Thursday, September 25, 2014

this is my jam today

As we're constantly barraged about the way that we look, and achieving that perfect body, it's nice to hear a song (and see a fun video!) about someone rocking their body image. Love it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Director posting, Petoskey, MI

Library Director – Petoskey (MI) District Library

Petoskey, Michigan has been a destination for generations. Make it your destination, too! The Petoskey District Library’s new Library Director will be a critical contributor to the Petoskey arts and cultural community. The successful candidate will lead a committed, talented staff and active, vital Friends of the Library bringing innovation and creativity in generating new and effective library programs and services for the 14,568 residents of the City of Petoskey, Bear Creek Township, and Resort Township. Building on a new strategic plan outlining core values, the Director, with a five-member Board of Trustees, a $1.2 million budget, and a stunning, new Library (2004), will work to implement goals including, but not limited to, building relationships with surrounding townships, expanding library hours, and developing the talents of a dedicated team of library staff.

Petoskey, MI, known for the famous “Petoskey stone” and being the home to Ernest Hemingway for many years, overlooks the shores of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay in the Lower Peninsula. It’s a resort community of unmatched beauty and charm with all of the amenities of a larger city. In addition to the arts and stellar public schools, Petoskey is the county seat and offers outdoor recreation opportunities including bike trails, boating, fishing and the Midwest’s best downhill skiing. Emmet County, organized in 1853, was known for years as L’Arbre Croche (Crooked Tree)—so named by early French fur traders and missionaries for a tall tree overhanging a high bluff used as a landmark for approaching canoes. Also called “Land of a Million Dollar Sunsets,” Petoskey has served as a summertime destination for vacationing city residents for many years. Tourism continues to be a major economic force and Petoskey is now a four-season destination with outstanding shopping and views—and the year-round home for many who enjoy its beauty and charm.  Petoskey is also home to McLaren Northern Michigan (health care) and North Central Michigan College. For more information about the Library, the Petoskey community and the surrounding area, visit Petoskey Links.

Responsibilities. The Library Director works at the pleasure of the Library Board of Trustees and is the Library’s chief administrator--responsible for carrying out Board policy, developing strategic plans and directions, and overseeing library operations.  Essential functions include: overall management and organizational leadership; financial planning, resource development and accountability; providing effective team development and leadership to the staff; working collaboratively with civic organizations and community agencies; working effectively with elected officials at the local, township and state level; and interacting with the media and the community to project a positive image of the Library.  See Library Director for the complete job description, illustrative work activities and required knowledge, skills, abilities.

Qualifications. Minimum qualifications are a Master’s Degree in Librarianship from an ALA accredited library school; and a minimum of five years of administrative experience (or the equivalent). Essential attributes and skills include: strong interpersonal skills; excellent writing, communication and presentation skills; political acumen; collaborative and team-building skills; and a thorough knowledge of current trends and “best practices” relating to library programs, services and technology. See the Predictive Index summary completed by the Board for additional desired characteristics. Prior success as a library director reporting to a policy making board is also highly desirable. 

Compensation. The position offers a hiring salary range of $68,000 -$80,000 (with placement dependent upon experience and qualifications) and an attractive benefits package.

For further information, contact Bradbury Associates/Gossage Sager Associates via email or phone. Apply via email with a meaningful cover letter and your resume as Word or pdf attachments to Jobeth Bradbury. This position closes September 28, 2014.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

furry sweetness

It is hard to think of something as grand to write about as, as I recoup, I'll share a picture of my adorable furry son, Hemmy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

the fellowship ended in Berlin

So, I fell in love with Berlin and can't promise that I won't be going back there for more. The "free tour," we found--which winds up being free, with you paying what you feel the tour was worth at the end--was amazing! I would definitely recommend this tour company (New Berlin Tours), but be advised that you should go online the night before and register, so you have a spot when you show up. There were over 100 people at the meeting place when we showed up and they split us into groups of roughly 25, those who hadn't registered weren't guaranteed a spot.

Our group had this wonderful tour guide named Alexander "Zabi," a half German, half Englishman; a fascinating fellow who knew his history (and could have been James McAvoy's cousin!), and who loved to tell the most fascinating stories (both of the history and the players) of each thing we saw. He was well versed in the history of each place and absolutely interesting as hell! And funny. And did I mention he looked like he could be James McAvoy's cousin?!

The tours are walking tours, which wind up taking about 2.5 hours, but are a great way to see the "big tourist spots," which is what I wanted to see.
  • Pariser Platz
  • The Brandenburg Gate
  • The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
  • The Site of Hitler’s Former Bunker
  • Luftwaffe HQ
  • The Berlin Wall
  • The Former SS Headquarters
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Gendarmenmarkt
Wonderful wonderful!

