Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Pain, When Will It Start?

This Friday, Tim Kreider will be here signing and reading from his new book, Why Do They Kill Me? 7:30pm!

Back To Work

There are some ideas that you don't have to see played out. You see a link and that's all you need. The concept is funny. Sometimes the execution even takes away from the brilliance of the idea.

And then there are other ideas that just seem...eh. Like Yoda singing "Just A Gigolo". Big deal. That doesn't sound that funny. But wow, it sure looks funny.

Thanks bonniegrrl! (Check her out for all things Star Wars. And weird.)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Snot

We're closing early today for the holiday. 2pm!

Go have fun at all your freakin' cookouts.

I'll just be at home with my snot factory once known as my head. Damn you allergies! I shake my tiny fists at you.

Actually, I just have the shakes from all the antihistamines.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Friday Review - A Day Late & A Dollar Short

This week Benn read The Book Of Bunny Suicides and Return Of The Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley:
"When I was in middle school I got on this Dead Baby joke kick: "Things You Can Do With A Dead Baby." I became obsessed with chronicling everything I could think of that could be done with a dead baby, and I decided to write a book - 101 Things You Can Do With A Dead Baby. I remember it being heee-larious, but I have no idea where those notes for my book are today, and until I read Riley's books, I had completely forgotten about the Dead Babies.

Bunny Suicides are in that same vein of humor, but with illustrated sequences of suicidal bunnies (and his humor here is much better than I imagine my dead baby humor to be today). It gives you page after page of cute, suicidal bunnies, killing themselves in very creative and very funny ways. Some build elaborate, mouse-trap-style suicide scenarios, some end their lives through pop-culture references, but Riley's books are at their funniest when the suicides are abrupt, simple, and straight forward.

Lauren read Candyfreak by Steve Almond:
"This is easily the most fun I have had with a book. Almond takes us down the path of chocolate, looking at how the giant candy corporations are putting the little ones out of business. It's a story of struggle and in some cases triumph. What I found most interesting is the way that the small chocolate makers of the county are in business for the love of it, very much like the Willy Wonka we all know. They invent the most wonderful concoctions as well as the machines to make them.

Candyfreak is total food porn written in a tone that is humorous and educational. One warning: you will become obsessed with the candy in the book. I tracked down as many candybars as I could and my sister ended up surprising me with a container of them. Very fun."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Our Man In Cannes

Local filmmaker/film zinester/Maggie's boyfriend, Josh Slates, at Cannes. On the porno yacht.

He's working hard, people!

Unborn Babies Support Our Troops

White or Brown!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Did You Know That PayPal Sucks?

We will no longer be accepting PayPal payments. Why? PayPal has a whole mess of restrictions that most bookstores would not be able to follow.

I always wondered why hardly anyone used PayPal and now I know.

This is a list of what is not acceptable to sell if you accept payments through PayPal. And while some of these are perfectly reasonable I'm pretty shocked at what is not acceptable:

# Academic Software
# Aggregators
# Alcoholic Beverages
# Animal and Wildlife Products
# Artifacts, Grave-Related, and Native American Crafts
# Authenticity Disclaimers
# Autographed Items
# Automobiles
# Batteries
# Bootleg Recordings
# Contracts and Tickets
# Counterfeit Currency and Stamps
# Counterfeit Items
# Credit Cards
# Electronics Equipment
# Embargoed Goods, Prohibited Countries
# Event Tickets
# Faces, Names, and Signatures
# Firearms, Weapons, and Knives Policy
# Fireworks
# Food
# Freon and Other Refrigerants
# Gambling
# Games Software: Sony, Sega, and Nintendo
# Government Identification, Uniforms, and Police-Related Items Policy
# Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Items
# Human Parts and Remains
# Illegal Drugs & Paraphernalia Policy
# Importation of Goods Into the United States
# Industrial Solvents
# International Trading - Buyers
# International Trading - Sellers
# Lock-Picking Devices
# Lottery Tickets
# Mailing Lists and Personal Information
# Malls
# Mature Audiences
# Medical Devices
# Mod Chips
# Money Service Businesses
# Multi-level Marketing, Pyramid and Matrix Programs
# OEM Software
# Offensive Material
# Pesticides
# Plants and Seeds
# Postage Meters
# Precious Metals
# Pre-Selling Products
# Prescription Drugs and Devices
# Promotional Items
# Real Estate
# Recalled Items
# Satellite and Cable TV Descramblers
# Slot Machines
# Stocks, Bonds, Securities, and Related Certificates
# Stolen Property
# Stored Value Cards
# Surveillance Equipment
# Tobacco
# Travel
# Unauthorized Copies
# Used Airbags
# Warranties

