Wednesday, May 4, 2016

As years go by

I think I may have mentioned in some earlier post that 2016 is the Year of Career. And then I gave no further details. I don't think I ever summarized 2015, the Year of the Man for you either.

Well, Year of the Man was really quite successful. I spent many, many hours learning from this man.

Who is an amazingly smart and eloquent human whom I continue to study with.

During the formal 6-month immersion he led in 2015, I got to know this guy, Banjo, who was my immersion 'buddy' -- another incredibly smart human who I also deeply admire.

I told you it was a good year!

And then, of course, there's this guy. My main man, my real prize of 2015 (and beyond) - who has made appearances in blog posts before.

I mean, really? A one-handed handstand?
And big vats of wine grapes?
And an amazing musician? I'm sold!

To close out the year, my brother made it out to visit!

Both the largest and the worst drink he's ever had. True story.

But I digress.... I was going to clue you into how the Year of Career is going.....

It's going. It's going well. I do indeed have a new job, in addition to my old job. I now work with these guys:

Wait a it still year of the man?

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Par-tay

Where were we?

 Ah yes. We were in a bridal chariot . . .

. . . On the way to the beach . . .

. . . with the lovelies . . .

. . . and the loveliness.

We are *so* lucky to have this goofball . . .

. . . and this goofball, too. Happy Birthday, Jelly Roll!

It was the most beautiful day of the year; it has not been as nice since. It was a perfectly miraculous gem of a day.

After a wedding on the beach, though? You've got to pack it on up and haul it all away . . . .

. . . and bring it on down to the Captain Scott's.

Cheer up, Jess.

The best wedding-wine-keeper in all the land . . .

And then?

Lobstah Rolls . . .

. . . and fries . . .

. . . and a million other gorgeous things to eat, all courtesy of Howie and Marcie . . .

I went up the window to help bring it all on back to the tables. When questioned, I said to the girl, "I'm Howie" and I meant it.

Later there were cups of cake . . .

And glorious flowers . . .

And lovely friends . . .

And this kid . . .

. . . and all these kids . . .

. . . and all the everybodies.

It was one for the ages, and Howie and Marcie were the King and Queen of the Festivities . . .

. . . well, as was our girl . . .

. . . well, as were our girls.

Friday, April 29, 2016

and then i found ten dollars

With 15 minutes left in the so-called work day before I left for an eye exam on Thursday, I emailed my family:

“Did I ever tell you the extreme, 3 foot long turkey sandwich about my recent strife with the library? They are such bastards. Friendly, smart, bookish bastards, but still. Ooh i have nothing to blog about tomorrow, maybe I'll tell this extremely boring story. “

I love the library. Loooooooovvvvveeee it so much that I wish there were more letters and/or syllables in the word to exploit. I do lots of reading on my Kindle, especially now that I have such a fancy and sassy model after my strife with Amazon did not result in them replacing the 2nd generation model that I was so irate had up and died after like 8 years.

Look at this bad boy, though…

Ain't it grand? The cover rocks my socks.

And on the inside, it lights up without being backlit. Don't ask, it's voodoo magic. *dork for scale 

I lurve.

The kindle travels in my purse and is easy and flexible and finally well lit, but I also keep a hearty list of reserved actual books on file at the library. These are usually highly recommended and/or newish books that I don’t want to pay full kindle price to purchase. I tend to go through cycles where I ask for book recommendations, get a million, then ask for 2 million titles through the library. Then they all come in within a week of each other and I have to quit my job and hide in a cave in order to get though even a fraction of them before their due date, because they are coveted titles thus ineligible for renewal. Why’s life so hard, you guys? I don’t have time to read the free books that were delivered to my local branch and placed on a shelf with my name on the spine so I can run in and use the self-service kiosk to check them out without even needing an actual parking space? Whaaaaa.

Aaaanywaaaay. I do tend to rack up fines from time to time, but whenever I pay them off (before it gets above $5 and they suspend my borrowing privileges and I have to go IN PERSON to fix it) I think and say out loud that I’m Happy to Make this Donation to the Library.

There have been a few notable exceptions to my contentment at having to pay the fine I so clearly brought upon myself. One time we checked out a book on CD for a road trip that didn’t work for shit and turned into the devil’s tongue every 5 minutes starting with the 3rd CD. We gave up and went back to music. I ejected disc 3 and stuck it into something that made it back into our house, unlike the rest of the CDs or their cover which ended up lost in the black hole of horror and doom that is the driveway exodus before returning a rental car. I brought that broken CD into the branch IN PERSON and explained that although I *had* lost the case and the other CDs, we had been unable to listen to the satan story as evidenced by this here lonely and defective disc. And the lady did one of those side mouth tsk tsk isn’t that a shame things then used HER devil voice to say NO. I had to pay like $30 plus a replacement fee and it was such bullshit. I’m still pissed.

Then Clara checked out Silver Linings Playbook and put it on the table when she finished. We all saw it there. Then it was gone. But I had learned, so I ordered a brand new ISBN match off of amazon and only had to pay the $15 replacement fee, which I did with full knowledge that this was our fault and we were Happy to Make this Donation to the Library (bastards). That same day, as I made good on my debt, I asked about a weird thing I'd noticed on my account that said I had a book overdue, a book that I had definitely returned to this very branch. The same side face smirk lady tilted her head at the computer screen then told me that the book in question, A Spool of Blue Thread, had been marked as water damaged upon return and flagged for replacement. This was a brand new hardcover book, and I was not having that shit.

I asked to see the book. Let's assess this alleged damage, shall we? But nnnnOOOoooo, that wasn't possible, because the book had already been sent along on its way back to the branch who owned it. Or something. I'd have to contact that other branch. Me: blink blink blink blink blink. "Okay, do you have that number so I can CALL them on the PHONE because I love talking to strangers with that device?"  Hmmmm, she said. Tilt, went her head.  That branch is closed for the next 3 weeks because the carpet is getting replaced, went her mouth.

Honestly, you guys. This is what actually happened. She renewed the book until after the grand reopening carpet extravaganza. The book wasn't even that good. It was fine, it's Ann Tyler, I'd read her grocery list and get sentimental. But I wasn't keen on purchasing a possibly water damaged hardcover of this book I'd already read, plus an ISBN match and replacement fee. My benevolence apparently only runs a little deeper than the kiddie pool.    

Clara asked about it a few times over the next month, and try as I did to wish the whole sordid thing into the cornfield, it lingered on the edge of my consciousness until too many days had passed and I had to accept the fact that would be forced to deal with it.

I had to call my branch first, because I couldn't remember where the stupid carpet jerks were located. Dragged the whole thing out with them, yada yada. Got the number and called. The librarian who answered was so nice that it was a real challenge to maintain my asshole cred. She listened and she heard, and then she put me on hold for 10 hours.

10 hours later, the librarian came back on the line and filled me in. She couldn't exactly locate the allegedly damaged book, and this whole thing had been handled a bit strangely, in her humble opinion. If a book is reported as damaged, the receiving branch is supposed to hold it and call the borrower so they can come in to inspect it. If it is indeed damaged, the borrower is financially responsible for replacement. They do, however, get to keep the damaged copy. Since they could not produce stupid farking book, there was no way to verify whether or not it was damaged. The lady said, and I quote: "This is stupid. I'm deleting it."

The End.

moral of the story: I love the library EVEN MORE.