Tag Archives: Crazy Walgreens Blog

Learning My Lesson… And Applying It

13 Nov

My hair color disaster a couple weeks ago was a great example of a lesson that I’d already learned, but failed to apply in my life.  When I go to a drugstore or something and buy a box of hair dye and follow the instructions in a half-assed manner, the results are never good.  About a year and a half ago I tried to do that with a highlighting kit from Target and the results were blotchy and weird.  So, I really spent some time thinking about the hair color I wanted and how best to achieve it.  Then I went to the Sally website and store and spent a lot of time figuring out which products would work best.  And when I finally lightened my hair it turned out really nice.  It worked because I really put some time and energy and thought into it.  That was the lesson I learned: when you put thought and planning and energy into at-home hair coloring, the results can be lovely.  But I did not apply this lesson when I colored my hair recently.   I find I have to relearn similar lessons in cooking from time to time.  I get all cocky about what a good baker I am, so I get sloppy and wind up with bad results.

I have a little less than a week left in the project, and I feel like I’ve learned many lessons.  I’ve learned about how easy it is to save money when I’m not buying random little things I that I don’t need for fifteen or twenty bucks a pop.  I’ve learned that if detergent or razors or toilet paper or something like that is on sale, it makes sense to go ahead and buy it whether I need it right that minute or not.  Stuff like that has an indefinite shelf life, and while I wouldn’t tie up a ton of money in things like that, it’s nice to have it around when I need it.  Because you know that stuff is never going to be on sale when I absolutely have none left and need it right away.  I learned that recreational shopping takes up a huge amount of time in my life.  I had no idea. I also learned that I don’t miss it very much when I don’t have it (except for the used book store shopping!)  I learned that I don’t really need more shoes, at least not until some that I already own get worn out and need to be replaced.    I’ve learned that the writing is easier when you work on it regularly and not sporadically. I learned that there aren’t as many places to wear a bright pink terry cloth romper as you might think (it turns out I’m not Crissy Snow).  I learned that if I eat out all the time I’ll end up adding a few pounds on (actually that one I think I’ve learned early in this life and just sometimes fail to apply).   I’ve learned that the people in my life that visit my blog regularly are often the people that I can count on to be there for me when I really need someone.

Hopefully these lessons will stick with me, and I won’t need to relearn them in order to apply them.  Unlike that lesson about needing to pay attention to things you leave under the broiler.  That lesson just does not stick with me for more than about 10 months.

Only five days left!



In the Ghetto

24 Oct

Earlier this week I went shopping at a few of the Walgreens that are in the crappier parts of town.  And there aren’t too many.  There aren’t any Walgreens in Albuquerque that I would say are in the  full-on ghetto, but there are a couple that are ghetto adjacent.  In fact, there was a Walgreens in an area that is now quite ghetto indeed, but they moved a few blocks west several years ago.  I’m guessing if I asked* they would say it was for some other reason, but I’m pretty sure it was just to be in a less ghetto neighborhood.  Because the one in the present ghetto was one of the newer, stand-alone stores.  And there are still a few old, crappy stores that are in strip malls which have not been replaced by new stores. Granted the newer one is huge, but I don’t think they moved because they needed more space.  Also it’s interesting that Walgreens are popping up like weeds in the Northeast Heights, but there’s only one Walgreens that could be described as being in the South Valley.

Anyway, I gotta say, the “transitional neighborhood” Walgreens carry the best stuff!  Like I found dried lavender for sale at one!  And they had saffron, chamomile and some other herbs too!  Crazy!  Dried herbs at Walgreens.  Who knew?  In the South Valley one they had all this crazy food.  They had coconut milk, mole, about a million (or half a dozen) different kinds of canned peppers, 4 different kinds of dried beans, hominy, and lots of other random stuff too.  I wish I’d shopped there earlier to make my food choices more interesting for the past few months.  The South Valley store wasn’t that nice though.  It actually reminded me a lot of the store that’s in the student ghetto.  It was kinda rundown, and like tiles were coming up, and the ugly fluorescent lights were all flickering or burnt out, the freezer made a lot of noise, and that sort of thing.  It was clean and everything, just rundown.  Meanwhile, I’m sure the store in Paradise Hills that’s caddy corner from the golf course was as bright and shiny and crisp as ever.  And ya know what?  I doubt that the stores in the South Valley and student ghettos generate less revenue than the stores in the nicer areas.  I really, really doubt it.  There are so few options for drug-store-type stuff near UNM.  The prices are great at the Student Health Center Pharmacy, but the selection and hours leave something to be desired.  I imagine that the Walgreens across the street from the dorms does alright.  And I’m guessing the one in the South Valley does pretty ok too.  But I don’t know for sure.  Just like I’m sure the poorly maintained roads in the crappy parts of town are used just a much as their well-maintained counterparts in the heights. I’m don’t believe that popularity has anything to do with how much upkeep is deemed to be necessary with these sorts of things.

