In Which Our Heroine Drives All Over Creation

20 October 2003

After the third or fourth time in a weekend something unexpectedly turns into an adventure, one begins to suspect that one is the issue oneself, rather than the events around one.

Well, this one does.

Yesterday the adventures came in finding the grocery store and the Target. They were supposed to be right next to each other, and before Timprov went to sleep, I asked him where they were. He said Mark had put a dot in our map book and labeled it "Cub," and I should just look at the map and go from there. Okay then. Well. It turns out that Mark had put two Cub dots on the map: one the proper Cub Foods, with a Target near it, and the other when we were looking at another house. So I ended up driving clear to the other end of Inver Grove Heights to get groceries. I kept thinking, "This doesn't look like the way we went last week...this doesn't look like the way we came home last week, either...was that sign for Hastings?...I really don't think this is right." But the roads were all going past in the proper order, so I kept going, and it was a lovely fall drive.

I arrived. It was clearly the wrong Cub. (And I yelled at it from my car: "You! You are the wrong Cub!") Also, it had no Target. And the Target near the Cub we went to last week is a secret stealth Target, not listed in the phone book, so I knew I couldn't just go home and look it up. So I did my grocery shopping and came all the way back, and it was still a shorter trip than driving to Trader Joe's would have been in Hayward. The pharmacy had filled my prescription even though I asked them to file but not fill it, and since I'll need the refill in another week and a half anyway, I decided to just pick it up. There's an Office Depot very near the Walgreen's (and both are near here -- two minutes away), so I went to look at the bookshelves they had listed on sale in their flier in the paper. Meh. The bookshelves were froofy. We needed bookshelves. And soon.

Sooooo...I knew there was a Target down south on Cedar Ave., because we went there last week before we found out that the stealth Target was near the Cub Foods. It was Clear The Heck, but...bookshelves. Needed. So. I asked the pharmacist what was the fastest way to get to Cedar Ave. going south. She told me to go north on 35E, then west on 494, and then take the Cedar Ave. exit south. Well and good. I did so. And as I was crossing the river, I started yelling in the car again: "Oh, noooooo! Walgreen's lady, you so stupid!" Because there was no way that crossing the river and coming back over it again was the most efficient way to get there. (This is the Minnesota River, for those of you not familiar with Twin Cities geography and Eagan's place therein. It was gorgeous.) I did get on the right road going in the right direction, and then I passed the 35E Cedar Ave. exit two or three exits south of where I'd started out on 35E ("Oh, Walgreen's lady, you suck pond scum!") and kept going south. Finally got to Target. Realized that the reason I hadn't bought some of the stuff on the list there last week is that I didn't really like what they had. (We got the only doormat I liked, for example, and the towels were just not it.) But I got three bookcases. Could have fit the other three in the car at the time, but, y'know, hindsight. Better to make a second trip than to find I couldn't fit them all. I'll go back again soon, once we have the bookcases up.

C.J. and his folks stopped by with pumpkin dessert and helped us get the bookcases into the house, and I finished reading Archangel Protocol, which didn't really have an ending per se. More a beginning of something else. And since there are two something elses published already, I can't get too upset about that. A little bit, but not too much. (They published this, I am reading in Lyda's FAQ, as a standalone. Huh? They left it at [spoiler, spoiler, also spoiler], and it was supposed to be done? Well, at least she wanted to write more.) Now I'm reading Paladin of Souls, just barely at the beginning.

And working. And doing house stuff. And running errands. Of course. I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things with work, and a library run is going to be in order. (Because what I need is more books around the house. But these will be research books for my contract work and thus will be things I have to read. So.) I'm not sure how much fiction, how much contract work, and how much house stuff I'll be doing in the next few weeks, as long as a blanket answer of "lots" isn't allowed. Sigh. Lots of stuff.

One of the happy adjustments here is that I don't have to set aside an hour for library commute time, plus whatever time I want to spend at the actual library. I think that made me a lot more organized about my library time in California, but the library is a ten-minute round-trip from here in the car. Absolute maximum. I'm not sure there are any stoplights between here and there. Same with the bank, the post office, everything. So I have to readjust my ideas of how long things will take. I don't have to set aside a three hour block to go to the library, the bank, and the post office. That's refreshing.

And I know that not everyone in California lives in a circumstance where that's the case. I'm not trying to claim that everyone's Bay Area experience is identical. I'm just describing mine. I've had to explain to several readers on e-mail recently that it's not that there was something wrong with California, it's that there was something wrong with California for me and for us. There were some very good things about it, but it was not the place for us to live. And I will be very glad to get Mark back from it for good.

So. Anyway. Monday, right? Monday. I can do Monday. Fortified with white-cranberry-peach juice and a knowledge of where the correct Target is. Forward!

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