Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Post 27, in which I finally talk about libraries

So, I absolutely love my job but I haven't blogged about it yet as being the end of semester one, I am feeling utterly consumed by it. I'm a little tired, a little worn out like any academic librarian may feel so even the thought of blogging about it made me feel a little overwhelmed. I also felt that I am much much more than my job.

Finally, my crazy work life has slowed down enough to let me process thoughts about work so that I may blog about it. There are many aspects of academic librarianship that I am passionate about but topping the list are the following 2 things:
1. Creating health sciences graduates that are Evidenced based medicine savvy and information literate
2. Creating a positive user experience (which is not just for academic libraries but all libraries).

I wrote an article published in Incite July 2010 called 'creating a standard of positivity', describing why I think it is so important for the profession to have users who like to use the library - more they like it, the more they use it, the more they use it, the more they understand the importance, the more they use other libraries in the future.

How many of us were inspired to become librarians because of experiences we had in libraries? As kids, we loved our libraries, we loved our librarians (well I did anyway).

I find it hard to believe that many of my friends that don't use libraries hated their school librarians. I wonder if that is connected at all?

Anyway, I think that's all the work I can blog about at this stage.

Post 26, In which I give you ten random songs on my IPhone

Ok so I know I stole this idea from Fi but here are ten random songs on my Iphone:

1. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens - Awesome song. Reminds me of living in Ireland

2. A whiter shado of pale - Procal Harum - Just one of those song that I will always always love

3. No Surprises - Regina Spektor - Amazing cover or the Radiohead song

4. Run River - Jon Swift - You may recognise this from the Corona ads last year. It reminds me of travelling in Mexico and driving though the beautiful land scape from San Cristobal to Palenque and there is a beautiful river where the waters are the most amazing blue.

5. Now we are free - Lisa Gerrard - That song from the Gladiator soundtrack it's also on the Qantas ads at the moment

6. The littest birds - The Be Good Tanyas - awesome folky band who are friends of friends of friends. One of my favourites songs.

7. Northcote (So hungover) - The bedroom philospher - a novelty song.

8. You've got the love - Florence and the Machine

9. Time to smile - Xavier Rudd - Who doesn't love this song

10. Season of the Shark - Yo La Tengo. I love this song. It's got such a happy tune but with such a haunting voice.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Post 25, in which a dog tries to get a stranger to throw him a stick

I stumbled across this video in my inbox today and thought I'd share it with you all.

It is a really really funny video of a dog trying to get a stranger to throw a stick for him.

Post 24, in which I give you another meme

Holy Moly did I get behind with blogjune!
Here is a meme:

A. Age: 31
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: Food shopping
D. Dogs: Banjo, Border Collie age 3 1/2. Aslo best dog ever.
E. Essential start to your day: Coffee
F. Favourite colour: green
G. Gold or Silver: silver
H. Height: 165cm I have no idea what I am in feet.
I. Instruments you play: Guitar
J. Job title: Faculty Librarian for Health Sciences
K. Kids: not yet
L. Live: Fairfield Vic
M. Mother’s name: Jill
N. Nicknames: Kat, Katastrophe
O. Overnight hospital stays: 2 weeks when I lived in Ireland
P. Pet peeve: Many but noisy eaters really bug me.
Q. Quote from a movie: Yoda in Empire Strikes Back "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter"
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: 2 brothers, one older, one younger
T. Time you wake up: 6.00 most days
U. Underwear: Yes
V. Vegetable you hate: None
W. What makes you run late: I get distracted with craft projects
X. X-Rays you’ve had: chest, finger, head, and teeth
Y. Yummy food that you make: soups
Z. Zoo Animal: Echidna (I see them in the wild too but they are so darn cute)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Post 23, in which I ponder my possible names

What’s in a name meme…Thanks Fiona

1. Your real name:


2. Your Gangsta name:
(first 3 letters of real name plus izzle.)


3. Your Detective name:
(fave color and fave animal)

Green Owl

4. Your Soap Opera name:
(your middle name and street you live on)

Jane Station

Last year it would have been Jane Batman

5. Your Star Wars name:
(For your new first name: first 3 letters of your 1st name + first 2 letters of your surname; For your new last name: first 2 letters of your mother’s maiden name + first 3 letters of the city you were born)

Katwi Stwol

6. Your Superhero name:
(your 2nd favorite colour, and favourite drink).

Silver Tea (that’s just lame)

7. Your Iraqi name:
(2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your mother’s maiden name, 3rd letter of your father’s middle name, 1st letter of a sibling’s first name, and last letter of your mother’s middle name)


8. Your Witness Protection name:
(parents’ middle names)

Brooke Leslie

9. Your Goth name:
(“Black”, and the name of one of your pets)

Black Banjo

10. Your Ninja name:
(First two letters of your first name added with “ruto”)


11. Your Pirate name:
(Your middle name after the word Captain)

Captain Jane

And just for fun have a look at this link:

Owls with Stupid Expressions on their Faces

Post 22, in which there are more dinosaurs.

