Monday, January 28, 2013

Craigslist 101

Who doesn't love Craigslist?  Yes, it can be scary sometimes.  Especially when you hear stories of people that have gone to purchase something and have been robbed, raped, assaulted, beaten bloody, or murdered.  Still, I love it.  Unfortunately, so many people do NOT know how to use it.  I think there should be a mandatory training before you are even allowed to post anything on the site.  In the meantime, I started a guide.  I'm sure I'll have more to add to it, but this is a start.

Selling something?  YOU MUST POST PHOTOS!!!

  • This is an absolute must.  It is 2013 and there is no excuse why you cannot attach a photo.  Digital cameras are cheap.  Go buy one and learn to use it.  Can't afford one?  Borrow one.  Use your phone.  You need to have a photo.  I am not going to even look at your item if there is no picture to go along with it.  Here are some things to remember with the photos:
    • MAKE SURE IT'S A GOOD PHOTO!!!  This should be a no-brainer, but apparently it isn't.  Your photos should not be blurry or rotated so that it is sideways or upside down.
    • CLEAN UP FIRST!!!  I am not going to buy anything that is covered in laundry, dust, pizza delivery boxes, dirty dishes, stacks of mail or garbage.  I want to see what you're selling - not that you're a slob.   This one is especially true if you are taking photos of an apartment/house or looking for a roommate to share your living space with.  Here are a few examples of people who want roommates:
I thought this was a promo for Hoarders.
    Was all that crap on the floor before the photo?

    • NO NEED FOR MODELS!!!  If you're selling a couch, peel your boyfriend off of it before you take the picture.  This goes for pets and children, too.  

    This was the only picture posted.  I don't really give a rat's ass about the cat -
    where are the apartment pictures?
    WTH? Are you renting out a room or an elbow?
A Note to the Musicians/Photographers/Artists/ETC....
  • Craigslist is AWESOME for advertising and is a great tool.  Use it WISELY.  As a musician and photographer, I browse all over Craigslist and I am embarrassed for so many of you.  DO NOT POST EVERYDAY!!!  I have seen some bands and musicians posting in the "Musician" section on a daily basis - sometimes multiple times in a day and in MANY cities.  I've seen an artist make Craigslist appearances in Boston, Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, and Phoenix all in one day.  Really?  You could fine tune some of your skills, learn a new song, or maybe make some personal appearance at local venues instead of flooding Craigslist begging for gigs.  You look desperate and are actually quite annoying.  And YES, I will flag you.  

The DOs & DON'Ts of Craigslist


- Respond to everyone that responds to your post

- Delete the post as soon as the item has sold, the apartment is rented, the position is filled, etc. 

- Be respectful.  Don't start any shit with other posters.  That's trashy - but entertaining, so I guess if you want to give me something to read - go for it! 

- Watch your pricing.  If the stuffing is falling out of the couch and there are piss stains, it's not worth $100.   


- Use symbols in the subject line to make your ad stand out.  
!!!!@@##****It's annoying and I'll ignore it****##@@!!!!

- Post "I NEED A JOB" in the job section.  Instead, go to the SERVICES section and offer yourself up.  People looking in the job section are looking for jobs and are typically not looking in there to hire lazy asses who take this route instead of applying for jobs, writing resumes, and drafting cover letters like everybody else. 

- Mistake "old junk" for "antiques"  

- Use the Craigslist Personals.  This is probably where the rapes and murders are coming from.  Save yourself an STD and try a more reputable dating site.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Notebook Hunting

My name is Melissa and I HATE shopping.  Well, I take that back.  I hate shopping for groceries, clothes, churches, boyfriends, and booze.  There are some things I enjoy shopping for - mostly electronics and school supplies.  Yesterday I went out shopping for school supplies.  With only two classes on the schedule, the list wasn't terribly long, but it was specific:

  • 1 binder big enough for both classes, but small enough to fit into the laptop bag
  • 2 Mead 3 subject college ruled spiral notebooks - preferably to match the binder
Attached to my list was this note to myself:

You DO NOT need highlighters.  Don't buy them.
You DO NOT need Sharpies.  Don't buy them.
You DO NOT need a 3 hole punch.  DON'T buy one.
You DO NOT need pens.  I'm not going to bother telling you not to buy them because you will anyway.
You DO NOT need flash drives.  Same as above, though.

Best Buy was my first stop.  Not specifically for the shopping list, but for entertainment purposes.  It was like Christmas, actually.  I found 8 GB flash drives for $6.99.  JACKPOT.  Walked around, looked at the new iPad minis, MacBook Air and Pros, and checked the Mary Chapin Carpenter inventory.  Walked out with three more flash drives and proceeded to Office Max.

I found the binder and purchased an insert to divide the classes.  The notebook selection was a complete disappointment.  You might think you're getting a great notebook because it has a plastic cover and ready-to-tear-out pages, but you're not.  You're paying $9 for paper that won't stay in the notebook and rips out while you're taking notes.  Looseleaf paper is cheaper.  Use it, but get a real notebook.  

The Perfect Notebook
Office Max did not have my Mead 3 subject college ruled spiral bound notebook that I needed.  Shame on Office Max.  How can you be an office supply store and not have the best notebook?  I went to Target thinking I would have better luck there.  


I was ready to go chop down a forest and make my own notebook at that point.  But, I didn't.  I decided to try Shopko.  While they did indeed have my Mead 3 subject college ruled spiral bound notebook, they only had it in green and red.  Freaking Christmas and it didn't match the soft lime green of the binder I had just purchased.  What's a girl to do?  I sucked it up and purchased the two notebooks because I was fed up with shopping at that point.  

I guess now that I have all my stuff, I can start school.  On the roster for my 17th semester of college: Behavior Disorders and Alcohol & Drug Abuse Professional Skills II.  I plan on fulling all 240 pages of those notebooks!  BRING IT!  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dragging in the New Year

New Year's Day I woke up with a bit of a sore throat.  I talked to my sister on the phone that morning for a little while.  After I hung up, I stood up to get on with the day and felt like a semi, driven by a large, bearded dude in flannel and a baseball cap, slammed right into me.  Six days later, I finally peeled myself into an upright position and took my uninsured ass into Urgent Care.  Found out my flu shot wasn't worth a damn this year because this particular virus was one that wasn't part of the vaccination package.  At most, this could take up to two weeks to kick completely.  The average is 10 days and we all know how I feel about average - I define it!  Today is the first day that I haven't had any thoughts of death and the first day that I've had more than just fluids since this hit, so I think it's safe to say 2013 could still be a good year.

Actually, 2013 is going to be a fantastic year.  After seventeen (long) months of sending out resumes, cover letters, and filling out countless applications (over 200), I finally landed a career in my field.  On January 21st, I will begin working in an inpatient behavioral health unit and couldn't be more excited.  It's going to be difficult to adjust to having a steady, reliable income again.  I think I'll manage, though.

With this new path I'm taking, I am considering making this my last semester of classes for a while.  I miss music and the photography gig got a little tiring.  I'm now in a position to do exactly what I want with photography - children and newborns - and not take anything I can get just for the money.  I'm ready to write - a LOT.  I have memoirs in progress, a collection of poetry, and stories that I might now actually find the time (and money) to finish and publish.  I'd have time to FINALLY put out a new CD.  (It's been almost 5 years!)  Not to mention, it would also be incredible to pay down some of my undergraduate loans before I consider taking on a master's program.  I see big things happening in 2013.

In the meantime, I'm going to take a fly swatter to this bug that has kicked my ass, preview the courses I'll begin next week, and think of a new direction for this blog.  I have ideas.  Trust me, I HAVE ideas.