Saturday, December 20, 2003

I've got a new film review to put out, but it was such an intense day that I feel like I should write on that tonight. I woke up and went to help my mother finish her Christmas shopping. At first it was fine. We went to the mall and got our pictures taken with Santa. Westminster Mall has the best Santa ever. I stood in line and watched him whisper to a four month old blessings that only Santa and the four month old know. Mom got a little weepy because she remembered that this would be Jonathan's first Christmas. Santa was very happy to speak with us. We got our picture with him and then he asked us each what we wanted for Christmas.
I told him that I wanted my family to be together and joyful. I should have told him I want a girlfriend.
We went to the video store and I got to watch the crowds slowly grow like the time in Oregon when I watched the Willamete river flood slowly and crest to take out a few houses.
Then to Home Depot and then Art Supply Warehouse where I got a silver pen for writing on the black stationary I got the other day. Mom got some craft sets for Pat's daughters.
Sandwiches for lunch and on to the major corporate record store where it was packed to the gills and became more packed the longer we stayed.
At home I got a call from Nissa. She said she might be able to see me once or possibly twice while she's out here.
I got a call from Pat who mainly let his daughters talk.
Mom and I had dinner and watched Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas.
Then I got a call from Rob and Jessica just in from New York. They said that they want to see so much of me that they're sick of me by the time they leave. We went out for tea and orange juice and chatted for a few hours.
The first half of the day usually happens to me at least once a year and I'm thankful for it. It reminds me that there are people who get totally lost about what the holidays are about and other people who really don't care what the holidays are about and their selfish and brutal behavior gets magnified all the more. After I see that for a day it helps me to enjoy and get the most out of my holiday. But that one day like that does tend to wear me out. Worn out I am.
Now I'm home and it's raining too, so I had to bring in my mint leaves that I had out to dry. I also got some tarragon to put into the tea bags with the mint.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Let's see. Worked the first half of the day. Only two books went out so maybe people are finishing up their holiday orders. Then I put the rest of last weekends book and the books I got from the library the other day online.
I took a break to get a haircut. The cheap place at the college was closed. Charles suggested a place up by him. But then my mother said that I could get a coupon for a cheap haircut at a place called Mt. Zion Barber. I liked the name, so I gave it a shot. The place was empty except for a very old man with a handlebar mustache walking around with an oxygen tank. I don't make these things up.
The guy cut the top part of my hair shorter so it just barely touches the top of my glasses. I think it's cute. I gave the guy a five dollar tip and he smiled as though I'd made his day.
Oh, and in other news, Phish has a possible replacement glass for my blender.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Still my blogs back up like Augustus Gloop. Tremendous amounts of pressure being generated. Meanwhile I increasingly feel like I'm writing to myself.
But I wanted to say that the last in my Scorsese series might take a little while longer than I'd said before. The film I'm working on right now I'm enjoying WAY too much. And Scorsese got bumped again because I decided that pre-Christmas I'm going to pick one of my top fifteen favorite films to review. I'm thinking Brazil or Death to Smoochy or City Lights or 2001 or Chimes at Midnight or maybe, just maybe, The Hudsucker Proxy. We'll see. I'm not sure yet. Then there'll probably be a few films I'm given for Christmas to review. Older and wiser I know not to set dates for these things.

