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I’d have a more relaxing day if I was at work December 22, 2008

Posted by Kimmothy in Holidays, Money, Shopping, The Man, Walmart.

Wanna see my to-do list for today? Sure you do!

1. Post office – What’s that you say about waiting til the last minute? Shut up. I thought I was going to be in Florida to hand deliver these gifts, but I’m not. And I’ve been busy. Shut up.

2. Pay cable and water bills. I suppose I could mail them, but I’m going to stop into my favorite thrift store to visit the girls there and it’s right across the street from the cable company. And I keep forgetting to pay the water bill, so I’m scared if I mail it, it’ll get shut off. It’s happened before. Sadly, our water bill is the cheapest bill we have, but I usually end up screwing it up somehow. And the City of Columbia’s website is so lame, you can’t pay your bill online. They’re in the process of trying to change that because everyone has been telling them how lame it is. But they haven’t changed it yet, so hello water company. That reminds me –

3. Put change in wallet for parking meters. It is because of this fair city I learned how to parallel park for real and not just fake it for my driver’s test. There are meters everywhere and they are strictly enforced. One of my most favorite things to do is put an extra quarter in when I’m leaving so the next person has some free minutes. Good parking karma is very important.

4. Bank. Have to deposit a Christmas check that came early from his dad. Last year he got me a Barnes & Noble gift card. Brian told him to just send us money this year. But I think I’ll stop at Barnes & Noble for a book anyway because I know that’s what his dad would want me to do.

5. The Deathstar. I swore I wouldn’t set foot back in Walmart until after January 1st, but the combination of having to return something, running out of garbage bags and toilet paper simultaneously and needing a few grocery items, well, there you have it. That is the evil genius that is the Mart – having everything you need at prices cheaper than the more civilized stores. Why didn’t I realize about the garbage bags and toilet paper when I was at Target two days ago? Because I’m an idiot.

6. Gamestop. This will be my favorite chore of the day. Brian had his PlayStation 2 stolen a couple of years back, when some asshole broke into his truck. He hasn’t missed it too much since then until now. He saw a commercial for this war game called Call of Duty and lost his mind. I thought about buying the PC version of the game, but the graphics are so amazing, our computer wouldn’t do it justice. I thought of getting him an Xbox or PS3, but then found many more things I could do with the four hundred or so dollars that would take. So I contacted all my gamer friends and asked where I could get a good deal on a PS2 and Gamestop was the suggestion. The store I’m going to is .4 miles from my house and has both the PS2 and the game. They open at 9:00. I’ll be there at 9:05. Yay, Christmas! I can’t wait to see the look on his face. Which is pretty much why I love this time of year so much. Well, that and candy canes.

I hope everybody has a fun and productive day. If you need me I’ll be standing in line somewhere.


Welcome to my brain December 13, 2008

Posted by Kimmothy in Fam Damily, Holidays, Life, Moods, Shopping, Youth.

I’ve talked a lot about my neurosis. I’m a champion worrier, so much so that if there’s actually nothing for me to actually worry about, I get worried because things are going too well. It says a lot about me that I can only relax when something is wrong. Luckily, there’s usually something wrong, so I’m usually fairly happy. If not, I will either create something random (What if one of our cars break down? What if we become the victims of a drive-by shooting while at the convenience store? What if that big, sort of dead-looking tree falls on our house?) Don’t laugh at that last one; during a hurricane one year, trees were dropping like flies and we ended up with a crunched fence but had it blown the other way, we would’ve had a brand new tree-made skylight in our bedroom. Or else I’ll get excited over the good things that are going on, but for me excitement feels a lot like anxiety.


Last night I was up until three, excitedly anticipating my trip to see April today. Unfortunately the trip got postponed, but that doesn’t mean I’ll sleep any better tonight. After all, I only have three days of work left before the long vacation and there’s a lot I’m excited about. Going to Florida, seeing my favorite people, Christmas and its related activities, etc. But, there’s always the chance that the dog could fly off the back porch after a squirrel and break his leg, causing a vet bill that could wipe out our bank account. You never know. And then what? THEN WHAT???

It makes me wonder about how I’ll be should I ever become a parent. Grace has teased me about this before and I had no choice but to agree with her. If my anxiety level is like this with just two people to worry about (not that I just worry about us, but you know what I mean), add another person into the mix and let’s see how jacked up over nothing I can get! Luckily Brian is the opposite, or maybe I should say more normal one, who only worries about things when it’s warranted. Oh, to be that serene. Without the aid of drugs. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself with all that extra time and energy.

