Working from home, my day goes something like this: Write for 10 minutes, check e-mail, check Facebook, throw the dog a ball, take something out of the refrigerator, repeat. So, we’re talking opening the refrigerator about five times an hour, which over the course of a 10 hour day is 50 times into the fridge.
I’m not proud of this, but A.) Everyone has some sort of ADD and B.) Food has been a reward for as long as I can remember. Specifically ice cream. Ice cream was a reward for just about everything: school plays, report cards, track meets, soccer games. Ice cream makes sense to reward all of those things, especially those based in physical activity. It’s fairly impossible to grow out of this learned behavior.
Which led me to a conundrum: if I pulled out ice cream every time I took my 50 food breaks, I would be a planet! An unemployed, going broke on food, planet. A happy-in-the-short-term planet, cause - you know - ice cream is the best, but long term, I prefer to have a waist.
It is a damn good thing for aforementioned waist that I discovered frozen grapes.
The grapes were initially put in the freezer because they were nearing their raisin phase in the fridge, and had to be saved for smoothies. But then curiosity took over (i.e. I hit the bottom of my current pint of Ben & Jerry’s). What do these delightful orbs taste like when frozen?
They taste just like ice cream!* I feel a little Gwyneth Paltrow-y here in the pretending health food is delicious department, but it’s not like I’m saying lightly flavored water hits the spot…ever. Frozen grapes, on the other hand, are my new go-to summer snack. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it works for all grape-sized fruits with a high water content! Next shopping trip, just know I’m trying this with blueberries.
The thing with frozen grapes (which I think I’m going to rename something cool, like mega-dip ‘n dots), is that you have to chew them because they still have skin. This causes mild tooth pain. Tooth pain, in general, is not a reason I advise most things, but it makes the frozen grapes hard to eat fast, which is a huge, huge pro.
So whip yourself up a batch of Mega Dip ‘N Dots. It couldn’t be easier. Just remove the grapes from the (branch? Do we call it a branch?)**, wash them, put them in a bowl, put them in the freezer. Preferably in front of the ice cream. Out of site, off of waist.
*Listen, I want to keep my street cred when it comes to knowing good junk food: they’re not really “just like ice cream!” Ice cream is considerably more delicious, and comes in many flavors that are wayyyy better than grape. But they are a decent substitute for people living in the real world where calories are a thing.
**I looked it up later. It’s a vine. Grapes grow on a vine. It’s so weird that I’m still unemployed.
In college, a good friend of mine once said “Money comes and goes: spend it like you got it.”
It’s important to note that this friend was not a financial advisor, and that she really only intended it to be applied to the conversation at hand (which was: do we buy a plastic bottle of vodka, or a classy handle of Smirnoff?). I don’t think she realized that I would take these words to heart in every area of my life for the next decade.
The scenario: Graduated college with one of those “in low demand” degrees and no money.
The spend: A cross country move to Los Angeles, inclusive of a year lease in the nice area of town.
The reason this was necessary: I had never been to LA and I found a cheap plane ticket. So…if I had waited until things were more financially sound, I would have really just been waiting for air travel to become more expensive. That would have been irresponsible.
The scenario: Left the house for a hair cut.
The spend: Came back with a Lexus.
The reason this was necessary: My hairdresser knew a guy…AND I was planning on getting a car within the next few years anyway. It would have been a waste of money to wait/plan.
Feb 2009, Feb 2010, Feb 2011:
The scenario: It’s almost Oscars!
The spend: Oscar party dresses that were more than my rent.
The reason this was necessary: (2009) I have to look good during Oscars. Prime networking. Plus, I’ll just wear it again next year. (2010) I can’t wear that again because what if someone saw me last year in it. I’ll just wear the one from last year next year because by then it will be forgotten. (2011) Herve Leger is so 2009.
The scenario: Completely unemployed.
The spend: Travel to Europe on preferred airline and a new iMac (separate unrelated purchases within 2 hours of one another).
The reason this was necessary: When am I really going to have this time again to go to Europe for two weeks? The cost of taking those days off the next time I have a job really just adds to the cost of the trip, so this is the smart time to do it. By spending an extra hundred dollars on the airline where I have status, I am really just saving the money of paying for an upgrade, right? And I needed a new computer…sort of. Mine was pretty slow. And if its slow, I’ll get less work done and therefore make less money, which is pretty much career suicide…and all my friends would make fun of me if I got a Dell.
