Monday, October 30

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Irrigators regulate the waters; arrow-makers straighten arrow shafts; carpenters shape wood; and the good control themselves.
Dhammapada 145

Andrew Sullivan strikes again

Actually he quotes Ghandi. I won't put it here b/c of the beautiful simplicity of Andrew's formatting.

Tuesday, October 24

The Perfect Role

Angelina as Mariane PearlI'm listening to "Speaking of Faith"(if you're interested in how people spiritually deal with various social & personal issues you need to check out this show), the episode with Mariane Pearl and I have to tell you that the movie, A Mighty Heart, might be the perfect role for Angelina Jolie. Doing a little google search on the movie I found this picture (left) of her in the role I am convinced that this will be "the one" for Angelina.

As I am listening to Mariane Pearl (below) I hear attitude, intelligence and this sexy French accent. On top of it all she is quite attractive. Who knows what the movie will actually bring but on face value Angelina is perfect.

Mariane Pearl

Monday, October 23

Buddhist Thought of the Day - Democracy Edition

To my mind, democracy is more compassionate, more harmonious, more friendly than any other system. It respects others' rights and considers others equally as human brothers and sisters. Although you might disagree with them, you have to respect their wishes.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

BET looks smarter

I haven't watched BET in so long and I completely missed the news that Reggie Hudlin was taking over. This is such a smart move, Reggie has sense, he's creative and his heart seems to be in the right place - that makes him an anomaly in the entertainment CEO landscape, doesn't it? Reading this article he seems to be staying the course, his course.
"The black audience wants to be respected," he told The Associated Press. "They want quality programs that respect their intelligence. It better be hip, it better be innovative and be as fresh as possible."
I wish him well and hope BET finally broadcasts something worth while.

Sunday, October 22

Buddhist Thought of the Day

They, the enlightened, intent on jhana*,
delighting in stilling
& renunciation,
self-awakened & mindful:
even the devas
view them with envy.
Dhammapada, 14, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

*Jhana is a meditative state of profound stillness and concentration in which the mind becomes fully immersed and absorbed in the chosen object of attention. It is the cornerstone in the development of Right Concentration.

Friday, October 20

Tower no more

What does it mean that Tower is out of business?
The closing of the flagship location of Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood is another shining example of the illness that has infected the music business. Feeding on executive arrogance and technological fear – the pompous geniuses who run today’s media conglomerates and so called major record labels are much to blame for the loss of such an icon. It was on their watch that the music business has gone from a 30 billion dollar business per year (domestically) to one that sells about one third of that now. For the music business, the fall of the Roman Empire has taken a little more than a decade.
Read this

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The brahman Dona saw the Buddha sitting under a tree and was impressed by his peaceful air of alertness and his good looks. He asked the Buddha:
"Are you a god?"
"No, brahman, I am not a god."
"Then an angel?"
"No, indeed, brahman."
"A spirit, then?"
"No, I am not a spirit."
"Then what are you?"
"I am awake."
Anguttara Nikaya

Thursday, October 19

Buddhist Thought of the Day

To study the Buddha is to study oneself. To study oneself is to forget oneself. To forget oneself is to be enlightened by the myriad dharmas. The be enlightened by the myriad dharmas is to bring about the dropping away of body and mind of both oneself and others. The traces of enlightenment come to an end, and this traceless enlightenment is continued endlessly.
Dôgen, "Flowers Fall"

Wednesday, October 18

New Edition, the Band

Even Bobby Brown had it going on...

Buddhist Thought of the Day

They're easy to do--
things of no good
& no use to yourself.
What's truly useful & good
is truly harder than hard to do.
Dhammapada, 7, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Monday, October 16

Self-help my ass!

Working at Davis-Kidd allowed me to see how prevalent and disgusting the self-help industry. There is a cure-what-ails-you, fix-what-your-parents-broke book for everything you can imagine. Some of the problems with this industry, as I see them, are that they all blame somebody else for everything, there are very few that tell the reader to take responsibility or maybe even "just deal with it" and they try to give you immediate fixes for things that should take a long time. You shouldn't be able to get out of debt tomorrow or overcome procrastination in 8 days or whatever they proclaim. None ever talk about patience or diligence.

Some of them are huge sellers; you name a diet book, the Purpose Driven Life, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Some of them will surely help people but I think a vast majority of the people will get nothing more than excuses and bad habits.

Here is a link to a Motley Fool article about the fallacy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The Five Precepts
  1. For the purpose of training I vow to refrain from taking life.
  2. For the purpose of training I vow to refrain from taking what is not given.
  3. For the purpose of training I vow to refrain from sexual misconduct.
  4. For the purpose of training I vow to refrain from false speech.
  5. For the purpose of training I vow to refrain from intoxicants which lead to carelessness.
translated by Gil Fronsdal

Sunday, October 15

My Econ 101 professor

I didn't learn anything in Econ 101. I spent more time making fun of the teacher's accent than anything. She, my teacher, is friends with the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner!

the Story

Buddhist Thought of the Day

There is no fire like greed and no crime like hatred. There is no sorrow like being bound to this world; there is no happiness like freedom.

