First order of business was to take out the garbage, which included 2 used litterbox cartridges.
Next, grabbed the dolly from the storage room, walked out my patio door to the apartment office and loaded up two 40-lb boxes with 6 litterbox refills each. PITA - usually UPS leaves the boxes in front of my apartment. Maybe it was the rain, maybe there's a new delivery droid who doesn't know how to find the individual apartments.
Got that home, grabbed a small sponge , went back outside and shoved it up the drain pipe by the bedroom window. I guess maintenance cleared out the one I put there last time it rained. I think I've told this story before - the drain pipe was installed by someone with a plumb line and a good eye, and as a result the water pours off the roof 3 stories up, straight down the center of the pipe, and hits the bottom L piece with a resounding pounding sound. The acoustics of the pipe amplify this right through the wall and the bedroom window. Night before last we had about half an inch of rain an hour and it woke me up, and kept me up.
Next on the list was go to the Tea Village in Mountain View looking for flowering jasmine tea. I love this place and don't go there often enough. Half the shop is specialty teas, the other half is jade and other Chinese jewelry & artifacts. They collect huge amethyst geodes and there are about a dozen scattered around the store, most of them 3 feet or taller. Gorgeous. It's a friendly family business, and Mr. was seated on a cushion at a low table a couple of feet in from the front door, in the process of doing a test tasting with a young man. Mr. chatted me up as I came in, even though he was with another customer. Very friendly. I prowled the shelves and about halfway in there they were in a small glass display jar - the trademark wrapped tea balls which said flowering tea. But I was confused because the name on the package was Silk Blossom. I continued looking around, and on the other side of the store was a laminated page with pictures of three flowering jasmine configurations, but it was all in Chinese. In front of it was a bowl full of individually vacuum-wrapped tea balls. No labels, no writing on them.
Mrs. and daughter came out from having lunch in the back room, and after she helped a couple of other customers I asked Mrs. about the laminated page, and she said the individual packages were a grab bag - no way to know which of the three types of flowers you would get. Back to the other side of the room, she pointed out the Silk Blossom boxes, which were in two sizes. Small had one each of five different flowers, big had two each. Big was a $4 savings over small, and a $7 savings over the individually wrapped ones in the bowl. I grabbed two of the big boxes. Now I needed a big glass teapot to bloom them in. They didn't have any which worked for me. The ones without infusers built in were too small, and the infusers spoiled the effect. So I paid for the two boxes, Grandma came out and threw in a free packet of colon-cleaning tea and daughter added a single serving's worth of their finest jasmine green leaf tea.
Having the long-sought flowering tea in hand, I was now in **Shopper's OCD mode, ISO a big glass teapot and a large glass tea mug.
Chinese market across the street was a bust. Chinese market down the block came close, but I didn't trust the cheap plastic collar-handle. Herbal tea store only had small ones. So much for downtown MV. Back to the car, went to BB&B. Maybe they had a gift set left. Nope, all sold out. Lots of metal teapots, but no glass ones. I did score a pair of nice solid Anchor Hocking glass 16-oz. coffee mugs which were perfect.
On to Stanford Shopping Center, Williams-Sonoma. Lots of glass coffee percolators, but nothing which would serve as a teapot. Macy's next. After prowling the whole 3rd floor, as I was leaving I saw the gift set and extra tubes of flowering tea balls on what looked like a clearance rack, but wasn't. The prices were reasonable, so I grabbed a gift set (a lovely glass teapot and cover with a removable glass cup insert and a tube of tea balls) and one tube. Each tube was $3 less for 12 than the tea store's box of 10, but only 3 are jasmine. The other flavors look interesting, though. Paid the cashier, she was very concerned that I had paid full price, apparently that rack will be the clearance rack on Wednesday. She said to hold onto the recipt and come back Wednesday, she would give me a refund if the price was cut.
On the escalator up I saw Frangos on the 1st floor, so I took a look. I think I had only seen them once since I left Seattle. Frangos are delicious chocolate confections which come in a variety of flavors. They were created for Frederick & Nelson, Seattle's answer to Needless Markups, and were an expensive special treat for us kids back in the 60's. F&N went out of business long ago, and they handed over the Frangos franchise to their arch rival across the street, The Bon Marché. The Bon went toes-up too, and I had not seen Frangos since, I don't think. I loaded up about $50 worth and went looking for a cashier. None in sight. That part of Macy's is between the makeup section and the handbags. I asked one of the makeup babes where I could pay, and she was able to ring it up herself. She was very concerned that I was paying full price, and made sure I knew they were not on sale. The register was hidden behind a blind, but the card scanner was on the counter.
One nice thing about Macy's, they bring the bag out from behind the counter and hand it to you, instead of handing it up and over, or leaving it on the counter for you to grab. Another nice thing is there are a lot of hot babes working there, and while I'm not jazzed about them dressing in all black, I liked that those who could pull it off wore stretch pants.
Mission accomplished, and then some.
I took the stuff out to the car, and since it was cold and wet and I had not eaten anything all day except two donettes at about 10, and it was now 4:30, I went into Max's Opera Cafe, and had some matzo ball soup. It was about 85° in there. Service was slow - it took 5 minutes after I was done for the waiter to return to my section, I had to flag him down for dessert. Another 5 minutes to get the menu, and another 5 to order. Then 15 minutes and he brought me a 3/4 melted mess. I should have shouted rude things at him and sent it back and asked for my check, but I ate what was edible (half of the fudge and ice cream was in a pool on the plate below the sundae glass). He only got a $2 tip. Should have stiffed him, but that would have meant waiting for change.
Too early to leave, and there was so much eye candy and so many comfortable places to sit and watch, so I found a big chair with nice stuffed cushions and people-watched for half an hour.
Home, unpacked everything, put the glassware into the dishwasher and started it up. 8 pm. Nap time.
Woke up at 10:30, made a pot of flowering jasmine. Made a pot of egg flower corn soup. Fed the cats their treats and had some ice cream.
Plans for tomorrow:
Photo shoot at 3:30. May be able to sell my refurbished PocketWizard. Bringing a 60mm macro lens which ought to work well as both a portrait lens and for close-ups of the model's green eyes. Also taking the workhorse 18-200 VR lens. While I was at it, I put the D90 back in its case, and got out the Nikon battery charger and the fast 35mm and faster 50mm for Conflikt. Can't believe it's less than a week away.
Watch the Ravens lose to the Patriots
Watch the 49ers playoff game on Tivo (just reset the recording options to 3 hours over the scheduled program, OT might happen)
Re-set my circadian clock.