It's interesting how one's reaction to car repair costs can change in different circumstances. Ordinarily, a $175 bill for spark plugs would have me halfway to broken. But given the major things I've had to do for the car this year -- things that have forced me to sell stuff on craig's list for bucks -- I didn't even blink an eye at this. In fact, I finally began to breathe normally when I heard that it wasn't an $800 computer. Seems that I'd been forking out so much for major repairs that I forgot about the annual tuneup.
At the checkstand at Target, Obama's first book in my open handbag, title facing up. The checker sees it, and the following conversation ensues:
Her: I didn't know he'd written a book!
Me: He's written three I believe. This is the first one, before he became heavily involved in politics.
Her: Is it good?
Me: I think so; it's about his family. He's a very good writer.
Her: I have to buy that, where did you get it?
Me: Upstairs at Barnes & Noble.
Later that night I was telling the little story to rugrat, when she said:
I didn't know he'd written books!
Rugrat's boyfriend has all but moved in with us lately, and as nice as he is, it's driving me nuts. He's even here when she is at work. He stays in her room and doesn't make a nuisance of himself, but I can't really relax when he's here. I mean, I can't run around in my underwear, go to the bathroom with the door open, or feel like I can munch on junk at night in front of the telly when I know he's in the next room.
It seems that his mom had the phone, internet, and cable all shut off for nonpayment, so there's nothing to do at his place. His mother boggles my mind when it comes to finances. She takes her kids and rugrat on a caribbean cruise, while utilities are shut off. She goes down to atlantic city to gamble, while her rent goes unpaid and they get eviction notices regularly (which she then makes her son go take care of for her because she can't face them in person).
I don't get it. First, she makes more than I do, so she should be able to pay her bills. Second, I may spend a lot more than I should on luxuries, but the basic bills always get paid first. I would never risk potential homelessness like that. I simply can't imagine living in that kind of financial chaos -- I can barely handle my own car problems.
I finally received the cola that we were due a year ago, but the union and the state were hammering out details till way past the date the last contract ended. So we all got the last year's cola in one lump sum in our last paycheck. That's why I didn't blink much about the car, I suppose. The rest of the cola went to groceries and bills. And I'll buy a couple of things for toys for tots in the next week or so.
I finally got up the courage to email my MFD committee chair, who had emailed me a month ago to see where I was in the process. There's no way I can even think about it till the semester's over, but I'm going to have to put in 60 hour weeks over the break to get something worthwhile done.
That, of course, is in addition to advising students; overseeing a few students who are still in field placements and have incompletes until they finish their hours; reading the new textbook I've adopted for my policy course; and updating all my syllabi to incorporate what I've learned from various faculty development workshops.
I did splurge at best buy with my cola check. I picked up a few oldies but goodies from my past, mostly on sale.
Chaka Khan, I feel for you: