Monday, July 30, 2007

Richmond Beach Sightings

I am often surprised at how little I run into people I know in Ballard or Capitol Hill. It just seems like the odds should be there that I would every now and then. The few times that I do see someone I know, or that knows me, wandering the city of Seattle, the person is from Richmond Beach. I lived there for a couple of years, once in a lovely cabin in the back yard of an unoccupied house, another time in a second floor apartment across from the little store. I also lived with my grandmother there when I was first divorced, many many years ago. I worked in that little store (now called that, unfortunately, but was called Richmond Beach Foods) for about 3 years in all. At first it was a great place to work. At different times I was the store's assistant manager or manager of the post office. I made sandwiches and muffins, stocked shelves, made coffee, sold stamps, mailed packages and filled mail boxes. I met a lot of people there--wonderful neighbors, crazy neighbors, contractors doing work in the neighborhood, bands recording at Robert Lang studios just below my grandmother's house. I also ended up working there for a little while after I graduated college, but that is another story.

The other day, my library held a dance and storytelling of Zimbabwe program, and one of my former neighbors came in with her daughter. The Boy used to play with the daughter at the park by the Richmond Beach library when they were little kids. She is 10 now, so the age gap is 3 years. We chatted for a bit after the program and then they went into the children's area and read books.

Today I went to Freddies in Ballard to get some groceries and ran into the baker that used to work at the little store. We chatted and it turns out that she went back to school for pastries and now works for a semi-famous chocolate shop. She was one of my favorite co-workers.

About a month ago, I went to Costco in Shoreline. I was just picking up some paper plates--it was an in and out job--and I ran into M and S. M had been one of those regular customers at RB Foods that sat for hours in the mornings at the tables near the windows. Those boys would talk for hours about politics, news and each other. They would harange me and I would tease them. When we had an emergency, those regulars were right there, helping us or each other out. They were almost like a family to me. M especially, and another customer A. A was a retired engineer. He was amazing and sad, all at the same time. He was an alcoholic and slept in the same bed with his rather dirty dog, so you can imagine what he smelled like. He could build or fix just about anything, quote all the dead white guys and a few of the dead black guys, too. He made the best maraschino cherries--doubly good for the everclear they were packed in. Which brings me to another regular: Dr. B. As you may know, it can be a slight bit difficult to get everclear in Washington, but Dr. B was able to get this substance for A every year. Dr. B was a homeopathic doctor. References to this man popped up throughout my life when I was in my 20's. He still taught, and I met one of his students at a party. This young man told me that he loved Dr. B and that he had once given his entire class ephedra so they could experience the effect. I however, had always been wary of Dr. B. He was fond of offering me expensive things, like cars or a place to live. I felt these things probably had a string attached so I ignored the offers. That was proven true when I ran into A one day (I can't remember if it was walking around the neighborhood or up at Fred Meyers--I used to run into A everywhere). While we were talking, he told me that he'd just remembered that he was supposed to give me something. He handed me Dr. B's card and said "he told me to tell you that he has unlimited funds." I raised my eyebrow at him and he shrugged, saying "don't kill the messenger." I threw the card away in the nearest receptical and the only thing that could have made me wait to do so would have been if an incinerator had been nearby.

When I ran into M at Costco that day, he told me that Dr. B had passed on. I didn't know what to feel about it. Today I finally thought to look up the obituary. He was an interesting and well loved man. But boy did he creep me out.

X-posted with some edits on my LJ


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sugar is Bad...

Over the last year or two, my son has stopped doing his homework unless threatened with severe consequences. He has complained of headaches and being tired. Boredom was his biggest complaint. If you are tired all the time, you don't feel much like doing anything. Video games, which engage the imagination without the expenditure of much energy, would be a solace. An escape.

