Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hello, December 26th! I have been waiting for you.

Now that Christmas is 365 days away, my job will be a little more clear cut. I've been waiting for this since early November. All I can say is, "hatchachacha!"

Now, onto Christmas past. This year Jared and I attended dinner at the Koehn's Friday night and lunch at my aunt and uncle's Saturday. Both events went over well, but I preferred Jared's gathering to mine. Not because I am choosing favorites, but because there are twice as many adults at my family's celebrations, and I become anxious in groups. I attribute this to basic paranoia multiplied in intensity from close familial proximity. Meaning, generally groups don't bother me, because I don't care what strangers nor acquaintances think; however, because I'm tied to these particular people and will be seeing them year after year, I care. I'm not afraid of making a bad impression. Instead, I get the sense that I already have and am currently in the process of living that down. And, no I have no idea what event/reputation I'm speaking about. It wouldn't be paranoia if it had grounds.

The other problem I have is not meant to insult my mother. I want to have that on record, because this isn't a problem with her it's a problem with me. My mother is a character. She displays herself with gusto using wide hand gestures and colorful language. She strains her face to contort to whatever mood she is trying to project. She is also loud. Personally, I see this as her way of dealing with the above paranoia that we both suffer from. Unfortunately, my way of dealing involves turning myself inward, buttoning my lip and waiting for time to move. Which means my mother attracting large amounts of attention to herself... makes me cringe inside. It's not that I'm embarrassed of my mother, because my mother is awesome. I just hate. hate. attention --- especially when I'm as anxious as large family gatherings make me.

The cliched truth that I'm digging at is that holidays are stressful. I have decided that hosting a large gathering is too much trouble, and I will forever be a guest in other people's celebrations.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top 5: 2010 Events

Vacation at the Cabin
From the first year I was born until the summer I turned thirteen, my father and I would travel to Slidell, LA and visit Haphazard, our family's summer cabin. Here I made happy childhood memories and felt like I had a family. Those two weeks every year were the few extended periods of my young life where I didn't feel controlled or subservient. When we stopped going, my summers dragged into falls which really helped to blur my grade school years into a long streak of suck.

But, that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the two weeks this summer I spent at Jared's parent's cabin. Not only did I get some much needed time in the sun, I was reminded of those sun-filled days in Louisiana. Something about a mixture of nostalgia, family and vitamin-D has made this experience possibly the best I've had in Wisconsin. It also gave me some insight into Jared's family dynamic. Which is excellent, because until then I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. Spending a week at the cabin with his family told me a lot more than a few hours over a turkey/ham in a formal dining room ever could.

I also spent a week out at the cabin with Brandon and Ciera. Spending that much time close quarters with another couple makes you appreciate your spouse in a whole new way.

Brittany's Tattoo
This is going to sound ridiculous, but watching Brittany get a tattoo is going to be something I never live down.

It went something like this: Brittany's tattoo is outlined, then Brit turns a little green. Tim (Tattoo Guy) runs for ice, water and glucose tablets. I watch Brit turn green, I watch Tim get the supplies... then I get light headed and clammy. Tim has to make a second trip.

Not a big deal right? That is the worst vasovagal response I've ever had. I think Brittany's paling face and my sudden lightheaded-ness will always come to mind when I think about tattoos... or Brittany... or glucose tablets.

Laceye's Bachelorette Party
Because of a free weekend, a need to get out of Platteville and friend who needed accompaniment, I was fortunate enough to meet Laceye and Theresa. These two are a cousin duo that bring out the best in each other. They are adventurous, mischievous, energetic and influential.

Laceye's bachelorette party. was a two day event: Shopping and dinner one day, on the town that night and breakfast the morning after. Ciera stayed to shop and dine, but had to work in the morning. I was invited to stay, and Laceye offered to drive me home in the morning. I had no where to be and saw this as an opportunity to let loose for once. We spent a good time dolling ourselves up. Theresa did my hair and Laceye did my makeup. I do understand that I am female and have had female friends, but no one has encouraged me to dress like an woman before. I felt self-assured and sexy. Laceye even had me in a mini-skort, which meant I didn't feel scared to sit the way I normally do... which is my main issue with above the knee skirts.

The night aside, that experience with those girls inspired me to buy a hair straightener, gel and hairspray. I even want to grow my hair out past my shoulders, which hasn't reached that point in a near decade. This may seem superficial, but when they gave a complement, I believed it. Besides height and curly hair, sincerity runs in that family.

College Graduation

Last year was my fourth year at UW-Platteville. I want to open by saying that I didn't have senioritis. I did my homework and showed up for as many classes as usual. However, at this point I no longer valued my education. I wanted out of Platteville. I wanted my piece of paper and my freedom. I felt like my education was not adding to my ability to increase my income. I also felt annoyed and superior to a lot of the freshmen I was taking classes with.

Now that that is on record, I also want to say "College Graduation" is included on this list out of obligation. I felt obligated to go to college. Now, I feel obligated to include graduation on this list of memories.
However, graduation wasn't that awesome. I walked across a stage. I took my diploma holder. I walked away. I understood that statistically speaking, a four year degree should make me happier.

The four years of college were worth it though. I learned a lot about myself and gained independence. That's priceless.

Moving in with Jared
My relationship with Jared is a large part of my life. I'm ready to have my own family of two with Jared, and living together is solidifying "us." Plus, with our work schedules we would never see each other if we didn't live together. We cook meals together, clean together, go grocery shopping and are learning to communicate better with one another. We're a work in progress, but growing together means always being in progress.

Honorable Mentions:
Summerfest, Irishfest, Ann Arbor Trip, Chicago Vacation

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shopping Style and Flash Sales

I've recently decided it would be best if I did not buy clothing for a year. I have far more clothing than I need but for now am done narrowing down my closet. By not buying clothing I will be able to focus on what I already have and (to use a hackneyed phrase) shop my closet.

Through a little self examination, I've come to the conclusion that I tend to shop as a way to treasure hunt. I don't channel my inner pirate and map my way across the department store, but instead I spend hours of my time filtering every sale rack, every aisle of a thrift store... turning over every knickknack and examining every clothing item. I search for items that strike my fancy in a particular, long-lasting way but also meet my standard in price vs. retail value.

