Half Price Books

Half Price Books Haul


My Half Price Books

Half Price Books‘ Labor Day weekend 20% off sale is my Christmas. Already awesomely priced books available at even lower prices than usual, a cozy shelf-packed shop buzzing with book lovers sharing recommendations with each other over what to read next; it’s like a physical manifestation of Nerdfighteria.

Today’s highly successful haul demands yet another post wherein I brag about my awesome finds. (Scroll to the bottom for a full list of HPB posts.)

Link-clicking fingers ready? Let’s go!

Books | Grand Total: $8.48
Dune Messiah
, by Frank Herbert ($0.80)
God Emperor of Dune, by Frank Herbert ($0.80)
Heretics of Dune, by Frank Herbert($0.80)
The Word for World is Forest, by Ursula K. Le Guin ($0.90)
Something with “mumpsimus” and “hobnail” on the cover and which I can’t name because it’s a present! ($5.18)

Grand, ain’t it?! I’m especially thrilled to be making such good progress on filling my Frank Herbert shelf. So far all I owned were Dune, and the Atreides, Dune, and Harkonnen chapterhouse books after having read the rest of the original novels via the library. In fact– now that I think about it, all I need now is Children of Dune and I’ll have completed my set of Frank’s originals. I just get cooler and cooler…

Also: I wish I’d been trained as a Bene Gesserit (by Donna Kummer).

There. I said it.

The Ditty Bops

CDs | Grand Total: $12.80
On My Way
, by Ben Kweller ($1.60)
A Passage in Time, by Dead Can Dance ($1.60)
To Venus and Back, by Tori Amos ($1.60)
The Hour of Bewilderbeast, by Badly Drawn Boy ($1.60)
Whatever and Ever Amen*, by Ben Folds Five ($1.60)
Seven Swans, by Sufjan Stevens ($1.60)
Moon Over the Freeway, by The Ditty Bops ($1.60)
O Brother, Where Art Thou Soundtrack ($1.60)

*I might already have this. If I do, this one’s all yours, bro.

And after all that I still have $6 left on a gift card I received for “actual” Christmas. I’m fighting the urge to go back tomorrow and put the remainder toward completing my Dune collection. Ah Life and all her accompanying difficult decisions!

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Previous Half Price Books mega-haul braggy posts:
See Change
All things on earth point home in old October
Resting Before I Get Tired
“How much do you love me?” and “Who’s in charge?”

See Change


When I told friends 2010 was going to bring changes into my life I had no idea how true that prediction would turn out to be. Now I kind of wish I’d thrown some specifics into that prediction, like “On May 1st I’ll help a 98 year old lady cross the street and she’ll thank me by making me the sole benefactor of her gazillionty dollar estate.”

Ah well. Next time.

Aaron and me at The Great Milwaukee Race

As it stands, I’m now a couple months in to seeing the fourth fellow down from the top, and am currently jobless after my employer outsourced my department to Missouri. You know what? It happens. I’ve also been attending church every week for several months now, and have begun a slow return to a lost love: reading for pleasure. I haven’t quite reached “Rachel Fox” levels of literary consumption, but I’ve still managed to work my way through a healthy (for me) stack of libros over the past couple of months. Feels good, folks. Real good. The final change so far is that I’ll be spending a few weeks this August in Honduras with Mimi. Don’t know what all we’ll be doing there yet; I’ll update y’all when I know for sure.

See? Change.

Speaking of all that book readin’, I stopped by Half Price Books today to take advantage of their store-wide 20% off Memorial Day sale. As promised, the rundown on my awesome finds:

For me:

  • Night by Elie Wiesel ($2.00): I know only that his work is powerful and that I should read more of it, so I’m reading this.
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin ($3.00): I feel like I keep hearing about this book. Was it you? Were you talking about it to me? Anyway- I found it today for $3 so I picked it up. The guy who wrote it sounds pretty incredible. I’ll let y’all know if it’s as good a read as it seems like it’ll be.

4 books for 12.59. Yay!

