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…bikes? Vacations? Gummy bears?

I know most of my bikey friends are all about the n+1, but after a round of “fix all the things!” and bike shopping and frustration, I decided to upgrade my Surly Pacer and sell Lucille, the Bike Friday Tikit.

Lucille went home with a very nice man from Tacoma, whom I hope will find her quite trustworthy, especially with all her new components. I know that my mechanic will be happy to know she’s moved far away. He always did a wonderful job repairing her, but she was a pain in the ass.

My Surly Pacer–I’m thinking about naming her Dark Star after the Fremont Brewing’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout, which is my favorite winter beer. “Dark Star crashes, pouring its light into ashes, so follow as the Lady of Velvet recedes in the nights of goodbye. This one is too smooth …”–is all fixed up with new wheels, cassette and chain, bar end shifters, brake levers, front deraileur, fairly new chainrings and got herself a nice tune up. The gearing is the major improvement with an 11/30 instead of a 12/25. I was able to ride the way it was, but now I’m not sure why I did for so long. It’s like having a whole new bike.

I also cleaned the frame up and used some rustoleum spray paint to protect it. She is so pretty.

We took a 2 week sail in early July. It was a lot of fun with stops in Victoria Canada, Sidney Island, Jones Island, Friday Harbor, Lopez Island, Sucia, and Port Townsend. Lopez was really great and flat, allowing us to bike all over with the kids, visiting the farmers market, the grocery, and the bird sanctuary with them. Click on the picture to see more sailing photos.

And this last weekend, Chris and I went bike camping. We rode out separately, since I was off on Thursday and he came out on Friday night. We rode back together on Sunday. The rest of my family, whom we met there, drove and I still kick myself for not taking a picture of my bike among all of those cars. Again, click on the photo for more pictures of that adventure.

Right now I’m procrastinating on the final packing for our cruise to Alaska. This is on an actual cruise ship, not on Raven. I’m going to miss our hobbit hole. It might be time for a nap.

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Is two masts for sailing. ♪♪

Mixing my songs, but you get the idea. We took Raven in on Friday to have her masts put on–she’s a Ketch, rather than a single masted sloop or cutter. And they got on the Mizzen on just fine, but when they went to step the main, it was discovered that the new part that was added to the bottom, to replace the portion that had dry rot, was a bit too big to fit in the slot. We have to go back next week to get the rest done. A bit anticlimactic.

It was a tight fit getting Raven to the pull out area, but Chris is a master.

The masts, almost ready to go on.

Showering has turned into an interesting adventure. I can shower on Raven, but the water pressure is low and hot water doesn’t last long. I tried the shore showers recently and they are amazing–much better than the one at our apartment. It’s always warm in there, the hot water never runs out and the water pressure is good enough to pick your teeth, if you know what I mean. Getting there is ok. I bundle up in sweats and a jacket and take a basket with my shower stuff up there. I can’t quite shake the feeling that I’m doing the walk of shame though, with my hair all messy in the parking lot in my jammies. I know everyone does it, but it will take some getting used to.

The weather has been very up and down lately. Cold and clear (20°F), making me wish for thermal mittens, balmy and overcast or rainy, 50° or even as high as 68°. It’s been hard to figure out how to dress. Today there’s a lot of water in the air and I had to work at a different branch, so I don’t have my usual backup stuff with me. About 2 hours in, my pants ripped in the usual place and I had to put my rain pants on to finish the day. No pics, sorry ;)

The freezing weather is over for now and the rain has begun again. I’ll miss the sun and blue skies, but it’s nice not to be cold all the time and have my hands freeze on the way to work. I’ve brought back Lucille as my main bike to ride and I found that I missed her. I was feeling guilty leaving the Surly out in the cold, but Lucille can be folded, put under the dodger and the soft travel bag can be added over the top as a layer of protection. The cold last week inspired me to buy some really heavy duty mittens.

I might have gone a little overboard.

I might have gone a little overboard. Mountain Hardwear, Jalapeno Mitt

And of course they arrived today when the low is 40° instead of 20°. I’m sure they’ll still come in handy this winter.

Currently I am having a Doctor Who (Season 5) marathon on Netflix. Chris is working late and won’t be home until late. I’m cozy and enjoying hearing the occasional rain on the deck. I did a little sewing when I got home, just fixing a couple of small things in the sewing projects from earlier in the week. A lee cloth for the middle one’s bunk (to keep her from rolling out) and making the waist on my skirt a bit more snug. I also made a yoga mat bag, but that didn’t need fixing.

Earlier today I was at the “What’s New in Young Adult Literature and How to Use it in Your Program” workshop put on by the Bureau of Education and Research (BER). If you are a YA librarian and you ever have a chance to go to this, do. It is excellent. I’ve heard tons of book talks and this is the most useful program I’ve been to in years. My hold list is now 100 items long and I have many new ideas for volunteer projects.

As I mentioned in my wish list, I want to outfit Raven in an efficient, useful and stylish manner. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to me, and the equipment that I use there. As I type, I have bread rising in our apartment kitchen, with two bread pans waiting to receive it. Are those bread pans going to fit in our galley propane stove? What about my Kitchenaid Mixer? Bread is so much easier to make with one than without.