Becoming self-aware of my reason for shopping has made not shopping a little easier. Right now, I've decided that if I need something, I need something. Which means I should buy this item and only this item.
Example: My winter coat is a black, wool pea coat made by Calvin Klein. Last year, it fit like a glove... but now the top button stays open. I went to the mall this Saturday with a friend from work and tried on five similar coat from the same designer and have decided that my waist is too small for a 10 and my chest is too large for an 8 for this season's Calvin Klein coat line. However, I still need a winter coat that zip/buttons to the top. This is the frozen tundra of the Midwest that I live in. I chose to purchase a Columbia medium weight coat in a Medium. Which fits perfectly, I want to add.

Then, I got the hell out of there.

I'm making a point in all future purchases to only use store cards when a discount is provided for store card users. I paid for this purchase on my everyday credit card which has an interest rate much lower than a store card's.

Which brings me to section two of this blog entry. I am closing all store cards that I do not use. I am keeping my Younker's card (for use that in Wisconsin), my Macy's card (for all future Minnesota, Mall of America shopping), and my Old Navy Card (for all basic clothing purchases). This might seem like a lot of store cards to keep but I've closed four accounts this weekend and am calling Maurice's in the morning. It shouldn't hurt my credit too horribly, because all of these accounts have been inactive for over six months.

Finally, I recently read an article published by Jezebel on Flash Sales. This article has reinforced my belief that "limited time" offers are scams. Without fail, I recoil at any sales pitch that is offered "for the next 48 hours" or "until close today." Mostly, because I watch a lot of TV and have seen make-believe con artists fool their marks into rushed decision making. Outside of treasure hunting... I don't fall prey to flash sales or BOGO offers or even coupons. If you're offered $10 off a $50 purchase... that's 20%. That is not a sale. If it isn't 50% off... it isn't a sale. If you didn't even want it... you aren't saving money.

My dad always would correct someone who would deliver a sales pitch claiming to "save" you money if you buy an item for $40 that is normally $50. "You aren't saving money; you just aren't spending as much money." If you want to save money you just take $10 and stick it in a savings account. Now, you have saved $10... and come to think of it you could just not buy anything and put away $50.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Always Planning

I have been thinking about finances way too often this week.

I've been reading blogs on finance and frugal living. This is what I've learned so far from these blogs: I make next to nothing; I'm 5 or so years younger than any exemplary young person in debt; my debt (i.e., school loans) is not that bad; I've been practicing these frugal living ideas that are exalted by these websites for years as a way of providing for myself while poor; There isn't too much fat to cut from my budget. Because my budget is already low-fat... I've decided to go fat free.

Here is my working plan for financial savings:
I will not buy clothing -- at all -- for at least six months. If I can manage that, I'll make it another six months etc. (I am going to make an exception when I visit Aunt Leigh in San Francisco.)
I will not purchase home items until we have moved and have jobs.
I will cut down on eating out to once a week or less.

That's my budget's fat.

Oh, and I froze my credit.
I also want to plastic and weather strip our windows and the back room. This way we can keep the heat at 67 or 65 without paying $130 a month.

When my hours start cutting down I'm going to clean out the upstairs closets. I don't want to be one of those people that wear 20-30% of their closet. But, that's for another post.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

February 2012

Today, I made a point of telling one of my supervisors that I will be available to work throughout the next year into next peak season.
I did this for two reasons:
1. Jared will most likely need a full year's experience to get a job in a Chemistry position in the future.
2. I want to make myself available for any future promotion.

This revelation depresses me. Actually no... it doesn't make me depressed; it just makes me sad. I'm sad that we won't be moving someplace new and exciting. I'm sad that my life has grown stagnate. I'm sad that my earning potential will remain where it is now or possibly decrease. I'm sad that I'll continue seeing Jared only on weekends. I'm also afraid. I'm afraid that a temporary home and a temporary job will become a permanent situation.

But, I am reminded of what I will be gaining. I have a job. I have a home. I have an income. I have health care. I have a possible future.

Part of me feels like, at 22, I should be grabbing the bull by the horns or spitting into the wind --- doing something, anything reckless.

Right now, I need to save money. I need a foundation to stand on.

Let's see how long I can hold on to this plan.

Stop spending.
Keep earning.
Maximize saving.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Money, It's a Drag

I am not the best at saving money. I've never had much of it, and when I do manage to scrape an income, my spending inflates. I've been trying to make a point of having positive cash flow over the past two months. This has allowed me to pay off $700.00 in credit card debt that I accrued from three months of unemployment and about $300.00 or so dollars in-store credit card debt. I also have saved over $500.00. I did this in two months while paying bills on time and well... living.

I'm also working for under $10 an hour at a job with part-time hours.

My big goal is $2500.00 by late March. I figure that if I don't allow myself to shop for new stuff, sell my old stuff and work weekends, then I will be golden.

This is a lot harder than it sounds. I love shopping, and temptation is everywhere. And, by everywhere, I mean on my lap with a wireless connection.

Holley's plan to save for her move:
1. Freeze my Younkers Card. In ice.
2. Tape an adorable photo of a Corgi to my credit card over the numbers. This way I'll have to stare into it's adorable face, reminding me what I'm postponing for that humorous t-shirt, shiny tennis shoe or cute gingerbread earrings.
3. Watch my bank account like a HAWK.
4. Put my entire paycheck into my savings account, then move money into my checking account only as I need to pay bills.
5. Never step foot into Dubuque or Madison.
6. Develop a love of penny pinching. Maybe I can trade the thrill of shopping for the thrill of saving. Pause for the laugh.

Here are some great links on frugality, money saving and DIY, respectively:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Personal Style

Here is a small confession:
I didn't pick out or buy my own clothes until I was 16.

Over the past 6 years I've found out several things about myself and my personal style.

1. There is really one pair of jeans that I like, so I now buy the same style in different colors. I also do this with underwear and tank tops.

2. I like black, but not enough to wear multiple pieces in the somber tone. Plus in winter my skin washes out, and I look really dowdy.

3. No matter how many cute scarves I buy... I will never wear them as much as the scarf Gram gave me 5 years ago.

4. I don't like glitter... or glam... or large jewelry. Shiny is good for shoes not faces.

5. I buy way too many hoodies and fleeces. I wear all of them and like all of them. This makes downsizing my closet really difficult.

6. Everything I try on is tolerable... sometimes everything is cute. These are not good reasons to buy clothes.

7. I love dresses. I did not wear dresses in high school. It wasn't until summer of freshman year where I lived in a place that had no A/C that I started wearing dresses to survive.

