The grand old Holidailies catch-up.

I’m quite behind with Holidailies this year, so I’m going to catch up with one long post of pieces parts instead of trying to make, uh, eleven separate things. OK with you? Good, let’s go!

Every December starts out snail-slogging through the first week and then all of a sudden Christmas is next week wait what? Oops.

I won my Goodreads reading challenge of 25 books a bit ahead of schedule, but so many of those were short or re-reads that it didn’t feel like a real win. I’m about to re-read another book, too; I finally saw the trailer for the “Good Omens” series and I am beyond excited.

It is difficult to be annoyed by evening commute traffic while laughing at the latest episode of Paul F. Tompkins’ podcast, “Spontaneanation”.

The song “Level Up” by Vienna Teng has been running through my head lately. The song is excellent, but the video … well, it levels it up.

And then my uncle sent me a link to her exquisite “Ain’t No Sunshine / Lose Yourself” cover/mashup and though I thought I could not love her any more I became one giant goosebump when I listened to this.

It’s the season of giving, so here is one of the cutest kitten photos I have ever seen.

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An exceptionally modest lil lady. ūüėČ

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Have you heard of “binge boxes”? They’re boxes of 3-6 DVDs grouped around a theme or actor that you can check out from your local library! My favorite that I’ve seen: “A Box of Rocks” — all films starring The Rock.

Speaking of libraries, I love seeing positive tweets and posts about them on social media … but the best way to support your local library is to show up and use it. If you don’t know how to get started with your local library, or even where it is, leave a comment on this post and I will help you. I mean it!

Thus concludes the grand old Holidailies catch-up. I’ll try for another post tomorrow.

Writing from: a quiet study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: rain and wind and rain.

Learning the meaning of public service.

This morning, I attended a meeting of a coalition of local organizations who provide services for people who are unstably housed. I was glad for the opportunity to listen to how the members of these organizations are supporting our community, and I was especially touched by how a couple of these members reached out to me to thank the public library for our part.

Way back when, in my first library job, I had no idea what librarianship was really about. (I cringe when I consider my very first library job interview; I probably said something lame like, “I love to read!”) I was barely cognizant of what customer service was, let alone public service. After a little over two decades, I am definitely still learning, especially as our field collaborates with social work, as in Whole Person Librarianship.

To date, the training that has helped me the most has been Ryan Dowd’s Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness. Ryan also has a weekly newsletter for tips on compassionate work with patrons experiencing homelessness. But better than any training is the affirmation like the kind I received this morning: there are people working hard to serve our community, and they appreciate all the help that we can give them.

If you want to get involved, here are a few organizations in eastern Washington County:

Writing from: a quiet study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: a small tortoiseshell cat snoring.

It’s funny, the halfway brain that sprouts from sleep deprivation. I wake up at 05:30 but really I wake up on the bus¬†in downtown Portland, trying to remember if¬†I did basic things like dress myself and feed myself and not leave the front door wide open.

So far, I’m doing pretty well. (But let’s not jinx it.)

Many photos to catch up on! Nineteen, in fact. I may have a little bit of a preoccupation with flowers. To be fair, this city blooms gratuitously. And now ripe apples and plums are falling off the trees, sometimes knocking me in the head like a physics lesson.

I’m still in love with my new job, but it is mentally and socially intense. Most evenings I come home and barely have enough energy to eat dinner. While my in-laws were in town, we managed a little weekend escape to Forest Grove, which I needed desperately.

Zen now reliably wakes me up with mournful howling before my alarm goes off. While FunkyPlaid is out of town I have taken to sleeping in my study downstairs so I can soothe her faster.

