Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dreaming of Vegas

The lights. The fountain. The vices. The glitz and glamor. Yes, we're talking about Vegas.

The weekend before Christmas will find yours truly (left) and the lovely Liz (right) flying out to the city of sin. We intend to take in all the color and energy and utter awesomeness that we can possibly soak up.

This past Friday, rather than shoving through crowds of crazies, Liz and I met up to plan. We're getting in early Friday morning, and will be leaving late on Sunday. That gives us three FULL days in Vegas. We have decided that we will be using fake names. She keeps going back and forth on hers (maybe Lydia), but I will be known as Vanessa.

I have found the passes that I had ordered off eBay right before my last trip to Vegas, so we will be able to get into several different clubs. However, XS is still a bit elusive. I've contacted the guy in charge of the guestlist, but have not yet heard back. Wish me luck!

We will be purchasing Power Passes for Friday, which offer admission to a ton of exciting attractions, such as Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, Las Vegas Mob Experience, Stratosphere Observation Deck and rides, and Flightlinez. Saturday will be a day we wander around the strip and check out Fremont Street. Sunday will be the day for checking out anything we missed earlier.

One thing that is a bit disappointing is that the Jabbawockeez show is already booked solid. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to introduce my own moves.

Dancing on her own,


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Early End to Budget Week #4

This morning, I hadn't spent a penny of my $30 for the week, and had a little left over from last week. Then I went to Starbucks, and watched $4 float away. Ok, it's only $4, right?

After work I went grocery shopping. $31 and some change later, I am officially over budget.

The final result? $30/week is hard and NOT fun. If you have any random stuff come up, you'll go over. If I had been including gas, car stuff, prescriptions, etc., then I would never make it.

However, this was a good experience and I look forward to working toward my next goal: $5000 saved by the end of 2012. Hopefully that goal will go better than this one!

Peppermint mocha-ed out,


Sunday, November 20, 2011

End of Budget Week #3

As budget week #3 came to a close, I started realizing that I had finally done the unthinkable; I had come in under budget!

Woo hoo for me! Ok, it was less than $2 under budget, but I'm still pretty happy with myself. The lesson learned so far is that you really can't plan every little thing that may come up, and $30/week will not cover every necessity much less the random things you may want.

When it comes to budgeting, I'm really not that great. However, this experience has changed how I view even simple food purchases. I went with spinach and cheese tortellini over the prosciutto and cheese borsetti because the former was $1 less. Guess what? It was delicious!

This is now the last week of my $30/week budget. Wish me luck!

Happy but not hungry,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The joys of being a CSR: part 2

So if you read my previous post on the topic, you know that one of my recent experiences with a certain customer was quite interesting. Well, I responded by letting him know UPS hadn't updated the information, and asked if he would like a reshipment or refund. This was his response.

"My Dear K,

What's up G?! Thanks for writing me back and thanks for doing it with such enthusiasm! I know you did not particularly ask for this assignment and for that I must apologize. However, now is a big opportunity for you to step up and make a difference not only in my life but the millions and millions of people affected by this situation. I know, it's a lot to take in... I'll give you a second to take a deep breath and let the gravity of the situation set in....

Good. Now that we are both on the same page it is time to discuss this issue of whether I ask for a refund or for a reshipment of my order. You can understand the position this puts me in. Part of me would like to receive a refund and spend my money elsewhere but there is still a desire for me to actually have the products I ordered. This reminds me of a childhood memory where I was faced with a very similar situation. You see K, when I was the ripe old age of 6 maybe 7, I was quite the backyard Wiffle Ball star of my neighborhood. I believe on this particular day it was Game 5 of our neighborhood World Series and I was glad to be in my backyard and have home field advantage. It was just before the 7th inning stretch and things were really starting to heat up, not only on the field but also in my Incredible Hulk underwear. What I didn't tell you was that I had a terrible addiction to chocolate milk back then and nothing got my poop reactor working overtime like drinking a tall glass of the hard stuff and then hustling around the bases in the warm August sun.

I remember it clearly. I was on deck with one out and it was at this time that I had to make a critical decision. I could either A, run over to the hedges by the back door, pop a squat and make it back just in time to hit the go ahead double into the gap OR I could go with option B and try to hold back the flood gates until the next inning but I would risk destroying my underwear and self esteem on a hard slide into 2nd base... After carefully weighing the pros and cons I went with option A. To this day I think I made the right call but what I failed to realize at the time was that my father had been standing in the kitchen window and witnessed the entire horrifying deuce dropping. He was not pleased. He laid into me so bad with his belt that not only was I unable to finish out the wiffle ball game but I was forever cursed with a fear of belts which now explains my elastic dress pants.

