Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama did it!

I - and the rest of the world - can breathe more easily again.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Just Checking In

I haven't gone anywhere... but it's hard to know what to say anymore during this economic collapse/presidential campaign. I believe that everything - from the insightful to the ridiculous - is being stated all over the place.

However, we did get to see the Divine Mister Obama live and in person on Sunday at an Asheville rally. It was a proud moment, and Obama yard signs, buttons and stickers continue to sell briskly at the shop.

The fall of the global economy is in the hearts and minds of my customers. Still, sales haven't plummeted any worse than they already had in the previous months of 2008.

Today I'm just hoping for an Obama victory and good leaf season sales.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gasoline Blues

Are you there, God? It's me, the NTD.

Where the hell is all the gasoline in Asheville, Lord? I found only one station that was selling - and you could spot it a half mile away, with fifty cars backed up on either side of it. Multiple policemen were present in order to keep the peace.

It would be less frustrating, except that I am assured that the pumps are flowing freely elsewhere.

Any divine intervention would be much appreciated.

Your arrogant little American daughter currently residing in a western North Carolina gulag,


P.S. Really, God, it's just the PMS and an empty gas tank talking here. I will be working on resuming my gratefulness for every breath and restoring my sense of awe as I ponder the infinite beauty and wondrous glory of the universe shortly, I promise.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Republican Drinking Game

It's a tough week in the news, trying not to write about the Governess of the North. All of us liberal opinionators are like moose caught in the headlights of Sarah Palin's Suburban, paralyzed while she aims her gospel gun toward our bleeding hearts. I miss falling asleep to the soothing sounds of Barack Obama's dreamy voice offering hope and change to those of us who have not enjoyed the last eight years.

But that was so last week; it's been all-Sarah, all the time on the news ever since John McCain made his startling announcement. The McCain/Palin ticket promises two political strategies: pandering to a brand of fundamentalists who have about three issues on which they base all of their voting decisions, and remaining defensive and prickly about anything else the candidates might have said or done which deserves comment. If the National Enquirer doesn't find some John Edwards-level dirt on Mrs. Palin soon (and what a sorry state of mind I'm in to depend on the Enquirer for investigative reporting), I'm going to be engaging in electoral drinking games until November.

Join me in the fun! Head to the liquor store and follow these simple rules, and you'll be an advanced alcoholic (but for the left!) in no time.

- One shot of Svedka vodka every time Palin denies the man-made aspect of global warming
- One shot of Gummi Bear N' Schnapps whenever Palin defends her anti-polar bear protection position
- One shot of Sailor Jerry Rum every time Palin defends her anti-beluga whale protection position
- One sip of sacramental wine every time Palin suggests that God wants a $30 billion natural gas pipeline built in Alaska
- One shot of Jose Cuervo whenever McCain struggles to appease both pro-immigration Latinos and anti-immigration white coservatives
- One shot of Hennessy every time that you notice that the McCain-Palin ticket is failing to attract black voters
- One sip of a perfect mojito whenever Palin decries gay marriage
- One Miss Saigon for every instance of McCain retelling his Vietnam experience
- One gulp of Samuel Adams Brown Ale when Palin suggests that our Founding Fathers recited the Pledge of Allegiance
- One keg stand every time that Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are trotted out as a young couple for whom "life happens"
- One sip of a Dirty Martini whenever you check out a YouTube video of John McCain staring at Sarah Palin's breasts or rubbing up against hapless female Republicans - One White Russian for each instance of Cindy McCain mentioning Alaska's proximity to Russia via the Bering Strait
- One Jager Bomb for each reference to Palin's extensive command of the Alaska National Guard
- One bottle of Dom Perignon for every time John and Cindy McCain realize that they own another home
- One liter of Fiji Water whenever some bitter Ron Paul supporter comes up and tries to convince you that bottled water lover Mr. Paul can still beat Obama and McCain
- One bong hit whenever John McCain talks tough about opposing medical marijuana
- One shot of Wild Turkey for every instance of Palin or McCain complaining about the liberal media
- One Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer each time multi-millionaire John McCain suggests that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are elitist
- One Mind Eraser every time that John McCain neglects to mention the incumbent Republican George Bush
- One nuclear cocktail if McCain starts singing his perennial favorite "Bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran"

The drinking game continues until the Obama/Biden ticket wins and Palin heads back to Alaska for hunting season. However, if the Republicans prevail in the presidential election, keep up the game as long as possible. Crying in your beer and/or other remaining liquor will be perfectly acceptable for the next four years (as the economy tanks further, you may substitute malt liquor or My Wild Irish Rose). But do not - I repeat, do not - drink that Republican Kool-Aid.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Lynne Spears for Vice-President

Bristol Palin is five months' pregnant... what is this, Lynne Spears for VP?

