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Friday, May 22, 2009


After my friends and I got back home last night I was feeling like a bike ride, so I went around downtown with a friend for a little while. I wasn't really expecting to find anything, but there is almost always something good to find... We stopped by one place that I often check, where I found a sweet box cutter that opens like a pocket knife. I was gonna look around some more, but there was a security guard coming our way so we decided to keep moving. Most of the time security guards can't really do anything, especially touch you, except tell you to leave or call the heat. My good friend is a security guard at the airport and she has taught me a couple standards of their trade.. Anyway, we went by the train station but didnt find anything of interest. We were on our way back through the middle of downtown when we passes a parking lot in which I noticed something that looked like a trombone case... guess its the first thing on a musicians mind.. Upon closer inspection I found that it was most of a set of golf clubs. I cant think of too many reasons they were lying there.. I strapped em on my back and took em home. I took the long way home so as to avoid any unwanted attention from the many officers policing the streets after the clubs and bars closed. If they're decent clubs, maybe I can make the rest of my rent this month..

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grocery Run

Save the select items I brought home from the dorms last week, I haven't been to the grocery dump in several days and tonight seemed like a good night to go. We have had unusually cool weather the last couple days and I figured I'd take advantage of it by seeing what food had been spared from the summer heat. I ended up going to six dumpsters - two grocery stores and four pharmacies. Considering the number of bins I visited, I wasn't able to recover much. Still, I got what I went for and was satisfied with the night's findings. I got my friend to join me and capture some video of our run, so hopefully there will be some clips to share soon. Here is tonight's list:

8 bottles water
2 packages Ritz crackers
2 boxes trash bags
10 rolls cough drops
package of napkins
box cotton swabs
box freezer bags
20 Nutrigrain bars -
3 bags Kashi -
2 bags corn flakes - store must have a "take it out of the box before throwing away" policy, as I have noticed many pharmicies do
5 boxes Sun Maid raisins
1 can tuna
1 box elbow macaroni
1 box vanilla wafers
2 veggie and dip snack trays
4 tomatoes
8 apples
3 potatoes
2 boxes baby organic spinach ~my favorite!
3 boxes baby organic herb and romaine mix
4 zucchini
1 cucumber
1 green pepper
bunch fresh basil
1 can cream of celery soup
1 bottle chocolate syrup
jar dried bay leaves
whole deli turkey breast
rolling suitcase
Neutrogena face lotion

Monday, May 18, 2009

Second Round

I went back to school on Friday night after leaving a friends graduation party. While at the party I asked my friend to name three things that she needed to which she replied "shoes(size 8), shampoo(head and shoulders) and.. well i dont remember what else she said. I said I wanted shoes, an ipod, a lamp and a computer. When I arrived at school I made my circle around the first set of dorms but I never made it around to the rest. It was a very warm outside and it was getting very late, or early, and I had begun dripping sweat while looking through the last bin I visited. In the humid wee hours, I was not too fond of the idea of taking the time to fill a third bag and biking home, especially with all the stuff I had already found.. So I collected my booty and took off. When I got gome I spread out my findings and took inventory of everything. I was pleased to have gotten most things on my wish list:

* indicates a wish list item

~ bottle laundry detergent (cant ever have too much, can you?)
bottle dish detergent
*bottle shampoo(head and shoulders!)
box of Swiffer wet pads
roll of toilet paper (a rare and valuable find)
box of microwave popcorn bags
box of Crest Whitestrips
bottle face wash
bottle cologne
bottle perfume
TI-93 graphing calculator
*webcam and mic (for a friend who has been needing one)
2 sets of headphones
USB cable for blackberry/razor
PS2 boxing game
*Dell Inspiron 5000 laptop
Integrated chinese workbook
missclaneous jewelry(no gold this time..)
The Science of Self Realization
pair of tweezers
bottle opener
cotton bath towel
*faux leather cowboy boots (size 7)
*30-gig Zen MP3 player
glass box
*small dry erase board (a request Ive been looking for)
an umbrella

All the electronics need to be charged but appear to work. guess most stuff is going to the yard sale pile in my apartmet unless anyone wants it..

