Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Still Around, Not Traveling

I think I posted more last week when I was traveling in and out of town than I have since I got back. I've been a little busy and spending a little less time on the computer. I'll make up for that now.

Actually not a whole lot to report on these days. The long weekend was nice. We went for dinner Saturday night for Chris' birthday. I took him to a restaurant downtown with a very eclectic menu and great ambiance. It was recommended by a co-worker (her son works there too), plus it was one of those places I've always wanted to try. Also on the pricey side, so special occasions only. It was really good. Chris got lamb shank and I got chicken breast wrapped in phyllo (a pastry thing) and stuffed with brie and peaches. All was very good, and very filling!

Sunday we spent most of the day in Bardstown with Chris' family. It was nice to spend a little time with them and catch up. Plus I got to see his sister's engagement ring, which is beautiful!!

Monday morning I had adoration at 6am, then Chris and I met at the Arboretum for a walk just after 7am. We walked for about an hour and then went back to his house for breakfast. He came to my house later that evening for dinner. I made my Aunt Janet's Russian Chicken, which is a family favorite.

That's been about it for us. We have a class this coming Saturday, our last marriage requirement with the diocese. It's called "God's Plan for a Faith Filled Marriage." I have been told that it is based on John Paul II's Theology of the Body speeches. I'll post more on that after the class.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wedding Update

Great news!! The dresses have all arrived!!!

The bridal store called while I was in Columbus. The bridesmaids dresses are here and my dress is here. My mother and sister went to the store on Tuesday and picked up the bridesmaids dresses. Mine is staying there for when I do the alterations, plus they will store it there and press it and clean it between the Bridal Portrait and the actual wedding. But they did see it and take pictures which they sent me. Sorry, won't be posting those here.

The dress is beautiful though! I am so excited. We had one modification done (there was a part of the dress in olive green color which we had the designer change to Ivory) and I was so happy to see it all in the same color. My sister said that several people at the store were looking forward to seeing my dress too because they had never seen it all in the ivory. Everyone thought it was beautiful. The pictures, I'm sure, don't do it justice. I can't wait to see it in person when I go down at the end of June.

My sister also tried on her bridesmaid dress and sent me pictures of her in it. It looks great on her and I love the color!! I can't wait to see how beautiful all my bridesmaids look together!!

Currently I'm working on the photo list for the day. Thankfully I have my sister's list from her wedding and it is wonderfully detailed!! So I'm using it as a basis to make sure I get everything set up well and I don't miss any picture moments. Thank goodness she got married before me, her organization of all her wedding stuff has been a tremendous help! Thanks sis!!!

Actually, overall everything has been going pretty smoothly and I haven't been under too much stress at all. Thank goodness, I don't know that I'd be able to handle it if it was overly stressful in addition to everything else I have to do.

I'm so glad the dresses are all here!! That's one thing somewhat off the list. Next will be alterations. I can't wait to see my dress and try it on again!! Just one month and I'll be down there!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Trip, Part 2: Columbus, OH

I got back from Columbus, OH yesterday. Truthfully, I only saw Columbus from a distance, I was actually in Dublin, OH which is in the northwest corner. It was a very interesting meeting and I learned a lot.

Anyway, I left Sunday around noon to drive up there and arrived at the hotel around 3:45pm. I got caught in some traffic on I-75 just south of Cincinnati. Apparently we've already started the highway construction to expand and repave everything before the International Equestrian Games come here in 2010.

Moving on ... I registered and got my "Observer" name badge and attended the first General Session at 5pm that evening. I could tell right away that this meeting was different from anything I had ever been to previously. The delegates (elected individuals from the regional and national network providers) all had assigned tables to sit at and each had name placards on the tables to identify them to those around them. Also, the President and CEO of OCLC was in attendance for the entire 3 day meeting!! That was impressive. The opening session was kind of a welcome, introductions, special recognitions, and some words about the rest of the conference. However, we also participated in an activity during which those of us in the audience were also assigned to tables so we could participate in the small group discussions with the delegates. My table had to discuss the values of OCLC: what should they be, basically. I discovered that the level of conversation at this meeting was at a much higher plane than I was used to thinking.

