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Do I sound excited? I actually am despite my sarcastic tone, since I get to go visit the Mister in Las Vegas and I haven’t seen him in 2 months. Sigh. And the furlough doesn’t hurt as much because the system figured out the percentages and took a portion from each paycheck rather than one big divot in our regular pay. Next year won’t be so cushy.
Vegas is spendy! Most of my time will be spent pretty domestically, hanging out with my sweetie at his apartment, hiking, grocery shopping. The usual. The planets have aligned though for the labor day weekend, when several of my friends and my sister are going to meet me there to have some fun. We are probably going to see Love at the Mirage and I would really like to go to Rain at the Palms to see Paul Oakenfold, but the price and the wait to get in might keep my friends from braving it with me.
What am I reading? I finished my review book for Teen Services, The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood with the Duchess of Northumberland. Well, it reminded me of the many retellings of fairy tales we have seen in the last 5 years, except that it is an original story as far as I can tell. The setting is beautifully constructed and the characters are both likeable and hateable, as they should be, but I couldn’t make myself care. It felt like one too many of the same sort of story. Girl loves boy, boy loves her back, they are torn apart by evil, evil is defeated, but no happy ending for you. I don’t usually think every story needs to have a happy ending or have all its loose ends tied up, but this one left me hanging.
Point in fact, I loved Tell me a Secret by Holly Cupala. Miranda is a teenager with problems. Her sister is dead, her mother is hard to live with and her father rolls over far too easily. What could make it worse? Getting pregnant by the first boy you ever have sex with. It makes the mother impossible, the father avoid coming home and Miranda’s feelings of abandonment so much worse. Things at school don’t help, where she loses friends and her boyfriend to rumor and speculation, along with her own awkward ways of dealing with her issues. Miranda is a deep character and Cupala captures the heart and mind of a teenage girl in crisis perfectly. (I should know, I used to be one ;) And all the conflict is not tied up in a nice package at the end, but it does give a feeling that the future can be redeemed.
The last two Tuesdays, I rode my bike and something weird has happened. I locked it outside as usual and when I came back after work, the front of my bike was covered with some white powdery substance. I know it wasn’t like that when I rode in the morning, and I checked on it during the day and it wasn’t there then either. Here are some pictures:
It doesn’t show up well here, but you can see it in the cracks. It looks like it was a liquid that dried powdery.
This takes me back to working at a contract post office during the anthrax scare back in the early 2000’s. All fears were of white powder, delivered in an envelope. When I googled my problem, I found articles on white powder delivered to different offices in Seattle. Some as recent as July. I know that isn’t what this is, but it is still the first thing I thought of.
In libraryland, I have been having fun making papercrafts for my display and I intend to spread the fun to my teen advisors when they come. I get Giant Robot at my branch and they have these cute little guys in there called Castle Crashers that is an ad from Behemoth (they make video games for several different consoles). They also have a generic Castle Crasher guy posted on the internets if you want to try one yourself. This is how I am distracting myself from budget cuts.
What am I reading? I have two books going at the moment, but I only remember the one I am reading at work currently (I should really be in bed). Nathan Ambercrombie, accidental zombie. This is a Juvenile book where a teased boy goes to get his emotions wiped, but instead gets some chemical goo spilled on him. This is as far as I have gotten so far. Excuse me while I go fall asleep somewhere. I hope.
When I was 18, life was still relatively easy. I hadn’t met my future husband yet and my son wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye. I worked at groceryland and almost liked it, had a few good friends and a lot of potential even if I wasn’t realizing it. My semi-bad bike accident was behind me and the road rash had healed nicely. 18 was a good year.
A lot has happened since then, both good and not so good. I have a wonderful child (most of the time, he IS a teenager ;) and even if my marriage didn’t work out, it did work out for the best. I have traveled and learned and seen many things. Now I find myself back at trusty number 18. Not my age this time, but it is my number and I sure hope it isn’t up.
Actually, my number is probably lower now. There are a few librarians hired after me that have left for a surer thing. A co-worker who was hired a couple of years ago who is a 1 or 2 got a super cozy and cool job at the next county north. I think I am most jealous of her weekends off. I miss the idea of weekends off, because I have only had one job that had that as a benefit, and that might have been the only benefit to working there at all. (I still have scars.)
