October 6, 2008

Mass Uniquities

I think I made that word up-- uniquities-- it's a good one, isn't it?
So here are a few odd things I've noticed:
There are a whole lot of dog grooming salons out here. I thought that was odd, but then I've also met quite a few dog breeders. OK, I guess it's a country thing. I thought my mother-in-law was being facetious when she asked our neighbor if her dog was taking Irish dancing lessons, but the neighbor answered with a straight face that they had to take a break from the dancing lessons for a while.
Here's the sad thing: They sell puppies in the mall out here. I hadn't seen a puppy sold in a store since I was 10. It just wasn't done, at least in the Bay Area. Poor little pooches. I guess the whole puppy mill industry is really ugly, yet booming. We won't be going that route if Buckaroo is ever ready for a four-footed friend.
Oh, and those dog salons-- they're usually in private homes. There doesn't seem to be a rule about mixing up home businesses and residential neighborhoods that there must be in California. Over there they have the homes converted into businesses, like my old dentist office, where I waited in the parlor and had my teeth cleaned is somebody's old bedroom while staring at photos on the mantle.
It's a different kind of thing out here. We'll just be driving along a little neighborhood and see shop signs in the windows-- antique store or hair salon-- but it's still a residence. I haven't overcome my reticence about walking into a stranger's home to buy his stuff, unless it's been Craigslisted.
And the tolls! You probably all know this, but it's new to me. The driver pulls up to the toll booth and doesn't pay. She takes a little tickety thing that tells her how much she's going to pay depending on where she's driving. How one is supposed to divine this information from the tiny chart while driving 65 down the highway is beyond me, but that's how it works. Then the driver stops at the next toll booth and pays the required amount.
Just charge me the four bucks and let me go, I say, but I'm not a commuter.
In other news: R is surviving the Texas heat, and they're predicting thunderstorms for him. He wanted to walk to his training center from the hotel, but there are no sidewalks.
Also, only 12 more days till my mom and step-dad come to visit! So many plans to make.

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