Friday, February 26, 2016

Sunshine At Last

It was still a bit cloudy when I headed out around 11 for a nice, long bike ride. I didn't care that it was still windy. The clouds were breaking up, it wasn't that cold (probably in the lower 40's), and the sun was starting to emerge. This was the first really nice day we'd had since Monday, and I wanted to take advantage of it. Besides, I really didn't have any other plans, and I'm tired of sitting in my apartment. I feel like I've been hanging around in my apartment all winter. I had to get out.

After a quick stop at the Oaklyn WaWa to use the ATM machine, I headed down Atlantic Avenue all the way to Barrington. I hadn't been to the Barrington Antique Center in ages. They were just as filled with wonderful things as ever. I saw two vintage 1980 People magazines with articles on The Empire Strikes Back (I just wish they'd been longer). I saw what I believe was a Kirsten American Girl doll with a hair cut and floppy limbs - they still wanted $75 for her. (Um, if she was wearing at least her original dress, had her braids, and had tighter limbs, yes. As she was, she was barely worth 25.) Two Bitty Twins were in somewhat better shape, but they were still $30 each. I ended up buying a copy of Meet Rebecca, one of the few original American Girl historical books I don't have, and the revised and updated version of Saucepans and the Single Girl, which I've taken out of the Haddon Township Library a couple of times. (I don't care so much about catching a man as I do finding simple recipes to feed one or two people.)

Went next-door to the Barrington Diner for lunch. They're about as basic a restaurant as you can get. The mustard-yellow vinyl and dark wood booths, old chrome counter, and junk on shelves in the back look like they date back to at least the 50's...and the clientele dates from about then, too. It was mostly elderly regulars when I came in. I ordered the deluxe hamburger, with fries and a tiny cup of coleslaw. At least I got the fries and coleslaw. There was no patty on my bun when the waitress brought it out. It took five minutes for me to point this out to her, and another five for them to retrieve my patty. The old people kept making jokes. I'm sure they didn't mean to be annoying, but they just got on my nerves. The burger tasted pretty decent once it actually made it on the bun, but I still wasn't too happy.

I felt better when I was back on the road. I made my way down Atlantic to Market Street in Audubon after lunch. I hadn't had a treat at Desserts By Design in ages. I tried a Chocolate Brownie Cupcake. While the chocolate cupcake itself was perfectly normal, there were brownie bits mixed into the cocoa icing and a thick piece of chocolate fudge brownie on top. Yummy as always.

Made my way over to the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center next. I had a couple of short stops to make. I'm out of the pencils I use to write in my daily journal. Staples is the best place to get them in bulk. Ducked around traffic and over to Game Stop. They had a used copy of LEGO: The Star Wars Complete Saga, which I've been looking for.

Hit the Acme next. No wonder I had today off. They were dead as a doornail. I was able to do my grocery shopping in almost total peace. I was mainly doing a pantry restock after clearing them out this week, including evaporated skim milk, pumpkin, tomato sauce, cereal (went with Multi-Grain Cheerios), olive oil, chicken stock, chocolate chips, and oatmeal. Added a bag of Brussels sprouts to my usual apples, bananas, and grapefruit. Grabbed dryer sheets - I ran out after my last laundry load.

My schedule next week is a tad bit better than it was last week, though still not great. On one hand, short shifts, two days off, and only one late day, Sunday. On the other hand, I still don't have enough hours, despite noticing a lot of people asked for this week off. (For some reason. Other than it's the beginning of the month and Leap Year, I really don't think there's much going on.)

When I got home, I worked on writing for the next few hours. Ben wants to talk to Leia's uncle King Bail about the Rebels In the Woods. He sends Luke to keep an eye out for Imperial soldiers and Han to keep an eye on Leia. Han's out of his element...and Leia realizes this too well. He dances stiffly, has rough manners, and doesn't know anything about clothes or fox hunting or most of the things most princes of Leia's acquaintance care about. Leia can sense his nervousness. Han just thinks she's being bratty.

Finished out the night with leftover bean-escarole stew and more Space Academy. My favorite of today's episodes was "Life Begins at 300." Professor Gampu is in the spotlight when he miscalculates how long the kids' life support badges will last, and several of them almost get hurt. He questions his judgement as an older man, and even says he'll retire. A younger cadet is determined to show what she knows and that she can gather the material needed to fix their badges, but when she ends up in trouble, only Gampu - and his centuries of experience - can save her.

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