Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Anyway, I have just realized (in the last week) why I have such a hard time getting my butt to the gym. I don't like working out on my own. Elliptical, treadmill, whatever. It's all boring to me. Even when I'm watching TV while I'm doing it. It's a little more tolerable when I have a friend next to me, but it's still tedious. I'm just not really into spending 30-45 minutes doing the same activity...especially when the activity is moving slightly up and down or walking in place. Just not interesting. Sorry.
I do, however, really like taking classes. I love my pilates class. I used to love ballet. I used to like going to Curves - it's the same reason I like classes, I think...you're doing a lot of different activities to work different parts of your body. It's harder to get bored, and I feel like I'm less likely to zone out when my brain keeps having to shift around to different muscle groups. The thing I like better about class than Curves is that in classes, you have a group of people doing the same thing with you (sometimes the case at Curves, sometimes not), and most importantly, a teacher to urge you to keep going. Our teacher, Kathy, is intense. She's got a crazy rock-solid body, and she's also funny and involved. She pushes us and encourages us and just makes working out fun. I like her. I wish class wasn't only once a week.
I really hope we start getting ballet classes at the gym...I might also check out the local community ballet studio.
This is in lieu of starting a separate cooking blog, which I'm not quite sure I could handle right now. I've got about 25 pictures waiting to be posted, so I'll start crafting some posts now, and hopefully have some fun new things for you soon!
As it turns out, cable on another provider isn't actually the great deal it might appear to be. Cable is just expensive. That's just how it is. So I might as well stick with the monopolizer I'm already with. The last guy I talked to on the phone said that they couldn't give me a discount because I'm just coming off of a 12 month promotion, and they can't apply one discount after another. The suggestions on this site (see other site here as well) suggest though, that maybe if I try again in a few months, I'll get lucky.
As for internet, Google will reimburse me for my internet anyway, so the fact that it's going up really isn't that bad. I just have to fill out a new reimbursement form. Yeah. I'm spoiled. I know. All in all, it's going to be another $23.99 a month to keep Comcast, and I'm just going to suck it up and pay for it - and then call them in a couple of months to ask for another discount and see what happens. I just don't want to deal with switching. It's such a pain in the ass, and good lord, I am bad with technology as it is. I've finally achieved a sustainable sort of balance with the technology in my apartment; everything (generally) works, and I don't want to mess with it.
Ok, Comcast. You win. I'll pay your "regular" fees, but I won't be happy about it.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I don't know if it's the frosting or the sprinkles or what (I do LOVE sprinkles...more on those later), but I give these little guys two huge thumbs up. Or I would, if my hands weren't full of cookies.
Anyway, he posted a hilarious recap of the recent Berkeley City Council meeting (on this painfully ongoing issue of the Oak Grove vs. Memorial Stadium - note: not the issue's official name), and I posted a FanPost.
Check it out here.
Monday, July 28, 2008
But I digress. I am frustrated because my Comcast bill came in the mail this weekend, and it is a whopping $110, which is approximately $35 more than my usual bill. Apparently my awesome (but still pricey, IMO) $33 cable/$33 internet deal was just a 12-month promotion. I have been living in my apartment for 12 months, and thus, I now have to pay full price. This is irritating to me. I don't want to pay an extra $35 a month. Lame.
This happened once before, in college, and somehow I was able to call Comcast and have them extend the promotion. I tried to do that today, however, and they weren't having any of it. The first guy I spoke to (Jerome? Jamal? Jemiel? Something with a J...) was incredibly rude. When I sadly said that I may have to cancel my service, he said "ok fine." Was he calling my bluff? Just being rude? I don't know, but I was sufficiently irked. I hung up the phone (and by the way, he did NOT transfer me to the customer service survey to which I had asked to be transferred...I wonder why...) and complained to all of my coworkers. Everyone had similar stories of how Comcast sucks, but there isn't really a better choice out there. I decided to call back, this time to the cancellation line rather than to the billing line. A friend suggested that most likely, the cancellation department's job is to make sure people don't cancel....good thought.
