Monday, May 30, 2011

Counting Down

It's Monday and the only thing on my mind is the fact that I will have next Monday off. It's the first thing I thought about his morning, when I had to drag myself out of bed to go to work by 10 am . . . on Memorial Day! At least I'll be getting time and a half out of the deal. That will help next week when I take two days off without pay.

Next weekend I will also be turning 50-years-old. I could say that next week I will be celebrating my 50th birthday, but do people really celebrate a number as high as 50? I'd rather look forward to the fact that I will have a few days off, and will probably take in a few movies at the film festival, get a substantial amount of reading done, and set a new personal record for spooning with the love of my life.

Right now I am counting down the minutes until 6:30 pm, when I can leave my place of employment, eat some dinner, and settle down for the evening to read My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopoulos, and possibly even finish it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yin and Yang

We have been blessed with both sunshine and rainfall today. In fact, while I was walking to work, wearing my sunglasses against the glare, I was also getting rained upon. I felt like Darren in an old episode of "Bewitched" when he's cursed with a little black cloud following him around all day, and continuously soaking him.

Other than the mixed message from the weather, it has been a fine day. It's rather slow in the bookstore, and I would enjoy nothing more than having some time to read at the moment. I really starting to enjoy My American Happiness by Dean Bakopoulos, and I'm feeling cheated by not being able to just sit and get immersed in this novel. I may end up making it my next staff pick if the quality is maintained. We have two hardcover copies in the store, and I fear that we will not sell a copy without someone to promote it.

My son is at my house, and I'll be seeing him for dinner. He stays with us from Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. This Saturday we'll be attending a production of Mary Poppins. Justin has been singing songs from the movie ever since he watched it a month ago. He'll probably still be singing songs from the production for the next couple of weeks. It could be worse.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tired or Spent?

It's Wednesday. Hump Day. Mid-week. Here I am, writing some trivial banalities before I have to leave for work. Last night I finished reading the George Pelecanos crime novel that I had been immersed in for the last few days. Last night I committed to reading My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopoulos. I really enjoyed his debut novel, Please Don't Come Back from the Moon. I thought it was a fine coming-of-age novel, of which there are certainly plenty out there. His second novel seems to deal with the more adult issues of finding the perfect mate, and beginning a family in order to obtain some semblance of happiness. I hope that the novel pleasantly surprises me, but for some reason I don't have high expectations. I just need to get a few chapters in, sop that I can have a better feel for the book.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just Another Monday

The Seattle skies are threatening to rain again. It was pretty overcast all weekend and it sure would be nice if the sun decided to grace our presence once again, especially during my lunch hour this afternoon. I'll probably end up at the bagel shop once again, but my imagination cannot come up with any place new.

I have just under one hundred pages left to read in Shame the Devil by George Pelecanos. It would read like a standard mystery/thriller except Pelecanos decided to spend time on the victims' families and how they try and deal with the aftermath of a multiple slaying. It puts a different spin on the way mysteries are usually told. Even though I'm enjoying the Pelecanos, I'm still hoping to finish is tonight, so that I can start yet another book. There's no end.

I saw "Queen to Play" (Joueuse)over the weekend, starring Sandra Bonnaire, and Kevin Kline. It was a refreshing film about a woman finding her own way mid-life. She decides to take up the game of chess, against the better judgement of her family, who at first think she's having an affair. A wonderfully intelligent film about friendships, mentors, and the act of giving.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Reading Queue

Yesterday I started reading George Pelecanos' Shame the Devil. I need some page-turning excitement after reading three somewhat literary novels. As always, I have so many books that I want to get to (before I die!) I just found out that the author of the new memoir, The End of Boys will be doing a reading at our store at the end of June. I was already interested in the book, but now I have a reason to read it in a more timely manner. I'm also quite anxious to read Doc by Mary Doria Russell, an historical novel about, you guessed it, Doc Holliday. Lately I have had a few customers recommend a book called Fire Season: Field Notes From a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors. The topic immediately brings to mind Black Sun by Edward Abbey, which is his fictionalization of his season spent in a fire lookout. So many good books to read. If only I was paid to read rather than sell books.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sneaking in a Post

Once again, I am taking a few minutes out of my work day to post. The bookstore has been particularly quiet today due to the second straight day of sunshine. There's talk that there may even be a third straight day of pleasant spring weather. One can only hope.

