Category Archives: I Stimulate the Economy

U2 Concert Review

You may have heard that U2 was in town this weekend. They were playing at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena — the 360° Tour (aka outdoor arenas).

Back when I was gainfully employed as a contributing member of society, I bought tickets the second they went on sale. Knowing that U2’s tickets usually sell out, and knowing the capacity of the Rose Bowl (92,000 seats), I figured it might be a good idea to accompany the ticket purchase with getting a room. Sometimes my genius ideas surprise even me. Getting a room is always a genius idea.

First off, let’s cover the bad — the idiots. Of course, there’s always the idiots in the world… like the people next to us in the parking area who were blaring non-U2 music so loudly that their stereo was distorted. *eye roll* Instead of hanging near their distorted world, I went up and sat on a grassy knoll under a tree and read my newspaper, while listening to Bono and Edge perform their sound checks. Far more enjoyable than distorted “canned” music. Or how about the group of people who walked by while Tony was sleeping before the concert in the back of the car (since he went to work this morning at 4:30 AM) and they saw him sleeping and YELLED at him about how he’d missed the great concert, thinking he’d wake up and be bummed. They really thought they were so funny and clever. I told them they were rude and was ready to take them on! Don’t mess with my husband! Then we had the dudes who were sitting next to us in the arena who were smoking cigars (I’m not a fan) and were surprised when the gal in front of them mentioned that some people might not enjoy the smell. I think I’m turning into a crotchety old lady!

Tony’s the huge U2 fan. Me, well, I know their music and unless you’ve had your head in a cave for over 20 years, you have too. The show was great — they set out to please their audience, and did they ever. They put everything they had into their show as musicians and kicked butt doing it. They were broadcast live on YouTube, which was pretty cool. (You can see the re-broadcast of it here: Link) They were very professional and started their show on time (with a disapproving nod toward Mariah Carey’s disastrous display of unprofessionalism at her concert in Anaheim).

The weekend went off like a well-synchronized assembly line. When we drove up there Saturday, we got every light green between our house to the freeway (not even kidding), had a leisurely dinner at Olive Garden (leftovers for concert day), spontaneously walking to the theater and learning the next showing of the movie we wanted to see started in 10 minutes. Sunday, we showed up with our general parking pass and were directed into a lot not too far from the gate we needed to enter. Better than that, we were directed to park under a tree! A great big shade tree!

I even had my very own MacGuyer moment! During the concert, a dude coming back to his seat stepped on the front of my flip-flop and the string between my toes broke! Imagining a flippy-floppy walk back to our car at midnight, I desperately looked around for ideas. I spotted a long string tied to a light cable. It wasn’t doing anything as far as I could tell, so I untied it, looped it through the plastic doo-dad, tied it over the “V” on the top of my shoe. The perfect temporary fix.

So I guess what I’m really admitting is, I stole a string from the Rose Bowl arena. When you’re watching the New Year’s football game, you can remember that and think of me. Here you thought you were gonna read a concert review…

Of course, we took pictures: Click to See

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Filed under Entertainment can be Expensive, I did something Special, I Left Home for Awhile, I Stimulate the Economy

When it Rains.

We bought Boney Barney on clearance three years ago after Halloween. We took him out of storage in 2007, but forgot to set him up with our Halloween decorations, and when we were putting stuff away, he kind of got missed. Happens to the best of us, decorations from holidays past get to sit out all year long. So he sat there in the dark garage off to the corner all by himself.

Then one night it was raining when I got home from work.

Normally I cover my car in the garage because, if I don’t, the cats use it as their personal ski area and hammock, any time of the day or night.

When it rains, I don’t want to get my car cover wet or damp, so I use a car squeegee. I have issues, I know. It’s OK, though, that’s why I’m a member of the Miata Club. I’m validated there. We all clean our cars before we go on runs, but it’s not an uncommon sight to find people giving little details of love to their cars while we wait for the run to start.

Anyway, back on topic. So, one night it had rained and there was my car, sitting there vulnerable to feline abuse. I happened to glance over and see Boney Barney sitting there in the dark. As surely as it happens in cartoons, a lightbulb lit up over my head.

For you see, Boney Barney is motion activated and when he gets activated, he says in a guttural voice the following things:

“Oh my achin’ bones, this after life isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. But I can drink all the antifreeze I want now. Hehehe.”

