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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

Mr. Merle Travis probably wrote this song (16 Tons) after having some crazy premonition-like dream of the jungle and bid wars, which would eventually turn out to be be the premise behind the founding of both Amazon and Ebay.

This song is always in the back of my mind. Not because I am in debt. I'm not. Not anymore. I actually just paid off the last credit card a few weeks ago! YAY ME! And have resolved to not sign up for anymore. This, in spite of being asked every time I go to, um let's count, TJ Maxx, Kohl's, Macy's, Marshalls, Belk...nevermind, I don't have the energy to type them all out. Let's just say the my only safe haven from being badgered into the allure of 10% with approval is the self-checkout line at Kroger.

Back to the song. I love the movie Joe Versus the Volcano. Never seen it? Yeah, neither has anyone else. Except me. The opening sequence is Tom Hanks (late 80s mullet in tact) walking into his crappy factory job in Staten Island with Eric Burdon crooning in the background. Yes, I know when the movie came out (1990), I wasn't even old enough to work due to the child labor laws. But something about the beat and the emotion of the song stuck. And so here I am, 20 years later, mentioning it,  In public. Whatever. Go rent the movie. And tell me you don't just love the phrase “brain cloud”.

Oh, and it is the first "Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan" match up!  Which led the way for much better movies.  And no, I am not talking about You've Got Mail

So why am I even bringing up this magnificantly great B movie from so long ago?  Why title my blog-of-the-day after a song from 1946 (which officially constitutes "oldie" in my book)? came to the front part of my brain yesterday.  You see, yesterday morning, I went to to buy a book. Notice what I said. Buy A Book. Singular. One. Not the plural form, which would be books. And I rarely shop on Amazon. I prefer Better World Books, with their carbon-free shipping and their good ethics. However, Amazon was the only place I could find a reasonable price on the the book I was looking for.

And there, beneath the only book I intented to buy that I had just added to my shopping cart, magic words appeared...


Yes, I was in a vulnerable state. I haven't bought anything off the internet in a while. I have been saving and saving and saving. I have no more debt. I am almost done with my current read (you'll hear all about it soon!). And I want to read...

I clicked.



As I recovered from my indiscretions and pulled myself together from the pain of the number that's about to show up on my bank statement, I realized that I will actually enjoy all of these books and I will have plenty to share about once I get them. Okay, I have been good. I have been saving. And I'm spending my money on books. Not crap. BOOKS. Because I'm a dork like that. I can afford to splurge for the first time in my life and I'm not (also, for the first time in my life) buying crap. I felt better.

Upon awakening this morning, I had some emails from Amazon: “Your order has been shipped.” Five emails. Five orders have been shipped. No remorse now. I'm excited to jump in with both eyes and read, read, read!

So watch out, my fellow readers, I'm about to have a lot to write about. I love discussing books.

Thank you, suggestive marketing! Thank you for knowing what I might like to read!


  1. '16 Tons' -- I remember that from ages ago when Tennessee Ernie Ford (and I'm sure you never heard of him) sang that on the Hit Parade (nope, you probably haven't heard of that either). Your words initiated a lot of memories.

    Alas, another avid reader.

    Enjoyed this.


  2. No wonder we have such an affinity, Ivy. (Other than the fact that we met at a place we're not supposed to say we saw each other at...and, yes, I ended that on a preposition.)

    I, too, love Joe vs the Volcano, though I must say I didn't care much for it the first time I saw it. It's definitely a movie that grows on you. Much like Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Most people don't see past the oddities to the redemption factor. And that they're just plain silly fun.

    So Merle wrote 16 Tons? Did not know that.It frequently pops in my head and, when it does, I hurry to change the words so as to not pull negative money energy in. It reminds me of my brother, Bill, who discovered it some time in his teens. Which means I was most likely 10 or 12. I remember him playing the darn thing over and over and over again. It sticks in the head, that one does.

    Anyway, we have much in common, we do.

    If you haven't already, go read Postman's Sententious Vaunter. You'll find him under Blogs I'm Following. You have lots in common with him, too. Including you're both great thinkers and writers.

    Love ya, O

  3. Thank you for visiting me. You need to know that I have a very strict criteria for blogs that I follow -- and you have exceeded every one of them.

    It is a pleasure that I am looking forward to.

  4. Always liked the rhythm of that tune. And the sentiment expressed.

    I've fallen victim to the "Customers who bought this item..." button more'n a few times. But hey, you've hit the nail on the head. They're BOOKS. Nothing wrong with spending money on books. They're a necessity, just like food or water or shelter.

    I'm like Erasmus. "When I get a little money I buy books, and if any is left I buy food and clothing."

    Books were the only thing my mother would ever buy for me unconditionally as a kid. Toys? No. But whenever I asked for a book, she'd say "Okay."

    Made me the man I am today...

  5. I make frequent trips to the Li-Bary and drop money on beer. Consequently I owe nothing and nap a lot. It's a lifestyle.