Can people actually take one without a Jenga proportion disaster?

What do several hundred Dan Brown books look like when arranged in a circle around a table covered in even more Dan Brown books?

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They look sort of like that. Yes, this is indeed how I spent a good chunk of my afternoon, and, yes, I am the bald dude with the beard.

Sadly, after finishing, our merch supervisor (who had in fact given me permission) slapped his forehead and groaned: “We’ve got to re-sticker all of those Tuesdays.”

Well, it’s pretty while it lasts.

(Thanks to La Cochran for the post title).

Five Hundred Thirty-Nine

Some guy had the brilliant idea to hide the book behind his back, “Guess what I’m buying?”*

I guessed Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol, and I was right. It wasn’t a giant intellectual leap — Monday night, after closing our overnight crew had put out our entire stock, nine hundred and six copies of the book, distributed to the front of the store and into section. By the time we closed on Tuesday, we’d sold five hundred and thirty-nine.

I have two reactions to this.

The first reaction is: you know he’s not a good writer, right?

The second reaction is: I wish I was Dan Brown.

Then I realized I was having a third reaction: I kind of want to read this book. I mean, I read both Angels and Demons and The Davinci Code. And they were interesting enough — I’m not going to say they were great, but they were both fun enough, and I read them straight through. I’ve been giving Dan Brown a hard time lately — we had an ABC crew filming a story on the book at our store Monday night, and for discretionary reasons, I avoided an interview — but I think I need to save my loathing for another “author”: James Patterson.

If you don’t know who James Patterson is, congratulations. If you do? So sorry, hope you didn’t waste money on any of his font-twenty, triple-spaced books, which are “farmed” out to other authors, who write the book and then get Patterson to stamp his name on them. Instant best sellers. God damn, I wish I was James Patterson, too.

Which remind me: How I Became A Famous Novelist by Steve Hely is a fantastic book that you should read because it pokes a lot of fun at the book industry.

I was accosted by a customer at one point during the night, demanding to know why we didn’t have any copies in paperback of Lost Symbol. I was tempted to explain to her that publishers usually don’t print titles in both paperback and hardback at the same time — because people will usually go for the cheaper edition — but I had a brainstorm, told her to wait a moment, and ran down to our Large Print section, where I grabbed a copy of the book. Large Print books are usually published in paperback, and Lost Symbol was no exception. Of course, because it’s Large Print, all the words are really large. Plus, it’s got seven hundred fifty some pages compared to the five thirty in the regular edition. She of course was all: “Why is the print so large? Why is it so thick? It looks like my toddler was playing with the font settings on the computer…”

*It was cute the first time, but then the next guy pulled the same stunt, and I promised myself that the next person to ask me to guess what they were buying was going to be told, “Um, Introduction to Anal Sex for Women?” Thankfully, the person saw the expression on my face, and just handed me the book, which was actually the Ted Kennedy memoir.

“…this train is not your personal bathroom, and you should be ashamed of your conduct.”

Saturday afternoon, I ventured into Virginia for a “hold back the summer” party, which, although a bit of a bear to get too, was tremendously fun.

But back to the “getting too” part, (and the “getting from”), because those are the most blog-worthy.

I arrived at the Huntington Metro and was originally determined to walk to my friends’ place — it’s about a three and a half mile walk, and honestly? That’s not that bad. What is bad is that I didn’t have a map, and couldn’t get my bearings, and I was at the wrong end of the Metro station from the bus terminal I needed, and I couldn’t quite figure out where to walk around the station to get to the other end of it, so I just paid to get back in and reached it that way, and ran into a bunch of protesters getting off the train, and told one lady that her kid, dressed in a little Colonial minuteman outfit was an “adorable little tea-bagger*” and she said thank you which was hilarious because, obviously, that’s not a compliment.

I guess it isn’t so obvious, actually.

Anyway, after waiting at the bus stop for a few minutes, I said, “fuck it” and took a cab. Here’s a fun fact: this is the third time in my life that I’ve ever taken a cab, and since the first and second times were both on an expedition from Timonium to Baltimore for a drunk-fest at a crab restaurant (Obrecki’s, I think), I don’t know that this counts.

That should’ve been it, right? Jump in the cab, Metro to door, let the drinking begin. Alas, did I mention I didn’t have a map? So I knew my friends’ house was off a road, off another road, off another road, but that they’re in a cul-de-sac type development, so when we turned onto that first road, I just told the taxi driver he could drop me off and I’d walk, because how far could it be?

