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 »

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that awkward moment…

10 01 2012

… when you realize that your ex husband is the most attractive prospect on an online dating site.

let’s just be clear here. i’m not ready to date.

it’s only been about a month now, and the ex and i are still sharing the same space (and to his credit, he is the most kind and agreeable person i have ever broken up with).  i need to focus my efforts on things like moving, working, breathing, and cuddling my dog. i need to not be an idiot and jump into anything before i’ve had a chance to regroup and recover- at least a little. you know, common sense… blah blah blah, good advice… yadda yadda yadda…

BUT.

the sensible path sorta sucks. it’s lonely. and painful. and sad. so you start to try to make the breakup, the newfound single status (set carefully to your facebook for all to casually notice), more appealing than it really is. you dream of the possibilities. you start to remember everyone you’ve ever had a crush on and stalk them to determine current availability (just in case) (for later): Read the rest of this entry »





lactose intolerant.

15 03 2011

well, for a few days at least. those crazy cats over at bzzagent sent me free silk soymilk coupons under the condition that i give up milk for 10 days (like it’s some sort of challenge or something). not one to back away from a challenge (especially one that involves me getting free stuff), i decided that i’m not only giving up milk for 10 days, i’m giving  all dairy.

i have sort of a cheese and butter problem to start with, even though my personal ethics would really love for me to be a vegan. i thought this would be a good way for me to test the dairy free waters, without any major commitments or expectations. although i already spent over $100 on dairy free groceries that i am convinced will help me make it through the tough times that i assume to be ahead. what i’ve learned so far: Read the rest of this entry »





raising the roof.

26 05 2010

i wish i could raise the roof all 1998 style (can a get a woot woot?) about the process of getting a new roof, but it’s been all sorts of suck since day one. we hadn’t even had our condo for a full year when the water damage started. sure, they told us during due diligence that we would need a new roof in the next 2-5 years, but we figured we would have at least one recovery year before the giant assessment of doom descended upon us. but then *BAM*, 1 giant shingle ripping windstorm, and everything falls apart. our beautiful (and stupid expensive) brand new professional paint job reduced to a bubbly saggy mess in 24 short hours.

now not only was my heart broken about the paint job, but with one of the 5 units in our tiny little condo association undergoing foreclosure (meaning that the guy hadn’t paid mortgage or condo fees for 6+ months), i was also wicked pissed. why you ask? well, because when a condo association needs a new roof, and one of the units is in foreclosure… everyone else just has to pick up the slack and pay jerkface’s share of the bill. which isn’t so bad when it’s a $75 heat bill, but when it’s a $15,000 new roof- it becomes significantly more pricey. and thus, i become increasingly more filled with rage.

i suppose we were lucky enough to get that big chunk gifted to us by the boyfriend’s parents (although that too came with it’s own “complications” [ahem, demon dog anyone?]). but that still left us with $1,375 each to come up with by june 1st. the crazy thing is, i actually had it. there was almost $2,300 in my savings account, and for the first time in my life ever (i’d never been able to keep more than about $25 in savings at any given time), my emergency fund was actually ready for the emergency. so why did it feel so bad when i had to write that check? last night as i transferred the cash over to my checking account, and saw my hard earned savings dwindle down to less than $900, i felt a huge sense of hopelessness and loss. i had been doing so well. i had made real progress. i had felt so successful. and here i was again, back down to an almost empty tank.

i automatically have $100 a month put into savings from my paycheck, and then any other outside earnings, single check rebates, or other miscellaneous income have been getting thrown in there to boot. this was a good year, and between tax returns and freelance jobs, i was able to come up with almost another $1000 of miscellany to stuff under my savings mattress. i’m just afraid that this next year won’t be as kind, and that my race to have 2 months worth of living expenses in the stronghold could take another 2 or more years to build. i was so close.

i think i get it now. saving money is like taking prozac. it takes the edge of worry off of working and living in a world where expensive emergencies can streak across the road like a spooked deer at any time. sure, my new roof looks nice, will add resale value to my home, and will most hopefully prevent any future water damage… but it took a little bit of my security with it, and i think i’m going to be in mourning for a little while. *i’ll be in my room*





blogging for dollars.

24 05 2010

after the big week with the wordpress deluge and just the general positive growth of my little blog egg over the last year, a friend recently posed the question: why aren’t you monetizing? first of all, i hate the word monetize. it’s like one of those jargony crap words that everyone throws around when they’re talking about “important internet stuff”. second of all, i hate advertising cluttering up my favorite blogs. it’s ugly and distracting. on the other hand… i do like money. i do need money. as a writer of a blog with the word “broke” in the title, don’t i have a personal responsibility to scrape every penny off the sidewalk that i can?

well, when i first started this project, i promised myself that i wasn’t going to try any funny business like paying for a domain name, or advertising, or trying to make money until i had been successfully operational for at least one year. i have a bad track record with blogs (and a lot of other things)… i get so excited about things for a minute, and then someone jangles some keys in front of my face, and i’m off and running in the opposite direction. the internet is a virtual (pun intended) graveyard of my abandoned writing projects, and i wanted to make sure that this wasn’t just another one night stand before i made any big (potentially expensive) moves. well, i’m not quite at the 1 year finish line yet, but it’s looking good. in short, the patient is still alive, and it’s time to start thinking about what comes next.

but you know what, i have no fucking clue what comes next. how exactly do you take a blog to “the next level”, if you’re not ever sure what the next level is? i’m still really down on the idea of sidebar ads (primarily for aesthetic reasons) and according to copyblogger (one of the best blog resources out there), i probably wouldn’t make any money doing it anyway. so then what direction? do i try to figure out what the hell affiliate ads are (who wants to affiliate themselves with my financially inept ass)? do i try to sell ebooks where i speak in depth on the profundities of my financial ineptitude? do i try to get famous and get talking gigs where i can tell other people how they too can be profoundly financially inept? but seriously, at the end of the day, do i actually have anything worth monetizing?

