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I Might Be Certifiable (OMG)

See that title? ^^ You might agree if you read this entry. I’m just sayin’.

I am 100% back to being a night owl. I stay up until 4 or 5am, I roll out of bed at about 11:30am, and then I fall asleep on the couch about 3pm, and again at about 8pm. Then I’m up all night. Party! Woo!

The good thing about it is that I don’t have anywhere to go during the day mostly, and if I DO have something to do, I am functional enough to get it taken care of. For example, Tuesday, I got up and cleaned like I was crazy! I took down and put away all the Christmas stuff, cleaned the kitchen, living room, my side of the bedroom, the litter boxes, and Aidan’s room, and finished it off with that nice, hot bath. I even used my Cinders bath bomb–and that was a limited edition one. I hardly EVER use my LE bath bombs because well, they’re LE. I can’t get them again.

The good thing is that after you do a super cleaning like that, you get a grace period where there’s nothing to do until things get messed up again. There are always dishes to do, though, and GOD knows that trash can is the bane of my existence. Good Lord that thing stinks to high heaven every other freaking day and it’s driving me up a wall. Has to drive Adam crazy too, having to take the trash out all the time. I try not to put things in it that will seriously perish in a matter of hours (like old meat or leftovers) but something must have escaped my notice (i.e. Adam put it in there) and it turned this evening, because I have a SUPER sensitive sniffer and bad smells just get stuck and nothing I do can make them go away or mask them. They just seem to linger and linger while my Nag Champa burns away in vain. *sigh*

Saturday aka today is … wait for it… GROCERY SHOPPING DAY. To prepare, I did something I have not done in a long time. I CLIPPED COUPONS. Because see, lately, I’ve been getting these recipes off of Pillsbury.com, and a lot of them use the Crescent rolls. Adam says the rolls are expensive, so I decided to go online and see if they had coupons. AND THEY DO! So I’m going to stock up on them and do a happy dance because there are so many neat things I can make with them. For New Year’s Eve, I made these ham and cheddar crescents, and cheese ‘n pepperoni crescents. I made the cheese ‘n pepperoni ones again a few nights ago. They’re easy and tasty and leftovers can go in the fridge and be reheated in 30 seconds in the microwave. I want to make a bunch and have them ready to go as snacks. I mean, they are the PERFECT snack or appetizer, and for night owl me, who doesn’t want to eat a huge meal at 3:30am, one of those things is just right.

Anyway, I clipped lots of other coupons too, not just Pillsbury ones. Funny thing is that I don’t eat a whole lot these days. Only when I am working in an office do I eat a lot more than I should, and I do eat normally when I am out and about. Here at home, it’s easier to get caught up in whatever I’m doing (usually reading or puttering around on the computer) and not eat until my stomach threatens to kick my butt from here to New York if I don’t fill it with something other than water or lemonade. I get THIRSTY, but not so much hungry. I’m not a good “family” shopper. I lived alone for a while, then Chris did most of the shopping, then I lived alone again, then Adam did/does most of the shopping. He knows how to go and buy things like meat and other items to successfully put together meals, and he does it without too much thought. Me? I have to pore over sales papers and make lists and more lists and clip coupons and study recipes and do it all over again. And I STILL tend to go for the more easy and quick stuff, hence my new obsession with those rolls and everything that can be done with them.

I also ordered a 6-unit case of Apples and Cinnamon Cream of Wheat. See, for years, one could go to a grocery store and buy entire boxes of all sorts of flavors of Cream of Wheat. There was Apples and Cinnamon, Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Strawberries and Cream, and Maple Brown Sugar. And of course, the different varieties of Original. My mother said that when I was little I loved Maple Brown Sugar, but as I got older, I started to love Apples and Cinnamon the best. And I ate it for years and years and years and years and years. My favorite breakfast was Cream of Wheat and bacon. Apples and Cinnamon, but I also like the way my grandmother, Madia, made the Original for me. Then, my favorite flavor started disappearing off the shelves. Well, not really disappearing. It started hiding in the Variety Pack boxes, as did the Strawberries and Cream. So, I switched to Brown Sugar Cinnamon and added applesauce to it. Got the same flavor with no lumpy apples, and then THAT one disappeared into the Variety Pack as well. By this time, I was learning a couple of things:

1. Anything I liked, I mean really liked, was suddenly going to likely be off the shelves in a matter of months if not weeks.
2. If something disappears into a variety pack, be prepared kiss it good-bye before long.

