Breaking news! Sheep Escape!

This morning as I was driving to work I became embroiled in local Farm Drama.

Let me back up.

Photo by Cryptia 30 Apr 07, 10.59PM EDT.

I live, at least for the next week or so, in upstate New York. Among other things, such as a dearth of decent tamales, living upstate means being surrounded by rolling hills and farmland.

There’s a big contingent of young hipster organic farmers in the area. I live across the street from a small sheep farm. The woman who owns the farm has about 20 sheep.

Depending on which field they are in, I can hear them through the open windows in the morning. It’s nice.

This morning I drove by the sheep farm and saw a distinctly sheeplike rustling in the tall grass next to the road. Two lambs had wiggled through the gate and were standing wide-eyed on the wrong side of the fence.

I pulled over and tried to find the farmer, but her truck was gone. It was up to me. The occasional car whooshed past the loose sheep.

I was wearing Work Clothes. I wasn’t prepared for any sheep wrangling, but I decided to try anyway.

The whole thing ended anticlimactically. The lambs were so terrified to see me walking toward them that they wiggled back through the gate. Problem solved. I left a note and went to work strangely pleased with my ability to frighten sheep.

An Interview with Myself

Bowing to the demands of my own powerful curiosity, I have agreed to a give an exclusive interview to myself. My publicist disagrees with my decision, but I believe I have a strong connection with myself and I think I can be trusted to report my answers fairly.

tat3.jpgQ: Hello Erica. I’m glad you agreed to this interview. You have been pretty reticent with the press lately. What’s been going on?

A: There have been major changes in my life this year. I haven’t felt it was appropriate or respectful to write about them here.

Things have settled down a bit recently. I’m no longer engaged, and I’m living in rural Ithaca near some friendly horses and sheep.

Q: Wow. Do you want to talk about what happened?

A: No. Thank you.

Q: I hear you are moving to the Bay Area in the next few months?

A: I’ve been looking at the Bay Area and NYC as possible places to relocate. After visiting last week, I decided to move to San Francisco.

San Francisco is one of the geekiest, friendliest places I’ve ever been. The city is beautiful, I’ve got good friends, there are interesting projects, and I’ll be among my fellow dorks.

I’m really looking forward to learning the city, starting a new job, volunteering at 826 Valencia, and being immersed in the calm, weird, sunny West Coast atmosphere. Come visit. Bring chocolate babka.

Q: Where are you going to work?

A: An excellent question. I’ve interviewed at a few places where I would like to work. I will know more by next week. Stay tuned.

Q: Don’t you like Ithaca?

A: I love Ithaca and I adore my job at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is why I’ve been here for four years.

However, that translates to about 40 years in Internet Time. It’s time for me to start a new project. I might return to Ithaca someday, once I’ve made my fortune. I’d like to live on a big farm with dogs, books, a wood stove, and all my friends.

Q: Ok. That covers the big topics. What else is going on?

A: I’m having the best year of my life. This weekend I swam in a waterfall, watched a turtle lay eggs, drove a sports car really fast, petted dogs, helped a friend find tractor parts, drank local beer, picked flowers, was charged by a deer, and met one of the first US African refugee coordinators who was working in Botswana in 1965.

Q: Well, thanks again for letting me interview you, Erica.

A: I’m welcome. Thank me.

Ivy

First, I would like to officially apologize to Peter for talking his friendly Minnesotan ear off at the I.T. thing yesterday. Low blood sugar almost inevitably leads to leftist political rants. I’m sure I read this somewhere in the New England Medical Journal.

The window ledge skateboarders have not returned today.

Someone once pulled a gun on my friend Erin and demanded her skateboard. This was back in Flint, MI. She ran away, and now runs marathons in San Francisco.

At this point I would like to emphasize the Not-Flintness of Ithaca, NY. I feel confident that my library window skateboard boys are back in middle school today, snapping bra straps and setting off stink bombs.

I’ve been reading this book:

This fine place so far from home: Voices of Academics from the Working Class

Speaking of which, there sure is a lot of ivy in the Ivy League. It all turned red over the weekend, and it looks just glorious. Ivy can cover a great number of architectural flaws. Someone might consider planting some around Olin Library

In which Metafilter links and I fret

EEE! I’m quite excited about being linked on Metafilter, but was it just me, or did some snarky person imply that the name Librarian Avengers is a possessive plural? I’m so confused. There aren’t even any adjective-noun agreement issues, and hello, avengers serves as a collective noun anyway. It’s like saying “dental hygienists” or “sports team.” This is really bugging me people. I’m wasting valuable rant time here reading linguistics texts and trying to figure this out. Besides, I stole the name from the Lesbian Avengers so am I really to blame?

