Friday, November 26, 2010

What's it's like being 24

My superhero friend turns 24 today, the second in our core group of friends from middle school to do so. We were talking about being 24 when I visited him at his aesthetically-lovely place of work on my way home for the holiday, and we decided we'd both post about it today. Happy birthday, Mike!

What it's like being 24:

1. I like Brussels sprouts! And sweet potatoes! And I eat vegetables on pizza! Basically, my palate has expanded so that I'm not quite so finicky about what's on my plate. Credit the Bloomington farmers' market for exposing me to some really amazing veg.

2. I feel way more confident. I think it's a combination of knowing I can take care of myself and (finally) being certain about what I want to do with myself career-wise, but regardless, I feel like I project much more of a grown-up aura.

3. I now have objective distance on high school. This development is a good one; now I can think about marching band, video production, formal dances, &tc. for what they were and not romanticize them. Because, let's face it, high school is not a romantic place.

4. I am just really happy. Crappy days and other such minor rain clouds in life don't really get to me as much, and for that I am very grateful. If getting older means being able to better appreciate everything that's going on, then bring on the birthdays!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Library links for the week

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A couple of library links to start your morning

**My favorite stateside museum, hands down, is the Field Museum in Chicago. I've been going there for as long as I can remember to see the fantastic permanent exhibits and the always-impressive variety of traveling exhibitions. I even got to attend a member night a few years back, during which I got to explore the non-public floors and areas of the museum. Very cool! I also remember that when I was a child visiting the one-time children's room at the Field Museum, my family and I often walked past or through the library. From what I have gleaned, that library has since moved. But, thanks to ALA, here's a nifty little video introduction to their services!

**I've mentioned before that the smell of books can be a significant comfort and appeal aspect for some readers. One blogger attempts to deconstruct what this scent is made of. As much as I love that book smell, I really hope there isn't a perfume in the works!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If I could choose a superpower

A few months ago, I was listening to a This American Life podcast on superpowers, in which one of the acts centered on one guy's perpetual party question: if you could have either the power of invisibility or the power of flight, which superpower would you choose? It was an interesting piece, and I brought up that invisibility-or-flight question later with my superpower-savvy friend. Seems a lot of people are of the opinion that everyone secretly wants to be invisible so that they can spy on others; those people who say they'd choose flight are just embarrassed by their desire to spy. I can see the logic in this argument, but I'm not quite sure if it's accurate in all cases.

Anyway, lately I've been thinking a bit more broadly about what superpower I would choose if I had the opportunity. Not restricting myself to the invisibility-or-flight scenario, I've given myself full license to choose any sort of superpower I might want, whether it's comic book-accurate or not. I've thought about this question a lot while walking to and from places on and around campus. You know, those walks where you always see people plugged into their iPods? All these walks have helped me to make my decision.

If I could choose a superpower, I would be able to selectively tune in to whatever people are listening to on their headphones. I am so intrigued by the infinite possibilities of what different people might be listening to at any given moment, and I wonder if being able to listen in on a person's playlist would allow you to learn something about that person. Any thoughts on the matter? I know that my own iPod is incredibly diverse. My "Recently Played" playlist currently includes Juliette Greco, Billy Joel, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mickey Avalon, The Guggenheim Grotto, Jewel, and songs from The Sound of Music. I also listen to a ton of podcasts on my iPod. What does all that say about me?

It intrigues and amuses me to think of the possibilities of what these random people that I pass every day might be listening to. I am absolutely certain that some of what I would hear with my radio-tuning superpower would surprise me. Who is listening to Taylor Swift or Glee? Who is secretly reveling in the fourth-grade glory of the Spice Girls and Hanson? Who is wearing an ICP t-shirt but listening to the Planet Money podcast? What a wonderfully interesting superpower mine would be.

What's on your iPod?

And what superpower would you choose?