8. I do agree with one thing that my mother's boyfriend outlined in the house dress code... logos are awful. I could go on a rant about The Man using your body for product placement... but really I don't like having wording across my chest. 

9. Cardigans go with everything. Everything.

10. Lastly, I don't need to wear makeup. I'm way too young to look like a raccoon, clown or cougar.

Personally, I'm into a hipster/granny/librarian style. Humor t-shirts, cardigans, knee length skirts and excellent lapel pins. My basic 15 minute shopping quick trip involves looking through purse sale racks for Fossil handbags and skimming the very on sale racks for looking at fabric first, fit second and utility last. I do this based on what is fastest to judge. This way I'm not trying on a 100% wool size 0 romper. (Also, I hate rompers.)

Which leads me to the point I intend to make. The best way to avoid accumulating tons of clothing is a two step process.
Step 1: Figure out the following:
What you wear most often and if you really need more of that.
What you never wear but continue to buy for the wrong reasons: obligation, trend following, hoping for a tomorrow that might never come.
Step 2: Stop buying stuff. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas List 2010

I would like to open by informing my dear readers that I have already spent my last penny on Christmas and didn't buy anything for you all.

I bought one pair of Gilded Herringbone Women's Classics... or as I like to call them "shiny shoes." And, I bought the sunglasses I've been eying for months from Fossil and a few basics at Old Navy that I will wear until the seams rip.

Now is the time I make the list of things I want, do not need, and shall not buy for myself:

     Amazon Kindle 3 with protective skin and cover
I thought I was going to buy this for myself... then looked up the "necessary" accessories and gave up on it. Also, I'd have to pay for a large number of books I want to read.
     Archie Grand Secret Agents I Met and Liked Notebook
The shipping for this was 79.75% the cost of the item.
And the list of a possible additions to my overwhelming collection of stuff:

     David Sedaris Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary
I have been infatuated by David Sedaris for years. He's definitely worth a read if you get the chance.
     Moleskine Red Weekly 2011 Pocket Planner
It's the same planner I used all of last year, but it's not really worth it until I have things to plan around.

I'd also like an engagement ring, but fat chance. 
I'm a pretty simple girl with simple needs. Most of the time it takes me months to talk myself into a purchase over twenty dollars. Right now, I feel so guilty about what I have bought, I just want to work every weekend until Christmas.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Hold Steady: A Rave Review

If I could recommend a band to anyone, it would be The Hold Steady. Their songs are about drug use, religion, life and disappointment. They write about sudden highs and redemption. I can only give a glowing review for this band. They put out albums regularly and are awesome to see live. To go a bit in depth I will now talk about songs I like especially well and what in my life they remind me of.

Your Little Hoodrat Friend
This song is my universal anthem for the kind of person you can't stand to be around but is always there. It describes the kind of person who wants to be hardcore, but just comes out creepy. Although, the person sounds much cooler in song and a little less sad. It's also about jealousy... and I love the word hoodrat.
Best Lines: "It's funny how true love gets troubled by still water and washed up in the Mississippi River."
"Your little hoodrat friend makes me sick, but after I get sick I just get sad. Because, it burns being broke, hurts to be heartbroken and always being both must be a drag. "

Most People Are DJs
I think of this song almost everyday. Every time someone launches into a rant or can't pick a radio station the line "Everyone's a critic, and most people are djs," jumps into my brain and I get to rock out for at least 30 minutes to the stanza on loop. Also, the one time I actually said that in retort it made me sound really hip. Really. Fine, nerdy and out of context, but hip.

You Can Make Him Like You
Easily top song on the list. This song is catchy, has great lyrics and covers an important subject: Independence. Kind of. Well, it's mostly about how you're never really attached to anyone, and if you want to leave, you can leave. It's the ultimate post break up song.

Southtown Girls
"Southtown girls wont blow you away, but you know that they'll stay." It makes me feel better about not being spectacular. It's cool to lay low sometimes.

How A Resurrection Really Feels
I'm a bit biased about this song. It has my name in it. Not a lot of non-Christmas songs have the name Holly (or any spelling variation of Holly) in them. It makes the main character seem easier to relate to. I mean minus the drugs, broken glass and being a hoodrat... that could be me. Or anyone.

I tend to prefer Separation Sunday and Almost Killed Me to the newer albums Stay Positive and Heaven Is Whenever. But, that seems to be my thing with a lot of bands: Kanye West, Metric, Vampire Weekend. I tend to go towards newer albums with Regina Spektor, Death Cab for Cutie, The White Stripes.

Then again, I hate The White Album and love the Beatles, so my taste isn't for everyone

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Money vs Time

One of the top reasons I like economics is that an economist can decide the value of anything. And, while I try to remain rational about my life and my priorities, I have no idea about some things. This weekend was a real life test of priority economics.

I signed up on Monday to work both Saturday and Sunday. I did this because we are paid time and a half on Saturday and double time on Sunday. My plan was to work a few hours Saturday and as many as possible on Sunday. I remembered on Friday that Jared's birthday was on Sunday. Jared's parents called to let us know they would be coming into town on Sunday at 6 pm. I was scheduled to work 3 pm to 11 pm. I felt awful about forgetting, but it's a lot of money, and I was already obligated. I got a little lucky and had the decision to cut out early made for me when we ran out of e-mails to answer.

But, this got me thinking about which was more important an extra 100/200 dollars for working the weekend or having two days to myself with my boyfriend.

To be honest I have to say that I really don't know.

I remember feeling terrible and angry when I worked Christmas instead of spending time with my then boyfriend as a senior in High School. Then I remember the relationship being over and wishing I worked the entire break.

This isn't High School.

Jared isn't going anywhere. Eventually we'll have lots of time together as a couple. I need to keep in mind that right now is important too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs the World: A Review

Subtitle: Why it's awesome and why I can watch it over and over again.

I've found that my movie taste falls into a very non-specific category. I'm not much for block busters that don't involve explosions. I'm also not much for RottenTomato fresh picks. However, if it's a RottenTomato fresh pick that just happens to be a block buster, that I can do.

My current movie love is Scott Pilgrim vs the World. The movie not only is seasoned nicely with well crafted one liners, it also has a fantastic soundtrack. In between content based zingers, Scott Pilgrim samples The Bluetones, Frank Black, Metric and Beck. Beck actually wrote the songs performed by Scott Pilgrim's fictional band "Sex-Bob-omb." The movie also features references to the action/fighting scenes of anime, comics and old-school video games like Mortal Combat. Through out the movie video game graphics are used to move the plot as well as add further humor.

