Archive | local

Goofed off day – we actually had this bright glowing ball appear in the sky today. I am not sure what its called, or if it will ever come back, but it illuminated everything. So, I took a couple of my cameras for a walk around the block. That’s my house and this is one of the architectural devices on the local library. (its the library founder trying to be scary)

blog of note • if you haven’t been visiting Bibliodyssey you have been missing out. Todays entry are some gorgeous artists books.

blog of note • Michael Leiberman’s Book Patrol has the skinny on the Kenyan Camel Library Service. Yes, I said camel.

you don’t mind if i? • from the Guardian – York the birthplace of WH Auden department of tourism has trained local cab drivers to to recite his poems to their unsuspecting passengers.

H² oh oh • A water leak that damaged the top four floors of the Lexington Public Library reached the rare-books room.

something new • Blogcritics reviews Janet Evanovich NASCAR tie in Motor Mouth as “an enjoyable though completely forgettable mystery” I wonder how many writers CAN fit on a bandwagon?

bootyful downtown methuen…believe me this is as good as it gets

last wisp of summer

No, this has nothing to do with books. I am just in a mood, a funk if you will. It’s summer’s end here in Methuen, MA, USA [Latitude 42-42-00.3260N. Longitude, 071-12-58.2130W. ] (see the big red building in the center of the Google map? that’s my house) Time to clean off the porch, pull the a/c units out of the window and start wearing shoes again. I have been out of school 20 years and I still get that sense of ennui. Not that I do anything in summer I can’t do any other time of year, but the potential has passed.

As retaliation to all the beach books that I again did not make time to read, I top off the passing season with a viewing of Jacques Tati’s Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953).(Mr. Hulot’s Holiday) Tati was a French comic genius of the first order, on par with Buster Keaton. He appears as his serenely oblivious alter ego M. Hulot in almost all of his six films. This is the first and the best.

M. Hulot’s Holiday is a post card in a bottle, to be brought out and enjoyed from time to time. If you flinch at the thought of reading subtitles, relax, there are very few. Aside from a handful of lines this film has nearly no discernible dialogue. It’s not about dialogue, it’s not about anything really. M. Hulot has gone to a beach resort along with many other vacationers who are determined to enjoy themselves. That’s it. A charming, uniquely funny film designed to evoke feelings, memories and a lot of giggles. I had very few summers at the sea side as a child, and those I remember involve extended family members and volcanic feuds. But Tati’s film allows me to remember an idyllic vacation I have never experienced.

Anyways I just want to share that, I haven’t as yet found a book that gives me the same all over good feeling.

Bullpen Book Description Contest – winners

since it’s my contest i get to make the rules and i declare everyone a winner.
each entry had its own special appauling silliness and eerie accuracy.

winner • forrest proper’s 2nd entry
winner • p.scott brown’s entry
winner • robert mc lean’s entry
winner • darrel griffin’s entry
winner • carol delle’s entry
winner • janet gezork’s entry
winner • jill linden’s entry
winner • forrest proper’s 1st entry

so each winner gets a free copy of the Methuen Garden Club Cookbook – published in 2004 by your’s truly. btw i still have a caseful of this book, so expect a lot more contests.

congratulations. one an all.

Okay I finally get to sit down and swill booze after 48 really sucky contiguous hours.

I’ve kinda blocked out everything but the highpoints But they involved a 112″ drapery rod which was 4″ too short and hence I had to buy ANOTHER drapery rod and have it with a pipe cutter and some epoxy. Since there’s no returning any of these things now, I am kinda commited to making a LOT of curtains this summer.

But the BEST part…the absolutely BEST part was the “my mother’s car fiasco”.

As you know my mum can’t drive perhaps forever…so her grand am has been sitting for 3+ weeks.. And after a few days of fiddling I got it started – I figured it was condensation screwing with the fuel injection. . . It was running pretty good, so I planned to drive it to work once a week to keep it in tune. Fool I am.
It made it to brookline just dandy…a few hours later it left brookline and after trying to find a parking place in Cambridge (yeah I know..i wasn’t thinking straight)I gave up and while I was trying to get back on the SouthEast Expressway, the car decided to die suddenly in Somerville in a pitch dark underpass. Just stop with no warning. No power, no nothing. And you know what that means…..bad alternator..bad evil alternator. Nothing to do but get it towed home. (30 miles) I got it moving enough to drift thru an intersection and into a U-haul parking lot.
NOW it gets worse.

NOTE TO SELF: All AAA’s are not the same.

