THE List

April 23, 2013

And yes, I wanted to make this clear that this isn’t just any list; it’s THE List.

This list will include items that I’m planning on adding to the docket for this summer. (That’s the 8 blissful weeks that I will not be working and hopefully making a full recovery from the school year.)

I shall also use this opportunity to explain my scheduling methodology with all of you. Feel free to use it.

It’s called … Pencil and Ink.

When things are penciled in it means they are scheduled to occur, but if something else comes up they can be shuffled into another time slot to fit my need. This means they have a 50% chance of occurring at their scheduled time, a 40% chance of happening at another time, a 9% chance of not happening at all, and a 1% of becoming the basis for me hurting myself in some embarrassing accident.

In no particular order:

1. Play video games. Urgency: Pencil

In particular I would like to purchase Bioshock Infinite and just spend a day exploring that world and probably getting frustrated/terrified. I would also like to find a day where I could get the largest number of people together to have a good old fashioned Halo LAN party. (If you’re in Florida, feel free to offer your Xbox/T.V./original copy of Halo)

2. Read. Urgency: Ink

That’s all. Just read. Hopefully lots. But reading is a must. It’s just got to happen. Hopefully every night before bed.

3. Sleep in. Urgency: Inky Ink.

I don’t even really have to plan this. It’s a certainty. You can bet the farm on this one.

4. Writing. Urgency: Ink from a permanent marker that was left in your pocket that you accidentally left in the wash. (You’ve been there)

It’s gots to happen Cap’n. Word? (Obviously I need to get back into the habit of writing in clearly written English as opposed to my life-on-the-streets manner.) But I would like to write (besides this blog) for at least an hour every day. Heck, I might even follow through with a promise I made to myself earlier in the year and actually do that summer version of NaNoWriMo. *But remember yesterday’s post about lies…*

5. Guitar Urgency: Ink from a squid

I recently purchased my first electric guitar and it is a dream come true. I’ll post some bragging photos of it soon enough. I should also mention that this purchase has helped me write my second song ever. That’s right, played gitfiddle for over 10 years now…and have only just written my second song. Sad? Yes. But we’re all weird in our own ways.

6. Magic: the Gathering. Urgency: Number 2 Pencil

This could happen just once over the summer and I’d be thrilled with it. It’s like brain food for me.

7. Board game night. Urgency: Golf Pencil

Because who doesn’t like board games?

8. Decide if I’m going to buy a house or rent for another year. Urgency: Still don’t know but I suppose it has to be Ink.

Put this hear almost as a reminder to myself for a later date.

9. Buy new music. Urgency: Pencil (likely not sharpened enough)

It’ll happen when it happens. But every summer has a distinct sound for me. Some albums help to define what that year will be remembered as. Maybe I’ll write another time that will tell you what each season is represented by in my car’s CD player.

10 Spend one whole day in my underwear. Urgency: Pencil

Why? Because I’ve never done it before. It’s a personal challenge to myself to make me think I could actually pull this off. Stop judging me…you know you want to do the same.

11. Make some silly videos. Urgency: Pencil but underlined in ink.

This is just too much fun for me and I’m sure me and some friends will end up doing it at some point. Just hope they will have the same amount of free time as I will.

12. Apply for a passport. Urgency: Ink (but possibly the erasable kind)

It’s something I should have done long ago. I’m not sure how I’ll end up traveling all around the world without one. Especially when I’m going to be hired as the new personal assistant to the Secretary of State. I’m positive he wouldn’t mind if I spent a whole day in my underwear either.

13. Move some more marbles. Urgency: Pencil (but could be a colored pencil)

I’ll try trumping them up here soon enough. (But seriously, if you live in a country outside the U.S. I might be interested to mail you a marble for the sake of mailing you a marble.)

14. Exacting my revenge. Urgency: Ink

This is already happening. To whom is a non-issue for you. Unless, of course, you are the person in which the vengeance e will be coming to. In which case I highly advise that you get to cover and start praying. Oh…if you only knew of my plans.

15. Preparing for next school year. Urgency: Disappearing Ink

This is a must in the summer. I need to prepare better. If not I will likely drown by November.

16. Take my Pops out to the movies. Urgency: Ink

People should be nice to their parents more often, right?

