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Life sometimes gets away from me. Early in April, my grandmother went to the hospital and then passed away, all in the span of 2 weeks. Then there were the arrangements and the memorial. There’s more, but not for me to worry about, since I’m not named in the will. Some will find this odd, but I’m glad I’m not. I loved my grandmother dearly and I don’t really want to be involved in the dismantling of her life and her home.
Since then, I’ve been buried in work, helping plan out trainings for my peers that will pave the way for Teen Service Learning in our library system. It’s ambitious and I’m excited to see how it will work out for us and our teen patrons.
Chris has been working on Raven’s diesel motor for the last month as well. That day that we were supposed to have our second sailing adventure, I had to bail to go tothe hospital. He went out with our friends and the motor stalled. They still got out for a little while, but it was the start of quite a few problems–more going wrong with each thing fixed. It’s ending up being almost a complete overhaul, but hopefully when that’s done we’ll be underway once again. I’m not sure we’re going to make our Mystery Bay plans for Memorial Day weekend.
She did serve as a great place to have a party. Yesterday was completely gorgeous. I couldn’t have planned better for our Bike to Work team BBQ. We combined with the other SPL team and had around 25 people on Raven to celebrate.
This is my third year being team captain and it’s really fun to motivate people to ride. And now I’m looking forward to our next party.
Here’s the bike when I went to pick up swag for my team.
Tonight we’ll be breaking out the bbq things again to celebrate The Boy’s 21st birthday. Hard to believe.
Enough with all that negative stuff. Summer is going great. We’re having a lot of fun giving out books and signing kids up for the Summer of Learning. The teen program is less fulfilling, but I still love giving teens books and for right now we still have some to give, so that is wonderful.
The sign up for two of my teen programs are filling up. We have an Arduino program and a Digital Fabrications showcase planned. The rest of the summer is filled with drop-ins where teens can use our region’s new iPad mini to make digital content for our Tumblr or just make something fun with the supplies I will put out.
In reading news, I just finished the yummy new book by Scott Westerfeld that’s coming out in September, Afterworlds. A longer review will come in the next few days.
I got to see The Boy for dinner and a movie on Sunday. I took him and The Mister to see The Fault in Our Stars and it got all three of us sniffling (sorry to out you guys, but I saw you crying! :) It is a truly wonderful adaptation of the book. The Boy’s been waiting for his new job to start and the date keeps getting pushed back. It was great to see him. I wish he was closer or interested in working in Seattle.
In my biking, I’ve had 2 chains break–on different bikes–in the last month. I guess I’m just hard on them, as they both still showed signs of life when I checked them at the co-op. I’m picking up Lucile (Bike Friday Tikit) tonight after work. I had her looked over to make sure there wasn’t anything else major I was overlooking. I’ve been riding my Surly while she’s been in the shop.
I have to say that bike repairs are much more affordable than car repairs were. I certainly don’t miss that.
We had a lovely time in Florida and somehow I managed to put out of my mind that going to Florida would make it near impossible to do 30 Days of Biking in April. Oops. Oh well, I’m back on the bike and now using MapMyRide to keep track of miles for the National Bike Challenge. I’ll also use it for the Cascade/Adobe Commute Challenge, but I don’t think it will do the auto upload thing for that–which it shouldn’t, only commute miles count for that.
So, Florida. The Mister chartered us a sailboat and we sailed in the Keys for a few days. It was in the 80’s with good winds and plenty of room on the boat for the 5 of us. We had a wonderful time exploring the reef and Key West and then we went to Honeymoon Island outside of Tampa/Dunedin. Click on the picture below for the entire album.
Now that I’m back I’m in full swing planning bikey stuff. I have 3 major things going on. Sound Cycling biking info fairs at the library this weekend, the Commute Challenge–I’m a team captain for the Paperback Riders, and for Books on Bikes we’re hosting a Bike to Work day booth at the Green Lake library. Our Seattle Public Library Teams will be challenging the King County Library System’s teams this year. They have 5 teams and 25 riders. We have 2 teams and about 20 riders, so we’ll probably base the competition on percentages of commutes ridden. They also have a lot more ground to cover in a county than we do in a city, although that might not be a big deal.
As for reviews, I have two I plan to write today, although I’ll probably try to set them to publish a day or so down the road. They are pre-releases anyhow, so you can’t get your hot little hands on them for another few weeks. Still, good to place holds early and often!
Oh, as an FYI who know The Boy, he is moving to Spokane next week to try his hand at job seeking there. It seems that the Darrington/Marysville area is pretty barren and that Seattle is just too big for a small town kid. Wish him luck!
One week from now, this time, I should be at the end of my first day of STP. I missed my last semi-long training ride yesterday. I thought I had the day off, but was sadly informed that was not so by a coworker the day before. I have my priorities straight though, I did get off a bit early yesterday to go to the International Beerfest at the Seattle Center with a couple of friends.
