I have had superb seats at two major professional sporting events. Senators @ Bruins, spring of 2009, my best friend and I had fifth-row loge seats at the Garden. These are brilliant. You're far enough back that you don't have a coronary whenever someone hits the glass, but you still feel like you're sitting on the ice. The only thing I don't like is you can't see both ends of the ice without standing up, but it still beats nosebleed seats. $110 per seat at the time, probably more now. Marlins @ Red Sox, summer of 2009, BFF and I had pavilion box seats, in the front row of our section. These are the best seats at Fenway and I refuse to hear arguments to the contrary; this was our view. They're above the field, but you can see everything, and they have private concessions and restrooms. $90 per seat. I have to say that my local AAA baseball team (the Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston's affiliate, obv) has a very nice ballpark and the ticket prices are great. The only problem is it's in Pawtucket, and Pawtucket is the worst to get to, drive in, or leave. Nothing's perfect, clearly.
I live in an area where I need a car (rural-suburban southern New England), so there's no agonizing about whether or not I should have one, but I don't at the moment and it's killing me and your attachment to Stan may have made me slightly moist-eyed thinking about my late lamented '94 Saab 900S. I loved that car and it's been gone two months now and it huuuuurts. And it didn't even have air conditioning or cupholders! I just loved it. Also, I'm sharing with my parents at the moment so I can get to work, so I hear you on being able to have your own music, collection of supplies, etc. I'm on the hunt for another car (this is a topic I probably should've written The Billfold about already) and I can't wait to stop sharing cars. Worst thing ever.
@MuffyStJohn Indeed! The three of them cost me maybe $25, if that. That's about five lunches, depending on the place. And I've eaten more than five lunches out of them for sure.
@vv965 I buy mine on Amazon and in record stores. But I think the point is just that while the receiver might be happy to get an iTunes gift card, there are more thoughtful or practical things you can give a recent graduate, especially things that they wouldn't think to buy for themselves -- not a category iTunes falls into for the smartphone generation. Also, for what it's worth, I don't know if iTunes ever does decent sales because I refuse to use it, but Amazon drops prices on albums and things all the time, which is one of the reasons I prefer buying my digital music through them. They offer 100 for under $3 each month and if you follow @amazonmp3 on Twitter, you'll be able to get $2 off here and there or find other deals.
Speaking from experience working with housewares etc., bedding and knives are two things that are absolutely worth spending money on and are totally the kinds of things that people should be giving recent graduates. The receiver will use them and love them -- perfect gifts. And you can actually find high-quality stuff at very low prices if you're diligent about finding sales and discount stores. I saw a set of $200 Wusthof knives at HomeGoods once for $90. I second the comments about bags as well. I really think, too, that having a nice grown-up lunchbag and accouterments will encourage someone to bring lunch to work. I will once again give a thumbs-up to the Martha Stewart Collection food storage containers. I have the salad, lunch, and cereal containers, and they're awesome. Makes it a lot easier to bring different and interesting things you'd actually want to eat instead of staring longingly at someone else's take-out.
I actually find the idea of remaking House of Cards totally appalling. The original is excellent, and is AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX. Watch the original instead! This is my advice to all. I have a streaming-only plan because whenever I have the DVD plan, I can't make myself sit down and watch any of the discs. I don't watch commercial TV anymore and just watch everything via my Roku on one channel or another, so it's easier to just flip to the Netflix channel when I want to watch something. I save $10 a month and find myself actually using the thing, which is nice.
Yes, this is me, too. I am simultaneously relieved and horrified by the fact that there are a lot of us. I have a hard time figuring out what I make in a month off the top of my head -- the perils of budgeting with no set work schedule -- but I would venture to guess that in a month where I work a lot, easily 50% of my paycheck goes to food, specifically snacks. WHY. Seriously, why.