Cost of Weed permit v. Gun permit in NJ

My mother told me yesterday that a permit to carry medical marijuana (MMJ) in the state of New Jersey is $200. She remarked that it was excessive taxation (something NJ is well-known for – like trying to double-tax tires on a new car a few years back) since you don’t need a license to carry any other prescription. It’s essentially a sin tax.

So for fun I looked up the price of a carry permit for a handgun in NJ – $20. MUCH cheaper sin tax.

Then I had a brilliant idea, should a county or state politician in New Jersey decide there are too many guns in circulation:  surrender your permit and get a FREE one-year MMJ permit for each gun that you surrender or sell. They’ll be so happily stoned they won’t miss their guns 🙂

New Addition to Sidebar: Ask Me Anything!

Krystal over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks recently introduced me to Formspring, which allows you to anonymously ask me (or her, or any member of the site) a question. So you’ll find a link over on the left sidebar to use whenever you feel the urge. Perviness will be deleted, holier-than-thou tones will bring out my snarkiness.

What to do when someone laughs at your coupon habit

Here is the easiest way to quiet the mild ridicule that emanates from any friend, family member, or even co-worker:


If there’s one toiletry item that everyone knows the price of, it’s a good razor – because the shelf price and even the sale price of your reputable brands are painfully high, especially for the blade refills, that it sticks in our memory. So when someone has the gall to bust your chops for using coupons, give them one of your many, many Gillette (Fusion, Venus), Schick (Quattro, Intuition) or Bic (Soleil) razors – if it’s someone you’re really close to, go on, give them two.

Their eyes get big.
They ask “are you sure?”
They want to know what “free” means.
And then they never make fun of you again.
Heck, they might even come to your defense if anyone else starts picking on you.

Thanks, Swag-mates!

A few of you signed up for Swagbucks through the button/link in my sidebar and have been doing a great job of racking up the bucks for us both. So….


… to Alison P and Jillian D, who as of today, have earned enough for a $5 card.
… to Marci A, who started more recently and has been scoring bucks diligently.
… to Jennifer J, who earned a few, stopped, and it looks like may have restarted her Swagbucks searches. Go Jennifer!

A few others have signed up but haven’t gotten into the swing of the Swag, but I’m hopeful they’ll be inspired by the prospect of earning enough Swagbucks for an card or two to offset their holiday shopping. Also, if the selection of cute Halloween swag for under 100 Swagbucks is anything to go by, it should be easy to fulfill the Christmas fantasies of all the people in your life who love reindeer antler headbands and jinglebell vests. In my world, that would be my mom. She wears flashy musical pins on snowman sweaters just to embarrass us, and then scores free blinking red Rudolph noses at the mall for our stockings.

Indecent Proposal, Part 2: I couldn’t walk the walk

It turns out that, despite having given the subject of one-shot, unsought sex-for-money a fair amount of philosophical debate over the years, I was wrong about my price. It turns out I don’t have one.

A dying man (someone I’ve known for years and was once attracted to) offered my hypothetical price to essentially be his girlfriend until his brain tumor took him. This is someone I care about from a distance, someone who appreciates that I don’t use a “sympathetic voice” when talking to him and treat him no differently than before the diagnosis. I automatically declined, which he’d expected but hoped he was wrong.

But then I *did* think about it. Half a million dollars for an almost-40 chubby chick like me? Now there’s an offer I won’t get twice. I told him he could buy himself a little blonde college hottie for half that – but no, he wants me. Half a million … that’s a big ol’ retirement plan, it’s a paid-in-full home, it’s a world of possibilities.

This is truly my one shot at this kind of money.
And I’m not taking it. I just…can’t.
I am a disappointment to myself.

Indecent Proposal: We all have a price – what’s yours?

This question has been brewing for a few days now, and the strangest things have unfolded…

I mentioned in a past post about how I’ve been offered $1000 for sex by a couple of clients (all massage therapists experience this, it’s not a reflection of my behavior!) and dismissed them immediately without the slightest twinge of temptation. I then proceeded to have some hysterical conversations with assorted people in my life about what it would take to get you to cross that line. After all, we’d all do Robert Redford for a million dollars – even you straight guys would, if you’re honest! In fact, wouldn’t we (men and women) do just about anyone for $1 million? But the real questions are:

What is the minimum you would do it for?