Two main characteristics of this movie make it rewatchable: Firstly, this is a fluff piece. There isn't anything to think about or mull over. The plot is the plot; it isn't referring to anything life altering. Secondly, the main characters fail to react to Scott Pilgrim flying through the air in slow motion and punching a human being into quarters. Their apathy makes the fighting scenes far funnier.

Lastly, this movie offers a fresh take on directing. The segues between scenes as well as the comic styling keep your attention. The opening scene where Sex-Bob-omb plays in the living room and the camera slides back through a long, extended hall was brilliant. But, best of all... the fast paced and quick-witted script hides the fact that Michael Cera can't act and is actually just cast into the same character (himself) over and over again.

Also, I have been inspired to bring in the phrase "Lady Dudes" to my repertoire.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Wednesday Challenge

To all readers and non-readers,
I would like to encourage everyone to go on Google Local and review a local place you love.

I got a trim at my favorite salon in town yesterday afternoon. My hairdresser, Connie, thanked me for reviewing her salon on Google Local (Link). Apparently, a lot of college students use Google to find local businesses and many rely upon reviews to make final decisions. I feel very happy about my review because A) It's 100% true and B) Connie gets some well deserved patronage.

I reviewed all the local places I frequent enough to comment on consistency. Admittedly, I have left a poor review or two. I keep a policy that for every negative review I leave I try my best to leave a positive review. I consider it internet karma.

I'm challenging you to write a positive review and boost your favorite salon/restaurant/boutique store's patronage.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Analogy

President Obama recently appeared on The Daily Show. Amongst different political topics covered in the half hour special was socialized health care, more specifically "Obamacare." The President compared Obamacare to racial integration basically (and I'm inferring here) he referred to it as a foot in the door.

But, I've decided that that metaphor sucks. And, that the only reason I can come up with a better one is because I'm not a public figure and can talk about goldfish. Sounding crazy works for me.

Here we go folks. Obamacare to Socialized Medicine in 30 seconds:
When you bring a goldfish home to introduce into your aquarium, you don't just dump the fish into the tank willy nilly. You place the goldfish in it's plastic bag of previous tank water into your aquarium. This way the temperature of the water in the bag adjusts gradually to the temperature of the tank. If you just dropped the fish into the aquarium, it would die of shock.

Now, in this analogy the fish is socialized medicine, the bag is Obamacare, and the aquarium is the United States of America,

The idea is that Obamacare will ease our political demographic into accepting socialized medicine. If socialized medicine was just dumped in the laps of the USA, the bill would die from the country's shock.

You're welcome.

P.S. This is a Betta. His name is Scoopie.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Forgot The Best Part

When Ciera and I were attending RHPS, there was a ninja sitting in the row in front of us in the last seat on the left. The MC announced that all those participating in the costume contest should come to the stage.


The ninja stayed in his seat.
He was not in costume.
He was a ninja.

Burrrsday: It Is Very Cold

I am really loving life right now!

This Wednesday I woke up at a thrilling 8 a.m. to put in a fantastically large order that on normal conditions I could never afford. But, my wonderful job makes many never affordable orders possible. Now I just wait by the door like a happy yet lonesome puppy for the twenty seemingly random items I have ordered. Just so you know it isn't random. I ordered a table that I will use specifically for my laptop. I bought this because when I was making the order I managed to knock an entire glass of tea all over my coffee table... with my laptop. I ordered three separate sets of bedding of which I will decide that I like them after I see them in person. I bought a wreath and garland to decorate for Christmas. This year I love Christmas. I bought a small speaker to attach to my laptop. The speaker uses vibrations to project sound. I purchased a stainless steel stock pot and a 9-quart roaster. I bought a fan... which is random but awesome. I bought a rolling hamper... because both mine and Jared's hampers have fallen apart from college abuse. I purchased a wall-mounted jewelry armoire that can hold all my lovely pieces of jewelry that I never wear. I also purchased a tent to go camping in this summer and an induction cooktop! And that is the extended list of what I bought at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

Now, onto what I did last week! I met a lady named Jenni, and we went out on the town Thursday and Saturday night. It was very fun. I really felt kind of "above it all" or whatever, because I'm not in college, not staying in this multiple horse town and happily settled into a caring relationship. Basically, I have no one to impress, and I don't give a crap about how I'm dancing or what I'm wearing!

Ciera and I went to Rocky Horror Picture Show the night before Halloween. Here's the short of it: I hated it. Firstly, I got pegged in the face with rice. Pegged in the eyes... with rice. Ciera was slammed in the back of the head with a roll of toilet paper. I had a latex reaction to the gloves in the goodie bag. What really made it a total bust... were the people that sat directly behind us shouting "Virgins!" every time a person did something off cue. I did enjoy the man dressed as Riff Raff who shouted great lines at the screen ... that I could actually understand. As a RHPS wrap up: Latex reaction, riced eyes, pained C, obnoxious sluts. (Pun off the word virgin.)

The great things to happen in the future involve Rainbow Rave and Christmas.

Rainbow Rave is a conference followed by a drag show and dance. Last year I made it to the drag show and dance. During my college career either a blizzard... or more likely a job has stopped me from attending the conference.

Also this year, I am in a really festive mood. I don't know if it's the job, having a little family of my own, or my acceptance of how disappointing Christmas can be when you're a kid. It's time for me to make my Christmas as merry as I like it. I'm old enough to make my own holiday.

As an after thought, I have started reading The Wizard of Oz.

My Christmas list includes silver shoes and a Kindle.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Wednesday Morning

I can't think of what to write, because right now I have about two days a week to myself. So, I'm writing now of my day to day routine.

The first thing I do everyday is come home from work. From there I stay up another two to four hours. I get to bed around 3 a.m. I wake up at 1 p.m. I go to work at 4:30 p.m.

On weekends Jared and I go on dates. We don't see each other when we're conscious on weekdays, so we try to make the most of the time we do have together. Even though most of my time is built around going through the motions, I feel like this experience is going to make us appreciate each other more when our lives become more stable.

Jared really dislikes how little free time we have, and how quickly the weeks move past and in such a blur. But, I like it. Every week at work feels like a day at school. We get closer to moving to Minneapolis and closing this chapter in our lives. It's exciting, and I'm not anxious. I just smile and look forward to tomorrow.

