Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Never underestimate my ability to have fun on a budget.

My friend Mary wanted to go to Six Flags this year, but I couldn't afford the full price tickets.

Then they went on sale, but I couldn't really afford the sale price tickets, either.

Then a lady at my office had three tickets she couldn't use this year. I snapped them up today for $10 a piece! (They retail for $42.99, I just checked.)

So that's how Mary, Jay and I are spending our Halloween. And here's what I dressed up like for work on Friday:
No one knew I was wearing a costume, and even once I explained who I was, no one got it. Can you guess? I'll give you some hints:

-I'm wearing Chuck Taylor's (not shown). And no, I'm not bi-curious.
-There is a curved scar on my cheek
-You're all nerds!
-I've found a hairstyle that works, as long as it's not too humid
-I should have never gone with a hippie to a second location.
-The shirt is a major hint. But you can't see it with the suit coat on. Muahahahaha. (Maybe I'll tell you.)

Anyone? (You aren't allowed to guess if you know me and I've already told you who I was!)

(Also, ironically, while wearing this outfit my cat decided to gauge my face. So now I have a fake scar on one side and a gash wound on the other. Awesome.)

Here's our caricature from Six Flags :D

What was your costume this year?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

eBay ban!

I've decided today that I need to put myself on an eBay ban, maybe for the month on November at least.

I very much have a love/hate relationship with eBay. I love it because I can want the most random thing ever, and all I have to do is type it in and (in most cases) Buy It Now.

I am a champion eBay shopper. I can find just about anything for like 95% under retail, which is both a blessing and a curse. Because I tell myself, oh, I'm just going to browse. What harm can it do? And then I proceed to find an amazing offer that I simply CANNOT pass up. And the auction ends in an hour. Augh!

eBay has made me a picky shopper. In stores I see things and think, I can find that for much cheaper. And it's true. And I do.

I haven't spent a whole lot on eBay this month, in the grand scheme of things. I was able to get Mean Girls, Baby Mama and Date Night on DVD for under $10 altogether. (They were almost $20 a piece in the store. And yes, I love Tina Fey. Got a problem with that?)

I also got my lovely Crosley record player for $9.99.

This past week, though, I've gone overboard.

It started with a record that I KNOW I'm never going to find anywhere. I didn't even know anyone had heard of the artist before. It was more than I was willing to spend, but I figured I was getting paid on Friday so it was no biggie.

But then I found Spanx pants (and I need new work pants SO.DAMN.BAD. My current ones fit all weird and make me look like I have a FUPA like you wouldn't believe. SPANX TO THE RESCUE.) for sale for $29.99. This is pricey, yes, but they retail for about $80 and it's IMPOSSIBLE (even on eBay!) to get them for anywhere under $70. (This pair was previously worn, but I really don't care!)

Those two items together were just too much. I paid for them, but I have other bills to pay that I'm now concerned about. Giving myself a slap on the wrist for that one! No more eBay for a month, unless it's ME as the seller!

But for now, I'm breaking in my new record player. See:

Love. :) Now I'm off to a concert/Halloween party. Have a nice weekend, everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The newest member of 20 something bloggers...

My membership in 20 something bloggers was approved today! (And just in the nick of time. As the lovely guy training me at my new position had to point out today, I am ALMOST 30.)

It started with a simple sentence.

Him: I've known him for 20 years. We met as children.
Me: Oh, cool. I've known [co-worker] for...I can't remember. Maybe 15 years now. We met in high school.
Him: You were in high school 15 years ago?
Me: Yeah, no, [thinking] that can't be right.

(It was right)

It ended with me pulling out my birth certificate to prove to him that YES, I was really 26 years old. (No one ever believes me. I've been told that I look as young as 16--a fact I will probably be happy with 10 or 20 years from now, but it pisses me off now!)

Being NOT 16.

Needless to say, I got a little bummed out after our conversation. He is three years younger than me but way more successful. I couldn't help but feel a little developmentally behind, and it wasn't a good feeling. I never thought of myself as a "late bloomer" in any respect...I was the first one of my friends to do...practically everything.

