Random Thursday Playlist

I was reading through the random blogs on the Freshly Pressed page last night when I came across one called My iPod is Making Me Crazy and had to click on it. It was about the randomness of people’s playlists nowadays thanks to the shuffle feature on our mp3 players.  This got me thinking about how random my own playlist was and I decided to keep track of the first 25 songs.

I made up some rules to follow while doing this.  One, I couldn’t skip anything that came on.  Two, I wasn’t allowed to write down the song and then skip to the next one because I didn’t know if that would influence the mp3 player’s song choice or not.  Three, I couldn’t lie no matter how stupid the song was that came on.  The fact that I had to implement this rule ahead of time should be some kind of indication as to what kind of music could be contained on my 8 gig player.

So without further adieu, I give you the first 25 songs of my day:

1. Science Fiction Double Feature – Rocky Horror Glee Show Soundtrack.  Yes, I love Glee and I do own all the soundtracks the have shot out onto the shelves in the last year and a half.  As sad as that may be, I totally enjoy them.  I love Rocky Horror and when they announced they were doing an episode based on it, I nearly danced with joy.  It is one of the only girly things I do and I think that I’m allowed one or two.

2. Get It On Tonight – Montell Jordon.  Immediate flashbacks to high school, riding around in a friend’s older sister’s car with this song cranked up so loud they had to roll the windows down.

3. I Will Buy You a New Life – Everclear.  I love this song and miss this band.  However, I cringe every time the singer rhymes new with the word…new.  I will buy you a new car, perfect shiny and new?  No…please use anything other than the same word.  I always thought it should be blue.

4. Winter Born (This Sacrifice) – The Cruxshadows.  I love this song.  Its dramatic and dark and different but still not so very deep and scary goth that I run away.  The boyfriend played me this song about a year and a half ago and I then immediately scoured the internet, searching for more and loving almost everything I found.  It’s a lot of mythology themed stuff and for some reason, I really dig that.

5. Harder to Breathe – Maroon 5.  I dig the sound of Maroon 5.  Enough said.

6. So Help Me Girl – Joe Diffie.  Yes, you caught me.  I like country music.  I grew up in a place where it’s common to see people walking around with cowboy hats and giant belt buckles that say “Git R Done”.  No one can escape it forever…believe me, I tried.

7. Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill) – Wyclef Jean ft. Akon, Niia and Lil Wayne.  I know, I try to avoid any songs with people singing who have names that start with “Lil” as a general rule.  However, the Dollar Bill part of the song is just so catchy that I find myself using it in daily life.  I now hang my head in shame.

8.  Disenchanted – My Chemical Romance.  This was from The Black Parade album.  It actually brings back memories of seeing My Chemical Romance live at our local arena.  They played this song and said they were working on it for their newest album.  I remember being disappointed later when I listened to it because I liked it so much better than the album they were touring when I saw them live.

9. Heart Heart Heartbreak – Boys Like Girls.  I have no story for this one, it’s just really catchy.

10. Over My Head – The Fray.  Again, no story.  I just like the little background beat.  It makes me bob my head.

11. Walking on the Sun – Smash Mouth.  I always likened the sound of this song to something that Austin Powers would totally groove to.  It’s just got that feeling to it.

12. Creep – TLC.  Ah, Crazy Sexy Cool.  One of the first CD’s I ever owned and I still have it, somewhere in the basement collecting dust.  It was probably far more mature themed than my mother actually realized when she gave it to me for Christmas, but then again, I also got Smash by The Offspring that year from my aunt, despite the parental warnings of explicit lyrics.  So I’m thinking that my parents didn’t really care all that much as long as I behaved myself.

13. Help! – The Beatles.  It’s The Beatles.  They require no explanation.

14. Tomorrow Never Dies – Sheryl Crow.  Always picture the entire opening scene of the movie when I hear this.  I love Bond songs, they’re always just so great and get you right in the mood for the movie.

15. Follow You Down – Gin Blossoms.  Not my fave song from them.  I prefer Till I Hear It From You off the Empire Records soundtrack, but this is a pretty good one as well.  I recently heard a tidbit on the radio that they may be making a comeback and whilst perusing Wikipedia, found out that they indeed released a new album last fall.

