Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ferrero Duplo

After Michael's parents returned from Italy, they gave me a bunch of this:


Ferrero Duplo- by far the best candy ever in the history of chocolate. It's like three Ferrero Roches interconnected by crispy wafers- which sounds like it would just taste like three Ferrero Roches interconnected by crispy wafers but, in actuality, it tastes like a bazillion times better. I can't explain how or why, it just does.

Amazon sells them, I might have to buy a bunch once the weather cools down. Someone made a good point that it's chocolate, and it's hot, and a box of chocolates sitting outside my door in the hot heat would not be a good idea. I wonder if World Market carries it...

Gas

Gas prices are coming down!!! I saw a station selling gas at $3.95 the other day! It's time to go out and buy another Yukon to replace the one I sold last week, back when gas was $4.10 a gallon!

My dad drives a gas guzzling work van for, well, work, so I feel bad saying this but... I kind of wish that gas would stay around $4...

Even with gas being $4, I still only spend about $90 a month a gas, which is what I was spending back when gas was around $3 a couple of months ago. Since I live just 6 miles from work, a lot of my driving was just joy riding. I love driving, I really do, it relaxes me. It wasn't unusual for me to go to a Target 20 miles away instead of the one 2 miles down the road, just so I'll have an excuse to drive. It gives me a chance to listen to awesome music and just be alone and unwind and think. Of course, I do live in NoVa so I would have to avoid rush hour- there's absolutely no joy in crawling along in traffic.

So yeah... no more joy riding, significantly less trips to Trader Joe, Borders in Sterling over Barnes and Nobel in Reston... I still take the long way home some times though 'cause, after being around people people people for 8 hours straight, I need to unwind a bit. But, even the long way home only adds like maybe 5 miles to my commute. I guess I don't really miss joy riding- there are other, cheaper, ways to be along for awhile.

Jalopnik lists five very good reasons why high gas prices are awesome. I like the high gas prices 'cause it makes me feel superior to all the idiots driving their SUVs and commuting 1.5 hours, each way, to work every day. Like, when I can't park properly 'cause there're are SUVs the sizes of small houses on both side of me... instead of anger, now I just feel pitty... and that makes me feel better. Or, when I'm stuck in heavy traffic at 9 freaking am in the morning 'cause all the flex time commuters from Winchester and West Virginia decided to hit the road for their commute to DC... again, now I just feel pitty.

Still, for the sake of my dad, those on very tight budgets, and the price of all consumable goods, I hope the gas price comes down a lot more. If it does, I can probably save $30 a month and, with winter coming up soon, that can be my chestnut money.

During winter, Trader Joe sells these microwaveable frozen roasted chestnuts that are amazing. A bit pricey at like $5 a bag but OMG, so worth it. Back when I first got addicted, I would spend like $100 a month on chestnuts alone. And when Reston ran out... I would drive as far as an hour away just to get some more. I don't regret it... those chestnuts were beast.

"If You Want Forever Close Your Eyes and Surrender to Me"

Vampires are hot, right? I mean, they are... isn't that common knowledge?

I wouldn't got as far as to say Vampires are sexy, but there's something kind of appealing about them... I mean, I don't think it's a coincidence that the lead singers of my favorite bands are quite Vampy looking:


California Vamp, a la Lost Boys, Nick 13 of Tiger Army- OMG, his nose is super fantastic!


Brooding cynical depressed angsty Vamp, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails


Glam Vamp, Davey Havok of AFI

I mean, clearly, vampires are hot.
Or are they...

Harlequin's Paranormal Romance Blog makes a good argument as to why Vampires are sexy (the comments are a must read). Basically, according to the love experts at Harlequin's, vampires are hot 'cause they're these fierce, dangerous, murdering beasts yet vulnerable and ooey gooey on the inside. I can relate- it's the same reason why I think Edward Norton is so hot:

Curb stoppin', face punching hate machine

Loving, naive happy machine

That and I heard he likes cats. I bet vampires likes cats as well.

Plus, when a cynical, jaded vampire falls in love with you and tells you that you're the bees knees... well, considering he's like 400 years old, that's saying something! That's a lot of knees he's comparing you to!

If you think about it though... vampires... not at all hot.

No really, think about it... vampires... the un-dead! They need to drink blood 'cause they're dead, they can't make their own, there's no heart pumping, no body heat. Some think vampires would be like the best thing ever in the sack but yeah... getting all cuddly and smoochy with a cold body... blech. Loving a vampire is a step away from necrophilia- gross! Besides, just 'cause someone lived for 400 years doesn't mean they racked up 400 years of experience.

And that oh so hot brooding, cynical, and jaded demeanor that's suppose to be so bad ass and hot... that would get old so quick. Brooding, cynical, and jaded just means snarky, condescending, and douchey.

As for their hotness- Take a look around you folks... out of everyone you have/will see today, how many of them would you consider "hot"? Being turned immortal doesn't morph you into Spike. Granted, I suppose vampires can be choosy and only convert the hot folks... but keep in mind, what's considered "hot" now, might not be so hot couple hundred years from now. I mean, I bet, back in his time, all the ladies were swooning over this fine fella:


Now, picture this guy sneering at you and telling you that you're uncultured and uncouth 'cause you never can-can-ed at the Mouline Rouge like his ex-girlfriend, or that you're stupid for not reading Kafka in original German, or that you're spoiled 'cause "Back in my days..." Imagine his cold, clammy hand drawing you near and offering to knock your socks off with his centuries of love making skills. Ewe!

Conventional vampire knowledge states that, whatever you looked like when you were converted will be how you look for all eternity. You can shave your 'stache and cut your hair but, as soon as you wake up the next night... it's all back. And, it seems like it's the old vampires that seem the hottest- you know, all that years of sex knowledge and brooding I guess- but a couple of hundred years ago, dudes were like 5'4 and skinny. Yeah... not so hot. And, considering hygiene back then... I think you can expect some nasty skin and scary fug teeth.

Still, I'm glad that the media glamorizes vampires- I'm all about tall, skinny, pale dudes. And, as far as vampire crushes go... I'm not going to lie, I was into the Vampire Chronicle series (up
to The Queen of the Damned) in high school, I digged Lestat. The movies are atrocious. I do, however, highly recommend The Queen of the Damned 'cause it's so mind bogglingly bad, it's good.

Tom Cruise as Lestat made me throw up a little.

