Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hmmm today. I saw lots of things. It was mostly Dallas going by from the passenger side of a car. We took Becca to her Region 10 thing this morning and then went over to Half Priced Books to get some books for me to take to school. (I operate a "free book box" outside my room. We sent 3000 books home with students last year)

Half Priced Books is wonderful. On Saturdays they have a "donation" store for teachers and non profits. They've recently moved and the new location is much closer to home. The new location has new rules. Each person can take out two boxes of books. We got there about fifteen minutes before they opened and talked to folks in line to go in. We saw some folks we've seen for years and we talked to some new teacher people folks. After us came a group of seven Asian people. At this point in my life I know what teacher people look like. These folks did not look like teacher people and there were seven of them together (14 boxes of books) They were "scoopers."

At the old location, there were folks who would come in and just scoop off whole shelves of books without looking at them. They would come in teams and wipe the place out quickly. I have several sections that I choose books from. I go from art and music and film to history and science to Christian books and philosophy to science fiction and fantasy. It's a leisurely jaunt to fill up my two boxes. The folks today were totally "scooping." I was a little catty when I went up to a section to see the folks just taking ALL the books without looking at any of them. I said "where do you teach?" They start looking around suspiciously. One of the ladies said "we send books to Cambodia." I asked her if Cambodians can read English on a normal basis. I commented to another teacher that it was inconsiderate to grab books without even looking at what they were about and that there were children in Dallas that could benefit from these very same books. The scoopers fled the section that I was looking at.

It would cost a fortune to send all those books to Cambodia.

We went over to the Half Priced Book store across the street and I picked up our book club selection of the month The Kite Runners.

Mark and I went to breakfast at the Circle Grill after that. Lo and behold we run into our friends there and one of them tells me about an estate sale that he had visited earlier and that they had lots of books. We eat our regular things. I have the same breakfast every time. Two eggs over medium, hash browns, sausage patties, biscuits and gravy. Mark almost always has the veggie plate. The waitress remembers that I always have breakfast and Mark always has lunch. I love patronizing local places. There are murals painted on the walls of the Circle Grill. They are pastoral for the most part. The restaurant was closed for a while. I heard that the owner had blown money in Vegas instead of paying taxes. I was glad when it reopened, but the food was not so good right after it reopened. It's much better now.

We go to the aforementioned estate sale. There are a lot of books and I offer the nice gentleman in the green shirt twenty bucks for all of the books. I tell him that he never has to think of picking up any of those books again. He has to negotiate and says he really wants twenty-five. I smile at Mark and he hands the money over. I didn't realize how many books there really were.

The nice man in the green shirt has 3 granddaughters helping him with this estate sale. They were lovely. The oldest girl detaches herself quickly and starts helping me move books to the front room by the door. Mark fills up tub after tub and dumps them in the car. This girl is so cute and nice. She's a freshman at North Mesquite and I learn that she's taking sign language and German. Her next youngest sister keeps climbing the tree out front and jumping out. She comes and tells us "I've jumped out three, four, five times" The very youngest one, the second grader attaches herself as Mark's personal helper and hands him a book at a time as he puts them in the car.

I'm thinking there were about fifteen hundred books. Mark filled the car up and didn't have room for me and had to go home and unload some. I stayed there and was very capably entertained by the three sisters. I found several books that were really personal and gave them to the oldest sister and told her she should keep them. One was a math book printed in 1915. It was apparently shared by her great-grandmother and all her siblings. We looked at it and I explained that it was precious and she took it from me and held it close. The home being "estated" belonged to the girls' great grandfather who will be 97 soon. I don't think he had lived in the home for some years. There were a lot of records of foreign language study. Some of them had never been opened. I wish I could have gotten those also.

The girls were really cute and funny. As we wandered through the house gathering books, the oldest girl found a box with lots of Mardi Gras beads and stuff. The girls rapidly decorated themselves and as I sat in the living room waiting for Mark to go home and unload stuff and come back and get me and the rest of the books we talked about what Mardi Gras was. I learned how to say "making out" in sign language. That was kind of cool. The middle sister jumped out of the tree several more times. The baby sister played me rap music from her cell phone. (why does a second grader have a cell phone?)

Mark did eventually get back and loaded me and the rest of the books in. We said goodbye to grandpa and all the sisters (such wonderful girls) and went home. Thankfully our nephew Tim was at the house and he helped Mark unload the mound of books into the living area. It's a mess. I'm just grateful that Mark is still talking to me. He was funny, he said he was all hot and sweaty and needed to cool off so he took the new Italian scooter around the neighborhood. He came back all not sweaty with his hair blown back.

The scooter is so cool. We are protesting the price of gasoline. That prompted our purchase. We got it yesterday. It's sea foam green. It's a Milano. I told James we should call it Alyssa and he groaned. At 80 mgp, it should help us reduce our need for gasoline at the current outrageous prices.

Becca got paid for the first time (as a new teacher) on Thursday. She bought a car. WEEEHA. Her first car. She'll be 24 in December. She never got a driver's license until about a year ago. She got to pick up her car today and it is so pretty. She's thrilled beyond belief. She and Mark got home from picking the car up and then we left to go see the place that she has considered moving into. She's all excited about her new adult skills. She drove us over to the considered housing arrangement and we met with her new roommate (one of my former students) and it was all good. The duplex is small but neat, it's well maintained and homey and it's dirt cheap for her. I hate to think of her leaving us, but she's grown and wants her own space. She's made excellent decisions almost all of the time, so what can I say? I can say I'm jealous as hell.

I saw a lot today. I saw that the dog park at White Rock was really busy both times we drove past it. We should take our dogs up there again. That's another long story.

I'm gonna watch Cash Cab. GIVE ME THE MONEY!!!