Thursday, September 30, 2010

Green and other guilts

This NY Times article on green guilt is ridiculous.  This is what I hate about the environmentalist movement--if you're not doing everything absolutely perfectly, you should beat yourself up about all of your shortcomings.  You live in an unfinished geodesic dome, building tiny houses, but you feel guilty because you use plywood to keep costs down?  You want to put in a composting toilet to save water, but you have a swimming pool in  the back yard of your second home?  Shouldn't you also be feeling guilty about maintaining two residences?

There is one guy in the article who strikes me as sane.  He said, "If you wake up in the morning and your biggest concern is trash cans or what kind of window sprays you're using, you are having it good. There are people who wake up and their biggest concern is getting fed."  There are a lot bigger issues in this world than what type of light bulb I use.  (I like GE's  Reveal, incidentally, for the beautiful quality of light and lack of continual blinking and mercury.)

Frankly, I'm not a big fan of guilt in general.  I think most guilt is externally produced; there are all these things we are told we should do--use cloth diapers, be skinny, buy CFL light bulbs, never use TV as a babysitter, eat organic, etc.--and so we feel bad, even if our circumstances (or values) necessitate something else.  I suppose it might occasionally motivate people, but mostly we just sit around feeling bad.  Whether it's using disposable diapers, not sending thank you cards, eating that extra handful of M&Ms, guilt is not a productive emotion if you don't change your behavior.  If you're going to keep doing whatever it is that makes you feel guilty, you might as well accept your decision, stop feeling guilty, and go do something productive.  So if you ever feel guilty about something "they" say you should or shouldn't be doing, remember that I give you permission to not feel guilty.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things move along, if slowly

So, fabulous husband applied last week for a security guard gig at the very same junior high as the one that sucked two years of self esteem from my young, chubby life.  They called the day after the position closed (and it was only open three days) and wanted to interview him. But it was only a three-month temporary job whilst the incumbent recuperated from back surgery.  I had seen in the posting that it was temporary, but I assumed slightly longer temporary, like to the end of the school year.  So FH asked if it was possible that he'd be able to transfer to another position when the incumbent returned to work.  She said she'd call back, but didn't.  I wasn't surprised; I figure they went with someone local who wasn't put off by the temporary nature of the position.

But then yesterday, he got another call from the school district, for a job he didn't even apply for. He asked if I had done it for him, but dude, I don't like applying for my own jobs, so I'm surely not going to apply for him.  It's only part time, but it would be a foot in the door so he could find out first about internal postings.  Plus he'd be making some money--and let's face it, it is a lot easier to find a job when you actually live in the state.  The schedule is such that it shouldn't interfere with any other job he would get.  Could be good.

They wanted him to go down to interview on Thursday.  Um, no.  We're not paying $500 dollars so he can fly down to interview for a part time job.  He called them and suggested a phone interview, which they agreed to and will be taking place tomorrow during his lunch.  So, yeah. That could be good.  The job I applied for doesn't even close until Friday, and here he's already gotten two calls!

We have a couple people who think they might know someone who might be interested in buying.  That doesn't sound very productive, does it?  Better than nothing, I guess.  Worst case scenario (which would be the worst!) we'll rent it, so keep in mind anyone you know who might be interested in renting, too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My dream uniform

So lately I've been all about plain long-sleeve shirts. I'm nearly always cold, so it's not like I need the option of taking off a cardigan.  In dire straights I can just push the sleeves up, but it really never reaches that point.  If I could set the thermostat however I want, then I might be uncomfortable in long sleeves, but I have a much warmer body to accommodate.  Plus my thermostat at work doesn't seem to have any impact on the temperature.  For instance, it's currently set at 78, but reads that it's actually 74. This is an improvement over yesterday afternoon, when it was 78/70.

