Archive for June, 2007

In Which I Specify the Damages…

I mentioned a few days ago that bookstores (specifically the local B&N) are dangerous places for me. Last night was another example of that. I’ve been pondering a Mini Cooper for about a year, and where I work, someone is selling a “vintage” style Mini (1980, canary yellow, with a Euro-style setup – steering wheel on the right!), so I stopped by B&N to see if there was any kind of listing (NADA guide) to let me know what a reasonable price might be… And, of course, no listing could be found (it only listed the “new” Minis – since 2002).

In the process, since I had no other pressing things to do, I roamed… and roaming is the dangerous part! I added about eight more books to the “To Read One Day” list… bringing the one week total of acquired books to somewhere near twenty. Yes, that was twenty (20) books bought in one (1) week. Seven days. Over the course of three visits. And this is on top of the stack of books that I already had assembled to work through.

So, while I don’t have a list of the books already on the stack, here’s the list of ones that I acquired over these recent visits, albeit in no particular order.

F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (And, no, I’ve never actually read it before.)
Neil Gaiman – Smoke & Mirrors, and Neverwhere
William Goldman – The Princess Bride
Stephen King – Everything’s Eventual (Another of his story collections.)
Eric Garcia – Casual Rex, and Anonymous Rex (As a 2-in-1 combo book.)
Kate Moss – Labyrinth
Michael Blaine – The Midnight Band of Mercy
Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club
Kevin Brockmier – A Brief History of the Dead
TC Boyle – Inner Circle
W Somerset Maughan – Cakes & Ale, and The Painted Veil
Sheri Holmon – The Dress Lodger
Simon Mower – The Gospel of Judas
Irene Nemirovsky – Suite Francaise

And, I also got two “writing” themed books – Writer’s Guide to Poisons, and Writer’s Book of Matches… for ideas and references at some point down the road. These last two won’t likely be read cover to cover in one stretch, but bits and pieces over time, mostly as needed for projects.

A pretty eclectic mix, and virtually all fiction. I was thinking about it last night… since I have a list already of about twelve (12) books already to work through (several of which were ones that Jenn had started, but never finished 😦 ), I figure this puts me at about thirty (30) books. Even if (really, really big if) I can manage a book a week, I figure it will still be February before I clear the stack… Most likely, it will be about this time next year…

Now, I just have to stay away from a bookstore until then… or at least not get anything.

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Here’s a random thought for the morning… I should consider dentistry as a hobby. I’m serious – with the effort that it takes to cradle the patients that come through our facilities – it’s like pulling teeth!

Many will call in with a vary vague purpose – to schedule an appointment, or get a prescription refill – but don’t know what clinic they are supposed to be going to, or what drugs they are supposed to be taking (“I don’t know the name, and I’ve already thrown the bottle out. By the way, it’s my blood pressure pill and my insulin and I’ve been out both for a couple of days. So despite the fact that you ask for up to seventy-two hours to process prescriptions, and it’s currently 4:45 on a Friday afternoon, before a three-day weekend, is there any way you can have that called in today?”)…

So, we go through all of the hoops, and ask all of the questions imaginable for their situation (often repeating them several times since the patient is usually only half paying attention, and also depending on the specific line that was called in the first place)… and it often boils down to the patient having the information (as is the case with a lot of appointment requests) in their hand as to which office they need to speak with, but taking five minutes for them to figure out the text of the letter (especially when they initially want to deny that the information is there).

Dentistry… pulling teeth… gah!!!

