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.

Monday, June 05, 2006

In The Beginning There Was Pink, And Pink Can Be Scary Or Friendly, Depending

Do I talk too much about work? I do, don't I. D'you think? It's just that right now, my personal life needs to remain secret because there's something about words that cements things, and there's this really nice thing going on that I don't want to cement, or maybe I mean jinx. As you probably know, this isn't a matter of privacy. I normally tell all.

So, work:

One of my favorite jobs at the bookstore, aside from unpacking the new CDs, is creating the window displays. Sometimes, if the task is left to me, I'll choose a subject-theme -- I'll stock the window with books about death, say, or books about how to build wooden boats. But the most impactful windows feature books that have some kind of visual theme.

Most recently, I did a window full of pink books. Here are a few of them:

A Treatise On Each Title, Based in its Friendliness/Scariness

Zen And the Art of M. M.

I've always been leery of this book, maybe because of the ferocity with which it's been recommended to me over the years. I've started to read it a few times, but I've never gotten far. It's interesting that this particular edition has a pink cover, since the story has lots to do with father-son dudeness. But then again, it's a new-agey tale of self-realization and bonding, which is appropriately pink. And because it's touchy-feely father-son stuff, it's scary.

Disreali Gears

This is a book of sheet music for the Cream album, which I used to listen to over and over again while doing bong hits, back in Seattle. All this happened in my my hot little apartment above Magus Books. I must have sold the album when I joined the Peace Corps. But one day, recently, my coworker bought a bunch of rekkids, and there it was, Disraeli Gears. I put it on and realized that while "Outside Woman Blues" is still a great song, there are a few wearisome tracks. But what a cool pink cover! This music is a psychedelic pink that strives to place itself, socially, on the outside and inside at once. This aspect of pinkness, self-exploration via rock, is friendly.

My Face For The World To See

This book is padded and features a lock. It's Candy Darling. Scary.

Survival Into The 21st Century

I see this one a lot, even though it's out of print. At some point, pretty much everyone who lived in Northern California had a copy of this book and a set of Peter Max towels and a jar of dried red beans. The line-drawings of nude people within the book's pages are a weensy bit scary, as is the term "survivalist". But the purpose of this book is to get people to eat health food, and what's wrong with health food? I deem this title friendly.

My Fair Lady

I used to take private opera-singing lessons from the one professional singer in the weensy town I grew up in. Her name was Maxine Fortune, a woman well into her sixties who wore a wild black wig. Her eyebrows, which she must have painted on every morning, were also black and severely arched, giving her this constant startled expression.

Every year our local theater put on a musical and no matter what, Maxine Fortune took the female lead part. One year they did My Fair Lady. I'll never forget it.

If that's scary not enough, look at the book's cover. Double scary.


This is Marjane Satrapi's graphic-novel-memoir of the author's life in Iran during the Islamic revolution. Fascinating. Cool. Friendly.

Herbs & Things

The author of this book, Jeanne Rose, is pretty much the expert on herbs & within these pages you'll learn, among other things, how to treat your syphilis using essential oils. Her books aren't easy to come by, but lots of people 'round here have them. Friendly.

Frida by Frida

The eyebrows: scary. Otherwise, friendly.

Happiness is a Warm Puppy

This one reminds me of my aunt because she had Peanuts posters all over her walls. She was ten years older than my, had hair down to her waist, wore leather miniskirts, and listened to Pink Floyd. I was in awe. Naturally, then, friendly.

Child No More

This memoir is by former Penthouse writer Xaviera Hollander, and by virtue of not having a lock or being padded, I'd call it non-scary. And when I think of the juxtaposition of the title with the cover photo, which is kind of funny because it seems as though those eyes are trying to support the titular assertion that Ms. Hollander is, indeed, no longer a child I have to err on the side of friendly.

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Okay, Harold reminds me of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Now think about it. Casper was a dead five-year-old boy with the bald head of an infant, and he wanted to get friendly with you. SCARY. Harold has all of Casper's creepiness, plus he's writing all over your walls. Harold is asking for it. He's like the kid at the slumber party who sleeps with his eyes open. He wants things from you. And you can't tell him to get the fuck away from you because he's only a child. Scary.

k k k

Which Is Just To Say

I have a love-hate kind of thing with the color pink because pink bears a certain significance having tons to do with roles. When I was a very little girl I adored all things pink and was encouraged mightily to do so. But skip ahead to my fifth birthday, a sort of milestone for most children because at five, we begin to be people in our own minds. At that point in my life, pink became a system of expectations that oppressed me. I traded my pink for black, much to my mother's horror. But once I became an adult, pink morphed into something with a significance I could define in my own terms instead of allowing it to define me, and I found that I enjoyed playing with these notions, and that's how I became ing.

Or, In Other Words

Pink is friendly and scary at the same time. That's why I like it.


Blogger Le Chitelier said...

Please! No more pink! I am still stuck in the "I can't stand pink" mode!!!

No no, seriously, I don't mind you posting pink... just expressing myself here :)

3:52 AM

Blogger Niel said...

Okay, you so obviously like that Aerosmith song.

