Target: brutally efficient trip, marred only by five minutes of agony in the Disposable Storage area. Once a year I think I should sweep clean the disposable container paradigm, because it suffers paradigm-creep. You get locked into the Glad world, and everything has a blue lid, and you add some non-standard plastic containers, and someone gives you back the Tupperware container with a red lid, and you just want to clear the decks and start anew. So I loaded up the cart with Tupperware, drove around the store for a while, thought better, went back, and replaced everything.
There was a guy stocking the shelves who watched me, either because he couldn’t believe A) I was putting things back in the right aisle, B) couldn’t believe I was putting things back exactly where they should be, or C) couldn’t believe I cared, when hey, that’s what they did, put things back. Loser. You think you get credit in heaven for this?
Then Cub, because: if you spend X amount at Cub you get X cents off your gas purchases. I always get Jasper’s Frosty Paws at Cub because they’re cheaper. The first thing I do is check the Frosty Paws, because if they’re out, man, there’s hell to pay. No: the cooler had both flavors, Original and Peanut Butter.
Back of the store for peanuts: Cub deeply discounted Planter’s Honey Roasted. Interrogation of the price label said it had been discontinued. Don’t know if that’s nationwide, but act accordingly. Scooped up the discounted items, went back to the Frosty Paws - hello, there were only two. Last chicken in the shop. Hit the self-checkout.
“I only run into you at the store. Why is that?”
I turn and to my absolute delight: the Dark Chef. My old radio producer. The invaluable other-half of the KSTP AM 1500 Diner. The guy who went into a coma and has no memory of us sitting around his hospital bed holding his hand. Who woke up and showed up at our July party at Jasperwood tottering on a cane and shouting PUTTIN ON THE RITZ when he lumbered through the gate. The uber-nerd who got a Klingon symbol tattooed on his arm. Who got fired from the radio station in a purge, got married, went back to school, got his teaching degree, and is now standing here before me as I swipe my stuff over the barcode reader -
“I did a Diner for Christmas,” I said. “The Diner was in peril.”
“Of course,” he said. “Of course it was.”
I described the plot and he described his: teaching next semester, sub work, but the real deal was yet to come: wife heavy with twins.
“I’m efficient,” he said.
There are times you just sag with happiness for someone. It was like that then.
Well, here we are: year’s end. This means a flurry of really pointless stuff that makes me feel as if I’ve accomplished something - namely, assembling all the year’s work, ordering photo books that boil down events to hard-copy volumes, printing off everything I did, finishing up the family videos. Put it all in a box and put the box on the shelf.
A grand weekend, with behind-the-scenes work galore. I found the original photos for a site I did twelve years ago, and redid it; since the page is cited in a wikipedia entry, I felt obliged. Tweaked some massive overhauls for sites no one gives two kreps about, but will stand as nice little treats for people who come across lileks.com. start moving across the vast expanse, and think “hey, what’s this little link go to? HOLY WHOA.”
You’ll note that the Bleat Ban is unchanged.
This is not the usual order of Mondays, is it? Well, just wait. General redesigns and updates and things start anew next week. Tomorrow: a big Happy New Year graphic. The rest of the week: Bleatage as usual, with the Strib Blog and Tumblr. See you around - and HAPPY NEW YEAR!