Thursday, March 27, 2008

Needs, wants, and monkey bowls

I started reading a lot of personal finance blogs back when I set my big credit card payoff goal, and I read something recently about how hard it is to transition from paying off debt to building savings. Psychologically, once your card balances are zero, it feels kinda like you have a zillion skillion dollars more every month and you want to start buying all the dumb crap you've been denying yourself. This is bad. This is how you can go back in the hole.

For example, I loves me some Target, just like everyone else. Sometimes I stop there on my walk home and just wander aimlessly around the end caps. (Turns out that there's a science to this. I clearly live an exciting life when end cap browsing at Target is one of my favorite activites.) When I was flat broke, I was really good at browsing and telling myself "no." I bought food and shampoo and not much else. And it turned out to not be so terrible, because I actually had most of the stuff that caught my eye; Target just had it in a newer cuter version. I got very good at distinguishing between wants and needs. But last night, my internal dialogue went like this:

Spendthrift Kate: Ohmygod, cute cereal bowls, I'ma get two!
Skinflint Kate: But Kate, you already have bowls. You have many, many bowls.
Spendthrift Kate: But! These ones have MONKEYS ON THEM! UUURRRGGHHH WANT IT BAD!!!

I didn't buy the monkey bowls. I did buy a shower curtain and bathmat, but they were both on clearance and they matched my hard-to-match bathroom tile. So. I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

Seriously, though. It is hard to say no to monkey bowls.

Monday, March 24, 2008

When will it be warm enough to drink outdoors?

I think wine gives me strange dreams. Or maybe it's just that I tend to wake up a lot on nights when I've had wine, so I remember more of whatever strange dream I'm having. Anyway, I knew I was dreaming last night because I was walking my dead dog Bogart, and he was behaving very well on his leash. But in reality, Bogie usually strained so hard on a leash that he would make these terrible choking-gagging sounds, and I'd regret even attempting to take him for a walk. Also, my high school boyfriend was there. His name was Raphael. No, seriously. I was gaga for him.

I forget that other people's dreams aren't interesting. Sorry.

Voicemail from the Little: "Hi Kate, this is [Little]. I was just calling to say hello. ... Also, I made you a card. Okay. Bye."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No, I do not want to continue on this journey with you.

Ladies. We need to talk.

It's about "The Bachelor."

Girls, this show shouldn't be on TV anymore. Strike that; it never should have been on TV, but since it started during the same reality craze that spawned "Temptation Island," it must have seemed relatively benign at the time. But it's 2008, gang. The show has just begun its 12th season, and in only a few minutes of accidental viewing last night I was so aghast I almost popped a blood vessel.

Let's go over the premise of the show, shall we?
- Round up some ladies. Make sure they're hot enough that people will watch the show, but dumb enough that they will actually agree to be on it.
- Cast your leading man. He too, should be pretty but dumb, but also has to have some redeeming qualities in the way of not seeming dumb and also having a hot job.
- Here's where the fun starts: Make the ladies compete over the man. Haha, awesome! Let's all watch it with our young daughters so we can teach them about gender roles!
- As the ladies compete for the man, it is important to convey how in love they are with him. All 25 of the them. At the same time. Instantly. Also, as the group is slowly whittled down, it is also important to broadcast each week's loser, weeping as she is driven away in a limousine. That is how we know how much she truly loved Le Bachelor.
- And finally, in the end it's like, empowering, see, 'cause the winner has it all: a man, fame, awesome highlights, a man, a closetful of sparkly dresses, a mani/pedi, a good base tan, the satisfaction of knowing she's defeated 24 other bimbos in her quest for a man, and, umm... a man! Happily ever after, 4reals.

So... yeah. This show needs to die, and not to stereotype or anything, but ladies, its continuing existence is our fault. Look up the demos.

I say we pull a reverse "Jericho." Let's flood the ABC offices with packages begging them to take this show off the air. (I'm not saying this will work; not as long as there are advertisers for the show and money to made by the network. What a shame. Good thing I'm not a part of that evil industry. Oh wait...) Anyway, what to put in the packages? Push-up bras? Decapitated Barbie dolls? Acrylic nails? I'm open to suggestions.

Oh my god, I just thought of the perfect thing: dead roses. Let's do it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Turning 26 the Classy Way

I have to say that Nacho Fest was a major success. Now, I know what you're thinking: How could a day devoted entirely to the consumption of nachos NOT be a major success? But stuff could happen. Poor quality nachos, for example. Or nacho overdosing. Or food poisoning. But I'm happy to report that none of those things happened, except perhaps some minor overdosing, as Emily and Patrick both opted to order something other than nachos at our third stop of the day. But given their roles as the day's co-MVPs (Em was in for the duration, and Patrick only skipped the movie because he'd already seen it) I think non-nacho entrees were acceptable at that point. I, however, had an agenda to live up to, and thus ordered the nachos.

Somewhere between the second stop (Grumpy's) and the third (Uptown Bar) it dawned on me that I should have brought an antacid. But a couple drinks later I was busy doing my Fine Young Cannibals impression and all was well.

I was very, very thirsty when I woke up yesterday.

In case anyone is curious, here's my personal ranking of the day's nachos:

#1: Little Tijuana. What nachos need above all else is a substantial chip base, and Little T's delivers. Their chips stay crunchier longerer, all the better for to scoop delicious toppings with.
#2: Uptown Bar. I can't really remember what I liked so much about these, but I do know that guac was included, rather than being an optional side.
#3: Grumpy's. I was kind of unmoved by this batch, but Emily ranked them highest for having the saltiest chips. Grumpy's was a great stop overall, however, and our waitress was even from Aberdeen.

In related news, I did 90 minutes of cardio at the gym yesterday.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Down dog!

About once every six months, I go to a yoga class, only to be reminded 7 minutes in- as I'm straining and sweating and twisting and most definitely not "focused on my breath"- that I totally hate yoga. But, eureka, I went to a class last night that I didn't hate. I can't tell if this was because of the instructor (There's something borderline skeevy- but somehow still maybe sexy?- about guy yoga instructors... When you're face down on the floor with your eyes closed, one leg crushed under your torso and the other extended behind you, and a voice in your ear says, "Can I move you?"- well, what are you supposed to say? I let him move me.) , or simply because I'm not a Chubby McFatty anymore and I can cope with the movements more easily.

There are so many things mechanically wrong with the previous sentence.

Anyway, the point is I might go back. Only today I'm wishing for a class where everyone sits in a circle and gives the person in front of them a shoulder massage. I don't think that class exists at the gym. It would have to be a very bad, weird gym.

Monday, March 3, 2008

This is almost as good as my idea for the Jane Austen novelty book.

You guys, I just came up with a completely brilliant idea.*

Wouldn't it be awesome if there were a brand of cigarettes called "Holy Smokes," with a bible verse printed on each cigarette?

They'd be huge in the south. You know I'm right.

*I've been cautioned by my boss that I shouldn't tell people about my brilliant ideas, and should instead get busy patenting them. However, since I could never profit from this idea in good conscience (because it's carcinogenic; the sacrilege doesn't bother me so much) I feel okay about sharing it with the interweb.