Anyway, I don't remember where I first read about the idea of having a daily uniform.  I think it might have been Gwyneth Paltrow talking about her leggings-and-tunic type uniform.  At some point my eyes rolled, probably repeatedly.  I haven't much sympathy for the trials of life of celebrities.  I'm sure their lives are difficult to them, but for those of us who can't afford nannies, cooks, cleaning ladies, multiple houses, first-class flights, or $80 yoga pants (honestly, why would someone spend that much on workout clothes?), it just seems like a lot of really privileged whining.

But I digress.  A daily uniform.  It actually does make life easier.  The men here complain about having to wear a suit every day, but I think it would be a relief.  I recently experimented with wearing the same skirt every day, and there really was something so liberating about not having to decide what to wear, or how long it's been since I've worn something.  I've decided that no one pays enough attention to my outfits that I need to worry about it.  This is especially true with basics.  My same-skirt experiment was with a basic black skirt.  The shirt I'm wearing today--which I also wore yesterday, because "worn" doesn't always mean "dirty"--is a plain black, long-sleeved shirt.  Even if someone noticed that it looked like my shirt from yesterday, isn't it entirely possible that I own multiple plain black tees?  Oh yes it is--I once bought three of the same black shirt so that when one faded, I had a back up.

My dream daily uniform, though, would be a long sleeve tee and yoga pants.  Or track pants, depending on the weather.  It is convenient that I'm so short, as I can find very comfy pants in the little boys section, and generally for at least half of what they charge for women. My current favs were five bucks.  My now-gone favorite fleece pullover (a moment of silence and a curse towards Delta) was $3 in the boys section of Target when I was in college.  I loved that fleece.  Sigh.  But anyway, what's your uniform?  Or your dream uniform?

Monday, September 27, 2010

More things a day

In early August, I decided to get rid of the equivalent of one thing a day for the rest of the year. That was 49 days ago, and so far I have at least 70 things that I have purposely thrown away rather than continue to store, or else designated for sale or donation. I want to have a garage sale, but I don't know if it will actually happen.

Can I tell you how great it is?  There's something so lovely about getting rid of Stuff.  I definitely need to get rid of a lot more.  We packed up several boxes of random stuff in preparation for taking pictures and hopefully showing our house, and the upstairs feels so different.  It's so clean and uncluttered.  We keep saying we feel like we live in a model home. It's nothing short of remarkable.

It makes me wonder if we really need that stuff in those boxes.  Some of it is sentimental, but how much of it is stuff that I might use again some day, or is only occasionally useful when we have someone with kids over?  I bet most of that stuff we could just get rid of and never move.

I highly suggest that everyone pack up a few boxes, as if they were getting ready to move.  It will feel so nice, you might wonder if you actually need all that stuff.  You probably don't.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My coworkers are crazy

I got a call the other day from a coworker.  He wanted help playing a prank on our boss.  See, for the last two months, said coworker has been raising butterflies.  From egg to caterpillar to pupa to butterfly, he's been patiently tending them through the whole life cycle.  Now they've emerged from their cocoon, and he wanted to put them in the bosses office.

Um, okay.  Is our boss afraid of butterflies?  Is there some sort of inside butterfly joke?  Nope.  My coworker just thought it would be hilarious to release butterflies in his office.  I guess the mystery of butterflies randomly appearing is funny to him.  Not your typical prank, but since it wasn't mean, I was okay helping out.  (If my boss had some irrational fear of butterflies or something, I would have refused to help. I can't stand mean spirited pranks.)

It reminds me of a story my dad tells of being in Korea in the late 70s.  Something along the lines of it being the kids' idea of a good time to get together and dress someone up in a newspaper outfit.  No pictures, no going out in it or anything. They dressed them up, laughed, and then took it off.  Something gets lost in translation, I guess.

So we put the butterflies in his office yesterday when he was at lunch. He was quite perplexed when he saw them.  It actually was rather amusing, but my coworker didn't even get to see it!  Although he was laughing hard enough just at the thought of it, so I guess he was satisfied.  My boss knew that to call or email him about it would just give my coworker the satisfaction that he wanted, so he didn't. It drove my coworker crazy, so he finally called me and asked what happened.  All in all, it was strange behavior from a couple of guys old enough to be my father.

