This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Beer, Sewing, The Aislers Set, and Eternal Happiness

First, let me apologize for my utter, utter lameness in re: commenting. I've been having too much fun, I guess, and fun kind of gets in the way of things. Which isn't to say I don't love and value every one of you, my friends. It's just to say, I wound up in the greatest city on earth -- that is, San Francisco -- and I'm single, and the world is my oyster, and wow!

My dear soundmate, bloodgood, asked me to say more about music, but I don't want to scare off those of you whose tastes differ from mine because I wouldn't bore you with a barrage of information about music you either don't like or haven't heard. So I'm breaking it up, here, to blab on and on about me; perhaps this will bore my scooter friend, but the music will be back.

Now, tonight I once again worked at my weensy little bookstore which, unfortunately, has no heat beyond an extremely inefficient space heater. But aside from sitting next to a nice, hot fire, there's nothing like being amidst tons of old books and listening to stirring music to make me feel like a zillion. And okay, I listened to this amazing band called The Aislers Set while I sort of read Alice Munro's new collection, Runaway. Sort of read because I was working, so I snatched a few sentences here and there, in between frantic bouts of vaccuuming and talking about, well, stories and music and movies.* Outside it was raining and the streets were shiny and despite that, there were lots of people out walking their dogs with their hoods pulled up.

I just love to look out the window and smile at everyone until my smile snags someone and prompts them to come in. Home is for privacy, but work -- or at least my work -- is social. Maybe I'm full of myself, here, but I love to both spread and receive the word of fiction. This makes me feel as though I'm doing some kind of good in the world.

And lo, a guy came in to pick up his special order, a book about how to sew. I asked if he had a sewing machine. Turns out he has two, one of which he promised to give me! I LOVE to sew my own clothes. You'll eventually hear back on this, as soon I will be polluting the streets with homemade color.

But more than color and wrapping myself in it, I adore beer.So after work I went to the local bar, this place where I always end up talking to interesting people from all over the world. And this particular bar has a great jukebox -- twice tonight, I was treated to the live version of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne", plus some great Violent Femmes songs, plus "Lovecats" by The Cure. I'd completely forgotten what a talented band The Cure was, and in that particular song, the bass line! The brushy drums!

Anyway, I had a Bass next to the fireplace, I sat next to my favorite window that looks out on a red staircase, and I wished my life could remain as it is now, forever and ever.

1Matt: we have to see Water in April -- it's an Indian movie, guaranteed to make me, at least, cry -- I know, you're more in line with the Alice Cooper take and you never cry.


Blogger jungle jane said...

Ing! of COURSE matty will cry! he has a whole month to work up some tears!

you know i have such a romantic view of working in a little bookshop. your picture of it being a bit cold and only having a silly little heater didn't really fit my fantasy.

in my vision, my book store is small, smells of moths and old books, has a ginger cat sleeping in it and its warm. it has comfy chairs and the books are cheap...

2:34 AM

Blogger crabcake said...

Sounds like a sweet life to me! I love book stores. Especially the small friendly ones where people gather and talk about what they've read. I think it would be a great place to work.

Your description of the rainy streets and people walking their dogs with their hoods up bleeped me right into your world.

Sounds like a perfect life to me, right down to the neighborhood pub. You make me want to move.

He's giving you a sewing machine??? For real? Are you gonna show us pics of your creations? Hope so.

4:18 AM

Blogger AndyW said...

I know what you mean about old books and windows. A buddy of mine use to repair and bind books in the old school ways. He also had a book store in a rural Illinois town. It was one of the coolest places on earth.

Iron spriral staircase and cool bay windows surrounded by literature.

6:55 AM

Blogger sage said...

You paint a wonderful scene: the musty bookshop, the friendly bar with a fireplace and view of the world, a good beer, Cohen's lyrics playing in the background...

7:18 AM

Blogger Jimbo Big Toe said...

hmm... beer. I have no quarms with bass. I'm more our a stout person though. I like a murphy's or a guinness. Good luck on the store.

10:55 AM

Blogger ginab said...

Bass, bass, or bass. I have never understood, as in, "why three?" I mean, from the list, guess which is type comes first?

