June Giving

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A slight bit early due to my upcoming vacation and Internet-hiatus, here is June's highlighted charity: The Special Olympics. I'm sure you already know what they do, but I will add that their summer games are coming up in October in Shanghai, China, so that's pretty cool. As I mentioned earlier, picking this month's charity was the prize for my Beanie Baby contest, so thanks to Shara!

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Beanie Baby Contest Winner!

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OK, I decree the Beanie Baby Contest complete. Several good ideas there, but I'm going to have to go with the suggestion by Shara that I send some Beanie Babies to Iraq. I'm researching ways to do just that.

So, Shara, your prize is that you get to pick my highlight charity/charities for June. Just post a message here or shoot me an email and let me know who you'd like me to talk about/give to next month.

Thanks for playing everyone!

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Other people's stuff

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Even though I have a whole category called "Other People's Blogs," I rarely link here to stuff I read elsewhere that moves me. I dunno why, I just don't much do it. This post, by Flea, guest-blogging at Feministe, however, needs to be read.

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Songs they see you in

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I woke up this morning, for whatever reason, thinking about the songs I've been told I remind people of over the years. I can actually only think of three (should there be more?), but I think it's an interesting list. And it would make a good meme-type question, so readers, comment or add this to your blog? What songs have reminded people of you?

The first time I remember being compared to a song, it was Soul Asylum's "The Sun Maid." (Their album, "Grave Dancers Union" was very popular at the time.) Here are those lyrics:

The Sun Maid
Tell me how you get that shine
You must polish all the time
Though I know your job is thankless
They will thank you up in heaven
Oh the Sun Maid
Looking for the shade
Though they say she's not too bright
She takes care of all the light
Without you it's cold and stark
We would all be in the dark
Without the Sun Maid
She never gets paid
Searching for the shade
Oh the Sun Maid
You are so taken for granted
With each and every seed that's planted
And the earth is so demanding
All the young girls are out tanning
The Sun Maid
She's such an old maid
She never gets laid
Oh the Sun Maid
Now you're tired, your day is over
Now the moon is one day older

Now you tell me what that comparison was about...

A few years later, a slightly less insulting song brought up thoughts of me--U2's "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?" (From Achtung Baby, also very popular when I was in high school.)

Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?
You're dangerous 'cause you're honest
You're dangerous, you don't know what you want
Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot
For any spirit to haunt

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey

You're an accident waiting to happen
You're a piece of glass left in a beach
Well, you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
Then you leave me just out of reach

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey sha la la

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash
And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge
Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to
Baby, can we still be friends?

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey sha la la

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Oh, the deeper I spin
Oh, the hunter will sin for your ivory skin
Took a drive in the dirty rain
To a place where the wind calls your name
Under the trees the river laughing at you and me
Hallelujah, heavens white rose
The doors you open
I just can't close

Don't turn around, don't turn around again
Don't turn around, your gypsy heart
Don't turn around, don't turn around again
Don't turn around, and don't look back
Come on now love, don't you look back!

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna taste your salt water kisses?
Who's gonna take the place of me?

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna tame the heart of thee?

I have to admit that one remains my favorite. Makes me sound exciting, don't you think? Incidentally, this is the only one that WASN'T suggested by someone I was sleeping with/someone who was trying to get me to sleep with him.

The most recent comparison, which has still been a number of years ago, was to "Swords" by Leftfield (off the album of the same name). Also a bit strange...

Swords
Danger, in every corner.
I have become pure water.
I can identify.
I close my eyes.
I wear my sword at my side (x2).
Cleanse me.
Deep in the fire.
I have become pure water.
I wear my sword at my side (x4).
I have become pure water (x2).
I have become pure water (distorted and echoed)

So those, such as they are, are mine. What are yours?

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More foster pup pictures

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I just couldn't resist...

Sonny close-up

sonny sticking out his tongue

Ruby in profile

Ruby

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But I wanna buy it!

