I [Heart] Target

I think I have a problem. I am a full-fledged Target addict. I am compelled to go there at least once a week, sometimes more. Today on my way home from work I will be making my third trip to Target in four days! Part of my need to make so many trips there is due to my own weirdness when it comes to crowds. I just can’t think in a crowded store, so whether I have a list or not, I just hurry through, forget things, and get out of there as quickly as possible. That’s why my favorite time to go is first thing in the morning (during the week or on a weekend, it doesn’t matter). As long as I’m there before 10 AM, it’s quiet enough that I can concentrate, search, browse, etc. So much of their stuff is just my style – housewares, clothes, accessories, etc. And then of course there’s the fact that I can pick up a mop, cat litter, and laundry detergent while I’m there.

Another problem, which isn’t specific to Target, is that often I’ll see something in a store and not buy it, then think about it for several days, and finally return to get it. That’s sort of what happened with me and the Merona 3/4 sleeve cardigan. I saw it mentioned somewhere where they wrote about how nice it was, so I picked up a black one on my next trip to the store. (I’m always searching for black cardigans.) It really was nice! I checked online and they had a million more colors, so a couple days later I went back and picked up a few more. I am wearing a purple one at the moment!

While I need more purses like I need a hole in the head, I’ve been obsessed with this Merona 4 Poster ever since I laid eyes on it. I’ve restrained myself so far. I’ve also been enamored with its cousin, this Merona Tote. I usually stick to black or brown for my purses, but I could branch out for one of these bags. Might wait until they turn up on the clearance rack, though.

I’m always getting compliments on my Target items, and I don’t think people are just being nice, so I will continue indulging in my addiction… And of course, besides clothes, there’s other items to love! I’m sure you all remember when I hunted down all those Whim dishes and serving pieces last summer?

I love reading about Target, too. Three of my favorite blogs for Target news and addiction are Slave to Target, The Recessionista, and most of all, Target Addict. Do you have any Target blog recommendations, or any favorite items?

Heroes S3 E20, 21

Going into both last week’s and this week’s episodes of Heroes I thought I wasn’t going to like them, but actually both were pretty cool (no pun intended – sorry Tracy Strauss!). I was turned off by the opening scene of Cold Snap, where Danko shaved with kind of a jerkey video effect. But all the scenes with Hiro, Ando, and Baby Matt Parkman were a hoot. As much as other people might have seen it coming, I was pretty surprised by the reveal of Rebel – I’d been thinking it was some guy in South America dressed as Simon Bolivar, based on the comics! And of course we’ll all miss cute Daphne, but at least she got a happy ending with Matt.

Into Asylum was good, except for Nathan and Claire’s random trip to Mexico (with lots of scenes verging on potentially awkward). And we don’t like Claire’s new bangs, though her fake drunk acting was funny (Random dude: “You don’t seem drunk at all.” Claire: “[giggles]”) If the shape-shifter could be anyone, why would he want to look like Danko?! If he’s telling women he’s some powerful guy, he might as well be a good-looking powerful guy! I wonder how long it’ll be before they realize Sylar’s not really dead, and that he and Danko are in cahoots. Also, if, like Danko said, Sylar would be the only one left, what would be his purpose to go on living at that point? Also, who do you think Aunt Petrelli could be?!

Linky Thursday – 3/26

Top Ten Most Annoying Alarm Clocks: I personally have no problem waking up and getting right out of bed the moment my alarm goes off. But I know lots of people will hit the snooze button for hours, missing classes, being late for work, etc. Maybe one of these will help those poor folks out? (I think the egg-laying one is the silliest.)

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine: My new favorite thing! I’ve used some of their other tinted products before, but I just cracked open a tube of the plain clear balm and I love it! (Also, you can buy it at Bath & Body Works.)

Baking with Cadbury Creme Eggs: A list of recipes using my favorite Easter candy (besides jellybeans, but you can get those anytime). The Stuffed Vanilla Cupcakes sound like an especially delicious treat.

“The Spite House” in Alexandria, Virginia: Have you heard of this house? It was named the narrowest house in America by Ripley’s at 7 feet wide, and it’s called the “spite house” because the owner walled off his alleyway to keep people from hanging out there. I’ve seen pictures of the exterior, but just saw this blog post with some interior photos – it’s decorated pretty nicely! (And now you can never again complain about your small rooms.)

Books and Binders

I have a dentist appointment after work today and without thinking I had both onions and blue cheese at lunch today! I’ll have time to go home and brush my teeth before the dentist, but hopefully I don’t stink up everyone’s faces!

