Saturday, July 30, 2011


As a school librarian, this is my much-coveted summer break. I was at a board meeting years ago where there was some suggestion the librarians' contract be extended, so they could serve students all year. Those of us that were there bristled, and we still have our summers off.

What is typical for summer? Would that be traveling, or presenting at a conference, or leading a workshop? Well, for the purposes of #libday7, Monday, I was out of town, Tuesday I was in a meeting until the early afternoon, but Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were all more typical "summer vacation" days. I woke up after 6, about an hour later than I would for school.

I spend my morning reading. I received The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles the day before, and I was desperate to finish it. I'm very glad I got this one in print, I know I will pass it around. The voice is so incredibly convincing that I gasped at the author picture, determined it would be the product of a woman. I also made notes for an article I want to write intermittently, using a black flair pen and a legal pad.

By 8:00, I'm dressed "Portland-style," with a red ikat dress over one of my many pairs of white jeans. I add some sandals when I leave the house. I drink Antony and Cleopatra (a black fermented tea) from a big, Cath Kidston retro 1950s mug I bought in the Seven Dials. I wake up my husband.

I get to my current awareness later in the morning that usual because of the novel. I work creating on my to-list for the rest of the week (and the summer break) with some dissertation targets, a grant application, and some paperwork. I move through my email, my rss and twitter feeds. Everyone I know seems to be in Boston for #blc, which looks like a terrific time. I see that the Kindle terms-of-service have come back to haunt some of the school libraries using that hardware. This was something I've been worried about for a while. I mentioned it explicitly at Internet Librarian in March. It seems to have created a big ripple in the biblioblogosphere.

I switch from the iPad to an actual computer around 9:15. I write up the App of the Week for the YALSA blog, but have trouble with manipulating the images in WordPress. I send the screenshots from my iPad to flickr, and then capture them to the desktop. I have trouble uploading images, and I see multiple iterations of each screenshot but can't embed seem to them from that screen. I switch to the PC, which wants to update, then restart the Mac. At 10:15, I am still fighting with the Mac, and I reset the cable modem and wireless router. It's 10:45 before I'm done posting, which is ridiculous.

As far as the post itself, I had wanted to write about the new feature of the Kindle App ever since I heard about the new support for magazines, but of course it was an especially potent moment with all the anti-Amazon sentiment engendered by their terms-of-service. I bought Self, because I thought it would provide a digital conversion challenge that The Economist might not, but I was not one hundred percent about the admittedly superficial content. I compromised by NOT including the cover with the bikini pose...

Because of the computer woes, I know I will be spending time looking at hardware. Maybe I just need to upgrade!  I have trips to plan for fall break and New Year's. I spend a lot of time on this sort of thing during the summer, requiring some elaborate calculus like "x pairs of Frye shoes equal y tickets to Paris equals z iPads."

I pick up my husband for lunch, but we walk out of the first restaurant after a half hour and the wrong drink order. We end up having veggie burgers which are only so-so, but we are both feeling rushed and I am feeling poisoned from accidently drinking diet soda. I run errands after lunch, going to Starbucks, but it is too crowded, so I don't park. For dinner, I want to re-create an avocado, Brie and pear sandwich from Blackfin Bistro in Key West, and go to both the chi chi market and the bakery. I go to the pharmacy and pick up my prescriptions. I don't take a nap, but spend the afternoon down several online rabbit holes, shopping for airfare, setting up AASL blog logins for a couple of people, looking at some little-used email accounts, reading about Lucien Freud and adding titles to Shelfari. I watch an episode of Bewitched and a show called Nazi London on the military channel, which makes me all the more determined to visit again soon.

In later afternoon, the mailman brings a kaftan-top and shawl I ordered from Cath Kidston a couple of weeks before (and had completely forgotten about in the meantime). They are pink ikat, and the tunic sleeves are 3/4 length and the embroidery's not really my thing, but the shipping was astronomical. At one point, I rub what I think is Molton Brown lotion onto my arms only to discover it's really hair conditioner. Most of the afternoon is spent feeling vaguely guilty for not going to school, but my last trip out there was frustrated because everyone is away from campus, and I don't want to replay that.

Frankly, this summer hasn't reached the atelier-like levels of production I'd hoped. But there is another week to write and plan before we return to school,  and I still have a couple of personal days left to plot out.

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