Stuart Townsend as Lestat however... sigh~

Speaking of vampires, one of my all time favorite Tiger Army song is Santa Carla Twilight, which is a song inspired by the Lost Boys and, needless to say, it's about vampires. I love that song, I love it to bits. Maybe the Stuart Townsend Lestat can turn me into a vampire and Santa Carla will be our song as we snark for all eternity.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Old Navy Bag


This is what I planned on wearing but, decided at the last minute, that I'm really not the belted at the waist kind of girl. Maybe if I had a waist to cinch, I would, but I'm pretty much a rectangle so it just looks odd. So, I got rid of the belt and added a turtle necklace.

Amorti-wha?

I've been thinking about paying my car off early. I've been paying a little extra (anywhere from $30-$300) for the past few months but, now that I'm trying to beef up my retirement saving, I'm starting to reconsider.

I know that it's a better idea to just save for retirement instead of paying my car early but it would be so nice to not have a car payment for the first time in my grown up life. Besides, I'm able to pay extra right now, who knows what kind of financial straight I'll be a few years from now? What if something happens to me, like a huge medical bill or something, that wipes out my savings and I end up losing my car 'cause I can't make the payments? What if I end up with another financial burden and the comfortable payment that I have now becomes unbearable then? Who knows?!

This post on All Financial Matters reminded me of my situation- mainly 'cause it's the same car and roughly the same time period. His stats:

Interest Rate: 7.3645%
Period Rate: 0.6137%
Loan Term (Years): 3
Payments per Year: 12
Total Number of Payments: 36
Amount Financed: $15,019
Payment Amount: $466.26

My stats:

Interest Rate: 6%
Period Rate: (not sure what that means)
Loan Term (Years): 5 years
Payments per Year: 12
Total Number of Payments: 30 left
Amount Financed: Payoff amount is $7,247.46.
Payment Amount: $270.90

Since my payment is already half over, I guess there isn't really that much benefit to paying it off early. I mean, I did the math, if I were to pay it off right now I would save like $900, which is a lot of money but not enough to make me want to use a good chunk of my emergency fund to do so (anyway, this isn't an emergency). And, don't get me wrong, it would be pretty sweet to have an extra $270.90 a month but, even though I've gotten a lot better with money, I don't think all $270.90 of that would make it back to my emergency fund.

It's probably not even worth tacking on an extra $50 a month... better to stick it in a Roth or something (as soon as I open it... or maybe I should just up my contribution to 15% at work? Maybe stay 10% 401(k) but also add 10% 401(roth)? Is that even an option? I should look into that).

Augh! I really want this debt gone though!

Coach Bag #4


Michelle told me she likes my "90's rocker look". I was actually going for more of a Western feel (you know, to go with the fringe tassel on the bag) so I guess I failed.

I can tell the vest is going to get a lot of use this year...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What Part is Confusing to You?

What is it about "No" that just really throws customers off? This is the conversation I had today:

Her: Excuse me, do you have this is a 30" waist?
Me: No, I'm sorry, we don't.
Her: Do you have any in the back?
Me: No, I'm sorry, all our sizes are already out on the floor.
Her: So you don't have any?
Me: No, I'm sorry, we don't.
Her: It's not anywhere else in the store?
Me: No, I'm sorry, it's not.
Her: Can you check to see if your store in Tysons has one?
Me: We actually don't have a store in Tysons, but I can check other stores for you.
Her: So you don't have a store in Tysons?
Me: No, we don't. Let me see who else has it around here. (tipity tapity on the keyboard) It looks like Wheaton, MD is the only store in the area that has the size you need.
Her: Fair Oaks doesn't have one?
Me: No, I'm sorry, the only store around the area that has one is Wheaton, MD.
Her: Manassass?
Me: No, I'm sorry, the only store around the area that has one is Wheaton, MD.
Her: That's too far, I'm not going all the way there for some jeans. Is there any other store around the area that has one?
Me: No, I'm sorry, there isn't. I can have Wheaton send it to this store for pick up if you'd like. It'll be here in about 3 to 4 business days.
Her: He leaves town Wed. Can you have it by tomorrow?
Me: No, I'm sorry, it will take about 3 to 4 business days.
Her: So it won't be here tomorrow?
Me: No, I'm sorry it won't.
Her: Is there any other store in the mall that might carry something like this.
Me: I don't believe there is.
Her: So there isn't?
Me: You might maybe try H&M but I would be surprised if they did.
Her: So you don't think anyone else would carry it?
Me: ... No, I don't think they do.

After the lady left, it got me thinking... a lot of customers double ask when the answer is "No". I decided to do a little experiment.

1st Cust: Excuse me, do you guys carry XYZ?
Me: No, I'm sorry, unfortunately, we don't.
1st Cust: Oh, so you guys don't cary XYZ?
Me: No, I'm sorry, we don't.

Hmm... maybe I'm being too wordy? Let's try again.

2nd Cust: Excuse me, do you have this is a medium?
Me: No, we don't.
2nd Cust: Oh, so you don't have any mediums left?
Me: No, I'm sorry we don't.

Okay... still too wordy?

3rd Cust: Hey, do you guys still have XYZ?
Me: Nope.
3rd Cust: Oh, so you don't have any left?
Me: No, I'm sorry, we don't.

Hmm... let's get super simple.

4th Cust: Excuse me, do you guys sell XYZ?
Me: No.
4th Cust: Oh, so you don't?
Me: No, I'm sorry we don't.

Still doesn't work... and a plain "No" just sounds rude. Hmm... what else can I do?

5th Cust: Excuse me, do you guys still carry XYZ?
Me: (shakes head back and forth) No, I'm sorry, we don't.
5th Cust: Oh, so you guys stopped carrying it?

Good golly people, what does it take?! I mean, I know you shouldn't say "No" to a customer but when it's the only answer, what else am I suppose to say?

I'll be honest- I probably do it too when I shop. I guess, as consumers, we just expect the answer to be "Yes" all the time.

AE vs AE

I always thought it was kind of odd when Payless started carrying American Eagle. I mean, if American Eagle wanted to start selling shoes, why not do it in their own stores? I figured maybe they wanted to reach people outside their demographics but, it turns out, American Eagle at Payless isn't what I thought.

See, there's a difference between American Eagle and American Eagle Outfitters. Silly, me, how could I get those two, very different sounding brands confused?!- That was sarcasm, btw. So it turns out that Payless bought a shoe brand named American Eagle and gave them a very American Eagle Outfitters makeover before selling them at their store. American Eagle Outfitters sued and now Payless has to put a disclaimer saying that their American Eagle shoes are not American Eagle Outfitters shoes.

