Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Salad Recipe

I am not a salad person. This is because I eat a giant salad for dinner, then an hour passes and I am dying of hunger, so I eat a huge sandwich and perhaps chocolate, a pizza, and maybe another salad. And soup. And some of the ice cream in the fridge and waffles, because they looked tasty when I pulled out the ice cream.

This is a problem, because the goal of salad-eating is to NOT eat all of those other things.

But I have always loved Biaggi's house salad. As long as it is followed with chicken parmesan or some other delicious something-or-other and crème brûlée.

So tonight, feeling sick to my stomach as I have been for the last week, I decided to have Clean Food.

Clean Food is what I call food that is not greasy, not heavy, Not overly-meat-filled. Light. Clean.

I went to the grocery store for waffles, so I could eat them for breakfast the next day. But I needed dinner too, so I decided I would try to mimic the Biaggi's House Salad, since that is what I really wanted.

I got lettuce. Since nothing looked actually "fresh" in Kroger except Bibb lettuce, I picked it. Then I got a red pepper, a cucumber, and the creamy balsamic vinaigrette made by Briannas' (they call it The New American).

As I checked out, a creepy lady behind me in line decided to move my groceries around so she could start putting down her groceries. Can I just mention that I have a problem with someone Manhandling my groceries? I do. If you don't work for Kroger, don't touch my food. Enough people paw it already as it makes its way from the farm to the produce section. Okay. I'm done.

I went home. I roasted the red pepper by first scrubbing it clean (stupid grocery-moving lady), drying it, then placing it directly on the burner of my gas stove. The burner then made the skin of the pepper crackle and pop, browning it. And I removed the skin, with a lovely roasted red pepper after mere minutes.

I peeled the cucumber, then removed the seeds.

I washed my lettuce.

I combined.

This is when I realized I'd forgotten the carrots.

I tossed it with the dressing, which was remarkably similar to Biaggi's. The trick here was to resist my natural urge to see the dressing, which would have overpowered the salad.

And this is where I would give you a lovely picture of the salad.

But we ate it all.

For those of you who also adore the house salad at my fave Italian restaurant, this is a suitable copy. It might not be exact, but it satisfied my craving!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Random Update

Twenty, located in the Charley Creek Inn, Wabash, IN, is a tasty place to eat. It also is a nice place to wait out a thunderstorm, but there is no substitute for a good umbrella.

My stomach is not friendly to me, and it decides to punish me for things beyond my control. Like, say, I take a pill in the morning instead of in the evening. And I suffer.

Visiting my grandpa was nice, though his house is so hot that I felt like a lobster, steaming in a pot. This was not a pleasant sensation.

My little cousins are adorable, tall for their ages, and fun to play with.

Taking Pepto-Bismol does not heal stomach issues in my case. It causes me to feel less indigestion, less nausea...but the problems arise when I start having the side effects. It is a trade off.

Throwing up after taking a large quantity of Pepto-Bismol causes the experience to be less painful. Nothing, however, can make it less disgusting.

Not eating can be as bad as eating, when coping with stomach issues.

My mom is very patient, even to the extent that she will allow me to sleep in the backseat (to avoid throwing up) during a three hour drive home. We stopped once on the way, and she bought me a pillow.

Fainting can surprise you at any time, even when curled up in the fetal position in a moving car.

Sometimes it's nice not to be awake.

The healing properties of my mother's stew ought to be studied by the A.M.A. or something, because it's amazing.

Stew is one meal that can be made without a working oven. Pressure cookers are great tools.

Having my car back is fantastic, even if I don't feel well enough to go anywhere exciting. It turned out, the wheel bearing on the other side had gone out. Which makes sense, since both the old bearings went into the car at the same time.

My car now feels better than it did when I first bought it. It's so quiet...I wondered at first if I actually had the engine running.

I like quiet cars. They are nice to drive.

I think I need to take more stomach medicine now, so that I can go back to sleep. Ugh. This is unpleasant. Remind me to never, ever switch the times my medicine gets taken. It is an important lesson.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Which I am Neurotic

Stop laughing, Jennifer. We all know you knew this already. Rachael--don't think I didn't notice that look you're giving me. The one that you get right before you start laughing. I see all.

Life lately has been a downer. And by lately, I mean since Memorial Day. Which is actually a downer holiday, if you think about it.

I would like to blame the problem on Excess of Family and Lack of Blondie on said holiday, but that is not the case. Too bad, because if eating more blondies cured all strife in the universe, I would be happy.