I try to convey how excited I am about moving and about the adventures we'll have together. But, whatever I say will always come up short of how excited I feel. Speaking of excited, I have some brownies in the oven. I'm all smiles tonight.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One Week At a Time

A friend of mine once reminded me that I do not having a spending problem; I'm just poor.

I disagree with this statement, in that I feel like I have a shopping problem. The main problem is that I don't have the money for what I buy if I buy anything at all. I have been combating my problem by not spending. I chopped all my cards in half and paid off all my bills with a small loan from my bank. This way my interest is much lower, and I can see exactly what I owe. So far it's been really great and really easy. All I have to do is ask myself if I really need that --- whatever I'm lusting after, and the answer is always no. There is nothing I need that I don't already have. For that I am lucky. My bills are low right now, and I've paid off the majority of my debt (excluding school loans, but who cares; the interest on that is outrageously low).

But, alas, if everything was golden, then I wouldn't be posting now would I?

This weekend was a huge slip-up on my part. I made four purchases. I also ate at not one... but three restaurants. (Jared did pay for one.) I could do an itemized list ... but who needs that. Either way, admission of guilt entered.

Off topic note: I'm watching the edited version of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; without the cussing and sexual references, this movie makes even less sense.

This week Jared, and I made two dishes for dinners and lunches. We made Jambalaya in the slow cooker and Ratatouille in the oven. We subbed carrots for celery in the Jambalaya and served that over white rice. We added two yellow squash to the Ratatouille and served that over brown rice. Before throwing all the veggies in a pan, Jared cooked the eggplant in garlic and oil, then cooked the onions in the oil left in the pan. Overall, both dishes were a success. I liked the Jambalaya more, but I have a thing for southern food.

This week I don't have lunch Tuesday through Friday, because I'm training for a new skill. I've decided to bring Texas Caviar and Fritos for a light snack. I will be making Artichoke Spinach Lasagna and Pot Roast (with some kind of Jared-approved starch) for our dinners and lunches. I find that making meals far ahead of time helps us not eat out as often. This practice is healthier and less costly. Also, by having one meatless meal a week, one can drop a few pounds.

I was reminded on Friday by a coworker that reheating and storing food in plastic has been linked to cancer. I believe my next home purchase will be a set of glass or ceramic heat up dishes.

I'm considering thowing out all of our plastic containers. Jared might be able to talk me out of this. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Woah It's Cold

It's a little late, and as friends, colleagues and a certain faculty member of UW-Platteville might tell you... when it gets late, I tend to get a different perspective.

And, I need to say that tonight I am worried. Over the past few days I have been sleeping in until 1:00 pm after going to bed between 2:00 am and 3:00 am. That's ten or more hours a night. I'm worried, because --- given my history of depression --- sleeping this late can mean that I'm in for a spell of the winter blues, or I have a cold. I know what the Seasonal Affective Disorder feels like, and I haven't had a cold that has lasted this long before. I'm going to make an educated guess that this is a taste of the former. It's like I get a full on welcome to winter: my fingers shrink, my legs and arms dry out, my nose wants to fall off due to itchiness or temperature, and my brain's usual Paul McCartney/John Lennon theme song turns into Everclear complaint-rock.

I have a three part plan on how to get this thing nipped in the bud far before I start sleeping 20 hours a day and missing out of my life again.
Part 1:
Take 5HTP every day. It worked last year; fingers crossed it will work again.

Part 2:
Work out at least five times a week. Exercise got me through Junior year's near constant snowfall as well as the horrible drama.

Part 3:
Try to get some sunlight everyday. Hopefully, when it gets colder I'll still feel this is necessary. Either way, as the great Michael Lee Aday once said, "Two out of three ain't bad."

As I sit here, cross-legged on a couch older than myself, I pull the hood of my sweatshirt tight allowing just enough space to view my netbook screen. I ponder the greatest mysteries of life: what would a nose warmer look like? And, why hasn't anyone capitalized on this yet?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sometimes You Don't Need a Roller-coaster

Last Monday my work began a program called "Get Yourself Moving" or G.Y.M. this program really inspired me to well... get myself moving! I started the program at 2 AM that morning. I figured I was awake anyways so I might as well! Plus, I was so far into my second wind that I couldn't get to sleep. First, I tried my usual work out to Hip Hop Abs. This workout just plain kills my feet and knees. I did a little online research, and despite the generous endorsement by Ellen Degeneres, Hip Hop Abs barely squeaks out three out of a possible five star rating on Oh no, no, this will not do. After a half hour of digging and reading through reviews, I stumbled across a workout by Jillian Michaels called "30 Day Shred." The tape claims to help you shed 20 lbs in a month. I don't know about that, but it defines my goal in weight loss. Being 130 lbs again would be a-mazing.

Today is day six of the workout. (I took a day off on Friday after a brutal get-the-house-clean-in-two-hours workout via Jared's Mom coming to town.) I can make it through the workout now without a break. This workout is much much easier on my joints, but I still can't finish it wearing my new insoles. So, I push through it barefoot. The only real problem I have is with the lunges; my Achilles tightens up, and I have to shake out my back leg half way through the combination move. Either way, these are my results: My measurements before beginning the regimen were hips 41" and waist 32". Right now, seven days into level one of the 30 Day Shred, are ... drum roll please... hips 39.5" and 30.5". I haven't kept track of legs, arms and chest. (If I drop a bra size, I will be p-oed.) Waist and hips alone I've lost 3" in seven days. Freak. Out.

Otherwise, my parents might be moving back to Wisconsin. Which blows my mind. I don't understand how two people on no income can make such expensive decisions with little preparation. Although, I do understand that with a lack of preparation, people can be forced to make rash decisions. Either way, I'm keeping my head out of it. They are adults and haven't been in my life for years. I sometimes see them at holidays, and I send birthday cards. But, I also send birthday cards to my best friend from middle school... and I actually talk to her more often. I know my mom reads this, but whatever. This is going to make some awkward dinner conversation, so what. I thought moving to Wisconsin was a ridiculous, unnecessarily costly and untimely move. This is not hind sight; I told them this when I was 16. I thought moving to Colorado was a ridiculous, unnecessarily costly attempt to run from their bruised pride. This is not hind sight. I think moving back to Wisconsin is a pretty rash attempt for a do over, but it too will go bad, and Mom will end up regretting it. She hates the cold. This is a fact. You cannot ignore fact. My idea to move to Alabama to move near her family is brushed aside like I'm too young to understand whatever blahblah. I do understand that blood is thicker than water, and time heals all wounds, and that cliches become cliches because they're truth. In conclusion to this rant, Mama, move near someone you share DNA with. They'll always feel obligated to take care of you. No matter how much you piss them off and vice-versa. And, please don't misunderstand this as a plea to have you move around with me as I stake out my life. When I was growing up, I was your obligation, and you did what you could to make it seem like a choice to continue to take care of me. But, we both know that when you and Dad split, having a 4-year-old kind of sucked.

