Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

LJ feed (hopefully) going away.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I just filed a support request with the LiveJournal folks to take down the words_end feed account. If you’d like to follow this blog on LJ, please steer your awesome selves towards the w0rds3nd user.


this is what i do for work

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I’m at Digital Humanities 2009, my home conference, the place that actually feels like home. The people are fantastic, the energy is high but not crazy, and the entertainment is made of awesome. Tonight, about 300 of us (literally) went to a crab shack.

I’ve been blogging the conference–or at least, the sessions I’ve managed to attend. The posts are here; if you’ve been wondering why exactly I’m in love with my somewhat obscure (and yet pervasive and important to all of us, whether we know it or not) profession, this is a good way to find out what excites me about digital humanities.

Oh, and hey, I was lightning-interviewed! Now I have had 1m4s of my 15m of fame.

I would write more, but technology fails me.

Monday, May 11th, 2009

So, I’d like to write more, but that would involve writing from home, and there’s this problem. My computer (and only my computer; this isn’t a network problem as far as I can tell) just won’t see this site. What it sees is the old site, on the old server, and with the default WordPress styling to boot, not with my customized styling.

My work computer sees the gray-palletted Dreamhost-ed site; my phone sees the same; my home computer sees the old one. I’ve tried emptying cache in all of my browsers, but no dice. What are some other things I might try?

New for LiveJournal!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

If you are reading this blog on LiveJournal, please read on.

Having successfully migrated words’ end to DreamHost and playing with their WordPress install, I’m finally dealing with the minor annoyance of not being notified of comments posted to the LiveJournal RSS feed. Not just that: the comments disappear into the ether when LJ no longer sees the post.

So, I’m doing two things. First off, I’ve set up cross-posting to w0rds3nd. In fact, this is the test post for that; we’ll see if it goes through.

Second, in a couple of weeks I’ll look into cutting off the LiveJournal RSS feed by blocking LJ’s IP address. I figure, if people care enough to comment on my posts, I’d like to know about it; and this is the only way for me to ensure that I’ll see the comments.

Anyway. Friend w0rds3nd, if you will. All posts to it will be public, and commenting will be routed off LJ to my site. You’ll be able to subscribe to followup comments and there’s threading, and I’d like to keep all comments in the same place. So really, no major functionality is lost compared to LJ. Come play.

jump start

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Been a while since I’ve blogged publicly, hasn’t it? Hello, again.

I go to write this post, and notice a new comment from Regina, an old friend from Moldova who now lives in Israel, with whom I’d fallen out of touch a while ago. Holy cats. Hello, again. It’s lovely to hear from you.

(The timing of the comment and of my being compelled to write here again are a coincidence.)

Yeah, there’s been a lot of sadness that I’m not quite ready to write down. Luckily, the last month or so has also been filled with joy and light and smart people and work (hooray, work!), so it’s not like there’s nothing to tell.

My job at Boston University, the title of which has now settled at Digital Collections and Computing Support Librarian [in the School of Theology], rocks my socks so far. It’s not that I’ve done a whole lot, yet; it’s only been a month, and the end of the academic year at that, and my boss the head librarian has been out on vacation for the past two weeks, so things are relatively slow. On the other hand, there’s plenty to do in the computing-support half of the job. I’ve been learning [more] about how BU’s network is set up, which is nifty. We’re purchasing a big pile of equipment to replace old stuff – both servers and personal workstations for faculty and staff – which, you know, from the support standpoint is great. Soon there’ll be no more @$#%! five-year-old Dells to support, and many of the four-year-old machines are going away too. People are open to the idea of Macs, which is huge in such a behemoth mostly-Windows org. (BU is an immense bureaucratic machine, and I say that with all the affection that one would expect a girl to have for her alma mater.)

Best of all, people want to learn. I’ve been getting to know the faculty and staff. Some of them are already doing digital humanities projects (like the History of Missiology site). Others have cool ideas (hello, Admissions Director using Facebook in all kinds of cool community-building ways). And still others want to figure out how computing can make their research and teaching (and administration, and the school as a community) more awesome.

This is what they hired me to work on. I’m unspeakably excited. Yeah, so far it’s been all support and no digilib, but I expect that to change. There’s a lot of hardware overhauling to do, and some basics to catch up on. That will take some months. But there’s already so much concrete investment of time, thought and resources in digital library stuff at STH that I have no doubt it’s going to go somewhere interesting.

Then there’s life outside of work. That’s been filled with friends, children, loved ones, cats, cooking, Burning Man planning, hand drumming, sci-fi reading, Battlestar Galactica, water and fire and earth, casual photography, breathing deeply. And the weather’s been nice.

Yesterday I flew to DC. Today I participated in a day-long grant proposal review panel for which I read a total of thirty proposals, which took an unreal amount of time and was fascinating and instructive, and I’m not being sarcastic about any of that. The panel itself was great too; in the past month or so I’ve learned a ton about the grant review and award process, and I fully intend to use this knowledge for good. I have generalized thoughts on the whole thing, but have to formulate them separately – must wrap my brain around the whole thing first, and also make sure not to cross any confidentiality boundaries. The whole thing made me feel awfully important, and going away for just over 24 hours meant I could travel with just my work bag, light and easy.

