General

The Things I’d Like To Learn…

I’ve got a slowly growing list of things I’d like to learn, and finding time can definitely be a challenge.

For a while now I’ve wanted to learn how to tat, mostly because its generally a small thing and is something I could keep in my purse and do whenever I’m stuck somewhere or waiting in a long line and have forgotten to bring a book. I also want to learn it because you can make some really beautiful lace with it.

I also want to learn how to paint, which I suppose is not always something you can be “taught” how to do well, but I’d like to take some lessons in the various mediums. I have dabbled in oil painting, but I’d really like to try my hand at watercolors and acrylic. I even almost got an BFA when I was in college until I switched to another school that didn’t have any art classes.

And an old desire has recently sprung up. And that being learning how to play guitar. Now I took about one lesson when I was in high school with my sister, but we only had one guitar which was hers and my desire to learn eventually fizzled out as I have small hands which can make playing guitar really hard. But I’ve really started thinking about it again and I may find myself visiting some pawn shops in the near future, especially since I have a friend that is willing to teach me and another friend that wants to learn also. And I’ve always found that its easier to do things regularly if you have someone else doing it with you (sibling don’t always count, though).

Are there any activities, hobbies or other things you’d like to learn?

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Is it Christmas yet?

I’m somewhat impatiently waiting for December to come. And it has something to do with ebooks and libraries. In case you haven’t been keeping up with some of the news about Overdrive, Kindle books will be added to their collection in December. The official date has not yet been released, but we’ve been promised that it’ll happen before the end of the year. Hints here and there make it sound like it’ll be something that will happen around Christmas and that doesn’t really surprise me. Especially since the news will probably boost Kindle sales.

And the best part about Kindle books coming to libraries near you, is that Amazon is going to be giving FREE copies of the ebooks that libraries have already purchased. So sometime in December, for every ebook that your library has purchased through Overdrive will then also be found in Kindle format as well as ePub or PDF. And all future ebooks your library purchases will come as a package with the Kindle format and an ePub and/or PDF version as well.

Now, I won’t be buying a Kindle or any other ereader just yet, but I’m looking forward to testing out a Kindle from work and downloading books through my library on it. I haven’t posted about the Nook that I got to play with, but I have to say that it definitely makes me very, very tempted to pick one up.

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Harry Potter

While I was just a bit too old to grow up reading the Harry Potter books (in fact I’m pretty sure I didn’t even hear about them till after they started making the first movie), I have spent a significant amount of time immersed in the books and movies. And though I am sad to see the end, it was an end I knew was coming and one that I was pleasantly surprised with, especially considering I had some friends that were bemoaning the departure from the book in the final installment from the previews alone.

I definitely had some mixed emotions as I walked out of the theater on Thursday. My initial thought being that I didn’t think I would ever watch any of the movies again, a thought which I quickly dismissed and said, “Of course I’ll watch them again, I’ve already seen the rest a few dozen times”. I still think it is a strong possibility that I won’t, though. I definitely will pick up the last movie when it comes out on DVD so that I can finish off my collection. However, it’s at an end for me. The story has closed. I have seen the end. And for some strange reason, I feel no desire to pop in any of the other movies again. Maybe my thoughts will change in the future, but for right now, I’m happy, pleased, and ready to move on.

Overall, I have been very happy with the movies and how closely they have followed the books compared to many other book-to-film ventures. You can’t deny that they did a good job in that respect and though they often did have to cut scenes, especially scenes that many would have loved to see, they generally weren’t central to the main plots of the books. Now of course, I have only read each book once, something which I do with pretty much every book I have ever read, and I generally read the books either after watching the movie or many years before movie came out. So, in general the links between them were fuzzy and I think it aided in my enjoyment of each format.

And there were definitely added scenes that weren’t in the books that left me feeling weird, but thankfully in movies, scenes don’t generally last more than a few minutes, so you aren’t subjected to them for very long. But to avoid any spoilers at this point, I won’t touch on the one aspect of the final movie that bothered me, but for those of you that have seen it, I’m guessing it bothered most of you, just as that part of the book bothered many people (though I actually wasn’t, but probably because I had very low expectations of it based on what people had told me).

How do you all feel about the final installment and the series as a whole?

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What time is it?

Oh that’s right… Kind of late.

No post today, maybe if I can gather my senses and organize my brain I’ll get the post I had planned to do on Harry Potter done tomorrow.

And if you might be wondering, no I did not see the midnight showing, instead I saw it 8 hours early.

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Reunion

I had a lot of fun over the weekend at my reunion, even if I did get completely soaked on the fourth of July. Being home was a lot of fun and I got to spend some good time with some old friends. Unfortunately it did rain almost non-stop (about 6 inches the first day I was back), so I didn’t get to go do a lot of the outdoors activities I was hoping to.

I also found it quite amusing that most of the people in my class showed up an hour or two late to most of our activities. Of course, I expect that most of them also had other activities they were doing that might have made them late as over half my class still lives in town. And I honestly wouldn’t mind some day being one of those people.

I have fond memories of our “little” island, even if I didn’t take full advantage of everything the town and surrounding areas had to offer. I had some good friends and had lots of fun. And lets be honest, being back in a colder climate was wonderful. I have to say, I’d much rather be cold then hot, because you can only take off so many clothes before you get in trouble, but putting on an extra layer or two does not draw as much attention and won’t land you in jail.