People in that bar need to turn into love cats when you walk into the room. What are they, blind bass?

A very Munro sentence: Outside it was raining and the streets were shiny and despite that, there were lots of people out walking their dogs with their hoods pulled up.

woo-hoo! But that is not bass or bass or even bass, it's rad.

I am goofin' off!

got to go dynamo

donthcya ...

on the mutha ...

Shut Up in Third Person!


1:55 PM

Blogger ing said...


Matty never cries. But maybe if we sneak up on him with a sackful of sliced onions? Send every remaining Diet Coke to the moon? Remove Barbra Streisand's vocal chords?

But I don't want Matty to cry.

My little bookstore is currently under construction. It's still extremely romantic. No cats, but there's often a dog wandering around in the store. The books in this store are cheap, though, and each chair has a lovely history.



Oh, it's the best place to work! This life is so perfect, it hurts. When things get this nice, I guess I worry about how it might end. Pessimistic, I know, or maybe I just can't believe I deserve such happiness.

If the sewing machine materializes, I will absolutely show pictures of my creations.



What is it about old books? I would like to die in a used book store. I would like to be buried with my books.



And this bar is just across the street from the store! It has a red pool table! And a huge garden out back, full of stained glass and sculptures and benches and people playing their guitars!



Stout is lovely in winter. But it's rarely winter here. Have you ever had Fuller's ESB (an ale)? Or a Boddington's? Yum!



If I know you, the player comes first.

No love cats for me these days. Which is okay. To each his own. I'll always have Beck.

I can't wait to see your new place!

7:19 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

Small book stores are where its at, converstation and shit like that.
I wrote my first book review for someone besides Amazon, the cold hearted book mongers.
Yes Leonard Cohen on the Juke in the rain with a well crafted beer, now thats livin'. I'm tearing up, I go bed now. JW

8:40 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

Converstation is in the latest OED. The definition is something along the lines of where people gather to have conversations, a station built for such occasions and shit. JW

8:45 PM

Blogger wallycrawler said...

Sounds like a perfect day . I'd do everything the same except I'd replace the beer with a glass of single malt scotch , rocks , Macallan preferred .

3:03 AM

Blogger purplesimon said...

I have a weird version of Love Cats by Tricky, the trip-hop laddie from years back. You know, the one that used to be in Massive Attack. Anyway, it's weird. Good, but... you get the picture.

I also have a beautiful and haunting version of Love Song by Tori Amos. It is almost as good as the original song by The Cure.

Suzanne. My mother's name. Amazing song, probably one of Cohen's best moments. As for the Violent Femmes, I don't think I can add anything. I still love Blister in the Sun. Makes me think of summer.

Oh, my Silver Jews tickets for their only - yes, only - London show are being delivered this week - the same damn week I get married so I won't be in to collect. I hope they don't need a signature.

I need to log off. Just wanted to say bye bye for now, be back mid-April.

purplesimon out...

8:17 AM

Blogger ginab said...

Purple is getting married (23/Mar).

9:35 AM

Blogger ticharu said...

The trick is stringing together a nice run of days that could go on forever. Like playing songs for Ing. That was a really cool day!

12:25 PM

Blogger Jab @ BZT said...

The BZT Weekly said...

What an excellent picture you've drawn there.

I've been close to that scene. Used to work at a used music store on the heart of State Street in Madison, WI. Tiny little shop. I remember a rainy Saturday morning, standing by the front window watching the few stray walkers go by with Echoes from Pink Floyd playing away and not a customer in the store. I wanted that to last. It didn't. But, considering the great place my life is at right now, I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Hi, by the way. Found ya through Jack.


1:59 PM

Blogger Spinning Girl said...

Love, love, love this post. The imagery, the coziness. My mental image of you smilng happily about a moment in your life makes me feel happy all over.

Have you read The Dogs of Babel?

tis lovely. Strange, but lovely.

2:41 PM

Blogger Spinning Girl said...

Poisonwood Bible, of course.
Prodigal Summer. (both Kingsolver)

Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon?

2:43 PM

Blogger ing said...


Meet me at the converstation, 'bout a quarter to nine. . . You sure tear up easily, JWW. It's very sweet.



