Another Thanksgiving, another Black Friday gone. We didn't go shopping on Thanksgiving itself (it's for food & family!) but our annual Friday (early) morning shopping tradition continued.
(Speaking of shopping on Thanksgiving, they had interviewed 2 people on the news last night. One guy got to CompUSA in the city at noon because they were opening at 9 pm and he wanted to be first on line for a laptop because he didn't get anything the year before. He was first on line, but the laptop didn't go on sale until 5 am, so he had to wait overnight! Then there was the woman who went to CompUSA and then was off to Woodbury because they were open at midnight with the outlets. I was so tired from the huge Thanksgiving dinner that all I wanted to do (after watching Pushing Daisies) was sleep.)
We left the house at 5 (we weren't going to stand on line at Best Buy before 3 am for the doorbusters because we weren't that into anything listed as a doorbuster) and got to Best Buy around 5:10. We got home around 12:40. Long, long morning of shopping.
Where did we go? A bunch of places, but we bought stuff from BB, Macys, Sears, Bath & Body Works (great deals but their credit card machines weren't really working!), Sephora, Victoria's Secret, Taco Bell, Costco, Target.
Notably missing from the list? Circuit City, of course.
Why didn't we go to Circuit City? See here and here and here, especially the second link. To summarize, our past Black Friday experiences have shown Circuit City here to be: disorganized, inefficient, frustrating, aggravating and a horrible experience. We were willing to not save the couple of extra dollars to buy something at Best Buy instead. Or to go to Circuit City later in the day since we were really just going to get DVDs.
So after we finished at the mall around 10:30 we tried to go to CC. There was still a line.
Went to other places and then after we finished lunch at Costco, we tried to go to CC. There was still a line. It was 12:30. There should not still be a line to get into the store at 12:30!! (Especially when the sales weren't that good...) I think we were quite happy with our decision to skip that frustrating, frustrating madness this year. Best Buy, in contrast to this CC, is amazingly organized and efficient (even considering the mob) and they manage to improve their methods every year. That's how a store should be run!
Anyway, came back home, went on a brief photo walk to take pictures of autumn leaves (there are some really gorgeous firey colors out here), and then settled in for a nice afternoon recovery nap. Maybe when we go to CC before dinner, there won't be a line to get into the store. We'll see.
On my way to the bathroom, I was thinking about how I should post about these new signs in our bathroom asking people to remember to flush the toilet, and how I thought it was amusing/sad that we needed signs with large letters in bold and caps to make sure people flush.
When I got there, I realized that, of the 4 stalls, 1 was occupied, and 3 were not flushed.
Even with the big bold caps signs all over the bathroom!!!!
I realize that the flush power on this floor is not as much as it was on my old floor but seriously. All that means is that you hold the lever down a little longer. Sigh. It's not that hard to flush!
Tonight, Alvin and I went for my birthday dinner at Marseille. It's close to our apartment, but somehow, we have only been there once (for one of Alvin's birthdays!). Dinner was excellent and I will do my best to describe it here.
We shared a half bottle of white wine that the sommelier recommended but I don't know the name of it. Perhaps something starting with a P? It was wonderfully smooth and I liked it a lot. And a plus was that, unlike some white wines, it didn't make me sneeze.
For appetizer, Alvin got salmon tartare. It came between two wafer-thin crackers (I don't know what they were made of) and a side of caper berry relish. I thought it tasted fairly light, something that would actually be pretty refreshing in the summer. I got a baked goat cheese salad, which had two pieces of baked goat cheese over watercress and arugula with some beets and a vinaigrette. It was delicious. The combination of goat cheese and beets with salad somehow always just works. I really liked this salad.
For entree the last time we were there, Alvin got the seafood couscous and I liked it so much that I got it this time. It comes with a side of couscous and the "stew pot" type thing comes with fish, shrimp and mussels along with potatoes and leeks in this saffron tomato broth. It's yummy. This time Alvin got bouillabaisse, which had similar seafood ingredients but a different flavor. It was also good.
Filled with good food, we moved to dessert. We got the date and toffee pudding which came with an orange-caramel ice cream. It was pretty good, but I was getting pretty full so didn't have room for too much heavy dessert. I was glad that they had an interesting assortment of ice creams and sorbets so we got one dish of that too. We went with the sweet basil ice cream (which was pretty good!) and two sorbets - the blood orange and passion-mango. The blood orange was very well done but the passion-mango was excellent. I always forget how good a choice passion fruit is for things like sorbet and bubble tea.
