Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lounge Wear

I have to say thank god for grandparents. Today The Misers joined their friends for a hike and picnic outing once again at Will Rogers State Park. It was hotter than we anticipated and The Misers were a bit overdressed for the day. After our hike, as we settled on the sweet expanse of grass for our picnic, I removed Bee's long sleeved top, socks and shoes so that all she had on were her overalls, which I rolled up at the leg.  She looked like a miniature Huck Finn, but as she was overheating, I know that she felt much better, cooler and a little bit freer.
When we got home, it was too earlier for pajamas, and I needed to put something else on her, so I grabbed an outfit that her Nanny (Sparky's mom) had bought her: a short sleeved white girly top that said "Cutie" on it in lavender, and matching striped purple and white soft cotton pants. It's not an outfit that I would put her in to run around outside as it's not durable like her jeans and overalls, but it's perfect for those moments where you just want your toddler to lounge around inside in something comfy. I had to laugh, because it's actually something I could see my mother-in-law wearing herself (only maybe without the word "Cutie" emblazoned on her chest with little flowers and butterflies.) Anyway, the outfit is perfect for post-picnic loafing around the house moments like today. And it's something I never would have bought her myself. Now if only someone would buy me an outfit like that, then life would be almost nearly perfect. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

This Old House

The inevitable finally happened the other day. The butt ugly blackish-grey Levelor blinds that were adorning the window in our bathroom gave out at last. We've only lived with them for 20+ years, and frankly, I don't see how we put up with them for so long. All the windows of our house were covered with these monstrosities at one time - they were there when we first moved into our rental. But over the years we managed to replace all of them except for the ones in the bathroom. The Misers have been in this old house for awhile. We started out as renters, and then bought the property from our landlord, whom Sparky is still friends with. They always got on, and because of that we got a pretty good deal on this property back in the mid 1990s. Anyway, over the years we've done this and that to the place - mostly getting rid of unfortunate 1970's interior mistakes that came with the house, such as green and yellow shag carpeting, plastic beige tiles covering the kitchen walls (including the ceiling - why would someone glue plastic tiles to a ceiling?) and now those hideous blinds in the bathroom.
I wasn't happy at first when this happened, but now I'm feeling differently. I got out my sewing machine and made new curtains. Sparky gave me some canvas from the giant roll he has (for his paintings), and I measured, cut, sewed and hemmed a new window treatment that is a vast improvement over the ratty Levelor. Now the light softly filters in, the canvas color is nice and neutral, and it adds a happy little boost to our tiny little water closet. Why didn't we do this sooner? It didn't cost much, which as you know is always a plus for The Misers, and it looks so much better. The lesson learned? Sometimes it's good when things break. And even if you "don't  fix something if it ain't broke", sometimes maybe you should...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Night Owl vs. Morning Lark

I'm a Night Owl and I had to get up this morning at 7:30 a.m. It was pretty brutal even though I went to bed fairly early in preparation. I just can't function in the morning no matter what. I inherited it from my maternal grandmother, who passed it down to my mother, who passed it down to me. Only I'm worse than my mother. She can actually get up in the morning, she's just not very chippy. My father, on the other hand is a Morning Lark all the way. He goes to bed early and gets up early, and he's cheerful when he wakes up. That is entirely foreign to me. Sparky is more of a morning person, he usually goes to bed earlier than I do and gets up earlier, and is the one who does the important stuff like make coffee. Before Bee was born, he actually used to bring me coffee in bed - on a tray! I would drink almost a full cup before I dragged my sorry ass out of bed. I want to be a morning person, I really do, but it's just not in my genetic makeup. I don't know what Bee is yet, but I know that she loves to sleep. She usually is up around 8:00 a.m. or so and she is always happy to see us, so maybe she is a Lark. Since she's adopted I know that she hasn't inherit my grandmother's Night Owlness, but maybe she's got someone like that in her background. I know people who are Larks. They are in bed by 10:00 p.m. and up at the crack of dawn ready to greet the day with a smile on their face and love in their heart. Brother, I'd rather just roll over and get some more zzz's. I feel grumpy just thinking about them. But at night I can stay up late with the best of them. I have all this energy, I feel wide awake and ready to get things done. The only problem is that everybody else is asleep. I used to work the night shift and I actually liked it. I remember when I was young and spent nights at my grandparents house. My grandma would stay up and watch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson while chain smoking her Salem's. My grandpa would be fast asleep in bed, and I would stay up and watch the television with her. She loved Johnny Carson, and so did I. He was the best.
Anyway, around the Miser household Sparky gets up with Bee, changes her, makes coffee and gets her started on breakfast. Then I'll stumble up and absolutely must have some coffee before I can even bust a move. I'm trying to change this, I'm really trying to get up earlier. Notice how I didn't say that I'm trying to become a morning person - I don't believe that you can change that about yourself, an Owl can't just morph into a Lark. But I can get up earlier. I can be more like my mother. Get up earlier and be a mumbly grump and get started with the day that much sooner. Carpe Diem or some such crap. This is my new goal, and I'm going to need all the help I can get.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some More Things