Hmmm... how's that going to work? Those two names are so similar that, if I didn't read the Consumerist article and I saw a disclaimer stating, "This American Eagle product is not affiliated with American Eagle Outfitters" I would be confused. Huh? What? Maybe I'll pop in tomorrow and see what it says.

Target Tote Bag


I'm sure, after a certain age, one should stop dressing in themes. I'm sure I passed this age years ago. However, I think the zebra print tank, the green henley, and the savannah bag isn't too theme-y.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Steampunk


Michael first told me about steampunk. I thought he was totally making it up but no- it's a legit trend where Victorian meets Punk. It's kind of like goth (Victorian goth, not like mall goth) only more science-y in that everyone seems to be wearing aviator caps, googles, glasses, and there's are lots of gears and cogs and widgets and stuff.

I kind of dig the look- not enough to start walking around in corsets with a goggle perched on my head, but maybe enough to use it during Halloween. Polyvore has a Steampunk set with some really cool outfits, like this:



I could be just digging it 'cause I really like the boots. Speaking of Steampunk shoes:


Okay, I know it's fug and I would never wear it, but it's kind of cool looking.

I also found this Prada shoes (it's a personal pic so I won't copy and paste), which, again, kind of fug, but mostly cool.


Yesterday, I went to DSW and saw this Victorian canvas boot like sneaker thing and it's so cute! They only had it in the # pattern at the one near me so I might actually consider ordering the black one on line. Or the green... I really like the grey but apparently that's not available.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nine West Kisslock Frame Bag/Pique in Antique Pt. 3


On my birthday, we went antiquing! I thought the vintagey looking kisslock frame bag would be appropriate for the occasion. I like the bag 'cause it's small, but holds a lot.

I was looking to find some cool "antique" jewelry. I managed to see a lot of estate pieces that was too expensive, lots of cute jewelries that were awesome, but a bit too demure for my taste (like thumbnail portraits brooches), and lots and lots and lots of really pretty, fairly priced earrings that were screwbacks. I didn't really care if they were antique, I just wanted a statement piece.

The first place we went was The Leesburg Antique Emporium- which was nice, with lots of really great pieces- just nothing that that grabbed me (our price range). I did see this awesome Cheshire Cat belt buckle but it was behind a glass case in the basement and I couldn't see how much it was. The buckles ranged from $7 to $55 and I didn't want to go upstairs and ask one of the old ladies to unlock to case just to turn around and say, "Ummm... thank you..." and hand it back.

Afterwards, we went across the street to Black Shutter Antique Shoppes, which has become my favorite antique store. It's an old house converted into a shop and they have some awesome stuff. They have two rooms (well, one room and one big walk in closet) of "vintage" clothes. The clothes are very unimpressive, not so vintagey, and overpriced. Their selection of jewelry, however, are awesome. They have their share of estate pieces but if you go upstairs, you can find some really fun pieces for a good price... especially the one that's like a walk in closet.


This is a brooch that I got- I'm not too into pins but it really caught my eye and it was cheap. There was another piece that I liked better 'cause it looked like something Doris Day would wear on her pastel tweed suit or something but, it was too heavy to wear with anything other than jackets and coats so... I got this one instead (it's more sparkly anyway).


I also got this necklace 'cause I thought it was pretty bad ass. It looked like something an old Asian women would wear and, I'm not going to lie, I'm starting to really dig my grandmother's style.

Afterwards we went to Luckett- which is a small, small, so small it's barely a town, town about 10 miles away from Leesburg. The Old Lucketts Store Antique was pretty awesome. They had these awesome army of tin pigs (made from old oil drums) on the lawn- if there was ever a motivation for me to have my own lawn, those pigs would be it. Inside, it was mostly shabby chic, French Provincial kind of style, think Anthropologie, only a bit cheaper. I'm sure a lot of it were antiques but a lot of it were also new pieces shabbied to look chic.

They actually had a room upstairs full of some really great vintage clothes. Unfortunately, they were priced at a premium. I'm sure $45 is a great price for a Ferragamo- but not when it looks beat up. All the clothes were basically priced at what the items would cost new if you were to find them in stores now... $115 for a party dress, $55 for an embroidered cashmere cardigan (really rough and scratchy cashmere), $35 for an evening purse, $60 for a leather bag, etc.

As always, antiquing was a lot of fun and I can't wait to go back- maybe check out Purcellville next. I just wish Loudoun county was more of an established county. I'm sure all the hoity toity plantation owning rich as fuck folks owns heirloom pieces that they pass down to their young 'uns and the rest of us are transplants that pretty much moved in all at once during the '90s. I heard Purcellville has become very developed in the past decade but I think it's still one of those places where you can find people who've been there since forever.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Farfalle with Zucchini

This is my version of the Farfalle with Zucchini recipe that was on The Pioneer Women. I followed her recipe pretty faithfully except I added bacon and pignoli (a fancy shmancy word for "pine nut") for some protein. I even went as far as to use fresh basil (though I did leave out the chives and used dried thyme). Unfortunately, I severely underestimated the amount of zucchini I would need (I only used one) but it still turned out good. Even though I used just regular grape tomato, they have that strong, sun dried flavor- which is awesome.

This had the potential to be a very cheap recipe, however, I made the mistake of going to Wegmans which just encourages me to make believe I'm a foodie. Pignolis are expensive ($3.50ish for a small bag) and I bought Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ($9 for a small block!!!) instead of Parmesan cheese. It probably wasn't the wisest decision but... yeah, no... it was stupid. Those with an underfunded retirement should not be paying $9 for cheese!!! In my defense though, the Parmigiano-Reggiano was really good. But, considering it was going into a dish with strong herbs, I could have used cheap Parmesan and it would have tasted the same. However, I did have a lot of fun eating the cheese as I was cooking.

The packaging on the cheese said it was made from raw milk- which I guess is different from unpasteurized milk. According to Alton Brown, all milk products in the US must be made from pasteurized milk- which kills the flavor. He says if you want to taste real cheese, you need to go to Italy- or Canada (which is closer). Michael's says his family lives in Reggio Emilia- which is where they make Parmigiano-Reggiano... ooh... I wonder if you can mail cheese....

All in all, it costs me $25 to make the dish- which isn't bad considering it makes 6 hearty portions, probably like 8 decent portions.

It's the End of The World as We Know It

I got my retirement account summary from John Hancock yesterday which just reminded me that I am doooooooomed. Doomy doom doom doom!

