Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 332: Wine charms

A good friend of mine used to host a regular Wednesday night dinner. Any of her friends could show up and eat a meal that she cooked and drink wine provided by the guests. She did these dinners almost every week for years until she finally moved to San Francisco.

I'd been wanting to get the hostess some wine charms and my friend-who-gives-many-gifts-of-which-I-am-not-deserving picked these up for me. Unfortunately, this project went the way of so many other crafty projects. I couldn't find charms that I liked enough so I never even started.

Status: Available

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 331: Metroid Fusion

I've pretty much left the avid video gaming behind but every Halloween I still have the itch to dress up as a video character. How awesome would it be to have Samus armor?? It's a good thing it's completely unreasonable and expensive to have that sort of a costume collection or I'd be a horrible role model of minimalism.

Here is a partial list of some of my desired costumes:

  • Etna from Disgaea
  • Xiao Yu alt costume from Tekken 5
  • Samus from Metroid
  • A better quality Chell costume and portal gun from Portal <-- not easily satisfied!
  • My WoW character
  • Halo armor
  • A Guilty Gear costume
I'm a little disappointed that I can't think of a costume off hand with really cool weapons. Might have to update this later...

One of my first cosplay costumes!

Status: Dibbed

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 231: Inca Kola

When I visited Peru last year an acquaintance requested that I bring him back an Inca Kola bottle. I made some efforts to get it to him but I figure it's not really my responsibility and it's been a year and a half. Maybe he'll see this post and ask about it. It's kind of a cool bottle. I had some difficulty obtaining it because the vendors get a rebate or something and they refused to let me take the bottle with me. I had to ask at least three vendors before I found someone willing to let me keep the bottle.

I took this photo on the flight to Lima.

Status: Recycled

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 330: Cleaning cloth

I just returned from a weekend in San Francisco. I took enough photos to get me through the holiday but I got distracted midway through uploading them and didn't realize until it was too late. Since I'm in a hurry to get to bed I'm posting some easy ones.

This little cleaning cloth may not look like much but I haven't been to Japan since 2004 so it's at least six years old if not ten. It appears to be made of silicone and actually looks pretty useful. It doesn't matter though since it's well past the amount of time within which I should use something if I'm going to keep it.

Status: Trashed

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 329: Helga's Dowry by Tomie dePaola

This is a favorite book from when I was a child but I only bought a copy recently. It's the story of a troll woman whose lover leaves her for a troll from a rich family. She is determined to earn herself a dowry to win him back. I don't want to spoil the great ending! I first discovered this book in the children's library at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat above Lake Chelan.

My family did not take many vacations that did not involve visiting relatives or camping so it was always a treat to visit Holden. My parents taught classes and we pitched in as volunteers to reduce our costs. We had to attend Vespers once a week but other than that I managed to avoid most religious angles.  They don't have internet or cell phone service but they do have a manually operated bowling alley, pool, games, books, a huge jacuzzi, and an ice cream parlor. I've been wanting to go back because it's one of the few places I'm comfortable leaving behind technology.

Status: Dibbed

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 328: Shirt, size S

This is a pretty red top that I got from a friend. I tried it on for her and she liked how it looked on me so I took it home. It does look good on me and I'm partial to red but I can't imagine the occasion that I would wear it to.

Status: Donated

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 327: Amelie

I've listed Amelie as one of my favorite movies in every social networking profile I've had since the movie came out in 2001. I also haven't watched it since 2001. I finally removed the movie section from my Facebook profile because I don't really watch movies. I have a difficult time sitting through them, especially in a movie theater where I can't multi-task. Movies either have to be short or engaging to keep me from feeling something like nausea. I frequently spend the last half hour in a theater thinking to myself "Oh my god, this movie needs to end soon or I'm going to scream or throw up!" 

I wouldn't really throw up but my insides feel twisted and chaotic until I walk around a bit. I've decided to start meditating to see if I can learn to sit still better. I was trying to do it before bed to see if it would help me sleep but it's too hard to remember so I'm going to try switching to mornings. I've done it three times now and while I can't stop the thinking yet I'm pretty impressed that I managed to sit still for five minutes without opening my eyes more than a second.