The most interesting point, I thought, that came out of my group's discussion was that we should not be in the business of keeping OCLC in business. In other words, as long as OCLC is providing us with the products we need then they'll automatically stay in business. They should be focusing on assisting us with our needs and not just be trying to make a profit. It sounds a little weird and I know a lot of business people would say that this is totally wrong, but when you're dealing with non-profits, that actually does make sense.

The dinner that night after the discussion was awesome. They definitely feed their delegates well at this meeting. I found myself at a table with several people from OCLC Western (several western US States), one person from OCLC Asia, a new VP hire at OCLC but someone who's writing I know well (Karen Calhoun), and a few other individuals. I also discovered that I was attending a conference of mostly library directors/deans or other high administrative types.

Monday morning started bright and early. We were bussed to OCLC's Conference Center on their campus for the day. We had an opening General Session where two researchers (one, again, I knew through his writings) gave presentations on the directions OCLC is looking at for the future development of their products.

Next were Interest Group meetings. I attended the Cataloging and Metadata group, which is completely packed!! It was very interesting. Karen Calhoun did a presentation on the future of bibliographic control which somewhat repeated some things in a recent report she wrote for the Library of Congress and which she talked about when she was invited to speak at UK about a year ago. There were a few new things, but I was still disappointed that she thinks there is no need for some of the things I do in my job on a daily basis. We also heard from two other OCLC employees on the issues of "next generation" cataloging and quality control.

Before lunch we heard from the President who gave an update on the state of things currently at OCLC. He also entertained questions for a little while. He's a very interesting man. I actually met him last summer and he seemed brisk and direct then, which was a little off-putting when just three of us were speaking with him. In front of a large group his demeanor actually works well for him.

Lunch was great and I was amazed at how much I learned just sitting and listening to a group of academic library directors talk about their experiences.

Our next general session dealt with the product I know what this is and thought I knew what directions they were moving with this, but apparently there is a lot more to it than I knew. I am used to hearing OCLC talk about their current products and projects and what changes are expected in some of them, but this talk about some future developments was new. I also felt a slight difference in how they presented at this meeting from others I've heard. There was less of the "sales pitch" at this meeting and more of the "looking-for-approval" type talk. I guess this is the meeting where a product could get the ax if necessary.

There were also library group discussions (I went to the academic librarians group) which was just more of the values discussion.

The final general session of the day was a lot of business stuff, but then we got a presentation from the VP of the Americas and Global Vice President, Marketing. (Isn't that a cool title: VP of the Americas?). Her presentation was about an upcoming publication. She gave us some stats and shared some of what would be in the report. I'm looking forward to reading it now.

Tuesday also started fairly early and we started the morning with a presentation on Institutional Repositories. I have heard so many positive things about IRs that it was amazing to hear a presentation from a company that has their own IR software discuss why IRs don't work and all the negative sides of it. Maybe it was a marketing gimmick, because I could see why their product would actually offer more benefits than other IR software out there, despite the negatives of trying to create an IR. At least with theirs it can be in a shared database rather than everyone doing their own.

Later that morning this issue came up again during the presentations at the second Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group Discussion. I learned a lot at this session that will actually be of benefit for some projects that we need to be working on here at UK that involves my unit. So that was a good thing.

The meeting ended with a business meeting that was interesting to observe. I left right after that, but there were other things for the delegates to participate in. I didn't need to stay for that stuff though.

One of the interesting things about this was talking to a variety of people. I met the director of the public library system for Sacramento, Calif. (she has 27 libraries), I talked with the National Librarian of South Africa, I met the library director of the University of Hong Kong, I talked with people from London, Germany, and the Netherlands. I also struck up several conversations with a gentleman who was from one of the network providers (he was sitting where I was sitting instead of with the delegates), and I spoke with a guy from Rwanda. The number of accents floating around the room was quite amazing.

