Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stairway to Gilligan's Island

Sometimes the blenderizer can do some intersting things with media. Here for example is a mixture of Gilligan's Island and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." I actually remember hearing this on the radio way back when.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Pause That Refreshes

I just finished up another nice weekend in my ever-evolving life. No drama, or minor calamities. No rushing about in search of some inner purpose. Instead I watched some movies at home, and spent some much needed time cleaning and organizing my office. I will admit that I didn't read any of Homicide this weekend. I'm not going to feel guilty about it either. In fact, I may just set the David Simon book aside for a bit, and read something lighter, literally and figuratively.

I got up this morning in time to do some banking, and stop at the library. I had three CDs awaiting me at the library: Tom Waits' "Rain Dogs," Smog's "Knock Knock," and a boxed set from Rhino called "Rockin' Bones: 1950's Punk & Rockabilly." If I remember correctly, the artist Charlie Feathers is what prompted me to check out the rockabilly collection. Currently I'm listening to Francis Dunnery, an under appreciated singer/songwriter/guitarist from England. Way back when he was the lead singer for a band named It Bites, who I actually saw open for Jethro Tull once. Dunnery has fallen off the mainstream map a bit, but he's still producing music. In fact, he was here in Seattle a couple of years ago, filming a live concert DVD at the Triple Door. I'm still a bit sorrowful for missing that show.

Actually, I don't get too bummed out anymore when I end up missing some live music show in the area. Life these days is filled with enough little pleasantries, that I don't find myself beating myself up for missing the latest and greatest. I still buy books like I'm trying to bury some dark mood of mine, but only goes to prove that I'll buy books whether I'm happy or sad. I can buy books in an effort to cheer myself up, or I can purchase a few titles just because I'm in a celebratory mood. One doesn't really need an overwhelming reason to buy a good book. Now to buy a shitty book you need a really good reason in my humble opinion. There was a gentleman in the bookstore a few nights ago, who inquired about the Karl Rove memoir, and whether we had sold any. (We were only carrying one copy, and it had not sold.) He seemed elated that we had sold any, but then he went ahead and bought it. Clearly the bearded, drooling man was insane.

I'm hoping that no more insane closet Republicans will come into the store tonight, looking for a copy of the new book by John Yoo, or some other war criminal. I may just have to show the ignorant sod the pavement just outside our door.

Friday, March 26, 2010

F-R-Y Day

It's Friday people! For some of us that means that we will go out tonight and spend our hard-earned paycheck on liquid beverages, only to wake up tomorrow morning with an extra-large headache, and a pocket-full of damp dollar bills left over. Tonight for me will mean another night at the bookstore, until we lock the doors at ten o'clock tonight. Tomorrow morning I will be awoken by my son, who will claim that he wants to lay in bed with us, but will squirm and wiggle enough that we will soon all be up and eating breakfast. I'm seriously contemplating dropping Justin off at daycare for about five hours tomorrow, so that we (the adults) can see a movie and have lunch. The top movie on my list of "to see films" is "Greenberg," starring Ben Stiller, and directed by Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale" and "Margot at the Wedding."

Right now I must depart to pick my son up from his co-op daycare, and we may just find ourselves at Red Robin in a half hour or so. It's been known to happen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reflection and Projection

Days are speeding by at the speed of lightning. I sleep, work and eat, but otherwise I'm constantly searching for extra moments to read, relax, and attempt to figure out the structure of my consciousness. On top of the pleasurable activities that I enjoy, and don't seem to have enough time for, there are important errands that seem to perpetually end up on the back-burner. I need a haircut (this coming from a guy, who sported a ponytail for nearly fifteen years); my car is months overdue for an oil change; there are bill on my desk that have made the move to my new abode without yet being paid.

