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Quaxing is the movement of things by bike, and according to this definition, also by public transit. Following on my last post, it was moving day. Only moving out, not moving in, so entailed getting the rest of my belongings off of the boat and into storage. I have a borrowed trailer that I use for work, and I brought it to the place I am staying, because schedules.

Then on Tuesday, my day off, I began the Great Quaxing. I filled it to the brim, twice.

All of this, including the packing up, took about 2.5 hours. So, now you know just how little I own. There are some things that are already in the storage unit, along with one set of metal shelves. So I own about twice what is on these two bike trips. Nothing like living on a boat to make you whittle down your possessions.

I’m moving into my new apartment on 10/1. It’s only slightly bigger than the boat, but I will have it all to myself, which is both good and bad. As most things are. Right now I am in comfortable limbo, staying at a friend’s empty condo. I know, how lucky am I? Everything has really worked out well for this change. The worst part is waiting for my new life to start.

And I just figured out how to use Google Drive to host my photos!!! That’s pretty exciting.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about my wish list and what it really means. All of those things are meant to make me and those I care about happier.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting grumpy more often than I did in the past. For some reason being grumpy or unhappy seems like a shameful thing and it’s really hard to admit that it happens. When I look back over the more stressful moments in the last few months, though, I see the pattern. If I hadn’t been in a bad mood, hadn’t been grumpy, those stressful times would not have been so bad. Even though I didn’t actively pursue jealousy and try to take things from others, I was letting my feelings of inadequacy affect my life and the happiness of my family.

There have been times in my life when I’ve realized there is something I need to change about myself, and I went and did it. I needed better self esteem–I went to counseling and worked on changing my attitude. I needed to direct my own life instead of allowing circumstances or other people to guide me–I made that change.

Green Eyed Monster by O-r-c-h-i-d-e-a (cc license)

When trying to uncover the source of my grumpiness, I realized that I was usually unhappy after having some competitive confrontation; something that got in my face and made me feel bad for not being good enough. So I did a Google search: “how do I stop feeling competitive.” I found this article from Life Hacker by Melanie Pinola, which made me realize that it’s not necessarily competitiveness that I’m feeling, it’s jealousy. Whatever issues you find in this article, it made me look at myself in a new way and admit my flaw. And now I’m admitting it on the internet, which means that I have accepted the flaw and I know I have to fix it.

The wish list was my first attempt at fixing my moods, even though I was not thinking about it that way at the time. Now I am very consciously looking at what is making me grumpy, and I found that I was comparing myself to others and feeling lacking. Sometimes this was in social situations where I felt left out, sometimes it’s at work where others are doing good work or I felt my work wasn’t recognized, sometimes it’s on the ride to work where someone passed me. I can see now that this all goes back to self esteem and that maybe instead of fixing that flaw, I covered it up.

My first steps will be to:

  • stop comparing myself to others–or at least notice when I do it and nip it in the bud
  • treat myself well–which will include yoga and morning runs with some rockin’ music
  • and practicing gratitude–reminding myself daily about all of the wonderful people and things in my life. Aren’t they amazing?

Work has been an energy suck lately. While I love my job, I sometimes let it make me anxious and this last month has been one of those times. I’ve also had a set back on the Student Loan Forgiveness front that left me feeling sad.

My friend wrote recently about creating a wish list with some reachable goals and how she’s come along in the last year. This sounds like a great idea, as far as setting a few goals, some easily reachable, but needing some attention, to some things that might take a little longer or a bit more work.

Here it is:

  1. Be more present with my chosen family–The Mister and the girls
  2. Complete craft projects that clutter the basement (some progress already)
  3. Get Raven outfitted in an efficient, useful and stylish manner (more on this next post)
  4. Cook and bake more often
  5. Organize my work life better
  6. Run and practice yoga and mediation
  7. Go to Europe
  8. Spend more time with my siblings and friends
  9. Pay off my debt
  10. Get a kayak and go kayaking often

Some of these things require more time than I feel like I have. I can’t work less, so I have to figure out how to fit them into my daily life. I’d also like to be flexible, as The Mister is sometimes a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy. Planning too much puts a cramp in his style, and really mine too–sometimes when I plan too much, I start canceling on everything so I can just chill.