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dorm Dumps

I feel like I should have taken better advantage of the waste going on at school this past week. I went back to the dorms last night on my bike to see what I could find and when I actually got in the bins and started looking through everything I realized just how much useful stuff was in there. I filled my bag in the first two dumpsters I stopped at, but found a messenger bag in the third and a fabric shopping bad in another. I had to pick and choose what items to take back since my three bags were getting prety full and I had a decent bike ride back home. I decided I would have to make a trip home to unload and come back after visiting only a few of the dumpsters. On my second trip I brought the larger backpack that I found the other day, but forgot to bring the other bags.. It was okay because I found another backpack at another dorm soon after I arrived. In addidion to the general shock and bewilderment, I was really surprised by the amount of food that I found. I had to opt to pack non food items to make the most out of the situation because I can find loads of food any night at any grocery, though I did bring home some food stuffs. And as always, I found several things that I have needed. It seems that if you say and think about what you need and want to find, it reveals itself more easily..
Here is the list. Im excited about what might turn up tomorrow night!

~ means most of

size 11 nike basketball shoes
new large house slippers
3 pieces tupperware
3 beers
1 mini wine bottle
~ botle of febreeze
1 box drier sheets
~ 100oz. laundry detergent
1 bottle spray sun screen
~ garnier fructice shampoo and conditioner
~ can Axe
~ box tylenol severe cold pills
bottle hand sanitizer
bottle body wash
fresh 12oz. pack Dunkin Donuts coffee
7 packs ramen noodles
13 Larabars
1 package of 18 mini boxes of raisins
1 pack microwave popcorn
1 can chicken and rice soup
1 cordless house phone
1 waterproof flashlight
1 Tracfone with 18 minutes
Kodak Easyshare V1003 camera - screen is cracked but it may have a warranty..?
hair iron
combonation lock (with the code)
2 spanish dictionaries and phrasebooks
assorted color sharpie pens
several sized paint brushes
Norton internet security 2009 software
MS Office 2007 home and student
a drinking glass
dinner plate
area rug
more monopoly game pieces
L.L Bean backpack
black messenger bag
a few miscellaneous articles of clothing
pair of 14k gold earrings
set of earbuds for ipod
pink garbage can
several dollars in change
8x13 baking pan

Thursday, May 14, 2009

School's Out!

This week is the last week of exams for the semester. I was on campus the other day and decided to ride through the dorm areas where all the parents were picking up the kids for the summer. I was dismayed by the amount and quality of stuff that was being stuffed in the fifteen or so dumpsters around campus. There was everything from vacuum cleaners, lamps, storage bins, clothes and rugs to garbage cans, memory foam mattress pads, tables, chairs and mirrors. I was only able to take a few small things that fit in my bag, but was pleased to find a larger, nicer backpack in another dumpster. It never really occurred to me how much stuff really gets thrown out at the end of each semester by the people living in the dorms. It sucks that their parents have worked so hard for so many years to be able to buy things like that for when they send the kids off to college, only to get tossed in the dumpster at the end of the semester... Which has given me a new idea. I want to start something on a small level that can benefit as many people as possible with the minimal amount of time and money going in to it; I want to start some kind of club or group at school that organizes the collection of useful items that get tossed at the end of the year. Everything that is collected would be redistributed to whoever needs it the next term either for a low cost or donation or something. I just need to figure out who I need to start talking to and what I can do to get the ball rolling for next year. In the mean time, Im going to go back to get as much stuff as I can while its still available.. Here are a couple things I found the other day:

