took 15″ but…

I finally got this bow off the care package in a way that I can reuse it.

Yes, I am the cheap but also…I really like this bow! 

 

In today’s other cheap bastard tricks, I washed my spectacles in the washroom sink at the bookstore because it’s their soap and their serviettes. Now, that’s the frugality which allows me to splurge on fine Apple products! –and Samsung 

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Geeking out about Going to DC

I was telling some folks how — granted — I’m pretty spazzy from time to time but I seem disproportionately EXCITED to go for a mere weekend to the nation’s capital.

Well, first of all, I’m chuffed about spending time with one of my favourite Aussies. That’s reason enough. -for serious! I don’t know if other areas say this but I grew up where kids, especially, say, ‘FOR SERIOUS?’ instead of ‘for real?’ or ‘really?’

One pointed out that I’ve been under so much tension for years but especially the last year and even moreso the last couple of months that it’s probably a natural offset process in my noggin. ‘LET’S GET HAPPYYYYYYYYY!’

Did I mention it’s my birthday weekend?

doge birthday celebrate

I know that I’ll be using public transportation, -which I oh-so-freudianly ALWAYS type ‘pubic’ EVERY.STINKING.TIME  and seeing as every city I’ve ever been to is different enough to make you look like an idiot, not to mention TARGET? * I went to Professor Google for some cursory info.

I found a cute how-to from the WMATA page.

They mentioned buying SmarTrip (the plastic, rechargeable pass) online for discounts. Being the cheap bastard I am, I went to see. You can get a SmarTrip card for 30USD and they only surcharge you $2 of that for the card and shipping! So, it’s meant to arrive with $28 ‘live’ funds. KEWL! Hell, I bought it. If the Apocalypse happens, I can post it to MJ.

But on a personal note:

When I lived in France, I picked up a copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman at Shakespeare & Co. This was part of my intense year of reading classics that everybody else had to read before going to uni. My crappy school had NO REQUIRED READING LIST, so I was — as ever — in the dark about not only pop culture but Literature.

I believe it was a combination of Whitman’s famous power as a poet and being thousands of miles from home or any Americans, let alone English speakers, that kindled a fire in my heart to one day make it to the capital. It took over 20 years but I’m going!

 

* In STL we have a MetroLink ‘tram’ I’d call it and the Bi-State Bus service. I’ve used either of them lightly. I’ve used MetroLink more than the bus… Thing is, when you don’t use something even in your own town, they make enough changes to leave you standing there at an automated kiosk, with your head down and backed turned to the street. This is never a good position. This ain’t London. It’s STL. We kill you for looking like a tourist. We kill you for pork steak on your plate. We kill you for being in your own front lawn (that’s my friend Marty). Shite’s real, yo.

Don’t look like you don’t know what you’re doing EVER. This is also the Midwest, home of the ever-polite. I’m saying in OUR MetroLink and bus stops (and our LOVELY Downtown Train Station, which I’m fair-certain has fuelled many a horror-film’s art direction), be careful. In general, you’re GRAND but ya know.

The last time I used MetroLink, I was mugged. At a kiosk. Because it took me too long to use it. If you walk up, throw in money and get a card, then move away quickly and nonchalantly, it’s best. If you stand there, reading what to do next, you’re lucky to be shorted some money. That’s all I’m saying. I’d rather not do that again.

health risks and me…and the fire fighters and the police

I googled Risk Assessment Saves and the first thing that came up was this. I’m using it cos I love you all so much that I would take my only begotten google result and sacrifice it for you.

-are the new readers gone yet?

Right. Reno, Nevada wanted to save money. Who doesn’t? I love me some cheap bastards as a cheap bastard myself. They have to pay salaries but also health care costs to the city’s employees, such as fire fighters and police. Not only do they have to pay for them but like those dudes (female or male ‘dudes’) need to have some level of health, right? I mean, they supermanneed to protect me by carrying me out of buildings or taking bullets.

-I don’t have a lot of positive police experiences but once, the Police Chief of Webster Groves stood between me and a speeding car to stop it. As he took the Superman Stance, he said, ‘He BETTER stop.’ The car stopped. I pissed myself a little but thanked him and trembled the next hour or so.

