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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Disposable Razor Sharpening

One of my favorite tricks lately, as explained by an accented dude on YouTube...


Keep it in mind.  I've been doing this for a while, but not stroking the razor on the denim enough times.  Ten or twenty times works!  I'm in love. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How I Use My Google Calendar For Financial Reminders

1.  Track automatic payments
I track everything financial in my Google Calendar in the color green, as you can see below:

With this, I ALWAYS know when it is coming out of my account.  Honestly, I usually subtract it all from my checkbook at the beginning of the month, but it never hurts to have an extra reminder.

2.  Track When to Apply for a Credit Line Increase
A wise man once told me to have the biggest credit line that I could and not use it.  That way, your credit to debt ratio is always real small (as long as you have self control and don't charge it up.  I don't.  Ever.)  So, I make sure that every six months I apply for a credit line increase on every card that I have.  This ensures that I have the maximum amount of credit available to me. 

3.  Track Additional Income
After each babysitting job I work, I track what I have made.  This way I know approximately what extra income I am bringing in. 

4.  Track When to Expect Bills
I put notes to myself like "Expect New Light Bill Soon" or "Car Tabs will be Due This Month" or "Moped Tabs Due This Month" for expenses that I can't yet automate. 

5.  Track Savings Goals
Google Calendar has a to do list on the side.  On this part I put what my current savings goal is (Right now it's a $2500 Emergency Fund) and how close I am. 

6.  Track Groupons And Deals
I also have on my To-Do List different coupons I have purchased and their expirations dates:


These systems definitely help keep me organized and on track.  There are so many features to be used on Google Calendar, it's my #1 go-to tool each day.