Sunday, December 21, 2003

Sunday afternoon. Leaky ceiling dried out overmight and all was well on Friday. Friday and Saturday has now come and gone and I find myself here on Sunday afternoon contemplating my choices for supper. I cooked enough over the weekend and after a shopping trip yesterday to finishe up the last of the Christmas buying, the day ended at what I can call my favorite chain of pizza restaurants. It is a pretty local place only found in Minnesota and Iowa. Godfather's Pizza. Ah, how my stomach called for this as I approached the restaurant. I don't care that we had to wait 10 minutes just to place our order or that the horde of screaming kids gave me such a headache that I couldn't drive home and forced my girlfriend to stop and buy me some Tylenol. It was so worth it.

After getting back to the town I now call home, a few shopping bags were dumped out and work began on my plan to make sugar cookies. After all, I had volunteered for some bizare reason to bring these for work as we are having a potluck for some reason on Tuesday. First off I read the recipe. Secondly, I regretted that I hadn't read it a few days ago when I had actually made a trip to the store. Third, I rallied us to make a run to the local Super Target store. Target, they are known for having clean stores and a wide selection. Well, tonight they were also known for being out of stock of most everything I needed to make omething as simple as sugar cookies. Judging from the items which were sold out, sugar cookies must have been on everyone's to-do list in the area this weekend. We left Target with one ingredient which I even contemplated putting back on the shelf because it was an overpriced name brand.

We the ventured through the parking lot on the half-mile drive to get across the road. When arriving on the other side of the road we found ourselves deeply entrenched in enemy territory. Cub Foods. My newest in a long line of mortal enemies. When I think of chain stores, I tend to think that, for the most part, they are laid out in a similar fashion. Items are in similar places. Sometimes even in logical order. But my main gripe is the difference in store layout. I have been to three Cub Foods stores in my time living here. Each one is different. Some would greet this with open arms - "Oh, my, such a welcome site, a chain store with CHARACTER!" - NOT ME! I expect something more. Chain stores are just that. Similar. Cookie cutter style almost. Each one is alike for the most part. Oh, sure, the outside may appear different and the same goes for the location but when you enter the doors, you assume that the inside would be much the same as others.

No chance. Items are poorly arranged. Many are out of stock. Price tags are wrong. In short, the store is simply below my expectations. By now, some reading this are thinking, "Wow, he must be used to some upscale place." Wrong. I am from a town of 25,000 originally. Not much in the way of upscale there. Growing up, most of the family grocery trips were to the hometown Hy-Vee grocery store. It is based in Iowa and, yes, most of their stores are set up alike. And it is also employee owned. A HUGE plus in my eyes. It is something I expected when I moved to a more populated area. No, I am not all for conformity. I think that whole idea is TERRIBLE. Conformity will be our country's downfall but some things are just supposed to be alike. Well, to cut this short, we sped through the chaos that is Cub Foods in just under 20 minutes. Grabbed the three items needed and after paying left. I continued to grumble about my strong dislike for Cub as I drove home with some suburbanite following entirely too close behind me. In just over an hour we had completed our dash to the store for four, yes four, items.

After making and frosting cookies for two hours we sat down to watch the last twenty minutes of the Best of Will Ferrell 2 on SNL and shortly after that I fell asleep sitting upright on the couch. What an exciting life. Gotta get going though, supper needs attention and The Simpsons is on is less than two hours.

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