Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lost Weight with the Washington Health Exchange Inspired Diet!

Hey!

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but I've been doing a new diet this week and I just had to share!

I was on vacation last week in Mexico.  It was absolutely amazing.  All-inclusive, so all our meals at the resort.  The fact that I had traveler's diarrhea the whole time I think really prepped me for the diet I am writing this entry about.

Anyway.  Owning a small business, my finances aren't as awesome as they once were.  C'est la vie - I do what I can to succeed - it's what you HAVE to do the first few years as a small business owner. I have a health care subsidy through the new Affordable Care Act and pay the state of Washington (Washington Health Plan Finder - www.wahealthplanfinder.com) $107 each month to cover a plan with Premera.

Unfortunately, I've been late on my payments before.  Oops.  So, at the beginning of March I called to make sure I was all caught up, then set up auto pay so I would be on time from now on.  I felt bad being behind and decided that auto-pay would make things easier and save me time.

The trip to Mexico is something I got on a barter system called Itex (itexinseattle.tumblr.com) and was really nice.  On the night of Monday, March 23rd I checked my bank account balance.  The next day I was hoping to go shopping in the downtown area of Ixtapa, where we were staying.

Horrified, I checked my bank account and was greeted with this:


What?  I thought.  WA Health Plan Finder took out $323.46?  Why on earth did they do that?

Very strange.  I was all paid up.  Even if they were taking it out for April (which wasn't authorized until the 23rd of April), they should have only taken out around $93, which is my premium.

Luckily, I had an awesome broker.  I called him.  He said he would take care of it.  He called the next day and sorted it out.

What he sorted out was that not only did they take money that I did NOT owe them - they owed ME for extra money that I overpaid in 2014.  Nice, guys.  Nice.

So, okay, cool.  They can put it back in, I'm good.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to spend any money in Mexico at that point since I was overdrawn.  Dave took me out to dinner that night, which was nice and we were able to drink and eat at the resort the rest of the time.  Good deal. Dave gave me some pesos to go shopping with, but I felt bad so I didn't buy much, but that was okay, because I didn't need much.

We left Mexico on the 28th, which was a Saturday.  My money still hadn't been refunded.

So began my awesome diet.  I will go through it for you day by day, just in case you want to replicate it.

WASHINGTON HEALTH EXCHANGE INSPIRED DIET:  DAY ONE - MARCH 28TH

This was our travel day.  We had breakfast at the resort and left around noon to go to the airport.  Dave, of course, had to pay for the cab - I was very grateful.  He also bought me some drinks at the airport.  Airport didn't have a lot of food, but we didn't have a lot of money, so it was fine.  Dave gave me some pesos for a snack, so I got some cheddar potato chips and these weird Mexican "Asian" peanuts.

Now, this is the beginning of the diet.  When you don't have a lot of money to spend, you buy less food and start to lose weight.  No meals were really available anyway, so it was fine.  Saved a lot of calories just eating snacks.

Took the plane from Ixtapa to Los Angeles.  SO HUNGRYYYY.  But again, was depending on Dave to buy me food and he wasn't really wanting to buy a super expensive airport meal.  I totally would've splurged on the $9 airport sandwich, but making him buy that for me would be pretty inconsiderate, so we stuck to water and an everything bagel with cream cheese.  Again, lots of calories saved.

Got home LATE.  We had cheese and tortilla left in the fridge.  Made a quesadilla on the stove with butter.  Fridge was pretty bare because we were going out of town, so bonus points on the diet/weight loss - I was still overdrawn, so didn't have any money to buy groceries (EXTRA CALORIE SAVINGS Y'ALL)

Sunday I was exhausted.  Slept a lot of the day.  Super hungry.  Dave had me go to the corner store to get some half and half to go with our coffee, which he gave me $3 in cash for.  Half and half cost $3.59 - the clerk at the corner store let me have it for $3.  I thanked him endlessly.

This is what makes it all worth it:  you're hungry.  Your blood sugar is low.  The government stole your money - and the kindness of a small business owner brings you back to life, letting you know that there is decency out there.  Thank you, man at the corner store - I promise I will make it up to you, someday.

That night we made some rice with chicken bouillion cubes for seasoning.  Yum.  But some black beans and salsa with it.  Nom.  Not bad!

DAY TWO - MARCH 30th

Starting to panic a little bit.  Dave was home from work, thank goodness, so he was available for moral support.

Called WA Health Plan Finder at 11:17am.  I've talked to them so many times in the past few days I can't even remember what was said, besides the fact that I stressed I was still overdrawn, and (despite the awesome diet that I am thankful for) I was worried about being able to pay my mortgage on the 1st of the month, so could they please get my money to me right away?  They said they would escalate the ticket.  Cool.  I requested a call back by the afternoon.

