uh oh.

4 06 2011

i’m in trouble. not entirely sure how it happened, but my $1,200 post tax season cushion is COMPLETELY GONE, and i have exactly enough money to pay my bills… leaving me about $68 to last me until my next pay day. oh, did i mention that i get paid every TWO WEEKS?

FUCK.

summer is the spendiest time of year for me, filled with after work margaritas, flea marketing and new sun dresses… in the last month, i indiscriminately blew through over $1,000 of  lazy $12 “i forgot to pack my lunch” days, several “OMG this skirt is only  $18” days, and everyone’s favorite “i can’t show up to this brunch without at least $20 worth of champagne and donuts” days… i really have no idea what i bought, but i had a crazy exciting month, so i’m sure it was fabulous.

being broke, markedly less fabulous. Read the rest of this entry »





weekend pickthrough- cleaning up my act edition.

2 10 2010

it’s been a wacky summer. once upon a time, i posted 5 or more times a week. i deal hunted. i cataloged. i photographed my groceries like a crazy person. then sometime this summer, i got lazy. or busy. or both. not to be a crybaby, but committing to writing a blog every day (or almost every day) is really hard. nowadays i’m lucky if i can squeeze out one post between weekend pickthroughs. NOT COOL. anyway, consider this weekend pickthrough my profound apology, and sincere promise to try and get back to where i was when i started (or at least closer to it). here is a list of my potentially empty promises to you:

1. i will try to write at least 4 times a week. even if the posts are kind of crappy.

2. i will try harder to respond to comments within 48 hours, unless there’s like a 100 of them, which totally never happens.

3. i will relaunch my diet blog being bess marvin with a totally sweet (ok, actually, it’s kind of lame, but it does involve free candy) giveaway.

4. i will bring back the “worth the trip” feature, and actually get some deals up in this business.

ok, i should probably distract you with some weekend pickthrough right now, before i say anything else that could potentially end up being a lie. what i can promise you, is that you’ll never look at a snuggie the same way again.

you’ll also never be able to read your babysitter’s club books again.

a creative use for burritos! (although, i think i’d probably use bagels instead).

karate bears!

the mostly true adventures of lepage and rooks. (seriously, 207ers DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO OUR STATE).

i was never a hairdryer person or a gun person, but now i might be both.

no, mocha dick isn’t a porn title. but it totally should be.

you really can buy EVERYTHING on amazon.com, but the product descriptions here are priceless.

i really should have named my dog majestic crystal. although if brother brent doesn’t show up, maybe i can just hook up with this guy.

this is gonna make my ipad so awesome! you know, when i get one. or steal one. or make one in my garage.





weekend pickthrough- surprising free stuff edition.

26 09 2010

so a while back, i got one of those really sweet amazon free magazine deals, and i got a subscription to marie claire magazine. obviously not a terribly remarkable event, but it would be the catalyst for me getting a UPS package full of crazy free stuff last week, so listen up.

so, by subscribing to their magazine, i got the “privlige” of winding up on the marie claire email list- most of which i deleted and ignored. except one.

“join the marie claire style council”

it was really unclear exactly what the job involved (and still is), but i heard the magic word “free stuff, and decided to fill out the survey. and then, congratulations! the next survey. and then one more survey after that. and then, i had to make a video. 2 minutes about how fashionable and articulate i am. i had a month to get the job done, and i had all these lofty plans about scripting and star wipes… but somehow i ended up waiting until 3 am the night before the videos were due, and did the whole thing on my laptop web cam in bad light in my sweatpants. i was an ugly, styleless, babbling mess, and i assumed that it would mark my end journey toward hot fashion magazine swag.

not so!

a few weeks after the video disaster (so humiliating that even in my general shamelessness, i refuse to put it up on you tube for the world to scrutinize), i got an email telling me that i had been selected for a telephone interview. weird. another 10 minutes of crazy babbling and manic giggles, apparently i impressed my (very patient) interviewer with my knowledge of some more obscure labels (at least that heinous fashion job i had for 2 years was good for something!). i was in! although i’m still not entirely sure what that means. all i do know is that they sent me a sweet package full of random free stuff just to say hello. fancy kitchen spray, some sorta novel, tote bag…

on an partially related note, i also go a weird email from a local marketing firm about product testing out some new flavors of baileys coffee creamer for national coffee day! although national coffee day is 9/29, and i still haven’t gotten my samples yet, so maybe they changed their mind. regardless, people are at least considering sending me free stuff, and i like it.

oh, and here’s some random weekend pickthrough stuff. i had a busy week, so it’s less than impressive, but those hipster dinosaurs make it ok.

this volcano used to have integrity (and other sentiments from hipster dinosaurs).

a big list of things that you think are true, but totally aren’t. (i’m a little crushed that george washington carver didn’t actually invent peanut butter)

i completely forgot that there were movies at the PMA, and october there are some pretty kick ass selection. mark your calendar for october 29th- damnationlad. 7 short horror films from maine directors. apparently, it’s “the way life should bleed”.

just so we all don’t have to have any embarrassing showgirls style faux pas, somebody finally made a resource to help us clueless jerks figure out how to pronounce fashion designer’s names.

kind of a gross article that involves the most hilarious star wars gag i’ve heard in a long time.

calling all single ladies! the classiest craigslist personal ad ever. (jump on this shit now before it disappears!)





holy shit it’s father’s day.

