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Posts Tagged ‘Stony Brook University Libraries’

Though holiday purists tend to celebrate July 4th – Independence Day – on, well, July 4th, we here at Walk-O-Rama felt that July 2nd, the official date of the legal separation between the US and Britain, was more appropriate for our celebratory parade around campus.  Though we could be doing so because we are just super patriotic, the reasoning most likely has more to do with the fact that 1) the actual holiday falls on a Saturday and 2) the group felt the need to walk off our big bagel brunch.

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance…” – John Adams

Years later, Walk-O-Rama was out making John Adams look all prophetic.  In the spirit of obtaining independence, we determined that we would seek out our deliverance from the workplace by fleeing our offices and setting out into this great land of ours.  Songs of patriotism filled the air, and as we approached the brand new, now totally open to the public Computer Science Building, the tune “This Land is Your Land” seemed of particular relevance.  We had determined that this building belonged to us too, and are hoping the summer months will give us enough time for our squatter’s rights to fully kick in.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

John Adams gave us permission to celebrate early today

John Adams gave us permission to celebrate early today. Thanks, John! Adams. John Adams. Sir.

We decided the best course of action would be to sneak in the back way where no one would see us, and also because the first several doors were not nearly up to our standards.  Boy were we glad we held out. Though we were spotted sneaking in by several passersby (one of which we asked to photograph our entry), we did have the opportunity to enter through the grandest entrance of them all.

This building is your building This  building is my building. This building was made for you and me. But mostly me.

This building is your building This building is my building. This building was made for you and me. But mostly me.

This was not an approved Walk-O-Rama entrance

This was not an approved Walk-O-Rama entrance

Photo evidence of Team WOR preparing to take over our new building

Photo evidence of Team WOR preparing to take over our new building

The interior of the building, much to our surprise, was much nicer than it had been months ago when we trespassed in the facility before its completion.  Go figure. Beautiful lights illuminated the open spaces, “Stony Brook Red” furniture made every nook and cranny look inviting, and even the toilets (though not accented with comfy toilet paper) sparkled with a green tint of water that symbolized clean. Wow. It was amazing. The building of the future even included a pantry and an Area of Refuge.  Truly, this place was built with us in mind. Tears nearly came to our eyes, but then we remembered that it was a holiday. Our Founding Father’s had surely decreed that there would be no crying allowed on July 2nd, even out of excessive joy.

We will try dangling our lightbulbs from the ceiling in this dazzling, artsy manner later in the afternoon. (This is your official heads up about that, building manager John)

We will try dangling our light bulbs from the ceiling in this dazzling, artsy manner later in the afternoon. (This is your official heads up about that, building manager John)

Clean

Clean.

No modern place of The building designer had clearly worked on campus prior to this project

Finally, a building that gets us! An Area of Refuge in close range to the Pantry!

We approve of our new red furnishings

We approve of our new red furniture that seemed to inspire intelligent, thoughtful conversation

Staff Retreat 2016?

Staff Retreat 2016?

Prime Roth Regatta spectator seating

Prime Roth Regatta spectator seating

Peggy had no difficulty locating her new office and pulling decor from her bag like Mary Poppins. Really, that rug was tucked nicely in there

Peggy had no difficulty locating her new office and pulling decor from her bag like Mary Poppins. Really, that rug was tucked nicely in there

Child actors portray Kristen and Raquel as they watched Peggy unpack her office furnishings

Child actors portray Kristen and Raquel as they watched Peggy unpack her office furnishings

This walk of liberation inspired Peggy to shed the confines of the workforce as she determined to break free from the grind and pursue a more stress-free life filled with happiness, relaxation, yoga, paddle boarding, and ice cream sandwiches.  For real.  Sadly, this is to be her last Walk-O-Rama adventure.

As we wandered back to work, we swear we heard the remaining lyrics of “This Land is Your Land” coming from her direction, though she will surely deny all knowledge of it.

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

We will miss our friend and occasional Walk-O-Rama member, Peggy.  Go get your freedom and always remember to celebrate July 2, even if only as your final Walk-O-Rama adventure!