I ended up going shopping with Iris yesterday and though it was unplanned, had a really nice day. She is so cute. She has a lot of people to shop for, but to keep things fair in her mind, she has a little notebook she keeps with her so she doesn’t end up getting somebody more than somebody else. This even includes George, her husband. I don’t know – it does seem a little anal, but on the other hand it’s not a bad system. (Aside: Linens ‘N Things is going out of business. Or at least the one here is. While I do prefer Bed, Bath & Beyond it was still depressing to go through a nearly empty store and realize in nine days it would all be gone. If I ever had that experience at a Gap or Target store I might need a strong drink afterwards.) (But we did get great deals on Yankee Candles, so there’s that.)

I just noticed the date and realized I missed my annual tradition of having a moment of silence for John Lennon the other day. I suck. Also, on this date in 1983, I made out and almost went to second base with Pat, the guy I wrote about the other day, the one I drove twelve hours to see for twelve hours.

Now do you understand a little more of the things that float around in my head all the time? I went from anxiety to happy to sad about a store closing to remembering the first time I ever got felt up in the space of ten minutes. It takes talent.

Shopping tips you won’t find in a magazine November 17, 2008

Posted by Kimmothy in Holidays, Shopping.

I have to go grocery shopping today; there’s no putting it off any longer, unless I want Chef Boy R Dee ravioli for dinner and I so do not. Also, out of dog food. I saved the trip for today because:
A. I’m lazy
B. I kept putting off chores all weekend to do more fun things
C. Going on a weekday during the day, I’m less likely to want to commit murder on everyone around me

Let’s go with option C and forget I ever said anything else.

But while we’re on the subject, let’s talk about shopping for a minute. Since I can’t seem to get Christmas out of my mind and it’s only going to get worse as the days go by, I think it’s high time I share some of my Christmas shopping secrets. It’s taken many years to get to this point, where the thought of it doesn’t make me break out in hives and want to lie down for a long nap. I’ve never been quite as bad as my sister, who one year first went shopping on Christmas Eve only to come home empty-handed and crying – yeah, she’s going to kill me for bringing that up. But I have learned some things over the years and now I’ll share them with you.
Any excuse to make a list.

1. Obviously if and when possible, shop online.
This can be tricky for clothes I guess, unless you know the store well enough to know what their sizing is like. I’m pretty comfortable with Target and the Gap, period. But Amazon is my savior, my lover, my soul mate – if you think they’re only good for books, like someone I heard about the other day, you are in for a treat. They have a feature running right now where you can sign up for Amazon Prime and get free shipping for 30 days, then cancel it before you have to pay for it. Unless you like it so much you will use it the rest of the year. I’m still debating this, but I have signed up.

2. Plan one day to go with a friend to a place you don’t normally shop.
Picture this trip to be your fun shopping day, more of a social thing than anything, then if you happen to end up knocking a few items off your list, even better. One year I met my friend Skye in Charleston, which was the halfway point for both of us and we had a fabulous day of sight-seeing, eating and yes, shopping. It remains among my top one favorite Christmas shopping experiences of all time. I think I did actually pick up some presents that day too.

3. Alcohol (in modest amounts)
My friend JJ shared this tip with me long ago and it remains a favorite. If you happen to eat a meal while shopping (and really, who doesn’t?), have one glass of wine. But, and this is important – keep it to ONE GLASS. We made the mistake one night of testing the theory and having two glasses, which led to three, which led to us laughing about how stupid Christmas shopping is and drunkenly going home to watch a movie. Not productive. But one glass is just enough to take the edge off and put you in a fabulous mood. If you have alcoholic tendencies and know you’d never be able to stop at one glass, be realistic and just don’t use this tip. Ever.

4. Sedatives (again, modest)
I remember my first Xanax like it was yesterday. I don’t know what that says about me and I’d rather not examine it too closely. For the sake of this list let’s not worry about that. Christmas shopping, 1996. My friend R and I are out fighting the crowds the weekend after Thanksgiving. We are waiting in line in the midst of hundreds of sweaty, loud, rude people and their offspring, when all of a sudden R reaches in her purse and pulls out a pill bottle. She hands me one and says, “Take this.” Not one to question things, I dry-swallowed that sucker. Twenty minutes later, the crowds no longer bothered me and everything had a lovely softened effect – the music was pretty, the children were rosy-cheeked and I was in a great mood. It was magical. Again, I wouldn’t suggest this if you think it might become a habit. You’ll have to be the judge.

5. Utilize your spouse or a significant other.
I know what you’re going to say; going shopping with your husband or wife is a pain. Well, not if you look at it as you’re running out of time, this is more manpower and you have no choice. Take your list, split it in half and send that sucker on his or her merry way. Synchronize your watches, put your cell phone in a place you’ll hear it, and go forth to divide and conquer. This is usually when Brian takes the opportunity to buy me something as well, so trust me on this one – pick a store you like so whatever last-minute panic gift your person picks out for you, you’ll end up liking it. Remember, I’ve had YEARS of experience.

