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December’s Odds and Ends, Minus December 30

On December 2, I finished Soulkeeper and also grabbed and started reading the free short story, A Gift of Faeries and Firekin. And just after midnight I finished The Stuff Fairy Tales Are Made Of, so I’ll consider that I finished it on December 3, even though it was only a minute or so after midnight when I triggered the end, after talking to everyone, and three minutes until the credits also scrolled. And before going to the kitchen I finished the short story as well. Then I started eating dinner at 3:10 AM, finishing at 3:45 AM and getting in bed at 5:35 AM. I only wrote the quick review for Soulkeeper after getting up, while the one for the short story became the week’s second post, posted the following evening, a little before midnight.

Getting back to December 3, I went out that evening, at 7:25 PM, taking some trash and dropping it down the chute. Then, after a quick look in that Mega Image on the way, I got what I wanted from Penny, then continued to Kaufland, putting those purchases in a cabinet and having a quick look at garlic, walking right back out after seeing that it was from China, without even checking whether any of that bread for dad was left, which made me grab two from Carrefour instead, to be sure that I’ll get some. And I got some garlic from Carrefour as well, then I used the self-checkout and went back to Kaufland, washing my hands, entering with the new purchases, since they were clearly from Carrefour, and getting some bakery products that had an evening discount and a bag of oranges. The label had been torn from the bag which I had picked, so I tore one from another when I realized it. Then, since some were indeed left, I grabbed some of that bread for dad, but an employee was just checking that bread at that time, and when I went back there I saw that she had placed two expiring ones aside, so I had another look around, grabbed some expiring pepper, then checked again, five minutes before closing time, and found that a 25% discount was placed on those breads, so I took them and put back the two which I had initially grabbed, just getting to the self-checkout when it was announced that the store had closed. A woman was trying to cut in and, since I held my place, she crowded me when my turn came and reached over to help me bag my purchases, but I just thanked her and went on my way. Then, after retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking a little time to arrange the purchases, I checked that Mega Image as well, putting everything in a cabinet, grabbing a Pepsi for dad and then retrieving everything once again.
I got back at 10:55 PM, washed and cleaned some of what dad had left in the kitchen, put the purchases in their place, ate an orange and a sweet pastry, and it was past 12:15 AM, maybe about 12:20 AM, when I went to the toilet and to wash. I was done an hour later, but there were some more things to wash and I also sliced a bread for dad and moved most of my hummus into a jar, so I started eating dinner at 3:20 AM, finishing at 4 AM.

On December 5, I installed and started Jazz Jackrabbit 2 – The Christmas Chronicles, getting crushed by the boss that night but finishing it just after waking up the next day. And then I posted a quick review for it, since I couldn’t write a proper one for something like this. And I also started The Blacktongue Thief that day, so on December 6, while at night, so in the early hours of December 7, after slicing another bread for dad, realizing that I won’t recover all of that time and deciding to also move some cheese into a jar, I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, finishing at 3:55 AM.