So I thought to myself on Tuesday as I ate my blondie at Applebees--Hey, a girl can try, right?--I said, "Self, what you really need is a good book. A fun book. A book that will make you Happy to be Alive."

And because Huntington doesn't have a real bookstore (to my knowledge), I went to Walmart to kill the hour prior to Knit Night. I wandered through the magazines, looked at hair styles that would make my head look like a Q-tip, and then I saw one of Ally Carter's amazing Gallagher Girls books.

This is perfect, I thought. This is fabulous. This is just the little touch of escapism I need, the thing I need to make me feel better about the unpleasantness my family is immersed in at the moment.

I picked it up. It was lovely.

The new book will be out soon, I said to myself. Maybe I said it out loud. That's been happening lately. And I can read this first; it's the third bo--

But the cover was wrong. The title was wrong. This was not Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover. It was Only the Good Spy Young which meant Christmas Day Had Arrived!

Yes, without realizing it, the release date for GG4 had come! This had to be true, because yesterday was Tuesday, which Book People know means New Book Day. Now, instead of just having another day of the week, every Tuesday is New Book Tuesday, a day that makes me skip down hallways and causes all the library patrons to think I'm 12 and not 25.

I was so happy. Happier than I could say. So I bought the book. I took it to the coffee shop, and I read.

Before that, though, I opened it as I walked out of Walmart's sliding doors, and read as I walked across the parking lot.

Then I got hit by a car.

It really hurt.


I admit it. The car wasn't exactly in motion when it hit me. And there wasn't anyone in the car. Because it was parked.

Yeah. I walked into a parked car.

But it did hurt! I have a giant bruise! Right on my knee, and in my defense, the car was totally the same color as pavement and I do read and walk at the same time, so it had to be the car, not me. I have mad reading-while-walking skills. It is like a martial art for me.

I went to knit night. We laughed.

I went home. I made up a family tree for characters in a book so I could give it to a patron at the library. See, I'm a nice librarian. I do good things for my Library Friends.

Then I closed my laptop, took my allergy meds, and curled up with my book.

But something in my sleepy head let a signal pass from the Math part of my brain (atrophied as it is) to the part of my brain that gets the most use, the Book Center.

See, my brain (as I see it) is divided into four major parts: 1. The Book Center, which thinks about books, the plots of books, the book I am reading, the books I want to read, and the books I want to make other people read, 2. the Knit Center, which is telling me to pet yarn and knit and start lots of projects, 3. the Physical Self Center, which is telling me what hurts (my knee), that I am hungry, that I am thirsty, that I am sleepy, and that I want to eat even though I'm not hungry because Oreos and blondies are tasty treats, and 4. The Math Center, which is consistently ignored and often wrong.

At any rate, the Book Center made contact with the Math Center, and I sat straight up in bed, grabbed my laptop, and looked up the book sitting on my nightstand. This is what I saw:


The countdown hadn't ended. It still hasn't ended. It was, at that moment, 13 days from ended, and since it was already Wednesday morning, I had bought it a full two weeks early.

A chill struck me. I put down the book. I Googled the phone number for the Walmart I'd gone to. I walked over to the house phone. I called them.

Now, at this time, my sleepy-time Tylenol PM had already kicked in. So I wasn't walking very straight. I was wobbly. I walked into a wall.

1:30 a.m.

I called Walmart. It's open 24 hours.

"I bought a book today. And I shouldn't have been able to buy it," I told the Walmart Phone Woman. I could already tell she'd stopped listening. And caring. "It's supposed to be released on June 29th, and it's the 15th. Well, the 16th. But it was the 15th when I bought it."

"Wait. What?" Phone Woman asked.

"You need to take the books off the shelf and put them aside and hold them until the 29th so your store doesn't get sued," I informed her. "A sheet of paper was in the box the books came in that told you to hold them until the 29th and--"

"Would you like to talk to a manager?" Phone Woman didn't wait for an answer before she put me on hold. I waited.

Fifteen Minutes Later

"Thank you for calling Walmart, how may I direct your call?"

"Yes. I was just on the phone with you about some books. But the manager wasn't picking up. I kind of need to go to sleep, so can I just leave a message with you?"

"I just work here," Angry Phone Woman snapped. "We'll try the manager again."

This time, the manager picked right up.

"Hello," I said. "I was in your store earlier..." I detailed the issue. She wrote down the title. We hung up the phone. I went to sleep.

