library bound

i’ve always had a mini love affair with libraries. i mean, come on, you get your library card (a fun, bright color) for free and you have instant access to millions of books. for free. for me. for you. for him. for her. for them. shelves and shelves of delicious books waiting to be read. and the library doesn’t get jealous when i go to the bookstore instead and purchase my own copy. what’s not to love?

the cambridge public library recently re-opened its renovated doors and my love affair has blossomed into a full on romance. i go to the CPL at least twice a week. i go to pick up books on hold. i go to search for something new. i go to write. i go to research. i go to read the smutty gossip rags i refuse to pay subscriptions for. i go for the comfy chairs. i go for inspiration.

and the hope that one day i’ll be able to find my book on the shelf.

i was in the library on saturday trying to figure out why my account kept saying i had IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES by lisa schroeder checked out when i had returned it weeks ago. because it’s an MG book, it was located in the kids’ section on the third floor and they needed me to go up there to see if it actually was on the shelf. once i finished climbing the seemingly endless flights of stairs, i stood in line to wait for the next available librarian. and man alive, i could have waited in that line forever. the one librarian was so sweet with two little girls, sky and rachel, who were signing up for their first library cards. and to watch those little girls listen to the librarian and lean on the counter to look at the gerbil and pick out a seed ball and clap with excitement over their first card just about melted my heart. as a lover of books, it made me so happy to know that someone gentle and caring and enthusiastic was taking care of these little bubbles of joy. and while those little girls probably won’t remember, the librarian was instilling a love of books and reading with such a strong foundation that the love is sure to continue into adulthood.

another librarian was soon available and i had to tear myself away (but not before realizing what i want. i want a little kid who is PSYCHED to get their card to check out one of my books. i know how excited i get when i find a book i want. and i want someone to want my book like that. I WANT. i do.) anyways, it turns out the book they said i had checked out was sitting there patiently waiting for its next reader. so all was squared away.

and then i swung by the library yesterday to pick up a book they were holding for me (SEA by heidi kling). as i was waiting in line, i spied one of our books from work on the shelf waiting to be taken home. this was the first time i’ve seen a harvard book at the library. sure, i see them in bookstores all the time, but there was something about seeing it at the library that delighted me. i don’t really know why, but it did. and also, i saw HUNGER GAMES sitting on a cart waiting for the next patron to pick it up. i know what that book holds inside and i can’t wait for that person to get their hands on it and dive in.

it seems that no matter the day, the library continues to charm my pants off. do you have a love affair with a library? or, perhaps, with something other than a person?

spill it.


confused at the car wash

because the present has been given, i can now share the story of how i bought roommate’s birthday gift.

there’s the saying “it’s just like riding a bike” and if you’re me, that means you end up embarrassed or slightly injured or confusing the guys at the car wash. let me explain. oh, but first, some background. (i’ll make it quick.) i’ve changed my breakfast eating habits and as a result, i’m MUCH slower in the mornings. i’ve had to get over my (somewhat unfounded) fears and ride my bike to work. because when i ride, it takes a whopping 10 minutes to get to work vs. the 30 minutes it takes me to walk. and let me tell you, other than horrible helmet hair, i am loving this mode of transportation. especially since i’ve been working late. do you know how nice it is to be home in 10 minutes instead of 30? cause then i’m that much closer to my comfy clothes. and all i want after a long day at work is to be comfy.

i digress.

so on wednesday, i decide to forgo the gym and ride my bike around town as i check some errands off my to do list. i told myself i’d keep my bike in a higher gear, thus forcing my legs to work harder because this was my only exercise for the day. one of my stops was at the car wash to buy a gift card for my roomie’s birthday. she is kind to her car. she likes to treat it right. me and my bike can respect that.

i pull up to the opening of the car wash and hop off my bike. there’s one car in the garage, one lined up behind it. there’s no employee that i can see. there’s nowhere to lock up my bike, so i stand and wait. i mean, there are two cars there, a guy has to come help soon. plus, i hate it when i don’t know what to do. i get shy. so i wait. and i watch. and i hope the answer will come to me. i’m a patient person.

the driver of the second car gets out and runs inside, speaks to a guy and then returns to his car and leaves.