Prom Night

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Random Book Links

Emily Flake reviews Wendy McClure's memoir. I was very impressed with her use of the word "gainsay".

largehearted boy is getting authors to talk about their books.

A reading blog version of Time Enough At Last.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday Review - Take The Day Off

This week Lauren read The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon:
"This book was so interesting I finished it in 2 days. Brent goes into the bathroom, at 14, puts on a robe, pours gasoline over himself and lights a match. Throughout the book, Brent talks about the recovery process of a burn patient. Painful burn care, skin grafting, psychological and physical therapy. It is an intense and honest story. Although it was written by Brent as an man, it reads like the confession of a 14 year old boy. Though Brent never seems to understand why he tried to commit suicide it is apparent that he will never try again. Highly recommended."

Benn read Why Are You Doing This? by Jason:
"How many stories do you have to tell? Like if you were at a dinner party, and people were sharing interesting stories, how many would you have? Alex, the protagonist in Jason's anthropomorphic, Rear Window-esque murder mystery gets caught up in a whopper of a story, if he can live to tell it. The seemingly straightforward narrative proves less predictable than one would think. And while I'm not nuts about animal characters acting like people, Jason renders his dogs and birds with more human expression than many cartoonists manage. Excellent paneling, coloring and linework, and it's a story worth telling."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Geek News

Frank Gorshin has passed away. My favorite Batman tv show villian.

Kelsey Grammer will play the Beast in X-men 3. Genius.

Benn saw Revenge of the Sith this morning.

Here's what's insane: The country will lose $627 million in productivity from those taking off work to see the movie this week, according to the Chicago placement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which bases its estimate on attendance of the last Star Wars film.

He said it wasn't bad.

Dug has successfully installed Tiger. And we haven't heard from him in days.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Amazon Is Watching You

Here's something totally crazy.

(Thanks for giving me the creep and a way to drive more traffic to Amazon, Joanne!)

UPDATE: This must be the photo-taking vehicle. Watch out for the white van!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Hampden B&B

For all of you out of towners who've asked about lodgings near the store, there's a new Bed & Breakfast here in Hampden called Keswick House. How convenient!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday Review - Lucky

This week Lauren read Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi:
"Satrapi's latest book is about the sex lives of Iranian women. Told over tea, a group of women tell stories of their sexual lives. The stories are from women of all ages; grandmother, aunt, daughter and young friends. I found the book very entertaining, laughing at every page. The illustrations are very nice and it feels as though you are sitting to tea with the women.

Worth reading just to find out how the book got it's title."

Benn read Centerfield by Nick Jeffrey:
"Nick mines his childhood for this comic dealing with his feelings for sports and his father who comes down with cancer. With great illustration, a touching narrative, and a terrific eye for composition, Nick's comic creates both a loving testimony to a dead father and a pointed indictment of everything that's wrong with professional sports. A must for anyone who's ever been stuck playing right field (even a former firstbasemen like me can relate)."

Job Hopper Reading Tomorrow Night!

It's always fun when Ayun Halliday comes down to Baltimore. She'll be here tomorrow night, May 14th, from 7-9pm here at the store.

She'll be reading from her latest book, Job Hopper.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Shine, Sturgis & Rose's Cookies

Lots of changes going on the Ave this past week.

Shine & Sturgis Antiques have teamed up and opened a storefront next to Milagro. They're still getting things set up but they're open, so stop by.

Also, our very own Hampden pirate, Mick, has set sail to go back and concentrate on his wholesale business, but Rose's Cookies has taken over the whole Whiskey Island Pirate space. She'll also be expanding into more of a lunch menu, with To Go soups and an expanded deli case to come!

