the currency of villainy.

30 03 2010

first and foremost i want to thank you all for being sweet and sticking up for me today. you all made my crappy weekend infinitely less stupid. in addition, i am definitely feeling less sick, and we were able to talk the condo roof assessment down to $3750 per unit.  although if you see my insurance adjuster, please tell her to fucking return my calls!  but enough about that.

after getting that mean comment yesterday, i’ve been thinking a lot about what the future holds for me and my identity as a blogger. at this point, i feel exceptionally lucky that i’ve only ever had 2 negative comments in the 6 month life span of my little website. but as my traffic count starts to swell (swell obviously being a  relative term), so does the possibility that people aren’t going to like what i have to say. and the truth is, i’m not that nice. the person who told me i should stick to reviewing PB&Js did so because i completely eviscerated a local restaurant. and i did so unapologetically. i’m blunt and brutal and bitchy. sometimes for comic effect, and sometimes because i’m honest and i don’t care to waste time candy coating things with a protective layer of waffling and neutrality.

unfortunately, with this inability/unwillingness to play nice, i make myself a target for naysayers. as much as there are people in the universe who would shank their own grandma to avoid a conflict, there are other people out there who would shank their own grandma to start a conflict, because picking fights gets them off. the internet is the perfect place to do this because you never have to use your real name, use your real email address, or tell anyone what restaurant you work for when you’re telling someone they’re not qualified to opine about anything higher up the food chain than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… the internet makes people ballsier and nastier than ever with absolutely no fear of repercussion.

but is it really so bad? if i want my readership to grow, is it time for me start filing off my sharp edges? criticism feels bad right now because i’m not used to it, but a lot of people have gotten very famous being the bad guy. howard stern, rush limbaugh, gargamel, destro… being hated means that people are paying attention. being hated means that people care enough to have formed an opinion. is being merely likable compelling enough to keep people visiting every day? exactly how evil do i have to be to get more people to subscribe to my RSS?

but seriously, i don’t think i’ll be amping up or amping down my level of darkness any time in the near future. i’ll never be polly people pleaser, but i also have a hard time being pointlessly mean spirited. as those cheap shots start rolling in… it will be a challenge to decide how to handle them. it is tempting to join the pissing match, be the villain, especially when being the hero seems like such a fucking snooze (sorry captain america, no thank you). in the meantime, before i start concepting possible furniture layouts for castle grayskull, i think i’ll settle quietly somewhere in the anti-hero category for a while. that way, i can still be fundamentally good, without having to be fundamentally boring or having my purity of spirit make other people uncomfortable (i’m pretty sure people probably make an effort not to swear in front of superman).

the definition of disenchantment.

12 01 2010

yeah, i’m talking to you rite aid-  sure, you puff up your pages with in-ad coupons and sweepstakes seduction, but the truth is that you have fuck all to offer. i want to participate in the game of life god dammit! and this is all i got:

rite aid:

post cereal @ $1.99 per box. use the $1/2 from the 12/6 smartsource- $1.50 a box is reasonable.

zest, ivory, or safeguard multi-pack @ $1.99 with a $1/1 coupon from the 12/27 p&g brandsaver= $.99 soap. meh.

with the $1/1 in-ad coupon and the $2/1 lubriderm from the 1/10 smartsource, some cheapish lotion is sure to be found.

cottonelle moist wipes $.50/1 in-ad coupon + a $.50/1 coupon i have from god knows where… $.99 is actually pretty good- but the grand scheme is still pretty lame.

ge soft white lightbulbs are free at least after single check rebate…

i don’t even think i want $25 worth of stuff, so much for this MAINE-CENTRIC $5/$25 rite aid coupon 😦

seriously, this is as ultimately frustrating and unsatisfying and jr. high dry humping. balls! now i’ll never win the game of life!

no, i will not join your facebook.

23 12 2009

i hate facebook. hate it. i have one because of all people MY DAD guilted me into it. you know, so i can “keep in touch with the family”. but i never use it. simply put, i hate facebook for the following reasons:

1. no, i don’t want to take your pointless quiz about how well i know you, or know melrose place, or know american history…

2. no, i don’t want to find out what action movie i am- or vegetable- or whatever…

3. if i haven’t spoken to you since high school, it probably means that i don’t care anymore.

