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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.
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Wednesday
Aug052009

The Great Experiment

I was overwhelmed reading your comments yesterday. I apologize in advance for sharing such disgusting information but I became all weepy-like thinking about these women from all across the world taking time to share their money saving tips. For some bizarre reason I got to thinking about this coke commercial and I wanted to buy the world a home and furnish it with love and then buy you all coke and stand on a mountain top, link arms and sing about it all. Does anyone have a kazoo? Start us off then...

Then I got sidetracked watching coke commercials for about an hour on YouTube which, naturally, led to Pepsi commercials and I found this gem with Michael Jackson and Alfonso Ribeiro, more commonly known as Carlton Banks. Cracked me up seeing the description next to the Youtube video, Carlton Banks & Michael Jackson em comercial da PEPSI . Even the Spanish speaking refer to him as Carlton Banks not Alfonso Ribeiro. Rightly so, I say! Will he ever BE anyone else? And that's a good thing! He should legally change his name.

Where was I headed with this? Oh! Just that, like the coke commercial, we're all in this together. Reading all about your thrifty tips made me feel so much less alone. Like I said, I wanted to meet in a dewy meadow somewhere, join hands with you all and sing about crockpots and coupons while we sway in the gentle breeze. Ack, I KNOW! All mushy and stuff. But, well, writing is the only time I can really do mushy so LOVE THE MUSH, OWN IT, REVEL IN THE MUSH! Do it now!

I just realized that I've been blogging for four years now. I've gone through every phase there is to go through. As embarrassing as they are to admit, here ya go: the hey-everyone-look-at-me-I'm-blogging-and-aren't-I-just-the-most-clever-thing-you've-ever-read phase. Then there was the post-
Stephanie Klein- I'm-going-to-parlay-my-blog-into-a-book-deal phase. Next up, the petty I'm-having-a-blog-war-with-my-husband's-ex-girlfriend phase. Then came the I-hate-blogging-and-internet-people-suck phase. Of course there was the unfortunate I'm-so jealous-of-Dooce-and-her-massive-stay-at-home-blog-business phase. Finally, I've transitioned into the I'm-blogging-about-my-kid-in-lieu-of-a-baby-book phase. Of course, it's more than that. I love to write, need to write. But I've come to terms with the fact that likely, the only writing I'll get paid to do is the kind that begins with Three people were killed in a tragic car accident...

I am obsessed with getting out of debt and staying out of debt. Living beyond my means with the assistance of credit cards and payment plans is not for me. Cash is king now. If I can't afford it I ain't buying it. Your thoughtful tips on frugal grocery shopping got me to thinking. What can I do to help? I want to help people. I want to finally do something with this fucking blog I spend so much time on. I want to help you get out of debt! I want to help you get paid to write your own blogs. And I think I can do it if enough of us band together here. Which is what the internet is for, right? We all rally beautifully when someone's child has cancer, someone needs help for medical treatments or whatever. Let's do it for ourselves. Let's making something happen with all of our blogs! I'm over ex wars, trashtalking, shitty blog comments and pissing on someone's parade. If I'm going to continue to blog, if blogging is going to be my hobby I want to really do something with it.

I've come up with an idea. A good one! I think. It could be a big fat failure. Or it could be really cool. Although I should have done it when my readership was about a hundred times what it is now, but screw it, the only reason my readership got so high was because of negativity on the blog. So let's give this thing, The Great Experiment (unless you can think of a cooler name) the ol' college try. Or the ol' high school try, if, like me, you never earned your degree. What's the worst that could happen? I fail at trying to help people. That's not so bad. Could be considered noble, even. A word previously never associated with my name.

Thing is, I need your help. SO MUCH. But it's so easy! You can help by sitting at your computer, clicking a couple buttons and spreading the word. We could become this big, powerful, helpful network of cool motherfuckers on the web that go around helping folks. So. Can you help me? Do you think I've done gone and lost my mind? Do you want to hear my plan? Because if we make it kick ass the first time around we can attempt to get publicity (there's too much robbery and druggery on the news anyway, what News Director wouldn't want to air a lovely human interest piece) then we can blow this bitch up and we're in business! Let me work out my plan, post it and then I'll need your opinions. Stay tuned.

Reader Comments (26)

I think it's a great idea! I have my own blog too, and I would LOVE to get paid to write...I've always written, and always wanted to make a living at it. But I know that the first step to that is PROMOTION!!! Promoting my blog/writing that is! Anyway, great idea, Monica! I'm glad all of our tips about spending (or rather, not spending so much) helped you! YAY! And you're right, together we can do ANYTHING! I'm on board! Have a great day and take care!
Many Blessings,
-Sarah Liz :)

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Liz

Tell anyone you know that has a blog. Spread the word. It will be a way to make money (hopefully to pay down debt) based directly off your ability to write a good blog.

August 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

I don't have a blog. I used to be a writer before graduate school and medication that evened out my bipolarness, but now I'm just a commenter. Still, I'll pass it along to those I know who do blog.

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

You don't have to have a blog to participate... Would just need a blog to get paid. Still working it all out and then I'll post what I've come up with and see what everyone thinks.

August 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

Hello! Sorry I didn't get round to my money saving tips - most hectic week at fecking work ever - but count me in, in your plan - whatever it is. My acupuncturist (sorry, that sounded so wanky - but this woman is a goddess) once told me that if you do something with a good heart and to help others - you find your calling and the universe rewards you. Or something like that. ...My fav book 'The Alchemist' has a line 'if you want something with all your heart the universe conspires for you to achieve it.'
Moral is - Go Monica!

x

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrummymummy

Count me in....I know we could sure use some extra money right now.

