Monday, February 28, 2011


I love Safeway's Just for U program. Tonight's savings? $54, including a $10 off a $50 purchase coupon, $5 off $15 in frozen goods, and some free cookies! Yay! I'm by no means an "extreme couponer," but we're definitely spending less on food now. I need to start going to other grocery stores to snag more books of manufacturer's coupons, LOL. LAAAAAME? Yes, I am!

Also, I got a huge box of sewing stuff in the mail today from my aunt - including a GREAT piece of fabric that will go perfectly as the backing for the quilt I'm making for our bed! Can't wait to get that far so I can show off! :)

I'll try to have some more pictures for you soon. Though really, Dianna, you can see the stuff whenever you want to stop by, and Renee, well, I know you just don't care! :P

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friends and Farmville, of all things

So I play video games. Computer games, mostly. I play almost compulsively. I played World of Warcraft for years, until a month after the most recent expansion came out. I got bored, I guess; there was lots of turmoil in our guild, we transferred servers, got into a new group, but it didn't feel right.

I moved on, played Fallout 3 for a while, until my husband ruined it with mods that added way more types of weapons and ammunition than my brain was willing to learn.

So I went back to something I'd played, then sworn off: Farmville.

Turns out I have a friend from high school who plays about as obsessively as I do - we swap fancy trees, chicken eggs, etc., and have used it as a platform to bitch - me about coworkers, her about her shitty landlord and girls she likes.

I enjoy that. An organic friendship, one that's all mine. I've gotten so possessive over friends - "No, I can't be friends with her," I'll tell Jeff. "She's your friend." So much about marriage is sharing, it's nice to know there are things that are just mine. Even if it is just silly pretend farms. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I'm so stressed out that I've gone back to waking up every morning with a stomach ache that spawns every time I realize I have to go to work.

If only I didn't have to go. Oh, wait, if I didn't do that, then I couldn't give all my money to my husband so he can pursue his dreams.

Too bad I don't have dreams of my own.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Another to-do list item was to finish reading Jane Hamilton's The Short History of a Prince. My pal Tamera said that Hamilton's other books were good, and that I'd really enjoy this one.

I feel bad (which I know I probably shouldn't), but I just couldn't stay interested in the book. It was very character driven, rather than plot; the protagonist is a man looking back on his childhood, switching back and forth between episodes about his time studying ballet and the illness of his elder brother. The "present day" sections were dull, mostly him telling stories instead of just having flashbacks.

I've read other books like this that have turned out okay, but those authors were able to pull it off by having narrators with pithy commentary, or humorous interactions, or something. This was just...blah.


The next book I'm reading is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which a co-worker of mine is reading. I noticed that he was reading it, and commented that I had it, and he's asked me some questions about it (he hasn't read P&P in its original - and if you haven't, you ought to!!), so I feel like I should probably read it to actively participate in future discussions!


So according to my to-do list, I had vowed not to buy any more fabric.


This weekend, Joann's is having a big President's day sale, where Simplicity patterns are 5 for $5. My friend Dianna had a bunch of patterns listed on her blog that she was looking for, so I messaged her, and off we went to Joann's!

This trip will mark my first attempts at trying to make things with patterns. I picked up a few different patterns for bags, 2357 and 3822. I got one of "accessories," which has purses, satchel-style bags, and a clutch.

The fourth and fifth patterns I'm more excited by. 2822 contains patterns to make organizers and bag-type doodads for wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers. The envelope the pattern comes in makes them look so drab! Blacks, navy blues, maybe some tan for trim - how boring!! Jenn over at South of Sheridan's inspired me to make things that are way more girly - I'm thinking cute floral prints, bright happy pinks and purples, and so forth!

The fifth pattern, 4127, is cute tops for summer - maybe by the time the warm weather's here to stay, I'll have gotten up the nerve to WEAR something I made!

And, of course, since I was at Joann's, I had to look at the remnants. It simply cannot be helped. I was good this time, though - I bought two pieces, one full yard, one mostly a yard, of basic white fabrics that can be used for anything and thus are must-haves...right??

The best part of the trip? The receipt!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh, money

Anyone know how to make money fall from teh sky?

No, really?

