Wednesday, September 26, 2012

And even MORE Advice for the Olympia Gentleman

We know you can't get enough. And so we are offering even MORE advice for that special Olympian Wannabe Gentleman out there. But, dear readers you should keep in mind that these tips aren't just for those in this capital city. Nope way!

This ever expanding list of advice is for anyone and everyone that you think could benefit from it. Even if it just serves as a cheerer upper for those down in the Northwesternly Weatherbee Slumps (which is a condition I made up right now but that probably totally exists). You could even just memorize these words, walk around the world and recite them to every frumpity frump you encounter.

And so it goes...

1. Playing Your Guitar on the Street is Real Cool. 
If you've got a backing band around you, a stage below you and another band playing after you. Or if you're good at it and wearing shoes. Sure, singing your heart out while sitting indian-style on the sidewalk with your pitbull hanging off the curb seems like something that could win any girl's heart. And maybe in another dimension or while at Burning Man such things hold true! But here in Reality Zone, women tend to shy away from the everyday street musician. Especially when they're a dime a (dirty) dozen!

Here is what we recommend:

a. Do NOT play original songs. No one knows what they are. No one is going to start dancing or wiggling their fanny toward you in a flirty way from hearing an unrecognizable song.

b. Do NOT play any songs by the following artists: Sublime, Pearl Jam, U2, The Verve Pipe, NIRVANA,  The Gin Blossoms, AEROSMITH, etc.

c. Unless you have some pretty incredible talents, do NOT attempt to play anything by the following folks: Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits or anyone else whose music is actually quite good. There is next to nothing worse than hearing a great song being butchered by a man with no shoes on.

d. Please DO play anything that no one would expect you to play. Think of genres that lone men on guitars wouldn't normally tackle. When you get home to your parents' basement, search through their record collection and focus on what came out in the 1970's that ISN'T Simon & Garfunkel. Gems such as: Rick James, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Little Richard, Olivia Newton John, ABBA, Barry Manilow, Electric Light Orchestra, The Village People and anyone else you think is the opposite of what a person like yourself would typically go for. Women love a man that loves a challenge!

(We also recommend looking like THIS GUY while doing it:)

2. Outdoor Spitting is somewhat of an epidemic.
You know what we're talking about. None of us Shopgirls are strangers to smoking tobacco and the odd taste that it leaves in our mouths. But the sounds that some habitual tokers make while attempting to rid themselves of such saliva is absolutely revolting. It's astonishing how much people can get away with. We get fined thousands of dollars for flicking a cigarette butt out our car window yet no one cares if we spit gross stuff all over town! Sure, there's the freedom of speech thing but shouldn't there be such thing as freedom to have a sidewalk that doesn't make you want to hurl in the morning? Whatevs though.

OooOooOO. Don't mind if I do.

If you (or someone you know) happen to be an Obnoxiously Constant Spitter (OCS for short), here is what we recommend:

a. Drink more water. I have a feeling that nasty taste in your mouth will eventually dissipate once you start hydrating yourself more appropriately.


b. Practice Polite Spitting. It's easier said than done but manners can really win over any lass. If you've got a free evening, use that time to teach yourself how to expectorate thoughtfully. Try the silent technique. If camels can spit quietly, so can you!

c. If all else fails, duck in an alley! We know how necessary it can be to get rid of the crazy that's building up in your mouth parts. If you can't hold it in, simply find a place that's already dirty and place your saliva there. Such places may include dark alleyways, street curbs, the inside of garbage cans, the crevice of a tissue, the bottom of an old barrel.

Proper placement of spit. Well done!

4. Camouflage is not a neutral.
"Oh no! Where'd your legs go!? I can see your feet and I can see your torso but your legs are somehow blending in with the scenery. Trippy." - what I like to say to anyone wearing camouflage while NOT hunting or hiding in a forest.

This is the kind of camouflage we LIKE! Where she be!?

