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31.3.03


He spoke beautifully, and I had to blink a tear from my eye. When he was finished, he slumped and looked at me.
"I feel like Kamakawiwo'ole," he said, and I had no idea what that meant.
"I hear ya' brother," I lied.
He scowled at me and stomped off toward the elevator, angry.
Posted at 5:17 PM


Voting-related:
We voted on these. They're like a palm pilot, only huge (compared to a palm pilot). They were, though, easy to use.

I was looking up information on voting. Austin's Mayoral election is coming up. I marked my calendar. Toshi & I'll have to go back up to Highland Mall and vote again.
Posted at 2:23 PM


From today's angelbob: MONKEY!!
Posted at 1:54 PM


How 'bout that: He's seriously running, and he's pretty much convinced me to vote for him.

(that seems to be his slogan, by the way, that "Kosher" line. At the very least, you've gotta agree with his stand on lunch. Mmmm. Pickles...)
Posted at 1:46 PM


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27.3.03


Why do big corporate orders so often turn into games of find-the-nonexistant-book? Why can't they want stuff that's easy to get? I'm tired, and I'm only on page 9 of 14 of the first packet. I've tracked down 60 titles, placed orders for 18 of them (about $700 so far), and we had 4 of them in stock. I'm sleepy. And I have to do this again tomorrow with ASL books, then work on a bookfair and the massive order for the Texas Wine and Food Festival.
Busy, busy Ben.
Oh, yeah, and my folks are coming up tomorrow. I'm gonna be tired by weekend after next when I can finally slow down a little.
<yawn>
----later
Finished. 93 titles total, 26 ordered and easily available, 4 on hand, 11 out of print, 7 with absolutely no info at all, and the rest either not easy to find, or too expensive to ship and then sell. We get that problem an awful lot, something that costs so much that we can't afford to get it here, then sell it.
I'm sleepy.
Posted at 3:55 PM


Best of luck, by the way, to invisible citizens Sharon & Jon on their trip to the left coast.
Posted at 1:32 PM


All of the computers in this building suck.
All of the work done in the building is done on computers.
All of the work done in the building must suck.

grr.
A pulse seems to have come through and shut off Only my computer. Everybody else's just sort of blinked and went back to normal. Not mine. Mine shut off. Grrr.
Posted at 11:56 AM


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26.3.03


Psst, hey Angelbob.
Posted at 11:32 AM


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25.3.03


Those Damn Sneaky Swiss!
Posted at 5:09 PM


Tim: Finnegan's Wake.
Posted at 4:23 PM


Hey. Thing.
I'll be there. How 'bout you?

Posted at 1:54 PM


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24.3.03


I know what Toshi's getting for her birthday, I know what Toshi's getting for her birthday, I know what Toshi's getting for her birthday!

(because it's in the mail)
Posted at 11:44 AM


When? Did you stop? Pay -ing Attention!
Posted at 11:43 AM


When I minimize this window (to get work done, when one of those annoying people who want to buy things calls), the minimized button on the taskbar says, "edit your blog MisterNihil," all haunting like a ghost or something.
Posted at 11:30 AM


"You got something on your shirt collar," he said.
"No, I don't," said the naked man.
Posted at 11:25 AM


I know I won't be the only person blogging this, but how 'bout that Michael Moore?
Posted at 10:51 AM


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23.3.03


But then, I always think it's all about me. I have a talent for that, don't I?
Posted at 9:30 PM


There is no easy solution; it's because of me, isn't it?
Posted at 9:29 PM


Revamp you envy.
Posted at 9:28 PM


Once upon a time, Tim drew a cartoon. It was a picture of Jesus and a little, sad boy. Jesus said, "I am great." The little boy said, "Yeah, I'm gonna fucking kill you."
It was one of about four cartoons he drew while he and I were near Dallas, staying in a suite in a hotel near a convention where he saw Peter Mayhew pick his nose, and he and I met Robert Stefanino.
It was the weekend during which that question was asked, because, really, whatever did happen to Robert Stefanino?
Posted at 9:27 PM


