To the jenth power ...

I read the books. I watched the show. I unflinchingly wore a sunbonnet to second grade. What started as a childhood obsession has developed into .. well, an adult obsession. I'm going to visit some of the sites depicted in the Little House series of books. Go west, (not-so-) young woman, indeed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Blah. Plus a creepy guy, just for yuks. Or yucks.

Check out the icky guy in this picture. I'm not sure what's more unnerving about it: his greasy look - even while bathing! - or his creepy pawing at that poor lady in the bathrobe. I just love her expression; it looks like she's forcing a smile so she won't vomit. Heh. This photo was used to tout a spa which, in all honesty, is probably amazing. It was in all sorts of "local attractions" brochures that were scattered about the vacation house, each ad using only this picture to sell the spa. Ick! But more about that later...

I've been lurking, hiding, skulking around. I've been avoiding the not-so-big, bad savings account. I haven't added anything to it in about a month, so I'm a little embarrassed. I've even avoided driving by the branches of that particular bank, so great is my shame.

Then again, I've managed to get through a month of surprise expenses, a vacation (for which I had no extra stash of cash or credit cards), and the annual round of vet visits without (drumroll, please ...) having to dip into said savings account. So I suppose that's something. It didn't look as if I'd be able to leave those savings unmolested, but I've managed to do it. Sure, I've got three bucks to see me through until Friday ... but the savings account remains.

There's a nifty little farmer's stand near my job that operates on the honor system. It's really something. You can go to this little building, pick out whatever you'd like, and you stick the payment for your goodies in a little slot in the wall. There's the usual veggies there, but they also have fresh eggs, canned goods, and baked items. The farmer provides scratch paper, a calculator and a tacklebox full of cash to make change, if necessary. Interestingly, I've noticed that I tend to round up my total to the nearest dollar when I shop there - my last total was something like $12.15, so I dropped $13.00 in the little slot. When I mentioned it to a friend who also shops there, she said that she and her husband do the same. I'm not sure why we do that. I mean, it'd be simple to just take our change from the tacklebox, but neither of us even thinks of it. I've seen others do it, too. It's almost like we all want to thank that farmer for trusting our decency. Or maybe we want to make sure that he's covered in the event that somebody takes something without paying? Whether our motives are kindly or cynical, it's an interesting phenomenon.

It's become rather cold, but I refuse to turn on the heat to my apartment. When it gets into the fifty-degree zone, I put on another sweatshirt and tell myself that I'm getting the true pioneer experience. Sometimes I lie to myself and think that it's all just a matter of getting used to cooler temperatures. Other times I've tried to see it as a competition: who among my circle of folks can hold out the longest without cranking up the thermostat? Well, I won that round. So it's back to the prairie experience delusion. My goal is to make it until November 1, if possible. Until then, I'll be baking quite a bit and hanging out in my small (read: warm) kitchen. I'm hoping the guy in the downstaris apartment will turn out to be a heat fiend, and I can sort of suck up his warmth (wow, does that sound dirty .. heh).

So, to recap:
1.) I haven't saved any more money. But ...
2.) I didn't spend any that I have, even though it's been a bad month
3.) I like to "tip" at honor-system farm stands
4.) I'm cheap and self-delusional when it comes to the gas bill
5.) I have fun crafting "creepy spa ad guy" finger puppets for friends and ... ah. Long story. But yes, I did make finger puppets.

I think this requires a song:

(Gilligan's Island)

Sit right back and I'll tell my tale
Of a creepy spa ad guy
He lurks in bathtubs near the shore
(Or so the ads imply)

You go in for some pampering,
Perhaps a hot tub soak
Hark! What sneaks through the bubbles there?
This greasy, grasping bloke. ( ... greasy, grasping bloke)

Our laughter was uneasy
As we mocked his spooky stare,
We made it a point to inspect our tubs
To be sure he wasn't there ( ... be sure he wasn't there)

We stayed away from any spas, 'cause he seemed sort of sly -
He might turn up as the towel guy
He could be a masseur
It's perhaps enough to put you off spas at all -
Creepy spa ad guy!