Lately it has been increasingly hard for me to sit down and write something,largely because I feel like all I will do is complain. I think it's fair to say that my mood, along with most of my coworkers', could mildly be called sustained unease in light of the draconian cuts made to our already lean budget--it's been a month since the news hit and we all, still, know nothing about how our jobs will be affected, only that they will be affected. If I weren't putting it mildly, I would say the general feeling is one of straight-up panic. Adding to the fun is the fact that the paper has been publishing articles every few days further politicizing the cuts--it seems that the head of the city's board of finance and the head of the library can't be in the same room without sniping and on occasion, screaming at each other, and the mayor hates us as well. Maybe hate is a strong word, but I do think it's fair to say that he doesn't understand the role of a public library in a city, and seriously underestimates the value our services have on the community. Summing up, it's a bummer.
While I have been trying to come up with something positive to write about, I have mostly been coming up empty. So my compromise is to try to keep my kvetching to a minimum, and at least write something.
Switching gears, on a slightly more positive note, I was walking down the street today when I literally stopped in my tracks to read the headline on the local free weekly paper--"Wheat is Murder" with a much smaller subtitle, "Gluten-free in CT." This superimposed on a big smiling guy in a chef's hat displaying a pepperoni pizza. I do question their tactics, but they certainly got my attention, and while the article itself was kind of short and not as in-depth as I would have liked, the fact of the matter is, there was an article about living gluten free in CT! As well as a list of about 30 pizza joints in the state that offer gluten-free pies! And a further listing of maybe 60 grocery stores, bakeries, and other restaurants that either offer gluten-free options on their menus or have completely gluten-free menus! Huzzah!
Whatever else is going on, I am still reading, currently in the middle of three things: Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (teen book), Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney (kids), and Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the race of a lifetime (adults). Marcelo and the Real World is fantastic so far, but it's stressing me out--about a boy with something resembling Asperger's syndrome, and how he takes a job at his father's law firm because he father thinks he needs to learn how to function outside of the special school he has attended since first grade. I'm feeling very protective of Marcelo and he's not being treated very well. Wimpy Kid is a guilty pleasure indulgence--the books are not exactly Newbery contenders (or Caldecott for that matter), but they are funny, and the author and two kid stars of the movie appeared here a couple of weeks ago so I felt I could spare the hour it would take me to read this latest book. Finally, Game Change appeals to the gossip monger in me, providing juicy details about all the major players in the 2008 presidential election. It's like reading People magazine, without any danger of accidentally reading about Heidi Montag's plastic surgery or any of the Kardashians. Prior to this I listened to the Andrew Jackson biography, American Lion by Jon Meacham--while the book itself was probably quite good (in fact, I think my brother recommended it to me a year ago or so), I would not recommend the audio--whole discs would go by and I wouldn't remember a thing because the reader was just so boring. I can't even say it was the subject matter, because I loved 1776 and John Adams (both by David McCullough) on audio, the common subject here being dead white guys, I guess. Anyway, I thought it was a snooze. I just feel compelled to read anything having to do with American history because I don't really feel very well educated in this area--honors American studies in high school notwithstanding. I'm not giving up though--once I've had time to recover maybe I'll tackle Benjamin Franklin--wasn't there a big biography of him published within the last 10 years?