Archive for May, 2007

Spinning around

Tonight, my head is spinning.

 I have been reading like mad to finish some of the books I need to read for my committee.  I started the day with Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers which is surprisingly good and one that I really enjoyed.

Then I moved on to the Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick that I found to be a little on the boring side and am not sure what type of kid I could really give this book to.

The next on my list is Hitler’s Canary by Sandi Toksvig about the effect of Hitler on Denmark.   I am reading quite a variety!

At the same time I am listening to Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie in the car.  I just finished Cover Her Face by P.D. James  (also in the car)  and that was quite good. I hope I don’t get the characters mixed up with those in the Christie, having gone directly from one to the other in record time.

I hope to start the Orkney Scroll by Lyn Hamilton this weekend.  This is just a light mystery featuring an antiques dealer and a Scottish scroll that goes missing.   I have both Saturday and Sunday off, so I should have some time to get some chapters in.

And, I have not forgotten about my quest to read the Edgar Award winners.  I bought The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin and the Light of Day by Eric Ambler.  The Light of Day is the novel that the film Topkapi is based on, and I just LOVE Topkapi.  Truly one of the greatest films of the seventies.   It is one that I watch quite frequently.

Subsequently, my eyes are getting very heavy and tired.  But, having finished the two childrens books I am off to a good start on my reading for the committee.  And, it is work I love to do.

 And, with every day we get closer to Friday!  Tomorrow I have to visit a fifth grade and sign up kids for the summer reading club.  Because our branch is under construction, we don’t have the room to set up a table in our mini library so we are heading off to the schools to try and drum up some interest.   I don’t mind the summer reading club but it usually is a lot of work and I am just as happy when the darn thing is over.  This year we are Reading Across America.  We have some nifty little prizes to give out, including a rather strange squishy ball that is somewhat obscene.  I have one living on my desk. I have named him sticky.  He is currently fighting a little Spiderman, and I am not sure just who is winning.  It is amazing that I get anything done!

But, I will not be alone at the school. I think three of us are going so I should be well protected.  And I can deliver my prepared speech, get the kids to fill out the required cards and get back to the branch in one piece.

So, make sure that you, my faithful readers, get out to your local library and sign up for your summer reading club.  You can pretend you are signing up for a nephew or a niece. Trust me.  And you can get some nifty plastic thingamabob to take home.  And, you have to read more books over the summer. What is not to like?

May 31, 2007 at 10:57 pm 5 comments

So many books…

I was thinking about the amount that I read today, and was wondering, am I nuts?

I do know that some people read more than others.  I see it every day at the library.  I can tell that a person who checks out eight to ten books at a go is a reader at heart.   I talk to other readers who carry books with them every place that they go.   There may always be a spare moment that will find you doing nothing.  There may always be a few blessed seconds that you can read.

Do you think I am trying to avoid life?  Instead of living life am I living through my favorite characters?   Or, could it be that I just like to read?   I guess there are people who are T.V. watchers and can watch hours and hours of T.V.  There are those of you that go to the movies.  And some of us just like to read.    But do I read too much?

Is there a thing as too much?  I don’t know.  I do know that I keep a pile in my house of books that I am reading and the pile never seems to go down.  Oh, books get read and taken from the pile but they are easily replaced by books that I have yet to read.  I come to work and browse the shelves or talk to a customer and before you know it, I have two or three more books stuffed into my bag to take home.

And I really have a lot in common with my customers that read.  Even when we read vastly different things.  To connect with another reader is a great thing.  To know that there are other people who carry books around with them wherever they go.   I could not go on vacation without three or four novels.  I never know what mood I will be in.  I need to have a choice of things to read.  And God forbid if I finish all my books! I hate being at the mercy of finding a paperback at the checkout counter of the supermarket. I need a selection!  I have to choose what I want to read. 

I ran out of books once on a cruise.  I knew that I could not use the ship’s library because we only had two more days and I would not have the time to finish something.  I went to the gift shop and the collection was meager.  The sales clerk made fun of me because I was making a fuss at how lousy the selection of books was.  He kept telling me that I was on a cruise and I should be doing other things!  All I could think about was “are you kidding?”

And I certainly hope I don’t bore you with all my reading adventures.  I know at the Dartboard I tend to talk about books a great deal, what I am reading, what I am planning on reading, and what certain books have meant to me.   I think that books have made such a dramatic part of my life.  Books have always been there for me and have never let me down.   Bookstores are havens of joy and safety that welcome me with open arms and let me stay and breathe in all that new paper.   And I have made my home and living in a library,  just the place for a little guy like me.