Apparently Jeff's much closer to starting graduate school that I had financially budgeted for - as in, this August, instead of August, 2012. That means I likely have to come up with a semester of tuition out of nowhere, while somehow also paying to get the kitchen floor laid in the next week, car insurance is due soon, etc. etc.

Sigh. Hopefully his meeting with the financial aid office goes well.

Meanwhile, I've accomplished something on my February to-do list - getting caught up with my side job. I can't actually finish the work he gave me, because it doesn't make any sense, the way he did things last year, so I'll get paid for that soon, and put that toward the "get Jeff into school" fund. Or maybe the "buy lots of alcohol so I can get through getting Jeff into school" fund. Jury's still out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To do list - February 2011

To do list, now through end of February:

-Finish all currently assigned work from Dan (side job, oye), bill for work when completed, return items to Darcy

-Finish book I'm currently reading (The Short History of a Prince: A Novel by Jane Hamilton) (didn't actually complete, but gave up, because book was no good.)

-Start and finish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! so I can discuss it with Chad at work

-Complete at least 5 items for posting on my Etsy store (!)

-Post said items on said Etsy store - yes, I decided to go for it!

-Get money out of bank to pay Ralph

     -Arrange time with Ralph to shop for supplies and for completion of kitchen tile floor project

-Finish watching C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Complete First Season with Jeff :)
     -Now halfway through second season! 

Edited to add:

-Ongoing project: aside from today's purchase, buy no more fabric until something is sold via aforementioned Etsy store. Free fabric does not count as buying. Buying from Joann, eBay or even a thrift store does count as buying.

Monday, February 14, 2011


So as you know, I bought myself a sewing machine last year for Christmas. I figured, oh, I'll make a few bags with it, and get tired of it like I do everything else.

So far, totally wrong.

I love it! I love seeing fabric, buying it, then making it into stuff. So far I've made some quilt tops (not yet turned into quilts, but they're still kind of pretty, methinks), a few purses for myself and others, and generally played around.

On Sunday, I made a super cute little fabric box out of the cheap interfacing I snagged at the Shalom thrift store on Saturday and some left over ladybug fabric. The friend I gave it to (well, her daughter) says she absolutely adores it, may steal it from her not-quite-3-year-old daughter for herself, and thinks I could totally sell them.

That's where Etsy comes in. I have a user name, and basically everything's set up except actually posting stuff. Should I make the jump, and go for it? I'm nervous - afraid of failing, really. Afraid of rejection from Internet strangers.

Meanwhile, I've got probably a dozen sets of three fabrics paired up, ready to make more adorable fabric boxes out of. Do I dare?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book 8: Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs

Book 8: Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, by Chuck Klosterman

An analysis of "low culture," Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman made me chuckle off and on all the way through. Klosterman manages to apply the types of analysis that were discussed in my literature classes to a variety of topics throughout its essays. Topics included the mascots of kid's breakfast cereals, why people younger than Generation X don't really like Star Wars all that much (which I totally agreed with), and an analysis of Boston Celtics fans vs. Los Angeles Lakers fans.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. His one-liners are pretty funny and there were several parts throughout the book where I literally said "Huh! Well, that makes sense" out loud... then I had to explain why I'd just said that to Jeff, who didn't always agree with me but that's just because he enjoys being frustrating.

Anyway, overall, I'd recommend it. I've already loaned it out to a fellow English degree holder because I thought she'd appreciate it. I had a professor who seemed like they were trying to pull off this kind of analysis (applying academic-type themes to everyday culture in an attempt to make said concepts more accessible), but Klosterman actually gets there while the professor didn't really succeed.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"I Miss You Time" Saturday

When Jeff and I spend time apart on the weekend, we call it "I miss you!" time. Today he's off at a friend's house out in the country shooting guns; I went shopping. :)

I stopped at Joann's, where I got some adorable remnants. Admittedly, not as childishly adorable as the ladybugs I got last time, but still fun - and, most importantly, I got four pieces totalling over 2 and a half yards, along with some little Velcro pieces for projects around the house, for about $11.

After that, I headed to the post office to send some books for swaps, then headed downtown. After hitting the ATM, I wandered through the farmer's market. Apparently, oranges, apples, strawberries, kiwis, and leafy things are the only things in season; we didn't need any of these, so I left without acquiring any produce. I did notice, however, a thrift store I hadn't been to, so I stopped there.

