Wednesday, August 31, 2011

STP Binge

Lately I have been listening to a lot of Stone Temple Pilots. It seems to be just the type of cathartic music I need to hear lately. Here is a nice slow one for you all.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beastiality a Speciality

I believe that this act is illegal in thirteen states, including the District of Columbia. I'm surprised the dog doesn't ask for a cigarette at the end. Whew!

It's Not Monday

But it still feels like the beginning of a long work week. I've been back at the bookstore over two years now, and it's starting to wear me down. Working for a low wage, and never getting time off is disheartening to say the least. When I'm forced to work with people who mentally drag me down then it just intensifies my ill feelings. I could really use a sabbatical. You know, a month off to get my mind back in order. A month to lay next to my loved one. A month to read books, and listen to music. A month to fully enjoy life.

Instead, I have a month of work ahead of me, with bills to pay and an obligation vacation on the east coast to look forward to. I have a cabinet full of books at work that I have been planning to buy, but now I'm thinking of putting everything back on the shelf. I get this way once in a while. It's a form of self-punishment. Stop buying anything to cheer myself up. Work with my eye on the task at hand, and ignore the irritating masses that surround me.

I'm building up the motivation to ask the owner of Third Place Books for a raise for all employees next time he stops through (between skiing and biking trips to Europe!)
I find it insulting that this guy comes in, buys a book or two with his discount, and then not-too-subtly brags about his latest trip. Meanwhile all his employees make under eleven dollars and hour, and don't have any paid holidays. We do get Thanksgiving and Christmas off, but without pay. Without pay! This guy owns at least fifteen malls across the country, and we don't get paid for Christmas. Meanwhile he has this great reputation in the community. Maybe the next time someone wants to interview him about all his good work, they might stop by the bookstore to ask us about our working conditions.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ouch! It's Monday!

The label printer is down at work, so that cuts our tasks in half. We cannot receive anything, which means no new or used books can go out on the shelves until we solve this problem.

I also work with my least favorite co-worker all day. She once stated that she would rather appear 10% smarter, but be 20% dumber over the other option of being 20% percent smarter, but appearing 10% dumber. (Thanks to Hypertheticals by Chuck Klosterman for the "hyperthetical.")It's hard to take anyone seriously that is solely concerned with surface values.

I'm also negotiating with my boss to try and get tomorrow off with my significant other. The teenagers are out of the house for the week, and Justin doesn't arrive until Wednesday evening. It would feel like freedom to have the house to ourselves for one whole day and night, without obligations or extra dishes to wash. I'm imagining a day of reading and relaxing. Maybe an afternoon walk, followed by a quiet dinner at home. Now that's what I call a "staycation."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blah Blah Blah

I'm having a blah day. Maybe part of the reason for my blahness is the fact that I have to come in to work tomorrow, which is usually my day off. I'm also supposed to go to a concert with my wife's son tonight. The problem is that I just need some downtime. I'm not good at pushing myself past my limits.

Galveston - Book Review

GalvestonGalveston by Nic Pizzolatto

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An impressive debut that works just as well as a character study, as it does a dark-hearted crime thriller. Roy "Big Country" Cady is on the run from his boss in New Orleans. He ends up on the shores of Galveston, with a couple of passengers in tow. Trouble is never far from Roy though, and he now finds it morally impossible to strike out on his own, leaving his dedpendent passengers to fend for themselves.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

House of Holes - review

House of Holes: A Book of RaunchHouse of Holes: A Book of Raunch by Nicholson Baker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading nearly a hundred pages (not even halfway) of House of Holes, the word "monotonous" started to hover over the text like a cloud. There is a lot of fun to be had between the pages of Nicholson Baker's latest novel, and part of that fun is watching Baker let his imagination run wild — through a field of sex organs. Ultimately though, there is no character detail, or plot to follow. Just chapter after chapter of wild (predominately hetero-) sexual fantasies from the mind of one of America's premier literati.