Friday, October 13

Andrew Sullivan again

Here Sullivan references Bill Clinton to explain how GW and his crew have totalled our already wrecked political system (my words, not his).

Sullivan says:
in this election, the Democrats are the only way to stop the abuse of power now dominant in the GOP leadership

Truman Capote

Different movies, different vibes, different stories.

I've not read any Truman Capote, I was never interested.

Earlier this year there was the Phillip Seymour Hoffman movie, Capote, I thought it was great. But now there is Infamous, an indi film about Truman writing In Cold Blood. Capote didn't make me want to read the book, Infamous did.

Infamous is a very subtle story and I think has a much stronger emotional impact. It slowly sucks you in. I was amazed by Truman's boldness, egotistical attitude and manipulative abilities but there was such a sadness. I think some people would say that the Harper Lee (a very southern sounding, understated Sandra Bullock) was too direct of a narrator (the action was interspersed with interviews with Truman's friends and acquaintances). She was there often and her "observations" of Truman came across, at times as directives to the audience.

Overall, I liked this movie a lot and, like I said, I'm gonna read some Capote.

Thursday, October 12

If this is conservative...

My Aunt has called me conservative for the last 5 or so years even though I worked for an environmental canvass organization, I smoked pot for a few years (did I admit that?), I have voted democrat since I was 16(although I voted for Nader in 2000 & 2004), I have had gay friends for over half my life (probably doesn't mean much to some but for somebody who grew up in the tradition I grew up in, I don't think that's too bad), and I married a woman who had no intention of changing her maiden name.

Today on All Things Considered there was an interview with Andrew Sullivan, a gay, catholic, British conservative who disagrees with what seems like everything the neo-cons and other conservatives believe and say. I skimmed his blog and he makes a lot of sense.

I liked what I heard and I guess if this is what my aunt means by conservative then I can handle it (I should probably read more of what he says before I completely align myself with him).

Wednesday, October 11

East Nashville Politics

My street tends to be pretty apolitical, or at least, there is little overt political discussion. I rarely see yard signs, or even bumper stickers, but earlier this week I was going to the YMCA and a house on my street has a Chris Lugo for Senate sign. Yes, a Green Party supporter on my street. That's exciting to me!

Election Stuff:

Metro Election Commission
East Nashville Green Party
Harold Ford, Jr.
Tennessee Democrats
Tennessee Republicans

Remember, people died so that ALL of us can vote.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what's skillful,
the cleansing of one's own mind:
this is the teaching
of the Awakened.
Dhammapada, 13, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Tuesday, October 10

A Letter to Nashville's Book Lovers

For those who aren't on the Davis Kidd email list.
A Letter to Nashville's Book Lovers
We'll soon be celebrating our one-year anniversary here in the new space at the Green Hills Mall, and we've heard lots of comments along the way -- some applause and also some constructive advice. We thought we'd take a minute to address the comments and questions that we've heard the most:

Why did you move to the Mall?
Davis-Kidd has continued to evolve through many changes over the past 25 years, and we really felt we needed a larger space to provide a more comfortable, more unique shopping environment worthy of our customers. With the exciting changes that have been occurring at Green Hills Mall, we felt it provided us the best option to relocate into a fresh, revitalized new space. Being able to maintain our own store front with parking in front of our store we felt would keep our profile at the level shoppers in Green Hills had come to expect. And with the excellent variety of the nation's best retailers at the mall, it would not only allow us increased exposure to a wider range of shoppers, but it also would provide our customers with multiple shopping opportunities once they made Davis-Kidd their destination.

It's often difficult to find parking in front of the store.
We understand that has been a problem for many of our customers. Being in a high-traffic area is great, but during the evenings and weekends we do realize that parking is a little tight in front of our store. However, many customers have come to realize that if they choose to park in the parking garage on the other side of Macy's, they can find great ease in parking and walk through the Macy's store in sheltered comfort to arrive at our store. We hear only good things from customers that have started to do that.

Why is so much of the new store located downstairs?
As popular as the Green Hills shopping area has become, space is at a premium for retailers. Since we weren't able to build "out," we decided to build "up." We felt that it was important to take a position that allowed us to rent a greater amount of space, because it's a high priority for us that people feel very comfortable lingering in our store. We also felt that our new store design helped us maintain the kind of very unique feel that customers expect from an independent retailer. The last thing we'd ever want to do is lose those special touches that set us apart from the cookie-cutter chains.

It seems that you're not carrying as many books as you used to.
Davis-Kidd has always remained committed to carrying the largest inventory of books in the industry, yet as a small company that can sometimes be a tall order given the amount of books that are being published today. We have made a significant investment over the past couple of years in revamping our purchasing and inventory systems and look for all of that to come together this fall. That has been the number one initiative for us as a company this year and I'm happy to say we anticipate that as we head into the holiday season, our book inventory should be not only back to the level you and I expect, but also with a much better approach to insuring that we have the right assortment of books that our customers are looking for.

