More good stuff

| 1 Comment

Went to the Goodwill today (first time this week, go me!) and did OK--in terms of following the rules and in terms of getting some good stuff.

This first picture is my most questionable purchase. These are four Salton yogurt containers, for storage of homemade yogurt. I have no particular intention of making homemade yogurt. However, they are very cool containers. Which I do not need. So there's that.
yogurt containers

Another possibly questionable purchase, these are three Kindermusik book sets. I am not sure all the components are in each one, though. My intention had been to swap them, but I don't know if anybody will want them. They were $1.50 each.
kindermusik sets

These are two wooden alphabet train floor puzzles. I think they're new, they don't look to have ever been played with. I plan to gift one and possibly swap the other. They were $1.00 each.
puzzles

This is a child's knitting kit from Magic Cabin. It's all wool, and can be used to knit up two kitties. Should be swapable, I'd think. It was $0.50.
magic cabin kit

I absolutely love the old-fashioned style of these new ABC's flashcards by Dolce Mia. They cost $0.50 and I will likely gift them.
flash cards

I bought this Vera Bradley purse because I just kind of liked it, and intended to keep it. However, it is a discontinued fabric and seems to be new (though it doesn't have tags), so I might Ebay it. We'll see. It was $3.00.
vera bradley purse

This is my best score of the day, though it may not look like much in the picture. It is what seems to be a new (though again, no tags) Hearthsong Under the Sea canopy. The intention with this is definitely a swap. I paid $3.00 for it.
canopy

So, all in all, a pretty good day. Total spent was about $17 with taxes.

1 Comments

Leave a comment


Progress

| 4 Comments

I sold the Little People village for $66, and the merino yarn is bid over $30 already. Life is good there.

Also, in my first month on Weight Watchers, I am down 11 lbs. I feel really great about it and am already looking and feeling better.

These things do not suck.

4 Comments

Leave a comment


Following my own rules

| 4 Comments

Since I shared my thrifting rules, let's see how well I have managed to follow them these past couple of days, shall we?

This is a Vera Bradley wallet. I just bought it for myself because I thought it was cute and wanted a wallet with a window ID pocket. It was $0.25.
vera bradley wallet

This is a super cute pajama set, new in its cotton bag. I really love the old style pattern and the very light fabric. Sadly too small for me, this will make a great gift for someone a bit smaller than me. I've got a couple of ideas of folks who might enjoy these. $1.25 was the price, I believe.
pajamas

These new with tags Kelme soccer shorts are for Mark. They were $1.25.
kelme shorts

A bag of leftover Christmas cat toys, had for $1.00, is always useful at my house.
cat toys

These cute little suckers are Latitude Enfant Grannimals Emile and Emilien. I believe they were $0.75, and they're to be swapped, along with a previously thrifted animal from the same line.
grannimal

This wooden puppy puzzle is meant to be a gift for my small friend Zahni. I think it was $0.50.
puzzles

Here we've got two bags of bath salts from Austin's own Herb Bar. Either for my own use or for gifts, I can't pass stuff like this up. I believe each bag was $0.50.
bath salts

I'm not sure whether or not I should have bought these two things--a new in package set of paints and a set of watercolor crayons. I may be able to swap them. They were $0.50 each.
art supplies

In this picture, you see some sewing notions. A new in package spool of elastic thread, and two packages of waist interfacing. Each was $0.25. These will be sent to some of my sewing friends.
sewing notions

Here are some embroidery supplies. Two bags of embroidery thread and some linen embroidery cloth. There is also a spool of jewelry wire here. The big bag of embroidery thread was $1.00, the other stuff was $0.25 each. I have an online swapping friend who is learning to embroider, so the thread and cloth will go to her. I may use the jewelry wire myself, or send it on to another friend who makes jewelry.
embroidery supplies

These are die cuts and stencils with which to make Christmas cards. This is another purchase I'm questioning. They may be swappable, but I don't know. Each package was $0.50.
christmas stuff

These books were $1.00 each. There is a home owner's journal, which I am hoping to use to get some of our household stuff together pre-sale. The two stitching books are hopefully going to help me learn to crochet. If not, maybe someone else can use them.
books

These skeins of yarn are all 100% cotton. As I mentioned, natural fiber yarn is always in demand. This can either be swapped or maybe I can use it for my crocheting enterprise.
cotton yarn

My two biggest scores are these two pieces of fabric. The top is is six or so yards of Laurie White for Hancock Fabrics upholstery fabric. The bottom is what I think must be a whole bolt of cotton flannel. I have no idea what I'm going to do with these two, but I know someone will be able to use them. The upholstery fabric was $2 and the flannel was $3.
decor fabric

flannel

me in new dressFinally, I wanted to share with you all something I traded for. I thrifted a bunch of costume supplies for a little girl, and that little girl's mom made me this dress. Isn't it fantastic?

So what do you think? How did I do with my rules?

