Here are this week’s leftovers. I’m clearing out the refrigerator. If nobody reads them, they’re going in the trash.
The weather here in Dallas the past few days has been beautiful, which is disappointing. By beautiful, I mean it has been in the high 50s (~13 to ~15 C). The sun is so bright one has to wear sunglasses in the car at all times (as I mentioned in a post a few days ago). It is warm enough you don’t want to wear a jacket, but if the breeze picks up to more than one mile per hour, you are suddenly freezing to death. So you have to wear a jacket. But then the sun makes you burn up. In the car, there is so much sunshine pouring in through the windows and heating up the cabin that one sometimes has to turn on the air conditioner, even though it is quite chilly outside. Strange days, indeed.
There was an expedition to Hobby Lobby to pick up something for … some other thing. I can’t remember. I’m a man. I have the memory retention of a gnat. But there I was. As I usually do when at Hobby Lobby, I announce, “I’m going to the man aisle” and I depart thither. Unless a man is a painter or a calligrapher or a scrapbooker or something like that, there is only one aisle in Hobby Lobby that is “man friendly”. We all go there. When a new man appears on this aisle, we do the single head nod at each other. It is our universal greeting. It is our little way of saying, “Hey … welcome to the man aisle.” What is on the Man Aisle, you ask? Car models. Ship models. Airplane models. Glue. Paint. Xacto knives. Toy trains. Slot car racers. Airbrush equipment. I can’t speak for the other men, but I like to look at all the models and think, “I could build that.” And then I think, “If I had any skill. Or patience. Or hand-eye coordination. Or an attention span longer than a gnat.” And then, as if to prove my point, my attention wanders and I find myself reading the label on a package of model putty for no particular reason. All of us who are exiled to the Man Aisle know better than to wander even an aisle away. If we do, we will find ourselves on the jewelry making aisle. Or the caligraphy aisle. The women who are there look up at us as if to say, “Shouldn’t you be in the man aisle?” And so we return to that aisle … even though we’ve all looked at these same models twenty-nine dozen times.
I found myself in Trader Joe’s today. I’m not sure what to make of that place. It is a poky little place that is about a quarter the size of a traditional grocery store. Everything is a little cramped and claustrophobic. There are lots of foods I don’t recognize from companies I’ve never heard of. Packaging is simple and generic looking. Some of it looks like it might have been made in someone’s garage. There are a lot of interesting people there. Hipsters, mostly. And little old ladies in fur stoles carrying tiny dogs, looking for all the world like aged stars from the silent movie era. Lots of men with gray ponytails. Everyone is talking on their cell phones. I mean … EVERYONE. Nearly everyone in the store looks down on their luck, but the vast majority of them go out and get into BMWs, Lexus’, Audis, etc. I really have no idea what is going on there. Such an odd vibe. They have excellent chocolate covered raisins, though!
I went to Half Price Books today to “sell” them some of my old books that I no longer want. It was quite a load! I didn’t weigh it, but I’d estimate I took them 20 to 30 pounds of books. There were all sorts of things; anything from old computer games, to paperbacks, to college textbooks. Even a set of encyclopedias! Now, I know the drill at HPB. They’re there to make money. They sell stuff very cheap, so I don’t expect to be able to retire at what they pay me for my old books. Today I got a little over ten dollars for my books, so about fifty cents a pound. That is a fair price to pay to save myself the pain and anguish and guilt of throwing books into the recycling bin. I just can’t bring myself to do it. So I pay HPB to do it for me.
The doorbell rang today, causing widespread panic and confusion. The doorbell never rings. No one visits anyone here in Dallas. Besides, doorbells are an anachronism. People just text nowadays and say, “We’re here!” I had almost forgotten what the doorbell sounded like. At first I was like, “What is that weird bonging sound?” Then I realized it was the doorbell. So I answered it. There was no one there. There were no packages laying by the doorstep. I walked out to the street and looked both ways. No one was in sight. No cars were driving away. Then I caught a flash of red jacket catty cornered across the street. Two boys in their early teens were darting away. It was just a prank. I wasn’t upset. I was just amazed that kids still do that. I thought that died out in the 1970s. I’m glad to see kids nowadays showing some gumption.
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