoes, which I did three times).
The course is a loop just under a mile - something like .96 mile. It's pavement. The course winds a bit, so you have to take the tangents so you don't run way over, but it's not horrible. It's pretty. Since Oklahoma is warmer than NYC, there were more plants alive, and it was pretty. The sun set later, which was nice, though it also rose later, which wasn't as fun. There were some slight hills, which we all regarded as mountains later in the race. "Cherie, toss me your crampons," Ray would yell if we'd pass each other on a "hill." Really, they'd classify more as "rolling hills."
The organization was pretty good. Chisholm is super-duper friendly, and his wife was amazing too. There was a big problem with timing (The display wasn't working, some laps got missed, and everyone was confused about their mileage, which was irritating.), but hopefully things get solved soon. I still am unsure of my exact mileage - I believe around 115.4 miles, which is a PR. Sweet.I missed my goal of 120 miles but I also had some issues, and it was not the perfect day for me - so to get a PR on a less-than-perfect-day is great.
The aid stations were great. There's one water and Gatorade stop in the middle of the woods, which I only stopped at a few times, but was nice to know that it was there. (So if I wanted a gel mid-loop, I could get some hydration with it. Yay.) The main station included a separate section for beverages, which was great if you were blasting through and just wanted to grab some liquid - water, Gatorade sodas, red bulls of various kinds. They were lacking ginger ale early on, but after maybe 8 hours, they had some, which was nice that they listened to requests (I requested it; not sure if others did too?). The food - broth (chicken & vegetarian, yay, vegetarian!), standard ultra snacks of chips (but different kinds, how neat!), lots of hammergels, skittles, starburst, muffins (mmmm), frosted cake, grilled cheese, burgers, pulled pork, peanut butter, graham crackers, cookies, pretzels, and so many things. Basically, even a picky-in-ultras-eater like me was quite happy. I LOVED THIS AID STATION! I supplemented this with Delta cookies I hoarded from recent flights.
Also, people moved a Halloween costume hammer around the course, and several balls. It's just a thing you did; pick it up and hang it from a tree branch or put it on a bench...They hung white Christmas lights in two different dark spots on the course which were pretty and fun...and combined with that and the brightly-lit sky, you did NOT need a headlamp.
I started out feeling good. As I blazed through the start/finish/main aid station, I thought, "Oops, a little too fast." I was running with a super nice woman Carol, also wearing pink (whose two sons were also running, how neat!), and said, "Ray is going to kill me." I was running sub-9s for a while.
After two hours, my tummy told me it was in charge. Good thing there were plenty of port-a-potties (always with toilet paper, yay) along the course. I stopped eating gels, visited the potties, and took an Immodium. Sad face. I hate my tummy sometime.
I slowed down, and skipped on gels for four or six hours. I switched to pretzels, veggie broth, and blueberry muffins. I was sad when they ran out of blueberry muffins (possibly because I ate them all) and I was forced to eat the lovely-but-just-not-as-delicious banana nut muffins.
And then, somewhere around 40 miles, I ran into Jameelah, and she told me her insane journey of getting to the race (which involved sleeping in a Walgreens!), of recovering from a recent injury, and then she mentioned the medics had done some work on a blister of hers. I had already changed shoes back and forth to accommodate my blister pain that day, so figured, why not stop by?
As I watched John Cash and Sabrina Little and Connie Gardener blow by me, the medical staff were super awesome and attended to my needs. First they taped up my toes together, and then did some massage to help my stomach, and gave me Rolaids and a ginger root pill. I ran a lap and felt like I was going to fall over - my balance was totally off with my toes taped together. They tried to cushion it. I ran another lap. "This is still not helping," I told Jared and the medical director. "Run another lap - we'll get the scalpel and then try to scrape it off."
I ran another lap and saw Jon mid-way and told him what they'd be doing. "Scalpel? Can I take photos?" Sure, why not. So of course he ran over to the medical tent. He wasn't running, but was taking photos.
I spent a little too much time getting my toe scraped at. Basically, there is a callous that has grown, and the blister was underneath. Or something. I'm headed to George Morgano tomorrow, my awesome podiatrist, who will hopefully help. So they had to scrape it down, then put these cushion things on my toe, then tape it up. Then I put on my cut-apart sneakers, because every ultrarunner has shoes with the toes cut out, right?
And I felt better.
