seryn: dreamsheep (dreamsheep purple)
I need a new watch. I'm torn between wanting awesomely cool features and wanting it to be cheap.

I like digital watches. I'm finally old enough that I can tell time at a glance off an analog clock, but analog watches often don't have all the numbers on the face and the whole thing is usually so tiny that the difference between the hour hand and the minute hand is negligible. I did find a watch with a narrow strap and a super giant analog face that had all the numbers on, but you know, that's going to look pretty idiotic.

I rather liked the silicone plastic watch band on my current (and completely dead) watch. If the watch hadn't had such annoying design flaws like being easier to turn on the alarm than to see the date and having buttons that were pressed just by moving my hand around, I would consider just buying another one. I was leery of the plastic band, but unlike the cloth bands, it didn't mold even though I got it wet a lot (handwashing). I'm uninterested in a metal band.

I have two criteria that I use for evaluating the satisfaction I will have with the watch. Firstly I look at the display's number size relative to the overall size of the watch. There's no reason it can't be of a maximal size. Second I look at how well contrasted the numbers are against the background and how cluttered the display is.

Strangely this makes me really loathe the two main brands, Casio and Timex. Timex has low contrast displays that are hard to see even under fluorescent lights at the store, so they'd be worthless while driving or sitting on the couch in the evening. But both brands spend so much real estate telling you their branding and adding "decorative" framing that there's really only a quarter of the space that's used for displaying the time. That might be okay if the rest was a solar panel or was actually attractive, but usually the stuff is just junky looking and distracting.

My $10 watch from Target had really dark really large numbers and almost no dreck. Most of the Timex watches are 4 times as expensive without adding any features and much more difficult to read.

I'd kind of like a watch with an altimeter, that knows what the time is and sets itself, that will display my pulse rate when I'm at the gym, that has an actual timer (not a stopwatch that counts UP, one that counts DOWN), and preferably one where the display can be set to JUST show the current time.

Oh, and I want a watch that's not made in China.

Yes, I do actually need a watch. I've spent a shockingly large amount of time in hospitals in the past year and they get really irked when you take out your phone, even if you're just checking the time.

I can't figure out where to buy a watch from either. I wasn't happy with the selection at Target, fancy stores only have analog watches, so I started looking on Amazon. Of course I've had problems with shipped watches, they arrive with dead batteries, always. It's like the post office does something to them.
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
Hmm. I do believe I may have made a decision to change cell phone providers.

I need a new phone. Mine is the Palm Pre and Google has announced that they're deprecating the external API for chat in about a month. My phone already can't have gmaps--- and the Bing variant is lousy in comparison--- it makes me want a GPS. I use the gchat a lot. I don't need it, but since it takes several minutes for SMS chats to go through (and sometimes it takes days), the gchat is a lot more reliable as long as everyone is logged in.

Everything I'm looking at in terms of smart phones says it's a 4GLTE phone. But the newest Samsung Sprint has (Galaxy Nexus, which isn't officially out yet according to Amazon, unless you're with Verizon) doesn't connect to the 3G network (some sort of bug) but the worst is that Sprint doesn't have an LTE network and won't be covering anything in California for the foreseeable future during their rollout of LTE. They've announced a handful of cities that are getting LTE in 2012. So.... they're selling a smartphone for full price ($200 with service is still full price to me) ((while Verizon is selling the same phone for $50 with service)) but it can only get data via wifi. Seriously. Although Sprint has an in-place 4G network, it's wimax and this phone doesn't do wimax.

I'm obviously not going to do business with AT&T. It kept me from getting an iPhone when they were exclusive to AT&T. Now I can get iPhone anywhere, so there's even less incentive.

I'm trying to decide if I want an iPhone or an Android one. I like having the Google stuff magically work. I loathe iTunes. But I'm really really really tired of stuff just not working. I don't want to worry about my phone getting hacked remotely. I don't want to worry about essential apps costing $2 all the time. The clock should work. But I need to be able to read email from all my accounts and send/reply to email. It's important to me since that's my preferred communication platform. I don't care if it will automagically upload my photos to facebook (I'd rather it didn't.) And I don't want to continually run into extra data charges--- so if I go with a non-unlimited package, there needs to be a cut-off so I don't incur fees.

