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Friday, April 17, 2009

New Neighbor Friends and Rent on the Cheap? Yes, Please!

So making ends meet at this pre-graduation stage is tough, but I'm figuring it only gets harder after you've spent up all the money Grandma sent in your happy graduation card, and your parents have decided they don't think it's cute that you spent your grocery money on a 30-pack of blue Moon, a limo ride to Pasadena, and a new freak'em dress.

Enter Money Saving Tip #1: If you're like us Ramen Diary gals, and you have any kind of skill in planning events/parties/social gatherings, my good friend SP has found a scheme to get you discounted rent. That's right, discounted rent. (I literally just saw everyone reading this lean a little closer to the monitor.)

So this is how it works: You and a friend are going around looking for apartments. If you're looking in a middle to upper range apartment complex, ask to speak to the complex manager/director, what have you.

Tell them that you LOVE, love, this or that apartment, and you think it would be perfect. Then add in that you have an idea that would make their already fabulous apartment complex even more fantastic and enticing for potential tenants. Then tell them if they knock off a little of your rent you will throw weekly or bi-weekly, themed mixers for all of the residents. Granted, it's going to cost you maybe a $200 bucks a month to get supplies for said mixer, but if they're only taking off $200 a month from your rent, they're only out $400, and they've got a totally viable draw for new tenants (especially lonely new college graduates like yourself).

It helps if you can do this in a team of 2 or 3 people because then the apartment complex gets a team of event planners for the price of one. On top of that the kind of events that this would require practically run themselves....wine and cheese parties, luaus, backyard bbq, bingo, (skip the beer pong tourney. You don't want the complex next door to call the cops on all 50 of your neighbors. sorry KN.) You'll have to do a little leg work at the beginning, but after you build up some street cred with your fellow tenants, you're golden.

And on top of getting to meet all of your (hopefully) cool neighbors, you're getting a little leeway on the rent on the DL.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I have been avoiding a certain conversation with my dad for months now. The end result of this conversation could potentially make or break me, offer me a wide variety of opportunities, save me from wanting to kill my mom, save me from wanting to kill myself...essentially, important.

The big question? WHO is paying for May's rent?!...My aunt and uncle pay my rent for me while I'm in school (long and beautiful story that must be saved for another day)...which means summer months are my responsibility. I graduate on May 2nd so TECHNICALLY, May should count as a school month, right? Yeah - I was unsure as well.

Here's the breakdown:
Rent: $1100
Money currently in my bank account: $238
Money needed: $862
Jobs avail after May 2nd: zero.
Monthly income after May 2nd: $0

So...I finally sucked it up and asked...aaand...rent is covered for May!
ONE MORE MONTH OF RENT FREEDOM...this allows me to stay in California to search for jobs so that I can ACTUALLY pay rent.

Avoiding responsibility one day at a time,

Monday, April 13, 2009


...because "free" just tastes better.
Starving citizens of the world, unite! Some friends and I were discussing how we could live off of free samples and put together the following list. You could survive at LEAST a week on this business. (Might help for that post-college transition I'm looking so forward to!) Let me know if there are link troubles!

FREE MCDONALDS COFFEE (the new fancy kind, latte/mocha/cappucino) every Tuesday until 2pm, apparently. Who Knew?
FREE DIET DR. PEPPER done it. SO good.
FREE GROCERIES okay, you have to sign up...and buy things, technically, but I got $10 in free food from Ralphs this month!
FREE DOMINOS CINNASTIX (enter "sweet" at checkout)
FREE CINNABON BITES at any store on April 15 (Tax Day)
Also rumored for Tax Day treats are Chipotle and TGIFridays, but don't quote me.
FREE PRETZELMAKER PRETZEL at any store on April 26 (National Pretzel Day?)
FREE QDOBA with email signup
FREE CHILIS queso dip (loooooove.) with email signup
FREE COLDSTONE CREAMERY on your birthday (sign up for the "birthday club" in-store)
FREE SAMPLES at any Costco. Don't pretend you haven't thought about it.

Now, let's not even talk calories.
Mmmm...I'm just going to go ahead and gain 20 pounds. Deal?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mini Pani

Mini Pani: "Miniture Panic Attack". To be used when life's stresses do not completely overwhelm you...but are...shall we say..."whelming" you.
This phrase stems from several recent freak outs had by the ramen diary bloggers. A quick and easy term was needed to ensure that all parties understood immediately what the "mini pani" victim is feeling. Some examples:

Sentence: "I am writing a 20 page paper that is due in two hours. I only have 10 pages written. MINI PANI."
Sentence: "I have a final in an hour and I am still drunk. MINI PANI."
Sentence: "Wait...the paper was due today? MINI PANI."
Sentence: "I am graduating in 15 days. MINI PANI."