But sometimes I step back and look at all the books I have read and wonder what it is all for.  How many books will I read in my lifetime?  Will I still be able to read after I die? Will I ever actually get caught up or will there constantly be  a wealth of material out there for me to get through?

I don’t have any answers.   If you have any thoughts, please share.    I gotta go now. I have to finish a book!

May 29, 2007 at 10:52 pm 8 comments

Heat, ect.

The temperature is rising.  I tell you, global warming is going to kill me.    I am going to have to move to Nova Scotia. Seriously.

It was really hot in the house today.  I have a window unit up in the bedroom, but that doesn’t really help me down in the living room.  I had the day off for Memorial Day and I almost wish I had to go to work.  At least at work I would have central air conditioning.

I had one hell of a headache most of the day.  I still have it.  Aspirin doesn’t seem to work.  I just have to ride it through.  We will be turning on the AC in the bedroom soon and going to bed.  That should help.  I am just not a fan of summer.

I know I have been quiet this weekend.  Just haven’t wanted to turn the old laptop on.   It was nice to have a couple of days without the computer.   I spent the weekend watching Cagney and Lacey and the Ghost Whisperer on DVD.   Also catching up on my reading.   Finished the novel by Julia Spencer-Fleming and am almost done with one by Robert Barnard.  I guess I should post a review.  Maybe tomorrow.  I might be feeling a bit more energetic if I can lose this headache.

I hope those of you that had a three day weekend made good use of it!   And those of you with a normal weekend the same.  I think I am going to go and see what I have missed the past couple of days.   Take care!

May 29, 2007 at 12:51 am 1 comment

The Day We Lost Verizon…

My posting might become a bit sporadic.

Chris forgot to pay the verizon bill.   We use verizon for our DSL.  I think it is also attached to a phone line, but Chris and I use our cell phones exclusively and never use the land line.  I don’t think I even know what phone number we have.

So, the verizon line was cut off, as well as our DSL.   And, in order to reinstate the DSL they have to reinstate the phone line and there is a waiting list and they cannot get us back online until June.

Luckily, Chris can also use his cell phone as a dial up, but it is quite slow.  So I will be borrowing his cell dial up from time to time in order to post and hopefully be able to comment on blogs.  But if it does become sporadic, never fear.  I will be up and running soon.

In other tragic news, Baltimore Gas and Electric are raising their rates again, another 50%.  We can hardly pay our electric bill now.  I can only imagine what it will be like if it gets more expensive.   We will probably be sitting in the dark.  We won’t be able to cook, because the stove is electric.   I am seriously considering moving to a cheaper state.  Maryland is becoming far too expensive.  But I guess it is expensive all over.   Much to expensive for a little ole’ librarian to survive.

At least we have a sofa at work and if I get too cold, I can come here and crash.  And we have plenty of books and a little kitchenette.  I could move in!  The only thing missing is a shower.   I wonder if I could bring my dog…

I hope all of you my dear friends are managing to pay all your bills as well.  With the increase in gas, many of us will have to cut vacations short and stay home.  Can’t travel too far if you can’t fill up your tank.  It is up to $3.15 a gallon.  I spent $40.00 filling up the tank today. Luckily I don’t live too far from work.   Living in the city is nice because we have so much available to us within easy reach.  I can even walk to the grocery store.  

I wonder if I could bike to work?   I would have to travel on some busy roads, and would most likely become a dewey pancake.   And I would have to get up really early.  And, I am in no shape whatever to actually bike to work.  But it is a good thought.   I think I will trade my car in for a hybrid next time.

Ah well.

So, are you doing anything with the upcoming three day weekend? I work on Saturday, so it is really a two day weekend with Friday off as well.  Going out to breakfast with a friend tomorrow morning.   Don’t have any plans for Monday. I will keep you posted.  

May 24, 2007 at 10:40 pm 7 comments

Wednesday Blahs…

Wednesday finds me with not much to say.

Motoring through the week as best I can.

My library has been under construction for months (we are expanding) and the end is in sight.  They are putting in the carpeting and the new fixtures are starting to arrive.   Toured the new area last night and it looks really nice.  We even have a brand new information desk.  I will start to feel official again!  It is a nice rounded sphere as opposed to the square, boxy desk that we had before.   It looks like a brand new branch.

