reading

Chicago Libraries

When I moved to Chicago from Columbus, I knew that I’d be essentially downgrading my library experiences. In Columbus, if you put a book on hold, you go to the shelf, get the book and you can check yourself out using their self-check out. Very simple and quick. In Columbus, new books are in the library usually on release day, or within a couple of weeks. You can have a bunch of books on hold, and while you wait for them, it doesn’t count toward actual media you have checked out. You can renew books online. There is a max for overdue fines. I think it’s about $5.

In Chicago, there is no self-check out. You have to wait in a long line to check your books out with a person and then your bags are searched on the way out, even though you go through one of those alarm thingies as well. They just recently made it so you grab your own reserve books, but you used to have to wait in a line for those as well. They don’t get new books in for at least six months, unless it’s something that is SUPER popular. Your list of hold requests (not actual filled holds) counts toward your 30 item limit. So, say you have two Sarah Dessen books waiting to come in. That means you can only take out 28 items. They only recently allowed online renewals. And overdue fines can go into hundreds of dollars, from what I understand. (The most I’ve ever had to pay was 20¢.)

Today was the ULTIMATE in WTFbaggery. I went up to the 7th floor at the main library downtown to check out some YA novels. Because that’s what I like reading most. YA novels. That section is now World Languages. When I asked where the teen books were, I was told they are in this space called YouMedia. YouMedia is this new “trendy” teen space where teens can hang out and be teens, I suppose. It’s locked down. Basically, if you are not a teen, you cannot take out teen books at this particular library. In addition, it’s only open certain hours. I was at the library at 11 this morning. YouMedia doesn’t open until 1pm. Some days it’s open until 9pm, some days it’s only open until 5pm. Really? Four hours?

I am in shock that they’d lock down an entire genre of books like that! Are they going to restrict teens from checking out books from the adult section? I don’t think so. I can understand a place for teens to hang, but to lock the books in there is just beyond any measure of reason I can think of. They really did not think this through, but given how that library typically runs, I’m not surprised.

ETA: I just went to the YouMedia website. It says that adults are allowed in ONLY to check out books. That’s a relief… except the whole NOT BEING OPEN THE WHOLE TIME THE REST OF THE LIBRARY IS OPEN issue.

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The Lazy Days of Summer

I don’t know about you, but for me, the summer is SPEEDING by. Why is it that winter drags and drags but summertime is gone in a blink? It makes me sad. I really do NOT want snow and ice and frigid cold. I am so OVER WINTER it’s not funny. Oh well, I still have at least four months to worry about that stuff.

I’ve been catching up with Kate Brian’s PRIVATE series. I’d started reading them when they first came yout ears ago (Columbus libraries are AWESOME about getting things in quickly) but lost interest in all the murdering and such. But I picked it back up recently from the Chicago library and I am hooked again. I just want poor Reed to catch a break. I finished Revelation today and now I’m reading Paradise Lost. I also have some Disney books to check out. The library had THREE 2009 guides available. That never happens.

Speaking of Disney, I am thrilled because they added another Spectromagic parade. I thought I’d have to miss it this year, but nope. They added on on August 16th and 11pm. During Extra Magic Hours. That means the park will be less crowded, the weather will be cooler and the parade MORE AWESOME. In addition, the crowd level predictions on touringplans.com are 5s and 6s. SO much better than the 7s and 8s I was anticipating. Now our biggest worry is the heat. But plenty of water should take care of that. You should see the spreadsheet I made!

Aidan’s getting really excited about Disney World. I’m tying it into the drama that we’ve been dealing with. I told him for every day that he’s good, and that he goes to bed and stays in bed (except to potty), he gets a Disney Dollar. That’s a potential $31 to spend on whatever he wants at Disney World. He already lost last night’s (we told him that we were using that dollar to pay for the laundry he peed on again), but so far so good tonight. Plus he tried zucchini, so that’s a bonus $1. So now he’s up to having earned $2. I also told him he can earn bonus bucks by doing special things that are extra good. There is a lot of stuff he wants, and I told him it’s up to him to earn the money to get it.

