wwcitizen: (Best Zoolander)
The other day while I was shopping at this clothier, a good-looking, well-built Italian guy looked me over. I thought from the way he was looking at me – very intensely with interest in his eyes – that he was kind of hitting on me. I nodded and went on about looking through the ties, but kept an eye on him. I thought, “Oh, he’s looking at my pink paisley tie. Hmm… Wonder if he likes it.”

He kept looking at me, up and down, trying to catch my eye again, so I finally said, “Hey. How’s it going?”

He nodded, said, “Good, thanks, You?” and gave me a very nice, handsome smile, and even blushed a little – maybe cuz I spoke to him and was a bit bigger with a deep voice. Don’t know.

Just then his girlfriend, wife, significant other, or just his female friend helping him shop approached from out of nowhere and asked, “Excuse me, I know you don’t work here, but could I ask you a question?”

I said, “Sure! Shoot!”

“We’re going to a wedding. As guests; we’re not getting married. Do you think this suit is a good look for him? Does it fit?”  (yes, that was two questions, but not bothered…)

The single-breasted, 2-button suit was black with medium white pinstripes. Noticeable pinstripes, but not overpowering.  I replied, “Well, it’s interesting and looks like something you’d wear to a more formal occasion, like a wedding, sure; not for an interview.  What are you going for? Is this a black tie affair, or just a normal wedding with friends and family?”

“Normal wedding. No black tie, but do you think a black tie would go good with this?” she countered. “We’re wanting a sort of retro look.”

These simple questions and the guy’s ultimately sheepish and accepting attitude told me everything I needed to know: They needed a gay.

I got the guy to try on the jacket, which was too long overall, but fit on the shoulders just fine. I had him hug her saying, “Pretend like you like her and give her a hug.”

He gave her one of the most uncomfortable, unnatural hugs I’ve ever seen in person! All the while, both of them were looking at me for some sort of approval and no smiles.  The hug was a reality-TV-unapologetic-apology uncomfortable hug. Oh, and they never explained their relationship to one another – even after that uncomfortable hug!  It’s truly immaterial, I realize, but I observe these things and take note out of socio-psychological interest.  Maybe she wasn’t really his girlfriend at all and I made them do something they really didn’t want to do. Or maybe she HAD been his girlfriend and they were obligated to go to this wedding as a couple because they’d replied with the other as the “plus one” before they broke up. And this wedding was the last thing they were going to do together as a couple and he had needed her help to get a suit and she was the only one he trusted to make him look good. Or… Meh! Who cares? The hug just seemed really uncomfortable and unnatural.

The shirts they were looking at were too big for his neck and too long for his sleeves.  So, I found a nice white black pinstripe shirt that fit him better, a black/white Ben Sherman skinny tie that was a very fine, retro-looking criss-cross, and black braces – with clamps so that he didn’t need brace buttons sewn into his pants.  I instructed them to find a similar suit in a short size rather than regular (the guy was about 5’8”). 

I must say, the outfit looked really good. I would have worn it!  I forgot to mention black dress shoes, but I did tell the guy, “NEVER wear those braces with belt. Braces and belts serve the same purpose, so look silly worn together on the same outfit; it’s one or the other and the braces will look really much better than a belt. Plus, if you’re ‘between’ sizes as you say, braces will help you avoid alterations for now.”

They thanked me and we parted to go on about our business. The guy kept looking at me, smiling, and nodding even after they were on the other side of the area, so I’m still uncertain what his and their story was.  In the end, it’s unimportant. Plus, this exchange was just getting a tad creepy at that point.

Just then, someone else, another woman, rounded the corner and asked me whether “that shirt (pointing) went with this tie”. I asked a couple of questions, offered some suggestions, and escaped the store with just a couple of purchases.

The next day, as Matthew and I were driving home, we stopped there again because two shirts I had seen the previous day had been on my mind all day long. I had to get them.  I found about three other shirts, too, that I hoped would be there in my size. The evening before, I just had to leave quickly after spending too much time helping other people.

But, just as Matthew and I were finishing our shirt selections, a divorced mother of two approached us and pleaded, “Excuse me, I know you don’t work here, but could I ask you a question?”