Maybe you want to disappear from the world. Maybe you really like bland greys, beiges and taupes. Maybe your heart is a lonely hunter and happiness is indeed a warm gun. But really. REALLY it's just a silly texture to be wearing in everyday life. It stands out more than you'd like to think and it makes me think of a dusty desert where murders are happening. It's also maybe the opposite of romantic.

5. When your eyes are open, it means you care. 
Welcome to Olympia! The land of the "not really there" stare. You see, I have this strange thing that I do. I can't help but notice people. How they act, the way they present themselves and how their eyes behave. I like to think of it as a curse, really. But ANYWHO, if you'd really like to snag that fish of a lass you may want to open your eyes a little wider.

All ages can follow our simple tip. Keep those peeps peepin!

I read somewhere that the best way to look good in pictures while not sober is to open your eyes as wide as possible. Nothing looks more ridiculous than someone nearly in Nap Formation. The reason we bring this up is because as wide-eyed dames of the sound, we couldn't help but notice the trend of tired eyed boys.

Looking startled is sexy. Way sexier than looking bored.

Here is what we recommend:

a. Sleeping sometimes but not all the time. Ten hours a night may be fine for your grandpa but for a strapping young man, that's just silly. And if you aren't sleeping at all... well, that's maybe even sillier.

Dead or just stoned? We'll never really know.

b. Looking at yourself in the mirror every now and then. Checking yourself out. Making sure you're still breathing and while doing that you can try stretching your eyelids to normal seeing level. You may be surprised at what you'll find hiding beyond that heavy set of lids!

Coffee Drinkers are smart-looking. And intense. And have fantastic breath.

c. Drinking more coffee, smoking less... stuff? Or maybe none of those things or maybe both of those things. We aren't the experts in caffeine or drug use but if something is making you look like a constantly bored zombie, it may be time to shake your life around like an eight ball.

Glug glug glug!

d. Listening to way more Afrobeat and far less Reggae. Duh.

Jam dat jive!

Okay! These little tips should hold you over for the time being. I gotta finish this wine now. If you follow our Gentlemanly Plan, you will almost always see results. Feel free to leave us some feedback. We'd like to know if the Chivalrous Spells we've cast are working.

Cheers! We love you! Keep your eyes open and bright! MWAH!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

You Are More Than Just a Coat

It's inevitable. It's been cold in the mornings, cold in the evenings and hot in the afternoons. The cool crispiness is going to close in upon itself slowly, slowly, and then bam! We will be carving pumpkins before we know it.

As much as I love summer, with it's liberal drinking hours and "sunbathing" as an excuse to lay around all day I hate dressing for it. Like most native Washingtonians, I suffer from Pacific Northwest Style Syndrome. Most of the clothing I own is intended for the nine months of gray drizzle we endure each year. Summer is a small blip on my fashion radar. I celebrate by cutting my worst jeans into a pair of short shorts.

I happily shivered as I waited for the bus this morning, for the first and surely only time all year, and wished I had brought a coat. I LOVE FALL. We get drink hot coffee again as we stomp through crunchy leaves! We get to go to the corn maze with our friends! It's time to start thinking about Halloween costumes! It's almost my birthday! AND THEN IT MIGHT SNOW!

I know many of you are probably poo-pooing my great big welcome to fall. I understand. We're gonna be stuck inside a lot more. Our hair will be misted upon. And cold weather presents it's own style challenges, the worst of which being the onset of mackinaw madness.

The lamest thing about Autumn and Winter is that you see (and are seen in) way more coat than outfit. Choose your outerwear carefully! It's going to represent you as you jaunt, shivering, down the street for the next several months. Better make it count!

Even if you're going to be rocking the same jacket all season, don't fret! There are plenty of ways to jazz it up.

