Ink Paper Words' Profile

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Pacific Northwest, United States
In elementary school, I desperately wanted my mother to order books for me from those flyers Scholastic hands out to kids. She refused, citing the "perfectly good library down the street." I exacted revenge by becoming a card-carrying ALA accredited reference librarian. Ha! Take that!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Will it be a merry Christmas for Borders, Barnes & Noble?

Holiday shopping season seen as decisive to survival of bookstore chains

Why don't these chains diversify and break out into other media to distribute in electronic formats? I realize that paper formats are slow and expensive to produce, but I prefer the singularly sensual feeling of scanning the pages, subconsciously dog-earing the corners as I prepared to turn the pages. I have been known to read in pools, rivers and bathtubs. The loss of a book, though sad, is not insurmountable. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is just all kinds of wrong

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.

Anger as a Private Company Takes Over Libraries

 From the article:
“A lot of libraries are atrocious,” Mr. Pezzanite said. “Their policies are all about job security. That’s why the profession is nervous about us. You can go to a library for 35 years and never have to do anything and then have your retirement. We’re not running our company that way. You come to us, you’re going to have to work.”

And from the LSSI site:
"At LSSI, we create an environment that brings our librarians out from behind the scenes and outfront serving their customers."

Frank Pezzanite, Library Privateer
Wow. You'll never believe this, Mr. Pezzanite, but in libraries there is this thing called a Reference Desk. Out front (which, BTW, most librarians could tell you is two words, not one).

Frank, you might want to visit a library one day and see what librarians actually do. We're so damn cheap we recycle scratch paper. Whereas you're so damn cheap, you pay low wages to non-union employees to pad your own retirement. I don't know a single librarian who entered the profession because they wanted to make a ton of money, or to find a chair to sit on to wait down the clock until their retirement.

As I posted on LinkedIn, I want your attempt to line your pocket with public funds to fail – but the real losers will be all the dedicated, professional librarians you've displaced, along with those whose access to information has been limited while you got a nice chunk o' change.

I just thought I'd mention that I considered applying for the position of Acquisition Plan & Content Development Specialist in Saudi Arabia that you posted on the LSSI site. The problem is that I could not figure out whether to use the West Coast Application or the East Coast Application. Nyo well. Your loss.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm baaaack!

Heya kiddies!

I know I've been gone a while but for those of you waiting with bated breath (LOL) I'll be posting again soon. Just had a lot of stuff I had to do for other people and whatnot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Obama administration apologizes for firing Shirley Sherrod

Of course, the bigger question is why Sherrod would want to work for an employer that has proven itself to have an administration that is populated with jerks.

Any employer willing to fire you without knowing the facts of the situation or bothering to investigate clearly does not deserve competent employees. Any employer who acts on the obviously tainted "reporting" of Fox (rather like Food Network in that it's an "entertainment" channel; decidedly not an "information" channel) is not an employer who has any right making hiring decisions.

Furthermore, in the now infamous video clip of Sherrod speaking at the NAACP conference, she clearly did NOT state that she refused to give a white client the full extent of services possible because of his skin color. It was because of his attitude. You know, the same thing that makes a traffic cop decide whether he's going to let you go with a warning or give you a speeding ticket with a hefty fine.

And Obama is for the "working American",. exactly?

I really don't get how the right is against Obama. He's one of them, doncha know. Man up, Barack. Do what you know is right, not what the rabid right wants you to do. When you cave, they win.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fantastic Book Sculptures

I mentioned Heather's book sculptures to an email loop I'm part of. Then I took another look at her blog and her Etsy store and marveled all over again at the sheer amount of creativity and originality it took to create these things. Then I decided that perhaps the American Library Association would be interested in highlighting her work to show what could be made of  "de-selected" library books.