I also like to think that pink becomes a much more complex colour once you move out of the power-rangers and ribbons-in-yer-hair paradigm.

I dunno, it seems like, more than other colours, it gets its meaning much more from what's going on RIGHT NOW in society (and in your head) than the others, which have been well fleshed-out by poets and other numbskulls.

Ain't no Aerosmith toon 'bout Green. Sadly.

5:05 AM

Blogger ginab said...

You've inspired me to turn my desk into a kind of Picasso anthem or a kind of anthem of wreckage of ... let me look under my mousepad ... I'll come up with it ... not, I'm afraid, pink ... oh go love your beau while I think.

and danget I've forgotten the what of it.

8:56 AM

Blogger ginab said...

Pink rhymes with sink, and ink, and link, and dink.

9:25 AM

Blogger ginab said...

and tink and rink and fink and kink and mink and zinc

11:45 AM

Blogger jungle jane said...

Ing I hope your little thing you don't want to jinx involves someone wonderfully male.

You never cease to surprise me - you took OPERA singing lesson?

Wow. Jaw on floor.

6:31 PM

Blogger sage said...

In college, back in the late 70s, I first refused to read Zen and the Art of MM because it came in different colored covers. I thought that was tacky, but was told to get over my bias and to read the book. I did and enjoyed it.

This past winter, I listened to an unabridged version of the book on my I-pod. It was my "February" book at the gym. When I first listened, I was in awe of this descriptions but knew the philosophers, this time I've forgotten most of the philosophers, but enjoyed his descriptions as I've traveled most of those roads and have climbed in similar mountains.

Probably because of Zen and the Art of MM, I own and wear several pink dress shirts. Nah, I'm stretching it. Yeah, I own the shirts, maybe because I washed whites with reds.

8:08 PM

Blogger purplesimon said...

When I think of Pink I think of the singer. Scary.

Then I think of her songs. Double-Scary.

Then I think of beating her to death with her own arm. That's me being friendly to Pink.

Of course, Pink is a lovely person with so much going for her; she (co-)writes amazing songs that empower women; stamps her feet and says no to authority. She's cool.

That should keep the lawyers at bay.

purplesimon out...

4:22 AM

Blogger Brookelina said...

This post is amazing. Actually this blog is amazing. I'm completely intimidated.

Excuse me, I need to go read 5000 books.

10:37 AM

Blogger ginab said...

but on the whole pink is friendly.

10:58 AM

Blogger matty said...

Pink rules and I WANT A PINK APARTMENT!!!!

I LOVE that Candy Darling book -- I used to have that. I sold it for $100 before I moved to SF.

Um, I hope I didn't reveal too much on my latest blog posting but I did discuss your "lesson" in the art of the blow job that was given yesterday.


8:47 PM

Blogger ing said...

Le Chit:

Yay, you're first!

Pink will sneak up behind you, soon, and pinch you where it hurts real good. I mean it. Express yourself, do, but I'm warning you. . .



Aerosmith, wha'?

Pink is super-complex, loaded, chockfulla crazy pop-culture meaning, and funky fresh. But I would not call it a colour. That's so very British.

Poets don't talk about pink, they talk about green. Which, green can be extremely deep and meaningful. For me, though, it's too. . . serious? But beautiful, nevertheless.



If I've inspired Picasso thoughts, I think I have served my function in this here world and I will unplug that which I'm plugged into, the function-sustaining thingie that gives me my purpose, because now that I know my place in the universe, well, Well.



And drink.



And plink. Which is muy plangent, is it not?



Yeah, jaw on floor pretty much describes the weird singing exercises I had to do during this lesson, which I had to walk off the high school campus to attend. Sadly (or not?) I always sort of envied the stoners sitting on the rock wall just at the edge of campus, who I passed as I went my merry way. I should've stopped for a bit. Don't know what it would have done for my voice, though.

Um, yeah, a male.



NEVER wash the reds with the whites! Doesn't Robert Pirsig give this very advice to his son in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Miantenance on page 72, second full paragraph down? Yes, I do believe he did.



Yes, we all know that you're friendly. There's no reason to flaunt this, friendly-pants. You don't see me bragging it up on blogger comments about how arm-wieldingly friendly I am.

We get it. You're in with the friendly crowd.

And by the way, Pink, the singer? SCARY!



Honeychile, you are unintimidateable. You write the world's funniest comments. I seen them. I like. You too modest. And I wish my legs were as elegant and thin as yours'n.



That's right. I have come around, and yes.



That pink apartment -- in thirty days, I will officially begin searching.

How did I know that you had that Candy Darling book? And how the hell did you get $100? We're selling it for $2.98, if you want to replace it.

I think I incriminated myself on your blog by being me and verrrry curious. Thanks for the pointer. I'll report back. . .

12:04 AM

Blogger ginab said...


Glad you found it! ;-)

Me? I was avoiding clouding rhymes with extra letters. And I'd wanted "pink" to rhyme with "love" so terribly! Which had something to do with me and my desk area/work stuff. But that makes no sense.


3:35 AM

Blogger sage said...