On December 12, I went out a little after 4:05 PM, taking the plastic and metal and dropping them off in bin at the metro station, since I had dad’s card. The plan was to go to Obor early enough to get some more of those cheap perfumes for dad, then also go to Cora, because dad had brought catalogs and I saw a cast iron pot of a suitable size at a decent price, talked to him and meant to get one. However, I reached Obor Hall at 4:30 PM only to find it closed for cleaning that day, and I couldn’t find any of those perfumes outside. So I continued to that mall, first going to a pharmacy and asking about the tea that dad was out of, but they didn’t have it. Then, after a quick look in another store, I grabbed a number of expiring products from Carrefour, including a carton of eggs, after checking several, grabbing two, going somewhere to check them more thoroughly and switching one egg from one to another. Just one of the self-checkouts that also accepts cash was working, but at least I had no problems with it. And before leaving that mall I also checked the press store, but I didn’t see the weekend newspapers that dad had forgotten to get and I didn’t ask.
After reaching Kaufland, I put the bag with the other things in a cabinet, but kept the one that hangs from my neck, with bread and pastries. Then, after checking that press store as well but still not seeing those newspapers and not asking, I entered Kaufland and was surprised to find that same cast iron pot, two of them being in the discounts area, and on top of the price being even lower than at Cora, 15% of the value of kitchen products was going to be turned into a voucher those days. The boxes were opened and one was missing the plastic bag and the tiny leaflet and a bit of the enamel from the lid was chipped off, but everything seemed to still be in the other box, even though the box itself looked worse. The lid was a little scratched on the outside, but I didn’t care about the lid, so I got that one, only later thinking that the discount might have been just because of that damage, since some products that are discounted for this reason are sometimes also placed in that area and that pot wasn’t in the catalog those days… And it’s possible that there was more damage than what I noticed, since after just four uses some of the enamel from the bottom of the pot, on the outside, flaked off, and the fact that it’s made of cast iron means that it’s quickly rusting in those spots. And that’s not the only reason why I’m unhappy with that purchase, but at the moment it’s a massive improvement compared to that old pot that I had been using for mamaliga, so I’m being careful and can only hope to get at least a few years out of it. And, to return to that day, it meant that I didn’t need to go to Cora anymore, so I could take it easy, grabbing a number of other things, having no problems with the self-checkout and then adding the purchases in the cabinet, though I still kept that bag that hangs from my neck.
Penny was next, and I entered with that bag and got what I wanted plus a couple of expiring products from there as well, all of the stores having piles of such products that day, the respective sections overflowing everywhere except at Carrefour, where they only fit because there’s an entire area for such products in that location. Either way, after arranging the new purchases a little in a bag, I continued to Auchan, entering with everything, stuffing the bag with the purchases from Penny in the backpack while I was inside, and getting some more snacks and chocolate for dad and another cabbage for myself. The cashier was complaining to the person who was in front of me that another customer had supposedly been completely unreasonable by demanding exact change, 0.02 RON more than she had offered, and refusing a higher coin when she offered that instead, but what sounded unreasonable to me was the fact that she was complaining about an entirely reasonable request.
After arranging what I had a little better in the bags, I returned to Carrefour, since I had forgotten mustard, so I put everything in a cabinet and just grabbed that. The employee who came to help the people who were using that sole functional self-checkout ahead of me grabbed the coins which had been left in the tray and then I reminded those people to grab theirs, since they were walking away without doing so, but I had found a lot of coins that day.
After retrieving what I had in the cabinet, I returned to Kaufland, checked that pot one more time and then struggled to stuff everything except that bag that hangs from my neck in the cabinet… Or at least I think I did, though by the time I got back I couldn’t quite recall whether I had put the purchases from Penny there as well or kept them on me, in that backpack. Either way, I accidentally hit a number as I was trying to close the door, so I used a different code, then peed and washed my hands, entering the store again when it was about 9:30 PM, getting a bunch of products that had evening discounts and the canned mushrooms that I had forgotten the first time, and waiting in line at the self-checkout when it was announced that the store had closed. The machine wouldn’t accept the pretzels that I had gotten for my mother as the correct product, so I had to wait for an employee to clear that error, but then she asked about the remaining products and entered the mini pizza, initially selecting a different kind and then correcting. But I was getting scared, needing to interact, and I had several other bakery products in another bag, so it seemed easier to enter them myself instead of telling her what they were, so I did so, even though she was still logged on. That seemed to annoy her a little, but she didn’t stop me. And after she walked away and I checked to make sure that everything was correct, the next customer, who had taken her place to stand right next to me, told me to skip the store card at the prompt, but I didn’t, telling him that I had a card and scanning it. Then I took some time to retrieve what I had in the cabinet and somehow find a way to put everything in bags, walking out when it was past 10:15 PM and then taking even more time to properly arrange all of those things, so it was almost 10:30 PM when I finally walked away.
I got back just before 11 PM, having carried 21 kg, so using the metro definitely helped. Then I put most of the purchases in their place, talked to dad, ate an orange and a sweet pastry, and it was 12:25 AM when I went to the toilet and to wash. I was out around 1:20 AM, but there were things to wash in the kitchen and some more purchases to put in their place, and I talked to dad some more as well, so I think it was 2:20 AM when I started eating lunch, though it might have been ten minutes earlier. Either way, I was just grabbing a bite now and then, only finishing it at 3:35 AM, after finally starting to make the salad at 2:50 AM. I started eating dinner at 4 AM, finishing at 4:50 AM and getting in bed at 5:40 AM, despite not checking most of what I usually check on-line, so I only noticed the next day that there were no visits recorded in either view on December 12. I did notice while eating dinner that the keyboard’s indicator LEDs were stuck, but it was also only after waking up that I did something about it, unplugging it and plugging it back in, which fixed the problem.

