Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Free" Stuff

There are several websites that I go on frequently to get free stuff, samples, and discounted stuff. I've made a list of the best ones, I hope you find them useful, too. :)

* BzzAgent - This is a word-of-mouth dealie, where they send you stuff and you tell people about it, then you report back to Bzz. Anyone can sign up, and it's free. I have gotten coupons for free meals at Chili's, free vodka, free Afrin nasal spray, and coupons for Walgreen's and Take Care clinics. I have only been signed up with them for a few months, and so far I like it a lot. You do have to write up short "reports" detailing how you spread the word about whatever product they sent you, but for me so far the amount of effort I put in is minor compared to the amount of cool free stuff I've gotten.

* MyPoints - Once you sign up (which is quick and easy and free) MyPoints send emails, maybe 2-6 per day, and if you click on the ad in the email you get 5 points. (I find it is best to make a new email address specifically for MyPoints). I never buy anything, I often don't even actually look at the advertised website when it comes up. They also send survey emails, I don't do those either.

I accrue points, 5 at a time, and then when I have around 3,500 points I cash them in for a gift card. Sure, 5 points at a time takes a while, I'm not gonna lie. But it takes only a few seconds to click on the little orange "Get Points" button in the emails. I usually check my MyPoints email once a week and do them all in one go. Then around 8 months later, I have enough points for a gift card, and they have TONS of good gift cards to choose from. I've gotten $25 cards for Outback Steakhouse, Kohl's, Barnes and Noble and Macy's.

They want you to buy stuff through their links (they offer you a buttload of points for it), but I have never ever done that. I've never had to put in a credit card number either, all they have is my name and address to mail me the gift cards (which they do pretty promptly).

* Walmart Free Samples - These have a tendency to take a long while to get to you, but it is quick and easy to request them (especially if your browser has an auto-fill function that will automatically fill in your name and address on the request form).

Free samples are great for traveling -- I've gotten tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner, little tubes of toothpaste and teensy containers of deodorant. I've also gotten samples of garbage bags, tampons, razors, paper towels, cat food, snacks, instant pudding, cake mix, granola bars, cereal, coffee, magazines, dental floss, tea bags and 100-calorie cakes. I love getting a little Walmart box of free stuff in the mail! The specific free offers can sometimes change frequently so I check the website several times a week.

* YDF (Your Daily Freebies) - This is a great source to find free and discounted stuff. This forum is the one I go on most often, looking for free samples. There are a ton of other sites similar to the ones I've listed here, you can find massive lists of them on this forum. I've found some really good deals here, but it requires a little bit of effort to sift through everything. It does seem to be a very friendly and helpful group of people posting there.

Why have internet if not to use it to get free stuff, huh? :)

If there are other sites like these that you use, please leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New and Improved (?) Laminated List

I looked back over my Laminated List and realized that most (if not all) of those doods would probably not really like me all that much if we were ever to actually meet.

I am pretty positive that Penn Jillette, who seems to be a friendly but agressively outgoing person, would be irritated by my quietness. Dave Navarro, I think, would be turned off by my tattoo-less, piercing-less, implant-less, tan-less, stripper shoes-less self. I'm not too sure if I am ghetto enough for Lil Wayne (I would not have any syrup handy, that's for sure, and if he were to drink any in front of me, we might have a little problem). I suspect that Frank Mir is kind of assy in person, I doubt if we would have anything in common, and I imagine he would be impatient to get away from me. Who the hell knows about Prince, he is really too odd to call. Maybe he would love me, maybe he would hate me, maybe he would love me but act like he hated me.

You know how sometimes you see a person being interviewed on tv, and it just seems like like you'd have chemistry and similar interests, and you feel sure if you ever met you'd really hit it off? Hopefully other people feel that too and it isn't just me being celebrity-obsessed and stalkery.

