Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Like how Darth vader Sounds

The new Target is open now over on Moreland Avenue. I have already managed to convince the store clerks that I’m a little crazy. This wasn’t intentional.

I went into the new Target last night looking for a white noise machine. Before my trip to Target, I thought everyone would know what a white noise machine was. It’s one of those little devices that puts out a sound much like low radio static, and the purpose of this white noise is the blocking out of lots of other noises. It seems now that white noise machines also like to have options where you can listen instead to noises of the ocean, or crickets in the forest, or water bubbling in a creek. In my mother’s family, it is common to put white noise machines in the rooms of very small children, so that they can’t hear you making noise while they are taking a nap.

Anyway, the husband and I walked into the new Target, and up to the Guest Services desk, and asked where we could find a white noise machine.

“A what?” asked the clerk.

“You know, a machine that puts out a low noise…like they have at hotels.”

“Uh, I never heard of that. Hold on.” She motioned to her supervisor. “Have you ever heard of a white noise machine?”

“Do you want the movie White Noise?” asked the manager helpfully.

“No, no, I’m looking for a machine that goes in your bedroom. Sometimes it’s a travel accessory and sometimes it’s in house wares. It’s a machine that makes a noise like this…” and then I cupped my hands in front of my mouth and made a noise much like how one imagines Darth Vader sounds in a deep sleep.

The Target workers stared at me.

I added helpfully: “It cancels out other noises. You probably have one on in this store and don’t realize it.”

They stared at me again. “Um, we’ve never heard of what you’re talking about.” The clerks were trying very hard to be polite, but I could tell that they were convinced I was making it all up. A machine that sounded like radio static? Who would want one of those?

My husband was trying not to giggle. I sighed. “Ok, look, I’ll find one and show you after I’ve bought it.” I knew Target sold white noise machines. I’d seen them there before.

We wandered off down red-striped lanes. “I hate Target” said the husband. He hates all department stores. It’s a thing with him. He hasn’t got the patience for bad service and a store the length of a football field. We shop at Target because I like Target, and despise most of their competitors. Besides, they have loads of things we usually need.

We needed a white noise machine not only for the new house, which is loft style and therefore needs noise dampening, but for the tiny apartment where we live now until the big move this weekend. We need the machine for this week in the current apartment because out friend Daniel has had yet again horrible room mate luck. His last roomie moved out of town in the middle of the night with no warning, taking some of Daniel’s bill money with her. He’s got a new place to move into at the first of the month, but is spending this last week with us. The apartment is small enough that I would feel guilty about the husband and I enjoying married life at night without some sort of noise interference. The husband and I were on a quest.

We eventually found the white noise machines not in travel accessories nor house wares, but in the back of the pharmacy section. We wouldn’t have found the machines (Target has a small selection) at all, except that when on the edge of giving up over by the air purifiers, we ran into one of those huge stock men who know a store like the back of one of their calloused hands. They know their store because they stock it, just as I once did during Christmas a year and a half ago.

“Oh, yeah.” Said the stockman. “Those things. They used to be over here, but they moved ‘em for some reason.” The stockman took us back to where the foot spas were, and there were the white noise machines, now called “Noise Spas”.

We bought two. One for me that has a timer on it – it shuts off after 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour – and one for the husband that he had to have because it was a white noise machine/alarm clock/ radio and it projects the time overhead or onto a wall in glowing blue light. Both machines were les than $15. After we bought them, I stood in line at guest services again to show them to the clerk and manager. They had never seen them before, but both agreed they looked nice. I felt like I was proven to be sane.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Abby's Spring Break and My First Home

It's my youngest sister's spring break this week, and she is 12. Today I took her horseback riding way out in the country side. Then we went out to lunch in the city. I took her to Cafe Intermezzo, where the desert case is very large and sure to make a twelve-year-old happy. Of course, now I have stomach cramps, because I always eat too much dairy at Cafe Intermezzo and I should only eat dairy in moderation. I can't help it. Their food is so very fine. The fact that I love their coffee doesn't help matters much either.

I wish I could spend more time with my sister this week. I wish I could start packing for the big move I'm going to make soon. I can't do those things because I'll be back in Roanoke, Virginia for work again this week. Even if I was in town, it would be difficult to spend much time with Abby working a regular job just because it's sort of difficult to do family things at all lately. I want to hang out with Audrey and Laura more; there's just not enough time.

The big move I'm about to make is into my very first owned home. The husband and I bought a condo over on Dekalb Avenue near the Inman Park station. I feel comfortable revealing that much of the location because Dekalb avenue is lined with condos over there. As well it should be; we get to stay in the neighborhood I love (just barely) and I will still be able to walk to Little 5 and the new Target that has just opened up on Moreland Avenue. I can continue to live without a car, and that is well worth the price we paid to live in town. We will pay as much for our small condo as my aunt and uncle paid for a spacious home with an acre or so out in Powder Springs. I will pay more a month in property tax than many people pay for car insurance. It's worth the money not to have to fight traffic, but just barely.

Wish me luck this week in Virginia. I really don't want to be away from home and family for most of this week. I will need cheering up via e-mail and through phone calls. I still miss you. When I move, I'll have the best place for you to visit comfortably, and we can drink hot tea and eat cookies.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The world is a vampire drag queen wedding

I was in New Orleans getting ready to take the husband out for his first taste of alligator when I got the Big Family Drama call. One of those calls from a loved one that make you feel powerless, like you should run home and fix everything that you can, only you can't. I recieved this call on Friday night, the second night of our four day trip to the big dirty. I wouldn't be able to respond until Tuesday night. So for the past week now I've been running, running, running, inhaling the exhuast from the engine that runs the world.

Not that it's a bad world. I don't mind inhaling a little exhaust when it means I get to see the sights. In New Orleans we were obligated to stay in two hotels on out trip. The fiirst hotel was the Prince Conti down in the French Quarter. The Prince Conti was a lovely crumbling New Orleans sort of place near all the restaurants and cheesy tours we wanted to take. We saw the city of the dead and went on a good ghost story tour and ate fabulous food. The second hotel we visited was the Hilton out by the N. O. airport, and it was there that I missed the Vampire Drag Queen Wedding.

Last weekend was the southeastern regional event for people who like to play the vampire role playing game. Because this was in New Orleans, loads of our friends were there. Not all my friends play vampire characters of their biological gender. Hence the big drag queen wedding between two major players for plot and strategy purposes.

The wedding only lasted 10 minutes, and I missed it. I was having a lie-down upstairs in the room after being sunburnt on the cemetary tour, and I was fighting terminal PMS and the blues from the big family drma. I had asked the husband to call me when the wedding started so I could go down and watch, but by the time I made it downstairs, I was just in time to see the wedding party posing for pictures.

The rest of the trip was a mix of fun and hard work, as I was in New Orleans for business. We flew back into Atlanta late on Monday night in great turbulence and with delays. I went to work late the next morning and left early to drive to Nashville, where we didn't fall into bed until after 4am.

Safe and sound, I feel asleep before ten last night. It's seven am now and I should get to work. There is so much to do, and so little time. Friday night we have to return to Nashville again. I'm exhausted, and I don't really want to go. I want to lie in bed next to my husband, and dream of moving into the condo we're in the process of buying. That sort of activiity - lieing peacefully in bed and day dreaming - can't realisticly occur this month.