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 »





get dressed!

15 03 2012

so enough bummer posts for a minute about fibroids and break ups. can we do a little something fun for a moment maybe?

maybe, we could go shopping.

and we’re not just going to go shopping. we’re going to go shopping for CHEAP, and we’re going to go shopping for a GOOD CAUSE.

southern maine dress for success needs your help!  in the midst of a pretty serious reorganization, they’re finding themselves with an excess of donated clothing and an almost complete lack of funding. it’s sad to see such a cool organization struggling to make ends meet- especially when it’s needed so much in this bunk economy. but we can help them out in the best way we know how- SHOPPING.

they’re having a big ass fundraising sale on saturday from 9-1 (details to the left), and the very best thing you can to do support their organization to come with dollars ready (or plastic. or checkbook. i was informed by amanda from misadventures in portland that the only thing they don’t accept is barter- so leave those chickens at home!) and a desire to score yourself some awesome new clothes (starting at $5!).

i will be there personally elbowing my way to the front of the handbag section, and i’ll be putting my scores up on the facebooks (showboating will be done). you should probably come and make sure that i don’t take ALL the good stuff.





magical mystery tour- mittapheap international market & sakura electic hair & beauty

7 11 2011

i’ve had it in my head for a long time, that i would start to run regular “store spotlight” posts of what i deem to be underappreciated businesses in the greater portland area. a little over a year ago, i wrote a little article about one of my favorite exchange street boutiques, toko indo. and then… NOTHING. oops. this certainly wouldn’t be the first incidence of me dropping the ball, but i think it’s due time i made an effort to pick this one back up. for my re-inaugural post, i’ll be taking you to a mystical little international market nestled at the bottom of munjoy hill.

because she’s kind of amazing, and because for some reason she makes a lot of southeast asian food, i invited my friend pam (aka @timorousme, she’s kind of twitter famous) to give me the grand tour. you can find the full photo documentary over here at my flickr, but here are some highlights: Read the rest of this entry »





i spy- cheap shower curtains.

9 10 2011

i have had the same shower curtain since 2008 (a vintage yellow floral affair that i bought off ebay when i was attempting to set up my perfect post-divorce bachelorette pad). as with all vinyl shower curtains, it periodically gets covered in mildewy scunge and requires a good scraping. however, after 3 long years of service, it’s not quite bouncing back the way it once did. also, getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing down a vinyl shower curtain with with a bottle of formula 409 and a mr. clean magic eraser is tiresome.

honestly, i would have bought a new shower curtain years ago, but they’re too goddamn expensive. every single time i go to the store with the intention of purchasing a new shower curtain, the following internal conversation occurs:

“all these shower curtains are hideous.”

“well, i guess this one isn’t too bad…”

“$19.99? are you fucking kidding me?”

screw that.” [leaves store sans shower curtain]

at which point i unearth the magic eraser and call it good. i recently found a purple zebra shower curtain at big lots for $4, and thought i had hit the jackpot.

but today was a game changer. all the dorm room crap at target was loaded onto the endcaps at target for 75% off. including and especially, a huge pile of cute vinyl shower curtains for $2.12 each. i bought 4.  at my current rate, i won’t need another shower curtain until 2023. (there were also at least 20 left over. go! go now!).

today was a good day.

* as a bonus, i also got a super cute pair of yoga pants for $3.34. i think the 75% off section of the sleepwear/fitnesswear section is often overlooked.





worth the trip- makeup project resurrection edition.

