Monday, February 07, 2005

So Much Drama In MNT

That's Metro Nashville, TN for the uninitiated.

PapaJay, AnDar's Dad, says it'll cost about $80 to get the part for the van. That is doable but not right away. Luckily, The Network of Selling doesn't tow employee cars. (Isn't that neat?)


A pre-Valentines Day Story, dedicated to my Elvis Twin and her niece.

A few years ago your humble narrator had a very part-part time job working for a used bookstore. My job was to look through her stock and compare prices on, placing items that might move there more quickly or for more money. In a town as small as that one, a bookseller doesn't need to know about rare editions as she does the hottest bodice-rippers and the number of Westerns in stock. It basically gave me pocket change that I immediately turned into books, but it also gave me a plausible and tax-deductible excuse to sit in a bookstore for a couple of hours every day and treat it like my personal living room. Mostly we sat around and ate nachos and half-watched CNN (only because this was just post-9/11, when EVERY business with a TV and cable kept the thing tuned to the news.)

The week before Valentine's Day I happened to wander over to the display of children's books, not an area of the store I spent a lot of time in, and saw The Day I Traded My Dad for 2 Goldfish. It caught my eye because of the year I spent hanging out with The Amazing Rand-O and listening to Counting Crows' This Desert Life, which has a detail of the book cover on the CD sleeve. I saw Neil Gaiman's name. I checked the price a mint copy was going for on eBay as soon as I had had a moment of silence for the Amazing Rand-O and his continuing absence from my life.

I told the owner what I had found in her stock, excited that I was proving to her that this Internet thingy was a good idea. She nodded and told me to put it online.

When I left out that afternoon she gave it to me.

I tried to give it back to her. At the time that was a forty-dollar book, easy, and I didn't think that was right. She smiled at me and lit a cigarette and told me that without my input, that book had only been worth seven, and I should take it. When I still wasn't, she said, all right. Call it a Valentine's present. And I couldn't say no again.

I went off the deep end shortly after that and I haven't spoken to her since then. Mostly out of shame, but somewhat out of leaving her in the lurch. But I've kept that copy in as good a condition as it was the day I got it, and for me that's saying something.

So Happy V-Day, Bookstore Boss Lady. Maybe sometime this year I'll get up the courage to come see you, and get my copy of Alice in QuantumLand, which I'd bet $5 is still on the top of the glass shelf.


What I'm Reading

Still Life, the second of the Frederica Potter books. (I was wrong; Babel Tower is the third.)

I finished The Virgin In the Garden last night and read the first fifty pages of the Artist's copy of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress to have something to do this morning before I came home. (His copy used to be mine, the one we read out loud together, and is in serious need of repair.)

What I'm Seeing

I remedied a serious gap in my education this morning, especially given my love of Idoru and the other William S. Gibson so-called "cyberpunk" novels, and watched Hackers with PhilTar. Angelina Jolie. Matthew Lillard. And enough WSG references to choke a dancer addict. Lord, Lord.

What I'm Hearing

I've switched out Bill Hicks for a while and have been listening to Mitch Hedberg's comedy. But right this minute, I'm listening to the good old Ginsberg/illyB track, End The Vietnam War.

"At ease, when I mob with tha Dogg pound...", leave a comment.


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