I guess what I'm trying to say K is that I'm afraid to make the wrong decision here. I think the best thing to do in this case would be for me to go with option A and B. I would like you to go ahead a process a reshipment of my order but I would also like a refund. And... if you would be a little lamb and throw in one of those alligator skin covers for my iPad I would be forever grateful. I'm glad we were able to work this out K, you're not only a good person.... you are now my friend.


Stupid Customer"

Dude. Seriously? If he wanted to write a novel, send it to a publisher, not customer service. And no, we did not give him all his heart desired. He received a refund.

The best part of all this? His email address is the same one he uses on Facebook, meaning I could see what he looked like, know his wife's name, and now know where he works. Besides having his home phone number and address.

Wanna go psycho on me? Two can play that game! ...but I won't.

Just a girl doing her job,


Monday, November 14, 2011

End of Budget Week #2

So week #2 of my $30/week budget is now over. Whew! So how did I do this time around? I went over. Again.

Saturday really got to me again. The Starbucks I could handle, as it only got me up to $33.40 (a dollar less than week #1 total. However, getting ready to go out dancing threw me for a loop. Oh, Kandee Johnson, why did you have to make such a fabulous pin-up makeup tutorial?

Where did the $10 go that brought me up to $43.40? L'Oreal Infallible Lip Color in Beyonce. Well, perhaps I should see it as an investment. I love having red lips, and this stuff does NOT come off. I seriously had to scrub my lips raw with my toothbrush before it would give way.

Back to the budget. I was over by $13.40, and that rolled over into this week. After grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, I am up to $13.58. WHAT?? Yes, that's right. I only spent $0.18 on groceries today. Fabulous couponing? Tons of freebies? Nope. My sister had given me a $20 gift card for part of my birthday present. I didn't realize how much was on it, so it was a pretty pleasant surprise when I only had to dig out a quarter to hand over before receiving my change. So thanks go to my sister for helping me get through this week. I now have yummy food in my fridge, including a block of Italian truffle cheese. Heck yeah, Trader Joe's!

Living it up,


Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Rom-Com Lie

Oh, those romantic comedies! They get you every time, don't they? I've noticed a trend in a lot of them. A fabulous girl has to make a choice between two guys. They're both sweet and care about her, but here are the major differences.

Alpha guy - Usually the guy she meets second in the storyline, he has a lot going for him. He's usually well-off financially, mature, handsome as can be, and over all a great catch.

Beta guy - Typically the first guy the girl meets. Beta will have some other-level connection with the heroine, such as neither can stand kalamata olives on their pizza or they both speak fluent Icelandic. This guy, however, doesn't really have as much going for him but he actually plays up this fact. "Do you really need a nice home with a white picket fence when you have my undying love? So what if I play WoW all night every night and live with my parents? Is that what love is truly about??"

For some reason, the girl always goes for Beta. In real life, the Beta is not the better guy. In real life, Alphas usually can offer just as much of a connection, but they can also keep up their own side of the bargain.

Another way to describe the differences: men vs. boys. All men start out as boys, but some boys grow up to become men. Others just stay overgrown boys their whole lives. And it's ok. Romantic comedies say so.

Waiting for an Alpha,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

What if?

Have you ever read a book and wished that you were the heroine? Or perhaps you wish that life were like the soap operas where you have amnesia and wake up with a glamorous life and 5 different men fighting for you? Perhaps you've found yourself paging through celebrity magazines, fixated on the fabulous lives of the beautiful people.

There are so many "what ifs" in life. What woke up one day and realized that you were a queen? What would you do? Well, we all know what Lene Nystrøm would do.

What if you won a lottery and (after taxes) took home $5 million? What would be the first thing you would do?

What if you simply were not you? What if you were that other girl over there? The one who always looks pulled together with perfect makeup, perfect hair, and let's face it - the perfect body. What if you were her? Does she have a boyfriend or does she play the field? Does she have a foreign accent, or is she a midwest girl?

But what if you lived in another country? What if everything you knew about the world and people were different? What if your very existence ran completely opposite to how it is now? Would you notice?

No, because you would be different.