I ran on. I chatted with people, smiled, got lost in my head. I counted the laps, pushed up the hills, sipped broth. And I was feeling mostly good. It was an ultra. It was a 24 hour race, which is where you get to make friends with the fastest and the slowest of runners. I loved the people who set up some carports and hung their TV in the middle of the course, watching "the game" and updating everyone with the score. I laughed. I had fun. Even when it hurt, even when it sucked, I still had a lot of fun.
It rained. Silly Oklahoma. I wore a rain jacket, which normally would dissuade the rain, but the rain didn't listen. It wasn't heavy, but I wanted it to stop. It got a little muddy by one of the port-a-janes. It stopped before nightfall.
Night fell. I changed into a completely dry outfit in my new BFF Sherry's tent. (I was squatting with my plastic bags of supplies outside her tent and we became friends.) I felt amazing in dry clothes. I ran a lap and then ran into Chris Roman, a good friend of Tony's. We began running together....
...and we didn't stop until the end.
It was pretty awesome. I was pushing him, and he was pushing me. When I felt like crap, I thought, "I can't lose Chris now. He's pushed me so much already." And we were doing that thing, where I thought I had to run faster to keep up with him, and he thought he had to run faster to keep up with me. Basically, we spent over 12 hours running together, talking, laughing. I got a lot less sleepy and hallucinated a lot less than normal, mainly because Chris was keeping me focused and awake the whole time.
Don't worry, I did hallucinate though; I kept seeing headless runners (I'd see someone but see no head) or it would look like runners were running with their heads on backwards. Ummmmm....I have strange hallucinations.
Chris told me stories of running the Eerie Canal, the Brazil 135, races he had done, stories of mutual friends. He cursed when I convinced him to run up a hill. Sorry about that, Chris, but I figured that uphill was good for us. You know, good for you like cabbage.
I hit the 100 mile in 20:28! A PR by 30 minutes. I was SO excited. I believe I was screaming in the aid station. Everyone seemed amused. Oh well. Good for something.
One of the race timers told me, "You're third woman overall, 2nd USATF."
"What does that mean?"
"You're third woman. The second place woman isn't USATF. So you're second USATF."
"What do I get?"
"A shiny silver medal."
"I want a pony!"
But alas, I did not get a pony, but I do get a rather nice cheque.
The USATF thing...you have to be a member of USA Track & Field, or you won't be counted in this race as a USATF winner, and since this is the national championships, it makes sense to be a member. I'm a member. The 2nd place woman didn't realize this, was not a member, and was rather upset at the awards ceremony. I don't blame her, as she ran a stellar race, and it wasn't acknowledged in the awards ceremony officially.
Anyway, the last 3.5 hours were rough. Chris and I both felt pretty tired. He hit a wall around hour 23 and I am afraid he may have been cursing me frequently in his head. I believe I did the same at one point. Something along the lines of, "WTF, why are we running? OMG this hurts, UGH, I hate this." But we stuck together. We were at the point where we had run together so long, we were NOT going to lose each other. We'd coordinate our bathroom breaks or I'd walk while he'd go or vice versa and then we'd catch up with each other.
We finished. Chris ran more miles than me early on, for 127 miles total. WOW. I kick myself for my stupid blister problems, which I probably wasted about 45 minutes total on. (What can you do, though?) Possibly more. Ouch. And my stomach is always a challenge. Luckily, Immodium, pretzels, veggie broth, and muffins saved the day.
At the end of the day, I had something like 115.4 miles. A PR. I was very proud of myself. 2nd woman USATF, 3rd woman overall.I was a little delirious. I ate food, then we left partway through the awards ceremony so I could throw myself into the shower, shove all my disgusting and stinky and wet running attire and supplies into my suitcase, and rush into the airport and onto my flight with wet hair and bags under my eyes.
And then it was all a dream...an amazing race...new friends made....those paths will never leave my head.
Next up....New York City Marathon! I don't think the aid stations will be anywhere near as good, but I always love a running party!
It's hard to believe we're rapidly approaching FGI's 9 year anniversary(!). We'd like to ring in our 10th year with an invitation to the community to become citizen documents bloggers. We don't want to have news and information critical to the govt information community fall through the cracks -- fugitive news?! -- and so we need your help. Are you a news hound? Maybe you'd like to cover the "doc in the news" beat like the one we just posted. Passionate about fugitive documents? Freshen up the blog with periodic posts about interesting fugitives -- perhaps ones you've found on the lostdocs blog. Policy wonk? You could set up Govtrack.us alerts and write about legislation of interest to libraries and the docs community.
The possibilities are limitless, but we need your help to make them a reality. Contact us at freegovinfo AT gmail DOT com if you're intrigued.
