On small victories

I promised myself some time ago that, once my credit cards were all paid off, I would reward myself with a lightsaber. Well, I’ve held a $0 credit card balance for a few months now, minus a couple of reasonable things (I paid for the hotel last weekend on one of my cards, then came home and immediately paid it off) and … well, I haven’t ordered a saber yet, because I’ve managed to convince myself I’m still in the “research” stage, thus preventing me from dropping $500 on something that is the absolute pinnacle of “meaningless nerd cruft I don’t need.” Shit, I don’t even know if I like Star Wars any longer; one of the many ways the last several years have sucked is watching a number of things I used to love turn into even more entries into the “shit that makes me tired” category.

But I don’t want this to be another obnoxiously maudlin post; I want to focus on the fact that I am remaining (somewhat) financially disciplined by 1) not wantonly ordering a lightsaber today and further 2) determining that there must be at least twice the cost of said lightsaber in savings before said lightsaber is ordered. Which, okay, isn’t going to hold me for long, but kept me from spending money today.

The above, by the way, hasn’t yet achieved the status of “my lightsaber,” because 1) if it’s a fixed color, the blade is going to be yellow and 2) I’m serious about reading a ton of reviews and doing research here, because I am doing this once and I am not about to start a collection of these fucking things. It looks like the saber I had my eyes on when I first started thinking about this has been discontinued, as I foolishly didn’t bookmark it and now I can’t find the design anywhere, but I don’t want one that looks exactly like one of the official ones. It won’t be unique, of course, as these things are mass-produced, but I don’t want a fellow nerd to be able to look at it and recognize it as Plo Koon’s lightsaber or some shit like that.

I probably ought to put the whole thing off until after I know if there’s going to be a teacher strike later this year, shouldn’t I?

Is that a plank in my eye?

20131129-104132.jpgSo here’s a novel way to have Thanksgiving: don’t have any turkey, because your oven betrays you again and the turkey doesn’t even come out of the goddamn oven until everything else is on the table and cooling, and then you find out (because you didn’t make the turkey, and you’ve never made a turkey, and you didn’t know this) that a turkey has to “rest” for half a goddamn hour after coming out of the oven and therefore everything else is going to be well and truly goddamned eaten before the turkey is even ready.

S’fun. You should do it. We call it Side Dish Thanksgiving. My mother did some sort of corn casserole thing that was basically just corn and sautéed onions and bloody cream cheese, of all things. It was delicious. We did Thug Kitchen’s stuffing recipe (needed a teensy bit more liquid, but otherwise great) and Albert Burneko’s mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, because we can’t cook a meal around here anymore without referencing either Thug Kitchen or Foodspin and really why would you even want to cook without using recipes from one of the two anyway. And green bean casserole and crescent rolls and a multitude of pies (which is the proper collective for pie) and two different kinds of deviled eggs, because have you ever made deviled eggs with sriracha? Holy God.

I am not going to be shopping today.

I’m getting more conflicted about holidays as I get older. I boycotted Christmas entirely last year; I made it clear to everyone that I wasn’t buying any presents for anyone and they were not to buy anything for me either; I really want to raise the boy in a way that he grows up substantially less materialistic than I am and one of the main ways to do that, I think, is to cut the emphasis on getting stuff around holidays.

Sounds great, right? All principled and shit, until I get to the part where I tell you that I ordered a PS3 (not a typo; 3) from Amazon yesterday so that I didn’t have to go stand in line at Gamestop at midnight to fight for one of the eight exactly-identically-ridiculous PS3 packages that they have in-store. A 250 GB PS3, which can’t be had for $199 by itself, plus two games, one of which is the entire reason I want a PS3, for $199, plus Saturday shipping for less than tax would have been. It’ll show up tomorrow sometime.

Which is as far as my “no materialism/no shopping on Thanksgiving/no shopping on Black Friday” thing gets me: I spent $200 on an electronic doohickey that I don’t actually need, on Thanksgiving, so that a low-wage Amazon employee can package it and mail it on Black Friday so that somebody else can scramble to get it to me on a Saturday by 8:00. Which should be about when I’m getting home from work. So, yeah, I’m all big and bad and principled and won’t go shopping on Black Friday… because I ordered my shit online on Thanksgiving.

Maybe I work on my own materialism before I try reprogramming the boy.