Just as you can tell the beginning of the Christmas season when Starbucks brings out the red cups, you can tell that autumn has hit when places the the Barnes and Noble Cafe start serving pumpkin cheesecake. This weekend, we toasted the beginning of fall by spending an hour at the local B&N on the way back from dinner, where I purchased a collection of Halloween cards (coming soon to some of YOUR mailboxes), and a birthday card for a friend in England. (Her birthday’s actually TODAY, October 3rd, but for some reason I thought it was the nineteenth. I blame the move. I figure this is a good excuse for anything I mess up between now and Thanksgiving.)
I also bought the latest Anita Blake novel by Laurell K. Hamilton, Incubus Dreams, which I’d managed to forget was coming out at all. Yay for surprises! Yay for Fuzzy spotting it, after I’d gone from the restroom directly to the card section with the intention of buying cards and a magazine.
But that was actually the END of the weekend.
The beginning, Rana’s opening, I already mentioned. Afterwards, we went out for dinner at Charleston’s, where the ambiance (dim flickering lights, cozy intimate booths, great prime rib) was perfect for a stormy autumn evening.
Saturday, I woke early, wired from meeting new people, and from a series of extremly disturbing dreams, involving Asian vampires, office stairwells, and bad disco music. And I mean really early. Like, 5 AM early. So I puttered on the web, IM’d with a friend who lives in a different part of TX, and then went back to bed for a couple of hours. When we were both awake and functioning, we headed out in search of breakfast, despite the fact that it was nearly 4 in the afternoon at that point.
Even though we knew they were a kitschy chain, we wound up at Cracker Barrel because we like new things, and we ALSO knew they served breakfast all day, which we had. Their sausage was a little salty for me, but the coffee was fresh, and decently strong (for restaurant coffee), and the staff was really friendly, and we had fun with the peg board game (there’s one at every table). After we ate, while Fuzzy was in the restroom, I wandered around the country store portion of the establishment, picking up a wrought iron tree that holds ten jack’o’lantern-shaped votive holders for $20. (I resisted the urge to buy the pumpkin tea set. I wish I hadn’t.)
We then wandered in and out of The RoomStore and Rooms to Go‘s outlet store, not so much buying, as pricing certain things we need to get (a new entertainment center, guest room furniture, a china hutch) for the house at some point.
Fuzzy wasn’t feeling well, at that point, so we came home, where I puttered on the net, and he napped, and then we watched some stuff about Mt. Saint Helen, and such.
This morning, we both slept til 10:30, and then I couldn’t stay in bed any longer. I took a totally over-indulgent shower, and thought about writing, but wound up reading fanfic instead. The muse is mumbling, right now. Soon, I hope, the words will be intelligible.
I managed to get Fuzzy up by bribing him with my willingness to go eat Mongolian barbecue, a style of food that has never been my favorite. He loves it though, and so we went. (Of course, we took a detour through the M streets of Dallas, and Highland Park, in order to get there. Lovely neighborhoods, but even though they’re the type of areas I love (San Jose folk: think RoseGarden), I looked at them and saw old wiring, and lack of infrastructure for highspeed net access. Our next house will be in such a neighborhood, but for now we need newer, even if that means a bit more suburban than I’d like.)
Anyway, the place we went is called Genghis Grill, and they were much more impressive than the hole-in-the-wall place on the El Camino that Fuzzy used to drag me to. For one thing, they were scrupulously clean, for another, they have a full bar (though all I had was iced tea).
What I loved about the place was that, in addition to the standard beef/chicken/pork, they also had scallops, shrimp, crawfish, and even the correct ingredients for mac-n-cheese if that’s what you wanted. The food was great (I had all three of the seafoods mentioned above, with mushrooms, snow peas, water chestnuts and orange sauce), and my iced tea glass was never allowed to be emptied. I’m willing to go back.
So, now we’re home, and while I skimmed the first chapter of Incubus Dreams, I have to finish the Darkover book I’m nearly through with before I can get lost in Anita Blake’s life once more. Until then, I’ll continue to putter while the laundry spins, with the NaNoWriMo forum as my site of choice.