Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Due to recent budget constraints, I can't afford to be nice anymore.

I just watched a hefty chunk of the money I have been half-assedly saving all year go down the rabbit hole in the name of bettering my life through education. Before that, I took a 3 day trip to Montreal (yes, thank you, it was lovely. Yes I did see the church where Celine Dion got married. It had linoleum floors.)
Then this weekend I finally got a much needed haircut and a bunch of cute tops (OMG OMG TOPS!)*
So this week, and, actually, all the weeks that come after it, unless there is a very, very good reason, I will be bringing my lunch to work.

Monday's lunch was pierogies with potatoes and cheddar, courtesy of my freezer. You can boil them (fill a pot with water, wait for the water to boil, but them in, wait for it to boil again, uuuggghhhh) OR! You can fry them. Sweet! Just drop the frozen suckers into a hot pan with some oil and then put them in your lunch container. Then ask you mom what she's chewing on and hear her say, "I ate one, and then I realized that they are probably not leftovers. Sorry."

I have some chana masala over rice with steamed broccoli earmarked for Tuesday. Wednesday is white beans in tomato sauce over rice, also with broccol. I cooked a fuck-ton of broccoli.
I am going to win at not spending money on lunch.

Incidentally, can we just talk about how bad I've gotten at being poor? When I was, like, 10 it was super easy. Just wear what your mom tells you, eat what's put in front of you, and watch your Aladdin video again if you're bored. When I was ten I think I'd had a total of two haircuts my entire life (this doesn't seem like it can possibly be right, but I only got a little boy haircut at age 1, and then didn't touch it again except once when my aunt trimmed the ends. You'd think hair that long is all raggedy and damaged on the bottom. Not so. It was luxurious as fuck. I still have it in a box somewhere.)
Now I average a haircut every two months. It costs about $50, which is either cheap or expensive, depending on where you live and how seriously you take that stuff coming out of your head. I love my stylist, I think she does a great job. This winter, just for contrast, I got my hair cut at a random salon in my neighborhood and learned to appreciate her even more. Because she would never make me look like a 12 year old boy with split ends. Plus this Saturday we bonded over our mutual dislike of Rhianna.
So the hair, the hair will have to remain an expenditure. If only to distract people from my tendency to wear clothes from the Old Navy clearance section.
Not that I will buy any more clothes! Even if that dress goes on sale. Even if that dress is so soft and comfy but no I don't need it.

The second hand book habit, also, will be curbed. Because textbooks are expensive and because between my work and my bedroom, I have stacks of unread things that deserve my attention. Among them are myriad cookbooks, and inside those, presumably, are recipes that are delicious, healthy, and don't call for truffles and lobster. Or at least suggest adequate substitutes, like tofu or wood shavings.

Entertainment is super easy when you have no time for it, too. Not counting the odd weeknight episode of Doctor Who, I don't do anything for fun. Except read***, and then forget what I read. (Another fun activity: Trying to Remember WTF You Just Read, and the bonus round- Since You Read So Much, Why Aren't You Smart? Warning: Not actually fun.) Sometimes I scroll through Imgur on my phone and text people cute pictures of kittens and stuff. Then I regret ever spending money on a smartphone. More cute kittens. Repeat. Zzzzz...

As for the beauty regimen (everyone with ovaries and a blog is supposed to talk about theirs, right?): I don't think I have one. My boyfriend ordered some cologne and was mysteriously also sent a tube of Stila HD beauty balm and a green soccer ball (You're so silly, Macy's!). He gave me the balm, and I am in love with it. It's make up for lazy people. Pale, lazy people who can't be bothered to do their makeup, ever, or even remember their face sunscreen most days. Make up for me! I love it. It makes me look 50% less splotchy, and feels like there's nothing on my face. I love it so much that I kept trying to get my friend to wear it in Montreal. "Hey, do you want the balm?... Hey, do you want the balm? Hey, do you want the balm?" Sorry about that.
Eventually that sample will run out, and as will its placebo effect. Then I'll be sad for two days and forget it ever happened. There! I saved $38. So smart.

Actually, since I just plugged the beauty balm, can I tell you about a less sexy, but also really great product? Last Monday I had a tiny cut/tear in the corner of my mouth. This is a bad place for a cut. You'd be surprised how small your big mouth is when you're trying to keep a tear from re-opening. I spent the week rinsing aggressively with salt, but the tear got worse and worse, and it started to hurt, and it looked kinda gross. Possibly this was not a cut? Maybe it was a canker sore. I don't know. I kept ripping it open by accident, like with the jagged edge of a plastic spoon, and it got very angry at me, and got worse. Nothing makes you feel more like a rock star than an open sore in your mouth. On Saturday I had to run an errand at the pharmacy and thought, why not ask the pharmacist? I explained that I wanted something to cover it and keep it from re-opening every time I eat or yawn. She pointed me to the toothache relief section and said she had no idea what to do. But then I found this stuff, and by the next day, it hurt less, and today there's almost no trace of a cut/tear/sore that had been aggitated all week by poorly made disposable cutlery. Seriously, plastic spoon people. That wasn't nice.

So, where was I? Ah yes. I don't remember. Perfect.
But look, if I don't hit "Publish" I will never get around to it again. Do you know how many unfinished drafts I had saved for this blog? Like, several. Maybe four. I need to stop that.
I'll be like that kooky therapist**** who thought that abruptly ending the session was crucial to the patient's therapeutic process, so he would, like, sit them down, and be all, "Hm... so tell me about your childhood" and the patient would be like, "My childhood? Okay. Well, I'm the youngest of three children, and I---"
"STOP! Enough! I will stop you right here. You need to think about this. It's very important you spend some time with this thought you were developing."
"What? But I just--"
"Yes, very important. We were nearing a real, err, introspective moment."
"But doctor I only started tell-"
"Bup Bup! Let that stay with you until our next session. No time to explain now, go see Ms. Tiddlewonker to settle your balance. Thank you!"

I think some people just thougth that guy was an asshole. Ms. Tiddlewonker certainly did. She can also tell you that he was a leg man, and pretended to drop his glasses a lot to take a gander at her gams like ALL THE TIME.

*Also a ravioli press. I have gotten to that point in my life where I buy kitchen gadgets and hide them. Next to the ravioli press, in my closet, is a nonstick cookie sheet. In the basement, there's a food mill. I have Israeli za'atar** in my nightstand and a can of pickled japalenos as a bookend. Problem?
**Did you know that za'atar comes in a bunch of varieties named for different middle eastern regions? I wasn't trying to be political, it just happens that I tried za'atar in Israel and figured it was a safe bet. Turkey, Syria and Iran probably make delicious green-topped flatbread too.
***Presently reading: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach. Also by her, and recommended, is Stiff, a book about what happens to bodies donated to science, and Bonk, a book in which Mary and her husband agree to have very slow sex in an MRI machine.
****He's an actual real person. I forget his name, though.