But stuff doesn't work right now. It already doesn't work. I can't use my phone as an alarm clock. I can't scan QR codes and be automatically included in whatever that was. I can't do video chat. And there is NEVER an app for that. Plus the voice quality on my phone sucks, so it's not good for making calls. I don't like the slide out physical keyboard.... it's just time for an upgrade.

When I realized that no Sprint phone could be an upgrade because I'm going to get the exact same 3G speeds I'm getting now, if I'm lucky... I decided I need to switch carriers. What an enormous hassle.
seryn: food stuff (food)
One useful thing about stores that aren't open 24 hours is that there is often a lull near closing time.

I've been having a hard time making it to Trader Joes first thing in the morning. But when I go 45 minutes before they close, most of the frozen stuff has been stocked for the morning, and even if they're out of something, it's still worth it to be able to park and shop in under 30 minutes. In the afternoons, sometimes it takes 15 minutes just to park.

They had sorbet again tonight... for a while they only had that coconut milk ice cream stuff which Simon won't eat and everything else was dairy-based.

But I admit, I'm exhausted. I didn't even want food, I just wanted some iced tea.

Well, that's not entirely true, if there'd been a drive-through fast food place, I might have gone for that.

I got home, put the food away, unloaded the dishwasher, cleared the counters, made Simon his supper and am planning to take my kindle to bed.
seryn: frozen water drop (save point)
Everyone else did a "where am I now?" status update for the new year. Yeah, well, some stuff happened and I couldn't find a way to talk about it at all. I explained it in chat to a friend who said, "There isn't enough o.O in the world."

Some things went well. The gifts I labored to send (even though they weren't handmade) were tolerably received. Simon seems to like his gifts from me.

After not receiving anything at all, I bought myself a few things in addition to the slippers I got for half off.

I bought the "commercial bin rack" by Seville Classics that I'd had my eye on for months. It's pretty expensive for what it is, but I really wanted it and I have about 8 uses for it, so even if it doesn't work for clothing storage (and I'm not whelmed in that regard) it would be great for a number of other things. The assembly was harder than it needed to be because the shelves have orientation that isn't specified in the directions, but otherwise was very easy.

I also ordered myself a set of PrismaColor colored pencils. There's no real reason for buying them, but I wanted them anyway. Those are the name brand colored pencils and they're supposed to be blendable, so better for artistic purposes.

I also bought a faux-fleece lined fleece vest. It went on sale from LLBean. I'm not normally one for polyester, but the outer shell was cotton-poly blend and the fuzz on the inside is washable. I like the huge collar on this vest because I have no hair. I remember ordering one years ago and thinking no one would ever want that because it pinched my hair if the hair was trapped underneath or gave me that big hair fluff if I pulled the hair over the collar. The collar goes right up to the hairline, so it's perfect for this hair. I should have spent the money 3 months ago. Probably it will get warm now and I won't have any use for this until next year.

I called the cleaner on Friday. She's coming tomorrow and Simon helped me tidy today. I have a lot of laundry that needs doing and everything needs scrubbing. I can't do it all even though I should be able to.

I still haven't ported over the stuff from my old computer to the new one. If I did that, I could use the big external monitor and clear off my desk. That would be spiffy.
seryn: water drop  (drop)
I didn't talk about this before, but I ordered coats from Scott E Vest for Simon and I. They fit exactly as the size chart says they will. The coats I liked best at the time were the Fleece 5.0. Those are only available in men's sizes. I ordered the L and the XL and both Simon and I were pretty comfortable in either in terms of fit. But the half-a-bazillion pockets were all completely butt-stupid. I'm cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs about pockets, everyone who has ever heard me talk about clothes, ever, knows this. But the ScottEVest pockets were dumb. They were counting pockets for an SD card as one of the pockets. There was a passport pocket so thin that if you have to have extra pages, you'd be screwed. But the obvious pockets, like where you'd put your hands? cluttered with other crap, like the keychain clip and water bottle elastic. Admittedly the fleece from ScottEVest was 7 times nicer than the cheapest fleece vest from LandsEnd, both in terms of texture, thickness, warmth, fit and oddly-- odor. But it was literally 7 times more expensive. If you're considering the fancy super pocket vests, you should definitely check the returns policy. It might be exactly what you want, but if not, you want to not have wasted all that money.

