Where did the year go?

I don’t know if it’s the whole getting older thing — but I feel like I blinked and 2014 is coming to an end in a few hours.

I started doing a yearly bucket list in 2013, and I must admit I didn’t do as well in 2014. I feel like I did better than what I expected, lots of firsts and travel.

1.    Complete my 10K run in an hour.

Well, my 10K was cancelled, But, that didn’t stop me — I participated in Neon Run 5K  and my first Mudderella run — definitely wasnt prepared for it. I am looking forward to doing it again next year! 

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2.    Go to a cigar bar.

For some reason this never happened. I did go to a Pisco Bar. Yum, pisco. 

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3.    Visit the Empire State Building.

Yup, it did not happen. I need to be a tourist in my own hometown. I went to see my first soccer (oops, I mean futbol) game (Brasil vs Ecuador) at MetLife Stadium, and I may or may not have bought a team t-shirt. bonus: my World Cup Eye Candy post here 

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4.    Ride a bike over the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, SC

I did go to Charleston (loved it!), but I didn’t ride my bike over the bridge. I did take a selfie in a cotton field though. 

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5.    See the Grand Canyon.

Didn’t see the Grand Canyon. But, I did see the Hoover Dam, and survived Vegas in June. 

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6.    Submit a research grant proposal.

Grant in progress. I am half way done. That counts right?  bonus photo, because it’s funny — my sister and I went on this rollercoaster in Hershey Park. Her face is priceless!

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7.    Complete a class on Coursera.

I started one, and never finished it. I guess I was too preoccupied. I enrolled in Espanol classes finally.  I’m once step closer to reading Marquez in Spanish. 

 8.    Have afternoon tea.

Yes! I went for my birthday this year @ Alice’s Tea Cup. Great fun with my nearest and dearest 🙂 

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9.    Read the Bible. The whole thing, not just certain sections.

Another failed attempt. A lot harder to get through than I expected. I did deepen my relationship with God in other ways. I also purified my sins at the Totumo Mud Volcano in Colombia 

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10.    Use my passport.

Finally! Colombia — my first time in South America, and certainly not my last. And I will add stamps every year, that’s my plan. 

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Cheers to 2015!! Stay tuned 🙂

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Oops!

Happy New Year!

Damn, it’s almost been a year since I updated my blog.

I have no excuses. I didn’t even do a blog or two about conferences. That’s usually a staple.

But, I’m back. 🙂

The last post talked about travel. I didn’t really do much of it. I need some stamps for my passport.

My top ten list needs to be addressed. I’m definitely doing Montreal, Canada this year.

9 more to go!

More blogging and more traveling  — those are my publicized resolutions for 2013.

It is out in the universe, so it must be.

travel bug

So last year, my new year’s resolution was to get more culture in my life. I’m pretty satisfied with my results. I saw some plays (on and off Broadway), went to a few museum exhibitions and concerts, participated in live action theater, took salsa lessons and attempted to teach myself Spanish (I’m still working on that one!)  🙂

This year, besides being more fiscally responsible — I’m getting old, gotta think about that stuff. I want to travel more. 30 years old, and I NOW finally have a passport. It’s time to start collecting stamps. I figure if I actually put my top ten of places I want to go — I’ll start knocking them off. Here they are in no particular order — just off the top of my head.

1. Manila, Philippines

2. Havana, Cuba

3. Rome and Naples, Italy

4. Valletta, Malta

5. London, England

6. Dublin, Ireland

7. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

8. Cartagena, Colombia

9.  San Juan, Puerto Rico

10. Cairo, Egypt

Obligatory ALA Annual Post

What a totally different experience from my first conference in Chicago in 2009 — if you are curious to see that, check it out here.

Last year, when I went to ALA Annual in DC — I was only there overnight, and I felt guilty about not doing the programs, and just networking and researching. Once again, if interested, check out that post here.

But this year I realized it is the most important aspect of going to ALA — networking and finding people who have that same passion that you do. This has been said numerous times in numerous blogs, but I will say it again!

I was an ALA Emerging Leader this year. I must say that I was fortunate to have a worthwhile project to work on, and a great group of people to work with!

Team (N)asty

I ended up joining LLAMA and NMRT, and I have volunteered to work with both for next year’s conference and meetings. Yes, I am getting involved and stepping up, which is definitely because I was involved in Emerging Leaders. But the most important takeaway from the Emerging Leaders program, I now have a core group of friends within my profession, and that is more important than any program/session/workshop I attended. One of my team members, Lessa Pelaya Lozada summed up the Emerging Leaders experience pretty well — so I’ll link to her blog post here.

And, I attended quite a few programs, and yes, they were inspiring, especially ACRL’s President’s Program. The speaker, Jason Young, said one of the cheesiest phrases, but it fired me up, and I thought I want to BE that person. Ready for the quote, don’t say I didn’t warn you:

When you inspire someone, you literally breathe life into them

But, as fired up as I was about that session. I got more out of just chatting and sharing ideas over a really powerful daiquiri —

taken by @shinyinfo

Or mingling with one of my favorite vendors, Mango Languages (in the exhibit hall):

pimpin’ out mango mobile

Or even better over an infamous hurricane —

first hurricane of the night — in my hand

And, this leads me to my favorite lesson from housekeeping lady at my hotel:

girl, don’t you know if you have more than one hurricane, it’s gonna be trouble!