I asked my brother one day if I should sign up for 401(Roth). That boy is smart and well informed- way more than I give him credit for. I swear, he must spend all his free time reading news sites and watching Fox News (which surprised me since he's a democrat...). He basically told me that the economy is going to hell in a hand basket and so it really doesn't matter. Just 'cause I sign up for a Roth doesn't guarantee that the government won't tax me on it when I'm ready to retire- if they need money, they need money and that might mean taxing things they said they weren't going to tax.

Basically, according Mr. Doomy McDoomerson, the only way to have a comfortable retirement is to amass an insane amount of money 'cause the world will be a horribly messed up place in our golden years. My brother always errs on the side of the apocalypse while I'm more of the "la la la... everything will work out somhow... la la la" kind of person. After talking to him, and looking at my retirement account... hmmm... I have a problem... it's called not enough money... hmmm... it's quite depressing and worrisome...

I'm going to go to Walmart*, pick up the latest issue of All You magazine, read about this chic new trend called a scarf (ooh, how sassy!), bake some cupcakes (just $.76 per serving!), and feel good about socking away 10% of my pay to my 401(k).

As for my account...
My rate of return for this period was -2.48 (an improvement from last quarter)
Since my account inception it's -12.28% (WTF!!!)
I have 80% of my money in a Growth fund and 20% in an Aggressive Growth fund. Surprisingly, the Aggressive Growth fund is doing much better than the Growth- isn't the more aggressive one suppose to be more volatile? The Growth went from $301.15 a share to $298.87 where as the Aggressive went from $324.88 to just $324.32. Maybe I need to readjust my allocation. The rolled over IRA I have with BB&T went up 3.15% which is barely keeping up with inflation... whoo hooo... I need to look into transferring that money somewhere else.

I'm tempted to hand my account summary to my brother and ask for his opinion except, he's going to look at it and go, "Oh my goodness, this is all you have? Are you planning on dying on the streets?!" I kid, he's way to nice to actually say that. He'll just think it in his head, do his famous
Sigh~
and stress about how he's probably going to need to support me in my old age 'cause he's way to nice to let me eat cat food in some slum.

He can be so depressing at times. I'm going to be okay. I'll just up my contribution to 15%, maybe even 20%... or just keep it at 10% and open up a Roth... yeah, I think I'll do that. I'll fiddle around with the budget and see if I can put 10% of my paycheck into a Roth.

Coach Bag #3

My mom... not so good at getting me gifts... she means well, but yeah...not so good. So, when she asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked her for the old Coach bag that she hasn't used in like years. She's more into the newer Coaches so she was nice enough to gift me with her old school bag.

Eep!

It's the first Coach bag that I ever saw- I was in high school and I remember my sister bought it for my mom at Lord and Taylor. Being only familiar with cheap cheap handbags at the time, I was impressed with the quality of the leather and the craftsmanship. Oooh... who knew bags could be this nice? It comes with shoulder straps (that a just a bit too long) but I prefer to carry it. She hasn't used it in years so it's a bit dry- but all it needs is a good rub down with some leather lotion (where did I put mine...?). So now my first classic Coach bag has a friend...


Awww... it's like Mario and Luigi!

The vest is part of a three piece suit I bought at some thrift store while back. I had totally forgotten about the vest until I found it while scrounging around in my parent's storage. The skirt had a hole so I tossed it. I got rid of the jacket during the Great Closet Purge of '07 because it looked too date and it wasn't lined... needless to say, it is a great regret of mine. There were many casualties during the Great Closet Purge. Well, I don't think I would've worn it much- but you know some hipster's going to fish it out of a thrift store and sell it for a mint on line. Grrr. I wonder why the vest was lined but not the skirt or the jacket.

While wearing the vest, I noticed something that impressed me:


The buckle in the back is made of real (pressed) wood and not some cheap plastic faux wood!
Another nice touch I noticed:


The button holes are horizontal and not vertical! Button holes were sewn horizontal until the '60! Neat!

The white button down is the ever elusive perfect white button down. It's got a subtle amount of stretch, it's not too tight or too loose, has detailing around the arm holes, is a good length, and, surprisingly, it's from Hot Topic.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tekken 3

I found this shirt while scrounging around in my parent's storage. Tekken 3 is like my all time favorite fighting game- which really isn't saying much since I'm not a big fan of fighting games. I did, however, play this game a lot when it first came out and, for a girl, I thought I was pretty good... until I played against Jamie in an arcade and I totally got pwned... and I don't think she even played the game all that much. Oh well, I guess I wasn't that good after all (or maybe she was just a Tekken phenom).

I like the shirt 'cause it reminds me of the 90's and because it has Jin- I'm partial towards Jins. I didn't think Jin was a Japanese name- don't they all have multi-syllabic names like Hyroku or something? Anyhoo... the shirt is like a men's XXL or something. I wish I was talented... maybe then I could do something usable with it. I can sew a pillow... maybe I'll make it into a pillow.

Trader Joe's All-Purpose Cleaner


I try to use those good for the environment cleaner when ever I can. Partly 'cause I want to be more mindful about what I wash down the sink but, mostly 'cause I hate the bleachy gross smell of most bathroom cleaners. Oh, that and I don't have to feel like lungs are corroding from inhaling all those fumes- blech! "Natural" cleaners usually smell like flowers and leaves a nice scent after I'm done. They costs more but my bathroom is small enough that a bottle will last me a long long time.

The last time I was at Trader Joe, I decided to pick up their Cedarwood and Sage All-Purpose Cleaner. It was a fair price for it's size and I was running low on my Method all purpose cleaner. Yeah... two words:

Epic
Fail

Have you ever walked by that cigar shop in your mall, you know, the store that makes the whole wing smell bad? Yeah, it smells like that. The whole time I'm cleaning, I'm really turned off by the fact that it smells like an ashtray. Seriously, did they not do any product testing? Did they think that people would like smell? Maybe this is geared towards guys who're too homophobic to use cleaners that smell like lilac and lavender?

Oh wait, people actually like the smell?
One person said "The smell is wholeistic [sic]" and her fiance thought she lit some incense after cleaning. All I can say is "Blech"! As for how well it cleans... I was too distracted by the smoky, ashy, burnt smell to really notice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Emily The Strange Bag


Augh, I need to figure out how to get my camera to not take crappy pictures- or maybe it's impossible.

I had forgotten how much I liked this bag.

This top is really nice for hot weather- I like that it's really light and thin but not see through. It's a bit too goth looking for me to wear regularly but I thought it went with the bag- even though Emily's style is very minimalistic.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Red Cat Bag


Chris: You look very Asian-y today.
Me: Thank you Chris! You're looking very Caucasian.

