(The Blog Formerly Known as "Countdown to 30" and "30 is the New Twenty")

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's baaack

It's happening again. I've got a nasty case of writer's block. Argh. I was so excited to have today off. I was planning on writing for most of the day. But, noooo writer's block has to show up and ruin the day. It's not like I don't have ideas, 'cause I've got plenty. I just can't make it happen. I've been staring at my screenplay on my computer screen for an hour and I haven't written a word. Grrrr... I am going to do some dishes and make some coffee. I hope that helps.

Shopping Tales

In between my battle with the flu, I was able to sneak in some shopping. Christine and I checked out the Buffalo Exchange that just opened up at 27th and Lyndale in Uptown. I was really excited because I've heard good things about Buffalo Exchanges. Unfortunately, I left somewhat disappointed. Word on the street is that Buffalo Exchanges carry designer and vintage apparel. Not the Minneapolis one. The store was packed with Target, JCP, GAP, Forever 21, and Old Navy castaways. Many of the garments were priced higher than their actual retail price and looked like someone dragged them behind their cars for miles. I was expecting Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson, Chloe, etc. I would've settled for Free People. Even vintage Marshall Fields, JCP or Sears would've been a treat. Valu Thrift and Unique have a better selection of clothing. The shoe selection was pretty decent and reasonably priced. I found a pair of classic black canvas Vans for only $15. They were in good shape--maybe worn once. I didn't buy them because I really don't need anymore sneakers. Ahhh.... restraint.

What really got me was the customer service. As a seasoned retail veteran, I am understanding to sales associates having bad days or simply being too overworked to go above and beyond the call of duty. What I don't tolerate is non-existent, appalling levels of poor customer service. We were greeted with a feeble "hello" when we walked in the door, but that was the extent of the customer service. Most of the sales associates were too concerned with prancing around in the little outfits they were modeling to even say hi. I am not a high-maintenance shopper, but a little acknowledgement is always nice. Especially when its a new store. Christine and I both got the too cool for school Uptown hipster vibe. I noticed one associate eying me up and down with a nasty look on her face. Apparently, shopping shouldn't be done in a funnelneck sweatshirt and jeans. The kicker was the line at the register for about five minutes. No one noticed, the associates were too into their modelling and staring down the customers. The last time I checked, the name of the retail game is making money. Finally someone came over and rang everyone up.

I did find a cool kelly green leather jacket for $12.50. Here it is:

The picture really doesn't do it justice. It's made of super-soft leather and is perfectly broken in. I love it when I don't have to break in a jacket. And it'll be great for St. Patty's Day.
I will probably give the Buffalo Exchange another chance. It was their opening weekend and they might have been picked over, however, I can't excuse poor customer service.
Last weekend, I checked out one of my favorite stores, Rewind, in NE Minneapolis. They have an excellent selection of vintage clothing and lack the hipster attitude. I can always find something there. Here's what I found:
The denim vest is the coolest vest ever! The brand is Country by Loretta Lynn. How cool is that? I never knew that Loretta Lynn had a line of clothes. I love the 80's country grandma trucker look. The bag I couldn't pass up. I had a tan one when I was little that I carried my piano books in. I also found a cute little panda pin. All of that cost me $20. Hooray!
The moral of my shopping tales is shop with your money. Yes, I did buy a jacket at Buffalo Exchange. I doubt though, that I'll make a habit of shopping there. I'd rather support stores that don't have the too cool for school attitude. Fashion isn't just for the hipsters; it's for everyone. I put up with enough bad attitudes when I'm on the other side of the register (I handle it all with a smile and kindness) that I don't need to deal with them when I'm shopping.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hooray for a Survey!

Here's a survey for you.... I've never done one of those on my blog... I got this one from Catherine's blog.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago? In 1998?

I was a Sophomore at the U studying English and Spanish. Well... those were my "declared" majors. I liked to unofficially change my mind every week. I was freelancing for the Minnesota Daily in my spare time. I also didn't get enough sleep and drank way too much coffee and beer. I got daily naps in whatever boring gen ed. I had.... I think it would've been "Rocks for Jocks" . I spent lots of my time procrastinating. Ahh... those were the days.

Last year?

I had just finished school and I was coasting. Trying to figure out what to do with my life. And as always, trying to set the world on fire and not myself. I was enjoying having more "free time" and a steady paycheck.

