Tag Archives: CPL

tearing through titles one day at a time

So yesterday was the first of many Theo-NP days home alone, and chickens, I am here to say that the piglet (nicknamed for his inability to eat without snorting) and I survived the day.

I still don’t know how to take a nap.

One thing at a time.

I spent the day watching Roseanne (you know, for tips on how to be hilarious and in poverty, now that we have a kid- a field study, if we want to be formal about it), making lists, organizing spreadsheets, reading, and running around doing errands when Theo gave me a break by doing this:



We also took a walk to meet JW after work- might as well get our steps in before the snow starts up again (note: I am hoping that the snow is not actually starting up again).

Up today: making a dent in my library books (on my shelf: Labor Day, After Her, and Tiny beautiful things : advice on love and life from Dear Sugar), holding Theo as long as he lets me, and trying to figure out what other pieces of our life that I can organize into a Google document.

Spring can’t come fast enough for us over here, chickadees.


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Filed under Good Reads, Reflections

taking it cover to cover.

Due to the fact that I have spent the majority of this week either working or reclining, I seem to have gotten out of sync, and for some reason, just spent the last hour thinking that it was Thursday.

Well, that’s a bummer.

Luckily, I have DVR (you guys, the Walking Dead is too much for me lately), and the Olympics to keep me entertained for the next few days.

Also, an extensive library book hold list which seems to have come to fruition (maybe I’ll still love reading when I’m bleary eyed and exhausted? I hope so!). I’ve finally got The Goldfinch coming to me, after the longest waiting period of all time.

Speaking of books, my incredibly thoughtful and sweet coworker S showed up the other day with a giant bagful of gifts for BW, including a huge stack of baby reading material that I am, of course, obsessed with.



This is only a small sampling, since I couldn’t actually fit them all in one shot, but it’s important to start off with an understanding of the classics, if you ask me.

I’m sure BW will feel the same, when he decides to make his entrance.

And now I’m off to battle what I’ve been told is an icy commute- here’s to slow steps and sunshine today, chickadees.



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Filed under Chicago, Good Reads, Reflections

opening the pages at home.

So it’s back to being a terrible, less-than-ten degrees outside, and I cannot say that I am pleased about this most recent weather development.

Also, it’s still somehow only January, which does not bode well for the rest of this winter.

If this is the way Chicago insists on acting, BW and I will be hibernating for at least a month after he makes his appearance.

I want him to love this city as much as I do, but it’s hard to do while crawling over ice piles and walking into the wind.

Speaking of loving Chicago, chickadees, I have recently finished one of my half dozen library books (they all show up at the same time, every time), You Were Never in Chicago.




This one follows a Sun-Times reporter’s life in the city, commenting on the neighborhoods, people, attitudes, and ever-changing landscape of the beautiful city that I live in.

It’s not about how Chicago is perfect- it’s actually far from it, covering corrupt politicians and shuttered businesses and the like. But it rang really true with me as someone who has made this place my home for over a decade, and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves the city.

It’s good to take it home in your literary adventures once in awhile, chicks.

And with that, I’m off to bundle up, hunker down, and get to the office in one only-slightly-frozen human.

Stay warm out there, chickens!

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Filed under Good Reads, Weather

picking up pages

Oh hi guys.

And welcome to halfway through the week.

Well, getting there, anyway.

Yesterday was another full one, and included a long-overdue trip to the library.

Since the move, I’m a little further from my local branch, which means it’s a little harder to just pop on by whenever I feel like it.

I have a long flight to San Francisco on Sunday though, and I also have less than a hundred pages left of Cloud Atlas, so you know, things were about to get desperate.

I picked up Nicholas and Alexandra,  a book by my pal Richard Massie.

The last book I read by him was about Catherine the Great, and you guys, it was awesome.

She was kick ass.

Who knew I could have such affinity for Russian history?

In any case, this one’s about the fall of the Romanovs, so really, how can I go wrong?

When I brought it up to the circulation desk, the librarian (who, you guys, I think is one of my favorite people ever. He knows something about every book I ever hand to him), looked at me, told me they don’t make books like they used to, and recommended a good pot of tea to accompany the Russians.

You guys, sometimes I think I missed my calling.

