Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rosh Hashanah and Furlough Days Off - Day 3: I Didn't Know Sweden Was a Dictatorship

Dad was antsy enough yesterday that he and I ended up going to Vons, Ralphs, and Albertsons to pick up many things, including six bananas at Ralphs, in anticipation of a promise to go to Sprouts by Sunday (where the really good bananas are) and ice and bread for Mom at Albertsons. It took up most of the afternoon, but didn't compare at all to today.

I woke up to Kitty on my second pillow, a pink ribbon bow on her collar. She and Tigger had been picked up by the groomer to be taken to her house, groomed and brought back, as it has been for a few years now. Dad and Meridith saw them out when the groomer arrived and picked them up, and Mom and Meridith were outside when they came back. It was the first time in a few months that I had been sleeping when the groomer came.

And then my day began. Not long after Tigger and Kitty got back, all groomed and Kitty especially happy at spending time being pampered, Mom decided she wanted to go to Fry's in Burbank to see if there were decent clock radios there. The one she's had for a time stopped working and so far, it's been a fruitless search to find a reliable one. And this tied right into my desire to go to IKEA for Swedish meatballs, since we'd be nearby. In fact, it was decided that that's where we would go for lunch.

The Fry's in Burbank has a 1950s alien invasion theme, with some of the ceiling over the TVs being the underside of a landed spaceship. Aliens in spacesuits are all around, shooting at soldiers, and there's a huge alien in the computer department. This is also the Fry's where Bill Prady, the co-creator of The Big Bang Theory, shops often, so as Mom, Dad, Meridith and I walked to the entrance, I told Meridith that I hoped he'd be there. I know what he looks like, and though I didn't bring either of the first three seasons on DVD for him to autograph, just to meet him would be an honor.

I like Fry's for the store design, but the major reason I like it is for the DVDs. They charge market prices for many of the DVDs, like Barnes & Noble, but the selection is far better than what Barnes & Noble offers, much more fun to look at than what Best Buy has. You sometimes find movies you haven't thought of in so long, or didn't think they'd sell because you and maybe three other people know about it, but there it is. I didn't have that experience this time, but once Meridith and I got to the DVD aisles, and we looked through TV DVDs first, I looked for anything of Jack Webb and Dragnet. Webb was very plainspoken, and episodes of Dragnet only conveyed the most essential information to understand what was happening. That was it. It's a style I admire and study not because I want to emulate it, but because it teaches me to just get in there and tell whatever story I want to tell.

I found Dragnet 1968: Volume One, 10 episodes of the second season of Dragnet in the late '60s, co-starring Harry Morgan as Sergeant Joe Friday's partner, Officer Bill Gannon. $6.99. Reasonable. I found the full second season DVD set for $33. Too much to refamiliarize myself with Jack Webb and his historical television work. But 10 episodes from this later Dragnet series was a good start.

In the comedy section, I found Morning Glory, which I had really liked when I first saw it, and considered whether I should buy it. $14.99 made me stop short. Did I really like it that much? I don't normally buy single DVDs at that price. But I decided to hold on to it, carry it around with me while we were there.

We walked Fry's front and back and left and right many times. Dad wanted to look at power managers for the main computer, Mom looked at the clock radios, and told Meridith of the small mp3 speakers she'd seen, so we looked at those too. And we looked at the magazines stocked there, and the bargain bins, and it was tiring. It wasn't because of all of that activity, all of that walking that I decided to get Morning Glory. It seemed to meld into me, and I remembered how sunny Rachel McAdams had been in it, how this contained one of Harrison Ford's best roles, and how Ty Burrell of Modern Family showed that he could be a strong supporting player in feature comedies, making so much entertaining sleaziness and smarm out of his relatively small role here. You cannot find Phil Dunphy. Burrell's got the knack.

And I also thought of the movies I'd seen this year. I'd looked forward to the remake of Arthur because I like Russell Brand, and I laughed in parts during it, developed a film-length crush on Greta Gerwig, and admired Helen Mirren for performing the roles that she apparently liked. But a few days later, a few weeks later, now? I didn't, and don't, remember a great deal from it. I don't have the fondness for it that I do of the original Arthur, starring Dudley Moore. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides fell far short of what I had hoped for after the bloatedness of At World's End: A more streamlined, more fun adventure. Not much of that, with 3D not contributing much to it. Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and co-written/directed by Hanks, was a nice, warm comedy, but I don't feel the fondness that I did for it when I saw it, beyond seeing it with Sy Richardson, who had a part in it as one of Crowne's fellow employees at that big box store, and I hope his scenes are included in the deleted scenes section on the DVD.