Now that we know he had diabetes, all these things make more sense. Especially the last month or so of increasing soda addiction, the need to pee suddenly, drinking entire gallons of water, the headaches and sleeping late. Mostly things that can be attributed to being a new teenager. To the habit of "being bored." But I hope that as we treat this, with diet and insulin, that his energy will return and he will be happy and energetic again.

Tomorrow, when he gets out of the hospital and starts towards home, he will start another journey. And while it will be hard for him, hard to change his diet, hard to give himself shots, I know he will persevere. I love that boy with all my heart and he will have the support he needs through this. I know he won't always want it, but I am ready to face what comes.

Sorry to be so...spouty :)

And yes, I know that all those things that I am attributing to diabetes did have something to do with being a teenager as well. He also never told us how uncomfortable he was. That is definitely my boy. Always trying to pretend everything is all right. Don't want to upset the parents, you know.

Friday, July 27, 2007

2 Days of Outreach

On Wednesday I attended the Mapleleaf Summer Social. I shared a table with the community center, and I think we did a great job augmenting each other. The teen coordinator staffed their booth and he brought several teens with him to hand out flyers. They were very enthusiastic and it helped me learn some of the names that had eluded me in the past. They also kept bringing us goodies from the other booths. There was LC's Diner that had yummy pork skewers and the quesadilla's were really good. Cloud City Coffee and Wild Roots Spa were giving away shirts and samples. And of course there were Good Humor ice cream bars. I saw many of our library patrons there and gave away summer reading program flyers to those I didn't recognize (and some I did). Both of the people running for Seattle City Council that stopped by seemed to think that Metro should be hiring more bus drivers and having routes run every 15 minutes rather than every half hour or hour. I would love to see that happen, but I doubt it will.

Last night was gaming night for Queen Anne. This time the Wii worked the entire time and we got to try out all the games. DDR was not as popular this time. We also played air hockey and pool. There were 5 teens, 3 boys and 2 girls.

One of the boys followed the two girls around as they alternately sat on the couches, played air hockey and got snacks. He talked to them about everything and anything and they looked at me several times and rolled their eyes, but otherwise seemed to find the attention entertaining.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New New New

Time for a new title. I am not as sarcastic as I have been in the past, but this is the closest I have come to having a nickname over the years. And since I am no longer a "new" librarian (I have a whole year under my belt and plenty of life experience before that) I thought it was time to change my gist.

I have been in the "new" phase for a few weeks now. While I am no longer new to this profession, I am craving new things, or at least newly organized, cleansed and fresh things. I have bought some new clothes, cleaned my apartment and fixed all those little things I ignored before. I am still getting to the car--not a new one, but a clean one--and a couple of things around the house. Waiting for a slip cover to arrive for my patently ugly, yet comfy, couch.

I may have to have a late summer bbq to celebrate all my newness. Maybe after we get back from vacation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bloggers reading Blogs

I finally updated my Blog links. Originally I thought I would be reading a lot of other librarian's blogs, so I put some on there that I heard about, but most just did not catch my interest. The ones I enjoy reading most are Pop Culture Librarian, I Asshole! and Silver in SF. The writing is interesting and the content is something that you don't come across everyday. The other blogs are my sister and her friends, who I like keeping up with, but might not be as interesting to others. Monami is a friend that moved to Colorado a while back. The main page hasn't been updated for ages, but there are links to their individual blogs and I really enjoy reading his wifes blog--she gives insight into their life in Colorado. I read the Ballard Blog a lot, written by Peggy Sturdivant, a local writer for the papers--PI, Ballard News, etc. I like keeping up with my neighborhood and she always knows what is going on. I wish there was something similar for the area's that I work in.

So, I will ask my readers--What is your favorite blog and why?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Support and Summer Socials

I haven't been here for a while. I took a long weekend for camping with family, my son got burnt to a crisp--literally 2nd degree burns. Last time he refuses sun screen. We saw Harry Potter 5 (lovely). My sister is taking the Bar for Nevada as we speak. Go Meagan! You are gonna rock that test!

