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One week from now, this time, I should be at the end of my first day of STP. I missed my last semi-long training ride yesterday. I thought I had the day off, but was sadly informed that was not so by a coworker the day before. I have my priorities straight though, I did get off a bit early yesterday to go to the International Beerfest at the Seattle Center with a couple of friends.
The new Mr. rode in STP in previous years but told me he’ll only ride next year if we do it in one day. I did ask for a boyfriend that would challenge me ;) He’s not riding this year, although he is meeting me in Portland on Sunday and driving me back on Monday. He’ll get to attend our celebratory dinner as well. The first part of the weekend he’s moving his sailboat down from Anacortes to a much closer moorage.
I’m currently missing him since he and the girls are camping at Mount Rainier and I am stuck here working. Crossword puzzle lady has called twice, which would be great to break up the time if she weren’t so annoying. Soon I get to go home and partake of a bbq that my housemates are throwing.
Alexsis’ comment on my last post reminded me that I should update. The Paperback Riders did come in first, both in miles (widely) and percentage (barely). I’m really proud of my team and I have heard from other staff that observing us participate in Bike to Work month has motivated them to start riding to work as well. Which is really the goal, right? ;)
I’ve finally done some real riding on the Surly, and she is a beautiful machine. Really light and fast. I went on a short ride with the new Mr. a week ago and I blasted up a big hill, leaving him in the dust. Evidently he didn’t realize I had it in me and had settled in for a long slow climb. Oops, I’ve got to stop complaining about hills. It gives the wrong impression.
I just got back from a Union convention in LA, where the only exercise I got was swimming in the salt water pool on the roof of our hotel and lots of walking. And breathing, that felt like exercise in LA.
Now it’s time to start training again.
That sounds like an admission of guilt or something. In reality, I’ve just been living and not really had anything I wanted to write about. Life keeps on moving. The boy went back to his father’s house shortly after my last post, things got really busy at the library and my energy was needed for other things.
On to bigger and better things:
May is bike to work month and I’ve been going full swing. My plan is to ride 100% to work this month and I’ve done it so far, with only a few days left to go. I’ve got 227 commuting miles under my belt and have actually ridden at least 20 more (I stopped keeping track) for side trips before or after work. My team is amazing, having ridden 1130 miles this month so far. We’re beating our rival team by over 200 miles.
The boy and I went to the University Street Fair on Saturday and we got him a bunch of art supplies for his birthday. I let him pick what he wanted, but was happy that he asked my opinion. I’m not terribly artistic, but I’ve used most mediums at some point or another and have had artists as friends, so I was able to steer him towards some nice brush and thin tip markers and we got him a calligraphy set inspired by an artist we saw at an all ages show last year.
On Sunday we went to my dad’s and I put the new bike together…well, mostly. It turns out I was missing a headset, so I’ve ordered that and I don’t think that will be hard to put on. Then I’ll need to practice because I’ve never spent much time on a road bike. It’s really different from the upright of a mountain bike. I am so excited to ride this bike during STP.
And finally, I’m seeing a new special someone. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I’m optimistic (probably too much so). I keep expecting someone to jump out at me and say “you’re not allowed to be this happy, give that back!” He’s sweet and strong and fun and that’s all you get for now.
I’m going to take a time out to rave about a couple of things. Not crazy rave, but enthusiastic rave–although I leave it up to you to determine whether I am crazy ;)
The first is La Bête, a sweet little restaurant on the West slope of Capitol Hill. When I showed for our reservation on Sunday, I found myself hoping that the food would live up to the decor. Whomever designed this place is a master. The moss greens and browns blend nicely, the art is modern and provocative without overwhelming, and I simply love the grates covering the windows, New Orleans style.
It is a place of smaller, shared plates. I know at least one of us were worried there wouldn’t be enough. Not so! We had oysters on the half-shell, pork rinds with pickled red onions and rabbit and chicken liver pate to start, then followed with the softshell crab, a spring vegetable salad, baked romanesco, the morel mushroom tart, house made merguez sausage, and one of the specials–rabbit wrapped in bacon. I won’t describe each to you but I’ll give you a couple of bites. The flavors were very complimentary. The crab was fried perfectly and was creamy and crunchy and yummy. The pate came with a date and apple jam and curly endive on walnut toast. The oysters were fresh and were some of the best I’ve had, including those I ate in New Orleans. The spring vegetable salad had young garbanzo beans and a perfectly cooked poached egg. The only thing I didn’t care for were the pork rinds, but I have a feeling that has more to do with me than them. It was also a great place for a group dinner and the service was excellent. (P.S. Thanks Dad!)