Snuggle Up in a Fancy Scarf 

Never wear the same scarf two days in a row. Pashminas (knock offs and the real thing) come in every color and style you can imagine and the market is so saturated you can find them anywhere for almost nothing. You can arrange them in a million different ways and even if you're just throwing it on as you were trying to run out the door without letting the cat out it falls in a way that oozes natural, effortless cool. They're also so soft and long they can serve as a blanket or head warmer if you miss the bus and have to wait another twenty minutes in the freezing dark.

Traditional knit scarves are another neck nuzzler that will never go out of style. You can make your own in any color or pattern you want. It's not hard at all, just time consuming. All you need to know is the most basic straight stitch and I will bet you two kittens that there's someone in your life that knows how and would love to teach you. Get your girlfriends and crafty minded boyfriends together and start a knitting club. You can drink tea or champagne and gossip. Or watch True Blood.

Pin it and Patch It

Go to an antique market stall and load up on brooches and pins. Ask your grandma if she has anything laying around that she's ready to part with. You could have one signature pin that you wear on every jacket or go the eccentric route and cover a lapel with a bunch of different, complementary sparkly baubles until your entire collar is a cool confusing forest of sparkling retromania.

If you're feeling edgier, go for those little button badges that have been a punk rock staple since the dawn of time. They are easy to find and go back ages, so you could mix a Nixon campaign badge with a tiny circle of nonsense words and your favorite band all on the same jacket. And they cost next to nothing.

The world is full of cool patches and iron ons too, so if you have a coat or cardigan that's just a little too blah, jazz it up with an applique. Sure, sewing it on gets can be a little tedious, but what else do you have to do when it starts getting dark at five and we're stuck inside most of the time? So satisfying to finish.

Pop That Collar

My favorite winter coat is long, black, slim cut and originally from Old Navy. But I bought it  secondhand for like six bucks. I like to pop the collar up when I wear it because it makes me feel like Bob Dylan (or Count Chocula).  Inevitably, someone always reaches out and tries to smooth it out for me which I react to by batting their invasive fingers away and being all like "Eff you, I'm being Bob Dylan today". That's what fashion's all about anyway, right? Confusing your friends.

On a jacket is the only acceptable way to pop one's collar without being accidentally invited to play beer pong at a frat house. If you have long hair and wear the ends under the coat you'll look like a cool French girl. Or a secret agent. I think that's what we're all secretly aspiring toward anyway.

Keep Your Head Warm

I am a hat person. I became one out of necessity when I had the genius idea to try a pixie cut in January. Suddenly I understood why humans have hair on their heads. It makes a big difference in keeping you warm!

This is why I prefer cold weather. I get my hats back. Instant solution to the bad hair day! I generally prefer the slouchy beret (mostly because I have a giant head) but there is a hat for every personality.


I see a lot of girls wearing those wide fedora things in fashion editorials and celeb tabloid shots, but not so much in real life. I think it looks great though! Maybe you should be the one to bring that trend from Hollywood to Olympia.

And, as we all know from my rant on inappropriate headwear, I looooove the turban. Never has grandma chic looked so sexy and elegant. If all those bitchin' babes of the 40s could pull it off, so can you.
"I am so warm! And so cute!"

Confidential to those I offended when I mused upon the wearing of short shorts and ski hats: Now is the appropriate time to start rocking those. With pants. And maybe boots or a flannel.

Other Ways To Look Unique When You Feel More Like a Coat Than a Person:

Earmuffs! I hate wearing them because they get in the way of blocking out the crazies with headphones, but when I see them on other people I melt from the cuteness.

Eyeglasses! People love to talk shit about "hipsters" with fine vision wearing fake glasses, as though you have to earn poor eyesight or something. As someone born with terrible eyesight who sacrificed many a middle school afternoon and vision therapy-ed her way to 20/25 vision (yes this is a thing and it actually works) I waggle an limp, ignore-y hand to the haters. In the right glasses you can look downright sexy. I always want to make passes at people in glasses. 

 Cute headbands and bows in the hair! Maybe even a  new haircut or color. Fall and Winter are times of death and reinvention. Fight it with playful hair accessories or embrace it openly with a whole new 'do.

