Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/26

$900.00 - mortgage
$154.00 - student loans
$90.14 - water & trash

I hate bills, yes I really hate bills, they make me want to throw myself down a steep hill.... *sigh*

Monday, February 25, 2013

bitchy beanie baby lady stole my shit.

I've had a sticky note on my computer for nearly two years. The only words written on it... the title of this blog post.  I figured it was about time I shared the story with you all.

Let me first explain why I've had that title saved.  I am the type of person who never lets go of the crappy things that happen to me in life, no matter how crappy or uncrappy the experience actually was.  I can't drink hot chocolate anymore because once, in elementary school, I barfed up a bunch of hot chocolate in my mom's new car. I won't go canoeing with my in-laws because once, in middle school, I was attacked by geese while in a canoe and my friends refused to help me.  I refuse to play co-op video games because one kid I babysat for in high school used to camp my spawn point in 007: Goldeneye and would kill me over and over and over again.  I'd spawn in a bathroom stall, and that little jerk would shoot me as soon as I'd open the stall door.

I will never get over inviting too many people to my 10th birthday party with the limousine, I will never get over saying "hell" (as in "what the hell") in front of my grandparents when I was nine years old, and I will never get over trying to tell my mom what she should teach us in 1st grade art class.  I'm basically a museum display case of guilt.

I should also explain that I was not immune to Beanie Baby mania.  I collected them, and like everyone else was sure that I'd be able to sell my collection someday and be rich, rich, rich beyond measure!

(Do we need to take a laughing break?  Yes?  Okay, go ahead and laugh.  You ok now?  Alright, on with the story.)

The year was 1996.  Marcee Taylor and her mom had brought me along to some sort of Beanie Baby convention at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Like the stupid little kid I was, I'd decided to bring the most valuable piece in my collection... a panda bear called Peking. Mine didn't have an ear tag, but still had the leg tag - so it wasn't as valuable as it could have been, but it was still worth upwards of $850.

A woman in her early 50's spotted me with the panda, and asked me if I wanted to trade it. The Peace Bear had recently been released (tie die fabric, zomg! What will they think of next?!?) and I told her I'd really like a Peace Bear.  The woman dragged me outside of the auditorium so she could use a pay phone to call someone to help her make sure my Peking was not a fake.  She talked on the phone for about 20 minutes, describing the panda in great detail.  Eventually she was satisfied that my Peking was authentic, and offered me a Peace Bear in exchange.  I was too young to fully understand that this was not a fair trade - an $850 retired bear for a $200 newly released bear.

Several months passed before I realized I'd been cheated. A collectibles shop had opened in the mall.  I walked in, and instantly recognized the shop owner - it was the lady from the library!  In the display case, next to a few $50 Peace Bears... was my Peking.  With a price tag of $900.

Once I realized that someone old enough to be my mom had swindled an innocent 11-year old girl out of a very valuable (at the time) collectible for her own personal gain is something I will never forget. I imagine if I saw that woman on the street today, I'd still be angry enough to lecture her about what a terrible, slimy, reprehensible thing she'd done. Sure, I'd only asked for a Peace Bear, but come on - I was only 11 years old!  Shame on her... she should have been a better person and offered more to the trade, or at least informed me that the bear was worth more than just a Peace Bear.  No. Instead, she took advantage of a naive kid.

That's the story of the bitchy beanie baby lady that stole my shit.

And on another depressing side note, I always wanted a Humphrey the Camel.  To this day, despite knowing that Beanie Babies are not collectible, I still want a Humphrey.  At one point I remember my parents tried to cheer me up by getting me a Humphrey Beanie Buddy (larger, more plush) but it didn't make me feel any better.  So, you know, if you have one of these guys in a drawer somewhere... I'd really like to buy it:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/23

$25.00 - Zombie Burger (blame Aryn.)
$9.53 - Brown Dog Bakery (bunny rabbit toy for Poison)
$21.63 - Home Depot (ant-slip tape for the Element. Doesn't stick.  Kind of pissed about that.)
$45.50 - Kum & Go (fuel... *barf*)

Today was kind of spendy.  I also mailed entries for two CAT tests.... $40 and $54.  Yikes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/20

So... I got a little behind on this, I'm sorry.  This is all from the last week or so.

$42.40 - fuel
$13.50 - antler from the antler man (he gave me two free antlers, I felt obligated to buy one!)
$20.00 - fuel
$60.00 - phone upgrade service fee (though Steve is paying me back for his phone, so $30)
$92.40 - raw dog food (I'm paying for it in advance, pickup is April 13th)
$25.00 - decals (much better price than I'll get anywhere else, and they're custom!)

... I'm thinking I should buy some extra groceries tonight, what with the Snowpocalypse Q scheduled to arrive on Thursday and all.

Happy Birthday Kaylee!

Happy 5th birthday to my best girl!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Welcome to the Modern World, Self!

I got my first cell phone when I was fourteen years old.  I was working at a vet clinic at the time, and I convinced my parents to let me get a cell phone after a Golden Retriever named Shane backed me into a kennel run when I was alone at work, and I was stuck there until one of the techs showed up for the night shift. My first phone was one of these Nokia bricks:

Aww yeah, I was one cool middle-schooler.  I customized that phone with a dark brown cover and a metal antenna with bright rainbow lights that would flash and flicker when the phone was in use. 

