The Way Things Are






No, Amos! NO!
2006-06-09, 3:37 p.m.

I went to Half Price Books last night because this lady said that she likes to go there and buy used magazines. Used magazines! I thought to myself. Whatever for?

But wait! I thought. Lil Guy LOVES “Popular Science” and “Popular Mechanics”, and wouldn’t it be fun to score a bunch of back issues for him to read? Because getting him to read is a task not for the weak or pale and sickly, and if he loves to read PS and PM, along with the Best Buy circular and the Hammecher Schlemmer catalogue, that’s what we’ll give him.

(DIGRESSION: I don’t know why we get the Hammecher Schlemmer catalogue in the mail. It seems like the kind of place where Oprah would shop, and Oprah and I are not from the the same shopping planet.)

So there I moseyed, rifling through the stacks of used magazines at Half Price Books, taking in the smell of antiseptic on the air, admiring (not) the flip-flops and Birks on the other shoppers’ feet, and that’s when it hit me: our Half Price Books has SHIT for selection in used magazines.

Alas, the Half Price Books close to me is a depressing place. It has all the poverty, but none of the funk of the HPB down on Broadway. But since I was there, I felt obligated to peruse the Literary Fiction section. I LOVE the Literary Fiction section at the HPB on Broadway. It has its own room, with racks and bins and bushels and pecks full of worn-out books. And the smell…all booky. Mmmmmm.

Hey! Haven Kimmel. I love Haven Kimmel! She wrote that book about that girl (named Zippy). Here’s another Haven Kimmel-authored book: The Solace of Leaving Early. How could this NOT be a score!

I’ll tell you how not. It’s not a good book, at least not so far. I got about 4 pages in before I was hoping for a quick resolution to the story, perhaps via giant helicopter landing on the main characters and crushing them to death, or maybe if they were all kidnapped, tied-up, taken away and held for ransom.

But no, I was instead treated to the part where Amos is lying awake in bed, praying for sleep, and arguing with himself over whether or not to write a book. He does NOT want to write a book – he’s done it before whilst writing his master’s thesis, and he just doesn’t want to go through that woodchipper again.

I found myself screaming, “No, Amos! NO! Please don’t write a book! It’ll be even worse than reading your inner-most thoughts about writing a book. It will kill us all with the boredom and tedium.”

DW looked up, asked who’s Amos, and went back to watching Episode 9 of the first season of 24. And I realized that’s where I belonged, too. Next to my man, sharing in the bonding experience of asking and then see for ourselves “What would Jack Bauer do?”

(DIGRESSION: Jack Bauer would steal a car, flee from the police, and have his people put a trace on it. Whatever “it” is. Trace it.)

So if any of y’all have read The Solace of Leaving Early, and if you know whether it gets any better once an actual plot shambles onto the scene, please let me know. I’m about ready to jettison this one and read some of the back issues of “Badger Fancy” I bought at HPB.


For your Fashion Nonsense Friday enjoyment, I present to you a photo that I took in the car today of my scarf belt that was giving me so much trouble last week. We’ve resolved our differences and now it’s my Best Fashion Friend. This picture was taken in the drive-thru line at Arby’s:

See how it contains ALL THE COLORS, ties up nicely in a bow, and lays its fringe out fetchingly upon my supple denim-clad thigh. Yikes. That’s practically a crotch-shot. Can you see my cliggas?

In case you were missing my smug little smirk, one of my repertoire of many specific smiles:

Nice smirkage.

Does your office get the Friday Afternoon Tornado Effect? Mine, too.

Nice wreckage.

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