So, I called and spoke with a very nice woman named Dorothy. Sadly, Dorothy did not do what I wanted, which was to say "oh, never mind, we'll just extend that promotion for you." She did, however, apologize on behalf of Comcast for the mean man's behavior earlier, and offer a few (unsatisfactory) options: to get slower internet for around $10 less per month, or to only get channels 1-35 (instead of 1-80) for approximately $45 less per month. Well, unfortunately, these options don't really work. My internet at home isn't brilliantly fast as it is, and the only shows I watch really are on channels 50+. I could also sign up for the Triple Play, which is $33 each for phone/internet/cable, but I don't need phone, and besides - I'm trying to SAVE money here.
I started feeling like a bit of a whiner with my whole "I can't afford an extra $35 per month but I'm not willing to give up my TV shows or internet speed...wah wah wah" shpiel. Even I wasn't really buying it. I thanked her, told her I just didn't know what I was going to do, and that I would have to think about it. She gave me her personal extension and told me to call her back directly (I'm believing it's because she's nice, and not because she's getting commission). Several hours later, I still don't know what I'm going to do.
- Stay with Comcast. Suck it up and pay the extra $35 a month - part of which is being reimbursed by work (thank god), so really only $23.99 extra a month. Still a lot of money, but not awful. This means not having to go through the ordeal of cancelling and joining up with a new company, going through the installation process all over again, etc. I don't know about you, but that almost makes it worth it.
- Cancel with Comcast and get DirectTV for my cable and find something else for internet. I don't even know where to begin here. The thought of not only having to research and choose a new company (two new companies!), but also to have to arrange for installation and figure out how to set up a whole new system just makes me cringe. The thought of doing this TWICE makes me even more annoyed. Especially since this would mean setting up the TiVo with something else as well, resetting my router, etc...it's just not a pretty thought. That's three separate technological things to rework, rewire, and re-figure out. Ugh.
I have a few weeks to figure it out, since my bill isn't due until mid-August, so I'm going to do some research and see what's out there. I've heard really good things about DirectTV, so it's really just the internet thing, and the setting everything up again thing (really, it's one of my least favorite parts about moving, and something I was looking forward to NOT having to do for once...since I'm finally at a stage in my life where I'm not moving every year or two). And really, it would mean two bills to pay each month instead of one, but that's not a big deal, since I have bill pay on my bank account anyway.
Does anyone have any advice/suggestions? Is it worth the hassle to just keep Comcast?
Sorry for the long rant, but it has been a while since I dumped my brain out on this blog, and I guess I was overdue. I'll post something more fun and happier later. Maybe even tonight. I went to the gym right before I left work today, and I feel cleaner and fresher (mostly from the shower) now. I'm looking forward to making myself a nice, simple dinner (I'm thinking salad and Trader Joe's goat cheese pizza) and maybe a glass of wine. And of course, Jon and Kate.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Anyway, I love Meryl Streep, and will see anything she does. Ever. She is just so fantastic. And I love that the producers extended the offer for her to be in the film because of her performance in Mother Courage (note: this is a weird review. it starts off saying it's not great, and then praises it for the entirety of the review, but then again, it IS a brilliantly difficult play to produce - where often the individual performances outweigh the production as a whole). That's Meryl for you though, from Brecht to ABBA in one fell swoop.
I'm seeing Mama Mia with my college roommate when I go home in a few weeks, and I'm really excited. I think I'm not ashamed to admit it anymore either. It looks like so much fun! And the girl playing Sophie (the main girl, the daughter, the one getting married - I had to look it up on imdb) is from Mean Girls! And people (read: I'm excited about Meryl) do their own singing! YEAH!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
It's very simple: you roll the pigs as you would roll dice, and you get (or lose) points based on the configuration in which they land. The first person to 100 points wins.
It doesn't sound like much, and it's kind of hard to remember how many points each positon is worth when you first start, but man, it's fun. Especially since the positions are named things like Razorback, Trotter, and Jowler.
Play online here, though I think it's played here where the highest score after 10 rounds wins, not the first to 100 (I beat the computer with 67 points).
Double Jowler! 60 points! Pig Out! Noooo! Ha. Trust me.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The oregano looks ok too, and while the lemon verbena is mostly brown, there are some green bits, so I'm going to hold out hope for another week or so to see how it does.
Happy plants make a happy Kim!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Enjoy this lovely little slideshow from our day, with links to my favorite booths from the craft fair below!