I’m about halfway through The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation, which started out slowly for me but is starting to pick up now that I’ve made it to the 1970s. Still, it’s not what I was expecting it to be. It’s more of a biography of famous chefs, food writers, and other food people, and less of a cultural history of why we eat the things we eat. Oh well, that’s what happens when I idly poke around the non-fiction section when the library doesn’t have the books I want.

Speaking of books, though, I was able to find a copy of The Duggars: 20 and Counting! and flip through it last week. I really just wanted to see the page with the plans of their house, which was interesting itself – lots of little walled-off areas and offices and such, and an area called a “goodbye room,” what is that? I definitely do not need to own this book, but it might be interesting to read in its entirety if it ever does show up at the library.

Saw this sign hanging on the door of the copy center at work today:

Free Pen’s
and Binders!

That makes me want to cry. First of all, I hate it when people use an apostrophe when the word is plural, not posessive. An apostrophe does not mean “an S is on the way.” But also, why does “pen’s” get an apostrophe and “binders” doesn’t? And if it was a typo, wouldn’t you at least take a second look at the four words you’ve written before printing them on a giant poster to hang in public?

Comedy, Cat Tree

Last Sunday I went with GG to this comedy open mic he’s been going to for a few weeks. One of his local comedian friends hosts it. The only reason I agreed to go was that it was supposed to start at 5:00, and I knew we’d be home early. The show was held in a small bar attached to a nice restaurant. We got there early and ate dinner (in the bar), while waiting for everyone else to show up. GG said the show might not start until more like 5:30, because there weren’t many people there to perform. That was fine with me. Well, it got to be 6, then 7, then 8:00… and we learned that there was a new rule because GG offended someone in the dining room last time, that the comedy show couldn’t begin in the bar until everyone who was eating in the restaurant dining room had left! So the show started three hours late because of GG’s new rule!

Besides the host, who told some jokes to open the show and between each performer, there were three people performing. First was the host’s girlfriend – she hadn’t done comedy for a while, and seemed pretty nervous. Then was GG. He was told he had 10-12 minutes (which is really tons of time in the stand-up world), and ended up going for almost 20. He pretty much lost the crowd halfway through. Finally, there was a retired military guy who now works in security and was wearing a gun, which he revealed when he took off his coat just before he started performing. He didn’t really tell jokes, he just told Army stories which were sometimes funny, but really not. But you had to laugh, he had a gun!

I just bought a big cat tree on eBay for $.99 (plus $90 s&h, but still!). I think Sacha will really enjoy it – he loves climbing up stuff he’s not supposed to, and recently he’s started balancing on top of the small (about 18″) scratching post we have. So hopefully he’ll actually play with this thing! We have a spot to put it, where I was hoping to put some sort of cabinet, but that’s obviously not happening anymore… haha!

Linky Thursday – 3/19

Never Lose Your Luggage Peppy Luggage Tags: A little expensive, but cute! I wish I traveled enough to require adorable luggage tags like these. The Mosaic design is my favorite.

Homemade Thin Mints and Homemade Samoas: I’m not a baker, but I’d be willing to try these recipes for homemade Girl Scout cookies! This was the first year in a long time that I didn’t buy any, due to increasing costs and decreasing package size.

Read at Work: Awesome site that lets you access various writing genres from what looks like a Windows XP desktop. The text is displayed in what looks like generic Powerpoint presentations, which is very clever, but also kind of distracting (I was more interested in how they formatted everything than the story itself).

Duggar Videos on TLC.com

I know if I’m patient a new episode of 18 Kids and Counting will be on in just an hour, but I’ve been watching these Duggar videos on TLC.com and wanted to share some thoughts.

Let’s start with Baby 18. Nothing particularly fascinating except that cousin Amy says “You have no idea what kind of family you’re getting involved in,” which is the same thing she said on the actual episode. Was this some sort of rehearsal? Also, in the episode she happily says baby Jordyn is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Check out the wall words behind her in this video – wonder where she picked up that phrase?