On a lighter note (not really, actually this is more pressing and more depressing), my Grammy is in the hospital. I'm really worried about her. I haven't seen her in a very long time, and I wonder if she has good memories of me like I have of her. I put together some photos of myself (and Ciera and Jared) over the last year. I even bought a card. Please, send a shout out to whatever god you believe in to give my Grammy strength to make it through this. Me, I'm just going to hope. Hope is a powerful thing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Normal Is Getting Later

Dear World,
I'd like to open by saying that I am as of right now exhausted. I have no idea why I can't sleep, but hopefully my own thoughts will be dull enough to lull me into submission.

Yesterday night, at about this time, I made the decision to stop spending money I don't have. I paid off my two store cards with my bank loan and cut my cards into pieces. Being able to see exactly how much I owe is the first step to understanding precisely how bad off I am. Also, the interest rate is much lower, and I'll be able to track how much I'm spending. Jared once told me his secret to never purchasing anything he didn't need to survive: He convinces himself that eventually whatever it is will go down in price. And then if it does, he convinces himself it will again. He's a frugal man. I just figure I should buy what I like because if I like it that much I won't tire of it. The problem is that I like a lot of things, and I don't wear out my clothing or shoes. I've also been the same pant, shoe and shirt size for almost a decade. Admittedly, I'm not the same weight, but where I have filled out hasn't effected my dress size too much (with the exception of that time I got really sick and really skinny Senior year of high school). I've amassed a hideous amount of junk. I can't eBay it off or give it away enough to bring down the piles of stuff laying in the closet. Worst of all I like all of it. Not in the hoarder way of being like "But my stuff..." but in a way that I wear all of it (when it's not being sold, stored or donated) and it's in good condition. Actually, if it's not in good condition it has already left the house. I don't wear anything with a stain... it's all I can focus on if I wear it.

Secondly, switching to the night shift has been awesome. Awesome. I get to operate on my pseudo-normal summer schedule of staying up past 3 am and waking up to the noon drill. Then, I have four hours to throw myself together and pack a lunch. All of which I do completely awake instead of in a half stupor. Best of all I get to carpool with Adam and Jennifer to and from work sometimes. This means I get to work on time, and Jared can sleep a full 8 hours before his 6 am wake up. It also means that I can stay late and pick up more hours. Customer Service training went smoothly and working as a customer service representative has been okay so far. Yesterday, I only asked maybe 20 questions --- today I probably asked ten or under. Improvement, yes?

Today (Saturday) Jared and I are going to get Chinese food after he gets off of work. Tomorrow is our 2nd Anniversary, but I don't think we're doing anything. Tuesday we're going to Swiss Colony in Monroe and stocking up of sweets and treats. Next weekend is Mineral Point Fall Art Tour.

I know I said we were going to go to Chicago last weekend, but that ended up not happening. We decided it'd be less costly to go to Galena Saturday and have a dinner in Dubuque Monday instead. This is a bulleted list of what I have to say about that:
  • Gorgonzola is awful if not used in moderation.
  • Sushi is better in Chicago than Galena, but we might try Taiko in Dubuque.
  • L May is not that great... actually it's not that good. I cook better salmon, and serving dry salmon on sweet potatoes does not an interesting flavor make.
  • Jelly Beans were the best meal I had out of the weekend.
  • Pesto from the Galena Cannery is awful on pasta, but excellent on crackers.
We also saw Easy A. All I have to say is that the movie was more of a whimper than a shout, and that Stanley Tucci plays an amazing dad. He even had Jared laughing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Old Photo

My Aunt Leigh just posted this on Facebook. It's one of the best photos of me... ever.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Long time, no update

I haven't had too much sitting around time to myself for the last week or so. But, I figure that I'm feeling sick and wide awake tonight, so why not.

The last week or so has been a lot of work. Last week was a little bit of a snag from a mix of exhaustion and illness... and grouchy customers. The week before was great, and I'm really liking working night shift. I get a whole lot done during the day -- cleaning house, cooking meals, catching up on the ridiculous number of shows I love. And, at night work goes fast, and the environment is much more relaxed. People aren't as competitive about sales, and everyone has a great sense of humor.

Two weeks ago I had a podiatrist appointment for the first time in my memory. They x-rayed my feet and took castings for orthopedics in my first half hour visit. I picked up the inserts Thursday, and they are awesome. My ankle is pain free and all that's aching is my Achilles. Plus, they make me taller. I am really happy that my doc is letting me pay for them monthly instead of all at once.

Last night was the Founder's Day party. It was actually a lot of fun! This is what happens when you hire based on awesomeness. We played games and did some dancing. I had a few drinks and socialized like crazy. Oh yea, and I was hypnotized. I would tell you about that, but it's pretty hazy. I did win a cake and a Swiss Colony pink polo. Stacey won me a "ugly" green sweater. I think it's awesome. I definitely owe that lady. I told her that if she ever needs to crash in Platteville to call me. We have lots of space in this house.

Tomorrow, I start day one of training for Customer Service and Internet. I'm really excited because it means a pay raise and it extends my "peak season." That also means I'll be in Platteville even longer! But, it's worth it. I want to stay until the end of peak, whenever that might be.

I'm really excited for this weekend! Jared and I are driving to Fox Lake, IL and taking the train into Chicago. We're staying at the same hostel we stayed at last Spring. The only real plans I have involve sushi, lasagna and Community Day at the Shedd Aquarium. It's going to be a great trip. Those inserts for my shoes are really going to help me be able to survive the 12 hours a day on my feet. Oh! And I get to ride the train. I love public transportation.

DOTM for September!
I found this in one of our catalogs at work! I'm not much for Christmas decorating or regular decorating... but whoa mama! I love this toliet set! It's a penguin! That is enough for me!
I will elaborate more once I receive the set.