Far. That’s how far, because the road looped back up to the other road, and, well, I kind of wish I’d just had him take me the whole way. But! I got there, and relatively non-sweaty, too, which is always good (I did pack some backup deodorant in my bag, though). Thus commenced several hours of standing around in the kitchen talking and laughing and giggling and at least one time having to leave the room because I was laughing so hard I was pretty sure my ribs were going to explode out of my chest. Peeing on cats is not good practice, but makes for much laughter.

Anyway.

So I caught a ride back to the Metro station — King Street, though. And it’s filled with people heading back into DC to go home, or heading into DC to party. I’d been up since 6:30 (that’s sleeping in for me), and I was pretty damn tired. I’m reading Empire of the Sun by JG Ballard, and I just dove headfirst into it, but even over my iPod, I could hear the conductor of the incoming train on the PA:

“To the customer who is smoking on the platform, smoking is illegal inside the Metro system, and even though this is an open-air station, you are still inside the station. Please extinguish your cigarette, or you may be subject to fine and or arrest.”

I giggled, because, honestly? I wish more Metro employees would be proactive about this kind of stuff. Ever since I’ve started using Medical Center to get to and from work, I’ve been blown away by the amount of folks who smoke on the main escalator bank.

Anyway, I stepped onto a fairly empty train car and settled myself into a seat and continued reading.

Two stops later, the conductor again:

“Attention, customers, this car has eighteen doors: when you all insist on exiting and boarding through three of them, you risk damaging this train, which is a mechanical device. If the doors fail to function, I will have to offload this train, and you will have to wait fifteen minutes for another one. Please think of your fellow passengers.”

And then, after we got going:

“I hope the doors work at the next station, because if not, I’m going to have to offload this train. Please use all doors.”

And then, after we arrived:

“The doors work! Glory glory hallelujah. Please use all available doors, thank you to the customers who spread out along the platform, please use all available doors, the first few train cars are almost completely empty people. No need to pack in like sardines. It’s okay to not bunch up by the escalators.”

By this point, I was enjoying the conductor’s comments more than my book or iPod, and it only got better when he used the PA system to warn a lady on the first car to stop clipping her nails because it wasn’t hygienic and the Metro is not her personal bathroom and she should be ashamed of herself. By this point, me and a few other folks on my car were in complete agreement that this was the best Metro conductor ever.

Well, maybe we were. I don’t know, they might’ve been thinking, “What the fuck?” But I was thinking: this guy is awesome. So much so that I stayed on the train until it went out of service at Fort Totten: “People, what part of ‘out of service’ does not register with you? Stop boarding unless you want to spend the night in the Metro yard!”

*I enjoy the 5th definition.

UPDATE:

Via the Flikr stream of protest photos, I found some familiar faces and signs! These folks were at the Huntington Metro on Saturday.

In The President’s Secret Service

Although we sold out — on the first day! — of the release of Ronald Kessler’s behind-the-scenes book “In the President’s Secret Service”, we’ve managed to keep it in stock since. And it’s still a pretty brisk seller — by an informal survey I conducted, most of the buyers are actually USSS agents — there’s an office catty-corner to the Bookstore.

I’ve read the book — not from beginning to end, just flipping through it while slow, and reading it before work in the break room — and I thought it was very interesting. Obviously, I am no expert on the Secret Service: most of what I know comes from movies like In The Line of Fire or The Sentinel — and, so, to me, the book was just interesting: lots of tidbits from former agents (Jimmy Carter was awful to them, the Obamas, and both of the Bushes and Reagans are great). But there’s a lot in the book that’s critical of the operation of the Secret Service — from management policies, to choices regarding weaponry.

This morning, a Secret Service agent came into the Bookstore. Sometimes they’re really easy to identify, because a bunch of the agents in the office building are dressed in pure black: black cargo pants, black shirt, and a large handgun strapped to their thigh. I started talking with him, “Hey, how ya’ doing?” and asked if he’d read the book. He hadn’t, and when I told him Kessler was doing a signing in our store, his eyes sort of lit up.

He was regretful, because he was working that night and wouldn’t be able to make it, but he told me that the book didn’t actually represent what went on in the Secret Service, and he hoped some of his fellow agents would make an appearance and call him out on some aspects of the book.

I’m working tomorrow night. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be in an area where I can listen to the event and the question and answer period, but it’s sure to be interesting!

Tuesday, September 11th.

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Every September 11th (or, sometimes a little early), since I’ve started this blog (this is my 5th September 11th post), I find myself writing the same thing, over and over again: where I was, what I was doing.

