"You NEED COFFEE. Look at it this way: you're 6 hours overdue. It's going to take time to switch to this new schedule. Coffee."
Now this actually computed. I lumbered awake, crossly knocking myself against an odd door frame. Scowling at the radio but laughing at Paula Poundstone. I eventually called her back to inform her that no, I really had no time, I *knew* there were things I had to take care of and there were simply too many things going on this weekend. I hung up feeling sensible but dour. I hunched before the monitor, feeling punished; then called her back within two minutes to come pick me up when she was ready. She agreed, laughing at me.
It was, of course, a fabulous outing, only curtailed by my standing robot store appointment. We encouraged each other to elbow old women out of the way and took our maps of the book sale layout. She made a beeline for cookbooks and I for fiction hardcovers (Hardcovers! Yay!). Two guys to my right had a red wagon of books and were scanning bar codes with beeping machines (like the ones we used to use for inventory nights at Borders, only smaller). The one grudgingly told me they were gathering books to resell. I felt hostile toward them -- narrowing the choices for us booklovers. Hmmmph. "Oh no," said Comp, "They're always here. Same with estate sales. Mostly resellers, snapping things up."
Well. Way of the world, I guess. Way of the world, indeed. I was happy to get my book bargain-hunting need attended to, since I haven't been able to bring myself to enter the moribund Borders. I worked at the Ann Arbor location for 4 years and all their shared fault in their downfall aside, I worked there almost fresh from college, during (my second stage of) formative years. Depressing, sad. So a used book sale held the triumph, without the sense of picking over a carcass...
Behold, my haul:
I have already read Gilead, Year of Magical Thinking and the David Sedaris book, but thought they would be nice to have. Gilead, with its wisdom and gorgeous prose, will be lovely to revisit.
The rest of the day passed in a whirl and would take too long to recount in a good fashion. The robot store, the opening for "Actual Size" at Whitdel Arts in Detroit, margaritas at the Side Track and finished off by dancing at Plastic Passion, in the red room of Necto. Bed at 3 AM, which is rather rare for me at this point. This afternoon there was a neighborhood grilling get-together with new couples introduced, multiple desserts consumed, including freshly churned ice cream (the chocolate was SPLENDID), and young children repeatedly gifting the adults with leaves ("Wow, that makes five, THANK you."). I feel like I could use another weekend day to address more necessary tasks, but such is life.
At the risk of sounding grossly Hallmarky, while it can be overwhelmingly busy, often the things I most love are little encapsulated moments. Often these involve strangers (possibly due to the heightened feeling of randomness?)
Some good recent sightings:
- I am at a chichi grocery store. A tiny blond boy wearing a jacket adorned with numerous badges and POLICE written in white block letters across his shoulders is volleying questions at his Mom. Mom, meanwhile is trying to disconnect the concepts of age from height. She looks at him, "For example, *I* am *FIVE* years OLDER than Daddy." He frowns at her dubiously. He will not be easily won over.
- Art student curled around a small metal cafe table. She is dressed in black, as rebels also like to be identifiable. The white lettering on the back of her t-shirt reads "SHUT UP AND DRAW."
- Sign at veteran's park: "Trees made possible by the Elizabeth Dean Fund." I know what they mean, obviously, but the wording also strikes me as odd. Kittens made possible by Susan Whittaker. Mosquitoes made possible by Joe Schemmler, that jackass.
- The other night I was making gujarati green paste and flouncing happily around the kitchen; through the screen door came a cyclical grating sound. Too soft to be a muffler, too loud (and too early) to be rake tines on cement. I glanced out and saw a tween girl, riding her ten-speed. Tied to her back seat was a winter sled, full of stuffed animals and dolls. Her bike tires traced lazy arcs on the pavement, while the sled skittered in her wake. Soon she's going to be too old and too cool to acknowledge any such thing took place.
- After weird bruises kept appearing on my legs, I decided to start a short, brisk walk every morning after initial reports were delivered, to wake my body up a bit more. The nice thing is this brings me back to noticing tiny neighborhood bits. Current favorite landmark: the house of twenty gnomes. If this is the outside decoration, what can we hope for from the interior?
- Also on walk: a little boy, maybe 8 years old, is about to step onto the sidewalk on his way to school (a few blacks away). When he sees me walking in his direction, he retreats, standing just inside his parents' garage. As I pass by, he keeps watch, frowning at me. Points for the well-trained child!