And now, I’m off to a day light on meetings and heavy on bells.

I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Enjoy this one, chickens.

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settling in and turning pages.

Hey there chickadees!

We’ve made it through Monday, which is certainly worth something.

It was a long one yesterday, in which I headed from work straight to yoga.

Stretching and twisting in a hot room for an hour with some pals is generally a cure for what ails you.

Also last night: instead of melting into a TV-watching haze when I got home (which is my general evening activity as of late), I curled up on my couch and opened back  up my latest book pick, courtesy of the expert opinion of FG.

After a year of reading leadership books, I’ve needed her counsel to slide back into the land of the living when it comes to things I’d like to read.

And this one hit it straight on the head.

catherine the great

Catherine the Great is about, well, Catherine the Great. A Germanic princess, she’s taken from her family when she’s fourteen, trucked to Russia to marry an heir who seems obsessed with playing with toys and paying little attention to her, and then becomes one of the world’s most powerful women.

So far, I’ve made it to the early stages of her marriage to Peter, and the book’s got me hooked. It reads like a novel, but it’s for real, which is really my favorite kind of thing.to.read.

If you’re interested in monarchy, Russian history, or just an interesting story, I’d pick this one up- I’ll be hitting up the library for the rest of this author’s books as soon as I’m finished with this one.

It’s worth a night of skipped DVR and Netflix, chicks.



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Filed under Good Reads

exact change for your sins.

Hey there chickens!

I am happy to say that we’ve made it to the middle of the week.

You can’t ask for much more than that, right?

I didn’t think so.

I’ve been (thus far) enjoying the mild weather, grinding through the work week, and re-discovering my reading list.

After nine months of my book-heavy leadership class, I decided I was ready to get back to the stacks, and signed into my Chicago Library account to see what kind of damage I’d done in the fines department.

Restricted, was what I expected to see on my profile.

Restricted is a terrible fate, chicks, because it means  “can’t put books on hold until you walk yourself down here and give us exact change for your sins.”

The CPL means business.

However, much to my delight, I saw a status of Good when I checked it out.

I asked JW if he had paid my fines (which he sometimes does, since I’m equal parts forgetful and reliant on my library card), but he said no, he hadn’t done it.

So thanks, CPL, for the amnesty.

I appreciate it.

As soon as I realized that I again had free reign over the catalog, I put a few things on hold:


Gone Girl is one of those books everyone’s talking about, and I’ve also seen it on my blogging circle as a popular read. Sold.


A Reliable Wife was recommended to me by Ky’s mom, who aside from just being one of my favorite people, is a librarian.

She’s always got something for me, thank God.


My friend B has been recommending Rules of Civility to me for a long time, but for some reason, the title led me to believe it was some kind of book about the particulars of societal living.

Then I found out it was about a woman living in New York City in the 30s and her uprising on the scene, and decided it sounded enough like Gossip Girl for me to be interested.

I’m only sort of kidding.

In any case, while I wait for my books to march onto the shelf, I picked up Alice Hoffman’s Fortune’s Daughter for a re-read.

I love Alice Hoffman. If you haven’t read her, start with Practical Magic and come find me when you’re finished with everything she’s written.

Actually, scratch that. Make sure to take a break every two to three books, or you’ll be brooding all winter. Alice’s books can get a little dark.

So, chickadees. Here’s my question. Once I blow through these three: what’s next? Tell me what you’re reading- I’ll get it on my list.



Filed under Chicago, Reflections

caucuses and two for the books.

So I made it one day of getting up early before I decided I’d rather stay under my covers.

Which means I’m gonna have to brave the crowded gym tonight.

Pray for me. And pray that I don’t have to resort to the recumbent bike, which is my worst workout nightmare.

No, I’m really not sure why.

In any case, I made it through the first day of work without losing my cool, and it’s already Wednesday.

Two positives, I would say.

Other things I’m focused on for the week include the Iowa caucus (yes, I know, we don’t all like politics, but I’m a sucker for political races and anything that inflates my blood pressure) and a couple of library books dedicated to my favorite subject, history.

Up right now is 1776, which I actually can’t believe I haven’t read before. I’m settling in with the Continental Army for a long, New England winter, and I’m anxious to see how it all turns out.

I think I might know it turns out.

