Monday, October 18, 2010

Tip-O-The-Day: CDs, WTF To Do w/ Them?!


Sooooo, are you sitting near a book case right now, or better yet, a CD stand just filled with all your most prized (and dated) music? If you're under 25, maybe not. But if you had any income throughout the 90's, I'm betting you have a fair amount of music on disc.

Now that you're all teched up and out with your ipod/iphone/imac/itunes/ipad and ibrain - what are you going to do with those stacks and stacks of discs?
There are three questions to address here:
1. Can you really get any money at Amoeba for them?
2. Can you even give them up, or at least give up their cases and the idea of ever selling them?
3. How the hell and who the hell has time to download 500 CDs onto a computer?

Well, I can tell you how I answered these questions when I moved from San Francisco in 2004 and did NOT want to lug three shelves of CDs with me.

1. I didn't have a this mac, or a computer of this millennia yet, so I didn't have a man-enough machine to download them all.
2. Since I needed to keep them, I paranoid-ly decided my taste in music was not cool enough to ever sell them, so I went to Target, bought two giant CD books and rolled out the blue bin to disassemble and recycle all the cases. I was afraid they wouldn't get recycled if the jacket covers were still attached. But some friends were horrified that I didn't care to keep the band info & lyrics, etc.... If you're one of these special romantics, you can keep the paper covers and put them in pocket of the CD book with corresponding CD.  Whatever spins your record (I just made that up, as you can tell).  So once my CDs were out of their cases, into the books they went.
3. When I did get a download-worthy computer, I made a home-made spindle out of a wax pencil and a candle holder. I put as many CDs on it as fit and set it on my desk next to my computer and just started popping them in over and over whenever I was home. While puttering, while watching movies, while cooking, while talking on the phone, while cleaning, while writing.  On the way out for an errand? Popped one in. Going next door to see my Girls (my neighbors are now indispensable friends) - Popped another one in. It took a week maybe, and when one was done, I'd just put it directly back in the book. BUT if that's not an easy option, you can make two spindles and have one on the other side of your desk for "loaded" CDs.  Just choose one method or the other for putting them away, otherwise you end up with them sliding all over your desk and getting ruined, not to mention in the way.

That is how one can tackle this seemingly endless or daunting task - it's not undoable (= doable), it's not impossible, and you don't even have to give up your CDs!

Tapes, on the other hand....Brothers and Sisters, give up the ghost. Really.

Thanks for reading!

xo ruby

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tip-O-The-Day: Organize your Soul

Tonight I went to a spiritual place to hear a little experience, strength and hope. I didn't really hear much . . . but on the way home in the Friday night Hollywood traffic (also no strength or hope there) I found myself stuck in front of the $25 Chinese Foot Massage place.  My first thought was "I don't need to spend the money..." but a couple of small miracles happened that I just couldn't ignore.
1)  There was a restriction free and meterless parking space in front of the entrance.
2) Although I had passed it by about a yard, when I looked in the rear view, there was NO ONE behind me on Sunset Blvd.
3) I am house-sitting this weekend and have some unexpected cash.

Needless to say, I put it in reverse and swung into that parking spot like an early settler staking their claim on the prairie.

Now, a "Foot Massage" is not an accurate advertisement.  You go in and there are 9 bark-a-loungers draped in giant terry cloth towels. It's very dim light and a low soundtrack of tweeting birds and harp is playing. But you don't start in the lounger. They bring out a wood tub of warm water with good smelly stuff in it. You sit on an ottoman with a big pillow in your lap and your feet in the water while they work on your back for the first 1/2 hour. The nice but odd man whispers in my ear, "Your neck very bad."
Yes, I know.  "You work today?" "No. I worked on myself today." I don't know if got my meaning but he chuckled and pressed a little harder.

When its time for the lounger, they guide you to it, recline you completely, put pillows under your head, cover your eyes and then swaddle you in big, fluffy towels like blankets. The next 1/2 hour is spent on your feet, legs, and arms while you're cocooned in the bark-a-lounger.

Then when it's time to pay, the total of $32 (with tip) is like eating an entire box of Trader Joe's "No Guilt" brownies - So decadent but No Guilt!! Just bliss, whether it's your tummy or the rest of your body.

Brownies and cheap massage, that's how I organize my soul.

Thanks for reading! xo ruby

PS- if your here in LA and want to try them out, it's on Sunset just east of Western across from Food for Less.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tip-O-The-Day: Save Energy and a lil' Cash

Just a quick one today that many of you may already be hip to - Years ago I was really verschnicked about having 5 various electronic boxes that are factory wired to be partially on 24/7, piled atop my TV.  It really seemed weird to this (originally) Oregonian to be wasting all that juice. So a friend said, "Are they on a power cord" and the answer was "Why yes, yes they are..."  She said, "Just turn off the power cord switch at night & when you leave for the day." Simple, and duh, I said to myself.  So now, I have 3 major power strip intersections that house 4 or 5 plugs each that I flip off every day and night. Financially? I don't know if it's all that much, but does my brain feel better about not wasting energy? YES, I really do feel much better when I flip off those switches.

Now, I don't have a fancy DVR or things on timers, so if that's the case, I don't recommend this semi-hippy-dippy idea; but for a basic cable box, a regular DVD player, and a small surround sound system - oh, and the TV, that's a lot of juice getting sucked out all day long.  Same goes for my microwave/toaster/blender/lamp in the kitchen. Also my fan/heater/ipod charger/cell charger.

SO, now I just flip off the strips, and feel good that I'm doing my tiny tiny part, in some way. Especially since I like showers a bit too much - hey, I'm no environmental angel!!

Thanks for reading!  xo ruby

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tip-O-The-Day: Needed, Skinny End Table!

Hello Guys!
I had the GREAT fortune to be lent a futon sofa for my tiny studio from the lovely Amanda - Thanks Mandy!!

A sofa is something I haven't had in years. Oh, I've had a cushy chair or two, (I'm not living like an animal!) but haven't had the luxury of sprawling out on a sofa or sitting face to face next to someone for a simple conversation (at my place) in years. The sad truth when you've chosen an artistic life.

Anywho, no more "poor me" crap because now I have a lovely, cushy futon sofa! So, because of my limited space, I needed a tall and skinny side table for my little reading lamp, but the side space is super limited because it would sit next to my bathroom entrance and if the table was even an inch too wide, I'd whack it with my 40 inch hips every time I went into the bathroom. Since going to one of the fabulous furniture stores around here is not in my budget, and the specs are so specific, I was determined to just look around for something to inspire or just employ. I didn't have to go far, I found it in my yard:

A simple plant stand. I added my 2 favorite toast plates I found at Ross a few years ago for $1.99 each and, voila! A two-tiered side table, just big enough for the reading lamp and just small enough so that my hips and the table will be safe and bruise free.

Just a little idea I wanted to share.

Thanks for reading!

xo ruby