Saturday, January 31, 2004

Social avoidance at the library

We just wanted to return some books, but we'd forgotten that there was an official opening ceremony to be held to inaugurate the new Ruiz branch library. The old Riverside branch was very convenient to bus-riders and to people walking from the nearby apartments. This new location is on the way to the ACC Riverside campus and not nearly so convenient. We didn't go inside, though. The inauguration seemed to have a high "dignitary" quotient and we weren't in the mood for meeting and greeting.

Friday, January 30, 2004

New don't-miss radio

Sundays from 5 to 6 pm, if we're near a radio we're listening to a Ko-op show new to us: Surabhi. "Surabhi" is said to mean "fragrance." We're really enjoying the music, which thus far has seemed to be mostly from movies in Hindi and Bengali. The show's producer and announcer may be a student. He keeps mentioning the India Community Center here. We need to watch for movie screenings. Ko-op is now streaming audio and it works some of the time.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

From the library

It's easy to see why Peter LaSalle never published a novel after Strange Sunlight and why that found its publisher in Texas Monthly Press. Set in Austin in the early 'eighties, this is not at all atmospheric and gets many social observations completely wrong. The protagonist is an unpleasant person and the plot is unpleasant also (just my opinion). It's funny to see Habitant soup mentioned, though (yellow split pea, of course). Was Habitant always a subsidiary of Campbell? The most interesting part of the E. Lynn Harris memoir is that he writes about being one of the early contingents of students integrating the college in "white" Fayetteville. And the title, "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted," is keeping that song on the mental jukebox. The E. Lynn Harris website highlights this part of his life experience. The song is not by the Tempts, but by Jimmy Ruffin solo. After the Dibdin, we remembered Magdalen Nabb. There's an entire site devoted to mysteries set in Italy (though written in English). This one was Property of Blood. I liked it that Larry McMurtry remembers the physical properties of every book he's read. He has really managed to live out a reader's fantasy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The corporate world takes note

Fortune magazine devotes several pages to the issue of global climate changes, reporting that the Pentagon has commissioned studies to be done on how change would affect national defense: "The Pentagon's Weather Nightmare" and "Growing Evidence of Scary Change." It's been both snowy and cold in the northeastern states; usually it's one or the other. Here, we haven't had a killing frost yet.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

View corridor

In Austin, much is made of preserving "view corridors" so that the Capitol, which used to be the most striking and prominent building on the skyline from all parts of town, may still be seen from afar. We used to see both the tower on campus and the Capitol from our front porch. We could tell who had won the football game by whether the tower was lighted in orange or not. Then for a while we could see the top of the tower and quite a bit of the Capitol dome. Then we could see the little tempietto and the statue atop the dome, but not the tower on campus. The new Frost bank building and the new taxpayer-financed hotel by the convention center have now removed the last vestiges of the tower and the dome, even when leaves are gone from the trees and even from upstairs. Now the Frost building is lit garishly at night. During the day it reflects killer beams of sunshine off its ugly blue facade. Blue is not a good color in the local light.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Forms and publications

Once the various bits of documentation are rounded up and reasonably complete, it always seems better to have a trial run at income-tax returns, just to see about withholding and alternate ways of doing the return. It's great that the IRS has a forms and publications site, complete with fill-in-the-blank forms. Needed forms or publications can be downloaded (best done by those with a fast connection). It's possible to order forms and publications for delivery through the mail as well, but only up to ten, which is silly, especially since old Publication 17 is not as inclusive as it used to be. In it there's way too much of "see publication so-and-so" for information that used to be included. I like the little publication that gives Spanish-language equivalents for pages and pages of tax terminology.

