Saturday, January 31, 2009

Washer/Dryer: Purchased

Well, I officially feel like a grown up. Today, I purchased my first washer/dryer. It's real. It's happening. After installation next Saturday, I will be able to wash my clothes. In my apartment. Holy cow. Here's a picture of my cute little guy, which I bought at the Sears Outlet store in Hayward. Full story below, but feel free to skip to the end if you don't want the boring details.

First, I tried the Airport Appliances Liquidation Event, where I had heard they had them for $699. They did not have what I needed (24-inches wide, stacked/stackable, gas dryer). They referred me to their main store, where they also didn't have what I was looking for (though they said they could order it for me - apparently what I needed was special and rare or something). They did however, have free donuts. AND hot dogs (being grilled outside, with buns warmed in one of their demo ovens, served with sauerkraut and pickles in addition to the usual ketchup, mustard, relish). AND fresh-baked cookies (baked in a demo oven). These folks know what they're doing. The saleswoman was very helpful and knew her stuff, but I didn't feel quite right paying $1060.00 + $79.95 delivery + $17 for the extra tubes or pipes or whatever. I wanted to keep looking, and told her I think I saw it cheaper at Sears. She said she used to work at Sears, and if it was cheaper there, she totally understood me buying it there.

Soooo we went to the Sears Outlet (hooray for seeing the outlet before going into the main store), where I found two stacked 24-inch gas washer/dryer units. One was used-but-tested, for $790.00. The other, brand new, for $870.00. Both had cosmetic damages (a few small scratches here and there), but the used one had a broken lint trap that was also very disgusting (grimy, dirty, grossness). I ended up going with the brand new one. Figured it was worth the $80 to have everything fully functional and clean, right? Right.

After adding in delivery/installation and the neccessary accoutrements (dryer vent, gas connector, etc), the grand total was around $1,100.00 The same as one month's rent. But it was much cheaper buying it at the outlet for $870.00 instead of online for $999.99 or at Airport Appliance for $1060.00 or wherever it sells at the list price of $1249.99.

OOF. It's a lot of money. But it's worth it. This is the unit I ended up with, and I can't wait to get started using it. I requested delivery/installation for next Saturday, and am now just waiting to get confirmation from the delivery/installation company. I hope it sticks and everything goes smoothly...I have a lot of laundry to do! :-)

Friday, January 30, 2009

With Friends Like These

My friends shot this video, and I think it's pretty dang good. It's funny and disturbing and sad and funny...and just watch it. It's only 8 minutes, and it's just the beginning of what I think is going to be a really great little collection of shorts.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wii Fit

My mom sent me this video. It is hilarious. Enjoy.

PS - I still kind of want one...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sunny Day!

Ok, so I haven't *really* posted in a while. It's been busy at work, which is a welcome change (I even like being tired at the end of the day! Well, mostly...). Rachel is coming to town tomorrow for her book tour (buy it!) so I actually have to clean my crazy apartment a bit. It's amazing how things just start piling up when you're not home every weekend...I think I still have things left out from the holidays. Eek.

Lots going on this week, including Rachel's Book Tour, a play at Berkeley Rep, a party at Laura's, potentially buying a washer/dryer, Super Bowl, hockey...oof!

For now, I'm trying to take deep breaths and enjoy the sunny but crisply cool day.

Images from my Gmail inbox (so much sunnier than they were on this day)

top of inbox

bottom of inbox

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rainy Day...

It's raining. Yesterday, I found out it was raining because my gmail theme changed. Not because I looked out a window (there isn't one in my current cubicle). Because my gmail theme changed. Awkward. However, I totally love it. The theme is "tree" for anyone who is interested, and it looks something like this (click the pictures to enlarge them, it's worth it, maybe):

top of inbox

bottom of inbox

This post is basically an excuse to show off the pretty theme, because I like it. So, whoopie.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

I hope everyone out there has a chance to watch the Inauguration events today, whether you attended in person, watched it at work, or recorded it somehow to watch later. I'm sure every media source is streaming or posting videos all day long, so if you missed any of the action, it shouldn't be hard to find! And the official website of the White House,, has been updated. What a great day for America!