Here is the letter I sent to ALA:

I wanted ALA to know about my friend Heather, who is both a skilled librarian and fantastic book artist. By “book artist” I mean that she uses discarded library books and transforms them into the most amazing sculptures.
I first met Heather in 2001 when I had been hired at the reference department at Stanislaus County Library in Modesto, California. She was then a library assistant and part-time MLIS student at San Jose State University. Since she completed her MLIS, she became a branch manager at one of the Stanislaus County branch libraries, then eventually married and moved to Bakersfield, where she is now a librarian with Kern County Library.
Frankly, between her full-time job and full-time family responsibilities, I have no idea how she has either the time or energy to devote to her craft. Her book sculptures are decidedly entrancing. And as if that weren't enough, she also developed the idea of making beads out of strips of paper and then creating jewelry from those beads. I was astounded the day I opened a package from her that contained a pair of earrings made from those beads. One earring had beads that said “Book Slut.” The other said “I'll Read Anything.” I was so touched that she remembered me saying that about myself and was thoughtful enough to send me this gift.
I thought that since Heather is a librarian and her craft involves a clever way to re-purpose something that would otherwise probably just end up in the recycling bin, ALA might possibly consider doing a story on her.
Heather's magnificent book sculptures may be viewed at her blog:
and her paper bead jewelry here:
Thank you very much for your consideration.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More Identity Theft Masquerading as Employment Offer

This is the second or third attempt to get me to send in a copy of my credit report so an employer can then tell me where to go for orientation for a job I never applied for. LOL. Nice try.

This time, instead of replying as I did with Janice from "" I went to the FBI's Internet Crime Division to file a complaint. Yes, kiddies, this is a crime. They have no job; what they do have is the intent to steal your identity. Don't you think someone with a legitimate job offer would be someone you'd remember applying to? Don't you think your Social Security Number would be sufficient for them to establish your identity? Don't you think they would interview you before making an offer? And looking at it from a logical/grammatical point of view, if they were busy moving at first and they didn't contact anyone, how on Earth is this the second attempt to contact me?

BTW, their IP address is

*** This is our 2nd attempt to deliver this message to you ***

Dear Applicant,

You had recently expressed an interest in a position at FBG Services, Inc.  At the time, we were in between moving to a new location and weren't able to easily conduct interviews.  Now, we are completely moved and ready to bring on new employees.  You were one of the candidates that we were closely looking at for the position.  This is a full-time position which offers a competitive starting wage, plus health, dental, and retirement benefits.  Paid training is provided.

To accept these terms and move on to the final stage of the recruitment process, we need you to provide a current copy of your credit report to go in your employment file. FBG Services, Inc. has a zero-tolerance policy in regards to theft of company property. Your credit scores or payment history are not important to us; rather it is a means of verifying your identity, and will also serve as your acceptance of the position. Once you fill out the report, an email is automatically generated that notifies us of your acceptance of the position, that in turn will email you new hire paperwork and give you times for new-hire orientation. Be sure to bring 2 forms of identification with you to the orientation.

Your free report can be obtained here:

This tentative offer will expire in 72 hours from the time sent. If you choose not to accept it, or have any questions, please email me directly.

We appreciate your interest in joining the team at FBG Services, Inc. and hope you decide to come aboard!


Amanda Miller

Human Resources Director
FBG Services, Inc.

This message contains information from FBG Services , Inc. that may be confidential and privileged. If you are not an intended recipient, please refrain from any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of this information and note that such actions are prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately.
Let me reiterate: do not apply for jobs at blind addresses on Craiglist. If it is a legitimate employer with a legitimate job, they won't be afraid to give real contact information.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

She Just Can't Leave Well Enough Alone

Wouldn't you think a righty like Sarah Palin would be all about "property rights?" She seems to be, at least when she wants to build a big tacky house on a lake. But she doesn't seem willing to extend that same right to her new neighbor.Joe McGinniss.

I don't quite understand why she thinks the world is obsessed with her kids. If she hadn't shoved them in our faces for political gain to begin with, in all probability, no one would give a damn about little benighted Piper and a neighbor who Palin has apparently slandered by referring to him as a peeping Tom.