16. Wake Up – Three Days Grace.  I’m always happy when I hear something on the radio that totally rocks and it turns out to be a Canadian band.  These guys rock and they proved it when I saw them in concern with Work Stacey last year.  It was a great time.

17. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Sarah McLachlan.  Yes…I am one of those sad people that has yet to have managed to get the Christmas music off of my mp3 player and it is now mid February.  One year I left the Christmas tree up until August and only took it down because I moved so I figure I’m not doing to bad on this.

18. Cold Day In July – Dixie Chicks.  I love the Dixie Chicks.  In my eyes, they can do no wrong and when all that crap went down in the press because of one innocent statement, I was behind them all the way.  Then, when they released the documentary “Shut Up and Sing”, it was awesome.  Even the boyfriend liked it and he is so not a fan of country music.

19. I am Stretched on Your Grave – Abney Park.  This is a band from the steam punk genre.  I love it…it’s dark and twisty and so very different.  They’ve got violin, a male and female vocalist and a song about the zombie apocalypse.  What more could you ask for?

20. The Hand That Feeds (DFA Mix) – Nine Inch Nails.  This one is the boyfriend’s doing.  He’s a HUGE fanboy of Trent Reznor and all his works so when we started dating, he’d sit me down and I’d listen to all the songs, get the explanations about what they meant, stories behind the albums and everything.  Eventually, I started to really like it all as well and genuinely like pretty much everything he does now too.

21. Nobody’s Daughter – Hole.  The boyfriend has a not so secret celebrity crush on Courtney Love back in the day.  So when her new album came out last year, it was a must buy for him.  I ended up loving it a lot.  It’s a great CD and I listen to it quite frequently.

22. Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child.  Sometimes I forget that Beyonce wasn’t always just Beyonce.  I remember the days of Destiny’s Child.  This song was my favourite one they did.

23. Who Says You Can’t Go Home? – Bon Jovi.  I freaking LOVE Bon Jovi.  My mother raised me on four or five different albums from different artists and the Blaze of Glory album for the Young Guns II soundtrack was one of them.  I killed that tape.  Like Meat Loaf and Tiffany, it died a horrible death, finally chewed up by my tape player, refusing be be played any longer.  I finally got to see Bon Jovi live in Toronto in 2008 and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.  It was the most expensive and worth every penny.  When the opening notes of Blaze of Glory sounded across the stadium…I have to say I felt all tingly.

24. Through With You – Maroon 5.  Yeah, they appear a lot on my mp3 player.

25. Lightening Crashes – Live.  Nice.  Rounding out the list with a classic song from the 90’s.  This was the one that everyone danced to at school dances and it was just so intense and deep.  It’s always one of those songs that takes me directly back to high school.

Nausea Rules My Life No More!

I discovered something over the holidays, my friends, and I have to tell you, it’s something absolutely wonderful.  I can play first person shooters again.  I can run around in a virtual world and kill the enemy and not throw up all over the floor.  At least for a couple of hours anyway.  Let me explain.

A while ago, I posted about having Simulation Sickness, a condition where certain people cannot handle the visual graphics and movement of certain kinds of video games.  For me, it was most prominently first person shooters.  I LOVE first person shooters so you can imagine how this upset me.  I missed out on a tonne of triple A titles in the last eight years or so of my life when this little ailment started.

However, over these past Christmas holidays, I was invited by the awesome members and friends of The Games Day Podcast to a marathon gaming session that lasted from 11:00 am until about 2:00 am.  I was stoked because I hadn’t gamed like that since high school when I used to have all the guys over for hours and play the crap out of 007 Goldeneye for the 64.

I knew that first person shooters would definitely play a huge roll in the days events because they are awesome, but I knew there would be a plethora of games for me to play so I didn’t worry too much about it.  When we got there we checked out the demo for Just Cause 2 which was totally awesome.  I was happy because it was third person and the game play rocked.

We also checked out DJ Hero, which is a hell of a lot harder than it looks and despite my original thoughts on the concept, some of the mashups were actually pretty cool.

Eventually, I was drawn to the back room where some people were playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, specifically, the zombie mode.  I sat down and watched for a while before someone put the controller in my hand.  I stared at it for a few seconds before I started playing, expecting the well known hot flash followed by cold sweat and nausea.  However, a few rounds into playing, this hadn’t arrived.  I kept playing, learning the controls and getting used to the feel of it again as I wondered why I wasn’t getting sick.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that playing a first person shooter on an HD television did not cause the nausea I used to experience on an standard definition television.

