Monday, July 17, 2023

My heart is broken

Anthony Rizzo has not hit a home run since May. No homers in June. No homers in the first two weeks of July.

Yankee fans are starting to turn on him. I suppose this is to be expected -- Yankee fans booed Aaron Judge at home during the playoffs last year -- but it's still anathema to me. As a Cub fan, I've never booed one of my own in my life. There are players I haven't like (Carlos Zambrano springs to mind) but I sat on my hands. I never booed. 

Do these boo birds think he wants to strike out? Do they think his lack of production reflects lack of effort? Do they think booing helps anything?

Fortunately the Yankees don't play at home until Friday. Maybe by the end of the week, Rizz' bat will awaken and he will silent the naysayers.

Time for Joy 2023

Every year I take the August Happiness Challenge. Here's a brief explanation of the Challenge: "Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world."

You're invited to join me. Visit me with a link to your daily August happy, and I'll come read it. I've found that experiencing other peoples' everyday pleasures is a great mood lifter.

It helps if your August Happiness Challenge posts are marked with an icon. Just something that means "happy" to you. Here's a pair of my past happys.


New and improved

The annual library book sale was early this year, in July instead of August. This is just one of many changes since covid caused everyone to re-evaluate everything.

It's now smaller, but more lucrative. For decades, the sale was done a certain way. Books were collected for nearly two full months and then the high school cafeteria was transformed into a book store. The result was a massive number of books and long lines of book lovers, waiting to get in. That Friday night was an event. 

But there was a considerable cost attached to that. The high school demanded payment for the space, and it was expensive. Not unreasonable -- we live in a time when students are the target of mass shooters -- so there were security guards all day and into the evening, first when the books were donated and sorted, then when the sale tables were set up, and finally for the sale.

Also, with all those donations, a heartbreaking number of books were destroyed. Even though Sunday was free to schools, hospitals, daycare and senior centers, as well as us volunteers. The book sale committee wasn't aware of any organization who would take the leftovers at no cost, and with what was being paid for high school security, they didn't want to cut further into profits.

Covid gave the committee an opportunity to look at the sale with fresh eyes. Instead of using the high school, it was decided to hold the sale in the library's conference rooms. (A room for children's books, another for cookbooks, etc.) This saves the cost of the high school security guards and -- I love this! -- it gets people into the library. Let them see everything this community jewel has to offer.

Donations were limited to four weeks. There simply isn't room at the library to collect and then display a high school cafeteria's worth of books. Instead of destroying the books left over, Better World Books agreed to come and pick them up, if we packed them into the cartons we provided. (The first day I volunteered I literally spent hours making Better World Books boxes.) Thank you, Better World Books!

I spoke briefly to the new Vice President of the library's "friends" and she told me this new way of doing thing has made more money for the library than ever!

This year, on volunteer free day, I only got one book for myself. A William Goldman book from the 1980s I somehow missed called Heat. I still love books and have two going at any time, but I'm borrowing more from the library than buying. My home is just over stuffed!

I did leave with free books for my aunt (she loves Michael Connelly), a paperback of Key West short stories for my friend Patrick, a study of Bruce Springsteen for Mindy, and some DVDs for my oldest friend. Now all I have to do is pack them up and ship 'em off.

One thing hasn't changed: Every year there's a book donated in bigger numbers than any other. A book many of my neighbors bought and then decided not to keep. I suspect it's a tome chosen by local book clubs.

This year, the winner of this dubious honor has been here before. My Life by Bill Clinton is back at #1, first time since 2009.

2022, 2019, 2018 and 2017: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

2016: The Help

2015: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

2014: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

2013: The DaVinci Code

2012: Sixkill (a Spenser Mystery)

2011: The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

2010: Scarlett, the Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind

2009: My Life by Bill Clinton

2008: The DaVinci Code

2007: The Nanny Diaries

2006: The Corrections