i poke my head into the doorway because (a) i feel really weird WALKING into a car wash. (b) i want to signal to the guy that i’m there waiting. (c) i want to make sure they’re still open because why did that car just leave? (d) i don’t want to leave my bike because, as i said, there’s nowhere to lock it up and i’m paranoid that someone will steal my beauty of a bicycle. i spot a man and yell “are you still open? do you sell gift cards?” and the guy gives me a confused look and holds up one finger. no not THAT finger, the one that signals he needs one more minute. i continue to wait patiently. cause that’s how i roll.

he goes over to the car that’s also waiting patiently and does that pre-wash thing where he washes the car before it heads onto the automatic belt that’ll roll the car through the big wash. (that always struck me as odd. it’s sort of like washing the dishes before running the dishwasher.) with that car taken care of, he turns to me. i repeat my question about them having gift cards and he says “yes, autos.” i nod. he studies me and then says, “cars.” i realize i’m still wearing my bike helmet and have blonde hair and what? does he think i want to ride through the car wash? i laugh and say, “yes, cars. not my bike.” he smiles and we complete the transaction. (note to self, they only have one type of card. and it includes 5 washes. so don’t ask for anything more or less.)

happy with that mission accomplished, i return to my bike and ride off into the sunset. that was thwarted because, well, this is real life, and people like me don’t ride off into the sunset. not when you forgot to down shift the gears and you’re attempting to start your bike on 2.7; it’s like pedaling through peanut butter. and not when you’re biking down somerville ave which has all these new speed bumps. for the .5 miles i was on that road, i had to go over, no joke, 17 of them. they are those long, sloping up/down, flat top in the middle bumps that aren’t fun in a car and really aren’t nice to ride over on a bike. i had to perch atop my bike over each one. i was having flashbacks to horseback riding lessons where you raise in the stirrups as the horse goes over the jump. except my bike’s not nearly as handsome as a horse. (sorry bike, you’re not.)

no one ever said gift giving was easy.


words for thought

i’m blatantly stealing this post from elisabeth black. but i can’t stop thinking about it and wanted to share it with you, dear readers:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Six impossible things.

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

-Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

I’m with the White Queen on this one. Have you believed any impossible things lately?

if you can believe it, you can do it. and if you can do it, it’s no longer impossible. ready? set? GO.


excuses, or introducing linda grimes

most days, we don’t need a reason to skip out of work. but there are times when the drive to get things done overshadows our logical sense of laziness. and that is distressing indeed. if that happens, you know who you should call? linda grimes. not only will she make you laugh, but she’ll find a way to get you out of doing that horrid thing you were just about to do.

she’ll always come to the rescue. seriously, click on that. and then read the comments. you won’t regret it.

she can get you out of work, out of taking care of your kids, out of eating a healthy breakfast, out of cleaning your house, and out of any other pickle you might find yourself in. i think i want to make her pocket sized and carry her around all day long. chirping in my ear. forcing my productivity levels to zero.

think of how calm and relaxed i’d be! i wouldn’t worry that the dust bunnies from the bedroom have connected with the ones from the living room and are about to stage a mutiny. i wouldn’t spend one minute fussing over the lost roll of quarters because i don’t have to do any laundry. i wouldn’t be scared to have one extra drink because there are health benefits to having one drink a day and you only have the count the current drink in your hand. which is one. which means i’m health conscious!

and look, here she is in LIVE ACTION. (it’s just like we’re at the movies! is that popcorn i smell?) oh, but first, the background story. we (read: Twitterati) took a vote to declare wednesday #earlyfriday. enough people voted “aye” which means i don’t have to go to work on thursday because it’s technically saturday. but just in case, linda wrote me a “get out of work” note.

@linda_grimes: @abbymumford Dear Boss Person: Due to a localized glitch in the space/time continuum, Wed. is now Fri. Therefore, [insert name] will not be at work tomorrow, as it will be “Saturday.” Sincerely, Linda, Goddess of Excuses.

and since she was on a roll, @muftopmommy asked for a note of her own. and, of course, linda delivered.

@linda_grimes: @muftopmommy Dear Muftop-kiddos: If you don’t let Mommy take a nap, she will flip out and break ALL your toys. Sncrly, the Excuse Goddess

isn’t she grand? don’t you want to pinch her cheeks and give her a lollipop?

do YOU need any excuses cooked up? i’ll try to channel my inner linda grimes and help you out.

p.s. recently, people have been asking me more and more about my love of twitter. it’s this silly side that i love. and it’s not a waste of time, boss man, no indeed. i’m learning here. learning how to do less work in more time, sure, but what good is an employee who stops learning?