We left Fry's without a Bill Prady sighting, with Mom's clock radio, my DVDs, a few candy-related items near the registers (and why in the hell, with such a wide path to the line for the registers, do people stand behind us, assuming that we're in line when there's such a huge space between us and the line up ahead? They have eyes, and yet they don't lose them. Their brain doesn't connect in those moments. Six people did exactly that), and stopped at Office Depot, right near IKEA, because Mom wanted to look at pens and Dad wanted to look at power managers there. I'd eaten breakfast towards 11. It was 3 p.m. Now it was my turn to be antsy. I wanted to get to those Swedish meatballs, to that lingonberry sauce and that lingonberry drink. And we were in this Office Depot again, as we had done the last time we were in Burbank.

We finally arrived at IKEA, and the line for food was long, but fortunately, as Mom and Meridith looked around at one of the remodeled areas, Dad found a table and sat there. I went for the Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, the gravy and the lingonberry sauce, and spinach and cheese crepes. Mom and Meridith got their Swedish meatballs with macaroni and cheese, and Dad got his with mashed potatoes too, along with chocolate cake. I found an almond cake torte with chocolate buttercream and a few other attractive details that I've forgotten by now, but they were good enough for me to want a slice. And after collecting the dishes, and putting them on trays that were in a tray cart we were rolling around, I was thinking about the roll I usually get in order to mop up the rest of the gravy and the lingonberry sauce, but then found that they had garlic toast. First time in all the times we've been to IKEA. I wanted that!

After paying for all of this and getting our drinks, Dad, Meridith and I sat down and a question immediately came to mind: When did Sweden become a dictatorship? When did we, as customers of IKEA, lose the right to have the tray cart right at our table? An employee came to our table and took it away, along with the empty trays that were on it, which we would have used to put our dishes back on there and wheel the tray cart over to where the trays are placed on racks for employees to wheel to the kitchen once they're full. What was so wrong, so vile about having the tray cart right there? It wasn't blocking anyone. The people at the table next to us were facing the soda dispenser, silverware, and condiment area anyway, so they had no problem. And yes, it was busy, but it was still our tray cart and there were more than enough tray carts for other people. I have hands, so I didn't mind carrying the dishes over to those racks with the trays on them, but it was nice to have the cart there as a matter of convenience. I don't think it's worth writing to IKEA about because we don't go there often anyway (The last time we went there, the Swedish meatball dish was $3.99 and this year it's $2.99), and by the time we got out of IKEA with a few things Mom bought, including towels, I just wanted to go home.

But that wasn't all. Sprouts was next after we got back to Santa Clarita, and so I got the bananas I want, along with my favorite lemon yogurt, Casacade Fresh lemon chiffon. I eat the Yoplait Greek blueberry and peach yogurts from Walmart and other stores because it's what's there, it's what we can get, since we also don't go to Sprouts very often. But when I can get that lemon chiffon yogurt, I go for it, as I did this time, buying four of them, even though I have five Yoplait Greek yogurts in the fridge.

And then the Walmart on Kelly Johnson Parkway, which overlooks Six Flags from the parking lot, and I spotted two noticeable worklights at Superman: Escape from Krypton, being that they are building Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom on both sides of the Superman tower. Or they seemed like worklights anyway. I'm not sure how far along they are to the beginning of construction at the sides of the tower.

Mom got another Dial pear foaming handwash for mine and Meridith's bathroom, and Meridith got small compartmenalized tray of apples, cheese and caramel dip. I found one with grapes instead of the dip, and got that too, but as to whether there was anything else besides those three things, I don't remember. I'm completely worn out. I'm not dragging as much as I was when we got home, but I'm hoping to make it through at least two episodes of Dragnet 1968 before I conk out. But still again, in order to do anything different in Santa Clarita, you have to leave for the day.