DIY No Slip Hangers

It’s currently day 3 of being snowed in and I finally got around to doing the laundry I had been avoiding for weeks. It was a total of about

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…and the sleeves, and most of the front, etc…

6 loads, and I stuff my loads pretty full so… I’ve been wearing some creative outfits. Anyhoo! Everything about laundry is terrible, but maybe the most terrible is putting everything away afterwards. Especially if you’re like me and almost everything you own is scoop neck. ESPECIALLY if you’re REALLY like me and you obsessively cut the necks out of all of your shirts. It’s more comfortable! In my personal opinion, you should cut the necks out of all of your clothes.

“BUT KAILA, I have a hard enough time as it is getting my clothes to stay on my slippery plastic hangers…!!”

I hear you, readers. And that’s why I gave up about two minutes into putting away my laundry. I flailed around for longer than acceptable, lamenting on how I couldn’t afford to go buy new no slip hangers, not to mention the fact that my car is currently under two feet of snow. It suddenly occurred to me that there could be a way to modify my current hangers… and that that way must certainly already exist on Pinterest. AND I WAS RIGHT. But most of the pins were just photos without commentary. So here I am to fill that void.

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DIY No Slip Hangers

Materials:
– Plastic hangers
– Hot glue gun
– Scissors
– Old t-shirt (that still has a neck)

Now most of the pins I saw involved only a glue gun. But I also saw some interesting ones involving pipe cleaners and rubber bands. Rubber bands are gross so forget that. I have pipe cleaners… in my classroom so I modified that idea and 20160124_163737_HDRused cloth instead.

DIY No Slip Hangers With Cloth:

Step 1) Cut the neck of the t-shirt out. If you’ve never done this before, try being just a little more punk rock. Or, cut just below the seam, where the ribbed neck meets the smooth part of the fabric.

Step 2) Cut the bottom of the neck piece, so that you have a folded piece of the ribbed fabric LIKE SO:
20160124_161517_HDRStep 3) Cut into strips. As you can see in the photo, I tried this in four different sizes. If you have a lot of fabric to work with, I suggest doing the longest strip (about 4 inches), that way, all your different necklines will touch the fabric on the hanger.

Step 4) Put a strip of hot gun on top of the hanger, about four inches in from the side. Press the fabric onto the glue. Repeat on the other side.

Step 5) Glue the over-hang of the fabric together (this step is just for cosmetic purposez)

DIY No Slip Hangers With Just Hot Glue

Step 1) Grip the plastic hanger by the hook.

Step 2) “Paint” the hot glue down the length of the top of the hanger. Pinterest had two different styles of hot glue: dots and zig-zag. I ended up preferring the zig-zag because the dots made a lot of stringy hot glue mess, and once you got the hang of the zigging, it was actually quite quick and easy.
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Trying Them Out

Another thing missing from Pinterest was any mention of how well these DIY hangers worked. So I picked out six of my slipperiest t-shirts and tried them out.

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Are you surprised there’s a white t-shirt in there?

They passed the first test: they didn’t fall off the hangers when I lifted them from from the bed.

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Then, like any good scientist, I recreated the conditions of the normal wear and tear of my hangers by putting them up and rigorously pushing everything around. They worked! I was so impressed that I made about one billion more. Hope Michael doesn’t mind that eventually all of our hangers are going to end up covered in hot glue goop.

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Next time: Kaila wastes more and more time on weird DIY crafts in order to save a measly few bucks because her life has no meaning

 

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Snowzilla Fever: A Rope of Sand

This post is dedicated to Laura Kim, in memory of Snowmaggeden 2010: AKA that time we spent 18 hours on a gossip blog’s Star Trek-themed livejournal community. 

I meant to start writing this as soon as the snow started falling BUT the devil on my shoulder (Gins) invited me out for one last night of civilization before the storm. At first I couldn’t imagine leaving the comfort of my box of wine and the latest season of American Horror Story. But then, Michael went to bed to sleep off the last of his cold and I realized that I had about 72 hours of house arrest before me, and only about 6 hours of AHS left. So the angel on my shoulder (also Gins) convinced me to frolic outside while I still could.

