what's your call number?

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008
During a recent library training meeting for on-call staff, the woman running the meeting started with a round of introductions. Not my favorite activity, but as someone who has been working on-call for a while, I'm used to it. This time she found an excellent twist that actually revealed information in a gentle but effective way: she had us give our names, how long we'd been with the library, and then our call number, i.e.what part of the library do we go to first? FUN! I liked this because of course it IS revealing, but it's not something that boxes you in forever. (it also involves a small bit of dewey decimal library nerdery, but no one seemed to have a problem with that.) She started us off by saying that she loves the YA (young adult novel) section, because there are so many great titles now and there weren't that many when she was a kid. We went around the circle -- one woman was a 580's girl (I'm a birder!), someone else 650's (small business), someone else doesn't read books (!!!) and instead just uses the library for media, another woman said that she should know but couldn't recall the call no. for her own book (many published authors in the MCL!), and so on. I was 800's (lit. and poetry) and GNs (graphic novels), but of course that's just the FIRST place I look. Anyway. As ice-breakers go, it's not bad.

park updates: They are putting new bark chips down on the main path around the perimeter of the park -- this is good because it's been raining a lot, the path has gotten muddy and previous bark chips had broken down so much so that the weed-dampening fabric was showing through. It hasn't been spread out yet, and today was just mountain after mountain of bark mulch right in my way. I must confess that my first bad-mood thought was that this was a metaphor for how everything I want seems to get a little further away and inconvenient just as I approach it, but fortunately I snapped out of it just in time to laugh and walk around pile after pile (AFTER PILE). I mean, that's some weak-ass manufactured drama right there!

There is one tree at the park that has particularly graceful above-ground roots -- like pretty feet or something, I suppose. Anyway, earlier in the spring someone (not me!) placed camellia blossoms all around these visible roots -- rings on fingers, bells on toes, flowers in hair. Camellia season ended and I didn't think much more about it, but last week I noticed that someone had put smooth river rocks in the hollows of the roots of this particular tree. Lovely! (this area is blessed/cursed with many, many, many smooth rocks that come up whenever you put a shovel to the ground. Thank the missoula flood.) I took it as a tribute to something, but I'm not sure what. Spring? Trees? Some secret that I don't know? They were gone today, so I know someone is tending to it, not just a hit and run tree be-decker. Oooh -- speaking of acts of guerilla beautification, I love this story of stealth civic gardening.

PROBLEM SOLVED! mostly: Lately I've been having a beach ball issue on my new computer. I need to figure out what it is, because it is (of course) driving me crazy. The trouble compounds itself; sometimes the only way to get out of THE PROBLEM is to force quit my computer. Usually, it's no big deal (especially since I've learned that one of the programs I'm likely to have open and be using automatically saves things even if I haven't), but one of the areas affected is my journal program. I keep an electronic journal, which I generally open up in the morning and write in it off and on all day. I use it for lists, My Deep Thoughts, etc. and whatnot. Usually I remember to save, but sometimes I don't -- yesterday I lost everything for the day. (it wasn't a particularly high-volume day, but still.) Anyway, I got the bright idea that maybe, just MAYBE, there was some sort of auto save feature, and lo and behold, there WAS and I have turned it on! Hooray! So while I still have the bigger problem of "why does my lovely new computer torment me so?", I solved the element that was most likely to make me incoherently agitated. (I use MacJournal, which I LOVE! I'm on an ancient free version, but the new one looks really nice and maybe I should upgrade.)

weather report: right now there is some sun, but it has been raining FOREVER. It is june, and the high is supposed to be somewhere in the mid-60's today. I don't need it to be sunny for months on end (although I would only complain a little!), but I could do with a few days of sunshine. Plus, we don't need the rain!! As I learned while touring the Grand Coulee Dam (more on that soon), the columbia river is full! Full to the top! and all the places where they normally divert water when the river is full? Also full! And the snow hasn't even started melting yet in Canada. Basically, our tour guide informed us that we are in perfect flood conditions, very similar to those of the big Vanport Flood in 1948. (today's blog theme: mighty floods of history! and, as always, my many neuroses.) Anyway, this flood news served as a great diversion to asking some tough questions. I was so distracted it didn't even occur to me to ask, but my sister got in the car after the tour and said "damn! I meant to ask about the fish!" (it turns out that at the Grand Coulee Dam there is no accommodation for salmon. They probably have a "distract the hippies with tales of their city flooding before they can ask about fish" policy in place with their tour guides. It was still a very groovy tour.) Anyway, the point of all of this is that I would very much like for the SUN TO SHINE, for at least three days in a row. Is that too much to ask? I hope not.
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