Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thrifty People ROCK!

Good Wednesday morning!

So, last Friday I went to this little bar here with a few guys that I work with on the trading floor. We started talking about this one guy we work with, Bucket, and what an idiot he is! haha.. He was fined $10,000.00 by the Grain Exchange and also suspended from trading for 10 days for making a very stupid mistake.. actually, were not sure it was a mistake. I dont know all the details of the ordeal.. but those are the basics. Now, Bucket (not his real name, obviously) makes very good money being a local trader here. He also fills paper for my company as well as other firms on the floor. So, all the firms pay him a flat rate PER contract he trades AND he also trades for himself... Are you following me here?? Let's say he made $200,000.00 last year. (Im using that as just a general figure.. I have no idea what his annual income may be). Bucket is 26 years old.. and has done very well for himself for his young age. Bucket is also a thrifty kind of guy... meaning he lives off as little money as he can and im sure he saves or invests the rest. He also shops at the Goodwill for his clothing, or takes hand me downs from deceased old men. He even knows what days to shop the Goodwill to get better prices!! I think it's hilarious and at the same time.. awesome.

So, anyway, as these 3 guys and I are talking about all of this, when one of the guys, Travis says something to the effect of "Bucket shops at the thrift stores. That's a bunch of BS cause he has money to shop at regular stores and pay full price for clothing. Thrift stores are for the poor people who cant afford to buy new clothes and he should stay out of the thrift store". My eyes opened quite wide at this point because now I had to step in and defend thrift stores and the people who shop them. I replied, "I shop the thrift stores. I like to find good bargains and I dont care what label is on my clothing and I dont like to pay a lot of money for my clothing. I also go to garage sales and buy clothes". Travis tells me that I can afford to shop regular stores as well, and I should stay out of the thrift stores too.

Now, how the hell does Travis know what I can and cant afford??? And even if I had money to shop the "Name Brand" stores, I still wouldnt. Who laid down the rules that thrift stores are for the poor? I look at thrift stores as one large garage sale with nothing but bargains available to any shopper who wants to buy. Thrift stores WANT everyone to come in, rich, poor, middle class.. they dont care. This is a business that suits anyone that wants to spend the time looking for the deals. Who says that the "poor" even have money to shop there anyway?

I wanted to knock Travis out for saying that. He stuts his Ralph Lauren, Polo wearing ass around all day thinking that he's the BOMB and has the balls to say something about us thrifty people? Bucket may have the money for regular retail stores, but he prefers to not waste money on the material things. He really doesnt care what brand name is stitched into his clothing (like that lame ass horse travis wears on his shirts). He would rather spend his money elsewhere.. and I think that's smart of him. I think in 10 years, the Bucket will have more money than Travis (or maybe not..!!)

I havent been to the thrift store in a while. Mainly because it just doesnt fit into the budget right now. I have plenty of clothing, shoes and purses to last me a lifetime and that's usually what I walk out of those stores with. Im thinking about having a garage sale this fall to unload some of my crap... so I can go buy more crap! haha.

Well, I wanted to share that story with you because it really bothered me that someone could be that ignorant to say something so lame about how one spends his or her money. If you havent been to a thrift store, you should check one out. I would recommend The Unique Thrift Store (in MN). It's my favorite and they have a huge selection of used crap! :) And you dont have to be poor to shop there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We've Got Cream!!

Good morning!! I came to work yesterday with full intentions to blog, and when I went to get my morning cup of coffee, I realized that I didnt have any cream! I'm a fanatic for the flavored cream in my coffee & that's the ONLY way I will drink coffee. No cream.. no coffee. However, as an exception to the rule.. yesterday, since it was a Monday, I did use that NASTY powdered stuff and sugar.. It was disgusting. So, top of my list when I got home last night from work was to go get cream. My favorite is the Coconut flavored cream by Coffeemate. It's delicious! Im on my 3rd cup already this morning.. that's the limit. Needless to say, im able to blog this morning because "We've got cream".

There are a few pressing issues on my mind, however not a whole lot of exciting ones. My coworker was out of town all last week, therefor I didnt have time to blog, so I apologize for that. My friends had been saying all last week.. "have you blogged? When are you going to blog?". Im here and it's now!

First let's talk about my lovely friend Lana!