Statement earrings! Switch up into some giant sparkly earrings every now and then and people will so drawn to what's framing your pretty face they won't notice you've been too cold to take that parka off for the last few weeks.

Red lipstick! As your tan fades, it will look bolder and sexier than ever before. And we already taught you how to do it right. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE.

We can't put off the cold weather forever; at least we have your love to keep us warm.

We Love You!
Andrea and KT 

Do you have any secret tips to get through the winter blahs? Leave us a comment, be our friend on Facebook or have your little bird tweet to us @ScuzzTown.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Curves Are a Dead Sexy Weapon: How to Use Them Safely

Puberty is a weird thing. The earliest memory I have regarding this bodily change is of me and my girl scout troupe on a hot summer's day. Hanging out by the suburban man-made pond seemed like a smart idea. We wore our swimsuits, sipped on juice bags and talked about teenage boys. At some point, one of the girls decided it would be wise to steal her mother's camera to take pictures of us in our suits. How scandalous!

You may be wondering what the big deal was. Well, I was a shy girl. And seeing those prints of myself weeks later, well... it made me want to dress modestly forever! I was the odd shaped one with the unpronounced chest. My friends walked on thin stems, had handsome pillows for breasts and couldn't find their bellies with a magnifying glass. So as someone that was naturally fuller-figured, I began to hide myself behind my clothes.

It wasn't until high school that the more feminine curves began to surface. But I had no idea how to dress myself! No one my age wore skirts or dresses. Just terribly unflattering clothing that could never make a self-conscious girl feel fabulous. Things that showed the midriff, shirts with missing backs, jeans with waists so low that you'd need to do some trimming before wearing...

Fast forward an awkward decade and all I have to say is: THANK GOLLY FOR MAD MEN!

See, I've always loved old movies. What girl doesn't?! Getting a glimpse at how lavish life used to be (or at least how Hollywood made it seem). Men wore slacks and shined their shoes. Men took their belt off BEFORE slipping out of their pants. They tucked their undershirts in. They wore socks. They combed their hair and had tie racks. They put on aftershave and clipped their nails. Basically, in the movies they took great care of themselves.

And the women! With their full skirts, pinned up hair and little day gloves! All of it was such a delight to watch. Especially when your youth was surrounded by slovenly dressed adolescents, baggy EVERYTHING and way too much khaki.

But on to my point! When the television series, Mad Men came onto the scene it really got noticed. It seemed as though the whole world forgot how great everyone used to dress. It took a popular little TV show to remind them that sweat pants didn't exist for a reason. That looking presentable wasn't a chore, it was just what you did before leaving the house.

And because of this show, a remarkably flattering style of dressing is so much easier to come by! Women are realizing that they don't have to hide their full figures. They can drape them quite beautifully. And show them off in ways they never knew possible!

How to Use Those Curves Safely:


Tips We Learned From First Hand Experience, Our Grandmothers and Old Hollywood...



1. Avoid baggy, bulky clothing. Before putting something very large on, imagine wearing it while walking in a windstorm. There's no way to hide it all so you might as well put it on display, in a classy way.

2. Decide what your best assets are and let the fabric hug those places. Don't hide anything that you want to show off. Unless, of course you're spending the day camping with the in-laws... Sometimes dressing in rugged apparel helps to avoid an awkward outdoor situation.

3. Horizontal lines are fashion's way of slapping on a bull's eye. If you MUST sport those things, make sure they're adorning the parts of you that can stand to be magnified. Vertical lines, on the other hand create length and trick the eye into seeing a hotdog rather than a hamburger!

4. Choose your sleeve wisely. Despite what you may believe, short sleeves (not to be mistaken for cap sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves) are the least flattering to a woman's arm. They tend to accentuate any bit of flab and can give one a peek into that weird inner arm area if the fabric is looser.We recommend the elbow-length sleeve, the cap sleeve or be brave and just go strapless!

