Thursday, April 23, 2009

gray days and good weekends

Don't get me wrong, gray days aren't so bad, especially when you're a resident of Southern California and the temperatures reached the 100s last Tuesday, breaking previous records set in the 1950's. It's nice to feel like spring might actually hang out for a couple more weeks before the stickiness of summer sets in again, and occasional gray days are a nice break from the blinding sunshine that Los Angelenos are used to conducting their days in. But sometimes when you're having the kind of day where the morning dreariness never really leaves, you feel a little...down.

Granted, I don't really have any good reason to feel down. A couple weeks ago I just finished a weekend of shooting behind-the-scenes and extras for Hell Froze Over, I occasionally get to share my office space with a dog that looks like a cross between a pit bull and Doby the House Elf, I have discovered the glory that is the cinnamon melts over at McDonald's, and I can only describe this past weekend as Damn Near Perfect. Yes, it needed caps.

So there is always good to be grateful for. Always. But I do like being warm. And I like my gray days to be my Saturday mornings when I can snuggle under the comforters for another half hour before getting all productive with my day.

In the meantime, I believe I promised a weekly blog that highlights some ways to enjoy life while not necessitating borrowing money for rent. Sounds easy enough. Here's today's tips:

  • Are you a big online shopper like I am? Go here to find coupons for 30,000 (yup, that number is correct) online stores. Enter in a store's website in the search bar at the top, then a list of coupons for that store will pop up. Be warned that some coupons are expired or simply don't work (look at the coupon's success rate before using), but I've gotten discounts for many, many online purchases this way, and if nothing else, there's usually free shipping codes to be found for most stores. Try it out and see!
  • If you haven't discovered the joy of Etsy yet, for the love of God, stop what you are doing and go visit it. No really. Tell your boss I said it's okay. Etsy is all things handmade and vintage, so you're supporting individual artists with awesome work ethics from all over the world. A lot of the things on Etsy are one of a kind, so don't waver too long on a purchase, and there's a TON of affordable stuff on there. Plus, you can search by color, location of artist, and fun categories that include "geekery" and "books and zines." Some of my favorites on Etsy right now: this, this, and this (I like the owl and giraffe one).
  • Want that new Tom Clancy novel but can't afford to buy it? There are lots of book exchange websites out there, but here's one that strikes my fancy. (NB: I haven't used this one yet. Let me know how it goes if you use it, and you're not allowed to blame me if things go horribly awry.)
Do you guys know of any awesome websites out there that help you save money, exchange stuff, or get a good deal? Lemme know. And I hope you enjoy your day, whatever color it may be.

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