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» Sunday, September 23, 2012You Can't Go Home Again (And If You Do, the Road's Bumpy)
We had a nice sleep in this morning and then finished the shopping at Kroger. I found the cutest Hallowe'en statue, a witch and her cat, with a haunted house, ghost, and jack o'lantern inset in her skirt. I was going to take it to work until I discovered that it lights up! With all the fluorescent lights, it would be totally wasted at work.
We decided to do something a little different today and check out the Microsoft store at Lenox Mall. Before we got on our way, we stopped at another Publix to check out their supply of lower-sugar maple-and-brown-sugar oatmeal. This must be their most popular flavor, since there was one box left. I also got a box of the mixed "spice" flavors which has four of the maples, two cinnamons, and four apple-and-cinnamons. I hate the smell and the flavor of the latter (it's too horribly sweet), but maybe I can mix them with a maple or a cinnamon sometime.
Well, I turned around to see if there were anymore displays of oatmeal out and what do I see but a big table full of discount books, three for ten dollars! And these weren't the kind of books no one wants, either; there were some popular authors in there, including Jan Karon. I found four, count 'em, four hardback history books: Kenneth Davis' A Nation Rising: Untold Tales of Flawed Founders, Fallen Heroes, and Forgotten Fighteres from America's Hidden History; James Bradley's The Imperial Cruise; Evan Thomas' The War Lovers (with the Bradley book, a pair of stories about the imperialistic movement at the time of the Spanish-American war); and Larry Schweikart's 7 Events That Made America America. Cool!
We haven't been to Lenox Mall in years...literally. Headed there through my old route to work, West Paces Ferry Road. I don't think West Paces has been fixed since I used to work in Buckhead, either. I think the rich folks in that neighborhood figure if the road is bad, it will keep the traffic away. These were already expensive houses when Atlanta was a smaller city; now the old homes are either being expanded or torn down to form new McMansions. There are Spanish-style homes, mock Tudor, even a fancy Italianate one, complete with porte cocheres, automatic gates, turrets, and other fancy decor. West Paces is also the home of a classy private school (Pace Academy) and the Governor's Mansion.
The old Buckhead, the "bar scene" part of town, is gone. It's now the home of expensive hotels and even more expensive condos and restaurants.The ugly old yellow-tile building PGO once worked in is now a five-story glass-and-steel building (all they kept were the elevator shafts) with a classy restaurant on top, the Capitol Grill. All the old favorite restaurants of my co-workers are gone, like the Peachtree Cafe and the East Village Grill. There is one building we remember with fondness; it opened as a restaurant called "J. Paul's." The week they were to open, their liquor license didn't come through, but they had all the employees ready to go and the food about to spoil. So they offered free lunches and dinners so long as you tipped the waitstaff the equivalent of what they would have paid if you had to pay for a meal. One of my co-workers discovered this and all of PGO went over to J. Paul's for the free lunch. Well, we had a convention that weekend—Dixie Trek, Fantasy Fair, whatever—and when a bunch of us were looking for a place to go eat, I remembered J. Paul's. About twenty of us went over one night, and the next, too, and I think for lunch at least once. We called it "the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Free Lunch" and later someone (I think it was Ron) made up buttons for all the attendees.
Lenox has changed quite a lot since we were there last; it's expanded and of course the stores have changed. There's no longer one bookstore in the mall anymore. :-( I remember how we would go to the BDalton on the first level on Friday nights when I still lived nearby.) However, you can still find lots of parking near the entrance to the food court, so that's what we did. :-) We did visit the Microsoft store, which looks a lot like the Apple store (which we tried to get in later, but it was full of people getting the new iPhone; in fact there was a line outside!). Lots of shiny new computers, but very stark and cold, and there was nothing there that was even tempting.
We stopped at the little kiosk that Starbucks has, and shared a slice of pumpkin bread and a chocolate-chip frappucino, and walked around some more. Bought James some bed socks in Brookstone, and wandered about both Bath and Body Works (with some interesting new scents) and Williams-Sonoma (full of fall-motif foods).
By the time we arrived home, there was enough time to change and tidy up a bit before starting dinner. I made chive-and-parsley turkey thighs basted with white wine and James fixed the last of our Yukon gold potatoes with a little butter and chives. Yum! And enough left to make a sandwich for work!
We spent most of the evening watching the next-to-the-last disk of series four of Murdoch Mysteries. Wow. Can they torment William Murdoch any more than he's been tormented this season? He got a stunning shock early in the run of thirteen episodes. In two of the three episodes on this disk, he faces two more horrific losses. I've heard of character torture, but this is ridiculous!