So a few months ago, I had given my 4 year old neighbour a dinosaur which he later informed me had been named 'Stapely'. I thought that was the awesomest name ever so the other day I asked him where he came up with the name. Had he heard it somewhere else or did he make it up?
To which he replied "I couldn't have made it up because I can't write, it must have been my big sister".
I asked if maybe he had made the name up in his head, he didn't need to write to do that. But no, he was adamant that it couldn't have been possible. Supercute.

Tonight and last night I made lots more dinosaurs.

I like making things.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Post 21, in which Star gets a real life cape

So remember Star from post 7, and 19?

Now star is a super hero, she must have a super hero costume!

Post 20, in which hubby can stay in the country.

Yays, tonight, after 3 years of marriage, endless paperwork and stress, my Irish hubby has been granted permanent residency here in Australia. I am very chuffed.

Here he is looking very Aussie on my uncle's farm with our dog

Here he is in his grandmother's house in Ireland:

Post 19, in which I have a book written for me

Remember Star from post 7?

Star is now a superhero named Superstar and stars in her own book about her adventures.
Last night I got to attend the book launch and I have my very own copy dedicated to me.

I have uploaded the e-version here:

Hmm what will I buy?
Uh oh
I will sav you
Hia You Pay!

I have never had a book dedicated to me before. I have to admit, it's pretty awesome.

I can't wait for star's next adventure.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Post 18, In which I make a Shirazi salad

Shirazi Salad is one of my favourite side dishes. A recipe from the Iranian city of Shiraz, it is an awesome summer side but I tend to make it all year round. I change the traditional recipe slightly and add in avocado.

You need:
1 - 2 medium cucumbers
2-4 Tomatoes - I like Roma the best
1 red onion
1 avocado
1 lime
1tbsp olive oil

To make:
Dice cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and avocado. Place in a salad bowl add olive oil, squeeze in the lime juice and sprinkle salt.

Easy peasy.

Post 17, in which it's Furry Friday again.

As I have already introduced to you my psychologically disturbed cat and my (almost) perfect dog in previous posts, allow me to share with you some of the strange things they do.


1. Banjo is terrified of hot air balloons and cowers in the back yard until they are out of sight.

2. Banjo either loves or hates the old Hills Hoist clothes lines. He would go crazy trying to bite the top of the pole where the other bit joins every time you'd hang out the washing or if the wind blew to make it spin around.

3. Banjo knows to wait at the lights when crossing the road. He knows the beep that means go and often drags you into the middle of the road with his incredible strength and traction. Recently he has become rather obsessed with the button that makes the noise and now tries to bite the button when it beeps. I think he sees us pressing the button and now wants to join in.


1. Finegan often comes home covered in grease. I was working on a theory at one time that he was secretly a mechanic at night time. That was until I saw him a number of times look for the dirtiest part of the road/gutter and then roll around in it.

2. Finegan has figured out how to open doors. In our house, there is too much paint on the doors/door frames, so they don't latch. You can however, push them closed and it takes quite a bit of strength to open them again. Finegan can now open doors by continually body slamming against them until they open. He often wakes us up at night doing this, though he usually does it when husband and I are doing husband and wife things, jumps up on the head of the bed and watches over us as if he is supervising. He also does it to the bathroom door. For some reason he likes to watch people in the shower. Perhaps he is a dirty old man trapped in the body of a cat.

Post 16, in which I mention my favourite softies projects.

Last year, I discovered via @haikugirlOz the Softies for Mirabel project. The Mirabel Foundation is based in Melbourne and do really important work providing support for kids who may be orphaned or abandonded due to their parent's drug addiction.

Softies for Mirabel is co-ordinated by Meet Me at Mikes on Brunswick St in Fitzroy and basically put the call out for people to donate their handmade toys to save Mirabel from spending money on Christmas presents.

Check out last years project:

I donated 20 of my toys to the project because I had been making heaps of toys and wasn't sure what to do with them until I heard about the project.

All the toys donated get displayed in the window of Meet Me at Mikes here are some of my toys in the display.

Apparently, Vogue Japan heard about the project and ran a story on it. They also made a video within which one of my toys is the star. See here:

Pretty awesome huh?

You can also look at other toys donated here

Keep an ear out for this years call for toys if you want to participate- usually around the end of September

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Post 15, in which I explain irrelephants

I have a mini whiteboard at my desk. I like to write things on it. This is what is on it now.