For my generation, there are a few defining events: I will always remember standing in the hallway at St. John the Baptist as we first, second, third, and fourth graders gathered to watch the launch of the Challenger — and saw its subsequent destruction. I don’t remember much about it aside from that one, fleeting memory — I want to say I was in 4th grade, but that was 1986, and counting backwards (I graduated high school in 1997), I was in first grade January ’86, so, y’know, so much for my memory twenty-three and a half years later.

And then there was September 11th, a date which needs no year attached to it, not for those for whom the memory is still fresh in the mind. I wonder if my parents think of November 22nd the same way.

I was attending Towson University. I was taking a Creative Writing class, one of the two British Literature sections, an Introduction to Folklore, and an Introduction to Theater. I was in the theater course, which was already shaping up to be the easy A of the semester — I can’t remember the professor’s name, but he had a large class, and split our entire class into two groups, which would meet alternate weeks. If memory serves, I was in the “B” group, and we were meeting (as a half-class), for the first time since school had started.

The class actually met in one of the theaters in the Art building on campus. Our first class the professor took us on a tour of the elements of the theater, and of the building as a whole, making many many jokes about his experience in the field, and taking shots at his own love life. We made our way back inside, and another professor entered the theater and spoke with our professor in hushed tones for a few moments. Given our prof’s cavalier attitude towards, y’know, teaching, I figured he was in trouble for taking us outside or something.

Tamir Goodman, who’d made some local news for his prowess on the basketball course (he was called “the Jewish Jordan”, if I remember right), was sitting behind me. He, or the guy he was sitting with, said, “I heard a plane flew into the trade center in New York.” I can’t recall who replied, or what they replied to. I pictured a Cessna.

And then class was dismissed early. Our professor didn’t clarify, but he looked concerned. I figured I’d been right, and I made my way down to the student union. One of the lounges on the main floor, often used for public speaking events, was one of my favorite places to hang out and study or read. I had my Folklore class a few hours later, and didn’t feel like driving home, just to turn around and come back. As it would happen, I flunked that class, but when I returned to Towson, I took it my first semester back and earned an A.

Anyway, so I was reading Catch 22, and I was loving it. I couldn’t keep silent: I was laughing and giggling and earning evil stares from other students who were studying. After a few chapters, I noticed that some University staff employees were setting up televisions around the perimeter of the room, and turning them on, and the volume up. At first, I ignored them, but students began to gather by the televisions, and soon I gave in and walked over.

At first, I though I must’ve been watching the second plane strike the tower live, looking back, I honestly can’t remember. I believe the theater class did begin at 8:00, but I recall being in the Union closer to ten. The truth is, I’ll never know if I was watching live or a recording, but I remember seeing that smoking tower, and then seeing a second plane, and then the plane exploding into a ball of flame as it struck the tower, but most of all, what I remember is hearing a woman’s voice, where CNN had their cameras set up, off-camera, scream, “Jesus Fucking Christ!”

And beyond the plane blowing up, and the towers burning and eventually collapsing, and the Pentagon on fire, and scattered and numerous reports of car bombs in Washington, DC and Air Force jets shooting down airliners, what I remember still, very clearly, is that woman’s voice: “Jesus Fucking Christ!” Because how fucked up could stuff be that CNN wasn’t bleeping that out?

At some point, I didn’t want to be at Towson anymore. I fled to the parking lot and jumped in my Jeep and the radio wasn’t playing music, they were broadcasting the feed from one of the local news stations. I’m pretty sure I was speeding pretty quickly all the way back to my crappy little studio apartment in Cockeysville, but I spent most of the rest of the day glued to the television station. I think I ordered some General Tso’s chicken, I know I skipped my afternoon class, I know I went to donate blood to the Red Cross, but that the massive amount of other people who had the same idea ultimately discouraged me (although I did wait around for a few years).

So that was my day. It’s weird that the first few hours are so crystal clear in my mind, and the rest of the day — and week — so unfocused.

And Another Thing by Eoin Colfer

After clocking in Tuesday afternoon, I walked up to the Information desk, did a double-take at a display, and asked, “What the fuck is this?”

What the fuck was this:

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Yes, it’s a sequel to The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a hilarious series of books, a movie I quite enjoyed, the reason I buy lots and lots of towels, and a reason — finally – to hate Eoin Colfer’s guts*.

Last September it was announced the best selling author of children’s series ‘Artemis Fowl’ was to publish a sequel to Hitchhiker following the death of its creator, Douglas Adams, in 2001.

