Yesterday, my husband and I went to Bookstock, which bills itself as the largest used book sale in Detroit. Fortunately, I was able to pick up half of Asimov’s Foundation series for three bucks. Unfortunately, I had to go to the mall to do it. I’m not crazy about the mall. Something about the lighting makes me feel like a confused bird that flew into somebody’s house and is desperate to get out. And I can only fling myself against the windows so many times before mall security escorts me off the premises.
Anyway, aside from Asimov, I bought one of the looniest dating advice books I’ve ever seen–coming soon to a blog post near you! I also took a lot of pictures. Here are some of the more interesting volumes I encountered, divided by subject matter just as they were at the book sale. Continue reading
When you think of the Victorian era, certain motifs come to mind. Thick fog. Tight corsets. Prudishness and its attendant euphemisms (“limb,” “invert,” “gross indecency”). Scientific adventure. Murdered prostitutes. Rapier wits. Tea parties. Plucky orphan waifs. Hansom cabs struggling through a meter of accumulated horse poop. The one thing you probably don’t think of is the cooking.
Before I continue, allow me to place bouquets on the graves of cultural sensitivity and historical context. I know that my own tastes do not apply to other eras. People throughout history have eaten things that, to my sensibilities, seem disgusting. However, by the same token, my own diet would disgust many of them. Which foodstuffs are palatable and which are garbage is completely a matter of opinion and upbringing.
With that disclaimer out of the way, allow me to state one thing unequivocally: the Victorians ate some crazy shit.
I didn’t get a smart phone until three years ago. Prior to that, I’d lived in Japan, where smart phones weren’t yet standard and every expat had the same cheap flip phone. Prior to Japan, I’d owned a brick that could make calls, be seized when I got grounded, and little else.
“No phone for a week! That’ll teach you to call your grandfather’s dentures ‘fake and gay.'”
On that fateful spring morning when my dad bequeathed me his old iPhone, I felt like I’d finally caught up with the curve. At last, I could text, surf the Internet, and avoid making eye contact at dinner as easily as the next person. I could even type memos to circumvent my crippling ADHD. I’d never forget anything again!
Yeah. About that…
Scanning now through three years of memos, I realize this particular application has been a mixed blessing. Typing reminders is one thing–remembering what the hell you were trying to remember is another. Add to this my tendency to use one memo sheet for months on end without giving it any sort of title, and you’re left with entries that are completely useless at best…
Well thank god I wrote this down.
…and sound like creepy avant garde poetry at worst.
The pestilence that walketh in darkness (primarily along US 275 South).
For your enjoyment and befuddlement, I’ve compiled the strangest memos on my phone. Maybe you’ll be able to figure them out. I certainly don’t know what the hell I was getting at when I wrote this: