a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

A tip: If you have distribution deals with Costco and Safeway (or other large grocery chains) you know we can access your product at a discounted price. You’ve given up exclusivity for mass appeal and sales.

So then do not send me OHMYGOD CAN I BELIEVE THE DEAL emails that discount your wines by a few measly percent (at best, some have no discount) plus charge me shipping when I can just pick it up literally for 30-50% less than your full price at Costco or Safeway. It’s actually insulting. Offer me free shipping, or buy 5 and get 6th free or **something**. Without naming names since I like these places and don’t want to diss them, but if I can buy something from you for $22 plus shipping or I can pick it now up at SFY for $15, which do you think will happen? Hmmm…let me think….

I’m sure I am not the only person deluged with Black Friday, Extended Black Weekend, Cyber Monday and Cyber week e-mails. But come on man. I think 100 emails every morning followed by repeated ones through the day – sometimes 3 or 4 from the same store/site is RIDICULOUS. And honestly I just delete them all and don’t even look. It’s too much. Good grief Charlie Brown. I had to turn off the volume on my laptop because of the constant alert dinging from new email coming in.

The only 1 that caught my eye had a picture of Chewbacca slippers (Hammacher). So naturally, I saved that one. But still haven’t clicked on it.

And do NOT get me started on the snail mail catalog situation which I think keeps USPS afloat (well…afloat in USPS terms anyway…)

I love Christmas. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I am also a huge capitalist who loves to shop. And loves to give gifts! But the marketing departments really need to think about their campaigns and not not just think the solution is MOAR EMAIL MOAR CATALOGS MOAR JUNK.

Sigh…I know…not likely.

These shoes were $525 in 2008. They are $965 now. Do NOT tell me there is no inflation. #governmentlies

Manolos

So I *just* had a conversation with a friend over Thanksgiving about how I did not need any new purses except a small black bag. I live in the mountains. And already have a lot of bags. BUT…I realized that I didn’t have a small, simple black bag for daily use. I have evening bags or bags with black but not just black. But until I found just the right one, I didn’t really need it. Brown is more my base color anyway. So I was not looking.

I was in the bay area this past week and was doing some Christmas shopping. I meandered through Neiman Marcus and saw a gorgeous chocolate brown Balenciaga mini City bag. I didn’t even know they made those! So, so, so cute. But I JUST said I didn’t need anymore bags….except a small black one….like the one in the next case. Doh.

They had 3 small black ones actually. 2 exactly same style but 1 with gold hardware and 1 with pewter. And then another very similar but more tassley things that Balenciaga likes to use. Oh boy. After much thinking (hours actually), I went back with a friend and between her and the 2 saleswomen, and much walking by the mirrors with both (girls are funny), it was decided that the black and gold was THE one. Which is very odd for me as I am more of a simple (so pewter hardware or platinum if jewelry) girl. Not as flashy. But for some reason – I loved this little bag with the gold pieces. And apparently it went with my hair (not blonde so ok…but saleswoman said!)

So I did it! And I used to today for the first time and LOVED it!!! No buyer’s remorse = Excellent Purchase!!

Merry Christmas to me :) falalalalalalalalalaaaaaaaa

Balenciaga Giant 12 Gold Mini City Black

Yesterday at lunch there was a guy showing everyone his Samsung Galaxy #*whichever number is the newest one*. Literally every other person sitting there had an iPhone so he wanted to show us what he could do that we could not. He was trying that ‘talk to the phone to get it to do things’ like in the commercials. But he had to yell at it several times to get it to make a call. If I saw some guy walking on the street yelling at his phone, I’d assume he was crazy :) But maybe he was doing it wrong?

He showed us the new Superman trailer. Definitely looked very cool on his screen. Cannot deny the screen is its best selling feature. After we all watched the trailer (and the girls ogled at Henry Cavill!) he assured us that we would all switch over if we tried it out. No. No I won’t. Again, the screen was nifty – both in clarity and size, no denying that. But the size was also the problem. There was no way that giant thing felt right in my hand. It was considerably bigger – not just the screen but the whole phone was a LOT bigger. There is no way I could do 1 handed thumb typing on it like I always do when hiking. I’m sure it works well for guys. Or the lady with man hands from Seinfeld. But I really, really hope Apple figures out a way to give us a slightly bigger/better screen without making the entire handset bigger.

And there was no way it would fit in ANY of my pants, skirts or shorts pockets. Girl pockets are very small. I’d like bigger pockets since I’m always carrying my phone, dog cookies and poo bags in pretty much all outfits, but fashion seems to disagree with that and has since the dawn of time unless you rock the mom jeans look like Obama (Never. Ever. Ever.) And it wouldn’t fit into half my small handbags. Or if it did, nothing else would.

I already almost drop my phone out of my pocket or jacket on a regular basis. Or it will just slip out of my pockets when sitting in the car, etc. which then gets it drop-kicked across the parking lot. Sonofa… Anything bigger, forget it. I’d need a backpack!

Funny thing is remember back in the 90s when phones were getting smaller and smaller. The teeny-tiniest ones were the best and we were all convinced it would just become a node in your ear (or implant in your head!) Obviously that won’t work with a smartphone (yet…) but no way I want a “phablet”. Plus since I have a Mac and iPad, Apple TV and iTunes – I have no intention in messing with my eco-system.

So here is hoping Apple designers already know the above. And don’t just bow to the cries of fanboys who seem to have to watch videos everywhere so demand a bigger everything.

So I think I had some kind of weird delayed reaction to my birthday. I usually buy something cool as a present to myself. It’s a habit I started when I turned 21. Ya know…just a couple years ago :) But this year I did not. Just wasn’t feeling it. But then…well…I bought these yesterday:

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/Manolo-Blahnik-BB-Suede-Pump-Black-Blahnik-Pumps/prod149710069___/?icid=&searchType=MAIN&rte=%252Fsearch.jsp%253FN%253D0%2526Ntt%253DBlahnik%252520Pumps&eItemId=prod149710069&cmCat=search

I’ve been wanting a pair of Manolos for awhile and oddly I do NOT have a classic black pump in all of my closet! A fair amount of other black heels but not this style. Criminal really. They aren’t available/shipping until October but I’m pretty sure I will love them :) Then I will have a new addiction! #oopsie

Then today I bought some jeans, some new Lulu Astro pants and some cute Niner Junkfood tees. Oh! And a dress and some cute exercise t-shirts (and frankly any money spent on exercise gear should NOT count!)  All from the comfort of my home. Internet shopping is bad, bad, bad!!!! And I’ve been SO good too. Not sure what happened – mental break, tumor? But at least I’ll look cute :)

We’ll just wrap it up with a bow and call it all a Happy belated Birthday to me. Yeah…that’s it.

Just received my new dish from Amazon! I saw it at Williams Sonoma last week and *almost* bought it right then BUT I knew I could find it online at a better price (at least the same price with no gouging CA sales tax! Ridiculous that I am highly taxed when I earn my money and then taxed AGAIN when I spend it – jerks!)

It’s so pretty! And I think the rooster handle is what sold me on it :) That and the awesome silver-gray color. Kinda Storm-colored :)

I bought it to braise short ribs in. Staub’s braiser is a bit smaller and doesn’t have the rooster handle. So got the larger Coq Au Vin dish instead. Plus, after making the mistake of making BBQ ribs to eat for dinner while watching the season 2 premier of The Walking Dead last week, I am off most meat for awhile. So the ribs might wait till winter but I’m sure I’ll come up with a good recipe to try in my new fancy dish!

But I think having more fun tools for the kitchen makes cooking a bit more fun. As does more bubbly or wine :) (Julia Child would approve!)

Spread it all out and looked at everything tonight :)

Purchased:
Funko SDCC Exclusive flocked Chewbacca – ran to get this when doors opened Thursday AM. Was sold out when I went by again on Saturday! Also got the flocked Gizmo on impulse :) This Chewie is something I saw on my tour at ILM and wasn’t allowed to talk about!
Kotobukiya Wonder Woman statue
Kotobukiya Star Wars Mace Windu (purple) chopsticks (I eat a lot of sushi at home so fully justified)
Kotobukiya Star Wars Han in Carbonite ice cube molds
Mimobot Han Solo with Carbonite case 16gb USB drive
Mimobot SDCC exclusive Bossk 8gb USB drive #106/500
Gentle Giant SDCC Exlusive Ralph McQuarrie concept Hoth Stormtrooper (IS Stormy’s full name so had to do it!) They are shipping to me so don’t know #
Sideshow “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope – Limited Edition” hardcover book by Morgan Spurlock #3849/5000
SDCC exclusive JLA tumblers (2)
Soft Kitty (Big Bank Theory) t-shirt
and my favorite:
Han and Chewie pic personally autographed to me by Chewbacca…err Peter Mayhew :)

Freebies (panels or on floor):
Cowboys and Aliens gold brick that was hunted and found (no premier tickets tho :( )
The Hunger Games poster (got this for a friend who loves this series)
SDCC 2011 bags with JLA, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Shark Week on them
SDCC Souvenir programs (2) with JLA cover art
Breaking Dawn “Save The Date” magnet
Breaking Dawn trading cards (including Edward – Squeee!)
Ringer chair (perfect for line sitting!)
Game of Thrones backpack w/book, t-shirt (House Baratheon), mousepad, screen protector, bookmark)
Metal water bottles from Fright Night party – say Holy Water (hehehe)
Fright Night fangs
Fright Night 3-D glasses with hard case (for all my home 3D viewing)
Oh! And the little Chewbacca plush that some guy randomly walked up to me on the floor and gave me for free because “I looked like I liked Chewbacca.” :)