House of Holes is a pleasant diversion, albeit a hellaciously sexual one. I would label it more bawdy and bizarre than erotic, and I certainly found myself chuckling along the way towards the only climax possible in a book of this type. As a novel though I think it works better as short stories: Since there is no genuine continuity — except a few names and the title location — I think it might work better if the reader picked it up periodically rather than wading through orgasm after orgasm for 262 pages straight. Then again...

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm so Tired

I'm so tired of saying "hello" to passersby, only to have them ignore me, and sometimes they even turn their heads away. Last time I checked the mirror I didn't look like Quasimodo. What is it with our population? My whole life I have tried my best to be a good and honest person. My reward has been a perpetual series of mediocre jobs that have managed to keep me in the lower income brackets.


It's a little hard today to formulate a string of comprehensible thoughts. I just finished watching a clip of that rich egoist known as Mitt Romney, trying to drum up votes in the Iowa straw poll. This is yet another very rich republican, who is willing to spent some of his own millions to try and obtain the symbolically most powerful position in this country. Someone in the Iowan crowd brought up taxing the rich proportionally to help support the social security program. Mitt did his best to defend the rich, saying that he was surprised that we were tearing down successful people. "Successful" is his word for rich. Of course, there were the usual amount of fools in the crowd that applauded this line, because there is still a plethora of ignorant fools in this country, who somehow believe that they will someday be rich, whether by winning the lottery (you have a better chance of being struck by lightning,) or having a windfall inheritance from some unknown relative.

Mitt Romney went on to state that "corporations are people." We (the smart "we" anyway) already know that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, so that rich business institutions get the same protections are regular everyday citizens. I could tell where Romney was going with his thinking: it's that old tired "trickle down theory of economics" that Ronald "bat-shit" Reagan tried to get us to swallow back in the 80's. It's that myth that the wealth from the richest trickles down the peasants begging at their feet. The truth is that the rich reward the rich. Mitt Romney was not born poor, working his way to a "successful" position in this country. His dad was the governor of Michigan. He was raised in Bloomfield, Michigan, which is one of the five wealthiest cities in the United States. This dork boy with the holy underwear would not have a clue what it means to do an honest day's work, and still not have enough money at the end of the week to feed your family.

So, was that a string of comprehensible thoughts, or just another useless rant? The election is not until the fall of 2012, but the evidence of ill mental health this country is now on display as a bevy of republican candidates sweep the country, trying (and a lot of times succeeding) to convince citizens to vote against their own best interests. The fact that Michelle Bachmann even gets any attention -- never mind that scarey Newsweek cover -- just proves that America is all about the lowest common denominator. If the right wing has its way, we'll be teaching children that people once rode dinosaurs, and that atheists and immigrants are evil. Rick Santorum claims that gay faculty in schools will teach fisting, but how does Mr. Santorum even know what fisting is?

'Nuff said!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lifting and Toting

I must have moved about ten boxes of books into the house this past weekend. I was lucky a week ago when an extra set of bookshelves became available for use in our house. I immediately took advantage of the offer and began to move the rest of my books from the garage into the house. I will still have to cull some from the herd and trade them in. Pulling books to trade in is not an easy task. It's like Sophie's choice, trying to pick a child to send away, whom you may never see again.

The upside is that I'm uncovering a lot of books that I have been meaning to read, so I'm anxious to finish reading Pesthouse by Jim Crace so I can start making a dent in the rest of my books. As my son Justin said, "Daddy, you must have a million books!" Close.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Review of Elmore Leonard's Stick

StickStick by Elmore Leonard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have this adage: If all else fails, read Elmore Leonard. If I'm at a loss on what to pick up next, I can always turn to Elmore Leonard for a guaranteed good read. He's a master of characterization and dialogue, and he makes it all look so easy.

Stick is no exception. The main character is a likeable anti-hero, who is just trying to get his life back on track after spending some years in Jackson, a prison in Michigan. A simple job, intended to earn Stick some spending goes south, and he spends the rest of the book trying to get what is rightfully his. Stick is filled with colorful characters, and a plot that will keep you reading late into the night.

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