Sunday, July 27, 2008

How I got to Here

One of my book sellers list has a thread going about how we got to where we's made for some interesting posts.

Once upon a time, when I was about 10 I found my first Betsy Tacy book in the library.
I read it, fell in love with the series and told myself that when I was all grown up and had a real job I would buy a set for my very own. By the time I grew up the books were out of print and I started collecting them at Friends of the Library sales and thrift stores. I started buying duplicate copies because I just couldn’t bear to see them consigned to the land fill. I just “knew” that someday I’d find a home for all of them where they would be loved.

Fast forward to about 1990 – e-mail and the Internet & E-bay are bubbling up in the public consciousness. . I found that I “wasn’t the only one” and joined the Betsy-Tacy Listsev. The books were still out of print and those of us who had extras sold them to others on list – not for profit, it was done in friendship. Some other woman on the list were selling on e-bay and it sounded like an interesting way to get rid of all SOME OF THE BOOKS IN MY HOUSE. So, in 2000 I started selling too- my girls were going to college and I needed more $$$ than I could earn on my day job.

E-bay lead to which lead to Amazon. Somehow along the way I found Craig’s BookThink forum and through it I found my bookselling lists. Along the way I acquired ScoutPal, a scanner, a postage printer, a second computer, The Art of Books and the third bedroom now holds my inventory of 700+ books. I'm the owner of a small internet business.

And it’s all because I checked out Betsy & Tacy when I was 10 (or maybe 9!).

It’s so interesting how just one little event can have such an impact on our lives.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Haves and the Have Nots

Houston’s one and only Nordstrom is in the Galleria, which is Houston’s version of Rodeo Drive. Tisn’t a place I frequent on a regular basis.

My wedding outfit adventures have resulted in unprecedented number of trips there this summer. Yesterday I decided I’d take advantage of their A/C and do my 30 minutes of walking. Off I went and wandered into the wardrobe department for either
Sex in the City or The Devil Wears Prada.

Versace, Coach, Cartier, Jimmy Cho, Burberry, Fendi - a veritable smorgasbord of high end designer stores where everything, even a pair of socks costs at least two figures.

The people were as interesting as the stores. Slim, exotic, women in impossibly high heels, many from Mexico – which didn’t surprise me since I knew the Galleria is a destination place for wealthy Latinos. I was amazed at the number of devote Muslim woman who were carrying arm loads of shopping bags from all the best stores. Some stunning fashion is hidden under those veils and robes.

The Galleria also bears some resemblance to the Transatlantic Ocean Liners of Old – the higher you go, the nicer the stores. The higher you go the better dressed (and thinner) the shoppers. The upper level stores have access to the skylights and natural light. The ceilings are high and skating rink gives the place a feeling of openness.

Feeling thirsty I headed for the food court – which had a great deal in common with steerage. Not only is it located in the bowels of the Galleria – below ground, it’s also surrounded the low rent store district. There I found Radio Shack, Foot Locker and all the “ordinary” mall stores. There I also found the “ordinary” people. The polyester, the mullets, the frizzy perms, the blue eye shadow, the baseball caps, the evidence that obesity is rampant in America.

The haves and the have nots – all within the confines of one mall.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Scanner - Never Leave Home Without It

We’re in Fort Worth for the weekend – My Beloved is playing in a golf tournament. My Book Selling Buddy is is coming up from Waco tomorrow and we’re going to go book scouting.

We came up todayon Friday so she could practice and we also wanted to see a new art exhibit at the Kimball Art Museum.

We were browsing in the gift shop and I came across a pile of sale books – some reduced as much as 75%.

Did I have my scanner with me? Nooooooooo!
I mean who takes a scanner to the art museum?????

I sorted out the 75% off books, eliminated the obvious duds (Dover press and such) and pulled out my trusty iPhone. Thank goodness I still have ScoutPal.

I found not one but copies of this: Michael Sweerts 1618-1664

I paid $12 for each of them. I have once again justified my ScoutPal subscription for another year.
And I will never, ever go to the art museum without my scanner again!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Guess I Don't Get It My Way

I realize I live in a diverse section of a very diverse city. When I wander into the local Taqueria I fully expect to ask for “Dos tacos con pollo y un tea frio, por favor”. The owners of my favorite Vietnamese dive are a bit shaky when it comes to English so I point to what I want. Actually, I got them to teach how to ask for a bowl of noodles and a Vietnamese iced coffee in Vietnamese.

But it really bothers me have to order “Dos hamberqueos solomante’ catsup y un Coca Cola pequeno” at Burger King.

Doesn’t “Having It My Way” mean I get to order my food in English?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Houston, We Have a Dress!

The Fashionista & Nordstrom Came Through!
She suggested a couple of dresses available on Nordstrom On-line.
One proved to be a winner!
Major problem solved! Happy Dance!
Three Cheers for Nordstrom!

I took the dress to Nordstrom yesterday for alterations and shoes.

Oh the shoes!

Now that was an adventure. I do love me my Birkes but they just don’t go with a formal dress. High heels pinch a nerve on the sole of my feet and I topple over. The Fashionist and I looked at just about every shoe in the shoe department. I nixed the silver flip flops with rhinestones in the heels (to glitzy), she nixed the silver matte flats (to dowdy). We then spotted “Gentle Souls”. I have never, ever paid so much for a pair of shoes but they work. They go with the dress and I can actually walk in them.

The Fashionista strongly recommended that I wear them around the house to “break them in”.
Just like June Cleaver I’m keeping house in high heels.

All I need now are the pearls.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Coupons Save You $$$

Given state of grocery prices these days I've started using coupons again. I keep mine housed in plastic baseball card holders which are in a zippered 3 ring binder. I seem to be a master at never getting said binder into my car once I finish - so far I've misplaced 2 of them. They are constructed from binders I find at the thrift store so I'm never out much money but it is annoying none the less.

Monday I misplaced it again & some honest soul (there really are some left in this world) turned it in. I went to Kroger retrieve it. Half Price Books is right next door so of course I had to stop in.

On my Monday stop I trolled a fishing book that listed for $120. I paid $7 and much to my amazement it sold yesterday. Today a little voice told me to go check out the fishing books again.
To my great joy, I found not 1 but 2 more copies.

I knew coupons saved me money but didn't realize it could be this much money!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - My New Laptop

Thirteen Things I Love and Don't Love about My New Laptop

1. It’s pink! It’s confusing people because they don’t think of me as likeing pink. Little do they know I have a thing for flamingos. That’s Good.

2. I now have a working back up computer (my old one). That’s Good.

3. It has Vista. I like it. I thought I wouldn’t. So what was Bad is actually Good

4. It is blazing fast. That is very, very , very good.

5. It’s a Dell. Tech. Services is in India. That’s Bad.

6. Microsolf Outlook Home & Student 2007 Edition no longer comes with Outlook. That’s Bad.

7. I spent 2 hours talking to India trying to solve that particular problem. That’s Bad.

8. It was finally solved. That’s Good.

9. It took me threating to return the computer to be allowed to buy Outlook. That’s Bad.

10. It’s possible to transfer data from the old comptuer to the new one. That’s Good.

11. It requries a $40 Data Transfer Cable which isn’t mentioned in the ordering specs. That’s Bad.
12. Radio Shack sells them. That’s Good.

13. I’ve already sold enough books in July to recoup half the cost. That’s Very Good Indeed.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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