ticking falling boxes


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So yesterday wound up being a much longer day than expected but I also have a lot to do today so let's see if we can get through this relatively quickly. (Boy, am I glad I posted about Saturday last night already. Side note: Friday night I took myself to see Shoplifters, which was fine. I had to go to the U District to see that one and use my AMC Stubbs subscription pass. This also means, though, that although I did not see a movie in 2019 until the 4th of January, I then saw one movie per day for three days in a row. At least I had already seen Mary Poppins Returns and so did not have to write a review for that one on Saturday.)

Anyway! Did you hear that Sears filed for bankruptcy? A whole lot of store closures are going on, and much like the Ross Dress for Less in Northgate, and the H&M Store that had its last day last Saturday, and the Big 5 Sporting Goods store closing in Issaquah, Shobhit is all about swooping in for the last-days deals on items still straggling around. (We have our eye on a cabinet at the Northgate Ross, but won't buy it until it's marked 90% off.) We looked up a list of the local area Sears stores closing and zeroed in on Puyallup. It was a 45-minute drive, but . . . what if they have a TV for sale super cheap?

When we finally got to the mall in Puyallup that has (had) a Sears, it took a while even to find it, as we drove around huge, mostly empty parking lots past a Macy's and a Big Lots and I swear two or three other similar stores before we could even see the Sears. And what we did not know until arriving less than an hour after they opened for the day was . . . this was their last day. 80-90% off everything they had left!

Which was, of course, not much at all. We still got quite the haul, though. That photo I took is rather stark, but was the view when looking to the right from the entrance. To the left wasn't a huge amount better, but did have lots of fixtures still in place, and small islands here and there of products still left for sale. And guess what we found? A Samsung flat screen television about 35" in size (I believe the one we have at home is 23 or 25"), marked down to $50! It did have a note on it that said, "Minor defect on screen," and we still have yet to have time to fully test what that means exactly. But we agreed that, for fifty bucks, it was worth the gamble. We had already been talking about buying a new TV, and you can't beat that price. Hopefully the "defect" is tolerable.

We took the TV out to the trunk of the car, and then went back in. Shobhit found five pairs of pants, and we got two or three shirts, and he got two iPhone protective cases, all for roughly twenty bucks. It was insane. There wasn't a hell of a lot of people shopping there, but then, it was only 11 a.m.

A middle-aged lady rung us up, and Shobhit asked her, "Are you going to another store, or is it . . . unemployment?" The lady said, "Unemployment," and Shobhit had a rare moment of empathy: "I'm sorry," he said, and he actually sounded like he meant it. The lady had a pretty good attitude: "Something'll turn up, it always does." That's the spirit!

Prospects for "big box stores" like Sears seem to be dwindling, though. Scott told me that when he was young, Sears was like Amazon today: you went there for everything. Just last week I told Shobhit I have no idea when I last went to a Sears. The only reason I can imagine for going to one now would be for a huge kitchen appliance, and in that case, it would just get ordered by whoever was hired to install it. (That, or we order direct from the manufacturer, and they provide someone to install it.) In a way, Sears is a middle-man being eliminated.

They still had four full-size artificial Christmas Trees. Gabriel commented the Friday before Christmas, when we visited his place in Tacoma, that he always gets a live tree -- from the greenest place he can find -- because artificial trees are terrible for the environment, unless you use the same one for, like, decades. Note to self: don't ever buy another artificial tree! I do want to do something different with it this year, though, after five years of essentially the same thing. Something nutty, like hanging it upside-down from the ceiling, which as a specific example may not be all that feasible.

Anyway, the plan all along had been for us to go see Mary, Queen of Scots yesterday, and I had assumed we would have to go to the AMC 10 in the U District as that was the only place in Seattle I could use my AMC subscription -- Shobhit had an eMovie Cash pass he could use mostly anywhere. Being in Puyallup, Shobhit suggested I look up theatres closer to where we were headed. So, we saw the 12:15 showing at the Kent Station AMC Theatre.

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The movie got out around 2:30, and we visited two different friends on our longer than expected trek home from there. Sachin, as it happens, already lives in Kent, so we stopped by his condo, where he's having construction done: he hired workers to convert an open space on his second floor into a third bedroom. He just bought that place last year, and boy, he didn't waste any time making renovations. I guess now he'll rent out his rooms to two roommates, augmenting his income as he bides his time until re-selling the place at a hopeful profit in a couple of years.

He also sought our advice on hanging several paintings he bought at Goodwill. A young woman later arrived, I can't remember if she was a girlfriend of Sachin's or not (or an ex he's still friendly with or what), but they had dinner plans. We learned she works in HR for Amazon at a nearby distribution center, working the night shift. She talked about having to work something like a hundred hours a week over the holidays, but she seemed weirdly chill about it. I thought it sounded like a fucking nightmare.

After a while, just as I was getting so bored I wanted to kill myself, we were on our way, and we went to see Danielle for a bit in Renton. Except, a wind storm the previous night had knocked out her power, so she was over at Lisa's, the same friend we visited on Christmas Eve. We really got into it in the car because he was convinced we were being taken to the wrong spot by GPS again like we had the first time, which convinced him we had the wrong address again even though we did not, and he got further frustrated that the GPS kept redirecting every time we got very far on a road -- all because of an initial turn that actually had been correct, but he was convinced we were being led into the same crappier neighborhood we had been on Christmas Eve, so he did not take that turn even though he should have. It was completely ridiculous, he started screaming at me that I was doing it all wrong and so I screamed back, blah blah blah -- we got Danielle on the phone, she got us on the right track, and Shobhit finally realized his mistake. To his credit, he took full responsibility, admitted openly it was his fault, and apologized so many times thereafter that that started to get annoying.

Apologies are fine and dandy, you know. The real trick is not to be such a fucking asshole in the first place. I'd feel better about this apology if I were confident he would not be so quick to anger and judgment in similar situations in the future. Stop fucking apologizing and actually start behaving differently.

After that, though, Shobhit was as personable as he possibly could be for pretty much the rest of the day. Morgan wasn't around -- she was over at a boyfriend's -- but Rylee was, playing with Lisa's two kids. Shobhit saw an unopened box of Cribbage and wound up teaching Danielle how to play, and the two of them played while I sipped the Hot Buttered Rum Lisa made for me. We also watched the first half hour or so of the Golden Globe Awards, but left at about 5:30, and we don't currently have capability of watching live TV at home, since chucking the TiVo after it died. (We're finally going to get a box from Comcast that allows for it, and planned to yesterday, but never had a chance with all we wound up doing. We might get it today.)

After weighing in at 157 lbs yesterday morning, I had cereal for breakfast; popcorn leftover from the movie Shobhit took himself to on Saturday afternoon that we snuck into yesterday's movie for lunch; and pretty much nothing else to eat by that point, so I was really hungry, as was Shobhit. We decided to get takeout from an Indian joint on Broadway between Pike and Pine which had a food safety rating of "okay" -- Shobhit was unfazed: Indians, he says, often cook in grimy conditions. I'm not sure that's exactly a comfort, but whatever. The food we took home, including Shahi paneer that Shobhit clearly got for my benefit and which I also had for lunch today, was still pretty good. We ate while watching an old episode of Ellen, before I finally went back to the bedroom to write the movie review, and then the blog post about Saturday.

So now I think we're pretty well caught up.

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[posted 12:24 pm]