6:45 a.m. On the Dot

I snapped up in bed.

I had bought a book. Before its release date. It had crossed my mind earlier that I might have been involved in something sketchy. I mean, I had no idea what the legal ramifications of my buying the book early were.

But now I was remembering some stuff. Like how when Harry Potter came out (this would be #6, I think), some people bought it at a Walgreens or something, then they were harassed by Scholastic, who wanted them to give the books back.

There might have been a gag order involved.

A chill passed over me.

No. I thought. Not my fault. Walmart did the Bad. I just bought a book. And I didn't know.

But my brain didn't let it go. I knew I couldn't say anything about the book. I mean, that would be mean. It would be a Spoiler, and I don't do that. That's ruining the Good Surprise. That's EVIL.

At work later that morning, I logged on to Twitter, and checked to see if anyone out there had any idea what kind of trouble I may or may not have been in. I Googled the problem. I hunted for laws, but all I could find was records of Scholastic and Harry Potter.

Then I Googled Book Prison, which was an idea I'd just come up with.

Then I thought about what a Book Prison would entail.

This is what Book Prison would be like:

Leg irons, damp stone, rusted bars blocking the door to my cell with dripping torches hissing as water trickled too close to the flames. There would be no blondies in Book Prison. Not even as a Last Meal.

In Book Prison, you would only be allowed to read the Worst Books of All Time, including Twilight and Theodore Dreiser's collected works. I picked those titles because Twilight has made me so angry lately what with it's parasitic consumption of young adult literature and because Theodore Dreiser, or Mr. Clunky Sentence Guy, made me so bored that when I finished Sister Carrie I drop-kicked it across the Mall at MC.

When your torment has gone on long enough, you die. I would die LOTR-style, like Gollum. This is because that's how Saint Laura died, buy being dipped into a vat of boiling-hot, molten lead by her captors back in Spain circa 900-ish AD. That would be my death, I thought. Molten lead. I would dissolve like the ring of power, except I would actually feel pain, what with me being alive and all, not just infused with the Soul of Pure Evil like the ring was.

As I pondered this, I began to almost-believe it. I think I tweeted about it a lot.

Finally, I confessed completely to my crimes, calling on Twitter's various occupants for punishment, or, possibly, absolution. I think I phrased it that way. "Twitter, absolve me," I said. Mostly I asked this of Clio Ford. She is the one who calmed me in my terror at 1:00 a.m. Clio comes to my rescue during Twitter-Freak-Outs. She calms me.

The revelation of what had happened, the book I had, made it around the YA world, finally landing within arm's reach of Someone Who Knew.

Apparently, this book didn't have a Cut-Your-Hand-Off-for-Touching-This-Early Punishment Clause built in, like the Harry Potter books did. Instead, if the books happened to reach a store, they could be put on the shelf.

No one had done anything wrong.

However, the fact that I had found a store with the books was kind of an anomaly. See, Ally Carter (the author-extraordinaire of Heist Society and all the Gallagher Girls books) said, "'s possible there are books out there. Unlikely but possible."

So I am kind of blessed by the gods.

Still, I could not let it go. I had to tell Ally what had happened, and await her instructions.

I should mention at this point that I had not read a word of the book after I discovered that it wasn't supposed to be released.

Originally, I'd found a Ziploc bag and put the book inside it. Then I'd concealed it.

Except that made me think Evil Book Thieves might break into my house using information gathered using Twitter, and I became concerned.

Luckily, I had If I Stay close at hand, which was about the same size, so I switched dust jackets and hid the new GG4/If I Stay hybrid in plain sight. The GG4 dust-jacketed If I Stay was then hidden. So if a Book Thief came for GG4, they would find it and grab it, only to discover the hidden copy wasn't actually the book. The book was safe somewhere else. Keep it secret, keep it safe.

I confessed to Ally Carter. I had to do it. I told her I was keeping the book protected. That I was defending it With My Life. Which I will do. Because I am now a Book Guardian, not just a reader. I am keeping Secrets secret, and I will do it well. I am a Friend to all things Bookish.

And, you know what? Ally was okay with it. She didn't freak out. This is because she is a Wonderful Human Being. But then again, when she reads this, she might change her mind about being kind to me and advise me to consult a mental health professional. But then again, that advice would be a kindness too. The mean thing to do would be to get a restraining order. But really, if I can't walk across a parking lot without hurting myself, what kind of threat am I to someone else?