The Misers have been doing a few other things to help save the planet and save money as well. We don't buy bottled water anymore - we gave that up a long time ago. Here in L.A., everybody used to buy water until we finally realized how bad plastic bottles are for the environment. Now the Misers just drink filtered tap water. And for those days when we are on the go, we pour the water into stainless steel containers. Another thing we have to do is  be mindful of wasting water. Here in arid So Cal, water is not at a premium and it's a good idea to conserve water. This means short showers and giving Bee baths in a toddler tub instead of the regular tub, which uses way more water. Also, one need not shower ever day - sometimes a sponge bath will do just fine. But the thing we've been doing that Sparky and I are the most excited about is the compost heap in the backyard. We recycle all of our organic decomposable food and yard waste into the pile. He turns it over with a shovel and it gets nice and soily. We want to get some earthworms to go into this heap once it gets all earthy, and then we'll really have lovely dirt which we'll be able to use in our garden. And lately our citrus trees have been covered with flowers and honey bees, so we have some nice pollination going on now. Things are looking up, and the Misers are looking forward to Spring which is just around the corner.

Monday, February 23, 2009


The Misers have been feeling a bit like homesteaders or pioneers as of late. (Only with all the modern conveniences of the 21 Century, thankfully.) Today, Sparky cleared out an area in our yard to make room for more garden and planted seeds: eggplant, carrots, bok choy, and beets! I can't wait for them to sprout. And I've been clearing out Bee's bedroom, getting rid of too small clothing and old baby toys. She has so much stuff it's not even funny. We didn't have as much when I was a kid, and we were perfectly happy. How in the world did she accumulate so many things? After all, she is only one small little girl and her needs are pretty simple. I vow to make this my new mantra: Less Stuff, Less Stuff. Also, I'm never buying anything from Ikea again. None of their furniture seems very well made; Bee's dresser that is less than two years old is practically held together with spit, gum and duct tape. I wish sometimes that we really were homesteaders, making an honest living off of our land. Sure they had it tough, but who doesn't these days? At least all of their furniture was handmade, and I'm guessing a lot of it was very well made, too. From now on, as god as my witness, I will only buy handmade/well made furniture. Or at the very least sturdy used furniture, which is both green and thrifty. 
P.S. Tonight we dined on salads made of lettuce from our garden. The lettuce was delicious - earthy, buttery and a little nutty all at once. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yellow Tree

We did it! Today the Misers bought and planted an orange tree. Well, actually Sparky planted the tree. And he had to dig out a huge rock that was in the way, and then get three wheel barrels full of soil from the other side of the yard in order to plant the damn thing. But he did it, and we are all pleased as punch. Originally we had talked about planting an apple tree, but we decided that since we live in So Cal that citrus was the way to go. We now have a Myers lemon tree, an Oro Blanca grapefruit tree, and our brand new baby Valencia orange tree. Bee will be happy because soon she'll be able to have freshly squeezed organic orange juice everyday, or "yellow" as she calls it. And I'm happy because this Miser knows that we'll be saving money on all of our citrus needs. Plus, none of us will ever get scurvy. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Yellow Splurge