However, since he signed on to the project, Eoin says he has been amazed by the emails and letters he has received from fans of the cult series.

‘It’s usually from guys saying don’t do it. People who believe that doing a sequel is a terrible idea and saying stay away from it. The reaction has been much stronger than I thought,’ Eoin told the Sunday Tribune last weekend.

‘Purposely, I haven’t tried to write like Douglas because he was a genius. Instead I’ve written an Eoin Colfer book with Douglas Adams characters,’ said Eoin.

It’s either going to be brilliant, or it’s going to be trash. I’m leaning towards the latter.

At the Bookstore, talk surrounding the book is focused on the ARC, or Advanced Reader Copy, which publishers sometimes send out with the intention of generating interest among booksellers. What actually happens is that the crap ARCs wind up on an overflowing bookshelf in the break room, while employees fight over the “good” ARCs — for instance, guess who scored the ARC for Margaret Atwood’s upcoming Year of the Flood? Me! And it’s REALLY GOOD, too!

Anyway, so our ARC of And Another Thing wasn’t complete, they only sent half the book. But they sent it with a towel.

I have no idea where either the ARC or the towel are.

*I didn’t actually know Eoin Colfer was a guy until I read this article. Also, I don’t really hate his guts, and I wasn’t looking for a reason to hate his guts, I just wish people would leave stuff be without meaningless sequels. Pirates of the Caribbean was completely soiled by those two shit sequels.

Four Hundred-Some Hours To Go

Seventeen days.

Just a little over two weeks.

Including today, that’s how long I’ve got until — drum roll, please — vacation! Nine days, from the 26th through the 4th of October, where I will not be at either the Office or the Bookstore.

In the sense that I’m not going anywhere exotic, it’s not a real vacation — Front Royal, VA doesn’t count as exotic, does it?

I’m not quite sure the logistics yet, but somehow, I’ll be taking temporary possession of my dad’s car (which used to be my car, until I sold it to him) for the weekend of the 26th and 27th, and making my way into Virginia to celebrate a good friend’s wedding. The wedding was a few months ago, actually, but she and her husband are hosting a celebration at his parents’ house for those who couldn’t make it. I met her through blogging, actually, we lived right down the street from each other up in Timonium, and she’s one of very few people I could honestly describe as a “best friend.”

After we’d been commenting on each other’s blogs for several weeks, we agreed to meet for dinner at the Nautilus Diner on York Road for a (very) late dinner, and a friendship was born. This was the year I’d gone back to finish my degree at Towson — she tried to hook me up with her ultra-religious roommate, and I dragged her to a modern re-telling of Euripides’ Women of Troy. In return, she took me to a Bob Dylan concert in Hershey — I was very ambivilant, Dylan’s never been my favorite musician, but I had a good time and apparently mix well with hippies (who knew?). And then, as things go, we had a fight, and we weren’t friends for awhile, but then around the same time, her now husband resolved his relationship issues, and I found a job in Bethesda, and we rebonded as we both prepared to move far, far away: her to Bristol, me to DC.

This will actually be the first time I’ve seen her since Friday, June 13th, 2008. That was the night before I moved, and I’d taken the day off from work to finish packing. We went out for dinner and a movie (The Happening), but I can’t remember in what order. I gave her half a bottle of wine, she tried to give me her Craigslist-found microwave cart.

First thing I do when I see her is to give her a big hug. I’m so happy for her.

Yeah, I’m a sap.

As for the rest of the week?

Truthfully, I’ll probably be begging the Bookstore to put me back on the schedule for the weekend of the 3rd and 4th. As for that glorious five open days of the 28th through the 2nd, I’ve been making tentative lunch plans with friends — guess who gets a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Geographic building? — and I’m hoping to spend at least a day re-exploring the National Mall, and some of the more obscure museums — National Building museum? I know you’re not on the Mall, but I’ve got my eye on you.

There’s also practical stuff to do: I’m going to stock up on dry-goods at Target, and I’m going to clean and organize my apartment. I will reclaim my closet. I will pitch most of the stuff in my linen closet. I will, in fact, clean my apartment from top to bottom.

And I’m hoping to catch up on what is an absolute bane for book lovers who work in bookstores — I’m hoping to catch up on my reading. I’ve got like, literally, forty books in my apartment I’ve not yet read, and dammit, I want to!

Metro’s Fare Increase

Metro is planning to discuss raising fares to cover the one-hundred million dollar budget shortfall it has (that’s $100,000,000). A lot of people, especially on Twitter, are up in arms over it.