As you can imagine, I was overjoyed.  This was pretty much the game I played for the entire rest of the day, switching out with the other players, learning how to best play the game and experiencing multiplayer online gaming for the first time.  Eventually, they filmed the last episode of the year, the topic being Game of the Year 2010.  I got to sit in the background and play COD: Black Ops while they filmed it, which was awesome.

Eventually, I played for too long and I did start to feel nauseous, but I didn’t let this discourage me.  Since then, I’ve purchased my own copy of the game and I have found that I can play for about two hours or so at a time before I need to turn the game off.  I’m freaking thrilled.  I have so many plans to play catch up with all the games I missed and to get in on massive online death match rounds.

So happy gaming to all of you out there in 2011…the year I didn’t throw up during a first person shooter!

A badly drawn representation of my joyful reaction to being able to play FPS again

Weird Food Quirks – One Item at a Time

A friend of mine encouraged me to share with all of you, my weird food habits and quirks.  Of these, there are many.  Some of them have developed since I was a small child, some have changed over the years and some are just weird.

Today we start with eating one item of food at a time.  I don’t mean just grabbing one thing to eat, I’m talking about when you have a variety of food on your plate.  I will eat one item until it is finished.  Then I will select the next item and consume it in its entirety, before doing the same thing with the next until I have consumed the last one.

I don’t know when this started, but it’s been a long time and I don’t remember when I didn’t do it.  I noticed it with Chinese food first, always eating the veggies first, then the chicken and finally, the delicious noodles.

I thought it was just the Chinese food, but then I noticed that when I eat McDonalds, I have to have the fries first and then the burger.  I tried to mix it up once and it felt all wrong and I couldn’t do it.  Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner is the same.  A plate full of different items, all of them eaten one at a time, saving the stuffing for last.

A handy diagram of explanation

There are many possible explanations for this.  It could be that I don’t like to mix textures of food.  However, this doesn’t account for the fact that I love stew and it has many different items in it, though I do notice that I will only eat one item on the spoon at a time.  It could be that I don’t want to keep screwing up the flavours I have in my mouth.  If I eat one thing at a time, I can enjoy it before I move on to the next.  The most likely reason, however, is that I tend to eat my least liked food item first and finish with  my favourite.  I usually consume any vegetables before I move onto the meat portion and end with the potato/starch item (this does get switched around depending on the specific items…bacon is consumed last).  If fried mushrooms are accompanying the meal, they are the final item consumed because they’re just so damn yummy.

This may seem weird to all of you, but I will say, this is just the beginning.  As with my food, I have started with the least weird and will finish with the ultimate bizarre food quirk that I have…olives.

Dear Santa….WTF?

Well friends, Christmas has come and gone and tomorrow night is new years.  I gave it a few extra days because of Snowmageddon and all the delayed mail and frantic postal workers trudging through five feet of snow, however, I can deny it no longer.  Santa failed to write me back this year.  I took the time to painstakingly hand write such a lovely letter and I received no return post from the North Pole.  Fail Santa…epic fail.

I checked the mail eagerly every day after work, but alas, the dream was not to be.  My boxspring still droops where it somehow was broken, Mr. Pip cannot open his own cans of food and the boyfriend has no belted sweater to call his own.  I hope that he had time to write all the little kids who wouldn’t understand his lack of dedication to his fans so they can go one more year with that total belief and excitement, but I myself am saddened.  Perhaps next year, friends.

I do plan to try again next year, hopefully not hindered by a freak snow storm and I’ll be sending the letter out well in advance of Christmas.

A Second Snow Day: Beating Cabin Fever

I awoke this morning to much of the same weather as the night before.  The snow was coming down like a white blanket outside my window, the lane way looked like we hadn’t used the snow blower at all the night before and there were people up and down the road in all directions shoveling like their lives depended on it.

I dutifully checked the local college website and informed the boyfriend that his classes were canceled for the day and he could stay in bed.  He mumbled a rather unintelligible yet distinctly celebratory noise, rolled over and went back to sleep.  I then checked my work email, hoping for good news and that I could go back to bed as well.  Unfortunately, there was only an email saying that the office was open and if we felt it was safe enough, we were to head on in.

