Susan was working when I got to Logos today. It had been several weeks since I have seen her, now that Sandy works the morning shift. But Sandy has gone on vacation for a couple of weeks and Susan was working her shift. Susan and I talked a bit about family stuff before she left.
There was a guy in there who looked like our friend in Santa Barbara (whose 50th anniversary we just attended), only kind of a Mini-me version. He disappeared before I really noticed him much.
I was going to read another Ruth Rendell book today but looked around first to see if some other book spoke to me, and there it was "Where a Dobdob meets a Dikdik," by Bill Casselman. I really should have been an etymologist. I love stuff like this, finding out where language originated and how it came to be as it is today. It's why Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue" is one of my favorite books. This is in a similar vein, and very entertaining, but not as good. However I got hooked on it and it gave me an idea for how to structure letters to Brianna for awhile.
A couple stood outside looking at bargain books, then came in and he checked out Sci Fi while she wandered the whole store. He was wearing a UCD Fire Department backpack. After awhile, he joined her in the back of the store and when I glanced back, she was bent over at the waist and he was bent over behind her, hugging her. Having just seen a special on the mating habits of elephants, my mind did go there for a moment.
Two women arrived, one quite peppy and one lethartic. They went their separate ways and buried themselves in their respective shelves, the lethargic woman in the literature section and the other one somewhere in the history shelves. I noticed that the lethargic woman had what looked almost like a set of jailer's keys (in amount...must have weighed her down!) attached to the strap of her backpack. She also had an "I Love UCD" button, which I thought a nice touch. They both ended up in the Literature aisle and the pepppy one bought a copy of "Anna Karenina."
An old guy in a safari hat came in and spent about half an hour reading "coffee table books" at the front table, but ultimately didn't buy anything.
A flaxen haired girl with a cup of yogurt came in. She reminded me of when my friend Jane bleached her hair for a show and said she imagined she would just have lovely blonde hair until the show was over, "But no...you have blonde straw!" Jane did a lot of work on her hair to keep it looking nice. This girl did not. She also didn't buy anything.
Right behind her a guy with kinky curly reddish blonde hair came in, looked around and left immediately.
A woman who looked like Meredith Vierra without makeup came in looking for G.W. Bush's "Decision Points." She told me that the book store in the next block (the new book store) was having a big sale. She didn't find GW's book, and left without making a purchase.
An older gentlemen in a red plaid shirt spent a long time in the "personal growth" section, but left without buying anything.
A trio of 2 girls and a boy came in looking for books in Russian. At least one girl spoke with a Russian accent and I don't think the other two did. But the three of them had he best time in the Contemporary Fiction section, pulling out books and chatting about them. I love it when people have a good time in the store (well, maybe not the spooning couple, but most people!)
The bundled girl came in again. I've mentioned her before. I decided she needs a name so I'll call her Eliza because she reminds me of Eliza Doolittle before she meets Professor Higgins. This girl is always bundled in heavy blankets and a quilted hoodie, even on 100 degree days, and when I get near her I think of the old madrigal by P.D.Q. Bach, "My bonnie lass she smelleth..." I would dearly love to take her home, give her a bath and a good meal and wash her clothes.
So now my cast of characters is growing. There is my friend, who comes in at the end of the day, Bruce the guy in white who makes his own hats, The Troubadour because he looks like one, and now Eliza.
I haven't seen Bruce or the Troubadour in a couple of weeks, but my friend showed up at 4:05. I told him about the sale at the other book store and I'm sure he went there after he left. But today he bought the "Astro Boy Chronicles" and a "Great Books Reader." Even he laughed about the contrast. He is a customer who always wants his cash register receipt (most others don't and many give them back to me to throw away). Today we were talking about something and he forgot to take the receipt. I noticed it right as he went out the door, grabbed it and ran after him, since he was still outside...he was checking the papers in his hand and had just about remembered that he didn't have his receipt.
The next man bought 10 books from the bargain rack and actually bought a bag to carry them. We have to charge for bags ever since the new city law went into effect about what can and can't be given away any more.
A lovely man came in with three big boxes of donated books, and asked for his receipt to be sent to him in Ohio, since they were about to leave to drive back there. We were talking about how Davis has grown over the years and I could barely hear what he said. I've noticed my hearing is bad lately and I have an appointment in a couple of weeks to find out if it's fluid in the ear, an infection, or old age.
While he was coming in, a woman raced in the front door with 2 bargain books, threw $2 at me and said she had to leave because her bus was coming. Fastest transaction ever.
A guy who resembled Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory as regards build, the messenger bag slung over one shoulder, and the slight slouch. He bought 2 Steinbeck books and said that he passes by the store every day and that this was his first time coming in.
Out at the bargain books was a man wearing eye-blinding red white and blue pants that came to just below his knees. He had a bike helmet with an American flag sticker on it and black horn-rimmed blasses. He had a bright red bike, which he moved from one side of the door to the other, but he never actually came in.
My last customers of the day (though they didn't actually buy anything) was another trio, two young men and a girl much younger. One of the men was Latino looking with bushy sideburns that went down almost to his chin. He was carrying a box of Chinese food. The other guy was as light as the first guy was dark. Pasty white skin, a round head like Charlie Brown's, red cheeks, strawberry blond crew cut very closely cropped to his head and he had a toothpick in his mouth.
I thought at first that the girl was holding a puppy. She was standing at the opposite of the store from me, but in the same book aisle and I could see one paw hanging over her arm and bright eyes staring at me. I don't see too well these days and desperately need an optometrist appointment to get new glasses. I watched the "puppy" for so long that I finally decided it was a stuffed animal, since it didn't move. But later, after the three of them left, without buying anything, she unfurled the bundle in her arm and it was just a purse. I must get those new glasses!
THE 24 HOUR NEWS CYCLE
I am very sad that another plane has crashed and that hundreds of lives have been lost, but all we know is that (a) a plane crashed (b) lives were lost. We don't know if it was shot down, was a terrorist on board, or an engine failure, or extraterrestial interference. And yet once again the 24 hour news cycle must find SOMETHING to talk about so all over the media there are interviews with people who are making guesses, there are speculations about the conditions of the bodies and morbid descriptions about how they may have to be identified, etc., etc. I turned over to Law & Order SVU because fake violence and death seemed more palatable than the rehashing of tales that may or may not be true, and reports that can only bring additional pain to the loved ones of those lost.
Update: My friend Michael posted a link to an article which says that about 100 of the 298 victims were AIDS researchers headed to a conference in Melbourne, Australia.