2 rolls of paper towels (couldnt fit any more..)
a big pair of scissors
most of a bottle of dish detergent
an albuterol inhaler (for sis, who is asthmatic and uninsured)
most of a box of tall garbage bags
monopoly game pieces (couldnt fit the whole game)
a sweet backpack containing:
a pair of sunglasses
a 3gig flash drive
several pens, pencils and hi-lighters

I also found loads of stuff that I wanted to come back for with my car, but I didnt get around to it; Im going tomorrow with a friend to load up her car with furniture and stuff.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fifty Things

This experiment in freeganism over the past few months has opened my eyes to things I could never have imagined. It's like seeing the ocean for the first time, trying to imagine what is beyond the horizon; I have seen what goes on behind the pretty store front with organized shelves of neat packages. I cant ignore what I have learned about the incredibly inefficient and wateful system that I am supposed to be a productive member of. I wont participate in or support a culutre of consumption based on working for money to constantly replace what you have whether you need to or not. Since I am constantly bringing home new stuff, my apartment has become like a storage unit with tons of stuff that I dont really have much use for. I have so much stuff in my little apartment that I cant really fit any more, and so I have decided to try a new experiment: I am going to try to select fifty items in my home that I need/want to keep and try to sell/give away/recycle everything else that I have. I know that fifty things means getting rid of a lot of stuff.. so I think i'll start with fifty thing that I want to get rid of and go from there. It is something that will certainly take a while to narrow down to, but I am sure that its something I can work up to. When I think about actually doing it, its kind of scary, but I think gettig rid of everything that I dont absolutely need would be renewing, like shedding old skin or something. I also want to get rid of stuff that just takes up room, like my tv, which hasnt been plugged in for at least the last six months and furniture that I've been meaning to get rid of. So if I theres anything I have that you want, it can be yours! I reckon Ill begin the great purge this weekend..
People have been expressing interest in going diving but I alway end up going alone.. so If you ever want to go, let me know! Its always more fun when you have someone else to share your bounty with! Let me again encourage you all to leave comments, ask questions, or give suggestions.. I am always interested to hear what other people think!

Vegan Baking

I tried my hand at vegan baking for the first time over the weekend and I was pleased with the results. The two cakes I made were not very good, but each time you do it you learn how to do it better the next time. I have been adjusting a recipe that a friend gave me to work with what I have and I found that vegan baking seems pretty easy. Since its difficult to find good dairy in the dumps, I don't bake much, but now I feel like Ive discovered a new world of possibilities!
I first made a lemon cake with peanut butter frosting, which was an interesting flavor combination... I baked it in a loaf pan and was disappointed to see that the center was uncooked when I thought it was done.. I scooped it out and ate it anyway; it was still tasty! The second one was a strawberry cake I made using the same recipe for the lemon cake, but with some variations. I added diced strawberries to the batter before baking and made chocolate frosting with some lindor truffles I found last week to ice it with. I have tasted thousands of cakes in my time, and those are like none I've sampled before. The texture and flavor is so good! Im interested to see what other goodies I can whip up next!

Friday, May 8, 2009

First Movie Night

Despite a few set backs, movie night turned out well. I cooked tons of food and fortunately most of it was eaten. I made a huge pot of saffron rice with three dishes to serve over it; stirfry(with sugar snap peas from the garden!), sweet and spicy vegetable curry and garam masala. I also made salad, twice baked potatoes, roasted red pepper hommus, an apple crumble and I cooked two more of the meatloaves. I was worried about it all coming together, but in the end everything was fine.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More than I bargained for..