4 Comments

Leave a comment


My thrifting philosophy

| 0 Comments

Remember my attempt to thrift for profit? And how it failed? I've recently found a few things that are actually worth selling, and that got me to thinking about that whole concept again.

But it's not in me, honestly. Thrifting for profit takes two things I really don't have: the first is commitment, the second is patience. So, instead, I have sort of developed my own set of thrifting guidelines. Which will I now share with you.

When I thrift, this is what I am looking for (in this order):


  1. Things that are needed or wanted at my house. I have a list (mentally, usually) of these things. There are some things that are seasonal or move off and on to the list, and some things that I am always looking for. For example, I'm always on the lookout for cool large sized glass jars with lids for food storage, button down shirts for Mark, dog and cat toys, and things that can be used for dog beds (particularly crib mattresses). Lately, I've been looking for heavy bottomed lowball glasses and appertif glasses.

  2. Things that others have asked me to look for: My friends and family occasionally ask me to look for certain things for them. I keep a list of these things in my day planner and an always on the lookout for them. I've been looking for a 10" glass pan lid in excellent shape for Mark's parents for a year.

  3. Gifts. I absolutely thrift for gifts and hoard them. Anything that is new with tags gets a gift-possibility once over (though most of it gets left behind as inappropriate for anyone to whom I give gifts). An example? My mom got three 100% cotton (she's allergic to wool) new with tags sweaters, all name brands (Eddie Bauer, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren), last Christmas. All from the Goodwill. Child friends very often get thrifted gifts, including Melissa & Doug floor puzzles and a Build-a-Bear train set, most recently.

  4. Swappables. For the last several months, I've been doing a lot of swapping on one of the Internet communities to which I belong. I really love it. Swapping is a much friendlier system than selling. I both look for things to swap that I know people want specifically and general items that always seem desirable. Mostly, this is craft stuff or cool toys. I always buy natural fiber yarn, embroidery thread, vintage knitting and sewing patterns, etc.

  5. Sellables. Even though thrifting for profit isn't my calling in life, I occasionally find things I know I can sell, and I definitely grab those. The Little People village was a recent example of this. Other times, I thrift things thinking I'll gift or trade them, and end up selling them because they end up being worth more than I'd expected. The big lot of mohair yarn I thrifted recently is an example of this. However, I try not to thrift anything with the expectation of selling it unless I am quite sure it is actually worth the time and trouble, which doesn't happen often.

Using these guidelines, I have definitely cut down on the worthless crap I bring home. When I pick up an item, I run through this list. If I doesn't fit, it shouldn't be coming home with me, no matter how cool it is.

Leave a comment


Nevermind

| 3 Comments

nevermind album coverI read somewhere today that this baby just turned 18.

Folks, there's no two ways about it: I'm old.

3 Comments

Leave a comment


If a Song Could be President

| 2 Comments

Go here and listen.

Indeed.

If A Song Could Be President

If a song could be president
We'd hum on Election Day
The gospel choir would start to sway
And we'd all have a part to play

The first lady would free her hips
Pull a microphone to her lips
Break our hearts with Rhythm and Blues
Steve Earle would anchor the news

We'd vote for a melody
Pass it around on an MP3
All our best foreign policy
Would be built on harmony

If a song could be president
We'd fly a jukebox to the moon
All our founding fathers' 45's
Lightnin' Hopkins and Patsy Cline
If a song could be president

If a song could be president
We could all add another verse
Life would teach us to rehearse
Till we found a key change

Break out of this minor key
Half-truths and hypocrisy
We wouldn't need an underachiever-in-chief
If a song could be president

We'd make Neil Young a Senator
Even though he came from Canada
Emmylou would be Ambassador
World leaders would listen to her

They would show us where our country went wrong
Strum their guitars on the White House lawn
John Prine would run the FBI
All the criminals would laugh and cry
If a song could be president

2 Comments

Leave a comment


Bounty

| 7 Comments

Some days, the thrift gods smile on you. I have my fair share of those days. Days like today, though, the thrift gods sweep you up in their arms and give you a deep tongue kiss, and you are powerless to resist them.

So you wanna see my haul?

First, two wool Army-style blankets, $2.50 each. These are to swap, as I know someone who is looking for them.
blankets

Next, a few things for my house. In this picture you see a small sized Borden French press ($0.50), two glass hinge-top storage jars ($0.50 each, can't ever turn those down), three cute jelly jars ($0.25 each), a collapsible cribbage board ($1.00), and a spice jar ($0.15).
jars and stuff

Here we've got two big boxes of K'nex. Well, mostly K'nex--one of the boxes is actually about half NBA-set Legos. It's gonna take a while to sort those out! $2.50 for each box. These I'll either swap or sell.
k'nex

Here we've got two floor puzzles, both in excellent shape ($1.00 each), an amazing pattern for a 20's flapper style dress ($0.50), a new learning to crochet kit ($1.50), and a pound of olive oil soap base ($0.75). The puzzles I can either swap or gift, the rest is for me. Maybe I'll even learn to crochet!
puzzles and stuff

In this picture you see a Ziploc full of spools of ribbon ($1.50), another full of buttons ($2.00), a new watercolor paid ($0.50), and a couple of packages of elastic ($0.25 each). I am hoping to swap these things with folks who can use them.
ribbon and buttons

And then there was yarn. So. much. yarn. All of this is for swapping. Unless I magically learn to knit. It was all $0.25-$0.75 per skein.