“Hey, what’d you wake me up for? I was just having the best nightmare. All the cats in the world were turned into zombies and they ate their own litter! *howl*”

“My favorite sounds are sloppin’ worms, mushy brains, blood & guts, squishy fish, squashing bugs, rats in traps, crackling bones and dyin’ cats. *howl*”

*howl* What can I say? I ain’t got much bite.”

“I like to eat bugs & maggots & dead rotting meat, and drink soiled water that tastes like feet, give me a scabby dead rat any day, served up better with stink & decay! *BELCH*”

“*howl* What’s for dinner? Stinky salmon, rancid roadkill, bug stew or my favorite, barfed up buzzard guts! Mmmmmm. *belch*”

boneybarney

We’ve tried the ScatMats, which I’ve had for years and years (my previous cat was kind of dumb), but these cats of ours have simply learned to stay off the spots the mat is placed, doing the perimeter dance with squinty eyes, leaving lovely tracks in the shape of the mat with their delicate paws. They’ve figured out that as long as they don’t touch ’em, they don’t get shocked.

And so it is that Boney Barney gets a stage for his talents whenever it rains, and lately most anytime. Pretty exciting for just a boney dog. At least he thinks so. The cats aren’t thrilled with it, in fact, they’re somewhat frightened of him. Truth be told, that’s kind of the idea, since they’re not supposed to be on my car anyway.

Earlier this month, Tony called me and with a note of despair in his voice said, “They changed Boney. The ones in the store this year say boring and PC things.” He was so sad, as am I. Because I was planning on buying two more when they went on clearance, one for the trunk of my car and one for the kitchen table.

Despite our disappointment, I still might.

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Filed under I Stimulate the Economy, Kid Substitutes

Desk Projects.

We had a crazy night last week (or was it the week before last? Time, it’s a blur…) when the cat access door to the garage was accidentally left blocked overnight. The significance of that is, that’s where they go to take care of their “delicate” necessities. Since their access was blocked, clean-up was a necessity in the house the next morning and our losses included the kitchen rug and the batting from their purple pillow. The batting replacement required a trip to the crafty-land of Michael’s.

Michael’s is a place I like to wander through and “ooohhhh” and “awwwww” over things. Much like fireworks. I think they’re beautiful and well arranged, but have no idea nor desire (usually) to figure out how to do what I’m supposed to do with the stuff.

But this time I had a mission. I had to conquer something.

I needed to replace the batting in their pillow, which I found for $3.27 on the back wall of the store. Then I remembered that I needed a coaster for my desk. I searched and found the picture coasters that Noonie suggested in the comments of this post, but they were sold in a package of four for $12. Even with my 40% off coupon, that was enough to make me feel non-committal about them. So, I carried them around for awhile, like they were a very expensive doll that I wanted but couldn’t afford. I thought and thought while carrying them.

I happened to wander over to the bare frame and wood pieces section and thought to myself, “Cork board. I wonder if they have cork board?” Why, yes, they did. Four 6×6″ squares for $6, minus 40%, equals a reasonable price. Yay!

When I got home, I got to work.

First I grabbed the biggest cup I will be using, and used the base as a guide for how big around the coaster should be.

Then I grabbed my mouse pad for the pattern.

And photocopied it on the reduction setting. Then I cut out the outer parts on half of the pattern to use as a stencil.

I put my stencil on the cork board, grabbed my permanent marker and blackened the “outer” sections I’d cut out and then used my mad art skillz to draw in the “inner” details. Tony says there’s a scary face in that drawing, but I shrug his fears off because I’m not a scared little ninny like he is.

The other project I did was install a notebook arm inside my rolltop desk. This required that I make the cord hole a bit larger so the clamp of the arm would have something to clamp onto. That involved drills and saws and measurements, only to realize after I was all done with my hole making, that the clamp part of it easily disassembled and the hole didn’t need to be all THAT big, so the project really shouldn’t have been as complicated and manly as I made it out to be.

Oh! And check out the cubby hole area that I previously opened up (off to the right side of the picture). Remember how I pulled the frame off to give myself some working room? Well, turned out the sides of the cubby were unfinished, since they weren’t ever expected to be seen by the light of day. Since I didn’t want to go to all the trouble to finish it, I came up with the idea to glue a large scroll pattern over the unfinished area. I think it looks great!

And to wrap it all up, replacing the batting was really no big deal and the kitties love their clean, puffy, purple pillow with the new batting in it.