I ran across a story in the Guardian on Friday that sent me on a document hunt. Congressman Alan Grayson wrote a piece in which he referenced the Pike Committee investigation of the CIA:
"Congressional oversight of the NSA is a joke. I should know, I'm in Congress." Alan Grayson. The Guardian, Friday 25 October 2013.
In the 1970s, Congressman Otis Pike of New York chaired a special congressional committee to investigate abuses by the American so-called "intelligence community" – the spies. After the investigation, Pike commented:
'It took this investigation to convince me that I had always been told lies, to make me realize that I was tired of being told lies. I'm tired of the spies telling lies, too.'
Pike's investigation initiated one of the first congressional oversight debates for the vast and hidden collective of espionage agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA). Before the Pike Commission, Congress was kept in the dark about them – a tactic designed to thwart congressional deterrence of the sometimes illegal and often shocking activities carried out by the "intelligence community". Today, we are seeing a repeat of this professional voyeurism by our nation's spies, on an unprecedented and pervasive scale.
My work told me they were flying me up to Toronto for a conference we put on, so I could do social media. Neat. When I mentioned it to our Events Manager in Toronto, she told me there was a half-marathon and marathon the day before. Hmmm....
A marathon was a bit too much the week before a 24 hour race (I would be running 24 Hours the Hard Way the week after), but a half? I could do that. I did that the week before Hinson Lake 24. So yes, I'll fly up a day early and run a half.
I like a low-key race. Big crowds are also fun, but they usually are not combined. But here, yay, they were.
I headed over to the start with friends running the marathon, including Mary, Evy, Kino, and Thunder. We left our hotel after 8am for the 845 start.
We squeezed into our corrals shortly before the start. And I took off.
I felt pretty decent, and stuck to low 7s, even pushing it into the high 6s at times. Ooops. Oh well.
Around mile 8 or 9, my feet started hurting me. I've been having a weird problem - it is likely related to the frostbite I had a few years back (and am actually going to my super awesome podiatrist tomorrow about it) and my stomach hurt. Bleh. Push it. Bleh.
Close to the finish, one of my former Toronto colleagues, also a runner, screamed for me. Pretty awesome. Then, a few blocks later, my boss and three of my colleagues, up in Toronto for the same conference, were screaming their heads off for me. Really nice finish.
1:46. Not bad. Not my best, but my 3rd best. And not bad for the chaotic preparations (aka none) and the insanity beforehand (Saturday involved four trains, a plane, a cab, a rainstorm, and a power outage). I finished and was quickly covered with yogurt (um, I ate it but somehow got it all over me). I showered quickly and headed over to the work hotel, and on the way, got to see Kino, Evy, and Mary and scream for all of them. Fun times!
Last year the note on Jessa's copy of my Winter Solstice Shout Out zine asked if she was going to make a dissertation procrastination zine. On the first page of Jessa's new zine she answers me, "Yes, Jenna. Yes, I am."reviewdate: Aug 13 2013
Rowell's first book is an adult romance novel. Yeah, a romance novel (set in Iowa), but for a geek set. Since I don't read many romance novels, outside of paranormal fiction, I don't know what they're like, but can they possibly be as smart and funny as this?
My apologies for the long drought on updates for the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases. Volunteers have been active, but among other things I've been taking an amazing online class called the Hyperlinked Library through San Jose State University. The course materials are open and available at http://mooc.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/ and I think that all of the modules could be of considerable benefit to government information librarians.
But I digress. For a listing of the last two weeks worth of activity, visit http://tinyurl.com/statedbs14d. Here are some highlights:
ALASKA (Daniel Cornwall)
ScholarWorks@UA - Institutional repository for theses, dissertations and other research by University of Alaska Students and Faculty. May be searched or browsed by campus, issue date, author, subject, titles or type of resource.
DELAWARE (John Stevenson)
Door-to-door Salesperson Search - Searchable by salesperson last name, business name, or license number.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (Susan Paterson)
Search current job openings - DC Department of Human Resources (DCHR) helps District agencies meet their staffing requirements by ensuring the highest level of customer service to city residents.
MISSOURI (Annie Moots)
Consumer Confidence Reports - Search for and view public water supply system reports by county.