Another budget-busting night later (goddammit Jonas!! Couldn’t you have michaelmesnowwaited until February??) I ended up sleeping until 3:30pm and missing the beginning of the snow completely. I will sum up the rest of my Friday, quickly, as I was only awake for about 7 hours of it.

First, Michael informed me that he had been up since a reasonable hour and felt much better. So we decided to go on a walk through downtown.

Next, I made some really delicious spaghetti squash with vodka sauce IT WAS maybe the greatest thing I have ever accomplished.

Then I watched American Horror Story for about 4 hours THAT’S IT. So now I can start live-blogging, like I always intended.

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016.

8:34am: I woke to a neighbor digging his car out of the snow. Michael and I watched him for a long time, just waiting for him to give up. He never did! He even drove somewhere and came back, incredible.

11:17am: I have twenty minutes of American Horror Story: Hotel left and I am devastated. Why is there only 12 episodes in this season? I would LITERALLY watch Iris and Liz Taylor just hanging out, doing nothing for hours in order for this season to never end.

The costumes and sets are awesome this season BUT CAN WE TALK ABOUT EVERYBODY’S MAKEUP?

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I just couldn’t keep watching this parade of glitter while I sat in nothing but sweaters and

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Guess who my biggest inspiration was (it was Sally)

chapped lips so I stopped and did my makeup with NO intention of leaving the house during the next 36 hours.

Everyone has amazing nails in AHSH too. I think my next snowtivity will be doing my nails but it will NOT be very satisfying because my nails are brittle and stubby and everyone in this show has gorgeously long and fake talons and my natural nails just cannot compete. And as much as I’m positive that the CVS down the street is open, I have already destroyed my fun budget for the month, and failing at my budget completely because of a set of fake nails seems a little sad (just a little)

12:18am: Michael and I got into a conversation about the albums that meant the most to us during our teenage years and I think to an outside observer they will seem like the exact same albums BUT I assure you they are completely, sort of, kind of, different.

Michael’s is American Idiot by Green Day and mine is a toss-up between In Love and Death by The Used and Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance.

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Oh god, they even have the same color scheme

I have NO shame about this. And I don’t think Michael does either. 2004 was an amazing time to have FEELINGS. Our conversation revealed what I think we already knew about our respective taste in music: Michael is a concept-album kind of guy and I’m an emotional dumping ground kind of lady (TO WIT: Michael’s favorite MCR album is The Black Parade! And that is my least favorite! HOW ARE WE TOGETHER). This conversation led me to save the last twenty minutes of AHS and listen to In Love and Death over and over while reading about it online. It’s still great. Is it melodramatic to say I feel more connected to this album than ever? Probably. But, what I am supposed to do when my strongest interest in music occurred during the mid-2000’s?! THIS STUFF IS LEGIT, GUYS.

1:29pm: I’m done with AHS:H and now my life lacks purpose. Please leave suggestions for what to watch in the comments. Until then, it’s back to Hoarders FOR MEE

Spaghetti Squash With Vodka Sauce

I hope that the title of this recipe does not imply that the vodka sauce in this recipe is from scratch because it the hell is not.
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Spaghetti Squash with Vodka Sauce:
Ingredients
– One spaghetti squash (they are big and yellow and they live with the other winter squashes in a secret section of your grocer’s produce section)
– One jar of vodka sauce (may I suggest Safeway’s store brand? Because I’ve literally never had any other vodka sauce)
– 4 large white button mushrooms
– 1 medium yellow onion
– A pad of butter
– Butter/cooking oil spray
– Oven dish, big enough to hold your squash halves
– A big-ass knife

When I was in college one of my roommates (I had five), Lucy, used to make a DELICIOUS meal she called Pink Pasta. It involved a jar of Alfredo and a can of tomatoes and whatever sautéed veggies you wanted and it was INCREDIBLE. Vodka sauce is basically the same idea, it’s cream and tomato based. I haven’t made Pink Pasta in a long time because I eat enough white pasta without covering it in a cream-based sauce. THEN my continuously amazing co-workers introduced me to the glory of spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is a gift straight from Lord Cho. It is the perfect pasta substitute. It isn’t slimy like tofu noodles (the only form of tofu I DON’T love) and it doesn’t require buying fancy equipment like sprialized beets or zucchini or whatever does. And it yields enough “spaghetti” for about 8 servings, for about 4 bucks.