It was an interesting meeting and I learned a lot. I wouldn't mind going again if I had a reason to. They meet again in October, which I obviously can't go then, and then again in February. After that I'm no longer on the MOUG Board, so they wouldn't necessarily want to send me, but who knows. I may volunteer to be willing to go if they need someone to, even if I'm not on the Board.

I'm happy to be home and not traveling again until June. And my June travel will not be for work!! Yeah!! Hope everyone is doing well and I will be catching up with email and so forth again very soon. (I was disappointed that in neither hotel the past several days was I able to get Internet!) Bear with me and I'll get to any emails I need to answer very soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Three New Priests for Lexington!!!

Today was a wonderful day for the Diocese of Lexington!! We had three new priests ordained this morning during an Ordination Mass that lasted two and a half hours!!

We are definitely blessed to have three men brought into the priesthood today. One of the three was a member of the same Young Adult group that I am now involved with. He is such a wonderful person and I am so excited for him. He emailed me last week to invite the group to the ordination and he sounded so excited in his email. At the end of the Mass the Bishop also announced where the three of them were going to be placed. I'm happy to report that Father Chris Clay will be an associate at Christ the King!! It'll be wonderful to have him at the cathedral!

The Mass was packed. Chris reminded me that ordaining three men at once was like having three weddings at the same time. It was a beautiful ceremony, the music was great, and the Mass was amazing. All the priests (or a good number of them) from the diocese were there, plus some priests representing the two seminaries where the three of them had studied. Plus there were a lot of other religious men and women in the congregation. There was a nun that sat down next to Chris and I, plus we saw several others, including some Sisters of Charity, during the reception afterwards.

We also saw a ton of people we knew. We saw several other former and current members from our young adult group, the DJ for our wedding was there, the couple that taught our NFP class was there, plus we talked briefly to Father Paul and Father Frank, and we did manage to catch Father Chris just after Mass to congratulate him and give him a quick hug. He got swamped after that, so we figured we'd probably just have to catch him again later.

It was a wonderful way to start the day. It is so wonderful to have three new priests ordained in one year. We also have two men being ordained to the deaconate in a couple weeks, so we'll have two new priests next year. I believe we also have another 10 or so young men in seminary, so the next several years will be wondeful around here!

My Trip, Part 1: Bowling Green

I got back from Bowling Green, KY last night (Friday). I brought my laptop, but couldn't get an Internet connection in my hotel room. What a bummer!!

I left Wednesday night and drove to Bardstown. I stayed the night there with Chris' family. It was nice to visit with them for a little while. I left early Thursday morning, around 8am ET, and got to Bowling Green around 8:45 CT. It took a bit over an hour and a half, not too bad.

The conference itself was okay. Some of the better presentations I went to were the non-library specific topics. But I did get some ideas from a presentation on cataloging electronic these and dissertations that I could use for a joint-project between my unit and the Archives/Special Collections area. There is a lot of programming involved, which may be a problem since our IT division already has its hands full. They also fed us well and it was fun to talk to librarians from other insitutions that I know. I saw the head of technical services from Wright State, who is also a music cataloger, talked to him a little; also saw an art cataloger from Cleveland that I knew from another organization I was once in, so I got a chance to catch up with her. I also met someone that goes to my church, that was pretty funny.

I also got to talking to some of my colleagues and I mentioned that I needed to start thinking about doing a presentation again. I've done some small things in the last year, but if I want to go up for my next promotion in the first year I'm eligable (which is still several years off), then I need to continue doing something. They all thought of a great presentation topic on management that I think I could really do something with. I wrote it down along with three or four goood points. Now I need to start thinking about what kind of conference I could present this at, plus when. The "when" is going to be more and more important as I start having to take a potential family into consideration. Maybe I can do this for the state conference and then try to write it up into an article for a library management journal. Writing is good, doesn't require traveling!!

