You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2010.

Busy busy busy busy.  So busy.  Lots going on at work with weeding and teaching and programs and committees and TAG meetings.  After work there was getting the car looked at (looks good), birthdays, meeting with previous co-workers for dinner, getting my hair cut, going for massage to help with my arm/back strain froom falling on the escalator.

And tomorrow we are leaving for a 9 day driving vacation to two cities in Nevada and the Spokane Washington to see The Mister and mom-side family.  Today has been frantic catch up so that nothing blows up at work while I am gone, tonight will be frantic packing and checking things off my list so that the cat has enough food and the snake has fresh water and we have enough socks and underwear.

A quick What am I reading?  I forgot to mention The Unidentified by Rae Mariz.  It is a futuristic dystopia where education has been taken over by corporations and everyone wants to get branded. It reminds of So, Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld or Little Brother by Corey Doctorow–all about cool hunting and knowing what the next big trend will be.

I just finished Hacking Timbuktu by Stephen Davies, which starts out in modern day England.  Danny is a hacker and a traceur, although his IT skills outstrips his parkour.  One day after a long day at a hacker conference, Danny finds himself drug into a 700+ year old treasure hunt for 2 million bars of gold when a stranger breaks into his flat and tries to force him to hack a computer in Timbuktu to get the treasure map.  He gets away, then finds the  map himself.  Greed, loyalty and cunning all play roles in his dash to Timbuktu with his friend, an expert traceur at his side, chased by other treasure hunters, some of which are willing to kill to get the gold.

It’s been a busy week.  I have been weeding again at work and decided to use a dusty shelf list for the first time ever.  Some people will find it amazing that I have never used one before, but my other branches were small enough that it made sense to go through every book in my teen collection.  In fact, it made sense for my first big weed here at my new branch, so that I could get to know my collection better.  However, I can now say that it is big and I need to save time.  So I ran a dusty shelf list–anything that hasn’t circ’d in a year–then went through and pulled anything that looked yucky (water damage, food stains, obvious wear and tear).  That did the trick and I am very happy with the results.  Because another thing about a large branch?  When all the kids going back to school bring back all their books at once, suddenly your shelves go from having some wiggle room to blowing off the book ends.  Shelver hell.

I am also on a short term committee to find a good scheduling software.  So, um, if you know of any, please email me.  We just scheduled February and March computer classes, but found out that our grant for job classes has run out.  That’s ok at my branch, as we had pretty low attendance for those, but I am sure it will hurt in other areas.

So how about that Amazon issue on free speech?  All I care about the issue is talked about over here, and since I don’t really want to fan the flames on that one, I will leave it there.

I also had some fun times the last week or so.  I saw Stars at the Showbox.  They are everything I love about music.  Amy’s voice is like an unannoying angel and Torquil counters her sound perfectly.  Like talking heads and…I don’t know.  Just perfect.

And the next day I played Kinect at my brother’s place.  That is a fun system–loved the dance game we played.  Part of the point was to look like an idiot, so I fit right in with everyone ;)  The Boy was with me and he had a good time with it too.  He says he will wait until it has better games before he upgrades, though.

Today I stayed home instead of going on a stellar bike ride with some coworkers (’cause nothing says Veteran’s Day like a long ride…) due to a mishap with a bus tunnel escalator in which the escalator won.  Just an FYI, wet shoes+metal escalator=fly through the air.  My arm took most of the damage when I grabbed the rail to stop my fall.  Should be better in a couple of days.  In the mean time, I felt compelled to up my caloric intake:

On the left are some orange caramels that I made after boiling sugar water for the candied orange peels on the right.  Behind them is the Harvest bread I made from the Macrina Bakery cookbook.  I so hope it is similar to the bread that I scarf every time I go to Top Pot lately.  I cheated a bit with the milk in these recipes.  I didn’t have heavy cream for the caramels, so when I heated my non-fat, I added a tablespoon of butter.  I also didn’t have buttermilk for the bread, so I added 1tbsp of lemon juice per 1 cup of milk.  The caramels are delicious and I can’t tell any difference from the time I made them with cream.

What am I reading? I just started getting galleys from netgalley, because I found out I could read them on my ipod using the Bluefire app.  I find I actually like reading on my iPod, although  I am not sure about buying digital books–mostly because I mostly only buy physical books to give away–but I hear that the library is talking to Bluefire to make an agreement so that ebooks loaned by the library from Overdrive would be able to be transfered the same way.  Crossing my fingers!

The galley I am reading now is The Lying Game by Sara Shepard–the same author as the series Pretty Little Liars.  This book is the story of Emma, a foster kid who is somehow still a sweetie, who just wants to graduate high school and go to college.  That becomes impossible when her foster family’s son decides to frame her for stealing and they inform her that she will be out on her 18th birthday, only 2 weeks into senior year.  Emma thinks things might get better when she finds out she had a twin sister and that she is living close by, adopted by a well off family in Arizona.  She goes to meet this sister, Sutton, only to find herself trapped in a situation where he sister has been murdered and she is forced to pretend to be Sutton, or be murdered herself.  This book is a bit like Lovely Bones, as Sutton is a character in the story, a ghost who is constantly looking over Emma’s shoulder, hoping to find out who is behind her murder.  I am enjoying it so far, although I don’t usually like books with the mean girl element.  Flash backs to middle school, you know.