But I’d like to know how it all went down.

Post my American Revolution dabbling, I’ve got Grant on my shelf, and it’s about a million pages long and also intimidating me from my living room.

He’s fairly intimidating, you know? Also, he’s known for having one of the most corrupt administrations in our nation’s history, so you know that means I need to know all about it.

Who doesn’t love a 19th century scandal?

And with that, chickens, I’m off to get to this next day of the new year. Have a lovely morning!


Filed under Good Reads, Reflections

killers be on the loose.

Last night, I headed to the gym post work and stomped out 5.5 miles, which was surprising, as after the first five minutes I had decided that I hated running forever and was only running ten minutes.

I’m not the only one who has that thought from time to time, am I?

I didn’t think so.

After I got home, I threw together a weird dinner of mozzarella/spinach tortilla and caught up on Gossip Girl and then hung out with Ky for a bit, having an impromptu red wine and popcorn session.

This is actually a stellar combination, we’ve decided.

After Ky left, I stayed up far past my bedtime, because on Day 1 of reading I’m nearly 200 pages into my new book, Room. 

This book is basically about a woman who’s kidnapped at age nineteen on her way to class by an old, sick man, who locks her in a garden shed for seven years. In the interim, she has a baby (with him, since aside from keeping her captive, he’s sexually assaulting her), and hatches a plan to get out of Room, as it’s called.

The story’s told from the perspective of five-year-old Jack, which makes it much more interesting, in my opinion. The Room is all he knows, and he’s not keen on her plan to leave it.

It’s a crazy, crazy story that’s making me feel the same way that I did when I read Lovely Bones, which is that killers be on the loose, people.

But if you’re looking for a riveting, easy-to-read plot line, you should get this on your list.

And with that, I’m off to the land of 9:00 AM webinars and Excel spreadsheets. Catch you chickens on the other side of hump day!





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Filed under Good Reads, Running

fried clams and monday morning

So Ky and I are from Connecticut, which we bring up from time to time.

We can’t help it.

We love New England.

So when we heard that there was a new fish market opening mere blocks from my home, we knew we had to check it out.

Especially when we heard it was owned by brothers, from Boston.

How can you stay away from a gravitational pull like that?

Turns out, it was the highlight of the weekend. Everything was delicious, reasonably priced, and even though we went for fried clams, seasoned fries, and clam chowder, you can also go to pick up fish for cooking.

Ky and I know where we’ll be spending our winter, that’s for sure.

Delicious. Anyway, it’s called New England Seafood Company, and you should probably make your way over to their Lakeview location just as soon as you can.

I ended the weekend eating delicious rigatoni and drinking wine with my family, and so I’m a little slow to get back to my cubicle this morning.

Luckily, I have a new library book (nothing like a recounting of a presidential assassination), and I’m headed to the Celt tonight to check out the Bears vs. Lions.

Please don’t let me down, Bears.

Have a good Monday chickens!



Filed under Chicago, Good times, I love sports, Reflections, Things that are delicious

almost at the end.

So today it’s cooled off.

A little bit, anyway.

This morning though, to be on the safe side (both because of my current eyewear sitch and the still-dangerously hot temps), I took my run inside on a treadmill, where no cars could hit me.

It was a good decision.

Last night though, I decided to finally trek to the library to pick up my seventeen million books on hold, and the extra two blocks there and back nearly killed me.

The sweat situation would have been embarrassing, except that everyone had one.

The library, however, is a pillar of society not only for its information sharing, but also because it knows that the only thing better than books is books and the A/C blasting.

It was a refuge in a difficult time.

Anyway, I’m so glad it’s Friday, and that I’m only staring down eight hours in my cube (which I will not even complain about, as it is air conditioned there), and then I’m free for the weekend.

Except that tomorrow JW and I are headed to pre-cana, which is essentially a church class they make you take to get married.

I have many thoughts about this, but I’ll wait until post tomorrow to share them.

This should be interesting.

Also up tonight: more Weeds because I am straight up obsessed, and making waffles on our new waffle maker.

Please tell me this will go better than making pancakes, which usually ends with me in tears and with a breakfast menu in my hands.

Catch you later chickadees!

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Filed under Chicago, Reflections, Running, Things that are delicious, Weather