This is five skeins of pale blue Spinnerin Mona yarn, imported from Switzerland. It is 100% virgin wool.
blue yarn

Here we see seven skeins of dark purple Emu Superwash washable wool yarn. It's 100% new wool and made in England.
dark purple yarn

This picture shows a crazy twenty skeins of lavender Kid Mohair yarn. It's from the Italian brand Filatura Di Crosa. It's 80% mohair kid and 20% nylon.
lavender yarn

This pink yarn looks like it has been around a while, even though most of it is still new in the sleeve. It is what I think comes out to five skeins of 70% mohair and 30% wool yarn from Bear Brand's Loop-Aire.
pink yarn

Finally, in the miscellaneous yarn category, we have a big skein of blue yarn that I think might be synthetic, a skein of 100% wool yarn from Sensations in "green licorice," a skein of the Swiss Mona yarn in cream, and a skein of 100% Italian mohair yarn by Ballet in pink/lavender.
misc yarn

Hot damn.

7 Comments

Leave a comment


Thrifting finds

| 1 Comment

Yesterday I actually thrifted something worth money. I think it's even worth enough to bother listing it on Ebay. This is, as I've mentioned before, unusual for me. I tried the whole "thrift for profit" thing, and I am just not cut out for it.

My score? A vintage 1973 Fisher Price Little People Play Village, in excellent condition, with most of the pieces (people, vehicles, furniture, etc.). For $1.

For a minute there, I felt like Betsy Smith.

little people village

1 Comments

Leave a comment


We have a winner!

| 0 Comments

The random number generator picked naughty number 9, so the winner of my thrifting contest is the 9th commenter, Shoppista! Send your mailing address to avengingophelia@gmail.com, Shoppista, and a thrifted treasure will soon be on its way to you.

Thanks for playing, everyone!

Leave a comment


Thrift thoughts

| 0 Comments

Remember the other day when I was saying that I am now too cheap for the regular Goodwill?

I realized the other day exactly what my issue is:

In the past, I've defended the Goodwill's right to charge prices as high as they'd like. My argument is that the service they provide isn't selling cheap goods--the stores are money making ventures to fund their job training and placement services. So if they can get high prices for their stuff, then more power to them.

Now, though, I think they've overshot their mark. Because the regular Goodwills seem to be less and less crowded, and the bins more and more, both with goods and with people. The implication of that, to me, is that they are selling less at their regular stores and more at the bins. Which in turn implies that other people are feeling the same way I do, and spending more time sifting through the bins and less time looking at the shelves in the regular stores. And, ultimately, spending less.

The bins isn't immune, either. I had a big stack of craft felt sheets in my cart the other day, 30 of them, and the cashier said $0.25 each. Which would have been a total of $7.50. How much are those new? Less than $5. But most of the time, it's great.

Recent finds?

A NIP Melissa & Doug backgammon set ($29.95 new) for $2.

A NIP Wilton cookie set (cookie sheet, cooling rack, and Christmas cookie cutters) for $1.

Really cool brandy snifters for $0.99.

Tye-dyed dog bed cover (woohoo!) for $0.75.

Oh, that reminds me--better go enter my blog thrifting contest. Today's the last day!!

Leave a comment


My big fat history

| 5 Comments

I am coming up on my five year blog anniversary (August 16, if you're keeping track--my not-illustrious first post is here). I started the blog right after we moved to Texas. And one of the things I've been blogging about pretty regularly since the inception is my weight, and my discomfort with it. Now that I'm in a place where I am seriously working on my weight (down 5 lbs in my first two weeks of Weight Watchers), I thought it might be interesting to look back on my history of weight blogging.

The first mention I find of my own weight here is on December 8, 2003. In this post, I freak out after learning that I weigh 187 lbs:

I need to face facts. I'm overweight. First it was "no worries until I'm over 160," then "no worries until I'm over a size 12," then "no worries until my clothes don't fit." Well, all those things have happened. I'm well over 160, I'm a size 14 on a good day, and my clothes don't fit. I've gained well over 30 lbs. since high school, and probably 20 since I graduated from college. Worse yet, I've gained another 10 at least since I've been in Texas.

It's got to stop.

