i found a bowling ball!
more on that later.
so this week, due to time constraints related to this retardedly long bus ride i'm about to embark on this afternoon, i had to do my first repeat store! there are still one or two halfway decent thrift stores within relative driving distance that i haven't done yet, and of course the towering monolith that is summer avenue, but for a lot of different reasons the only one i could make this week was the salvation army on danny thomas blvd, which isn't a bad choice for my first repeat, considering they have one of the highest turnover rates in re: merchandise of any store in town. i got this decent picture of the facade from the parking lot of the garage across the street, as well as a fresh spate of "what the hell is this oddly dressed white person doing taking pictures of a junk shop" looks, which i secretly (not so secretly) enjoy a great deal.
are you bummed? i'll confess to being a little ashamed that i already had to start repeating stores, but you knew there were only so many that i could credibly try and make it to and back in one day, right? i mean memphis is huge but it's not infinite, at some point i was going to run out of territory to cover...anyway buck up little solider, wipe that tear off, when i get back to town i'm going to dive in headfirst into the biggest treasure trove of secondhand junk this world has ever seen - summer ave. i've been putting it off until i had the time to devote to it and being more or less jobless for a little while after i get back (that's still up in the air though, i'll probably end up coming back to quetzal for a couple days a week. we'll see), i think i'll probably have spare time in spades. anyway moving on
i have to assume this references new, unopened, UNUSED underwear, although i won't say i've never seen someone's old stanky draws up on the rack with a price tag on them. i'm pretty much willing to buy anything they put out on the floor of your average secondhand store if you catch me on the right day, but undergarments is about where i think any sane person should probably draw the line. i like to save money as much as the next guy but come on, these things basically go like IN your ass sometimes - that kind of filth never really washes out. i traditionally forego the damn things to begin with (sorry if that's too much info about your old buddy dave there) but if you find yourself in the mood to shop for men's low rise briefs, salvo's got you covered. or you could just buy some off of a bum on the street downtown. you know, whatever you want.
LOTS of furniture today. this stuff tends to go VERY quickly but there was a lot of it today. i mentioned this last time i was at this store but i'll say it again - IF YOU SEE SOMETHING YOU LIKE, BUY IT. nowhere is this truer (more truer?) than at this particular salvo. when we first moved here and we were scouting around for stuff to furnish our apartment there were literally 4 pieces of furniture that we looked at and thought we'd just come back the next day and get that were ALL gone by the time we came back, which was, as i mentioned, the next day. kicking yourself for that awesome couch you SHOULD have had is unproductive and requires a degree of flexibility that, be honest, many of us just don't have, so save yourself the time and aggravation and just buy the damn thing if you like it enough to stop and stare at it. it's cheap and that's why you came to the store, right?
the preceding message was brought to you by the total hypocrite who didn't buy this damn valet chair for $20 even though he REALLY wanted to, and is actually physically kicking himself in the ass right now as he writes this. oh well. so it goes. if you've never seen one of these things before it's basically about at footstool height, and you hang your tie and coat and all your personal effects on it and shit and when you go to get ready it's all right there and you can sit on a comfy little stool while you dress yourself (or, i guess theoretically have your butler do it for you) - what could be cooler than that?
so. i'm walking around,
taking pictures of the usual knickknacks and junk that they ALWAYS have here (especially love the side view mirror from like an old cutlass supreme or whatever - do they really think someone is going to buy that?), when what do i stumble upon but two boxes, on the bottom shelf, pushed over all the way on the left, in the corner, all alone, looking unsuspicious and unremarkable, but upon further examination containing
THIS, baby! my new bowling ball! i was...saying "flabbergasted" doesn't do it justice, man! i was literally giggling and tittering with delight like a friggin' nine year old girl (i imagine they do that a great deal) as i examined this damn thing! okay slow down man, breathe, think it through, i kept telling myself (and am in fact telling myself now, even as i write this), try to examine this objectively but fuck it i found a bowling ball and it fit my hand and it's got a frigging oakland raiders logo embossed on it along with the name "CHICO" and it wasn't too scuffed up and it was THREE DOLLARS. so now i have a bowling ball.
okay here's the whole story, the real reason i was so excited, well, rather the reason my excitement blossomed into almost full-on religious ecstasy when i spotted this damn thing. last week one of my favorite local bloggers called out yours truly and a select few others for a trip to hephzibah's wangs and/or thangs in orange mound, which, for a lot of stupid reasons, i haven't been able to take her up on. it gave me an idea though, which i was ruminating on one day at work when a well dressed chappie sitting at his laptop happened to look up at me and say "do you write bitter books?" and much to my consternation i had to admit that i did, and it turned out to be chris who writes unreal city, another one of my favorite local blogs, and in between stammering out praise for the stuff he'd written and a few awkward pauses because i honestly had never given any thought to what i'd say the first time someone blogspotted me in real life (i just made that word up can you tell) i managed to describe this idea i'd been ruminating on, a big idea, something so magical and mystical and packed with peanut buttery goodness that even the mention of its name makes me tremble and quiver with anticipatory glee (have i given it enough buildup already god dammit?):
band of bloggers.
