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let’s go. May 9, 2010

Posted by vMonster in Uncategorized.
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Dear beautiful Glamour Junkies,

Please refer to: vfredericks.wordpress.com from now on. I’ve transferred all the goodies and am slowly getting into a new blogging vibe.

Love,

Victoria

http://jenisplendid.typepad.com/.a/6a00e5506b3b9788340120a8754d18970b-800wi

stop buying crap! March 14, 2009

Posted by vMonster in Frugal Living, Humor.
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I’ve spent a big chunk of time this afternoon perusing this blog and I’ve been enjoying it for many reasons. Two of which are: 1) I’m inspired by frugal living blogs recently in my efforts to scale back my lifestyle and “live within my means” and 2) the guy who writes it is friggin’ hilarious. How can you say no to reading about things like World of Warcraft Addictions, obnoxious ringtones, not buying things like iPods, Starbucks Frappuccinos, minivans, solid gold toilets, iPhones, private helicopters, etc. etc. especially when dosed with plenty of sarcastic humor? I sure can’t. Plus, anyone who touts the merits of library books as “portable entertainment” is cool in my book. Some of the funnier posts are older but have no less value today, citing our troubled times as a reason to approach our newly simplified lifestyles with a smile.

get ready for re-ignition. March 9, 2009

Posted by vMonster in music ♥, Personal.
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This is just a post to announce, and mostly remind myself: I have to work on this blog more! I’ve mostly been doing my day-to-day venting at xanga and livejournal but I’m itching to share things to more people (read: not necessarily my inner-most thoughts, but just things I find cool or interesting or inspiring, photography, poems, lyrics, music, you get it). 

Working 45+ hours a week and having so little free time has been kicking my ass, and I’ve been spending my free time with my (new-ish) boyfriend, Tye of Forging Reverie, with whom I’m madly in love. I’ve been helping him with merch at the past couple of shows, which I’m really excited about.

In February they were in the studio recording their news song, One Idea (to be used in a compilation benefitting the Dover Children’s Home). I was lucky enough to catch some of the action myself and it was truly amazing to watch. This is their first video blog, the first of many to come:

I’ve become quite attached to these guys and have been happily supporting them, especially my beautiful and wonderful boyfriend.

I’m also hoping that winter is on its way out; we’ve had far too much icky snow for my liking and I’m not alone. This past weekend we had a taste of warmer temperatures. I’m taking it as a sign that the best is yet to come.

This won’t be the last post for multiple weeks-months–promise!
xo,
V

my frugality limits March 6, 2009

Posted by vMonster in Dating/Relationships, Frugal Living.
1 comment so far

I’m cutting corners, recession-style. Everyone is keeping a closer eye on their money these days. Those of us with jobs are thankful to have them and are mindfully scrimping and hopefully saving. Recently I’ve cut my cable service back down to basic (without the upper channels for the first time in six years: farewell E!, MTV, VH1, Bravo, Lifetime, TBS, HGTV, TLC, Food, Travel…wait, did I make a mistake canceling that?!), as well as drastically reduced my discretionary spending (music, books, movie outings, bars & booze, takeaway coffee, going to restaurants, clothing, etc.) in order to more efficiently funnel my cash. Like many others, my main priority is to reduce my debt and grow my capital as much as possible. Because who knows how bad things can get?

Even so, there are just a few things I refuse to cut out entirely. I was inspired by this post at Being Frugal.

Netflix.
I personally don’t consider this a splurge at only $17 a month, but it’s something I’d never cut out. I’m a big fan of watching TV shows on DVD this way (buying seasons is expensive, and who wants to see the same thing that many times), and you can get pretty much any movie out there. If it sucks, send it back. I’ve almost always enjoyed their smart recommendations as well. I think you’d basically have to be crazy to waste $9/a person on movie tickets (forget the inflated-priced snacks!) these days when you can just curl up at home.

Gym membership.
Mine is only $10 a month, so it’s practically painless to begin with. I just joined about a month ago, and it’s become a fun activity my boyfriend and I do together. We enjoy it and we reap the physical benefits of exercise. In short, it makes everything better and it’s worth the effort and the little bit of money spent.

Philadelphia cream cheese.
I tend to choose the store brand or the cheapest name brand on most things, but Philly cream cheese is just by far better than anything else. The same goes for Thomas’ bagels, and the two were obviously made for each other.

Pets.
It makes me sad to hear that animal shelters all over the country are seeing an influx of abandoned animals due to the fact that the owners can no longer afford to care for their pets, largely because they lost their job. While I know that the combined costs of veterinary care, food and supplies for pets (I have two cats) can most certainly add up, I love my kitties and would do just about anything I could to keep them. In the past, no matter how hard up I’ve been, there’s always been enough money for food and litter to keep them going. The reward is always greater than what I pay, anyway.

Music.
There’s nothing wrong with a few music downloads now and then, and cover fees to support local bands. My love of music is far too great for a bad economy to suppress. However, I do look for deals on amazon.com and iTunes for cheap(er) MP3 albums and buy used CDs and rip them to my iPod. Don’t underestimate the potential in sharing music with your friends and lover(s). Chances are they like similar stuff as you, can introduce you to great new music, you can expand each other’s collections, and it’s a bonding experience to boot. What could be better?

