Category Archives: Stuff

Kind of ridiculous

Today, I, who argues vehemently for paper books, who scoffs at the reading experience on e-readers, who bores of looking at screens… ordered a Kindle.

I had a good reason, you see. I’m almost ready for the fifth book in the Game of Thrones series, and it’s only out in hardcover, and it’s about as big (and heavy) as my head.

So, since I:

1) didn’t want to carry around a monster book,

2) didn’t want to carry around Matt’s ridiculously big and heavy Kindle, and

3) refused to wait until March for the paperback to come out,

I bought a freaking Kindle.

I’m an idiot and a hypocrite, clearly — but I’m excited.

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Making money

OH BAM.

Part of the reason we registered at Macy’s was for their really great rewards. Yes, they upcharge, but things are constantly on sale, and their registry gives you a 10% discount for completion and cash back for purchases made off your registry. Suh-weet.

I’ve been wanting to buy the serving dishes that go with our dinnerware, but I’ve been waiting for the best sale — and today, I totally scored.

The serving platter and two serving bowls originally came to $130 before tax.

They had a regular sale on these items, and an additional 20% off for President’s Day (better than my 10% completion discount) = $78.81 with tax.

minus $45.35 gift card

minus $31.53 Macy’s card credit from a previous return*

= $1.93.

BUT WAIT.

I signed up for a cash rebate site called Ebates** and will get 3% cash back for this purchase — likely $2.16…

which means we made 19 cents!

Freaking go me.

*Yes, I do realize that a credit means I previously spent the money — but when it’s a credit it feels like free money… amiright?

**It sounds like a scam, and yet it is not. Go to Ebates, sign up, and just go there BEFORE you shop online at one of their many thousands of listed stores. They send you rebate checks once a quarter. It’s pretty awesome, honestly! They have a referral program, so if you want to sign up, won’t you pretty please use my link?

My new favorite thing

I drink a *lot* of water. A noteworthy amount. An embarrassing amount. An amount where I actually get nervous when I go somewhere where I won’t have a ready supply of cold, filtered drinking water. So, of course, I always ALWAYS have a glass of water by my bed.

Yes, sometimes I’ve knocked it over in the middle of the night, splattering me, my phone, my clock, my wall… everything.

Yes, sometimes I’ve even BROKEN the glass, and no one likes cleaning broken glass out of their carpet at 3am.

Yes, sometimes I’ve accidentally ingested bugs. Please don’t make me go into details, ok? UGH.

So, for someone like me, is this not the BEST INVENTION EVER?!?

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It’s a carafe with a glass that FITS ON TOP! Beside Carafe, Crate & Barrel

I saw it one day when doing after-wedding registry-completion stuff, and I flipped. My husband, however, pooh-poohed it, insisting I’d knock it over and get water everywhere (which, like, I did regularly anyway, duh). On further inspection, I decided it was far too delicate for the likes of me, and I was in a cheap-ass mood, so off I went.

Flash forward a month or so later when I was shopping at Target, and OMG, I saw a bedside carafe, but this time super heavy duty, and since it was at Target it was cheap, right? (actually, one dollar more than C&B… whatevs). It went in my bag, and off I went.

I LOVE it. I mean, seriously, this thing is awesome!

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 Oh look, a boring glass and carafe.

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 WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Not as elegant as C&B’s, but so much better for me. I wish I could give you a link, but I haven’t been able to find it on the Target website… so if you must have one, you might just have to go with C&B.

Seriously. Best thing ever. Huge supply of water, no bugs, and super heavy duty to withstand this disaster zone… knock on wood.

In praises of…

My new(ish) GAP Maximum Heat Leggings…aka leggings lined with FLEECE.

I’m in love! It’s been so cold here that I’ve been sleeping in fleece pants with the heater on full blast and my head under the covers. Stranger things have almost never happened!

But these leggings are AMAZING! They’re warm and cozy and thin enough (barely) to fit into my boots alongside my oh-so-inconveniently-sized calves.

Sadly, they’ve been discontinued…and I’ve already managed to poke a hole in these.

Thankfully, there’s a company called Plush that makes nothing BUT fleece-lined goodies. These are calling my name. And these. And these

It’s good to be warm.

The Quest for the 2011 Calendar

Exactly 11 months ago I regaled you with how I found my beautiful, perfect 2010 calendar.

Well, suffice to say, I realized that it would be a hard one to top. After two (sporadic) months of searching high and low, popping into numerable bookstores, and scouring the online options…

I ended up with the same damn calendar!

One year with this cute little baby didn’t diminish my delight in it one bit… and, consequently, no other calendar could hold up. They either had ugly covers, or were plastic, or were kitschy, or had miles of unnecessary references, or had those dreaded LINES I hate so much!

You just don’t mess with perfection.

Of course, I wish another design had tickled my fancy, so I didn’t end up being so completely boring and predictable as to have the EXACT SAME CALENDAR two years running… but none of them did.

So, once again, I have a beautiful, calming, perfectly laid out and usable planner… and I can’t wait to start using it!