Post 14, in which you get to see my secret recipe for awesome pumpkin soup

I invented this decadent pumpkin soup recipe which involves roasting the pumpkin for extra flavour. Awesomely warming in winter.

1 pumpkin (Butternut is good but japanese works well) peeled and cut into small pieces
2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into pieces
5 cloves of garlic unpeeled
1 or 2 onions quartered
1 Litre of vegetable stock
1 small tub of light cream.

Lightly oil baking dish and roast pumpkin, sweet potato, garlic and onion in the oven at until pumpkin is golden brown.
Place vegetables in a large saucepan (peel garlic and any onion skin) place on low heat and add stock and cream. Bring to almost boil. Either use a stick blender or transfer to blender and blend until smooth.

Serve with garlic bread.


Post 13, In which I do the 7 things thing

Seven things that scare me:

1. Mice
2. Big hairy spiders
3. Eventually regretting not experiencing as much of life as I could manage
4. Ignorance
5. Tony Abbott
6. Living in one of the only 'developed' countries in the world still debating the theory of climate change instead of developing policy
7. Pain

Seven things I like:

1. My job
2. Animals (except mice and spiders)
3. Making things
4. My hubby
5. Travelling
6. Pumpkin
7. Scuba diving

Seven random facts about me:

1. I have my advanced open water diver's license
2. I lived in Ireland for 3 years and met my Irish hubby there
3. I am mostly vegetarian but will eat fish sometimes
4. I know a lot of nonsense phrases in Polish, Spanish, Japanese, French and Irish
5. I used to have dreadlocks

6. I have been to NYC twice
7. When I was 14, I won a competition to get a poem published in a book. The book wasn't published until I was 20.

Seven things I want to do before I die

1. Take the Trans-Siberian railway from Bejing to Moscow via Mongolia
2. Travel through Central America and climb the active volcano Pacaya in Guatemala
3. Travel to Bolivia
4. Run 5ks
5. Be fluent in another language
6. Touch my toes!
7. Design and build my own eco home out of straw.

Seven things I can do well:

1.My job
2.Make soft toys
3. Multitask
4. Pick up people's accents when they talk to me and accidentally talk back to them in their accent.
5. Get angry at the news
6. Make soup
7. Think spacially

Seven things I can’t do but wish I could:

1. Travel more
2. Be better at the guitar
3. Knit more than the same stitch
4. Apply makeup neatly
5. Play the flute or tin whistle
6. See those magic pictures that were all the rage in the early 90s
7. Dance

Seven phrases I’m known to use:

1. Whaaaat?
2. Cool
3. No worries
4. What the?
5. Shite
6. How's the head and the price of cabbage
7. I often speak in Simpsons quotes too...

Post 12, in which I give you the recipe for roast pumpkin salad

I have been spending an awful lot of time in the kitchen lately, so to catch up with my blog posts, I am going to share with you some recipes.

Roast Pumpkin and Pine nut salad.

1/2 a small pumpkin
rocket or baby spinach or mixed leaves
pine nuts (small handful)
Parmesan cheese
Balsamic dressing (you can also use lemon juice)


Cut pumpkin into smallish pieces, drizzle with oil and roast in oven until cooked through. remove and allow to cool.

Heat a small pan and toss pine nuts in and stir until they are golden brown and remove from heat. Do not add any oil to the pan.

Place leaves in a salad bowl, add pumpkin, pine nuts, parmesan (to taste) and toss. Add balsamic dressing to taste.

Tada! My favourite salad.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Post 11, in which I bake a cake.

Hubby and I get a box of fruit and veg delivered every week. This stems from my hatred of grocery shopping but that's a whole other post. Some weeks we just can't seem to get through the huge amounts of food. This week was one of those weeks.

I seem to have accumulated vast quantities of apples, onions, pumpkins and carrots. To get through these, I spent the day in the kitchen. Today I made a roast pumpkin and sweet potato soup, roast pumpkin and pinenut salad, roasted carrot soup and an apple cake.

Here is my recipe for apple cake. It's pretty easy.

2-4 apples (grated)
1 cup of sultanas
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cups of self raising flour
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp cinnamon
100g butter (melted)

Mix all ingredients together, transfer to baking tin and bake in oven at 180 C for 40 mins.

No icing needed, just spread a little butter on top and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon.


Friday, 10 June 2011

Post 10, in which I introduce Banjo

Banjo came to us in 2008, around 6 weeks before Hubby and I were married. We had just returned from living in Ireland and had made the decision to really settle down. Banjo was an early wedding present from my big brother whose dog had had a litter of pups, Banjo was the runt of the litter.

