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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.
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.
Wasn’t yesterday beautiful, fellow Seattleites? We waited a long time for this summer to come but now that it’s here, it is amazing. I celebrated my Wednesday off with decadent musings with iAsshole while cruising Green Lake. There were many hilarious moments, which we often have when we were together. There were also a couple of awkward ones that we had no control over. At one point, a large man on roller blades yelled “hey, Red” at her while we walked by. I wanted to say, “that’s pink to you, buddy.” but she just replied with a dismissive “Was’ up?” and we moved on.
The Offspring and I had a fun time wandering the streets of Seattle after I got home from my walky/talky date. We went to Pike Place and braved the crowds for a little while–tourists… We decided to escape that crush by going to a movie. I do not recommend Dinner with Schmucks. It had a few redeeming moments, but it definitely a DVD watch. We ended our day with Sushi Mori, which is rather expensive for the atmosphere, but has wonderful sushi. The Offspring was a lot of fun to be with. No “I’m bored”s or complaining. He even carried his stuff in a backpack instead of trying to foist it off on me. His idea.
In libraryland, the weeding is going slowly. I had a full day off desk on Tuesday that included a Teen Services Meeting and teaching an introductory email class. My comics and graphic novels order has to be in tomorrow, so I will just have to get ‘er done. Time flies.
What am I reading? Pump Six and Other Stories by Paulo Bacigalupi. This is the book of short stories where the idea for Windup Girl came from, although I haven’t gotten to that one yet. So far there have been several different possible futures for man kind, most of them involving a very different moral compass than I would be comfortable with. The story I just read featured three mining security officers who’s bodies still resemble humans, but heal almost instantly and can consume almost anything as food. They find a real dog out in the wastelands around the mine and almost kill him through carelessness. The only other animals they have ever seen were in a zoo. I find these stories fascinating and Bacigalup creates a believable and vibrant world.
Sometimes I just can’t believe we are going forward with the teen advisory group at my branch. I keep expecting to get a phone call where someone tells me they like my initiative, but this just isn’t the time. However, on every step of the way I am getting support. It feels a bit like a dream.
I had 8 teen girls and one younger boy (probably 1o or 11) come to my Cute Creatures program today, so I was able to plug the advisory group. At least a couple of them looked interested and took flyers. We had a lot of fun making felt guys. I made a bad guy and he turned out pretty good despite my glue fiasco. Fabric glue doesn’t work well on felt, and when it is black, it just makes a mess. I still have black spots on my fingers. Sewing the little pieces on worked much better, which I knew, but I tried it anyway. None of us, aside from the boy, could do a french knot, either. He showed us how he did it, but it still didn’t work for any of the rest of us. He is the only one besides me that finished his guy, too. He was amazing. Everyone had a good time, though, sewing, eating snacks, listening to the radio. It is close to what I want the advisory group to be, but with (teen) boys, too.
I am weeding comics and graphic novels and am about half way through the manga. I realize that I can do a dusty shelf print out or even have the LAIV do this job, but since this is my first year at the branch and I don’t know the collection well yet, it is smart to hold each book in my hand, look it over, check the circs and the condition and decide if its time has come to meet the Friend’s booksale. I also have a comics and graphic novels order to complete by next Friday, so it wouldn’t hurt to know what holes we have in our collection. I actually like weeding, aside from the monotony (put a load of books on a cart, take them to the desk, in between patron questions scan each book to check for the last circulation date, look at the condition of the book, put the book either in the keep pile or the weed pile). It gets a bit mind numbing if I do it for too long.
What am I reading? I am finishing up Dead Tossed Waves and the verdict is good book/annoying character. The main character is stronger than she realizes and this gets a little irritating as time goes on as she is constantly wondering why people like her, what is wrong with her, etc. etc.. The story is pretty good though, and I would say very original if it weren’t for the fact that right now it is back tracking through some of the ground from Forest of Hands and Teeth. I like that too though, as it reminds me what came before without actually spelling it out for me. So there you go.
have you been?” I remember my mom asking me that frequently as a child. I would run off to play, get lost in some fantasy land and lose track of time. Unfortunately that is not what happened this time, unless you count reading For the Win by Cory Doctorow–’cause that book really took me on a trip.
I have just been working working working; weeding the teen fiction collection before I go to Boston this weekend, making sure that Instruction issues are handled and handing some of the reigns to our LAIV who is bored sitting at the desk 7 hours a day.
