scrimping

Feeling dead smug because I just split my train fare five times but used the “calling at” list of times from National Rail to make sure I’ll always be on the same train and managed to book a journey from Bristol to Durham (300 miles) less than three days in advance for £47.50.

Thoughts.

I have not one penny to my name right now. 

People are probably going to assume that i’m about to say it sucks, but I’m not.

I love it. I like having no money whatsoever. Mr A has paid the bills for this month, and I’ll be working again by the time next month’s come round. But for the time-being, I’m loving finding new things to do that cost no money. I’m loving reusing things I would have thrown away and making something new with them.

I’ve just unraveled a horrid old (HUGE) jumper, along with an old blanket, and I’m reusing the wool as part of my patchwork baby blanket.

I’ve switched to more natural things too. Yesterday I realised I needed carrots, but Mr A was out, so I couldn’t ask for the money, but I thought about the carrots we are growing. So we had baby carrots instead, leaving some to grow full size, and replanting the tops of the baby ones.

I think this lifestyle might be here to stay. Also when I’m working again, think of the money I’ll save by not buying stuff we already have, or expensive stuff we don’t need. I cleaned the shower with a tub of baking soda this morning. Better than any of the chemicals we used to use!

things to never scrimp on

Getting a discount is exciting. Getting a discount on something you really want is even better. Then there are times when you think, “oo that brand is WAY cheaper I’ll buy it”. For some things it is ok, but for others uttering that sentence is something you will live to regret.

Once upon a time I was in Tesco (a supermarket in the UK - horrible) and was going to buy bread. I saw some Tesco brand bread and thought they were a lot cheaper than my usual brand, so trying to save money I bought two loaves. This was a bad decision. After I got home and ate it I realised there was a reason it was a quid cheaper per loaf. It wasn’t the basics version, but it was pretty bad. That day I learnt the important lesson - never scrimp on bread (unless you know it’s cheap AND good).

So here are some things that you should never scrimp on:

1. Toilet Paper. It is just not worth it.

2. Tea. Yes, you could buy the basics / home brand version, but it’ll taste the same as dipping a worn sock in your cup. Same for coffee.

3. Bread. See above.

4. Underwear. You can get pretty good and cheap underwear, but spending that little extra for comfort is worth it.

5. Milk. Yes, the major supermarket’s have just cut the price of milk screwing the farmers even more, but that’s not the issue here. The issue here is skim milk and even worse the ultra skim stuff. Why even both? You know what would be easier? Water + white food dye. You would get the same effect and taste.

6. Meat Pies. I once bought an Action meat pie for 50 cents. It tasted like poverty and I couldn’t finish it. I don’t think there was any meat in it.

What else do you think you cannot scrimp on?

Anyone have any budget planners/excel things they can recommend?

Since buying the house and busting a majority of my savings on down payment / the wedding / kitchen reno / paying off almost all of my credit debt, I’ve always just had *enough* money… I know when I can get away with spending a little more and when to scrimp, but Id rather actually plan shit out. 

4

Wayward Pines: Meet the cast

With a cast that includes an Oscar winner, three Oscar nominees and a BAFTA nominee, it’s clear that ‘Wayward Pines’ doesn’t scrimp on the acting front. But more than that, the show’s group of actors have plenty of previous when it comes to spooky and quirky roles. Here’s why they’re perfect as residents of their new show’s bizarre town.

Matt Dillon

The great thing about Dillon is that you’re never sure entirely where you stand with him. That ambiguity is useful when playing a character like Ethan Burke, who may or not be having hallucinations and clearly has a difficult past. Dillon has essayed that antihero thing before in 1991’s ‘A Kiss Before Dying’, in which he was a duplicitous murderer, while he’s used to narrative twists and turns thanks to roles in movies like ‘Wild Things’. In that, it’s impossible to tell who’s good and who’s bad – an uncertainty which works very similarly in ‘Wayward Pines’.

Toby Jones

Whether it’s battling monsters in ‘The Mist’, or playing a shady scientist in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, British actor Jones has had his fair share of unusual roles. In ‘Wayward Pines’, he plays a psychiatrist who doesn’t appear to be exactly who he says he is. That sense of ignoring the obvious strangeness and/or problems going on around him is also the case as Claudius Templesmith in the ‘Hunger Games’ movies, a franchise also based around the idea of creating the “perfect” society through nefarious means. Oh – and he was the voice of Dobby in ‘Harry Potter’, so if there’s actual magic going on in ‘Wayward Pines’, he’s got that covered as well.

Carla Gugino

Gugino has embodied some tricksy people on the small screen before, notably as Molly Caffrey in 2005 show ‘Threshold’. In that, she led a covert government team investigating strange, alien happenings. It’s the kind of black ops which might possibly be at work in ‘Wayward Pines’, though in the latter’s case, it’s still difficult to tell who’s pulling the strings. But Gugino’s geeky sci-fi past (which also includes an episode of ‘Quantum Leap’) make her ‘Pines’ character Kate’s unreadability all that more effective.

Melissa Leo & Terrence Howard

Two of the show’s most famous stars are known primarily for their big-screen success, especially Leo, who won an Oscar for her performance in ‘The Fighter’. She will also be dealing with the malevolent end of government surveillance in the upcoming biopic ‘Snowden’, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the infamous NSA whistleblower. Leo is playing documentarian Laura Poitras. All those hidden cameras and listening devices in ‘Wayward Pines’ will seem very familiar.