16 06 2010

i’m really good at remembering things. childhood phone number? check. all US presidents in order in under 30 seconds (thanks mr. hickey!)? check. philip j. fry’s secret pin number (1077)? double check. although there do appear to be couple of serious leaks in my otherwise structurally sound memory including and especially: things i learned in high school history class (war of 18what?), where i put my keys, and holidays/special occasions. if you’re lucky i’ll probably remember christmas, but if you’re that guy that gets angry when people don’t celebrate you on your “special day”, maybe it’s time for us to reevaluate our friendship. birthdays are a blur, anniversaries are imaginary, and if you think i’m going to remember your kid’s 8th grad graduation… you’re fucking delusional. a few years ago, my mom called me up in early may and sweetly asked “honey, are you mad at me?”. apparently, i had zoomed past mother’s day without stopping to take a breath. i’m so sorry mom! i’m a terrible daughter!

i did manage to remember mother’s day this year (and am definitely making some headway with the addition of an iphone calendar into my life), but imagine my surprise when somebody told me that father’s day is sunday. THIS SUNDAY. um, i thought that shit was in august? in hopes that i might find some solidarity out there, i’ve decided to assume that at least all you still have yet to pick out the perfect father’s day gift (that is, if you’re a father’s day celebrator).  so without any further screwing around, i present to you: top 5 cheap & easy father’s day gifts that don’t look like you picked it up at the gas station on your way over.

1.  a project. booze is a father’s day staple for many (and frankly how many survive family holidays in the first place),  and it’s hard to go wrong with a bottle of great scotch or a case of a really good local microwbrew (this guy can make you a recommendation if you’re lost on the beer front).  but what about soliciting your dad for help in brewing your own hooch? the combination of bonding & booze is irresistible to many men, but if you choose to go the non-alcoholic route, it could be a beat up moped your found on craigslist, or a pasta maker,  or a build your own gazebo kit. it could be anything. the point is that for father’s day, you’re telling your dad that you want to spend time with him doing something awesome.

2. something from your childhood. don’t be fooled. men can be just as sentimental as the ladies, just in different ways. get a guy talking about his kids or his best friend, or the minute he fell in love with his wife… he’ll mist up mistier than misty dawn singing misty on the maid of the mist while playing myst and drinking a mr. misty from dairy queen. if you want to give your dad the gift of a hallmark moment this father’s day, consider giving him a sweet reminder of something wonderful you remember from your childhood along with a little note about how he was a really good dad. it could be a copy of the first movie he ever took you to, a book he used to read you at bedtime, or a framed photo of the best camping trip ever (*regift opportunity– repurpose a photo frame that contains a picture of an evil ex, and insert a really nice print of you & your dad on archival paper. i promise that dad doesn’t give a shit where you got the fame, plus you can release some of the bad breakup mojo still circulating in your life.)

3. something from his childhood. every child has their white whale- the toy that got away. the thing they wanted to for every birthday, christmas, bar mitzvah and never got. or maybe they got it- and tragically lost it through and unfortunate rough housing or little brother related accident. whatever the case, chances are your dad has been talking about it since 1956. use the power of ebay or local flea markets to try and track one down. ok, this one is a little short notice for sunday… but if you can harness your chi or whatever and make it happen, the payoff will be huge. dad will well up like a little girl, and you’ll be the hero that wiped out every failed holiday since 1956. (*bargain basement version– if you can’t find it or can’t afford it, find a picture of it and make your dad a card telling him how hard you tried to get it for him and that he’ll just have to accept your undying love instead. he’ll be so touched that you even considered getting it for him, he’ll probably slip your broke ass a $20 on the way out).

4. an event. i’m particularly partial to stubhub, but you can also score last minute/sold out event tickets on ebay and craigslist. the best part is that you don’t even have to have the tickets by father’s day, they just have to be “in the mail”. at this very moment, you can get tix to take your daddy-o to see some hardcore UFC action, or maybe some dirty dirty  chelsea handler stand up, or even to shake it with justin bieber. wait. strike that last part. as we get older and start our own families, one on one time with our parents starts to get scarce. it’s time to leave the kids, spouse, girlfriend, dog at home for the night and take your dad out on the date of a lifetime (*broke alert– no cash? try to score some free/cheap tix to a local sports or music event and cap it off with some late night pizza at otto).

