librarything hates me, but i refuse to stop trying to hump on those free books.

8 02 2011

nowadays, there’s social networking sites for literally everything (stachepassions probably being my personal favorite), so it stands to reason that there would be a number of sites dedicated to bookworm types. and there are- MANY. most notably, you’ve got your shelfari and your goodreads… and bringing up the rear, is portland’s very own librarything (who knew it was right here!). it’s a lot less pretty, and significantly clunkier than the other two to use, but what it lacks in glossy sheen, it makes up in mad crazy functionality. above and beyond a basic digital bookshelf, librarything essentially lets you search/categorize/sort down to the cellular level. basically, if you get a boner for the dewey decimal system (or enjoy engaging in some hardcore self-righteous literary snark), this shit is FOR YOU.

so, why the hell am i telling you about this?  librarything is not merely a rad place to go to bump chests about books with other bibliophiles… but they also have monthly free book giveaways in the form of a pretty awesome program they run called “early reviewers“. basically, authors and publishing houses send fat crates of their new books to librarything, and members can sign up for a chance to get them for free (under the condition that they read and review them for the site). dude, FREE BOOKS. you love free books! i love free books! and it’s not all crappy self-published bullshit-  they get some seriously TOP SHELF SHIT.

the main caveat here being that i haven’t been chosen to get one yet… but it’s free to play the book lottery, and i have high hopes that someday i will win.  perhaps a sexy complimentary blog post will finally tip the scales in my favor (ahem) (hint hint) (p.s. i’m really pulling for “the girl who would speak for the dead“)? but seriously, even if librarything never asks me to the prom, it really is an utterly fantastic website (you should go join my nancy drew discussion group right now),  and somebody is getting all those awesome free books- why not you?

if you could only read one book for the rest of your life- what would it be?

mall recall.

23 07 2010

CALLING ALL PAST AND PRESENT MAINE MALL WORKERS & LOVERS! the marvelous alex steed (who can be found everywhere all at once, but especially here, here and here) has started a facebook fan page (well, technically it’s classified as a religious organization) for maine mall alumni! the project sprung from a combination of  his own alumni pride (you may remember him lurking around the wacky t-shirt kiosk in the early 2000s), and also being utterly aghast at the fact that the BANGOR MALL HAS 1200+ FANS, and the maine mall isn’t even breaking 800… well, alex is already campaigning hard to remedy the situation, and the alumni page is busting with excitement such as:

– musings on the odd positioning of record town & tape world in the late 80s (across the hall from each other).

angsty anti-mall rambling from bygone blogs.

relics from our beloved mall’s past life.

so yes, if you’ve ever known the mall intimately, please head on over and friend that shit up. or like it. or fan it. or whatever the hell it is that people do on facebook.  share your tender mall moments, awkwardly reconnect with old coworkers, and start your own dialog about how the mall just hasn’t been the same since porteous disappeared.

now i never worked at the mall, but i can tell you with no hesitation that i have logged A LOT of hours in its tiled corridors. well, by tapping into my deep and abiding love  for the maine mall, alex has somehow managed to get me stuck in his swiftly rolling katamari of energy and ideas. it’s Q & A time! i’ve come up with a list of questions for all the mall workers out there past and present, and it’s your job to answer them, and elaborate, and go off topic in the most entertaining way possible (part 1 of 2):

1. What never goes on sale?

2. What is the best deal you ever saw someone score?

3. Sometimes I hide things in the store that I can’t afford to pay full retail for- in hopes that they will not be found until markdown time. Is this a viable method?

now is the time to share your insider knowledge with the world. now is the time to declare your alumni status!

hot in the city

12 05 2010

when last you saw me, i was fleeing the shopaholics boutique in shame. BIG thank you btw to everyone who called that guy a douchebag and told me that they wouldn’t shop there! your support warms my black little heart. but onward… i still had like 20 minutes to burn before my dinner date, but needed to get my scorned ass out of there immediately. it just so happens that several of my sexiest lady friends were performing some burlesque at the recent sanctuary tattoo 10th anniversary party, and i thought it would be fun to get them saucy little good luck presents of some sort (which actually didn’t end up happening, but i did try!). but where does a girl go for saucy goods in this town that doesn’t also employ jizz moppers (i’m talking to you video expo) or carry bong parts (you too treasure chest)? the answer is nomia.

