Saturday, April 19, 2014

Selling B&N my books

The used book annex at my local B&N told me to call Wed. to find out what type they are looking for this month. Every month it changes. You just can't truck in a load of books without checking first. The suspense is killing me. Spring cleaning means getting rid of books I will never read again, especially photography books. There is one full of gymnastics shots and another signed book by skater Kristi Yamaguchi. I don't know why I bought these books. There's one on tigers and a graphic novel telling of a young Polish girl's upbringing in the 70's.
Lots of health books for home remedies and men over 50. Also, a bunch of How to Draw tomes from when I thought I'd be a professional artist. Encyclopedias and science books and one of baby animals. Deep down I know some of these will be rejected and I'll be forced to drop them off at The Salvation Army. Some I'll really miss and some will be good riddance, including a bunch of paperbacks I reviewed for an online site.
I have resolved not to attend any more book sales--after this spring.
I'll use the extra space for manilla envelopes. Who knows how many I'll need in the future?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Flip Side of Being Reasonable

Being reasonable is dull. People walk all over you and win every argument by screaming at you as you cower in a corner. Making unreasonable demands gets attention and results. Look at unreasonable bosses and their company's productivity. Look at what unreasonable groups have accomplished. The Mob, Young Republicans, born again Christians, bird watchers, Michael Bolton fans.
No politician wants to be reasonable and examine the other side of an issue. They'd lose contributions from people who think that behavior makes the rest of us look immature.
Parents simply cannot be reasonable with teens, who are inherently evil.
If our Founding Fathers had been logical and reasonable we'd be speaking with an English accent through really bad teeth.
Reason is completely subjective, but unreasonable is something everyone can agree on. I think it would be unreasonable for me to expect any of you to read beyond this point. You're nodding in agreement.

When the Need Arises

When the need arises I roll up my sleeves and get to work. I begin with the left sleeve, unbuttoning it carefully because if the button pops off I'll have to change shirts and start over. I use the Heinrich Slausen Technique for sleeve rolling, developed in the 17th century by the Austrian inventor. You must even out the tight roll, stopping exactly 52 centimeters up the forearm.
I then proceed to my right arm and do the same thing., measuring my movements so as not to upset the equilibrium. Forearm hair can throw things off, but Prof. Ludwig Kleinhoff's landmark 1959 study Sleeve Rolling in the Age of Hairy Forearms, was an effective guide. The essence of his work is the less hair, the higher you must roll and vice versa. An equation calculates follicles per nano inch.
At this point my sleeves are fully rolled and I am ready for work. Except this 15 minute process has left me too exhausted and I must take a nap.

Off the Beaten Path

I took a hike in the mountains and chose to go off the beaten path. About an hour into it I heard what sounded like chanting coming from ahead of me.  A cult? I kept moving, excited and scared. I saw a large opening and ducked behind a bush. A group of men in white shirts and ties were chanting in a circle, arms raised, possibly praying to some god.
I could see tension in their faces. I took a step back and cracked a branch, causing them to whirl in my direction. I was too tired to run and had left my pepper spray home. I moved out into the clearing so they could see I was harmless. The leaders approached.
"Don't hurt me. I'm just a hiker off the beaten path."
"Do not fear us. We are engineers in charge of fixing the Pulaski Skyway. We are praying for guidance. We hope drivers stuck in traffic won't eradicate us. We have families." I understood and actually joined them in prayer. Sweat stains under their armpits did not decrease my admiration.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Going South

Everything is going south. My idea for reusable breath mints never took off. Eight women have left me and headed south. My dart game has disintegrated. My dart board mocks me. Some of my body parts are going south. My memory is somewhere in the Ozarks. I think I have a parrot somewhere, or maybe it got bored with me and flew south.
My trust has gone south. I don't trust the crossing guard, who keeps giving me dirty looks. I'm convinced she will tell me to cross just when an oil tanker is approaching.
My ability to write cogent essays containing concise, clear sentences has also fled far south to Honduras.
And so we come to the end of another blog post and a minute of everyone's time has migrated south.

Gracefully Afraid

If a man is alone and sees a snake, he can scream and fold into a shivering fetal position. But if he is among other men he must stare down the reptile. Look around for a rock or stick and attack.
If a man is with a woman and a snake appears, grace must subjugate fear. First, he must clap a hand over the screaming woman's mouth. Then he should consider what Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly would do. Crack a joke, dance around the snake, sing on key.
I have conquered most of my fears--Ferris wheels, clowns, hot coffee, strange stains, lady bugs. That strange pattern on their shells connotes something evil.
So I gracefully deal with normal everyday fears, which leaves death.
I am more afraid of being left in the morgue unclaimed. Why? Because if I descend into dementia I know friends will abandon me. Before that happens I'll remind them ghosts exist and I will haunt them unless they spring for a respectful burial.
If I lose my mind, I'm sure I will do so gracefully.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Missed Connection

Saturday night, about 7:15. I was running the Loop De Loop ride. There were pizza stains on my t-shirt. I was unshaven and could use a haircut. Sweaty is a term I would add.
You were dressed entirely in black leather and were accompanying your little sister on my ride. Our eyes met and you arched an eyebrow. Afterwards I helped both of you off and you smiled shyly.
I need you to know I haven't stopped thinking about you since. I was not always a carny. I used to design refrigerator magnets. I'm up for a promotion--guessing people's weights. If the leather means you're into corporal punishment, I've been very naughty.
There isn't always pizza on my shirt. Sometimes it's chili.
I think we can make this work. You know where to find me. My name is Kenneth, not Ken, Kenneth. A woman's eyebrow says so much, don't you think?