I walked downtown about noon to go to the gym. I was feeling kinda blue but physically felt pretty good. When I have a day without obligations and I’m not sore & worn out I get to the gym. That’s about once a week. I did the FitLinxx routine on the weight machine – I punch in my code and the computer tells me when last I lifted weights then at each station tells me how much weight I lifted that last time and how many reps. It’s nice not to have to remember.
I ate lunch afterward at Panini -- an artichoke hearts sandwich, a cup of coffee, and one of their rich chocolate cookies. I wrote in my diary and read a couple pages of The Ohlone Way, a book about the lifeways of the people who lived in the SF Bay Area before the arrival of Europeans.
I haven’t been to Comic Relief in two or three weeks so I figured I’d poke around there on the way home. First I stopped at Half Price Books. I checked out the clearance shelves and there were a lot of mildly interesting books filling the clearance shelves. A worker was boxing up books that had sat too long and refilling the space with new clearances. I drifted by the children’s section and there was a new Oz thingie, something called, I think, Everything Oz, which quotes from various Oz books and Oz-related sources and features illustrations & doodads from around the world. I slid it back onto the shelf. Since I read Born Free last year and since I own the third book Joy Adamson wrote about Elsa the lioness, Forever Free, I’ve had my eye out for Living Free, in which Elsa gives birth to and raises a litter of cubs. A handsome hardcover was waiting for me today. I flipped through it. I’d been hoping for a cheap paperback but just yesterday I’d been wondering if I ought to fill out a want slip at one of the town’s used bookstores. What, I’d asked myself, was I willing to pay? Ten bucks? This copy was $5.98. I tucked it under my arm and made a final swing by the graphic novels and DVDs.
At Comic Relief I let myself be seduced by De: Tales, a collection of “stories from urban Brazil” by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. The artists are twins. Long heads and bodies and big facial features. The drawings match. And I like the way the perspectives are often looking down from above or up from below. I recently read an anthology called Autobiographix that included one of their stories (the story also appears here). I also bought Alixopulos’ Mine Tonight. Alixopulos is a local and I first became aquainted with his work via a self-published mini-comic I picked up at Comic Relief. His art is scratchy and hungover-looking.
A block later I did a doubletake at the stationery store which is closing. Big signs announced, “50% off marked price.” One can always use office supplies, right? Cheap blank books are good, too. And I found a cheap blank book with an “ostrich print” cover. Plucked ostrich skin? I also bought a spiral notebook for my book log and a USB cable. I saw Joyce Jenkins, who had some new pens in hand. She says she’s putting the finishing touches on a new print issue of Poetry Flash. “There’s always something more to do,” she said. I told her I was working on the Poetry & Pizza calendar for the fall. She said she would try to make it to a reading.
For the last paragraph Sutra has been in my lap. He seems to be tolerating my typing. But he pokes my arm with his nose; why aren’t I rubbing him up?