Friday, December 28, 2007
You will come to realizations in your life that will change you forever.
I doubt that these are among them, but at least they are fun:
1. I've come to realize that, my last ex: left the country without saying goodbye for a reason.
2. I've come to realize that, when I talk: I'm not necessarily saying what I'm thinking, or vice versa.
3. I've come to realize that, I love: a lot of different people. And also, Merlot.
4. I've come to realize that my friends: are a lot like the people you date. Sometimes you find out they have a really ugly quality. You re-evaluate the relationship. Either I'm lucky to have so many life-long friends, or I am an incredibly gigantic pushover.
5. I've come to realize that, I've lost: the $20 check I made for selling tickets to the last volleyball game.
6. I've come to realize that, I hate: when people are judgmental, myself included.
7. I've come to realize that, marriage is: ultimately what my step-mom thinks will make me happy and because I am an eternal adolescent...something I will put off just to see her squirm.
8. I've come to realize that, somewhere, someone is thinking: about far more important things than this blog.
9. I've come to realize that, I'll always have: a need for my mother, the support of good friends, and mild acne.
10. I've come to realize that, my heart: does not like it when I drink a lot of caffeine.
11. I've come to realize that, right now I am wondering: what will happen on Sunday, when the writers' strike will end, and how I will find a new ingredient for pantry stew when the pantry is nearly empty.
12. I've come to realize that, my cell phone is: crap. AT&T can bite me.
13. I've come to realize that, when I wake up in the morning: it's probably not fair, but I pee before I take Pucker out to do the same.
14. I've come to realize that, before I go to sleep at night I: love to read and have missed that ritual.
15. I've come to realize that, right now I am thinking about: how loud Zoey is snoring. Do they make breathe-rights for cats?
16. I've come to realize that, I get on myspace: too much.
17. I have come to realize, that today: is another day I will procrastinate and not work on National Boards.
18. I've come to realize, that tonight I will: perhaps go and buy a printer. Well, I've accepted it more than realized - I hate spending money on electronics.
19. I've come to realize that, school is: where I belong, in any capacity.
20. I've come to realize that, tomorrow I will: sleep in, because that's what you do on winter break!
Maybe it's not what the fortune cookie had in mind, but I like it. Thanks Emily!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I heard that line in a movie tonight. I thought, "That is so totally me!"
My Nanny (grandmother on dad's side) used to call herself a "Nervous Nelly". I think, were she alive today, she'd call me Nervous Nelly, too.
I don't trust anyone. I really believe that people lie to me on a daily basis. I think people are out to get me. I don't think that anything good can happen. I am always anticipating the bad. I am constantly nervous.
I wonder how I got this way?
I vaguely remember being this way as a kid. The earliest memory I have of paranoia revolves are the Marion County Superintendent elections of 1992. The principal of my sister's high school...Dr. John Something...was running for office. My parents didn't like him because he let a teacher flunk my sister when she was absent because my mom was sick. Or some other grade issue. My parents were never really happy with the FL school system. I knew that much as a fifth grader.
As a fifth grader walking through the neighborhood with my cousin and my sister, I also knew that seeing a big, yellow "Vote for Dr. John What's-His-Name" would make my mother angry. I knew she didn't like him. She didn't like politicians and their campaign signs either. I had seen my mom knock down other signs when they were blocking her view of oncoming traffic. She'd jump out of the car and knock them over. Which is probably why I didn't think it would be a big deal to knock over Dr. John's big, yellow sign.
Which we did.
And my cousin yelled, "Run!".
Which we did.
And then we heard someone yell, "Girls! Stop. Come back here."
It was Mr. Weldon. Father to my sister's friend Erin, principal at an elementary school, and neighbor to us all. I didn't know much about principals - I had never been in The Office myself. But I'd heard about the paddle. My mind began to race. Could we really get in trouble for this?
"Why did you knock over that sign?" he asked.
I don't remember what we said. It probably involved mumbling and shrugs.
"Did you know it is a Federal Offense to knock over politician's signs?" he asked us again.
In retrospect, I sincerely doubt that it is, in fact, a Federal Offense to knock down someone's campaign paraphernalia. But if Mr. Weldon's intent was the scare the living shit out of me, it worked.
We apologized, put back that sign, and began walking home.
"Do you think we'll go to jail?" I asked my big sister.
"Don't be such a baby," my cousin said.
"He should leave us alone," my sister spat. "He knows what happened to Mommy."
"Yeah, he's just trying to scare you," said my cousin. "Adults do that sometimes."
I didn't believe them. If Mr. Weldon said we could get in trouble for it then it was true. I barely slept that night. For days afterward, when I saw a police car, I would shrink in fear, certain they were coming to arrest me for Knocking Down The Sign. I remember being so afraid.
And for what?
I think that's where the Nervous Nelliness began. For years afterward, I remember being afraid of everything - bus drivers, severe weather, imaginary serial killers in my closet. Sailors envied the knots in my stomach.
I don't really get scared like that anymore. Now, it is more of an emotional fear. Always worried about a bad outcome. Always afraid of the unknown. Always anticipating and prioritizing the "what if".
I don't want to be a Nervous Nelly anymore. Therefore, I want to declare 2008 "The Year of Risk". I tried this with 2005. I called it "The Year of Yes", thinking that I would say Yes to anything I was asked to do (socially) but that sort of fell apart, because, well, let's face it, I'm basically a moody hermit. But I think the goal for Year of Yes was ill-intentioned. I just wanted to see what would happen. I thought I would end up with a lot of funny anecdotes, which would prove useful on first dates and cocktail parties. Instead, I found myself at a bunch of boring parties thinking, "I wonder who's going to get auf'd on Project Runway tonight."