5. Women wore halter dresses for a reason! Because they accentuate the femininity that oozes out of us! By drawing the eyes upward to our sweet smiles. Wearing an old-fashioned halter (not to be mistaken with the tiny halter tops that were popularized in the 90's, with naked midriff) is like wearing a yellow brick road; it leads right to the mecca that is a woman's face! Making shoulders look fantastic on the way.

6. Tuck it in, tuck it in! Magical things happen when you tuck your shirt in, Ladies! Bulges disappear, your outfit will look more tailored and you can hide those weird coffee stains... It's strange how it works. When we look down at our tummies after tucking in, it may not be the best view. In fact, things may look hilly! But take a look at yourself in a full length mirror and you're bound to do a double take. The art of tucking one's blouse into their pencil skirt has long been a Hollywood tradition. If wearing tights, we recommend tucking your blouse straight INTO the tights. This keeps it from looking like you're hiding a pigsty in your clothing.

Just look at how happy Marilyn is when showing off her lil tumtum!

7. The underthings make the thing! When sporting something form-fitting, choose your undergarments wisely. Wear the right size panties. You'd be surprised how many of us think we're smaller than we are (me included) when shopping for rump covers. A too-tight panty not only distracts from the rest of the dress, it's also uncomfortable. Same goes for the brassiere! There are plenty of boutiques (or Victoria's Secret if you're into the whole mall thang) that will let you know what your actual bra size is. A bra that doesn't squeeze and accentuate our back mass is one we truly cherish.

Even Betty Page knew how to fit her undergarments accordingly...

8. Low-cut waisted anything is only for the six-pack packer. If you know what a muffin top is then you know the terror that comes from a low-waisted pant. Same goes for the skirt. Putting a waistband directly below your gut is not going to be a flattering situation. You need to find where your natural waist is (think of Doris Day in a dress and where it starts to bell out) and then find a pair of pants or a skirt that rests itself there. It's amazing what hiking it up can do! And don't worry. No one is going to think you look like Steve Urkel. As long as you avoid the cropped pants, shaved head and huge glasses...

BELT PLACEMENT! Liz knows where it's gotta be.

9. Belts can turn the dowdiest of dresses into a curve-hugging commodity! Belts come in all shapes and sizes, as do dresses. Pairing the two is all in the eye of the beholder as long as you remember one simple rule: Placement Is Key. 
While helping ladies build ideas into outfits, I've noticed that most everyone makes the same belt mistake: They want to put it way lower than it should ever go. If you're pairing a belt with a skirt and blouse, put the belt nearest the top of the skirt's hemline or through its belt loops. If you are putting a belt on a dress (and it's a well-fitted, waist-cinching belt), I like to place it just below my ribcage or so. The higher the waist, the curvier one appears!

And so there you have it. If God is real and if he or she made a perfect creature then it would definitely be the human woman. Because of the dip in the hip, the slope in the breast, the softness of the skin, the delicate existence of our clavicle and the kindness in our eyes. We are the absolute ultimate work of art. And if we choose to hide ourselves in sheets, if we want to keep our femininity a secret then that is our choice. But I say LET THE WORLD KNOW! That you are a woman and that your body is your own. That the curves you have acquired are there for a reason and that reason is not to be ogled but to be appreciated and if acknowledged, then to be respected.

I'm slightly tipsy right now but I just have to say that... We are the reason this world exists. Our hips birth children and our lips can speak sonnets. We are mothers and lovers and best friends and creators. If we are not proud of who we are then we must discover what it is that can immediately change that. Because we are the dress forms for which fashion was created. And if we don't like what we see then let's become what we dream.

Like I said before. Curves are a dead sexy weapon. Use them to your advantage. Drape them in what you wish and be the person you've always known you will become.

curves: it's an epidemic!

We love you.