Aretha's performance of My Country Tis of Thee made me teary, despite the cheesy montage. Watch it here if you missed it. CBS News also has a lot of content if you're bored at work or tired of studying. And, um, also...I love that Malia was taking pictures the whole time...I'm sure those will get published in a book at some point.

The Boy took this picture on the UC Berkeley campus this morning

Monday, January 19, 2009

Golda Meir

My mom sent this to me via email, and I thought it was worth sharing. Apologies for the fuzzy image.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Obama Speech Generator

My lovely friend Kate works for Atom, and they have this fun little thing out right now called the Obama Inauguration Speech Generator. Try it out!

My speech:
My fellow Americans, today is a lovely day. You have shown the world that "hope" is not just another word for "bear", and that "change" is not only something we can believe in again, but something we can actually skate.

Today we celebrate, but let there be no mistake – America faces humorous and smelly challenges like never before. Our economy is wonderful. Americans can barely afford their mortgages, let alone have enough money left over for colors. Our healthcare system is pricey. If your elbow is sick and you don't have insurance, you might as well call a landscaper. And America's image overseas is tarnished like a computer lamp. But talking together we can right this ship, and set a course for white house.

Finally, I must thank my silly family, my red campaign volunteers, but most of all, I want to thank lawyers for making this historic occasion possible. Of course, I must also thank you, President Bush, for years of sketching the American people. Without your brisk efforts, none of this would have been possible.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Things

I haven't written in almost a week, what with the new job and crashing on the couch at 9pm and all, but I'm writing now and I'm in a good mood, so here's a list of a few things that are making me happy.
  1. I am going to bake more bread this weekend (I hope). I am kinda really into baking bread. I might even get to bake bread at Erin's house while doing laundry and (sigh) learning the majesty that is (supposedly) Friday Night Lights.
  2. I have almost completed one week at the new job. It's pretty awesome. Getting used to a new job is always a tiny bit overwhelming, but I really really like it here so far. It's been kind of slow workload-wise because I'm still getting settled, but it will ramp up pretty soon and I expect to be quite a busy bee. Everyone is really nice, and I'm excited about the project I'm on (CarsToons, for those of you who haven't been reading lately). All in all, I'm feeling good about it!
  3. I went to the gym after work (at work). Elliptical for 30 minutes, and a little crunching/stretching after. Not revolutionary, but better than sitting on my butt on the couch. I mean, that's what I'm doing now, but at least I got 30 minutes in. The gym is smaller than the Google gym, and there are no TV's, but I read Martha Stewart Weddings (by accident, I thought it was Martha Stewart Living - though that doesn't change the fact that I got a little choked up reading about people's weddings), and the locker rooms are really nice. And there's a dry sauna. Which I didn't use. But cool that it's there, no?
  4. Rachel is coming to visit me! Ok, she's coming on her book tour, but she's going to stay with me for (I think) 5 whole days! Woo hoo!!! She is awesome, and it has been too long.
  5. On 30 Rock tonight, Kenneth performed the end of the "Top That" rap from Teen Witch (one of my all time favorite movies if you haven't seen it go see it now right now especially if you are a girl but even if you're not omg the cornfields and the saxophone and the cheerleaders and the shoulder pads). Thank you, NBC. Thank you, Tina Fey. Thank. You.

Friday, January 2, 2009


OMG I just tried the bread and it is SO GOOD that I had to blog about it. Oh. My. God.

freshly sliced

serve with a chunk of Trader Joe's goat cheese with honey
(not as yellow as it appears in the picture - dang cell phone camera)


Comcast: Thank You, Raul!