I think you will also see us doing much more in the way of targeted merchandising within subject areas in the store. We have the best booksellers in the business (our booksellers actually do read the books!). We are always looking to enhance our ability to highlight titles we believe answer the questions many customers face when standing in a section they are not totally familiar with. What you will notice as a customer is more displays with featured signage highlighting key titles within subsections of book categories.

What other changes are planned?
We're relocating our Events space into a larger spot that will allow for less noisy distractions. We plan to create a large enough area to seat many more people than we could in the old store but also have an atmosphere that is a little more serene. We look forward to providing even more space to highlight our local authors and local products -- one of the sections in our store that we take the most pride in. We believe that what makes Nashville special is what helps make us special as well.

Are you glad you made the move?
Yes! In our new store, we have approximately 20% more space than we had in the old location. This allowed us to enhance our music offerings, something we've always longed to do, given that we are in the music capital of the US! It also allowed us to refurbish and expand our bistro with a large space dedicated for group events, and a private room available for receptions and other special occasions. It already is drawing a lot of interest from groups that want to hold meetings and take advantage of being in a great bookstore, as well as having the opportunity to buy the fare from our wonderful bistro. We foresee using it in more creative ways to bring books and readers together.

More room also means more couches and chairs for people to get comfortable while engaging with books. Additionally, we have given magazines a thorough revamping as it relates to our supply fulfillment strategy. You will see our selection of periodicals increase greatly from the old store as we head into the fall. Finally, and very importantly, we were able to build our own bathrooms!

Davis-Kidd is proud to be one of the most respected book retailers in the nation, and we realize that we could never have achieved 25 years of success without you, our loyal customers. We truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to fill out a comment card, email us, or stop to chat with a bookseller. We've already made several changes based on your suggestions -- such as improving the lighting over the bistro -- and we're always looking forward to hearing from you.

As always, I am available to any of our customers that want to contact me -- and so many do. Please feel free to e-mail me at

Neil Van Uum
Owner, Davis-Kidd Booksellers
I'm glad to see Neil address these issues in a public way. He has always had trouble with the Nashville store (of so he says). The customers have been reticent to change, no matter the change. While a full-time employee I definitely questions some decisions he made but I'm not a business owner so I couldn't say much, I could just question.

I hope DK thrives, it's a wonderful and unique place for employees and customers alike. I highly recommend all book, chocolate and "fancy" soap lovers to shop there.

Wednesday, October 4

Greatest Record Store on the planet!

Grimey's. It's the kind of place to drive people like Tara crazy but I and my record store junkie friends love rummaging through the bins of CDs, LPs and whatever else. If you have to walk over some CD boxes so be it, if you have to move a stack of CDs to get to another stack so be it, you just soak it all in.

Not to mention events like:

Robert Randolph Listening Party – Tuesday, October 10 @ Noon

Join us at noon on a Tuesday for a lunchtime listening party for the new CD from Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Colorblind. It delves even deeper into a Sly Stone/Stevie Wonder funk bag and features guests Dave Matthews and Eric Clapton, but Randolph’s sacred steel stylings are the real show. We’ve got a boatload of hot wings from Mojo Grill on tap, plus some drinks and additional snacks. Skip out for lunch and we’ll feed you while we rock out to Colorblind. The new CD will be on sale and we’ll have some prizes and give-aways as well to sweeten the pot.

HOWARD TATE – Thursday, October 12 @ 6PM

Yet another in-store performance that has me just tingling with excitement! Howard Tate is a veteran soul man who first shook the world with an album on Verve back in 1966 produced by legendary producer/songwriter Jerry Ragovoy (“Piece Of My Heart”, “Cry Baby”, “Time Is On My Side”). Tate’s recording of Ragavoy’s “Get It While You Can” became a classic and led to a cover version by Janis Joplin. Highly regarded by soul music cultists, and virtually unknown by most, Howard Tate is one of those artists that if you don’t know his name, you’ll know his songs that Janis, Jimi, and BB King covered. After hitting the R&B Top 20 three times in the late ‘60s, his career began to wane with personal tragedies, mob ties, and religious conversion before Tate resurfaced in 2003 with the critically-acclaimed Rediscovered CD. Now he’s followed that fine release up with a truly remarkable collection of soul, blues, and pop songs featuring the notable contributions of Lou Reed, Carla Bley, and Steve Swallow. A Portrait Of Howard is a daring mix of originals and covers, including 3 Randy Newman songs and numbers by Burt Bacharach, Nick Lowe, and originals from Tate and producer Steve Weisberg. Please join us next Thursday when Howard Tate will grace us with an in-store set as he passes through town. There is no other gig scheduled at this time (he hopes to come back for a proper club performance perhaps in December) so this is your only chance to hear this soul music legend and his “tremulous, honeyed, yet resoundingly deep pipes.” Don’t miss it!