Also, I think offices should regularly have butterflies flying around.  It's kind of cheery.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let's decide now that my kids will hate me

Okay, so maybe they won't hate me.  But a friend sent me a link to the most ridiculous birthday party.  I'm going to tell you right now that if my kids ever have birthday parties that we invite friends to--mine were generally just cake with family, and I seem pretty well-adjusted--the parties are not going to look like this:


Guys, those aren't paper plates. Right there I'm disqualified.  I'm not serving tea sandwiches and pink lemonade on real dishes to a handful of kindergarteners!  And I'm certainly not making costumes and delivering them to the girls planning to attend so that we can all dress the part for the theme.

Looking around the rest of the blog, it's clear that this family has a bajillion dollars, and somehow a ridiculous amount of free time?  There are parties like this for everything!  The party after the baby blessing was fancier than anything related to my wedding!  (Not that I mind, because I do not do frills like that.)  A jillion treats, no doubt home-made?  Personalized water bottles?  It's just nuts.

Clearly this makes her happy, and good for her.  It doesn't appeal to me, although how on earth does a mother of three find time to have hair that long, and always perfectly styled?  That I wouldn't mind as much.  But I'd rather make a cake from a mix, shoot my family a text that we're going to Peter Piper Pizza for pizza and video games, and then spend the rest of my time doing something else.

So I guess I'll just have to keep my kids away from stuff like that.  If they never go to a frilly party, they'll never know that they should want one.  Although they shouldn't want one.  Although with my luck, they'll revolt against my simple aesthetic and insist everything have ribbons and bows.  Or hey, maybe I'll have all boys!

Don't forget to tell all your friends to buy my condo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We're actually maybe possibly going to think about trying this

Okay, so we're pretty serious about at least attempting to sell our condo.  We're trying the FSBO route.  Who knows how that will pan out. Although with the internet and a wide network of very lovely friends (and a God who does miracles, heh) maybe we can make this happen.

SO.  If you know someone who might be looking for a condo in Utah (or are just really curious about what my house looks like) might I direct you to the brand new Buy My Condo! blog I just set up?  Feel free to pass that around.  If you have trouble remembering the URL...well, I don't know what to tell you. Cathie's house.  It's catchy.

Very Special K

Remember the old Slim Fast commercials?  "A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a nutritious dinner!"  Well Kellogg's, bless their heart, does them one (or two or ten) better.

See, we eat a lot of Special K in our house.  A lot.  Such that Kellogg's should feel free to send us coupons and boxes of product.  And on the back of every cereal box, they outline the Special K Challenge.  The challenge is to drop a jeans size in two weeks--by eating a lot of Special K branded products.  All you do is replace two meals with a bowl of Special K, Special K granola, Special K protein shake, or Special K protein meal bar.  You also get two snacks, of Special K protein snack bars, Special K cereal bars, Special K fruit crisps, Special K crackers, or Special K protein water mixes.  Oh yeah, you also get a meal of your choice and all the fruits and vegetables you want.

See where I'm going with this?  Nearly your entire day's menu is comprised of Special K products.  And if you follow the "Classic" plan on their website, you'd have to purchase ten different products. (The "mix it up" plan requires 12! I didn't check the others.)  Figuring about $4 a pop on average, that's a lot of scratch to feed one person (not including the cost of the produce!), not to mention all the interesting chemicals they include.

Part of me, though, is almost willing to do it.  (See previous whinings about the quantity of weight gained recently.)  Apparently weight loss is a zero-sum game in our house, and I pick up everything my husband with the metabolism of a 14-year-old boy loses.  Plus I just really like a bowl of original Special K.  I should find a sponsor or something.  Or just blow my grocery budget on boxes of Special K. The family-sized boxes are far more cost effective than the protein bars and stuff.