Annnnnd….that will probably be my entire summer.

So what are you penciling in or inking in this summer?

D.A.

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Mundy Monday

February 27, 2012

Goal for this week: WRITE A POST FOR EACH DAY OF THE WEEK.

Secondary goal for this week: GIVE ALL THOSE POSTS ALLITERATIVE TITLES.

So I found out something about myself today. I’m like a pickle jar.

Now here comes the very complicated explanation of what that actually means. I’ll also be sure to not directly tell you, but only provide you with a short story and follow that up with me freaking out about the story in a fairly scatterbrained manner. Okay?

Here’s the scene. I’m playing a game on the internet (using my time wisely) and I get a call on the phone from my father. He’s just wanting to ask me a few things on some random topics. He also mentions to me that I have a cousin that has a blog.

I tense as I hear the word. NO I think to myself. THERE CAN’T BE ANOTHER. WHAT IF THEY FIND ME?

“Oh yeah?” I said, acting like I didn’t really understand these foreign words. “That’s nice.” I tried to make sure my voice was level.

“Yeah, it is,” he said. “She writes very well. You should check it out.”

I commented that I would check it out sometime. We said our goodbyes and he went off think everything was all hunky-dory.

As I hung up I immediately typed it in and checked it out.

I hawked down every pixel on that blog. Every. Single. One.

And to be fair, it really was a nice little thing she had made. I hope the best for her. But it’s one of those fancy upgraded WordPress blogs that you pay so much for a domain name and other features.

Oh no…

Not only is she blogging…she’s in my neighborhood. Us Bancrofts seem to have similar taste in our blogging preferences.

Now I feel a little…cooped up.

Why?

Well that’s because I keep this blog a secret from every person I actually know. I don’t want them to know. I don’t even want them to suspect that I may or may not have an online affiliated hobby. I don’t even want them to know I know what a blog is….

This is the point where you start to question my sanity, and rightfully so. A normal person should not feel weird at all right now. Oh, somebody I know has a blog. No biggie. Those are normal thoughts.

But for me this is different. For me this little splotch on the interwebs is my person sanctuary. It’s a relief from the world. It’s a place where I can put my thoughts on electronic paper and file them away. Hey, I might even get some people to comment on those ideas I share.

I can practice writing  and feel safe…

So, in my own messed up way, this is almost an attack on my safe place.

I’m imagining a field of full of colorful wildflowers and a great big oak tree with branches so low you can hop up and sit on them. The summer breeze would ruffle your clothes and weave throughout your bare toes as you relax. life is good.

Now imagine a Transformers battle taking place while you rest. Yeah, that’s what i’m talking about.

So, how am I like a pickle jar? 

Well, this place is still a secret. STILL. Despite everything my ego wants from me.

I kind of secretly want recognition for my kind-of-sort-of-mildly-entertaining-place-of-residence-on-the-internet. I have a fantasy of building this place up into some very popular internet page and some of my friends and family stumble across it and find themselves very amused. Then they read more and more and realize that this D.A. fellow sounds a lot like …

:::gasp:::

Then they immediately phone me and I try to act all casual. “Nah, it’s not me, but i’ve seen that site before.” I say, hoping to blow off their suspicions.  “Yeah, I read some of his books. They’re pretty funny/thoughtful/well written.”

Then they begin a compulsive investigation of myself and how I get my money. Since my blog and susequent writings have become so popular and I’ve been published many times I will no longer need to work, they will start to wonder why I stopped teaching. All I seem to do is sit in my house all day and play video games. (Maybe I’ll claim I made some good investments in some major companies on the stock market.)

Then one day they will provide me with the documented evidence of my workings. They will point the finger at me and say “Your are D.A. Bancroft!” I will lower my head as if in defeat. The game has been lost.

But I still won.

Yes, a big dichotomy. I want recognition. I want invisibility. Kind of reminds me of this guy…

I guess I should explain who this is…

This the The Grand Galactic Inquisitor. He is a giant humanoid that seemingly has a mastery over time and space, but he is also trying to observe things while hoping people just ignore him. Maybe simply can’t do such a thing…so he screams at the top of his voice box “IGNORE ME!”.

