Demonstrating considerable discipline, I reshelved half the books I found
in the used bookstore. (And I mean reshelved, properly, in alphabetical
order; I am, after all, a librarian.) I found a first edition (hardcover)
of Annie Dillard's The Living; a trade paperback of A.S. Byatt's
The Babel Tower in perfect shape; Libra, also in trade, so
that perhaps in shape if not in content it won't remind me so much of a
political thriller; and a hardcover Temple of My Familiar (my pulp
paperback is in tatters). I put back David Foster Wallace's The Infinite
Jest, although if I do intend to read an 800-page novel, I think I'd
have to own it. Also another Alice Walker, whose title I forget, containing
Walker's original (unused) screenplay for The Color Purple and correspondence
among her, Steven Spielberg, and Quincy Jones. Also Milan Kundera's Slowness,
Also whenever I'm in a used book store I look for certain children's titles that are out of print, which I have Amazon looking for. I didn't have that kind of luck yesterday, though.
HAO found Portnoy's Complaint and The Winter of Our Discontent, but no cheesy self-help books to add to her collection. Sex and the Single Girl, by Helen Gurley Brown of Cosmopolitan, was the first she found with me, at the Denver Book Mall. I possess (my sister's copy of) Sex Tips for Girls; I have read a slender volume circa 1977 entitled How to Kiss with Confidence, which a friend of mine found in a certain unnamed older brother's room. It has gems of advice such as these for after an exciting kissing session: for boys: "Go home and take a cold shower"; while girls should "go home and daydream."
Anyway, I know that section of Broadway will draw me back. Used book stores, antique stores, vintage clothing, head shops. If I spend enough time in used book stores, I might become RJH.
Before HAO and my bookstore jaunt, we took our weekly 5.2 mile walk together. This week no time warp occurred and it took us less than 90 minutes, back and forth, instead of three hours. The walk involved ambulatory bounding and conversational tangents and Ewan MacGregor. And magpies and a soaring raptor that I didn't identify. HAO said she has been paying attention to birds now because of my insidious influence. Ha.
Anyway, if I walk the Highline Canal Trail by my house for 45 minutes thrice a week and the same trail (though much nicer, in Cherry Hills) for five miles, once a week, and keep exercising my abdominal muscles, (and go to the gym at least twice a week) my goal of Deism-by-Thirty should be attainable.
My insidious influence over HAO making her watch birds is nothing compared to Blake's insidious influence on his parents, making them become birds. One of his more endearing impersonations is of a cowboy. Eating, he'll stand on one foot and put the other up on the dish; this makes him look like a cowboy in an old time saloon with his foot on the rail at the bar. (Of course, because he is bipedal, like humans, yet eats with only his head, unlike (most) humans, he also looks like a participant in a pie-eating contest. (That I've noticed, he hasn't looked like both a pie-eater and a cowboy at once.)) Anyway, I have become more cockatiel-like as time goes by. This weekend when I decided to have a snack, I ate with one foot up on the counter.
Having forgotten my textbook and run back to the house for it (when the bus was over half a mile away) then run back to the stop with it, not only did I miss my bus (by thirty seconds) but I seared my throat with windburn. Then when I tried to catch a more frequent bus on the next street up, I missed it by even less time and had to wait on an unpleasantly congested street for the next. Then after class, I again just missed the train and so missed my regular bus by two minutes. Luckily I had enough tapes of Rebecca to last until only a half mile from home.
When CLH decorated The Dining Hall for the nuptials, she needed wire cutters for silk flowers that she bought. She ended up borrowing a pair from a friend in town, which were left in the hall, which we picked up the next day before she left, which I left in the car I borrowed, which the car's owner brought to our mother's house...some huge deal. Anyway, what DEW remembered from this whole turmoil was that CLH didn't own wirecutters. So when CLH got home tonight, she found a package on her stoop. Which contained wirecutters, courtesy of Granny. She is the sweetest person ever.
Someone at Dot Org has a book called Cats at Work that I knew DEW would like: photographs and short biographical snippets about cats and the diners, bookstores, millinery shops, and pet stores that employ them. So I bought it for her last week.
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Last modified 29 September 1997
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