Step 1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 2) Cut the spaghetti squash in half. This is what the big ass knife is for. Now, I’m no knife expert but I watch enough horror media to know that there are different kinds of knives (see, this is an educational blog!). I used what I believe is a bread knife. It’s big and serrated. First, I saw off the stem-end and then I balance the squash on the new flattened bit. Then I saw at it until I’m about 3/4ths of the way in, at which point you can pry it apart with your bare hands. I mean, I’m sure you could just cut all the way, but pulling it open feels really cool.

Step 3) Scoop out the seedy bits

Step 4) Line your oven dish with tin foil and spray it with the butter spray. Put the squash halves, flesh down, in the dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

Step 5) Sauté your veggies in the butter. I like the mushroom/onion combo but you know, whatever floats your boat. Then add the whole jar of vodka sauce. Be sure to scoop all the extra from the jar with your bare hands and eat it all up like the monster you are! Keep the sauce stirred and on low-medium heat. (If you have a gas stove like I do, make sure you can see the flame, but that it’s just blue!)

Step 6) When the squash is done take it out and let it cool for as long as you can stand waiting. That shit will be HOT. If it’s still sizzling when you lose patience, grab it WITH AN OVEN MITT and cradle it in your OVEN MITT and DO NOT TOUCH it with our un-mitted hand. Use a fork to scrape all the flesh out of the rind. It will come off in spaghetti-shaped strings! Like a miracle! You can seriously scrape until you have the thinnest bit of rind left and the squash starts collapsing in your hands, amazing!
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Step 7) Mix the “noodles” and the sauce all together.

Step 8) Remember to turn the stove and the burner off

Step 9) Promptly eat like HALF of it before Michael can even GET to it because that’s how good it is om nom nom nom

Pre-Snowzilla Grocery Shopping

Pre-Snowzilla Grocery Shopping

note: The Post says this is called Snowzila now. They’re the boss people!

I assume that almost everyone that reads this blog lives in the greater Washington DC area, or at least on the east coast (best coast) of the United States. However, word press’s fancy stats inform me that I have at least two international readers. Hello international readers! This message is for you:

You may have heard that the capitol of the United States completely crumbled under 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters, I got you, Rest of the World) of snow. Just to be clear, that is totally accurate. But, to our credit, we really just aren’t built for snow. Our cars aren’t made for snow and our roads sure as crap aren’t either. ALSO, our natural Washington DC pessimism means that we don’t believe that snow is actually going to happen until we’re literally sliding into pedestrians, street lights, the White House, each other, etc. In fact, I myself, walked to my car last night to go to a friend’s house and I was, again, literally, sliding through the parking lot on about an inch of ice and I STILL got in my car and tried to go to my friend’s house. After a mini-van skidded through a red light, missing me by inches, I decided to go back home.

And of course, this was just the pre-storm. The real storm, named Jonas apparently, is coming tomorrow and according to the Capital Weather Gang, my little town might get up to 30 inches of snow.

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Capital Weather Gang – Washington Post

So, after sleeping in until noon (thanks whoever decides on snow days for my school district!) I dragged myself out of bed, went to school to feed the animals enough to potentially last through the weekend, picked up some prescriptions, and went to the grocery store.