Perhaps second time is the charm. I hereby declare 2008 to be the Year of Risk. I want to try new things. I want to do things I've never done before. My goal is to do so many risky things that when something normal comes along - a new relationship, a confrontation with the Publix cashier, an opportunity to advance my career - I won't run away from it. I'll embrace it. That is the goal of the Year of Risk.
Down with Nervous Nelly! I want to truly live in the Sum of Awe.
Any suggestions as of how to start?
Thursday, December 13, 2007
10. Laundry. Seriously, the dirty clothes pile grew legs and tried to suffocate me last night.
9. National Boards. This process is the equivalent of 9 graduate credit hours. I've only got until March 31st. Yikes!
8. Making my Lunch. I've been eating out for a week. Not good for my bank account or my booty.
7. Crying. Have you watched the news lately? Aids in Africa, global warming, Republicans making gains in Iowa. Kleenex must be making a killing.
6. Reading. I lecture the kids about this every day. Read more and you will learn more. But who wants that?
5. Painting. I haven't bought a drop of paint yet, but I've got the colors for my house all picked out. Too bad I hate painting.
4. Calling a Doctor. I've had some severe back pain, and my joints are getting worse as time goes by. Who knew twenty-six was when I'd start falling apart?
3. Returning Phone Calls. My sisters, my long-lost friends, my we-talk-once-a-month buddies are all being sadly neglected.
2. Volunteering. I'm sure someone somewhere needs my help with something.
and the number one thing I should be doing right now is...
1. Vacuuming. Seriously, I live with the world's hairiest mutt. If only I my childhood hadn't been a series of fights about dog hair, I might loathe this chore slightly less. It's a pretty anticlimactic ending to the list. I know.
But who needs to DO ANYTHING when you have free wireless Internet, a collection of Gilmore DVDs, a burrito and some cookie dough?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Being around Rodney is like bringing home a new puppy. He's so adorable. Sure, he gets into trouble, but you never get mad at him because he just wants to make you happy. He has an endless supply of energy. He waits on you and makes you feel loved. He looks at his family with big puppy dog eyes and is so incredibly loyal to them.
I totally miss Rodney.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
L: I know. I don't know why that is.
H: Doesn't that faith give you some kind of security? Doesn't it make you feel like, no matter what, it's going to be okay?
L: You'd think it would.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
One little word.
It gives you a lot of power.
Too bad I don't know how to use it.
That's why, tomorrow, I get to meet with the vigilante parents during 3rd period. That's why, I get to listen to them spout off ideas of how to fix problems that don't exist in the magnitude described.
That's why, tomorrow, I get to go into a meeting with my defenses up and my backbone slowly melting, leaking down my pencil skirt and onto the cheap blue carpet.
But, the woman who asked me is my friend, and she needed my help.
HOW COULD I SAY NO?
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Where do I begin?
Ok, so money. Things were crazy for awhile. I went back to work and that meant finally getting paychecks again. I actually got a bonus check from work that I didn't expect. I can thank my kids for making some fabulous fcat gains and helping Ms. Layendecker pay back the people she owes. I am almost all caught up.
Plans for the new year?
I've begun the application process for National Boards. It is going to be a long and tedious process. Very time-consuming, but if I make it, the pay off will be grand.
Other cool things?
I was nominated for Teacher of the Year at my school. It was really sweet for people to think of me! I doubt I will win, but just being nominated is an honor in my book. Also, my department had more nominations than any other! Yay Language Arts!!
I met an awesome guy online. That is all I'm going to blog about that...for now.
My friends and I are having a blast playing trivia every Wednesday night and having girls night with our favorite doctors every Thursday.
Screw money. My summer was awesome. See for yourself.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Enough crying about not having money.
I have done the following positive things:
1. Cleaned out my junk drawer and organized my bills. Believe me, this was not an easy task. And holy shit, I have a lot of bills.
2. Emailed a good friend to see when he can help me set up a budget. A budget that will work. A budget that will get me out of debt and keep me in cute shoes. Because I need shoes. Because right now, at Target, sits a totally adorable pair of Mary Janes that should actually be in my closet.
3. Set up all my bills to the online bill payer on my computer. Most of them were on there, but I had to add a few.
4. Call Dr to negotiate timely pay-off of $167 bill that I did not expect. Timing is beautiful thing.
And all for the warding off of cervical cancer.
5. Arranged to go home to see dad and sister for their combined birthdays, sans gift, but offering awesome homemade birthday cards. Got promise from parents that they will buy me some groceries.
I had to ask my dad for gas money. I do not think I have ever had to do this in my life. I am not kidding. How was I more responsible at sixteen??
Oh yeah, I didn't have a mortgage. Damn adulthood.
So, maybe I've hit an all-time low, but the new school year is starting, and that comes with a raise. Lots of games for me to sell tickets at and make extra cash to pay back what I've had to borrow. I think I love teaching, because I get the excuse to start over every August. Woohoo, job perks for the underpaid.
No more moaning! I've accepted the fact that I won't be debt free in one year. I am going to change my goal to two years.
And at the end of those two years...I think I might like to try something new.
Until Payday...which is still two weeks away!!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Perhaps I should come clean.
I am slightly embarassed about my financial situation. Well, embarassed, and stressed out beyond comprehension. So blogging about it means a) admitting to my problem and b) staring it in the face and c) sharing it with strangers.