My mom was a big scotch drinker. Me, I can't handle the hard stuff. I'm pretty small, and it doesn't take much at all to knock me on my ass. But I'll raise a beer to your scotch, my man.



First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! I don't know whether you're going to get around to reading this, since I'm sure you're busy right now. But on the off chance, what are your honeymoon plans (aside from The Silver Jews)? I do hope we'll get to see a picture from the big day on your blog.



Wait! That's tomorrow!!!!!! Or maybe it's today, in the states? I better run on over to purpies's blog to deliver my personal congrats -- should we forgive Mr. Simon, then, if he disappears for a little while? Yes, I think we should. . .



Wasn't it, though? I felt as though I was sitting in a friend's living room, all of a sudden. Maybe someday I'll get my own cam so you can sit in MY living room, yeah? And anyone else who's curious, visit Plum Flower TV at 6pm Central Time. It's really neat!



I'm glad things got better -- I hope that whatever changes come, they'll be for the better and not for the worse, and since they did for you, I guess it's all possible. I'm going to stick to that thought -- thanks! . . . It's just that the future scares me, I guess.

I've been listening to the old Syd Barrett Floyd. It's perfect for those rainy days of aloneness.

2:47 PM

Blogger ing said...


Thanks! Funny, but no, I haven't read any of those books you mentioned. I'm afraid I rarely read anything longer than a short story; I love the form so much, it's tough for me to get past it.

I'm in a cafe in Santa Cruz right now, and a handsome guy carrying a flower just smiled at me -- a good sign, wouldn't you say?

I will visit you and comment very soon. But unfortunately, I'm going to get a ticket if I don't leave soon.

2:51 PM

Blogger ginab said...

Yes! The UK runs nine hours ahead of the west coast. You better run like a spooked horse. (I'd used that anaology to describe JCP's run to points eats in an Email to Lzygrl). I just thought it was pretty, well, picturesqe.

Am I still determined to exercise? Not at this clip. Saw the dumbest flick. Tell you about it later?

Bought ticks to a show in Barcelona. And if I don't go the tickets arrive where they should, yeah?


2:57 PM

Blogger ing said...

Finally, ginab, a picture that starts to do you justice!

I will follow JCP's example and bolt on over to parts purple.

Man, I wish I could go to Barcelona with you! I'll call you this weekend, okay? I won't be home until sort of late on Thurs (tomorrow we meet with a realtor, finally!), and I'm spending Friday with my favorite guy, my new brother, my dearie dear.

3:13 PM

Blogger Bloodgood said...

Im happy to read whatever you post!!!! I truly enjoy reading you! I am very envious of your bookstore life. Im working to hard to have a cool job and be my own boss, and I get lost in the politics of trying to scrounge up business. I am so going to visit San Fran(do the natives really hate it when you call it that?) again someday.
On a music note(haha), Im going to see Fiest next friday, she is awesome if you havent heard her. She does a cover of Ron Sexsmith's "Sacred Heart" that is awesome.
I must say I do love all the music you mentioned in your post too. I saw the Violent Femmes last summer and they truly brought their A game!
On a side note, I think you should bring your poetry back too.

9:08 PM

Blogger Bloodgood said...

woops, I just realized its "Secret Heart" and I mispelled Feist.

9:11 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

I'm sitting at my computer looking out the window at a Bobcat and a Catapillar working on the path along the canal. (Or in Indy its more of Mud Vein)I'm drinking coffee,tempered with soy milk thats not very good and doing laundry.
I scrubbed my kitchen floor, or at least the dirty parts and found shards of glass earlier this morning. The ground is speckled with snow and then grass and weeds that are basically a comb over for mudd...Hows that for one upping you on a blissful day! Sorry ing, I'm just so damned competitive. JW

7:34 AM

Blogger Me said...

What a lovely day! Looking out my window at the trees whipping around in the wind and everything drenched in cold cold rain and wishing I was there. Cheers!

1:27 PM

Blogger ginab said...

Si! me quiero que tu vi Barcelona!

Boy howdy have I some reading/freshing-upping to do before Juli.

My luck, the leap in a leap year will fall in Juli.

