…and that’s not even mentioning the 3-for-$10 deal on Haagen-Dazs miniatures.

Apologies to the six-seven people who’re probably wondering if I’ve dropped off the face of the earth. Short answer: No. Longer answer: I’ve been working on the snark project described below, and as often happens, it touched off so many unforeseen wellsprings of aggravation that editing the rant is taking more time than actually writing it.

However. I did just want to pop in and provide a capsule update of recent hilights @ Shoe Central, because the more I thought about it, gosh they’ve been piling up:

I’m typing this on my new (PINK!) laptop… well, OK, sort of a subtle rose. Anyway, it is in my lap, on the couch, and it is FABULOUS.

This is not because I’m a spoiled brat — although I probably am — but because the Shoe household has finally decided the lines along which it wants to fracture itself. And one of the other pieces wants to buy my old desktop. More on that later… yes, I know I keep saying that. You know my stories, they’re complicated.

I just bought the entire BBC series of Little Dorrit on iTunes. And have an entire weekend to watch them in. Bliss.

Shoemom is currently out attending the bridal shower of our 83-year-old friend. Her fiance is 87. The wedding is coming up really shortly.

Jasmine is at the vets’ getting fixed. Apparently they’ve stuck her in a little funnel collar thingy because she tried to lick her stitches. Is it wrong that I find this mental image absolutely hilariously adorable?

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[Insert picture of frowny-faced Little Critter here]

I am SO MAD.

Went to price out a new laptop @ the local Best Buy tonight. Noticed they have a twelve-month no interest payment plan. Since I’d already fallen hopelessly in love with a pale-pink Sony VAIO 15-inch, why not?

Trotted over to the customer service desk to apply for the financing. "Sure… I’ll need your driver’s license, please?" "Oh, I don’t have one. But here’s my Ontario Health Card. Also issued by the government, and you’ll notice my picture there as well…?"

"Nope, sorry, we can’t take that."

I stared at him. He appeared to be patiently waiting for whatever was coming next. "You don’t take government-issued picture ID?! What do you do if someone doesn’t have a driver’s license?"

"Well, we do take a passport…" Pause, motivated no doubt by my despairing headshake. "OK, how about your citizenship card?"

I stared some more. Out of my bright blue eyes, in my pink-and-white face. And said in my prominent Southern Ontario accent, "Uh… trust me, I was born here."

He seemed to understand, albeit not to the extent of giving me a break. Ditto the nice girl at the bank hotline # he eventually had me call.

The upshot of it is, I left laptop-less. Still completely and totally bewildered as to why a government card (for which I was required to provide proof of residence by really humourless civil servants, after standing in line most of an afternoon) should be considered less than definitive proof of my existence.

All anybody could say — even to "So, you’re about to risk losing a $1000-plus sale over the wrong type of ID card?" — was "Well… yes, it’s policy."

I still do not plan on ever shoplifting. But I do believe I’ve gained a weensy bit of insight into potential motivation.

When the going gets rough/just shop with somebody tough

It’s been an interesting week for rampant consumerism, here @ Shoe Central:

I got a new cell phone! *cuddles phone*. It’s a Blackberry Pearl flip (I have this thing about exposed keyboards; given the chaos that is my purse, there’s a real chance of accidentally dialling Uzbekistan in there). The back part is pink, since that was the only colour they had, but the flip is black, so my self-respect is OK.

Almost as much fun as discovering how far cell technology has advanced in three years – and gosh, hasn’t it been a lot – has been watching Shoemom discover the same thing. Took her three full days to get past the welcome screen. First thing she found after that was: the camera. Somehow it’s never the things you think they’ll be excited about, is it?

"Hey, over here! Cheeeeeese!" [clik!] "Oh, shoot, hit the button too soon."

"MOM! This is – is that my butt?!"

"…yeah, sorry. Where did you say the delete button was again?"

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I got new SQUARE-RIMMED glasses! *loves glasses* They are PURPLE! There is PERSONALITY! There is even a discreet bit of SPARKLY! I am just so incredibly thrilled to have finally joined the new facial fashion millennium! Can you tell?!

In other face-related news: MAC cosmetics. Demo in our office atrium. VERY flattering salespeople. Thus I am now staring across the dresser at a Look in a Box; everything I need to create ‘Sweet Tease’ on this heretofore totally naked mug. Wondering how on earth I’m going to learn to apply mascara well enough to justify $80. Currently, I am tossing around ideas involving something I once read about 19th-century women and permanent cosmetic tattoos.