tucked up on the 2nd floor above a comfortable shoe store, you likely didn’t even know it was there (unless you’re in the habit of taking poorly lit stairways into the unknown).  but you should, because nomia is a super amazing woman-owned shop with a femme-centric approach porno and sex toys.  it’s white-glove clean, flatteringly lit, and laid out like a charming local bookstore- with the exception of the fact that the only genre is erotic. sure there are strap-ons and lube displays aplenty, but it’s very private (thus it’s 2nd floor location with no easily peepable windows), has women-only hours, and just feels comfortable, safe, and like a nice place to browse for all things rubber and vibrating. plus, they know what they’re talking about. there isn’t a question out there that will make them blush, and they’ve got resources and recommendations up yaz (pun intended).

i will spare both my mom and the other people who read my blog and actually have to look me in the eyes on occasion the details of what exactly i did or didn’t buy, but it’s irrelevant anyway. after my unceremonious dismissal from shopaholics boutique, it was so amazing to walk into a store that was warm, inviting, and cared about my needs. where the person behind the counter was more than happy to engage in a conversation with me, answer my questions, and even looked online for something i had asked about but they didn’t carry. and you know, i left that store with $22 worth of stuff i didn’t actually need (although i do firmly believe that good sex is an excellent investment), feeling good about my purchases and good about myself. my previous shame and anger had been equalized by good customer service. who knew? nomia FTW.

squirrel talk

22 04 2010

as you’ve probably figured out by now, there are a crapload of frugal websites floating out there on the internet. and let’s be truthful now, not all of them are good.  and frankly, a lot of them are EXACTLY THE SAME. they’re all pretty much crapping out the same deals, it’s really a question if you prefer seeing them on the pink background or the green. no disrespect, those websites provide a great service in doing all the tedious coupon homework so that we don’t have to, but it does seem like it’s getting harder and harder to find really original takes on thriftiness.  so every now and again when i do stumble upon something fresh, i gotta tell everybody in the neighborhood (that’s you) about it.

i love almostfrugal because it has an adorable squirrel mascot and not a sexified cartoon version of the author. i love almostfrugal because it ignores the deals entirely and focuses on starting productive discussions about the pitfalls of personal finance. but mostly, i love almostfrugal because it’s such a good listener. alongside their own daily generated content, they also seek out other money saving/deal seeking/penny pinching blog folks, and ask them what they’re doing. the same 4 questions every time, but always jammed full of new insight from the various participants. a gem from heather @ inexpensively from her turn on the almostfrugal merry-go-round: ” being frugal means we can lower our budget, but it doesn’t have to mean lowering our standards.” simple, honest, and smart as hell.

since it’s incredibly unlikely that they’ll be knocking on my door anytime soon (um, i mean ever), i thought i would try my hand at their little questionnaire:

what does frugality mean to you? (this sounds like a miss america question)
to me, frugality is the end goal. no matter how you make the magic happen (coupons, garage sales, or just learning to do without), frugality is what happens when we are able to assess the balance between our needs and wants and make decisions that will best serve our financial security. i’m not there yet. i feel like right now i’m just learning to pay attention to the fact that i AM spending. i’m hoping that someday in the near future i will learn how to pause before i get to the checkout counter and be able to successfully make those assessments. someday…

what is something that you do that is ‘typically’ frugally?
consignment & thrift shopping! i’m a complete goodwill whore. i generally refuse to pay retail for most stuff (shoes obviously excepted), but i also prefer old things to new. old navy is great and all, but in a town as small as this, you’re likely to end up on a metro bus with at least two other people wearing the same outfit. vintage keeps things interesting and unique. and the dirt cheapness doesn’t hurt either.

what is something frugal that you do that is unusual?
homemade spanx! shit is EXPENSIVE, and i’m sure that real thing works way better… but whenever i get a run in a pair of control top pantyhose or tights, i cut the legs off and wear them under dresses for stomach control and to reduce thigh rub friction. wow, that sounds really really pathetic when i say it out loud.

what are some of your longterm goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
well initially, i’d like to be revolving debt free and have at least 2 months of expenses socked away somewhere safe. and then maybe some retirement fundage? but it isn’t really even about that. like i said in question 1, i just want to figure out how to take a breath before i make a purchase big or small and be able to make a smart choice in the best interest of whatever my concrete financial goals might be. although i’d probably settle for being out of hock to bank of america.

i know, kind of lame! now your turn.

back that ass up.