Research is Great but Practical application — and continuing to follow up comparing different applications may show unexpected results!*

They use their fire fighters and police as guinea pigs to determine health risk and they gave some X and some Y and guess what? It was one great big old science experiment!

doge saving money cheapThe fantastic thing to me is JUST TAKING THE TEST saved the city $25,000,000. Wow. The documentary is great for explaining basic stuff we need to know about risks that are tossed out at us all the time but we may not know what they heck people are saying! **

* Everybody in my family has CAD and CVD, therefore on heart/ cholesterol lowering meds. I was diagnosed with it in my early teens. I was very muscular and not fat. I grew up on a working farm. At this same age, I was slinging 70lb bales of hay. Even with these facts, the diagnosis wasn’t a surprise given my genetics — especially considering I have autoimmune disorders.

I like to follow a lot of what Robb Wolf talks about for many reasons but his personal reasons (‘his story’) at the beginning of this video is like the Intelligent Version of my story. Kinda.

I stuck to a vegetarian diet for almost 17 years because the US pushes ‘high fibre, low fat, little to no red meat’ as the cure/ response for my family’s health issues. I already ran about 3 miles a few days a week since age 12.

I used 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12lb weights (depending on the move) a few days a week for ‘toning’ from age 18 and in 2009 began lifting to failure (heavier things). From age 15-18, I didn’t do much more than carry textbooks cos I’d moved away from the ranch!

My blood panels grew worse with each passing year. About 3 years ago, my GP looked over my blood panels and shook her head. The day that she and all the other doctors before her had warned me about had Come. She pulled out a prescription pad to order statins. 😦  I watched her pen moving, ‘Isn’t there any other way?’

She stopped. ‘Nobody wants to do it.’

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.

.

She put me on AIP. In today’s BRANDING terms, strict Paleo, though she didn’t call it that and I only learned they were in the same family several months later via l’Internet.

Eight weeks after, at the follow-up, I wanted to see improvement but feared I was going to be rushed to hospital for bypass surgery cos I was eating the crap out of meat and fat!

Mind you: I wanted to stay off meds, not droppimg dead of heart problems or stroke sounded awfully good, too. That was my goal.

I went from 400+ total cholesterol to under 200. I also had higher than normal good cholesterol and almost no bad cholesterol. My triglycerides were far below normal. Yeah. The bad stuff was lower than normal instead of way the heck above!

Everybody wants to sell you something in a bottle, whether it’s prescribed or has ‘Better Life’ in charming colours in the freezer section at the grocery.

Paleo isn’t a product to sell. Eat whole foods. It sounds pretty but I have lived it. I still can’t believe how well it works. Each year when I get my blood panels checked? I hold my breath to see if the time bomb exploded inside me. Three years in, I’m still golden.

 

**The documentary is worth watching for education. These videos are from the group in the documentary talking to a leading Paleo author. Sure, he’d love to sell books but seriously, anything you want to know is free online.

 

speaking of cheap shopping: Aldi’s (gluten free)

I pop into Aldi’s now and then but I can’t afford them, either. You should see the looks I get for saying that.

I’m not saying they have expensive food. I’m saying what I buy there is cheaper where I normally shop. I don’t do a whole lot of ‘snack crackers.’ You may clean up on those. And they’re sneaky motherfuckers. And I use that term for emphasis.

Their soya milk is seemingly a bit cheaper then your garden-variety soya from a regular shop. It matches what I’d normally pay -where I buy it cheaper than most places — not Target, btw, those mfers raised the price   UNTIL YOU LOOK AT THE OUNCES. Sure, one container equals the cheap bastard price at the cheap bastard’s place for getting it. I almost fell for it til I picked it up.

‘This feels funny.’

This isn't a hawk, it's a buzzard, but when they swoop down at your head, they kinda look the same.

This isn’t a hawk, it’s a buzzard, but when they swoop down at your head, they kinda look the same.

It’s in a different-shaped container and guess what? It has fewer ounces of product. You know what that means? It’s more expensive. SNEAKY!

As with everything, you have to watch them like freaking hawks.

Where was I?

I’ll pop in because there’s one in the plaza where I use the post office after work. Just walk on over and all, y’all. While I’m there, -can you sing-song as the nieces-3 do as Ta repeats her favourite things?  I price-check anything I’d normally purchase.

-are the new readers gone yet?

Since I’m Celiac, I can’t do most processed foods. Not to worry, I still drink booze and can cook up a storm, so I’m well-padded.

