Archive for January, 2009


Almost half of Americans want to live somewhere else

The Pew (pew pew pew) says that almost half of Americans want to live somewhere else.
One of the cities lowest on the desirability list, though, is Cincinnati.

The last two paragraphs were particularly interesting:
Brianna Fahey lives in a city the survey says an overwhelming majority of Americans would prefer not to live in: Cincinnati. Like many other large Midwestern and Northeastern cities, Cincinnati ranks near the bottom on people’s lists of ideal spots.

For Fahey, 30, Cincinnati is truly home. She grew up in North College Hill, a suburb where her parents and friends still live, but bought a downtown condo after college. She gets by without a car in a city that has few mass transit options. “I like the self-sufficiency of the city,” she says. “It’s a good place to be in all stages of life.”

I find this comment.. well.. odd.

Cincinnati, to me, does not seem to be all too self-sufficient. I live in Walnut Hills, but taking the bus is difficult – it’s very unreliable, and most routes over 2 miles (to areas I need to go) need a transfer. Or two.

But, ok, mass transit in Cincinnati sucks. But just because a few aspects suck doesn’t mean that the city, as a whole sucks.

I suppose I ended up here by chance. I was raised in the country, ended up in Cincy for the sole reason of my boyfriend living here. There was no particular reason, other than the boyfriend, that I moved here.

I really enjoy it, though. From the front, without knowing anything of the city, I can see why people think it sucks. Downtown is dead, no good public transport, mainly conservative (after all, whenever Bush visited he went straight to Indian Hills – they closed down the highways and brushed all the homeless people from under the bridges.)

But, underneath – Cincinnati is vibrant. Cincinnati is growing. There is a huge liberal and artistic undercurrent, support of reproductive rights and gay rights and other “liberal” areas. We have a great assortment of restaurants – they can be hard to find, but once you do find them – they are a treasure. Our library system never fails to impress me, we have a huge assortment of liberal hippy stores – Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and indie natural and organic stores. We have people dedicating their lives to revitalizing downtown, OTR, Walnut Hills. The cost of living is still low, we have great bloggers who bring Cincinnati’s qualities to the forefront. Cincinnati is growing, changing, and it’s wonderful. Will I never move from here? I doubt it. There are bigger cities calling, but I can say that I am enjoying my time in Cincinnati and enjoying all that it offers.


Am I in a standoff with Acer?

If you need to catch up on this saga, first post is here, second is here. Check out the Acer Nightmare tag to see all Acer related posts.

So, I sent out my laptop 1/6. I got an email saying it had arrived to the Temple, TX location on 1/10. I got a call on 1/13 that they would not fix my laptop, and that they would hold it until 1/20, and then ship it back, unrepaired. I’ve not heard anything from
Acer, and no sign of a laptop.

I’m not quite sure what to do here – I know I should probably call them, but I have a feeling that I would get a poorAcer representative on the line and then bust out crying. This is stressing me out, and Acer’s not doing a damn thing to help. It’s been all up hill.

The amount of money I have invested in this is huge. I spent $800 on the laptop, and an extra $100 a year later for an extended warranty. I just laid in bed last night, thinking. That’s $900. That would cover a beater car, that would cover health insurance for 9 months, that would cover my last class I need to take to graduate. Instead I’m sitting here, carless, uninsured, and ungraduated (..I had to quit with one class to go.)

I know the money is spent, and I spent it at the time when school was paid for, I had great insurance, and a car. And I know that I walked in there willingly, handed over $800, and paid for the laptop. But I suppose I had trust in the company, especially with (what seemed like) a really good warranty, that I would at least have a working and functional laptop for a while. Not something I can barely use and has this mythical liquid spilled in it (that was sarcasm, Acer. No liquid has ever been around the laptop. Especially mythical liquid, that shit is rough.)

And I suppose that I put faith in a company when they wanted to make things better, that they wanted to prove to me that their repair service isn’t full of bad excuses and bad repairs. They told me it would be fixed, and they would pay for shipping both ways to help me out. They wanted to make things better to the point of calling me and telling me that would happen.

And then once it got to Temple, TX, they changed their minds. They weren’t going to help me, no, they were going to leave me up a creek without a laptop. And now I have no idea where anything stands.

I’ve had a lot of hits for stuff like “acer, mark_hill”. It says he is the U.S. sales exec for Acer. I wonder if other people are also having big problems with Acer repair services? Who is looking for Mark Hill?



I need to replace my makeup brushes, so I asked my friend Abby (who is an esthetician) where I would be able to get inexpensive yet quality brushes, and she reminded me of a favorite place of mine, called Eyes Lips Face. Most of their products are a very good quality (lots of pigment) amazingly, most of their items are $1 each. Their mineral collection and makeup cases run a bit more, but they are still really, really affordable.

To add to the savings, RetailMeNot always has a Coupon Codes that you can use on your E.L.F. order. Get free shipping, or 50% off your order, or free items! How great is that? I plan on placing an order soon to replace all of my makeup brushes.

Also, keep an eye out for a new segment to the blog! I will be covering techniques and products for women’s beauty and skin care that are inexpensive and effective. I also want to being making makeup tutorials, like found on youtube, but featuring makeup that is more affordable – the tutorials often feature brands like MAC and Sephora, and while I love both brands, they can be hard to afford! I want to make easy to understand tutorials featuring makeup that can be found almost anywhere or easily attainable over the internet. Any suggestions or requests would be great!


AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline – free meds?

Does anyone have any proof, anywhere, that patients are actually enrolled in the free medication programs from the above mentioned manufacturers?