On December 15, I got up when the alarm rang, at 10:30 AM, and at 12:05 PM I was just about to walk out the door, for another day of helping to make packages… Only to receive an SMS letting me know that volunteers were no longer needed. So I even called Anastasia, from dad’s phone, and she confirmed it. But I was awake at that hour and dressed to leave, and I could also use dad’s metro card again, so after taking some time to recover from the call, I decided to once again go to Obor, hoping to find those cheap perfumes for dad.
I left at 12:45 PM, and after getting off at that station, on the way to Obor Hall, I found 6 RON on the sidewalk, picking them up after looking around for a moment and not seeing anyone who seemed to be searching for something. On the other hand, wandering around the Hall was a waste of time, the prices for those perfumes either being higher or not being listed, and I didn’t ask. But that day I found some that still had the old price outside, and they were just the kind that dad tells me to look for first, so I got six and was given one more, that didn’t have a label anymore, for free. And while waiting to cross the road I turned around and noticed the cheap bundles of green onions on the stall that was right behind me, so I bought one.
After again asking about that tea when I got to that pharmacy from that mall and still not finding any, I put the purchases in a cabinet and got some things from Carrefour, using the self-checkout and then retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking some time to arrange everything. Then, since I was passing through that area again on my way back, I went back to that guy and, after waiting around for a while, since he had walked away and was discussing merchandise with some of the others, I got the remaining four perfumes as well. He had one more bottle, set aside and partially used or spilled, and I’m thinking that he’d have given it to me for free if I’d have asked for it, but I didn’t.
I then also went to that Auchan, taking the time to better arrange what I had in the bags before putting everything except that bag that hangs from my neck, where I had pastries from Carrefour, in a cabinet. Then I checked some used pants, mainly for dad, before actually entering the store and getting some more snacks for dad. I meant to go to a checkout manned by a guy, but I wandered off to check the products included in a sale that was announced just at that moment and when I got back he was closing and pointed me to the one checkout that was still open in that area. But that was manned by the same cashier who had checked me out the previous time and I felt like I couldn’t handle her seeing me buying those same snacks again, so I went to the other area and ended up waiting for a while, since the line was longer.
After retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking the time to arrange everything, I took the metro to Unirii… And started walking to the other part of the station before realizing that I meant to get out, not switch lines, and turning back. Then I went to that Carrefour as well, putting my things in a cabinet, getting a couple of expiring products and seeing that they had finally installed self-checkouts that also accept cash in that location as well, so I used one. Then I once again retrieved my things from the cabinet and arranged, and just went in and out of that Mega Image, just wanting a catalog, since I hadn’t checked on-line, but not seeing any.
I was back at the metro station when I realized that I had meant to walk back, in order to get to a newly opened Carrefour Express that I thought was close to Alba Iulia Square, so I went back out of the metro station… And pointlessly walked all the way to that square, since that Carrefour Express was actually in the other direction. But at that point I was still thinking that I had somehow missed it, so after also looking for a catalog in that Mega Image and still not seeing any, I turned around and crossed the road, to look on the other side as well, only gradually starting to realize that I had lost plenty of time by walking in the wrong direction. But at least I did eventually find it, and many bags of those bagels for my mother were left, so I bought ten, then I returned to Unirii Square and took the metro to Dristor, deciding to walk back from there when I realized that it was going to be faster than switching trains for one more stop, the screen stating that the next was going to leave in 13 minutes.
I got back at 6:55 PM, put some of the purchases in their place, washed a few of the things left by dad, and ate a sweet pastry and a part of what was still good from a quince before going to pay the maintenance bill, finishing the quince after getting back. Then I went to the toilet and showered, after which I had lunch. I still had a lot to do, however, so I washed what I could but left the things that would have taken longer for another time, and I also only cleaned up after myself after dinner, in order to just manage to stick to the dinner schedule, in fact “cheating” a little in order to be able to say that I started eating before 3 AM even so.