Wanting to keep everyone informed, I sent a quick note saying the college was closed in case anyone had kids that were attending and went to have a shower and work up the courage to dig myself out of the lane way.  I got dressed, I put my hair up a la ponytail style (that’s right, I’m all about cutting edge fashion) and I said goodbye to the boyfriend.  I then decided to check my email one more time and lo and behold…SNOW DAY!!

It was official, I didn’t have to go to work.  I decided not to go back to bed as I had already showered and was wide awake, so instead, I sat and watched about five episodes of Intervention and did some work from my laptop.  Yes, I’m just that exciting…working from home on a snow day.  However, I also cleaned the house which was the inspiration for the boyfriend’s motivation to put the tree up this afternoon/evening.

So that is what we did to keep ourselves from going insane because we couldn’t leave the house.  We dragged the giant box of Christmas decorations up from the basement, organized everything, got rid of a few things that were ready to go away, and we set to work decorating.

The mishmash of decorations in the lovely storage box that lives in the basement 11 months of the year

The pile of stuff the started accumulating after we went sorting through the storage bin

The boyfriend sorted all the decorations into various categories such as indoor lights (for the tree) outdoor lights (which we are estimating are over 20 years old), run of the mill decorations (shiny, coloured balls, garland, etc..) and sentimental ornaments to name a few.

While he was doing this, I used non-tree decorations and made other areas of the two living rooms look a little spiffier.  I used green and silver garland for the upright lamp posts in either room and they turned out looking rather nice.  I then set to work on jazzing up the lovely new entertainment stand.  I put green, leafy garland on it and we set most of our figurines on the shelves.  I have since noticed that we have a great deal of penguin paraphenalia.  When the boyfriend and I got together, little did the two of us realize that we both really liked penguins and between the two of us, we have a lot of them.

It looks a little cluttered, but I couldn't bare not to put them all out

When I was finished doing that (while at the same time torturing the boyfriend by making him listen to the Glee Christmas album), we started in on testing the strands of lights.  This proved to be difficult because some of them were mine from when I lived on my own and some of them were the boyfriend’s which had been collected over approximately the last 10-15 years.  So in testing them we found that some of the lights didn’t work but the others would come on.  We would simply replace the defective lights and move to the next one.  Some, however, were the ones that if one light didn’t work, the whole strand didn’t work.  After much frustration and swearing on the boyfriend’s part, we decided that we could make due with two working strands of lights as they were kind of long and if we were sparing, we could manage to get the whole tree done with them.  I don’t think we did too bad of a job considering he’d moved on to testing the outdoor lights (and diligently making sure they all worked and no two like colours were side by side) while I tried to string the lights on the tree.

This was problematic for several reasons.  The small amount of light strands, as mentioned above, the fact that I’m just not very good at stringing lights, and lastly, the fact that we have a rather fat Christmas tree and I have rather short little arms that will not reach around this.  The tree itself is in a corner and I could not just walk around it, so I had to get creative and reach behind the tree, throw the lights over the tree and generally stretch my wee little arms to the limit.  This was the end result (only of stringing the lights, this is pre-decoration):

Its kind of sparse in some areas, but overall, not to bad.

During all this rigamaroll, Mr. Peep decided to hide in his usual cautious place; the mat in front of the kitchen sink.  I’ll admit that it’s not the best hiding place, but he actually usually blends in quite well and he likes to sit there when there’s something going on that he’s curious about, but too afraid to get close to while it’s still happening.

He sits on the very furthest side of it and stares into the living room whenver we're moving things around

After this came the final stage of decorating (for now…outside stuff will come later when we can move through the yard).  We put the ornaments on the tree.  I would like to point out that none of our ornaments have any kind of theme or reason to them, they’re just a collection of things we’ve accumulated over the years.  Sometimes we will decide that a few are too ragged and they will get tossed.  This year we parted with a whole bag of strung beads and various other things for donation.  We each have our various sentimental ornaments that were gifts over the year that must go on the tree.