There is some serious sunshine filling the atmosphere surrounding this house. Nice weather and quiet spaces are calling to me, pleading with me to ignore the need for a paycheck and kick back with a good book today. A good book in this case translates to David Simon's true crime tome Homicide. I've started it, but don't really think of myself as reading it since I'm only twenty pages in. Lately my mind is being drawn to dark subject matter such as Homicide and the cause behind murderous acts of war. It's sunny outside, but inside my brain I'm still shining the torch on the dark corners. I have a feeling that I'll always be examining these dark corners of my psyche, trying my best to fit Yin and Yang together.

I have one more disc of the BBC series "Life on Mars" to watch. Before I can watch the final two episodes, my Significant Other's son has to catch up with the last two discs. It's been a fun series, and I'll be sorry not to have any more episodes to look forward to. Near the top of my Netflix queue is the film version of Neville Shute's On the Beach, which I'm quite anxious to see after recently finishing the book. I decided to make the novel my featured staff pick for April. I also have the "Coup de Torchon" (U.S. title: "Clean Slate") to watch, which is Bernard Tavernier's adaptation of Jim Thompson's Pop. 1280. I saw the film version upon its initial release to theaters way back in 1982. I was impressed when I first viewed it, but I'm looking forward to watching it after recently reading the pulp novel that it was based on.

Other than constantly looking for spare hours to fill with pleasurable activities, life is good. I have a strong feeling that the speed at which life seems to be speeding by is in direct proportion to the increase in my overall happiness. This much happiness is a new thing for me. This new feeling is going to take some getting used to. I'm so used to diving into a ditch and examining my dark side for weeks at a time. Appropriately enough, Spring brings along feelings of renewal and rebirth.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tick, Tick, Tick...

The clock is ticking. I have ten minutes until I get to close the doors to the bookstore for the evening. This is the one evening out of the week when I close by myself. It's not a big deal really. Most customers are gone during that last hour, except for the few that wander up from the pub.

I've already made my book purchases for the evening. I have some extra cash this week, because I got my deposits back from the apartment I had been renting for the last year. Extra cash means extra books. Tonight I purchased Action Philosophers!, The Complete Crumb Comics, Vol. 6, and Don't Sleep, There are Snakes, plus three more.

Well, three minutes until closing. There is still one gent checking out our inventory of graphic novels. And I think there are a few stragglers in Vios, but they are not my problem.

Island in the Sun


Time to pull out the desert island discs, and settle down to some fun on an "Island in the Sun." All hail the Weeze.

Here Comes the Sun

The sun over Seattle is blazing through my office window. I need to leave for work in about an hour. I'd rather make myself comfortable on the deck and finish reading Pop. 1280, but that pleasure will have to wait until tonight. Of course, by tonight I'll have to finish the book by incandescent light in the living room. I still have my mind set on reading something dark after the Jim Thompson. I have a small stack of books on the Iraq War that I'd like to delve into. I may be in a totally different mood tomorrow when it comes to my reading taste, but presently I'm in the mood to read about what drives human to become psychotic killing machines for their lying government.

The weekend is nearly here. I would like to get my haircut either Friday, or Saturday, depending on whether I get a break from watching Justin long enough to get that minor errand accomplished. I also wouldn't mind seeing a film in the theater this weekend. The top film on my list right now would be "The Education" scripted by Nick Hornby. Although, I wouldn't mind seeing "The Road" on the big screen if it's still around. For whatever reason I have been in a post-apocalyptic mood lately. I suppose that's better than being in an apocalyptic mood. Mushroom clouds are a blight on the horizon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh That Tree!

I have never mentioned the glorious tree outside of my office window. It's awfully nice to have a view of the Cascades, but it's even nicer to have a giant spruce tree waving to me through me window when I perchance to glance its way. I was sitting out on our deck last night -- like I am prone to do -- and the wind was picking up, bringing rain to the area. I could smell the sweet resin of the spruce before me, as the wind tosses its branches to and fro. The tree is not even in our yard, but reaches over from the neighboring yard. It's nice that they can share their greenery.