Months ago all regular employees got a letter stating their seniority number and mine was 18. I have a feeling that we will be getting another such letter in early October and that my number will be 15 or 16. How many librarians will get laid off? I don’t know, but a 10% budget cut isn’t looking particularly good. A friend pointed out the folly of this system of laying off the newest employees firs: you get rid of all your fresh ideas, all your enthusiasm while keeping the tired and downtrodden. You also keep the experience and the knowledge, of course. I am sure admin would rather cut the chaff as they see it, but they have to follow the rules. Even if we might want to keep the young fresh fellows, we all understand the fairness of keeping those with more seniority.
I don’t even want to think about my coworkers with lower numbers than me. I could so easily be in their shoes, and who knows, maybe I will be if we lay off 18 librarians. It could happen.
What am I reading? I just finished Ship Breakers by Paolo Bacigalupi and I loved every minute. I was able to snag it from a fellow TSL at our last big meeting so I didn’t have to wait for the holds to be done. A bit of futuristic adventure, Nailer works on light crew, stripping ships of their inner copper cables to make quota for their crew. Nailer has a lucky day, falling into a room filled with precious oil only to find his only way out is through a hatch, losing the oil and getting himself injured at the same time. The lucky part is that he lived. A city killer storm hits and he and his friend find untouched salvage–one of the amazing tall sailed clipper ships that Nailer dreams after. It is wreaked beyond repair, but holds more than Nailer ever imagined the world could provide.
A while back
There was a big to do that I pulled off last Sunday. I didn’t write about it because at the time I wasn’t sure how it would work out.
The Offspring and I, along with various friends, have done the Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes every year for the last 3 years. Asking for donations has always been hard for me. I don’t like asking people for money in general, but this is a cause I believe in and that gives me hope. Some of you know, The Offspring has type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed four years ago and while dealing with becoming a teenager, which is hard enough for most kids, he has also had to learn to deal with pricking and injecting himself 4 times a day.
So, last Sunday I had a dinner party where I charged people to come. I have a party every summer anyhow, so I upped the quality, did more planning than usual, put some tables out in the yard with actual table cloths and raised about $600 for Step Out. Out of the 90 people I invited about 25 came, which turned out to be the perfect number. I donated the food, since I would have had a party anyway, people still brought wine and I put out a tip jar on the beverage table. I also made a few things and put them out for a silent auction, and the biggest surprise was they all sold.
And we all had a great time. It was a good mix of people, some from work, some friends and some family. A few people I had never had over before. I enjoyed every minute.
And I had a lot of help from The Mister’s mother, who came into town the day before. She helped keep me on track and motivated and helped with all the preparations. She came all the way from Spokane to be there.
What a great day!
Wasn’t yesterday beautiful, fellow Seattleites? We waited a long time for this summer to come but now that it’s here, it is amazing. I celebrated my Wednesday off with decadent musings with iAsshole while cruising Green Lake. There were many hilarious moments, which we often have when we were together. There were also a couple of awkward ones that we had no control over. At one point, a large man on roller blades yelled “hey, Red” at her while we walked by. I wanted to say, “that’s pink to you, buddy.” but she just replied with a dismissive “Was’ up?” and we moved on.
The Offspring and I had a fun time wandering the streets of Seattle after I got home from my walky/talky date. We went to Pike Place and braved the crowds for a little while–tourists… We decided to escape that crush by going to a movie. I do not recommend Dinner with Schmucks. It had a few redeeming moments, but it definitely a DVD watch. We ended our day with Sushi Mori, which is rather expensive for the atmosphere, but has wonderful sushi. The Offspring was a lot of fun to be with. No “I’m bored”s or complaining. He even carried his stuff in a backpack instead of trying to foist it off on me. His idea.
In libraryland, the weeding is going slowly. I had a full day off desk on Tuesday that included a Teen Services Meeting and teaching an introductory email class. My comics and graphic novels order has to be in tomorrow, so I will just have to get ‘er done. Time flies.
What am I reading? Pump Six and Other Stories by Paulo Bacigalupi. This is the book of short stories where the idea for Windup Girl came from, although I haven’t gotten to that one yet. So far there have been several different possible futures for man kind, most of them involving a very different moral compass than I would be comfortable with. The story I just read featured three mining security officers who’s bodies still resemble humans, but heal almost instantly and can consume almost anything as food. They find a real dog out in the wastelands around the mine and almost kill him through carelessness. The only other animals they have ever seen were in a zoo. I find these stories fascinating and Bacigalup creates a believable and vibrant world.