Dear Internet,

It’s the night before our country’s big anniversary weekend and I’m spending my time organizing my Amazon.com wish lists, but there is a reason for my staid evening. But first let me tell you a short story: TEH and I went walking around downtown today as we ran errands we’ve been putting off for a week or two. One of those errands was getting our local library cards (I now have 13 library cards from various academic and public libraries. Yes, I am a nerd.), which then necessitated we needed, or I did, to get books. How else was I going to know what to read? By going to my Amazon wish lists, of course.

Since my day to day information gathering spans across RSS feeds, social media, and other sources, as well as podcast listening, project prep, and personal recommendations from friends, my book lists come from everywhere. In order to keep track of it all, I started organizing the lists by topic on Amazon.

(Bethums once pointed out she thought it was adorable that I organized things to an OCD level, but hey, if I am not anything but a librarian?)

There is a reason to my madness and that is Amazon is my list of lists.

The lists serve as reminders such as hey, I may need these things when I get my own place or birthday/holiday ideas, which TEH and my brother found extremely useful.  There are books on particular topics I want to know more about, music I need to check out or DVDs I need to buy.

But as I organized my lists this evening, for things have been bought and or no longer wanted, I noticed patterns erupting.

I like gadgets and geegaws. Everyone needs silicone and bamboo salad hands, a set of 10 nibs, or a professional grade laser hair removal device don’t they? Of course they do!
My interests are varied, which probably owns up to my ADHD. I have things on knitting, clay molding kits, calligraphy, to books on linux, user experience, fairytales and viking poetry. I was surprised to find I had many non-fiction books as I did fiction, on a wide variety of topics such as cartography, biographies, and how things are made as examples.
I like fictional and non-fictional tales about women, primarily those who rejected the ideals of their times. Courtesans, serial killers, scientists, artists, or royals; it doesn’t matter. If there is a tale about a woman, in some form or another comes off as a rebel, I want to know who she is.
I like knowing how things are they way they are. If there is a book about the history of paper, on racial politics, the creation of gender, the history of the breast, the story of the great flood, and the lost art of letter writing or everything in-between, I probably have a book on it in one of my lists. (We totally cannot forget The Library: A World History as what kind of librarian would I be?)
I like to research. My current book, the Edwardian mystery, has stalled and I can’t seem to jump start it but of course I have a list for that. I found similar genres such as decopunk (speculative fiction subset of dieselpunk, which is a subset of steampunk) that incorporates the aesthetic of Art Deco with diesel engines just as steampunk splices Victorian era with steam technology. Decopunk is so specific, Amazon only has a few books that claim that genre, but it piques my interest. Of course mythology, Vikings, and middle ages have me in raptures. Any period that predates post modern seems to be my mainstay though I tend to dip into contemporary novels here or there.
I don’t read as widely as I should. Over the years my tastes have regulated itself to particular authors (Terry Pratchett and Kate Atkinson as example) or genres such as mystery, period, or speculative fiction. I do read mainly women but I’m definitely lacking in books by people of color or translations from countries where English is not the primary language (though Paulo Cohelo and Umberto Eco are excluded but everyone reads them). Or books from other countries, period.

I don’t think I’m that well read but I’m much further than most, I suppose, and I really want a lot of things. Though, I could do a lot better by NOT adding so much stuff to the damn lists but hey, you just never know. It might go on sale.


p.s. If you think this is a bit ridiculous, you should see my RSS feed organization.
p.p.s. If you visit the site regularly, you may notice some changes. I took the justification off since it is a design no-no, changed the font to a more pleasing one, and swapped out my header which I am using with permission from Forgotten Heritage Photography.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 2003

mechanical repetition of previously received ideas or images

I got tiara'd by Val.
I got tiara’d by Val.


Dear Internet,

It’s been, as the youths say, a hella of a week. I have found snatches of conversation happening and it’s interesting how people not in the mix are putting themselves in the mix. My co-conspirator in these matters and I agreed for the time being to not discuss things publicly until we have a final resolution. In short, unless you’ve heard from one of us direct on the matter, doubt the veracity of the comment.

What was kind of hilarious about this coming to light was when I found out, I was minutes away from entering a meeting with a lawyer about another, non-related, legal matter. And my period also started in FULL BLOODY REVENGE.

So yes, it really is all about my vagina. Pay heed to the Mother Earth Goddess for she will fuck shit up.

As I already mentioned earlier this week, my piece in American Libraries came out and I’ve received my first MRA fan mail, and then the usual unfollowing on Twitter by people who thought I was shaming the troll. So, yay for that! I also found out  my piece is on the agenda for discussion at the Feminist Task Force meeting happening at ALA in June, which is tres super cool.

The response I’ve been getting has been, other than the obvious trolls, really awesome. I’ve been retweeting all the kind words people have been throwing at me and while I can probably never say this enough: Thank you all for your support.

