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,


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:

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.


BoA called me to ask if I had recently purchased gas at a station in Florida. 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, 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:

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 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


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:

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? 


Take the example I just shared, multiply that by three 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 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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Like a Phoenix

Wowza! Good afternoon readers, did you miss me?!  I know it's been a long, long time...longer than I said it would be, but like a Phoenix I have re-emerged from my cave of solitude. Just in time for the holidays!

Now, let's do a quick run down on the spending tip and then I have a very dramatic and soap-opera like story to tell you all.  I am proud to report that I am back on track spending-wise.  After several weekend of travel and a backwards tail-spin back into my old ways, I am finally back on track.  My next goal is actually a 2 week one, to finish my Christmas shopping.  Now, as many of you know, I have already done a lot of Etsy shopping for the holidays so I only a have a few things left...but a lot stands between me and those things.  So, I am hoping to finish it all off and come in under $300 total for the year.  I am skeptical, but I think it can be done!

In the coming weeks I'll also be showcasing some affordable holiday recipes for those of you who will be forced to cook for various holiday gatherings, but might not have the budget for say bourbon soaked, gold plated game hens, or whatever rich people eat.  I promise to also include the recipe for my infamous cheese ball:
This may be the most controversial recipe of all time.

Anyhow, now that I have teased everything else that is to come let me now share with all of you what I like to call "The Saga of My Boss and the Imelda*" (*names have been changed to protect the less-than innocent).  Settle in boys and girls, this one is so long, I've decided to place it behind a on if you dare.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Becomes a Week Off

Hi everyone.  Due to some unexpected events this week and some upcoming weekend travel, I'm logging off the blog until next Monday.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and I'll be back with a vengeance next week!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Turns Into a Crazy Week

Taking a break again today team...but while you wait for my triumphant return, check out this article sent to me by my good friend Beth Ann.

Living here is why I'm poor, who knew?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crazy Day...Crazier Weekend...

Okay, so I can't squeak out a post today...things are crazy.  But rest assured, there will be a lot to talk about tomorrow.  Here's what you have to look forward to:

  • Homemade t-shirts
  • Concerts
  • Dogs in Costumes
  • Ravens games
  • Hangovers
  • Locked out Friends
  • Sequins
  • Assertiveness
  • Scalping (the ticket kind, not the scary other kind)
Get ready!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Ryan Reynolds Post

So have you all been anxiously awaiting the entry about my Ryan Reynolds dream?  I know you have...but I'm going to make you wait a little longer.

Let's get the money stuff out of the way first, shall we?

Last night I got invited to another free event, a screening of a new documentary about the death penalty called, "Into the Abyss", here's the trailer:

Unfortunately, I mixed up the theatre where the screening was happening and ended up at the wrong one.  I thought I'd catch something else, but the only thing that was showing at a good time was "Anonymous" and Jefe said I couldn't see it without the words of Stephanie Tanner, "how rude!".

So, on a night I thought would be free, I ended up spending about $3.00 on an unnecessary metro ride.  Oh well, so what, who cares? I do want to see that movie though, and as much as I tried to get people to feel the same way, it would seem that no one was as interested in the philosophic implications of the death penalty as I was, how surprising.

Moving on, I am very excited because I am trying a brand new money-saving idea this weekend...making my own clothes!  Yes you read that correctly, from the maker of the scarf skirt comes "the men's t-shirt dress/tunic".

I'm going to a Natalia Kills show on Saturday night, and I decided I didn't have any clothes appropriate for the occassion.  Therefore, I declared that I would make a shirt that read "I <3 Verbalicious" and wear that. Verbalicious was her stage name before she was Natalia Kills by the way.  Check the video:

A big change to who she is today, no?  Anyhow, the idea evolved into becoming a t-shirt dress made from an oversized black, mens, t-shirt. I went to the craft store today and got gold spray-paint, fabric glue, stencils, and a variety of sequins and plan on putting the whole thing together tonight or tomorrow morning.  Pictures will be taken, don't you worry.

