(Post in honor of last night's final episode of "The Sopranos," which I didn't follow, but since it seems that everyone else did, I ought to make a nod in that direction.)
For the first time in a week, I went up to my department office. Upon checking my box, I found no real mail, but an entire sheaf of memos from the library, threatening stern looks, suspension of library privileges, and eventual disembowelment if I didn't return the books I had checked out through our interlibrary loan system. I was in no way done with all these books, but the thickness of the sheaf of ominous missives was so alarming that I actually went through the stack, and performed a sort of bibliographic triage: books I don't need after all (return immediately), books I need an article from (photocopy, and return), and books that will take a bit more of my attention before I decide what I will need from them (hang on to these, and hope the library doesn't send their goon squad after me).
I am less panicked than I might be, because our library, while it goes after students for their dollar-a-day ILL fines with a ruthless efficiency that would make a mob boss proud, does nothing to the faculty but send out even more threatening notes. Occasionally, they will suspend your ILL privileges until the delinquent items are returned safe and sound, but I've usually been able to sweet-talk the circulation desk staff into bending the rules if I really, really need them bent -- I'm a regular customer, after all.
Still, it's probably not a good idea for me to take advantage of the system this way. I'm afraid that one day, they'll actually start enforcing the rules on faculty, and I will find myself owing several hundred dollars in fines.
The high point of my day, after assuaging my conscience by taking back all but 6 of the 20 or so overdue items, was to make a new dish for dinner involving sliced eggplant rolled around ricotta and tempeh (I'm a vegetarian), and baked in marinara sauce. I served it with a salad of baby spinach dressed with olive oil and a balsamic reduction, and garnished with chopped walnuts. Best yet, I invited one of my neighbor friends over for a late dinner. It was a very nice way to end the day.
And if I don't post tomorrow night, remember: The librarian did it.