Coming back tonight, at the Reagan Airport, I texted a friend something to the effect of, I like traveling – the interstitial part, the going – even more than being places. She laughed and declared me liminal girl. Certainly that holds true for my life in a larger sense.

There’s more, always – the children I get to hang out with, the surprisingly strong presence of love in my days, feeling so strong from weightlifting with one of my dearest, the USB turntable I bought with which I’m digitizing records from the old country – but it’s 1:45am, and tomorrow’s a workday. Er, today. Whatever.

So, do I have a feed?

Monday, November 26th, 2007

My RSS feeds have been (it seems from here) nonfunctional. Just did something that might fix that, so am posting to see whether it’s fixed.

Had an important, difficult, overwhelming weekend. As a result I feel even more groundless than before, but am seeking out more groundlessness. I’ve been afraid of throwing myself headlong into changing my life’s structure; for the most part that fear is no longer entirely paralyzing. It’s difficult but it’s also time to be awake and present.

Buddhists (at least Tibetan Buddhists) seem to believe that it’s precisely groundlessness, not counting on anything in particular and accepting extreme uncertainty, that is the most potentially fertile time in a life. Using various tools (books, lots of thinking, sitting in something approximating meditation) I’ve begun experiencing this fully for, I think, the first time in my life. It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. It’s also liberating.

The thing I’m finding most difficult at the moment is committing to a path that involves other people, but committing to it alone. It happens to be a path that is, for the most part, uncharted waters: there are no social structures in place for it, few precedents, and if it doesn’t work, the consequences are… well, that’s the thing: I don’t know how the worst possible consequences of this path would be different from the worst consequences of a more traditional path. Mostly I don’t think they’d be different at all, and ultimately I’d rather try than not try and wonder whether I could’ve done it. So bring on the fear.

Edited to add: My newsreader’s feed for Words’ End still isn’t working. Never mind. Ethan to the rescue again. There it is, the feed. Halleluiah.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

A revamped look for Words’ End, thanks to mindlace for always invaluable help. Much turbulence in the real world; I feel like the DNA goo that happens after a caterpillar dissolves inside the cocoon, but before a butterfly is reassembled. Here’s hoping for that butterfly at the end…

You tell me.

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

What should I write about next?


Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Once again I keep getting these flashes of “should really blog that!” and then immediately “but there’s so much unsaid over there.” So, in short:

I defended and graduated.* To paraphrase my landlady, I’m Vika Zafrin, Ph.uckin’ D. That paraphrase involved changing fewer letters than you might imagine. For the first time in my adult life I am not a student pursuing a degree full-time at an institution. Mostly there’s a giant feeling of relief, but I already miss research. Although that balances out, because I sure don’t miss the constant insecurity, the “not good enough”ness, the 24/7 feeling like I have to be working.

OK, I still mostly feel like I should be working. But it’s getting easier to compartmentalize, and you know what? There’s a whole big life out there, with books and spiritual practice and cooking and friends and friends’ children and visits with mom, who lives in driving distance for the first time in thirteen years. Who knew?

Ethan and I have moved up to Boston. Best move we could’ve made. Wanderlust is tugging at my pants leg already, but I could be happy living in Boston for a long while. Given that wanderlust is my muse and near-constant companion, that’s a hefty statement to make.

The house we live in has seven human residents, five cats, a dog and (temporarily) a bird. Gods bless the marvel that is modern allergy medicine. Our two cats have established relationships with the three who have lived here for long. Nochka the tiny black cat has a hissy fit any time DJ Spooky, the black boycat thrice her size, comes into our bedroom seeking food. And there’s the impossibly beautiful lynx-y Winter, who is afraid of almost everyone. Other than that, feline people are chill. Humans are also mostly chill, and really, how bad can it get when you live with geeks and musicians (and a funny man who inexplicably deals with insurance all day)? A circus band occasionally practices in my living room. Beat that with a stick.

The past three months have been spent largely acclimating to the new house, the new life rhythms, the big questions like where to go from here and how to plan out the long term. I’m working outside of academe now, but who knows how long I’ll be able to stay away?

So much is changing. Mostly I like it. Some of it is hard growth, but on the whole I feel like I’m stretching after a long sleep.

*Oh, and my work? Here, in its entirety. Get yourself Firefox and enjoy. It’ll take half a minute or so to load, but is thereafter very fast.

Leave it to yet another public gathering…

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

…to get me blogging again. I hope.

Much has happened on the personal front. For one, I’m back to the PhD gig, writing my dissertation this year. Been kinda re-evaluating this whole blogging thing, but for now I’ll just try to blog the 2006 Readex Digital Institute in scenic (whooboy, is it scenic! seriously) Chester, Vermont.