The new Mr. rode in STP in previous years but told me he’ll only ride next year if we do it in one day. I did ask for a boyfriend that would challenge me ;) He’s not riding this year, although he is meeting me in Portland on Sunday and driving me back on Monday. He’ll get to attend our celebratory dinner as well. The first part of the weekend he’s moving his sailboat down from Anacortes to a much closer moorage.
I’m currently missing him since he and the girls are camping at Mount Rainier and I am stuck here working. Crossword puzzle lady has called twice, which would be great to break up the time if she weren’t so annoying. Soon I get to go home and partake of a bbq that my housemates are throwing.
Alexsis’ comment on my last post reminded me that I should update. The Paperback Riders did come in first, both in miles (widely) and percentage (barely). I’m really proud of my team and I have heard from other staff that observing us participate in Bike to Work month has motivated them to start riding to work as well. Which is really the goal, right? ;)
I’ve finally done some real riding on the Surly, and she is a beautiful machine. Really light and fast. I went on a short ride with the new Mr. a week ago and I blasted up a big hill, leaving him in the dust. Evidently he didn’t realize I had it in me and had settled in for a long slow climb. Oops, I’ve got to stop complaining about hills. It gives the wrong impression.
I just got back from a Union convention in LA, where the only exercise I got was swimming in the salt water pool on the roof of our hotel and lots of walking. And breathing, that felt like exercise in LA.
Now it’s time to start training again.
That sounds like an admission of guilt or something. In reality, I’ve just been living and not really had anything I wanted to write about. Life keeps on moving. The boy went back to his father’s house shortly after my last post, things got really busy at the library and my energy was needed for other things.
On to bigger and better things:
May is bike to work month and I’ve been going full swing. My plan is to ride 100% to work this month and I’ve done it so far, with only a few days left to go. I’ve got 227 commuting miles under my belt and have actually ridden at least 20 more (I stopped keeping track) for side trips before or after work. My team is amazing, having ridden 1130 miles this month so far. We’re beating our rival team by over 200 miles.
The boy and I went to the University Street Fair on Saturday and we got him a bunch of art supplies for his birthday. I let him pick what he wanted, but was happy that he asked my opinion. I’m not terribly artistic, but I’ve used most mediums at some point or another and have had artists as friends, so I was able to steer him towards some nice brush and thin tip markers and we got him a calligraphy set inspired by an artist we saw at an all ages show last year.
On Sunday we went to my dad’s and I put the new bike together…well, mostly. It turns out I was missing a headset, so I’ve ordered that and I don’t think that will be hard to put on. Then I’ll need to practice because I’ve never spent much time on a road bike. It’s really different from the upright of a mountain bike. I am so excited to ride this bike during STP.
And finally, I’m seeing a new special someone. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I’m optimistic (probably too much so). I keep expecting someone to jump out at me and say “you’re not allowed to be this happy, give that back!” He’s sweet and strong and fun and that’s all you get for now.
Wow, I haven’t been here for a while. Lots of things have changed and every time I sat down to write all of it felt a little too heavy to drop on the page. Nothing is bad, there was just a lot of life going on.
I suppose bad is relative though. I did break up with the Mister. Long distance relationships wear you down after a while, and for me, our relationship got worn down to nothing. There’s no he said, she said, just an end and a new beginning. I am happy being single and it isn’t that different from being in a long distance relationship. At the moment, I’m happy being me. Maybe someone else will come along that is also happy with me being me and we can be happy together. There should probably be a law against using the word happy that many times in a paragraph.
Libraryland has been wonderful. I’ve been participating in our programming committee and feel like this is a group who’s work will make a difference. I got approved to have a Teen Space at my branch too, in addition to Teen Advisory, so now we will have a once a month hang out spot just for teens. Reading Marathon is coming up in about a week and we go next week to the middle school to promote it at lunch hour. I love having a specific program to promote–ok, I just love tabling and all the teens I see. I feel like a mini celebrity bribing the kids with candy to love me (I mean, love the library of course). Oh and we got a new regional manager. Yup, another new manager.
The Boy is very nice to have around. He’s at an awkward phase where he wants to be a gentleman, but he forgets sometimes and lapses back into teen sas. I am diligent in reminding him to “be nice” and he’s always pretty quick to come around. Unless there’s school work involved, then it takes him a little longer. He got a bit of a scare this quarter though, so even that attitude is changing. For now. I understand wanting to be in charge of your own life but failing school isn’t a good way of proving you’re ready to be a man. Oh, and when it takes you two days to empty the dishwasher, that means I have to wait that long to do the dishes. (That’s an exaggeration, in case you’re wondering). We’ve been having a nice time together generally. The power struggles have gotten shorter and we have some pretty good conversations when we sit on the couch in the evenings.
This snow is awesome. I had Wednesday off to take The Boy to his doctor appointments, but of course they were all canceled. I stocked up on groceries on Tuesday night and I’m super glad because I haven’t been outside for the last 2 days for more than taking pictures and taking out the trash. I got the house clean and organized yesterday and now am enjoying the warmth and quiet. I think I’m going to go hang out in my newly reassembled bed for some quality reading time. Hopefully my legs will not atrophy before my 6 mile run on Sunday.
