Tag Archives: children’s literature

the last paragraph is the informative one

Today I finally changed the tire on my bicycle. You may recall, I got a flat coming home from my last class of the term. I got the bike home on the bus then and haven’t been able to use it to take advantage of Vancouver’s nice weather. So today when it was raining and I’m feeling a little sick, I got that fixed.

Now, I am not a handy man. I haven’t ever changed a tire on a car; I wouldn’t be able to build a fence (I mean I’d be able to build a terrible fence, or a fence from Lego, but a real life “keep the cows where they should be” fence? not gonna happen). But I have changed bike tires before.

Bicycles are the one area where I feel like I can handle the difficulties involved. They’re at a good scale of machinery, and each little bit you do doesn’t have to be replicated again and again. There are only two wheels. My bike only has one brake (and no gears). I can see what everything needs to do and understand the physics involved.
My big problem going into this tire change (the first on my favourite bike I’ve owned) was a lack of tools. I had an allen key multitool thing that had a makeshift wrench for dealing with my brakes (which I’ve used before) but I discovered when I went downstairs, new bike tube in hand, that I had no wrench to get my tire off the frame.

This is the problem of living with other people and being able to scavenge what I need off of them. My roommate does not have a wrench set (and since I don’t have even one wrench I don’t even get the satisfaction of saying “How can you not have wrenches?” like I’m sure many of my friends are thinking right now). I had to go out and find a wrench. When I got to Sears I realized I had no idea what size the nut on my wheel was. I’d just wanted a small adjustable crescent wrench, but those only came in gigantic sets. So I went off to find a bike shop.

At the first bike shop they had a very cool wrench that had a bottle opener on the other side, but $30 was just too much. Eventually I found a double headed wrench that I figured one of the heads would be about the right size…

Oh man. I’m sorry. this is terribly boring. My mom is back from France now, so I feel like I should keep people up to date with the minutiae of my days a bit better.

Anyway. I fixed my bike! And I like my little handful of tools in the picture above. That’s what I’ve got for you today. I’m presenting a paper at a children’s literature conference this weekend and blogged the North Shore Writers Festival last weekend. And I’m checking in on and feeding Jamie’s cat while he’s at Ebertfest. That all would have been much more exciting to write about.

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disposition in the sun

One of the quirks of the building I live in is how the lock on the front door is like a magic-eye poster. For the key to turn and grant you access to the wondrous 3D interior you have to insert it and then enter a zen trance enabling you to pull the key out just the very tiniest amount and apply the precise amount of delicate pressure. It’s a good way of measuring my state of mind when I return home on foot (when I bike I use a different door to the building which is much less finicky). How easy has it been to slough off the day’s events and enter that way of thinking?

It was sunny today, not warm exactly, but it felt spring-like. So I went out to the water to read and look at the mountains. I’ve written a draft of my last paper for the term and it’s turned from something I was ready to abandon into a piece of writing that actually has some interesting combinations of ideas (about irreverence towards books and how China Mieville should influence a youth services librarian). It must have been a very excellent day because for the first time ever I opened the front door on the first try.

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leap-day eve resolutions

This afternoon I baked cookies. I got a recipe from the internet and bought as many baking ingredients as I could carry home (I didn’t have things like flour, sugar or baking powder until today) and then mixed them up and baked them. Woo.


Part of doing that baking was obligation. In our 6-9pm Children’s Literature class on Wednesdays people generally bring food to keep our blood sugar up, and I’d volunteered for tomorrow. But more generally, I have to do these things sometimes to remember that I can and kind of enjoy turning ingredients into finished products.

I was thinking about that after reading Jessie Thorn’s big thing on being successful doing what you love that was making its way around the intertubes yesterday.

I spent my reading week getting schoolwork out of the way so now I’ve only got a very manageable amount of that left to do before the term is done. My summer is going to have some classes and lots of conferences and interviews and writing for this big IFLA project I’m working on, but nothing terribly overwhelming on the schoolfront. (Aileen notes that really, none of my schoolwork should be overwhelming, and as always I have to agree. It’s not like I’m doing theoretical physics that undermines our understanding of the universe over here.)

Having the school stuff pretty much handled means its time to make cool things. Sometimes those things may be cookies. Most times those things will be word-based. I’m going to make some comics. One of the school things I have left to do is to create a book trailer. I have ideas for that, and if it goes well it might lead to more video-type projects.

No more laziness. Or at least, laziness only in measured doses.

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cycling to school can now begin

I kind of wanted to bike to school today, but didn’t because I couldn’t find my red flashing light. There isn’t very much of me that wants to be riding around in the dark without something telling vehicles not to hit my fragile little body. Now I’ve got that sorted so tomorrow I shall set out to regain my fitness. Be prepared for a couple of weeks of me complaining mightily about this city’s stupid hills.

Classes began today and I think this Children’s Literature course will be good. And I know more people than I’d expected to be in the Management class. As it stands right now, since I have to take a course and a bit in the summer anyway, my data visualization class which starts tomorrow is a provisional class. It’d be some interesting stuff, but I’m interested in a bunch of the summer offerings so dropping it wouldn’t be too terrible.

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