Peggy comes to the realization that this place is nice, but not for her

Peggy comes to the realization that this place is nice, but not for her

Farewell, Peggy! You will be missed.

Farewell, Peggy! You will be missed.

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes, as we all know by now, emails can be taken out of context.  What may sound like a promised plan to the receiver might well have been intended as a mere potential suggestion by the sender. This is what happened when Kristen by no means promised that Walk-O-Rama would visit Ken in HSL today, the branch where he was stationed.  It would have been lovely for all, to be sure, but not nearly as awesome as the opportunity to locate and quickly befriend the local celebrity chimps that are rumored to be on our campus.  Sorry, Ken.  We love you but you cannot compete with chimps. Especially if they’re in adorable clothes, as we are picturing them in our highly active imaginations.

We love Ken and his delicious cookies, but we love chimps in cute clothes more

We love Ken and his delicious cookies, but we love chimps in cute clothes more. Sorry, Ken!

A professional reenactment of Ken being neglected at his desk by his colleagues

A professional reenactment of Ken being neglected at his desk by his colleagues

Sensing that a walk without Ken as the leader would end in yet another disastrous outing similar to our previous attempt, Bob’s collegial spirit kicked in and he rushed from his very important work to put his awesome wilderness survival skillz to the test.  We went to the only possible place we could imagine a pair of primates being fairly housed on campus, the local wooded preserve.  There were vines for climbing and swinging and even a small shack for moments of quiet emotional reflection, but alas, no chimps could be found in the near vicinity.  We wondered if perhaps this news story was a hoax.  What on earth would a chimp be doing indoors when there was so much wilderness all around us?

Bob's spidey sense alerts him to come to the aid of two walkers who are clueless

Bob’s spidey sense alerts him to come to the aid of two walkers who might otherwise have wandered around aimlessly and then grabbed some coffee

Chimps in the workplace? Truly an equal opportunity institution!

Indoor Chimps in the workplace? Truly an equal opportunity institution!

Feeling cheated that we got neither the privilege to see Ken nor chimps with or without clothes, we looped around in the woods and headed back to the Library.  With Bob’s superior leadership skills, we all felt like wilderness experts upon exiting the preserve. We deserve badges!

Walks without getting lost: 1.  Expert status achieved!

Walks without getting lost: 1. Expert status achieved!

Walk-O-Rama hopes to soon learn more of the whereabouts of these celebrity chimps so we can combine forces and go on an epic walking adventure together.  We can dream, can’t we?

We certainly hope you’ll join us next week, whether this becomes a reality or not.

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We know many of you out there had begun to suspect that Walk-O-Rama had been disbanded.  Even we as members had wondered from time to time over the course of these long winter months if we were still officially a thing.  Fear not, faithful readers.  Wednesday marked the premature celebration of the mathematical constant Pi, which we observed by eating lots and lots of pie at work. So naturally we felt the urge to get some physical activity on the following day, to burn off a few calories and prove that we were at least as constant (to say nothing of irrational) as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

Not everyone knew quite how to express their enthusiasm when we gathered at our traditional meeting spot at high noon on Thursday.  Even our new members were excited to set off on their first walk with legendary Walk-O-Rama explorers.  Some smiled to express their happiness, while those in the front row spontaneously broke out into dance by performing the Charleston.  It was weird.  We blame this ridiculous winter that has kept us cooped up at our desks.

The Charleston: a time honored way to express joy and excitement

The Charleston: a time honored way to express joy and excitement

Exhibit A. Point proven!

Exhibit A. I prove my case!

Though the wind prevented the day from being quite as nice for walking as the previous “stuff a bunch of pie in your face” day had been, we were determined to explore a new building on campus, the new Computer Science Building, guaranteed to be open by 2014. The posters told us so.

cs2014

As we approached the building, we  began to wonder if perhaps we had missed the grand opening in 2014.  Perhaps that was the only year it was open to the public and it was now being disassembled?  It seemed the only logical explanation. given its state of total not-readiness.  When they said Computer Science 2014, we had no clue they meant, really, just for 2014.  Luckily the old junky Computer Science building still stands, so employees can retreat to the more comfortable atmosphere that they’ve been growing to love for decades.  As the new furniture had been packed up for storage, being no longer needed in this expired building, we opted to re-purpose it for the library.