Now, off with you, blog post. And bring your aging relatives into publication while you're at it
Well, according to my computer, Blogger isn't publishing any of my posts to my website. Maybe it's just me. This seems to happen every few months and I type a message like this and then everything is okay and I look like an idiot.
Blogger had a problem last night with a message that I wrote in memory of my blender. So I apologize in advance if this posting causes thirty copies of last night's post to magically appear.
I'm taking it easy the rest of the afternoon. I shipped another giant stack. I don't know when the post Christmas shopping lull is going to set in and I may be nostalgic for these days in about two weeks. But I have to say that I really wonder about the people who are buying such large amounts of items to be shipped this close to any holiday. This is Hannukah eve. We've got five days of postal service until Christmas. Solstice is Monday. The books I shipped this morning have the potential to arrive in time for Christmas, but I wouldn't say it's likely. I know I get paid just the same, but guess I care about my books and who they're going to.
After shipping I walked to the library and filled my backpack with books, which I then paid for and walked back home. Tomorrow I'm supposed to wait here until they drop off the new washing machine, so I figured I'd give myself something to do while I wait. So no more inventory work today. Now I do the drudgery work, the Cinderella stuff, the cleaning and mending and potato peeling. Actually I'm clearing out the grass from the garden to plant some winter flowers and I'm going to go dry some peppermint leaves from my garden so I can make tea out of it.
Blogger had a problem last night with a message that I wrote in memory of my blender. So I apologize in advance if this posting causes thirty copies of last night's post to magically appear.
I'm taking it easy the rest of the afternoon. I shipped another giant stack. I don't know when the post Christmas shopping lull is going to set in and I may be nostalgic for these days in about two weeks. But I have to say that I really wonder about the people who are buying such large amounts of items to be shipped this close to any holiday. This is Hannukah eve. We've got five days of postal service until Christmas. Solstice is Monday. The books I shipped this morning have the potential to arrive in time for Christmas, but I wouldn't say it's likely. I know I get paid just the same, but guess I care about my books and who they're going to.
After shipping I walked to the library and filled my backpack with books, which I then paid for and walked back home. Tomorrow I'm supposed to wait here until they drop off the new washing machine, so I figured I'd give myself something to do while I wait. So no more inventory work today. Now I do the drudgery work, the Cinderella stuff, the cleaning and mending and potato peeling. Actually I'm clearing out the grass from the garden to plant some winter flowers and I'm going to go dry some peppermint leaves from my garden so I can make tea out of it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Aw. My blender broke. The glass part that you put the stuff to be blended in fell over in the sink (yes, I wash my dishes in the sink. I don't have a dish washer like some Rockefeller.) It especially sucks because my blender was from the fifties. Now it's broken.
I feel like I should say a few words. I used my blender for more smoothies than I can remember. Lately I'd been throwing in some lemon, two bananas, an apple and some limeade. I'd also used it to make sauces for pasta, like the time I threw in asparagus, butter, cream, salt and garlic. But now it's gone and I have to get a new blender. Goodnight, sweet blender. You mixed a lot of foods into a different form.
Aw. My blender broke. The glass part that you put the stuff to be blended in fell over in the sink (yes, I wash my dishes in the sink. I don't have a dish washer like some Rockefeller.) It especially sucks because my blender was from the fifties. Now it's broken.
I feel like I should say a few words. I used my blender for more smoothies than I can remember. Lately I'd been throwing in some lemon, two bananas, an apple and some limeade. I'd also used it to make sauces for pasta, like the time I threw in asparagus, butter, cream, salt and garlic. But now it's gone and I have to get a new blender. Goodnight, sweet blender. You mixed a lot of foods into a different form.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Shopping day. I figured I worked a good long time on Saturday so I'd finish up shopping today. I won't go into Christmas gifts bought since I dunno who all reads this thing. For myself I bought a pair of hemp pants (because I need new pants), a Scary Godmother comic, and some Maakies coasters. Way more money than I've spent on myself in months. Probably since I bought the Sock Monkeys book.
Then I came home and pulled up a good deal of the grass that's been growing in the garden.
Went and hung out with Charles, Phish, Yod and Jessica tonight. We sat around listening to more records and laughing.
That's all. Tomorrow the rest of the books go online. I have to take two movies back to the library. One I didn't get around to watching. The other I got about twelve minutes into and realized that there was another hour and a half of that crap to come. I knew how to fix that. Turned it right off, I did.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Strange day indeed.
The large amount of books that I got over the weekend was both valuable and frusterating. Frusterating because about one in three of the books were valuable. One third I can sell for a small amount of money and the third third I'm probably going to have to give away. It was frusterating because I couldn't see any reason why one obscure book on psychics from the fifties was worth a hundred dollars and the next one was worth poop. The pricing was a long slog today.
Then the washing machine quit working for good right before the part where it spins the water out of the washer. It was towels so I had to wring them all out by hand before I put them in the dryer, got to soak myself in grey water, and got to reflect on how technology is so easy to take for granted. Then I got to empty the rest of the water out with a cup and bucket.
After dinner I went to see Charles and Phish. I went over to show them one of the funniest book covers I've ever seen. It's on an old romance novel that I can't sell because several pages are missing. The back cover describes a pioneer man who orders a mail order bride, gets into a taming of the shrew type of situation and beats his wife into submission. In so many words.
The front cover shows a tank of a man with his shirt off and a pioneer woman behind him looking swoony with lips pursed in appreciation. It's the kind of thing that's kind of hard for me to believe was meant to be taken seriously at some point.
Tomorrow I'm most likely doing some shopping and putting up the rest of the books.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

