Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy holidays!

Last year has been interesting. At the end of 2008, the Green Valley Library--where I had been Children's Services Department Head--closed, and the entire staff transfered up to the new Centennial Hills Library. This is a brand-new building--the district's first completely green building--and it took us maybe three weeks to move in. I was a little nervous going into that process, feeling very uncertain about what to do, and worried that I'd end up screwing things up by not being prepared or knowing what I was doing. It turned out that nobody really knew what they were doing, that nobody in the district had made this kind of move before, and everybody was winging it. Well, winging it or no, we got it done, and were ready to open (just!) on January 16, 2009.

The building is kind of interesting, beyond the eco-friendly thing. It's very wide-open, so there isn't as clear a division between Adult Services and Children Services, not like we see in our other branches. That's forced us all to become more well-rounded, helping whoever comes to our desks, regardless of what they're looking for or how old they are. I think that's a great thing. Also, more than 50% of the floor space is devoted to the children's collection, so that's cool.

Almost a year later, things are still going okay. We're still trying to see who our real audience is, separating that from the big crowds we had coming in when we were the hot new thing. We've undergone some staff changes in my department lately, including some cutbacks. But nobody has been laid off or had their pay cut, so we can be thankful for that. So while we've been there for a year, we still haven't quite settled down yet.

At home, the big news is that the household has two new members, and that I've gotten engaged. The two new family members are Lura, my fiancee, and Zhanti, her parakeet. Details of how we met and stuff can be found at my wedding blog, so I won't repeat them here.

Lura moved in in late January, after I moved out just enough of my junk to (barely) make room for her stuff. She is gradually transforming this house, which used to just be a big box to hold my stuff, into a real home. We have furniture, decorations, kitchen appliances, and everything.

I don't want to be all, "She has made my life so much better," but having her in it really has improved things. We have furniture, we eat better, we hike, we exercise. I cook for us. My life wasn't particularly awful before Lura entered it, but it wasn't exactly heading uphill, either. With her, I feel safe to try to be the person I want to be, because I've got her to watch my back.

Lura just started a new job at Sage, a restaurant in ARIA in the new City Center, which just opened on December 16. She's the pastry chef, which is a big step up for her, but something she has totally earned. I am so proud of her. Plus, it gives me an excuse to go to the restaurant every month or so, which is fine, because the food is really good.

Penelope, the cat, is still pretty much the same. She has kind of adjusted to having Lura in the house, but is a little grouchy about it. I'm still her favorite. Zhanti, she pretty much ignores. (Which is funny, because she is mesmerized by a DVD we have of birds. Actual bird in the house? Completely off her radar.) She's had some health issues this year, but seems to be doing okay now. She'll probably outlive us all.

So that's about it for this year. Next year, the big goal is to get ready for the wedding, on October 10. (10/10/10, so I will remember the anniversary.) You can read about how those preparations are going on the aforementioned wedding planning blog.

You can also keep up with my hijinks by following this blog, by following me on Twitter (Penelopecat is my user name), or finding me on Facebook (using my real name).

Happy holidays from all of us!

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