Monday, November 03, 2008
June and I are planning to buy a place. So, naturally, we are freaking out about money. In this freaking out state, we have decided to take on a V-budget. What is a V-budget, you ask? We have a friend named Vanessa. She is what some would call a cheap ass or others would call frugal and yet others would call very thrifty. Whatever you want to call her, she knows how to save a lot of money. She's in her mid 20s and already a landlord. Not too shabby. So, the V-budget is basically a budget that Vanessa follows. Her system is pretty complex. But, at the very basics, its spending $100 a week on food and common needs (bathroom goods, cleaning goods, etc). And, if you have anything left over of the $100, you roll it over into the next week. And, if you go over, you take it from your next week's budget. June and I don't really spend that much in the first place, so it really isn't that hard of a change. But, we've started picking up groceries from Trader Joes. It's actually pretty fun. It gives us something to do together and actually puts our kitchen to use. Plus, it gives us a sense of where our money is. So, anyway, Trader Joes is a great friend to the budget conscious.
Posted by evan at 3:45 PM
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I waited a while to make the move to the iPhone. I wanted to when they first came out, but I usually avoid buying the first generation of anything Apple. There's usually some bug or some huge update that comes up. And, of course, this was true of the iPhone. So, once the G3 version came out, it sounded good enough to jump in. I talked about it so much that June bought it for me for my birthday. She wanted to surprise me with it, but they wouldn't allow her to buy it without me. But, its the thought that's important, right? The iPhone is awesome. There's only been a few dropped signals. That's annoying as hell. But, it doesn't happen enough to really complain about it. Another thing, the maps should be more accurate. I thought it would be like a GPS car system, but its not as accurate. Not bad, but could be better. Other than that, its been fun playing with apps and being able to access information when and where ever I want. Well, not in the subways. But, that's not Apple's fault. I'd recommend the iPhone to anyone that likes gadgets. It's the ultimate gadget. Oh, one other thing, you can't use it as a hard drive. That blows. But, you can buy a flash drive for $10, so its not that big a deal. Anyway, I still would recommend the iPhone. It's AWESOME!
Posted by evan at 3:52 PM
The little trash can. June pointed out that an open trash bucket in the bathroom might be a little unsightly for visitors. That made sense, so we picked up this little can. It's a mini version of the trash can we picked up for the kitchen. We went with the white to match the bathroom. I picked this up at Bed Bath and Beyond. It's made by Simple Human. I really like their products. All their products have clean simple lines. It works well for small spaces. I guess I'm a simple human. :)
Posted by evan at 3:06 PM
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Since I've moved to NYC I've always kept an eye out for sloppy joes. I had one at this place and they tried to fancy it up too much. I'm looking for old school cafeteria type sloppy joes. No fancy vegis or seasonings or wraps. Good old tomato sauce and ground meat on a cheap hamburger bun. Maaaybe, some variation in the sauce. But, its important to have the same consistency. It's been years. Finally, my girlfriend and I just decided to pick up some Manwich and some ground beef and make our own. Bought some cheap hamburger buns. Just make sure they're not expired. BAM!! Sloppy joes! MmMmmm, just like I likes em. So sloppy you can't eat it like a sandwich. It takes a fork to eat these if you don't want to wear it. The cheap buns soak up the extra sauce. Best and most important thing, the sauce is not watery. As you can see, the sauce is thick. We threw in some fries for good measure. Awesome!!! Now I just have to find that cafeteria spagetti...
Posted by evan at 11:42 AM
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I waited a long time to pick up a new camera. My last camera was a point and shoot Sony that I picked up in Hong Kong due to my other camera being lost in Thailand. Yeah, I was dumb enough to leave the strap of the camera hanging out my pocket. Yoink, it was gone. So, I picked up a Sony that I really enjoyed. Its a great camera. So, I just couldn't find a camera that I wanted to move onto. But, I think the wait was worth it. This is the Canon G9. It's a hell of a camera. It has a full auto mode and there are many settings that you you can adjust manually. For me, I really wanted a camera, that wasn't huge, that I could attach lenses to. Plus, because I like taking pictures without a flash, an image stabilizer was very important. For the longest time, I had to be extra careful about shooting without flash. This camera handles that like a champ. There are so many functions and combinations of functions on this camera that it will take me a long time to even figure it out. But, the pictures are coming out nice. And, I look forward to continuing to learn more and more about this awesome camera.
