IMG_2227.JPG

This morning my boyfriend dropped me off at the farmers market on his way to the gym. I bought broccoli, corn, strawberries, pumpkin spice bread, “everything” bagels, San Francisco sourdough bread, strawberry and butter pecan ice cream, and lemon yogurt.

Then I went to C Town to get a container of Cool Whip Lite (which, when mixed with an equal amount of lemon yogurt and a tiny bit of sugar can be served parfait-style with sliced strawberries as one of the simplest and best desserts EVER).

Then I went to Darling Coffee to get a ham and cheddar biscuit and a large mocha for breakfast, plus a piece of pumpkin-bourbon Bundt cake for my boyfriend. Then I hauled all that stuff home.

The plan was to do stuff with my boyfriend this afternoon, but his mother needs his help around the house so those plans are on hold. Instead I did some more unpacking within my closet and then settled down with my pile of books and my mocha. I’ll have to take advantage of these quiet times when I find them. Tomorrow we’ll be busy shopping and then giving my brother another cooking lesson.

I had another long day of visiting classes at a local high school, which was only briefly interrupted by a fire drill.  On a related note, it never rains but it pours.  Or … on class visit days it will rain or it will snow or there will be a frigging fire drill!

The highlight of the day was the girl who came up to me at the end of the period and told me that she needed to get another bag to hold all the books she was going to carry home from the library.  Awwwww … CUTE!

Anyway, I came home and wanted to go right to sleep, but my need to shower was greater than my need to sleep.  So I showered and then read for a while while my hair dried.  Now we’re watching The Voice, and I’ll probably conk right out afterwards.  Then I’ve got more class visits tomorrow!  Woo-Hoo!

Today was one of the days that we had enough staff that I could be spared from my branch for an entire day, which hardly ever happens anymore.  So I was able to conduct more class visits than usual at one of my local high schools — a bunch of morning classes all in a row, then enough time to scarf down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the librarian’s office, then another class in the afternoon.  Then I came home, ate some more food, and promptly fell asleep for three hours.  Now I’m all woozy and disoriented, trying to get fully conscious again so that I can do things like catch up on all the email I didn’t have time to write all day.

Urgh.

I did have several positive experiences today.  I mean, just getting to visit this school was positive in the first place.  First their librarians were all “excessed,” and then their school library was closed for several years, so just getting my foot back in the door was great in itself.  The library hasn’t had its “official” opening yet, so it still looks lovely and the kids were all impressed by how roomy and spacious it was (a bunch of dividing walls had been removed since the last time I’d visited, it has all-new furniture, etc.)  And the kids were well-behaved and enthusiastic about the books!

Oh, and my most heartwarming moment of the day was during the third or fourth class just after I’d just finished presenting my booktalks.  The kids were all milling around looking at the books when one of the girls said, “This is the first time I’ve ever been hyped to go to the library!”

That brought me a flash of the happiness I needed to lift my spirits and restore my energy.  And so of course I grabbed my iPod so I could write that down and record it for posterity.  Positive comments from teenagers are sometimes few and far between, so it’s always a good idea to write them down.

My boyfriend just called to see how I was doing.  The last time he called I was still in bed and my brain was still in the mushy stage.  He pointed out that the way my classes had been scheduled — four periods in a row before a break — was against the teacher’s contract.  I said, “Yeah, but I’m not a teacher and I’m not under your contract.”  He said, “Now you see why teachers can’t be scheduled for more than three periods in a row!” and I agreed with him while I was still yawning.  Still, though, it’s a big boost for my statistics that I’ll be visiting a dozen classes like this, even if I do feel like a wrung-out dishrag afterwards.  Oh, and I’ve also been invited to speak at the library’s “official” opening ceremony, which will also help my statistics but will be WAY less labor-intensive.

Okay, I’ve got one more day of class visits followed by sleeping tomorrow.  Then just morning visits after that, and getting back into a “normal” work routine.

Off to catch up on reading and email and stuff …

Today I took on a unique challenge.  My boyfriend and I went to my brother’s place to give him a cooking lesson, as per his request.  This involved going through all of my recipes to find out which ones used ingredients that he will actually eat and were comparatively simple.

We ended up making Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, which involved several different culinary skills, like chopping broccoli, cooking pasta, checking to see if chicken cubes are fully cooked … and measuring tablespoons of butter.  It turns out that my brother “never noticed” that there are markings on each stick of butter that show you the tablespoon / cup measurements.  I only made one sarcastic comment during the entire visit, and it was in response to the butter thing.  Oof!

So that went fairly well, by which I mean I let my boyfriend do most of the talking and I only made that ONE sarcastic comment.  We followed up the cooking lesson in which we demonstrated the benefits of home cooking by going to Wendy’s to have chicken nuggets, chili, fries and soda for lunch.

No, the irony is not lost on me.

After we left my brother’s place we did some shopping at Costco (to buy things we NEEDED, as per the American dream), and then came home.  I recorded a podcast, we had dinner, and I did some prep work for a bunch of class visits I’ll be doing over the next few days.  By the end of the week things will slow down, but it’s going to be a little nuts between now and then.

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…)

IMG_2052.JPG

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!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 77 other followers