Love it. Use it.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

College Memories. Fond and otherwise.

I've been very nostalgic lately for college. I think about it, and I sigh over how much I'm going to miss it. It's a little like when you were in highschool and people were mean and petty, and you were insecure and awkward, but somehow 4 years later, you looked back and said "Ahhh, 17. Those were the days..." In reality you spent ages 14-18 acne prone and angst ridden, but that never sticks. So tonight I realized, there are parts of college I definitely won't miss, and I feel it's necessary to document those reasons here for future reference. Here we go.

1. I will not miss going to parties where I have to buy my own beer before I get there. 2 words: Dinner parties. Yes, you buy a bottle of wine to bring to a dinner party. No, you don't bring your own personal stash to get hammered on.

2. I will not miss the irrational, screaming, crying drunk friend. I admit, everyone has bad nights, but eventually you reach an age where this is not acceptable. I am sincerely hoping this age is 22.5. The runner up to this one is that friend that won't fucking leave anywhere, be it a bar, party, gathering of 4 people... until 3:30 am. Grow up and go home.

3. I will not miss homework. Once you have a job, you do it between the hours of 9 and 5, or whatever. After that you are free to not think about it until 9 the next morning. This aspect of post-collegiate life makes my mouth water.

4. I will not miss non-dates. Boys in college think pouring you a beer from the keg and putting their arm around you on a dirty couch constitutes a date, although chances are the keg is empty. (see #1) In post college life, dates at least involve a guy buying you a drink at an establishment that has toilet paper in the bathrooms.

5. That reminds me: I will not miss house parties where there is not toilet paper. Enough said.

6. I will not miss SSO. Also known as Small-School Overlap. In certain small colleges you run into the problem that every guy you even look at sideways a) knows 75% of your friends and b) has already made out with 10% of them. I think the drawbacks to this are obvious. It's really unhygenic when you think about it.

7. I will not miss 8am classes.

8. I will not miss attendance policies.

9. I will not miss creepers. The reason I won't miss them is because they never go away, though.

10. I will not miss being poor. It's true, in college I was poorer than I've ever been.

I'm sure the list of things that I will actually miss is innumerable. Friends, adventures, random trips, laugh fests, I could go on forever. For now though, I need something to look forward to, and saying good riddance to these 10 things helps get me through the day. Now, it's time for me to go to bed, so in 6 hours I can get up and deal with my 20-page Senior Thesis. See #3.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Morning Hollywood!

In an economic slump where Hollywood seems to be taking the easiest hit, is it really fair for them to capitalize on the suffering of mere mortals? Take the following examples:

1. FILM: Unemployment (Avail. for rent NOW) - two out-of-work actors go out looking for work after their landlord threatens to kick them out if they can't pay. Apparently hilarity should ensue...but doesn't. Maybe it just hits a little close to home?

2. TV: Canned (FALL 2009) - a new workplace comedy in which a group of friends are fired on the same day as part of a corporate shake-up. Love her, but to me there's just something about Amanda Bynes playing anyone down-on-her-luck that I just can't believe.

3. TALK: The Daily Show's "Unemployment Report" - Okay, actually it's funny...oh, Rob Corddry...but still, a few bit roles in a few blockbusters, and I think I'd remain quiet, even if it was for the sake of comedy.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Unemployment Report
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Come, now, Hollywood. So long as you're still hanging out in your Beverly Hills Mansions and Malibu Beach Houses, let's go easy on the unemployment stabs, huh? This is my (future) life you're laughing at.
I'm hurt.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Round Table

Today in class we went around the room to discuss what we were doing after college. Clearly not everyone had a job lined up but most people were able to give a pretty solid plan for their future. Normally in these kinds of round table situations I just wait my turn before I even start to think about what to say - I'm better "on the fly." But today, I realized if I did that I would have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SAY. So I began to come up with lies...such as:

1. I joined the Peace Corps (I also imagined that this would be followed by awed, amazed, and respectful stares from my fellow classmates)
2. I got into Stanford (for what I don't know...but it sounds good)
3. I'm taking a year off and living abroad in Italy...(with no plans...but somehow saying you have no plans but are moving to a foreign country sounds exotic and adventuresome when doing the same thing in America sounds lazy and sucky)
4. I have a job at a place that I cannot say the name of for security reasons

But then, when it was my turn all of those things escaped me...and I was left with nothing but the sad truth...which is that I decided two months ago that I didn't want to actually be a news anchor.
P.S. My major is broadcast news. WHOOPS.

This announcement was met with silence and looks filled with pity and terror for my future.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Now, That's the Ticket!