I’m putting a monthly reminder in my calendar to check back in on these wishes to see how they’re coming along.

Seattle on a fine October day. Taken from Gasworks Park.

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.

Biking and running have worn me out this month.  I was just about half way through and felt like I hit a wall with both.  Like I couldn’t improve no matter how much I tried.  It’s been a little better since I lubed my chain and made a few other adjustments to my bike and took a couple of days off from running.

I was also convinced that a week in May wasn’t there.  I had superimposed this week with last week.  I told people I had meetings I didn’t have, gave the wrong days off to one of my TAG kids when he wanted to come in and meet with me.  Luckily I realized in time and was able to rectify my mistakes, but I felt silly.  Otherwise I felt pretty sharp, conversing with colleges and getting things done.

I didn’t feel much up to blogging, which is why I only posted the lame one before this.  I am in a reading funk–trying to finish The Scar before it’s due in a couple of days and failing miserably.  Usually I can read a book in a day or two, a week sometimes for adult fiction, but here I am at the end of a 21 day check out less than half way through.  This would make sense if I didn’t like the book, but I do.

***

In Libraryland I posted a link to a blog post by Seth Gobin at work, hoping to start a discussion, pulling this quote for the headline:

mere clerks who guard dead paper

We did have a good discussion about the post, and a good response by another blogger was posted.  It wasn’t until later that night when I went to Facebook that I found out that some had taken the quote too literally and hadn’t clicked through to read the article.  Sometimes circulation staff are referred to as clerks and so some of them took this as a personal affront.  I am not sure if I should feel bad about the misunderstanding.  I do regret that feelings were hurt, but I also wonder why they didn’t click through and see what the post was all about.  He isn’t insulting clerks, he’s telling librarians to get off their asses and get with the times.  And even though the post contains quite a few misconceptions about what libraries and librarians are doing and how easy it is to find information on the internet, he is entirely correct on that point.

In other library news, as you may have seen in the paper we have a new City Librarian.  He was the best of the three candidates, in my opinion and I’ve decided to be optimistic until he proves me wrong.  Ha, that doesn’t sound very, does it?  He has a good attitude, is a great public speaker and doesn’t seem to be bringing any baggage with him.  Long live MT.

Ooh, and we teen librarians have a pretty awesome summer reading program planned.  I can’t wait to start!

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.

Bike to work month is wonderfully under way.  We had a great start on Sunday with temperatures in the 60’s, followed promptly by 2 days of frigid rain.  I have ridden every day and even included downtown in my commute when I had meetings down there 2 out of the 3 days.  The rainy ones of course.  And I’ve been running.  I can make it around Green Lake, even with all the biking, without walking or stopping and in under 3o minutes.  I keep forgetting to check the time when I start, but I know approximately.  I’ve been going to bed at a fairly normal hour and getting up EARLY!  So early for me–6:30am.  And not feeling dead.  So yes, exorcising…exercising, I mean…is good for me.

Some of those early meetings downtown were the staff interviews for the City Librarian candidates.  I missed one, but hit the other two.  I won’t state my preference, or even my opinion on the individuals, as I think it is too touchy a subject to air here.  The one I missed, though, is one I hope to miss entirely.  Forever.  I don’t think I have to worry about that.

What am I reading?  Well, almost done with Brain Jack, and it is shaping up and becoming a little less like Little Brother, but only a little.  I like the characters and the premise, minus the feeling that Brian Falkner and Corey Doctorow were sharing half a brain when they wrote these books.

I was away from my print books and needed something to read, so downloaded The Scar by China Mieville from the library.  It’s good so far, but I’m only a few pages in.

I am also doing some nerdy reading: Exemplary Public Libraries by Joy Marilyn Greiner.  I am mostly finding it interesting because the first couple of chapters are about libraries in the UK around the year 20o0, and now those libraries are in desperate jeopardy.  So much that the Guardian UK felt the need to post this op ed piece, somewhat late, about how great libraries really are and now necessary.  I agree with one of the goodreads reviewers that the book could have used a bit more editing and a better structure.  Plus now it is 10 years out of date and could use a brush up.  I was reading it to refresh my library theory and I am getting some of that, but finding it a bit repetitive.

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.

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.

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.