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Today in My History

2000: Nose to the Grindstone
2001:  Limbo
2002:  They Call Me a Cockeyed Octopus
2003:  Grandpa's Chair
2004:  Tulips, Tulips, Tulips
Eating & Sleeping in St. Louis
2006:  A Day of Mixed Emotion
2007:  Well, I'll never do THAT again!
2008:  Nobody Gave Me an Apple
2009:  Four Old Ladies with Dementia
2010:  The Prime Directive
2011:  Four More Stars

Bitter Hack
Updated: 4/17

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 4/12
"Then Again"

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Santa Barbara, April 2012

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Santa Barbara, 4/2012

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18 April 2012

On a whim, I decided to keep track of all the people who came through the book store this afternoon.  Turns out I picked the perfect day to do that!

When I arrived at the store, Susan was working, but she packed up her things and left.  I decided to look at travel books to read this time, looking for something about the countries we will be visiting this summer, but in that section instead, I found a delightful book that intrigued me:

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I was so busy taking notes on my project for the day, and chatting with customers I didn't quite finish it, so brought it home to finish, but it's simply delightful, wonderfully written and humanizes Einstein--as well as the man who had possession of his brain.  Ya gotta read this one.

Silhouette.jpg (14148 bytes)This is actually the drawing I made which started this "track the customers" business.  This was the silhouette I drew to remind me of the first customer I encountered.  He was very large (as you can see), but his belly was too high to be in a pregnant woman position and too low to be in the "barrel chested" category.   I don't think I've ever seen someone with a belly that large in that location on the body!  He was very pleasant, though, and bought a book of children's poems.

Next came a couple.  He looked like Peter Ustinov in his younger, somewhat thinner days.  He bought a book on baseball parks. The woman with him had sunglasses on her head and she was squinting at the books.  She finally bought a Merck Manual for Veterinarians, in which she found a card advertising rabbit meat. 

The next guy through the door was wearing blue shorts, and shoes without socks.   He had a bike messenger bag over one shoulder.  He had on a baseball cap.   He breezed in, nodded hello and headed straight for the sci fi section, then checked the inside bargain books and then left--he obviously had been there before and knew what he wanted and where to look.

Next came a very tall girl in a very short black dress with huge white polkadots and a yellow blouse underneath.  She was looking for a specific author, but didn't find her.  Her partner was a typical student type and commented on how much he loves the smell of old books--and old vinyl records.  The two of them are from Placerville, where, he says, used book stores don't fluorish.  He bought a copy of "Jack the Ripper."

A Mom and daughter came in looking for books about music.  They were a great pair and looked through the whole music section before selecting a book called "Music" and a book called "Pop, Rock and Soul."  I asked her if she was into music and she said that it was her husband's "latest thing."

A woman popped in to ask if we had books on CD and left when I said we did not.

Another young woman came in and apologized because she "hadn't been in in a while."  She had no money with her, but chose a book called "Dalai Lama" and one about Herbalism and asked if I could hold them for her.

Then came the highlight of the day.  A woman with a dog stood outside and she asked if she could bring the dog inside.  I said yes.  He was obviously a pit bull mix and looked like all those pit mix puppies I've fed over the years.  We got to talking about him and she said she had chosen him from the SPCA and that apparently he and his siblings had been abandoned at the post office and that the SPCA had originally named him Maxine because they thought he was a girl, but changed his name to Max when they realized he was a boy.  MAX!!!  OUR MAX!!!  Remember Patty, Max and Laverne?  Here he is, all grown up.

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It was so wonderful to see one of my bottle babies all grown up and in such an obviously loving home.  This was the litter that recognized us when we came to see them at Petco when they went up for adoption.  I don't know if Max really remembered me today, but he came to put his head in my lap a couple of times, always wagging his tail.  His visit just made my day!!

While he was there a young woman who has been volunteering in Nigeria came in looking for Harry Potter books to give to a friend.  She is getting ready to return to Nigeria, where she is working for a small charitable organization.  Turns out Max's Mom has a relative volunteering in Rwanda so they compared notes and I chimed in about my sponsored kids in Uganda and Kenya.  The woman heading back to Nigeria is a chemical engineer and working on water purification projects.

A guy with a head scarf like a Russian grandmother came in, a little nervous about Max.  He was looking for a book called "Thinking with a Pencil," which he didn't find.

A young Asian woman in a UCD shirt came in and left so quickly, I didn't even see her go.

Another couple of student types, in UCD shirts, came in and spent a long time checking out the fiction and literature sections.  The guy was hunkering down in the book stacks checking the books intently and later I could hear giggles.   They left without buying anything.

A woman wearing a St. Mary's College shirt came in looking for a book about raising chickens.  She didn't find one, but she was followed by a man wearing a green shirt, jeans, a red hat and flip flops.  He was a sporty kinda guy and was looking for a book about home brewing, which he also didn't find.

A kind of business student type, who reminded me of Carey on The Good Wife came in and headed straight to the sci fi section, then moved on and pulled out his cell phone.  Then I saw him standing there counting on his fingers.  He finally left without buying anything.

Right behind him was your classic nerdy guy who rushed in, chewing on his nails.  His girlfriend waited for him outside with a bike.  He didn't stay long.  He was looking for a specific book (which I have now forgotten -- "Bleak House," I think) and found it instantly.

Sometime around here, I checked the old book shelf, which I had forgotten to do earlier (I usually do this first thing to see if there is some gem that I have to have).  I decided I didn't need the book "Rats and Lice in History." 

A husky guy in a UCD shirt bought a bargain book

A grandmotherly type with pastel clothing and a safari-type soft brim hat came in and asked to see a list of the books we have.  I told her we didn't have one.  She looked around for awhile and then left.

The next woman looked like she lives the kind of life my mother does--her hair was nicely done, her clothes neatly tailored, definitely out of place among all the customers I'd had to this point.  She was looking for newspapers, which we don't have, but she was with a woman I guessed was her daughter.  I guessed right when the daughter's husband came in with their little girl, who looked to be about 2-3 yrs old.  The little girl spent about 20 minutes talking to herself or to her parents in the children's book room.  Grandma bought a couple of Nora Roberts-type books (my mother devours those) and was happy for a bookmark with the Logos information on it so she can find us again.

By this time Peter had come in to relieve me and Walt followed on his heels, having left a Chinese dinner in the car.  We were going to review Million Dollar Quartet in Sacramento and it's easier to pick up a Chinese dinner than for me to have to rush home from the book store and think of something to cook in time for us to leave for Sacramento.

As I said, with all this note-taking, I didn't read straight through, like I usually do, but I'm near the end of the "Mr. Albert" book and am thoroughly enjoying it.


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