Adventures in Goodwill

In search of the most eclectic wardrobe ever – the kids and I went to our local Goodwill last night.  I’ve been on the lookout for a spring/fall weight jacket, which is getting to be a rather pressing issue around here.  After all, it’s October in Wisconsin, and the early mornings are a bit … shall we say nippy? … to walk to work.  I’ve also been on the lookout for bedclothes, as what I’m currently wearing to sleep in is … well, let’s just say I’ve found my feet tangled in my sleep shorts in the morning on more than one occasion.

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These used to FIT!

 

 

With it getting cooler in the night as well as the morning, I’m gonna need more heavyweight jammy pants, too.  The sweat pants I was using are now doubling as a cover for my computer chair to protect it slightly against claws.

The fun part of a Goodwill adventure is always pawing through the racks….the entire store is an epic treasure hunt…especially the clothes.  Some stuff is outright adorable, and some is ‘I can’t believe someone actually WORE this out of the house!’-able.

Glassware is another place I love to search the racks…but really, the entire store, from apple figurines to zebra-print socks – is rummage-able.

 

So – yesterday.  Went to Goodwill.  And the winners are:

In the ‘Loud and Proud’ category:

Twister pants

Remember the game Twister?

In the “I can’t believe this exists” category:

Leather Pants

LEATHER pants in my size??

In the “I can’t believe I actually TRIED this on” category:

Rainbow Horror

WHAT am I doing????

In the “How did I live without these” category:

Halloween Socks

Orange and black striped Halloween socks!

And, yes, my goal was accomplished – I found 2 pair of jammy pants in patterns that fit my personal style, as well as this totally cool denim jacket.

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WORD.

 

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Let’s Discuss Underwear!

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I’ve been in stretchy, ultra-comfy sports bras for a while – as I continue to shrink, more stretchy=longer wear life.  Unfortunately for the SQO, sports bras are neither sexy or conductive to activities of a bedroom nature…

He has to demand I FREE THE TATAS! instead of just doing it himself.

Sooooo – to better keep harmony in the bedroom and beyond, the DIL and I are planning an excursion into Madison this weekend for some **real** bra shopping…and I just happen to have the right blog post to get me in the right frame of mind as I go forth and procure a new undergarment for my boyfriend.

Bonus – I buy it ‘for him’ but get to wear it myself.  Doesn’t get any better than that 😀

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Anyone else out there count their favorite time of day the glorious moment in time when you are home for the night – shedding outdoor and/or work clothing to slide into comfy pajamas – reveling in the freedom that comes from taking the bra OFF?

Yea…I live for that moment…

In ShapeAs my body shape will never be described as svelte, thin, shapely, or firm, bras have always been a constant source of aggravation.  The band is either too tight, too small, too loose, too big, too stretchy, not stretchy enough or difficult to fasten.

 

 

Read More of original post…

Enjoy.

 

The Ring: The Sequel: Escape Artist

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I love my little circlet of white gold.  Housed on the middle finger of my right hand…a perfect (albeit obscure) reminder of my first Ex Husband.

It’s always been a bit big for that finger.  There’s some resistance in getting it over the knuckle, but not much.  It rolls around my finger effortlessly, yet is still secure enough to sleep, shower, do dishes, housework, etc…with it on.

Not anymore…

The kids and I went for our traditional laundry day at the ‘mat on Tuesday.  Nothing special about it – grabbed some takeout, shoved clothing in machines, added detergent & coins, spun some poi (the kids) & read the kindle (me).

When I pulled my stuff out of the washer, I heard the familiar scraping of metal in the bottom of the tub.  My first thought was:  Must have left a quarter in the pocket of one of my pants.

I was a bit shaken to find my ring.  It had slipped off without me being the wiser to its loss.

It escaped AGAIN when unloading the dryer – it wanted to hang with my socks and ended up at the bottom of my laundry bag.  I found it the next day (after being convinced I’d lost it on the walk home) when sorting the underthings.

JOY for second reunion, but – when am I gonna lose it for good???

I’ve been doing the ketosis thing for around 9 months, and this is the first serious snag I’ve found in losing some of the tonnage…my FINGERS are shrinking, too.

So what’s a girl to do????

Now…I didn’t want to have the ring resized…the ring snuggies out there look both damn uncomfortable and unsightly, and I can’t switch it to a different finger, as they’re ALL losing their pudge.

I went shopping.

Found a new 3mm band, in my size, and slipped that in front of the larger ring.

Disaster averted..yea!!!!