On February 24, 2004, I noted that I was losing weight (at that point I weighed about 175 lbs, which is my current goal weight), and it bothered me in ways I wouldn't have expected:

Even though the weight loss is intentional and I'm working really hard on it and I was in some ways happy someone noticed, it was a very strange feeling to have someone acknowledge that my body is getting smaller. Even thought I intellectually know that even if I weigh a bit less, I'm getting stronger ever day, I still very weird purposefully making myself smaller. I spent so long as a skinny, skinny kid, I still have it in my head somewhere that I should be gaining weight, not losing it.

On April 4, 2004, I talked about how very sick I was of dieting, still having lost only 10-15 lbs, and feeling stuck. In that post, still at around 175 lbs, I was questioning whether or not I should even be trying to lose any more.

On July 2, 2004, I had a rare very good body image day, and wrote the following in one of my favorite posts ever, "Thick":

I am SO beautiful. I have thick, strong legs and a big ole butt. I have wide shoulders and a strong, straight back. Even my increasingly-heavy breasts look strong and capable. I have big-ass feet, but they carry me and give me foundation. I have big-ass hands, but that just means they can hold a lot and I have a firm handshake. Even my hair looks strong.

Then I didn't talk about weight for a bit. On March 1, 2005, I was back at it, with another of my favorite ever posts, entitled "Fat":

I come from a long line of "full-figured" women. As they themselves would say it, fat women. Not fat just because they love to eat (although they do, and they eat with a voracity and lust for life that I admire and aspire to), but fat because they were meant to be that way. Fat because thousands of years of Dutch peasant stock built them sturdy; fat because they have worked for generations in fields and on concrete diner floors; fat because there is nothing waifish about their personalities; fat because when you grow up poor, you never, ever leave food on your plate. Mostly, though, they are fat because their mothers were fat, their grandmothers were fat, their aunts and cousins were fat, and fat is their way of life.

On March 31, 2005, I really let loose in a post entitled "Catharsis." I wrote:

I hate my body. I hate these breasts. Where the fuck did I get these breasts? They don't look like my breasts. My breasts are small. I hate the flaps of fat swinging under my arms like a fucking whattle. I hate my belly rolls. I hate the cellulite on the outsides of my thighs and the stretch marks on the insides of them. I hate hate hate my ass. I hate not being able to fit into any cute clothes, or even any of the clothes I wore last summer. I hate being "plus sized." I hate shopping at Lane Bryant. It doesn't make me feel like a "Real Woman (TM)," it makes me feel like a fucking manitee. I hate people saying, "you're just tall." 30 pounds ago I was just tall.

In April 2005, I asked what was worse, dieting or budgeting. I hated both.

On May 9, 2005, I had another come-to-Jesus moment, noting that my weight had ballooned to 203 lbs.

I'm paralyzed with it. I have no fucking idea how I am going to fight it. Taking off ten pounds is one thing, but I need to take off thirty to be at a reasonable weight, and I can't imagine that I am going to be able to take them off anywhere near as quickly as I put them on. If at all. This may just the beginning.

And then I stopped talking about it altogether, for quite some time. The next weight-related post is September 7, 2006, when I blogged about my 1500 calorie a day diet. Which I clearly didn't stick to, because on January 24, 2007, I posted about not being able to find pants that fit.

On October 3, 2007, I mediated on my body over the years, with photos. I tried to be positive. Looking back, though, of course I prefer the photo set's first picture, showing a 14 year old me who wears a size 8, to the last picture, showing 27 year old me wearing a size 38 jeans. On the day I made the post, I weighed somewhere between 210-215.

Two weeks ago, I weight 224 lbs. Yesterday, 219. Once again, I'm on that path. The difference is that it's going to be harder this time, because I'm fatter. And it's also going to be easier, because I can see this history clearly now, or at least more clearly, and I know that any change I make is positive, and if I get back down to that 175, or even the 187 that so bothered me in that first post, I will feel and look better.

But it's a battle.

5 Comments

Leave a comment


Belle update

| 0 Comments

A few weeks back, I introduced you to our newest foster foundling, Belle. It occurs to me to give an update:

belleFirst: Belle is doing great. We love having her. She's got a fantastic personality--she's incredibly loving, obedient, and eager to please. She is getting along great with our pack, particularly Leo, with whom she's gotten quite close. They play every day, and he grooms her. She is definitely good for him.

She's warmed up to us quickly as well. Though she clearly wasn't well taken care of when we got her, she just as clearly hasn't been abused and has had good relationships with people. She's very trusting. After a few nights in the crate, we thought she was trustworthy, so we put a bed for her in our room. It's so cute how excited she was. She trots right in there and lies right down when we're going to bed, and doesn't move all night. She's also pretty clearly been trained--she refuses to come up on to furniture even if we invite her.