As a Miser, I had to quit buying flowers a long time ago. They just had to go as we have other priorities at the moment. But I love fresh flowers and have missed them. So today while out at the grocery store, Bee and I splurged and bought a happy rose bouquet at Trader Joe's. They were only $3.99, which I thought that was a pretty good deal. I wanted to buy orange ones, but I let Bee choose and she opted for yellow. It seems to be her favorite color plus her favorite word at the moment. (For some strange reason she calls water and orange juice "yellow". "More yellow," she'll say while waving her cup around. I'll say to her very slowly and clearly "wa-ter", and she'll repeat back to me just as slowly and clearly "yel-low.") It's a luxury to have flowers in the house, but it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. There are Farmers Markets, and the Flower Mart in downtown Los Angeles where bargains abound. Also, you can grow them in your very own yard, which is my new strategy. Then we can have fresh cut flowers whenever we have something blooming in the yard, and in L.A. that is pretty much year round. My all time favorite flower is the peony, and I just found out that they do quite well here in southern California. I think that flowers will be a great addition to our fruits and vegetables. After all, one does need art, music and beauty in one's life, and just because you are a Miser doesn't mean you have to do without these things. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Green Guilt

For a minute, I thought that Guilt was one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Then I remembered that it's actually Gluttony and Greed, not Guilt. Guilt is the opposite of a Deadly Sin, because at least you are feeling remorse. But the thing is, I feel a little bit guilty because of my crazy consuming past. Back in the old days, Sparky and I bought what ever we felt like buying, at least it seemed that way. But now we only buy the necessities - mostly food and gas, and maybe the odd and end here and there for Bee. We've cut way back on our consumerism, and for that I feel good and it does help alleviate some of the regret I have for buying as though there were no tomorrow. It's better for the planet and better on our pocketbooks. Also, I like the idea of buying local and/or growing food, and our Victory Garden is a step in that direction. We don't use plastic or paper bags anymore, we gave that up a long time ago. We've switched out all our light bulbs to the low emission ones, we don't have air conditioning, and we have a tiny gas wall heater upstairs that we only use when it's really cold, so not all that often here in Los Angeles. We've turned our water heater down, and only do laundry when we have a completely full load. During winter in order to stay warm on cooler days we wear layers of sweaters, use warm flannel sheets, and Bee wears her flannel footie pajamas to bed every night. We don't drive very often, no big commutes here in Miserland. So we are okay on that front. But I'm sure there is more that we can do, hence some more of this guilty feeling, or Green Guilt. I feel a little bit like Schindler during the end of the movie where he is going on about how he could have saved more Jews, how his watch could have saved one more life. There is still more that the Misers can do, we can be greener still, we haven't yet gone far enough.
A couple of more things that The Misers are going to do to improve our ginormous  carbon footprint (the U.S., which is 5% of the world's population, consumes around 25%  of the world's oil):
  • Dry our clothes outside everyday that we can - we live in Los Angeles so we can and should do this year round.
  • Plant an apple tree. Sparky cut down the Bald Cypress today in preparation, and although we are sad to lose a tree, growing one that produces fruit is better in the long run.
  • Gather all the endless stuff we don't need around the house and donate it to charities. This is a win-win situation: less clutter and simpler lives for The Misers, and clothing and other items for people and families in need.
If anybody out there has some innovative ideas, helpful hints, etc, for maintaining a green lifestyle, it would be cool to hear from you. The most beautiful thing in the world is the world, the images of it from space are amazing. The swirls of blues and greens - it looks so alive it makes me weep to see it. I don't mean to get all preachy, but I want this place to be around for Bee, and my nephews and nieces, and my friends kids and my friends nephews and nieces, and all of their future progeny. But in order for this to happen we need to take better care of our planet starting yesterday. 