And then I bought on eBay:
Gentle Giant Squirrel Pool (only 500 made – not sure of my number yet)

The fact that I bought this on eBay pisses me off a bit but I wanted it. And I waited for about 40 minutes in line but then it sold out before I got to the counter. This pisses me off because most of the sellers of this item on eBay had more than one to sell (some had 3 or 4.) They (Gentle Giant and all large vendors) should limit the SDCC exclusives to 1 per customer. Pisses me off royally that some scalpers don’t even go to Comic Con for the show, but just to buy the exclusives and get the freebies to sell all of them on eBay. Jerks.

I looked for the eBay seller that only indicated he had 1 for sale. He might have more to sell, but at least it wasn’t obvious. And at least he accepted my Best Offer and I didn’t pay as much as the buyers before me (although probably more than the people who buy any in a week or 2 I would guess.) I am still keeping an eye out on eBay for the official t-shirt with the JLA art in size small.

And then I bought a cool Wolf Sanctuary sweatshirt when I was up there on Sunday. And I buy ornaments from vacation places I go to so bought a Christmas ornament at the USS Midway store. So a consumer long weekend all the way around. Although in fairness to me, I bought much less than most Comic Con trips!

I need more shelves….

This weekend I bought myself some new sneakers and workout pants. Well, workout meaning dog walking. I have exercise gear for doing my stepper indoors. But I need a whole different set of clothes for dog walks/hikes. They need to be warm (but then not too warm for the not-as-cold or bright sunny days), able to get rained or misty-fogged on, able to deal with wind, pockets for dog treats and poo bags would be exceptional although I’ve given up on pants having these. I use a zippered pocket in my jacket for my phone nowadays. After sacrificing a couple old phones to the Pacific that were held in non-zippered pants pockets…I’ve finally learned. Also I must thank Verizon’s insurance/replacement program…AT&T is not so grand that way so I am way more careful.

I have some pants from Lululemon. Yes…the overpriced yoga pants. Mind you, I don’t do yoga. There is not one chance in hell I have the patience for that. I tried it once. Pretty much bored out of mind and hated it. Also – stinky. Blech. I’m just not meant to be that Zen I guess. I wanted to like it, but meh. I’ll take outside with the dogs any day. But I do like LULU’s magic ass pants. I can see why they charge so much for them. They make you look great! No kidding! Not so much that I’d buy the stock since I don’t believe there are THAT many women who will fork over that kind of dough for exercise pants (although they have basically replaced the Juicy outfit as the Mom-out-and-about outfit) and have to think they have just about hit their full reach, plus have Athleta to contend with now, but what do I know. I said that when they were at 40. I just refuse to buy the stock at the price they are at now. I’ve read how they are expanding and will possibly offer their stuff in large department stores and that will help sell more but still, I think, expanding the $100 magic ass pant market might not be as easy as they think. Crocs got really big too….although let’s be clear – these pants are WAY cuter. So I say no to the stock for my portfolio but I will still buy the magic ass pants. Hmm…I could buy more than 1 share of stock for every pair…but I’ll get more value from the pants. Of this I am certain :)

Because they were $100 magic ass pants, I do not wear them on dog walks. Why? That’s a damn good question actually. When you think about it, I wear my dog walking clothes every single day. Every day for the past 10 years. But I look for cheap bargains on the clothes. Why? I’ll spend hundreds of dollars on shoes and sweaters and even more on bags that I wear just a few times. But something I wear every damn say, I chintz on? That’s dumb! I am going to start wearing them.

So this weekend, I bought a new pair of (hopefully just as) magic ass pants from Athleta. That’s The Gap’s new(ish) foray into the magic ass pant business. The problem I found with their site is that it looks like a lot of the pants have momma rise. YUCK! WTH? The 2 pairs that specifically said low-rise were sold out in most sizes. Why? Because girls like low-rise!!! So make more!! I have this same problem with snowboard pants and husky walk rain gear and even regular pants. STOP with the high-rise momma pants!!! YUCK!!! Double-YUCK!!