She was looking for a suit for her 13-yr-old son’s picture day at school, and eventually his confirmation in the spring of 2014. It seemed that the kid hadn’t been too cooperative with his mother or helping her out at all. She, too, needed a gay.

We took her and the kid, Justin, over to the suits section he needed (42S). Her budget was around $150 – for the entire outfit: suit, shirt, tie, and alterations (which she had forgotten about). In her hand, she already had about $200 worth of clothes without a shirt and tie! 

We gingerly took them out of her grasp. Matthew said, “Honey, I’ll go get a cart for our stuff; you go and do like you do. Help these people.”  He looked at her and said, “He’s really good; listen to him!”

I started showing her some suits – on her son – and gave them both lots of suggestions about fabric, designers, wear, clothing etiquette, and style. In the end, the entire outfit we picked for her was – tops - $125, leaving her with a $10 pants cuff (so they can let them out if he grows in the next year or two) to organize with her local dry cleaners. His new outfit was still under her budget and they could get dinner at a diner together!  Very happy all around. It was a smart, solid medium gray suit, white dress shirt (you can NEVER have enough white dress shirts!), and a gray/white/purple striped Ben Sherman tie.  The kid likes purple a LOT.

She thanked us so heartily and gave me a 10% coupon she had in her purse. She insisted she had another one in her car (her son went out to get it) and left us looking like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders.  The kid seemed very excited about his clothes, too, which was a huge change from when we first met him.

Matthew and I returned to the tie area and were starting to go to the home goods section, when another woman approached me and asked about her husband’s shirt size. Her husband wasn’t with her. UGH!!  I said, “Men’s clothes are complicated, huh?” 

I helped her and gave her some suggestions.  She nodded impishly and shrugged her shoulders, “Yes! I didn’t know where to start and you really helped!” 

I said, “Glad to help! Bring your husband next time, so you can make sure you get the right stuff for him.”

Then I told Matthew we HAD to leave that area. Otherwise, we would have been spending our entire evening helping clueless shoppers!!  We went over to the home goods section and had some fun with stuff and checked out. When I used the lady’s coupon, the discount came up for about $4.50 – the price of a nice cup of Starbucks!  Not all the things I had picked out were part of the discount that the coupon covered. Nonetheless, it was a sweet gesture and every bit of savings helps, right?

Matthew and I did our good deeds for the week. He also suggested that the next time I plan to go to that store that I bring my tape measure. Tee hee!
wwcitizen: (Pumpkins)
Friends of ours and we went to the NY Renaissance Faire on Sunday in Tuxedo, NY. We'd all been there before, but it was a few years ago and never all together in a big group. This was really fun because there were six of us all with different interests - except for the food. We all enjoyed the meats and the mead as well as some beer.

One of my goals was to get some new Renaissance garb for my mediocre "collection". Clarification: I do not intend or want to become a Ren Faire aficionado... ever. I enjoy using the pieces for dress up at Halloween. In fact, the last bits I bought were for my costume in 2008 when Matthew and I went to Disney for Halloween.  So, that was my goal.

Problem with this year was that yesterday (Sunday) was the very last day of the festival. All the shopkeepers were tired and ready to be done with it all. They were clearly and verbally exhausted (a few of them actually told me directly how exhausted they were and to "help myself" in looking around and trying things on).  One of the shops I just left outright because, even though I'd spent a good 20 minutes looking through stuff and trying things on - clearly trying to buy something - the shopkeepers just couldn't be bothered. There were three of them and when I asked them a question, not only did they kind of look through me after I asked them something, but then one of them - finally - answered with this very quiet, timid voice that I had to lean in to hear because of some noise from outside.  VERY irritating.

In the end, I got some horns, a new doublet (being altered), some loungey pants, a mask, and LOTS and LOTS of great food - even a turkey leg!  I proceeded to wear my new horns to dinner at a diner on the way home. That afforded me lots of fun attention from the wait staff, adults, and kids alike. Some of the adults had kid-like expressions on their faces, even, after their double and triple takes.  Fun!
wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
About a year ago, Matthew bought us an 8-cup ZeroWater filtering system. We had tried multiple filters over the years, but never really stuck to them. The absolute worst experience we had with the filtering systems was the PUR faucet filter. We threw it out within 6 months, I think.  We had been drinking the water straight out of our faucet for years and even did from time to time after trying out different filters. I had a Brita filtering system for years, but it was just a PITA, so we got away from it.

