Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Tale of Two Malls

It was an interesting and productive (but long) day.

We got a reasonably early start and put the tree up today.  This is definitely the latest it has ever gone up.  That took just a bit over an hour, including bringing the ornament boxes up and taking them back down to the basement.  The kids do the vast majority of the decorating which is fine by me.  It looks pretty nice, all things considered.

Then I finally brought the bikes in and the cushions for the deck furniture.  They had been largely covered, but it was definitely past time to bring them indoors for the season.  I'm still trying to get rid of a filing cabinet, which is just taking up a lot of space in the downstairs storage area.  I really need to just put it on Kajiji or something, but I haven't found the time.  The extra printer I have will probably just get taken back to Staples for their electronic recycling program.

I had to shovel the snow again.  It is almost certainly going to be a white Christmas.  I don't think the snow really stuck around this early last year, but I might be wrong.  It actually looks like next week is going to be brutally cold, so I am a little unhappy about having to actually go into work to cover for essentially everybody else.

At any rate, I wanted to get over to the mall.  While I was basically done with the presents, I had a gift card from Toys R Us.  This store just closed down in the UK, and it is basically on its last legs in Canada (and not much better off in the States).  I figured if I was ever going to use this card, it had better be this year.  Anyway, the Toys R Us in Gerrard Square closed roughly a year ago, and the closest one was at the Dufferin Mall, pretty much half the city away.  So I set out, despite the snow.

Some of the buses weren't so bad, but the one from Dufferin Station to the Dufferin Mall was terribly packed.  I should have just walked it.  It was packed in that mall, particularly in the Toys R Us.  I looked around for a while.  I decided against any more board games, as we just don't play that many games as a family.  I found a couple of scientific things, though that meant spending more than the value of the gift card.  They asked if I wanted the extended warranty.  Aside from the fact that these warranties are a total rip-off, particularly as the value of the item wasn't that high to begin with, I didn't want to bring up the fact that their store would probably be liquidated by the time I ever needed the warranty protection.

I then headed north up to another mall at Dufferin and Dupont.  Despite the fact that it is only slightly further away from the Dufferin TTC stop, the northern mall (I guess it is called Galleria Mall) was basically empty.  The parking lot was maybe half full, but I suspect most people were at the grocery store, since they certainly weren't in the other stores.  There wasn't a single child lining up for a photo with Santa, which seemed really sad.  It is definitely a strange mall that isn't particularly thriving.

I was there to get some additional material from Fabricland.  (In fact, it appears there are developers that are looking to raze the mall, which would probably mean Fabricland has to move yet again, as they were in the basement of Honest Ed's before it closed and left them homeless.  Maybe this time they'll move east.*)  In the end I got this maple leaf pattern for the inner border.  I suspect I'll end up wasting a fair bit, but maybe I can do something with the leftover scraps.

I also went to Dollarama and got some stocking stuffers, so I am officially done with shopping now.  I've gone ahead and wrapped just over half of the presents, so I won't have to try to get everything done on Christmas Eve.

I perhaps should add that I finally figured out the problem with the directional fabric.  It isn't turned 90 degrees.  It is the bottom half which really is a mirror image of the top, so the squares are actually 180 degrees off.  Ideally one would sew the strips in the reverse order, and it's too bad that the directions didn't mention this.  Unfortunately, I didn't quite catch this, until I had sewed the third batch (of four).  So I will have a lot of ripping and resewing to do, particularly with the penguin fabric, where both sides need to be redone.  That's frustrating and will definitely slow me down.  But perhaps the worst is when I was finishing off a bunch of stub cuts and somehow the cutting guide got reversed, which meant that I cut one strip at 4.5 inches instead of 4.  That could be fixed for that strip, but there was absolutely no room for error while cutting, so the last stub cut is actually 3.75 inches, which just isn't enough.  To make matters worse, two of the fabric squares that were spoiled are from the fabric where I have the least leftover material.  I probably still have enough to make 5 or 6 additional squares (instead of 4 or 5), but I am still quite annoyed at myself.  I'll just have to be extra cautious next time I am cutting out the fabric.  Nevertheless, I should end up with half the top done by Boxing Day.  Now I need to get some rest...

* I don't think this move paid off, as it is usually almost completely empty in Fabricland now, whereas it was always crowded before, even before the final days of Honest Ed's when the whole place became a bit of a zoo. It would be great for me (if perhaps too tempting...) if it moved to Gerrard Square, but I don't think there is an empty space large enough unless the Bed and Bath type store on the 2nd floor goes out of business.

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