Dog-eared

The main library is wall-to-wall with patrons on Sundays, even shortly after noon. There's the daily contingent of the transient, of course, and on weekends the mix includes divorced fathers with their children, people in wheelchairs for which the aisles between shelves are just wide enough, and all the library regulars of Austin. The "new" shelves are denuded from the onslaught of Saturday. Astonishlngly, though, there was a brand-new copy of How to Do Your Own Divorce in Texas. An acquaintance who'd done a stint with the library reported once that this is the most-stolen book. They seldom last more than a week before disappearing. The computer network and the fancy on-line catalogue were both down, but the old green-on-black-screen catalogue terminals were up and operating. Unfortunately, none of the books sought and reported to be on the shelves were there, but the search led to infrequently visited shelves on the third floor. "Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen" by Larry McMurtry is one volume in the haul. It turns out not to be regurgitated pieces from NYRB. It's been borrowed, though, either by two people with the habit of turning down a corner of the page to mark a place or by one person who uses two different methods, the simple turn-down plus the pleated turndown. There are some people for whom bookmarks won't do, and they're vandals. There was a time, though, when I could unerringly turn to the page where I'd left off reading, and without memorizing a page or chapter number, because I don't do well memorizing numbers. This magical ability is no longer mine, but you won't ever see me turning down the corner of a page even so.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

What the rain hath wrought

In the yard, the ground is holding just as much moisture as it's ever possible for it to hold. All the Grand Primo narcissus flowers are bursting forth, with their little yellow rounded bubble cups and many flower stalks to a bulb. Hyacinth rosettes are showing everywhere. Many other varieties of species tulips are showing their leaves. Our true paperwhites are still blooming. The earliest varieties are ending, but more are blooming in various odd spots in the yard. Dutch iris leaves continue to appear. Perhaps because rains have fallen at just the right times, we've had no killing frost even yet.

Friday, January 23, 2004

To be read out loud

This book is short and has a bad title (A Working Stiff's Manifesto: A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember)(Iain Levison), but it is funny (especially about job interviews) and informative (the seafood biz in Dutch Harbor, Alaska).

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Mewling and puking

There was a time, not all that long ago, when it was virtually impossible to procure a high-school diploma without having learned to recite from memory the "seven ages of man" speech by Jacques in As You Like It. In one of the two mysteries by Michael Dibdin borrowed from the library for evening reading and polished off this week, "mewling" appeared as "muling." The author put it there and copy-editors and proof-readers left it there.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The Liberace of astrology

In the most recent Paper, some cable newspaper (Anderson Cooper) is asked what TV he watches. Among programs mentioned is Primer Impacto, but he doesn't watch the show for the news, saying "I don't speak Spanish, but I like watching the daily astrological forecast given by Walter Mercado. He's like a psychic Liberace. It sure is fun to watch." Every page of Walter's biography has a different image. Who makes those caftans?

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Taking away the cows

First, H-E-B took away the packaging for milk that showed the cow jumping over the moon. Now, Blue Bell has changed the packaging for ice-cream sandwiches, which used to show an all-over cow-led-by-little-girl repeat, in favor of an all-over photographic chocolate-wafer, complete with pin-dot punctures. This is very generic and not very attractive. The material has changed, also, from a sort of waxed-paper cover to the same sort of sealed plastic that has lately been introduced as a wrapper for the Hershey Almond Bar (which also changed in shape). The Hershey logo has been PhotoShopped to have a drop shadow, also.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Bought for the container

It's true. Good as the contents are, it's for the bottle that I buy Ty Nant when I see it. Even when the contents are carbonated (still water not only runs deep, it tastes better), Ty Nant comes home if it's packaged in that alluring blue bottle. Ty Nant was brought to us by Cost Plus World Market, which I think was established by one of the people involved in the early days of Pier 1. We got away easy but did buy one of those Anchor-Hocking screw-top storage jars made from the old molds. The price was right (cf. Martha Stewart, who sells them at outrageous prices with custom-colored tops).