If this turns out well, I figure I can save a lot of money making cheap going out clothes (which always get ruined quickly anyhow-as I am both a feverish dancer and incredibly clumsy with a glass of red wine).  Who knows, maybe I'll be the next undeserving winner of Project Runway!  SPOILER TO FOLLOW! I mean, Gretchen last year and now Anya?! Are you serious?  I am outraged on Josh's behalf.

Okay, now the story you've all been waiting for, the Ryan Reynolds dream.  I hate to tell you but the whole thing was not as scandalous as you may be thinking.

It was just the strangest thing, first I was swimming in a giant pool and there was this big white whale that was swimming with me.  As you may or may not know I am TERRIFIED of whales.  Seeing pictures of them send me into a panic...they're just so big and I am so small...and in Pinocchio someone gets stuck in one, no thank you.  As a child I often worried that an Orca would come through our drain and live in our bathtub.  Get out, Orca!  Willy was freed!

I mean, look:

Good God, it's looking right at me!
So anyway, I was swimming with the whale, and I wasn't scared, eventually I tried to get all "Whalerider" on it and swim around on it's didn't like that.  

Then, all of a sudden, I'm in a different part of the pool, and there are these guys there.  Ryan Reynolds is there too...but like "2 Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place" Ryan Reynolds, not "Green Lantern" Reynolds.  He's wearing a teal shirt and black tie like those jerks in Vocal Adrenaline, it was heinous, but he decides he wants to make out with me, so whatever, I'm game.  Then, just as it's about to happen, the dream cuts to some weird performance space.

Apparently I'm an employee of this place, and I've been assigned to the task of keeping Christian band Jars of Clay happy.  Let me tell you what, for being a Christian rock band, they were total jerks!  They were like getting high and requesting outrageous cakes and drinking all this beer.  And I was like "umm...WWJD my dudes".

After I escaped their clutches I head upstairs and meet my friend GT in the lobby.  
"GT!," I say, "I think I made out with Ryan Reynolds!"
"You did, I saw it," he says.
"Whaaaaaat?! I don't even remember it, what a waste," I bemoan.
Then Steel fell down the stairs, she was fine, and that was about that.  See, I have this theory about dreams, that you can't hear/see/do/feel anything in a dream that you haven't experienced in real life.  Now you might say, but you've never swum with a whale, Erica, and you did that.  That's true, but I figure that for most things, your brain can equate a similar feeling to substitute in during the dream.  For example, my brain could sub in wet rubber for the feel of a whale's skin, or the sensation of swimming for that of flying.

The one thing it couldn't equate though, was what it would feel like to make out with Ryan Reynolds, and so I was deprived of even the dream of it.

The brain, what a cruel mistress.

Maybe in another lifetime, Ry-Ry

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Standing Out in a Crowd

Good afternoon everyone!  I have so much to write about today, I may have to divide up the post into two parts.  I'll talk about last night's journey today and save the rest (which will include details of a very saucy dream involving Ryan Reynolds) for tomorrow. 

So, as you all know, last night was my night of free luxury.  My boss let me leave work about half an hour early so I could rush over to H St. NE for the show.  I had a plan to explore public transportation to H St. (which I now refer to as the Brooklyn of DC), but I was a little pressed for time getting there, so I had to opt for a Metro/cab combo.  I got to the theatre in plenty of time though, so that was a good choice.  One I probably should've replicated on my way home, but more on that later.

The show itself was pretty good.  They are 17 days away from opening in Winston-Salem, this was more a stage reading than a dress rehearsal.  I must sing the praises of the girl playing the character of Cathy.  In the original cast, Sherie Rene Scott sings the part, and while her voice is outstanding, she makes the character of Cathy about the most annoying, whiny person you've ever encountered.

It's like, "no wonder your husband leaves are a crazy whiny freak show."  Or, as the dearly departed Brittany Murphy would say, "You're a virgin who can't drive."  Way harsh, Tai.