Status: Gifted

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 326: Scarf

One of the most difficult things for me has always been getting rid of gifts. Especially when the giver is thoughtful and I like the item - it just won't get used. The friend who gave me this scarf has given me many gifts over the years and I really appreciate her thinking of me. The colors really suit me and it's super soft. The reason I don't wear it is I always wear scarfs that are long enough to cover my head. It's preferable to wearing a hat because it doesn't muss my hair. Every winter I'm surprised that more women don't use their scarves that way and I always get teased.

Status: Dibbed

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 325: Ben Sherman Blazer Size S

I'm not going to write much because my fingers are still recovering from the snow. My friend had the prescience to procure some sleds awhile back and we just took them down Denny. Now we're warming up with hot toddies and blueberry teas.

This jacket is super cute on. The photo doesn't really do it justice.

Status: Donated

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 324: Yookoso!

I thought I was done posting Japanese books but I forgot that I lent this one to my friend when he was planning a trip to Japan. It turns out I have a never-ending supply of them.

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my childhood and my youngest sister lately. One of the difficult things about having a sister with severe mental health issues is I feel guilty for not keeping her more present in my thoughts but at the same time it would only serve to depress me and certainly wouldn't improve her quality of life.

My home situation was unusual in that I have incredible, supportive, parents but an incredibly difficult atmosphere due to my sister. I was lucky in that I am eight years older and more distanced than my middle sister but it was a big influence on my life.

I was in the dorms for my first year of college but I didn't get along with my roommate and ended up moving back in with my parents. The year I was in the dorms was the most difficult one for my family and I would frequently get phone calls about her threatening to jump out a window or overdosing on tylenol, benadryl, and prescription meds.

It took years to un-train myself from thinking something bad happened every time I got a phone call from my parents. My mother recently left a voice message telling me to call "as soon as possible, it's urgent!" I started using google voice recently so rather than listen to the message I just read the transcribed version. I freaked out and called my mom only to find out she was calling to tell me they were playing a board game with my grandma and everyone wanted to say hi. I went back and listened to her message and it was completely upbeat and she was laughing the whole time. Damn you, google voice!

This is all a little relevant to the textbook because I was originally just going to post a quick memory from college. I was getting ready to take my Japanese oral exam and my sister threw a spoon at my face. It's likely other things were thrown as well but I distinctly remember the spoon. It was scary because it was close to my eyes and I showed up to my final completely freaked out and in tears. I blew the final but I still got like a 3.2 so at least my teacher was nice about it.

Status: Donated

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 323: AeroPress coffee maker and ~200 filters

I've given up coffee except on Fridays and Saturdays. I'm extremely sensitive to caffeine and I have problems sleeping no matter how early I drink it. Three times now, I have tried to start drinking coffee regularly and run myself down to a zombie state. The problem is I fall asleep just fine but I wake up after four hours and can't get back to sleep. Since I'm able to fall asleep it always takes me a while to realize that the problem is coffee.

This sucks because I love coffee. I only started drinking it two years ago when I was dating a Stumptown barista. He is still a good friend of mine and I usually try to go to him for my fix. I didn't think I'd like it but, being my stubborn self regarding consumables, I quickly developed a taste for it under his tutelage. I first weaned myself off adding sugar, then foamed milk, and now I will happily enjoy my coffee black or as an espresso shot.

This was to my detriment because now that I'm working at Amazon they have decent coffee available all the time. My coffee consumption skyrocketed for a couple weeks until I became completely exhausted. Now I'm giving up my press so fewer temptations will remain.

Status: Dibbed

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 322: Notre Dame

I thought about what I wrote yesterday on the home from work and realized that I had done a bit of re-visioning on my memories. It's true I felt desperately alone during that time but I had other people who cared about me. When I made the decision to move out, they were there for me. Today I chose an item inspired by what I wanted to write because, why the hell not. This game was recommended to me by someone who broke my heart (but it was all for the best).

