Tag Archives: budget

Budget for Lunch

This is a spec humor column I wrote … Not enough pain though to make it funny enough for Funny Times…

Budget for Lunch

“Is that all you’re having for lunch?” my friend Sylvie said as I sat down with my latte at the Grove’s outdoor picnic-style table.

“Of course not,” I responded as I extracted from my purse a peach, a packet of almonds, and a protein bar–some marketing genius’ name for a candy bar with protein powder and brown rice syrup that lets you convince yourself you’re eating healthy.

She still looked skeptical so I took a deep breath and said, “I’m on a budget.” I immediately wished I would have lied and said what is more than socially acceptable and always elicits sympathy, “I’m on a diet.”

“I would have bought you lunch,” she and our other day-tripper said in stereo.

“I know, but I’m enjoying some of my favorite things. This latte is a huge treat for me. For five bucks, I even got to tip the barista.”

Sylvie had already provided the transportation from Long Beach and the free entertainment—tickets to watch Bill Maher run through his monologue and other comedy bits before taping his show.

Maher’s conviction and delivery made me laugh so hard that I forgot all about my budget for the rest of the day. And although I am really good at it, it is hard to feel sorry for yourself when the government shutdown had closed the doors on Head Start, stranded soldiers killed in the line of duty overseas, and unemployed hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens.

Trying to shed expense is like trying to shed pounds. Unlike the government, you have to examine all of your consumption and all of your habits and be willing to change.

Two days later I met up with my friend Emily at my office, which others insist on calling McDonald’s. Emily the dynamo, a former sales manager for a national company that formerly had budget for provocative prime-time commercials, has run the Marina Pacifica Job Club for the last four years while juggling several part-time jobs.

Participating in her job club helped me land my current job. Twice a month her job club hosts speakers, conducts workshops, facilitates networking, offers mock interviewing, and provides plenty of protein bars.

Emily scrutinized her tray and said, “How did I get to seven dollars? I thought I was buying a snack.“ She lifted her burrito as if to weigh it and added, “My eyes must have wandered from the Extra Value menu.”

I sipped my one-dollar iced tea as she continued, “Leslie and I are bringing our own coffee to Starbuck’s and sneaking onto the patio to job hunt online. Isn’t there something wrong with that?

“And forget service. I don’t dare step foot into a restaurant with service. I haven’t had a professional job in five years. I can’t afford service anymore.”

“Neither can I. The only way I get service is when I bribe my kids with extra media time.”




Filed under Humor/Stand Up Comedy, Nutrition and Health

Scrimp on Skincare Products by Developing Healthy Skin Care Habits

It is simply not possible to escape TV ads for skin care products or to find a celebrity who hasn’t developed her own line.  Don’t be tempted to drop a couple of hundred dollars a month or more on magic formulas, develop simple, healthy skin care habits.

  • Apply sunblock… According to WebMD, “Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces.”  (http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/guide/sun-exposure-skin-cancer).  We get most of our exposure in small doses while walking and driving around.Don’t deprive yourself of the uplifting effects of sunlight.  Protect yourself by using a combo sunblock/moisturizer on your face every day. I get good results from relatively inexpensive drugstore brands such as Neutrogena and Aveeno.
  • Cleanse daily… I buy the cheapest facial cleanser I can find at Target that doesn’t look too abrasive. Clean & Clear Morning Burst is in my shower right now.
  • Consider your nutrition… Whatever you eat or drink influences everything
    about you including your skin.
  • Don’t smoke… Unless you want to look like Keith Richards.
  • Enjoy sex5 Reasons Why Sex is Good for Your Skin by Realbeauty.com http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/5-reasons-why-sex-is-good-for-your-skin-622761)
  •  Exercise… Benefits skin by improving circulation and counteracts wrinkles by providing stress relief according to the experts cited in Improve Your Skin with Exercise at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shake-your-beauty/200904/improve-your-skin-exercise).
  • Exfoliate… It can easily be done on the cheap.  (Home Remedies to Exfoliate Skin http://skincare.lovetoknow.com/Home_Remedies_to_Exfoliate_Skin)
  •  Laugh… Laughter makes more attractive wrinkles.
  • Meditate… Even a few minutes a day will counteract stress and rejuvenate.
  • Moisturize… Use a combo sunblock/moisturizer on your face every day and night moisturizer.  Save money by sticking with drugstore brands such as  Oil of Olay.
  • Sleep… Unless you want to look at least 10 years older than you are.  No skin care product can substitute for adequate sleep.
  • Wear minimal makeup… Less is more, especially as you mature.

Can you moisturize your skin by drinking more water?

I was surprised to read that unless you are dehydrated, drinking extra water will not further moisturize your skin, “Basically the moisture level of skin is not determined by internal factors.  Instead, it is external factors such as skin cleansing, the environment, the number of oil glands, and the functioning of these oil-producing glands that determines how dry the skin is or will become. The water that is consumed internally will not reach the epidermis.” (http://www.healthy-skincare.com/benefit-of-drinking-water.html)

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Filed under Beauty and Fashion On the Run