Tonight, I read him a chapter from Ramona the Brave. The chapter is called Alone in the Dark and it describes Ramona being scared to sleep in her own room. I saw so many of Aidan’s patterns in it, and he recognized himself in the narrative as well. I think that I will read Beverly Cleary books for child-rearing advice. It’s like she gets inside the kid’s heads in a way that I just… can’t.

That’s all for now.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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A Potluck Entry (Pictures)

Saturday, I got the pleasure of meeting Meg Cabot, NYT Bestselling author of The Princess Diaries and 4935843954987 other books. It was lucky for me that during the author table chat, my table didn’t have an author so I ventured over to Meg’s table. I was shaking because I was so nervous! She was absolutely sweet and gracious and adorable, and she told me that I was gorgeous! Here we are!

Seventh Annual Children's Literature Breakfast
Meg and me! ♥

The breakfast was a lot of fun. The last time I went to one was in 2007. One of the best things was running into Laura Ruby (didn’t get a pic with her, unfortunately, although she is awesome!!) and Cynthea Liu!!!! Cynthea is just as energetic and adorable as she comes across on her Web site and on her Live Journal. ♥

Seventh Annual Children's Literature Breakfast
Cynthea & me!!!!

My guess is that we’ll be heading to this breakfast every year from now on. :) And 2009 makes the fourth year in a row that I got the chance to meet a NYT best-selling author!

(I’m thinking that black was THE color for the breakfast. Adam wore black, too.)

I’ve been working some crazy hours. Last Tuesday, I popped in at 10am and ended up working until 2:30 the next morning. They bought me dinner and paid for me to take a cab home. I didn’t go in until 2pm the next day, I stayed until about 5:30pm, and I got paid for the whole day. Today I went in at 9am and stayed until 7pm. Tomorrow, I am going in at noon and I plan to be there until about 4 o’clock Thursday morning. But then I get Thursday off with pay. It’s going to be crazy, but I’m taking some comfortable clothes! On a “normal” day (’cause face it, there are no normal days at Ogilvy), I’d work from 10-6 or something like that. I love those hours.

Books! I’ve acquired many books. I bought Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (OMG amazing book!!), an autographed copy of The Giver by Lois Lowry, an autographed copy of Forever Princess by Meg Cabot, and a copy of Copper Sun by Sharon Draper, which she autographed for me on Saturday. (She has the best autograph ever, by the way). Mandy sent me the ARC of Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen. I’ve been in BOOK HEAVEN.

I also did my yearly “What’s In My Bag” photo. I’m late this year–I usually do it in January. Anyway, here’s what was in my bag last night:

What's In My Bag - February 23, 2009

That’s about all for now. I’m pretty tired, so I’m going to play a few games of Word Twist on Facebook and then go read. I get to really sleep in tomorrow, but the night will be rough. I’m a trooper, though, so I’m mentally ready for it. ‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Up All Night, Sleep All Day (YEAH!)

It really doesn’t take much for me to get into night owl mode. Here I am, at nearly 4am, wide awake and trying to decide what to do other than toss and turn. I even wrote in my paper journal HELLO. I didn’t quite finish the entry yet, but I will once I’m done here.

I do know that tomorrow (I guess that is actually today!), I need to make a grocery list, straighten up the living space (heehee, I said “space”), and possibly hit the library. I finished the books I took out last week, and I have a hold to pick up. Out of the five books I read, COPPER SUN by Sharon M. Draper is the one that absolutely blew me away. And guess what? I get to meet her next month at the same breakfast that I get to meet Meg Cabot. Squeee! So, I plan to hit the library and take out EVERY BOOK by Sharon M. Draper and DEVOUR them (and I am not returning Copper Sun just yet; I am reluctant to let that one go now). I also read Rumors, Lost Summer, How To Be Bad, and Bloom. There’s nothing like being all comfy and curled up with a good book.