My gosh, maybe I should have thrown my own hat in the ring and given Obama an outsider choice to compete with this fiasco. At least both of my daughters made it into college without getting knocked up. And, let's see, I have owned a store for 21 years, and between that and birthing two babies - I feel about as qualified as Tina Fey's cousin from the far north....

Shouldn't McCain care about the safety of this country more than he cares about winning an election?


Friday, August 29, 2008

The Bong Show

I sell many, many things in my shop. Along with Indian tapestries, Japanese incense, glass jewelry and Obama stickers are several cases of tobacco accessories. I have always blamed this on my old friend Eric, who back in 1987 talked me into displaying three deer antler pipes that he made in between downing twelve-packs of PBR and smoking packs of More menthol cigarettes in the back of that sharecropper shack he was staying at off Highway 301. I agreed to consign them, and shoved over a few vintage rhinestone brooches in the case to make room for them.

They sold.

Although I didn't care for smoking in any form, I kind of liked selling pipes. The tobacco paraphernalia clientele is generally a grateful one, and not shy about shelling out the bucks for a myriad of smoking devices. A couple of decades later, I sell vaporizers, water pipes, handpipes ranging from corn cob to color-changing glass, bubblers, and traditional meerschaums. I still don't smoke, which means that I spend a lot of time listening to people describe the pros of cons of carburators and the widths and lengths necessary to draw from an upright sherlock, and whether a Gravitron is practical for solo use. There's a thesis waiting to be written regarding the fine art of smoking, I'm sure of it.

So - in spite of the fact that a certain 1994 Supreme Court decision rendered the selling of a thing called a "bong" a felony (so of course none of us in the business sell anything named the "B" word, we're just selling tobacco waterpipes) - I attended an accessories show in Las Vegas this week which my daughter and I nicknamed The Bong Show. We spent several hours staring breathlessly at thousands of pipes. While others at the show were obviously considering their personal smoking possibilities, I was one of those parties whose cartoon balloon floating above my head would have instead focused on this subject: Can I Triple My Money On This One? Would My Shop Move A Hundred Of These By New Years?

Besides, there were way too many Bong Babes in there. The average thirty year old dude who owns a store would salivate over dozens of women clad in fishnets and Daisy Dukes and black brassieres, but middle-aged mamas such as myself - there were perhaps another one or two women who made buying decisions in addition to me - were just angry that there was not a single Scantily Clad Man.

I mean, I feel good about selling an item which so obviously skirts the legal line of respectability. Pipe-selling makes me feel vaguely bad ass, although I realize that this is just an illusion (but it's a pretty good illusion when you're pushing fifty, as I am). It's a nice business, nice folks, nice products, and nothing that Wal-Mart can ever take away from me. Pipes have helped put my daughter through college and paid two mortgages. But - just like when I ran the biggest used CD and indie music business in a college town back in the nineties, it's a man's world. And nothing reminds me of this fact so much as being at a trade show where all the girls wear push-up bras and stilletos, while the men handle all the money.

All of this just inspires me to try harder. Pipes aren't really a gender issue, anyway, right?



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Heart Hyphens

I spilled my Shredded Wheat on the keyboard the other day. There are three keys which have not worked ever since: the five, the six, and the hyphen. Rather than plugging in a spare keyboard to replace the faulty one, we have been adjusting to the change. I was definitely becoming too hyphen dependent... in fact, I am jonesing to use one right this second, and am substituting the melodramatic ellipsis instead. I've also gotten a little more high faluting with an increase in semicolons and colons. Alternating between semicolons and ellipsis, my writing resembles the ramblings of a depressed spinster English professor.

Project for the day: replace the keyboard....