Well you know that it's going to be alright.
I think it's gonna be alright.
Everything will always be alright
When we go shopping.
Barenaked Ladies, Shopping
Thursday provided an opportunity to go to the nationally renowned shopping centre in Kansas City, as well as the nearby art gallery. The Country Club Plaza was the first shopping centre designed to accommodate large volumes of shoppers in cars, and this enabled it to survive the Wall Street Crash and keep going today. The buildings were inspired by a trip the architect took to Seville, and there are plenty of plaques around telling you what the statues and so on are based on. The art gallery was also really cool (I spent most of the time in the photography exhibition and completely missed most of the gallery, but never mind), and a great way to chill out before the stag party! Being the wild crowd that we are we set off in the 11-seater Battlebus that Sarah's dad has borrowed for the week - singing impromptu versions of The Beatles, Jerusalem and Pachelbel's canon - to the local Lazertag, there to be absolutely pwned by a group of local teenagers. How cool are we. We then headed off to an Irish pub to join the hens for the rest of the evening, and there was much drinking and dancing and other revellings.
Today is of course the wedding!!! I'm about to head over to make sure that Dave's up and dressed, and then we're going to be at the curch for 2pm. We might grab some lunch first, but I'm still pretty pogged from breakfast - the myth that the food here is plentful and a little sweeter than I'm used to is turning out to be completely true. That and the coffee's very different and the beer's weaker, but that might not be a bad thing.
And now I'm going to talk about something which happened on the second flight I was on on the way here. In the seatback in front of me there was the early Spring edition of Skymall magazine, Continental Airlines' retail arm. It contains a whole load of design solutions, many of which I can imagine people I know buying, such as the compact tangle-free fire escape ladder. Unfortunately I spent most of my time looking at it laughing myself silly. Many of the things on sale range from the bizarre (a coffee table that's also a kennel? Or how about a wheelie bag for your dog?) to the pretty sinister (watches with hidden cameras or pens with microphones; "Record without ever being detected"), and just the unnecessarily specific (like the million germ eliminating travel toothbursh sanitizer).
What hit me most though was the way they were marketed. Shoes with springs in the heels claim, "Feel Like You're Defying Gravity...GUARENTEED!", while an exercise bike product brags, "Pedaling [sic] doesn't get any better than this". Another pair of shoes, which have a whole page to themselves, shout "you're an animal / RUN LIKE ONE" (which suggests to me that they also ought to sell gloves), and as well as using science to prove how vital they are many of the adverts play on fear for yourself or our family. All products are either, "Made in the USA" or simply "Imported", except for items with a special pedigree like the genuine Turkish bathrobes ("where the world's finest cotton has been grown since the Middle Ages").
My favourite find, however, I have copied out in their entirety below. If you don't know what diamond plate is (I didn't) have a look at this link first, the title's slightly misleading.
DIAMOND PLATE LIGHT SWTCH AND OUTLET COVERSI know what I want for my birthday. For the mancave.
Musts for the man cave, basement, garage, or shop. Swap out wimpy plastic covers with rugged, industrial aluminum [sic] diamond plate. Standard sizes fit anywhere regular covers do but look much cooler and more manly. Mounting screws included.