day 4: the wrong bus.

31 08 2012

today was stupid from start to finish.

all week i had planned that today i was going to go to the DMV to take my permit test. come to find out this morning, you actually have to send in a physical paper application with a check for $10, and then in 2-4 weeks they MAIL you a date to come in and take your test. [sigh]

it was supposed to be an adventure day to the mall, with the highlight being finally getting my permit and admitting to myself and others that i am ready to learn how to drive.

instead, i ate a big bowl of leftover mac & cheese (this recipe was ridiculously delicious, and i am not easily impressed by impostor cheese) and dicked around on the internet.

but after as many hours of lounging as i could physically tolerate, i decided that DMV bureaucracy couldn’t keep me from trying on pants. to the mall! 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 »





coming up for air.

27 11 2010

this thanksgiving, i was thankful for a lot. finally getting to hang out with my mom on a holiday (it’s been 2 years!), fake gravy that tasted as good as regular gravy (way to go gardein!), and of course not having to go to work (although i did have to work on friday :P). but my biggest moments of gratefulness came long after dinner was through, and we were perched on the cusp of our black friday adventure.

now let me start by reminding you all that i am FUCKING EXHAUSTED. between burlesque rehearsals, costumes, midnight trips to boston, and trying to keep the pulse on this blog beating at least a little, i don’t get a lot of sleep. lately, it seems like less than ever. by 10 pm on thanksgiving evening, after 2 slices of pie, several pounds of mashed potatoes, and a lively and hour long debate with my mom about whether or not it’s irresponsible for people to have big families in the current economic climate (i’m looking at you michelle duggar), i was PRACTICALLY COMATOSE.

grateful moment #1: the boyfriend agrees  to skip our midnight walmart trip (sorry $6 lord of the rings trilogy) and go home to sleep instead.

admittedly i was still up until almost midnight looking for my lost CVS card (eventually found, but not before a significant meltdown). i was definitely not looking forward to my 4:30 am wake up call.

grateful moment #2: the boyfriend’s alarm clock doesn’t go off, and we wake up at 5:45.

ok, so we missed waiting outside the target in the slush, and getting to be first in line, but the extra hour and 45 minutes was an amazing gift. also, when we finally did get to target, there wasn’t much worth fighting for. the $2 movie titles SUCKED (random greatest american hero episodes?), and the line was more insane than anything i had ever seen before. it wound from the front registers all the way through the back of the store, through the toy and electronics departments, and ostensibly through some sort of wormhole in the center of the store.

grateful moment #3: after viewing the target line, the boyfriend (who is a black friday purist- a bargain warrior who got me into this mess in the first place) looked at me and said “fuck this shit, i’m shopping on amazon”.

basically, we just ended up chilling out at the mall for an hour or so, and then getting some burger king breakfast before i had to go back to work. even though the bargains were minimal, and i didn’t manage to score a single $2 dvd, getting things downgraded to low key/low expectations made this the best black friday ever.

here’s what i brought home: Read the rest of this entry »





worth the trip- the black album (with a plaid b-side).

24 11 2010

i feel like it was just halloween. how exactly is it thanksgiving already? now, thanksgiving means a lot of things to me- pie, defending my vegetarianism against people who think it is a personal attack, pie, rolling my eyes at football, pie, and most of all… BLACK FRIDAY.

to many, getting up at the pre-crack of dawn in order to shiver outside in the icy icy weather in a line of other assholes who also think that this is a good idea does not seem like a privilege. i know it seems wrong on a number of levels, but i can’t stop myself. i’m not even buying any xmas presents. i’m not even trying to score big ticket items at crazy low prices. i just really love a hot bargain, and have designs on expanding my chick flick collection for less than $2 a dvd.

now traditionally, one gets the thanksgiving paper and weeds through the ads while digesting their  gravy coated food baby after dinner (sort of like half time before the pie round). but since this is the internet age, and we’re all a big fucking pack of cheaters, there are multiple websites offering up all the black friday deal fliers days before anyone has to stick their hands into a frozen turkey and pull out the “giblet sack” (and people question my vegetarianism?).

i love black-friday. net, but it really doesn’t make a fucking difference if you go there or to blackfriday.info or even blackfriday.com. the point is that i’ve been planning my black friday shopping strategy for DAYS. here is my present  ACTION PLAN: Read the rest of this entry »





bits and pieces.

21 06 2010

i’ve started to get into a pattern where i save up all my buying lust for sundays where i plan one big binge. the boyfriend was away all week camping with with his dad, and he promised me that upon his return, he would take me to not one but 2 targets. we also decided to cram in a couple of flea markets, and i would take a covert jaunt to the old navy while somebody was asleep in the car.

it was certainly not the day that i planned in my head, a day bursting full of target endcap bargains. actually, there were none. the cupboard was pretty much dry on the retail end except for one accidental old spice money maker, but the thrifting was hard core.  i’m still struggling with my deep desires to buy things that i don’t need- even if i have scaled down dramatically on the amount that i spend… but shopping is one of my greatest joys in life and i’m not sure i can live happily ever after without it. in the meantime, i am embracing the summer flea market season and trying to find my joy for under $30 a week:

montsweag flea market: threatening rain made the whole thing kind of lame today. place was pretty much cleaned out, but i did manage to score a big pile of stunning vintage fabrics for $4, and the above pictured parker brothers palm reading game (complete and pristine) for $5. hot hot hot!

