weekend pickthrough- fatty resurrection edition.

25 10 2010

what, i didn’t even manage to pull out the weekend pickthrough during the actual weekend? even after i promised that i would try harder? yeah, on the surface, it looks right now like i suck pretty hard (and it’s true, i probably do). BUT, what i did do this weekend instead of writing the pickthrough was to resurrect an old corpse i had lying around the house (just in time for halloween)- my old diet blog being bess marvin.  since i am again attempting to take off the 30 divorce (and subsequent lazy-ass cheese whore) pounds, it seemed like a good idea to resuscitate ole bess, as it is a proven fact that people who write down what they eat lose more weight. now, i won’t be boring you with the details of my daily meals (unless i happen to eat something really extraordinary), but imagine how many pounds i can lose talking about blowing the crotch out of my spanx!

i can’t promise you that i will lose any weight, but i can promise you this:

1. grisly and detailed recountings of my frequent dietary failures.

2. i will continue to catalog every time that nancy drew took a cheap shot at bess marvin’s weight (that bitch!).

3. i will kick this shit off with a giveaway. ok, it’s a little bit lame- but it is free candy, a big boxy t-shirt, and a diet journal to write about how ashamed you are for eating all your candy in one sitting.  but if you want the goods, you do have to go over to being bess marvin and leave me a comment about the food that throws you off the diet wagon with both hands. or, if you’re some smug bitch who has a healthy relationship with food, you can write about that too.

if you made it this far and have actually noticed that i didn’t technically have anything to pick through this week, i apologize. maybe you could just toddle over to youtube and watch this a few times. it should pretty much make you forget your irritation, and just about anything else you have on your mind. 35 million people can’t be wrong.





a little help.

18 08 2010

did i ever tell you about the time that i was addicted to entering online sweepstakes? for like 5 or 6 months, i spent every second of my free time entering every contest i could get my hands on. instant wins were my preference (i’m impatient), but i wasn’t really that discriminating. i would throw down for whatever, from cash prizes to year supplies of beef jerky (this was in my pre-vegetarian days). after all of my insane efforts, my bounty equaled exactly one goldfish cracker shaped coin purse, and one unflattering orange lip gloss. it was a complete and utter bust. not only did i not win anything good, i didn’t actually want either of the things i did win. sweepstakes are cruel that way. i had wasted so much time, and it wasn’t worth it, not even a little.

but then i found couponing (i’m a fickle little bitch), and i realized that not only was sweepstakes entering a pitiful waste of time, but that i could have been entering awesome giveaways on blogs and actually winning stuff the whole time. maybe there are no million dollar prizes, but you can get some pretty kickin stuff, and the odds can’t be beat (usually less than 100 entrants per contest).

so about that favor i need… as i mentioned in the weekend pickthrough, i recently entered a writing contest over at one of my very favorite sites- red head writing. i actually have no idea what the prize is, or even if there is a prize at all (but rumor has it that her last winner got a $150 gift card), but it isn’t about that. after my crushing defeat at burlesque amateur night (still writing it up, but soon!), i require the glory of ultimate victory to reinflate my flaccid ego. or maybe i just like writing and wanted to see if i could win this shit. but anyhow, the way to win is to collect more positive comments (actual comments, not just hitting the “like” button) on your piece than all of the other story tellers. i’d like to believe that random strangers will wander in and be captivated by charming little tale of nosebleeds and mojitos, but that’s looking pretty unlikely at this moment in time.  instead, it’s going to be an exercise in how many of my friends i can sweet talk into voting for me regardless of whether they like my story or not.  are you sweet talked yet?

how about now?

but seriously, i would really love it if you would toddle on over to the contest, and check it out. you don’t have to vote for me, but it would be wonderful if you would vote for the person that you like the best. a bunch of really interesting people put a lot of love into their 300 words, and they deserve to get some feedback.

and if you’re horribly annoyed that i’m even asking you to do this at all, just ignore me for today, and i promise that i will not abuse the privilege again anytime soon. (but if i do win- IN YOUR FACE!).





don’t make me beg.