6. Pay attention to the Sunday flyers.
Johnann and I are big fans of this strategy. If you don’t normally get a Sunday paper (what’s wrong with you – don’t you enjoy color comics and coupons?), start getting one, at least for the next few weeks. Then sit down with a pen and paper and start making lists. I consider this activity fun, you might not. Weirdo. But this way, if you’re looking for something in particular (an mp3 player, mayhaps?), a high ticket item, something electronic or whatever, it’s very easy to compare prices and this helps tremendously in plotting out your routes and schedule. I would hate for you to go to Circuit City to get your lovely new flatscreen TV then find out you could’ve saved $800 by going to Best Buy. God, I hate Circuit City. They’ve filed bankruptcy, by the way, so while you’d think their prices would be starting to drop, so far they haven’t. Bastards.

Last but not least…
7. Bite the Bullet or Going Solo.
This is your last-ditch attempt at redeeming yourself, finishing your list and putting all this madness behind you to enjoy the rest of the holidays. Potentially you might lose some sleep over this one, as the best time to do this one successfully is God-awful thirty in the morning. You know you have a 24-hour Target or Walmart near you. You also know damn well there are going to be some crazy sales on Black Friday. Bite the bullet. You can sleep later, sometime after January 1st. I hadn’t done it in awhile, but last year I actually went. I didn’t set my alarm the night before because I was still in denial, but I woke up on my own at 4:59 a.m. I threw on a hat, scarf and coat over my sweats and braved the dark, cold morning to cross the street and go into the Deathstar. Because of my efforts, I am now the proud owner of a Sony Cybershot camera and it was mine for the very decent price of $79.99 (plus another $19.99 for the memory stick). While it’s true that was the only present I bought that day and it was for me, it’s still an important part of this list.

There you have it! Good luck and happy shopping.

P.S. The writer of this blog in no way endorses the recreational use of drugs or alcohol to cope with everyday life. But Christmas shopping is not everyday life and desperate times call for desperate measures.

I Got the Music in Me November 15, 2008

Posted by Kimmothy in Music, Products, Shopping.

The other day Brian sadly told me he accidentally washed (and dryed) his mp3 player while doing laundry. He was a little horrified, but I figured it was about time for its demise. I bought it for him over two years ago, some no-name brand at Best Buy for under a hundred bucks. Given his consistent propensity for destroying things, (He is not known as Captain Destructo for nothing) I was just happy it had lasted this long. He hasn’t said anything about replacing it, but I know he loved his little gadget and the type of work he does allows him to listen to music and/or talk radio all day. Accordingly, I’ve been scouring the internets and the Sunday ads so I can get him a replacement for Christmas.

It’s strange that I haven’t owned one yet. Music has always been a very important thing to me. In my lifetime, I’ve grudgingly switched from albums to cassettes to cds to rabidly downloading songs to my computer(s). (The totally legal way. Totally.) I’m usually a few months to a year behind the times and all the cool kids, but I always cave and eventually make the upgrade. Although I would totally love to listen to an 8-track again. What?

But somehow I’ve managed to become one of the only people on earth not residing in a third world country without an Ipod or one of its poorer relations. We came close to scoring two of them last Christmas in one of those too-good-to-be-true-so-it-probably-isn’t situations but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I’m starting to think it’s finally time. Of course all that depends on how the next few weeks shape up financially, but if things go as well as they’re looking, this is what might be at the top of my list to Santa.

J and I were talking about it last night, since she’s also one of the few Ipod-less damned souls left, keeping me company in our sad musicless hell. For the past year of so we’ve said to each other, Eh – it would be nice, but how much would it really add to our lives? Last night we started listing the ways:

Exercising – music has ALWAYS been such a helpful tool with this. Whether I’m taking a brisk walk outside or chugging away on a gym machine, music makes it possible to go longer, sometimes faster and more fun. Shit, Madonna just popped into my head: “Music! Makes the people! Come together! Yeah.” Damn it!

Household chores – you and I both know how much better it is when you’re cleaning/straightening/putting stuff away and have some Beastie Boys (or whatever) cranked. Brian got me a really nice wall-mounted cd player/radio last Christmas that I currently use for this, but it’s no good for cleaning out the car, raking leaves or putting clothes away back in the closet room unless it’s cranked to a pissing-off-neighbors level. And while I do enjoy pissing off my neighbors, those fuckers are crazy and I’m scared of retaliation.

