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Saturday, December 06, 2008

More things that stick in my craw

The way things are going, this may become a weekly post!

Twilight - The Movie, based on the insanely popular book by Stephanie Meyers. I have two complaints about this. Number one: I am in the middle of the third novel in the series right now, so I was excited about the movie coming out and planned on seeing it. Then I read an interview with Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward, the "heartthrob" vampire in the movie, who falls in love with the lead female character, Bella. I thought he was an okay pick for the role (not a favorite, like many fans wanted), but after reading the article, I was disgusted. He's only 22 years old and he's already a terror on the set. Although the producer tried to be nice in the article, you could tell he was driving everyone crazy with his "method" acting. I have no desire to pay money to go see it in the theatre. I'll wait until it hits Redbox for $1 rental on DVD. Number two: Geez, women, get a grip. If I mention I'm reading the series and a female friend is a fan, they immediately want to know if I'm "an Edward" or "a Jacob" (Jacob is a werewolf in the movie/book who is also in love with Bella). I said I was undecided and all three of these friends were shocked and dismayed I hadn't chosen Edward yet (or anyone). It's fiction. I don't have to choose sides. I am just enjoying the books. When I jokingly said I think the Indian guy (the werewolf) was hot, two friends actually got pissy. Yikes.

Another eBay complaint: If you win an item from me for $1.25 and I offer insurance at an extra $1.80 and you don't pay for it and the item arrives damaged, IT IS NOT MY FAULT, BUT YOURS. I had a woman win an old Smith Corona electric typewriter from me for a whopping $1.25. I always encourage insurance in all of my listings. She chose not to pay for it. I got a message from her today and she even wrote "I know I didn't pay for insurance, but you could have packed it better." Um, I think I packed it pretty darned well. It's not my fault some postal workers throw things around and damage them. I've been an eBay seller *and* bidder since December of 1998 (yep, 10 years!) and I can count on one hand the number of times a winner received an item damaged. And of those, the majority had paid for the insurance to cover it. I offered to refund the $1.25 to her. I doubt she'll take it and I'm expecting negative feedback.

I'm selling a lot of books that I inherited. I got in touch with some local booksellers and sold a couple hundred of them (I still have well over 3,000 left). One guy got all hot over this one batch of old diaries from the 1880s of a Scotsman who was the first person to open trade in Rangoon, then had some adventures in India, Penang, the Suez Canal, etc, until he retired in California. They are over 20 years of diaries, all written by only him, many with photos, ephemera, etc tucked inside. Oh and he was a Mason as well. There was a photo album and some old private letters you couldn't even really read and I sold them to the guy for what I thought was a good amount of money - very fair. He offered me $2,000 for the diaries. I told him no, because I've been slowly transcribing them over the years to maybe (a big maybe) write a novel based on this man's life. Well, a week later, he asks to come over to look at them again. This set off a warning bell in my head. A local book dealer, who offered to come over if I needed some help with what I thought may not be a fair offer, got a call from me. He seemed to think there was more than meets the eyes with these diaries and said he'd come over after this guy left. This guy shows up and asks if he can take photos of some of the pages. I kick myself now, but I said yes, and he took ALOT of photos. Another warning bell. Well, Art, the book dealer, came over, went through the diaries and told me he wanted to help me get a second and third opinion. He said it was very important that all the diaries were in sequential order, written by the same person and were so detailed, plus that he was a Mason and the historical implications - he thought the diaries were worth a lot more than what this guy offered me. So I'm putting this guy off. If I can get over $10K for them (which Art thought may be quite possible), then you know what? Even though it was a fun project, that's a good chunk of change.

I went through a bunch of photos and put together a box for my late husband's niece, who lives in Louisiana. I tried to include as many that had her dad (my late husband's brother) in them, as well as of the rest of his family. I included some that my late husband's mom had thrown out after he and his dad died, including a VHS tape of movies that had been coverted to VHS. I thought she'd like to have them for her kids to see that part of her family in happier times. Like me, she has not heard from anyone from his side of the family since they died. Did I get a thank you? No. Pfft. At this point, I'm sick of giving, giving, giving and not getting at least a "thank you" in return. My current husband keeps telling me I can't save the world. He's right.

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