It is Halloween 2010. Because of a bad cold, instead of my usual routine - dressing up in a wild costume, hitting all the nightclubs, dancing till dawn - I decided to do something completely different this year. I headed home, had a couple of beers, watched the local news, and then went to bed early. This is a good thing, especially since I am beginning to recognize old friends while looking at the skeleton displays in store windows. I might be getting crazier, but certainly not older.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
I went to see Mia's 39+ exhibit at the Abecedarian Gallery in Denver today. It was the last day of the exhibit, and I was very glad I went. The photographs - one taken each day during Mia's 39th year - were excellent. All were very strong and very interesting images. And the format - a continuous series of images displayed on accordion style books - was also very impressive. I remember that Roddy, the photography professor at the University of Denver, tried to arrange a field trip to her store in Boulder one quarter to learn about her bookmaking process, but the timing didn't work out. Next time, I hope it will - her books are wonderful.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Donovan won the DU Bookstore Halloween Costume Contest this year, not the least because he was the only person who wore a costume. At least I think it was a costume. He insisted it was, but I didn't recognize it as such until he put on his sunglasses. In any case, next year I think the Bookstore needs to get people more enthusiastic about Halloween. I plan to issue a memo letting people know they will be beaten if they don't show up in costume on Halloween. As the saying goes, "the beatings will continue until morale improves."
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tristy, the Director of the DU Bookstore, returned to work today after approximately 50 weeks of medical leave. In her place, I was "Acting Director." The transfer of power back to her went smoothly. First, she walked up onto the "Bookstore Bridge," where the offices are located. I then saluted her in a smart fashion, she returned the salute, and I headed off to lunch while she headed to her office. The only down side is that I will no longer be able to take those nice afternoon naps, now that she is back.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Doug is the main textbook buyer at the DU Bookstore. He is a really dedicated, hard worker, and is also my candidate for curmudgeon of the year. As an example of this, I am using my pocket watch this week while my wristwatch is being repaired. Doug feels that this would be just fine if it was still 1874, but otherwise no. In any case, now that I am doing a photo blog, Doug refuses to have his photograph taken anymore. How can so many Bookstore employees be in the witness protection program?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Today was the annual University of Denver Convocation, at which none other than Roddy -second from the left and the photography professor at DU - was given the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award. Unfortunately, Roddy was not able to give an acceptance speech, but maybe next year. The only discouraging part was that the Faculty Senate President (on the far right) announced that one of his 4 major goals was the elimination of the textbook, and that he and the Provost (on the left) were going to throw themselves into completing this goal very soon. As a Bookstore employee, and not too far from retirement, I kept chanting to myself "4 more years, 4 more years." I am sure everything will be fine, and like me, most of the Bookstore employees are not above begging to help increase sales.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Trish has been an "on-call" employee at the Bookstore for many years. Around the beginning of summer, she became a regular part-time employee, working a steady 18 hours a week at the Bookstore. This is a good thing, since our full-time employees seem to be having babies, gall bladder operations, hysterectomies, emergency appendectomies, and whatever operation they can think of to get out of work for a couple of weeks. Thanks for hanging in there, Trish!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I had breakfast with Valarie this morning. I was so engrossed in our conversation that I forgot to take her photograph, and she didn't remind me, either. I think she planned it that way. In any case, it was a very pleasant morning, and I went for a nice bike ride afterwards. As I told Valarie this morning, this was a weekend to celebrate. I got a letter from the Social Security Administration yesterday, telling me what my benefits would be when I retired. And I learned - to my surprise - that I could afford to retire, barring any unfortunate circumstances, in just 4 years! Me! And still just a kid, too!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I went to the DU hockey game tonight with my friend Stuart. It has been quite a few years since either of us has been to a game there. DU trailed until the third period, when they were able to come from behind and finish with a tie. What I want to know is what ever happened to the DU Mighty Mites? They were a group of young kids - around 5 to 10 years old - that used to play an abbreviated hockey game between periods. The DU Bookstore used to operate a gift shop at the arena at the time, and the Mighty Mites seemed to spend most of their non-playing time at the store, driving the cashiers crazy. They would run around the store in groups of 10 or so, asking how much everything cost, wanting to know what they could buy for a dollar, etc. etc. It wasn't much fun for the cashiers, but a lot of fun to watch.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I had lunch with Nina - one of the two Operations Coordinators at the DU Bookstore - this afternoon at Noodles & Company. Nina paid the check - she is still paying off the debt she agreed to if I hired her. It was a good day all around. Tristy, the Bookstore Director, who is at home on sick leave, canceled the quarterly meeting we were supposed to have with the Vice-Chancellor next week. Marty - the General Merchandise Manager - danced around the office like a kid who found out it was going to be a snow day. Guess who didn't have his homework ready?