But then, she also tried to accuse David Letterman of being a child molester.I just see this as one more of the many already document instances of Palin wanting to play with the big boys, but when something happens that she doesn't like she pulls out the gender card and whines about how she's been victimized. Just go away already. You are doing absolutely nothing for women.

You know, Sarah, perhaps Piper can avoid the issue by. -- you know. -- closing her curtains?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ali Velshi on AOL's 30th Anniversary

On CNN today, Ali Velshi did a bit on the 30th anniversary of AOL. He interviewed Steve Case, former CEO and discussed AOL's meteoric rise in the early and mid-90's how and how their membership numbered in the millions, and howby purchasing Time Warner it became the world's largest media conglomerate.

Then, predictably, he asked what happened? Why did people suddenly leave AOL in droves?

As a former AOL tech support rep, I think I can answer that. AOL is fine for people with no clue. However, as they become more sophisticated, they begin to see the many ways in which AOL is lacking. They begin to get tired of the inherent limitations of AOL's proprietary software. They tire of the advertising slapped onto every damn bit of virtual real estate available. They become annoyed that AOL doesn't play nice with other software.

For me personally, the cutting point was calling America Online for support with a password issue and getting a rep with an obvious Indian accent who called himself "Sean." I called back with a follow up question and got a girl with an obvious Indian accent calling herself "Betty." Glad to see that AOL's Albuquerque call center, which employed 1200 people when I worked there, is no longer there -- and AOL is a primary out-sourcer of jobs to India.

Jesus. At least when I answered the phone, it was with my real name.

Great going.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Victorian Literature and the "Beautiful Lunatic"

Women in the Victorian era must have been fragile creatures indeed. Look at the novel Jane Eyre. The most memorable character in it is Rochester's wife, whom he keeps tidily tucked away in an unfrequented wing of his estate.She escaped one night and tried to set fire to someone's room (offhand I don't remember whether it was Jane's or Rochester's). It all seemed to have been prompted by her jealousy over Jane marrying Rochester -- especially since she was still married to him

The other night Wide Sargasso Sea, a prequel to Jane Eyre, was on Dish Network. Since I am generally a fan, as my son Chris would say, of movies where there are "people speaking English," I thought I'd give it a whirl Sure enough, there was mention of Antoinette, the protagonist's, mother becoming a lunatic. The husband, Edward Rochester, is accosted by Antoinette's black half brother and informed of a family history of lunacy. He then begins to look for signs of it in Antoinette and is not disappointed.

However, as Antoinette explains to Rochester, her mother was locked away and labeled a "lunatic" shortly after her husband cheated on her. Rochester then proceeds to cheat on Antoinette with one of her servants. Antoinette is betrayed and justifiably upset.

I have come to the conclusion that "lunatic" was simply an appellation given to women who were unhappy over their husbands' infidelity. Lunatic was a convenient method of getting these women out of the way so that men could do whatever they wanted without having to hear their wives' pain.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Oprah's Unauthorized Bio and Hipocrisy

Wow. I can't believe that TPTB are so lined up against Kitty Kelley about this, her what, 20, 30th un-authorized biography brings.

Come on, if the British royal family can't stop her from publishing (although they apparently were successful in having the book not published or sold in the UK) what makes Oprah think she can? I realize that she is the Queen of all Media – perhaps she should ditch Steadman and go with Howard Stern).

Oprah, honey, this just makes you look like one big censor and hypocrite. You wouldn't have the slightest problem having any other authors on, you've had KK on before – at least when the subject was someone else.

BTW I would never have bought this book. But the media backlash itself creates a demand. Sort of like when the Vatican came out against The Da Vinci Code and guaranteed a readership of millions. I won't buy the book but now I probably will check it out of the library.

Furthermore, I hear that while threats are made, no one has actually sued Kitty Kelley. Perhaps the basis for this is that the defense for slander/libel is that you are telling the truth.

