Friday, July 3, 2015

TAL Challenge: Overdue

Okay, I already failed the Blog Every Day in July Challenge.  But, that's okay because I'm totally going to make it up to myself and anyone else who cares.  My new plan is the This American Life blogging challenge.  You might know that This American Life is a radio show.  Each week, they choose a theme and present three stories around that theme.  That's what I'm going to do here.  Each day except #TwinTuesday and #NovelSnip, I'll have a theme and give you three "stories" around that theme.  I will choose my own themes, which you could do, too, if you have a blog and want to do this challenge.  Sometimes, I'm going to steal themes from previous This American Life episodes if I don't have my own idea.

Today's theme: Overdue.

Act One: Library Materials Coming Due Soon

I read a lot, and I use the library to procure the materials that interest me.  I go online and request the books, and then they appear on a certain shelf next to a certain number, ready for me to check them out and read them.

Occasionally, I'll read something super fantastic from the library, and a friend will say, "Hey, can I borrow that when you're done?"

And I'll say, "I got it from the library."

And then the person will look at me expectantly.

Of course, I know what they want.  They want me to give them the library book and trust that they will return it on time when they're finished.

"Do you promise to return it on time?" I'll ask.

Ohhhhh, yeeeesssss, the person always says.  And then I get the overdue notice and have to send a pointed text message and a bill.

Just kidding about the bill.

Act Two: Deck Stain

On June 8th, I began a home improvement project regarding deck beautification.  I went to the ACE Hardware store, and a nice gal gave me directions.

"You will need this sander," she said.

"What?" I said.

"Yes," she nodded.  "You will need to sand the deck first."

"I have to?"

"Well," she said.  "Yes."

I gulped.

"You can do this," she said.  Then, she gave me directions on applying the stain following the sanding.  "Don't overlap," she said, sternly, meaning I should only roll on one even coat, without going back over any part.  "My husband overlapped one year, and it looked awful."

"Wait," I said.  "I have to do this every year?!"

"Every other," she consoled.

Anyway, what did I do?  I overlapped, of course.  It didn't look awful, but it was blotchy.  Then, I tried to do a second coat on just the spots that hadn't been overlapped.  Results were subpar.  So, almost one month later (one could say, "Overdue"), I did a final coat, evening out the whole thing.  Now, it looks pretty darn good.  Not perfect, but better than when I started.

Act Three: The Classics

A couple of years ago, a colleague gave me a book to read called A Lesson Before Dying. It's by Ernest Gaines.

I picked it up again this spring for many reasons.  One of them is that the book is something of a classic, and it appears on the Black Lives Matter Reading List curated by Left Bank Books.  I picked it up, but then I kept putting it down.

It was just one of those books.

But, I was motivated to finish it. So even though it took months, I finally did, just this last week.  And I'm glad I did.  It's definitely good.  I'm not sure what else to make of it, but I know it's good.

1 comment:

mm said...

I'm perusing the Black Lives Reading List, but my pile is already high to quite high!