Life in the new apartment goes from being way too relaxing (and having too many places where I can CHOOSE to relax) to trying to figure out the triage of what needs to be done next.  As in … buying new living room furniture, getting the books / DVDs / bookcases moved out of the storage unit and into the “library,” getting a kitchen island (that will really be more of a kitchen peninsula), getting a piece of furniture for the entranceway that will be for putting stuff in and on, sorting through bins of STUFF which (if we’d gone through everything properly ahead of time) we might have thrown out rather than haul it here in the first place … etc. etc. etc.

Well, tomorrow is my free day, so I’m trying to assign myself some manageable tasks.  Picking up a DVR unit at Time Warner Cable.  Buying new pillows for the couch at Target.  Going to the storage unit to give them my new address and figure out how I can get my stuff delivered from there to our new place.  Figuring out how public laundromats work.  All in all, it should be an exciting / exhausting day.

I’m going to be recording some podcasts this week, both on my own and as part of a group discussion.  And here is where I’ll learn about the recording dynamics of my new place.  Hopefully I won’t sound like I’m in an echo chamber in my roomy new apartment.

Work is work, and work in September means that class visits are beginning in earnest.  This week I’m taking visits from several 7th grade charter school classes, then next week I’m visiting a local high school to see a bunch of classes, then the week after that I’ll probably be returning to my favorite middle school to see all their 7th graders.

My colleagues are usually either entertained or bewildered by my persona shift when I get into class visit mode.  I start dressing better (Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  I don’t wear BLUE JEANS on class visit days).  I’m mentally juggling class visit schedules, who brought over which library card applications to process, and which booktalks I’ll be able to cram in my head in time for each visit.  All of which means my mind is not as focused on the other stuff I also need to do during the day.  On class visit days, I’m at my most professional, interesting, personable, brusque, and distracted, sometimes all at once.

Good times!

Plus, I’m swamped (in an overwhelming but positive way) by a couple of YA-oriented committees I’ve been working on.  One of them involves shaping the future of young adult services, and one of them involves reading and reviewing a boatload of books.  Oh, and because I clearly wasn’t busy enough, I volunteered for an outside project that will also involve reading a boatload of books … and I was accepted to the project.  I may come to regret this later, but in the meantime my brain will grow and grow.

When I was an English major in college, one of our professors told us, “Being an English major is very valuable because you’ll have something interesting to think about while you’re standing on the unemployment line.”  Ha-Ha!  What a card!

That being said, perhaps I can get some multitasking done and work on memorizing my booktalks while I’m standing on line at Time Warner Cable tomorrow …

Yes, an iPod and a hotspot are very helpful during internet downtime, but they can only get you so far.  TWC came and installed the cable modem yesterday, and so far our use of “turbo speed” rather than “high speed” does seem to be an improvement.

I don’t have a lot of time to write at this moment — we’re going over to my brother’s place this morning, and then going shopping for a DVD/BluRay player.  But here are some pictures with highlights from the last week or so: (more…)


So everything is out of the old place and into the new place, except for the stuff that we discovered was too old / terrifying / broken to move. Most of the new apartment is in a state of barely controlled chaos, except for the bedroom that’s filled with all-new furniture and this portion of the living room (of course the TV and my computer had to be set up first).

Today I had to spend a frigging hour on line at Time Warner Cable to return my old cable equipment because it was SO old that when the guy who installed the new stuff put in the serial numbers they weren’t listed in the system anymore. I cheered myself up afterwards by doing some fancy food shopping for dinner. Then I got back home to call Verizon to see about getting FIOS internet installed, only to learn that it’s not available in my building after all. So I might end up having to go back to TWC for internet access unless I can find a better option. Pffffft.

We’re going to spend the next days and weeks unpacking and rediscovering things. Then once things are in better order I can get our old books and DVDs out of storage and make our “library” room live up to its name. And THEN we can put up our artwork and make this place presentable for our guests!

Tomorrow is going to be busy, and Saturday is going to be even busier.

Tomorrow I’m having my summer reading club party, which means I’ll be busy checking reading logs, making certificates, setting up the prizes and refreshments, and then running the show.  Oh, yes, and then after that I’m going to a Mets game.

If you’re thinking, Wait … WHAT? then … yeah, you and me both!

My boyfriend received a pair of tickets to a Mets baseball game as a birthday present from his colleagues several months ago.  While he usually attends sporting events with one of his moron guy friends, this time he invited me to go with him, instead.  Perhaps he wanted us to have a unique bonding experience, or perhaps all his friends of the male persuasion were busy.  In any case, my main goal of the night is to stay as far away as possible from this guy:

Mr Met

Because, OBVIOUSLY, Mr. Met strikes fear into my heart at a very primal level.  That perpetually happy, glassy-eyed stare is the stuff of nightmares.

Mr Met Closeup

Anyway, my boyfriend is trying to put a positive spin on things for me by sending me links to all the cool food I can eat at Citi Field.  So, yeah, I guess if I can focus on food instead of having to watch the game, that could be nice.  I mean, it would be weird if I took out a book and started reading during the game, and my boyfriend might get annoyed if I spent my time asking him what was going on.  In any case, I will do my best to be a good girlfriend and not be a downer and make the best of things.  And hey, I can always go scouting for food while my boyfriend is watching the game!