OHIO (Audrey Hall)
I was DEE-lighted to receive Delaine's book in the mail, a signed donation from the author to the Barnard Library. Somehow I had never read her zines, but I'd seen her always-adorable comics in A.j. Michel's compilations and maybe others. I always meant to… Well, her My Small Diary zines seem to be out of print, but you can still buy Not My Small Diary. Back to being delighted, the MSD collection is comprised of nearly a hundred one-page comics, similar to a daily comic. What's different, aside from the fact that the comics aren't dated to a single day (they're generally labeled with a season and year), is that the four to six images on each page aren't linear or even necessarily connected. They're more like a handful of illustrated Facebook status updates. (Forgive me for saying that.)
Oct 21 2013
Note that the image above pictures page 45. If you're up on your memes know that the first sentence on that page describes your sex life. "What will YOUR fortune fish say?"
You may recall that I was enthusiastic about Min's first memoir, Red Azalea and her novel Wild Ginger. I expected to like Cooked Seed twice as hard. It starts more or less where Azalea leaves off--at Min's emigration to the US. Somehow, even after the stories of Cultural Revolution privations, cruelties and humiliations in the first part, Seed is harder to take. I guess because you can blame Min's problems on her, or maybe because you have to blame some of her problems on the United States.
Identical twin Cather (sister's name is Wren--get it?) writes popular slash fiction in the world of a Harry Potter like series where the lovers are the Harry-like character Simon Snow and his enemy, a Draco Malfoy stand-in Baz (who is also a vampire). Cath is also an introverted college freshman and virgin from Omaha at college in Lincoln. Her twin sister/best friend is blowing her off, their estranged mother is poking her head into their lives, and their dad is fragile. Plus there are some boy issues, what might be an anxiety disorder and a little schoolwork to worry about.
The Book History Colloquium at Columbia presents:
JANICE RADWAY, Walter Dill Scott Professor of Communications, Northwestern University
Girls, Zines, and their Afterlives: On the Significance of Multiple Networks and Itineraries of Dissent
Thursday, October 24 6pm
523 Butler Library Columbia University Morningside Campus, 535 West 114th Street
Preceded by a tour of the Barnard Zine Library at 5pm (meet in the lobby of the Barnard Library, Lehman Hall, Barnard campus, 3009 Broadway)
Dissident and non-conforming girls and young women developed an interest in what are now called “girl zines” through a number of different routes, with a range of different interests, and at different moments over the course of the last twenty years. This social, material and temporal variability raises interesting and important questions about whether “girl zines” should be thought of as a unitary phenomenon and, correlatively, whether the girl zine explosion should be thought of as an event, a social movement, a conversation, a political intervention, or something else. Drawing on oral history interviews with former girl zine producers as well as with zine librarians, archivists, and commentators, this presentation will raise questions about the recent history of feminism and its relationship to other “new social movements” at a time of significant economic, political, and technological change in the 1980s, 90s, and into the 21st century.
Janice Radway is the author of Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature, and A Feeling for Books: The Book- of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle Class Desire. In addition, Radway co-edited American Studies: An Anthology and Print in Motion: The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880-1945, which is Volume IV of A History of the Book in America. She has served as the editor of American Quarterly, the official journal of the American Studies Association.
Co-sponsored with the Barnard Zine Library, Barnard College
For more information on the Book History Colloquium at Columbia, see http://library.columbia.edu/locations/rbml/exhibitions/2013-2014.html
Fowler's first-person narration is like a lucid dream. The protagonist, Rosemary Cooke, is caught up, but self-aware and conscious of various versions of the past and present. This is kind of a spoiler, but if you read the book jacket you'll find out the same thing--that Rose spent the first five years of her life with a chimp for a sister. The two (two months apart in age) were raised together until the chimp, Fern, was sent away.
Fair warning, as it turned out--kindergarten is all about learning which parts of you are welcome at school and which are not.
I can't believe that being called Fredericka my whole life wouldn't have taken a toll. I can't believe it wouldn't have mind-bent me like a spoon. (Not that I haven't been mind-bent.)
"When I get married," I say, "I want the wedding to be in a car in a car wash."
When I run the world, librarians will be exempt from tragedy. Even their smaller sorrows will last only for as long as you can take out a book.reviewdate: Oct 12 2013 isn: 978-1-101-59568-8
I love all of Tatum O'Neal's child-star movies and her in them--especially Paper Moon (well, yeah, the book was better, but what can you do?), The Bad News Bears and Little Darlings. O'Neal's autobio fills us in on the horror behind her success. The nine-year-old youngest-ever winner of an Academy Award went to the ceremony sans her selfish, druggie parents. If this tell-all is even half-true, O'Neal's parents, stepmother Farrah Fawcett and husband John McEnroe were serious douches to her.