Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've Been Searchin' High

Okay, bonus points to anyone who can get the musical reference in the title. I'm guessing my sister can. Anyone else? I actually heard this very song just this week. As I was cruisin' the Vegas strip in my snazzy (shall I say glitzy?) Ford Focus. And I will admit publicly, I was kind of excited to hear it and sing along. Hopefully, you all either don't know the song and/or aren't too thoroughly disgusted by my admission.

But, moving on to the real topic of this blog, my new shoes! So, I have been searching for the perfect pair of shoes. I knew essentially how I wanted them to look, even if I did not have the exact details. But unfortunately, these shoes were proving very elusive, for months. I have searched the internet. I have searched pages and pages of shoes on Polyvore (and actually found some that would have worked, but they were always either extra expensive or old and no longer in stock). I have searched every store I have been in since November. Nowhere.

Basically, I just wanted a really basic pair of oxfords. Not the current trendy laceless ones. Not the small heeled 80s dance shoe style that seem to be 'en vogue'. Not sparkly. Just basic, solid oxfords. I actually bought a pair in Vegas that, though not actual oxfords, I thought might fill the void, but alas, after 100s of try ons and obsessing over them in the Westin mirror, I decided they just wouldn't work.

So today, I was in Nordstrom for something completely different, stamps actually, and I decided to just swing by the shoe departments. After a quick futile review, I was ready to walk out in defeat, when an associate I know said hi and asked what I was up to. I replied that I was looking for the perfect shoe. He as asked if it was something specific and when I said oxfords, he said that they were just about to get a bunch in. Then he thought for a minute and said, but we have one pair......

So, he started leading me to a fixture. Now, I knew this fixture. Moments before I had seen lace up shoes on that fixture and taken a look. My quick glance had reveal the...., okay, I will stop myself and not say ugliest, because they weren't as much ugly, as practical. They are what my family might call 'orthos', which stands for orthopedic shoes. Basically, a pair of extremely comfortable shoes that should never be worn by someone under 70 or so. As he led me over I was dismayed, did he really think so little of my fashion sense that he thought I might want those shoes? But guess what, nestled in between the brown and black orthos, was the most perfect, beautiful pair of oxfords.

And the rest is history!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Faux(,) Glitz, and Glitter

AKA Vegas Baby! I went to Vegas for the first time ever this week. Turns out, I probably could have gone my entire life without Vegas and not missed anything. I was ready to leave after an hour or two. And dark sleep, forget about it!

Perhaps a photo montage will suffice.......

Me ready for my hot night out on the town (by myself)

I'm sure I'm supposed to look at this and be awed by beauty and inspiration, but really,
how much electricity is being used! Oh wait, too curmudgeonly?

Paris? No Vegas!

Venice?? Oh wait, still Vegas.

Barry Manilow and Cher were there, who knew they were still singing.

Michael Jackson is ALIVE!

Glitz, glitter and an INFINITE number of photos and photo ops!

Rabbits and China. Seems it's Chinese new year and the year of the rabbit.
So all the hotels jumped on that band wagon.

Many super fancy malls, very expensive stores, and few shoppers.

This was inside, it only pretended to be outside. It came complete with a thunderstorm.

The 50s are back.

Cool walkway, just because.

Even the UGGs were a little glitzier.

My breakfast came with its very own, brand new condiments.
Thank god we weren't reusing the ketchup bottle.

The dogs poop on astroturf!

There were hundreds of these very annoying card slapping guys. I think they were naked lady cards.

The birds poop in garbage cans.

My glorious trip, 3 days too many in vegas, ended with a 12 hour nightmare trip home, a broken down plane and missing luggage. That event was only slightly improved by this lady and her bird. Here she is holding it over a garbage can urging it repeatly to poop!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'll take mine pitch black, please.

I am reading yet another book about why living like our ancestors is healthy and how our modern society is killing us. This book, The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf is pretty cool because it describes the science (chemical processes) behind his claims. Which, despite the fact he's not actually quote any studies, certainly convinces me! (He certainly sounds good and he actually does site sources, probably with studies, in the back of the book.) And this is probably a sign of my slightly obsessive, neurotic nature but after reading the chapter about sleeping in the dark, I'm out shopping for a blackout curtain. Blackout curtains sound like something you'd get in the middle of a war when you're bombed nightly, but it turns out they're a thing. I google 'blackout curtain' and find that Target, Walmart and are all selling them.