I actually was trying to dress Korean but it was too hot to properly pull off my vision so I settled for this- kind of a watered down version of what I had in mind. It's just as well, lots of Koreans (in Korea) are either very avant garde when it comes to dressing or they dress in the dark.

Otakus have the best shit. They come into my store with their available-only-in-Japan Hello Kitty bags, where-the-hell-did-they-get-that Totoro tee shirts, part-of-an-RPG-character-cosplay-outfit accessories, and cute cute things that they ordered off some obscure store they learned about in Shonen Jump. I'm Asian damn it! Cute things are my birth right! I can't let some "egg" out cute me!


Isn't this bag so cute!!! I was at Morning Glory, trying to up my cute factor with cute stationaries when I saw this bag and freaked! Eeep!!! I'm trying to make an effort at trying to watch what I spend so... I don't know... I don't need another bag... but this is so cute... Thankfully, it was really close to my birthday so I called my brother up and told me to get this for me.


The cat makes me happy just looking at him. Awww~!!!

Bookmark Clean Out

Some interesting articles I came across...

I've always kind of assumed that my first place would be a condo. They're cheap and it's a lot of people's starter home. However, after reading about how condo fees could effect resell value, I think I'll seriously re-think it. Seriously, paying like $300-$700 on top of my mortgage every month... augh! Well, I have plenty of time to come up with a good down payment for a town house (or a small, small single house) since, in the DC area, housing prices are not expected to go up anytime soon.

I know I should slow down to save money on gas but jeez, it's hard. Besides, considering my commute, I don't think it'll make much difference.

Recall on dog foods! Oh no! Poor puppy... I should email this to my sister and hope she still love the puppy enough to care. Poor puppy.

I don't trust Walmart to change my oil, there's something very very wrong about a $18 oil change. I don't really trust Jiffy Lube all that much either. I should just go to the dealership. It costs more but I feel like they're less likely to fuck up and more likely to care... not sure what I'm basing this on. Good thing my car can go almost 7,500 miles before needing an oil change. My car has a maintenance indicator that tells me when to do what. God bless the little indicator.

Credit Card Rules

It's rare that I want a hotdog, but today, I did. I was all ready to chomp down on some bacon dog when the cashier was all, "Do you have cash on you?" No. "Sorry, we have a $5 minimum."

Hmmm...

I've been reading the Consumerist long enough to know that they can't impose a minimum. I wanted to turn uber bitch on her (I was hungry) and start quoting the Visa Merchant agreement but, figured it was a losing battle. Instead, I walked away without a hot dog. Just as well, I then saw her re-use her plastic glove. Ewe! What's the point of gloves if you're going to take them off and re-use them?

The Consumerists has a post titled Credit Cards: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Your Credit Cards. It is definitely worth a read. As someone who has swiped my fair of credit cards, here are my thoughts on some of the points:

1) It never cease to amaze me how people think not signing their card will somehow prevent theft. I used to ask for ID when their card wasn't signed and most of the time, they're all, "Oh, thank you for asking, I don't sign my card so people will ask." I then point out that if the card is signed, no one will ask for an ID so thieves can just sign unsigned cards and get away with it. There response? "..." One incident that comes to mind:

Me: M'am, can I see your ID please? Your card isn't signed.
Idiot: Oh, I don't sign my card so cashiers will ask for an ID.
Me: Can I see your ID then?
Idiot: (Looks through her purse) Oh, I don't have it with me, I must have left it in the car.
Me: I'm sorry, I can't take your card then.
Idiot: Why not?
Me: Because it's not signed.
Idiot: (Bitchy) So? Why can't I use it?
Me: Because it's not signed and you don't have an ID. If you sign it, then I will swipe it.
Idiot: (Condescending bitchy) I already told you, I don't sign my cards for security reasons!
Me: Well, you want people to verify ID and that's what I'm doing.
Idiot: So... You want me to go all the way to my car to get my drivers license just so I can buy something?!?!?
Me: No... you can just sign your card...
Idiot: I told you, I don't sign my card for security reasons!

I will admit, I was being a bit unreasonable with her but she was starting to piss me off- not that that's a valid excuse for being an unreasonable jerk, just saying...

Signed or unsigned, I never ask for ID unless it says, "Check ID" or something to that effect. Back when I worked at ON, I used to press the issues with uber douches and bitches but, thankfully, they are very rare now. Besides, I've learned it's not worth picking a battle and they'll always think that they are right, no matter what.

3) Recently, there have been a lot of posts and comments about how they don't want to put their identity at risk by showing their precious drivers license to the register monkeys... like this commenter:

Almost every card has a %0 liability when it comes to fraud. It is probably MORE dangerous to have some sales clerk looking at your ID than a credit card.

I like how Comsumerist readers blast retail monkeys for being complete idiots who're too stupid to go to school and get a "real" job, but at the same time, we're all savants, blessed with
photographic memories, capable of memorizing 16 digit credit card numbers and the three digit security code on the back and the expiration date and the name and address on the license and the birthday and the multi digit license number in like the two seconds we have both in our hands. Not only that, we have to remember it long enough for us to have a chance to write it all down somewhere.

I guess the comment above refers to a register monkey who choose to ignore the credit card theft route and just go with straight up identity theft (which will still require a damn good memory). Now, I'm not a criminal mastermind but... what can someone do with my driver license number? Seriously, should I be concerned? As for my address and birthday... yeah... all public information.

Let's say for instance, I'm evil, and your name is... Jane Greenlee. You give me your card, I swipe it, but before/after/during I see that your name Jane Greenlee- it's there, right on the card you gave me. Instead of bothering to remember the number or your info, all I have to remember is "Jane Greenlee". I go home, go to pipl.com and type in "Jane Greenlee". Oh look! I can see all the birthdays... addresses... etc. Screw your drivers license! I don't need that!

I don't think there's much threat in handing your license to a register monkey. I suppose there is the rare chance that you are handing it over to a criminal mastermind with a memory like that dude on Psyche but... If I were going to start stealing identities, I'd just stay home with a phone book and internet connection- the amount of information I can get would be about the same but, at home, I can watch TV and eat ice cream while doing my evil deeds.

Now, one should not, not, not give out your personal information for the register monkey to record the said information into their system. Systems can be hacked (TJMaxx... looking at you... Steinmart... yeah, you too...), you definitely don't want your credit card info and your name and address in that system. Only time that ever happened to me was at Gamestop when I was making a return.

