Tag: “M”

Holiday in T-6 and Counting…..

I’m leaving for NYC/Egypt in six days!!

M and I have been discussing vague travel plans for two or three years and finally, with the help of Air France Holidays*, we’re headed off to Egypt.

I have a long weekend in New York on the way out, which is never a hardship. And then–camels, 70 degree temperatures, a totally different cultural experience and a new continent for me!

So far:

  • I got my visa, which is a full page in my otherwise unstamped passport. Obviously it’s been too many years since I traveled out of the country.
  • I have arranged for a cat sitter in residence. O met Gypsy last night and it was a smashing success. Gypsy might want to go home with her at the end of it…
  • The Incredibly-Patient-Mother hemmed a pair of jeans so I can wear them with flats for hiking about pyramids and such. All of my other jeans are hemmed to two inch heels, so this was an important consideration.
  • The Brunette has agreed to keep my winter coat and some heavier clothes at his house so I don’t have to worry about hauling a down coat there and back.
  • We’ve arranged for a tour guide/driver while we’re there, working off recommendations of a professor in MN who is a native Egyptian and regularly takes student groups.
  • Wound up five skeins of yarn and bought new 4″ knitting needles to take with me. They’re TINY, it looks like I’m knitting with colorful toothpicks.

Still to do:

  • Pack some clothes.
  • Load the mp3 player
  • Get a larger memory SD card
  • Figure out what to take to read. I’m thinking about my hard cover of Anathem by Neal Stephenson. Yes, it’s heavy but I’ll be able to lay it out flat on the tray table and knit while I’m reading. Also I’ll pack some paperback romances that can be left behind.

It’s unclear how much web time I’ll have once we get there. I expect to mostly be off the grid for five or six days. My cell phone won’t work and I’m not packing my laptop. So the pictures and trip updates will probably have to wait.

We’re not sure if we’ll get to go through full body scanners on the trip home. It’s the one thing I’m concerned about as we’re headed home because we won’t have a long layover in Paris.

*The prices are amazing!

The Pile in My Library Basket

As I commented recently to M or the Incredibly Patient Mother, probably both, I’m reading more “adult” books of late. I don’t mean books of a prurient nature but ones that are in the adult portion of the library rather than the teen or children’s room. This, I’m learning, comes as a shock to some people.

I must keep in mind that those in my immediate day to day don’t recognize that I haven’t always read children’s literature. Though widely read as a child,* I skipped the teen section almost entirely and went straight for Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton around the age of twelve. Through college and graduate school, the reading I did outside of class tended far more towards escape literature: short romances or mysteries. After a forty page dense essay on taxonomies or the ethics of the copy machine, you too would be ready for an easily solvable crime where the killing is done off-scene and a happy ending is achieved in under 200 pages.

Then I started working in children’s departments. This hadn’t really been the original plan–I’d wanted to go for music cataloging. But previous experience working with children led me to Chicago Public and now La Crosse Public in the Youth Services departments. And if I haven’t read the fiction books–it’s awfully hard to make a good recommendation to the patrons coming in.

So, for nearly two years I’ve piled on the children’s books. The selection these days seems better written and from a far greater variety than I remember as a child**, this excepting the diabetes-inducing series that I can’t order enough of to make our little princesses, superheros, fairies, underwater sponges, and pop stars happy. Our Teen Librarian really enjoys her work too, which means there are a lot of spiffy teen novels that follow me home as well.

But a diet of literature intended for those under 18 (or spiced only with that familiar escape literature), has lost some of the appeal. So I’m wading through Buy-ology (review to come soon) and going back to Four Queens. The latter isn’t really a stretch, I like European histories of Medieval and Renaissance times and actually read an Eccesiastical History of the Bristish People for pleasure***. The former caught my eye somewhere and has proved interesting thus far. We’ll see. I still haven’t ventured much into adult fiction for the moment, outside of my usual consumption of cozy mysteries and regency romances at a rate that seems to not surprise only the circulation staff (who are either too polite or are taking bets on how many I’ll check out in the next month).

But while I know my reading has been rather focused, it’s been strange to hear reactions to the book s. Based on those, you’d think I’d never read anything above a sixth grade audience level. “Oh, an adult book.” First the surprise and then the backpedaling. “Well, it’s not that you can’t read one, I just never see you read one” seems to be a popular refrain, despite the fact that the people speaking rarely see me read anything other than those cozy mysteries and romances (the latter of which come with their own assumptions and reader baggage). Children’s lit tends to be consumed at home.

Ah, the joys of other people’s assumptions about me. Here’s your friendly afternoon reminder not to assume–for you know what it makes, right?

*The Incredibly-Patient-Mother’s rule about library books was that I had to be able to carry them all to the car by myself. Fortunately, I just had to make it to the car. Once we got home, I could make two trips into the house.
**Though I’m sure I missed some gems of the 80s
***And to a lot of weird looks on the subway

Random Quote Sunday: Blame the Kitchen

“I can’t go…my appliances won’t let me.”
–Apparently every time M goes away one of her appliances goes bananas. When she went to France it was the kitchen sink. She just got back from Germany and it’s the TV. I suggested that excuse for her next business trip.