Apparently they were not open long enough to justify paying for official door signage.

Apparently they were not open long enough to justify paying for official door signage.

This had totally been finished on time.  It's getting all Detroit on this campus. Who stole it?? (we're looking at you, Chem building!)

This had totally been finished on time. It’s getting all Detroit on this campus. Who stole it?? (we’re looking at you, Chemistry building!)

2015, three months after the heyday of this now out-of-date campus structure

2015, three months after the heyday of this now out-of-date campus structure. Tear it down!

Scoring some nice chairs for the library!

Sweet! Scoring some nice chairs for the library!

Feeling sorry to have missed the glitz and glamor of this building during the year of what surely must have been its prompt, as-scheduled unveiling, we decided to head to the Roth Pond to show the newbies where we would be forcing them to row in this year’s regatta.  The pond, once spacious and grand, seemed to have shrunk considerably.  We tried to get the new members to walk closer to take a better picture, but they were onto us and wisely pointed out the signs that warned to stay off the ice.  Too bad. We would have enjoyed that close up picture.

Rowing in the regatta will be a little easier this year...

Rowing in the regatta will be a little easier this year…

This brief exploration was short to keep us from getting too exhausted as we get back into the program.  It also contained a limited amount of lawlessness, when we only briefly considered stealing the Anthropology bus skin and claiming it as our own.  Gotta love those adorable lemurs! Anticipate chronicles of longer, edgier, more Walk-O-Rama-esque adventures as the season progresses.

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This year, for our 3rd annual Harvest Feast, Walk-O-Rama learned that evites that mention the verb ‘walk’ actually deter most people from considering coming to your feast, or even acknowledging the receipt of the email entirely. This is understandable. It’s November.  Our bodies are now instinctively telling us to preserve energy to bulk up for the oncoming winter. Walking is in direct conflict with this goal.  Luckily, having caught this error in advance, we were still able send a follow-up email (or three) to attract the attention of just enough people to make this winter bulk up initiative successful, as many guests in attendance came bearing pots and platters full of delicious home-baked (or store-bought, it’s all good) edible delights.

Don't be alarmed, we won't actually be walking

Don’t be alarmed, we won’t actually be walking

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This should help us make it through the long winter months

Those who were unsure hit up the next table as well

Those who were unsure (most of us) hit up the next table as well

There is, as we found, a fine balance between filling yourself to a comfortable capacity and overloading your cheeks like a chipmunk who is uncertain if he will pass another acorn ever again.  I, for one, am quite sure I became the latter. Sherry’s delicious noodles were an early morning experiment.  When is that likely to happen again?? Probably never, so down the hatch it went. This seemed good at the time, but hibernation mode is surely setting in as I type. We ran into the usual pitfalls at this event – a traffic jam at the oven, clear spoons that were camouflaged into the table, and accusations of certain delicious entrees being seemingly downgraded to the second table where no one would eat them due to already overflowing plates.  All of these dilemmas were overcome, thank goodness, and a happy ending was in store for everyone!

It is unclear whether this happy diner finished her plate. What's under that napkin?!!

It is unclear whether this happy diner finished her plate. What’s under that napkin?!!

Ken nervously allows his food to be photographed. Don't worry, we're too full to steal it, for now.

Ken nervously allows his food to be photographed. Don’t worry, we’re too full to steal it – for now.

Luckily, Walk-O-Rama seems to attract many artistic types. In the time it took Kristen to locate a microwave to reheat her food, members had assembled to turn the Javits Room into one heck of a festively cheerful venue.

They were not edible, but we were happy to have them on the table anyway

They were not edible, but we were content to have them on the table anyway

Those without yards had fun spreading these leaves for others to rake up

Those without yards had fun spreading these faux leaves for others to rake up

Kathy can't believe anything on Bob's phone is more interesting than our decorations

Kathy can’t believe anything on Bob’s phone is more interesting than our decorations

Diane looking for more places to spread her festive leaves

Diane looking for more places to spread her festive leaves

Ken taught us all the importance of simple food identification. We'll get it by the fourth year!

