Friday, November 26, 2010

God bless the USA

The thanksgivings and Christmas season are a time reuniting with loved ones and sharing good times. More importantly its a time to be a glutton in every way possible. I decided to spend my black Friday sleeping in watching Seinfeld (I was a glutton too, a lot of Seinfeld). With that said I am frustrated with everything about black Friday. Physically it is grueling. People get up at early hours in the morning to buy something (not to end hunger or for a selfless reason) and wait until the store opens. Depending on the location it is cold outside and could have bad weather. Not to mention that people are walked on and trampled during these festivities. Mentally it is also taxing. First you have to be in a mental state to get up and take on the weather to buy a product. Also it goes to show how retail stores control a large chunk of our society.

I decided not to participate in black Friday. To me the deals did not over weigh the hardships. Black Friday is the most celebrated holiday, it should be the new Independence Day.

I Never Want To See Food Ever Again. Ever.

As this thanksgiving comes to an end, and my body recovers from all the food that it painfully consumed, I can’t help but look forward to this year’s Christmas. I do love to eat, and watching football? Well that shouldn’t even be a question. Christmas, however, allows me to do something else with my family; surprise them with gifts. I’m one of those people who really enjoy finding the perfect gift for a family member and loves seeing real smiles when they get something they wanted. Last year I bought a Wii with my parents and surprised my grandpa with it. Now my grandpa is not one of those videogame playing grandpas; however, he recently was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and the Wii is known to help control the symptoms (crazy I know!). He was so-so on the gift but after I showed him how to play, he has been nonstop. He even beat me in bowling and has taken his golf game to a whole new level. He misses playing golf.

But this year, I look forward to planning my gift ideas and seeing how much money I can pull together for the presents. I think this year I’m going to try online shopping and see if I can get some good deals and save money if I plan ahead. Also I’m going to try and buy stuff before break if I can, which means it will be mailed to my place in Anderson instead of back home. My dad is a sports guy and is really into cycling and swimming, as he used to be a very good cross-country runner. Cycling equipment is expensive, but if I buy online and stay up on the savings deals I can find a coupon to my liking. My mom really likes her chick flicks and Christian music so ill be keeping my ears open for specific ideas. I like to buy electronics at Best Buy, but sometimes their prices are a bit too high and I have to settle for shopping around and comparing prices. Again, buying online will help this problem too. My sister will be the tricky one. She is having a baby in 7 months which means the baby technically won’t be born around Christmas…but you can still give a baby gift then right?? I’m hoping so because that seems like the most blatantly obvious Christmas idea for her. I’ll have to look up baby toy ideas online once again to find out my choices of purchase. I’m thinking a little football…or rugby ball. Girls like those too right?

40% Off is Hard to Pass Up

So, I am now back from my Black Friday experience. I made it through two hours of it. One of these hours was spent at Express. They had 40% of everything in the store before noon. One problem, the one sweater that I wanted in the store, they didn't have my size. Go figure right? I guess that's what I get for not going at 4am when they opened. But, luckily the 40% off was online also, and I was able to purchase the sweater when I got home.

The thing that annoyed me most about the experience was the lines. Yea, I accepted them and moved on, but boy do they clutter up the store. We ended up weaving our way around enough people to find some items to buy and saving around $120. I'd say it was worth it.

One thing that I noticed on the way to the mall was that the restaurant Old Chicago was having a "Man Cave Party" today starting at 11am, pretty good idea. All of the guys can go eat and hang out while their wives shop. Now, I saw plenty of men enjoying their shopping experience this morning, but the "Man Cave Party" idea fits the stereotype that the women are the shoppers.

I have to say I'm glad I partook in Black Friday, but I will end up buying most of my Christmas presents the week before Christmas. Yep, I'm one of those last minute shoppers.

Pre Black Friday Shopping

On the Tuesday before Black Friday my mom, dad, and I went to the mall. Did we buy anything? No, nor did we have intentions to. We knew that there were going to be some great deals on Friday, so we wanted to scope out all of the stores without the entire crowd. We used this time to try clothes on and decided on items that we were going to buy. Now we aren't crazy Black Friday shoppers who go out at midnight for deals or even get up at 4am. We'll roll up to the stores about 10am and see if we are still lucky enough to still get some deals (or if the stores still even have what we want).

I love to shop, but I still get overwhelmed. Black Friday is one of those days. I feel like I need to go shop because everyone who loves shopping goes shopping on Black Friday, but there are so many people that sometimes I just leave because I can't find what I want and the stores are so cluttered. Now I know this is a preconceived notion I have that everyone who loves shopping goes shopping on Black Friday, but I think I go because I want that since of belonging. By going I give myself group membership in the group "Black Friday Shoppers."