In that vein, I don't particularly like the LandsEnd fleece vest. I bought the one that was on sale and it ended up being thin and kind of staticky. But it was $25 or so and Simon wanted a black one in XL... the LandsEnd XL for men is enormous. I tried it on and looked like a pregnant hippo. Still, he tried it on and said it fit like he wanted it to fit, so we kept it. I'll probably replace it when I see a better option somewhere I can touch the fabric.

I do, however, really like the cotton hoodie sweatshirt I got from LLBean. It was $20, it's blue, like that denim shade of medium blue that's been grayed a bit. The hood stays up and it doesn't have strings. The sleeves aren't too long and I can use the pockets. It's also not polyester.

Simon bitched about not having pajama shirts. He's extremely picky. He wants long-sleeved shirts that are very soft and have no buttons and no collars or turtlenecks. I gave him my long-sleeve men's undershirts that I bought like 6 years ago and those are perfect. But no one sells anything like that anymore as far as I can tell. So I got him some pajama shirts from the women's section at Target. He loves them except complains the sleeves are too short and told me I should have bought them in "tall". But the ones from the women's came in purple and bright red and have scoop necks that don't mess up his beard. I just didn't tell him.
seryn: swimming turtle with grass growing on shell (world on my shoulders)
Do people who live in Hawaii and Florida use the same kinds of towels as everyone else? It's incredibly humid where I live, all year 'round, and my gigantic bath sheets do not get all the way dry if I shower multiple times per day, even if I alternate towels.

Additionally, Simon's mother absconded with all my hand towels and cut them up for rags. I have no earthly clue why she did this and then stacked Simon's bathroom with the hand towels that were in the back of the linen closet (His are the red ones; I hate red; he hates hand towels.)

My previous set of towels has faded to a mauve type color that is really unpleasantly pinkish red, so I am using this as a justification to replace everything. Simon can use my old towels and get rid of his old towels entirely.

Also, there's a 30% sale at LandsEnd, plus free shipping. And their towels have been nice in the past and currently come in a deep purple color they are calling "eggplant". I can get two bath sheets, two bath towels, two hand towels, two washcloths, and a bathmat for $125 including tax.

But ultra plush thick terry towels do NOT get dry in my bathroom, so I thought I would ask if there was a Hawaiian style towel or some trick I was missing. I want to shower a lot more often lately.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:45 pm
seryn: flowers (Default)
I did find some gummy vitamins that have several B vitamins in them and they don't reek like the Super B Complex from Nature Made. (Those work, but they smell ghastly even through the jar (I keep my jar in a glass jar.) and make your pee smell extra urine-y.)

Trader Joes Gummy Multivitamin. $5 for 70 gummies, which is 35 days worth. But it's missing the riboflavin and niacin thiamine... so those are probably the reeky components. But it has B6, B12 and niacin. And unlike the other TJs B vitamins, it doesn't have more niacin than is safe to consume. (Niacin has a maximum safe consumption limit, according to several medical websites and excessive niacin can cause hallucinations and weirdness.... and the Scientologists use it as part of their indoctrination methodology.)

It might be interesting to see if these work for my emotional steady-state maintenance, because I would like to determine which portions of the B-complex are the active components which help me.

edited 11pm to get the right component listed.

more of the awesomeness

Saturday, 23 July 2011 11:39 am
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
Other than desperately wishing that there was a nubbin or touchpad on the new wireless solar keyboard, I am astoundingly happy. I'm still really happy with the new computer as well. I guess when I splurge on buying myself nice things, I really mean it.
because it looks really huge and I doubt most of you want to scroll past my ramblings 4 times today )
seryn: flowers (Default)
Can anyone recommend an excellent MP3 player (not software, a small device for bringing music to the gym)?

I have 5GB of music on my iPod. Which I did not buy for myself. It's a Nano 3G 8Gb. I find the volume controls to be quite irritating, but the battery life to be awesome. It's rechargeable. Or it was.