Ken taught us all the importance of simple food identification. We’ll get it by the fourth year!

As is now the tradition, we were joined today by many old friends who have since left the Library. We were so happy to have more friendly people to mingle with, and happier still that they ate their share of food so we could not.

Two wallflowers hiding behind some table flowers

Two wallflowers hiding behind some table flowers

We're grateful for people like Stephanie! Don't be a stranger!

We’re grateful for people like Stephanie! Don’t be a stranger! We see you David!

A future seawolf!

A future seawolf!

We also continued the tradition of raising goods to donate to the Campus Food Pantry! Those who wish to bring in non-perishables can bring them to the Central Reading Room until 4pm on Wednesday.

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Someone is going to be very happy!!

Someone is going to be very happy!!

As if this grand feast was not already enough to make our day better, David later shared the good news that Sherry had given everyone permission to go home for the day. Fortunately for the Library, we were all too full by this time to walk out to our cars, and had to scuffle back to our offices to recover from the large meal anyway.

David exclaims that we all have Sherry's permission to go home!

David exclaims that we all have Sherry’s permission to go home!

Riley secretly wishes that we all will be responsible and stay at work anyway. Granted!

Riley secretly wishes that we all will be responsible and stay at work anyway. Granted!

Which was fine, because we just love being together!

Which was fine, because we just love being together!

The rain prevented anyone from having to do some post-feasting walking for Walk-O-Rama today, except poor Maria and all those from HSL who had a great distance to walk to get back to their home base.

We would like to thank everyone who made today possible. Whether you baked or purchased food (or just ate it), helped decorate or clean up, or just came to socialize and engage in nice conversation, you made today great and we are grateful for YOU! Have a great Thanksgiving holiday, and eat just enough that you feel motivated to join us the following week for some Walk-O-Rama adventures!!

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Today we welcomed Ken back to Walk-O-Rama on his first day back on the job since returning from Paradise. We don’t know why he chose to return from such an aptly named place, but we sure are glad he did.  It was nice being grounded by a sensible decision maker or a change, after weeks of walks so filled with chaos and lawlessness that they could not be safely chronicled in this blog.  His return warranted a Welcome Back fiesta, which could mean only one thing.  Burritos.

We welcomed Ken back in the office today in traditional Stony Brook fashion

We welcomed Ken back in the office today in traditional Walk-O-Rama fashion

Despite the fact that it was National Cheesecake Day, we were all good and avoided sweets, sticking to more nutritious lunch choices such as salad, some other kind of salad, and dishes doused in cheesy sauce.  Go us.  Eventually, as must always be the case, we had to up-heave our now sleepy selves from our seats and make the long trek back to work.

Our now lazy, unfocused minds touched on many subjects while trying to avoid abandoning our goal of returning to the library and just lying down in the grass for a quick nap instead. Perhaps an hour or two would hit the spot.  NYC scavenger hunts were planned, as were future trips to the zoo. A story of questionable veracity was told about a leaf bag that many moths mistook for a large lady moth who demanded their affection. Apparently this event was confirmed by two eye witnesses in our party.

At this point in our chatter, it was proposed the the structure of our lunch breaks be forever changed as we know it.  Instead, time allotted for eating would be granted for siesta purposes, which Ken concurred would be in our legal right as state workers. In his sleepiness he expanded on this opinion with a falsehood, claiming we were allowed to do anything we wanted during our lunch hour.  The following is a brief, non-exhaustive list of things we would likely not be permitted to do during our lunch hour:

  • Feed Skittles to penquins
  • Host a llama beauty pageant
  • Play soccer with our cars in the South P lot
  • Attempt scaling the Simon Center wall using office supplies we believe will provide suction
  • Burn down our workplace to provide fertile grounds for a better workplace
  • Provide a zero credit course to teach the Canada Geese to speak Canadian English

With that being said, I will now join the rest in my party by embracing the right bestowed upon me by Ken to siesta on state time. We hope you will join us next week when we continue testing the limits of what the university will and will not allow us to do on our lunch breaks.