The Shalom Free Clinic Thrift Shop, I assume, operates to help fund the Shalom Free Clinic, which provides a variety of free medical services to people here in Chico, including your basics ("Ugh, I have the flu") to more intense services like behavioral health counseling, nutrition counseling, and general PSA-type health education services. Good place to support, methinks. Anyway, I stopped at their thrift store, and was pleasantly surprised. Although incredibly crowded, there was a bunch of good stuff to be found - I found some role-playing books for Jeff for Valentine's Day (thus breaking my decision that we were not doing V-Day at all), as well as what looks to be a complete roll of twin-sized fusible quilt interfacing, which was only a dollar!! Yay!

I also got a sweet Parcheesi set, circa 1959 - despite it's age, it's only missing one mover (a red one), which is pretty good, I think!

I decided to continue the thrift store shoppin' at Thrifty Bargains, which has 30% off days on Saturdays. I didn't find any pants for Jeff, nor any of the shirts that you get when you donate blood that he doesn't already have (all of which were acquired at said thrift store, rather than through blood donation). Anyway, I did get a copy of The Karate Kid NES game, also for Jeff as a present... so hopefully he doesn't read this, LOL.

Less than $20 and I got a bunch of cool stuff! Hooray, bargain hunting! :)  Have you snagged any good deals lately?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reason to live in CA, #71

Reason to live in California, number 71? It was 71 degrees today when I left work (an hour early! yay!!). I came home, loaded new stuff on my iPod, and got on the bike. 14.75 miles in about an hour and a half!

This of course means I can eat all the ice cream I want tonight, right? LOL

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


There are times when I can feel myself aging. Tonight has been one of those nights.

My Poppy, my dad's father, kept a police scanner in their house. He used to be a cop, responding to accidents and the like at all hours, so it made sense; after that, he was a "weed control officer" but (I think) would still respond if need arose. Anyway, they always had the scanner on, and it fascinated me as a child, the dispatchers reading off license plates using the phonetic alphabet and all that.

Tonight, I decided that having one around might not be a bad idea, because then I wouldn't have to wonder why the emergency vehicle with big flashing lights that was neither an ambulance, fire engine, nor any other piece of equipment I'd seen before, had driven by my house.

Further signs of my aging include the fact that I want to discuss with someone the fact that "the dogs in the neighborhood have been acting weird lately." I know this to be true because they've been barking much more than usual. They're also the only thing I know of my neighbors. Since Mike and Marisa moved out of the house next door, we no longer know the names of anyone who lives in this entire section of town.

Maybe it's just me being weird, though.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Credit cards

Credit cards. No one likes to have to use them.

But here's a quick PSA.

If you've got a credit card, whether you carry a balance or not, even if it has rewards - make sure to call every so often to see if they have promotional interest rates available. I called Discover today and got my rate lowered from about 19% to 1.9% for the next six months - with no effect on my rewards, which are pretty generous.

Best part of the conversation? The gal on the phone told me that my continued use of the card, combined with having been given this offer, make it likely that I'll get approved for another promo rate in the future... all I have to do is call back.

New goal: pay off my student loan by my birthday, 2012. 14 months to pay off $4,100 is going to be pretty easy-peasy, provided everything goes well.

So...go call your credit card company! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

It started well, at least.

Today started off really well. I woke up on time, and even early enough to cuddle with Molly, my little purrrrr machine, before getting out of bed. In the mail on Saturday, I'd gotten a postcard for a free drink at Starbucks, so I started my morning off with my usual grande, non-fat, no whip hot chocolate, but it was better than usual since it was free. I had set Jeff up with enough quarters and cash to get laundry done - probably... 6, 7 loads worth? Who knows. I'm sure he'll tell me all about it.

Work didn't even start off too badly, either! Yes, there was paperwork, and interruptions, but there always are, especially on Mondays.

But then... the radio lost reception.

Now, I have a coworker who cannot "listen to herself breathe," as she puts it, and MUST have music on at all times. She's the same coworker who put on Lady Gaga a week or so ago, as if that were appropriate music for an accounting office. Anyway, today she put in Shania Twain.

