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.    

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bug house

Bug house is the name we call homes that are being tented and fumigated for termites. My oldest coined the term when she was a wee one, and it has stuck - we point these bug houses out to each other whenever we happen to pass one on our drives about the city.

But this post is about an actual bug house. A house for bugs, not the tenting of a house for the elimination of bugs.

Some background: my girls all developed a love for roly polys during preschool. Especially the two that went to Jacquie's preschool. There always seemed to be a plethora of roly polys there -- making that already awesome school all the more awesome.

But preschool is in the past for all of my kids. There are not as many roly polys in our lives anymore. It's a bit sad.

But when my youngest did come across some last weekend? Well, she had some fun with those little guys.

And there were lots of them.

She rounded them up.

But she was worried her slightly barren spot might be a bit too sunny for the guys.

So she got to work.

Construction phase

Finished product

Let's just hope they don't get termites!

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Bridal Chariot

We had everything ready. The Westy Bridal Chariot was prepped and ready for our girls.

We were prepared.
What we weren't prepared for was the emotion of it all.

Our girls. Getting all hitched up.

The bride . . .

. . . and the bride . . .

. . . and their friend, Ledgie Light.

Our boy Jelly Roll was in the house, er, on the beach . . .

. . . as was our Greta-girl.

It was all a vision of loveliness.

There was bubbly . . .

. . . there were friends . . .

. . . and there were brides.

And there was a whole lotta love:

We were perfectly brave and perfectly fine until Rachel's mom and dad Marcie and Howie sang and spoke.

Then we were all a mess.

And Michelle's mom Elaine made it all just even betterly worse.

Smoochie-smooch . . .

. . . and drinkie-drink . . .

. . . and buckets of happiness.

Rachel's brother David married the brides, which was sublime, and the girls' sistah Jess provided biblical amounts of bubbly and wine . . . it was like the wedding at Cana.

Kat and Lauren . . .

Kendra and Ashley . . . 

It was a magically spectacular April afternoon . . .

It was one for the ages . . .

Our girls . . .

Rachel + Michelle . . .

. . . forever.

Friday, April 22, 2016

friday hodgepodge

Sigh. Prince.

I'd just like to suggest that everyone knock it off with the dying, okay? Enough.

In the meantime, here's what's been going on around these part:

lots of this, finally

 slo-mo transformation of this 

these two

I took a big step on yahoo... multiply this step by about 50 

big step!

stinky room forced a slumber party with best friends

This kid is all settled in to her new family

I found this in a box and it is my new everything

I'm on a health kick and also obsessed with chopped salads

progress! it's all white like a sanitorium, but she did allow those plants and the beautiful tapestry that my sister Jane brought back for me from Florence 8 million years ago

my knee looking like a conehead scalp during a little early morning desk assembly
So, clearly it's a rollercoaster of excitement around here. What's new with you?