Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beating the Books Blahs

 Have you ever looked inside your closet and thought you had nothing to wear even though the closet was full of items? You start trying on clothes and putting together outfits but nothing fits, looks right, feels right or makes you appear 10 lbs. lighter? At this point your body temperature begins to rise, signaling an imminent meltdown. Shouting occurs, perhaps a throwing of the offending garments across the room and most certainly the gnashing of teeth. It isn't pretty.

It might surprise you to know that the same thing happens to book lovers. While there's no official name for this malady, I like to call it Transition Trouble.  

Transition Trouble is a dangerous affliction that affects your ability to dive into a new book after recently finishing an engaging one. In my case, I read new novels from my favorite authors all summer and then became stuck in the middle of a second book in a trilogy that seemed to be limping along. I decided to take a break from it (something I rarely do) and discovered two new fiction titles that I had trouble putting down.

It's been about ten days since I finished that last book and now I'm the one limping along. Everything I pick up feels wrong. I even requested two books with Jane Austen themes from the public library, but unfortunately they both centered on Mansfield Park, my least favorite of her work.

I've discussed this problem with other book lovers and found that it happens to everyone at some point. And we all appear to have the same fix- the palette cleanser. This is a favorite book, reread many times, that serves to clear your head and settle anxiety (because now you're worried you'll never find another new book you want to read). My palette cleanser is Pride & Prejudice. I can open it to any page and immediately begin to relax. After two or three days I've calmed down enough to pick up something new.

So last night I grabbed my worn copy of P&P (I own several) and waited for it to work its magic on me.

And I waited.


I'm now in four-alarm crisis mode. I HAVE NO BOOKS!

Yes I realize this is a gross exaggeration considering I work in a library and own at least 1,500 books but believe me, I have no books right now. Nothing is appealing to me and I'm getting worried.

The first thing I did this morning was log into Amazon and look up the titles I'd read recently and loved. Amazon's "Customers Who Bought____ Also Bought ______" feature is a fabulous way to discover new authors.  I searched and searched, then opened a new tab for the Scottsdale Public Library. As I found potential good reads, I requested them from the library or, if they weren't available, added them to my Amazon cart. In the end I requested 8 titles, ordered 3 and will stop by the library on my way home from work today to pick up one book that was on shelf and waiting to go home with an avid reader.

I'd like to think that between 14 books coming my way in the next week, at least one of them can rescue me from this malaise.

Has this ever happened to you? What's your favorite palette cleanser? I might need some suggestions!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pigskin Princess: On Any Given Wednesday

When I joined the coaching staff of the Freshmen football team last spring (no that's not a typo) my mind immediately set to visions of the multitude of blogs such an experience would produce. I dreamed up a clever moniker (see above) and planned for a great photo of myself with a football and rhinestones for props.

Fast forward to today- Game Day #2 of the season.

I have not-

Blogged one sentence about coaching football.

Taken my fancy Pigskin Princess head shot.

Completely memorized the playbook. (So close!)

Avoided catching the Pigskin Plague- the cold bug that travels through the team in batches of four people.

Figured out how to make my hair last past two practices without needing to be washed again.
Regretted my decision to ask (I asked) to be part of Husky Football.

I have- 

A lot to learn about football.

And coaching. They are separate skills sets.

Wonderful coaching colleagues whose experience and talent amazes me every day.

Fantastic (and aromatic) players.

Fun watching the reaction from people when they learn I'm coaching boys' football.

Sweated through twice a week summer evening practices and now six days-a-week regular season practice without whining (even at home where it's safe to whine).

Learned that my gender is not a handicap at all, but my lack of experience  is.

So why? Why do this crazy, very ungirly, unwriterly, unlibrarian-like activity that takes up about twenty hours a week (without pay!)? Two words-


Wednesday is Game Day for Freshmen Football. Game Day is what we live for, work for and sweat for. It's our reward and, as we know, anything can happen on Game Day.

And in my case it already has- I'm part of the team. The players  probably aren't going to learn a lot about football from me this year. What I hope they do learn from me is this- believe in that crazy thing you've always wanted to do and seize the opportunity to become part of it.

Because anything can happen.