after the disappointing and brief turn @ montsweag, we decided to hit the waterfront flea market in brunswick to see if we could make up the difference. better, but still not amazing. i did however grab a very beautiful half finished painting (40s?) for $10. the woman who sold her to me had tears in her eyes, even though i assured her that the painting was going to a loving household. it crushes me a bit to see people sell things that they love, especially for so little.

in an attempt to shake off the bummer from our last stop, the boyfriend deposited me at the topsham target while he went off to scoot around the neighborhood on his new motorcycle (don’t get me started). i knew i had a nearly unlimited amount of time, and combed that shit from top to bottom. NOTHING! moderately depressed, i decided to use some leftover P&G bogo coupons for old spice body wash and get myself a $5 target gift card in return. it was supposed to work like this: 2 old spice bodywash @ $3.54 with bogo coupon, 1 old spice bodywash & 1 old spice deodorant @3.54 with bogo coupon. $5 gift card in return makes the whole mess $2.08. good deal! things started to unravel at the register when my total came out to $4.39, and my giftcard didn’t pop out. i was shuffled over to customer service where they gave me $5 in cash. i still don’t know what happened, but somehow i made $.61. thanks for the donation target! the preble st. resource center will be grateful for the personal care items.

of course the topsham target is goodwill adjacent, so a quick stop in there i grabbed an awesome 80s dress pattern for $.99, and a sweet black knit minidress for $2.49.

at that point we were getting a little wilted, and it was time for the last stop at the south portland target before we headed home for the day. similar to topsham, it was bunksville. does anyone know the discount endcap filling schedule? when is the best time to go? i’m starting to feel like sundays are not optimal for bargain hunting.

disappointed with my target experience, i decided to sneak over to the old navy while the boyfriend was napping in the car. their summer clothes are really awful right now. all frayed hems and boxy peasant blouses. no me gusta! i did however find a 3-pack of my favorite underpants for a mere $7.99. not exactly a giveaway, but they’re usually $12, and it might just be time for me to toss out some of the 2nd string underpants that are either way too small, way too big, way too unflattering, or have lost all concept of elasticity.

total damage:  $28.87.

$30 a week thrifting/bargain hunting is $1560 a year. would that money be better spent on my credit card debt or perhaps my nest egg? maybe, but at what point is it ok for me to have a little fun? where do you draw your frugal line in the sand? please tell me i’m not the only frugal failure out there with a habit that they might not be interested in kicking!





the dam breaks.

6 05 2010

you would think that after the ridiculous amount of money that i spent on eating out last month, i would have been able to do some thoughtful self assessment and reigned it in a little. yeah, thoughtful self assessment isn’t exactly my strong suit. although i do spend a lot of time wishing that i was one of those people who got off on self denial. too bad wishing is a statistically poor way to accomplish your goals.

i’ve actually been quite good with the eating out thing lately, but i’ve slid my attentions over to the retail sector. it starts with a perceived need, for example: i’m too fat for all my summer clothes, and it’s starting to get hot out. although regardless of my pants size, i always get hit with the spring shopping fever and buy everything in sight. i think we’ve already established that i’m top notch at making excuses to do things that are self destructive.

ok, so first i get the fever, and then a shopping wormhole opens in the universe, and beckons me to climb in. this weekend, one opened up in the form of the old navy 30% off the entire store sale. hello 30% off INCLUDING CLEARANCE. maybe i would just stop in for a minute. and by a minute, i mean several hours and two different stores.  the spoils:

3 cardigan sweaters
1 pair of skinny jeans
1 mini skirt
1 sundress dress
1 wide belt
1 pair of metallic flats
9 pairs of underwear

total $110- excellent deal for all that stuff (which might i add is SUPER CUTE), but do i have $110 in my budget for clothes right now? um, no.

under any other circumstances, i might have been ok to lay off for a bit after the first binge… but this week has been tough. i’ve been crazy busy. not sleeping, overexerting myself, not eating as well as i should. and then today i had a little bummer life blip that took me down hard. if i wasn’t so overtired and stressed out, it might not have bothered me at all. but instead, i spent cinqo de mayo crying into my tequila. oh, and shopping.

fuck you kohls. you are far enough away that i don’t think of you often. there is nothing else at your strip mall that tempts me to your area. but today somehow an underwear shopping pit-stop before dance class turned into mass consumption fest given 30 minutes and 80% off signs all over the store. fuck you one day sale.

my shame:

1 retro dress
1 sexy secretary skirt
1 pair spectator oxfords
1 pair canvas booties

total: $58- once again, not that bad… but didn’t i just buy 5 PAIRS OF SHOES? in an act of momentary insanity, i unhinged from my sadness and disappointment, and hinged onto the goodness that is buying whatever you want whenever you feel like it regardless of the consequences.

it’s not that i can’t afford $168. especially for some clothes that fit me and help me look less like a hobo at work. but how i buy them (indiscriminately throwing things into my cart… um, 3 cardigans? 3 pairs of shoes?) seems like the issue. sure i’m paying my bills on time… but something just feels amiss. i suppose it’s better than drinking (i cut myself off after 1 cinqo de mayo margarita), or stuffing my fat face with butter, or going out and having dirty sexy times with random strangers…. but seriously, what do healthy people do? either way, i’m coming clean.

**UPDATE** feeling slightly better today. probably because these $18.99 spectators are so f-ing CUTE (and entirely not made of meat).