Saturday, October 16, 2004
Paperback Exchange Stamps -- Benjamin's "just past"

Better Buy Book Exchange
50% Trade -- Used Pocket Books
4393 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver 8, B.C.

144 East Broadway
Vancouver, B.C.
V5T 1V9
Science Fiction
And More
Ph: (604) 872-2939

3621 West 4th Avenue
Phone REgent 3-1711

PHONE: 731-9642
We Buy -- Sell & Trade
Pocket Books, Magazines & Comics

Friday, October 15, 2004
Cheerful, slightly tipsy customer who didn't get into the Annie Sprinkle show at the Western Front shows off her skull-and-crossbones-emblazoned mittens to me:

"So I figure, pirates are the bad guys, right? So I'm gonna stitch P-I-R-A-T-E on these knuckles, and R-A-D-I-O on these ones."


"They're really warm. Here, try this on."

(pause while my size L hand works its way up into a size S-M mitten, prompting the evening's final brilliant thought):

"It's like putting your hand inside a cat."

Thursday, October 14, 2004
A mostly busy day spent listening to Pet Sounds and cleaning and pricing the stacks of new books that wouldn't stop pouring in.

Cool puffs of air through the open door, fog drifting up and down the street all day, haloing the streetlights.

Days like today I could almost conceive of this as a career.

Deep into David Searcy's amazing pseudo-horror novel Last Things.

From an interview with the elusive Mr. S:

"Pretty much everything I write (and am likely to write, I think) derives from ideas in a long and probably fairly muddled essay I wrote in the eighties, itself inspired by the Pogo character Howland Owl's determination to visit the sun equipped with space faring gear assembled from simple household odds and ends. This seems to be my essential fable - the idiotic exhilaration of that (the watering can for a space helmet especially nice, his having to peek out through the sprinkler's perforations). So, anyway, whatever I write, I'm afraid, can probably trace itself straight back to that. The fundamentally helter-skelter, pots-and-pans-like clatter of even the most exalted intuition."

Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Customer, picking up her hold, asks Keith and I a series of intricate questions crafted like a Russian nesting doll, designed to elicit our opinion as to the most famous living English-language short story writer.

Our double-barrelled answer, "Alice Munro and Stephen King," with Harlan Ellison suiting up in the dressing room as a possible third choice, pleases no one: not the customer, and definitely neither of us, who feel like vulgar popularizers under the weight of her (largely) incredulous gaze.

Still, a defensible choice, given that Haruki Murakami, Denis Johnson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Don DeLillo, & etc. are primarily known as novelists, not short story writers. And Faulker, Chekhov, RaymondCarver, Katherine Mansfield, O. Henry, Saki, V.S. Pritchett, and old gibbering crepulous H.P.L. are dead, hence off-limits.

Leaves changing in force now, big drifts along the sidewalks.

A few days spent obsessively typing 2003 & 2004 sales data into my new accounting program.

A surprise visit from Mr. Yuxweluptun, one of my favorite local painters. "Got any books with pictures of white Christian halos?"

Off for a day-off walk in the late fall light.

Sunday, October 10, 2004
A little experiment -- playing around with the CSS settings again. The links on this entry have been picked more or less at random for experimental purposes, and will be up and down for the next day or two.

Testing, testing.

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