Wednesday, May 30, 2007

cheap date

Jax Beach is the best place for free entertainment. Over Memorial Day, we stumbled upon JB's hidden night-life gem for ditch dwellers. Billy's Boathouse on Beach Blvd (near the marina) is the redneck epitome of a diamond in the rough. The conch fritters were fried to perfection and our waitress kept the cold beer flowing - I didn't even dock her tip for sporting an "I Heart FSU" tank top. AND - not only did we get to see the inner workings of a drug ring and amateur stripping...we did it to the musical styling of "Big Red" (a red-headed AARP-flag-waving rockin' guitarist in a wheelchair). This eclectic mix of half-dressed locals and PVBers who pulled up on yachts is only available in the 904 area code.

I know you wish I had Red's picture, but S and I are much cuter. Trust me.

Monday, May 28, 2007

i should star in the next geico caveman commercial

Today could have been so much worse.

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.

Until payday,

Monday, May 21, 2007

change of pace

My pal steph sent me this interview weeks ago! Being busy (and napping) has consumed so much of my time, but tonight, I will finally answer her questions. I am sure she has been awaiting my response with bated (sp?) breath.

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!

Until PD

page turned

An interesting thing happened this weekend.

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. 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.

Until payday,

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


Ok...I'm angry because I've tried to post twice, and both times I've hit "publish", I've lost the internet connection. So I will try to get this out as fast as possible.

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 broke a rule...

I haven't posted at all this week! I know I said my goal was to post four times a week, and my last post was one week ago. I will, however, recap the week financially as such:

  • 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?

Until payday,


Saturday, May 5, 2007

am I a cheat???

Well, in order to save money, I don't have cable. But sometimes I think this works against me, because instead of spending a lazy Saturday watching some tv, I get out of the house. And shop.

But today I was very good...I think. I spent $16.54 at Target on: cat food (Zoey has to eat), dog biscuits (Puck's BFF), nail polish (goodbye pedi's!), a headband (face-washing necessity, I snapped my last one last night), a bottle of water (hmm, I bet those add up) and a box of weight watchers snack cakes (hard to find and on sale!). Afterwards, I went to Goodwill and spent $1.99 on a metallic vintage clutch. All items paid for in cash.

Lately, I find that I can justify my spending in any form. So, this is my justification for my $20 shopping spree this afternoon.

1. Cat food - Zoey needs to eat, she's my responsibility. If I don't feed her, I will get slapped with a hefty animal cruelty fine, which will end up costing me much more than the cat food. Plus, she will shoot me her trademark evil look.

2. Dog Biscuits - They make Puck so happy. Can you say no to this face?

3. Nail Polish - Remember my previous post about beauty being so expensive? I think $2.99 nail polish beats a $20 pedicure.

4. Headband - I use these religiously each night when I wash my face. I was down to one and it snapped last night. I paid $3.99 for four.

5. Bottle of Water - $1.09. I was thirsty.

6. WW Snack Cakes - They don't have the kind I like in Publix, and I would have bought something like this for my lunches anyhow.

7. Goodwill Purse - It was cute and I saw Emmy Rossum carrying a similar bag in Glamour. It was two bucks.

Ok, I throw myself upon the mercy of the courts. Did I cheat on my no clothes goal with the $2 purse? Am I justifying unnecessary spending? You be the judge.

Until payday,


I Love Naked Ladies

So, there I was, in all my glorious efforts to become debt free in one-year...eating a six dollar slice of carrot cake at my most favorite Jax Beach Bar, Twisted Sister.

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.

Until payday,


You can read about Naked Lady Parties just like I did - here, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I Hate Money!

Why do we constantly try to live outside our means? Why do we justify spending money on things we don't need? Why do we need things to make us happy? And why do I keep saying "we" when I really mean "me"??

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!!

Until PD,

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!!!!!!!