The Misers
Echo Park
Los Angeles, CA
North America
Planet Earth

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


25 Random Things About Sleeford:
  1. He was a highly regarded chess Master; he was ranked in the top 40 in the U.S. when he was playing professionally. Jack Peters of the Los Angeles Times knew him and wrote about him in his column shortly after Sleeford died.
  2. He spoke a fair amount of French, and could read it as well.
  3. He played the flute.
  4. He got drafted and served  in the Vietnam war. He was there during the Tet Offensive in 1968.
  5. He was a British citizen.
  6. He and his family lived in Canada before moving to Los Angeles, but they had to leave because he and his little brother may or may not have burned down an entire housing development by accident.
  7. He had beautiful dark blue eyes with long eyelashes that curled up. You could only really notice them when he took off his glasses.
  8. He had the best handshake of anybody. It was warm, strong, friendly, and he always looked you right in the eye with a straightforward and honest gaze.
  9. He hated olives, except for the fat green ones you got in the martinis at Musso & Franks. (Or maybe he only liked gin soaked olives.)
  10. When he laughed really hard, he slapped his thighs with his hands.
  11. He lived in a White Panther commune in Berkley during the seventies, and worked in their food bank delivering food to needy families all over the Bay Area. 
  12. He couldn't stand his older sister, but really liked her husband and their kids.
  13. He was very well read.
  14. He went AWOL from the army and got caught a couple years later enmeshed in the LSD scene in San Francisco. They flew him to Indianapolis where he received a "dishonorable discharge" and had to spend a few days in the clink. 
  15. He love old black and white movies, especially film noir.
  16. He bit his fingernails to the quick.
  17. He was in GREAT shape. He was a hiker, and could climb up rocky mountains out in the desert that were scary steep.
  18. He never did drugs until he was in Vietnam. He was high on LSD during the Tet Offensive.
  19. He knew someone who was in the Mafia. 
  20. He was extremely competitive. He beat Sparky at tennis 9 out 10 time simply because he wanted to win more.
  21. He loved dogs. He could speak their language. 
  22. He was one of those rare good listeners.
  23. He never graduated from high school.
  24. He outfit of choice was faded Levis, a light grey sweatshirt, and Saucony tennis shoes.
  25. He was the best friend The Misers ever had.

Monday, February 16, 2009


The Misers have this old, dog-eared dictionary that once belonged to Sparky's father. It's The Everyday Encyclopedia Edition of Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language published in 1965, and it is held together with green masking tape. I love this dictionary and will never part with it, even though we should probably buy a new one. But I keeping asking my Miser self why buy a new one, when this one is still perfectly good? I mean, it still works. Okay, so maybe random pages fall out every time I open it, but other than that... Misers love to hold on to their things, (well this one does, anyway) and the idea of spending money on a new dictionary when this one is still fine leaves me feeling slightly ill. That is how much I love this old tattered book. Plus, it has all kinds of added bonuses contained in its archaic pages, such as chapters on history - Presidents of the United States, for example (although the last entry is Lyndon B. Johnson.) Under Micellany it lists the Seven Wonders Of The World, both Ancient and Medieval. On the same page of these old wonders are Birthstones and Wedding Anniversaries (the sixth anniversary is iron, just in case you were wondering). It also explains how the days and the months got their names, and the "marvelous properties" attributed to gemstone (stay away from opals, whatever you do).
Some other useful and fascinating things this dictionary contains are: various abbreviations, how to correctly write a business letter, civics lessons (both the Constitution of The United States [up to 1961] and the Declaration of Independence are represented in their entirety), English grammar, foreign words and phrases, geography, home economics (household information for the housewife), medicine, mathematics, music, Parliamentary law, and my personal favorite category: literature. Under this heading are lists of the Great Books of The World, Mythological and Classical Names, and the Plays of Shakespeare. Mind you, this book's references stop in the early sixties, so it is extremely dated. But that is one of its many endearing features, if you ask me. Also, this book is full of color plates such as Fish of Unusual Interest, and Rare Birds of Brilliant Plumage. Did I mention how much I love this book? I use it all of the time.
It is especially dear to me because it belonged to Sparky's dad, whom I never had the pleasure of meeting. He died way before I met Sparky, back when Sparky was 19. His name was Will (not William but just Will), and he was a dentist who served in both WWII and the Korean War. He lived with his family in tiny Rushville, IN, where he was a member of the Elks Club. He enjoyed traveling with his family, and was a closet filmmaker (Sparky has some old 8mm films of Will's that feature long, sweeping pans of landscapes - beautiful stuff). Will especially enjoyed trying new things, he always had to have the latest gadget that came out, and he was an adventuresome eater, which is rare for a Hoosier. Most Hoosiers stick with plain old meat and potatoes, and when trying a new food that they don't particularly care for will say "It's different." (Whenever anybody says "It's different" they really mean "I hate it".)  I always knew that I would have loved Sparky's dad, he just seems like he would have been a great father-in-law. And that is probably the biggest singular reason why I love this old dictionary so damn much.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The Misers have decided that this Depression is really starting to become monotonous. (I'm so bored I'm blogging about being bored. If that isn't boredom, I don't know what is.) We are tired beyond belief of the same old dull tedium of it all.  These short winter days have become long and wearisome, and The Misers are full of ennui. No money, nothing to do, lousy weather, and so on. Weltschmerz with a capital W. Even Glenn The Dog is bored of going on the same old walks, day in and day out, even he is sick of the tiresome sameness of it all. The only one who is still having fun these days is Bee. Everything is still so fresh and new to her. Sparky, Glenn and I are the jaded ones. We may start robbing banks just to spice things up. I remember when we were little my sister had a friend who would always say, "I'm bored." My mother would say to her: "If you are so bored, why don't you go home?" And then she would say, "Then I'll be even more bored." This is how The Misers are feeling right now in the seemingly unending stasis called Our Lives. Stuck in our lovely rut and bored out of our god damned skulls!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bee Mine