Andrea & KT

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fancy on a Budget

Hard at work in the official Shop Girl Uniforms

As Shop Girls, we work for our money. Did you think the dress fairies and shoe elves sweep in at night to clean out the dressing rooms and fold all the sweaters for us? Oh no. It is us, sweeping, swiffering and swapping sizes all day long to bring you the magical shopping experience you expect when you walk through our doors. And we love every minute of it.

But like most 20 somethings in America's economy slump, we don't always have much left over after we pay the rent, get the lights turned back on, stock up on cat food and squeeze as much as we can out of a 20 dollar bill at Grocery Outlet.  Luckily, this has made us masters of cheap entertainment. You don't need a trust fund to paint the town red and look great while doing it. Here's where we give up our secrets and show you how how to live it up while you're living off your change jar.

Rich Girl Hair on a Shop Girl Salary

I have learned many tricks to keep my mane lush through recessions, lean times and sporadic bouts of unemployment. I have never really been the salon type and usually had my roommates cut my hair after I dyed it at home. But there's always risk involved in at-home hair maintenance and if your future is riding on not ruining your hair you've got a couple options.

The students at the Fosbre Academy of Hair Design will beautify you for a really good price (You can get an eyebrow wax there for FIVE DOLLARS). I haven't actually been there to get did yet but it's definitely in my future. The school is right downtown (easy to get to when this month's gas money becomes hair money) and is much nicer inside than the average beauty college.

Why am I shouting out a beauty college that I have never been to? Funny story: Once, just a sliver of weeks after I turned 21, I went out on the town with some of my old coworkers. Something about karaoke night makes me extra nervous and thirsty, so I was in a pretty bad state when I attempted to walk home and ended up doing something not so ladylike on the side of 4th Ave. From behind me I heard "Oh my God, honey, are you okay?" and this nice dude with a group of friends cracked open a fresh bottle of water, hydrated me and walked me halfway home. It wasn't until a month or two ago that I found out the kind stranger was Noah Fosbre, who owns the beauty school. In a town where the standard is to simply ignore anyone you have not yet met five times, that was a grand humanitarian act. That is the kind of person I want to give my money to and someday I will.

If the idea of gambling your precious locks on an amateur barber is too much for you,  I suggest Jamie Lee and Company. They have a fantastic, funky salon where you can get your hair did, your back rubbed and have your future investigated via Tarot all while snuggling with a kitty or two- the culmination of all of my hair salon dreams. Their stylists really know what's up too. My friend referred me there in high school and I just went in and said "I want you to make my hair the lightest blonde you think I can pull off". The results were amazing.

Dressing Like You Can Afford to Pay Your Water Bill 

Looks like a millon bucks to us
Patron Saint of Shop Girls Dolly Parton once said "It costs me a lot of money to look this cheap". But if you follow our method, dear readers, your experience will be the opposite. One of the great things about living in Scuzz Town is that you can't swing a dead cat around downtown without hitting a vintage or secondhand store.

First in our hearts will always be Psychic Sister for the amazing selection of hip vintage clothing and the welcoming atmosphere. You can find just about anything for your new spirit week outfit collection, whether you wanna be a metal babe or a striking 1940s film noir siren. They also have a rotating cast of astrologers, tarot readers and all sorts of intuitives that can tell you the places your new look will take you. And they do alterations!

If you're going for a grungier vibe, Dumpster Values, a true Olympia institution, is just a hop down 4th. An afternoon spent rummaging through their dollar bin is never wasted and you can pick up tunes from the record store within the shop and even a bike (if you have the cash!).

Roll up the hill to the westside or brave the 62A out to Lacey and you'll find the chain discount stores like Value Village and Goodwill (go early on a weekday morning to get first pick of the good records without having to fight a crowd). Or make a day of it and hit the Goodwill Bins up in Tacoma, where they sell clothing by the POUND.