The situation is this: I am broke. Flat broke. I do not even have 2 cents to my name. I got a refund check in the mail today from Montreat for $10.77 and I cried in relief. I found $8 in cash in my piggy bank and sang eight praise songs. I am so broke.
I have been living off my credit card. This weekend I was in a wedding, and I had to charge all my expenses while I was there. So, further into debt I go. There was the airport parking, the hotel, all my meals, my hair, the taxi ride to the airport, eating at the airport, the hotel in atlanta when I got stuck overnight, and putting gas in my car on the way home. This just frustrates me, because it drives me further away from my goal. But - what choice did I have? I could have said no to being in the wedding, but how do you do that to a friend whom you love? The one thing I should have done differently was NOT get a hotel when I was stranded at the airport. My only excuse was that I'd gotten about nine hours sleep in the past three days, and prior to the two hours flight I sat on the runway for three hours, and I think I was slightly delirious when I arrived in Atlanta at one a.m. to be told I couldn't go back to Jacksonville until 7:30. I should have slept at the airport, but at that point, tired, cranky, ready-to-kill-someone-for-a-pillow Lindsay overruled Working Girl.
I have some options. I could take money off the line of credit I have at the bank, and pay it back in installments. A very sweet friend of mine offered me money, and as freaked out as it makes me to borrow money from people, I feel like I have to do it.
I am really scared. I have like, absolutely no cash. I have become a hermit. I am sitting in the house, afraid to leave because if I drive somewhere, it is gas money and I'm afraid that I'll spend money. I am digging through the pantry to make any and every meal. I have bills to pay, and I'm going to have to negotiate with the companies because I can't make them this month.
This has never happened to me. I am the financially responsible daughter. I am the daughter who got on my sister's case for mismanaging her money. I am the daughter who doesn't make mistakes. Or at least, the one who isn't supposed to make mistakes.
People tell me all the time that I am too hard on myself, and I agree, but I really hate screwing up. I really thought that I would be okay not having a job this summer. I really thought it was okay to go out and spend $40 on clothes in June. I ate out and drank out and spent out - not really thinking about the two weeks I'd go in August without a paycheck. And now I'm scrambling, because now I am screwed.
I hate money.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I spent time in my beloved Montreat. My planning team became like a family to me in our one short week. I can't even begin to tell you how much these people mean to me.
The money situation is rough right now. I don't think I'm going to make my one year goal. I think I'm going to make an honest effort to dig myself out of the hole as much as I can, but I do not think that one year was realistic, especially with the circumstances this summer. One, I was too lazy to get a job. Two, I have three weeks without pay. Three, the onset of HOA. Four, everytime I turn around, someone else is getting married. Five, I'm only one person!! Six, this is making my head hurt.
But, it was a great summer...and it isn't over yet! Stay tuned! WG will be back in full swing when the school year starts!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Well, not really. I almost always follow the rules...in every aspect of my life. So breaking my own rules seems okay, after all, I have the power to forgive me.
Hmm...money-wise things are okay. I figured out the paycheck scenario. It came a few days late, but it came nonetheless. In one day I am leaving for Montreat (!!!!!!!!!!!) and I Can. Not. Wait. To. Be. Back. It's home. Also...free meals for sixteen days! Can I get an AMEN from the conservative budget congregation!
I have also been good, and paid all my bills online through my bank's super easy bill payer system. Now, hopefully, nothing will be missed and I won't face a nasty late charge situation.
I have found ways to be frugal in all aspects of life. Number one, I cancelled my blockbuster movie pass. Saves about $20 a month. Its sad, but I've stopped using it since I've been spending time with my fabulous friends...S, F and T. Thanks girls, for bringing me out of the couch slump! Hearts and kisses!
I also, finally, sent back the stupid modem to the stupid internet company. That should save $40 a month.
Well, I do need to start paying my condo fees, which will be about $140 a month. Seeing as how I saved $60...now I just need to work the system and find the remaining $120 a month for that. I will get a raise next year, which helps, and my school got an A...which means a bonus in October and the paying off of my laptop!! Hopefully (there's that word again) no other bill will pop up in between!
I've come to the realization that I might not pay off my debt in one year, but I feel good that I'm taking steps to control my spending and pay down what I owe. I plan to attack National Boards full force when school starts. If all goes well, it will up the numbers on my salary. Then, of course, I plan to drive myself into further debt by going to graduate school...but you can't put a price on education, right?
Well, in about 36 hours, I'll be on a plane on my way to Montreat! Luckily, my hotel has wireless access, so I'll try and blog once or twice. I know you won't forgive a hiatus.
Much love to my three readers!
ps--I'm even frugal in my search for Mr. Right Now. Check it out. Its like online bargain hunting for a date. You've got to weed through the guys who use their cell phones to take pictures in the bathroom mirror of their two pack abs, but perhaps I can snag a great deal on clearance??
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Speaking of God, I've also decided to head to my Montreat conference a week early. Those of you who know me, know that Montreat holds the sweetest and most sincere piece of my heart in its mountains. I've been on the planning team for the middle school conference for two years, and our week is finally going to take place this summer! I was planning to go up just for my week, but after much thought, I decided to go and be a small group leader for the high schoolers a week prior. I'll get to see a lot of people whom I miss dearly, and I'll get to visit my favorite place in the whole world. Also...free room and board, three meals a day, plus unlimited access to snacks, internet, and they will reimburse me for travel. How could I say no??
Until payday...it better hurry!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
I am thinking, perhaps I will scrap the whole job issue and throw myself into National Boards preparation instead?? If I apply and get it next year, the following year I can be upwards of $10,000 in bonus money.