5. an education. the boyfriend recently took his dad to a motorcycle permit class, and now they have matching bikes and have been terrorizing the suburbs on the weekends. cooking class, welding course, japanese lessons (*cheapster tip– buy him a how-to book, and try to learn something new together)… whatever you’re learning about, dad is going to be psyched to do it with you.

as i sad before, father’s day isn’t about stuffing your pop’s life with pointless gadgets from brookstone or sharper image (i mean, who really wants to chat with their meat thermometer anyway?). it’s about showing your dad that you actually care about him/ want to spend time with him/ remember and appreciate the time/thought/energy he spent raising you. so step away from the discount necktie section at the tj maxx. it doesn’t need to be pricey or elaborate, but give something with thought and with love, and give your dad a reason to brag to his buddies about how much better you are than their kids. after all, isn’t that what every dad wants for father’s day?





brass in pocket.

6 03 2010

it was time. no etsy sales, no takers for my personal organization service, i had to put at least a little something into the pot today. time is running out, and i am doing a piss poor job getting it together. coinstar to the rescue! well, sort of.

after a serious bout of searching in couch cushions and pants pockets, i came up with a fairly sizable sack of pennies, nickels, dimes, and one random half dollar to cash in. you may notice the conspicuous absence of quarters from the list. unfortunately, we are still tethered by the shackles that are pay-laundry. all quarters (without exception), are to be placed in the laundry fund. bummer.

still, i had a pretty good wad going on. to the grocery store!

what’s great about coinstar is that it’s everywhere. pretty much ever major supermarket in town has one of these bitches, and for the very small fee of $.02 per dollar, your 10 lb. sack of pennies gets turned into dollar bills in about 5 minutes.

but is it $.02 too much?  as far as coinstar is considered, they always give you the option of donating the full amount to a non-profit of your choice. or at some machines, you can get the full amount on a gift card for cvs, old navy, itunes… or some other crap i don’t care about.

but if you want all your money in cash, you do still have a couple other options.

anyone up for some good old fashioned change rolling? this doesn’t entirely qualify as free, unless you already have some/can score some coin wrappers for free. otherwise, you’ll have to buy some– and it looks like they can cost over $.04 each. also, i can’t imagine anyone actually wanting to hover over a pile of loose change for hours quietly counting and rolling… but hey, just letting you know what your options are.

but seriously, your best bet for fee-free coin counting is definitely the penny arcade located at TDbanks.  it’s pretty much just like coinstar in function, except that an adorable cartoon girl leads you through the process. AND, you get to play a game where if you guess your total change within $1.99, you get a prize. despite copious googles, i have yet to find out exactly what the “fabulous prizes” actually are (although this story is really tragic). anyone? anyone?

i chose coinstar because the bank  is closed on saturday, and i didn’t feel like waiting anymore (or carrying all my fucking change across town). regardless of the fee, i still and managed to finally put $14.72 toward my $1,000 goal. $985.28 to go. fuck.





day 1- the big shill

3 03 2010

ok, technically it’s day two, but day one of me actually trying to do anything. i wasted most of the day at work, and then seeing a terrible movie (wolfman! no me gusta!), but since the PT showclub told me to call back later… i had to do SOMETHING today. i’ve decided that while i’m organizing the big ebay purge, i would try to sell some of my more marketable skills on craigslist.

first stop, personal organization. this is actually something i would do for a job if i thought i could actually make a decent living with health insurance. i totally get the jollies from sorting big piles of mismatched crap into neat little stacks, piles, and jars (labeled for extra jollies). but would anyone actually pay me to do it? according to the one website i looked at, real personal organizers charge $55-$85 bucks an hour. of course those people are probably certified and experienced. i have been known to organize my friend’s stuff when they’re not around… but really i’m more of a hobbyist  than a professional. whatever *throws caution to wind*! i figured i would make a charming little ad where i would charge $15 an hour (i’ve gotta make it sexy, right?), throw it out there, and hope for the best. i don’t have too much riding on this one, but it’s an experiment, so why not.

i was thinking that maybe i could put up another ad for graphic design. what else can i do?  what do you think people would you pay for?





lousy smarch weather.

1 03 2010

life is hilarious sometimes.  and by hilarious, i mean cruel and tragic. so after blowing all my cash on gambling and the sandwich party, i decided that march would be the month where i try to make it all back. the truth is that many (most?) people are completely without a savings cushion. even though i finally have a little bit tucked away (hardly the recommended 3-6 months of expenses… but it’s a start!), i’ve been free ballin for my entire life- one lost paycheck away from complete financial ruin. wow. that’s really scary when i say it out loud.

the plan is as follows: imagine that i have no savings, and that a serious financial emergency has occurred where i need $1000 above and beyond what i get paid this month. what do i do?

the irony here is that i woke up to some semi-serious bedroom water damage (see photo) this morning (after fuck-storm 2010), and that if my insurance company doesn’t play nice, i actually could have some significant unexpected expense on my hands. surprise! screw hypothetical, i actually need the money. so how am i going to get it?

here are my ideas so far:

1. ebay & craigslist selling my stuff bonanza.

2. blood plasma.

3. labor ready.

4. amateur night at PT showclub.

5. odd jobs.

6. cash in bottles & cans.

7. cash in loose change around the house (found money jar excluded).

8. make stuff for etsy.

that’s all i got. what else can i do? no good idea will be refused!