I speed dialed AAA-merrimack valley who transferred me to AAA-Southern New England, who supposedly covered Somerville. From that point on it was a series of phone calls every 20 minutes where they promised a tow truck in ’20 minutes’ and I’d wait Then call, then get put on hold, then hang up and call back and ask for a supervisor etc… This went on for TWO FREAKING HOURS! NO LIE!

At the 2 hour mark…of mind you SITTING IN A 90° DEGREE VEHICLE WITH NO ELECTRICALS (no fan, no radio, no a/c) I called AAA-merrimack valley who indeed SENT A TOW TRUCK in 15 minutes and towed me home (well by this time I was pitiable..i was hot, tired, thirsty, pissy and in tears) Total time from leaving Brookline to reentering Methuen (35 miles) 4 hours 30 minutes.

Since then I have felt completely hung-over and fed up…no offense folks i really don’t like humans very much. Ya gotta admit, pets don’t lie.

This plum wine isn’t half bad.

water water everywhere

Spicket River, Methuen, MA May 15, 2006

blogpoll • please participate in our collective nominative poll at left.

distopia watch • the FBI acknowledges that it is having no difficulty under the present regime obtaining journalist phone records.

audio •
NPR’s Fresh air has a really interesting interview with Neil Asher Silberman who tests the historical accuracy of some of the Bible’s oldest stories in a book he co-authored with Israel Finkelstein, David and Solomon.

meow •
Tyler Cowen mulls the death of independent bookstores on Slate with “What Are Independent Bookstores Really Good For? Not much.” and reviews Laura J. Miller’s Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption.

cookies • Alan Bennett’s History Boys’ scoops New York critics’ awards

sites worth seeing • Seven Roads gallery has an exquisite collection of Book shop labels, one of those trade conventions that has sadly gone by wayside. Book shop labels are tiny and are generally found inside the front cover at the bottom near the hinge.

via June Samaras @ Kalamos Books.

new home • University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper library is getting more room for its growing collection of political papers, rare books and manuscripts.
more is better • Be sure to check out some more bookshop labels at Sarah’s Book’s Blog.

water water everywhere • for people who are wondering . . . I am very lucky, I live on a hill. Methuen’s Spicket River has as yet, only overflowed its banks in a few low spots. I’d guess it’s about 15 feet higher than normal. The police haev all the good spots cordoned off.
There are more people downtown right now watching it than there usually is for a parade.The I loaded the few pictures I could get here.

fair day at the fair

Well my trip to the Vermont Book Fair didn’t go as planned…serves me right, “we make plans and god laughs.

1:20am post a small sunday blog to tide the troops over, ambitiously set clock for 5:45am
5:09am let loud red obnoxious cat out
5:45am turn off alarm roll over
6:45am get up in a panic, feed cats, let dog out, clean litter box, wash dishes, take out trash, pack bag
7:15am visit atm machine, get gas
7:45am make mental list of all the items left behind and decide if any of them are important to go back for.
8:00pm futiley spin dial for 2 hours try to find steadly NPR signal; watch increasingly boring and innoucous landscape go by, varying shades of brown dotted with mixed herds of cows and satellite dishes.
10:30am arrive at Vermont Book Show and realize free pass is pinned to wall over desk,
10:40am make the first pass of the bookstalls, greet the few people at the show I know, Eloquent Page, Cheryl Needle, Peter Stern, try to make a few new friends.
10:45am keep changing eye glasses, the light is too dim in the hall and I have either drunk too much Red Bull or not enough, super migraine takes up residence right behind my eyes.
11:00am make another pass looking at books I either used to own or can no longer afford.
11:30am meet up with Michael Ross who is in from the west coast trying to work out the kinks of his bi-coastal relocation
12:00pm take off to visit Monroe Street Books in Middlebury
12:30pm have been heading in the wrong direction for a half an hour; realize the Mapquest directions suck; reverse direction before I hit Canadian air space
12:40pm migraine is NOT going away; chug large MacDonalds Chocolate Shake hoping that resultant brain freeze will attack migraine from the inside
2:30pm arrive at Monroe Street Books, which is no longer located on a street named Monroe. go figure; Swallow asprin, doesn’t really help. Otherwise, spend a pleasant after noon shooting the shit with Flanzy and Dick, in their Aladdin’s cave treasure trove style bookshoppe. Limit myself to all the books I can afford. Plan to come back when scenery and wallet are both greener.
7:00pm start back for Methuen a hour away from a decent interstate, use unfamiliar routes
9:00pm miss exit for route 9, take long way around, end up in Western Mass, realize I have maps for ME, NH, VT, NY and Eastern Mass, but none for Western MA. On the bright side, I finally get a good NPR Signal, and listen to repeat of last week’s This American Life.
11:00pm feed cats, walk dog, clean up all the little landmines, can’t be bothered blogging, pass out.

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