(A quick pic of my great friends..near and dear to my heart) L-R: John & Michelle, Bobby & Lana, Me & my sister.

I got great news yesterday from Lana & Bobby! They have decided to get married. And let me list the great things about this wedding:

1). They are perfect for eachother. They have been dating for almost 5 years now and I dont remember either one of them fighting. They are both great people and both deserve all the happiness they bring to eachother and everyone else in their lives.

2). Lana asked me to be in her wedding! I havent been in a wedding in decades! So this is very exciting and I feel very honored to have her ask me. We went to high school together, however, didnt find our true friendship until about 7-8 years ago. We've had some good times together in those 7/8 years let me tell you.. some good drunken ones too!! Another great thing about being in this wedding, is that I dont have to bring a date. Im usually scrounging through my male friends.. begging them to come to weddings with me so I dont have to be the one "without" a date. Last year, my sister served as my date to a couple weddings... She was the man of course!! hahahahaha.. just kidding.

3). They decided to have their wedding on Halloween!! How awesome is that? Im not the biggest halloween fan in the state of MN, however, this wedding is going to be a BLAST! I told her that maybe they could have a "theme" wedding.. people can wear costumes, but something that's uniform.. not random costumes. She threw out a Masquarade! Excellent! I hope she follows through with that idea bc it's an awesome idea!

Overall, Im super excited for this event. It's been a while since one of our friends (in our group) has gotten married***. I have been to random weddings over the past couple years of either coworkers or other friends from college, etc... AND.. Lana deserves all the happiness. She has been through some rough patches in life.. been dealt some shitty cards. She has endured the hard times in life and has come out on top! She's beautiful, has a beautiful man by her side ( a long time friend of mine as well), and they will live a great life together. So CHEERS to Bobby & Lana! (***editors note: We have had friends get married in our group, such as John & Michelle, but they got married in Vegas, so not everyone could go. Our friend Jill got married last year, but not everyone was invited to the "wedding" ceremony.. just the reception which was well under way by the time we arrived.. so I dont want to forget them. I just refering to a "traditional" wedding here)

On to other things... let's talk about this wretched budget thing. So, this is my 2nd week on the budget! I still hate it, but learning to deal with it. Seriously, I hate it. Today is Tuesday.. I have $20 in my wallet until Thursday. WHAT? I desperately need gas for my guzzler, but dont want to waste my last $20 on gas!! hahaha.. doesnt that sound stupid? I spoke with Michelle briefly this morning and she told me I could withdraw some money if I needed it from my bank it's a reward for being so good the past 2 weeks. hahahaha... but im NOT going to do it. I will just NOT drive unless it's absolutely necessary for the next 2 days. I take the bus to work everyday, so I dont have to worry about that. I just have to be ok with sitting at home for the next couple days or have someone come and get me. I can do that.. I will guilt someone into coming to pick me up to go somewhere!! hahahahahaha....

I have learned something on this lame ass budget. I have learned to really think about where im going to spend my $150 that I get once a week (and mind you, this $150 is for everything I would spend money on.. gas, food, entertainment, target..garage sales). At first, it sounded like a lot, now it's FOR SURE not enough. But Im managing. So, if I need shampoo, TP, any of that "necessary" stuff.. it comes out of my $150. When Thurs rolls around, I think about what I "need" and what I "want". I always WANT to go and drink some beer with my friends, but what I NEED is an oil change for my truck. Last Friday, I got the drinking bug.. and went to the bar after work with a couple friends, then went home and went out with some other friends. The next day I was scared to look in my wallet. Seriously! I waited all day too look to see how much money I spent (because waiting all day may have made that money come back to me, I guess). I pissed away $40. ARGH! I freaked out... and then I was pissed that I did that. I had fun, but now i'm paying for it. I sit here and beat myself up because Im thinking of all the things I could have spent that money on! hahaha.. it sucks.

I have also learned that I can make it on $150 a week. I have paid off 2 of my bills now.. working on the rest of them. Am I making it sound like im millions in debt? Im not.. but I have worked my way into this hole.. and now im working my way out. When im done paying off these bills (old credit cards, utility bills from when I lived alone, IRS & state revenue for taxes.. etc.. just little things like that.. haha) I will tell you the amount I paid off. The plan is to get this monkey off my back in hopefully a year. It's nice to have goals.

