Sunday, April 27, 2008

Best fiancé ever?

Today is my birthday, and S and I started the celebrating last night by going out to have some sushi. It was delicious as usual. We had the local sushi place's super yummy house salad, miso soup, and California roll tempura style and something called 'monster roll' which had a lot of things in it. It was right at the beginning of eating that S said to me, "Why did you bring your bag in?" and I said, "Well, ah, there's stuff in it I might need..." and he said, "Like what?" and I replied, "I guess my wallet, and my makeup things, and some lotion," and he asked, "What else?" I opened up the bag and looked in it, and what did I spy but the "Enchanted" soundtrack. S had snuck it into my bag as a pre-birthday surprise. Aww. I was really happy about it, because I wanted to buy the CD last week but figured I could wait on it, which paid off. Nice! We finished dinner, came back to my house, and later watched an episode of "Poirot" before crashing.

This morning was nice and somewhat lazy, eating breakfast and drinking coffee. My parents and S and I went out for lunch at a mexican place where they will serve a free birthday meal and fried ice cream on your special day. I started the meal with a pina colada, and just in the middle of telling a story, I looked down at my purse next to me, voila:

Except in its box. I looked at it for a second, not realizing what it was, and then went, "An iPod? For me!?" Upon closer inspection, it's a 160GB! I think this may mean that S is the best fiancé ever. I'm a very happy woman.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yes, that is really my dashboard from this morning

Ain't Minnesota great?

It's a birthday miracle! While it is indeed a snowy wilderness outside today, I'm quite pleased. I wasn't too excited about sitting in our marriage preparation course this weekend, on my golden birthday (which is tomorrow) (which also reveals how old I am). This morning, S and I woke up and got ready to go, and I had some orange juice which didn't agree with me (I'll spare the particulars, suffice it to say I wasn't feeling well). Then my phone rang for the second time with a number I didn't recognize. I handed it to S and he answered. Turns out, because of the crazy snow, the marriage prep course was cancelled! Too many attendees and presenters had to drive in from areas where road conditions were worse than in town.

I feel like I've gotten a bonus 3-day weekend (I took my personal day for Monday) for my birthday! Then S and I decided to go back to sleep, which we did until nearly 11, then woke up feeling pretty good. I made waffles, S got me a Starbucks mocha (we have been trying to cut down on coffee house fare so this was a special treat) and he revealed that I have 'some' presents for tomorrow. Yay for birthdays and snow days!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Branching out

On Monday, I started reading the first of Mark Crilley's "Miki Falls" series. For a while, I've wanted to give manga a try, but haven't really found a series that caught my attention and seemed like something I wanted to devote some time to—but Crilley's book has some nice things about it: the drawing style is a bit more refined than the average line-drawing manga, it's not in the backwards-style 'original manga' format, and it's only four books for the whole series. I liked the first one so much, I stopped by the library today to pick up my hold on #2.

I also still have another stack of graphic novels to read after my classes are officially done (tonight!). We're having a bit of a pot luck tonight in class, so I got some hummus, carrots and crackers to bring. Yay for being almost done!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Semi note to self about our future apartment

(I know I promised library photos, but I can't find the camera cord and I need to keep these notes somewhere!).

Things we're looking for in a place:

shorter lease options (6 mos. or month-by-month)
available July 1 (or June, but better if July)
1-2 bedroom (2 bedroom pref. even if they're very small)
on bus line to downtown or campus
close to new library/campus (walkable/bikeable distances in good weather)
free parking (garage available = even better for my dumb Saturn)
laundry in building


dishwasher (v.nice)
heat/most util. included (except phone/internet/electric)
balcony or small yard area (v.nice)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nearing the end

My new toy came via FedEx on Thursday. That's right, I finally got a MacBook. S and I have (obviously) had fun taking lots of Photo Booth photos of ourselves, but mainly, I'm liking that I can do my homework using Google Documents and carry the computer with me to another room. I already ordered a Speck case for it, so I can keep it looking somewhat new.

I only have two more class meetings until the semester is over, and only one project. My grant proposal is probably about 2/3 done at this point, but I also need to make a one page summary and present the project in class tomorrow. Honestly, isn't writing a grant enough work? I don't know how I'm going to talk about it for 10 minutes. Part of me is tempted to just e-mail my instructor the thing and be done with it, thus saving gas (which is now up to $3.45/gallon in my area). I won't actually do that, though, because I'm so conscientious about my participation points.

S did end up watching "Enchanted" with me, and he really liked it. He actually wanted to watch it again last night, but I was feeling too driven and wanted to work on my homework.