2. What are your five favorite snacks?

Popcorn, popcorn and more popcorn. I could eat my weight in popcorn. I love it! I also like apples, chips and salsa, cereal, and ice cream.

3. Five Favorite "Toys?"

My computer, my iPod, a notebook and a good pen, my imagination, and my journal.

4. What I like to do

Writing, reading, watching television, sleeping, thrifting, watching movies, and playing Nancy Drew.

5. My bad habits

I am a procrastinator, a nail bitter, I take on too much, and I'm my own worst critic.

Bad Blogger

I have been a horrible blogger lately. I don't know why. It might have been the awful flu I came down with last week. You know, the one that EVERYONE had. It knocked me off my feet for two days and has taken until this week to sort of feel back to normal. My appetite has been way off. I've always been a good eater. Last week, I could barely eat two meals a day. A package of Quaker Oatmeal was too much to eat for breakfast. A can of soup was enough for dinner. Totally not normal for me. I found that I didn't really need/want caffeine, either. A cup of coffee was just enough for breakfast (I normally drink two or three cups). All of that is slowly coming back. Very bizarre.

The Academy Awards always serve as a major inspiration for me and this year was no exception. I was so excited for Diablo Cody. I really wanted her to win, but I totally didn't expect it. And the Cohen Brothers really cleaned up. I loved how Joel thanked everyone for "sharing a little piece of the sandbox" with them. I have always loved the Cohen Brothers and it is so obvious that they have such a love of writing and making movies. Like the Cohen Brothers, I've been writing ever since I can remember. It's a great love of writing that developed when I was organizing neighborhood plays in elementary school. The story about how they went to the Minneapolis Airport to make a movie about Henry Kissinger was hilarious. It reminded me of something I would've done as a kid.

I am hoping that my return to normalcy health wise and the Oscars can motivate me to spend more time on my own writing. It's been suffering lately.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I Love a Good Deal

The other day I got my eyes checked. My perscription changed sightly, so I got to pick out new glasses. Hooray! I heart glasses. I've been wearing them for more than half of my life. Although, I hated them as a kid, as an adult they are pretty cool. Plus, there's the minor detail that I could never, ever put a contact in my eye. Not even if someone tied me down and put them in my eyes for me. I have eye issues. I ran into a tree when I was three (don't ask; long story) and got seven stitches right above my eye. I haven't been the same about my eyes since.

Anyways, back to the new glasses. I looked at a major national big box glasses emporium and was shocked at the prices. They used to have a really nice selection of moderately priced frames. Not anymore. It's all high-end designer frames. Seriously, who needs Versace, D&G or Burberry frames? I don't. Ralph Lauren? Enticing, but no. The frames alone ranged from $200-$300. Just for the frames. YIKES! By the time you've tacked on the anti glare coating, scratch resistant coating, etc. the purchase would be around $500 dollars. They did have two rows of "cheap" frames, but they looked really cheap. I politely exited. I went to JCP optical. I found two super cute frames for less than the price of one pair of glasses at the big box retailer. I love a good deal. I would much rather have two pairs than one pair of Burberry glasses. I saved over $300 on two pairs of glasses. Woo hoo! The lesson learned here is to shop around. Check out JCP and Target, they have much better deals.

Stop the Caucus Complaining!

I am really tired of hearing people complain about their caucus experiences this past Tuesday. They ran out of ballots! I voted on a post-it note! The horror. I had to wait in a really long line that went around the block nine times. Oh, no! It was really cold waiting in the really long line that went around the block nine times. -Sniff-. I was there for three hours! I missed "American Idol." It's called TiVo. To me, these complaints seems pety and small. And very selfish. There are so many countries where people don't have the freedom to vote or if they do, they have to fight violence to go vote. What happened on Tuesday was a great example of democracy in action. I think it is so cool that there was a record turnout. It shows that Minnesotans take their politics seriously and aren't going to sit back and wait for change. It is especially great that younger voters got out and rocked the vote (caucus). This is what people should be focused on; not a couple miscalculations of the turnout. Unfortunately, I was unable to go caucus. I had to work that night and I couldn't find someone to switch with. I was pretty sad about it. I know that if I had the chance to go, it would've been exciting. I'm a bit of a dork and I love to go vote/ caucus. It makes me feel like I'm doing my part. Ever since I turned eighteen, I've taken every opportunity to go vote. It's our duty as Americans. Lines and make shift ballots are so minor. Get over it.