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We hit one of our favorite weekend haunts today – Half Price Books.  They have an online store but in reality the deals are where you can walk in, grab the goodies and walk out sans shipping costs.  Every now and then you make a spectacular find and today was my Golden Egg.

You might be surprised by what I consider a find, though.  It’s not trashy romance nor pseudo-psychology, psychic phenomenon or whatever.  I walked out with a beauty called The Complete Guide to Calligraphy.  Couldn’t even find a picture of the book cover online, though Amazon lists the thing for sale.  It’s a hardcover book that details techniques and more and I love, love, LOVE it!

I fell in love with calligraphy long before I knew there was such a thing.  In high school, one of my biology classes gave BORING a bad name.  Whilst sitting through countless wasted hours of Jacques Cousteau films (most of which I’d already seen a good dozen times, not exaggerating) I decided to try and figure out how to replicate the Old English type I’d seen now and again.

About two weeks into that exercise, my guidance counselor spied my doodles and I was conscripted (happily) to hand-letter some of the top senior awards for the school.  A couple of years later similar doodles garnered me $150 to hand-address some invitations to a fancy-schmancy party at a doctor’s place.

No, I’m not interested enough to try and turn it into a vocation (or a job).  I still get a kick out of it for its own sake.  And this book was, to my way of thinking, a real find.  Calligraphy books tend to be limited at best and anything this well-done is definitely tough to find.  My score is a large hardback with gorgeous illustrations.  Getting it for $3 was just icing on the cake.  The dust cover’s a bit rough but the book itself is like new.  Now I need to invest in a good pen, some India ink and a good set of nibs.  Fortunately they’re reasonably priced at Michael’s.

I also picked up a couple of other reference books – one on Celtic archaeology and one on making money with IT.  We already have a good running start on the latter.  G’s been quietly building a project that’s got the potential to turn into a nice, tidy money-maker.  It’s based on a very simple principle, caters to a very specific (and woefully under-served) market, and we discussed taking the same principle and duplicating it to a different market as well.  If we can do what we hope with it, it could be the breakthrough that allows me the luxury of semi-retirement, backing my work-week down to just a few hours here and there, and working from home on my schedule instead of driving to Timbuktu and back at o’dark thirty every day.

My sis pointed me to something that may be a Godsend, too.  Her massage therapist recommended she use magnesium oil for her carpal tunnel.  The therapist also said she recommends it to her arthritis patients.

There’s a great deal of frustration with being in constant pain; you’re told exercise will help, but when you exercise and it leaves you immobilized, you just want to bitch slap the doctor for suggesting it. I was on my feet most of the past two days and while I still have a little pain, the difference is monumental.  For normal people after a heavy workout you get stiff but you work through it and you’re okay.  For me after just a moderate degree of exercise I was literally incapable of straightening my leg for two solid weeks, and nothing would alleviate the ache.

With this stuff, after a couple of days of walking (far more than I’d done in forever, I might add) I was stiff as ever – but NOT in relentless pain.  Which means I can keep moving enough to work through the stiffness and come out on the other side.

So yeah, seriously jazzed about that.  Doubly so because it’s cheaper than the useless prescriptions my MD’s been tossing at me.  Probably a lot safer, too.  That doesn’t mean I’m dumping the MD or letting other aspects go (Poolie, I heard and am paying attention.)  It does, however, allow me to sleep through the night again!

One other book score today was kind of an accident.  It was a $1 book that I picked up after misreading the title.  Turned out it was actually better than I’d thought I was getting.  More about that later.  For now I’m calling it a night and going to take advantage of lying down and feeling reasonably well for a change!

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