I don't care what brand it is, but it absolutely must be rechargeable and play for more than 4 hours on a single charge and retain charge through a week of non-use.

Having read the reviews and some of the discussion about other brands, I don't see that there is a real competitor to the iPod. And Apple's obvious intent is for users to buy the Touch. It seems like, once I get into that kind of device, that I might as well buy a tablet.

There are a lot of people who don't like the newest generation of Nano. I think the Shuffle has some detriments (especially people saying that breathing on it causes water damage and it's going to be totalled if you use it at the gym, which is my main use), but that's screen I need for music playing and it should, theoretically, increase the battery life.

I was using my phone at the gym, but my phone's headphone jack is dodgy. I couldn't use my phone to make calls after I'd plugged in headphones because the phone couldn't tell when they were removed... but I guess if I can live without an MP3 player until I replace my phone, I could use the phone as a music player. I paid less for my phone than the current generation of Shuffle costs.

Simon has one of those $10 cheapy MP3 players. It was originally mine, which he bought for me when I got envious of his. But he gave me the Nano and when his died, I gave him my cheapy one. The buttons were crappy, it used actual fucking batteries (which we never have, thus it requires a special trip to the store) and it was about the size of a box of travel size toothpaste. It's a dumb device, so there aren't initial setup issues. You plug it into the USB port, you copy just the songs you want to shuffle onto it (it doesn't know playlists) and it just does that.

I would like playlists. But honestly, I could cope without them as long as the device is rechargeable.

Any recommendations?

ps. I did order that keyboard.
seryn: flowers (Default)
Do I want a solar-charging wireless keyboard?

+ Logitech
- not illuminated like current Saitek Eclipse II (which is a stellar keyboard but needs replacing from user abuse, and I sometimes pull the keyboard off my desk when the wire catches my foot on the footrest, so the wireless aspect interests me.)

It looks like it will fit on the desk space allocated to the current keyboard, and with it being wireless, I could slot it into a napkin holder when I wasn't using it.

I'd never buy a wireless item that wasn't rechargeable (I have battery issues), but cordless charging is the way to go. I've really enjoyed the touchstone charger for my Palm Pre phone.

(Interestingly enough there are cradle-charging vibrators now, no cords and more importantly, no holes for the cords to dock, increasing the water resistance and decreasing hygiene issues dramatically.)

I'm also considering buying speakers. I found a set on sale which claim to play music directly from MP3 players, so they're not just computer speakers. That would allow me to have music on when I'm at home but don't want to use headphones. The concern is what kind of plugs they have. Maybe it would be better to get some that also charge the player? I don't really need computer speakers. The dinky ones built into the monitor are more than sufficient. I have them muted 98% of the time. Simon, however, might like some. So I could buy them during the sale and if I didn't like them, he might?

These speakers here:

ps... are people irritated that I rarely change the icon I use?

pps. I didn't say this publicly, but I bought a new computer over the weekend. It's not here yet.
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
My brain is not paying attention to the details:

There was a tech blog post about the new Starbucks app for Android phones... where you can flash your phone and buy things at Starbucks...

I want that.

Keep in mind that 1) I do not have an Android phone. 2) I don't go to Starbucks. and potentially actual issues assuming I solved 1 and 2: 3) How can that possibly be secure? and 4) That doesn't go on my phone bill, right?

But I really really want that kind of thing.

I secretly love that most places you can swipe your credit card and if it's under $some_amount you don't have to sign for it. Even though, obviously, if your wallet were stolen, that would add up fast. It's just so much more convenient... not to mention since most stores have those electronic signature pads now and an electronically stored signature is valid in perpetuity there are issues with actually signing for it.

I stopped using my debit card because so many places had their access hacked and gobbled up the transmitted information, including PINs. Giving thieves the card and PIN nicely packaged together.

For a while I paid cash, but then I forgot a bag of groceries at Trader Joes (their fault) and didn't have time to go back for it, so they offered to put it back on my credit card, but couldn't do so with a debit card. Huge hassle there.

