9/3/2000

It's been a pretty good day overall. Shortly after waking up my mom called and told me Levitz were having a furniture sale and there were some promising items in their ad. We went out and I found some good candidates for my new basement. I'll probably wind up getting the reclining luv seats that are also rockers. They are pretty awesome. I wish my basement were a little taller so I could fit a full couch down the stairs, but it's just not meant to be. I can deal with that. After that we went to a place that has intrigued me for a while, but I never got around to going in. The name escapes me, but underneath the name on the sign it says "The Unusual Furniture Store."

The place is absolutely amazing. My mind is/was completely boggled. They had such a weird and cool variety of items as I have never seen in a furniture store before. They had everything from furniture that looked best suited to a burlesque house or some other type of house of ill repute to vintage 60's stuff (a lot of it complete with the original tags, etc). While I couldn't imagine honestly buying a lot of the stuff they carry, I really do appreciate that there is a store like it in the Twin Cities. Another thing that added to the place's charm was that the wallpaper in a lot of areas had mostly peeled off and a lot of the light fixtures actually looked like they'd burnt away. My mom thought there had been a fire there some years before (she was familiar with the store as my grandma has bought a lot of her furnishings there. And my grandma's house does not look like a house of ill repute or straight of the 60's, mind you. She just has a lot of French Provincial furniture. I think that's the style). The store is three stories high and they're all packed with stuff too. Mom said it used to be even more packed, with shelves reaching to the ceiling on every level, each completely packed with stuff. The only empty spaces were the narrow aisles through which one would navigate through the furniture.
Next time I need a white elephant gift I'll definitely be stopping in. I think one of the lampshades they carried would be perfect. And they had plenty in stock.

On the way out the employees invited me to see the secret basement (marked employees only!), but my mom needed to get home so I told them I'd be back another day. I'm pretty excited to see what's down there.

From there I came home and checked my email and biked up to the video place where I returned my previous batch of movies and rented what should be a pretty incredible bunch of movies which includes some classics (The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep) and a movie I've wanted to see for a while now (Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle).

When I got home I put in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I had been hoping I would. I wish that I knew how much of the movie was fictionalized and how much was true to the life of Dorothy Parker. She's one of my favorite authors and what facts I do know were consistent with what was in the movie. After that it was almost time to go pick up Christian for "The Executioners" at Oak Street. I got ready to go and took off about 5-10 minutes early thinking it was raining and traffic might be slow.
I was shocked when I got on the streets. It wasn't just raining. It was pouring and the streets were flooding. It didn't get really bad until I tried to take the entrance ramp from Johnson onto 35W. There was a car halfway submerged partway up the ramp so the rest of us turned around and sought alternate entrances. My next thought was to zip over to Stinson and take that to Hennepin and take that to 35W. Unfortunately Stinson was also impassable. When I turned around my car was getting into a lot deeper water than I liked. I went back up to Broadway and took one last shot. Industrial Avenue was not nearly as deep as a lot of the other streets and I was able to take it up to Hennepin right next to 280 which was also fine. From there things were slow, but uneventful. I got Christian 10 minutes late and we went to Oak Street.
The girl working there said nobody from AMA had shown up yet to show the movie. We were disappointed, but she said we could wait in the lobby for a few minutes. While waiting she gave me both a free water and some free popcorn. She was also friendly and talkative which seemed a bit out of character for her. When I've seen her there before she was standoffish and borderline rude. It didn't bug me, I just didn't approach her further. I've now written a friend who volunteers some time at Oak Street to get some more information. Finally someone showed up to start the movie at about 12:05 and the 5 of us who had shown purchased our tickets and filed in. The movie wasn't quite as good as I remembered the first time, but it was still a lot of fun. The subtitles seem to have been made by someone with very little experience with the English language and a Chinese-English dictionary. "Mr. President - we must recede!" was my favorite line. Christian really enjoyed the crowd chanting "Objection! Objection!"

After the movie the rain had stopped and the flooding subsided. I dropped Christian off and came home, fairly woried that I'd find my basement submerged in an inch of water. But my new house held strong and the basement couldn't be much more dry.

I think I'm going to like it here.

-Dan


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