I promise photos of the library the next time I post!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In need of some entertainment

So right now I should be working on writing my paper on "A" is for Alibi for my readers' advisory class, but I have to leave in about 15 minutes to pick up S from campus after his class, so instead I'm dorking around the internet. I really wish that I had written this paper sooner, but I spent time working on projects for my other class and watching movies, like "The Namesake" and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and "The Jane Austen Book Club" and "Atonement." Well, not all at once, but in the last few weeks or so. I have grand plans to finish the paper this evening, let it sit tomorrow morning while I go on the tour of the new library (I promise photos... as long as I remember my camera!), and then edit it before heading off for class.

I got "Enchanted" from Netflix today, and I really want S to watch it, but even if he can't, I'm going to watch it soon, even though I've seen it before. Along with my cousin Simon, I thought it was a great movie, really lighthearted and refreshing. It was light and fun and pure entertainment, just like I like movies to be.

Also from Netflix, I got the next disc of Agatha Christie's Poirot, which S and I have been watching for a while. Well, I introduced him to it, but now he loves the Belgian detective even more than I do, and often begins sentences with, "Poirot would..." or makes references to it even when the occasion has nothing to do with solving mysteries. Aww.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I'm feeling like I actually got something done this weekend, even though I felt like going to class was a waste of time with all the stuff I have to get done this week. S and I ordered our wedding bands, so that leaves only one item left on the to-do list for this month. Hooray! Oh, and registering for gifts is sort of tentatively on the docket, too, but that can wait as long as we need it to.

The other accomplishment was that I (well, really S and I both) decided to order a laptop. I feel weird spending more than 1K on anything, but we'll need two good computers once we get married, and if we're in a 1-bedroom apartment for a while, being able to be in separate rooms to work on homework will be good (S likes music while he works late into the night; I like to go to bed at a reasonable hour). Plus, my class this summer is an online deal, so I have grand plans to sit on my deck and learn about internet fundamentals and design.

Now, back to work...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Homeworkin' it up

Oh my gosh, I am inundated with homework. I actually worked ahead last week in order to feel less pressured this week, but I still feel overwhelmed. I've got the following assignments to complete:

For readers advisory:
-Complete reading of books for booktalk on Wednesday (1.5 books to finish reading, writing booktalk blubs for)
-Complete 10 page paper on publishing/readers advisory significance of "A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

For services for children and young adults:
-Write grant proposal

Okay, so three assignments looks like piddly nothing, but the final projects are worth significant portions of my grades for both classes, and the booktalk thing is just becoming an afterthought, though I am excited about my chosen books and idea ("Books to try if you liked 'Eat, Pray, Love'—travel and self-discovery abroad"). Thank goodness I am done with my two projects due for class tomorrow (design a summer reading program with $1300 budget, and design a single teen program with $200 budget). I know these assignments are really preparing me well for working with young adults and with readers across genres, but it feels like a lot is on my plate before the end of the semester on Wednesday, April 23.

Thankfully, I have a couple weeks reprieve from April 23 until May 18. S and I have wedding-related work to do on my birthday weekend (April 27) and we are trying to check a few things off the to-do list before then. One nice thing I found out last weekend is that my Colombian sister Cata (exchange student who lived with us for a year) has enlisted her mother to find me some earrings/necklace (?) to wear from Colombia. We'll see how this pans out, but her mom has pretty fabulous taste, and knows I am wearing some red accents. As a backup, I may find something(s) from LuxeDeluxe on Etsy, because her stuff has a good style that I like. This is the fun part of wedding planning! This, and getting to eat tiramisu at the reception instead of cake. And, bugging S to design our invitations soon so we can get them printed and sent out in June.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

PLA: nerdy fun

Last week I had the excellent opportunity to attend the Public Libraries Association conference in Minneapolis. My cousin Simon and his wife Eve were gracious and let me stay over at their place in St. Paul, which saved me considerable drive time for three days while I learned about all kinds of library-related things.

I saw a lot of people I knew, both from my job and from school, and it was nice to see so many friendly librarian faces. I attended a preconference session on management, sessions on readers advisory services for young adults, gaming in libraries, weeding, how to handle upset patrons, a session on dealing with work stress, and got to see lots of cool vendors booths. One of the best parts was when my coworker and I were on the convention floor and we happened to be by the booth for the company who is putting together our library's automated materials handling system (AMHS). We got to see the set up, how it checks in books automatically, how it sorts items into bins, and so forth.

The library fun continues today with a tour of the new library building. People in my department have yet to see what our new building looks like inside, and so today, I get to see. I have plans to take photos, so I will definitely post some of the best of those later.