Category Archives: frugality

8 Things: Multiple Income Stream Edition

ocho!One of my favorite improv warm-up games is 8 things. It’s a great way to get you “out of your head” and thinking acting creatively, yet adherent to a theme. I’m still incredibly overwhelmed with the possibilities sparked in my imagination by Trent’s post about multiple income streams on the Simple Dollar yesterday, that I’m going to do my own little 8 things exercise, dedicated to Trent.

JOHN, name 8 things you can do to generate more income beyond your day job:


  1. Start a more focused niche blog about food and cooking.
  2. Start a more focused niche blog about frugality and material detachment.
  3. Start a more focused niche blog about Jewish learning and Jewish community issues.
  4. Start a personal chef business.
  5. Create an information product about cheap, quick, and easy home cooking that I can market online with minimal follow-on work.
  6. Create a non-fiction book about divorce survival strategies for single dads that I can market online with minimal follow-on work.
  7. Take in freelance writing work via Craigslist and Elance.
  8. Create an information product about resume writing, job hunting, and interview skills that I can (you guessed it) market online with minimal follow-on work.

There. That wasn’t so hard.

Now it’s your turn.

BLOG READER, name 8 things you look for when you decide whether to add a blog to your RSS feed.



Saturday night free-ver

That's Frugality / voluntary simplicity / urban po’folks nerdiness is in full effect: tonight’s romantic evening was all about leftovers and DVDs from the public library.

Luckily, I’m an amazing cook, and I had the foresight to make a double batch of everything for last night’s Shabbat dinner. We had sweet & sour meatballs with noodle kugel and farmers’ market green beans with some Aussie shiraz brought over by last night’s guests, and the Mrs. found some intertesting movies at the lie-berry.

The first was a real treat (for me): Orson Welles’s 1963 adaptation of Kafka’s”The Trial” starring AnthonyPerkins. Holy crumble, was that an amazing film. The Mrs. hated it, and afterward said something about my penchant for “crap movies”.

I admitted “The Trial” was no “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days”, but then, what is? Her deft response: “You liked Pi!”

Yes, I did. Do. And forever shall. I even quoted that movie’s main character Max Shapiro when she said that “The Trial ” was boring and dumb.


Up top, Aronofsky fans.

The second was a further sortie into our new passtime of exploring foreign film together. “Cafe au Lait” is a French movie, circa early ’90s, I’d say, about a young woman who’s pregnant and informs the two potential fathers simultaneously. The two men compete with one another for primacy in her affections and eventually reach a kind of humorous detente.

Bonus: the two men are a wealthy African Muslim law student and a poor Jewish bike messenger who’s also a drug dealer and an aspiring rapper. Even if you’re not impressed by this attempt by the French to rip of Spike Lee as clumsily as they’ve ripped off the rest of American urban culture, the whole thing’s worth watching for the one scene where the tipsy Jewish grandpa (or Grand Pere, according to the credits) dances around the living room solo singing something in elderly Franco-Yiddish.

As much as I’m filled with anxiety and nausea by the sheer cognitive dissonance of French rap, I give this movie a full thumb and three quarters for good writing, good characterization, and several moments of genuine humor and unsaccharine poignancy. The catch: it’s in French, so get your reading glasses, Grand Pere.

Call to action: if you’re having an evening in with your special lady or gentleman, fight the urge to just get BlockBuster and take-out. Challenge yourself to try something new: drop by your local library and get a couple of movies outside the norm of what you’d usually see, and make the most romantic dinner you can out of what you’ve got in your fridge.

It’s the time you spend together that makes an evening romantic, not how much you tip the pizza dude. And I pity the fool who doesn’t LOVE “My Dinner with Andre”.