The conference ended on Friday with a presentation on Second Life. I'm not getting into what Second Life is. It seems like a waste of time; I have enough to think about in Real Life. Everything was done by just after noon. I grabbed lunch and then headed home, getting here about 4:30. Friday night Chris and I and two friends went to dinner and then went to play miniature golf. We played one course. This is a Christian miniature golf course with three different courses: Old Testament, New Testament, and Miracles. We played the Old Testament course. I came in last; however, I did manage to get my ball in at the Mt. Sinai hole under par!! I was the only one to do that.

Next trip: Columbus, OH. I'll be in touch later with more about that. Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mid-May Reflection

Today is basically the middle of the month of May. May is a very special month in the Catholic Church, so I figured this was a good time to reflect on that.

So why is May special?? This is the month where we honor Mary. ALL MONTH!! It makes sense that May is when Mother's Day falls too. Mary is the mother of all humanity, given to us by Jesus himself during the crucifixion. She also leads us directly to her Son, the most obvious example being at the Wedding at Cana when she says, "Do whatever he tells you."

During Lent, Chris and I tried saying a daily Rosary. We did pretty good for a while, but the last week or so I think we both kind of fell off from the practice. And I admit that I think I missed at least one day every week of Lent.

Interestingly, Mary must be on both of our minds again. Hmm ... and it's during the month where we honor her. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Anyway, I finally sat down and started writing the prayer Chris and I plan on offering to Mary during our wedding Mass (it still needs some work) AND Chris asked me about the daily Rosary again. So we decided this was a good time to start saying it again. We both find it easier to do together, and he finally agreed with my suggestion that on the nights we don't see each other, we should still pray it together over the phone. We also know that if this is going to be a daily part of our married life, we need to make it a part of our daily life now too. I think our renewed committment will really work this time.

I also made a donation this week to a Catholic radio station that is in the midst of it's pledge drive. And, as a result, I'll be receiving a CD of Mary reflections. There are 52 of them, one for each week of the year. I'm looking forward to getting it.

One more reflection: Spring is certainly here. And we are getting very cool days mixed with very warm days every week. The weather always seem to beautiful!! What a wonderful time to remember someone as special as the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven.

If you want more info on Mary check out these links:
--The above website explains the Rosary plus has links to information on Fatima, the Immaculate Conception, and much more. Reading about Marian Apparitions is so cool; I especially like Fatima, but there are so many more great stories (even one in Ireland!).
--This website is from Catholic Answers. Lots of good information, plus more links at the end.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Project Complete!

Issue no. 95 of the MOUG Newsletter is done and in the mail! I am so excited that this (my fourth Newsletter as the Newsletter Editor) was a record breaker as far as how quickly I managed to get it together, get it to the printer, and get it ready for mailing. In one afternoon we totally got it all set and packed in mail sacks. This morning I took 448 issues to the bulk mail office to send across the country. I also had 13 international mailings, but those get sent regular airmail, which just means that I keep the line at the post office waiting forever while all 13 pieces get priced. Luckily, the woman today really knew what she was doing and got the correct amount of stamps for me for the 8 going to Canada and she only metered the other 5. So that went a little faster than it sometimes has in the past.

I'm just glad that is done!!

To celebrate we went babysitting tonight!!

Some friends of ours had won a dinner at some church event they went to. So another couple was hosting the dinner for the various winners and the priests. So we went and had dinner with their 2 year old and almost 4 year old (tomorrow is his birthday). It was fun and these two little boys are so incredibly good. We had dinner, played outside, took a short walk, and then read some stories, said our prayers, and went to bed. Well, not Chris and I, of course, just the boys.

Tomorrow I have a regular day, nothing too exciting. Next week is the beginning of two road trips for work. I believe both hotels have wireless Internet, so I think I'll bring my lap top along just to have something to do in the evenings. So I'll keep everyone posted on my travels, which actually don't start until next Wednesday. So still several more days away.

