Christmas Shopping.

Earl and I went on our annual Christmas Shopping Trek last night. Actually, it was part 2 of the trek, as with all the activity involved with moving into the new house and everything, we found it easier to stay relatively local and to divided the annual trek into more manageable chunks.

So we shlepped our way to Carousel Center in Syracuse (the mall that is to become DestiNY USA, the largest mall in the world someday). A couple of months ago, Carousel instituted a Friday and Saturday night policy prohibiting people 18 years and younger in the mall unless they are escorted by a guardian. In a word? Halle-freakin’-lujah. Like The Walden Galleria in Buffalo, which instituted a similar policy over a year ago, mall traffic has dropped considerably. But retail sales have not, since people are actually at the mall to shop, instead of just hanging out and being obnoxious.

So we went on a merry trek through the mall and finished everything up, save for our gifts for each other. I hope to accomplish that tomorrow.

After the mall, we headed to Barnes and Noble to pick up some gift certificates. We took this as an opportunity to sit and relax in the café, something we have never done despite the thousands of hours and dollars we have spent in Barnes and Noble. (Well, maybe hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars). I had a blueberry scone that was absolutely wonderful. Not being a coffee drinker, though, I settled for a trendy bottle of water. Very nice.

On the way, I discovered that we were frightfully low on gas, so we headed to the trendy Delta Sonic. The place was all a glow and bustling with activity. I proceeded to swipe my ATM card and pump gas when the pump just stopped. The pump next to me stopped on the guy pumping his gas as well. After pushing some buttons and squeezing some handles (the pump, not the guy’s next to me), I decided to head into the convenience store to find out what was up. Between gum snaps, Ms. Bitch Behind The Counter informed me that the store closed at 10:00 p.m. and she shut the pumps off. No warning. No “attention Delta Sonic Pumpers…” announcements, nothing. So I had pumped all of $.02 (that TWO cents) worth of gas into my car. That’s right folks, $.02 (that TWO cents) was charged to my ATM debit card. I saved the receipt and plan to make a rant page against Delta Sonic with a scan of the receipt for everyone to see the foolishness involved. It’s fun to spread holiday cheer.