Close Call

I had a harrowing experience at the library yesterday.

We have a program called Lucky Day; popular, new books are prominently displayed on the shelf and if it’s your lucky day, you’ll get to take some home, rather than wait on a list with 50 million others.

Lately, I’ve been finding good stuff, so I decided to look at it first thing. I found a memoir and a picture book. On a nearby shelf, I found another picture book.

I was planning to read the picture books upstairs, but when I discovered two books for me on the hold shelf, I put everything on the electronic check out device so that I could use my knapsack to carry everything.

Error message in red! It read: One or more books could not be checked out. I thought the red dots pointed to the picture books, so I read those upstairs as planned. Then I placed them on a shelving cart.

I took another look at the Lucky Day shelf before leaving. I found another book and checked it out.

Then I went through the gate.

Beeeeep! It flashed red and the security guard stopped me. He said I had to recheck out one of my books.

I tried, but got another error message. I brought the book to circulation. The circ. person said the problem was I had maxed out on my Lucky Day check outs. She named them and included one of the picture books.

That picture book was now on the shelving cart. What if someone reshelved it? What if another patron took it? What if someone took it home and didn’t return it on time and there was a late fee and I was charged? It would ruin my perfect record, my library reputation.

I raced upstairs to retrieve the picture book, then raced downstairs “Trade!” I said, handing it to the circ. person. She checked it in and presented me with the book I wanted.

Lucky day, indeed.



Post-Traumatic Hat Syndrome

This morning it was raining as I walked to the library. I had my navy blue fleece hat AKA Cozy Cozy pulled down over my ears. I felt so grateful for its warmth.

When I got to the library, I removed the books from my knapsack. I noticed my sunhat lounged at the bottom, but not Cozy Cozy. I figured I had put it in my knapsack’s front zippered pocket.

Later, when it was time to go, it was not there. I took all my books out of the main compartment, peering down: no hat. Nor was it stuffed in a jacket pocket. It also wasn’t on my head (once, when I thought my hat was missing, I found it on my head). I retraced my steps–into the B aisle of Fiction, upstairs to the magazine collection, the elevator. I checked two Lost & Founds and even conferred with the Security Guard, who thought it must have fallen out of my pocket into the waiting hands of a Hat Thief.

The world seemed gray as I trudged home.

In theory, I felt grateful I hadn’t lost my identity, but my attachment to Cozy Cozy is such that I felt like I had lost my identity.

To top it off, the hat store, where I had purchased my beloved hat, was out of fleece hats.

I called Inspector Fondue, who was out and about and said he’d investigate. He said he’d look with his long binoculars that make his eyes big as a wide-eyed frog’s. He reported he had looked to the left, to the right, sideways, forward, and behind: no hat.

I took a deep breath and made an attempt to move forward. I found it hard to concentrate on anything except the Hat Attack.

I Googled “fleece hats,” and saw photos with prices ranging from $20 -$350. That was not right. Next I Googled “fleece beanies,” though I felt weird doing so; I tend to think of beanies as caps with propellers on top, but in the hat world, the hat I wear is actually a beanie.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that a certain clothing co-op carried turtle fur beanies. Turtle fur was the first kind of fleece hat I bought in ’94 and that hat was my #1 favorite, until its mysterious disappearance eleven years later.

I ordered two for the price of one (they’ll keep each other company).

Then it was time to pay. And I, who have numbers galore memorized, messed up my credit card info. I told the customer service rep. it was because I had Post-Traumatic Hat Syndrome.


Leave No Dessert Unturned

I have chocolate on the brain. It is a not so rare ailment that is easily curable, if given the right situation.

Which wasn’t the other night, when I seriously had it. Before the Royal We watched the Oscars, we chose desserts from our local grocery’s pastry case. Mine was Chocolate Tulip Cup. It consisted of chocolate tulip petals with white and milk chocolate, filled with chocolate mousse, topped with dark chocolate ribbons.

Here’s what this reviewer had to say: although the mousse was very luscious and the dark chocolate flavorful, the petals did not taste like anything.

Which meant I had to reward myself.

Tonight I went to hear Alice Medrich, in conversation with Linda Carucci. For those not in the know, Alice Medrich is one of the country’s leading experts in the field of chocolate and chocolate desserts. Linda Carucci is an award-winning culinary instructor. They discussed Medrich’s latest book, Flavor Flours: A New Way to Bake with Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains, Nuts & Non-Wheat Flours.

The discussion was mouth-watering. Very mouth-watering. Luckily, support was available. Samples!

Initially, some of the desserts sounded weird, such as the brown rice flour sponge, or oddly unusual, such as the teff brownies, while others sounded somewhat appealing, such as the oat flour almond tuille or the oat flour chocolate cookies. But being a mature taster, I decided it was important to keep an open mind.

Here’s what this reviewer had to say: the brown rice flour sponge was moist and fluffy; the teff flour brownies were creamy and super light; the oat flour chocolate cookies had just the right amount of chocolate; and the oat flour almond tuille was a perfect buttery, almond crunch. Worth going back for thirds!

I am so glad I left no dessert unturned; I didn’t desert any desserts.