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Filed under I Stimulate the Economy, I'm Never too Old to Learn, Time Consumers

All Over the Place.

I have lists. Lists of things I need to do, lists of things I need to buy. Like groceries, for example… and ink. My printer is out of ink.

I got my ticket in the mail. It’s not going to cost me $134. Nope. Much, much more. Bail is $212, or traffic school is $262. That is insanely expensive and way, way beyond my $20 rule. I’m now thinking it might be worth it to go to court and beg for a lesser fee… because $262 for being maybe 20′ early in the bicycle lane? That’s just ridiculous. That’s $13.10/foot. I’m pretty sure penis enlargements are less expensive than that… I saw it in my spam mail just this morning. Not that anyone would want a 20′ penis…

I booked a round trip flight to visit my Aunt Marj, arriving just a couple days after her birthday in November. I am really excited about going to see her! And, if you’re interested, to put the airfare in perspective, I can fly 3,104 miles (round trip) for less money than driving 20′ in a bicycle lane. Yes, I’ll be doing cost comparisons for awhile.

I just looked out the window and saw my resident hummingbirds. They love my back yard and I love having them in my back yard. They sit out there for hours on end, perched on plants or the string of lights, I love having a hive of hummers.

Ohhh, I attended my community’s board meeting a couple days ago to request that they heat the pool in our section of the community until November 1 (instead of turning it off early or heating the small, heavily shaded kiddy pool). My swim friend/neighbor attended, too. I left the meeting after I spoke, and before they rendered their decision. She came by the pool this morning as I was finishing my swim and told me that the Board had been persuaded by my presentation, that they granted all my requests. She gave me all the credit and I was so shocked.

Well, the cats are passed out, taking their early afternoon nap and I’ve gotta get going to run my errands. Y’all have a nice weekend and STAY OUT OF THE BICYCLE LANE, hear?

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Filed under I ♥ My Miata, I own a Home, I Stimulate the Economy

Love & Loathe – 08/18/09

Love:

* The smell of laundry in the air in the mornings — my company is now located across the street from an apartment complex and as I walk from my car to the building, the scent of laundry in a dryer wafts through the air. It’s a comforting smell that I enjoy.

* Cracker Jacks. One of the “oldest” snacks, dating back to the late 1800’s, but I love the sweet treat as if it were invented yesterday. It’s also one of those things that I always forget about and then when I remember, I’m like, “Oh yeah, I really like those!”

* My weekly visit with Grace. I ♥ Grace.

* Rambutans. Tastes similar to the lychee, but way cooler looking.

* Carolina Pad’s Simply Chic line of products — really brightened up my dull cubicle, let me tell you! The best part is, I found nearly the entire line on clearance at my local Walmart. Although I did buy a few things off their website — it came all wrapped like a Christmas present in August. I was impressed. I may have become a teensy bit obsessed with that line…

Loathe:

* Chipped fingernail polish. One of those things that just bugs me.

* Waiting or being in limbo with things.

* The chairs we now have at work. They look nice and are somewhat comfortable, but the details of the chair’s design was not thought out for female sitters. For example, the wheel plate is metal instead of hard plastic, like most desk chairs. I know, you’re like, “So what?” Well, women wear heels. If the wheel plate is the metal bell, then women’s heels are the gong — all day long. Also, the back of the chair is terrible for women whose hair is past their shoulders. Tangles it like a windstorm. So I now wear my hair in a bun (no tangles) and listen to the radio by wearing ear pods (no gonging). But, like I said, the chairs look nice.

One Last Thing:

It seems as if something has changed the last few months and I’m mentally bringing work home with me. My boundaries are in place as far as no phone calls or e-mails once I leave the office, but mentally I’ve lost that boundary and I need to reinstate it. I examine and re-examine things that were said or done during the day and I need to figure out a way to stop. I need to figure out a way to focus on the here and now.

So, how do you leave work behind? Once you cross that threshold and get out the door, how do you focus on the moment you’re living instead of the moments you’ve finished?

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Filed under I Stimulate the Economy, Love/Loathe, Protected

Protected: Weekend Introspection.

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Filed under Best Husband, I feel Hope, I Stimulate the Economy, We Love to Decorate

Protected: It’s Wednesday Already?

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Filed under I own a Home, I Stimulate the Economy, Kid Substitutes, Time Consumers