Oh wait, I just realized that the snarky person was being snarky about the entry below mine. Never mind.

Hmm. Or maybe they weren’t. Hell.

A few weekends ago the charming Alexandra came out to visit. Although she, Pedro, and I all have degrees from the University of Michigan’s School of Information and took a few library and archives classes, none of us really consider ourselves librarians in any sort of traditional work-in-a-library way. This might be of interest to any of you potential library school students: Information School can lead you to choose strange and unusual jobs. Beware!

Anyway, while she was here we went out to a local sheep farm and met the nicest people, dogs, sheep, and pigs. We don’t really have access to stuff like this back in metro Detroit, so we got all excited and Alexandra took lots of pictures. And since Alexandra is a champion craftsperson, in a few weeks one of those sheep will be turned into a sweater or something. I’ve always thought that if some sort of Y2K event occurs, we are going to load up the bees in the Jeep and drive to wherever Alexandra is. She’ll take care of us. She would just knit up a nice four-bedroom house, and then cook a six-course meal out of acorns and dandelions.

If some horrible Y2K type event DOES occur, Ithaca is actually a rather nice place to be, considering the amount of locally grown food and the homebrew philosophy that sort of permeates the place. Mmm, homebrew. Gotta go.

Ithaca

In my current sleep-deprived state (finding a spider on the ceiling right before bedtime can make for a restless night), I could only muster up the energy for a list.

Things I have seen in Ithaca recently:

  • Squirrels raiding my bird feeder using what looks like a tiny rope and pulley system. Clever little bastards.
  • Big frikkin’ waterfall a block from my house.
  • An old man out running with a Walkman. He waved each time we passed each other on the loop around the lake.
  • A friendly dog leaping on a Frisbee outside the Veterinarian Fraternity.
  • Hundreds of underdressed undergraduates returning to campus, getting very excited about things like decks of playing cards and free checking accounts.
  • The empty aisles of the local Target store after three days of back-to-school frenzy. It looked like Vikings had raided the hardware section. All that was left were a few drop cloths and a toilet plunger.
  • 1 big grouchy falcon
  • 2 dead squirrels (Connection?)
  • Hills. Calf-developing, 45-degree-angle, don’t-drop-that-bowling-ball-or-you’ll-kill-someone, Swiss Alp-style hills.
  • Orioles, goldfinches, cardinals and other birds with irrefutable fashion sense.
  • Students throwing stones across the library roof in order to make a nifty PLOINK! noise and incidentally contributing to the erosion of the roof drainage system. Never underestimate the power of a nifty PLOINK! noise. The big “Stone Throwing is Prohibited” sign on the roof seems only to have institutionalized this pastime. I often watch people walk by, see the sign, get this “oh yeah, I forgot about the stone thing” look on their face, and then toss a stone. Way to go with the totally intimidating sign. I think we as librarians have to accept the fact that we are not, in any way, sources of fear or respect among potential stone throwers, and our stern signs are really just sad attempts to influence a demographic that we can never truly reach or even understand.
  • Beavers. Two. Swimming in the pond outside the Lab of Ornithology. Their tails are HUGE.
  • A storm brewing that looks like it will hit just in time for my walk home, giving me the much needed shower that I missed this morning due to the no-sleep-spiders-will-eat-me incident mentioned earlier.

Library Tourism, Ithaca

The weekend was so good that it took me until Tuesday to write about it. With a full serving of book-shopping, horse-petting and firework-ogling,  I luxuriated my way around Ithaca, reveling in the not-work.

I discovered that libraries can be found in the most surprising places. The bird sanctuary where the beavers live also houses a new audio and video library, complete with some very hip compact shelving and an enormous AV-lab. I saw a huge turtle from the window outside their reading room, so I am now a big fan.

Mailbag, Ithaca trivia

Look everybody! I got my very first bit of blog-related mail today! Plus a half-assed proposal! Thanks Dale!

Dear Erica,

Stumbled across your blog a couple days ago, and check it daily devoutly now. I’m married and too old for you this time around, but would you marry me in my next life?

Dale

On that note, I’d like to thank both of the people currently reading this (hi dad) for their patience through all of this site-moving, domain-name-changing redesign nonsense. If you visit me in Ithaca, I will gladly buy you a beer. Or an “organic carbonated wheat supplement” as they call it here in hippietown.

Here’s my favorite Ithaca related site today, stolen directly from Mimi Smartypants. These guys are the ones behind the Lion in Helen Newman hall. May I suggest a library theme for your next prank? Perhaps something related to the “stone throwing is prohibited” sign on the roof of Olin library? Just a thought…