Anyhow, the woman who plays her in No Rules' production did an absolutely amazing job of making the character funny and sympathetic, and the one that you actually end up rooting for, brava!

The male lead....well....okay, this is going to come out wrong, but he just played the whole thing way too gay to be believable as the love interest here.  Some may disagree (fast forward to 7:06 to see what I mean):

Anyhow, homeboy was rocking a new age shag haircut, skin tight black shirt, earrings in both ears and light wash jeans; plus his resume lists "versatile hairstyles" as a special skill.  Aside from that, he played "Schmuel" (a fictional character in one of the songs) more Barbara Streisand than Tevye if you know what I mean. C'mon now my dude, you're killing me.

All that aside, he really did have a great voice and complimented the female lead well.  I anticipate that when they open in a few weeks, Winston-Salem will be in for a real treat, check it out if you're down there.

After the show, I popped over to Dangerously Delicious to pick up my free slice o' pie.  The place was an absolute cluster (if you know what I mean-censored for my family's sake), apparently the Scoutmob deal was red hot, but it was free, so I didn't mind waiting.  I picked up a slice of Baltimore Bomb and one for Hot Donna and then I was on the road again.

Sidenote: This pie was maybe the most delicious thing I've tasted in a long time...and I've tasted a lot of things mofos.  Trust me on this.

Back to the story, my coworker and Hot Donna had each told me about this bus line that runs straight down H st. to Chinatown, so I decided to try it out and then pop on the Red Line (of doom).  I walked across the street to this little bus stop/stand and waited for the bus, which was only a few blocks down the street.

When the it got to my stop, the driver only opened the door halfway.  "What's the deal?" I thought as I pryed my way onto the vehicle.

"Ma'am, this is not a bus stop," he told me all judgy-like.

As I was already half onto the bus, so he kindly told me I could board.  "Damn right I can, fool, now open this door the rest of the way!"

I then sweetly asked the bus driver if I could use my paper fare card to board, he said, in no uncertain terms:

"A paper fare card?, are you serious? Are you asking me to use a paper farecard?"
"Yea, I get it," I said, "I have cash, what's the exact fare?"
"This girl wants to know if she can use a paper fare card," he muttered to the guy next to him.
"WHAT IS THE EXACT FARE?!," I said politely.

It was $1.70, I overpaid by $.30, but I just accepted it because by then the guy at the front of the bus was laughing at me and everyone on the bus, who were experienced bus riders I'm sure, were staring at me like I had two heads.

SORRY PEOPLE! Geeeeezzzz....

All things considered the night was not exactly "free", but definitely economical.  I think it came out to about $18, for a meal, a show, and transportation to and from the far edge of the world.

Not too shabby...

Don't forget to check in tomorrow when I'll tell you all about my theories on dreams and Ryan Reynolds...spicy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back on Track

Hello my dearies as the lovely Suze Orman would say.  Today I am proud to announce that I am back on the straight and narrow (is it actually supposed to be "straightened arrow"?).  I ask that because I have a penchant for messing up sayings like that, i.e.: "doggy dog world" instead of "Dog eat dog world" or "for all intensive purposes" rather than "for all intents and purposes".

Regardless (which I used to replace with "irregardless" which is not even a word), the point is I feel much better today about my financial endeavors.  I'm calling it a fresh start and going back to basics.  Hopefully, I will settle in by the end of the weekend and will be back to my weekly goals next Monday.

To celebrate the reboot, I am treating myself to a night of free luxuries.  You see friends, yesterday I received a very VIP, very exclusive email from No Rules Theatre inviting me to an open rehearsal of their new production of The Last Five Years.

The show itself is actually running in North Carolina, but they're doing a free run-through tonight for a very select group of people who responded to their mass email the fastest.  If you're not familiar with The Last Five Years, you should be, it's awesome.  It's a two person musical about the disintegration of a relationship/marriage told in opposing timelines.  Did I just blow your mind?! I think I did.  Gather yourself, that's gross.  Anyhow, it's the kind of show that gained minor NY fame and became a cult fave of weird theatre kids everywhere.  