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–The itteh bitteh kitteh comes home on Saturday night. As alert readers may recall, Kitteh was going to be called Jemima, but the mental images re: offensively anachronistic pancake pitchwomen proved finally too weird. So kitteh is now, once and forever: Jasmine. *squeezes Jasmine and calls her…oh, never mind*

Anyway, this is going under Consumerism, Rampant, because frankly the pet industry – as represented on the Net at least – is really harshing my mellow here. All I wanted was some quick advice on settling a kitten in a new home, and suddenly it’s like I’m Madonna and they’re the entire Malawian government. I can understand protective outrage to an extent, but the blanket assumption that every wannabe pet owner is an irresponsible twit who’s never before taken care of another living creature…yeah, a bit much.

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So anyway. The garbage strike is (almost) over – it would be over now, except Shoemom wisely restrained me from going down to City Hall upon notice of delay and holding the union leaders’ heads in a used litter tray until they sobbed for mercy – the weather is heating up, the new stuff is new…here it is August, and summer’s just starting.

My holiday weekend thus far:

Sat up with a cranky computer Friday night and most of Saturday (barring an unpleasantly cold and dingy foray into preaching service). Pages won’t load, downloads crawl along then corrupt. ‘Course, I only discover that last bit after I uninstall current antivirus program, because I thought it had been disabled by a killer virus.

Got a sick nervous headache.

Dragged self – in a medicated stupor – to a friend’s card party anyway, after friend made wistful noises about uneven tables when I called to cancel.

Resumed computer ministrations immediately on getting home, wound up awake at 2:30 AM trying for the literal fourteenth time to get fresh antivirus to download.

Finally fell asleep to docudrama about the Boston Strangler, had horrible nightmares.

Sunday morning, woke up early, antivirus suddenly downloads like a dream. Just happy enough that I don’t have worse problems to avoid punching holes in monitor with shards of juice glass.

Promptly get into huge fight with Shoesis over the usual random failure to respect. In the middle of it all, Shoemom suddenly bursts into tears, on startled questioning confesses she’s in a mood anyway because she’s sick and tired of city life. We apply usual therapy – ie., take off for Niagara. One thing leads to another, and we’re discussing moving as far out to the country as a transit commute will extend.

Arrive home all excited, hop on Net…discover that despite being literally just down the highway from each other, the area we want to move to and the area I work in aren’t connected by transit.

Oh, well. At least Shoesis eventually apologised. Eventually.

Sometimes it just turns out that way…

OK. So my entire f-list is all being reviewed in the Financial Times (of London!) and musing on historic inaugurations and such, and here I sit, staring wide-eyed and blowing the equivalent of one of those little party tweeters: Whee! I have a new iPod!

Which is not to say that I don’t lurve my new ‘iTouch’, which is quite simply the coolest thing ever in the history of electronic toys, not excluding the tabletop Pac-Man arcade game I got when I was twelve. Once I master the complex and bewildering world of Wi-Fi connexions, I will be set for many, many long months of blissful time-wasting. There is even a little app that will let me post to this journal on-the-go. Bliss.

Still…there is something lacking here, namely: a backdrop of time so productively and interestingly used that wasting it is an awe-full concept to begin with. I will not say I need to get a life, because I do after all have enough of a one that I now own an iPod Touch, but it could clearly stand some improvement…

…just the sort of thing that needs some intense musing over a Starbucks espresso truffle and a new playlist, methinks.

I get to have an iPod Touch!

Because…um, well, basically because I’m an evil bitch who doesn’t care about all the sweat and blood Shoemom expends to keep us in the financial black. But I’m sure she’ll get over it eventually.

I did have a really good sob story this time, if I do say so myself. Just completed five years of service to the Hudson’s Bay Company, and have the commemorative plaque and pin to prove it. (One of the niftier little side benefits of working for a 338-year-old enterprise: the commemorative pin shows its beautiful coat-of-arms. I had half expected it to have stripes.) Plus, one of my supervisors asked me to fill in for him when he goes on vacation in February.

So it seemed an opportune moment to self-reward, and I’ve needed a PDA for some while now, so the fit was a natural one. The iPhone is much too expensive when you add on the charges, and anyway I don’t want a cell phone that does anything more than make phone calls. Did a bit of online research, and everyone – I do mean everyone – sang the praises of the Touch. Such solidarity is rare enough to be un-nerving; I was starting to think it maybe dispensed soma on the side.

So Shoesis gets the old Nano to take with her on her cleaning jobs, and I get to feel a comfortable glow of sisterly solidarity. Now all I have to worry about is finding wi-fi spots here in Toronto. From what I can tell, it seems a complex business. Perhaps the universe’s way of ensuring Shoemom gets her own back, after all…?