4) I hate it when stores charge a minimum amount but, since both my parents are small business owners, I know how it sucks to see your profit diminish 'cause of the merchant fee. I'm usually understanding and will buy a coke or candy or whatever to push it up the the minimum amount. However, that hot dog lady still kind of pissed me off.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Coach Bag #2

I've been listening to a bit too much Flobots. I'm slightly sad and melancholy right now.


This outfit is doing nothing to improve my mood. Blech, if I had more time, maybe I would've dressed better. I need to start going to bed earlier, I'm tired of being tired all through the day.

The bag is from the Coach Soho line years back. I want to say it's 1st gen Soho but I could be wrong. I used to love this bag but stopped using it 'cause it became waaaaaay too ubiquitous.

Don't get me wrong, being a mall/mass market shopper, I fully understand that everything I buy is a copy of a copy of a copy of an inspiration piece from some designer's line a season or two or three ago and millions of other people own the exact same thing in the exact same color- that doesn't bother me. I'm also not one to stop wearing or liking something 'cause everyone else does. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I'm too "cool" to not care about outside opinion but, generally, if I like something, I like it- regardless of how many people agree (or disagree).

Still... this Soho design has been copied way to much. Every brand and company from Guess to Claiborn to Target and Walmart has their own version. Hell, for all I know, Coach copied it from someone. Wearing it just makes me feel like I should be heading to work at cube-ville wearing black, Express, microfiber party pants, French blue button down (untucked, of course), and chunky, chunky stacked heeled loafers.

I wouldn't mind a cubicle. I once worked at an office where this one lady loved cats. The lady was insane about cats and, coming from someone who only wears cat socks- yeah, that's saying something. Every surface of her cube was covered in cats, no seriously, everywhere.

I think I could one up her if I had a cube.

I am, however, quite fond of my Davey/Hello Kitty/Trent shrine at work. I don't think I would feel comfortable having a Davey/Hello Kitty/Trent shrine in an office setting.

Speaking of Trent...
Oh. My. Goodness!!!
I just found this on line!!!
I wish I could flail around like a J-Rock scene kid so I could potentially be in a NIN video.
I'm so f-ing stoked for tomorrow! The Slip comes out! I know it's been free on line for forever now but it's a limited edition digipack with all kinds of extras- including stickers!
Stickers!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Handlebars

At work, Flobots are up for debate. Are they good or do they suck? Personally, I think they're bad ass. Those that disagree... well, I think they're judging them based on Handlebars.

And they should. Handlebars is an awesome song. You might of heard it, I think it became pretty popular on radio. It goes, "I can ride my bike with no handlebars...". A lot of people think it's just some dude bragging about all the bull shit things he thinks he can do, but it's really about society. "I" and "me" being this country and corporations- basically (in a very general way) it's about how we can be really awesome but really stupid at the same time. There's just something really tragic about the song and, after watching the video, I think I want to cry.

No really, it's a sad sad video for a sad sad song. Youtube won't let me embed- just as well, I don't think I could watch it again.

Fight With Tools is an awesome CD, so glad I bought it. The rhymes are original and, while I'm not a huge fan of political CDs, it's refreshing and not at all preachy. It's a rap band with a viola player- all the songs have this kind of sad, tragic undertone so it gets a bit depressing at times but, after listening to songs like Handlebars, I like to listen to We are Winning, which also kind of makes me feel a bit weepy.

Strive for Five

I thought I once read somewhere that apple juice is like the worst thing ever 'cause it's super sugary and will rot your teeth. Now they're saying it's one of the healthiest? I also recall reading somewhere that the health effect of pomegranates are a bit dubious and the whole pom thing started 'cause some lady bought some land with a crap load of pom trees. Not really knowing what to do with it, she decided to market pom juice as the healthiest thing ever and sell it in trendy bottles and... voila! POM!

Whatever.
I mean, I guess any juice is better than no juice but as far as health goes... blueberry is the only thing that everyone seems to agree on.

Kenneth Cole


Augh! No may goosta. "Structured" doesn't really describe my wardrobe anymore, nor does "business professional". I still have a few dress up clothes from back in the day and I thought about wearing them but... meh. I probably could have come up with a better outfit but I was running late. I always liked this silk blouse with the dark purse and I like lavender with grey so ... Yeah, I really didn't like this outfit at all.

The purse, on the other hand, I do like. Dark chocolate brown patent doesn't really go with most of what I wear anymore but I'm sure that eventually, someday, I will need to dress like a grown up on a daily basis so I'll keep it around for that time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Our Lady of Guadalupe


Erik: Davey sings back up for Tiger Army.
Me: No way! Put it on!!!

T.A.N.D.!!!

Have I ever told you how much I love Tiger Army? Maybe not as much as some folks but I do love them a lot. This shirt was a regular shirt but it's a boxy cut dude's youth medium so I very rarely wore it... which is why I decided to cut it up... not too thrilled with the result but it's not like I would have worn it a lot either way- I'm not too fond of black shirts.

I kind of felt like I was wearing a costume- which was kind of cool, it's good to be different every now and then.


This is my Our Lady of Guadalupe bag. I'm assuming it's the Guadalupe Mary, and not the millions of other Marys, 'cause of the roses. It was my first real tote bag and I used it a lot. Then I made the mistake of washing it and... yeah... it's a little mishapen now. Even though it's used as a dust bag, I still like it. The only downside (aside from it's now slightly deformed shape) is the fact that there are no inside pockets.

Organic Hooey

You know what I hate? When grocery stores don't give you the option of going non-organic. I'm a little iffy about the whole organic thing. I mean, yeah, pesticides suck but gross chemicals are everywhere. It's in the water, the air, clothes, carpets, shampoos, blah blah blah. It's environmental benefit is dubious at best. Yeah, pesticide is bad for the environment, but you know what's worse? All the CO2's being released into the air from shipping organic. That pestiside ridden apple might be from New York, that organic apple might be from Oregon or Washington State. I read that most organic milk isn't even from this country. There aren't enough hormone free cows in the US to meet the demand so a lot of it is from Europe where they process the organic milk into powder form and the powder is turned back into milk here in the US. Sure it's organic but it's not really what you think of when you think of organic...

I'm guessing grocery stores make more money off of organic. Sometimes it's hard to find non-organic at Trader Joe. I usually don't mind 'cause Trader Joe's organic produce don't cost that much more than non-organic at other grocers. Still, I can't help but think if they offered non-organic, I bet it would be cheaper. At Wegmans, I think they go out of their way to make regular produce seem unappealing. I needed to buy some zuchinnis. Regulars were $1.50 a lb, organics were $3. The organic zucchinis looked beautiful- green, shiny, blemish free- perfect. The regulars... oh my goodness, they looked like Wegmans dished them out of a garbage bin behind some restaurant. And you know, that pissed me off. So, my options were: A syphilitic looking zucchini at a fair price or a healthy looking one for double the price?!