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Terrible Tues(day)…

Today, I am confused…

Everything started out well enough… I woke up (which is always a good way to start things out), made to work on time… but everything else seems to have slid slowly downhill from there. I was in bed shortly after eleven last night (which is actually about normal for me), so I got my usual amount of sleep…

My situation has boiled down to this: I am mentally lethargic, and in a general *blah* mood, and have been for most of the morning since coming to work. Here in the last little bit (within the last half-hour or so) part of my mental state has gone completely south – spelunking to dark caverns and places that I haven’t really visited in months. After a brief glance at my watch, I notice the date, and am not really all that surprised by some of the travels my mind has taken, but it is surprising to me how dark some of the journeys have been…

And my motivation is in question, now, as well… There are projects and interests that I have had for years that I’m not sweating now – even having the time to devote to them, I just can’t motivate myself to go to them (writing, working at learning bass & drums, exploring some photography options, cycling…) Hell, I’ve barely been able to motivate myself to clean the house (mostly to make it presentable for people to visit, but not out of my own concerns about being in the space…)

As for the sleep thing… I’m struggling a bit this morning. As I really try to think about it, I’ve cut out most of the (caffinated) sodas, sticking mostly with teas or water (but as I focus, I guess I am a bit on the dehydrated side, which doesn’t help fight the funk), and the occasional non-caf drinks (Sprite or root beer).

Part of the dark thoughts revolver around the last couple of months – reflecting a lot over choices that have been made. While I am comfortable with the more monumental decisions (to start seeing people/going out again, specifically), there are moments when I can’t help but second (and third, and fourth, and fifth, and…) guess myself on the whos and whys, dancing on that razor’s edge of avoiding getting too attached too quickly while still trying to express interest… A delicate dance that can play hell with the psyche, I’m finding out…

The only constant uplifter for my, lately, has been just listening to music – but even that can get dangerous (and I haven’t really even pursued it like I previously had…)

Part depression, part dehydration, part self-dejection… This is the kind of stuff that should be making up a Monday, but it’s kinda fitting (in an ironic twist) that it’s all hitting on a Tuesday… Terrible, isn’t it…?

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Vices, redux…

Well, as I had mentioned in a previous post: Barnes & Noble (bookstores, actually, in general) is a dangerous place for me. After getting several books on Wednesday evening, I returned the following evening to help my friend pick through some books for Celtic mythology. In the process, I picked up a few other books (since I arrived first, I had time to roam – a dangerous thing!).

In other news, I have returned to Joe Hill’s Heart Shaped Box. I figured that I better “get’s to steppin'” if I wanted to take care of knocking the book off of my list… especially since I’ve already read two other books in the last three months… So it will be off of the “Currently Reading” list in the near future…

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Danger, Wil Robinson… Danger!!!

Each of us has a vice… a weakness that just sometimes defies all logic and sanity and practically requires us to fall victim to it’s whims. While much of the world’s media would talk about the “provocative” compulsions – sex, drugs & alcohol, and eating disorders (you know, the ones that actually cause some form of physical harm to the practitioner) – there are actually others that can be almost as dangerous, yet a lot less physically destructive.

Like retail.

Some people are addicted to Starbucks, some to McDonalds. Some people tend to have difficulty functioning without their trip to WalMart or the Dollar stores (Dollar General, Dollar Tree, etc.)…

Years ago, there was a local shop called CD Alley, which sold (go figure) – CDs. New and used, with the new ones often costing as much or less than most box stores. It was the kind of store you could listen through some of the used discs and make a discovery of a new group, or realize that that great song that you’ve been hearing on the radio is the only good song on the album. I have since overcome the music addiction (sort of… I don’t buy a lot of new albums anymore, now that there are streaming services that allow me to listen-on-demand).

I also used to suffer from vidiction – the need to collect a lot of movies. That has become curbed over time, as well, to the point that there are few movies I actually buy (I’ll rent the hell out of movies, and the really powerful ones that I like, I might get, but the reality is how often am I actually going to watch it? Usually only once, so what’s the point?).

However, I can still get lost in, and have moments of weakness in the box stores (Best Buy is especially dangerous, when it comes to A/V items…). There is one particular store (a type, specifically, but a brand by nature) that has always been a thorn in my side, and probably will always continue to haunt me – and the easiest for me to buckle to.

The bookstore. Barnes & Noble, specifically (since it’s really the only game in town, outside of the local & used book shops, or the corners available in other box stores – all of the “Marts” and Target, etc.) has a dangerous hold. If there is no particular purpose for the trip, I could get lost, wandering the aisles and reading the notes on the backs/jackets of books for the title that look interesting, or authors I am interested in exploring. I have my specific spots that I go to, but a little bit of wandering is good for exposure to new things.