Last little bit: The Glee Premiere was pretty awesome! But, Lea Michele is getting way too skinny.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MN Planning

Two weeks ago I purchased an Idiot's Guide to Smart Moving book from Jared has to sleep way before I'm ready to, so while he's resting I read my guide book and take notes to prepare for the future. I am reminded of the Lennon quote, “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans,” but it's not going to stop me. I need to plan to keep my sanity.

On Sunday I read chapters one and two which suggested requesting information from our future home town. I spent Monday calling both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Chamber of Commerce as well as the Roseville Chamber of Commerce. I also called the Minnesota Tourism Office. I should be receiving several packages this month on relocation.

I'm trying to read the chapters and do what they say in order, but one woman told me it' d be a "couple of weeks" before I'd receive a relocation packet. If I don't hear word by Friday, I'm going to read a few more chapters and get going on that.

Jared hasn't told his parents yet that we're moving... and I can't remember if I told my family here in Wisconsin. I've told my cousin Rachel in Mississippi that we're planning on moving though. I think that counts in my favor in some way.

This week has been day in day out working where Jared and I are on opposite shifts. I've spent very little and am prepared to welcome debt free October into my In the Red year.
Also, I have to start paying my student loan back in November at $61.50 a month.
And, I am getting orthotics sometime in October that I will be paying on monthly as well.
But, I can say that I am very happy with all that I own and what I have been loaned. I do not want for much.

This quote is a little more insightful than Lennon's. (Although, he is my favorite Beatle.)

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”
- Anatole France

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tiny Rant

With every fiber of my being I hate those cereal commercials claiming that "studies show" that people who eat whole grain live longer or weigh less than people who don't eat whole grain. It's statistic BS. Of course people health conscious enough to toss delicious fluffy carbs for scratchy brown carbs will live healthier, longer lives. This doesn't make cereal some miracle cure for death or obesity. It just shows a marketing tactic of showing causation by correlation.

It'd be similar to say that people who don't eat whole sticks of butter rolled in sugar everyday live longer than people who do. What kind of condition/mental state would one need to be in to eat a whole stick of butter rolled in sugar everyday? He/she is more likely on the edge of death more often than going for a morning jog.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Playing Catch Up

We are 111 days from Christmas. 110 days until finalizing our move. I am very excited. Actually I think I'm nesting. I bought a coffee table this last week, received it on Friday and had it in the door and put together in under an hour. Today, I bought a small side table... but I probably won't get it. It'd be nice to replace the big hunker that's next to the couch, but the last time I checked there were only two left.

Other than shopping -- which is always a wonderful thing when you have some money to do so. Especially, when the company is buying. -- I've been working, cooking, cleaning and watching Covert Affairs.

So the working has been okay. I'm looking forward to not working weekends anymore. Saturdays and Sundays are so slow that they let us off early. I am let off last of the morning shift, because my hours go through first shift and into second. The calls sometimes have 4-7 minutes between them. Today I sang "Dancing By My Self" at least 20 times while waiting. I ate some cookies... and attempted doing the crossword.

Cooking wise I made a Greek dish from for the work week's lunch.

Greek Penne and Chicken

1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.7 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts in water
1 can diced tomato
1 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoon dried oregano

Marinade chicken bites in parsley, oregano, lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter while noodles boil. (About half an hour)
In a large pot with boiling salted water cook penne pasta until al dente. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat melt butter, add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add chopped chicken and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium- low. Drain and chop artichoke hearts and add them, diced tomato, feta cheese, and drained penne pasta to the large skillet. Cook until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve warm.

Here is the original recipe. My version makes over 12 servings.

Cleaning is never-ending and not worth talking about.

Covert Affairs is worth talking about. It's an excellent addition to television. It's sharp, action packed and the blind tech guy is hilarious. I like it a lot more than the Bourne Identity movies.

On a side note: Jared and I are constantly battling with our city planning office, and Water and Sewer. First they dug up our yard. Then, they put gigantic concrete tubey things on our yard for three weeks. Then they filled the holes with sand and gravel instead of dirt. Plus, the people across the street believe it's better to park in our driveway instead of the numerous parking spots on the street. Now, the workers went into our backyard and took a hose from the house. They hooked that hose to a fire hydrant. Jared was really angry when he saw it. He made the rounds of calls the figure out what was going on. Apparently, the construction workers are running water to our house with that hose. Jared is still kind of riled about them not asking permission.

Also, our microwave has gone rogue. We have the breaker off to stop it from beeping loudly unendingly.

We start our new work schedule tomorrow. Jared works 6am to 4pm, and I work 4:30pm to midnight. We have weekends off. We should do something this weekend.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Weekend Update

Thursday I worked an extra shift to make up for taking off Saturday for Joe and Brittany's wedding.
Friday Jared and I went in to Madison, visited a book store on State St. and ate some gelato. We had dinner with Jared's parents. Jared's mom makes wonderful bruschetta.
Saturday was Brittany and Joe's wedding. It was small and nice. Jared refused to dance at the reception at all. We came home that night after swinging by Woodman's.
Sunday I was back at work having a quiet, slow day.
Monday work. Went to Dubuque afterwards to grab a skirt I passed up a week before and a burger to split at Red Robin.
Tuesday work. Jared starts his job at the Cheese Factory. I call in to Foodshare to do my interview.
Wednesday work.
Thursday is my day off. I make all the business calls: city planner, water and sewer. I pay the internet and electricity bill. I pay off my credit card for this week. I also got a perm.
Friday is today. All I've done is dishes and messing with the layout on this thing.
I put in to ask for Saturday and Sunday off. I don't know if I'll survive a 7 day work week. Answering phones all day is mentally exhausting. I'm investing in caffeine.

Here is a treat from deviantart.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

10 Day Postcast

It's a wonderful Wednesday afternoon and I have a 10 day (if not more) update to get to.

I started my job with Swiss Colony around the 7th and started working almost full time answering calls starting Monday the 16th. I'm getting along fine, and my sales are pretty on the nose. I meet new people almost everyday and have settled in to my hours. However, Jared just got a job in Cuba City and his hours are 7am to 3pm, so I'm moving my schedule around to work the night shift. He'll be working in the morning, picking me up from Platteville and dropping me off at work around 4:30pm in Dickeyville. My shifts will go until midnight or later, and I now have weekends off. On the plus side, I can work out in the morning and shower before work, plus chores won't be so exhausting when I'm not already exhausted. On the downside, we're not really going to have any time together during the week.

