Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back in the Blogosphere!

Hello strangers!


I know it's been awhile, and I wish this was a post to say that I am back in action here at Erica's Bailout...but that's not true just yet.


I'm here to let everyone know that I've started blogging over at Ecorazzi, so if you're really jonesing for some of my unique and (I'm sure) hilariously entertaining writing, head on over! You can see my pieces here: http://www.ecorazzi.com/author/ericaevans/


Happy reading!


-Erica

Monday, December 5, 2011

So Long, Farewell, Auf wiedersehen, Goodbye!

Hi Everyone,


First, I'd like to thank everyone for their support of this blog over the past few months, I'm so glad so many of you found it not only helpful but enjoyable.


Second, I'm sorry to tell everyone that I've decided to stop blogging for awhile.


I'll pause for a minute while you catch your breath and/or get some tissues.....


Okay, ready? Okay.


I've loved writing, and it has been a big learning experience for me, but I am finding that recently I don't have time to update as much as I'd like, and I have a few other things that are pulling my focus like a bad extra in a Michael Bay movie.


Hopefully I can come back and re-start everything eventually, but I'm afraid for now, that's all she wrote.  And if you've just stumbled upon this blog and like what you read, feel free to lobby for my return.


Wishing everyone lots of love and cash,


Erica

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stand up this World AIDS Day and Boycott Hershey

Hi readers! My apologies for not posting yesterday, quite a busy one at work.


Today I'm just writing a short post to draw your attention to something very important to me this World AIDS Day.


I recently learned that the Milton Hershey School denied admission to a 13 year old honor student explicitly because he is HIV positive.  This story both enraged and disgusted me, especially considering that the school defended the decision saying that the student posed a, "direct threat to the health of other students".


The Milton Hershey school claims its mission is to help underprivileged children. To me, there is no child more deserving acceptance into a school with a mission like Milton Hershey than one who has proved himself and succeeded academically in the face of the challenges placed on him given his disease.

Hershey Park was a favorite vacation destination of mine as a child, and Hershey Products (particularly Hershey Kisses) have always been present at our family's holiday gatherings and as stocking stuffers. However, this year, I have asked my family friends not to purchase me and Hersheys products this holiday season as a result of the school's decision. I am not asking anyone to join me in this, but I do hope everyone considers it as they're shopping over the coming weeks.

I've started an online petition for this cause that can be found at:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/boycott-hershey/

I promise to be back tomorrow with a more usual post, but today of all days, I just felt that I needed to use this platform for a good cause.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wherein I Explain Why I Have Boycotted Johnny Rockets

Well kittens, it has been quite the 24 hours.  Let's begin with a brief re-cap of Monday Night Football, which I watched with Harmony and Hot Donna at our local Spike Lee joint.  I was so excited to be out because I was just getting over a minor head cold and was thankful to get out and do something.


My first mistake was ordering Fat Tire at the bar when we got there.  I tasted and thought, "Oh, I guess it's alright, I mean like, it's not bad for a light beer."


Oh? What's that you say, readers? It's not a light beer? It's just regular and it tastes awful?! OH MY GOD YOU'RE RIGHT! ****spit-take****


It was terrible.  Why are people losing their minds over such a terrible display of American brewery?


Anyhow, with that the game began, I was drinking slowly (thus saving money) and eating half price wings...but something wasn't quite right still.  The Giants were losing, see, and there was this guy, see, and he was sitting at the bar real obnoxious-like.  This guy almost made saving the amount of money I was by going to the bar on half price wing night not worth the experience of having to endure him throughout the game.  He was a Saints fan, and good God if he wasn't going to let everyone from Van Ness to Dupont Circle know about it.  He didn't sit down the entire game, and anytime the refs called anything against the Saints he would be like "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? No! C'mon, ref! C'mon now, that was legal contact!". 


Now, as Harmony can attest, I am quite the vocal football watcher, whenever the Ravens score a touchdown or T. Sizzle sacks a be-yotch, I exclaim with glee, "Jolly good drive there, my boys, quite well done."  But this guy, was not just cheering his own team on at excessive pace and volume, he was mocking people who clapped and shouted when the Giants actually did something right.