...How Low Will You Go?

A few weeks ago, I was at a crosswalk as some friends and I were heading home after a long night when a man came up and asked my name. He was relentless...which is flattering, yes....but a little creepy. He seemed nice enough, and after exchanging a few words he asked if he could call me. Needing to get home, I reluctantly agreed.

Fast forward to three weeks later when, after ignoring his phone calls and texts, I receive an exasperated "So...do you like it when boys contact you, when in fact you're completely set on never responding? I'm curious." ...to which I felt like a terrible person for ignoring this poor man and responded (Bad Idea #1?). The rest of the conversation played out approximately like this:

Me: I know. I'm really sorry. It's not that i'm set on never responding...and I'm not a mean person, really...I just don't know what to say, exactly.
Him: How many guys are you currently seeing?
M: Zero...my God, that's not even it. You really do have me all wrong!
H: Well, you're misunderstanding M. See, when I met you you didn't seem like a girl who doesn't know how to communicate.
M: It's true. I'm a terrible communicator these days. Too many balls in the air, you know?
H: Why are you giving me a hard time? Do you work?
M: Mmmm...I'm at job #4 now, actually...And I'm carrying 23 college units.
H: Do you want to make some extra money?

...And so it began.
He called me later that night (picking up = Bad Idea #2?) and his job pitch, before he even knew what I was majoring in, involved him telling me what he did (he holds two very high-paying and moderately high-powered positions) and that he needed an assistant. You know, to "go to events, take notes...maybe be my date. Run errands..."

He then proceeds to explain that he'd pay be $50 an hour.
...and that he couldn't see why he wouldn't throw in a $1000/week shopping bonus.

The conversation got slightly creepier thereafter...but the question remains:
I'm to the point where I can barely buy groceries...and $2000/week would be INCREDIBLE...but am I "ESCORT" material?! That's what it sounds like to me. Is this even legal? Oh, the ethical ramifications!

The saga continues when I go out with this character tomorrow night. (Bad Idea #3?)
I'll fill you in then.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Domino Effect

Soooo...I really set my aspirations high today when I tried to get a job at Dominos. Everything was going fine until I momentarily forgot my social security number. I had to call my dad - which of course led to several questions about why I needed said number. I'm pretty sure he got really excited when I first asked for it - like maybe I was applying for a real job. FALSE...he had a rude awakening when I informed him that my future was in pizza making.

Dad: "Um...no...nope, I definitely don't think that's a good idea."
Me: "Dad - it's cool don't worry about it - it's just for a little extra money."
Dad: "You have a $160,000 education and you are going to work at Domino's."
Me: "ummm...yeah. Just for now though."

Then my mom proceeds to get on the phone to ask some tough questions. Basically she was like "why would you spend 15 hours a week working at a minimum wage job...you should be spending that time actually looking for a job." She then offered to pay me whatever I would make at Domino's to instead spend the time sending out resume's to I guess what they would consider jobs more fitting of my education.

FINE. They have a freaking point. And no - I am not a rich B**** who would allow my parents to actually pay me to look for my own career.

So - in summary: I will not be working at Domino's...BUT...I think it may actually be time to start looking for a job....Woah - what a concept...mom and dad will be so proud.


This isn't desperation it's...trying new things?

So admittedly, I'm getting a little panicky about finding a job. 28 days til graduation and I need to find a way to start supporting myself ASAP. As a result I'm starting to find myself considering jobs I never thought I would want to do.
No, I haven't resorted to taking my clothes off for money...yet. But I have considered starting a social networking site for strippers where they can share advice, bikini waxing remedies, tricks of the trade, etc. Obviously it would be called strippertips.com, but I digress.
No, but in my feverish search for employment I have considered, and applied to some real interesting ones:
Desperate act 1: JDate.com Travel and Event Planning Coordinator
This might not actually be so bad. I am single, so I obviously can relate to everyone who is looking for love out there. I have put on speed dating events before. This can't be too much different, right? Hope they can overlook the fact that I am a) terrified of internet dating, and b) not the least bit Jewish.
On the upside, I love a good latke, and I secretly want to have a Jewish wedding solely so that we can do the chair dance. I'll keep you all posted on whether I make the grade on this one. Oy vey.
Slightly more desperate act 2: Event coordinating Job for a "Themed- supper/ Social Club"
From the title alone, you know there's something unique about this job. Well, before I get to that, here are some details. Paid travel, healthcare, room and board (that's obviously the draw for me personally), fast paced, event planning and restaurant management type work, 13 week contracts, $4,000 a month. So what's the catch, you ask?

It's on a military base. In Baghdad. As in Iraq.