Also, would I be required to give up our nightly bowl of Popcorn a la Jeff? (Oil pop popcorn on the stove top.  Pour in bowl. Season with beef bouillon granules.  Don't mock it until you've tried it.)  Because I don't know if that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.  You can't do it with air popped.  I've tried.  Really, though, it's delicious and you should try it.

So, what do you think? Should I drop a bunch of money on Special K products so that I can fit into my pants again?  How do I get all these free samples bloggers are always talking about?  What's that? Have more than nine readers, you say?  Nuts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Unfollowing

I recently--and if reviewing my browser history today taught me anything, it's that "recently" means "a few months ago"--unfollowed a blog or two.  Specifically fashion blogs, mostly.  I realized, "These bloggers' aesthetic is nothing at all like my own."  I dislike skinny jeans, skinny belts, nautical-inspired horizontal striped shirts, anything strongly 1980s-ish, booties, and most things from Anthropologie.  Why was I wasting my time on this nonsense?  Also, we clearly had differing ideas on what constitutes modest fashion.

And then today, I went through my subscriptions again.  Boring "here's more pictures of my children!" blog of someone I haven't talked to in a while?  Gone.  (I don't mind pictures of your kids, just don't be boring!)  Photography site no longer interesting?  Someone who updates way too much with useless stuff?  Gone and gone.

I'm undecided about the healthy eating blog that is a chronic abuser of apostrophes.  It really, really bugs me that she uses them almost exclusively for plurals.  Plurals and possessives.  Not the same.  Is it pathetic that bad grammar outweighs content?

It's not like I don't have plenty of time at work to read blogs, but I've decided there's no point wasting my time on things that are uninteresting, annoying, or not helpful. Why stay subscribed to a cooking blog that literally never makes things I'd be willing to eat?  I still subscribe to 73 feeds, for crying out loud.  If I had a job that kept me busy--or was on vacation all the time, because somehow lolcats are pretty low on my vacation list of things to do--I would have to get rid of even more.  I'm all about uncluttering lately, and that includes uncluttering my intellectual space.

Just please don't stop reading my blog?  I probably still subscribe to yours. Assuming that I know about it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hope for me yet

I have lamented this summer the barrenness of my zucchini plant.  Zucchinis are supposed to be so abundantly fertile that you're forced to leave their fruit on your neighbor's doorstep in the middle of the night.  My zucchini never seemed able to muster up more than one flower at a time, and usually gave up on those before they actually bloomed.  I don't know what I did wrong.  All I know is that it seemed like some sort of ominous symbol.  There's a very real possibility of infertility in my future--it would require trying to get pregnant to actually know, and I'm not quite at that point yet--and infertility is scary because then you take fertility drugs and have an increased risk of multiples and having multiples scares me more than spiders and possibly even cockroaches.

But fear not! I was checking on my plant last week, and whadda ya know, a wee little zucchini is growing!  It's probably the only one I'll get, and I don't have too long for it to grow, but at least I got something.  So maybe I won't be barren and have to drop babies at people's houses during the night so that I can sleep.  Maybe I'll just have one little offspring and be able to call it a summer.  That would be okay.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pretty sure I know what my name is

Ugh, I'm really trying to be adult and forgiving and whatnot about what just happened at the doctor's office--even bribing myself with animal crackers and Tootsie Rolls, which is not particularly adult, but whatever--but it's not working well.

Let's just say I haven't been feeling well and my preliminary diagnosis was a bacterial infection. Note how my internet diagnosis is preliminary.  I have the good sense to submit to lab tests and not just insist the doctor prescribe antibiotics. I believe in the prudent use of antibiotics, because superbugs are no laughing matter. Except maybe the word "superbug."

Today I talked to the scheduler, who talked to the nurse, who called me back, who then talked to the doctor, then called me back to say the doctor wanted a swab for the lab. Sure thing. I figured this would happen. And it only took a couple hours to get through all that.  I had a little time left in my lunch hour, so I figured I'd rush over there, take three minutes in the office, and be back at my desk twenty or so minutes late.