22 03 2010

there’s a lot of freebies to be had out there, but as we learned this weekend from mindi cherry, we are not entitled to said freebies. but dude, even if you only get half of what you ask for- still a good deal. this morning, my inbox hilariously reminded me of one of my very favorite sample sites, with this headline:

the health benefits of a bigger butt.

i’d originally signed up for quality health because i wanted free stuff. i think maybe it was free jergens lotion or something… anyway, when you sign up for freebies, you also get signed up for their newsletter. usually, this is the sort of thing that i immediately unsubscribe from,  as i am one of those assholes who uses her actual (and only) email address to sign up for things. however, week after week, i consistently find myself opening and reading it. pointing and clicking! their diet & nutrition newsletter is shockingly informative & interesting, AND whoever writes their headlines needs a goddamn raise.

DISCLAIMER: nobody gives a shit about my opinions, and they certainly don’t pay for them. anything i choose to rant or rave about on this blog is solely the product of my own warped sensibilities, and a strong feeling that something either kicks complete ass, or kicks no ass at all.

weird about town.

12 03 2010

in yet another non-money related post, i would like to take this opportunity to pimp my new flickr library “weird about town“. basically, me and my constant companion iphone do a lot of traveling. and during said travels, crazy ass shit is found. i try to photograph said crazy ass shit as often as i can, and i finally feel like i have enough to warrant a photo set. some highlights include: googly eyes, donut trees, aluminum jesus, homies, yetis, tits, and of course… the super kegel. please remember that i am by no means a great photographer, and also that the iphone camera kind of blows. it’s not about the artistry people, it’s about the content. specifically the content about tits and bjs.

cheap date- the asylum

28 01 2010

how did i not know about this? yesterday after dance class a bunch of us went out for cocktails and snacks. AND KARAOKE.  which isn’t exactly mind blowing, because i think a bunch of places in the area have karaoke, but not like this.

i always assumed that the asylum was not for me. sure, i’ve been to their 80s dance night a few times, and the occasional rock show, but overall- it seemed like somebody else’s bar. and i think it still is, except for thursday night karaoke.

huge stage. huge screen. disco lights (did i mention that they have a light up ceiling that looks like the night sky?). extremely enthusiastic and heterogenous crowd from hipster art kids to bearded fogies. really well priced mozzerella sticks. and, $2 well drinks. sweet! there’s no cover, and if you wanted to skip the snack food, you could get wasted and sing “rockin’ robin” till you pee your pants for a mere $6-$10 (depending on how you handle your liquor).  and that my friends is the textbook definition of a good deal.


26 01 2010

you may or may not have noticed a few new items that have popped up in the sidebar over the last week. the most brightly colored of the two is a small graphic attempting to entice you to vote for me in the portland phoenix “best of” poll.  best blog that is. i’m not really sure if i think i’m the best of anything at this point (it’s only been about 3 months), but i am trying real hard to get more people from my area to be aware that i exist. i seem somehow to be least able to communicate to the group that i am writing specifically for (although i hope that i do have at least a little appeal for those of you who are tragically “from away”). anyway, this would be a really good way for me to say “hey portland! i’m over here!”. but if you’d like some other options, here are a few portland blogs that i’m very fond of:

portland food coma

the blueberry files

portland maine daily photo

the maine maven

hilly town

the other thing you might have seen is that i now have a way to subscribe to my posts via email. i was just doing the rss thing for a while, but i understand that not everyone is down with google reader (although it is pretty hot). perhaps you’d like to know when i’m jabbering on about something pointless… or perhaps not. either way, you now have the option.

dollar menu.