For the two years before the breakup I hosted a weekly happy hour with my friend Deb. She was my best friend in middle school and somehow we had reconnected after college. The happy hour was dubbed TINSTAAFL and it was pretty much the only thing I did outside of work and Warcraft. We took turns choosing a different happy hour every week (although we definitely returned to our favorites). Over the years, a number of people that I had met playing Settlers of Catan would show up. Logan and Jonah were two of them who showed up almost every week.

I was a complete train wreck for a few months and those three, my coworker Nicole, and a new friend Megan of the Settlers clan, did so much for me. I moved four times within a year and the TINSTAAFLers each gave me the bulk of support for at least one of those moves. Deb helped me move my stuff to my parents' and let me crash at her place for a few nights. Jonah helped me move from my parents' house to Capitol Hill. Logan singlehandedly assisted me with my move from Capitol Hill to Belltown.

Anyway, I had to write this because I feel like a cad for not acknowledging their support.

Status: Dibbed

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 321: The Specials

** If you read this post, please read the next day's as well. I had to retract some of my memory**

Last night (this is another late post) I had originally planned to go have a few drinks with some coworkers and a woman I've been wanting to get to know better but none of them could make it in the end and it's probably for the best. It turned out one of my favorite bartenders is leaving so it ended up being a raucous event. I'm feeling it today.

I've probably mentioned this before but having a bar "where everybody knows your name" is one of the best things ever. The bar from last night is the second bar I've really become attached too. These places not only hold a lot of memories but helped me improve on valuable skills.

I can still be pretty shy but almost everything I know about meeting people I learned in a bar. I was not really close to anyone by the time I left my ex-boyfriend (of six and a half years) three years ago and only saw one friend with any regularity. I started hanging out at Sun Liquor and talking to strangers to help loosen up my social skills. It did wonders and I ended up meeting my best friend there not long after.

When someone tells you that you are the most social person they know, you know you've done well. It still blows my mind how different my life is now. Every year since then has been the best year yet; even when I was laid off. It's not that bad things don't happen anymore but I'm so much better at dealing with everything that comes my way and it's much easier when you have so many people you love and trust. I can say with confidence that I love my life.

Status: Dibbed

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 320: Black Skirt

I love this skirt but it's too small for me. I got it from a friend when I was helping her go through her clothes. I seem to be the go-to girl for helping people weed through their closet. I enjoy clothes but not shopping so much so this kind of exercise is pretty enjoyable.

The skirt is a size 4.

Status: Dibbed

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 319: Economics For The Rest Of Us

I went through this phase AFTER I graduated from business school where I thought economics was the most interesting thing ever. Economics and politics. I started reading relevant blogs and books and I listened to NPR all day. I talked about those subjects constantly; one of my friends once dubbed me a news nerd. Then one day I just burned out. Now I avoid the news and only read the stuff my friends share on Google Reader. Luckily they're pretty good about sharing so I still have plenty of interesting stuff to read.

This book was actually a gift from the French couchsurfer who stayed with me. I mentioned her before because she got lost on the way to my house and I had to track her down on my scooter. She worked at this publishing agency and offered to bring me a book of my choosing.

Status: Dibbed

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 318: Neuromancer - William Gibson

It's a sign that I'm near the end when I'm giving away books like this. This book was also probably owned by the guy who claimed to own Count Zero but it's been almost ten years in my possession so I think I have rights to it now.

I'm pretty sure I met the friend who loaned me the William Gibson novels at the 7th Sea game I used to play. He's a really great guy although I haven't seen him in years. He was there the first time I got drunk in college, the first time I saw "All Your Base Are Belong To Us," and he helped me get my first job that mattered.

I have fond memories of playing Cuththroat (I was decent at pool back then!) and Road Rash 3D with him and the other guys. Oh yeah, and can't forget Thrill Kill. The never-released fighting game of dead serial killers fighting brutally for another chance at life.

Status: Dibbed

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 317: Solia Flat Iron

I discovered recently that my hair is wavy. I went in to get my hair cut at Seven Salon by Erich (who did an awesome job btw). He started talking about how he was going to give me a cut to enhance my natural wave. I was confused for a second because in my head I've always had straight hair but one look at the mirror told me that isn't true anymore.