I don’t think I really need to add anything after that gem.. maybe a pic of my book swag. 🙂

ala book swag 🙂

Documentaries all night long

I’ve been on a documentary kick lately. Seriously. It started with my obsession with Michael C. Hall’s voice. (I bought all of the history channel specials he narrated, yes, I know I have problems!)

I moved on to Netflix, and it naturally feeds my addiction very nicely– my instant queue is loaded.

I am staying up way past my bedtime and getting caught up in these films. I am getting inspired.

I have no idea how to shoot a documentary. I’d like to do something about boxing. Or just go to the Philippines already. It’s kinda like my fascination to go and study archeology, you know Indiana Jones-style.

I’m drawn to the documentary film — maybe it’s because it’s an intriguing way to look at our reality. It is also helps with the restless energy I have lately.

Any suggestions for me? This is the latest one I watched — Blood into Wine

Surviving Comic Con

I basically slept for two days, but I am now fully recovered from my first Comic Con experience. An experience that I will not forget for good and bad reasons. WARNING: this is going to be a long post. 🙂

In September 2009, I bought two four day passes with preview night. That’s how far in advance you have to buy a ticket to get into Comic Con. I thought I had prepared myself physically and mentally for Comic Con, I did my research, etc… but I was not prepared for this!

We arrived at 11 am, Jet Blue was on time both coming and leaving San Diego. They did this cool feature on our way to San Diego, because they knew most of the passengers were on the way to Comic Con, they had a mist/fog throughout the cabin before we took off. Bonus points for Jet Blue 🙂  We stayed at a hotel that wasn’t in the downtown area. It was a decent hotel, a lot cheaper than the hotels downtown. In the future, if I decide to make the trip to Comic Con again I’ll stay in the downtown area for convenience.  The one glaring negative of the Comic Con experience was the trolley service. Not sure why the city of San Diego doesn’t increase service, even New York City got this down… if you go to a Mets game, you’ll have 7 trains waiting for you after the game. Not in San Diego, the trolley service wasn’t great. You’d wait a good 20 minutes between trolleys. There are thousands of people using the trolley service, that just isn’t acceptable.

So, how did I spend my time at Comic Con? I never made into Hall H, I honestly never tried to wait in line. So, no glimpses at the movies for me. I dedicated most of my time to Ballroom 20, where all the TV panels were. On Wednesday, we picked up our badges, and waited on the first of many lines to get into the exhibit hall for Preview Night. Oh, while waiting in line, Louie managed to break his enormous WB swag bag strap. Those bags were a little ridiculous. I never used mine, it was too long and it dragged on the floor, and tripped on it. It was a disaster waiting to happen. There’s no way to fully cover the exhibit hall. It’s massive! Just take a look at this piece from Techland.

As mentioned, I spent most of my time in Ballroom 20 – I discovered new shows waiting for the Dexter panel to start on Thursday. Seeing Bruce Campbell in the Burn Notice panel, that was good fun. I also discovered Matt Bomer. Quite yummy, I may need a bigger DVR to record White Collar now. The Psych panel was definitely interested.

On Friday, I wanted to get my Supernatural/Smallville swag bag – got into the exhibit hall, and waited in line to get the coveted bag.  Louie decided to play Playstation Move. We also thought we’d try and meet the True Blood cast. That was a joke.  Was told to come back at 2 pm, luckily, I didn’t wait all day like some people did. I went to the Walking Dead panel instead, and saw this great trailer, I didn’t record it btw:

The WB booth had an asinine system, didn’t involve tickets or anything. When I returned to the line at 1:45 pm, it was chaos. I didn’t get autographs obviously. Here’s the deal:  People were told to wait in line against the wall, and then all those that were not against the wall… they were allowed in. So moral of the story — don’t follow directions. .Then, we waited in line for the True Blood panel, we got in, but they somehow ran out of swag tickets… so I went to the panel, but I didn’t get any of the awesome swag. It turns out no one was watching to see if people were taking duplicate tickets. That kind of stuff annoyed me about Comic Con. You’d think after all these years, they would get these little things down.

The True Blood panel was fun, if I didn’t attempt to get autographs probably would have seen the Bones and Joss Whedon experience panel, but you can’t do everything, that’s what I learned.

On Saturday, we were going to attempt Hall H, but the line was a little much. We decided to go to Ballroom 20 again, and we basically  stayed there all day. Glad I did. Discovered Chuck, and the hotness of Zachary Levi. The opportunity to see Seth McFarland in action for the Family Guy and The Cleveland Show panels. I didn’t realize how funny The Cleveland Show was. Then, I discovered the world of Futurama. Matt Groening’s other project besides the Simpsons. I just enjoyed the table reads seeing the actors and hearing the cartoon voices, pretty cool. Then, it was the V panel, and I have no idea how I didn’t know that Morris Chestnut was on V. Where have I been? I left in the middle of the Fringe panel, and went to the exhibit hall. We met Jim Beaver aka Bobby from Supernatural. We ended the night at In-N-Out Burger, which completes any West Coast trip in my opinion… but it wasn’t the end. Sunday would be the last and final Smallville panel at Comic Con.