4. i really don’t care what you’re writing on your wall, or furthermore, what everyone you know has to say about it.

sure i understand the value of social networking, and as a blog or a business or a product to have a “following”, and a way to communicate to that following… but conning people into following you by giving them something free or giving them a chance to win, or asking everyone to be friends and hoping some say yes just seems so hollow.  i want people to read my blog and join my twitter because they like what i have to say- not because they’re trolling for freebies. also, i don’t need one more thing to update!!

sorry for the word vomit, i am just feeling a little overwhelmed by this lemmingesque shift to facebook flogging that all the big companies seem to have. (international delight AND stacy’s pita chips alone in the last 24ish hours!) i have no problem joining email lists, visiting websites, entering sweepstakes… it’s not about giving out my information. but i can barely force myself to talk to people i actually know on facebook- let alone having a whole bunch of crappy companies posting bullshit on their walls/my wall that i then have to hear about.  it feels like an invasion to me somehow, and i just won’t do it. my facebook is mine (for better or worse), and is reserved only for people that i actually know- now matter how sexy the coupons and freebies and sweepstakes might be.


16 12 2009

sorry once again for the long absence. i got sucked into the costume hole, and am still having a hard time climbing out. i’m physically and mentally exhausted, and i’m still not even remotely happy with the end product.  actually it sucks, hard. but what’s a girl to do?

i try to make myself better by realizing that i learned something throughout this incredibly arduous process. lots of things actually:

1. just because you try really hard, doesn’t mean that what you do/make will always come out right. nobody succeeds at everything. remember that time i made cookies with confectioners sugar instead of flour, because for some reason it was in a container marked flour and somehow i managed not to taste the dough before they got put in the oven and melted all over everything? what’s that about the best laid plans?

2. there will always be some small successes, even in the most colossal of failures. a few costumes did come out well. a very few, but absolutely more than none.

3. embarrassment fades with time. remember that time that i asked that boy out on a date and he shut me down and then i got wasted on sea breezes and threw up all over my best friend’s bathroom rug? well, we can joke about it now, and we will be able to joke about the costumes too in a few weeks to a few years.

4. learn to ask for help sooner rather than later.

5. learn to let go of creative control in favor of getting things done.

6. it hurts right now, but this is a small blip amidst all the challenges that have been met and will continue to be met in the rest of my life.

7. being robbed of your life for a couple of months makes you really appreciate things like free time, friend time, sleep, and focusing on the things that you really care about. namely, this blog, my relationship, and getting my ass into medical school.

8. my decision not to apply to a masters program for costuming after getting my B.A. was the RIGHT DECISION!

9. morrissey says- do your best and don’t worry. i’m pretty sure he’s right.

anyway, thank you for being patient with me. and i promise that as of thursday night- i will officially be back on the deal seeking, coupon clipping, product reviewing, debt reducing beat. after all, i only have 9 more days to get my “gift of savings” total up to $100!

p.s. got my january giveaway item in the mail today, and it’s pretty hot stuff.

time burglar

23 11 2009

you might have noticed that i took the weekend off from posting… once again, drowning in burlesque! haven’t slept in days just trying to pull things together for fittings (at my house, all weekend, arg!). anyway, this week i’ve been a lot more focused on my lack of time than my lack of money- although as i roll it around in my brain the two are most definitely linked.

i’m a chronic overscheduler. always trying to pack in friends, and functions, and a 40 hour a week job, and a boyfriend, and a blog… and now this huge costume project. every time i run out of time to do things the way i would like to  (or the cheapest possible way), my solution is always to just make the problem go away by throwing money at it. case and point- instead of making tops for the reed flutes strip number (after the volunteer who was supposed to make them crapped out), i ended up buying them at forever 21. granted $5 a piece is a really good deal, but with my $150 budget busted about $500 ago… this project is eating me alive with no sign of stopping. i’m constantly paying shipping for things online- so i won’t have to waste the time to go out into the world and get them. i’ve been buying lunch and dinner even though my pantry is busting with food so i don’t have to waste the time to make it…

philosophically, i do think i believe that time is more valuable than money (i’d rather have more years than more dollars), but there has to be a balance! i’m killing myself and my budget! help!

p.s. that hamburglar is a creepy bastard. and i don’t trust anybody who hangs out all day with a clown.

catalina complications.