What do you think?? Am I just being lazy? Probably. But...it is summer, and there are boys, and the beach, and I for one am just not motivated to work.
Yes, I think I am lazy. I know this will effect the debt situation. Sigh. When will it all just go away?!?!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Interview wasn't too difficult, just your run of the mill questions about availability, previous work experience and such. And you know, it has become apparent that teaching has really given me the opportunity to become a fabulous on-the-spot bullshitter. For instance, my boss might say "So, Ms. L-, what does this diagnostic data in comparison with last year's GPA for student Joe Bob tell you?" to which I would instantly reply, "Let's see...his scores are high, yet his grades are low. Clearly, Joe Bob is in need some organizational strategies in combination with and effort to enhance his intrinsic motivation. I believe he would benefit best in a classroom where differentiated instruction happens daily, so he does not become disengaged and elect to be unsuccessful." Which is a fancy way of saying, Joe Bob is a lazy, hormonal monster. (And has mean parents...who names a kid Joe Bob???)
So, I was a little surprised when the girl doing my interview asked me a question that left me all-a-fluster! We were chatting about previous work experience (she wanted only to know about my full-time work when I was in school, not the my current career) when she says, "So. You don't have any retail experience."
Thus, I began to panic. How is it possible that I, Captain Overachiever of the Super Success Squad, did not prepare an explanation to compensate for my obvious lack of t-shirt folding capabilities?!?!
Naturally, I bust out with something idiotic. Teaching hasn't been able to help me this oral issue yet.
"Well, no. I do not have retail experience. But I have a college degree."
As if this matters to someone looking to hire a person to run a register, open dressing rooms, and sell jeans. For what I doubt pays more than $7.50 an hour.
Oh well. Tomorrow, on advice from good friend Steph, I will call Sylvan. A place where my education-lingo-twisting will prove much more useful.
p.s. HEY - where is my Capt. Overachiever cape?? I have held this position my entire life, yet, no cape. Or fancy underwear to wear as outerwear. Ripoff.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Am I enthusiastic? Yes. Ambitious? Yes. A strong communicator? Yes.
But do I posess a flair for fashion????
Don't get me wrong. This is not "I don't have to the cool clothes" high school syndrome part deux. I know I have my own style. I am not going to try and describe it...I just know I wear things I like. I just don't know if I wear this stores particular style. Which is good for the budget - I won't be tempted to use the employee discount to any extreme. But they do sell some kick ass jeans. Also, what can I wear to my interview that will illustrate my flair for fashion??
I hope I am not thinking this much over something that will pay my only $6.50 an hour.
Friday, June 1, 2007
I went shopping today.
Technically, it is June 1st. I just could not resist any longer. I did set some boundaries, though. I told myself I couldn't spend more than $50. I went to ROSS (which I usually avoid, because I don't like digging through the racks) and spend $40.27 on two shirts, one pair of jeans and a dress. I figured $40 on five things I will definitely wear more than once isn't too bad.
Yes, it is $40 I could have paid on my credit card. Yes, it is $40 further away from my goal of paying down my debt.
But the dress is really, really cute.
- Post Office. MUST mail the modem back to Internet company that had horrible service and was useless. Also, need to fill out change of address form...for some reason, my parents keep getting my mail!
- Bank. Need to deposit tax return check that has been burning a hole in my pocket.
- Mall. Fill out applications for jobs that I never had as a teenager but always wanted.
- Goodwill. Check and see if they have any cheap kitchen table and/or chairs...it's been a year since I've lived in my house and am still without seating in that room.
- Eyebrow wax. Going out with my girls tonight, and I can't exactly execute the "look up, look down, aim" technique of tempting a man with two caterpillars on my forehead. It's a $7 indulgence this working girl can't give up.
- Laundry. The cat almost suffocated herself in the dirty clothes pile this morning.
- Vacuum. Summer = dog shedding = my carpet going from tan to black.
- Gas station. Crying at the pump for paying over $3 a gallon is imminent.
- Grocery store. Yea! Got $5 off Publix coupon in the mail yesterday. Perfect timing.
- Shave. Hairy legs are so last season.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I know you wish I had Red's picture, but S and I are much cuter. Trust me.
Monday, May 28, 2007
I have been SO GOOD about not spending extraneous money. I haven't bought any clothes this month (only 3 days to go) minus the eight dollar shoe incident. I haven't spent money on any "extras" except for gifts (one of which I even returned). Even though the budget has been tight, I've still managed to go out (last Friday from 3pm to 1am...only spent $8) with friends. So...imagine my horror upon horrors when I'm in Target trying to decide if the 7oz $1.94 Target brand shaving cream is a better deal than the 9.3oz $2.24 Skintimate Shaving Lotion when I hear:
Will the owner of a white Acura Integra with a Florida Alumni license plate please come to guest services?
My brain: Shit. Macura. Shit. Shit. Shit. Also - you are not wearing underwear. Shit!
Upon arriving at the front desk, the security guard informs me that I forgot to put on my parking brake and my car has rolled into someones truck!!! Instantly, I am very embarrassed and quite suddenly aware of the fact that, as the brain said, I am indeed not wearing any underwear. Target is cold.
I go out to the parking lot, profusely apologizing to the security guard. Then I meet the guy whose truck my parked vehicle rolled into. I immediately begin apologizing to him, and trying to explain how I only planned to be in the store for a minute and I was probably just distracted. I kept repeated my apology, but all the guy could do was lecture me about how important it is to use the parking brake. As if seeing the front of my car nudged against the front of his wasn't enough evidence. Literally, the conversation went like this for about five minutes:
Me: I'm so sorry! Really, I am. I'll pay for the damage.