(As an aside, I found out today some kind anonymous benefactor suggested to my pal Val, who spearheads #ProjectTira, nina and I were deserving of our own tiaras for the good work we’ve been doing. Ironically, Val had just sent me my birthday tiara (see blog image) and now another one is in the works for me. But seriously, go read up on #ProjectTiara, recommend yourself or someone you feel is deserving, or even better, donate to the project! Val is closing in on having sent nearly 100 tiaras in the last few months as the response has been overwhelming. And seriously? I had no idea wearing a tiara could make you feel so powerful. I’m totally okay with using a tool for a clutch right now.)

With so much going on, what this week really showed me was my own strength. I was commenting to a friend at lunch a few days ago not a single person has asked if I knew this was the path that was going to happen, would I have done things differently. The answer immediately came to mind was obviously ” no.”

Said friend said the reason why people haven’t asked that question is because they know me well enough to know I wouldn’t have changed the route I headed on. And I will tell you that pleased me more than punch I could hold true to my faith in what I was doing was right and even with hindsight, I still would have made those same decisions.

This was an important self-confirmation of how I viewed myself internally and what I projected on to the world were both one and the same. Justice and righting the wrongs are becoming my passions and getting external acknowledgement made me secure in that faith what I was doing was right.

I also self-confirmed the value of loyalty within myself. I could have thrown a lot of people under the bus, I could have broken a lot of confidences to save my own ass, but I could not in good conscious do that to the people depending on me.

I remark this because in this past week, people have done this to me without even a blink in a eye.  There were many who publicly offered support, but when supported was requested,  had a list a mile long of why they couldn’t do it. Even better, people I expected support from didn’t so much as move a fucking inch in either mine or nina’s direction.

That was painful to experience. The whisper network who fueled the fire were the first to fade away. I believed, naively, those holding the match would also have a bucket of sand for the dousing. My own mistake, one I will not make again in the future.

I would have made a shitty lawyer and even a worse politician, but there are ways I’m finally learning how to work the system to get things equalized, even just a little.

I can’t be too entirely boastful. There have been times this week when I wanted to crawl away from everything and just forgot what was going on. I cursed my big mouth and my tenacity to keep asking hard questions expecting them to change the world. I felt myself dip low as mania broke before rising again, but I held on with what I could to make it through. That was hard. Really hard. I grab at anything in desperation to right myself and to push forward. Drawing from this weeks experiences, and my reactions, have made me really proud. I will be holding on to that feeling for as long as I can, for I know I will need to draw from it wholly to live.


This day in Lisa-Universe in: 1999

Transparency and Heartbleed



Dear Internet,

I was having conversations recently on Twitter about vendors and institutional responses, or lack thereof, to Heartbleed. To wit: MPOW’s response to my inquiry as to how they were handling it was the following (from two separate emails): 

I.T. does not have an official statement concerning the heartbleed bug. […]  I know my team and the ISO have addressed the OpenSSL issues and I’m sure they have it handled.

My original inquiry was via the I.T. ticketing system, which the first line of the quote comes from, and was immediately closed. I received a follow up email from the head of Infrastructure within minutes that included the second line of the quote and with a request to direct questions to him and his team directly rather than open up a ticket. So I did. 

No response.

TheHusband, when I reported this back to him that same evening, just shrugged and said some I.T. departments handle things differently. I, obviously, disagree. When you have a bug that is so permeated in everything we do and affects directly or indirectly damn near everyone who gets online, you would think transparency would be the utmost importance.

In the conversations that I alluded to at the beginning of this, many also agreed with me. We discussed who should be reporting to whom and in what situations, because it seemed there seemed to be no best practices in place. I am the contact for the library’s SSL certs from that vendor and they notified us immediately, but others like database, and other product vendors? Not a even a mention.

On the personal side, random emails were appearing from various sites I belong to, some forcing password resets to enhance security, but overall the responses being sent to users seems to be thin on the ground.

As I was working this out over Twitters, I realized I never made an update to my own blog about our patching of Heartbleed, which was done near instantaneous after its discovery. EPBaB and my professional site both have SSL integration, something TheHusband was insistent on when we migrated to our new host in the spring of 2013. While we may not be allowing accounts other than our own, thus not storing passwords or other personal data of others, having SSL does help protect against other forms of attacks. The only hiccup we ever found was the inability to add my sites to Feedburner as they do not support HTTPS sites.

In the upcoming week, I’m going to be moving through lists I’ve started of vendors I use for personal AND professional spaces to see who is reporting (or not) on Heartbleed and how. I am extremely curious as what the results will be and right now, from the cursory research I’ve done: it will not be pretty.  And what is worse, what it really says about the state of tech transparency today.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013