By the way, ‘member when the Walgreens at Montgomery and Juan Tabo got all sad and worn-out looking,  how they opened a new, shiny one across the street?  Hm.


*I did ask, but the response I got from the clerks was “uhhh, that was, like, years ago.”  And I didn’t want to ask them to get their manager so I could ask him or her about it.  Mostly because I felt it would’ve made me look like a crazy person.


28 Aug

So, I think I must be subconsciously trying to make this project more difficult.  In the past couple of weeks I’ve broken like 3 glasses and two bowls.  I keep on knocking things off of tables or countertops, or dropping them while unloading the dishwasher. This is why I can’t have nice things. I’m a clumsy person generally, but this is silly.  And when I told people about the idea of shopping only at Walgreens because they have everything you need, a couple of people mentioned that they don’t have much stuff like pots and pans and tableware.  Which is true.  But I’m not some little, fresh-faced, 19 year-old who’s never lived out of her parent’s house and moving into an apartment for the very first time; I’m a grown woman. I have both the crappy, second-to-the-least expensive pot and pan set from Target that I bought 12 or so years ago, as well as some really nice copper-core stainless pots that I’ve acquired more recently (as a Christmas gift; I’m still not a grownup enough to invest that much money in cookware).  I own plenty of everyday plates and bowls, and I have a set of 6 fancy place settings, and I have more cute little dessert plates than could ever be reasonable.

The fact that I was starting this project with a whole houseful of stuff was not an accident. I live alone, I don’t have kids, I own lots of stuff and I don’t really need to be acquiring more and more, so it was a good time to do this.  But if I keep breaking crap, what am I supposed to do?  They don’t sell stemless wine glasses at Walgreens.  At least not that I’ve seen.  Maybe I need to look carefully on my next shopping venture.   I might end up using those pink, reusable, $1.50 a dozen plastic cups as my everyday glassware.


26 Aug

I’m going to Walgreens all the time, but I never seem to have everything I need from Walgreens.  Last week I needed shaving cream and razors, and only managed to get home with the razors.  How did I forget the shaving cream?  It’s right there.  Right next to the razors.  I think they must do something at Walgreens to distract you in your shopping so that you have to make another trip to Walgreens.

The coupons are definitely a distraction to one’s original shopping list too.  I’m so busy making sure I got all the  coupon items that I wanted, then keeping track of the coupons through the checkout process, it’s easy to forget items from my shopping list.

There is, I guess, some chance that the real problem is that it is a mental shopping list that I have.  I almost never write a list out.  And when I do, I forget it at home.  So I suppose it’s possible that it’s my fault and not Walgreens’.   😉

Gooey Chocolate Deliciousness

30 Jul

I swear I’ve seen cocoa at Walgreens.  I’m out and I didn’t buy any extra before this started, but I went to my closest Walgreens and they didn’t have any. If I went all over town looking, I probably could’ve found some but I needed brownies sooner than that.  Needed.  And none of that mix from a box nonsense.  Brownies are SO easy to make it’s silly to use a mix.  Anyway, I improvised and made some not-quite-brownie gooey chocolate stuff from products purchased at Walgreens.  And it took like 6 minutes start to finish, and the result is about 50x better than what you get with a box mix.  And probably 1000x better than what you’d get with a microwave boxed brownie thing.  I haven’t ever tried one, but I’m assuming it’s like the normal box mix only much, much worse.

So here’s the recipe.

