Tag Archives: IKEA

Best Christmas Present & Stalking Babies

This is a long set up (and the image will make sense later).

1. So we have table topics at our Toastmasters meetings, in which anyone could contribute on a given topic.  Last time around, the question was “how has the economy affected your holiday spirit?”

I answered that I can see some bright side effects of the economy.  Namely:

  • On a totally selfish level, I’m young enough to have not lost an insurmountable sum in the market.  This is a great time to invest at a discount (or sell short for the next year?).
  • On a national level, the market has brought home that hubris and the “everyone can have everything” spirit have damaging effects.  I’m hoping that the faltering economy will give American a wake-up call to be wiser about what we can really afford and how to best make long term plans.
  • On a holiday level, well… the holidays are about bringing people together.  And for too long, that’s meant gift giving.  Now that people are cutting back, we’ll see more gifts from the heart (if not at a bargain).  Besides, isn’t there a saying that tough times bring people together?

2. My parents didn’t know what to get my for Christmas this year… as it happens every year.  (I’m one of those lucky bastards who has everything she needs and many of the things she wants. :-) )   So I told them they could buy me book shelves.  Most of my books have been stacked on the floor, and they were a huge mess.

So I bought some IKEA book shelves, laid them on their side and made half of my living room into a reading/crafts area.  I have to say, it turned out nicely.  (Also, dragging two 50lb boxes from the shelves to the register to into the car and up a flight of stairs all by myself ended being good exercise.)


Here’s the pay off: Christmas this year wasn’t about the material gifts.  My real Christmas present this year was going home to Texas and seeing my dad’s fish have babies.


I grew up in a household without any pets.  My mom isn’t a fan of animals, and while my dad loves them (yes, all of them),he agrees that they generally make a mess, cost to maintain and need sitters when we’re on vacation.  Well, since I’ve moved to the Bay Area, and they’re empty nesters, they decided to invest in some fish.  Very low maintenance and hours of entertainment for my cat, when she visits.

Growing up without pets, having even fish in the house is a huge change.  Better still is when I go home for Christmas and one of the guppies decides to give birth.  What’s amazing about guppies (and Wikipedia and the iPhone at 3am) is that they give live births, a.k.a. little fish pop out instead of fish eggs.


Here’s my chronicle of their development.


Day 1


The guppy started giving birth of a few of fish as a time.  My mom spotted them first.  Sadly, one (or more because we don’t know) was eaten by the other fish.  It was so small that one of the red fish gobbled it up with a quick bite.  My dad zipped to Petsmart and bought a breeding tank (basically a plastic holder with holes that floats in the tank and separates the babies from the other fish).  My mom helped scoop them into a plastic cup, while dad was gone.  Then, we transfered them into the breeding tank. In total, there are 11 babies.  That doubles the total number of fish in the tank.


Day 2


They’ve already doubled in size.  You can’t really make it out in this picture, but their eyes have a silver outline and aren’t completely black anymore.  There’s some red starting to show on their stomachs.  We can’t really tell if it’s just blood circulating or pigmentation.


Day 3


They’ve gotten a lot bigger.  You can see them floating around, while before, you had to squint.  They’re definitely developing a red pigment to their skin… err scales.  Their stomachs are getting rounder and the skeletal system is becoming more visible.  Two of them seem to be smaller, more agile and lighter colored than the other.  I’m starting to think back on genetics lessons from high school.


Just FYI, here’s a scale of reference.  Below is a reflection of my finger pressed up against the glass as I’m trying to take a photo.

P.S.  HUGE props to Canon.  This isn’t taken with an SLR.  It’s just a quick and dirty point and shoot PowerShot by Canon.  The baby fish were probably 2-3 millimeters long at birth, and I got some great shots… even as an amateur photographer. (Okay, the marketing side of me is shutting up now.)



Sadly, I had to leave for the Bay Area after Day 3.  I’m not sure if my parents will religiously take photos of them on a daily basis, like I did.  But there will be more updates, when I go home in the future.