I mean, wouldn’t you want to continue making these?

I’m making an effort to save as much room as possible, though. So far I’ve purchased a collapsing colander and smaller collapsing bowls that can double as food storage. I plan to get one mixing bowl as well for popcorn and mixing things and I can use the bowl from the mixer if needed.

Smaller than they seem.

The Mister had to pull the sinks in the galley and master head so that the counter guy could measure and lay the new countertop. Hopefully that will be in on Monday. I’ve ordered our new faucet and soap dispenser for the kitchen from Ikea and added the knife rack and a storage rack to the order.

Simple and pretty.

Ikea charges a ton for shipping, but it’s worth it for my time and sanity in not going there myself. I’ll have to go at some point to get the throw pillows and the larger comforter and sheets for our bed–that’s one thing that’s gotten bigger. I’m excited for sleeping in the huge bed.

Book coverThis book is not your typical fluff/mean girl/chic fiction, which is what the title lead me to expect.

Most of Homeroom 10B got the flu vaccination at the nurses office during lunch one day. By the next day they were hearing everyone’s thoughts, but even better, they could communicate with each other mentally. Was it a cool talent or a cruel joke? For each of them it meant something different.

I enjoyed the humor and the diversity of the characters (although actual racial diversity was one thing that could have made it more interesting–I think one character was described as dark skinned). There’s the mean girl, the know it all, the shy girl, the nice boy, the jock, the sleazy boy. They’re well written, believable and you can see how telepathy makes them better people and more understanding of others.

There’s enough sexual references to make it deliciously bad, but not so explicit to make it too scandalous for most teens.

Definitely a fun read.

We’ve only been home 2 days and I’m ready to go back. Yesterday was a fine day. I got to see my Nevadan Siblings for breakfast, then got a lot done at work. Did some texting with The Boy and set up the weekend plans.

Today has been another story. I got up early and pretty cheerfully and saw everyone off to school, then started some laundry. On my second attempt at switching to the dryer (do those timers ever really tell you how long it’s going to take?) I locked myself out of the house. In my bathrobe. Yes.

I managed to get back inside in less than half an hour. I won’t say how, but I was relieved. I’d envisioned waiting for the dryer to be done, getting some clothes and walking to the library to throw myself on their mercy to call The Mr. I didn’t want him to have to leave work or me to have to wait around until the dryer was done and dress in the basement…

That was annoying thing number one.

I did a couple more chores, then headed out on my bike to meet my friend Diva for lunch. The ride and the lunch went fine, although the topic was a sad one and by the end I was exhausted. I decided to ride right home instead of the longer training ride I’d planned. I sat on the couch, watched Castle and started coughing up a lung. The jury is still out if I am getting sick.

That’s somewhat annoying thing number 2.

I had to go get some sugar and a few other essentials a the store, and that’s when I discovered annoying thing number three. Poor patient Betty was vandalized. Her back little passenger side triangle window was broken out, three doors were left unlocked and as far as I can tell nothing was taken. It seemed both mean and dismissive at the same time. My imagination has come up with the story of a couple of ner-do-well young adults coming along, seeing Betty, thinking of a smash and grab then realizing they had the wrong car. They sat in her for a few minutes to get warm and moved on. I am a little surprised they didn’t take the hat I bought for The Boy in Mexico, but that was the only thing in there worth anything. The radio would be a real pain to get out of the dash, as are the speakers. They didn’t even take the change in the ashtray.

Poor Betty

Anyhow, do you think that the universe will align to give me some sun for tomorrow?

Do you think Betty will forgive me for leaving her in the rain with a busted window?

Wow, the two weeks since vacation have been crazy pants.  I don’t know how I packed so many obligations into such a short amount of time, but I figured out yesterday just how much I had booked.  2 computer classes (one of them my first day back), 1 TAG wrap up party, 1 TAG video edit (coming soon),  2 training sessions, 1 school visit (with 7 classrooms and a lunch table), 1 scavenger hunt program–throw in a weekend Union conference, a general membership meeting and a few personal things–The Boy’s basketball tournament in La Connor!–and I’ve been one busy woman!

Of course, there are upsides and downsides to this kind of thing.  I got to do everything I wanted (everything!), and I get the second half of the month off for vacation and ALA.  The downsides are that I had to drive most days because of supplies and early mornings, I woke up at odd times from anxiety dreams, and I was a little high strung.

Usually I don’t plan things so close, but a few weren’t my doing (training) and the others couldn’t be helped (without making the choice not to do them).  I had time for them all and planned really well, so they all came off without a hitch (except for Facebook class, but I blame Facebook’s ever shifting craziness for most of that).  I put the finishing touches on my Steampunk Summer display last night after the Scavenger Hunt and I like the way it turned out.  I talked up the teen summer reading program to teens at the local middle and high school and they seem pretty excited about it.  All of my hidden books disappeared pretty quickly and coworkers said that kids came in asking about it. (Click the link above for more info about Steampunk Summer).