That would have worked excellently, except that the medical assistant comes out and calls "Connie?"  No Connie.  In fact, I am the only one in the waiting area.  But she's holding the giant q-tips! This must be for me. There's no one else here for it to be for! She disappears.  After a few minutes, the scheduler reminds her that I'm here (all via instant messaging, no less, which will be important later).  The MA comes out again.  "Connie?"

I ask, "Do you mean Catherine?" I get a rather snippy "No, I mean Connie." and she disappears again.  The scheduler and I look at each other.  She doesn't mean Connie.  Scheduler scrolls up in the chat window.  "I told her Catherine."

MA comes back a few minutes later.  "Catherine?"  There we go.  She attempts to explain the mixup, but y'know, I've been sitting here for way too long and I don't give a crap.  She blew us off, and was a little rude about it.  I was supposed to be at work.  This should have taken three minutes, tops.  I'll never get that half hour of my life back.  It should have been spent sitting at work, bored as can be, not sitting in the doctor's waiting room, bored and increasingly irritated.

She did apologize quite sincerely for the mix up and the wait, but it really didn't do much to take an edge of the rage.  I'm better now, an hour later.  Just mildly annoyed.

In other news, if it is indeed bacterial this will be my fifth round of antibiotics since I got married.  Is that right? I don't think they had me on antibiotics after my tonsillectomy. Frankly, I don't remember much of the first month.  If they did, this will be six.

Unsolicited pregnant people advice

If you think someone might be pregnant, don't ask.  If they are pregnant and want to talk about it, they would have told you. If they aren't pregnant, you're going to look like an idiot and make someone feel fat. And possibly not ever wear that outfit again.

Admittedly, I have gained nearly ten pounds in the last several months.  It sucks, I know.  There's not really anywhere to put ten pounds on a person my height.  Sigh.

But Saturday night, I was wearing Spanx! And not an empire-waist dress, which apparently add five months of gestation to my frame.  But are so, so comfortable so I wear them anyway.  Point is I really didn't look pregnant.  Some lady overheard my mom say that she had two daughters pregnant, so this nice (but apparently not entirely skilled critical thinker) assumed that I was one of them.

Do I look pregnant? Would you naturally assume that because I got married nine months ago, it must be me who is pregnant?  Do not all the children in my family have names that start with C? Frankly, I'm not sure what that had to do with any of it, but that was part of her explanation as to why she just announced in front of a dozen or so people that my mom "let slip the secret" that I was pregnant.  She spent five minutes awkwardly trying to explain her assumption, when really the best thing would have been to apologize for the mix up and slink off to the cupcake table.  It's what I would have done, except that I'm smart enough not to ask people if they're pregnant.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What's all this I hear about "fruits" and "vegetables"?

Look at this!  Two entries in one day.  Two!!  This makes us even for all the days I don't post, right?

I've been feeling really lousy lately, so I decided to make a concerted effort to get more produce into our diet.  As opposed, of course, to those fruits and vegetables that just magically fall into our mouths.  Everyone tells me my weeks of malaise are actually a parasite fetus incubating in my guts, but I doubt it.  I do have a story for later about people assuming I'm pregnant.  Stay tuned.

But I digress.  So I got some vegetables when we were at the store Tuesday night. I ate a handful of baby carrots last night as I was trying to decide what to have for dinner (a cheese crisp--lay off me; I was sick).  So crisp and delicious! Could it be that there are things worth eating besides popcorn, Skittles, and bread?  Yes. I left off peanut M&Ms.  Gee, and we wonder why I've gained a few pounds recently.

Also on Tuesday, when I decided to buy more produce--and then use it before it got all gross and mushy in my refrigerator, because how long does it have to be in 39 degree weather before it decomposes?--I got a watermelon at work.


I don't understand why we all got watermelons, but there was the assistant building manager with a cart of watermelons, handing them out like some sort of health-crazed Santa Claus.  Fortunately, mine was on the small size because a) when have I ever eaten an entire watermelon? Never. and b) it's a dang long walk to the car.  My wrist was killing me by the time I got there.

