Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Thirteen Popular Gifts -- Christmas 2011

A month ago, many of us were involved in retail, taking care of friends and family on our holiday gift lists. Well, the packages have been opened, the tree is down and the ornaments put away (you have taken all those decorations down, haven't you), and the numbers are in. Here is what many, many of us bought:

1) Amazon Kindle. It was the best-selling e-book reader.

2) Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Not only the best-selling biography, the best-selling book of the holiday season.

3) Rory's Story Cubes. I never heard of this, but it's a massively popular game. The 9 cubes have pictures on them, you roll them, and develop a story based on what you get.

4) Just Dance 3. For wii.

5) Levi's.

6) Christmas by Michael Buble. The only thing on the list I bought, and it wasn't a gift. I kept it.

7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. The season's best-selling DVD

8) Motorola Droid RAZR. The most popular of the smartphones this year.

9) Baby Einstein Take-along Tunes. Mozart and Vivaldi for wee ones.

10) UGG boots.

11) Hallmark Keepsake Father Christmas Table Top. He is an attractive gent, isn't he?

12) Jones Soda Holiday 4-Pack. This year's flavors were candy cane, gingerbread, pear tree and sugar plum.

13) Cabin Fever (Diary of a Wimpy Kid). The latest in the series. The YA Steve Jobs.

Did any of these make their way to a tree near you this year?

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Me fall down, go boom

It wasn't quite this bad, but close enough. The toe of my boot got caught in a pothole on the sidewalk and down I went. Fortunately all I got was a scraped knee, nothing worse.

Then, when I got home, I hung around in the parking lot for a moment, waiting for Mr. B. to get on the elevator. I just couldn't bear the idea of talking to him today. He's over 80, very sweet, but deaf as a stump and our conversations are always so pointless they wear me out. And today, I'd rather stand outside in the 20ยบ weather than talk to him.

I'm so happy to be home. It's brutal out there!

I Want Wednesday

I want to not worry about money. I just spend just over $100 at Macy's for more than $200 worth of clothes (and a birthday gift for a friend). I was proud of my bargain hunting, of how I chose clothes that will not only be OK on Fat Gal but also look fine on (hopefully) Slimmer Gal.  Then I found out that my trip to the dentist (my estimated oop cost: $600 for a new crown) might require an extra $800 trip to a periodontist! Yes, I know I could return the clothes but I really do need some/most of the pieces, and I'll never get them at these great prices again.

And the long-term care insurance I bought -- which I believe is a wise (pardon the phrase) long-term investment -- will be a short-term bite in the ass. $1020/year for a $78,000 benefit, which will be adjusted for inflation, still makes sense, but that extra $85 every month will hurt. The older I get, the more expensive LTC coverage becomes, and it's fiscally responsible to buy it now. I just don't wanna.

So obviously today, I'm bringing brown-bagging my lunch. And praying it doesn't snow that much. I paid $300 for my mom's snow removal -- which covers four visits of the plow. I'm hoping that Mother Nature is sympathetic to my plight and allows that to carry me through Valentine's Day.