Sick and Tired

I am -- without a doubt -- sick and tired of being sick and tired. I managed to get to bed at about 12:30 a.m. last night, because I knew I would be awoken early by my four-year-old son, but it still wasn't an adequate amount of rest. It's a rainy gray day here in Seattle, and it would be a perfect day to stay home warm in bed, recovering from a lifetime of low moods, but duty calls. I'll be dropping my son off at his mother's house at 1 p.m., just before I leave for work. Somehow I don't see a lot of free time on the horizon either. If I could just have one entire day to myself; a complete day of quiet and solitude...then I would probably want another.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Bitter with the Sweet

The sun is breaking through the clouds here in Seattle today. I'm feeling slightly better today. I'm still blowing foreign objects out of my nose, but I might be able to work that into a neat party trick. I checked in with The Political Carnival when I awoke, like I usually do. This morning I watched a video clip of Jon Stewart interviewing Marc Thiessen, a former speech writer for George W. Bush. I watched the entire clip until Thiessen was whining at the end that he didn't have enough time to make his point. His point is something that we're all sick of: It's okay to label certain peoples as "enemy combatant," and once that labeling is done one never has to charge these former people, or give them any of the rights accorded everyday people. It seems that just the mere label "enemy combatant" is enough to strip them of their human rights. Needless to say, I was ready to regurgitate my breakfast after watching this slimy Thiessen give props to Liz Cheney for being such a fear-mongering harpy.

Other having my senses assaulted by some criminal left over from the Bush administration, I am feeling fairly well today. I'll need to leave for work in a half hour or so. There is yet another author event at the bookstore tonight. This seems to be a busy month for us, as far as events go. Last night's event was a big success, so we'll see how tonight's event goes. I have a feeling that I may be doing the introduction, but that's okay. Tonight I work with a professional musician that doesn't seem to be effected by stage fright, unless she is introducing a small time author to a group of a half dozen Ravenna Third Place patrons.

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On another note. I have been trying to get back into the habit of blogging regularly after my recent move. I have a feeling that the more organized my office becomes, the better my blog posts will be. I can now actually move about a little in my office. All of the boxes of books have been unloaded, which means that I can start bringing books over from storage in the not-too-distant future. I still have boxes of DVDs that do not have a home at the moment. They have been stuffed into my closet, along with other items that should be kept in a closet. Tonight my son is staying the night at the house, and I'll need to drive him to gymnastics class in the morning. That means that I probably should not stay up past two in the morning puttering around in my room, but it will all depend on my mood.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Losing Sense of Time...

...Today felt like Monday to me. The source of that feeling is the fact that I stayed home sick yesterday. I was told that last night was quite slow at the bookstore, which is not surprising. Tonight we had an event, and that was a big success. (A big success for Ravenna Third Place is having approximately twenty people show up for an author reading, and selling ten or more copies of the book being promoted. We're just a little independent bookstore. We don't have the budget to advertise. I have found that if the author invites friends and family that usually helps to fill in some of the seats. Otherwise there could be an echo...

I had a nice weekend with my Significant Other in Edmonds, even though I was battling this head cold while I was there. We stopped at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park (our parent store), and bought a few books for the weekend. Half the fun -- for us at least -- is bringing along books to peruse on our holiday. Other than reading I watched the Academy Awards early Sunday evening. I probably would not have watched them if it wasn't for my companion wanting to catch a few glimpses of Colin Firth. Over the years I've grown weary of the spectacle. When they decided to nominate ten films for best picture this year -- in an attempt to include more crowd-pleasers I presume -- it just cheapened an already cheesy awards show.

I'm about halfway through Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction by Susan Blackmore. I've already learned that I am without a self, or freewill, or even a center of consciousness. In fact, consciousness itself may be an illusion. A lot of the material in the "very short introduction" I am familiar with, but it's always good to get things from a new perspective. This book in particular has brought a lot of Daniel Dennett's ideas to light for me. He's strict materialist, if you are unfamiliar with his philosophical work in regards to consciousness.

