You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2011.

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.

Currently reading Brain Jack by Brian Faulkner.  I’d like it better if it didn’t read just like Little Brother… Yes, I know I am hard to please right now.  All of these books will be great for someone.

There was actual sun today!  It was bright and shiny and it was still out when I got off work late.  There’s a kitty keeping me warm.

I’m back to riding to work and have added in most of my errand running (40 miles this week!)  I’m looking for a running partner to keep me on track with that.  Can I just say that trying to find a person to run with on CL is a pain in the ass?  I’ve gotten several responses to my ad.  Two of them send fragments that I can’t quite decipher.  We’ve sent several emails so I can try to figure out what they mean.  Another person sent a short but promising note, then never responded again.  The last one, that I got today, actually wrote an understandable email.  And is actually what I asked for in my ad.  I hope that one works out.

Work is going great.  My area looks awesome–weeded and tidy with display books everywhere.  My instruction team is creating new curriculum–Facebook and Word classes.  We are leading the system in classes.  My teen advisory group made a wonderful video about why they need their library.  They did the whole thing themselves, and I am so proud of them.

What am I reading?  I just got Red Glove by Holly Black in and I am so excited, I started reading it at work.  I am still reading Anna and the French Kiss at home.  Red Glove is everything I hoped it would be so far.  I like that the stories aren’t all tied up in a nice little contained package.  The writing is neat and tidy, but the story is gritty and messy, just as a gangster story should be.

I don’t know why this thought just ran through my head, but I am so thankful to the library.  If not for them, I could never afford the number of books and movies that I consume on a daily, weekly, monthly…you get the idea.  Not to mention all the articles I access through the databases.  Even if I didn’t work here.  Ok, I might not read as much…  Maybe only one book a week instead of 3.

Parts of this year were difficult.  I would get lonely and down, then either become anti-social and keep to myself, or do a frenzy of booking things with people.  The Mister’s been gone for 10 months now and I haven’t seen him since February.  My son is with me every other weekend, and we talk and text a few times a week (my bright spots).  The winter months were the hardest time.  It was dark when I left for work (and I leave pretty late!) and it was dark when I got home.  My days off were filled with rain.  (This is an exaggeration, but often how I felt.)

It’s still a bit rainy out, off and on.  Even Cliff Mass agrees that it has been colder than usual for this time of year, and he’s pretty good at setting us straight when we start getting meloncoly around here.  However, this weekend was a turning point for me and the weather today reflected that.  It was fairly sunny and warm and I finally embraced being on my own–even if I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing.  It’s only looking back that I realize that I wasn’t lonely or tired or depressed all weekend.  I gardened, I biked, I ran, I went to the Farmer’s Market on my own and attended a p-patch volunteer meeting.

I’m not saying I’m cured, but I hope that the SADness stays away and that before next winter I find the right ways of coping with the darkness.  I hear there are lights and things that help.  I’m a librarian, I can do the research.  Sometimes it just takes being on the other side before you realize that you should have done something differently.

And I made the best collard green chips today.  My collards made it through the winter (just like me!) and there are so many, I had to find something creative to do with them.  Later tonight I am going to make them again with some sugar for a sweet and salty flavor.  They’re even pretty good for you.

What am I reading?  I finished Changeless by Gail Carriger on my trip as well as all those audio books.  I liked it as much as the first, a wonderful distraction.  No great literary work, but very enjoyable.  I seem to be on a trashy supernatural kick and I have also finished Dark Reunion by L. J. Smith, which was ok, but really disappointed me in the end–just too unbelievable.  Yes, I know.  Fantasy.  But there have to be some rules or the story just doesn’t work.

Now I am working on Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, which is an unimaginative book that follows the same basic theme as many other books I’ve read recently.  Girl goes to a new school, finds friends, has a crush, stops feeling sorry for herself and finally starts living.  However, this one is interesting, well written, catches the imagination and doesn’t require the main character to do anything illegal to get where she’s going.

Anna is sent to Paris by her father to attend the American School in Paris.  She didn’t really want to go and leave her friends and the possibility of a new relationship.  She’s petrified of leaving the school, not knowing any French and this fear seems to be the main thing she needs to overcome to begin her new life.  I haven’t gotten that far yet, and I’ll let you find out for yourself if you choose to read it.