We've been extremely lucky with our fosters, and Belle is definitely another in that line of luck.

belleAll of the above is good, since it seems we might have Belle for a while. After consulting with our vet this weekend, we've decided not to have her cherry eye surgically corrected. In a dog her age, who has clearly had the condition for quite some time, the procedure could very well do more harm than good. While the cherry eye itself is mostly a cosmetic problem (unless the exposed glands get scratched or dry out or become infected, but Belle's seem very healthy), the surgery would have a good chance of leaving her unable to produce tears for the rest of her life. This wouldn't be unbearable--but it would necessitate eye drops multiple times a day for the rest of her life.

So the cherry eyes, pending any additional problems with them, will stay. Sadly, this significantly changes Belle's prospects at adoption. I feel very sure we'll find a perfect family for her eventually, but it will likely take longer than placing a totally healthy and cosmetically perfect dog. As it happens, that's fine--we're happy to keep her for as long as she needs to stay.

In the meantime, if you know anybody in the Austin area who is looking for an extremely well behaved and absolutely lovely dog who happens to have funny eyes, do let me know.

Leave a comment


Teeth

| 2 Comments

teeth movie posterOh my God. I cannot believe this movie.

So, if you've never heard of it, the Teeth
plot synopsis on IMDB begins, "Still a stranger to her own body, a high school student discovers she has a physical advantage when she becomes the object of male violence." Put less subtly, the main character, a high school virgin and purity advocate named Dawn (Jess Weixler), has teeth in her vagina.

Yes. Teeth. In her vagina.

Dawn discovers this when she is raped and her rapist subsequently loses his cock to her vaginal teeth (and goes on to drown, presumably after passing out from shock or blood loss or something). She goes on to unintentionally steal four fingers off a sleazy gynecologist, and then intentionally (or semi-intentionally) bite the dicks off two more sleazoid guys who want to use her for sex.

I don't have a problem with the premise. It's extreme, yes, but done well, I think it could have been great. Netflix called it a "feminist horror flick." I was all over that.

But instead, it's done very, very badly.

First off, each time a disgusting specimen of teen manhood loses his penis to Dawn's teeth, the film shows it. Yes--multiple shots of detached penises, including a pierced one that gets eaten by a rottweiler. I have a strong stomach, folks, but I so did not need to see that. Especially not more than once.

Secondly, it's not funny. Something with this premise needs to be campy, and I think it's supposed to be, but it's just...not. I gagged several times while watching it, but only laughed once, and the funny part had nothing to with Dawn's teeth or the uses she puts them to.

Finally, and this is my biggest problem with the film, there's Dawn herself. Until the last few minutes of the film, Dawn is not a horror movie monster, nor is she the avenging anti-heroine she could be. Instead, she's just this kind of fucked up girl with this gross abnormality, who doesn't seem to get it. While we do get the impression at the end of the film that Dawn may be planning to use her mutation to punish evil men in the future, it's kind of too little too late. For most of the movie, she's a hapless victim and the revenge she extracts on her victimizers is sadly unintentional.

The other thing that becomes clear towards the end of the film is that Dawn can have sex without injuring her parter--the teeth only come out if she's unhappy or being hurt, or if she wants them to. This is a very important caveat in my mind, and if we ever got to see a knowing and sober Dawn have nice healthy sex, she would end up a much better and less sad and pathetic character.

I can't recommend this one, y'all. I still believe there is possibility in the genre of feminist horror, but this definitely isn't it.

2 Comments

Leave a comment


BLOG CONTEST: Thrifted finds for my readers!

| 10 Comments

I've noticed recently that many of my favorite blogs feature contest. I just entered one at not martha fantastic cards, for example. Karen at chookooloonks is currently running one for a framed print of one of her photographs. Ree at Confessions of a Pioneer Women has ones with fantastic prizes all the time. So, I was thinking to myself, I should have a contest!

Here's what we'll do. You leave a comment. Tell me the types of things you wish you could thrift for, or you do thrift for. A week from now, on Thursday, July 17, I will use a random number generator to pick one comment, and I will thrift a fabulous gift for that person.

Cool?

Comment NOW!

10 Comments

Leave a comment


More on blogs I love

| 3 Comments

The other day, I posted a list of blogs I read. Sadly, nobody left me any other blogs I should read in the comments. That got me thinking about comments in general, and how I rarely leave them. So I'm trying to comment more. At least three comments a day is my goal.

But I also wanted to to highlight some blogs I particularly love here, from the list.

betz white: Betz White is a designer and crafter who also happens to blog on my current favorite craft blog. I love this post, showing a simple and genius use for old t-shirts.

Posie Gets Cozy: This is the blog that got me started on craft blogs. Alicia makes great stuff, and the quality of her non-craft related blogging is fantastic. Also, she lives in Portland, and writes Portland-related posts, which I adore. She has a piece up today about an easy way to line envelopes which I never would have thought of, and it's a great idea.

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman: Ree writes such an insanely good blog. Her photographs are wonderful, her stories are wonderful, she's funny, she makes you think on occasion...just all-around good stuff. Also, recipes! I want Cowboy Nachos.

