Since it’s been a year since I last posted, how about I recap the last 12 months?
I celebrated my 26th birthday by riding in the Tour de Queens. Alex and I rode from my apartment all the way to the start of the tour and then spent a few hours riding around Queens. It was one of the best TA-sponsored tours I’d participated in. However, I neglected to put sunblock on my legs and ended up with severe burns. It’s a year later and I still have that telltale cyclist’s tan. It serves as a constant reminder to put sunblock on ALL THE LIMBS!
Still working at the City Tech Library, I volunteered to represent the library at the new student orientation. In addition to printing a bunch of handouts and bookmarks, and picking out a few graphic novels to display at the table, I made a ton of buttons from the library’s most recent batch of discarded books. They were a huge hit and went super quickly. Everyone loves a good button! Had the library’s button-maker been better and more automatic, I would have brought it out, too, and let the kids make their own buttons. (Libraries as maker spaces? Heck, yes!) It was during this month that I also began in the MALS program at the CUNY Graduate Center.
I moved! Again! I had moved two years ago from Staten Island to Brooklyn… so it was only natural that I move back to Staten Island? It was just a better deal, especially since Alex and I were moving in together: two floors, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dishwasher, washer & dryer hookup. It’s also very close to the Staten Island Ferry so it’s easy to get to work. Oh, speaking of which: I got a new job! On September 24, 2012, I started work as substitute Web & Mobile Systems Librarian in the Office of Library Services of the City University of New York. This office maintains the ILS for the entire community as well as provides support to all 21 libraries in the university.
Live Music: Yeasayer at SummerStage in Central Park (September 12)
Live Event: Einstein on the Beach at BAM in Brooklyn (September 16)
I got my own washer & dryer! Oh, joy! Honestly, this made my year. I hated schlepping my dirty clothes to/from the laundromat just to clean them so I was super excited. However, this excitement was soon overshadowed by Hurricane Sandy. My new apartment is two blocks from the water but it’s on top of a hill so Alex and I were unaffected. Our power went out for a few days so we hunkered down with my parents until our power returned. Both our families were lucky to escape damage; others were not as fortunate and they’re still picking up the pieces of their lives.
While biking back to my office from my first official meeting with my boss, I got hit by a taxi. On Election Day. I was thrown off my bike and was extremely grateful for my helmet (which I had contemplated not wearing for the short trip). Several pedestrians came to my rescue and got me on my feet almost immediately. The taxi driver pulled over and came by to make sure I was OK. I got his name and medallion number but never did anything about it. Passersby offered to call the cops but I just brushed myself off and got back on my bike. All I could think while I was pedaling back to my office was, “At least I voted this morning!” (Yes, that’s what I was concerned about the most. Yes, I was slightly in shock. Yes, I still went to work!) Only on my way home that night did I realize that my bike was slightly damaged during the impact: the handlebars were uneven and the rear wheel (where the taxi had clipped me) was untrued.
Live Event: Louis CK Live for Project Hospitality Staten Island Hurricane Relief Fund at St. George Theatre on Staten Island (November 17)
Alex and I went down to borough hall to file the papers for a domestic partnership. (Our original plan was to do it on October 31 but Hurricane Sandy made that impossible.) It was during this month that I also had my interview for the permanent version of my position. I thought it had gone incredibly well until the part where I had to meet with the would-be-supervisor and would-be-boss (who were actually my current-supervisor and my current-boss). I got nervous and started babbling. I thought I was doomed but I’m usually too hard on myself so I let it go. I had also finished my first semester in the graduate program and, despite doing well in the class, I began to have doubts about my future at the Grad Center.
On the first day back at work on the new year, I got a call from the boss with an offer for the permanent position! I eagerly accepted and impatiently began to wait until the HR folks approved the appointment. In a university as large as CUNY, I knew this could take months so I settled into my cubicle and began the wait.
I attended DrupalCamp NJ at Princeton University in order to brush up on Drupal, which I needed for the job which was now permanently mine. It was my first time on the Princeton campus and I was thoroughly impressed. I was also impressed by the Drupal community but also overwhelmed by what was in store for me. I only have to design, implement, and maintain the department’s intranet site — I don’t need a full-fledged website! But it was great to see what the CMS could do and where it could take me. And know that there is help out there.
Live Event: Taping of StarTalk Radio with host Neil deGrasse Tyson, co-host Eugene Mirman, and guests John Oliver, Andrew Chaikin, and Buzz freakin’ Aldrin at Town Hall in New York, NY (February 27)
I officially dropped the class I was enrolled in and withdrew from the graduate program. My heart wasn’t in it so I thought it would be best to quit. If I were to pursue a second Master’s degree, it would be in something more career-related, such as human-computer interaction. (Unfortunately, CUNY does not offer such a program so I would have to take classes elsewhere and pay for it out-of-pocket. I don’t see that happening any time soon but it is still on my radar.) I think it was also during this month that I found out that a presentation proposal my colleague and I had submitted for a large national conference was accepted. Hooray!
I continued to bike to work. [My commute is actually rather lovely: I bike to the ferry (~5min), take the free ferry (~25min), and then bike 6 miles to my office (~30min) on the Hudson River Greenway.] When it snowed in the winter, I did not bike and I learned that I had grown to absolutely hate other modes of transportation. I was miserable when I had to take the subway because I hated being underground, I hated walking up & down steps, and I hated all the crowds. I didn’t realize how congested NYC is until I had to be on a subway in rush-hour traffic with the millions of people going to/from work. Bicycling is absolute bliss in comparison (and just in general). So when I found out that the city was finally getting a bike share program, I signed up for an annual membership the day registration opened. I also finally received the letter of appointment for the permanent position of Web & Mobile Systems Librarian at CUNY.
Live Music: RVIVR at Union Pool in Brooklyn (April 13); Yo La Tengo at Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA (April 29)
Alex and I spent a week (4/28-5/04) in Athens, GA, for the ELUNA conference, where my colleague and I gave a presentation. I’d never been to the south before so I was excited to visit Georgia. However, Athens is probably the least Georgia-like city in all of GA so we didn’t get much of the southern experience. Instead, we ate a lot of really great food (as we were in a college town, we found plenty of vegan options) and visited a lot of bars. Toward the end of the month, my aunt and her husband came from Russia to visit my family. It was great seeing them and spending time with them. (The last time I saw them was 1.5 years ago.)
Live Event: Chicago at Ambassador Theatre in New York, NY (May 30)
Alex and I attended LUMEN held at nearby Lyons Pool on Staten Island. It’s an art festival that features videos, projections, and performance art. We had our photo taken by artist Kris Johnson. Then, two weeks later (and less than two weeks before my 27th birthday), I chopped off all my hair when I asked my stylist for a pixie cut. I’ve never felt so liberated! I’ve heard women talk about the life-changing experience of getting their hair cut short but thought they were exaggerating. Nope! It’s totally real. I feel completely differently about myself and wish I’d done this years ago.
So that’s been my year in review. I hope to avoid these kinds of posts in the future and post more regularly. So until next time…
(Follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates: @alevtina)