It's funny how you can get stuck with your old perceptions of yourself. I definitely had straight hair in high school but looking at my college photos I'm not sure. Perhaps those were transitional years.

Status: Dibbed

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 316: Shoes, size 8

I bought these shoes in Canada, years ago, and my sister also purchased the same pair. They were my first pair of pointy shoes ever and a sign that my style was maturing. For years I would say "I can't understand why someone would wear pointy toed shoes. They look so uncomfortable!" until one day they finally looked attractive to me. The stiletto heel still kept them from being worn much so these shoes are in great condition.

Status: Donated

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 315: Sanyo 10 Cup Rice Cooker

When I bought this, what I really wanted was a 5 cup rice cooker. Then I saw a deal on Amazon where this 10 cup size was about $50 cheaper. Of course I had to buy the cheaper one, what a deal! Big mistake. I feel totally uncomfortable cooking one cup of rice in this thing and it takes up too much counter space. I'm going to let myself replace this with the version I actually wanted in the first place.

Status: Dibbed

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 314: Effective Prototyping for Software Makers

It is getting way too difficult to find a time with enough light to take my photographs. :(

I bought this book on the recommendation of a coworker when I was at Treemo. I'm not exactly sure how I was planning to use it but I'm always interested in learning new stuff. I'm much more likely to follow up on an a technical or instructive book than fiction. 

Effective Prototyping for Software Makers is littered with typos and grammatical errors which I felt detracted from the reading experience. One of my favorite bloggers writes stuff like "Writing without typos is totally outdated" and "Good grammar might derail your career" and this book is a perfect example of why I think what she's saying has a lot of merit. I think there are good ideas in this book, and they are actually pretty good at presenting their information, but because I have a difficult time reading something with errors I will never learn what they have to teach. But it's cheaper to release a product that is less polished and maybe it was necessary for their budget. The ideas should be the important part.

Status: Available

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 313: X-Men & Hunter The Reckoning: Wayward for PS2

These games were passed down from my best friend when she got rid of her Playstation 2. She thought she'd give them to me since we're already playing Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 together and they're both multi-player games.

At the rate we're making it through Baldur's Gate I can't see us ever making it to these games. I think it's been about a year; last time we played she was still eating sugar. I used to make batches of cookie dough and freeze them in balls so they would always be ready. Then my friend went on an elimination diet and discovered that sugar was problematic. We'll have to find some other treat for the next time we play.

Status: Dibbed

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 312: Leather belt

I picked up this belt from Muse Belts on Etsy because I liked that it doesn't have a traditional buckle. It looks better on than it does in the photograph. I'm still not confident about getting rid of it but I'm trying to take a hard line on items that I haven't worn for over six months (excepting seasonal pieces).

I've always had difficulty with accessorizing and I still don't think I've figured it out. I've finally made progress on necklaces and I have quite a few I love and wear frequently but other than that my only regular accessories are a winter scarf and gloves. I recently lost my favorite necklace when I went in to Seven for a hair cut. They have these weird changing rooms and I removed my necklace and probably left it there on accident. I was so disappointed but I ordered a new one off Etsy and she had a new one to me within a week!

My favorite necklace! Obscure punctuation.

Status: Dibbed

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 311: Starbucks gift certificate

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get a little time to spend with a good friend who recently moved to the east coast for school. After catching up we spent a little time discussing my blog. She frequently tells me "Rule number 8! Don't forget rule number 8!" but I've added rules since the beginning so I think she is referring to what is now rule number 10. Stop if the project becomes counterproductive. I'm definitely getting close but I'm pretty sure I can make it without resorting to posting clothes I shouldn't keep anyway.

She also mentioned that she thinks one of my strong points is that I've avoided being caught up in the original value and even the resale value of the items I've posted. She said that she looks around her apartment and associates money with her things. I still do that a bit as well but I'm much more able to move on from it than I used to be.

