Category Archives: Shopping

No, really, why does everyone hate Price Chopper?

This post started life as a comment on All Over Albany back in 2013. I pasted into a blog post, then abandoned it in my drafts for five years.

The thing is, it’s all still true. Though I don’t go to Price Chopper as much as I used to, I still go there. People still complain about it. Why?

Here’s what I wrote:

I am completely baffled as to why everyone on this site hates Price Chopper so much. Maybe it’s because I’m from Syracuse, where out of multiple options, the Chopper has the best prices. You know, where the regular people who can’t afford to shop at Wegmans every week go.

Maybe it’s because in my Capital Region moves, I keep ending up near the nicer stores: from the Guilderland one near Crossgates, then Westgate, and now I live near Slingerlands, which was pretty terrible during renovations.

I mean, I do a little shopping everywhere. I get my quinoa at Trader Joe’s unless it’s on sale at Honest Weight, where I’m a member. I stock up on sodium-laden frozen dinners at Walmart and buy three pounds of butter at a time at BJ’s. I go to Fresh Market… well, pretty much only for the peanut butter malt balls if I’m already in that area of town, and that’s about it.

And yet I still — STILL! — will turn to the Chopper if I have a pantry to restock. The things that I buy are consistently cheaper there, especially if I play sale schedule games and pack some coupons. Is it because I don’t buy meat? Am I just dazzled by discount games? What am I missing?

I’ll be turning in my AOA bylines, commenter account, and spot at the next birthday party now.

A trip to the baby store

I went to Buy Buy Baby last week for some reason. I don’t remember exactly what that reason was: maybe I wanted to price out baby socks. Once inside, I found things that intrigued and confused me.

Gotta start the misandry training early. Joking about unrealistically low expectations for dads is a great place to start. Ha ha! Men don’t understand where poop comes out!

I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen this product somewhere else, intended for use on a different species.

I would attach one of these holders to my toddler leash.

Some Terrifying Mannequins

I found these when looking for something else in the Consumerist Flickr pool, and they bothered me to the point that I had to share them with all of my Twitter followers. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DO.

When I was eight or nine years old, my parents were setting up a home office for their side businesses, and we attended a furniture-and-fixtures auction at a closed Sears store.

The Other Twin 01

They bought pretty mundane things, like nice office chairs, a wonderful old oak desk and chairs, and a much less awesome metal and fake wood desk that we used for the typewriter, and later for our first computer. I didn’t care about office furniture, though. I was a child, and what I saw at the auction broke the spell of perfectly arranged retail displays. There were empty racks and shelves, toy displays from the old McKids line, everything that had once displayed merchandise in this now-empty store. An empty store was sad and weird in itself.

screaming - Copy

I assume there were displays. I remember the McKids train, I vaguely remember some metal racks, and I remember the auctiongoers standing around in this cavernous, dirty space that used to be a Sears. Those memories are fuzzy, and I probably wouldn’t remember the auction at all except for one thing.

The mannequins.


Dozens of them. Male, female, children, missing arms and heads, pulled out of storage with damaged bodies. All races and even some strange colors. Nude, lined up in a single row as if they were facing a firing squad.

I haven’t been comfortable around mannequins since. I still half-believed at that point that my dolls and stuffed animals would come to life and play with each other when I was out of the room or sleeping, so what were dozens of human-sized dolls doing when everyone left Sears at night? What did they say about the people who ran the store once everyone went home? How would they handle being separated?

This is what happens when you give a nine-year-old too much time to think.

12 Etsy Sellers Of Christmas – #10: franticmeerkat


If you don’t understand why a shop that sells birthday cards with a guinea pig wearing a fez is on this list, then I don’t know what you’re doing reading my blog.