My car was in the body shop up in Northgate - it got hit about a month ago and wasn't quite done before we left for vacation, so Dave's wonderful friend Carl took me to pick it up in his sweet convertible.

Ate a Kind Bar - just 200 calories - had a bunch of them from a big Amazon order.

Drove my car back home from Northgate.  It wouldn't accelerate, was acting weird, starting smoking.  Darn it.  Ate some rice and called Wa Health Plan Finder again to see what was up.  Wish I didn't have to call so much, but was really concerned about paying bills on the 1st, so I was trying to be proactive.  Didn't get a lot of information.  I think I started crying at this point.  Was on the phone for 13 minutes at this point.  According to this article, crying burns 1.3 calories a minute - can't remember if I cried throughout the whole call, but if I did, my calorie burn count would be around 16.9 - not bad!

Took my car into the shop after it cooled down.  Was alerted that it needs an entirely new engine.  Cried and walked around the block while I waited for the shop's loaner car to come in so I could drive it for a day or so while they looked at my car.

Now, this isn't DIRECTLY related, but this walk would not have happened if it wasn't for WA Health Plan Finder.  How so?  Well, the place I take my car is Village Auto Care in University Village.  University Village is full of shopping and tasty food, and I was starving thanks to the diet,  However, being overdrawn still, I had no money for tasty food, so I walked (extra exercise, yay!) and cried (1.3 calories per minute, yay!) and that, my friends, is a WAHPFD (WA Health Plan Finder Diet) success!!!!

Got home and decided to call my friends (if I could call them that - they're kind of that friend that you don't invite over any more because they steal your money and then you can't trust them anymore - or, more indirectly, that friend who comes over and eats your food, causing you to lose weight, am I right?!) at WA Health Plan Finder to check in.  The man I talk to has no clue what I'm talking about.  We review my entire payment history, starting from when I first signed up, in January 2014.  (It took a bit - but good news - talking on the phone burns 51 calories per hour for someone of my age, height and weight!  (Check out this Fit Day Calculator  to find out what you would burn if you had to spend an hour on the phone talking to WA Health Plan Finder.)


There's the call log for the 30th - I spent a total of 89 minutes, 20 seconds (I think - sorry, blood sugar is low - still going on the diet as I write this, lol - and I'm not good at math anyway) on the phone.

Now, if you want to accelerate your weight loss, I would suggest additional crying (I think I only cried through the first phone call - not sure how much I did on the 57 minute call) and walking while you talk for maximum calorie burning.

Anyway, dude I talked to who I revealed my entire payment history with said that he would take care of it and call me back the next day.  Cool.  

Dave made me some rice and lentils, so that was good - a bit carby, but did the job.  He also made me a vodka soda.

Now, I know alcohol is a huge calorie source, but if you decide to do this diet, I would STRONGLY recommend that you buy alcohol BEFORE WA Health Plan Finder takes your money.  You will need it.  Totally not a waste of calories - I could've used three more drinks!

DAY 3 - MARCH 31ST

Had my networking meeting at 7am.  I had cried a lot the night before and not slept well, so I was exhausted.  

(Crying was partly because of the heartbreakers over at WA Health Plan Finder, but also partly because I figured out that I would need a new car that I just don't have the money for.  So I can't contribute ALL the calorie burn to them.  Sorry guys : )

At my networking meeting I had a protein shake and two cups of coffee.  I made some old oatmeal that I had found in the cupboard and put it in a thermos, but I really hate oatmeal, so I didn't eat it. 

Met with a new client after my netoworking meeting.  They paid me right at the appointment.  Score!  More money to avoid overdrafting.  

Guy from the night before never called the next day, (thought that only happened when I was single and dating, LOL!)  but I was really tired and hungry and didn't have the energy to call WA Health Plan Finder,  so I decided to scrounge for as much money  as I could find to deposit into my account and hope for the best.  Paid myself from my businesses, borrowed some money from Dave, picked up a couple of hours at my nanny job.  I was exhausted from not sleeping, but I missed the kid I nanny for, plus they have a lot of food so I had a salad with goddess dressing while I was there, along with some really good popcorn that the dad of my nanny family buys from Vermont or something (that's how good it is - he has it shipped from Vermont!)  

Found some money in my super off-limits online savings account and transfered it.  It was a transfer that took a couple of days, but said it would arrive by April 1st in time for bills.

Even with all the money I scrounged, I was still short what WA Health Plan Finder took out.  I deposited $200 that I got as a "cosmetic allowance" for when my car got hit, but that only covered the amount that was overdrawn.  On top of that I had money for the mortgage (yay!) and enough for the auto-withdraws that were coming for my car and home insurance, dental insurance, retirement savings and a couple of other things, but not quite enough to pay the credit card bills due on the 1st or cover the two checks I sent out to pay bills.  Welp, better just hope those people wait to cash them!

