Saturday, October 30, 2004
I remember when I first heard of writing a novel in 30 days, I pretty much agreed with Joseph Epstein's take:
Why should so many people think they can write a book, especially at a time when so many people who actually do write books turn out not really to have a book in them — or at least not one that many other people can be made to care about? Something on the order of 80,000 books get published in America every year, most of them not needed, not wanted, not in any way remotely necessary.
It's similar to the feeling I have whenever I hear someone say that they've picked up a digital camera. Oh god, another Photographer. Or whenever I see those YOU + HP commercials about how You're An Artist Now. Please.
But of course it's this snobby attitude (my BFA, my paralyzing perfectionism, self-loathing and fear of failure) that keeps my cameras in the closet. Ok, who am I kidding? They're just sitting here on the floor, collecting dust like HEPA filters. Damn, I need to clean...
What's that all about? That's no fun. And not productive.
I'm sure a lot of people out there have thought that the point of writing is to get famous, or rich or be recognized in some fashion.
We at Atomic Books, know that that is very rarely the case for writers. It can't even be the goal of most of the publications we carry (except for a deluded few). Our books are more about expression, obsession and community. People can't help it!
It's not really so much "Hey, look at me!" but "Hey, did you hear about this?" or "Are you like me? Do you love...?"
I don't even want my novel read (because you know it's going to be baaaaad). I just think the process seems like a fulfilling activity, and when done with friends (and we have a BUNCH of them signed up), could be a lot of fun. It's ridiculous. It's an exercise in anti-vanity. Exercise in futility? You mean like the coming election? Wait...
Really, we needed ONE MORE THING to do in November. When you have a million things to do, why not sneak in another? You get so much more done that way.
Friday, October 29, 2004
And Blug's got some made up talk about said dudes.
And of course, you can always get a little dose of REAL Baltimore drug trade news at Rebuilding Madison. Click on the Journal link.
But will the fake O'Malley become Mayor??
Thursday, October 28, 2004
THEN meet for BREAKFAST at Holy Frijoles. Does Frijoles have breakfast? No. But they WILL on Nov 2nd. They will open at 8AM and have Breakfast Burritos for the voting folk. AND, Happy Hour ALL DAY. Check out the Shank for the list of specials. Thank you Evan for getting into our Election Day spirit!
THEN, after the polls are closed we'll check the Election Day Coverage on the teevee over at the Hon Bar. They said we'd be welcome to watch their Comedy Central and they'll be concocting some drink specials as well.
And for Wednesday, the momentous day after, the Golden West will have 25% off EVERYTHING all day, if a certain person wins. And some drink specials as well.
So get out and VOTE!
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Where else can we all go? You don't want to be alone that night. Normally, the lack of tvs in bars and restaurants in Hampden is a GOOD THING. But we need cable, too.
Also, there may be a group voting party going on. For all you people voting at Robert Poole or Hampden Elementary, meet us for a drink if you're voting in the morning!
AND, if you get your "I Voted" sticker from the poll people (you have to ask) and wear it to the store Nov 2nd, you'll get a 10% discount on your purchases that day.
Also, they're going to have a booth/kiosk for distributing free zines and other info. If you'd like to send something in for that or to get more information about what they're doing, contact Todd Rennie, at trennieATmica.edu.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Ok, but check this out, Sarah Vowell, one of our favorite essayists and radio personalities, is in the movie! She has the best IMDB profile.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
We just like stocking the store with stuff we like, topics that interest us.
A lot of us tend to think that we're somewhat singular. Somewhat freakish.
Our tastes are all over the place. Who else is going to be into Jeffrey Brown, sideshow performers, Mark Ryden, The Believer, Anthony Bourdain, zines, both Haruki AND Takashi Murakami, serial killers, Tom Waits, exploitation films, knitting, bondage, hacking, outsider art, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, David AND Amy Sedaris, Ben Snakepit, Howard Zinn, AS WELL as the Dark Knight?
Who else? Our customers.
We are SO not alone.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Friday, October 22, 2004
The Avenue just isn't a good place for people with addiction issues. Those damn margaritas, and now it's these cookies...well, first it was the heroin and THEN...no wait, the smoking...no...books. Books are the worst. Luckily, I don't have a thing for beer.
Speaking of which...Natty Boh gets lit up. And a fine Boh collection.
And some pics of the protest at Sinclair this week.
And speaking of crimes (god, these lame segways I come up!)...don't forget the True Crime & Warped Minds Tour at Charm City Artspace on the 28th!
