You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2010.

The Offspring is having trouble with responsibility lately, but I think he is starting to see that this is a problem and is taking him down a road he would rather avoid.  Of course, with the short attention span of my teenager, next week he will forget all about the heart to heart we had this weekend and tune out again.  There are a lot of opportunities on the horizon that hopefully will keep him focused.  Hard to believe that driving and employment are right around the corner.  He’s going to have to make some improvements before his dad and I can support that, though.

We had a great weekend together, despite, or maybe in response to, his getting in trouble for not doing homework.  We worked in the garden together and went for a long walk.  All of the cherry trees are in bloom except for the ones I was hoping to see.  There were pink clouds of blossoms everywhere except when we turned the corner of the street near the park.  Usually there is a luscious line of cherrys there, but their buds were all still tight.  The picture is what it looked like last year.   To me, this street is more beautiful than the quad at the UW in the Spring.  And hey, not bad for a cell phone pic.

I have been doing a lot of baking lately and finally got around to trying my friend David Silver’s recipe for oatmeal buttermilk bread.  It is amazing and perfect for sandwiches.  I used fresh buttermilk from the butter I made recently, and subbed the Italian sourdough starter that I usually use when I make bread.  So good!

Makes me sound like a pioneer woman, doesn’t it?  Making my own butter and bread.  Well, really it has to do with my attempt to eat more locally and really it is hard to find local stuff sometimes.  I get my flour from Stone Buhr, which uses wheat from Washington and I get my milk from Twin Brooks Creamery, in Lynden.  Well, actually I get these from my local Town and Country market, which is cool enough to start carrying both of these items and is only a couple of miles from me.  There was a long time where I couldn’t really afford to buy healthy local food.  Safeway was my staple then and it served me well enough.  Now though, I can spend a little more on my groceries and for the most part, I waste less of this yummy food (just ask my waist-line ;).  It was only 15 years in the making…and I am finally a somewhat successful adult.

At some point I want to have a time set aside to bake bread for the week.  At least the sandwich/toast bread.  It might be sooner than I thought, now that I have found an ideal bread.  Now I just have to set another reminder on my calendar.  Right next to the one to check the Offspring’s grades every week.

What am I reading? I finished Boneshaker by Cherie Priest and I was impressed all the way through.  I would really love it if she would write another set in this alternate Seattle.  Hear that Cherie?  Please?

I am just finishing up Something Rotten by Alan M. Gratz.  I got it in audio book, so maybe I would have liked it better without the monotone reading–the parts were pretty well acted, except for the main character, which is who is talking most of the time… so you see my problem.  The story itself was good–a modern day adaption of Hamlet (where the author pokes fun at their own theme by having the main character deplore modern renditions of Shakespeare), where a rich high school senior’s father has died of cancer suddenly and his friend Horatio sets out to find the real killer.  There is only one true change from the original plot, that I could tell and I think it was a lovely thing to leave out.  You will have to read it for yourself to find out what that is.

I also finished Kings in Disguise by James Vance, which is historical fiction graphic novel set in the late 1930’s, towards the end of the depression.  It follows a boy, Freddy, who’s father has left him and his brother to fend for themselves.  The brother is about to be arrested for assault and robbery, when he tells Freddy to run away so that he doesn’t end up getting taken away.  Freddy does that and falls in with a fatherly hobo named Sam, who says he is King of Spain.  Really well done and worth the read.  Thanks to Sean at Zanadu for turning me on to that one.

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I got talked into continuing at the p-patch.  The offered me a prime spot with a little more room, and I get to fill my volunteer time helping with the website.  Tomorrow is my day off, so I plan to move my pavers, strawberries and herbs to the new spot, come rain or shine.  I also hope to get in a good bike ride.  I haven’t decided where to, yet, but I plan to use ride the city to find my route–so far they haven’t steered me wrong.

I have been plotting my visit to Portland for the last few days.  PLA is only a month away now (how time flies) and I am going to the pre-conference to learn more about reader’s advisory–specifically adult RA.  This means I will be there about 3 days before my co-workers.  I plan to take the train down and stay with a friend, then get a ride home.  I was hoping to splurge and book a room at the very cool Ace Hotel on Friday night, but that is the only night they are completely booked.  I am sad about that but I can’t make the stay fit in anywhere else in my trip.  I guess that means that I will just have to go again at some point.

The Offspring has spring break the week after the conference, so I hope to ask to pick him up Sunday and keep him until Thursday morning.  Making phone calls is one of my weaknesses–I rather hate doing it.  It is the only reason I wish the ex was internet savvy.  In other ways I am really glad that man stays off the net.  Email is so much easier–although the potential for misunderstanding would probably ruin any ease it would bring.

What am I reading? Still loving Boneshaker!  Steampunk all the way!  Mother and son keep missing each other in the lost city of Seattle.  Rotters (what we would call zombies) almost get both of them at different times and a mad scientist is waiting in the wings to wreak havoc on their reunion as well.

