Friday, March 4, 2011

“I Carried a Watermelon”


From "their" dumpster, to my home.

I've challenged my eating and drinking habits recently. Me before: eating whatever, drinking cheap wine. Probably to dull the pain of eating food I didnt choose. Me now: spending a little cash on veggies, avoiding junk, saving money by not drinking. I am SHOCKED to report: I feel kind of awesome! I am NOT condoning dumpster food! I am just questioning my choice to not choose. Its nice to have the surprise of dumpstered wares. (And wears!) But...I kinda of have to reflect, with the clarity of a sober person...uh, what was I thinking? That I could just magically manifest what I need from the dumpster, that what is in the dumpster is what I need?


Hmm...So I start eating healthy, and making the choice to pass by toxic stuff (however delicious) and here appears a perfect little watermelon. Power of the mind?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Vegan Dumpster Chili Bitches! And Towels...

I just made some mighty fine chili from dumpster finds: TVP, vermicelli, tomato sauce (always plentiful), kidney beans, in a dumptered Emeril pot, stirred with a dumpstered Emeril utensil. In a dumpstered Tae Kwon Do t shirt and organic cotton leggings. The onions I bought and the seasonings were both gifted and bought. The soy sauce: pretty inspired addition! I am not vegan, I'm kind of anti Vegan in terms of health, but it can be inexpensive to go the meatless route....

Also: Found just in time!!! Its embarassing going to Bikram with towels that have oil paint on em!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

When Hypochondriacs Have an Attack

I just had what I would consider a great little dive. Photobucket
Good things I use a lot: organic pastas, weird Chinatown novelties, salt (which I've been spilling a lot lately :O !!!), splenda, which I am out of (oh bite me I know its fake sugar! I am not sugar deprived, I make up for it in wine and cookies), hot cocoa, detox teas...I'm happy to find it, but in a way it makes me sad. The whole find is indicative of neuroses. Obsession with health related items is a known mental disorder, and the person probably got rid of all of this if not in a move, than in an attack. Sad...really really really sad...Anyhoo...who wants organic pasta with mushrooms and hot cocoa???PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Onions. Do They Make You Cry Too? Do You, Too, Love Them?

Two weeks ago I wrote about how I got rid of so much stuff how I've never had less than this, everything is so clean...blah blah old friend came over and was impressed but said “Keep going!” I thought, really? Pfft! Whatever, lets see you do it! And Aaah! Space!

So last night I had the option of moving into a smaller but supposedly less noisy apartment. I tried it out and realized there is no way I am moving TWICE, possibly three times this year...and that Yeah. I am not done cleaning and getting RID. I took out three more bags of unwanted items that had little or no use or value to me. I put up even more on ebay, half dot com and etsy. I have two more bags to take to Market Fresh Books. ALL THIS after sincerely thinking I was done!

I don't know if its the Bikram (SWEAT!) or the Thai massage or being in touch with what I want and feeling purpose...something is happening and it's emotional and exciting, and it is all intertwined. I've let go of a lot, I just seem to keep going, and it feels wonderful! It is notsuperficial but on all levels (mental, emotional, physical) that in reality are just different ways of seeing truth. The Western convention to categorize everything is really just an aid to language, but since language changes the way we think, its good to remind ourselves that no. Really. Its all one. 

I've noticed a pattern to the release cycle, no matter what we're talking about...situations...things...expectations. I tend to get pretty emotional right before a big release. It all comes to the surface. I don't think I'm going to make it. It's dark and spiralling and hopeless. And then, I let go. And, hey hey! Dance a little victory dance! I'm standing. And soon, I've moved onto the next demon and the last one was ages ago...

So, I know what you're thinking. Janet, I just want to see pictures of your latest finds!

...I write under the category of dumpster diving, but its not about accumulating things at all. I told someone last night how I got rid of a bunch of stuff and they responded, “I thought you were a dumpster diver?! Aren't you doing it in reverse?” Now, if I gave the impression that I was out for material gain and that you should, too...if that's what people walk away from me thinking, then...I have failed to communicate. The POINT of diving is NOT STUFF. It is not wasting, it is knowing we live in a country that is wasteful and we choose not to join in, at the core, its about RESPECTING YOUR MOTHER (EARTH). This does NOT mean hoarding. It means living simply, not shopping and spending money when we do not have to. It is doing more with less. It is having less of a material impact and refocusing our energy to things that really really matter. Its about living UNDISTRACTED.