The same Shania Twain CD we'd been listening to last Thursday and Friday. I think I've heard it 10 times in the last month.

She (both Shania and the coworker) sometimes make me want to hang myself.

Even more amusing is an offhand comment Coworker made about a car we have for sale. "No, we didn't sell the Honda Pilot," I told her. I looked up the price. Um, if you can barely afford your $150/month car payment on your Elantra, there's no WAY you can afford a $350+/month payment on the Pilot. Especially since your credit's shot from not paying your Dish Network bill. And since your insurance is already going to go up because you hit someone with your car.

But whatever - it will be just like every other time she's said she's interested in a car, but does nothing. Not that I can talk, because I've talked about buying a newer car on an on again, off again basis for probably the whole time I've worked here, but at least I don't: a, need a new car; b, complain about said car constantly; c, always complain about how I have no money; and d, knowingly want vehicles I cannot afford.

Do you have coworkers like this? Please tell me I'm not the only one. LOL!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book 7: Welcome to My Planet, by Shannon Olson

Just finished Book 7: Welcome to My Planet (Where English is Sometimes Spoken), by Shannon Olson.

Though touted as fiction, this book clearly borrows heavily from Olson's life and upbringing in Minnesota.

We read the story of Shannon, a 20-something graduate student from St. Paul who struggles with the same things we all struggle with - relationships (with men and our mothers), our search for meaning, and generally confusion over our sense of selves. Her mother, whom she calls Flo, is a crack up, and the puns that Olson puts throughout the dialogue were hysterical.

Despite her failed relationships and her on-going relationship with a therapist (who we only know as "the counselor"), the book ends on a hopeful note, with the narrator having finished her thesis and looking forward to a new chapter in her life.

Unlike other novels, I feel no qualms about giving away "how the book ends," so to speak. This is not a plot driven novel so much as one driven by character exploration - likely both that of the narrator and that of the author. A quick read, as I only started it yesterday on the way to the zoo.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book 6: Pornified, by Pamela Paul

Book 6: Pornified, by Pamela Paul

The subtitle of this book, "How Pornography is Damaging our Lives, our Relationships, and our Families," should have tipped me off that this book was going to be full of terrible biases, but unfortunately it did not. Ms. Paul based her book on extreme examples of porn "users" - men in stereotypically antisocial professions who viewed pornography for 5 or more hours a week - a long time to be jerking off in front of a computer. Or so says my husband, who used to work for a porn store, and thus my most accessible "authority" on the topic. Also male, so that must count for something, too.

Anyway, Paul goes on to suggest that watching porn will lead you to neglect your family, become deeply interested in worse and worse pornography, until you find yourself masturbating to child porn and contemplating molesting your young female family members. She seems to make no appreciable discernment between pornography involving such activities as simulated rape, golden showers, and double penetration from more "softcore," two-person male-and-female pornography. She interchanges the words "porn" and "cybersex," not appreciating what seems to be a clear distinction between looking at pictures/watching videos online and actually participating in cybersex, where one (or more?) other people are involved.

Ultimately, Paul seems to suggest that the Internet be censored in the United States, since other countries cannot be trusted to hold the same standards as we do.


I have another book she's written, called The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony. I'm now hesitant to read it, to be honest, since this book is SO extreme in its definition of "feminism."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coworkers are annoying...

And even moreso when you have to go through them to make major purchases.

I got my oil change on Monday and was told that I need two new tires. Okay, well, awesome, I just got those. I look at the multipoint inspection sheet from the mechanic. Um, this says I need four tires. Whatever, I'm sure he just misread it, he'll order the right things.

Nope. Ordered two tires. Why'd he think I needed only two tires? Because he saw the 8s and 5s that the tech wrote for the BRAKE lining instead of the 2s that he wrote for the TIRE TREAD.

This, combined with him not being interested in calling me back - he hasnt' called me about my car at ALL this time around - do not make me happy. Hopefully they can actually FIX my car this time, too - last time they aligned it (April, 2008) they made it worse, and were unable to fix it. I was eventually told that "that's just how [my] car is." Poor Fofo.

In related news, Hyundai's coming out with soemthing called the Veloster this summer that looks adorable! Might be time to replace Mako! LOL