16 05 2010

seriously, don’t make me do it. is it really so hard to take a blurry cameraphone photo of your favorite thrift store find and email it to me? is it really so hard to take the $25 gift card prize and go buy more awesome stuff? i’ve received a few more entries to the goodwill giveaway madness contest (as indicated by the AMAZING salty pete lamp in the upper right corner over there that takes you to the contest gallery), but it’s NOT ENOUGH! it’s flea market and garage sale season, so get your asses out there and do it. for example, i hit the montsweag today, and scored the very amazing crazy 60s airplane crossection picture at the left. and don’t be fooled by the pricetag, i only paid $10 for it.  you probably could have talked them down further… but i guess you don’t care about free money AND ultimate victory.  just in case you change your mind, i’m accepting entries until the 31st.





go go gadget contest gallery.

10 05 2010

in case you were wondering when i would get my ass in gear and put up the first round of photos from this month’s goodwill giveaway… the time is now. that’s right, as of exactly 1:19 am tonight while watching “sorority boys” and drinking tequila, the gallery is finally fully functional (and semi-permanenty located in the upper right hand corner of this website).  good times. however, though high in awesomeness, the entries are still looking very SCANT. that’s where you come in. it doesn’t have to be an amazing photo (you know about my love for crappy iphone photos), and it doesn’t have to be a recent purchase. seriously, NO PRESSURE! i’ll even pimp your website right there in the gallery. come on, you know you want to! so get your ass out there, and GET THRIFTING!





goodwill giveaway madness!!!

4 05 2010

first and foremost, i would like to officially congratulate the fabulous colleen o. for kicking some jolly green ass and winning the april free veggie swag. woot! but that’s all behind us now. it’s may, it’s time for an exciting new giveaway, and i’m beta testing a crazy idea this month.

as you may already know, i am an avid thrifter. i make the rounds at my local goodwills and salvation armys pretty much weekly, and am constantly hunting for crazy vintage crap to put in my crazy vintage crap collections. at the present, i am collecting: 1940s era nancy drews, figures made entirely out of white porcelain, vintage fabrics, mod jewelry, midcentury modern furniture, and pretty much anything that seems just too awesome to leave at the store. many weekends i come home with nothing, but every now and again, i come home with something remarkable.

everyone, meet toot-a-loop (toot-a-loop, everyone).  about two years ago, while perusing the electronics aisle at the forest ave. goodwill, i found this little puppy nestled between the discarded 8-track players and multiple copies of herb alpert and the tijuana brass whipped cream and other delights albums. mostly, it just seemed weird and cool and was only $2.99, so why not. a brief googling, and i found out that not only was the toot-a-loop designed to be an am radio bracelet (that’s right!), but it also that it routinely sold on ebay for $40+. score! not that i sold mine, but it’s nice to know that i have the option.

so you might be wondering, does this seemingly pointless yammering about the toot-a-loop perhaps have a point? or perhaps, when do i get free stuff to entering a stupid contest? well, here we go: i just told you my amazing thrift find story, and i want to hear yours. the prize at stake is a $25 gift card to goodwill (or if your area doesn’t have a goodwill, we can work something out). here are the rules:

1. submit a picture of your hot hot thrift find (garage sales & flea markets are also applicable) to my email.

2. in the above mentioned email, tell me where you got it, how much you paid, and why it’s so freakin’ awesome.

3. i will then post the images on the broke207 flickr page for all to see and enjoy & comment on.

4. on the 31st of the month, i (and possibly a few trusted advisors) will choose the winner, and a great celebration will occur. (also, the aforementioned $25 gift card will be mailed)

i know this requires a little more effort than most blog giveaways, but i think it could be a really fascinating project. a project that i would like to keep ongoing. so please, get your photo on and show me what you got! enter as many times as you like.





gelatin free giveaway!