- Recover Your Thoughts: journals whose covers are made out of recycled book covers. The pages are also recycled, and they get the books from recycling bins.
- Angelfish & Co.: bags and such made of really neat fabric - really expensive though.
- Simply Wood Rings: eco-conscious, beautiful jewelry made out of wood.
- Michelle Caplan: collage art - some of it was really cool, but it was WAY too expensive for what it was.
- The Bittersweet Project: really lovely jewelry.
- Maiden Love: the cutest wool & lavender-stuffed elephants I've ever seen in my life. Too bad they are so pricey.
- Domestic Construction: awesome lamps made of tea cups. If they weren't $60, I might have purchased one. I think it would be pretty easy to make...if you had a ceramic-cutting device.
- Happy Owl Glass: cute little animal-printed glass things, from pendants to little bowls, and tshirts as well...very very cute, and they have all sorts of creatures, so there's something for everyone, even if your favorite animal is, say, a sloth! They're also on etsy.
- Ice Cream Project: 100% vegan ice cream, and it was really good!!!
- Mucca Pazza: The Best Band Ever. Check them out in the slideshow pictures...they have crazy cool moves, and awesome circus-klezmer-marching band music. Originally from Chicago, this was their first time playing in CA. And I hope they come back.
Check out some of these sites, and enjoy!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Anyway, I'm super excited, and we just bought our tickets and hooray! A real, live, grown-up vacation!
Friday, July 11, 2008
- re-plant my Mystery IKEA Plant: DONE! I even moved it to a new location, where my wine rack used to be. I've been meaning to find a new home for the wine rack, since sitting out in the hot, stuffy apartment, usually getting a bit of sun during the day, is not the best thing for wine. I just hope I haven't ruined the 3 bottles I had out there (though only one of them was *really* good wine anyway). It meant a bit of reorganizing the hutch cabinet, but let's be honest, that was fun for me anyway (see picture below). Anyway, my plant is now happy in a place of honor on top of the new plate Emika gave me for my belated birthday, rather than on top of the dining rom table half-buried underneath piles of paper (see picture at the end).
- plant my window box garden: This did not happen. The lovely Jennifer advised me to wait until the plants were a little more stable so that they could withstand the stress of being moved, so I decided to take her advice. I'm not sure about the lemon verbena, which barely looks like it's still living, but the oregano and basil should be good to go for replanting on Saturday afternoon. The Boy and I picked the basil clean to make some rather unsuccessful pesto* last night, so it's looking sort of sad at the moment, but I'll reassess on Saturday and see if it might just be better to start over.
- pick up around my apartment: Well, I didn't get to the mess on the couch, and I didn't finish the mess on the table, but I did file all the bills and pay stubs. I found a few things that need to be mailed, which I promptly put in my bag to take to work today. I need to get some envelopes, big time.
- read: I read the introduction to The Google Story (thanks to Chrissie for letting me borrow it), and I have to say that I'm excited to read it. I know I work there, so this should all be old news, but I actually learned a few things, and it'll be interesting to read in detail about the beginnings of the company (the book came out 3 years ago and covers the first 7 years or so). It's so silly, but I was proud of myself because after brushing my teeth, instead of just getting in bed, I decided to go get the book and read a chapter before going to sleep. And it was great! :-)
*note: what the hell happened with my pesto? I tried to make the Magic Bullet Pesto, and I don't know if it was the basil or the fact that we added sun dried tomatoes or what, but it just wasn't working. It was sort of thick, even though we added more oil (per the recipe's advice), and when I heated it in the microwave (exactly as the recipe advised), it basically baked and became chunky and dry. It tasted ok, but the texture was all wrong, and I was very displeased. This is the first time I've been dissatisfied with my Magic Bullet Blender! Also, it was making grinding noises on occasion while I was "pulsing" and even started smelling a little bit like burning rubber...is it time to swap out a part or something? What's going on!?!?
Please let me know if you have advice about pesto or plants!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
- re-plant my Mystery IKEA Plant: I bought potting soil last weekend, and I've been meaning to do it. The poor thing is squished in the tiny plastic pot it came in, and I've been wanting to put it in the shiny new yellow pot for a while. I'm starting to think it's going to outgrow the yellow pot soon too though...