Walk-O-Rama, 3pm

Walk-O-Rama, 3pm

 

 

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The triumph of this week’s adventure nearly trumped the legendary conquest achieved by Arielle last week when she successfully ate a Green Cactus burrito and was not forced to abandon her meal due to any ridiculously spicy hot sauce or spices.  Go Arielle!  Since Ken and Kristen were the only two up for escaping the office today (which is just weird people – I mean come on!), they decided their odds at finding enough bikes to ride in the campus bike share stalls would be slightly better than last week’s failed attempt.  And they were right! Ken even had a route in mind! For over a  year now he has been talking about some mysterious clearing that he once stumbled upon, and he was set on finding it and showing it to all who were dumb enough to follow (Kristen).  It was bound to be an adventure unlike any other! Or at least a good way to burn a few calories, which is a good thing.

Go Arielle! What a delicious achievement!

Go Arielle! What a delicious achievement!

Having swiped their cards at the pay station, they were forced to pretend to read many rules, instructions, terms and agreements, and other such nonsense that they simply agreed to so the machine would release its death grip on the bicycles and allow them to begin having some major fun.  This major fun was found in the form of Kristen nearly crashing because she wanted to take pictures in motion and Ken narrowly avoiding wiping out when he could not figure out how to switch gears.  All initial difficulties being soon after overcome, the two headed out to find this legendary clearing in the nearby forest.

Yay! We finally scored some bikes!

Yay! We finally scored some bikes!

Kristen quickly learns that she is not as skilled as that boy she saw texting while riding last week

Kristen quickly learns that she is not as skilled as that boy she saw texting while riding last week

Ken grows tired of waiting for the green light to give him permission to take the bike and attempts brute strength

Ken grows tired of waiting for the green light to give him permission to take the bike and attempts brute strength

Moments into the ride, both bikers were quickly realizing that biking is BS, with the exception of those downhill slopes that proved to be few and far between.  Cursing happened.  Before too long, a barely visible trail was in view, and all signs of civilization were quickly left in their dust.

This is when Kristen learned for sure that Ken did not know where this clearing was located.  In fact she’s pretty sure he dreamt it. While intoxicated. Turns left, right, and in a u shape were made at every opportunity, until the rugged trail that they were following was little more than a mere parting of a few shrubs where some deer had likely once passed.  A few familiar signs were spotted along the way that helped guide them on their journey, which were particularly helpful for the return trip when they were racing back to try and beat the clock to avoid paying another four bucks.

 

Dead end #1

Dead end #1

Proof that others have been lost here as well

Proof that others have been lost here as well

Adding our mark

Adding our mark

We still fit in some walking on this exhausting outing

We still fit in some walking on this exhausting outing

A Lite to help guide our way

A Lite to help guide our way

Backtracking at dead end #2

Backtracking at dead end #2

We briefly considered abandoning our bikes and taking a cab back

We briefly considered abandoning our bikes and taking a cab back

The ultimate dead end that made us quit

The ultimate dead end that made us quit

The pair could not contain their excitement when they were soon close enough to the forest perimeter to hear traffic. Though the rain clouds above gave Kristen hope that a downpour might give her a legitimate excuse to be wet so she would not have to admit to just being super sweaty, precipitation held back for the remainder of this rigorous adventure.  The cooler breeze felt while gliding downhill did do its part to refresh the riders, in much the same way the intense air blowing cycle works to dry cars in a car wash, so they could not complain.

They made it back with mere minutes to spare, but to their dismay they could not figure out how to properly return the bikes that they now never wanted to set eyes on again.  A kind stranger shared the secret method of making them lock, bringing an official end to this week’s adventure.  Never had refueling been more of an emergency than it was after this particular calorie burn, so operation carb fest was initiated to recoup all losses.

Carb Fest 2014

Carb Fest 2014

Join us next week when we will not do this again.

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This past Friday was the much anticipated Bike-O-Rama adventure.  We met at noon, as planned, with credit cards in hand to finally take advantage of the University’s ingenious Bike Share program.  With the campus nearly deserted after the end of the Spring semester and the weather being more than accommodating with its sunshine and slight breeze, we were already envisioning the relaxing time we were about the have – that is if we could all remember how to ride bicycles.