Trying again: What about YOU? What blogs do you love?

3 Comments

Leave a comment


Thrift finds 3

| 0 Comments

I once again neglected to take a picture, but a $5 trip to the southern Blue Hanger store during my lunchtime yesterday yielded the following:

  • A new-looking Build-A-Bear train, for a small friend's upcoming first birthday
  • Four much-needed ice cube trays, to freeze stock and pesto in at home
  • A vintage tin Pillsbury recipe box
  • A set of brand new Australia coasters with cool art on them (our coasters are disappearing like mad for some reason)
  • A stack of unused cross stitch cloth, in various shades of white and off-white
  • A stack of vintage 60s and early 70s knitting and sewing patterns

Leave a comment


My friends Kris and Betsy

| 1 Comment

I have written before about Croncast, but I don't think I've properly conveyed my love for the show.

I've tried out a lot of podcasts, both personal ones (Dawn & Drew, How Much Do We Love..., More Hip Than Hippy) and professional ones (Russell Brand, Definitely Not The Opera, a passel of NPR ones), but none of them have me ensnared like Croncast does. See that last.fm "What I'm Listening To" widget on the sidebar? All it says, all it has said for days (weeks?), is Croncast. That is because I am listening to all of the archives, starting all the way back when the show started in 2004.

Why am I listening to three or four year old podcasts? Because I miss Kris and Betsy.

See, Croncast is over. After putting up 500 shows, Kris and Betsy put it to bed a couple of weeks ago. And since then, air silence. They are actually putting out a new show, Life in the Can, starting any day now. In the meantime, though, I'm going back to the archives to get my fix.

And I am realizing, as I'm getting this fix, learning about how Kris and Betsy got to the point they were when I started listening to the show last year, that I feel like Kris and Betsy are my friends.

I do this. I get involved with people I don't know and who don't know me. Usually, those people are fictional and exist in novels or on television shows, but in this case, they're real, they're just not a part of my real life. Why? Because it's the easiest relationship in the world to have. They talk, they entertain me, give me stuff to think about, make me laugh, and ask for nothing in return. I don't have to give advice, I don't have to provide anecdotes to match their's, I don't even have to smile or make eye contact. Any time they irritate me or I am tired of listening to them, I can turn them off. It's a no-stress relationship.

Before you start thinking that admitting I enjoy a non-reciprocal relationship with people I don't know, consider: isn't that part of what all this internet communication (blogs, message boards, podcasts) is about? Being able to interact with people on your own terms--when you choose to log in, when you choose to read. Isn't being entertained and elucidated without having to reciprocate part of why we all read blogs and listen to podcasts--and for that matter, why we read novels and watch television?

The real question, though, is why do people (for whom it is not a profession) put themselves out to be consumed? Why do we blog? Why have Kris and Betsy spent four years of their lives putting our shows three times a week? What is in it for them?

I have some ideas, but honestly, not any very good ones. So I guess all I can say is this: Kris and Betsy, thank you so much. No matter why you do it, I'm glad you have, and I hope you'll be putting out new shows again really really soon. And the rest of you--if you haven't checked out Croncast, go download some shows and give them a listen. You'll get hooked.

1 Comments

Leave a comment


Sad state of things

| 2 Comments

Y'all, I never thought it would happen, but it has:

I've gotten too cheap for the Goodwill.

The bins has ruined me.

Yesterday, I went by a regular Goodwill store, as I was selling books at the store next door. Did I find anything I wanted? Yes. Did I buy it? No. Why? Because I thought it was too expensive.

I have long made fun of people who complain that the Goodwill is overpriced. It seems ridiculous to me. But yesterday I found myself doing the same thing.

To be fair, though, what I was looking at was overpriced. There were several of these jars (the large ones), available for $4.99 each. Notice how they cost $3.99 each new at Ikea. Yeah. That really is ridiculous.

It's not just that, though. I look at clothes, for between $3.99 and $7.99, and think to myself "but this would only be $1.25 at the bins!" I look at books for $2.99 or $3.99 and think "$0.99 at the bins!" It's bad.

2 Comments

Leave a comment


Three years

| 2 Comments

Three years ago this week, we lost our first baby.

We still miss you Chancey.

grace and chance

2 Comments

Leave a comment


Blogs to watch out for

| 1 Comment

For reasons too boring to go into, I no longer have a blog roll on my blog sidebar. I do, however, love to read other people's blogs. I use a feed reader (Google) to keep up with them, and try to read new entries every day. I'm also working on making more comments, so the folks I'm reading will know that they have me as a follower.

Periodically, I'd like to share the blogs I am reading with you all, since I don't have them up full time. The point here is two-fold: first, maybe I can introduce you to a blog you haven't been reading and will enjoy; second, maybe you can suggest some things to me in the comments that are missing from my list?

