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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pirates, Mr. Know-It-All, Hyper-Chondriac And The Wife ...

... here are some pictures from last weekend's highly successful pirate storytime and treasure hunt. We had 36 kids and just as many adults shoving into kids to see what all the fun was about. I even convinced a few kids that Mr. Steve and Pirate Steve are two separate people. And that's awesome.

The district manager spent the day at our store a few days ago and in between telling me how to face out a book and telling me which entire sections to move around, he seemed to really dig the cool pictures of Pirate Steve and all the pictures of Captain Book and the concept of the evil Dr. Borderz with a Z and he promised to get them published in the interstore newsletter magazine thingy. Hopefully he takes that hill and doesn't crap out on me. That'd be cool.

Here's the pics ...

I told the kids that yes my hook was fake but it was a training hook for when I finally lose my hand. One of my regulars was so excited about storytime that she dressed like a pirate too and when I called her Maya she got angry and said its PIRATE Maya. I also liked my pirate "sword" ...

On our treasure hunt we pretended the kids section was a massive island that we had to navigate. The front entrance to my department was the mountain top and I had the kids yell hello to the people on the bottom of the mountain. I said "Look at all the people down there. They look like ants. VERY UNDERSTANDING ants. Very understanding and not at all angry customer ants." The customers we disturbed with our crazy loud pirate silliness got a kick out of that.

This was probably the 10th pirate treasure hunt I've done in the store in the three+ years I've been doing storytimes there. I've pretty much perfected it so that the kids get to run around the store but not too much and the customers get bothered but in a cute way and not an annoying way. Every time I do it I add something to it and do it slightly differently and try to make it better and different. I've become a master at making a white piece of paper look like a dirty old treasure map. I'm great at getting the kids to play along with my silly mind. And I'm good at getting the kids all fired up, too.

This time, though, I adlibbed something new off the top of my head. We found the treasure box and I told the kids to sit back down by the stage. They sat back down and I made a run for it. WITH the treasure box. Very pirate-like. I was planning on trying to steal it and have the kids laugh and eventually I'd come back.

I wasn't expecting the kids to chase me down and try to wrestle the treasure box away from me ...

Posting these pictures reminds me why I'm still working with Barnes and Noble after almost seven long years. I feel like I'm being overworked, underutilized, I bring in a ton of people for my storytimes and clubs and events and hardly anybody cares, I bust my ass trying to get things done, I bust my balls and get very little in return. I'm getting $11.25 an hour which isn't bad but isn't enough for a family of four to live on. For all intensive purposes I should quit and find a job that will respect me more and pay me what I deserve.

But seeing the look on these kids faces, I can tell I'm making a difference. Sitting there and reading to the kids and being loud to the kids and being a major part in these children's lives, this is what I want to do. I'd rather get little pay and do what I want to do then get bank and do shit. I want to be here for the kids. That's why I stay.

Emerald asked me if Pirate Steve could come and play with her today after school. I said I couldn't get him to come today but I could have him come home with me tomorrow. Emerald is really excited to play with Pirate Steve, although she has said "Daddy, I'm pretty sure its you."

This saturday is the next installment of my epic, year-long Captain Book saga. It should be awesome as hell and I can't wait. Last month's story had Dr. Borderz discover Captain Book's secret weakness (poetry) and way a smaller croud but a much bigger laugh. This month Dr. Borderz will be sitting it out as Mr. Steve's storytime gets hijacked by a brand new FEMALE villain, the evil Ms. Know-It-All!

Marisa was supposed to be this month's villain but she got hit by a car and now has a pimp ass gangsta limp. So I switched Marisa with Megan who was originally slated to be the evil Miss Lulu in the summertime. So now Marisa will be Lulu when her knee gets better and Megan is excited (and slightly nervous) to be Ms. Know-It-All.

I will be playing myself, my greatest role. I have the bulk of the dialogue, me and Megan. She seemed a bit nervous by as she put it "all the talking" so I cut down a bit of her wordy dialogue and added some more awesome stuff for me and Captain Book to say. This is a relatively Book-free storytime as our hero only comes in at the end to talk to the kids and defeat the bad girl and save the day. It's mainly Megan thinking I'm too loud and crazy and taking over storytime BY FORCE so that she can turn it into a quiet and boring learning experience. I'm excited. There's a lot of new levels to the script and of course you can never script what the kids are going to do. How exciting, eh? This is going to be good.

I'm reading a really good book, too. It's an advanced reading copy of Hyper-Chondriac by Brian Frazer. It's damn good and funny as hell and helping me get through some of the jittery, work too hard, stressed out anger issues I'm dealing with. It's all about a hyper guy and his quest to calm the hell down. It's really good and fast-paced and it's easy to just rip right through. It's also the first uncorrected proof I've ever read where the mistakes and all over the damn place. It's neat. I never notice any mistakes when I read an advanced reading copy so all the blatant errors in this make me feel smart and attentive, which I'm not. I don't think the book schould be placed in humor, though. That's a category decision made by someone who'se never rea the book. It's better placed in biography or essays or even in cultural studies. But it's a great read and everybody whose ever gotten angry should read it. It's not a self-help book, though. It's one man's battle with his own mind and it's damn funny.

Also, things with my wife are fine. My wife and I are doing good. Yes, we've been fighting and yes there was some tension between us but what do you expect from a copuple that's been together for almost four years and has been married for almost two? All couples fight and yes I don't get angry a lot but eventually even I have to get angry about shit. We fought and argued and we even didn't speak to each other for a while there but that's all past now.

We're great, my wife and I, and we are very much in love and I really couldn't ask for a nicer and cooler and sexier wife.

So up yours, Hitler!

Oh, and remember to watch out for malaria!

That's it for me. See you later. Wind clan out.

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