Though I won’t walk eight more. The kicker was, it was really hot today, though I don’t seem to have gotten sunburned. I’m a bit tuckered out now, certainly, though it was worth it, in the end. It would figure, though, that when I got back after all that effort, we had a really bad dinner, and lunch was bad, too. So I’m hungry now. Unfortunately, I’m also fairly broke now, too.
Wait, why did you walk Eight Miles?
Because I was out of Dr Pepper, and there was a bookstore I’d heard about that I wanted to check out. Said bookstore is the main reason I’m now mostly broke, though the walk to and from the bookstore was only about half of my total walk.
The Best Laid Plans.
Some time ago, I read that a bookstore in Oakland called Dark Carnival imports Terry Pratchett books which are not available in the United States. I had held off going, because, according Yahoo! Maps!, 3086 Claremont was, in fact, in Oakland. It was near a BART station, but I had still been too busy to go. So I was going to finally go before I had to head back to Bakersfield for the summer.
Just to be safe, though, I thought I’d look up the phone number of the store in case I got lost. When I pulled up their listing in the Yahoo! Yellow Pages, I noted that the store was, in fact, in Berkeley, and not in Oakland. So I checked out Yahoo! Maps! again, and This is where it showed me the store was. I figured, “Hey, Cool, that’s not too far away, and I’ve never seen Clark Kerr, so I’ll just walk over there tomorrow.
And those were my plans as I went to sleep. I would get up, eat lunch, walk to Dark Carnival, and then go get some Dr Pepper. It should be noted at this point that Keith recommended me to a Safeway on Shattuck, and so that was where I planned to go. So with that, I went to sleep.
What About all this Walking you Mentioned?
Oh yeah, that. So, feeling pretty good about myself, I set out for… Wait, should I switch to the third person? Feeling pretty good about himself, Benjy set out for… No, that’s not so great, it would get confusing when I became omnipotent and knew what I was thinking.
So, feeling pretty good about myself, I set out for the Clark Kerr campus. Before I ever got there, I decided that living that far from campus was pretty much out of the question, no matter how nice it was. And for the most part, I’d say foothill looks nicer on the outside. Clark Kerr reminded me too much of some places I’ve seen in Southern California for me to really like. The grass was dead in some spots, and it seemed dusty, and it was too huge, and the dominating feature of the landscape was a mountain with dry grass on it.
With my mental image of the Yahoo! Map as my guide, I attempted to locate the bookstore. I got confused pretty quick when I came across Claremont Avenue while I was still walking along the street next to Clark Kerr. But I figured, hey, Claremont Avenue, that’s where I want to be! So I followed Claremont. And I stayed on Claremont until I finally found Dark Carnival. I had to walk a long way on Claremont, though, and by foot, I don’t think that via Clark Kerr is the optimal route to Dark Carnival.
So You Made It, Now What?
I went in. Duh. First impressions are everything, or so I’ve heard, though I’ve never really believed it. My first impressions of this bookstore was “Wow! This place is great!” That was my impression as I left, too, so I don’t know why I distinguish it as my first impression, but I’ll leave that as thought fodder for the reader. I wish this place were closer to campus, though, because if they were, I’d visit them a lot more.
Anyway, it was a fairly archetypical hole in the wall bookstore. They stocked more books than could possibly have fit in the store, and there were little nooks and cranny’s all over. It was great fun, looking around. They even had an iMac up front, along with an older all in one unit on the floor in one corner.
But I was there on a mission, so I made a bee-line for where the Pratchett would be. Before I got ten feet into the store, though, I saw Carpe Jugulum, and knew the place would be great. I decided not to get Carpe Jugulum, though, because it was $42.95. Eventually I found the Pratchett, and was a bit disappointed at first, because all I saw was the American releases I already had. As I was about to leave, I almost kicked over a knee high stack of paperbacks, which upon closer inspection, I realized was the imported Pratchett I was looking for. I quickly sorted through the stack and pulled out all the books I didn’t have.
The only Discworld novel that they didn’t have was Moving Pictures, which, it would figure, was one of the ones I did not have. I also chose not to buy Witches Abroad, because, in theory, that should be being sent to me any day now. What I ended up buying was The Bromeliad, which is a hardback collection of Truckers, Diggers and Wings, for $30.95; The Carpet People, which was co-written by Terry Pratchett, aged 17, and master storyteller Terry Pratchett, aged 43, for $11.95; Strata, which was a novel exploring the idea of the Discworld which was released shortly before The Colour of Magic, for $11.95; and Pyramids, Sourcery and Mort, for $14.95 apiece. Yeah, I blew a bit of money, but it was money I would have spent over the summer anyway, and I feel it is worth it.
Books in Bag, I began my Trek Back Towards Campus
Following the directions given by the apparent owner of the store, I went up the street by the store until I got to College, and followed College towards campus, passed the store with the sign in the window that said “Star Wars Legos”, and eventually got to Telegraph Avenue and got some cash out of the bank.
Wait, Star Wars Legos? And You Walked Past?
Yes, I walked past. Though I didn’t get all the way to Telegraph before I turned around, went in the store, and bought the Naboo Swamp set and the Naboo fighter. If I hadn’t just spent so much money on books, I would have also bought a Sith Infiltrator and a Lightsaber Dual. What a sucker I am, though. The store had the prices marked up on all of the Star Wars merchandise nearly 40%. However, the two sets I bought were still reasonably priced, and the Naboo Fighter has some excellent pieces. Right now, I have a battle droid sitting on my keyboard.
If you’re interested in getting some Star Wars Legos for yourself, and you can’t find them anywhere, I got them from Sweet Dreams/Toys, at 2921 College Avenue.
Lego’s Also In Bag, I then Made My Way to Telegraph
I already told you this part. I got money out of the bank, and headed towards Shattuck Avenue.
At this point, I’d walked about Four Miles
Once I got to Shattuck it was about Five Miles. I stopped in front of Games of Berkeley, and just before going in, I remembered I had just spent around $150, and had no more money to spend. So I began walking down Shattuck in the direction Keith told me Safeway was. Keith had said it was three of four blocks, and I believed him. It’s a few more than that, and it’s also partially uphill. It’s about a mile from Games of Berkeley, making six miles that I’d walked.
Weren’t you tired?
Yes. I walked into the Safeway and found myself face to face with a display advertising a 12 Pack of Dr Pepper for 4.47. I promptly walked out, crossed the street, and bought two twelve packs at 3.37 apiece from Longs. I then had to carry all of that back down to Hearst, making a total of seven miles. And then I carried all of that up Hearst Avenue, making the eighth mile, though that trek up Hearst is so steep it counts for eight miles by itself, especially when you have 24 cans of Dr Pepper in your backpack.