And, bite me, its FUN! I've been experiencing such joy getting rid of things last night and today! So much is replaceable. So many things immediately depreciate once you've purchased them. I've had multiple beds, kitchen sets, cars, bikes, irons...blenders...things come back to you when you truly need them, and sometimes when you just want them, and you do not need to grasp for them. So trashing the expendables was joyous. What has been even MORE fun is realizing what my life has been up to nearly thirty, taking inventory. I am shockingly at peace with and proud of the things I am choosing to keep. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Who Was Raised Catholic? Show of Hands...(hand emoticon here)

     Its been a while since I posted. I can 'splain!

     I got a job, see...are you disappointed? FlashbacK! I had a blog about my anarchistic ways (though I never put that term to the behaviours till a year or so ago...) in 2008 when I freaked out about how culty Whole Foods is (John Mackey's the devil MAYN!) Anyway, this blog was on myspace and I had a fan. Dook he called himself. Ah Dook...Ill never forget your words of encouragement...I'm actually serious. He also bought a painting from me. (And when he sent payment he also sent a recipe for black forest cherry torte. Awwe! Dook, you remembered!) Dat was a hundy fiddy!!! Anyway, it was a fun and free spirited summer, until I logged into chase dot com. Then I got a job, and then I disappointed Dook. Dook, selling a painting here or there and dumpster diving, it ain't an income... :( Dook! Dook...? Echo???

    ...Although “jobs” aren't always the solution either. But jobs, as I am remembering and experiencing, can be fun, wee little stepping stones, and all jobs have their own special set of perks that come with them. I'm all about the perks and the freedom. And if food is involved, I'LL BE THERE! Past perks of former jobs I've had: 87% food related. Sometimes very GOOD food related. Like, four star dinners and fish eggs and blinis for breakfast. The other 13 %: flight benefits and borrowing books for free. (Cough. Thanks Half Price Books, ever hear of the library? Actually that came in handy when I owed 40 dollars in fines...)

     So, turns out, my part time, very chill coffee shop job comes with food and drink! I always suspected the drink would come when the coffee shop dream became reality...though I never suspected I could handle six shots a shift with such...finesse! I get food and bev fo free, without apologies. No, hey can I have this? Is it OK if I eat now? Can I be a partner to my bodies needs? Its pa-retty sweet. Being that I am still going through the food I've found from before (so much left!) and that in a way, Im “diving” at work (through glass covered displays) I haven't been checking the dumpsters as much as I had been.

     Confession time! A friend of mine came over for a night of boxed wine, and when she left, she found two boxes of Kashi in my dumpster. God, are you there? Its me, Janet. I felt a twinge of envy...I mean, what a find! Kashi's expensive! And that fiber? Thats not going anywhere for a long time, no matter what the company funded studies cant win em all...but from my very own dumpster!?

     I'm only partly kidding there. I DID feel envy. I haven't found anything for days. But diving is like that because things are constantly changing. And I just don't need it. The purpose of dumpster diving and cutting corners not the end but a means, and its fun, and there'll be a day when I can pass by some sweet finds. Maybe there will even be a day when I dont even look (Ha! Not! Way too curious...) But really, I had to ask myself, what am I some sort of a bum? What am I going to run after my friend with a broomstick, like I saw my neighbors do a week ago? True Story. But then I realized that although my income for 2010 was lower than when I was eighteen, I'm not just after free stuff...Im in it for the surprise! “Happy February Thirteenth Day!” “Happy Class is Over Time!” “Happy theres no more wine at home and you made less than you did when you were eighteen and you are almost thirty!”

     Not gonna lie. Tax season got me down for about a day. Less than I made when I was eighteen. LESS. THAN. I. MADE. WHEN. I. WAS EIGHTEEN. And I didnt pay rent then! No wonder I was dumpster diving! That was instinct, will to survive...The lack of income was not due to laziness or a poor economy, it was due to soul searching, school, and sacrifice now for long term gain. No immediate gratification this year when it came to money...And it's O.K. But it was a bit of a shocker. And I avoided the blog.

     There. Confessed! Now to say three hail marys and off to bed...and more frequent blogs to come...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ambiversion, Books and Boxed Wine

A love of solitude can certainly be your friend when you are living a thriftier life...

A few years ago when I was a fan of reading the dictionary (not MY dictionary, Barnes and Noble's dictionary :P) I ran across a word: ambivert.

Ambivert: one whose personality type is intermediate between extrovert and introvert.

I dont think you can expect to thrive in this world without some degree of flexibility and ambiversion can be a very advantageous quality. Of course, it can also lead to problems: like choosing a social job that is fun for a while until the introversion rears her soulful head, or choosing a quiet job where you suddently and for a long spell find yourself desirous of social expression....but it is ultimately a good thing and frankly a rare thing, like true androgyny. Part of what makes me a good candidate for dumpster diving and living frugally, without the risk of suicide, is that I am flexible. It doesn't mean I dont have preferences, I do. But being able to bend and be happy with WHAT IS will serve you well in the long haul.

