Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bologna can be part of the American dream, too.

Listening To: Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill) by Wyclef Jean

Banner night last night. Knowing that I'm soon going to be putting the hammer down on myself in terms of entertainment, I brainstormed ways to do that without wanting to dissolve into a puddle of tears every time Friday and Saturday nights rolled around. What do I like to do that doesn't involve bars? It took me a while, but finally I came up with an answer: Books. I like books. However, I am no longer the girl who spends her credit card payments on a stack of books at Barnes & Noble (some people don't pay their bills so they can buy crack. I didn't pay my bills so I could buy books, because I am so awesome that way). Hence, I decided that what this girl needs is a public library card (preferably a library card at a library chockablock with books and movies).

So last evening my friend Jay agreed to take me to his favorite library - "It's even got a coffeeshop" he said, as if to TEMPT ME TO SPEND MONEY ON COFFEE BECAUSE HE KNOWS HOW MUCH I LOVE IT - after work. Before we reached the mecca of literacy, however, we stopped off at an auto parts store. A couple days ago I noticed that the drivers' side headlight on my hooptie was burnt out. This was great because there is nothing I love more than spending money on my car, as I'm sure you would surmise if you laid eyes on it. Knowing I would either have to suck up getting it fixed or deal with a cop-stop and a ticket (there is no maybe when it comes to me and traffic tickets...it's as if the cops all gather in at their meeting morning, huddle up, place all their hands in the middle, and chant, "Get Amber! Get Amber! GET AMBER! GO TEAM!" and break), I decided to give it the old college try and see if I could replace the headlight myself. Score: The headlight (low beam) cost 8 bucks and some change, and Jay valiantly spent 20 minutes in the cold replacing it for me (ladies, I have his number. He also wears Old Spice for your pleasure). Considering that otherwise I probably would have been suckered into paying at least thirty dollars (for the part, labor, and other assorted repairs that I would have gotten suckered into) to fix it at Tires Plus, I consider allowing Jay to fumble around for 20 minutes on a frigid December night to find the plug-in for my personally purchased headlight a brilliant choice.

The library, however, was not such a score. I have to attain a card at Minneapolis library - as I live in Minneapolis proper - before I am able to use it at a literary institution in St. Paul. This is disregarding the fact that I never go to Minneapolis libraries because they do not have enough funding to be consistently open late enough for me to visit after work. Apparently St. Paul libraries don't care about my feelings, however, and are also not interested in hearing about how they can better lend themselves to my own personal convenience. Henceforth, I left Jay to his mocha latte and GRE study manuals and headed into the cold December night in search of lesser meats and leavened bread. Two loafs of bread for 89 cents (on special), a thing a' butta for 95 cents, and a big ol' packet of bologna for $2.99. Here is why I love sammiches the most: Roughly a week's worth of meals for less than 5 bucks.

Grand total for yesterday came to $13.06. While I'm delighted that I was able to both fix my headlight and do my grocery shopping on that amount, I'm saddened as it means that tonight I will be missing out on Beers & Bitches, my weekly Thursday night get-togetha. I practically live for B&B, but I'm over-budget. I also know that, once there, I'm probably not going to be able to restrain myself to only spending $6.94. I need to focus on how to stay ahead rather than how to play keep-up.

6 comments:

Shocka Khan said...

Jeezus...f'in christ...you're an attractive frickin' woman...let guys buy you drinks....at the end of the end as they're pushin' themselves on you tell 'em ya'd love too but ya got a terrible outbreak of the Herps...

King Shocka Khan advice...Priceless...

Karah said...

Can we donate to the fund for the evening? That's got to be fair. Think of me like your grandmother lovingly tucking in a sweet ten dollas into a little card with a kitten on it for you, "A Special Granddaughter."

Amber said...

Hippo, you have a wonderful imagination.

Karah, while I love you for offering and usually would totally let you be my sugar mama, I can't, otherwise I'm never going to learn anything. Being poor is kind of not the point...the point is that I need to grow up when it comes to managing money. No one wants to have the kind of grandmother who can't pay her heating bill because she decided to spend her social security on Grasshoppers at the supper club instead. I will, however, totally let you remind me to keep track of how many beers I have at the next B&B so I don't go over budget and subsequently have to miss out on another happy hour because of it.

Shocka Khan said...

Amber,

I hate to say this since you are so invested in this...but I'm going to anyway...you are way to focused on money, and I know its not out of some whacked out miserlyness but guessing more out of some sense of not being responsible with money therefore you have to put yourself on a strict discipline track.

I don't know how you do it but every minute your twenty-eight, twenty-nine, etc...you need to experience those minutes as they need to be experienced...without sense of financial doom.

I know that is easier said than done but you got a whole lifetime to struggle with financial problems.

Life...baby...priceless...

OH YEAH

King Shocka Khan

Gustav said...

Dear Amber

I bumped into your blog while searching blogs for people who listed Van Morrison as one of their favourite musicians.

Now money management does count. Money is a form of energy and allows one to experience life from interesting vantage points.

For instance it allows you to see a Van Morrison concert. The first Van concert I saw was outside Minneapolis.

The day began with a tornado but by the time Van began playing the clouds had cleared and a crescent moon swooned to Van's magic.

Have you seen Van live?

Amber said...

Gustav: Van Morrison is actually playing in Minneapolis tonight, but unfortunately, no, I'm not going. Haven't had the chance to see him live yet. The way you describe it, though, sounds like it would definitely be a surreal experience.