As it turned out, either we had forgotten how to ride them, or there was something amiss with the collection of bikes we found waiting for us at the bike stand. From a distance it seemed like we were fulfilling out destiny.  There were five of us, a perfect match for the five bicycles waiting at the sharing station.  As we walked closer, we realized that this number was not totally accurate.  We had not ridden in a while, but we did vaguely recall the basic concept and the parts required to ride.  Seats were helpful, preferably attached to the frame. Pedals also played a vital role in the biking experience. So we were sad to see that two bicycles were missing these key components.  Our disappointment could not be hidden.  Some members pouted, others tried to think of solutions, and some refused to admit that this outing was a no-go by biking in place.  It was not the same.

If animals can remember to ride bikes, so can we. Right???

If animals can remember to ride bikes, so can we. Right???

Though Ken claims to be trying to fix the bike, photo evidence suggests that he just broke the seat off

Though Ken claims to be trying to fix the bike, photo evidence suggests that he just broke the seat off

This picture perfectly captures our disgust with the bike share program

This picture perfectly captures our disgust with the bike share program

Kathy decides to not be affected by the misfortune of others and tries biking anyway

Kathy decides to not be affected by the misfortune of others and tries biking anyway

In desperation, we decided to go look for more bikes. We found several pedestrian bikes chained to a nearby rack and briefly considered jacking them as an alternative, but no one had remembered the chain cutters on the walk this week, so that was also ruled out as a possibility.  Disappointed, we abandoned this location and decided to seek out options elsewhere.

While walking, we came across a lovely pool of water that we had to prevent Kathy from diving into. We were inspired to enter this building to see what other pleasantries could be found inside.

The bewitching waters that nearly lured Kathy into their depths in the pool below

The bewitching waters that nearly lured Kathy into their depths in the pool below

We learned that some of our party had not been on our outing when we explored the rooftop of this building years before, and so we took another trip up, mostly because the option involving an elevator seemed the most attractive.

The view that greeted us when the doors opened nearly erased all of the previous disappointment caused by the Bike Share scam. A happy little garden was planted there for reasons that we were too lazy to read about, and our view of the blue sky drastically was improved.

The Library definitely needs one of these!

The Library definitely needs one of these!

Way cooler than Ellen's celebrity selfie on Oscar night

Way cooler than Ellen’s celebrity selfie on Oscar night

Technically celebrities, though not of Walk-O-Rama caliber

Technically celebrities, though not of Walk-O-Rama caliber

Who makes a dizzying 3D pattern in their sidewalk below a super high building with a rooftop garden? That's lethal.

Who makes a dizzying 3D pattern in their sidewalk below a super high building with a rooftop garden? That’s lethal.

Please read this and tell us what it's all about, preferably in fewer words and with entertaining hand gestures

Please read this and tell us what it’s all about, preferably in fewer words and with entertaining hand gestures

Feeling thoroughly relaxed, we descended to a lower level where another garden could be found.  Here, lucky individuals were eating lunch outdoors surrounded by lush greenery.  This inspired one of our members to begin eating the surrounding plants, which were fortunately edible.

A beautiful garden that was eaten by a member who concreted the belief that WOR members have a lot in common with locusts

A beautiful garden that was eaten by a member who concreted the belief that WOR members have a lot in common with locusts

Once inside, we discovered more beauty in the form of knitted structures that somehow involved mathematical formulas. This concept hurt my head, so I can not explain it with any additional detail or clarity. Just look at the pictures. They’re amazing and very, very pretty.

Knitting is difficult enough without adding mathematical forumlas

Knitting is difficult enough without getting mathematical formulas involved!

The ones with tails that flew were particularly impressive

The ones with tails that flew were particularly impressive/frightening

The mathematically inclined do not even share our same alphabet

The mathematically inclined do not even share our same alphabet

And they even provided our lunch! Thanks!!

And they even provided our lunch! Thanks!!

Feeling smarter and relieved of all our bike induced stress, we felt ready to leave this wondrous place and return to the office.  Perhaps we will attempt Bike-O-Rama again later in the week. Stay tuned!

Seriously

Seriously.

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