Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dreams of Ice Cream

I think I tired myself out a bit last week. It seemed like each night got a little later and each morning stayed the same--I didn't let myself sleep past 8 even though I could have. On Thursday I stayed home with a stomach ache and slept until 11. That should have helped, right? I went to work the next day and rode my bike, then went and got my hair cut. I rode home and felt fine. I was voraciously hungry, so ate some cheese and crackers until the burgers were ready. We ate around 7 and I crashed. Literally. I was asleep by 8 and didn't wake up until 8 the next morning. Exciting? These are the things you get to learn about on my amazing blog.

My hair is multicolored now. No one has even mentioned it though, so it must not be too exciting. I warmed it up a bit with reddish and blond highlights and got my hair trimmed. Only a little bit shorter... I will post a picture when there is time.

There is a new ice cream place in the U-district! Yummy organic ice cream from a mysterious source--not even the woman behind the counter knew where they make it. It is on par with Molly Moon and they have coffee! Pretty Kitty has my approval. I went there for my co-worker's birthday celebration and got two pints, one Mexican chocolate and one birthday cake (of course) and both were delicious. I also tried the horchata and the salted carmel. The don't have lines out the door, like Molly Moon, so get there before they get discovered!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

And life goes on

3 day weekend...thank the gods. I really needed it, with few obligations and lots of down time. The short end of that is that my house has not been cleaned and the garden was not attended to until this morning. As soon as I get my butt out of this chair, I will begin the clean. This is where the 3rd day comes in, you get two to relax and one day to get fed up with your own stink enough to start cleaning!

Two of my sibs in my dad family have birthdays today (yup, twins). We had a bbq at Volunteer Park for my sis yesterday. The weather was actually pretty perfect; the sun kept peaking out and it didn't rain the whole time we were there. I made a peach, strawberry, rhubarb cobbler that was just soooo yummy. Dr. T suggested that I share the left overs with my housemates today and I said "no way! I am eating all that myself!" Then I gave them some rhubarb so they can make their own, 'cause that's how I roll.

I was really on a baking jag this weekend (as you can still see by the state of my kitchen). I made sourdough bread, strawberry scones, scratch waffles from my dad's recipe and the sourdough starter, and the cobbler. I had to make the waffle batter twice because the first time I left it out all night. Dairy and sourdough starter don't like that, although it was an interesting science experiment.

I don't think I mentioned, a friend gave me an italian sourdough starter a few weeks ago. It is really fun to work with and I have made several breads. I have also found that my oven is a little too hot and I keep getting a bit harder crust than I want. When will I learn? Even though I know this, every time I make a new recipe I forget to take that into consideration.

The last few weeks circumstances have made me a little pessimistic about library work. I really love my job and I just needed a reminder. Today has been a good day of reading about what other systems are doing and it gives me hope that we will recover from the changes that are going on. My friend has some interesting info on the NY Library's anti-prom. I love to hear about teens doing such great things. Especially when there is a library involved.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009


The restructuring downtown is definitely not the only thing that we at the branches "don't get" the same way as those at central. There is quite the comment war going on over at the stranger and they are all well worded, even is some are more emotional and studded with swears than others. This is one of those debates where I keep turning my head to hear what the new person has to say, being swayed by both sides. It both makes me want to take up arms and go bury my head in the sand. I don't really feel like I am intellectually up to this conversation. On paper, both sides are right.

Had a wonderful day though. Got up early for no apparent reason, but got a bit done before the day really started. Finished a book that seems to capture the life of a street kid, Theories of Relativity by Barbara Haworth-Attard, got some storage stored, moved my desk into the extra room, general clean-ey type stuff. Not perfect, but it makes me feel better. Then I went with a couple of friends to a newish place on 32nd, called Picolino's. They have beautiful outside seating and the food was good. We sat on the front sidewalk and kept having to feel bad for those trying to pass between the table and the tree well in the sidewalk, but otherwise had a lovely time. They have good coffee too--Umbria :) what Crave used to serve. I have been meaning to try this place for a while, even though there was some controversey over their take over of the building they reside in. I can't find the documentation for that right now, since the archives for MyBallard seem to be down.

Now we are off to hit the junk/thrift stores and Fred Meyer to help along my attempt to make my own peach brandy.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Stranger Said Boo

There is a ton of controversy going around the library right now, for several reasons. Our central branch had a re-structure of employees. They moved people around, changed managers, moved managers out to branches, combined or split apart departments, etc. None of this really affects us out in the Branches, so we are bystanders in this and can't really understand what they are going through down there. Some people seem fine with it, while others hate it vehemently.

We also have some system wide changes coming up, as you may have seen in the news. The Seattle Times, The PI Book Blog and KUOW all covered our proposed changes to the Code of Conduct. These are basically rules which patrons should observe while using the library to ensure privacy, safety and well being for all present and the changes will make these rules clear as well as the consequences for breaking them. There has been a lot of support for the changes, both by staff and the public, although there are those who feel that the rules affect certain populations more than others.

Yesterday, The Stranger decided to take that stance in an article that was actually about something else. I suppose it helps make their case that we are a homeless and immigrant hating organization. This article exposes (through leaked material by one of my coworkers) that administration is planning to change some of our circulation policies, such as reducing check outs and holds to 50 and 25 respectively, from 100 items, and adding a fee for interlibrary loans. This is not expected to make the library a ton of money, and one goal is to make people think more about the actions they take. A lot of interlibrary loans are not even picked up from the library to be checked out, as are many holds. Interlibrary loans cost an average of $15 (some cost nothing more than their transportation and staff time, others I have heard of cost $150 just to borrow from another system) and holds that sit of the shelf and are not checked out also cost money and time.