The funny part is that I don't have a lot of money, and my credit aint what it used to be.  But, God gives us these circumstances to test our patience, right?  So, on top of the being hungry/worried/etc my credit card bills were now going to be late, which would ding my credit.  

So, back to the diet.  Anyway, credit card payments will be late.  Will affect my credit.  Total bummer.  Does worrying burn calories?  Feel sick, don't really feel like eating, so it's fine.

Found some chicken in the freezer to make food for the next day.  More rice - turned the burner on too high and messed it up, so it wasn't that good and I didn't want to eat it.  More calories saved.

Drank some tea and tried to calm my raging headache.  Tea = zero calories, but is damn tasty!

DAY 4 - APRIL 1ST

Yay!  Bills are due!  

Mortgage went through (double yay!  If that one bounces it's a $25 fee) as well as my insurance.  People who I have sent checks to haven't cashed them yet.  I have a protein shake to celebrate, but don't want to get too excited.

Called WA Health Plan Finder.  Blood sugar is REALLY low.  I am REALLY frustrated.  Really worried about being overdrawn.  An F-Bomb slips out.  I feel horrible.  Person on the phone gets really upset with me, as she should.  Does shame burn calories?  I feel really bad, cry more.  The F-Bomb didn't help my situation. woman and her supervisor wouldn't help me because of my behavior.  I don't blame them - however - I wouldn't have been so frustrated if I hadn't had to go through it several times.  

Found out that my refund was coming, but for the wrong amount - only $225ish.  WTF?  

Call WA Health Plan Finder to cancel future auto-payments.  Trust is gone.  Cry on the phone with that woman,  Try to be nice to make up for saying the F-Word earlier.  Still feel horrible, still crying, so more calories burned, I guess, to look on the bright side.

Not feeling super well, but head up to my nanny job for a couple of hours.  Had a snack with the kid - hummus and carrots.  Don't want to freeload too much, however, the kid decided not to finish her snack, so I finished it for her - crackers, string cheese and carrots.  

My nanny mom pays me in cash, and I absolutely have to use it - can't deposit it - feel shitty, but I need things.  

Drive the loaner car to the car shop to drop it off.

T car shop doesn't know what to do with my car - probably needs a new engine, which is way too expensive for me to fix. Decided to take it home. The owner is an ABSOLUTE gem and didn't charge me for taking a look at it - however I used so much gas in the loaner car that I gave him $10 cash.   Drove my car home.  It was scary as shit - didn't accelerate well and starting smoking from under the hood.  Damn it.  Parked it on the street and slapped a "FOR SALE - NEEDS WORK" sign into the window.  

Like my sign?  Hehe.


Had a protein shake.  Thank god for all that protein powder that I bought - like the biggest cannister ever!

Had around $25 of cash.  A wonderful friend said he would let me borrow his car for a week or so while I try to figure out what to do.  His car is in Sodo.  I decide to take the bus down there.  Normally would take an Uber or something, but, you know, overdrawn.  That's okay.  Good exercise. 

Leave the house, realize I only have a twenty dollar bill and a five dollar bill.  Go to Starbucks and buy an 8oz drip, the cheapest thing I can think of that will keep my hands warm on my walk down.  Ask for small bills and change for the bus for change.  Barista complies.  I thank her many times.  These are the people that make my world worth it.  

Walk down to the bus stop - it's raining and then does some thunder and lighting, but I ain't scared.  

Hop on the bus.  It's a bus that goes to Tacoma but stops in Sodo.  While on the bus I start to get SUPER nauseous and clammy and sweaty.  WTF.  Hopefully burning calories?  Anyway, I take off my coat and sweater and scarf to try to cool down.  Girl next to me asks if I'm getting off - tells me it's the last stop before the freeway anyway.  I get off the bus.  

Turns out it was way too early to get off - the place I'm going is still 2 miles away.  Boo - good exercise, though.  Sodo isn't a super good place for a woman to walk alone at night, but it could be worse (plus if I get chased down by some weirdo the calorie burn is better, right?)  Still super nauseous - probably the not eating and then drinking coffee.  Walk by a McDonalds, buy a double cheeseburger.  The most protein I've had in a few days.  HEAVEN.  

Walk to pick up my friends car, it is super sweet.  He is the best.  

Drive to pick Dave up.  Thank goodness he has money and he takes us to buy groceries.  I feel bad that I can't contribute, but that's okay.  

