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In a few short hours I am away to Union Station (built in the Italian Renaissance style, did you know that?)  That might lead you to believe that I am taking a train somewhere.  No one is taking a train.  I am picking up my long-lost college roommate Laurel and we are hitting the road.  We are fleeing to the fair (or so I’ve heard) city of Bellingham for the first wedding of the season.

Lis and Tyler have only been dating for about ten years, so I’m a little worried that they don’t know each other well enough yet.  (Cue the sarcasm).  But seriously, it’s going to be a good party.  And warm me up for the other three weddings this month.

I’ve printed out directions, I’ve purchased snacks, I’ve filled up my gas tank (in tone 7).  Now I just need to take a shower and pack.  Bellingham is supposed to be a sweet 75 degrees over the weekend.  Let’s hit the road.

See you on Monday.


mini beasts, originally uploaded by jessmonster.

Here is the photo that SHOULD appear below.

Do you give up on bad books?   Put them down before the end?

I used to be horribly stubborn.  I would wade through things I found numbingly dull, like Charlotte Bronte’s Villette.  I’m quicker to give up now, especially when I have a shelf of books beckoning me.  Just recently I gave up on Love, and Other Impossible Pursuits.  It may contain the “wry candor and tender humor” that the publisher claims, but it was buried beneath name-dropping brands and a painful display of grief.  Not the good kind of display of grief, where you put yourself in the character’s shoes and have a good cry, but the kind that you want to look away from, embarrassed, because it’s become ridiculous.

I also might have given up on Downriver if it hadn’t been our Wednesday book club selection.  The man doesn’t understand the delicate art of exposition.  He lays out the set-up like a couple two-by-fours. Clunky.  The characters don’t surprise you.  The plot does, because you expect it to be a plot-driven story.  A bunch of problem kids stealing equipment and setting off rafting down the Grand Canyon.  Sounds like a page turner, right?  Or at least you’d better hope.  And it’s going along decently until you turn the page and suddenly the game’s up.  Next to anticlimactic in the dictionary, there is a picture of the book cover.  And the summary gets boxed into a stilted letter.  I wasn’t expecting any True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle but I was hoping for a little bit more satisfaction.

Jeff thinks there’s something to be gained from finishing a bad book.  (Apart from a heated bashing, I suppose?) Which, yes, that’s sometimes true.  But how do you decide when to give up?

Since my recent promotion at the library, I’ve been picking up some extra hours by covering my old schedule. I am both the old Aide I me and the new Aide II me. The director sees me and asks, “who are you right now?” The extra hours are handy, but the real reason I enjoy it is this:


3-D bug slideshows. I don’t get to see those when I’m upstairs in an office. But when I’m the old me? I get to put on a pair of 3-D glasses. I hand out summer reading certificates and free books.

Then I go to dinner and emerge from the breakroom as the new me. (I really should’ve brought a change of clothes, but I had a hard enough time getting dressed yesterday morning). The one who gets to go through adult fiction that hasn’t circulated in, oh, five years and see if anything’s worth keeping. I get to chuckle over the terrible author photos and the horrific plots and the dated covers. And every once in a while, in the middle of a flurry of deleted and cleaning out the system and making room on the shelves, I get to save something. But I have to admit that the deleted is awfully fun for a compulsive organizer like myself.

(Can you guys see the picture? Are things working as they should?)

August 2006
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