Tuesday, March 31, 2009

poli sci section

I shelve the Political Science section at work. And I use that term loosely. I studied poli sci and I don't think there is one book in that section that I read for school. Maybe, some Chomsky, but it was most likely have been an essay in a journal. Most of the books in that section are written by people you would see on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. In a nutshell, it's popular and mainstream stuff. I sometimes wish we could change the name of it to the Current Affairs Section, or the Pompous A-Holes Tell You What to Think Section. Or maybe the Who Wrote a Book About Politics? Section. There are books by senators, and speech writers and lots of lawyers. Of course there are the pundits and my two personal favorites, books by Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris, and just to tickle my funny bone a bit more, those last two are shelved right next to each other. Yay!

When I shelve that section, and especially when I choose displays or face outs for that section, I try very hard to remain unbaised. I've done displays that were books from the right and left and then middle ground books in betwixt the two. I've done displays with all tv personalities, and displays of new books that I do or do not agree with. I've done an Obama display that had pro and anti Obama books. And I've even done a display of books that were simply all blue, subject matter completely aside.

But the other day as I was shelving, there was a gentleman browsing and when his wife came by and they began to leave he muttered something I couldn't understand, and then she said, "Well, their all liberals here." And he said, "Yeah, they have the Anne Coulter book, but it's hidden away."

There are a few things I don't understand, first being, have you no idea where you live? And second, how can you say that book was hidden when it was in it's place on it's shelf? I had no idea how devious I was being when I shelved the Anne Coulter book with the rest of the c's. And there were even 5 copies of it and it was faced out. I actually intentionally faced it out because I knew people would want it and this way it would be easier to see. And if they had been in a week earlier they would have seen the Anne Coulter book along with the Micheal Medved book (that claims America never committed genocide against the native Americans), and that Obama hating tome, Obamanation; all of them, you guessed it...on display!

So believe what you want, read what you want, but don't you dare tell me that my shelving techniques are biased.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Are We Human?

Last week I thought I would check up on one of my favorite bands, The Killers, you know, see when their next album was coming out and if they were touring. Well, the album came out in October, and being that the only radio I listen to is NPR, I haven't heard any of the new stuff. I thought about checking it out at the library but there were, like, a million holds. I had been trying to plan my days so I could pick up the cd at a record store before work, but what's silly about me is I don't want to buy a new cd that I can't listen to right that minute. I can't even wait the 8 hours of work before I can hear it, it's a problem, I know.
Then yesterday I was having coffee with Christy in the U District and we were walking around on the avenue and came to a record shop. I popped in and bought it (Day and Age) and listened to it a little yesterday, but it wasn't until I was on the bus today, hearing it on my headphones, that my life was totally changed. You know that kind of music that reaches down into your soul and shakes everything up and after hearing it you're a totally different person. That's what this is. It makes me want to dance and sing and just live life. It speaks to me. I know that's probably annoying to a lot of you, but what can I say, the music, it moves me! Go out and buy it this minute, it's unbelievable.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crafty Like a Fox

Here are a few of the crafty goings on around here..
Dragon slippers for Trish
A sketch of Oliver for AndreaA picture of the Chosen One for Carrie
& Jodi's tree bag

Growing Old

I'm in my last year of my twenties now. I feel like I have a handle on things. I've only recently figured out that you can't spend money you don't have, moving to a new place doesn't change who you are and image isn't everything. I think that's pretty good. These are all things I didn't know when I was 25, so I'm doing alright.

I'm trying to be okay with getting older. I'm trying to be okay with the fact that nobody got wasted at my birthday party, and we played games and it happened to be the best party ever! I'm trying to be okay with the fact that most of my friends are already married or engaged or procreating, and the only meaningful long-term relationship I've had has been with my cats. I'm trying to be okay with the fact that I have eye wrinkles and the cream I pay $20 for does nothing. I'm trying to be okay with the fact that last week Kim called me to go out on Friday night, and I was too tired so I stayed in and crafted.

But most of all, I'm trying to be okay with my gray hair. Yup, I have gray hair. I can't even say I'm prematurely going gray because quite honestly it's not premature at all. It seems like it's right on schedule. I've finally stopped pulling it out and I'm just letting it grow. And the funny thing is, it's kinda nice. It's really shiny and sparkly, so it looks like I have magic tinsel hair. What I want to know is why it so curly and crimped. My hair is nothing if not straight. It's like the gray hairs are saying, "Look at us! We are shiny and sparkly, and just in case you missed us, we stand straight up out of all the other normal hair. Yay!"

