Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Productive Day:

Hey, look at what they have at Walmart:

Neato basket carts. Perfect for the shopper who isn't buying enough to bother pushing a full cart, but is lazy enough to not want to carry what they are going to buy.

You can see I found my popcorn popper!

And got snuggly slippers too:

Best of all, on my way back to the subway I popped into an optical store on a lark cuz my prescription has changed and I'm tired of having to squint even when I'm wearing my glasses. Not only did I find two pairs that I liked, when I asked if either of them were on sale for Boxing Week (thinking maybe that would help me decide), the owner gave me one hell of a deal if I took both of them! (since I'm into declaring percentages ... 60% off!) Yay. One pair is kind of a everyday sort of style and the other is a little snazzier and I've never had two pairs of glasses with the right prescription at one time so that I can decide which pair I'm "in the mood" to wear. I'm quite excited.

The store doesn't do the lenses themselves, so it will be about a week or so before I can pick them up ... but you know I shall share when I can.

And THEN, I got back home in time to watch Judge Judy. Life is good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I think I'm hitting Walmart tomorrow --

-- for some last minute Boxing Week sales.

Pray for me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Debbie's Day Out

Oddly, I decided to get up early and partake of Boxing Day sales today. There were enough usually expensive items I needed that I decided to do a sweep of Eaton Centre and get it over with.

So my alarm rang at 7 a.m. About an hour later I got up, after an indepth debate with myself regarding how much do I really need material goods.

This was my Christmas season weather this year:

I trudged out into the rain, and chose the streetcar downtown rather than subway. I actually prefer the streetcar. There's no labrynth of underground tunnels to get to the train, and no transfer of lines required. One seat, and I'm done. It wasn't that crowded...

Everyone else was taking the subway, no doubt.

I wasn't sure what to expect crowd-wise at the mall...

I'd say it was on par with any December day at WEM. I've never been to Boxing Day WEM. December day WEM is annoying enough.

About three hours later I was done. I walked to specific stores to compare prices, then returned to the stores that survived the economical scrutiny. I stared at the large boxes of crock pots in a few stores before deciding that I do not want or need one so very much that I wanted or needed to haul one of *those* home on the bus with me.

Leaving the mall, I noted the cops were out on patrol:

I thought I still had enough energy to go see a movie. After walking about 15 minutes to a theatre, the movie I wanted wasn't even playing there. My energy rapidly merged with the falling rain to slip down into the sewers. Home it was to be.

(At the bus station, an obviously nicotine-crazed squirrel ignored my proximity to boldly snatch a nearby cigarette butt away)

So, you ask, what did I get?:

A phone/built-in answering machine for 50% off:

(technically it is two phones, but I don't foresee setting up the second one in this apartment ... it was still a good deal)

Castle, Season One, a tv series I love but wasn't going to get on DVD, until I saw one copy sitting on a shelf, out of order with its brethren, taunting me with its availability. Merry Christmas, Me:

(this wasn't discounted at all -- jerky Future Shop)

An exhausted gift card from Bro and Sis-In-Law, which netted me three books ...
Diamant's book, like Castle, was sitting out of order on the shelf, which I took as a sign because I love her work and was not aware she had a new book out (30% off). Grisham I got because, again, was not aware a new book existed (20% off). Crichton had to be bought because the guy still releases new books despite having been dead for over a year (talk about prolific), a choice which was made further miraculous when the cashier informed me that their scanning system was malfunctioning today -- it would ring up this book 60% off instead of 30%, so the store was just going to let their scanning system have its way. Happy unexpected extra discount, Me.

And, most excitedly of all (sarcasm is so hard to depict in a blog), I needed a new non-stick skillet:
Well, I guess it was mildly exciting -- 70% off.

So, now onto the foot-soaking portion of my day:

(this post made possible by the good folks at Nikon, courtesy of the parental units this Christmas season)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Puff, Skipper and Rose say:

Merry Christmas!

SnowDeb adds:


Monday, December 21, 2009

Bah Humbug

I do not want to be one of “those customers”. I truly don't. But when I sent my Xmas presents out on the 10th to be sure they'd get to Medicine Hat in time, I admit it, I did not accommodate for the 11 days they are going to stay sitting in Mississauga according to the electronic tracking. And why would my packages just pit stop there? Afraid of the weather. I see no fine print on my receipt saying "if packages don't feel like getting chilly, we won't force them to travel". In fact, I kind of pay a federal service to force them out into the cold to make them travel. They’re packages! They’re easy to pick up and move around. They, by definition of inanimate existence, can’t fight such manual manipulation as grabbing them, tossing them on a truck, and driving them where you want them to go.

Canada Post Customer Service Lady actually said I "shouldn't expect mail delivery if the weather is bad". Hello?! Excuse me?! Don’t expect mail service if Alberta gets bad weather?! Isn’t that like saying don’t expect mail service in Alberta? Hello?! How long has Canada Post been in existence? They don’t have a plan for bad Alberta weather yet? It caught them off guard? Left them scratching their heads about what to do when they’re face to face with a snow drift? Black ice? A snowflake on their windshield? Has the world gone mad?! If Alberta hasn’t dropped off the continent, I haven’t heard anything that would derail operations being pretty much business as usual at Canada Post.

