Sunday, March 23, 2014

Snarky Me and the Bookmobile



I admit that I probably was not nice recently. This is an explanation, not an excuse.
 
A couple of weeks ago, I got up way too early after a night of too little sleep. At 5:55 a.m., I left to catch a bus to the train station. I rode the 6:30 Sprinter to Other City, where I boarded a local bus that dropped me off near a popular restaurant. As usual, I stopped for a coffee fix to perk up before going to my volunteer job.
 
The coffee fix did nothing for me. I dragged myself into the library and hoped the morning would fly by.
 
I started sorting beaucoup donated magazines and books in all sizes, shapes, and conditions. Forty-five minutes later, I decided that I needed to go upstairs for boxes and other supplies. I had one foot in the elevator when a man’s voice boomed, “Excuse me.”
 
I was the only one in the area, so I figured he was talking to me. I removed my foot from the elevator and swiveled my neck in the direction of the voice. “Where did you park your vehicle when you came in this morning?” he asked.
 
He explained that someone’s car either had blocked the bookmobile or had been parked behind the bookmobile. I didn’t catch exactly what the issue was. I think my mind got stuck on the word “bookmobile.”
 
I couldn’t recall ever seeing a bookmobile anywhere near the library. Actually, I couldn’t recall ever seeing a bookmobile anywhere since I got out of elementary school, way back in the Early Jurassic Period.
 
I hesitated for a couple of seconds, and then I said, “Well, if the vehicle I came in on this morning was parked out there, the Sprinter would be sitting in the parking lot.”
 
He looked bemused, but not amused. I guess that wasn’t the answer he wanted. A vision of the Sprinter sitting in the parking lot flashed through my mind. I giggled. He frowned and went off to continue his search for the owner of the offending vehicle.
 
When I left the library, I noticed that the aforementioned bookmobile was still parked on the premises. Actually, it would have been impossible not to notice that particular bookmobile. It’s a 74-foot tractor-trailer known as the OverDrive Digital Bookmobile. The Digital Bookmobile travels around the country, visiting schools and libraries and educating students and library patrons about eBooks and eBook platforms.
 
Going home on the train that afternoon, I decided that my comment about the Sprinter was probably just a tad bit snarky. I felt kind of bad about that. I really do try to be nice, but, hey, I was tired and a bit moody.
 
Sorry about the snark, but it’s probably not for nothing that I have a (custom made) T-shirt with lettering that says, “Sarcasm: just one more service I provide.”
 


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Cranberry-Apple Pie for Breakfast


Once a week, on Wednesday morning, I volunteer at a library in a city about fifteen miles away from where I live. Before going to work (yes, it is work, even if unpaid), I stop at a restaurant near the library for coffee and pie (yes, pie).

The fruit pies at this restaurant are yummy. The pies are made with real fruit, not with the gooey, too-sweet canned pie filling that so many restaurants seem to use.

While talking to the owner one morning, I mentioned that cranberry-apple pie is my favorite. She made a note of that and said she would make one the next Wednesday. And she did. A week later, I had the very first piece of a fresh-baked cranberry-apple pie at 7:30 a.m.

I’m going to miss that place (and the pies) when I eventually find a new volunteer gig closer to home.