I bought my DW account with cash that I converted into a money order at the post office. And I usually buy my lunch with cash... even though it's real money, I don't have to account for it at the end of the month when the statement comes... "You went out for lunch 13 times?" Though my personal economic model prefers that because I don't count the change in my pocket and decide whether I want to add cheese based on whether I would then need to break a twenty to buy my lunch. It turns out that most restaurants don't like it either because people order less and tip worse when it's cash only. Plus there's the whole cash drawer stuff where you have to worry about theft and have change on hand.

I think what I want most is for buying stuff to stop being a huge hassle. Probably that's why Starbucks wants this too. If it's not a hassle, people will be less deterred by the queue.

It's even weirder that I want this because I looked at our year-to-year trend in finances and we spend less money total every year on non-essentials (utilities, rent, food).

I think I need a new phone. Because I want to be cool. I don't feel cool now. I feel like the waiter at the Thai restaurant yesterday singing along to Katy Perry. Yes. He's gay. But still. Not exactly the way I want to be noticed. I want to be noticed for my awesomeness. Which kind of precludes Starbucks.

Even these Starbucks (not my picture, hotlinked from somewhere else but it's been replicated all over so who knows where the original is.):

Then there were two.

Saturday, 28 May 2011 09:18 pm
seryn: flowers (Default)
I'm unable to decide between two laptop options.

With the same processor and the same memory and the same other options (where configurable), the unknown weight (but supposedly lighter variant) 420s 14" screen is ~$1300ish and the 15.5" 520 is ~$1300ish. Obviously if they weigh the same, I should get the bigger one? That's with the sale and the coupon but not including the "save 10% on your first order" and there's some wibbly in the numbers about tax and fees and whether I'm really buying the docking station, but I have comparable costs that are indistinguishable.

The parameters I'm using include Intel i5 2.50GHz processor and 4Gb 1 slot SODIMM memory and a 360Gb 7200RPM regular harddrive.

These are IBM Thinkpad T series. The 420 came out in March and has, with the expanded battery and probably ridiculously limited usage, a 30 hour maximum battery life. It's one of the best battery technologies on the market according to all the reviews. The 420s gets about 2/3 of that span, but is supposedly a pound lighter. The 520 gets much worse battery life because the screen is that much bigger... and because it appears to be a different battery.

So I'm going to be calling Lenovo tomorrow. I wonder if, when you call, they can tell you what your configured laptop weighs. And if you have two carts (you can save a whole cart, which is convenient since they don't add in the shipping (currently free due to the sale) tax or fees until after the cart is set.) whether they can give both numbers.

I have absolutely no idea what computers are supposed to cost. I see ads for $400 computers and I paid about $750 for my last one, I think. I know laptops cost more. I know Lenovo doesn't bother selling leftover dreck no one should waste their time buying.

Simon tried to convince me to buy a 12" one because it would be "lighter" but they don't get lighter by more than 2 ounces until you devolve into the netbook realm. The X1 is a lot lighter but it costs more and the battery life is significantly worse. And they wasted a lot of space having a [insert cursing here] touchpad right where your hand goes when you're typing when they could have made the keys normal size instead.

I'm talking myself out of buying something again.

Simon thinks it's too expensive and says he spent hundreds less on his laptop more than 3 years ago.

[edited to remove ranting about CapsLock key which is redundant and actually irrelevant.]

mocha me.

Friday, 15 April 2011 11:29 am
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
I made myself a mocha today. It's a good use of the Peet's coffee I don't like and the remaining TJs cocoa powder.

I put a teaspoon of cocoa in a giant mug, 3 teaspoons of sugar, and a couple tablespoons of cold milk. (The coffee is in the French press, brewing.) I stirred until the cocoa stopped floating on the milk, then microwaved so it would dissolve the sugar and I could check the ratio. Then I added more cold milk and the brewed coffee.

Things have not been going well and there have been a number of locked posts about it. If you're lurking, that's probably why I appear absent. But I find that little moments of pleasure are more centering to share than the woe. So I will be attempting to do more of that.

Let me share a story that starts out badly but improves near the end:

Simon was really angry that I had lunch at home yesterday, mostly because we don't have a lot of lunch-speed food (we have ingredients for long-cooking meals, but really need to visit the grocery store for fruits and salad components and other fresh items.) I had cottage cheese pancakes for lunch. It didn't suck, but it wasn't my first choice. There were some reasons for staying home, I was waiting for a phone call and for someone to come over, but the main reason I ate at home is that Simon had said last week that pizza was too expensive.

