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The Travels of Auntie and Bean
8:36 a.m. - 2005-05-08

Had an excellent adventure yesterday. Bean and I took the BART into Oakland and went to the Northern California Bead Society Show. This has nothing to do with education and everything to do with shopping. There are about 100 vendors of various bead-related items. I noticed that the prices were very high in most booths, along with signs for a half-off sale. It is not really a sale if you hiked the price up to $28 a strand, then stuck a sale sign on it, when the price for the same item at the great bead store in Sacramento is $8. But there were bargains to be had, and Bean and I had a great time walking all around and scouting everything out. I am not attracted to the sparkly crystal beads, but she is, so she found some of those, and then we spent a lot of time at a freshwater pearl booth and got about 5 strands each. The girl is richer than I am, apparently. For some reason, she and I are very sympatico and can talk endlessly about various 12-year-old subjects, causing me to wonder about my mental age.

While Bean was waiting in line to buy her crystals, I went to the booth next door. The lady running the booth was extremely pushy and came over to exclaim to me over the African trade beads I was looking at. She tried the Pressure The Customer Hard Sell, not knowing I am immune, then, when I asked if they were bone (visions of mad cow dancing through my head) she got really snippy, and said "Of course they are bone, what did you think!??", you can read the implied 'you idiot'. Another customer, clueless to the impending mental meltdown of the boothlady, asked, "Cow bone?" Oh my gosh, this really annoyed Boothlady. "I guess so, cow, deer, what difference does it make?!!" she snipped. Then the other customer held up the amber beads. "Is this true amber?" she asks. I moved out of range, but like at an accident on the highway, I couldn't help watching. Boothlady stared at Customer in disbelief, annoyance all over her countenance. "I am still stunned by your question," she says angry now, "of course they are real!" Customer left, and I congratulated myself on my escape techniques.

After we came back on the BART, Jellie stuck around all afternoon playing the Casio keyboard and computer games while I did laundry. A low-maintenance kid.

The rest of my crew is due back in town this afternoon. He called me from Georgia, where he was helping Abby move out of the dorm, to tell me about the marvelous meal they had at the road-food restaurant they always go to in town. So I got to hear about the excellent entrees, homemade rolls, sides, and scrumptious desserts. But I didn't do too badly myself, since I steamed some broccoli, baked a sweet potato, and made myself a New York strip steak. I used to be clueless about how to cook a steak, pricey meat not being a frequent visitor to a house with six children. I had to learn how to cook steak from the Food Channel, and now I am quite good at it! Thank you, Emeril.

Today, since I goofed off most of yesterday, will be spent on laundry and sewing a T-shirt.

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