Mimi in Honduras

For the Honduras trip:

  • Aprende a Escribir Letras ($0.25 a piece): I picked up 8 copies of this book at $0.25 each, which came to $1.60 with the current 20% discount. Woohoo! They’re 25 pages each on heavy, glossy paper so kids can trace the practice letters with crayon, then wipe the pages clean for re-use. They’re spiral bound, which I love because it keeps the books laying flat on the table while kids are using them. A super find!
  • ¿Dónde está el Jorobado de Notre Dame? ($0.50): This book is basically a Disney version of “Where’s Waldo” where you’re asked to locate various characters from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in the midst of bustling street scenes. I was hoping to find a good picture book to take along, so this is fantastic because what little writing there is here is in Spanish, and it’s good for a broader age range than some of the other things I found.
  • Enciclopedia de Oro: Tomos 1 (Apicultura a Bancos) y 2 (Ábaco a Apéndice) ($0.50 a piece): These short hardcovers are the first two books in an old encyclopedia series. I’m not too thrilled with the dated images (entirely illustrated, no photographs), but I like that the entries are about general stuff (King Arthur, astrolabes, the geography of Australia, etc.) so the information itself doesn’t appear to be dated. Still– I will probably end up leaving these two here.
  • Mi primer diccionario by Betty Root ($6.98): This one’s a hardcover book featuring a wonderful word selection with simple, helpful definitions accompanied by a sentence using the word in question. The accompanying illustrations are bright, cheery. Very nice little book.
  • Mi primer libro de números ($2.98): A paperback– finally! Packed with color color COLOR this book teaches numbers, shapes, colors, comparisons (bigger than, shorter than, etc.) with bright, simple illustrations.

13 children’s books for $11.31! Awesome.

Love, Sweet Potato

It has been– wow. Just such a day. Such a beautiful, beautiful– I am so blessed! So blessed. And I’m glad I’m in a place, in a state of mind, to be able to really soak it up, really enjoy every moment of it.

And today? Today was a Day to absorb through every sleepy, sunny, summery pore. The sun was shining in through all my wide open windows, the birds nesting in the tree outside my balcony were singing, the ferrets were bounding (and pooping) happily around the apartment, I found some great deals at an awesome book sale, then walked a mile and back into downtown Waukesha with Aaron for sandwiches at People’s Park. I am in an incomparably wonderful mood!

And now it’s time for s’mores and an episode of Father Ted before heading home.

See? Improvement. ;)

I kind of hate to see this day end, yet I can’t help but look forward to whatever kind of day tomorrow turns out to be. I figure tomorrow will be whatever tomorrow was always supposed to be, I’m just lucky to have had a day like today to precede it.

And I’m smiling.

“All things on earth point home in old October”


Wesley and Brodie

Wesley and Brodie

Ferrets. I haz them.

Since my last post I’ve taken on two new roommates, Wesley and Brodie. They’re both pretty quiet, disarmingly funny, and don’t eat much, though they do take an odd pleasure in pooping in inaccessible corners, so there is something left to be desired.

That’s right, folks: I finally got ferrets! And aren’t they cute?! They belonged to my friends Nikki and Jessie who weren’t able to keep them when they moved so now they’re living with me. Er– the ferrets are living with me, that is, not the girls. Wesley is the white and silver one in the front, the smaller of the two, and Brodie is the sable one in the back.

I’ve tried taking some *action shots* of them but Wesley’s usually rummaging around behind something, and I can only ever seem to catch Brodie when he’s running off to the next exciting thing on his agenda so his pictures are just a lot of tail shots. And naturally when they’re doing flips over each other in the middle of the room my camera is nowhere to be found. I don’t mind not getting any good pictures so long as I can soak up all the cuteness in person, but how unfair of me to hoard it all for myself!

Pumpkin Hunting

Beautiful Autumn

Beautiful Autumn

I went pumpkin hunting with the family at the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago yesterday. There were no pumpkins left in the field to be had by the time we got there, but there were more apples left on the trees than a body could pick in a week, and the smell of cider donuts was everywhere, so if you’re headed there yourself there’s still lots to do. In the end all we bought was a caramel apple pie and OMG: delish. Their pies are amazing, and if you’ve never had one you need to plan a trip out that way this weekend. No Halloween party (the chatting kind, not the drunken kind) could not be improved by the addition of one of these pies. Mmmmm….

Unfortunately Bekah and Andrew were busy with Andrew’s family yesterday so they weren’t able to make it, but David and RAM were there, along with Mimi who was up from Chicago for a couple of days, so it was still a two car afternoon.

The weather was exactly how you’d wish you could truthfully describe a beautiful Fall day. Sweet, high clouds, clear sunshine, a light breeze. In fact it was so warm we walked outside for the better part of an hour with no coats on  and wishing we’d left our sweaters at home.

