June 22nd, 2007

mandolin

Friday, I'm in lurve

So, last night, P, Z, and Z's friend A and I all went out to celebrate my birthday and Father's day at... Yamato's!! :D

I had filet mignon and lobster... on my son's dime. So it tasted even better! ;)

It was really good, and so was I-- I actually put it in my fitday (which you can see here). However, since it was technically a birthday dinner, it contained zero calories. Including the saki. Score!

And I got phat loot!

It was funny...Paul wrapped the gifts when he got home, and stashed 'em in the bedroom. When I went into the bedroom to get changed for dinner, there was a little gift in a bag, and a huge gift wrapped with baby shower paper. Paul followed me in, pointed at the big gift and said "Jeez, now you know that Zack got you a Guitar Hero guitar. He was convinced that's what you wanted."

It wasn't. Zack gave me the small package:



Hooray! I haven't actually played more than twice in the last month (due to time constraints, not desire-- if it were up to me, I'd play all the time), but my character's already in her mid-50s and I've been SO eager to try BC. Meanwhile, in the month I haven't played, Z's leveled his alt to nearly 50, so I should be able to play with either his main or his alt soon :)

Paul gave me the large package, which was... a metallic purple violin?!!



Bwahahahaha! I had wanted to get one because they're strung the same way as a mandolin (perfect 5ths, GDAE), so I figured that while the learning curve would be steep, at least something about it would be familiar to me. Plus it was so inexpensive that I could play with it without feeling compelled to focus on it constantly. He also got me this book and this video. What a cool and unexpected gift :)

So last night, I learned how to play Mary Had a Little Lamb on the violin. It actually wasn't too difficult!

But the violin? It's painful. In so many ways... my ears, my arm, my shoulder... And it doesn't stay in tune more than a few seconds... but maybe the strings just need to stretch. Heh, maybe I do, too. ;)

Surprisingly, the cat's don't hate it. Max hates the mandolin, but tolerates the violin. Gracie loves both. Go figure!

Additionally, we bought some tableware last night! Can you guess why?
A. Amazon had a couple of 18/10 Oneida silverware sets on sale for $50, and one thing led to another (darn you, Amazon!)
B. We're still using the mismatched silverware, stoneware and Corelle I've been using/abusing since my early 20s
C. Paul pushed for it because our relationship has been li'l shaky of late and he wants me (us, really) to be happy and settled here
D. All of the above!

Hint: The answer is "D"

http://www3.shopsmartbargains.com/images/product/301029/3010298312_LG.jpg

I had originally planned on getting these big blue square plates, but they were too darned big for my cabinets! I'm actually rather glad: I discovered the Blue Grass tableware shortly thereafter, and I'm absolutely delighted with it-- it was lurve at first sight :) Elegant AND casual... boy, is it ever hard to find that in a table setting!

Oh, if the Blue Grass link doesn't work, it's because they're sold out. I think I actually got the last two off Amazon, and at the time of this writing, there were only two left at SmartBargains.com (wait-- make that one!).

OK, I'm going to install Burning Crusade and maybe even get some more work done today. (Technically, I don't work Fridays-- it's my little rebellion at having my pay cut by 30%-- but truth be told, I still usually work Fridays. And some evenings. And weekends. I just can't not do when there's things to be done.)

Heh, returning now after several major work interruptions. I'll get this posted yet!

~Hugs to those who need 'em, those who want 'em, and those who don't run away quickly enough~
  • Current Music
    Zack practicing in the other room
lemony

Grocery Game

Right! So, back in April of 2006, I mentioned something called "The Grocery Game." At some point after that, I promised to post about it.

Well, it's over a year later, and I finally got around to it. Go me!

Now, you usually save some money at the supermarket... I mean, you're bound to pick up something on sale (especially if you stuff your cart as full as mine). Typically, with no Grocery Game and no coupons I'll see savings of about 10% of what I've spent... so if I spent $250, I might see a "you saved" amount of $25 or so.

As you can see from the receipt to the right here, I paid $250 for groceries this past Wednesday.

More importantly, you'll notice that I SAVED over $80.

Go go Grocery Game! Grocerygame.com is a site that compares coupons to sales prices for a variety of different grocery store chains, in order to find the best deals on stuff.

I keep a notebook with those plastic page inserts in it, slip each month's coupons into an insert, and slap a post-it with the date on it. Then, each time I go shopping, I look over Grocery Game's list and pull whatever coupons I need.

Since Paul and I are both dieting, and we generally buy produce and stuff at the Fresh Market across the street, I rarely make big grocery store shopping trips. But every time I do, Grocery Game pays off handsomely (I think I pay around $5/month for the service, and usually see a return on a full year's investment in a single trip).

So, I highly recommend it, if you like saving money.

I think it costs $1 to try it. I get twelve weeks free for every three people I refer, so if you give it a try, and want to slip me a few free weeks, go to grocerygame.com and put ldysaphyre@softhome.net as your referrer :)

If you need any help with using it, feel free to ask. I've been using it for well over a year now.

Happy shopping!
  • Current Music
    Disney - Supercalifragilisticexpialidoc