Thursday, January 04, 2007

No Generic Shampoo

I just spent most of the evening writing an essentially an entire Wikipedia article on Places in the works of Madeleine L'Engle. This was more-or-less a defensive act. You see, there's someone on Wikipedia who starts articles about Madeleine L'Engle-related topics, usually with a few mistakes in spelling or in fact; and then leaves them for me to flesh out. I can't stand to leave them as I find them, so I take the bait, adding a little or a lot and revising what's already here.

(Right: Seven Bay Island, from the dust jacket of Meet the Austins. Cover by Dennis Nolan)

In this case, it was an article I planned to write soon, anyway. I had it on the L'Engle navigation box of links I made the other day. He or she (I tend to assume "she") basically pasted in an introduction I co-wrote for Major characters in the works of Madeleine L'Engle, plus a short list of planets from A Wrinkle in Time, a wrote a brief description of Meg Murry's house.

I wrote the rest. I'm rather proud of it, actually. The neat thing is that L'Engle makes up a lot of fictional places, half of them fictionalized versions of places she's lived, the rest more exotic places with symbolic names and meanings. I was able to come up with a bunch of them, give details, and explain a little about What It All Means.

The other thing I did today, aside from work all day and go to dinner with John, is finally write the Tor follow-up letter I promised to write a couple of days ago. I tried to mail it, but alas, I didn't have the right size envelope. They used to sell envelopes at the post office with postage already on them, so I headed to a post office on my way back to work after lunch. The first one I tried had a long line and no vending machines. I drove to another one. That had another long line, an electronic postage service and two stamp machines, none of which had the long white envelopes. Aargh!

So a little after 12:30 AM, I went over to Safeway for long white envelopes and for dandruff shampoo, another thing I was completely out of. The envelopes were no problem. They were even "reduced for quick sale," which probably means (since envelopes don't go bad after a week) that they're being discontinued.

The shampoo was another story. I'm not generally big on buying house brands and generics, except for drugs, but shampoo is an exception. We always buy the Safeway brand dandruff shampoo, or something along those lines. Only tonight they didn't have any. No Suave brand dandruff shampoo, either. No, it was all three shelves of Head & Shoulders, now available in "ocean breeze," plus even more expensive brands such as Selsen Blue and Tegrin, source of John teasing me about the name of Rani's species.

I searched and searched, and finally I asked. A clerk went and got another clerk, who told me what I'd discovered but didn't want to believe: they really didn't have any of the cheap stuff. The explanation is that they're repackaging the house brand, and rather than phase it in among the old packaging they took the old stuff off the market first, or at least let the stores run out of it. She also told me that the Head & Shoulders was on sale - Tuesday. So here I am with a $5.39 bottle of Head & Shoulders, a $1.35 box of envelopes, and a bottle of bubble bath, another item that gets harder and harder to find. Sheesh!

I'm gonna go try out my purchases. Catch you tomorrow night.


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julie said...

But you know why the envelopes are *really* on sale, don't you? No doubt the manufacturer has either slightly changed the adhesive, or the stock is one point more or less bright than the old stuff, so now they can stick a "new and improved" label on it and raise the price.

Dang cynic, aren't it?

Good luck with the prod

Anonymous said...

Make yourself happy -- go to the Dollar Store...

slidouq - noun "Slide Oak" - a distant cousin of Slippery Elm