Since my life is more than shoes...

I thought I'd share it with you

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Universal License

I am now the proud owner of a valid Illinois driver's license. Even though the NC license didn't expire until 2011 (seriously, is that insane or what?), Andy needed a license for in-state tuition at NIU, and frankly, it's just a good idea to have a driver's license for the state you live in. That way you don't have to bring a lease and 5 forms of identification just to get a library card. I wish, though, that there was some sort of universal, national driver's license procedure. I've now taken 2 more driver's tests than I'd care to.

I also want to say that the US Passport system is dumb. I got a passport in 1999 under my old name. When I got married, I applied to have the name changed (which is free, in case you're interested). However, because it's free, all they do is type the name change on the "amendments" page. So... it confuses everyone, though really only in the US. I didn't have any problems in Europe. The lady this morning wanted to know if I had my marriage license with me. No, but I did need the license to get the passport, and see how my social security card and old driver's license have the correct name? Really, it's me.

OH and the craziest thing of all... When we first arrived, I went up to the desk and said, "Hi, I need to get a new driver's license for Illinois" or something like that. In any case, the first thing she asked was how old I was. She did not ask any of the other people in line this. Apparently she thought I might need a parent or guardian to sign for me. Of course, then I said 25 because Andy just turned 25 and I'd been thinking about being 25. I corrected myself, but not before I felt like an idiot. Anyway, I just want to say that while most people might consider it a complement, I just get annoyed. I have wrinkles on my forehead for goodness sake! I'm not 17!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


It was -4 outside this morning when I woke up. That's too cold. Especially when the heat doesn't seem to work very well when the temps get below 20. Yeah, it's free heat, but I'd prefer that it actually heated the house. So, here I sit at my laptop in the bedroom trying to type a paper while it's 60 degrees. I'm wearing a lot of layers.


I hate to admit it, but I've started to enjoy watching Martha Stewart's new show. I didn't want to like it at first because it wasn't Martha. She was trying to be all nice and chatty, and it just felt wrong. Tell me exactly how to make an angel food cake and don't show me some blundering celebrity try to do it next to you. Martha saying, "no, that's not how you do it" really wasn't all that endearing. At first. Now I think it's hillarious! She has all these people come on, they don't have any idea what they're doing, and here's Martha doing it perfectly. Unfortunately there isn't quite as much demonstration as I'd like. I honestly don't care what Serena Williams is doing (or whichever one was on). I want to know how to make hot fudge sauce. Oh well. It's good for a laugh sometimes.

I'm also trying to figure out how to get some free stuff. She answers viewer emails most days, and she usually gives them something in response to their question. One day it was sheets, another pots and pans. Sometimes it's silly stuff like an organizer box, but hey, it's free stuff. I'm trying to think of something related to my dining room paper. Like, "hey Martha, can you tell me your take on the changes in etiquette over time?" and she'll send me all of her books. Or something. I'm not just trying to milk the free stuff - I really do want to know that sort of thing. I'm just trying to figure out how to ask.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Well, I got my answer

and it's not going to work. No joint MLIS/Public History degree. I could do it, but I'd have to do the archives track, and I'd only save myself 3 or 4 classes. Yes, that is a semester, but that means I'd have to study archives and take classes like "The History of the Book." Yes, I like history, but not that much. I really don't want to be able to identify the characteristics of early printed books, etc. So, I guess I'll just wait and see.

I'll be applying for an internship at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. I hope I just get it and don't have to do any more applications, but we'll see. The contact person is supposed to email an application today or tomorrow. Here's hoping it's today so that I can send it in and stop thinking about it.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

For those of you who enjoy driving a manual transmission every once in a while

Slate's Emily Yoffe attempted to learn to drive a stick shift. Instead, she came away with this great realization:

"Although I still couldn't drive a stick shift, I did learn something important: I discovered that the source of America's obesity epidemic wasn't portion size, or lack of exercise, or the decline in smoking. It was the invention of the automatic transmission. Here I was, the typical, atrophied American, barely able to press the clutch without my slack muscles begging for relief. Automatic transmissions became widely available in the 1940s. Over the decades, as Americans have increasingly embraced them, they've increasingly increased. Since you need both hands to drive a stick shift, there's no way you can also be sucking down Slurpees and shoving in Big Macs. It's because of automatic transmissions that we're becoming blob people who will soon have to be hoisted into our behemoth vehicles.

Compare us with Europeans, who still generally have firm left legs and discernable waists. About 85 percent of cars sold in Europe have manual transmission. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that European weights are creeping up in tandem with upward sales of automatics. (Idea for a best seller: French Stick-Shift Drivers Don't Get Fat.)"

Living in Chicago gives you an extra benefit, since I'm sure we spend twice as much time in our cars as the average American. Now why haven't I seen increased definition in my calf muscles? Maybe in another year.

Still waiting

for the big department head email to tell me about the requirements. I just want to know. I hate not knowing. On top of that, I kind of need to apply around March 1 if I want to take a class this summer at Dominican. We'll call it Dom from now on, because that's their URL - That way it can match the LUC for Loyola. Won't that just be fun?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Let's get one thing straight

The Belmonte family does not have our phone number any more. Sometimes we get 2 or 3 calls per week for them. They usually come in groups - like someone will call in the morning and the afternoon. I just got another one today. When you tell them that there are no Belmote's here, they ask, "what about Frank" or "are you sure?" or they repeat the name again. Seriously, I know my own name and I know who lives with me. Maybe we should add a note to our answering machine message that the Belmontes do not live here. Frank and Carolyn have moved away and they are not coming back. We're sorry that they didn't tell you and that they apparently did not tell you their new number. Maybe it's bill collectors and they skipped town. Either way, I am not a Belmonte.

24 1/2

I am now 24 1/2 - well I have been for 3 days. Andy is 25, and we are all just getting old. Almost 25 and I still have no idea what I'm going to be doing in a year when I finish grad school. We've been meeting new people at church, and that's all they want to know. I guess it's the typical thing you ask of new people - what do you do (or what are you going to do) but I feel like I'm back in high school when people ask what you plan to study in college. I guess by the time you go to grad school, you're supposed to be sure. Why did I have to go and get a job at a library that I like? It'd be so much easier to go work at a museum if I didn't like going to work at the library every day. So, needless to say, I sent an email to the head of the graduate program to find out about the joint degree LUC offers with Dominican to graduate with a Public History/MLIS degree (Masters of Library and Information Science). It means more school, but less school than if I tried to get my MLIS in a few years. Of course, this assumes that I'm not too far along at Loyola to benefit from this program. The saga continues... I hope she writes back soon!