Wednesday, January 31, 2001
First panic of my young autocratting career: ALL the publicity for both the Open House demo Feb. 18 and the garb event April 21 here in our Shire says the site is on 6th St. North, when it's really on 6th St. South. Most of it cannot be taken back or corrected (letters to TV stations/newspapers, postcards to prospective newbies, flyers handed out at 12th Night, etc.) I'll take a black pen to the remaining flyers before they go to another event and to seneschals, and I'll correct the website, but I'm not pleased and I hope this isn't an indication of more panics to come. I hope, at least, that local people coming to the Open House will have either a) be familiar with the location of the WWTC campus or b) be able to follow the copious signs downtown. Our signage for the April event will have to be EXCELLENT.
Who got the address wrong? Now, now. Blame is not healthy. But I can tell you it wasn't me. It is, however, my fault for not double-checking.
It is so nice to vent here. This isn't the kind of thing you put on the Shire webpage. In fact it probably shouldn't be here. I don't wish to offend anyone. But where else am I going to put it?
We just got our CDs of the Fall La Crosse Chamber Chorale concerts. Apart from some technical problems (sudden fade-outs in the middle of two pieces), it sounds pretty good, certainly better than those Summer Choral Union concerts that Mom recorded for me from the audience ;) (though those whispered comments from Dad are priceless). My solo doesn't sound very good, but then, I was listening to some other longer solos, done by people who are much more accomplished than me and who sounded great in concert, and thinking that they were a little distorted. So, I have hope that I sounded better in concert than on the CD.
Monday, January 29, 2001
Sorry about the three-day hiatus. It was due to my trip to Minneapolis for Twelfth Night, which was a REALLY fun event. Tons of great garb, good merchanting, fun court, excellent feast, and even the Jaravellir Music Guild playing music for the dance revel. What more could you ask for? I did discover something about myself though: even when I am not running to get to a class or meeting, I am still constantly hurrying because everytime I turn around, I see someone else I need to talk to or hug or both. I think I may have greeted everyone I wanted to greet, but sometimes no more than that. A little disappointing: no matter how fast I move, I can't hang out with everyone I want to hang out with.
The gown got some nice compliments, mostly for the beadwork. Many people said it was a good idea to use the same pearls on the gown and in the necklace, which was funny because I was wearing the gold and pearl necklace Mom gave me for Hannukah a couple of years ago--not period, not homemade, not costume. (I was serious when I asked her if I could wear it to SCA events. I just watch it carefully and try not to accidentally leave it in a motel bathroom.) It floored to me to realize that just as many men flirted with me Saturday as do when I wear cleavage. Either they have exceedingly good cleavage-memories, or I'm doing pretty good at attracting flirting. ;)
Today, I am still on a bit of a Twelfth Night high, but am cloistering myself in the apartment because of an odd January rain that has made roads impassable for much of the day, and sent us home from work. So, I'm hanging out at the computer and trying to figure out how to get our April 21 garb event listed in the March Pale and Northwatch when the deadline is, uh, Thursday. (Could someone who has autocratted before PLEASE tell the junior autocrat about things like this? Please?)
Thursday, January 25, 2001
Last night I finished up the last of the trim on the cotehardie (pearls, gold-colored tube beads, and fluorite cubes...very medieval), and hemmed the underdress. It turns out the neckline is a bit too high, darn it...but this wasn't going to be a 'boob dress' anyway, so I'm not too disappointed. The sleeves are gorgeous whether hanging or buttoned, the gold polyester satin undersleeves look beautiful (and period!) against all logic, and I was right to snap up all those buttons at Hobby Lobby--they're very impressive. Tonight, the biggie: hemming the cotehardie itself. I ironed up an inch last night, but it's so very circular a hem, especially in the doubled gores, that it takes forever to get it eased in so it hangs right. And with more gores than the underdress, it must be 12 yards circumference at least. I don't have forever, I only have tonight (does that sound like a lyric from an especially bad early '80's love song or what?). So I'd better get going and get sewing.
Wednesday, January 24, 2001
Why is it so cold? Aren't we supposed to be marching inexorably towards springtime? Why aren't we further along? *grumble grumble*
Tuesday, January 23, 2001
I have a feeling one of the most addictive blogs for me is going to be Librarian.net, a weblog produced by Jessamyn West, a librarian who has been doing interesting Internet things for several years now. She picks out the best and most fun and controversial current articles, links, news, etc. having to do with information, libraries, librarians, and all things library.
