Archive for November, 2010

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Black Friday and the after (dinner) party

November 26, 2010

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Black Friday Sale (BFS, apparently)
The craziness of Black Friday. It’s always nuts in stores and this is the second year in a row in which I did not go to line up. I’ve done lineups for the years before and I’ve gotten tired of it. Staying up late, outside, freezing, uncomfortable. Then fighting people to grab that oh so illusive item. Thankfully with the advent of online retailers, most of the sale items could be found online. Which is what I did.

In fact, barring a new computer desk (L-desk, YAY!) I bought from Staples and a peacoat my sister bought as a gift for me, every single Black Friday purchase I made this year was online. Many places coupled in Free Shipping and Amazon doesn’t even charge tax! The ones who charged tax at least gave enough of a substantial discount to warrant the minor aftercharge.

I’m glad I chose to stay home, warm, in the comfort of my room, in my PJs. I was able to snag special late night sale items online, chat with my friends, watch a few movies, and all the while make food in my kitchen. Did I mention I was warm and in my PJs? Definitely beats standing outside in the cold. Also, there was a freezing warning out last night.

Amazingly, the first item I ordered from two days ago has arrived today, on Black Friday itself! That’s incredible! I can’t believe I’m getting something already! The next string of shipments should be arriving next week, most likely Monday or Tuesday. I can’t wait, there are two pairs of Puma’s coming that I’m particularly uber excited about.

Birthday Dinner Party
My birthday was on the 23rd (I’m 23 now, baby!) and I’ll be having a get together dinner at Elephant Bar. It’s funny, I originally reserved for BJ’s but they cancelled my reservation. Oh well, I’ve been having it at Elephant Bar for a few years now so it’s kind of like a tradition to go back there.

Sidenote, I had these for Thanksgiving. Turkey was pushed back for Christmas.

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Those are quail. It’s a nice twist on a typical fowl dish. Get it? LOL, I’m terrible.
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Those guys, I don’t even know what they are. They’re kind of like empanadas, except they’re savory. There is minced meat, potatoes and what looks to be either golden raisins or dates inside. Very tasty little buggers.

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Besides the telltale green beans, this dish through me off but was amazing! We’re looking at sliced grilled strip steak on a bed of roasted potatoes and white mushrooms topped with red chimichurri. My mom whipped this up from just an image she saw in a newspaper. It was by far my favorite dish that night.

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Wrapped Up

November 9, 2010

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Do you wrap yourself up in your blanket when you sleep? You know what I’m talking about, taking the edges and tucking them under you so you’re like a giant log. I know I do. Of course there are certain reasons for doing this.

It’s f-ing cold at night
When the sun goes away and darkness falls, the temperature drops. Sometimes even your house will feel unbearably cold. As you climb into bed, you pull that big, thick blanket of yours up and over you. Then, you roll up in it and tuck the ends. At first, the material is cold to the touch because it’s been sitting there all day, in the cold air, just like you were a few minutes ago. But once you’re inside, the magic starts. Like a veritable oven, the blanket will now start to trap the heat given off from your body. In turn, it will start to warm you up. As your body slowly heats up, it in turn gives off more body warmth. The process continues until you get all nice and toasty. At this point, your worst thoughts will involve having to climb out to go to the bathroom, releasing all that built up happiness.

Defense
As a child, the ultimate defense against the things that went bump in the night was your blanket. Whenever you watched that scary movie or heard that horror story, you’d go running into the comforting folds of your blanket for refuge. Sure, your parents would be able to kick all the monsters out of the closet and under the bed, but what about the ones that showed up to the party late? Instead of breaking a run for your parents bed right away, you would bust out the blanket wrap and extend it above your head. Now, making sure that you left a little hole to peak out (and for breathing), you can really make sure if there was something out there. Only when you really made sure that thing that went bump in the dark was a threat would you finally break your castle defense for the holy land of your parents bedroom.

Extra support
When that comforter is tucked in correctly, you’ve got extra padding. Immediately under you is now nearly an inch to an inch-and-a-half of cotton and polyester. If you didn’t know any better, you’d have thought that you were sleeping in your sleeping bag on top of your bed. It’s downright comfy. And the larger your blanket is, the thicker the padding you get. Or, if you have a large bed, you can spread out this padding to allow yourself a bit of rolling room while maintaining that oh-so-toasty warmth trapped inside.

Getting wrapped up
I know most of us don’t think about our blankets often, but it’s something we should all take a second. I love my blanket, it’s a huge dark blue King-sized comforter that is uber comfy. It breathes in summer and is awesomely warm in the winter. When I wash the sucker, I have to go to the laundromat and use a single machine just for it. But oh is the big guy worth it.

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NaNoWriMo fo’ me

November 4, 2010

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Yeah, BOI! I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year! It’s gonna get crazy up in here! I can feel my juices (creative) flowing!!!

Ok, I lied. Did I trick you? Even a little bit? I know someone out there would have believed me if I told them I was doing NaNoWriMo. I’m not actually doing NaNoWriMo because I totally forgot about it. When I did remember, November was here and I don’t feel like losing a few of works. And also because I’m scared of it. That’s right, this thing is vicious in my eyes.

