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The union conference has been interesting for sure. Right now allegiance is split in two. Basically it is the yellow shirts against the blue. Yellow is Lee and blue is Donahue. And now you know as much as I do. The sides have been obnoxious and contentious and I am inclined to not vote for either. I can’t believe how rude they are both to each other and to people who want to actually conduct union business. It is tiresome.

There have been some amazing speakers here, though. Today we heard Ted Kennedy’s wife, Virginia. There was a tribute to his life and dedication to labor first. He seems like he was an amazing man. It makes me want to read more about him. Yesterday we saw a similar tribute to Bill Lucy, the secretary/treasurer who is vacating the contended office. He also seems a visionary figure, very influential for the union both within and without. He then spoke and despite his advanced age, he still had a strong and inspirational voice. He will be missed in union leadership.

I got to see the Boston Public Library yesterday. It is a beautiful building and has amazing artwork. I will post pictures when I return. Today I joined my step-father for lunch. He and his wife happened to be in Boston after helping my brother move to Virginia. We went to No-Name restaurant and the seafood was wonderful–simple but perfectly cooked. Tonight is a boat tour of Boston Harbor.

What am I reading? Still Fallen by Lauren Kate. Sigh. Reminds me of Twilight. That is all. I hope to be done soon so I can start White Cat by Holly Black.

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I can’t believe I am leaving tonight for Boston.  Every time I travel I get a feeling that my plane is going to end up in some strange place instead of where I am supposed to be going.  Too many sci-fi action books/movies/tv I guess.  I am pretty excited to see Boston and to see my brother when I take a day trip to New York.  I have never been to the East coast but a friend was in New York recently on her way to Puerto Rico, so she has given me all kinds of ideas where I need to go.  It sounds like my hotel in Boston is in the thick of things, so no problems there.

I have not been a consistent blogger lately and traveling usually makes me worse.  I am not taking my laptop with me, since I am flying on United and weather is going to be HOT, allowing me to pack light and only bring carry on.  I hate checking bags.  My point? Oh!  I am bringing my iPod touch and will post updates, but they will be short (which my posts are not, usually).  I will regale you with tales of the fun union conference, places I visit, and maybe the score of the Redsox game I am going to on Wednesday.  I might say a word or two about the books I am bringing with me, but there won’t be any links, so I will trust you to look them up on your own.

Speaking of books, I think I mentioned that I read For the Win by Cory Doctorow.  I didn’t talk about it earlier because there is so much to say.  Set just a little bit in the future Cory takes us on a roller coaster journey around several continents to follow gold farmers in different virtual worlds.  Mala is a gamer in rural India and at first the extra money that gaming brings in makes up for any hardship that working for the boss might be.  Big Sister Nor is from Indonesia and is recruiting for the Webblies (Workers of the World Wide Web) and she contacts people like Mala, trying to recruit them for the union she is building. This book is complicated and compelling.  Doctorow takes a few breaks from the amazing story telling to explain how the economy works in the virtual world and the lessons are interesting.  I wish I had had him for my economics instructor in college. Here is an example:

no one is in charge of it [the economy]. Some people may claim to be, but they’re in charge of one tiny piece of it, and maybe they think their piece is a brake or a steering wheel, but they’re wrong.  The world’s economy is a runaway train, the driver dead at the switch, the passengers clinging on for dear life as their possessions go flying off freight-cars and out windows, and each curve in the tracks threatens to take it off the rails altogether.”  pg 370

What am I reading now? I just started Fallen by Lauren Kate and I haven’t gotten in far enough to say if I like it.  The writing is ok, but the story is very vague so far.

have you been?” I remember my mom asking me that frequently as a child. I would run off to play, get lost in some fantasy land and lose track of time. Unfortunately that is not what happened this time, unless you count reading For the Win by Cory Doctorow–’cause that book really took me on a trip.