As I near the end of the little book about a very big and mysterious subject, I am eying many others books that look quite good, especially Jim Thompson. For tonight I may settle back and watch something slow and peaceful. Either that or I could lie on the floor and listen to Beck's "Sea Change" until I dissolve into the carpet. Maybe if I was lucky I could spy the moon through my office window before I close my eyes.

Back From the Dead

Well, almost back anyways. I've been battling a low-level head cold for at least the past week, but over the weekend it upped the ante a little. I ended up taking a sick day yesterday, so that I could give myself an evening of rest, and a chance to recover. I'm heading off to work in a mere matter of minutes, and I'm sure I'll make it until closing. I'll just be running at 33-1/3 speed instead of blazing cable speed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Misnomer Mea Culpa

I realize that the title of my last post may have given the impression that it was actually to be my last post. The title, "So Long...Goodbye," more referred to the act of saying goodbye to my old apartment. It had served me well for nearly a year. Initially I thought it would be a dark and depressing subterranean cavern, but it was actually kind of bright and cheery...for a subterranean cavern.

I stayed up, after getting home from work, to finish reading On the Beach. It was excellent, and quite moving by the end. After following the lives of a half dozen characters over the course of three or so months, the reader feels connected to them. From the beginning of the novel you are aware that no one will be alive at the end. Radiation sickness is not something you recover from -- no matter how many times you "duck and cover." I'd love to write a longer review when I have a little time. In the meantime I'll write up a staff pick card at work and see if I can convince a few customers to buy a post apocalyptic romance (of sorts.)

It's getting too late at night to get anything else accomplished. My son is staying the night and I must get up with him in the morning. That usually translates to about 7:30 a.m. -- if we're lucky. Then I may or may not have to drive him to his co-op daycare. That starts at 9 a.m., and I probably shouldn't show up in my pyjamas. There's a slight possibility that I might squeeze in a few more hours of sleep before leaving for work, and that would be a fine thing.

Now, because I'm a reader and book person, who loves lists, I'm going to log Neville Shute's On the Beach in my "Books Read" journal that I've been keeping since I was in my early twenties. For the most part I have a list of every book that I've read in this little notebook. The list is now also duplicated on GoodReads.com, and Word document in my PC, and on here on the right hand side of my blog, where I keep a "Books Read" box updated. It's fun to look back and see the different trends in my reading patterns: My self-help stage. My Native-American stage. The Vietnam War period. And it's good to see that I've continued to read things over the years that are challenging, and thought provoking.

Now, if I can manage to shut off the computer, I can start the (enjoyable) process of choosing the next book that I will read. There are so many contenders. I'm surrounded by quality reading material. If I can just manage to get them on the shelves in alphabetical order, and sorted by categories, it will be much easier to peruse the multitude of books on my reading list.

Let me just leave you with a little Bob Newhart. I hadn't watched this MadTV sketch in a few years. It's a good one to revisit.

Monday, March 1, 2010

So Long...Goodbye

Today I made my last trip to the old apartment. I dropped off my keys and garage door opener. The owners were not there, so I left the items on the kitchen counter and locked the door behind me when I left. It feels like I just closed a chapter on my life; or at least the introduction. Now the first chapter of the last book in the trilogy called My Life begins. I now begin to settle into my new surroundings and relationships.

I'm at least two-thirds of the way through On the Beach by Neville Shute, and it's quite good. I'm sure that I'll end up writing a staff pick card for it at work. Everyone needs a good post-apocalyptic tale on their reading list.

Now I must head into the bookstore, and beginning the task of selling literature. It's Monday and new titles are released on Tuesdays, so there is not bound to be any excitement in the store tonight. When I get back home I may have an hour or two to unpack a few more boxes in my office.