On December 19, I left a little before 4:10 PM, once again having dad’s metro card, and also taking 30 RON in coins. I first had a quick look in the Mega Image that’s next to Tei, then entered the pharmacy and got toothpaste and a stock of those pills that dad uses a lot, since they were on sale. Then I also went to that location of that other pharmacy, getting tea and a nose spray, before taking the metro to Carrefour Orhideea, entering with the purchases, getting some of that cheaper bread for dad and some garlic and using a self-checkout.
I still hadn’t decided where to go next when I got back to the metro station, but I eventually went to Obor again, going straight to that Penny, putting my things in a cabinet and asking the guard whether they still offered those vouchers in exchange for coins. But he just told me to ask the cashier, and when I did she asked someone else through the headset, being told that they no longer had any vouchers. She said that they did need the change, if I’d like to hand it over anyway, but I wasn’t going to do so without getting something in return, so I just had a look in the store, without getting anything, then I retrieved my things from the cabinet and put them in another one after getting to that Carrefour. And I found a box of the mini cakes that I already wanted to try among the expiring products, so I grabbed it, using the self-checkout without problems and then retrieving my things from the cabinet and taking the metro back to Dristor.
After walking to the Penny that’s near that newer Kaufland, I asked about that voucher there as well, but the cashier didn’t even ask anyone else, saying that they no longer had any vouchers and didn’t think that any other location did either. She also offered to just exchange my coins for bills, but I obviously refused and went to Kaufland, without even having a look in that Penny. Then I again put my things in a cabinet, used the toilet, and entered the store at 9:10 PM, but I saw no evening discounts for bakery products, confirming it after scanning a label. But there was an evening discount for bananas, so I took my time to pick a handful of better ones before getting a few other things. I was surprised that it was 10 PM when I got to the self-checkout and there had been no announcement about the store closing, having missed the fact that it was open until 11 PM those days. But I realized it when bakery discounts were announced as I was trying to retrieve what I had in the cabinet, so after fussing with my things for a while, I put it all back in one of the large cabinets and went back in. I had also realized that I had lost a small bag and wanted to see whether I could find it again, but I didn’t. However, the bakery products were discounted by 75%, as I saw when I scanned some labels, since the ones with the discounted prices hadn’t been placed, so I got a few things, again using the self-checkout without problems and then once again retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking some more time to arrange everything better. And on the way back I went into that non-stop Mega Image, putting the other bags in a cabinet but entering with the backpack and the bag that hangs from my neck and getting some of the paper towels that were on sale from a large cart, since none were left on the shelf, before retrieving my things and also arranging those towels in a bag.
I got back a few minutes before 11:30 PM, carrying a total of 17 kg. Then I ate a banana and some of those mini cakes from Carrefour and put most of the purchases in their place. It was past 12:35 AM when I went to shower, and just before 1:10 AM when I got back to the kitchen. Dad had cooked, however, so I had to wash and clean and once again didn’t do everything before eating, finishing after dinner. And there were some more things to put in their place, and I also sliced one of dad’s breads, though I then used the sandwich maker to make some sandwiches with some of those slices and counted those as lunch, adding them to what I took to my room and finally starting to eat at 3:45 AM, finishing at 4:50 AM and getting in bed at 5:40 AM.