As for Howard, he’s currently starring in hit series ‘Empire’ in which he plays the steely and uncompromising head of a record label. There may not be music in ‘Wayward Pines’, but certainly Sheriff Pope displays the same kind of intransigence and emotional wall (though maybe goes a bit further on the violence). Certainly, they’re both men who know what they want and how to get it, even if it means stepping over the line.

Juliette Lewis

‘Cape Fear’ anyone? The actress was Oscar-nominated for her role as a young girl terrorised by an ex-con who targeted her family, a movie full of shock twists and set in a quiet town which appears perfectly lovely on the outside.

Reed Diamond

In ‘Wayward Pines’, Diamond plays a toy store owner and husband, who seems perfectly content with his life in the odd community. Is he hiding something? Only time will tell. That potential two-facedness was also the case when he played Ray Haffner in ‘The Mentalist’, a man who was on the list of possible suspects to be Red John, the series’ major antagonist. He has also recently played an evil Nazi scientist in ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ In other words, based on his track record it’s safe to say that his ‘Wayward Pines’ character Harold has got some explaining to do.

mariko-marie-kusumi-rp replied to your post:“You’ve been crying haven’t you?” (Team JTSM…

Before Marie could call him leader, he burst into tears. She’s never seen him like this before. The blue hat wearing girl wasn’t sure what to do. But she did place a hand on his left shoulder.

> You shake your head and bury your face into her shoulder. Everything that you had worked for. Everything that you had scrimped and saved and worked for, gone in an instant. And they didn’t even ask either of you if one of you wanted out! They just decided you would go! Tohru didn’t even care!

> You had no one else to turn to. You knew that no one else would help.

#CjDrawsDay 17 - Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Directed by George Miller, Written by George Miller, Brendan MacCarthy and Nick Lathouris | May 17

I cannot NOT draw her. Mad Max: Fury Road is such a well-made film, perhaps, if you let my say this, the best of this decade. I love a lot of films that made their statement on women and feminism, but Mad Max: Fury Road is just complete genius.

George Miller (along with his team) successfully made their feminist and progressive point, without scrimping pn testosterone, grit and explosions. It is a masterpiece.

Furiosa can outman many so-called men yet she doesn’t stop herself from emotion. She’s brave, but calculating. She nurtures as she fights. She’s badass.

One more thing, George Miller’s editor is his wife Margaret Sixel.

#MyWomenInFilm

#MadMaxFuryRoad #ImperatorFuriosa #CharlizeTheron #GeorgeMiller #Illustration #Drawing #Sketch #MangaStudio

Heavy steps through the foggy streets of Fallen London. Heavy steps and the swish of wool, a thick bridge coat clinging to the slender form of the Spindly Zee-Captain. He was moving with a purpose tonight, under close surveillance by Special Constables. He didn’t mind, as he had nothing to hide. 

More or less. On the whole.

But tonight was a night to celebrate, and he permitted himself a thin smile. This is the culmination of months of scrimping and saving, and gaining five nigh legendary Marks of Credit. And tonight he would have his prize. He stood under one of the Spires of the Market, waiting an hour. Another. But finally a hooded and masked servant of the Bazaar handed him the violin case.

Thirty seven minutes back to his Townhouse, and he slowly opened the case, drinking in the rich glow of Rosewood and Ebony, Maple and Spruce. It was magnificence itself, and he slid the bow across the strings, eliciting a low purr that resonated into him and out into the streets, a tenebrous echo to the layered symphony of the night. 

“…Needs polish.” He murmurs, carefully putting the Consonant Violin back into the case. A hand brushes along the case, and then he slips to his kitchen, in need of a tipple…

I could emigrate to Nepal and live as a goat.

But actually that kind of misses the point.

Because at present I’m basically fine. I have a job, which I’m very unlikely to suddenly get ejected from. I have food, shelter, and an internet connection to a bunch of cool people, which fills all the higher-up parts of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

But there are people not in that situation.

There are people relying on benefits to live, and the Tories - more than any other major party, though the others have been following suit - the Tories strongly believe that the moral way to deal with this  is to squeeze them until it hurts, to motivate them into being so terrified of having to continue living like that that they decide to get a job instead.

As if that would actually work. As if the result is not that people are forced to spend all their energy scrimping and cutting to make ends meet, so they don’t have the time or energy or hope it takes to keep fighting the labour market. As if the disabled people who get declared  aren’t disabled enough will go “oh OK I suppose I’ll just power through.”

I could emigrate to Nepal, and live as a goat. But even though I’m employed part-time on a low wage - even though this government have plans that might make it harder for me to not just take an abject position of supplication before the might of my corporate overlords - I am basically fine and there are a fuck of a lot of people who will not be and me fucking off wouldn’t help.

And sometimes that joke will get a laugh from me, and sometimes it’ll get an impassioned, angry rant like this, because there are moments when it seems to be being mooted as not entirely in jest - when it strikes me as uncomfortably similar to the “I’m alright, Jack” wave the Tories are riding to power on.

I’m not saying nobody else would be continuing the squeeze. I’m too cynical for that. But where I think most of the other parties view it at most as unfortunate politicoeconomic necessity (whether it is or not), I honestly think the gestalt belief of the Conservative Party - one of their unifying principles - is that this approach is moral, is actively helping the people it fucks over, because they just need Motivating to Work Hard Until Jobs Appear Out Of Fucking Nowhere.

But I’m OK. I’ve got a steady paycheque, food and friends, and if the worst came to the worst I could probably up sticks and move somewhere else to make sure I stay that way, and… that’s what matters…?