During our walk  past the apple orchard and the cornfields to the pumpkin patch we passed a small, stone out-building. It bore with some difficulty a collapsed wooden roof and a stone bathtub of sorts inside. The roofer in me couldn’t help but take a few leak pictures for my dad. You know how we do:

DSC04802 DSC04803 DSC04804 DSC04806 DSC04807

My parents took more group pictures but neither of them has posted any of them anywhere yet so I’m still waiting to see how they turned out. I will definitely post a few here as they come in, though. Such a beautiful day, such beautiful, smiling faces. I took some video during our walk. The wind underscoring the whole thing is a bit grating, but watching it makes me happy. :)

Theatre

Not doing a durn thing with it right now and I have to say I’m glad of it. Busier with life stuff than most Falls. Not seeing many shows either, but I’m not totally removed from the circle. I get out there every now and again.

Writing

I’m compiling some pieces. My fic. My non-fic. I’ve read it all so many times I can’t stand the sight of most of it anymore and fear there’s nothing salvageable. I do need to save something of it though, and have had some very helpful feedback from my two “readers.” But it’s decision time: Do I pursue fiction or non-fiction? Not forever. Just for now. For soon. For the time being. For this current project. I have to pick one or the other and run with it. Not forever. Just for now. For soon. For the time being. For this current project. Fiction or non-fiction? Where am I stronger? Ugh. I’m bored with myself just thinking about it.

Ugh.

Half Price Books

How much do I love that place? Oh God. So much. I dare you to prove to me your Half Price Books is better than mine. You will fail. Mine is the awesomest.

Within the past month I have purchased from them:

The entire series of Escaflowne on VHS (8 tapes) for $3
A&E’s Pride and Prejudice on VHS (6 tapes) for $2
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince for $1
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love for $1
Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia (paperback anthology) for $2
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird for $6
Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz for $1
McLaren and Campolo’s Adventures in Missing the Point for $2
George R. R. Martin’s Dreamsongs Volumes I and II for $2 each
More CDs than I can remember, none clocking in higher than $3 and most coming in at $1

The day they have seasons of Maude available for purchase is the day I make public my desire to speak my wedding vows from the confines of their Drama/ Poetry/ Writing/ Pop Culture aisle. Stand near kiddie lit, ladies: That’s where I’ll be aiming the bouquet.

squeee

Awww…

Ooh! Ferret interruption: *Squeeee!* They’re so cute when they’re sleeping! Right now they’re curled up yin-yang style on a pillow case on the top shelf in their cage with their teeny little necks intertwined so their faces are side by side. So cute!!

Wesley keeps getting up, running down into the bedding in the bottom of the cage to scratch, and then running back up to lay forcibly down on top of Brodie, who responds by yawning. At most. Don’t you just love it? If I didn’t fear rolling over on the poor guys in my sleep, or waking up in the morning to corner poop, I’d totally hang a hammock for them in my bedroom.

Happy Fall Everyone!

“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.”
Thomas Wolfe

Resting Before I Get Tired


I need to ease into this entry, much the way I need to ease into my chair for the next few days, so I’m going to start with the lighter fare…

Part I: Life Outside the Theatre, or: Life’s OUTSIDE the Theatre?!

Half Price Books comes through once again

Stopped by HPB this past Saturday before heading to Sunset for my weekly two-show workout. I’ve got a nice little routine in place for every time I visit. First I hit up the clearance section, then head over to the children’s books, then Plays and Poetry, non-fiction end caps, and a then the CD bargain racks. To each their own, but this system’s the one that keeps me going.

I picked up six neat-o music selections the other day, and because I know you’re just as interested in hearing what they were as I am in hearing how they sound…