Okay, okay. Maybe I’m blowing this whole thing out of perspective a little bit…

I guess if people found out who I am…it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. And I’m sure my family would give about zero and a half craps about what I write on here. My friends my give three fourths of a crap.

My point still stands. This is a place for me. Just me trying to do my thing… whatever that may be.

And I’m not going to apologize for blowing that whole thing up…

Didn’t you want to read something dramatic and entertaining? I’m trying to do that for you. Don’t you kind of wish you could watch my words as I slip into a mental breakdown? That would be outrageously entertaining.

Maybe I would start to really believe I AM D.A. Bancroft. I start becoming… a new person. I speak with more certainty. I use bigger words. I start wearing a sweater all the time. Creepy stuff.

I mean…that would be entertaining… right?

But for now…I’ll just keep the lid on this whole thing. Just like that pickle jar.

D.A.

P.S. Just realized that jars of jelly are much more difficult to open. So…reread this entire thing, but substitute the word pickle with jelly.

I’ve been very busy full of self-examination this week. That may play a role in why I haven’t posted in some time. More on that later.

So what’s up? Yeah, that’s cool.

You look nice.

Have a nice Thanksgiving holiday? That sounds great/terrible.

Mine? It was good. We had six pies. Seven really. That’s both too much pie and just enough. I ate a lot of this pie. For many years we will speak of the Thanksgiving of 2011 as the Bancroft Family Apiecolypse. There was also turkey, but very little compared to pie.

This shirt? Oh, thanks for asking, I bought it from JCPenny’s for super-cheap. I live life on the rack.

(As a long side note I would like to mention how much I love shopping at a nice store’s clearance rack. I buy most of my clothes from these gems of economy. I can spend 20 bucks and walk away with three nice dress shirts and two ties. I’m not sure if I’m just a pro in the rack sales, but I love it.)

This year is my first Christmas where I’m a complete adult. This is translated as “I have to spend all of my own hard earned cash to make other people happy.”

This year I’ve pulled out all the stops.

I have signed up for reddit’s secret santa gift exchange. This is when I have decided to release my personal shipping information to a complete stranger whom I will never meet. They will then send me something. I will love that gift. (Unless it’s a severed hand)

In turn, I have also been given the private information from another human being in the world that has signed up to this program. I have been stalking their social and internet behaviors and have discovered something that will be the bane of my existance during this Christmas season. Something that affects all my gift-giving intentions this year.

I suck at coming up with gift ideas.

While I’m sure everybody will be happy with anything I give them, I still have to do a lot of thinking.

This year I have to shop for my father, step-mother, friend 1, friend 2, friend 3, friend 4, married couple 1, married couple 2, married couple 3, married couple 4, stranger from the internet, friend overseas.

BLLHSAHDJGHNNNEEE…..

NO. I’m not that creative. This is why I usually make my own gifts. When you make your own gift people will accept it as thoughtful and unique. Really it’s a way to save money and try to have fun while doing it. Also, you can hopefully make many copies of this gift and they will still think it is wholly unique to them.

I gave hollowed out books for safekeeping secretive spy notes one year. I gave people (impossibly difficult to open duct tape wrapped) Nerf guns/grab bags. (5 bucks each). I even made necklaces one year for some female family members.

This year I have no time to make these lovely little trinkets. So I’ve opted out for buying “real gifts”. This is more impossible than safely opening any duct taped wrapping paper.

I don’t know what to do.

On top of all this I’ve been asked what I want this year! Me? I don’t care what I get, just tell me what YOU freaking want.

Hold up. Now that I think about it, if you’re reading this, then you’re my friend…in a weird sort of way.

Now I’ve got to come up with a gift for you…. somehow…

SEE WHAT YOU DID?!?!?

And now it’s going to be stuck on the internet for forever and people will look back on this and say things like “That guy really sucked at giving strangers gifts…”

::Deep breath::

Oh wait…. I’ve got it.

I’m going to do something wonderful. Just for you.

I want to write…because, well…. I want to… and I want it to be fun and memorable… and I am using the internet…

::calculating in head::

I’m going to write you a story. Yes, very original. But this will be an ultra special story.

I’m going to write you… a… Christmas themed story. No… that won’t do.