I’m going to attempt to sleep now. In the middle of the night like normal people. You know, I always felt like I’d adjust better on the other side of the world. Except I’d probably flip flop over there too, and STILL be up all night.

Ah well. Here ends this entry of nonsense and blather. Good night. Er… morning.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Back To Life, Back To Reality (Picture)

Coming back to Chicago and to temperatures that didn’t get above 0 degrees Fahrenheit was quite a shock to the system. One day, the HIGH was -16 or something ridiculous like that. Hello, is this MINNESOTA? Ugh. I HATE winter, I HATE the cold, I HATE the snow, and I cannot wait for the temperatures to warm up. Unfortunately, Chicago likes to hold on to the cold as long as possible, so I know it won’t be tank top weather until mid-June at the earliest. Depressing.

Now that I am out of the holiday haze and the kicking off my year in Disneyland phase, I’m settling into “real life” phase. Not all that willingly, mind you. I’m back to job hunting; sending out resumes like they’re going out of style and hearing nothing, learning of yet ANOTHER friend losing his or her job (I know more people out of work than with jobs now), freezing to death, mounting piles of laundry and wondering how I’m going to get my car out so I can DO laundry at a decent laundry place and not the icky laundry room in the courtyard, the looming emissions test and IL registration and city sticker acquisition for my car, cleaning the apartment, the possibility that the furnace is dysfunctional in the apartment (it’s rarely a comfortable room temperature; it’s usually blowing out acrid heat or blowing out semi lukewarm air), hoping what I have saved is enough to pay my bills until I have a steady income again, praying I don’t owe on taxes this year (a refund would be VERY helpful), and taking care of our cats plus Jonathon’s cats, who are still with us for the time being. I got to learn again what it’s like to have a cat choose me. Charlie barely gives Adam the time of day, but she always wants to follow me around and cuddle with me, and she purrs and purrs and purrs when I pet her. The last cat to choose me like that was Little Lucy.

It sounds a lot worse than it really is–you know how I start freaking out and worrying in the middle of the night (as evidenced by the time stamp of this post)–but I do think I am worrying about some valid things, right?

On the flip side, I’ve been lucky enough to catch up with a lot of OLD friends on Facebook. People from junior high who I NEVER thought I’d hear from again. Some of us have been posting old, embarrassing pictures which is too funny. Who needs classmates.com when you have Facebook?

Speaking of embarrassing pictures:

Liek OMG
I was about 21 here, and I LOVED the movie Clueless. I wish I still had those shoes and socks. Knee socks are very helpful in -16 weather.

I’ve been reading like crazy. I’m back to keeping my book list on Google Docs. I fell off board with it last year in the middle of the move and reading a lot of OLD OLD books that I’d read when I was younger. But I’m back on it again. I’ve already read 11 new books this year, and I started my 12th 90 minutes ago. I’m a book addict. I’m also a House Hunters (and other assorted HGTV shows) addict. I’d better get my fix in now, though, because Adam and I are trying to figure out how to cut costs, and cable is on the short list of things to go. I’ve lived without cable plenty of times, so I know I’ll be OK, even though I know that Oxygen shows ANTM marathons every Sunday now. I just hope Adam will be OK.

Next month, I get to meet Meg Cabot! Adam was invited to Anderson’s 7th Annual Children’s Literature Breakfast (I got to attend #5 in 2007 and LOVED it), and he got me a ticket so I could see Meg! I’m so excited, and I don’t care HOW long the line is, I’m going to try to talk to her and get a picture with her. MEG CABOT, you guys! Oh yes. The author fangirl in me is alive and well. She is SUCH an inspiration. I ♥ her. :) And maybe one day, they’ll be inviting ME to speak at one of their breakfasts.

That’s all for now. I can’t sleep, so I guess I’ll go and try to read some more. Or I’ll take a Tylenol PM (if I can find the things) and hope for the best . ‘Til next time…

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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