Sunday, October 31, 2004
The Book Fair went well, we sold $1,800 worth of books, which is a tidy sum for a school like ours. The children got a crash course in economics. A 5 year old has no concept of money and sometimes just can't graspe that their quarter can't be stretched to purchase a 12.95 Spiderman Book. We combined it with Family Literacy Night and had a excellent turnout and a satisfactory program. The higher ups were pleased with the efforts.
We've hosted the author - Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli before, and she's delighful. Jane is a friend of Jerona , my principal which whom she shares a passionate interest and ability in quilting. She was in town for the Houston Quilt Show. Jane is the author of numerous books, all with a quilting theme and all based on her own childhood. She's Hispanic so all our kids can relate to her stories of Pinatas and tortillas. After her last visit, Jerona created The Pinata Quilt for the library, which hangs in a place of honor over our computer corner.
I didn't do the schedule, and the principal who did gave the poor woman 3 schools per day. That was a great pity since that didn't give us time for lunch with kids and all presentations had to be large group, rather than small. I did my best prep and the kids did me proud, listened attentively and asked sensible questions.
Not only does Jane have to deal with a schedule that resembles the Long Island Railroad, she also has to cope with new librarians, some of whom are not adept at doing author visits. The second visit after mine was an author's worst night. I called to say we were coming and the response was "what author"? Someone hadn't bothered to read numerous e-mails. Another librarian didn't quite stoop that low, but she fessed up that she's not introduced her students to the books, despite the fact I've had them on campus for over a month.
Even though none of the snafus were my fault I still felt hideously embarrassed, I'm a perfectionist who prides myself on a job well done. Jane was most gracious but it was still most annoying that some folks did not act in a professional manner.
Many people in Houston are inner loop impaired so I'm doing the pick ups and the drop offs. Jane is a Starbucks addict after my own heart so I'm hoping that double lattes will offset some poor planning on the part of inexperienced librarians.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
On the East coast the Boston Red Sox surprised everyone by beating the New York Yankees,thus giving themselves a berth in the series. Needless to say the residents of Mudville are pulling for Boston.
I introduced the kids at school to Casey at the Bat. Very suitable for the mood ofthe city.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
The Library @ Housman
For some reason it was just what the community needed and wanted. We average 50-100 people each week, even though we offer no food nor any bells and whistles. The computers are the big draw, but the kids love the games and puzzles and the adults just like having a place to chat. We seem to be a combination homework help, playing area and neighborhood Starbucks sans the coffee. It's made our parents more comfortable about coming up to school for other events also and given the school a standard night for activities. Since we require the children have a parent (loosely defined as someone over the age of 18 who can escort the child home when we close) it's not turned into a free daycare center, instead it really is a Family Library Night.
The place has an entirely different feel on Thursday nights. It's humming and buzzing but it's a good, positive energy. Amazingly we have few discipline problems and the children do a good job of respecting the library rules and sharing the computers. It's odd that something so simple is so successful. A classic case of KISS.
Mama Kitty, feeling at home
Mama is starting to plump up. She still has a knobby backbone but her tummy is beginning to pouch out a bit. Skitty knows she has a charmed life and scampers across the living room, tail straight up like a little bottlebrush. The other cats continue to be tolerant and even Heine is thinking about coming round when she thinks no one is looking. We catch her looking at the kitten with a puzzled expression. She's like to join in kitten play but can't quite bring herself to do that. She doesn't want to loose face.
Mama & Skitty
Monday, October 11, 2004
Today was the day. A most excellent day for a holiday since nobody else had it. My E-Bay buddy and I went thrifting in East Houston. Explored a new to us Family Thrift Center which was new, clean & not yet trashed. Found a stack of books, some jackets and other odds and ends. The other two thrifts were disappointing but the FTC is definitely worth a return trip. To bad it's not on the way to anywhere I ever go. Three of the books have already sold - easy in, easy out. Were it always so easy!
It was a picture perfect day (which is just as rare as a tidy Family Thrift Center) so once My Beloved got home we went to Memorial Park to ponk golf balls. For once my driver did what it was supposed to do and actually connected with the ball with a decent sounding "ping".
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Stuffed books into Sellers Assistant, photographed covers, sorted books into boxes and even managed to get the laundry put away in a timely manner.
Somewhere out in this great land is a Presidential campaign and I'm totally ingnoring it. Texas is a given for Bush so the news media and the candidates are not giving us the time of day. Does mean we aren't sujected to non stop political commercials. So far we've had 2 Presidential debates and one Vice Presidential and I've not watched any of them. I'll vote even though it won't matter, the electoral votes for Texas are a given. I feel like I'm failing in my civic responsibility but it's hard to have much excitement about the entire affair.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Thanks to Bookthink , a handy little e-newsletter I learned about ScoutPal and decided to give it a whirl. Seems easy to use, we'll have see if it's worth the monthly fee. I sure hope I don't into a Godzilla BookDealer like the ones we saw at the Galveston sale last weekend.
There were 3 of them, working in teams, all armed with cell phones. One tore through the textbooks in hurricane force fashion, and excellent imitation of Hurricane Ivan left destruction in her wake. Books tossed helter skelter, dumped on the floor. The sale operators had done such a careful job of set up and they destroyed it. The others attacked the non fiction, piling up stacks of books and shoving others out of their way. Their stacks were so high and so untidy that it was impossible to tell that the books were "taken". They screamed at anyone who dared approach them and did their best of keep others away from the shelves. I know they made a killing in the textbooks- Galveston is always a good source for medical books. Luckily for us, they didn't bother with children's books.
I've seen them at the Bellaire sale too - 2 scoop up armloads of books and take them to cell phone central who hordes them and keys in the ISBNs as fast as he can. Some sales are starting to ban horders and snatch and grabbers and I can't say that I blame them!
So, I'm going to do my best to remember my manners and not let technology surplant my mental knowledge of "flashpoints".
Monday, October 04, 2004
Mama is not totally feral, she's adapted happily to being in the house and has no interest in going out. Her purr rivals a buzz saw. She's also very easy going when it comes to the other cats. Baby is happy to be anywhere Mama is. Her current favorite toy is the automatic litter box.
The other cats are pretty much ignoring them. Gabriel, the elder statesman has seen many cats come and go in his time and Leia knows she's the Princess so they aren't concerned. Ollie keeps to himself as always. Just as we suspected, Corky is the one who wants them gone. She's very protective of her "territory" and doesn't care for interlopers.
Mama has a sister who just had a litter too - so I wonder if the cat population is about to take another jump.