 

This grocery store trip was important for several reasons. First, snowstorm Jonas. Second, it was the first time going grocery shopping outside of our weekly budget-grocery shopping. Third, Michael is sick and he couldn’t go so this trip was my first chance to prove I can budget without him. SPOILER ALERT: I cannot budget without Michael. Several things were working against the budget:

  1. I already have a lot of Marge Simpson tendencies when it comes to my loved ones, but when a loved one is sick it goes into OVERDRIVE. I pretty much bought every kind of food I’ve ever seen Michael enjoy.
  2. I decided to go to Safeway, instead of our usual Shopper’s Food Warehouse. Mostly because I’m a little sick of Shopper’s, but als0 because I have emotional ties to Safeway and it gives me the warm fuzzies. 20160121032102207b187646a27cd3
  3. Everyone at the store was acting like the world was about to end and I’m nothing if not easily swayed by others’ panic.
  4. Adding onto that, shopping with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is already difficult but without someone to bounce obsessions off of then every crazy purchase seems like it will make the difference between life and death.
  5. Usually, Michael and I make a very specific, handwritten list of items to buy. And if one of us goes off-list then we stop and discuss if the item is actually needed. Without Michael, I wrote a really crappy list on my phone and only looked at it once in the store.

What I’m getting at here is that without Michael, the budget didn’t stand A CHANCE. I promise that some day I will make a post about a budget-friendly grocery trip but TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY.

My first issue happened before I even entered the store. There were NO empty carts ANYWHERE. I wandered around outside until someone finally came out and left one.

I started at the produce section and I was happy to see that it was pretty much fully stocked. I’ve had a lot of friends post scary photos of empty shelves on facebook but I think most of that was from last night. The bad thing about the well-stocked shelves is that a started loading my cart with produce even though there wasn’t a single produce item on my list. Impulse purchases included: clementines (we already had a bag at home), like 10 bananas (I hate bananas, but Michael likes them), two tubs of white button mushrooms (I eat these like candy when I’m stress eating, it’s the only healthy habit I have), and a bag of potatoes (which Michael doesn’t even like but-potatoes
Next, I stocked up on dry items. I interpreted “pasta stuff” as two packages of white wheat spaghetti (fuck whole wheat spaghetti, if you think it tastes the same you are a liar and a monster), one package of veggie elbow noodles, two packages of store brand kraft dinner, and four jars of pasta sauce.

For snacks, I went with classics first: store brand chez-its, pop-tarts (we normally prefer store brand, but Safeway doesn’t have a store brand pop tart?!?! Insane), and tortilla chips. I went off-roading with the following: store-brand crackers, store brand ONION FLAVORED crackers, store brand sour cream and onion potato chips, and those honey mustard pretzels that Snyder’s makes. DELICIOUS, yet not cost effective, decisions all around.

Now for essentials:

  1. Beer.
    Now, my beer consumption has drastically gone down since budgeting, and while I’m sure my liver has appreciated the vacation I am just straight up not getting through Snowmageddon 2016 without beer. My go-to beer to buy in larger quantities is Yuengling Light, because, as any upper-east-coaster knows, Yuengling is just as cheap as the big brands but it’s actually good AND actually American. ALAS, storm Jonas affected the one thing I cared about most: there was NO Yuengling Light to be found. (I took a picture of the sad hole in the beer case but apparently my phone was upset too and deleted it) I think I must have spent about five solid minutes staring slack-jawed at the empty space, considering if I would stoop so low as to buy Miller Lite. But then I came to my senses and grabbed a 12-pack of regular Yuengling.
  2. Milk… product.
    Michael and I don’t drink milk. So I skidded on past the laughably sparse dairy case and straight to the weird part of the cereal aisle that carries soy/almond/coconut/hemp/seaweed? milk and grabbed the cheapest one. Which was, as it normally is, Blue Diamond brand almond milk. Highly recommended!
  3. Bread
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    I normally don’t like bread either, but sandwiches are just so budget-friendly, so I’ve been giving it a chance. As you can see, most of the sale bread was gone but there was still plenty of other kinds.safeway

Check-out was pretty painless too. The store had been making periodic announcements that they were about to run out of plastic bags but I had actually remembered my reusable bags (MIRACLES). HOWEVER, as soon as I packed up my car I realized I had forgotten to get headache medicine. I ran back in and grabbed it, to find that all of a sudden there was a store-length line. Oh well. Waiting in lines just means a guilt-free length of time to read tabloids during. I learned a lot about Kris Jenner’s menopausal diet, which reminded me a lot of my normal diet.

