Saturday, March 01, 2003

I made it twenty-four hours without working!
Today I went to see Dr.Shrinker. She had to cancel my earlier appointment because she was sick (which seems to be going around right now, so take your echinacea.) She said that I should probably find a time and place for venting and then do something fun or relaxing right after, maybe once a week or as much as I feel I need it. Good advice. I keep everything pent up until I explode. I think my writing might do well by this exercise too.
Niss's here. I'm typing quietly. She goes to sleep four or five hours before I. And tonight I'm not taking Benedryl at all at all. It's the last step down. It's the first time I haven't taken Benedryl in about two years. So I might be getting to sleep conciderably later than usual. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll konk out as soon as I hit the pillow. I like that story better, so I'll choose that adventure instead.
Tomorrow we're going to see a Buster Keaton film with Charles and Phish. It's at a revival house with a pipe organ played live and everything. Should be a delight.

Friday, February 28, 2003

Just wound down going online for the day. The sun is about to set and I'm imposing over twenty four hours away from catalogging for me. Indeed, away from all this business work. I'm gonna go see Nissa.
By the way, I'm finally on line for real. If you go to Alibris and run across RPM Books as a dealer, that's me. I'm up and running and working like a monkey on crack to get 1,000 books up. I'm looking forward to seeing the sun tomorrow.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Oh, and on a more serious note, I feel I should say a few words on today's passing of somebody that I, as a peaceful minded, optimism booster, thinks of as one of the great men of the last 100 years. It was about seven in the morning when I woke up to the news that Fred McFeely Rogers had passed away. Here was a man who did a lot of good for the world. He lived his example and taught millions how to be good people. There are so few of us who are as genuinely good as Mr. Rogers was.
Last year I knashed my teeth into powder when I heard about a class of graduating college seniors who were upset that a children's show host would be speaking at their graduation. I'm afraid of a future where people look down their noses at the Fred Rogers' of the world.
He's a man who contributed so much decency, such a fine example of how we should be living rather than focusing on how we shouldn't, that I feel compelled to celebrate such a successful and joyful life. But I also feel great sorrow that he no longer walks amoung us.

Dear God! An hour and a half of data entry and my eyes are ready to start bleeding. What have I done?!!? I've got over nine hundred books to go in twenty eight days.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

There was a big Friend's of the Library sale at the Garden Grove Library. The books were no cheaper than usual, but they had all of their overstock out, which was about three times the size of their bookstore. You had to be a Friend of the Library to be at the early sale tonight, which costs five dollars for a year. I've been wanting to become a Friend of the Library for a while because they do good work. Plus I wanted to get first whack at their overstock books.
There were the usual evil bastards, which I assume are others in my field. They bring large boxes, throw elbows, cut in front of people, and generally make asses of themselves in order to get the most books. As soon as I see them I decide to take the opposite route. I take my time, enjoy myself, help people with their armsfull of books. And I tend to get a large number of valuable books myself. I think a relaxed eye notices the gold. I don't know about the rest of you, but I know what that tells me. Sure, maybe I'd get more books on the day of the sale if I were rude and pushy. But the kind voiced, elderly lady at the counter who took my donation gave me the newsletter that her husband and her write. I read it while I waited and had a nice chat with her. When I left, she said, "Come back soon, Paul."
I'd rather have that than the most books.
Nissa came to see me tonight. We went to the Psychic Eye bookstore. She wanted to look at the relationship books. I needed some wormwood to keep the ants away, but they didn't have any. We had another Conversation. This time we resolved some things. I got out how she's trained me to keep my emotions to myself. She got to illustrate how the fact that she supresses her creative impulses in fear of looking like a dork, which leads her to have violent and cruel impulses. Frusterated love: the usual suspect in Conversations. I also went on about how I'm just starting on a bunch of journeys and I feel the net has been pulled from under me. I'm not online yet, but I'm getting there. My anxiety hasn't gone completely, but I'm handling it. I'm not off the Benedryl, but I'm at the lowest possible dosage. Niss and I haven't worked out our problems, but we're in the process of acknowledging them. Then, atop all that, my old work has disappeared and my country is getting to the point where I'm thinking about New Zealand a lot.
We went to Coldstone to get some Vanilla Bean ice cream with cookie dough in it. Then we went to the corporate bookstore, which doesn't need more advertising from me, so I could pee and she could look at an awesome new $50 artbook of photographs of Chaplin. (I told her to park so I could pee. Says I, "Remember, you can't Park without `P.'" She said, "Does that mean I have to pee everytime I park?" I said, "What, you don't already?!!?")
I didn't buy myself a children's book and she did buy herself the Laurie Anderson live album from 9/18/2001 in NY. Usually I'm the one who splurges and she's the one who turns her money into diamonds by pinching it so hard.
Tomorrow I visit her in Orange and Dr. Shrinker.