Check out our newly revamped Hampden Merchants site for more info about these businesses and other businesses on the Avenue.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Calling All Pack Rats

I mean, all you serious pop culture collectors! Discovery has a new tv series called "Pop Nation", and they want to see your stuff at the Baltimore Convention Center on June 4th. You'll need to register on the site and they only want your pop culture items from 1960 on.

I saw an unopened original packaging Hungry Hungry Hippos for sale down the street...

Return of Keyboard Man

Keyboard Man Karaoke starts off at Molly's Public House on June 4th!

We'll be continuing our Karaoke Revolution tournaments there as well as traditional Karaoke! Come one, come all!

Did I mention that I won the last KR Tournament? I'm the one to beat, people! Bring it on!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Making Love Out Of Nothing At All

Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated our anniversary and hated the 80s with us on Saturday night. I can't even begin to describe the magic and the brilliance of all of the performances that night, along with the audience's spirited participation in getting all gussied 80s and doing their own special performances through karaoke roulette.

But don't just take my word for it, listen to other people:

Clover Martens: "My mom made me come here, but I'm having a really good time!"

Marci Messick: "I want to marry the person who made this pie."

Bridget Speiser: "I'm so glad I got to see some naked skinny pasty-white boy chest. Now I can go home happy."

And there are photos! I got a little drinky and most of mine didn't come out, but luckily this was quite possibly the most well documented event ever, so there are more photos by lots of other people. AND, the show's on video so in just a little while you can re-live the magic. Or catch a glimpse of what you may have missed.

I know I'm kicking myself for missing the now infamous karaoke number "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" with whisk and toilet scrub brush...

John Waters said to me, after seeing Keyboard Man's video montage of our 80s pics set to "Chariots of Fire": "I hate it when people always think you look better when you're younger. I think you look much better now."

Yes, I think we're all much better now.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Deal With Free Comic Book Day

We aren't officially a part of Free Comic Book Day. Because we don't really carry those kinds of comics.

And free comics doesn't mean you get to come in and pick ANY comic and get it for free. You can pick up specially printed comics made JUST FOR Free Comic Book Day.

We have some cool Free Comic Book Day comics, though.

If you like your comics more traditional, there's an excellent comic book store just blocks from us on the corner of 40th and Roland (next to the Chinese take out place), Comics Kingdom. Infact, they're the only comic book store in the city. And they're a part of Free Comic Book Day, officially.

Friday, May 06, 2005

The 80s Set

So here is our collection of 80s photos that were bravely submitted, mostly of people who will be performing at Hate the 80s Night tomorrow. You can see how everyone turned out. We all made it through, perhaps scarred, but mostly intact and functioning.

It kind of breaks my heart seeing all of these photos together. I can't think about what these kids were going through in the 80s too much because I could get sucked in all day. They were good times, but also some hard times. Face it, we were all outcasts, weirdos or freaks in some way, which in my book makes for good and interesting grown ups.

We mock because we love. Except for Benn. He just hates.

Turn Around Bright Eyes

El Mannion, 1989, sophmore year of high school.

You're The Only One Who Really Knew Me At All

Elton Joel (Scott Wallace Brown), prom night, 1984

Friday Review - Loner

This week Lauren read Lessons in Taxidermy by Bee Lavender:
"While reading this I can not believe how Bee is still alive. Cancer, more surgeries then one can imagine, an awful car accident, a perilous pregnancy. Bee tells her story with absolute honesty yet does not invoke pity. What I felt when I read this was amazement and awe of her strength. The memoir is told in the past and the present, as Bee remembers her childhood during an adult illness. Highly recommended."

And The Winner Is

Dawn Mercurio wins the Pro Flickr Account!

Congrats! You funny.

She Knows Just What It Takes To Make A Pro Blush

Emily Flake in 1981. You know she's nothin' but trouble even back then.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Der Kommissar's In Town

That's not a mullet!

Keyboard Man in 1989.

Paper Vs. The Internet

You know, it seems reasonable posting our 80s pics online. Because it's just you internet people.

But when it's printed in the Baltimore Sun...it's just...wrong.

Hell Is For Children

Maggie is only 9 years old here in this 1989 school photo.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I didn't realize that "Little House on the Prarie" fashion spilled into the 80s.

Didn't we all babysit a kid like J Bowers?