after two years and change at a women's magazine, i've finally started absorbing the culture. it's an extremely gradual process - i still refuse to let strangers [or friends, really] pour wax on me, and i have a hard time spending more than about $50 on shoes) - but there's definite seepage. i subscribe to daily candy and have actually started trucking out to sample sales, for if there's one thing mama taught me, it's that many things are more satisfying when they once cost four times as much as they do when you acquire them. it works in reverse, too, especially when it comes to fortuitous work discounts and freebies: when i inherited a pair of It Boots from corporate christmas a few seasons back, i turned them around on eBay for enough to buy a much-needed bookcase for the apartment. the ingenuity on my part was minimal, but o, was i ever pleased with myself. designer labels that turn into furniture aren't half bad.

i got an alert yesterday about the US release of the anya hindmarch "i'm not a plastic bag" bag. for the uninitiated, it's a limited edition, comparatively cheap ($15) designer grocery bag that created a frenzy in the UK and has been reselling for several hundred dollars online. a few thousand of the local version went on sale today at a handful of stateside boutiques. the math on this one seemed easy: i could wake up a few hours early, queue before work, drop $30 (there's a 2-bag limit) and possibly earn some money (or, you know, earn a little less money and keep one for myself). i was at the store by about 9 (an hour before opening), and installed myself at the end of a hundred-person line.

i...lasted about ten minutes. to pass the time, i cracked open douglas's james brown book, which made me consider what douglas would think of lining up for a bag. then i ran through my schedule in my head, thinking that if i was extra-sleepy after getting to work, maybe i could cancel my free skin cancer screening at lunch (?!)* or skip out on donating platelets at the blood bank this afternoon (?!?!). then the light rain turned into real rain, i decided the universe thought i was an asshole, and i took off. i still think the math was solid, but i couldn't handle trading two hours of my life for The Sack Keira Knightley Brings to the Farmers' Market. i'm a pansy.

and you, internets - what would justify two hours in a queue for you? i'd do it for...tickets to a smiths reunion show. or to cast my vote in '08. speaking of, how 'bout that bloomberg?

*post script: it's a good thing i kept that appointment. they told me i have Suspicious Moles.


sara said...

i once showed up to crate & barrel the day after christmas to get these rad stockings for the mantle. once i fought my way through the hoards of people and claimed my booty, i proceeded to look for the employee holding the sign that read "end of line" with a big, fat arrow pointing downward. two minutes later, choking from claustrophobia, the stockings were abandoned and i ran to the parking garage. i just couldn't get away fast enough.

i will say that i ditched class in order to obtain our police tickets though. i realize it was an internet purchase, but how does one whip out a credit card and stop from squealing with glee without being conspicuous in lecture?

tom said...

Bloomberg ain't gonna win jack. Notwithstanding his mound o' dough, he won't surpass Perot's numbers, and will get shut out of Ye Olde Electoral College.

I have no real intelligent reason for saying this, except that somehow, someway, the two-party stranglehold on things is bound to continue. Besides, the taste of a third-party candiate burns in the mouths of both right-of-center voters (Perot's haul threw the election to Clinton, according to some) and lefties (ditto for Ralph).

And I can't think of somebody who has really been annoyed (or worse) by Bush's antics saying, "you know what, I think I'll vote for a guy who wouldn't break 15% if he had a baseball bat and a plate with "15%" written on it in front of him."

[P.S. -- best hopes for those things becoming Moles of Interest, and then Indicted Moles, and then Moles Thrown In The Cooler For Life. (Good that you caught them early.)]

jacob said...

re: standing in line - with a friend or with reading material, there are many events/things for which i would stand in line for 2 hours. without, that list would be much, much shorter. philip roth, maybe?

re: bloomberg - the new democratic dream i've read about is an obama/bloomberg ticket. the audacity of technocratic and business-oriented hope!

and totally off topic - tom, you were at wisconsin, right? what in god's name is wrong with ann althouse? http://www.tnr.com/blog/the_plank?pid=118895

tom said...


Man, if I had about two hours, I can sit down and tell you the whole story. But, this is Lauren's blog, and in attempt not to dominate on it, I will give you the Cliff's notes:

1) I took a Con Law class from her. Good teacher. Better than most, actually.

2) MFA from Michigan; still artsy to this day (apparently). The blog (althouse.blogspot.com) is a natural extension of that--started after I left in 2003.

3) Impressed me, during my time with her in spring 2001, as a middle-of-the-road liberal. Maybe I misread her, but something snapped in her on 9/11 that has not been tied back together--in seeing her that day, she reacted with extreme emotion (at least, in a more demonstrative way than most). In reading her blog, you can tell that she regularly gives Bush a pass on a lot of terror-related stuff (though, admittedly, I have not read her religiously for some time now--maybe she's taken a swing or two since I last read her).

4) Also, has a major case of Madison-protest-culture/struggle-of-the-oppressed-masses fatigue (I suffer from a milder strain of this ailment, of course).

5) Her feminism? Well, she certainly is one, though an iconoclastic one--not one to fall into the standard line. But I have no good explanation for her "a carrot stick is not a carrot stick" bit--except to say that she has had a run-in with Bubba in the past. There was a picture she posted of him with a bunch of female staffers at (I think) his foundation. She remarked that the one with the largest breasts was closest to him, and claimed that this was not a coincidence. She went in for a lot of crit on that, but she dug in.

6) That experience (among others) gives her a sense that there are people who are out to bring her blog down, which smacks, a little bit, of meglomania or arrogance or something like that. It's a little off-putting, but she is a law professor and, therefore, by definition, knows everything.

Final verdict: usually an entertaining read, if somewhat infuriating/self-absorbed/loony from time to time. We all go off the reservation, on that score, on occasion. So, notwithstanding her love affair with the Bush Administration, a qualified approval of her and her blog.