There are probably a few other luxuries and splurges I’ll be indulging in as the economy worsens, but for the majority I’m embracing frugality as more of a personal challenge than a no-fun sentence. My boyfriend and I both have limited cashflows and have found many satisfying ways to pass the time without ever being bored. It’s good to find a balance, that way you can focus on what really matters.

a neighbor January 28, 2009

Posted by vMonster in Notes, Personal, Writing.
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I [almost] never go out of my way to talk to my neighbors. It’s forced awkwardness, you can’t really get away from each other anyway, and usually they’re people you wouldn’t normally associate with. I can’t imagine it any other way; you’d just be too lucky to move in next to people as rad as you. My downstairs neighbor told me yesterday she’s moving out in about a week. I’ve lost track of how long she’s been here; not as long as me, but she is the nicest neighbor I can remember having, and I have enjoyed the vague separate togetherness that comes with sharing adjacent apartments.

It’s interesting, in a voyeuristic, Rear Window kind of a way, all that your neighbors can find out about you, and you them, from only the outside in. I draw my shades almost all the way, but imagine, as my boyfriend does, that the moment we’re undressed, the folks in the house across the street are peering in, glimpsing skin, and settling in for a free peep show. People in their homes are so unguarded, so candid. In today’s world of reality TV and documentaries covering every dishy drama imaginable, one can’t help but wonder what’s really going on in these houses and apartments. 

In the past couple of years I’ve lived in this impossibly tiny, quaint, cozy little niche of an apartment, my love life has ebbed and flowed dramatically. All my neighbors saw was a series of assorted cars, parked or picking up, me leaving Friday nights schlepping home midday on Sunday in oversized t-shirts. Then the ordinary, lugging laundry baskets and environmentally-friendly totes filled with groceries. And then there’s what they’ve heard, or maybe what I hoped they didn’t…

Through the muck and mire, day-to-day, season-to-season, we learn about each other in indirect ways–in passing or emergency only. I learn she is in an abusive relationship. They have loud, frequent fights that devastate the buoyant karma of my living space. I wish all the time that she’d get out, because she’s been nothing but nice to me and I know how hard it must be. I wish for myself to find someone worthy of sticking around, at least for awhile. 

So in the end, we both have what we want. He is gone and mine is here. His head is resting on the small of my back, and he helps me clear my car off on snowy mornings before work. Neighbor notices this, remarks how special he must be if he’s won my affections. I say this is questionable since I’ve been a real handful, but he is pretty much amazing. She’s building up the confidence she’s lost from ten painful years, and starting a new life. She’s got a house on the lake and her dog for company. She’s taking the hope on her face with her, a priceless thing.

Fuco Ueda December 14, 2008

Posted by vMonster in Art.
Tags: , , , ,
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I discovered her work through the Nucleus Gallery, which I stumbled across from a Myspace bulletin made by one of my favorite artists, Axelhoney. Her work is absolutely breathtaking and unique. So incredible on so many levels.

My favorites are Bad Summer and Birthday, from The Bliss Express and Ephemera exhibitions; respectively. Just stunning:

badsummer

birthday

cherie mademoiselle October 31, 2008

Posted by vMonster in Fashion, Photography.
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♥ these photos from Lula magazine of a French model named Siri. Had to share.

Whimsical, doll-like, feminine, beautiful, but with a certain darkness about her. Sumptuous but playful at the same time, which is why I love Lula in general; too bad it’s so expensive (imported things just are. Boo).

tvs music. October 31, 2008

Posted by vMonster in Movies, music ♥.
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The first time I saw The Virgin Suicides once I owned the DVD, I watched the special features and saw the video for Air’s “Playground Love.” Searching for the song “Cherry Blossom Girl” I’ve discovered Air, which is a departure from what I usually listen to. My music taste is usually very organic, but so far I’m really digging it. The album art alone is so retro yet so hip at the same time. More proof that many good things, like Chanel and brie cheese, come from France. ♥

9 Songs September 25, 2008

Posted by vMonster in Movies.
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In Michael Winterbottoms 2004 “9 Songs,” two lovers meet by chance at a concert in London: A glaciologist, Matt, and a drifter girl from America, Lisa. Their story is an explicit one, told in between live concert footage (hence the title). We get an up-close-personal look not only at the sex life of Matt and Lisa but also some fascinating underground rock bands. There’s a lot of sex, but it doesn’t seem pornographic or contrived, Hollywood-style, either. Art-film slick on a meager budget with unknown actors, this film received standing O’s at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals and was received by most critics with mixed, negative-leaning reviews.

Margo Stilley (Lisa) was the most fantastic breath of fresh air. She’s crazy and playful but also waiflike and enigmatic. If you get a chance, be sure to watch her cast interview because she’s whip-smart and cute in it, simultaneously. The whole movie plays like a memory, like nostalgia. There’s not really a plot, more just scenes, with this film isn’t really a story, it’s just a feeling you’re supposed to get and things Winterbottom is trying to get the audience to feel, something by which they can emote. Everything used in the film is painstaking and purposeful; even Matt’s narrated references to Antarctica and the “anatomy” of a glacier; how its layers tell a story–it all speaks metaphorically. It’s an interesting glimpse into where sex can really take us with another person, or perhaps where another person can take us with sex…either way, it’s cinematic food for thought. (And I really dig the music.)

required reading September 13, 2008

Posted by vMonster in Books.
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Currently reading:

Paint it Black by Janet Fitch

On my list:
Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own by Doreen Orion

It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music by Amanda Petrusich

Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto by Anneli Rufus

City Dog by Alison Pace

Live a Little by Kim Green

Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott

Welcome to Shirley by Kelly McMasters

& more to come…always in a book. :)

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