Saturday, saturday/saturday saturday/ saturday/saturday it's all right for fightin' or telephones ringin!

4:39 PM

Blogger Labbie said...

The world's your oyster, but the pearls ain't free...

Can you feel an angle coming up to thee?

6:14 PM

Blogger fl13grl said...

Hi, Lab Baoy sent me over. I am new to SF, and really enjoyed your site. Wishing you a lovely day...t

8:52 PM

Blogger jungle jane said...

Oh dear - i think Matty has gone to the moon to retrieve his diet coke.

at what point should we be sending out the sniffer dogs?

9:26 PM

Blogger Captain Carl said...

Arrrr....ay can go.....but ay dont like diet coke......

Janey does yer version of Ing's bookstore involve the Capt having a tea party up in the kids reading section where they have a boxed of stuffed animals.....

10:02 PM

Blogger ginab said...

Boy am I ever hanking for a bass.

Which type?


12:28 PM

Blogger Jab @ BZT said...

On your comments on Jack's Jazzblog, I noticed you say a few times, "I'll play that in the store."
My question is, do you have a way to have an internet stream play in the store? You would probably dig the latest Jazz show I did. BZT Jazz #4. Hey, what's wrong with a little self promotion. . .

2:36 PM

Blogger Labbie said...

Did I just write Angle instead of Angel? Oh, dear... I feel like an idiot.

5:40 PM

Blogger ginab said...

And did I write hanking in place of hankering?

-the idiot, dolt, kick-myself-as-I'm-on-the-ground, lazy ass, and more! :-) xoxoxxooxo

7:47 AM

Blogger matty said...

I do cry, but it is not pretty and hurts cuz my heart's a virgin. Ing, it ain't ever been tried. However, removal of Bab's vocal chords would just break my already fractured heart!

I LOVE your book store! And, I can't wait for you to get that sewing machine and start your own line of Mahogany-like stylings!

Hey! We could open up a book/clothing store!!! 'Fashion-Ing SF" --- Think about it! Wow, that would be cool.

I so want to hear that Tricky cover of Love Cats which Purple has!!! I have the Tori.

And, as soon as I finish hear I am off to find that wonderous CD you played for me last night! I can't get it out of my head! I so loved it!

1:52 PM

Blogger jungle jane said...

are you STILL having fun Ing? jees, even Matty is back from the moon with glamorous tales of books and diet coke.

Cappy my bookstore only sells maritime books...

3:20 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

ing has been lady napped? Apparently she left a local pub with a gentleman known as Beck and has not been heard from since other that sporadic phone calls to family to assure them that this "Beck" fellow is not brain washing her but that he has decided to quit the music business and work with her while she sits on his lap smooching his neck and then after that...long breath...Gaw is there anyone out there who can save her and protect her from this monster!
You know as well as I do, this poor lady wants nothing to do with this Beck fella. Dang!

8:14 PM

Blogger ginab said...

Beck, Beck, Beck.
Ing, Ing, Ing.
If wishes were made true
Beck and Ing would be marrying


PS: my word verification: theentirefuckingalphabet.

11:49 AM

Blogger josh williams said...

Ginab? Are you in on this, I thought you were one of the good ones?Dang this is getting worser by the minute!

As for word verification, I quit mine and have not had a problem. I think it is good for about a month and then you have trained most spammers to stay away, maybe ing cannot respond because of her own word verification. Ginab I really don't think you are out to get her like that Beck fella, just make sure she is safe and stuff and things. Thanks JW

8:06 PM

Blogger ginab said...

No, Josh, they're to get married and I mean it. Beck deserves my pal's hand. He accepts her kisses! Come on! Don't make Beck out to be a free loader or else I'll stomp him. I will!

In defense, I want an ideal world for my best friend. I do, I do, I do.


8:41 PM

Blogger matty said...

You know, I keep telling you guys. Beck and Ing are already married and have this swank house up on a hill here in SF. However, I think it is supposed to be some sort of secret.

Ing --- how many ways are there to skin a skunk? Inquiring minds want to know!

12:08 AM

Blogger ginab said...