In celebration of Valentine's Day, Bee and I made heart shaped sugar cookies. Well, I made them actually. Bee did help decorate them - which mostly consisted of her licking the frosting off the cookies, and spilling green food coloring all over everything, including herself. But we had fun, and I'm looking forward to when she is a bit bigger and really is able to help cook and bake. Her and I have matching aprons, by the way. My mother sewed them for us for Christmas, the material has a fun black, white and red dog pattern on it, and they are absolutely darling. We wore them today. We matched. 
Anyway, I love handmade, homemade things more than anything, so that is what I gave my two Valentines - freshly baked cookies! My favorite gifts to give and receive are things made by hand. (I still have the Christmas ornaments my little brother made for me when he was in kindergarten.) I know a lot of crafty people who make art, knit, sew, do bead work, make jewelry, do needlework, bake, etc. Sparky and Sleeford built our deck, and they did a fine job. Sparky also paints, and makes an excellent hot sauce from the chillies he grows. The current things that I'm into right now are ceramics and knitting, and I'm starting to get into needlework. Plus, as a Miser, I like the idea of canning and pickling things from our garden. Here's a Miser's Dream: money becomes obsolete, and instead everybody in society barters, swaps and trades with either things they've made or services they provide. How cool would that be? Miser paradise!

Friday, February 13, 2009

99¢ Only

Today The Misers checked out the deals at the 99¢ Only Stores, and wow, there were some deals to be had! I ended up buying ten items and my grand total was $10.25. The store itself, located on Sunset in Silverlake, was a little on the seedy side. It was full of a bunch of items that I would never buy - cheaply made junk that will most likely go straight to a landfill. But if you go there without a list, and buy only the things that you might need or use, then it's not so bad. Some of the stuff that I bought included jarred peaches for Bee, organic tomatoes, 3 pounds of potatoes, hand soap, and a chewy bone for Glenn The Dog. They also had Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, for only 99¢! And weird makeup, champagne glasses, ceramic doodads, batteries, band aids, aspirin, toothpaste, butter, Valentines Day cards, Easter candy, salad dressing, cereal, party supplies, itchy feet ointment, paring knives, thong underwear, Jordache Fragrances For Men, calendars, chocolate covered cherries, condoms, etc. A very mixed assortment of stuff, some of it name brands, some of it not. Sparky did not like the store at all. He found it, and its lighting very depressing, but Bee and I rather liked it. I would recommend checking it out every now and then just to see what they have. You never know what you might find, and all of it is deeply discounted - everything is priced at only 99.99¢! So check it out if you dare. Just don't go in with a shopping list because they don't carry everything you may need. But it is a Miser store, that much is true. And this Miser was very happy with her purchases.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Today, I was going to write about Nadya Suleman, the crazy mother of those teeny tiny octuplets (plus six other little kids) because I have so many problems with the whole situation. As a Miser, don't even get me started on the insane cost of it all. What a financial nightmare. And then there are the moral and ethical questions surrounding the whole situation as well. But I've decided not to write my thoughts on it, because I just kind of feel sorry for her and those weird collagen injected lips of hers more than anything else. And of course I hope those babies will continue to thrive and be healthy in the long run. So instead, I'm writing about the rut this Miser is in right now. It happens from time to time. Ruts. Happen. They just do. Sparky said earlier today: "Remember before the depression and we had steady income and could go out where ever we wanted, when ever we wanted?" Yes, I do remember that, and now all we do is eek out bargains. It's hard, you know, dealing with it sometimes. I think what we need is a mini Miser vacation. I'm going to start doing some research to find somewhere we can go and something we can do within our miserly budget. That will surely kick us out of this rut and back on to the smooth pavement of the road of life.