Posted by evan at 6:26 PM
Sunday, August 03, 2008
I finally did it. Took the dive and picked up a PS3. I picked up the 80Gig version. We do the Netflixing, so the Blu-rayness of the system was the biggest plus. I have to say that our first Blu-ray experience wasn't a very good one. The video stuck at crucial points. Thank goodness it wasn't one of those movies that it mattered for. But, the video and sound quality is amazing. I'm hoping future movies play smoother. Of course, the PS3 can play games as well. I don't like sports or RPG games, so that really doesn't allow me to see the systems full potential in gaming. But, I do enjoy my driving and racing games. But, mostly, this system will be used to watch movies. I really bought a Blu-ray player with gaming capabilities. The system itself is heavy as hell compared to other systems. It's pretty big too. I'm sure the size will be halfed in a month or two. It comes with one wireless game controller. And, amazingly, it was bundled with a game. Unfortunately, it was a RPG game. So, I picked up a used driving game for $20 in Chinatown. Nice! So far, I'm still loving it.
Posted by evan at 6:51 PM
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Like a lot of people, we had our mail "organized" on a flat surface. It just gathered and gathered and overflowed. It just looked a mess. On one of our days out we came across this little item. It's a magazine organizer. We decided to use it as a mail organizer. It has seven slots and a small pocket. We have three slots each and one outgoing slot. The small pocket is used to hold a mail opener. We decided to place it in my "work area". My walls are concrete, so I decided to use Command adhesive utility hooks to hang the slots. So far, so good. They haven't fallen, yet. The mail/magazine organizer is made by Reisenthel. We picked it up at the Container Store for $15. Not bad. It comes in three color variations. Brown/tan, green/gray, and orange/red. We decided to go with the orange/ red so we could add a little color to the area. It's been a great purchase for us. It has really helped us organize and keep our mail from adding to the clutter. And, that's extremely important in a studio. Every inch makes a difference.
Posted by evan at 3:07 PM
Sunday, June 15, 2008
YES!! I finally got a new laptop! My last laptop lasted me almost seven years. I didn't do too much heavy work at home, so the power wasn't so important. But, when I couldn't upgrade to the latest OS because my processor was too slow, I decided that it was time to upgrade. Of course, I picked up the most powerful laptop available. And, yes, this will probably last me another seven years. So, this is my setup. There are three new items in this picture. There is the laptop stand by Griffin that holds the laptop up to meet my inclined drawing board. Then, there is the wireless keyboard by Apple. You wouldn't think so, but reaching out to type on a keyboard for an extended period of time does strain your shoulders. So, I use the wireless keyboard with my Wacom. It's works out great. I had some doubts, but I've really enjoyed the function. So, now, I have to say bye to the Titanium. It's kind of sad. It's been with me for a while. Through relationships, pursuit of relationships, travels around the world, helped me built portfolios, helped me through countless projects, and tons more. It's been with me for seven years. But, all good things must come to and end. But, at least its followed by a laptop that is in the same family.
