death of a salesman.

4 05 2012

let’s be clear: i am a terrible sales person.

when i was in 2nd grade, i quit girl scouts because i didn’t like being forced to sell cookies. in 5th grade, i quit trick or treating because it felt too much like solicitation. despite the fact that everyone loves girl scout cookies, and virtually every person in america has a bowl of candy at the ready on halloween, i couldn’t shake the dirtiness of asking someone to give me something- or worse, BUY SOMETHING!

it’s kind of my worst non-dismemberment related fear. like twitchy cold sweat vomit grade fear.

so here we are at IKEA bus time again, and we have 27 people signed up for a bus that holds 50. and on the inside, i’m all like OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT. but then again, i don’t actually want to ask anyone to to buy a ticket. or flood my facebook and twitter feeds with plugs for my little project. so i’m sort of at a stalemate.

so my decision was to try and overcome my fear in the least invasive and annoying way i could think of- a short and to the point blog post. just one more before i give up, pat myself on the back, and say “hey, 27 people is still pretty sweet. you’re gonna have a kick ass time”.

so here it is. Read the rest of this entry »





[black friday] balance restored.

30 11 2011

black friday when all nuts this year. some stores opened at midnight, some at 4, some at 6… all of which made it nearly impossible for me to form a workable plan for a pleasant shopping experience. what was i supposed to do, hit the old navy and the target at midnight and then hang out at the denny’s until the mall opened?

NO. my digestive system could not take such a beating (although i still really do want to try out that grilled cheese with the mozzarella stix embedded inside, even though i know it’s wrong)!

i considered just hitting the midnight store and then going back later in the morning… but that also seemed less than ideal in terms of efficiency. so i decided to do something a little different this year- SLEEP IN.

it was actually kind of awesome. and then around 7, i leisurely got up, walked the dog, and headed to the mall. considering that i don’t need any big ticket electronics, and all the cheap movie titles were complete crap, it wasn’t like i was missing anything anyway (other than shivering in the cold with a bunch of other cranky folks who are more than willing to elbow you in the throat to get the last creepy stalker barbie).

and since i had already slept through the “best” deals, i also felt little pressure to hit the big boxes and try to scrape up what was left. so i just went wherever the hell i wanted regardless of big signs yelling DOORBUSTERS! and here is what i got: Read the rest of this entry »





weekend pickthrough- bottom of the sea edition.

17 10 2011

changing jobs is hard. somehow, i forgot about that part. i spent the majority of last week either lapsing into couch comas or trying to keep myself from bursting into hysterical tears at inopportune moments (with mixed results).

and then there was the part where i didn’t have time for the internet. which is weird, because i pretty much live on the internet full time. it’s my natural habitat (well, the internet and target).

basically, i was either trying to get my bearings at my new job (situation improving, if slowly), alseep, or sobbing hysterically in an unfortunate place. no twitter, no facebook, no gchat…  i feel like i was incarcerated, or in a coma, or at the bottom of the sea for the last 7 days, and i’m just finally resurfacing. i’m disoriented, and a little cranky. but i’m back, and as always, sorry for dropping off the planet for a bit.

i have a full lineup of posting schedule for this week (including my annual bad halloween costume roundup), but for the transition back into normalcy, let’s just start with a few easy links: Read the rest of this entry »





i spy- schweddy balls (a tale of woe).

3 10 2011

i’m not really an ice cream person. i don’t hate it, it’s usually  just not at the top of my list when it comes to consuming mass quantities of crap food. i would much rather hit the cheez-its, or the cheez doodles, or anything else so processed and atomically  orange that it is forced for legal reasons to spell the word cheese with a Z. either that, or a stick of butter. (yes, a WHOLE STICK). i essentially only eat ice cream on birthdays or scorching summer days where i accidentally end up within a five mile radius of a DQ.

but then a few weeks ago, ben & jerry’s announced a brand new limited edition flavor called schweddy balls. i generally find ben & jerry’s to be a bit too heavy, and to have too much crap in it (too sweet is the kiss of death in my book). but something about rum flavored ice cream with malt balls and rum balls sounded like the most amazing thing i had ever heard of, and i became COMPLETELY OBSESSED with finding and ingesting it post haste.

except that they weren’t fucking around when they said limited edition. apparently only dispatched to 30% of their stores, and not available on the “flavor locator“, it became the motherfucking holy grail of ice cream. i checked every supermarket and convenience store in town. NOTHING. i put out an APB on twitter. lots of complaining about how nobody else can find it either, and an unhelpful rumor about it being spotted in bangor. essentially, NOTHING.

weeks passed, and with my new obsession came an unquenchable thirst for ice cream. every time i would to into a store and be disappointed, i would sooth my disappointment with a pint of something else: Read the rest of this entry »





shit you don’t know about food stamps: a guest post!