That's right, people. I voluntarily applied to throw themed dinners in the middle of the Iraqi desert. The thing is, it's really not so bad. I grew up on military bases my whole life (Army brats unite!) and there's actually something comforting and safe about living in this little self contained American city in the middle of a foreign country. Not to mention, how cool would it be to say that I've lived and worked in the middle east?

So maybe the lack of food in my fridge has led to a starvation delirium, in which I'm willing to do almost Anything for money, but times are hard, and I'm definitely not ruling anything out. Except maybe stripping. We'll see.


Friday, April 3, 2009

...It's a Darn Good Thing...

Compliments of SomeECards.com

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm Going to Live Cheap if it Kills Me

So I'm pretty sure three weeks before graduating from college, most people are not thinking about how excited they are to move back in with their folks. Given however, that moving home is a reality that lots of grads face, I would also be willing to bet that those same people would be even less excited to find out out that not only are their parents ecstatically awaiting their return, but also that these same parents have decided to move...Moving? that's not so bad, you think. Well, now imagine that your parents just told you they're moving to a smaller house in the suburbs, and that you'll be sharing a room with your teenage sister.

Welcome to my life. I'm almost 22, and I'm 3 weeks away from a degree, I have no money saved up, and I'm going to try to keep living on my own if it kills me. So, given the desperation of my current situation, I've had to get a little creative with how I'm going to exist for the next few weeks, months, and years. For starters, I'm looking at jobs that would allow me to live rent free. Enter, cruiseline jobs, and Nanny abroad programs. Yes, that's right, I am willing to swab a deck, change a diaper, or chase around your non-english speaking brood of 12 children if it means I don't have to move home. Okay, so to be perfectly honest, that's not entirely true, but I am applying to work as an activities director on several major cruiselines (might as well get some use out of my PR degree and extensive event planning experience), and though I haven't applied yet, I can think of much worse things than living rent free with a family in Barcelona for a year (even if it is a 6 day a week job).

In the meantime, I'm trying to scrape up some semblance of a nest egg for after graduation, and that involves living on the cheap. Now, there is living cheap, and there is living dirt cheap. Allow me to explain the difference. I have managed not to buy food for 2 weeks at a time. Part of this is due to the fact that I had the flu last week. The other part of this is due to my extreme resourcefulness. For example, in the past seven days I have horded food from staff meetings and potlucks, taken a free on campus cooking class, rationed a working lunch into two meals, and convinced myself that a packet of airplane peanuts constituted a healthy breakfast.

Necessity is the mother of miracles. I'm pretty sure Jesus turning the 5 loaves and 2 fish into enough food for five thousand people, was actually the work of a starving college student who told him how to stretch it by adding water or peanut butter. Anyhow, in the coming weeks, we'll see exactly how cheaply I can survive, and still obtain the essentials that a girl needs in college...like beer, resume paper, and formal dresses.


CEOs Just Love That Heroin

Soooo...nothing like the first big "real job" interview, huh?
I was tipped off on this marketing and media blogging position that I was incredibly qualified for by a coworker, and got called for an interview 24hours after sending in my resume. I won't lie; I was warned that the woman who ran the company was "a little quirky" and had completely hated every interviewee before me, but I felt pretty prepared for what I would be dealing with.

Oh, boy.

Enter small production company office, day. Sat for a while on an old couch in front of an incredibly unorganized receptionist desk before the Company CEO called me in. First, understand this woman was of some unrecognizable age: too much work done on the lips and nose to really tell. Matted hair, kind of shaky, itching like crazy. Now, I don't know a lot about the side effects of recreational drugs...but this woman WAS NOT just "quirky".

She was completely hunched over and for every question she asked, I had to repeat my answer 3-6 times before it clicked. Funnily enough, she seemed to kind of like me (as much as I could tell from creepy twitchy smiles and the occasional jerky nod). When asked about my availablility and if I could start immediately, I told her that I would be limited to mornings for the next 3 weeks...I would be limited to mornings for the next 3 weeks...I would be limited to mornings for the next 3 weeks. She finally called in the receptionist to translate/write down a "chart" for her. After sitting down next to me, she wrote "8am-1pm for next 3 weeks" and was dismissed.

Pretty psyched for things to be looking so good, I was only slightly put off when my (continually itchy) prospective employer first asked if I was SURE I wouldn't be interested in interning("work for me for free?", anyone?! Nope, I'm done with that biz), then let me know that she had to discuss salary with the other company heads and that she would be back to me the next day. As she stood up to give me a nice limp handshake I noticed that A) she probably weighed 82 lbs and that B) her right forearm was covered in blood.

Yep, no...looks like I'll be unemployed for a little longer, then.