I dated a man who coined me as a consummate introvert and I am pretty sure I lean more toward that side since I have such an active imagination and can live vicariously (some of the time :) ) with a certain degree of satisfaction. But I think my financial situations have made me develop introverted qualities that may not otherwise have had a chance or reason to develop. Friends. Cost. Money. They love to go out, they make excuses for being together, and if you are friends with people who do not have similar monetary tendencies, they can end up costing you if you overindulge...or making you seem like a cheap bitch if you stop and THINK once in a while.

Think about it. How much money do you spend because you have been trained to believe (by epopel who want your money) that being successful as an adult means you have to have a full dance card, so you book your non working days full of activities that lead you to spend money? I swear I cant leave the house without spending money, and I'm a tightwad! doesnt stop once you start dating if it was there to begin with. If you are single: How often do you go to a bar with people or in the hopes of meeting people and dole out waaaaay too much money for a mediocre time that leads to at ( shortterm ) worst: aqward sex or ( longterm )worst: a relationship that lasts entirely too long? An older lady I worked with a few years ago gave a lecture on how every couple she knew who met in a bar and got married ended up divorcing. Thus endeth my interest in bars. AND If you are coupled: how often do you go out and spend money as a testament to your affections toward one another, instead of staying home or choosing a less costly alternative at the risk of seeming cheap and self centered? Somehow money became synonymous with romance.

Heres a secret: Im romantic. In a holistic sense. I live my life like I am the heroine of my own novel that I am continuously writing and editing. This definition that I have made for myself does not require coupling, though its nice when it happens, and it obviously does not require money. Money can too often lead to a lack of creative solutions and forethought. Its a false sense of security, and far better than daddy's money (daddy can also refer to the company you work for, or your significant bread winning other) is the confidence that being self sustaining can bring.

Margaret Mitchell spoke of the heroic characters in her novel, Gone With the Wind, (Scarlett and Rhett) as being people with gumption, and gumption is what sustained them through the changing climate of their world. They bent, but they were by no means weak. They did whatever it took to get through the lean times, and you knew they would see prosperity in the end. Part of this was because they, while proud, were also honest about their situation and acted accordingly. When Scarlett needed a dress she took the goddam curtains and made a goddam dress goddammit! Maybe she wasnt writing a blog about it, but she did it because it had to be done.

How often do you adjust your lifestyle to match your true income (for NOW, not for when you used to make money, or for that day when you WILL make money?)? And when I say income I mean money that is yours, rightfully earned, that requires no payback?

(More on this topic in a later blog, Im sure!)

In any case. I dont go out much these days and thats OK. I've been hankering to read Gone With the Wind again but always forget to check it out and am too busy to read anyway. So when I got home from running errands I remembered this website that I found a few months ago that has public domain literature in free MP3 downloads and I've been loving it all night as I worked on the computer.

No Margaret Mitchell :( but LOTSA good stuff! Check it out.

What errands did I run? Buying 5 liters of wine for 13.99. (Thank you, Franzia!) and selling books to Market Fresh Books. I got home and worked and made dinner. Dumpster pasta, with bulk olive oil and garlic in depression glass bowl that I dumpster dove, alongside a glass of cheap chablis.

For boxed wine, its not too shabby.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dinner and a Movie

     I am completely PMSy this day as well as sleep deprived. A lot on the noggin, eh? Eh. My mom's advice: "Drink some wine." Heh mom that's why I love ya...most of the time, when I am not PMSy and sleep deprived. I had to kindly peel away from that conversation...
     My moms advice is something I have followed pretty well. But being on a low income (for now) and wanting to change my circumstances (cuz its fun!) is steering me toward other activities tonight...even a 4 dollar bottle of wine, nah. The four dollars is better off in my paws than eventually in my blood stream. (That only kind of makes sense).
     The coffee shop I work at fed me and whisked me away with bagels, so tonight its a bagel with garlic in olive oil, spinach, and dumpster pudding. (found sugar free mix mixed with found dry milk). Also its lame that the library charges a dollar to rent dvds...but a dollar for that much entertainment where I can let my ovaries cry in peace, pretty good. I have in my clutches James Michener's Hawaii with Julie Andrews. She's funny in an overacting typecasted Charlton Heston kinda way...but still has talent. Like Chuck Heston!
     Yup. My recipe for the extreme version of PMS I get (along with charting the path toward my hoop dreams that sometimes come true, but never when I am actually PMSing) is sweet sweet carbs, clouds of chocolate pudding, and total isolation. TOTAL ISOLATION.

     Its for the best of all concerned.