It's awfully late and I should have been in bed a while ago. Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dancing all Night ... sort of

We went to a group dance class tonight and our private lesson. In group class we did the rumba, which we both already know, but we learned a few new moves with it. In our private lesson we reviewed swing, learned a new move for it and reviewed rumba and added a new move to it too.

I think I got my exercise tonight!

In other news: my future sister-in-law got engaged this past weekend!! Yeah!! Congratulations to them!!

Finally, my Newsletter is done and ready for me to come pick up. Woohoo!! So before work I'll be going to the printer tomorrow morning then heading for the post office to buy the 10 cent stamps I need. I am hoping to have it ready for mailing so I can bring it to the bulk mail office on Friday. I am determined to get this done before the price hike. Mostly just because the forms are all going to change and I don't have time to figure out new forms before these need to be mailed. The next Newsletter gets mailed in mid-August, so I can worry about it then.

That's it from here!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday Laugh: Handel's Messiah with Nuns

Break the Monday blues and check out this very funny video clip.

By the way, no Monday blues here, it's beautiful and warm here today and I took the opportunity to take a nice walk during my lunch break. Gorgeous today!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wedding, Dancing, Derby, and More

It's been a while since I posted anything, though I've thought about posting several times this past week.

Wedding update: We now have the invitations and all that goes with them (RSVP cards, Thank you cards, personalized napkins, etc.), we have the cake serving-ware (engraved with our names and wedding date), out matching toasting glasses (also engraved), and the guest book and cake topper. I love the cake topper! It's glass and it's a dancing bride and groom. Very elegant, which goes along with the elegance I've been going for throughout the whole wedding.

We also have chosen all the readings for the Mass and the various prayers. I'm planning on rewriting one of the Prayers of the Faithful to include the names of all our grandparents who have passed away (both my sets and both Chris' grandfathers). And we have asked people to be readers: Chris' sister is doing a reading, my Godfather is doing one, and a friend of ours is doing the Prayers of the Faithful. There are other wedding ceremony things to work out still. I want to write a prayer myself for us to pray together when we present flowers at the Marian alter. Father Frank thought this was a great idea. He has been so excited about everything, its been great!

Dancing: Still working at that. We've been practicing some and we are going to start trying to go to more group classes. We're having some problems with Swing. I asked our instructor how you do a three beat swing step to four-beat swing music. She knows I'm also a musician, so she knows there are some things I'm having a hard time putting together. So she explained how you would only hit a downbeat every twelfth beat. It still feels unnatural. Anyone know swing?? Any advise?

Injured: I had a little accident last Sunday with a sharp knife. Cut my finger pretty badly and cut into the nail, about a 1/4 inch. Luckily it wasn't so deep that I needed to see anyone about it. We finally got the bleeding to stop and get a bandaid on it. But because of the nail, I've been continuing to wear a bandaid. I'm afraid it'll get caught on something and rip off. But I can still play my instrument. Thank goodness, I have a concert this Sunday (tomorrow). That was my first thought when I felt the knife hit my skin. Ugh!! It was NOT pretty.

Yes!! I have a concert tomorrow. We are doing a concert called "Bohemian Rhapsody." We're playing Fucik, Dvorak, Sibelius, Smetana (the Moldau from My Vlast!!), and a flute concertino by Chaminade (which is French, not really Bohemian or eastern European, but a great piece nonetheless). We're also doing this in the Lexington Opera House, which is always fun to play in.

Today was Derby Day. In Kentucky this is an all day affair. We went to a party at a friend's house. It was a lot of fun. We've known a lot of the people there for a long time and it's amazing how much things have changed since we all started hanging out. We started at as mostly singles, now many of us are married (or in our case getting married) and there are lots of kids around. There were 9 kids there under 4 years old and three babies on the way. Anyway, we hung out there for most of the afternoon, watching the Derby pre-game stuff (which starts at noon). And did you know that there are other horse races before the Derby starts? I know that now, but I didn't know that before moving to KY. The big race was around 6:15 or so, then we stayed longer talking with everyone.

