Friday, December 12, 2008

Aaron Sorkin DVDs

I really like Aaron Sorkin. This is not uncommon among people like me (Americans who watch a lot of tv and consider themselves smarter than most other Americans who watch a lot of tv).
What might be more uncommon among people like me is that I don't own all of the DVDs in the Sorkin collection. Sure, I own the West Wing Seasons 1-4 (before the kidnapping/shark-jumping fiasco). I also own The American President, which is one of those movies with a final scene that you can watch over and over again (like Dirty Dancing and My Cousin Vinny and A Few Good Men, another Sorkin classic).

But I don't own either of Sorkin's single-season tv shows: Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. And yes, I know that Studio 60 wasn't very good. It pretty much jumped the shark in the second episode when Sorkin actually tried to write comedy sketches. Jokes are not his forte. Witty banter? Yes. Slapstick? Definitely not. But I still watched all the episodes when it aired, and I'll still watch them repeatedly if you buy me the DVDs.
I actually discovered Sports Night after both the West Wing and Studio 60. Now that I've seen Sports Night, I think I'll be able to understand all the references to that show in the other two shows, which will either deepen my appreciation of Sorkin or else it will annoy me.
Either way, I want these DVDs.

Sports Night - The Complete Series Boxed Set

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - The Complete Series

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I work in an office. That means I sit at a desk all day reading things and typing things and waiting for other people to read things and type things. I also work in an office with free food. That means I sit at a desk all day that is about 50 feet from a jar of homemade brownies and a fridge full of soda. I don't do a lot of walking during the workday, except from my desk to meetings and food.

My last job was working in a stockroom. I carried a pedometer with me for a few months, and I averaged about 15,000 steps in an eight-hour shift. The only way to walk 15,000 steps at my current job is if I walk back and forth between my desk and the kitchenette continuously. That would mean I'd be getting food about 250 times in a day, which would probably cancel out all the walking.
Don't get me wrong, I like my current job a lot, but I do miss getting exercise at work. People who know about these things say that I'm supposed to walk 10,000 steps per day. I seriously doubt that I'm walking that much right now, but I'd like to walk more. 

Sure, I could just walk more, but how would I know if I'm walking enough? A pedometer, that's how.
This Omron pedometer is great because it will measure steps from inside a pocket or a bag, making it far superior to the orange one I had to clip to my belt. 
With my new pedometer, I will know when I hit 10,000 steps. More importantly, I'll know when I haven't hit 10,000 steps and I should probably walk more (in the opposite direction of the brownies).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beginner Sewing Machine

I aspire to be crafty. I read about crafty things on blogs and in lady magazines. I've tried knitting, needlepoint, and homemade thank you cards. So far, nothing has really stuck.
But sewing will definitely stick. Why is sewing different from past attempts at crafting?
  • I have past sewing experience: see, for example, window treatments in a certain West Village apartment or that time I fixed the cuff on a pair of pants.
  • Sewing leads to useful outputs (pillows, quilts, clothing, etc). My limited success in baking is attributable to my love of eating baked goods. So I will be successful in sewing because I like pillows and quilts and clothing.
  • A sewing machine will actually save money in the long term. Think of how much I'll save if I can do my own alterations or repair ripped things or make playclothes out of curtains.
  • Sewing is less messy than many other crafts. (This argument is geared toward the person who lives in my apartment.) The worst case scenario for sewing is a pile of cloth and thread. Compare that to oil painting or screen printing or anything involving glitter and a glue gun.
This is going to be awesome. I'll start sewing, discover my secret talent as a fashion designer, start selling my wares on etsy, and make millions of dollars. Then you can say "I bought [fill in blank with my fancy designer name] her first sewing machine."
In addition to the sewing machine, I'll probably also need a book on how to sew things with it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment

I like to bake. I like to eat baked goods. But there's one thing more delicious than baked goods: baked goods a la mode. And that's what I'm missing. The ability to make things a la mode.