They also finished the ceiling.   We had an unfinished ceiling before with pipes and tubes and ducts exposed.  They dropped the ceiling down and managed to hide the ductwork.   I think that will help to decrease the noise level.

Contrary to popular belief, the library of today is not quiet.  Many people assume that when you work in a library you have a quiet job.  Not so.  Libraries are community centers and when you are in a busy branch, you get all sorts of people.  This includes those on cell phones,  small children running back and forth around the branch, and friends finding one another and getting into animated conversations.  Coupled with the phone ringing off the hook at the info desk and the assorted information question, it can get quite lively.

And on the topic of libraries,  just a random question.  I was wondering how many of you, my readers, have your own library card!   They are free and easy to get.  I hope that you get out and support your public library.  We need all the support we can get!  So, if you don’t have a library card or don’t know where your local library is hiding, find out. You will not be disappointed.

Did you know that our branch was given a piano?  We have a speaker series called the Friends Cafe (sponsored by the Friends of the Library) and quite often, the speaker has a musical talent.  So, one of the friends donated a piano! Because of the construction, it is now housed in our break room, but will be moving to the meeting room as soon as we get the meeting room back. 

I hope we have someone that can play!   

Well, it is nearly 7:00 AM and I must go get ready to start the day.  It’s over the hump day.  Happy Wednesday to you all! 

May 23, 2007 at 11:01 am 7 comments

The Secret

I have a secret.

I am not at liberty to share it, but it makes me incredibly happy.  I have been smiling all weekend.

It is a truly remarkable secret. 

I have alway had trouble keeping secrets.  Not that I have ever known that many.  People that I know are not very secretive.   And I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. 

In my family I grew up with secrets. My mother was always afraid of “what the neighbors might think.”  Not that the neighbors ever came over.  My parents did not really entertain.  I am sure they had friends, mostly people that they worked with and occasionally they did go out and leave us with a babysitter, so I do believe that they had some kind of social life.  But the neighbors never did actually come over and I never could figure out what we were supposed to be hiding from them.

I had a friend named Dana and I used to go over to her house for the holidays.  It was amazing!  They had a table full of people and a full bar sitting out on the kitchen  counter.  People were laughing and drinking and running from room to room.   It was a houseful of merriment.   We never drank in my family.  We did have a liquor cabinet, and it did contain a few bottles.  The tops became crusty from congealed sugar.   I do remember my father buying us some cold duck on New Year’s and we always got a sip.

Sometimes my aunt was invited over and I think she might have been toasted.  Of couse, since we never talked about such things, my sister and I were never to know.  I do remember on occasion in which my sister was getting ready for a dance recital.   She had a sparkly orange dance outfit with gold fringe hanging from the sleeves.  My aunt insisted on trying it on.  It barely fit.  I can see her now, standing in the living room in my sister’s dance recital outfit.   My mother was mortified.  I am sure glad the neighbors all stayed home that day.

So my family is no stranger to secrets.

And now I have one.

And it is wonderful.

Have a great day, everyone!

May 22, 2007 at 1:50 am 7 comments

Aaaaah Rhapsody

Chris belongs to a great little service called Rhapsody.  He has recently indoctrinated me unto its wonders.  I am now a rhapsody fan.  

It really is as much fun with an MP3 player that you can have!

It works like this:  Chris pays a monthly fee and can go onto the service and look for music.  And almost everything that is out there is available.   And you can download the full album to your MP3 player and listen to it and see if you like it.

And you can let it live on the MP3 player as long as you want!  You can’t transfer the tunes to other players or burn them to a CD unless you purchase them, but you can listen at will.

So, I bought a 4 gb Sansa player and have been spending the weekend downloading and listening to tunes.

I have discovered several things about myself:

I thought Joss Stone would grow on me.  She doesn’t.

I feel the same way about Justin Timberlake.

I like the new Hilary Duff CD “Dignity” but not enough to buy.

I definately like Patrizio Buanne and he is on my list of “to be purchased”, along with the new Michael Buble.

I still adore the Spice Girls.

It is nice to be able to listen to an entire album to see if it would really suit your collection.  It is nice to be able to “rent” something that you like at the moment but probably will not have staying power.  It is nice to have access to all types of music!

So, I have become a rhapsody fan.   I am sure I will let you in on my musical adventures!

May 20, 2007 at 9:25 pm 3 comments

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