1) Jeff Goldblum. I have always thought he was very sexy, with a sort of too-smart-for-his-own-good arrogance combined with an erotic smirkiness. I can see us sitting in a cafe by the beach, both of us wearing black pants and black turtleneck sweaters while everyone around us is in cutoffs and flip-flops. We would drink a bottle or two of pinot grigio while eating with our hands; ripping the shells off of shrimp and cracking open crab legs. We'd have long discussions about art, and whether the Futurist movement of 1911 could be accurately described as "punk" (yes, we would ultimately conclude).

2) Seth McFarlane. We would meet in a movie theatre showing The Lion In Winter when I, spotting him sitting alone a couple of rows away, drop my popcorn on him in the manner of Alabama in True Romance. We would share his smuggled bottle of Jack Daniels, he would whisper amusing asides to me in Peter Griffin's voice, and afterwards we'd go out for sushi.

3) Johnny Depp. I know, I know. But seriously, he's just so adorable. How could I NOT get alone with anyone that cute? If his personality is one-third as attractive as his face, he would have to love me.

This actually does make sense, in my head.

4) Keanu Reeves. He is so misunderstood. He has had many heartbreaks, and has such a dark intellect. We would meet in a used bookstore when our hands touched accidentally while reaching for the same copy of Hunter Thompson's Hell's Angels. We'd discuss gonzo journalism, existential philosophy, and I'd ride behind him on his motorcycle. I would understand him like no one ever has before, and we would communicate as two souls joined together on a higher level of consciousness.

5) Adam Carolla. Unlike Penn Gillette, conversationally Adam is just looking for an audience. I get along wonderfully with people like that, as long as I am even slightly interested in what they have to say. Adam would go off on a rant about how stupid traffic laws are, or how unfair building permit requirements are, or he would provide 1,472 hilarious examples from his Loveline days about how ridiculous people are in general. I would nod enthusiastically and interject just often enough to show agreement, but without actually speaking.

The problem with Adam Carolla is that I cannot be attracted to him. At all. Not even a little bit.

Here's the thing: I am an artistic person, and therefore very visual. Years ago, Adam was explaining how much body hair he has (everywhere). He said that, for him, cleaning up with toilet paper after he goes to the bathroom is like trying to get peanut butter out of a shag carpet with a cotton ball.

He is truly the master of the metaphor, but I will never get that image out of my head, and it's not exactly conducive to a sexy moment.

Maybe after a couple of martinis I could make out with him for a while.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Finding the Humor in Hairballs

I woke up early this morning (maybe it was the middle of the night?) shivering. As my sleepy self tried to wake up, I groped around looking for my blanket, and I realized that somehow the sheet and the comforter and the blanket had all gotten turned down, I was completely uncovered to my waist.

Brr! I pulled everything back up and snuggled down, and after a few minutes I was warm again and went back to sleep.

A couple of hours later the alarm went off, and I stood up and put my glasses on. I looked down at the bed, and saw... a big kitty puke hairball on my blanket, right above where I was sleeping!

So my cat vomited up a hairball ON ME while I was sleeping, then covered it up by pulling the covers down off of me.

Oh my goodness. Being barfed ON is so much worse than the dreaded getting-up-to-pee-and-stepping-in-puke-in-the-dark moment. I had honestly never considered that I would be puked UPON.

I had to laugh, standing there looking at my hairball-encrusted blanket. Ugh.

So in the spirit of laughing at my tragic misfortune, I happily accept the Lemonade Award!

This award was given to me by Deborah on her beautiful silk painting blog. She seems to think I have a positive attitude! :)

I love her blog. She writes about her silk painting artistry, and posts lovely pictures of her work. She is a big part of what inspired me to get back into silk painting, 10 years after having stopped. I love silk painting, and I love Deborah!

Ack, I do sound pretty positive... I am clearly losing my punk edge. I need to dig out my old Decline of the Western Civilization soundtrack.

I am nominating the lovely horror-stricken Marniekat to pass this Lemonade award on to. She is a loving wife and mother and makes beautiful jewelry, much of it horror inspired. I particularly love her Dexter pieces, and the Twilight necklace with the two red beads at the neck to symbolize blood drops from a vampire bite. :) Check out her Etsy store.

A kitty puke hairball necklace would be scarier, but I would totally not buy that, as I already have PLENTY.