Posted by evan at 7:32 PM
This is my new trash can that I picked up for my place. The old one I had was okay, but a little too large and open. What's wrong with that, you ask? Too large makes it hard to fit shopping or take out bags into. Open basket leaves trash open to spread smells. Not that we left all kinds of nasty trash in the bin, but any smell is not good. Especially, when city roaches have an amazing ability to track smells. Yah, the big bad ones, not those small ones you see in restaurants. So, that is why I decided to go with this smaller bin with a lid. This one is by Simple Human. The bin comes with a removable bucket that you can place your bag into. And, the bucket has a hole to tuck the loose bag into. So, you lock the bag into the bucket and place it into the bin. Once the lid closes, you don't see any extra bag. This makes for a cleaner outer appearance. Sometimes the bags do peek out. But, for this picture, its totally clean. I like the stainless steel-ness of the can. :)
Posted by evan at 7:14 PM
Nope, its a Tempur-Pedic. That's a little joke between my girlfriend and I. She likes to call it a posture-pedic. Anyway, I had been sleeping on a futon for... too long. So, I finally took the next step and bought a grown up bed. Even in a grown up size. Yup, queen sized! And, with the mattress I picked up a tatami platform frame. I chose this frame for its low profile and its simple clean lines. The frame itself does not require screws, but it does require screws to keep the slates in place. The tatami mats do have a bit of a funny(not funny bad, just funny unexpected) smell when you first open the box, but it does go away after about a week. The Tempur-Pedic also has a smell when it is first delivered. But, both of these smells are expected. The bed was a bit on the pricey side. But, I figured it would be worth it since it is used every night. And, hopefully, will be used for a long time. Plus, its worth it if it helps my back feel better. Can't clearly say that its done that, but the bed is much better than my futon. One step closer to being a grown up. Now, I just need a larger place...
Whew, its been busy and I haven't been keepin up with my space blog. I have a few items to post, so here we go. This is my new scooter. Its a Xootr. I went with the original with the wooden plank as the base. The wooden base is supposed to have a little give for a smoother ride. I don't know about that, but the Xootr has a pretty nice ride on its own. It's smooth and fast. Great way to get around town. Plus, folding is quite fast and easy. So, getting onto a subway or a bus would be quite easy... maybe not at rush hour. But, when is it ever easy to get on public transportation at rush hour? So, other than rush hour, its all good. And, unlike folding bikes like to claim, its small enough when its folded up to get around in stores and restaurants. So, I would highly recommend the Xootr to those that want to get around town or just scoot around for fun.
Posted by evan at 5:48 PM
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I finally got new curtains. I had Ikea curtains for the longest. Yep, the ones moved to my wardrobe. They didn't block out light very well. And, with June not liking light shining in the morning, we needed new curtains. These are from West Elm. They're a little bright, but I thought my "room" needed it. After I confirmed the color with June, we picked them up. :) I think they work well. They keep the light out nicely, which allows sleep to continue just that little bit longer without being disturbed by the morning light. Like when you spend a night in a hotel and you get up in the morning. You open the shades and the blazing light comes through. It's nice to have that at home. They were a little expensive compared to Ikea curtains, but also not as expensive as other heavy curtains. These were a good set of mid ground curtains. Now, sleep goes on. :)
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Yay, I finally put up some curtains on my wardrobe. Open wardrobes only look good on TV and in product shots. In real life, like many other things that look great on TV, a open wardrobe becomes a mess. Shirts and pants start hanging all lopsided and sticking out. Boxes aren't exactly spaced. Shelves aren't perfectly lit. It's just not the same. So, I decided to put up some curtains. I wanted something with clean and simple lines. And, the sliding doors that go with this unit take up too much space and are too rigid. I ended up getting some small curtain rods from West Elm that matched my larger curtain rod over my windows. And, I moved the Ikea curtains that were on my windows over to the wardrobe. They're a little short now. But, I plan to get another panel and adjust them all to the same length. The appearance came out better than I had hoped. It accomplishes a soft clean look with very simple clean lines.
Posted by evan at 12:34 PM
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I keep on buying things and my place remains the same size. So, until I can afford to purchase another room, I have to just make room. So, I have a Dahon folding bike. It folds small enough. But, in a 500sqft apartment, it's a little challenging to find space for it. I wanted to hang it off the wall or the ceiling, but that requires drilling into concrete. I'm not ready for that. So, I had to sit it somewhere on the ground. I decided to put it by the entrance. BUT, I can't place it directly on my bamboo floor because it would mark it up. I had some extra FLOR tiles left over from when I created my "lawn". So, I decided to extend a 14" wide strip out from the lawn for the bike to sit on. And, this is what you see in the picture.