Of course I loved Behemoth and decided to get both it and Leviathan on CD for our driving trip over the holiday.  My co-worker told me that the reader is amazing, so it seems like a good bet.  Then I can get The Boy hooked on them too.

Well, my anxiety wasn’t mislaid.  We only had a handful of people at Holly’s event, but they were good engaged participants.  The TAG kids did such a great job welcoming Holly and decorating–we sent her home with a 3′ x 10′ poster they made.  I could tell she was tickled by the whole thing.  We also got to hear a couple of pages from her next book, which will be coming out next year and it sounded awesome.  I can’t wait to read it.  The teens just love her.

We also got an interview for podcast out of the whole thing.  I will link to it when it finally goes up–have to have some editing first.  It actually sounds pretty good right now, but my friends downtown will make it more listenable.  I still have to record an introduction.  Which brings me to the public speaking portion.  I am getting so much better at announcements.  For a while I had to read them (before that, I just sucked even when reading), but now I seem to be able to do it off the cuff.  I think I used to get nervous which made my brain go too fast and stop all together (at the same time), which led me to get all blabbered up.  I keep making myself do it though, and it seems to be paying off.  Today I picked up the phone/intercom and had the flyer in my hand, but instead I just said what came to mind and it flowed.  Same thing happened when I introduced Holly.  Yay, touchdown ME!

As for voting, I did my part.  All those other slobs, well, I don’t know why they can’t fill out some bubbles on the paper, slap a stamp and a signature on it and drop it in the mail, but it sure seems like a small percentage of registered voters actually voted.  I guess we will see in the next couple of days.  It being election day, maybe this is why hardly anyone came to our event…hmmm.

What am I reading? Behemoth!!!!!  Love it so far!

I so hate waking up earlier than I have to.  Several times this week I have woken up around 5 and had a hard time getting back to sleep.  Twice I have spent an hour or so tossing and turning, finally just getting up.  It is somewhat productive–like today I am getting all kinds of laundry done.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to sleep until after 1am, so I am really low on sleep power.

Some of it is anxiety.  I have a program this week with local author Holly Cupala and it occured to me last night that it could be a seriously low turn out.  Not because Holly isn’t awesome, but because the audience for the event might not come together.  She is a first time young adult author who does a great job marketing herself and her book.  I just don’t know if teens will show up for a relatively new author, or if adults will even be interested aside from writing advice.  I want it to be successful, for both of us.

I also keep coming up with things I need to do.  This week is The Mister and my 3rd anniversary.  I want to send him a card and cookies, and when do I remember I need to make these cookies?  Either as I am drifting off to sleep or as I lay awake early in the morning.  Also, thank you notes for friends and colleagues.  Supplies for teen advisory meetings.  Making doctor appointments.  Getting the oil changed on the car… you get the idea.  I have a feeling that the author event is my main drain in the ability to sleep department and all the other stuff is just tagging along.  Being tired also makes my memory bad, fueling the fire.

On the fun side, I dressed up as Agatha Heterodyne from Girl Genius for Halloween.  It was a fun costume, although the blonde wig weirded me out a little.  Partially because it was nylon and showed some of the weave.  That’s what I get for $6…  Went to a friend/coworker’s party on Saturday where she and her boyfriend really went all out on their costumes and decorations.  On Sunday I wore my costume to work, then to my brother’s to give away Halloween candy to the little kiddies.

What am I reading? I finished Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.  It totally rocked.  Will Grayson is dealing with high school the best way he knows how, by the Rules.  1. Don’t care too much and 2. Shut up.  He breaks all these rules repeatedly, which he blames all his troubles on.  For example, when he writes a letter to the school paper defending his friend’s right to be in the locker room with the rest of the team (a right that’s questioned because the friend is gay) and signs it.  He laments often “if only I hadn’t signed it…”.  Will Grayson is about to meet a fragmented version of himself, who also tries to stay out of the spotlight and not care too much.  This other Will Grayson is gay and just beginning to come to terms with it.  Things change subtly and exponentially after the two meet, and it is a trip you will want to take.

I also read Farm City, The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter.  This is an engaging memoir of a woman who moved to Oakland CA (from Seattle) and slowly turned her urban dwelling into a burgeoning farm.  She starts with a garden, squatted on an adjacent lot from a distant owner, sets up a bee hive on her porch and eventually moves on through chickens, turkeys, rabbits and finally two huge pigs.  The experiment is interesting and while she doesn’t always succeed she does always learn something.  Her alternative lifestyle is different enough from the norm that although the story chronicles her everyday life, you keep turning the pages to see what dumpster she will be diving into next.