Walkin' the mall-- 02/16/02

I am so tired... long and busy day... enjoyable but now I'm exhausted.

I went out for a run this morning -- I hadn't realized how mild the temperature had become since I had brought in the newspaper a bit past seven a.m. so I was wearing a sweatshirt over a long-sleeved t-shirt and I was wearing a pair of light weight cotton gloves, as I usually do for cold weather running. By the time I got over onto the next street I realized that I did not need the gloves, so I pulled them off and tucked them into my sleeves. I had only planned on running a couple of miles, one mile out, turn around, one mile back... but once I got going it felt good to be running on a spring-like day so I kept going when I passed my mile mark and decided to run my three and a half mile course (three quarters of a mile from my house I pass a mile marker on the bike path, then I just keep running until I come to the next mile marker, which then becomes my turn-around point)... when I got to my halfway point I paused long enough to take off my sweatshirt and tie it around my waist... but I was still too warm so I actually ran the last mile with my t-shirt sleeves pushed back above my elbows. What a pleasant morning!

After grabbing a quick shower, I fixed sandwiches for Nancy and me (French bread, a bit of olive oil, some turkey, salt, fresh ground pepper, slices of tomato and red onion, some romaine lettuce). After we ate, we hopped in my car and headed off for the library. I had two overdue books to return, as the library robot had told me. (They have a computerized outbound calling system with a synthesized voice: "... you have...two... books... overdue" with each piece sounding different from the others) and since it is not unusual for me to have overdue books (the branch I use has evening hours on Mondays and Tuesdays, so if I forget, then I have to wait until Saturday, etc. and times when I find I'm too busy and I figure it's only ten cents per day per book and if paying a few dimes more will make life simpler for me, I figure it's money well spent) ... so after returning the two books and settling my $2.80 fine, we both picked out some new books and then headed off for Providence.

We hit the Providence Place Mall-- a big, multi-story in-town mall that's about two years old -- it was just center city parking lot a few years ago when I took the kids to the circus and Sean and I went to a monster truck show. There are some big anchor department stores (like Filenes and Lord & Taylor) and the usual collection of clothing stores and shoe stores and a food court and a multi-screen theatre (and also an IMAX theatre), etc. Nancy wanted to get a gift certificate from Aeropostal as a birthday gift for a Niece... and then we wandered in and out of stores... we had to visit Crate and Barrel (I could spend a fortune in there on cooking tools and glasses, but we were just having fun looking around), and Eddie Bauer and Bed, Bath, and Beyond and Talbots and The Museum Shop... Nancy doesn't often visit big malls, usually just two or three times a year... I think this was here third trip since the mall opened (I've been there twice as often)... We were halfway looking for something for Sean... He's going on a ski and snow-boarding trip next week and we were sort of thinking about some kind of snow-boarding winter pants... Jennifer had bought herself a nice warm pair of snow-boarding pants at a ski and sno-board store for her trip to Vermont last month, but we wondered if we might find something for him in the mall... So into Old Navy, some wind pants on clearance, pretty cheap, but he can be very picky about clothes, so we passed them by... checked out Abercrombie & Fitch, a total teen-aged store, but it's not really Sean's style... passed by Hot Topic... Jennifer loves that store, but not Sean... passed by Pacific Sun, Sean's favorite clothing store, but not the kind of place for outdoor sports clothing... visited a gourmet cooking supply store (sensory overload, I can't remember the name of the place)... and finally ended up at Lord & Taylor (because we were parked on one of the upper levels of the parking garage and had come in through a Lord & Taylor entrance... and I bought a pair of pants for myself... a nice pair of wool dress slacks on a clearance sale, originally around eighty bucks, had been marked down for sale and now were on final clearance for half of the marked-down price, so they were only twenty dollars. (Although I go to work in jeans and sneakers most days, when I'm teaching I still like to dress like a grown-up... even if that means I'm the only person in the building wearing a necktie!)

We had spent close to three hours walking around the mall... then it was time to get back onto I-95... detour off at Warwick to check out the ski and snow-board shop. Wow! I see what Jennifer meant about that stuff being expensive... they had snow pants starting around $120 but running up to twice that and more... there were some on clearance, but nothing in his size (and even the clearance sale priced stuff would have been around a hundred bucks) Now perhaps if he were really into snow-boarding, went off to snow-board every chance he got, I guess I could have seen springing for an expensive pair of pants... but this Tuesday-through Friday trip next week (winter break from school) will be his first such trip and he does not have a very good track record for sticking with things... he is somewhat fickle in his enthusiasms (except for things like computers and audio equipment)... so we got him a pair of wind pants (that could be worn over sweats or long-johns or jeans) that were $30 on sale for $20.

Okay, at last, back on to I-95 and then down to South County. Get home. Fix dinner. Jennifer's friend Andy was over and after dinner they headed up to the Warwick area so she could exchange the lid she had bought for her old aquarium that she's using for her pet rats (she'd bought the wrong size) and she took the wind pants along to return for us because Sean did not like them. The rats are doing fine, by the way. She has named one of them Molly and Sean named the other Master Splinter (even though both rats are female.... oh, in case you are not the right age to have been a Teenage Mutant Turtle fan... or to have kids who were fans... Master Splinter is name of the mutant rat who took the turtles in and raised them and trained them in the martial arts.) Sean made a base to hold their water bottle and a little ramp for them climb on, Jennifer added a small cardboard box for a house and a pot with an aloe plant and a pile of rocks... and added a jungle poster as a backdrop behind their tank. Jennifer likes both of her rats, but she is becoming especially fond of Molly, the more adventurous and curious of the two.

Jennifer and Andy just got back and it's almost quarter past ten... I'd better fix a pot of coffee... Jennifer has to work tonight... and then upload this to the Internet.

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