Archive | Bibliophile

57 percent of new books are not read to completion.

worth reading • From “Walmart is also now selling over 200 current best-sellers at at least half off the list price.” WTF? aren’t books pretty much dirt cheap now? why bother printing prices on them at all, lets just sell them by the pound cause:

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins,
So who is BUYING all these crap books anyway? ya gotta admit most best sellers are pretty much crap… interchangable authors and titles but basically the same content from year to year….thrillers, bio, feel me up good books etc…. I can see they have a purpose just like iceberg lettuce and beige paint but seriously you read em you forget about em almost immediately.
I am torn between paying full price for these books being a crime against man and the fact that there are so many copies printed that they are nearly worthless being a crime against nature. and if you say “save the trees read em on Kindle”, so help me I will throttle you. Come to think of it, when’s the last time we got the recycling guys to pick up a box of best sellers? never. that’s when. the only time you see em after they leave Walmart and BJs is when they show up at yard sales for a buck a piece.
I say print fewer of the damn things and charge more money…suddenly you will see the quality and value of books improve.

well that was fun

In the last four days I have written four incredibly witty, and helpful blog posts, each funnier than the last, you shoulda read them, they rocked. ….alas they all ocurred inside my head while I was driving from one place to another, ticking off the list of things I was NOT getting accomplished. All those lovely words evaporated well before I had a chance to type them.

My remaining time with the Census folk can be measured in hours now – not that it wasn’t fun..well payday was fun…i know i know a lot of self pity for someone WITH a job when so many folks have none. I was just getting stressed trying to keep all those damn balls in the air..i like to know exactly where my balls are at all times. Besides i felt awful, long hours, bad food, I haven’t had time to ride my bike for over a month and all that high fructose Red Bull was making me squirrely – correction squirreliER…it was like having a real job. <>

Hopefully I can get back to my life…my remaining cusomers will be very happy, I STILL have not been able to dig myself out of the backorder hole I slide into when my mother passed away. Good thing I have run out of ancestors or I would never get anything accomplished. Oddly, while glad handing folks around town in the name of MethuenComon, I seemed to have backed into a night life. This week, with my camera beside me, I have been to a ham and bean supper and the Rod and Gun Club, Ballroom dancing at the Senior Center, a 45’s (that’s a card game children) night and a Jazz Club…who knew we had a jazz club? A little Stranger in a Strange land meets middle America., not to mock but to observe…well there’s a little mocking.. but I get my fill of that at Walmart on Saturdays..I think of it like white trash anthropology.

I have to do the write up on the Jazz club now…i was probably the only local present, save the club owners…and being marginally mediarific, I was treated with celebrity status…I had a good gig going, if Iwanted to cage drinks all night. Here’s hoping I get back to regularly scheduled programming…you wouldn’t want to buy any tickets to an animal rescue benefit would you? thought so.

different day, same nutjobs

I always do what the writing on the truck tells me…..

one of these days these guys are gonna figure out i am only there for the paycheck…but alas today was not the day. another day hauling around what amounts to a small dead forest in the name of statistics; the carbon footprint on this exercise is grotesque.
a typical three red bull day
5:45 sift the net for anything I can feed to
8:00am prostitute myself to the usgov
7:00 pm meet with rail trail people or animal rescue people or some other people…
9:00pm filter emails for anything remotely imperative
10:00 fed and clean up after flea circus
11:00 pack and any orders for shipping
12:00am write blog fodder

if it's thursday

damn damn still here. or actually still there. I keep hoping to get shit-canned but alas the government still wants my service. I had a second silly woman go all woolly on me this time in a Buddhist temple parking lot. You know me I like a good fight but usually on paper, in real life I find this kind of behavior uncivilized, hand holding people is not on my agenda.

I think I am officially a grown up and it sucks. I just wonder why people don’t just grow up? Good god why do people still worry about penny ante shit? life’s too fucking short. Tantrums in public places should end with the terrible twos in your forties it’s unattractive. And I am the last person to try that on, I tend to laugh and walk away, funny this makes people madder. go figure.