Last night I went out to get a some tomatoes and a couple other things I can usually count on finding for the the feast tonight. Again, I almost always find something I need, but it wasn't tomatoes.. I went to the grocery store and decided to stop at the pharmacies on the way home too, and I found some good stuff:

1 box multigrain cheerios
5 bags pita chips
2 cabbages
4 bunches celery
1 iceberg lettuce
1 package strawberries
12 bottles of water
6 6packs chocolate Ensure
1 potato
2 boxes fried chicken (cooked earlier in the day)
6pack jello cups
1 bag salad mix
1 caesar salad bowl
around 50 assorted lindor truffles
4 disposable underwater cameras
4 bars olay body soap
alarm clock
radio/cassette player
bilfold/watch set
cordless shaver
infant tylenol drops
kentucky derby glass
hair cutting kit
Stag topped candy jar
"green" shopping bag

Its sort of weird that I needed an alarm clock, shaver, and clippers to cut my hair.. and voila! there the are.. Well, I have lots of cooking to do in preparation for tonight! Ill post about how everything goes and any recipes I try out. Im also trying to get some video clips together so everyone can see just what goes on at Paisley St.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I have been a mess. I've been trying to keep up with the last week of classes but I have felt like I'm in some kind of dream.. probably because I have not been sleeping normally for the last couple weeks. I had not gone on a food run(until last night) since I went with Alicia to stock up for the cookout last week, but I've been going around places in the city. Late at night/early in the morning on the weekends, after the bars have closed and people are going home, I have found is a wonderful time to scan the streets and check the cans in and around downtown for some interesting things.. I also went back to the train station (first time since the incident) and found that there are many good things there as well. I may not have been taking the time to log my findings lately, but I am constantly on the lookout and have found several interesting things over the last couple of weeks.To name just a few items:
1 leather bound bible
1 pair size 11 nikes in relatively new condition
2 cell phones (which I could use if i ever decide to get a phone again...)
1 bottle black beeswax shoe polish - had nice shiny shoes for my last orchestra concert monday night :D
2 porn DVDs.. havent checked them out yet; thought it was amusing
tons of assorted easter candy and paraphernalia
1 bottle hand sanitizer stay in the car for when I go diving

Im glad that Movie Night is starting up tomorrow night; it's given me a project to work on that makes me feel like I have a purpose in life.. If you want to know more about it, I have a facebook group with all the info about it here:
Ive been cooking today in preparation for the pre-movie feast. I want to be sure there is tons of food; I felt like last thursday's cookout didnt have enough after I hyped it up to everyone... I will probably go back to the dump tonight just to see what else I can find, so maybe Ill be able to thorw something together tomorrow with whatever I find. I have been making apple crumbles a lot lately. I never realized how much easier and less consuming they are to make than a pie is. I love to make pies, but only for special occasions and for people who really deserve one :) Most of the recipes I use are based on ones I look up online to use as a guide, then I change them according to what I want or whatever I have available. The crumble recipe I am using is really easy, so Ive been trying different renditions each time.

Apple Crumble

6 apples
1/3c butter
1/2c brown sugar
c oats
whatever else you want in it.. I chopped up toasted almonds and added them to the crumble mix and added nutmeg, ground cloves and added the juice of 2 oranges to the diced apples.

Peel, core and dice apples. Stir in spices and juice. Mix sugar, soft butter, oats, and chopped nuts together to make the crumble topping. Pour apples in a baking dish, cover with topping, and bake at 375˚ for about 30 minutes or until top is gold and crisp and apples are bubbling. Cool on the sill of an open window for 15 minutes before serving.

Last night I was feeling kind of down and even though it was raining I really, really wanted to go to the dumpsters. Whenever you go find something good, it makes you feel like you won the lottery or something, so I got my friend to come along and film some of it. We stopped at three places but didnt get a whole lot, partly due to the rain and my unwillingness to climb in to some of the really soggy bins. But what we found was good and helped to lift my spirits. It seems that every time I go, I find what I need:

6pk Mott's applesauce
1 bag sesame bagles mmmm.. pizza bagles
1 pack okra (which I needed for a movie night dish)
3 bags salad lettuce
8 cans Dr. Pepper
4 packs butterscotch pudding
1 bottle ranch dressing
1 apple
48piece box of plasticware yay! I won't have to wash all my silverware after the feast!
1 bottle pine sol cleaner


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