Next order of business was supposed to be surgical strike trip to Target for a power strip to pack for the trip, and a replacement for the wounded plush bear which has served as my bolster pillow since I worked at Sony. Found a power strip even better than what I had in mind - two USB charging ports built on. But The French Store had zero plush bears larger than 8", and I'm needing something ~ 20". They had a stuffed Mickey Mouse that was tall enough, but it's mostly legs and feet and too skinny.
So on to Valco mall, which had a toy store last time I was there.
But since that time, the vultures pulled the plug after 15 years of dawdling, and all that is still open in the mall is a pair of nerd game stores, a couple of men's clothing stores, a kiosk or two selling cell phone covers and watch batteries, and a Mexican fast food stall in what used to be a food court. The AMC theater complex is still going strong.
The food court
The crowded hallway
My former store
So onward to the big mall, Westfields. It took a while to find the toy stores, they were on the other side of the mall opposite where I had parked and downstairs (I parked on level 2). Cleverly placed near the very busy playground and the photo studio. There were four. One is a Lego store, they don't do plush anything. The next was a Build A Bear, which used to be perfect but now they only sell 8" bears. The nice saleswoman said they may have bigger ones online. Maybe. Third was The© Disney® Store™ which had a carousel of several levels of shelves shaped like a circular pyramid, 99% of the plushies were 5" or so, but they did have Mickey and Minnie in large, maybe 26", but again they were all arms and legs and shoes and not much to hug. The 4th store, which I had actually walked into first, is called Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle VF, and it has a buttload of plush things. Most of them look like what you would get if you crossed (insert animal here) with Pikachu. Turns out they had a lot of things which were very close to what I was looking for, and I finally spent $34 (about the same as a 26" Mickey) on a stylized stuffed calico cat.
By now I am very hungry, it is a couple of hours past when I had been planning on being home for lunch. After way too much walking around I settled on the Thai place in the food court, pot thai, mango chicken and Thai iced tea. The noodles were coated with something too close to ketchup, the chicken was little deep-fried balls of some soft bread-like substance, coated in something way too sweet. The tea was perfect. Momentary panic as I realized I had not insulin with me (had not planned on being away from home that long).
I sat down at a table alongside the shop, and there were two men in Thai Place uniforms eating. I was hoping to eavesdrop, but they were not speaking Thai, they were speaking some obscure dialect of Chinese. While they were eating, a woman passerby asked one of them where he got what he was eating, and he pointed to the Thai Place, and said he was one of the chefs. A few minutes later she came back and told him she had asked, and they don't make that there. So he gave her a substantial piece of his. She went back to get some rice to eat with it. Kindness, as Kathy Mar says.
Finished my meal, but there were too many cute women in short-shorts to leave right away. I had no plans till about 6 pm, so I just sat and watched the view.
Finally headed for the parking garage, and on the way met one of the guys who had not been laid off with the rest of us, with his family. Had a nice chat, he says things are not good, his new teammate is highly annoying (teammate used to be one of the managers, but all his staff were fired), musical cubicles has taken place, and they are now using Agile, which is the most sucky way to run a tech company ever.
On to the garage, I had taken a photo of the level/row sign so I could find the car, but the car wasn't there. Even though there were plenty of spots opening up, about three different cars stalked me, hoping to grab my spot when I left. It was funny and highly annoying. So I walked around a lot more than I needed to. Slowly. Randomly changing aisles. Did not find my car, so I fired up the Ford app, which shows where my car is and where I am, and I'm in the wrong lot. My car is on the other side of the mall. The aisle signs don't tell you which garage you are in. FAIL.
Back into the mall, found where I had entered (between Pizza My Heart and Old Navy) and it still took a long time to reach the car because I was parked near the end of the aisle. Unlike every other car I have owned, this one doesn't beep loud enough to hear when you press the lock button. Or when you open the trunk by remote.
Home, in the mail was a letter from Social Security telling me what they were charging for my Part B -it is calculated - WTF - on my 2014 income tax return. Two things wrong with this picture. 1. I am now unemployed, my income level is low enough to pay nothing extra, or close to it. 2. I already sent them (and they cashed) a check for that amount, 3 month's worth.
I'll have to call them, which means being on hold for an hour. M-F, EDT times I think. Probably will do that from Ventura Tuesday.
Getting towards 6 pm, cut a couple of long stem roses from the garden and tied them together with garden twist along with a small branch of Thai lime leaves. Brought those to a housewarming at a theater friend's new home. It's only a couple of miles from my house, and is one of the condos I have been complaining about. The bad news is very high-priced condos replaced the only substantial restaurant in the area. The good news is it was the worst Thai restaurant in the Bay area.
Aside from the host there was only one person I knew there, and she was on her way out. Oh wait, there was also Chris, whom I met doing the same show as the host, and who is somewhat suspicious. He has two Facebook accounts, different names, both of them are names he goes by. And I don't think it's a case of a stage name and a private name.
I did join the chat group around the livingroom table for a while, but it was a noisy bunch nearby in the kitchen, made it hard to hear. I chatted with the host's partner, whom I had met briefly at a show's gala, and discovered the soap opera of how they became a couple. They met at a games night at Chris', which was a running event, and first became good buddies, and then Something Happened, and they were moving in together.
Stayed an hour or so, went home, had dinner (there was nothing to eat at the party except cupcakes, but a ton of booze), finished an apple for dessert before I remembered I still had two éclairs in the fridge.
Decided the sibs needed some of the many Thai lime leaves I harvested this afternoon, so I made a nice flyer in PowerPoint, stuffed some leaves into ziplock bags, and they are now ready to be in the mailbox for Monday. I also harvested half a shopping bag of rose petals.
Got the whites out of the dryer and put them away. Got my meds into the weekly container. Watched an episode of Shark Tank in which a Type A++ woman from Houston with a thick drawl, in a RED business suit refused to understand that her whole plan for selling her product was wrong. It was also pointed out that her product took a very simple item and made it complicated. It was sad to see such a closed mind.
Watched about 3 minutes of arena football. I don't know how that is still a thing. It's not like minor league - the scale is too small. All the other minor leagues play on the same field as the majors, just with less talented/lucky players. Arena football is a joke.
Plans for tomorrow:
The only packing I have left is what needs to be done Monday morning.
I may go shopping for snacks. Maybe.