The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Enjoy Black Friday!!

Those of you crazy enough to brave the crowds, I hope you get the kinds of deals you’re looking for. As for me, I’m perfectly content to stay inside all day and maybe browse some of my favorite online stores. It looks like I won’t even have to wait for Cyber Monday to get some good deals, as lots of places — including shop.nhl.com — are starting their sales right now.

Don’t get trampled!

Susan Boyle “I Dreamed a Dream” CD

susan boyle i dreamed a dream As you can tell by the lack of CD reviews on this site, I’m not into music all that much. But I became a big fan of Susan Boyle’s back in April when the video of her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent went viral and took the world by storm. I loved her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” during her audition, and yes, I also bought into the human drama aspect of the incident, with everyone being against her at first and then rallying around once she belted out the opening line.

Anyway, Susan Boyle’s debut CD, called “I Dreamed a Dream”, was released today, and I downloaded a copy of the entire thing on iTunes for $10.99 . It’s a buck cheaper at Amazon for the physical CD, but I’m a digital kind of gal, so whatever.

The CD features 12 tracks in the following order: Wild Horses, I Dreamed a Dream, Cry Me a River, How Great Thou Art, You’ll See (Madonna cover), Daydream Believer, Up to the Mountain, Amazing Grace, Who I Was Born to Be (original song), Proud, The End of the World, and Silent Night.

I wasn’t familiar with all of the original versions of the song, so I can’t really compare how Susan Boyle stacks up, but I can tell you that all of the tracks on this CD are very slow and mellow. Although Boyle handles the vocals well, I couldn’t help but feel that the producer should have allowed her to pick up the pace on a couple of the tunes just for the sake of variety.

Overall, though, I have to say that I’m impressed with this debut. I think Susan’s fans will love this CD — though I’m not sure that it will serve to win over any new ones.

My favorite tracks include Wild Horses, I Dreamed a Dream, Cry Me a River, Amazing Grace, The End of the World, and Silent Night.

You probably already know that this CD has been a pre-order bestseller on Amazon for a while. I’m glad that Susan will get to experience this triumph. I just don’t know if her popularity and/or success will carry over to a second CD.

Perfect gift!!

electronic cigarette kit Don’t you just love it when you find the absolute perfect gift for someone on your Christmas list? My brother is kind of hard to shop for because he usually just buys whatever he wants and doesn’t wait for people to get things as presents. But as I was browsing around online last night, I came across this electronic cigarette that can be used to help him quit smoking.

I’ve heard of electronic cigarettes before, but never really knew how they worked. After reading the product description on that Premium Cigarette site, however, I understand the concept better and definitely think my bro will benefit from these things.

I’m going to get him the one without nicotine in the hopes that it will help him quit. If he needs to withdraw from nicotine more gradually, then he can continue smoking a few real cigs per day, and replace the others with this electronic one. I can’t wait to see how he likes this!

Lego Batman DS

lego-batman I recently bought my son a copy of Lego Batman DS for getting good grades on his report card. He’s in first grade now, and we had a lot of trouble at the beginning of the school year because he didn’t adjust very easily to being gone the whole day after two years of half-day kindergarten and half-day preschool. But he eventually made some friends and got used to the schedule, and did very well on his report card.

Anyway, I’d heard of the Lego series of video games before, but never quite understood what the attraction was. They seemed kinda dumb to me — which was really an unfair assessment since I’d never actually played one. But my teenage cousin recommended this title, so I decided to get it for my son.

That turned out to be a terrific choice, as Lego Batman DS quickly became one of his favorite games! Gameplay is rather simple. There are three different storylines with 5 chapters each, for a total of 15 game scenarios. But you double that because each one can be played in Story Mode or Free Play, and you double that number because you can play from either the Hero or Villain perspective. So 60 choices… quite a lot!

lego_batman_ds_screen05 You just go through each level collecting Lego studs, fighting villains (or heroes, as the case may be), and building up stacks of Lego pieces to form helpful tools, such as Grapple Spots, levers, and ladders. There are a bunch of unlockable characters to choose from, and each character has different abilities that helps you move through the levels. Moreover, you have to collect certain hidden objects, such as Red Bricks, Joker Cards, Minikit Canisters, and Riddler Clues to unlock other special items, such as power-ups and MiniGames.

To be honest, I started playing the game a little bit because my son needed help with one part — and then I totally got hooked and played until I unlocked everything! This game is seriously addictive! It’s so simple, and yet amazingly fun. It actually prevented me from getting a lot of work done, including cooking dinner and cleaning the house. This prompted my husband to jokingly threaten sending me to some kind of drug rehab or intervention program! Ok, so video game addiction is not really in the same ballpark as drug addiction, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, as a parent, I was truly pleased by Lego Batman DS. It’s fun, easy enough for young kids to play unsupervised, rated E for Everyone, and is a total bargain at less than $20. I liked this game so much that I’m planning on buying other Lego series titles for my son for Christmas. That means Indiana Jones and/or Star Wars!

Spend Responsibly

Before the Christmas shopping season gets started in earnest on Black Friday next week, I just want to remind you all to spend responsibly. There’s no reason to go into debt at Christmastime. Your kids will still love you even if you can only afford to spend, say, $20 on toys instead of $200. So please don’t go out there and blow your mortgage payment, college fund, or home insurance premium on gifts that the recipient won’t even remember three months from now. It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t buy out Toys R Us for your kids. Trust me, they’ll survive!

Black Friday ’09

It’s hard to believe but another Black Friday is looming. In just over a week, there will be a mad rush to all the malls and big box discount stores for massive discounts on everything from plasma televisions and computers to appliances, clothes, and truck accessories.

Personally, I have never shopped on Black Friday, and I probably never will. I simply can’t imagine enduring the mad crush of people in the stores or the traffic and parking headaches outside. I’m getting a bit sweaty-palmed just thinking about that type of situation!

Much better to wait for Cyber Monday, when all the online deals kick in.

Christmas shopping already

capresso I usually wait until the last minute to get my Christmas shopping done, but am trying to finish it off early this year. I’ve identified a few things that family members want, so those can be purchased immediately. For instance, my son wants a scooter and my mom wants some kind of Capresso coffee machine. My husband hasn’t decided yet, but no doubt his wish list will just include a few books.

That leaves my two younger cousins, my brother, and my nephew to shop for. Hopefully they’ll get back to me soon about what they want so I can go ahead and place my orders. Yeah, I said place my orders. You don’t really think I would go to a mall at this time of year, do you?

Kernel Season’s Popcorn Seasoning

kernel seasons My last post about the popcorn popper reminded me of another recent purchase I made: Kernel Season’s Popcorn Seasoning. I grabbed a couple containers of this seasoning when I bought the machine and kernels, and though I didn’t get the popper working, I still was able to try out Kernel Season’s. The verdict? This stuff is awesome!

Kernel Season’s is a powder-like substance that comes in a variety of flavors like Ranch (which I bought), Parmesan & Garlic (also bought), Cheddar, White Cheddar, Nacho, Butter, Caramel, Cajun, and more. You just sprinkle it over popcorn to add some delicious extra flavoring. It really does do the trick, as my popcorn has never tasted better.

Kernel Season’s can also be used on soup, potatoes, salads, pasta, pizza, and whatever else you can think of. I love seasoning my fries with this stuff too.

It costs $3.99 for a 2.7oz shaker, which initially seems like a lot. But the product lasts a long time, even when used liberally.

I’m hooked and I can’t wait to try out all the other flavors just as soon as I can!