This has happened with SO MANY of my favorite foods. A LONG LONG time ago, Doritos once made Sour Cream and Onion Flavor. My cousins and I ate that stuff like we were crazy. Then suddenly, they were no more. Other flavors came and went, but nothing was like those our Cream and Onion Doritos. But we got over it, my cousins and I. And we moved on. To Nacho Cheese. And we’ve been happy with Nacho Cheese ever since. Actually, I am speaking for myself here. They probably are not as particular as I am about Dorito flavor. Anway, the nacho cheese had BETTER NEVER go away or there will be one pissed off little Ronica here in Chicago.

Rice Krispies made Double Chocolately Chunk Treats for years. Then they disappeared into a variety pack. Now you can’t even find them in those, or if you can, it’s very few and far between. I’ve found a few little stores around Chicago in office buildings that will sell an individual one, and I usually make the mistake of buying the whole display and then the jerks raise their prices because they know they have a fanatic on their hands, but as far as getting a multi-pack box from Target or something like that? Nope. I even wrote and asked them about it. And finding the individual bars is like finding a needle in a haystack. Then, out of nowhere came these Rice Krispies Stix. They were like the treats you could break them apart like a Kit-Kat bar. I liked those even better than the treats, but those were gone within WEEKS of being debuted. Those didn’t even make it into a variety pack. They were just … GONE.

When I was in 6th grade, Quaker made Granola Dipps. I loved them. Naturally, they disappeared. Then they came back for a while, then disappeared into the black hole that is Walmart. I spotted them at Strack and Vantil last year, and then they disappeared. Adam found them at Dominick’s, I found them at Jewel, and I think they might be at a Target here and there these days. Every time they go on sale, Adam and I buy about 15 boxes to stock up. They are hard to find and probably going to go away again. They are also very expensive when they are not on sale. That’s the other reason we stock up. Not only do I tend to like foods that disappear, I tend to like foods that are expensive.

In high school, Carnation made these really yummy breakfast bars. You could get them next to the Instant Breakfast drinks. They were so good. I loved them. I’d started eating them during my senior year of high school, and the song Freak Me by Silk was popular. I had the single and the single had a certain mix on it. To this day, if I hear that mix of that song, I crave those stupid breakfast bars. Carnation changed the formula on them and make them gross, then discontinued them. A few years ago, Skippy made these yummy peanut butter bars covered in chocolate. One was peanut butter and marshmallow. Yum. It was a crazy flavor that was soon addictive. Yeah, that was gone within three months.

These things are not discontinued but you can’t get them in Chicago: Cherry pies at McDonald’s (they are SO superior to the apple ones) and BBQ Fritos. What the green hell? No BBQ Fritos? Oh sure, they have Chili Cheese ones (blech) and those honey BBQ Twists (not the same) but no plain old BBQ Fritos? *shaking my head* Messed up. And Twinings JUST discontinued the Tastes of Summer tea, which I LOVE. I have only ONE pack left. I’d been blowing through them, not realizing how precious and limited my supply was. Are my tastes THAT obscure that everything I fall for must disappear?

