In November 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected president
because it’s the 21st century and Congress has STILL not gotten rid of the Electoral College and while we’re at it, we should get rid of fucking Iowa too.
In November of 2016 I knew these were going to be dire times, Dear Readers, dire. Miserable. Calamitous. Wretched. Depressing. Sickening. Etc.
I knew I was going to need something other than/in addition to copious amounts of alcohol to not let Trump and his sniveling lying cheating stupid evil family and friends get to me during the next horrible four years. So, in January 2017, I made a New Year’s Resolution that I would keep a Gratitude Jar, which is totally against my personality but, desperate times, desperate measures.
For those of youth might not know what a Gratitude Jar is: A Gratitude Jar provides a simple way to cultivate the habit of being mindful of the good things in your life. Each day, you write a note about one thing for which you’re grateful, and you put it into the jar where they collect as a reminder of the good things in your world.
As I type this on Thursday July 25, Trump has been in office for 915 days, the same number of days that I’ve been keeping a Gratitude Jar.
My Gratitude Jar has 2 notes in it.
And now, having listened to the Mueller testimony to the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees yesterday, 2 notes in 915 days of Trump seem like a lot. I know we say this all the time but, just when you think things can’t get any worse, THEY DO.
And now I hate Bob Mueller in addition to everything else I hate about America right now.
The best thing I can say about the Mueller hearings was that the Democrats seemed to be very organized. They couldn’t ask Mueller questions (since Mueller wasn’t saying diddly squat), so they read into the record of the proceedings all the damning findings of the Mueller Report (since Mueller wasn’t saying diddly squat). Made me think of a problem I am having at the used book store (that I manage to benefit the local library). I keep asking the wrong questions and, as we discussed last week, everything depends on asking the right question.
People call me up and say, “I have books that I want to donate.”
I act like this is the best thing that’s happened to me since February 4, 2017 when I heard If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot on the radio, a song that I had not heard in 9 years (thank you, Gratitude Jar).
And then I ask, “What kind of books do you have?”
You would think that this is not a tough question to ask of someone who collects books. But in my experience, people seem to be surprised by this question.
Here are some of the answers I have received to this question, “What kind of books do you have?”:
All kinds of books.
I have hard books and soft books.
The usual kinds of books.
Books from my house.
And my favorite; Books for reading.
I got a call this morning, and the woman says, “I have books that I want to donate.”
I ask, “What kind of books do you have?”
And she says, Two big garbage bags of books.
I was not in the mood. So I tell her exactly what is on my mind. I say, “Well, I’ve been doing this a long time and I know from experience that when a person puts books in garbage bags it’s because they aren’t very good books. [Tip: People who really love their books take the time to pack them in boxes.]
And she says, in an insulted tone, My books are really good books. There’s some text books, there’s a thesaurus, I have baby books, and some paperback fiction!
So I tell her that we don’t accept text books, reference books, child raising books, and the fiction has to be in excellent condition. No sound coming from the other end.
“I think you can just throw those books out, guilt-free,” I say.
She responds: Thank you for your time but I’m sure I’ll find a library in the city that will accept them, and she hangs up on me.
Hint: Libraries don’t want your raggedy-ass text books either.
But I have to find a better way of asking people to tell me about their books. Anybody got any advice?
We got a donation at the used book store (that I manage to benefit the local library), an item that was so depressing that I didn’t want to show it to you Dear Readers but, since we’re all depressed anyway (Mueller testimony), I think it’s the right time to bring it out:
This is a small pamphlet published by the New York State Civil Defense Commission in the early 1050s.
These survival tips are so ludicrous . . .
. . . could anyone have believed that any of this stuff would actually work?
The guy on the left, the one with his head under his briefcase, makes me laugh every time:
A while ago we got in a slew of mid-century books:
They were interesting to me because of the author photos, from a time when authors were important people and their likenesses took up the entire back cover of their books:
Hortense Calisher got an obit in the New York Times:
When this book came in, it proved to me that some people are using our used book store as a handy book-removal service:
If you are in the market for a 30-year old almanac I’m sorry, this one is already in the dumpster:
THIS one, however, is going into my personal library, for obvious reasons:
This is another book that I want to own, but I don’t want to read:
I found a treasure tucked inside this book, Human Destiny:
Cute vintage card from 1950, called And So To Bed by the well-known illustrator and fairy artist, Molly Brett. This post card is very collectible these days, going for about $10.00 on eBay, but it’s the message on the back of it that makes it priceless:
It looks like sweet Douglas never sent this to Mr. Noel, whose last name I’ve had to erase because a quick Google turns up info about Mr. Noel being a big deal at the United Nations directly after the war (WWII) for many years, and with the French government, whose 1996 New York Times obit says he had no wife or children who survived him. Gee. I hope Douglas and Mr. Noel got a lot of face time, so that sending the post card was not necessary. That long dash ———— is worth a thousand words.
My next book also has a French connection:
Sample of Paul Elliot’s writing: “The rue de la Huchette, in time and place, had a beginning, a middle, and an ending.” I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.
This book is too damn boring to read, but too cute to throw out. What a dilemma. Like that’s what I need more of in my life these days, dilemmas.
Speaking of Nazi-esque immigrants from Eastern Europe who married Trump for a green card, remember how Melanoma Trump’s hometown in Slovenia honored the First lady with a statue of her?
Turns out, the sculptor of this homage is a time traveler, and he made this likeness of Melanoma to show us what she will look like in the future! No joke!
Because look what was in St. Tropez last month — the first Mrs. Trump, with the face that she deserves:
Am I petty just because ugly Trumps make me happy?
Me and a friend were drinking the other day and we decided that it was time for a revolution in America. They did it in Puerto Rico! Why can’t we do it here?!
Trouble is, neither of us know how to start revolution, but, since our combined age is 148 years old, we’re pretty sure we can figure it out by the weekend.
And when we do, I’ll let you know.
Have great weekend, Dear Readers. Remember, a good scrubbing after the news cycle will remove all those nasty Trump cooties. I can recommend a pinot grigio exfoliant.