And the winner is...
Not The Audience, That's For Sure.
Posted at 9:22 PM


So much to do, nothing to get done.
Crapcrapcrap.
Posted at 9:21 PM


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21.3.03


He makes it all look so goddam easy.
Ahhh, Envy.
Posted at 4:42 PM


"Political protest without a clear goal is pointless." -F. Nietzsche
"Nothing good ever came of whining." -J. Stalin
"I hate the devil, but I love wine." -Faust (via Gounod)
"I don't like politics. I don't even like most people." -Plato
"Cheese is like the American people. Not bad, all in all, but pretty boring." -A. Lincoln
"I've never liked eggs, you know. They just never appealed to me. Something in the taste." -Hirohito
"Where did I leave that sock? I'm always losing one sock. Would somebody please tell me where my sock is?" -F. Rogers


"You can misquote dead people." -MisterNihil
Posted at 1:27 PM


Suggestion from our book group this month: Tesla's secret lab is set up on the third floor of the building. He's playing with sending electricity through floors. That's why we can't touch anything on the fourth floor without visible sparks jumping from our fingers.
Yeah, my topic was dumb today, too.
Posted at 1:10 PM


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20.3.03


Like the Appeal of Found Art


We've just got a book in by a local author. He went north, and happened onto a yard auction, and bought a box full of stuff including several old pictures. He uses the pictures to make up names, relationships and stories, and has collected them into a book. It's really compelling, in an "I could do that" kind of way. The book is cool. The idea is cooler.
Posted at 10:30 AM


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18.3.03


A game you can play with your sevenyearold



Setup:
Both players might want to write each of these parts down (as they are decided) as it is easy to forget once gameplay begins.
Part one: You and your child come up with two characters each. For example: a lumberjack and a princess; a little girl and a big, bad wolf; a dragon and a talking clock; a donkey and a small bird.
Part two: Each of you pick one event. For example: they meet; there is a contest; a tree falls across the path they must take; they fight; the first character invites the second to tea.
Part three: Each of you pick an ending. For example: They are married and live happily ever after; they swap recipes; One of them pushes the other off of a cliff; The princess's teeth fall out and the dragon has to join the circus.

Game play:
One player begins. That player sets up the story with "Once upon a time..." then introduces a character, a situation, and the first event. The story is then passed to the next player, who takes the story told by the first player, and can add up to one character, and take that cast through precisely one event. Play is then passed for one more event, and continues. Play ends when one player ends his or her event with "The End."
Players receive one point of their characters played out their chosen event from Setup part two; the player who ended the game receives one point; if the ending of the story was as chosen by one of the players in Setup part three, that player receives one point.

Posted at 8:35 PM


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16.3.03


Sometimes you bring your sevenyearold to rock climbing and make them late. Sorry.
Posted at 7:02 PM


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14.3.03


Victory Cabbage. and Freedom Fries.
Posted at 1:27 PM


See? That's why I need a personal censor in my head.
Posted at 1:25 PM


"Fuckers!" He said gleefully.
Then he went back downstairs where the beer was, and we didn't have to look at his ugly face until the next day, when we found him dead under the lawnmower, missing several fingers. He'd choked on gasoline.
Posted at 1:23 PM


Man. When that server is down, it's the hell down.
Posted at 12:53 PM


Can't...control...mouth...
Must... censor...
          selfffff...
Posted at 12:52 PM


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13.3.03


"I hate you," Alice yelled.
"Yuganda," gurgled the Mouse...
Posted at 12:16 PM


Rabid Wet Inspiration?
    Shuffling off the Map.
Posted at 12:13 PM


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12.3.03


This is why Galaxy Quest is so hard to watch.
Posted at 5:44 PM


Iraq needs to be careful here. Yes, it looks bad for us to be claiming a remote-controlled balsa-and-duct tape plane a weapon of mass destruction, but we believe model rockets can be used for terrorism.
Posted at 10:22 AM


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11.3.03


Even in France, there seems only to be one History of Camembert. You'll notice that, sadly, the edition seems to be out of print in French.
Posted at 3:56 PM


A quick snippet of my morning. I changed the names.