At the office – while I continue to hang in limbo waiting to see if I’ll ever get my own space, I continue to be at the mercy of Crazypants. Almost every day, I am subjected to her noises, whether it be her radio playing Angry Black Preacher, Angry Black Talk Show Host, gospel music in addition to her fantastic telephone ettiquette. Every so often I’ll play music on the computer to retaliate, but honestly, fighting noise wars or any battles with her just makes me tired. Had I a little earbud nestled securely in one of my earholes, I could block her out by listening to Angry White Talk Show Host and then throw in some Metallica – “Master! Master! Master of puppets is pulling your striiiing!” and I think that would relieve a lot of frustration.

As it stands right now, I’m mostly listening to music for short periods of time while in the car. As I have only a six mile commute, this is not nearly enough and I’m in musical withdrawal. And now that the weather has turned, it’s time to break out and revise my Cold Weather mix. See, I have a Hot Weather mix, songs that are and will always be great to listen to in the Summer: David Lee Roth’s Crazy from the Heat, Bon Jovi’s 99 in the Shade, Tom Petty’s Even the Losers, anything from the License to Ill album, etc. Then for Winter, Coldplay’s Clocks, Bob Segar’s Main Street, Counting Crow’s Long December, Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street, etc. Seriously – play some of the songs I’ve listed and see if it doesn’t conjure a certain time in your life, and it’ll correspond to the correct weather situation. It’s totally scientific and shit.

So, yeah. I think I have myself convinced. Time to join all the cool kids so I can be cool too. But right now I need to put something on so I can stop singing fucking Madonna.

Day at the Deathstar October 4, 2008

Posted by Kimmothy in Shopping, Walmart.
1 comment so far

I’ve told many anecdotes on my Myspace blog regarding my local Walmart, a.k.a. (“the Deathstar) (which I believe was one of the first terms ex-friend Bob stole from me, but moving on) but this one here is a doozy. It not only takes the cake, it takes the ice cream and the birthday hats that go along with it.

It was Friday, so I had the day off and spent the morning doing mildly productive things like working from home and catching up on Perez Hilton. Brian took the afternoon off because he’s been needing new tires on the truck and there was no way that was happening today (Saturday) because the Carolina Gameocks play at 2:00, nor tomorrow (Sunday) which is the weekly Day at His Parents’ house for Lunch that Lasts Three Hours. So. I’d called around doing some comparisons on prices and installations and found the ‘Mart had the best deal. Okay, great. We had a few things we needed to pick up anyway, it’s practically across the street from our neighborhood which is the main factor in why I keep going there even though it’s never ever a good experience.

Off we went.

We arrived a little after 2 p.m. We left the truck in the capable hands of the automotive department around 2:15 and they told us they’d page us when it was ready. Great! Off to look around and shop. It’s not often we’re in there together, since he so generously leaves the grocery shopping detail almost entirely to me, so the novelty of being together there was fun. At first.

After about forty-five minutes, we were done with our purchases and went back to the tire place, figuring they had to be close to being done. They hadn’t paged us mind you, but since no one was in line in front of us, forty-five minutes to an hour should’ve been adequate time to take off and replace tires. No. The truck was still in the same spot and it didn’t appear anything had been done to it. We put our bags inside the truck (luckily we hadn’t bought any food) and stood outside the garage area smoking and sort of watching the crew. They seemed to be busy, but doing what, I’m not sure.

I won’t put you through the agony how how we spent the next TWO AND A HALF HOURS, but when we left there, it was 5:30. So. A little over three hours to get tires replaced. Maybe it was the fact Brian added windshield wiper replacement to the order as well? That may have been it. All I know is Grace and I have put in some marathon Walmart sessions, but I have never, EVER spent that long a period of time in that store. I’m not sure I’ll ever fully recover. The upside: I now know what every single thing in there costs.

The is one more part to this story. Later that evening we were driving down the interstate on our way to Kelly’s party. All of a sudden Brian sort of freaks out and pulls off onto the shoulder, scaring the shit out of me, all “What the hell?” Apparently the rocket scientists down at the FOREST DRIVE, COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA WALMART AUTOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT had popped the hood for whatever reason then neglected to shut it correctly. We didn’t notice on our short drive home, but going 70 down the interstate and seeing it come loose, with visions of Tommy Boy and it flying up, shattering the windshield and most likely killing us – well, I believe my husband might have gotten his first gray hair last night.

I’m trying to look on the bright side. The truck has new tires (which are hopefully securely attached; he’s going to check that this morning), I have some of the items crossed off my stuff I needed to buy list and we got to spend some quality time together.

This is what I get for being a cheap Jew. Next time we’ll pay the extra hundred bucks and go to Firestone.