December 29th, 2001

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Surreal day...

I feel so utterly strange. And cleaned in some way. It's weird.

But I'll get to that. First, through the utterly surreal day I had.

Anyway, I wake up at 11 AM and try to force myself awake, so I can go to Walmart and return my printer. My sister has the job of feeding two kittycats while their owner is in LA, so I go and tell her to do that. While I'm waiting for her to come back, who should waltz into my room but my mother...

Red sky at morning, sailor take warning...

"There's supposed to be a bad storm coming in, and it's going to dump a lot of rain, so I don't want you guys dwadling in town."

Alright, I can deal. Then she adds a list of errands to the pile that will assure we won't make it out of town in time. Go figure.

So Jill comes back and we go to town. This is where it starts getting interesting. First we go pick up Dad's paycheck. We take that to the bank. So far so good.. Then we drive over to Manhattan Bagel to have lunch (mmm, bagel). After this, we go to Walmart to return my printer.

Braving the demons of Retail, and playing the unofficial American sport

I hate Walmart with a passion. I doubly hate it because it's difficult to get anything done there, because there's so many damn people crowding the store. I don't mind going in there if I know directly what I'm going to do, but I hate random. And it's a zoo, even three fscking days after Christmas.

So, waiting ten minutes in a line to return the goddamn printer, and I'm (silently) cursing the god who thought it was perverse to make my mom buy a printer here without at least consulting Dad, who, after me, is the house computer genius. Finally I get to the front of the line, and they have to call a special electronics clerk out to inspect the printer. Even though I was very careful and made sure that I didn't open it until I wanted it. So he opens the box, checks it out (and I'm standing there trying not to laugh, I mean, I haven't been into the box at all.

So the clerk returns the money for said printer, and forgets to give me the receipt. I shove the money in my pocket after counting it and went to go get my sister, who is supposedly hanging out in the electronics department. After a frantic search through it (and one very frustrated katster, who didn't count on having to deal with Walmart crowds) I find her. And she wants to buy DVDs. So we wait another ten minutes for her to do this. Aargh.

Then we walk out of the store, and I tell Jill about what mom said. Jill shrugged and said "It isn't raining now." Talk about famous last words.

Next stop on our list, K-Mart, which, oddly enough, isn't built anywhere close to Walmart or any of the other seventybazillion department and variety stores Redding has. So we're cruising down Hilltop when it suddenly dawns on me that a) I don't have the Walmart receipt and b) my mother would kill me if that receipt wasn't returned to her. After all, there was more things on that receipt. So I panic. Jill gets very irritated with me. It is finally agreed that we will continue on to K-mart, then return to Walmart for the receipt, and then continue on the mission to Office Despot, where there are good printers.

The 15 minute search for Ramen

One of the errands our mother chose for us was to buy Maruchan Ramen, which was on sale at K-mart. We also had to find this wrapping paper storage container.

After a frustrating search through the foodstuffs aisles of K-mart, we finally stop a clerk and ask where both things are. He says that the wrapping paper storage container will have to be rainchecked, and the ramen should be somewhere in the food aisles. Groaning, Jill and I set back to scour each aisle.

It took me looking down to find them. Turns out they were on a bottom shelf, and really had only shrimp. Now this doesn't bother me (I'm the weirdo who likes clam chowder, for heavens sake...) but it does bother Jill. And Mom. *sigh*. So, that's done, we wait in another long line to buy the stuff and get the raincheck, while I worry about that walmart receipt.

the triumphant return to walmart.

So, we go back. It's started to rain in this time, and Jill decides to just let me run in after the receipt while she cruised around the parking lot. So I run in. I then proceeded to have a quick run in with my first semester Cisco teacher (in which I proudly got to show off my card) and I smiled at her putting a Walmart bag on her head to keep out the rain.

I go try and find somebody to help me. One person directs me elsewhere. Luckily for me that elsewhere happened to be very happy to help me, and I emerged from Walmart triumphantly, with the receipt safely in my pocket.