So here's the thing about sleep. I guess it's not good enough to just sleep 8 hours. He recommends 8-9 and never waking up with an alarm clock. Unfortunately, even if I could manage no alarm clock, I have a regular 'dog alarm', which when snooze it hit, activates its back up 'cat alarm'. And beyond lots of hours asleep it needs to be pitch black when you sleep. This includes no glowing clocks, no tvs, no computers. This very brief explanation is, any light in your room is translated back to your body, proteins and nasty hormones are released, and you age, get/stay fat, and then get lots of nasty diseases!

Whoo. So I unplugged the alarm clock. And started sleeping with the doors closed. It's much darker now. It's actually a little scary! I haven't slept without a glowing clock since, I don't know, never??? Red glowing lights can't be good, right? So far, two nights in, I'm not sure my sleep is that much better (it wasn't bad before) but I'm positive the chemical balance in my body is much better. Actually, I think my real issue, once I get everything dark and cosy, will be the animals. Otto sleeps outside the room but wakes up EARLY (he, of course, is on the 20-22 hour per day sleep plan). Daisy sleeps with me and has to be touching body parts. This results in waking up more frequently than I would like. But, I will persevere. Off to purchase my blackout curtain, NOT from Walmart (which I am sure would release many nasty hormones and kill me quickly!).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Is this my life?


This morning I was trying to find a plastic container to put some salad in. I found the plastic container no problem, then proceeded to pull out about 10 or so lids. Lids that appeared to be the EXACT size of the container, but did NOT actually fit! This, of course, ended with many plastic containers and lids on the floor and me trying to convince the dog that I wasn't mad at him, but myself. It might be hard to tell from the picture, but the ratio of LIDS to containers is probably 20 to 1 and still none fit!

Anyhow, I'm now mid project 'plastic clean up and recycle'. I need maybe two of these in my life.

After! Recycling the black bin occupants.

And, just as an added bonus to this blog. I realize I have been light on Otto photos. Well, fortunately for all of you, there just happened to be some really cute Otto photos left over on my camera that downloaded when the plastic pictures did.


Ahhh, the cutest thing ever!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shopping Haulers, Part 2

Well, it seems that today we get to talk about another kind of shopping hauler. This shopping hauler is not of the cute and slightly precocious tween/teen type. This shopping hauler is of the evil, insidious criminal type. Specifically, this is the person who decided they needed to start using my debit card!

I should start out by saying this has never happened before. I have never had my wallet stolen, my identity compromised or my card numbers used. Of course, in my last job I heard about and tried, with limited success, to fight it. I sat in on meetings with banks talking about the millions of accounts compromised when the Hartford credit card processing company was hacked. I heard about investigations of gas station account number scammers. I talked to countless victims. But somehow I was personally unaffected.

Until yesterday that is. I got a call from a company hired by my debit card bank to suss out criminal charges on their cards. They wanted to check to see if I had been making some purchases. Specifically a purchase at Walgreen's in Indiana. Come on Mr Criminal. You can be a little sexier with my card than a $62 purchase at Walgreens! It seems that this fraud finding company has some pretty good algorithms, because, as far as I can tell, Mr Criminal only got away with a $34 charge at 'speedway', the above mentioned charge at walgreens, and a $1 test charge at some online store (that is probably right before he was about to go really crazy). And I must say I am mighty thankful, as this was a debit card Mr. Criminal is taking money directly from my checking account.

My actual debit card, of course, is nestled comfortably and safely in my wallet right where it belongs. And it's a funny crime, because it feels so personal, this person is stealing money directly from my account and me, but it is SO impersonal. Who knows where my account number came from? I know I've never seen the person who used it or stole it. I don't enter it online much, but maybe I paid for something cyberly and someone got it there. Maybe (probably most likely), there was an account number capture device attached to some gas station pump I used. Maybe a restaurant worker took it. Or again a little piece of scandalous plastic was attached to a restaurant register to capture my number. And most likely, Mr. Criminal who used my card didn't actually steal my number. That was a different Mr. Criminal. Mr. Criminal #1 probably purchased my account number from one of the many websites that sells compromised account numbers and, if they are lucky, names addresses and pin number. (The prices for a stolen charge number varies, depending on the amount of data that comes with it.)