 

Mr. First Ex Me’s ring now has a partner in crime 😀

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Happy VD

You know what I mean…not an itchy rash in the nether region…it’s Valentine’s day.

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The biggest sales event of the year for the floral and greeting card industries.

Botanical bribery and mushy sentiment, anyone?

Personally – I think the real magic in any big holiday is the after-event sales, especially when candy is involved.  Granted, the really good stuff goes fast (if it shows up on sale at all) and all you’re left with by 4pm on the 15th of February is the cheap Palmer’s, Hershey’s and Cadbury, but still.  It’s chocolate, in heart-shaped chunks, at unbelievable ‘we gotta sell this shit’ prices.

This year, I’m 9 months sugar-free – so no more frenzied After VD chocolate shopping for me – although I might brave the crowds to get some discounted stuff for the SQO.

If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is ❤

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Still Obesessing over Cars…

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I may have mentioned I’m currently looking at buying a different automobile, and letting the kids take charge of the Mitz.

I also may have insinuated the general feeling of contempt I generate when face-to-face with aggressive used-car salesmen. Well – the other night I got a full reminder of just how close to the surface my irritation comes when faced with a pushy one.

Actually, I met with 2 such arrogant stuffed-shirts, but the first one decided early on I wasn’t worth his time, and actually SLAMMED the door of the car he was trying to get me into.  I could almost see the frustration swirling around him as he stormed across the pavement in a huff – ‘How DARE I openly display dislike of his select combustion-engine box-cabin???’

Imagine, if you will, a ramrod-stiff back, stuffed to the brim with righteous indignation; one arm and two fingers upraised and a contemptuous “two hundred a month!” snarled over one shoulder.  That’s my final impression of salesman #1.

Well, sugar, offering me a deal I don’t want, on a car I’m not interested in, with an aggressive tone of voice and body language that screams ‘f*ck you?’  Yea…I can see that tactic working WELL in your future…

Salesmen don’t like me, because I will not be bullied into buying more car than I require or can afford.  I also refuse to be blinded by bling, swayed with options, or seduced by all-leather interiors.  Granted, I’m not fond of salesmen of any kind as they are the public face of the consumerism I rail against – but I’m convinced there’s a special little hell-hole that pukes out the used-car guys…

I will fully admit that by my fourth step onto any given a used car lot I’ve developed a huge chip on my shoulder, a set price in my head, and attitude oozing from every pore.  It’s my natural reaction to walking into such a hostile environment.  I automatically prepare myself for the attack on my sensibility, my intelligence, and my wallet.

I’ll also admit my job plays a large part in my touchiness over automobile purchases, as financial myopia is a common side-effect of an accounting career.

At the second dealership, I’m offered a firm handshake and a smile.  I swiftly enter the opening salvo – what type of vehicle I’m looking for, how much I’m willing to spend.  I am absolutely, bluntly honest about my price (NO tact – NO sugar-coating   –   money is a brutal business) and that there will be -NO- financing entertained.

He suggests the two cars on the lot that are under my price point.  Both 4 door sedans.  Not interested.  I turn to go.  No sense wasting my time and his.

He then points out a small SUV, which I am interested in, but mentions a price well above my line in the sand.  Again, I tell him no.  He suggests putting money down to hold the vehicle, giving me 30 days to finalize the deal.  I repeat my no – I can’t raise an additional $2k in 30 days.  I reiterate my top price and absolute refusal to finance.

He offers cookies, coffee, a soda.  Allow him a chance to view the particulars on this car, get some information – all that damn contact stuff – and maybe we can make a deal.  I need to use the bathroom, so…OK.  I’ll go in.

**The crowd goes wild as the gladiators enter the arena!

Directly after getting the name, contact info, blah, blah blah – he goes for the numbers instead of meaningless small talk or a push for a test drive, which is an unusual tactic.  I have yet to be up close and personal with the vehicle he’s trying to interest me in.  I haven’t walked around it, touched it, heard it run or smelled the interior.   I LIVE the numbers game 40+ hours a week, though, and detest small talk…so I’m curious to see how he plays this one out.

**Here’s an interesting maneuver from the Champion…a quick retreat to keep the challenger off balance!

He bounces back and forth between his ‘manager’s’ office and his desk a few times during the numbers segment of negotiation.  Only once does he get within $500 of my line in the sand.  There are undertones of ‘finance’ in the air, soft insinuations, but nothing I can really call him out on.

**Our champion shows off his impressive footwork – trying to get inside the challenger’s defenses…

I don’t budge from my line…this is what I have available to spend  What he doesn’t appreciate (or realize) is my bluntness over money matters.  The price I quoted him IS what I have available – there’s no room for me to go up.