ANYWAY, back on topic. Now, if I go to to the grocery store, the only Cream of Wheat I can get all in one flavor is Maple Brown Sugar, my original favorite flavored. And Original, of course, when it doesn’t cost $89794888947. EXCEPT–Amazon.com has cases of Apples and Cinnamon Cream of Wheat for $25! Guess who ordered herself one right after the Christmas? (It had been on my wish list but no one picked that gift to send me from it. Not that I am complaining. It’s probably one of those things that makes people go “She can’t seriously want Cream of Wheat for a present” like they say “There is no way she really wants a thesaurus for Christmas”–oh but I would LOVE a thesaurus for Christmas, or the Chicago Manual of Style….)

******NEWS FLASH*******

I JUST FREAKING FOUND A CASE OF THE DOUBLE CHOCOLATELY CHUNK RICE KRISPIE TREATS ON AMAZON.COM. HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP I HAVE HIT THE MOTHERLODE. $8 FOR SHIPPING BUT IT JUST MIGHT BE WORTH IT.

***Dies Dead***

Speaking of shipping, Adam and I tried out Amazon Prime for our holiday shopping and freaking loved it. LOVED IT. My trial membership expired on the 7th. See, it offers free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase. Two-day shipping, you guys. And no scrounging around the site trying to find something eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping to push that total to $25 when you are at $23.47 (and you KNOW that happens more often than not.) You can order something for $9 and still get it in two days, and still get it free. And getting the package with the PREMIUM sticker on it was pretty cool, I do say so myself. We were certainly spoiled. But to keep it will cost $79.99. When Amazon Prime was a free trial, that free shipping was a great deal. It doesn’t seem so great after you pay $80 up front for it. But Adam said we probably spend that much trying to make the Super Saver Shipping eligibility by buying stuff we don’t need to get to $25 (because come on, I know that I’ve never managed to spend under $30 when I was going for SSS anyway–how about you? It’s not really possible. The total is usually just under $25 or a bunch of dollars OVER $25, right?). Maybe I’m just trying to talk myself into signing up for the stupid thing. I dunno, I will have to seriously think about it. I’m glad I tried it, though. It really helped make Christmas easier for us.

Still a little bit bummed that the holiday season is over. But there is a lot to look forward to in 2010 and I know that I’ll back into the swing of things mentally before long. Especially when I find this site with loads of beautiful clothes that I can ill afford to be buying these days. Some day, my friends. Some day I will have that pin stripe skirt and and those alderlass trousers. And there is this pair of shoes… oh God, these shoes! *calming breath* Oh yes, my friends. Some day.

In the meantime, I will try to sleep. And during the day, I will take a break from reading the Series of Unfortunate Events (I am currently in the middle of Book The Fifth) and venture out to the grocery store and possibly Target (we need printer paper and Iams cat food). If I am lucky and feeling up to it and if I can convince Adam, maybe a trip to Barnes & Noble as well. I have a $25 gift card that’s burning a hole in my wallet. :)

Going to try to sleep now. G’night… er, morning. :O

P.S. Just so you know, if Pillsbury stops making their Crescent Rolls, I will take it personally.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.

Man, what an up and down kinda day.

I always fight the alarm when it goes off, because there is no freaking way that it’s already time to get up in the mornings, you know? I’m such a night owl, mornings are hard for me. I’ve been like that since high school, so I don’t think it’s going to change. Man, a freelance job would be so amazing, because then I could indulge in my night owl tendencies. As it is, the DAY goes by so slowly…. trudge trudge trudge

I checked my email and had a nice one from adamselzer that made me smile, an email from Southwest Airlines telling me they’d given me my free flight (with drink coupons!) award, and an email from Netflix saying they’d reduced my monthly rate. Wooot.

I got into a brand new dentist today. That was neat. I got my teeth cleaned for the first time in, well, let’s not say. Unfortunately, there is some other work to be done (including surgery) that I absolutely cannot afford, so I won’t get getting any of that done for at least a year. My insurance only covers 80% of stuff (even cleanings—most insurances do 100% but OH not mine!) and I simply do not make enough money to incur any debt (cause there’s that pesky little thing called “making payments”), not that they’d give me credit anyway, given recent events. I have to go out and find a 2nd job. HOW, I don’t know. But I have to. Which sucks, unless I can find something freelance and involving editing. I have a hard time finding retail because I can’t work weekends (I have Aidan on the weekends).