My second rave was for Gregg’s Geenlake Cycles. I have window shopped there before and bought a couple of accessories, but the price of their bikes has always kept me a little at bay (I’m not saying they are over priced, just out of my range). However, I had gotten a look over on my bike from another shop during the bike to work celebration, and I wanted to see what Gregg’s said. I walked in at 8:20 (they close at 9) to ask if they had time to do an estimate. The guy behind the counter was seriously friendly and instantly set me at ease. He hoisted my bike up on the rack and looked it over. His estimate was much less and less expansive than the other place, he lubed up my chain and break line and made a couple of adjustments. My ride home was sweeter than any I’ve had on that bike, maybe on any bike. I am definitely going back to get a new chain set, chain and cables. Hopefully next week. It’s amazing what a little excellent customer service and honesty can do.
I am finally back at work in a normal capacity. Nothing blew up while I was gone–a sign of good planning? I’ll take it as such. I had two volunteers come in yesterday and two will come in today. They are getting things done in a serious way–I haven’t had a regular volunteer since last summer and now I have 4! Soon I will be hard pressed to find things for them to do.
I just found out that I got the day off I needed for a long ride with friends. I was pretty hyper about it yesterday. Now I just have to book the hotel and train ride home. On the 4th, a few of us rode the Mercer Island loop, which from my house is about 45 miles. It was easy peasy, so I hope that this 100 miles a day ride won’t kill me.
What am I reading? I finished Ready Player One and I am having the hardest time giving it away. There are several people that I think will like it. It’s the future, 2044, and the world is really falling apart. Classes are very separated, with those scraping by living in squalid stacked trailers and many squatting in cardboard shacks outside of the cities. Wade Watts is a smart kid. He takes advantage of all that OASIS has to offer, goes to virtual school and hides all his scavenged equipment from his aunt, who would steal it to pay the rent and for drugs. He’s also a gunter, someone playing the scavenger hunt-like game that could win him out of his poor surroundings. No one has found a clue in the last 5 years and many players are ready to give up.
I found it refreshing that Cline doesn’t pound the reader with the “future will suck if you don’t fix…” mallet. The future is what it is, and while one of the contestants does want to use the prize money to feed everyone, it is easy to see that more than money is needed to fix the world. Some dystopian fiction seems to bang away with an agenda, and while I feel that saving our planet is important, I don’t need an otherwise exciting book to preach at me while I am trying to enjoy it.
I am now reading Hellbent by Cherie Priest and I am loving it. Great distraction. I feel lucky that I get to read so many fun/amazing/interesting/provocative books right now. And most of them aren’t out yet.
I guess all I had to do was lament how hard things were getting for them to get easier. I adjusted a few things on my bike and kept riding and it got easier again. I am powering up hills now in much higher gears than I used to, and I ran over 3 miles without stopping after a 3 mile bike ride. The sun definitely helped.
In Libraryland, TAG has been asked to make a video promoting our Summer Reading program for teens. It might be difficult to pull it together in time, but they seem willing. Steampunk Summer! I think the adults will be jealous.
Yesterday was a difficult patron day. Some days I just want to put up an invisible barrier that will bounce out anyone who doesn’t really want me to answer a question, they just want to hear themselves speak. I’ll add it to the list of superhero powers I need to develop.
I got off an hour early to go to the Bike to Work celebration in Ballard, which was so nicely distracting. The ride to Ballard was very satisfying; I felt strong and I passed a ton of people. The weather was still ok and I met up with some good work friends and we finagled some nice swag. I also had Second Ascent take a look at my bike and the guy said that I need to replace all my gears, front and back, and my cables. Only a few hundred dollars. Sigh. Maybe in the fall. I can’t really mess anything up worse by continuing to ride on it and none of it is going to fall apart in the next couple of months. He did fix a snaggle tooth for me, though, so that should help with my chain problem.