I have been amazed at the love I feel at SPL. I know I sounded all negative and angsty when I didn't get the job I wanted. I was disappointed. The scheduling with the change over has been, well, a nightmare, but it ended before it got too scary. Evidentally I woke up in time and everything has worked out.

What I want to say is that the level of support that I have gotten from individuals here has been absolutely amazing. Even the manager that rejected me has been a tremendous help. My fellow teen librarians have given me kudos and talked to managers without involving me, saying what a great employee I am. I have gotten emails from assistants that have scheduled sub-hours with me in the past and they are just glowing. Managers have given me advice and helped me pull through the "dark time." I just am so thankful for the people I work with. It really makes me feel like I can make the best of this situation and see this new position as an opportunity to do great things. /gush

Tomorrow I am staffing a table at our community summer social. I am looking forward to peddling the Summer Reading Program for all three age groups and all of our other wonderful services. And of course, sampling the ice cream, because what is a summer social without ice cream?

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Official Word

The Union approved the extension of my temporary employment. I look forward to the challenge of getting to know a new neighborhood and its teens. Still nothing official on start times, but it looks like I will continue to run the Summer Reading Program events that I planned for the old 'hood until I go on vacation in August. When I return, I will most likely be starting in the new branch, getting ready for reopening.

I have been feeling my attitude dropping down into the barrels of irritation and depression over the last couple of weeks. It is not a good place for my attitude to be, so starting today, that will be changing. I am going to exercise and get the endorphins going and in general change my mood back to my happy self. Oh, and clean my room, because somehow my clothes have multiplied all over the floor, and not in a good way.

I smell coffee...I need to go make some of my own.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Enter Naruto!

Tonight was my Anime night at the Community Center. Only two boys showed up, but we had fun. We watched Naruto, played a little air hockey and I chatted with their dad a bit. The interesting thing was they are from North of Seattle and found out about the event from the web calendar. So the answer is YES! the new web calendar works. He told me that he imports the events into his calendar at home and lets the boys pick what they want to do. I told him about some of the other fun features--inviting others to events, email reminders etc. and he seemed excited to go home and try them out. I also told them about Harry and the Potters tomorrow night at Central and they were all stoked to go. Guess they missed that entry on the Calendar.

I am looking forward to the gaming event. I think it will draw more teens than the anime night did, although I have a feeling if the weather hadn't been so nice, I would have seen more of a turn out.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Family Vacation

I am feeling a bit better now about the job situation and trying to put a positive spin on things. It is difficult to know that a recent graduate won out for my job. I have never been a particularly strong interviewer though, and I need to work on improving. To that end, I have scheduled a couple of meetings with the people that interviewed me to get some pointers. Mostly I just have a hard time thinking of the right thing to say on the spot. Not that I say the wrong thing, just that I don't always hit everything they want to hear. It would help to have some insight into what I missed this time, so hopefully I won't next time.

Before I got the job news, I was camping with my family on Lake Roosevelt. The weather was perfect--pretty hot, but dry and managable. My uncle brought his boat and we had a great time cruising the lake and taking turns on the See-Doo. We put on sunscreen constantly, but we all turned out various shades of red and pink by the end. The last day I skipped the lake and hung in the shade reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. The Boy also stayed back and read the rest of the second Maximum Ride book by James Patterson and started So, Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld. I wasn't sure if he would like the second one but he did. The shade was heavenly.

There was a particular bathroom at our group site which was cleaner and less smelly than the others. It was under the trees, so was always bathed in a greenish golden glow. There were dry leaves and other bracken on the ground, which was comprised of a soft sand. As you walked towards it, the ground appeared to break apart and fly away from your feet. This was caused by the many locusts residing there. They were smaller than I had seen, smaller than most grasshoppers, but maybe they were immature. As you took a step the little buggers would hop away from your feet suddenly, but otherwise kept still. It was an odd phenomenon and the obvious reason for name of our campsite, Locust Grove.