Thanks to him taking some of this on, I will be freed up to do teen programming in the fall. Now I just have to decide what form that should take. I know I have sounded wishy washing explaining to my manager what I want to do, but in actuality, I want to do a lot of things. I would like to have a monthly drop in with different activities that I hope will draw a wide variety of teens. I need to talk to some of my sno-isle and KCLS friends and see what has worked for them. I’d like it to be a sort of advisory board, but without the volunteer element as I don’t have enough for 10 volunteers to do. Then again, maybe once a month I do. :P Summer reading will give me a better idea of what will fly. Robots and cute creatures and gaming, oh my!
I got clipless pedals for my bike from my former advisor and shoes and cleats from my papa for my birthday. I rode with them for the first time today and I made it there fine. Unfortunately on the way back I was not so lucky. When I reached Green Lake I didn’t pull my foot off the clip in time and I fell over, except that I got my foot under myself at the last minute and bounced back up. I am sure it was very comical. At Greenwood I wasn’t so lucky. I rode up the hill, marveling at how much easier it was with the clips. When I got near the top, I was gearing up to be ready to cross the street, looking for traffic and I had just started to twist my foot out of the clip when a runner suddenly launched off the sidewalk on my left and scared the shii out of me. I didn’t get my foot out in time and my elbow and knee hit the pavement. Once again I bounced back up, which probably looked pretty funny, and this time my hair was wildly escaping my helmet straps. The guy stopped to check on me, offering to take me to his place to clean up, but I begged off. I wasn’t badly hurt, although I am pretty sore now and had to ice my elbow for a while when I got home.
What am I reading? Currently I have The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, which is an interesting alternate reality or dystopian future where farming went wrong at some crucial time in history and genetically altered crops created all sorts of problems from a deadly rust fungus to ivory beetles that eat everything in their path. Human kind is still messing up everything even though they should know better. The story is set in Bangkok, which is surrounded by a huge sea wall to keep the ocean out. The title character is a created girl who has been set apart from human kind on purpose to show the difference in her make up–she has shutter stop motion so she always stands out. She has also been bred to be subservient and to please whomever is before her, although her mind wants something else. There are several other plots going on and the whole thing is quite complicated, but I am loving it.
I am home sick today. Luckily there is nothing really pressing that I am missing at work, although there is always something I should be doing. Yesterday was super busy with reference questions and readers’ advisory and I was alone last night. I doubt that is what gave me an upset stomach though. It is all ginger ale today.
There was one cute dad and son duo who wanted picture books with superheroes. I showed them the youngster comics (vs teen or adult), but those seemed a little much for an almost 2-year-old. All of our superhero picture books were checked out, but I put several fun looking titles on hold for them. Dad was very excited.
One of the drawbacks of being a very busy branch is that we often do not have popular titles that are on the shelves at other branches. When I first got to my new branch, I felt like the shelves were full of fluff and books you give kids who have read all the popular stuff–not saying they are bad books, they just haven’t gotten the acclaim of others due to timing, marketing or whatever. Soon I realized that everything I am used to seeing and being able to recommend was simply checked out. Which is a good thing, but makes RA difficult. I can see this happens in adult and children’s collections, too.
There is a computer class today, but it is taught by a coworker. I have one on Friday, so I need to make sure I am better by then. I am a little glad that the weather has turned rainy again so that people will be more motivated to come to our classes rather than spending the day in the sunshine.
Being Treasurer is anti-climatic so far. We had an executive board meeting last Friday where I was vocal on the points that mattered to me and listened otherwise. I once called someone by the wrong name and another time said the wrong month repeatedly–but I am sure no one noticed what a moron I am ;) I need to find that magic thing that will open up my memory for words and names.
What am I reading? Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis is an alternative history of WWII Europe where a Nazi doctor has made gods out of children, or just experiments gone wrong. I am about a quarter of the way through and enjoying it. I have to say that I don’t understand why someone who likes this wouldn’t like Boneshaker. I’m just saying. (This was recommended to me by someone who didn’t and when asked why, just said “I couldn’t suspend my disbelief.” Hmm.
I also just finished Foiled by Jane Yolen, which was very good. I loved this story of a young woman who is a fearsome fencer in New York. At school one day she meets a beautiful boy and falls for him, but something is not right. When his anger and fear show themselves, she is strong and stands up to him. Beautiful graphic novel, wonderful story.