I got the Boy last night and he has just been a bundle of depressed hormonal joy. He is grumpy about a girl and doesn’t want to talk about it. Much better to mope and snap and sleep. Ah well, perhaps cleaning the bathroom will distract him!
What am I reading? Well, yes I am still reading The Scar. I am happy to say that I made it to the half way point. I think this is my last day of check out on the ebook, so I’ll have to decide if I am ready for the second half right now. Might be a good book for the plane next week.
I am also reading Paul Pope’s 100%, which is an edgy sci-fi comic. I haven’t quite figured out the story line, but I like that sometimes. I don’t want to be able to guess what is going to happen next all the time.
A friend lent this to me months ago, but somehow it got lost in the bedside table stack and I found it again just 2 nights ago. Fascinating stuff. Strong female characters who don’t have everything figured out (I get a little tired of feminist agendas where you are always supposed to have the right answer).
Biking and running have worn me out this month. I was just about half way through and felt like I hit a wall with both. Like I couldn’t improve no matter how much I tried. It’s been a little better since I lubed my chain and made a few other adjustments to my bike and took a couple of days off from running.
I was also convinced that a week in May wasn’t there. I had superimposed this week with last week. I told people I had meetings I didn’t have, gave the wrong days off to one of my TAG kids when he wanted to come in and meet with me. Luckily I realized in time and was able to rectify my mistakes, but I felt silly. Otherwise I felt pretty sharp, conversing with colleges and getting things done.
I didn’t feel much up to blogging, which is why I only posted the lame one before this. I am in a reading funk–trying to finish The Scar before it’s due in a couple of days and failing miserably. Usually I can read a book in a day or two, a week sometimes for adult fiction, but here I am at the end of a 21 day check out less than half way through. This would make sense if I didn’t like the book, but I do.
In Libraryland I posted a link to a blog post by Seth Gobin at work, hoping to start a discussion, pulling this quote for the headline:
mere clerks who guard dead paper
We did have a good discussion about the post, and a good response by another blogger was posted. It wasn’t until later that night when I went to Facebook that I found out that some had taken the quote too literally and hadn’t clicked through to read the article. Sometimes circulation staff are referred to as clerks and so some of them took this as a personal affront. I am not sure if I should feel bad about the misunderstanding. I do regret that feelings were hurt, but I also wonder why they didn’t click through and see what the post was all about. He isn’t insulting clerks, he’s telling librarians to get off their asses and get with the times. And even though the post contains quite a few misconceptions about what libraries and librarians are doing and how easy it is to find information on the internet, he is entirely correct on that point.
In other library news, as you may have seen in the paper we have a new City Librarian. He was the best of the three candidates, in my opinion and I’ve decided to be optimistic until he proves me wrong. Ha, that doesn’t sound very, does it? He has a good attitude, is a great public speaker and doesn’t seem to be bringing any baggage with him. Long live MT.
Ooh, and we teen librarians have a pretty awesome summer reading program planned. I can’t wait to start!
I am officially going to ALA. I was pretty sure a month ago when I bought my registration and said I would facilitate a panel. I bought my plane tickets this week though, after realizing I missed the inexpensive window. I should say less expensive, because when does flying ever feel inexpensive?
But I am excited to see New Orleans, and the Mister will be joining me, at least for a bit. I am doing a day of volunteering, although I don’t know what my work will be, yet. It could be anything from construction to cataloging. The conference sessions sound good–hopefully that pans out. Sometimes they sound useful and then you get in there and realize that it just isn’t, or that you’ve taken something really similar in the past.
Even more exciting than a bunch of librarians in a convention center? I have a camping trip with the Boy and dad-family the week before. We have a couple spots out at Kalaloch, a place I love. I hope the weather cooperates, but honestly, this spot I will go to in the pouring rain.
Which is what I got to ride home in tonight. I went to the middle school and saw their a production of The Wizard of Oz. It was amazing! Not every note was on key but it was well executed, the acting was top notch and so was the orchestra and singing. It was easy to see that the kids had put their all into the show.
And then I rode my bike home and got soaked. It was so nice earlier today. So far I am meeting my goal of riding every day.
