Big 50 Returns! Volume 14: Shopping

Good lord I think I have my life back!  After the past couple of months of complete chaos at work, almost nil social life and a whole lot of exhaustion, Christmas feels like it has reset my life back to one where I had time for myself, a social life and all of the things I’m passionate about, like blogging.

And the first thing I want to do is get back into the Big 50!  I know a lot of other people set it to be done in 50 days, but that was never my intention.  I just wanted to set myself 50 topics to have a go at, to keep me thinking about different topics.

So we’re kicking back in at Volume 14, which is Shopping.

Now this, THIS is a topic I really know something about.

I love shopping.  Oh how I love shopping, always have.  I’ve never got any money, never save properly, simply because I love to shop.  I figure that I have one life, and shopping makes me happy, so I’m doing whatever pleases me, so long as the bills are paid of course.

Historically, I always shopped for accessories.  Cos you know, fat girls aren’t allowed to shop for clothes.  I was always about shoes, handbags and earrings.  And books.  But since discovering fatshion blogs all over the internet, I’ve found a love of clothes shopping too.  I still have a far more limited range of stores I can buy from, but I’m finding those that work for me and I love regularly browsing their wares, both in store and online, and snaffling bargains!

I never thought I’d like online shopping.  I normally like to touch everything I’m browsing, because I’m such a texture junkie.  But I’ve found some really good online stores, like We Love Colors, Evans, The Book Depository and Yours, that I enjoy shopping with online as much as I do in brick and mortar stores.  I’d shop in them if they were brick and mortar stores local to me, but it’s great to have the online option too.

In the past I’ve been called a shopping addict, and even had it suggested that I have a “problem” or that I’m using shopping to fulfill some need.  Strangely enough, the people who made these statements were usually gamblers, or smokers, collectors of something useless, or spent all their money on some frivolous hobby.  I don’t have any other vices, work hard and pay my bills.  How is enjoying shopping hurting anyone?

One kind of shopping I don’t like is grocery shopping.  Hate it in fact.  I don’t need to buy much, but when I do, I usually try to do online grocery shopping.  I just hate pushing a trolley around supermarkets with rude people pushing me out of the way, kids screaming and running around, and bored, underpaid supermarket staff.  Not to mention lugging it all home on public transport.  Ugh!

So do you like shopping?  What kind of shopping do you like, or are there kinds you don’t like?  Do you shop online?  Tell me about your shopping experiences!

December 26, 2010. Big 50, shopping. Leave a comment.

Freak Out Your Inner Geek

I had a bit of a geek girl dream day yesterday. In the afternoon I was lucky enough to go and visit with new Twitter friends at their lovely house on the Gold Coast. Not only is their house absolutely beautiful, but it’s a true geek girl haven with the most exquisite mini theatre and all the gaming bizzo you could dream of. I’m not a gamer, but sitting on the floor of their theatre room watching a group of gals playing Beatles Rock Band, was so much fun. Made especially fun by the fantastic company.

However tonight’s blog post is going to be about the total orgasmo-fest that is the Apple Store at Robina. That’s what we did in the morning – made a special trip to the Robina shopping centre just for the Apple Store. It did not disappoint.
It looks great, right from when you walk up to the front door. A big glass front with no displays in the windows. The store IS the display. And simply the Apple logo in white above the door. Just like their products, you know straight away what you’re getting and what’s in there.
Once we went inside, there were lots of “squeeeee” noises because they have several tables with iPhones just laid out on them for you to play with. Some are loaded up with apps, some are showcasing particular features, others are just there for you to tinker. Some goon had left his email open on the one I went to, and I had the overwhelming desire to send him an email on it, but I did the good karma thing and deleted it from the iPhone.
Even though I already have an iPhone, I still tinkered and played with the ones there. Mostly because I got a taste of some of the apps I don’t have. And they’d set them up to do things I haven’t learnt to do yet.
While we were there, they had a class for people in the Snow Leopard operating system. A very personable young man was taking a group of about 8 people through the operating system, in what seemed like a clear, concise way. I wouldn’t mind having a go at one of those sessions myself.
I am planning to buy an iMac in a month or so when my PC lease runs out, so I decided to see if I could get someone to talk to me about it. It didn’t take long for someone to acknowledge me, and he asked if I would like some help. When I said yes, he said “I’m just with someone right now, but I’ll get someone for you while I’m at it.” He kept with his customers but acknowledged me every time he came past and found me someone within about 10 minutes. The guy who came to talk to me was friendly without being pushy, helped me with my questions about leasing/finance/full purchase and then asked me what I would mostly like to use my computer for. And gave me a demo of iPhoto, which is pretty bloody impressive.
I also had a look at all of the MacBooks, all laid out on the table and up and running for customers to tinker with. Perused the walls full of accessories for all your Apple goodies. Watched a huge mofo television with Apple TV hooked up to it. Gazed at the very attractive but also friendly staff. And plotted and planned for when I can get my very own iMac.
If you’re of the geeky pursuasion, even if you’re only dipping your toe in the pool of geekdom, make your way to the nearest Apple store to you. Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, impressive products but you are encouraged to tinker and play by the very friendly staff. You will have lots of fun (and be planning your own iPhone/iMac/MacBook purchase in the very near future!)

