This week’s clearing

Here are some things I’ve gotten rid of this week: A computer accessory (thanks to eBay) A self-inflating camp mat (thanks to Craigslist) An electronic pocket dictionary that translates among five languages (thanks to Freecycle, it went to a nearby rural EMS department where about 10% of the clients, but only two of the paramedics, speak Spanish) A beauty-(is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder)-full Schwinn … Read more

In which downstairs cat poses for glamour shots

I’ve been accused of loving upstairs cat (aka boy cat) more than downstairs cat (aka girl cat), with the fact that I take more pictures of upstairs cat being brought forth as evidence in support of the allegation. Actually, I’ve tried videotaping downstairs cat’s antics numerous times, but the videos never turn out because she’s black and the rug on … Read more

Letting go of things long gone

Today I shredded old letters from my first love. It felt good, but not in the sense of getting rid of a long-carried emotional burden. Just in the cleaning-out-my-closet sense of feeling good. I dispensed with the emotional baggage a long time ago and was surprised to find, today, that I hadn’t dispensed with the letters. Sorry if you’re my … Read more

My free gym membership

One of my “on the brighter side” thoughts when I found out I no longer had a job was that I’d have more time for exercise. I used to bike 100-300 miles a week in the summers, but the hours I was working at my last job made that impossible. I usually logged my very short commute and little more … Read more

Tightwad fail

I needed to take the intercity bus this weekend and decided that, instead of purchasing tickets online like I usually do, I’d ask about paying in cash. I’m trying to move to a cash system for non-fixed expenses, so I don’t charge things to my credit card and forget about them until the bill comes. (I’ve never been a credit … Read more

Now you know not to lend me anything

cider pressing

In my recent sorting things binge, I’ve found the following items that I borrowed from someone more than a year ago: Plumbing wrench Washable plastic picnic plate that includes molded cup holder Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone audio book I wonder what else is lurking around my house. I guess if it’s only three items, I shouldn’t feel too … Read more

Letting go of one thing a day, except for feline’s fretting

As part of my efforts not to turn into a compulsive hoarder whose relatives will have to come unbury her from the clutter after she is suffocated under a pile of unread magazines, I’ve made an informal resolution to post one item a day to Craigslist. It’s surprising to see what gets an immediate response in the middle of winter: … Read more

Cats on the cheap

I’d originally thought about calling this blog “My Buy-Nothing Year,” but I knew that title would be disingenuous at best. Yeah, I could commit to not buying any durable goods for a year, and I might even be able to commit to buying no food for a year – there’s always plenty of good bread to be found in bakery … Read more


I prefer to think of myself as exceptional, and I suppose that I still am, at least technically. However, being unemployed doesn’t exactly make you unique these days. It’s been several years since I’ve lived below the poverty level. When I got my first job paying an Upper Middle Class salary, I decided to reform my years of tightwad habits … Read more