We will (thank God) have plenty of money to move on in January, and I can't wait to move to Minneapolis. Also, we can go on mini-vacations on weekends. I want to go to Chicago, Galena, St Louis and The Dells for sure. Getting my tri-state on before joining the Golden Gophers. Of course, we'll need to go up the MN to find an apartment for 2011. But, that's the farthest we'll be traveling really.

It is exciting to be able to pay bills, shop a little and not have to worry so much. I feel ten years younger not having that stress weighing down on me.

We did get to go to Irish Fest last Friday! We headed off early in the morning, hung out in Madison for an hour then headed east to Milwaukee. Ciera and I got some shopping in. I bought a Scottish Thistle necklace, a t-shirt and a hoodie. Oh! And I got a sheep lanyard for my work ID. I felt really good about my purchases and I still do now. I just look at my sheeps and smile and smile. They're little eyes stare back at me and make my grey skies blue. I even got compliments on the necklace already. I am planning on wearing it until it falls apart. But, that's seems to be the trend with me and jewelry. Ciera and I were front row for the Gaelic Storm concert and it was pretty awesome. I do wish they'd play their old songs though. What I would give for a little Pinacolada In A Pint Glass. It started raining two songs in which actually was awesome. The Storm really was a' comin'. We headed back late that night and got back in time for me to get 7 hours of sleep before work.

I do have to say, Jared has been a real sport about me working so often. He's been helping make dinners and clean the house regularly. It's pretty cool since I've been so tired lately.

I have been trying to work out regularly, but my bad foot keeps getting very sore from the jumping around and leaning on my arches. I cut back to every other day without the "rest" break (that just seems useless). My jeans are fitting different, and Jared says I look a bit different. More importantly I'm feeling good about myself for the first time in a year or so. I'm really hoping to get back to my not-on-the-wrong-medication weight. I do want to clear up that I hate scales. I really really do. It's just an awful way to measure fitness when my bones are twice as thick as my mom's and I carry weight a heck of a lot differently than most people. I just want to be in a healthy percentage and not in the "slightly at risk" category. It seems like a good goal for now.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week in Brief

  • Working on a new exercise program.
  • Finished initial job training.
  • Made stew.
  • Scheduled for nearly 37.5 hours this week.
  • Irish Fest on Friday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Discovery of the Month: Montchevre Goat Cheese

Back story: Jared had a dentist appointment yesterday and I took it as an opportunity to run to Madison for the last day of Holley Week. Half way out the door in our usual rush, his mother calls and requests that we stop by the town of Belmont and pick up cheese. At first, I consider this request ridiculous. And, then... guided by the love of cheese and need to obey ones parents we approached Montchevre cheese. I was overcome by excitement. This is the cheese I'd give myself after a hard day of kickin' ass or having my ass kicked. This was a creamy, rich cheese that was low in calories (like I care). This is the kind of cheese milk dreams about growing up to be.

Excitement turned to the sudden feeling of betrayal that Jared had kept this Dairy-family secret from me, but betrayal was quickly forgotten as I faced the many choices before me. I chose five: Honey, Cranberry and Cinnamon, Sun-dried Tomato and Basil, Garlic and Herb, and Four Pepper.

Needless to say: The DOTM is The Montchevre Cheese Factory Store of Belmont, WI.

That day I also used up the last of my birthday certificates. I bought a Fossil brand purse at Bonton for $40 (Orig. $78), a belt at Banana Republic for free (Orig. $49.50), a dish at noodles and a tea for $2.68 (Orig. 10.18), and a free haircut for Jared (Orig. $16.50). A $154.18 value for $42.68. I'd need a degree in economics to measure the number of utils and compare it to the monetary value. But, I don't have one, so I'll assume it's high.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Swiss Colony

Okay, so mostly because I've heard of people being fired for their online admittances about work... I will leave my experience with a simple assurance: I'm having a great time, and there are great benefits.
Now, to distract you, here are the photos of the two pimp mobiles Jared and I spotted in Dubuque.

At first, we noticed this black automobile with huge, spinning rims.

And, then, amazingly, huge spinning rims failed in comparison to this masterpiece. In a dazzling metallic blue, this pimp ride has dice on all four doors. It is topped with large, spinning rims.

And the interior is equipped with fur covered dash and an eight-ball stick shift.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Craft Time!

This year at Maxwell Street Days I ran across a shop that hocked hand made goods. I went in with Laceye, Jordan and Ciera. Ciera and I gawked at the prices of the less than an hour long projects while Laceye and Jordan eyed up the goods. At the end of the shopping experience, Jordan bought an off brand moleskin and I wondered how long this shop could possibly stay in business. I informed the couple that if they liked anything in there to let us know, and we can make it pretty easily. But, I did get a few ideas. Mainly, I found these fabric covered buttons that were attached to hair clips.

All I can say is my Gram has a million little fabric covered buttons and clips cost $2.00 for 12. No way would I pay $8.00 a pair for something I can make for $0.33. So today was operation craft.
Step 1: Get buttons from Gram.
Step 2: Buy clips at Walgreens.
Step 3: Warm up hot glue gun.
Step 4: Attach buttons to clips.
End o' project.

We also swung by Goodwill and I picked up a key holder that I'm painting green and hanging my necklaces from.

What I really want to do is buy a used Scrabble set and make pendants and post earrings from the letters.

Tomorrow is my first day of work and I'm wearing dark boot cut jeans, a navy t-shirt, a striped green and grey sweater with black shoes and a black belt. I'm packing spaghetti for lunch with a dill pickle and two pieces of chocolate. And, I'm bringing a water bottle and a bag of cough drops. My throat has been sore. Sad face.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chart 1: The Big Move

StateCityPHDMBADF VeronaRent/UtilRank
IowaIowa CityYY1648916
MissouriSt LouisYY36988022
MichiganAnn ArborYY39590228
New YorkBuffaloYY689137130
New YorkRochesterYY757137130
New YorkNew YorkYY942137130
CaliforniaSan FranciscoYY2079135335

I made this chart to better compare cities that meet Jared and my criteria. Above list the U.S. cities with high rates of transit use which I gathered through this link. Then I compared which cities had a PHD program in chemistry. Those that didn't have one were nixed. I added Iowa City last minute as a fall back option. I then added the distance from Verona, WI to the city that was subject. Then I compared cost of living only taking into account rent and utilities without television. Then I compared the rankings of the state on

Jared and I are now officially gunning for Minneapolis. It's going to be awesome. I'm staking out for apartment listings to better pounce a good offer in December.
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