Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a mostly stable behemoth

it's a rainy day here in the dirty dirty. i'm off from work today and have thus far started the exciting task of organizing the teetering piles of old bills. my company for the hour is The Princess Bride and i just heard the line "mostly dead is slightly alive." sifting through credit card and student loan statements makes me feel like i'm mostly broke, but if i use hollywood logic, that could also mean i'm slightly unbroke.

i think what i am is slightly unstable, but i digress.

i've been in blog reading overdrive the past few days so what i'm about to say is a direct result of spending too much time on the internet. i've decided to participate in the 101 things in 1001 days challenge. i shudder at the thought of admitting such a thing, but you know what they say, one of the best ways to reach a goal is to make an external commitment by telling the world. so there you go world (of 5 readers), i now, after 4 days of perusing lists and attempting self-exploration, have a list of 101 things that will somehow enrich my life. truth be told, i'm a sucker for lists, so just the pure act of having to maintain this behemoth (that has many sub-lists) will be a compulsive pleasure.

while i have decided to share the act of undertaking 101 things, i have decided not to share the actual list. motivational and/or supportive comments are my own personal kryptonite (along with anything that resembles a compliment). so if you have something positive to say, please veil it in sarcasm or a nice shroud of pessimism. when i manage to check things off the list, i will most likely share them, but for now, it will remain confidential. i will say this, the word unicycle appears in item #56.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

PHS Splurge strikes again

i turned the other cheek and did a bad thing today. $63 down the Rag-o-Rama drain. the trip was partially successful: i found step 1 of this year's halloween costume; i sold $19 of unused track jackets/fleece pullovers; and i scored another pair of designer jeans for a fraction of the retail price. i guess i'm not upset with the end result (given the chance, i'd buy everything again), but the timing of my splurge is less than desirable with 9 more days to the next pay check. grocery shopping could be tricky...

let's move on to a different green matter -- this weekend's activities were reached via two wheels, with the exception of 2 domestic errands. let's face it, 12 packs of pepsi one don't exactly fit in my camelback. there was some major huffing and puffing during today's 10 mile ride to Octane, but i'm guessing carbon dioxide is easier on the environment than my 9 year old car.

i've considered taking the two wheel approach to the extreme and getting rid of my parking pass at the hospital. it would be an extra $50 loitering in my savings account (destined for a digital SLR) and a good excuse to get even more exercise while enjoying the scenery. do i really want to brave the atlanta winter in a bike helmet or is it worth $150 - $200 to be able to feel my toes when i get home?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

frugal fanny to the rescue

i think i need to find a support group. i can't seem to tear myself away from financial blogs. i now know so many new (and old) ways to save money that i don't have! if you're in the market for a new distraction, i highly recommend Get Rich Slowly. the archive section puts everything at your fingertips with informative and eye catching titles ("Take Back Your Brain!"). the advice is often common sense, but it's reaffirming to see other people's success stories (or failures as the case may be). there's also information about things that are completely foreign to me (a.k.a. anything to do with taxes). anecdotal is the way to go with potentially dry material.

(sadly, i can't take credit for finding this gem. i've run across links to GRS on a friend's blog from time to time and finally decided to root around on my own)

in other news, my career as a bookstore employee is officially over. it was an entertaining job, but exhausting because of the constant social interaction and long hours standing on concrete slab. okay, the truth of the matter is, i can make more money selling my soul to the hospital for 3 days a week and have more free time to explore things that make me happy. $7 an hour gets me out of the office but makes me so tired that i could care less about writing or exercise or building a massage therapy business. needless to say, the owner was less than pleased with me. i don't think i'll be doing any christmas shopping there...

not that i plan on doing very much shopping because my goal for the holidays this year is to spend as little as possible. home made gifts here i come.

(forgive all the money talk, but it's on the forefront of my mind these days and this is the official place of mental regurge)

Monday, October 15, 2007

chip off the old block

what we have here is a peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwich (as mentioned in my last post). normally i'm a stickler for spreading sandwich condiments (?) to the edges of the bread, but there IS such a thing as too much peanut butter (the horror), so the swatch of peanut butter on the left is only for extra sticking power. "chocolate chips??" you say? balk if you will, but the difference in sugar content from your basic pb&j is marginal. sure, the fat content is a bit higher, but think of the antioxidants you're getting from all that extra chocolate.

the last few days have been an eating extravaganza. coffeeshopgirl's parents were in town for the weekend and we went to several restaurants that we've been lusting after but have been too poor to afford. I don't have the energy to run through the details, but links and descriptions will be posted soon.

