Saturday, May 24, 2008

in which I discover it's payday and help the local economy

We Washington state employees get paid twice a month--on the 10th and the 25th. If either of these dates falls on a Saturday, we get paid on Friday; if on a Sunday, payday is Monday. This month, the 25th falls on a Sunday, but Monday is a holiday so I assumed that payday would be Tuesday. Nope, it was Friday, May 23rd. Perhaps the Office of Financial Services felt that waiting one extra day would cause hardship on employees, or perhaps they just thought it would be nice for the employees to be flush on a 3-day holiday weekend--the first big holiday of the summer. I don't know.

And it does feel like summer today, too. Although the forecast predicted rain, it has been a warm, cloudless day and really pleasant. The temperature is a lovely and moderate mid-70s F (low 20s C) and just a wonderful day to go for a stroll to downtown and hang out.

Oscar and I went for a decadent breakfast at Hello-Cupcake. (You think a cupcake for breakfast is weird? Any weirder than a muffin?) We each at one cupcake and got another for later. Properly cupcaked, we walked over to BKB & company to check out the Art-O-Mat, which is an old-fashioned cigarette dispenser remade into an Art dispenser.

BKB had lots of neat stuff. A lot of local artists were represented as well national and international ones. There was jewelry, glass art, fine fabric wear, funky metal sculptures, big felted toys, handmade soaps, ceramics, candles, and greeting cards. I really loved the funky metal garden art. No pictures on the site, but imagine a group of mutant insects with gaping jaws and big teeth carrying off a plastic garden gnome. There was another one of a group of these mutants decapitating a plastic lawn flamingo.

And I found a wallet. I have been wallet-less lately because I am incredibly picky about my wallet (really, who isn't) and I can almost never find one that fits my needs. I'm one of those weirdo women who actually doesn't carry a purse around (never mind that I always have my backpack with me) and I always want my essential stuff in my pocket. Money, bus pass, bank cards--all in my pocket. Traditional women's wallets are all too large. Rather, they are all too bulky. Even a lot of men's wallets are too bulky because I carry stuff in my front pocket rather in the rear pocket. (Part of the problem is that pockets in most women's trousers/jeans are barely functional...but that's a rant for a totally different post.) When I find a wallet that actually serves my purposes, I will use it until it literally falls apart.

But I found one, and I am very happy. And apparently very lucky. I checked the company's website for a photo to share with y'all, and the model I have has apparently been discontinued.
But mine look a lot like this (photo from the website), except it doesn't have a snap (a good thing, IMHO) and it's brown with an orange interior instead of having an orange exterior (which I would have liked). But seriously, if the only color available would have been hot pink, I would have bought it. Function over form, in my book.

My bus pass fits in the outside pocket, and there's enough room to carry around the stuff that I may need (like bank card, driver's license, etc) but not so large that I can stuff it full of crap.
The company is MyWalit and they offer loads of neat stuff. BKB carries a lot of their line, in case you find something that catches your fancy.

I also bought a few greeting cards that had been printed on letter press. They were very beautiful. I also found a great mug. I have the perfect (for me) coffee mug. Everything about it's form and function is wonderful (the design is ugly but I don't care). I found it while helping my brother and sister in law clean out her mother's house after she had died. Amongst the 50+ sets of salt and pepper shakers was the world's perfect for me mug and my SIL let me have it. I live in perpetual fear that it will break someday and I will be left with a poor substitute. I have found mugs that come close but nothing quite as good. Oscar did manage to find a nearly perfect mug when he visited El Salvador with his mom. In fact, it was so perfect that I was sure that his mom found it (because she has this incredible sense of knowing exactly what I will love), but no, bless his heart, Oscar "picked it out all by (my)self". (And he was rather annoyed that I assumed his mom found it.) Sadly, the only thing that wasn't perfect about that mug was that the ceramic was rather thin, and it developed a crack from rim to bottom soon after I got it. I still have it though. I use it to hold my lunch utensils at work.

Anyway, the mug I bought today doesn't actually have a handle. Instead, the artist created a fold in the clay so that you insert your fingers in an opening, kind of like a mitt. There were left-handed and right-handed versions as well. It's not quite perfect, but it's close. It's comfortable to hold in the hands and that's really important to me.

So after buying artsy stuff, Oscar and I headed down to McLendon's Hardware store. I love McLendon's (as much as one can love a hardware store) because they have great customer service (they hire a lot of retired contractors so the gray-haired guys in the plumbing department are very likely Master Plumbers) but the closest one is 12 miles away. A friend had given me a gift card for the shop last Christmas, so it was time to use it. The gift card paid for the Japanese maple, which I will plant in the parking strip as soon as the sun goes down.

And in case you are curious, I haven't yet started organizing the office. I've got two more days...

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