Can you hear that? Yup, it work calling, so it's time to close. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday and there will be more to come this week... as long as it's "flowing". Sorry, but when it's not flowing, it's not flowing!


Friday, July 18, 2008

How could I forget?

Good morning,
After my sisters family read yesterdays blog, her kids were asking "Why werent our pictures on there?"

So as a tribute to my two lovely nieces (Kelsie, 9 & Camryn, 4) and my wonderful nephew (Jonathan, 11) here are some pictures from over the years!!
Now they are SUPER STARS!

Front: Ashlie, Camryn, Aaron & Andy (my brothers)
Back: Johnny, Kelsie & Stephan
Everyone is happy now!!
Today is Friday.. thank god! Although this week seemed to go by pretty fast, it wasnt a great one. Im really struggling with this budget thing. Im worried about running out of cash by next Thrusday. I still need gas for my "gas hog" of a vehicle, which will consume a chunk of my cash, and I still need to purchase a bus pass for next week's bus rides to and from work. I spent a little over $20 last night at the store for some groceries, which I think I got 9 or 10 things.. man groceries are expensive. I started my day yesterday with $150 in cash (my allowance for one week) and today I have $106. Oh, I forgot about that unexpected b-day party for my brother Andy that just popped up last night. You cant go to a b-day party for a kid empty handed, so I gave him some cash. What happens when I want some beer for the weekend? This sucks.
I wanted to go up north again this weekend, but my budget says NO because I will need at least $50 in gas for the vehicle just to get there and back, plus any spending money I may need. So, I will stay home! :( BUT.. on the positive side of this lame budget thing, it makes me get creative when finding things to do for entertainment. Usually Fridays are my going out nights. Tonight im going to go see Mamma Mia... so instead of spending $40 on beer, I will spend $6 on a movie(I have a coupon)! Tomorrow I may hit up some garage sales and see what treasures are out there.. then a party tomorrow afternoon/evening, and Sunday is usually chill day! OK.. I think I can do this.
Still hunting for my camera. Looked a little more last night.. no luck! Where can it be?
Have a great weekend and I will check in next week!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where would we be without Family & Friends?? Part 1

For today, I decided to introduce my family & friends, since they are the people who make my life go round, love and support me and are FUN people to be around.

My sister has asked me to PLEASE say something about her in one of my blogs (im sure she wasnt kidding, so here it is)!! There is too much to say about my sister, Stacy (she prefers to be called SPACEY), so instead, I decided to just post this very lady like pic of her!! Of course this awkward position comes naturally to her! :) (Stacy on the Right, me in the middle (im looking very lady like myself ) and our long time friend Bobby Wisniak in the background)!!

Let's move on to my dad, Big John. He has been growing his hair out for some time now.. and frankly it's not the cutest road kill you've seen (cause that's what it looks like). I guess im used to it now and it's growing on me. He claims that he was growing it out for locks for love, but they dont take old men's grey hair! Nice try though, dad. Check it out the "doo" for yourself. A few brief notes on Big John.. he's a retired Mpls Firefighter and currently a stay-at-home-retired-dad. He just turned the BIG 60 last year and he has the 2 boys from his 2nd marriage... Andy (9) and Aaron (7).

And then we have Mamma Fritz (which translates to Kathy, but I prefer the other). She is our Estee Lauder lady.. and keeps my sister and I in constant supply of our favorite products. A few notes on Mamma Fritz: She has been schlepping make up for Estee Lauder at Macy's for many years. She is remarried and enjoys spending time up at the lake and with her grandkids. Oh, I forgot to mention how much she loves her WINE!
(who's that strange dude in the pic?)

