Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “technology

Too Much Online Shopping

Do you do too much online shopping?

Well, it’s official that I do too much online shopping. You know how I know?

I was leaving for work the other day. I had on my phone a test message from Amazon telling me I had a package coming by 8:00 pm. I knew it was the Season 4 DVD of Leverage, which I pre-ordered the day I found out when it was coming it. But I had to leave for work by 6:00 pm.

As I was heading outside to my car, I saw the UPS truck up the street. My car was parked near it. As I approached my van, the UPS man was coming out of a building. He saw me and flagged me down.

He spoke to me, by my full name, and told me to hold on a second. Fifteen seconds later, he emerged from his truck with my package. He had me sign for it right there and wished me a good evening.

I was glad to have my DVD, which I had been wanting for months. But I felt like perhaps I do too much shopping. Wedding gift deliveries aside, this man knew my name. He recognized my face and grabbed my package out of the truck.

Does your UPS man know your face? Your full name? If he does, you do too much online shopping. Because of my own experiences, I’ve come up with a list to help you realize you’ve gone too far.

Disclaimer: I don’t have any solutions to the problem. I don’t intend to stop my online shopping, it’s so convenient since I’m usually sleep during business hours.

Signs You Shop Online Too Much

  1. Your UPS man knows your face.
  2. Your UPS man knows your full name without looking at the package.
  3. You get a delivery at least 4 times a month.
  4. You know your debit/credit card number by heart
  5. Your computer has all your purchase information saved.
  6. You get at least 5 e-mails each morning at 6:00 from stores advertising sales for their special customers.
  7. Your husband/parents/roommate has stopped asking what’s in the package unless you bring up that it’s a gift.

Once you’ve realized you do too much shopping online, I have no idea what you should do next. Consult your budget I guess. But if you stay in the lines and don’t overspend. I don’t see the harm.

I’ve Got A Week To Myself

The husband goes to band camp every year. He goes as a teacher. I met him right before band camp and I ended up taking a clandestine trip up there. I’ve never spent the night in a guy’s dorm room until I was 25 years old, and this is after 4 years of college and 3 years of grad school.

But for the husband, I slept on the world worst mattress. I’m convinced those who don’t graduate from his school are victims of those mattresses. There’s no other explanation.

The first year, I felt like such a dip off at this band camp, but I felt a lot better about it after his roommate that year ended up as a groomsman at our wedding. Can’t be a true dip off if he put a ring on it, right?

Last year, we were engaged and I felt just slightly less like a dip off because I had a ring and he had a room to himself.

This year, I can’t even do it. I just can’t bring myself to sleep on that craptastic mattress again. I don’t even want the husband to do it. I’m going to suggest he take our air mattress and just lean those terrible beds up against the dorm wall for the week.

While I won’t be staying overnight at band camp and trying to blend in with the students and hope no one asks too many questions the next morning, I will be driving the husband there today and picking him up Friday.

Friday is the kickoff of our first family vacation. It was supposed to be his parents, my parents, and a niece and cousin of our who are both pre-teens. But his parents had a scheduling conflict. But it will still be our first official family vacation. We’re going to Wisconsin Dells. Too bad we already scratched Wisconsin off our state list.

But what to do while the husband is away at band camp? I’ve got a couple days off from work this week. It’s been a while since I’ve had to fill days of my own time without him around. I know we go days without seeing each other because of our work schedule, but not a whole week.

I can’t think of anything because there’s nothing I don’t do just because he’s there. Maybe I’ll take a crack at the PlayStation3. I miss the Sims since I don’t play it on the laptop anymore.

That’s pitiful, isn’t it? I can’t think of anything better to do while I’ve got a week alone than playing video games. But it’s what I’ve got, and I’m gonna roll with it.

Any suggestions on better my-husband-is-out-of-town activities?

And Now I’m Worried

The husband and I sat down today. We had been planning on it for a while. We were going to chase our dreams. We were going to throw caution to the wind in hopes of fulfilling the hopes of our lives. But first… We had to come up with a budget.

I’ve decided I married a five year old.

The husband is not bad with money. He keeps track of his bills, he doesn’t over-spend, he has his shit together. But for some reason, talking about budgets makes him sit cross-legged on the floor and stare with glazed over eyes into the distance.

He’d definitely five years old.

After a general talk about our finances in the coming year, I knew that we needed to come up with a budget. Now that the husband will be only a musician and not a musician/music teacher, our income is going to drop by tens of thousands of dollars. That’s a lot ‘o money.

He makes good money as a musician and I make good money at my job, so we’ll still be in the middle class according to the IRS and government and them. But things will be very very different.

No more $300 dinners at any restaurant we feel like frequenting. No more shopping sprees on a whim. That thought alone makes me was to act like a five year old. Like the husband.

But we got through the budget talk. We set what we hope are realistic goals for what we can spend each month. We included all our bills, saving for a rainy day, still managing to travel, and maintenance for the cars, instruments, cats, etc.

We also underestimated our income so we’ll have a cushion each month for incidentals, like a flat tire.

According to our budget, we’ll have exactly $4 left over each month after bills, entertainment, tithing, and saving.

We’ve been spoiled in our little world where we have lots of disposable income. But if we stick to the budget, we can still travel, eat out at restaurants, go to movies, shop, and hang out at bars. We’ll just do it a lot less.

Now I feel my eyes glazing over.

And I feel worried about money. I never ever ever worry about money. I don’t like this feeling.

The good news is we plan to re-assess our budget in a month or so to see how it’s working out. And luckily, we can both access our budget in an app that I can get on my blackberry and kindle, and he can get on his iPhone.

Technology may be what keeps us on task.

Or in two months I may be saying we scrapped the whole plan.

But I have faith that the husband is in fact 28 and NOT five years old.

He will check the budget before he goes out to a bar after a gig.

And I have faith that I can control my impulses.

I will not come home with $500 worth of shoes for the husband and myself.

Do you keep a budget? How do you make it work?

Are Bloggers Your Friends?

Would you consider the writers of your favorite blogs your friends? How friendly do you feel toward them? Are these feelings based on many conversations had via comments or actual messages?

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently because I’ve been paying more attention to the blogs I read and the people who write them. I’ve shortened the list of blogs I read to only those that I actually read. I will add new blogs that seem interesting, but only if I feel drawn to the writer of the blog.

Is that creepy? Do you all now want to run from the crazy lady who only reads your blog because she feels drawn to you?

I don’t know that I feel like bloggers are my friends though. I don’t know y’all. I just know what you choose to share. I can’t read facial expressions or body language. I wasn’t there when the crazy shit you talk about actually happened. What do I know about how truthful you’re being about how awesome you seem?

Perhaps my love for lack of spelling errors carries too much weight. And I am a sucker for writing that makes me laugh.

I know that blogging communities (20SB, BlogHer, BlogFrog, etc.) don’t really appeal to me. But the little community that develops as a group of bloggers all happen to comment on each other’s blogs feels pretty good to slowly become a part of. Throw in a little twitter stalking following, and suddenly you’re getting a pretty good picture of who a person is.

If you’ve made it to the end of my rambling musings, I’d love to hear your thoughts.