The article is inflammatory and at times incorrect. The quotes from Nancy Pearl and King County Library System are good and constructive, but anything that came from Seattle Public tends to be overly emotional and finger pointing. I don't propose that these are the best choices for SPL to make for our system and our patrons and I hope more thought will go into them before they are finalized. So far, I haven't been able to find any other news agency (giving The Stranger the benefit of the doubt about being one) covering this story, but I hope one comes out soon. We need more balance in our lives right now.

Update: The library has posted this explanation of the changes as a news release.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

All the Little Pieces

Less exciting goings ons this week. Lots of work, going to schools and booktalking/talking up the summer reading program--I love getting teens to talk to me. And let me just say that 6/7th grades are THE BEST because they aren't old enough to be too cool yet. But they are old enough to read the books I love. There you go.

My manager has returned to us, which is most awesome. The interim manager was great, but it meant that I had two of them for almost a year, which made some things challenging. It could have been much worse, but is already better. Sunshine!

Today I am having buffet sushi with my friend then a little mall excursion. My Crave boss has invited me to a bbq where I know only her, but it has been long enough since I have seen her that it sounds like a go too. Dr. T and I are supposed to fit making beer in there as well. This time will be an amber.

Yesterday was the weirdest. We just had about every personality type you could imagine in the library. I was glad to go home. We had secret identity man, Man beading in the children's area--got mad when I told him he had to move and threw pastries, Grumpy old guy that has to be waited on and to top the cake, Entitled woman who comes in right at closing, takes some time to pick out a dvd, then informs us she needs some special help. I WILL GIVE YOU SOME SPECIAL HELP! Ok, better now.

I unwound at Circus Contraption's The Show to End All Shows. It was wonderful and dark, funny and very very entertaining. I would recommend it, except that their last show EVER is today. CC is breaking up. It was grand and they will be missed.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Today, Tomorrow and Yesterday

So much keeps happening, I just can't keep up!
Dr. T and Bro
Dr. T graduated from Medical School over the weekend. There was much celebrating. His mother and brother came, as did his dad and some friends of the family. We all met up at the convocation, then everyone came to my place for a bbq. It definitely had a different feel from when I have a party, but that is probably because I don't know these folks as well, although they are all really nice. We did some sight seeing with Dr. T's mom and brother--hit the Seattle Center, the Ballard Locks and stopped in at the Fremont Sunday Market. It was a good time and I am so proud of my baby. Good job Dr. T!

On Sunday we also said farewell to our interim manager, who was with us for almost a year. We had a little picnic at the local park and talked around the circle. It was a nice evening, even if it was a little cool. The Boy had to miss all of the outings besides the graduation ceremony due to homework avoidance.

On Monday I had a driving marathon. It was a real test for Lady Gray, but she ran like a champ. I guess if she can get me to Nevada and back, she can get me all over the Puget Sound. I took The Boy to school in BFD in the morning, had about a half hour at home before I drove to Shelton to take my mentee to a bbq in Auburn. I dropped her and Little D off at the bbq, then ran some errands. She reminded me that she was a teenager when it was time to go home. She tried to talk me into leaving her there. To her credit, when I showed up at 6, she was ready to go and didn't argue at all. We had some good talking on the way back.

Rode to work this morning. Actually, to Roosevelt HS where I met 4 other librarians in an attempt to woo high schoolers into coming to Summer Reading programs--FREE BOOKS! You know you want one!

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Too much time has passed

Facebook has taken over my online life--or more accurately a game called Mafia Wars. I am just getting over the hump of this addiction, where you can admit you have a problem and start pulling away. Plus the game just isn't as fun as it was a few days ago. Still fun, but not quite as fun. So I am here, making an effort to be away from the other tab open on my browser--I didn't say I was cured. I won't tell you about the game itself, because then you will either think that I am weak for being addicted to such a silly game or you will go play it yourself, get addicted and blame me....

So much has happened in non-online life the last couple of weeks. I rode my bike about 90 miles last month, and hope to continue that. The Boy, Dr. T and I went to Spokane over labor day, spent time with family and did wedding errands--I am sure you saw my shoes. The weather was gorgeous and the only thing I can complain about is not having enough time with my niece. She is so darling, but she doesn't really remember me and gets shy. I was hoping to get reaquainted with her over that weekend, but it turned out to be a little too busy. Sister M and her fiance were there, though and it was wonderful to see them and Papa P, my step dad for most of my childhood.

This weekend, well, I worked Saturday. But it was a good day. I like being at my small branch in the summer. It is really sunny in there, my co-workers rock and there are lots of goodies close by. Molly Moon's Ice Cream, Bella Cosa Foods and now Archie McPhee as of yesterday. I went to Bella Cosa and bought yummy cheese and salumi salami for my bbq/game night the next day. On Sunday I got the whole house sparkley then had family and friends over for a bbq, then later had more friends over for games. It turned out to be another beautiful day and all of my best friends made it--except Sister M, who living in Nevada is given a pass ;) Oh yeah, and it was my birthday.
The Seattle Public Library Summer Reading Program 2009 - I'm a fan!
In libraryland I have been setting up school visits for summer reading and book talks: my older teen list and my tween list; and scheduling Danger: Books! presentations for the fall. Soon, the Summer Reading Program will take over my life. This is the fan badge for the teen program, although they all look pretty much the same:

Get yours here.

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