It’s been too long. I have turned over a new leaf in my thinking about our blog experience here together – I will absolutely update you more on what’s going on at the library, but I’ll also make a better attempt to go beyond what’s happening within the gates of the library – I will write more, I will write better things, and I will keep you all in the loop more
To begin the new beginning, I should tell you about my new intern, Katharine. She’s a gem, really. I first met Katharine at the Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series a while ago (I can’t remember if it was last year or the year before). I am fairly certain that my good friend Lorissa ran into her at a bar and told her to come down to the library and discuss with me my job in Shanghai and the internship program because of her background in library and information science. Prepare your congratulations, because Katharine just the day before flying to Big Sur from her home in Georgia, finished her coursework for her masters degree in library science! This is just a tiny sliver of the reason that Katharine is the ideal intern here at the library. For instance, you couple her experience with the Georgia Historical Society, her experience in publishing, and the years she spent as a barista with her winning smile, sunny disposition and apparent ability to join in and love any task given to her, and you come to see that she fit right in from the moment I picked her up at the airport; greeting me with a massive hug and a series of tales of her ill-fated journey west. Katharine has come into our lives here at the library at the perfect moment, after the departure of our other summer intern, Joey. At the beginning of the summer, when I was hunting for interns, I received an email from Katharine with a cover letter and resume that jumped off the computer screen and into my heart, and I immediately offered her the position. She had funding lined up, she was set to come out here and we were excited and ready. Sadly, I received a call a few days before I prepared to receive Katharine and she said that the economy had bitten back, the
funding had fallen through, and she would not make it. Saddened, we persevered, put Joey to good work, and buckled through the work anyway. When Joey left, I emailed Katharine wondering if it was at all possible she had found a way around her earlier summer road blocks, and almost immediately heard back from her that she was about to write to me and tell me her funding had finally come through properly. Shortly thereafter, we talked on the phone, she asked me questions I didn’t know how to answer, and I knew it was going to be a match made in heaven. She’s here now, plugging away in the back room and listening to the radio.
Since she has been here, she has mastered the art of coffee at the Henry Miller Library, cleaned more than I think she thought was going to be required of her, tended bar, charmed Black Francis backstage at his own show as she protected the gate from excited concert-goers, been all over the Big Sur valley on foot. She has awarded each Magnus, Eric, and I an astral name to accompany the live reading of a sci-fi comedy that played here last night. She seems to have hit her stride in the tent-life. She has come up with several impressive ways to streamline the coffee and tea situation at the library (see also: barista experience). She has fought with the raccoons, and in fact is still fighting with them, but coming up with brilliant solutions, which involve ammonia and hot sauce.
Life at the library has been made instantly more bright with Katharine in our lives, and we are already planning the extension of her stay with us (she does not know this yet. We are going to sneak up on her when she’s completely in love with us.) We are on a roll with events, which I would like for you to browse on our events page. We’re announcing our newest events, and more are being added every day.
In other news around Big Sur, we’re all more or less anticipating the winter, both because August is a long month filled with all work and no play and also because this year is an El Nino year, and we’re all more or less terrified of tropical storms hitting this fire-ravaged portion of the coast. The impending doom of landslides did not happen this winter, and redwood-willing won’t hit us this year. Think about us, those of you who don’t live here.
The summer always comes in a blast, leaves too quickly, and most importantly, sucks all of the time that I have to read right into the late nights that we spend here throwing concerts, movies nights, sci-fi comedy readings, and weddings. I wish I could tell you about this wonderful book that I just finished, and all the ways that it affected me, but unfortunately, I must just tell you that I am a small part of the way into Middlesex by Jefferey Eugenides. I did not know when I picked this book up that it was structured in one of my favorite fashions – an epic, multi-generational masterpiece. The narrator is an intersexed person, living his life as a man despite being raised as a girl. The book begins, however, by describing the emigration of the narrator’s grandparents from their home country of Greece. In my relationship with the novel, these grandparents have just arrived in Detroit, where they will be living.
The thing which is so compelling about this book, yet remains one of the questions I have the most about it is (though it is apparent that my questions will be resolved in the end), is the relationship between the narrator and I. I am being spoken to by the narrator; that is clear, and the narrator is also interjecting anecdotal information interspersed with comments with insights I’m sure are to come in the novel. I wonder, when I get to know the narrator more – when the plot catches up with the life of the narrator as opposed to his ancestors – if I will be grateful for these editorials, or if he will neglect to bring them back around.
I will let you know when I get another chance to read – in October…
Until then, and as I promised earlier in this post, I will keep you more posted on life in Big Sur, here at the library, and between the covers of the books we’re all reading.