1 large (4.25 oz) Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bar (You probably don’t actually need this much.  It was pretty intensely chocolate-y, even for me)

¼ cup butter

½ scant cup sugar

1 egg

½ scant cup flour

1 TBL (?) amaretto (I didn’t actually measure, so who knows?  Also I don’t have a huge amount of vanilla, so I was substituting.  ½ tsp vanilla would work here if you’re a normal person and not drastically limiting the groceries available to you)

I melted the butter and most of the chocolate on 80% for, like, 50 seconds.  Then I stirred it all up to get it smooth.  Added the sugar and stirred again.  Stirred in the egg, then the flour, then the amaretto. Then I poured it into a buttered little heart shaped container.  It’s the only microwave-friendly dish I have of its size.  A pyrex something that’s about 6×6 or so would pro’lly work.  I chopped up 3 little squares of the chocolate bar and threw them on top.  It didn’t seem to add anything, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing that yourself.  Then I microwaved it at 100% for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.  Enough so that it was brownie-ish on top, but gooey on the bottom.  I find that if you microwave it completely, it tastes good but the texture leaves something to be desired.


Girly Stuff

19 Jul

Today at Walgreens, I purchased something that I’ve wanted to purchase for about 10 years: Revlon’s Fire and Ice lipstick. Hurray!

Now why did it take me so long to buy a $7 lipstick?  A few reasons.  The main one is that I’m super forgetful and I never think about it when I’m out and about.  Or else I’m out and about, and I do think about it, but I’ve already purchased too many lipsticks/glosses/liners that month, and one more would be beyond silly.  Also, I don’t actually love the color on me; it’s pink-er than the reds I usually wear.  BUT! That’s because it’s a color that Revlon’s had around since 1952!  And how cool is that?

And even cooler is the ad campaign that they designed for Fire and Ice.  Best Ad Campaign EVER.

It’s a gorgeous photograph and everything, but I loved the quiz that accompanied the photo.  The quiz determined whether or not you were made for Fire and Ice.  Were you?  Let’s take the quiz!

  • Have you ever danced with your shoes off?
  • Did you ever wish on the new moon?
  • Do you blush when you find yourself flirting?
  • When a recipe calls for one dash of bitters, do you think it’s better with two?
  • Do you secretly hope the next man you meet will be a psychiatrist?
  • Do you sometimes feel that other women resent you?
  • Have you ever wanted to wear an ankle bracelet?
  • Do sables excite you, even on other women?
  • Do you love to look up at a man?
  • Do you face crowded parties with panic – then wind up having a wonderful time?
  • Does gypsy music make you sad?
  • Do you think any man really understands you?
  • Would you streak your hair platinum without consulting your husband?
  • If tourist flights were running, would you take a trip to Mars?
  • Do you close your eyes when you’re kissed?

And of course, an overwhelming majority of lipstick-wearing women are going to get an 8.  Because:

  • Seriously, when in the history of cocktails has a manhattan, an old-fashioned, or a champagne cocktail been made with only one dash of bitters?  Or when has one dash of anything been used ever? Dashes come in twos and threes, not singly.
  • I never understood the psychiatrist question, but on Mad Men the guy that wanted Carrie to pee on him* compared getting a psychiatrist to getting a pink stove – a popular mid-century trend.
  • And you don’t even have to actually own an ankle bracelet, you just have to, at some point in this life, wanted to wear one.
  • Sables are just exciting.  Period.
  • A woman’s hair color is an issue to be discussed with a hairstylist or possibly a best friend, not a husband.
  • A new moon is a thing you can wish on?  Didn’t know that, but I’ll start wishing on them starting August 9!  The more wishes the better, right?
  • Of course I have a man in my life that really understands me.  That’s what gay husbands are for.
  • Only the creepiest of people kiss with their eyes open.

So I was made for Fire and Ice!  Awesome!  And since the Revlon make up was Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off, I also got some very cool crème eye shadow.

And I bought another dress.

I know!  There’s something wrong with me, but it’s been so hot.  Too hot to wear jeans.  And I forgot to buy some lightweight, summery pants this spring.  I needed another casual dress.

That’s all for today.  Hopefully the next post will appeal to a wider audience.