We woke up at 4 am, people camped out for the Smallville panel. So, we needed to get there by 5 am, and we passed the time in line chatting it up and making new friends while playing Phase 10. What’s Phase 10? Click here.

I got my seat in Ballroom 20, and was in heaven for the Smallville and Supernatural panels. Smallville has a special space in my heart. It’s what brought Louie and me together. We’d have marathon sessions of Smallville and our love blossoms 🙂 As our love blossomed, my love for Tom Welling blossomed as well.

After those panels, there were the American Dad and Glee panels, and Glee fans are pretty crazy! I wasn’t too fond of way too long highlight reel — I did enjoy hearing there will be a Rocky Horror episode. The last panel of the con for me was the Sons of Anarchy panel, what a way to end!

So where are the pictures and videos?

Check out my Facebook album and my YouTube page for all the highlights!

My final thought: Comic Con was a fun yet exhausting experience — I had no time for any Comics-related panels, besides Smallville and The Walking Dead. I wanted to check out the Geoff Johns spotlight, Gays in Comics panel, IDW panels, and I missed the Geek Girls Exist panel. There were graphic novels in the library panels that I missed, I liked the presence of libraries though! Shout out to my librarians!

Why did I miss these panels? I was in Ballroom 20… or waiting in line for Ballroom 20. That’s the thing about Comic Con, it’s kinda of a “choose your adventure” deal. If I would have stayed closer to the downtown area, I would have been able to nap and go to the Zombie Walk and Geek Girls tweetup — but my hotel wasn’t in walking distance, and I relied on the bus schedule and cabs. I would have liked to see Kevin Smith in Hall H, or the Green Lantern and Avengers panel — but you just can’t do everything, it’s impossible. I would have liked to get more autographs, etc… but I needed to spend more time in the Exhibit Hall. Everything at Comic Con involves getting a ticket or getting in line, you need to make your choice. If lines aren’t your thing — don’t bother. 🙂 My next trip to Comic Con, I will definitely explore more and spend more time in San Diego — what a great city. The weather was perfect, countless times I wanted to blow off the con, and go hang on the beach. I’ll work that in for my next trip there!

On that note, my next experience will be going to Dragon*Con next September! 🙂

Research @ ALA

The main objective or result from my last minute decision to go to the ALA Conference in DC this June was basically getting back into the research mode.

My ill-advised decision to buy Greyhound tickets would be the bane of my overnight trip’s existence. But, I got a great bargain for a hotel through Expedia. I recommend the Churchill Hotel in Dupont Circle, very nice!

I was scheduled to leave Port Authority at 8 am, and arrive in DC at 12:30 pm on Saturday, 6/26. Unfortunately, I didn’t arrive until 2:30 pm, and had to rush to the National Archives tour with Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) that started at 3 pm. (special thanks to Nick and Elizabeth for picking up Louie and the luggage!)

The National Archives tour was great, this was my first time to the National Archives, and it definitely will not be my last! It prompted me to start research on my long-neglected master’s thesis, click for the abstract here. I haven’t done much with my thesis since I received my MA in 2007. It’s been over three years now, and it’s time to get back into the groove.

The humidity in DC was extreme — took solace at the movies in Chinatown. Saw Grownups with Louie, the movie had some good laughs. Then it was off to the meetup of librarians at RFD. I was happy that there was Strongbow cider on tap… I’m obsessed with ciders lately! I really enjoy the social events at ALA, it’s always fun and interesting to see those that you follow on Twitter/Facebook in flesh (for lack of a better word!)

Before getting back on the dreaded Greyhound bus, I conquered the exhibits 🙂 I had a free exhibit pass only — but I looked at the poster sessions. I feel that the poster sessions are just thrown in the back. I believe I said this before, but I’d like to see more prominence for the poster sessions. I always find interesting research being done, and always get inspired to tackle more.

I definitely needed more than a few hours to truly conquer the exhibits hall, I realized that I neglected to visit a few vendors I wanted to see, and my bus was leaving at 4 pm — so I needed to hustle. I tried to get a cab, but apparently, in DC, not all the cabs accept credit cards, and if they do, they can deny you service based on if they deem your trip a worth while one. Who knew? At that moment, I was really missing my beloved NYC. We ran to the nearest metro station, and got on the Red Line, and made it to the Greyhound bus depot at 4:15 pm. I truly doubt the bus was on time, and in fact, I don’t think the 4 pm bus was ever there. It wasn’t until 6 pm until I finally boarded a bus to NYC, and it was having issues with the air conditioning on the bus. Needless to say, I’ll never take Greyhound again. Thanks to my Twitter and Facebook friends, I am now equipped with a list of alternative bus companies to choose from. 🙂

On that note, let me start researching!