i went with my father on an afternoon supply run to everett which turned out to be a mistake. purposely visiting shopping centers on christmas eve? that's just crazy. we first realized something was wrong when heading north on the underpass to assembly square and there was already congestion backing up into the tunnel. then going into the gateway center we saw bumper to bumper traffic going in and out. we grabbed a few things at costco. what surprised me was how quiet and calm it was inside, not nearly as crowded as i'd imagined, just slightly busier than a typical weekday afternoon.

next we visited nearby total wine. we couldn't even drive up to the store, had to park by home depot and walk over the traffic was so backed up. they were all sold out on the choya umeshu plum wine (a lot of the plum wine shelves were empty). we left with two bottles of moscato sweet wine.

it took us a long time to leave the gateway center, as there was a bottleneck at the entrance/exit, and every possible merge point in the parking lot was a source of congestion. in all it took us 20 minutes just to get out of there.

our last stop was the restaurant depot. once again there was congestion, not so much last-minute shoppers (as there was no retail stores up in that direction), but more like rush hour traffic as people were going home early for christmas. restaurant depot was also unusually quiet, an in fact they were closely early at 4pm (40 more minutes).

returning home we were driving against traffic so it was surprisingly easy, despite seeing all the bumper to bumper congestion on the outbound side of the roads. my father dropped me off at star market where i went in and grabbed a box of clementine oranges ($5.99). they close today at 6pm.

thankfully nothing eventful was happening today, as reflected in the news broadcast, which did stories about holiday traveling and last-minute holiday shopping. most malls were closing at 6pm, but a few bigger anchor stores were opened until 10pm, their employees working "santa hours" as they euphemistically called it.

with my new roommate arriving the day after christmas, i was supposed to do some cleaning today, but other than putting away a few spices and trays in the kitchen, i really didn't do much. it's not the first time i've had a roommate, it's pretty much a routine by this point. the guest bedroom is pretty much already made up, just 30 minutes of sprucing up, maybe 20 minutes of bathroom and kitchen cleaning, followed by some vacuuming, and i should be all set. i figured i could put it all off until thursday, the day of arrival. i also want to clean my aquarium, which will take another hour.

i finished watching the lighthouse, that cosmic horror film by the same creator of the witch. the story's a little confusing (as often the case with a tale of madness) but the movie was interesting, shot in B&W on a nearly square frame using old school lenses that gave it a look like it was actually from the early 1900's.

in the early afternoon i made a quick trip to market basket to get some groceries (making a quiche later this week). it was busy but no more so than usual, and everyone seemed to be in a festive mood. the girl at the cash register was quick, and so was the guy helping me to bag my items. after i came home i called my father to let him know i was ready to go. for lunch i heated up one of the leftover cheese burgers from last night, and then i had the other one for dinner.

my battery trickle charger that was supposed to arrive on saturday still hasn't arrived today and it's already tuesday. amazon's progress tracker apologized for my delivery being so late, but also said it might be lost, and asked me to contact them for either a refund or replacement. i used the online chat to talk with a representative. he offered me a refund right away, but i told him i wanted a replacement instead because it was a lightning deal and i wouldn't be able to buy the same thing again with the price i originally paid. he asked for my phone number and got someone from the manufacturer to call me directly, which was another amazon representative.

she basically told me the same thing the last person told me, but when i said i wanted a replacement instead, she said because the seller was a 3rd party vendor, they could only issue me a refund. but she said she could add a $5 gift certificate as well, which would cover the new cost of the charger if i wanted to buy it again. i agreed with her offer and got my money back as amazon store credit. i actually still have about $100 worth of "gift balance" because for some reason when i returned the eton radio they issued me credit instead of actual money, even though i remember requesting the refund to go back onto my card. it's not a big deal because i'll probably spend all that amount within the coming weeks, but it seems like a shady thing to do on amazon's part.