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Friday, November 5, 2010

How to quit shopping at Target

After doing my pre-holiday/bday season budget, I realized I spend too much of my money at Target. Nothing crazy and NOTHING like that woman on Hoarders (Dear God, that show is scary!) But with a college student's budget and a kid to support, $25-30 a month at Target is more than I want to spend on life's extras.


Step 1. No more Starbucks at Target. That's half the battle right there. It's so nice to head to Target w/ The Girl and grab an apple juice & a latte. We walk around the store, enjoying our drinks and each other's company. My solution? Pack a sippy cup of juice and a thermos of a fake, office kitchen made, latte when going. I'll save about $10 a month!

Step 2. Make a list, and actually stick to it this time! I'm always making lists (Shopping lists, To-Do lists, Weekly Menus.) Sometimes items on my shopping lists can be found at Target! We get there and I pick up the items on my list: new pink Sharpie, extra socks, and new lip gloss. Then I decide I need mittens, Autumnal tights, an aqua Sharpie (for contrast, duh), etc. Next thing I know, my $9 list turns into a $22 purchase! Now I'm going to make a list; and ONLY buy the things on the list. If I see something else I want, I'll write it down. If I still want/need that item in a week or two, I'll put it on my official Target list. This sounds more complicated than it actually is....I promise.

OMG. I could have pink sunglesses, RIGHT NOW.
But seriously, we were just trying stuff on for laughs.
Step 3. Just stay the hell outta Target! I'm not saying go to WalMart instead (Seriously, this is a Bad Idea .) Instead, I'm suggesting I think really hard to see if I actually need whatever I wanted to buy. If it can at all wait, I'll put it on the list & wait until I actually need it. No more "recreational" Target shopping for me!

I don't think I'm at the point where I need 12 steps to quit Target; three will do. So, anyone else been caught is Target's sneaky tentacles of shopping joy?

Look at the puppy! Doesn't he make you want to buy crap from Target?

Although I must note I'm still a little pissed at Target for giving money to a very anti-gay rights candidate. But that's another story....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rally to Restore Fear and/or Sanity. A Recap.

This Saturday, I embarked on a journey. A journey that would take me to the heart of DC and Young America's political climate. Interestingly enough, the Rally to Restore Sanity was pretty effin' INSANE. It was by far the craziest I have ever seen Metro or the Mall. People (of mostly healthy BMI) were crammed into every nook & cranny of the area, and then crammed some more. Here's where a little planning & knowledge come in handy.
There's probably 10 million to a billion people there...

1. I left early. Those leaving at 10 in hopes of making in the the Mall by 12? pfffft.

2. Loaded my Smart Trip card a day early. The line for the farecard machines was longer than the line for the actual metro. Also, paper farecards are a pain in the ass. And people were breaking out calculators, trying to figure out the exact change to get to DC. Damn, just put $10 on the thing and get the hell outta the way! I really felt for anyone without a SmartTrip card that day.
3. Went to a less popular metro station. Shady Grove? I can only imaging the pandemonium at this end of the line stop. It was White Flint all the way for me. Parking? $5 to the guy at a shopping center across the street kept my car safe from towing all day.
4. Had brunch in DC before the rally. Why rally on an empty stomach when you can fill up on bacon wrapped sausages with friends? Mimosas to Restore Sanity were served in convenient go sippy cups. This leads me into....
5. Bought sign making materials in advance. In the days leading up to the rally, the stores were running out of poster board, paint, markers, etc. Luckily, we had already purchased ours. Wonderful signs such as: I Am Not A Witch. Your Moment Of Zen, I'd Rather Be Masturbating (actually the most popular sign....,) Mothers Instilling Lifelong Fear and/or Sanity (what's the acronym for that...see? funny.)

   The signs really were the best part of the rally. I was blown away by the creativity of the crowd.
6. Cut through the Art Gallery. I know, maybe not to coolest thing to do, but we donated money to offset our use of the building as a conduit to the rally.
7. Had a Backup Plan. The Girl was getting a little tired of the crowd; and my neck was getting sore from keeping her on my shoulders for so long. Luckily, we positioned ourselves close to the IM Pei's East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. We had a yummy lunch next to the waterfall & enjoyed a relaxing walk through.

8. We also had a If We Get Separated, We'll Meet Here plan. In our case it was Oyamel. Eat here. Seriously. Our plan worked out especially well since cell coverage was DEAD. I couldn't even text.
9. We didn't leave immediately following the end of the Rally. Having dinner, then coffee, was a wonderful idea. By the time we made it to Gallery Place metro, it was far less crowded than before.
10. Because a top 10 list is better than a top 9.

The Girl was wonderful the whole time. She was our ticket onto packed metro cars & buses; being the only one who could see the screen, she told us when it said "Cheer!"; and she LOVED the Burning Man Dragon Boat/Bus.

It was the best damn weekend. Ever. But seriously, Starbucks, WTF is up with you denying people Gingerbread Lattes until tomorrow?! SOME PEOPLE had pinned their entire hopes for the day of that latte.

Of well, can't win 'em all!