No, Matty, that was a cover-up for the real marriage. It was onlly a mirage. And if I may, I'd say skin it after it's been dead for a couple of days, wear a space suit, and start... well I dunno. I'm vegetariain. So, I may not.

4:12 AM

Blogger ginab said...


California's sleeping on such a sunny day.

6:04 AM

Blogger ing said...

Oh man, I'm soooo behind on this! I have to leave for work soon -- I'll try to catch up right now, then I'm off.


I have not heard Feist, but if we have them at work, I'll listen. My sweet friend Matt burned me some Goldfrapp and since they are his favorite, I want to give them first listen. I'm going to burn him some Joanna Newsom, since he liked her weird crazy voice. He thinks she sounds like an old woman. I sort of thought she had the funny uncontrolled voice of a child -- you know how so many of the things little children do flail around? Hey, did you go for the silver scooter?



I would be blissful, too, if I had a bobcat and a caterpillar working on a common project, right within view. What a lovely picture! Mammals and larvae should really forget their differences and join forces.

Do you have any idea where the glass came from? I bet Roscoe and Jane had a huge party in your kitchen while you were snoring away, oblivious.



It's been blowing and rainy here, for days on end. I keep trying to trick myself into thinking it's sunny, but really, it isn't. When does spring begin where you live? Here: September. Until then, fog.



Oh man, did I ever screw up on that! What a jerk I am! I guess I'm making up for lost time by going out every damn night.



You talk like a genie -- is there some angler fishing for oysters in my ocean? I do know the pearls aren't free. Which is the whole reason I hesitate/don't date.



Nice to meet you! Have you found any cool Irish pubs to frequent?



Oh, he's around. Just ask any one of the ten guys who've asked him out lately. Matty's a hot ticket & needs the diet Coke to rehydrate.

I have an idea -- let's wait until he's asleep and then steal his magic boy-magnet-ism. I'll split it with you! Sadly, there's no beer in Matt's fridge, or I'd split that with you, too. We'll have to raid Josh's place for the beer part.



Do plastic-doll-sailors drink tea? Do a demonstration at my store! San Franciscianos would flock to you! And then we could sell some of our overstock! Are you a good babysitter, Cap?



Me, I'm hankering for a cig. Should I/shouldn't I/should I/shouldn't I?

I'll give myself 35 minutes to decide, then it's off to work.



Pssssst: No, we don't have computers and stuff -- I work in one of those old-school places where the booksellers kind of know where everything is & there's a rekkid player and some funny old vinyl. But we do carry lots of CDs & there's a stereo. I have streaming audio at home, so when I gets the chancet, I'll listen in.



An angel? I hope this angel doesn't demand payment. Or carry one of those flaming swords.



If I had to kick myself for every time I had a typo, well, I'd be one bumpy-headed freak. Don't, please, be so hard on yourself.

"Hanking" : sobbing into a hanky.



My heart lost its virginity a long time ago. Now all I have is my left ear -- the rest of me has been tried and tried. I'm saving the left ear for Beck. He better appreciate its innocence!



I wish I had something equally glamorous to relate. Well, I sort of do. I went to a glamorous dinner party last night, where I had champagne and lambrusco and some kind of Italian wine meant for dipping biscotti. And I listened, enthralled, while Matty told his glamorous virgin-hearted tales, which were mostly about someone whose name he always gets wrong.

Speaking of glamor, you should see Matty's wastsebasket! Only Matt would have pink sequins in his garbage. Me, I have empty wine bottles and pizza crusts and -- well, you don't want to know the rest.



I came up for air. Beck's neck smells gooooood -- I'll have to find out the name of his cologne.

Aaaaaah, it's so nice to have found my truest of loves.

Ta ta, JW. Please hold off on the search party until late this evening; this afternoon, my left ear has some business to attend to.



My word verification: whenareyougoingtostopignoringournoticesandpayyourbills?



Which came first, the belly-button removal or the word-verification removal? And which has served you best? I'm about due for some kind of removal myself, but I can't figure out what to have excised. Hmmmmm.



Right now my ideal world would include a day off, a full fridge, paid bills, and lots of writing.



On the house, SHHHHHHHHHH! I don't want to see pictures of my cellulite in USweekly!