I am writing this right before we leave to go check out the deals, and I know some people have already returned from their shopping extravaganzas. You 3am people, more power to you, now we'll see if I can handle at least an hour of this madness.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Customer Service

This past weekend, my fiancé and I went out for dinner to TGI Fridays. On the trip there, I called in advance to get our name down on the waiting list. Once we arrived, I came to find that we were not actually on the list at all. So we ended up waiting a bit and finally got a seat. Our waitress was very nice and friendly, and she took our drink and appetizer order. She then came back with our drinks and ended up spilling mine all over the table. It didn’t get on me or anything so I wasn’t upset about it at all. It was no big deal. We then proceeded to order our meals. We had a coupon for buy one entrée, get one free, so we decided to use it. However, my meal soon came and my fiancé’s did not. I waited for a bit for him to get his meal, but it didn’t come out. Finally, our waitressed noticed and went to figure it all out. My finance, not wanting my food to get cold, told me to go ahead and start eating, so I did. To our surprise, the manager came to our table and apologized for the inconvenience. They had lost my fiancés order and were in the process of making it. He offered to make me a new, fresh plate so that we could eat together or an appetizer while we waited, but I had already started to eat and we had already eaten an appetizer. Therefore, my fiancé tried to pull the, “it would be really nice if you could take of the price of our appetizer or drinks” card and the manager said he would see what he could do. Minutes later his meal finally came out. The manager returned and said that he had taken off the price of his meal and appetizer and returned the coupon to us to use again. He also gave us a fifteen dollar gift certificate for our next visit. I was pretty shocked at their generosity. I’ve had things like this happen to me before, but no one has ever resolved it in this way. He was very polite and quick to respond to their mistakes even though we never complained about it. Needless to say, our not so great experience was compensated by how well the manager took care of us. I’m sure we will be returning again in the near future.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Proud Parents

Today I received extremely exciting news: I am a mom.

Well, kind of.

I am a mom in the closest sense that I plan to be for a while. A proud mom of a baby hedgehog. I have wanted a pet ever since I have moved from home. Residing in the dorms presented a problem with this desire. Now, however, I finally can have a pet of my own. Today, Olivia (the real mom) had her babies at 11:00 a.m. I will be gaining custody of Sonic the week before Christmas, officially making me a proud parent.

My boyfriend and I, after a long discussion, placed our names on the waiting list for a baby boy out of this most recent litter of hedgehogs in Lafayette, IN. Now, this was a huge decision on both of our parts (mainly mine because I will have custody and he will only have visitation rights). As it is with any potential pet owner, it is definitely a high-effort decision. We had to make sure we knew how to care for Sonic, what to feed him (fresh vegetables, eggs, and cat food), where he should stay (in a guinea pig cage), if he can be potty trained (surprisingly, yes in a litter box when he is out to play), what kind of family history he comes from (healthy and non-aggressive), and a variety of other factoids. The information we sought was a result of making a high-effort decision. The perceived risks of this purchase were great when we began our search. Knowing that the baby hedgehog was going to be expensive, we wanted to lower the perceived risk before purchasing; we did this by information search. Now that the perceived risk seems to be minimal in our minds by purchasing Sonic from a well-known breeder of the hedgehog world, we made our decision and anticipate excitement and enjoyment as we begin our journey as first-time parents.

(Picture courtesy of Jennifer Jack, Facebook)

French Blues

Most people who know me know that I love to purchase a fresh new pair of kicks. Recently there have been rumors about the retro 13 Jordan “French Blues” coming to the sales racks and this past week it was confirmed. They will be re-releasing the French Blue 13’s on the 26th of November the day after thanksgiving. The last time that these shoes came out was back in 2005 and before that it was 1998. Never owning a pair of these, I feel obligated to get them this go around. The best part of this news is that my job will be getting them, so it’s guaranteed that I have the opportunity to get them. Like always when it comes to something I want, the price of the product is always ridiculous. The retro 13s will be $159.99 before tax. I know some people are thinking that isn’t that much money or others are thinking who in their right mind would want to pay that much for a pair of shoes. Well I do and I will have them the day that they come out. Normally I wouldn’t care that much about getting them except my job won’t let employees(me) get our discount on the shoes since they are considered an exclusive Jordan, and the problem is that I have just enough money to get them after tax. After I purchase these beautiful kicks I will be rolling in lint/dust because I will be broke!! Who cares though, because on the bright side I will have the shoe I want.