Sunday, April 26, 2009

That ol' disposable income question

While the idea of "disposable income" is scarcely a reality for the general populous of any nation, I don't mind occasionally indulging in deciding what decadence I would surround myself with were that concept one of my own realities. I actually reigned it in to a top 5 and even kept that list to well under a million bucks for the whole lot. I like to keep my fantasies somewhere within the realm of possibility, afterall. I couldn't begin, however, to put these items in any order of priority, so they are pretty much random in that sense. Here we go.

I absolutely adore my walnut George Steck upright piano. I'd gladly bid it a fond farewell, however, for a late 19th or early 20th century Steinway concert or parlor grand in pyramid mahogany, rosewood or burr walnut, preferably with boxwood inlaid bandings.

Trading this...
(this is actually a Winter piano, but it looks almost exactly like mine)

For this...
(1920 Pyramid Mahogany Steinway with boxwood inlay)

or this...
(1877 Serpentine Rosewood Steinway - this one's just a measly $160K)

(Rosewood detail on another Steinway. *drool*)
or this...
(Burr Walnut Steinway at just 39,000 pounds, what's the conversion rate at these days?)
Okay, I don't know if you're prepared for this. I certainly wasn't. It's been dubbed:
"The Ferrari of Pianos"
The one, the only, Pyramid Mahogany Fazioli concert grand:
(anyone got a quarter Mil lying around?)
The sounding board (the most crucial piece of any instrument) in each of these two-years-to-build-one masterpieces is made from red spruce from the Italian Alps. It's the same wood from the forest that was used to make Stradivarius violins. *mega drool*

Steinway would probably still win out with me though.


A digital back for my Hasselblad. So, taking this fantabulous medium-format film setup that I already miraculously possess:

And adding this teensy little thirty thousand dollar accessory to the back to make it a medium-format digital camera producing 39 megapixel pics of perfection:


Adding pretty much a whole other house in front of the one I've already got so we can have a garage and a little more breathing room. Something along these lines:


One of my favorite things to do is drive. One of my other favorite things to do is absorb the wondrous beauty and fascinating history of this great country. Thus:

It would have to be big enough for comfort, but small enough to park and drive easily. 20 feet seems just about right. Plus, with the whole disposable income idea I wouldn't feel so terrible buying new and instantly losing value hand over fist just by driving it off the lot.


A month...or two...or six in Japan with Dave eating every crazy thing in sight! Starting with these:

Wait, those are bluefin tuna. Not allowed to eat those. Here we go, yellowfin tuna. I'd eat lots and lots and lots of these guys all sashimi style:

Mmmm, sashimi...
Munch a Hello Kitty bento box...
Wash it down with Salad flavored water...
Um, sure, why not...

Then track these down and buy up a whole mess of 'em (wtf? Does anyone know if Flight of the Conchords ever did any questionable endorsements for Doritos?):

Okay, to be fair, the crack sandwiches aren't actually Japanese. Sorry.

I'd probably be far too embarassed to actually be seen in public slurping down one of these ice cream cones (yes, ME, actually embarassed by someting naughty - thus posting a link rather than the picture itself right on my blog), but I would definitely have a great time witnessing all the crazy "adult novelty" culture Japan has to offer. I'll spare you THOSE pictures I found online. Yikes!

So, there you have it. My top 5 high dollar indulgences that I think are actually all pretty achievable in my life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fare thee well, Olowahu. May you rest in pieces.

My Olowahu Tevas - the most comfortable shoes on the planet - have finally been laid to rest.

The straps had begun to come loose, but I just tied them back onto the straps that still held. That hole finally wore through the woefully thin soles on a trip to Disneyland where these valiant shoes were put through their paces by hauling my butt over miles and miles of that concrete, theme park jungle. You can even make out the exact shape of every inch of my feet these sandals lovingly cradled.


We had some great times together and I was very sad to see their passing.
Fortunately, this wonderful creation of Teva's can still be found through the wonderful world wide web. Another Hallelujah moment to rival my discovery of caffeine free Diet Coke:

The Teva Olowahu Sandal in
Little Bay Gold

These are some VERY happy feet.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Half-Caf. Not just for coffee anymore.

Only about a year or two ago I found myself not merely addicted to caffeine, but consuming copious amounts of it. My average day would go something like this:

In the neighborhood of 7-9 a.m. drinking approximately 4 cups of coffee (yes, that's 28 oz. of straight black joe) from one of these bad boys:

By the lunch hour I had a hankering for something sweet and chilly so I'd pick up one of these:

Or one of these:

Or one of these:

Which would make me feel like this...

...for all of about a millisecond.

Then, by the time I would get off work back in those 9-5 days, I would need another one of those 16 oz. heart stoppers pictured above for the ride home. Heaven forbid that I would ever have been caught stuck in traffic without one!

I finally realized that all I was doing was keeping the headaches at bay by ingesting some VERY questionable substances (except for the coffee, which I still think is a nectar from the gods). Quitting smoking gave me the tools to know how to kick an all-consuming addiction, which caffeine had become for me. I started by cutting out those mega-caffeinated drinks cold turkey but not limiting myself to any of those ordinary, merely highly caffeinated drinks such as Mountain Dew and good ol' Coca-Cola. Finally, even those were too much for my minor surge of health conscienciousness. I bit the bullet and have only been drinking diet for months and months now. I used to HATE diet anything. All I could taste was the aspartame (another questionable substance, I might add). Now, I can't stand the taste of high fructose corn syrup and much prefer the taste of diet anything. Yes, this coming from a girl who used to eat sugar by the spoonful. No, not just as a kid. We're talking only a few years ago.

Two miraculous things then happened simultaneously just this year. First, my darling husband accidentally broke my french press. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's that 4 person coffee brewer in that first picture at the top that I used to treat like a Big Gulp. He was absolutely frantic because he knew how much I relied on that damn thing. I reassured him that it was actually a good thing and that it would help me to take that next step to cut back even more. Then, at almost the exact same time, I discovered the wondrous wonder that is Caffeine Free Diet Coke. I will take any amount of raucous finger pointing, laughing and ridicule for saying that I like it, but by gum, I actually LOVE the stuff! Strange, but it actually DOES taste different than regular Diet Coke. It rests in a lovely place of sweetness right in between Classic and Diet Coke. Having been addicted to Coca-Cola since the tender age of 6 I have a very sensitive palate to the brand. However, there was still that nasty little caffeine monkey on my back.

With the ever rising popularity of my new favorite beverage, Caffeine Free Diet Greatness is now available in the fountains of most of the places I generally eat. Carl's Jr., Cafe Rio, even the convenience stores all have anywhere from 3 to 5 different kinds of Coke available. Costco, you'd better be next! This means that average consumers like me can now create their very own half-caf Diet Coke!!! For you non-coffee drinkers out there, I'm sure you were still able to deduce that it is a term for a cup of coffee with half regular and half decaf. Half-Caf!

At the fountains I now take something glorious...

mix it with something astonishingly resplendent...


Sometimes it's the little things. In this case, a very little thing.