Guy: You need to remember to put on your parking brake.
Me: You're right, sir. Again, let me tell you how sorry I am.
Guy: Well, next time use the brake. And don't leave your car in neutral.
Me: I know. I never do this. I'm so sorry. Really, very sorry.
Guy: Don't be sorry. Use the brake.
Me: Do you want me to pay for the scrape on your truck?
Guy: No. I want you to use the parking brake.
Just as I am about to explain, politely, how much I wish I was able to retroactively go back and use the parking brake, the knight in shining armor Target security guard says, "Well, sir, if you don't want her insurance information, perhaps you should just continue with your day."
Then the guy gets in his truck and looks at his wife, who mouths the word "stupid idiot" at me. And all I can do is stand there, holding down my skirt which is blowing around in the wind, threatening to prove how truly idiotic I am for not only letting my car roll into someone else's, but for wearing a skirt on a windy day and forgetting to put on underwear.
Even though the lecture from the truck driver wasn't exactly appealing, I'll accept it since it meant I didn't have to pay for any damage! His wife, however, can kiss my luscious, bare ass.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Here's how it works. I get to answer some fun and different questions, and I'd like to send some out to you. To participate:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." Make sure I have your email.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions of my choice.
3. Then, you should update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You have to include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you get to ask them five questions.
These are my five questions, and my thoughtful, detailed, random answers:
1. What reality show do you thinkyou would be a good contestant for? Why?
America's Next Top Model, of course! But seriously, I would love to be a contestant on Project Runway. I could be the one with "no formal training" who manages to squeak her way through each challenge by being slightly less worse than some other fashion designer who can't "execute" his or her "vision". My tactic for staying on the show as long as possible? Talk trash about my fellow designers, design outrageously hideous clothes, and make inappropriate sexual advances on Tim Gunn.
2. What is your typical breakfast consist of?
1 8 oz container of Weight Watchers yogurt, with 1/3 cup All Bran Buds cereal mixed in, a banana or half an orange, and 1 bottle of water. I'm extremely detailed when it comes to breakfast. And I'm obsessed with getting enough fiber. Gross, but it does the trick.
3. Why did you choose the profession you are in? Do you think you will ever change careers?
I don't really know why I chose teaching, other than finding myself petrified at having a find a job (or worse, not being able to find a job) and then not being able to succeed at it. I hate the saying, "Those who can't, teach", but in my case...I didn't really know what else to do! Luckily for me (and my kids), it is something that I absolutely LOVE and I can't picture myself doing anything else for awhile. I think I will look for a new career when this one stops being fun.
4. Who do you wish would never, ever be talked about in the media again, Paris Hilton or Brangelina?
I just want Paris to go on lockdown. If she thinks her sentence is cruel and unusual...she should try listening to herself sing on the radio.
5. What color describes you? Why?
Today, while grading my students' poetry scrapbooks, someone wrote a poem about granite being her favorite color - because it was one color made of many. I'm going to steal that idea. My personality (ok, maybe just my emotional baggage) is too complex for just one shade!
That was fun! I don't know who else to tag, because steph might be my only reader! But if you want to play along...leave me some comment love!
As mentioned earlier, I had to go to a wedding. Well, I was bound and determined not to spend a lot of dough on this wedding, seeing as how the last one I went to ending up costing me quite a bit. However...it was a fancy affair and I had to look fabulous. So, I borrowed a dress from a friend (she moved to Africa and left a ton of clothes at her mom's house) and some jewelery from my stepmom.
So, with my FREE outfit in the bag, I thought it was smooth sailing as soon as I paid $3.09/gallon for gas to get out of town. HOWEVER...I realized Saturday morning that the shoes I planned on wearing to the wedding were the ones I wore yesterday to work and shoved in my desk when I switched them out for flip flops around 2pm. Needless to say, my work was locked and I didn't think the "I left my party shoes in my desk" excuse would get the boss to open up for me! What's a working girl to do?
I was forced to go shoe shopping.
Yes, people, I was forced!
I had no other shoes that would match. My only other option - stepmother - wears a size too small. I went to Payless and found some on sale for $7.99. Normally, I would be thinking "Score! Totally cute $8 shoes!" but instead, I found myself FUMING for having broken my "no shopping" rule for the month of May!!
Even though I didn't make it a whole month (I thought about returning them, but I wore them all night and I'd feel guilty) without buying something unnecessary for my closet - I guess an $8 pair of shoes that I will definitely wear again isn't the worst thing that can happen. I also think it is progress that I found myself angry over spending the $8, whereas a month ago, I would have spent well over that amount on not just shoes - but an entire outfit. I'll take what I can get with this debt thing.
Oh. And the wedding was lovely.
ps -- I just reread my previous post where I said I was so depressed that I wanted to buy some shoes! Maybe Freud is right - there really is no such thing as an accident.
pps -- I did also have to spend money on an oil change. I used my $19.99 coupon at Jiffy Lube - which I ordinarily detest - but I had a great experience at the location on Atlantic just before the bridge. They are having a buy one oil change get one free promotion, and they mailed the paperwork off for me. It made the whole "spending money on a necessity" thing a lot less painful.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I'm angry at myself for mismanaging my money three weeks ago when I went out of town. Now I have about, oh let's see, -$2 in my bank account, and even though I get paid tomorrow, it makes no difference. I have to use most of it to pay bills and anything left over goes to the overdraft in my account. I have NEVER been this bad with my money - what's happening to me? I'm even afraid to login to my internet banking because I know what's waiting for me on the screen.
