duck-shaped pain


31 July 2001
Wrap It Up, Ship It Out

It only happens every once in awhile, but it's happening now. I'm getting rid of things. Partially to help find my trip later this year, partially because I'm sort of convinced my mental blockage as of late is related to having an excess of things around.

Books I've tried to read three times, but have yet to get past page 30. CDs that sucked, and then propagate their evil ways by leaching the good out of whatever CD they happen to be next to. It was time for them to go. They were taunting me, reminding me of mental energy I didn't have. Hey, remember when you thought it might be a good idea to read me? And then you failed? And you still keep me around, promising that yes, someday it will happen, and then it never does? I don't think I have room for that in my life, so out the door it goes, whether it's Beyond The Hundredth Meridian or, for chrissake, The Country and the City, all of which were good ideas at one time.

So I put them all up for sale at, and things are flying out of here. I took fifteen packages to the post office yesterday, which meant I went out of my way to drive to the post office where they don't give you the third degree over sending things via Media Mail. No questions as to what the package contains, no passionate inquiries as to whether I am secretly sending notes or correspondence (which I am: a receipt) in these packages, nothing. They just weigh them and put them in the big cart. This post office seems to be staffed entirely by enormous bearded men, the type that could be described as "jolly" if they worked anywhere but the post office, whereas the Stop Media Mail Abuse post office seems to hire only repressed ex-schoolteachers. I don't know if that makes a difference, but I bet it does.

CDs sell a lot faster than books. Since this is the first time I've ever put any of them up for sale, I was previously unaware of this fact. I think this is one of the instances where obscurity counts -- I'm the only person selling most of the things I put up for sale, surprising the crap out of people feverishly awaiting the purchase of Happy Days (60 minutes of essentially one note, repeated) or that really, really, really shitty last Pavement record.

Going through my books, it occurred to me that I now actually have a use for my Thai-English pictorial dictionary. I bought this thing about four years ago, at one of the occasional book sales they held for employees of the Denver Post. They would sell all the review copies of books they received for cheap cheap, which sounds like a bonanza until you tried to wade through the sheer bulk of the suck they got. The reviewers would keep the good books, and give the Oprah books and rapture novels to the sale so the rest of us could deal with them. As a result, I never really got anything good there, but I did find the Thai-English pictorial dictionary. I got it because I couldn't figure out why it was there -- why would the Denver Post review this? -- and because it was weird. It still continues to be weird, but now I can actually use it for something. It may be too big to bring, though.

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