Saturday, May 31, 2008

whirlwind tour of a week!

So last Tues the 27th was supposed to be the organizational meeting of my new book group at la biblioteca. I attempted a To Kill a Mockingbird book discussion in conjunction with The Big Read and it didn't turn out so well but I was hoping that was just because everyone was just Bird-ed out...*insert sad clown face here* Only one person came and she was a friend of mine. KT and I had gotten tons of questions about it over the past several weeks and people seemed really interested in the format as this will be a group where we pick a genre each month instead of one book. Participants can choose whatever book they'd like to read as long as it falls within the selected genre. I liked it, management adored the idea and we go positive feedback from all the hand sells but again, my friend A was the only one to show up and she was a teensy bit late. I'd already sat down with a cream cheese danish and teared up a bit when she dashed in. I had to wipe my tears away real quick and get down to business. Since that meeting I've had 2 people ask for details since they either forgot or couldn't make it on the day of. KT called our regional reporter at the Birmingham News so maybe I will get to do an inch or two of interview in the paper! That would be exciting! I'm hoping she'll just work with the info KT gave her so I can be the chicken livered girl that I'm so good at being. Anyway, I'm going to keep trying to get this started...I'm just such a sore loser. If I can't be good at something on my first try, I frequently quit and don't try again. I just read a good book that gave me some tips for defeating that...Alice Domar's Be Happy Without Being Perfect. Good advice, pretty real world stuff and little or no preachiness, I highly recommend it. So I'm going to give it another whirl and see what kind of trouble I can get into next month.


Wednesday the 28th was our first meeting for the newly revamped one-county-one-book sort of program. It won't be anywhere near as big a shindig as the Big Read was...this will definitely be more of a grass roots effort revolving around book clubs. Set for October, the selection is Rick Bragg's new book, The Prince of Frogtown. I went out and bought a copy since ours will be hung up on one reserve list or another for a few months yet. The programming committee I'm on is meeting next week and I wanted to know what it was about before I start planning any programming around it. People, it is GOOD! Southern culture, history, and hope for the future all rolled up in one. This book is supposed be the last leg of a sort of biographical trilogy that began with Bragg's book about his mother, All Over But the Shoutin', then continued with his grandmother's life in Ava's Man. I read this book in two sittings and was entranced every step of the way. Storytelling, Appalachian history, the Creek Indians, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and close friends round out the rest of the tale like nothing I've ever read before. This book should make it onto a junior and high school reading list next year if any of the teachers in this town have a brain in their head. Hopefully, when October rolls around we can get everyone reading this book again or for the first time. I've already put Shoutin' and Ava's Man on hold for myself so I'll know the whole story.


Thursday was fairly uneventful. I taught class #2 of the 6 week Senior Surfing course I'm in charge of. It's a really good group that make me feel like I'm really giving something back to the community. I have four students who are all in late 60's to early 70's and they are all doing great. I have one who's having some trouble with the mouse, but I saw marked improvement since the first class. Occasionally, when I've had a bigger class and have needed someone to help out they never fail to mention how surprised they are to see someone who has never used a computer before. I really believe teaching this class keeps the thought fresh in my mind that using a computer is still a miraculous thing. It's almost like magic to them. They are tentative to sit down in front of it and terrified to touch it, like it will explode. I tell them the chances of them actually "breaking" it are remote unless they throw it to the floor and stomp on it but the look in their eyes lets me know that they don't quite believe me. Something else that I hear from my classes with a consistency that hurts is that they've asked their children and grandchildren for help, but they go too fast. You have to go S-L-O-W with this. We've only done mouse tutorials for the first two classes. I've promised them we'll get to surfing around on the internet next week and maybe LOOKING at an email account. We'll see. I hope they find somewhere and some time to practice between last class period and next week. I'd love to see them sending email next week if possible. As frustrating as this can be, it is very rewarding when they glow with pride over their own accomplishments.


Friday was a big day! I met KT, her daughter E, at the J and E's friend brought her mom and 3 sisters with her! So there were 4 children and 3 adults (do I REALLY count in that?) and we had a blast watching them frolic in the water, doing some frolicing ourselves too. We had lunch there and not long after the girls got back in the pool afterward it started to sprinkle. Then it started to rain pretty hard. No thunder, no lightning, just a good ol' Alabama summer shower. What did we do you may ask? We put our stuff under a tent, jumped in the pool and swam in the rain. I felt like a kid again. I used to love to play in the rain when I was a little girl and my mom always let me as long as it wasn't thundering and lightning. I saw one girl scramble out of the pool and run to get under a tent. I laughed so hard I was crying and I'm glad the rain covered up the sound of it so I didn't hurt her feelings but I couldn't help it. Why on earth would you jump out of the SWIMMING POOL to avoid getting rained on? Her mom obviously never let her play in the rain.

Later on I met KT at Red Robin for dinner before our big night out at Sips-N-Strokes! You all know T and I have been before and it was KT, T and I this time around painting (or in my case, attempting to paint) Monet's Waterlillies. I think mine looks like a UFO invasion in which 3 of the craft have caught fire. As soon as I get home next Saturday I'll upload the photos and you can make your own description. I call mine, Monet's Invasion. We painted, drank wine, got silly, then all went our separate ways.


Today was a monster day at la biblioteca! My last housesitting job ended last night so I went to my own personal home for one night, refilled the Binkster's water, food and cleaned her litter box, slept a little bit then got back up to come into work and start my next petsitting gig. So I'm typing at you live and direct from Tucker and Cole's abode! They've been really sweet and we sat outside after work and they made mushy, limpid brown eyes at me while I ate dinner but I still didn't share. Okay, I shared a couple of fries with Cole while Tucker was being nosy with the Rott puppy next door. He'd come back over, sniff the ground, and stare at Cole and I with suspicion. Cole, near-human, would look off into the distance like he wasn't still tasting the salt off that french fry. It was a great afternoon. Tomorrow will be even better. I said I wasn't, but I think I will GO TO THE POOL again! Get some sun, make some Vitamin D and read another book! Yay for swimming pools!


You know what is not fun? Paying bills. I just wiped out an entire paycheck in about 45 minutes. Holley T needs a budget in the worst way. I'm going to get myself in trouble if I don't get a handle on this impulsive spending streak I've got. I don't know where I could have picked it up...oh wait, I have a mother who has quite a wide streak herself. Is spending genetic? KT, perhaps DH should delve into that research topic instead of the,......the mitochondrials. My mom and I could come in for testing to identify the spending gene.


Enough about me, what's going on with you? Going back to the swimming in the rain anecdote, what summer activity makes you feel like a kid again? If you are a kid, what is your favorite summer activity?

Anyway, evenin' ya'll!


Erica said...

when is your next book group meeting? don't give up yet! i'll try to pimp it out to some moms who are big readers...

my fave summer things: going to the pool, playing in the sprinkler in the yard, and catching lightning bugs after supper right before it gets really dark!

Holley T said...

E-The next meeting will be June 24th at 6:30pm. If you don't mind, I'll bring you one of the genre selection forms to fill out. I've gotten everyone in my department, in addition to the 3 ladies interested in attending the next meeting, to fill one out so I at least am soliciting opinions for somewhere other than my own brain. Thanks in advance for the plug to your patrons downstairs!

Yay for the pool! Why is it that the water from the sprinkler is always the coldest there possibly is? I like doing that too. I caught lightning bugs at KT's house last time I was there. It was fun chasing them around with the KT's girls hot on my heels. I don't want to think about it from the bugs perspective, but such is bug life.