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"Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them." -- unknown, gleaned from Facebook
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Labor Day is always one of those slightly bittersweet holidays. It's nice to have the day off, but this day marks the end of summer, even if not quite according to the pattern of solstices and equinoxes.

And this year, I get to spend it moving additional boxes from my old apartment to my new one. At least I've managed to arrange things so that I won't be locked into a lease that prevents me from leaving Cleveland when a job offer comes through that will let me. I'd have stayed in the old place until then, but between the rent being high enough that it wasn't letting me save up the kind of money I'd like to and the facts that A) the landlord was being a complete jackass about fixing things and B) the otherwise perfectly nice girls upstairs had a thoroughly nasty habit of dropping their cigarette butts all over the front yard and front steps that both units shared, it was time to move to other digs. So now I'm a couple of miles down the road, in a transitional neighborhood sandwiched between the Battery Park condos and the Gordon Square Arts district. Got a nifty little wine bar a couple of blocks away with free wi-fi, a pool table and a nice patio. There's another friendly little pub between here and there, also with a patio. If I want to go see something at Cleveland Public Theater, I can walk there too. Downtown Cleveland is a less than ten-minute drive away if I use the Shoreway. Edgewater Park is within walking distance as well, and Whiskey Island Marina isn't much farther if I want to go see whatever band is playing at the Sunset Grille there (sorry, but I still don't like its new name, the Cropicana... no, that's not a typo) though I'd probably drive if I'm going there because of the weird little road you have to follow to reach it.

Home sweet home for probably no more than four or five months, if that long. Now if I can just get the internet connection sorted so I don't have to keep going out to places with wi-fi in order to get online...
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Right; so another month of being too busy to really write anything beyond the science fiction I'm committing at the command of my Muse. She's pretty insistent when she gets going. Not that I'm complaining.

What's with the weather??? This is May; the middle of it, in fact. And it's supposed to be showers in April, bringing flowers in May, isn't it? Yet we've got drizzle and fog and chilly dampness. Ugh. I like a good thunderstorm and some warmth to go with it, and I won't complain if a weekend has that (at least not usually). But this other stuff? Not what I wanted for my weekend!

Oh well. I've got cats helping me do things around the house (for certain values of "helping") and I just bought a variety of coffee I hadn't tried before, so it's all good. Laundry is washing and drying, the dishes are done, got some sewing to do and I just found Disc 2 of my West Wing Season 1 set, so I think I know how I'll spend the next few hours. Maybe after that the sun will come out and it will warm up so I can get outdoors and head to the Metropark or something, because I'm getting antsy being cooped up indoors.

Shopping

Apr. 19th, 2011 08:36 pm
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Some people enjoy shopping. I endure it.

Well, perhaps I should qualify that. It depends on what I'm shopping for, how much money I actually am planning to spend, and whether I'm shopping alone or with other people. I can browse all day in a bookstore, especially in the company of another bibliophile or two. The same goes for poking around in kitschy little specialty shops with like-minded friends whose tastes run at least somewhat parallel to my own. Hunting for vintage items in secondhand stores is fun too, especially with someone else along. And if I'm ever given an unlimited credit card and turned loose in IKEA...

But yeah. Basically, shopping with friends can be a social event, even if I don't buy anything, and that makes it fun. Shopping alone, for stuff I need? Bleah.

I treat it like a mission: get in, get what I need, get out again with minimal time and effort. I can't stand spending hours in a store or a mall by myself, just browsing. Unless there's something specific I've come for, I won't even go there. So it was with some surprise that I found myself actually enjoying my latest trip to Target.

I needed new pants for work. More to the point, I needed new pants because the only two pairs of good dress pants that had fit me for a while were now too big. Not just a little loose, but way loose. Baggy, even. And for some reason, while I did hang onto various pairs of smaller jeans and pants, I couldn't find the box with the pants in it. Only the jeans.

So I went shopping. Couldn't find what I really needed in thrift stores and eventually got tired of trying. Conceding the issue, I headed for Target. With a smile on my face, despite the prospect of added expense. Spent money I really hadn't planned to spend on clothing, and enjoyed it. Oh, I know I'll probably find the box with my smaller dress pants now that I've bought some, but that's okay.

It was a fun experience. Next time, I might even bring a friend.

Holidaze

Dec. 19th, 2010 06:49 pm
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I swear, if I see one more holiday commercial, I will scream. Seriously, does anybody's house really look like that at the holidays? Really? Three Christmas trees, and you aren't picking pine needles out of every nook and cranny of your home -- and possibly your person -- for the rest of the year?

I don't really have anything against the holidays. I worked retail at the mall during Christmas season in my college days, and after enough of that, you'd expect me to never want to look at another gold-edged red bow or piece of tinsel again. But I was a hopeless sucker for holiday decorations when I was a kid, and it never really went away. Not even twelve-hour Saturday shifts filled with Muzak-mangled carols could beat it out of me. (Really, there probably should be a telethon for people who can say that.) Even changing my religion (I no longer identify as Christian and haven't for about seventeen years... yes, that vibration you feel is my mother spinning in her grave at 78 rpm) didn't make it go completely away.

But the commercials have gotten even cornier since I was in college, and I swear there are more of them. Well, to be fair, there are more channels for them to be on, too. After all, I started college... *counts*... *grimaces*... well, a long freakin' time ago.

The holiday season, like wintertime in Cleveland, often seems to go on forever. At least the holidays end by New Years day, though. Winter will end sometime around the first of May, most likely. But Christmas-oriented commercials showed up right around Halloween this year, even ahead of the snow. Is it just me, or did they used to wait at least a little bit longer?

Whatever. With any luck, this will be the last winter I spend in this town, and maybe the last Christmas season here too. Nothing against Cleveland, but just like the commercials, there's a decided paucity of substance here anymore. Rip off the wrapping paper and the boxes are empty. The economy certainly doesn't help, and I'm ready for a change. Stay tuned for 2011 to be an interesting ride.

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