I will prepare some food from the groceries now that I'm done writing, PLUS we have alcohol!  Woot woot!  Still, the diet will have to continue the next couple of days - or for a bit until my business brings in a little more money (clients pay me on the 1st of the month usually and it take a couple of days to come in - however, I do have to pay my employee and pay some business bills.)  

DAY 5 - April 2nd

Diet is still in full force.

Woke up to a phone call this morning from the local office (a 360 area code rather than a toll free number.)  Message went like this:

Yes, good morning Stacy, this is __________________ from the finance dept at HPF, we do have the documentation to refund payment to you, it has been approved and is pending signature by the higher ups, and most likely will be issued back ACH to your bank tonight, most likely by 4:30 tonight most likely, okay, have a nice day, thank you."

LOL!

Okay, okay.  I can't laugh too hard - she did say by 4:30 tonight, which could have easily meant 4:30pm or 4:30am in the morning (you never know.) but if it was the afternoon, it is not here yet.  

I'm also not holding my breath that it's the right amount, since there have been a lot of mistakes with that, too.  

(The most recent mistake:  they said they were refunding me $225.  I said the refund should be for $323 plus whatever is owed me from 2014.  She said she would send an additional refund of $323.  I said I would be MORE than happy to take both, but amount from 2014 was under $100, so $323+225 would put me over.  I mean, they stole my money, so you'd think I'd be more secure in stealing theirs, but that's just wrong.)

So here's the current status:



Turns out I have $39 to spare!  Yay!  I could buy something awesome, I think but should probably save it for gas.  Also, my brother loaned me money for a new car, so will probably need to fill it up if I end up buying it.  If nothing else, I am borrowing my friends truck and should fill that up with gas.

Today I skipped breakfast (breakfast is for suckers!  Go WHPF-Inspired Diet 2015!) and had coffee.  Went to a client meeting - social media for a restaurant.  Super cool, but then I had to look at delicious food pictures all afternoon while writing their posts, which was horrid.

Wanted to go to my coworking space directly after my client meeting, but hadn't made lunch, so came home and baked some freezer burnt chicken.  Double bonus on this - I couldn't go down to my coworking space for food and also cause I couldn't afford to park for more than three hours.

Turns out doing this (and my Google Calendar syncing incorrectly - fuck!) made me miss my 1pm meeting.  Oops.  Felt horrible.

Went into the coworking space at 2pm and parking in 1 hour free parking across the street.  After my 2pm meeting I went and moved my car (had to run across the street  - almost got hit by a truck - bonus exercise points!) to a 2 hour free spot and then worked for a couple of hours there.  Had a lukewarm protein shake while I was there and (free!) coffee.  

Drove home at 5 (tried not to accelerate too much so I wouldn't use too much gas, LOL) and came home and had a romaine salad with peas, chicken and salad dressing.  (I know, right?!  Salad with vegetables AND protein?!  GET OUT OF FUCKING TOWN!  Thank god for rich boyfriends who buy groceries, amiright?)  

I decided to drive up to Lake City to look at cars, found one I really like, money borrowed from my bro will allow me to buy it, negotiated a deal on it, YES!  Brought a Kind Bar and some water but was feeling nauseous and heache-y so didn't want to eat.

Came home, did some work and ate eggs that we had with newly purchased cheese to make them more flavorful.  Nom, protein!  

I then broke down and decided that I couldn't take it anymore.  I had $12 in cash and I NEEDED a drink!  My refund is coming soon anyway, right?  So I went and had a vodka soda at the bar, it was amazing.  

Came home to spend time with my love, who bought me some juice, which I just had a glass of.  JUICE IS SUCH A LUXURY but really good.  

Good news, too - a person texted me wanting to buy my barely running Lexus!  Life may be looking up after all!  Of course, if I sell the Lexus, I will need to use the money to pay my brother back, not eat food (wishful thinking, right?!) but that's okay!  I am grateful for all the good that is coming into my life.

Hopeful that the refund will come tomorrow, but understand if it doesn't.  The people at WA HealthPlanFinder are BUSY - maybe they're eating lunch.  Maybe they're having handcrafted coffee drinks from Starbucks.  Or maybe they feel empathy for me and want to start this diet as well to show support.  

I used to work for the government.  It was not easy.  I had to be an oppressor - tell people "no" when I knew the answer should be yes.  While I think providing kind-of affordable health care is great, I just wish they could get their shit together so that participants in the program could have money to eat on a consistent basis and not have to have their vacations ruined by accidental money withdrawing.  That's all.  

On the edge of your seat?  Stay tuned!  I will edit this entry until my money gets refunded, which could be up to 30 days away!  Wow!  

Haven't weighed myself, but am down at LEAST 5 pounds.  They don't call it "HEALTH PLAN" Finder for nothing :)








Thursday, May 29, 2014

You Deserve this, Bitch!

