Monday, March 31, 2008

[insert cheesy, nostalgic entry title here]



Today's officially the last day of business for Barnes & Noble's Chelsea location, store #2538. I spent way too long there, but I still have a soft spot for the old place. I also hate it with an unyielding passion.

That's why I'm having such a blast with Alex Robinson's graphic novel Box Office Poison. Now that I have the distance I need from my experience at the store, I can read this and truly appreciate the protagonist's self-satisfying stagnation as a bookseller making minimum wage. Because seriously, who's ever really stuck at a shitty job like that unless deep down they just want to have something to complain about? Sure, my former coworkers and I were "afraid" to leave and thus forfeit those $7 an hour and benefits, but didn't we all get off just a little on complaining about the Dragon Lady in the green [insert: manager's] room?

Plus, we got to work with the lecherous and creepy gay priest. "Lech" really is the word. His frock was off-white, too. More of a cream color. I really ought to Ghost World him soon. [Think of the satanists in the supermarket and you'll understand what I mean]

There will be an in-store potluck after closing. As a former employee, I've been invited, uninvited, and un-uninvited due to what the regional bigwigs call "liability issues." In that case, maybe I'll smash a PDT scanner into an empty display case, just for a laugh.

Which reminds me of a fantasy I had that, if I were still working there on the final day, we'd chase the customers out of the store while brandishing PDTs and destroying displays and fixtures, sweeping a table or two, and ultimately imploding the building before skipping arm in arm, naked, around the smoldering ruins.

Let's see what happens at 6pm.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bookslut's latest heartthrob: NPR's Dave Isay

My latest entry into the Bookslut Indie Heartthrob Interview Series is NPR's Dave Isay (founder and director of StoryCorps and Sound Portraits). Go check out the interview over at the Blog of a Bookslut.

From the interview:

We've recorded 18,000 interviews with 35 or 36,000 participants. I think the piece we aired this morning [March 21, 2008] on Morning Edition was un-fucking believably powerful. Did you get a chance to hear it? I thought it was a piece that really knocked my socks off, particularly taken in the context of Senator Obama's speech on Tuesday. The story we recorded was part of our Griot initiative, this at-large African American oral history tour that we've been on for the past year where we've recorded the stories of about 2,000 African American families. It's the largest African American oral history project since the slave narratives were recorded in the 1930's by the WPA. This is a story from our last stop a couple of weeks ago in Montgomery, AL, and you just gotta listen to it. It's pretty amazing.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Who has Jerry Orbach's eyes?

Can somebody tell me? I'd really like to know.