When I got home I was truly expecting Michael to question me about how much I had spent, and to lament all the unnecessary purchases I had made. Instead, I came home to a pill-bug who had enough energy to say “Thanks for doing the shopping” before passing right back out.

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Are you impressed by my Tetris skills? 

NEXT TIME: Michael and I inevitably get cabin fever.

Meal Preppin’: A Transcript

This post brought to you by all the advice I’ve gotten on meal prepping/planning since I’ve started this blog. I am taking some of the ideas and trying to make breakfast and lunch for the rest of the week.

Me: Okay, here we go.

Gins: What’s “here we go”?

Me: Here we go like, I’m writing the blog. I’m bad at typing on your computer.

Gins: Can you freeze pancakes? Let’s make pancakes!

Me: I think I keep hitting the tab key on accident.

Gins: It’s a touch screen, are you touching the screen?

Me: It’s a WHAT

Gins: I’M NEVER COOKING THIS MUCH CHICKEN AGAIN

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Ginny refuses to be photographed candidly!! What a diva!!

Okay now for the recipes!!

Ginny’s Chicky Chicks Pulled Chicken Chicken with Chili (AND GARLIC)
– Chicken breasts (6)
– Chili powder (2oz)
– Garlic powder (1oz)
– Salt (dash)

Me: Ginny, for the meat eaters, would you please share your chicky chick chicken recipe with me.

Gins: I will. First, you take your chicky chicks, and you.. the recipe that I got from the Pioneer Woman-

Me: Wait, the Pioneer Woman?! What is that.

Gins: It’s a website. Are you gonna link to it?

Me: If I figure out how (NOTE: I DID IT HERE IS THE LINK)

Gins: So the Pioneer Woman says to rub them in chili powder. But I am a rebel without a cause, therefore I rubbed the chicky chicks in a mix of chili AND garlic powder

Me: Wowww, I wonder what the Pioneer Woman would have to say about that

Gins: Then, you cook it. In a pan. With oil.

Me: Is that it?!

Gins: Then you… chop it up! But if you want PULLED chicken… you pull the chicken with two forks, then you put it back in that fryin’ pan with some tomato sauce! And sriracha because you’re not a monster. And some beer if you’re feeling like you have some beer to spare… not today. No beer to spare! All for my belly. Then you put in your face hole. Or your burritos. Or your freezer. It’s very important that you listen to Taylor Swift while this happens.

Me: Granted.

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– Medium onions (2, diced)
– Canned tomatoes (1)
– Canned corn (1)
– Canned black beans (1)
– Canned refried beans (1)
– Chopped spinach (approx. half a cup)
– Minute brown rice (2 cups)
– Flour tortillas (10 extra large)
– Wax paper

Me: I came up with the name. So. You’re welcome. Okay, Ginny, now this is a classic Washington DC recipe, is it not?

Gins: Clearly

Me: Heritage, etc. (NOTE: It took me three tries to spell that)

Gins: I feel like we need to be doing it while we explain the process.

Me: Rawrrr

Gins: Tell the readers my conundrum!

Me: I had to put a sexy joke in there

Gins: What.

Me: Ginny’s problem conundrum is that she only has one pan and it has chicken in it

Gins: No, I have MANY pans. This is just the BIGGEST. You know, I could use a different pan. *cleans the stove*

Me: Wow, you clean the stove after everything you cook?

Gins: I’m trying to be courteous to you because the mess was covered in chicken! You might not know this, but you’re a vegetarian

Me: I don’t think my readers knew that so thank you. (NOTE: Vegetarians love it when YOU bring up that they’re vegetarians because it makes them seem humble) Okay, so what do we do first?

Gins: Let’s chop some onions.. like two. It’s my professional opinion that you can never have too many onions. Now put them in the pot with the oil!

Me: Done.

Gins: … Did you turn the heat on?

Me: ..No?

Gins: Um, do you think they are going to cook themselves??

Me: You didn’t tell me to turn it on! Maybe the onions needed to soak!

Gins: What are you talking about!

Me: UGH, you are so mean. This mean conversation is going in the blog.

Gins: I think I only own one spoon, wait, I don’t think this is my spoon.

