Category Archives: Miscellaneous
Happy Black Friday to shoppers in the United States. I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving yesterday.
We don’t have a shopping event equivalent to Black Friday in Canada. Boxing Day, on December 26th, used to be a big day for finding bargains, but in recent years the majority of retailers have begun putting most of their stock on sale long before Christmas anyway, and the stores here don’t tend to offer the big loss leaders that I see advertised in the U.S.
I’ve come to appreciate Christmas shopping late at night, and early in the morning, although I’ve never been browsing the aisles at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. There’s hardly any traffic on the roads, barely any shoppers in the stores, and no one in line ahead of you at the check-out. Several years ago I went to my local 24-hour grocery store around 11:00 p.m. on December 23rd to do my final grocery pick-up before Christmas and realized it was an excellent time to be there. I enjoyed strolling the aisles without having to manoeuvre around dozens of others, humming along to the Christmas music and chatting with the staff who, also relieved that the store was deserted, were cheery.
When Walmart began staying open all night in December of last year, I went shopping there one evening around 11:30 p.m. Again, perusing the stock in peace and picking out the latest toys was a relaxed and pleasant experience.
Yes, I enjoy shopping late at night at this time of year, but I enjoy it because there’s scarcely anyone else there …
Have you tuned in to see the television show Glee yet?
The Fox Broadcasting Web site describes it as a series following an optimistic teacher “who – against all odds and a malicious cheerleading coach – attempts to save McKinley High’s Glee Club from obscurity, while helping a group of aspiring underdogs realize their true star potential.”
A well-written, witty musical comedy, Glee features a very talented cast performing several songs in every episode. The series’ music has really taken off, with a first CD already on the shelves. A few of the show’s covers of well-known songs have been declared “better than the original” in this household.
Glee has also provided us with some very touching moments between the toe-tapping and chuckles; it’s a nice change from the usual police procedurals and hospital dramas filling the evening airwaves.
Glee airs on Wednesday evenings at 9:00 p.m.
Read more about the show here.
I asked a friend how her weekend had been and she responded “I was so angry at one point! I went to Future Shop …”. Uh huh. I knew exactly what she was going to say because I’ve been there and experienced the same phenomenon that she did. When women of a certain age enter Future Shop electronics stores, they become invisible. Yes, I said invisible: hidden, unseen, imperceptible to the eye of a human sales clerk. If it had only happened to one woman at one store, I would have just believed it to be rude sales staff at that location ignoring the woman. But when it happens at different stores to different women, there’s only one logical conclusion: a nasty curse has been placed on the entire chain of stores that renders middle-aged women undetectable. The curse can be broken by getting a sales clerk to look you directly in the eye, but that’s easier said than done. If you are determined to shop at Future Shop anyway, here are some suggestions that may help you to receive some attention.
1. To indicate your genuine intent to buy, sing “money, money, money, money” while dancing down the aisle throwing real bills into the air. The other customers will no doubt turn to stare at you, causing the sales clerk to also look your way and accidentally make eye contact. Considering that young employees are generally unfamiliar with the concept of actual cash though, this ploy may be ineffective even if they can see you. Still, singing “debit, debit, debit, debit” while waving your card around just doesn’t have the same pizzazz.
2. Set up signs in front of the store entrance saying Mature Women’s Day and post a couple of your friends there to stop anyone not fitting that category from entering the store while you shop. With no other customers to distract them you may be able to get the staff’s attention, although you might still only be visible in a semitransparent, shimmering sort of way.
3. Wrestle a sales clerk to the floor and sit on his chest until he looks you in the eye. While definitely the most satisfying solution, remember that the young man won’t initially be able to see who is forcing him to the ground and, in his terror, he may put up quite a struggle. Plus, the police, who can always see you, normally frown on this type of action.
4. Have a coven of witches, fairies, gypsies and everyone else you feel might be helpful join you at the entrance to your local store on a busy Saturday afternoon and work together to try to lift the curse forever. Do it for the benefit of middle-aged women everywhere who have money to spend and would like to blow it on electronics.
If none of those options work out, do what my friend and I did and take your business elsewhere.
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
Thumbs up for the television dramedy Castle. The show is about a famous crime novelist who, while suffering from writer’s block after killing off the main character in his hugely successful novels, is approached by Detective Kate Beckett of the NYPD. She asks for his help in catching the copycat killer staging murders based on scenes from his novels. Naturally, once that case is solved, writer Castle (Nathan Fillion) decides that Detective Beckett (Stana Katic) would be the perfect model for the lead character in his new series of novels and receives permission from the NYPD to shadow Kate on the job.
In the 2nd episode of the season, The Double Down, Castle points out that the message left on a murdered woman incorrectly uses your instead of you’re. As a wordsmith, he finds the common error irritating. “I’m just saying, whoever killed her also murdered the English language.”
Later in the show, when Beckett uses the term “against who,” Castle mutters “whom.”
It’s lovely to have a grammarian on television: Monday nights at 10:00 p.m.