Friday, February 25, 2011

Ten Till Nine

Yes, it's ten minutes until nine o'clock, which in the bookstore means that it's about time to close one of the register and begin the big countdown till closing. I was originally supposed to work the 9 to 5:30 shift today, but certain people in charge forgot that they gave one of the night staff the evening off. That translates to an early morning call to me to see if I would work that evening shift. At eight o'clock this morning, sleeping in seemed like the best idea in the world. In fact, I lounged around in bed until past 12:30 pm. Now I'm ready for some downtime at home after work, which will mean reading with my compatriot; the love of my life.

The family that reads together gets smart together, which is not a bad thing. I just started The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, and I'm excited to get back to it. The novel is actually comprised a series of interconnected short stories. The obvious commonality is that all the characters work for the same international English-language newspaper. It's a nice change of pace from some of the recent stuff I've been reading (i.e. mysteries/thrillers.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

On the Mend, or Just Around the Bend

It felt like a new day just to be able to report to work this afternoon. And I wasn't backed up with books to shelve from the past few days. It was a mellow day at the bookstore, but I'm not complaining, because I'm still on the mend. We had an event tonight for a book about the heart called The Sublime Engine, by Stephen and Thomas Amidon. The turnout was light, but wealthy, since we sold at least a dozen copies. My boss left right after the event, but then so did most of our customers, so it was okay flying solo for the last hour. If only I had brought in my iPod, so that I could groove on my own tunes for the short evening.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Burden of Taxes

Why do I have to be one of those fools, who has failed to have enough federal income taxes withheld throughout the year? Like most fools, I have been looking forward to a return of some sort. Last year I didn't get to claim my son, or I would have gotten about $1,700 back. This year I'm filing for a full year of work at the bookstore (believe me, that shouldn't put me into a higher tax bracket.)But I get to claim my son for the whole year. So far it looks like that exemption will have me only owing the federal government just over $300. Sometimes it's easy to see why the working poor fall for mortgaging scams and lottery tickets. It's understandable why some hardworking folks with a dismal future would turn to drink or less corporate forms of drugs.

So, is the above paragraph my excuse for not blogging for two weeks? No, although I've certainly been under the weather for the past two weeks straight. This is the second day in the row that I've stayed out of work sick. I've been battling a fever for the last couple of nights, tossing and turning in a sweat-soaked sleep.

Maybe being slung down with a virus has caused my absenteeism from my blog. But no. There have been many a night when I have looked at the blank post page, searching for nonlethal words to compile some trivial post. Sometimes I have the urge to write too much, reveal too much and then burrow back into my hole. But revelation has never been my strong suit. I'd rather give subtle hints about my woes, like circling the drain.

I'm about to take a little trip to see my son give his show-and-tell presentation and his pre-school. Just seeing him, and hanging out with him for a bit will remind me of my priorities, and should put some semblance of a smile back on my face.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Noise Pollution

So, here's the deal. I work in an independent bookstore in Seattle, and within this building there is also a restaurant. The restaurant closes at 9 pm, and the bookstore closes at 10 pm. The problem ends up being when the restaurant manager goes home, the little kiddies back there crank up their whiny acne-riddled music. They have been told by multiple authorities that the music must stay at a reasonable volume until the bookstore is close. I am personally tired of being the mean old man and telling them something they already know. I'm tired of the Rude Generation, and their indifference to the world.

It's never a good thing to have someone else's musical tastes shoved into your senses like some kind of earwig. I love country music, but there was a time when I worked next to a loading dock, and the cigarette-smoking harlot (and I mean that in the nicest way) that worked there kept her radio nailed to the local country station all day long. When I left work the last type of music I would want to hear would be country. In fact, I usually needed to feed myself some heavy metal to cleanse my audio palette.

In other words, my quiet evening at the bookstore has been disturbed by the rudeness of youthful kitchen help, with no sense of decency.

Ready for Spring

Lately the sun has been making more appearances. There has even been a bit of accompanying warmth. I am so ready for an extended period of sunshine. I'm ready to soak up some photons. In the meantime, it is once again Wednesday, which means the halfway mark of the work week. This week my son Justin arrives a day early, which is good, because I was missing his cuteness. Before then I get to run to the library (one mystery novel and one Hits-of-the-Eighties CD), and stop off at Bagel Oasis for some lunch. I may even have enough time to get some reading done before work.

I'm nearly done reading Bill James first book in the Colin Harpur mystery series. It's quirky and interesting, but it should read much quicker for a 150 page crime caper. My next book (the library loan) is also a British mystery/thriller. I'm expecting it to be a brisk entertainment, and then it's time to read something more substantial . . . a little philosophy maybe.