We also have a fun way of "betting" at this party. They have four bowls each labeled: Win (green), Place (Yellow), Show (Blue), and Last (Red). The names of each horse were on a piece of paper folded up in the bowl (the paper was color coordinated so later you would know which bowl you pulled it from). To pull a horse you had to put some money in: $3 for win, $2 for place, $1 each for show and last place. If the horse you pulled came in that place then you win the money ffrom that bowl. One person there picked the correct horse for both Place and Last and she won $60!! It's fun and you don't have to know anything about horses to play, which I like.

Oh and one friend there asked me a cute question: How do you know you're at a Catholic Party? The Answer? Lots of beer and lots of kids!! We were definitely at a Catholic Party today!! :)

And in case you're wondering, I didn't win anything ... but I have in past years. Maybe next year. Oh and neither did Chris. So I guess we both lost $7 today.

I think that's the whole update for now. Tomorrow is church and a concert and then back to work (and two weeks off from rehearsals!!). Hope everyone has had a great weekend!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Building Excitement!!

Things continue to keep building and it's exciting!!

Last Friday we met again with the priest who will be marrying us. We spent the hour talking about the readings we had picked out for the Mass and about the other things we were going to do during the Mass. It was a fun discussion because he was very impressed with our choices. We were very deliberate in our choices too. We spent time reading all of the choices, discussing them, and deciding what we liked best for who we were. We also looked at what readings were the most commonly chosen ones and we didn't choose those. But we also looked at the theme between all three readings. Marriage of course was an underlying theme, but we went a little deeper than that and chose readings that talked about prayer quite a bit too.

Father loved our choices and said he could tell we had spent time on this. Many of our choices were things he said he's never known anyone else to choose, which he found exciting. In the back of my head though I kind of wondered just how many weddings he's done. He's been a priest for almost two years now, so I know's he's done several, but it's not like he's been a priest for 10-15 or more years. Anyway, it was still fun talking with him about it. He said so many people pick the same readings that his homilies all start sounding the same. I told him that we were going to make him work for our wedding!! He laughed!!

He also gave us a gift. He was talking about this book, telling us how great it is, and he wanted us to go get a copy. Then he suddenly gave us his copy, he insisted that he could get another and that it was his gift to us. The book is called Enchiridion on the Family: a compendium of Church teaching on family and life issues from Vatican II to the Present. It's a small but very thick book. It contains all the letters, encyclicals, speeches, papers from meetings, other documents, etc. on all sorts of family things. Not including the index, there are 1310 pages in this little book. But it looks very interesting. Not a book to sit down and read, but a good reference book to keep around.

Also building up to the wedding, the invitations came in!! I was so excited to get the call!! I went right over and got them. They look great! In addition to the invitations I also recently got our engraved toasting glasses, the cake topper, engraved cake knife and the other utensil that goes with it, and our guest "book." My sister gave us the pen she had with her guest book, so we didn't have to buy one of those. I'm so excited to have these things. It was so fun to get the package when it arrived!!

My house is starting to fill up with boxes containing wedding things. Just when I'm trying to get rid of things (I brought about five bags of clothes to Goodwill the other day! My closet looks great!). But the wedding things are good to have, one less thing to worry about and a constant reminder of what's coming up! I love it!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Portable Traffic Lights

This morning on my way to work one of the roads I regularly travel is being worked on. As I approached the area I saw the construction signs and then a sign indicating one lane road ahead. Eventually I came to a stop. Up ahead I saw something I've never seen before. Traffic signals attached to some kind of mobile unit. Rather than have guys out there holding the Stop/Slow sign and managing the traffic themselves, they had actual stop lights.

I have never seen this before. Definitely a cool idea!!

Oh, and this didn't look like simple construction either. I may be avoiding this road for a while, it looked like they had one lane totally torn apart. Good thing I have several options for routes between home and work.