Saturday, November 24, 2012

Look Up in the Sky...

It's a bird, it's plane, it's... ME!

Back in the spring I had a dream that I went skydiving. When I woke up, I felt so peaceful and wonderful that I knew I had to make that dream become a reality.

I started looking up jump sites that were close to me and found a couple, but I never went further than just researching into things. I don't know why. Mainly it was the fear factor. I want to jump out of a plane... but do I really?

Months went by and I still had the idea in the back of my mind. It was just a distant thought of "Yeah, I want to do it. Maybe I'll do it one day. Maybe not." Then in late October I learned that someone I know personally did it. Getting to actually talk to someone that I knew (versus just random comments from strangers online) was very helpful. It cemented my "I've gotta do this" mentality.

In early November I contacted two places - both about an hour away from my home -  to get more information and get a feeling for the companies. From talking with them both, I decided to go with a company called Piedmont Skydiving which is in a small town called Salisbury. In that city, there's a very small airport (emphasis on the "very") and that's where PS has their facility. On November 9th, I called to make my reservations and put down my $50, nonrefundable deposit. There was no backing out now!

Fast forward through two long weeks of anticipation and finally my Big Day was here. This morning I was a bundle of nerves as Jason and I drove down to Salisbury. Upon arriving at the airport, I had to fill out pages and pages of liability waivers, get outfitted in the harness, and kiss the hubster good-bye as the crew and I headed toward the Barbie's Dream Plane (swear to god, this thing was that little).

Once in the plane, we climbed to 10,000 feet before plummeting back down to the earth. Ok, so I really only plummeted for about 30 seconds before the parachute was released. After that point, it was a fairly nice glide down.

I will definitely go skydiving again. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. I still can't believe I did it because I don't consider myself a daredevil. But, I guess a (small) part of me is!

Here are the videos of my journey. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vera-ly I say unto thee

Do you remember when Vera Bradley purses came out? Females all across the nation went nuts (and bankrupt) over these floral-patterned purses. Except for this female, that is. The first time I ever saw one of these monstrosities, the first thought that flitted into my common-folk brain was, “holy shit, they've turned grandma’s wallpaper into a fashion accessory.”

Even if I did like one of the patterns I sure as hell couldn't afford it. Eventually patterns get retired (with full pension plans) and the prices of those pieces drop dramatically. But, the newly reduced cost is usually still above my spending plane. And lest ye forget – I don’t care for the sight of the products.

Yesterday, a co-worker had emailed out a coupon to a little local gift-shop-type boutique. The coupon was for 25% off your entire purchase. Knowing that this store sold cute novelty items (jewelry, candles, and the like) and it’s close to my work place, I thought why not take a trip there. So, on our lunch break, two co-workers (the infamous Melissa being one, Jennifer being the other) and I headed there for a shopping extravagance.

The store was small and tightly packed. You’re forced to take small, Geisha-like steps to scoot around different display cases and racks of baubles surrounded with ribbons. If you speak above a breathy whisper, the sales ladies glare at you disapprovingly. At one point I was just using hand signals – some mix of sign language and gang signs - with Jennifer and I think I moved the air too roughly because the librarianclerk cocked a haughty eyebrow my way.

At the back of store, there was a large section of Vera Bradley merchandise. For kicks and giggles, I decided to check out this area and see what ridiculous patterns were hip nowadays and what type of items I could get said pattern on. Good lord, pencils? I can buy a pack of 10 Vera Bradley pencils and that’ll only cost me $15?  Oh my god, just buy a pack of #2 pencils (you can buy 100 of those for, like, $1.00) and then paint a design on them yourself. Way cheaper. And probably way better looking too.

Melissa, intrigued by my snorting laughter (silent snooty sales ladies be damned), eventually wandered over to me to see what had captivated my attention.

“Look at this wallet,” I cried out to her.

Melissa stammers, “What the hell? It looks like... a... jungle...”

Both of us at the same time, “threw up!” (Great minds and all that jazz). And, no, I can’t make this stuff up. A jungle that threw up is exactly the best way to describe the design on this wallet (and the matching bag and matching luggage tag and matching chastity belt).

The two of us continued to make fun of some of the other patterns, before realizing that we needed to head out soon to get back to work on time. We found Jennifer, who had found a goody for herself. We all trooped to the checkout counter. While there, we noticed a display of Vera Bradley Iphone cases. As the cashier rang up Jennifer’s purchase, we flipped through the cases. I actually saw one with a design that wasn't grotesque. That case was sitting next to one that was. Jennifer noticed that the price tag on the ok one was more expensive than the Quasimodo one. Jennifer mused out loud, “I wonder why this one costs less” My reply, “because it’s uglier.”

The sales lady didn't appreciate that one. In the snootiest tone she could conjure (seriously, I felt a cold draft blow by), she informed us that the cases “are different types” – one’s a hard case. One’s a soft case. One’s made out of children’s skin. One’s made out of unicorn horns.

Really? Your name tag doesn't say, “Hello my name is Vera.” So, don’t act all high and mighty like you had a personal hand in creating this “artwork”... which resembles a cat’s uncleaned litter box.

With all that being said, would you believe I actually found a pattern today that I really like? Don’t worry, I didn't buy the purse (even though it was a great size and had a wonderful amount of pouches). Even with my 25% off coupon, the price on that bag was still more than 2/3 my annual salary.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

An awesome(??) present

One random Saturday, Jason and I were just wandering the aisles of one of these box stores that sells everything from toilet paper to credenzas. We like to browse through these stores if we don’t have anything better to do (which is often. Don’t judge me).

As we rounded one turn, a box caught my eye.

I want one!
Pretty awesome device there.

But, check out the kid on the box. If I had human kids I so would not buy this for them (no, I’m not saying I’d buy this for my furry babies, either. None of them really seems interested in drawing).

Yeah, good job on the marketing plan there, geniuses at “Grafix.” I can see parents picking up the box... and immediately visions of colorful hand prints all over the walls, the dog, and the brand new Chintz sofa flash through mommy’s mind. Look, there’s a glimpse of mommy backed into a corner, drinking straight from a bottle of merlot, eyes wide as she takes in the horror of it all.

Hmmm, I have a niece who lives three hours away. And Christmas is coming.