**The challenger continues to stand firm…alert and defensive – batting away the attacks…

After the third run to the manager’s desk, he returns with keys – insisting we go for the test drive.

**Ohhh – the champion strikes out with a devastating mental attack!

The psychology behind automobile sales is obvious in its simplicity – Get the client into the product.  Let them feel, touch, smell and drive the product.  Let them play with the product, fantasize about the product, imagine themselves with the product.  Allow the client to bond with the product.  Once the client has mentally sold themselves on the product, you just mop up with the appropriate paperwork, and hello! commission!

To that end, he spills out a story while we’re on the test drive about how the SUV is a one-owner trade in, and he knows the previous owner personally.  It was his trade, and the other owner was sorta reluctant to give up the vehicle they had owned and loved for almost a decade.

**Bad choice for our champion, choosing a mental spell constructed of freshly-extruded fecal material!

I have to admit – it was a nice vehicle.  The interior appeared to be clean and well-maintained; the engine was clean; the body nice and shiny, without dings or obvious touch ups in the finish.  Brakes, alignment, tires, climate controls, everything worked the way it was supposed to.  It test drove very well.

While on the test drive, I mention the kid’s dying car to our erstwhile salesman.  I’m figuring if the dealership gives us only a few hundred for scrap value, it might be enough to meet at an agreeable number.  He immediately goes into info-gathering mode, pumping them for as many details as he can on the potential trade-in.

**The challenger attacks – and is deflected!

The test drive over – the salesman once again takes the desk, writing down all the details of the kid’s car.  He gathers all his documents in one pile, fleeing once more toward the shadowy ‘manager’ hidden somewhere within in the building.

**Our champion charges  – war cry on the lips…

The offer he brings back?  To their credit, this offer finally had a number at the bottom, instead of only price plus TTL (which is easy enough to figure with the calculator in my iPod) on the other offers.  It’s still $500 above my line in the sand – even with the extra $200 offered on the kid’s vehicle in trade.

In short – it’s the exact same offer given before the test drive – worse, actually, as now they’ve factored in a trade in vehicle credit while still coming up with the same price as before.

**Oh no!  The champion has tripped on his own shoelaces!

I’m no longer curious about his sales tactics – now I’m irritated.  Maybe a little insulted.  I’m tired of repeating the amount I have available, I’m tired of his face, his posture, and the mental struggle to put his accent into understandable sentences.  I’m tired of the increasing pressure to agree to a price above my available funds.  I switch to a more aggressive mode – stabbing the dollar value at the top of the offer with a stiffened finger.  “This,” I tell him, “Is what I have.  This is what I will pay.”

gladiator-2000-51-g**The challenger goes for the killing blow…but the champion rolls  at the last minute!

 

He mutters “Well, now you’re getting emotional…”

**Ooooo – right onto his own weapon!

And just like that, I’ve had it.  He just got personal.  I’m done.  I stand, coldly thanking him for his time.  My outstretched hand is a challenge in itself.

gladiators copy**The challenger’s weapon is set on the champion’s chest.  ‘Yield!’ is the growled demand…

“But,” he insists, “I have two cars that will come in under your price…” He’s slightly panicked at this point – I can read it in his eyes.  I think he FINALLY realizes I’m serious about the amount I’m willing to spend on a car; realizes how badly he misread things; realizes how badly he bungled this potential transaction; and is now attempting a Hail Mary to salvage his sale.

judgement copy**They both look to the king – thumb horizontal – for final judgem…where’d that football come from???

Seriously?  I’ve been in the dealership for over an hour, and he wants to start fresh with a different vehicle?  One that I was dismissive about at the very beginning?   I give him a firm no – that I am done with shopping for this evening.

**OMG – what an incredible game – but it’s all over with a tie score!  No winner for the Superbowl this year!

I really, REALLY hate car shopping…

Flash Fiction – Battlefield Dealership

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

It’s Friday again!  YEA!  Break out the alcohol, the munchies, call the pizza guy – it’s the start of the WEEKEND!  It’s also time for Flash Fiction over at the Dragon Mistress’s site.

How funny is it that our prompt today is to feature a parking lot as the primary setting – with a Eastern Warrior type as the photo prompt?  With all the auto-obsessions I’ve been on about this week – I think she’s spying on me. Here’s my flash entry:

 

Battlefield Dealership

200 words

Since time immemorial, the souls of humanity have been forged upon the most mundane of battlegrounds, tempered in the fires of chance encounters, fletched by everyday events.

