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This morning at work the last law final of the semester took place. That means a little before 9 a.m. there was an exodus from the library leaving no one it but me and a couple of other library staff. There were a few stragglers throughout the day, students who have a take-home final or paper due tomorrow, but really, the library was empty. Tomorrow it will be a ghost town. And so I countdown to my two-week vacation which begins Friday at 4 p.m. And, as these things go, there has been a distinct slowing of time the closer I get to Friday at 4. I could swear that an extra day got slipped in sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning and I keep thinking it is the next day after the day it actually is. Yesterday, Wednesday, I would have sworn under oath that it was really Thursday. And you know, when it finally is Friday at 4 I am going to blink and it will suddenly be 7:30 a.m. on Monday, January 6th and I will be running through all of my library pre-opening tasks wondering what the hell happened to my vacation.

Until then though, I can daydream about all the time I think I have and all the time I will spend wallowing in happiness on my reading chaise while drinking coffee and scratching Waldo and Dickens behind the ear now and then as I turn the pages of my books.

I fear my December reading plan has gone to pieces. It’s not my fault, not really. I have fallen prey to the law of library hold requests. Books I didn’t expect to get for months are suddenly all arriving for me and since they have no renewals I have to read them or not get another turn for who knows how long.

I picked up To The Letter: A Celebration of the Art of Letter Writing by Simon Garfield at the end of last week and have been enjoying it. I wasn’t expecting anything else to arrive until next week after Christmas when I figured I’d have Robert Pinsky’s Singing School. But it is now waiting for me to pick up. Just yesterday Bookman kindly stopped by the library to pick up The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, a book I wasn’t expecting until February at least. And also there waiting for me was Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet.

Bookman and I had to return Cusanus Game to the library before we were done with it and we were both enjoying it so we splurged and bought it in hardcover since that’s what is currently available. At least I don’t have to read that to a deadline anymore. Still, it is not one to leave aside for too long because it is loaded with details that will leave you very confused if you don’t keep track of them. I will be juggling that with all the others for the next two weeks and it looks likely that anything else I had planned to read this month other than The Stupidest Angel and Burning the Midnight Oil, both of which I am almost done with, will be pushed off into January which sort of goofs up my January plans that I have been forming in my mind.

But if these are the only problems I have, then I am pretty lucky.

Now I have to make a list of ingredients I need to buy for the fancy Solstice dinner I am making Saturday and then go over the recipes with Bookman to plan out order and method and get a lesson in how to use the food processor. That makes me sound pretty incompetent, doesn’t it? For those of you who don’t know, Bookman is the cook at our house and I only cook once a year on Solstice. This is because when we started celebrating Solstice together 20+ years ago, he generally always had to work being in the retail industry and all. So I would cook a special dinner. The last number of years he has managed to have the day off and been around to help me chop and blend and get the timing right for when everything needed to be done. This year though, he once again has to work and I will be left to my own devices. He might come home to a beautiful dinner or a wife covered in carrot ginger soup crying because she burnt the pomegranate tofu. The only thing I am confident about is the chocolate cake I will be baking. I’ve always been a pretty good baker. If all else fails we’ll skip dinner and go right for dessert. Wish me luck!

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