On the skunk, there are several ways, one of which (I hear) involves a straw. I went for the cavelady method.



My skunk was pretty fresh (hit by a car, I believe). I did wear rubber gloves. P-yew!

I slept until 8am and then my roommate woke me up. She wanted to talk. Man trouble. TOMORROW, I'm going to sleep in late!


I DID IT! I COMMENTED BACK! Now it's time for work. Stop by my bookstore if you want to hear Goldfrapp, yeah?

Oh, and seriously, my word verification is zoloft -- is this a sign?

12:53 PM

Blogger jungle jane said...

Ing, Josh has gone to Italy to do publicity for his photo for some museum or something...

9:50 PM

Blogger matty said...

I wanna go to Italy. No, I wanna go to France. No, I wanna go to Sydney and hang out with Jungle Jane! But, I don't wanna have to do any work.

Ing -- do I smell skunk instead of bear? Is there a blog comin' on about someone's adventure involving a dare? ...and I don't mean some lame dare to return the flirt of a cinema working boy! Come on! Fess up!!! Share the warmth!!!!

10:05 PM

Blogger Labbie said...

I highly recommend "One Night In Bangkok" by Murray Head, from the Musical "Chess", written by Benny and Bjorn from "Abba", in order to fully grasp the concept of my two previous comments.

11:48 PM

Blogger ing said...


Yes, I had a little talk with our Joshie. Things are going to change over at the mule, I tell you!



Okay, you're on. But this might take some time. . .



Woah, cryptic! Have you been peeking at Matty's magik card?

10:28 AM

Blogger josh williams said...


1:25 PM

Blogger ing said...

She does. Her legs are sturdy and her heart is stubborn. She's the strongest mule in all of Italy.

1:40 PM

Blogger Pixie Sprinkle said...

i LOVE italian men! Josh are you single??

2:02 PM

Blogger Labbie said...

I may have wondered over to Matty's blog once in a while... Maybe...

To answer your question on finding time to write... Most of what I write in the blog I have been thinking about throughout the day.

4:49 PM

Blogger ginab said...

Oh them "whenareyougoingtopayyourfuckingbillers" create jack knives. Perioding like the ghost before me, I'm ready to assault those greedy hamsters.

When we can afford it, let us go then, you and I, to a sunny place of dry tables to write.

7:51 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

Carla, I have myself a lady friend and we get along just fine as long as she does not find out about the other fish in the sea, Captain Carl! Please lord do not let my gal find out about this action figure, if she does then I am, without a doubt walking alone once again.
I aint Italian, however that damn boot peninsula harbors some beautiful country. I am pre DNA testing English, Irish, Welsh and German, counting the last few hundred years,further than this? Well we all fall into the same mush.Or at least that’s what common sense sews. I go bed now. JW

8:01 PM

Blogger Dan L. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:38 PM

Blogger Dan L. said...


I was just up in 'Frisco this past week. Gina asked if I might have time to visit MOMA. I did not have the time to do that. I assume you have something to do with that, maybe?

I was terribly busy with my daughter and her high school Hayward, Union City, Pier 39, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge, etc. I sure wish I could have visited MOMA.

It was a bit rainy, was it not? We got soaked on our walk across the bridge on Friday night, 3/24/06.

I am contacting you because of a connection with Gina. I greatly respect her, and she must respect you...greatly also.

Stay cool,

--Dan L.

10:40 PM

Blogger Dan L. said...

Thank you very much, Ing, for your comment/reply on my blog.

--Dan L.

12:14 AM

Blogger Candace said...

You sew, too? I'm just now heading of to "Ho Anne's" for fabric. :o) You don't meet a lot of sewers (sewists? seamstresses!) these days. Well, *I* don't. :o)

10:16 AM

Blogger ginab said...

You sew? gawd. I tried knitting, once. Made me feel too, I dunno, white I think. I felt too white. Sitting around, click-clacking my needles. What used to be real work become a hobby. I just wasn't in the swing of things, was busy trying not to poke my eyes out, but I managed a holy green canvas. Kind of scary.

12:44 PM

Blogger matty said...


11:26 PM

Blogger matty said...

Ing-Frapp, tell us about the skunk!

11:26 PM


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