Then there’s Saturday.  And Saturday means we’re having the rescheduled furniture delivery from Bob’s Discount Furniture, AND the cable installation guy is coming, AND the movers are coming to the old apartment to pick up our bigger stuff (couch, desk, entertainment center, baker’s rack) and moving it to the new apartment.

Sunday we’ll pick up the last bits and pieces from here and bring them over there, and leave the keys with the super as we get ready for the next chapter in our lives.  Which will consist mostly of unpacking for a while, followed by a housewarming party or two, followed by getting a new cat to share the apartment with us (and there will be much rejoicing!)

Today was my first day back at work after a week and a half off, most of which was spent either moving stuff or waiting for workmen / delivery guys to show up.  The positive side of doing most of the moving ourselves over the process of several weeks and only hiring professional movers for the biggest pieces at the end is that it saves us a lot of money.  The negative side is that spending several weeks driving back and forth, packing and unpacking, lifting and boxing and unboxing means that it’s easy to become … I’ll say “disenchanted” with the whole project:


On Monday and Tuesday my boyfriend went back to work while I did other stuff in the apartments with varying levels of success.  Since I’m one (comparatively weak) person and I was taking the bus back and forth, there was only so much I could carry.  But I did some packing, more unpacking, waiting around for and paying the locksmith (who was chattier than he needed to be) and waiting for the furniture delivery guys who were supposed to bring our bedroom set but — SURPRISE — showed up one hour before the 3-hour window they gave us, and we ultimately had to reschedule.  Which means that now our Saturday is going to be TOTALLY packed, because we’ll have the bedroom delivery / assembly people, the cable installation guy, AND the movers who will transport our “big” furniture from our old apartment to our new one.  And then we’ll have Sunday to move anything that’s left and straighten up the place a little, and then on Monday we can recuperate.  And, you know, unpack.

Oh, and if I seem a little more out-of-touch than usual at the beginning of September, that’s because I haven’t finalized my internet options yet.  I think I’ll be eligible to get FIOS, but I need to get my phone set up at the new place first.  If that doesn’t work, then I’ll get it through Time Warner Cable (which is my current internet connection, which leaves something to be desired).  So for the first week or so of September, my internet connection will consist of my iPod/iPad and our trusty hotspot, which is not QUITE the same as having an actual computer.

My vacation time so far has been spent doing a bunch of different things:

I read Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Roz Chast Memoir

I picked up this book with a mixture of interest and trepidation.  Interest because I’ve been a fan of Chast’s cartoons for years, but trepidation because I wasn’t sure how soon after my own mother’s death I’d be able to emotionally handle the story of her parents dying.  It was an emotional story, and while I did cry a couple of times I actually found the story more funny than sad.  FWIW, it actually reminded me more of my grandparents’ old age and deaths (in their 80’s in nursing homes) than my mother’s (in her 70’s at home).  There were a number of times that Chast’s stories hit very close to home for me, but I think I could handle reading it in part because I already DID handle this situation in my own life and I know that it’s over.

I read Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

Welcome to the Dark House

It’s a new YA novel that started off with an intriguing premise and an exciting story about nightmares, an essay contest, and an abandoned amusement park.  But then as the story wore on, it got progressively more frustrating.  I don’t know if the author plans to explain what the hell was going on in the sequel, but I’m not going to stick around to find out.

I started another YA novel: Hungry by H.A. Swain.  I can’t tell you much about it yet, but I can share an example of my awesome visual humor skills:


[This picture features several things that make me happy -- a "Kronie" from Jolie's Sweet Creations and sandwiches from Num Pang]

Other than that, I’ve spent most of my time moving into my new (old) apartment.  I’ve been spending a lot of time dealing with the kitchen, since we have lots of cabinet space there so I can start putting stuff away:

Lined Kitchen Drawers

[lined kitchen drawers]

Filling Up the Kitchen Cabinets

[filling up the kitchen cabinets]

Washing the Rocks Glasses in My New Kitchen

[washing my mother's "rocks glasses" in my new kitchen]

We also did a LOT of shopping — at local hardware stores for window screens, at Bed Bath and Beyond for lots of things we NEEDED, at The Container Store for … well, you can probably figure that part out.  We also went to Bob’s Discount Furniture to get a bedroom set, which was a very entertaining experience not just for the novelty of lying down and testing mattresses in front of a stranger (aka a friendly salesperson) but for the packaging on the bedcovers that came with that mattress:

Dust Mite Protection Barrier

[AAAAAH!  Look at the dust mite!  He's shaking his little fist in frustration!]

Another positive aspect of moving is finding stuff that I knew was in the apartment SOMEWHERE:

Night Vale Bumper Stickers

[These Welcome to Night Vale bumper stickers were originally supposed to be part of a Christmas present.  Now they're going to be Summer Reading Club prizes, instead!]

Overall, it’s been a positive and cathartic experience, albeit a tiring one.  I’m still off work for the next several days, so my boyfriend and I will get some more moving done this weekend and then I’ll have a couple of days to do some more setting up at the new place.

Check out the famous and not-so-famous people participating in the #ireadeverywhere campaign!

The State of Children’s Literary Blogs Today

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories From the Stacks


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