6 01 2010

what’s this about the best things in life being free? i suppose they’re probably talking about love and shit. if that’s the case, i guess they’re right… but stuff is nice too, and stuff costs money.

last night i was pawing through the rite aid flier trying desperately to figure out what i was going to pick up today to get more “game of life” pieces before they disappeared completely, and i saw that carmex was on sale for $.99. cherry carmex no less! i’m a hardcore chapstick junky, and carmex is one of my very favorites. what can i say, new chapstick always makes me happy (too happy?). and somehow thinking about my inappropriate lip balm lust made me think about all of the things that cost a dollar or less that bring me great joy:

1. paperback books at goodwill. a weird thing to know about me is that i prefer paperback over hardcover . maybe it’s because they’re smaller and it means i can fit more in my apartment. or maybe less guilt in cracking the spines. or maybe it’s just that dust jackets are a nuisance. regardless, nothin is nicer than scoring a hot vintage classic for $.99 ($.49 if it’s on sale).

2. wendy’s biggie french fries. i remember wendy’s being the forerunner in the dollar menu revolution, and digging for couch change to get frosties when i was a freshman in high school (wendy’s was the only walkable fast food chain from my house). nowadays on the peninsula, there is gratefully no walkable fast food.  but any time i’m having a hardcore grease craving, i can always bribe the boyfriend into driving me out to the wendy’s for what i consider to be hands down the best fast food french fries- for one small dollar (and they’re totally vegetarian).

3. dollar store pregnancy tests. because they’re a punchline in and of themselves. because who would actually buy one and expect accurate results? because they always give me something to giggle about every time i’m at the dollar store.

4. itunes. i’m a greatest hits girl. i can name maybe a handful of whole albums that i love all the way through- but usually, i just buy the one or two songs that enchant me and tell the rest of the album to go screw. before the mp3 took over the universe, my only real single song options were cd (or tape) singles (or 45s even!)- and the selection was always rather limited. thank you interweb. now i can log onto itunes from my phone and for $.99, i can download that song that i heard on the radio this morning that i can’t get out of my head. also, even if that song is by miley cyrus (i’ve done it!), i can survive with the pride that i didn’t pay for the whole record.

5. scratch tickets. i’m not really a gamblin man. when i go to casinos, i mostly play slots- and i don’t ever play more than i think the entertainment of pulling that handle is worth (usually about $20 before a i get bored and hit the bar). that’s why i love scratch tickets. scraping that silver stuff off for the (though highly unlikely) possibility of  a big win is totally worth $1 to me. plus, they’re always named hilarious things like: “peng-wins” and “moo-lah money”. also, a good chunk of the money goes back into the state, so it’s like a charitable donation with a side of fun.

6. ramen noodles! not even close to costing a dollar (i think the going rate is $.17), and so delicious. i know i’m one of the few, the proud that didn’t max out on these babies during college- but i love salty! i love the noodles, and the oriental flavor is totally meat-free. however, i did think i was alone in this love until i found this article. if you can’t find a recipe in here that will help you and ramen find love again- then you are clearly not trying hard enough. come on, chocolate ramen?!

7. skee ball. champion of all old-school arcade games, i could play this shit for hours. and i’m terrible. but have you seen those tickets shoot out of the machine? exhilirating! and if you go to the jaw droppingly awesome fun-o-rama in york beach,  you can get 4 games for just $1.

8. word warp. ok, there are a lot of apps for the iphone that are cool… a lot of which are free, but this is hands down the very best app i’ve ever had. i downloaded it about 6 months ago- and i still haven’t gotten tired of it. i play it several times a day, every day, and it’s my absolute go-to “i need something to do with myself while i wait” activity. it’s really just a simple anagramming game, but it has a setting where you can switch the standard word list with the current (much more difficult) scrabble dictionary (you can even set the background to scrabble colors!). did i mention that i was a gigantic scrabble nerd?

9. mountain holler. mountain holler is the save-a-lot version of mountain dew. it tastes ok, but the main idea in this sentence is that it’s called “mountain holler”. also, it has its own facebook. (i’m a fan). oh, and i’m pretty sure it costs $.30 at the vending machine outside of the store on st. john st. while i’m here, i might also recommend the companion beverage (found at wal-marts), dr. thunder.

10. red box. even though i have 4 netflix movies, somehow there are always gaps in my movie-watching schedule (usually created by me not sending things back right way). redbox fills in those gaps with usually really terrible but pretty fun blockbustery type movies that i would generally never rent, except that i want to watch a movie… and i’m at the grocery store… and it’s only a dollar… so why not? the mummy returns again with friends and a monkey? bring. it. on.

did i miss anything?