But right now, my goal is Chicago, summer of 2008. That means I need to give up some things to make it there. Number one thing I’m doing is cancelling Netflix on July 15th. Why the 15th? Why not now, you ask? Because they don’t give partial refunds for a month already charged, and they just charged me on June 22nd or something like that. I’m getting my month. Also, I want to give them time to cancel the pending charge for July. I don’t need to see new movies all the time, and if things get better, I can go back. Another thing? Look for a second job, and in the meantime, pray I can write something a publisher will buy.

I have so many goals now.

– Move to Chicago | Summer 2008
– Find a job in Chicago | (no later than) Autumn 2008
– Get teeth fixed | Autumn 2008
– Go to grad school for either 1. creative writing 2. library science 3. primary education| 2009 or 2010
– Sell a novel | by 2010

To get there, that means:
– VERY little eating out (unless someone else is paying!). I’m talking once every two or three months at most.
– No more buying clothes (can’t gain anymore weight!!)
– No Netflix.
Rare road trips. My transportation expenses are already 4.9% over conventional wisdom per month. Gas prices and expensive mandatory insurance.
– No other unnecessary expenses.

Put plainly, to achieve any of my goals, I need more money. And as money tends to come in slowly for me, I have to figure out how to go out and get it… without getting arrested or something in the meantime.

Argh. Frustration.

But this cool. Look what I got in the mail (click to see bigger):


Woo-Hoo!

And randomly….

One of my favorite Bob Dylan songs:

Weird Al’s Parody:

Night.

PS – The quote in my subject can be attributed to: WH Auden

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Potluck Entry

So, in order to “slowly” earn some extra money while still hunting for a part-time position that goes with the hours I’m available and will give me enough of a boost to not feel so panicked and allow me to eat out at a Bob Evans or something every once in a while, I signed up for this thing called Hits4Pay. Basically, all I do is view some websites (most of them are viewing ads for those sites that say “Earn $500 a day working from home” which of course, you’re not obligated to do) and then I get credited 2 cents per ad. It’s brainless work, really, and I got $10 just for signing up. You don’t pay any fees, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. I won’t get rich doing this, but it’ll be nice to earn a few extra bucks a month anyway. Then I can get myself a Whopper without feeling too guilty.

If you’d like to sign up, click here: http://hits4pay.com/members/index.cgi?lilrongal
Seriously, it’s really easy. Slow going, but better than doing nothing.

Five Happy Things:
1. The LJ community. Oh my goodness. What adorable icons!! :)
2. Books, glorious books!
3. A certain little kitty who has made herself comfortable on my lap.
4. Working on revising the ZB style guide.
5. Dinner in the oven. It smells so amazing!

I suppose that’s all for now. :) See ya!

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Much On My Mind (Video)

I’m sitting here FREEZING. My hands are like ice blocks, but I am hesitant to turn on the heater because my last gas bill was over $75, and that was with my thermostat being set at 64º or 65º for most of December. I’m thinking of investing in a space heater, because my electric bill is just over $30. Much more affordable.

Now I just need $20 for a space heater. OR I need to remember to bring the one I use at work home with me on cold evenings. Then I have to remember to take it back to work!

I had a really good weekend. Someone awesome spoiled me rotten, and got to eat at Morone’s, where I haven’t been in years!!! It was as delicious as I remember. Mmm, I love that place. They’re always hiring too, I wonder if I got a job hostessing there a couple nights a week would I get discounts on food? Meh, I’ve heard too many horror stories recently about how restaurant workers are treated; so it’s not likely.

Now I’m craving Morone’s again. Mmmmm.