I was also the first to get into credit card debt. YAY. (sarcasm.)

I cannot wait to dig myself out of this financial hole I'm in, (I've already raised my credit score from "very poor" to just "poor", so I'm on my way.) get into a good college and get my life under my control--completely.

I'm doing infinitely better than I was doing a year ago today, and even (more) better than I was doing about four years ago. (Unemployed, living at home, with a junk food habit, a nicotine addiction and an enabling--but well-meaning--mother!)

You just have to keep moving forward and looking forward. And one day I'll learn not to constantly compare myself with others.

I have done the absolute best I can with the hand I have been dealt, and that's all there is to it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 and me

To be perfectly honest, I've heard about NaNoWriMo before. Lots before.

I'm not sure why, but to me it always seemed like the kind of thing non-writers did. I don't need a special month to write a novel, I would think. I'm always writing anyway.

But as November approaches, I'm looking at NaNoWriMo with fresh eyes. I mean, sure, I have a million (so not exaggerating!) projects currently in the works and I'm crazy for taking on something else. But as far as I see it, why not? This might be the last November that I'm not slaving away at college. And while I don't have any ideas brewing that I haven't already started, I'm sure I can come up with something. The real challenge is finishing it.

50,000 words a month boils down to 1,666 a day. Provided I am diligent enough to actually work on this specific project daily. (I like to jump from project to project.)

This may mean blog posts get thrown to the wayside. (I just learned how to "schedule" posts, so I may do that so you all don't get bored and abandon me!) This may mean I get less sleep and drink more coffee. The house may get messier, the kitten may get angry that I'm typing and not petting him. (He get's very jealous of the keyboard.)

But I am going to try it! And you should too!

If you sign up on the website, please leave me a comment here or email me at ARTWonderland[at] and let me know so we can be "writing buddies"!

(Although I detest the word "buddies" so hopefully you don't mind if I call you something else)

Monday, October 25, 2010

And I could be just an idiot, but at least it don't bother me none

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am currently leasing this car:

Sexy, no? No, that's not actually my car or me driving, but you get the idea. But as lovely as this car is, I simply cannot afford to keep it. In truth, I cannot even afford it at the moment...but that's beside the point.

The point is, in December of 2011, I believe, my lease is up and the car goes back to the dealership.

Having no more car payments is a lovely idea. But being without a car? Not so much.

I honestly wouldn't mind at all if I didn't have an hour commute every day. I do not need a car for any other reason. I would be quite content tooling around town on the bicycle I posted previously. Yet, duty calls and I must get to work.

So, here's what I'm considering:

1) The hybrid. If I'm going to go into any more debt or spend the equivalent of a college education on any more cars, it's damn well going to be an eco-friendly, super fuel efficient, as-green-as-possible car. (I have even considered doing a conversion on an older model car to make it run on discarded cooking oil, like Jay Mankita's great Veggie Voyager Van!) Ideally, I absolutely do not want or need another car loan or lease payment.

2) The filled-with-personality, yet-completely-unpredictable clunker! This is a Dodge Aries, which was my first car. It was only four years younger than I was. I bought it from one of my bosses at Blockbuster for $500 and drove it for just under a year before it stranded me less than 500 feet from my second job. See, but "stranded" is not a word that I want to use often ever again, though. But, on the other hand...

3) HOW CUTE ARE THESE? I cannot help but want an older model car that I could make artsy (hello, super glue and random knicknacks! I've always wanted a decoupage car, ever since I used to see them in the city as a child). I really wish I had a really-good-mechanic friend who would constantly come to my rescue. It would make buying a "personality car" so much less frightening.

I do know that the rates to i.n.s.u.r.e leased cars are absolutely through the roof, so my thought is that with the money I save by buying a car for under $1,000 I could be putting it aside for repairs. Right?

(Except remember what I said about "saving" for a Macbook? Yeah. It just never works out that way.)

Anyway, I have some time to think about it, at least. We'll see what happens.

What is your "dream car"? Or are you like me and wish life would allow you to have only a bike?