my wife came up with the name. basically what i want to do is pay all the cool locals back who inspired me to do this damn project in the first place and provided me with so much useful information and a sense of familiarity with this town that by all rights i don't deserve to have yet by organizing an event, a night or just an outing where we all meet up and storm the town by force, photographing/videographing/bloggographographing the shit out of everything we see - i'm thinking hep's, i'm thinking a bar or two at some point, i'm thinking IMPERIAL LANES for some 24 hour bowling goodness, and maybe a stop at ck's to unwind afterwards, for some coffee and complaining. i don't know, it's still kind of just stewing in my head, the logistics of it all, but chris was kind enough not to spit in my face when i suggested it, which makes me think there could be some mild interest elsewhere as well. let me know what you think, my email's on here somewhere i'm fairly sure, i'm going to be out of town for the next three weeks anyway so there's plenty of time to plan and scheme, even if only turns out to be like four of us it could still be a good time.
i should mention there was another ball right next to it that was in equally good shape (if a little lacking in the embossed nfl logo department) that was actually a little too big for my hands, which is remarkable because i have pretty big hands (and you know what they say about guys with big hands...big gloves) but if you know anyone whose hands are bigger than this
tell them there's a bowling ball at the salvation army on danny thomas blvd with their name on it. moving on
found this literary masterpiece for like fifty cents or whatever. i had a copy of "the hungry hungry caterpillar" when i was a kid that i absolutely ANNIHILATED, i read the damn thing so much. for a lot of boring suburban middle class kids my age, eric carle's art style is just like imprinted on our cerebellum in a way that will never really wash off, i think. not that i mind, i think the man's really gifted and plan on visiting his museum someday, even though i won't have any kids in tow and will probably freak everyone out.
following along with my romance novel tirade from a few weeks ago i should also mention that i don't plan on stocking kids' books out the wazoo in this imaginary book store i'm going to be running in a couple years here - not that i'll have the same kind of insane jihad against them as i do against serialized romance novels, i just don't plan on having like a "KIDS' CORNER" with a bunch of shitty plastic chairs and some garish paint job where the little lunatics can roll around on the floor while their parents actually look for books they enjoy reading. i don't have any real problem with kids or anything, it's just in keeping with the whole semi-urbane, midtown, coffee and (god willing) intelligent conversation vibe the wife and i are going to try and create, i don't see a HUGE kids' section as being something i'll really have the time or energy to devote to building. i'd rather skim off the cream of the crop, things i KNOW are good (like anything eric carle, shel silverstein, dav pilkey and a few others do) and be able to almost guarantee that your kid is going to find SOMETHING they'll love for the rest of their lives than just cordon off a corner of the store and turn it into a glorified romper room. if i wanted to run a day care, i would, you know? does that seem too harsh? i hope not.
to be honest i was so distracted by the damn bowling ball that i kind of just gave the books (which are always surprisingly well organized at this place - i want to find whoever's doing that and just shake their goddamn hand) a cursory once over and scampered up to the front counter to gush at the guy working the register (need to learn his name - he's always there and he's ALWAYS super super friendly) about how awesome i thought my bowling ball was, which he was appropriately appreciative of, even if he probably started relentlessly mocking the big white dork as soon as he walked out the door - i don't care. he was nice to my face and that's more than most people can even manage, so i'll take it.
and that's going to have to do it for this week, due to time constraints and whatnot (also sorry about the relative paucity of pictures and overload of words but i was actually in a hurry to begin with and then literally felt the need to RUN out of the store with my bowling ball before someone decided it was too cool for me to have and took it away), but i plan on not stopping believing, as journey would say, and keeping this train rolling for the next few weeks while i'm in the relative cultural wasteland of my youth and young manhood, syracuse new york, and hitting up all the stores i used to haunt back in my formative years, giving you, my massive and slavishly devoted fanbase (heh heh), a glimpse at where i grew up, and for the few old friends i have who actually read this thing with any regularity, a chance to join in the fun and ransack the town with me. i'm looking forward to it. for this week, though...
130 N Danny Thomas Blvd
Memphis, TN 38103
music: 101.1 blasting from a boombox - heard a sweet erykah badu track and then SOMEONE CHANGED IT TO LOUD SHOUTY GOSPEL IN THE MIDDLE OF PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC'S "FLASHLIGHT" WHY IN THE LORD'S NAME WOULD YOU DO THAT. even jesus would be pissed if you cut off p-funk like that. jesus would literally slap you. no lie.
specials: usual 50% off clothes on wednesday - still the best deal in town if you ask me that is what i will tell you
so i wasn't kidding about the band of bloggers thing. i took finding the bowling ball to be a sign, if that doesn't make me a total flake, and i am honestly unironically excited about the prospect of this happening. i think it would be fun, so if you're an area man or woman, even if you don't run a god damned blog (that's not at all a requirement) and you want to make this happen just hit me up and we can start working it out.
oh also i'm contractually obligated to throw this in for my little sister in law before i go:
okay. that's it. assuming i don't murder anyone during my 28 hours in the arms of greyhound, i'll see you all in syracuse. i hope you're bringing a tarp or some trash bags or something because it's going to be like front-row-of-a-gallagher-show messy. see you there.