Over the years I upgraded my phone, but I never kept up with the latest trends.  I was always several years behind, and didn't even get unlimited texting until a few years ago.  For more than a decade, the extent of my phones' cababilies were to "just call people."  I was very proud of myself in 2011 when I actually got a phone with a keyboard!

(Let's take a break, so we can all laugh at that image.  Me, strutting out of Jordan Creek Mall, feeling awesome because I had a phone with a slide-out keyboard.  Wow.)

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  My buddy Jess mentioned that we could all go in on a phone plan to reduce costs, and it ended up being a pretty solid plan. So this past weekend, I finally crossed over to the dark side and got an iPhone.  It's just a 4 - I couldn't stomach paying $200+ for a 5, and I couldn't justify spending $70 on a 4S just to get Siri.  

I feel like a technologically impaired individual. My friends keep laughing at me because I have no idea what I'm doing with this stupid phone.  But I shall learn.

Here's my first iPhone photo. Not exactly a masterpiece, but it was late and I was tired.  I figured a photo of a cat would be fitting, since the internet loves cats.  That's not my cat, by the way.  She belongs to Jess.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chaos makes me twitchy.

I crave organization.

I have a planner that I've affectionately nicknamed "My Brain" - if an event isn't written down in the planner, I can 100% guarantee I'll forget.  I've used the same planner for about 8 years, which is probably yet another indication that I am messed up in the head.

I also have spreadsheets that help me plan dog shows.  The 2013 Dog Show Spreadsheet currently contains:

- 2 CAT weekends (total of 5 possible qualifying runs)
- 1 meat pick-up
- 1 dog show where Aryn will have a Scentsy booth

- 1 UKC show for Poison (novice puppy) and Kaylee (altered)
- 1 ATTS Temperament Test

- 2 AKC Conformation shows
- 1 possible UKC Conformation show

- 1 AKC Conformation show
- 1 Obedience trial weekend (I'm the trial chair)

- 2 Conformation shows

- 1 AKC Conformation show
- Midwest IPO Regionals (I'm the photographer)

- 2 AKC Conformation shows
- 1 CAT weekend (in conjunction with Conformation, 2 possible qualifying runs)

It's such a relief to have my weekends planned.  When I don't know what's going on, it's hard to plan finances, and that makes me queasy.  Now that I have my "dog stuff" planned out, I know which weekends I have available for vacations, photo shoots, etc.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I would just like to say that Jayne is friggin' adorable.

I know some people have a problem with dogs wearing clothes.  For the most part, I agree - outfits and wardrobes are ridiculous unless the articles of "clothing" have a purpose.  My dogs have coats and pajamas because they have very little fat, short hair, and no undercoat to keep them warm.  

But this... this I admit is purely for aesthetic purposes.  Jayne looks friggin' adorable in his Saint Patrick's Day bowtie, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  He'll wear it in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Des Moines.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Picked up our Poison.

I've been keeping a secret from you all....

Formally introducing Bruda Pure Poison - or just "Poison" as she's called around here.  She's not completely mine - I'm co-owning her with my friend Aryn and the breeder.  She will be splitting her time between my house and Aryn's house, and will be shown and trained by both of us.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/9

$35.00 - "donation" to an organization that builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.  (Yeah, I bought cookies.  I only intend to eat them on cheat days, and I intend to freeze most of them so I can enjoy them throughout the year.  Yum!)

$8.55 - Brown Dog Bakery purchase, top secret.  No, it's not a collar.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/8

$25.00 - Zombie Burger + Drink Lab (spiked pumpkin pie shake, fries, and a double tap Dead Moines.)

Sometimes you gotta cut loose.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/7

Today's spendies...

$66.98 - TurboTax
$30.71 - Petco for a small bag of kibble
$7.86 - Target (antibiotic ointment, cotton circles, bottle of water)
$42.04 - Kum & Go (filled the Element's tank)

A few notes....
1. I hate taxes even more than I hate bills. No matter what we do, we always owe money.  I'm sick of it. At least this year we only owe $263, but still.  One of these days, I'd like to actually get money back from Uncle Sam. Maybe someday that'll actually happen.  *grouchy*
2. Notice that I didn't get Kaylee anything special for her birthday when I was at Petco.  See, that's progress!
3. I need to start bringing my own water/tea along.
4. Fuel is expensive!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/6

Ewww, bills.  Easily the worst part about being a grown-up.

$247.41 - car payment
$142.00 - utilities
$92.25 - paid off a credit card!
$93.56 - cell phone bill

A few notes.... 
- we use budget billing on the utilities, and our bill should go down in March because to date, we've paid $180 more for utilities than we've used.
- hooray for paying off credit cards!
- my cell phone bill will be increasing next month.  Boo.
- please note that while I pay the bills, Steve will be cutting me a check for half of the utilities and cell phone. So technically I only am paying $71 for utilities and $46.78 for my cell phone.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/3

$7.99 - Netflix subscription (streaming)

.... yep, that was the only money that left my bank account today.

On a side note, I am very upset that the live stream coverage of the Super Bowl does not include commercials. I was prepared to sit through hours of football (blech) to see the new IM3 trailer.  Now that's not going to happen, and my face is going to look like this for the rest of the night:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Spending Report Card, 2/1

As promised, here's what I spent today.

$15.36 - Target, for an ethernet cord I needed for work.
$61.47 - HyVee, for groceries. (18 cents on my Fuelsaver, woot woot!)