cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 03:56pm on 15/11/2008 under ,
This week, I stopped into a Borders bookstore on the way back from a court conference, thinking to buy a book and have a pleasant light lunch before I headed back to my office.

Book in hand, I approached the clerk at the cafe counter, where we had the following dialogue:

ME: Hi. [eyeing the substantial array of dessert-like substances and noting the lack of anything with protein] Do you sell any sandwiches?

HIM: Well, we usually do, but we don't have any today.

ME: Oh. Well, [lifting book in the direction of the cash register] can I pay for this here?

HIM: No, sorry, you have to take that downstairs [to the main bank of registers].

Barnes & Noble, of course, has a nice variety of sandwiches on offer, and its cafe clerks not only accept payment for books and other merchandise at their register, they will offer to do so and look up whether the purchaser has a Barnes & Noble account so the person can get the 10% discount.

No wonder Borders continues to lag behind B&N, despite often having a wider and more interesting selection of books.
Mood:: 'annoyed' annoyed
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:59pm on 19/10/2008 under , ,
I'd like to recommend the following books: Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day and Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day. They are cultural histories of ancient Athens (say, of Socrates's day) and ancient Rome (say, early Republic), framed as though they were modern travel guides. So far as I can tell from my previous knowledge, the facts in both are, for the most part, correct, and the writing is witty and marvelous. At $18.95 apiece (they're British imports), they're not cheap, but they are fun. As you can see from the links, Amazon has them, as does Barnes & Noble, and I found one of them at my favorite family-run bookstore, so they are available.
Mood:: 'amused' amused
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
I remember that on February 2, 2006, it was a sunny day. By tradition, if the Groundhog can see his shadow on February 2 (i.e., if it's a sunny day), there will be six more weeks of winter. Surprisingly, it looks like that's exactly what we're in for. After a mild December, and one of the warmest Januarys on record in this area, we finally had our first real snow of the winter. It started snowing yesterday afternoon, snowed all night, and stopped this afternoon, leaving us with about a foot of snow to shovel after it was over.

Naturally, we didn't bother getting up until about 2:00 p.m. At that point, we realized that if we didn't hurry up and become vertical, it would get dark and the snow might start freezing, which would trap my car in the driveway, making it impossible to get anywhere we can't walk for at least 24 hours.

Spurred by the thought of Sunday brunch at our favorite bookstore-with-cafe (which is about 8 miles from our house), we showered and dressed and emerged to fight the drifts. 40 minutes later and $35 poorer (having secured the aid of an adolescent neighbor who is supplementing his college fund by helping to dig the rest of us out of our driveways), we were able to back the car out and slowly drive to brunch in the nearly deserted bookstore-with-cafe (which is called Chester County Book & Music Company, in case anybody's interested). Brunch was even tastier than usual, after all the hard work we'd put in to liberate my car.

Now we're back here, and we plan to use the snow as an excuse to stay close to home and....read! or play games! or something fun. Nothing like an excuse for a little holiday. Though it's warm enough now that the excess snow has mostly melted off the walks we've shoveled.

In other news, my left rear tire went completely flat yesterday, for no apparent reason. Fortunately, I discovered the flat while we were in West Chester (at the same bookstore-with-cafe, by coincidence!) and we were really close to a tire store that was able to patch and reinflate the tire for under $30. I need to replace that tire Real Soon Now, though.
Mood:: 'content' content

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