One link she includes in her most recent update (as of Jan. 20) is a link to an article revealing something that may shock: the Physicians' Desk Reference, long visible in every doctor's office, consists of nothing more than drug company propaganda. Let me explain. When you open up a magazine to a drug advertisement, or get a sample of a prescription drug from your doctor, it comes with an incredibly long informational page in incredibly small print, detailing everything you never wanted to know about the substance, in language that will baffle anyone who hasn't had a class in medical terminology (if not pharmacokinetics!). These informational disclosures are produced by the drug companies themselves, in the interests of disclosure of information about the substance. The PDR turns out to be nothing more than a compilation of the information from these disclosures.
Aaaaand...that's all I'll say about that.
Saturday, January 20, 2001
It went really fast...and I'm really depressed to be home. I spent last night and this morning at Trivia in Appleton. Then, as you've read, I had to leave to sing in the choir concerts. (I'm so depressed I'm not making links to those things. Go find your own links. I'm sad and tired.)
Trivia is always wonderful fun, even though this year continued and completed the trend away from great Dr. Demento-style music and towards generic rock, pop, and jazz interludes. I mean, what do they think, that we are unable to listen to the radio the rest of the year in order to hear this stuff? Trivia music is supposed to be SPECIAL...we used to call in and complain when a current pop song made it onto the air! Anyway, Trivia is still Trivia, in its own frantic, self-referential way. The jam team names come fast and furious, the answers materialize right out of the air when the right people are in the room (or in the study searching the Internet!), and the phone answerers get tougher every year with the 3-guess rule. (There used to be an understanding that that was just a guideline, folks...)
My team is the absolute best. I miss them like crazy. They have been playing LU Trivia longer than I have (and this is my 12th year!), and they really have the drill down: intelligent sleep shifting, networking computers and setting up special search pages, covering phones, sorting books, initiating newcomers...the one thing the old-guard team members can't do is phone jamming. Luckily this is my specialty. This morning I very nearly kept someone on through the question break, which is a benchmark I try to hit every year, and usually I make it (one year I kept a willing male answerer on for five questions!). I know I would have made it if I hadn't had to leave after only 15 hours...*sigh* I did have one guy ask me twice for our number, and when I said, "I just gave my team number to you", he said, "No, I meant, I want your phone number so I can call you later on!". Flirting is such an integral part of the phone jamming process. Maybe that's why the married guys are so clueless at it, and me and the 20-year-olds who come up from UW-Whitewater are so much better. ;)
It is hard to be away from this while it's going on. I just called and Kev says we have 625 points, which sounds really good for not even halfway through the contest, but he didn't know how we stacked up against the others, just that he thinks we're in the top three. So. I'm going to miss the trip to the station to pick up our prize. Damn...that's my favorite part. *heavy sigh*
Now I'm going to go get into my pajamas and see how long it takes me to fall asleep on the couch sulking and watching SNL. (Only got about 4 hours of sleep last night, so it shouldn't take long.)
Wednesday, January 17, 2001
More cotehardie progress: Tonight I attached the facings (yes, they're still inside out, but I decided to attach them inside out and figure, anyone who's looking at my cotehardie facings is already close enough to me to have other things to distract their attention!). I also put eight buttonholes in before I got terribly tired of buttonholes. There are only going to be 24 or so--plus about that many on the underdress--so I'm not too worried. I do them pretty quickly. The buttons (at least some of them) can be done in the motel room the night before the event.
It's officially a cold. Luckily, just a head cold (my sinuses feel blocked, my eyes are watering, and my nose is dripping). My throat is doing pretty well. I sang all through the 2 1/2 hour + choir rehearsal last night, and didn't feel like I was injuring anything. That cathedral is something else though, let me tell you...you can make all kinds of mistakes and the acoustics just cover you right up. Now I'm really hoping to sing this weekend. Not that I wouldn't like to stay at Trivia, but I guess I've come to terms with that. This year, I just won't be there the whole time; I'll be singing instead. Next year, the full 50 hours. That's a promise to myself.
They better darn well keep me updated with point totals though!
Tuesday, January 16, 2001
Part of why I like this Blog thingy is that I get to answer questions that no one ever asks me. For example, my SCA name: Eliane.
How is it pronounced? Say: ay-lee-AHN.
Not: Alien, Ileana, Allien, Ilian, Arlene, Leiana, Aryanhwy, Aliana, Alannah, LeeAnne, Luanne, Elly Ann, Lena, or Aaron.