- plant my window box garden: the poor plants are still in their paper/plastic containers from Whole Foods/Trader Joe's, and I want to make them happy. However, they are currently not happy anyway, because it has been so hot and they have no shade in my little window box. Basil, lemon verbena and oregano all said to plant in full sun...but I guess my full sun was too much for the little guys? Should I plant them and hope for the best, or just get new plants and start over? Can they be saved?? Should I get them an umbrella?
- pick up around my apartment: even though I just did a semi-good cleaning (go laundry, go!), I still have quite a bit of picking up to do, and there's a hefty pile of bills/pay stubs sitting on top of my files, that should go inside the files. I know, silly me.
- read. If you read my shared items, you'll know that I've been thinking about reading today, and that I should be reading more. I've got a few (ha! understatement of the decade!) books that need reading, and I'd like to start one!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
This is a pretty fun video about SketchUp -- I knew it was good for planning out buildings and such, but this is another way you could use it (maybe more practical for the average person).
Now if only it came with someone to build the thing for you once it's designed...
Friday, July 4, 2008
Anyway, there were some Carroll columns that I thought were just too good not to share. So here they are.
- Soft Action Shirts: This one had me literally laughing out loud.
- Clintonmania Abates: About how Obama is making the politically necessary baby steps towards the center, and how it sucks...but so do politics.
- Operator, Can You Help Me?: It's funny 'cause it's true. Or maybe it's terrifying 'cause it's true.
- That Noise? Birdies.: Jon Carroll goes to the opera. It really made me want to go to the opera.
- Trauma Techniques: My high school started the really toned-down version of this, where everyone knows it's going on, and volunteers from the theatre department act in it on the day of. I don't think either way is really effective...but I guess we won't know until it's been going on for 10 years or so and someone has done studies about it. Reading the material at www.every15minutes.com, and thinking about it, I can see how parents/teachers/people who are not disaffected high school students might think it is effective - and it's certainly better than doing nothing at all. However, I know that if this had happened at my school while I was there, we would have thought about it a bit on the day of and then looked at the tragic memory pages for the students who died (usually from drunk driving accidents) that year in the back of the yearbook. I don't propose a solution, but I don't think that this is it either.
- This one didn't have a title, but it was just so lovely. When I was young, I was really into cemeteries. Now they kind of freak me out, and I'm not sure I'd want to picnic in one, but this sounds very pleasant and gave me that sort of "everything is connected" feeling I get when I'm standing on some sort of hallowed ground...old buildings, historic monuments, they make me feel connected.
- Remo Man: Read the paragraphs that describe the fantasy remodeling situation. I've never remodeled a home (not having a home to remodel), but my parents did some backyard work a few years ago, so I have an idea of what he's talking about. And I'm pretty sure it's the same everywhere.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
However...how am I supposed to resist when I see pictures like these:
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
It cracks me up because whenever she is on one of those confessional things ("omigod, there is just so much drama in the house. I really think I am the most talented one here, and I really just want to win this thing" etc), she always sounds like she's being forced to do it. Either the other girls (except for that Autumn girl, she's ok) are WAY better actors when it comes to playing up the behind-the-scenes reality tv drama stuff, or they all are actually buying into it (or are really like that? eek!) and she's just trying to say what they producers want without looking dumb.
Anyway, last night (which was really Monday night's episode), she was named as the Standout Performer for her awesome booty-shaking skills...which means she's now in the top 5. Way to go, Natalie!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Anyway, I use Google Analytics to keep track of traffic on my blog, which leads me to today's post. Just check out the map below if you don't think I'm awesome. Because come on - we all know I am. Just kidding. But seriously, in the last month, I had readers in Iceland, Spain, Croatia, Iran, Turkey, Sweden, Norway, Mongolia...and 11 in Poland! And more! In the last month, I have had readers represented in 35 countries! Even if they were mistakes (55% of visitors have only visited once), it's pretty cool. Not to discount my awesome US readers, cause let's be honest, you're probably the ones who are consistently reading (hi, mom), but I love that my little silly blog is reaching people out there in countries I've never been to, even if you came here by accident, thinking you'd get some insightful information. I'm sorry if you were disappointed, but I hope you were entertained. At least a little. So thank you all for reading my somewhat erratic posts and making me feel just a little bit cooler than I really am.