Grow Awry

Grow Awry

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lady Loves the Movies

I hope that my interest in movies can be fully expressed in my position as an information professional. In my small library I do offer some reader's advisory, but I have found myself recommending movies to patrons just as often, if not more. I have started to gather donations with the hopes to obtain a movie license soon so that we can start having regular movie nights. I would love to start a film club in my library's small rural community where I can showcase all sorts of movies for all ages and interests... un dia! 

For the last two years I have kept a list of all the movies I watch with the intent of familiarizing myself with filmmakers, their styles, and the significance of the time period in which they were filmed. I set a goal to meet by the end of the year, and for the year 2015 I watched a total of 170 movies falling 15 short from my goal of 185. Being a full time grad student/full time employee can be absolutely maddening! Any critical movie discoveries of 2015? I would say 2014 was the year I devoted to exploring Altman and Cassavetes while 2015 was the year I fully explored Federico Fellini... and I fell in love. I fell in love with the dreaminess, the nostalgia, the cartoon-y faces, the loneliness, the circus.

I have gathered some screenshots I took of some of those movies and I decided to share them in chronological order of their release date beginning with Marcel Camus' Black Orpheus (1952) ending with a modern masterpiece that has become an all time favorite, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman (2014). Note that some of them have subtitles, I did this as an experiment and discovered that it didn't work well with all because some of my favorite shots had no words, just images, so although it worked for some, the majority I felt were best left without. 


Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Year, New Commitment.

Screenshot from Gustavo's short stop motion movie he made about us. He used my goodwill bric-a-brac to retell the craziness that was our first encounter, and used bits and pieces from some of our favorite movies to retell the craziness that has been the last two  years since we met. 

This is crazy, this is all very crazy, but I have truly loved every single minute of it.

From the moment we realized we both had the same lunares that formed Big Dipper constellations on our right arms, to that time we talked underneath a blanket at the park for hours losing complete track of time until we uncovered ourselves and discovered it was nighttime, to those nights when I had a job I didn't love and would come home totally beat only to find Gustavo waiting by the door with a glass of wine and Kids in the Hall ready to played on the TV (because he knew more than myself that that was exactly what I needed at that moment).

He is my comfort. He is my home. He is my greatest friend. 

So here is to a new year and a new commitment, I am engaged guys!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On Librarianship...

For our last discussion in my Reference Services and Information course we were asked to write a brief paragraph or two describing our philosophy on librarianship. I submitted the following: 

"Information services encompasses a large range of services, and today’s librarians need to be prepared to find a way to cover them all. Especially now amidst our digital era in full bloom, more and more patrons are looking for help in adapting to such changes, and it is our job as public servants to help bridge the gap and promote technological literacy. However, our roles as techy savvy professionals are not just limited to educating those how to download the latest e-book, it is also our jobs as protectors of information to support the fundamental principle of intellectual freedom. 

My philosophy on librarianship rests on the principle of providing access to information to anyone and everyone. To create a space that celebrates diversity and is free from discrimination. A space that can empower members of a community to draw connections between their needs and the resources available to meet those needs. To create a community space, a space that can not only create meaningful relationships between librarians and patrons, but one that can encourage patrons to collaborate with one another as well. A space that helps members of the community stay informed on current events, programs and workshops that are happening not only in the library, but outside the library. In this way, we build strong communities."

I am now halfway through my MLIS program and a little over halfway through the first year of my employment with the library. I can now safely say that I totally love what I do.

And that is a very good thing.

Photo taken in the McFarland Branch Library

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Women Under the Influence... of Film

I found a way to combine two of my favorite passions: film and public libraries.

I created my very first research guide for a course in my MLIS program that ended up being perhaps the most exciting project of my graduate studies so far. I decided to share it on this thing because I have been so busy with school and my new job that I haven't had a chance to reflect on any non-school/work related things for months now. 

I created a guide to learning more about women filmmakers for Kern County Library patrons. What this means is that I conducted some serious heavy duty research and created a web page where I organized each type of source (books, electronic articles, DVD's, online websites) with a compiled list of available sources that can be found in the the Kern County Library system through the ValleyCat catalog. Each material is presented with a link that takes you directly to the item in the catalog where with your library card you can request the item to be sent to your local branch. For the electronic articles, you can download them directly onto your device after providing your library card number. COOL.

I plan to update and change things here and there in the future but for now the first draft is completed and ready to be utilized. So, in case you were interested in learning about women filmmakers and wanted to use your library card to access this information...

Image above is a screenshot taken from Seven Beauties, directed by the marvelous Lina Wertmuller

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Year of Film, or Suddenly I fell in love with him and ignored my dreams as though they were a burden of another.

         The year 2014 was marked with some extraordinary and ordinary events. I drove my car into a tree, moved into a new apartment, overcame a severe driving fear that had haunted me for way too long, met Jane Goodall, received a new promotion, started grad school, spent weeks in bed with mono (thanks Ollie), and spent nearly every single day with my greatest friend: Gustavo. We ate some good food, drank lots of beer/wine, and watched a lot of movies. On days away from work and school we attempted to cram as many movies as we could into our daily lives and discovered some new favorites while revisiting old ones as well. Attached to this overly sentimental/romantic post is a collection of movie stills that we took of some of our favorite moments from a few of the many movies that we watched last year. 
            Also, I would like to share a crucial realization that came over me one day while anxiously waiting for Gustavo to finish up his homework so that we could continue watching Dario Argento’s Deep Red. I had been reading about the famous French cross-dressing archaeologist Jane Dieulafoy who spent her entire career digging away alongside her husband Marcel. Together they discovered the ancient city of Susa in Iran and together they even fought in the terrifying front lines of the Franco-Prussian war. You see, for many years I was under the belief that I would only find true happiness in the freedom of my self-expression, but what I have discovered is that I am finding true happiness and freedom through the expression of another. Like Dieulafoy, I feel that my greatest worth as an individual is not best expressed through independence, but through partnership. This means that I have released myself from being consumed by my own dreams and desires by consuming myself into a life of fearless companionship. I am not solitary, I was really wrong about that.
           Happy New Year.