"Ohmigod! Jason Robert Brown!," they exclaim, "he is life, I swear, like seriously.  He just knows, you know?"

I'm not joking, just do a quick YouTube search for "The Last Five Years" and after you find segments that amount to basically the entire show, you'll see tons of videos from recitals with kids singing these songs. Twelve year old kids singing songs about the end of a marriage.  It's friggin' hilarious.  Here's an example:

Okay, she's like 19, but you get the picture.

It will be interesting as I have never spent much time in the H St. Corridor.  It scares me a little, I mean, Northeast DC?! How do people even get there?!  I'm still firmly planted in my GW "if it's not in Northwest, I don't need to know about it," mentality...but I'm breaking out of it slowly.

Anyway, afterward, I will be utilizing this a-mah-zing Scoutmob deal I found for a free slice of Dangerously Delicious pie.  Hello, free dinner! Nice to see you! I shall hopefully be getting a slice of the "Baltimore Bomb" to pay homage to my hometown and the nickname I made people use for me in kickball (the "Baltimore Bomber").

It looks like this: 
It looks like this.  Jealous? I thought so.
Updates on these crazy endeavors to come.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Time to Re-Motivate

Well team, it has happened.  I have hit what Pink Floyd calls "the wall".

You may be wondering why a young maiden such as myself has chosen such a vintage reference?  Why didn't I just say, for instance, "what Man vs. Food host Adam Richman calls 'the wall'"?  

Well readers, mainly because just thinking of Man vs. Food makes me simultaneously giddy and nauseous, but also because my dad is super cool and used to play this album sometimes when he was cleaning the house.  That or a Tina Turner cassette he got at Burger King one time, seriously, that was a thing that existed...oh yea, my pops is waaaaaaay cool.

Also, did I ever tell you guys the story of how this one time I went to a Barenaked Ladies concert with my friend "Floyd" and we got backstage and then Steven Page (who was still with the band and not yet forced to become a solo artist because he was allegedly addicted to drugs) commented on Floyd's tattoo which was the symbols from Pink Floyd Led Zeppelin's IV album? Run on sentence, much?

Okay, so that story was a lot less random when I remembered it as being a Pink Floyd tattoo...but still, it was really cool!  Here's a picture of Steven Page if you don't know who I'm talking about:

Yea, you know this guy.
Okay, back to the point.

Well, it's been almost 2 months since I started this here blog.  I actually can't believe that's true, it's really flown by.  And in the process...I've tried a bunch of things to save money (with more to come)...yet my progress has been incremental and a lot more difficult to make than I thought.  

In my head I was spending a ton of money on things like faux-fur vests (this was a legit thing I bought) and I thought by cutting that sort of thing out, money would just start rolling in like that scene in Evita.

When I came to the conclusion that this wasn't the case, I will admit readers-o-mine, that I gave up.  My extreme couponing goal was completely ignored and I didn't monitor my spending at all for the past few days.  It was bad, readers, I was slowly drowning in my last minute CVS purchases, my multi-course meals out at California Tortilla, my willy-nilly 4 block cab rides.

I've gotten back to neutral, but I need to refocus, re-motivate, and recommit.  That is why my goal this week is simple.  Get back to the rules of the SIA 2.0 and adhere to them rigorously.

I know I can do it, especially with the support of all my fans (i.e. my 2 aunts, mom, and friends whom I force to visit the site).

Now, since I know you're all dying for them, here are the much promised Halloween pictures:

That's me on the right as preggers Rachel Zoe with Smirnoff and  Steel.
Note: Smirnoff is not in costume, that's just his life.
By the way, Steel has an excellent blog about life as an AmeriCorps worker called "It's Always Sunny in...oh wait, that's the other one".  Check it out!

Now, I wish I could tell you my brain "jell-o" looked like this:

But, do to an ill-conceived addition of vodka-soaked jelly worms to the actually ended up looking like this:
Still good though, still good.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Cheater Post!

