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2:16 am - Fri 9/12/03
Vacation Journal: Two

Vacation Journal: Tuesday

I started to write in here yesterday, and I felt like I had to say something about 9/11. But I really didn't have any big thoughts on the matter; I just thought if I wrote about my usual Jim-centric crap, I might seem...insensitive.


Tuesday was my "Schuler Books" day--In the afternoon, I had lunch with a group of my former coworkers, in the evening I went back to do a nostalgic little storytime, and when the storytime was done, I spent the night at Angela and Mark's place (They wanted me to see Sylvia, their adorable 16 month old that I believe I called "Sylvie" in a previous entry).

The lunch was the start of a sore throat that I think will probably dog me from now til I get back to L.A.; I can't remember the last time I "held court" like that, telling stories and answering people's questions about LA. It was a lot of fun, I have to admit (Though in addition to the sore throat, all that talking meant I ended up getting just one slice of pizza; Typically, free pizza means at least a half dozen slices. It's like I think that's the last pizza I'm ever gonna get!).

Visually, the store looks like they just tried to stretch the old store to fit the new space (In terms of floor space, I think it's pretty close in size to the Borders store, though we have two floors and they're on just the one level).

It looks great--certainly better than the snake pit I work in!--but I know "the old guard" misses the old store; With four stores now in the Lansing and Grand Rapids area, Schuler Books is becoming more regimented, more corporate, more "Borders-like", if you will, and I think a lot of people feel like the rug was pulled out from under them (As John O. said about the current situation at Borders, "This is not what I signed up for..."). They put years into something, built it up, only to have it turn into a place they really don't enjoy (And they're all in a different position than I am; They're mostly managers, for one thing, and for another, they have kids and families and house payments and stuff like that).

(It's an interesting perspective for me to have; It's 10 times nicer looking than the Borders where I work--did I say "ten"? I meant "one hundred"--and no doubt runs better, but I know for a fact that if I were still there, I'd feel exactly the same way, because I wouldn't know the difference.

In the evening, I came back to do a "special guest" storytime.

There weren't a lot of people there--I didn't expect there to be, since I've been gone for years and it was on a weeknight--but there were enough for me to perform for, and that was what counted (In addition to the handful of kids, a number of the Schuler folk sat down to listen; I also drew more people after I started, people probably wanting to see what all the noise was about.

I did Robert Munsch stories, far and away my favorite things to do for storytimes (I'd borrowed a couple of the hardcover compilations to read in between lunch, which lasted about 2 1/2 hours, and the storytime, which was at 7:00).

I wondered if I would be "rusty", because, "Reading by Nine" aside, I haven't done this in quite some time, but for whatever reason, that really wasn't an issue; As a matter of fact, I kind of rocked.

It was very gratifying...

As I've been telling people, I wouldn't have gone out to L.A. if I didn't think I had something to offer. But that said, my personality is such that I tend to start doubting my abilities very quickly when I have a long break where I'm not acting.

And my time in LA, by and large, definitely qualifies as "a long break where I'm not acting".

But last night was a nice reminder that I definitely have some game.

I just have to figure out how to get them to let me play.

Well, I'm pooping out here, which is really too bad, since I actually have a lot to say...


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