This is completely ridiculous because we get three meals for 2 out of a $20 pie; so although it's not the cheapest meal we have, it's not ludicrous by any means. I think he was not wanting pizza whenever that was, or had gone for an expensive lunch (his coworkers are all young and single and tend to buy lunch with credit cards so they don't notice how much they spend... and I know when I go out with the coffee woman and my lunch hits $20+ that I do not go out to the store to buy pre-made lamb kabobs for grilling.)

But I felt like Simon was saying that I was wasting money. So I ate at home and had cottage cheese pancakes. Simon was disgusted.

He told me explicitly to go out for lunch today. I might circumvent that and buy something pre-made at the grocery store. It costs the same as going out, but I could watch the saved Criminal Minds... restaurants have really bad entertainment compared with eating at home in front of a whole TiVo full of things you've saved.

But I might go out too... I saved $5 on a mocha. That would make any lunch I wanted practically free.
seryn: food stuff (food)
I was at Whole Foods. They had pork sausages on special. So I looked in the case and they had some very nice looking bratwurst, so I asked for some. The guy behind the butcher counter picked up mild Italian sausages. I said, "Er, The ones next to that are the bratwurst." Then I realized the signs were wrong too. And since they sell the Italian sausage in bulk, it's easy to see the Italian sausages are mis-labeled. I suggested this might be the case, but when he insisted, I said, "I want two of the white ones, whatever you're calling them, please." I got two bratwursts. They smell like bratwurst, but sure enough the wrapper says "Italian sausage".

I'm going to be doing my meat shopping somewhere else from now on.

(And no one better get on my case about Whole Foods being expensive. I live in a really expensive area and I find that with careful shopping, WF prices are actually lower and they have better selections of some items (especially organic dairy) than where I normally shop. Plus they feature locally made items. So I could save a bit more money shopping at Safeway or something, but I'd wait a lot longer in the queue and I'd be buying WTF milk.)
seryn: water drops (footprints)
Today I pushed out the corners of the duvet cover between me and the world. It doesn't actually make the cover bigger, but it does fit better just from untucking it a bit.


I had a mildly productive day today. I went out shopping. I found sports bras and looked at my "everyday pan" / "chef's pan" / "braiser/casserole pan" choices in person.

I found some adorable shoes that I did not buy because they only came in bright red.

And I went to a new place for a nice lunch.

But that was enough for one day. I would have done laundry but the laundry room was busy. I would have gone to the gym but I'd already done a lot of walking today.

I'm making my "everything lentil" soup tonight. I even planned ahead so I can puree the soup base with the lentils but still have meatballs (really meat cubes because I didn't thaw in advance and just cut the block of ground meat with a knife.) and those giant cous cous that are whole.

My shopping experience was okay. Read more... )
seryn: flowers (Default)
I have a favorite pan. It's a Calphalon "everyday" pan with a glass lid and loop handles on both sides (no stick handle at all) in the 12" size. It's a non-stick pan and unfortunately, those only last a few years before the non-stick coating has taken too much abuse and it not only begins sticking but there starts to be a concern about the coating flaking up into the food.

Calphalon no longer makes exactly this pan. They have frou-frou names for their different apparent qualities of series, but most of them have long stick-arm panhandle-shaped panhandles. These are often 10-12" in and of themselves. I have no idea how people with apartments can use these. It would not fit in my cupboard. It will not fit on my stovetop unless I have no other pans out and even then the long handle would merely be in the way. No one is going to flip food in a 5" deep 12" wide pan. The long handles are superfluous to the point of inconvenience.

We talked about what parameters we need. We need the wide surface area and that medium depth. It's shorter than a pot, but tall enough to hold, say a spaghetti sauce. It does not need to be non-stick, but the handle style is crucial. It needs to have a tight fitting lid and we like the glass lid idea, although if it were the same size, we would be willing to swap in the lid to the current pan which has no endurance issues. It needs to be rounded interior corners but without the wide slope of an omelet pan.