14 04 2010

here we go. myblogspark sweetly (and quickly) set me up with a secondary non-gelatin laden giveaway after the great bathrobe meltdown of 2010. kind thanks to them for providing me with something i feel good about pimping.  i present to you: free stuff from jolly green giant. apparently, they’ve been gearing up for a promotion with the nature conservancy and have been tooting their own green horn (heh) about the progress they’ve made toward more sustainable farming over the course of their century-long existence.

here is what they had to say about what they’ve been doing to make a difference:

  • reducing the amount of land and water needed to grow vegetables.
  • packing vegetables in smaller, lighter cans, so it takes less fuel to deliver them to supermarket shelves.
  • utilizing traditional seed breeding methods over the last 35 years to double the amount of sweet corn grown on an acre of land.
  • teaming up with growers to install a more efficient irrigation system that can reduce water use by more than a million gallons a year.
  • switching to more earth-friendly paperboard to package frozen vegetables, saving approximately 54,000 trees annually in the process.
  • well, i wasn’t really sure what to make about all those high and mighty claims. so, i decided to consult my friend michelle, who is one of the most environmentally conscious and sustainability minded people i know. here is what she had to say:

    “I definitely get suspicious whenever big companies like this make environmental claims, but I also don’t want to criticize them for trying. Most of the steps they are taking are self-serving… getting more production/acre, increased water efficiency, etc. But I trust the Nature Conservancy’s judgment in who they choose to team up with. I don’t have a problem with genetically modified crops- they decrease the need for land, water and fertilizer so it’s a trade off.”

    and the survey says… PASSABLE! i’m totally with michelle on this one. not everyone (especially big companies)  is ready, willing, or able to make big environmentally impactful changes. even if they’re only doing it because it’s fashionable to be green right now, changes are changes no matter how small. also, the nature conservancy is a kick ass cause, so it’s nice to know that they’ll be getting 200 Gs out of the deal.

    but regardless of your feelings about sustainable farming, how about some free stuff? looks like there’s a reusable shopping bag (a little imagination green giant please!), a tiny grow-your-own herb garden, some bamboo utensils, and a coupon for free veggies. all expressed mailed to your house in a perfect brown box that will make you squee and feel important.

    i’m feeling uncreative today, so i think in order to enter, i would like you to leave a comment about what you plan to do with your free vegetables (or other swag, whatever does it for you). for example: “i’m thinking about making a green bean casserole, but in reality i will probably just let them migrate to the back of my freezer until a time of dinner desperation.”

    step #1: leave stupid comment about vegetables. (the quality of your comment will not affect your chances of winning).

    step #2: wait until contest ends on april 30th.

    step #3: at said contest end, i will then pick an entry at random to be the winner (i hear random.org is good, but a hat might be easier to operate).

    step #4: wait for me to announce the winner within 24 hours of the end of the contest.

    step #5: be excited about winning or depressed about losing.

    oh, and p.s. jolly green giant via myblogspark gave me the same free stuff that you might be getting, just in case you were concerned about my opinion being colored by swag. as you can see, it’s not. i can also say that there is a significant likelihood that they will not ask me to do another sponsored giveaway after this…






    and now for something completely different.

    1 04 2010

    i tire of moral dilemma week. i had a whole post half written about something vaguely instructional and semi serious, but then i realized that i don’t give a shit about being instructional and semi serious. at least today i don’t. instead, i speak of a subject far more engaging and less of a bummer, the mall. over the last 10 years, maine has been overrun with big boxes. wal*marts, targets, old navys, and best buys are springing up all over the landscape, along with the requisite gamestops, panera breads, and famous footwears that for whatever reason ALWAYS orbit around the larger stores. i think it’s weird and gross how all the towns in maine worthy of the big box blessing now look all the same. although on the other hand, i do love target.