Too fancy for ya? A recent USA Today study has found that Olympia has more free boxes per capita than any other city in America. In fact we have more free boxes than elderly people. (Another recent study has shown that Shop Girls have a 97% likelihood to reference false studies and invent statistics when trying to prove a point). For a free fashion adventure grab a friend and pick your favorite neighborhood to take a little stroll in. The free boxes are especially plump around the last two weeks of the month, when people are cleaning out their rental houses and getting ready to move out. But don't bother with this venture if it's rained recently or all you'll find are soggy strategy guides from 90s video games.

If digging through your neighbor's trash isn't really your thing the west side Olympia Food Co-Op has a FREE STORE out front. You might have to battle a throng of tan shirtless hippie men to get in but you can leave with a treasure (and a little bit titillated!).

"But Shop Girls!" you may say "I don't wanna wear something that someone else has once sweated in!" to which I say "Pipe down, Princess. Target and Forever 21 are within walking distance to each other and there's a Ross across the road from that".

Or, even better- support local businesses! Yolli Shoes has one hell of a bargain cave and Hot Toddy always has a deal hiding in the back hallway. We love both these stores so much that we work for them! Come say hi and we'll help you find something great.

Dating on a Dime


All gussied up with nowhere to go? Did you really think we'd do that to you? Call up your lover or throw a wink at the cute neighbor because it's time to hit the town.  There's plenty of fun to be had without breaking the bank. In fact, you can be entertained for next to nothing nearly every night of the week (though most of this list involves drinking. Sorry kids).

My dad once described The Brotherhood as "the only place in town you could see a dwarf fight someone with a pool cue" but that was back in the 90s and the joint's really classed up since then. Go for the fantastic happy hour (2 dollar wells from 4 to 7 EVERY SINGLE DAY), stay for the cute and friendly bartenders. Sunday is a great day to hit them up-they show a free movie in the evening and afterward Olympia's best funk/soul DJ plays all kinds of great jams late into the night.

Got the Monday blues and a pang in your gut? Ben Moore's does FREE DINNER on Monday nights in the bar. Buy a drink, they hand you a plate and you can nosh on Swedish meatballs and as you gaze longingly at each other in a bar that makes your life feel like a Tom Waits song. 

Feeling more like dancing? Hit Jake's on Fourth on Two Dollar Tuesday. It's happy hour all night and you can disco til dawn with the In Crowd. Plus you can take the money you saved a slide it into their photobooth (a secret Shop Girl weakness...) and have a memento to keep of your magical evening.

Wednesday is dollar skate night at Skateland, a relic of a roller rink that hasn't changed a bit since 1989. One buck gets you in the door and another dollar or two rents you a pair of skates. Do laps to the absolute worst Top 40 and share an Icee and a pretzel. But beware! Dollar Night is crawling with middle schoolers who still need to brush up their roller skills and hazards abound. On the bright side, trying to avoid tripping over a kamikaze twelve year old is a good excuse to hold hands...

In the good old days Thursday was Ladies Night at McCoy's and you could get drinks for a dollar if you resembled a girl. Then the dang liquor law changed and everyone got all into equality again and now it's everybody gets drinks for 2 dollars now. Still, cheaper than usual though. And McCoy's has a piano.

What if it's a special occasion but you're still broke? I like The Mark for such times. The Shop Girls generally can't afford the fancy food but we love sitting under the Christmas lights in the back patio and politely sipping the 2.75 gin and tonics like we're some of the Beautiful People. Surrounded by all kinds of potted plants and fenced in, you'll never look out of place sitting at the long picnic tables in a pretty dress. It's like hiding in plain sight right in the middle of Scuzz Town. Plan accordingly though-they're only open Thursday through Sunday.

And if none of these sound appealing? Well there's still about a bazillion house shows on any given evening, swing dancing at the eagle's hall,  pinball machines lining 4th Ave or even just sipping coffee at a sidewalk table and watching the world go by.

Well Olympians, what did we leave out? What are your favorite low income life hacks? Let us know through comments, emails or twitter at us @ScuzzTown.