Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Survey of Saturday

So, Saturday. End of the week. In a little over two hours, a new week begins, and I'm that one week closer to the five years (260 weeks) I'll put in to graduate from Northwestern with a PhD, on average. With that in mind, it seems as though it would be prudent to relay to you, the reader, what I think of tonight's surroundings.

Blockbuster Video: Who told these people they could blockbust? This would be the second week in a row that I tried to rent something from them and failed. The first was last Tuesday, when Land of the Dead was released. They didn't have it because of some dispute between the Blockbuster higher-ups and Universal and whatever. Go to the Video TOWN entry if you'd like to read more. Today's movie (Batman Begins) is theoretically at Blockbuster sometimes, but through the fact that it's a relatively popular movie and the whole "don't worry about getting our movies back to us" advertising scheme, it was entirely gone. I got a raincheck and left. Determined to see this movie tonight so that RJ doesn't come to Chicago for the express purpose of snapping my neck, I decided to go to Borders.

CTA: To get to Borders from Blockbuster, I had to take the Red Line (once again) for the short trip between Berwyn and Lawrence. Which made me want to point out something. First, I'd like to shake the hand of the person who worked at a Ponderosa Steakhouse and, sick of refilling the little chicken bits in the buffet decided to get out of there and do something. Charged with a hatred of cheap food and a cardboard box full of dreams and wiring, this great person of indeterminate gender went to the massive gothic headquarters (office building) of the CTA and proposed the idea that would eventually morph into a landmark of the elevated train platform. Without them, it would be impossible to stand on the platform, warmed by the healing rays of fast food heat lamps which have been affixed to the roof. Second, I would like to applaud the decision to go with no roof for part of the platform. In addition to allowing the commuter to take in a wonderful night more fully, this section also provides an escape from the thousands of damn spiders in the rotting roof of the Berwyn stop. Go CTA, as it were.

Borders: Are you addicted to cigarettes, gambling or cocaine? Would you be cured of your addiction if only someone would take your vice and hide it, making it nearly impossible to find even with considerable effort on your part? Well, my friend, take your cigs/dice/blow to the Borders on Lawrence, where nothing is where it seems. I went there not knowing what I would buy, but having two possibilities. "Either," I thought, "I'll get Batman Begins on DVD, or I'll get that 1602 graphic novel by Neil Gaiman I've been reading about." Two problems.

The DVDs for sale in Borders are arranged more strangely than the contents of my apartment. Categories like "Horror" and "Mystery" and "Comedy" vaguely point to the section you'll need, but the alphebetization system changes from A-->B horizontally to vertically to diagonally in some places, depending on which shelf you're talking about. After coming upon Batman Begins in the bottom row of the "SciFi" Section (which precedes "Action, where BB was probably supposed to fit"), I decided I'd go to try to find that 1602 thing.

This particular Borders has got two floors and a directory that's probably more helpful if you ignore it entirely. It was near the DVDs, so I looked at it and, noting that "Graphic Novels" was listed as being on the top floor, went up the stairs. Lies! After twenty minutes of doing laps around the top floor, discovering that things are more haphazard than I thought (Automobiles next to Comedy? Metaphysical Studies in the "Art and Architecture" section? Why is the first shelf of "Romance" completely filled with Star Wars novels and figurines? Why on earth is there an entire section on Menopause, and why is it immediately after the Language Reference and before the "How To Buy Wines" books?), I gave up, went downstairs to find the graphic novels stuffed between the bargains and the magazines (which makes sense, I suppose). As I don't know that much about Marvel comics and was more interested in 1602 for the concept of it, I took a pass on that and got Batman Begins, which I'll start watching now, while I do some homework.



Jenna said...

It's all based on extensive market research. Surprisingly, studies have shown that the romance novel crowd is 46% more likely to buy star wars figurines than the average shopper.

Rory said...

And menopausal women are more likely to be total bitches.