Ok, I’m back (I think, might be too soon to say). The Boy and I have been setting up house, getting used to each other again and struggling with homework discipline. He is coming around on the latter, slowly but surely. His grades are good, but it’s early to say that and the hard projects are coming. I’m hoping we can get him into a healthy pattern before they start. He seems to see the wisdom I’m preaching, when he isn’t rolling his eyes or telling me not to act like he’s stupid. We’re working on it.
And “The Boy” just sticks for me. I guess he will always be my boy, so not a big deal to call him such. Especially here where he never bothers to tread. I try to keep the embarrassing bits to myself anyhow.
So, libraryland is busy as always. The new session of TAG is underway and while my group is smaller, it seems more solid. I have a lot of kids back from last year and a few new people. There are definitely a couple of dominating personalities, so I will be looking into learning about moderating meetings in that situation.
I took a beginning Excel class offered to city employees. I expected to be bored for most of it, since I’ve been using Excel pretty often for the last 10 years, but I was pleasantly surprised that I learned something new through most of the training. Part of it was learning where things are in the ribbon, which I admit has been making life difficult since the upgrade to Windows 2007. I got my questions answered too, which will make me a better treasurer and would likely land me the temp job of my choice!
I also wrote my first “professional” blog post, over there–> It’s nothing revolutionary, but something I am interested in and not necessarily librariany. I have some thoughts for a couple more, but need a few minutes at work to write them down. Then I have some more reading and thought processing to do.
I had some fun with the pictures in the header. They are all pictures I took, mostly around Seattle. I like how they fit my mood and seem to fit my profession.
Ok, I’m off. Lots to do this lovely Saturday that is likely to be the last sunny day in a while. Ciao.
I just got home from seeing PJ 20 at the Cinerama. It was recommended by another mom with a teen, and at first I thought mine would rather see Moneyball, being the bball player he is, but he readily agreed to see the Pearl Jam documentary. My hope was to take his mind off not having friends to hang out with yet (which proved not to be true since he was offered a ride to see the football game tonight). So, we went to sushi on Capitol Hill, then wandered downtown until the movie started.
If you’ve been on the fence about seeing this, let this tip you towards it. The documentary was very well done and I am sure that the band is very proud of how it turned out. Their voices were all there, not just EV’s. I loved learning all the quirks and how they came together, what made them different from other bands and how they dealt with their fame. I am not the most hardcore Pearl Jam fan–I’ve only seen them live once, a few years ago at the Gorge–but this show made me feel like I know them just a little. I can’t say that someone that dislikes them would appreciate it, as there is definitely an angelic glow that covers even the most tragic events in their career, but if you do like them, see it. You won’t be sorry.
Books! I’ve been reading them…somewhat slowly lately.
I finished book 2 in the Monster Blood Tattoo series. Lamplighter is the continuation of the story of Rossamund Bookchild, foundling and now apprentice lamplighter for the emperor. Rossamund goes bravely into apprenticehood, and even though he isn’t good at everything, he makes up for it in perseverance and smarts. Soon after arriving–a week late, as he finds he can’t live down–a young woman, Threnody, also joins the ranks and becomes a sometimes troubling friend. Circumstances push all of the apprentices out into their profession a bit early, and Threnody volunteers to accompany him to a difficult posting. During their time there, much happens to cause Rossamund to question who he really is. Don’t forget the monsters and subterfuge. I think we will learn more in book 3, Factotum.
The adventure is wondrous and the story strange. If it weren’t for the fact that this book keeps me racing to the dictionary, I would recommend it to everyone. It is not a light read, but very entertaining.
I am finally finishing up Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, which also had me consulting a dictionary. Two heavy reads at the same time, it’s lucky I got through them both and almost at the same time. I think I need some fluff to bring my brain back to earth.
I can’t say enough good about Perdido Street Station. In fact, I can’t seem to say anything about it right now. It is amazing, the world that Mieville creates is mind blowing. That’s not as much of a metaphor as it would usually be. You’ll just have to read it yourself.
I have not been to the strip once this trip. We’ve been thrifting and lazing and cooking. All things the Mister doesn’t get to do usually. I’m posting a couple of pictures from his balcony. You can barely see the pool where we spent some time on Saturday.
Today there are tons of kids running around and people bbqing at the little bbqs placed around the parklike grounds. Most places here are gated. Even the ghettos.
What am I reading? I just finished Bloodshot by Cherie Priest which was just the right amount of pulpy mystery vampirey goodness for a Las Vegas vacation.
I spent a long time on Overdrive last night finding my next book and settled on Fever Dream by George R.R. Martin, which is turning out to be a fantastic historical fiction fantasy, also featuring vampires. And steamboats.
An aside: who knew that SPL had a better ebook selection than KCLS? I guess I do now. Kudos to us!