Tonight at the bookstore we are hosting an author event. It's kind of a self-help, inspirational gift book that is being compared to Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go, and Anna Quindlen's A Short Guide to a Happy Life, (which I once heard perfectly described as a "rice cake" of a book.) With this nice weather outside, it may be a chore to get people inside to listen to a book talk, but we'll keep our fingers crossed.

I have plans to buy a couple of books tonight. Some days it's just a moral
imperative. Today I will bring home new copies of The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone and The End of Boys by Peter Brown Hoffmeister. One book is about the evil influence of corporate media, and the other is about a boy, who grows up dealing with severe emotional issues, and the struggle to maintain a normal life. The latter books sounds both heartbreaking and inspiring. The book on corporate media just sounds depressing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Curling is Fun!

I always thought I would enjoy curling. It's so odd, yet compelling. I would say though, that this Canadian commercial from 1986 actually dampens my enthusiasm.

Time for a Quickie

Oh, it's late -- or it's early, depending on your point of view. My point of view, at the moment, is pointing towards the late side. I do not have to be at work until two in the afternoon, but I have a doctor's appointment at eleven tomorrow morning. It's just a six month recheck. I'm hoping that my cholesterol has not risen any higher. I'm already on medication for my (slightly) high blood pressure, and I will be turning the dreaded 50 in just under a month. I don't need another medication added on to my regime. The next thing you know, I'll have one of the weekly pill organizers to keep it all straight.

Yes, Fifty-years-old is just around the corner for me. Currently, my Significant Other and I are planning on staying a few evenings in the university district, just south of us. The film festival will be in full swing, and, due to our east coast trip last year, we didn't attend any showings at all in 2010. This year we are hoping to make up the difference. Being at a hotel in the university district puts us within walking distance of at least four movie theaters, three bookstores, and a number of decent restaurants.

It is quickly becoming concert season. I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the Weezer Memories tour, which will be pulling into the WAMU theater in August. I have been wanting to see Weezer for years, and I will finally get my chance this summer. I will be taking my stepson with me, which will be fun, since he is also a fan of their music. Weezer has cross-generational appeal.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grey Skies Once Again

Grey skies have returned once again to remind us all that this is Seattle after all. Seattle, as opposed to say Aruba. I rather be supine on a sandy beach, deeply into a big fat novel. Instead, I'm going in to sell novels to people wealthy enough to go to warm climes at this time of year.

Speaking of novels, I'm nearly finished with Zadie Smith's On Beauty. What a fabulous read. It's the tale of a big messy family, with lots of academia to go around. It's been nice to read two literary novels in a row. I've already pledged to read Howard's End next, because of its connection to Smith's On Beauty. I saw the film years ago, but all I remember is Anthony Hopkin's stolid visage.

* * * *

In other news: Osama Bin Laden was killed last weekend by U.S. special forces. You don't even have to strain your hearing to hear the nutcases on the right claiming conspiracies. Sarah Palin thinks we should shove the pictures of the dead terrorist into the faces of the world as a warning. Maybe instead we should shop Sarah Palin's photo around the world as a warning against becoming an ignorant American? She's certainly not doing us any favors with her own folksy brand of stupidity. She quit college. She resigned as Governor of the least populous state in the union. What a shining example of incompetence. As if the president (or anyone with any sense) would take any advice from the quitter known as Sarah.

I also heard that John McCain has already signed up for the first debate between possible Republican nominees. Shouldn't his debate be taking place during leisure hour at the local Arizona old folks home? He cannot seriously think that people would still consider him serious candidate. I mean . . . He is the candidate who picked Sarah ("I give Alaskans a bad name") Palin as his running mate. Shouldn't that automatically disqualify him from making any serious decisions in the future? He obviously is around the bend, and should probably be sitting in front of the television ranting at "Murder She Wrote" reruns.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Still Monday?

It still feels like a Monday. The sun is doing its best to break through the clouds and warm the hearts of the little people down here. I'm one of those, who could use his heart warmed. I called my son, because I needed to hear a friendly voice. Too bad I couldn't just leave work and hang out with him for a while. His smile and cheery outlook would probably do me a world of good.