Anyhoo... surprisingly, if you can't afford to go full on organic, you should go with organic ketchup. Huh. Ketchup.

Deliciously Rich Chocolate Brownie


It was like 10pm and I felt like a brownie so I just whipped one up- from scratch! With stuff that I already had in the pantry!! I felt so Martha Stewart-ish.

This brownie... let me tell you, this brownie will change the world. It is so freaking awesomely good that people will do your evil bidding just for a pan of this fantabulous brownie. I'm not a food snob but do yourself a favor and don't get the weak, lame, crappy chocolate. You don't have to go super gourmet, Ghirardelli is good. I get a bar of Trader Joe's organic dark chocolate for a little over a buck. Go for the highest cocoa % and don't settle for less than 75%.

Oh, and, like everything I make, the recipe is super easy.

Deliciously Rich Chocolate Brownie

1 cup dark chocolate chips (I use a bar and just break the off into itty bitty bits)
1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 8" square pan.

Heat 1 cup chocolate chips, sugar, butter and water in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate and butter are melted. Pour into medium bowl. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until mixed in. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour and salt, stir well. Add nuts, if desired, pour into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 33 to 35 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out still slightly sticky. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Coach Bag #1


Me: Should I get this?
Michale: You know, one of these days, you're going to be out and about, and see some 10 year old, wearing the exact same hoodie, and you're going to feel really stupid-
Me: Good point.
Michale: -Because that 10 year old will look better than you.
Me: Are you saying I dress worse than a 10 year old?
Michale: No... I'm saying that kids clothes look best on kids.

I shop from the kids department all the time, the prices are cheaper and, sometimes, the fit is better. I've yet to run into a 10 year old wearing the same stuff as me but, and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, I did see like a 6 year old wearing the same underwear as me (she was wearing a skirt and sitting not so lady like). I can get a pack of five for like $5! Is that weird? Wearing girl's undies? It's not like I get the ones with Disney Princesses on them or anything.

Anyhoo... the purse is Coach, my first Coach bag, as a matter of fact. Something about it seemed a bit 80's for me, so did the hoodie. I had forgotten how much I liked this bag- I think I'll try to work it into regular rotation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sucks to be You

Yesterday I was in Leesburg, getting my car looked at, and freaked when I saw gas being sold for $3.99! Man, how sad is that? Even at the cheapest price around it still cost me $40 to fill up my tank, a couple of months ago, it was only $30! And, I'm only getting like 27 MPG. Lame. You know how the gas pump still displays the sale of the previous dude who pumped gas at that station? Yeah... the car before me... $98!!! Oh my goodness!! I don't even want to know what it feels like to spend $98 on a tank of gas. Maybe he should join the gas prayer circle.

Everyone's bitching about gas prices, I know, I know... and given my 6 mile commute on my supposed fuel efficient car, I guess I have it a lot easier than most people. But you know what, I have it easier than most 'cause I made the decision not to be an idiot. I chose to have a 6 mile commute and I chose to drive a fuel efficient car. All the whiner's bogus excuse is getting annoying. I understand that in some area of this great big country, you have to drive like 20 miles to find employment. However, in Northern Virginia, you don't. They made the decision to work at a firm an hour away versus a firm that is half an hour away. I'm so tired of people whining about their commute.

As for their gas guzzling car... People around here bought big honking SUV's for the following reasons:
1) Status symbol
2) Cargo space- not for tools or furnitures or whatnot, but to load- no joke- groceries! Groceries!!! "Oh, I need a big car. We have a family of 4 and it takes the entire car just to go grocery shopping." Bull shit! I've seen people load up their SUVs with groceries, they only use like the back part- the seats are still empty. Seats are not just for butts! You can set stuff on them!
3) Kids- as in like 2 kids. "Oh, I need a big car 'cause Timmy's in soccer and I'm always driving him and his friends around." Again, bull shit. I rarely see an SUV with more than 2 or 3 kids inside.
4) I'm short- I actually heard that one a lot. "I'm short so I need to be able to see over other cars." I'm not even going to bother commenting on this one.

So yeah, all you idiots out there driving your big honking Denalis out on the road for your hour and half commute to DC, shut the fuck up about how gas prices is killing the middle class and how you're worse off than your parents! I should be the one bitching! I am the one who always drove within my means but I have to get excited for $4 gas 'cause you drove the price up you retard!

I guess this means that you don't have enough money to let Timmy play soccer, which means you won't need to go load up on 4 cartons of Gatorade at the grocery store. Hmm... ironic. I hope that SUV forever remains a big, expensive albatross around your neck and your Escalade serves more as a symbol of your egomanical arrogance and stupidity rather than "status".

Relic Bag

Next up we have... a small Relic handbag!

I got this... hmm... around 7 years ago. It's made of like a felt/wool like material with embroidery in the front. Don't let my horrible photo taking skills fool you, it's black black black. I had a hard time coming up with a warm, fall colored outfit but managed this:


Augh, I did not like this outfit at all. I don't know, I just felt a bit uncomfortable in it. The poor lighting makes the color seem much more muted than it actually was. lime-ish green and burgundy made me feel retro in a not so good way. I just don't think I'm a big fan of burgundy in general. The pants were a huge disappointment. It's the exact same pants as my all time favorite, favorite, black Tripps but in burgundy. The fit, however, seemed a bit off and the fabric was a bit stiffer- maybe 'cause it's new? Maybe it'll feel just as good after washing it a few times? This was the first time wearing and look what I noticed like 10 minutes into the day:

A $40 pair of pants shouldn't split at the seem after one freaking wash- even if I did only pay $6 for it. Come on now! To make it worse, the split happened on my upper right thigh- a very embarrassing place to have split. Thankfully, it's double stitched so I wasn't flashing any skin but it's definitely going to need to be mended before I wear it again.

As for the bag, I think it'll make a nice winter bag, even if it is small. My mom has the same bag but in a much bigger size so I think I'll just "borrow" that bag.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Welcome Back Monkey!


I have a thing for monkies (they were a big part of an inside joke at one point)... and cats. I found this while rummaging through my sister's old stuff. He was a gift from Daria back when I was in high school- I forget his name... Hmmm... He seems a bit protective of his banana, maybe he heard they'll soon be extinct.