A story with lasers and aliens battling in space…. No, that’s just silly.

I’ll write you a story of revenge and malice. Closer… but no cigar.

Actually, now that I’m looking at it, this all sounds pretty good.

But a simple story just won’t do.

::calculations completed::

EUREKA!

I’m going to write you a story, involving aliens and revenge and Christmas (this is sounding very Dr. Whoish). AND IT’ GOING TO BE A CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE STORY!!!!

Holy crap! That’s freaking awesome.

(As another very extended side note, I will point out to you, lovely reader, that I AM still working on writing an essay for my personal beliefs on science and religion. It’s just very hard and whatnot, especially after a lot of self assessing this past week or so. So, still expect that, but I’m still eating away at it. It’s just a very slow process.)

So, there’s at least one gift idea out of the way. And look at that, it only took me one post to come up with it.

The countdown to Christmas begins,

D.A.

The weekends seem the time in my life that leads me to make creative decisions. Poster framing, building lamps, scrap-booking, they all seem like creative outlets that only appear on the weekends for me.

Okay, I’m lying about the scrapbooking. I just needed another word to fit in that sentence to make it feel better…

Well add another creative outlet to the list.

I am unofficially the official winner of the 3rd anual Pumpkin Carving Contest held at my friend’s house.

And this claim would not be complete without a little photographic evidence of my mad carving skills.

 

And now with a little more mood lighting.

What’s the secret to my insanely developed pumpkin carving abilities?

Hitting the gym. All the time. Eat, sleep, gym, repeat.

Okay, that’s a lie too. The real truth?

Very sharp pearing knives and crappy flexable steak knives. One should also have a little creative know-how (and by little I mean verrrry little) and approach the project with a sense of dignity and respect for the soon to be gutted pumpkin.

I would even like to consider myself more of a “pumpkin purist”, if you will allow me to say so. I usually don’t go for any fancy techniques because I prefer the old fashioned jack ‘o lantern. Just a big grin and some triangle eyes. That’s the kind of person I am. But not this year. I needed to change things up if I wanted the “W”.

Background for the competition?

Well, a friend was having a little get together at his house and decided there was going to be a pumpkin carving contest. And really, the only people who would be at this party are couples. I guess he just figured it would be a good thing for boyfriends/girlfriends and husbands/wives to compete against other couples. Everybody could bond with their significant other while at the same time have fun meeting new people. A real romantic romp.

But that’s not D.A.’s territory. Like I mentioned before, I’m sort of… not… uh… dating…

Since I’m a loner and am always willing to step on people’s toes, I threw my hat in the ring anyway and immediately decided to win the competition.

So, I did the first thing that every red-blooded American should do before any competition that is hardly a contest at all.

I talked crap. Like a boss.

I told everybody that they might as well not even try to compete with me because I was practically already the winner. This really helped me hype up my pumpkin well before it was even purchased or planned. Point one for me. I was in their minds.

The next points were scored when I decided to use cheesy special effects on my pumpkin. I purchased some Flarp gooey children’s toy and decided that would be my pumpkin’s “saliva”. (I figured many people would try for the throwing up pumpkin gag, so I needed to be a little different). The really nice thing was that the Flarp was kind enough to stay in place while still allowing a good amount of drool to occur.

Victory was surly mine.

But just in case you don’t believe me (and I know you all trust me to the fullest extent that you possibly can) check out my competition.

See what I mean? pumpkin guts vomit. Sooooo overplayed.

Bug eyes and pumpkin guts… No surprises here…

Yes, that pumpkin has corn in his possession…He also has a creepy evil clown feel to him.

Pi… Yeah, I get it. Took me a second, but Pi. Pumpkin. Pumpkin Pie…

Wait a second… What do you mean you don’t think these pumpkins are all that bad? Are you telling me you think these are better than my own?

WHA- WHAT?!?!

How can you say that? What are you talking about?

Mine had slime! Slime for goodness sake!

Pi? Pumpkin Pi? Oh, sure, that’s got a little wit in it. And it was carved quite nicely. And it even has a nice proportions… but no! Mine was better!

And yeah… so what if my pumpkin comes across as a little… boring. I’m a purist. And the judges were purists… so there…

I still win. That’s all that matters.