Friday, October 12, 2007

sweatin to the oldies

the weather is temporarily crisp here in the land of boiled peanuts and it makes me think of the few things i actually like about cold weather:

Car chapstick. i try to keep burt's bees on my person at all times with the exception of office days where i keep it in my work bag. inevitably i wear a different pair of pants and forget to do the great pocket switch before leaving the house, which leaves me to face the day without the minty sting of burt's. in the winter, my oversight is balanced out by car chapstick. try keeping chapstick in your car during an atlanta summer (or DC summer for that matter) and you'll end up with mint soup. (i know chapstick is really a brand name and not a product name, but i hate the word balm and i'm not even going to think about using the word salve)

Cooler on wheels. ever go on a road trip and try to provide all your own snacks/drinks to avoid the subtle wallet leeching of gas station prices? try doing that in the summer and you'll end up with hot brown water and melty peanut butter-chocolate chip sandwiches. As someone who used to used to think of their car as an extension of their apartment, i can really appreciate the fact that winter weather automatically converts your trunk into a mobile cooler. sodas stay bubbly and chocolate chips stay crunchy! which is great when you can't feel your toes and all you want is a perfect last bite.

Sweaters/sweatshirts. this is pretty self explanatory. i hate being cold. solution: hoodies and wool sweaters. need i say more?

Fewer coffee sweats. I like to drink my coffee on the hotter side, which can be troublesome in the summer months because I usually end up with the coffee sweats. Not familiar? Well, about a quarter of the way into my drink, my heart starts racing and I break out into a full body sweat, complete with flushed cheeks. When the weather gets cooler I have to work harder to produce this effect, usually by drinking more than one cup of coffee in the span of a couple of hours. I try to avoid this if at all possible because too much coffee equals the dreaded sweats AND an intense desire to hit something to relieve the caffeine induced anxiety.

the list of things that i detest about winter is about 3 times as long. looking on the bright side -winters in Atlanta are mild and short lived so I can save the griping for when I move to nyc and can afford nothing more than a cardboard box in the back alley of a chinese restaurant.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


The apartment keeps belching clothes onto the bedroom floor, but I think the new wall color accentuates the piling problem.

Normally I'd shoot for a synopsis with a little more punch, but I'm going cross-eyed so here's the oozing convoluted version. I spent all weekend painting the first coat of a friend's living room and our bedroom. I managed to eek out a second coat for the living room this evening, but our bedroom will have to wait. The thought of sprawling in front of baseboards pains me more than the streaks and dimpling that keep catching my eye. (dimpling = tiny pin holes of white that don't get covered by the roller on the first coat. guaranteed to happen when switching to a dark color no matter what the one coat wonder companies would like you to believe)

today makes day 3 of my 6 day working streak (8 if you count the weekend warrior episode). that's right, i now have a second job due to severe lack of funds and the slowest licensing board in the country. soon i won't be able to afford the means by which i choose to torture you with pointless entries (not to mention things like electric bills and grocery shopping). so i have decided to use my status of homo sapien, emphasis on homo, to procure a job at an "independent" bookstore. not the most lucrative of ventures, but they hired me within 2 days of applying so it's a quick fix that could turn into a good way to pad the bank account, get out of an office, and meet people that have never uttered the words "design aesthetic".

to whom it may concern: i don't fault you for your designer hearts (or vocabularies), just your designerly stress levels.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

honk for peanut butter

It's a dangerous day for driving in North Atlanta. 3 fender benders. 45 minutes. 5 mile radius. 4 major reasons to honk my horn (forget counting the minor ones). The problem is not suburb specific. The other day a truck on the other side of the intersection went through a red light just as I got a green arrow to turn left. I don't mean he ran the light because it changed at the last second. I mean he was sitting at the stoplight and must have decided he had been waiting too long because he revved up and powered through. Had I been in the usual autopilot mode and jumped on the gas when the light changed, I would have broadsided him.

Drivers Ed must cost extra in Atlanta high schools. Everything else around here seems to. Forget the free museums of D.C. They're just a wet dream of the past. And turn signals? They must remove them when you get your car inspected. Luckily the guy who inspected my car didn't even know what model it was ("is that an Accord?"), much less how to remove the turn signal bulbs.

Monday, October 1, 2007

botanical barbarism

the botanical gardens of atlanta takes halloween pretty seriously (see exhibit A from our recent trip). we went in the middle of a thursday and had the run of the place. sadly, my camera died before we got to the turtles in the orchid house, but i did get a few good pictures before those 3 magic words ("change battery pack") hovered on the screen and the shutter retracted.

the usual career/life direction woes have kept me on the outskirts of the blogosphere lately. i've done my daily stalking, but i haven't had the focus or motivation to think of something worthwhile to contribute to this black hole of personal archiving.

hold that thought...