Ingy, that must be because you have the pink version of ZEN, have the blue-green version (a 70s color).

7:29 PM

Blogger Labbie said...

What is it with the word "treatise"? Is IT the new pink?

9:33 PM

Blogger Mone said...

I'm not a pinky person. I'll go for black.

11:58 PM

Blogger purplesimon said...

In response to your comment:

"Hey, daddy, where you storing the purple stuff these days?"

I have this to say:

I am storing it in the same place. If there is nothing new there, it's because I've not had a day off from work for the past four weeks - including weekends. I am prostituting myself in terms of creativity. I am spent.

Will there ever be any more purple stuff?

Possibly not. Seriously. It may have come to an end for now, for a while.

There's a need to shovel the shit before the gems can sparkle.

purplesimon out...

2:10 AM

Blogger ing said...


"Pink" and "love" rhyme with "stink" and, ummmmmmm, "above"?

From whence,
o Yorick,
comes that stink
from above?

Could it be,
cruel Yorick,
the color pink,
a whiff of love?

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

I always wanted to use that Yorick-skull-dude from Hamlet in something & never got around to it until just now.



Blue-green, like the algae? My, that is very seventies. . . Especially if you sprinkle it on your Meüsli & then douse it in soy milk.



No, I just like the word "treatise". It sounds very lawyerly and thus gives my posting a lot of authority. As do the cops I've hired to kind of give you the shakedown, should you dare to question it. No offense. It's my way of being social.



Me neither! I much prefer the thumbs, any day! Thumbs are so blunt and thick!

2:12 AM

Blogger ing said...


I meant "thick and blunt," which sounds ten times better than "blunt and thick".

2:13 AM

Blogger ing said...

Yo, purpy:

Do you not understand that by "purple stuff" I meant "your stash of weed?" Because I think someone's got the wrong idea?

2:15 AM

Blogger purplesimon said...

The weed? Damn, I calls it green not purple! Although I am in a haze.

Man. So confused is I. Thanks for the clarificationisationism. Yeah, I made that up!

Still, the other purple stuff (stories, etc) ain't coming back for some time. Reasons stated above. No, really, it's over people, move along now. Nothing (new) to see here.

I'm tired. It's the beginning of the day and I want to go to sleep.

When will it end?

purplesimon out...

2:26 AM

Blogger ing said...

It will end when you quit bogarting that with the purple hairs and you pass it over, dude.

2:44 AM

Blogger josh williams said...

A pink cover for Zen? It burns! It burns!

7:18 AM

Blogger Labbie said...

I'm used to getting the shake down from the man... I'm a foreigner, remember? I'm from Texas.

10:44 AM

Blogger matty said...

ING!!!! OH WOW!!! YES!!! I need the Candy Darling book back!!!! Especially if it is that cheap?!?!? Did someone else already steal it?

...someone bid that high for it on ebay!

cool, eh?

So, has the beer bottle lesson paid off yet?

Pink apartment! pink apartment! new mantra.

did you love JESUS IS MAGIC??!?!? I do so love that film -- sick as it is.

"...I don't care if you think I'm racist --- as long as you think I'm thin."

7:56 PM

Blogger ing said...

O, labman:

You need to get the hell out of Texas! Run! Run!



I will get you the Candy Darling book, I will. Nobody has snagged it, as far as I know.

The beer bottle lesson has been all for naught, I'm afraid. The secret shall remain a secret.

Jesus is Magic was funny, yes, but it's odd to watch a movie of a standup commedian doing her routine. . .

A pink apartment soon! Soon, an apartment of pink! (30 more days 'til close of escrow.)

11:54 PM

Blogger ing said...


I almost missed ye!

If it's pink and it burns, you best see a gynecologist, yeah? Don't delay.

11:55 PM

Blogger Moonpie said...

The PINK faces of the overweight suited business men passing by my window, looking as though they are about to keel over in the heat. SCARY!
(I have a first aid certificate but am constantly fearful of having to put it into practice. I avoid ill looking people like the plague.)

Once again I'd like to say that your bookstore looks soooo cool. I want that book on herbs,not that I need a cure...I just always judge a book by it cover.

I love you description of Harold. Tehehe!

5:21 AM

Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Ok, so you should know. I am using your blog right now. Yup, using you. Why? Well, everyone in the house is watching a movie, in different rooms. My younger daughter with a friend, my hubby, sometimes by himself, sometimes with our dobe. So, I wanted to enjoy my IAC station...I recently tried to download or purchase the music I have on my station, but to my disappointment, not everything is available. So here I sit.
The bonus to this passion to "groove" to the tunes, is reading your blog. Always interesting, fun, insightful!

I too tried at least 4 times to read Zen and MM...too full of itself, is how I remember it. And that Xaviera Hollander book, well if you recall, but why would you, the two books I read as a prepubescent, were The Amboy Dukes, and Ms. Hollander's The Happy Hooker...
Anyway, your display was absolutely gorgeous.

I am glad to hear the happiness coming thru, tho I do understand that jinx factor....


6:56 PM

Blogger lryicsgrl said...

BTW, Pink looks divine with Brown!!!

6:57 PM


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