Sunday, 30 March 2014

Tick tock

That's my neighbourhood, City Park, today.  I was hoping for a walk in the sunshine this afternoon, but no such luck.  It's funny how a cloudy day here is so shocking; I'm getting used to the super bright sun of the prairies.  In Ontario grey skies were the norm and everyone kind of went bonkers when the sun decided to come out.  Anyway, the clock is ticking; the days of cold wind and snow must be coming to an end.  The Canada geese tell me changes are on the way.  I certainly hope so because I've reached a point in the winter where I don't think I could possibly become more dehydrated.  I need an IV or something.  It's ridiculous.

Other shocking news: I'm reading a book.  I've had a hard time reading this winter.  I either fell asleep a few pages in or didn't have enough focus to get very far.  It was easier to binge watch shows on Netflix or stare at the wall, which I knew wasn't nourishing the ol' noggin but think my brain was on overload anyway.  Giving the grey matter a few months to be a couch potato was okay.  But I'm happy to be reading again, if only because I'm being forced to read.  I'm leading the Fine Arts Book Club at the end of the month and really MUST finish the book in order to do so.  This is what we'll be discussing...

No, I didn't pick it because it's about a flute player!  It sounded similar to The Kite Runner (and potentially less depressing), which was confirmed by my favourite database, NoveList (every librarian needs to have a favourite database).  I'm about a third of the way through and keep laughing at the things the guru says to his student because the same stuff came out of my mouth when I was teaching.  For example, stopping some poor kid before she even started playing in order to lecture her on the need for a really good, deep breath.  I'm enjoying the story and will be digging up some recordings of traditional Indian music to share with FABC members.  Which makes me think we should have a music discussion group in Fine Arts...hmmm.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Happy Equinox and How to Retain One's Sanity

Sooooo....spring in Saskatoon means snow and temperatures into the -20s, apparently.  We had a beautiful week and then, just in time for the Equinox, things turned cold again.  No matter, it's clear that the weather is improving.  I'm looking forward to seeing the amazing summer that everyone says Saskatoon has to offer. 

Yesterday was the most hectic day I've had so far at SPL, capping off a busy week.  Not sure what happened, it's all a bit of a blur, but at least I feel like I accomplished a few things.  It seemed like I needed to talk to everyone in the building yesterday, mentally scheduling informal meetings at 1pm, 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm, and 4:15pm!  I've felt behind the ball for the most part of the past few months but I think I'm starting to get on top of things.  I tell ya, if I wasn't into organization I'd be in big trouble.  I hope to find my stride's around here somewhere.

I've got my first Library programs starting this weekend.  On Sunday there's a recital in the Theatre, presented by local music students.  Funny how all the same issues come up when organizing such a performance, even when they're not my own students.  ;)  Should be fine, I'm not too worried.  The only snag I can see is that we might be short staffed in Fine Arts, which means I'll be running up and down the stairs a lot on Sunday afternoon in order to keep an eye on the program while not leaving my colleague alone at the service desk.  I'm feeling quite out of shape (I ran to the bus stop last night with my grocery wasn't pretty), so at least I'll get some exercise.  I've also helped to organize a last-minute poetry reading in the Gallery for mid-April.  I tag-teamed with a librarian mentor/buddy and it's coming together nicely, after a bit of bumbling on my part.

Speaking of exercise...  In order to stay sane (and sleep's been a rough couple of weeks), I've decided I need to start running again.  Not because I want to run a marathon or whatever, but because it was the best stress busting activity ever.  I miss it.  I loved getting all that nervous energy out and sweating and panting.  (The post-run shower and recovery snack were great, too.)  It was also a form of meditation; I could often get in the zone where I let my body move without huge amounts of effort and I was able to just go along for the ride.  I started reading ChiRunning and I think I know what I need to do to run pain-free.  So once the ice melts and the huge puddles dry up I'm getting back out there. 

Other ways to stay sane: play with puppets!

As you can see, Pete has made friends with the SPL mascot, PJ.  Pete has also developed a mild dependency on caffeine...he's trying to cut back.  Maybe he should start running too.  I'm envisioning Pete in a tiny backpack that I carry with me on the Meewasin, kind of like Luke Skywalker with Yoda.  (Cue the trip to the funny farm...)

