Well, first off, I found a coupon for Linens n' Things that saved my Mom enough money to get me a new mattress pad, since my old one was full of holes and falling apart, literally. Score. Okay, that was boring.
Second, I went over to my Aunt Jodi and Uncle Jeff's house, and they took me to the Royal Palm, one of my favorite Thai restaurants (in Roosevelt). Instead of the usual restaurant deal, this evening they were hosting a benefit for tsunami aid. They had a huge buffet of fantastic Thai food, all-you-can-eat for $15, with every penny (not just the profits...ALL the money) going to tsunami relief. Drinks were free, although they had to charge for anything alcoholic per state law, but that money was donated too.
It was great...I mean, how many times have you looked at a menu and wondered about all the different things you could try, but had to settle for one? I had a smaller selection, since a lot of the food was meat, but I was able to try a great string bean dish and two curries, which is what I mostly like anyway, so I was a very happy (and round) person.
And the people! The line to get in stretched all through the restaurant, out the door, down the stairs, and to the corner. There were at least 65 people in line, and it never got any shorter as people left (we had to wait for about 45 minutes, tortured by the smells). The restaurant was staffed with volunteers, many from neighboring stores. Our server worked in the free-trade store downstairs, which I also learned was non-profit, so now I have to go in.
And after that,
I've worn a pair of Chaco sandals almost exclusively for about 2 and a half years. They're comfortable and airy and I love them. However, they were starting to get a little well-loved...the webbing was ratty and unraveling where it got sliced way back when, the tough Vibram soles were smoothing out...and I was running into a dilemma. See, the webbing and the soles can all be replaced by sending them back to the company, which is great, because it's more sustainable than getting a new pair. However, that takes weeks to do, and I'm leaving too soon for that.
But I got a kick in the butt two days ago, when I looked down and saw there was a deep crack started near one of my toes--and not in the sole either, in the top, which isn't repairable. I freaked and took it to a shoe repair place, which wasn't optimistic, but they did try (unsuccessfully) to glue it. Now what? Maybe they'd make it through SAS, but what if they broke in the middle of the voyage? I'd be screwed and have to wear hiking boots the rest of the time. And new Chacos cost like, $90. Agh agh agh.
Well, I decided to go to REI and have a look, so Aunt Jodi and Uncle Jeff took me tonight. And lo, it is year-end clearance, and they had a rack of shoes that had to go, and WOO HOO, I found several beautiful pairs of Chacos in sizes that fit me (I have big feet, and I think the big sandals are the ones that are the most left over at the end of the year, since I only found sizes 10, 11, and 5. I'm 11), in the color I would have chosen anyway, if I could have chosen from all of them (a lovely indigo). AND they were all marked down to about $65, which I felt a lot better about paying.* I tried on the two styles and ended up switching to the toe-wrapped style, which I found comfy and I think may help avoid the crack problem I had before. And they look sexy on me. :) VIZ. They're actually a much darker blue than the picture, almost luminous, like bluemoonshark's recent quilt fabric.
Now, here's the philosophical part (I'm sure troglodyteking is reading this now). When I showed the salesguy my old beat up sandals, he said "did you get these at REI?" and I said "yes." Then he said, "well, you can get those replaced," which means I would get the new Chacos for free. So I went downstairs to customer service and gave them my card, but the guy couldn't find the purchase on my records. I thought about it and remembered that I'd actually gotten them at Hyperspud in Moscow. But it didn't matter. I could get a new pair of sandals for free if I did the following:
1. State that the sandals came from REI.
2. State that I hadn't been 100% satisfied with the previous sandals (I love REI guarantees).
But I couldn't. I didn't get the sandals at REI, but maybe more importantly, I really WAS satisfied with my old sandals. Except for the crack, they served me really well for the time I had them and I don't regret getting them one bit (they beat the hell out of my Tevas). Not only that, but I really like REI and respect it as a company, and I don't want to wrongly take advantage of it when it's so good to us customers. I didn't feel good about the lying, and I didn't feel good about making the company pay for something it shouldn't.
So I paid the $65. I didn't care; that is still a FANTASTIC price for Chacos, and I was thrilled to get them. And it's a huge relief to know I'm not taking damaged sandals on the trip. I think I'm honest to a fault sometimes (I once corrected a UI bookstore checker who charged me the used price for a new book; he looked at me like I was nuts), but it feels good to know that I can rely on myself that way. I've felt horrible the few times when I've lied for nefarious purposes.
And then we went back to the house and watched When Harry Met Sally, but just the orgasm scene.
*Okay, it was right HERE that LJ almost ate my entry >dies<