Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Tuesday
Aug112009

Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow.

I sold my camera. Yes, this one. The one I was supposed to pay for in torrid sex. I'm a little sick over it. Selling the camera not the sex, but I think it was the right choice. I barely use it, usually favoring my little Canon point and shoot which gets the job done nicely. The proceeds from the camera will go directly to the credit card debt. I'm also selling my skis and my snowboard. Soon I will empty my basement and garage onto my lawn and invite strangers to vulture over my belongings.

I am so dialed in on paying off debt that I almost didn't buy beer last week. Almost. When I tell you I am no longer drinking beer on the weekends you will know I've gone stark, raving mad from attempting to pay off debt.

Cash is king is my new mantra. If you can't pay for it in cash, you shouldn't be making the purchase.

The cable is still gone and can I just tell you how much time it has given me back? Hours of my life handed back to me like a beautifully wrapped Christmas gift. I miss nothing!

That's a lie.

I miss Forensic Files and maybe, just maybe I was a little torn up to have missed the new episodes of Jon & Kate as they embark on their new separate lives. But hey.

Couple questions for folks about THE GREAT EXPERIMENT. What should the first topic be? What should the word limit be? 500? This entry, for example, is nearly 300 words. And the entry fee... how about two bucks? We could give this thing a try for August and just see what happens. Could be a huge flop, could be cool. At least we can say we tried.

Reader Comments (26)

Monica-- I have read your blog for a long, long time. I want to say that I think you are sooo on the right track and will be much, much happier with the choices you are making. I mean the cable thing sucks, (as an addict of all the inane Housewives series I know I would be very blue without that), but the longing for familiar shows will pass really quickly especially as Violet gets more active and demands more from her Momma (like when she is walking and talking). I'd like to encourage you in every way possible to keep it up girl!

I think $2 is totally doable. And you will reap what you sow. Karma is King.

Major props to you.

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFrom the Hip

If we pay...does it have to be a "pro" blog?
I'd love to join and write....if only for the chop building.
I have no desire to be a pro.
Luv,
J

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJ

I'm down for it, sister. Let's do this!

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I think your idea rocks! 500 seems about right. Topics...eh, I'm not so great at those but I'll be thinking about it. And $2 seems very plausible too.

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjen

Pro blog? Does anyone have a pro blog? Not me! Anyone is welcome!!! That's the point :)

August 11, 2009 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

Not that it is anything to boast about but we are obviously way more dependent on alcohol than you are!....forget to buy beer??? how?? I haven't had my hair cut in nearly a year, I gave up on manicures and pedicures at the end of last summer, I don't recall the last time we ate out...but we would never 'almost forget to buy beer"!!

But you are definitely on the right track - one of the reasons i left Sydney and moved up here to this coastal area north of Brisbane was because life is cheaper and simpler here but infinitely happier....no money wasted on fancy clothing....one new bikini, sarong and pair of flip-flops every summer and a new tracksuit in winter and you're pretty well set for clothing...i spend in a year on clothing these days what I used to spend in a month on shoes. No going to bars and spending $15 on a glass of wine...we have friends over, sit on the deck up amongst the palm trees and drink cleanskins.

Anyway - as for the big experiment...how about something introductory...something that tells us all about each other, what our lives are like, what the place we call home is like?

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Hey there

$2 is fine - how do I pay - being here in Blighty? I reckon $5 would be fair too... Will I have to pay an exchange rate. Am fairly technically phobic - so apologies.

Ideas - how about the time of 'summer.' Simple - means different things to us all. Maybe I'm just obsessed with it - as the fecking weather here in London is pants and has been for months. What summer?

Or 'my guilty pleasures.' Something that tells us a little bit about the person without hearing the mundane...

looking forward to it.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrummymummy

I want to cry because you sold your camera. OMG! But you took pictures with it! That's like me selling my laptop!

Okay, I'm getting over it.

Yeah, let's do it. 500 words. $2.

Promise not to give up beer. I might have to stage an intervention. Even Suzie Orman wouldn't want you to do that.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEDW

I am in for $2.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen

$2 is perfect how do we pay?

I think starting off with maybe a little history about our blogs or families might be cool. 500 words sounds great to me.

I am with EDW...I can not believe you sold your camera! I take mine everywhere {it's become part of me} and I love it so much. But I do get the whole debt free stuff too.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

CrummyMummy and EDW - Can each of you PayPal $2 and then leave a comment letting me know you did? In the "purpose" section just put "The Great Experiment." I want to test PayPal and make sure it works in U.S. and UK and see what info pops up in my account so that I can identify who's entered. Also, obviously consider yourselves entered for when we do this thing.

August 12, 2009 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

Donated!

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrummymummy

Okay, I got an email saying you donated.. but it's not showing up in my PayPal account yet. I'm not sure how fast the process is supposed to take place. Does anyone know? So we'll wait and see what happens. If all is good we can get it going. Someone else sent $5. Don't donate yet folks until we know this thing works!

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

I second what EDW said.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergypsyk8

Okay... all is good with Paypal... If CrummyMummy had no trouble from UK we should be fine. Your name and donation show up in PayPal so when we do this for real I'll have you send me an email saying you registered and when I get the confirmation in PayPal I can respond telling you you're good to go. Give me a few days to sort it all out in a post and we'll do this! But please, keep throwing out ideas on topics!

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

YOu'll have to give instructions on the paypal thign too - do i need to open an account? do you have to supply account details? i'm no good at this international high finance stuff!

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

CrummyMummy, you don't need a PayPal account, right? You just click the link and give your info and you're done?

August 12, 2009 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

Ohh Monica....please please please don't start emulating Dooce's HYPERACTIVE CAPS LOCK style of writing. Your style is just fine. Plus, that's one of her most annoying habits, I'd hate to see it start popping up over here.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpassingby

I'm sorry, did Dooce invent the fact that shouting is generally relayed by all caps? FUCK! I DID NOT KNOW THAT!

Oh well, I already ripped off her monthly newsletters, so I guess I'm just a plagiarizing hack.

August 12, 2009 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

Sometimes when I'm looking out the window at cars and motorcycles, I see that you using all capital letters sometimes and I want to take a huge pine tree and hurl it through the side of a Burger King.

Love your blog.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin The Cat

Um, how do I find your PayPal thingy? I'm so confused. :-) It's late!

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEDW

Don't worry EDW, I got it all sorted. Just finalizing a few things and then I'll put it up for real!

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

Hello

I do have a paypal account - I set one up during an ebay addiction phase I had a few years back. I think to pay through it you may well need to set up an account - can't remember how I did it way back when - but it must be easy - because I am useless at technology....

Ideas for titles - how about 'I blog because...' Personally I'd like to learn a bit about the person but not in a kind of 'I have 2 cats, I have been married for 10 years, my favourite colour is blue' kind of way... (not that I think folks entering would write like this - just trying to illustrate a point).

I agree with EDW - never give up drinking.

Sxx

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrummymummy

Remember about three years ago when it was like a big old slumber party here? So many of us became friends. I met one of my best friends in the universe (who's in NYC right now and I see them soon!). We were all in it together.

Having hung out with you, I know how you just drag people into your fun -you do, really - and make them feel like they belong. You're doing it again. I love this idea and I love the feeling I can see it generating.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEDW

So did you quit your job and begin anew?

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeneria

so, i have gone and done it. started a blog (http://tiberisland.blogspot.com/) for the sake of this old great experiment. thanks for the inspiration! i needed something to mix it up a bit b/c i was feeling a little stagnant.

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentere

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