whether i do or not, i feel like dream of making a living off of blogging is roughly akin to wanting to grow up to be a rockstar or an astronaut. sure, somebody gets to have that job… but the odds are less than stellar for big time success. the truth is that i love this. i don’t think i’d get so little sleep for something i was kind of meh about, and i’m scared about the possibility of losing that love in the process of trying to spin straw into gold. what happens if i try and make money and it doesn’t work? would that failure suck the joy out of the writing, and ruin the whole affair?

for now, i think i’m going to hold off with the blogging for cash schemes. although i can’t promise that there won’t be a few subtle surprise changes headed your way this summer. but if any of my seasoned blog peeps out there have some light to shed on the subject, it would be most sincerely appreciated. i have much to learn, and i’m just going to sit quietly right here until i’m well educated enough not to tear the whole system down in the process.





rollercoaster of love.

25 04 2010

i did something this weekend that terrified me. how i got involved is somewhat irrelevant, but the end result was me doing the hustle in the aisles at this weekend’s play that funky music PSO! concert. and in the lobby. and eventually leading the YMCA on stage with motor booty affair. no, i didn’t just lose my shit and start bustin moves everywhere… i was actually part of the show.

ever since i started working with vivid motion doing costumes, i have been feeling the performance itch a little (it just looks like so much g-d fun). problem being that i don’t actually know how to dance. well, every now and again (outside the bounds of the 3 yearly full-scale shows) they get a chance to throw together a quickie informal performance that they open up to whoever in the company wants to be involved. in comes the PSO saying “hey, it would be really great to have some dancers shaking their respective groove things in the aisles at our upcoming 70s tribute concert”, and an opportunity is born.

at first, i turned it down. not entirely interested in breaking the 4th wall and invading the space of quiet symphony concert goers. too scary. but somehow… a combination of some lovely and persistent friends and a nagging feeling that i need to make more of an effort to get over my myself, i wound up on the dancer list.  a mere 24 hours later, i was shakin my disco tits at the merrill auditorium in a halter dress (see inset photo).

i learned a lot of things this weekend. like that a big gold chain makes all the difference, or that there are very people who can resist the dance temptations of the village people.   but more importantly, that being scared of something is far worse than actually doing the thing that you’re scared of. yes, i felt a lot like vomiting or peeing my pants every time the opening strains of love rollercoaster started to fill the lobby (both in my worst case scenario nightmares), but once you show up in your your best 70s hotel lobby hooker outfit, there’s no turning back. and you know, it was ok. i flubbed the choreography a little in parts, and today i stumbled and fell off my platform shoes… but i put on my best disco smile and just kept going.

ok, so this doesn’t have anything to do with money or coupons or rite aid deals… but (at least right now), it feels like an important lesson. i’ve spent YEARS being afraid of making a scene or drawing unnecessary attention to myself. and today, i threw my glitter covered ass into the fray- and it was AWESOME. i wasted all that time being afraid of something that was actually really fun. fuck that shit. here’s my new two part plan:

1. tell fear to fuck off and give scary things a try.

2. even if you fall off your platform shoes just smile and keep going.

hustle that bitches.





seeking redemption.

8 03 2010

this is bound to be a kind of schizophrenic post, as i am writing it while i’m watching the oscars. at a party. slightly drunk. as a matter of fact, it’s taken me no less than 39 minutes to write this much. but that’s okay, i don’t really have a lot to say on the subject of bottle redemption.

after collecting ground change all year, you do start to notice discarded bottles as well. they’re like dirty sticky nickels that won’t fit into your pocket. there have been moments when i’ve considered going after them… but there’s already a lot of competition in town, and there’s something about throwing my hat into that ring that just seems a little unfair. i’ll stick with the boxtops for education. if i even have the balls to do that. digging through other people’s trash is a place that i’m still a little afraid to go.

but back to the bottles. the best thing about having a big party is that everybody brings beer, drinks beer, and leaves bottles behind. score. also, copious road trips, my unquenchable thirst, and general untidiness meant that the car was also packed to the gills with empty water bottles. smaller, secondary score.

we ended up taking our drippy pastic bagged bounty to the RSVP redemption center out on forest ave. this kind of classic redemption center is, as always, smelly, sticky, noisy, and horribly inconvenient.  you have to sort each  bottle by type, which means that you end up with like 10 different slips- not counting the ones for the bottles that the machine won’t take that you have to get from the cashier up front.  then you have to schlep across the way to the liquor store to  cash in your slips, which a checker has to enter in individually into the register before she gives you your $7.25.

they clynk program at hannaford’s all over maine is by far a better solution. you put your returnables into one of their special bags, drop them off at any clynk location, and they keep a running tally in your account until you’re ready to cash out. although i suppose it’s only a better solution if you don’t need cash right now,  or if you don’t mind parting with $.20 for every bag full of bottles you bring in. but it’s definitely easier, cleaner, less smelly, and a great way to keep your bottle fund growing quietly until there’s enough to make it worth withdrawing.

i’m likely to make at least a couple more bottle runs this month as we blaze through the leftover party beer, and i clean out the bottle stash at my office. but i’m going to need more than another $7.25 to make it to my $1,000 goal. unless you’re willing to spend the day scouring the streets and garbage cans for recyclable cast offs… bottle returning is definitely not the path to easy money- unless you just want to use it to buy more beer.