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Amparo Bertram

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07:46 pm: September Surprises
So, just as I am anticipating my long-awaited raise (GS-12 yay!) and deciding to cut down on unnecessary spending so that I can buckle down and save as much as possible for a nice house, I get hit with a bunch of unexpected expenses. Isn't that always the way it works?

Backing up a little, mangaroo came down to visit over Labor Day weekend, and we strolled through the Millbrae Art and Wine Festival. It was quite nice, and more extensive than I had thought it would be. (I missed it last year because I had to work both days it was held.) I didn't plan on spending much money, but there were just so many cute things there. Do I really need a dress covered in a pumpkin print? Well...no...but the buttons are adorable.

Then last week I went in for a dental appointment, and the dentist found three small cavities. On the bright side, they're in the early stages, so they won't be much trouble to fill. Still, at $80 each after insurance, it's an expense I could have done without.

Yesterday I had a bit of a panic when my (fully charged) cell phone turned itself off and refused to power back on for hours. I took it in to the shop, where I was told a technician could look at it, but he would charge me just to say that the phone is old and I should get a new one. Since I know the phone is about ten years old, which is ancient for technology these days, I figured it would make sense to get a newer model. The new phone will be essentially free after the rebate, but the various accessories add up.

Also, the phone shop was in a small shopping plaza that happened to contain a Japanese supermarket, so I spent more money there. It's not a huge store, but with a bus stop right out front, it's much more accessible than Japantown to fulfill the occasional craving.

In other news, I'm enjoying the occasional strawberry from my balcony, and the fresh basil goes really well on homemade pizza. I got my first alpine strawberry yesterday from the seeds I planted this spring. I'm really excited to see that my Meiwa kumquat tree is starting to blossom, so I may actually get fruit from it this year. ...Or, rather, I would if I were going to be here during kumquat season, but I'll be away at K9 training in Georgia just when they ought to be at their ripest.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:September 24th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
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It must be the season for all those expenses that you know can happen sometime. It happened to us, too...three cars needed work at the same time, about $500 each. My dental work was a bit over $500 after insurance. I hate to see the money go out faster than it comes in, and I'm just grateful it doesn't happen all the time.

I hope you like your new phone, and it'll be fun to check out the Japanese supermarket the next time we're there, especially if it's easy to get to.

Fresh basil goes well just on a slice of fresh mozzarella and a slice of tomato. I love even the smell of fresh basil. It's definitely fun eating food fresh from the garden. Yum for strawberries in September!

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 25th, 2010 03:55 am (UTC)
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it'll be fun to check out the Japanese supermarket the next time we're there, especially if it's easy to get to.

It's really easy, it's a straight shot on the bus that stops at the corner a block from my apartment. Next time I want to buy some Japanese sweet potatoes, I'll know where to go.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 24th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
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You DO know that a post about budget woes is going to get you a bunch of recommendations to try YNAB, right? (Seems like Sara gets one of us a year, hmmm...) Honestly, though, smartest $60 I ever spent.

I'm jealous of your fresh basil. :( I mean, not that you have it, because we have it, too, but that you can TASTE it. I have no sense of smell right now, see, so it doesn't taste like anything to me. :/
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:September 24th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
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LOL, I don't even have to pimp it any more. Everyone I pimp it to converts three other people. It sells itself.

(Amusingly, anki [the flashcard software] works very much the same way. All I did was pimp it to a few people, and before I knew it, half my department and most of the majors were using it.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 25th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
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You DO know that a post about budget woes is going to get you a bunch of recommendations to try YNAB, right?

I appreciate the advice, though really my whining makes it sound worse than it is. I just have to do without frills like new DVDs for a while.

I have no sense of smell right now, see, so it doesn't taste like anything to me.

Awww, that's a terrible side effect.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 28th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
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Well, I'm not going to force it on you or anything. But helping to save money and prepare you for unexpected expenses are what it does best. Not to imply that you can't do these things on your own, just that YNAB helps you do it better.
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:September 24th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
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You get a dog!!! Yeah!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 25th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
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Yep, the plan is for me to attend the training class in January. I'm definitely hoping nothing else comes up to postpone it any longer than that.
[User Picture]
From:seraphim_12
Date:September 28th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
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hullo! So i had bookmarked your site with your novel summaries . . . quite a few years ago lol and I've been using an old laptop of mine that still has bookmarks from about 3 yrs ago and came across your site once again! I was curious to know whether you had continued with your summaries elsewhere or just lost interest . . . or a host of other things lol:)

I remember adoring Kill the Crows and wondering if Sala and Luci ever got anywhere haha :) And of course the other characters as well! Just want to say thanks I almost want to learn Japanese just to read these books (as well as various manga of course!) Sorry about popping in on your LJ like this, hope you don't mind terribly!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 28th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
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was curious to know whether you had continued with your summaries elsewhere or just lost interest . . . or a host of other things

Mainly, I moved twice, which separated me from the majority of my collection. My current apartment is too small to hold everything. Once I save up enough money to buy a house, I'll be able to gather all my books in one place so that I can get up to date on my summaries.

The Kill the Crows series is still continuing. Volume #15 is on the top of my to-read pile right now.
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