How did you come up with that figure?

The people in my “real life” had some fascinating answers and reactions (bear in mind that this question was asked of most of them about 4 years ago)…

Bridezilla:  About $15,000 because that would cover tuition for nursing school.

Mom:  $500 as long as the guy wasn’t too old or smelly or ugly. I was all ready to call her a cheap floozy, until she explained why: that would be enough to pay for a ticket to visit her daughters in Aspen and treat them to dinner a couple of times. Aww.

Extremely Moral Best Friend:  A year’s salary, about $100K, which at the moment would wipe out her car loan and most of the remaining balance on her mortgage. She was at a business conference at the time that the Elliot Spitzer escort scandal came to light, and remarked to one of her fellow conference attendees at the bar one night, “How can she be worth $3500? What is she doing in those 30 minutes??” The guy looked her dead in the eye and said “I’d totally pay that much for you”. She thanked him for the compliment!

Stock broker client:  Said there wasn’t a single woman in his sphere of acquaintanceship who’d say no to that $1000 and thought I was a dumbass for walking away from it.

Older, slightly famous client, after telling him about my family’s responses to the question: “So, can I book your mother for a massage?”

Disclaimer:  This is all hypothetical, philosophical and hopefully highly entertaining – it in no way should be interpreted as solicitation!

My ‘hood is the biggest bull’s eye on the planet right now

Every year, Bill Clinton holds his annual Global Initiative conference at the Sheraton New York across the street from me in a timeframe that overlaps with the big pow-wow at the United Nations. Well, our current prez was in the ‘hood yesterday afternoon for the Letterman taping, and now he’s back – along with all the other Heads of State – for the opening of CGI.

I have a front-row seat to all the security hullaballoo because they all arrive at the side door, which is EXACTLY across the street from my door. However, no one gets to see any of the bigwigs. They put up a huge tent on the street for the cars to pull into, close the flaps, let the VIP out, open the tent, pull away. They’re never exposed to the light of day – or the cameras of random spectators.

I saw the change-of-shift for the snipers on my roof on my way out to the bank. Around the corner was a staging point for the NYPD, with over 50 uniformed officers lined up for instructions. Passing tourists jumped in for a photo op, I kid you not. The street is crawling with earwigged agents from the Secret Services of many nations. I never felt safer walking the streets of New York City with a large amount of cash in my purse! 

Since I wasn’t going to actually see anyone because of the big tent, I decided to head upstairs while my lunch was still hot. The doorman did call me back for a moment to witness the antics of the bomb-sniffing dogs checking out the big planters at the entrance. He told me that when “the big guy” himself arrives, it’s like someone hits the Pause button on the world. Very electric atmosphere, and what can I say, just very entertaining to live exactly where I do.


Just wanted to send out a THANK YOU to A.P. and J.P. for signing up for Swagbucks through the link in the left column of my page. Every time you earn a buck, I earn one too for your first 100 Swagbucks. I will happily use those SBs for the greater good 🙂

I’m not sure who you are (keeping your first names secret though, to preserve your anonymity), but feel free to let me know in the comments what your bloggie name is!

9/8 Update:  Two more people signed up for Swagbucks through my link — L.A. and M.O — THANKS!!!.

I also have a lot of others to thank for mailing me coupons, though I have trouble matching up real names with blog names, and quite a few of you have chosen not to put any name at all – sometimes not even a return address! Anyway, I’ve been using quite a lot of the coupons you all have been sending me, especially the internet printables. You all rock!

Again – THANKS!!!

Mom: “You can’t repay me with coupons!”

I decided to handle my $9K whole life premium as an annual payment, due next week, and borrowed the $2K shortfall from my mother rather than use my emergency fund (sorry, I’m not sharing the reasoning behind this). My mother, the Blond-Blue Dimpled DEVIL had a good giggle about role reversal – this is the first time ever that she would be loaning me money. Oh yes, there’s a very loooong history of me lending money to my parents, but never the other way around.