  1. Mrs. Fun: “They Are Not A Trio,” feat. kd lang and Milwaukee’s own Flora Coker
    It’s been a while since I’ve been to Summerfest, so I imagine/hope Mrs. Fun is still part of the lineup there. Acid jazz isn’t generally my genre of choice, but I have to say I do always enjoy watching and listening to these women perform. And they draw the best audiences! I see from their website they were involved somehow in Phranc‘s “I Enjoy Being a Girl” (’89) but does anyone know in what capacity they worked together? Phranc. Can you imagine? Gosh– how fun! How– how Mrs. Fun… She’s a life lover too, you know.
  2. Loreena McKennitt: “Live in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts” (05/94)
    Every time I listen to McKennitt I think of this family I babysat for when I was in high school as every time I went over I’d pop in the mom’s “Book of Secrets” cd. The oldest boy was friends with my brother and he and his siblings were all geniuses, the children of creative genius parents. The mother covered about 40% of their home’s floor space in extravagantly luscious trompe l’oeil paintings that made you want to stick to the carpet to ensure her work would last longer. That family made me happy, just knowing people like them were around.
  3. Jem: “Finally Woken”
    I figure I’ve got to see what she’s all about, and I assume a better way to start is with the older stuff before fame entered the picture in quite such a potentially influential way.
  4. k.d. lang and the reclines: “Angel With A Lariat”
    Don’t know a darn thing about this one, just know I enjoyed “All You Can Eat” an awful lot and this disc was only a buck.
  5. Luscious Jackson: “Natural Ingredients”
    With cover art that screams1994!” I can only imagine this album will chuck (Taylor) me back into a desire to pair a small print floral dress with Docs and a cardigan. That was such a comfier time. Can we go back to that? Please?
  6. Nelly Furtado: “Whoa, Nelly!”
    This is an absolutely fantastic and fun album. Every track is at the very least enjoyable, and at the most downright super great. Too bad she got all trashy when the money started rolling in. *shrugs* At least we’ll always have “Whoa, Nelly!”

I also picked up a book of Spanish literature of the 1700s – 1900s. It’s great because the intros and biographies are in English, but the texts are in their original Spanish, and I’ve been looking (casually) for something like this for a while now. So yay for that.

*nom nom nom*

Okay– but have you tried the California Topper? OMG, fellows. Oh. Em. Gee.

Sun and Stars

I’m re-reading the first four A Song of Ice and Fire books in preparation for the eventual release of A Dance with Dragons. (No rush, George. Didn’t mean anything pressing by “eventual.” You take your time. Do it right. Release it around my birthday in March and I totally owe you a Coke.) It’s amazing to catch all these tiny details, these character subtleties, this second time around. I love- or hate- every character even more upon re-reading their stories, and am even more excited than I was before about book 5 coming out. If you are even remotely a sci-fi fan, a fantasy fan, a historical fiction fan, a regular fiction fan, or able to string letters together to form words: Read George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Amazing books. You will not be disappointed.

Matthew, James, and Joel: You have to live the life of a ASoIaF character for a year. Who do you choose and why?

Part II: The Remaining 94% of Last Weekend

JanethePhoolePhoolish Liaisons

Jane the Phoole came to the show on Friday night and let me tell you: I was ecstatic. I heard from a fellow actor that she was in the audience that night and I was instantly aflutter with nerves and excitement and– well and worry! You’ve got to be at the top of your game when Milwaukee’s official jester is present!

I look forward to seeing her every year at the Bristol Ren Faire, so it was a real treat to see her at Sunset– sans the usual regalia, no less. She said she enjoyed the show, which is either a wonderful review for us, or a moment of great acting from a great actress, because she was entirely believable when she said it. So good for us or kudos to her. Either way somebody still wins.

Bore me once, shame on you. Bore me twice…

“It is a hopeless endeavour to attract people to a theatre unless they can be first brought to believe that they will never get in.” Charles Dickens in “Nicholas Nickelby”

An interesting quote, that, given the fact that the four people in Sunday’s 2pm front row LEFT after the first intermission. I guess when people realize they can get into a theatre they may be faced with the prospect that they have no desire to remain there. Actually, I had no desire for three of those four to remain either so perhaps it’s just as well.

First there was an older couple on the end of the row, featuring a grumpy looking woman with an expression that’d curdle gasoline, and a man who kept sprawling out to find the best position in which to GO TO SLEEP during the performance. If you don’t like comedies. folks, don’t waste your time or money on attending them. No one will mind if you’re not there. In fact, most would probably prefer it that way, yourselves included.

Then there was a couple in their early 20s in the middle of the row. The girl was smiling and laughing throughout the first act, but her boyfriend could barely bring himself to remove his chin from his hand as boredom with our antics ate away at his soul. I know none of you ladies would ever leave something you’d already paid for and were enjoying just because your boyfriend was a humorless Philistine, but this poor young woman did exactly that. Take care, sister. This promises to be one pointless sacrifice among many, I fear…

“Ruth Arnell sat on a wall…”

Because people leaving at intermission should not be an event in itself but rather a hirbinger of greater ills to come, I proceed with caution as I dive into the rest of Saturday’s rather distressing 5pm show.