Me?

Not so much.

Because I did some quick math.

I divided $100,000,000 by 52, the number of weeks in the year, and came up with $1,923,077: that’s the amount of money Metro’s budget is short each week.

I then divided $1,923,077 by 5, the number of business days in the week, and came up with $384,616 a day.

I then took $384,616 and divided that by 700,000, which if memory serves, is a few thousand less than the average number of people who ride on the Metro during the business week. And that got me this number: $0.55.

Fifty-five cents. Per day.

So let’s just assume Metro rounds up a nickle and calls it a sixty-cent per-day fare increase. That’s an extra thirty-cents a trip, and the way it works out for me is that I would spend an additional $3 a week, and $156 a year.

Wow, that’s a lot of money.

But what are the alternatives?

Buy a car? Car insurance, living in DC, would probably cost me close to $156 a month. I don’t even want to think about registration fees, or buying parking tags, or, gaaah, finding parking.

Anyway, on a personal level, here’s how it affects me: that $156 a year means I’ll have to work eighteen hours at the Bookstore — about two third of what I work there in a week — to cover my additional yearly Metro expenses. Alternatively, that’s about a day’s pay at the Office.

For the record, my best guess on my business-week related Metro expenses* (assuming I take the L2 home from the Bookstore three weeknights), works out to: $8.15 a day, $40.75 a week, and $2,119 a year.

*Because although I leave from the same station every day, I have options of buses from three different stations to reach work, and then leaving, take the first bus from work to whichever station it’s going, so I assumed the farthest station departure from my intended destination — also, I assumed that I’d be working at the Bookstore each work night, and I don’t do that every night (although it feels like it), so my math is off by that as well. I also don’t usually ride the Metro on weekends, preferring to walk or take buses.

Inglorious Basterds, A Reaction (Spoilers)

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Just as a warning — if you haven’t seen the new Quentin Tarantino film Inglorious Basterds, you might want to stop reading now.

A friend and I had decided to go together, but we had a hard time synchronizing our schedules. Fortunately, the Labor Day weekend provided ample opportunity and we met up yesterday afternoon for the 3:35 showing of the film at the Uptown in DC. First off, I was surprised by how many other people decided to see the film that day — there was a line of about a hundred and fifty to two hundred people outside of the theater, but the line moved pretty quickly and after only two previews (they were running late, I think), the film started.

I’m sure you know the basics of the film: Brad Pitt leads a crew of Jewish-American soldiers into occupied France to strike terror into the heart of the Nazis.

Which would be great, except that a lot of times, who they’re striking fear into — who they’re scalping and carving swastikas into the foreheads of — aren’t Nazis, they’re just conscripted German soldiers (yes, there’s a difference). And I don’t know that Hitler jumping up and down screaming “NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!” qualifies as “striking terror.” But I digress.

There’s not a whole lot of character development in this flick. In fact, Brad Pitt’s role could almost be described as an extended cameo — actually, that’s almost true of just about every single character in the film, especially the Basterds. I hope you don’t go into this thinking the film is going to follow them for the entire two and a half hours, because it doesn’t: aside from the recruitment scene, and the post-ambush flashback (which also features it’s own flashbacks), there’s really not much about the Basterds — except that, presumably, a lot of them die beyond the two shot down in the bar.

I’m not a big fan of Quentin Tarantino. I think most of what he makes is pretty lousy and completely overrated. This film is an exception — the film is simply (mostly) fantastic, although it isn’t without its flaws, and I don’t think I could ever stomach seeing it again: it’s an odd mix of weird humor, out-of-place narration, and brutal violence. It works, although the structure leaves a bit to be desired — there’s no subtlety or ambiguity to any characters*, they serve only as caricatures of specific roles: vengeful Jew, duplicitous Nazi, horny German.

At the end of the film, I was reminded from a line in Saving Private Ryan. During the Normandy sequence, American troops with flamethrowers attack the German bunkers. Burning Germans jump from the bunkers, and a soldier shouts, “Don’t shoot! Let them burn!” At the end of the film, as the theater becomes a blazing inferno and the Nazis — because the guests at this movie are all Nazis or collaborators — are struggling to open the locked and very secure doors, the two Basterds who’ve assassinated Hitler stand on their balcony pouring machine gun fire into the crowd. Don’t shoot, Basterds, let them burn.