Test Scenario
This last month, I set up a test scenario because I wanted to know how much water we drank daily using the filter. I was also wondering why we were all of a sudden going through filters hand over fist - like two filters a month! The "test" was that each time we filled up the basin to filter water into the 8-cup pitcher, we ticked off a mark on a little pad.  We discovered that we drink at least 40 cups of water a day! This is, of course, including coffee, water itself, tea, and drink mixes (e.g. 4C drink mixes with Splenda). We also use the filtered water for steaming veggies and fish as well as for boiling things - even eggs! Who needs extra metals sneaking into our food?

Filtration & Measurements
The filtration system removes all sorts of metals and are certified specifically to remove lead and chromium, but also can remove chloramine, flouride, uranium, and other inorganic compounds.  The pitcher and filters we ordered and received came with a
TDS meter that determines how many "Total Dissolved Solids" are in the water before and after filtration. Prior to the hurricane last fall, our tap water was measuring in at around 230 parts per million. Our tap water now measures 350 parts per million TDS, which is substantially worse for some unknown reason. It is possible that the NJ water contains more chloramine than our neighboring states, which will substantially reduce the efficacy of our filters more quickly.

As a point of reference, Manhattan's awesome tap water is approximately 5-10 parts per million! So, as long as the tap isn't coming through lead pipes, the Manhattan water is really good. Our water? Not so much. The reported average TDS in our area of NJ is 100 (which I think is very wrong). Matt's sister's water about 20 minutes north of us reads at around 249 ppm. Once filtered through a brand-new filter, though, the water TDS measures in at 0-1 ppm.


When the ZeroWater filters are full of filtered metals, water still comes through them. After about a week or so of regular filtration, we start testing the water. We throw the filters out once the TDS reading is around 20 ppm because the water starts smelling and tasting funky. If the water filter actually breaks (internally), the filters dump all the metals they filtered out into the pitcher that we're going to drink!!  Seems like bad design or a design flaw, but we're now aware of it. Our tap water smells like chlorine and bleach to begin with and when the filters break, we usually know it before we taste it. Yes. We've tasted the water after a filter has broken. IT.CANNOT.BE.SWALLOWED. It's so disgusting.

Cost Analysis
The ZeroWater filters are not cheap. In the store (e.g. Bed, Bath & Beyond or online), they can be about $15 apiece! We get them via Amazon's subscription service, which replenishes our stores every three months at about $8.50 per filter.  But, frankly, part of our test was determining whether filtering our water using ZeroWater was less expensive than just buying bottled water. A couple of weeks ago, we had to buy bottled water (in gallons) because we ran out of filters before the subscription kicked us out a new supply.

We even tested the water straight out of the gallon jugs for the fun of it. Spring water from Maine measured in at about 25 ppm and spring water from Pennsylvania measured in at 50-65 ppm. And the amount of TDS differed from jug to jug on all accounts.  Poland Spring (from ME) tasted the best.

Bottled water here (natural spring water is what we chose) costs anywhere from $1.50-$1.75 per gallon.  For the equivalent consumption of 40+ cups a day, we're paying slightly more than half the cost of an equivalent supply of bottled water. We're actually saving money using the ZeroWater filters!!

Environmental Savings
We're also saving the environment from all those bottles.The problem I have always had with bottled water was the bottles or gallon jugs. They get thrown away. Even if there's a promise of recycling them,  the plastic is still around. The ZeroWater company provides a recycling program themselves. All you have to do is ship back the filters to the company's Texas facility. Then they send you coupons for your next purchase, which can be used at Bed, Bath and Beyond or on the ZeroWater online store.

Better Health
Matthew and I have determined that by drinking more filtered water, we are thinking more clearly and sleeping more soundly than ever before. Our skin is also reaping the benefits of drinking better water.  We have paired up drinking more ZeroWater at close to 0 ppm with drinking less Splenda-sweetened drinks and removing all Aspartame (you make your judgement) from our diet; i.e. no drinks or food sweetened with NutraSweet or sweeteners containing Aspartame. We find ourselves drinking water straight more often than not now and can tell that our health is improving, which is an added bonus!