Ally's reaction was what it took. The waves of guilt evaporated. I sat back in my chair and relaxed. My tension headache faded. I ate dinner. Jennifer gave me that look she gets when she thinks I've gone too far with the Crazy, the look that says, "It's a good thing you live with people that take away the knives when you look loopy, so you don't decide to cut your own hair in animal shapes."

She's right, you know. It is a good thing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In Which I Buy a Book Out of Spite

Do you remember this post?

In it, I complain lots about how publishers seem to think it's cool to compare any and all books for a certain audience, such as teens, with the most popular book for that audience at the time. For example, right now, every publisher wants "the next Twilight" so badly that they are comparing perfectly good books, some even are really excellent, with Twilight because they think a book will sell better if it's Twilight-esque.

For example, look at this:

This is the hardcover edition of If I Stay by Gayle Forman, a book I love.

If I Stay is awesome. It has starred reviews from journals I didn't even think gave starred reviews. Or good reviews. Or even mediocre reviews.

But you've heard me rant about how much I love this book. Now let me show you what I hate.

The Paperback Edition!

See it? Right there in the upper corner? It says, "Will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight--U.S.A. Today"

First off: What the heck does U.S.A. Today know about books? I don't even think they know anything about NEWS!

Secondly: If by fans of Twilight they mean teens who love to read, yes. U.S.A. Today is right about that. But if U.S.A. Today intends to recommend If I Stay to fans of paranormal romance, they are dead wrong. Not because I don't think fans of Twilight will like If I Stay. They will. However, if you show that book to someone who reads Twilight knock-offs alone, they won't be interested unless the word "Vampire" or "Werewolf" is mentioned prominently on the back cover. I know. I've tried it.

But I'm not going to keep going with this rant, because you've heard it before. I am, however, going to tell you a funny-ish story about your Friendly Neighborhood Literature Junkie and her Trip to Walmart.

I knew all of what I just told you that day, when I walked into Walmart for pet food and milk. I knew.

I'd seen the paperback edition online and read the quote from U.S.A. Today I just complained about.

But I hadn't seen it in person...

And as we all know, my reaction to certain books can be rather violent, sometimes inappropriate (ranting at Barnes and Nobles to all who could hear me, bursting into tears at Culvers...), and at the very least, passionate.

When I walked through the book section in Walmart, it was in hope of finding an issue of Cook's Illustrated, so Christopher Kimball could tell me how to best roast a chicken or grill beef or something. I love America's Test Kitchen. They're amazing.

I had, though, just gone through the articles I quoted in my previous post, so when I walked through the YA row (they don't really have much aside from Twilight), If I Stay caught my eye.

I was alone at Walmart. I'd just come straight from work, I was driving home, and I never intended to cross paths with the paperback edition.

I could feel the vein in my temple begin to throb. My eye may have started to tic, Pink Panther-style. I clenched my fists.

Here was a beautiful, nay, a flawless novel, and the publisher was trying to pass it off as Twilight! The publisher should be thanking their lucky stars that the book was so much better than Twilight! And the only reason they weren't was that--they wanted to MAKE TONS OF MONEY OFF A FRANCHISE!

This was when I noted the hardcover edition set off to the side.

It was right there. Perfect.

Sure, I thought the sky blue cover and the little flower could have been improved. It didn't really connect with the story or the major themes, but was leaps and bounds better than the paperback. So much better, in fact, that I felt that it ought to sell.

This is when I explain a little:

Publishers make money. It's what they do. That's why they exist.

And they want to make more money, so they track how their money is made. It gets broken down.

They have their hardcover sales. Trade paperback sales. Mass market sales. And now, e-book sales. Then, if one is lucky, there is money from movie rights, franchising, and so forth. But usually, that doesn't come into it.

Publishers usually make the most money from mass market--or from the paperback edition(s).

So as I stood there in Walmart, a little spark came from the depths of my brain. The spark said: "If you buy this book, the publisher will see that the hardcover is preferred to the paperback! Because the paperback has been released already. And they still have hardcover sales!"

There might not have been any logic to that...

But it worked.

The next minute, I was walking out of Walmart with the hardcover edition of If I Stay. This would be to go along with the Kindle edition of the novel, which I had before.

I honestly thought buying that book would be like screaming, "IN YOUR FACE!" to the publishers...And I wasn't even taking any prescription medications to explain the compulsion. Nope. That's straight Laura.

I think I need a sweet tea.

A Post Should Be Here

But I deleted it. This was intentional. And I'll tell each of you all about it when I see you next.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In Which I Run Out of Things to Do

I'm bored.

