I'm Liz, and I'm a librarian (duh)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Big goings-on around here, where to s...

Big goings-on around here, where to start? I guess maybe we'll start with the good news, little of it though there is. First and foremost, Ella has gained another pound, she's been eating like a teenage boy for the last two months. And William seems to have finally gotten his eat on, at his 18 month well visit he jumped from the 5th to the 10th percentile for his weight, so we're making some inroads there, too. God help me, I never in a million years thought I would be the kind of mother who obsessed over how much food goes in (and out) of the kids, but here I am. Even I am disturbed. In other news, last Wednesday our library was the co-host (along with 21st Century Fox and Barnes and Noble) of Jeff Kinney (author of the Wimpy Kid books) and the two child stars of the Wimpy Kid movie at their talk and signing at the 1600-seat theater in town. Tickets were given out free at Barnes and Noble and at our library and every seat was filled. I spoke for about 30 seconds before Jeff Kinney took the stage, just to welcome everyone, and I swear it was the closest I'll probably ever get to feeling like a rock star--these kids were whipped into an absolute frenzy. Some were actually asking us as librarians to sign their books--take that, naysayers. I don't see a day coming when people will ask authors/actors to sign their kindles!

Now that we're all feeling good, here's the substantial bad news. Our library was an oasis of heat, electricity and other luxuries during the aftermath of one of the worst storms to hit our area in 50 years. The Wimpy Kid event happened in the middle of an unscheduled week off from school for our town's kids, because most of the city had no power, and many of the roads were impassable because of trees (and live power lines) blocking the streets. The library was mobbed with people coming to charge their phones, laptops, etc.: every table was full, every chair had a body in it, and people were using every open electrical outlet, including the ones behind our desks. It was the busiest week I can remember that didn't happen during the summer, when we are regularly packed with patrons. One of the only people in the city who didn't darken our doorway was the mayor, who cut our budget for the next year by 1.3 million dollars, forcing us to face hour reductions, branch closings, and layoffs in the coming months. Adding insult to injury, most of the libraries in the surrounding towns are getting increases, to deal with the extra business that a weak economy usually brings to public libraries. Morale among the staff is dismal and people are having difficulty trying to plan for the summer and beyond, since we don't even know when we'll be open and who will be around to run any programs we manage to schedule. Dark days.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Back to Reality

All too soon my much-anticipated vacation has come and gone. The Olympics barely began and I was already looking back fondly on my (too short) time in Vancouver. I could go on and on about my trip, but in the interest of not boring the daylights out of what few people I suspect might be reading this, I will distill the trip down to a few highlights:

Spotting Bertster and Dee in the airport at 4:30 am--proof of Buono/Mulligan magnetism
Sharing a plane with multiple Olympic hopefuls--mostly snowboarders, including Lindsey Jacobellis, and some women's hockey players
Riding the elevator with a Mountie in my hotel
Inukshuks everywhere, including one made of storage containers near the airport--awesome!

One thing that did not happen, and about which I will forever be disappointed, is that I did NOT go to see Anvil perform on my last night in town. I really should have just made that happen, the serendipity was almost too much. Who knows when they will come to CT?????

On the gluten-free front, lots of good news about Ella--in the month between when she was diagnosed and when we went for our consultation with the RD, she has gained 3 pounds!! This may not seem like much, until you consider that she didn't even gain 2 pounds in the last two years. She is definitely less anemic--she is pink! She is already growing out of clothes that were baggy on her before her diagnosis. This more than makes up for the tears and anxiety about the grocery shopping--it is totally worth it. Of course, now that she's feeling better she is starving--she eats like a teenage boy, now that her body is adjusting. My one worry is that she was measured for her dance recital costume back in November, before all this weight gain and growth--there is a very good possibility that it won't fit her by June. All in all, good news as we head into spring!

Between being on vacation and then getting ridiculously sick about a week later, I have had a little time on my hands to read a little. First, I read Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes while I was away--one of this year's Printz honor books, it calls itself "An Historical Romance: 1973," and it owes a large debt to The Catcher in the Rye, despite being about 4 times as long. Still, it tells a complicated story with many threads about a group of high school seniors with totally messed up home lives who have been in group therapy together since about 3rd grade, and ends hopefully, if not outright happily.

While I was home sick last week I read a book I found in our gift/giveaway pile from a couple of years ago: My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger, which I absolutely loved. It had romance, baseball, and very sweet relationships between boys, boys and girls, and families in general. I knew it was too good to be true as I was reading it, but I didn't care--it stopped just short of being saccharine (although Mary Poppins figures prominently). Charming.