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So I am trying (with limited success, but trying) not to spend unnecessary money this month. Getting out of CC debt and all that blah blah blah. Which means, of course, that I keep seeing things that I just. have. to. have. So once again I'm gonna make a list of them rather than buying them. My birthday is August 28, if anybody was wondering.

Hathor Legacy tank top1. Hathor Legacy tank. Love the site, love the shirt, would love to build collection of shirts from my favorite blogs (to go with my Fussy t-shirt).

Melamine lunch box2. Pearl River Melamine Lunch Box. It's so cute! With so many nice compartments! And not plastic! And I am trying so hard to bring my lunch to work more often! I need it, clearly.

Title 9 Universal Shorts3. Title 9 Universal Shorts. I am making do with the shorts I have for the gym, but they are all men's shorts and not the best fitting things in the world. It would be so lovely to have some that were actually made for the body I have.

Superhero Necklace in Earth4. Superhero Necklace. In truth, I already have a Superhero Necklace--the "Grass and Sky" one. And I wear it at least once a week and probably more. And I am greedy and want another one. Preferably the "Earth" one or the "Joy" one.

Red Wing Olivia shoes5. Red Wing Olivia shoes. Again, I already have some of these, in "Sunglow," but I love them so much I want some black ones as well.

I could go on and on. But I won't. Glad I have that out of my system.

Or...not. I'm just going to keep adding to this thread. It will make me feel better. More stuff I want:

brrg%20tank%20top.jpg6. Burning River Roller Girls tank top. My best friend is a member of this roller league (go Eva Lucien!), and I have one of their t-shirts, but I'd really love a tank.


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Fosters

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It occurred to me that I haven't introduced you all to our current foster pups. Yes, that's plural--we have two. We didn't mean to have two, it's just that Ruby, the little one, was in a high-kill situation and needed an immediate placement. We're hoping not to have her for too long, though honestly she's a joy so far (could be because she was just spayed on Tuesday and her energy is still kind of low).

Anyway, the bigger one on the left is Sonny and the smaller one on the right is Ruby.

Sonny and Ruby

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Bounty

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I really love it when people post pictures of the hauls they make from their farm shares. We don't have a farm share--I wish we did, but I haven't been able to find a reasonable local option. However, we do now have an organic, local produce delivery, from this company. And that's almost as good. It doesn't all come from the same farm, but it (at least our box) is all organic and all local, changing depending on what is in season. I'm so for that. So I wanted to share a picture of our first delivery, which we came home to today like a present from Santa:

produce delivery picture

It includes: kale, chard, beets w/ beet greens, sunflower sprouts, cabbage microgreens, mixed salad greens, a yellow onion, a bunch of green onions, 2 grapefruits, two yellow squash, two zucchinis, a jalapeno, some green beans, a small box of blackberries, and a small bag of red potatoes.

Heaven. Well, heaven plus beets.

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Update on the Blue Hanger stores (bins)

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Having been to both Goodwill Blue Hanger locations in Austin several times now, I think I am qualified to tell you this:

The North store is far, far superior than the East store. It has AC, indoor bathrooms (that are not bad at all), it's not as crowded, the staff is nicer, and the selection and prices are just about the same. Also, they don't run out of carts and there are always parking spaces. Can't recommend it highly enough.

But don't go there and get all the good shit before me!

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BLOG CONTEST: What to do with a Beanie Baby?

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pile of beanie babiesI've long admired people who have contests on their blogs, but never put one together myself. However, an idea came to me last night while (what else?) thrifting, so I present to you my first ever blog contest!

First, some background: one of the reasons I like thrifting (and this may be true of all thrifters or may just be me, I'm not sure) is that I am sentimental about other people' stuff. I like to look at all the items for sale in thrift shops and think about where they came from and what they were used for and stuff like that. This is a messy business, however, when it comes to trying to make a profit thrifting, as it is difficult for me to force myself to buy only stuff I think I can resell and not stuff I think deserves another chance.