Well, it's happened.

The universe has finally been like "Okay, bitch, fine.  You've worked hard, you've been kind to people, you've been doing what you need to do.  We're gonna let you out."

And then I'm like "Wait, wait wait, WTF universe?  I get to be happy?  I get to live my calling?  I get props for what I do?  People appreciate me and express that appreciation?  I get to not live in a constant downward spiral of depression?"

And then the universe is like "Yeah, shut up bitch, you've put in your time.  You deserve this.  Roll with it, for the love of god."

And then I'm like "Okay. :) "

I can't believe how rewarding owning a business is.  It's scary and financially shitty, but I am so happy that I took the risk.  I get to help people on my terms--and my terms work for me as well as for them.  I get to structure what I need to do for me to be effective.  I get to give people what they need, and if they don't want it, they don't have to take it--but most people do want it and do take it.

In the past month when I've spoken to people about my depression and chronic fatigue, several of them have been astonished.  "Really?" they say.  "You don't seem like a depressed person."

And then I almost prove them wrong by crying.  Tears of happiness, of course, but jesus christ, I am so happy that I don't seem like a depressed person, because I really, truly am not.

I just needed to find what worked for me.

When you spend so many hours of your day working, you need to find something you love to do.  Which I did.  But it wasn't enough.  It was what I loved to do in a setting that was a horrible fit for me.  Wait--I take that back--the most fucking horrible fit for me in the whole entire world.  Okay, maybe not true, but looking back, I'm so happy that I can move away from that experience and move forward doing what works for me, my happiness, my health, and my future family.

I thank god, or whoever, or the universe, or whatever, and you know what?  Fuck it, I'm going to thank myself.  I've worked hard and I deserve to be happy.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Being Stacy Erickson

So, I wanted to start a whole new blog called "Being Stacy Erickson", but I already have an awesome-ish personal blog here, so I am going to start sharing some cool stuff with you about how cool it is to be Stacy Erickson.

Basically, when you are Stacy Erickson and you have the email address "stacyerickson@gmail.com", you get lots of cool emails for other Stacy Ericksons.  Whee!

Today I got one of the best ones in a while--check it out below!


Holy shit!  Rockettes Summer Intensive?!  How the hell is this Stacy Erickson WAY FUCKING COOLER THAN ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?

More to come.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thank you, Debt.

I haven't been keeping up here like I should, and it's for a number of reasons.  But, here I am, ready to share with you what's been going on in my life.

I was just standing at my kitchen sink, doing the dishes.  Scrubbing them with a purple sponge, and then loading them into the dishwasher.  And I thought "I am so incredibly happy right now.  IS THIS NORMAL?"

I'm happier than I have been in a long, long time.  As an almost lifetime depression sufferer, of course, I am waiting for the other shoe to fall.  However, I'm going to chill here in happiness as long as I can.

One of the things that is a little embarrassing to me is how much debt I have accrued in the past year.  For me, as you know, debt was the devil.  Evil.  Bad.  An albatross dragging you into the depths of hell-or-wherever.

While I still would like to be debt-free, the feelings that I have gone through and the things I have learned going into debt have taught me SO MUCH.

I started a business a little over a year ago.  I started this business immediately after a breakthrough therapy session where I learned that this was what I had to do.  (I put the therapy session on my credit card.  I had seen several people through my insurance, but they just weren't cutting it.  Therapist that is a good fit = priceless, even if it is at 18% interest.)  Therapist that helps me make life decisions becomes priceless+her weight in gold.

When I started my business, I decided to conquer one of my biggest fears:  debt.  In order to really make this business work, I was going to have to work my ass off, and I was going to have to put some money forward.  So many people are so cautious about money when starting a business--which I admire, but it's not something I could do.  I knew that putting the money forward would FORCE me to do it--I would be giving up the security of being debt free for the scary-ass shit of owing money and owning a business.  I had to make it work.

Shortly after starting the business, I quit my job.  My state job, with great benefits, a good salary, and security.  My state job that was causing me to believe that I needed MORE antidepressants to buy on that good state insurance in order to cope with the day.  My state job that was making me puke on the way to work in the morning.  My state job that had me CONVINCED that I was worthless, that I didn't deserve it, that nothing I would ever do would be valued.  Sure, a lot of this was in my head--but I was so far in that I couldn't see past it.  I had to get out.

Cue more debt.

I was making less money to start, but I didn't want to get another full time job--I wanted to focus my time on my business.  I took some part time work and odd jobs, which I am still doing and have met some wonderful people through.  I bought health insurance for $215 a month--again, priceless for the security.  And you know what?  I don't miss those state benefits, not one bit.  Granted, I haven't had anything major happen, but if it did, I would be happy to pay for it in exchange for having the freedom of self employment.