* To me, John Slattery will always be the politician that wanted Carrie to pee on him. It doesn’t matter that he was only on 2 episodes of Sex and the City, but dozens of episodes of Mad Men as well as working on other stuff, too.  He’s that one character in my head.  But I think he should play Australian Prime Minister James Scullin in a movie. Ya know, if they ever make a movie in which James Scullin is a character.

I didn’t have any copies of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar from 1952 lying around the house, so I copied the quiz from Read My Lips: A Cultural History of Lipstick by Ragas and Kozlowski.  The copy of the ad though, I did just have lying around my house.  Hanging on the wall actually.  Yeah, I’m cool like that.

Mandy McAdoo and the Mystery of the Missing Noun

28 Jun

Good, unexpected things at the Walgreens.  Firstly, and most amazingly, they had apple pies at a local Walgreens this week.  And I don’t mean one of those half-moon shaped, hand-held “fruit pies” that come in a wrapper.  I mean actual, honest-to-god, round, 8” diameter pies.  Like that you’d slice and serve on a plate with ice cream and everything.  I guess ‘cause of the 4th maybe?  Anyway they had them.  I was about to buy one, and then I remembered that I’ve yet to enjoy an apple pie that I didn’t bake my very own self.  So I had serious doubts about enjoying the pie from Walgreens.  But who knows? Perhaps it would’ve been lovely.

Also, I found some sulfate-free shampoo.  I had been using DevaCurl products, but those aren’t sold at Walgreens, so I couldn’t buy them and I didn’t stock up before this project started.  And it’s really not that easy to find sulfate-free shampoos.  Even at a health food store most of the shampoos have sulfates. But there’s a new line of hair products called Renpure Organics, made by some family called Redmond, that are sulfate free and claim to be made with organic, safe, fresh, natural ingredients.  And it’s great if they are all those things.  I don’t really care if they are or not, I just don’t like to put sulfates in my hair ‘cause they dry it out.  And then I started to wonder,  who cares about fresh ingredients for one’s hair?  Does something terrible happen to the thyme extract if it is not put into the mix just at the peak of freshness?  Who knows?  Maybe it would make all the hair fall clean off my head or something.  Anyway, the Renpure people are also doing this rebate thing so that you can try one “free” (free if you get your crap together to do the rebate on time and everything of course).  So that’s good.  And the products are pretty good.  I bought a shampoo, and then later a conditioner, and I really like them.  And they don’t cost $15 a bottle, like so many of my hair products.

And now for the grammar fun!  At the bottom of my conditioner bottle it says “THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS TESTED ON THE REDMOND’S.”  Ok , first there needs to be a period or (even better) a semi-colon after the word ANIMALS.  And yeah, there is a line break between ANIMALS and TESTED, which could imply the end of a sentence/thought.  But then there’s a period at the very end, after REDMOND’S.  So the author was not using line breaks as stopping points if there is a period used elsewhere at the end of a line.  And, more importantly, it’s tested on the Redmond’s what?  There’s a noun missing.  Unless, of course, it is tested on animals, but only on animals that aren’t tested on the Redmond’s missing noun.  Now, obviously, I pepper my blogs with sentence fragments and run-ons and unnecessary commas in an attempt to capture my voice, but I don’t think the back of a bottle of conditioner is the ideal time and place to play free and loose with grammatical rules.  And if a technical writer or copywriter does choose to be cavalier about grammar there, the results need to be absolutely charming.  Just sayin’.

More Clothes

25 Jun

It was a good week this week for clothes and accessories.  I found some purple sunglasses to go with my sundress, and the super friendly and nice cashier let me know they were 2 for 1 so I got another pair too.  At the same store that I found the sunglasses, I also noticed a super cute stripy tank top, that’s way ‘70s.  I’ve seen tank tops at every Walgreens, but this was the first time I noticed any cool striped ones! And since I bought the tank I had to buy some tube socks to go with it.  And how cute will that tank and tube socks with cutoffs be for going roller-skating?  Answer: So cute!  And I found just a random cute little t-shirt that I bought.  I probably actually didn’t need to buy that.  My laundry situation is perpetually out of control.  I shouldn’t buy anymore clothes until it becomes more manageable.

That’s pretty much all that I bought that was interesting.  There were some giant boxes of cereal for $2 so I bought a few of those… umm… and some pens for work… that’s about it. Good times.