Now I am hoping to get canned by dinner time…..shall we start a pool?

inner piece

you know that peace that overcomes you when you decided to stop banging your head against a wall? yeah..that’s grand…. as much as I love and need the money, god knows i have an over abiding affection for heat and hot water, i just can’t allow the government to screw me more than once a year and that’s only a fortnight after April fool’s day. The us census may be the best statistic gathering agency on the planet, but it is very much like watching sausage being made. levels of bureaucracy that exist as long as Brigadoon don’t get that shake down period when all the tentacles that don’t work atrophy and fall off, instead you get conflict orders from several people all of whom are higher up on the food chain. I’m used to dealing with fur people who have four legs and no facade, homey don’t play that penny ante human ego bullshit. underlings don’t want to show up to work and complain that i ‘fired’ them, fine, i’m down with that. you send me a list of backwards ass instructions and expect me to make soup? fine i can deal…but when i get 4 phone calls before my morning red bull each taking me to task for something not of my making, know that kinda takes the shine off the shekel for me. now i am happily filling out their little forms and stuffing things into envelopes just hoping and praying I get fired before lunchtime…can’t help it, it’s the passive aggressive in me…i get that from my mother.

tiny pleasures

Anyone else love that feeling you get when the shipping supply restock arrive and you get to clean up the giant hamster cage mess you have made since the last time and put everything away nice and neat? hey, we take the tiny pleasures when we can get them. My days are still not my own and my evenings even less so, the US Census is using 19th century technology this time around and there is a lot of hand writing in pencil involved. At night instead of curling up with anything remotely entertaining I pull up my manual and my paperwork and make sure all my Is are crossed.

I know the money will stop coming in a couple of weeks, and i am trying very hard NOT to piss it away on frivolous things like food and clothing. I am getting square with as many people as I can remember, even staving off the utility companies.

Seriously this 8-10 hour workaday thing is hideous and should be abolished, when are people supposed to have time to do all their other jobs? The only thing I have even marginally kept up with is the event website, and i even got taken to task by a local PR person because I hadn’t plugged it into to all the social network sites YET. As my ex-husband used to say “that will have to wait until I get my third hand free.”

I did treat myself to a night out – one of the local events wasn’t getting ANY coverage from the useless regional paper, so I did it myself. A local bar, which had until recently been a bar just south of the one from Road House, brought in some comedians for a night, a town first in my memory. So I went I sat, I smirked, I drank and I wrote. Surprisingly when I reread what I had wrought (sic) the next morning, it wasn’t half bad….perhaps I should only write when i am half in the bag. That may improve my outlook, if not my liver function.

cherrystones and screwdrivers

good god, i forgot how bloody painful this working for a living thing is. two weeks of horribly long commutes and 12 hour days and now a week of standing at a podium reciting from a book…for the first time in my life i have doubts about my voice holding up, and i can just tell there is cement under this damn floor.

but i did finally make it to my first paycheck without getting fired for anything….and there was joy throughout the land…between that and half of what was left in my mother’s bank account, I have managed to buy nearly everything my heart desired…well everything on my “must have or i will be out of business bloody quick” list…restocked all the products, new keyboards all around, new laptop battery, new cell phone…reimbursed all the actual humans I owe money to….and got even with nearly all of the utility bills…i learned my lesson from the last Census gig : “don’t expect it to last as long as they promised”

I even shelled out for some new sneakers…these are the only feet i have and i still need them for a while. the very old truck and moderately old stove are the next on the to do list, so i’m counting the days until the next paycheck or three.

the days still seem interminable, if i get anything done at all it has to be before dawn. I can barely lift my feet or my arms at the end of the day; the only thing that i have to look forward to is a self indulgent treat of half dozen cherrystones and a grey goose screwdriver…i realize when i am back living off my own earnings, I won’t be able to afford either very often if at all, but it does alleviate some of the pain, the physical and the psychic.

Miss Behavior.

Nearly none of the machines in my house are behaving as they are supposed to. I miss my laptop terribly, aside from the shocking power cord incident, it is out getting its sixth keyboard installed – i am bad on keyboards. The PC is still buggy, though i have run about 9 anti-virus programs and more utilities to speed it up…but for some reason Firefox 3.5.5 runs like me carrying luggage up flights of stairs. test driving browsers that don’t have your cookies in them is a pain in the arse making it slow work no matter which one I use.

I had half a day to myself today which I used frivolously to clean litter boxes and do laundry. And speaking of laundry, I gotta pop into the thrift store and buy more grownup clothes. I start running a crew for the census on Monday and when I tell them business casual, it basically rules out everything I own. I really really need a netbook, being away from my email for 8-12 hours a day is hideous, I can’t imagine how people do it. But at all costs I will be catering my lifestyle around this straight job for the next few weeks. Baby needs a new pair of shoes…and some socks, and underwear and every other damn thing. It seems people want me to trade small green pieces of paper for the things I need and one must actually WORK for someone else to acquire these green pieces of paper. This will make a change.

