"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

Do you see this?

Any guesses as to what it might be? Hmmm?

No, it's not a Magic Eye poster from the '90s, it's not an M.C. Escher piece reenacted with vehicles, it's the Black Friday madness that occurs every year on the day after Thanksgiving. Any guesses on what time I snapped the photo? If you said 5:15 in the morning, you'd be right.

To some people Black Friday is game time. The Type A within comes out fighting for a parking space, fighting to enter the store, and fighting to grab that prized item from the sales flyer before they all disappear. You would think someone like me, who lives in a house across from the shopping Thunderdome would be first in line for that party. You would think someone who frequents Target two to three times a week would be there in the middle of it. You would also be wrong.

It's just really, really not worth it. I love shopping in brick and mortar stores, and I prefer the instant gratitude of picking up an object, inspecting it, and standing in line (well, okay not this part), but I like going, buying and going home with the item all in a span of under an hour. Internet shopping requires a wait. It also involves a degree of risk. If it doesn't fit in the store, you know right away. If it doesn't fit and you bought it online, there is a small amount of hand wringing until your return is processed and the money is credited back to you account. If the alternative is facing the madness pictured above, then I'll take the risk. That image might look like a bunch of cars defying the logic of spacial reasoning. That might look like a welcome challenge to a hardcore holiday shopper. To me, it looks like a glimpse into hell.


Blowing off the dust

I'm still here, I just haven't posted in awhile. I have a new job, but it's not keeping me any busier than usual, it just seems that the longer I stay away from writing, the less inclined I am to write. Every day I think of something I could write about, but then a few days pass and it doesn't seem quite as interesting or appealing anymore.

New job is great. I can not get over some of the perks, even small things like no vending machines in sight because the fridge is loaded with juice and soda for everyone to take. It seems so trivial to get excited about it. I used to not be able to find a plastic spoon on days when I flaked and forgot the spoon for my morning oatmeal. The supply room didn't even have any, but there were boxes and boxes of coffee stirrers for the taking. You either had to improvise or hope that a co-worker would be merciful and share from the secret stash of plasticware in his desk drawer. Oh, and plastic knives don't seem to run out at the same rate of spoons and forks. I forgot my spoon and decided to check out the kitchen at the new place. I opened the cabinets first, thinking there might be some in a wayward box. No luck. I opened the lower cabinets. Nothing there. I opened a drawer and--gasp--they had knives, forks and spoons, there for the taking. Believe me when I tell you I wanted to cry. They had spoons!

I've been driving too. Taking metro has been a source of entertainment for about five years but it's not the best option for me now. There is a station one mile from my job but adding that walk to the rest of the trip--well, it just would eat up a lot of time, so I drive now. It's just me, my car, my music and the million other idiots in their cars around me. I hate seeing the miles rack up on my car. Wear and tear, I think, every time I witness the odometer turning a new number. The nice thing about public transit is that if something breaks, it's not your problem. Yes, I know, I pay my fare, and I pay my taxes, but I'm not the one making the maintenance appointments and paying the hefty fee. I know this is what cars are for--to be used, not to be spirited away behind garage doors like some kind of heirloom, but at the same time I would like to keep my car as long as possible. Enter the beater.

I haven't bought it yet, it's just an idea for now. I want something boring and reliable, but able to keep up in traffic. Something that won't make me wince when I see its first door ding. Something else to take on the wear and tear. The other idea would be to move closer to work. What a novel concept. Stay tuned!

Okay, no, don't stay tuned, it will be months before anything is certain.

I will keep you posted.