Me: Should I toss in the canned corn and tomatoes?

Ginny: Once the onions have cooked a liiiiittle bit. You diced these onions so finely! Okay, I’ll put in the corn and tomatoes now.. I want to wait to add the black beans because I want the rice to have lots of liquid to cook in. This box of Minute brown rice is 14 oz… I think I’ll add two cups of rice. The interesting thing about you writing these recipes down is that I just make them up! And I have no idea if they’re good or bad.

Me: THAT’S WHAT COOKING IS ALL ABOUT…?

Gins: Come taste this and tell me if the rice is cooking. It’s boiling. Alright, it’s bean time! Why is the paper towel in your mouth?

Me: Because I need my hands to type.

Ginny’s Pumpkin Water Pancakes 20160117_182523_HDR-1
– Pumpkin puree (3 cups)
– Water (3 cups)
– Vinegar (5 tablespoons)
– Oil (same amount as vinegar)
– Flour (approx. 5 cups)
– Brown sugar (6 tablespoons)
– Various spices (dash)
– Chocolate chips (to taste)

Gins: Hmm… the internet recipe calls for only a cup of pumpkin.. this can is 3 cups. I think I’ll just triple the recipe, what would I do with extra pumpkin?

Me: Granted

Gins: Water is the same as milk, right?

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Fun Fact: That is not Gins’ Steelers jersey

Me: Definitely!!

Gins: I added enough for the pumpkin not to seem dry… two dollops. Oil and vinegar?? Why would I put vinegar in these pancakes?! Okay… well I’m following a recipe, but not very well. I think I put in 6 tablespoons of oil. It calls for two but… you know it called for one cup of pumpkin and I put in more than three.. and it called for 3 and a half cups of milk so I put in 3 and half cups of … you know, water. What kind of vinegar? Probably not balsamic. I think my regular vinegar is in the bathroom. Three HEAPING spoonfuls of vinegar, eh? Whoops, I added five!

Me: This smells REALLY vinegary.

Gins: Okay, I’m just not following the recipe at all now. The dry ingredients are flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. And also I added vanilla to the wet ingredients because I could. A dash, that’s the amount. I have a conservation of volume issue! There is way more dry ingredient than wet. Argh, look its already a normal pancake consistency and there’s so much pumpkin left over!! You lied earlier, you didn’t say “this smells really vinegary!”

Me: I did so. You weren’t in the room.

Gins: …

Me: …

Gins: Put that in the blog. We’re definitely gonna need more beers if we’re gonna make the rest of these pancakes. We’re gonna be making pancakes for the next twelve hours. *blows into beer bottle and laughs hysterically and hits me with thingie, spatula* See, you can microwave these pancakes every morning for a fraction of the cost of Eggo’s! And hours and hours of labor.

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(Recipe is for each one-day container)
– Old-fashioned oats (half cup)
– Water (1 cup)
– Flax seed (2 tablespoons)
– Honey (1 tablespoons)
– Cinnamon (a shakes worth?)
– Frozen fruit (like 4 blackberries, a strawberry or two and I think mango? IDK it’s a bag)

Gins: I have been cooking for so long, I am having trouble with my senses. I just reached into the chocolate chip bag and thought I got burned. I didn’t, it was just room-temperature plastic.

Me: Okay, this recipe was actually kinda easy because there was no cooking involved.

Gins: NO COOKING?

Me: That’s right! I just put all the ingredients in five tubs for next week.

Gins: But Kaila, what did you do before you were able to put the things in the things?

Me: *baffled expression* What the hell fuck you mean

Gins: I MEAAAN… how long did it take you to wash the newly bought containers?

Me: Fuck you. Fuck you, I say it again.

Gins: *blows into beer bottle and laughs hysterically* Did I ever tell you about – it’s not hysterical!!!

Me: Anyway, I don’t like bananas, and I don’t really like peanut butter. So my “sugar” is the honey, and my peanut butter is the flax seed. Also, all my mason jars currently have things growing in them. Purposely. Not like mold. Like sprouted onions. Because I am a pinterest board. So I broke my own “no plastic” tupperware rule and bought this 5-pack of plastic tubs for $2.49 at Safeway. Money over morals, yall.

