Monday, February 06, 2023

Shopping Harts

Started out a late morning with breakfast and The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That. Nick and Sally wonder if they can "Pick Your Friends" and disagree on how to decorate their Valentine's Day cards. The Cat takes them to meet Sheldon, a tortoise whose best friend is a finch. The two teach the kids that friends don't always have to think the same, and our differences are what help us work together. When the kids run out of milk and cheese for breakfast, The Cat takes them to "Finola's Farm" to show them how farmers get milk from cows, and how dairy products are made.

Switched to Match Game '75 as I looked up a few things online. Dorothy's still weeping with happiness when Clifton gets her the top answer for "Draw ___" on the Audience Match and Richard helps her with "Trail __" on the Audience Match. Meanwhile, Betty White is shocked to discover that Gene is married (and his wife Helen is hilarious on Tattletales). 

I went online to find out if my tax return went through. Sure enough, it did. I put part of it into my savings account, then decided to use another part to pick up a few more winter clothes. Now that I've lost a little weight, most of my clothing is much too big for me! 

Called Uber to take me to the Gloucester Outlets in Blackwood. I haven't been there since right after Lauren visited last June, and I really like them. Plus, they have the only Dave & Buster's in this area as a free-standing store in the parking lot. Got a driver in less than a minute; he picked me up in seven.

The Gloucester Outlets are a lot different than the ones in Atlantic City or Lee. They're a fully pedestrian mall, with no roads to cross in the mall itself and ample seating space. There's even metal roofs over the outdoor lanes to keep out the rain and summer sun. 

They were more like a ghost town today. I barely saw anyone when I arrived at around quarter of 2. Strong winds whipped across barren paths and empty fountains, past stores where the workers were often the only people to be seen. While the biting chill from over the weekend vanished with the morning sun, the wind remains cold, and the jagged silvery clouds continued to hide the sun. 

I peeked at Go!Toys and Calendars, but saw nothing I really needed, and lamented that I have no kitchen of my own anymore for Corningware dishes. "Toys & Socks" mainly sold stuffed animals and novelty socks. The stuffed toys were cute, but for the most part, they weren't anything I couldn't find elsewhere. Guess didn't seem to carry my size. 

Did far better at Eddie Bauer. I have a fleece jacket for work that's great for days when it's too cold for the jean jacket or sweater, but not cold enough for my heavy winter coat. I like the orange, tan, and turquoise striped print I found. I also picked up two long-sleeved t-shirts in dark red and coffee brown, the latter on a good sale. 

The only thing the Gloucester Outlets lack is dining amenities. They have a Starbucks, a Friendly's, an Aunt Annie's, and a combination Ginny's Ice Cream and Cinnabon, and that's it. No fancy restaurants like Atlantic City or food court like Lee. Since I could eat at Starbucks anytime, it ended up being Friendly's for lunch by default. I think they're the only location left in this area. 

Given it was past 2:30 by the time I settled down to eat, the only other people in the dining area were a young couple on a date and two older ladies enjoying a shopping day. Friendly's now has a lunch and dinner option where you can order a drink, soup or salad, and one of six entrees for a fixed price, with ice cream as an add-on. I went with unsweetened ice tea, a delicious crock of broccoli cheddar soup, and a small but tasty chicken quesadilla. Dessert was two scoops of Hunka Chunka PB Fudge with whipped topping and a cherry. The stuffed animals in their crane near the entrance had been replaced by rolled-up Eagles and Phillies jerseys. No luck this time.

After lunch, I poked around in Lane Bryant and The Loft, but I only had luck in Old Navy. I found a really cute blouse with the prettiest pink, peach, and bright green floral print for $10. I almost bought a sage-green shirt with a strawberry print, but it turns out I didn't read the signs right - they were for little girls. 

By this point, I was cold and tired of walking. Headed across the parking lot, and then across the street to Dave & Buster's. They're pretty much the same thing as Round 1 Entertainment with no bowling alley, fewer cranes with less-elaborate prizes, and the ability to tap your card, not just slide it in a slot. I ran around for an hour, rolling skee balls, spinning pirate's wheels, whacking clowns, bouncing balls, and leading my cars through Mario Kart Deluxe and Crustin' Blast. 

Between what I already had from my visit with Lauren in September and what I earned today, I had over 2,270 points! I found a strange stuffed critter sitting on a high shelf who intrigued me. He wore a blue Dave & Buster's "Ding Ding Ding" t-shirt and reminded me a little of the Shirt Tales characters from my childhood. I'd never seen an animal who looked like him, though. He had ears like a fox, a face like a mouse or a squirrel, and a bottom that was more like a muskrat or kangaroo. I picked up him and a much smaller stuffed hamster intended to be a duster for pads and laptop screens. My rooms get so dusty, and my laptop is the worst. It always looks terrible. And I still have 120 points left to build up when Lauren visits in the spring!

(Oh, and according to his tag, Dave is a quokka. Online research reveals he's a mouse-like relation to the wallaby from Western Australia that are known for being extremely happy and upbeat. No wonder Dave & Buster's wanted him for a toy mascot! Cool. I've never seen a stuffed quokka before.) 

Strolled back across the street and parking lot to pick up Uber. Considering it was past 5 and the height of rush hour, I was extremely lucky to get a driver who came in 4 minutes. The cheerful Hispanic girl chattered with a friend on a cordless phone all the way back to Oaklyn. Thankfully, there was no traffic whatsoever either way, not even on the highway.

Put everything away when I got in, then went online. Truth be told, while I wouldn't object to doing office work, I know I don't want to work in a medical office. I know how stressful anything involving medicine is, and it doesn't interest me in the slightest. Trouble is, I'm not sure if the things that do interest me would be hiring, or how I could bring all of my weird interests and skills together. 

I do know what I want from a job. Either I work at a set time Monday through Friday, or I set the hours. I want to use all of my skills, not just dealing with customer service, but writing, reading, organizing, researching, proofreading, and editing - the things I actually enjoy doing. I want to feel more at home around my co-workers, or have no co-workers at all. I want to do a job that has some meaning. Yes, I want health insurance and a better paycheck, but I'd actually like to earn those things and not come home stressed out, angry, and depressed. 

Broke for dinner at quarter after 6, just in time for an episode of Match Game '74 Buzzr previously skipped. I don't know why they didn't show this one before. Maybe they were offended by the very skimpy yellow halter top Louisa Moritz wore. Gene's more interested in wondering why Richard was attempting to grow a rather thin beard. (For the record, he actually grew it for a movie role that never materialized.) 

The next episode is even wilder! While Louisa does cover up a bit more, things get really crazy when Jack Carter sticks markers in his mouth and pretends to be a walrus, then runs off the set all together. Meanwhile, Richard insists his chair is broken and that Betty White is all tied up (with duck tape). 

Finished the night on Tubi after a shower with Hart to Hart. Jennifer intends to celebrate Valentine's Day by giving her charity committee special heart-shaped chocolates from a local chocolate store. It turns into "The Hart-Shaped Murder" when one man is killed by the smuggling ring who needed one of the chocolate hearts for their operation, and a CIA agent dies in the Harts' living room after eating poisoned candy intended for them. Johnathan and Jennifer have to figure out how the store ties into this, and what the kindly old lady owner's son is really up to. 

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