My Web site host emailed me and told me they changed my password. I’d had the same password for anywhere-is for over six years now, so this new password thing is kind of annoying. It’s longer and more crazy than before. But that’s the thing now, strong passwords. And I’m cool with it. I’m down. Word.

Ivy (swankivy) showed me a Web site that allows one to look up his or her old sites on the internet. I did some searching and came across tons of old layouts I’d done for anywhere-is. And pixels! Clique graphics. Anyone remember the wormie clique? I had a blue one! And anyone remember The Cutie Factory? That site had the best pixels ever. There are still pixel-making sites out there, and I still LOVE collecting them. :)

A while ago, I’d posted the Aidan Mega Mix for people to download. I wasn’t sure if people with Macs or whatever could watch it. But I uploaded it to YouTube over the weekend, so behind the cut is a video that I made in late 2005 of Aidan being cute.

I plan to make a new video soon. You guys have to see this kid in action.

He’s been with my mom since the 6th of January, and I miss the little bugger.

Popped into a comic book store over the weekend. The Laughing Ogre. Had to see which Peach Girls I’d missed. I need 5-10, plus the Sae ones. Someday. Someday, perhaps. I also found myself drawn to the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels. *looks around innocently* Didn’t buy anything, of course, but the place is a block and a half from me. I can walk there any time. If it would ever stop raining.

Actually, it did stop raining. Just in time for the weather to drop to “freeze your nutsack off” temperatures. Still not happy weather for me to walk in. I can’t wait until the late Spring, when the trees have pink blossoms all over them and it’ll be warm enough to walk without a jacket on. But it’s only January.

I have to do dishes. Eventually.

I did drop $8 I really can’t afford on jenlyn_b‘s new book Tattoo. I wanted to get robbiewriter‘s book Better Than Yesterday as well (I’ve heard awesome reviews about it), but I didn’t see it. Not that I had the money for it anyway–I think I’ll try to reserve it at the library, though. :D If it’s not there, then WAH. I’ll figure something out.

Who plans to watch American Idol tonight? I MIGHT. We’ll see. It depends on how well Fox will come in on my TV. I do it old school, see. I have rabbit ears. And sometimes the channels aren’t so clear. But that’s all right. Ha.

Moof.

I’m experiencing a letdown right now. After such an awesome weekend, I’m readjusting and having kind of a hard time with it. I’m feeling depressed about my writing (or lack thereof) again. Big things coming up in the next few days that are on my mind. I’m cold. I’m also very tired. Early bedtime is on the agenda for tonight, I think. We’ll see how that goes, though.

I guess I’ll turn the heat on now. I’m freezing THROUGH MY SHOES. That’s bad.

‘Til next time.

P.S. I’m doing one of my favorite things right now. Reserving books at the library. Wooo!

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Ups & Downs. Ups & Downs. My financial situation is like a see-saw. I’m trying to be as wise as I can, but the bills are coming quickly and furiously, and the income is trickling in. Thanks to the grace of a few friends, I’ve been able to make it this month (we’ll forget about the skipping the phone bill and gas bill part), and I’ve been finagling with my doctors to get medications switched from Third Tier to First Tier/generics so I won’t have to shell out $60 a month. Now, all I have to do is make some phone calls to the insurance company and switch my payment to monthly or something like that, and oh yeah, find a 2nd job to be able to be sure I will be able to make it from month to month and enough for surprise expenses.

This is hard. The money thing is killing me. I have no idea how to go about finding a part-time job that will deal with my having Aidan on the weekends. Ugh, the thought of waitressing makes me ill. But maybe I can be a hostess. I think I can handle that. I hope. I’ll be heading out to the restaurants this week. *sigh* I hope they can deal with me working Tues-Thursday evenings, and Sunday afternoons. I can’t do Fridays and Saturdays, those are my Aidan days are are absolutely out of the questions, as are Mondays. But, I think I can handle hostessing for 4-5 hours a night, for a few nights a week. We’ll see what happens.

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