January 20th, 2006

"One of these days you're going to have to shop for yourself. . ."

Since I didn't get any takers for my offer of an evening of convivial discourse, I ended up running errands while Skylar was at Kids' Night Out. I bought bulk paper towels, toilet paper, laundry soap and Clorox 2. I bought milk, mushrooms, frozen pizzas, two Fuller's ESB beers, and diet ginger ale for Kim. I checked out various digital cameras -- ours is nearing the end of its lifespan -- and computer gear. I found half-price Peet's Christmas blend and a Weizen glass at Cost Plus. I got four needles for inflating basketballs and such. I bought Skylar a metal baseball bat that's easier for her to manage than the grown-up wood one she's been using so far. I also got picked up two new softballs.

And I finally made it over to Borders to use the excellent gift cards that Kim's parents and her brother and his wife gave me for Christmas. I was able to pick up Antonioni's Blow-Up and the televison adaptation of John Le Carré's Smiley's People, starring Alec Guiness. The former is on my Top-10 list of all-time favorite films and also reminds me of when Skylar was a newborn and I would watch it over and over while she and Kim slept next to me. The latter is the sequel to my favorite television series ever, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I saw some of Smiley's People as a teenager, but was going through a growth spurt and couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to make sense of the narrative. Since I just rewatched Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in its entirety for the fifth time -- I picked up the DVD with last year's gift card a while back -- and confirmed that it's every bit as good as I remember and maybe even better, I'm looking forward to Smiley's People, though I'm pretty certain that it doesn't measure up. But the sight of Alec Guiness looking brilliant in his fastidious befuddlement will be enough to make me happy. And I'm certain that the series will deliver plenty of that drug. Anyway, while it was not my idea of a great night out, I got a lot accomplished and don't feel that poorly despite my consumer exertions. It's not exactly spiritual or physical Congress, but what can you do?