Thursday, February 07, 2008

Year of the Collie

First of all, Happy Chinese New Year! Abundant luck to all today!

Second, I certainly had abundant luck today. After Cherry-Banana Pancakes for breakfast, I went to the Haddon Township Library for this week's volunteering. I did the biographies, which weren't TOO bad. I got out with plenty of time to ride over to Collingswood to browse in the thrift shop and the Collingswood Variety Store. Lunch was at the Pop Shop, a pastel 50's-themed diner situated in one half of Collingswood's old Acme. (A much fancier restaurant, Word of Mouth, is on the other half.) I had a wonderful "Farm Market Omelet" with roast veggies and swiss cheese, half of a gigantic slice of rye toast, and hash browns.

(Oh, and the Collingswood Variety Store has not only restocked their supply of WebKinz, but they now have clothes, too. I was VERY close to getting a Black Poodle; I also considered a husky.)

I told Scott about my heavy work-schedule over the past few weeks, Mom and Dad's move, the arrival of Mom's box, and my job research. Now that I know I want to go back to school, I have to figure out how to finance it. I'm far from rich, and I don't want to go as heavily into debt as Rose is.

After I left Scott, I took the Speedline into Philadelphia. For once, I knew what I wanted to get, and after a wrong turn or two, made my way to my favorite FYE on Broad Street to use the last of the $50 gift card Mom and Dad gave me for Christmas.

While their downstairs CD section was the same as always, the DVD section upstairs was a disaster area. The kids' DVDs, TV DVD sets, and war and western movies lay in messy stacks on the floor. From what I gathered from the employees, that particular FYE had just gotten a big stock of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs and had to rearrange everything to fit them in. It didn't make for easy shopping. I never found what I was looking for, which was the newly-released Perfect Strangers: The Complete First and Second Season, but I did take advantage of a buy 2 used items, get one half-off sale. I bought two classic musical "biopics," the MGM mega-musical 'Till The Clouds Roll By and the Betty Grable vehicle The Dolly Sisters. I picked up the new Bruce Springsteen CD Magic downstairs. (And it ended up being the half-off item, too - I got it for $4.99!)

I did manage to find Perfect Strangers during a brief visit to the Borders across the street. It was 20% off, too! Perfect Strangers is (other than one random Honeymooners tape I picked up in the thrift shop last year) the last TV show I have completely on video. Once we (finally) get all 8 seasons of PS, I will have cleared out my pre-recorded videos to the point where I'll hopefully be able to move a few to the other shelves and make room for DVDs!

I went in search of Locust Street to head for home, but I got turned around again and wound up on Chestnut. I wound up at the Chestnut Street entrance to the Liberty One Mall and, since that mall is very posh (lots of fancy dress shops; no toy stores or noisy electronics stores), I thought I'd see if they had a Lane Bryant so I could use the $100 gift card I got for Christmas.

I didn't see Lane Bryant, but I did find a lovely little card shop called Messages on a side hallway near Au Bon Pain. The store was an explosion of red and pink - so much, I almost missed the tall display of WebKinz as I walked in! I'm glad I didn't, though. They had many WebKinz I'd never seen anywhere in New Jersey - Lil'Kinz Horses, Basset Hounds, Polar Bears, and St. Bernards, Velvety Elephants, Ducks, Gray and White Cats, Yorkies, and...COLLIES! I'd been wanting to find a collie for ages, because I knew exactly what name I would give it. I bought a collie and a pack of Trading Cards and headed for Chestnut.

I got turned around one more time after that. I stopped at a Starbucks to get my bearings and a cup of Vanilla Latte, then made my way across Chestnut to Walnut, then Locust. By this point it was about 5; the rush hour was well at hand. Car honked, sirens blared, and people in heavy coats pushed their way through the crowds. Thankfully, the 16th and Locust PATCO stop was on a relatively quiet, largely residential block. I made it to the train and to Collingswood without incident (and even managed to find a seat on a stuffed-full rush hour train).

Since I went past their neighborhood going home, I dropped by Uncle Ken and Dad's on my way back to say "hi" and show them my new find. I ended up staying for a tasty dinner of chicken, creamed spinach, and mashed potatoes. I chatted a bit with Jodie, her teen son TJ, and Dad afterwards. Jodie and Dad are mostly concerned about my finances; going back to school is expensive, and they're worried I'll end up in debt. I really need to do more research on the cost before anyone worries further.

Oh yes, Linda the Collie! Yes, she's named after my friend Linda Young, who got me interested in WebKinz in the first place and loves all things collie! This means that naturally, she had to have a bookcase in her room. Her bio says she's a musician; perhaps I'll give her the piano, too.

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