Where did I find it and what does it mean? It's in Dauzat, otherwise known as Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de famille et prénoms de France by Albert Dauzat, which I perused at Memorial Library Reference at the UW-Madison one weekend when I was visiting home. Although Dauzat doesn't give dates (so I truly don't know if it's a period name), it did mention that it was both a feminization and a gallicization of the Hebrew name for the prophet Elijah (which is Eliahu, a name some people are familiar with in the SCA since there is a Duke Eliahu in the Middle Kingdom). Jewish people like Elijah; he is supposed to wander the earth during Passover, and accordingly gets a cup of wine left for him in the middle of the Seder table, and at one point the little kids get up to open the door for him! So I figured, there, that's a good Jewish/French female name, and one that people won't mispronounce. Little did I know (see above). ;)
Did you have it before the Elian Gonzalez fiasco? YES. At least a year before any of us heard of the unfortunate Cuban kidlet.
Did you name yourself after Eliane Hugentobler, of the famous Swiss ice dancing pair, Daniel & Eliane Hugentobler? No, and although ice dancing is one of my favorite things on earth (my favorites are Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat), I had not heard of the Swiss pair until I was reviewing my site statistics on Geocities and found that someone had gotten to my webpage by searching on the name 'Eliane Hugentobler'. Now that I actually mention their name in my Blog, I will probably get hundreds more hits from people searching Google for their names. Sorry folks, there's no information about the Hugentoblers here.
What about your last name, Halevy? Pronounced ha-LAY-vee (not hayle-vee, ha-leave-ee, Halsey, Malmsey, Hershey, or any of the other ways people have mangled it). I found that in Dauzat too. To Jewish folks it's obvious that it's a Hebrew family name designating my family as Levites (members of a particular lineage in Judaism). My family are not Levites, but Eliane's could very well have been, and in France, they would have pronounced their name ha-LAY-vee.
Monday, January 15, 2001
Two steps back, one step forward: I discovered that I had made a decision to use the other side of the brocade fabric in the cotehardie, meaning everything is backwards. Which is fine because all the pieces are symmetrical (except the button placket, and it really doesn't matter which side that's on). BUT it means the interfacing is completely inside out, with the stiff white material facing out. Which offends my aesthetic sensibilities (as well as my sensitive skin). Which is why I spent two hours tonight ripping out all the stitches in the interfacing to flip it around.
Anal retentive? Who said that? 'Fess up...
I did get it sewn back together, hopefully in the correct direction. (If it's still cockeyed in some way, which is entirely probable, I'm going to spread the silly dress on the floor and trace new facings, I swear...)
Adding to the frustration is the feeling that I'm very, very slowly getting sick. Tonight it's just postnasal drip and feeling tired. Tomorrow the sneezing will start. And if it's true to form, my throat won't be sore until at least Wednesday or Thursday...and there's no way I'll be better by the choir concerts.
Bet you didn't know I had a pessimistic streak, did you? It's there, it just doesn't get used much. Admittedly there's an up-side: if I am well enough to drive but can't sing, I can go to Appleton and spend all weekend at Trivia. But, perversely, after all that singing this weekend, I am kind of looking forward to singing this concert. We're doing great stuff: Schutz' Selig sind die Toten, that energetic Gloria by Argento with which I opened my Concert Choir career in college, a piece called Dresden Canticles that blends a hymn tune and the Ubi Caritas chant I love so much, and--miracle--Allegri's Miserere, which gives me the shivers every other measure. We'll see, I s'pose...
Sunday, January 14, 2001
Cotehardie progress, finally. Today I:
At which point I decided I was sleepy, after waking up uncharacteristically early this morning for the choir gig at a church service, and moved over to the computer to check e-mail and post to Blogger. If I keep going at this pace, I might actually get the dress assembled and finished in the next week, leaving me a week to bead madly. We'll see how I keep up...
It pains me to recall how long it takes me to do buttons and buttonholes. And I have more buttons to do total (between the underdress and overdress) than I did for my Spring Coronet 2000 cotehardie (I know you can't see the buttons much, but trust me, there are 52 down the front!). It took me one whole evening to do the buttonholes and another to do the buttons. Now I REALLY better stock up on purple thread...
Saturday: kind of a laid-back day. I woke up at 10, listened to Michael Feldman, went to choir practice, went to the public library, had an unimpressive dinner at Mr. D's, got some groceries at the Co-Op, and came home. (Look at that--I had an entirely web-enabled day. Everything I did had a webpage. If I weren't sleepy I would see if there are more: the company that makes the soap I use in the shower, the fabric store in Toronto where I got the silk for the cotehardie, etc...)
