Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Doesn't Hurt to Try

Frustration at the gas pump: I pulled in to Costco for gas behind a car and an SUV pulling a boat. (It really was the shortest line at the time). The SUV took FOREVER of course, to fill, but then, the woman pulled forward and climbed into the boat and proceeded to fill the boat's tank with gas as well. There were two women with the boat, and I wondered at the time why they didn't use the 2nd pump to fill the boat at the same time as the SUV, as they were blocking both pumps anyway. The car in front of me pulled forward then, but didn't get out and pump her gas. I got out and went to her window and asked her why she wasn't using the 2nd pump that had just been vacated, and she said she assumed it was broken because there was a safety cone in front of it, up against the curb. By that time, the attendant came over and I asked him if the pump was out of order (there was no sign on it, just the cone). He said he just arrived on duty and didn't know, but thought it was because of the cone. He looked closely at the pump display, then moved away. At that time, the boat finally (after about 15 minutes) pulled away and the car in front of me moved forward enough for me to reach the second "broken" pump. I ignored the cone, put my cards in and it was all systems "GO." "Pump seems to work just fine," I informed the woman ahead of me.
Life is full of Lemmings; sometimes you just gotta push forward into the uncertain and give things a try. Another exercise in patience.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Emperor has no clothes?



I grew up in the 60s. I wore bell-bottoms, and tie-dyed shirts and my music was Donovan, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and the Beach Boys. And I read Richard Brautigan (In Watermelon Sugar; The Revenge of the Lawn, Trout Fishing in America). Working in the "book business" (bookstores and libraries) since I was a teen, I've come across Brautigan time and again and remembered his work as cool, and innovative and...weird. Today I just finished re-reading the above, along with The Abortion, and The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, and I have to say, I think he's just weird. I found this clip of him--brushing his teeth and reading a few excerpts from his works--and he reminded me of a young man who comes in to the library frequently: quirky and maybe not all mentally and socially "there."

Brautigan committed suicide in 1984, but he still has a following: a website of devotees, and from his Wikipedia entry
  • "But when his novel Trout Fishing in America was published in 1967, Brautigan was catapulted to international fame and labeled by literary critics as the writer most representative of the emerging countercultural youth-movement of the late 1960s")
  • Also in a 1980 letter to Brautigan from W. P. Kinsella, Kinsella states that Brautigan is his greatest influence for writing and his favorite book is In Watermelon Sugar.
  • In March 1994, a teenager named Peter Eastman Jr. from Carpinteria, California legally changed his name to "Trout Fishing in America", and now teaches English in Japan. [9] At around the same time, National Public Radio reported on a young couple who had named their baby "Trout Fishing in America".
  • There is a folk rock band called Trout Fishing in America.[10], and another called Watermelon Sugar[11], which quotes the opening paragraph of that book on their home page. The industrial rock band Machines of Loving Grace took their name from one of Brautigan's best-known poems.
  • In the UK The Library of Unwritten Books is a project in which ideas for novels are collected and stored. The venture is inspired by Brautigan's novel The Abortion.
  • The library for unpublished works envisioned by Brautigan in his novel The Abortion now exists as The Brautigan Library in Burlington, Vermont.[12]
  • There are two stores named "In Watermelon Sugar" after Brautigan's novella, one in Baltimore, Maryland and one in Traverse City, Michigan.
I don't get it. But this time around, I did enjoy reading The Abortion, working in a library as I do. I just hope Brandolyn & Golden don't get any ideas about naming my next grandchild from any Richard Brautigan novel...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Where's my car??




I called Rich at 5:15 to see if he'd be ready to go home at 5:30. Yep. So at 5:28 I start packing up my stuff and can't find my keys...I even look in the Library lost and found, then panic that maybe I dropped them on the way in. I rush outside and...MY CAR IS GONE! I must have lost the keys, someone found them, and drove my car away!!! What will I tell Rich?? Wait..did I get dropped off this morning?... I remember now that Rich had a Dr. appointment...ah...HE has the car today! Phew!
He was 5 minutes late picking me up because he was standing outside the Service Center waiting for ME to pick HIM up. Then he noticed the car in the lot and wondered why I parked there instead of driving up to the curb to wait as usual...then he remembered that HE had the car...and got out his keys.

What are we going to do?? Both of us are losing our minds at the same time!! Synchronized Alzheimer's.
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