I feel like a hypocrit in some aspects, because I just chewed out a family member of mine for mismanaging money, but at least I can make up for it with this paycheck. It just means more living on a tight budget. I'm getting better. I ate 90% of my meals at home this week, and I haven't bought clothes...or anything "extra"...since May 1st. Just groceries, gas, and a round of drinks when I was out last weekend.
The other thing is that my income tax return came back. I was planning on using $200 to buy a dress that I need for a wedding (I'm a bridesmaid) and putting the rest toward my debt. Part of me feels like I should put a little bit away in savings for "just incase" money, maybe even just $100. Is that wise, or should I just write the entire check to the credit card company?
I feel like crying, just a little bit, not much. Even though I've been very cautious about spending this month, I'm paying for what I did last month. And it makes me so depressed that I want to go buy some shoes!!!!
Also, I have to go home this weekend for a wedding, and gas is SO expensive, not to mention that I haven't had the oil changed in my car since Christmas. The only redeeming thing about going home is that my parents will feed me all weekend. And the wedding will have an open bar.
What's a working girl to do???? Will I ever see the end of my paycheck to paycheck days???
Until payday, which is technically tomorrow, but feels like it is years away!!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
- I did not eat out once from Sunday to Friday afternoon. I am a regular freakin' lunchable.
- I have not bought any clothes since May 1st! Even if you count the $1.99 purse from Goodwill, that still is a major accomplishment for me. I even borrowed and fell in love with a dress from one of my co-worker's daughters, who said I could hang on to it all summer!
- I practiced wooing men with T this weekend, in hopes of getting lots of drinks purchased for my hot ass in the future.
- Though he smells, I have not splurged on Puck's $20 trip to the groomers...yet.
Still waiting for my tax return check to come in the mail...any idea how long that thing takes? Is it four to six weeks...or more like eight to ten?
Saturday, May 5, 2007
I know what you're thinking.
I know it is crazy.
But yes, I ordered carrot cake in a bar. And it was damn good.
(No, I didn't need to spend the six bucks on it, but luckily, I found my next blog inspiration! Hence the dessert details.)
So, as I devoured my six dollar slice of heaven, I sat and talked with my good friend "T" about life, work, boys, bowel movements, and of course, money. It always comes back to money. She was telling me about a party idea she heard about from a friend called a clothing exchange.
Being inspired by T, who always does her Internet research, I researched this idea on my own and discovered that these clothing exchange parties (which masquerade under many names, my favorite being The Naked Lady Party) are popular world-over.
Here's the basic idea:
- Invite a group of women (similar sizes)
- Ask all party-goers to bring a bag/box of unwanted/gently-used/washed goods - clothing, shoes, accessories, etc.
- After all guests have arrived, begin the exchange
- Some websites suggested several rules for swapping - limiting number of items, auctioning off certain goods, "dibs", having gals model a coveted item and voting on whom should get it based on who looks best, etc. Other sites suggested a free-for-all style of first come first serve. Almost every site recommended donating unwanted goods to charity.
- Ladies (sadly, no longer naked) go home with a bag of "new" clothes!
- This can also work for books, cds, dvds, kitchen ware...I even read about a pantry swap!
Not only does this serve as a form of recycling, but I suspect it will suppress the shopping bug that it annoyingly biting at my heels this very instant.
If you'd tried or attended one of these parties, let me know! I'd love to hear your stories.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
My goal for the month of May is not to buy any clothes. I am a clotheswhore. This will be especially difficult, seeing as how I must attend an Ocala wedding and by definition I must look fabulous. Perhaps I will have to borrow fabulous.
Two days down, twenty-eight to go!!
ps--I paid half the balance on one of my credit-cards today!!! It was the smallest balance, but it felt good! Next month the whole amount will be gone!!!!!!!
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Therefore, incase summer school falls through, I need to find a job that will
a. Pay me a decent wage
b. Allow me flexible scheduling
c. Not make me want to compulsively yawn
d. Not offer fabulous things I will want to buy with my employee discount
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Tonight for dinner - free Moe's via my used up punch card that I've been caring around for two months. Delicious, free burrito.
Tonight for entertainment - free Gilmore Girls via the paperclip on the back of my TV.
Tonight for blogging - free wireless from neighbor.
I love free stuff.
Monday, April 23, 2007
I swear, I was only going to go in for a minute to return something! But then...I saw it. The devious Buy One Get One Free sale. I could not resist. Temptation took over. I tried so hard to focus on the righteous thing to do - avoid spending money at all cost and run home to blog instead - but, I am weak. I left the store with a bag of merchandise, minus forty dollars in my bank account, some super cute jewelery, cough, I mean, a total sense of failure and embarassment.
So, in order to combat such instances that may arise in the future...I have written:
The Ten Commandments...Working Girl Style
1. The Lord: You shall have no other gods before me, nor idols, nor shall you make yourself an idol.
WG: (SHIT! Already broke rule number one by writing own set of commandments. Hmm...well, since I've made myself a god, I grant myself total forgiveness.) You shall not worship any sales, clearance racks, or amazingly spectacular once in a lifetime deals. Unless they offer 100% off and are completely free. Then you must worship in a ridiculous fashion.
2. The Lord: You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord.
WG: You shall not make wrongful use of your Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Bank Account, Savings Account, or money for the mortgage.
3. The Lord: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
WG: Remember payday and keep it holy. (Note to self: 'keep it holy' does not mean finding a mall in which to worship!)