Rationally, this makes no sense. I clip and use coupons at a level that is embarrassing for a non-octogenarian, and I rarely valet if there’s parking within a 3 mile radius.
But really, it’s all just numbers, right? And as someone who has never really been a numbers person, I say - what do these numbers matter if you have all this great stuff to distract you? Whether your bank account is in the red or the green should only matter if you are completely racist. I see no color in matters of finance: you should be ashamed if you do.
So…spend it like you got it. I want my children to grow up in a world where the color of their mother’s bank account does not matter…until they inherit the debt.
I’m assuming the whole lottery advice was a bust for you as it was for me. I’m very realistic: anyone who has $300+ million dollars has better things to be doing than reading this blog (like cashing in the money for gold tokens and swimming through it, Scrooge McDuck-style). Wasn’t it a great thrill, though, until the second number was called? For that reason alone, I stand by the solid advice.
However, since none of us can afford any Harry Potter magical non-surgery options to stay thin, I’d like to take a moment to focus on fitness. Now that you’re unemployed, and that you’re rescue dog will be potty trained in 6 short months, you simply must work out in the middle of the day.
Working out in the middle of the day is the best way to feel like you have reached the pinnacle of human productivity without actually having accomplished anything. To start with, even wearing workout clothes increases one’s sense of self-worth by about 37%…and that begins the moment you put the clothes on and lasts the rest of the day! Really, you don’t even need to exercise in said clothes to feel a benefit.
If you do manage to take the workout clothes to the next level and sweat in them, you become a walking testament to fitness to anyone you pass. You’ll notice folks attempting to veil their jealousy that you are clearly healthier than them…especially if they are smoking and you subtly cough. The envy of others is the strongest sign that you are doing something right with your life.
Fitness classes in the middle of the day are so much less crowded, because normal people have jobs and can’t get to class until at least 6:30. Their slaving to the man is your gain, with semi-private lessons at the same cost all those employed suckers are paying for full classes in the early morning or late evening.
The one downside is a great majority of the people working out in the middle of the day are required to stay thin by profession (such as actress, out-of-work actress, trophy wife, adult entertainer). It is important not to compare yourself to these people. You’ll know who they are, trust.
All this time working out is time you are not spending talking to your rescue dog, which is a huge social benefit for you. With a decreased risk of people thinking you are that crazy person talking to a dog, you will still have people to join you at happy hour. Let’s not forget - the main reason for working out in the middle of the day, is to have increased opportunities to consume calories at the end of the day.
You should really run out to the store to buy a Mega Millions ticket. I can’t think of an easier way to make several million dollars, other than sending someone else to the store to pick up the ticket for you.
I really feel like this drawing is the one. It’s that same feeling I have on the first Thursday of March Madness each year, when I invariably pick Syracuse as the national champion, only to be crushed 2 hours to 2 weeks later. Every year.
But this is the one. Mega Millions. $640 million jackpot at time of post.
I don’t care if a few people win and it’s a splitsies situation - even $100 million would be fine. Or a commission thing - I think this goes without saying, but if you play tonight (or…let’s say…ever) and win, I’m entitled to an under the table 5%.
If you’ve been following my advice, you’re already unemployed (or as I’m calling it, employed-ish). This leaves you approximately 10 hours/day with no one to have non-Gchat convos with, other than employees at restaurants and stores that you can no longer afford (sorry).
You totally need a dog. Dogs are like people, in the sense that you can have full conversations with them and no one (in LA) will give it a second thought, but they’re BETTER than people because they won’t keep bugging you with questions like “What are you doing with your life?” or “When are you sending out the rent check?”
While it might be tempting to get a corgi from a pet store (which is still totes adorbs), everyone gives you that “hero” look when you tell them you rescued a puppy. I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve had the following conversation in the past two months:
Stranger: “Omigod he’s ADORABLE.”
Me: “Oh, thanks.” (not that you asked but) “He’s a rescue.”
Stranger: “Oh, wow! That’s so good of you. How could anyone give up this cute little face?”
Me: “I know, right?” (and not that you asked again but) “We found him in a dumpster.”
Stranger: “That is just awful!”
Me: (I totally forgot to mention that WE didn’t actually find him in a dumpster, but that’s where he was found and he was…) “With his six brothers and sisters!”
Stranger: (Fully thinking I deserve a medal at this point) “Did they all find homes?”
Me: (Errr…sir maybe you didn’t hear my inner monologue but I’m not actually the one that found them there, but if I had to guess, I would say…) “Yes, thank goodness.”