Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Dah Mall.

Went over to Century Plaza, a mall on the east side of Birmingham. It has seen better days, although it still has some good anchors--J.C. Penney, Sears, McRae’s, and Rich’s--and some pretty good infill stores, but it just has that atmosphere about it that makes it seem like it’s teetering. The design is dated, the parking lot--in addition to being badly laid out--looks like the surface of Mars, the stores have way too much obvious deferred maintenance, the food court’s pitiful, there’s too many junk joints and kiosks.

But, it’s close.

And, since fewer people shop there, we were able to swoop into a parking space right in front of the entrance to Penney’s! Hooray. We stopped by the counter at the front door to make our returns--some more jeans, a dress shirt, a too-small outfit. The lady was a model of indifference and torpor, with a matching sense of humor.

After that task was done, I took Boy for some more blue jeans and Reba took off with the girls for girl stuff. We were done in five minutes again. The girls came back with a ton of pants for Catherine, who tried them all on and wonder of wonders, they all fit. Amazing!

Checked out then went downstairs to see if I could find a couple of pairs of my special Possumblogger Haggar Plain Front, Uncuffed, Boring Polyester Pants. I looked for about five seconds, which was just long enough for the kids to overwhelm Reba’s defenses and start acting like absolute nincompoops. I broke off my pursuit of comfortable pants to come to her aid, which resulted in more loud whooping by Youngest, indifference from the middle two, and stony-faced hatred from Oldest. Man, I LOVE constant positive reinforcement!

On then to the other store for a couple of takebacks--the younger three didn’t have anything to return or try on, so I corralled them beside the pitiful little wishing well fountain and engaged them in games of skill and knowledge. (Where’s that Steve Irwin guy when you’ve got THREE kids to dangle in front of a crocodile, eh?)

Anyway, we occupied ourselves with I Spy (of course, I couldn’t tell them all the things I spied--they might think I was a dirty old man or something), then Rock Paper Scissors, then Odds ‘n’ Evens, and then a game they taught me that was actually kind of fun. Jonathan called it “Chinese Numbers,” but I don’t know if that’s the right name--it involves each player holding up one finger on each hand and tapping another player. The player who gets tapped then holds up a finger on the hand that gets tapped, then taps another player. If he taps with the hand having two fingers, the other player holds up two more fingers for a total of three. This passing of fingers back and forth continues until someone’s hand has all five fingers up, and that hand is retired from play. Last player with a finger still standing wins. There’s some strategy to play, too. If a player has an out-of-play hand, and two or four fingers on the other hand, he can bring the unused hand back in the game by “doubling” or giving that hand half of the fingers from the hand still in play. It’s all much harder to explain than to play, but best of all it kept them quietly busy for half an hour. Thank heavens.

Mom and Ashley finally came back out after an hour-long marathon of shoppiness and it was FINALLY time to go home.

NEXT: Why I dread hearing the telephone ring on Sunday mornings!

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