Bored, bored, bored, bored.

And there isn't any snack food to entertain me.


I could be knitting right now. But I'm at work, so I can't.

I'm out of Bones episodes to watch, and I'm not buying any more seasons, because they make poor Zack end up a cannibal (or rather, assisting a cannibal) which doesn't make sense to me at all. That was a goof. For me, Bones jumped the shark when I got the mental image of poor socially-stunted Zack sitting down to a plate of steaming-hot human flesh. Not. Right.

So I won't watch any more. I did when they were on TV, and it just got weirder, what with Angela's husband from Fiji (was it Fiji?) and all of Brennan's relatives ending up in jail for various things.

I'm out of books to read too. I mean, sure, there I books I could be reading, but we all know they've been sitting on my nightstand for a month because I have no intention of reading them, despite the fact that they are probably good and I might well enjoy them. They aren't getting read.

What I need is for something to happen.

But it won't. Because right now, it is not Happy Time at home, it is Lock Myself in My Room Time. And that makes home boring, since I can't talk and laugh with the people I live with (my family). We all want to talk and laugh, but someone grabbed a giant wet blanket and threw it over the entire house, meaning that our best intentions fall flat.

So. I knit a lot. Also I spend tons of time online, but not really doing anything. I just scroll from project page to project page on Ravelry, then go to sleep.

Really. This is why people turn to recreational drug use. Because their lives are just this boring. I turn to the bag of Oreos in situations like this. I think heroin is less fattening*.

I think I need a waffle maker at home. I want waffles in the evening, before I go to bed. Waffles make everything better.

Try not being happy when someone gives you waffles. It just plain isn't possible.

I either have poison ivy or I was attacked by a Mosquito of Great Size. But I've never had poison ivy before, so I don't know for sure what it's supposed to feel like. Or look like. And I'm afraid to Google images of poison ivy. I have a feeling people will have posted pictures of weeping sores, which will be gross. I don't want to look at people and their weeping, oozing wounds. That's nasty. All I want is to know if I need to do something special with my leg, which is itchy. I think it's just mosquito bites. But still.

Do you like the new blog layout? I did it mostly so I could post videos from YouTube while not cutting off half an inch of the player. Also because it looked like the Malabrigo Sock colorway Archangel, which I have two hanks of. I like that colorway.

It's a quarter to 3. That means I have 2.25 hours left of work remaining. Then I will go home and sit until it is time to sleep. I'm tired.

On that note, I leave you.

*Laura in no way sanctions or encourages drug use. The statements contained in this blog are the opinions of Laura only, and do not speak for her friends or her family, or for the Human Race as a Whole. Say no to drugs. Do not eat Human Flesh. Drink Plenty of water. Avoid prolonged exposure to Sunlight.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Stop Laughing, Jennifer

I've been pretty quiet lately.

This is because I think mostly in one sentence bursts, which are usually followed by hysterical laughter. My own hysterical laughter.

Then, I log on to Blogger, and try to make that one sentence funny to you in the same way it was funny to me.

This mostly results in failure.

What Twitter does is this: It allows me to post those sentences as they arrive, preventing me from half-writing a blog before I discover: Not only is the post I've written half of not funny, it is also not interesting.

It makes me sad to think I'm not funny. It makes me eat compuslively when I discover I am not interesting.

Dad has not found me interesting in the past few weeks. [This is because he is Blue. But not the color, the feeling.] Since Dad has not found me [or anyone else] interesting, I have purchased two large Papa John's pizzas with extra cheese, and set about consuming them. By myself.

Now, eating one cheese pizza by yourself is bad. Eating two cheese pizzas is really bad. Eating two cheese pizzas while dipping each bite in Special Garlic sauce that is mostly made of soybean oil and fat and maybe cancer is almost as bad as you can get. Eating two cheese pizzas with the Special Garlic sauce and following the meal up with a handful of Double Stuf Oreos (in each hand) and you have reached a level of bad that makes you happy that you bought your new jeans loose at the waistband.

And then you become even sadder.

Now, if you do not have Twitter and if you don't know that right now at Papa John's you can get any large pizza for the low low price of $10.00 each, which is only a dollar more than the small, which is practically the same price, and if you aren't being entertained by Rachael's nostalgia or YA author Maureen Johnson's jars and hamsters, you might be wondering: "Where is Laura?"

The answer is this: Right where I was the last time you looked.

See? Everything is okay. We can all rest easy.