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Chris has worked at the Bookstore for quite a few years, and is the Account's Payable Assistant. She reconciles all the credit requests for the books we ship back to the publishers, and makes sure we get every penny that is coming to us. Chris originally started working in the textbook office with Marty and Doug, the two not quite sane textbook buyers. She lasted almost a week before she insisted on moving to a different office. That was in fact an endurance record that stands to this day.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Brittney's promotion came through this week, and she is now the trade and law text buyer at the DU Bookstore, among other duties. Today was her first day at her new desk, and she tried to hide behind boxes and stacks of paperwork, just like her predecesssor, Marty. Brittney will now be working at the Bookstore a full 5 days a week, right after her parental leave runs out, most likely sometime in the next two decades.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Tony started working for Quick Copy - which is part of the Bookstore Division and located in Penrose Library - this past July. His brother Tim used to work at the university in the key shop. Tony was surprised that I remembered his brother. I told him I have worked at DU since 1984. When he expressed surprise at that, I mentioned that Barry (see yesterday's post) has worked at DU since 1975. Tony told Barry that unlike me, he didn't look old enough to have worked at DU that many years. Just keep expecting that paycheck to show up, Tony.
Monday, October 18, 2010
It's hard to believe, but Barry has worked at the University of Denver for 35 years now. That is a long time. He started in 1975 with Facilities and was known as Vinnie. Then he worked as a janitor at what was then married student housing (now an apartment complex at Buchtel and Colorado Boulevard) and was known as Vince. He started at the DU Bookstore in 1979 and is now the Bookstore's Technology Manager. He is currently known as Barry. I know there is no reason to question the three name changes and the fact that he refuses to have his face photographed. I assume there is a rational explanation. On the other hand, is it possible that the DU Bookstore can have that many employees in the witness protection program?
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I spent Sunday afternoon biking through Denver, stopping at Washington Park to take a few photographs on my way downtown. Downtown was fairly lively, considering the Broncos were losing to the New York Jets at the same time. Most Denverites don't want to miss an event like that. They appear to be gluttons for punishment. Paying $80 a ticket just adds to the experience. Maybe next time it might even be snowing.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I got an e-mail from a DU student named Becca a few days ago. Her bank gave her some bad advise and instructed her to send the DU Bookstore two checks that she really didn't owe. Her name reminded me of another woman named Becca, who was killed - along with her two children - by a drunk driver in downtown Denver several years ago. Her husband survived, and was able to go on with his life, graduating from law school at DU this past spring. You have to admire that kind of resilience and courage, and it reminds us all to enjoy life and never take it for granted.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Joe is Owen's brother. As you may recall, Owen had his gall bladder removed in order to avoid working the first week of classes at the DU Bookstore. Joe is filling in for Noah while Noah is on "parental leave," which gives him 10 weeks of paid leave because of the birth of his baby. And, I might add, he didn't even give birth to the baby himself! And don't get me started on Brittney, who has had two babies in the past two years and seems to have discovered the secret of being able to have a job but not have to do any work. But I digress - Joe is a great guy and is doing a really good job. Welcome aboard, Joe!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I know it is a cliche, but I love to take photographs of the sunset from my balcony. Tonight the sunset was especially spectacular over the University of Denver's Ritchie Center. It was "Happy Hour" (which is anytime I get home before 6:00 P.M), and it was fun to sit down, have a beer, and look out the window at a beautiful sunset. It makes you think maybe life isn't so bad after all.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I was originally going to make some snide comments about the $8,000 photo booth the Driscoll Center bought to put on the Driscoll Bridge. However, a very serious issue arose tonight. While I was at the Golden Bee Pub in Colorado Springs last Wednesday, doing Bookstore research, a Doppelganger, an evil twin, an impostor, went to my drycleaners and picked up MY LAUNDRY - clean laundry, too! That is just plain wrong. It is not right to steal another man's laundry. The Korean girl at the cleaners said she was positive she gave the shirts to me. I will not rest until justice is served. A few years ago another David Hoyt went to school at DU. Every so often a co-ed would show up at my door, seemly startled at the sight of me in my jammies, claiming I was the wrong David Hoyt. I checked in the directory, and sure enough, there once again is another David Hoyt listed as a student. If he is the guilty party who took my laundry, I will not rest until I get my 3 J.C. Penney shirts back.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I had lunch with Roddy, the photography professor at the University of Denver, this afternoon. I consider Roddy a good friend. He is truly sincere in his interest and concern for his students, and every student in his class realizes it. Being awarded the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award is well deserved, and a long time coming. Congratulations Roddy!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I had dinner with my sister Susan and brother-in-law George tonight up in Fort Collins. It is a very pet oriented household, what with two very hyper dogs and a pretty surly cat. They even had a "dog party" before I got there, with some neighbors stopping by along with their dogs to escape a sudden downpour. I have been home for hours now, but still can hear the barking in my mind. And what's with the dogs getting to sit at the table?
