This autumn is my reward for surviving the rest of the year. The weather has been ridiculously mild – everywhere I go in this dang city, the trees are bright orange, the grass still green, and the sky blue blue blue. Since September, my parents have visited and my sister visited TWICE. The Boy’s parents are coming after Thanksgiving. I’m in the groove of my new schedule and new neighborhood. I’m adjusting to our smaller space. Things feel good.
I probably owe some of this newly found equilibrium to those old fashioned mood-improving standbys – food and exercise. In September, we got ourselves a gym membership. It’s been over a year since we’ve had gym access. I was pretty persistent in running as much as I could last year, but the winter months – oh, the winter months. I have some warm-ish running clothes, but if it’s below freezing and there is 6 inches of packed snow and ice on all the sidewalks… yeah, I don’t run. I’ve been having some intermittent foot troubles while running so I decided to switch out my little New Balance minimal running slippers for something hardier. I got fitted at the running store across the street from my library, and you know what? If paying a monthly fee for a gym membership doesn’t motivate me to exercise more, then paying over 100 dollars for a pair of shoes will. I decided to kick it into gear – five workouts a week, bring my gym clothes to work, the whole mess. I’ve gone from run/walking 30 minutes on the treadmill to run/walking 60. I’m trying to up my pace from glacial to just-pretty-slow. I’ve put 50 miles on my new sneaks already. Word.
Hey, here’s a thing I learned recently – if I’m not cooking dinner most nights of the week, I’m probably grumpy. I’m not sure if this is a “home-cooked dinner improves mood” situation or a “lack of home-cooked dinner is a sign that you are in a bad mood,” but I’m arguing for the former. I checked out this new cookbook based entirely on the title – Keepers – and that delicious looking pot pie. I made three or four recipes from the book to good ends and added Ex-pat Fried Rice to the regular rotation. I don’t know. Life is just better when there’s warm food around.
One of the best things about library work is the variety of daily tasks and projects. When I worked part-time on the public library floor, Monday could be a storytime and a book list, Tuesday setting up a mobile laptop lab and weeding the YA fiction, Wednesday cutting out paper animals for hours followed by breaking up a fight between two 13-year-olds, and so on and so forth. Even though I am a Behind the Scenes librarian now, I am still regularly surprised by what I’m asked to do. We had a new branch opening recently, so we did a lot of stuff this summer to get ready – deciding which books to bring over from the old branch, ordering new books, unpacking the new books and shelving them, etc. One day, I was asked to select two picturebooks to offer as a give-away for the opening day festivities. I’m not sure many people can have the pleasure of buying 700 picturebooks at once. And then I got to SEE all 700 picturebooks, on a cart! Beautiful! Oh, my job. (I picked Emily Gravett’s Again! and Peter Brown’s Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, for the curious)
Have I mentioned that The Boy is in a band? I probably haven’t because I kind of hate his band. Not because I give two shits about whether or not The Boy is staying out in all hours of the night, hanging out with delinquent band types. No, I hate his band because the delinquent band-types he hangs out with are a bunch of 20-something male drama queens who regularly miss practice, storm out of rooms during arguments, and start Facebook flame wars. All of which The Boy wants my opinion on. And my opinion is “Your band sucks. You need a new band.” Anyway, despite the fact they are basically dysfunctional, the band persists. If they are playing on a weekend night somewhere that has easy access to public transportation, I try to go. This fall, I’ve watched them play to a nearly empty bar in Somerville, almost ruin a performance at an outdoor music festival in JP, and entertain the attendees of a snowboarding film festival in a swanky downtown hotel. Also, I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch him sit in with a Rolling Stones cover band.
Other than that? Reviewing is keeping me busy. Cybils books are keeping me busy. I started painting my nails this year, my back porch kittens found adoptive homes, I spend a lot of time sitting on my new couch playing Skyrim or reading or just hanging out with The Boy and The Peach. This is the life I made for myself. This is it. Hello.