"Putz and Pengoo Book Pub. How my I direct your call?"
"Hello, My name is Mister Nihil, I'm calling from Retail Books in Austin, I need to place an order for an upcoming event."
"Hold on." (click click)
(hold music)
"Arthur appearances, this is Deena."
"Um, Hello, this is Mister Nihil, I'm calling from Retail Books in Austin. I need to place an order for an upcoming event."
"Is it a Arthur appearance?"
"No, it's a bookfair."
(pause)"Bookfair?"
"Yes. I have our bookfair account number. Would that help you?"
"Just a minute."
(click. Disconnect.)
(dial)
"Putz and Pengoo Book Pub."
"Hi, My name is Mister Nihil, I'm calling from Retail Books in Austin, I need to place an order for an upcoming bookfair event."
"Hang on."
(hold music)
"Arthur appearances, this is Molly."
"Hello, This is Mister Nihil, I'm calling from Retail Books in Austin, I need to place an order for an upcoming bookfair event."
"Is it a Arthur event?"
"No, It's a bookfair. We'll be buying the books from you and-"
"Just a minute."
(hold music)
"Author Appearances, this is Patti."
(I know Patti. I've probably talked to her fifty times. She's the head of the department.)"Hi, Patti, this is Mister at Retail Books in Austin. I need to place an order for a bookfair event, and I need to see if it will be possible to get the books on time."
"Please hold, sir."
(hold music)
(more hold music)
(almost twenty minutes of hold music)
(five more...)
"Sir?"
"Yes?"
"Sir, this is Patti, thank you so very much for holding. I'm sorry for the long hold."
"It's fine."
"I'm going to have to take your number and call you right back. What was your name sir?"
"Mister, at Retail Books in Austin. My number is 512-123-4567."
"Thank you sir."
(click. Disconnect.)
Posted at 11:05 AM


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10.3.03


*Caution. Contains Dirtiness in the Language Department*

The lady behind me in line at lunch has a tattoo on her wrist. She was standing behind me talking on the phone (earlier, as when I was making my order, she was walking around talking on the same phone, saying things like "Those Fucking Ragheads," and "You Tell Your Fucking Kraut Boss to Fuck Himself."). She is buying a 'detox' juice blend. It is beet red, like her puffy face. Her arms, though, are pasty and white, like old fish. They wobble when she clenches her teeth and growls into the phone. On the front of her wrist, on her left hand, right where a kid puts a temporary tattoo, is her actual tattoo. It is a rainbow and a happy sun, and about two by two inches. It's exactly like the kind of tattoo a kid gets, and it's placed just like a kid would place it, on the back of the wrist, where the right hand can reach it. It is ineligant and badly cartoony. It is the tattoo I think of when I ask 'what if you decided later you didn't want that written on your body forever.' Under the rainbow is a fat, happy unicorn, jumping. She says again "Fuck!" into the phone, like you would say if somebody cut off your toe.
I buy my tuna-on-white, and move about my day.
Posted at 5:01 PM


    The art exhibit, a photographic tribute to Paganini and Chloris Leachman, will be displayed from March to April in chain bookstores across the nation. The book that accompanies, a limited edition of 1000, will be sold in the stores.
    The first edition will be hard-cover, with all of the pictures from the exhibit as well as six others not included. The photographer will include a polariod of the buyer in the store, and will be signing copies of the books. The book will retail for $76.50. Other editions, each more limited than the last, will follow.
    The second edition (of which only 25 will be made), published by the author on paper made from the bones of Afghanistani orphans will include only the photographs from the show, and will not be signed by the photographer. It will be a 'leather' bound book, three feet by six feet, and retail for $942.00.
    The anniversary edition, published in May of 2004 will be printed on paper hand-made by the artist, and treated with silver oxide and mercury distilled from water found in the South Bronx. The paper will be sixty feet long, and glued to sheets of lead half-an-inch thick and rolled into tubes. Only 6 will be made, and will sell for $1800.95
    The final edition, available to the public in August of 2006, will be a Bazooka Bubble Gum wrapper with most of the name of the exhibit ("Spanking Jesus") written on it in pencil, and with two chewed pieces of Trident gum (mint flavor, or nearest available) wrapped inside. Only two will be made, and the edition will retail for $9,800,000.65.
    I so fucking hate art books.