Other snippets from the past few weeks:

  • I visited¬†the Beaverton City Library for the first time¬†and was suitably awed.
  • I tried to switch back to an electronic task list but my Bullet Journal is just too good.
  • I dealt with my mobile service woes, including¬†a factory reset of my iPhone which sucked up a day and a half, one of those being a weekend day I was rather cranky to sacrifice at the altar of the capricious technology gods.
  • And I bought body lotion. Big deal, right? Well, it is my favorite, and I had been holding off on buying some¬†until I had my own¬†income again. It became a bit of a symbol, this body lotion, and I relished the anticipation.
  • O yeah, and I tried Pok√©mon Go! I am entertained by it but perhaps not as much as¬†actual Pok√©mon fans or at least¬†people who like wandering around with their phones out. Since the library is a Pok√©mon Gym, I regularly witness¬†Pok√©mon Go players¬†bumping into things. I try not to laugh.

Time for bed. Tonight I will rest well, being all caught up with my project. Well, for a few hours. Then Zen will start to sing …

Writing from: my study. Listening to: some episode of “Prison Break” I’m not really watching.

The first day of a new job is always hectic, and today was no exception. I’m less than an hour away from collapsing in a crumpled heap. But my new colleagues welcomed me thoroughly, and although I know this gig won’t be without its challenges, the mere prospect of doing it all again tomorrow makes me feel … well, see for yourself.


Writing from: the living room. Listening to: Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

We visited my new workplace today and I took a shelfie featuring one of my favorite authors.


Writing from: the living room. Listening to: the first season of “The I.T. Crowd”. Richmond! ‚̧ԳŹ 

Now that it is official, I can break the news: I got a job! Next Monday I’ll join a local public library team as their circulation division manager. I’m failing at finding the right words for what this means to me right now. It’s big. And I’m so excited. Wish me luck.


Writing from: the game room. Listening to: Zen purr happily as FunkyPlaid pets her.

2016-02-25 13.11.22-1

Our days are filled with wishes and hopes.

“I hope we get that place.”

“I wish I would hear back about that job.”

I try to stay centered amidst all the wishes and hopes that pile up on our shoulders and around our feet.

And then I turn a corner and there is yet another micro-library on someone’s front lawn and I giggle like a gnome.

Writing from: a magical place. Listening to: a passing freight train.

Processed with VSCOcam with q3 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with q3 preset

Today I visited the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. I enjoyed a warm welcome from former coworkers and it was wonderful to be back in their company. But after an hour, the tenor of the reunion changed: I became desperately sad, missing it all so much, then overcome with the knowledge that the library and all the lives it contains exist separately from my memories of working there. The two are not the same. It’s easy to pretend they are from a distance.

After descending the magnificent central staircase so that I could snap today’s photo, I crossed the street and ducked into the Civic Center transit station. Two women on the Muni platform were singing “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”:

I don’t like you, but I love you
Seems that I’m always thinkin’ of you
Though you treat me badly, I love you madly
You’ve really got a hold on me

Writing from: a nostalgic room in Marin. Listening to: The Bobs’ cover of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”.

Silver screen and snail smooches.

The libraries have extended hours for the end of term, so work today was a bit more strenuous than usual. Tensions are high and so I instructed my coworkers to deploy cute pictures of baby animals as needed. One provided me with Ukrainian photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko’s macro photography of snails. It sets a high bar for cute.

While shelving DVDs, it suddenly occurred to me that I could start today’s portion of my routine reboot right there at work! I mentioned in March that one of my goals for 2014 is to watch 50 films. Since setting that goal, I have made zero progress on it. So I picked up a copy of “Mean Girls”, a silly film I keep meaning to watch. (Did you know that you can check films out from libraries? Because I’ve worked in libraries for almost two decades and I keep forgetting this.)

Unfortunately, by the time I got home from work I was too fried to figure out why the DVD wouldn’t stream over AirPlay without crashing every appliance in the flat, so I ended up with Netflix. A desultory glance through the available titles led me to “Frances Ha” and “Friends with Kids”, neither of which I recommend but were entertaining in their own ways. Mostly they gave me an excuse to do absolutely nothing while providing Torgi a warm sleeping place.

Now it is time to cleanse my palate with Helene Wecker’s “The Golem and the Djinni” which I am reading so slowly because I never want the world she has created to end.

Photo credit: Vyacheslav Mishchenko.

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