A-There is just no winning during a pandemic. Just when I was figuring out ways to manage my anxiety over being stuck at home, things are once again changing. So, as businesses reopen and more people head back to work, a whole new batch of worries have cropped up. Are we moving too fast? Do I remember how to be around people? Who am I kidding, I was never great at peopling. I am craving routine and structure (and salty snacks, but no way am I going to a store anytime soon), but can we keep the comfy quarantine clothes? Staff will soon be heading back to the library and I am pretty excited about that, but what is our new normal going to look like? Gah! So many questions. So many unknowns. We’ll get through this together.
B-Books, babies, and beach therapy.
I haven’t been doing to much reading with my eyes, but I have been bingeing audiobooks like crazy. I have revisited old favorites-Harry Potter, Skulduggery Pleasant, Bloody Jack-all available in Overdrive and Hoopla. All my comfort books have comforted me enough to be ready to look for new content. This week I fired up the ereader and took a look at some of my digital advance reader copies of upcoming books. Here are the two I decided to start reading:
Look for The Invisible Girl in October and The End of Her in July.
One of my favorite ways to relax is to get what I like to call beach therapy. It’s finally warming up enough to sit on some sun-baked sand and sift through the rocks looking for treasures. One of my favorite spots is close to the library-Bradstreet Landing in Rocky River. Today I treated myself to a trip to the drive through of one of my favorite local coffee shops and headed to the beach. Look at the fuzzy baby geese!
Wrapping up with this week’s C is RiverCon (yeah, it’s a stretch, but I am really excited about this event and want to keep talking about it)! RiverCon has an offical logo and it is FANTASTIC! I am thrilled to be able to share it with you today and remind you to register here for your RiverCon kit. Registration opens this Saturday! Each kit will have a comic craft, reading recommedations, Hoopla and Overdrive swag, a RiverCon magnet, and more.
We’re firmly into Spring now and the sun is coming out so much more often -it’s fabulous! Although Fall will always be my favorite season (warm days/crisp evening air, s’mores, the leaves as they turn beautiful colors), but also very happy to have the sunshine and open windows we can enjoy now. (Downside? Pollen. so. much. pollen. sigh…)
So this week maybe we’ll have the chance to be outside a little more -maybe listening to an audiobook like Crazy Rich Asians or podcast like Flash Forward while taking a walk, or calling a friend while we sit in the sun. Doesn’t that sound nice? (I might add a scoop of ice cream in there -cone or bowl- but that’s me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
Once you’re in for the evening and you’re looking for something to watch, I can say Victorian Slum House, the 1900s on hoopla is a series worth spending some quality time with! I’ve really enjoyed the previous series PBS has created, from Frontier House to The 1940s House, sending everyday modern people back in time to experience the daily life of that time period. As these volunteers get caught up in their new world so do viewers and soon it feels like we’re all in it together… (and reminds me how lucky I am to live in a time and place where indoor plumbing is the norm)!
Today, while I continue some serious Spring cleaning, I’m going to start listening to Wisdom From a Humble Jellyfish by Rani Shah and update you my progress next week!
Be kind to yourself and enjoy that extra Vitamin D shining down!
A is for Anxiety. Everyone experiences anxiety in different ways. If you are new to this whole anxiety thing, welcome to the club. For me, my anxiety tends to manifest as hypochondria. You guys, stay away from WebMd! I am doing myself a favor these days and staying away from self-diagnosis. But my brain still needs an outlet, which brings me to my house being newly haunted. A sudden haunting would explain my cat’s sudden amping up of his nightly living room parkour routine. He usually has bursts of weird energy and runs up and down the stairs. That’s normal. What isn’t normal is him hurling himself around the house. And that weird side hop thing? What’s that all about? Apparently it’s about looking big and threatening-for the new ghost in the house, hmmm? He’s also doing a lot more sitting around and just staring. When I shared this news with a friend, she kindly reminded me that cats are weirdos and pointed out that poor Frank might also be stressed right now. Just kidding. She laughed at me and said her cat does the same thing all the time and said I absolutely do not have a haunted house. Also, maybe I have been watching too much Supernatural. Again, just kidding. Who ever heard of too much Supernatural?