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

Count me in too May as well. Nobody reads me blog and there isn't a chance in hell I'm getting paid by advertisers or getting a book deal. Would be nice to maybe get paid for it. Sounds like it could be fun! Can't wait to hear what you have in mind.

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

I'm all in on this sister! I've been job searching for 5 months now and cannot wait to hear about your plan!

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCindi

Word. Monica, I was just thinking the other day that all the blogs I read regularly are so interesting and the women are so talented and IT'S ALL FOR FREE! There's totally nothing wrong with that, but dang- these blogging 'hobbies' could actually DO something. I am totally down with hearing your idea 'cause you're one of my fav, interesting, blogging women!

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I'm in! Let's make it happen!

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

I'm one month away from being debt-free but money is soo tight right now. I can't wait to hear your idea, Monica! Staying tuned ...

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Lynn

i want in too but i'm in a funk and my writing sucks because of it. i'll work on it!

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersusan

I just want to comment on the fact that you are coming to terms with how writing is going to be a part of your life as an adult. It's really weird being 32. have you ever heard of Patty Griffin-she has this lyric that I am obsessed with yet kind of hate because it is so true...but so not true "you know your coming to some kind of understanding-when every dream you've dreamed has passed and your still standing" I hope we all still dream as adults-but they may not be the same dreams we've had as teens/20's. I have always loved to sing, was an awesome singer, and have pretty much sang my ass off since I was a fetus-I had a fucking horrible vocal chord injury at 26 and i can't sing anymore. talk about a dream turning to dust. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about it-but anyway- i just want to say that I admire that you've come up with a new dream/plan for your writing. i hope i do too. We don't stop dreaming and planning at 32..at least I hoped that was the case and now that I jsut read your piece I'm hopeful that my dreams are not over.

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa

Keep commenting! I am alternating between feeling really excited and incredibly stupid about this whole thing. Still working out the plan, which won't be complete until I get everyone's input. But gals (and Xmastime), this could be really cool. God, I will feel ass-like if it isn't. We HAVE to make it cool.

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who

Go with your inspiration. Go, GO, Go. If we all fall flat on our faces, at least we tried!

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Lynn

I've also been looking for work for about five months now....and could use any ideas!

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCindee

sure, why not.

I'm kind of just starting something myself which came of thinking "i wish someone could show me how to do all this but since I can't find an instruction manual, perhaps i should document what i'm doing then others can maybe learn from it"

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Always with you, count on me! I enjoyed so much your blog through these years that I will be happy to help you or anybody else with it!

August 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSerena from Italy

Funny. No clue what your idea is, but I became obsessed reading your last post and everyone´s really good and helpful comments. So many of us are struggling with the same things.
I am not a blogger; I love to write, and I´ve wanted to start blogging since forever. I´ve stumbled as early as finding the perfect name, and then the feeling of sitting there and wondering whether anyone would possibly give a crap about my thoughts and musings... why on earth would anyone want to read that? I do have major self esteem/self perception issues. Social anxiety, full on. Putting myself out there, ouch. But I love to and I want to write and I am maybe not terrible (not a native speaker though).

So here are the thoughts I came up with reading your post and all the comments: I´ve long been a big believer in screwing big business and the corporations that manipulate us into buying their "convenience" f***ing foodlike substances, that make us sick and drive us into the arms of the big pharma to cure our "food"-induced ills;
- and I think the only way to free ourselves is some form of community/personal network action, to organize and help and teach each other. To get communal on a whole new high-tech level. I think there´s so much that can be done. Call me a dreamer, but there are whole towns out there who have established their own "currency", a point system in which they exchance all kinds of services... baby sitting, computer help, exchange produce from the garden... everyone has great skills to benefit the community. I´m all for getting off the grid as much as possible and gaining independence from a system that´s working against us in many ways...all it wants is our cash.

I got sidetracked... what your post sparked me to think about was this: some kind of community/blog/network website, with lots of people´s contributions, experiences, ideas and solutions to living well AND frugally, exchanging help and services maybe, some form of community action in a really cool way. I often flip through magazines and think, holy hell, the writing? yawn. uninspired run-off-the-mill b.s. that has nothing to do with daily life. There´s so much writing that can be done more genuinely, more true to life. About our attempts at growing produce, about initiatives in our area, about travel (home swapping? maybe sarah wants to vacation-swap her brisbane place for my southern california abode?), cultural things, the best bargains out there, crock pot recipes. anyone ever made kombucha? soo healthy that stuff, 4 bucks a little bottle, and almost free when homemade. bread baking! a spelt bread (I can´t eat wheat) costs 6 bucks, ridiculous.
Maybe I am crazy, but I could well see an inspiring network/support/simple dollar-ish site.

Sorry this got so long...

August 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

gosh Monica, it sounds all mysterious and exciting, if i can help, I'll be in, you can count on me as well:)

August 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterana_jo

I didn't comment about money saving ideas. Because I have none. I enjoyed reading everyone else's comments. Hopefully some of those ideas can help me save some dough.

I'm excited to hear your plans! I don't have a blog, but I could be inspired to start one!

August 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarahO

I do not have a blog of my own, but I am a huge fan of your's and would love to support you and all the other great Bloggers out there!!!!

August 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

Crummy mummy rocks!

August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrummy mummy

as a fellow mummy who is more than a bit crummy the crummy mummy has it for me!!!

August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrummy mummy

I vote for crummy mummy! Completely know where she is coming from so many times !!!

August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrummy mummy

I vote for crummy mummy! Completely know where she is coming from so many times !!! Sorry this may be repeated above but i seem a little technically challenged since i became a crummy mummy myself!

August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustine

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