MethuenCommon is cranking along nicely..not generating any money but not actually costing me anything but time. Which is more than I can say for my other projects. The one thing I can actually say is that it does get me out of the house more. I spend a lot of time reading bulletin boards and utility poles. Speaking of events, I am going to try…i said TRY, to get up to the Portland Book Fair this Sunday. Yes I still pretend to be in the book business..but the pretense stops at the high water mark if you know what I mean. Aside from listing book repair products and books online, you can’t actually make people BUY anything at least not from concentrating really hard..i know I have tried.

So after I spend some time packing the few orders that I have lying around, I will get in my something borrowed truck and toodle up the coast for my one and only Grand Day Out…truth is I am still not going for the books, I am going to Portland for the Food. My buddies at Rabelais got an honorable mention from the folks at the New York Times Food Section…along with all the other foodies in Down East Maine. If I don’t get me some ginger molasses cake really soon, I’m gonna throw a tantrum.


Truly this is the first time, I have been able to actually SIT and post for what? like 2 weeks? And it’s 5 am, and i have to be out of here in a few minutes. Last week I did five twelve hour days training for the Census job again (this time i am a crew leader so the pay bump is nice) The only way I got through that was swilling Red Bull and taking afternoon bumps from a microscopic Tabasco bottle.

When I finally got down time I found my PC had been hacked and hijacked – by at least 3 different viruses. Don’t ask about the laptop there was this thing with the power cord overheating and catching fire you don’t wanna know . . . . one of the viruses hijacked my system blocking anything Google, so the only thing i could post to was facebook. I ran about nine antivirus programs and I still couldn’t use anything Google, even Google searches to find the correct antivirus program were diverted. Yes, i DID learn my lesson about putting all my eggs in one google driven basket. The site is written in WordPress perhaps I will migrate all blogging to new software, when i get my third hand free of course. With a little help from a friend, I used Hijackthis to locate the culprit and had to delete it by hand.

So now I can post, but I just don’t have the time. I am off for more training and then ‘I’ get to train folks..ain’t that scary? hopefully when this is all said and done I will be flush enough to pay a few utilities – or maybe I will buy an iphone so i can post on the road…you can still text while driving in this country right?


I kept meaning to write, but I went right from planting my mother to taking shifts beside my cousin at the hospice. All I bring is my one marketable skill, reading aloud, usually from books of food or travel essay. Reading aloud wasn’t particularly useful while Herself was passing. Instead I sat and sketched out a hyperlocal news site for my city. has gotten some good feedback, but the actual construction is a blur and I can’t seem to find a thumbnail image bug. Anyone know anyone who speaks PHP send them my way, i’d like to put a cap in that project’s ass.

While I have been distracted orders have piled up, floors are going unwashed, blogs untended. But in the middle of everything the US Census folks dangled a few weeks of supervisor pay in front of my eyes. My Pavlonian response to outside work is always Yes, regardless of what obstacles may exist. The local assignment won’t be a problem, but the training occurs an hour outside of my truck’s range of motion, which involves polling and cajoling a vehicle out of someone else for the short week.

Yeterday, the Mayor gave me the happy news that President’s stimulus package has money for my rail trail project’s engineering survey; which leap frogs that project from a stand still to a state of play. Despite being up to my ass in litter boxes, it’s getting thin on the ground here, as my roommates have started to die off. I didn’t shedule any non-profit events for this weekend, hence more time to read aloud.

Other cousins have migrated from my mother’s event to this one, I’m the one standing outside the group, stunned at how far we have turned into our parents. Most obviously in appearance but also in behavior, it seems the universe will always been peopled by middle aged men bragging about how much money they save when buying things. While the attendants did their thing, we all took a late night tour of the facility which is half empty and retains its ‘new hospice’ smell. Poking our heads in darkened rooms we were happily surprised at the amenties for the living that are included in the floorplan: koi ponds, kitchens, couches and book nooks. One of my cousins illustrated her transition into her late mother with her observation that the chapel was non-dimensional. Until then I thought we had heard the last of her mothers masterful Bowdlerisms, apparently not just genes are genetic.

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