It’s too late (I am too cold and tired) to add what I am reading. Actually, I can just say that I am still reading The Scar by China Mieville. It is a frickin’ long book, but worth every minute. I don’t think I am going to finish during the check out time.
We have a new city librarian. He doesn’t start until mid-August, but he comes with good references.
Bike to work month is wonderfully under way. We had a great start on Sunday with temperatures in the 60′s, followed promptly by 2 days of frigid rain. I have ridden every day and even included downtown in my commute when I had meetings down there 2 out of the 3 days. The rainy ones of course. And I’ve been running. I can make it around Green Lake, even with all the biking, without walking or stopping and in under 3o minutes. I keep forgetting to check the time when I start, but I know approximately. I’ve been going to bed at a fairly normal hour and getting up EARLY! So early for me–6:30am. And not feeling dead. So yes, exorcising…exercising, I mean…is good for me.
Some of those early meetings downtown were the staff interviews for the City Librarian candidates. I missed one, but hit the other two. I won’t state my preference, or even my opinion on the individuals, as I think it is too touchy a subject to air here. The one I missed, though, is one I hope to miss entirely. Forever. I don’t think I have to worry about that.
What am I reading? Well, almost done with Brain Jack, and it is shaping up and becoming a little less like Little Brother, but only a little. I like the characters and the premise, minus the feeling that Brian Falkner and Corey Doctorow were sharing half a brain when they wrote these books.
I was away from my print books and needed something to read, so downloaded The Scar by China Mieville from the library. It’s good so far, but I’m only a few pages in.
I am also doing some nerdy reading: Exemplary Public Libraries by Joy Marilyn Greiner. I am mostly finding it interesting because the first couple of chapters are about libraries in the UK around the year 20o0, and now those libraries are in desperate jeopardy. So much that the Guardian UK felt the need to post this op ed piece, somewhat late, about how great libraries really are and now necessary. I agree with one of the goodreads reviewers that the book could have used a bit more editing and a better structure. Plus now it is 10 years out of date and could use a brush up. I was reading it to refresh my library theory and I am getting some of that, but finding it a bit repetitive.
New Year resolutions should really start in Spring. Spring is when you have the time and energy to take on change and challenge. If you start in January, you are just setting yourself up for failure with those long dark, cold nights.
I have run around Green Lake with not one, but two running partners. I can actually make it all the way around now without stopping or walking. A few years ago I could have rolled out of bed, not having run for months, and done that. But the years are catching up to me and now I have to work up to 3 miles. But I am there and ready to go further.
Also, May is bike to work month and I am team captain of the Paperback Riders! I am riding out early today to go get our identifiers from Cascade. Last year it was a spoke card, the year before a luggage tag. I can’t wait to see what they come up with this year. In preparation for May, I am riding every day that I can now, even when I am not working. By the end of May I should be in great physical shape.
In libraryland, we are interviewing new City Librarian candidates. This week it will be narrowed down to three, then next week all staff are invited to go interview those 3. The session will be facilitated by our interim CL, who is also head of HR. I think she will do a great job. She has proven to be a good listener and I think she will convey what she has heard from staff into her questions. The union also gets to have a couple of facilitated questions thrown in before the general Q and A starts.
I’ll be taking notes, because I am going to facilitate a zine panel at the ALA conference in New Orleans this year. And I think that the Mister is going to be able to come to the conference as well. I am looking forward to seeing the city with him. And just seeing him in general.
What am I reading? Books are letting me down, one way or another, lately. I did like Red Glove by Holly Black, but I was a little appalled at Cassel’s friends. I didn’t really know why they were his friends if they didn’t trust him, and there were scenes where it showed that they didn’t. They were scared of him, but were not the type of characters to stay friends because of fear. It bugged me all the way through the book.
I abandoned Glass Houses because the reader drove me a little crazy. She read like everything was sexy–washing dishes, taking juice out of the fridge, sitting on the couch.
Anna and the French Kiss was ok. I liked most of it, but I hate the clichéd cheating but everything turns out ok in the end. In real life people don’t just forgive that and let you live happily ever after. It is complicated and messy and a lot of the time the new relationship doesn’t work out.