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.

Yahoo! Games picks up video game based on Macauly Library sounds

snapshot.pngNYC game developers Large Animal Games have created a downloadable PC video game based on bird sounds and expertise provided by the Macaulay Library at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.

Which is where I work.

The game is called Snapshot Adventures. It was recently was acquired by Yahoo! games, which is a great for both the Lab and for environmental education, since part of the money it earns will directly fund our ecology work.

picture-3.png You can play it for free here.

Duck mating dance

anseriformes.gifHee. One of the nifty things about having my library’s Animal Sound and Video collection available online, is I get to stumble across hilarious things in the course of my duties. Like this video of Mallard ducks doing a mating dance.

Watching the ducks, I’m really reminded of this: Mah nah mah nah.

You’re welcome. Hope the speakers were on.

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.