Through debt I was able to value myself--and decide to let go of the fear of it and spend some money investigating my long time health issues.  Through debt I was able to buy healthy food to rid my body of the toxins that were growing in it, to start to squash the chronic fatigue I have had for years.

Through debt I adopted a new cat from the Seattle Animal Shelter, who brings me endless amounts of joy each and every day--joy I wouldn't feel as deeply if I was still fixated on staying at my last job for the steady salary and the good benefits.

And now the debt sits, and I think of how uncomfortable it is.  I think of how it won't be forever.  I think of it when I'm doing the dishes--that I decided to value my time and energy and just fucking charge a new dishwasher instead of handwashing dishes forever.  I will pay it off, and I won't feel guilty about it.  I will continue to recognize the value in that interest rate, in the new cat, in the dishwasher and the "lost" income over the past year.

I will remember the debt, and I will think of the pride and excitement I felt when my business was featured on TV to 90,000 viewers in my region.  Without that debt, I may not have gotten there.  I will think of it when I help a client progress in their life, when I can make a wage that allows me to work for three hours and make the same amount of money I made in 8 hours at my last job.  I can take those other five hours and I can care for myself.

Thank you, debt.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Holy wow, friends.

My life has turned around.  For the better, I hope.

I quit my job.  It was draining me, making me sad, making me cry, making me throw up.  I couldn't take it.

I now have another job (still seven days left at the job I quit--yes, I gave two weeks) that will be a lot less time and a lot less money.

I am ecstatic.  ECSTATIC. 

Why?  I MISS having time.  I MISS caring about what I spend.  The past couple of years I have fallen into the 9-5ish pattern of wake, drink expensive coffee, have lunch out, spend time at work feeling unfulfilled, spend a goddamned hour commuting and listening to bad radio, and then drinking a shit ton to make it all feel numb.  Then repeat the proceeding, but with a hangover.  Ugh.

So.  I will be making significantly less"guaranteed" income per month.  SIGNIFICANTLY LESS.  Like less than half.  Like a third of what I made before.

Everyone seems worried.  I am not.

Here's what will save my butt in this situation:

1.  I switched rooms with my brother.  Hey now pays me more rent.  +$200
2.  I will not be commuting 20 miles round trip each day +$150ish
3.   I will not be tempted to eat lunch out with my colleagues because I won't have colleagues +$125
4.  I will not be tempted to drink Bigfoot Java constantly (that shit is GOOD!) +$50
5.  I will be happier, so I will drink less (DRINKING IS EXPENSIVE!) +$200
6.  I will be eating out less and drinking less, so hopefully I will lose weight +pricele$$

Total butt-saving costs:  $725

Of course, I'll have to pay for my own health insurance.  Among a million other things.  But I feel good.  So so good. 

On September 7th the journey will really begin!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No biological babies for me.

I want kids.   

I cannot have kids.  Financially, by myself, it does not make sense.  At all.  Ever. 

Even if it is with a dude, it gets sketchy.  I'm going to have to screen for income and spending habits, because for the love of God, it's not looking good. 

Click on the pictures to make them bigger. 

See that picture?  That is me.  I am cute.  Who wouldn't want to knock me up? 


 Oh!  But look!  Here's a picture of me and the dude who knocked me up!  (What can I say? I like skinny dudes.)


Good news!  We have equal incomes!  We can make it, kinda! 

(I actually made a picture for scenario 1 but it didn't save right.  So pretend there is one and that we both take home $2800 a month and it's super doable but we never see our baby but that's okay!)

Okay!  Sounds good!  But what if he makes half of what I do? :(

Orrrrr he doesn't want to live with me but he makes equal to me and pays child support?

 Orrrr what if he doesn't/can't/will not pay child support? 







Use condoms, kids. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What makes me fat and broke?

Socializing.  ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO MAKES ME FAT AND BROKE!

I like booze.  I like hot bartenders.  I like drinking booze while talking to hot bartenders.  I like drinking booze with my friends.  I like talking to bar patrons while drinking booze.  I JUST LIKE PEOPLE AND TALKING TO THEM AND IT'S JUST SO EASY AT BARS!

But it makes me fat and broke. 

I also like my coworkers a LOT.  So much.  They are the best people I know.  We like to go to Taco Time.  And McDonalds.  And KFC.  And Taco Del Mar.  Also we like to eat donuts.  Sometimes we like to eat Dairy Queen Blizzards.  We also like to eat at Subway.  And we talk to each other.  Get out of the work building. 