Speaking of bananas, I tried Starbucks' new drink, Vivanno. It's cheaper than a Frap and much better in a filling, not so sweet kind of way. No coffee- just bananas, milk, chocolate, and some whey protein... unless you get the mango one in which case, substitute the chocolate for mango.

So yeah, back to the monkey! Monkey!!! Thankfully, both my sister and my my mom do not feel the need to purge like I do. As a result, they have a treasure chest of old stuff from the 90's and early 00's. A lot of it is still ugly and or too big but I've managed to find some gems. I finished rummaging through my mom's closet and their basement. I think sometime next week, I will offer to "babysit" the baby in order to gain access to my sister's closet. Mwa ha ha ha ha!!!

Fake Dior

Sometimes, I hate getting dressed in the morning. What to wear, what to wear, what to wear? I liked Closet Clean Out because the answer was there- going down the line, I wear what ever top came next. Easy! I suppose I can try doing it again but... meh, already did it. Besides, it's way too hot to layer so... I'll save it for October or something. By then, I'll need to make some room for all the new, cold weather stuff. Yay! Cardigans!!!

So instead, I decided to do Closet Clean Out: Purse Edition! I will let my purses dictate what I wear.

First up is my fake Dior.


I got this at a thrift store in Harrisonburg. When I bought it, I had no idea that it was a fake anything. Then, one day, I was flipping through a fashion mag when... Hey! I recognize that print! I have that print! OMG!!! I scored a Dior at a thrift store!!!

!!!

Oh wait... I don't think Dior line their bags with pleather... or have gold clasps that peel... or have puny, tiny, zippers... or weak clasps... or leave out their labels...

I don't wear it very often 'cause I feel stupid wearing fakes. Besides, it's wide, but not deep enough to hold much. Still, I was able to fit all my essentials:

Let's see... clutch/wallet, cell phone, mint, ipod, tissues, wet wipes, and breakfast.


I'm not used to bags with flaps- so annoying. After this, I think I'll do Closet Clean Out: Shoes Edition. Then, Closet Clean Out: Jewelry Edition. Closet Clean Out will have more franchise than CSI.

Oh, speaking of which, VH1 is doing this thing about The Who and that's when I realized... All the CSI theme songs are Who songs! I swear, if it weren't for commercials I would have zero access to classic rock.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Credit Card Companies Suck

I use my credit card for four things:
1) Gas stations- partly due to risk of skimmers, mostly due to holds.
2) Restaurants- since the waitress/waiter tasks my card to who knows where and does God knows what with it. I thought I was being paranoid until my brother had his card number stolen (he thinks it was from using it at some sea food place in NC).
3) High ticket items- for the possibly extended warranty and charge back option.
4) On-line shopping- for the obvious reason.

According to Wisebread (the site I love to hate!) credit card companies might raise rates to customers who they think might be facing financial difficulties, i.e. customer who use credit cards to buy necessities, like grocery and gas, and or buying discounted items.

Eeeps!

Thankfully, I don't carry a balance and my APR did not go up.

Metro Station

I just got a letter from Jamie reminding me that Trace Cyrus (half brother of Miley Cyrus aka Hanna Montana) is in Metro Station. I've never heard their songs but I know they're a pop punk band and very popular with the blond and orange Hollister crowd so I was a bit surprised to see that he looked like this:


His Acacia Strain shirt is way more brutal than Eric's, I'll have to start calling him a wuss bukqet. Next time he does his BRUTAL growl growl growl growl, I'll be all "Dude, whatever, Metro Station is more beast than you. Dude has full sleeves and facial piercings." This site says they're somewhat hard rock. Hmmm... yeah... I mean, I know I haven't heard any of their songs but judging by their fans... theirs nothing hard about them.


Another Hanna Montana connection: his bandmate's brother is Mitchell Musso, aka Oliver from Hanna Montana. I wonder if their siblings hooked them up.


Oh, look who's rocking a Hot Topic dress...

On a totally unrelated note: I saw a thing of VH1 where The Plain White T's were busting on Avril Lavigne for being all pop and "mall punk". Um... They're The Plain White T's... they epitomize pop rock. Every time I stepped foot inside the mall... "Hey there Delilah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah..."

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's July!

The Christian Appalachian Project sent me a calendar! This worries me... Did they send me the calendar 'cause they see that I am in fact, a regular donor or did they send me the calendar 'cause they're upping their mailing campaign to everyone in hopes of getting a bigger return? It's a pretty cool calendar, lots of pics of the rural Appalachian lifestyle. I have to admit, a little bit of me finds the blue collar, red neck lifestyle a bit appealing. I come from a long line of hardy peasant stock. I've always wanted to own a farm. I wouldn't mind hitching a trailer to a side of a mountain and living off the land... for about a month. I look forward to hanging it up next year. Maybe I'll have found my Big Mouth Billy Bass by then and I can hang them together. I loved that fish. I wonder what happened to it.

Whenever I get a calendar, I judge it based on the month of July since that's my birthday month. Currently, I have three calendars in my room and it's JULY!!! Here's what they look like:

This was from the charity where the armless people draw with the paintbrush in their mouth. Pretty good for an armless dude.

Normally, I don't buy calendars since I never need them but this was on sale for 75% and I really like the Beatle's Yellow Submarine. The movie was weird but the song's pretty bad ass. I've had an affinity for this song ever since Mrs. Fox, my music teacher, made us play it on the recorder for an assembly. When I die, I want this song playing as they lower my coffin into the grave. Oh wait... I want to be cremated... whatever.

This was a present from an associate. Hello July!

Antiquing


Me: Yeah! Antiquing!!!

We were suppose to go antiquing but never quite made it that far. I had every intention of going antiquing when I got dressed which is why I decided to go with the vintagy looking purse. Oh classic Coach bag... how I love you.

First we went to the comic book store. I wish I was a comic book geek but I guess I should be glad I'm not- sounds expensive. I thought about getting into the Battle Royale series but resisted... knowing me, I'll feel compelled to buy the entire series book by book and that's hundreds of dollars that could be better spent- like on ice cream. Ice cream!!!

We wasted the rest of the day at the outlet mall. I know people travel far and wide to shop out our outlet mall but it's the first time I've been there in like a year. There's rarely any good deals to found. 30% to 50% off retail? I can find that at the mall! The last time I was there I found a bag at the Nine West outlet being sold for $40... when I had bought the exact same bag at Marshalls for less than $20. Bogus!