After one particular touchdown, I yelped "Yea!", and the guy looked at me from across the bar and in a high pitched, jovial tone, said "Yea! Hee Hee Hee" right back.


Escuse me?! Securrity, this guy has gots to go, gots to go.

Anyway, there was another loud fan in the bar, but he was a Giants fan, and by the end of the game, he and this guy were going at each other with the most violently passive aggressive interactions I've ever seen.  They were literally having a slow clap off.  Okay, so like, the Giants score a touchdown in the 3rd, and the Giants fan jumps out of his seat, hat and sunglasses on (yea, sunglasses on, in a bar, at 11 PM), and starts vigorously clapping while staring at the Saints fan.  The Saints fan responded by clapping and staring right back...they each slowed down their clapping pace until it sounded like popcorn right before you take it out of the oven, but each refused to stop.


This went on for roughly 37 minutes, I missed the rest of the game.


So anyway, there was all sorts of bad juju floating around there. Then this morning, every broke girl's worst nightmare came a'calling.


IDENTITY THEFT!


BoA called me to ask if I had recently purchased gas at a station in Florida.  Umm...no I have not, maybe Imelda has, but not me.  Turns out, some internet savvy citizen of Florida jacked my checking account info and has been going on a little road trip down the panhandle.  BoA refunded me the disputed funds and is sending me a new card, the whole thing probably would've fazed me a lot more if I hadn't dealt with a similar situation back in college.


See, back in those days, before there was a burger place on every other corner in the city, friends and I would venture to the Georgetown Johnny Rockets to get our fix.  We were sooooooooo classy.  One night, I accidentally left my debit card in the check fold when I left.  I didn't realize it until later that night, and I checked my account and there were no weird charges, so I just went ahead and cancelled it. 


A day or so later I went back to Johnny Rockets to see if they had it, and while they had an entire soda cup full of credit cards, they didn't have mine.  When I got back home, I checked my bank account and to my surprise, some crazy person was able to charge $1,000 of stereo equipment to it before the cancellation was finalized.


The bank launched a full scale investigation, but I didn't need one, I knew who the culprit was. As you may recall from the tale of the aforementioned Imelda, I am quite the sleuth.  You see, the Best Buy where the charges were made was in Falls Church, VA.  If you've ever been to a Johnny Rockets, you know that the servers have their hometowns on their name tags.  Guess where our server on that fated night was from, that's right! Falls Church, VA, I had cracked the case.


Of course, the bank didn't pay attention to my findings and there was no way to really prove that he was the guy...but he was the guy, I know he was the guy...


And that's why I no longer go to Johnny Rockets, well that, and the food is awful...I mean c'mon, why not just eat a hot circle of garbage. Right, Kevin?











Monday, November 28, 2011

Entering the Holiday Season In Saving Style!

Happy Cyber Monday readers!  Have you taken advantage of any great deals today?  Sadly, the one thing I had to order online had no special offers associated with it...boo, you whore.  As a special Cyber Monday offer, I am giving every reader five free page-viewz!  Click below to redeem, feel free to forward/gift to friends:


www.ericaneedsabailout.blogspot.com
www.ericaneedsabailout.blogspot.com
www.ericaneedsabailout.blogspot.com
www.ericaneedsabailout.blogspot.com
www.ericaneedsabailout.blogspot.com


There you go, don't say I never gave you anything.


Anyhow, as most of my American readers know, this past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend.  This is one of the most economic holidays for people like me.  I'm old enough to travel home, spend time with friends, but young enough to still be considered a "child" by most of my family.  As such, no need for me to contribute anything to our Thanksgiving feast at this point in my life, so I eat for free.  Double plus bonus, the holiday generosity of parents is starting to kick into high gear, especially when you go home looking like you dipped your hair in a vat of bleach.  What I'm saying is, my momz helped me out with a new 'do. 


This applies doubly to college students.  Often, this is the first time they get to come home from school, and doting parents are just itching to shower them with food and clothes and all things parental and wonderful.  Just ask my cousin Concord, she's a freshman at Alvernia College and she definitely reaped the rewards of the student Thanksgiving.


