Monday, August 01, 2011

Weekend Entertainment


Ahead lies the daunting task of moving Brigid out of the house and into her new apartment, but don't worry, she went to Urban Outfitters and bought herself a necklace stand, so matters are well in hand.  Yesterday we drove to Richmond to sign her lease and get the key.  The girls she is sharing with are still an unknown quantity.  Let's just hope they aren't all in the same sorority.
A picture of B's house (far right):

And one of Ian's street in the Canisius student ghetto, for comparison. He and his friends have the second and third floors of one of these houses.

After the lease signing, we drove to nearby Diversity Thrift--the shop that benefits the gay community of Richmond and whose proceeds fund the Gay Community Center.  Which is cool, but on the drive home I started to wonder what goes on at a gay community center.  At any rate, we found all the dishes and pans Brigid will need plus a chair for her desk and a lamp, all for a paltry $27. Not to mention that I immediately spotted a set of white bowls--my hand fairly tingled as I reached for them--and they turned out to be Buffalo china, which I collect.  If  I have helped fund fabulous parties for queens, may they have a good time.  Add to this the $20 I spent at a neighbor's yard sale for a desk and dresser, and we have outfitted Brigid's apartment for $47.    Which is good, because the needs of the art student are many, expensive, and specific.  Her long supply list begins with Macbook Pro with 15" screen (nothing else is acceptable) and includes a set of drill bits, a very precise type of hammer, expensive arty software and expensive non-arty software.


My other weekend accomplishment was to buy new running shoes.  Usually I go to large, impersonal athletic stores and select whichever pair of New Balance shoes have the most pleasing color scheme.  This method has worked out pretty well for me since I first started running at age 18.  This time, I decided to try the fancy running store downtown, where, to give them credit, they were very nice and  not much more expensive than the big stores.  They were, however, anxious to analyze my gait before selling me a shoe, a procedure I submitted to because I did not want to appear rude or ungrateful.  It involved running on a treadmill while the 19 year old clerk knelt beside me and filmed my feet and the slightly-older other clerk coached me.  I had never run on a treadmill before, a fact they found astonishing. "You might want to try letting go of the handle bars," the coaching clerk suggested.  And fall flat on my face and get the hem of my sundress caught in the belt?  I think not. Next came the horrifying spectacle of my bare feet and calves  thrown up onto a big screen TV for all the store to see, while the young clerk alternately played the feed in slow motion and sped it up.  The result?  I am afflicted with "over pronation." OH GOD NO!   The sign of the thunder-thigh'ed.

Based on my propensity to run on the insides of my ankles, two pairs of shoes were selected for me to chose from.
 "How do they feel?" asked the clerk, of the first pair.
 "Good," I said. "They feel fine."  It seemed I was expected to say more, so I volunteered that they didn't pinch my wide feet.
"They should feel firm along the top and sides of your feet, "said the clerk.  "Why don't you walk around the store and make sure they're firm enough."  I walked and said that I could feel the shoes pressing along the sides of my feet.
"They shouldn't be pressing, they should be gripping, " said the clerk.  I walked some more and feigned deep concentration.
"Yes," I said, "This actually feels more like 'gripping' than 'pressing.' Yup, these shoes are definitely 'gripping' and not 'pressing.'" How could I have been so stupid as to believe these shoes were pressing, when they were very clearly gripping.
"Are they rubbing anywhere?" asked the clerk, "they shouldn't be rubbing."  No, they weren't rubbing but I tried on the other pair for comparison.  They felt exactly the same as the first pair.  I couldn't decide which was the grippiest.  The clerks were looking at me expectantly.  I said, "I usually just buy whatever and it works out fine.  I'll take whichever pair is cheapest."  The shoes were priced almost identically, so I went with the first pair because they are prettier.  They gave me a free t-shirt that says RUN LIKE A GIRL across the chest and leaving the shop I witnessed a spectacular parallel parking fail. (Charlottesvillians are incapable of parallel parking.  WHY do they persist in positioning themselves three miles from the car they're trying to park behind?) All in all the running shoe adventure turned out to be highly satisfactory.

And now,  random photos with which I shall grace this post.
My four tawny children:

Best spaghetti sauce in the western hemisphere--corner of Lafayette & Niagara in Buffalo.

Seamus drives the Barbie car.

Two beautiful nieces:


  1. "If I have helped fund fabulous parties for queens, may they have a good time."

    Okay, that's going to have to go on some sort of master list of your best lines ever.

    I don't know if you've ever shopped at the other running store in town (the one on the Corner), but I highly recommend it. And after the women's 4-miler, I'll have a pile of nice coupons that I'd be happy to share. (You only need one and can reuse it as much as you like. This past year, they were for $10 or $15 off.)

  2. It must be an awfully fancy shoe store if they go so far as to acknowledge your presence.

    I just wanted to chime in on what goes in a gay community center. They are usually umbrella organizations for switchboards, either for suicide hotlines or HIV/AIDS info. They often offer STD testing as well. They coordinate PFLAG groups and Meals-on-Wheels-style programs for people with HIV and AIDS. Here at home they had a social group for gay and lesbian teenagers with movie nights and such, so you probably are funding chips and dip and Breakfast at Tiffany's screenings for high school drama students.

  3. Will, that's an impressive list of accomplishments. Thanks for the explanation, and I'm glad to have benefited the cause, in my small way.