I always tease back and forth with my friend about how her tree must be perfect and matching have a theme and she always just stares in awe at the tacky mismatch and disarray of mine every year.  The year we lived together in an apartment was the best because I was the one that owned the tree and it was spectacularly tacky that year on purpose just for her.  You can see her well decorated and nicely themed tree on her blog here.  I will admit its very lovely, just not my style.  Even the boyfriend looks at our tree now and then and shakes his head.  After it was finished and we had all the supplies put away, Mr. Peep ventured out to check out the scene, immediately placing himself under the Christmas tree and chewing on the branches.

Our Christmas tree 2010

He has already knocked off one decoration...I expect to find more

An Epic Journey Through a Frozen Wasteland (or My Trip Home From Work Today)

As some of you may know, we get a lot of snow where I’m from.  Southwestern Ontario gets dumped on pretty bad in the winter and we’re pretty much used to it.  I remember tonnes of snow days back when I was a kid, but I lived in town, so I’d get to go to school and play in the gym and watch movies all day because the country kids couldn’t make it in on the buses.

As I got older, snow days got further and further apart until, eventually, they really stopped occurring altogether.  No matter how many feet of snow there was outside in the morning, I always just got up, got dressed, dug myself out and headed into work; usually at a whopping 25-35 kilometers an hour down the city streets.  Today was no exception.  I got up, plowed my way through the foot or so of snow on my little side road until I got out the main road and headed on into work.  I was one of the few that bothered.  A great deal of people, mostly out of towners and some that were in town, didn’t make it in at all.  I was there until 11:00 am when the email went around that we were officially to be sent home.

SNOW DAY!!  It was like a nostalgic feeling, throwing me back to the days of being a kid when there was nothing to do but whatever I wanted because I didn’t have to go to school (in this case, work).

When you’re a child, however, you don’t take certain factors into account.  For example, when you’re a kid living in a very small town, bad driving conditions don’t even enter into the thought process.  You’re already outside wallowing in the joy of the snow.  Today, I learned, this is not the case for an adult, which I have sadly become.  Driving conditions are very much an important factor to those of us who drive a car or rely on public transportation to get us places in weather conditions such as this.  I will say I’m impressed with my little car’s ability to get through the snow.  It’s pretty impressive considering there’s not much to my wee hatchback.

So, upon hearing the news that we were set free, I offered to drive a coworker home as far as my place so she could walk (I wasn’t crazy enough to go gallavanting all over hell’s half acre) and we set to work cleaning off my car as it already had about a half a foot of snow on it since 8:45 that morning when I arrived at work.  When that mission was accomplished, we headed out onto the roads at the designated 25-35 km/hour.  This was effective all the way until I turned onto the side road that leads to my house.  Immediately, I was stuck.  We tried pushing, we tried rocking (I definitely tried a lot of swearing) but to no avail.  Us two tiny little people were not big enough to get my car out of it’s predicament.  However, a nice young man was trudging through the snow at that moment and he offered to help us out.  Thanks to him and my coworker doing the pushing and me nudging the gas pedal gently, we got Bob the Car unstuck.  I thanked him profusely (and choose this moment to do so again…thank you, Sir) and my coworker headed off home.

I then got as far as the very end of my own laneway and was once more stuck in the freezing mire of snow.  This wouldn’t have been a problem but I knew that I was blocking the side walk and I was probably going to be buried by a plow at any given time.  So I got out of my car, trudged inside and got the boyfriend who had not bothered to brave the weather and go to school.  We dressed in out warm coats, mittens, and boots and we got out the trusty old (and I do mean old, like…thirty years old) snow shovel and pathetic little bag of road salt and we literally dug Bob the Car out of the snow.  At some points, I was on my hands and knees scooping snow out from under the car because it was packed under there so tight.  I should send a revised list to Santa and add on a new, plastic, ergonomic snow shovel and save my back the pain.  Eventually, we were able to get the car into the driveway and now it sits there, slowly being buried under a barrage of snow squall that isn’t supposed to end until Wednesday (it is now Monday).

I came inside, cracked a beer and sat my butt down on the chair to watch some Netflix and that is where I now sit.  Occasionally I get up to check the height of the snow and I did managed to snap a few pictures of it as well.

Notice the fence and the snow that is halfway up it...that means it's up to about my thighs

My somewhat redneck type neighbours put a mattress and box spring out on the curb a couple of weeks ago and they’re still there, leaning up against either side of the light pole.  They are now half buried in the snow and I’m doubting will end up picked up by the garbage collection again this week.