    OK, so the real book that set me off (it's in the store) is a photographic tribute to John Cage, and looks like a series of post-cards (it's about three by five inches, and is a series of about twelve photographs interspersed with text, attached like one would a cheap photobook from a Niagra Falls vacation, only on thinner cardstock). It comes in a generic white jewelry box, the kind you might get if you bought a tennis bracelet, with a (home inkjet) printed lable glued to it with the name of the exhibit. This reatails at $29.75. I had to receive 100 of the edition of 300.
    The limited edition is the same pictures (no text) printed on five by seven inch canvas, shrink-wrapped, and in a clear-plastic bag with a snap on it. She tells us it costs $80 just to print. This retails for $350.00. We have half of the print run of 8.
    I'm just sayin is all.
Posted at 12:08 PM


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7.3.03


Boom boom boom boom.
Welcome to the War.
Posted at 2:13 PM


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6.3.03


Some days, I don't know why the hell I get up in the morning. For example. The cute little characters there on the cover are the twin mice, Sniff & Scurrym, and what seem to be twin train conductors, Hem and Haw. There are days when it's tough to be literate in this culture.
Posted at 1:40 PM


Hm. Hulk miffed.


Posted at 1:33 PM


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5.3.03


I heard this message via my work:
Thanks for calling (name of publisher) press please.
Press one to hear information on our affiliated publishers including Running Grove and Affiliated Pines.
Press our normal business hours are monday through friday nine to.
Five if you need help please call back during normal business hours a customer service.
Representative will be with you in a moment thank you for calling (name of publisher).
Press have a nice day.

Misplaced pauses is funny.
Posted at 11:23 AM


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3.3.03


Hey. Check that out, huh? I talked to him via my work (his book's at BookPeople). I'm interested in the "3-d math" thing, but I'm also always interested in guitar amps. Apparently he makes really top-notch ones, but they're hard to get.
Posted at 3:23 PM


Been here 11 months. Haven't really slept in almost four days. Beat that.
Posted at 2:42 PM


I love the girls and the money and the shame of life
My shallow mind's just a sign of your game of life
-Gibby Haynes & kid rock

Down on my luck, and down on my cash
Shake my ass to bring it back
-Flash


Posted at 11:17 AM


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2.3.03


Visions of Hell


Ainít it always the way? Now you lay you down to sleep, you pray the Lord your soul to keep, and you just sit there watching the devil projected onto the backs of your eyelids. He just laughs and waves his big black cape around and opens up his huge, skull mouth to swallow you whole. You canít do anything. Heís just there, grinning and laughing at you while you try to sleep.
It never works, though, does it? You just get swallowed and wind up right where you were, sitting at his feet and seeing him cackle again, but this time heís all in red with big horns and fire and the damned all standing ready, waiting for a turn in the pit. Itís just the way it has to be, ainít it? Just visions of hell, no sound, no feel, just laying in the dark beside somebody who had no idea, and I mean no idea that youíre just sitting there trying not to see the devil.
Nothing helps, of course. You tell yourself it ainít real. You tell yourself it ainít happening. You tell yourself thereís no way the devil is actually sitting on the inside of your eyelids laughing at you while you try to sleep, but it just donít work, right? There you are just the same, lying all safe in bed, warm and not thinking about the cold outside or the crap job you gotta go back to on Monday, face up on the same lumpy mattress just trying to sleep cause itís two in the A.M. and you gotta be up early tomorrow. Sunday, you know. Gotta get up and go do the things you gotta do, right, but there is he grinning like all hell was under you, and you just wanna sleep.
God donít ever come up and say ďHiĒ like that. Youíre never just daydreaming when God walks up and whispers in your ear. You donít see him standing on the next hill, waving. Not like when you see the Devil. Iíll tell you what, itís unsettling. A personís gotta take offense at some point, donít he, the devil all being on the inside of his eyelids. Itís getting hard to blink, let me tell you. Like that part of the Exorcist where they show you like a tenth of a second of some scary devil face, only this ainít just a guy in a mask or makeup or whatever that guy is. This is the damned devil, and heís sitting on the backs of your eyelids just grinning and waiting for you. He knows you gotta sleep some time and heís just waiting with glee so he can give you the kind of dream you wake up from and never remember.
But you know how it starts. It starts with him sitting huge all on the inside of your eyelids, laughing at you trying to go to sleep at what has now become two thirty in the A.M., and you ainít no more asleep than you was at noon. At least you was tired at noon, but you wasnít asleep. Ainít that how it goes. Yeah. But what to do now, I say? Ainít nothing productive to do. Just sit here and wait for sleep, hoping there ainít no devil in it. And she just lays here next to me and donít look like a damn thing is going on. Just lays there and sleeps like itís the easiest thing in the world.


Posted at 2:48 AM


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