    what’s really weird, is that now that all these smaller towns in maine have their own shopping districts, nobody needs the mall. in the last 5 years or so, the maine mall has been CLEANED OUT. filenes got booted by macy’s, but the space is still empty. countless other stores have bounced in and out, changed locations, disappeared forever. the urban behavior has gone out of business and been resurrected no less than 5 times (i think that bankruptcy is their business model). the sears wing is deadsville (despite their urging, i never have quite found the softer side), especially since unattractive but very sensible shoe emporium lamey wellehan cleared out. even mcdonald’s is hitting the bricks for some mysterious reason.  i did hear a rumor that we were getting a sephora, but the flowering of the maine mall into the mall of america (that i’ve been fantasizing about ever since the H&M moved in) just isn’t happening. it’s the downturn y’all. the way people shop is changing, and it’s kind of amazing.

    case and point, the new goodwill. usually, when you cut off the head of one big box, another one just sprouts right back in its place. when circuit city’s broke ass shut down last year, i don’t think anyone thought that a thrift store would or could move into that massive space complete with sky high mall area rents. but goodwill made it happen (even if their bath and st. john street locations had to be tragically sacrificed), and the results are glorious.

    are you looking at that line up of gleaming hooker boots over there in the upper left? i know one person who can’t wait to see those bitches sprouting up around town. in short, the new goodwill is fucking gigantic, and presently filled with both stuff and people. the book section looks like a bookstore. a decent bookstore (although you will still find the required copies of divine secrets of the ya ya sisterhood). the racks are endless. it was hard to really take it all in because it was opening weekend, and the place was crazy mobbed like black friday, but i did manage to get a few representative snaps on the ole iphone (check em out on my flickr). when i was a kid, it was shameful to buy second hand. now, it’s almost shameful not to. i like that.

    and because i like that so much, i’m going to start holding a monthly goodwill oriented giveaway. i’ll give the details in a more official way in a few days, but for now, ransack your closets shelves and cupboards, and try to find the best thing you ever bought at goodwill. you’re gonna need that.





    the great bathrobe debacle.

    30 03 2010

    so it’s moral dilemma week here at broke207, and for this one, i need your help.  a few weeks ago, i was offered an opportunity for my first sponsored giveaway. i would receive some sort of swag package including 2 free coupons for the product, and i would potentially write a review about the product (although they did make it clear that this was not required), and then host a giveaway where the winner would get the same swag package that i received. they would even send out the goods, making the experience for me totally free. as you can imagine, i was pretty psyched.

    when i found out that the promotion was for a new variety of greek yogurt, i was both excited and relieved, because i would never host a giveaway for a product that i wouldn’t use.  finally, something not for babies or covered in meat!! things continued to get better. on saturday, i came home to a sizeable brown box that contained not just a plush white bathrobe, but also slippers and some sort of crazy loofah mitt, and some other massagey bathtime jazz. swank. and of course, two coupons for free yogurt.

    here is where things really started to unravel. i hit the grocery store this sunday, and grabbed myself a couple of yogurts as was the plan. on a whim, i was curious to see how this more commercial brand stacked up to my other beloved health food store choices. ummmm… what’s that? there was an unexpected guest on the ingredient list (when i was really only expecting the standard milk & enzymes), GELATIN. first pop tarts, now greek yogurt? what the F america? can things please just not have meat in them unless they’re MEAT?

    well, i wrote a nice note to the promotion company telling them that i wouldn’t be able to host the giveaway because  i could not test the product, and that i also did not feel comfortable hosting a giveaway for a product that contained meat. vegetarianism is a very personal thing for me. that said, i think people should eat what they want to eat, and i would never use this blog as an platform to try to proselytize anyone over to my meat free ways. then again, i will also edit meat products from my content. you will never see me pointing and waving at really great lunch meat coupons, talking about the great leather deals at mardens, or cooking with marshmallows. you just won’t.