Oh well. I may be older, but at least I remember all of the nights I hang out with friends, I get a good night's sleep most nights, I have the best two roommates in the world and no concerns about a future divorce, I've learned butt loads of new crafts, my eye wrinkles are really just a testament to how much I laugh, and hey, I have magic tinsel hair, and my whole life is in front of me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On the Bus Home

I was riding the bus home from work with Adam tonight and he was telling me how his friend is mad at him. I said, "Maybe she's projecting." And he said, "What does that mean...she's on her period?"

Cats are Self-Cleaning

I was sweeping the floor tonight. And as I sweep, I always pick up a few kernels of cat food amongst the litter, hair, dust and other floor nasties. And always, without fail, when I finish the kitchen and go to sweep the bathroom, I come back and there is Opal eating the three or four pieces of cat food out of the pile of floor nasty. It is literally three pieces, and it won't matter if she had just eaten or the bowl is totally full, she will still eat the three pieces out of the pile of dirt. I'm not sure what goes through her tiny head, but sometimes, it's not much

Here is Opal demonstrating how much she loves the pile of dirt by pointing at it.

And here is an example of how far away the full food dish is from the pile of dirt. (Note Brody in the background eating from the actual bowl)

Still Life with Cats

Seriously, I have nothing to write. I am so unbelievably boring. Adam asked me yesterday, "What happened to the fun Erin I used to know?" What happened indeed. To prove how boring I am, here is what I did today, and most likely any Tuesday...

10AM: Woke up, played with cats, yelled at cats for being too aggressively playful.

11AM: Showered, sang in shower, got ready for work.

12:40PM: Left the house late to catch my bus.

12:45PM: Called work to tell them I was going to be late.

12:45-1:05: Waited at bus stop.

1:05-2:15: Rode bus and read. Contemplated atomic theory.

2:15-10:30PM: Took people's money, unpacked boxes, answered phones, shelved books, farted around, went to the bathroom, ate lunch, goofed around...you know, work.

10:30-11:30PM: Rode bus, read, contemplated why cheese is so yummy.

11:45PM: Tidied, played with cats, turned on computer, washed dishes.

See, aren't you glad I don't write this shit down everyday...you would die of boredom.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Little Kids in Bookstores

Today I was walking down one of the aisles at work when I heard a little boy* saying "Barack Obama". If you've never heard a little kid say "Barack Obama", well it's just about the cutest thing ever. So I'm all set to just adore this kid when I come around the corner and see that he isn't looking at a book about/by Barack Obama, it was a book by Randy Jackson...you know American Idol Randy Jackson.

Which led me to reminisce on another occasion at my old bookstore...

We used to sell these little Gandhi, stuffed dolls. One time a kid* came in and said, "Look Mom, a monkey!"

Wow! Little kids are racist!

How about a little diversity parents!

* both kids were white

Why Sometimes I Think it Might Be Better to Live With Other Humans and Not Just Cats

On Sunday I woke up and it was snowing like I have never seen before. The flakes were the size of tea cup saucers. I had no idea that it was supposed to snow, and for a brief second I thought it was ash. The thought actually ran through my head that Mt. Rainier had exploded and we were all going to die. I nearly made it to the telephone to call my mom (much like the time a pack of javelinas came up to my apartment window in Tucson...what's she going to do...shoo javelinas through the telephone?). As I was going for the phone, to no doubt panic my mother with volcanic visions, I thought to myself, "hm, it's cold in here. Could those white things falling to the ground, possibly, just maybe, be snow?" Turns out they were. And I could have avoided a few seconds of sheer terror if I only lived with an actually person instead of two cats who find shoelaces and licking their own butts more interesting than extreme meterological events or terrifying (fictional) seismic occcurances.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wow. Super Depressing

Yahoo! has a feature on their homepage showing the the top ten searches of the day. Today #10 was "unemployment benefits". I think that's the first time an entry hasn't been a celebrity or diet plan. Yikes. Times be tough, friends.

For Your Consideration

Cutest animal ever...
The baby chinchilla.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Update

I've thought long and hard about this. I love my job and my bookstore and above all, I love the customers that shop there and keep us in business even though they could go to that dreaded online bookstore and save "scads" of money. Unfortunately, most of my good material comes from work. So, as a disclaimer, none of these anecdotes represent a particular individual, it is just my bitchy, self-righteous, condescending view of the world. Without further ado, I present, Things That Annoyed Me This Weekend...

-It snowed, and everyone who came to the cash registers had to tell me that it was snowing.

-Nobody had any idea what they wanted, one example...
Customer: Do you have any books by Tony Atwood?
Me: What's the title?
C: I don't know.
M: I don't see anything, could it be Anthony?
C: I don't know.
M: I don't see anything listed for a Tony or Anthony Atwood. Do you know anything about it, any words in the title or what kind of book it is?
C: No.