Today I'm posting something that has an actual monetary value. I'm not sure how much is on the card because it was a thank you gift for a dentist referral. It's probably $5 but maybe it's more. I rarely enter a Starbucks but I still feel a little weird giving it away. I still end up there about three times a year. On the other hand, I never make a deliberate trip to Starbucks and it's not like I carry my gift cards around with me in my wallet. In the end it'll just continue to gather dust on my book shelf and they'll get a little bit more of my money every year.

Status: Dibbed

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 310: DVD Stand

I've gotten rid of so many books that I was able to move all our DVDs and games to the bookshelf in the living room. I'm pretty excited about getting rid of this DVD stand because its occupation of the corner was always a little awkward. I was in the bad habit of piling things on top when I didn't want to put them away properly so I'll need to learn some better behaviors.

Status: Dibbed

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 309: Essential Japanese Grammar

I thought I was done getting rid of Japanese books but it appears I still have a few to let go of. I am not ready to let go of all of them because I still persist in believing that I will pick up Japanese again someday and will need them for reference. In truth, I'll probably not achieve the level of proficiency I desire without moving there. That's unlikely to happen because over the years I've grown increasingly attached to Seattle. This city definitely has its weaknesses but between the climate, the people and the progressive culture it's pretty hard to beat.

Status: Donated

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 308: Carnaroli Rice

Perfect rice for making risotto! I bought this rice at Big John's PFI, a crazy Mediterranean import store in SoDo. They are best known for their huge selection of cheese and olives. I learned about the store when I was taking cooking classes at the now defunct Culinary Communion. Chef Gabriel raved about this place so I had to check it out. I also bought my knife at a place he recommended - The Epicurean Edge in Kirkland. That place has an awesome selection of knives.

Status: Dibbed

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 307: Power Grid

Power Grid was one of several games I received from a friend of mine when he was downsizing his game collection. It's a good game but it is one of those ones that I never get around to playing. It also won't downsize to a smaller box because the board is huge.

Status: Dibbed

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 306: Wonderfalls

Wonderfalls was a favorite television show of mine for years. I discovered it well after it aired on television. I used to spend some time in the Television Without Pity forums for Veronica Mars and a lot of people recommended this show for VM fans. It's about a girl living in Niagara Falls who has a liberal arts degree and works in a souvenir shop. One day things shaped like animals start talking to her and giving her orders. It's quirky but pretty fun.

Status: Dibbed

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 305: Helly Hansen winter jacket

It's a difficult to tell in this photo but this jacket is a navy blue. I bought it the year my family spent Christmas in American Fork, Utah. My youngest sister was in treatment at the time and we drove down to Utah to see her. Utah was a lame place to spend the holiday. On Christmas day almost the only recipe open was Denny's and it had an hour wait. We ended up eating sandwiches in motel room instead.

We had an unusual encounter on Christmas eve in a diner next to our motel. We were sitting at our table and this guy was looking at us. He asked if he knew us from somewhere any my middle sister asked if he'd ever seen the documentary Escape from Affluenza. It turned out he showed it to his students every year. No wonder he thought we looked familiar!

The jacket is sized for a 14 year old boy and is in fantastic condition since I've had very few occasions to wear it.

Status: Dibbed

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 304: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I have been trying to finish this book for literally three years. A friend brought it along to a beach house vacation in Oregon and I started reading it one misty morning on the deck overlooking the ocean. I read for hours and made very little progress. I enjoy Dostoevesky's writing but it's dense and I kept losing track of my place and re-reading the same paragraphs.

I suppose my physical state could be to blame for my inattention. I caught a cold just before we left for Oregon and wasn't feeling well all weekend. I only watched as my friends partook in the International Beer Festival. Later we went swimming in the ocean and I got hypothermia. It was July but the Oregon coast tends to be pretty chilly.

After swimming in the ocean for almost an hour we headed to the grocery and my perceived temperature kept on dropping. I was standing in the store with blue lips and I was shivering like crazy. I couldn't think straight and my motor abilities were pretty bad. My friends took me back to the cabin and stuck me by the fireplace with a drink while they played games and had a grand time. Looking back we didn't really handle it well but at least everyone still had a good time and I came out okay.

Status: Dibbed