(And how do you like the new blog lay out? I like it!)

(All images: Google image search)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend? Where?

What a tiring weekend I have had!

It began with waking up bright and early on Saturday to go in to work. I had to make up 5 hours from a Thursday shift that I had missed.

Then, this little pumpkin... ...turned one year old!
(see this post to vote for him in the Gap Casting Call!)

I spent the entire rest of the weekend toiling away at a mammoth transcription file, with my only salvation being a lovely breakfast sandwich, caramel latte and a jazz band break at a cafe near my house. I should have taken a photo, but I was far too ravenous by that point and not thinking clearly.

I finally finished my transcription file about an hour ago and now I'm watching The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, (featuring my future husband, Tom Waits!) which I've been wanting to see for a while.

I start training for my new position tomorrow, so hopefully it will be a easy week. No more paid on production!
I hope everyone's weekend was a bit more laid back than mine!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lusty McLusterson

It's beautiful fall night outside right now. Cold, but not too cold for a short walk. Someone's using a woodburning stove, a scent which I absolutely adore and that screams "fall" to me.

I thought I'd share with you some of the items I am currently lusting over.Men's Schwinn Windwood Cruiser, $149.99 from Target.

I've wanted a vintage bicycle for years now, and after many unsuccessful searches on Craigslist (you want HOW MUCH?), I finally decided that a vintage-LOOK bicycle will be good enough. And this one's my favorite! I know it's a men's bike, but it's much more appealing aesthetically to me than the woman's version. I will add a basket and headlight on the front and ride it on weekends until it snows.

(Does anyone really know a lot about bikes? I'm wondering if there are any true reasons that I should "steer away" (pun intended) from getting a bicycle built for a male, like if my center of gravity would be off or anything of that nature.), $20

Who didn't play with Play-Doh as a kid? I still love the smell and also have been lusting over this cologne spray for a long time. I'll wear it when I'm feeling silly, playful and creative.
Kenzie Girl French Terry Romper
This one really burns me. I've wanted it so badly for YEARS and now it's sold out EVERYWHERE. I've even emailed the company in a desperate attempt to locate some backstock or factory defects, but they haven't responded. I just love it and I MUST own it some day.

Macbook Pro & iPhone
The Macbook Pro I've been "saving" for, for years. (read: putting some money aside, and then having an emergency come up and spending the Macbook money. Repeat times a million. That's what always happens when I try to "save" for anything!) The iPhone hasn't come to Verizon yet, so I'm still waiting for that one. My BlackBerry suffices in the meantime, but I am salavating over the many iPhone apps.

That's really all I can think of at the moment. I mostly have everything I want, I guess! Err...except a car...but that's a different post for a different day. (I'm currently leasing and my lease is up next year!)

Goodnight everyone!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dorks>Cool kids?

What's scary is I'm seeing this type of pattern among the "cool kids" from my middle school/high school days. Maybe not the open facial sores, but definitely a permanently strung-out look. (Not to mention, 3.5 children.)

It's sad. They seemed to have hit rock bottom and reformed, but something in their face tells me they just aren't the same after all the drugs. Their eyes are vacant, nostrils constantly flared (I am reminded of the fact that Stevie Nick's nose was destroyed from snorting crack.). Not to mention tough, leathery skin at only 26.

I spent way too much of my time at that age wishing I was one of the "cool kids" and trying to be "popular". I remember very clearly every September after summer vacation. I would face the first day of school with a new wardrobe and the hope, maybe THIS year things will be different.

But no! In the long run, my inner dork just came shining through, no matter how much I tried to kill it.

I'm glad, though. I mean, sure, I still like to be accepted and liked (who doesn't?) and I still want nothing more than to be thin and pretty (fighting a losing battle...) but I'm pretty glad to let my dork flag fly, most of the time.
(Me, exiting a vehicle upside down, circa 2005, in all my dork glory.)

Yucky food for thought.

Just in case you were wondering, 99 cent store brand cheese slices are not "a good deal". They taste absolutely nothing like cheese and in reality are very difficult to choke down unless you mix them in with scrambled eggs and top them with salsa.

