Meetup and other stuff

It’s been a busy few weeks. Work has been as ridiculous as always (actually, more so, thanks to idiots panicking unneccessarily about swine flu), and the rest of my time has flitted away in inconsequential ways in the way that time always does.

So, as usual, rather than any sort of real account of what I’ve been up to, here’s a bunch of random stuff:

Had a great meetup this morning. Not only did we have four regulars (me, lytteltonwitch, rarsberry, and undura), and three newbies, we also had a surprise visit from The-Organist, who’d driven up from Timaru for the day just so he could say goodbye to lytteltonwitch.

We ended up staying at the cafe until well after one – not bad for a supposed breakfast meetup!

The second-Tuesday meetup the week before last had good numbers too, actually, including a few newbies. Maybe this is a sign that the post-convention lethargy Christchurch Bookcrossing has been suffering is finally ending. I hope so, because we really need to get meetups revitalised again, especially with lytteltonwitch leaving us.

I’ve been doing quite well out of lytteltonwitch’s departure. Not only am I about to become the #1 bookcrosser in NZ 🙂 but she’s also needed to clear out all her books. And most of them have ended up at my place. I’m not going to be short of release fodder for a very long time!

Plus I’ve acquired a load of craft stuff (yeah, like I needed any more!), and useful baskets, and I’ve baggsed her bookshelves (well, I need somewhere to put all those books she brought over).

I should have friends leave the country more often… 🙂

With all these extra books in my release box(es), I’ve been getting back into some serious releasing. Especially around the university – the first couple of weeks of the semester are always a good time to release books, with a new crop of students full of curiosity and enthusiasm, and not yet so bogged down with studying that they can only read textbooks.

I’ve been having fun with themed releases, too, trying to match titles to departments. Like The Artist’s Widow and Renoir My Father in the School of Fine Arts, Orion Arm, Southern Cross and Evening Star and Gravity in the Physics and Astronomy building, Greek Fire in the Classics department, Point of Law, Pleading Guilty and Justice in the Law School, Bookends in the library, Company and Compassionate Capitalism in the Commerce building, The Value of X and The Seven-Per-Cent Solution in the Maths building, In the Forest of the Night and Time and the Forest in the Forestry building, a Japanese children’s book (ぞうのボタン) and recipe book in the Asian Languages department, The Unfortunate Experiment in the College of Science, Song of the Earth and North-West by South in the Geography department, Grace Notes in the Music building, Neither Angels nor Demons and A Little Love, a Little Learning in the College of Education, and The Sleep Instinct in a lecture theatre.

I’ve had some nice catches, too. Although ぞうのボタン was caught by someone who doesn’t read Japanese, they were still able to enjoy the pictures. Orion Arm was spotted several times by its finder before they actually picked it up. A Little Love, a Little Learning was caught before I even had a chance to make release notes. And Renoir My Father was picked up pretty quickly too.

And I’ve also had catches from Fatherhood by Bill Cosby, Johnny Cash: Winners Got Scars Too by Christopher S. Wren, The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson, From N to Z by CV Smith (which was then re-released and caught again!), Rivals by Janet Dailey, and one from Wellington: World, the Flesh and Myself by Michael Davidson.

Even more random stuff

I remembered a couple more random things I’d been meaning to blog about, before being distracted by deleting half my entry the other day.

For a start, I’d promised to post the official list of books from our fabulous “When Ballycumber went to Dunedin…” memory game we played on our way down to the booksale.

When Ballycumber went to Dunedin, he took with him:
Angela’s Ashes
B is for Burglar*
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Death on the Nile
E is for Evidence
Forest Gump
How Green Was My Valley**
H is for Homicide***
Jamaica Inn
The Kitty Killer Cult
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe****
Murder on the Orient Express
Oliver Twist
Pride and Prejudice
The Quiet Gentleman
Sense and Sensibility
A Town Like Alice
The Ugly Duckling
Wuthering Heights
Exit A******
The Yellow Reader*******
Z is for Zachariah********
Anne of Green Gables
Black Beauty
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts
Famous Five Go Down to the Sea**********
The Green Mile
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Keep the Aspidistra Flying***********
Milly Molly Mandy
The Name of the Rose
Owls Do Cry
Pippi Longstocking Goes to Sea************
The Quiet American
The Secret Seven*************
The Time Machine
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The Vampire Lestat
Watership Down
The Young Astronomer
Zane Grey’s Guide to Fishing**************

