Friday, November 10, 2006

Neither all that

nor a bag of chips. My local library branch, that is. I'd been meaning to get my ass over there, it being walking distance from my apartment, and today I finally got around to it, and it was unsatisfying. It was great to see so many kids there, yeah, but the adult fiction "section" was nearly non-existent. I managed to find an Elmore Leonard, a John LeCarre, and an Ed McBain that I hadn't read, so it wasn't a total waste, but I can see that I'm going to have to make trips to the main library for my reading material. Feh.

Today's ruminations were about Thanksgiving. I've spent many a holiday by myself, and I learned to enjoy it--sitting around moping and wallowing struck me as an unpleasant way to spend a day off. Some years I'd get an invite from someone; some years I went out by myself; some years I'd clean my apartment thoroughly and then go out--whatever. For Christmas, I'd often go to a bunch of movies--four in two days was my record one year. For the last bunch of years, though, I've obviously been with Dave and his family, and it's going to be strange not doing that this year. We even had everyone--his son, mom, sister, brother-in-law, and BIL's sister and her partner--at our house at least once, which was fun, though challenging, not least because four of those people need gluten-free, three of the four need dairy-free as well, and one also needs soy-, corn-, cinnamon-, and sage-free. I always enjoyed coming up with desserts they could eat. I like Dave's family a lot, and it pains and saddens me to think that they probably think I'm a horrible person right about now. And I know I have to disengage from that--one of the rules of this, apparently, is that we all get to tell our own side of the story to our own families, and our families support us. Though my family doesn't really know very much: my brother knows some stuff, but my parents seem completely uninterested in hearing anything at all, and I don't really feel like telling them. (Yeah, given that i can't talk about work, either, conversations aren't all that deep, or, at least, they don't really touch on anything that's actually happening in my life.)

Meanwhile, I have my apartment back! and they did a fine job--actually scraping off the bubbled paint, plastering, priming, and then painting. When they put the furniture back (after they cleaned the floors! though they need another cleaning), they put one or two things in alternate locations, and it turns out i prefer the alternate locations, so they've also done some interior decorating for me. Now I can hang the rest of my crap on the walls and call it a day.


Blogger Larry Jones said...

My local library is city-run, and over the past twenty years or so, they have reduced services and hours like crazy, because who needs books? You never know what you're going to find when you go there, or if the branch will even be open. I really believe that there is an intentional move to make (most) people less educated. National standardized tests with financial punishment for not passing are a way to make sure that kids learn only what the government wants them to learn. Destroying the public libraries guarantees that even the most energetic nonconformists won't be able to get educated on their own (after learning the answers to the standardizrd tests).

I have more, but what I started out to say is that the dozen or so branches here cooperate with each other and with the main library to get you the books you want. If you know what you want and if it's anywhere in the system, they'll get it to your local branch in a few days and you can check it out from there. I admit, it's not the same as browsing the stacks and smelling the paper and ink, but it beats taking standardized tests or being poked in the eye. Maybe it will save you a trip downtown.

Ed McBain? The only police procedurals I can get into. Great characterization. My favorite mystery writer is Ross MacDonald, who wrote a frustratingly small number of novels. Try The Moving Target if you haven't already

11:52 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Two-and-a-half words: Inter-Library Loan

Three more: Happy Restored Apartment!

12:22 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

PS. Oh, Larry already said it, but it a few more words.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Emma Goldman said...

I love the main library, actually--it's a relatively new building, complete with gargoyles (!) and an atrium. It's right downtown, and it gets a lot of use, so perhaps it's counter to the trends you're mentioning. then again, I live in an old city, so there is an actual downtown. What I suspect I'll do is go there to browse and get books, but then drop them off at the branch as I finish them. And I have to find my notebook--the one where I write down the titles and authors of books I want to read. (Back when I regularly read the NYT, including the book review, this was handy.) I acquired the habit from my dad, and it's a good one.

I like McBain's other series, too, though the character escapes me at the moment. do you like Donald Westlake?

4:45 PM  
Blogger Larry Jones said...

I have picked up Westlake in the stacks, but something made me put him down without taking him home. Don't know what it was. Which one should I start with?

McBain's other main character is Matthew Hope, the Florida lawyer. His law partner believes everyone in the world can be described as having either a pig face or a fox face.

I must write a post or something about my favorite qualities in mystery fiction.

kStyle - Can't believe you didn't pore over my every word before commenting.

2:17 AM  
Blogger Emma Goldman said...

The Dortmunder books are quite good--the first was "Bank Shot," I believe. My dad and I discovered Westlake with that book, when I was in high school (!), so I've been reading him for thirty years. the great thing about those characters is that they've grown over the years, both in number and with the times, while maintaining their essential personalities. If you're the kind of person who likes to start at the beginning, then that's the one to start with--and I sometimes think that Westlake writes the Dortmunder books for those of us who've read all the previous ones.

5:20 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...


I write in quasi-
haiku. Sometimes I read in
Short bursts, like haiku.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Larry Jones said...

I love to start at the beginning, and I shall.


Best excuse ever
It affords you the freedom
To do as you please

12:55 PM  
Blogger Orange said...

Check out Haruki Murakami. He writes short stories and novels, and they suck me in. There's always something a little off-kilter.

8:51 PM  

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