Unfortunately I dont have pics of my little brothers.. but I will soon. I went home after work yesterday and went on a search for my digital camera. I moved a few months ago and I swear I put it with my other camera (the large, bulky one that I never use)... but NO, it wasnt there. Im a little frustrated because I had some good pics on my camera from a conference I went to last fall on Global Warming. I got to meet Will Steger and some very well-to-do scientists AND, I got my pic taken with them.. but where is it?
Im also a little frustrated with the formatting of this blog. I cant seem to get it figured out, so until I do (can anyone help me?)... I will have to save the "friends" part of this blog for a different day. But at least you got to meet my immediate family! I hope you like them as much as I do!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Hodge Podge of Randomness

I like to play a little game with myself sometimes. When I wake up in the middle of the night (or in the wee hours of the morning) I like to see if I can guess what time it is. This morning was one of those mornings. I laid in bed, looked out my window too see if there was any indication of light (which there was NOT) so I guessed 3am. Then I rolled over and it was 4:30 am. UGH! The first thought that went through my head was "Only an hour left of sleep!!" ( I think this everytime I look at the clock.. only "X" more hours/minutes of sleep). Well, unfortunately for me (because I adore my sleep time) I couldnt fall back alseep because I had too many things running through my head at this henous hour.

So, I laid there for 45 minutes thinking about all these things. Why is it that when im the most tired, my mind does this to me? I think about one thing, that leads into something else, which leads to something else. Before you know it, im upset or worried about something and then im out of wack for a while. I realized that there has been a lot on my mind for a while now and it's time to deal with them... here in my blog (lucky you)! Im going to settle in here at my desk at work (I love to get paid to do this) and spew my random thoughts....

1). I have some strange dreams!!! Last night I dreampt of my cousin who died in a motorcycle accident when I was in 8th grade (which was over 20 years ago). What's strange, is that I wasnt so close with him when he was alive because we were approx. 7-8 years difference in age. But for some reason he pops up in my dreams once in a while. Even more strange than that.. in my dream he was going to marry our cousin Shelly! I kept telling him that he couldnt marry her because they are cousins! But the most freaky part of the dream to me was the fact that in the dream I knew that he was going to die in a motorcycle accident... so before they could get married he would die. I remember in the dream, hugging him before I left him and telling him that I loved him, to which he replied, :I love you too, Paula". OK.. that side of my family, we arent the "I love you, huggy and kissy" people.. so that part really stood out to me.

I also dream about people I work with, which sucks because I feel like when I come to work, I need to tell them that they were in my dream the night before! It's just random people.. and they like to hear that they made a cameo in my dreams!! Of course I work with mostly men, so they usually want to know if we were naked at any point in the dream!! haha!

2) I suck at finances!!! Ok, so truth be told.. I really do suck at finances! And it's all my ex-boyfriends fault (when in doubt, blame it on someone else!!!). Quick & boring run down.. we lived together for almost 3 years, broke up 2 1/2 years ago, he was a drug addict who didnt want to work, etc.... and now I havent spoken to him in well over a year. Well, when he moved out of our place, I could hardly afford to pay the rent, let alone pay the utilities and all the other bills I had accumulated. So that set me behind on EVERYTHING.. and still behind today! I finally moved to a cheaper place (which I hate.. but that's a diff story) so I could afford to catch up.

All I have to say, is THANK GOD for good friends. My dear friend Michelle has offered to help me to get organized! We sat down last night and I laid everything I had (all debt.. which is embarassing) out on the table for her to see. She was wonderful & respectful to me and said, "It's not that bad". So, we figured out how much I can live on in a week ($150).. cash of course.. no credit/debit cards, no checks.. just cash to pay for everything I do (except the bills). She took my debit card away from me (which I love so much!!) and we made a PLAN! Im so excited about this.. but the down side is that I may need to get another job. Did this before.. hated it. But, I got myself into this mess, and now it's time to step up to the plate and bat. I told her I will do whatever it is that I need to do.. and that's what I plan on doing. Thank you Michelle, I love you!!!

3.) Dating sucks! Yes, it sucks being single sometimes. Where are all the single, NORMAL dudes in this world? They sure arent in Minneapolis! OK.. so I have been single for a while now.. over 2 years.. (2 1/2 to be exact).. and I havent been on ONE date. I take responsibility for that because I really havent put myself out there, however, im not sure where to meet men. All of my friends are either married or have boyfriends/girlfriends. Everytime I go out with a group, Im the "single" one.. That's how everyone has come to know me and accepts me! :) Part of the problem is that I love being single. After a series of shitty relationships, I realized that it's easier for me to just take care of ME and worry about ME. Im very independant and very capeable of taking care of myself. But part of me wishes I had someone too.. not all the time, but sometimes.