    therein lies the dilemma. the nice lady at the promotion company told me that i was “under no obligation to post about the product” (i think that means i can keep the robe), but that i could still host the giveaway if i so desired. so now what?

    option A: keep the robe, and conduct the giveaway anyway because my meat eating readership would like it.

    option B: keep the robe because i did have every intention of hosting the giveaway before the gelatin realization, but not host the giveaway because it goes against my personal beliefs.

    option C: don’t host the giveaway and send the robe back because it’s not fair for me to keep it if i don’t host the giveaway.

    option D: don’t host the sponsored giveaway, but give away the robe that i received (still hermetically sealed, i promise!) because i totally forgot to host a giveaway this month and it would be fun (and i would never have to mention the offending product).

    fuck! maybe tomorrow i’ll post about puppies or something.





    add it up.

    16 02 2010

    i’ve found them in hotel bar couch cushions, underneath potato chip racks, chipped them out of the ice with a ball-point pen, and rescued them from laundromat lint trays.  i’ve scanned sidewalks and check-out lanes from portland to jonesport (and all stops in between- and a few below), and dodged sideways glances from people who either thought i was a complete weirdo, or were jealous they didn’t get to it first.  all in all there were:

    885 pennies

    56 nickels

    177 dimes

    51 quarters

    8 pieces of paper money (2 twenties, 1 five, & 5 ones)

    1 golden dollar

    *i also found 9 canadian pennies, 2 chuck e. cheese tokens, 1 boston subway token, and a few other assorted pieces of undefinable foreign currency.

    for a grand total of $93.10. that’s roughly $.25 a day. not bad.

    which means that cassie- with your guess of $89.50 (the closest without going over), you are the winner! woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot! good times.

    p.s. extra props to the boyfriend who counted and cataloged every last penny of it on his day off.





    see a penny.

    2 02 2010

    i just wanted to thank everyone for the phenomenal response i’ve gotten from this month’s giveaway (especially you money saving maine-iac!). anyway, i thought it might be nice to do a follow up post that’s less about my story and more about what i learned during my year of change hunting. like a “how to” for aspiring hoarders.

    top 5 places to find dropped cash:

    1. parking meters. people in a hurry are always dropping change in the hunt for quarters. portland is especially great for this. plus, pennies blend into the bricks on the sidewalk.

    2. in front of cash registers. basically, anywhere that people take money out, they’re likely to drop it.

    3. couch cushions. i’ve had the best luck at bars & restaurants that have upholstered furniture and lots of traffic. once i found $3 in quarters in a wingback chair at a hotel bar. score!

    4. in & around vending machines. the cardinal thing to remember here is that people are fundamentally lazy, and if it’s less than a quarter and requires bending at the waist to pick up, they’re leaving it behind. it’s your job to capitalize on this.

    5. parking lots. when people are digging into their pockets to get their car keys, their loose bills and change are trying to escape. i found $4 in the CVS parking lot, and $1 at the st. john st. strip mall. it can happen to you.

    so now you know where to get it, a few small things to keep in mind:

    1. get yourself a sweet container that you can enjoy watching fill up. you don’t want your street change to mingle with your common pocket change (scandalous!). plus, it’s the best way to gauge your progress.

    2. carry hand sanitizer. the hazard of picking up things off the ground is that they’re generally pretty unsanitary. i’m not particularly squeamish, but there was that time i picked up a handful of change that turned out to be covered in tiny green bugs. plus there’s always the surprise “sticky penny”. proceed with caution.

    3. don’t be self conscious! nobody is paying attention. and even if they are, they’re probably just jealous that you saw that nickel first.

    4. watch where you’re going! a lot of looking at the ground, means a lot of not looking in front of you. the world is filled with telephone poles and pedestrians. look out!

    5. change walking is great exercise. when it’s not -10 wind chill, i spend most of my lunch breaks spiraling around the city streets on the change hunt.  the more time you spend out on the street, the more change you’re likely to pick up. plus, i hear that exercise is good for you or something.








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