Ginny also made chili in a slow cooker but I am too tired to type more and we need to get some more beer.

Gins: *Nodding* We do. OH CRAP MY PANCAKES

The pancakes were burned.

THE END.

NEXT TIME: I actually explain meal planning?

 

The Check Engine Light Adventure

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Ask For Help at Advance Auto Parts.

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hello… it’s me…

I love my car. He is a 2005 Honda Accord and his name is Smithers. He has given me years of faithful service however, ever since he turned 10 he has been having many …issues. (Did you know a brake caliper could lock up and destroy every brake pad it touches?! Did you know that brake pads are attached to wheels with calipers???) There are so many belts in my car and they’re ALL cranky. Power steeling fluid? It’s possible for your car to not BE READY for an emissions test. Like, they’re the lead in a play and it’s the last day before your registration expires and Virginia requires emissions tests every two years and it’s showtime and your car won’t leave the dressing room. Every time I go to the mechanic it’s something new that can’t possibly be a thing. Every time I think I know how cars work, Smithers makes a horrifying new sound and I learn about a part of my car I didn’t even know existed that costs $900 to fix

Budgeting is hard as it is, but when your car is over 125,000 miles it becomes even harder. I have found only one real tip to saving money when it comes to cars and here it is.

How to Diagnose Your Car’s Malfunction Code (Reason for the Check Engine Light) for Free

Before I get into this I have to mention that my co-worker (codename Goddess) has been telling me how to do this for LITERALLY YEARS and I have been too lazy/stupid/nervous to try it.

Step 1) You notice your check engine light is on.

Step 2) Denial. (There’s nothing wrong with my car! It just passed inspection!)

S10E08_01
Capped by Kamp Krusty. Copyright to Fox Entity Matt Groening, Glory to Fox in the Highest

 

Step 3) Acceptance. (Huh, it’s still on and it’s been weeks, maybe I need to check this out)

Step 4) Go to your nearest Advance Auto Parts (according to the internet other places do this too, but I can’t vouch for that shit)

Step 5) Give yourself a pep talk in the parking lot (You can do this! You know about cars! You’re an independent human being who can take matters into your own hands! I bet after you get the code you can fix the car yourself!!!)

Step 6) Panic when you see the people in the Advance Auto Parts. THEY look like they know about cars. You don’t know about cars, what were you thinking?!

Step 7) Run back to your car

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Good luck finding the manual you horrible slob

Step 8) Find your owner’s manual. The manual is fancy and does not call this problem “Check Engine Light”, it calls it “Malfunction Indicator Lamp”. The manual says if the malfunction indicator lamp is turn on, then you should turn your car off and on again. It really says that!

Step 9) Begin to doubt the authority of your owner’s manual. The manual states that if the malfunction indicator lamp is still on after you turn your car back on you should immediately go to your dealership for service.

Step 10) Throw out your owner’s manual

Step 11) Put your game face on and get back to that Advance Auto Parts!

Step 12) After obsessing over what to call the thingie you need, ask the salesperson for a “code reader” they will know what you mean. If you ask for the “malfunction indicator lamp diagnostic tool” they will NOT (I know this from experience)

Step 13) Get the code reader, feel so jazzed that you weren’t immediately thrown from the store for being a car impostor that you decline help using the reader

Step 14) Realize that you have NO EARTHLY IDEA how to use this box with what looks like a fire wire input cable. Your car doesn’t have a port that looks anything like this?!?

Step 15) Ask the salesperson for help.

Step 16) Apologize to the salesperson for how messy your car is and for the loud ass music that you didn’t think to turn down.

Step 17) Watch CLOSELY as the salesperson plugs the reader in so that maybe, just maybe, you can someday do this on your own

Step 18) Write down every single number/word that the code reader comes up with. Your mechanic will want to know all of it, not just the code

Step 19) Thank the Advance Auto Parts person profusely. They have just saved you like 80 bucks in labor costs

Step 20) Strut into your mechanic’s with the code. “No, I don’t need you to read my code, I have it RIGHT HERE!!!!”

