Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Time Crunch


This is one of the reasons I took my walk along the high street in Plumstead when I ventured out to that part of the city on Sunday. I wanted to get a picture of this bizarre little...shop? Or whatever it is. I saw it from the bus when I was there several weeks ago on my previous Green Chain walk. I'm not sure it's still open. What a combination, though -- haircuts with a bang!

I wound up being late for work again yesterday. I don't know what it is but I am having a terrible problem with time management in the morning, which is very unlike me. I can't really get ready for work until Dave is out of the bathroom, which usually happens around 7:20, and then I get dressed and have breakfast and I can't bring myself to leave the house until the dishes are done and the bed is made, and basically I often find myself extremely crunched right around 8 a.m., when I should be on my way. (I'm supposed to be at work by 8:30.)

I was lamenting this fact to Dave yesterday and he said the school's senior managers have said they've noticed we're all suffering in our organizational skills -- something to do with all the stress we've been under, with Covid and our institutional drama and whatnot. So that's my excuse. At least it's not just me. All we have to do is get through this week and we'll be on break until Jan. 10.

I managed to order some flowers for my mom for Christmas, so it feels good to have that done. I hope she likes them. It's so hard to buy a present for someone who doesn't seem to have much of a sense of time or awareness of anything or anyone not immediately in front of her. But I sent some chocolates too, and I know she'll go for those. Chocolate always wins.


Here's where I am on my Newbery challenge -- these books are the last of the 100 winners that I still have to read. I'm down to such a small number that I decided to check them all out and bring them home. It's interesting that I've put off reading "The Grey King," "The High King" and "The Hero and the Crown" -- it was entirely subconscious but as you can probably tell, monarchical fantasy isn't really my thing.

That third book up, with all the tiny writing, is "The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo. And the book above that, "The Story of Mankind," is the non-fiction winner of the very first Newbery Medal back in 1922. I've been saving it for last. I'm dreading it, but I've heard it's not as stale as it sounds, so fingers crossed!

57 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

The title, "The Story of Mankind" does not sound at all "stale" to me. It sounds like a tale of adventure, achievement, invention, war, culture, procreation, tragedy, laughter and the passing of time. Of course the final chapters remain to be written - "Climate Change" and "Extinction". Do the red stickers mean that those particular books are pornographic?

gz said...

Dark mornings may have something to do with it too

Moving with Mitchell said...

I always found myself dragging myself to work this time of year. Covid would make it so much worse. I’d avoid that barbershop. That’s how my hair ended up like this. Come to think of it, the warning comes too late for you, as well. Should it have been Cut Price Barber and Expert Fireworks?

Marty said...

Good luck with your reading challenge. I’ve often thought about just starting at the A’s in my library and reading to the Z’s, but I fear I’m just too picky.

Jeanie said...

My theory is if the job gets done, the time doesn't matter. But I agree -- I think Covid has wreaked havoc with our organizational skills in general. What an odd little shop!

Ms. Moon said...

Let's throw into the mix that there is so little we can control these days that we are all probably trying to hyper-control whatever small things we can. Such as making sure things are tidy before we leave the house.
A theory? I have a million.

Pixie said...

If that was the case I'm sure the books wouldn't have been available to sit on Steve's table:)

Bob said...

I've always wanted a trim with explosives.

Pixie said...

Again, I admire your ability to read boring books. I just can't.

Mary said...

Best of luck finishing up the Newbery 100. Love Kate DiCamillo's work. If you get a chance, read Ann Patchett's essay about DiCamillo's writing (in AP's latest book of essays--These Precious Days).

Good luck with time management. At this point, I think most of us are devoid of management skills. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Wilma said...

At least The Story of Mankind has been updated. Would hate for you to read old news.

ellen abbott said...

This is how I make the bed...I throw the covers back up but then disarray doesn't bother me. I will after a week or so formally make the bed right before I climb in to mess it up again. I don't think my organizational skills have been impacted except maybe they're better since I'm home more and have time to organize. Mostly I'm just keeping the studio tidy, cleaning up after each particular activity.

Sharon said...

That building in Plumstead is well worth going back for a photo. What an odd combination for one building. I also see that CCTV is watching things there.
It's funny you should mention the time management issues. I've noticed it too. Back when I was going into the office, I was there at 7:00 AM every morning. These days I have trouble getting from the bedroom to my desk by 7:30 or 7:45.

robin andrea said...

I'm glad that the senior managers understand the stress of these times and that it is taking a toll in so many ways these days. Just a few more days of work and then off until January 10th! That's a lovely long stretch of time to just relax and read the rest of those Newbery books. Hope your mom loves those flowers and chocolates, sent with so much Christmas cheer!

Linda Sue said...

Plumstead barber! If you had hair you might try it- Fireworks are an interesting way to get short back and sides.

Ellen D. said...

I remember reading three of those in your stack and enjoying them. Walk two Moons, A Year Down Under, and The Tale of Desperaux were all fun reads for me back in the day when I worked in an elementary school library.
How fun for your Mom to get some Christmas treats delivered! Good idea!

Ed said...