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Cosi fan tutte / tutti

The singers were excellent but the night was long. Tenor John McVeigh in particular was excellent. His singing was outstanding and he has an understated but very real comic presence as well. The conductor took every single repeat and the show didn't start on time. The costume of the "Albanians" was sort of like that of the zouaves in the old Buster Keaton short, "The Plahouse." Setting Cosi fan tutte at the Coronado 'round the turn of the century was not a bad idea, though it probably resonated more with the inhabitants of San Diego, for whom the production was first designed. Is the slogan "opera worth seeing" a good one? Not for me. If there's a choice between opera worth hearing and opera worth seeing, it's easy to choose. Our first performance of this opera was a UT student production in which the young women were much better singers than the young men, and the "Albanian" costumes were rather like the one sported by Johnny Carson when he used to play a magician or mind-reader or whatever he was doing when he'd tap an envelope against his forehead and then open it. The Despina of the student production used to play all the roles of that sort and was very good. On our way back home we took the scenic route via the east side and were surprised to see that the Espuela de Oro was doing so much business that there were a couple of ParKings directing vehicles. Coincidentally, I just read a mystery by Michael Dibdin (interview), set in Naples this time. Cosi Fan Tutti isn't much of a mystery, but the short chapters make for good evening reading and the chapter heads are taken from the opera, which is a funny conceit. The plot incorporates a sort of reverse-gender version of the opera libretto

Saturday, January 17, 2004

We don't want to talk about it

We don't get cable and we don't listen to talk radio (except for the KAZI breakfast club on Friday and sometimes Frank Garrett during the week and except for Sam and Bob on KVET when they're not talking sports or something else idiotic). We don't watch TV news. We say we're going to stop reading about various political topics, but we do subscribe to three newspapers and several newsmagazines and we do read almost everything. We just don't talk about it. We can read news in the morning over breakfast so that the rest of the day blots things out. We can't read about news in the evening or it might spoil sleep. Economist pieces about the economic policies of obscure corners of the world known only to current or former stamp-collectors will sometimes induce sleep; last night a piece comparing translations of Proust worked well. I bought my a la recherche at a 24-hour newsstand that specialized in girlie mags, sports tip sheets, and newspapers from around the world. Tonight the piece on Don Quixote will probably work well also. The P. J. O'Rourke piece on candidates' speechifying styles is very funny and has a running tagline that goes something like "always excepting Al Sharpton." It and the piece called "I was Kim Jong II's Cook" alone are worth the price of the magazine (maybe that's why they're not on line). It was amazing that K. remembered the first name of Madame Chiang Kai-shek without hesitation. I remembered that she was one of the Soong sisters. My Weekly Reader, thou hast much to answer for. I love this article: "The cold war world according to 'My Weekly Reader." Atoms for Peace, anyone?

Friday, January 16, 2004

Crackers of yesteryear

We were talking about infrequently seen or perhaps defunct crackers. The household in which I grew up was not much of a cracker household. There were baking-powder biscuits, cheese straws, and sometimes oyster crackers to go with soup, after we kids first ate them out at the Corners. CCH very occasionally would bake home-made crackers (see original Boston Cooking School Cookbook / Fannie Farmer) in the wood oven. There were Nabisco tins on legs at any corner or country store. The tins had windows. Crackers or cookies could be bought individually from these. They were stacked in tiers of two or three, right at a good height for attracting the attention of kids. Very often the storekeeper would offer a free treat. Crackers that we did eat at one place or another in addition to oyster crackers were Uneeda Biscuits, Royal Lunch Milk Crackers, Crown Pilot biscuits (I like this fan page), and Euphrates wafers. These days Stoned Wheat Thins and Carrs Table Water Biscuits have Canadian memories attached and are ve'ry anti-carsickness. Some of the older people were very addicted to Triscuits; I still like animal crackers more than I should. They taste good only when eaten from the little box with the string handle.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

They are built on tree stumps

In a letter to the AusChron about the way that long-standing businesses are being driven from South Congress (January 9, "Gentrification"), the writer mentions houses, as he puts it, built on foundations of tree stumps. It was very surprising to crawl under this house for the first time and see that the corner posts and all the piers on which the house rests are sections of cedar tree trunks with the bark still on (cedar-post piers). And then there's Orangeburg pipe.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

