Tuesday, October 12, 2010

cashier #9

trader joe's seriously has 20 cashiers on duty at a time.  and someone on staff to direct checkout traffic.  it is crazy and efficient all at once.  i'm a fan.  i'm also a fan of cashier #9 in particular for taking a strange request from me into full-fledged ocd.

trader joe's is a mile from home, and i regularly walk there for groceries because a) i like that they sell organic stuff cheaper than all the other stores sell their non-organic stuff, and b) it seems far too easy to just walk out the door, cross the street, and go to the closer grocery store.  i like to get a little more physical activity because, let's face it, everyone in my neighborhood wears a size 2 and it's quite intimidating.  if i don't keep moving, i think i'm going to get deported.

the challenge is that, as everyone knows, when you carry something, it gets heavier with each step that you take. the second challenge is that j really likes their orange peach mango juice ... and those get especially heavy.  for those reasons, i have to make sure groceries get packed such that i can manage to carry them without one arm getting more of a workout than the other (it's important to train muscles evenly ... both arms must get the same workout, lest one arm feel less loved).  usually, i just stop by the door on the way out and double check how the cashier packed the groceries before starting the trek home.

when checking out during my last trip, though, i decided to preemptively ensure that the two bags were relatively balanced.  so with a straight face, i informed cashier #9 that the two cartons of juice were having trouble getting along with each other.  i then asked him if he could please separate them when bagging the groceries.  cashier #9 not only smiled, but really went the extra mile.  he also separated the two oranges, the two peppers, the two containers of broccoli, and the two boxes of j's cereal.  he even separated the tofu from the chicken (which i secretly appreciated quite a bit - the tofu really doesn't get along with the chicken).

and that is why i love trader joe's.

ms. fuzzy head update

well ... ms. fuzzy head, maybe you should have listened a little better to what people were trying to tell you when you were ostensibly looking for feedback.  apparently the movie, miral, didn't do so well at the venice film festival ... and it looks like the release date is delayed.


mr. julian schnabel, my offer still stands.

Monday, October 11, 2010


for someone who doesn't really care about celebrities, i seem to be seeing an awful lot of them lately (okay, okay ... we did buy tickets to see steve carrell at the new yorker festival ... and yes, that was my choice, i admit it).  yesterday, i was a mere foot away from stanley.  you are probably wondering who stanley is.  so did i for a very, very long time.

when watching movies like spiderman or iron man, i have had the frequent experience of various other people pointing at the screen at a random point during the movie, and shouting, "look, it's stanley!  did you see stanley?  that was stanley!"  sometimes i've smiled and nodded.  other times i've just said no.  at one point, i finally asked who the heck stanley was.  for any of you as clueless as i was, it turns out "stanley" was actually "stan lee".  so you can see my confusion.  ironically, yesterday, i pointed stan lee out to a crowd of his fans.

stan lee was in town and doing some signings.  j, who actually knew who he was, decided (at 11.30 the night before) that he'd like to go.  so, 5 hours later, i found myself in a culture i still don't fully understand for a few hours yesterday morning. j and i waited in line for hours, sandwiched between a very nice (but also very drunk) twenty-something from atlantic city and a group of equally nice and equally high twenty-somethings.  then we got into the convention center where we were supposed to wait again after having received tickets to see stanley.  fortunately, rather than following the hundreds of people who were forming a mob on the bottom floor of the convention center, i wandered around a bit, and stumbled on a line of about 5 people who were lined up outside the room that actually had a sign on it identifying it as the stan lee signing room.  so i called j, and we enjoyed a quiet waiting time until the masses eventually must have followed someone to where we were.  i met a very friendly high school junior who really, really liked comic books.  really liked them.  he kept talking about ... well ... i'm not really sure what.  i picked out "the red hulk" and "first appearance of venom" ... but to be honest, i couldn't follow his conversation.  he was retelling story lines from the comics he read, i guess, and asking everyone who their favorite characters were.  i didn't really feel like i was in the proper company to report that i've never read a single comic book and i had no idea who they were talking about.  i smiled and nodded when possible, and deflected any conversation that actually required me to possess some kind of knowledge of their culture with a joke about my little ponies.  or halle berry.

at one point, i realized it was really silly that i had waited there empty handed while j waited to get something signed.  after all of the waiting and effort involved, i figured i should probably also ask for a signature.  so i was very thankful that my new little comic enthusiast friend and another new friend who was in front of me in line took good care of me and helped me obtain a spider man comic book while j held our place in line.  and now, i have a spider man comic book signed by stan lee that will be on its way to my nephew in the morning.

and yes, ironically, i won where's waldo yesterday.  when stan lee and his small entourage snuck by the masses to get settled into the conference room, i, of all people, was the one who pointed him out and said, "look, it's stanley."  crazy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

update on traffic tim

so i have recently been informed that traffic tim's real name is john.  i'm kind of devastated.  i had gotten so used to calling him tim in my head when passing by.  but it turns out he's a local celebrity:


so, here's the next challenge: can anyone find the tabouli drooler?  is she also so infamous as to have an official article already dedicated to her?  in any case, until she is apprehended (and even if she isn't), i recommend taim instead.