Friday, July 22, 2016

Today at Logos

I went to Atria before going to Logos, but my mother was still in bed.  After checking to make sure she was alive, I settled in to finish my book, "With a Feather on My Nose," the autobiography of Billie Burke (written in 1948).  I tried coughing a lot, but in an hour she didn't budge and I knew that if she woke up then she would be groggy, so I just left a note and came home for lunch.

There were three customers in the store while I was having a brief chat with Sandy but they had left by the time Sandy took off to pick up her granddaughter.

The next person to come in was a guy who wanted information about the Italian conversation group that was meeting that night.  Unfortunately, I know nothing about the language groups (Italian, French and German -- Susan was an ESL teacher and her husband is from Austria, and Susan is out of town, so I didn't even know how to refer him to someone.  I suggested he just show up and see what happens!

I next looked up and there was a heavier Ted Cruz browsing through science fiction.  Seriously.  Dressed in a suit, same pointed nose and perfect manicured hair, His hand were on his hips which twisted his back into a weird stance and threw his belly out in front.  He walked around like this head down, glowering.  He didn't buy anything, so I didn't get to assess him close up.

Three people in a row came in with donations, which I had to turn away.  One guy had only 9 books but said he had more in the car.  I told him I could take the 9, and he said he would take the rest to the SPCA thrift store.  A woman didn't bring her books in, so it was easy to ask her to return in a week.  One old guy staggered in with a heavy box and I didn't have the heart to turn him away, though asked that he hold off on the other boxes in his car until Susan and Peter return.

Two young women stood outside the front door either taking selfies or catching Pokemon (men?) but never came in.

[Aside:  They did a "what is Pokemon Go" segment on Live with Kelly yesterday and I am more confused than ever, mostly about what the whole point is! I'm definitely too old for this new craze!]

Two men, one quite rotund, one not quite so rotund, came in together.  The rotundest of them had a shirt that seemed to be covered with Pokemon characters.  They both looked around for a long time and finally the rotundest bought 3 bargain books.

A woman spent a long time looking at cookbooks.  Her niece is turning 25 and she decided that a quarter of a century is a Big Deal, so she is giving her 25 different gifts and thought a cookbook would be a nice addition.  By the time she finished (about 20 minutes of browsing), she had 5 books, 2 for her niece, one for her brother, one for her and I'm not sure about the fifth  She had me ring it up on two different credit cards.

I was getting involved in my book ("Phantom of Manhattan, which I read all in one day) so didn't write down much about the next couple of customers except that a woman bought 2 contemporary fiction books and another woman bought Steinbeck's "Winter of our Discontent."

I always think of my friend Phil Dethlefsen (another of those who dropped me like a hot potato without a word of goodbye).  Phil got me started reading John Steinbeck because his (Phil's) niece was married to Steinbeck's nephew and it felt like being connected, somehow, to Steinbeck's family.  I still have most of his books (though in the clean up my favorite book still has not surfaced..."Journal of a Novel," which is all the letters he wrote to his publisher, Pascal Covici while he was writing "East of Eden" -- fascinating to read the journal and the book together).  ANYWAY, I have read almost all of Steinbeck's books, but stopped dead during 'Winter of our Discontent.:"  Either I was Steinbeck-ed out, or I just didn't like  the book.  I can't remember now.  But I never finished that book and I don't think I have read another Steinbeck since (mostly because I've read them all) but I always enthusiastically recommend them to anybody who is looking for a good read.  Steinbeck always made me a better writer.  I always wrote better when I was reading his stuff.  Maybe I should read another of his books again...

Peter's friend, a mathematician who comes in every week to donate books and buy books (or just take them) came in and gave me a book and took a book.  He does this so often, I have always figured this is fine with Peter.

A man looking for a book about hypnosis bought "3 Minute Meditations."

A woman was disappointed that we had a lot of Jane Austin, but no "Pride and Prejudice."  I have never liked that book.  It's kind of like Game of Thrones, something that is wildly popular with the masses and something I have tried several times to get into and never could  But I've seen the play several times, so no point in reading a story that does not interest me!

My friend arrived at 4:30 and bought a large Arthur Conan Doyle book about adventures on tall masted ships.  We talked about Doyle's NON-Sherlock Holmes writings (and I had to struggle to remember Holmes' name...another pre-dementia moment).  I didn't realize Doyle and Houdini were good friends.  Apparently they discussed the afterlife a lot, Houdini believing in it, Doyle not.  "Well, they both know now," I said!

Two kids with iPhones, obviously looking for Pokemen came in and wandered around the shelves with their mother, who was carrying a pizza in a box.  I guess the Pokemon pickings were slim and the trio left within a few minutes, the kids still intently staring at their iPhones.  The guy on Live with Kelly talked about how good this was for making friends.  From what I have seen around me the last couple of weeks, it seems to be more isolating (and dangerous) than before the whole thing started.

A sweet young girl in a white and purple striped sundress bought a biography.  When she took her coin purse from her bag, I could see it was decorated in the same color purple as her dress.

There were four customers in the office when the manager, filling in for Peter and Susan, came in to relieve me.

I tried to listen to Trump, but just could not.  When he started hammering away at Crooked Hillary, I turned to The Big Bang Theory, but at the first commercial break, I switched back to the convention.  He was still hammering away at Hillary, the frenzied crowd shouting "Lock her Up!"  I quickly turned back to Big Bang Theory and when it was over, switched back to Trump and he was still hammering away at Hillary.  Maybe there was something substantive in the speech, but when someone is more obnoxious than Sheldon Cooper, that's pretty bad.

The best thing about the night was watching the Stephen Colbert show, where Jon Stewart made an appearance and did one of his old-type speeches railing against the Republicans.  It was like a week at the seaside  I miss him so much!

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