Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Since Jillian's Frisbee teammates were going to be throwing her a bridal shower, we decided it'd be a good idea to actually register for some gifts. Demonstrating my complete lack of knowledge regarding weddings, I foolishly thought this might take an hour so, while we walked around joyfully scanning items in some large retailer.
First we went to Safeway, to pick up some non-perishable dinner supplies. We did not register here.
Then we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond. We were filled with anticipation at the thought of walking around scanning things that would look good in my (our?) apartment. Imagine my surpise when we were assigned a consultant. She talked with us at length, mostly listened to the story of our engagement, and told us all about how we'd need to register for hundreds of items. She even had us sign up for their free wedding website. We did it, though we already had one, mostly for the reception seating planner. Apparently Jillian wants to think about how people should be arranged, rather than have me write a program to optimally place them based on their relationships to other people.
We only started to get concerned when the consultant walked around with us to each "room" under the guise of helping us move through as quickly as possible. She also did an excellent job trying to upsell everything we considered. But our principle problem is that we don't need much. A new trash can would be nice, but I've been living out of my parent's house for over three years, and completely alone since this summer. I'm having trouble thinking of things that won't end up just sitting in my nonexistent attic. Early on, we found some Kitchen Pals Silicone Pot Holders. I spent the next two hours using one as a puppet to talk to both our "consultant" and Jillian. We registered for about 36 items, some of which we later took off, on account of my refusing to expect anybody to buy me a $70 sauce pan. That's about an item every 4 minutes. Suppose the consultant didn't do a very good job of moving us through there, though she was very kind.
We thought we'd hit up Border's next, mostly because my Aunt and Uncle (Thanks!) gave me a gift card for my birthday. Also, because Jillian wanted to go. But mostly because I had a gift card and the car keys. When I originally received the gift card, it was with instructions to use it to find a book that would help us on our journey. First, I bought Bicycling Magazine's The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling to help us deal with the training and pain that we're likely to encounter over the next few months. We also bought Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America , which might be the funniest book I've ever read. Mostly it will serve to help us avoid certain towns. For example, Gettysburg in the 80s, DC in the 60s, and Des Moines, always, are places to steer away from.
After Borders, we hit up Target. This time we decided to walk around and see if there was anything worth registering for. There wasn't. But there was a display of open box appliances. Right in the middle of it was an espresso/coffee maker/milk steamer. Plus, it was only $17! We purchased it immediately, not sure if it would work, but ready for an exciting weekend project.
Then we went to Home Depot, and bought a part for my toilet. It hadn't been flushing right. Toilets are the perfect way to end a day of thinking about a wedding.
When we got home, we had a lot of stuff.
I immediately set about trying to make some quality espresso drink. I thought I'd start with something relatively harmless, like steaming milk. After all, what could go wrong? Well, two things. First, I poured water down the wrong opening in the machine, soaking the insides of it and getting water all over my counter. Second, steamed milk gets very big. I'd say it can double in size, if you're not careful. And if you're really not careful, and unscrew the steamer valve too far, it'll fall off, leaving the milk getting foamier and foamier, and you with no way to put the valve back together without getting milk everywhere.
Fortunately, I needed to clean my kitchen anyway.Eventually I got that stupid thing working. We promptly unregistered for an espresso maker at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
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