There has always been a dichotomy between what an "unauthorized" biographer and the subject would say. Obviously, the authorized biographer has been told not to disclose certain things. That alone makes an authorized bio suspect. In this case, as with her other bios that rankled the subject, I think it's in all probability right on.

Regardless what anyone thinks of Kitty Kelley in general (and again, it should be pointed out that Oprah has no problem with exposes of OTHER people) truth is the standard defense again libel/slander.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

DNA and Identity, Part II

Comedian Moz Jobrani shocked to learn he's white.

Sorry pal, but as Indo-Europeans, Persians are in fact white. Where do you think Hitler got the term Aryan in the first place? Although really, Iran has been invaded so many times that they are quite mixed.

However, that being said, where is it written that a person has to be something other than white to be made fun of by ignorant people? You could also be white, overweight, somewhat less than whatever the local norm considers beautiful and be mocked for no other reason than you were a convenient target.

At the last census my fiance entered "Other" and then wrote in "Italicus."

Frankly, I think that those who feel the need to represent themselves as something other than what they are deserve some scorn, but not the kind they get for being different. They deserve my scorn because fitting in is so important to them that they are okay with pretending to be something they are not. Hah. Be yourself and if Americans need to learn how to pronounce a name they aren't used to, they will only be enriched by it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What Are Libraries For?

I ran across this thought-provoking article on Open Salon.

Personally, as long as people need information, I see a need for librarians to connect the two. Just because an infoseeker has heard of Google, that does not mean that they also have any sense of how to evaluate content or formulate an effective search strategy.

And one thing I learned from the tech support trenches at AOL is that no matter how simple you make something, there will be lots of people too dense to figure it out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Identity, Ethnicity and DNA

Is it true that "biology is destiny?"

I recently started working in medical records at a facility that specializes in children's mental health. I can't help but notice certain things as I am inputting data and filing paperwork. One of the things I've noticed is that when kids come in who are not “white,” a consultation with an ethnic specialist is required.

The advice I've so far seen given by these specialists usually seems to be the same: this ethnic child should have as much contact as possible with non-white relations, primarily white family needs to be educated in the other ethnicity, positive role models should be pointed out in the community and media.

My question is: Does good mental health require a sense of self that equates to one's DNA?

Consider the case of my friend Margaret. She is Norwegian and Gros Vent, adopted by a white family when she was 5 days old. To the best of my knowledge, neither Margaret nor her other Native America adoptee siblings were treated any differently than their parents' biological children. They had exactly the same social and educational opportunities, yet how did they fare in relation to one another?

Bio son: spent 10 years attending college before he eventually got a degree, married his longtime girlfriend and settled down as a manager in a large company.

Bio daughter: married soon after school and as a SAHM raised 2 children. When her kids were still rather young, she had a mid-life crisis of sorts. She left her husband, had affairs and became wildly depressed. She died when a car traveling down the freeway landed on top of hers.

Adopted son: turned out to be flamboyantly gay and appeared in drag shows. Died of AIDS in the early 80's.

Older adopted daughter: 3 unsuccessful marriages, excessive drug use, raging alcohol problem that led to losing custody of her son. She never overcame her addiction and preferred homelessness to living with her adoptive mother. She died of cirrhosis after a lengthy hospital stay.

My friend: Academically successful, earned several advanced degrees and forged a respected career. This year will mark her 24th anniversary to a social worker. I think she was both intrigued and horrified when she met her bio mother after she turned 21. Her bio mother was a raging alcoholic who believed in voodoo. Her bio brother, OTOH, did not drink, was happily married and a decorated veteran of the highway patrol.

What determines who, and what, we are? My friend always had a certain degree of contempt for her adoptive sister's drinking and drugging friends, who seemed to want her to embrace what my friend considered to be a cartoonish hippie idea of what it meant to be Native American. She began calling herself “Feather,” which always struck my friend as patently absurd. She did not have adopt anyone's idea of being native because she already was.