I say all of that to say this: I stopped by the local B&N last night, with nothing particular in mind that to kill a little bit of time, and to look up some books for a friend. When all was said and done, I had a magazine (Writer’s Digest), and seven books in tow – with authors like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, to a Writer’s Guide to Poisons and a prompt book. All of them for me, to be added to the stack of books that has become the “One day I’ll read these” stack, which already has about ten books from previous trips and acquisitions… along with the dozens (if not close to hundred plus) of books that I have had for years and have yet to crack the spines on, since I’ve always been sidetracked by a new book, or new adventure.

Such is life, I guess… and as dangerous as some addictions may be, as long as I don’t buy any more than I can carry, or don’t pull a bookshelf onto myself, mine is at least legal, (relatively) safe, and I might actually learn a thing or three as I go (a healthy benefit for someone who wants to write).

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The weekend was brutal – not so much in a bad way, as it just was. My wife and I had often talked about taking my nephews to Williamsburg, and some of the other spots in that part of Virginia. With my sister-in-law getting ready to move away from there for another job, the window of opportunity to have a ready guide to the area has started to shrink.

So I called and arranged a trip for this past weekend. And I got beat…

Friday – was a good day – and once my sister and nephews arrived, we took of for the Virginia border, and managed to make it to the in-law’s a little after 10:30 that night… but it was after midnight before we went to bed – and I slept on one of the couches.

Saturday – we were up early (just after 8) and began the adventure. We hit part of old Yorktown (down by the river), Colonial Williamsburg and part of William & Mary campus, then over to Jamestown (the state park, not the National park). After a late lunch, we did a round trip ferry ride that took us past both Jamestown parks, before we wound down the evening with a little shopping at some pf the outlets, and then calling it a night after Snow Cones for dessert back in Yorktown.

Sunday – the weather was blah. It rained most of the morning, but we swung over towards the southern end/Norfolk area for a stop by the mall there, and well as swinging by (literally – a drive by) of the Maritime museum area before heading back to the apartment to get ready to come home.

We made good time, despite periods of heavy rain (wipers on full, and STILL having issues seeing the road). After arriving home, and everybody else leaving, I got cleaned up and went to viewing. I was going in support of a lady friend of mine who lost a cousin last week.

After all of that – two nights on a couch, and three nights of being up/out late, my body has taken a pretty good beating – it’s taken me until the afternoon to really start getting a “second wind”… so I’m trying to recover, but it will honestly be a few days before I really get the opportunity, thanks to a schedule of activities outside of work…

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Random Songs…

Reflecting a bit on yesterday’s Meme (where I mentioned the fact that I’ve listened to probably WAY to much music)… it’s funny how weird the mind works. The office that I work in is generally quiet (aside from the ticking of keyboard keys being pressed, the clicks of mouse-buttons, and the conversations with patients and other clients calling in for refills or to be connected to different areas of the facility.

No music.

Aside from a random cell phone ring, or if someone visits a site (but generally, with volume at a low roar so it doesn’t carry too far), no music, whatsoever.

And I bring you this notion as to how random the mind can be. Usually, the phenomenon is that the last song you hear is the one that sticks with you. Today, however, that just isn’t the case. I’ve been spinning Rush’s Snakes & Arrows almost non-stop since I got it (in the truck, and for a while, even in the house), and was actually listening to it during a lunchtime nap.

But, what led me to write this, is that I had Tenacious D’s Wonderboy – which I haven’t listened to in quite a while, and I had Limp Bizkit’s Phenomenon pop in my head as I was typing that word earlier. And other songs had flittered through, now forgotten to the aethers, preceeding them… and it’s been like that all day. It actually is quite funny to me, because it allows me to laugh at myself, as the tunes are rolling through my mind, and I’m rocking along to the beat in my head…

Weird, huh? But it’s a wonderful diversion, sometimes!

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