We don't have a brand preference, but the pan should either be cheap (but non-sucky) or enduring.

I would have ordered the Simply Calphalon "everyday" pan but it's got shipping charges when I found it on Amazon. I looked at Williams Sonoma's collection of All-Clad and their pretty copper version doesn't have the loop handles. Amazon has a 13" "brazier" pan that's very similar to the "everyday" shape I like but the lid is metal and 13" means the current glass lid will not fit... and it's $215.

Target doesn't have these "everyday" pans anymore. (That is where I bought the current one, and I got that one on clearance.)


1) What are those pans called officially? What is the cross-brand terminology for that shape of pan? The word that will automatically translate if I find a knowledgeable clerk? The word that search engines understand.

2) Why is anodized aluminum popular? It doesn't seem to help compared to powder coated aluminum and is a giant hassle to keep clean.

3) Are there people who want a 12" handle on a 12" pan?

4) Why is it so hard to find a non-nonstick pan? What is that called? I've been using -nonstick but that doesn't seem to be an effective search parameter, probably because most store search utilities aren't full-featured.

5) Brand recommendations? Is it worth 7 times the price to get All-Clad?

6) In person store shopping recommendations?

I was not thrilled with the selection when I went to Sur La Table. I had been looking at Le Creuset French ovens but they do not stock the largest size in person at their stores, not in any color, so one must order sight unseen and if one is going to do that, the price is better elsewhere. They also favor the long-arm handles on their larger skillets as well. It seems really odd to me that they would favor itty bitty pots but skillets that have a footprint over 28".

Macy's is right out because they have horrible prices and mistreated me personally... supposedly one can get a tolerable price from them during a sale, but during the sales, they're astonishingly understaffed and understocked--- it is pointless to bother when they make everything in the store out to be the last Cabbage Patch Furbie Elmo doll 2 days before Christmas.

So where do people buy cookware?
seryn: tea (virgin tea)
Sometimes I do something that everyone thinks is "cheap" but I'm not doing it for that reason.

Tonight I'm drinking tea made with used teabags. I have enough money to buy new teabags for every cup. But most teabags will make at least 2 cups, and after the first 30-60 seconds of brewing time, most of the caffeine has been extracted. So I have essentially decaffeinated my own teabags. Plus I now have lemon and orange tea. (There was one of each bag.)

There gets to be an excessive focus sometimes on throwing things out. Decluttering is a very popular thing right now. And obviously, when you have stacks of old newspapers or whatever, it can become a problem to have it all. But people are ridiculously wasteful now. I don't know anyone who would admit to reusing yesterday's teabag without shame.

One of my friends gave away all her fat clothes and then stopped exercising less than 6 months later. I don't know that she's gone all the way back to where she was, but I still have my fat clothes in case giving them away was what caused my friend to regain. I found them really useful this winter when I wanted to pull jeans on over my pajama pants when the postman wanted me to sign for my packages. I bought new jeans for the skinny me, but I probably could have just worn a belt for another couple months yet. I don't see any problem with owning 9 total pair of jeans in 4 different sizes. I'm getting ready to get rid of the largest ones now, but it's hard since those jeans have these enormous pockets.

I do need to declutter some, but I find that I'm rebelling against the social pressure. I think a lot of people need to be reminded to "Waste not, want not." But then again, almost no one cooks now. Most people I know go out for coffee. Then they wonder why they have no money.

I'm going to be here, drinking my self-decaffeinated tea blend, and wondering why I can't make any friends.

how I buy shoes

Wednesday, 26 January 2011 04:29 pm
seryn: tea (virgin tea)
The weirdest thing about knowing I have trouble buying things is how I can game the "system". I frequently buy myself new shoes when I have a doctor's appointment. I figure I'm already upset, I might as well do a second thing.

I bought Ahnu mary-janes (Benicia II) in "mood indigo" which is a navy blue color. I bought mine at a little indy store, but there is a nice picture from Zappos.

I've been home for 2 hours and feel almost flattened now that the adrenaline has dissipated.

If I didn't have to drive myself, I'd drink several shots of vodka before going. Rationally I know the doctor intends to help. It didn't really hurt either. But that doesn't change the visceral wrongness.

