San Antonio Sabbatical

Books and Meetups — and a Tropical Storm

Posted on: September 8, 2010

  • In: Diversions
  • Comments Off on Books and Meetups — and a Tropical Storm

This past Monday was Labor Day.  I spent the long weekend watching television and reading my first novel (Finger Lickin’ Fifteen) by Janet Evanovich, which I really liked.  I enjoy discovering new-to-me authors.  Last year’s finds were Jodi Picoult — I read Perfect Match after seeing a Newsweek article about her huge popularity and hearing praise for her books from one of my student workers — and Kate Jacobs, who wrote The Friday Night Knitting Club and Knit Two.  I wasn’t disappointed by any of these authors.  In a previous post, I discussed my joy of reading.  Although I read a variety of books, my preferences for fiction are mystery (e.g., Sue Grafton and Sidney Sheldon) and popular novels, and for nonfiction are psychology, writing, and business.  These are natural draws since they coincide with my professional life.

I’m an introvert and a homebody.  I’m not a big socializer so I carefully select my mingling activities.  When younger, I participated in dance, band, school clubs, and Girl Scouts.  Now that I’m older, I choose classes, book discussions, and travel/tours as my get-out-of-the-house escapes.  Moving to a new area has forced me to be creative in making contacts in the community beyond the students and professors in my department.  I heard from a friend about online “Meetup” groups in a variety of interest areas that get together regularly in person for the purpose of networking around shared interests.  Here are some reviews of Meetup.  My usual Pennsylvania town is too small to offer a good selection of Meetups.  However, San Antonio is huge — it’s the 7th largest city in the U.S. — and has many Meetup groups on a range of topics, some of which wouldn’t readily come to mind.  So, for the first time in my life, I am trying Meetups.  During this past week, I became a member of two Meetup groups, The San Antonio Spanish Language Meetup Group and The San Antonio Book Lovers Meetup Group.  The members (based on their online profiles) are an interesting bunch and the meeting locations are restaurants/cafes about ten miles from my apartment.  I’m scheduled to attend Meetup events tomorrow and Saturday.  This is big city living and I’m still adjusting to the change.  These Meetups seem like fun!

Natural disasters seem to find me in my temporary homes.  In 1994, I experienced California’s 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake.  Now, in Texas, I am in the midst of tropical storm Hermine (its winds are not strong enough for it to be classified as a hurricane) that has battered Mexico and is affecting the Gulf Coast.  There have been heavy rains in San Antonio since Monday along with flooding (and several high water rescues), strong winds, power outages (mine is back on now after a five-hour loss yesterday), thunderstorms, and a tornado watch.  While we needed some rain, we certainly didn’t need this much at once.  Hopefully Hermine won’t cause too much damage.  On a positive note, weatherwise, the temperatures have cooled off a bit here; there has recently been a little less heat and humidity.  But, that is soon expected to change.

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