Posted by evan at 2:56 PM
Monday, February 25, 2008
So, here's the situation. I use a Apple laptop. I still run the Titanium. Yah, old school. The thing runs hot. Like, cook an egg on the surface hot. It's okay sitting on a desk or on my drafting table. But, it was always a problem sitting on my lap. I'd use pillows, seat cushions, and all sorts of contraptions. So, one day I was looking for stands to elevate the laptop on my "desk". You know, just simple laptop stands. I came across an item that was interesting. A table that had a adjustable height. It really looked like a table top attached to a barber shop chair's base. And, it hit me. I have a spare drafting chair. And, I've been looking for a way to sit on the couch and work on my laptop as I'm watching TV or movies with my girlfriend. You know, have to find that balance. Can't neglect the girlfriend too much because of work. Anyway, this little contraption is wonderful. It may not be the most visually appealing item, but it was made from pieces I had lying around. The functionality of it is great. It adjusts to different heights for different sitting situations. It reaches in close enough to work comfortably, and swivels out of the way when not needed. And, if you replace the wheels with flat legs, its really stable. Again, this is a very no frills idea. I just wanted to see if it works. Now, I'm thinking of finding nicer pieces, so I can make a more appealing stand. But, for now, this works beautifully. So, its a drafting chair base with a Ikea cabinet panel. Bolt it together and you got yourself a nifty laptop table.
Posted by evan at 8:35 AM
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
This is the Gorillapod. This was a little something that my boss Nancy got me for Christmas. I was always curious about the item. But, since I do have other tripods, I didn't feel right about picking up another one just because I was curious. But, once I got it, its really been a very handy option. I really like how flexible the Gorillapod is. I can't say that I've used this on a tree branch or a door knob like its advertised to be used. But, for quick adjustments as you are taking pictures, I haven't used a better tripod. And, you can pose it in cool poses!
Posted by evan at 6:39 PM
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I can't say when my lower back pains started. It's not constant. Only when I push it too far. Things like working out too hard, sleeping too long, or carrying a bag that may be too heavy. When I was in school, I would carry all my books on one shoulder and have no problems. I'm sure that didn't help my present pains. But, in the past couple of years, I've noticed that my back started hurting more. I went from a single shoulder bag to a double shoulder back pack. Still wasn't light enough. So, recently I decided to find the lightest alternative I could find. And, that is what you see here. The bag is a Manhattan Portage bag. It's a stripped down bag with no heavy padding on the back of the pack or even on the shoulder straps. It's the lightest sturdy bag I've come across. It's been working very well, but there was something missing. The stripped down feature left the bag with no features. So, with nothing to separate items, the contents of the bag became a mess very quickly. And, in comes the second bag. It's called a bag in a bag. My girlfriend picked this one up for me at the Muji store. It offered all the compartments I needed. And, most importantly, it was made light. And, it fit perfectly into the larger bag. So, with these two bags, I've lighten the stress on my back and am still able to carry all that I need for a long day in the city. Not bad for a total cost of under $50.
Posted by evan at 10:10 PM
Monday, January 07, 2008
So, one day I woke up and started choking. The disturbing thing is that I was choking on nothing. My mouth was just dry. But, not only my mouth, but partly down my throat too. It's quite an odd feeling. But, basically, my place was too dry. I think a lot of apartments in NYC are. So, I went and did some research on humidifiers. And, found that this one is rated really high. It's the Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic Digital Humidifier. I picked it up from Bed Bath and Beyond. They have a great return policy. Heh heh. But, so far its been working fairly well. It's still a little dry, but no where near what it has been in the past. The only complaint I have about the humidifier(which also true for many other models) is that you can't refill the water from the top. Not sure if this done on purpose or not, but its annoying to have to take the whole tank off the base everytime I have to fill it. But, all in all, its working very nicely. I don't wake up choking. Always a plus!
Posted by evan at 4:34 PM