What I've Been Reading Instead of Cleaning My House

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Quit

I've had it. I quit. I have this love-hate relationship with this whole coupon system and it's definitely tilting towards the HATE side. Detest, dislike, despise, loathe, have ill will towards.

For the last two weeks, there have been NO good deals. Nada, zilch, nil, el-zippo, the big goose egg.

I am totally stocked with toothpaste (did you realize that toothpaste expires? I'd better start brushing my teeth 16 times a day to get through it all) and if I eat one more thing of yogurt I'm going to PUKE. Heave, hurl, drive the porcelain bus, talk to Ralph on the big white telephone, holler New York.

Here's what really drives me crazy about the system. The lady who was teaching the class went on and on about how great the deals are at this one supermarket and how she loves it because on the receipt it shows her exactly how much she saved.

I went to that same supermarket and I ended up getting the wrong brand of juice, which wasn't on sale and didn't match my coupon. Ugh! I then took that same coupon to my preferred grocery store (where everyone is nice and cheerful, but not the coupon lady's favorite store) and bought the juice with my coupon, even though it wasn't on sale.

Here's the thing. The juice that was on "sale" at the first store was actually MORE expensive than the juice that was NOT on sale at my preferred store!

Store #1
Juice regular price: $3.50
Juice on sale: $3.00
Coupon: $1.00 off
Total price: $2.00 (save $1.50)

Store #2
Juice regular price: $2.50
Coupon: $1.00 off
Total price: $1.50 (save $1.00)

So I SAVED more at store #1, but PAID less at store #2. So what's more important, bragging about how much you've saved, or actually paying less money?

Hey coupon lady, watch me save even more money by stopping my newspaper subscriptions (and not buying any more yogurt).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesdays with Meow-y #2

Here is knitted cat #2. This is based on a cat that Nigel and I had for 13 years, which left us for another family (the same cat that mauled knitted cat #1).

I really like how the white and black together turned out.

Monday, February 22, 2010

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Meow-a? #2

So what am I going to do with these cats I'm knitting?

My coworker suggested donating them to the local police station. She said that policemen keep stuffed animals in their squad cars for when they have to take children away from their homes in order to keep them safe. They like to have something for the kids to hug.

Hm, good idea.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


That's right, call me Technician Class Operator Lois.

I passed my Ham Radio test. Not only did I pass, but I got 100% (thank you very much).

At first I was nervous because there was about 30 people there to take the test and it was obvious that they had all taken classes and they all had the same textbook with them. I felt like I was in that dream where you you have a Spanish test and you didn't even know you were enrolled in a Spanish class. I was thinking, "Gee, I kind of skimmed through 'Ham Radio for Dummies' and I did some stuff on the Internet. I hope that's good enough."

I guess it was.

The test itself only took about 30 minutes (and 20 of those minutes was filling out paperwork), but I was waiting in line for over an hour just to take the test because I had to wait for the people in front of me to finish.

What I didn't realize is that if you pass the Technician test, they let you have a free stab at the General Class test. Let's just say that I bombed that one royally (that's probably where the class and book could've helped).

Anyway, it's official, I'm a geek.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Like Ham

I don't mean this kind of ham (though I do like me a good ham -- even at Thanksgiving I prefer ham to turkey).
And I REALLY don't mean Jon Hamm from "Mad Men" fame (I so don't get his appeal).

I mean Ham as in amateur radio. Yes, I'm upping my geek points and trying to get my ham radio license. I'm taking the test for my Tech license today.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesdays with Meow-y* #1

Here is my first cat so far.

The pattern I used is actually for a bear, but I just added a tail and voila, it's a cat!

This one is based on my previous neighbor's cat, "Hat" (named so because they brought it home in a hat). Our cat mauled it once (but it survived), so I feel I need to immortalize it in yarn.

I'm not sure how the button eyes will affect who I can give the cats to (probably NOT children under age 3 for choking reasons).