In the beginning there was philodendron

That's what the five-and-ten stores sold. It and ivy were the only houseplant offerings, together with holders for pots that could be hung up on the wall. Bars had sansevieria plants, and sometimes a dusty palm or aspidistra, in the window between the glass and the cafe-type curtain that obscured those at the bar from passers-by outdoors. In the 'fifties there was a tremendous fad for African violets. CCH knew someone who showed them and often gave away the loosers. African violets must be watered from the bottom, because the leaves will spot and perhaps even shrivel up if wet. African violets are not a favorite. As with pets, this household does not go out and deliberately acquire houseplants. But they arrive anyhow. Courtesy of Thompson & Morgan, we have actually grown asparagus ferns and baby tears from seed. They lasted a long, long time but are no more. Except for the three 25-cent sansevieria plants that were left out last winter on the wrong night, for years and years all houseplants have been gifts. One is the schefflera, a house-warming present for this establishment, that grew to be 10 or 11 feet tall before it was left outdoors on the wrong cold night. This is the plant that became so heavy that not even two people could deal with it. It's the plant that drove us to buy a hand-truck. It is very busy regenerating itself from the roots. Other houseplants and some plants in the yard are courtesy of our late neighbor, who lived next door far into her nineties, complete with unnaturally bright red hair, hair that almost glowed in the dark, until her relatives "did something" about her. These are not plants that we'd ever have bought, but we've grown fond of them: a not-pretty but very healthy dieffenbachia, orange kalanchoe and its offspring (faithful bloomers every year), common ivy, and a jointed succulent with green leaves edged with creamy white that turn pink when subjected to too much cold. It must have been in the 'sixties that pothos supplanted boring old philodendron as the plain-vanilla houseplant, often in a hanging basket, sometimes held in a macrame net.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Puro Sinaloa

We've been picking up cheap recordings of banda music. One track, "El juego de Simón," turns out to be a completely wacko version of the old bubblegum number. This is indeed a strange survival, all the way from 1968, our Billboard hit-list book tells us, and very embarrassing to break out into in public when the mental jukebox makes itself audible. There must be a clinical equivalent for "mental jukebox."

Monday, January 12, 2004

Fighting trim

The very last thing that a person waiting on hold for 20 minutes wants to hear is a never-ending sales pitch on behalf of the offending establishment. Marketing to the enraged is probably not a successful concept. I can't believe that I invested an hour in working on getting the evil Wells Fargo to rescind a surprise and unwarranted 20-dollar fee. Not only that, I persuaded a bank branch manager to invest an hour of her time in this project, ultimately successful. I had already spoken with no fewer than six "customer care" types and their supervisors. It was very stupid for the Wells Fargo people to start by taking these positions: (a) the charge had always been there, (b) I should know why it was there, (c) asserting a reason for its existence that was contrary to the truth of the situation, (d) claiming that they couldn't discuss in general terms the ways to avoid imposition of the charge in future because the account in question isn't, strictly speaking, mine, but belongs to another member of the household, (e) cutting a call off, although later claiming that such was not the case ("I was just putting it on hold and then there was nobody there"), (f) behaving with general rudeness, (g) giving a dump address to which to send complaints, (h) claiming that under no circumstances ever does Wells Fargo waive fees, and on and on and on. I suspect that the branch manager met with some of the same behavior because she was very apologetic when she called after her little experience with these people. Because of the convenience of the branch location (diminished since our traditional favorite branch started closing Saturdays, but still there since another branch is just as close, even though it's not the favorite one), some business will stay there. K. has long since moved the bulk of his business to one of two other institutions, much less convenient, but much more polite! I still have a golden and never-ending deal on my personal business with Wells Fargo as the result of a prior consumer run-in on which I was the winner, but K. doesn't benefit from it. People who seldom use credit cards and who pay the revolving credit charges on time and completely are not really the customers wanted these days. This business of adding miscellaneous fees and charges and anticipating that customers will not read the documents sent and customers will not bother to combat them no doubt brings in the bucks. Only last month there was one of these items on the telephone bill, but at least it was promptly and courteously removed. There are a lot of infobits and rants out there on the Web to be found using the search string (evil+Wells+Fargo). Advice of the day: stay away from Wells Fargo. Many, many bank mergers ago, we were customers of Franklin Savings, which was the only institution willing to lend on not-new houses in South Austin and was housed in the Walter-Tips house, now a Wells Fargo branch.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Sunday driving