While I may wish to be so many things that I'm not, and sometimes wish to be more beautiful or smarter, or maybe wealthier, I am who I am. That will have to do, since it's all that I am. But I make my storyline. I am the heroine of this novel. I am the leading lady who entrances with a glance and dazzles with a smile. Or if not, I can be that. I just need to find out how...

Ever the same,


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The joys of being a CSR

Going through some emails recently, I came across this gem:

"I swear to f***ing god you losers need to cancel my order and refund my money. You are absof***inglutely pathetic. I have contacted UPS several times and they say they have not received your package that your "supposedly shipped" on 10/21.

You do realize what you are doing is stealing money. I know it is only a $40 order but I am willing to spend $440 on a plane ticket to come physically assault you for being such a sh***y company."

Lovely, yes? The issue was that UPS had not updated the tracking information for this order. Thus, he assumed that the package had never been sent and decided to go on a rant and threaten bodily harm.

Besides being a rude and disgruntled customer, this man also makes a Sex & the City reference. Hmm.

Killing with kindness,


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Beautiful moments

"These moments, as beautiful as they are, are evil when they're gone." ~Ultraviolet

There were two moments that stick in my mind, these beautiful painful moments that remind me of what once was. I knew even in those moments that they were fleeting, and wished with my whole heart that they could last forever.

Once was on the pier looking out over the Seattle waterfront. We had just finished dinner at a local seafood restaurant, and we wanted to walk along the water. The last of the sun's rays fell behind the horizon, and I shivered a bit in the cool of the evening. In the dusk, he wrapped his arms around me, and we gazed out at the water and the colors the sun had left behind. It was magical and over far too soon.

The second time was again on the waterfront, but this time it was the Edmonds waterfront. He wanted to show me how beautiful it was watching the sunset where he lived, so we walked down to the beach. After he took a family picture for some tourists, he leaned against a large rock, pulled me against him, and we took in the breathtaking view. Somehow, despite the beauty all around, I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on what I was feeling, encased safely in his arms. I wanted to make this moment into a memory that would last for some time. I didn't know when I would ever feel this at peace, this content, this happy, or this perfect again.

Dreaming of moments to come,


End of Budget Week #1

Yesterday was the end of my first week on the $30/week budget. How did I do? Not so well. I spent $34.76. I had spent only $13.76 up until Saturday night, but I figured I could spring for Taco Time for my mom, little brother, and I. Yes, it went over, but sometimes that happens.

So what happens this week? I could give up as a complete failure. I could shrug it off and just start over. Or I can do what I am already choosing to do...roll over the amount I spent over my budget to this week's expenses. Today is only Sunday, but between that and a Starbucks run (caffeine was necessary today), I'm up to $11.93 for this week. I think I'll be able to manage. I have food in the fridge as well as some $0.79 pot pies for lunches I bought on Friday.

It's good to know that I can manage well enough, even if I did go a few dollars over. In the scheme of things, it really isn't that much and I'm learning where my money goes.

Saving-challenged in Seattle,


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Budget Begins

I am on day two of the $30/week budget. So far so good, but I haven't really felt like shopping today or yesterday. I think that as the month moves on, it may become more difficult.

My co-workers and I got together so that Kat could teach Mariko and I how to crochet. Kat suggested grabbing pizza, but as we were all on a budget, I started thinking of cheap options. Then it hit me like a thunderbolt! Little Caesar's has hot $5 pizzas available all day everyday. Split 3 ways with tax, it was only about $2 each. Very nice. Pair that with the soda I already had stocked up on when it went on sale for $0.69/2 liter, and we were set.

My hope is that I will stumble across the secret to truly saving money. It isn't just about cutting back here and there, it's about making changes. It's about giving up on things that really don't matter than much anyway. I don't need new dress shoes, but look at where that $40 could go - toward a trip somewhere exotic! Or perhaps toward an evening out with friends. Either way, if I can go without, I need to do so for right now. This may be a bit trying, but I plan to make it through the month and maybe have a few dollars tucked away.

Saving in Seattle,


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shut up and pass the lard, please

Evidently, QFC thinks I have a problem. A problem of the eating variety. Today I met my co-worker at the nearby QFC to purchase some goodies for one of our associate's birthday. She bought a box of donuts, I grabbed a box of cupcakes.

As I was checking out, the checker handed me a store coupon that had automatically printed due to my cupcake purchase. What treats would it offer me for a nice low price? Healthy Choice frozen meals. Evidently, QFC thinks my cupcake purchase was a bad decision.

Your favorite oinker,