Category Archives: Outside the Library

Stories that happened outside the library.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Lots of big news happening in and around the library the last couple weeks!

First of all, the biggest news: I was chosen for the promotion to Library Specialist in our Adult Services department! I started last week with training, and am now a member of the library’s reference staff. This is my second promotion since I started working for the library district last December, and I’m very excited about it. It’s a new department with new responsibilities, and I’ve already been selected to attend some product presentations on behalf of my supervisor to decide if we want to purchase new software for the library (one of those was last week, on my third day!). I’m really looking forward to learning new things and helping other people learn things too. In this department I get to put on programs of my own choosing every six weeks or so, and my first one will be on Valentine’s Day! I’m planning on having a cool retro Sock Hop, and I really hope it’s successful! Do you all have any ideas about programs you’d like to see at the library? I would love some suggestions!

Speaking of successful, our party to kick of National Friends of the Libraries Week went swimmingly! After a month of meetings and planning and creating posters and setting up displays, the big day finally arrived on Sunday, and everyone loved it. We committee members came in at noon to set up and place the decorations, and festivities started at three. The program was very cool and featured a great slideshow presentation, the food was delicious, the music was perfect (I was placed in charge of music because I had an old CD made by a friend when we graduated from high school, full of songs about friendship) and all of our guests seemed to have a really wonderful time. My friend the Brash Librarian was there, too, as well as members of the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, some of our local political representatives, and many of our Friends. The best part was when one of the Board of Trustees mentioned my centerpiece tags in her speech! It was so flattering, and I was a little embarrassed. My fellow committee member GM and I had designed the centerpieces around all the things our Friends have done for us, so each table was unique. They featured pictures of our bookmobile, author galas, book donation bundles, music CDs, children’s books, and more. On each centerpiece we hung a tag that gave a little more information about what each centerpiece represented. We worked really hard on them and all the guests seemed to have fun going to each table and learning about how much the Friends do for us! Some of our Friends were surprised to learn about all the different ways they’ve helped us over the years!

Another sad change is the closing of one of my favorite places in town, the Laboratory. I’ve been going to the Lab since they opened three years ago, and it’s been incredible to watch how they’ve changed and grown over that time. I even had my graduation lunch with all my family members there, and Larry (the owner) opened the place early just for us. Unfortunately, the building is under new ownership, and Larry is unable to afford the much higher rent the new landlord plans to charge, so they will be closing at the end of this month. Last Thursday marked the very last Nerd Nite to occur at the Lab. One of the guys who runs our local Nerd Nite, CD, asked me and my wench troupe (one of whom is my friend Toni) to perform there after seeing us at an open mic night. We were happy to oblige, and managed to gather a bedful (our term for a quorum/majority) of our gang to sing some naughty songs and have some fun. We all had a good time, and I think the crowd did too! Afterward were some very cool presentations, and we even made ice cream with liquid nitrogen! On Saturday, the Lab held its pre-Halloween party (since they’ll be closed by actual Halloween) and I dressed in my Velma costume (which I will be wearing on Halloween at the library!) and went to hang out and bid farewell to such a great venue. Larry gave a very touching speech, and I cried a lot, but in the end it was a beautiful evening and a nice way to put the old girl to bed, so to speak. 😦

Bold Moves October has been going well, I think; I’ve been making positive changes that I would have been otherwise too scared to do. I’ve been thinking about making video book reviews, but I’ve been too nervous to start them. I think with this last week of Bold Moves October I will finally get on the ball and start vlogging! I might do a reading for All Hallow’s Read, too, but I have to pick a story first! What do you think? Should the Bookaneer become a Vlogganeer?

And now, your Moment of Cute: A man with three small boys was checking out across the lobby, and his kids were getting a little antsy and running around. He warned them to stop running, and pointed at me, saying that I am mean and will tell them they can’t come back if they don’t behave. I interjected, protesting his throwing me under the bus but did tell the kids to please stop running. He and the boys came over after they were done checking out, and he said that they were going to apologize for running and they wouldn’t do it again. The oldest one, about 5, said, “But dad, I wasn’t running; I was speed-walking!” His dad says that he’s a future lawyer! 😀

Keep bookaneering!

