I have a few friends who really, really dislike Trader Joe's. One of the things cited is that everyone's so happy and nice there. It is a bit weird -- once I got sushi there, and it sucked, and I drunkenly wrote in a (very polite, and drunk) complaint. The next day I got a call from the manager, who was almost suicidally apologetic, offered me free sushi, and a free shopping spree if that wasn't enough. I felt so awful about it all that I never took them up on either.
Anyway, I don't have a problem with the happiness and I shop there often. But one thing I found out today: it's really the worst place on earth to go shopping when you're severely hungover. God.
On a happier note, I went out drinking bloody marys (in an attempt to subdue said hangover) with the Elk, and at the bar we attended there were several posters indicating: New Belgium beers are coming here soon. Which means Fat Tire. Which means that problem drinking is about to get a lot better.
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I actually forgot to post a book. Hope there were no suicides.
#34 -- "The Massacre at El Mozote" by Mark Danner
El Mozote suffers from a bit of pop culture trivialization -- that's the name and subject of the Screeching Weasel from the jokey Born Against/SW split 7" of the confusing '90s, when each band performed the other's lyrics -- so when I read the words "El Mozote" I can't help but hear Ben Weasel's adenoidal whine and can't help but think of how that 7" finally convinced me that Born Against had gone to some special place and weren't coming back. The tragedy of the music fan, and I imagine the residents of El Salvador aren't thrilled either. This is some deeper investigative journalism from one of the less pleasant eras in both the U.S. and El Salvador's history, and while very short (about half the book seems to be documentation) it's shattering. No one comes out looking good other than a handful of journalists, the massacre is just a case of power exercised simply to prove a point. Danner has a spare and sharp writing style that doesn't go heavy on the drama but packs a powerful punch. Highly recommended, especially if you didn't like that split.