I see your judging eyes, you think you got a better pumpkin than me? Prove it! Write a post or something that displays your pumpkin carving skills and we’ll see who’s really boss. Post a link to it in the comments.

Or don’t. You probably won’t. But … you know… just some friendly competition.

Sincerely,

D.A. “The Pumpkin King” Bancroft

Some Days Just Require Action

September 9, 2011

Maybe it’s just Fridays in general, but today was a real tough one.

At the end of today I felt like I had been wading through marshes filled with molasses while having a root canal. There was nothing very pleasant about the day at all.

I had 3 different labs to do today. I even made sure these lined up and happened on the same Friday. Why? Because it seemed like a really good idea at the time. Then I actually had to do the labs with my kids…

It wasn’t the lab setting up that was the hard part, but the constant requests to use the bathroom and constant “Mr. Bank-croft” or “Mr. Uhmmmm…” as they raise call out for me to explain a question to them for the 4th time. Come on guys, I have done a pretty good job on learning your first and last names, the least you can do is remember my one last name. It’s not like you have 74 teachers’ names to worry about.

But like I said…maybe it’s just Fridays.

The point is I really needed to get away from it all. Even if it was just for a little while. A little “me” time would do me well. I also stayed behind at school really late yesterday, so I didn’t want to be there any longer than I had to.

So, I packed up after school and left. I decided to drive 30 minutes to my favorite comic shop and just geek it up for a little while.

Did that. Now what?

I’m not sure if what I did next was a sad thing or a good thing. I went to a restaurant and had a meal. By myself.

Why could that be seen as sad? Well, I’m just a guy eating alone trying to not spill anything on his tie. A guy that doesn’t have somebody to talk to. Nothing to laugh about. Nobody to share a smile with. Just me, my food, and a few restaurant employees. Not to menntion it’s a Friday night and I look like I’m an office worker trying to get a lunch in on a Tuesday afternoon.

Why could it be a good thing? I had been surrounded by dozens of people all day and I was through with that business. I felt great. I liked the idea of sitting (I was actually on my feet all day). I just leaned back and relaxed. I didnt’ care if somebody was with me. I might do it more often now that I think about it.

(Side note: My tie survived the meal.)

After that I went to a very large book store and just… did nothing. I perused and searched. I looked and read. I picked up and put back.

Annnnd I bought a few books…

Don’t worry, I actually started reading one of them and have already put down the first 100 pages. So I don’t expect this to be any real burden on me or my reading list fiasco.

The book?

On Writing by Stephen King.

Why this book?

Well, a few reasons really.

1. I’ve read excerpts of this book before. Especially a small part where he writes about how one article he wrote early in his life was edited by somebody right in front of him. He claimed it changed his writing style/career forever. This little piece has always stuck with me and now I can say I posses it and have read it in a legal way.

2. I have a teacher friend who has taught high school English and Literature courses. She claimed that King’s On Writing has helped a few of her students. Hey, she even had a lot of classroom copies of the book. Which is kind of scary considering how much cursing there is in the book. But that’s besides the point.

3. A nice internet stranger I met on here on WordPress seems to mention it at least once every two weeks. Since I appreciate how she writes, I definitely took her subliminal recommendation into consideration.

4. I want to be a better writer. So I figured reading advice/thoughts by one of the most popular authors to put pen to paper in the past 50 years deserves at least a little attention.

What will I gain from the reading experience? I dunno. Maybe a lot. Maybe none at all. At least I’m really enjoying this read.

Alright, it’s beddy bye time,

D.A.

Therapy

September 7, 2011

Therapy. We all need it sometimes.

That’s because we all have those days when we just need to chill. We need a breather. Our minds end up worrying about things that don’t really matter. Hey, even sometimes our minds worry about things that really do matter, but we just can’t handle worrying about it for too long. It’s just not healthy.

Some find help in meditation and relaxation. Some people seem to release their stress out while working out. Others believe that they can just talk it out with a friend or relative. A few might even enjoy doing something creative.

My therapy is playing guitar.

Yeah, I just pick up the old git-fiddle and pluck away. Well, I guess I don’t really think of it as plucking, more of a strumming or brushing manner. Some picking could be involved…but never a pluck.

