It started Friday night. Kelly and I attended a happy hour with a decent turn-out for a change. Even AJ and Denisse joined the fun. Denisse offered me $100 if I got AJ drunk. About all I got him to do was a shot of tequila. Oh well.
Kelly was parked in the Pentagon City fashion center. We made for the exit, but the automated exit booth said that her parking ticket had expired. Strange. We drove over to the manned booth where we found a line of cars. Apparently, the system was down. Cars couldn’t get out and the people at the booth were not decision makers and would not open the gates to let people out for free, possibly for fear of loosing their jobs. Tensions flared. People honked and shouted. Police were called in to deal with the situation. Kelly and I watched on, mildly amused. After something like 25 minutes, we finally made it out.
Fast-forward to Saturday. We were supposed to go paintballing with a group of people, but for a variety of reasons, decided we couldn’t make it. Headaches were involved. Later, when the headaches had cleared, we decided to go into Old Town (Alexandria) and wander around. We’d grab some breakfast while we were there. We couldn’t find a place to park. We drove farther and farther from Old Town and still couldn’t find a place to park. When we reached Huntington, we decided to give up. We’d been looking for a parking space for nearly an hour. Instead, famished, we found a TGI Fridays and got some food. By this time, Kelly suspected bad car karma.
A few hours later, we made our way to my house and once again, hit an usual amount of traffic, on 295 and again on East West Highway. Third time was a charm, we decided. We hoped the bad karma was gone. I think it was.
Later in the afternoon, we decided to drive up to the Arundel Mills Mall and wander around there for a while. I decide to take Route 1, which made for a mildy interesting drive. We got there, found a spot quickly and headed in. We then spend a few hours wandering through the place, which is mostly outlet stores, and is about as big as the Palisades Mall near Nyack, NY. We browsed, we perused. Kelly got some clothes. I got a new mattress pad for my bed (I’d toss the old one a few months back when it was essentially shredded and had been sleeping without one since).
We wandered into Books A Million and there I discovered that the January/February 2008 ANALOG was on shelves. It contains the first part of a serial by Joe Haldeman called Marsbound. I love Joe’s stuff (The Accidental Time Traveler was one of the best books I read all year) and I was so excited to see this on the shelf, I almost bought the issue, even though I am a subscriber. Cooler heads prevailed and I am now waiting patiently for it to arrive in the mail.
We had dinner at a pizza place in the mall and finally headed back home. We started to watch Mary Poppins before dozing off. I hadn’t seen that movie in a decade or more!