I don't have a whole lot to share with you just yet, although I did come up with a good idea for future photo blogs today, and I will start them soon. (Maybe Sunday? It depends on the weather.)

I have a crazy weekend ahead of me, so we'll see. For now, I leave you with the most adorable little boy imaginable:
He's a cutie, right? Don't you just want to see nice, wonderful things happen for him in life? Well, you can do your part by voting for him in the Gap Casting Call Contest! You can vote by clicking here! Don't forget that you can vote every day and with multiple email addresses. He's my friend Mary's little boy. Photos were taken by me :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moxie Crimefighter, and why days off are spoiling me

Wednesdays is normally my internship day, but lately they haven't been needing me. The chance to relax has been great--being up at 5 AM everyday for my hour long commute and then 10 hours of my mind numbling dull job (followed by coming home and freelancing, also mind numbingly dull, but with the added bonus of a cat that refuses to stay off the keyboard) has really been taking it's toll. Don't get my wrong, I love my job...but I'm just so tired lately!

Yesterday I "slept in" til 10:00 AM (this normally would be considered getting up early to me. I am NOT a morning person and would wake up gladly at noon every day if it was allowed) and today because of my adventure at the police department that ran late, I took the day off as well.

It's cold out and we just had a 5 minute downpour. I am snuggled up inside with my kitten and a mug of hot chocolate. I'm about to get to work on some freelance work, but I'd really rather repaint my bathroom and do some light cleaning.

These two relaxing days have made me realize that although my job is great, I REALLY wish I was able to work primarily from home. I don't like admitting this because I think I've always equated "work-from-home" with, "lazy", and I secretly fear that if I were to be my own boss, maybe I *would* get a little lazy.

I need to work hard to get myself out of debt. Once that's taken care of, maybe I can reduce my hours and take more time to myself. Hopefully that will be satisfactory.

Just in case anyone's wondering, this is what I wore today while fighting crime:I have this habit. Whenever someone compliments my outfit I always say, "I got it at [insert store name here]." If it was a really good deal, I say, "It was [insert dollar amount here]." So...

Dress: $2, thrifted (the crocheted neckline is my favorite part)
Sweater: my mom bought this for me when I was younger and I hated it, so she took it back and wore it herself. Now I've reclaimed it after probably ten years, so it's a sort of re-hand-me-down, I guess.
Leggings: $10, Victoria's Secret.
Shoes: (not pictured) $9.99, Payless.

So there you have it, a $22 outfit. Now, if only I had a $22 haircut. I need one SO BAD.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kind of a crazy day.

I spent the morning thrift shopping (I found a new store and came home with a fantastic haul that includes four pairs of shoes and several new outfits!), the afternoon on the phone with the police (let's just say, I came across some information that I can't stay silent about) and the evening crashed on the couch watching Date Night with Jay and eating some eggplant parm. Delicious.

I will leave you now with a picture of my beloved kitten, Major Tom. He was about 8 weeks old when this photo was taken and is about 4 months old now. I can't believe how fast kittens grow!

kitty 021

His favorite things to do are clean himself, nap, attack our hands and walk across the keyboard while I am trying to type. Lately he also likes to knock over the kitchen trash can. Bad kitty.

The good, the bad and the chubby!

The bad:

Gmail just will NOT open for me. I've tried all kinds of troubleshooting and still nothing. I've been without it (except for on my BlackBerry, where it works fine) for two days now.

While my allergy m.e.d.i.c.a.t.i.o.n (ha! take that spammers! find me now!) helps with most sneezing and coughing, it does nothing for my skins reaction to a cat scratch. (Which, in case you were wondering, is a little somewhere between a mosquito bite and hives.)

The good:

This baby ^ is on it's way to me. I've wanted one forever to replace my old player, but was hesitant because of the $70-$100 price tag. And then I found one on eBay for $9.99! Yes, please! I can't wait to listen to my records again, and the great thing about this apartment is that they can be played at top volume if I so choose :)

And here I am, reading poetry at a coffeehouse night at my old college. It was a very fun time, but I do wish they would expand out and allow us to read short stories, as well. I am very critical and not at all proud of my poetry, but I would love to have the chance to share some of my stories.