Embarrassing Truth(s)

I hate Black Friday. I hate the idea of it, the increasing extremes of it (sales starting at 3am?), the desperation of it. I hate the idea of frantically shopping, elbow-to-elbow with other frantic shoppers. I hate the implication that the holidays are all about presents. I don’t care that I could replace my aging desktop with a $198 laptop at Walmart… just…. no. My deep and abiding love of sales has to take a break each year on Black Friday, because I’d (of course) rather spend the day after Thanksgiving sleeping off a food hangover and sneaking slivers of leftover pumpkin pie than shopping.

Ahem.

This year, Aussie and I were visiting my family in Portland for Thanksgiving. My sister called Friday at 8:45am, saying she was going to stop by GAP (at a non-mall location just down the street, mind you) before yoga because everything was 50% off until 10am… did I need anything? Yes! I needed a black turtleneck! And underwear! And… screw it, I’m coming down!

I threw clothes over my unwashed body, tried to tame my unwashed hair (ew), yanked Aussie out the door, and drove like a crazy person to the GAP.

40 minutes later, I emerged with six sweaters, two pairs of leggings, and a scarf… and no gift receipt.

I swear, this is a one-time thing, partly because I know there will never again in my life be such an easy shopping trip, and partly because it would be FAR to embarrassing to have to admit again that I 1) shopped a Black Friday sale and 2) didn’t buy a single thing for someone else.

But throw me a bone, fellow bargain shoppers… 50% off? No sales tax? A plethora of much-needed winter basics for the taking? Too good to pass up!!

Dear Diary…

For much of my life, I kept a diary. They started as a chronicle of my daily activities in my prepubescent years (Dear Diary: Today I went to school. Then I did homework. Then I went to bed), morphed into drama-central when I was a teen and in college (So-and-so is such a bitch! And my parents are torturing me! AUGH!), and eventually settled on quite introspection in late college and early adulthood (I wonder if I’ll ever figure out what I want to do with my life?). Sometimes I drew pictures, sometimes I inserted pictures and magazine clippings. Some of my diaries amuse me, while I don’t have the stomach to read through others — let’s face it, we don’t always love our younger selves!

Ever since the introduction of Aussie into my life, though, I have been horribly remiss at journaling. It’s so much nicer to spoon before going to bed than write, you know? Add in the instant gratification of journaling my mood through Facebook status updates and the fact that I’ve been able to talk through my feelings in this blog, and, well, you get for an empty journal. I simply don’t have the time or inclination to journal, but I still have the desire to keep a record of my life…because it’s so, um, interesting.

I was really excited, then, when I found this on Snippet & Ink:

(One Line A Day: A Five-Year Memory Book, $11.53 on Amazon.com)

One line a day? Well, hell, if I can update my facebook status once a day, I surely take the time to sum up my day in one measly sentence before bed.

The really neat thing is that you go through the book in a circle, basically, so that I’ll have five years worth of memories each day listed on one page. That means that, as time goes by, I’ll not only have a record, but I can review it daily… which will hopefully amuse more than mortify me, but you never know. That also means that I’ll be using the same journal until I’m 31. *Gulp*

I kind of love it. I’ve gone about two weeks now with no gaps, and because it’s so easy, I think I’ll be able to keep it up.

What about you? Do you journal often, or does life get in your way, too?

Things I Just Might Want

I’m in a mood — not good or bad, just “a mood” — so I thought I just might share cute things. No theme, just super cute things I’ve bookmarked to post about but keep forgetting!

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From Pure Style Home, a kitchen renovation that features a chalkboard-painted refrigerator! How genius is that?!? Reminders, important dates, little love notes — easy peasy. So much more attractive than your usual cluttered fridge, and so much cheaper than a beautiful stainless-steel one. I love seeing how people work with what they’ve got!

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A seriously pretty wall-calendar from SusyJack, $34. I think this would go just beautifully in my office, even though we all know wall calendars like this are completely useless!

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Raining Men Umbrella from CheekyUmbrellas.com, 44 CAD. It says “When does it start raining men?” on the inside. I don’t need to explain why this is awesome.

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“What to Eat” pad from Knock Knock, $7.50. My friends Mary and Phil have this, and I just love it. How useful! How clever! Honestly, pretty much everything is awesome at Knock Knock (I have the Things You Do That Really Piss Me Off pad — a gift from a coworker — that cracks me up), so you should check it out.

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I saw this at Me Oh My Oh, who in turn saw it on Curbly. Such an awesome kinky idea artfully executed. I’m not even going to pretend this isn’t delightfully raunchy… and yet it’s so, well, pretty! Clever indeed.

That’s it, all. Back to the swiftly fleeting hours of your Friday work-day!

In which I gush over a calendar

I may as well confess it — I absolutely love office supplies. When I was a kid, I always got more jazzed buying pencils and binders than new jeans and shoes. Maybe it’s because office supplies never fail you… they don’t care how much weight you’ve gained over the summer, they don’t ever need to be hemmed because you’ve got short legs, and they never, ever pinch your feet. Now that I’m an adult with a job and my office supplies are provided, my supply-buying is limited to just two essentials: pens (Precise V5 Rolling Ball, Extra Fine in Blue — no other pen satisfies!), and the ever-elusive perfect planner.