So first the light board reboots itself at the top of Act II just as the intermission music fades and the curtain opens. No lights, no sound, no action. Just… darkness. Darkness and actors stranded on stage in that darkness with no clue what’s going on, forced to stay in character and improvise as nothing continues to happen. That, ladies and gentlemen is what we call the “joy of live theatre.” It is also what we call “a real drag.” No matter– these things happen. The show must go on! And eventually– it did.

And then Act III hit.

All in all it was fine, and to tell you the truth I don’t think a darn thing happened for most of the act that anyone not involved in the show would’ve noticed. A key prop malfunctioned, cutting short a rather involved and quite comical bit, but again: who’d know?

Things are moving along just fine from then on until about 5 minutes before the end of the show when I’m on the upper mezzanine of the set and I accidentally catch my earring on my finger and hurl it down onto the stage floor below. An annoying, and clearly unintentional, attention grabber from the action in front of me, but again: these things happen.

fallingImmediately thereafter I’m supposed to run down a flight of stairs in 3 1/2″ heels to talk to another character. This is something I’ve been doing for a month down these same stairs, with this same actor, in these same shoes. But for some reason… For some reason this one time my right foot- my dominant foot for crying out loud!- slips in my shoe and I crash onto the stairs, landing hard on a rear end not nearly as padded as I’d thought, before sliding down four stairs to the sound of gasps from the little old ladies in the audience.

And let me tell ya, folks: That fall hurt more than my pride. I finished the scene and then burst into tears as soon as the set door closed behind me. Ain’t no pain like a pain in the ass. Luckily Jenny was there to literally *run* to me, throw her arms around my shoulders, and offer the kind of sweet, tender encouragement that only the awesomest among us can offer. She’s a gem, that Jenny Ko. A diamond in the rough.

The tears eventually subsided, the 8pm show came and went (awesomely, I might add), and much to my delight there doesn’t appear to be any swelling. (Leave it alone…) Still quite a lot of pain, though, as it’s tough for something to heal when you keep sitting on it. Work especially is a real bear as every time I go to get up from my desk I end up spending about a minute wincing and rising at odd angles a few degrees at a time, hoping that either no one is noticing or that they’re all doing me the embarrassed courtesy of pretending not to see. I’ll take what I can get.

Vlog Update

Finally! Geez louise. You know– I’d intended to make this video a good month ago but just never got around to it. I wanted to make a couple, make them kind of informative, include pictures from rehearsals, get footage of people involved with the show talking about why in the world they’d voluntarily get involved with something like this. Yeah. You see how that didn’t happen?

Video homework: What play should I get people together to read this summer?

“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” Edgar Bergen

“How much do you love me?” And “Who’s in charge?”


Quite the successful trip to Half Price Books today. Allow me a post to gloat over my fantastic- and fantastically priced- finds…

BOOKS

1. Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert: $3

This doesn’t impress me at first glance as the type of book I’d generally get into, but after watching Gilbert’s TED talk I realized I rather enjoy the woman herself and so ought to give her tome a try.

2. Myths, Lies, And Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel – Why Everything You Know Is Wrong” by John Stossel: $3

I always dug Stossel on 20/20, and the more I hear from him as I get older, the more interested I am in what he has to say. That is: As I get progressively more boring, world worn, and crows footed, the more I find merit in his opinions.

3.The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations” by Charles Harrington Elster: $3

calm KAHM. The l is properly silent. Do not say KAHLM or KAWLM.
salmon SAM-un. L is silent, a as in ham. Anything else is beastly — er, fishy.
pianist pee-AN-ist (or PYAN-ist). PEE-uh-nist is chiefly British.

4.The Complete Book of Fitness” by the Editors of Fitness Magazine with Karen Andes: $3

It seemed like a good idea at the time. It was followed by another good idea: A Kona Mocha chocolate shake from Kopp’s. My ideas: they just get better and better and better…

MUSIC

1. Animaniacs by a bunch of insane voice actors: $2

2. Ok Goby Ok Go: $2

3. The Book of Secrets by Loreena McKennitt: $2

4. Dilateby Ani DiFranco: $2

5.Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie by Alanis Morisette: $2

6. Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor: $2

All for a grand total of $25.34, which I put on a gift card. A good feeling, my friends. An exceptionally good feeling on an exceptionally beautiful day. A day which I need to get back outside and enjoy a little more before it’s over…

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“I met an old lady once, almost one hundred years old, and she told me, “There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who’s in charge?” Everything else is somehow manageable.”
– “Eat, Pray, Love,” p. 157