Team, as you read on Friday, I had quite the Halloween weekend planned.  Resulting of this weekend, I am now extremely tired and was shamefully unproductive the past few days in my extreme couponing venture.

I am taking today off but promise to be back tomorrow with lots of updates and maybe some Halloween pictures...if you're lucky.

Now...does anyone have any Red Bull?  For the love of Pete...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ah! Halloween Weekend!

Ghoul-d Afternoon, readers!  See what I did there? Sorry for the punny-ness, but as many of you know, I love holiday festive-ness, and as Halloween weekend has almost arrived, I am in overdrive.

I was an epic-fail when I went on my search for paper coupons yesterday.  I got some circulars in my mail box, but they were just advertising store specials, and not offering any additional coupons. LAME!

So this Sunday should be the big extreme couponing trip, we'll see how it goes...I am very pessimistic at this point.  Woe is me dear readers...or should I say, "Poe" is me?  Get it? Because of the writer, and he was spooky, and okay...that wasn't my best work, I admit it.

In other news, my aunt "Renaissance" is my reader of the week!  While she did not guess the Jell-O color correctly (it is orange, she guessed green) she was the only guess and by default is the winner! Woot! It's apropos because she also tipped me off to Hillary's scrunchie wearing earlier in the week.  Gracias Aunt Renaissance! Can you guess the origin of your code name?

That's about it for today. Sorry this post is so weak sauce, I just don't have a lot to update on, but just you wait for Monday, Henry Higgins, I'll have updates on the extreme couponing, as well as pictures of the "Jell-O" and my Halloween costume! Get excited, that's an order!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Countdown!

Woot! I am starting to get into the Halloween spirit y'all! Last night, there were several Halloween-themed shows on, and tonight is the annual airing of one of my favorite Halloween specials, "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown".

I know this is something a semi-grown woman should be a bit past by now, but I can't help it. 


If you dress up as a member of the Peanuts (other than Pigpen, and you're a guy) for Halloween, I'll probably make out with and/or marry you.  They just make me so happy.

In middle school there were rumors we were going to do a production of "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown," and while it never came to fruition, I firmly believe that I would've made a most excellent Lucy Van Pelt, and I haven't even had my formal vocal training by then!  

I mean, amiright? Just look at that face!

As it was, it worked out fine, it allowed me to take a brief sabbatical before taking on the role of a lifetime the next year: Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker".  I was in high school for that one, a freshman, with the LEAD, unheard of!  Okay, so maybe it was double cast and I only got to do one show...but so what, who cares? My performance brought people to tears (those people may or may not be limited to my mother and aunt).

Naturally, I make time to watch every Charlie Brown holiday special each year.  Note, this is not as serious as Hocus Pocus night, because I own the Charlie Brown holiday specials (thanks to Emilia Bedilia) and thus I can watch them whenever I please, should I miss them on TV.

I'll also be preparing for my Halloween celebrations by making "Jell-O" in the FREE Kraft Brain-Shaped Jell-O Mold I got from Coupon Suzy.  As my former boss used to say, it's going to be really "festive".

On the coupon tip, I was unable to track down any paper circulars yesterday, but my friend Buster as well as Jaques and Gilly gave me some excellent tips!:
  1. Ask for the circulars from places that sell papers (i.e. Starbucks, Newsstands, 7-11, etc.)
  2. Go directly to the manufacturer, if they don't have coupons online, write to them and tell them you like their product, they'll probably send you some!
  3. Look through your building's recycling bin, people might think you're homeless, but the savings are worth it. (sidenote, I may have come up with this one myself)
Anywho, I might stop by my Starbucks tonight and pick up some of their leftover newspapers to see what they've got to offer.  Updates tomorrow, can you stand the excitement?

BONUS CONTEST: Because why not take a crazy chance? If you can guess the color of the "Jell-O" I'm making, and are not Hot Donna who already knows, you will be my "Reader of the Week" and get a shout out in tomorrow's entry.  Spooktacular! Extra bonus points may apply if you also "do a crazy dance".