P.S. Our Victory Garden is doing great. There should be some fresh vegetables to pick sometime really soon. Can't wait... 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


We are watching this children's show right now on PBS, and there is this animated sloth that is telling me things that are true: it's about worry, and how if you worry so much you won't solve your problems because your worry gets in the way. Amen, Brother Sloth. I'm wondering why this is a kid's show. Kids shouldn't worry yet - they can wait until they are grownups for that. And now a monkey is telling me that it's okay to be grumpy sometimes - because everyone gets grumpy! That's good to know, because this Miser is pretty grumpy at this very moment. I've been working on the computer, and now I'm writing this and watching this show with Bee and Sparky all at the same time. Bee doesn't usually watch the television, but we've been letting her watch some kid's shows on PBS, like "Word World", which is basically about language and spelling. Okay, this monkey friend of the sloth also does Tai Chi for some reason. Now the sloth is saying to find a new way to think about things instead of worrying and then you can solve all of your problems; if you stay calm you can solve anything. And you need the right tools for the job. This sloth really knows his stuff. His friend the frog is trying it out right now. It's all about balance. The sloth talks like he's a surfer dude or a stoner, or maybe both. Him and his buddies live in a rain forest. These creatures are starting to become really gooey and they are now really getting on my nerves. They are singing: "When we're living and growing together, reaching for the highest heights, everything is going to be alright." Bah, humbug. I'm too busy being grumpy and worried to pay attention anymore. Over and out, Brother Sloth. What a lame ass show, The Misers will not be watching it again.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Obama Redux

It rained again today, and The Misers are a little bit discombobulated because they have been going in different directions. I've been working from home, and Sparky and Bee have been hanging out together, mostly inside because of the weather.  They did run some errands, and went to the park in between the rain. Sparky told me of a happy incident that happened when he and Bee were getting a coffee, and going to the grocery store. (For Sparky, not Bee - she's not into caffeine yet, but the few times she had sugar - look out!) Anyway, she was sitting quietly in the cart as they waited in line. People always look at her when she is out and about, she is that cute. The gentleman in front of them was smiling at Bee when she suddenly pointed to the latest Vanity Fair and said "Obama" (she can say the "b" now). The guy was stunned. "Did she just point to the president and say 'Obama'?" he asked Sparky. "Yep," Sparky replied, "She is very civic minded." I guess he was surprised because she is so little. He said, "Well I'm going to be working for her or voting for her in the future then!" Sparky observed that he's already working for Bee... In any case, I'm hoping that the Republicans get their act together and vote the right way for a change. Bush is no more and they seem to be forgetting that. No more Bush! That's enough to brighten any Misers rainy day and turn it into a holiday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Today it rained. Lil' Bee went for a walk at the park with Sparky and Glenn and played in the puddles. Sparky tells me that they had stick races in a little stream. Bee did not want to leave, and Sparky had to carry her to the car. Like I've said before, that girl loves water. They all came home soaking wet and happy as clams. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Simple Things