But it makes me fat and broke :(

So.  This week I'm going to try not to be fat and broke.  My original plan was to buy some salads from Trader Joe's and then eat them at work. But, that's not as cheap as it could be.  So I was going to buy some bags of lettuce.  Which was still not as cheap as it could be. 

Then I came across this at the restaurant supply store...



Yes, that's right!  Two pounds of organic greens!  For less than six dollars!

So I was like, aigt, I won't by salads at Trader Joe's, I'll just buy some shit to make salads that are just as good but cheaper.  It will take me all afternoon to make them, but, eh, whatever, I got time!

So I made this: 

Know what it is?  It is a taco salad.  Low-fat Ranch dressing, crunched up blue tortilla chips, black beans, corn and salsa.  All over mixed greens.  Fork included. 


Then!  I made this!

This, my friends, it a beet salad.  Croutons, balsamic dressing, beets, and a wheel of goat cheese.  Easy!  I may add some sunflower seeds later, but I forgot. 

I will pair these with soup that I pack.  And a piece of fruit. 

Then I will attempt to shut the fuck up about being fat and broke.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Remodeling, aka "Fuck Me"

I'd apologize for the profanity, but it's just me.  Sorry. 

I want a simple thing in my home.  They're called "hardwood floors." 

I have shitty ass eczema.  Seasonal allergies.  A cat who doesn't shed much, thank god, but he sheds.  He sheds enough that when I participate in cleaning routines I find what I call "baby Darbys" all over my house.  (That means that there's enough cat hair to form a few kitten sized models of my cat, for those who are dense.)  It's not pretty.  It's not nice. 

"Carpets," someone told me recently.  "It's like a blanket that you never wash." 

And a dirty ass blanket it is.  The brilliant people who sold the condo to me decided to replace the probably awesome but probably dirty seventies carpets in my unit with ugly ass, cheapest of the cheap apartment shit gross gross yuck puke white carpets.  (I just typed "crapets" instead of carpets at first, Freudian slip or what?!)

So, as it has been for a while, it's time to put new floors in the business.

Wood.  Dark wood, but not black.  Sexy.  Sensual.  Goes with the walls, the furniture, and fits into Pinterest in a way that you would never know it was a "photo uploaded by user."  Some baseboards, probably white and tallish.  Hypo-allergenic.  Not bamboo because you know they soak that shit in formeldahyde, and we all know that would be EXCELLENT for my sensitive skin. 

Anyway.  Cost.  I have a mere 700 square feet, right?  Easy.  A grand, right?  I'm not even doing the kitchen or bathroom.  A piece of financial cake.  Dark, rich, wooden financial cake. 

So I check with the neighbors and the building manager.  "Hey, how much does it cost around here to get new wood floors in?"  I get filled in that it's actually about three grand.

Okay, cool.  I pick out my flooring.  I get recommended to a guy who can probably do it cheapish. 

Installation quote from guy who is awesome and cheapish:  Approximately two grand if I want him to take the carpets out too.  Still a lower cost than what the local companies charge me. 

So.  Materials next, right?  I go to a place who shows me all their shit.  Their shit is color coded by price.  The lowest is listed at $10 per square foot and under. 

"Hey, salesguy," I say.  "I got seven hundred square feet.  If your lowest is $10 a square foot, how much money is that?"

He tells me $7000.  I knew that, but I wanted him to know how regoddamneddiculous of a price that is for someone who only has 700 square feet.  I'm not made of money.  I can save it, but I'm not made of it.  If I were made of money, I would probably have more than 700 square feet to live in. 

He says he can get me a better price.  Never calls me back. 

But, I'm smart, I won't settle for that shit.  I get on the phone and call three places.  I get the lowest quote for the exact kind of highish quality manufactured wood that I want. 

And I still have three or so months before it's time. 

Next steps:  More time to shop around.  More time to find a good vendor that will do what they say.  And, yes, more time to save $5,000+, more than five times what I originally thought. 

Good thing that I want this shit BAD.  And it will add to the value of my house in two ways:  monetary value and value of living.  Plus I can put on socks and skate around.  Free cardio. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eczema Journey, The Roid Years, Part 1.

I've been wanting to document my eczema journey forever, and for real.  It has been one of the most painful, agonizing, traumatic and stressful things that I have ever gone through.  I know it's not over yet, but I've reached a period of calm that I never thought would happen. 

If this grosses you out, navigate away from this page now.  You may not want to hear the grim details of this condition.  But if you have been struggling with eczema, you know that it can help with the healing to hear other people's stories.  It truly is a journey.  Red, itchy skin, who would've thought? 

I have a a recurring memory from high school.  My best friend, Maegan, and I are at my house, sitting on the floor.  I am rubbing the top of my left foot against the carpet vigorously, the fibers creating both friction, relief, and pain, all at the same time. 