Catalogging books into the Alibris database is slow, dull work. The only fun part is watching the amount of total price of all of your books go up. I can get around fifty books per hour at the rate I'm going. It's starting to occur to me that I didn't start working for myself so that I could slack off. On the other hand, I've done all of this hard data entry in my pajamas.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Good Lord but there's disturbing news that's not being reported. Today a whole industry has been run out of business in America in a time of extreme economic turmoil. Yesterday, John Ashcroft ordered raids on every major water pipe manufacturer and every internet distributer in America. The news came to me that Sweetwater productions is no more as of today. That means about half of my friends are out of work in a twinkling of an eye. That also means that I quit about a month before it all went to hell.
This is cruel and evil. This should not be tolerated, but most likely will be. They've destroyed a business that's about fun, community, and joy. The glass from Sweetwater was singularly beautiful. I would be willing to call their work functional art. But that means nothing to the thugs and fear mongers who are making money off of running the freaks into the streets where they can arrest them. Our oppressors care nothing about art and thought. They are greedheads and violence pervs. And we are under their rule. Alas!
I think my car could make it to Peru if I'm not attacked by thieves.
These are extreme times. I've been saying that the portals to the world are focused on the negative. But in extreme times like these, there is also great good being spred every day. We don't hear about it because the function of the evening news is not to inform, but to get people to continue to watch the evening news. Fear seems to work best towards this end, so there's no reason for the media whores to change their ways.
Keep on the side of good. Don't get drowned by the hate. This is a message as much for me as for all of you. The railroading of Sweetwater makes me ill and angry. It makes me want to flee the Homeland and leave everyone I know behind for the visious death eaters to reign over.

In other news, if you happen to be in New York this Saturday, be sure and see Robert H Morris at Bob Holman's club, the Bowery Poetry club. He's one of the best new voices in literature right now and an awesome friend. He called me to hash out his thoughts on the set he's going to be putting on. God bless him. I wish I could be there. I think the show starts at 1:00 in the afternoon. I promise it'll be worth the trip no matter where you're coming from.
There's a nice, good note to end on for the night!

I just received a message that there's an immediate flood warning for Garden Grove. I'm trying to decide if that means it would be a better idea to stay in the house all day or to get the hell out of Garden Grove right now. I imagine I'll end up doing whatever I feel like anyway. I just hope the book inventory doesn't get wet.
The vaults of heaven are open. Wide are its gates. Driving home from Nissa's, I was reminded of Portland. The weather around here usually has little to do with Portland. This has been a wet year.
Watching the handful of people weaving in and out of traffic at far too high speeds for this weather made me think that I'm never aware how often my life has been spared.
Niss and I had another terrifying and beautiful conversation. It was on the nature of faith, doubt, true knowledge and honest, especially how these relate to where we are in our relationship and where we want to be in our relationship and our individual lives.
I'm going to go take a bath now and watch some of Death to Smoochy afterwards.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Golly, it's been a productive morning. Sent (another) Alibris request, this time with all of the requirements more than met. Sent payment for an ebay auction I won for a first edition Naked Lunch. Back in 1959, America wouldn't publish the thing, so five thousand copies were printed in France by the Olympia press. This is one of those, not one of the later American editions. I also have free business cards coming. Now I've got about a hundred books to inventory from the retirement home, which I'll do in fits and spurts until I get the nod from Alibris.
I'll give a quick weekend review, then get back to work. Mom and I looked for two of my niece's birthday presents on Saturday. I bought myself a talking Treebeard action figure. Saturday night I went to Nissa's. Sunday morning we tried to go to the Quaker service, but forgot the address and couldn't find the building it was held in. Then we tried to go fishing but, in another of man's blasphemies before God, it cost sixteen dollars to get into the lake where the fish were. She suggested a lake with `No Trespassing' signs all over the chicken wire fence that surrounded it. It appealed to the Huck Finn in me, but the Aunt Polly knew that I couldn't afford a five hundred dollar fine. So we didn't go fishing either. Then we tried to go to the sauna at her parent's gated community, but the pipes had burst and whole gym was closed. We did sneak in to try and get into the sauna anyway, but the doors were all locked. But we got to walk around on the warped floors of the racketball court. That was fun until it began to make cracking noises. Finally we worked on a project for her play and went to see dr. oblivious one more time before he heads home.
But now I must get back to work if I want to get any writing done on the novel later.

Sorry for the weekend's disappearance. I was over at Nissa's most of the weekend. More of that later after I get my day's work done. For now I'll tell you a Discordian bumper sticker that Nissa thought up:

"Taboos and Wind: Two Things You Should Break!"