In Which Our Heroine Avoids Elvis

14 March 2004

So I finished drafting "Carter Hall Recovers the Puck" yesterday morning, and we got cleaned up and headed out to brunch with Stella, Mike, Roo, and Matt-from-Pittsburgh. The stuffed triceratops, now named Tri, was apparently a big hit with the Roo, second only to the excitement of having carpet in the wee hours of the morning. (I really wish I knew what was going on in those little heads sometimes. They've had carpet for awhile, from what I understand.) Good time at brunch, some interesting tidbits shared, and it fortified us for what was to come next.

Mark and I braved Bigdale on a Saturday.

Oh, we are brave. Oh, the better part of courage is foolishness. Bigdale. Mall of America. On a Saturday. Noooooo no no no no, foolish mortals. Well. But we needed a water softener, and I was not entirely convinced that all spring clothing this year stinks. The answer on that one is, not quite. Some of it stinks only for me. If you have the coloration to wear extremely pale blues or bright yellows and not fade into the background, you can cobble together enough garments not to have to go naked. Or if you like red and don't already have much of it. Or if your taste is significantly different from mine, or if you want clothes for a different age group or sex or category than mine. (I don't know, maybe the petites have great stuff this year. Maybe the larger women's clothes are fabulous. I saw bright pink in the windows of Torrid and Lane Bryant, though, so I do not hold out hope on that last one.)

I got two sweaters for $10 each, not what we went for but a good deal for next year. (Or this morning: it's flurrying again.) I got pants for $19.50 -- argh! Because the Limited is a bunch of jerks who hate me personally. When Mom and I were shopping at Bigdale before Christmas, we went to the Limited. They told us of their new theory: they were going to name the different cuts of pants they carry, and I could just go try them on, find out which cut fits me, and then buy that in different styles/colors/fabrics. Fabulous. They actually had one that fit me: I was an Avery size 2 regular length. Hurray! I got a pair of grey pants for Christmas. All was well. (Again for British readers: trousers. Slacks. Sorry.)

So when I got there yesterday, I saw other names written on their wall displays. Not Avery. I found a sad little rack of the grey pants I already own. Eventually I found two more sad little racks, one khaki and one black. On sale for $19.50 per pair. I had a sinking feeling. "Oh, they're phasing the Avery fit out," said the sales clerk. "But the Aubrey fit should be real similar." See, here's the thing: if you were going for "just try stuff on, and the fit should be sort of similar," why did you taunt me with this name thing? Why tell me that I would just be able to come back and buy pants in different styles and colors, only to yank it out from under my feet? Why why why? Do you see why I say these people have a personal vendetta against me? They didn't discontinue the other fits! Just mine! Argh!

The real scariness of Bigdale had nothing to do with pants, though. Oh dear. There was, in one corner, an Irish folk band. This was not a rockin'-out-the-reels kind of an Irish folk band. This was a quiet-and-mournful kind of Irish folk band by nature. With the amps cranked up beyond the distortion point. So pleasant. So charming. And then, halfway down one of the corridors from them, there was a stage with series of Elvis impersonators in some kind of contest. Also cranked up past the distortion point. And some of them knew fewer of the words to the songs they were singing than I do, and I don't even like Elvis. Also you would walk past Elvii in the middle of your normal shopping. Because Bigdale isn't scary enough.

At least we have some cheap clothes and a water softener on the way. And Mark got some tea. Still. It is to shudder.

So. Yeah. I finished reading Two-Bit Heroes (fun, light fantasy/SF) and went on to Kij Johnson's Fudoki. I think I may have misjudged The Fox Woman (misinterpreting a deep appreciation for textiles as a shallow appreciation for Japanese culture), so we'll see if I feel significantly differently about Fudoki. It's worth a shot, at least, from the library. I'm going to have a lot of stuff to renew from the library this time around: the Ash books ate my brain, and I wanted to read some of the stuff I borrowed from Stella, too. They have convenient online renewals. Yay.

I edited up a bit of "Carter Hall Recovers the Puck," checking for proximate repetitions and dropped references/plot points. I noticed in myself an unfortunate tendency to have people charge down the ice, and tried to remove it. I worked on the Not The Moose. It was a fine evening. After the Elvises and the overloud Irish band and the clothing debacle, quiet and home was what I needed. And today, too, with the wind rattling the windows: we'll go to church and come home again and stay warm and dry and Elvis-free.

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