Sometimes we get goofy about bits and pieces of cash, and it goes a little like this:

Mom:  You paid for dinner, which was $10 more than the lunch tab I picked up. That’s not equal.
MMK:  I make 20% more than you, so it’s fair.
Mom:  Your rent is 130% more than mine, so no it’s not.
MMK:  Fine, then you pick up the sales tax and leftover bits on our CVS transactions.
Mom:  (after CVS) That was only $5.30. I still owe you.
[Mom now dramatically pulls out wallet and starts holding up coins to the light, squinting with one eye]
MMK:  (with ostentatious magnanimity) Keep it – chauffeur fees, for carting my ass around to 3 different stores today.
Mom:  Okay! [Puts money away in her most miserly manner, then cocks one eyebrow and sticks her hand out] Gas money is extra.

The deal we made was that I’ll pay her back in big fat chunks by the end of the year, but if at any point she needs it all back, I’ll pull it from my savings. Then, I swear, I could hear her eyes narrow in suspicion over the phone, as she added: “You can’t repay any of this with coupons, you know. Saving me $8 at the grocery store with your coupon shenanigans does not come off your bill!”  Oh, well, now – she just made it way too easy to tease and torment her for the next few months. Heh.

My Pricey Neighborhood: The Awesome, The Annoying, The Absurd

I had a particularly dense 24 hours of unexpected entertainment without wandering more than a few steps from my eyrie bower. You tell me if this justifies or explains the hefty price tag on said bower…

Wednesday afternoon, I nipped out to mail some coupons to my mother and couldn’t get to my usual mailbox of choice – first thing I noticed were the news vans with the telescopic satellite transmitters. Second were the corralled masses on the sidewalks. Clearly something pretty awesome was going on at the David Letterman/Late Show studio half a block over, and the nearest policeman confirmed it: Paul McCartney would be performing live on the marquee. He told someone else he didn’t know when the concert would start, but it really doesn’t take a genius to figure that out – the show starts filming at 5pm, and the few concerts I’ve stumbled across in the past have usually kicked off around 5:30pm. The Cute Beatle started at 5:25pm and kept at it for 40 minutes — twice as long as Phish gave us a few years back. I’ll say it again, awesome.

The following day, I caught something in the lunchtime news about our president being in the city today. I googled and found out he’d be giving a dinner speech at the NAACP convention. At the Hilton. On my block. I realize the man seems to have rock star status these days, but I hate when presidents are in the ‘hood – Clinton with his own personal UN meeting every September, and in the past, Bush giving speeches at the Hilton or attending fundraisers at the Sheraton. Can we say snipers on the roof, ear-wigged G-men in the street, and 6 hours of random street closures and not being allowed out of my building (or into it, if not already there) for 10 minutes or so at a time. Yeah, annoying. Very annoying. I had no business that day.

In between these two events, I picked up my mail and found a stuffed blank envelope in my cubby, with nothing but an apartment number for a return address. A penthouse apartment number. Of someone whose name I can’t mention because her media watchers found it in my blog and…well, let’s just say that I’ve deleted all past posts on a certain apartment-related subject. So for the sake of calling her something, let’s go with “Ms. Stonefeller”. I’ve been invited to a cocktail party fundraiser to campaign against some kind of building plans that will mess up the skyline (I translate this to mean “her view”). Apparently there’s some kind of neighborhood preservation society for a whopping 2 blocks, and it’s a registered non-profit/charity. How…noble. But I think I’d rather spend the $75 minimum donation providing supplemental support for my Working Poor Mom and her daughters for two months Or paying a rescued girl’s school fees and related costs in Nepal for a year. Or finagling 250 boxes of cereal for the teen shelter. And when all is said and done, it’s beyond absurd that someone like this would have the gall to ask for contributions from people with about 5 zeroes less on her net worth statement. But if she needs a cup of sugar (or better yet, a box of Raisin Bran, to alleviate the stress on my closet space), she’s welcome to knock on my door – I’m happy to do that kind of neighborly thing.

When all is said and done, I’d say that this month I got my rent’s worth of home entertainment – the awesome rock concert, the annoying presidential security measures, and the absurd invitation from my, uhm, neighbor – in just 24 fun-filled hours.