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On purging

August 9, 2010

Lately I’ve been purging. In addition to purging, I’ve been spending less. Buying less. Chucking more.

Books? Gone. Replaced with digital books on my Kindle. Clothes? Gone. If I didn’t wear it in 2009, I won’t wear it in 2010. Gone. Little random pieces of lord knows what I acquired—giving away.

Thankfully, there’s an excellent charitable organization in the area, the Vietnam Veterans of America. They come to my door and pick up my donations, easy as could be. Toys, my old printer, sports equipment, kitchenware, books, sheets, duvets, etc. — they take it all.

I read this article in the New York Times today about a minimalist couple who, after reading a challenge to live with only 100 personal items, did exactly that. The article goes on to discuss how average spending has diminished in light of the recession, and consumer habits are changing. People buy less. Save more.

And it’s been a truism for eons that extra cash always makes life a little easier. Studies over the last few decades have shown that money, up to a certain point, makes people happier because it lets them meet basic needs. The latest round of research is, for lack of a better term, all about emotional efficiency: how to reap the most happiness for your dollar.

So just where does happiness reside for consumers? Scholars and researchers haven’t determined whether Armani will put a bigger smile on your face than Dolce & Gabbana. But they have found that our types of purchases, their size and frequency, and even the timing of the spending all affect long-term happiness.

One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

Makes total sense.

And then, there’s this statement:

Before credit cards and cellphones enabled consumers to have almost anything they wanted at any time, the experience of shopping was richer, says Ms. Liebmann of WSL Strategic Retail. “You saved for it, you anticipated it,” she says.

In other words, waiting for something and working hard to get it made it feel more valuable and more stimulating.

In fact, scholars have found that anticipation increases happiness. Considering buying an iPad? You might want to think about it as long as possible before taking one home. Likewise about a Caribbean escape: you’ll get more pleasure if you book a flight in advance than if you book it at the last minute.

So, my spending moratorium will do me good, right? Because I am anticipating September 1 with fervor?

Aw, I love this

August 9, 2010

From FRKNCNGZ:

Not spending money kills my soul a little every day

August 9, 2010

Not to be dramatic or anything.

Maharani Jewel Box, Sundance, $55:

Ridic on-sale dinnerware from Pier 1:

Those are $1.88.

Every. single. dress. from Urban Outfitters:

Um, these curtains:

Wah. August sucks.

Want.

August 9, 2010

This is all for today, folks:

via Food Porn Daily.

I think I had a heart attack just from the picture.

In which my brother turns 21

August 8, 2010

I don’t remember too much about when my brother was born. I remember my Mom being pregnant, sorta. I remember it was very hot and I was at a neighbor’s house. I was wearing some type of green jumper outfit—as in, matching shirt and shorts.

I hear from Mom that when Mark was born I crawled into the hospital bed with her and cried.

I also hear that when Mark was a baby, I begged to have the same food as him—so my Mom would heat me up baby food because I was acting like such a, well, baby.

I’m not proud of that last part, btw. (And, Mark, I totally love you now!)

BUT! Mark turned 21 today, the last exciting birthday of your life, and one that makes you feel so awesome that you’re allowed to buy alcohol until you realize that it’s just…buying something in a store. (But don’t tell him that yet.)

Scenes from the birthday crabfest:

At the dog park

August 6, 2010

When I say the title of this post in my head, I’m saying it to that car wash song. FYI.

AP and I took PJ to the Shirlington Dog Park on Wednesday, where he had a rip-rollin’ good time.

Blurry hot happy puppy face.

He made lots of friends!

P.S. Remember when PJ was this big?

P.P.S. Last night’s sunset, just for something completely different:

When your parents watch Jersey Shore

August 6, 2010

My parents informed me yesterday that they started DVRing Jersey Shore, because they wanted to see “Why Corzine was so upset about what it was doing to Jersey.”

These quotes are from my parents’ viewing of the first episode of this season. Enjoy.

Dad: Whoa, is that girl like 3 feet tall?
Mom: Look how close she’s sitting to the steering wheel. That is such a hazard.

Dad: HA! Look at that guy’s hair [Pauly D]. What’s wrong with him? Why does he speak like that?

Dad: Can we get subtitles? I don’t understand what she is saying.

Dad: Hol, did you hear that definition of a double bagger? HAHAHAHA.

Mom: Wait, who’s that guy now?
Dad: That’s Ronnie. He used to date Sammie. Pay attention.

Dad: Wait, what is the difference between a grenade and a landmine?
Me: A grenade is a fat ugly cheek, a landmine is a skinny ugly chick.
Mom: Well, in that case, Snooki’s a grenade, right?

Mom: Why does that girl like pickles so much?

Dad: Why are that girl’s pockets hanging out of her shorts? That’s dumb.

Mom, watching Ronnie make out with two girls at once: That boy is going to have a headache tomorrow.

Dad, as it cut to commercial break: UGH! They just cut out right as Ronnie and Sammie were going to see each other again!!!

Mom: What is “So-co?”

Mom: Vinny’s ugly.
Me: He’s the only semi-normal one.
Mom: I hate him.

Dad, at the end: OH man. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen when Angelina tells Sammie that Ronnie kissed those girls.
Mom: Wait, we’re going to watch this again?
Dad: Hell yeah we are!

My parents are awesome.