-People could not get over how adorable their kids were. They kept having them pay, which, let me tell you, taking money from kids is like pulling teeth. They're shy, won't look at you, are always looking at their parents when I ask a question. It's like I'm trying to complete the transaction with their parents only through a very unreliable telephone with a time delay like they're on the moon. And the bills are always crumpled in a wad, and they can't take the change without dropping it because their hands are too damn small. Just so you know, we don't think it's adorable, we think it's annoying.

-A man complained about my t-shirt which says, "vote," with a drawing of hands. He asked me why we should vote and then proceeded to spout out every negative, cynical argument against voting, finishing with, "Of course I voted, but I wasn't proud of it." Astounding.

-While going to the bathroom a little girl about 6 or 7 peeped at me through the gap between the door. And it wasn't just a look to see if the stall was empty (she saw me go in), it was peeping. The best part was her mother who was standing there watching her peep. She didn't say anything to stop her, didn't say anything to me when I came out, or when I rang them up at the cash registers a few minutes later. Just a little tip for all you parents out there, don't let your kids spy on people going to the bathroom.

Where Have You Been?

Well, really it was I who was missing. Sorry I haven't been keeping up to date but I've been busy/boring. Busy because it was my birthday and mi madre was in town, and boring because nothing seems to happen to me. I know my blogging absence has led some of you to curse me for not providing your morning entertainment and still others of you to freak out and figure I had been hit by a bus (although in their defense I was abnormally silent on all fronts be they email, texting, voicemail or smoke signals). So in an effort to apologize, and get you all on my good side again, I present... FREAKISHLY ADORALE ANIMALS...

See. Don't you love me just as much as you did before?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Night With Junot Diaz

Because I am the slowest blogger ever, I am finally getting around to this. Last Tuesday some coworkers and I went to hear Junot Diaz speak. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. For those of you who don't know my views on the book, here is my review...


So needless to say, I'm not much of a fan. I will say that the book is incredibly well written, I could never in a million years even dream of writing such a book. But still, I hated it. And, being the open-minded person that I am, I wanted to hear what the author had to say. I wasn't going just to get more riled up (like I sometimes do when I turn on Bill O'reilly). I seriously wanted to see if maybe we had all misread the book. Maybe it wasn't just a mini-memoir of emigrating to the US. Maybe it was the feminist commentary that I so desperately wanted it to be.

Another link, here is the Stranger's take on the evening....


Given the evening that I witnessed, with a more jaded eye than our friends at the Stranger, Junot Diaz is a charming, intelligent, quick-witted fellow. He's very funny and something about his nervous speaking tick is so endearing that I wanted to pick him up and squeeze him and put him in my pocket and take him home. But, I also think he's an arrogant asshole. And perhaps that's my bias talking (I'm afraid there's no clear-cut reporting here, the Stranger is enamored and I am enraged, I'm sorry if you were looking for just the facts, but you won't get them here). From the moment he stepped onstage he was belittling the presenter, whom I'll admit was a little frosty, but maybe rightly so.

Part of my argument for disliking him that night has to do with spending too many hours with pretentious creative writing students in God-awful pretentious creative writing workshops, and part of it has to do with Junot Diaz's propensity for swearing. Maybe all the middle-aged people in the audience thought that the various "fuck you"s were edgy, but I just saw them as a front. I myself swear... a lot, but not like that. I'm sorry, but that was a stage act, a persona. That "edginess" that had everyone nervously giggling and applauding was nothing more than a ruse. A ruse to say, "I won the Pulitzer?! Well I don't really give a shit. You know, because I'm so street."

So, I still don't like Junot Diaz, and no, my reporting is not "fair and balanced," but that's the way I feel. And oddly, something in that visceral feeling makes me think that the Junot Diazes of the world would approve.

PS. More to come on the feminist argument that Mr. Diaz started by claiming that men cannot be feminists... are you intriuged? I am!

PPS. I'm not very open minded. I an the first person to admit that.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


There sure have been a lot of cat entries lately. Please, if you are a stranger or a long-lost friend, understand that there is more to me than my cats. Things like reading and watching movies, knitting and learning how to juggle. See how diverse I am. I'm not a crazy cat lady. Why, just tonight I completed a completely cat-free filing of my taxes (though I did wonder if they would count as dependents...sadly, no).

And, well if you do know me, I guess it's probably too late to try and convince you otherwise.

Everyone's a Critic

My cats like to supervise everything I do. And I mean everything...

Here is Brody
me while I cook.

Here he is again
supervising my

This is Opal
craft time.

And finally, Opal
supervising me
while I go to the