A coworker gets alerts from Aldi’s: this week (the first week of May 2014), they’re debuting a line of gluten free convenience foods. I nearly broke theGoogle trying to find this for you. After three attempts, I’m giving up. I just don’t effing care to advertise something I’ve never tried. BUT I saw her alert and it used little images of packages with matching branding, so you can tell they’re a GF line. There were things like PIZZA and pasta.

They’re truly stupid for not putting this out there more. Maybe they were going to do and suddenly lost the GF status due to factory mishaps. Keep an eye out if you shop at Aldi or if you are Celiac. It may be a better choice for cheap bastards like me. At least for that.

‘Target, the favorite store for those who think they’re above Walmart’

from here.

 

woman holding cheque check moneyI’m not trying to convert anybody. For transparency: I own stock in Walmart. PLEASE, ALL OF YOU GO BUY EVERYTHING THERE. And go back tomorrow and DO IT AGAIN. Thanks! 🙂

That said, I’m a Target Girl cos I can’t afford to shop at Valmart.

NOTICE: Individual experience may vary. Each state has different laws and if you’re in Missouri, each TOWNSHIP has different tax codes. I pay more in the small, crappy town where I work for the exact same PRICED item in an upscale neighbourhood in St. Louis (let alone in Colorado, which has ZERO sales tax). It’s crazy.

Back to Target versus Valmart. -pronounced like Dracula cos ve vant to suck your blood…money

For years now, when I passingly mention that I have to run by Target after work, people spit, ‘I can’t afford to shop anywhere but Walmart.’

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.

.

I can only afford to shop at Target. I price-check constantly. I am single income in a region where you’re a lucky dog to have a job that pays $23,000 a year. I’m grateful for this kind of wealth…but I’d prefer more. Wouldn’t we all? That’s why I scrimp and save, so, you know, I can have an iPhone.

-are the new readers gone yet? You bastards better be shopping at Walmart. Mama wants to retire early.

a) Target has a limited selection.

You want Ocean Breeze scent Right Guard? Feck off, you ponce! Go to Walmart for that shit. At Target, you get one kind of Right Guard. I’m not saying they only have Right Guard. You can get Dial or Secret or Degree but you’re not going to get many ‘flavours.’

If you go to a place that sells 5 brands of deodorant rather than 15, you’re limited. If they sell 3 scents rather than 35, you’re limited. I grew up with shops that had even less and I’m not complaining. My guess is that I don’t give a shit because I’m not spoiled for choice.

I was raised in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t know McDonald’s existed until I was a teenager. I should say, I knew they existed but I didn’t know they were in Missouri. Nobody I knew had seen one unless they took a trip to bury Great Aunt Bessie in Little Rock.

Where was I?

When I go into Walmart, which I do, I’m gobsmacked at the choices and I’m not talking about a ‘super Walmart’ but the one in High Ridge, Missouri. They also have one in Fenton but it scares me even more. I don’t think it’s a ‘super,’ either but it’s EFFING BIG.  And when I go to Walmart, I stroll along with my trolley and price-check my usuals. It’s always more — unless something is on special offer/ sale. I’m speaking of everyday prices about both places. The thing is, it takes me forever to get out of Valmart because I’m so astounded by so many items that well, crap man. It takes a lot longer just to look. Also, we get to the next reason…

b) More selection means more ‘OMGIHAVETOHAVETHISNOW.’

I mean, it’s only $10 for this shower curtain. Come on! And lookie! They have the most DARLING shower curtain RINGS that MATCH!!! I didn’t need a new shower curtain and I sure as hell didn’t need new rings. I got those FANTASTIC heavy duty, mental ward ones the last time I was in. -that’s a lie cos I thought it was funny. I’m certain they don’t let theWard have metal objects that can be bent into stabbing pieces. And unlike some of you, I have been inside the acute wing of a mental hospital, although I was visiting. I’m told the general population wing is much the same but with video games. I’m still not sold on a holiday there.

Holy crap! They have GLUTEN FREE COOKIES IN A PLASTIC BOX IN THE FREEZER SECTION! I didn’t know Udi’s made cookies! I didn’t know they made 2 kinds of cookies! I better get them both! And they’re only $5 EACH.