***

Observations:

The guy who played Private Zoller — the German sniper whose exploits are honored in the film-within-a-film — looked really familiar to me, but I wasn’t able to place him until I checked IMDB. Daniel Brühl is familiar to me from his work in the fantastic film Good Bye Lenin!, about an East German boy trying to convince his ill mother — a fanatic communist — that the Berlin Wall hasn’t collapsed, as he’s been told that any serious shock could kill her. It’s cute and adorable, and, also, available with subtitles. Still, totally worth an add to your Netflix queue. Back to Zoller, though, I can’t quite figure out where the hell he was keeping that Luger.

Gripes:

1. There are nine basterds originally: Pitt, and his eight Jewish-American troops. They recruit a Gestapo killer, Sgt. Stiglitz. That’s ten altogether, right? Two are killed in the bar scene, but only four are present in the final theater scene (two of them are killed). So that’s six accounted for — what happened to the other four? Methinks a lot of stuff got cut from this film (in fact, I know a lot of stuff did, because the screenplay has a flashback where Sgt. Donowitz is going around New York getting all his Jewish friends and acquaintances to sign his bat.)

2. In the theater sequence, just before Marcel lights the place on fire, he locks the doors to the auditorium. This might seem silly, but why aren’t there any German soldiers guarding the lobby? This just seems like a tremendously silly security flaw, and Colonel Landa does not seem like a tremendously silly individual. He planted the explosives to kill Hitler, but he wasn’t committing to that (“All I have to do is make a call”, or some such nonsense) until he had assurances from an American commander that he would be rewarded for that act — and besides, guards in the lobby wouldn’t have been able to prevent those explosives from killing Herr Hitler. I guess all the excess security was outside?

3. For that matter, why not put a few guards in the projection booth, too?

*Actually, I take this back, because the French farmer in the beginning of the film, I don’t think this applies to him. It’s weird, because I read the scene in the screenplay book two weeks before I saw the film, and the farmer comes across as this guy who didn’t really want to take this family in, and now sees a convenient way to be rid of them, and that’s totally not how it was played in the scene.

Where’s Non-Fiction?

The Bookstore is just short of 35,000 square feet, spread across two levels. I know this because we have a giant floor-plan in the break room detailing where we were going to move our sections. Anyway, 35,000 square feet means I could fit my apartment into the store eighty-seven and a half times. When you take away the space for the break room, and the stock room, and the offices, and the boiler room, and the assorted storage rooms and closets, and the register queue, and the cafe, and the front-of-store displays, and the calendars and the cards and the assorted other crap, we’ve still got hundreds of bookshelves, and on those hundred of bookshelves? Probably thousands of bookshelves, and on those thousands of bookshelves? Tens-of-thousands of books — maybe even hundreds of thousands of books.

All I know is, we’ve got a lot of books. Crappy books, good books, some great books — books in perfect shape, books in not so perfect shape. Books that fit into categories like Psychology, and Sex, and History, and Politics, and Economics, and Biographies, and Science, and Cooking, and books in those categories? They fit into subcategories, too: Self-Help, Recovery, Death, US History, World History, Latin American History, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, Local Cooking, Food Reference, ad nauseum, until we’ve got so many books and sub-categories and sub-sub-categories that no one actually knows where the UFO section went (hint: it’s not in Sci-Fi), and where did Speculation go?

But all those sections I listed above*? They’re all part of an even larger category, a basic one that any bookstore splits its reading: the above books are all Non-Fiction (the other category, duh, is Fiction).

So if you come in? And I ask if you need any help finding an item? It’s fine if you take a superior attitude, it’s fine if you tell me that you’ve been looking for books by yourself without any help for years, since before my parents were born, but, if I wouldn’t mind, could I just point you to the Non-Fiction section? You can find your way from there.

Certainly I can. Here’s a hint: it’s everything not Fiction. So, it’s there, and there, and back there, and then downstairs? It’s over there, there, back there, right there where you can’t see, and then over there, too.

Have fun! And if you change your mind? About, y’know, not needing help? You know where to find me.

*With the exception of Sci-Fi, which is part of Popular Fiction (as opposed to Fiction/Literature), and did you know we class our homosexual-genre fiction by Gay Literature, and Lesbian Fiction? Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Blogiversery!

Today is September 1st, 2009.

Do you know what happened five years ago today?

Well, if you read the post title, you should be clued in. Yes, correct: five years, sixty months, two hundred and sixty weeks, one thousand eight hundred and twenty days ago, this blog was launched and I became a blogger.

And what a wild and crazy ride it’s been.

So … if you read this through some aggregate, please, stop in, leave a comment. It’s my blog’s birthday, and this is the only present I’m asking for.