Saturday, October 9, 2010
After having to stay at the DU Bookstore until 2:00 A.M. last night, it was time to have a rather laid back Saturday. After doing my weekly errands, I came home without having taken a decent photograph. As sunset arrived, I took a photograph of one of my balcony chairs, on which was an art piece given to me by my sister. My mother and I used to sit in these chairs, before she passed away, watching the world go by in the late afternoon. The art piece was a Xmas gift my sister gave me several years ago, with a message inside saying to take time to have fun. It was definitely a moment to consider what is truly important in life.
Friday, October 8, 2010
It was time to have the carpets cleaned at the DU Bookstore, and Wally and I stayed late to supervise the job. We expected to be done by 8:00 or 9:00 Friday evening, but we actually did not get out of the store until 2:00 A.M. There were lots of long conversations in Spanish, and then 3 of the 4 cleaning people would disappear every so often; then there was a lunch break, etc. etc. It was a long night, but kind of fun in a really horrible kind of way.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I went to the Rocky Mountain Skyline Booksellers Association (RMSBA) conference yesterday for the first time in years. It was a good conference. We had two authors speaking at our luncheon, and I even got to visit the Golden Bee Pub at the Broadmore Hotel for the first time in 25 years. What I had forgotten was all the freebees they give you at the conference. I got a new hat and a new T-shirt with the RMSBA logo, and now have some very cool threads to go with my new "with-it" image. Way Cool, Dude!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I went down to Colorado Springs for the annual Rocky Mountain Skyline Booksellers Association conference today. It is the annual get-together for the college bookstores in the Rocky Mountain region. Much to my surprise, the speakers were very good and the educational sessions very worthwhile. The best part, however, was going to The Golden Bee afterwards. It is an actual British Pub, disassembled and rebuilt on the grounds of the Broadmore Hotel. The bartender, Mike, was very friendly, and I joined in the conversation of the other patrons at the bar. It has been almost a quarter of a century since I was last here, but it was still the same. If it wasn't 70 miles away from home, I would make it my regular hangout.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Gina is the Manager of the Quick Copy Center and has worked at DU since 1983. For the past several years, the Quick Copy Center has been part of the Bookstore Division, along with the Mail Services Department. The Quick Copy Center has been located in Penrose Library for many years, but has recently been informed by the Penrose Library Director that they will be evicted after the remodeling project for the library begins. We will certainly find a place for them in the Bookstore, perhaps in our break room, or maybe in one of the restrooms. They are, after all, the "red-headed stepchild."
Monday, October 4, 2010
I've often wondered about the history behind "The Historic Buchtel Boulevard Trail," named after a former Chancellor of the University of Denver and a former Governor of Colorado. I would guess that the trail was used by early yuppies, back in the 1970s, making their way to Washington Park to get their run in. Hard to believe, but this was a time when there were no I-Pods and absolutely no bottled water. People would often just collapse from dehydration on the path, lying face down in the dirt. And with no music, either! They would only be revived when other yuppies would come across them on the path, and get them back on their feet. Then they would get themselves together and continue on their way, determined to get their run in. We were a much heartier people back then.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
My friend Stuart is back from New York, older and wiser about the joys of business travel. We had dinner at Jordan's Pub tonight, celebrating his early release from his service to the State of New York. We got to talking about his old girlfriends, one of whom was named Kay. This was years ago - back when Stuart was know as "Stinky" - and I remember having dinner with Stuart and Kay along with my then wife Lisa at the old Brooklyn's, under the Colfax viaduct. Kay seemed an all right sort, and worked for the Post Office. However, as I recall, one evening Kay sicked her Doberman Pincher on Stuart, and that was the end of the relationship. To some people that would have been a traumatic event, but it was evidently just another night in the life of Stuart. The mind boggles.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I had a visit from my friends Ana Silvia and Joe this afternoon. They have just returned from a visit to Honduras, where they visited Ana Silvia's family and friends and toured the countryside. They had a great time, but it was tempered by the fact that Honduras, like most of Central and South America, is plagued by crime. Everyone has to be on guard when they leave their houses, and no one ventures out after nightfall. All the homes have bars on the windows, and the houses of the wealthy are surrounded by high fences, topped with electrified barbed wire. It is like living in prison. After their return, both were reminded of how lucky we are to live here in the United States. No wonder so many people risk their lives to come here, to be able to live a life without fear.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Evans Chapel is one of the more famous buildings on the University of Denver Campus. It was built in 1876 at the corner of 13th & Bannock Streets in downtown Denver, but was soon moved to the DU campus to make room for a new Home Depot (later razed). The chapel is very popular for weddings. Years ago on Saturday afternoons the bathrooms next to the Bookstore were often filled with the wedding party and their guests - some primping, some laughing, some crying (often hysterically), and some even changing into gowns and tuxedos. Now that the bathrooms have been incorporated into the Bookstore, Saturdays aren't nearly as exciting. Most of the excitement these days comes from Wally regaling us with interesting facts from recent books he has read, such as "The History of Salt."