Happy as a Bird With a French Fry

Song of the moment: Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby Counting Crows

Faithful readers… you know, I want to give you all a nickname. I’m having a hard time coming up with something, though. It’s easier coming up with a nickname for an individual, because they have vim and vigor and personality and defining features and such. But you are just my anonymous handful of readers…

Hello my little Spanish galleons! (Got a problem with that?)

In lieu of the post I planned for tonight (it’s a fun one, but I’ll save it for tomorrow), I’m going to tell you about the phenomenal day I had. Because it was a day full of joy for me.

I may just be in a good mood.

Started the day off right, though. I fell in love again. His name is Danny, and he’s fucking adorable. He wrote and performed the little musical number for the Spitzer space telescope’s “podcast” (more like video channel) called IRrelevant Astronomy (FYI, Felicia Day starred in an earlier one that I really enjoyed).

I mean, just look at him in this video. His facial expressions are cute as shit:

Anyway, my faux love life aside, I got to spend today in Cody. Greybull may be the town I graduated from, but Cody has always felt more like home to me. I lived there for 7 years before I was transplanted to the hellhole. Cody is a cute town, just big enough that there’s plenty to do but not terribly large. It’s home to a surprisingly interesting museum (the BBHC), a movie theater, Wal-Mart (hey, that’s a big deal in these parts), and a wide variety of quaint little shops.

It’s these we will focus on today.

My favorite bookstore of all-time is located in Cody. I worked there the summer of my sophomore year of high school, and I would go there every time I came back from Michigan. It’s a small thing that’s disturbingly well-hidden, but you can’t let that fool you. There are more books stuffed in there than you would easily believe. The shelves are packed so tight together that there’s just barely enough room for one person to maneuver. And, while there’s a disgustingly large romance section (…and western section… and western romance section), this bookstore hides some real gems.

Not for collectors, mind you. But for readers, it’s a wonderful place.

Well, I have more credit there than I can easily spend (due to years of bringing in old books that I didn’t want to keep in my personal library), so I pay pennies for already cheap books. It’s fantastic.

Today, I walked out of there with three amazing finds. First, a lovely old copy of Doctor Zhivago, to continue my Russian literature kick. I saw the Keira Knightley television version a while back (a long while back), but I don’t remember much of it. The thing that actually made me pick it up was a memory of Ben describing a scene to me where a man kills his family and then vanishes into the wilderness. It’s something that’s stuck with me (and is currently written in my ye olde storie ideas document), so I figured I’d give the whole text a shot. Though the other thing I remember is the goddamn complex web of characters/character interactions he showed me… but shit, I read Tolkien. I can handle anything after that.

I also found a copy of The Historian. When I was but a wee freshman lass and in the ROIAL class (fuck you WRA, I never had to take you), we had a visiting artist by the name of Jane Congdon come in. She had just spent a bunch of time over in Europe, researching for her own Dracula novel. Her appearance in our class coincided with the Dracula ballet the Wharton Center put on (that was a very odd show, by the by). I’ve seen this book sitting on the shelf of Barnes and Noble for years, but I’ve never bought it. So when I saw it today, I felt compelled to pick it up. This isn’t Congdon’s book (I really don’t know what hers is titled), but she did mention it to us as a hell of a read. So I figured I’d pick up a vampire novel again, if only to remind myself that not all authors think vampires sparkle in the fucking sunlight.

And finally, tucked in the oddest place in the store, I discovered a pristine copy of The Devil in the White City. Now here’s another book that I see every time I’m in a bookstore. And I pick it up. And I think, “I really want to read this.” And I put it back and say, “I’ll get it next time.” Except I never actually do. Well, time to break the cycle. History and serial killing. Delicious.

I also ventured into a game store that recently opened downtown. Mr. Bob’s Game Shop. The name alone made me laugh, but I couldn’t help but feel my heart skip a beat when I saw it. Is this a real comic and game shop? Can this replace 21st Century for me? Because I really need a place to get my nerd fix on.

It was even better than I thought. Half arcade, half game shop. No comics, sadly, but plenty of D&D stuff and Magic cards and expansions for Settlers of Catan. They even had a Cthulhu edition of Munchkin!

When I walked in, there were three younger guys playing Magic, and the store owner behind the counter. All four looked up when I walked in. Oh yes, it was the stereotypical “girl in a game store” moment. I laughed. Out loud. Then I greeted them heartily and asked which expansion of Magic they were playing.

I was accepted with open arms. The shop owner started babbling 90 miles a minute, telling me about what they carry and what they can get. Telling me about their Magic nights on Fridays and D&D campaigns on Wednesdays. I geeked out, babbling right back about my desire to play D&D, especially after recently ceasing to play WoW. We chatted about the new Magic expansion coming out, I confessed I haven’t played since high school, and he told me to come in and watch so that I could get the hang of the new cards and rules.

So yeah… I’m currently researching Pathfinder and hoping to join their D&D campaign in the next two weeks. And maybe the Magic tourneys, too.

I’m such a fucking nerd. But I was so goddamn happy to find like-minded people around here.

I left the magical little store and wandered downtown for a bit. Decided to pop into a smoke shop. Sean told me last time we talked that he found kreteks in Florida (even though they are supposed to be illegal now), so I figured it was worth a shot to check this place out. Found a pack of Djarum Blacks… but they weren’t cigs. They were cigars. They look like a cig and taste just like regular Blacks, they’re just a bit stronger (and shorter and thicker… more like a regular cig). I’ve decided they are acceptable.

Then I found the cutest fucking store I’ve ever seen. They carry books by contemporary authors (rare in this area) and really unique hats and home decor. It was adorable, and I plan on frequenting it all the time.

Imagine Urban Outfitters minus the douchebaggery and with the personality that only comes with an independent shop. Fantastic.

After my shopping escapades, it was time for a big family dinner for my grandfather’s birthday. While at dinner, my aunt commented on the fact that I was eating more vegetables than anything else.

Lisa: You just keep eating carrots, Sam. You’re like a rabbit.

Me: Don’t you dare call me a rabbit.

My Mother: Don’t get her started.

Lisa: Well, it’s true!

Me: *haughty sniff* I’m more like a cat than a rabbit.

Lisa: Oh please! You hate fish!

Me: No, I don’t.

My Mother: Yeah, she made fish for me the other day. She makes all kinds of stuff. Tacos, pasta, salads, soups…

Lisa: Okay Sam, right now. Tacos or fish? Make your choice.

Me: *pause* Can I have a fish taco?

At this point, Frank (my gay uncle) snorts with laughter. I just grin. The whole goddamn table then proceeds to barrage us with questions about what was so funny. Frank and I high-five and never tell them.

I love my uncle.

***

Finally, you may have noticed some recent changes to this site. I finally settled on a proper name for this little blog. “Goes Ding When There’s Stuff” was always a placeholder- I just happened to be watching Doctor Who when I created this thing. But I figured it was high time I decided on something real.

Naturally, I picked Latin.

And what do you all think of the new layout? I’m sorry I’ve been changing it so frequently lately, but all the free layouts for WordPress have something that drives me crazy. I’ve been tweaking this one a bit, and it’s grown on me. It’s tidier than many of the others I’ve tried (links don’t bleed out of their boxes, Twitter updates don’t look crammed together, I can actually distinguish the hyperlinks among the regular text), plus I like the color scheme.

Thoughts?

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