What seems like a simple ploy to encourage writers is actually a very daunting task to me. Here’s the stitch, you get the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel. It doesn’t matter the genre, the story direction or even the quality of the writing. You just need to hit the magic number once the end of the month comes. That’s an average of 1600 words or so a day.

Would I be able to meet it? Maybe. Writing is a tough thing to do for most people, but if it’s an all out “write it for writings sake”, I could probably do it. I just don’t really see myself outputting at such a high rate. To put it into perspective, my blog posts are on average 500-600 words or so. I actually like writing for my blog and try to write often for it. Still, I write an average of 1.5 blog posts a week. That’s what, 900 words for a week of writing right there. I’m way behind in word count, haha.

I also have that random story I wrote pulling at my heartstrings. I’ve not written a word of prose for it in over 5 years, how do you expect me to write a psycho story in a month? It’s just not going to happen, even if my characters are very endearing to me.

Now, this isn’t to say that NaNoWriMo is forever out of my reach or the reach of most people. In fact, NaNoWriMo is hugely popular and is very well known on the ‘nets. I remember Amy successfully did it one year, props to her. That’s pretty awesome, seeing as how I freak writing multiple page essays nowadays.

Suppose you did want to do NaNoWriMo, what happens? You need to sign up at the website to participate. You can sign up any time during the year, but you can only do your actual writing during the month of November. When your finished, you submit your manuscript (yeah, you’ll have a “manuscript” now, awesome) to the website and the bots verify the word count. If your manuscript blows pass the 50,000 mark, you succeeded! Congratulations! You now get a special link to a website that has that years Winners’ Certificate. Good job if you get one, it represents your tenacity for partaking in this daunting task that only the bravest of scribes will undergo.

As for me, I’ll stick to my slow rate of output, my random bamblings, and my certificate-less rewards. Maybe next year I’ll be brave enough to do NaNoWriMo. Until then, I salute those who have and are.

(Sidenote: Excluding this sentence, this post was 530 words. Smack dab in my average.)

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Watch me! I can tell time.

November 2, 2010

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Carrying a cellphone is now considered the norm and even an essential way of life for many. Besides making obligatory phone calls, cellphones have another inherent ability, they tell time. In fact, they can be the way to tell time. Many people keep cellphones on their body at all times. Their cellphones’ clocks are connected to the cell carrier’s servers, maintaining perfect update adjustments for time keeping. It’s a wonder how we we able to find the time when we were on the move in the past?

It’s such a wrist:
I only know a few people who wear watches nowadays. I believe Raj still does, John occasionally, and maybe a few girls who receive watches as gifts. I love wearing watches. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve owned at least one watch at all times. When it broke, wore out, or I just got tired of it, I’d buy a new one to replace it. Currently, I own three wristwatches and one pocket watch (two of them are pictured in this post). If I didn’t get weird looks, I’d probably wear one on each wrist. Ok, that’s maybe a bit too weird. But I love different things sometimes. Apparently, for people our age, wristwatches are slowly approaching that point. The wristwatch has fallen to the wayside as just fashion items.

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Branded and sold
If you see someone young, it’s almost a given that if there’s a timepiece on their arms, it’s a G-Shock (Baby-G for the ladies) or something totally metal. Casio’s G-Shock lines of watches have turned into a fashion watch that combines durability with notoriety and style. A typical G-Shock watch will go for on average $70 in the US, albeit with there being some budget offerings and premium lines abound, too. But the price association is implied when you see someone wearing a G-Shock, the person shelled out a bit more than just a Wal-Mart drop.

Metallic watches have always been thought of as a fashion item. Instead of lusted over for their function, it’s the gleam and shine of owning something that immediately screams money because they were limited to higher brands like Seiko. The interesting change is that metallic watches are no longer out of reach as they were in yesteryears. Nowadays, they can be had for as low as $30 for quality name brands such as Timex. Even a cheap knockoff metallic watch will change the way someone looks.

Where, When, Why?
After wearing watches for many years, I’ve gotten used to the feeling. But I know a lot of people who don’t like having something strapped to their wrists. I guess it’s also a given that I like wearing beads on my wrists, too. However, there are still times when even I still found it awkward to wear a watch.

Wearing a watch to bed is actually still a debated topic among watch wearers. With the exception of the single metallic watch I own, I always take off my watch before I climb into bed. I like to let my wrists rest for the night and breathe. I do know people who wear their watches to bed because they use the light functions to tell time in the dark. It’s especially useful for people who take off their glasses at night, looking across the room in the dark for the time when you’re already bat-blind without glasses just becomes a ridiculous chore.

A lot of watches are water resistant and can go to extreme depths even! But for the everyday watch, it should withstand enough water in the event that you accidentally dunk it. Typically, this involves washing dishes or maybe washing the car. If you venture into the waters at the beach, you’d better hope that your watch can stand the depths. For some people, they wear their watches into the shower. I did that years ago with one of my watches when I was a kid and literally screwed up my leather strap permanently. I’ve never gone into the shower with a watch on since, even if it were metal and rated for the bowels of the ocean. Besides, I leave my phone playing music to gauge the time.

Whether you wear a watch or not, be it for fashion or function, it’s still something many people consider as essential as a cellphone. Without it, they feel naked.

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