11 11 2009

DSCN2203so i was so excited about my shaws trip this weekend (not quite as excited as the coupon goddess, but still very excited)! i had it all mapped out perfectly… i had a goddamn spreadsheet! everything hinged upon the $15 off $30 (via catalina) deal on the back of the flyer. i would buy $30 worth of participating products, use about $10 in coupons, and get $15 back with which to buy all the stuff i wanted that wasn’t on sale. very simple… or so i thought!

i know it’s risky, but i always go to the supermarket late at night and use the self check-out. it’s my pathological fear of holding up the line with my multiple transactions and fistfuls of coupons. so there i was at 8 pm on sunday, spreadsheet in hand. i chose my items EXTREMELY CAREFULLY making sure that each item came from a shelf with the appropriate tag indicating the catalina deal. i try to be good- i swear!

but the register meant disaster. i scanned everything in- $32 worth of participating products… $10 worth of coupons, and no catalina. the printer made a noise like it was trying to spit something out, but it never spat. usually when a deal doesn’t work out, i step away and let it go… but this was $15! i approached the store manager and tried to explain the situation:

me: i bought $30 worth of participating products, and was supposed to receive a $15 catalina- but it didn’t print out. can you help?

manager: (looking at my receipt showing $22 after coupons) um, you didn’t spend $30.

me: i’m pretty sure the deal is price before coupons.

manager: um, give me your receipt.

DSCN2206the manager then goes back to her managerial podium and proceeds to check all of my items one by one, occasionally yelling out that something doesn’t count toward the deal- only to have me walk over and point out that it does. eventually, she concedes that i have met the terms of the deal- but has no way of printing out my catalina. she gives me $15 cash. crap! the value of the catalina over the $$ is that it forces me to spend it on groceries. instead, i pocketed the cash, paid for the rest of my groceries with my debit card, and then later spent the cash on crap that i wouldn’t have otherwise bought if i hadn’t been carrying cash. fuck.

to make things even crappier, on my 2nd transaction, my pizza catalina beeped *need manager approval*, and a different shaw’s manager informed me that i could not double up catalinas with manufacturers coupons. double fuck. when did that happen? can someone verify to me whether or not that’s true? the self check-out certainly seemed to think it was. can i get a boo-urns?

TD bunk.

4 11 2009

once upon a time, td bank was td banknorth, and before that even, it was people’s bank. how friendly! well, many moons ago when i was freshly graduated from college and not yet beat down and jaded by the cruelty of reality (when the suicide apartment seemed like my own tiny cockroach infested palace), i opened a checking and savings account at people’s bank. SIMPLY FREE! it said, which was good- because i think i made $22K that year. all i needed to do was let them transfer $25 from my checking  into my savings account every month. i was even allowed to transfer it immediately back out (which is what i always did, because as previously stated, i was completely broke).

anyhow, flash forward a few years. people’s gets bought out by TD bank, and becomes TD banknorth. as far as i can tell, nothing has changed. my bank accounts are still exactly the same, there are tootsie pops on the counter, and atms are plentiful throughout the city.

flash forward a few more years to this summer… TD banknorth is becoming TD bank! the excitement of it all! no seriously, they’re making a really big deal out of it with steel drums and ribbon dancers. it’s pretty messed up.

foolishly, i assume (like last time) that everything will be the same, and the only thing different will be the name. foolishly, i don’t read every piece of paperwork that the bank sends to me. foolishly, i think that me and my bank account will be living happily ever after…

the dark clouds roll in…

td bank decides that they are going to penalize me for not having enough money, by taking more of my money. brilliant! every time my checking account dips below $100 (even by a few cents)- $18 service charge. with my savings account, any time it dips below $250- a $4 service charge. basically, i can either let them hold $350 of my money hostage every month (which i can most certainly not afford to do), or i can pay them $22 a month. screw that shit!

i’m a religious check book balancer, so i noticed the extra charges right away. i called the customer service hotline, and a heavily scripted CSR told me (after smugly chastising me for not reading the paperwork they had sent) that TD bank had “introduced some new products”, and thus the change. products my ass! apparently, paying them $22 a month is just one of the many new conveniences i could experience at “america’s most convenient bank”.

anyway, i shut down my accounts immediately (with loud complaint!), and took my money to a place that i knew wouldn’t be bought out- the credit union. they don’t charge me anything at all, AND they gave me a free chapstick.

p.s. also, TD bank took the tootsie pops away, and now all their (piece of crap) lollipops- despite being colored green and purple, are all CHERRY FLAVORED! if that isn’t the mark of the devil, then i don’t know what is.

p.p.s. i knew i wasn’t the only one hating on TD bank!

i spy- secret zone coupon!