Years later, I in the shower with a lover.  He has an eczema patch in the shape of a heart on his back, and another circular one below his belly button.

"Sometimes," he says, "When I scratch it, it feels so good that I feel like I might cum."

Now, back to high school on the floor of my bedroom at my childhood home.  "Cumming" isn't on my mind,  But extreme relief is as the itch goes away slowly as I scratch my foot on the carpet.   Relief from itch, followed directly by extreme pain through broken skin.  I was an innocent(ish) high school-er, so the sex reference never would've crossed run through my head at the time.  Now that I'm older, I can make the comparison of sex with eczema.  As long as the sex involves bondage.  A height of emotion, action, relief, and broken skin and blood. 


At the first irritation and itch on my left toe, I didn't think much.  I showed my mom, who gave me some Triamcinolone cream.  Good.  Gone.  Away with you, eczema! 

That's everyone's first experience, isn't it?  In fact, when googling how to spell "triamcinolone", I came across the following on Yahoo Answers: 

I'm using Triamcinolone cream for my eczema. How long will it take to make it go away?

I'm using it 2x per day. How long do you think it will be before the rash is gone?
It appeared last Winter and now I have it again. I used Triamcinolone then, and it made it go away, I just forgot how long it takes to make the rash disappear. I just wanna be decent by Valentine's Day.

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

This is the story I hear over and over again. People hope that prescribed medications will cure eczema. They don't - they only remove symptoms for a short period of time and on the expense of burdening your body with chemicals. Eczema will return. I suggest you start educating yourself about natural methods to cure eczema and how to eliminate the root cause - weak immune system. A great article to start with can be found here:

http://www.getbest.info/natural-cure-for…

I hope this helps.
 (Source:  http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090210163743AAdUA95)
 
It went away!  I'm set!  I didn't think much of it, really.  
 
I don't remember a whole lot more from those early 'roid (steroid) years.  I remember itching my toes on the carpet a lot,  of course.  I remember the little white prescription pot my mom had with the cream in it, which was sort of grainy.  I remember before that, when I went to camp at 11 years old and had the tube version of some eczema stuff explode in the pocket of my jean shorts so that I couldn't utilize them in an outfit for the whole ten days of camp.    
 
It was on and off, just a little bit, for years.  When I was eighteen, I started rubbing my foot on the carpet of my new apartment to get rid of the itch.  Four out of the five toes on my left foot were covered in scabs.  The scabs broke every night as I itched and re-itched.  It was September and I had just started my new job in the city.  Health insurance was three months away, pending a probationary period.  
 
Time passed, as did three months.  I went to the doctor.  I got some cream.  My eczema went away, for the most part.  I was in awe of my newly smooth toes.  
 
Five years later it started acting up again.  Same old.  I got a boyfriend who had eczema much, much worse than me.  It was aggravated by cats.  We broke up after three months, due to a number of things.  I had been working to keep my cat off of my bed for the whole time, as to not irritate his skin.  The second we broke up I flopped on my bed crying, inviting my cat back to his spot on my comforter.  I always thought that if he were healthier, it would've gone away.  Quit smoking.  Quit hitting the bong all the time.  Take supplements!  It's not that hard, is it?  You are not healthy, that's why your skin is wronging you so intensely!  Doesn't all that damn emu oil that I bought you cure your shit?  
 
Two years later, I encountered skin problems that were beyond anything I could've ever imagined.  My "roid rage" reached its peak. 
 
 
 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Goals update.

I have been so bad about updating in the past year. But, I have also made a lot of financial progress! I'll try to be better with updates, mostly to track my successes for myself.

One of my big goals has been to save $4000 for hardwood floors. I am so close to that goal, and it will be reached next month! This is the time that I'm getting slightly anxious about doing something I've never done before...finding a person to do it, picking out wood, scheduling a time to get the wood delivered, filling out paperwork for my condo to make sure the plan is approved...eeek! This is one thing I would love to not have to do alone, but I guess it' s just another experience to strengthen my knowledge about homeownership and updating my space, which I do have great interest in.

My condo is having a huge assessment as well, which I will be able to obtain a loan for through a family member, which is quite convenient and exciting. I am truly lucky to have such generous family as a financial resource. I will have a large loan at 1%. Soon I will make a timeline so that I can attempt to pay it off as soon as possible.

I Dave also managed to save $2500 for an emergency fund. After the hardwood floors, I will be upping that to $5000 as soon as possible. After I'm at $5000, I will take a break to buy something fun or pay a larger chunk of mu my assessment debt before upping to $7500. End goal is $20,000 to keep liquid and accessible in case of emergency or job loss.

After all that, who knows. I'd like to continue to do repairs and fun things for my home, but I'm not sure what yet.