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
A few of us librarians at Baltimore County Public
Library are looking to start a pilot zine library at
the Reisterstown library branch. At this point we have
approval to start making a collection geared towards
teen-agers. What I'm looking for is suggestions of
zines, magazines, and review sources that are of
interest to teens. High school per-zines, stuff for
non-schoolers or zines about a subject of general
interest (like Sugarneedle or various how-to
zines)might work.It doesn't have to be squeaky clean,
but it does have to have an identifiable reason it was
included as part of the collection. There's some
possibility we might do a broader collection later if
this works out. We're already in touch with some other
zine libraries and the yahoo zine librarian group and
there's going to be a query in the next Xerography
Debt. Later on we might have zine/comics-making
workshops at the library for teens or kids, and could
use some interested local helpers.If you have
experience,ideas or suggestions about this please
e-mail me, Miriam at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
For a while we got a lot of calls asking for Long & Foster Realtors. We only have a one number difference for one of their offices. Understandable. The rest? Freaks. I mean, do they not even listen to the message on the machine? You're calling Atomic Books!
Do people in Baltimore not know how to dial a goddamn number? Is it the proliferation of those disposeable cell phones or just that cell phones are getting so small people can't dial those teeny keypads?
On the machine this week:
"You're not my brother."
"Better have you ass up in the mornin' when I call ya!
Git you ass up!
I'm gonna call you again!
This is Theromin.
Talk with ya.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Hey, our friend, Nora, was crowned Pig Queen at the Pigtown Festival! She wore her tiara to Honcraft this Sunday, at Evergreen Cafe.
You can't really tell in the photo but she has little pig ears on the pink part of that tiara.
And yes, she's knitting. You know how we do.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Friday, October 15, 2004
He was in DC this afternoon! Signing at Politics & Prose for America the Book.
UPDATE: Streaming audio! Thanks, Lori!
UPDATE 2: Video! Thanks, Jason!
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Breathe Books is opening up next week.
It's funny but in some ways, our bookstores are diametrically opposed. BB is all about health and we're pretty much about vice in it's many forms (People Who Read Too Much and the Bookstore Owners Who Love Them). Even our vegetarian/vegan books are more political in nature than about nutrition. But there are many paths to enlightenment...
Speaking of vice, the above article also mentions another new store opening on the Ave that's JUST HANDBAGS. Opening near the already tempting Ma Petite Shoe (the shoes AND chocolate store), Gotta Have Bags will be opening soon with an array of designer, handmade and otherwise unique bags.
Also, more vice: Rose's Cookies and Mick's new Whiskey Island Pirate Shop are now open in the old Golden West Cafe space. Rose's cookies kick ass. And of course Mick's salsas and sauces...he's a pirate for chrissakes! You can't go wrong.
Still on my wishlist:
1. Another coffeeshop that stays open LATE!
2. A 24 hour diner
3. A burlesque theater? (ok, that was just a rumor I heard)
Monday, October 11, 2004
It's been a strange few days around here on the Ave. Stranger than normal.
Around 2pm, the whole Ave lost power.
But oddly, not the Golden West Cafe. So we all went across the street to get some food and have a beer while we waited for the electricity to come back.
When we got back to the store around 3:30pm, the power was back.
And then Major "Bunny" Colvin walked in! He was nice enough to pose with Baby Doll.
Over the weekend, a guy threw his girlfriend through one of Golden West Cafe's windows.
It's the second weekend in a row that a fight in the street has caused damage to a shop (though not any serious damage to any person). True Vine still has a window out.
Maybe Colvin needs to make Hampden Amsterdam. And then nail everyone's ass.
(Sorry, this post will only make sense if you watch The Wire.)
Sunday, October 10, 2004
One Ring Zero kicked accordian, claviola and theremin ass. Have you ever seen a claviola before? Wish I had one!
Alas, only 50 were ever made and only 14 came over to the US and ORZ got 4 of them. They said that they were going to hunt down the other 10. And kill them.
We're having some technical difficulties so comments have been turned off temporarily.
Friday, October 08, 2004
This is what 35 looks like. Well, that's what infrared looks like. I look like I'm blind.
35. 35. 35. 35. 35. It just sounds so wrong, but it feels alright.
Tomorrow night is our One Ring Zero event, 7-9pm, here at the store. If you like wacky music set to lyrics written specifically for wacky music by authors like Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Lethem, Margaret Atwood, etc...then you should come out. Also, we'll go down to Frijoles for birthday drinks afterwards.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Monday, October 04, 2004
Saturday, October 02, 2004
That one wasn't the funniest example.
I used to work at a photo lab. When you work with the general public there's an incredible amount of shit you have to put up with. That you're expected to put up with. You won't believe this, but did you know that there's a saying: the customer is always right? Isn't that strange?
I remember the time a woman who hadn't read the details on photo Xmas cards (which had been printed in LARGE TYPE right on the form) and was demanding her money back, which basically meant we had to eat it because of her mistake. I told her, "It's not my fault that you can't read."
Ok, I should have been fired for that.
But what about the guy who pulled out his film from his camera, and I mean pulled the actual film out of the cartridge and EXPOSED it to light, handed me the mess and told me he wanted it in an hour. He wouldn't believe that his film was ruined. Well, you know, I only worked there. Why would I know something about photography that he didn't?
Whew. I'm telling you that strip is funny!
Want to see new zines? our Waters' Xmas cards? junkies? hipsters pretending like they buy books?