I just want to know why MY battlefield had to be a parking lot of used cars.

Virulent hatred is too soft a phrase for the feelings I experience when setting foot on such a tarmac…yet here I was, a long-range archer forced into close combat with the most vile and cunning trickster ever spat from the ninth circle of hell.

He would attempt to place me in a motorized chariot that I neither chose nor desired – and his desire to separate me from all my worldly goods while doing so was akin to pouring additional incendiaries on an already blazing situation.

My battle-cry of “Forty-eight hundred, and no financing!” fell on deaf ears, even as my opponent’s snarled “Two hundred a month!” arrowed through the exhaust-laden atmosphere.

We eyed each other up – taking measure of perceived strengths, weaknesses, exploitable traits both real and imagined as we warily circled within the lot.

And then broke, offering meaningless pleasantries, going our separate ways to new battlegrounds and more worthy opponents.

NO SALE!

 

Have a Festive SeaKwaHoliChrisKkah (Now Go Forth and Shop!)

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Shop-zilla in its natural habitat

No matter what you call this month-plus of celebratory gluttony, your original reason for the recognition of this special day/week/month has been out-sung by one Goliath with deeper pockets and blood ties to Big Advert:  the retail industry.  In fact, Shop-zilla’s demands (to go forth, spend a lot of money on useless crap your friends, family and/or co-workers don’t really need, in order to receive the same said back) have over-ridden any other (read:  petty, in Shop-zilla speak) considerations for this last month of the Gregorian Calendar Year.

Shop-zilla will go on to implore you to not forget the gift receipts, so all that stuff can go BACK to the store and exchanged for the cash that it has spent a lot of time and effort to make the average consumer consider gauche to give in the first place.

Shop-zilla is not completely heartless, though – it did work on a very positive PR campaign for gift cards in lieu of cash, to the tune of ringing cash registers everywhere, a few years back.  It was considered a claws-down success.

After-Holiday sales are just as crucial as the before-Holiday ones for feeding Shop-zilla.

I want to personally remind you to wish everyone the Happiest, Merriest, and most awesome-ist of this special celebratory time while fighting over that close-to-the-door parking space, or the only remaining in stock item of the electronic gizmo-of-the-year.

The sad part of this celebratory season are the number of people lately taking egregious offense at someone wishing them THEIR version of this special season’s well-wishes, instead of the ‘offendee’s’ own, which they make no effort to disclose prior to that chance-meeting out in public.

I saw a news article (well…someone called it news) on a woman who was so incensed over a cashier wishing them “Happy Holidays!” instead of ‘Merry Christmas!,’ that a fisticuffs broke out.

I really wish I was making this up!

I have a special left of reality solution for this rampant “I’m so keyed up I need to take offense at semantics.”  Three solutions, actually, which I am prepared to share with the world – completely, totally, and absolutely free of charge.

Shop-zilla comment

“Free?????” howls Shop-zilla…

Idea #1

If you wish to have the greeting of your choice uttered within earshot -and specifically TO you- by perfect strangers in the midst of the busiest shopping event of the year – you must have said greeting tattooed on your forehead.  This must be in plain sight, and not hidden by any caps, scarves, or hair.  The largest font available to fit your forehead is recommended.  I would suggest the color scheme be composed of glaringly-clashing hues, to further heighten visibility.

Not into ink?  An alternate would be to wear a banner, a beanie, a ball cap, or another brightly-colored and easy-to-read article of apparel that is, again, in plain sight.  LED lights should be stitched into the fabric and set on a high rate of flash, to really draw the eyes of everyone.  The goal here is:  You HAVE to let the world – every single random stranger you could possibly meet – know exactly what your preferred greeting IS.

I would also suggest multiple languages be considered, just in case someone you come across does not speak your native tongue.

This should hold humanity over until a proper virus that imparts telepathy to the population can be developed and released.

Idea #2

Alternately – how about we switch the official greeting of this celebratory season to what it REALLY is in the eyes of the world:  “Go Forth and Shop.”  This, if you haven’t already guessed, is Shop-zilla’s favorite…

I can see it already:

new Season's Greetings

Simple.  Logical.  Perfect.  And highly recommended by four out of five Social Programming Specialists.  Fisticuffs, ambulance rides, and ER visits REALLY get in the way of over-spending.

Idea #3

We all, as a species, learn to accept well-wishing greetings in the spirit they are given, rather than focusing on (and getting pissed over) minute differences in culture.

Yea…you’re right…#3 will never work…

Now…Go Forth and Shop, everyone!  Shop-zilla is counting on you!