And there are always certain items that I just plain feel sorry for. Not the stuff that has clearly been used and loved and has come to thrift store to die--I'm fine with that stuff. Rather, I feel sorry for stuff that has clearly not been used. And more than anything, these days, I feel sorry for Beanie Babies.

Every time I go to the bins, I see no fewer than 20 Beanie Babies, 90% of which still have their tags on them. These have never been played with or used in any way. They were purchased to "make someone a fortune," and when they didn't, they were ditched at the thrift store. This is unbearably sad to me. And yet, I can't let myself buy the Beanie Babies and give them a better life, another shot, because I know I can't resell them and I have no use for them myself. I mean, what am I gonna do with an Army of tags-still-on Beanie Babies?

That's where the contest comes in. I want to hear all of your ideas for uses for these poor neglected and abandoned Beanie Babies. Come up with some reason for me to free them from their thrift store confines. If it figures into your equation at all, know that they can be had for between ten cents and a quarter each.

The best idea will get a prize. The prize is a secret. Go forth and participate!

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May Giving

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I've delinquent in my monthly giving post, sorry! I kept meaning to put it up and forgetting. And I know you were waiting with baited breath, too...

For May, in honor of the real Labor Day, May 1, I'm highlighting a great organization called Sweatshop Watch. Sweatshop Watch grew up around California's garment industry and has since gone international. They're a great group who agitate for workers rights and work towards awareness of lousy labor practices. They also provide a fantastic resource in their Shop with a Conscience Shopping Guide. If you have extra pennies lying around this month, they definitely are worth supporting.

The banner under their logo there on the right of the page is for my union, the Texas State Employees Union (CWA Local 6186 AFL-CIO). They're currently fighting the good fight in the state legislature, trying to get a reasonable raise, some health care reform, and some other things for all of us state workers. Anybody who knows anything about this state knows that is a hard battle to fight, so I wanted to give them a shout-out (and a little bit of cash) this month as well.

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Update on commerce

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So last month these were the numbers:
Total credit card debt: $6,130.13
Total student loan debt: $33,517.92
Total savings: $100.00
Checking account balance: $200.24

And this month?
Total credit card debt: $7,111.47
Total student loan debt: $33,341.29
Total savings: $200.00
Checking account balance: $138.46

You'll see I headed in the wrong direction. I know--major suck. All I have to say for myself is that I bought two plane tickets and a pass for BlogHer. And it was a bad month (I also overdrew my checking account...). But I'm back on track and things will be better next month.

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More love for The Rainforest Soap Shack

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Just in case anybody was holding their breath wondering, yes, I still have huge huge love for The Rainforest Soap Shack now that I have two orders with them under my belt. In fact, at this point I think I can safely say they are my go-to place for bath indulgences.

I won't bore you with a lot of detail, but I did make a couple of major discoveries with this order. The first is body frosting. All the moisturizing fabulousness of body butter, but with less of the greasiness. I got mine in Apple Orchard scent, which is actually a little bit strong for my taste (it was a free sample included in my order), but I will definitely order it again in a scent more pleasing to my nose. The second is sugar whip--absolutely fantastic in the shower. Mine is Strawberry Fields scent, and yeah, it smells just like a Strawberry Shortcake doll. Just exactly the pick me up I need at 7am. Finally, the fantabulous proprietess included a sample-sized bath blaster in this order scented with "Girl's Night Out," and it is a scent I'll definitely be ordering again.

As before, prices were reasonable, as was shipping (especially since the shop is located in Canada). Shipping took awhile, but it was worth the wait. If you're like me and looking for a better, cheaper, nicer alternative to gone-corporate Lush, this is place.

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As We Are

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On a (well, slightly, anyway) less self-obsessed note, I have to tell you all about As We Are Magazine. As We Are is a whole new kind of women's magazine, "created with the belief that every woman is good enough, just as she is, and that every woman has something important to say." I'm totally behind that. And in it, actually--you see my first piece here. So check me out, check As We Are out, and keep right on checking, because new content is going to be popping up all the time.

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