I was away visiting friends and family, trying to find the sun.  I did find the sun in Davis, but unfortunately the temperature was still in the 40’s and 50’s.  Too cold!  And the day we went to San Francisco, the wind was fierce!

The Boy getting blown away at Lands End park

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Author Patrick Ness (Knife of Never Letting Go) has posted the Top 10 adult books to read before you become an adult on the Guardian UK.  Do you agree?

What am I reading?  The Boy and I listened to 3 books in the car during our driving trip.  Heist Society by Allie Carter, sort of an Oceans Eleven with teens, Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer, young vampire grows up as a normal kid, and Foundling by D. M. Cornish.  All 3 were decent and the first in a series, but the last one was really engaging.

Foundling is the first book in the Monster Blood Tattoo series.  The reader is superb (audiobook!) and the story is complicated but effortless.  You fall into the world of young Rossamund, a boy with a girl’s name and an orphan who was raised in a maritime foundling home.  When he reaches a reasonable age, he is set loose to become a lamplighter; someone who lights the lamps along the roads and maintains them.  He doesn’t even make it out of town before the adventure begins.

D. M. Cornish masterfully creates the fantastic land of Half-Continent and makes you believe it exists.  It is different enough from our world to be engaging, but same enough to give something to hold on to.  Good for teens and tweens (and adults, in my opinion).  Enjoy.

Literally.  It is raining right now and I was planning on spending my day off riding to Woodinville on the Burke-Gilman Trail.  Somehow I can’t make myself take a recreational ride on such a crumby day.  And I found out that all the hoses on my car need to be replaced.  Sad face.

But also figuratively.  The day after my happy post, we got more budget news, and it isn’t good.  We are going $1.4 million, although not all of those cuts will be necessary.  The Mayor said to find 3% to cut so that we would have some choices.  I don’t see that we have a lot of choices left.  The libraries can run on fewer bodies than we currently have.  We will have to cut hours (possibly Sundays) and/or have another furlough, which would likely be the week after xmas (another low usage time).  Possibly also a materials budget cut.  This is just me guessing, though, so don’t run out and tell the papers.  I’ll be interested to see if there is anything more creative that comes out of this round of cuts.

On the upside, I signed up for zipcar, which has a discount for City of Seattle employees.  That will be a great back up for the car if anything else goes wrong.  And everything is paid for in the fee–gas, insurance, maintenance.  I just wish there was one closer to my house.  There used to be, but they’re gone now.  Now I will have to take a bus to get to it, but luckily that goes from right outside my house to the car.  Ah well, hopefully I won’t need it (oh, but they have trucks too, so that will come in handy some day).  Some days I think I should just sell my car and commit to a car-less lifestyle.  That would only work here, though.

What am I reading?

A coworker recommended Soulless by Gail Carriger and I am liking it more than I expected.  I got it on EPUB from the library and am reading it on my Ipod touch.  It is historical fiction, set in Victorian London with the premise that there are supernatural creatures that have “come out” (similarly to True Blood, but further back in time) to natural society and live among them.  There is a fiery character, Alexia, who is a preternatural and can nullify supernatural powers.  Super fun so far.

I finished listening to The Wake of the Lorelei Lee by LA Meyer after getting the download from the library.  This one is almost as good as the others, and as always Kathleen doesn’t disappoint as the reader.

However! The themes in this book are definitely older teen and adult.  I am looking back at all the tweens and parents that I recommended the series to and I am worried they will get to this one and say “how could that librarian think this book was appropriate for my 11 year old?!?”  Oops.

A couple of examples: a ship full of prostitutes, Jackie becoming a “pet” for a female pirate with lots of innuendos about what goes on behind closed doors, and a boy who is almost harmed in an ungodly way.  All of these are fine with me, but I can imagine a parent and child listening to or reading this without being ready and I just cringe. Now I know and I can warn the parent that the theme gets older as the series progresses, until it falls into utter wantonness.

PS. There are no April Fool’s jokes included in this post, not even the budget info.