So anxiety may distort your thinking sometimes. If this is happening to you, maybe don’t believe everything your brain is telling you right now. Run it by a friend. Remember, I’m not a medical professional, just someone with personal experience with anxiety sharing those experiences on a blog! So my house is *probably* not newly haunted, but I once lived in a house that was haunted BY a cat, so explain that. That’s a story for another day. This is getting wordy as it is. On to bingeing!
B is for Bingeing. I have paused my binge of Skulduggery Pleasant to revisit another old friend, Jacky Faber, aka Bloody Jack. If you are interested in hilarious history fiction starring a girl disguised as a boy, AND you like audiobooks, do yourself a favor and listen to these books! On the television front, I have been bingeing VEEP, on HBO. It’s one of the shows available for free right now. This show is delivering the humor I need right now and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is brilliant.
Finally, C is for Connecting. One of my favorite ways to stay connected to friends right now is through memes. In keeping with the cat theme of this post, here are a couple that I have shared with friends this week. I think they pretty much sum up this whole situation.
Everyone is familiar with the Mister Rogers quote about looking for the helpers. It’s reassuring and there are so many helpers right now. I also recommend looking for the animals. Follow dogs and goats and zoos on social media. Make the first things you see on your feeds something cute and silly. Hang in there everyone!
A is for Anxiety. Let’s get that part out of the way. How am I dealing with my anxiety? Well, some days I turn to yoga. My go-to yogi is Adriene Mishler of Yoga with Adriene. This month she has created a playlist of free videos designed to nurture. You do not have to be strong and bendy to do these videos; just show up as you are. You don’t have to have a ton of time; most of the videos are under 30 minutes. Some days I just sit on the couch and listen to murder podcasts while playing Best Fiends. Balance, lol. If you are feeling anxious, know it is normal. Know you are not alone. Know that what works for one person may not work for you. Heck, what works for you one day may not work for you the next! So, check in with yourself. Try new things and if you can’t manage on your own, reach out for help.
B is for Bingeing. Time for another librarian confession-I have not read a single physical book in a month (Be Not Far From Me by Ohio author, Mindy McGinnis and it’s amazing!). All of my reading during social distancing has been audio and I am half way through a re-listen of a favorite series.
As for what I am binge watching-it’s a mixed bag. I am finding comfort in rewatching my favorites, so Schitt’s Creek and Supernatural have been my go-tos. While everyone else is watching Tiger King (I quit after episode 3, but that didn’t stop me from taking all the quizzes and based on my astrological sign and a quiz I got Saff both times), I went a different route with my disturbing documentary selection. In one sitting I watched all of Taken at Birth about a Georgia doctor who sold over 200 babies out of his clinic in the 1950s and 60s.
C is for Connecting. If you are reading from Rocky River, you probably know about Unite the Night. If you are somewhere else, maybe your own community has a similar event. Every Sunday from 8:30-9:30 people turn on their porch lights and set out luminaries to remind each other that we are all in this together. This week I helped the library join in. Staying connected can be as simple as turning on a light.
Like many Americans, you may be planning to watch the first Presidential Debate tonight at 9pm between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. After all the dust has cleared, come check out the Biography section here in the library to read about the past presidents. Browse the New Nonfiction displays, I think I see a new book about Clinton and Trump every week! There are many titles on Audiobooks and the OverDrive and Hoopla applications in case you would rather listen than read.
Are you going on a trip in the car this weekend? What about walking at the park or going hiking? Have you ever thought about taking a book, not to read but to listen to? I have a 5 hour drive to see my parents when I go home for the holidays, so I always stock up on audiobooks. I also try and go on walks at the parks and around my neighborhood. I also use the Hoopla and OverDrive applications on my phone to listen to books. In addition, Hoopla has a variety of music albums that can be listened to.
Come check out the New Audiobook display, or the ones in the general collection here in the library. We have a Playaway collection too.
Need help getting familiar to the Hoopla and OverDrive applications? A staff member at the reference desk can assist you or use the Digital Library page to find instructions for your device.