I’ve been trying to be better about blogging more regularly lately, though I’ve been very busy. Part of that has included thinking about the raison d’être of the blog. At first I intended it to be a librarian blog, but I also really enjoy blogging about other things that I think people might find interesting. Given that I’m pretty eccentric, those “other things” include pretty diverse topics.
I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s intriguing book The Tipping Point, a recommendation from my best friend. The book basically discusses how ideas go viral, from a couple people doing something to it becoming a major fad. Part of his thesis is that ideas spread via a small number of people who play specialized roles:
- connectors, who know many people across multiple diverse groups and thus are able to spread ideas from one subculture to another;
- mavens, or “information specialists,” who gather knowledge and take great pleasure in sharing it with other people;
- and salesmen with strong powers of persuasion and negotiation.
As soon as I read this, I immediately identified with the role of the maven. This, of course, is why I became a teacher, and then a librarian. It’s why I write reviews on Yelp and blog about things I find interesting and pin pictures of things I like on Pinterest. People who meet me even in passing flock to me for information, which I have to admit I kind of like. I once met a girl at a party and we started talking about how she could never figure out where she was in Dallas, and how I had driven all over and really knew my way around. From that day forward, I don’t think I ever saw her again, but every once in awhile I’d get a call or a text message from her when she was lost or wondered if I maybe knew a way around a bad traffic jam (and I could almost always help). So in the spirit of being a maven, I’ve decided that I am going to talk about library stuff, but I’m also going to blog about whatever random things I find interesting and hope that some people get something out of it. (I’m also planning on redesigning the page to make it a little easier to see just certain parts of the content.)
The thing that’s on my mind at the moment is simple pleasures in life on a budget. One of my friends recently commented that he envied the sense of peace and calm I seem to enjoy. In truth, I’m pretty high-strung when it comes to a lot of things, but I consider it very important to take time out to enjoy the simple things on a regular basis. Living in Los Angeles is expensive, so since I can’t afford to go all out, I try to find little things that I really enjoy, which I shall share here from time to time.
Tonight I’ll mention Cristalino Brut Cava. Usually when I say I’m drinking champagne, I’m actually drinking this (since I don’t think most people really know or care what the distinction between a cava and a champagne is anyway). I’ve been able to find it for between $6 and $8 a bottle. Pop a $7 champagne stopper on it and it’ll last for a week in the fridge, so even if you live alone you can enjoy just a single glass a night and not waste any. And a glass of champagne only has 80 calories, if you worry about that kind of thing. Cristalino is tasty enough to drink by itself, but I also like adding a dash of amaretto or creme de cassis. The latter is called a kir royale, and is one of my favorite drinks.
Whenever I pop the cork on anything sparkling, whether I’m alone or in a group, I always say “woohoo!” I do the same if I am out somewhere and hear someone else opening a bottle (although in that case I do it quietly to avoid having people think I’m insane). It makes every bottle feel like a celebration. A glass of it is cheap, and it doesn’t have that many calories or that much alcohol, so it’s a simple pleasure that you don’t have to feel bad about and can enjoy even on a budget.