* Or possibly B is for Burgers. It was a bit noisy in the car.
** FutureCat invokes the “I came up with the game, so I’m allowed to set the rules” Rule, and officially declares “how” to be one of those little words like “the” and “a” that don’t count in alphabetical order.
*** FutureCat and Rarsberry invoke the Sue Grafton Rule, which states you’re only allowed to use the same author 3 times in any one game.
**** Rarsberry denies being the wardrobe.
***** Yeah, we know there wasn’t actually a book called Noddy. Pretend it was Noddy in Toyland if you like.
****** Rarsberry invokes the “Xs are too hard” rule, which states that anything that sounds like it starts with X counts.
******* This book may or may not exist, but FutureCat distinctly remembers there being a Red Reader and a Green Reader somewhere in the depths of her primary school career, so there must have been a yellow one as well.
******** Or maybe it was Z is for Zachary… or Z is for Zephaniah?
********* Yeah, yeah, the Sue Grafton Rule applies here too.
********** Quite possibly in a pea green boat.
*********** Also known as Keep the Aspi-whatsit Flying
************ …in the pea green boat with the Famous Five.
************* Yep, it’s Sue Grafton Rule time again.
************** It’s ever so slightly possible that this isn’t a real book. But if it isn’t, it should be!

That kept us going from just past Ashburton to just before Palmerston. (And the titles are now burnt permanently into all our brains – when we tried reciting the list again at last week’s meetup, we hardly even hesitated!)

My phone is broken. It phones ok, but texting doesn’t work any more. And yes, I did make sure the memory wasn’t full. It’s annoying; it tells me the texts have sent ok, but I’ve got no way of knowing whether they reached their destination (unless I ring whoever I texted to ask if they got my text, which kind of defeats the purpose). I blame Zane Grey. The last text that worked is the one I sent to MrPloppy to ask him if he knew any more titles starting with Z after we were all stumped by it.

I probably should take it in to Vodafone and ask them to look at it, but it’s the cheap phone I bought in Singapore, so I’ve got a feeling they’ll just tell me it must be a problem with the phone and therefore not their problem.

Some recent (and not so recent) catches:

Love Bug by Zoe Barnes – a very quick catch from the Dunedin trip.

Termination Order by Philip Friedman – and a slow catch from the University, turning up nearly a year later.

The Bombmaker by Stephen Leather – another quick catch from the Dunedin trip, from Waikouaiti this time.

Tales of Burning Love by Louise Erdrich – a catch from my trip to Wellington last year.

Desert Squadron by Victor Houart – an anonymous finder picked up the book I left at the Court after seeing My name is Rachel Corrie.

Albatross by Evelyn Anthony – it’s always nice when a finder appreciates a themed release 🙂

People Might Hear You by Robin Klein – a second generation catch.

Rainbow Soldiers by Walter Winward – a catch from the monument to the mysterious Dr Little (we never did figure out if his heroism was during the war, or the flu epidemic).

The Dangerfield Diaries by Anne Melville – travelled from Christchurch to Mexico, and now to Florida.

I Am David by Anne Holm – this book is getting so well travelled I’m starting to wonder if all the entries are genuine. So far it’s been from Christchurch to Auckland to Ecuador to Easter Island, and now it’s in Buenos Aires.

Cross of Iron by Willi Heinrich – another catch from the Reader challenge (funny how if you release a lot of books you get a lot of catches…)

Secrets of the Lost Island by Lynn Beach – one of the few convention catches I’ve had (probably something to do with being too busy to release as many books as I normally would at a convention).

Even Steven by John Gilstrap – released last weekend during our Markeroni expedition, and since then has been travelling rather rapidly around Canterbury.

The Touch by Julie Myerson – a “boomerang” book that’s now off to England.

The Long Pursuit by Jon Cleary – another catch from the weekend’s expedition.

It seems that wretched woman has been attempting to cyber-stalk me. Though stalking is supposed to be secret, isn’t it? So it would possibly be more effective if she didn’t send me demented ramblings about it.

Oh well, good luck to her – personally, I can’t think of anything more boring than reading back through years of blog entries looking for… whatever it is she thinks she’s going to find (yeah, like I’m going to post anything really juicy in a public blog).

But if she does find anything nasty that she thinks is referring to her, then all I can say is “if the cap fits…”