To conclude, it was a great meal and I always say we should go to Marseille more often. But the list of restaurants we want to go to is so long compared with the number of opportunities, since we live in a neighborhood with so many good restaurants (for which I feel extremely lucky). I should write about the good food more often. Maybe later. :)
Our attempts to combat the smoke-filled air flow in our apartment are failing again. Time to break out the dust mask again. That was an unpleasant way to come out of a nap. And it sucks to have to wear a face mask at home in order to not feel sick like last night.
- walked to Rockefeller Center to see the picket line on the first day of the writers' strike. Didn't stay long enough to see if I recognized anyone because I was hungry and cold, so I went to Wendys.
- almost threw up on 42nd Street as I ran to the subway station. I was walking really quickly and trying to get to the station as quickly as possible because I was late. I was looking around for a clock instead of at my feet. Luckily at the last second I saw that I was about to step on a dead pigeon and was able to catch myself, lift my leg back up and swerve. It was pretty recent since the blood was very red and fresh as it leaked across the sidewalk. Ugh.
- had a good dinner with Alvin at Spice Fusion on 8th Ave. It wasn't very crowded but the food was so, so much better than this place we went to on 9th Ave for a buffet, so I would really like it to stick around longer. The chickpea dish was excellent.
- didn't get much sleep and felt like I was going to collapse from exhaustion. Today I drank Fruit2o energy water but it made no difference and I kept getting more tired throughout the day. Clearly caffeinated drinks don't have the desired effect on me.
- had to start my "winter" routine of wearing comfy warm clothes to the office and changing when I get there.
- was really happy about the Country Music Awards being on ABC because it meant that I didn't have to tape the entire ABC lineup (and it's my favorite TV night of the week). However, despite having 3 hours less to tape this week, I still was not able to tape or watch: Big Shots, Without a Trace, Moonlight or Women's Murder Club. And I'm missing Brothers & Sisters from a few weeks ago as well as some other serials here and there. Serious DVR overload issues and too little time.
- had a lot of meetings.
- played a lot of Scrabulous.
- had to say goodbye to Mei Sheng, one of my favorite pandas, as he left from the San Diego Zoo for China. So sad that we can't just tune in to the webcam to catch up with Buddy.
- contemplated why Britney even wants custody if she's just going to shop for chandeliers and leave them in the car.
- watched the tree outside the window develop vibrant golden leaves and then watched them get dull. It's that time of year again.
- cheered for the donkeys on Amazing Race and thought about how I want to go to Ireland.
- found myself addicted to both the US and UK version of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. (It's in a hard time slot for the US version since I watch Gossip Girl and Private Practice).
- was sad that the numbers are still bad for Journeyman when it's really getting good.
- tried to clean my office but all the papers I sorted and got rid of were replaced by more new papers. Oh well.
- intended to post many, many times but didn't get around to it until now (when I should be sleeping). Good night!
On my lunch break today, I went over to Rockefeller Center because I heard that was where the writers' picket line was scheduled to be. I was curious to see what was going on. After all, this had been talked about for weeks and it's the first time it's happened in years, so it's kind of a big thing (for a TV fan).
On the way there, I saw the gridlock on 6th Avenue and thought maybe the strike was interfering with the traffic. (It's not moving at all). But once I got there, I realized it wasn't.
I was expecting marching or something active, but everyone is kind of holding signs in this pen closed off by police barricades with cops standing around and watching. I took a flyer from the people handing out flyers about the strike (even though I already knew everything written on it). But otherwise, it was all kind of just people standing with signs.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and the effect on the shows, especially the new ones. Will they come back (and what about next season's Lost and 24)? Will the networks finally have to see (in a year of smaller audiences generally) that if you are patient with a show, it can succeed and not everything is a first week hit? Maybe some won't survive ( e.g. why aren't more people watching Journeyman?) but I think it's safe to say that shows like Journeyman, with the numbers it's pulling in right now, might not have even been around this long last year. I was saying recently that it would be nice, if the strike were prolonged, if we could see all those shows that had been pulled off the air prematurely. All the big suspense shows from last year, some of which were shipped off to the internet and some of which weren't. I'd like to see the remaining episodes of Kidnapped, The Nine, Drive, Daybreak, etc. Even better, replay the entire "series." It'll be like a special miniseries! Maybe we can even go back a litte bit and add in shows like Threshold (sigh).
Last night, I was thinking about writing a post about what I think about the new shows this season (finally). Maybe later.
On a closing note, how about that donkey karma from last night's Amazing Race? Those donkeys were so cute and so awesome!