Step 21) Bask in the admiration of everyone in the mechanic’s waiting room, oh did you pay these people to diagnose your problem AND fix the problem? Ho ho ho, you must not be a car expert like I clearly am (this step is a lie)

Now get out there and drive with confidence, you sexy car connoisseur!!

NEXT TIME: How to apply for a line of credit at your mechanic because you’re gonna funking need it

Oatmeal Jars: A Transcript

This post brought to you by the student who keeps forgetting to bring in the ONE material they need to do their science fair experiment.

Me: Okay, I am asking my friend about making oatmeal in jars for breakfast because everyone says its cheap and easy

mason jars
From Morgue File’s Scarletina (in case you don’t know what a mason jar looks like)

Teacher 2: Not everybody says that. No I wanted a funny name! Stop it!

Goddess: She’s the Hoe. I’m Goddess. No, I mean DHOH Da Hoh because she’s the Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher.

Teacher 2: I don’t consent to being Da Hoh. I don’t want to be on your blog anymore, it’s not fun.

Teacher 4: I thought we were gonna hear about oatmeal

Teacher 3 (Oatmeal Expert): So in the morning, I wake up. And I go to the kitchen and boil water. It’s easier if you have an electric kettle.

Me: Sounds fake but okay

Teacher 3: Then I get the mason jars out, I do two, because of Patrick. I put half a cup of “old fashioned oats” in each mason jar

Me: What the hell is old fashioned oats mean

Goddess: Not instant

Teacher 4: I actually knew that

Goddess: I have some that I have, that someone gave me, and I don’t eat oatmeal and you can have it

Me: Why are you in this oatmeal seminar if you don’t like oatmeal, Goddess?

Goddess: *shrugging* I’ve eaten it.

Teacher 4: Kaila, are you gonna have time to eat your lunch today?

Teacher 3: Then I put a cup of the hot water on top of the oats, this is old fashioned, regular oats, not fancy

Teacher 2: She said “quick-cooking” NOT “fancy”

Me: Argh

Teacher 3: Then I put the lid on the jar and then I’m ready for the day. This is at 6:20, I’m doing the oats then. I making my coffee, I’m making lunch. I make more coffee. So at 6:50, it’s been half an hour, I take a banana. Well, I open the jar, I shake in cinnamon, I put in some banana. Okay this is where it gets fancy. (NOTE: She actually said fancy this time), I put the jar on a scale and I add 32 grams of peanut butter AT MOST. Today, it was 12 grams because I ran out.

Teacher 2: Macros

Teacher 5: I want to add something to this

Teacher 3: Now here’s the trick: I close it up, I bring it to work. At work, I take the lid off and I microwave it for one minute.

Me: You can microwave glass? Wait, that was stupid. I just microwaved glass like ten minutes ago.

Teacher 3: That’s where these ~*~**~cloth sandwich bags~*~*~ (NOTE: emphasis added) come in handy. Use a towel, Kaila! I stir it in TA and eat it in TA. BOOM breakfast.

Me: Are you claiming, that this is cheaper than eggo’s?????

Student: (from the doorway) I’m done with my test

Me: ….????

Teacher 3: Yes, it’s definitely cheaper than eggo’s. Think about it, a huge thing of oatmeal costs about $3.00 and it’s 19 servings, so if you’re making it for Michael it’s 19/2. Times 5? You know, math! There are five days in a week. And then bananas, not that expensive! And you’re only using one banana a day if you’re making it for both of you. And then, I don’t know, a big thing of cinnamon! The banana IS the sugar-

Me: Whoaaaa, wait. Okay, um, sure. Let’s say that.

Teacher 3: *whispering* Sometimes I add prunes.

Me: For that fiberrrrr.

Teacher 3: Yeaaaah, keeps you regular!

Me: Okay, now we’re surrounded by students, literally. HI students!

Students: *silent*

Me: I want to say, for the record, that Teacher 3 calls this recipe The Elvis.

THE END

NOTE: I did not have time to eat my lunch.

NEXT TIME: The Check Engine Light Adventure