The other day I made the mistake of walking into the university bookstore to pick up my annual rebate card, and of course, just HAD to walk by the 2010 calendars. Not wall calendars, but the handy-dandy teeny-weeny ones you put in your purse and take wherever you go. Of course, their selection sucked, but the bug took hold, and I’ve found myself searching for the perfect personal planner for 2010…

…and holy crap, I already found it!!!  I searched online at all the places with the cute office supplies, but they didn’t have squat. Today, though, while at Barnes & Noble getting my latest book-club’s pick, I found it.

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This photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s so so so cute. When I hold it with my eyes closed, I get a feeling of calmness and serenity from it (crap — I’ve been doing too much yoga!!). It has perfect weekly view pages with no tiny cramped lines to write on, just beautiful expanses of creamy white, with a small, unobtrusive tan boxed-in two-month glance at the bottom. The week begins on a Monday so you can see your whole weekend at once. The inside covers are soft robin’s egg blue, which is just lovely. It opens flat. It doesn’t have any of the ridiculous references no one uses, like time zones and area codes and unit conversions…just a 2010-2011 at-a-glance place, and a few pages for addresses and notes. It’s small enough to fit in my purse. And did I mention the ribbon bookmark?!?

Sigh. I am so very pleased!

Now, I am eagerly anticipating the moment when I deem my handwriting attractive enough to start filling in my engagements, since (bonus!), as a 16-month calendar, it can already be used!

Today is like Christmas, folks. Merry Christmas to me!

My poor car

My poor car is dying. I’ve been saying that for at least two years now, but since it is suddenly putting up a fit every time I try to start it (not to mention refusing to back up or heat its interior), I’m afraid I really hear the beginnings of a death rattle this time. I am more than a little bummed about this. You would be too, if you had one of these!

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See? A 1991 Toyota Supra in Fire Engine Red is a fine-looking thing!

So, ok — mine doesn’t really look that good. Or anywhere near, for that matter. Fade it a bit, pop off the hubcabs, throw in a bunch of broken/breaking components… you get the picture. But when my grandma bought it back in 1990 off the showroom floor, it was a showstopper. When I got it for a birthday present back in 2004, it was still a showstopper. Unfortunately, its age has caught up with it, as have 20 years without the benefit of a garage, and its showstopping days are quite clearly behind it.

So what to do now? Sure, I could replace it with any old car, but after having been completely spoiled with a 1981 BMW 320i in high school and then my beloved but now-dying Supra, I don’t just want a CAR. I want a driving experience… preferably one that is fast and red, please!

So, ideally, I’d get myself on of these sexy thangs:

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I LOVE the BMW Z4. Soft-top, hard-top… who cares? Just stick me in one of these babies with the radio blaring and the wind in my hair, and I will be a VERY happy camper! You say that a convertible is a dumb choice in the grey-ist, drizzly-ist city in the world (or so we Seattleites like to believe)? Clearly, you have no appreciation for life. I’ll have to give you a ride in my imaginary Z4 to change your tune!

Alas, I can not afford a Z4, even an older model. But you know what? Its precursor, the BMW Z3, which just so happens to have been the dream car of my teenaged years, would also suit me just fine!

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And there’s more than a few of these for sale on Craigslist in my *fingers crossed* price range — provided I can find a red one with decent mileage.

Other options? Well, I’ve toyed with the idea of an Audi TT — but of course, I’d want the roadster, because I suspect the coupe would feel too cave-like for me.

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Cute, no? These are surprisingly inexpensive, which leads me to believe there might be something wrong with them. Plus, Aussie has assured me that, once you get used to a RWD, no FWD Audi will ever measure up, but, well, it’s an option — but I’d hate to make my TT-loving father super jealous!

So what about eco-friendly cars? I know that’s the thing to do these days… but they are so un-fun! Big, bulky, toy-like… seriously! The Prius is out. It’s too damn big, too expensive, and Aussie would pretty much dump my butt for buying something that is less ecologically friendly than a diesel but gets way more kudos. I like the new Honda Insight better, but its far too expensive to buy new and far too new to buy used. There might be a compromise here, though…

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It’s so cute!!! Plus, the smart car has great gas mileage, can squeeze into teeny-tiny parking spots in a single bound, is pretty darn inexpensive… hmm! Only drawback is the long waitlist, and, oh yes… this. So, then again, maybe not.

Anyway, you know how it goes. Searching, saving, stressing — ah, the joys of replacing a car!

So, any recommendations? I want a small car that is a) not made by an American company, b) has decent gas mileage, c) snappy and fun to drive , and d) is reasonably priced either used or new. Oh yes — and it must come in red! And if any of you recommends something like this… well, we just can’t be friends anymore because your taste sucks too much. There, I said it. 😉

Bueller…?