So, as the start of the new job approaches, and my anxiety about smaller paychecks grows, I decided to call Comcast again. After my less-than-pleasing experience back in July, I was a little hesitant to do it, but I realized that just cannot continue to pay $115 a month for cable+internet. I decided that if they wouldn't give me a deal, I'd try switching to basic cable (aka no TLC, HGTV, Comedy Central, E!, etc.) and slower internet and see if it's really a big deal. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: I can't afford the payment - I've been paying $115 a month for several months now, and just can't afford it anymore.
Comcast Angel Raul (in the cancellations department): So you want to cancel?
Me: Well, I don't want to, but unless you have some sort of magical deal going on that I don't know about, I'm going to have to. Do you have any promotions or discounts you can offer?
Comcast Angel Raul: Well, right now the only discount we have for current subscribers is the Triple Play, where you get phone, internet and cable for $90 a month.
Me: Yeah, I know about that one, but I don't need phone service, and $90 is almost what I'm paying now that I can't afford...
Comcast Angel Raul: Ok, let me see if I can override it. Can you hold for a sec?
Me: Sure! (crossing my fingers)
Comcast Angel Raul: Ok. I can lower your monthly payment to $68 a month for 12 months with no contract.
Me: Wow! Really? How can you do that!!!???
Comcast Angel Raul: Well, I can't call it a promotion because we're not promoting it, but I can just apply the discount and lower the payment. Is that ok?
Me: Yeah! Wow! Thank you so much!!
Comcast Angel Raul: No problem. Thank you - I know how easy it is for you to leave for another company, and I'm glad we can keep your service.

So there you have it. Hooray! I think the trick is that you have to pay full price for a few months, and then they'll give you the discount again to keep you. Woo! Success! And I won't have to pay for February or part of March because I have already paid full price for January!

Granted, it would be even cheaper to do the basic cable and the slower internet, but $68 a month is cheaper than what I was originally paying when I signed up, and now I don't have to sacrifice or change anything (spoiled spoiled kim!). If it turns out to be too pricey still, I can go down to the basic/slow situation...but for now, I will sit here spoiled watching "Property Virgins" and "17 Kids and Counting".

Happy New Year, all.

Baking Bread!

The lovely Reed and I baked honey wheat oatmeal bread today. Well, she taught me, which means she did a lot of the work, but I stirred and kneaded and folded and spread the egg stuff and woo hoo. It looks delicious, and is based on this recipe from Epicurious. Pictures below (please ignore the bad quality of the pictures - I had to take my camera to the shop today and took these on my cell phone):

ball of dough before rising

ball of dough, after rising

dough in pans, before rising

dough in pans, after rising, and with egg rinse and oatmeal


Resolutiony Things

New Year's Eve was low-key and fun, and my wonderful friend Reed spent a few days with me, helping me run errands, unpack from the holidays, and bake bread (post to follow). We are very exciting, I promise. I'm not huge on New Year's Resolutions, but I always make them (maybe because I love making lists), so here it is for 2009. Enjoy.

  1. Only buy what I need. I have been spending too much frivolous money lately, which I credit to the job at Google where I made more money than I actually needed. This resulted in $80 Old Navy shopping sprees, way too much money spent at Product Body (the magical wonderful delicious-for-your-body stuff that I will still buy, but only on occasion when I run out). Now, I was also saving around $300 a month, but just think how much more I could have saved if I didn't buy stuff that I didn't need. Also, I am going to be making significantly less money working at Pixar, and will really need to rein in my spending. I'll try to make more crock pot recipes and maybe I won't buy sun dried tomato mixed olive bruschetta every time I go to Trader Joe's. :-) (PS - I am still planning on buying a washer-dryer for my apartment...this is not a *necessity* but it is something I really really really want to have here, since there is no laundry facility in the building and the laundromat just sucks. Yes, I know plenty of people out there use the laundromat, but I am lazy and spoiled and hate it and just want to wash my clothes at my own apartment. So there.)
  2. Make one recipe from a cookbook every month. I have a TON of cookbooks, and I don't ever use them. I tend to make my "standard" recipes, or variations thereof, and I'd like to branch out a bit and try new things. I'll start with one a month, but I'd like to expand to twice a month soon, and eventually once a week? Ooh? Fancy?
  3. Eat Less, Exercise More. This is always on the resolution agenda, but I think it's a good one to keep in mind. I tell myself that having a gym closer to my apartment (Pixar has a gym) will help, and I hope it will, but I know I'll really have to make a concerted effort to do it. I heard that the Pixar University classes include a ballet class, and I hope to god it's true because I really want to take ballet again and I can't afford to sign up for classes at a studio. Either way, I need to take advantage of the gym there way more than I did at Google. No excuses!!! And as for eating less, I want to focus on smaller portions and less sweets. More whole grain and less snacking.
  4. Spend time with my girlfriends. I have a few friends who have recently moved to the Bay Area, and I won't be seeing my good friends from Google every day anymore, so I want to make sure I nurture the friendships that matter to me.

And that's that!