Anyway, I paid the full price for a black pair, since the sale color (which was an awesome chocolate brown dammit) was all sold out in every size but XL (which shouldn’t actually be made in yoga pants but that’s another story.) These are supposed to be the “winter” version. They are lined so you can do outdoor activities and be warm. We’ll see. They show a girl snow-shoeing in them. Ummm…yeah. Have you been out in the snow? But I assume they should work for doggie walks here?! Crossing fingers and paws. And if so, I might just buy a couple more pair. Yes…spend the money on the activity I do (and enjoy!) every day.

I also bought a new pair of Reebok Easytones. I was just thinking it was about time to get a new pair of walking shoes and then the huskies made it easy for me….they took me down a very gloppy muddy hill this weekend. Gloppy muddy like my entire foot sank in. Nice. We were running down the hill so no time to worry about the mud. It is just mud :) We all sank in but they could just run into the ocean afterwards and clean off – little boogers! BUT…it did push me over into the “time to get new shoes” camp. Bummer is I just let a 20% off ‘come back to us’ coupon from Endless. Oh well. The color I wanted was on sale so that worked out. I got the light gray…with a little pink stripe :) Gray should hide the first few layers of sand and dirt!

I do love Endless.com. I ordered them Sunday and they shipped today. I will have them tomorrow or Wednesday. And that fast shipping is free. As is return shipping if I don’t love them. Awe+some. Yes – same as Zappo’s BUT they will actually put their stuff on a real sale, unlike Zappo’s. Not to say I don’t like Zappo’s – I do. And now that AMZN owns them, they can offer the stuff at full retail and people can pay. And some of us will find 80% of the same stuff on endless for less :) And if not, then buy it at Zappo’s. As an AMZN shareholder, all good to me.

Now I just need a new pair of rain pants that aren’t too bulky and big. And then I think I’m set for awhile. I found a pair on Backcountry.com tonight and the first reviewer complained how low-rise they were – PERFECT!!! SOLD!!!

It’s important to be functional AND cute :)

On Friday I saw the email coupon in my inbox…and on Friday night I added a few things to my cart but didn’t buy. Then on Sunday I removed an item or 2 but then added another…and then my fantasy football team was losing so bad and I was grumpy and it was rainy and gloomy out and I was tired from staying up late the night before so I pressed buy. Oops?

30% off plus free shipping?? Come on – how long could I be expected to hold out??

Not too bad though..

Silk Allegra in black - can you really ever enough black dresses?

Silk Juliet in clover (I LOVE this color green and have NO dresses in it)

Then I moved onto sweaters…and while this won’t be THE chocolate brown cashmere cardigan I am searching for, it will be cute..

Cashmere Cody in brown (heatherstone)

and then…

Lumiere Ruffle in Sandstone

and then last..

Glitz Stud Cami - but I will look waaay cuter in it though ;)

With the 30% off on top of the sale prices AND free shipping, it was actually pretty darn cheap. I had put myself on a shopping ban last month since I decided that I will buy my pink Chanel bag when I find it (I WILL find it!)  But I kinda fail at self-imposed shopping bans….dammit…

Just got the email confirming my order just shipped – yay! If I can’t sleep I might as well be looking at my booty (think pirates people….not Kardashians.)

Listening to CNBC on the drive into work this morning. They were discussing retails stocks and had the Baird retail analyst on. She was quite bullish on J Crew. I love J Crew as a store to shop in,  but I stay away from the retail sector (except for TIF), so when she said she thought one of the reasons it was a good buy here (they are reporting earnings after the bell today) is because “they provided good value for quality” I actually laughed out loud.

Let’s be clear – I love-love J Crew. Half of my closet is from there. Have loved them for years since I was kid (long before Michelle Obama started making it so popular – pfft.) But I would in no way ever say their full retail pricing was a good value. HA! Come on?  Their quality IS good – better than the Gap brands are anymore, that’s for sure. But considering their price points are on items made in China now? Good value is not how I would describe J Crew.  Cute, fun, comfy – sure.

I never buy anything full retail there. Well, that’s not true. I have probably bought 5 items full price. And 3 of them I was able to return shortly after I bought them and get them at a sale price. And I hate doing stuff like that but paying $295 for a blazer and then seeing it on sale for $110 about 1 month later – nope – going back for better price. Sorry.

So I think the Baird analyst needs to re-evaluate what she thinks “good value” is. Perhaps the stock is a good value – that’s questionable in my opinion (early 2009 was a GREAT VALUE!) but the retail sector is tough right now. Trading in 33 range today. Guess we’ll see tomorrow AM after earnings tonight.

I think I give them so much of my money IN the store, owning the stock as well might make sense ;)  But TIF also reports tonight – I’d rather spend some money IN store there! :)

REVISED: http://www.reuters.com/article/idCNN2621991720100826?rpc=44

Oops, guess the Baird analyst was wrong about it being a buy at 33….although after-market trades aren’t always indicative of tomorrow’s trading.