30 10 2009

photothe problem with coupons for pricey name brand merchandise is that sometimes, they get you hooked (i’m pretty sure that’s the plan). case and point- the zone bars. i got 2 bogo coupons from their website a few weeks ago when they were on $5/5 @ rite aid, and bought 4 bars (peanut butter). they were both totally delicious, and very filling. actually, i’m eating one right now. anyway, i like prepackaged convenience food for work because i am perpetually oversleeping and running late in the morning. thus, into my bag goes: fullbar (also ridiculously expensive), zone bar, potato wrapped in saran wrap (for easy microwaving), 2 hard boiled eggs, tiny v8, and  unsweetened applesauce. save for the potato, all ready to go straight out of the fridge.

the point is,  i’m really happy with my lunch- but not really happy with the price. at $1ish per bar- and 2 bars per day- i’m blowing through 1/3 of my grocery budget just on bars! also, if you ask my boyfriend hotcouponworld, you’ll see that i’ve already pretty much blazed through all of the readily available coupons.

but this morning as i dug to the bottom of my almost empty box (time to spend another $4.93!), i found a nice surprise- a $1/1 box of dark chocolate zone bars.  see, good things do happen to mediocre people.

dear hannaford. shut your damn face.

27 10 2009

hannaforddear hannaford.  i never post about you. ok, one time i called you hannafuck, but seriuosly… your prices are mediocre, and you’ve got no deals to be had. your current feeble attempt to show some savings with your “buy and save” program is utterly laughable. for every 4 HANNAFORD PRODUCTS, you get ONE CRAPPY DOLLAR back to use on your next shopping trip. with a MAXIMUM OF $10. whatever. everyone knows that you can overall get better deals on name brand prodcuts than you can on generics anyway… and most of your qualifying products are over a couple of dollars (unless you want to buy 40 boxes of hannaford brand cream cheese). i get more savings up front from the in-ad coupons in my weekly shaw’s flyer… and i don’t have to eat your crappy cream cheese.

in conclusion hannaford, PLEASE TRY HARDER, or you’ll be going the way of stop and shop in no time at all (and no one will miss you).

the great wash out.

22 10 2009

DSCN2159oh. so that’s why they call it whole paycheck. i have a bad habit of letting my best laid plans disintegrate the moment i get tired or lazy (or sad, or angry, or grumpy…). planned for tonight- soy sausage jambalaya. after a long day at work chased with a pilates reformer session– i decide that i don’t feel like cooking and that a trip to the whole foods for dinner is the right thing to do. maybe right by my diet standards, but not so much for my wallet.

earlier this week, i sold a bosu balance trainer (that i had recieved as a gift and never taken out of the box because i will never exercise at home no matter how much i want to or think it’s a good idea) for $40 on craigslist. sweet. $40 up on my budgetary deficit for this month. except that i owed $20 to the street change jar from a prior time that i was busted and needed a loan. down to $20 which rested quietly in my purse all week…

and on to the fucking whole foods:

1 cup of corn chowder- $2.99
1 small green salad- $4.82
1 whole wheat roll- $.69
1 package paul newman peanut butter cups- $1.49

and then i get bored waiting for the boyfriend to pick a gelato… (and some sort of werewolf beer from lithuania) …. and i decide to pick up a few things that i always want but can’t get at the regular supermarket:

2 whole foods brand frozen tofu pad thais (best frozen meal i’ve ever had) @ $2.99/ea.

2 amy’s summer corn soups @ $2.34/ea. (it’s my very favorite flavor, and nobody carries it- and the coupons i scored for writing to amy’s and complaining about how they never have coupons are looong gooone).

total after tax: $21.32 (total profit remaining from craigslist sale- $0)

boo-urns! that is almost as much as i spent on groceries for the whole week! i did pocket a copy of “the whole deal“, which has a lot of great whole foods coupons that can be doubled up with other manufacturers coupons for reasonable deals (baton rouge mommy always has the most comprehensive whole foods round up). still, i’m really disappointed in myself. will i ever be good at this!?