Next up, the hilariously edited Dating vs. Courtship. Oh my gosh, thank you TLC editors! Especially hilarious moments include:
0:15 – Josh: “Our relationship was courtship, not dating.” Cut to Anna giving a look like “What the heck are you talking about?!”
0:58 – Josh and Anna share a giant pickle while Josh narrates that “the emotions are there but… I love her so much that I would not step over that line” (i.e. the “no kissing before marriage” line).
1:12 – It totally looks like Josh is going in for a kiss!
1:20 – Sounds like Anna didn’t get the birds and the bees talk until a couple weeks before she got married?! At age 20?! She thinks it’s important to wait until you need that information to get it because a lot of people get it too soon and regret their choices. (I can just imagine their conversation: “He’s going to put what, where?! I’m glad I didn’t know about this sooner, I wouldn’t have accepted his proposal!”)
1:58 – Producer: “Did you Google or YouTube ‘how to kiss?'” Anna: “No! …They have it on there?”
And the horrible Pa Kellar throughout. “Ohhh, I’m in love!”

In Caught On Camera, Jessa breaks a commandment when she says she didn’t throw a bagel at the cameraman when they were at the animal park! Then when she’s caught in her lie (they probably showed her the video), she goes, “Amy started it!”

Jim Bob Says Goodbye is actually pretty cute. The caption says “Jim Bob is usually the last Duggar ready to go – now we see why,” so I thought it was going to be that he had to wait for Michelle to cook him breakfast and shave his neck, or he had to take time to Aqua Net his hair or something. But the real reason is very sweet. Also:
0:30 – Jim Bob asks Michelle where the new socks and undies are that he bought. I thought they only bought used?! (Oh and Michelle has no clue. But they’re with the D batteries.)
1:25 – Michelle has scissors to cut off tags, and she pulls a size label off a shirt. Thrift stores don’t use size labels like that! Again, what happened to “buy used and save the difference?”
1:40 – Jim Bob stiffly tells Michelle how he’s going to miss her. “Take care of the baby, don’t let her come out yet.” JB continues his rehearsed speech for the camera while Hanny gets antsy.
And at the very end, see how Michelle’s “Shhh” technique works on a noisy little boy.

And finally, I think my favorite of the bunch, Kids in Charge. This takes place during the episode that airs tonight, so maybe we’ll see what they ended up getting to decorate the bathroom, which must have looked so horrible that all they can show is a shower curtain rod with towels over it. I liked seeing Jim Bob trust Jana with the money for the project – too bad, as a woman, she’s not trusted to leave the house without a group of brothers with her. I liked seeing the kids at “school” (and hooray, it looks like they do get some non-Biblical education). Poor John-David, he’ll probably never get his plane. And Jana’s face at the very end looks exactly like Pam from The Office!

(Also posted at Media Sluts.)

I have some complaints about the Facebook redesign.

I have some problems with the New New Facebook. (I actually liked the old New Facebook! I found the News Feed useful [though yes, a bit of an invasion of privacy].)

  • Two-column layout is hard to read – you have to read down one column, then go back to the top and read down the other.
  • Larger text means more scrolling, and somehow looks sloppier. It’s also inconsistent, since the text size was only increased in the News Feed on the home page and the Wall on profile pages. Text on the rest of the site is at the original small size.
  • Profile pictures have rounded corners. Looks strange, considering the squared-off look of the rest of the site. Sort of “feminizes” everyone.
  • Options to see “more of” or “less of” certain people and topics are gone. This was an excellent feature and in my opinion, one of the things that set Facebook apart as a truly customizable social networking site.
  • Every little thing that everyone does with every stupid application (even ones I haven’t installed/used) appears in the News Feed. If one friend sends a few Pieces of Flair, there goes the whole screen! I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for high school and college students who have lots of friends that are all very active users. I’m lucky that most of my friends are pretty low-volume users.
  • No more option for whether to publish a one-line, short, or full story to your wall/News Feed.
  • There is an advertisement sneakily inserted into the Highlights column. It’s the second “story” in the list, so you might not notice it like you would if it were right at the top.
  • Stories are added to your Highlights list based on popularity (e.g. links lots of your friends have clicked, photos lots of friends have commented on). So there’s probably lots of less-popular stuff you’ll never even see because it’ll never make it onto the Highlights list.

I’ll probably think of some more things – if so, I’ll add them to this list. Also, I sent this list of comments to Facebook and you can do the same.

Bad things happen in threes, so…

Last night I made spaghetti squash for dinner, and I was grating some fresh Parmesan to go on it. The cheese was really hard, and at one point my hand slipped and I grated my thumb knuckle. Owwwie. I cleaned it off and it didn’t really look that bad until a little later, when I saw that there’s definitely three grooves carved into me. (At least it was the small-hole side of the grater!)