See, Thanksgiving for young people comes at little to no cost, but it only stays that way for a limited amount of time, so enjoy it while you can.  Soon you'll be baking green bean casseroles and sweet potatoes that will never be quite as good as you remember your mom making them, and feeding those to your lovable yet terrifying younger family members.


Christmas on the other hand, while still amazing food-wise, involves the exchange of gifts, not just receipt thereof.  Read, you gotta buy some shiz.


I took several steps at combating holiday overspending this year before Thanksgiving even began.  First, I started a blog to advertise my poverty so that my family and friends' expectations weren't too high.  Second, I visited Etsy.com and poked around for gift ideas.  What I love about Etsy is you're supporting independent artisans and often their amazing products come at crazy affordable prices.  Plus, since you're dealing with actual people (gasp!) some of them even throw in notes and extras when they send you their stuff, it's so cool and makes the whole thing more meaningful.


Anyhow, that kept my gifts both meaningful and cost effective, and I highly recommend the site to anyone stuck on what to give someone.


I wish I had some more exciting stories to share from the holiday weekend, but for better or worse, this year paled in comparison to last year's "5 Disaster Thanksgiving".  What, you say? What were those five disasters, you ask?  Well, I shall enumerate them for you, and if any of you want to know more, I shall elaborate.

  1. Our oven caught on fire
  2. I gave my Nana ice in her Bloody Mary and caused her to vomit
  3. My Mom and Dad dropped the turkey on it's way out of the oven (causing good old Papa Mo to burn his hand)
  4. My Cousin Gabriel spilled her red wine on my mom's light yellow tablecloth...and the mashed potatoes
  5. My five year old cousin vomited on our silk dining room rug.
So yea, people ended up leaving before we could get dessert on the table.  This year was a bit more calm.

Before I wrap up, let me first bask in the glow of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for a moment.  This year was phenomenal, despite some of the less-than-stellar new talent they brought along.  Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark again?! And who were those weird old dancing guys from New Orleans.

At least the over-enthusiastic and dramatic kids from Stagedoor Manor were there to open up the show...God I love a good children's theater program.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good afternoon y'all!  This will be my last post for the week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but don't worry, I'll be back Monday (for real this time).

For all my international readers, if you are unfamiliar with this American tradition, Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when fat Americans, like myself, make ourselves even fatter by ingesting large amounts of turkey and carbohydrates.  It commemorates the one peaceful day the pilgrims had with the Native Americans before killing most of them, taking their land, and forcing them to open B-rate casinos.  Didn't show that in Disney's "Pocahontas", did they?

Despite it's sordid past, I do love the holiday.  Not only because it provides me with an excuse to eat can shaped cranberry sauce and excessive amounts of sweet potatoes without fear of judgement, but also because it means I get to travel back to my beloved hometown of Baltimore and see my family and friends over an extended weekend.  Lovely.

Speaking of Baltimore, if you haven't checked out this Slate piece on John Waters that my friend Miss A recommended to me, you really should.  He's so campy and so Baltimore!

I realized too that in my absence over the past few weeks, I never was able to show you guys that shirt that I ended up making for the Natalia Kills show.  Shame on me! 

I actually came out pretty well, much better than my scarf-as-a-skirt or new hoodie-as-a-skirt ideas so I'm pretty excited to show it off.  The project involved the purchase of only a few supplies...a black t-shirt, gold spray paint, stencils, and sequins (of course).  I couldn't wait to wear it to the show...but unfortunately fate had another idea in store.

When we got to the Black Cat, we found out that Natalia had cancelled!  As the stereotypical bitchy girl at the door said, we couldn't get refunds because it was, "ha! not a Natalia Kills show, it's a Sounds show...duh!".  I was able to sell the tickets for face-value though.  If there's one thing I learned from a childhood brush with police and a scalper at an Orioles game, it's how to re-sell a ticket the right way.  I walked outside with all four of our tickets, and slyly got them sold in under 5 minutes...without interference from the fuzz.  Also, I don't think it was illegal...but let's pretend it was, just for the fun of it, and my street cred.