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Even Pirates Need Vacations

This past weekend was Labor Day, where we honor the hard workers everywhere by not working at all! I was lucky enough to get a three-day weekend (thanks, government job with union benefits!) and traveled with my dad to the northern part of the South for a good old-fashioned family reunion.

We left Saturday morning, and headed toward Norfolk, Virginia for our first stop at my dad’s aunt and uncle’s house. I slept a lot of the way up, including when we passed “South of the Border”, a tourist attraction between South and North Carolina. We’ve never stopped there, but the billboards for it start about 160 miles south, and have silly sayings like “You never sausage a place! (You’re always a wiener at Pedro’s!)” Most of our trip consisted of singing loudly to the radio and jamming with air instruments, telling each other bad jokes, and reading the weird billboards.

Around 3:30pm, we “tuned in” to the Florida football game via the ESPN gamecast feature on dad’s smartphone. I get my passion for Florida sports mostly from my dad (he is also an alum) and I was in charge of reporting the play-by-play as he drove. There were a lot of agonizing moments as we waited for the page to refresh (not much 3G in the wilderness of North Carolina) and we made it to Virginia just in time to catch the fourth quarter. Aunt J watched us in amazement as we alternated between cheers and despair as the game ended and Florida squeaked out a win. Then we had a delicious dinner of chicken penne with veggies and watched more football until it was time for bed. In the morning we went for a run, and then out to brunch with Aunt J and Uncle G, and J’s daughter T and her husband C. Tragically, I left my beloved firm pillow at Aunt J’s, and it was not discovered missing until we were well on the way to North Carolina and the big reunion party. She did say she will mail it to me, for which I am eternally grateful! Thanks, Aunt J!

Sunday was the day of the reunion. We headed down into North Carolina and the Currituck Sound, to a house on the water that’s called “The Cottage”.

You Are Here

A map of where we were, complete with “You Are Here” sticker.

I haven’t been to visit this side of my family in about 14 years, and many I had never met, so I was a little nervous. However, everyone was incredibly welcoming and we all had a really great time telling stories, looking at old photos, eating awesome food and swimming and boating in the sound. Aunt B told me that she reads my blog and thinks it’s funny (Hi, B!) and my second cousin (?) M may come down for the 5K I’m running in November! I also bonded with some of the younger generation there, though we couldn’t quite figure out how we were related. We settled on the idea that I am their cousin-aunt and they are my cousin-nieces, because they are my father’s cousin’s daughter’s step-daughters. (confusing!) There were about fifty people in all, and we got a lot of photos that I can’t wait to see. Dad and I were the only ones there from our branch of the family, so we hammed it up a bit and took some silly pictures.

We stayed that night at the Cottage, then in the morning had a truly outstanding breakfast of homemade biscuits with sausage gravy and strawberry preserves. Then we hit the road to drive back to Florida.

The Cottage

The Cottage, featuring “Wild Dog” Cafe

On the way back I fell asleep again for the middle of the trip, including the way back through South of the Border (someday, Pedro!). There were a few great highlights though, including passing by a high school in Camden County, NC, that has a sign on their football field that said “Welcome to the SWAMP” (A little taste of home!) The school’s mascot, however, was the Bruins? Dad and I then scared ourselves with the idea of swamp-bears. Horrifying. In Elizabeth City, NC, we passed a billboard for a pizza place called “Itza Boutza Pizza”, which Dad found a lot funnier than I did. Dad also kept trying to come up with alternate definitions for “bookaneer”, like “when you schedule time for someone to listen to you, you book-an-ear”. Very funny, Dad. *eye-roll* I told him my favorite pirate joke: “What’s a pirate’s favorite movie rating? PG Thirrrteeeen” (Thanks for that goes to my old friend RO) I’ve got jokes too!

The trip was very relaxing, and it was nice to get away from the internet for a few days (though I did miss you, bookaneers!) Of course, getting back into the swing of things at the library today was lots of fun, since we were closed for Labor Day we had what seemed like three times the usual number of book drops and returns. It was a madhouse all day and the afternoon flew by. My favorite kind of day at the library!

