My first big news this week is that I sought out my local library on Sunday and acquired a library card. I haven't been to a library since grad school, mainly because my paycheck allowed me to buy any books that I wanted to read. However, I wanted to do some research on upcoming travel, but I didn't need a stack of travel guides cluttering up my apartment. The library is in the downtown shopping area, about a ten minute walk from my apartment. (Have I mentioned recently how convenient my location is?) The thing that seemed most different from my previous library experiences is that the checkout is self-service. There's a row of computers with bar code scanners, and the patrons just slide their books through a scanner. When finished, the machine spits out a receipt with the titles of the books and the due date. The library has a small section of foreign language books, including a few shelves of Japanese novels, though I think I have more Japanese books in my apartment than there are in the library collection. I did find a nice stack of things to borrow; the problem is not checking out more than I can carry.
On Monday I had another tae kwon do belt test, bringing me up to purple. I'm actually kind of impressed with myself that I've managed to stick with it for over a year. I generally tend to flit from hobby to hobby periodically. Knowing that I'm paying for the lessons is certainly a motivating factor, as is the fact that the other people in the class notice if you miss a lesson.
Now that it's spring, I've been working on fixing up my balcony plants after the winter. The mint, oregano, chives, tarragon, and some parsley all survived, some even after being trimmed down to ground level. I picked up a couple of window boxes for my balcony railing, and I'm planting a few strawberries there. I'm hoping the birds won't get them all.