Except, Twitter won't let me rest easy.

This is for several reasons:

1. Contests

Did you know that YA writers (not to mention Other writers) get advance copies of their own books and actually go as far as to give them away to people? And they tell you about it on...Twitter!

2. Yarn

Did you know that certain yarn dyers post what I refer to as "Porn for Knitters" right there on Twitter? Sure, there isn't really any nudity involved, unless you count undyed wool. In fact, it really is pictures of various yarns in pretty colors, sometimes knitted into pretty things. Porn for Knitters.

3. Nerdfighteria

I am a Nerd. If I keep eating two large cheese pizzas with Special Garlic sauce and handfuls of Double Stuf Oreos, pulled from the bag sitting next to me on my bed, I will become a Big Fat Nerd.

Right now I am a medium-sized Nerd. That is why I just closed the bag of Oreos. Laura wants to stay medium-sized.

Sometimes, Our Supreme Nerdfighter Masters (Hank and John Green--may I add John is another YA Author), send us little messages via Twitter urging us to do certain things to decrease World Suck.

Stop laughing, Jennifer. You knew this all when you met me. If you don't think you did, you were in denial. There's a reason why no one in band with us remembers who the heck I was. This is that reason.

For example, one day we got a note from John saying that we ought to go visit Esther, who has cancer, on her site and tell her that we hope she feels better soon, and that we are thinking about/praying for her.

And today, John gave us this:

So I sent off a little note to Viacom, telling them that they owe Jonathan Coulton 37 dollars, and they should tell us where that money is.

This makes my life more interesting, and much more exciting.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ha! I knew it!

I knew I wasn't alone.

I knew that somewhere out there, someone else was picking up that edition of Wuthering Heights and saying, "What the *%@&!?" Or, if not that, at least looking at it and noticing that there was some freaky something going on in the publisher's brain that made them think: This book will sell if I...

What am I talking about? How cruel and insensitive of you to forget, gentle reader. I am referring to this.

Did you read it again? Good.

Now read this, by Gayle Forman, author of one of my favorite books and the only novel that has ever made me cry in public (I won't tell you how many times), If I Stay. She doesn't blast the Twilight edition the way I did (and would be happy to do again), but she does look at it from a publishy sort of angle. She also tells us what it's like to be a YA writer in a Twilight-infused market, which is a good insight.

But more than anything, she makes me feel better. Why? Because someone else picked up that edition of that novel and did a little analysis.

Another thing that makes me feel better is this. Written by someone very like myself.

It's good when we don't feel alone.

While I'm ranting--read If I Stay! I have it on my Kindle so I can keep it with me always. And then I cry in Culvers or at the circulation desk, and people think I'm crazier than they thought I was already.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What I do when it's slow at work...

Yesterday, a computer monitor died. I was tasked with alerting our office manager, who had to remove it from our inventory. I decided to e-mail her. This was the result:

A computer monitor in the Children's Room was transported by ambulance this morning to the storage room. It received prompt medical attention, but despite a valiant effort, it succumbed to its injuries at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. Although I.T. spokespeople are unprepared to make a comment at this time, our sources inside the Children's Room tell us that the monitor had been under a great deal of stress recently. It lost consciousness while checking out, and library staff was unable to revive it on scene. Our sources also tell us that they had been aware of its failing health for some time.

"It's all pink," one staff member said earlier in the month at a press conference. "It just looks pink for some reason." At that point, she turned the monitor off and on several times, before getting a sweet tea from the break room to calm herself.

Despite the loss, the Children's Room has already found a replacement for the monitor.

"We just couldn't wait," said a Youth Services worker who declined to be named. "His service was greatly appreciated, and we'll miss him very much. But it's the first week of the summer reading program, and we still have to help the kids find books. We just have to keep going. It's how he would have wanted it."

The new monitor has a long record of good service, it's most recent placement being as Polly's Monitor in the staff room. Children's Room staff are hopeful that they can develop a positive working relationship with the new addition. Polly, meanwhile, has hired a new monitor, fresh out of HP School, to fill the void in her office.

"It's a little stiff," said the Youth Service worker who spoke to us earlier. "But it'll get used to how things work around here."

Funeral services for the deceased monitor will be held at the Wabash County Solid Waste Management building and have yet to be arranged. Those wishing to pay respects to the monitor's family and friends can address them to the Children's Room staff. In lieu of flowers, the monitor's family requests a donation in his name to the Wabash Carnegie Public Library.