I have played guitar for many years, but I havent’ really been playing all that much until I have been getting stressed out lately. Work is keeping me pretty busy and I need a release from time to time.

I really do enjoy music. But I’ll admit that my guitar skillz (purposly spelled with a “z” at the end to indicate how sick guitar skills are) really aren’t that flashy. I don’t “shread” or “groove”, I just play. I don’t plan it, it just happens. But the music is really the reason I play.

I do it because it physically hurts to do play. That’s right, it physically hurts me to play guitar.

Why?

I haven’t played this much in such a long time.

For those of you who don’t play guitar, allow me to inform you of the inconvienances of guitar playing.

Callouses. You need them. You really need them. And the only way to get them and keep them is to keep playing. I have been lacking in the maintinece department and have been paying for it ever since.

If I could just play 30 minutes everyday for the next week or two I’m certain my previous dexterity and strength (as well as pain tolerance) would be fully restored. For now, I only end up playing for a few hours every few days. Not nearly enough to build back those callouses.

When I used to play in high school and my early college days (Ha! It’s looks funny to see me type a sentence like that) I had some pretty incredible hand strength. This is due to my previous playing style.

For one reason or another I used to be in a metal band. While I’m not going to comment on the whole band thing (I’ll save that for another post one day), I am going to say this. We played really fast and really hard. I played bass with my string action set waaaay too high. But I liked it that way. I played so hard that I needed that little extra room over the fretboard so the strings wouldn’t bash against it too often.

In short, I could play harder without having to deal with unwanted distortion or “boinging” in my tone.

This meant my hand had a grip that could crush a cinderblock. (This is a very big lie but you get my point).

Now-a-days I end up whining to myself when I play. But that pain reminds me of the past. And I really like that.

I think of how my wrist would get so stiff toward the end of the set. Memories of how I used to get nervous about playing music and not messing up. Daydreaming about the number of hours I would devote to making something sound “right”.

Then I snap back into reality and think…I’ve got a ton of papers to grade.

There it is. My therapy sessions are playing guitar and remembering my glory days.

What about you? What do you do to relieve the stress?

Plucking Picking away the stress,

D.A.

I’m Just Going To Warn You

September 5, 2011

Now that I’ve been working like a big boy for a few weeks I come to realize something.

Vacations are really really nice.

No, I haven’t taken one. But this long weekend was just so darn wonderful that I wish I had more time to do just this. Not only is it nice to have a whole extra day off, but it’s also really nice to have a short work week coming up.

So what is that thing that I love to do when I get free time?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

It just feels good to not get anything done.

So I think I’ve been making a few plans in my head to help me plan a good summer vacation. Yes I know that Labor Day is generally considered the last day of summer vacations, but I guess it’s never too early to start planning.

I’m contemplating making a trip to Comic Con in San Diego. I have a cousin who recently asked me if I would be interested in going with her. She went this past year and said it was incredible (minus the long hours waiting in line to see a cool panel). I said I would be interested.

Would it be expensive? Yeah, a little, but the benefit is that there would be no charge for staying in a hotel. I have family over there and they live very close to the area.

So that could be happening.

Also, I spoke with my grandmother that lives in Missouri. She asked if I would be coming up any time soon. I said that could totally happen. So why not? Why couldn’t it happen? Hey, I could even go there after I go to Comic Con.

Yeah it would be a long trip. But I mean, it’s going to be the summer. Why not? Right? I would rather get tired of traveling and doing fun things than worrying about grades and lesson plans.

So that could be happening as well.

But if I ended up not going anywhere or doing anything, I would be totally fine with that too. Just the idea of kicking my heels up on the coffee table and vegging out for a few hours seems like it would be a great thing. And keep in mind, making sure that I didn’t have any lesson plans or grades to worry about would be a delight.

Now you’re probably wondering about the title to this post. My warning is that I could end up making plans and then not following through with them. Case in point, my reading list and lamp project are dead in the water. Maybe I could reassess my goals and finish those one day, but for now, they are relics of my past.

Now I’m making plans for next summer, but I’m not really free to make any of those plans. I may not even have a job after next summer. So what if I need to spend the summer looking for a new job?