Here are the blogs in my feed reader:

Craft blogs

Thrifting blogs

Shopping blogs

"Mommy" blogs

Misc blogs

Friends' blogs

1 Comments

Leave a comment


5th of July

| 1 Comment

We had such a lovely 4th of July. A few friends, the best burgers I've had in years, some really tasty watermelon, a homemade pie, a few drinks. Really a splendid time. I insisted we go "All-American" with the food: burgers, potato salad, corn on the cob, apple pie. It was so good. And the company was just as excellent as the food.

The best part? It's still only Saturday morning. There's a whole weekend left! So I can give in to my exhaustion and just laze around this morning, not doing any chores, and still have plenty of time to get everything that needs doing done before Monday.

I'm making my way through The Last Emperor this weekend (from my Oscar moving watching project). I'm only about an hour and a half in, but I am really enjoying it so far, or at least enjoying it more than I had expected to. It is unfortunately racist, but I know almost nothing about Chinese history, so it is interesting from that angle, plus I really like the main actor, John Lone. Next up is Out of Africa. Can't say I'm all that excited. Ghandi is after that, though, and that is one of the ones I haven't seen but feel that I should have that got me started on this project to begin with.

Belle the foster beagle is doing exceptionally well. Her ringworm seems to be healing up nicely (hopefully--she's got to go back to the vet for a re-check next week) and she's got a lovely personality. She sleeps right next to our bed now--we're only crating when we're gone. She is still terrorizing the cats a little bit, but that's good for them.

OK. Off to at least put in some laundry before I begin my day of serious loafing.

1 Comments

Leave a comment


More thrifting

| 0 Comments

I forgot to take a picture before I put everything away, but I went thrifting again today (I know, I'm only supposed to go once per week, but I really needed a break from work so I went at lunch). I spent about $7.50 at the Southern Blue Hanger and got the following:
-four glass jars with hinge lids to keep grains/legumes/etc. in, in particularly good shape
-a blue wrap dress for myself (I think it might be too small though)
-for a swap package I am making for a little girl, two princess dresses (with easily removable Disney princess bits), a pair of fairy/butterfly wings, and a grass skirt

Leave a comment


The ABCs of Me

| 0 Comments

This is from Suebob.

Accent: Not much of one, but whatever the PNW sounds like when it lives in Texas

Breakfast or no breakfast: Breakfast, these days. Yogurt and granola is the staple. And always, always coffee.

Chore I don't care for: I will not, do not, cannot vacuum.

Dog or Cat: Both in my house, but dogs are first for me.

Essential Electronics: I currently have a Mac laptop through work that I lurve. I want one of my very own.

Favorite Cologne: I got Mark Burberry's' Weekend for Christmas, and I like it a lot on him. I don't usually wear perfume/cologne.

Gold or Silver:
Silver, though I think gold is better for my skin tone.

Handbag I carry most often: From here.

Insomnia: Almost never.

Job Title: Not something I find to be all that important.

Kids: I love other people's.

Living Arrangements: With Mark and the packpride

Most Admirable Trait: I am really, honest-to-God, trying

Naughtiest Childhood Behavior:
Too many to name--I was really awful

Overnight hospital stays: Never happened.

Phobias: Too many people in too small a space

Quote: "The degree to which you resist in the degree to which you are free."

Reason to smile: The pets

Siblings: Two, one XX and one XY

Time I wake up: Theoretically 6:45. In reality, between 7 and 7:15

Unusual Talent or Skill: Picking dog show winners

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Beets. Don't even talk to me about beets.

Worst Habit: Endless navel-gazing

X-rays: Chest, feet

Yummy Stuff: Rum cocktails

Zoo Animal I Like Most: Monkeys and elephants

Leave a comment


Getting my thrift on

| 3 Comments

So that thing about how I haven't eaten or shopped to combat stress? Spoke too soon. I did both today. Again, though, I remained fairly moderate. I went on my once-weekly thrifting trip, but I stayed in budget, and I ate some fast food, but I stayed within my daily points, so I don't feel terrible.

One of the new rules I'm establishing for myself, however, is that I have to post here every time I thrift, including pictures of what I bought and how much I spent. The dual purposes here are keeping me honest, and trying to get up an archive of my thrifted treasures (because I totally love it when other people do that). Today's trip wasn't that interesting, all things considered, but you have to start somewhere.

Location: Goodwill Blue Hanger North

The big thing I looked for on this trip was clothes for myself, along with a few things I owe to other folks. I don't usually do this well for myself on one trip to the bins, though.

skirt, shirt, dress

The first picture shows a pink and blue paisley box pleated Liz Claiborne silk skirt, a white and blue geometric floral Merona sleeveless shirt, and a sleeveless knee length blue cotton dress by Apostrophe.

shirts

Here we have two three-quarter length scoop-neck tee-shirts, by George (is that Wal-Mart?).
pj pants and sweater

Finally, a pair of blue and white plaid flannel PJ pants (there are never too many!) and a sleeveless green sweater from Old Navy.

