Justin and I are getting ready to hit the money-saving train hard.  We will still be putting money towards the restoration of the 1965 Mustang but pretty much every extra penny will be going towards savings.  Our goal is 5k in a year, but that MIGHT be a bit much.  We will see.  That basically breaks down to 200 dollars per pay period.  Eeek!  That’s a lot of mexican food, pizza and delicious bacon. It’s also a lot of gas money down to Houston and vacations.  But we have been thinking a lot about purchasing a home in the next few years and if we do we want to have a good down payment.  So, save we must.  I don’t think either one of us is sold on the idea of owning – we both like the convenience of calling the rental company when our property has a problem – but I also don’t want to be paying rent when I retire.  And people keep telling us it’s better to own – although, like I said, I’m still not convinced.  So, we’ll spend another year here and think things through. 

Anyways.  In the meantime I’m going to be saving my pennies for the things I want.  I figured I’d make a list so I could refer back to it when I want to spend the extra 2 dollars I have on something else.  Maybe I’ll sell a few things on Craigslist to get this stuff.  Who knows.

1.) The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss
His book The Name of the Wind was recommended by Greg Dean (author of the often-hilarious Real Life Comics) and I finally got tired of him talking about how amazing it was so I finally bought it.  And it was that amazing.  It was one of the best fantasy books I have ever read, and for someone who reads a lot that’s really saying something.  I’ve been looking forward to this book since I got done reading the first one and am SO excited about its release.  That being said, if I can manage to I’m going to wait for paperback.  But I don’t know if I’ll be able to. I’m pretty excited.

2.) Diablo III – Blizzard!
Some of you geeks are familiar with the Diablo games. Amazing fun. I adored Diablo II and have many happy memories playing that game (moooo!) My Uncle Rick and I enjoy discussing Diablo tactics and who doesn’t love a good time throwing fireballs at people? Exactly. We bought an actual computer specifically so we’d have something to play Diablo III on. It just needs to come out before our box is completely outdated!

3.) Genesis: A Commentary – Bruce Waltke
I got recommended this by someone on the Internet Monk site and ever since then it is my go-to-drool-over theological book. Genesis has always been one of my favorite books of the bible and I’d like to dive in a little deeper to what someone else sees in its beautiful writing.

4.) The Flavor Bible – Karen Page, Andrew Dorenburg
It’s funny, if I had to pick one thing on this list… well, Wise Man’s Fear would win hands down. But if I had to pick a second thing, this book would be it. I’ve been droooooling over this book for ages. I love to bake (and am pretty darn good at it sometimes) but I’m not the greatest cook.  Just ask my husband.  I do OK but I’d really like to know WHY it is that I really like adding celery powder to things, or why a hint of vanilla in the strangest of dishes makes the back of my tongue happy in ways that I didn’t expect.  And this book does things like this (pulled from the book, totally not trying to steal, just using it as an example, please don’t sue!):
Season: year-round
Taste: astringent
Botanical relatives: carrots
Function: cooling
Weight: light
Volume: moderate-loud
Technique: boil, braise, cream, raw, saute, steam, stir-fry

And then gives a huge list of things that it goes well with.  Like humus and fish and blue cheese.

I like that it would teach me why I use the flavors I use and how to combine them better.  I’ve been wanting to create a new kind of banana bread for my roommate Jim that doesn’t taste like traditional banana bread, but I want to know what flavors go well with banana that are not exactly traditional.  And trying to google for that is useless.  Go ahead, google “savory banana bread” and see? You get nowhere. 

So, anyways, eventually I will get that book.  It’s available wirelessly which leads me to…

5.) Sony Reader
Maybe. Most likely. It seems like the best of the readers out there right now and I like that I can store the entire library on it at once.  I’ve been debating digital books for a while internally and I’ve come to the conclusion that I just need to get over my hesitation because it’s the way of the future and coming this way no matter what.

Not that I’m going to get rid of my library.  I was about to say that most the books I have are out of print anyways, but upon checking I was amazed to find a lot of my rare books are still in print (or being reprinted as classics).  Jack Chalker’s Well World series is still in print, although my 1980’s copies are better looking.  The Three Christs of Ypsilanti is being reprinted as a classic, but since I have one of the first few editions I’m pretty sure mine (hardcover with the dust jacket!) is worth a bit more.  I have the paperback box set of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from 1970 that is retro and beautiful and in great condition. 

Anyways.  There is no way I would willingly part with most of my books.  They are a comfort food to me, ya know? I like to devour them on rainy days and cold days and sunny days.  But new books? I have no problem buying those digitally.  I would love to carry around a dozen books to read based on my mood at that particular moment. No need to bookmark or dog-ear? Sold! Searchable? Even better!  And if I decide I really want some paper to hold (or take to the beach to get sand-encrusted) I have a ton of books at home to choose from that I’ve decided to keep on hand.

Although it would be nice to get rid of my Tom Clancy books. They take up an entire shelf all on their own!

6.) LOTR trilogy: extended editions on blu-ray
I join the protestors on Amazon.com by being irritated at New Line for releasing the theatrical versions a full 2 years before they’re planning on releasing the extended editions.  We all know exactly why they’re doing this, to sell the theatrical versions to the people who are impatient and the extended editions to them again in a few years.  That doesn’t make it right but hey, it’s a capitalistic society (for now) and I can’t blame them for what they’re doing. I can be irritated and refuse to buy the theatrical version though, and that’s what I’m doing.  Estimated release for the extended edition is 2011-2012. 

7.) Running gear
I’ve been utilizing the treadmill at work but I’m hoping this winter to upgrade to outdoor workouts. I won’t have the drive/gumption to do that unless I have some way of tracking my progress.  I’m thinking that I need some sort of pedometer or heart rate monitor or distance tracker or something.  There’s some pretty awesome gear out there – Nike has Nike+, Addidas has miCoach, so something along those lines that will track where and what I’m doing when I go out and “hit the streets.”  I don’t really know what I want yet – I’m still new to the running thing – but it’s on my list assuming I don’t throw my running shoes away in defeat 😉

Edited to add:
8.) Sew Everything Workshop: The complete beginner’s guide
I really really want to learn how to sew.  I want to learn for lots of different reasons.  One, with me losing weight, I’ll need to be able to modify my clothes to fit me.  Take them in and what not.  Also, I’ve always wanted to be able to make my own clothing.  It would be a helpful skill if I ever decide to decorate my house. I would be able to make my own pillows and whatnot.

But I am notorious for picking up “hobbies” that then sit there by the wayside for ages without so much as a glance in their general direction.  I did very much enjoy cross stitching when I did it, so I think I’d like sewing.  This book is across the board the #1 recommended book for beginners, and it looks like most of the stuff in there I can sew by hand.  I would, of course, have to sew by hand initially so that I could develop the skill.  If one day down the line I were to obtain a sewing machine that would be groovy, but I obviously can’t justify that much money right now.  I think I’ll sell my beading stuff and buy the basics for sewing with it.  I’m not really sure where I will find the time, but I’m pretty sure I could do some basic learning stuff while I have down time at work.  Especially if all I needed was a small piece of fabric and some thread. 

So, there you have it.  My wish list.