The end of the story is, use filters for your water, especially if you drink bottled water. It will save the environment from plastics.  If you have to choose a filter, Matthew and I recommend ZeroWater due to the better taste of the resulting, cleaner water, and its probable good health effects.

HAPPY EARTH DAY 2013!!
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wwcitizen: (Cooking Lion)
Matthew watches this fabulous Korean religiously.  I can hear the videos when he's watching her - her voice is kind of high and she reminds me of shopping at one of our local H Marts.  Her name is Maanchi. She has both a website (with a store, of course) and a YouTube channel.  Sometimes when she cooks and explains what she's cooking (or has cooked), she wears a fascinator.

(I secretly wish sometimes that they made fascinators for men, but I don't think they'd catch on here.)    
wwcitizen: (US - Gay Politics)
For those unaware of the ultra right-wing, Tea Party-backing, Bush-loving group of women One Million Moms, the funny part is that their Facebook fan page has only around 40,000 likes as of this posting. The first time I'd ever heard of One Million Moms was on Facebook. They posted this picture, which is not clear and I can't find it anywhere else on the web or on Macy's website for their fliers:

I've been holding back on an LJ posting on this particular issue simply because I don't want to give voice to One Million Moms, who I feel are helping in holding this country back from its true potential as a nation.

Their post stated "Sorry, not the best photo (but the best we have), and better than nothing...Macy's new Bridal Registry Ad." Granted, a weak start to more than 230 anti-gay and bloated religious comments, along with about 50 shares.

I thought, "I'll give this a go," and "liked" the page in order to comment on the post. By the time I commented, there were around 100 different comments already and this was my comment:

"You sound like terrible, hate-filled, and hateful mothers!! Granted, only 38k, not a million... I shudder to think of the gay children that God placed in YOUR care and households because there will be limited love in them - limited by hypocrisy, bigotry, spiritual myopia, and archaic theology. Open your minds and spirits to God's truths and relinquish your years of brainwashing.

You're the kinds of mothers under whose care 1000s of children commit suicide because they're gay. There is every possibility that your child has read this post, is gay, and could very likely consider suicide after reading about how his mother feels about her child. Consider the consequences of your words and hate.

For the record, God did create Adam and Eve. And Adam & Steve, Bonnie & Julie, Jane & Susie, Naomi & Ruth, and Nancy & Melonie. And you say you're Christians... children of God? Much like Anne Rice, confronted with people like you, I'm saddened that God accepts even YOU into our family. With you in the fold, I'd rather call myself simply a follower of Christ before saying I'm "Christian". You spew hatred and wickedness with such ease."

Of course within a couple of days, the owners of the page blocked me from the group so that I couldn't comment any longer and removed my comment. BUT, at least my comment was sent to at least 100 people who commented before me and possibly 100s more saw my comment before it was removed. One can only hope.

When Matt and I are finally able to get married legally in NJ, we're going to register at Macy's, of course.
wwcitizen: (Best Zoolander)
We typically go through our clothes about once a year and thin things out in preparation for the following year's clothing debauchery. However, we didn't really do that this past year, even though we had the time. Granted, about a month ago, I took about 6 sweaters I hadn't worn in over two years to GoodWill (for the tax write-off), but that's so clearly not enough!!

This past weekend, Matt and I put all this new furniture together that we had been ordering for the last couple of months. Finally, all the pieces arrived ON FRIDAY - all together over the course of the day! We got:
  • New bar furniture in the kitchen
  • New shelving for Matt's bathroom
  • A 2-door armoire for the dressing area for a linen closet
  • A 3-door armoire for the bedroom as both a shoe solution and new shelves for me
Everything worked out wonderfully and it all looks great.  The only problem was the amount of stuff I have: We were under the impression and driven by the hope that many of my clothing/shoes storage issues would be solved by my 3-door armoire. As I was moving my clothes out of the previous armoire onto the bed, I noticed that I was in trouble; there wasn't going to be enough room for it all in the new armoire! I have too many pairs of jeans and WAY too many t-shirts and shorts.