After another wonderful day off that included many miles of bike trails and much sun, I returned to work on Friday.  I got my first taste of being “in charge” this weekend, since first my co-worker was sick, then another was on vacation.  I did all the things I should, checking the sick calls, recording stats, checking in with my co-workers.  On the other hand, I had fellow YA librarians working with me both days, so it almost wasn’t like working.  We did talk a little about work…

I am really tired tonight.  I fully intended to come home. make some bread, make dinner and watch anime.  After riding to work the long way and the regular way home I got pretty worn out though.  Now I just want to each cheese and go to bed.  Gotta rally.

What am I reading?  Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.  It is an alternate history of the Seattle area, where a crazy inventor destroyed the city with a giant boaring machine and released a terrible gas that turns people into the walking dead.  So far, totally awesome.

What am I watching? Last exile is a steam punk anime where two teens own their own flying machine and alternate between racing and earning money to improve their ship by delivering messages and sometimes cargo.  They end up taking on a little more than they can chew with a very special cargo that is being pursued by mysterious star shaped vessels.

Kyo Kara Mao is about a seemingly normal boy who is sucked through a toilet into another world and to his true destiny as king of the Demon tribe.  I started out thinking it was too weird, but it is growing on me.

One of my favorite things to do with a day off is roam around Seattle.  The Mister is out of town looking at future employment and I have yet another couple of days off in the middle of the week.

It usually helps to have a reason to get out of the house, otherwise chores or reading can derail me (ok, or blogs and facebook…). Today I had lunch with Dad at Tilikum Place Cafe then coffee at Uptown in Belltown.  Tilikum has European inspired menu–I had house made bratwurst, sour-craut and German potato salad.  Very yummy.  When I left there, I waited a little too long for a bus to show up–it was late and the wind came up, blowing me around.  Otherwise it was a beautiful sunny day and once I got on the bus, everything was much better.

I took the bus into Ballard and got off at Market.  I spent some time in Buffalo Exchange and while I was hoping for shoes/boots, I came out with shirts and pants.  Could have been worse, I suppose.  I walked over to the library and got a couple of movies for later.  I also took some time to chat with my co-workers about the recent changes and set up a bike ride with a friend that works there.  We are meeting at Canal Street Coffee tomorrow, then plan ride the Burke Gilman trail for an hour or two.

The sun was so nice that I decided to walk home from there.  I stopped at the new QFC on my way.  It looks almost exactly like the one on Capitol Hill, although I don’t think they have the housewares section.  The walk home was peaceful and the sun dipped behind the buildings as I walked up the hill.  I stopped for a last look at my p-patch, which I am letting go this year.  I just don’t think I will have time to keep it up with everything that is happening, and I should let someone who can give it some attention enjoy it.  I will still garden a little at the house.  Someone will be getting some lovely herbs and strawberry plants.  I hope they enjoy them–and all the work I did recovering the plot from the neglect of the former person.  Even though I hadn’t been there in at least 2 months, it looked pretty good.

What am I reading? Actually nothing… I finished What I Saw and How I Lied on the bus home.  It was very good, suspenseful and a quick read.  Set in the time after WWII, Evie travels with her family to Florida where her whole world falls apart. Her mother and Step-father are not the upright people she thought they were–as many of us find out as we cross over into adulthood–but are they murderers?

I am out of book and not back at my branch until Friday–where I have Boneshaker waiting for me!  It is really hard to wait, since I have heard such good things about it.  Tonight I will watch a couple of Japanese films: Big Bang Love and Millennium Actress, the second of which I have already seen, but liked and hardly remember now.  Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters just frustrated me, but I hope that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies lives up to its promise.

The Mister, the Offspring and I just got home from a rewarding trip to see my niece turn two.  She is the cutest thing ever, and really talking up a storm when she isn’t being shy.

On Friday I gave into the sickness and stayed home on the couch most of the day.  I only ventured out to pick up the offspring.  He had his last basketball game of the season that day and I made it in time to see him play in the last quarter of the varsity game.  Pretty straight off he made a 3 pointer.  Pretty good for a freshman ;)  He also got 4 points in his jv game earlier that day.

Libraryland: I accomplished a lot at work last week, despite missing Friday.  Summer Reading programs are all planned for 2010 and I am starting to set up school visits and meetings with community center reps.  I also revamped a volunteer duties/schedule for new volunteers that I will be getting in the next couple of weeks.  There is nothing worse than having bored volunteers.

What am I Reading? I just finished several books, despite forgetting the book I am reading now, What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell, at home.  Marcelo in the Real World was really wonderful, if somewhat idealistic.  Marcelo is a touch autistic, but highly functioning and his father challenges him to try out working in the Real World for the summer–working at his law firm.  Dad does not get everything he expects out of the arrangement, but Marcelo definitely learns a lot about himself.  There is a reason why this is an award winning book.