After a rest and freshen up the Germans led the way: a short tram ride, and walk to a cute little restaurant, where we sat outside and I tried to memorize everything about this beautiful city: the laid back people, the bicyclists, the grungy-punk kids with their signs, "MONEY FOR WEED + ALCOHOL!," the monuments, the smells, the sound of the trams and trains and cars...
And then the food came; I'd asked the Germans for traditional German food, or as I told Yannick, "German soul food," and they did not fail. It. Was. AMAZING. I will have to do more searching for the name of the restaurant, because this place is too good to keep a secret!! I ate boiled potatoes, mounds of sauerkraut, pork, stuffed cabbage, more sauerkraut...nom nom nom. My mouth is watering.

And since I had to be at the airport so early, we went to bed early. My last night on a lumpy hostel mattress, falling asleep to the hoots and drunken laughter of the Berlin revelers all around us.

And so the Fellowship came to an end at Tegel Airport...16 days; 6 countries: Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Denmark; 3,500 miles of driving; spent Euros, Swiss Francs, and Danish Kroners; heard loads of languages; in the end most ready to head home.

While we were getting ready Monday morning, ChicagoBoy for work, me for heading back to Sticks and my first (half) day back, he looked at me and said, "The dream's over, back to reality today,"  to which I had to reply, "But it was such a lovely dream while it lasted..." *sigh*

Friday, September 12, 2014

Denmark to Berlin

I am still amazed and envious at how accessible European countries are to one another! In no time we were leaving Hamburg and Germany behind for flat, lovely southern Denmark. Aside from the Danish signage, much of it looked so much like home.

We stopped in Esbjerg, Denmark, which is a seaport town, on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula in the southwest part of the country, where we did a little shopping, enjoyed coffee and lunch before paying $415 Danish Krones (about $40Euro) for a ferry that took us and the car over to the island of Fano.

Fano, an island in the North Sea off the coast of southwestern Denmark, is the northernmost of the Danish Wadden Sea Islands, and is absolutely gorgeous. The middle of it reminded me of farmy New England, while the sand dunes around the beach (near where we camped) and their neighboring brushy areas looked almost like the southwestern deserts that my brother A3 and I drove past on our roadtrip to California so many years ago. I hiked alone for a while and was rewarded with an amazing sunset over the North Sea--I could have wept for the loveliness of this island.

We left the land of the Vikings--did I mention we drove past one of the oldest cities (Ribe) in Denmark?! The original roads date back to the 300sAD!!--and after a quick stop in Hamburg headed to Berlin.

We are staying at the most amazing hostel, PLUS Berlin, which is only $40Euro/person for 2 nights. Pretty damn good! I also booked a FREE tour I read about in one of my library books (GO LONELY PLANET!!) which will take us to the Wall, CheckPoint Charlie, Hitler's Bunker, and many places of historical note; pretty amped for some nerdy history fun.

Can't believe tomorrow's my last day, and yet, I am ready to go home. You can only be a travel bum for so long before you miss home, no?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

mac n' cheese and our last day in Hamburg

The EPIC Mac n' Cheese
You know that feeling you get when you're traveling and you feel almost overstimulated by the amazing food you've been eating, but there's something a little not realize that what you're really wanting is some "home food." That happened yesterday. 

Yannick and I were supposed to run to the market to get stuff for dinner and today, so I offered to make Mac n' cheese--I based it extremely loosely on Mark Bittman's recipe--and what I made was pure magic! Normally I just use Vermont Cheddar, but as they don't have that here I used half Irish Cheddar, half Dutch Gouda. Oh my sweet and gentle Jesus!! WAY BETTER with real European cheeses. Nadine requested it again for dinner tonight. Yannick and I agreed. :) 

Today we'll be going out to see a few more things here, but we're going to stay in tonight and get to bed early. We want to have the car packed and be on the road tomorrow by 9a.m.; we're heading to Denmark, to one of it's islands that is a National Park, to camp and spend all day tomorrow and part of Friday.

From Denmark we head to Berlin where Magdalena will rejoin us (YAY!!) and we'll spend Friday night-Sunday morning.
Hamburg to Denmark, Denmark to Berlin, the last legs of this epic roadtrip. My vacation winding down. After today only 3 full days left. Sad about that, but a little excited to be home soon. Don't tell anyone, but I secretly miss Sticks. A little.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

my favorite photos of Europe

Beautiful 13th century architecture in Bruges, Belgium
Amsterdam at night

The best lunch EVER. Homemade bread with mustard, ham, violet creme fraiche,
gherkins; salad. Amsterdam

The Bern Munster (Church), Bern, Switzerland
Freiburg, Germany
Beethoven (born here) watches over this square,
Bonn, Germany

City Hall, Hamburg, Germany
Normany U.S. Cemetery and Memorial, France
Commemorates D-Day invasion, Omaha Beach

Sacre Coeur, Montmartre,
Paris France

The Eiffel Tower, Paris