Then I had to go to band practice. Four of us meet at one woman’s house and drive to practice together from there, taking turns driving each week. It was my week to drive. Well, I wasn’t sure I was going to make the 5-10 minute drive to her house, because my car was stuttering and puttering along, it felt like it wasn’t getting into gear, straining to get up hills, barely hitting 35 MPH. When I got out of the car, I smelled something burning, but I wasn’t sure if that was my car or something in the neighboorhood. (I opened the hood, but the smell didn’t seem to be coming from there.) So we switched driving weeks and she drove us to band. I called my service place to schedule an appointment to bring it in today. All through rehearsal I was worrying, “Am I going to be able to make it back home? Will I be able to get to the garage tomorrow?” Well, driving home it was totally fine. Driving to the garage today was totally fine. I got there and said, “You’re going to think I’m totally nuts, but…” and then explained the problem.

They were apparently working at it for a long time, because I dropped it off when they opened at 7:30 this morning and didn’t hear back from them until 3 PM, but apparently my plugs and wires need to be replaced because there’s a hole in something. They could replace just the one with the hole, but they come in sets of four anyway, and they’re all due to be replaced in another 20,000 miles, so I told them to go ahead. This is probably what was causing the problem, but they said also my air and fuel filters needed to be replaced. (I probably haven’t done this in the last couple years, and it’s really supposed to be done every 30K miles, whoops.) So my total bill for the day is probably going to be around $400. Eep. But I’ve got a ride from work to the service place with a nice co-worker, and the people at this place are so friendly and nice, and it’s stuff that would have had to be done eventually, so it’s okay.

So if bad things happen in threes, my knuckle and the car are one and two, and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled. (Or was Ivan’s goop-eye number one, and now I’m finishing up two and three?)

I had some stuff for Linky Thursday today but it was pretty lame (I was trying to go for a theme, since today is my half-birthday), so I’ll save the best ones and use them for next week.

Ivan, Day Off, H&M, WFH

Last Tuesday GG noticed that Ivan was winking his left eye. Ohhh nooo, was he getting goop-eye again? He’d had this a couple times (together with upper-respiratory infection, the first time he probably picked it up when he spent a week at the vet, and once they have it they can get it again). We had two tubes of eye ointment from when both he and Katrina had had this before, and both had 2009 expiration dates. The vet had said last time that we could use this ointment again if it came back. So I started giving him his ointment from before twice a day. He was still winking and gooping. Sometimes he looked totally fine, and we’d think he was getting better, and then he’d start winking again. So yesterday I had the day off work and I was going to call the vet because the ointment obviously wasn’t working, and… he was totally fine. I haven’t given him any ointment since Monday now, and he’s still fine. So I don’t know what his deal is, but I’m glad he’s better.

My day off yesterday was very nice. I carried over a bunch of vacation days from 2008, and they have to be used up by the end of March, so I’ll have a couple more of these. I spent the morning doing some chores around the house (because I promised myself if I took the day off I’d put all my laundry away), and then met Jess for lunch. I haven’t seen her much since she was laid off, so it was nice to sit and talk for a couple hours. Then I went over to the mall, which is great to visit on quiet weekday afternoons, except the salespeople are desperate to talk to you! I hate being accosted when I go into a store. If you want to station someone near the door to say hi, that’s fine, but then stop following me around and asking what I’m looking for and making suggestions. If I have a question or need help, I’ll come find you. Anyway, it was a nice little trip. Then I came home and tried to take a nap but GG kept calling me! He came home and I finally did get a nap, so it was a little late when I finally woke up to make dinner.

Also, they’re remodeling H&M in the KoP mall! It’s much nicer now. It used to just be one big open area, with a few different “zones” (most of the regular clothes were in the front-left, arranged by color, then the office-y stuff was in the back-left, the “designer” clothes [like when Madonna designed some stuff for them] were in the back-center, lingerie and accessories were in the back-right, and the crazy trendy stuff was in the front-right). Now they’ve broken the space into some different rooms, which I really like. They seem to have mixed together all the styles of clothes, and now they’re just arranged by color in the rooms, which is really nice looking. I actually was getting excited about yellow and bright green for spring (and I don’t usually like either of those colors)!

It’s back to work tomorrow (today I work from home), but I think by then I’ll feel like being back in the office. It is nice working from home on Wednesdays, though, because it really breaks up the week. I don’t get burned out on going to work five days in a row. And it’s nice to not have to rush home to get dinner and get ready for band – very restful.