The Grand Re-Opening

I was just getting ready to post about the re-opening of the Library – Saturday, 1pm – when the director of the Used Book Store sent me a link to an article. is a website that does local news and Glenview has its own page.  They wrote us up as The Best Used Books in town.  (Never mind that I am pretty sure we are the only used book store in town.)

So.  The Library.  Here is the invitation from the website:

I don’t normally join in to the Happy-Joy-Community-Spirit stuff, (and I have no idea how many people are actually going to show up) but I actually worked for this one so I am all there. 

Being Thankful

This morning, my friend Maile was posting on Facebook about being grateful.  Then, the Trib linked to this blog on Chicago Now that has the same daily theme.   The author, Jennifer Fernicola Ronay, just wrote about 8 Reasons to Look Forward to Fall.

I agree with every one of them.  But just to be participating, I’d better find three reasons to be grateful, too.

I have said before that except for those few horrible weeks in late winter, I don’t actively wish for seasons to change.  I generally appreciate them all.  I can be grateful for that.

The bright side of the latest library delay is that now, those three weeks that I was going to miss for work-related reasons don’t matter.  Grateful.

It is only Sunday and I am not working again until Wednesday.

Sassy: Where Are They Now?

After finishing Season Two of True Blood, I went back to my DVDs of Daria: The Complete Series.  I am on the one where Daria meets Val, the magazine editor.  The episode is poking fun at Jane Pratt, founder of the long lost Gen X magazines Sassy and Jane.  Now, Jane sorta lost me before leaving Jane, if you follow that.  Actually, the entire magazine industry, save Vanity Fair, lost me around then.  But as I loved her once, I wondered what Jane is doing now, so I hit Pause and Googled.  She is on Sirius Radio.  But what’s this?

She is launching a web site of some sort.  Cool.  ‘Cause I don’t do talk radio.

Then I thought about a couple of other names from the old Sassy days.  It seems Christina Kelly launched a blog about five minutes ago.  And Karen Catchpole has a web site chronicling her chuck-it-all-five-year-roadtrip.

Just in case you were interested.  Now I’m going back to Daria.


My friend Austin is a Cancer survivor.  Several years ago, in the thick of treatment, he started using the blog tool at Carepages, a great website for patient outreach.  It was a way for him to express himself in a safe forum, as well as keeping his friends and family up to date on his progress.  The posts tapered off as his active treatment wound down.

But he still has stuff to say, so he started up a page on Blogger.  And stalled out.  But he was still writing and even participating in local readings.  Every once in a while, he would write something and post it on the Notes app in Facebook.  And every time, I would be all:

Dooooooode……you have a real blog.  Why are you tooling around on the Facebook???

And now he is back on Blogger and I am plugging him so he will be forced to keep up the thing.  Thank you for your attention.

Maile weeks ago, Maile, a friend from high school, posted a rather cryptic Facebook update. Then a rather shocking link: an Amber Alert on her son, Max. He was last seen with his dad, Conrad, on his way to school that Friday morning. She was afraid that Conrad was suicidal, but didn’t believe that he would hurt Max. Nonetheless, they were missing. She asked us to spread the word.

It went out like wildfire. We all posted it in our updates and those of us that have blogs posted there, also. Within a few hours, we had word. Her Facebook update read:

thanks to all. they are dead.

Their car was found at the bottom of a ravine.

Of course, there are no words. We all know there are no words. But Maile is a writer. Certainly at heart and sometimes by trade – the link to the left is the book she wrote a couple of years ago. So the first time I “spoke” to her, it was to offer condolences. Pretty weak since I hadn’t met her husband or her son. I haven’t seen her since high school. In the second note, I said that I enjoyed the stories about Max on her blog and I hoped she would keep writing.

She didn’t need me to tell her.

She has been posting nearly every day. It is raw and honest and vivid and heartbreaking. Like the day before the interment, she said:

“…Like I’m heading toward a terrible, long-lasting catharsis, like I’m falling off a cliff and it’s such a long way down I can look down and think, “Wow . . . this is really going to hurt.” And I’m stuck in that terrifying freefall, but it’s slow, a slow fall every day. Just a little further down, a little closer to the bottom, a little worse. And while everyone tells me how brave I am, the fear accompanying the part of me spiraling downhill grows each day.”

Maile’s blog feels a bit like reading The Year of Magical Thinking – in real time. In Didion’s book, we know that she survived. We know that things got worse before they ever got better. We know that now. I imagine that it is like living in a fog in that there moments when it is so thick you are afraid to move and moments when it breaks up and you can see things very clearly. And maybe breathe.

Maile felt, feels, all sorts of people reaching out to her. Some, like Lara, physically going to be with her. Some, like me, on the WiFi and cheering her on every day. She made this observation:

“We lose touch with people so easily when things are the status quo. When they’re shaken up, it’s like a jar of jelly beans, and suddenly I’m right up next to someone that I wasn’t close to at all before.”
I don’t know how long it takes. I don’t think she will ever be, or should ever be the same again. But I know this person, this lady writing her way through it, impresses the hell out of me and I am proud to know her.

So why am I telling you this? First, because it’s been sitting in my head for three weeks. Second, because I think you should read this blog. But also, I wanted to write down before God and my mother that Facebook can do some profound things. When you ask it nicely. (Now go fix your Privacy Settings.)

Student Microloans

I was watching that episode of Community that utter_scoundrel recommended on and saw a commercial for   It said that a young woman in Peru could pursue her dream with a college education if she had the $700 for tuition.  I looked it up and found an article from 2009 in the New York Times:

“It uses a model similar to that of, a nonprofit organization that funnels loans to individual borrowers through microfinance institutions. The method is to solicit individual lenders for money that will back loans to young adults seeking college educations.”

So I went to Vittana’s website.  And while the organization’s partners are a bit more faith-based than the groups that I generally support, they seem to have their act together.  I can contribute to that.

P.S.  Community was pretty funny.  But that Chevy Chase character…

Monetizing am home from Seattle and really tired and feel like I should write something, but I have nothing to say.  So I am looking at Blogger and see that they are partnered with to allow for some monetizing on my little blog.  There is even a tab called “Monetize” on the Blogger dashboard.  So I start fooling around with it.  Then I set up an account.  They have a tool in the Posting that allows a search for an Amazon product.  Pretty cool.  So when I post my 50 Book Challenge stuff, I can use this feature and it is way faster than copying images over from Librarything or wherever.  And if someone happens to click and purchase, there is some kind of commission.

When I set up this blog, I said that if my Google Ads ever made any money, I would donate the proceeds to the two places where I volunteer: the parrot rescue and Friends of the Glenview Library.  I will do the same if Amazon ever sends me cash.  In the 2+ years I have been writing here, I think I have about 20 bucks banked from those Google Ad clicks.  Google doesn’t pay up until I reach $100.

So here I am testing…Ragtime.  Last book I read.  Hm.  Not as easy to move as a picture.  I wonder if I can use this in What I’m Reading Now.  Going to check.