You'll be proud of me: I worked on the cotehardie a little tonight. I lined the overdress oversleeves (there are FAR too many sleeves in this outfit, I'm starting to think), then put together one of the side gores. Countdown 13 days to Twelfth Night...I'd better get a LOT done tomorrow.
Trivia Weekend starts Friday night Jan. 19. This will be my 12th year participating, and due to the choir concerts Saturday night and Sunday morning, my first year not participating for the full 50 hours (will appropriate sleep breaks, of course). I am very conflicted about this, but glad I at least get to go for awhile. I'll drive over Friday afternoon, take catnaps, and leave Saturday afternoon in time to get to Tomah for the concert call at 6 (and have something to eat). No idea how I will feel on waking up Sunday morning and realizing, it's still going on, and I'm not there, and there's no way I can be there...
Friday, January 12, 2001
I'm back! That was easily the longest time I have gone without checking e-mail in as long as I can remember: nearly 4 days. Yes, I did find myself thinking about it. But there was never an opportune time to find that public library branch I remembered visiting last time, and check Hotmail.
The trip was nice. A person can always use a few days away from it all. Pretty hotel, knowledgeable speakers, and even a few people I hadn't seen in awhile (hi Claire!). I visited two art museums (the National Gallery and the Corcoran) and had some pretty good, and pretty expensive meals. Overall I felt unsatisfied though. Maybe it's that the conference was even more geared towards the public library folk than I thought it would be. Specifically, it was geared towards the public librarian who has never thought about consumer health information as a coherent discipline and is starting at the beginning in providing a discrete CHI program (though they have been answering health questions along with everything else at the reference desk). There were even some public librarians there who have been heavy into CH for years and may have felt, as I did, that the conference was too basic for them. But, it was a 'see and be seen' opportunity, and I hope they do it again, because I do feel it was needed. Just not, maybe, by me.
I did drop by the place that paid my salary for 2 1/2 years: the National Library of Medicine. I like it. It felt like home. ;) They had a wonderful display showing the history of asthma and its treatments (The Breath of Life). Then they walked us down this long hall and we stopped at one point; I pointed through a window at some large mainframe computers, and asked, "MEDLINE?" Sure enough, that's what it was. We all felt like we had arrived at Mecca. Do you know that MEDLINE gets 250 million searches a year? And that 50% come from outside the U.S.? The tour docent said she has taken foreign people on tours and had them beg her for an address where they can write their thanks for free Internet access to MEDLINE. Our tax dollars at work for the world's health. Now THAT is money well spent.
Monday, January 08, 2001
If I had been chosen Principality Webminister, one of my aims was to help groups put together their own webpages for themselves and their events--or just to write them for them, if that's what was needed. Well, I didn't get chosen, which is fine. But that doesn't mean I can't help people out. So, I called Lady Isabeau of the Canton of Coille Stoirmeil (Tomah, WI) and offered a webpage for their event, That Moot Thingy I, and she seemed excited. So that was my project for tonight. Go visit! See what you think. I figure, if I'm going to help groups do webpages, it can't hurt to start with our nearest neighbors (Tomah is perhaps 45 minutes from La Crosse).
Tomorrow, I leave for Washington, DC (that makes me sound so important, doesn't it?), for a conference on consumer health information. It should be a lot of fun but I confess I have had my mind on other things. I don't know anyone who's going, I haven't been alone in Washington for more than three hours at a time, and I have made no plans. Wonder what I'm going to do...? Maybe there'll be some shows or something....Anyway, if I don't update this Blog for a few days, you'll know why. I'll try to update at least once though. Remembering back, one of the things I did with those three hours I was loose in Washington a couple of years ago was to stop at a branch of the D.C. Public Library and check e-mail. It's an addiction...
Library humor, more attractively packaged than mine: Librarian Avengers is the large, varied personal website of Erica Olsen, a library school student at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Erica is my idol. She has twenty times the webpage designing talent that I do, and shows it on this wondeful website containing her own essays/poetry, long contributor-driven pages of "Stupid Research Tricks" and things people would have liked to have learned in library school, one lone comic strip entitled "The Adventures of the Librarian", and more.