Trying very hard to not be “one of those customers”, I did not say any of the above. Right up to the point where the Canada Post Customer Service Lady said I didn’t pay for “Guaranteed Service”, so it isn’t like Canada Post is obligated to get my package anywhere (given, you understand, how they never “guaranteed” they would), right up to then I tried to avoid being one of those customers who take it out on the messenger. Stupid, thoughtless, makes no sense messenger. Then I became one of those customers. Sigh. Asked the woman if she truly believes what she said to me would appease her in my position. If she had sent out packages two weeks ahead of time just to be sure they get there, would being told she hadn’t paid for “guaranteed” service make her feel better about not getting service period, even though the very act of handing over money with my package involved an implicit expectation of service, and acceptance of said money came with it an implied acceptance of that expectation. For, indeed what did I pay for, if not the taking of my package from one location to a location of my choice (Medicine Hat), not theirs (Mississauga)?

She said she wasn’t going to answer personal questions.

I believe a sigh escaped my lips, perhaps followed by the syllable “Fine”. She replied “Thank you for calling.” I counter “No. Thank you.”

Then I tracked her down, stuffed her in a box, wrapped her in plain brown paper and FedEx’d her to Mississauga.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I am O-K

The Carnivore Cupcakes were delicious, and in no way E-coli-y.

Friday, December 18, 2009

We're Cookin' Now!

I saw this recipe in a magazine a few weeks back, and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.

They’re like Meatloaf Cupcakes. Well, when I put it that way, it’s downright unappetizing. But put it in your own appetizing way, and you too won’t be able to get them out of your minds.

So, as with most things in my life, I had to wait for the overwhelming urge before I’ll stop thinking about what I want to do, and just go do it. (Hmm. Explains my relatively sudden exit from Alberta. Go figure.) Tonight was the night. I hauled my flat butt (flat from sitting on a couch for days on end) to the grocery store armed with my shopping list and picked up what I would need for Carnivore Cupcakes. Hey – that’s what I’m going to call them!

So here is the Before:

Lest you be unable to believe your own eyes, here is the evidence that I put the Before together with my own two hands.

Literally. Mmmm, mushing meatloaf ingredients between my fingers to combine. Followed later by a scalding hot hand wash because I have a thing about touching raw meat. (I have a rather vivid sensory memory of a Shake N’ Bake misunderstanding while I was in university. Seriously, man. When your directions say “Toss chicken in Shake N’Bake. Put unused Shake N’Bake in fridge to use later” I am going to dump all the Sn’B in a bag, toss my chicken in, shake off the chicken to cook it, then put the bag o’ Sn’B in the fridge. To continue using over the course of the next week. Ask Public Health. They have a file on me and the visitors I had in the lower regions of my digestive system that memorable April. Wait ... what was I saying? Oh, yeah. Scalding hot hand wash) Which is why these dishes are waiting in the sink patiently for the water I was boiling at that moment to drench them before washing them with scalding hot water.

This, is After:

And here is dinner:

Yay me.

(... if you don’t hear from me in a few days, call Public Health ... )

Early Morning Sap

Yesterday morning I woke up after only 4 hours of sleep for no reason. Asleep, then poof, wide awake. I was so choked. I turned on the tv to watch the morning news because a few days earlier it cheered me up to see all the traffic snarls that I was not a part of, but all it did was make me really hungry because the segment was on some breakfast diner that was having an anniversary of some kind. So I went to the MacDonalds that is two blocks away. Waste of my time, frankly, cuz after sucking back an egg mcmuffin and hash brown (which I had to wrap in a few napkins to sop up excess oil first), I was still hungry. But by then I was sleepy again, so I lay down on the couch and snoozed.

BUT the MacDonalds was giving out flyers that the Olympic Torch was passing by it today at about 7:30 in the morning. I wasn't going to get up that early again ... but what else do I have to do?

Got a little teary as it passed. I was pretty tired.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Picture Puzzler

A friend sent me another picture from the wrap party.

As I looked at it, and recalled the good times, I was struck by something really unusual. See if you can spot it:

I'll give you all some time to guess...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmassy State of Mind

I had been staring at my apartment for a few weeks now, wanting to dress it up for the Christmas season. But as with cleaning my apartment, I usually spend a lot of time staring and planning the event until my subconscious is sick and tired of going through the motions theoretically, and creates a compulsion on my part to rise from my lazy butt and just do it.

So my subconscious finally threw its hissy fit tonight.

It's a little busy, sure. But I got rid of most of my furniture when I moved, so I have few spare locations to set up a tree, and my beloved Puff. So I had to use a random box -- but how un-Christmassy is a random box? Solution? Gift wrap it. =)

(of all the things I sold or donated or threw out when I moved, I kept this silver tinsel boa at the box's base. I'm an odd little girl.)

My bookcase always needs something to dress it up. Tacky? Perhaps. Care? Not me.

Heh. Speaking of tacky...

This below actually turned out better than I had suspected it would when I had the thought "Hey, I wonder if I have anything in my apartment with which to make a wreath for my balcony door?" :

Enter wooden embroidery ring -- you know, the type that is supposed to keep your embroidery project taut. (do I have an embroidery project? yes, yes I do. I think Gramma gave it to me when I was in junior high. have I started it? yes. yes I have. a few times now) Wrap a smaller green tinsel boa that also survived the great Alberta purge around it and secure with red and gold bows and little plastic snowflakes that are supposed to be on the tree but wouldn't fit once I put on the second string of lights (I actually have a third string of lights that pained me to put away, but ultimately I had to admit to myself that a three foot tree just can not WITHSTAND three strings of lights ... I have every suspicion my subconscious will come up with some other place to put them, though. It's tricky like that.) I had expected this to be the King of Tacky Christmas decorations ... but I think it actually falls on the side of Fun Christmas decorations.

I said the wreath is NOT tacky.

You don't get to judge me.