21 08 2011

when i was little, we were on food stamps, and i they looked like this. now you get a fancy plastic card!

i fell in love with amanda pleau and her totally sweet blog, misadventures in portland, about a year ago when she wrote a post about her spanx addiction.  it made me laugh so hard that i was extremely disruptive to others in my workplace. apparently, tax spreadsheets should not be quite so hilarious. also, i was wearing spanx at the time, so it really struck a chord with me.

point being, misadventures has had a place in my “best maine blogs” sidebar (and my heart) for a long time. a few months ago, she wrote this really amazing post about being a recipient of food stamps, and i knew i wanted her to write a companion piece for broke207, because i think there are a lot of young people out there who could benefit from the program, but either don’t know about it, or don’t think they qualify. shockingly, she accepted my request for an unpaid guest post (in between writing her own blog, working, and being a full time student), and here it is. please enjoy it for both its educational and entertainment value, and you should probably add her to your google reader and twitter feed, and head on over to her blog and devour the whole thing, leaving copious comments all the way.

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You know that feeling when you log into your Internet banking; your breath is caught in your chest, you start panicking? “Where the did all the money go? Oh my god, how am I going to pay my rent/phone/student loan/insurance? How exactly does one start turning tricks and how long does it take to get the money?” I’ve had that feeling intermittently throughout my twenties, from when I moved out at 21, to when I had a real job with the proper salary, and especially now that I’m a student again.

Two years ago, I wrote this article or my friend Mary. It was my first year back in school at the University of Southern Maine, and I was working twenty hours a week at a coffee shop. I felt great about my financial situation, hopeful for the future. I had goals! A budget! It’s laughable how much things have changed since then: I caused a car accident while driving without insurance, I’m looking at almost $30k in student loans after I graduate this year, and I lost my lucrative waitressing job for doing something really dumb. Once the shock of being fired wore off, that panicky feeling slowly crept up, and I fell into a bottomless pit of despair. “What am I going to doooooooo?”

I figured out my income/expense ratio. It wasn’t good. It only took a few days for me to decide to go to the Department of Health and Human Services and apply for food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Once upon a time, there were actual stamp-like bills, but now it’s like a credit card.  I’m sure social service workers are probably super annoyed by the difference between the actual name of the program and the common vernacular. My case worker was pretty short with me. He said I needed a letter from my former employer confirming my termination (that was an awkward email), signatures from my roommates saying they were not feeding my sorry, lazy ass, proof that I was a full-time student working at least 20 hours a week, and pay stubs from my jobs. My jobs at that time consisted of a monthly column in the Portland Phoenix (for which I earned one whole Jackson), and my work-study job at the student newspaper. Very shortly after submitting all of my paperwork, I was admitted! There was no phone call, no confirmation, just a shiny new EBT (Electric Benefit Transfer) card with my name on it. Read the rest of this entry »





cheap eats- thirsty piggin it.

5 08 2011

not to be confused with “porky piggin it”, which is the condition of wearing a shirt, but no pants or underwear (a la porky pig).

i love a hot dog. red hot dogs. foot long hot dogs. 7-11 roller hot dogs… in my meat eating days, i would shovel down those natural casing lovelies (THE SNAP!) like they were going out of style. and then i became a vegetarian, and my hot dog prospects became instantly very very grim. tofu pups? seriously?

over time, i have managed to find some work arounds. i’m a big fan of the yves  veggie dogs, i think they have the most realistic hot dog flava available in the mass consumer fake meat marketplace (especially when buried under sauerkraut, onions, and spicy mustard). they’re even better if you grill them in a pan with butter (sorry vegans!).  as it turns out, they are slightly less good if you roast them over a fire.  surprise! it’s blister covered corpse dogs!

although the worst thing about it is that i can’t just stroll through tommy’s park and grab a red snapper from mark’s on a summer afternoon… or any one of portland’s many varied and awesome hot dog stands. it sucks. so when linda bean’s famous bullshit chowder something something shut down, and the thirsty pig moved in (and actually carried a veggie dog), i was pretty fucking excited. Read the rest of this entry »





weekend pickthrough- go the *uck outside edition.

20 06 2011

it’s summertime y’all! and as such, we will likely be keeping summer hours around these blog parts.  it is ludicrously beautiful outside, and i plan on spending as much time as humanly possible outdoors. other states are nice and all, but i like to think that maine puts them all to shame. here i am in the biggest city we got (ok, admittedly not that big, but still…), and there’s all this motherfucking unspoiled nature just minutes (at times seconds) away.

i’m especially feeling the love today after my friend pook turned me on to the glory that is portland trails. 30 trails all over the greater portland area, all equally surprising and awesome. oh, and all free.

for example, today we hit an incredible seaside bird sanctuary, AND a freakin waterfall. i have lived in this area since 1996, and had no idea there was a FREAKIN WATERFALL 5 minutes off the peninsula.

anyway, being outside is pretty famtastic, and fits happily within my summer fun budget of $0. i’m thinking long hikes, picnic lunches, brown paper bag beers, and falling asleep on the grass/rocks/beach while reading summer trash with puffy gold letters on the cover.

what’s in your budget for summer fun? (you can start by reading these links) Read the rest of this entry »








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