Erica started with just one page, her own rant entitled "Why You Should Fall To Your Knees and Worship a Librarian", decorated with a cartoon of a snarling blonde bombshell librarian in a tank top, which circulated through the library listservs like wildfire. It gives ample reason why librarians really should rule the world, even though we know they don't (and we're none too happy about it, either, so don't piss us off!).
These days, there's much more on Librarian Avengers (and her personal site, Es Chica Chica, which always makes me hungry because of the artichoke theme). You can even order t-shirts with the snarling librarian on them (or you will soon, once she sets up her cafepress.com account). I just sent in my order after sitting on the order page printout for like two months, and I hope she is able to honor my order, 'cause I really want the shirt in red and I know cafepress only does white. It would be so depressing to get that shirt in namby-pamby white...even though it would be safer for the clothes I wash it with. ;)
Sunday, January 07, 2001
Meeting over. It was lots of fun! It certainly drove home to me how MUCH more room I have here than I did at my last apartment in Marshfield. We had 11 people here and the apartment didn't even get warm. I never tripped over anyone (did drop a piece of Viking flatbread, buttered side down, on the kitchen floor, though!). It was SO pleasant. I could even see doing this in the spring with the deck doors open and the breeze blowing.
We don't have a name for it yet, but we are definitely going ahead with a costuming/garb-themed event on April 21, here in La Crosse at the WWTC campus. In all the time I've been in the SCA (nearly 3 1/2 years) I've never heard of a costuming event in the Northshield. We're planning a fashion show, dessert dance revel, A & S display, and Kudrun's going to do a slide show about using period art for costume ideas & documentation. (I suggested we put her in a no-conflict time. Personally I can't wait to see that.) I offered to host a bardic postrevel, unless we decide to have something Bardic during the day or evening. We'll see.
I suppose I'll need to start thinking about site tokens. I'm thinking beads on cord. Maybe I'll browse the Fire Mountain Beads catalog a bit tonight!
So far, fairly long day of cleaning, cooking, etc. in preparation for the Rokeclif populace meeting tomorrow.
I also took a couple of hours to go through photos I'd had developed recently, and put some of them on my webpage, in the Photo Gallery. New photos include: a new Babes of Falcon's Keep photo from August 2000, a shot from Dance Seminar 2000 in Madison, a picture of me and my maternal grandfather, and an embarrassing photo of me from my first few months in the SCA, in borrowed garb! There are also nostalgic photos of my office at my last job, and some new shots of my handmade garb. I know not many people probably care about these photos beyond me and the people in them, but I also know that when I am at a stranger's personal website, I go for the photos first. What can I say, I guess a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Don't tell anyone, but to make the beef soup for tomorrow, I used mostly cans: one can of onion-flavored beef broth, one of beef au jus, one of fat-free beef gravy, one of diced tomatoes with their juice, one of great northern beans, one of garbanzo beans. Then I added one vegetable broth cube, three cut-up parsnips, half a pound of ground beef, half a package of free-form Italian handmade pasta, and some salt and pepper. GAWD is it good. The lengths that I'll go to, to avoid a trip to the grocery store, when I'm still in my pajamas at 9pm on a Saturday night...;)
Friday, January 05, 2001
Sometimes (not often enough for my taste) people ask me what is so compelling about this SCA thing. Soon, I hope, a documentary motion picture will answer some of those questions. Mythos Productions' forthcoming picture, In Service to the Dream, will hopefully show the 'mundanes' (yes, that's what we lovingly call all of you non-SCA-people) some reasons why we do what we do.
SCA folk have been watching the progress of this film for more than a year. I think we all have unrealistically high hopes that the movie will get distributed everywhere, win Oscars, cause a huge influx of new members and scads of great SCA publicity, finally convince everyone's mom and dad that the SCA is not a cult, etc. It may do some of that on a small scale, who knows, but we shouldn't put all our eggs in that basket, if you ask me (which you didn't, but it's my Blog and I'll tell you anyway).
What I do know is that it's going to be a beautiful film, visually and otherwise, touching on some of the emotions that are closest to the hearts and souls of SCA-folk, and providing tons of pageantry, politics, fighting, music, gorgeous garb, and flash-and-dash for the mundanes. It will show others why we do what we do. They still may not understand...but In Service to the Dream will make the best stab yet at elucidating The Dream.
For a quick visual example, take a look at this STUNNING movie poster.