October 11, 2009. Apple, computers, geek girls, Gold Coast, iPhone, Robina, shopping, technology. Leave a comment.

Do You Feel Stimulated Yet?

It was announced today by our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that he is putting out another “stimulus” package to help soften the blow of the global economic crisis (which I’m not sure is as big as the media like to portray).

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We had one just before Christmas where SOME of the population got a so-called one off payment of $1000 and were urged to “Spend!  Spend!  Spend!”  Unfortunately I didn’t see any of that money, because I’m not on welfare, nor do I have children that I can’t afford to support.  I would have gladly spent $1000, but despite my paying one of the highest ratios of tax in the country, the stimulus wasn’t extended to me.
It pissed me off no end to trudge home from a long, hard day at work to see my dole bludging neighbours unpacking a massive plasma screen TV that they had bought with their payment.  It pissed me off no end to hear two women on the bus discussing how they were going to buy computer games for their kids, when at the time I was finding money to buy a washing machine.
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However, this time, one of the parts of the package is apparently another “one-off” (how many one-offs can they create?  I thought the point of a one-off is that it is ONCE!) payment of $950 payable to all taxpayers who earn up to $80,000 per annum.  I’m WELL under that, so it seems that I am getting myself $950!  Not sure why we taxpayers get 50 bucks less than the welfare mob, but hey, I’m not going to sneeze at $950.
Of course, we’re all being urged to “Spend!  Spend!  Spend!” again.  I personally will be, because I’m a responsible worker who doesn’t have scads of debt to rid myself of.  My payment is earmarked for that iPhone that I really want.  But isn’t it a bit irresponsible to be encouraging those who DO have scads of debt to spend it rather than pay off their debt?
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Some of the other parts of the stimulus package include:

MAIN POINTS:

    * Tax bonus of $950 for those earning up to $80,000, and smaller amounts for those earning up to $100,000.
    * $14.7bn for school infrastructure and maintenance and trade training centres;
    * $6.6bn to boost  public housing by about 20,000 new homes;
    * $3.9bn for free insulation to 2.7 million homes and solar hot water rebates; 
    * $890m for regional roads and blackspots, railway boom gates; 
    * $2.7bn small and general business tax break to provide deductions for some equipment purchases before the end of June 2009; 
    * $12.7 bn for one-off payments to working Australians, families with school-age children, farmers, single income families and for those undergoing training.  (Source)
It’s good to see money going towards schools, public housing (the rental market is obscene here at the moment), roads and railway safety, small business help and payments to working Aussies, farmers and those undergoing training.

However, WTF with the insulation for the homes?  How is THAT going to stimulate the economy?  They claim it’s going to create jobs, but I can’t see how that’s going to happen.  I can just see a back log of people waiting to get free insulation in their house.  And what about all the people who can’t afford the ridiculous prices to buy a house at the moment, so they have to rent (like me).  Will our landlords be putting insulation and solar hot water in our
homes?  I doubt it very much.

So if you’re eligible for the $950 payment, how do you intend to use yours? Are you going to spend it? What are you going to buy? Or will you save it or pay bills? If you’re not in Australia, what would you do if the government handed you $950?

February 3, 2009. finance, global economy, money, shopping, society, spending, stimulus packages, taxes. Leave a comment.

Stuff and Nonsense

I was just reading this article about a 77 year old woman who was found dead in her house, crushed by the mountains of stuff she had purchased.  Apparently she was known for her addiction to shopping, and her best friend Roy, also 77, reckons she had over 300 scarves, let alone anything else she had in her house.  Poor Roy, I think perhaps he wanted her attention, not just for the shopping.

I’m kinda glad I’m de-cluttering my home at the moment.  I don’t want to end up like this lady in 4o  years time.  I’ve only just started to realise how much STUFF I’ve got.  Nowhere near the lady in this article, but still far too much stuff I’m hanging on to, and what for?  Clothes that I don’t wear, videos that I’m no longer able to watch because I don’t have a VCR, all kinds of stuff I really don’t need.
So I’ve been chucking out, sorting and donating all over the place.  I’m picking away at it slowly because if I try to do it all at once I’ll lose interest.  Mostly I want to reclaim my spare room as a spare room, not a walk in storage unit.  And I want to shed a bunch of stuff that has no meaning to me any more, and display the stuff that DOES mean something to me.

Then there was this article about the 107 year old woman who is looking for a husband… is the universe trying to tell me something?

January 19, 2009. articles, clutter, hoarding, shopping, stuff. Leave a comment.

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