Anyhow, it could have been much worse. I am very thankful my criminal was thrifty! I would offer sage advice, but I don't know what one could do aside from never using credit cards. With account numbers flying around the cybersphere ripe for the picking, this is only going to keep happening with increasing frequency. Maybe some day, we will all have some secret code attached to our person, and only we can unlock our account number. Until then, the criminals will keep winning this game.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shopping Haulers

So NPR had a story this week about shopping haulers and I thought it was so bizarre that I needed to check it out. I guess YouTube is the number 2 search engine. That means Google is number one. As every fool in this country goes to google every time they need to find out something, that's pretty obvious. But YouTube? I guess I'm just not cool enough or haven' t figured it out. I go to YouTube and after about a minute I run out of things to search for or I've watched a minute or two of a video and my very limited attention span and interest has run out. But, I guess that is not true for most people. They searchin' and watchin' like crazy.

And I guess haulin' too. It seems one of the things people are searching for are shopping haulers or haul videos. And it seems that there are hundreds of thousands of these videos on YouTube. These are people that go shopping (I guess mostly tween and teen girls) and then come home and video themselves describing, in GREAT detail, what they bought. Yes, this happens! And the videos are long. Most of the ones I saw are over 10 minutes long. And they get watched, thousands of times. Shoot, one very popular shopping hauler has videos that have been watched over 600,000 times - I kid you not. Wait, some even over 1 millon times! In fact, it looks like she has gotten so popular that the news media has picked up and she's been on good morning america.

So I watched a couple of these and they are really not so interesting. Yes, I get very excited when I get a deal on something new. And I think once I even went so far as to blog about a very fiscally sound flax oil purchase!!!!! But, video taping my excitement? Or caring about anyone elses excitement? One girl went to walmart and target and blogged about staples she got there. Then she went to some store called Joy Joy (or something) and was all excited because she got 30 things for $49.25. I lasted long enough for her to show me a $1 brush and four pairs of super cheap earrings that will probably be discarded as trash quickly, before I decided I really didn't care and was wasting valuable minutes of my life.

Oh and can I just mention, that all these vloggers spend their entire video looking at the camera self consciously and straightening their clothing and hair!

Anyhow. I just thought all of you would want some help staying as cutting edge as possible! And me, now I am cutting edge as YouTube has pegged as a hauler lover. When I pull up Tube all that pops up are hauler videos!

I'm so Tween!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thank Heaven!

Before we wax poetically about the new year that is now upon us, let's take care of some business. Today is 1/1/11. I really just wanted a chance to type that out and this is probably the only chance I'll get today. Of course, soon we will have the very similar 1/11/11 or in many months, the best of all, 11/11/11. But anyhow, it's my blog so, I just wanted to get that in.

I woke up this morning at 7:30 to the whine of the dog. He likes to do that when I'm not waking up appropriately. Usually this happens sometime between 5.45 and 6.45, so I was pretty happy with 7.30. I opened my eyes and out my window was this amazing, beautiful pink sunrise band through the trees in the green space. I have now decided that this portends peace, harmony and happiness for 2011. So, we have that to look forward to. Of course, this beautiful peace, harmony, happiness sunrise was followed quickly by some guy going out of his way to walk across the park to yell at me for having my dog off leash (yes, that's the same whiny dog who incidently was not bothering this man even slightly!). But I digress, I will not let that mere blip in my new year day to ruin the whole year.

Thinking back on 2010, I realize that major things happened last year - new jobs, major relationship changes, just to name of few of the many. As a result, there was some stress flowing. But, it was stress that should lead me to better happier places. And, so far it seems to be good. As regular readers will know, December, not so much for me. But this December, shoot, I was practically cheerful most of the month!!

I know, how is that possible. Anyhow, between that and the sunrise, well, we're expecting big and great things from 2011 here in Seattle. I'm hoping that proves true to me, and for all of you as well.

Happy happy!