It was the day of Arnie's third (or fourth) retirement from behind the butcher counter at Kash Karry/Fresh Plus. Arnie's even mentioned in this UT journalism page on Fresh Plus. He's not the only butcher, of course, but he's been coming in part-time to help out. Demand for beef is down even there, where they prepare all their ground-beef products in house and do all the cutting themselves. Before that, we dropped in at the main library. If we'd thought about it, we would have taken in some material for the Austin History Center. It had been a while since we'd been in on a Sunday. The place is wall-to-wall people of all ages and conditions and the shelves look as though they'd been ransacked. It's probably worse now, with some branches closed some days of the week or altogether and others housed in temporary locations. K. found a small large-print bonanza. On the part of the circuit heading home, we dropped in at the eastside City Market, where we found the Villager and some quick odds and ends, including some corn on the cob that turned out to be fresh and very good, not that horrible super-sweet stuff. On our way out of the market, we were handed a one-sheet, "Jesus Christ and the Poet's Chain Flyer," courtesy of the Poet In Motion Company. The Poet's e-mail address is too_2blessed@hotmail.com.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Neat-o

Gifts and notes are still coming and going. We're delighted by our Galileo thermometer. There will be extended periods when all we'll know is that it's under 62 degrees or over 80 degrees, given the fact that there's no central heating (just one floor furnace and a seldom-used gas fireplace) and no air-conditioning of any sort in this establishment. This is the perfect time of year to view the glass bubbles ascending and descending in their mesmerizing fashion. An acquaintance has been just as fascinated lately by a solar-powered prism gizmo.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Wellness returns

It's odd when you don't know you've been sick, or how sick, until you feel better. Some of us don't become "plastered" with a cold or the flu; we just feel sort of sub-par and don't realize how bad it's been until we feel better. This may be a legacy: I can't think of any adult relation who ever admitted to being ill or who ever spent a day abed, let alone took a sick day off from work. Anybody who did any of these things was thought to be near death, and usually, in fact, was. REH broke a collarbone falling off a bridge (and lost his billfold with his week's pay, also). A couple of folks in one branch suddenly had both breasts removed, along with all lymph nodes, as was done in those days; and they never bothered with so-called "falsies" and just went right back to all the swimming and other activities in which they'd always engaged. It's not that we don't feel pain: we do, and some of us are really quite hyper-sensitive to it and have low threshholds. A sudden and smiting headache, a few days' lack of appetite, not much discernible go-get-'em energy, some peeling skin, the wearing of over-warm clothes, and a brief unheard-of daytime nap were the only signs, noticed in retrospect, that there'd been an indisposition of some sort, accompanied by fever and probably influenza. Any respiratory symptoms are ignored; this is the season during which nearly everybody experiences some reaction to one or several of the various pollens in the air. The wellness part comes in when you feel the way you used to after coming down to, say, anyplace, such as Albuquerque or Denver, 2,500 feet or more lower in altitude than what you've been used to. Watch out world! I'm a whirlwind of energy now.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Decline and fall of civilization

Today our local reports that Terra Toys is being forced out of business by high rents on South Congress. Terra Toys was a pioneer on South Congress, joining Allens Boots (still there) and the Feed and Seed store, which gave way to Curra's. Terra Toys before that pioneered the stretch on Congress downtown that used to be a row of "bum bars" frequented by the inmates of the old Alamo Hotel and other SRO outfits. They'd go in to receive and cash (or just cash) their VA and other monthy checks. I think their building there was torn down. It gets to be difficult to remember. We used to buy our Lone Star garden seeds at the feed store; others bought their chicks there. We still miss the poultry that used to be across the side street for so many years. We gave away a lot of wooden toys created by Romalda and Charles: some of them burned in C. and J.'s big fire and we still have a Plymouth Rock hen and a rabbit, both of course on wheels. Terra Toys has always had the best selection of children's books in town. The owners used to publish an enigmatic little 'zine, also, the name of which I can't remember at the moment. Lone Star Illusions has already removed its Monkey in a Fez, the landmark created by Blue Genie Art. This is all very sad.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The unread read