4. The Lord: Honor your parents.
WG: Honor parents by practicing safe sex and not having unexpected, unplanned, costly pregnancy and small but fabulous daughter to support for eighteen years.5. The Lord: You shall not murder.
WG: Do not kill the person you finally get to speak with after holding for two hours with your credit card company. They probably do not deserve to die. Killing them is not okay, but hoping they get a flat tire, or cancer, is okay.
6. The Lord: Do not commit adultery.
WG: Try to find nice unmarried man to date. (Also: Once a month, must go on a date with a machismo guy, who will no doubt be intimidated by my beauty and intelligence, and will insist on paying to boost his manly ego. This equals free food.)
7. The Lord: You shall not steal.
WG: Don't steal...from stores. No one in the office will really miss that box of paper clips, right? Or that roll of toilet paper? And who in the office really reads the daily newspaper? Or uses those Splenda packets besides me?? Yeah, don't steal from stores.
8. The Lord: You shall not bear false witness.
WG: What the hell does that mean? Oh well. FREEBIE!
9. The Lord: You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
WG: Don't become a lesbian. Chicks are expensive. Got it.
10. The Lord: You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
WG: You are not a reality tv show that can redecorate a house on a $1000 budget...mainly because you do not have a thousand dollars! Must not spend the mortgage money on new throw pillows!!
Do you think my new commandments will help?
Pray for me!!
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I miss creativity. I want to create things.
Yet, I wonder:
Do I have time for it? Can I make money doing it?
Being a grown up is sad.
Friday, April 20, 2007
I'm just curious - why does my Google ad read "Are you gay? Click here to find out!"
These ads are supposed to be based on the content of your blog. So I guess reading Jane magazine and getting pedicures raised the big red lesbian flag on me.
But sex is related to money. Take it from the girl who had an orgasm when she realized payday was, in fact, today, and not next week. Now there's something to talk about around the water cooler.
Until (the next) payday,
ps - Hmm...I wonder what my Google ads will look like tomorrow after using the words sex, money, orgasm, and big red lesbian. Definitely something worth clicking on!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
No one ever tells you to sit down and consider whether or not you can afford yourself. I have found myself considering whether or not I can afford to stay as hott as I currently am. (And I added the extra 't' so you wouldn't think that I turned off the AC or something.)
Let's examine my beauty from a financial standpoint:
- Hair - Terri, my stylist, is great but not cheap. Though she does cut me somewhat of a deal on my highlights, we're not talking SuperCuts here. I pay about $120 every two months. Also, add in my shampoo and conditioner to maintain the expensive highlights - make that about $150 every two months.
- Feet - It is summer (I live in FL, it is actually summer nine months a year) and flip flops are back. So are my cute feet. My last two pedicures were a month apart - about $25 each.
- Face - Oh jeez. There's the face wash regimen at $60 every two months. In addition to makeup (which I don't buy a lot of, we'll say maybe $10 a month). I also just went to the Dr and got a whole slew of prescriptions, no telling how much that will be. Also add in $10 a month for eyebrow waxing (something I cannot live without).
- HOT BODY - Well, this is where I might save some money - I no longer pay to go to weight watchers (which I highly recommend by the way) and I don't belong to a gym. However, I like to eat healthy and we know that's not cheap.
- Attire - I, literally, cannot even tell you how much money I spend on clothes. Let's just say it is a lot. I'd wager $200 a month is a low estimate.
Total that up and it comes to...$340 a month!
Obviously, the clothes are out.
And no, that does not mean that naked is in.
Any ideas on how to cut corners and still look stunning? Please - no "beauty comes from within" crap. It may come from within but it sure as hell doesn't come cheap. I'll post about my therapy and self-help book bills some other time.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Then...whilst online shopping for things I am not allowed to buy, I found this nugget of inspiriation from Jane magazine, which has always held a special place in my heart.
"The only real way to get out of debt is to throw wads and wads of cash at it in order to pay it down faster. However, there are things you can do to reach your goal without feeling like a total pauper. Here are four ideas:Cut back on your expenses. Share Wi-Fi with your neighbor (with or without their consent), limit your lattes and pack your damn lunch already.Put found money, like tax refunds, toward your bills. But allow yourself occasional splurges, like high-quality handmade chocolates.Carry cash. You'll be less likely to spend $80 at the bar if you don't have a tab.Make more money. Uh, hello, why do you think we tirelessly provide you with creative and fun side hustles each month? That's right, because we care."
(You should go read the side hustles, they are pretty intriguing ideas...I wish I still lived near UF so I could explore the pretend-patient gig!)
Last night, looking at all the bills, I was so discouraged! But seeing that I already made some of the right steps (paying off bills with income tax returns, "share" wireless with my neighbor) has motivated me! And if JANE says I'm on the right track...who needs all those high-profile websites with their supposed experts??
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Okay. I am going to tell the world.
No, I'm not.
Forget it. The blog is off.
But, if I do this, I will be even more motivated to meet my goal.
Nope, can't do it.
I think there is only one way out of this.
I did the math.
It will take paying .... approximately....$792.18 over the next eleven months to pay if all off.
(Dejected) Working Girl
Hijole is Spanish for "wow".
I went to the grocery store today.
Yes, I know eating can be expensive - but I never realized how much of my paycheck goes right into my stomach. Today I spent $72.17 on food (for myself and the pets) that will probably only last one and a half weeks.