I suppose I should comment on the big world news on the day.
At least Jon didn't win. I wanted Rupert to win, but it's okay that Sandra took it. But I expect to be the first Survivor to win without lying. Lying is against my religion. As a Quaker, my word is supposed to be my bond. So I figure that's a good angle to get in with.

But seriously, there's the big news of the day. When I woke up this morning, the news was on and they were showing that image from the medical examination and the first thing that went through my head was, "why is Tennyson in the news?"
Honestly, this changes nothing for me. I still think we shouldn't have gone to war. As a Quaker I expect to think that about every war for the rest of my life. I even feel like that about the so-called "just wars" like WWII. I also still feel that this wasn't even a just war. It was load of money making politicing crap that got way too many people killed.
I didn't feel like celebrating when I heard the news this morning. I felt no great sense of relief. Surprise, sure, but no relief. I'm still going to be a guy who lives in a beach city and sells books. Changes nothing.

Today was the second OC artist salon. I told my story and it went over really well even though I accidentally called the Devil "Lucifer" once (jinxed myself the other day), I forgot a really nice simile that I'd cooked up before, and I had more "Umms" than I wanted. But it was a good story and it went well.
Yod played a really cool jamming session before the salon that went on for about forty minutes. It was nice to lay on the yoga studio floor listening to his guitar and the rain on the aluminum roof.
There was a singer, a sound sculpture by Lob, Jessica had us think up names for a painting, Phish did her artist name tag thing which I can't remember the name of now, Charles explained and demonstrated the Fraud machine, Paul Coulton gave us a folk story in sign language, and Barbara Ardinger read a story that was kind of like an essay too but more like a story. It went really well again. It's a great meeting. Everyone should get involved.
Last night I had fun. But I have to go back to explain it.
Sometimes I work on the sabbath, but it's okay. I refer you to Galatians 5:4 which says, "...whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Not wanting to fall from grace, I work a little on the sabbath if something big enough comes my way.
Sometimes I get called into a retirement home to get books when they need to clean out a room. I was picking out the books I could use when we ran across a stack of records.
"Oh, you can have those too if you'd like."
I took them with my friend Charles in mind. Charles has a large collection of swing era champagne music on vinyl. Then we went into the basement where the residents of the retirement home have their storage areas, which are cages that look almost like kennels at the pound about five feet square and eight feet high. The room is all concrete and dust rules the day. I found a few more books down there and hundreds of 45s. Paper sacks that might have been as old as I holding stacks upon stacks of those small records. It was a major discovery. I love moments like that, and in my line I get quite a few of them, when I stumble upon bits of history.
So, last night I took the records to Charles. I kept the ten or so barbershop records in the lot and let Charles at the rest. Late into the night, Charles, Phish and I sat going through them and putting on the strange and beautiful finds. And there were some strange ones. I didn't know about The Harmonicats before. I hadn't heard Perry Como's rock and roll efforts before. I'd never heard The Mulcays and Their Electric Harmonicas. Nor James Melton's version of Brazil.
Fun.
Today's the artist salon again. I'm going to tell a story.