At the Movies

I wandered down to Union Square today after class. I went to the Barnes and Noble there, looking for a particular book. No luck. So I went to the one in Astor Place about 5 blocks down (Barnes and Noble is ubiquitous in New York. It's not quite as omnipresent as Starbucks is on Market Street in San Francisco, but it's close). Still no luck.

So I tried The Strand (16 miles of used books!) but with no more luck and considerably more annoyance. The Strand is a fine used book store in many respects, but they clearly hate Science Fiction and Fantasy. It's relegated to one bookcase in the far back corner (far less than is given to, for example, Egyptology. Not that there's anything wrong with Egyptology, but, you know, if you pitted all the SF/F fans against all the Egyptology fans in a cage match, it would, you know, have to be a really big cage. But not for the Egyptology fans. I'm saying there are more SF/F fans than Egyptology fans. A lot more). Further, whereas other sections are organized alphabetically by author, Science Fiction and Fantasy is organized by whereever the fuck there was room when some SF fan sold their book to The Strand, forcing the bored clerk to walk all the way to the back of the store and put it away. That is to say, the SF/F books are not organized at all. I found 6 Piers Anthony books on the case, two on the top shelf, one in the middle, two on the second shelf from the bottom, and one on the bottom shelf. This is why I have never bought books from The Strand, despite having visited on many occasions. While they offer large numbers of books at low prices, I'm an incurable dork who always heads to the SF/F section whenever I enter a book store. When I find The Strand's SF/F section in such a state of disrepair, I get upset and stomp out of the store in a huff.

So after leaving The Strand I wound up at the UA Union Square, and watched Jesus is Magic (Quick Review, because there's not much to say: It's an hour and fifteen minutes of Sarah Silverman doing stand-up, intercut with some musical numbers. I thought it was funny throughout. But: The material is somewhat racist. Not, like, Hitler Youth racist, but it makes fun of racial issues. I can see and understand people getting offended by it. If I were writing a full review, I'd gush about how Sarah Silverman provides a daring post-modern ironic hipster view of racism in America. But I have neither the energy nor the inclination to write an essay on the sociology of ethnic jokes, so there). I arrived about 15 minutes early, and so I was forced to sit through most of The 20, which is UA's way of punishing people who get to movies on time. The 20 refers to the 20 minutes of advertisements they inflict on you before the movie starts. Just as I'm not going to bore you with thoughts on racist jokes, I also won't make you sit through my rant about ads before movies. Long story short: I watch ads on TV because it's free and the ads subsidize the programs. But movies in theaters aren't free. They're making me pay twice to watch their movie, first robbing me out of my front pocket with $10.75 movie tickets, then robbing me of my time and mental energy by forcing me to watch advertisements. Grr!

During the pre-movie ads, there was a local ad for Carmel Car Service. You know how companies get catchy or easy to remember phone numbers so that you'll call them when you're stuck and want Service X, but don't want to grab a phonebook? Carmel Car Service got one of those numbers, but the one they settled on, easy to remember though it is, is (212)666-6666. Carmel Car Service: The Car Service of the Beast.

I returned to Barnes and Noble after the movie to do some holiday shopping. As usual, I found myself in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section. I had decided to buy a book for myself, but nothing particularly leaped out at me. So I decided to let randomness pick my book for me. I chose, as I always do, to play Eenie-Meaney-Miney-Moe. You would be surprised at how many decisions in my life have been made with Eenie-Meaney-Miney-Moe. I'd guess well over half. I have a very specific way I play it: I count by syllables, not words, and the words I say (contradictory though they are) are: "Eenie-Meaney-Miney-Moe, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers let him go, Eenie-Meaney-Miney-Moe. My mother told me not to pick the very best one and you are not it." This eliminates whatever I land on, and I play again until only one remains. The way I decided to play in the bookstore was to set each bookcase as one distinct item. I would eliminated down to one bookcase, then go to that bookcase and eliminate down to one shelf. Then I would pick one book from that shelf, altering the game slightly so that I would pick the one I landed on, rather than eliminate it, so as to not spend too much time. Barnes and Noble had 11 bookcases of SF/F books, so eliminating them took a while. During that time, I scared several patrons, who walked into the area only to find me frantically pointing at bookcases while mouthing quietly to myself. After about 10 minutes, I adjourned to my chosen case and proceded to point rapidly at the shelves while mouthing to myself silently. Unfortunately, I had neglected to exclude the licensed book section from my random selection, so I wound up on a shelf of Forgotten Realms-based novels. I took this as a sign and decided not to get a book.

February 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      

Contact Zach


Webcomics of Which I am a Fan

Sites I Read Daily: Politics

Sites I Read Daily: Video Gaming

Sites I Read Daily: General Miscellany

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Zach published on November 18, 2005 9:00 PM.

Fun with Spam was the previous entry in this blog.

...The hell? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 5.04