.....and other random stuff......

Friday, November 21, 2014

Oscar’s Bookstore

It wasn’t the dark and musty place you imagine an independent bookstore to be. It was actually quite well lit. With rows of shelves and tables piled high with colorful volumes in a manner that can only be described as organized chaos. But there was a kind of intuitive logic to it. You could usually find what you needed, and if you couldn’t, Oscar could put his hands on just what you were looking for in a matter of seconds.

I first met Oscar when I went looking for a particular poem. I had gone to the big name bookstore at the mall but no one had ever heard of what I was looking for.
Blank stares.
It really wasn’t their fault. To be honest, even I didn’t know the title of the poem or who had written it.

I heard it on the radio.
I was listening to my favorite radio station one night when the sultry voice of the female DJ began reading what I can only describe as the most beautiful poem I had ever heard. At least I thought it was a poem. Free verse. About a boy and a tree. And how much the tree loved the boy.
It brought me to tears.

Of course I had to find it.

Then someone told me about Oscar’s.

As I stepped through the door I knew I was somewhere special.
This little unassuming storefront on New York Avenue turned out to be heaven.

The smell of old and new books and patchouli mingled with the sounds of psychedelic music playing quietly in the background.
Bearded men lazily leafed through existential leaflets.
Girls in ragged jeans and peasant blouses, babies on their hips, paged through picture books I had never seen before.
There was a feeling like no other bookstore or library I had ever visited.

Behind the counter sat Oscar. An elfin man with gray hair and wrinkled face that spoke of age and wisdom.
Perched on a high stool, knees drawn up, book in hand, reading glasses resting low on the tip on his nose.
He glanced up as I entered, and I thought I saw a twinkle in his eye that seemed to say, “Hello! I recognize a kindred spirit! Welcome!”

I didn’t waste any time, went up to the counter and described the poem I was looking for.

He smiled a slow, easy smile and said. “It’s not a poem but a children’s book.”
And like a magician wielding his wand, walked over to one of the book strewn tables, without even rummaging through them, pulled out a book and handed it to me!

VoilĂ !

I don’t know if it was the magic of Oscar and that wonderful day of finding his bookstore, but The Giving Tree is still my favorite book of all time.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Babysitting Years

Before I entered the official world of the working class I did the ubiquitous babysitting thing.
I worked mostly in a small neighborhood that was kind of a planned community.
The houses all looked the same, same porches, same front doors, same cedar shingles, same swing set in every backyard facing the same way.
And not a tree in sight.
Think Stepford wives.

But I digress.

One of my regular customers recommended me to her neighbor.
The neighbor called and wanted to ‘try me out’.
A test run, as it were, while she was there to watch over me and make sure I passed muster.
So off I went.

She informed me they ‘kept Kosher’. Did I know what that meant? Vaguely I said.
So she proceeded to show me around the kitchen with its double sets of everything.
I had no idea how vague my knowledge was until that moment.

Anyway, I guess I passed the first test and she booked me for that night.

She planned the meal so I wouldn’t be too confused.
I could do that.
She reminded me of the ‘meat’ serving utensils and dishes and off she went.

Dinnertime came; I meticulously got out all the proper dishes and accoutrement and made dinner.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself that I actually got it right.
The dinner went smoothly, they came home and off I went.

The next day she called.

I assumed it was to book me for another gig but instead she began to shout at me for being a dunce!
I couldn’t get a word in edgewise!
Finally, I managed to slow her down enough to ask what I had done wrong.

I had made a slight error she said ……..I served MILK with the hot dogs the previous night!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Punny Monday

A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve You, but don't start anything."

Friday, November 14, 2014

The BEST Week!!!!

Well, this has been the BEST WEEK!
I was notified that I sold a print at one gallery and multiple journals at the other. 
AND they asked for more!
As I delivered some of the requested pieces I got to overhear people commenting on my art. 

I can no longer fit my head though the door it is so swelled!!

THEN I got to see mah baaabies!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

We had a wonderful lunch with friends from ‘across the pond’.
AND they gave me prezzies!!!
 You can never have too many pillows! 
 This one is a ‘Scribble Pillow’. AND accompanying fabric pens for me to scribble with!
My friend Corinne is a very talented knitter/crocheter/quilter. And I get fruits of that talent! I am one lucky duck! 

I made a little money, got some validation, saw friends and got stuff. It was the BEST week! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014