The chubby:

The camera adds what, 10 pounds? 20 pounds? I was quite stunned when I watched the playback and realized that I had picked quite an unfortunate and unflattering outfit to wear. Hopefully it didn't look that bad in person, as I had originally thought it looked quite nice in the mirror before leaving the house!

I am heading off to bed now. Words cannot express how grateful I am to get to sleep in tomorrow! I've somehow managed to exhaust myself already this week. Phew!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What's in your bag?

I love reading other people's "What's in your bag?" posts. It's like a little peek into people's personal lives that you aren't supposed to see!

This is my lovely Nine West bag. Now, the fact of the matter is, I am a total purse hoarder. I used to buy a new purse at least every month or two. But for some reason, this one has been with me for the long haul--at least a year now. This is unheard of, but I'm glad of it because I can't afford to be lusting over 'the perfect purse' every month like I used to. It was exhausting, space-consuming and expensive!

And there you have it! The contents of my purse. From left to right:

-Crappy sunglasses. I seem to have lost my Calvin Klein ones. I'm pouting about it.
-Blackberry, which I would be completely lost without.
-Flip Ultra HD
-Random Chinese food fortune. I can't even remember the last time I had Chinese food!
-Two inhalers, one for allergies/asthma and one "rescue" inhaler, for if I have a bad attack.
-Reusable shopping bag that zips up for convenient storage
-Black makeup bag
-2011 planner (I'm getting a jump on next year!)
-Recycled cherry blossom notebook. I love this because it's both good for the environment and completely feather-light and doesn't weigh down my bag. AND it's cherry blossoms. Love.
-Boring black wallet with no money in it.
-Silver flats. I picked these up in NYC before Dr. Scholl's made them commercially available. They have saved me from painful shoes a few times.
-Plaid netbook case.
-Thermacare heat pad.
-Mini Altoids
-Emergency tampon (does everyone else hide their girly products for these photo shoots? I've never seen them in anyone else's.)
-Mini toothbrush, dental floss and toothpaste

In truth, the contents of makeup bags are probably the most exciting to me. Here's mine:

Clinque Barely Makeup
Sephora waterproof mascara
Rosebud salve
Eyelash curler
Nail file
Biodegradable lens wipe
Sephora hair elastics
"Teddybear" Kabuki brush
NARS blush in Orgasm
Eyeliner in black and brown
Sephora lipgloss in Rusted Rose
Sephora eyeshadow
Benefit Erase Paste (this stuff is a godsend)!

And there you have it! The contents of my (clean) purse. It's probably far more exciting when it's slightly messy, but it would take days to describe everything that's in there when it's messy.


You know what's missing from this blog?


I love when blogs I frequent post photos, so why is this an area I've neglected?!

I will remedy this soon, with the often imitated 'what's in my purse' game, hopefully tomorrow.

(Starting out slow! Bear with me.)

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Message in a bottle, part 2

This one was far, far more direct than the last.

And it's almost a year later. (Time flies, doesn't it?)

I hope I don't regret this one.

But beyond all else, I know that I'm not leaving anything unsaid. That's important to me at this point.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Trying to keep things cryptic.

I don't like being confused, having regrets or the like. I don't like being unable to share how I really feel for any reason. It's suffocating.

I wrote this poem. It's no good, and I haven't edited it yet, but it needs to be posted. I don't know if you'll read it, and even if you do, you might not realize it's about you. I don't think it's ready, but it's begging to be released to the world.

The truth of the matter

Your luggage is packed
the train awaits you

I swallow my words
As you have enough weight
Without shouldering my burden
The baggage I wish was all buttery leather and irresistible suede

feels more like a discarded Hefty bag

You owe me nothing
But if you did
All I could ask
Ever ask

Check in
Even if it takes years

And just maybe
We may find ourselves
Once again

Similarly lonely

That's all for now.