Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend adventures and Monday morning whining

So, it's Monday and I'm back at work, book ordering my little heart out. Seems like lately my days at work are consumed with putting out small fires and not getting to larger projects, particularly professional writing. So, for instance, on my agenda for the day are writing a book review (I'm a regular reviewer for a religious library periodical), and then getting back to the book chapter I'm writing on assessment in credit bearing library courses. Right. So, I get in this morning, and discover the following:

(1) 4 messages waiting in the email account I monitor regarding an online library research workbook that all students here are required to take. 2 of them are from faculty wanting me to check on the status of some students for them. The other 2 are from students that contain (a) no identifying name, and (b) confusing sentence fragments asking about information that is clearly stated in the directions. I answer all of them, part of which involves me dragging our assistant into the mess to help out with some of the student status checking. 45 minutes.

(2) Slew of email in my work email account, 2 of which are from desperate graduate students in my new liaison department, American Studies. (very excited about this American Studies thing, btw). Each starts with something like, "oh thank God you're there! I need help." I answer each of those. 30 minutes.

(3) Several phone calls that needed to be made, and forms that needed to be filled out, regarding our benefits. Made those. 20 minutes.

(4) Field a phone call from my mom in which she frets about the doctor that we share leaving her original practice, which is one of the benefit situations mentioned in (3) above that I had to deal with. 10 minutes.

(5) Deal with a handful of questions from people that stop by my office. Go through a pile of damaged books and euthanize most of them. 30 minutes.

(6) Find a forgotten, thick printout from Choice Reviews Online of new books in the subject areas that I collect in. I grab it, and continue my process of selecting and ordering. Still ongoing.

Sigh. I do what I can.

The weekend was rather mixed. Saturday, I attempted to make a crock pot recipe that involved butternut squash. Anybody ever sliced up a butternut squash before? I hadn't. Being my eager beaver self, I quickly chopped up the 2 called for Granny Smith apples and then approached the squash. It didn't take too well to the little knife I was using on the apples. I had to forge into unchartered territory and get the big scary knife out of the chopping block. I do a reapproach. The squash was still intimidating me quite a bit. Finally, I dove in and sliced it down the middle. Know what I discovered? Butternut squash have seeds inside them. Who knew?

I certainly didn't. So I do my best to scoop out the seeds and chop up the squash. As I'm sure you''re unsurprised to learn, I sliced my thumb open and had to bind it off with the only bandaids we had in the house - it was a choice between Dora and Diego. The wound is in a really bad spot too, right near the top of my thumb. I keep bumping it and making it sore. Not good. And I have *Dora* on my thumb. Anyway, the recipe did turn out pretty good, if I do say so myself. But next time, I think I'm going to ask Mike to chop the squash.

After the squash adventures, I took Henry shopping at Target for new clothes. It was one of those shopping experiences in which half the time Henry was an absolute angel and the rest of the time he drove me absolutely out of my mind. Pretty much a typical outing with a 3 year old.

Later, Mike and I escorted Henry to a pool party in which he cavorted in the kidde pool and used up tons of energy. Then he consumed a cupcake and ice cream and got all worked up again. We finally got him to sleep later and were pretty exhausted ourselves.

Sunday, Mike and I traveled to one of our favorite local destinations, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. I got to use my new enhanced drivers license, too, to cross the border. I always get so nervous at the customs booth. I don't know why; we're not smuggling anything or involved in any illegal and/or violent activities. I hardly think the suburban couple carrying back 2 bottles of local wine, fudge and homemade jam is top on their list of people to investigate further. But I always break into a sweat whenever we approach that little booth. Must be because you know that the customs people can do whatever they want to you and you really have no recourse.

Anyway, we had a great time. We ate lunch in one of the vintage hotels there, in a lounge that is decorated like a library. Did you ever? We then proceeded to buy and consume homemade fudge and peanut brittle. We then walked to the lake, to walk off the calories... Saw some adorable black squirrels. Went to the jam store. On the drive back we stopped at a winery and picked up a local cabernet and a late harvest riesling that is to die for. I'm a very happy Catholic Librarian.

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