As part of my "more veggies so I don't feel so crappy" plan, I went to Subway for lunch. Would have been awesome if they weren't so stingy.  Three cucumber slices, really?  At least I got plenty of iceberg lettuce.  Sigh.  Although even less-nutritious iceberg lettuce is better than no lettuce.  Surely it all makes up for the Cap'n Crunch I had for breakfast, right?

I might have real hermit potential

I have never been a fan of homeschooling. I knew a family in the neighborhood who homeschooled, and those kids were weird.  It may just have been those kids, though (or perhaps the mother...) because I've since met other people who were homeschooled, and they turned out just fine.

But the more I hear about what's going on--and not going on--in public schools, the more I want to homeschool my kids.  Many schools aren't teaching cursive.  Kids aren't mastering multiplication tables because they can just use a calculator.  Don't get me started on library and research skills.  When was the last time a kid even opened a book to do research?  I suppose why bother, when you can just copy the Wikipedia entry? Why would anyone need to know how to find something in a library?  They spend so much time trying to get the kids able to pass the bazillion standardized tests that there's no time for, oh, P.E., recess, music.  Of course, even if they do take music, apparently all they do is bang around on tambourines rather than...you know...learn stuff.

When I was a kid, we went on one field trip a year. If we were lucky. It was usually to the zoo or the Rijlaarsdams' dairy.  Woo.  So educational.  I did enjoy playing in the cotton seed, but the educational benefits of that are pretty much zero.  Except maybe for learning which classmates have asthma.

Homeschoolers, though, can go on field trips all the time!  When it's not a production involving buses and permission slips, you can jump in the van (sigh) and head on over to the science center. Or library. Or bakery. Or animal shelter. Or symphony. Or whatever interesting place it is that enriches your education.  Why, take them to Einstein's for breakfast and make them pay with exact change and you suddenly have a math lesson!  Okay, so maybe you could do that with kids in public schools. Although it would have to be breakfast on a Saturday....  My point is there are lots of opportunities for enrichment when you're not sitting in a classroom seven hours a day, waiting for the kids to stop talking long enough that the burnt-out teacher can try to teach them something useful.

It's also helpful that I've read some blogs by homeschoolers.  They seem reasonably normal. And they make some really good points.  Seems like they do lots of fun things. Maybe not just worksheets all the time?  Maybe I'm embittered because I could have used sixth grade to learn stuff, but instead I did a buttload of word searches.  Word searches!  Not even crossword puzzles, which at least require some critical thinking skills.  On the upside, my word search technique is spotless.  You should see me with the kids' place mats at J.B.'s.

I texted my sister the other day and suggested we quit our jobs and homeschool our children.  She has teaching credentials and I have...a van? Plus I know my times tables!  Up to the twelves!  Sadly, that is an accomplishment in the younger generation.  But really, I am seriously considering it for my future hypothetical no-I'm-not-pregnant-but-thanks-for-asking children.  That, of course, requires a financial situation that allows me to stay home. Which, uh, is not our current one.  But since my children are imaginary, I guess there's time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I guess that's why they call it "work"

We were on vacation last week. We didn't do much of anything in particular, but it was still way better than working.  We slept in, we ate whatever we wanted whenever we wanted, we went swimming, saw friends, played with the cutest baby ever (oh, I wish I'd had my phone handy when they woke her up to take her home. She was all bleary eyed as she looked around in pure confusion. "What are you people doing here? I'm in my pajamas. Go home. Wait, where are we?"), went to Bahama Buck's TWICE, and otherwise had just a very nice time.

Frankly, I'd like to be on vacation all the time, but then I think I wouldn't enjoy it as much. It's the contrast of something really enjoyable against something mundane and repetitive and mildly soul-crushing that makes vacations so great.  It's not that I didn't have to set an alarm, it's that I have to set one every other week of the year.  Work is actually what makes vacations great.