For that, I need an ice cream maker. But I don't have the counter space for another appliance, according to my husband. Enter the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment. It's basically just a bowl that you freeze with a paddle that stirs ingredients until they become ice cream.

That's all it takes, apparently, to make things like candied bacon ice cream and coconut pinkcherry yogurt. And of course, plain old vanilla ice cream to top of a warm brownie or a slice of homemade apple pie.

Do you really need more reasons to buy this for me? Really?

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Upside Down Tomato Garden

I like to garden. My past attempts have all been unsuccessful. There was the cactus in my dorm room, the herb garden on my West Village windowsill, and the Chia pet I had when I was five. I attribute these failures to the fact that all of these plants were indoors. Indoors means no rain, which means plants are entirely dependent on me for sustenance (which is also the reason the fish tank in my Brookyn apartment didn't work out so well).

I've discovered the secret to urban gardening: outdoor space. Now that I live in San Francisco, I have a patio, which means I have unfettered access to rain. Now the plants I have are harder to kill. I still have to water them, but they're less likely to die in the off chance I forget. In fact, I think they're stronger than other plants because I haven't pampered them.

I think I'm ready to grow my own food. I will start with tomatoes, because home-grown tomatoes and delicious, and because this Upside Down Tomato Garden was featured in SkyMall.

If you buy me this tomato garden, I will grow tomatoes on the bottom and herbs that complement tomatoes on the top. Then I will invite you over in a few months to enjoy some spaghetti and meatballs (or tofu balls if you're one of those vegetarian people). Unless there's a drought. No rain = upside down dead tomatoes.

Upside Down Tomato Garden

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yak Pak Mystery Bags

I love surprises, even though I can't stand waiting. For instance, I love when my husband plans a surprise for our anniversary, even though I will comb through his browser history in order to find out what it is.

I've recently learned that my purchasing behavior also trends toward surprises. It turns out that the best way to get me to buy something is to tell me I'll have to pay for it before I find out what it is. That is what drew me to the SomethingStore, and it's why I just purchased a set of 3 mystery bags from Yak Pak. I have no idea what my $15 will get me. That's the whole point.

Note to online retailers: fewer titles and descriptions, more graphics with giant question marks.

The Yak Pak deal is not strictly a part of the 2008 Holiday Gift Guide, but it would be an acceptable present for me nonetheless.

Yak Pak Web Special: 3 Bags for $15


I just got an email from Yak Pak customer service. I am rescinding my recommendation out of spite.

Dear customer:

Thank you for contacting us here at Yak Pak. In reference to your order, we'd like to provide further explanation about the status. Your order, as well as a lot of other web orders, has been delay because of the reason the demand was much higher than anticipated and unfortunately we ran out of WEBS-001. It may become available in the near future. At this moment I will go ahead and cancel your order. The credit card authorization will be release in 3 to 5 working days. It depends on the bank. Once again we are sorry for this inconvenience.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nintendo DS games

I am pretty smart. However, television advertisements tell me that I am getting stupider. The fact that I believe them serves as proof that I am indeed getting stupider.

Something must be done.

My plan is to tackle my impending idiocy with video games. Brain Age will help me train my brain in minutes a day. Brain Age 2 will do the same thing, but in different minutes. And Mystery Case Files: Millionheir will make me smarter by allowing me to hone the detective skills that television police dramas tell me are so important.

So buying me these games these games is kind of like an investment in my future. It's like donating to a worthy cause. It may even be tax deductible.*

I should mention that I do not currently own a Nintendo DS, so you will need to buy me one before you buy me these games.

Brain Age
Brain Age 2
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir

Nintendo DS Lite (Onyx)

*It's not.

Cyber Monday

If you haven't bought my Christmas present yet, today is an excellent day to get cracking.

For your shopping pleasure, here are some bargain blogs I read regularly:

The deals are really great this year because the economy sucks.

If only you could pay your mortgage with 'free shipping' coupons.