I had always wanted a Border Collie named Banjo, it seemed such a good name for the breed and luckily enough, it suited him down to the ground!

Hubby was never keen on having pets, I don't know if it's because he grew up on a farm in Ireland. I remember him telling me (a vegetarian) that animals were for eating and nothing else. I convinced him that a dog would be a fabulous idea, and don't worry, Banjo would be my dog.

We were living in Brisbane at the time, and my brother in Airlie Beach, so he flew down with Banjo and I collected them from the airport.

Bringing Banjo home, it took about 5 minutes for him and hubby to be completely besotted with one another and I knew then that Banjo would never be my dog.
Although the runt of the litter, our boy has grown into a big dog. He is so much bigger than his mum and very handsome.

Banjo is obsessed with tennis balls, soccer balls, frisbees and sticks and anything else you can throw that he might retrieve
Banjo has an entourage - other dogs at the park follow him everywhere. He really does play soccer too. I wish I had a video to show you
Now hubby and Banjo are nearly inseperable.

I must highlight here, what an awesome dog Banjo is. I find it easy to talk about the cat Finegan as Finegan is completely insane but as Banjo is such a good dog, I have less interesting stories about him. Though he really is the best dog anyone could have. He is obedient, intelligent, affectionate and outrightly awesome.

Banjo knows loads of words too. Below is what happens when you say "Park"
Here are some cute pictures:

I love my furry family.

And most importantly, hubby would never be without his furry children. They are now his life.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Post 9, in which I talk about hot air balloons

When I returned Star (see post 7) to her owner next door, hubby and I were invited in for a chat. Our 4 year old next door neighbour had drawn a beautiful picture and told us a story about the hot air balloons, which is topic of the moment.

On clear mornings in Melbourne, we often see the hot air balloons drifting past, so our neighbour had seen one that morning and according to the story, he had taken one to the butcher, then to the park, then to the newsagent, then to Kindy to pick up his big sister and many more places before arriving home.

It was a brilliant story, and we all said so. I told 4 year old about how Banjo (our dog) is terrified of hot air balloons which 4 year old found quite surprising because "there is nothing to be scared of". His dad later told me that 4 year old had previously been frightened by hot air balloons not so long ago.

He also told us about how his 4 year old had once pointed up at a hot air balloon and asked why the people on it were having a barbecue. Priceless.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Post 8, in which bad luck comes in threes...

This morning, I went to straighten my hair, the way I do every morning. I turn on my GHD only to hear it make some crazy tweeting noises and refuse to heat up. I tried to flatten my hair down with some water but it only made it more crazy.

Walking out the front door on my way to work I notice something is different but it took me a moment to realise what. The letterbox! Had to call our useless real estate to report it (last time we reported our broken oven, it took a month for them to get back to us only to tell us to deal with the manufacturer directly) who knows how long it will take to get another one. Our mail is being held at the depot until we get a new box.

Driving to work, I spotted the letterbox all smashed up about 500 metres up the road. Hubby later went to retreive it and here is what is left of it:

I arrived at work and sat down in my workshop only to have someone trip and spill a cappuccino all over my coat. She was pretty apologetic and I felt bad for her.

Anyway, with all my bad luck over by 9am, I had a pretty good day after that.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Post 7, In which I perform eye surgery..

For the first time ever, one of my toys has been returned to me for repair. Poor little 'star'from next door had lost an eye. The very distressed owner was very anxious to come and see me as Star was now her very favourite toy.

Taking one look at the patient, I realised that I would not be able to save the eye, but after an hour of surgery, I came up with a solution.

I broke the news and returned Star (who had been a very good patient) to her owner, who was at first a little sceptical of the procedure I had undertaken. Didn't take long until it was widely accepted that Star was now a richly charactered individual and would be taken to kindy for show and tell.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Post 6, In which the toys take over MPOW.

As you may have picked up in my previous posts, I love to make things. I live for it. At the moment, my favourite thing to make are softies. Now, there are side effects that occur when one is creative, particularly when one is not so good at selling things created.
Especially, when the passion for creating outweighs any desire for monetary compensation.

The point is: I end up giving away most of the stuff I make.

At my old place of work, one of the male librarians became quite distressed when my creations outnumbered the people in the office. I have one thing to say to that.

He should be glad he does not work in my current place of work.

Apparently, the section looks like toys have exploded from my desk (aka: the epicentre) and spread across the entire section.
My desk (note, Angry Birds by @haikugirlOz, and elephant not my creation)

The desks next to me

Desk to the right
A bit further away

And furthest...

Now, there are many many more of my toys than that in the section. This is just a taste.

Are you glad you don't work with me?