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The demise of Larry’s Market

When I moved to the Seattle area almost 9 years ago, the biggest change in my every day life besides beginning work at Microsoft was changing my food habits. In NJ, there was a plethora of restaurants from which I could get great take out food that was not fast food. Moreover, I lived within walking distance of one of the biggest diners in the state, and I could always go grab something to eat at just about any hour of the night. The flip side of this was that the grocery stores, were, well, so so at best. In Bordentown, where I was living, my choice was basically Shop Rite or Acme, both of which were adequate, but nothing to write home about. There were some higher end grocery stores, but I had to go way out of my way to get to them. The one food shopping experience I did have that I miss the most was the ready availability of farmer’s stands. These allowed me to supplement the sometimes ho hum produce selections at the grocery store.

After moving here, I learned very quickly that my late night and take out dining choices were limited, but most of the so-so grocery stores (like Safeway) were at least open 24 hours, so if I had a late night dining need, I could purchase food to prepare (and there were no drug deals going on in the parking lot at midnight). There was also QFC (Boar’s Head cold cuts!), Top Foods (bright, pretty, well organized), Trader Joe’s (quirky stuff, snacks, and pot stickers), Albertsons (well, if nothing else is open) and Fred Meyer (one stop shopping). In addition, I moved here right in the hey day of Ah, those were the days!

I also discovered the joy of Larry’s Market. Larry’s was like Whole Foods before Whole Foods came this way. It had great prepared foods, fantastic produce and meat, and a great wine section (something no NJ grocery store has – by law). It also had organic selections, and had tastings! I could go in on a Saturday and eat my way through the store. They make great stuff from scratch like spinach dip and guacamole, and the sweetie and I used to eat lunch there (oh, bless you tomato bisque!).

It was with great sadness that I learned that Larry’s has filed for bankruptcy. They overextended themselves and underestimated the competition. They are looking for a buyer, which means that very shortly they will become just like everyone else. I mourn this loss. As much as I like Whole Foods, Larry’s tended to have much more reasonable prices and they were local. Where will I buy my Smart Chicken now?

Marriages exploding with a great loud bang

Over the past 1.5 months, no less than 3 people have popped up in Messenger informing me that their marriages were over. 

Let’s leave the fact that people are announcing their impending divorces via IM aside for the moment. Is there something about April & May that causes this? Or is it merely something about the mid to late 30’s that causes this?

I suppose, since I went through a period of time about 10-12 years ago where I was going to a wedding every freakin’ weekend, this is an inevitable consequence. Although, it should be noted that I did not attend the nuptials of any of these dissolving unions, nor was I familiar enough with the intracacies of any of them that I could have predicted this.

Today, the Sweetie became aware of another breakup, this one cause by a gender change. Then, tonight I went to happy hour with one of the soon-to-be singles and learned of a few more imminent dissolutions.

Seriously, is there a virus going about? Perhaps a marriage worm? What vaccination can I get?

The SCC Auction

The SCC had its annual auction on Saturday, 5/6. Not only am I the Membership President for the SCC, but I’m on the board, and I was the Auction Administrative Chair. I also performed in the revue which the Sweetie wrote – a dixieland tribute. The theme of the Auction was “Bourbon Street,” which we picked before Katrina, so he wrote a magnificent ode to various tunes that we sang with great glee.

I invited several people to the auction, and was successful in bringing in 3 couples, and I think we had a great time. Jaskey & Shawna, Dave & Rita, and Brian & Kathy joined us. Brian was also playing piano, so the Sweetie, Brian, and I were all late to dinner as we were busy performing as dinner was served. Of course, we were there the entire day, and I was running around with walkie talkie and

Unfortunately, the recent redesign of the Seattle Design Center led to terrible sound at the event. It was either too loud or muddy throughout the evening. Next year we need to consider different venues anyway, because the caterer, the one we can afford, has moved on. 

This was my first year as admin, and I felt underutilized, but I’m fine with that, really. Our auction chair has done the job before and he knows what he’s doing, and so, me attempting to step in would just have been overhead.

We raised about 1/3 of our yearly budget, which is very good, albeit slightly less than we’d hoped. However, we, in general, were pleased with the event, and as always, we can use it as an engine to improve. 

We have a concert coming up in June (which means I cannot attend my 15th college reunion). It will be my last concert as President – I’m looking for a replacement…interested?