I have just been working working working; weeding the teen fiction collection before I go to Boston this weekend, making sure that Instruction issues are handled and handing some of the reigns to our LAIV who is bored sitting at the desk 7 hours a day.

Thanks to him taking some of this on, I will be freed up to do teen programming in the fall.  Now I just have to decide what form that should take.  I know I have sounded wishy washing explaining to my manager what I want to do, but in actuality, I want to do a lot of things.  I would like to have  a monthly drop in with different activities that I hope will draw a wide variety of teens.  I need to talk to some of my sno-isle and KCLS friends and see what has worked for them.  I’d like it to be a sort of advisory board, but without the volunteer element as I don’t have enough for 10 volunteers to do.  Then again, maybe once a month I do.  :P  Summer reading will give me a better idea of what will fly.  Robots and cute creatures and gaming, oh my!

I got clipless pedals for my bike from my former advisor and shoes and cleats from my papa for my birthday.  I rode with them for the first time today and I made it there fine.  Unfortunately on the way back I was not so lucky.  When I reached Green Lake I didn’t pull my foot off the clip in time and I fell over, except that I got my foot under myself at the last minute and bounced back up.  I am sure it was very comical.  At Greenwood I wasn’t so lucky.  I rode up the hill, marveling at how much easier it was with the clips.  When I got near the top, I was gearing up to be ready to cross the street, looking for traffic and I had just started to twist my foot out of the clip when a runner suddenly launched off the sidewalk on my left and scared the shii out of me.  I didn’t get my foot out in time and my elbow and knee hit the pavement.  Once again I bounced back up, which probably looked pretty funny, and this time my hair was wildly escaping my helmet straps.  The guy stopped to check on me, offering to take me to his place to clean up, but I begged off.  I wasn’t badly hurt, although I am pretty sore now and had to ice my elbow for a while when I got home.

What am I reading? Currently I have The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, which is an interesting alternate reality or dystopian future where farming went wrong at some crucial time in history and genetically altered crops created all sorts of problems from a deadly rust fungus to ivory beetles that eat everything in their path.  Human kind is still messing up everything even though they should know better.  The story is set in Bangkok, which is surrounded by a huge sea wall to keep the ocean out.  The title character is a created girl who has been set apart from human kind on purpose to show the difference in her make up–she has shutter stop motion so she always stands out.  She has also been bred to be subservient and to please whomever is before her, although her mind wants something else.  There are several other plots going on and the whole thing is quite complicated, but I am loving it.

But at least it is a dry heat. We returned the rental that has air conditioning this morning, then had to go run an errand in the pickup with the u-haul attached and boy was that fun…

We have been in Vegas since Tuesday night and while it has been nice staying at Suncoast, I feel like I am going to die if I eat any more meals out. Not much choice at the moment, though, because we haven’t heard back about the rental we looked at yet and we don’t even have a microwave in our room. Tomorrow we are homeless because our hotel is full for the weekend and the u-haul has to go back. Wish us luck.

It has been funny watching Suncoast turning from a large glitzy ghost town to a full house of elderly guests and families. I can’t tell if the slots are getting louder or if they just make more noise with more people playing them. I have yet to drop a dime in one and I admit it makes me sad to see the older folks with their walkers sitting like zombies pressing the buttons over and over. When I was a kid I thought it would be totally cool to play slots, but then that was back when you actally dropped in a quarter and pulled a handle to make it go.

We enjoyed the pool yesterday and had the best dinner of our trip last night at an Italian bar and grill called Carrabba’s. Lobster mac n cheese is all I have to say on that. Oh, and Yummmm.

What have I been reading? I finished up Burning City and liked it quite a bit. The kid wasn’t a terribly reliable narrator-you couldn’t tell if his bicycling feats were real-but otherwise I liked him, partially because he wasn’t predictable.

I also finally finished Unwind by Schusterman. It was quite good and another one to give Uglies or The House of the Scorpion fans.

Sorry no links, and maybe no coherence but I am writing this on my iPod.