O.M.G. they still make this gum? I haven’t seen this in YEARS. It’s $1.25 now? Shee-it. Where else am I going to find this? I’m going to get 3. One for me, one for Brother, one for Spike…

Oh…You know what? I need that special bug-goo-off windscreen wiper fluid. You can’t get that at Target. They only have the regular. I’m heading to Automotive. Yup! There it is. Hrm…$6? Dang. Well, the regular stuff is $6, too. It’s a whole gallon that’ll last me all summer. Why not? -never mind the one kind at Target is less than $6 to begin with

Ooooooo. Hang on! I wonder if they have any 5″ inseam yoga shorts. I can’t find those ANYWHERE. It’s always booty shorts or freaking capris. Ugh. OH YAY THEY HAVE THEM. Erm, they’re made shitty. Well…they’re $8.50. ::sigh:: Do I get these or do without? Maybe I should put back one of those boxes of GF cookies.

This is why it takes me so long when I go in Valmart. And I’ll mention again, as I’m lookie-looing, I’m price-checking my NORMAL stuff and saying the next thing…

c) HOLY MOTHER AT THE FEET OF BABY BEJEEBERS THAT’S MORE THAN TARGET!

Again, mileage may vary but the crap I pick up, I put down again damned fast.

‘I don’t need it that bad.’ That’s my Valmart quote. If you’re walking with me, you’ll hear it several times a trip. Unfortunately, you’ll also hear that mishagoss from b) but luckily: I can go into Valmart with a friend and not buy a thing. -when I’m pushing a trolley, trouble happens  The funny thing is, my friends who shop there all the time say that stuff from b) except maybe they like booty shorts, eat gluten, so they’re all about the Pecan Sandies or simply can’t decide between Ocean Breeze and Bahama Lagoon and toss them both in the cart…cos they’re only $4 a piece.

It adds up. Every time you walk into Valmart, chances are you put shite in your trolley that you hadn’t planned on buying. I know! There are ‘list’ people. GOOD ON YER. If you didn’t know about this, kids, let me tell ya! It’s people who write a list before entering a shop and ONLY BUY WHAT’S ON THE LIST. If you’re a Listie, you’re still paying more than I do.

-nobody on earth is still with me and I don’t blame you a bit 

doge disappointed disappointment angryI’ve inadvertently converted –that sounds so cute in my head!  six friends. They don’t come back to me and say, ‘OMG THANK YOU!!! You’ve saved me hundreds of dollars in the last MONTH!’

I hear them telling others, ‘Girl, I can’t afford to shop at Walmart.’

And each time, I think, ‘GODDAMMIT there goes my EARLY RETIREMENT!

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews, Très Bon Prix & trés jolie

not me but incredibly LIKE me from hair colour to beehive but I did this in the NINETEEN EIGHTIES cos I was a BOSS

not me but incredibly LIKE me from hair colour to beehive but I did this in the NINETEEN EIGHTIES cos I was a BOSS

I grew up in the days of Aqua Net. At some point, I started making money and buying Sebastian Shaper (before Shaper Plus) but do not put it past me to try something like Citrus Shine-I don’t think they make this anymore or they don’t carry it here I really don’t care so long as it doesn’t smell as bad as Aqua Net did and does the same job (or better, this is respective to how you use it)

My personal favourite is Paul Mitchell Super Clean Spray but there are times when I’d rather spend shekles on something else. Enter TRESemmé.

that's mine, right there!

that’s mine, right there!

I can’t swear by all of their crap but they have a lovely low sulfate shampoo for damaged hair (mine’s often problematic with having autoimmune). I have used a far more dear product for almost 2 years now but I give much props for uber-cheap yet decent TRES. I also adore their el cheap anti-humidity hairspray at under 4USD.

My other great deal, if you don’t mind something less than high quality is a pair of work trousers, perfect for me in summer. They are unlined but the fabric is thick enough to not show cellulite (look, these are things women have to think about or not, if they don’t care). These are entitled ‘stretch’ but they’re not like most ‘stretch’ clothing I’ve worn (there’s nothing in this world like a snug, stretch pair of cords…I don’t care what anybody says, they’re like pyjamas but you get away with wearing them in public!). Specs say 98% cotton, 2% spandex, so don’t expect Spanx.

They are wash and wear but as anything, washing will fade and since these are less than primo, that’s going to start sooner than later. Of course wash in cold water and of course hang to dry. Nevertheless, for me, at 10USD they’re a nice enough pair of trousers for work in the hot summer! I’ll add, when I got them, I had an additional 40% coupon. MWAHAHAHAHA

Everybody knows that I love a good deal and everybody knows that I’m a cheap bastard but these have been my happy cheap bastard purchases of late!