I finished Cruddy by Lynda Barry just before I left.  This one is adult, although I think a worldly teen could handle it.  There are drugs, violence, abuse, suicide, murder, mobsters and teens coming of age in the seventies.  If you liked Pulp Fiction, you would probably like this.  I actually liked it more.

I am almost finished with Bloody Jack, as well.  We listened to this one in the car on our trip.  We are on the last disc and I am looking forward to the ending.  Girl’s parents die of the plague, girl gets in with a street gang in London, girl gets bright idea of pretending to be a boy and serving as a ship’s boy on a naval vessel, girl falls in love with another ship’s boy…  There is adventure and silliness and actually a lot of candor about what could happen to a teen girl in her situation (ie: rape, prostitution, discrimination).

Days off rule.  Totally.

I have been slow-nursing a cold this week.  Just a little stuffy, then a little coughy, then a little sore throat.  Now I am up to feeling a bit sick with the sneezing and the coughing and the dry spot in the throat.  I am hoping I am better tomorrow.

On Wednesday I was feeling pretty good still.  I went to the usability thing where they give me free stuff for looking at their secret secrets.  I only get to do it about once or twice a year, but it is kind of fun to give feedback on things that don’t really exist yet.  Then they give me software or video games.

I came home and the Mister wanted to go to happy hour and beer tasting.  How could I say no?  So we piled in his truck and headed to Georgetown.  I know!  All the way across town, and nobody died!  We went to Slim’s Last Chance Chili and Watering Hole and had yummy food and a beer.  The Mister had a frito pie that was on the happy hour menu–basically chili on fritos, which is one of my favorite things.  I had a crawfish po’boy.  The crawfish had been lightly fried and had “pig iron slather” (yeah, I don’t know but it was good and a little spicy) with coleslaw all on a bun.  I don’t know many places with crawfish, but I love them.  Like little lobster tails.

Then we went to Full Throttle Bottles and tried some Big Sky limited release beers.  I only had 4 small tasters, but it wiped me out.  The alcohol content in those were through the roof.  I think the lowest one was over 8%.  The store had a pretty good variety of hard to find beers, but didn’t have my favorite scottish ale.

I know, my first picture here is of beer.  But it is my favorite.  We got several bottles of other beer, one of the Big Sky–Ivan the Terrible (great name, eh?), an Alaskan Smoked Porter, which might be for a recipe…or maybe not.  I also got two barleywines to taste, when I am feeling better.  Which I hope is soon.

Then we went home, watched the last disc of Weeds Season 5 and went to bed.

Oh and What am I Reading? Cruddy by Lynda Barry.  It is weird and wonderful, appalling and fun.  I am glad that I got it for xmas.

I have been at my new branch for a week now and at first it was kicking my ass.  I am not the only one who is new there, but sometimes it feels like it.  Here are some of my observations/revelations:

I am not the go-to person anymore, in any situation.

I must learn names if I want my coworkers to take me seriously.  And I have a terrible memory for names, but I am trying REALLY hard.  I look at the photos on our intranet page every day that I am there and match names to faces.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t been updated with the new people.

One coworker started out by trying to get things her way by using the royal “we”–“we” do it this way…  I found out the truth soon after and just pretended like the first day didn’t happen that way.  But wow, annoying.

I have a huge collection and I really haven’t read much of it.  I didn’t realize how many excellent books I got at my old branches.  I feel like there is a lot of filler here.  I had better get reading, but I kind of dread it.

I am trying out a survey to find out what magazines the teens at our branch like or want.  I have gotten one answer so far.  Maybe I need to threaten to take away any that don’t get voted for?  ;)  Oh, and I really have teens.  So far my interactions have been homework related, but I plan to engage one group that comes in to do homework every day to see if they are interested in an anime club.

Well, I am off to the microsoft campus for a usability study.  Wish me cool software!

at my big branch.

I still had a lot of stuff to pack, but somehow it got done fairly quickly.

We had a potluck–I am not the only one leaving here.  They are also losing their children’s librarian, manager and assistant manager.   Another dear team member left a couple of weeks ago for Library School in Indiana.  The potluck was at our staff meeting.  We mostly talked about books we were reading and wrote nice stuff about each other.  It was a nice last meeting.

As if fate was teasing me, there were several teens and tweens in when I was on desk asking for books.

I had a last cup of tea with questionable almond milk.  I have to stop doing that.

I had a nice goodbye with co-workers, especially my manager and my fellow librarians.  Even the guy that eats tuna fish sandwiches in the office and leaves crumbs all over my desk and keyboard said he would miss me.  I will miss him, too.

Each goodbye hug and email made me sad in a happy way.  I am sad to leave all of these cool people.  This was a good chapter in my life.  I hope the next one can live up to it.

Hey, no bad patron interactions.  Blessed day.