What am I reading?  Still finishing up Fevre Dream by George RR Martin.  That books is long–but worth it, as Martin books are.

I just started an ARC that a local author gave me; The Jewel and the Key by Louise Spiegler.  She’s a history teacher and also wrote The Amethyst Road.  I like it so far, but I find that books set in Seattle unnerve me a bit.  Usually they use landmarks I know, but mix up their locations to fit the story.  I find myself wanting to look up every location on a map, which is distracting, but not the author’s fault.  The first scene of The Jewel and the Key is at Lincoln High School, which is a real place, but has not functioned as it’s own high school for a long time.  It is currently being used to house other schools while their school is undergoing renovation.  Right now, I think there are two elementary schools using the site.  Lincoln is in Wallingford, so every time the character turns a corner, I try to envision where she is.  I used to work in that ‘hood and know it fairly well.  I’m going to have to let this go to enjoy the story.  So far the writing is good and the characters are interesting.   More later.

I finished A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan–very contemporary.  I liked this book, but I’m not sure I loved it. I felt like I was reading several related short stories that eventually came together in one conclusion. I liked each of these individually–even (or maybe especially) the one done in power point slides–but overall it felt choppy and hard to follow. I did enjoy the characters; meeting each one, discovering their strengths and weaknesses and following them on their journeys. Egan creates a very in depth picture of each of her characters, and they are very interesting.

I am officially going to ALA.  I was pretty sure a month ago when I bought my registration and said I would facilitate a panel.  I bought my plane tickets this week though, after realizing I missed the inexpensive window.  I should say less expensive, because when does flying ever feel inexpensive?

But I am excited to see New Orleans, and the Mister will be joining me, at least for a bit.  I am doing a day of volunteering, although I don’t know what my work will be, yet.  It could be anything from construction to cataloging.  The conference sessions sound good–hopefully that pans out.  Sometimes they sound useful and then you get in there and realize that it just isn’t, or that you’ve taken something really similar in the past.

Even more exciting than a bunch of librarians in a convention center? I have a camping trip with the Boy and dad-family the week before.  We have a couple spots out at Kalaloch, a place I love.  I hope the weather cooperates, but honestly, this spot I will go to in the pouring rain.

Which is what I got to ride home in tonight.  I went to the middle school and saw their a production of The Wizard of Oz.  It was amazing!  Not every note was on key but it was well executed, the acting was top notch and so was the orchestra and singing.  It was easy to see that the kids had put their all into the show.

And then I rode my bike home and got soaked.  It was so nice earlier today.  So far I am meeting my goal of riding every day.

It’s too late (I am too cold and tired) to add what I am reading.  Actually, I can just say that I am still reading The Scar by China Mieville.  It is a frickin’ long book, but worth every minute.  I don’t think I am going to finish during the check out time.

We have a new city librarian.  He doesn’t start until mid-August, but he comes with good references.

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.

Despite being tired it has been an excellent day. Someday I will grow up and realize that I should not stay up till all hours reading.

However! I got to make up my listening session with our interim City Librarian. There were only 3 of us there this morning, and her, and I really felt heard. I have high hopes that there will be things happening soon. Things that should make us all a little happier. We should hear more next week.

And! I got my funding! For my advisory group! I am so excited! Can you tell!?! Pizza for everybody!

And I moved all my new books to shelving where there is more room, because there are too many of them.  It seems like every month I have more new books than the last.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing, but where to put them all?  Next I am going to have to read fiction again.  I have been enlisting the help of my awesome LAIV to help me do dusty shelf lists–it makes it easier to let them go if I just read over the titles after he’s pulled them.  If I handle them all, I want to keep them.  We have more of a connection.

What am I reading? I have been super lazy about updating goodreads and netgalley. I hope they will forgive me for another week or so. But I have been reading. When don’t I?

I am trying to finish Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin because it is due tomorrow. I heard about it from a friend who wrote a blog post for the library. It intrigued me enough to use one of my precious 25 hold spots for it, although the library didn’t have very many copies so it took a while to get it. In the mean time, I totally forgot why I put it on hold. I finally remembered today when I was talking about it with my manager.  This series was first published in the late 70’s and details life in that time in San Francisco.  As you can imagine, there is a lot of love going on, love of all kinds.  It is San Francisco after all.  I think one of the reasons why the description of this book was so appealing was because my uncle ran away to San Francisco when he was young, in the 70’s.  I hoped to see a little of what his life might have been like then.  He came back later, with a life partner and aids.  I loved him very much, even though I didn’t spend time with him until his return.  There was one visit to see them in San Fran when I was a kid, but I really only remember stuffing chicken in my cheeks.  I was going through a phase where I didn’t want to swallow food.

I can’t know if this book gives a window into what he experienced.  He’s been gone for a while now, and his partner several years later.  There’s no one left to ask.  I hope he enjoyed it.  Tales of the City makes it sound like it could have been fun, and if not, then seriously interesting.  The characters are deep, although you don’t realize it at first, and Maupin has a crazy way of making all of them interconnected.  Toward the end of the book, where I am now, you come to realize there is a mystery. I don’t know what it is yet, but I think I will very soon.  It might be another late night.

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