Heres my story.. a quick one. I go to this bar because of one of the waiters..haha.. stupid, but true. He's good looking, funny and has caught my interest. So, over the last year I have gotten to know him and know that he's single...(but recently understood that he's not a good catch). Last week we learned that we were both going to the same benefit for a person we both knew... so he asked me if I wanted to go with him! Of course I jumped on that. (bad point 1.. he doesnt drive.. 3 DWI's.. WTF? These are the people that I attract).. so we decided to meet at the bar, have a couple beers and go to the benefit. OK.. let's meet at 2pm. I get there.. he's not there. He finally calls his buddy at the bar at 3:20pm and tells him to find me.. he does.. I call him. I think my words were "Youre an F-ING loser". Maybe not a good choice of words, but I was pissed off and had 3-4 beers in me by now. We spoke on the phone for about 3 minutes and I went to pick him up finally. Went to the benefit and it was a disaster. He acted as though I had 20 heads and weighed 900 lbs (not that there is anything wrong with that..haha.) and as soon as we walked in the door.. he was off and running. I think we spoke 4 or 5 times while we were there, he was impolite and rude. HELLO loser, you asked me to go, I didnt ask you to go. So, let's just say the evening ended bad.. (bad point 2.. he's a gambler and spent all his money at the benefit on PULL TABS). I brought him back to the bar where he works, I left after he bought me a couple beers (I had to get something out of him).. and havent seen him since. Loser. End of story! I havent decided if im going to go back to that bar yet.

4). Blogging takes a lot of time!!! This is one of the things that has weighed on my mind because I havent posted since the 3rd. I decided to do this because it looked like fun.. and reading other people's blogs was fun.. and I thought this is something I could do. But you have to have something to write about.. and it has to be interesting... otherwise people will send me emails and say "It's kind of boring". Also, blogging should have pictures or something fun added to them.. like games (we can usually find some fun games here at work).. so it's been bothering me because I dont know what angle I want to take with this blog.
One thing I have learned about blogging is that it's theraputic! But getting out of town, going up north.. out of the city for a weekend is also theraputic for me!! So, there needs to be an angle! Any ideas? I also need to dust off the cobwebs from my camera and get that thing fired up again. I love pictures and taking them as well... so I need to do that and get some pics on here. I think I live a pretty FUN life.. exciting (being single can be exciting .. and I like to go out on a limb to make sure it's fun).. so if I can document these via camera.. via blog.. it can be fun for everyone. I will have to think a little more on this...

Well, work is calling. Thank god I dont have a super stress filled day (although working here can sometimes cause that... it's the people usually!) More on my job later.. you may find it interesting.
Have a great Wednesday!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!!

I love cats and this is my cat, Socks. Ive had her for 7 years now, the first animal that I owned (perhaps the last). Despite the fact that I really like cats, this is one of my favorite games to play when im bored at work! It's called Kitten Cannon. My high score is: 1297!
Try it.. it's FUN! Oh, and dont be offended.. it's just a stupid game!

It's all Greek to me!

Good morning,
So, this is my first experience doing something like this, hence the title of my blog. I dont have a computer at home, I dont have a lot of knowledge when it comes to computers (although I seem to have been able to navigate my way so far), and I have no idea who is going to read this! :) It may take a little while to get this all put together and get my thought processes rolling so I am able to give you some interesting stuff.

This whole blog thing started when I googled SashaVujacic (See pic.. he plays for the Lakers). One of the sites referenced was a blog site, so I opened it up (The Hyperactive Gadfly, which I will link on here once I figure out how to do it) and started reading it! Since then, I havent been able to stop reading his blog as well as others. It's been sort of an addiction. I have read some really funny blogs and some flat out BORING ones. For me, it's like being a peeping Tom, except this is an acceptable way of peeking into other people's lives! It's been a lot of fun. So, I thought I should do this. And here I am. I have a lot of interests and a lot to say about a lot of things... just ask my friends and family! Im excited to do this and hope we all enjoy it.

I cant believe it's the 4th of July already, but it is. Im going up north for the weekend (as we Minnesotans say) and will continue this venture when I return! Have a nice, long weekend and Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Baby Ethan

This is a video of my little sweetheart, Ethan. He is my BFF's (Michelle) baby boy! I was there to witness his birth last November, what an experience!!!