Archive | August, 2010

At the Crossroads

10 Aug

One of my favorite things to do is to purge my closet of items that I haven’t worn at any time in recent memory.  I know that this might seem odd for someone who is trying to adapt to a more frugal lifestyle.  After all, there is a significant amount of truth in the adage “Waste Not, Want Not”.  But listen, I managed to transform a bag full of my unwanted items into $18 dollars of store credit at Crossroads.  Yes, they only took about 2 of my 10 items and it is always somewhat humiliating to let a fashionably dressed 21 year old rifle through my poor fashion purchases of yesteryear.  I decided not to repeat the experience at the Buffalo Exchange up the street, but it was a good reminder of just how many of today’s purchases could be tomorrow’s regrets.

There certainly are situations where one might want to hold onto something that has no immediate use or desirability.  Here are a couple of good rules to go by:

1.  If an article of clothing was cheaply made and you never feel like wearing it anymore, get rid of it.  Chances are good that if you magically start liking it again, it won’t look very good anyway.  Nicely made vintage clothes have better staying power, that stretched out T-Shirt you bought at Target is probably not worth your closet space.

2.  If you don’t feel comfortable in it (physically or emotionally), it’s time to say goodbye.  You won’t be any less prone to itchy material a year from now and if something makes you feel slutty/matronly/anything-else-you-don’t-consider-yourself-to-be you’re probably going to run into the same problem a year from now.

In order to avoid rashly getting rid of things that might later be of use, I like to first set them out of sight and out of mind for a few months.  Then, when I get the notion, I can trot back down to the basement and see if there is anything in my almost-thrown-out bag that I am sorely missing.  Usually there is not.  If I keep my closet clear of unwanted items, I’m usually less prone to feeling like I need a fashion “makeover” (a horrible use of money for those of us who are in a lower income bracket than we would like to be).  Instead, I just see things that I actually like smiling back at me.

Review: Helium Comedy Club

7 Aug

A new comedy club has opened in Portland and, since Jeremy and I have been meaning to see some stand-up, we went for last night’s show.  Helium Comedy Club is located in SE Portland on 9th St just south of Hawthorne, but I challenge you to find their actual address on the website.  The building was obviously not intended for a comedy club and the new paint job doesn’t quite mask the sterility of the environs, both in the bar area and in the showroom.  The costs of drinks and food are pretty standard for a Portland bar and I think it’s nice that they don’t price gouge their captive audience.  They do, however, have perplexing notices posted about a “2 item minimum” purchase per person…kind of annoying.  If you don’t think you’ll want to buy 2 items, just pay cash or close your tab after each transaction; I don’t think there is much that they could do about that.  The pizza we ordered was ok (a lot of crust around the outside with a small inner circle of sauce, cheese, sliced grape tomatoes, and basil).  DO NOT order the house wine.  I’m not a wine snob but I didn’t even want to finish my glass.  Then again maybe I am turning into a wine snob, as I’ve never had this problem before.  The horrors!  I take it back.  Order the house wine for an enlightening test of your own snobbery or lack thereof.  On a more enthusiastic note, I LOVED the comedy and would consider returning for a good entertainer rather than for the place itself.

The Day of Free Stuff

6 Aug

Today begins my first (of many) 4 day weekends.  I’m now fully committed to my new lighter work schedule and the lighter paychecks that come with it.  Of course, there is going to be a bit of a lag on the paycheck end.  This week, I was paid the same as any other week.  Next pay period, though, the shorter hours are going to catch up with me.  To kick things off, I’ve had an amazing day of getting free stuff.  “How”, you ask?  Well, I had my first volunteer shift at the Co-op today.  I was checking dates on groceries to see if there was anything expiring today that needed to be weeded off the shelves.  I came home with a half gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a heat-and-eat burrito, some slightly wilted romaine lettuce, fancy crackers, 5 energy bars, and some brownies.  Don’t worry, I left some for the other volunteers!  I also just found out that I won some tickets to a comedy club that recently opened in town.  I randomly decided to enter a drawing I saw online and now I have my evening plans taken care of for free (minus the alcohol we will undoubtedly end up buying)!  I feel like this is the universe’s way smiling down on the first weekend of my new life.

Projects:  volunteer work

Listening to:  Scared Famous – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

Reading:  finished “Dune” by Frank Herbert.  I wanted to like it.  I really did.  The alternate reality created in the book is amazing and impressively complete, but it was a little too melodramatic and nerdy for me.  I also “finished” (by which I mean “decided to skim because I got bored”) “What to Eat” by Marion Nestle.  I was looking for more of a nutrition recommendation manual to help me get my eating habits back on track.  This book, however, focuses more on the politics of  food, which I know has it’s place.  It just isn’t what I’m looking for at the moment.

Watching: Started this season of Mad Men!