I sincerely hope that I will get the chance to return again soon, whether permanently or just to visit friends.

I hope you are all having a fantastic Friday!

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I’m Leaving on Jet Plane

Don’t know when I’ll be ba… wait a second. I do know that! I’ll be returning to the lovely state of Colorado on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything much to say today as my week has been consumed with packing for my trip and moving to and reorganizing stuff in my new place.

Until next week, enjoy a few pictures of the lovely town I’ll be visiting courtesy of the Ketchikan Vistors Bureau!

Creek Street Camping Tongass National Forest

I kind of wish I had had the forethought to scan a few of my own pictures.

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Moving!

I hate it, loathe it. I don’t like boxing up my life and having it unavailable to me for the days and even weeks that it can take to move into a new place, even if it is just across town.

It also means I need to go through everything I own and downsize. Even if I end up in place the same size or bigger, the thought of moving all that stuff makes me cringe. And while I don’t think I’ve gained a huge amount of things in the nearly six years I’ve been in my current abode, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be moving into a much smaller space, which means stuff I probably should have gotten rid of in the last move, definitely have to go this time around.

What I dislike the most is having to go through my books. While I don’t buy as many as I used to since I started working in a library, they still have a tendency to gather on my shelves and in boxes.

I have to be honest, I’m not one for rereading books, except in the case of research material. I have only reread two books in my life, the first being Ender’s Game which I reread so I could write a paper on it for a college class on literary criticism and Across Five Aprils which I read in seventh and then again in eighth grade. It was the first repeated book report I did, but I had to reread the book because both teachers had different ways they wanted book reports done. Not to mention that at that age I was reading a good three or four books a week, so, a book I had read a year before wasn’t exactly fresh in my mind.

Another thing that I hate having to go through is stuff from my childhood. A lot of it has sentimental value, but the reality is that I don’t use it anymore and with no plans for having children (because that would generally require having at least a boyfriend and then hopefully getting married first), a lot of that stuff may never get used again. Admittedly, I’m also a bit of a pack-rat, so I have a lot of things with neither sentimental value or usefulness in my life.

All this means I’m going to have to sit down and really look at the things I’ve collected in my life with a critical eye. Much the same way I need to look at my writing when I edit. Do I really need this item/scene? Does it serve a purpose? Will I use this later? What can be removed without being missed?

These are just a few of the questions I have to ask myself. And more will come as I get deeper into my packing and sorting and as I learn more about editing.

What things do you ask yourself when you are getting ready to move or edit your writing?

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Summer Reading Program

Summer is almost here and most libraries around the country have started their sign-ups for summer reading programs. I love that my library not only has a program specifically designed for the various children’s age groups, but teens and adults as well.

Last year we got some super cool eco-friendly water bottles for signing up and though we aren’t getting anything special this year, I am glad that they changed the adult prizes so that people are more likely to win something now. Whereas the teens and kids always get something for reading, the adults only get a chance.

Our theme this year is Novel Destinations. And though I generally don’t read travel related books, I think I might just have to pick out one to try, even if its not a requirement of the program. It’s programs like this that make me step outside of my usual reading habits to try something new and I think its generally a good thing.

Do you have any favorite travel related books?

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The Good Ol’ Days

In just a little over a month I’ll be heading home to Alaska for my ten year reunion. I’m really excited to be heading back, but I’m honestly not really looking forward to hanging out with my former classmates. While I had a lot of fun my senior year of high school, I can’t say that I had fond memories of much else. Probably something typical for most introverts.

The idea of seeing where people are, who they married, how many kids they have and everything else that could have happened in the last ten years is definitely interesting. And I’m sure my mind will be running at a million miles an hour as character and story ideas pop in my mind as I look at how much people have or haven’t changed over the years.

But what I’m really looking forward to is hanging out with old family friends and hitting up some of my favorite spots. I’ll definitely be bringing a camera with me so I can take photos of everything. And I hope that we have some good weather so I can get a few sunset and sunrise shots out on the beach. And, of course, so I can do some hiking.

Anyone else making plans to head to reunions this summer?

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Rainy Days and Library Book Drops

I know a fair number of libraries employ book drops around the towns they service, so that if a person can’t make it over to the library they can still drop off their books. There are a couple downsides, though.

The one we get complaints about the most tends to have to do with how often the book drops are picked up. Depending on the library and how much the book drop is used, it may only get picked up once a day, which means that your items could end up being a day late. And even though our fines are pretty small and your item actually has to be two days late before you actually start accruing fines, people can get pretty upset about having to pay 10 cents or 25 cents on some of the items.

The other downside has to do with rainy days. For the last two days here it has been pouring rain and that means that our book drops around town have a tendency to get puddles in the bottom. Books can end up sitting in the book drops for 24 hours (or more if it happens to be dropped off on Friday afternoon), which means we get really soggy books coming back to us. Now the plus side here for the patron is that we don’t charge them for these books, after all, its not really their fault that that particular book drop has a puddle at the bottom. But it does mean that on rainy days, we do end up having to withdraw and discard dozens of soggy books because they are just too wet. These are books that probably would have continued circulating for at least another year or more.

And while the rain is definitely a blessing when we’ve had such dry weather, it always makes us cringe when the book drops are picked up and brought to us.

What I ask of you, is that if you use your library’s book drops around your town, try and make the extra effort to stop by your library to drop off your book on rainy days, especially if you really enjoyed it.

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