Jill is nowhere in sight, and it's starting to rain harder. This is the second time today that she's not been nearby waiting, and I'm pondering starting to curse up a storm to get some of the frustration out of me. Finally, I see her car, wave to her, and she goes pulling up, and I go running through the crowd to get there. But I get there and I see something that makes me hesitate...

The Big Dog in the Back Seat

I have my handle on the doorknob. This looks like JIll's car, but there is a very large German Shepard in the backseat that ... isn't ours. So i start to close the door and apologize for having the wrong car, when I realize that *IS* my sister in the front seat. Oh dear, what now?

Turns out Jill found the dog (whose name happens to be Chief) running around the parking lot, and now that she's become a bit of a dog lover because of the adorable Black Lab you've seen adoring my livejournal, she decides to pick him up and take him to where he belongs. And handily enough, he's got the address on his dog tags.

We try calling ahead and get a fax machine. City of Redding, through whom Chief is registered, offers us no new information that we didn't have from the tags around Chief's neck. So we decide to make ourselves a little trip up to Panorama Dr., which is where the dog's tags say he lives...

If it were only that simple.

We get to the address on the tag. Nobody is home. What do we do now? Jill gets the brilliant idea to check with neighbors. Conviently, as we drove up, we saw people pull up at the house across the street, so we knew they were home. So i go knock on the door, and explain the situation.

"We have your neighbor across the street's dog."
"That's funny, I didn't know they had a dog."
"The tags on his collar directed us up here."
"What kind of dog?"
"A German Shepard, you can see him in the back of that car..."
"Oh. They don't live there anymore."

*groan* Great. Luckily for us, they had a way of contacting said neighbors who moved out, and were willing to take the dog until they could get ahold of them. Woo, mission accomplished.

Office Despot and home...

So, we head off to the land of office supplies, a store called Office Depot, but which I have always called Office Despot. (I like the image of somebody at a desk screaming "The office supplies are ALL MINE!"...okay, I've got a twisted mind.) At Office Despot I find the printer I want, and decide to purchase it. It's now sitting underneath my desk, an HP Deskjet 940c. Niice printer.

So things go well, for once. I should have expected the next thing by the lady at Office Despot being hesitant to accept Jill's signature on mom's credit card. Luckily, by dusting out the old sob story, we get the clerk to accept Jill's signature. (Amazing what telling them that your mom has cancer will do...)

Of Banks and Men...

So, we go home. I have to run to the bank, to get the money I garnered from printer and something else into the bank to beat my purchase of new printer. So, since mom hears we're going to the bank, she gives Jill a deposit slip and a withdrawl slip, and tells her to transfer money between accounts.

We present this formage to the teller and get inforrmed that we can't do this, and that mom either needs to come in person to deal with this or call the transfer number. And she fails to give us either slip back.

So we return, and bring mom this glorious news, which pisses her off...and she runs back to the bank...

And so now, because mom got frustrated, I have legal rights on her account that I didn't necesarily want. Whee...but it was the only way we could make withdrawls out of her accounts without permisison.

the rest of the day...

It went mostly smoothly. I got everything installed, and re-enabled a printer port, and the new printer works nicely. And then I got told to put dinner up, and the plot thickened.

I had been in the middle of working up motivation to work on my college applications when my dad comes smirking into my room and asks if I plan to put away the food.

I go in there to deal with the mess, and discover that the main dish is stuck to the pan. I wonder verbally if my sister has used pam and grumble that the stickyness makes it very difficult to do my job.

Apperantly I was yelling. (or so I was told by my mother later...) This, then, must make it okay for her to yell at me because she yelled at me to shut up. So I finished what I was doing, and ran back into my room and proceeded to get into an interesting discussion with Zibby...

...which if he will forgive me for writing about it in the morning, because I am completely and totally exhausted from an utterly busy day, and I'll be at least another hour typing it.

So...to the morning.
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