As for myself, I guess I've always felt a certain degree of , well, not confusion exactly, but of a casting about and wanting more involvement with my Cherokee heritage. Yeah, I know, everybody and his brother's dog is part Cherokee. However in my case it's true as my father was from Oklahoma and his mother's name is on the Dawes Roll. It is clear to me that certain aspects of my personality came from there and physically I resemble my father's mother more than mine. But at the same time, I've never felt completely accepted either by white culture, or by native cultures either.

I posted once on a UK-oriented message board that I was of English, Belgian and Cherokee extraction and that I felt a degree of kinship with my Anglo brethren ( despite resembling my Cherokee grandmother, I have one of the most Anglo-sounding names possible). Someone replied that he could not understand someone who was part NA wanting to identify with a culture that had oppressed others. This made no sense whatsoever to me. You are what you are. How can half of yourself look at the other half and think it has no right to exist?

The more I consider the issue, the more complicated it seems to become.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Obama signs one-year extension of Patriot Act

Boy, poor Barack Obama can't get a break. Conservatives hate him because he's a "socialist." Of course, I suspect that the majority of the people who make that claim have no clue what the word actually means.

I voted for the man (first time ever I voted for the guy who won the election and I've been voting since 1976). While I never considered him as any sort of "messiah," I figured as long as he wasn't a conservative that was good enough for me. I guess he considers himself something of a centrist, which I guess is good, but on the other hand, based on his first year in office I see less and less difference between him and Bush.

He could have done nothing today and the PATRIOT Act would have died the death it deserved. But no, Obama signed the paperwork to extend it another year.


Civil liberties? What are those?

"The man who trades freedom for security does deserve, not nor will he ever receive, either."

Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Twitter mistakes: Top 10 worst ‘tweets’

Twitter Mistakes

In the overall scheme of things, some of these don't really seem all that bad. Ashton Kutcher rhapsodizing over his wife's behind and coyly acting as though she'll never know? Seems a tad disingenuous to me, but not all that bad.

Courtney Love engaging in an Internet cat fight? What else would you expect of her?

Lindsay Lohan publicly breaking up with her lesbian lover? Well why not? The entire affair was carried out in the tabloids. One has to wonder whether 2 lesbians breaking up in the forest will make a sound if Entertainment Tonight isn't there to record it.

But my personal favorite on this list clocks in at #10.

Twitter user “theconner” was happy as she had just landed a well-paid job from internet company Cisco, but was not sure whether to accept. She tweeted the following: “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” However soon after the company rescinded the offer tweeting: “Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.” 
 Dang! People at Cisco know how to use the web? Who the hell saw that coming? Actually this reminds me of one of my first major Internet gaffs (yes, there has been more than one, but this was pretty spectacular and since I was doing tech support at the time, should have known better).

I had posted a resume on Monster and was contacted about a job with Innovative Interfaces, a company near Oakland that makes a library online catalog. They had emailed me about coming in for an interview. I was going to forward the email to my best friend and made a snotty comment about funny, I don't remember applying to them.

Instead of clicking Forward I instead hit Reply. I saw my mistake the second I hit the Send button. I stared at the hourglass in horror and even tried to turn the computer off to keep it from sending.

Alas, it sent anyway and I was not surprised when I got a smug rejection letter within the week. and learn.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Scam Preys on Jobseekers

Are there any genuine employers posting on CraigsList? One gets the feeling that there aren't. I've posted before about Janice at, to whom I had no recollection of being in contact. She offered an interview, but only after I went to some spurious link and entered a lot of personal information.

The new scam seems to be people replying to mail sent to a blind email address on CraigsList for a job with the supposedly welcome news that as they said earlier (even though I've never been in contact with these people before, nor do they bother to say what exactly the job is or how they know about me) yet oddly enough they know of the perfect job for me and they want to schedule an interview...but only after I have gone to a site where I can get a free copy of my credit report and then email them the result.

Uh, sure. Here, perhaps you'd like the PIN number for my ATM card as well...