July 01, 2015

Vignette Reportage


Sing, muse, of lakes of books, nay, seas of them, all for $2 each regardless of merit. And similarly huge selection of $2 DVDs.

I'm speaking of the Half-Price Books clearance sale held at the huge Ohio Expo Center held annually (and last weekend). We walked in Saturday to a warehouse filled with long tables of books: a tsunami of books, a greedy bibliophile's delight or curse -- curse because you can't look at a fraction of them. It's a drown-a-thon, and to have an hour there is to just smell the coffee grinds.

I bought but was surely influenced heavily by the cheap prices. It's hard to keep one's head in that heady atmosphere. The trick is to ask myself: Would I buy this for near full price? Would I be likely to buy it in the future? If so, get it, otherwise no.

Day 2, Sunday, we went back for more and I picked up Frost/Nixon and Borat  on DVD which was sweet as hotcakes and syrup. Both were movies I'd toyed with paying full price for, so ironically the DVDs are probably what I ought to have concentrated on.

Saturday was chilly and cloudy and windy, like San Francisco but without the sun or charming Victorians. We gamely happy hour'd out on the front porch, covered up in blankets. Mark Twain said the coldest summer he ever spent was in San Fran, but Columbus this year might be in the money.

Later that night we watched some Alaskan Bush People , a reality TV show.  The thing about the family depicted is how strikingly individual each one is. Most are pretty eccentric - something more typical in the country than the city, perhaps due to the lack of leveling conformity of culture. Or perhaps due in this case to a bedrock layer of acceptance. It's only with that sense of love undergirding us that we can be fully who we were meant to be, in all of our wild weirdness, and not captives to trying to please others by being someone we're not, by wearing masks. Hence the saints are said to be wildly unique.

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