I am uninsured. I was also on medication that was extremely expensive ($280 and $160 a month). Since I am unemployed and well under the income limit, I decided to enroll in the programs for free medication from AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline.

I started enrollment in early December. Both enrollment programs said that I would have my medications in well under two weeks.

It’s January 27th, and I have yet to see any medications from either programs.

Both have told me I am enrolled and I am eligable. But here is where the nightmare begins.

Dealing with GlaxoSmithKline and their Bridges to Access program was a nightmare. The nurse from my doctors office worked very, very closely with me on enrolling and making sure I had extra meds. GlaxoSmithKline, though, does not know what in the hell they are doing.

My application was returned to me numerous times for “corrections”, although I didn’t need to really do anything. They have no records of when the doctors office call, they had trouble with my prescription, and furthermore, if something screwed up *no one knew what to do.* I was told to re-enroll, call back tomorrow, just wait (yes, just wait), and to call my doctors office, and to have my doctors office call them. (Although they had no idea when my doctors office called back.)

I finally gave up. I went off the medication, went through withdrawal for a couple of weeks, and was fine. Well, relatively.

With AstraZeneca and their AZ&Me program, they are having “problems receiving my prescription slips.” What this means, though, is that they are actually sending me the multiple prescription slips that they have “rejected because they were unsigned.” I have a stack of prescriptions here for Nexium. Complete with social security number, date of birth, address, and signed. Not stamped, AstraZeneca, because you keep telling me “Well, if it was signed it must have been stamped, and we can’t accept that.” But when I say “I am holding it IN MY HAND, there is no stamp” you say “Well, it needs to have this info on it..” and I say “Yup, it has that.” And this is the point where the representative starts stuttering around so I just say “Goodbye” and hang up.

The thing is, I can’t just give up on this one. My stomach issues insist that I use something for the GERD, and that happens to be Nexium. So every day I call AstraZeneca, I am told the same thing, and I call the doctors office, and the nurse patiently calls again.

Is anyone actually enrolled in this program? Do they give out free meds, or is this just a PR trip? I have been very, very diligent about this, and my doctors office is great, and they work with me. I would figure that if anyone was able to enroll in the program, it would be me, since I have been playing the medical ropes for a long, long time. But I’m finding it damn near impossible.


The World for $1


Starting in January, you will have 15 minutes,
Monday – Friday for 2 weeks to buy any hotel for $1 per night.
You won’t know which 15 minutes you will be able to put those dollar bills to use, so sign up for our email hints to get ahead of the game.

So, get a hotel room, for up to 7 nights, for $1 a night. Sounds pretty good – I made sure to sign up for their emails to get the hints. I looked in Cincinnati, and they have a number of good hotels listed. This would be perfect for a random “get away” night.

The fine print:

Of course there are some conditions to qualify:

* 1 reservation for 1 room per person during entire campaign
* Maximum booking of 7 consecutive nights
* To qualify the booking must be made online through
* The booking must be completed within the 15 minute time frame
* reserves the right to end the campaign at any time


Best of Cincinati 2009 – Vote!

CityBeat has the voting up for the Best of Cincinnati 2009!

Under “Out and About”, vote for The Pickled Brothers Sideshow under “Comedians and Comedic Troupes”. They are awesome – they deserve it! If you’re wondering what makes them so great, watch this:

(uh.. not lunch safe? video has bugs.. big bugs.. in it. But it’s ok, they are only in his mouth)

Also, under “Best Dating Services” they list Hyde Park Kroger. Is there something I am missing here? Should I be shopping at the Hyde Park Kroger more?


Benihana’s Onion Soup Recipe – crock pot style

We’ve been to Benihana a few times this year, and each time we eat there I can’t get enough of the onion soup that is served as an appetizer. The soup is very brothy but holds a lot of flavor. I was dead set on trying to replicate it at home. I think I hit the flavor dead on – but I definitely don’t claim that it is a low-sodium recipe!

Since the soup is pretty flavorful, I thought the crock pot might be the best way to replicate it, since it would allow the flavors to mingle and develop. This recipe was made in a 5qt CrockPot.

Benihana CrockPot Japanese Onion Soup

5 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes (I used 4 low-sodium and 2 regular, because that’s what I had. Adjust salt as needed.)
1 tsp salt
1 white onion
1/2 carrot
1/2 celery stalk
1 cup veggie oil
AP flour
thinly sliced mushrooms
sliced green onions

Combine the water, bouillon cubes and salt in crock pot and turn on high. Cut the white onion in half and coarsely chop the half onion, half carrot, and half celery stalk. Add to the crock pot. Put the lid on and let it cook for 4-5 hours. I did two hours on high and two hours on low. After two hours on high the flavors seemed to be coming together, and the two more hours let everything mingle. Just taste as you go along to judge.

When the broth is done, set the crock pot to “warm”. Add the oil to a small skillet or sauce pan and very thinly slice the other half of the white onion, separating the pieces. Dip in the milk and then toss in the flour until coated. Fry a handful at a time in the oil till golden brown, then drain on a paper towel.

Strain the veggies out of the broth. Put around 1 cup of soup into a bowl, and add sliced mushrooms and green onions, and toss in a few fried onions. I add a bit more than they would add at the restaurant, because of an appetizer I make the soup a meal! 🙂

And serve!

About Me

An always interesting but sometimes random blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am also a wanna-be foodie on a budget.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

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About Me

An always interesting but sometimes foul-mouthed blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

Social Networking Thingies