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BA of the Week: Writer Joanne Rae

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Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit — probably not.

Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week? Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.

Joanne is one of the fantastic scribes who writes for I’ve been lucky so far in getting great writers since I can’t pay them in anything other than high-fives, hugs, and the occasional party invite. That said, it’s been a long time since we had one of the writers as Broke-Ass of the Week, so this is kinda exciting. When I asked Joanne what she’d like included in the intro here, this is what she had to say:

For the intro for BA of the Week, we can just include that I am currently unemployed and have been since graduating from college in May 2012, aside from a seasonal summer job at a golf course which has saved my life and will probably do so again this upcoming summer. I am a freelance creative writer, writing anything from short stories to website content to business reviews. Having so much time to reflect and think about my life’s passion these past few months, I decided to take advantage of my talent and build a website offering creative writing services to anyone who might need some help, FishFood & LavaJuice. I still have a lot of promoting to do to get this business out there, but hopefully with time and patience, it will blossom successfully. For now, any ways to make some extra cash will do. And I’ll write and I’ll write and I’ll write ’til my fingers bleed.

I really like that last part “And I’ll write and I’ll write and I’ll write ’til my fingers bleed”. In fact I love it. Anyways, here’s Joanne’s answers to our grueling questions:

Name: Joanne Raymond but my pen name is Joanne Rae

Age: 22

Occupation: Freelance Creative Writer (AKA Unemployed)

What neighborhood do you live in?: Valley Stream, Long Island

Best money saving tip: Wear your shirts, pants, and pajamas as many times as you can until you can’t tolerate your own body odor (I know it’s a bit gross and unsanitary but! It kicks off an extra week or two of doing laundry and you can use that money for more important things, like buying those knick-knacks you can’t stop thinking about.)

What do you refuse to spend money on?: Socks! The last time I probably included a pair of socks in my shopping cart was at 19 years of age when I worked at Target, so I guess I was just taking advantage of the lousy 10% discount. Nowadays, I just rotate between the three that I somehow have (holes and all), and if I lose one or two, there is always my boyfriend’s sock drawer when he’s not looking.

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: I’d say it’s probably a tie between a ticket and fees to study abroad in France for a little over a month and my MacBook computer.

How’d that feel?: Well the ticket to France felt liberating and ballsy, since my mother practically disowned me for even thinking about leaving the country. But I hopped on that plane regardless; it was too great of an opportunity to pass! Oh and my MacBook: I’d say it’s probably the biggest and best investment I’ve made so far in my life. Can’t imagine life without this baby.

Favorite cheap eat: It’s crazy that I don’t even really have one. But if I had to choose I guess I’d go with either Spice on 14th Street since I eat there often or canned tuna from any supermarket. Listen, I really don’t know why, but I’m just obsessed with a good tuna sandwich.

Favorite dive bar: Jake’s Dilemma – Out of all the bars I’ve been to (which I’ll admit is not that many), this one was the most fun and cheaply convenient. I’m not so sure about other days, but $1 beer Mondays are too tempting to pass up. Not to mention Insomnia Cookies is right across the street. Their brownies are sick! And I don’t even like brownies! Brownies and $1 beers: What’s not to freakin’ like?!

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: My lovely brothers teamed up together in a way to get me an iPhone. All I had to do was nag a bit in the beginning, smile in the middle and hug at the end. The phone is under my brother’s own line and so my only contribution is $40/month, which I have yet to cough over since January because well, I have no income! I wonder if he notices…

Favorite free thing to do: I know it sounds corny, but strolling around in a gorgeous peaceful park on a breezy, sunny afternoon. I imagine that in my next life I will be a huge tree with the greenest leaves and I’ll live for the sunny days, with my only pet peeve being nasty weather in which I would once again wish I was human so I could seek refuge, and annoying little rascals kicking at my trunk. Keep it up you Rugrats and see if a branch won’t “accidentally” fall on your foot!

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: My own personal chef and he would have to be experienced in…everything! An international chef: Yea that sounds nice. Second would be a car for Christ’s sake. Enough already with this public transpo crap.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: I guess I have to right? Otherwise I’d never want to get out of bed and do the things I enjoy doing like job-hunting, and complaining about not having any money.

Do you own my book?: Stuart, I feel like I should probably make it my business to purchase a copy ASAP, being that I write for your website and I’m a fellow broke-ass and all. Like, what exactly is my excuse for not having bought it? Besides the fact that if it’s over $10, I probably can’t afford it.

Best hangover cure: Lots of water to help with dehydration and a great show on Netflix while cuddled in bed. It’s a full day recovery thing.

Are you a hipster?: I think I tend to have some hipster ways, but I wouldn’t altogether refer to myself as one. The real hipsters would probably find it offensive. I’m something though, just not sure what…

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.