Hey, for now, I’m just going to try to survive the weeks as they come. After that, I’ll have a better idea of what I am and what I’m dealing with.

So what about you? Do you already have plans for next summer?

D.A.

As you all know, I’ve had a pretty busy week this week. And I know it’s only the first of many long weeks in my future. Still, I tried to find a little time to myself today.

I had to go back to school…on a Saturday… to help me get a little bit more organized for students showing up on Monday. I also had a family dinner/birthday party for a cousin in the evening. I knew I would be working and then socializing so I needed a little bit of time for Douglas (that’s me).

So as I was driving to the school I decided I should take the long route. I wasn’t in any rush, so why not?

And I just happened to think of one of the more wonderful places in my local area. It might even be one of the best kept secrets in my county. I just happened to be passing it and decided to make the tiny detour. I then pulled into the parking lot, stepped out of my car, and walked into a book nerd paradise.

Behold, my hideaway. 

 

 

 

Every time I walk through the door of this place I just feel tension leave my body. The smell is the firs thing I notice. The old pages and coffee grounds are fighting for control of the air space. There is no sound in the building. The books seem to absorb the shuffles and steps of people walking through the narrow passages.

As I walk deeper into the literary dungeon the temperature drops. It’s easy to notice because, living in Florida, it’s always hot outside and a temperature drop like this is a real delectation. There is also a small set of stairs you must descend in order to get down to the actual floor of the shelves. It’s even pretty dark in there, despite the florescent bulbs lighting your way. The tall shelves seem to stop some light from getting to all the book covers. (You can see this pretty well in the first photo).

Not to mention, look at all these books! Just drink that in. I wish I were a super reader and could just devote myself to turning all these pages. Don’t you?

But usually I just end up in the back of the store near the sci-fi stuff. I always find some real gems when I go in there.

I only wanted to spend about 15 minutes in there, but I guess time ran away from me. I walked out of there an hour later. But there was so much good stuff just waiting to get snatched up.

For example, today I found a whole slew of Robert A. Heinlein books that are new to the store. I also found some Michael Crichton books for less that two bucks.

Yes. I bought books. Even though I now have a full time job and haven’t even gotten through my Christmas reading list. That list that I said I would have done by the beginning of September…

So what.

I like buying books.

I’m justifying it to myself by saying, “If I didn’t buy these books, somebody else would have, and they may have ended up treating them badly.”

It works for me at least.

This store is called Raintree Books. (Yes, it’s one word.) They are probably not located anywhere near you. But if you are, by some sort of strange means, living rather close to it you should totally give it a visit. Despite my poor photography skills and lack of descriptive writing it is actually a very organized and clean place to go. These people know how to house a great collection of used books.

Also, I’m not sure if what I’m doing is illegal in any way. So just in case you work for/own Raintree Books I would like to apologize for taking photos of the interior of your wonderful store without permission. I just happened to be carrying my iPod at the time and thought I could capture my warm feelings about your store on camera. If you would like me to take them down, please feel free to email me. When I check that email (about every week or so) I will then respond accordingly.

Please don’t sue me for advertising for you for free.

Also, if you somehow see a boost in sales or web traffic, you can blame/reward me. I will accept store credit if you’re offering it…

So, I’m not sure if any of you have been lucky enough to have a store like this in your area but I do hope you keep using actual bookstores. While the whole eReader market is getting really big, there is still no beating a good physical book in your hands. Also, used books need love too.

But this store is more than a store for me. It’s a little escape from the world around me. It’s quite and cool. It makes me focus on titles and stories trapped behind them. Stress is nothing to consider while I’m browsing through some tattered paperback from the 70’s.

This is really what I hope you have. A place where you can just go and relax. A place where you lose track of time and forget the world outside. Where is your favorite place to run away to? Or is yours such a big secret that you don’t even let anybody know about it?

One more cool thing about this store. 90 % of the time I’m in there, it manages to rain outside. I’m not sure if that’s a play on the name of the store, (you know, with the books being made from trees and it’s raining outside), but I just like rain. It’s fresh and humid smell mixing with the pages as I walk outside is always invigorating.

Desperately looking for some free stuff,

D.A.