22 09 2011

or free lipgloss, whatever you’re into.

it’s been a while since i mentioned the makeup project. and well, it’s an xmas season kind of thing, so it didn’t seem necessary to bother y’all too much about it this summer. but all the sudden, it’s cold.  halloween shit is on sale EVERYWHERE (free candy corn @ CVS this week, but vegetarians beware, there will be gelatin!), and i have friends organizing apple picking dates on facebook. the truth has become evident: WINTER IS COMING.

and with this onset of the transition into corn maze and mitten weather, it only seems appropriate that i start to refocus my efforts on my winter projects like the fall SWAPmaine clothing swap, and of course, getting the ole cosmetic hoard for the year together to see how much further i have to go before december rolls around.

i’ve actually been really good so far this year. apparently, CVS changes its cosmetics wall twice a year (which means 75% discount fiesta), but also randomly marks things down throughout the year (just keep your coupon folder handy, and scan for these little round stickers whenever you go in). needless to say, i’ve got a pretty great stash going. here’s the count as of today: Read the rest of this entry »





acid flashback.

24 07 2011

i am a child of the 80s. when i was born, video stores didn’t exist. but by the time i was 6- BAM, there they were. you could rent an atari 5200, or any one of tens of titles on VHS or betamax.  as a young child being seduced by the glory of in-home movie viewing (commercial free!), there were precious few titles available in the G ratings bracket in 1984.

also, my comprehension of the english language was still in its formative stages. so, i relied entirely on movie box pictures to make my choices. i was particularly obsessed with the movie above: angel- high school honor student by day, hollywood hooker by night.

obviously at 6, i didn’t know what a hooker was. i merely saw pretty shoes and shiny hot pants. what could possibly be inappropriate? my older sister and i would BEG repeatedly for this movie every single time we went to the video store… never fully understanding why we were being shut down. unfortunately,  being the prudent parent that she is, my mother never caved.

flash forward 25+ years later.

despite being readily available on netflix (with a 4 star recommendation based on some other hilarious movies that i’ve watched), i have never managed to view it as a consenting 17+. actually, i had forgotten about it entirely for many many years (it would fade slowly from local video stores to be replaced with “higher quality” fare usually starring eddie murphy in a fat suit). until…

LAST SATURDAY. Read the rest of this entry »





broke & hungry.

28 04 2011

there is absolutely no question that portland has incredible food. on munjoy hill alone live three of the best restaurants in town (bar lola, blue spoon, & front room), and the most perfect neighborhood market that ever lived.  possibly secondary only to family and friends, it is the thing that holds me here and reminds me that portland is home.

yesterday, i took a jaunt to the new five guys with a very bummed out boyfriend who was just informed that he needed to purchase a new transmission. place was PACKED! i really love how they only have like 5 things on their menu. simplicity to me is one of the earmarks of a restaurant that knows what they’re doing. you don’t have to have 200+ menu items if the 5 things that you make are super delicious.

that said, i wasn’t expecting much from my grilled cheese. and i was right to set the standards low. the cheese to bread ratio was way off (like an inch of american cheese- TOO MUCH!), and it was super small and dense. edible, but not amazing. french fries were undercooked and mouth searingly hot. although, my friend @torreyham said that he saw the face of god in his hamburger, and the boyfriend seemed overall quite pleased- even if they forgot the BBQ sauce.

but that’s not entirely my point today.  the point is that there are all these new restaurants opening up in portland all the time, but there is one large gap being left in the market that i would like to see filled: affordable food with sit-down atmosphere (mall restaurants need not apply).

on the cheap is easy when you’ve got diners and pizza and burger places up the yaz. upscale is easy if you can afford it. there also appear to be an inexplicable amount of asian restaurants cropping up on every corner… but when my mom refuses to eat indian food, and i only have $20, where do we go?

i don’t know exactly how to make it work. and i certainly have no idea how to run a restaurant… but i would love to see people opening restaurants with a greater awareness of A) how many similar restaurants already exist in the area, and B) the fact that we’re pretty much all fucking broke.

yeah, i’m sure that grass fed beef with walnut fennel chutney is great and all, but we don’t need to be so fancy. but we also need to be able to afford things that aren’t just pizza and french fries. oh, and we want the food to taste good.

ok, so maybe i’m asking a lot. but if anyone out there wants to open a restaurant, this town could use some unpretentious budget fare that doesn’t have to get cooked in a fryolator.

who’s with me?

(or we could scrap this idea entirely and just open an automat)