I love a reading challenge but have a very poor track record for completing them. I have two. I started reading a biography on every American president but have only made it through Andrew Jackson. I also am trying to complete National Geographics 100 Greastest Adventure Books (https://www.listchallenges.com/national-geographics-100-greatest-adventure-books) and last time I checked still had around 20 or so left to go. The ones left are all out of print and hard to find and thus why I am slow reading them.

The Newberry challenge would intrigue me if there weren't a lot of fiction.

Jennifer said...

The Hero and the Crown was one of my favorites growing up!

crafty cat corner said...

Do you think that is where the word 'Bangs' meaning a fringe came from, ha ha
Briony
x

Edna B said...

I have that same problem in the morning. But I can't blame mine on Covid. You probably just need a good rest. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

Allison said...

Could Dave maybe get up 10 minutes early? Or would your tasks just expand into the newly available time window. I hate having to be anywhere at a given time.

The Bug said...

I was late for work today too - and I'm NEVER late. However, my problem isn't tidiness - I hit snooze for a full 36 minutes. Sheesh.

I'm excited for you that you're near the end of your Newbury quest - you'll probably knock those out during your winter break :)

Kelly said...

Congratulations on being almost there with the Newbury winners! There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of a completed challenge. Some of those remaining titles look quite appealing to me.

37paddington said...

That’s quite an achievement! As I recall my son rather enjoyed The High King in middle school.

Andrew said...

I really do not like the combination of fireworks and haircuts. It just ain't natural.

Catalyst said...

I can't imagine what you'll read once you've finished the Newbury's.

Mike O'Brien said...

Looking forward to hearing what you think of the final Newbery books. I expect your mom will love the flowers and chocolates. That shop was well worth returning to - did you rattle the knob to see if they were open?

Chris from Boise

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, if they were porn I'm sure they'd be checked out CONSTANTLY.

The red dots actually mean just the opposite -- that the books are suitable for our younger readers. We only use them on fiction, which is why "The Story of Mankind" doesn't have one. I don't know why "The Grey King" doesn't merit a dot. It probably should.

Steve Reed said...

Possibly. It IS hard to get motivated when it's still night outside!

Steve Reed said...

Nothing good can come from going to a barber who sells fireworks.

Steve Reed said...

That would be a LOT of books!

Steve Reed said...

I think that's true for many jobs, but part of my job is basically customer service, so I need to be at the desk at a certain time in case any kids wander up needing help.

Steve Reed said...

That's an interesting idea, and entirely possible! I've always been a neat freak, though.

Steve Reed said...

It would be very...effective.

Steve Reed said...

I've encountered very few that are boring from first to last. Most of them, if they start out boring, get better as the pages turn.

Steve Reed said...

I'll look for that essay! I believe we have that Patchett book in the library. DiCamillo is one of only three authors who won the Newbery twice, and I loved her other winning book, "Flora and Ulysses." So I think I'll probably like this one too.

Steve Reed said...

I wonder HOW they've updated it...?

Steve Reed said...

It just feels so much better to get into a made bed. At least I think so.

Steve Reed said...

CCTV is watching things everywhere! I do think Covid has knocked all our clocks out of sync.

Steve Reed said...

I hope so too! I'm looking forward to seeing her in February if the Covid situation calms down.

Steve Reed said...

Thanks for the good reviews on some of those books! That's encouraging!

Steve Reed said...

Well, to be honest, I think things probably get pretty boring after Andrew Jackson. Who cares about the inner life of Martin Van Buren or John Tyler or James K. Polk?

Some of those Nat Geo books are terrific ("The Snow Leopard") but some of them look really tedious.

Steve Reed said...

Good to know! I'd never read it or even heard about it before I took up this challenge. Now maybe I'll look forward to it a bit more. :)

Steve Reed said...

Ha! I wish I'd thought of that!

Steve Reed said...

Could be! I am looking forward to some down time. :)

Steve Reed said...

Well, I can't entirely blame him. I can't eat breakfast BEFORE I shower, for example. So part of the delays come from my own ideas and preferences about how to begin the day.

Steve Reed said...

I'm not sure I'll polish them all off. I'll probably end in January or maybe even February.

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, I think they'll all be pretty good, to be honest. One thing about reading medal winners is there are very few stinkers.

Steve Reed said...

OK, good to know! I love this positive encouragement!

Steve Reed said...

LOL! Right?! Who thought that was a good idea?

Steve Reed said...

Oh, I can. I have a huge stack of stuff waiting.

Steve Reed said...

I didn't go near it! LOL

Ed said...

For the most part, they have been excellent and I can see why they are on the list but yes, some of them haven't weathered time as well as others and are a bit tedious by modern standards. I'm guessing much like what you are finding in your Newberry challenge.

Cheryl Seaman said...

Hero and the Crown is a great book but I sort of like The Blue Sword better. The Grey King is the fourth in a five story series and you really should read them in order. It is interesting to hear your take on these books. I will admit that I haven't read most of them.

Mage said...

Maybe you can make it into the bathroom before he does. Yes, are we getting reviews?

Steve Reed said...

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to rely on the ability of "The Grey King" to stand on its own. My Newbery project can't expand to take in all the books in a series!

Steve Reed said...

There's a blog on the school web site where I'm leaving short reviews:

https://www.asl.org/program/libraries/what-to-read-next/newbery

And of course I'll write some kind of wrap-up when I'm done, naming my favorites (and least favorites).