Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Where in the World Is Shannon Schinagl?

I am having so much fun studying maps of Maine.  Since I will be traveling all over Maine for both work and fun, I've been examining maps of the state quite closely.  Every time I e-mail someone, talk to someone, or hear someone mention a place, I look it up on the map.

What I have discovered is that the whole world is contained in Maine!

Allow me to explain:

We begin in Europe, where we make stops in the English cities of Avon and Bath.  While there, we'll pop over to Northern Ireland to visit Belfast.

Let's cross the English Channel to France, and we can discover the wonders of Calais and Paris.  Then we'll trot around more of Europe, visiting Lucerne in Switzerland; Naples and Verona in Italy; Vienna, Austria; and both Stockholm AND Sweden -- separately!  It's a magic trick!  And we can't forget the countries of Denmark, Norway and Poland.

Now we'll take the long way back to the Americas via China, before stopping in Mexico.

After such international travel, let's visit a few domestic cities.  Let's travel east to west, beginning with Princeton, NJ!  I hate to admit it, but we will also stop in Cleveland, Ohio.  I'm sorry.  Let's continue on to Detroit, MI.  Come on, Detroit!  The entire country is rooting for your recovery!  We're going to fly all the way to Alaska now to visit Fairbanks!

And finally, the last stop on our tour, and possibly the most exotic: Purgatory.

I love that Maine has all of these countries and cities as locations within the state.  And if you happened to click on any of those links at all, you'll see that every town is absolutely beautiful.

I hope to keep track of everywhere I visit in Maine on this blog, so you'll probably see these names again!  And when you do, I should have stories and pictures to go along with them.

If you want to look at a map of Maine yourself, get a very big, very detailed one.  A lot of the towns and cities in Maine are very, very tiny, and you'll need a good map to find them all.  I'm getting a huge one at work, which I'll back with foam core.  I plan to stick little flag pins on the map to note where I've gone!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I'm Going to Be a…Patron?!

It occurred to me that for the first time in 14 years, I am going to be a patron.  Not an employee/patron.  Just a patron.

I won't get to go behind the reference/circulation desks to help myself.  I'll have to ask with everyone else.  I'll have to actually make time to pick up holds, since I won't be at the library for work every day.

This is going to be very weird.  Portland Public Library, I apologize if I overstep!  I'm going to have some hard habits to break.

Onward and Upward (Seriously!)

I'm moving to Portland, ME!  I used to live in Seattle, WA, in the very upper northwest.  Portland, ME, is in the very upper northeast.  I wonder if I subliminally want to be a Canadian?  I seem to live as close as possible to the Canadian border without actually moving across.

Anyway, I landed what is pretty much my dream job.  I'm going to be the Early Literacy Coordinator (to put it briefly -- my actual title is so long that I can't even remember it) for the State of Maine, thanks to a partnership between the Maine State Library and the Department of Health and Human Services!  This is a brand new job, so my supervisors and I will be figuring some of it out along the way, but mainly (Ha!  No pun intended.) I'll be traveling all over Maine, coordinating with children's librarians, parents, HeadStarts, preschools and child care providers.  Basically, anyone who has a stake in ages 0-5 years.  I'll also be providing resources and training where appropriate.  There will be more to it, but that's the basis.

One of the things I'm most looking forward to is working partly with the public, but also partly in an office.  I'm a little burned out on working with the public every day, all day.  I love working with the public, but it's hectic, and there's no time to think.  There is never time to read an article and ponder the implications, or really consider the best way to create and implement a program.  Being a public librarian is definitely a job of doing, doing, doing.  I am so excited to be able to sit and plan and reflect, not just react.

This job basically plays on all of my favorite parts of children's librarianship.  Toss in some animals and a few more immigrants, and I wouldn't be able to dream up a better job for me!

A huge bonus of this job is that I'll be moving to Portland.  I have yet to meet anyone -- including a random guy in Starbucks -- who doesn't rave about Portland.  I already have an apartment in the neighborhood I wanted -- Munjoy Hill.  The commute to my job, which is in Augusta, will be about an hour.  That sucks, but eventually I will travel enough that it won't really matter where I live.  Plus, I hope to be able to join a vanpool so that I don't have to be the one driving, and I can snooze a little longer.

I shall keep you all updated on my travels, especially my adventures throughout Maine.  (They have moose crossing signs on the highways!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I Dare You...

Sterling's new favorite place:

This is funny, because if I ever tried to wash her, I would lose a limb.  I think she is mocking me.

Going to the Chapel!

My sister, Allyson, got married to the most wonderful guy, Kevin.  The wedding was absolutely perfect: intimate and personal.  Allow me to share!

The wedding was in Prescott, AZ, which is up in the Yavapai Mountains.  That means that it was sunny and beautiful, but a lovely temperature of mid-70s, rather than the living hell that is Phoenix.

The chapel Ally and Kevin chose was very small and historic, and overlooked a lake where they fish.  It's called Chapel of the Valley, and the lake is -- surprise! -- Fain Lake.

Ally and Kevin met thanks to Superman.  At the time, Kevin worked at Circle K.  Ally went in to buy some sort of pink doughnuts that she likes.  As she handed Kevin the money, he saw the Superman tattoo on the inside of her wrist.  He immediately showed her the Superman tattoo on his arm, and true love was born!

Here, a wedding gift from family friends Barbara and Richard.

As a result, my Dad and Allyson walked down the aisle to the Superman theme song.  As maid-of-honor, this gave me a lot of responsibility.  I had to walk down the aisle and get in place just in time for Ally and Dad to appear at the crescendo.  Luckily, I played my part well!

After the wedding, my Mom and sister had planned a little picnic of appetizers down at the lake while Ally, Kevin, the wedding party and parents got all of the wedding photos taken.  This was a brilliant idea!  No cranky guests due to starvation!

Here are a few of the candid photos that were taken by wedding guests.  (The official photos haven't arrived yet.)

First, in tribute to the Superman theme…

At Ally's feet is the best man, David.  Kevin is the one being assaulted by the veil.  It was a very windy day.  Ally's veil had a life of its own.  It should have its own Facebook page, like Angelina's leg or something.

The mother photo!  My Mom is on the far right, and Kevin's two Moms are on the left.

Mom with Ally and Kevin...

Me and Al...

Me, Ally and Mom...

Ally, Dad and Sue.  And the veil, once again with a life of its own.

Ally, Kevin, and Kevin's Moms.  And Al doing the poof pose.

The Schinagl fam...

Me with flower boobs…

Ally and Kevin's first dance...

Anyway, it was absolutely lovely, and I loved every minute of it!

I may have to post again when the official pics come in.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Parental Guilt, Without the Kids

Every morning as I leave for work, this is what I see as I walk out the door.

Nothing makes you feel worse than your cat staring mournfully at you through the banisters (knowing full well that it makes her look like an inmate) as you turn your back.  Sigh…

And the thing is that the minute she hears the door lock, she probably thinks, "Finally!  Now I can go back to sleep without interruption."  I'm probably reading into the pitiful expression.  She's probably watching to make sure I actually leave.