[livejournal.com profile] spikejrt's post this morning reminded me that I need to go through and thin things out a bit, but his post mentioned something else: Not buying any new clothes for a year.  I like that thought; I don't need new clothes. If we were able not to buy any new clothes for a year (not a New Year's resolution by any stretch), we would certainly be able to extract things that we don't wear in a given year more readily. PLUS, it would force us to use the clothes we have.

I made a promise to myself, with Matt's prodding, that for every visit to DSW with the intention of buying a new pair of shoes, I would have to get rid of three pairs at home.  I was good about that and actually did it about four times.  Then, this past summer, I stumbled across an amazing sale at the Kenneth Cole outlet in Upstate NY. I walked out of there with 7 new pairs of designer shoes for about $120. In retrospect, it would have been smart of me simply to buy a whole bunch of the shoes and donate them directly to charity without thinking about it, but that didn't happen. Instead, the other 2/3s of the new 3-door armoire that was supposed to be my end-all-be-all shoe storage solution isn't what it was supposed to be - fully.  Ho hum.  I'll have to dive in there and get rid of more... and then NOT BUY ANY.

Anyone need a new wardrobe with size 12 shoes?  Photo uploads aren't working properly today or else I would have posted some pictures. So, those will have to wait till later. 
wwcitizen: (At Puter)
It was surprising to discover that Amazon.com doesn't have "partner" or "domestic partner" as an option to select from their "Relationship" drop-down box in their Gift Organizer. Granted, they might have their headquarters in a state that allows same-sex marriage; there's also the philosophy of "Be the change you want to happen," as pointed out by my partner.

Still, I'm sending Amazon a note today to encourage them to add that option to the drop-down list. The gender drop-down already exists, so "husband" or "wife" isn't necessary. And, gay or not, it's an important distinction as even straight folks can have domestic partnership without getting married and being "husband" or "wife" to the other. :-)

(pssst... the title of this post implies that I have a beef with Amazon and a bone to pick with them...)
wwcitizen: (At Puter)
Got this note from the bookstore in Greenville in response to my email to them about the shipping costs vs. the shipping time. I hedged my bets in contacting the guy and expected nothing more from him. But, this came along!
_________________________________________________________________

Stephen,

I am sorry you were unsatisfied with your experience with us. I have issued a refund of $3.99 for the shipping price on one book.

I ship all my orders via USPS Media Mail. All my book listings show this in checkout: my standard shipping period is from 4 to 14 days. For standard shipping Amazon.com automatically charges a flat rate of $3.99 per book.

Again, my apologies and I hope you have a happy holiday.

DE Books
_________________________________________________________________

YIPPEE!! It does pay to speak out! If not for your own personal vindication, but in the hopes that others do the right thing. Now this guy gets positive feedback.

The guy didn't go to school with me, though. I removed his name "to protect the innocent."

Happy holidays, indeed!
wwcitizen: (Santa Steve)
Most of my Christmas gifts get ordered online anymore. Ordering online, as you know, lessens holiday stress, saves gasoline & mileage, and just makes the whole experience fun in my book.

Speaking of books, one of the presents I got is a book (not revealing which book or for whom because sometimes my family reads my public posts - knowing one of my sisters, though, she'll go filing through their books to see which one it might be. Good luck, Deborah!!). Because the book is now out of print, I looked on eBay and Amazon through their extra sellers.

Well!! This particular extra seller ((DE Books on Amazon)) is located in my hometown of Greenville, NC. I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny to find out that the seller is a high school friend of mine?"

I placed an order with DE Books on Amazon on Dec. 9 for standard shipping, which would mean that the item would arrive at a cost of $7.98. The shipping rates are typically inflated to cover the cost of shipping materials and the time it takes to package up the items. I understand this process because Matt and I do it for eBay items regularly. This time around, though, in comparing $7.98 to online USPS postage pricing, I thought, "The book should arrive by Dec. 16 at the latest!" It arrived yesterday, Dec. 18, which is a day after I'd already packaged up items to send out to NC in time for Christmas; and I didn't spend a lot of money, but everything in the package is wrapped!

I was so livid that the book arrived late and wasn't included in the shipment to NC. Granted, I will be carrying it with me, but as an online seller myself, I take umbrage with the fact that these guys charged me more than twice the media rate and the item arrived late!! If they'd spent a little more (of my money), but still making $1-2, the book would have arrived by Dec. 15!!