This morning I took Bee and Glenn out for their daily constitution. This consists of going down to the front street, walking up the sidewalk to the house on the corner, and then turning around and walking to the bottom of the hill. We stop and smell the flowers along the way, and look at the honey bees. Bee will usually pick a flower or two, and Glenn pees on things. Bee picked a couple of purple blossoms today and brought them home. She is still clutching them in her little hands. Sparky mostly takes the two of them out, but I'll do it on days that he is working, such as today. When I take the time to just be in the moment (did I really just write that?) I realize how fortunate The Misers are, how much we have to be thankful for, and I'm happy just to enjoy the simple little things in life. I know this sounds all new agey, but I can't help it - it feels good to be positive. Besides, worry never helped anyone solve anything, or so a Miser once told me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Grand Slam

Today, the Misers had breakfast at Denny's for free! We were watching the Super Bowl at our Pittsburgian friend's house (Yea Steelers!) when we saw a commercial advertising free Grand Slam breakfasts at every Denny's in America on February 3rd. Wow! That was crazy talk. Now I don't need to reiterate here how much the Misers like a good deal, but free? We had to check it out. Our plan was to stop by the Denny's in Glendale around 9ish and see what was up. The Misers HATE waiting in line and had no idea what to expect. (Huge crowds? Rioting in the street? People fighting over free food?) We decided that if the line was way too long we were going to just bail. When we arrived there was a fairly long line and absolutely no parking. I got out and asked people at the front how long they had been waiting and they said about 20 minutes. That didn't seem too bad. And everybody seemed to be in a good mood, so I said to Sparky, "Come on, let's do this!" Bee and I got in the queue, and he went to find parking who knows where. Most of the people there were families with small children, students, and the elderly. We waited outside (and it was another beautiful sunny day in L.A. so we lucked out there) for approximately 20 minutes, and then before we we knew it we were inside and seated at a lovely corner table. It was actually amazing how nice and polite everybody was - the managers even handed out little donut holes to people waiting in line - a little something to whet our appetites. Sparky and I each had the Grand Slam (eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon) and Bee had a Junior Slam. I had coffee, Sparky a grapefruit juice, and Bee had water. All we paid for were our beverages. This necessitated a nice fat tip to our cheerful and friendly waitress. It was fun! It was free food! We even took home a doggie bag for Glenn the Dog. I hope that this marketing gimmick works for Denny's because it was a very nice thing for them to do. But I have to say the last time that I was at Denny's was about five years ago, so this scheme of theirs definitely got us back through the door. Will we return? Hard to say, but we really did appreciate our breakfast.  Grand Slam Denny's!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Remembrance Of A Miser's Past

I remember some great things that used to be free and now either no longer exist, or cost money. The Time Lady, for instance. We used to love calling her when we were kids. For some reason we often needed to know what time it was but didn't have access to a watch or clock. I'm not sure why we needed to know what time it was so badly, it's not like any of us had jobs to be at or anything. Anyway, I remember how soothing her voice was, "At the tone, the time will be 5:45pm and 20 seconds," BEEP, "at the tone the time will be 5:45pm and 21 seconds..." You could also use her for all of your fake phone calling needs, such as "I'm calling dad right now! You're going to be in so much trouble..." And then there was free information. When I was in the fourth or fifth grade I had a friend who wasn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. She thought you could call information with ANY question you might have, and information would know the answer and tell you. I knew that wasn't so, but she would never believe me. One time we were arguing about whether or not water had any calories. (We must have been really bored.) Don't ask me why she thought water did, but she did, and she decided to call information to confirm her point (or her idiocy). The operator proceeded to give her a lecture about how information was not to be used for frivolous questions but for telephone number related questions only, and blah blah blah, and by the way water has no calories. And so I was right times two.
The thing that Sparky misses most is free air and water at all gas stations. Now at most stations you have to pay 50 cents for air. There are very few exceptions; however, Sparky has found  a place in our area that still offers free air. And that is where he goes for all of his tire pressure needs, which aren't that many come to think of it. But it is nice to know that there is free air when  you need it! It makes a Miser sleep a little more soundly at night.