Saturday, October 25, 2003

Apologies for the abominable pun, but we had a bad air day. I know what I said yesterday about the Fight Club thing, but today was downright post apocalyptic. Ash rained on us all morning. Our cars were repainted a soot tone. Needless to say, no exercise was even attempted. The sun looked like a demented sunset the whole day. The kind of sunset that keeps ships on the shores due to all sailors refusing to sail. Or perhaps the kind of sunrise that keeps you away from malls lest the zombies eat your head.
I was roused early from the first good night's sleep in four days by a pounding on the door, one assumes right next to the spot where the doorbell ringer sits. It was the door people again. Remember them? I moved a hutch that weighs twice as much as I a few weeks ago so that the door people could come with a door frame the wrong size. They came back today. They were supposed to come Monday. So, instead of having everything ready for them, I had nothing ready for them. The good news was that they had to move the danged hutch themselves. That'll teach them to be early.
The door looks very nice and the whole front room smells of delicious caulk. Plus I got to watch a good deal of "Grateful Dawg" while they worked.
I decided to buy my mother's old car from her. She's giving me a great deal on it and will get it all fixed up for me. It's the newest car I've ever owned. It's probably a '96 or '97. The newest I've ever had was a '90, which is the Buick Crapbox that I currently drive. This is a Nissan Purple Potato. So, this morning I told her that I would buy the car on one condition: that she throw in some new pairs of socks.
We went sock shopping (fascinating life I lead.) We went to the mall (no literal zombies to be found) and Mom bought herself the Indiana Jones DVD trilogy. Then we went to a gardening store where she got herself some pansies to cover a dirt spot in her backyard. I got a venus flytrap, fulfilling yet another a childhood wish.
We went out to the Thai place for dinner. I tried to convince her to go see "The Crucible" with me at Chapman University, but she'd none of it. She wanted to watch Indiana Jones.
That's about all for today. It was a pleasant Sabbath in spite of the impurities passing through my lungs, plugging my pores, and setting upon my hair.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Orange County is basically in the middle of a ring of fire right now. That and the usual smog from a friday made the air quality some of the worst in years. I woke up, looked out my window, and started having fantasys about being the last man on earth after WWIII. The light today was like those scenes in Fight Club where Smoochy isn't around the fight club people, like when he's at work.
Six books shipped today. Bought more at a library where I also picked up Gladiator, Ghost Dog, and some Chaplin shorts to watch over the next week. I came home and finished watching Mallrats, which made me think of Nissa. Rob called while I was inputting inventory. Then Nissa called and quickly had to hurry away to go think about nothing. Actually, I think she was going to hear a Rimpoche speak. Anyway, it was, as always, wonderful to hear from her. And, once again, I still miss her.
Then I ripped up my hands trying to remove a fern from my backyard to make room for flowers. Finished with the books. Went to dinner with mom. Went to a silly poetry reading with Phish, Yod and Jessica.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Uh oh. On looking over my blog I find that the word "turgid" appears twice on past the weeks worth of entries. Looks like the old vocabulary is getting a little flabby and torpid.
I've had to wrassle sleep to the bed for the past three nights. As stated about once a month in this blog, this happens to me about once a month where I have a night or two or three where I don't sleep. Sometimes it's because I've got a lot on my mind and sometimes it's because I have absolutely nothing to think about. And then I wake up early and can't get back to sleep in spite of the fact that I'm halfway there for the rest of the day.
Oh well.
Business is booming. I think I'm on the cusp of the Christmas rush. This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my higher value books had sold. It was one that I bought because I remembered my first girlfriend reading it.
We were dumb kids and our "relationship" consisted of going to one play together, holding hands after school, and her breaking up with me because I bought her a Christmas present and she didn't get me one. But she was really into Broadway musicals and I somewhere deep in a fold of my brain I had remembered a conversation she had with a friend of hers about a book called "Phantom." It was a biographical novel based on the cat what became the Phantom of the Opera with, one assumes, turgid detail into how he got his deep psychological scars and many more examples of how tragic his life was because of his distorted face and genius mind. That sort of... well, I haven't read it and I don't want to judge it, so I won't say "twaddle." It might be a classic for all I know. A glimmering star in the firmament of the fine arts. A triumph of the human spirit.
Did I mention I didn't get enough sleep?
Anyhow, a few weeks ago I was at a library bookstore and saw a hardcover, first edition copy of this book. I thought I'd get it just because Lisa had liked it. I didn't think it was worth $150.
So it was a good morning for sales.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

That's "Elimination."

I wish this thing had spell check.

And I don't even drink anymore.
Meditation on television

I've been thinking about television today. I don't watch a lot of television, but I probably end up seeing more of it than I think I do. I don't like television as a concept, but I do have shows that I like to watch.
About a year ago I read "Four Arguments for the Elimintation of Television" by Jerry Mander. It's a well written book by a man who put a lot of thought and research into it. It still comes off as a rant in my opinion and there are places where he goes too far (like the part about the unknown effects of ingesting too much artificial light. It's been about three generations now that have had television in their lives. I think we can grasp the effects.)
The last place I lived, in Long Beach with a friend and a bunch of insects, didn't have a television and I got a lot more done. I didn't miss it.
My folks love the television. My father, as his father before him, cannot be in the house without the television being on. His favorite show is the evening news. My most hated show on television is the evening news. So there were many fights in my teenage years.
If I move to Chico, I'll have a television that only shows videos and doesn't pick up any stations. This is good. I won't miss having watched the Teletubbies for twenty minutes before I think, "Wait a minute. What am I doing?"
I might miss the Mythbusters. I might miss Good Eats (because I want to be Alton Brown when I grow up and, by the looks of it, I'm doing a pretty good job.) But most likely I won't miss any of it.
It's the same kind of lesson I got when I stopped driving so much and started riding my bike and walking a lot more. It's a tricky one because our society, here in America, is tailored to make us forget these things. The advertising industry profits from our forgetting this lesson. The lesson is that thousands of years went on without these things and we'd be just jim dandy without them.
It's like what I've been trying be aware of with getting offended. To get offended is always a choice, but we tend to forget that because we are so used to getting offended at certain things. Realizing this has helped reduce my instances of getting offended. Likewise, realizing that watching television is a choice and that I don't have to put on the Mythbusters at 4 doesn't mean that I won't. It just means that I'm aware of what I'm doing instead of the programmed, "4 o'clock. Mythbusters on."
I'm speculating that this might have something to do with the difference between a highly beneficial stuctured lifestyle and a rut. That's my hypothesis.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Outgoing today: 5 books.
Incoming: 70 books.

I'm tired.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Reading: a few things actually. I'm still savoring Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris. I'm also on the second Series of Unfortunate Events books. I just finished Jhonen Vasquez's "Squee" collection. I've got the notion to read Wuthering Heights for some reason. `Tis the season.
Watching: The Circus by Charlie Chaplin (1928)
Listening to: Retrospectacle: The best of Thomas Dolby. And it doesn't get much better than that.