Rummaging found Hamlet's Dresser: A Memoir (Bob Smith), Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia (George Crane), and Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette: A Mostly Affectionate Account of a Small Town's Fight to Survive (Bill Kauffman). In Hamlet's Dresser is described the production of Twelfth Night that I saw but it wasn't Katherine Hepburn as Viola who was memorable; it was whoever played Olivia and Toby Belch and Malvolio. K. doesn't believe it, but I didn't even know who Katherine Hepburn was. We didn't watch television or go to the movies and the elders wouldn't have been interested in seeing the program. He describes the set perfectly. It was my first play seen in full production other than what the Clare Tree Major children's theatre brought for us. It seems odd that, other than mention in some actors' bios as having provided a training ground, the Clare Tree Major company appears only in bibliographies and has no other on-line presence. It lasted from 1923 to 1954. I think I remember that it came through three times a year. The actors were always very loud and dramatic (there was no amplification) and little kids were sometimes terrified. As to Bones, the author is irritating and from his writing it's difficult to believe that he's any kind of poet at all, other than in his own fantasy. Muckdog has been started. How these books came to our house I don't know.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Scraping the bottom of the barrel

In the absence of our regular letter carrier, we're not getting much mail, only first-class matter. We're now entirely caught up on all periodical reading matter. The very last to be read is always Texas Gardener, not for lack of inerest, but because it'll wait. Second last is Consumer Reports, because it, too, will wait, particularly since we never buy anything and read it mostly for CR-speak (the descriptions of the way that the tests are set up). Recently the most entertaining article showed photos of CR staffers testing mail-order exercise devices. NYRB, TLS, and LRB are always saved to be read close to last because they're portable and their content, for the most part, does not date. The London Review had a wonderful article on modern-day piracy. K. is willing to re-read books; with the exception of favorites, I prefer not to, always searching for the unread in preference.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Running with scissors

There was, surprisingly, a fairly recent and popular book available at the library. Augusten Burroughs has the sort of first name that it's not too late to turn into a domain. K. is reading large-type mysteries; I can't remember some of the junk from the library lately and it wasn't worth writing down. Running with Scissors isn't junk; it's not exactly pleasure reading, either, even though it is funny.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Etiquette in Blogland

Even the most candid of journalers or bloggers do not usually furnish details about people, places, and things that will be hurtful. Some people use initials to identify people; one customarily uses zodiac signs. Another goes to great lengths not to identify the restaurant where she works, even though I scan every detail trying to figure it out. Trailer Park Girl has even written about this issue, in "A Humble Request" (18 December).

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Best part of the movie

There's nothing wrong with Intolerable Cruelty, especially as a dollar movie, even though certain sequences in the script exist purely for the payoff (e.g., the inhaler and the Wee Kirk). Let's just say that the law-related aspects of the script are a bit peculiar. The opening credits, however, were the very best seen in ages: a lengthy animated sequence using old chromolithographic valentines featuring cupids and simpering lovers.

Friday, January 02, 2004

In keeping with the times

Many of the Black Cat fireworks packages bear patriotic names this year, some Texas-specific. These packages aren't specifically categorized on the website, and we threw the newspaper ad insert by mistake. There is a made-in-the-U.S.A. category, though. Speaking of categories, in a mailer from Mosaico Spanish & Latino Book Club, one of the premiums for joining is a set of books of chistes, with the following on-line blurb: "Se dice que la risa es una excelente medicina. Aquí le tenemos todo un botiquín de carcajadas. Este par de libros contiene un total de 6.909 chistes —cortos y largos, atrevidos y suaves— que se burlan de todo lo habido y por haber: los abogados y los dentistas, el amor y el matrimonio, personajes como el presidente Bush y Plácido Domingo, todas las nacionalidades ¡hasta los regímenes políticos." The mailer was very politically incorrect; among the categories enumerated there were Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro, and even "nuestro señor Jesucristo," plus gallegos y vascos. Mosaico is a book-marketing effort of the Book-of-the-Month Club. Our mailing came courtesy of the household subscription to TV y novelas magazine.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Ribs held hostage

This is the third year, at least, that the New Year's spare ribs have come from La Hacienda carniceria y taqueria. They sell complete racks there, and at a good price. The trick is to remember "costillas" and "entero." Since the last time we were there, though, signs have gone up, and prices also. The signs are in two languages, although the English versions can be cryptic. There are now lines, also. This is the second time, at least, though, that there wasn't enough cash on hand, so that the purchase was set aside until the Return with Money. The young women at the checkout remember that we've had to run home like this before.