Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rampant Consumerism

Because I am insane, I went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. My friend Jeepy Girl, the person who always lures me into a good adventure, has a budget for the holidays, as do I. We decided to look at the ads, and see what struck our fancy.

It turns out that Target had the deals, at 6am. But first, I had to drive to Jeepy Girl's place. Guess what kind of car she drives?

There she is, the Jeepy Girl. This would be at 5:45am.

We drove to Target, and parked as close as we could (read: not in the Target parking lot, that's for damn sure). The line was long, but as it was 5:51, we weren't worried:

Please note that I took this photo standing on the sidewalk along Bowles Avenue. The actual store is about 200 feet to the left of that sign. Those people are at the end of the parking lot, snaking around to the intersection. Also please note the tire tracks of some fiend who had to have a parking spot close-up. Come on, people! Let's not be cranky!

To stave off crankiness, one very slick entrepreneur was walking up and down the line. His name is Isaac the Breakfast Burrito Boy. He also offered hot chocolate. I love that he took the meaning of Black Friday and twisted it to his advantage... can be witnessed right here. That woman informed us that the burritos were delicious. Good job, Isaac!

The line started to move and we all walked in. I am sure you have heard stories about attacks and mad scrambling and people being trampled on Black Friday. Let me tell you this: we walked in, and there were folks standing outside the doors, waiting for the line to go in first. That's shopping in the suburbs, yo.

Apparently, this is also shopping in the suburbs. Really bad hair bleaching choices. This is not the best shot of the crowd around the electronics department...

...but that one is. You will notice that beautiful plaid at the bottom of the screen is Jeepy Girl's hat. It was that crowded. I just put my camera up in the air and clicked. Luckily, we found the items JG was looking for, and paid for them. I also bought myself some meds for my cough. It was completely empty in the drugstore department, if you can imagine.

After battling the crowds, we got a Starbucks coffee:

And waited in the car for Office Max to open at 7:00am. This shot is from about 6:45am:

Starbucks coffee helps, when shopping before the dawn. As you can see, Jeepy Girl was interested in getting a new camera at Office Max, which she did. We went from Office Max to Kohl's which opened at 4am that day. Um...what? I can wrap my brain around 6am, because I've been known to show up at work at that time, but 4am? That would have meant me getting out of bed at 3am. Thank goodness Jeepy Girl wasn't interested in that.

At Kohl's we found JG some awesome sheets, and I found a couple of presents for my Cutie Girl. Here's one of them:

Hello Kitty earmuffs, with matching gloves! Shhh...don't tell.

Hunger struck right about at that time, but we were waiting in the insane lines at Kohl's. They had plenty of people working the checkout lanes, but they were just inundated with crazy-ass shoppers. Like us. The wait wasn't too bad in the end--about 20 minutes. I've experienced worse.

We swung by the video game store in search of Guitar Hero III, but had no luck. That meant one thing: breakfast. At Gunther Toodys!

Now people, check out that plate. This was a Friday, so they still had their weekday Big Bopper breakfast special going on: $3.99 for that whole plate of yummy goodness! Two eggs, 4 pieces of bacon, hash browns, and toast. *drools* It was delicious! We only had to wait 15 minutes for our table, and not even that long for our food. We ate every bite, having been up since 4:40am. Well, that's when I woke up on my own, anyway.

We traveled on, in Jeepy Girl's Jeep Liberty, to JoAnn's. This is a fabric and craft store, and since a person might call me Crafty Girl, their deals were exciting to me. I try to sew gifts if I can, because this is more cost-effective. I refuse to go into debt for the holidays. If folks don't like my handmade gifts, they have yet to tell me about it.

So we went in, and there were no carts available. This was not a good sign. Shop, shop, shop for fleece, on sale. Shop for zippers. For thread. For fusible interfacing. We then plunked all of our stuff down on a display of stacked tables, and rested. I found us a cart (grabbed it from someone who had just checked out), and put our stuff in there. We made good use of our time calling Montana Steve, who would be driving through on Saturday and wanted us to organize a lunch.

Still waiting. We had taken a number for the cutting table, but were still two decades away. What else is there to do when made to wait in JoAnn's? Of course, we strolled the aisles, letting our fatigue-addled brains think of ways to engage in petty vandalism. For instance, should we take the mini-Sharpie with the cute keyring...

...and write profanities on the entire stack of mini-chalkboards?

Maybe not. That's actually destructive, and while it would be funny, since we were surrounded by blue-haired old ladies and really cranky suburbanites, we just couldn't bring ourselves to break the law. So instead of petty vandalism, we did quasi-vandalism:

Because what says "whore" better than a red boa? I'd like to know. Hey, that's what JoAnn's GETS when they make us wait more than an hour to get our fabric cut.

After JoAnn's we spent an uneventful 15 minutes in Cost Plus, but our heart was no longer in it. We had exhausted our punchy sense of humor and were looking forward to a nap. It was time to say good-bye to the Day of Rampant Consumerism. We stayed within our budgets, laughed more than should be allowed, and grubbed on some serious breakfast. That's the way you do Black Friday, people.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Kiss My Ass, Scammer

Found in my email box:

Please Sir, with due respect to your personality and a big thanks to your help for humanity. I wish to beg for your help on this soapmaking. I have learned the work but not yet expert. For God's sake I kindly need your help, just a guideline for making a hard soap. this where my problem occur and how to increase the volume to making my profit. I like this work and I dont want to be roaming about looking for government work. Sir, I know that my request is unusual but kindly help me with a teaching note which can guide me. Thanks. from Nigeria.

My blog response:

Dear "Jeremiah Clement,"

You want to learn how to make soap? Buy my book.

Most sincerely,

The Author

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Crud

I've got it. I got it from my husband. He swears he got it when he went to the gym.

I hang out in a petri dish of adolescent germs all day, every day, and I catch The Crud from him?




*pees a little*

Monday, November 12, 2007

Loving the handmade

Love the handmade stuff? Lust after hand-knit and felted goods? Ache for handmade soap? Drool over funky, one-of-a-kind earrings?

You are in luck. This feature on etsy allows you to slowly (or quickly) scroll through the items that are most newly listed. You can sit there, eating your bowl of soup, as the internet's largest online craft fair walks across the screen, for your pleasure.


It's the economy

I actually came back around the block to get a shot of this sign. And this is a "sign o' the times" if there ever was one.

Somebody had to sell her Hugh. Poor Hugh. Unwanted. For sale.

I hope he brought in a lot!

That Time of the Year

Part of the reason that I do NaBloWriMo in October is because November is too busy. Even though the farmer's markets have ended, the Holiday-gift-giving season is upon us in earnest, and people want their soap!

This is why it's taken me two weeks to blog. That, and Kitt's prodding. Thank you, Kitt. I've taken a page out of her book, and started taking my camera with me. It proved fruitful the other day.

However, as I am on the couch, comfy, and having some coffee, I'll have to post that photo later.


I have needed this day off for a long, long time.