We were talking about how nice it would be if we could move into my parents' rental house.  Community college is cheaper in Arizona (as in less than half of what it is here), although the ASU is more than the U and Weber State. Although if we were living for cheaps, it might not be as big of a deal. Plus all of my family lives in Arizona, and Adam's lives close-ish.  Frankly, without the financial assistance of renting from my folks, I don't know how we'll ever afford children.  There's no one here who could watch our kid for cheap/free, so I'd have to go back to work. And I don't want to have a baby so I can work to pay for daycare.

But...yeah.  I don't know.  While moving to Arizona does make a great deal of sense--probably more sense staying here where the weather is terrible and I miss my family--I feel antsy. Adam is ready to start packing rightnow! but I'm more hesitant.  Though with all the newspapers I read, it does make me want  to get out of our house now.  Apparently homes may still be overvalued quite a bit and likely to continue losing value for the next couple years. Exciting, right?

Really, I'm not sure why I'm so nervous. Assuming someone wants to buy our condo (and we'd sell it for basically what we owe; our neighbor is trying to sell for nearly 10k more than that), it seems like it would all be pluses.  Unless we couldn't find jobs, I guess.  But I think we're pretty employable.  Ugh.  Someone tell me they did some big life change that they were really nervous about and then it all ended up being nothing but amazing. Please?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Birthday freebies!

Who has two thumbs and a birthday next month?  This girl!  (Man, that does not work nearly as well in text form.)

A friend recently posted on Facebook that she was enjoying her free Baskin Robbins ice cream in honor of her birthday.  My birthday is in what, 45 days?  I signed up for that, then spent a few hours looking for more freebies.  Ideally the treats are valid for more than just the day of, because how many ice creams do I need in one day?  Many of these are good for the entire month of your birthday, or a week (or two) before and after. So the celebration can last all month long!

So far I have signed up for Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, Ben and Jerry's (you get a coupon for a free scoop when you sign up!), Red Robin, Ruby Tuesday's, Lone Star Steakhouse, Benihana, Papa Murphy's, and Sephora.  Alas there are no Black Angus restaurants here, because they give you a free steak! Most of the deals require you to sign up for their mailing list, but it's a small price to pay.  Actually, you're still not paying. You're just deleting the occasional email. (But be sure to skim them first to make sure there are no coupons!)

By way of show-your-ID day-of deals, there's the IHOP Denny's free Grand Slam, free Firehouse Subs sub, and...dang, I know there was another one.  Anyway, there are a lot of freebies out there for the taking.  Any I've missed that you suggest?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fall weather?

This is my fourth Utah autumn, but it still catches me by surprise every year.  I think, "It's only September! I shouldn't need a sweater in the morning."  But I do. Because apparently fall doesn't start in mid-November here.

The summer has gone so quickly.  Pretty much everyone is back in school already.  Granted, some schools started ridiculously early, but even the one that I drive past on my way to work every morning (which got out in June, because I remember being SO GLAD when the school zone light wasn't on) is back in session.  It just really is fall.  I mean, it's September. The autumnal equinox is just a few weeks away.  (And don't give me any crap about Northern Hemisphere bias.  "September equinox" has absolutely no ring to it.)

Fortunately, we'll soon be in Arizona, where summer is still going strong.  I'll be able to use the cute new swimsuit I got on end-of-season clearance without freezing or having to use a hot tub or waiting until next summer.  I'll be able to stock some vitamin D, which I suspect I am sorely lacking.  Mostly because I don't go outside, and if I do I'm almost entirely covered up.

So yeah, summer is definitely over here, but we're going to milk another week out of it.  I can't wait, even if we are driving.  Fabulous Husband is not being particularly fabulous about the fact that we're driving.  I can't say I enjoy long car trips, but it is way cheaper than flying. And seeing as his last day of work at his old job was Tuesday and won't start his new job until we get back from Arizona, there's not really room in the budget for air travel, especially with inflated Labor Day prices.  I just like to focus on all the fun we'll have once we get there.  Besides, you can eat as much junk as you want while driving. I think it's a law.