Each item was $1.25. The thing I really love, though? These clothes are from horrific manufacturers (Wal-Mart??), but I did not in any way support those companies or the demand for their products. That's the beauty of it. That and this stuff will now be worn by me, rather than be sold as rags or worse.

I didn't just buy clothes today, though. I also got this stuff:

pillow cases

What you see here are five pillowcases--one geometric green and white one, and four tie-dyed one. I have a bit of a pillowcase obsession, as I change my cases every five minutes or so to keep allergies at bay. And I love these dyed ones. Mark, of course, hates them. They were $0.50 each, and although they aren't quite as cool as the stuff my friend over at Dye Tyke makes, they'll definitely work.

felt

This is three pieces of fabric. One is about 1/2 yard of yellow synthetic felt, one is about 2 yards of green felt, which I think is wool blend, and one is 1 1/2 yards of blue wool blend cloth. These cost between $1.00 and $2.00 each.

parisol and beads

These were my most interesting finds of the day. The parisol was $1.00 and the wooden beads (and there must be at least 20" of them) were $2.50.

Total spent, including tax: $19.49

3 Comments

Leave a comment


Once upon a time I was in a clique

| 3 Comments

(Thanks to Skye, whose post today about cliques on the Web inspired this post).

When I was in college, it took me quite a while to make friends. For the first weeks, I felt lonely and homesick and out of place as I tried to introduce myself to people and mingle with different groups. This isn't natural behavior to me, and it was really tough. Slowly, though, I fell in with a group of people in my dorm (including the person who is now, years later, my partner). That group of people expanded to include some other people who were not in the dorm, but were friends with people in the dorm. It overlapped and interacted with other groups of people; some relationships were permanent, others more temporary.

My second year in college, I lived in an on-campus apartment with two women with whom I'd become friends in the dorm. The social structure was not so built in, but many members of the group I'd started to interact with in my first year resided in the same complex. I spent time with most of them, but especially with one of them women with whom I lived, her boyfriend, and another guy (my now partner), who lived next door.

As is the way in college, we and the folks around us tended to refer to people and groups by nicknames. "The Goth Collective," "Acid Freak Out Boy," "Skanky X" or "Weird Boy Y." So I can't say I was totally surprised to hear my little group of friends had earned a nickname.

I was surprised, however, to learn what it was.

The Clique. A name given to use because we spent so much time together and seemed so insular.

I was floored. Making friends has never been easy for me, and social dynamics were in a way new to me at that point, as I grew up in an environment so small that cliques were not really as common as twosomes. I had certainly felt left out of a group before, having never been really "popular" or a proper jock. But I'd never been on the leaving out side. And now, I had a clique.

I won't deny that's what it was. Then or now. Nearly ten years later, I am still friends with these people (the larger group as well as the three people with whom I formed "The Clique"). One of them became my partner, the other two are among my best friends in the world, and the people with whom I am most comfortable. Even as we've all changed, I continue to love them more every time I spend time with them, and to miss them terribly when I can't. And I will be honest--when I do get to spend time with them, I don't want to share. I am not someone who enjoys meeting new people, getting to know them, trying to find common ground. I enjoy spending time with the people I already know and love. So if I were in any situation with a larger group, my inclination would definitely be to put up some kind of barriers between my small group and any outsiders. This would, clearly, be cliquish behavior.

But I'm OK with that. I don't think any of use bear a responsibility to be friends with everybody, or to seek out friendships when we would prefer to enjoy the time we have with the people who are already in our lives. This isn't to say that I haven't made any other friends since that group in college--I certainly have--but I'm picky about my friends. I don't want a large circle of acquaintances, and I value the people who I know and love and have grown up with more than any kind of new friend excitement.

The rub, I think, is in not taking other people's relationships and how they choose to express those relationships personally. If you are feeling left out of something, you may well be actually left out, but it is quite possible that has far more to do with those who are "in" and their relationships with one another than with you.

3 Comments

Leave a comment


What feels like progress

| 2 Comments

Yesterday was a really spectacularly bad day. Not a one-off bad day either, a bad day with repercussions with which I will have to deal for months. It's not something I can talk about here, but it was pretty terrible for me and extremely stress-inducing.

That, obviously, is the bad news.

The good news is this: I didn't use either of my typical coping mechanisms. Mark and I went out to dinner last night, and I neither ate nor drank to excess. I ate and drank enough comfort food to feel comforted, but didn't overindulge in any way. I also haven't gone shopping and am not really considering doing so. I am being both kind and strict with myself, reminding myself over and over again that I have goals to achieve, and allowing those coping mechanisms is a hurdle to achieving those goals. And so far, wonder of wonders, it is working.

If I don't watch out, I might just learn something.

2 Comments

Leave a comment


January 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Follow Me on Pinterest

Archives