On December 20, after transcribing some interviews for dad, I went out again, a little after 5:15 PM. I still wanted to try to get that voucher, and it was the last day when the cat food was on sale at Penny, so I’d have been able to use it as well, making a purchase of over 30 RON, but I first went to the large Supeco and got some wine for dad and a bag of bagels as a “reward”, then continued to a Penny that I had never gone to before. I really had to pee on the way, but the gas stations that I passed were on the other side of the road, so I struggled to hold it in, got there, asked about that campaign… And was told that it’s no longer running. So I didn’t even actually enter the store, rushing to Auchan, or more exactly just to the toilet from that shopping center, since after using it I went back out and to that Penny as well, putting my things in a cabinet even though it didn’t lock and actually getting a bag of cat food before asking the cashier about that campaign. And I bought that cat food, but still kept the coins, since I was told that they hand over the large bills to the bank on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, so on those days they have a lot of coins and few bills, which also explained what had happened on November 1, when I had also tried to give the coins in that location and had been refused. Either way, I then retrieved what I had in the cabinet, but still made one last attempt on the way back, making a detour in order to also ask at the nearer Penny. But the cashier asked through the headset and also said that the campaign is no longer running, so I just left again, without entering the store, getting back at 8:20 PM… Which was also when dad got back, so I sprinted to catch up when I saw him entering the building ahead of me.

On December 21, I installed and started the first Broken Sword, while in the early hours of December 26 I grabbed a bunch of free Kindle e-books and started reading The Crystal Keep before going to bed in the morning. And just before starting to read I also checked when I had last tried to play Fate of the World: Tipping Point and saw that it had been on December 7, and for just for one failed turn, and I had just been poking at it for quite some time before that, still unable to win that second scenario, which is in fact the first proper one, after the tutorial, so I decided to consider it abandoned once again. And I’ll also mention here that there were no visits recorded in either view on December 26.

On December 28, I left a couple of minutes after 7:20 PM, going to Auchan… And being surprised to see that they had reduced the price of that bread that I get for dad, matching the price of the similar bread from Carrefour Orhideea. So I got five, then wandered around the store, ending up grabbing some corn puffs with powdered milk, and also the water for dad, seeing that it was a tiny bit cheaper than the one from Penny. However, that took too long and I no longer had time to go to other places, so after using a self-checkout and taking the time to arrange the purchases, I went to that Penny, putting the other things in a cabinet but walking in with the three water bottles that I had in the backpack, since I had struggled too much to put that backpack back on, and the water was Auchan’s store brand anyway. Then I looked through the small number of kiwis that were left and took those that seemed better, since my mother wanted some for the fruit salad and they were on a good sale, and I also grabbed an expiring product, then I retrieved my things from the cabinet and got back here… Even though I kept wondering whether I should also check that Kaufland that closed at 11 PM, changing my mind and crossing from one side of the road to the other a couple of times before finally deciding to try to catch dad before he left and managing to do so, seeing him coming out of the building and talking a little while he waited for the car that took him to work.
I got back a little after 10:30 PM, having carried 14 kg… And found that dad had messed some things up, and had also spilled Liza’s water from the kitchen and hadn’t even mopped that up, so I took care of that, washed what he had left, put the purchases in their place, and ate an orange and those corn puffs, which were really sweet even though the ingredients don’t list any sugar or sweeteners, so I guess that all of the sweetness comes from the powdered milk. Then I even did the day’s squats before finally going to wash, at 12:15 AM. I got back to the kitchen at 12:50 AM, sliced one of those breads for dad, and managed to stick to the dinner schedule.


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