One down, 51 more to go!

*I know, bad pun based on Mitch Albom's book "Tuesdays with Morrie."

Monday, February 15, 2010

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Meow-a?* #1

When people see me knitting, they ask me what I'm making. They're always surprised when I answer, "Cats."

Then I have to explain the whole crazy cat lady-Chinese New Year-year of the tiger-making 52 cats-no I don't know what I'm going to do with them-idea.

The good thing is, people tell me some great ideas on what I can do with them.

Suggestion #1 -- Mother Bear Project.
This is a great organization for giving teddy bears to children with HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, but it's bears, not cats, I have to pay for their specific pattern, and then I have to pay them to donate them. Not quite what I'm looking for at this time. Plus, I'd like to do something more local.

Still waiting for my epiphany to happen. In the meantime, I'll keep knitting my cats.

* Bad pun on "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria" from "The Sound of Music."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

I know, I should be wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day, but once you've worked five years in the floral industry, you learn to loathe that hideous heart day.

Please join me on a winding journey of how I plan to celebrate Chinese New Year:

I always joke about how I'm going to be one of those crazy cat ladies when I grow up. You know, those wacky old broads with the ten million cats running around their house. Alas, I can't be one now because a cat would eat our pet rabbit (which is fine with me, but my children wouldn't care for that too much).

So instead of real cats, I figured that I would knit stuffed animal cats.

Then I realized that this year is the year of the tiger. Tiger, that's a cat. What if I made a cat for each week of the Chinese year of the tiger?

Now what am I going to do with 52 cats? I must admit that I don't know. I'm hoping that I'll have some kind of an epiphany and that by the end of the year, I'll know what to do with my cats (hoping to donate them to a worthy cause -- in Chinese astrology, "tigers" are known for their courage, so maybe children that are in need of courage and something to hug).

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how my cats are doing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Book Club

It's my turn to pick a book for book club.

Any suggestions?

Please, nothing with swearing in it (we like to save all of our swearing for the actual discussion of the book).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

School Daze

Yesterday I was helping out at my kids' school and after discussing the upcoming Winter Olympics with a group of sixth graders, one especially odd girl came up to me and said:

"I have a new word I like to say. Gigolo! Gigolo, gigolo, gigolo. Doesn't that sound delicious? Gigolo."

I cautioned her that maybe that wasn't an appropriate word to say, especially at school. The girl had no idea why. I tried to explain to her what it meant (which was probably worse than her actually saying it), but she still didn't quite get it. She thought she had made the word up. Her face then brightened to a smile and she said:

"I know! Instead of gigolo, I'll say (insert very non-PC racial epithet here)! That's a good word."

I again told her that it was NOT a good word (and didn't explain why just in case she decided she WOULD like to use that word correctly).

Finally, she decided that "Jell-O" would be her new word of choice.

I agreed. After all, there's always room for Jell-O.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Is That What They're Calling It These Days?

A few months ago I was early picking my kids up from school and I noticed a man in the parking lot adjacent to my kids' school. He was standing alone, looking at the school playground with a pair of binoculars. Not just looking, but studying.

What the heck is this? Not one to let creepy guys get away with spying on children, I went up to him and asked what he was doing.

He replied, "I'm looking at this tree."

The tree that's 10 feet in front of him -- with binoculars? I pushed him further to explain himself.

He replied, "I'm looking for my iguana."

Oh, is that what they're calling it these days?

He then sheepishly explained that he had lost his pet lizard and someone had reported seeing it in one of the trees by the school. The problem is, the lizard is green and the trees are green, hence the binoculars.

Sure enough, as I looked around, there were "Lost Iguana" posters plastered all over the neighborhood. That's not all, they were also advertising a $100 reward! Soon, I was studying all the trees to find that iguana (she was named "Queenie," by the way).

It wasn't long before other parents were asking me what I was doing.

"Oh, I'm just looking for an iguana."