September 5, 2009

Entertained and Opinionated

Train photos from the White Pass train yard with an engine fading away in the Skagway yards. A lovely cool day and cool pictures. 2009.

Himself: Actually found a job to apply for yesterday. Worked on boxes, walked Mission Valley Mall free A/C-ing the two of us for an hour or two when the day was 92 degrees, (33.3333333 C), in our driveway.

Herself: Losing my voice. My educated guess is that something out there is growing. The Cancer Society Discovery Shop "Wig Lady" was interviewed for our local channel 7-4. We got a chance to see the segment on the news, and at the store they were showing the interview too. She's been working there 24 years and had an amazing story to tell. We were all proud of her. She said that she went home and collapsed after the filming.

Reading: Some old magazines I got from the thrift store yesterday.

Balance: The evening cool.

We got started late today. Just for a few hours the sun was still hidden behind new coastal fogs, and we crept into our coffee, into our newspaper, and into our computers with some sense of comfort.

Yesterday we walked through a mall we don't normally visit. The mall, one of the first of the big malls in our city, is anchored at one end by Macy's and Target at the other, and it's showing its age despite several badly conceived "revitalization projects" over the years.

The physical plant is tired. Yesterday the moving walkways were turned off. The little airy children's playground is long gone as is a sculpture plaza I loved. A fancy concrete coating applied a few years ago to cover cracks has been removed leaving the cracks naked to the eyes. New small shopping arcades that led into the mall are gone, and today many of the stores seemed marketed to teens or folks with alternate lifestyles. They have added a food court and multiplex...and there was a line to see the movies.....none of which we wanted to see. Targeted modernization to keep up with the Joneses. The Jones' being the next mall down the valley.

Major brands seemed often tucked into smaller spaces and carried limited stocks. I was amazed to see a large lady store that catered to those who wear black clothes with skull and cross bone adornments....studded with silver buttons too. Several stores were Abercrombie and Fitch knock-offs....the expensive reinvention of a chain from an explorers paradise to punk teen adornments that isn't doing well at this either.

Winter is here in these shop windows. The choice of apparel for teens will be ragged layers with layers with lace and a scarf here or there over long sweaters. An awful lot of stores were showing black and white checked flannel shirts. All the shops gave me a pause. Clothing colors are obviously decided by one color board that picks colors for the season. Style seems also chosen by one organization for one look which differs only in degree by age.

Both Macy's and Bloomie's, such fond sounding nicknames from an age where some of us could afford to shop, still have floors and departments filled with style and panache. But even Macy's large lady department has been trimmed to the bone. There was a little house brand to the right, and a little Jones to the left, In the middle, the many racks of Ralphie's are reduced to a scant two. I barely had room to daydream.

It had been 92 degrees, (33.3 C),when after our really good dinner we headed to the mall. After an hour or so of slowly wandering through the stores, we managed to air-condition ourselves enough that we felt human again...though slow. Certainly entertained. Certainly opinionated.


  1. Fashion is just a bother now that I am old. Living in the country and not ever going anywhere fancy, all I really need is T shirts and jeans. But they even mess with those. They have made T shirts so they are either too short or too tight, and jeans don't come up to the waist, so there's a gap. The gap is okay for cute teens, but looks unatractive with a roll of fat hanging out. If they are going to make everything black, I just give up. Goodwill, here I come.

  2. I like opinionated and enjoyed reading your post. You are so right! I inherit my daughter's clothes, I dont remember when was the last time I shopped. We have all the same bodies, so I am lucky in that.

  3. I like your term "large lady department." I always refer to those places as fat lady stores. With my recent weight loss I was demoted to "normal" size departments. Ha Ha. I assure you size 16 is much larger than it used to be.

    Anyhow, I enjoyed my two shopping trips this summer. Usually I hate it. I still have to get a new winter jacket, but I have a feeling I might get one more season's wear out of the old one.


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