Monday, March 23, 2009

A Rainy Day, with Headache

Quite a combination, that, and now that I think about it, perhaps there's a causal relationship. I thought I would brighten a dismal day by going to see "Coraline" in 3D. Robin and I drove to the far end of town, only to find that

I hadn't read the schedule right -
There was no matinee,
And so we window shopped
In order not
To waste a rainy day.

We did our window shopping in the mall. I figured I might as well get some exercise, and I certainly wasn't going to try walking outside. The raindrops were - and are - just short of turning into little hunks of ice. I checked out the shoe stores, the dollar store, the stationery department at Wal-Mart - the latter was best, because I could stand there, looking at the display of Post-it notes in exciting colours. I could picture them up on my office wall, labeled "Opening scene"; "Introduce main character"; "Climax" etc. Just what I needed to get my novel organized. When I remembered that I already own a sizeable collection of Post-it notes - and index cards, too - we came home, and I posted my bit of doggerel on Facebook. That was when I discovered that Facebook is no respecter of line breaks. The nerve of them.

There was one more stop on our window shopping trip. We went to Chapters, our big bookstore. I hadn't been there in four months. It had changed. I walked up to one of the new search terminals, typed in a book title, then Enter. I wanted to do a further search, so I tried to put the cursor back up in the window - but I couldn't find the mouse. Finally, frustrated, I set out on foot, looking for books of/on poetry. As I passed by another terminal, I saw a staff member. "What have you done with the mice?" I demanded. (Remember, I had a headache. I was grumpy.)

I was conscious, even as I spoke, that a few years ago, that would have been a very strange question. This time, the young man didn't even blink. "It's a touch screen, ma'am," he said, and he smiled.

I could hear the secret voice in his mind, though. It was not a smiley voice. I think that too many grumpy people had already asked him what he'd done with the mice. (In fairness to all us grumpy people, it should be noticed that Chapters' old search terminals did have mice.)

I was so embarrassed, I let him go without asking him where he had hidden the Poetry section. I just set off on foot again, in the direction of Literature. That seemed like a logical place to find poetry. When I got there, I saw another staff member. I asked her what she had done with the poetry.

(No, I didn't. I asked politely for help in finding the poetry section. She pointed to the farthest corner of the store, behind the storeroom door. )

That was, in fact, the best part of the window shopping trip. I saw books of poetry by Charles Bukowski and Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman and William Butler Yeats. They were nestled in there among the "Poems to Warm the Cockles of Your Heart" collections. There weren't any books on poetry, but I could order those in.

Meanwhile, I found this at

We Ain't Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain

call it the greenhouse effect or whatever

Charles Bukowski


John Hayes said...

I love Bukowski! He was somewhat of an influence on me in my San Francisco Days-- I especially like the book "Burning in Water Drowning in Flame."

Sandra Leigh said...

I thought of Bukowski earlier, when I saw this link:


- It reminded me that you can find genius in the strangest places.

John Hayes said...

What an amazing story about Mr Ayers-- thanks!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Laughing on the touchscreen thing - something I'd do - or the opposite, think it was a touch screen and bang away o nthe screen going "wha's wrong with this thang?"


Sandra Leigh said...

LOL,Kathryn. I'm sure I've done that, too!

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