It’s just that I’ve never been around babies, animal or human.  Plants maybe, but not animals.  So watching these little fish grow bigger on a daily basis is absolutely fascinating to me.  I thought I’d share. :-)

Merry Christmas.  Happy Hanukkah.  All around happiness.

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Sh*t I like 8.08

Yessssssir. It’s another edition of Sh*t I like. As I’m browsing through the internets reading some of my favorite design blogs and listening to IED (internet enthusiasts daily for those of you ‘not in the know’), here are some of my favorites- which if I bought would completely make my dream house look like a weird museums of crap interior design.


Saboo from MOBAN

I looks intriguing and amazing. There’s a place for your tiki drink, magazine, cell phone, etc. It rotates to your desired angle. AND if you’re on the fluffier side, there will be more picture posted of your meek lil pet hovering under your lounge chair on the internets. What I would love to see is 1) plugs for the ipod/speakers, laptop, etc. and 2) an auto-rotator that automatically turns to allow you maximum sun exposure (great for skin cancer and you :-P).


“Tea Shirt” by Meryl Smith

This is a lovely art piece, but I can totally see this being useful as a tea-bath soak… It’ll exfoliate and rejuvenate your pores, etc. :) If you add some milk and bubble tea… there’s a snack!! Sorry, I’ll stop.


Anke Salomon

Nice design. Reminds me of the fat people on Wall-E… I can so see us now and also the Southpark episode where Mr. Garrison invents a car substitute that operates by working rods with your ass and mouth (I think that’s the most succinct way I can explain it).


Beijing 2008 Olympics Lenovo Flash Drive

Decorated USB drives are the ‘new’ thing. I’m not really a huge fan, but I love love love the torch design. Itj just looks so damn sleek and sexy. It’s hard thinking of places to put it in a house or finding another function that won’t look like a cheesy souvenir. But if the torches were made to look woody, it would be a great accent for wall lights or even torch lights on a patio with the Survivor, tropical garden theme. Think faded red on birch.


Change the Thought came up with their first set of posters, available for purchase for $18 per. I’ve always loved concept of having small picture frames with my favorite pieces. If you look in my house, I’m very much about expression and space, and less about pictures of friends and family. It’s not that I’m not personable; design just says more about me, and I want my apartment/house/home to evocative of a sanctuary and of me. Art scattered on an empty hallway wall or maybe even in a walk in closet.

In fact, I have a framed photo of laundry hanging off lines in a little Italian village nailed into my walk-in closet right now. “Bras for lovers” would work equally as well. *cross fingers* Maybe one day, when I have a bigger closet. :)


1. Wall decals are talked about way too effing much, but more than a fad, it’s a new way to look at a previous unused space. The 70s probably shocked us into painting our walls a solid, non-seizure inducing color. Now, every thing’s on it’s way back. The one above is so dynamic with multiple patterns and actions beyond just using a few decals for accents. Decals aren’t just used to frame anymore; they’ve becoming the central focus of a wall (yay!).

2. I love those pillows. They’re two of my favorite colors- that rich, ‘ethnic’ vibrancy. Also, they look mad comfy.


I’ve been focusing a lot of furniture pieces recently. Most of the pieces are good… this is amazing. The texture of the door, crystal clear handle and the round, stoutness of the table sitting on those pointy, delicate legs. It’s just beautiful. I can’t believe it came from this.


How fucking awesome is this arc mouse?  I know that my ergonomics consultant or whatever told me that I really need a mouse that scrolls with  my thumb instead of my middle finger, but I need more practice with my middle finger anyways.  hahaha…. point is… this is s revolution in design, and one that’s actually useful and worth the increase in cost.


Felt Plate Protectors

Silly… but so worth it. I’d rather spend the extra money in felt to protect my IKEA plates than the extra $4 per plate to buy from Bed, Bath & Beyond or whatever.


That’s it for August.  There’s seriously so much to blog about, but I want to keep it short enough that people aren’t bored.

Thanks for tuning in. This is Jany blogging from her friend’s awesome 30″ screen in SOMA (in a beautiful apartment that I would die to live in).



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