Almost every inch of the sidewalks around the tiny space inside Marioly's shop is filled with fresh cut flowers available by single stem or in bushlike bouquets. It's like a flower market scene from My Fair Lady only without Audrey Hepburn singing "Wouldn't It Be Loverly." And though carnations, roses and the like are available in florist quality at about grocery-store prices, our favorites are the slightly exotic bunches featuring tiger lilies, snap dragons, spider mums and gerber daisies. At about half the price a florist would charge, you'll have enough spare change to buy a vase or basket you'd like to actually use again.

Er'Go's outlet just off Stemmons and Motor Street proves there's never enough of a good thing. Only open on Saturdays, the candle retail company's outlet offers a variety of sizes and scents at about 50 percent off store prices. Though not all scents are available on a given day in every size, it's still the easiest way to find a favorite flavor, be it a travel version in a tin cup, a free-standing pillar or ball or a poured candle in a cut glass jar. The outlet recently moved across the circle from its old location to a larger space, which means more room for browsing and, hopefully, even more candles. It still won't be enough.
Dallas Farmers Market
The downtown farmer's market has more to offer than picking up fresh fruit, browsing potted plants and gawking at expensive wooden furniture. Several of the shed vendors also sell potted herbs ready for planting in the garden or in a terra-cotta strawberry jar. From lemon mint to Italian cilantro, single pots to gallons, the herbs are healthier and less expensive than the chain nurseries. The selection's better, too. And you don't need to be Martha Stewart (or have her support staff) to grow herbs for cooking, making potpourri or just to prove you can actually nurture a plant. No hydroponics needed.
We are not talkin' anything but registered massage therapy here--the kind that can promote circulation, reduce stress and possibly build the immune system if your belief system will take you that far. Rose Ernst has been quietly plying her trade in Lakewood for the last 20 years, using aromatherapy, a deeper variation of Swedish massage--whatever works to get more flexibility in your body and greater awareness in your mind. Her $85 sessions are supposed to last an hour, but with the stress levels she sees, with the misalignments she readjusts, you're done when she's done. So shut up, lie still and enjoy it.

Barnes & Noble Mockingbird
You know how these big new bookstores do us. They open with all kinds of promise; they're fancy; they have real book people working there. That lasts about six months. Then it goes downhill; they hire idiots, and it's like everything else: Nobody knows nuthin', they ain't got it; go back to Amazon.com where you came from. The difference here is that the huge new beautiful bookstore at Mockingbird and Airline, a few doors down from La Madeleine, is a joint venture between B&N and the SMU bookstore. There's a big section at the back for faculty authors. There is some oversight by the university. Maybe the connection with SMU will be enough to preserve the store's literate soul.

If you're going to go ahead and drive around all day like that, then you need to go and get yourself a good CB radio. The Smokey and the Bandit stuff is ancient history. CB's serious now. With a halfway decent setup, you can listen to serious truckers talking about the road, and you can talk to them yourself, seriously. Of course, they'll know right away that you've got a four-wheeler accent. Maybe if you go by Bonnie & Clyde's and get yourself a decent rig with enough reverb, you won't sound so much like a damn lawyer.

Follow rabbit trails through mountains of used monitors, rows and rows of pre-owned processors, stacks of second-hand software, all of it at ridiculously great prices. There are even barrels of brand-new modem cards at a tenth of what they would cost at the big places. And at the other end of Tran Computer is a fix-it department. A window on the future, when computers will be junk like everything else? This place is worth a visit if you don't spend a dime.

Anybody can sell you a toilet seat. But what if you have special toilet seat issues? What if you're looking for a certain retro toilet seat palette? Only at Teter's are you going to find an entire rogue's gallery of Toilet Seats of Yesteryear. They've got toilet seats in "Manchu Yellow," "Surf Green," "Aegean Mist," "Twilight Blue," "Bermuda Coral," you name it. At Teter's, you can find the one toilet seat that is perfectly matched to your temperament. One person goes with "Spice Mocha." But the next one chooses "Fawn."
If you're too lazy to schlep to all the various thrift stores in town and don't mind spending $10-$15 on an old T-shirt, Ahab Bowen is your place. People acted as if it were the second coming when Urban Outfitters moved into the upscale Mockingbird Station strip center, but a better and cheaper alternative has been on Boll Street for years. The selection is unbeatable (say, a Willie Nelson tour shirt from the '70s, with the Red-Headed Stranger on the front in his full outlaw glory), the prices are better, and you can pick and choose in the casual atmosphere of a yard sale, since Ahab Bowen is located in an old house. Go to Mockingbird Station to see a flick at the Angelika or grub up on a bowl of bread pudding at Cafe Express. Get outfitted at Ahab Bowen.
Paul Frank, that is. Don't know who he is? Ask any teen or young woman. The designer of apparel and home décor is the beloved creator of Julian the Monkey and other cute cartoon creatures such as giraffes, frogs and elephants. He may sell his T-shirts, backpacks, anklet socks, journals and purses to several sources--Fast Forward, Gadzooks, Pacific Sun and catalog company Delias all carry selected items--but Gifted has everything. And if something's not in stock, Gifted can special order. Owners Michael and Rebecca even promise that if Frank still makes it, they can get their hands on it. We just hope that includes the "animal crackers' parade" shirt we saw three years ago in Kansas. It was just the absolute cutest.

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