You can just see them, leaning up on either side of the light post

There were people up and down the street digging themselves out of the mess.  The boyfriend and I have decided to wait until the snow is more likely to be over and then give it a shot, as the snowplow is going to go right by and bury the laneway again anyway.  We have a snowblower, I just don’t know now to start the damn thing.  We will be getting to that later when we feel motivated enough.

My poor neighbour is up to his waist in snow

Some kids down the street were enjoying themselves, however.  They were digging in the massive piles of snow at the side of the road and throwing snowballs at each other.  This took me back as well.  I used to do this with my sister and all the neighbour kids and it was great.

Fun in the snow...definitely more than the adults on the street

These last two pictures were my favourites that I managed to capture.  The first is of a view down the row of houses I live in.  You can see the snow coming down really well and you can also see the various places in which it has accumulated.  The second photograph is just of the top of our fence and the tree behind it with all the snow sitting on top.  When it stops actually coming down, I’ll be heading back outside to get more detailed pictures, but I don’t want to get my new camera wet, so it will have to wait until at least tomorrow.

I really love this picture, it's just so pretty.

The only time trees look pretty in the winter is when there's snow on them

Bizarre Little Thrift Store Finds: Christmas Edition

So the boyfriend and I went on a random thrift shopping adventure yesterday.  He just wanted to browse and I was on the lookout for belted sweaters.  Christmas is fast approaching and the boyfriend is always rather cold.  As per usual, while he browsed the video games and textbooks (yes, the boyfriend eagerly checks out the textbooks at the thrift stores), I wandered around in search of bizarre and interesting things that one could only hope to find in a second hand store.  This trip was not a disappointment and because of the approaching holidays, the stores were chock full of wonderful Christmas items to see.

First up, a stocking.  But no just any stocking.  This was home made…with latch hook.  I find that the eyes are the creepiest thing about this stocking.  Santa either has deep dark patches underneath his non-existent eyes or his eyes themselves are nothing but dark, black frightening patches, not unlike a shark who is about to devour his prey.  This stocking must have frightened many a child back in the day on Christmas morning.

I would be terrified of this on Christmas morning

Another creepy thing I spotted was something I’m assuming was supposed to be an angel of some sort.  However, it seems as if the male angel has a female angel growing out from the side of it.  I mean LITERALLY out of the side of the male.  She’s got one arm and then her mid-waist connects to his side and they freakish Frankenstein stitches are covered by some kind of shield.  It’s like a Christmas science experiment gone wrong.

Yes, melded together at the side...so creepy

Elves are a jolly lot.  They’re happy and bouncy and oh so fun and dancy, right?  Well, not this elf.  This one is completely demented.  It’s got weirdly smeared lipstick and googly eyes and these odd little eyebrows.  With his sparkly little hat and shiny green tights, I would be very suspicious of this elf if he were working in Santa’s workshop.

I feel as if he's looking into my soul....*shudder*

A theme I noticed while browsing the Christmas wonders on all the shelves was Santa statues holding geese.  It was odd because I wondered why Santa would be holding such a thing.  Then it occurred to me that perhaps, Santa was delivering these birds to be eaten as Christmas dinner.  Which is all well and good, I’m by no means a vegetarian.  I love turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas and the occasional Easter dinner.  So I understand the concept of perhaps eating these cute little geese for dinner.  My problem with this is, they seem so happy to be hanging out with Santa and if they ARE food, then he’s delivering them up for slaughter.  It kind of seems mean.  If he’s going to be delivering food to people, it should be dead before hand.

The poor unsuspecting geese

In one of the stores, there were a bunch of little statues of kids playing in the snow.  There was nothing particularly odd about them individually, however, two over them were placed on the shelf in such an unfortunate manner that I couldn’t help but share the amusement with the rest of you.

Someone was not paying attention at the store when they put these on the shelf.

The last thing I found that day was just something that was quite odd to be sitting on the shelf at all, let alone with all the Christmas ornaments.  A Coke bottle.  A little glass coke bottle with actual coke in it.  Just sitting on the shelf, happy as can be.  It was just odd.

WTF???

So yes, these were my Christmas adventures in thrift store land.  I will, of course, be keeping my eye out for any other marvelous treasures as well as belted sweaters.