I also need to post a picture of Cleo, just for kicks.  :)

My sweet girl.  She helps keep me grounded.  Too bad she still insists on sleeping with her bum in my face.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Hibernation, etc.

I was reprimanded via text message by a friend (hugs, AG) for not doing a blog post lately.  I hadn't realized it's been almost two months.  I blame winter.  I went through a period where the only things I could manage were work, basic housework, and sleeping.  Zero motivation.  I took that concern to BodyTalk and had it addressed.  I'm feeling better now.

I've also been taking care of boring business, like getting my banking set up, transferring investments, getting my driver's license changed, blah blah blah.  At least in Saskatchewan you can have a hint of a smile in your license photo ("but no teeth"); I look marginally less criminal here than I did in Ontario.  I don't get the points system out here for drivers.  Apparently right now I'm neutral, then I gain points for accident-free driving.  If I get documents sent out from Ontario, my status could be improved...but without a car to drive, I don't really see the point.  I'm happy just to have valid ID, honestly.  I also bought a table and chairs.  So nice to have a place to eat.  And look!  They're so retro!

I've also been working hard on not planning the bejeezus out of my weekends and remembering that I have no schedule on my days off, so there's no need to panic about how long things are taking.  I don't have to rush or structure things too much.  I'm enjoying sleeping in (the cats like it too, although they still demand breakfast at 6:30am), using my tea pot on Saturday and Sunday mornings so I can linger with Typhoo rather than gulping it down before dashing, and rewatching Twin Peaks on Netflix.  I even managed to have a semi-spontaneous night out with some librarians last weekend.  It was supposed to be drinks at the jazz bar across the street from the library to discuss serious library stuff...but then I ended up eating a delicious dinner and going to two other bars before arriving home after midnight.  (On-the-fly bar crawl brought to you in part by wind chill in the -40s...)  I did something without planning it all out!  Small steps forward. 

Cameron and Cleo have settled in.  Cleo is finishing up a round of antibiotics and steroids for her itchy skin (the vet thinks she has an allergy, but I'm starting to wonder if she's just plain crazy...kitty prozac is in her future, I think).  She's still taking good care of me at night (I get kind of lonely at night) by lying right next to my head, always to my left.  I don't find cat bum in my face particularly appealing, but she's doing her best.  Cameron spent Tuesday barfing all over the apartment, but seems to be better now.  He turns 16 this month; I don't know his exact birth date, so I just pick a day and declare him one year older.  He's doing well for such an old boy.  Other than that, it's been nap nap nap, snack, poop, nap nap, purr, snack, nap nap nap, stretch, purr, nap, and nap.

Work has been a blur.  Busy and challenging, but enjoyable.  My work load will change again when a new full-time staff member starts in just over a week.  This week was interesting, as everything seemed to be focused on money.  How much is there?  Where did the budget for this/that/the other go?  Why is that magazine subscription going up 256%?  My brain was basically oozing out my ears by 3pm on Friday afternoon.  *sigh*  We've also been busy in other ways.  Fine Arts had a very successful Women's Day program this week.  My colleague did a lot of work to organize the evening, and even did an interview with the newspaper and appeared on local TV to promote it.  About 95 people came out to see the documentary, listen to a speaker, and enjoy delicious treats...awesome!  We have another interesting program coming up next month called "On The Table."  A local artist, who is becoming well-known internationally, is coming in with some of his art to meet with members of the public and talk to them in an informal manner about his art.  I love this idea, as it breaks down barriers and allows people to have a casual interaction with an artist and his work in a less intimidating manner than attending a gallery reception.  I'm organizing a couple of music recitals in our theatre later this month, presented by local music teachers and their students, and I just agreed to help facilitate a poetry reading in the Gallery as well.  The deadline for Gallery submissions is next week, so then it's time for our Curatorial Committee to select new exhibits.  Interesting stuff, for sure.

I should also mention that I dug out my tarot cards again last weekend, motivated by a lack of internet.  I stopped using them for a while, it was getting overwhelming and I needed a break, but I'm glad I spend some quality time with them again.  The Seven of Wands made another appearance, and I drew the Hermit...twice.  I couldn't help but laugh.  The cards 'get' me.