Amazon allows you to contact the seller, (DE Books on Amazon), which I've done:

"Hi, On this order, I requested standard shipping, which is (oddly) $7.98, and the item arrived on 12/18. Standard shipping* (3-5 business days) should have helped the package arrive by 12/16 at the latest. On the package, you selected USPS Media Mail for books. While I realize this is a good way to ship books because it's less expensive, Media Mail takes longer to arrive. If you want to make money on the shipping fee during the holidays, resulting in later arrivals of shipments, that is really bad business (and can be reflected in feedback).

However, if you had chosen USPS Priority Mail as the option, the items would have been here in 2 business days (i.e. 12/14 at the latest) instead of 7 at a cost of $5.95. I am writing to request a refund of $4, which I think is fair (and you still make money on your shipping): As a result of your choosing the later shipping, I will not be able to send the package wrapped to its destination by Christmas, which is VERY disappointing.

* Please refer to the posted Amazon Shipping Rates & Policies at the bottom of every page."

I think this is a fair request. I don't really care about $4. It's the principle of the thing. Online sellers try to make extra money on shipping, I get it. Like I said, I've done it, but within reason. If the actual price of shipping items comes to less than half of what the person has already paid, without question, we will refund a split. It might turn out to be $2-3, but it's the giving thing to do. Around the holidays, I like to think (against my better judgment) that people will have a little bigger heart; when they don't, I call them on it.

I doubt this will come to anything and the guy will hang onto that $4 for all it's worth - in this economy. I completely expect that. While writing this whole thing out, I felt it was kind of petty. But, dammit, it's not. My feedback will not be positive, but at least in this little exchange, my voice will have been heard, and ultimately THAT is what's important and what makes me American.
wwcitizen: (Silly Steve)
The way to buy yourself a little holiday happiness is at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I went there tonight on purpose to buy a couple of bath rugs. Our cleaning lady has been consistently and slowly bleaching little spots onto my black ones in my bathroom over the last 6 months because she's tired of them and because she wanted a different cleaning product than Clorox Cleanup. It's a slightly passive aggressive way of getting rid of the rugs without actually throwing them away, which she wouldn't do. The rugs aren't that bad, but now there's little red spots on the stark black. Those little red spots irritate the crap out of me. But, I can't really say anything because she's actually cleaning...

So, tonight I had a few errands and got this rug for in front of my sink:




Since we're hosting Matt's Fordham Thanksgiving Dinner again this year (YAY!), I wanted something extra. So, I got these little hand towels and this little guy for in front of the toilet. Aren't they adorably holiday - and not necessarily just Christmas? I love that.




My little gingerbread man makes me happy and smile each time I go to the bathroom. I can't wait till Saturday!
wwcitizen: (AnxiousFace)
We've been boycotting Sonoma County, CA, for months by not buying wines from there (not easy to do!) because of the mistreatment of an elderly gay couple. The court case was finally settled on July 25th with pretty good results, but the entire outcome for the couple (who'd been together for 20+ years) was so sad. Not sure if our and others' boycott of Sonoma County products was helpful in the process, but we like to think it was. We are lifting our boycott of Sonoma County wines due to the fruitful outcome of the settlement. BTW, "the settlement also prohibits the public guardian's office from moving people against their will."

However, now Target is supporting opponents of the LGBT Community and specifically opponents of gay marriage, which, as everyone that knows me knows we support same-sex marriage (the terminology is unimportant, but the equal civil rights and federal & state benefits are important). We'll be boycotting Target now.

The substance of the issues that sprung up in Sonoma represent the need for same-sex marriages or civil unions (whatever they end up being called) across the country. A business that supports candidates that oppose same-sex marriage should not be financially supported by the LGBT community.

Out of the 308 million Americans estimated by the 2010 census bureau, there are roughly 5 million Americans (using 1.5% as based on earlier estimations) who acknowledge themselves as LGBT. If every one of the 5 million people spends $100 a month at Target, then we are supplying Target with $500 million per month to spend as they like. If, however, we decide to boycott any specific company, like Target, and remove that $500 million we spend with them in a month, we send them a distinct message that we don't like how they're using our money!