Grocery shopping is hard for me. I love fresh produce, but I can't eat it all before it goes bad. I refuse to eat cheap, processed foods (boxed mac and cheese, ramen noodles, etc) because they are so unhealthy. I also don't mind paying the extra 68 cents for cage-free eggs, and other more organic, green wise options.
Since I live alone, cooking is also a bit annoying. If I make a lot of something, I am forced to eat the leftovers for days. If I don't make enough...I have to go back to the store the next day. I don't clip coupons because I'm not organized enough and they always expire before I use them.
Also, living alone leads to eating out a lot. It's a social activity for me, and sometimes a convenience. Sometimes its an accident - like today when I forgot my lunch and did not have time to go home and get it. Hello, drivethru and six dollars down the drain.
Perhaps I should put myself on an "eating out" budget - or limit the number of times a week I do it. That, however, means I'll be spending more at the grocery store to eat in.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Here's the scoop:
I woke up early to go to my CPA's office. I know, I know - I've had months to file for my tax return, but you see, I had a plan. I purposefully waited as long as possible, in order to delay my return. It is important that I get the money closer to summer and not be tempted to spend it. I will not have my normal biweekly income this summer, and having this extra chunk in the bank will be a huge help. (Feel free to exude multiple "bullshit" coughs as you continue to read.) So, of course, I waited until the last possible minute to file my tax return!!
Well, the truth is, I forgot.
Yes, I forgot that the government owed me one-thousand twenty-three dollars and seventy-eight cents. I forgot until the last possible minute.
So, I found myself driving halfway downtown at 8:30 this morning with some more of my paperwork that I didn't know the CPA would need, and that I could not find until last night. Now do you believe I have a problem?
However, finding out my return would be a smooth grand was a nice surprise. Also, she cut me a very good deal for her services. Now, I realize that paying someone to do your taxes can decrease the amount you get in return, but paying her $100 to find the $400 I wouldn't have known about still puts me $300 ahead of the game. I have decided to apply the total of my tax return to my debt.
Mid-day, I did notice one trend at work that is slightly disturbing. Well, it depends on how you look at it, but for my "debt free in one year" plan, it just aint gonna work. It became apparent to me that several times throughout the day I considered spending money on my..."co-workers". (Sorry I can't be more descriptive - this is the internet). If they needed something that my "office" would not supply, I thought, "Oh, I'll just buy it myself." Today, one of my co-workers who has been out for five weeks returned, and I thought, "I bet she would love to have a pizza party during lunch to celebrate her coming back!" And just who was going to plan and pay for this party...me, of course! This has been a habit of mine since the first day I've been at this job. Granted, the "office" gives me a check at the beginning of the year and I do get to claim some of it on my taxes...but it doesn't begin to add up to the amount I spend on these "co-workers" of mine. Yikes!
The end of my day was full of monetary surprises, too, but in a much better way. Searching through my "junk drawer" I found the following:
- A rebate offer from cingular for $50 that I have yet to mail
- A check for $40 from my job for some extra work that I have yet to cash
- $8.14 in change, inside an actual piggy bank
- A receipt for the "decorative sphere" that I bought and then immediately regretted at Kohl's, which I have placed in the passenger seat of my car for a return tomorrow after work for an additional $5.99
which brings my grand total of money laying around the house to...$104.13! And according to Rule #4, I will apply this money to my credit card debt.
I hope I get this lucky tomorrow!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I work hard for my money. I am not a lazy person. I put myself through school. I love my job, although it is one of the most notoriously underpaid professions. But, like most Americans, I struggle to make ends meet. I don't struggle because of any difficulties or hardships, I struggle because I mismanage my money.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. So, here goes...
I am a retail therapy junkie.
I can't say no to a good sale.
I am in debt.
I HAVE A PROBLEM!
This is a new problem for me. As a child, I was great with money. I was always a great saver and never a big spender. If I loaned my sister a dollar, I would charge her ten cents interest a day until she paid me back. Somewhere along the line, I lost these qualities. It started when I began living on my own.
Living on my own is fabulous - except when it comes to paying the bills. Although I did just purchase my first home, which I know is a wonderful investment, it only added to the list of bills I already pay. Things I never thought about before - homeowners insurance, condo fees, exterminators...it all adds up.
My biggest headache when it comes to bills are the credit cards. Some of that debt can be attributed to college (tuition, books, food, gas, beer) and some of it can be attributed to the sweet seduction of entitlement. But how did I go from someone who hates to borrow five bucks from a friend to someone who owes over eight grand to credit card companies?
Thus began my idea to blog my way to financial freedom. I know many people get paid to blog, and there are ways to use your blog to generate revenue - I plan to explore all those options. But mainly, I know that if I put my personal business and goal out here on the Internet for everyone to read...I will be motivated more than ever to succeed!
So...this is my goal:
In one year, I will no longer have any debt attributed to credit cards!
These are my rules:
- I will put myself on a budget and stick to it.
- I will not buy anything using my credit cards. Emergencies include family members only, and shoe sales no longer qualify.
- I will find ways to save money in every aspect of my life. I will keep a running total of the money I have saved each month, and put that money towards paying off my debt.
- I will look for ways to make money in every aspect of my life. Extra money made at work, at home or at play will be used to pay off my credit cards.
- I will not limit myself on things that I love - especially travel. I will find a way to take at least one non-family/wedding related vacation this year, and I will not go further into debt by doing it nor will I let it stand in the way of accomplishing my goal.
A year seems like a long time, but hopefully, on April 15th 2008, I will be celebrating with a big bottle of champagne (paid for in cash, of course). I figured a day associated with money (tax day) is a great day to start.
Here is to my fresh financial start!