Seen this? The Brunching Shuttlecocks -- Comedy with a "Runch" is kind of a cute site. It's on my list of sites to check as often as they are updated (along with The Onion (for which I wrote the odd article back when you could only get it on State Street in Madison, but we won't go into that), The Silvis Woodshed, and The Straight Dope). Brunching Shuttlecocks appears to be run by one guy, with the euphonious name of L. Fitzgerald Sjöberg, who writes one piece a day on something marginally to not-at-all relevant. Examples: a list of more names for Munchkin confederacies like the Lollipop Guild (ever heard of The Bureau of Licorice, Gumdrops and Firearms?), ideas for microinsurance (wouldn't you like to have Favorite Pen insurance?), and Satan on wedding etiquette (stuck for gift ideas? Try a still-throbbing human kidney!).
There are also silly but helpful movie reviews by The Self-Made Critic, interactive toys such as an Am I President Or Not? rating program, where you rate ten former presidential hopefuls' success the same way you'd do it on Am I Hot Or Not?, and a series of Ratings. In this last, L. Fitzgerald takes several items from a category--for example, State License Plates, Israeli Snack Foods, The Legion of Doom, Things You Make Out of Snow--and gives them grades from A to F, explaining his ratings as he goes.
This is one of the bright spots of the Internet for me. It's not filled to bursting with the latest technology; it's not laden with post-generation-X navel-examining ennui; it's not as heavy with the sarcasm as The Onion, and it's certainly not the Good Clean Jokes page your mom keeps sending you. It's light, it's funny, it knows its pop culture, and it's updated (more-or-less) every day. What more could you ask?
Wednesday, January 03, 2001
When I went to Blogger to log in a moment ago, I noticed a link to this intelligent, friendly plea for money. Blogger is slow (no, duh) and they would like donations to cover some new servers at a cost of $5000. Do I believe in Blogger/Pyra enough to send them money? Probably (it remains to be seen how much). Do I appreciate that they simply came right out and asked their 65,000 users for a nice donation instead of figuring out ten ways to a) charge us for services that they used to give us for free and b) insert advertising into every last possible spot on their service? YOU BET I DO. Good going, guys, and I hope the checks come rolling in.
All most people really want from the world is a little friendly, personal human communication, to believe in others and have others believe in them, and to feel that they are on the same level as others. And boy, are they willing to pay for it (ever heard of the psychotherapy industry? Where people pay someone to look them in the eye and listen to them?). When the corporate world figures this out, well, THEN there'll be some serious money made around here. 'Till then, Geocities is going to keep sticking their irritating ads in the corner of my webpage, acting like the remote corporate giant it is, and Hotmail will make no excuses for using popup advertisements. My opinion only...
Tuesday, January 02, 2001
I got so much done yesterday (started Hare Affaire site tokens, did some more illumination, did dishes, laundry, etc.), and yet somehow didn't get around to working on that cotehardie. I can see it now: I'm going to be putting the last few beads on it in the motel room the night before Twelfth Night. People always say that you know you're in the SCA when you're putting trim on your garb in the car on the way to the event, but I usually drive, so that wouldn't be very safe. ;)
Monday, January 01, 2001
I'm still getting to know this system. One thing I should have learned by now is that if you type something in the blogger editor, and want to do something with it (post, usually), get a ctrl-c of it first. Get several ctrl-c's of it. Because the top section of the blogger editor clears itself at the least provocation: scrolling up or down, posting and then clicking 'no' on the send information dialog, or even sometimes if you minimize the window to go to the bathroom! And everything you just typed is lost in the aether.
Anyway. What I intended to post was that I didn't spend New Years' Eve alone after all. Kudrun, Cybele, and D.T. invited me up to Ettrick to hang out with them and eat chili. It was just the nicest thing to do with a New Years' Eve and I felt really pleased to have been included. I successfully restrained myself from grilling Cybele about her oldest son, a single guy in Madison with whom I've been corresponding by e-mail. In fact it was probably obvious to her that I was NOT asking about him. I am incurably covert about this sort of thing, and while I normally regard asking an expert as a viable means of finding information on a reference question, well, this isn't a reference question. ;)
Kudrun turns out to be one of those mythical librarians who classifies and catalogs her personal book collection. I didn't truly believe they existed. She watched me figure it out, and made this embarrassed noise and said, "You found me out! It's true!". Actually I don't think that's such a crazy thing to do! If I had adequate time and adequate shelving (which I won't anytime soon), and access to the LC classification schedules (which I kinda hope I never do again), I would enjoy having my books in order--though I probably wouldn't enjoy the process of cataloging them. I do enough of that at work!