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The best time to shop

Periodically Nathan and I – and, to at least as great an extent, our womenfolk – are seized by an uncontrollable urge to make triple-berry pie, and to serve it piping hot with vanilla ice cream. The urge took us Monday night at around 11:30, when we both really should have been studying or preparing for bed. We pushed forward with the plan regardless, but realized that we lacked the ice cream necessary to bring our delicious plan to fruition (pun intended). The grocery list, affixed benignly to our fridge with a Pagliacci magnet, was starting to get a little long – we were out of bread, milk, and cheese, among other things – so we decided that a full-scale, post-midnight Safeway assault was in order.

The experience of shopping late at night is far superior to its daylight cousin: no waiting in line; no fighting for the last can of coconut milk; no fending off annoyingly helpful employees. You have the whole store to yourself; each aisle is like a wonderful playground lined with processed meat and cheese or cleaning supplies, as the case may be. Running gleefully down each one with your cart isn’t prohibited at 12:30, and there are no old women shuffling slowly forward to interrupt the ride. Because our larder was so bare, we went a little nuts: nearly $100 in groceries, which is much more than we usually attempt in a single Safeway trip. We came home just in time to take the pie out of the oven, and barely waited long enough for it to cool before dishing up. Was the dessert worth the frantic shopping spree? I regret nothing.

The pie was actually an alternate plan – I wanted to get some bubble tea, but Nathan’s and his friend Nick’s lengthy deliberations on the topic would have made it difficult for us to reach the shop before the midnight closing time. Last night I fulfilled my craving, and hauled Marta, Michele, and Bryan along with me. Bryan is deeply suspicious of bubble tea, ever since a bad experience with his first cup – he didn’t realize the presence of the tapioca pearls, and was sucking merrily when one shot up the straw and whacked him in the back of the throat – but we convinced him to accompany us. We went to WOW, since my card there was three drinks away from a freebie, and everyone was happy how it turned out.

After bubble tea, we went back to Bryan’s, where Bryan and I played our first game of chess against each other. Bryan plays pretty frequently, so it was with great seriousness that I sat down across the board from him and told the girls that “chess is not a spectator sport. This didn’t prevent either of them from the occasional suggestion during the game, but mostly they kept it to “I know where to move! I know where to mooooooove!” As for the game: it was the single most intense game of chess I’ve played in my life, hands down. Bryan and I both had bold plans, and we both failed due to some crucial miscalculation. Both of our initial attacks for checkmate were repelled, with heavy losses on both sides; it was chess by attrition. In the end, it came to my king, three pawns, and knight against Bryan’s sole king. I won, but he almost forced me over the 50-move limit and into a stalemate. We’ll probably play again in the near future, but I don’t picture myself as the sort of person who names chess as a hobby; we’ll see.

I had an article in the Daily yesterday, which you can find on their server here or on my own here. I was disappointed with it while writing it, but all in all I don’t think it turned out all that horribly. A guy in my English class even told me that it was hilarious – news to me, but OK.

Posted in Musings.


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