Next time: bizarre tales, as promised, as well as some cute. Now I will leave you with an awesome picture of a beautiful place.

Sunrise over the Currituck Sound

Sunrise over the Currituck Sound. Gorgeous.

Keep bookaneering!

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Rain, Rain, Feel Free To Hang Out Awhile

So we’ve been canoeing around town the last couple of days here in Gainesville. The rain has been coming in fits and starts of torrential downpour and we’ve been under a Flash Flood Warning since yesterday. The worst part was when I was trying to run errands yesterday and got a flat tire. The rain fortunately stopped while the nice AAA tech was putting on the donut, but it started up again almost immediately afterward and I had to wait for almost two hours at the tire place to get the patch put on. We are expecting more rain for the rest of the week, and there is a tropical depression in the Caribbean right now that will probably bring more rain by week’s end. The best part is that it’s been under 80 degrees all day and it’s been GLORIOUS. The air smells like fall and I’m really enjoying the cooler weather. Normally it would be about 115 and drier than a desert this time of year so I will appreciate the cool and damp while I’ve got it.

Meanwhile, I did a search for The Bookaneer on Google just to see what I’d find. I knew that I wasn’t the only Bookaneer out there, as there is at least one store and another blog by the same name. Much to my surprise, there is also a sketch from a Sesame Street episode, where a Bookaneer Captain (played by Tina Fey) leads some Muppets (including a salty dog, haha), along with Elmo, on a search for the treasure found in books amid the shelves of the Sesame Street Library! A pirate after my own heart!

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Bookaneer_Captain

(As a note, that link leads to the Muppets Wiki, where I lost at least an hour and a half of time link-chasing through all the different entries. Click at your own risk!)

I’m so glad to know that I’m on the same page as Sesame Street which is a show that was incredibly influential in my wee pirate days (along with Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood). Keep pirating along, Bookaneers! Books hold the greatest treasures of all!

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As a Pirate…

As a pirate, I need the ocean to survive. Unfortunately, I live in North Central Florida, and the beach is at least a couple of hours away in every direction. (I know, still pretty lucky) I’ve been craving the beach recently so I took my day off today and decided to make a beach day of it! I packed up my picnic basket, sunscreen and towel and took off for St. Augustine, a place known for its pirate heritage.

As I drove into Orangedale, I realized the sky ahead looked pretty ominous. Was my beach day to be ruined by inclement weather? I mentally made alternate plans to wander the old city if a storm was indeed the case. I got to the beach with no rain, but considerable cloud coverage.

I parked a little before 2pm at the pier to find that the beach was in the process of being “renourished”, which meant a huge pipe crossed the sand, which stretched considerably farther than the last time I’d been there. The clouds continued to cover the sun and the beach, which didn’t have many people on it, was almost eerily quiet. The sounds of the waves and the sea birds were all that could be heard. It was perfection.

I fell asleep on the beach for almost an hour. At that point I was grateful for the clouds, or I would have been a lobster when I woke up! The temperature had dropped to the low seventies and the tide was coming in, though I was still safe. More families had shown up while I was dozing and were playing in the now-nearby water. Two little boys to my right splashed in the surf while their father took pictures. To my right an older man swept his wife up into his arms and threatened to toss her in the water before kissing her and setting her on her feet in the sand, both laughing. Surfers dotted the water all around, catching what small waves popped up. Though it was only 3:45, it felt much later. I ate my picnic lunch and read a library book I’d brought with me (a silly paranormal romance, the best kind of beach read!) for another hour before I felt I was ready to go home. By then the tide was quite high and licking at the ridge below my feet.

I stopped by my sister’s and my Mom’s houses for a few hours after, since they live in Jacksonville, which is nearby. We had a late dinner and got caught up before I headed back home to Gainesville. It was a perfect day for a pirate, and I feel rejuvenated and at peace with the universe. It’s funny how a little thing like a cloudy day at the beach can put the world in perspective. I can’t wait to go back to the library tomorrow!

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