Anyhow, pictures to come next week of the shirt.  In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a fabulous weekend, and I'll be back Monday (hopefully with some entertaining family/Thanksgiving stories to tell).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Friendsgiving

You know what I was thinking about on my walk to work today? Other than what Anderson Cooper dreams of at night, of course.  My guess is Armani t-shirts and Cher concerts.  Anyhow, I was thinking about that scene in "You've Got Mail" where Meg Ryan is at the grocery store and doesn't have cash in the cash only line and Sara Ramirez is the cashier, Rose, and she is super Spanish.  At the end she says something like "Happy Thanksgibing Bahk".  I love that little scene, I found it on YouTube, here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHuqZrIZ2yg

Anyhow, this leads me to today's story/money saving tip: go to any and all holiday gatherings to which you are invited, bring a bottle (or box) of your favorite discount wine, hold no holiday gatherings of your own.  It also helps if you have a friend who is a really, really good cook.

This past weekend, for example, I was treated to a "Friendsgiving" in the Brooklyn home of my good friends Joyce Carol and Les Paul.  Now, Joyce Carol is a legit cook...she studied in Paris, what of it Sandra Lee wannabes? For the cost of a few bottles of wine, my friends and I were treated to an amazing meal of turkey, rosemary potatoes (courtesy of my friend Francine), can-shaped cranberry sauce (the best kind there is), apple stuffing...the works.  Plus we got to stay a night in their place AND were treated to an amazing and kosher lox and bagel breakfast the next morning.  

By my estimate, a night in a Brooklyn hotel would be roughly $100, and a fine deli breakfast of lox and bagel - with sides of the most amazing eggs and bacon I've had in life - would be around $12.  Add to that the cost of an upscale Thanksgiving meal ($40 to be conservative), we're talking upwards of $150 here.  I got all that for the cost of some fine red wine and a couple of pies.

Plus, the weekend itself was filled with amazing friends and laughs and memories that no one could ever put a price on, awwwwwwwww....aren't I sweet?

Having done this, my theory is, a lot of these gatherings will be coming up over the next few weeks.  Some of you will wonder which ones to go to and which ones to skip, my solution? 

GO TO ALL OF THEM!

Take the example I just shared, multiply that by three gatherings...you get umm...let's see...carry the one, square root of eleven...over $450 in holiday savings.  You could buy half a pair of Louboutin shoes with that...maybe J.Lo will pitch in for the other half.

Also, on the subject of the aforementioned pies, I must give a little shout-out to Four and Twenty Blackbirds.  I ordered two pies for pick-up from them and they were so nice and accommodating of my yet-to-be-determined schedule.  Plus the pies were AMAZING. We got a Salted Caramel Apple pie and a Brown Butter Pumpkin pie. I may or may not have had an extra slice of the Pumpkin after consuming too much of Les Paul's Dewar's whiskey.

The shop was a little interesting...like imagine a hipster's paradise, after you try to spoof "Gangster's Paradise" with that, what do you see? A lot of scarves? Ironic t-shirts? Groups of girls with scraggly hair and thick-framed glasses? Yea...sounds about right, they permeated the shop.  As Smirnoff said, "this place is like walking into a cliche".  Lots of people writing zines on apple computers or pretending to read the New York Times, "There's just nothing like a real paper man, you know what I mean? The feel of it! Oh, hold on, I just got a new 'Words with Friends' request on my iPad." 

Here's a picture of the carefully constructed de-constructed interior to give you an idea:



Just walk in and pretend like you just got back from an Arcade Fire concert, you'll be fine.  Trust me, the pie is worth it, and the staff is pretty awesome too.

Before I close, let me just issue a super special thanks to Joyce Carol and Les Paul for having me, as well as Smirnoff and Jefe for putting up with my snoring on Saturday night, and all my friends in NY (BethAnn, Francine, and Emilia Bedilia included) for being so amazing!

Okay, this is getting a little too "Lifetime Presents" so let's just cut it off there.