We also had quite the chorus of frogs at night. Chirping filled the darkness and lulled us to sleep (and kept a few of us awake). The Boy caught one on our second night. It was green on top, white on the bottom and about the size of a ping pong ball. When I held it, it felt very squishy, like a damp leather sack with liquid and sticks in it. It was still hopping around and trying to get away. The next day at the lake I caught a tad pole. The round part of the tadpole was actually bigger than the frog that we had handled the night before and darker green with a longish tail.

On our 3rd full day, they (meaning the Dam) raised the level of the lake by about 3 feet. This had several effects. First, it covered the beach that we had enjoyed so much the previous two days. Second, it lifted all the flotsam into the water that had previously been hanging out around the shore and stirred up all the silt around the banks. Third, it displaced the mosquitos who suddenly found us to be quite appetizing. In other words, day three paled in comparison to our other days, so I was happy to let the others go enjoy the dirty water and get more burned while I sat in the shade with a book. Even if I was mosquito food.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All Ages at the Croc

A bunch of us went to the Crocodile last week and saw the final show for the band, the Divorce. It was a bittersweet moment for my sibs, who had been following them for years. The show was great. The photo posted is of the singer for Sirens Sister who used to be the lead singer for Vendetta Red. The other band we saw was Crosstide. All three were very good and I can see why they have liked them for so long.

This show happened on the Saturday that the lock in at the library ended, so The Boy only got a bit of sleep. At first he was pretty grumpy but after the first band he rallied and joined us to watch the second two. Later we went to dinner with Dad and family, and also ursako's man's family. It was a nice evening.

Consolation Prize

Well, surprise to me. I did not get my job. There were six candidates for the two jobs, three were not even considered. Out of the other three, two of the interviews went better than mine--Congrats to my cohort, Exmanhater, who got the other job. I am looking forward to working with you.

Because, yes, even though I didn't get my job, or the other job that was being interviewed for (which would have been quite the commute from my house), I did get the consolation prize. A temporary, 64 hour (2 week time period) teen services position, split between two libraries. The larger branch is closed at the moment, and the other is just teeny. I have no idea where I will be working shifts and I don't think that my predecessor scheduled any summer reading programs...but I could be wrong about that.

I assume that I will be at least going to my SRP program this Thursday. After that...maybe I will be a glorified reference body. God that would suck.

I have to admit that I was looking forward to becoming permanent and having some stability. I am sad to lose all the work I have put in at Queen Anne and the chance to continue working in a great neighborhood with a great bunch of people.

I am generally just sad that I was not able to convince the interviewers that I am the best person to do my job. I think of all that they and I will be losing by not having me there and it makes me frustrated.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Locked-in at the Library, Conclusion ;)

And it was! So much fun. I sort of hated being the one telling them what to do. I wanted to play, too. We ended up with 29 out of the 30 teens coming to the Lock-in. LA and I set up the gaming equipment and there was Wii and DDR. The kids had a great time playing and when the cord to one of the projectors got cut by the access door they recovered from the resulting "bang" and allowed us to find another cord without freaking. We also showed anime movies, played Apples to Apples and let the teens use the computers. We found out about a new popular website called "ask Peter" that is a rather spooky/scary joke site. One little girl got upset at around 2 in the morning and we had to call her dad to pick her up. Oddly/luckily he was awake and got there in about 5 minutes. Another boy got a stomach ache (probably too much pizza) but he made it through. Nobody got kicked out and I got almost 4 hours of sleep! The Boy claims to have only gotten 2.5, but I think it was more. Only one teen wasn't picked up in the morning and that was quickly remedied--they were hoping we would send her home on the bus, but after we explained that we couldn't do that, the mother came right away.

I had my interview this morning. I think I did well, but I won't deny that my stomach is tied in knots right now.

Next post will be of the all ages show that I took The Boy to. Much of my family was there as well and there will be some pictures.

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