Just so companies realize, the US Gay Buying Power is estimated at between $732 and $734 billion for 2010. Wake up people! Money talks!
wwcitizen: (Best Zoolander)
Some friends of ours and we considered heading to Woodbury Common in Harriman, NY, to do a little shopping. Matt asked if the outlet center has a webcam, which I researched and couldn't find. So, I called a couple of places: The Eddie Bauer Outlet and the Rochester Big & Tall Outlet store. Both of them told me (at noon) that if I wasn't getting to the center before 2:00 PM, to forget it.

The outlet center employees (ALL STORES) were being bused in from 5 miles away where they had to park over the holiday weekend. One guy over the phone told me that yesterday (Sunday) there had been recurring announcements that "if you don't need to leave for the next hour, don't; there's a 45-minute wait to GET OUT OF THE PARKING LOT."

So, we decided against that option today and went to Century 21, which was FABULOUS! I got three pairs of shorts, 6 pairs of amazing dress socks, a straw hat, two boxer briefs (Lucky Brand), and about 10 t-shirts for Ptown. Amazing shopping today.


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wwcitizen: (Dancing Steve)
This past Sunday, Matthew and I went out shopping for our diet provisions. Our tour always takes us to Costco (bulk items), ShopRite (a local grocery store - diet drinks), and HMart, a Korean market (fish, greens, and unusual stuff). Yesterday, I posted a receipt from HMart of "ottopus" for $18 a package, which ultimately is pretty inexpensive for, eh-hem, octopus.

Every time we go to HMart, we brace ourselves for the music. If we're both tired, we think twice about going in there for extended shopping because it's like going to a dance club. A dance club where no one dances. A dance club where you want to shake your groove thang. A dance club where you wanna lip-synch, but don't know the words to lip-synch. Why?? BECAUSE IT'S IN KOREAN!! Sometimes, the music is so FREAKIN loud and psychotic, if we're not together, we'll call each other (or I call my sister) and hold the phone over the oranges so we can hear the music. We don't say hi or even talk, really... just wait for the other to say, "Oh, at HMart, eh?"

This shopping day, we were both in really great spirits and went into HMart. The place was virtually empty for a Sunday and oddly there weren't many Koreans around. I literally danced around the corner into the "greens and veggies" section to get Yu Choy Sum and Gai Lan raising my hand up in the air and twirled a little, jiving to the anthem dance music. This song was in Engrish and I was so excited!! I got bagged dancing by a blond, Nordic woman at the bok choi. She had a BIG smile on her face as she watched me pass the spring onions and cauliflower. I stopped for a minute, but then started cutting a rug off and on while picking out radishes and Swiss chard.

By the time we had gotten to the fish and I started selecting our Kim Chee for the evening, the music was getting really good. I could feel the build-up of a Beyonce song edging closer to the hook, and then the song took off. It was all I could do to stay still.

A tall, thin Italian guy with a wool beanie walked by grinning from ear to ear and said, "It's good, right?"

I said, "Dude, I can't keep still!"

Matthew came over to me and said that other folks were watching me from behind, laughing, and starting to groove a little, too. How fun!!

I've heard that Leos have a tendency to make others dance. I guess that's true. Even in a Korean market that should seriously invest in a disco ball.
wwcitizen: (Default)
Read up on this movement! Very cool. It was apparently "born" in my birth year - 1968. Read about this through an LJ friend also on Facebook, and like what I see and read.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buy_Nothing
http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/
http://www.adbusters.org/

http://www.xmasresistance.org/
(I really like their CafePress notation about no price increase for their own profit.
Haven't donated or bought a shirt, but I like the sentiment.)
wwcitizen: (OMG-HUH?)
Next time you go shopping, think about cleaning the shopping cart handle. It's amazing what might be growing there...
wwcitizen: (Default)
My sister sent me a note about an article on WRAL's website (Raleigh, NC, news station); there's a section called "Strange News." There's a story in there about a mall Santa who was groped by a woman who sat on his lap and fondled him. Evidently he alerted mall security, who called the cops, and she's been charged with sexual assault and breach of peace.

One of the readers posted a comment to the story: "For a guy that only comes once a year, he should be happy."

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Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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