You can tell an arachnophobe that tarantulas are great pets all you want, but it's still not going to change their mind. No matter how loving your malamute is, you don't starve it for 3 days and then let it lick your naked belly. These things feel wrong and your hindbrain will scream at you and your flesh flinches and your skin crawls and your hair stands on end and your fingers and toes go ice cold.

If it goes on for too long where you're trapped between what you must tolerate and what you can stand, it breaks off pieces of your sanity. I just wish I was the kind of person where sanity could be shored up by really cute shoes.
seryn: flowers (Default)
This year's lame Christmas presents have become the new year's generosity.

I gave the weird plate thingy to a friend with some homemade caramels last week. Today I gave the lunch boxes (the ones I ranted about) to the coffee woman whose husband does actually take a lunch to work most days and who likes to bring her own lunch because she's a picky vegetarian.

My haircut adventure today went pretty well. I was definitely running in slow gear this morning. I left about 10 minutes later than planned but was still 10 minutes early, so obviously my plans didn't need to have had that much slack.

Can I talk about my haircut? Read more... )

I also went to lunch and found a really nice place. I had breakfast... poached eggs. Those are vastly improved by someone else making them.

Then I found two furniture stores who both have things I actually like. But I have no idea what I would actually buy. I don't like my dresser. But I don't really like dressers at all. I would like a stylish bed thing, like a headboard/footboard thing but where it has the side rails too. But Simon doesn't like non-wood, doesn't like wood with inset panels (no matter what the panels are made of) and doesn't like footboards at all because it means you can't sit at the end of the bed. It also means the bed is harder to make and you can't stick your feet off the bed. I would really like a new dining table, but mine is durable and functional and we never eat at it anyway.

Several people admired my new haircut today. And I had a great day until Simon came home and said, "Huh? It looks like hair." Now I'm cold and sad and wondering if I shouldn't have spent the money since it doesn't look any better and cutting it myself is free.
seryn: my own favorite hat (obvious)
I came up with a good idea for one of the invite codes. I snagged it for my fiber blog. At first I thought, "This way no one can steal my name." Then I realized people might actually have conversations with me, which regular blogs actively discourage because of the lack of response notification and egregious credential verifications.

Yesterday I bought myself a present. It's not really a Christmas present despite the timing. It was on my rewards list for enduring the gum surgery and I haunted the pre-holiday sales and signed up for newsletter notifications from all the vendors so I would hear about the hidden deals. But there was a year-end deal that went out yesterday and I bought a loom. 10% off with free shipping for something I've been wanting for a year? I bought it under 5 minutes from receiving the sale email. I only felt sick for 2 hours too. And! I didn't throw up. That's phenomenal progress for me to be able to make a decision to spend hundreds of dollars on a whim and not be physically ill. It was a near thing and honestly I was only able to fight it off because vomiting would have ripped the stitches to hell. I didn't keep myself awake all night worrying that I shouldn't have spent the money.

Obviously from the results of the poll, I am the only one who thinks I should be offended by the lunchbox. No one seems to disagree that it was a stupid gift, but I am the only one who was attributing it to malice. I think it's quite probable that the giver received it as a gift and regifted it. Which is what I plan to do with it myself.

Today I made banana pancakes which I served with whipped cream. I still really like that silicone whisk I bought myself. It's an amazingly fast whisk and it's nearly silent. Totally worth $20. That's what money is supposed to be for, buying things that make your life better and easier, things that every time you use them you think, "Damn, that was a great idea to buy this."

I have been liking my Kindle more. I still think it's got a clunky interface and should have been much cheaper than it was, but the really crisp text and the ultra long battery life, along with the increased privacy in public and the ability to change my mind about what I want to read even when I'm not at home... those things are all very very nice. I started an Amazon wishlist for k-books I might be willing to pay for at some point in the future. I still can't quite bring myself to buy content when the holder was so overpriced, but I'm starting to consider it.

I've got the donut baking pan in my Amazon cart. I'm still trying to convince myself I want to do that. It would be tremendously helped if I had somewhere to store it. My tiny cupboard for weird baking pans is completely full.
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